THE NECESSITY Of Keeping our Parish-Churches, ARGUED From the Sin and Danger of the Schisms in the Church of Corinth, and of the present Separations.


By Francis Fullwood. D. D.

Nunc quoque non sum scribere ausus vobis, de imminentibus Ecclesiae periculis, & gravi [...] [...] mate quod timemus, ac plurimis quae sustine­mus incommodis. S. Bernard. in Ep. 118.
Cùm ob rem levem Schisma fit, manifesta odij nota est. Cameron. de Schis.

London, Printed by E. T. and R. H. for James Collins at the Kings Armes in Ludgate-street, 1672.


NOtwithstanding the many Modern Epistolar Flouts at such kind of Apologies for Printing, give me leave to say, that many Considerable Persons have earnestly de­sired that this Sermon should be publick. I was not much provoked to hear, that Some of my Auditors should say, there was not a word of Edification in it; for as, I hope, they were none of the wisest; so, I know, it intended to prevent destruction. We are called to labour under this odds: men may reject the means without Gods grace, we may not expect the End without Gods blessing.

I fear some of my Friends question my prudence; and are troubled that I appear so earnest in the point. But I am not yet satisfied, that it is Prudence in the Pastor not to be in earnest, when the Flock is in Hazard. I believe I never had more plain Truth on my side, or greater Cause to [Page] deliver it: when we see the Nerves of our Church resolved, and the whole body and the very Foundations shake: when mis­chief is intended to our Fathers and Mo­ther and all our Brethren round about us: When, not only our Neighbours, but even Gods house is in flames, is this a time for a prudent man to keep silence? To what end are we placed upon the Tower as Watchmen, if we dare not say; What of the Night?

I hope, upon serious deliberation, I have set my shoulder to the Parochial constitu­tion of the Church of England: if that falls, I can but fall with it: and in earnest, I foresee not, where I can stand safe, with­out it; neither care I much to be informed in that point: duty only is true security. He that said follow me; hath this said of him, the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.


1 Cor. 11. 22.‘What! have you not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise you the Church of God?’

IT was truly observed, that the late Conventicles Ebb'd and Flow'd, with their hopes of Mercy and fears of Justice; in the Execution, and Suspension of the Execution of the penal Laws; for, accordingly, upon the securi­ty of impunity, we are now overflown beyond all bounds of Sober Moderation and Just Li­berty.

And, who can any longer forbear? who, I say, that hath any sense of Religion can forbear, to cry out; What an Horrible thing is committed in the Land? unless other parts are wiser than ours.

'Tis confest the observation is to our Reproach, and ought to be concealed: but that is impos­sible: and perhaps, the Cure too is beyond our power: yet, I hope, none can think they have cause to be offended, if we use our liberty, so far only, as to detect and bewail the Sin and Mis­cheif [Page 2] of this most monstrous licentiousness. My Complaint is this.

That, in a City of so excellent Government, and whose Governours are singular Examples in our publick Worship, whereas, about thirty or fourty persons did use to meet together, private­ly, before the late Declaration; now, as them­selves doe glory (though it's thought, they some­times overlash a little) there are so many hun­dreds, that doe it in the face of the Sun: and these, generally, such, as Communicated with us in our Parish-Churces, immediately before the Tolera­tion.

These are they that now separate themselves; de­fie our Communion; set up their Altar against ours; and hold their new Assembles, just at the same hour with our Parochial; as if they designed the ruine of our Churches by the directest op­position imaginable: and all this, under colour of his Majesties gracious Declaration; though that as directly declareth the Fstablishment of the Church of England.

But letit be well considered; is there one word in that Declaration to encourage Such to for­sake us, as it found in Communion with us? It intends indeed to gratifie persons of Tender Con­sciences; that is, those that could not, as them­selves thought, joyn with us in our publick wor­ship without sin: but what part of it will they lay claim to that both Could and Did? If such do separate, and yet have any Consciences, they seem not to be very tender ones that can serve at opposite Altars: and in so short a time, upon the only single Temptation of Liberty, can [Page 3] so easily change their Guides, their Churches, their places of Assembling, and manner of wor­ship.

For thus, they do not only disturb, desert, and divide, but even despise the Church of God. An Argument, which the great Apostle (what e­ver we think) thought sufficient, not only to rebuke but suppress the Divisions and Schismes in the Church of Corinth; as appears by the Smart exprobration in the Text. What! have you not Houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the Church of God?

Let us weigh both the Indictment and the Evidence. The Indictment, in general, lieth in the Text: they despised the Church of God. The Evidence is found in the preceding verses 18, 19, 20, 21. and is twofold. For they did so, both by their Schism and prophaneness.

