THE Lawfull Preacher: Or a short DISCOURSE: PROVING, That they only ought to preach who are ordained MINISTERS, Occasionally delivered in some Lectures at Epping.

ByJohn Ferriby Minister ofThoydon-Garnon inEssex.

Now printed upon the Anti-preaching of some against it in the same Pulpit about the latter end of November last.

AS ALSO, The Pulpit-Guard-Relieved: In a short Appendix in Answer to a late Book called The Pulpit-Guard-Routed, written by Tho. Collier.

Convenit & scriptis nomen, carbone notatum

The second Impression corrected and amended.

LONDON, Printed for William Roybould at the Unicorn in Pauls Church-yard near the little North-door, MDCLIII.

To my dearly Beloved FRIENDS, The Parishioners of Thoydon-Garnon, and others my Hearers at my Lecture at Epping.

Beloved in the Lord,

I Told you the reason of my Preaching, you know the reason of my Printing these Sermons; I Preached them volun­tarily to establish you, I Printed them by a kind of constraint to satisfie others. I Preached them to manifest the truth to prevent others misleading you; I Printed them to de­fend the Truth, I wish they may help you to reduce others. What my Publike labours (and open opposi­tions from some) have been among you, you are the best witnesses; what my secret trouble hath been, partly from a sense of mine own weakness, partly from some incapacity to do what I desired among you, God and mine own conscience can best testifie. I cannot but wonder at Gods providence in this, to put me to assert the outward Call of a Minister in Publike, who (it may be) have so often questioned mine inward Call in private. But hitherto hath God brought me.

Some of you may have heard what solicitations I [Page] have had to other places of greater profit; most of you know what resolutions I had to return to the place whence I was driven, of lesse means, had not your importunity, procuring their consent, held me here. Many have been the scandals I have suffered about it, through the confident reports of bold ad­versaries, for which I could willingly have Printed both your engagement to me here, and their testimony thence; the one to free me from the murmurings of some against mine abode here, the other to clear me from that false imputation of receiving profit thence, while that Living lay unresigned in mine hands; but to have done it without consent might not have been civil, to have done it at all (besides the swelling of the book) might have savoured of arrogance: where­fore I forbear, my conscience bearing me witness, and many upon the private sight of the Papers being al­ready satisfied.

I did intend (if I had been in Print at all) some­thing that might have been more for your practice, al­though I hope this may be for your profit: But since God hath called me out in this, I will improve it what I can. If by what I have already suffered, or may by this further undergo, you may receive any advantage, I shall think my labour well spent, and my sufferings abundantly recompensed.

I shall therefore beseech you, 1. That you would not esteem or be contented with any light or heat, but what is caused by the rising and efficacy of the Sun of Grace in you. There are a sort of people, who being dead in sins and trespasses, never stir at all, but lye sense­lesse in the grave: I speak not this to them, although [Page] I could be glad they might hear the voice of the Son of God and live: that Jesus Christ would effectually call them (as once Lazarus) out of that deadly sleep that hath seized on them. But there are others who seem to stir, yet not from a principle of true life in them: who continuing in sinne, think it Grace enough to pretend to an opinion: who neglecting the Power of godli­nesse, content themselves to talk of some Disciplinary parts of Religion; I never liked their building, who begun the Fabrick at the roof, (but indeed he that in­tends to draw only the picture of an house, needs not care at which end he begins) I never fancied their Re­ligion, which begins (and ends too) only in opinion. To hear drunkards talk of gathering Churches, and swearers question the Call of Ministers, &c. (al­though that is something more then Disciplinary) is such a Paradox in Religion, that the Churches of Christ have not usually bin acquainted with all. When men out of a desire to appear something, yet for want of any true work of Grace upon their spirits, shall take up only that fashion of Religion, which may suit best the times in which they are, they may be good talkers, but seldom are sound practisers of godlinesse.

I would have you labour to finde the work of Grace upon your spirits, which may make you new creatures, for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision, nor uncircumcisi­on availeth any thing, but a new creature, Gal. 6. When that spring once moves the wheels, although the work may seem to go more slowly, and with some more trouble, yet it goes more surely, and with much more truth. Practise more the power then the shew of god­liness: [Page] let your lives, rather then your tongues declare your Religion. Old-fashioned, unskilfull Limners; were constrained to underwrite the name of what they Painted, that people might know what it was rather by the inscription then the draught. Such is the new-fashioned Religion of some men, that if they did not tell you, it was Religion they professed, men would scarcely deem it such by their profession. People are apt to think well of being Religious, but they are often mistaken in what is Religion: they will grant godli­ness to be great gain, but they are not convinced what is godliness. If I finde a man once shaken, who hath been truly rooted; misled, who hath been set right in Gods way; as I am apt to be much troubled for him, so I desire to be very tender of him: but when I see a loose and light body tossed with every minde, I am little affected with it; It is as much wonder to see the one stable in blustring times, as the other shaking.

2. I shall intreat you, That you would now be con­versant in the study of Fundamentall Truths. When Fundamentals are questioned, we had need to be well satisfied about them: when the foundation is aimed at, the greatest defence had need to be made there. Paul desired to see the Romans, to establish them, Rom. 1. 11. it is from [...] which is rendred (by one) ruitur a suffulcio: surely if ever people had need to be established in the Truth, it is now; when truth (in this sense) decays, and its very foundation begins to be shaken. When men build their Religion upon props set up by their own fancy, they may quickly be carried besides the Truth. It is a strange thing to see how men now adaies delight most in the loose notions of their own con­ceiving, [Page] but little in the standing. Truth laid by Gods Word. This is to lose Truth in the mist of their own making, and to put out their own eyes by the dust they themselves have raised; they that flie so high in their affected, although confused notions, frequently leave the Truth behind, when through the coldness of the second region, they are so frozen in their af­fections, that (if ever they return) they seldom pursue Truth with much love after. This is to lay up a mans Religion in a Castle built in the Air, when every winde of Doctrine may tosse it to and fro. It is an unhappy thing, that some men are guilty of, to delight in expressions they understand not, and to be lost in the pursuit of those cloudy notions they cannot reach: when they are alwaies pointing at what they have but small ken of themselves, although they cannot discover them to others. By this the growth of true Religion is much hindered in them, and the profit of Christian confe­rence much prevented in their meetings, when much is proposed, a great deal talked of, but little gotten, nothing agreed on. There is more advantage to be gotten in one hours conference with him, who under­stands and will speak of a Fundamentall in Religion, then in many dayes with those; for although there lesse may be talked of, there is more discovered.

I would have you much in the study of faith, repen­tance, Justification, &c. To that end reade much of the Scripture, and of those other good Books (written by godly men) which God hath holpen this age with­all. I could wish (besides others) you would be all well versed in that little Carechisme I use among the younger people: The Assem­blies ( [...] chism [...] which although small in bulk, is as [Page] full stuffed with sound Truths as ever I saw any so closely comprized. Enquire after the good old way, and walk in it. The most of our new lights are but old darknesses, which are caused rather by the privation, then the encrease of true Light: most of our new truths are but old errours, rising afresh out of the bot­tomless pit; the hand of liberty having rouled away that stone, which the arm of Government had before laid to stop the mouth of it.

