Truth outweighing Error: Or, An ANSVVER TO A Treatise lately published by J. B. Entituled, A Confession of his Faith, AND A Reason of his Practice. OR, With who he can, and with who he cannot hold Church-Fellowship, or the Communion of Saints.

By John Denne, a Servant of the Church.

He that is first in his own Cause, seemeth just; but his neigh­bour cometh and searcheth him, Prov. 18.17.

For it was not an Enemy that reproached me, then I could have born it, Psal. 55.12.

Sed nullum est Atrocius vulnus quam defectio amici. Sophocles.

London, Printed for the Author, and are to be sold by F. Smith, at the Elephant and Castle near the Royal-Ex­change in Cornhil, and at the same sign the first shop with­out Temple-Bar, 1673.

To the Church of God; in God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, especially to my well beloved Brethren in the Counties of Huntington and Cambridge: Grace, Mercy, and Peace be multiplied unto you from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Father in Truth and Love.

Dearly Beloved,

IT is once, yea twice declared in the Book of Job, That when the Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan came also a­mongst them; surely, not only to espy what miscarriage might give him advan­tage against them, but also to endeavour their subversion by the crafty insinuati­ons of himself, and ministers, stirred up to that end; and no marvel, for if he durst presume to practise the same against our blessed Saviour, we may more assuredly expect his subtilty and puissance to be [Page] bent against us: wherefore Diligence and Sobriety is required, (1 Pet. 5.8.) that by the one you may avoid giving him occasion against you; and by the other discover his crafty devices, although car­ried on by fair pretences, like a Wolf in Sheeps-cloathing, making use therefore of some of your own selves, according to the words of the Apostle Paul, (Acts 20.29.) which (as heretofore) is this day ap­parently verified; and that (amongst o­thers) particularly in that Book presented to the World by J. Bunyan, entituled, A Confession of his Faith, and the reason of his practice touching Church-fellowship: where­in, (amongst other things) he endeavours the vilifying (the ready way for the ex­tirpation) of the Ordinance of Water-Baptism, and that under the specious pre­tences of Charity, Church-edification, &c. that his Design might be so masked, as to be received by many conscientious Christians, who cannot (through his craf­ty vail) discover his intentions in refe­rence to the aforesaid Ordinance, which [Page] he would not have us at all respect in the matter of Church-Communion. Which I no sooner saw, but I was filled with displeasure, apprehending my self obliged, as once Phineas was (in a mat­ter whereunto this is not inferiour, if the spiritual concern be respected) to mani­fest an holy indignation against the same, and (according to my ability) to vindi­cate the Truth therein degraded; where­upon I resolved to send abroad the ensu­ing Treatise, which I now commend to you; (what is well done, expects your Approbation; and what is amiss, your gentle Correction): withal entreating you to look to your selves that you may not be ensnared; hold fast the form of sound words, lest that otherwise you be unawares beguiled; retain alwayes a re­verent esteem of God's Ordinances. Which if you do not, you will sudden­ly be surprized by that Adversary, who goeth about like a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devour; keep close to the Holy Scriptures, continue instant in [Page] Prayer, and that for me also, that Wis­dom, Boldness, and Patience may be gi­ven me, that I may not cease to speak the things I have believed. Brethren, farewel, the God of Peace fill you with all Joy and Peace in believing. Amen.

Your unworthy Brother in the Lord Jesus Christ, John Denne.

The Epistle to the Reader.


IF Solomon had cause to say in his time, Eccles. 12.12. in making many Books there is no end, what may be said in our dayes, when the World is so replenished with Books, and those pro & contra, even in matters of Christianity, insomuch as the question propounded by Paul, 1 Cor. 1.13. Is Christ divided? may now seem justly to be answered on the affirmative, or (which is rather to be consented unto) that the prediction of Christ Jesus (Matth. 24.24. That there shall arise false Christs, many coming in his Name, saying, Lo here, and lo there is Christ) is now accomplished, for the discovery of whom, and demonstration of the Truth, that one Book (viz. the Holy Scripture) is only necessary, which of it self is able to make a man wise unto Salvation, through Faith which is in Christ Jesus; who there­fore adviseth the Sons of Men to search the Scrip­tures, Joh. 5.39. because they are they which do te­stifie of him: The consideration wherof hath hitherto obstructed my presenting any thing to publick view, although divers times thereto incited, as well by the perswasion of some Friends, as the apprehension of the want of some assistance in the vindication of the Truth as it is in Jesus, which (as formerly hath re­quired my hand) at this time induceth me to step [Page] forth particularly upon the perusal of a Treatise sub­scribed by J.B. entituled, A Confession of his Faith, and the reason of his Practice touching Church-Fellowship: Which (although sometime published) came lately to my view, wherein an apparent wrong and publick abuse being offered to God and his Son Christ Jesus, in his endeavouring the explosion of the Holy Ordinance of Baptism; it took such impression within me, that I could not now forbear the presen­ting the ensuing Treatise to the view of the World in answer thereunto, whereof it may perhaps be said (as Paul of himself, 1 Cor. 15.8.) It is born out of due time: but if so, I presume wise Persons will allow, that an Abortive birth, wherein there is life, must not be rejected; wherefore, although perad­venture there may be others (which I know not of) that may precede this upon the same account (where­to the priority must be granted): Touching this, let me say as (Abigail to David) Accept it as a Servant to the Servants of the Servants of our God, whereby perhaps some (although mean) Service may be ren­dred, which may be advantagious in the discovery of Truth from the disguised face of Error: Wherefore (in the Name of our Lord Jesus) let me entreat thee to read impartially, and try diligently by the Scriptures of Truth, what thou findest in this follow­ing Treatise declared, and the Lord give thee therein the Spirit of discerning; which shall be the earnest Prayer of

Thine in the Lord Jesus Christ, John Denne.

Truth outweighing Error, &c.

WHen the Woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, Rev. 12.1. and upon her Head a Crown of twelve Stars, was with Child, and cried travelling in birth, and pained to be delivered; then there appeared, vers. 3. a great Wonder in Heaven, viz. a great red Dra­gon, having seven Heads, and ten Horns, and seven Crowns upon his Heads, who with his Tayl drew the third part of the Stars from Hea­ven, and cast them to the Earth. This Dragon stood before the Woman to devour the Child as soon as it should be brought forth: but his pur­poses therein being frustrated, he endeavoured (by divers assaults and stratagems) not only the destruction of the Child, but also the Mother thereof; seeking so craftily the pursuance of his enterprize, that he was fitly termed that old Ser­pent, the Devil and Satan, vers. 9. who by his subtilty deceived Eve, 2 Cor. 11.3. perswading her, That God was not so much their Friend as they imagined▪ for, saith he, God doth know that [Page 10] in the day you cat of that tree which he hath forbid­den, your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as Gods, &c. Gen. 3. thereby endeavouring to bring them into a dis-esteem of the Laws of their Creator, that so he might induce them to consent to his wicked device; which craft (as then be­gan) is daily practised for the corrupting the minds of Saints from the simplicity that is in Christ, of which devices Paul was not ignorant, 2 Cor. 2.11. but understood the working of Sa­tan, to get (in his time) an advantage of Christi­ans; sometimes (for that purpose) transform­ing himself into an Angel of Light, the easier to deceive mankind, and thereby to accomplish his own designs; for the effecting whereof he also sendeth forth Ministers transformed into the Apostles of Christ, and Ministers of Righteous­ness▪ 2 Cor. 11.15. of whom our Saviour doth admonish us to take heed, Matth. 7.15. as of false Prophets which come in Sheeps clothing, but inwardly are ravening Wolves; thereby in­timating, that it ought to be the continual care of Saints, in all Ages, to avoid such, lest that with feigned words, and fair speeches, their Souls should be ensnared in that crafty snare of Satan, wherein men become captivated at his will to their utter ruine and destruction. And as this we are admonished of, so, by continued experi­ence, the necessity thereof is demonstrated. Time would fail me to relate how t [...]t evil one hath, [Page 11] and doth endeavour, by subtilty, to accomplish what by force he cannot; That, as of old his Tail did more harm than his Horns; so now by the crafty insinuations of his Ministers, he endea­voureth the violation of God's righteous Laws, in procuring, first, a disesteem thereof in the hearts of Christians, that so they may (with the grea­ter content) be negligent in the performance of the same, he well knowing what the event there­of will be, for through idleness of the hands the house falleth down; and thereby may he craftily accomplish his wicked design. An In­stance whereof is apparent in that little Treatise lately published by J. B. entituled, A Confession of his Faith, and a reason of his Practice with who, and who not, he can have Church-fellowship or Com­munion of Saints: Wherein the Reader may as well discern the Spirit of the Author clearly demonstrated, as his Person by the letters of his Name subscribed; who (amongst other things) endeavoureth to vilifie the Holy Ordinance of Water-Baptism, that thereby he might bring it into such dis-esteem with others, as it is (not­withstanding his specious pretences) with him­self; who knoweth, that if he could perswade Christians to think that the doing it is never the better, and the not doing it never the worse, it would then soon fall to the ground, J.B. pag. 104. For the prevention of which design, I shall pre­sume (through the assistance of God) to weigh [Page 12] what (to the purpose) is said (by the Author of the aforesaid Treatise) in the ballance of the Sanctuary, if peradventure it may be so far outweighed by the weight of Truth, that the vanity thereof may appear.

Wherein I shall first take notice of the Con­fession of his Faith.

Secondly, The reason of his Practice, &c.

First, In his Confession you have divers things declared in the beginning thereof (as the Author saith) which (I suppose) few men deny; and thereto I shall yield my Concession; saying to him in the words of the Apostle James, Chap. 2.19. Thou sayest well; the Devils also believe and tremble.

But when he proceeds further in the 15th Article of his Faith, pag. 9. wherein he would be thought to be some body, in giving a clear demonstration (as is pretended) how men come to obtain Righteousness, Redemption, and Salvation from the Curse of the Law,

He saith;

I believe therefore that the Righteousness and Re­demption by which we that believe stand just before God, as saved from the Curse of the Law, is the Righteousness and Redemption that consists in the personal acts and performances of this Child Jesus, this God-man, the Lord Christ; I say, in his per­sonal fulfilling the Law for us, to the utmost require­ments of the Justice of God; by which means he [Page 13] became the end of the Law for Righteousness to e­very one that believeth, so finishing transgression, and making an end of sin, and making reconciliation for iniquity.

Answ. In this Article are two things to be considered, viz. First, what is believed: Se­condly, wherefore it is believed. First, What is believed: The Confessor tells us, That the Righteousness, Redemption, and Salvation from the Curse of the Law, obtained by Believers, consists in the personal acts of Christ. Art. 15. pag. 9. But sure this is not consonant to the Scriptures of Truth, which declare them to be wrought and accomplished by the Sufferings of Christ; this Peter acknowledgeth, 1 Pet. 3.11. For Christ also hath once suffered for Sins. And if we come to particulars, the truth thereof will appear: For, First, How are we made Righteous? doth not the Apostle declare, 2 Cor. 5.21. He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that you might be made the Righteousness of God in him. So that you see we obtain Righteousness by Christ's be­ing made Sin; and if you would know how he was made sin, let the Prophet answer, Isa. 53.6. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all; as it is written, He bare our sins upon his own bo­dy on the Tree, 1 Pet. 2.24. and this was his Passion, and not his Personal act. Secondly, the Redemption of Christians is wrought by the shedding the blood of Christ, 1 Pet. 1.19. And [Page 14] sure if that was a personal act, it must be the personal act of the Souldier that pierced him, and not of Christ himself. Thirdly, Salvation from the Curse of the Law; the Apostle de­clares, Gal. 3.13. consisted in his being made a Curse for us; and how that was, the Apostle testifieth by his hanging on the Tree, viz. the Cross; and that also was the suffering and not the act of Christ, which as it ought to be di­stinguished by every Christian, so much more he that pretends himself a Preacher (who should shew himself in all things a Workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, 2 Tim. 2.15.) ought to distin­guish between doing and suffering, and that more particularly in this matter; for if Righ­teousness, Redemption, and Salvation had been performed by his personal acts, there had then been no need of his Death and Passion, the ne­cessity whereof is declared by Christ himself, Luk. 24.46. (Thus it behoved the Christ to suf­fer) and confirmed by the Apostle, Acts 17.3. that the Christ must needs have suffered: where­fore it must be concluded that the aforesaid bles­sings were not effected by the personal acts of Christ. And therefore, although the Confessor (J. B. Epist.) presumeth a candid Christian may judge the root of the matter to be found in him; it may from what hath been said, be feared that [Page 15] the root is evil, and then it is easie to judge what the branches will be.

But now in the second place, let us see where­fore the aforesaid Article is believed, I was en­forced to consider it: because he urgeth it so emphatically, I believe therefore, as if there was something preceding that would demon­strate the truth thereof: But I have weighed both the precedent and consequent Articles, with the Scriptures annexed; and I profess I know not what he means by Therefore.

The Article precedent is, I believe this very Child is both God and Man, the Christ of the Living God. J. B. Art. 14. pag. 8. And the Scriptures annexed are, Luke 2.7, 12. Matth. 1.21, 22. But why he should say from thence; I believe therefore, &c. to me doth not appear.

This Confessor tells us,J. B's. Epist. That above eleven years he hath weighed, paused, ex­amined, & paused again these Doctrines, and that in cold blood. Surely it demonstrates his instability to be so tedious a tract of time (to use his own words) in pausing and weigh­ing; I wish that may not be true in him accor­ding to the words of Paul, 2 Tim. 3.7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth: For hitherto his Judgment and Understanding (notwithstanding his long pau­sing) seems as cold as his blood.

If any object, That it is written, Christ gave himself for us, laid down his life, was obedient to death; all which amount to acts of Christ.

I Answ. 1. That the sufferings were all volun­tary; that he readily condescended to obey his Father's Will, wherein we have cause to accept the Grace of Christ. But, 2. This was no act, viz. no Personal act of his: There may be a voluntary submission, a free condescension, even so far as we may be said to lay down our lives, to obey God, and yet no personal act. Christi­ans are required to obey God in sufferings; and it is accounted an Obedience to God when we lose our lives for his sake; wherefore although I do extol the personal acts of Christ in the days of his Flesh, and desire to respect them in their own Sphere; yet I must conclude, as aforesaid, that those blessings are not wrought by his per­sonal acts, but by his sufferings; as it is writ­ten, The Captain of our Salvation is made perfect through sufferings, Heb. 2.10. Christ hath also once suffered for us, that thereby he might bring us unto God, 1 Pet. 3.18.

J.B. Art. 16. pag. 10. I do believe that for the compleating of this work, he was always sinless; did alwayes the things that pleased God's Justice, that every one of his acts, both of doing and suffer­ing and rising again from the dead, was really and infinitely perfect, being done by him as God-man: Wherefore his acts before he died, are called, the [Page 17] Righteousness of God, his blood, the blood of God; and herein perceive we the love of God in that he laid down his life for us. The Godhead which gave vertue to all the acts of the humane na­ture, was then in perfect union with it, when he hanged upon the Cross for our sins.

Answ. It is the advice of the Holy Ghost, 1 Pet. 4.11. That if any man speak, he should speak as the Oracles of God: But sure this Con­fessor's words are more like the Oracles of the Devils, that of old were accustomed to be given so ambiguous and obscure, that no body could understand them aright, yet they might be wrested to the understanding of any.

Such is the matter of the aforesaid Article, wherein it is hard to determine what he means; unless it is that the Godhead of Christ suffered death: which although he doth not plainly de­clare, yet he doth imply (if he saith any thing); For (saith he) every one of his acts of suffering was really perfect, being done by him as God-man.

I wonder that he (who pretends that he doth not abusively present to the Reader, any other Doctrine but what he holds, J.B's. E­pistle. pro­fesseth, and Preacheth) should be so a­busive to himself and Doctrine, as to Preach and Print that which is so inconsistent with common sense.

But to proceed; he saith, The Godhead which gave virtue to all the acts of the Humane Nature, [Page 18] was then in perfect union with it when he hanged upon the Cross: Now to be in perfect union, was to be even as that was, viz. hanged upon the Cross, and also dead; which sure the Confessor means; for he further urgeth, that therefore his blood was called the blood of God; and hereby perceive we the Love of God, in that he laid down his life for us.

Now if this be his meaning, it is directly con­trary unto Truth: for the Godhead that was e­qual with the Father, Phil. 2.6. with whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning, Jam. 1.17. an Eternal Spirit, immortal, &c. (as it hath nei­ther flesh nor bones, Luk. 24.3.) cannot die, hath no blood to shed.

Death and Immortality are not congruous; and therefore herein this Confessor is mistaken: for the death of Christ was only as he was man. And therefore it is said, Heb. 10.5. (When he cometh into the World) A body hast thou prepared me. If the Godhead could have died, there needed not the preparation of this body of flesh, but thereby (being made man) he became sub­ject to death (which he was not before:) as it is written, Heb. 2.14, 15. Forasmuch as the Chil­dren are partakers of flesh and blood; he also him­self likewise took part of the same; that through death, he might destroy him that bad the power of death: wherefore he did not assume the nature of Angels, but the seed of Abraham, vers. 16. As it is [Page 19] said, Heb. 2.9. He was made a little lower than the Angels, for the suffering of death: This also our Confessor acknowledged, saying, (Art. 12.) The great reason why Christ clothed himself with our flesh and blood, was, that he might be capable of obtaining Redemption, and that was by his Death, even the death of the Manhood; As the Apostle saith, 1 Pet. 3.18. Being put to death in the flesh, in the body of his flesh, Col. 1.22. And therefore although some Scriptures, alledged by the Con­fessor, call the blood of Christ the blood of God, and God's Life; it must not be taken as proper­ly spoken, but in respect to that conjunction between the Deity and Humanity; as figurative­ly Christ is said to be Hungry, Thirsty, Naked, &c. Matth. 25.42. when it is properly to be under­stood of his People, as himself saith, Inasmuch as ye did it not to the least of these, ye did it not to me: And in this sense God saith, He that touch­eth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye, Zech. 2.8. In which sense also the aforesaid Scriptures may well be understood, although the Deity is Im­mortal.

