GOSPEL-COMMVNION In the Way of GODLINES: Sued for by The Protestant Churches in Germany, unto the Churches of Great Brittain and Ireland: In a Letter written and sent hither to that effect.

‘ALTVM SAPERE NOLI’

LONDON, Printed for Richard Wodenothe in Leaden-hall-street, 1654.

Ecclesiarum Magnae Britanniae at (que) Hyberniae Patronis & Antistibus Primariis, Exi­miis Dei servis at (que) Ecclesiae Laborantis in Ger­mania fautoribus Colendissimis: Sit Gratia & Pax à Deo Patre, & Domino nostro Jesu Christo per Spiritûs san­cti Communionem, AMEN.

DIversa Spiritûs Dei dona membris Ecclesiae diversis esse concessa, & sacra ora­cula testantur, & res ipsa loquitur; finem tamen eun­dem Communis Aedificati­onis mutuae (que) utilitatis li­quet Patri luminum, datori omnis doni perfecti, propo­situm esse in omnium dono­rum largitione. Apostolus enim dicit, Unicui (que) datam esse Spiritûs declarationem [...]: & alibi jubemur, Ut quis (que) accepit donum, ità alius in alium illud subministret, ut decet bonos gratiae Dei diversae [...]. Talentum enim quod à Deo singuli accepimus, [Page 2]fidei nostrae commissum est, ut illius dispensatores facti, non illud defodiamus, ut nequam ille servus, in terram; sed ad Domini emolumentum impendamus, ut cum fideli­ [...] [...]jus servis, plura tam Domino quàm nobis ipsis lu­cri [...]acere talenta possimus.

[...] spectant, Illustres, Clarissimi (que) Viri, Reveren­dissimí (que), at (que) Reverendi in Christo Patres & Fratres, ut, cum [...] cer [...] innotuerit inter Eccles [...]as Magnae Britanniae [...]i [...]am Theologiae Practicae, multorum p [...]è Doctorum Ecclesiae [...]strae Ant [...]stitum publicis scri­ptis egregiè exeultum esse, at (que) ad usum Popularem in­signiter accomodatam, at (que) eam solummodò linguae ve­strae Cancellis tanquam reconditum ab exteris Nationi­bus, thesaurum contineri, & asservari, maximám (que) uti­litatem ad omnes Ecclesias Christianas, praesertìm autem Evangelicas redundaturam, si quae vobis in hoc genere peculiaria sunt, publicentur, ità ut ab tis quo (que) legi & intelligi possint, ut (inquam, cùm haec ità se habeant) Il­lustritatibus at (que) Reverentiis Vestris votum nostrum ac desiderium aperiamus, at (que) per sanctae Communionis in Christo vinculum, fraternae (que) libertatis Parrhesiam ro­gemus, vos presertim quotquot inter Ecclesiarum Recto­res, Protectores & Fautores, estis aedificationis Publicae verè studiosi, ne permittatis hoc Talentum tam pretio­sum ulteriùs abscondi & occultari ab Exoticorum mani­bus & oculis, sed velitis pro prudentia vestra, pro ferven­tis erga fraternas Ecclesias Charitatis, ac liberalis stu­diierga Dei gloriam in Evangelii propagatione, pio ze­lo & affectu vestro rationem aliquam inire commodam, quâ Medulla Auctorum in illo genere apud vos extanti­um & eminentium ex omnibus collecta in volumen ali­quod [Page 3]conjiciatur, sive locorum communium, sive Syste­matis Theologiae practicae, quod publici juris sit, & om­nium manibus teri possit linguâ notâ & doctioribus communi. Audivimus pauca quaedam in Belgicum ser­monem esse translata, quae magno usui sunt ill is Ecclesiis & Theologiae studiosis.