Beware of controversies that are either above your reach, or lesse necessary to Religion: the former may puzzle and perplex you; the later but disturb and unquiet you: the former often ends in defection from the Truth; the later only in difference and con­tention among (seeming) brethren: By both men are frequently so forced or perswaded from the Truth, that if they are not hurried into one, they are cheated into another errour. When Peter would prevent peo­ples falling from their stedfastness, he presses them to grow in Grace, 1 Pet. 3. 18. A low house setled upon a good foundation, will stand longer then an high tot­tering edifice upon a weak basis. Not that I would have you contented with small measures, low statures in Grace; build as high as you will, as you can, only let the foundation be firm and proportionable.

3. I would beg you to measure all the Doctrines you hear by the line of Gods word: seeing there are false spirits gone forth into the world, it is good to try the spirits, whether they are of God or not, 1 John 4. 1, 2. It is an evil thing (in this) to have mens persons in admira­tion. If the best of men on earth, if an Angel from Heaven should bring any other Doctrine, then what is [Page] left by Christ for your direction, let him be Anathema. Tout humaine proposition, &c. Gal. 1. 18. Charron in his book of wisdom tels us, that every humane proposition is of equal Authority, unless reason make the difference. No Religious doctrine is of any reputation further then the Scripture speaks it true. When mens words are only taken, it's no hard thing to be deceived: when men beleeve only with a probable Faith, they are easily mislead. Non exploratis rationibus tradi­tionum probabi­lem tantum fi­dem portant, Cyprian. The Apostle bids the Thessalonians try all things, because they should [...] hold fast (as by violence) what was good, 1 Thes. 5. 18. What weapon or beast a man hath well proved, he will carefully preserve, when what may be as good (if he know it not) may be more easily parted withall. It is a great advantage the Devil hath given him, when men hold Truth upon too slender grounds, Gold and silver is not valued, if not known to be such. Children may have gold in their hands, when (if children, whom you may perswade it is brasse) it is no hard matter to cheat them out of it. They were Children that were tossed to and fro, Ephes. 4. If a stone be loose, although upon a good foundation, it is no difficult thing to remove it: that will most pro­bably continue, which is well fastened.

When men pin their faith upon others sleeves, whi­thersoever those sleeves are stretched out, their Faith must follow: when doctrines are judged of by the men that bring them (be it what it will) it can only be so prevalent, as the man that vents it is of Authority with them that hear it. The Corinth. vvere accused as carnal that they pretend, some to Paul, others to Apol­lo, 1 Cor. 3. 4. when yet they were both Ministers, v. 5. (Good God!) vvhat are they, who are some for this, [Page] others for that gifted brother, who are no Ministers, only intrude into that Office intrusted unto others. Thus men best like, and most cry up those Preachers who are of that party they most affect, and then the Doctrine they bring, whether true or false. This is to judge of things by the men that do them (a false rule) and not of men by the things they do. Hence the Pre­vailing party hath alwaies most followers, such Power­full Preachers can command Audience. It is the pra­ctice of our late Astrologers to gaze only on those Stars which are ascendant, and still speak best of those Constellations which have the strongest influence, es­pecially if they have but a favourable aspect towards them: whose Prognosticks are calculated for the Me­ridians of strength and weakness, of power and impo­tency. I vvish it vvere not too much the fault of our new-fashioned hearers, vvho love not the light of the brightest Star, if not of their party.

But I shall hope, and ask better things of you: let truth and falsehood be the cause of your esteem or dis­respect of what you hear: let that have best reception with you, which hath most Authority from Scripture, although least of the power of men vvith it. When false coyn is abroad, all men will look to the money they receive: Seeing it hath been foretold, that in the last daies (vvhich are these) there should come sedu­cers, and our experience tels us it is fulfilled, let us try before vve trust, and examine the Doctrine vve hear, before vve believe it.

4. I vvould have you suspect, and be shy of what­soever doctrines please the flesh; of vvhatsoever it is that indulgeth corrupt nature. Flesh and bloud are no [Page] more apt to love, then they are able to enter into the Kingdom of God: the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to the other, Gal. 5. 17. It is very unlikely that should be from the spirit, which is delightfull to the flesh. Many smooth the way, and widen the gate to heaven, I pray God they lead not people that way to hell. Facilis descensus Averni, &c. The down-hill passage is most easie. Where Christ saith, The way is narrow, and the gate is strait that leads to life, Mat. 9. 13, 14. he presently subjoyns a seasonable warning; to take heed of false Prophets. The way may be paved with Agates, which yet may be painfull to the feet of the traveller; the gate may be made of Diamonds, which yet may be strait in the passage.

It hath been the generall practice, and constant sign that God hath given of false Prophets, to preach smooth things: they promise peace, Jer. 23. 17. they seduce my people, saying, Peace, when there is no peace, and daub with untempered morter, Ezek. 13. 10. they see visions of peace, ver. 16. they sow pillows to All armholes, ver. 18. they save the souls alive, ver. 19. they strengthen the hands of the wicked, promising life, v. 22. It is the duty and delight of true Prophets, to promise life, to preach peace to those who are entitled to it. Yea they would that the peace­full promises of the false Prophets might be fulfilled; as Jer. 28. 6. Amen, the Lord do so, the Lord perform the words which thou hast prophesied: but to speak pleasing things to him that lies in sin, is so far from preaching Heaven, that it may occasion mens running to hell. What ease, what advantage can it be to godly Mini­sters to threaten judgement against sinners, were it not for Gods command, and their profit? What proba­bility [Page] is there, that people should receive advantage by those doctrines that continue their carnall peace? They were false Teachers, who by their lies caused prophane people to reproach the true Prophets with the burthen of the Lord, Jer. 23. 33. they thereby refu­sed the words of the true Prophets, because they spake of the judgement of God against them: but men that are proclive to sleep need no rocking.

Let me in the Name of the Holy God, warn you of any doctrine that favours, or tends to sinfull liberty. Indeed Christ hath purchased liberty to his Saints, but we must not use our liberty as an occasion to the flesh, Gal. 5. 13. To be Christ's freemen and sins slaves at the same time, is impossible. I cannot but wonder at some new Preachers, who cry up mercy and grace, as if there were nothing of justice or truth in God at all: who dare promise mercy to sinners, and by their pro­mise of life, strengthen their hands in wickedness? It is one thing to offer mercy to people upon repentance; another to promise mercy to them while sinners. It is one thing to hold out Christ to them that will re­ceive him; another, to promise Christ to them that re­fuse him.