Touching divers other Articles of this Con­fessor's Creed, although stuffed with many pro­fuse words and incongruities of speech, contrary to that advice, 2 Tim. 1.13. Hold fast the form of sound words, I shall say nothing at this time, but pass to Art. 19. pag. 13. I believe that the suf­ferings of Christ were all voluntary, that he rea­dily [Page 20] condescended to obey his Father's Will, wherein we have cause to accept the Grace of Christ. But 2. this was no act, viz. no personal act of his. There may be a voluntary submission, a free condescention, even so far as we may be said to lay down our lives to obey God, and yet no personal act. Christians are required to obey God in suffering, and it is ac­counted an obedience to God when we lose our lives for his sake; wherefore although I do extol the per­sonal acts of Christ in the dayes of his flesh, and desire to respect them in their own sphere, yet must conclude, as aforesaid, that those blessings are not wrought by his personal acts, but by his sufferings; As its written, The Captain of our Salvation is made perfect through sufferings, Heb. 2.10. Christ hath also once suffered for us, that thereby he might bring us unto God, 1 Pet. 3.18.

The Articles about Justification, Election, and Effectual Calling; which I shall only give you the sum of what he saith, collected (for brevity sake) out of them all, wherein he declareth That there is a Decree, Choice, or Electi­on, J. B. Art. 3. pag. 26. Art. 7. pag. 30. before the Foundation of the World, even that which contains in it self the Persons Elected, and the Graces that ac­company their Salvation, which must be wrought in the hearts of such Persons, there being a necessity of the use and effect thereof, Art. 1. pag. 31. because they are chosen, and there­fore they, and they alone are effectually [Page 21] called; it being the fruit of Electing love; pag. 32. which Call is a word that out-goeth all opposition, wherein the Voice of God is heard, the Gates of Heaven are opened; pag. 33. there is an effectual awakening of the Soul, in reference to sin, pag. 34. and the World to come; a sanctifying virtue, whereby Faith, Hope, pag. 35. pag. 36. pag. 37. pag. 28. and Repentance are so ne­cessarily produced, that there is not any impediment that can hinder their Conver­sion and Eternal Salvation; which things are thus effectually wrought only in those which before the World were appointed unto Glory; and the rest were blinded, pag. 23. pag. 24. pag. 31. that as they will not, so they cannot hear and turn.

Answ. Here you have an account of this Con­fessor's Faith, which he saith, (in his Epist.) he would have open to the view and judgment of all men: Wherein (although he is so confident, that he makes his appeal even to his Enemies) such unsoundness appears, as even strikes at the Justice of the God of Heaven, declaring him to be exceeding partial and unequal in his dealings. For I appeal to the World, whether it must not be so, if John Bunyan's Doctrine aforesaid (al­though eleven years examined) be true.

If God hath chosen to Salvation before the Foundation of the World any persons, without any respect to qualifications; or if he hath in [Page 22] their Election ordained, That they shall be sup­plied with such Grace which shall of necessity produce the Effects intended, and that so be­yond all opposition, that there is no impediment can hinder their Conversion and Eternal Salva­tion: And again, Hath blinded others, that they cannot hear, or turn: What respect of persons, without controule is this? Yea, what iniquity and injustice is it which J. B. declares? But far be it from our God: Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? Whom that I may (accor­ding to my abilities) vindicate to the world a­gainst John Bunyan and his groundless Creed, I shall first endeavour to shew his deceipt; Se­condly, I shall demonstrate the righteous deal­ings of our God in behalf of the Salvation of mankind. Wherein consider these things in op­position to John Bunyan's Creed, viz.

1. That God doth not Elect any man unto Sal­vation, without respect to qualifications foreseen.

2. That there is not any such Eternal purpose of God, which necessarily produceth John Bunyan's Effectual Call.

3. There is no such Call as is beyond all oppo­sition.

4. There is not any such Estate as no impedi­ment can hinder the Conversion and Salvation of a man.

5. There is no Person originally so far blinded by [Page 23] the God of Heaven, that they cannot hear, and turn to him.

These things, although Negatives, I shall Essay to demonstrate to be (although contrary to John Bunyan) consonant to Truth, by the ensuing Arguments: viz.

Arg. 1. If God Electeth some Persons with­out respect to qualifications fore-seen; Then there is respect of Persons with God: But there is no respect of Persons with God; Ergo.

The Major is undeniable; for if there be no respect to qualifications, there must be respect of persons, or respect to nothing. Peradventure it will be said, that there is respect to nothing, it is of God's meer will and pleasure: whereto I shall Answer, That if God looking upon every man alike, viz. without respect to any qualifi­cations, chooseth one and not another, it is par­tiality; and therefore the Major appeareth true.

The Minor is evidently proved, Rom. 2.11. 1 Pet. 1.17. and positively affirmed, Acts 10.34. I know of a truth (saith Peter) that God is no respecter of persons: which afterwards he de­monstrates, vers. 35. In every Nation, he that feareth God, and worketh Righteousness (he doth not say he that is Elected) is accepted of him.

Arg. 2. If God hath from the beginning E­lected any persons to Salvation, without respect to qualifications fore-seen: Then the Sentence shall not pass at the last Day, and Judgment be [Page 24] rendred to every man according to their works. But the Sentence at the last Day shall pass, and Judgment be rendred to every man according to their works. Ergo.

The Major is plain; for if it shall be accor­ding to our works, then not according to such Election; if it be of Election as aforesaid, then not according to works.

The Minor is confirmed, 1 Pet. 1.17. Matth. 16.27. and Rom. 2.6. where it is said, God will render to every man according to his deeds; and vers. 7. speaking of Eternal Life, he saith, It shall be rendred to them who by patient continuing in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortali­ty. Christ also declares, Rev. 22.12. That at his coming he will give to every man (without excep­tion) according as his works shall be.

Arg. 3. If those men that are saved, are sa­ved through Election without respect to quali­fications; Then must the residue be reprobated without respect to qualifications. But God re­probates no man without respect to qualificati­on. Ergo.

The Major is evident; for if there be a cer­tain number Elected, the residue must be dam­ned, let their qualifications be what they will: The consideration whereof, hath induced Lear­ned men to blaspheme, saying, That God ordained men to sin, that he might justly accomplish his De­termination; [Page 25] So saith Zanchius, Reprobates are held so fast under God's Almighty Decree, that they cannot but sin and perish. And again he saith, There lieth upon Reprobates, by the power of their unchangeable reprobation, a necessity of sinning, yea of sinning unto death without Repentance; and consequently of perishing everlastingly, Zanch. lib. 5. de Nat. Dei. The same also saith Piscator; Re­probates are precisely appointed to sin, that they might be justly punished. Piscat. resp. ad dupl. vorst. part. 1. pag. 220.

Maccovius also was of this mind, saying, God did will sin, ordain men to sin, that he might justly accomplish his determination. Macc. disp. 17. pag. 11.

Thus you see the Major is acknowledged by those that believe such an Election as J. B. de­scribes.

The Minor I shall prove thus, viz.

Arg. 4. If God reprobates any man without respect to qualifications; Then are not his ten­der mercies over all his works. But God's ten­der mercies are over all his works. Ergo.

The Major is unquestionable; for sure no mercy (much less tender mercy) can be to that man reprobated (and that without respect to qualifications) to Eternal damnation.

The Minor is proved, Psal. 145.9. The Lord is good to all (without exception) and his ten­der mercies are over all his works.

[Page 26]This that hath been said, may suffice also to shew, that there is no such Eternal purpose, which necessarily produceth John Bunyan's Ef­fectual Call: For the aforesaid Arguments have the same validity against that, as the former Proposition. I come therefore now to shew you that there is no such Call as John Bunyan pre­tends to be beyond all opposition. Which I shall prove thus: viz.

Arg. 5. If God's Call is oft-times rejected, his Spirit resisted, and his Counsel despised; Then his Call is not beyond all opposition: But God's Call is oft-times rejected, his Spirit re­sisted, and his Counsel despised. Ergo.

I think I may spare the proof of the Major; for sure, unless (as J. B. seems to do) you will so distinguish in this case, as if God did not Call those that reject it, with such an intenti­on as he doth others: (as Piscator presumes to affirm, That although God commands Reprobates to believe the Gospel, yet he will not have them be­lieve. And again, God doth not offer Grace to those that are Called, with an intent to give it. And he further saith, Though God in words protest that he would have Reprobates believe, yet indeed he will not have them. Piscat. contra. Scasm. pag. 60, pag. 74, pag. 143.) which I hope you will not, lest you make the God of Heaven as deceitful as the false Godds, whom the Poets feign, did once set Tan­tallus up to the Chin in a goodly River, under a [Page 27] Tree full of beautiful Fruit, which hung even to his Nose; but so, that he could neither reach the fruit, nor stoop to the water to drink: which far be it from the Lord, who is true and holy in all his words and actions.

Wherefore I shall proceed to the proof of the Minor, which is evident, Prov. 1.24. I have called, but you have refused. Acts 7.51. Ye have alwayes resisted the Holy Spirit, ye have set at nought all my Counsel, Prov. 1.25.

The next thing I come to, is to shew that there are impediments which hinder the Con­version and Salvation of men; which will thus appear:

Arg. 6. If God useth such means with the Unconverted as is sufficient for their Conversion, and yet they continue unconverted; Then some­thing in themselves is an impediment: But God useth such means with the Unconverted as is sufficient for their Conversion, and yet they con­tinue unconverted: Ergo.

The Major is true; for if the means be suffi­cient, and such means used by the God of Hea­ven, their own obstinay must hinder.

The Minor I prove from the words of Christ to Chorazin and Bethsaida, Matth. 11.21. If the mighty works which have been done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have re­pented long ago. Now hereby it appeareth, That the means used with Chorazin and Bethsaida, [Page 28] would have been sufficient for the Conversion of Tyre and Sidon; and if so, why not to them? Surely because they were more obstinate. So that we must conclude, that was an impediment which did hinder their Conversion, and conse­quently their Salvation.

But further concerning Salvation, I offer this:

Arg. 7. If the Righteous man may turn from his Righteousness, put away a good Conscience, and make shipwrack of Faith; Then something may impede his Salvation: But a Righteous man may turn from his Righteousness, put away a good Conscience, and make shipwrack of Faith: Ergo.

The Major is undeniable: and the Minor I prove, Ezek. 18.24. When the righteous man turneth from his righteousness, and committeth ini­quity, he shall die: Hymeneus and Alexander put away a good Conscience, and made shipwrack of Faith, 1 Tim. 1.19. Wherefore also Paul saith, 1 Cor. 9.27. I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means when I have Preached to others, I my self should be a cast-away. It seems Paul was not of J. B's mind, to think that no impediment could hin­der his Salvation, for then he would not have used these words, Lest that by any means, I my self should be a cast-away: But he thought and knew, as it was said of Eli to Samuel, 1 Sam. 2.30. They that despise me, shall be lightly esteem­ed; [Page 29] As the Lord said by Oded, 2 Chron. 15.2. If ye forsake me, I will forsake you: Whereof David did advisedly admonish Solomon, 1 Chron. 28.9. If thou forsake thy God, he will cast thee off for ever.

I proceed now to the last thing, viz. To shew you that no Persons are originally so far blinded by the God of Heaven, that they cannot turn to to him: which is thus proved;

Arg. 1. If God doth so blind any man, Then he is willing that some should perish: But God is not willing that any should perish: Ergo.

The Major is plain; for God must needs be willing to that which himself is the cause of.

The Minor is proved, 1 Pet. 3.9. The Lord is not willing that any should perish. He confirms it by an Oath, (which ought to put an end to all strife, Heb. 6.16.) and because he could swear by no greater, he swears by himself; As I live, saith the Lord (Ezek. 33.11.) I have no pleasure (at all) in the death of the wicked, but desire that he may turn from his sin and live.

Arg. 2. If God doth so blind men (viz. ori­ginally); Then their unbelief is no sin: But the unbelief of any man is sin: Ergo.

The Major is plain; for if they cannot be­lieve, it is no sin; our Proverb saith, Necessity hath no Law; and the Scripture saith, Where there is no Law, there is no Transgression: And it [Page 30] is true in this case, as John Bunyan himself con­fesseth, Laws themselves must give place sometimes for the profit of the Church, pag. 111. (I will not assent to that): But for the proof of the Ma­jor, I say, if they must give place for the profit of the Church, much more when necessity may be pleaded. No King would account that a fault which his Subjects cannot help; which is the case with men if they be blinded as afore­said.

The Minor is clearly proved, Joh. 16.9. The Spirit shall convince the World of sin, because they believe not on me: It seems it is such an apparent sin, as men themselves shall be convinced there­of.

Arg. 3. If God doth originally so blind men; Then some men shall be excusable at the Day of Judgment: But no man shall be excusable at the Day of Judgment: Ergo.

The Major is undeniable; for what better ex­cuse than to say, Lord, thou didst so blind me, that I could not hear, or turn; it was thy own act, O Lord, I could not any wayes help it; I was bound in the fetters of determined blindness, to do even contrary to mine own will, that thy destiny might be accomplished, (this Calvin saith, The Reprobate are not only held fast in God's fet­ters, so as they cannot do as thy would, but are also urged and forced by God's bridle to do as he would have them. And again, That Men have nothing [Page 31] in agitation, that they bring nothing into action, but what God by his secret direction hath ordered, Calv. Instit. lib. 1. chap. 17. sect. 11. Chap. 18. sect. 1.) Wherefore, O Lord, how could I avoid my im­penitency and incredulity! and wilt thou punish me for that which I could not help; even for that which is the effect of thy Almighty Decree! that, Lord, be far from thee, who hast declared, Acts 17.31. That thou wilt judge the World in Righteousness. This surely would be a sufficient excuse.

The Minor is proved, Rom. 2.1. Rom. 3.19. Every mouth shall be stopped: Thou art inexcusable whosoever thou art that judgest. The truth where­of will hereafter (through God's assistance) be more abundantly demonstrated.

Thus the Error of John Bunyan's Faith is discovered, and that the contrary may further appear, I come now to shew you, in vindicati­on of our God, his righteous dealings with man­kind.

Wherein touching Election, know, That God hath, from before the Foundation of the World, chosen some in Christ Jesus to Eternal Salvati­on; but not without respect to qualifications: For, though no qualification of ours was the efficient cause of our Election, yet God having testified his good pleasure concerning Man, in Christ Jesus, whose Sacrifice he was pleased graciously to accept, as a Propitiation for our [Page 32] sins; in him he is pleased also to declare his ac­ceptation of all those who shall obey his will de­clared in Christ Jesus; not as any thing merited by us, but the effect of his everlasting kindness, wherein he was pleased to chuse unto Salvation all those whom he foresaw to continue obedient to his holy Will; according to what is said, Rom. 8.29. Whom he did fore-know, he also did Predestinate, &c. determining that the rest should be damned, because of their disobedience, in not hearkning to his Counsel, and not submit­ting to his holy Desires; which are frustrated through their obstinacy, thereby treasuring up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, Rom. 2.4. contrary to the good pleasure of God, who endeavoured earnestly their Salvation. Now this Election is warranted by the Scriptures, as 1 Pet. 1.2. Elect according to the fore-knowledge of God the Father, through Sanctification of the Spirit. Now what is the Sanctification of the Spirit; but when the heart being enlightned by the Spirit of God, is induced to accept of Grace offered, and to walk suitable thereto? And this being fore-seen, the Apostle declares our Electi­on to be according to the fore-knowledge of God, in respect of those qualifications consi­dered; As Paul saith, 2 Thess. 2.13. God hath from the beginning chosen you to Salvation, through Sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the Truth. Now that cannot be without respect to quali­fications, [Page 33] which you see is through such apparent qualifications, as is further plainly demonstra­ted, in the considerations of the dealings of God with men in general; wherein I shall shew you how God invites every man to obey his Will, that they may be saved; yea, strives with them to bring them to Repentance, and also waiteth long in expectation of the effects of the power­ful working of his Holy Spirit in their hearts; promising Salvation according to his everlasting purpose, to all those that obey him, and threat­ning damnation (although with much lamen­tation) to those that obstinately despise him: which sure must needs be inconsistent with such an absolute Election as is pretended by John Bunyan; Which therefore I shall proceed to do in order; First, shewing you the invitations of God: there is no Prophet silent therein, he calls by Ezekiel, Chap. 18.30. Repent, and turn from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruine. As if he should say, Be not mistaken in your selves, neither do ye mistake me, as to think I have determined your destruction: for if you repent, you shall live. Wherefore it is added, vers. 31. Cast away all your transgressions, &c. for why will you die, O House of Israel? God doth frequently call upon sinners; yea, rising up be­times, and sending, to procure their Repentance, because he hath compassion upon them, 2 Chron. 36.15. As Jeremiah witnesseth, Jer. 25.4. The Lord [Page 34] sent unto you all his Servants the Prophets, rising early and sending, saying, Turn ye every one from his evil way, and from the evil of his doings. Now to what purpose was all this, if God had de­termined either their sin or their damnation? But hear what Solomon saith, Prov. 1.20. Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets, she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the Gates; in the City she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity, and Scorners delight in their scourn­ing, and Fools hate knowledge? turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit upon you; I will make known my words unto you: As it is further declared, Chap. 8.1. Doth not Wisdom cry, and Ʋnderstanding put forth her voice? It is answered, vers. 2. She standeth in the top of the high places; she crieth at the Gates, at the entry of the City, at the coming in of the Doors: Ʋnto you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the Sons of men; O ye Simple, understand Wisdom, and ye Fools be ye of an understanding heart. Consider the gracious and general invitations of the God of Heaven; he calleth and inviteth men to the obedience of his holy Will; yea, even the worst of men, Fools, Simple ones, and Scorners; and not only such who were so originally, but even those who continued so; as appears Chap. 1. vers. 24. Because I called, and you did not answer; therefore shall de­struction come upon you as a whirlewind. Yet these [Page 35] persons did the Lord invite, perswading them by the motives of Grace, and intreating them by familiar expressions of kindness, as Paul saith, 2 Cor. 5.20. We then are Embassadours for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled unto God. What expressions of mercy are here! was ever the like Grace heard of! which is again found in that text so full of love, Isa. 55.1. Ho, every one that thirsteth; Come ye to the Waters, Come freely; he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy Wine and Milk without money and without price. (O great Grace!) Wherefore (saith the Lord) do ye spend money for that which is not bread? Hearken diligently unto me; incline your ear, and hear: and come unto me, and your Soul shall live: What promises and gracious in­vitations are here! (Is this consistent with God's blinding of men? Is it likely that the only wise God should speak thus to such as he knows cannot hear or turn? surely nay). Christ himself calls, Matth. 11.28. Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Not only so, but God also strives with wicked men (and that very forcibly) to bring them to Repentance; As it is written, Rom. 10.21. All the day long have I stretched forth my hand (even) to a disobedient and gain-saying People. Now what is it for God to stretch forth his hand? Is it because God hath hands as we [Page 36] have? No: but the hand of God is taken in Scripture sometimes for the Power of God, as Exod. 3.20. I will stretch forth my hand and smite Egypt: Yea, sometimes it is taken for his Mer­cy, as Isa. 66.14. The hand of the Lord shall be towards his People. So that for God to stretch forth his hand to the wicked, is to strive with them by his Power, and manifestation of Grace. Thus God strove with back-sliding Ephrahim, Hos. 11.3. I taught Ephraim to go, I drew them with the cords of a man, with the bands of love; and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws; and I laid meat unto them. What expressions of love are these! I am not able fur­they to illustrate them; none knoweth better this Declaration of the dealings of God, than a tender Nurse, who taketh great care of her little Babes, and useth great pains with them: Even so doth the Lord with Sinners; yea with All, as Christ saith, Joh. 12.32. And I, if I be lifted up from the Earth, will draw all men unto me. Christ draweth; the Father draweth; he strives earnestly with men by his holy Spirit; which being resisted, he saith, My Spirit shall not alwayes strive with man, Gen. 6.3. What shall we say to this? Did the Spirit of God strive with these Rebellious men (who died in their iniquity) or did it not? If you say it did, then is the truth of the matter granted, and God's Grace to damned persons acknowledged; [Page 37] but if you will say it did not, what meaneth then this speech, My Spirit shall not alwayes strive? Surely therefore we may conclude, there was a time when God did strive with them by his Spirit; yea, by the same powerful Spirit that raised Christ from the dead; As it is written, 1 Pet. 3.18, 19. Quickned by the Spirit; by which also he went and preached to the Spirits now in Prison, which were sometime disobedient in the dayes of Noah while the Ark was preparing. What is it for Christ to preach by his Spirit, but by the operation of his Spirit, to enlighten, and convince the Sons of men: This he did to the old World, and this he doth to every man, Joh. 1.9. Christ is the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the World.