I hear, saith he, there are divisions among you; 'tis Schismes in the Margent, according to the Greek: [...]. and by the word [Heresies] in the next verse, he intends nothing else, by the consent of all Exposi­tors. And by their intemperance, which he calleth drunkeness, v. 21. he argueth their prophaneness: and by both evinceth their despising the Church of God in the Text.

Hence my Work is,

  • 1. To lay before you the nature of Schism.
  • 2. To shew you, that the present separation is such.
  • 3. That thus the Church of God is despised; especially when the consideration of prophaneness is added thereunto.

Now of these things, I beseech you of your Clemency, to hear me a few words: which I have rather chosen to deliver at such a time as this; when, it is presumed, there are many from se­veral parts of the Country, equally concerned in the occasion, assembled to hear me. For the choise of this subject, with a little patience, you will perceive, the sin and danger of the present Schism is too plain a Reason. And for my in­couragement, in labouring to stay this plague, and the farther eating of this sore Cancer, I am sure I follow very great Examples.

What do the Apostles; what the most Emi­nent Fathers; what all our solid Modern Di­vines, oppose themselves against, upon all occa­sions, with more zeal and vehemence of spirit, than against Causers of division and Schism in the Church? Yea herein, not only our own Pastors of the Church of England, but the very Noncon­formists, (which were easy to manifest by the writings of the Puritans against the Brownists heretofore, and more lately of the Presbyterians against the Independents, and other Sectaries,) have led me the way.

So that, if I prove that thing to be Schism which I speak against; and that Schism such, as is of fearful consequence to the Church of God; I doubt not of your kindness to pardon me, if I shall use that boldness in my way of Arguing, that in other Cases might not so well become me, in so great, so grave, so Learned and so Honourable an Audience. And with this Confidence I shall now enter the lists.

Of Schism in general, and the Application of it to the pre­sent separation.

We are to lay our foundation in the right notion of Schism: to that end, we shall shew you first the nature of schism in general; and then the nature of that schism of which the Co­rinthians were guilty: still making applicati­on. to the present Separation as we pass a­long.

For the first, that we may understand what Schism in general is, we must know that it is agreed by all that have formerly written about it, that the nature of it lies in practice; and not in opinion, farther than the opinion concerns the practice. Indeed the words, Heresie and Schism, sound the same Accommoda­tum est ad sig­nif. separatio­n [...]m qua quis separat ab ec­clesiâ. Isodor. 8. Etym. cap. 3. thing in the Text, and some other places of ho­ly Scripture; but after ages found reason to di­stinguish them; by confining Heresie to error in Faith, and schism to error in practice: and that practice peculiarly such, as is a breach of unity in the Church (as S. Austine and S. Hierom teach) what ever our opinions otherwise be.

Schisma, à Scissurâ vocatur, schism is a rent: therefore the Holy Scriptures express it, by caus­ing divisions; separating our selves; forsak­ing the Assemblies; heaping up teachers to our selves; and drawing Disciples after us, and the like.

Ignatius and S. Cyprian soon after define schism Cyprian Epist. ad Pupuen. Tertul. adv. Haer. lib. 1. c. 5. Irenae. lib. 4. c. 43. adv. Haer. Chrysost. in Ep. ad Eph. Hom. 2. by a renouncing, or not obeying or submitting to our lawful Guides, Bishops and Presbyters. And with Tertullian, S. Austin, S. Jerom, and the rest of the Fathers, schism is a breach of Ʋnity, by a Separation from the Church, and errecting Altar against Altar.

But when things of this nature had past a more through examination; it was at length concluded, that there might happen to be a just cause of separating from a true Church: and hence schism came to a more accurate and stated definition: and now it seems to be agreed on by all, at least Protestants, That Schism is an unlaw­ful Definition of schism. and unwarrantable or causeless rending or divi­ding the Church of God.

Schism is dividing the Church; therefore such as are said to be guilty of it, are supposed to be, or Ex communi sensu supponit, eum, qui sepa­ratur, fuisse unitum; ut Scissura, &c. Lud. d. la cand. in Tertul. bound to be members of the Church thus divided. Again 'tis an unlawful, unwarrantable and causless dividing; therefore it must be either without just ground; or, at least, without due counsel and advice, if the cause be just. According to Cameron and others; Schisma est secessio ab Ec­clesia, vel injusta vel temeraria: schism is ei­ther an unjust or a rash separation from the Church.