Religious Greenbam speaking how God had joyn­ed godlinesse and the means of godlinesse together, calls them frantick hereticks that neglect the means, &c. Beware of them, who dare perswade you to a neg­lect of duty, who by their preaching can intimate it as needless to be pressed, as unnecessary to be practised. If there are Impostors under heaven, if there are any upon earth, that bring another Gospel then what Christ left, these are the men; who under a pretence of preaching Christ and free-grace, brand all those with the name of legal Preachers, who but endeavour to convince people of sin, or perswade them to their duty. As if discover­ing [Page] to men their need of Christ, were not preaching of Christ; and that the Spirit had not been sent by Christ, who came to convince the world of sin, Joh. 16. 8. As if pressing men to the duty the God of mercy requires, were to deny the freenesse of grace; and that Peter had abridged the free grace of God, when he commanded people to repent and be converted, that their sins might be blotted out, Act. 3. 19. As if there were no difference between duty and desert, between means and merit. There is a vast difference between what God requires as a means, to which ex gratiâ he promiseth a reward, and the doing of a work which ex debito deserves its wages. In this there is a proportion between the work and the reward, yea, the man performing it doth the work by his own strength: but in the other, besides the disproportion between the thing required, and the re­ward promised; and besides his love (in whose power it was) to impose no harder a task upon us, he that out of grace promiseth the reward, out of the same mercy gives strength to perform the means. So that in this, the doctrine of free-grace is much advanced. Can it be thought that man must be only passive in the work of his salvation? To what end had he a reasonable soul gi­ven him, if not to imploy its faculties (especially) for that better part which cannot be taken from him? Heze­kiah might have been cured without the application of figs: Naaman might have been healed without going to Jordan, yet the not use of commanded means might have prevented their desired deliverance (but of that in­fra.) ‘It is a pretty observation of learned Perkins upon Rev. 3. 20. If any man will open, &c. mans will is not like a piece of wax, only passive, which without any [Page] action receiveth impression; but as fire, which as soon as it is fire, it burns, and as soon as it burns it is fire.’

It is the sad effect such preaching hath produced in many hearers (in some that I dare not but hope wel of) that they scarcely endure to hear any thing of duty pressed. They can be content to hear of believing as a Gospel-duty, but if repentance or obedience be men­tioned, that is, what we cannot perform, these are but legal duties. As if believing were less a duty, then re­pentance; or that we were of our selves more able to perform one then the other. Or as if repentance were less a Gospel-duty then believing: when it is manifest that repentance could have no place under the legal Covenant. The Covenant of works was to do or die: under which, as we are unable to perform, so neither could we be profited by repentance. For this ob­serve that of Mar. 1. 14, 15. Note it well: Christ is said to preach the Gospel when he preached repentance. It is only the Co­venant of grace through Christ that admits repen­tance. That came in through Jesus Christ, it was one of the new laws given us by that Lord, and then can be nothing else but a Gospel-duty. How easie is it for peo­ple to mistake? and then with violence to pursue what through-mistake they propose as good? like some hot­mettal'd doggs, which over-hunting the true sent, are either quite beaten out, or follow what is false.

Friends! Is duty more out of fashion now than it was? Is it the liberty of Christians to be free from Gods service? To be free from sin, was to be servants to righte­ousness, Rom. 6. 18. Can the encrease of mercy free us from, or should it engage us more to duty? May I not say to those who are guilty, as Paul, Gal. 3. 1. Oh foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey he truth? Do but observe what an unchristian liberty [Page] some have made use of (even some professors of godli­ness) since this doctrine of liberty hath been so much preached: unto what an height of grossest prophaness, of ranting wickedness some have run, who began but at the neglect of duty! Tender consciences would be afraid of such occasions of evil. Duty helps to pinnion the wings of the flesh; take off that pinnion, give the wings but liberty, whither (short of heaven) may it not flie? Duty lops off the exuberant branches of the old stock; neglect that, the sprouts may quickly grow long and thriving.

Good God! what hardships do not only the Mi­nisters, but the truth of Christ suffer from men of con­trary mindes? It hath been the Ministers work former­ly to vindicate their Ministry against Papists, because not ordained in their Sea: It is now their business to uphold their Ministry against those, who would null their Call, because (as they say) received from Rome. It was not long since that our great contest was against the Pelagians, who from the Scriptures pressing duty, would have inferred a power in mans Will to perform it: We have now to do with them, who because man hath no power in himself naturally to perform it, would have no duty pressed at all. Thus are we ground between tvvo milstones: But neither extream is good, when virtus is in the middle. The Truth is, men love not Duty, and therefore dislike the pressing it: they delight in sin, and therefore hate the re­proving it, They would stand still all the day idle, yet willingly receive the penny, as if they had wrought in the vineyard. Ephraim loves to tread out the corn, but not to break the clods, Hos 10. 11. people are willing [Page] to receive the profit, but love not, like not the burthen of the work: they would feed upon the corn of the blessing, but love not the yoke of obedience: Love then that preaching best that most discovers your du­ty; Be willing to perform whatsoever God requires of you: Let this prevail with you to set up Duty in your families, to practise obedience in your persons: The Lord knows how many families there are in which duty was never yet set up, and observes where it hath been begun, but is now neglected. The Lord grant that none of you be found in the number of those enemies that will not have Christ to rule over them.

But because reproving of sin, and threatning judge­ment against it; pressing duty upon the people, and pro­mising mercy upon the performance of it, is looked on as so legal, so unsutable to Gospel-preaching; as what too much straitens Gods grace, and enlargeth mans power beyond the rule, I'le lay down some things briefly to vindicate it from all mistakes.

1. There is less probable deceit, not so much palpa­ble danger in reproving sin, and threatning judgement against it, whereby people are convinced of their mi­sery; than in holding out large and inconditionate of­fers of grace, from which men groundlesly may ex­pect mercy. There may be more pain in searching of the wound, but there is less danger; there may be more ease in skinning of it, but less safety. We finde the Scripture very often condemning false Pro­phets for preaching smooth things, promising life, and thereby strengthening the hands of the wicked in sinne (in many places, as was touched on before,) but [Page] where do we find any prohibition of, or reprcof for an endeavor to convince the people of their sin, that they may afterward be convinced of righteousness? The Scribes and Pharisees are said to binde heavy burthens upon others shoulders, Mat. 23. 4. they pressed a strict observance of the Law, a burthen too heavy to be born by mens own shoulders; but their fault was not in pressing of the Law, but in pressing it as a meritori­ous cause of life, not shewing them the way, how E­vangelically through Christ to perform it. Thus to press the law is blame-worthy. But secondly, Their fault there reproved was not so much in pressing the Law as the rule of obedience, but not practising them­selves what they pressed upon others, not walking by the same rule themselves. For you see Christ gives it as a charge to people, to obey what they commanded, ver. 3. Whatsover they bid you observe, that observe and do. How often was Christ and his Apostles in repro­ving sin, and threatning punishment! Luk. 13. 3. 5. Ex­cept ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish, 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10, 11. unrighteous, drunkards, extortioners, &c. shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, besides many other places.

2. (Not to name the practice of Moses and the Pro­phets,) it hath been the unquestioned method of Christ and his Disciples, to presse those duties upon people, which by their own strength they are not able to perform. Christ preached repentance, which was not in mans power (of himself) to practise, Matth. 4. 7. John preached it, Matth. 3. 2. The Disciples preached it, Mark 6. 8. 12. Nay, it was part of the work he prescribed them after his resurtection; that repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all [Page] Nations in his name, Luk. 24. 47. The command Peter gave a people unable of themselves to perform it, was, repent and be converted, Act. 3. 19.

Surely that's the best preaching that is nearest the pattern given in the Mount; that is the most Gospel­way of teaching, that is most agreeable to Christ's method. One upon Mark. 6. 1 [...]. calls repentance, the very summ of the preaching of John, of Christ, of the Apostles.Summa & caput praedicationis, Johanuis, Chri­sti & Apostolo­ [...]m.