Quest. But peradventure you will say, If God dealeth thus graciously, what is the reason men con­tinue in disobedience?

Answ. Not because God doth so blind them that they cannot hear and turn (as Joh. Bunyan saith) nor because God doth not work power­fully in their hearts; yea, so powerfully as to afford them, sufficient means to obey his Will, (as Moses saith, Deut. 30.14. The Word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it)?

Quest. But if then you further ark the Rea­son?

Answ. I say, It is through their own obstina­cy, [Page 38] and perversness, whereby they do despite to the Spirit of Grace, as it is said, Rom. 2.4. De­spisest thou the riches of his Grace, not regarding the goodness of God that leadeth thee to Repentance; but after thy hardness, and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thy self wrath against the day of Wrath. God leads to Repentance, but his good­ness is despised; Man through the hardness of his heart, treasureth up wrath against himself; resisting the motions of God's Spirit; as Ste­phen said, Acts 7.51. Ye have alwayes resisted the Holy Ghost, as did your Fathers, so do ye: As it is witnessed by that pitiful complaint of our Savi­our, Matth. 23.37. How often would I have ga­thered thy Children together, as a Hen gathereth her Chickens under her wings, but ye would not? This obstinacy of man is the cause of his ruine, God sent his Prophets, but they would not hear, 2 Chron. 24.19. They pulled away the shoulder, stopped their ears, and made their hearts hard as an Adamant stone, lest they should hear the words which the Lord sent in his Spirit by his Prophets, Zech. 7.12. And therefore wicked men are charged with doing despite to the Spirit of Grace, Heb. 10.29. So that in truth it is wilful and ob­stinate disobedience that men are guilty of in not hearkning to the Lord.

God would have them obey his voice, but they will not; yet to manifest his Grace he waits abundantly for the Effects of the operation of [Page 39] his holy Spirit, and giveth space of Repentance, Rev. 2.21. that so he might win them to him­self by his long-suffering; and therefore be waits that he may be gracious, Isa. 30.18. by his long-suffering, leading Sinners to Repentance, Rom. 2.4. as Peter saith, The Lord is long suffer­ing, not willing that any should perish, 2 Pet. 3.9. M [...]ing till there is no remedy, 2 Chron. 36.16. Which we have evidently described by a Simile, Jer. 6.29. The Bellows are burnt, the Lead is con­sumed in the fire, the Founder melteth in vain, for the wicked are not plucked away. The Lord here alludes to a Refiner, who taketh great pains in the Refining a Mass of Silver; and exerciseth such patience, as to wait till the Lead (which Refiners use to put in for the better purifying the Silver) is consumed, and (through the ex­tremity of heat) the Bellows burnt; so that all his labour is (more then) in vain: (thus God deals with men) whereof he complains, Isa. 49.4. I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: Insomuch that (in justification of himself against John Bunyan and such others) he appeals to his Enemies in the case, viz. Judge, I pray you, what could I have done more for Sinners than I have done? Isa. 5.4. I have given my Son to redeem them from death, and in him I have also offered them E­ternal Salvation, which I have invited them to imbrace; and also endeavoured to effect in their [Page 40] hearts, by the motions of my holy Spirit, for the operation whereof I have waited, even un­til I perceived all my endeavours to be in vain; my Spirit is resisted, and in despite thereof they have persisted in wickedness, wherein what could I have done more, or what can I now do? save only bewail their folly, in that they should so (against my will) forsake their own mer [...] Jona 2.8. and that also the Lord frequently doth; he grieveth for the destruction of Sin­ners, Jer. 4.19. My bowels, my bowels; I am pained at my very heart: Not that God hath Bowels or an Heart like men, but the bowels of the Father are his tender mercies, and great com­passion, being unwilling to punish; For the Lord doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the Chil­dren of Men, Lam. 3.33. It is hard with the Lord (viz. against his good pleasure) How (saith he) shall I give thee up (O backsliding) Ephraim? How shall I deliver thee (to death) (O sinful) Israel? How shall I make thee as Adama? How shall I set thee as Zeboim? My heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled toge­ther, Hos. 11.8. Thus the Son of God, being like unto his Father in compassion, when he be­held Jerusalem, Luk. 19.41, 42. he wept over it, because they would not know the things that be­long to their peace; he was grieved for the hardness of their hearts, Mark 3.5. wishing it had been otherwise; O that thou hadst hearkned [Page 41] to my Commandments, Isa. 48.18. O that Israel had walked in my wayes, Psa. 81.16. What great compassion is this? what demonstrations of love are here? When Jesus wept for Lazarus, Joh. 11.35. The Jews looked upon it as a great de­monstration of love: and is it not so in God to­wards Sinners? When David wept after Ab­ner's Bier, and bewailed him, it is said, 2 Sam. 3.37. That all Israel understood that day, that the death of Abner was not of the King; but far con­trary to his mind: And surely also we may conclude (from what hath been alleaged) that the death of Sinners is not of our God, he ne­ver determined any such thing; neither is he a­ny ways the cause thereof, it is far from him; whereby, as we may perceive the death of Sin­ners is altogether of themselves, and not by or through God's blinding them. So the order of his Election may be perceived contrary to John Bunyan's Faith; the Confession whereof I have now done with: (having offered thus much, because that God is much dishonoured, and ma­ny People deceived through the not understan­ding these things); I come now to the Reason of his Practice in Worship.

J.B. pag. 48. Wherein he first distinguisheth between those with whom he dares not have Com­munion, and those with whom he dares (have Com­munion with, I suppose he means.)

[Page 42]Concerning what he saith touching those with whom he dare not have Communion, I shall leave him unto himself; only take notice, That those who do not profess Faith and Holiness, yea, the open Prophane, may be nearer Heaven than those that pretend great Zeal without Knowledge. Our Saviour said of old, Matth. 21.31. That the Publicans and Harlots enter in­to the Kingdom of God before you.

But I shall now consider what J. B. saith con­cerning whom he dare; which he thus declares, I dare have Communion, yea, Church-Communion with those that are visible Saints by calling; with those that by the Word of the Gospel have been brought over to Faith and Holiness. pag. 65. Al­though (as afterwards he declares, as well as in his Title Page) they dissent about Water-Baptism.

Answ. If J. Bunyan had only said this, I know not who would have gainsaid; nay, if he had told us, that he could have Communion with the Church of Rome; I know not who would have opposed him, except the Catholicks themselves, who peradventure (considering the Errors of his Faith) would not judge him fit for Communion with them.

But John Bunyan proceeds to perswade others to do the same, and therefore he urgeth great­ly the reason of his Practice, to draw Disciples after him. I wish the event be not as Christ said to the Pharisees, Matt. 23.15. Ye compass Sea [Page 43] and Land to make one Proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the Child of Hell.

But before we judge, let us hear him speak, let us weigh what is said therein; I readily perceive he hath learned what Solomon saith, Prov. 1.17. That in vain is the Net spread in the sight of any Bird: Wherefore by crafty insinua­tions, and subtile evasions, he endeavoureth to darken Counsel, the better to undermine the hearts of the weak, that his deceit might not be discovered.

Wherefore not suddenly coming to the mat­ter, he endeavoureth by fair pretences (although mixt with tautologies and incongruous relati­ons) to pre-engage the Reader.

Quest. And then (at length) propounds this question, pag. 70. By what rule would you receive him into Fellowship?

To which he answers himself thus; Even by a discovery of their Faith and Holiness, and their declaration of willingness to subject themselves to the Laws and Government of Christ in his Church.

Quest. This answer being given, he offers a second question, viz. But do you not count that by Water-Baptism, and not otherwise, that being the initiating and entring Ordinance, they ought to be received into Fellowship?

To this he presumes to answer, No:

Answ. If I understand this answer, it denies [Page 44] Baptism to be a discovery of Faith and Holiness, or a declaration of willingness to subject to the Laws of Christ in his Church; for the Questi­on is, Do you not count that by Water-baptism, &c. which must have respect to the former descripti­on of his Rule, wherein (it seems) Water-Baptism hath now no part, and in truth it must be so excluded (by J. Bunyan's opinion) for otherwise that (in despight of what he hath said) would be the Rule proposed by himself.

But herein hath not John Bunyan forgot him­self? Pag. 64. he acknowledgeth Water-baptism to be an Ordinance of Christ, a holy Ordinance, a duty enjoyned to such as have received the Gospel before, yet now he denies it to be a discovery of Faith and Holiness, or a declaration of willingness to subject to the Laws of Christ in his Church. pag. 122, 123.

What impudent Contradictions are here! an Ordinance of Christ, an holy Ordinance, a du­ty enjoyned to Gospel-Receivers, and yet no discovery of Faith, Is not Faith discovered by Works? Jam. 2.17. And by what works, if not obedience to Christ's Ordinances, to holy Ordi­nances, to enjoyned duties, I know not, surely? what, if not this, discovers Faith?

Again, an Ordinance of Christ, an holy Or­dinance, a Duty enjoyned, and yet no discovery of Holiness? Is it not Holiness it self to obey Christ's Ordinances; his holy Ordinances; to perform duties enjoyned? Thus the wise are ta­ken [Page 45] in their own craftiness; 1 Cor. 3.19.

Further, Is not a real subjection to Christ's Ordinances, a real performance of those Du­ties enjoyned us, the best declaration of a wil­lingness thereto? yet all this John Bunyan is pleased positively to deny; although he doth not only confess concerning Baptism as aforesaid, viz. That it is an Ordinance of Christ, an holy Or­dinance, a Duty enjoyned: But further tells us, It is of excellent use to the Church. pag. 64.

But what is that? It seems it is no discovery of Faith, nor Holiness, nor a willingness to sub­ject to Christ's Laws (it is of no use in these things) nor of any use in Church-Communi­on, what excellent use is it then of?

John Bunyan answers; It is a representation of the Death and Resurrection of Christ; an help to our Faith; yea, meet to instruct us in the most weighty matters of the Kingdom of God, pag. 64, 65.

Reply. Well said, John Bunyan! it seems now Baptism is good for something; the Devils sometimes were enforced to confess Christ, (say­ing, Mark 3.11. Luk. 4.34, 41. We know thee who thou art, Jesus the Holy One of God) al­though they were his great Enemies: Even so J. B. is (in this) inconsistent (not only to Truth, but also) to himself; for sure the obe­dience to such an Ordinance as is ordained by Christ; a representation of his Death and Re­surrection, [Page 46] a help to our Faith, an instruction in the most weighty matters of the Kingdom of God, an enjoyned Duty; is a discovery of Faith and Holiness, and a declaration of subjection to Christ's Laws.

And if so, then it is the Rule of Communion John Bunyan himself proposeth in his afore­mentioned description, pag. 70. and so the cause he hath wilfully lost: but no marvel that men are deceived, when they stand up against the Or­dinances of Christ.

But tarry; We must not conclude, he saith, Baptism is no initiating or entring Ordinance into Church-Communion; and herein is the mistake, to think it is so; because in time past Baptism was ad­ministred upon conversion. pag. 70.

Answ. If by time past, he meaneth the A­postle's dayes (which I presume he doth: for he further confesseth that Water-baptism in the Primitive times was generally submitted to be­fore Church-Communion, pag. 91, 92.)

I wonder where is the greatest mistake, whe­ther in John Bunyan's vilifying the Ordinances of Baptism; or in the observation thereof (ac­cording (as himself confesseth) the Practice of the Primitive Church; and that upon Con­version before Communion? sure there can be no mistake in following so good a pattern.

But he proceeds to tell us, The Word doth not testifie it to be an initiating Ordinance. pag. 70.

[Page 47] Answ. What testimony need we have further than your own Confession, (out of thy own mouth thou shalt be judged); Is not the Primitive pat­tern, their general Practice, a sufficient testimony? Doth not the word of the Scripture enjoyn us to follow that Example? But peradventure J. B. would have a plain Text to say Baptism is an initiating Ordinance: wherein I commend John Bunyan in putting the question into such terms, as he well knew were not to be found ex­presly in the Scripture: he thought it would make most for his advantage, and might carry the best gloss in the denial; which to illustrate, he tells you, pag. 71. It wants the nature and power of such an Ordinance; for that which is the initiating Ordinance (saith he) doth give to the partakers a being of Church-membership in that particular Church, by which it is administred, with­out the addition of another Church-act; And this he endeavoureth to prove by the Example of Circumcision, which (saith he, pag. 71.) was to the Jews an initiating Ordinance, whereby they were made forthwith Church-members; and also none so accompted, nor admitted, but those that did partake thereof.

Answ. His proofs for what is here said are va­rious, although when enquired into, there is no such thing to be found, and therefore I may say it is a deceipt of J. B; for (as he saith of Baptism, so must I say of Circumcision) by [Page 48] the Word there is no such thing to be found. Where is Circumcision called expresly in Scrip­ture, an initiating Ordinance? yet J. B. is pleased so to call it; upon far less grounds than there is for Baptism so to be called: for if Cir­cumcision was such an Ordinance as he de­scribes, what must be said of Sarai, Rebeka, Deborah, and all the holy Women of old, who at once John Bunyan shuts the Church-door a­gainst, and will not suffer them to enter.

It is well God's thoughts are not like mens. Surely I might upon better grounds than J. B. prove, That some uncircumcised persons were admitted to Church-fellowship. For if uncircum­cised persons were admitted into the Temple of God to pray there, &c. Then uncircumcised per­sons were Church-Members; for the Temple was more peculiar, than the Passeover: But Anna, and divers Holy Women (uncircumcised persons) did reside in the Temple. Ergo.

Yea further; if I should say, Holy Women did eat the Passeover, I suppose I should not be gain­said: although it overthrows John Bunyan's po­sition: but we see this, like the Sodomites, that whilst they endeavoured to break open the door of Lot's house, they were so smitten with blind­ness, that they could not find the doors of their own, Gen. 19.11. this astonished them. But John Bunyan is more obdurate, for he yet persists in the defamation of Baptism, and tells us, p. 74. [Page 49] First, There was none debarred or threatned to be cut off from the Church, if not first baptized, Secondly, That Baptism doth not give a being of Membership in this or that particular Church, by whose Members the Parties are baptized.

Answ. First, how can J. Bunyan expect any instance to be given of the debarring of any un­baptized Person, when that (by his own Con­fession, pag. 91.) in the Primitive times they were (generally even all Disciples) baptized upon Conversion? And if so, much less can it be expected to find any threatned to be cut off from the Church, because not first baptized, there not being in those dayes such an Heretick hatch'd as would so explode Baptism.

To the second, That Baptism doth not give a being of Membership into this or that particular Church.

