LONDON, Printed for Henry Brome at the Gun at the West End of St. Pauls. MDCLXXVI.


G. Jane R. P. D. Hen. Episc. Lond. à Sacris Domesticis.

LEX TALIONIS: OR, The Author of Naked Truth stript naked.

To the Chapter concerning the Articles of Faith.

I Have perused the Pamphlet which you sent of Naked Truth, and whereas you require me to give you my opinion of it, though I might refer you to the Printed Discourse of that worthy Person who has animadverted upon it; yet be­cause this would look like an Artificial excusing of pains, and seem only more civilly to disobey, I will trouble you with the cursory re­flections which I made upon a hasty view of the aforesaid Book; wherein I shall chiefly aim at two things not parti­cularly designed in the Printed Answer: First, to shew that this humble Moderator (as he stiles himself) who pretends in his Title to give the true state of the Primitive Church, is utter­ly ignorant of Ecclesiastical Antiquity, and grosly mistaken in the representations he makes thereof. And then second­ly, whereas he boldly avers to the Lords and Commons, to whom he has the confidence to dedicate his Libel, that there is nothing therein contained which is contrary to the known Laws of the Land; I shall evidence that several things therein con­tained are as contrary to the known Laws as his Printing without Licence confestly was: and that the Book is per­nicious, and tending to the disturbance of the establish'd constitution of the Church and State.

[Page 2]As to the Book considered in the gross, my first reflexion about it was, whether it could be the work of the same per­son, several things being so well, and more so very ill said; Therefore if it hapned to have one single Author, it either seem'd the exercise of Wit of some Sceptic and Atheistical derider of Religion, who desired to make sport with holy things, and say pro and contra, all that occurr'd to his mind: Or else that it was wrote in the different intervals of a craz'd Enthusiast, and therefore not unseasonably introdu­ced by a declaration of being the product of Fasting and Prayer, and seeking of God, venerable words which have not left off to abuse the World: Or lastly, (which seems most probable) that it was wrote by some ambitious discontented Person of the Church of England, who not preferred according to his merit, or what may be greater than that, his expectation, his mind being leaven'd with spite and anger, cavils at the present Constitution of the Church; and he having in ill humour left off studying, writes out of memory imperfect shreds of Antiquity, and yet not able to cast away at once the Principles formerly imbib'd, sometimes speaks in favour to Conformity, and quarrels the disobedience of Dissenters.

But to pass from Conjectures to that which is more cer­tainly before us. At the first setting out our Author tells us, That the Primitive Church received the Apostles Creed, as the sum total of Faith necessary to Salvation. And then disputes, Why is it not now so? Which involving an intimation that in the Church of England it is not thought so, can only tend to sedition, being an odious suggestion▪ and absolutely false: And it is known, that scarcely any thing is more particularly insisted on by our Church against the Papists than their making new Articles to the Creed. But it seems the fault will rather lie upon us, that with the Primitive Church, we think the whole Creed necessary: For we are bid remem­ber and observe, That the Treasurer to Candace his Creed was only, I believe that Iesus Christ is the Son of God; and no more [Page 3] that this purch [...]sed the Kingdom of Heaven, &c. That is, the Ar­ticles of the Death of our Saviour, his Resurrection, and Ascension; at least, those of the Catholick Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins, and Re­surrection of the Body, are if not superfluous, yet unneces­sary speculations. How well this sutes with the close of the Athanasian Creed, our Author would do well to consider: If it shocks it, then he must confess that he has said some­thing contrary to the known Laws of the Land: The Li­turgy (of which that makes a part) being confirmed by several Acts of Parliament, and in particular the late one of Uniformity. Moreover, the Statute of Primo Eliz. which established the Oath of Supremacy, determining the limits of Heresie to be, not only what has been ordered or judged to be so, by the Authority of the Canonical Scriptures, but also by the first four General Councils, or any of them; he may bethink himself, whether the Sy­stem of what is to be held de fide, by the Law of the Land, is so narrow as is here pretended. But our Author says, Philip required no more [...]of the Eunuch than this short Confessi­on, that I believe that Iesus Christ is the Son of God, and that there is no assurance nor great probability that he was more fully instructed; which is plainly to contradict the Text of S. Luke, who tells us, that Philip (from the place of Isaiah which the Eunuch was reading) began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus; which certainly expresses a grea­ter compass of particularities than is in the short System here proposed. Yet farther, it would be considered whether our Authors Argument be good; Philip required no more, but bap­tized him on this; and had the Eunuch departed this life in the same instant that Philip parted from him, I believe I have better assurance that thi [...] Faith would have saved the Eunuch, than any man hath that he was ever taught more; therefore that Confession here required, is a sufficient Summary of Faith. For sure there is more required as necessary to be known of a Man, than of a Child in Christ. Such a knowledge as perswades to [Page 4] the undertaking the Covenant and duties of the Gospel, may entitle unto Baptism; but yet neither involves the knowledge of the whole Gospel, nor supersedes the necessi­ty of it. As to the Event of the Eunuchs condition had he departed this life immediately after Baptism, it is as much to the purpose as if one should say, that if an Infant immediately after Baptism should depart this life, he would be saved even without the Eunuchs Creed, therefore even that may well be spared. But after a complaint of the mischiefs arising from the establishment of new and many Articles of Faith, and requiring all to assent unto them: (which let them who are guilty of doing answer for it) the Author goes on to say, That for his part he thinks nothing can be more clearly deduced from Scripture, nothing more fully expressed in Scripture, nothing more sutable to natural Reason, than that no man should be forced to believe. Whereby he means, or else he can mean nothing, (for what appears not is as if it were not) that no man should be forced to declare his belief of any thing. Now since the Scripture under the severest penalties requires the confessi­on of Christ before men, it is not sure contrary to Scri­pture, that Persons should be forced to declare their Be­lief; and if so, will not be thought unsutable to natural Reason neither. But now let us see whether this Assertion of our Author be not contrary to the Law of the Land, not­withstanding the assurance we have from him who tells us, there is not a word in his discourse against it. The Oath of Sove­raignty, enjoyned by the Statute before mentioned, Primo Eliz. commands the Subject ‘to testifie and declare in his conscience, that the Kings Majesty is the only Supreme Governour of this Realm, and of all other his Highness Dominions and Countries, as well in all Spiritual or Eccle­siastical things or causes, as Temporal, &c. So likewise the other Tertio Iacob. ‘I truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testifie, and declare in my conscience before God and the World, &c. And the Act of Uniformity com­mands ‘the Abjuring of the Covenant, and assenting and [Page 5] consenting to every thing contained in the Liturgy.’ And after this, let my Author consider with what duty and good manners he concludes, Thus you see how impertinent, how irrational, how impious it is to require a man to believe (that is, profess his belief of) any thing more than is clearly contained in Scripture. The truth is, we, dull as we are, do not at all see this impertinence and unreasonableness, notwithstand­ing the beautiful illustrations of the Eye and the Candle, the hammer and the beating out the brains. St. Paul hath taught us that Heresie is a work of the flesh, and we know Pride, and Prepossession, and Interest are of more concernment there­in than want of faculties and apprehension. The thing complained of is, that men turn away their faces, shut their eyes, and will not lay their heads to consider what is set before them: And if the immorality of error be once cured, there will be a speedy account of its misadventures in Speculation and Theory. The Will of man has an higher pretence to freedom than the Intellect; Tyranny can make me suffer, but cannot oblige me to approve, much less to chuse: and yet it is not impertinent or irrational to re­quire men to will, and, what is more than that, actually to perform their duty: Nor can any sufficient cause be ren­dred, why perverse and stubborn men should not be made to learn it and consider it too; which plainly is their duty, and previous to the performance of it. The Scripture indeed commands to speak the truth in love, to instruct the Brother in the spirit of meekness; and the same Scripture has made the greatest Christian Monarch, and his meanest Vassal brethren; but notwithstanding that, he bears not the Sword in vain; and in love and meekness, and with the greatest kindness and charity, is obliged to cut off the evil doer. The question, To what purpose is force? would indeed do well in the mouth of a Ranter or Anabaptist, and I might answer thereto, that it is ordained by God to punish the re­bellion of such a question by sharp severities; but I shall content my self to repeat the Apostles words, just now [Page 6] recited, The Magistrate bears not the Sword in vain; there is a purpose why fo [...]ce should be used, and all sober men understand it, though our Author knows not of it. What is added of the Scripture rule of Faith being compleat and full is seriously to be considered: But he who straitens the credenda into one short Proposition of the Eunuchs Creed, may in likelihood be as blameable in diminishing from it, as any can be by adding to it. Though, by the way, our Author is to know, that the explication of Faith, is not the extending or making new Articles of it. And what he says of requiring men to believe with Divine Faith what they add to the Scripture, is to make their words equal with God [...]: If this re­fer to the Church of England, first he proceeds on a false sup­posal, that there is somewhat added, when there is not any thing added; And secondly, it is notorious, they have never pretended that any thing ought to be believed, as Scripture, or with Divine Faith, but Scripture. So that the ex­aggerations of impertinent, irrational, and impious, fall to the ground, unless they may chance to rest upon the head of him who to seditious and uncharitable purposes produces them.