3. What duty people are pressed to from the word, it is their sin not to do; through their own default they are not able to perform. So that if it were for no other end, but to shew Gods right that he hath to our obedience, our wickedness that we are not able to practise it, our duty, what we ought to perform, this were sufficient cause of pressing it, and from this good use might be made of it. Disobedience to the Law is sin, 1 Joh. 3. 4. it is called [...]. Although the obser­vance of duty can deserve no reward, yet the not doing it deserves severe punishment. Note. The great end of God's giving Scripture was, to reprove, to instruct, 1 Tim. 3. 16. What must we reprove if sin must not be spoken of? What instruction must be given, if duty must not be pressed? Yea, it is intimated, that who would not hear reproof, rebuking, exhortation, would not endure sound doctrine, 2 Tim. 4. 2, 3.

That people cannot perform what God requires, is from their own defaults: so that it is no injustice in God to require it. God made man righteous, Eccles. 7. 29. he may justly require according to what he gave, not according to what we have. The Master that gave ma­ny talents, may require the whole summ, although the [Page] servant (through his idleness) is not able to pay it. It is meer mercy, that God accepteth according to what a man hath, 2 Cor. 8. 12. he may in justice require according to what he first gave.

4. The pressing of duty upon people unable to per­form it, is the ordinary, and may prove the effica­cious means to enable men to do it. The Ninevites re­pented at the preaching of Jonah, Mat. 12. 41. Peter preached repentance, Acts 1. 9. and some thou­sands were (by Gods blessing on it) enabled to per­form it, Cap. 4. 4. The few that were truely chosen, were of the number of them who were outwardly cal­led before, Matth. 24. 14. I confess the means is not effectual to all, but must it be therefore used to none? nay, because we know not to whom it may be effectual, therefore it must be used to all, that it may be profitable to those to whom God intends it. Peo­ple are much mistaken in the pressing of duty, who look upon it onely as a command of obedience, not at all as a means of profit: in the commands of God, there is not only a discovery of duty, but an offer of power and strength to perform it. It were but vain to bid a groveling child arise, which of it self is unable; but if at the same time I hold forth my hand to help it, it may be a means to raise it. It had been an hard injunction of Christ, to bid Lazarus arise, when he had been dead four daies and not able to stir: but when the voice carried with it a secret power to enable him, he was able to come out of the grave: it was the Angel that stirred the water, whereby the diseased were cured at Bethesda; must not impotent people be advised therefore to go to the pool, because of [Page] themselves they could not work the cure?

But where commanded duties are not practised, they leave them without excuse that neglect them. God sent Ezekiel to a stubborn people who (he knew) neither would nor could practise his commands, that they might know that there was a Prophet among them. Ezek. 2. 5.

5. Duty is not pressed by Ministers as a meritorious cause of salvation, but as the condition which God requires in them to whom he will give it. When we have done all we can, we are unprofitable servants, Luk. 17. May not God, who in free love gives the reward, pro­pose what condition he pleaseth? nay, which is more, he that proposeth the condition, makes people to per­form what he requires: (as was touched before) which is very plain, Ezek. 36. 25, 26. 27.

The result of all is, To beseech you to consider, how they cheat you of the Truth, and may deceive you of your Souls, who preach the neglect, or need­lesness of that Duty God commands and will have (though he himself work it) in those to whom hee'l shew mercy: such who call the way easie and broad, which Christ calls strait and narrow: that promise life to men in sin, and strengthen the hands of the wicked in their iniquity.

6. I shall desire you: That you would be more in judging of yourselves, then in censuring others. It is (now) a great part of some mens Religion, to finde or make faults in others, when they observe not their own: Magis utimur spectacillis quam speculis. they use spectacles to look on others whereby their faults are multiplied, but endure not a look­ing glasse to reflect upon themselves that their de­formity [Page] might be discovered. Indeed mens eyes are naturally placed to look outward on others, when they need the help of some reflecting glasse to take an in­ward view of themselves. But surely there is (be­sides nature) some wicked art, whereby they are holpen, notwithstanding the undiscovered beam in their own eye, to observe so clearly a smaller moth in their Brothers. People are so busied to espy faults in other mens houses, that they neglect the cleansing of their own.

You may observe others faults privately to reprove, not publickly to reproach a Brother: you may take notice of others sins, to be warned by their falls, not to make it an occasion of sinning to you: yet in this, as I would not have you judge them by the reports of o­thers, so neither to measure them by the line of malice. As report like an evil spirit often presents that which never was in substance: so malice like a false glass pre­sents double what is.

Be chiefly in the examination of your selves, with what face will you reprove others, when your own faults are more eminent? Rom. 2. 21, 22, 23. A dirty brush seldom makesclean clothes. If your brother be guiltless when you accuse him, it manifests malice, at least too much credulity, if faulty; yet when you are guilty, it argues too little sincerity. Prove your selves, was Pauls rule, 2 Cor. 13. 5. The best Christian is most at home; the best husband is most conversant in his own books.

Is it that there is not work enough at home, that you are so busie abroad? Is not the sin of your life enough to employ you in the examination of, and [Page] mourning for it? will not the making sure your title to Eternal happiness finde you work enough in private? (poor souls!) If you have not work enough to day, you will be sure to make more before the morrow. Observe your own sins, and endeavour to avoid them: mark your own temptations, and endeavour to resist them. Let your own tempations make you pitty others if they do fall: Let your own aptness to fall plead ex­cuse, if it be but an infirmity: I would not have you too rigid against the (only) infirmities of others, yet I would not have you too indulgent toward your own. I would have you do with infirmities, as modest House­wives do with some lesser pieces of sluttery, although they will not endure it in their own, yet they will excuse it in their neighbours house. Then shall I think you religious indeed, and that the Lord intends good to your souls, when you accuse not others, but your selves; when your endeavour is more to amend your own, then observe others deformities.

I thought to have spoken a word to you about the Sa­crament, but I have been too long in the porch already, besides, that concerning mine own Congregation on­ly, I shall refer it to a more private occasion: You may conceive upon what grounds I administer it; you know for what reasons I have for some time forborn it; some of you have been informed what course I am about in our future preparation for it. Onely I can­not but observe that those who before made it their argument against us, that we administred it to some, whom we had then no power to debar; are novv as apt to reproach us, vvhen they think we have as little povver to reform it. But I am comforted in this pro­vidence, [Page] that I had declared my resolutions about it, before it was objected against us. I see it is hard to be free from blame, when men love to finde fault.

All I have now to speak to you, is that you would not turn your back upon the Truth. Some may neglect the reading, from a want of desire to know Truth; others may cast a way all as false, because not suitable to their fancy. This will prove a lasting record against you, if I shall not now prevail with you.