I answer, It is not required, if considered di­stinctly, neither did Circumcision so; although much boasted of. Did Circumcision give a be­ing of Membership in particular Churches di­stinct; one Person to be a member at Jerusalem, another at Capernaum, &c. and there only? No surely; he that was a member in one place, was a member in all; and therefore J. Bunyan's needless questions and assertions, pag. 74. might have been spared; for the Eunuch, Cornelius, Lydia, the Samaritans, &c. were accepted as Church-members in general, and so of every [Page 50] Church in particular, and that even upon their Baptism, although this Anti-Baptism would have you believe that in the second of the Acts, Bap­tism, and adding to the Church, appear to be two distinct things; whom I would have re­member Solomon his advice, Prov. 30.6. Add thou not to his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a lyar.

But John Bunyan is now grown positive, and confidently saith, pag. 76. Take it again; Baptism makes thee no member of the Church, neither par­ticular nor universal: neither doth it make thee a visible Saint: It therefore gives thee neither right to, nor being of Membership at all.

Answ. Here is a brave flourish; but an im­pudent assertion, contrary to truth: but no mar­vel that you find him contrary to truth, who is contrary to almost all Christians, yea to himself, and that often in one little Book. Wherefore, although he excludes Baptism so utterly, as to say it doth not make us members at all; yet I shall affirm that Baptism in a sense (yea, in a great measure) doth make us Church-members, which also J. Bunyan doth confess, and that from the Example of the Primitive Saints: For he acknowledgeth, pag. 70. That in the Primi­tive times Baptism was administred upon Conver­sion; yea, he further grants, pag. 91. That in the Apostles dayes Water-Baptism went before Church-Membership.

[Page 51]Now that which was administred upon the Conversion of Persons; yea, before they were Church-members, and thereupon to be accoun­ted Church-members, (which John Bunyan in his right mind is forced to acknowledge of Bap­tism); sure must be said in a great measure to make us Church-members; and Baptism being so administred in the Primitive times, is it not necessary it should be so now? Can we alter the Primitive manner of receiving into the Church, without being guilty of great iniquity? ought we not to follow the Examples of the Primitive Churches?

Since I have proceeded thus far, having now the appearance of so good grounds, I shall (through God's assistance) adventure to prove the necessity thereof, (not being at all affrighted with J. Bunyan's opprobrious censures), where­in if I should affirm Baptism to be an initiating Ordinance, it would appear to be true by John Bunyan's own Confession.

Arg. 1. For that which ought to be admini­stred upon Conversion, before Church-member­ship, is an initiating Ordinance: But Baptism ought to be administred before Church-member­ship upon Conversion: Ergo.

The Major I suppose none will deny; the Minor I prove thus:

Arg. 2. If Baptism was so administred in the Primitive Churches; Then it ought to be so [Page 52] now: But Baptism was so administred in the Primitive Churches: Ergo.

The Minor is J. Bunyan's own grant, pag. 70. pag. 91. The Major is proved, 1 Thess. 4.1. where the Apostle beseecheth and exhorteth, and that by the Lord Jesus, That Saints should walk as we have received from them; yea, in 2 Thess. 3.6. he commands the Churches in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to with-draw from every one that walketh so disorderly; viz. not according to the Traditions of the Apostles.

Again; Is not Baptism called (Heb. 5.12. & Chap. 6.1, 2.) one of the first Principles of the Oracles of God, a Principle of the Doctrine of Christ, part of the Foundation? and what is that but an initiating or entring Ordinance? Is not the laying the foundation of an house a great entrance to the building? So is Baptism in the practice of Christianity? And are not the first Principles in any Matter or Doctrine, the initiating or entring thereinto? The same is Baptism, as aforesaid, in Christianity. I might evidently set forth that it may truly be so called: but leaving that denomination, I shall (touch­ing the Controversie in hand) state this Propo­sition, viz.

That Baptism is a duty necessarily to be observed by Christians in obedience to God, and in order to Church-Communion: I say, necessarily to be ob­served; for some things are lawful for a Chri­stian, [Page 53] but not expedient: Some things again are expedient, but not necessary; but other things are necessary and must be done, of which sort is Baptism. This Christ himself testifieth, Matth. 3.15. Thus it behooveth us, (mark) he speaketh not particularly of himself, but also of his followers, us: And also he saith, Thus it behoveth, Oportet nos: we must do thus to fulfil God's righteous Commands. When Paul was miraculously con­verted, he was Commanded by the Lord, to go into the City, and there it should be told him what he must do, Acts 9.6. and what that was appears from the words of Ananias, rehearsed by Paul himself, Acts 22.16. Arise and be baptized; This Peter sheweth the necessity of, 1 Pet. 3.21. by a figurative demonstration, speak­ing of the Ark of Noah, Wherein few (that is eight Souls) were saved by Water: The like figure whereunto, (saith he) Baptism, doth also now save us.

Surely, the Ark was so necessary for their Sal­vation (viz. their preservation from death) that only they that were therein were saved; and the Apostle tells you Baptism is the like: but (as he afterwards explains) not the putting a­way the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good Conscience towards God.

Now how necessary a good Conscience is, and how much to be pressed after, I think I need not tell you; and Baptism is the answer of a good [Page 54] Conscience towards God, it is so venerable an Ordinance (notwithstanding John Bunyan is pleased to slight it, saying, pag. 104. We are not the better if we do it, or the worse if we do it not: not the better (saith he) before God, nor the worse before men). That those who are subject there­to, are said, Luk. 7.29. to justifie God, (what greater applause can men have) and on the contrary those that do not submit thereto, reject the Counsel of God against themselves: and must not this be concluded to be a necessary duty? yea surely, it was Commanded by Christ him­self, Matth. 28.19. to be administred to all Disciples; Disciple all Nations, baptizing them, &c. teaching them (that are so baptized) to ob­serve the same, vers. 20. in the performance where­of Christ hath promised his continual Presence: wherefore Peter gave this counsel to the di­stressed Jews, Act. 2.38. (that cried out in great terror, What shall we do?) Repent and be bap­tized every one of you. As this was his advice to the distressed; so also it was to those that re­ceived the holy Spirit plentifully. Acts 10.48. He commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. It seems it is an Ordinance meet to be observed by all sorts of Christians: the Jayler and his house, Acts 16.33. Lydia and her house, vers. 15. Crispus and his house, Acts 18.8. Sa­maria, Acts 8.12. the Eunuch, vers. 38. yea, all (without exception) that gladly received the [Page 55] Word were baptized, and thereupon added to the Church, Acts 2.41.

I might be large herein, but John Bunyan hath spared my labour, for he yields the case; and confesseth, pag. 122, 123. That Baptism is an holy Ordinance of God; a duty enjoyned such who receive the Gospel: And what can be more said, if it be a duty enjoyned, it is a necessary duty; &c. Wherefore I shall only add for Confirmati­on some Arguments as follow, viz.

Arg. 1. If the non-subjection to Baptism de­bars men from Church-Communion; Then the subjection thereto is necessary in order to Church-Communion: But the non-subjection to Bap­tism debars men from Church-Communion: Ergo.

The Major is undeniable; the Minor I shall prove thus:

Arg. 2. If the walking disorderly, not accor­ding to the Traditions received from the Apo­stles, debars men from Church-Communion; Then the non-subjection to Baptism debars men from Church-Communion: But the walk­ing disorderly, not according to the Traditions received from the Apostles, debars men from Church-Communion: Ergo.

The Minor is proved, 2 Thess. 3.6. where the Apostle commands, That all who walk disorderly not according to their Traditions, should be debarred Communion. The Major I prove thus:

[Page] Arg. 3. If the non-subjection to Baptism be a disorderly walking, not according to the Tradi­tions of the Apostles; Then the Major is true: But the non-subjection to Baptism is a disorder­ly walking not according to the Traditions of the Apostles: Ergo.

Nothing in this Argument can be questioned, except the Minor, and that surely cannot be de­nied by John Bunyan, (with whom I have now to deal); for by his own Confession, pag. 64. Baptism is an Ordinance of Jesus Christ, an holy Ordinance of God, pag. 123. and that of excellent use to instruct in the most weighty matters of the Kingdom of God, p. 65. an enjoyned Duty, p. 122. an apparant Tradition of the Apostles; for in those dayes (he confesseth, pag. 70.) it was administred upon Conversion, and used then to go before Church-Communion. Again,

Arg. 4. If the non-subjection to Baptism be a sin against God, a rejecting the Counsel of God against our selves, and the breach of a good Con­science; Then it debars men from Church-Com­munion: But the non-subjection to Baptism is a sin against God, a rejecting the Counsel of God against our selves, and the breach of a good Conscience: Ergo.

The Major I think none can deny; and the Minor is evident by John Bunyan's own Con­fession, as aforesaid, and the Scriptures before al­leaged, Matth. 28.19. & 7.29. 1 Pet. 3.21.

[Page 57]Further,

Arg. 5. If all Church-Members in the Apo­stles dayes were baptized; Then Baptism is ne­cessary to Church-Communion: But all Church-Members in the Apostles dayes were baptized: Ergo.

One would think this Argument should put the matter out of doubt; both Propositions be­ing acknowledged by John Bunyan himself, yea, urged by him as weighty truths; for he makes the Example of the Primitive New-Testament-Churches the ground of his Communion, p. 52. yea, so far, that he saith, He dares not do other­wise than they did: And if we follow that Rule proposed by himself, we must not do otherwise; and what then? Surely they baptized all Church-members before Communion, as he confesseth, pag. 91. But that I may not conclude with the Confession of a man so various (al­though it may well be alleaged against himself) as in one little Treatise to speak so many incon­sistencies; I shall proceed to another Argu­ment.

Arg. 6. If all Church-members are command­ed to be baptized; Then the subjection to Bap­tism is necessary to Church-Communion: But all Church-members are commanded to be bap­tized: Ergo.

The Major is apparent; The Minor I prove thus:

[Page 58] Arg. 7. If Baptism is commanded to all Dis­ciples; Then it is commanded to all Church-members: But Baptism is commanded to all Disciples: Ergo.

No man can doubt of the truth of the Major, that believeth Church-members to be Disciples, which I suppose no Christian, in his right mind, will deny: And the Minor I shall prove from the words of Christ, Matth. 28.19, 20. Go teach all Nations, baptizing them, &c. the Text is read, [...], &c. [...]: which being interpreted, is, Disciple ye all Nations, baptizing them, &c. (viz. those that are Discipled, as by the Grammati­cal construction of the words may appear) teaching them (that is, the baptized Disciples) to observe (or keep diligently) all things what­soever I have commanded you: One whereof was, to baptize those that were discipled. But it seems that either J. B. was never a baptized Disciple, or that his Instructors forgot to teach him this Rule of Christ, or else he hath soon forgotten what he learned, if it be not a per­verse transgressing of what he knoweth, and so guilty of many stripes, Luk. 12.47.

But to return; since John Bunyan is pleased (notwithstanding his aforementioned Confessi­ons) to deny Baptism to be the Rule of Com­munion; let us hear what Rule he would have, [Page 59] which he thus declares, pag. 78. Even that rule by which they are discovered to the Church to be visible Saints; and willing to be gathered into their Body and Fellowship.

Answ. Well said; but how must that be if not by obedience to Christ's Ordinances, to the holy Ordinances of God, yea, the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ? is not the subjecting thereto a discovery of a visible Saint, and a willingness to be gathered into the Body, even the Church?

John Bunyan to this, pag. 79. answers, No: it is not (saith he) the practising of a circumstan­tial, but the commendation of their Faith by the Word of Faith, and their conversation by a moral Precept; wherefore he tells us, pag. 79. That when Paul had declared his Faith, he falls down to the body of the Law, saying, Receive us, we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man, 2 Cor. 7.2. From whence (with divers such Instances and Paraphrases of his own thereupon) he concludes, pag. 79. That by the Word of Faith and good Works, (viz. Moral Duties Gospelized) we ought to judge of the fit­ness of Members, by which we ought also to receive them into Fellowship.

Answ. We read that Moses put a vail over his face, to hinder the splendor of his countenance from dazling the eyes of the beholders; but, lo here, J. B. puts a vail over his face, to impede [Page 60] the discovery of his perverting the Ordinances of God, and the Rule of Communion; which that I may so far put away, that he may appear as he is,

Concerning what is said; Consider, First, how this Thesis is consistent with John Bunyan's own judgment concerning Circumcision: for sure Baptism is not more a Circumstance than that; yet, by his own grant, that was of old the Rule of Communion. Secondly, Why (in his sense) he should call Baptism a Circumstance, I know not, it hath been proved a Principle of the Do­ctrine of Christ, a Foundation-principle, Heb. 6.1. A necessary duty, a duty enjoyned to those that receive the Gospel; and is it notwithstand­ing all this but such a Circumstance; the Lord God of Heaven judge between us.

Again; He comes to affirm; pag. 79. what is the Rule of Communion, viz. To have our Faith commended by the Word of Faith, and our Conver­sation by a Moral Precept, &c.

Wherein know, that the Word of Faith, ac­cording to Paul's mind, Rom. 10.7, 8. is Christ: And what Faith doth he commend? surely not a bare Profession which consists only in words, but that Faith which presently produceth obe­dience: For so he saith, Luk. 6.46. Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say? (of which Baptism is one; yea, a great Duty): to which also the Apostle bares witness, 1 Joh. 2.3. [Page 61] He that saith he knoweth him, and keepeth not his Commandments (of which J. Bunyan confesseth Baptism to be one, and that of great use) is a lyar, and the truth is not in him.

But perhaps John Bunyan will say, He would have works attend Faith, and therefore he adds, our Conversation must be commended by a Moral Precept.

Wherein let me ask J. Bunyan, or any rational Christian, how this is possible in divers cases: as First, upon Conversion, when men are presently (upon the Preaching of the Word) turned from darkness to light, and so are received as Church-members, as soon as they are Converted, who before were Fornicators, Murtherers, Thieves, and what not, 1 Cor. 6.11. but upon their Conversion are received as Church-mem­bers even the same day, Acts 2.41. What ex­perience can there be of their Conversion who were Adulterers the day before? If you say they are changed now, let me tell you it must appear otherwise than by so short forbearance (which is common with the worst of men), or else they may be as bad as ever, and so John Bunyan's Rule very uncertain.

Secondly; The most Holy Conversation, in reference to what John Bunyan speaks, cannot demonstrate a Christian (for there are Wolves in Sheeps clothing, Matth. 7.15.) neither is it sufficient to be the Rule, the initiating Rule for [Page 62] Church-Communion; it must be said in this case as Christ once said, Matth. 5.20. Except your righ­teousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye cannot enter into the Kingdom of Hea­ven. Was not Paul exact in such a Conversati­on before his Conversion? Phil. 3.6. and it cannot be imagined that he did degenerate af­terwards; and yet when Ananias was sent to tell him what he must do, he delivers his Mes­sage thus, Acts 22.16. Why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized. Again, Cornelius was a devout and holy man, Acts 10.1. yet when he received the Truth and the Holy Spirit also abundantly, Peter commands him to be baptized, vers. 46. Surely if John Bunyan's Rule had been sufficient, John the Baptist might then, upon good grounds, have forbad the Baptism of Christ; & our Saviour, who fulfilled all those Moral Precepts, needed not have said, Thus it behooveth us (concerning Baptism) to fulfill all Righteousness. Wherefore, although I must extol an holy Conversation in its due place, wherein I wish that (as the A­postle saith, 2 Tim. 2.19.) All that name the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, may depart from all ini­quity; yet let me tell you, The Apostle never urged any part of the moral Law, as the Rule of Communion under the Gospel; and there­fore John Bunyan is strangely mistaken, to advise us, to make use of the Ten Commandments, pag, 79. to judge of the fitness of persons by; where­in [Page 63] (if we have respect but to the 4th, which en­joyns the Sabbath so exactly, and upon such a penalty) I cannot wonder that he should con­ceit Christian-tenderness would not be exceeded by such strictness, whenas Christians are de­horted from judging one another therein, Col. 2.16. And truly I wonder more that a wise man should alleage that instance of Paul, 2 Cor. 7.2. as a Rule for Church-Communion, when as he knows it was spoken to such as were begotten to the Faith through Paul's Ministry; and it is then strange, that he should offer that as a Rule for his reception amongst them, when that in truth he speaks not at all in reference to Church-Communion, but in a holy boasting of his own behaviour, and the rest of the Apostles, for the ornament of the Gospel.

Which notwithstanding John Bunyan, pag. 80. fraudulently proceeds to defame the holy Ordi­nance of Baptism, urging that it is said, Rom. 14.18. The Kingdom of God, or our service to Christ (saith he) consists not in meats and drinks, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Ghost; and he that in these things serveth Christ, is accepted of God, and approved of men: which he after­wards tells you, pag. 81. is meant of the Law gi­ven upon Sinai, &c.

Answ. John Bunyan saith, pag. 45. That he believes that Jesus Christ by the Word of the Scrip­tures, will judge all men at the day of Doom: [Page 64] But sure, if in his heart he thought so, he would be afraid of a sharp censure, if not the addition of many plagues, for adding to the words of God, and setting his post by the Lord's, which here he doth in telling you, That Paul saith, Our service to Christ consists not in meats or drinks, &c. when that it is the Kingdom of God he speaks of; which in this place I never read was under­stood of our service to Christ: But if so, what doth this respect Baptism? The Apostle speaks only of meats and drinks, which you may per­ceive by his words, the Romans (which J. B. confesseth were baptized) did differ about; which things also Paul (where he exalts Bap­tism) doth speak against: wherefore what all this is to the matter in hand, let a wise man judge, except to shew John Bunyan's singulari­ty; which also appears in his Explication of Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the holy Ghost, which (with many fair glosses) he would have you to believe to be the moral Law given upon Sinai, which (notwithstanding what he saith) appears not only an addition, but even such a one as is inconsistent with the Scripture. For, First, Righteousness, (Paul tells you) comes not by the Law, viz. the Law given upon Sinai, Gal. 2.21. Secondly, Peace cannot come by it, because it cannot give life, Gal. 3.21. neither joy; for it could never make the comers thereunto perfect; and what joy or peace in such an [Page 65] Estate there can be, or in such a Law, I know not.

