A TOLLERATION Sent down from Heaven to Preach. OR Godly Religious Meetings, and true Gospell Preachers, praying and preaching, in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels, justified by the Highest Powers; and signally owned by Testimonies from Hea­ven, ought not to be condemned or forbiden, but rather Allowed and Tollerated by Men upon Earth. AND Likewise what it is to Preach according to the Laws and Statutes of the Kingdome, as to the matter of Preaching, not punishable by the Act against Nonconformists. ALSO Concerning the manner of Christian Religious Meetings, and the true Ordination of Ministers sent forth to Preach, according to the Scriprures, since Christs Assention. And likewise what the Gospel is, who have a true right to preach it; and what it is for Preachers to live of the Gospel, according to the Scriptures, or Ordination of God in that Case provided.

And he commanded us to preach unto the people, & to testifie that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the Prophets witness, that through his Name, whosoever believeth in him shall re­ceive remission of sins.

Acts 10.42,43.

Written in Glocestershire the beginning of the 10th Month, 1665. By R. F.

Printed in the Year, 1665.

A Tolleration sent down from Heaven to Preach; Or, Godly Religious Meetings, and true Gospel Preachers, Praying and Preaching in other Places then Parish Churches and Chappels justified by the highest Powers, and signally owned by Testimonies from Heaven, ought not to be condemned or forbidden, but rather allowed and tollerated by Men upon Earth, &c.

THe Ministers of the Gospel of Christ, who are made Ministers by the Lord God of Heaven, 2 Co [...] 3.5,6. they are by a true Spiritual right, and Gospel authority ordained and enabled, to preach from God unto the Souls of the People, as by the Scriptures is evident and plain; therefore, such ought not to be forbidden to preach, nor punished for so doing.

The Ministers of Man are ordained and impowered by man, and are bound to preach up the Interest of Man, or else to be turned out of their Ministry, & maintenance by men, for refusing the same: Acts 10.42,43. Act. 28.30,3 [...] 2 Cor. 4 5. But the Ministers of God are ordained of God, and impowered by him, and bound in spirit to preach the Gospel of Christ, and the Interest of God; because, they are not to please Men, but the Lord, nor to preach themselves but Christ Jesus the Lord, and themselves (no Lords nor Masters but) servants for Jesus sake; for they dare not make themselves of the number, or compare themselves with some that commend themselves; for they who are so in love with self-commendation, they do but measure themselves by themselves (or by their Schollership and natural abilities) and so comparing themselves amongst themselves, 2 Cor. 10.1 [...] they are not wise: But the true Ministers of Christ will not boast of things beyond their measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to them, they reach unto others in preaching the Gospel of Christ, not boasting of things beyond their measure; that is, of other mens labours; for not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth, as by the Scriptures is evident and plain; see 2 Cor. 10.12,13,14,15,16,17,18.

[Page 2] They who are made able Ministers of the New Testament, 2. Cor. 3. by him whose Ministers they are, (that is to say by the Lord God of Heaven) and whose Interest they preach, in preaching the King­dom of God, Act. 28 30,31. and teaching those things that concern the Lord Jesus Christ, no man ought to forbid them, Acts 28.30,31. be­cause they are approved by the Lord, and commended of him by their Ministration, to the Consciences of Men in the sight of the Lord as the Scriptures do testifie of them; for because they have received a Ministry from God, they haye renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness (to turn with the times for any self-end) nor handling the word of God deceitfully, 2 Cor. 4.1,2,3,4,5,6,7, &c. but by manifestation of the truth, commending themselves to every mans Conscience in the sight of God, as you may read, 2 Cor. 4.1,2,3,4,5,6,7, &c.

The Ministers of the Gospel of Christ who are ordained of God, and have received a Ministry from him for the Peoples ever­lasting good, they ought not to be prohibited from preaching the word of God, but are to be received as the Ministers of God, because there is great danger both in prohibiting them to preach the Gospel of Christ, 2 Cor. 4.1,2. Mat. 10.40, [...]1,42. and also in rejecting them that are sent of the Lord, and likewise the danger is great in receiving the Mini­sters of Antichrist under pretence of the Ministers of Christ; because John saith, [...] Joh. 4.1. [...] Joh. 1.7,8, [...],10,11. receive not such into your house, neither bid them God speed, least ye be partakers of their evil deeds; and Christ himself saith concerning his Ministers, Mat. 10.7,14, [...]5. that it shall be more tollerable for Sodom and Gomorah in the day of Judgment, then for those that reject them, or refuse to hear them preach, and deny to receive them and their Doctrine, as by the Scripture is evident and plain. Seeing then that a danger lyeth on both hands; first in rejecting the Ministers of Christ under pretence of the Ministers of Antichrist; and secondly in receiving the Ministers of Antichrist under pretence of the Ministers of Christ, how may they be known assunder? seeing the one hath the form as well as the other.

I answer first that the Ministers of Christ, who are to be received as the Ministers of God who are rightly ordained , [...]cts 10.43, [...]. [...] Cor. 3. [...] Cor. 7.1,2. and have re­ceived a Ministry from him, they are accompanied with a true Spiritual power, and Gospel authority in their Ministration, so as to reach the witness of God in the people, who are to receive [Page 3] them, that they may be received as the Minister of God with the peoples consent, without being forc'd upon them against their Consciences by outward constraint.

Secondly, Mat. 10.7. 2 Cor. 4.1,2, it is the part and duty of a Minister of Christ, by virtue of his office as a Minister, in order to his establishment and confirmation in the hearts of the receivers of him; first to preach the Word of God to them; and secondly in preaching the Word, to commend himself to the consciences of them that he preaches unto in the sight of God that sent him, by manifesting the truth unto them, as a means provided by the Gospel, for a Ministers entrance into the people, and in order to the establishment of him and his Ministry amongst them, 2 Cor. 2.18,19,20,21,22.

First, Mat. 10 7. Act. 10.42,43. the command of Christ to his Ministers is to preach the Gospel; secondly, All are admitted to the hearing of it, because he commands to preach it to every Creature; thirdly, They are to preach it as freely as they have received it, because he that hath the best right to send forth Ministers to minister from him to the people, saith, freely ye have received, freely give; fourthly, The Ministers of Christ are to preach freely, and the people are to hear them as freely, so that they neither ought to be hindred from preaching, nor the people from hearing. And it is the duty of a Minister to preach, as well as it is the duty of the people to hear, 1 Thes. 5.21. and they ought not to receive a Minister before they hear him, nor there is no danger if the hearers receive not a Minister, untill they have a true proofe and gospel commendation of him as a Minister, by manifesting truth unto them, in commending himself to their consciences in the sight of God as a Minister of the Gospel of Christ as aforesaid, 2 Cor. 3. chap. & 2 Cor. 4.1.2.

But after God hath ordained, and sent forth Ministers, and given them a Ministry they are to attend upon it, and if men forbid them to preach, they must obey God rather then men; Act. 4 17,18,19,20. 2 Tim. 4.1, [...]. and in preaching the Word be instant in season, and out of season, as it is written; therefore it is the duty of the true Gospel Ministers to preach when they are forbidden by men, because they are to preach both in season and out of season; And when is preaching the Word out of season, but when by men it is dislik'd and forbidden; for (saith the Apostle) the time will come when they will not endure sound Doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap up to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from [Page 4] the truth, and shall be turned unto fables; as by the Scriptures is evident and plain, 2 Tim. 4.3,4.

Now seeing the Ministers of the Gospel are to preach, both in season and out of season, they are to continue stedfast unto God in the work of the Ministry; therefore they that give over prea­ching when men forbids them, either never received any ministry from God, or else in denying to preach, they have denyed the Lord, and those are not worthy to be either heard or any more received as the Ministers of God; therefore there is no danger in rejecting of them, because they have rejected the Lord, Jer. 8.9. Hos. 4.6.

The Ministers of Christ are to be received after they be made manifest to the consciences of the people by manifesting the truth of the Gospel unto them, in the sight of him that hath sent them, and after they be so manifest, the danger is great in rejecting of them, Mat. 10.7.14,15.

The Ministers of God ought not to be forbidden to preach the Gospel, 2 Cor. 4. Math. 10.7.14,15. Mat. 10.40,41,42. Mar. 6.10,11. because they are to be known before they be received; therefore it's necessary that they should preach the word of God that the people may have a manifestation of them in order to the receiving of them, because the receiving of them is as the recei­ving of God, and hath the promise of a great reward, and the rejecting of them (or the forbiding of them to preach) is as the rejecting of God; therefore after the Minister of God be made manifest to the consciences of the people in the sight of God, they ought to be received; and yet though the danger of rejecting such be so great, the punishment for rejecting of them is not to be inflicted by man, but by the Lord; because it shall be more tol­lerable for Sodom and Gomorab in the day of Judgment then for such: as Christ Jesus hath said.

The Ministers of Christ are not to be forbidden to preach, be­cause they are to commend themselves to the Consciences of those that receives them, by manifesting the truth of the Gospel unto them; and as it is the Ministers work so to commend them­selves to the consciences of the people in order to reception, they ought not to be forbidden to preach the Gospel of Christ, because preaching the Gospel is the right way and means of manifesting the truth unto them; and after they be made manifest to the con­sciences of the people in the sight of God as his Ministers; then [Page 5] it's the duty of the people, Rom. 10.14,15. unto whose consciences they are so made manifest, to receive them as the Ministers of God, because in receiving of them, it's accounted as the receiving of him, Mat. 10.40,41,42.