If the Preaching of Ordained Ministers be the Or­dinance, then wait upon it; run not up and down after unprofitable Teachers; the Prophet Jeremiah saith, They shall not profit (as in the book:) And one of their great pen-men in part confesseth that they cannot con­vert, nor beget faith: as shall be shewed in the Appen­dix after it. God (through his great mercy) hath not left me wholly without witness (I mean some seal of my Ministry among you) the Lord increase the num­ber, that I may give up mine account with joy. It hath frequently troubled my soul in private, to think what hopefull Reformation among us hath been hindred by the false aspersions, and causeless opposition of some: But the Lord will require it at their hands. The good God pardon it.

Beloved, Let not such things discourage you; it is a sign God hath some work to do, where the Devil stirs opposition against it. I would beseech you to con­tend for the faith once delivered to the Saints, Jude ver. 3. and with Paul, I shall beg you to be stedfast, unmove­able, alwaies abounding in the work of the Lord. The Lord appear so upon you and me, that we may order our conversation according to his will, that we may all [Page] walk that way he hath prescribed us to heaven. That when the great day of account shall come, we may all have our names written in the Book of Life, which is the earnest prayer of,

Your affectionate and willing servant in the Work of the Lord, JOHN FERRIBY.

To the Reader.


APologies of (this nature) are so customary, that when most sincerely and needfully used, they are judged but Complements. The needlesse requests of sturdy beggars make many want­ing medicants go without their alms. Such is this Subject, of which many have spoken so much, and some so well, that it is hard to say any thing that hath not been touched on be­fore; such my sense of weakness (of which too much is disco­vered in this) that it is hard to say any thing at all worthy. Wherefore I might plead sufficient and real excuse, were it not that I fear the excuse it self would again need to be excused: For, if it be fruitful, why should not the Sun shine on it, without the Gentleman-usher of a Complement to bring it forth? if not, why had not the darkness still co­vered it? But there being a kinde of necessity laid upon me, which, although no fair pretence for absolutely unlaw­full, may be a just plea for seemingly inconvenient things; I shall give you a short and inoffensive narrative of the oc­casion, and then be willing to bear what blame you shall just­ly lay upon me.

In my Lecture at Epping, which (at first) I voluntarily and freely set up, and now (for sometime) have constantly and gainlesly maintained; I lately handled the neglect of the Gospel, on HEB. 2. 3. In which, pressing the Congre­gation to receive the Gospel, I gave (amongst others) this Di­rection; (viz.) That they would esteem and acknow­ledge [Page] the Ministers that brought it: which was urged from 1 Thess. 5. 12. My reason was, Because people sel­dome receive profit by any message, unless they look upon him as Commissioned that delivers it. From this I conceived my self engaged to discover who were Commis­sioned to preach the Gospel: not onely because the Office of the Ministry in these daies, and about that place, hath been so much decried, and that I was so much importuned by godly people to speak something of it, but in regard of the profit people might receive by being satisfied and setled in it: for I am apt to apprehend, that a great cause there is so little profit by hearing of the Word, is, that the preaching of it is no more looked upon as an Ordinance: this I was re­solved, and laboured to do with as much candor, and as little provocation as might be. I had preached three of the Sermons be­fore they came & when I was to preach the last Sermon they were brought to oppose me. They took the Pulpit before I came, both this day and the next. Which three things are inti­mated in that place from which they take their li­berty to speak after others have preached (viz.) 1 Cor. 14

But before I had finished the subject, some (I conceive) through the secret misinformations, and impetuous sollici­tations of others, (who could not deny, yet would not grant what was delivered) were brought to oppose what I preach­ed: and if it were possible, either by the favourable in sinu­ations of themselves, and their way, or the harsh misrepre­sentations of us and our Calling, to subvert or prevent the reception of my Doctrine. Which was attempted not only by a long discourse to the people before I preached but by a short opposition of me after. I told the Gentleman (who spake) that I conceived he ought not to speak there, unless he were a Prophet, nor then unless he had a Revelation, nor then but when he may be subject to the Prophets: but proffered to justifie what I had delivered, either by a private communi­cation, or a publick printing of my Notes; thinking by that way Truth might be examined to more profit, and with lesse passion, than by a tumultuary conference amidst an over­passionate [Page] multitude, than by a doubtfull disputation a­mong prejudiced and unknowing hearers. But that was not taken.

The next Lecture-day the like attempt was made again, there having two spoken successively, before I went into the Pulpit. When although I was loth to provoke, yet I was re­solved to have accepted any way that could have been pro­posed as most tending to love and edification, for the deba­ting, and (if possible) for the deciding the controversie be­tween us: to which end I had bespoken a Notary to pre­vent present mistakes, and after misreports. But through Gods goodnesse we ended peaceably. Not yet that I expected to convince engaged men, nor by any such publick dispute to reduce wilfull men ignorantly mislead (there have been too many sad and fruitlesse examples of such conferences al­ready) but meerly to prevent their boastings, that we dare not stand an Argument; or a suspition in others, that our cause would not endure a trial. The most peaceable is the most Christian way; where Gods honour, not our own in­terest is intended: that course is most to be pursued, which may probably end in most advantage, in least difference. Good Corn is best winnowed in a gentle gale, when a blu­stering winde blowes away chaff and Corn too. The high windes of passionate debates oftentimes blow up storms and clouds, seldome produce any clear or fair agreement.

Upon this I was much strained, I love peace, but I dare not forsake truth. Not to Print the Sermons, besides the inconvenience of misreports already raised, and too readily received about it, were to lye under the suspition of cowar­dise, and (with some men) to yeeld them the victory that never got it; for although the offer was not taken by them, it might have been objected against me. To Print them, [Page] besides the discovery of mine own weakness, might produce further contest, which I have no leasure to attend, being suf­ficiently toyled with the constant labour of three times a week Preaching (besides something else:) yet I am willing to undertake any task to finde out or discover truth.

Besides, to hang them upon the same Text, would have taken up too much time to transcribe, and would have puz­led the Reader to have found out the business, I having preached many more Sermons upon it: to have tacked them to another, might have given suspition that they were not the same: It is no hard matter to finde or make an accusa­tion. But, which increased my trouble, I was to print, with the same weakness I preached them; The ear tries words, but the eye observes writings; what infirmity might pass the sudden hearing of a transient voice, is soon discovered by the more serious view of a discerning eye. Had I in­tended the Presse, I might have taken more pains: but I may be sorry, that what was intended only for a private Auditory, should now come to publike view; that what was prepared in so little time (I am ashamed to say how little) should now undergo the censure of a more deliberate exami­nation. Nor do I conceive it fit to alter them, least that should be objected, if not against the truth of what was printed, yet against the repute of what was preached: and indeed so great was the opposition, and so many have been the false reports about it, that I am willing (for this) to let you see what it was I preached.

Such as they are I commit to your judgement and Gods blessing, take them (I may almost say) as I preached them; I have altered nothing of the method, scarcely any thing of the Scripture or Argument, and but little of the expression; I remember but one Scripture that I have added, nor that [Page] added, only again urged in one place, where it was not be­fore. (What I have added about the Oaths that Ministers take before their Ordination, I tell you of in the margin;) I scarcely used then any Authors (which might easily have been done) but for the illustration of those Scriptures I ur­ged; nor many of them neither, only such which are emi­nent for piety, which might be easily examined by any that should doubt the quotation, which my short time would afford the search of, and which might not overburthen the Auditory, the Presse not being then intended: nor have I named any more now; you shall have it in the same naked­nesse, or with very little more covering, then it was first brought forth with.