But in truth, the righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, which the Apostle speaks of, is none other but that which Christians are made partakers of in Christ Jesus, without the works of the Law, (and therefore to say we must do this Righteousness, is to derogate the honour of Christ) and he that in the fruition thereof serveth Christ according to his appoint­ments (of which Baptism is confessed to be one of great use) is accepted of God, and approv­ed of men, without looking back to Sinai, which J. Bunyan falsly calls, pag. 81. a perfect Law, con­trary to the Scriptures, and the holy men of old, who call it weak and unprofitable, Heb. 7.18. that which could not give life, Gal. 3.21. or righte­ousness, Gal. 2.21. nor make any of the comers thereunto perfect, Heb. 7.19.

But stay, saith John Bunyan, pag. 81. although this of old was declared thereof, now the moral Precept Evangelized is perfect.

But may not I herein use John Bunyan's own words, and turn them against himself, as one justly guilty of Fictions, and Scriptureless Notions: for, where do you read in Scripture of the Law Evangelized? Surely the contrary is often found; and although James (as it is urged by John Bunyan) Chap. 2. prelling love, which he calls the Royal Law, (and indeed was [Page 66] before the Law given upon Sinai, 1 Joh. 2.7.) urgeth it to be according to what was before written, yet he doth not call the Law given up­on Sinai, the Royal Law, or the Law of Liberty, as J. Bunyan falsly pretends, contrary to Paul's words, who saith, Gal. 4.24. It was a Law (al­though as much Evangelized in his dayes as now) which gendreth to bondage, yea, the Ten Commandments (written in stone) (so exalt­ed by John Bunyan), he calls the ministration of death, 2 Cor. 3.7. of condemnation, vers. 9. and placeth it in opposition to the ministration of the Spirit, and of Righteousness, which is the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, that needeth not have any recourse to the Law, being in it self much more perfect, as indeed the Law of Liberty which James intends; As also Paul saith, Rom. 8.2. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the Law of sin and death.

Wherefore in short, The Apostle James doth not (as John Bunyan pretends) exalt the Law given upon Sinai, as the Rule of Communion, but writing to the Brethren of the dispersed Twelve Tribes, whom he well knew were zea­lous of the Law, he endeavours thereby to con­vince them of their Duty, as Christ did to the Jews, Joh. 5.39, 45. And Paul the Heathens, by the words of their own Poets, Acts 17.28. con­firming the Truth by the witness of themselves, [Page 67] Tit. 1.12. as I also often take occasion to do, from J. Bunyan his own Confession, although I should be as far from making his words the Rule of Truth, as Paul the writings of the Heathen Poets, which never were alleaged to that end; yet. J. Bunyan might as well affirm it, as to say that James, Chap. 2. calls the Law given upon Sinai, the Law of Liberty, which also he is pleased to avouch as the Rule of Communion, pag. 82. alleaging the words of Paul, I am un­der the Law to Christ; which sure (as he shun­ned naming the place) he might have been a­shamed to have instanced in this case, it being only a Parenthesis in 1 Cor. 9.21. where Paul having declared his endeavours to gain many, that it might not be thought (John Bunyan-like) he would wave Christ's Ordinances, or pervert his Doctrine; he tells us, That in all this his condescention (before spoken of) he is not without Law to God, but under the Law to Christ, having (as if he should have said) great respect to his holy Ordinances, (which must not be violated by any means); not the Law of Si­nai, for (if himself may be heard) he saith, Gal. 2.19. That he was dead to that, and that dead to him, as is confirmed, Rom. 7.1, 2, 3. by the Ex­ample of a Widow whose Husband is dead; from whence the Apostle concludes, vers. 6. That we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held; whereupon sure it may [Page 68] be concluded of John Bunyan, as Paul saith, 1 Tim. 1.7. He would be a Teacher of the Law, although he understandeth neither what he saith, nor whereof he affirms; (although we know the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully) as far­ther appeareth in that Distich, pag. 83. where he saith, Communion is forbidden with such as live in the transgression of a moral Precept, alleaging Paul's words, 1 Cor. 5.11. If any man that is called a Brother, be a Fornicator, or Covetous, or an Idolator, or a Railer, or a Drunkard, or an Extortioner, with such a one no not to eat: Paul saith not (John Bunyan tells you) if any man be not baptized, or joyn with the unbaptized, these (saith J. B.) are fictions and Scriptureless-notions.

Answ. I must say to John Bunyan herein, as was said to Peter, Matth. 26.73. Thy speech be­wrayeth thee: If any man that is called a Brother, &c. They were Church-members whom these words were spoken of, and already baptized (by John Bunyan's own grant) and therefore Paul needed not to say, If any be unbaptized, for there was none such amongst them: but it seems there were some that so far degenerated from their Profession, as to be guilty of some of the aforesaid Evils; wherefore Paul tells them, (without the Law of Sinai) they ought to be excluded from the Church, for the Gospel of Christ Jesus permits none such wicked persons to be retained. We say therefore, Although upon [Page 69] Confession of Faith, and submission to Baptism, &c. We ought to receive persons into Fellow­ship and Church-Communion, according to the pattern of the Primitive Churches; yet if any such shall be guilty of the aforesaid Evils, they must be again separated according to the blessed Rule of Christ, which Paul by the afore-said words intends; wherein, although he doth not say, If any man be unbaptized, &c. (having then no occasion for such words) yet sure it is great impudence in John Bunyan to say they are Fictions, and Scriptureless Notions. Is it a Fiction to deny Communion with those that are disobedient to a Principle of Christ's Doctrine? is that a scriptureless Notion? Doth not the Scripture say, If any man transgresseth and abideth not in the Doctrine of Christ (whereof Baptism is a part) he hath not God? 2 Joh. 9. and v. 10. If any man come (like John Bunyan) and bring not that Doctrine, he is to be rejected.

But to colour the design, John Bunyan pro­ceeds to tell the World, pag. 83. That the Word of Faith, and the Moral Precept, is that which Paul enjoyns the Galatians and Philippians, still avoid­ing outward Circumstances (he might as well have said Baptism): Hence therefore (saith he) when he had treated of Faith, he falls point-blank upon moral Duties, urging, pag. 84. that in Christ neither Circumcision nor Ʋncircumcision availeth any thing, but a new Creature; and that peace is [Page 70] promised to as many as walk according to this Rule, Gal. 6.15, 16. Which Rule (he would have you believe) excludes Baptism; and therefore he adds, pag. 86. In Christ Jesus no outward or Circumstantial thing, but a new Creature, (wherein he proceeds to tell us a fair tale): from whence he concludes, pag. 90. That seeing Baptism is no initiating Ordinance, nor visible Character of a Saint, no breach in a good and holy life, nor in­trencheth upon any man's right but his own; Faith may be effectual without it, and his life approved by the worst of his enemies, he may keep the Law: wherefore his friends should not dishonour God in breaking the Law; Alleaging the words of James, Chap. 4.11. Speak not evil of one another, Brethren; for he that speaketh evil of his Brother, speaketh evil of the Law, and judgeth the Law: From whence he reasons, That the failer must be in a Circum­stance, for which he ought not to be judged.

Answ. To all this I must answer in the words of Paul, Acts 13.10. Oh! full of all subtilty and mischief, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right wayes of the Lord? Were not the Galati­ans and Philippians, to whom the Apostle wrote, Church-members, and baptized by thy own con­fession? Did the Apostle, in any of his Epistles, avoid Baptism in reference to Church-Commu­nion, or count it such a Circumstance as thou dost? Did not Paul exalt it even to the Gala­tians, Chap. 3.27. where he demonstrates their [Page 71] Faith thereby? For, saith he, as many as have been boptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Can the Evangelical Precepts be enjoyned without it? Was it ever said, that in Christ Jesus Bap­tism, or no Baptism, availeth not? Was it ever said (in Scripture) in Christ Jesus, no outward or circumstantial thing, but a new Creature? Is not this contrary to the Rule of the Apostles? Why art thou so bold to pervert the right ways of the Lord, as to conclude Baptism (which hath been proved a Principle, a first Principle of the Doctrine of Christ, a necessary Duty) to be no initiating Ordinance; no, nor the visible Character of a Saint, no breach in a good and holy life? What, is not obedience to Christ, to an holy Ordinance, to a Duty enjoyned, a cha­racter of a Saint, yea a visible character? is not the contrary a breach, some breach at least in a good and holy life? Surely, if thy senses were not stupified, thou wouldst never deny it, nor once mention (for justification thereof) that dis­obedience to Baptism intrencheth upon no man's right but his own. What is Infidelity, is it not a horrid sin?

But saith John Bunyan, Whose right doth it in­trench upon but their own? The God of Heaven saith, Isa. 3.9. Wo unto their Soul, they have re­warded evil to themselves.

But J.B. sayes, His Faith may be effectual with­out it, and his Life approved by the worst of his Enemies.

[Page 72]Touching his Faith let the God of Heaven answer, 1 Joh. 2.3. He that sayeth he knoweth me, and keepeth not my Commandments, is a lyar: And concerning his Life, I must say with the Apostle, 2 Cor. 10.18. Not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commen­deth: Wherefore if he may keep the Law (as thou sayest) know it is not the Law of Christ, for that requires Baptism, and therefore no circumstantial, as the failer therein must not be judged; and therefore in this place the Objecti­on offered by thy self, pag. 91. is well placed, viz. But notwithstanding all that hath been said, Water-Baptism ought to go before Church-membership; shew me one in all the New-Testament that was re­ceived into Fellowship without it.

Answ. Sure, J. Bunyan, when thou didst Pen this Objection, thy craft deceived thee, and thou didst not see how thou hast ensnared thy self; What answer canst thou make?

John Bunyan will say, he hath a ready answer, which consists in two parts. First (saith he, pag. 91.) that Water-Baptism hath formerly gone first, is granted: but that it ought of necessity so to do, I never saw proof. Secondly (he saith) None ever received it without Light, &c.

Reply. First John Bunyan here confesseth, That Water-Baptism went before Church-membership in the Primitive Times: Well said, John Bunyan, thou hast given away the Cause, and overthrown [Page 73] thy self. If it did so then, sure it must now, for we are to walk according to their Examples, Phil. 3.17. It seems God is stronger and wiser too than the Devil, he hath made a hedge about Water-baptism that it should not be violated, but instead thereof acknowledged for truth (e­ven) by its Enemies.

But John Bunyan saith, He never saw it proved to be of necessity.

Answ. What, John Bunyan, how now! did the Apostles practise generally what they ought not? sure in plain terms thou wilt not say so; and if not so, it was their duty, and there was necessity for them to do their duty.

But then, secondly, John Bunyan saith, None ever received it without Light going before.

Answ. See if this man be not stupified in his senses whilst he contends against the Truth; for he hath lost the matter in question: Who ever pretended that any received Baptism (upon good grounds) without light in it?

The question is not, who have Light therein, but who ought to have Light therein? viz. Whether it is the duty of Christians, before Church-membership, to be baptized?

Wherein (for Answer) I will offer John Bunyan's own words; Baptism (saith he, pag. 122.) is a Duty enjoyned to those who receive the Gospel. Again, pag. 82. In the Primitive times it was generally practised first (viz. before [Page 74] Church-Communion) yea so as the unconverted themselves, knew it belonged to the Disciples of Jesus Christ; What can we have more than is here acknowledged? Surely, if it was so ge­nerally practised before Communion in the Pri­mitive Churches; it ought to be so now. Did the unconverted then know it was the duty of Christ's Disciples to be baptized, as aforesaid? and must it be questioned now by John Bunyan, or any pretending themselves Christians? Was it then a duty enjoyned to those that receive the Gospel? and is it not so now? surely yea. It may from hence be hoped, that John Bunyan is become a new man, and repents what he pre­tends in the beginning of his Book.

But stay, he is presently of another mind, for he again saith, pag. 82. That all that were received into Fellowship, were even then baptized first, would strain a weak man's wit to prove, if Argu­ments were closly made from these three Texts of ho­ly Scripture, 1 Cor. 1.14. Gal. 3.27. Rom. 6.3.

What, John Bunyan, art thou so unstable? I now understand plainly that Text of Scrip­ture, Jam. 1.8. A double-minded man is unstable in all his wayes; for he that wavereth is like a Wave of the Sea, driven with the wind and tossed: even so is this man, who in the same page of a little Treatise, confesseth Baptism to be a general Practice in the Primitive times before Communion, and yet again saith, it would strain [Page 75] a weak man's wit to prove it. But surely John Bunyan means a Fool that knoweth not to prove any thing; (and such a one as he, cannot in John Bunyan's apprehension maintain, will never hurt the practice of Baptism) otherwise it may be proved from his own Confession, if that be worth any thing. But it seems that may be contradicted, if Arguments were closly made upon the aforementioned Texts, wherein I shall advise John Bunyan (since he thinks so) the next time he meddleth in the derogation of Bap­tism, to make his Arguments from them.

But, Sir, if you do, pray, (according to your own words) do them more closly than you have already, otherwise your fallacy will be discovered, and your Arguments fall to the ground.

But I perceive he is willing (as he saith, pag. 82.) To pass those Texts at present, and in­stead of making Arguments thence-from, pre­tends that if we can shew the Christian that in the Primitive times remained dark about it, then he will shew the Christian that was received into Fel­lowship without it.

Well said, Mr. Bunyan; When the sky falls, you will catch Larks. You have already told us the Primitive Christians all believed it, yea the unconverted knew (as you say) it did belong to the Disciples of Christ, and yet you would now know the Christian that was dark therein; and in that you know that to be impossible (if your [Page 76] own words be true) therefore you offer if we do that, then you will shew the Christian that was received without Baptism; which you well know is also impossible to be done: Wherefore to shew your resoluteness, right or wrong, we have this Thesis from you, pag. 82. That if you should grant (which you say is more than can be proved; but it is but your say so) Baptism to be an initiating Ordinance, and that it did, as Circumcision of old, give a being of membership to the partakers; yea, set the case men were forbidden to enter into Fellowship without it; yet the case may so be that (these things notwithstanding), men might be received into Fellowship without it. Where are we now? what is John Bunyan not content to set his posts by the Lord's posts; but Antichrist-like, he must needs advance him­self above God? 2 Thess. 2.4. giving new Laws contrary to what the God of Heaven hath given in his Son Jesus Christ. If Baptism be an initia­ting Ordinance, and gives a being to Member­ship; yet all that avails nothing with J. Bunyan, he will receive members without it, and that in despite of God, although he hath forbidden it. What Doctrine is this? Would you know a reason of his Practice which he pretends to shew you? In short, it is his will, maugre all opposition, even of God himself. For set the case men are forbidden by the Lord to enter into [Page 77] Fellowship without Baptism, yet J. Bunyan will receive them.

But let us hear what he pretends as his war­rant, pag. 83. And that is first, the Example of the Jews in the Wilderness, who (saith he) notwith­standing Circumcision, gave a being to Church-membership, without which it was (if you will believe John Bunyan) positively commanded none should be received into Fellowship, yet for all this more than six hundred thousand were received in­to the Church without it, and also retained there, and that even by Moses and Joshua.

Answ. To this Position I shall say, First, Cir­cumcision never gave a being to Church-mem­bership, neither was there any such positive Command (as is pretended) that none should be received into the Church without it.

John Bunyan I suppose will grant the con­trary, for sure he will allow Holy Women to be Church-members.

Secondly, The six hundred thousand were not received into Fellowship by Moses and Jo­shua, neither were they any wayes accompted by them Church-members; but as they were the natural seed of Abraham, to whom the Promise was made.

Thirdly, Their neglect of Circumcision was an evil, and a reproach to them, which was said to be rolled away in their Circumcision, Josh. 5.9. wherefore, whatsoever was the impediment, it [Page 78] matters not; it was a sin in them, and a re­proach unto them, although J. Bunyan pretends they had a legal reason to excuse it, which also (as he thinks, or at least saith, pag. 94.) many have in these dayes to neglect Baptism, although an enjoyned Duty, an holy Ordinance of God.

What excuse (I mean legal) can that be?

He saith, The want of Light: Our Brethren (saith he) have a manifest reason, an invincible one, one that all the men on Earth, or Angels in Heaven cannot remove; for it is God that createth Light: wherefore, if Moses and Joshua thought fit to Communicate with the Ʋncircumcised as afore­said, why may not I have Communion, yea, the closest Communion with visible Saints, although they want Light in, and cannot submit to that? (meaning Baptism) I shall therefore (saith he) hold Communion with such.

Answ. Who could ever have thought that John Bunyan should have Preached the Doctrine of those persons, against whom he hath so fre­quently manifested inveterate hatred? He hath often cryed out against others for saying, The Light within is the Rule for Christians to walk by; but now he himself confidently affirms it, yea, in opposition to positive Commands, and ex­press Prohibitions, making it the great reason for and against a Practice; yea, such a one as neither Men or Angels can remove. But this is [Page 79] no strange thing: Herod and Pilate, two great Enemies, agreed in one against Christ.

But let me ask J. Bunyan, Whether Light makes a thing to be a Duty or no Duty? is God's Law subservient to our Light?

I suppose he must answer, Yea; for it is con­gruous with his reasoning, that what God Commands, is no Duty to those that have no Light therein; or, at least, the want of Light is a sufficient excuse for the neglect thereof; For (saith he, pag. 94.) God creates Light (I sup­pose he means); therefore if they have no Light, it is because God hath not given it, &c.

Well would it be, if this be so, for the greatest part of men to have such an Advocate as John Bunyan at the last day, to plead on the behalf of their disobedience, that they wanted Light to do otherwise; yea, that God never gave them Light. If the Rich man we read of, Luke 16. had but in this condition, had John Bunyan to plead for him, his mouth would not have been so soon stopped.