Once more; It is also generally agreed, That there can be no just cause of separation from a true Church, while we may lawfully Communi­cate with it; that is, while we may do so with­out sinning. So that schism is a refusing to com­municate with such a Church. It is as weakly, as needlesly said of some, that a not having [Page 7] actual communion with a particular Church is not schism. Who ever dream'd it was? yet a re­fusing to Communicate, or, as Ames saith well, a Schisma in tantum separa [...] ab Ecclesia in quantum re­nuntiat Com­munioni. Am. renouncing Communion with any Church, espe­cially our own, while we may continue it without sinning, this, I say, is schism; and indeed general­ly acknowledged to be so; in that all parties concern'd in the controversie, put it to this sole issue; whether the conditions of Commu­nion be lawful; that is, whether we may Com­municate without sin. And indeed as nothing is better than unity but duty; so nothing is worse than division or breach of unity, especi­ally in the Church of God, but sin.

Schism then is such unlawful breach of unity; and only a breach of charity as an effect of it. And all causeless separation is such unlawful breach both of unity and Charity: and such se­paration is causeless, when we may Communi­cate without sin: and consequently, is schism beyond all exception.

As there is little difference about the definiti­on Distinctions of schism. of schism; so less about the distinctions or modes of it. We every where find it said to be Partial, when we causelesly refuse to Communi­cate with a true Church in some ordinances on­ly: Total, when in all. It is negative, when we simply separate: positive and formal, when the separated gather new Churches, and set up Altar against Altar.

And now we have the foundation laid, not on the narrow principles of a party, but in its full latitude, according to the Scriptures and the Church of God. And I dare even challenge [Page 8] you to shew me one good Authour of any per­swasion, that hath written purposely of this point, that contradicts me in any one particular of the premises. I am sure, the worst of the separatists doe not: for that they generally excuse their se­paration, by this plea; that our Churches are null: or they cannot joyn with us without sin.

The Application.

Give me leave then so far to apply this Do­ctrine of schism, to the present practice: and now judge righteously. Is not the present gene­ral separation from our Churches, in the language of the Scripture, a causing divisions; a separat­ing themselves; a forsaking our Assemblies; a going out from us; a heaping up new Teachers; and a drawing Disciples after them?

Do they not, in the words of the Fathers, renounce our Bishops and Presbyters; break the unity of the Church; separate from it; and set up Altar against Altar?

Do they not doe this, rashly without due advice; unjustly without sufficient ground? Do they not thus rashly and unjustly separate from a true Church, not only in part but wholly? not only negatively but positively, and run upon formal schism, in the Reformed and Presby­terian Dialect, by renouncing our Communion, and gathering new Churches, under new Mini­sters, government and manner of worship? Who can deny it? who dare defend it?

Object. Keek close to the Argument, and there are but two things that can possibly be objected: either that they are not, and ought not to be members of our Churches: or, that they cannot continue so without sin.

Answ. But neither of these can be bended to the pre­sent case: for we speak, especially, of such as were Baptized; and have, for many years together, worshipped God, in their own persons, in the Temples with us: and thus have done as much to the making themselves members of our Pa­rishs-Churches, as the very Independents re­quire.

Besides, it ought to be considered seriously, that they stand obliged to worship God with us by the laws of Order and Cohabitation: by the civil and Ecclesiastical laws of the Church and Kingdom: which, do what they can, will reach and bind their Consciences, both by virtue of the natural laws of Government, and the positive laws of Scripture. Both which have Divine Authority sufficient to exact your obedience to your Rulers in all lawful things.

And that, to worship God with us in the Temple, is a lawful thing; I appeal to your own present judgment, if it agree with your late practice. However, I am sure, I have the gene­ral consent of the Reformed Churches, and of the Old Nonconformists, Puritans, and Presbyterians, against both your judgment and practice, if they be indeed both changed.

Object. I know it is said, they do not absolutely de­ny our Communion; but they think they may serve God better in their gathered Churches. This is the refuge of their cunning men.

Answer. But can they be in earnest? Our Communion then must be either corrupt or defective. De­fective, you cannot say; for we have all the same Ordinances that you have, and a great many good Prayers that you have not.

Are we corrupt then? Shew, wherein: there is nothing in our lay-Communion that you use to scruple, but Kneeling at the Sacrament. As for the Surplice and the Cross, these belong to the Pastor's Office: And shall not he have liberty to doe his duty, as well as you to neglect yours? Besides, if you should imagine, that you are concern'd about the Application of the Sign of the Cross to your Children; I need not tell you of wayes to avoid it, without gathering Churches.

If these things be so, answer me like Christi­ans. You would Separate that you may have pure Ordinances, i. e. that you may receive the Communion, sitting.

And is it, indeed, all come to this? And will this bear you out in a Total Separation, and tear­ing our Churches in pieces, as you do? You can­not think it.

But, what ever is amiss with us, your late pra­ctice and this very Objection granteth, that you believe it lawful to joyn in our Worship; and if so, nothing can excuse your Separation from [Page 11] Schism, according to the Doctrine of Ames, and indeed in the Judgment of all men but your selves; if not very lately, of your selves too.