The next Paragraph desires it may be soberly considered, that the Trinity, Incarnation, Resurrection are things far above the highest reason, yet believed, because God, who cannot lie, hath decla­red them: And that it is strange that any one should take upon him to declare one tittle of them more than God hath declared. But I desire to be allowed to put in a caveat, that men should not be suffered to declare several (not tittles, but) Ar­ticles, less than God hath declared; that our Authors di­rection concerning the quashing the whole debate of the Omoo [...] ­sios and Omoiousios may not be admitted; and for quietness sake we may not be Latitudinarian Arians, and Theists; pretend to admit the Scripture-Doctrines in our own extra­vagant sense, and therefore to be liable to no controul▪ or farther rendring a reason of the Faith that is in us. It is easie to say, that the Bishops who contended in this great [Page 7] Controversie were more zeal [...]us th [...]n dis [...]re [...]t: But they who have read the History of those times (which it is plain our Author never did) know very well that the Orthodox, if they were defective in any thing, offended in permitting by their lenity Arius to infect the World and form his party, before ever they took notice of him: And the discreet ad­vice here given by silence to prevent the Malice, Rancor, Perse­cution, and War, which fell upon the Orthodox▪ might as well have been given to the Christians, during the ten Per­secutions; and doubtless might have preserved many thou­sand lives, and damned as many souls. The instance here mentioned of the Resurrection falls very pat to the pur­pose; the Scripture hapning to afford a Parallel of what our Author thinks so adviseable. The Resurrection (he tells us) whereby men shall rise with the same body, when one body may be eaten and converted into several bodies, is far above the highest reason and sharpest understanding; yet was believed by Hymeneus and Philetus, because God had declared it: Yet they by keeping within the bounds which God had declared, and referring it to that which was perfectly true, the first Resurrection from the death of sin, destroyed the faith of some: And it is to be hoped that St. Paul was not more zealous than discreet, be­cause he was so earnestly concerned against them. There is no Arian nor Socinian who professes not to believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, or allows him not to be God; but our Author must hold us exc [...]sed, if we expect farther satis­faction in so weighty a concern, and examine how these Gentlemen stand affected to the tenure by which he holds his Godhead, and the Shiboleth of his Eternal Generation, and the [...]. I am no friend to the unravelling of Mysteries, and making them so evident as to forfeit their nature; yet I must not be so much a Socinian, notwithstand­ing our Authors opinion concerning the procession of the Holy Ghost, of I will send the Comforter: Or of the Sacra­ment, This is my Body: To believe every one Orthodox who admits those words to be Scripture, and declaratory of [Page 8] truth. He says indeed, that we have no other s [...]fe way to speak of divine matters, but in Scripture L [...]ng [...]age, [...]psissi [...]is verbis, with the very same words. How then I pray comes it about that we may speak of them in Dutch, or French, or Eng­lish? they are none of them the ipsissima verba, the original Hebrew or Greek. It were easie to shew how much of our Creed the Socinian would have us cashier on this account, and how pestilent consequences have been drawn from these unhappy Premises. Nay, let us give even the Socinians their due, they in their sober Moods are not so extrava­gantly mad as is our Author. Volkelius in his Fifth Book and Seventh Chapter says, Sacris voluminibus ob ipsorum perfectio­nem, nihil nec adjiciendum nec subtrahendum, hoc tamen non eo con­silio à nobis dictum existimari velim quasi omnes dictiones, omnes sententias, omnesque collectiones iisdem literis ac syllabis in S. Scri­ptura non expressas ob hoc ipsum repudi [...]mus. Nam vel dictio aut phrasis aliqua subaudiri, vel sententia aliqua si non verbis, reipsâ tamen in S. literis contineri potest, vel denique ex iisdem colligi. Id autem qualecunque est perinde habendum existimamus, ac [...]i diser­tissimè scriptum extaret. Neque enim in sola verba sed praecipuè in verborum sententiam animum intendere debemus. ‘Such is the perfection of the holy Scripture that nothing is to be ad­ded to, or taken from it. This we say, not that we re­ject all Words, Sentences, and Inferences, which are not there in the same Letters and Syllables. For many times Words and Phrases are to be understood; and di­vers things, though not verbally, yet really may be be contained in the Scripture, or inferred from it. All which we take to be the same thing, as if it were most expresly written, for we must not consider naked words, but the meaning of them.’ Thus much a soberer man (I am sorry to add, a better principled Christian) is this Soci­nian, than our Pretender to Naked Truth▪ But he is so liberal as to give a reason of h [...]s opinion: If in Divine Mat­ters we once give way to Humane Deductions, a cu [...]ning Sophis [...]er may soon lead a weak Disputant into many Errors. Truly very [Page 9] well urged; Whose fault is it that men are weak Dispu­tants, or being so, that they will meddle with Controversie? St. Paul has abundantly provided in the case, Him that is weak in the Faith receive; but not to doubtful Disputations. Men of Parts and Learning will comprehend a Deduction as perfectly as the Text it self: And they who are deficient either in natu­ral or acqui [...]ed Knowledge, will understand neither one or other; whereof we have an example here before us.

And now a mighty heat is struck upon the sudden against School-Divinity, as the greatest plague to Christian Religion. In which career our Author, to shew his Learn­ing, tells us, That the School at Alexandria was the first Divinity-School he reads of. He might have better told us of the School of one Tyrannus, where St. Paul read his Lectures. Certainly the Angelical, the irrefragable, the subtil, and most founded Doctors would have been very proud of s [...]ch Antiq [...]ity as the age of Pantenus: But Peter Lombard, it is likely, would not have taken it well to be robb'd of his Ma­stership; and to be made an Usher, nay, School-boy to Pantenus. Well, we will pass this over; The School of Alex­andria, we are told, was set up by Pantenus. Our Author might more [...]easonably have said, that it was set up by St. Mark; had he ever heard of E [...]sebius his relation, he could not have been so grosly ignorant. In this very account here pointed to, he expresly says, that this School was in Pantenus his time, [...]. ‘There was of ancient Cu­stom, settled with them a School of the holy Scriptures.’ Now Pantenus lived in the time of Commodus, and what could then be said to have been from ancient times, will bid fair to be almost as old as Christianity it self. Our Author goes on with the same ill Stars, and the very next Period is a new misadventure: From this School, says he, sprung forth t [...]at damnable Heresie of the Arians. What shall we say if Arius were neither bred up at all, nor was a Professor in this School▪ but an Afri [...]an by birth, and a plain Parish Priest [Page 10] of Alexandria? Nay farther, what shall we say i [...] this School was employed in an honest Catechism-Lecture, or Exposition of the Scripture, and had nothing more to do with teaching School-Divinity than in teaching Anatomy or Mathematicks? Will not this Gentleman, whoever he is, appear a wonderful meek Writer; fitter to deal in a Romance than Church History? Of his Country and Em­ployment Epiphanius informs us, [...]; ‘He was of Libya by his Country; and being made a Priest in Alexandria, was preferred to the Church called Baucalis. And that we may be more assured of the nature of his Employment, Epiphanius presently reckons up the other Churches of that great City, and recites the names of several of the Rectors of them. That this School was for Catechizing, St. Ierom is most express, who in his Catalogue of Ecclesiastical Writers, says that Clement, after Pantenus; Alexandriae Ec­clesiasticam Scholam tenuit, & [...] Magister fuitCle­ment after Pantenus kept the Ecclesiastical School at Alex­andria, and was Catechist there.’ We see then what a goodly Bracelet of [...]alse Pearls our Author has hung together upon a string in hopes to adorn himself with them. One would now have the curiosity to ghess what should come into his head positively to assert so many false and extravagant things. Was Pantenus a Heretick, or noted for a great So­phister and man of Notions, and thereby obnoxious to have the great plague to Christian Religion, School-Divinity fathered upon him? Nothing of all this: He is by Eusebius (l. 5. c. 10.) stiled, [...], a most famous man, and said to have shewed so much, and such Divine Zeal for the Word of God, as to have gone and preached the Gospel unto the Indians: And that after his return he was made Master of this School; where partly by Words, partly by Writing he expounded the Treasures of Divine Know­ledge.’ But secondly, had this School at any time been so [Page 11] unfortunate as to have bred up notorious Hereticks, or per­verse Disputers that did mischief in the Church? No­thing of this neither; it was the happy Nursery of the most eminent Propagators of the Christian Faith, and at this time when Arianism entred the World, merited this Character, [...]. ‘It con­tinues to our times, and is celebrated for persons power­ful in the Word, and study of Divine things.’ What then could be the matter that should hare and lead a poor innocent man into such a Maze of falsehoods? Why surely no more than this: He had heard from the Parson of the Parish, or some other good body in discourse, that the Ari­an Heresie took its rise from Alexandria; that it supported it self much with quirks of Philosophy, and Sophistical Nicities; and that there was a Divinity-School at Alex­andria, and a notable man, one Pantenus, had been Master of it; and now if this were put together, and all the He­resies of the world laid upon the back of this Pantenus and School-Divinity, it would make a very pretty story, and look like a learned account of Antiquity. Just as if a stranger sho [...]ld have heard, that there was a mischievous fa­natical Rebellion, which overr [...]n the whole Nation, and was the cause of the destruction of so many tho [...]sands of Christians both body and soul, fomented and carried on at Westmi [...]ster in Eng­land; and likewise that there was a famous School, and one Dr. Lambert Osbaston, a noted man▪ had been Master of it▪ and then should tack all this together, and say, that West­minster School was a Seminary of Fanaticism and Rebelli­on, and that Dr. Lambert Osbaston was the first and chief Promoter of it. Now this ridiculous Fable is far more pro­bable than that which our Author obtrudes upon us, in that several of the Ringleaders in the la [...]e Rebellion, as Sir Ar­thur Haslerig, Sir Harry Vane, Scot, and others, were really Scholars to Dr. Osbaston, and Governours of that School; nothing of which nature can be truly suggested of the [Page 12] other. But our Author goes on, and has certainly made a Vow not to say one true word in this whole Paragraph, and keeps it most religiously. His following period runs thus: The Heresies before thi [...] were so gross and sensual, that none took them up but dissolute or frantick people, and soon vanisht: But after this School-subtil way of arguing was brought into Christianity, Heresie grew more refined, and so subtil, that the plain pious Fa­thers of the Church knew not how to lay hold of it, &c. But now what will become of us, if there were refined, and spiritual Heresies before? Nay, in a manner if this very Heresie were so? What if they were followed by men neither dissolute, nor frantick? nor did soon vanish? And that the Fathers of the Church were not so plain men, but that they knew how to encounter this School-Divinity Monster? Has not our Author the worst luck of any man that ever put Pen to Paper? As to the sensuality and grossness of Heresie; no [...] to look higher than the confines of this Age we talk of, surely neither Novatianism, nor the Heresie of Sa­bellius, or Paulus Samosatenus, of which Arianism was but an off-set, were gross or sensual: Nor were Novatus, Tatian, Tertullian, and Origen, who were all very considerable men, and fell into Heresie before this time, ever noted for being frantick or dissolute people. But on the contrary, their very severity of life, and zeal for Vertue, were the prime occa­sion of their Heresies. Nor did their Heresies soon vanish, but continued for several Ages, some in their own, others under new names and titles. And whosoever reads the Controversies of those times will find that the pious Fathers of the Church were not quite baffled by School-distinctions and eva­sions; nor did these Sophisters, proud of their conquest, triumph and carry away a specious appearance of truth: But the advan­tage of Arius was quite of another kind in application and address. [...]. ‘He was of taking and pleasant conversation, always glozing and flattering, as Epiphanius tells us; then adds, [...] [Page 13] [...].’ ‘He addrest to each particular [...]ishop with insinuating arts and flatteries, whereby he drew in many to be Partizans with him.’ And, as Sozo­m [...]n expresses it, [...]. ‘His Party finding it their interest to pre­possess in their behalf the Bishops of each City, they sent their [...]gents to them, with confessions of their Faith.... w [...]h practice turned mightily to their advantage.’ But th [...]r chief advantage lay in their Court insinuations, first with Constantines Sister during his life; and after with Con­stantius his Sons after his death; and when the Aria [...]s had the suffrage of an Emperour on their side, we need not im­p [...]te it to Sophistry that they prevailed.