Nuper etiam inter nos Germanico idiomate editus li­bellus ex Anglico versus de Praxi Pietatis ità afficit o­mnes Pietatis Cultores, ut indè religioni quae in pura mo­des [...]d (que) veritatis coelestis professione consistit, accessio­nem permagnam fiericonstet. Ideò (que) sperare nobis li­cet, si huic nostro voto accedat per vos favor requisitus, ut fa [...]ilè inter vestrates (quibus ad haec & similia: bene­ficia Ecclesiae suae praestanda pr [...] aliis tranquillitatem in hisee turbis, & facultates concessisse videtur divina cle­mentia) inveniantur aliqui, qui colligendis, transferen­dis, digerendis, atque evulgandis Auctorum praecipuis scriptis & meditationibus practicis non gravatè suas impendant operas, suúm (que) talentum si id suadebitis; un­de futurum confidimus, ut insigne Regnum Dei incre­mentum accipiat, si corpus absolutum talis doctrinae ex­istet ex vestris scriptoribus, in quo tam in Theologia Tyrones studii sui, quàm Ecclesiarum varii Pastores Concionum suarum materiam invenire possint, aedificati­oni multò utiliorem quàm illa est quae hodie in scriptis Polemicis occurrit: ità a studio contentionis ad Chari­tatis non fictae affectus revocari poterunt multorum ani­mi, ex quo tandem futurum sit, ut ad Deum imprimis gloria & gratiarum actio, ad Evangelii professores cum Sanctitatis & Pietatis studio Pax & Concordia, ad Ec­clesias publica adificatio, ad simpliciores pia Eruditio, [Page 4]ad pios & afflictos, solida Spiritûs Consolatio; ad er­rantes & devios, salutaris Conversio; ad securos & car­nales, vivida conscientiae exsuscitatio; ad Hypocritas & obstinatos, clara perversitatis suae convictio; ad o­mnes etiam posteros, major lux veritatis perveniat; & ad illos denique, qui suum in hoc studio Talentum col [...]o­cabunt ad Regni Dei Promotionem, accedat illa vox quon­dam gloriosa & beata à Domino, qui rationem accepti Talenti conferet nobiscum: Bene est, Serve b [...]ne & Fi­delis, in exiguo fuisti fidelis, super multa te constituam: Ingredere in Gaudium Domini tui.

Quod gaudium omnibus iis quibus postulatum hoc no­strum patefiet, & gratum erit, cum omni corporali f [...]eli­citate ex animo vovemus. Valete in Domino Viri Ex­cellentes, atque omni honore nobis colendi. Dabantur Ha­noviae 24 Febr. Anno 1633.

  • Joannes Daniel Wildius, Verbi Divin▪ Minist. & Ecclesiae Ha­novicae Inspector, M.P.
  • Theodorus Leurelius, Ecclesiae Hanovicae Minist.
  • Conradus Ammonius Concionator Aulicus, ibid.
  • Paulus Tossanus, S. Theolog. D. & Senatûs Ecclesiastici in in­feriori Palatinatu Electorali Assessor.
  • Clemens Boecius, Ecclesiae Gallicae Neo-Hanovicae Pastor.
  • Isaacus Boots, Pastor Ecclesiae Flandricae, quae Christo colligi­tur Hanoviae.
  • Matthaus Rowyer, Ecclesiae Gallicae Neo-Han. Pastor
  • M. Philippus Pareus Davidis Filius Illustris Gymnasii Hanovi­ensis Rector & Professor.

Praeter hosce qui Hanoviae huic Epistolae subscripserunt, alii etiam eidem Herbornae, & alibi subscripserunt, in Martio & Aprili, eodem anno 1633, quorum no­mina hîc addita sunt.

  • Petr [...] Streithagen, Sereniss. Regis Bohemiae beatae memoriae Concionator Aulicus.
  • [Page 5]Job. Moriaen, V. Div. quondam apud Ʋbi [...]s Minister, subscripsi Francofurti 23 April. 1633.
  • Philippus Snabelius, Hoingae Solmensis Patriae Pastor.
  • Johan. Conradus Hopfius V.D. Minister in Comitatu Hanovics, in Marchabel Exul Palatinus.
  • Perutile hoc Propositum & commune fratrum Germanorum votum, meâ quoque subscriptione confirmare volui:
  • Ego Henricus Meerbottius P. F. Pastor S [...]reshe [...]mi Ladenburgi­cus, in Elect. Palatinatu.
  • Johan. Irlin, Theol. Doctor, Scholae Herbonensis Rector & Professor, Ecclesiae ejusdem Pastor, & Vicinarum Nasso­vicarum Inspector, M.P.
  • Mr. Casparus Stippius, Ecclesiae Sieginensis Archidiaconus; qui suo & reliquorum fratrum in Comitatu Nass [...]vico Siegenen­si, nomine subscripsit.
  • Johannes Arcularius, Ecclesiae Beilsteinsis Pastor, qui suo & re­liquorum fratrum in Comitatu Nassovico Beilstemensi & Or­zensi subseripsit.
  • Thomas Dorn, Pastor Altenkirchensis nomine Ecclesiarum Co­mitatus Sainensis, M.P.