Besides, to Separate, that you may serve God Inter nos qui­bus idem Chri­stus, una Reli­gio, eadem Sa­cramenta, ni­hil in Christia­na observatio­ne diversum. Donat. Aug. To. 7. p. 46. m. better, is too like the pretence of all former Schismaticks, that stand condemn'd in the Histo­ries of the Church. The Novatians, Audeans, Donatists; the Soberer part of our own Sepa­ratists and Independents, all these pretended for Reformation and purer Worship and Discipline; which, with you, is to serve God better.

Lastly, pardon me, if I warn you of some dan­ger in this Principle; if left or trusted in their hands that are Cunning, and know how to use it with Advantage. It laies the Reins of Govern­ment upon the Peoples Neck, and impels them to reform without their Rulers; and consequent­ly, is plainly inconsistent with the Reason and order of all good Polity; and opens a Gap for Division and Confusion in the Church (how ever it fares with the State) while every one is hurried by his own Wild Fancy, set on fire by this Principle.

Yea, it carries also in it the Ruine of the Se­parated Churches themselves: It hath been for­merly observed to ferment and work strangely in them, and may do the like again. It hath not been content to pill off the first black or browner Skin of the Onion; but it would have it whiter and whiter; and still hath pilled and pilled, one after another, till nothing has been left (except tears in the eyes of the beholders) but Skin and Husks; thought fit only to be [Page 12] trodden under foot by Atheistical Swine; while the Reformers themselves are prepared to be torn in pieces by Doggs; as the Apostle stiles some Ravenous Antichristian Doctors.

2. The Point hath yet force to defeat another great Argument for Separation; for if our peo­ple cannot leave us without Sin and Schism; how vainly it is said, We must preach; we may not preach in the Temples; we cannot preach otherwhere with­out Auditours; we can have no Auditours but out of the Parochial Congregations; therefore we must gather Churches out of them.

One would think the Argument went better thus: had we a People of our own, there were a necessity of our preaching; but seeing we have none, there is no such necessity; where there is no opportunity, there is no duty, saith Mr. Baxter: The Argument as it is, is in plain English, no bet­ter than this; We must provide for our Families; we cannot doe this except we steal from our Neigh­bour; therefore we must steal.

It seems ridiculous to plead an interest in, or Pastoral Relation to the people you had ten years agon; founded in the Independent Notion of the peoples Consent. Where do you find one word in Scripture, making the peoples Consent neces­sary to a particular Pastors Call, or his relation to them? Besides, in a Christian Common­wealth, is there nothing required to give such re­lation but the peoples Consent, if that be so? Is the Consent of the Magistrate expressed in his Laws respectively, nothing in this matter? Is the Consent of the Overseers in the Church, that give us Institution nothing? It seems, beyond all [Page 13] doubt, that the Laws of the Church where we live, must be the measure and standard of our spiritual Title, as well as the Laws of the Land, of our Temporal. And if the King and the Bi­shop have a hand in our Introduction and Ejecti­on, we cannot be restored without them.

Besides, the remedy is too too short, were it good: Have not the people generally consent­ed to other Pastors? How few of the Ejected Ministers do indeed apply themselves to their Antient Flocks, as they should do by this Rule? Yea, they put their Sickle, every where, into o­thers mens Harvest, without all shadow of this poor pretense.

Give me leave to be plain; This pretended ne­cessity of preaching and drawing away our people from us, the real necessity of peace and order condemns; the necessity of obedience to the Laws condemns; necessity of obedience to God's word, requiring obedience to those Laws, condemns: Yea, the necessity of keeping your Promises and Oaths, if you were ordained by Bishops, flatly condemns.

Lastly, that we must preach, though inhibited by Law, and Law executed, is a principle con­demn'd by the reason and practice of all Churches; yea of all kind of Nonconformists; the late Presbyterians, the old Puritans, and the very Independents themselves in New-England; as might easily be made to appear. And if our Brethren concern'd, examine their own late Principles, and the little reason they had to for­sake them, I fear they will hardly escape Self-condemnation: But I desire it may be heeded, [Page 14] that I here speak not of the point of Liberty, but of Law and Conscience.

Of the Schism charged upon the Co­rinthians; particularly, in their preferring some Pastors to the sleighting of others.

YOu have heard what Schism, in general, is; and how notoriously the present Separation is guilty of it. Let us now consider the parti­cular Schisms in the Church of Corinth, and the agreeableness of ours with these.

The Corinthians seem to be charged with a threefold Schism. 1. In preferring some Teachers to the sleighting of others. 2. Refusing to ob­serve the lawful Customs of their own Church. 3. Dividing in the Communion of it.