First, Mat. 10.7.40,41,42. Mar. 6.12. 2 Cor. 7.1,2. They ought to preach the Word of God, as well as they ought to be received: because God commands it; and that's upon the account of God; as its said, he that receiveth you receiv­eth me. Secondly, They ought both to preach, and be received: as they are Ministers of God, and righteous Men: because the Scriptures, and the spirit of truth enjoynes to it; and that's up­on the account of their uprightness; both to God and Man, as they are Gods true and faithfull Ministers. First, Because the true Ministers of Christ wrongeth no Man. Secondly, Because they corrupt no Man. And thirdly, Because they defraud no Man, as you may read, 2 Cor. 7.2. These therefore who pretend to be Ministers of God; and are wrongers of Men: and corrupt, and defraud them; are not to be received as the Ministers of Christ: because they are not owned of God: but testified against by the Scriptures; and also by the spirit of Christ, in the true Gospell Ministers.

Secondly, The true Gospell Ministers, do not seek to force in themselves upon the people; but saith receive us; we have wrong­ed no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man, as by the Scriptures is evident and plain, 2 Cor. 7.2. Mat. 7.15,16,20,21,22,23. 2 Joh. 7,8,9,10,11. But the Mi­nisters of Antichrist, cannot truly say so: because by their fruites the contrary is manifest: therefore such ought not to be received: but rather rejected; being testified against by the Scriptures; and also by the spirit of Christ, in the true Gospel Ministers, because they are not the Ministers of Christ: but of Antichrist; and there­fore deceivers and wrongers of God and man, as is evident and plain: 2 Pet. & 2.

Thirdly, 2 Cor. 4.1,2. 1 Pet. 1.12. Act. 10.42,43. Act. 4 17,18,19,20. Those who are ordained and commanded by the great God of Heaven, to preach the Gospel unto the soules of the people, with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven, if Men should forbid them to preach, when God requires them to preach it is better in such a case to obey God rather then man: for it was the duty and practice of the Ministers of the Gospel of Christ, when they were forbiden (by men in Authority) to preach any more in the name of Jesus: to disobey such commands or ordi­nances [Page 6] of men, who forbad them to preach by preaching obe­dience to the command and authority of God, who requires it of them; as you may read in the case of Peter and John: there­fore it is the duty and practice of the Ministers of the Gospel of Christ; in preaching the word, to be instant both in season and out of season, according to the charge given before the Lord: 2 Tim. 1.2.

Fourthly, The Ministers of Christ ought not to be prohibited, from preaching the Word of God; because by their preaching, they are to be manifested to the Consciences of the people by a Gospel commendation, that they may be received by them to whose consciences they are commended, in the sight of God, by manifesting the truth unto them: but the Ministers of Antichrist ought to be rejected (though they pretend to be the Ministers of Christ: because they would come in by force upon the people, to whose consciences they have not commended themselves (as the Ministers of God) by manifesting the truth of the Gospel unto them, in the sight of God, as the true Gospel Ministers do, and afore-time did.

Fifthly, 2 Cor. 2.21,21. Acts 10.42,43. The Ministers of Christ, ought both to preach, and be received as the Ministers of God: because they are anointed, and sealed of God, as well as ordained and sent, to Minister from him to the people for their salvation, consolation and soul-satisfaction: but the Ministers of Antichrist are not to be received: but reje­cted: though they pretend to be the Ministers of Christ) because they are not ordained and sent of God: (secondly) because they are not anointed and sealed of God: and (thirdly) because they are not appointed by the Lord, to Minister from him to the peo­ple for their salvation, consolation, and souls-satisfaction.

Sixthly, They who are ordained, anointed and sealed of God, and sent forth to Minister from him, to the soules of the people they ought to preach; because they have the earnest of the spirit; of God given into their hearts, as a testimony that they are in Covenant with God, and appointed to preach; 2 Cor. 3.21,22,23. Act. 10.42,43.

Seventhly, they ought to preach the Word of God, because they have not Dominion given them over the faith of their Hear­ers, but are helpers of their joy; for it is by faith that they stand; as you may read, 2 Cor. 2.24.

[Page 7] 8ly. They ought to Preach, because there is no falshood in their Doctrine, but as God is true so is their Doctrine; for it is not yea and nay, as it is written, 2 Cor. 2.18,19,21,22,23. but the Ministers of Antichrist are not ordained, anointed and sealed of God, or sent forth to minister from him to the Souls of the Peo­ple, for their Salvation, consolation, or souls satisfattion; there­fore they are not to be received as the Ministers of Christ, but rejected as the Ministers of Antichrist; 1. Because they have not the earnest of the Spirit of God given unto them, neither are they guided thereby, but do daily err and go astray from Gods own ways; 2. Because they do not help the joy of Believers, but rather fills, them with sorrow and sadness by seeking to have do­minion over their faith, in seeking to force in themselves and their Doctrine and maintenance upon the People, contrary to faith and a good Conscience whilest they themselves are miserable siners, and daily offend against Gods holy Laws; 3. They are subject to error both in matter and manner, who have no saving health in them, whose word and doctrine is not true, but yea and nay (according to the times) and contrary to the doctrine of the true Gospel Ministers of Christ, as aforesaid.

They who are ordained, anointed, and sealed of God, and sent to Minister from him to the soules of the people, Rom. 8.14,15,16,17. they have the spirit of God given unto them to guide them in their ministrati­on: Rom. 8.15,16,17. and if any pretend to be a Minister, and have not the spirit of Christ, he is no Minister of his, Rom. 8.9.

They who have received a Ministry from God, they have also received a spirit suitable to such a Ministry; that is to say the spirit of God, whereby they know the things that are freely given unto them; as it is written, 1 Cor. 2.11,12. for what Man know­eth the things of a Man, save the spirit of Man that is in him: even so the things of God knoweth no Man, but the spirit of God. Now we have received the spirit of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, (said the true Gospel Ministers) which things we also speak, not in the words which Mans wisedome teach­eth, but which the holy Ghost teacheth, as yon may read the 1 Cor. 2.11,12. The holy Ghost hath a teaching office, in and by the true Gospel Ministers; therefore they ought to preach, and none are sit to be Ministers, before they receive the holy Ghost from Hea­ven: for men are ignorant of the things of God untill then, [Page 8] (First) because no man knowes the things of God, but by the spirit of God; so that the fpirit of God gives men the knowledg of the things of God in order to administration; (Secondly) the spirit of God is given of God, and received by them that are to minister from him, to the soules of the people; before they be sent forth as his Ministers, and they that receive not the spirit of God, receive not a Ministry from him, therefore they who have hot the spirit of Christ, are none of his Ministers, as it is plain and clear by the Scriptures, Rom. 8.9.

Rom. 8.9.As it is the love of God to give his spirit, so it is the duty of them to whom it is offered to imbrace and kindly receive such a gift; for they who receive not the spirit of God, without which they cannot know the things of God, they are very unfit to be the Ministers of God, (First) because the spirit of God gives men the knowledge of the things of God: (Secondly) because the spirit of God; both guides and inables the true Gospel Mi­nisters to preach, or speak the things that are given of God: And (Thirdly) the spirit of God guides and inables the true Go­spel Ministers to preach according to the mind of God; because it teacheth and enableth them to preach the Gospel of Christ, in the words which the holy Ghost teacheth, and not in the words which mans wisedome teacheth: the words which mans wisdome teacheth are not to be used in preaching the Gospel, but that which the holy Ghost teacheth: for the Gospel cannot be preach­ed by the wisedome of man, without the holy Ghost sent down from Heaven; therefore no man can be a true Gospel Minister, but such as have received, and do receive a true Gospel Spirit to Minister withall; as by the Scripture is evident and plain, 1 Cor. 2.11,12,13. 1. Pet. 1.10,11,12. Rom. 8.9.

1 Cor. 2.11, [...]2.13. 1 Pet. 1.10,11,12. Rom. 8.9.The Scripture doth not enable men to be Preachers of Christ and the Gospel without the true Gospel Spirit, which is the holy Ghost sent down from Heaven into the hearts of men, for if the Scriptures without the Spirit were sufficient to enable men, by their own wisedome to preach the Gospel, why should the holy Ghost be sent down from Heaven for men to preach the Gospell by; without which it cannot be done, as by the Scriptures afore­said is plain. Knowing this first, that no prophesie of the Scrip­ture is of any private interpretation; therefore the Scriptures are not to be interpreted in the words which mans wisedome [Page 9] teacheth: but in the words which the holy Ghost teacheth; so that man by his wisedome is no true Interpreter of Scriptures: therefore the right of interpreting Scriptures belongs not to men, by vertue of their humane learning, that speaks and teach­es the words of mans wisedome; but the true right of inter­preting Scriptures belongs to them that have received Gods holy Spirit, to give them the knowledge of them, and be a guide un­to them, both in the administration and interpretation of Scrip­tures, for the Prophesie came not in old time by the will of man; 2 Pet. 1.20,21. therefore man by his will cannot interpret the Scriptures, but Holy Men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; so that the Holy Ghost in them was the moving cause of their speaking forth Scriptures, and without the Holy Ghost Scriptures cannot be rightly known and interpreted by Men, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God, and God hath given his Spirit, and also revealed deep things to his Ministers by his own Spirit; for as no man can know the things of God but by the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2.9,10,11,12,13. so the Scriptues being of the things of God no man without the spi­rit can truly know them according to the mind of God, therefore the right of interpreting Scriptures belongs unto men by vertue of the spirit of God, from whence Scripture prophecies pro­ceeded, 2 Pet. 1.20,21. 1 Pet. 1.10,11,12.