Our Author, having not as he thinks fully enough disco­vered to us the mysteries of his knowledge, goes on, with the same ausp [...]ces of Ignorance and Error, to acquaint us farther: That this great bane of the Church took its rise from hence: Many of the Primitive Doctors and Fathers, being conver­ted from Heathenism, and having by lo [...]g and great industry ac­quired much knowledge in natural Philosophy, Antiquity, His [...]ory, and subtil Logick or Sophistry, were very unwilling to abandon quite these their long studied and dearly beloved Sciences, falsly so called; and therefore translated them into Christianity, &c. And now we know perfectly the true cause of all the Heresies that ever came into the Church. I will adventure not­withstanding all this to add one more to the number, and say, in opposition to what is here averred, that Christiani­ty received more advantage from Philosophy than ever it did damage from it. It is true, as Tertullian tells us, that the Philosophers were the Patriarchs of Hereticks, but it is as true, they were the Champions of Christian truth. He must be a stranger to every thing that relates to the Church, who know not how much Religion ows to Iustin Mart [...]r, Athenagoras, Ammonius, Pantenus, Clemens of Alex­andria, [Page 14] and (notwithstanding all his misadventures) to Origen himself. The last and most dangerous attempt against Christianity was the setting up Heathen Morality, gilded over with Magick against Christian Ethicks; labou­red by Apollonius Tyanaeus, Porphyry, Iamlichus, Plotinus, Hiero­cles, Simplicius, and several others: And had not the good providence of God raised up the before mentioned, and other eminent Christian Philosophers, to attaque them in their strengths, and fight them with their own Weapons; it is to be feared our holy Faith would not have had so easie, or so clear a victory over the World. But because our Au­thor has so particular a Pique against Sophistry, I shall de­sire him at his leisure to read the twenty ninth Chapter of the seventh Book of Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History, the Title of which Chapter is, [...]. ‘How Paulus Samosatenus, baffled and confuted by one Malchion a Priest, who had been a Sophister, was deposed.’ And sure the Sophister may be allowed to have done no small service, who baffled and confuted that so considerable He­retick.

But the stop put to the Donatists Schism, by the inter­position of the Civil Magistrate is a great mote in our Au­thors eye, and one way or other he will be sure to remove it. First, he tells us, It is well known the Donatists were a Sect very turbulent in behaviour. Alas, our Author has a Confes­sors memory, and has quite forgot the unpeaceable temper of our Dissenters, and how naturally Conventicles mustered themselves into Armies: But which way the enforcing a Confession of Faith comes to be our case, he will do well to inter­pret himself. If he speaks against the Penal Laws; and the tendering of the Oath of Supremacy to Recusants thereby directed, be the enforcing a Confession of Faith which he speaks against; there is again somewhat contai­ned in his Book which is contrary to the known Laws of the Land. Fearing the success of this answer, he offers [Page 15] another, which is, that for ought any body knows these seeming converted Donatists were only Hypocrites, who for the love of the World, more than for the love of the truth, forsook their Heretical Profession; or if their hearts were really changed as to belief, it is evident they were worldly still, and not one step nearer heaven. First, if for ought any body knows these Donatists were only Hypo­crites, for ought any body knows they were sincere; and Charity obliges to the better side. As to the carnality of their hearts, it is Gods, and not our Authors, Prerogative to judge of them; In the mean time, it is surely of some good effect, to have set the understanding right, though a thorough reformation be not made on the aff [...]ctions. The ill luck is, the reasoning of our Author herein, if it prove any thing, is as valid against the Secular M [...]gistrates re­straining Immorality and Vice, as well as Error. For men may be Hypocrites, and carnal in their hearts; may de­sign and wish Murder, Fraud, and Theft, though for fear they dare not act them. Our Author has more solutions in his Budget, and is very liberal of them, for he goes on, and says, That though we farther grant the pruning of the Magistrates Sword did really correct the viciousness of the Tree, yet we must not dò evil that good may come of it. That is, to punish Hereticks is in its self, and in its nature evil. This, I confess, comes home to the point, and would have superseded the former: But the proof is wanting, and must ever be; for the Asser­tion is false, as we have shewed above: And is contrary not only to all the Imperial Laws, made against Hereticks, as also the Ecclesiastical of this National Church; but the Municipal, against which our Author gave the Parliament his engagement that he had not spoken a word. But the illustration of this his Position is wonderfully pleasant, I mean the instance of Peter's cutting off Malchus his ear, for which he is sharply reproved, and threatned with perishing by the Sword, &c. As if because St. Peter, a private man, might not use the Sword against the Magistrate, the Magistrate might not neither against a private man. But lastly, if none of all the answers will conclude, there is one in re­serve [Page 16] that infallibly will do the feat, it is th [...] Turkish and Mr. Hobbes's Appeal to Fate: They who are ordained to Eternal life will believe, and the rest are hardned, the sharp [...]st Sword in this world will not enter the hard heart more than an Adamant. And so farewel to all Exhortations and Instructions; to all Threats, Rewards, and Punishments: Nay, to all Argu­ments and discoursings. Our Author was predestined to talk absurdly, and the sharpest reason in this world will no more enter the hard head than an Adamant.

Our good man recapitulates the whole matter, and would have us not mistake him. All this he says in reference to compel­ling men to believe or conform, reserving to the Magistrate power to punish evil Doers, not evil Believers. I pray Sir remember once more your promise to the Parliament; whatever shift you will make to palliate the matter concerning there not being Laws to compel men to believe, I am sure there are Laws enough which would fain by Penalties compel men to con­form; and here you tell us, that all this long discourse is levelled against them. What pity it is that great Wits, and men who speak untruth, have not better memories? Whatever punishment they are worthy of who disobey the Laws; they deserve much greater who stand in defiance, and dispute against them; but what shall we say of him who at once denies and boasts his guilt, robs in the midst of an Assize, and while he does so, cries out unto the Judge, and desires him to take notice that he does no harm?

To the Appendix.

OUr Author having abridged the Articles of Faith in­to his Eunuchs Creed, one would have hoped his Comment would have bore some proportion to his Text, but he has not yet shewed all his learning, and profound knowledge in Church Affairs; and therefore we are blest with his bounty in an Appendix.