The first we find, 1 Cor. 1. 10. Now I beseech you brethren, let there be no Divisions (or Schisms Gr.) among you; it hath been declared to me that there are contentions among you, vers. 11.

Now, what were these Schisms and Contenti­ons? Why, every one saith, I am of Paul, I of A­pollo, I of Cephas, and I of Christ; one not liking to hear any but solid Paul; another, any, but zealous Peter; a third, any, but eloquent Apol­los; and a fourth would hear none, but wait for the Inspirations of Christ himself.

Thus, we see we may be guilty of Schism, not [Page 15] only by refusing all Ministeries; but by having Itching ears, and heaping up Teachers to our selves; and by a partial preferring some kind of Teachers to the sleighting of others with pretenses of Edi­fying better by them.

This too palpably argues a renouncing and disobedience of our own Pastors, that notorious Donatist. In Causa Cecilia­ni Episcopi, cui crimina ob­jecerunt,—s [...] ab Ecclesiâ Catho­licâ diviserunt. Aug. To. 2. Ept. 50. Ecclesia propter quemlibet ho­minem relin­quere non deb [...] ­mus, ibid. Epis. ad Pup [...] anum: vid. et­jam Epi. 1. ad Cornelium. Schism branded by the most eminent Fathers in the Primitive Ages of the Church, as before was noted; and Mr. Hales tells us, that the peo­ples partial preference of some Bishops before o­thers, hath been the general cause of Schism in most Ages; yea, he adds, that he that reads St. Cyprian, would imagine that that Father thought, there was no other Schism but this.

Hear him in one place for the rest; unde enim Schismata, &c. whence do Schisms and Heresies arise? but when the Bishop who is one, and go­verns the Church, is contemn'd by the proud presumption of certain persons; and the Man that is honoured, Dignatione Dei, Indignis homi­nibus Judicatur, is judged by unworthy men.

Now, are not our New Churches Schismatical enough for this Cause also? Is it not respect of Per­sons that draws our people from us, to hear their New or Old Teachers?

The Preachers say, indeed, they must take care of their own old Flocks; and the people say, they must hear their old Ministers.

But, besides what we have said to this already, we must say, the cheat is too manifest: For, how few of their old Ministers are left, that will preach unto them? Many are dead; many con­form; and some are honest and modest, and like [Page 16] not to be Independents and gather Churches: And very few of these few, that are left, and do take this liberty, are to be found near their old places; except they are such, as were ejected out of the best of our Towns.

But the Non-Conformists are godly, zealous and painful Preachers: And what is this but to inti­mate that we are not so, though, thanks be to God, you cannot say it; especially in the Pari­shes, where your Godly Preachers would gather their Churches.

But, my brethren, is not this to say, I am of Paul, &c. Deceive not your selves, this is not your vertue, or your strength, or spiritualness above others; but indeed your Sin and Schism, your weakness, and your flesh.

The Apostle saw (though you cannot,) envy­ing, strife and faction in these, and such like pre­tences. I write unto you, saith he, not as unto spiritual, but as carnal and Babes; for ye are yet carnal: For whereas there is envying and strife and Divisions or Factions among you, are ye not carnal and walk as men? And all this he proves, after this manner; for while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollo; are ye not carnal? 1 Cor. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Yet you may not escape thus: Your practice hath a double Aggravation, beyond theirs.

1. The Preachers in Corinth were all of one kind of Ordination, and Pastors of the same Church; and did not at all countenance this par­tial respect of their own gifts, but rather reprove it; as you have heard the Apostle, who was one of them: So that there was no Schism or diffe­rence [Page 17] among the Pastors; and St. Hierom's great In. cap. 3. ad Titum. Cause of Schism was wanting; who tells us, that it Separates from the Church propter Episcopalem dissensionem.

But you Separate from us, and adhere to such as are no allowed Pastors of our Church, either by Presentation, Institution, Induction, or, for the most part of them, Ordination it self; and we have cause to fear, that our Differences are made not only by the people, but chiefly by the Teachers.

Secondly, Paul, Apollo and Cephas, as they were Ministers of the same Church, and at unity among themselves, so they had all the same Mode of Worship, the same Government and Discipline, as well as Doctrine.

But now, as you forsake your true Pastors, so you make new Churches of another Ministry, Worship and Government, and quite of another Constitution; and where is your Sobriety to run thus upon a Total Separation from us? What think ye, are ye not carnal and walk as men in the Apostles Logick? Yea, I say, ye are children, and driven of the wind and tossed.

The Second Sort of Schism, viz. sleighting lawful Usages.

THese Corinthians were further blamed with a sleighting the Customs of the Church; for the Apostle, having in the beginning of this Chapter, minded them of the Decency of some [Page 18] particular Circumstances of Worship; he at length enforceth their observance by an Argu­ment from Custom in the Churches of God, v. 17.