But stay, I remember Christ said unto the un­profitable Servant, Luk. 19.22. Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee: And what if it should be so said to John Bunyan, where would he be then? and what would become of his Brethren under whose arm-holes he hath sowed pillows? Doth not he say, pag. 45. I believe Jesus Christ by the Word of the Scriptures, will judge all men [Page 80] at the day of Doom? And if so, the Word of the Scriptures saith, Luk. 12.48. He that knew not his Lord's Will (viz. hath no Light in it) shall be beaten; and good reason, for the want of Light is through their own neglect; the Light shined in darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not, Joh. 1.5. It hath been before proved, That this is the Condemnation, that Light is come into the World; but men love darkness rather than Light, Joh. 3.19. Would J. Bunyan think it a sufficient reason against Faith, for a man to say, I have no Light? If it be a good reason in one thing, it is good in all. Paul once said, Rom. 7.9. I was alive without the Law, at least he thought so when he did not know Sin; which by John Bunyan's reason is a sufficient excuse for any evil, if I want Light to do otherwise.

But surely John Bunyan is conscious to him­self, that notwithstanding what he hath pre­tended concerning the weight of the aforesaid Reason, which he saith is invincible; yea, so that all the men on Earth, or Angels in Heaven can­not remove; I say, he is conscious of the weak­ness and fallacy thereof; otherwise he would never have spent so much time in vain, as to alleage afterwards Ten other Reasons to confirm his Opinion and Practice, when he had done it so invincibly before; unless therewith (as the Red Dragon with his ten horns) he is minded so to push against the Truth, that he might [Page 81] overthrow it root and branch. For the preven­tion whereof (although it need not much be feared from John Bunyan) I shall adventure a further encounter to try the strength of his Weapons, and the force of his Reasons: The first is this:

Reas. 1. Because the true visible Saint hath al­ready subjected to that which is better, even to the Righteousness of God, which is by Faith in Jesus Christ, &c. He is therefore to be received, not by thy light, not for that in Circumstances he jumpeth with thy Opinion, but according to his own Faith, which he ought to keep to himself before God, as Paul saith, 1 Cor. 10.29. Conscience I say, not of thy own, but of the other, &c. pag. 94, 95.

Answ. Here you have John Bunyan's first Rea­son, wherein he tells you, the true visible Saint hath subjected to that which is better. But can a man be a true visible Saint, that visibly oppo­seth Christ's Ordinances? He that hath my Com­mandments, and keepeth them, saith Christ, Joh. 14.21. he it is that loveth me; he is my friend, Joh. 15.14. And our Saviour renders the Reason thereof, Chap. 14.23. If any man love me, he will keep my words: And again, vers. 24. He that keepeth not my sayings, loveth me not, (surely without offence I may add) Is no true visible Saint. But John Bunyan (not forgetting to oppose the Lord Christ) will vindicate such dis­obedience, [Page 82] and tell you the Saint he describeth hath subjected to that which is better.

Well, be it so; doth it therefore follow the less must be despised? I hope John Bunyan will al­low, The life is more than meat, and the Body than raiment; yet the lesser must be received for the preservation of the greater. Besides, had not Paul the greater when he was Converted to the Faith? Yet Ananias (although he was inform­ed that he was a chosen Vessel, which was the better) commands him to be baptized, Acts 22.16. Had not Cornelius and his Companions the greater, when their hearts were purified by Faith, and also replenished with the Holy Spirit, Acts 10.44. Chap. 11.15, 17. yet Peter com­mands them to be baptized. Yea, had not Christ himself the greater, to whom the Spirit was not given by measure, Joh. 3.34. Yet when John (peradventure upon the same account as John Bunyan pretends) forbad his Baptism, Matth. 3.14. Christ answers, vers. 15. Suffer it to be so, for thus it behooveth us to fulfil all righteousness.

Baptism, it seems, is no indifferent thing, al­though John Bunyan would have you believe it so, alleaging as aforesaid the words of Paul, 1 Cor. 10.29. which words only have respect to the eating of meats, which were permitted, (although not enjoyned) wherein (therefore) if a weak Brother should be offended, they were advised not to eat for Conscience sake; Con­science, [Page 83] saith Paul, not of thy own (for it is law­ful in it self) but of the other (who thinks it un­lawful): touching which J. Bunyan pretends (that you might think him to make his way plain) it may be objected, that what the A­postles wrote, they wrote to such as were bap­tized, and therefore the Arguments in the E­pistles, about things Circumstantial, respect not the case in hand.

To which he answers, First, that this is a mistake, the first to the Corinthians, the Epistle of James, the first and second of Peter, the first E­pistle of John, were expresly written to all the god­ly as well as to particular Churches. pag. 86.

Secondly, That if Water-baptism (as the Cir­cumstances with which the Churches were pestered of old) trouble their peace, wound the Consciences of the Godly, dismember, and break their Fellow­ship; it is, although an Ordinance for the present, to be prudently shunned; for the Edification of the Churches is to be preferred before it.

Answ. Touching this, as is here said, I must tell you first J. Bunyan is mistaken; and sure he either mistakes or forgets himself; for is not this the same J. Bunyan who in the same Treatise confessed, pag. 91. That in the Apostles dayes Bap­tism went before Church-Communion: Yea, he further saith, pag. 92. It was then generally pra­ctised by all Disciples, and if so, then sure the [Page 84] fore-mentioned Epistles (although general) were directed to baptized persons.

Secondly, Those things which the Apostles treat of as indifferent, were such only, as were permitted either to be done, or not done; wherein many times there was no expedience in the performance thereof; as Paul saith in the a­forementioned, 1 Cor. 10.23. All things are law­ful, but all things are not expedient. Wherein he also saith, All things edify not; and therefore adviseth, That no man should seek his own, but every man his Brothers wealth: but there is no such indifferency in Baptism, which hath been proved a necessary Duty; if that be a Circumstance, it is a necessary Circumstance that must be performed; Although J. Bunyan supposeth it may pester the Churches, trouble their Peace, wound their Consciences, &c. wherefore in his judgment, although an Ordinance, to be shunned.

How! Do Christ's holy Ordinances ever pe­ster the Churches, trouble their Peace, wound the Consciences of the Godly, dismember and break their Fellowship: I never heard it so to do; (but very efficacious on the contrary); But if so, let me tell you, it is an evil sign (even as when the stomach is offended with wholesome food) A sign of an evil heart, from whence undoubtedly the cause thereof proceeds; But I [...] think, it is but the delusion of John [Page 85] Bunyan to conceit it, as once Ahab counted the holy Prophet Elijah, the troubler of Israel, 1 King. 18.17.

Wherefore herein let us not be perswaded to shun that which ought to be imbraced; But ra­ther as David said to Michael, 2 Sam. 6.22. let us resolve, that if it be accounted vile and evil to obey our God in his Holy Ordinances; We will yet be more vile: Thus much for the answer to his first Reason. His second follows.

Reas. 2. Observe secondly, One Spirit, one Hope, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, not of Water, for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, one God and Father of all, and through all, and in you all, is a sufficient Rule for us to hold Communion by, & also to endeavour the maintaining that Communion, and to keep it in unity, within the bond of peace, against all attempts whatsoever, p. 96.

Answ. What presumption is this, in wresting the Holy Scripture which perswadeth to unity, (amongst other Reasons) because there is one Baptism!

But John Bunyan would have fellowship with the unbaptized (contrary to what is here inten­ded by the Apostle) and that (as he saith) be­cause this one Baptism is not of Water. Although the Text saith no such thing, and John Bunyan himself hath often acknowledged, Baptism of Water to be an Holy Ordinance of Christ, pag. 123. generally practised, pag. 92. And then, if one [Page 86] Baptism, what other, but that one (viz. Bap­tism of Water) so generally practised by all Disciples?

He will tell us the Baptism of the Spirit, for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.

To which I answer, The Baptism of the Spi­rit was not general, and so could not be intended by one Baptism.

Secondly, It is not meant in the aforesaid Text, which saith by, not with, one Spirit: for, in truth, those that are baptized with Water, are by one Spirit, in one Faith, having one Hope, in one Lord, even one God and Father of all, baptized with one (viz. Water) Baptism, in­to one Body and Fellowship, which ought therefore to be kept free from John Bunyan's mixture.

His Third Reason follows, pag. 97. viz. I am bold therefore to have Communion with such, be­cause they also have the Doctrine of Baptisms, I say the Doctrine of them: For here you must note, I distinguish between the Doctrine and Practice of Water-baptism, &c. they have the best of Baptisms; the heart of Water-baptism, the Doctrine of Water-baptism, and want only the Sign, the outward Circumstance, which is forborn for want of Light.

Answ. Oh Lord, what delusions are here! Righteous art thou in sending strong delusions upon them that receive not the love of the truth, 2 Thess. 2.10, 11. John Bunyan hath re­ceived [Page 87] Baptism, but what love he hath thereto, appears by his words; wherefore no marvel that his mind is blinded, and his understanding darkned, that he might believe lyes, and deceive himself with fallacies, as he doth in the afore­mentioned Reason, where he tells us of some (of his Proselytes) that have the Doctrine of Bap­tism, but do not practise it because they want Light therein.

What a Contradiction is this! if they want Light, they cannot have the Doctrine; if they have the Doctrine, they must have Light, so far as to know it; and therefore John Bunyan's distinction between the Doctrine and Practice of Water-baptism will nothing avail. We rea­dily allow that, and oftentimes find that many have the Doctrine (although not without light) without the Practice, whom it seems are such as John Bunyan is bold to have Communion with.

He may well say, Bold, for he hath no Scrip­ture-warrant for it, and it is a great boldness to adventure in Church-Communion beyond what is written, yea, contrary to what is written; for our Saviour saith, Luk. 12.47. He that knew his Lord's will (that had the Doctrine of a Duty) and prepared not himself (to Practise) neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. And as such as neglect their duty are thus threatned, so evil is declared to [Page 88] persecute those that teach men so, and encou­rage them therein, Matth. 5.19. wherein what John Bunyan may expect I wish him seriously to consider; he seems, pag. 122. to be conscious to himself that some might judge him guilty thereof, whose mouths he would stop by his E­quivocations, &c. but at the last day such things will stand in no stead.

Reas. 4. I come now to his fourth Reason, pag. 99. I am bold to hold Communion with visible Saints, as aforesaid (viz. unbaptized) because God hath Communion with them, whose Example in the case we are streightly Commanded to follow; Receive you one another as Christ Jesus hath re­ceived you, saith Paul, Rom. 15.1, 6. to the Glory of God; yea, though they be Saints of Opi­nions contrary to you; though it goeth against the mind of them that are strong, we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak: What Infirmities? (saith John Bunyan) Those that are natural, are incident to all: they are infirmities then that are sinful, all such infirmities are laid upon Christ, pag. 100. wherefore, vain man, think not by the streightness of thy order in outward and bodily conformity to outward and shadowish Cir­cumstances, that thy peace is maintained with God; for peace with God is by Faith in the blood of his Cross, who hath born the reproaches and errors of you both: Thou errest in a Substance, he erreth in a Circumstance, upon whom must these errors fall? [Page 89] pag. 101. Must they for this be cast out of the Church? No: These are all, yea those reproaches, wherein the wisdom of Heaven is reproached, are fallen upon Christ, pag. 102. wherefore God hath received him, Christ hath received him; wherefore do ye receive him. There is more solidity in this Argument, than if all the Churches of God had re­ceived him. Will any say we cannot believe that God hath received any but such as are baptized? I will not suppose a Brother so stupified, and there­fore to that I will not answer.

Answ. In the answer to this long Reason, wherein John Bunyan hath run himself out of breath; Consider first, That those Scriptures alleaged by John Bunyan, nothing concern the matter in hand, for they were written to bap­tized persons by his own Confession, pag. 92. as also appears by the Apostle's words, Rom. 6.3, 4.

Secondly, That receiving there spoken of, doth not intend the receiving into Fellowship, (for that was already done) but a holy recepti­on in the bowels of love, and tender-hearted­ness, that so with one mind and with one mouth thy might glorifie God, Chap. 15.6. whereto they are perswaded from the consideration of God's bounty, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ extended to them.

Wherefore concerning unbaptized persons (as the Apostle doth not speak of them, or intend [Page 90] them, in reference to Church-Communion) I might now pass them by, as being nothing con­cerned in those words of the Apostle afore­mentioned by John Bunyan.

But since he so much boasts of their Commu­nion with God, I will answer in the Apostle's words, 1 Cor. 5.12. What have I to do to judge them that are without? I shall leave them to the Judgment of God, to whom they must either stand or fall, only advising all such to make their Calling and Election sure, 2 Pet. 1.10. not trusting to John Bunyan's words (who would sow pillows under their arm-holes) but walk according to the Rule of the Holy Scripture; and then the Church will have Fellowship with them: and God hath promised what they shall bind or loose on Earth, Matth. 18. shall be bound or loosed in Heaven; God himself hath great respect to his Church.

But to return; If I should grant that God hath Communion with many of them; is not John Bunyan strangely stupified, as to reason from thence, yea to account it an Argument of so great solidity, that the Church ought there­fore to have Communion with them? Hath not God Communion wi [...]h many, that the Church may not have Communion with? The Apostle speaks, Rom. 2.14. of some Gentiles, which ha­ving not the Law, were a Law unto themselves, who did shew the work of the Law written in their [Page 91] hearts: With such persons surely God had Com­munion, for he did communicate that know­ledge to them by his holy Spirit; yet I suppose John Bunyan, considering his own words, p. 72. (viz. That none were to he admitted into Fellow­ship but such as were Circumcised, nothing else could give the devoutest person that breathed a being of membership) will not say the Church of the Jews ought to have had Communion with them (although they had Communion with God) during their uncircumcision.

Secondly, God hath Communion with Chil­dren, whose Angels behold the face of our Hea­venly Father, Matth. 18.10. to whom pertaineth the Kingdom of Heaven, Mark. 10.14. Such Christ received; yet the Church ought not to have Communion with them before profession of Faith, &c.

So that this solid Argument proves of no force; God's thoughts are unsearchable in re­ference to himself; but in relation to the Church he declares his will, wherein he appears a God of Order, and not of Confusion, and so it is or­dained in the Churches. 1 Cor. 14.33, 40. whom although the Apostle exhorts, Rom. 15.1. to bear one anothers infirmities; he doth not mean the denial of Baptism, or any other necessary duty (as John Bunyan wickedly pretends).

But what infirmities then, saith J. Bunyan?

[Page 92]I answer, Natural infirmities, and also their opinion in things indifferent, which the Apostle was treating of, Rom. 14. that either may be done, or may not be done, without sin; con­cerning which the Apostle saith, All things are lawful, 1 Cor. 6.12. It is lawful to eat, and lawful to forbear, Rom. 14.14. but touching Baptism, it hath already been proved a necessary duty, and cannot be omitted by a Christian without sin.

But if so, John Bunyan tells you, That sinful infirmities must be born with.

How John Bunyan! must the Church of God bear with sin? must it not be reproved? Is not this the ready way to make the House of God a Den of Thieves? Matth. 21.13.

But saith John Bunyan, All such infirmities are laid upon Christ, &c.

I answer; That Christ bare the sin of the world, Joh. 1.29. upon his own body on the tree, 1 Pet. 2.24. I confess; and also that by him all that be­lieve are justified from all things from which they could not be justified by the Law of Moses, Act. 13.39. I grant; Christ being set forth as a Propiti­ation (through Faith in his blood) for the remissi­on of sins that are past, that God might appear just, and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus, Rom. 3.25, 26.

But that the sinful Infirmities of Christians shall be so born by Christ, as to be forgiven without Confession and forsaking, I do not be­lieve; [Page 93] If we confess our sins, saith John, 1 Joh. 1.10. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins; he that confesseth and forsaketh shall find mercy, Prov. 28.13. But this bearing will not serve John Bunyan's turn, for. if there must be open confession and forsaking, it is nothing to his pur­pose, it will not then bolster up men in their disobedience.

Wherefore he is bold to affirm, That all your infirmities are fallen upon Christ, yea, even errors in Circumstances, and errors in Substance, such whereby the wisdom of Heaven is reproached, Christ bears and takes away.

If John Bunyan saith true; here are large pillows to sow under your arm-holes; those of old, were not so expert as Juhn Bunyan, al­though they made Lyes their Refuge, Isa. 28.17. yet their bed was shorter, than a man could stretch himself on it; and the covering narrower, than that he could wrap himself in it, Isa. 28.20. But John Bunyan's is large enough; err in what you will, Christ hath born it; and the Church ought to bear with you, it seems; for there is no error, but it is either in circumstance or substance. Well, be it what it will, Although you reproach the wis­dom of Heaven, it is (saith he) born by Christ, and must be born by your Brethren.

But sure his dawbing will appear to be with untempered mortar, Ezek. 13.10, 11. And if he may not be charged with that presumption, the [Page 94] Apostle tells you was in some, Rom. 6.1. Who would sin, that Grace may abound? yet I am sure whil'st he is pleading concerning his Fellowship without Baptism, he countenanceth and encou­rageth all sin, overthroweth all Church-disci­pline; and you may then guess what (if his Rule be observed) will become of the Church it self, as further we will consider in his repre­hension: Vain man (saith he) think not by the streightness of thy order, &c. that thy peace is main­tained with God.

Is not this the fruit of a stupified head; o­therwise, who would account, and also call his Brethren, vain men: and that for streightness of Order?

Is not Order to be observed in the Churches, 1 Cor. 14.40? and can it be too strictly observed? surely No; whilst orderly, it cannot be too streight; except for John Bunyan who would not have it so, that his confused worship may come in the place.

But then he will tell you, It is but outward and bodily conformity to outward and shadowish Circumstances that he accounts vain.