1 Pet. 4.10,11. 1 Pet. 1.10,11,12. No man is to minister from God to the Souls of the People, but them to whom the gift of Ministration is given, and all men have a true right from God to minister from him to the People, unto whom the gift of Ministration is given, who are to preach the Gospel with the holy Ghost sent down from Heaven for the Peoples Salvation; of which Salvation the Prophets have inqui­red and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signifie, when it testi­fied before hand the suffering of Christ, and the Glory that should follow, unto whom it was revealed that not unto themselves but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you , with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven, as every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one unto another as good Ste­wards of the manifold Grace of God. 1 Pet. 4.10,11, whereby [Page 10] it is evident that Preaching is not an art, but a gift; and they have a true right to be Preachers unto whom the gift of Ministration for that end is given, by the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven.

The Ministers of Christ unto whom the gift of Ministratio is given, who are to preach the Gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven, they ought not to be forbidden by Men, nor punished for Preaching the Gospel: And what Law doth prohi­bit the preaching of Gods Word and the Scriptures, or what is agreeable to the same? if any Law should do so, would it not con­contradict the Liturgy of the Church, and the Lawes and Sta­tutes of England? because both the Liturgy of the Church, and the Laws and Statutes of England allowes of Preaching the Gos­pel of Christ (the power of God unto Salvation) the pure Word of God, and the Holy Scriptures, and what is either agreeable to the same, or evidently grounded thereupon: Then to preach the Gospel, the pure Word of God, and the Holy Scriptures, or what is agreeable to the same, is no matter of fact, because it is not to preach contrary to the Lawes and Statutes of the Kingdom.

What the Liturgy of the Church of England allowes of, that the Lawes and Statutes of the Kingdom allowes of, but the Li­turgy of the Church of England allowes of Christian Religions Meetings, in greater or lesser numbers for the service and Worship of God, according to the Scriptures; and of Preaching the Gospel, to render thanks unto God (in Godly Assemblies, or Christian Religious Meetings) for the great Benefits that we have received at the hands of God, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are re­quisite and necessary both for Soul and Body; being the chiefe ends of Christian Religious Meetings, as the Liturgy alloweth; therefore the Scriptures and Lawes of the Kingdom alloweth of the same; what the Scriptures doth allow of, that the Liturgy of the Church of England alloweth of; but the Scripture doth al­low of gifted men to preach the Gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven; therefore, the Liturgy of the Church of England alloweth of the same, for it is declared and said in the Liturgy, that nothing is ordained to be read (or observed) but the very pure Word of God, the holy Scriptures, or that which is either agreeable to the same or evidently grounded thereupon: See, that call­ed the service of the Church.See the Order for Morning P [...]ayer. See St. Peters day Collect. 1. Pet. 4.10,11.

[Page 11] To Preach contrary to the Lawes and Statutes of the Kingdom is (it seems) matter of fact punishable by the late Act, but to preach the Gospel of Christ, or the very pure Word of God and the holy Scriptures; or what is agreeable to the same or evident­ly grounded thereupon is not (it seemes) to preach contrary to the Liturgy and Lawes of the Kingdom, therefore it is no matter of fact nor punishable by the late Act for godly Ministers who are rightly ordained to preach the Gospel of Christ, and the very pure Word of God (not being contrary to the Lawes and Sta­tutes of the Kingdom) because both the Liturgy of the Church, and the Lawes and Statutes of the Kingdom allowes of the same, as the right matter of Preaching.

And as for the manner or places for godly Ministers to pray or preach in, the Lord hath not limited or bound them up to Parish Churches and Chappels to assemble together to preach and pray in, or else be forbidden and cast out, by the great God of Heaven for refusing the same; for though Solomon built him an House, how be it the most High dwelleth not now in Temples made with hands, as saith (the Lord) the Prophet, Acts 7.47,48,49,50. Heaven is my throne, and Earth is my footstool, what house will you build me saith the Lord, or where is the place of my rest? hath not mine hands made all these things? Acts 7.47,48,49,50. Is it not therefore plain by the Scriptures, or may we not learn from hence that the Lord hath not limited or bound up his Preachers and People to Parish Chur­ches and Chappels, or any particular house for his Service to be performed in under the Gospel dispensation since Christs death, Resurrection and Ascension, but rather left them to their free­dom concerning that thing, who hath owned and justified his Preachers and People in forsaking the outward Temple at Jeru­salem, Acts 7.48,49. Act. 17.24,25. in sending his Ministers to preach it down, Acts 7.48,49. Acts 17.24,25. and hath highly owned his. People in Meeting and Preaching in upper Chambers and private Houses, wherein they have met and assembled together (since Christs Ascension) for the Service and Worship of God; but he hath not bound them up or limited them to any one place, as the appointed place of his Worship, under the Gospel dispensation since Christs As­cension, that in the Scriptures or Writings of the Apostles we can any where read of, since he sent them to preach down the Temple at Jerusalem.

[Page 12] The Liturgy of the Church of England saith, nothing is or­dained to be read or observed amongst Christians about the Ser­vice of the Church; but the very pure word of God, the holy Scrip­tures, or that which is either agreeable to the same, or evidently ground­ed thereupon, and that Christs Gospell is not a Ceremoniall Law, See that con­cerning the Service of the Church, and that of Cere­monies, and the Epistle & collect for the 2d. Sunday in Advent. (as much of Moses Law was) but it is a Religion to serve God, not in bondage of the figure or shaddow, but in freedome of the spi­rit, and likewise it is said both in the Scriptures and Liturgy of the Church; that whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our Learning; whereby it is evident that whatsoever is agreeable to the holy Scriptures and pure Word of God, is or­dained to be read or observed in Christian Assemblies and religi­ous Practices. 2ly. That Christians are not to be bound up and tyed to the observation of the Figure, shadow or ceremonies, or brought in bondage of the figure or shadow of things, about the service of God. 3ly. That Christians are to stand fast in the li­berty wherewith Christ hath set them free, and not to be intang­led with figures, shadowes or ceremonies, which may hinder them from the Service of God, which stands in the freedom of the Spirit. 4ly. That the holy Scriptures which were written afore­time, are to be observed by Christians, because they were written for our instruction or learning, as both the Liturgy and Scrip­tures are evident and plain.

Now seeing it is so, we find it written in the holy Scriptures, and left upon record there for our instruction or learning, about the true Ordination of Gospel Ministers, or their call to the work of the Ministry since Christs Ascension: Acts 13. First, That the Holy Ghost is of Councel with the true Church, and hath a ruling po­wer therein, for ordering and governing the same, and that the Liturgy agreeth with, because it saith, the Church is the houshold and family of God, and that the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified by the Spirit of God; See Good Friday the Collect. whereby it appears that the true Church is a sanctified body, and under a Spiritual order and Government, and that Church and Ministry which hath Christs spiritual Presence with them, is the true Church and Ministry of Christ, Matt. 28.18,19,20. because he hath promised to be alwaies with them, even to the end of the world; as by the Spirit that is of Councel with the Church and the holy Scriptures, we are instructed and have learn­ed of them the knowledg thereof.

[Page 13] Secondly, We are instructed and have learned, by the spirit from whence the holy Scriptures proceeded, and by the Scrip­tures which aforetime were written and proceeded therefrom: that as the holy Ghost is of councel with the true Church, so the true Church doth take councel of the holy Ghost, and is o­bedient and subject to the holy Ghosts order, authority and ap­pointment: Acts 13.1,2,3,4. now there were in the Church that was at Antioch certain Prophets and Teachers, as Barnabas and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen which had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch, and Saul: as they ministred to the Lord and fasted, the holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the mork whereunto I have called them, and when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away; so they being sent forth by the holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia, and from thence they sailed to Cyprus, as it is writ­ten, and left upon record in Scripture: Acts 13.1,2,3,4.