But perhaps, though this be a fault, some may think it not always so great a fault, as to be call­ed Schism; especially when men keep their Church.

Yet it may not be amiss to observe that Beza placeth the nature of Schism in this very thing; a leaving the Church for the sake of some ex­ternal Rites.

And I see not how our new Churches can be excused in this point: For do they not take of­fence at our Rites and Ceremonies? Do they not plead this offence, and this only or chiefly, for their Separation? Though our Rites are not only Rites of Custom, but of positive Laws too: Though our Rites are such as the Communion of the people is little concerned in: Yea, though they are such also, as all former Non-Conformists stiffly contend, none ought to Separate from our Churches for; and much less to gather them­selves into new Churches; as it is at this day, when, you know, you are indulged to omit them without penalty or Separation.

The last Charge of Schism in Co­rinth, a dividing at the Commu­nion, in the Text.

LAstly, these Corinthians were guilty of Schism also by their Divisions in their Communions; reproved in the Text; explained in the Verse be­fore it; In eating, every one taketh before other his own Supper; and one is Hungry and another is Drunken, i. e. saith Calvin, they drank too freely and merrily at their feasts joyned with the Lords Supper; wherein, also, the Rich excluded the Poor, and Factiously denied them to Communi­cate with them; and after the Rich had done, the Poor were suffered to eat together, only of what the Rich had left: Thus, they Divided in their Love-feasts, as most consent; but Pareus thinks also, in the Lords-Supper it self.

Thus Ʋnity was broken; and that's Schism: Thus, saith Grotius, it happen'd in their Times, which is faln out much more in ours, that the thing instituted for the incorporating and unit­ing of Christians, in vexillum Schismatis vertitur; is made the occasion of Division and Schism.

This kind of Schism, is too easily applicable to our present Separation, which cannot escape alike, yea a far worse Accusation: For do not our brethren avoyd Communion with us especi­ally in the Eucharist? Hath not this Communi­on been the only matter of their Division, when they so long joyned with us in all things else? None can deny it.

But, their Schism is now commenced much higher, by the following Circumstances.

1. The Corinthians divided only in one Ordi­nance with partial Schism; our brethren, in all, with total Separation.

2. The Corinthians held their divided Com­munions in the same Publique Place; our brethren Ver. 18. & 20. leave our Publique Churches, and have Private Houses for Publique Worship.

3. Their divided Communions were successive; and not at the same time; but some before, some after other, v. 21. but our brethren set their new Verse 21. Altars directly against ours in point of time; in plain opposition.

4. The Corinthians communicated with the same Pastors, in the same Modes of Worship and Government; yet for dividing among themselves were Schismaticks; and who can excuse those that renounce their Pastors, and heap up new ones, of another Ordination, to serve another Al­tar, under another Mode of Worship, Govern­ment and Discipline?

The Sum is; the Corinthians were Schisma­ticks for dividing only in one point: But our bre­thren divide from us in all things; in our Pastors, Temples, Assemblies, Worship and Government: Yea, they have new Pastors, Places, Assemblies, and all things else, concurring both to Negative, and Positive, and Total Separation; and if this be not Schism, in the Rankest sence imaginable, say, what is.

Of the Contempt which falls upon Church, as a Publique Place of Worship, by Schism.

YOu have heard the first Evidence, viz. Schism; but because your patience would fail me to speak of the Second, viz. Prophaneness (though doubtless we have too much reason for that also) I shall employ the time remaining, in lamenting the Contempt, which necessarily falls upon the Church of God, by Schism and Sepa­ration; beseeching you, at last, for Pitie's sake, to have no hand in it.

Despise ye the Church of God? Whether we un­derstand the Locus or the Coetus, the Place or the Assembly, such as Separate shew plainly, that they despise the Church of God.

First, they despise the Publique Place of our God's usual Worship; as the Synogogue is pro­perly the Meeting of the People, and improper­ly the Place in which they meet; so the name Church, saith Grotius, hath both Significations; but here, as he conceives, and is plain enough in Vid. ver. 20. with 22. the Context, we are especially to understand the Place: For so early it seems the Church had Places peculiarly devoted to divine Service; and Eusebius observes, it was evidently so in Di­oclesians time.

These Churches or Temples, were then di­stinguisht from their Private Houses, by their pro­per uses; these were to eat and to drink in, [Have [Page 22] you not houses to eat and to drink in?] and for Civil Conversation; but the Church for divine things; Prayers, Doctrine, Sacraments, the Pub­lique Exercises of Piety and Religious Worship; therefore called, as in the Text, the Churches of God. Despise you the Church of God?