And first, his Instances of the Millenary Error, Infants communicating, the Cro [...]s and Chrism, have (if one mark [Page 17] it) a mighty Neighbourhood with the Articles of Faith▪ and the first Reformers by discarding the use of most, and taking away the abuse of all of them, have discovered their shyness, and timorousness to reject that Authority which they had long reverenced: And in modesty some of them admitting the Authority of the F [...]thers and Councils, for three or four of the first Centuries, some admitted five or six, whereby they were reduced sometimes to great streights in their disputations. A heavy charge indeed upon the first Reformers, that they had a reve­rence for Fathers and Councils; and the Instances brought are wonderfully proper to demonstrate the streights to which Protestants are likely to be brought in their Disputations, the most of them being equally rejected by all with whom they have occasion to dispute. Not to wast time with such a Tri [...]er, I leave the question proposed to the Papists, By what r [...]le they reject some things, and retain others? At their best leisure to resolve: And to that offered to the Evange­lical, by what rule they submit to the Authority of some Centuries, and refuse others? without his help I shall frame a ready an­swer. Our rule we borrow from Tertullian, Illud verum quod primum: And add, th [...]t in all Concerns of Religion we make our resort and utmost appeal to Scripture; but own also a great deference to Antiquity; but by Antiquity▪ mean not, as our Author fondly imagines (who talks of Sa­cred things, as if he had newly put off his Apron) the opi­nion of three or four Write [...]s of all the first Ages; no [...] of all of any one; [...]ut the uniform concur [...]ence both of Times and Persons. Now, why the la [...]er Centuries should not be lookt upon with the same reverence as the forme [...], is in it self evident, they having not the like Stamp and Character of Antiquity. Besides, our Controversies being chiefly with the Papists, whose Exorbi [...]ancies breaking in upon the World most notoriously abo [...]t the sixth Century, we think upon the common rules of judiciary proceeding, we have all reason to decline the testimony of obnoxious Persons and Times. I am weary of pursuing step by step insolent im­pertinencies; and therefore for this time shall l [...]t pass the [Page 18] Pygmy and the Giant ▪ the charge upon Iren [...]us, Papias, St. Au­st [...], and Lactan [...]ius; with the good Character of our Au­thors own zeal, Sincerity, and eminent Parts, it being, as he says, possible, nay, (what you will wonder at, having seen his discoveries in the stripping of Truth) probable that there may be in the World another who has more natural under­standing, and more acquired learning than himself. And shall pro­ceed to his next Stage of Councils, where we are told roundly, that all the Evangelical Doctors grant, that the later general Councils have erred. I beg our Authors permissi­on to differ from him herein; and humbly conceive that he will scarce meet with a considerable number, who allow any of the later Councils to be General: And if they say any have erred, they shew reasons how they came to do so, without destroying the credit due to the decisions of the Church; or our Saviours Promise, that the Gates of Hell should not prevail against her. And therefore the rest of his Harangue about Councils, being most of it false, and all of it impertinent, I shall say no more of it.

To the Chapters of Ceremonies.

OUr Author begins this Chapter with his wonder, Why any one of tolerable discretion should be so eager either for, or against Ceremonies. What, in the mean time, is to be done with men of our Authors kidney, men of intolerable dis­cretion, wiser tha [...] [...]heir Superiours, than the Church wherein they live? Le [...] them who are against Ceremonies answer for their eagerness; there are others who find great reason to be eager for them. When a King of Spain pres­sed a General of his to pass over a Punctilio of Honour which belonged to hi [...] [...], saying, That it was but a Ce­remony: He replied smartly▪ That nothing differenced the King from him but Ceremony. When our Author shall have planted his levelling, Quaker [...]Gospel; and perswaded Princes to relinquish their Ensigns of Royalty; the Sages of the L [...]w to sit upon the Bench i [...] cuerp [...]; the Lord [Page 19] Mayor of Lo [...]don with his Fraternity to part with their Li­veries, and unaccountable Formalities; Nay, that his Lordship should quit but his Chain and great Horse: Or lastly, that our Author, with all his self-denial, should condes [...]end so far, that he will be pleased to sit below his Kitch [...]n▪ maid at Table, or light his Plough-boy up to bed; we will endeavour to think as slightly of Ceremonies in Religion (where sure, if any where, there should be awe and reverence) as he would have us. Not long since our Neighbours of Holland refused to strike Sail to his Majesties Flag, upon which a bloudy War ensued. Shall we borrow now our Authors Rhetorical Apostrophe, and cry out, My Fathers, My Fathers, so much Christian bloud spilt, so many Orphans, so many Widows made, so much Treasure spent, and all for a Ceremony? I pray mount a Turnip Cart, and preach to the heathen world the Spirit of the Hat, and hold forth that striking Sail is the same Idolatry in a Ship, as the putting off a Hat is in a Brother. Certainly, there is some dismal mischief in these Ceremonies of the Church, else there would never have been such a loud outcry of O my Fathers, my Fathers, will you restrain the Liberty of the Gospel to the rigidity of your Discipline, to lose some, to lose many, and per­chance in the end to lose all, your selves and all? Be Pious, be Cha­ritable, be Prudent, &c. Let the World judge if such a charge, as this seems to import, be not the declaring or speaking something in derogation to, and depraving of the Liturgy of the Church, forbidden under severest Penalties in the Act of Uniformity, Primo Eliz. And if the expostulating with the Governours of the Church, for doing their duties themselves, and endeavouring that others should do it▪ be not contrary to the known Laws of the Land, which en­joyns those duties, both to Bishop and People.

What our Author would be at he plainly tells us in th [...] ensuing Period, You will say, if you yield to some Dissenters in this, you must as well yield to others in that, and so by degrees abo­lish all your Ceremonies. To this he roundly replies, [...] beseech you, is not the [...]ody more than R [...]iment, Substance more than Cere­mony. [Page 20] Which is plainly to say, That to gratifie Dissenters we ought to discard all Ceremonies, and in contradiction to St. Paul, who enjoyns that all things should be done decently and in order, nothing is to be done decently and in order. I must have leave to say, That in this in­stance Raiment is the Body, Ceremony is substance. I may put off a Sca [...]ff, or Belt, or perchance a Coat in a cold Winters day; but should I throw off all my Cloaths, I should certainly kill my self. A Ceremony, considered in individuo, or retail, may be of no great moment; but they, taken in genere, and in the bulk, are absolutely necessary. The following Objection, that by parting with Ceremonies, which tend to the encreasing Devotion, preserving Order, and giving glory to Almighty God, we shall displease our Friends, and then lie exposed to our Enemies to spoil our goods, is of more moment than to be thrown off by saying, that our goods are only Faith, Hope, and Charity, and that these stood firm in the Primitive times, when there was not one of our Ceremonies to preserve it. Surely, the scandalizing those who do their duty, by our breaking the Laws, is a greater mischief, than to displease those who violate their duty, by our keeping the Law. A Scandal only taken is of less moment, than one both taken and given. And if Faith and Hope hap­pen to be unconcerned in this whole matter, yet Chari­ty is sure the natural product of Decency and Order; and the common rule, that it ought to begin at home, is here to take place, and their satisfaction be most studied who are of the Houshold of Faith, rather than the humour and caprice of the Desertors of it, Moreover, upon a true account it is not Charity to Dissenters to humour them in their dis­obedience towards their spiritual Superiours; no more than it is, to give Impunity to that of Rebels, against their temporal. But were there no Ceremonies among the Pri [...]itive Christians? What shall we say of the kiss of Charity, or was there not one of ours, surely laying on of Hands, kneel­ing at Prayer, the Peoples answering Amen after it, the having the Head uncovered in Religious Assemblies, were [Page 21] more than one of theirs, and are our Ceremonies. I am weary of being a Scavenger, and sweeping together all the straws and dirt, which this unhappy Write [...] scatters as he goes; and there being nothing but clamour and sedition in the rest of this Chapter, or that which follows concerning Church-Service, which only, after a few Complements sprinkled upon Discipline and Order, labours to disparage the present Constitution, and levels those who are con­cerned for their duty and obedience, with the wild Rabble of Sectaries and Fanaticks. I shall without more words dismiss the Inquest, and go on to what follows.

To the Chapter of Preaching.

THe Chapter concerning Preaching is a most unreaso­nable reproach of the Church of England. After that the Uniform Vote of all our Neighbours has given us the preference in this particular, the Ministers of the Reform­ed Churches, Germans, Hollanders, Danes, Swedes, French, and Switzers, learning our Language generally to take be­nefit of our Sermons, and many travelling hither for that end; our Author, led to it by his excellent good nature, labours to shew his Talent in depreciating what strangers so must esteem. There was a time when Nicity of Division, and the flowers of a Polyanthea were somewhat in fashion; but those days are long since done, a practical sober way of pressing Christian duty is generally taken up, which has as little of the Quid, or the Quale, or the Quantum, as our Au­thor seems to have in his head; or has discovered in his Writings. His project for Preachers is as extravagant as his Character of our Sermons. They must be grave elderly men, not raw Novices from the Vniversity with all their Sciences and Languages; but rather [...]ober persons of Age and Experience, having a good natural capacity, &c. that never saw the Vniversity, and knew no other Language than their Mother Tongue: That is, they must be experienced Farmers, illuminated Coblers, or gifted Weavers; and these, no doubt, as they did twenty years since, would bring about a thorough Reformation▪ [Page 22] These would redeem the Church from that great contempt, the Aristotelists, Scotists, Aquinatists, with their▪ knacks of quiddities, and qualities, Syllogisms, and Enthymems, Distinctions, and Sub­sumtions, and the handsome School-boy exercise of the very good Prea­chers of the Age, have brought upon it.