Whereby we are instructed, or from whence we do observe and may learn; that in the true Church of Christ (which was at An­tioch) there were certain Prophets and Teachers, which were not Parish Priests, or bound up and tyed to one particular Parish, to stay and continue there, preaching for Tithes, Easter reckonings, and Midsumer dues; all the dayes of their lives. Secondly, That those Prophets and Teachers which were in the true Church, of which Christ Jesus is head; they attended upon the work of the Lord, and both fasted and ministred unto him, (and did not sue people for Tithes, nor cast them into Prison; for we do not learn by the Scriptures, that true Gospel Preachers were ever found in any such actions) Thirdly, That as they ministred to the Lord and fasted, the holy Ghost manifested his mind to the Church, being of counsel with the same, requiring obedience of the Church, as a manifestation of their subjection to the holy Ghosts Order and Authority; who manifested the right that he had in the true and right Ordination of Ministers, or calling of them to the work of the Ministry, and sending them abroad to preach the Gospel; for the holy Ghost said to the Church, Separate me Bar­nabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them: from whence we are instructed, and do observe or learn, (First) That the holy Ghost hath a true Right and Authority to Ordain Mini­sters of the Gospel of Christ, or call them to the work of the [Page 14] Ministry, and send them to Preach: (Secondly) That these Mi­nisters who are called by the holy Ghost, to the work of the Mi­nistry, and sent forth to preach; as such were; they are rightly and truly ordained and sent forth to preach, and ought neither to be forbiden to preach the pure word of God, nor punished for so doing; because we find in the Scripture, which the Liturgie saith, was written aforetime for our learning, that such as have the word of God to speak; ought not to be forbiden to preach it: for as much as the Lord commands them to speak it: Jer. 23.28,29,30,31,32. is not my word like a Fire saith the Lord, and like a Hammer that breaketh the Rock in pieces: therefore behold I am against the Prophets, saith the Lord, that steale my words every one from his neighbour, who use their tongues, and say he saith, whom I never commanded nor sent saith the Lord: who hath also said, that such false Teachers do cause the People to erre by their lyes, and by their lightness: and such the Lord is against, as you may read, but he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully; what is the Chaff to the Wheat saith the Lord: Jer. 23.28,29,30,31,32. (Thirdly) The holy Ghost spake to the Church, whereby it is evident that the holy Ghost speaks in the true Church, and the Church is acquainted with the holy Ghost and his teachings; and therefore stands not to dispute its commands, or disobey the holy Ghosts Order and Authority; Acts 13. but being commanded by the holy Ghost to separate Barnabas and Saul, for the work of the Ministry, whereunto the holy Ghost had ordained or called them, the true Church never questioned whether such a Call was sufficient, without a signification of the consent and allowance of Arch-Bishops, and Bishops, in a Nationall way, or as the manner now is amongst such as may be, will deny the way and manner of the proceedings of the holy Ghost in that case of calling and sending forth Ministers, as aforesaid, to preach the Gospel of Christ: Acts 13 1,2,3,4. 1 Tim. 3.1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Tit. 1 7,8,9. but if they do, is it not below a true Gospel Bishop so to do; who ought not to shew a dislike unto, and disesteem of, what the holy Ghost and the true Church of Christ and the Scripture do justify and own, concerning the same, but I hope it may be well for them who are so in account; to take it in­to due consideration, so as not to condemn, but rather allow of the holy Ghosts order and proceedings, and the true Churches example or practise therein; seeing that what the holy Scripture allowes of: that the Liturgie of the Church of England allowes [Page 15] of; and it is evident that the holy Scriptures allowes of the same as aforesaid; for the Holy Ghost said to the Church, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them; and when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them they sent them away; so they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost departed, and when they were at Salamis they preached the Word of God to the People, Acts 13.1,2,3,4. Whereby it is evident that the Holy Ghost hath a true right to call to the work of the Ministry of Christ, and that they who are called to that work by the Holy Ghost, ought not to be forbidden to preach, because they are both truly ordained and sent, and have the Word of God to preach to the people, being also accompanied with a true spi­ritual power and filled with the Holy Ghost, that hath called and sent them to preach as aforesaid; after they were at Salamis and had gone through the Island unto Paphos, they found a certain Sorcerer, a false Prophet, a Jew, with the Deputy of the Country, a prudent Man, who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the Word of God; but Elimus the Sorcerer withstood them, seeking to turn away the Deputy from the faith, (as false teachers geting into favour with Governours and Deputy Governours, and great persons, often times endeavour to do) then Saul, who is also called Paul, who was filled with the Holy Ghost (that call­ed and sent him to preach) said unto the false Prophet (that sought to turn away the Deputy Governour from the faith) Oh full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the Devil, thou enemy of all Righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right wayes of the Lord, Acts 13.6,7,8,9,10. Whereby it is evident and plain, that the Holy Ghost filleth true Preachers with spiritual boldness sharply to reprove and testifie against a false Prophet in the presence of a Deputy or Governour of a Country.

They who are ordained and sent of God, as aforesaid, ought not to be forbidden to preach, or punished for preaching the word of the Lord to the People, because they preach the Everlasting Gospel, and thereby do minister the Spirit and power of God to Salvation unto Believers, and such have not dominion over the faith of their hearers but are appointed of God to be helpers of the joy of Believers. 2ly. They ought not to be forbidden to preach the Word of God to the people, because that by vertue of their preaching (the Lord opperating with them in their Mini­stry) [Page 16] [...]cts 26.16, [...]7,18. [...]m 5.20. they do convert people from the evil of their wayes and doings by turning them from darkness unto light, and so from the power of Satan unto God; whereby it may be observed that to hinder such Ministers from Preaching, would be to hinder the work of conversion, and so to oppose the work of the Lord, Mat. 18.3. Luke 22.32. 3ly. They ought not to be hindered from preaching who have the Word of the Lord to speak to the People, and do preach it freely without Tithes, Easier Reckonings or Midsummer dews, who covet no mans Silver nor Gold for their Preaching; Acts 20.27, [...]8,29,30,31, [...]2,33,34,35. because God hath ordained that they who preach the Gospel should deny Tythes and live of the Gospel; it is necessary therefore first to know what the Gospel is. 2ly. Who have a right to preach the Gospel of Christ unto the people: And 3ly. what it is for true Preachers to live on the Gospel.

In Answer to the first as concerning the Gospel of Christ what it is, it is declared in Scripture, to be the power of God unto Salva­tion to every one that believeth; wherein the Righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, Rom. 1.15,16,17. Gal. 1.6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,16. 2ly. They have a true right to preach the Gospel who have rightly received the same, so that the Gospel is to be rightly received before it can be rightly preached, and the Gospel is not to be received of man, how then can men impower to the effectual true and right Preaching of the same; for Paul (who was a true Gospel Preacher) was taught of God how to minister from him to the People, and received the Gospel by the Revelation of Christ, and not of man, as he hath certified to the Brethren as we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you then that ye have received let him be accursed, Gal 1.8,9. and before, that is to say in his Epi­stle to the Romans he said, Rom. 1.16. Gal. 1.11,12. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth, Rom. 1.16. this Gospel which is the power of God is to be re­ceived of God by them that are true Preachers of the same; but I certifie you brethren that the Gospel which was preached of me was not after man, for I neither received it of man neither was I taught it, but by Revelation of Jesus Christ, as it is written, Gal. 1.11,12.

Whereby it is evident, or from hence we may observe and learn, first, that the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto Salvation, to every one that believeth, wherein the Righteous­ness [Page 17] of God is revealed. 2ly. That Revelation is not ceased, be­cause that in the Ministration of the Gospel which is the power of God unto Salvation, as aforesaid, Gods Righteousness is revealed. 3ly. That the Gospel is to be received, before it can be preached, and it is to be revealed before it can be received or preached. 4ly. That the Gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto Salvation is neither received nor taught after Men, but by Reve­lation. 5ly. That they who deny Revelation, they have neither received the Gospel, which is the power wherein the Righte­ousness of God is revealed; nor the Righteousness of God which is revealed in the Gospel of Christ as aforesaid; for saith the Apostle who received the Gospel of Christ, Gal. 1.15,16 I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by Revelation, Gal. 1.11,12. And when it pleased God, who seperated me from my Mothers womb, and called me by his grace to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood, neither went I up to Jerusalem to them that were Apostles be­fore me; but I went into Arabia, &c. Gal. 1.15,16. whereby it is evident and from hence we may observe and learn that the Gospel is known by Revelation. 2ly. That they who deny Revelation are no true Ministers of the Gospel of Christ. 3ly. That it is the good pleasure of God to call such as he makes choice of to serve in the work of the Gospel of Christ. 41y. That the call to the Ministry is not an act of Nature but of Grace, 5ly. That Christ is revealed in a true Gospel Minister before he be at fit Preacher, 6ly.. That after a Minister be called by the Grace of God to the work of the Ministry, and Christ Jesus revealed spiritually in him he is a fit Preacher without going to Men for their Approbation concerning the same. Now if either ignorance or wilfulness should object and say, Mat. 11.27 that things were made known in the Apostles time by Revelation, but it is ceased since then, and there is no such thing to be expected or looked for now. I answer thereunto, Christ Jesus hath said, Luk. 10.22 No man knows the Father but the Son, neither knoweth any man the Son but the Father, and he to whom he is pleased to reveal him. Therefore they that say Revelation is ceased, do in effect say that the way and means to attain to the knowledge of God is ceased, for no man can come to the knowledg of God but by Revelation, and if Revelation be ceased then no man can come to the know­ledg of God, but remain in ignorance of him, and perish for want of knowledg, Hosea 4.6.

[Page 18] Thirdly, As to that of Preachers who have received the Gos­pel, it is ordained that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel, and not of Tythes, because they are no Gospel main­tenance; for they who are ordained of God to preach the Gos­pel, which is the power of God unto Salvation, they do minister the Spirit and Power of God unto Believers: Therefore, they that live of the Gospel do live of the free gift of the Power which opens the hearts of their Hearers freely to communicate to them. Therefore it's said, let him that is taught in the Word communicate to him that teacheth, in all gord things, Gal. 6.6. Whereby it is e­vident or from hence we may observe and learn, first, that people are not injoyned by the Gospel to communicate any thing to any man as a Preacher, by whom they were never taught in the Word: 2ly. That none ought to communicate any thing upon the ac­count of Preaching but such as are taught in the Word: 3ly. That Believers are not compelled by the Gospel, nor compellable to communicate to Preachers, but are left to the powerful opperati­on of the Word of God, as it may open their hearts and dispose of them in that respect: 4ly. That they are not to give place to any thing that would obstruct the office of love begotten in their hearts, by the preaching of the Word of God unto them, but are to let it shew forth its fruit and freeness in the act of Communi­cating unto them. [...]l. 6.6.