Not that divine Worship is to be wholly shut out of our Private Houses: Yet it ought to be such as agrees with the Nature of them, viz. Family-Worship. Publique Worship in Private Houses, when we may have Publique, hath been ever a Solecism in Religion: So we must also eat and drink in the Church; yet, in such wise, as a­grees with the Place; not after a common and carnal manner, as these Corinthians did; but in Christian Communion, after our Lords Institution, as the Apostle commands.

Now, by Schism, this Church or Publique Place of God's Worship was despised among them; thereby, they made it as their own hou­ses; they gave it nothing of its due Reverence; they despised the Worship of it, and the God of it, by turning it into a Den of Thieves, stealing from God and the Poor; and a Sty of Swine, by their Sensuality and Luxury; a House of Pride and Faction, of Envy and Division; which ought to have been a House of Prayer and Piety, a House of Purity and Unity, in the Communion of Saints.

Did they thus despise God's House, and do Applicat. not we, much more? P. Martyr complains of his Times; now the Temples lie open all the day long, for walking, news, and all sort of prophane business; [Page 23] and minds us of our Saviours whipping the Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple; and it cannot but seem strange to us, that such, especially, as de­spise the Temple in its holy uses, should yet thus prophane it.

But, this is not the Contempt, I chiefly bewail; for while men forsake this Publique House, and build others for Divine Service; can they more shamefully despise it? While they forsake it, e­specially upon such Grounds, as they imagine should carry away all others, as well as them­selves; can they take a more effectual course to render it contemptible? If after these cross Ex­amples, others should be tempted to do so wick­edly, what would become of our Temples?

They may stand a while indeed as forlorn and neglected Monuments of our Irreligion and A­theism; but, at length, must fall, and the Magni­ficence of England fall with them, to the impa­rallel'd reproach of our Church and Nation; they may serve a while, for meaner Offices than our own Houses, as some of them lately did, but too soon we may have cause to lament with the Prophet,

Lift up thy feet to the perpetual desolations; even all that the Enemy hath done wickedly in the San­ctuary: they have defiled by casting down the Dwelling place of thy Name to the ground; they said in their hearts, let us destroy them together; they have burnt up all the Synagogues of God in the Land: O God, how long shall the Adversary re­proach? Psal. 74. 2. to 11.

Yea, it is not an Enemy that reproacheth us; then we could have born it. We took sweet counsel Psa. 55. 12. 14. [Page 24] together, and (lately) walked to the House of God in Company.

I know you will say, that our brethren intend no such thing; but this is, plainly, the intention of their Actions, if not of their minds, which ought chiefly to be observed, and without which the intention of their minds is insignificant.

The Contempt of the Assemblies by Separation.

SEcondly, suppose by the Church of God we understand the Coetus or Assembly of Chri­stians; how are these despised, while you treat them as unworthy of your Company? while you reject our Pastors, our Members, our Worship and Ordinances, as well as our Temples?

What can be the Intention of your Separati­on, but to reflect upon us as too too corrupt; and to censure us as Assemblies of Sinners and Publicans, though you heed not who are the Pha­risees; and plainly to expose our Bishops, Pastors, Government and Worship to Publique Scorn and highest Contempt; and the Church of England, and our Parochial Congregations, to the cer­tainest Method of Reproach and Ruine; should others be perswaded to deal so spitefully with us as your selves?

I say, this way of Separation, as it immediate­ly plucks up our Antient Land-marks, and dis­solves our Parochial Constitution; so, it leads directly to the tearing our Prayer-book again; [Page 25] the trampling, first, upon our Government, next upon our Governours; and, if wiser men than I am, have any skill at ghessing, a betraying our Church, and the Reformation of it to Forraign Invasion and Usurpation; the barbarous Capti­vity of spiritual Egypt and Sodom; which God avert.

If not, then this must be for a Lamentation: How doth the City sit solitary that was full of peo­ple? I am. 1. How is she become as a Widow? All her Friends have dealt treacherously with her; they are become her Enemies. Judah is gone into Cap­tivity. She dwelleth among the Heathen. The ways of Sion do mourn, because none come to her solemn feasts; all her Gates are desolate; her Priests sigh; her Virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness; her Adversaries are the chief; her E­nemies prosper; and from the Daughter of Sion all her beauty is departed.

The Application of the whole Dis­course for Union and Parochial Worship.

THus you have heard what Schism is, and the danger of it to the Church of God; and that breach of Union and Division of the Parts, threatens the dissolution of the whole: Now, what remains, but that if you would avoid the Mischief, you prevent it in the Cause, which you see is Schism, Separation and gathering Churches.

As you would preserve our Church, you must preserve its Ʋnion; the Case admits of no other Cure; the Case is otherwise desperate: Yet, this is a sure Remedy, carrying in it a continuity of Parts, which is our Health.