I was constrained to introduce it some other way (for the reason before mentioned) but the margin directs to the beginning of the Sermons. I have cast it into Sections, not to distinguish the Lectures, but to help your reading only; where some little Use hath been made, it hath been (for the most part) at the end of Lectures.

I am conscious to my self of many weaknesses, and should sure have blushed to be thus generally observed, had not constraint (in a manner) offer'd violence to modesty. I should have been induced rather to have suffered the disho­nour of cowardise, in not appearing in the field, then the reproach of insufficiency by a too weak undertaking: but this chiefly relates to mine own person, the other reflects more upon the truth. Besides, cowardise can but suffer, he that for fear forsakes one piece of ground at first, may after be quite driven out of the field: whereas weakness may pre­vail, yea being assisted by the God of strength may get the conquest; when truth must appear more glorious, and God himself receive much more honour. I shall be glad if I finde [Page] (among men) rather the loving conjunction of Shem's and Japhet's shoulders to cover my nakedness, then the open mouthes of cursed Hams to proclaim what they discern.

Sr Walter Rawleigh mentions some Books that speak much, but say little: I would not willingly be reckoned in that number; if that little I have spoken, may be so much, as to conduce in any measure, to the satisfaction of doubt­ing, the establishment of standing Christians, but the least tittle to exalt the truth, and support the Ministry of Iesus Christ; especially if in these daies, now the axell-tree of the Ministeriall function is so much struck at, and begins (here) to crack, I might by this providence be made instrumen­tall, to clap one band to strengthen it, but to put one spoke in­to the wheel to help it, I should esteem it a superabundant recompence. If you (good Reader) shall receive any advan­tage, I will chearfully take the interest of your prayers, for the principle of your profit; and (besides) acknowledge my self

Your indebted and engaged servant J. F.

THE Lawfull Preacher: Or a short Discourse About the Call of MINISTERS, PROVING, That they onely ought to preach, who are ordained to that Service.

SECT. 1.

Posito uno ab­surdo sequuntur mil [...]a. DIsorder seldom ends where it begins; an inch awry in the foundation, where it's scarcely discerned, may be a yard before the top stone be laid, when it will be more visible. Evil is of a multiplying nature, and needs no other foe­tation, but liberty, for its production. Errour like an ill weed requires nothing more for its infinite encrease then toleration, then not to be plucked up. Who would have thought that contempt of the persons, grumbling at the maintenance, would have ended in disputing, yea, denying the Office of Mi­nisters? Fortitèr calum­niare, aliquid haerebit. It's some mens greatest policy, to cast dirt on all hands, that something may stick. It is much if in a large Bill, something doth not (at least) appear, if not prove true. I shall not stand to justifie their persons, although I could quickly excuse them from many of those scandalous aspersions cast upon them, yet I dare pleade for their Calling.

[Page 2] What wickednesse is in that? Can that Office be evil that is ordained by God himself? Were not the Prophets and Priests instituted by him under the Law? Were not the Apo­stles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, substituted by Christ under the Gospel? Eph. 4. 11. Mat. 28. 19, 20 Eph. 4. 12. And hath not he promised to be with them to the end of the world? Can that Calling be un­necessary, which was appointed for the perfecting of the Saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ? A desire of Dominion is objected against their persons, and (which is worse) a Title to power is suspected in their Offices: What Authority God hath entailed upon the Office, it is a sin in any to cut off, unless there could be a Fine and Recovery acknow­ledged in the Court of Heaven: And I wish that the accu­sers of the Brethren knew with what unwillingnesse they re­ceive that Power others think they affect; and what a bur­then that is to their shoulders, which some conceive they de­light in.

Ye take too much upon you ye sons of Levi, is the renewed complaint of Corah's successors; but did not Corah, Dathan and Abiram, the sonnes of Belial, take too much upon them too? Was it not only their desire to share in what they pre­tended evil in others, that was the cause of the outcry? Ma­lice is as blinde as Love, they equally, although in a different manner, darken the judgement; we must never expect right Sentence, where Passion brings in the Evidence, and Malice gives in the Verdict Where malice is in the sediment, a little heat will raise the scum of false accusations, and unjust reports: where that lies under the earth, there will not want an Aetna through which to breath forth the flame of railings, or 'twill shake the whole Island: if that fire be but kindled, it will quickly burst out: when it is resolved the dog must be beaten, is is no hard matter to finde a staff. And truly impotency is a sufficient crime, when violence sits in judgement.

Typhoem is feigned to lye under Sicily, which is the cause of so ma­ny earth-quaks there; and that the flames of Aetna are but the breathings of his mouth. When I consider how great the cry, and how little the cause is, how strong the plea, yet how weak the proof is, a­gainst the Ministry, I can scarcely finde any other sourse of it. I cannot see what accusation zeal, unlesse over-heated with [Page 3] passion; can bring, nor what strength judgement, unlesse blin­ded by malice, can reise against it. The Anti, trinitarians want a word, the Anti-sabbatarians would see a command, the Anti-Poedobaptists would have some example produced in Scripture (all which are easily answered;) but what proving argument the Anti-Presbyters can urge, who may finde word, precept, practice, and all for the Office of Ministers, it's hard to discern; what they produce shall be spoken to in the fol­lowing discourse.

Gen. 3. 1. It is the devils common policy, who was subtle enough in his infancy; and surely hath lost nothing of his cunning by age and practice, to strike at the foundation of the adverse King­dom, knowing that the building cannot stand long, if that be weakned: sometimes he violently batters, but delights more in secret underminings, not only as what is least discerned, but as what is most conducible to his advantage: the roof may be shattered, the branches may be lopt, when yet the tree may live, and the house stand firm; but kill the root, take a­way the foundation, and there will need no farther endea­vour to ruine the one or destroy the other.