Fourthly, Concerning Christian Religious Meetings, and preaching in Houses, &c. Whereas it is declared, by Act of Par­liament, to be an offence against Law, and punishable with Impri­sonment: Fines and Banishment, for Persons to meet together to the number of five or above, beside them of the Houshold, under pretence of Religious exercise, in other manner then is al­lowed by the Liturgie of the Church of England: Then it is no offence against Law nor punishable thereby, to meet in greater numbers upon the account of Religion and Worship of God; So that the manner of their Meeting be allowed by the Liturgie. What is contained in the Liturgy, as to the manner of Christian Religious Meetings; is allowed by the Liturgie; But the manner of Meeting by Christ and his Apostles and the Primitive Christi­ans, in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels, is con­tained in the Liturgie. Therefore the manner of Christian Religi­ous Meetings, in other places then in Parish Churches and Chap­pels, [Page 19] is allowed by the Liturgie; so that such Meetings ought not to be accounted seditious Conventicles, nor punishable by Law.

That which is contained in the Liturgie, and ordained to be read, as part of the practise or service of the Church of England, is owned and allowed by the Liturgie and practise of the Church. But the manner of the Meetings, Assemblies and Preachings, by Christ and his Apostles, to and amongst the Primitive Christians, and such as came to hear the word of God spoken unto them, up­on Mountains and by the Sea side, and also in private Houses and other places is contained in the Liturgie, and ordained to be read as part of the practise or service of the Church of England. Ther­fore such manner of Meetings, Assemblies or Preachings, or the manner of such Christian Religious Meetings, Assemblies and practises are no seditious Conventicles; nor punishable by Law; because they are owned and allowedly the Liturgy and practise of the Church, as aforesaid.

That the manner of Christian Religious Meetings, Assemblies and practises (in other places then Parish Churches and Chapels) is contained in the Liturgie and ordained to be read as part of the practise or service of the Church of England, and therefore own­ed and allowed, as aforesaid is very plain and apparently proved both by the Scripture and Liturgy.

First, By the Scriptures it is apparent and evident that Christ and his Apostles, did meet and assemble with the primitive Chri­stians, and such as came to hear the word of God preached, in private Houses, and upon Mountains, and by the Sea side as well as other places; and they left their manner of Christian Religious Meetings, Assemblies, and practises (in other places then Parish Churches and Chapels) upon Record in Scripture, as an example for Christians to follow. Because the Apostles of Christ, who had the spirit and mind of Christ Jesus, commands the true Christians and Believers in Christ to walk as they have them for ex­ample, as by the Scripture is plainly apparent: Phil. 3.17. For Christ and his Apostles met and assembled together with the Primitive Christians and others, and preached in Houses and out of houses, on Mountains, and by the Sea side; and in great mul­titudes: as you may read, Matth. 5.1,2. Matth. 3. Matth. 8.1. Matth. 11.1. Matth. 13.1,2,3. Matth. 19. Matth. 24.3,4, &c. And again he entred into Capernaum after some dayes, and it was [Page 20] noised that he was in the House, and streight way many were ga­thered together, in so much that there was no room to receive them, not so much as about the Door, and he preached the word unto them, as you may read, Mark 2.1,2. and he began to teach by the Sea side, and there was gathered unto him a great multi­tude, and he taught them there also, as you may read, Mark 4. see also Mark 10.1. and he came down with them and stood in the plain, and the company of his Disciples, and a great multitude of people, out of all Judea, and Jerusalem, and from the Coast of Tire and Sidon, came to hear him, as it is written, Luk. 6.17. and he arose from thence, and cometh into the Coasts of Judea, by the farther fide of Jordan; and the people resorted to him again, and as he was wont, he taught them again, Mark 1 [...].

And when much people were gathered together and were come to him out of every City, he preached unto them, and he went thorough every City and Village preaching, and shewing the glad tidings of the Kingdome of God, and the twelve were with him, as you may read, Luk. 8.1,4. Whereby it is evident, that Christ did not limit the people, to come to Parish Churches, to hear the Word preached, nor the Ministers of the Gospel to preach it there; neither did he ordain punishments for the Preach­ers or hearers; if they did not preach and hear in Parish Churches and not else where, but to the number of three or four: for when they were gathered together, an innumerable multitude of people, in so much that they erode one upon another; he began to say unto his Disciples, first of all, beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy, for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known, as you may read, Luke 12, Luke 15. Luke, 8.1: And after Christs Death, Resurrection and Ascention, the Apostles of Christ and Primitive Christians, did Assemble and meet together, to preach and pray, and performe religions exercise, to the number of five and above; and not in Parish Churches nor Chapels: but in private houses and uper chambers, and such like places; and such godly Meetings were no seditious Conventicles, but according to the example and practise ordained of Christ Jesus: for he shewed himself alive after his passion unto them by many infallible proof: being seen of them forty dayes, and speaking of the things par­taining to the Kingdome of God; as you may read, Acts 1.1,2,3. [Page 21] and being assembled with them, (after his Resurrection, when he was ready to ascend up into Heaven) he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem; but wait for (the holy Ghost from Heaven) the promise of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me: and they returned to Jerusalem in obedi­ence to that command, from the Mount called Olivet, after Christ was ascended; but they did not go into (a Parish Church or a Chappel, nor into) the Temple at Jerusalem, to wait for the promise of the Father: Therefore Christ did not command them to go into a Parish Church or Chappel, nor into the Temple at Jerusalem to wait upon God to receive the promise, for if he had, no doubt but they would have obeyed his command, in that respect.

They were commanded to wait at Jerusalem, for the promise of the Father, and they did so in obedience to the command of Christ Jesus: but they were not commanded by Christ to wait in the Temple at Jerusalem, nor in a Parish Church; for the re­ceiving of the promise of the Father, (or the holy Ghost) but rather in a private House: Therefore neither the Temple at Je­rusalem, nor a Parish Church, was the place appointed for them to meet in, to wait for the promise of the Father; but rather an uper Chamber, or a private House. Then returned they unto Jerusalem, from the Mount called Olivet; and when they were come in, they went up into an uper Room, where abode both Peter and James and John and Andrew: Phillip and Thomas, Bar­tholomew and Matthew, James the Son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James, these (were met toge­ther to perform service to God, for they) continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the Women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren, and there were met and assembled together, upon the account of the exercise of Re­ligion, to the number of five and above, beside [...] them of the Houshold, in that upper Chamber where they were together, for) in those dayes Peter stood up in the midst of the Disciples and spoak, (the number of Names together were about one hundred and twenty) and when the day of Pentecoast was fully come; they were all with one accord in one place, (and the place where they were when they received the holy Ghost; was neither a Parish Church nor a Chapel, but a private House) and suddenly [Page 22] there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty Wind, and it filled all the House where they were siting, (and there they re­ceived the promise of the Father) for they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, as both by the Scriptures and Liturgie is appa­rent and evident; see for proof thereof, Acts 1. and Acts 2. And to prove that the Liturgy alloweth of Meeting in upper Rooms, and private Houses, for the exercise of Religion as aforesaid; be­cause it alloweth of such godly Assemblies and Meetings, (though not in Parish Churches or Chappels) as were practiced by the Apostles of Christ, and Primitive Christians as aforesaid; for proof thereof, see in the Liturgie, the Epistle for Whitsunday, and for St. Mathias, day the Epistle.

The Liturgie also alloweth of the manner of Meetings and Preaching both in great numbers and multitudes, and in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels, because it alloweth of the manner of Meetings and Preaching by Christ and his Apostles amongst the Primitive Christians and others.

First, The Liturgie saith, it came to pass that as the People pressed upon him (viz. Christ Jesus) to hear the Word of God, he stood by the Lake of Genesareth and saw two Ships standing by the Lake, and he entered into one of the Ships which was Simons, and he sate down and taught the People out of the Ship. See the 5th. Sunday after Trinity, the Gospel. Whereby it appears that the Liturgie alloweth of the manner of meeting and preaching in a Ship, and by the Sea side, as aforesaid. Therefore the Liturgy alloweth of the manner of Meeting and Preaching in other places besides Parish Churches and Chappels.

Secondly, Great multitudes followed Christ, as by the Litur­gie appeareth; See the 8th. Sunday after Trinity the Gospel, and he preached unto them, then drew near unto him all the Publicanes and Sinners for to hear him, (when he was in a Pharisees House) and the Scribes and Pharisees murmured at him, saying, this man receiveth sinners and eateth with them: then Jesus began to speak to them by a Parable, as you may read, see the third Sunday after Trinity, the Gospel; see also Luke the 14. and Luke 15. Chap. where­by it appeareth that Christ was ready to do good unto Sinners? and refused not to preach unto them (though he was not in a Parish Church) but in a Pharisees House as aforesaid. The Liturgie faith, Peter opened his mouth and said, of a truth I perceive that God is [Page 23] no respecter of persons, but in every Nation he that feareth God and worketh Righteousness is accepted with him. And where was Peter when he preached this Doctrine but in the House of Cornelius, and not in a Parish Church or Chappel, whereby it is evident that the Scriptures and Liturgy allowes of both Meeting and Preaching in private House as aforesaid; see Acts 10. and Easter Munday the Epistle, for proof of the same.