He goes on to tell us, That his heart bleeds to think how many thousand poor souls there are in this Land, that have no more know­ledge of God than Heathens, &c. It is truly a lamentable thing, that where the Gospel has been so long, and so h [...]ppily planted, any should be ignorant of it. Would to God all the Lords People were Prophets; but in the mean time let us not be so ungrateful, as not to own with all due accepta­tion and thankfulness that our People, generally speaking, are better instructed in all the parts of Saving Knowledge than any Nation in the World. And we may say it with perfect truth, and therefore without vanity, that they have also the most learned and sufficient Clergy: Men that un­derstand the Athanasian Creed much better than our Author, who in his first Chapter has done what his little knowledge, and violent passion could effect, toward the undermining of it. The truth is, I cannot but wonder how it is possible for a man, that did not design to put scorn upon Religion, to offer such mad and unaccountable Proposals, and the while talk demurely, and in Scripture Phrase, as if he would be thought to be in earnest.

To the Chapter concerning Bishops and Priests.

THe long Chapter of Bishops and Priests is of the same strein with the former, it cries Hail Master to Epis­copacy, acknowledges the Apostolical Antiquity and Dignity thereof; and then fairly goes about to▪ betray it: Whether Presbytery, or Erastianism, or Atheism be at the botton of the design, it is not easie to divine: That which is obviously apparent is, that one thred of ignorance runs through the whole discourse; neither what Petavius means, nor what the Character of Priesthood is, nor what the practice of [Page 23] th [...] Ch [...]rch w [...]s, i [...] at [...]ll understood▪ b [...]t a long blunder is [...]ade about A. B. C▪ as if there we [...]e no other Character [...] in the world besides those of the Alphabet; or as if the matter were as unin [...]elligible as the great mystery he talks of. Which is to be known only in a Metaphysic [...]l w [...]y of ab­straction; that the superiour Species contains th [...] inferiour Genus. In­deed the nature of a Genus or a Species, which is no more than every School-boy understands, who has learnt so much of his Grammar, as to know what a Noun Appellative is, requires not much niceness of Metaphysicks; but the su­periour Species, and inferiour Genus are terms of Art that the dull Logicians of the University stand amazed at. Aristo [...]le said of a man that he was Arbor inversa; but our Author has here turned upside-down Porphyr [...]es Tree, and by it turned a Man into a Horse, for so he goes on in his learned Metaphy­sick Lecture. A man, a ration [...]l Cre [...]t [...]re contains the Anim [...]l [...]ty of an Ho [...]se, the inferiour Crea [...]ure: But doth not contain a real Hors [...] in his belly, nor can a man b [...]get hors [...]s, or men when he pleases▪ Nor can you truly say a man is a horse. I believe my School me [...] would take it in snuff, should I affirm [...]ny of them to be horse [...]. Here having mended the matter, and reformed a horse from be­ing an inferiour Genus to a man, and made him an inferiou [...] Creature, he says that he contains the Animality of a Horse. Upon which Hypothesis, whether he will be as ill natured as the Schoolmen, and take it in snuff I know not▪ but I am sure that I can irrefragably prove him to be a Horse▪ And the thin Sophism▪ which every Fresh-man learns to solve within a Week after he comes to the University, will be against him an unanswerable demonstration: Which, to try his patience, I propose to [...]im in common form thus▪ He that says, my Author is a living Creature, says true; h [...] that says, he is a Hor [...], says that he is a living Cr [...]a [...]re▪ therefore he who says, he is a Horse, says true. There is no denying the Syllogism, and saying it has four terms. That though indeterminate animality be enunciated of the Spe­cies, yet that which is determined by the contrary diffe­ [...]ence may no [...]: Tha [...] is, the Ani [...]ality of a B [...]ute c [...] [Page 24] belong only to an irrational animal, as that of a man to a rational; for our Author has precluded himself from that answer, by saying expresly that a man, a rational Creature, contains the animality of a Horse, the inferiour or irrational Crea­ture. And now if my Author be not a mere animal, let the World judge: and this comes of despising Logick. Let us now see whether his Divinity be better than his Philosophy. After this hog-shearing, where we have had so loud a cry and no wool, we will if we can pick out a little sense; The thing he aims at proving is, that Bishops are not superiour in Order to Priests; a thing, by the way, directly contrary to the Liturgy of the Church, and thereby the Law of the Land: but yet they are superiour in Commission, and by ver­tue of that can govern, exercise the power of the Keys, and ordain Priests and Deacons, which Priests, ordinarily speaking, may not. Well, if this Commission were from Heaven, and stand upon that Scripture Basis, of As my Fa­ther sent me, so send I you, by vertue whereof the Bishops, during the first ten Persecutions, governed their Flocks in despight of all Secular opposition, and retaining part of their administration to themselves, disposed of some to Priests and Deacons; which is as notorious in fact, as any thing in the world: The Bishops may do tolerably well, with this new word Commission, instead of the old of Order. Especially, since in the close it is confest by our Author: that in this order the Apostles left the Church at their death, and in this order their Successors continued it (as in duty sure they ought) from time to time near 1500 years without any interruption where­fore for any to alter this way of Government, or to take upon them to ordain, not being chosen this way to it, they would be guilty of great rashness and high presumption. Nor will it be in my Authors power to kick all this down again, as he endeavours in the following period, by making the orders given by Priests though irregular, yet firm and valid; for if this power be from Heaven, and separate from all Secular Authority, as to its Nature and Original; though limited by it in its Exercise and Application: no man upon any pretence can [Page 25] take this honour to himself or confer it on others, but they who were called of God as was Aaron.

But let us see how well our Author confutes the distin­ction of Order between Bishops and Priests? Tis ridiculous, says he, that the Priesthood which is capable to do the greatest things, to Consecrate the Souls of men by Baptism and the Lords Supper, yet forsooth cannot Consecrate Oil and Cups? I desire to know whether a Deacon cannot Consecrate the Souls of men by Baptism and the Preaching of the Gospel, or if they can, whether they are of the same Order with Priests? Or whether a Judg who has power of Awarding Life or Death which is the greatest thing, may also make a Knight which is a less, and if therefore a Judg and a King be of the same Order? This word ridiculous is very unlucky, and commonly returns on him who is most busie with it; But since we are faln upon the instance of a King, for farther illustration of this matter let us con­sider the Monarchs of the East, who permitted the whole Administration of their Affairs to their Favorites, as we read of Pharaoh that he pulled his Ring off his hand and said to Ioseph, without thee no man shall lift up his hand or foot in all the Land of Egypt, and according to thy word shall all my People be Ruled; but for all this Pharaoh and this his Minister of State were not of the same Order; for in the Throne he was greater then he. Though the King had stript himself of the whole Execution of his Power, and put it into the hand of his Favorite, yet so long as the Origination of it continued with him, he was as absolute, and the other as subject as ever. Tis true the Bishops power is in itself Subordinate and Ministerial; he must not Lord it over the Inheritance of God, but as to the dispensing of it to the inferior Orders, the Parallel will hold; they all Act in Subordination and de­pendence upon him. [...], saies Ignatius. No Priest or Deacon for several Cen­turies ever did it without particular leave given by the Bishop, nay the Lector or Reader did not so much as Read [Page 26] the Gospel till first he had brought the Book to the Bishop, and had his permission to go to the Ambo or Reading Pu [...] with it▪ and though the Licence with us be not no [...] every day renewed, yet the dependence is still owned in th [...] very Form of our Ordination, where the Bishop says to the person Ordained, take thou Authority to Read the Gospel in the Church of God, and Preach the same when thou art thereunto Licenced by the Bishop himsel [...]. But a farther Argument is taken from the promiscuous use of the name of Bishop and Presbyter, to prove they are of the same Order, which sure is one of seeblest ways of proving any thing; the whole force of it amounts to this, St. Peter and St. Iohn call themselves Presbyters, but were also Bishops; therefore Presbyters and Bishops are all one: which is as much as to say, that his Maj [...]sty is King of Great Britain and Knight of the Garter; therefore to be King of Great Britain and Knight of the Garter is all one. Nay St. Paul stiles himself a Deacon, as well as an Apostle; therefore to be a Deacon and an Apostle is all one, but if our Au­thor be not satisfied with this, let him Read the Thirteenth Chapter of the most Learned Bishop of Chester's Vindiciae Ig­nati [...] and he will see how accurate the first Christian Writers were in distinguishing the three Orders of Bishop, Deacon and Priest.