The Ministry is one of the great parts of Religion's foun­dation; this will suddenly fall, if that be rooted out, When there was no King in Israel, every man did what seemed him good in his own eyes; and when there is no Priest, nor Pro­phet in Israel, every man may offer his own Corban, and teach the vision of his own brain. It is observable that Satan in his strongest oppositions against Religion, hath constantly raised his greatest batteries against the Ministers: some have been planted against their repute, others against their maintenance, others against their lives, and others (which are not the weakest) against their Office, if this were but laid low, the work were half done. Luther tells Melancthon, If the Mini­stery fall, the Kingdom of Christ must not stand long: saith Christ to Peter, Ʋpon this Rock will I build my Church. It is properly meant of that doctrine, and confession that he made and preached: surely the Apostles (in whose name he spake,) and their successors have a share in the work.Sinos ruemus, ruet Christus unà scilicet ille regnator mundi: matlem ego eum Christo ruere, quàm-cum Cae­sare stare. Hence it is said, [Page 4] that the Gentiles when drawn nigh by the bloud of Jesus, Mat. 16. 18. Eph. 4. 20. are built upon the foundation of Prophets and Apostles, Jesus Christ being the chirf corner stone, Eph. 2. 20, It was not Peter's per­son on which the Lord Christ promised to build his Church; but in hac Catholicae fidei confessione statuo fideles ad vitam, up­on the confession he made. Ambrose. Si quis intelli­gat ipsas Apo­stolorum & Prophetarum personas, nimis faedè halluciua­titur, Zanch. in loc. Super funda­mentum, &c. hoc est super vetus & novum Te­stamentum col­locati, Amb. 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. Agnoscere (i.) Pro Pastoribus nostris a [...] patri­bus revcrentèr amplecti, Zanc. in loc. Nor is it the persons of the Pro­phets and Apostles called here the foundation, but the doctrine preached by them, which Ambrose cals the Old and New Te­stament. It is the constant practice of the Mahumetans, to have their Mu [...]i in great reverence, for it is a received prin­ciple among them, That no one thing preserves and improves Religion more, then a venerable high esteem of their chief­est Ministers. I would Christians were not (in this) lesse Chri­stian. Upon the like ground it may be conceived, that S. Paul commands the Thessalonians, That they would know them that are over them in the Lord, 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. and esteem them very highly for their works sake, (That ye know,) indeed the Vulg. Lat. renders it, ut noveritis, but Beza translates it, ut agnoscatis, that ye acknowledge them: it is [...], which Zanchius explains, to acknowledge, and reve­rently to esteem them as their Fathers and Ministers. The Eng­lish word is used in the same sense, Mat. 7. 23. which place I find urged both by Beza and Zanchy, to prove their exposi­tion of this; I know you not, I never acknowledged or knew you as mine.

Abundantiùs vulg. Lat. quàm maximè. Beza. Leigh. Beza in Eph. 3 20. Let them ob serve this who abuse the per­sons, traduce the Names, the gifts of Ministers. That you very highly esteem them in love, [...]: some reade it more abundantly, others exceedingly: the word is very significant: I doubt whether it may please to give the full sig­nification of it It is (as a Critick) exceedingly, yea: more then exceedingly; it is as if you would say excessively. Beza ren­ders the same expression in another place, suprà quàm redr [...] ­danter. Which yet is not referred especially to an admiration of their persom, nor chiefly to an esteem of their gifts (al­though both of these are required in the Text,) but to the re­spectfull acknowledgement of their Ministery, they coming in the Name, and by the Authority of God; for it is [...], (in the Lord:) Which Beza and Zanchy both refer to their Eccle­siasticall [Page 5] Office: but Diodate glosseth it (in the Lord) (i. e.) in the name, by the Commission and Authority of the Lord.

He well knew that if the Messenger were sleighted, the Re­port would not be received. He derides the Embassie, that looks not on the Deliverer of it as Commissioned. Is not this the Carpenters Son? was that which prevented the beleeving of Christ's Word. When (at other times) they looked upon him as a Devill, they were unlikely to hearken to him as a God. He casteth out Devils through Beelzebub. It was no wonder that the Jer. 43. 1, 2. proud men rejected Jeremiah's Meslage, when they could say, God hath not sent him. I know nothing that more powerfully preventeth the efficacy of the Gospel, then disputing their Commission, denying their Office that bring it. Limbs of Antichrist, are unlikely to be Christs Messengers; it is not probable, that the tail of the beast should be emploi­ed in Gods service.


Here begin the Sermons which were then introdu­ced in the same manner as here; for hand­ling the neg­lect of the Go­spel on Heb. 2. 7. I pressed the Congregation (as a means to help them to receive it) that they would receive and esteem the Ministers of the Gospel, which I urged from that of 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. and explained it as here; although I have not inserted the direction at large as then I handled it: so that, although I intended not to have touched this string in that lesson; yet being so providentially brought upon it, I could not without suspition of cowardise retreat. BUt the great Objection is: That those who thus labour in the Lord, and are thus highly to be esteemed, are not the Black-coated Ministers, Ordained by men, furnished with lear­ning at the Universities, to neglect them is not to refuse Mes­sengers of God: nor is it to sleight the Gospel, to cast off what they preach. But for Answer,

What is spoken against their Coats, reflects upon their Function; not the colour of their Cloth, that is not worth a Reply any further then as it will fall under the other after­ward.

That they are Ordained by men (me thinks) cannot in­jure them: Many mistake the matter, and therefore ignorant­ly [Page 6] cry out against the use of Ordination. It is not to infuse new, gifts, it is only to try their gifts formerly acquired, whe­ther they are (therein) competently qualified for such an Of­fice. Can this be hurtfull? Who, unlesse such as dare not stand a triall, would not desire the approbation of judicious men in a service of that importance, were it not otherwise necessary? A modest spirit, a tender conscience will be rather apt to suspect, then cry up self-ability, when it remembers Paul's question, Who is sufficient? It is not to send any forth contrary to Gods minde, or whom God would not have sent, (as far as men can discern;) but to set thosé apart for the work, whom they judge God hath sent to labour in his Vine­yard. Can this lessen their gift, or render their persons more offensive? That they have their learning at the University, I am apt to think should not make them lesse able: If by lear­ning they intend that especiall gift of grace, whereby they are supernaturally furnished with abilities, experimentally to divide the Word aright, they are mistaken; but if they mean that skill in Arts and Sciences, knowledge of Tongues, which although acquired by the use of means; yet are the common gifts of God, this must rather help then unfit them for the Ministry. Are any gifts of God to be contemned? can any gift of God unfit men for service? Shall the gifts of Fortune (so called) be imbraced, and shall the gifts of the minde, which are more excellent, be accounted lesse worthy? It is fit the Mi­stresse should rule in the house; yet the hand-maid may be ser­viceable. Befides, they who object this against Ministers, learn to reade English at home (although I do not know whether all that undertake to be Preachers are so well learn­ed, yet) I beleeve few will judge him sufficiently qualified for a Minister who cannot reade English. They learn to reade the Bible as it is translated, others learn it in the Originall: Can this indispose them to that work! It was but a false conceit of a wicked man, that Act. 26. 24. much learning made Paul mad. If lear­ning be good and usefull, then the more the better; there cannot be excesse of what is good in it self: a good thing may be abused, but if good, the measure cannot be offensive; [Page 7] the nearer to perfection, the better it must be still. But these things, as they are of little strength, so I use but little force to repell them; I shall hasten to the main businesse, which is of greater concernment.

Only (in transitu) If it be proved that the preaching of Or­dained Ministers only be the Ordinance; then it will follow, that to neglect them, is to refuse the Gospel: but that I shall labour to prove presently. Then I must tell you, that although other may speak pleasing things, they only can in Christs stead beseech you to be reconciled; although others may take pains, they only labour among you, and are over you in the Lord. Al­though others may promise salvation, they only can preach the Gospel. Hence I conceive it is that Paul cals it his Gospel, Rom. 1. 16. Rom. 2. 16. according to my Gospel. Which is (in Diodates words) according to the Gospel of which I am a Minister. Rom. 1. 16. It is Christs Gospel as given by him, as through him life is offered in it; it was Pauls Gospel as it was preached, as it was promulgated by him: It is (in a sense) their Gospel, who have authority from God to preach it. The most strict threatning of a private person to another; That he shall return to the place whence he came, thence to the place of Execution, and there shall hang till he die, is but vain and ridiculous; when the same words out of the mouth of an Authorized Judge, are the dreadfull sentence of death. Not is the promise of life to a condemned person at all esteemed from him that hath no power to give it; when the same promise from him who is Commissioned for the service, is certain life.