In English it speaks thus: To the Chief Patrons and Rulers of the Churches of Great Brittain and Ireland, the emi­nent Servants of God, and most respected favour­ers of the distressed Church in Germany: Be Grace and Peace from God the Fa­ther, and our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Communion of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

ALthough it is attested by the holy Ora­cles: and the thing it self doth speak it, that to the severall members of the Church severall Gifts of Gods Spirit are bestowed; yet it is evident that the Father of Lights, the Giver of e­very perfect gift doth in the distribu­tion of all his Gifts propose unto him­self but one and the same end, which is the common edification and mutuall usefulnesse of all un­to each other.. For the Apostle saith, that The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every one to profit withall: and elsewhere we are commanded, As every one hath received the Gifts, even so to minister the same unto one another, as good Stewards of the mani­fold graces of God. For the talent which every one of us hath received of God, is committed to our Trust, that we being made distributers thereof, should not dig it in the ground, as that unprofitable servant did; but employ it to the advantage of our Lord: that with such servants as are faithful unto him, we may gain more Talents both to our Masters use, and to ourselves.

These things, Illustrious and Renowned Gentlemen, most Reverend, and Reverend Fathers, and Brethren in Christ, are alledged; to the end we may acquaint you with our wish­es and desires, that seeing we are certainly informed, that in the Churches of Great Brittain, the doctrine of Practicall Divinity by the publick Writings of many godly wise Mini­sters of your Churches, is brought to a great perfection, and that it is excellently fitted for the use of the Common Peo­ple, but yet kept up as a hidden treasure from the eyes of forreign Nations within the bounds of your own language alone, and that a very great benefit would accrew unto all Christian Churches, and chiefly to those that professe the purity of the Gospel, if so be those things which are pecu­liar unto you, were published, so as by them they might also be read and understood: seeing (we say) these things are so; our purpose is to acquaint your Honours and Worships with our wishes and desires; and by the bond of holy communi­on in Christ; and with that confidence of speech which our Brotherly freedom doth suggest; to intreat (you chiefly, who being Rulers, Protectors and Favourers of the Churches, are truly desirous to edifie the Publick) that you would not suf­fer so precious a Talent to be hid and concealed any longer from the hands and eyes of forreigners: but that you would according to the pious zeal and affection of fervent Charity, which you have towards Brother-churches: and the bounti­ful care which you have for the glory of God in the Propa­gation of the Gospel take some convenient course by which the marrow of those Authours, which in that kinde are ex­tant amongst you, and are of chief note; may be gathered out of all into one Volume, either of Common Places, or of a Body of Practical Divinity: which may be published and made use of by all in a tongue known and common to the Learned.

We have heard that some few things have been transla­ted into the Low Dutch Language; which are of great use unto those Churches, and their Scholars of Divinity.

Of late also there is a little Book of the Practice of Piety, translated out of the English into our Germane tongue; [Page 8]which hath taken so much with many godly souls; that we finde thereby wrought in them, a very great growth of that Religious disposition, which doth consist in a pure and modest Profession of Heavenly Truth: for which cause (we hope) that if our wishes may obtein by your means the favour which is desired, that some of your men (to whom God seemeth mercifully to have given, in the midst of these troubles both quietness, and means to confer these and such like benefits unto his Church) will easily be found, who without difficulty will at your Perswasion, bestow their pains and their Talents to collect, to translate, to digest, and to publish the chief Practical Writings and Meditations of your Authours. Whence we are confident this will come to pass, that the Kingdom of God will receive a notable enlarge­ment, if a Compleat Body of such Doctrine out of your Writers were put forth; wherein as well the young Scholars of Divinity for their studies: as many Pastors of the Chur­ches for their Sermons, might finde matter farre more useful unto edification, then that is, which now a dayes is met with­all in Controversal Writings: So that by this means, the mindes of many men may be drawn back from the endevours of strife, unto the affections of unfeigned Charity; whence afterwards this will follow; that unto God in the first place Glory and Thanksgiving will redound; and then unto the Professors of the Gospel, with the care of Holinesse and Pie­ty, Peace and Concord; to the Churches, publick edification; to the simpler sort, Pious learning; to the Godly and afflicted, sound spiritual comfort; to the erring and such as go astray, saving Conversion; to such as are secure and carnal, a lively wakening of their conscience; to the Hypocrites and stubborn sinners, a cleer discovery of their Pervesnesse; and to all the Generations to come, a greater light of Truth will be ad­vanced; and lastly, unto those that shall bestow their Talent towards this Endeavour, for the Advancement of Gods Kingdom: when he shall call us to an account of the Talent, which we have received from him; that glorious and blessed voice shall then come from the Lord unto them: Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful in a few [Page 9]things, I will make thee Ruler over many things, enter into the joy of thy Lord: which joy we wish from our heart, together with all temporal happiness; to all those, to whom this our Request shall be made known; and with whom it shall finde acceptance.