We will go on and attend him in his Talent of Book Learning, wherein he has been hitherto so unfortunate, and see how in his following expedition he mends the mat­ter. And here he tells us that Aerius (whom, by the way, he constantly calls Arius) was not a Heretick upon the ac­count of his introducing a parity between Bishops and Priests, but only for being an Arian. That is, Epiphanius made a List not of several Heresies, but a Catalogue of several Arians: and the 69. Heresie being assigned to Arius, it passes the Muster again in the 75. Heresie under the auspice of A [...]rius. It is agreed on all hands that discontent made Aerius a Heretick, for that Eustathius whom he thought a worse man then himself, was preferred before him: and [Page 27] being in power, though formerly his particular Friend, con­sidered him no farther then to make him Master of an Alms-house. We are then to believe that out of discontent Aerius turned Arian; but as ill luck would have it, Eustathius was of that Sect, and if he had a mind to quarrel with him, nothing could have been so proper, as to have turned Orthodox in spight. It is manifest he was originally an Arian, and the prime part of his Heresie was what his malice naturally dictated, and all Writers agree it to be [...], &c. ‘He en­tertained a mad opinion, beyond what a man would receive, saying, What is a Bishop better than a Priest? There is no difference between th [...]m; there is but one order, the same honour and dignity.’

Since our Authors Greek reading fares no better, let us go on to consider his Latine; and there is no missing St. Ie­roms Epistle to Evagrius, which is so clear in the point, that without more ado it converted our Author, who it seems was once an Episcopal man, into that errant Presbyterian that now he is. Withal it makes him wonder, and if the Reader understand Latine, he will wonder to see men have the con­fidence to quote any thing out of it for the distinction between Episco­pacy and Presbytery. Well, I have read over the Epistle, and, as our Author says, wonder, but it is at his great confi­dence to say, that there is nothing to be met with in it, to found a distinction between Episcopacy and Presbytery, when as he expresly reserves the power of Ordination pecu­liarly to the Bishops, which is the point chiefly contested between the Assertors of Episcopacy, and Patrons of Presby­terian parity. As to the second desire, that the Reader should observe the various fate of St. Jerom and Aerius, that the one is re­viled as an Heretick, the other passes for a Saint: I will satisfie my Author in that particular, and shew him a plain reason for it. Aerius set himself against the Apostolical Government by Bishops, dogmatized, and separated himself from the [Page 28] Church: St. Ierom always obeyed his Governours, and re­mained in Communion with them, upon other occasions exprest his opinion in behalf of their Authority: And here only in a private Epistle to a Friend, and that a very short one, being scandalized at an unseasonable opinion, which pretended Deacons to be equal in dignity to Priests; as it is usual in such cases, he depresses what he can the Order of Deacons, and exalts to his utmost that of Priests, in the mean time does not so much as attempt to prove any thing more than barely saying, Quid aliud facit Episcopus excepta Or­dinatione quod non facit Presbyter? ‘What does a Bishop more than a Presbyter besides Ordaining?’ And then reckoning up several actions common to both. Our kind-hearted Au­thor hereupon tells us, that this presently converted him; nay, as if this good nature of his were as meritorious as grace, he thereupon assures himself, that great is his reward in heaven. Our man of learning with his accustomed dex­terity and confidence runs down the business of Colluthus his Ordination of Priests, and pities poor Bishop Hall for going about to prove from thence, that Presbyters were not capable to Or­dain. How slightly soever our Author thinks of the matter, Socrates in the first Book of his History puts it under the blackest Character. [...]. ‘He privately adventured on an action worthy of many deaths, who, having never been ordained a Priest, did those things which belonged to the Function of a Priest.’ This you are to know was said of Ischryas who had as good Orders as Colluthus a Priest could give him, but yet antecedently to the Decree of the Coun­cil of Alexandria, is declared never to have been ordained a Priest. Let up now see why the old man was so much to be pitied, because he had quite forgot that the famous Council of Nice, consisting of above three hundred Bishops, had made a Canon, wherein they declare, that if any Bishop should Ordain any of the Clergy belonging to another Bishops Diocess, without consent and leave had of that Bishop to whose Diocess they did belong, their Ordination [Page 29] should be null. You see the irregular Ordination of a Bishop is as null as the irregular Ordination of a Presbyter: Therefore the irregular Bishop, and the irregular Presbyter are of the same Order, of the same Authority; neither able to Ordain. Our Author, according to his usual Sagacity, knows no difference betwixt an Act that is null and void in it self, and an Act voided by Law. There is no question but Bishops, and Priests, and Deacons for their Crimes may be degraded and deposed, but that is not the same thing with the never having been Bishops, Priests, or Deacons. The Council of Alexandria declared the Ordinations of Colluthus to have been void ab initio, that of Nice voids those that are irregular. Surely these are very different matters. That the invalidity of the Ordination in the later case was of this kind, that is, made invalid by way of Penalty and Sentence, we may learn from the thirty fifth Apostolick Canon; by which both Zonaras and Balsamon interpret this of Nice; who decree that in case of ordain­ing in anothers Diocess the Bishop [...], ‘Both he be deposed and they who were or­dained by him.’ And truly if they were to be deposed, it is plain the Orders were in themselves valid; and it is un­questionable that the Ordaining Bishops were so: which is not to be said, and can never be proved of a mere Presby­ters. And therefore the Triumph which is added here of dashing out the indelible Character, or that the Line of a Diocess is a Conjurers Circle, might very fairly have been laid aside. And I appeal to the Reader, and more than hope he will see how no proofs are brought for this Identity and parity of Order; no Scripture, no Primitive Council, no general consent of Primitive Doctors and Fathers; that he is perfectly out in every thing he avers, and therefore for his poor judgment he may do well to keep it to himself, and probably his Judgment is so poor because he himself is rich. He in likelihood has imployed his time in Secular Concerns, which had it been spent in Study, would have rescued him from such gross misadven­tures, as he at every turn incurrs.

[Page 30]But though the matter stand thus plain bef [...]re us, yet [...]ince our Author has had the confidence to cite the Council of Nice in proof of the nullity of irregular Orders: to shew with greater evidence his perpetual ignorance and mistake, I will throw in for vantage the proceeding of this very Council in the Case of Meletius, who had usurpt upon the rights of Peter Patriarch of Alexandria, in the point here contested of Ordaining within his Diocess; the words of Theodoret are [...]. ‘He invaded the Ordinations belonging to the other.’ Now the Council decreed herein, that Meletius should be sus­pended from the future exercise of his function, and retain [...], ‘the bare name of a Bishop, but do no Act of his Function either in the City or Villages; but the Orders conferred by him were as to their intrinsick validity ratified and acknowledged.’ [...], those already Ordained should Communicate and Officiate, but come after the Clergy of each Church and Parish.’ 'Tis to be wondered at, how this man who seems to have always lived in a hollow Tree, came to have heard by chance that there was once such a thing in the World, as the Council of Nice.

To the Chapter of Deacons.

OUr Author is resolved on all occasions to shew that he thinks himself wiser then both the Church and State, and therefore in defiance unto both, he attempts to prove that Deaconship is not Holy Orders; and to bring about so g [...]n [...]rous a d [...]sign, he makes nothing of st [...]ining a point with the Scripture, since tis so unkind as to stand in his way. It so happen'd that Petavius discoursing of Deacons had said, what the Contents of our English Bibles, and Commentators generally agre [...] in, that P [...]ilip the Deacon Preacht, did Miracles, and Baptiz'd, and Con­verted [Page 31] the City of Samari [...], and that the History describ'd Act. 8. belongs to him. Now our Author is better advis'd, and assures us, that this more probably was Philip the Apostle. St. Luke, 'tis true, tells us that upon the Persecution against Stephen, several of the Brethren went through all the Regions of Iudea and Samaria, except the Apostles; 'tis says our Author, a gross mistake, the Apostles are not to be ex­cepted; but Philip the Apostle, and not the Deacon went about these Regions. Having thus happily entred himself into the Lists, he goes on and tells us, that the first we shall find of Deacons▪ Officiating in Spiritual matters, is in Iustin Martyr: A modest man would thing that to be competent Anti­quity: but it seems to him that though in Greece it was then receiv'd; it was not so in Afric [...]; for Terttullian says that the Christians received the Sacrament only from the hand of the President or Bishop, that is, what I said even now out of Ig­natius, that neither this, nor any other sacred Office was to be done [...], ‘without the knowledg or consent of the Bishop;’ Which thing our Author himself hereafter confesses. And sure when the Bishop Conse­crated both Elements, and with his own hand delivered the Bread immediatly to every Communicant, and gave the Cup to the Deacon to distribute after him: 'twill be a great truth to say that the Eucharist was only received from the hands of the Bishop. But 'tis a fatal thing to be haunted by ill luck; what will become of our Authors Profound Learning, if it should appear that the Deacon did distribute the Cup in Africa? St. Cyprian will, I hope, be taken for a competent Witness in the Case, who says in his Book de Lapsis. Vbi solennibus adimpletis calicem Diaconus offerre praesentibus coepit. ‘When the other solemnities were performed, and the Deacon distributed the Cup to them who were present.’ Nay if St. Cyprian be to be believed, he utterly confounds all our Authors pretensions at once, saying that Diaconis non d [...]fuit sacerdotalis vigor; ‘there was not wanting to the Deacons sacerdotal power, Ep. 13.’ allowing them somewhat of Priestly jurisdiction: and in [Page 32] the twelfth Epistle, giving them power to release from the Censures of the Church, In articulo mortis, si Presbyter re­pertus no [...] fuerit, & urgere exitus coeperit, apud Diaconum quoque exomologesin facere delicti sui possint, ut manu ejus in poenitentia imposita, veniant ad Dominum cum pace. ‘If a Priest be not to be fo [...]nd, and death draw on, they may make their Exomologesis or Confession before the Deacon, that hands being laid on them as Penitents, they may go to the Lord in peace.’