Again the Liturgie saith, Christ preached on a Mountain, and in great multitudes also; see All-Saints day.

All Saints day the Gospel, & Whitsunday the Epistle.Again for meeting in private Houses upon the account of the exercise of Religion, the Liturgie saith, that when the day of Pen­tecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the house where they were siting, and they were all filled with the holy Ghost and began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance. Whereby it is evident and apparent, first, That it was the practice of the Apostles of Christ and Primitive Christians to meet in pri­vate House to wait upon the Lord. 2ly. That God owned and honoured such Christian Religious meetings, though they were (not in Parish Churches or Chappels) but in private Houses, and that by sending the Holy Ghost from Heaven to them, as aforesaid. 3ly. That the Scriptures and Liturgie alloweth and owneth the manner of such Christian and religious Meetings and practices, though not in Parish Churches or Chappels, but in a Houses as a­foresaid. Likewise the Liturgie saith, That in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the Disciples, and said, (the number of them by name being about one hundred and twenty) Men and Brethren this Scripture must needs be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David. And where was Peter (and about one hundred and twenty more) when he said so unto them? were they not met together in an upper Chamber; see the Liturgie St. Mathias, for the Epistle, and Acts 1.12,13,14,15, &c. Is it not therefore according both to the manner allowed by the Scripture and Li­turgy for Christians to meet and assemble together upon the ac­count of Religion to the number of five and above over and be­sides them of the houshold or family, where they do meet and assemble together, as aforesaid.

Many more examples of the manner of Christian religious Meetings might be instanced out of the Liturgy, but I shall only [Page 24] mention one other instance out of the Liturgie, which I judge may be sufficient as to that matter, with a few more Scripture examples concerning the manner of Christian Religious Meetings and practices to prove the lawfulness of them: That which the Litur­gie declares to be very meet and right to be done must needs be allowed by the same, but the Liturgie declares it to be very meet and right for Christians to meet together at all times and in all places for the Service of God; therefore the Liturgie alloweth of the manner of Christian Religious Meetings at any time and in any place for the service of God as aforesaid; that which is de­clared by the Liturgie to be the duty of Christians must needs be allowed by the Liturgie; but it is declared by the Liturgie to be the duty of Christians at all times and in all places to give thanks, or perform service to the Almighty God: therefore the Liturgie must needs allow of the same, at any time and in any place to be per­formed and done, it is very meet, right, and our bounden duty that we should at all times and in all places perform service unto the Lord; for proof whereof, see the Liturgie in that part called the Communion. Seeing that the Liturgy alloweth of the manner of Christian Religious Meetings for the service of God at all times and in all places, it allowes of Meetings in private Houses, and in upper Chambers and other places, as the Scriptures do, or else the Liturgie would contradict and oppose the Scriptures and practices of the Apostles and Primitive Christians; but they who have a reverend esteem of the Liturgie must needs say that what the holy Scriptures allowes of, that the Liturgie allowes of, and as the holy Scriptures allowes of the manner of Christian Religious Meetings, Preachings and practices (in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels) so the Liturgie (that it may be justified by the holy Scriptures concerning the manner of such Christian Religious meetings and practices) alloweth of the same.

First, The Apostles and Primitive Christians did meet together to preach and pray, and perform duty and service to God, and the manner of their Meetings were in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels, and such meetings were no seditious Conventicles but lawful Assemblies.

Secondly, They did meet and assemble together for the service and Worship of God after Christs Ascension in private Houses and upper Chambers, as you may read, Acts, 1.13,14,15. Acts 2.1,2.

[Page 25] Thirdly, And when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness, Acts 4.31,32.

Fourthly, They were lawfull Meetings, though in private Houses, and owned by the Lord: because he filled them with the holy Ghost, to speak the word of God with boldness; whereby it is evident that godly Ministers are justified by the Lord, and may preach the word of God boldly, in uper Cham­bers and private Houses, as you may read, Acts 20. That the Apostle Paul preached in a Chamber on the first day of the Week until midnight, Acts 20.7,8. And Peter preached boldly and effectually in the House of Cornelius; Acts 10: and Paul preached two yeares, in his own hired House, and received all that came unto him: preaching the Kingdome of God, and teaching those things which concerned the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbiding him, as it is written, Acts 28.30,31. where­by it is evident that God owns and justifies Meetings and preach­ing in Houses, and that a Minister of Christ, may preach in other places besides Parish Churches and Chapels, and in his own hi­red House also, and there receive such as come to be instructed by him, in the matters of the Kingdome of God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, as aforesaid.

First, It is evident and plain therefore by the holy Scripture, and also by the Liturgie of the Church of England, that preach­ing and meeting in Houses is owned and honoured by the Lord, and ought not to be condemned, but justified by the true Chri­stians and believers in Christ; for to condemn the Ministers of Christ, and true Christians for preaching and meeting in Houses upon the account of Religion and worship of God, would be to condemn the practise of Christ and his Apostles and Primitive Christians recorded in Scriptures; and it would be to deny and disallow of what God Almighty and the holy Scriptures do evi­dently justify and own, and therefore meeting and preaching in Houses ought not to be forbiden or punished by men; because such Christian Religious Meetings, preaching and practises are allowed by the Liturgy, and owned, and honoured by the Lord God of Heaven.

Secondly, That which is allowed by the Liturgie, and owned, and honoured by the Lord God of Heaven, ought not to be for­biden [Page 26] and condemned by men, but Christian Religious Meetings and preaching, in other places then Parish Churches and Chapels are allowed by the Liturgie, and owned and honoured by the Lord God of Heaven: Therefore Christian Religious Meetings and preachings in Houses, or in other places then Parish Churches and Chapels, as aforesaid, ought not to be forbiden, and con­demned by men.

Thirdly, That the Apostles of Christ and Primitive Christians did frequently meet together after Christs Ascension, in Houses to preach and pray and perform service to God, and that such Christian Religious meetings and preaching in Houses were own­ed and honoured by the Lord God of Heaven, is plain and clear­ly proved as aforesaid, and therefore such Christian religious meetings and preachings are allowed by the Lord to be lawful assemblies and practises; which ought to be allowed and tollera­ted by men; because they are owned and justified by the great God of Heaven.

Fourthly, The Apostles of Christ and Primitive Christians to whom Christ appeared after his Resurrection, and gave command­ment to wait at Jerusalem untill they received the promise of the Father, or the Holy Ghost from Heaven, did in obedience to that Command return from the Mount Olivet after Christs Ascension unto Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Ghost from Heaven, but they did not go into the Temple at Jerusalem, nor into a Parish Church or Chappel to wait for the same, but they entered into Jerusalem and went into an upper Room and was sitting together in a House when they received the Holy Ghost from Heaven, as by the Scrip­tures are evident and plain, Acts 1. and Acts 2. Whereby it ap­pears, or from hence we may observe and learn, first, That the Parish Churches and Chappels were not the places appointed by Christ at his Ascension to meet and assemble together in, to wait upon God untill they received the Holy Ghost from Heaven. 2ly. That God is not bound or tyed up to Parish Churches or Chappels to wait upon him therein, as the appointed place of his Worship. 3ly. That the Lord God Almighty hath signally own­ed and testified from Heaven that he owns and justifies meetings in Houses to wait upon him, beause when they were met to­gether [Page 27] as they sate in a House they received the Holy Ghost from Heaven, and spake as the Spirit gave them utterance; but we do not read in the Scriptures that Almighty God did ever at any time so wonderfully manifest himself to People in a Parish Church or Chappel, as in Houses he hath done, since Christs Ascension into Heaven.

Fifthly. The Lord hath so far owned and honoured Meeting and Preaching in House since Christs Ascension that the Hearers have received the Holy Ghost, at meeting and preaching in Houses as by the Scripture is evident and plain; therefore meeting and preaching in Houses ought not to be forbidden; but when did the Lord so evidently appear and signally own meeting and prea­ching in Parish Churches and Chappels as then and therein to give the Holy Ghost to the Hearers, as at preaching in Houses he hath done; for when Peter was preaching in the houses of Cornelius the Holy Ghost fell on al them which heard the word, as you may read, Acts 10. from verse 19. to verse 49. whereby it appears that meeting and preaching in houses are owned and honoured of God, as by the Scriptures is apparently proved.

Sixthly, And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven and filled all the House where they were sitting; whereby it appeares, that they were assembled and met in a House, and that Christian meeting was no seditious Conventicle; but owned and honoured by the Lord from Heaven; though they were not as­sembled in a Parish Church or Chapel, but in a House, whereby it appeares that God is well pleased with meeting and preaching in Houses; for they were filled with the holy Ghost, and spake, as the spirit gave them utterance, though some mocking of them, said these men are full of new Wine, but Peter standing up, with the Elders, lift up his voice and preached unto them, and when they had heard him preach the word of God unto them, they were pricked in their hearts; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand soules, and they continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship; as you may read, Acts 2.1,2. to the 43. Whereby it appears that the Word of God may be effectually preached in houses; was there ever such a thing known at a meeting in a Pa­rish Church or Chappel, by the preaching of a Parish Priest in those [Page 28] places to convert at one Sermon three thousand Souls, as was ef­fectually done by the preaching of the Word by the Apostle Peter, as aforesaid; therefore it is apparent arid evident by the Scrip­tures that meeting and preaching in houses are lawful meetings and practices, being so highly approv'd of, and signally owned of the Lord, and such meetings and preaching in Houses as are own­ed and approved of God ought not to be forbidden by men, but rather allowed and tollerated by them.