Farewel in the Lord Excellent Gentlemen, whom with all re­spect we are bound to worship. Given at Hanaw 24 Febr. 1633. By

  • John Daniel Wildius Minister of Gods Word, and Inspector of the Churches of Hanaw. M.P.
  • Theodorus Leurelius, Preacher of the Church of Hanaw.
  • Conradus Amonius, Preacher to the Court in the same place.
  • Paulus Tossanus, Doctor of Divinity, and Assessor of the Ecclesiastical Senate in the lower Electoral Palatinate.
  • Clemens Boecius, Pastor of the French Church in New Hanaw.
  • Isaacus Boots, Pastor of the Flanders Church, which is gathered unto Christ in Hanaw.
  • Matthew Rowyer, Pastor of the French Church at New Hanaw.
  • Mr. Philip Pareus son to David, Rector and Professor of the famous Colledge of Hanaw.

At Herborne in March and elsewhere in April, in the same yeer 1633, the same suit was renewed by these:

  • Petrus Streithagen, Preacher to the Court of the most Illustrious King of Bo­hemia, of blessed memory.
  • John Moriaen, formerly Preacher of Gods Word amongst those of Collen. I did under-write this at Francfortt 23 April 1633.
  • Philip Snabelius of Hoing in the County of Solms, Preacher to his native Church.
  • John Conradus Hopfius, Minister of the Word of God in the County of Ha­naw in Merchabel, an exiled Palatine.
  • I Henry Meerbottius, for the present time Pastor of Schesheim Ladenburg in the Electoral Palatinate: am willing to confirm also with my Subscription, this most profitable intention and common wish of our Brethren of Germany.
  • John Irlin, Doctor of Divinity, Rector and Professor of the School of Her­born, Pastor of the Church of the same place, and Inspector of the neigh­bouring Churches of Nassaw. M.P.
  • Mr. Casparus Stippius, Archdeacon of the Church of Siegen, who subscribed in his own name, and in the name of the rest of his Brethren, in the Coun­ty of Siegen in Nassaw.
  • John Arcularius Pastor of the Church of Beilstein, who subscribed in his own name, and in the name of the rest of his Brethren, in the Counties of Beil­stein and Orzen in Nassaw.
  • Thomas Dorn, Pastor of Altenkirck, in the name of the Churches of the County of Sainen. M. P.

THis Letter doth speak sufficiently for it self, and the persons who did▪ write it were in these parts none of the least considerable in these times; nor is their number small, if you take notice of the Churches in whose names the Subscriptions are made; and although the time since this Letter was sent, may seem somewhat long, yet because that which hitherto could be done to obtein their desire hath not bin neglected, though by several invincible impediments obstructed, because the expectation of obteining it is not vanished, but at this time raised, and because such a Suit as this can never be out of date till it be fulfilled, nay, although the first Petitioners should all be dead, it ought not the less conscionably to be regarded by those to whom it is made; because it doth not at all concern any temporal, or so much the particular conveniency of those that make it, as the spiritual edification, and general benefit of all the Churches of God, and of the ages to come in the Gospel: I say because of all these considerations; and more that might be ad­ded; therefore I am willing to second their request, as many wayes I am bound to do: and to that effect that the accomplish­ment of their desire may be obteined with more readiness and fa­cility, I have added hereunto a Summary Platform of the heads of such a Body of Divinity as they sue for, which may give the Undertakers some occasion to think further upon the matter, which (I hope) God will bless in their hand; whereunto the en­deavours and prayers shall not be wanting, of their

Humble Servant in Christ, John Dury.

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