Our Author proceeds, and according to his wont, shews his Learning backward; and quoting an Epistle of St. Ig­natius ad Tralli (Trallianos I presume he means) finds, and often laments that learned men go on in a Track, one after another, and some through inadvertency, some through partiality take many passages of ancient Authors quite different from their meaning. One would now expect some eminent discovery. The fault in short is this, that our Authors good Friend Vedelius, Bi­shop Vsher, Doctor Vossius, Co [...]ellerius, and as many others as have put forth Ignatius, [...]ave gone on in a Track, and falsly translated these words, [...]. ‘The Dea­cons, being Ministers of Jesus Christ, are to be honoured, for they are not the Ministers of meats and drinks, but of the Church, and Servants of God;’ to run thus, and to concern Deacons, when as indeed the words are meant of Priests. Whosoever first translated this Epistle of Ignatius, says our Author, sure this fancy of Deacons ran much in his head, otherwise he could never have found them here, for it is evident the word Diaconus, in this place, relates to the Presbytery newly before mentioned, &c. Well, we hear what you say, but for all this are convinced you are infinitely mistaken: And are sure that Doctor Isaac Vossius, whatever became of other learned men, did not go in a Track, nor by inadvertency nor prejudice (his Education, if he could have been seduced, leading him the other way) but considered the place very particularly, and adhering to the Translation which you despise, con­cludes, [Page 33] Miror Antiochum qui sermone 124. haec Ignatii cit [...]t, it [...] illa mutasse, ut id quod de Diaconis hic dicitur, Presbyteris attri­buat, modo apud illum locus sit integer, nec aliqua exciderint verba. ‘I wonder Antiochus, who in his 124. Sermon quotes these words, should so change them, that what [...] here said of Deacons, should by him be attributed to Priests, if so be the place be entire with him, and some words not left out.’ Well, but our Author has a mind that we should see the utmost of his skill: I do the more wonder at the Interpreters mi­stake in this place, because by the following words Ignatius here excludes the specifical Deacons, saying not the Ministers of meat and drink. To see the wonderful difference of mens understand­ings; the most learned Doctor Isaac Vossius, from these very words concludes the beforegoing Period was meant of Dea­cons (specific Deacons, since they must be called so) from whence our Demonstrator proves they could not be spoke of them. It is, it seems, a Scheme of speech which our Author never met with, to say of things or persons you are not this or this, but that; when they are remarkably more that, than this or this. Thus God says to Samuel of the People, who, complaining of his Old Age, and evil Sons, desired a King: that they had not rejected Samuel, but God. All men of common sense know very well the mean­ing to be, that though they rejected the Prophet, that was not to come into account with the Rebellion and Insolence wherein they rejected the Lord himself. Though God com­manded Sacrifices under the Law, he expresly says, he will have no Sacrifice, and delights not in, nay, abhors Burnt Offerings; yet this did not abrogate the Divine Institution, nor make Almighty God contradict himself. So St. Paul ad­vises Philemon to receive Onesimus his servant, not now as a servant, but above a servant, a Brother beloved: By which words it is not to be inferred, that he should presently manumit him, but use him with kindness. But vanity and ignorance are most incommodiously quartered together; our Author had a mind to shew his reading, and pick a quarrel with the Translator of a Father: And then, no doubt, he [Page 34] must be a Giant in Learning, and list himself with those Worthies that have slain their thousands. But such is our Authors hard Fate that this inconsiderable P [...]od which is here so earnestly controuled, is said unquestionably almost in every Page of this holy Martyr. So that should he have happened once in his life to be in the right, he had gained nothing to his cause; and besides, from hence it is morally certain that our Author never read a Page together in Igna­tius. In this very shor [...] Epistle within twenty Lines he says, [...]; ‘He that does any thing without the Bishop, the Presbyter, and Deacon, has not a pure con­science.’ In that to the Magnesians, [...]. ‘I admo­nish you to do all things in love, the Bishop presiding in the place of God, the Presbyters in the place of the Col­ledge of the Apostles, and the Deacons most dearly be­beloved of me, as those who are trusted with the Mini­stry of Jesus Christ.’ In that to the Philadelphians, [...]‘Hearken to the Bishop, the P [...]esbytery, and the Deacons.’ And again in the same Epistle he adds, that it is necessary [...] ‘To or­dain there a Deacon to perform the Embassie of God.’ One would think this a competent instance of our Authors intolerable insolence, without any regard of truth or in­genuity to dictate to the World, and pretend to correct learned men. But this is not all; it is manifest he never read this very Period, whose Translation he pretends to mend: For so Ignatius goes on there, [...]‘So in like manner let all reverence the Deacon as Jesus Christ, and also the Bishop as the Son of the Father; and the Presbyters as [Page 35] God's Senat, and band of the Apostles; without these the Church is not call'd.’ But we have not done yet. Be­hold a piece of ignorance and impudence more inexcusable than the former; Poor Petavi [...]s is taken to task for calling St. Laurence a Deacon; which many hundreds before him had very innocently done; and generally all that ever heard of his Grediron, or his Martyrdom, or indeed the oc­casion of it, are of his mind; but it is our Authors privi­ledge to be ignorant of what every body else is informed of. Now in the present misadventure he attempts a greater Ma­stery, goes beyond, and surpasses himself: For in that very place of St. Ambrose which he cites; the direct contrary of what he goes about to prove is in termini [...] asserted▪ For that speech of St. Laurence, which he recapitulates, and says, That it plainly shews St. Laurence was a Priest, not a bare Deacon, tells us that he was a Deacon. The words are Lib. 1. Offic. cap. 41. Quo progrederis sine filio Pater? Quò Sacerdos sancte sine Diacono tu [...] properas? &c. ‘O my Father (speaking to his Bishop go­ing to Martyrdom) whither go you without your Son? O holy Priest whither▪ hasten you without your Deacon?’ Had it not been better for our Author to have said St. Lau­rence was an Arch-deacon to credit the matter; or a Dea­con Cardinal; than thus run counter to the words he alledged? Unless a man owed himself a shame, and was in dread he should never make honest payment, and therefore on purpose spoke what he knew most absurd, mere chance could never fall out so unluckily, that he should not in a whole Book make one true recital of an Author, or mat­ter of Fact, as he has done. Yet after all this, as if he had come off with mighty credit, he closes his Chapter with a quod erat demonstrandum: So I leave, says he, the Deacons to their proper Office of serving of Tables, not finding in Scripture any thing more belonging to them. Our Author having thus ta­ken away, we will expect the next Course, where it is to be hoped we shall be better served; and that at last the Ban­quet will make amends for the very ill Fare we have hither­to had.

To the Chapter of Church-Government.

OUr Author has a dexterity of talking extravagantly of several weighty subjects, and this he calls handling them: which being beyond his strength, he heaves them to as much purpose as if they were Timber; and thinks he has acquitted himself to admiration. Having there­fore handled the former points; that is, talkt beyond all aim and measure Foolishly; Now he says he comes to the Authority of Bishops to Govern as well as to Ordain. And truly if they are to do one, as they are on his principle, to do the other, their Authority is likely to signifie but little; being shared by every the meanest Priest. But the out­cry is, that the Power of the Keys is left to Chancellors, Lay-men who have no more capacity to Sentence or Absolve a sinner, then to dissolve the Heaven and the Earth, and make a new Heaven and an Earth. And thus the good man runs on like an Horse with an empty Cart, exceedingly pleased with the ratling of the Wheels, and gingling of the Bells; but he never considers that all the proceedings of Chancellors in the Bishops Court are in consequence of the Canons of the Church which are the Decrees of Bishops Authoritatively met together, which have defined such and such Doctrines Heretical, such and such actions punishable with Suspension, Sequestration or Deprivation, and the like: Now all that the Chancellor has to do, is to examine the matter of Fact, take the allegations and proofs, and apply the Sanction of the Law to them. But where that extends to the use of the Keys, that is reserved to them who by Christs Institution are trusted therewith. And if Dr. Duck did do an ill thing, the fault lies at his door; and tis well if in this profligate age a single instance can only be pitcht upon. We have, blessed be God, a great happiness in the pro­tection of our Municipal Laws, none in the World being a firmer Bulwark of the Princes Rights and Peoples Li­berties; but should every clamorous Person be hearkned [Page 37] to, who complains of the exorbitance of a Judg, (when if the matter be truly examined, probably the ground of the dislike, is that he did his duty) we should soon tear out one anothers Thro [...]ts; and every mans hand would be against his Brother. We know the worst of our pre­sent Constitution, and desire not the hazards of a change.

To the Chapter of Confirmation.