Seventhly, Though God Almighty did so evidently shew him­self well pleased with meeting and preaching in Houses in the Primitive times as aforesaid, yet the unbelievers and formal envi­ous Professors who were out of love with the same, and were a­gainst that which God did so signally own by apparent Testimonies from Heaven, for the Jewes which believe not, moved with envy took unto them certain leud fellowes of the baser sort, and gathered a company and set all the City in an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people, and they drew Jason and certain Brethren unto the Rulers of the City, crying, these that have turend the World upside down are come hither also, whom Jason hath received, and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another King, one Jesus, and they troubled the people and the Rulers of the City when they heard these things; as you may read Acts 17.5,6,7,8.

Whereby it appears first that some were against meeting and preaching in houses, when such Christian religious meetings, and preaching in houses were so apparently owned by Testimonies from Heaven. 2ly. That if God Almighty should never so appa­rently and signally own such Christian religious meetings, and practices (as meeting and preaching in houses) by never so clear and infallible Testimonies from Heaven, yet notwithstanding some out of ignorance or wilfulness will be ready to contradict and oppose the same. 3ly. That they who were so opposit to the practices of the Apostles and Primitive Christians for meeting and preaching in Houses as aforesaid, were unbelievers & formal professors who were moved with envy against them and their practices. 4ly. That those unbelievers and formal professors that were moved with envy against the true Gospel, Preachers and Hearers did take unto them certain leud fellows of the baser sort and gathered a company; 1. to set the City in an uproar, 2. to assault the house where the Primitive Christians were met toge­ther, [Page 29] 3. to pull them out of the house and bring them unto the Rulers, and 4. when they had pulled out the Brethren and Primi­tive Christians out of the house and brougt them and the man of the house unto the Rulers, they begun to accuse them before the Magistrates; 1. for being come into their City after that manner; 2. for turning the world upside down; 3. they accused Jason (the man of the house) for receiving of them; and 4. they accu­sed them all for doing contrary to the decrees of Caesar; and lastly the Magistrates were ready to hear them, or give credit to their Accusations against the true Gospel Ministers and Primitive Christians.

Eighthly, Now seeing that envy in the unbelievers was the moving cause of taking to them the baser sort of people, and certain lewd fellowes, to make such an uproar, and pull out the brethren and primitive Christians to bring them before the Magi­strates to render them odious, and worthy of punishment, in their apprehensions, and that there was a Magistracy ready to be­lieve such things, against the servants and people of God; how may this instruct all true Christians and Christian Magistrates? utterly to abhor, detest, and reject, such wicked, ungodly, anti­christian examples and practises, as envy then moved, or may now move unto, in the unbelievers and baser sort of people, against the godly examples and practises of the primitive Christi­ans; and how may this induce all true Christians and Christian Magistrates, to tollerate, justifie and own, the example and practise of the true Gospel Preachers and primitive Christians, to preach, and pray, and perform service to God; by the word and spirit of God as they did; in other places then Pavish Churches and Chap­els: for God that made the World and all things therein; seeing that he is Lord of Heaven and Earth, dwelleth not in Temples made with hands, neither is worshiped with Mens hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth unto all life and breath, and all things: as the Apostle hath testified, Acts 17.24,25.

Ninthly, But when he which testified that God dwelleth not in Temples made with hands, neither is worshiped with Mans hands, as aforesaid, was a strict zealous outward professor, and unacquainted with God in the spirit, he was zealous for the out­ward Temple, and for the worship performed therein, and could not endure meeting, and preaching in Houses, and to hear the [Page 30] outward Temple cryed down; for he joyned with the chief Priests, and consented with others to the death of Stephen, for doing the same, (or as you may read, Acts 6. chap. Acts 7.) and as for Saul he made havock of the Church, and entering into every House, (where they used to meet together) and haleing out Men and Women, committed them to Prison, Acts 7.1,2,3. Whereby it is evident that Saul before his conversion, and whilst he was ignorant of Christ within, was against meeting and preach­ing in Houses, and zealous for the outward Temple, (as many old formal professors, before their conversion in ignorance are) so that he could persecute the people of God to death for so do­ing: (as many stich like thorough ignorance of the way of the Lord are now ready to do) 2. That old zealous professors before their convertion, and inward acquaintance with Christ in the spirit, are the greatest persecuters of them that are most acquain­ted with Christ Jesus within in the spirit, and are most against meeting and preaching in Houses, and are zealous for the out­ward Temple, and Temple-worship, which God hath by his A­postles testified against, Acts 7.47,48. Acts 17.24,25. is evi­dent and plain as aforesaid.

Tenthly, They who were ignorant of Christ in themselves, were most against meeting and preaching in houses, and the great­est persecuters of them in whom Christ Jesus was manifest, so that they in whom Christ Jesus was revealed did deny the outward Temple, and assembled together to preach and pray in houses, and were most opposed and persecuted by them that were most in an outward form of profession, and ignorant of the life and po­wer of Christ Jesus as aforesaid, though Almighty God did ap­parently own his people in meeting and preaching in houses, by signal Testimonies from Heaven, as by the Scriptures aforesaid, is evident and plain.

Lastly, Though the Apostle Paul before his Conversion, and whilst he had not the Revelation of Christ in himself, did greatly esteem of the outward Temple, and highly oppose meeting and Preaching in houses, by making havock of the Church, entering in­to every house, and halling men and women committed them to Prison, Acts 7.3. yet after his Conversion and when he had the Revelati­of Christ in himself that he might be a Preacher of him; as it is written, Gal. 1.15,16,17. Then he preached down the outward [Page 31] Temple Worship; as you may read, Acts 17.24,25. and he own­ed and practised Meeting and Preaching in Houses, Acts 20.6,7,8. Acts 28.30,31. Whereby it is evident and plain that the best of the Ministers of the Gospel of Christ, have preached down the outward Temple since Christs Ascension, and have owned and practised meeting and preaching in Houses, and the true Gospel Ministers said, walk as ye have us for examples, Phil. 3.17. who did frequently meet and preach in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels; therefore to meet and preach in houses is very justifiable by the example and practices of the Apostles of Christ and Primitive Christians, and owned by signal Testimonies from Heaven, and ought not therefore to be condemned or forbidden by Men.

POSTSCRIPT.

MEetings barely and simply considered, as meetings upon the account of Religious exercise without an intent precedent to do some unlawful action or mischief when they are assembled together is no offence (it seems) against Law, or punishable there­by: Anno 16. Car 2. fol. 25 26. For first the Title of the Act, is to prevent and suppress sediti­ons Conventicles; so that Conventicles or meetings for the service of God are not to be prevented and suppressed by the said Act, but seditious Conventicles are to be prevented and suppressed thereby. 2ly. The remedies or penalties provided by the said Act, are against the growing and dangerous practices of seditious sectaries and other disloyal persons; who under pretence of tender Consciences do at their Meetings contrive Insurrections as late experience hath shewed; so that those are seditious sectaries and disloyal persons against whom the penalties of the Act in that case are made and provided, who under pretence of tender Consciences do at their meetings contrive Insurrections as aforesaid. Whereby it may appear that for persons to meet and assemble together upon the account of Religious exercise to the number of five and above, besides them of the houshold in other manner then is allowed by the Liturgy of the Church of England is to meet and assemble to­gether under such a pretence to contrive Insurrections, or do some mischievous actions, under so fair a pretence as aforesaid.

[Page 32] For thirdly the tenor or execution of the Act, Anno 16. Ca [...]. 2. fol. [...]4. is to prevent the mischiefs which may grow by such seditious and tumultuous meetings under pretence of Religious Worship: Whereby it is evident that the meetings punishable by the said Act, are to be seditious & tumultuous meetings, which tends to mischievous actions; so that the manner of meeting must be a seditious and tumultuous manner, and the mat­ter enacted, done or performed at the meeting, must be teaching, or acting sedition, insurrection or mischief, or else how is it punish­able by the said Act aforementioned.

And as to the matter of fact against preaching persons prohibi­ted or to be restrained from coming within five miles of Cities and Towns Corporate, or within five miles of any Parish, Town, or place wherein they have been Parsons, Vicars, Curats, Stipendaries, Lecturers, possessed of any Ecclesiastical or Spiritual Promotions, &c. is it not to be proved as matter of fact against such preaching per­sons prohibited and to be restrained as aforesaid: First, that they take upon them to preach without any right or authority from God; 2ly. that they preach contrary to the lawes and statutes of this King­dom; 3ly. that the meetings wherein they so preach are unlawful As­sembles or Conventicles; 4ly. that such preaching persons have been possessed of some Ecclesiastical or spiritual promotions; 5ly. that they have been in holy Orders, or pretend to be in holy Orders in a National or Parochial way; 6. that they are setled persons or have setled themselves sometimes by three or more in Corporations, thereby taking an opportu­nity to distill the poysonous principles of Schisme & Rebellion into the hearts of the people to the great danger of the Church and Kingdom; 7ly. What it is to preach contrary to the Lawes and Statutes of the Kingdom as to the matter of preaching, must it not be to preach Schisme and Rebellion or insurrection and sedition, that is the matter punishable; because preaching the Gospel of Christ and the pure Word of God is not the matter of preaching forbidden.