Now, there is but one way of maintaining this Ʋnion; and that is necessary, viz. the pre­serving our Parochial Constitution and Worship; if this be once dissolved, we are lost.

Parish-bounds were, at first, laid by the light of Nature, (for persons living together, should wor­ship God together) and the general practice of Scripture; where we still find Cities and Church­es are Commensurate: perhaps, among so many Instances, there may be some few just exceptions; but, generally, the bounds of our Parish-Churches are convenient enough, our very Adversaries be­ing Judges.

However, where they are inconvenient, the people cannot be thought fit Reformers; popular Experiments about Antient Foundations will be ever hazardous if not Ruinous. What hand trembles not to touch a Constitution that hath been found so convenient, and stood so firm for so many Ages? Yea, a friend of their own, of no mean account, affirms, that the Protestant In­terest in England depends very much upon the Pie­ty, Honour and Integrity of our Parish-Churches.

The Conclusion.

COnclude then; there is no other visible re­medy against the foresaid Mischiefs, but our ordinary attending upon the Worship of God in the Temples.

If you regard the Common Safety and the Publique Peace, or your Private Interest therein involv'd; if the Prosperity of Sion, your duty to and care of Religion; if the great concerns of God and Mens Souls, and the Reformation, weigh any thing with you: Yea, as you abhor Schism and Heresie, Popery and Anarchy, A­theism, Confusion and perpetual desolations in the Church of God, take head of separating your selves; break not our Parish-bounds; forsake not, sleight not, our Publique Worship and Assemblies.

Take heed of giving Countenance to gathe­red Churches; so far, as to gratifie a Wanton itch of hearing their Teachers: They are Schismati­cal in their Constitution; and plainly design op­position and destruction to the Church of En­gland; and he that sees not this, sees Nothing.

Let Houses retain their proper offices, and be content with them; but see, that you Reverence the Sanctuary. O contemn it not, by with­drawing your selves, and Gods Ark and Altar from it: What! Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the Church of God? Do not dare to do it; 'tis a great Sin, and of destru­ctive Consequence; and you have had Warning; and, to say no more, you have no Assurance, that either God or Man will always indulge it, or let it go unpunished.


Some single Sermons and other Discourses touching the present differences in the Church, Printed for James Collins.

  • 1. CAtholick Charity recommended in a Sermon before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of London, in order to the abating the Animosities among Christians that have been occasioned by differences in Religion, by Jos. Glanvile Rector of Bath. Price 6 d.
  • 2. [...]: or a seasonable Recommendation and defence of Reason in the Assairs of Religion; against Infide­lity, Scepticism, and Fanaticisms of all sorts, by Jos. Glanvile Re­ctor of Bath. Price 6 d.
  • 3. The Christians Victory over Death; A Sermon preached at the Funeral of the most Honourable George Duke of Albemarle, by Seth Lord Bishop of Sarum. Price 6 d.
  • 4. A Mirrour of Christianity, and a Miracle of Charity; or an exact Narrative of the Life and Death of the Lady Alice Dutches Dudley, by R. Boreman DD. Price 6 d.
  • 5. The General Assembly, or the necessity of receiving the Communion in our publique Congregations evinced from the Nature of the Church, the Word of God, and Presbyterian Principles; A Sermon by Francis Fulwood. DD. Price 6 d.
  • 6. Miserere Cleri; A Sermon representing the Miseries of the Clergy, and Assigning their true Causes in order to Redress, by Edw. Westonhall B. D. Price 6 d.
  • 7. Ʋrim & Thummim; or the Clergies Dignity and Duty re­commended in a Visitation Sermon, by Mal. Couvant B. D. Price 6 d.

A Discouse of Toleration, in answer to a late Book, entituled, A Discourse of the Religion of England. Price 6 d.

Indulgence not justified, being a Continuation of the Discourse of Toleration, in answer to the Arguments of a late Book, enti­tuled, A Peace Offering or Plea for Indulgence; and to another, call'd, The second Discourse of the Religion of England. Price 6 d.

Toleration not to be abus'd; or a serious Question soberly debated and resolved upon Presbyterian Principles, viz. whether it be adviseable, especially for the Presbyterians, either in Consci­ence or Prudence, to take advantage from His Majesties late Decla­ration, to deny or rebate their Communion with our Parochial Congregations, and to gather themselves into distinct and separate Churches. Price 6 d.

The Judgment of the Learned and Pious St. Augustin, con­cerning Penal Laws against Conventicles, and for Unity in Reli­gion, delivered in his 48 Epistle to Vincentius.

Promiscuous Ordinations are destructive to the honour and safety of the Church of England, written in a Letter to a Person of Quality.

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