But is not outward and bodily conformity, and that to such as he calls outward and shadow­ish Circumstances, required in a Christian? He doth not only so account Baptism, but also breaking of Bread, the Supper of the Lord, for so he saith, pag. 64. Touching shadowish or figurative [Page 95] Circumstances, Christ hath ordained two in his Church, viz. Water-baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.

Now what Christian will call it vain, to con­form to the Supper of the Lord (which is so exactly required by Christ himself)? Surely none, or few men but John Bunyan; and if con­formity thereto be not vain, why must Baptism? which he confesseth to be of the same Ordina­tion, pag. 64.

Well, the Conformity to Christ's Ordinances is not in vain; The way of the Lord is strength to the upright, Prov. 10.19.

Yea, bodily and outward Conformity. I be­seech you brethren (saith Paul, Rom. 12.1.) by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a li­ving Sacrifice; Glorifie God in your body, 1 Cor. 6.20. Yield the members of your bodies as instru­ments of righteousness unto God, Rom. 6.13.

But it may be John Bunyan will tell me, I mistake him, for that which he accounts vain, is for persons to think thereby to maintain their peace with God, which is obtained by Faith in the blood of his Cross.

To which I will answer; That although our peace with God is by Faith, yet it is maintained by our obedience to Christ's Holy Ordinances, they are the things that belong to our peace, that maintain and encrease our peace with God, (I do not say God's peace with us) for with­out [Page 96] them there cannot be a good Conscience to­wards God, and then I am sure no peace with God continued.

In short; the sum of this Reason is not only safe, but blasphemous: First, False; for it doth not follow that we may have Communion with men, because God hath Communion with them.

Secondly, Blasphemous; For, besides what is said concerning Christ bearing all sin, whether in Circumstance or Substance (which is appa­rently false) God is hereby made the Author of sin; for in this Reason he urgeth, That the Church ought to bear with the sinful infirmities of their Brethren; For those (he saith) are caused for want of Light: And how come they to want Light? he tells you, pag. 94. It is God that creates Light, and he that with-holdeth: So that God not creating Light in their hearts, causeth them to err, and to be guilty of sinful infirmities.

Is not here verified what is written, God shall send them strong delusions to believe a lye? Is not this according to the words of that idle Servant, Matth. 25.24. who saith of God, he knew him to be an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed? So saith John Bunyan; who without Repentance may expect the like sentence.

[Page 97] Reas. 5. I come now to his 5th Reason, p. 104. Because a failer in such a Circumstance as Water, doth not unchristian us: This must needs be gran­ted, not only from what was said before, but for that thousands of thousands that could not consent thereto, are now with the innumerable company of Angels, &c. wherefore what is said of eating, or the contrary, may as to this be said of Water-baptism; neither if I am baptized, am I the bet­ter; neither if I be not, am I the worse: not the better before God, nor the worse before Men: Whereupon (after some plausible words, he con­cludes, pag. 106.) seeing the things wherein we exceed each other, are such as neither make nor mar Christianity; let us love one another, and walk to­gether according to the glorious Rule above specified, (meaning to have Church-Communion with unbaptized persons.)

Answ. To love one another, I should readily consent, for we ought to love all men: But for Church-Communion I cannot, until I see it proved that we ought to do so, which I am sure John Bunyan hath not; for he hath not yet pro­ved it lawful, much less expedient, but further from being necessary, which he pretends. And surely this Reason cannot sway a wise man, to do that which is not proved lawful; I say, this Reason which is grounded upon a false Position: for although Baptism doth not make a Christi­an, yet the want of it may mar a Christian, and [Page 98] the neglect thereof unchristian men. For he that despiseth God (although once honoured) shall be lightly esteemed, 1 Sam. 2.30. A good Con­science may be put away, 1 Tim. 1.19. that there may be need of the formation of Christ in the heart again, Gal. 4.19.

John Bunyan's instance of the thousand thou­sands that did not consent to Baptism, which are now (as he saith) in Heaven, is no sufficient proof that it ought to be, or that it may be de­spised now. I suppose he will confess there are thousand thousands as much in Heaven as they, who did not believe that Christ was then come in the flesh; but he that denieth it now is Anti­christ, 1 Joh. 4.3. And notwithstanding John Bunyan's confidence, if he should now deny Christ come in the flesh, it would unchristian him.

I might give many more instances in this case, but from hence you may perceive how inconsi­derate he is, to conclude that of Baptism, (from false grounds) which Paul speaketh of eating meats, which were lawful to be eaten, or not eaten: Would any wise man oppose such indifferent things, to an Ordinance and Institu­tion of Christ Jesus? sure Obedience to express Commands, whatsoever we are before men, makes us better before God.

Reas 6. I come now to his 6th Reason, p. 107. I am therefore for holding Communion thus, because [Page 99] the Edification of Souls, in the Faith and Holiness of the Gospel, is of greater concernment, than our agreeing in, or contesting for the business of Water-baptism: That the Edification of the Soul is of the greatest concern, is out of measure evident, &c.

Answ. John Bunyan's Position here stated, he endeavoureth by divers Reasons to prove, (viz. That the Edification of the Soul is of the greatest concern,) which I here omit, because whilst he endeavoureth to prove that, he mi­stakes the matter in question; for it is apparent that Baptism, and the rest of Christ's Ordinances, are the means appointed for the Edification of the Souls of men; and if so, the Argument is fallacious and must fall; which surely he is himself conscious of, and therefore to prevent it, he saith, pag. 109. Know that the Edification of the Church of God dependeth not upon, neither is tyed to this or that Circumstance.

Much said, but little proved; wherefore in short I may answer, You have only J. Bunyan's word for it, who, herein doth not only exclude Baptism, but also whatsoever he is pleased to call a Circumstance, whereof the Supper of the Lord is one by his own confession, pag. 64. so that it also is excluded (by him) from Church-Edification, contrary to what is declared of the Primitive Saints, who walking in the fear of God, having Fellowship one with another, were edified: yea, Paul accounts Church-discipline [Page 100] for the Edification of the Church, 2 Cor. 13.10. And in truth all Gospel-Ordinances are for Edi­fication; so that if we must press after that, it obligeth us to press after the means tending thereto.

But J. Bunyan seems to put a little gloss upon the matter, viz. When there is in the hearts of the Godly different perswasions about it, then it be­cometh them in the wisdom of God to take more care for their peace and unity, than to widen their un­comfortable differences. Thus J. Bunyan would have the Churches to be like Simeon and Levi, Brethren agreeing in iniquity; to bear with sin, and to wink at the trangressions of Christ's Or­dinances, (rather than to disagree thereupon): contrary to the advice of the Apostle, who (as he withstood Peter to the face, because he was to be blamed, Gal. 2.11.) directs, That if any Bro­ther walketh disorderly (viz. in disobedience to Christ's Ordinances) he must be withdrawn from, 2 Thess. 3.6.

But John Bunyan, to perswade the Churches to strike hands in disobedience, and to counte­tenance their doings therein; alleageth, pag. 110, divers instances of unlawful things done of old, yet winked at, if not approved.

To all which (if it be so) sure the Apostle's words (Rom. 6.1. What shall we say thereto? shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? [Page 101] God forbid:) might (to sober men) be a suffi­cient answer.

But that I might discharge my duty herein, I shall give (for the better satisfaction of those concerned) a particular Answer thereto in or­der.

His first Instance is of Aaron, pag. 109. in these words, Although Aaron transgressed the Law, because he eat not the Sin-Offering of the People, yet seeing he could not do it with satisfacti­on to his own Conscience, Moses was content that he left it undone, Levit. 10.16.20.

Answ. John Bunyan tells us, That Aaron transgressed the Law, because the Law was a­gainst his Conscience, and that Moses was con­tent therewith; but surely then, Moses was not faithful in all things as a Servant, Heb. 3.5. For the same Apostle tells us, Heb. 2.2. That the Law was so stedfast, that every transgression and disobe­dience received a just recompence of reward: which must needs be false if John Bunyan saith true; for he saith Aaron transgressed, yet Moses was content: sure it was great presumption in him to tollerate what the Law of God forbad: But the Text alleaged, doth not say Aaron trans­gressed the Law; neither doth it say, the per­formance of the Law was against his Conscience, these are but John Bunyan's fancies: All that the Text saith is, That Moses was angry when he found the Sin-Offering burnt, and saith, Wherefore [Page 102] have ye not eaten it in the holy place? And there­to Aaron answers, It was Offered by the People this day wherein such things have befaln me, that if I had eaten, would it have been accepted? Which answer when Moses heard he was con­tent, for therein the Law was not broken, nei­ther was the performance thereof against Aaron's Conscience.

The sum therefore of the matter is this; God, who took great care for his People, did Com­mand that Aaron and his Sons should eat such parts of the Offerings of the People as he di­rected, viz. it was their due by the Law of God, so that they might eat thereof, what nature re­quired, (they were not enjoyned to eat all, or so much) the rest, viz. what they left, was to be burnt.

And in the case before alleaged, it seems Aaron eat none, but burnt all: whereupon Moses apprehending it to be in contempt of God's Law (as Joshua thought of the erection of the Altar, Josh. 22.) was angry with them, but yet enquiring into the cause wherefore they did not eat it, Aaron tells him, That it was the day wherein he lost his two Sons, (vers. 2.) and therefore he could not eat it, neither did he think it would be acceptable if he had; which when Moses heard, he was content, knowing thereby that eating in general was not denyed by Aaron, or against his Conscience, as John [Page 103] Bunyan falsly pretends; but that the occasion then required his forbearance: and therefore this is nothing to the purpose in hand, it is no more than if a Christian (owning the Supper of the Lord as a truth to be observed), should once at the Celebration thereof (being it may be under some trouble or discontent) absent himself; or if upon some special occasion Bap­tism should be deferred for some hours, who would find fault with this? which was Aaron's case.

His second Instance is, pag. 110. concerning Eldad and Medad, Who (saith he) Joshua was so zealous against, because they Prophesied in the Camp, without first going to the door of the Tabernacle as they were Commanded, that he de­sired Moses to forbid them, Numb. 11.16, 26. But (saith he) Moses calls his zeal, envie; praying for more such Prophets: knowing although they failed in a Circumstance, they were right in that which was better; for the Edification of the Peo­ple in the Camp was that which pleased Moses.

Answ. What will not People do when they endeavour to fight against the Laws of Christ? If Moses did account Joshua's zeal envy, much more may it truly be said of John Bunyan, that his zeal herein produceth envy: I might in op­position to this Instance alleage, what Paul saith of the false Apostles that preached Christ out of envy; yet Paul rejoyced that Christ was prea­ched: [Page 104] And would it not be thought strange that any should collect from hence that their act was lawful, because Paul rejoyced therein, when as many times good is produced by evil acts?

But further, Eldad and Medad in their Pro­phesying did nothing contrary to Law, they were not forbidden to Prophecy, nor that it should be done in the Camp, but on the contra­ry, God's Spirit came upon them there, and thereby they were induced to prophesy; and so it is nothing to the purpose for which it is al­leaged by John Bunyan, unless he can shew us any incited by God's Spirit to neglect Baptism.

But if you say, They ought to have went to the door of the Tabernacle?

I answer, That it was not express duty to be performed on their parts, but for the manifesta­tion of God's selecting them to govern the People, which in a holy modesty they es­chewed.

But then in the next place, John Bunyan gives you a third Instance, pag. 110. That in Heze­kiah's time, although the People came to the Passeo­ver in an undue manner, and did eat it otherwise than it was written, yet the wise King would not forbid them, but rather admitted it, knowing that their Edification was of greater Concern than to hold them to a Circumstance or two, 2 Chron. 30.13, 27. Yea God himself did like the wisdom of the King, and healed, that is, forgave the People at the [Page 105] Prayer of Hezekiah: And observe (saith he) notwithstanding this disorder as to Circumstances, the Feast was kept with great gladness, &c.

Answ. What now, John Bunyan, how great a labyrinth hast thou brought us into (if thy words be true) must that be admitted in the Church? yea, doth God himself like it, even that which is undue, yea contrary to what is written? Sure we are left herein (if this be so) to every man's fancy; who is there that will not pretend the Edification of the People in all their Concerns? and how shall we controul them? For, Quot homines tot sententiae, the Scripture must not be our Judge, For that may be admitted, saith John Bunyan, yea, well liked by God, which is contrary to what is written: This he further confirms, pag. 101. For all things (saith he) even Laws themselves must give place to the Edi­fication and Profit of God's People.

Surely John Bunyan doth not esteem that his God was wise enough; when he made Laws, as to foresee what would be for his Peoples pro­fit and Edification.

But as he doth herein deprave the wisdom of God; so he is contrary to himself. For he saith in another place, pag. 45. I believe that Jesus Christ by the word of the Scriptures, will judge all men at the day of Doom. Now this cannot be, if the Word of the Scriptures, and the Laws therein contained, must give place to a preten­ded [Page 106] Edification of the People; would not that (viz. to plead the Edification of the People) if his words be true, be a good excuse at the day of Doom?

But I hope no man will be so unwise as to be­lieve him, who is not only so contrary to him­self, but to the holy Apostle, who desired the Godly (by the Example of himself and the rest of the Apostles) to learn not so much as to think above that which is written, 1 Cor. 4.6. and so much the rather, because he knew that af­terwards there would arise such presumptuous persons as John Bunyan, who would pretend they might do otherwise (even contrary to the written Law of God) that good might come; Concerning whom Paul saith, Rom. 3.8. Their damnation is just.

But perhaps you will say with John Bunyan, Was it not so in Hezekiah's time? Did they not keep the Passeover otherwise than it was written, and yet allowed?

I answer, No: There was no allowance of any thing contrary to what was written in the Law; wherefore, first, we must note concerning the time, there was a limitation by the Law of God; as appears, Numb. 9.9, 10, 11. The Lord spake unto Moses saying: If any of you, or your posterity, be unclean, or in a journey afar off, that he cannot keep the Passeover in its appointed season, they shall keep it on the fourteenth day of the second [Page 107] month at Even, &c. which was the time that Hezekiah (taking Counsel by the Law of God) kept it, 2 Chron. 30.2, 3, 16. uncleanness and distance of place, not permitting the observati­on thereof in the first month, which was the time at first appointed, and that (although a Circumstance) so exactly, that God threatned death to the man that should neglect the ap­pointed season, Numb. 9.13. And it is apparent what befel Jeroboam for his Error therein; 1 King. 12.23. Although he was as ready as John Bunyan to plead the Edification and ease of the People for his warrant, 2 King. 12.28.

But if now any say, Why did the King pray God to pardon, if there was not an undue manner in the eating? And why is the Lord said to heal the People if they did not offend?

To which I answer, First, That the obser­vation of the Passeover in respect to the time when it was kept as aforesaid, was not undue: Nor, Secondly, any thing that the King either Commanded, or Allowed, yet there was an un­due receiving the Passeover otherwise than what was written: But how was that? the Text declareth, That there was an intrusion of many of the People who had not cleansed themselves according to the Law, which although John Bunyan pretends the King did allow, (knowing that their Edification was of greater concern than to hold them to a Circumstance or two) the Scrip­ture [Page 108] saith the contrary, viz. That Hezekiah did account it a sin (and not at all for Edification or Profit) and therefore prayed earnestly to God for pardon (lest that therefore his anger should break forth against them); unto whom the Lord was pleased graciously to hearken, and healed them: From whence John Bunyan wickedly concludes that God did like it; and thereupon urgeth it as a great Reason why now the Church should bear with undue proceedings, contrary to what is written. But, well did the Holy Ghost re­prehend such, Rom. 6.1. that because God was gracious in pardoning, they would presumptu­ously sin that grace might abound, which ought to be abhorred by all the Godly.

But methinks some will say, John Bunyan offers further in this matter, pag. 101. viz. When Christ's Disciples plucked the ears of Corn, and were charged by the Pharisees with breach of the Sabbath, Matth. 12.1, 6. Their Lord excuseth them, and rebuketh their Adversaries; saying, Have ye not read what David did when he was an hungred, and they that were with him, how he entred into the House of God and did eat the Shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the Priests? Or, have you not read in the Law, how that on the Sabbath-day, the Priests in the Temple, prophane the Sab­bath and are blameless: Why blameless saith John Bunyan?) because they did it in order to the Edi­fication [Page 109] of the People; From whence he concludes, If Laws and Ordinances have been broken, and the breach of them born with, when the profit and edification of the People came in competition, how much more may we have Church-Communion where no Law is transgressed thereby?

Answ. Yes surely; For where there is no Law, there is no Transgression; there cannot be in that any sin.

But John Bunyan hath forgot in his Conclusi­on the matter in hand, which is not whether we may have Church-Communion where no Law is transgressed: (which he needed not have taken such pains to prove) but whether we may have Church-Communion with persons not obedient to Baptism, which before hath been often proved a Command, yea, a necessary Command, and confessed by himself to belong to all Disciples, (and so also undoubtedly in­tended by him in this Reason) according to the written Word, wherefore he pleadeth for doing otherwise than it was written; and doth tell you (but how truly you may judge) Laws and Ordinances have been broken, and the breach of them born with, when the profit of the People and their edification came in competition; which it seems John Bunyan prefers before the honour of God: when he conceits there may be Profit and Edification, he will break even Laws and Ordi­nances to carry on his design; to whom verily [Page 110] it will one day be said, Who hath required this at your hand? Isa. 1.12. to break my Laws for your own profit? When you did pretend to worship me, did not you serve your selves, Zech. 7.6. yea, although it reached to the con­tempt of my Laws? You will, it seems, make them give place (to use John Bunyan's own words) for the advancing of your selves.

Will not this (in a wise man's judgment) be hard to be answered, when the God of Hea­ven shall plead in the defence of his holy Laws: the Disciples plucking the ears of Corn will not justifie it; for know, that was no sin upon the account of any Law of God, they might eat, yea, take their food on the Sabbath day, there was no illegality therein.

But if here you ask, Why Christ did not tell the Pharisees so?