Christian Moderation

Something more by way of Addition and Confirma­tion, wherein also is answered some great Objections, &c.

NOw if Christian Religious Meetings and Preaching in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels be accounted seditious Conventicles, because of the manner of meeting and preaching, when both the matter and manner of meeting and preaching is according to the holy Scriptures, and the practice of the Apostles of Christ and Primitive Christians, what just ground or reason from the holy Scriptures can be produced for the proof of the same to make persons guilty of punishment, either by im­prisonment, sines or Banishment for so doing?

Object. Perhaps some may object or say its no matter though the holy Scriptures and practice of the Apostles of Christ and Primitive Christians do allow of the manner of Christian Religi­ous Meeting and Preaching in upper Chambers and in private Houses; so that there is no just ground or reason to be produced from the holy Scriptures or practice of the Apostles of Christ and Primitive Christians to prove Christian Regions Meetings and preaching (in other places then Parish Churches and Chap­pels) to be seditious Conventicles, and unlawful assemblies, when both the manner and matter of meeting and preaching is accord­ing to the holy Scriptures; yet there is an Act (or Ordinance of Man) made against the same, and the Scripture saith, Be subject to every Ordinance of man for the Lords sake; and therefore by that Act or Ordinance they are punishable for meeting and preaching (in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels) according to our apprehensions.

Ans. In answer thereunto we say, that forasmuch as every Or­dinance of man ought to be submitted unto for the Lords sake, how careful ought men (in Authority to be who profess them­selves Christian Magistrates too) to enact and ordain nothing a­bout the Service and Worship of God but what is according to the mind, spirit and word of God; seeing that the motive to [Page 34] subjection to such Ordinances of men is for the Lords sake; and how can they be submitted unto for the Lords sake if they be contrary to the mind, spirit and word of God, because the Apostle Peter [...] Pet. 2.13, [...],15,16. who exhorts to subjection to the Ordinances of Men, upon that consideration, (1 Pet. 2.13,14,15,16.) was one of the first that denyed subjection to that Ordinance made against preaching, or was chiefly concerned in refusing subjection to the command or ordinance of Men, when they commanded Peter (for one) to preach no more in the Name of Jesus; for the Apostle Peter [...]ct 4.17,18, [...],20. could not submit himself to such a command or ordinance of men, for the Lords sake when he knew it to be contrary to the mind and spirit of God in forbidding them to preach as aforesaid; there­fore may it not be concluded upon just grounds from the Scrip­tures and practice of the Apostles of Christ, that they did not in­tend a subjection to the Ordinances of Men for the Lords sake, when they (viz. mens Ordinances) were against preaching in the Name of Christ Jesus, and in opposition to the requirings of God and contrary to the Word of the Lord; for when the Apostles of Christ were forbidden to preach, and commanded by the Magi­strates then not to teach at all in the Name of Jesus, Acts 4.17,18. they put the Magistrates to be their own Judges, concerning that thing; however they could not be subject unto them con­cerning the same so as to give over preaching, because God re­quires it of them; for first the Apostles of Christ spoke to the Magistrates by way of enquiry to make them their own Judges (of their unreasonableness and injustice) concerning the same, saying, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you, (so as to give over preaching in the name of Jesus, when you forbid us to preach) more then unto God, judge ye? Secondly, they spoke by way of affirmation and justification of preaching when the Magistrates forbad them to preach, and could not give over Preaching though men did prohibit them from preaching; (which may serve as an use of reproof to many hypocritical Priests of this Generation) for said the true Gospel Ministers, (to the Magistrates who forbad them to preach) We cannot but speak the thing which we have heard and seen; as by the Scriptures is evident and plain, see Acts 4. from verse the 1. to the 21.

Thirdly, The Apostles of Christ and true Gospel Preachers did never intend that Christians and Believers in Christ should be [Page 35] judged as seditious Sectaries, and punished by Fines, Imprison­ment ' and Banishment, under pretence of being at seditious Con­venticles, for meeting and preaching in houses (or other places then Parish Churches and Chappels) when both the manner of their meeting and matter of preaching is according to the Scrip­tures and mind of Christ Jesus; for it was the practice of Christ and his Apostles to meet together with the Primitive Christians, and preach in houses and other places, then Parish Churches and Chappels; and the Apostles of Christ who had the mind of Christ Jesus, commands us to walk as we have them for example, Phil. 3.17. and must we be punished for so doing? that is to say, for meeting and preaching in houses, and out of houses, as Christ and his Apostles and the Primitive Christians did, seeing it was the practice of true Christians and Ministers of the Gospel of Christ so to do, whose example is left upon record in Scripture; and they have given commandment to Christians to walk as they have them for an example, whose godly meetings were lawful assem­blies, how then can such godly meetings be seditious Conventi­cles which be according to such good examples?

Object. Now if any object and say that Preaching must not be in Houses, but in the visible Church of Christ Jesus; in Answer thereunto we may say unto such, Answer.That the Parish meeting places are not the visible Church of Christ Jesus; first, because the Litur­gy saith, that the Church is the houshold and family of God: See the Litur­gy on Good Friday, the Collects so called. 2ly. That the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified by the Spirit of God, but so are not the Parish meeting places; how then can they be said to be Christs visible Church: For 3ly. it is de­clared by the Arch-Bishops, and Bishops of both Provinces, and the whole Clergy in the Convocation holden at London, in the year 1562. in the 19th. Article of the Church, Article 19. that the visible Church of Christ is a Congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached: is not therefore the preaching of the pure word of God in a Congregation of faithful men, the preaching of it in the visible Church of Christ as aforesaid? though they be not met and assembled together in a Parish Church or a Chappel.

The Bishops and Clergie in that Convocation said, and in the 13th. Article it is declared, Article 13. that works done before the Grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his Spirit are not pleasant to God: here they own inspiration; and forasmuch as preaching is a work, do not the [Page 36] Arch-Bishops and Bishops own and declare in effect that none can preach aright so as to be well pleasing unto God untill they be in­spired by the spirit of God, (though they may preach in a Parish Church, or a Chappel.)

In th [...] 34th. Article they say, Article 34. that nothing is to be ordained against Gods Word: now then if any thing be ordained by men against the Worship of God, is not that ordained against Gods Word? Again in the 6. Article the Bishops and Clergy have declared, Article 6. that whatsoever is not read in the Scriptures, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an Article of the Faith, or to be thought requisite or necessary to Salvation.

And in the same Convocation they have agreed and declared in the 20th. Article, Article 20. that it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to Gods Word written, and as it ought not to de­cree any thing against the same; so besides the same ought it not to en­force any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.

If nothing ought to be ordained that is contrary to the Word of God, Article 34. then if an Ordinance be made against meeting and preach­ing in Houses and upper Chambers, Article 20. (or in other places then Pa­rish Churches and Chappels) is not that Ordinance made against the Word of God, because the holy Scriptures are said to be the Word of God, against which nothing ought to be ordained as a­foresaid; and by the holy Scriptures it is evident and plain, that it was the practice of the Primitive Christians, and Apostles of Christ to assemble together and meet in private Houses, and up­per Chambers to Preach and Pray, and perform service to God, and their practice is left upon record in Scripture, as a godly Christian example for Believers to follow; and they have com­manded true christians to walk as they have them for an ensample, Phil. 3.17.

If it be not lawful for the Church of England to ordain any thing against the word of God written, Article 34. then if they ordain that Christians must not meet and assemble together to preach and pray, Article 6. and performe service to God in any place, but a Par [...]sh Church or a Chappel, is not such an ordinance against the Word of God written? because the Apostles of Christ saith to the Saints and Believers in Christ, Phil. 3.17. walk as ye have us for an ensample: And they met together to preach and pray in Houses and upper Cham­bers, (and not in Parish Churches and Chappels) for they preach­ed [Page 37] down the outward Temple, Article 19. Acts 7.41.47. Acts 17.24,25.

If the visible Church of Christ be a Congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and if none can preach the same, so as to be well pleasing unto God before they be inspired by the spirit of God, do not such as be inspired by the Spirit of God most truly preach the Word of God (though not in a Parish Church or a Chappel) and do not they come to the Church of Christ who meet and assemble toge­ther with a Congregation of faithful men to hear the Word of God preached, by such as are inspired by the Spirit of God, as aforesaid; Article 34. Article 6. Article 20. (though in other places then Parish Churches and Chappels) and if nothing ought to be ordained contrary to Gods word, is it not plain that every Ordinance of man which is to be submitted unto for the Lords sake, should answer the mind of God by being according to the Word of God, as aforesaid; because the Bishops and Clergie in their Convocation have agreed and decla­red, that it is unlawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is con­trary to Gods Word written, and as they ought not to decree any thing against the Word of God, so besides the same they ought not to enforce anything, as aforesaid; as by the Scriptures and the said Articles is evident and plain.

THE END.

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