THis Chapter begins with a liberal Confession, that Confirmation or some such thing is necessary: but tis a little odd that in a matter which approaches to the being necessary, a loose succedaneum of some such thing, should be sufficient. Our Author like a true Empiric, in all cases strives to bring in aliquid Nostri, his preparation of the Medicin will render it Soveraign: but the old, known, and received Forms must by no means be taken. Having then made up a narrative of matter of Fact, jumbling, as his way is, true and false together, his first objection against Confirmation as it now stands is. That it is not possible for a Bishop of so large a Diocess as some of ours are, some extended Three or Fourscore Miles, many Forty or Fifty, Personally to Con­firm half the Youth in a Diocess, if he duly examine each one as is fit and necessary. We see how this is performed in their Triennial Visitations. Having put in a Caveat in behalf of the pre­sent Constitution, and minded my Author again of his promise to the Lords and Commons, that there was not a word in his Book against the known Laws; I cannot but reflect, that surely he lives in a Country where the Bishop is not over-diligent in his duty, else he would never make the task to be so impossible, unless the Bishop never comes into his Diocess, or never stir any where abroad in it: surely a very little contrivance with the diligence of the Ministers would make it possible both for the Bishop and Youth to meet together without much trouble to either. There is no doubt if the affair be adjourned over to the Triennial Visitation, 'tis not likely to be well done: but [Page 38] as this ought not to be the course; so thanks be to God it is not. The next inconvenience in the present Constitution is the disability of the Curat to fit for Confirmation; and the little credit to be given, when he assures the Bishop when he presents the Children, that they are fully instructed for it: and therefore he concludes it necessary, to appoint some discreet con­scientious Ministers in the several Circuits to examine and Licence for the Lords Table: for he passes it for granted, that Confirma­tion is no Sacrament, and if it were, why may not Priests, not Bishops perform it? Well but suppose these discreet consci­entious Ministers, that are to supply the place of the Parochial ones, should not be better qualified, be more discreet or conscientious then them, as it may very pro­bably happen; tis plain they cannot have those opportu­nities either to instruct the Youth of each Parish, or know they are instructed, as the local Minister is furnisht with; but then farther is it likely that the several Parochial Ministers will readily admit their neighbour Minister, whom they may reasonably think not much wiser or better then themselves to meddle in their Cures, or that the people will be contented with it? Will not animosities and quarrels, and contempt of the duty certainly follow? As to the law­fulness of Priests and not Bishops performing it, upon the supposal that Priests and Bishops are the same thing, and that Priests may Ordain, which is the Doctrine taught in one of the preceding Chapters, this of Priests [...]onfirm­ing may [...]easonably enough be admitted: but the falseness of that imagination being abundantly evident, the ab­surdity of this will necessarily follow. And therefore notwithstanding our Authors project, Bishops may do well to go on in the Execution of their Duty in this most Ancient and Useful Right, in which from the first Planting of the Gospel to this moment, they have been in possession. They who of late invaded the power of Ordaining Priests, having been so modest yet, as not to usurp this part of the Episcopal Office.

[Page 39]As to the expedients proposed about framing additions to the Catechism, making Paraphrases on the Lords Prayer and Ten Commandments, regulating the Ministers way of Catechising, and enforcing Parents and Masters to bring their young people to be Catechis'd, I shall only say that if every body in the Nation, who is as wise as our Author, shall be allowe'd to make Models for the Church, we shall have almost as many Schemes of Government, as there are persons to be Governed. In the mean time we will take old Cato's rule, and be well pleased with the State of things as it stands at present.

The next p [...]que is at the bounds of each Bishops Diocess, and having told a Story of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Ierusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, and Philippi, which sound big and look well in the Inventory, he informs us that partly by great distances of Citys, partly by the favour of former Princes, several Towns being cast into one Diocess they be­came so large as tis impossible any one Bishop should have a suf­ficient inspection into them; the Bishop knows not the names nor faces of half a quarter of them, much less their behavior; he may have as well a part of France in his Diocess to Govern. Our Author never considers where his argument will light, is it possible to Govern three Kingdoms, nay are they there­fore happy, because entire and under one Government? Is there no manner of need why the Prince should know the names of the Aldermen in his Metropolis, much less of the people in his Dominions? and is it so impossible a thing to comprehend all the necessary interests of an Epis­copal Diocess? The truth is, our Author would make every Parish-Priest a Bishop, and then the Diocess will be little enough; and the Revenues of the Bishops will be needless things, and as he says, the greedy Harpyes will readily make use of his zealous intentions: but I pray let us make a parallel to his Ecclesiastial Policy in the Civil State. There are a certain sort of men made Iudges in the several Cir­cuits of England, which Circuits are many of them Fifty, Six [...]y, an Hundred or more Miles in Compass, they know not the name or faces of half or a quarter of them▪ much less of their behavior, [Page 40] they may as well have a part of France in their Circuit: Were it not therefore better that every Lord of the Leet should distribute Justice in the Precincts of his Mannor; that no man should be at the expence of seeing Councel, taking out Writs, or of going to the Shire-Town, or vamping upon the Hoof with shooes at back to Westminster-Hall; but the Steward of the Court who knows the name and face and concern of every one should dispatch all things, and doubtless this would make a happy World. The Parish would quickly find the advantage of this new Scheme; to have their Estates, their Lives and Fortunes in [...]he hand of a little Attourny, and be all together by the Ears, and have none to part them, but him whose interest it is to set them on. I need not set down the Moral. Thus mad is the Ecclesiastical Policy of our Divinity-Common-Wealths-man, tis no very good account of time to write an Vtopia, a Politick Romance; but to play tricks in Holy things, and set on foot a Christian Oceana, is an unpardonable fault. But our Author proceeds to consider a second abuse in Church Government, which is exempt Iurisdictions. Whatever a man thought of the unexpedience of any thing Establisht by Law, surely in good manners he should not give it ill Language, and call it an abuse, while it stood so Authorized and supported. Which should be done especially by him who has past a solemn promise of not speaking a word against the known Laws of the Land. But of all men in the World our Author, whose business it is to make all the Parishes in England peculiars, and have them straitned to the narrow limits, which admit the knowing every name and face, should not speak against exempt Jurisdictions; for if the whole Nation were so Cantoned out, and we had ten thousand Bishops in England, we had exactly the Scheme which he recommends, and at the same time complains of. It seems my Author may freely write against what is Esta­blisht in Church and State, as having obtained an exempt Jurisdiction from the power of both: and to say incoheren [...] things and such as none else would say, contradictory not [Page 41] only of all sober men who have wrote before him, but of himself also, is his Peculiar▪ And so I leave him.

To the Charitable Admonition.

THis being addrest to Nonconformists, I must confess does not properly concern me, and is for the most part so well said, that I heartily wish it had been the whole Book: but since our Author finds himself oblig'd in Cha­rity, to think of those misguided men, I must also upon the same Principle, have a concern for him; and earnestly beg him to revise what he has wrote, and see whether he has laid Grounds in it for Socinianism, and all kinds of Separation: and whether he has done a good Office to Religion, to supply Dissenters, whom he decla [...]es to be ob­liged to obey the Government, with all the Arguments he could think of, to palliate and countenance their disobedi­ence. Surely men are not too well principled, that it should be needful to unsettle them; nor too dutiful, that ther [...] should be reason to check them in their duty: And in a time when, as my Author himself observes, Separation, and many following Divisions, have caused many to abhor the Church, and turn to Popery: It is obvious to apprehend that the doing eve­ry thing which the maddest Separatist requires, and making Religion slovenly and despicable, will not probably retain those who are tempted to Popery, or recover them who have revolted to it. It will not be enough to say, that the Book has every where in it sober and honest truths; for so has the Cracovian Catechism, and the Alcoran; nay, there is scarce any Conjuring Book which does not for the greatest part consist of devout and godly Prayers, We are told by our Author, That it is above two years since he had these thoughts, in which time he has read and conferr'd all he could to discover if he were in an Error; but, for all he could yet meet wi [...]h, does not find it so, but hopes all he says is truth, and that it may be use­ful to the Publick, in this present conjuncture of Affairs. Now this is certainly a most prodigious thing, that a man in two years [Page 42] time should never be once awake, converse with any good Book, or man of Sense; or have the least reflexion upon what is either truth or expedience. I never read this Book entirely over more than once; nor have I had much leisure to consider it: And yet I presume any indifferent Reader will see what gross misadventures have been detected by me, and probably himself will discover many more: For, in earnest, there are every where such blots that one can hard­ly avoid the hitting; such flaws in Discourse, that there needs no picking of holes, or looking narrowly to find the Incoherence, but the passage lies wide open, and one may fairly drive a Cart and Horses thorow. Upon the whole matter I cannot but conclude, that Pride or Discontent, or some other very prevalent Passion has here interposed: For what else should make a man think himself fit to ren­verse the established Constitution of the Church, and give his advice to the Parliament, how they should evacuate all their Laws? What should make him almost in every Period contradict himself; pretend to the knowledge of Antiqui­ty and Religion, rant against Universities, disparage the Ministers and Preaching of the Nation: and at the same time discover the grossest ignorance and inconsideration as is imaginable? And amidst all this acknowledge obligations to Submission and Conformity, and whatever he has spoke against: And after two years deliberation not to see that which is evident at the first glance, to any one that has but half an eye? All this, I say, mu [...]t be the Product of some one, or many violent Passions. Let my Author seriously consider where this Fundamental mischief lies; search his own heart, and desire the Searcher of hearts to discover it to him. He says, he has Fasted and Prayed, let him do so again; but with Humility and Earnestness; and the good God be merciful to him.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.