I answer, That he knowing the hardness of their hearts, endeavoured rather to convince them, by the instances of such things as were allowed by themselves: As Paul to the Atheni­ans, Act. 17. alleageth the sayings of their own Poets: So doth Christ here, yet not allowing any disobedience; no not in the Priests, who John Bunyan is pleased to say were blameless, because they did it in order to the Edification of the People.

But I will say they were blameless, because they did it in order to the Law of God, Numb. [Page 111] 28.9. which required the Offerings to be made on the Sabbath day; so that although the act considered simply, viz. the slaying the Offering, &c. was a prophanation of the Sabbath, yet in that it was the Offering-Sacrifice, they were blameless, as aforesaid, because God (the great Law-giver) required it, as our Saviour gives us the like instance of the Circumcising a man on the Sabbath day, which in that it was God's Command to be done on the Eighth day, was no breach of the Sabbath when it happened to be then done.

As for the instance of David, although I might say something in the case, seeing our Sa­viour doth not justifie it, but saith it was un­lawful, I shall conclude that the like may be said of John Bunyan's Church-Communion, that he doth and teacheth that which is not lawful to be done; wherefore at his peril it will be for teaching men to break Christ's Commands, Matth. 5.19. although Edification be his pre­tence.

Reas. 7. Wherein now leaving him, I come to his 7th Reason, viz. Therefore I am for holding Communion thus, because Love, which above all things we are commanded to put on, is of much more worth than to break about Baptism.

This is the substance of this Reason, although many words are used therein to no purpose; [Page 112] wherefore I will in short answer, That I confess Love to be an eminent duty; it would be too tedious for me to set forth the Encomiums there­of, I wish heartily that it was more found a­mongst Saints; Concerning whom, I pray God their Love may abound yet more and more.

But let me tell John Bunyan, Love hath its boundaries, and marks of demonstration [...] wherefore herein I shall say with the Apostle, 1 Joh. 5.2, 3. By this we know that we love the Children of God, when we love God and keep its Commandments; for this is the love of God, that we keep his Commandments. Otherwise (what­soever we pretend) we neither love God, nor the Children of God: for as love to God, so love to the Children of God, is inconsistent with disobedience to God's Commands.

Wherefore to John Bunyan's pretence, viz. That Love is of much more worth than Baptism, and that we are Commanded above all things to put it on.

I must tell him, it is of more worth than Faith, 1 Cor. 13, 13. and if above all things, thou above Faith to be put on, yet I suppose John Bunyan will not allow in this case Church-Communion without Faith, which may as well be urged from this Reason; but herein, as in all, a Preacher of the Gospel, should learn [Page 113] rightly to divide the Word of Truth; the grea­ter is not only demonstrated, but preserved many times by that which is lesser, as Life by food, &c.

Reas. 8. But John Bunyan in his 8th Reason, pag. 119. would have you know, That for God's People to divide into parties, or shut each other from Church-Communion, though in greater Points, and higher pretences than this of Water-baptism, hath heretofore been counted carnal, and the actors therein Babish-Christians, &c.

Answ. I confess this looks more like an Ar­gument of weight, than any heretofore alleaged; For, if this be true, he saith something to the purpose: for it must be granted, that what was in the Primitive Churches accounted Carnal, must so be accounted now: But, Praise a fair day at night. The end tryeth all things. I am sure that to shut out of Communion for the neglect of Baptism was never accounted Carnal, for in those dayes, by John Bunyan's Confession, pag. 91. Water-baptism went before Church-Communion, and therefore according to this Argument it ought to do so now.

But he saith, That to shut out of Communion upon greater Points, and higher pretences than [Page 114] Water-baptism, was then reckoned Carnal.

But by John Bunyan's favour, it is untrue; The Apostle himself commanded to withdraw from every Brother that walketh disorderly, not ac­cording to their traditions, 2 Thess. 3.6. To shut such out of Communion it seems was not Carnality, but according to the mind of God's holy Spirit; and those that deny Baptism, are guilty of that disorder, as hath been already proved; yea, it must be so; for John Bunyan confesseth, pag. 123. That Baptism is an holy Ordinance, which to neg­lect and despise, is disorder and unholiness, and the persons guilty thereof, therefore to be shun­ed.

But John Bunyan, to confirm his assertion, tells you, That Paul, Apollo, Cephas, and Christ, were doubtless higher things than those about which we contend; yet when they made divisions about them, they were sharply rebuked.

But as his Falshood, so his Craft is disco­vered; For that division in Corinth, was not a­bout higher things than Baptism, neither did it extend to breach of Communion. As for Paul, Apollo, Cephas, and Christ, they were neither of them denyed, there was no higher Points in Question, neither (as to their division) are they charged with the denyal of any Doctrine, or any practice in Worship.

[Page 115]But their case was thus; they were it seems puffed up with pride and strove for superiority, wherein they took advantage by the eminency of their Ministers, who had been conversant a­mongst them; As the Bishop of Rome at this day saith, I am of Cephas, and thereupon chal­lengeth the Primacy; so they said, some were of Paul, some of Apollo, and some of Christ, which in truth the Apostle sharply reprehends; but if either of them had been denyed, and the Church had called such a person to accompt for his denyal, and (if persisting therein) shut him out of Communion, this would not have been accounted Carnal proceeding, although John Bunyan is pleased further to say, Let Paul, Cephas; or Christ himself be the burden of thy song, yet the heart from whence they flow is Carnal, &c.

I hope he doth not mean that the heart is car­nal, that obeyeth the Doctrine of Paul, Cephas, or Christ, or that separateth from a person de­nying Paul, Cephas, or Christ; this would be too great presumption, whereof when I would clear him in my thoughts, (or, to prevent it) he appears guilty of great wickedness, and im­pudence; for he is bold to say, pag. 120. Let the cry be never so loud, Christ, Order, the Rule, the Command, or the like, Carnality is the bottom, and they are but babies that do it. Here John [Page 116] Bunyan leaves out, Paul, Apollo, and Cephas, and well he may, if it be but carnality and childish­ness to follow Christ, Order, the Rule, or the Commands.

I wonder what John Bunyan would have us follow, or who would he have us separate from, or what must we respect? if neither Christ, Order, the Rule, or a command be any thing with him; what, must fancy hear the sway a­gainst all, which many times is grosly stupified; and verily it is so in John Bunyan, otherwise he would not have spoken thus: And also further to add, That the great division at Corinth was helped forward by Water-baptism, telling you the Apostle intimates as much, when he saith, Were ye baptized in the Name of Paul?

Who would have thought to have heard such unsound speeches, such perverse words from one that acknowledgeth Baptism to be an holy Or­dinance of Christ? Is it likely divisions should be helped forward by an holy Ordinance? doth Paul intimate the same? nay, he doth urge the contrary, even by the aforesaid words; for when the Corinthians being puffed up with pride, and seeking for superiority, one preten­ding to be of Paul, and another of Apollo: Paul seeks to diswade them thencefrom, and [Page 117] to convince them of their folly: He propounds these Questions; viz.

Is Christ divided?
Was Paul Crucified for you? Or,
Were you baptized in the Name of Paul?

John Bunyan might as well have said, the di­vision was helped forward by Christ: There is as much to that purpose intimated in those words, Is Christ divided? as in these, Were ye baptized in the Name of Paul? But the truth is, Paul endeavoured to put them in mind that there is but one Christ, that neither himself, Apollo, or Cephas, were Crucified for them: And also one Baptism, they were not baptized into the Name of any but Christ; wherefore he exhorts them to leave off their folly and pride, and walk in love as they were comman­ded, but not to slight Baptism, as John Bunyan (whose tongue hath no bounds) is pleased to say Paul did, making no matter at all thereof in respect to Church-Communion. But I wish he may be ashamed of his thus wresting the Scrip­tures, and the intentions of the Apostle, who alwayes spake reverently with an holy estimati­on of Baptism; not like John Bunyan, who in a little Treatise both commends and depraves it, [Page 118] thereby rendring himself conspicuous for his instability.

But if you ask why the Apostle spake after that manner, saying, I thank God I baptized none but Crispus and Gaius, &c.

Know, it was not because he made no mat­ter thereof as to Church-Communion, but to take away the occasion of their contention, as he declares himself, lest any should say, I bap­tized in my own Name.

And whereas John Bunyan seems to take ad­vantage at those words, I know not whether I baptized any other; And from thence concludes (contrary to the Apostles thoughts) That he did not heed who were baptized by any body; as much as if he should say, that he did not heed whether they were baptized or no.

I must answer; That I wonder any wise man should urge such a Conclusion from Paul's words▪ especially John Bunyan, who confesseth Baptism is an holy Ordinance, and was obeyed by the Corinthians: and if so, Paul must needs know they were all baptized, and then no mat­ter by whom, viz. which of the Apostles: But to take away that occasion of boasting con­cerning [Page 119] himself, he tells them he did not know whether he baptized any but the persons afore­named; which is no strange thing for a Mini­ster to be ignorant of; for unless he keep't a Re­gister, how should he remember it? There be some in our dayes that dare not slight Baptism touching Church-Communion, yet can say in this case, as Paul did.

Further; whereas it is alleaged that Paul said, I was not sent to Baptize, but to Preach.

Know, herein he did not slight Baptism, but placed it in its due station; That Paul was sent to baptize, is evident; for he tells you whom he did baptize; and if he had no Com­mission for it, then it may be truly said, he bap­tized in his own Name: But he intends that he was not principally sent to Baptize, but to Preach, as he saith in another case, 1 Tim. 2.14. The Man was not deceived, but the Woman: Whence you have the same terms, which must be understood, the Man was not primarily de­ceived, but the Woman (as the Text saith) was first in the transgression.

In the next place John Bunyan begins to flat­ter, and tells you, He would not teach men to break the least of God's Commands, and acknow­ledgeth [Page 120] therein Baptism to be an holy Ordinance▪ pag. 123. A duty enjoyned to such as receive the Gospel, pag. 122. But it is the abuse thereof, he saith, (wherein he himself is apparently guilty) that he complains against; and therein forgets himself, and saith, (without any ground or truth) What is Baptism? Baptism is nothing.

What, John Bunyan! A holy Ordinance, no­thing! an enjoyned Duty, nothing! Where are we now?

He answers, pag. 124. That it is no strange thing, for God cryed out against his own Instituti­ons when abused by the People, Isa. 1.11, 12. To what purpose is the multitude of your Sacrifices, &c. saith the Lord?

Reply. But is not this John Bunyan's blind­ness, or at least his crafty endeavours to insinu­ate his own opinion? Did ever God cry out a­gainst his own Institutions? against his own Appointments? No: verily the complaint was against the People, that they performed such things contrary to God's Institutions; and therefore it is not as J. Bunyan presumes to say, that the Ordinances are nothing; but to what purpose are they? they are vain, and why so? because not performed according to the Institu­tion; [Page 121] wherefore the Lord adds, Who hath requi­red these things at your hands?

It must be known that God appoints the man­ner of the performance as well as the matter, yea, the qualifications of the persons perform­ing it; whereof if any be wanting, we swerve from God's Institution; wherein I will say of Baptism, that although it is a necessary duty, yet if it be not accompanied with such qualifi­cations as God requires, it profits not, it is in vain. So also may be said of Faith, which without works is dead, Jam. 2.20. yet verily it would be strange presumption for a man to say in general, Faith is nothing; yea, if those Israelites whom Isaiah speaks of, had walked honestly as to men (which it seems they did not) and denyed the offering Sacrifices, the ob­servation of the Sabbath, and the appointed Feast: I appeal to all sober Christians whether therein they would have been blameless; No sure: God often punisheth for the neglect of those Institutions, and therefore I shall conclude the answer to this Reason, with our Saviour's words, Matth. 23.23. These things you ought to do, and not to leave the other undone.

I come now to his 9th Reason, pag. 125. which is this, viz. If we shall reject visible Saints [Page 122] by calling Saints that have Communion with God, that have received the Law at the hand of Christ, that are of holy Conversation amongst men, they desiring to have Communion with us, as much as in us lyeth; we take from them their priviledges, and the blessings to which they are born of God.

Answ. Oh man full of all subtilty, how long wilt thou labour to deceive! Can a man (con­sidering what hath been said) be a visible Saint, that denyeth Christ's Holy Ordinances? Can we be assured that a man hath Communion with God, who rejects his Counsel? Can a man be said to receive the Law at the hands of Christ, that denyeth his Institutions, and lives in diso­bedience to a Duty enjoyned? Can they truly desire Communion, that refuse to obey Baptism when required? What Paul saith to the Corin­thians, and other Saints, is nothing to our pre­sent purpose, for they were all baptized by your own confession: And what you say afterwards concerning the Supper is as little, unless you could prove that unbaptized persons have right thereto, and ought to participate thereof; which when you do, you may peradventure have a further answer.

Touching what you say further in this Rea­son, stuffed with Eighteen Fancies of your own [Page 123] brain, I think a wise man will not judge me ob­liged to answer in particular: Wherefore I will only say, That it seems like the design of Baalam, who (of old) was intended to curse Israel; only herein appears a difference, God met Baalam of old and forbade him, thereby re­straining his purposed designs. But it seems as if God hath given this man over, to belch out the fruit of his own imaginations, that in him might be verified the prediction of our Saviour, Matth. 5.11. They shall speak all manner of evil against you falsly for my Name's sake: Which to effect, he is bold to affirm, That Christians have been the cause of all the Judgments we have felt, and do groan under. It is no new thing, the Hea­thens of old were of the same mind, and there­by raised the Primitive persecutions: and we see the Devil playeth the same Game now: whereto I shall only say in the words of Mi­chael, Jud. 9. The Lord rebuke thee.

I come now to his 10th and last Reason, pag. 128. Which is grounded partly upon the thoughts of the World, and partly upon a supposed Condescention, so far as to commit our Souls to the Ministry of unbaptized persons.

Whereto I shall answer; As to the first, We ought to obey God, rather than to please men, [Page 124] Act. 4.19. And as to the second, I say, wh [...] we commit our Souls to such persons, we [...] then have Communion with them: But at present I shall offer John Bunyan's own words, pag. 133. It must be the prudence of every Commu­nity, to preserve its own unity in peace and truth, and not to suffer such confounded Doctrines, as eat out the bowels of a Church.

Wherefore John Bunyan and his Doctrine ought to be exploded, as a detected Gangrene encreasing unto more ungodliness, 2 Tim. 2.18. For which purpose let us observe the Apostles advice, 1 Thess. 5.21. Try all things, and hold fast that which is good. The God of Heaven teach us by his Holy Spirit, to try those things that differ, and to approve what is most excellent. Amen.



Page 12. line 1. for the, read that. line 10, 11. f. Author saith, r. Author's faith. P. 16. l. 4. r. of Christ. P. 19. in the 2 last lines, from pass to, ought all to be left out until thou comest to line 18 of pag. 20. the Articles about Justi­fication, &c. P. 20. l. 19. r. concerning. P. 27. l. 24. f. ob­stinay, r. obstinacy. P. 43. l. 5. f therein; I readily &c. r. wherein I &c. P. 44. the quotations p. 122, 123. in l. 17. are to be applied to l. 13 & 14. P. 56. l. 13. r. instructi [...] l. ult. f. & 1. Luke. P. 63. l. 3. r. cannot but wonder.

Books Printed for Francis Smith at the Elephant and Castle near the Royal Exchange in Cornhil.

A New and Useful Concordance to the Bible, with the chief Acceptations, and various Significations contained therein. Also marks to distinguish the Commands, Promises and Threat­nings; with a Collection of those Scripture-Prophesies which relate to the Call of the Jews, and the Glory that shall be in the latter dayes: To which is now added, near Nine Thousand Scriptures, omitted in the former Edition, with the Addition also of the Scripture-Similies and Synonimous Phrases Alphabetically digested; With the Collection of the Names and Titles given to Jesus Christ, and the Appellation given to the Church of God in the Scriptures. Re­commended to the studious Christian, by Dr. Owen.

A Treatise of Baptism; wherein that of Be­lievers and that of Infants, is examined by the Scriptures, with the History of both out of An­tiquity, making it appear, That Infants-baptism [Page] was not practised for 300 years, nor enjoyned as necessary by the Popes Canons 400 years af­ter Christ, with the fabulous Traditions and Er­roneous Grounds upon which, it with Gossips, Chrisoms, Exorcisms, Consignations, Baptizing of Churches & Bells, and other Popish Rites are founded: and that the famous Waldensian and old Brittish Churches and Christians witnessed against it; with the Examination of the stories of Thomas Munster and John of Leyden.

Symptoms of Growth, and Decay in Godliness; in 80 signs of a Living and Dying Christian, with the Causes of Decay, and Remedies for Recovery.

The Schollar's Companion: Or, a little Libra­ry, containing all the Interpretations of Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible, both in Latine and English in great variety, by means whereof the unlearned may easily attain unto the know­ledge of the Holy Scriptures in their Original Tongues; a Work very useful for every useful Christian.

Truth's Champion; wherein are made plain these particulars: First, That Christ died for all: Of his Power given out to all: Of Electi­on: Of Predestination: Of Baptism, &c. The Copy of which Book was found hid in an old Wall near Colchester in Essex.

Scripture-Redemption, freed from Men's Re­striction; [Page] being the substance of several Confe­rences about the Death of our Dear Redeemer, and the Controversies which are the Constant Concomitants of it.

The Mystery of Astronomy, made plain to the meanest Capacity, by an Arithmetical Descrip­tion of the Coelestial and Terrestrial Globes, by way of Questions and Answers; The Wonder­ful Works of God from the Earth his Footstool to the Throne of Heaven; with Divine Obser­vations on every part.

The Popish Labyrinth; wherein is made mani­fest, that the Papists are intangled in the Funda­mental Articles of their Faith, that the Church cannot Err: Written in Dutch by that Holy and Learned man, Dr. Simon Episcopius. To which is added, The Life and Death of the Author.

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