I shall now then labour to prove, That the Ordained Mi­nisters only are those who (by the Apostles command) are to be highly esteemed, and that to neglect them and their preach­ing is to neglect the Gospel. It was the pro­fession I made when I preach­ed it. Which I professe, I undertake not out of any love to Controversie, nor any desire to exalt my self or Function, above the rule of Jesus Christ; but (being through an unexpected Providence brought to it) out of a de­sire, if not to reduce the mislead, yet to establish those that yet stand; especially receiving their entreaties about it, and ob­serving their endeavours to seduce them.

[Page 8] The Method I propose in the handling of it, is, to shew you. 1. That those who preach must be called or sent to that service. 2. That this Sending or Calling is not only a gifting of men; but (besides that) a setting them apart for that Office. 3. What calling or setting men apart for this Office, the Scri­pture ordinarily mentions. 4. I shall answer those most pro­ving Arguments that are urged against it.


1 Thes. 5. 11. 1. THose that preach must be Called or Sent for that work. To this purpose is the Exposition (I before gave you) of those words (in the Lord) 1 Thes. 5. 12. in the Name, by the Authority and Commission of the Lord. Rom. 10. 14, 15. But other Scri­ptures are plain, Rom. 10. 14, 15. How shall they preach except they be sent? The Apostle speaks of that preaching that be­gets faith, faith comes by hearing. Observe the place well. It is very observable, how the Lord seems to hang the salvation of people instrumental­ly upon the preaching of Sent or Called Ministers. Praier de­pends upon beleeving, beleeving upon hearing, hearing upon a Preacher, and preaching upon Sending, How can they preach? The Interrogation doth vehementius negare, they cannot preach. Are they not able to speak some things the word holds out? Can they not exhort to what God commands, and reprove the acting of what God forbids? [...] (i. e.) Ex Dei mandato, a quo mittuntur qui Evangelium praedicent, Beza quùm in istis­verbis sit com­pendium superi­or is gradationis, commodius vi­detur hoc acci­pere de mitten­dis ex Dei vo­catione, Id. Yes, but they cannot preach Authoritatively unlesse sent. So ver. 17. Hear­ing is by the Word of God. Some expound this of the matter of the Word: but then it should have been another word in the Originall; [...] not [...] (as Beza Critically, yet well ob­serves) and without a Praeposition; but it is [...], which he explains by the command of God, that faith cometh by hearing that word which is preached by the command of God; and takes this verse but as a Compendium of what was spoken before. But what need we trifle in Expositions, when the word is so clear? In how many places doth God complain of them that preach, yet are not sent; that run, yet he sent them [Page 9] not? Ier. 14. 14. They prophesie, but God sent them not. So (be­sides very many other places) Ier. 23. 21, 32. ‘It is the ob­servation of One, He is a false Prophet, not only that teach­eth lies, but that teacheth without a Commission, whether the thing he speaks be true or false.’ There are many things worth marking in that of Ier. 23. would I stand upon them: They cause the people to erre, Verse 13. If the Leader com­mand without a Warrant, the people may wander besides their path: Nor doe I know in all the ages of the Church, that error ever marched more victoriously into the world, then under the conduct of uncommissioned Leaders. The Barrell never runs more profusely to the intoxicating of the Drinkers, then when the Tap is in the hand of (no true Butler, but) an intruding Stranger. They strengthen the hands of evill doers ver. 14. 17. Never were the hands of men more strengthned in their wickednesse, then by the peacefull deceitfull preach­ing of unsent Teachers. They speak the vision of their own hearts, verse 16. who pretend more to strange Revelations, make more use of their own fancies, and lesse of Gods Word, then those that make use onely of their own power to call themselves to that Office? They steal my Word, everyone from his neighbour, vers. 30. Either they take some parts and pie­ces of true Prophecies, that they might the better vent their false ones: men put off ill commodities best, under the mix­ture of some good with them. The Devill deceives with lesse suspicion, when his false mouth is filled with mixtures of some of Gods truths; Children are most easily cousened into the taking of bitter Seeds, under the covert of sweet Plummes. Or else they steal (as Diodate glosseth it) they fraudulently take upon them to preach the Word, and steal from the cal­led Prophets all Authority and credit. Never was the Au­thority and credit of faithfull Ministers more weakned, then by the pretended Authority of unsent Teachers. Paul was never put more to justifie his Ministery, then when the false Apostles laboured to steal away his repute among the people, They shall not profit this people, verse 32. Here is the cause that people hear so many uncommissioned Preachers [Page 10] with so little profit: The Lord will not blesse their labour; he hath hang'd a curse upon it, as once upon the fruitless Fig­tree, Never fruit grow more on it. There's but one thing more, the evil effect of it; The people shall say, The burthen of the Lord, verse 33. (i.) the prophane people encouraged through their lies, leaning on the Pillows sowed by them under their el­bows, were apt to accuse the true Prophets for preaching the burthen of the Lord against them; they would scoff at, and despight the faithfull servants of God, as speaking of curses and threatnings; as if that had been none of their Message, or they not the persons to whom they belonged. Was ever this Text made good, and is it not this day fullfilled in our ears? But to return, 2 Tim. 3. 6. The Apostle complains of those that creep into hanses. They go in by stealth, and they work by subtilty. The lawful Shepherd enters in at the door; they are but sneaking Pastors, who come without a key, who run without a commission, that creep into houses: Of what sort these were ye may see vers. 9, 13. He calleth them Sedu­cers, ver. 8. He compares them to Jannes and Jambres, who were some of those Magicians, that opposed Moses in his working of Miracles, in which these are not unlike them; for they resist the truth.

Look over the whole Book of God, and then tell me whe­ther you can finde the example of any that thrust themselves into this Office, either of Priesthood under the Law, or of Mi­nistery under the Gospel without sharp reproof from God. Will the example of Ʋzzah prevail, who out of an honest in­tention but attempted what belonged to the Priests Office on­ly, yet was severely punished? Or will the fierce wrath of God upon Corah, Dathan, and Abiram affect you, who upon a fair pretence (that all the Congregation was holy) would have thrust themselves into the Offices they were not called to, on whom the earth opened and swallowed them up? They who exalt themselves above their measure, were cast down below their expectation.

Think you that Aaron might make himself a Priest? if you view him, you would judge him a fit man; yet he would not [Page 11] adventure without a Call. Noman taketh this honour unto him­self. Heb. 5. 4. Heb. 5. 4. Or suppose you that Christ might put himself into the Office of the Priesthood; and surely I know not who should attempt it, if he might not: yet he would not glorifie himself to be made an high Priest, Hebr. 5. 5.Heb. 5. 5. He, as he was man, did not put himself into the Office, but was called to it by the Everlasting Father, who said, Thou art my Son, yea, he was made a Priest after the Order of Melchisedech: The Apostle there answers an Objection that might be made against Christs Priesthood, because he was not of the Tribe of Levi; therefore he tells you what Call he had, he was of the Order of Melchisedech: For no man taketh this honour; it is [...], which is often used to used take by violence, as Iob. 19. 1. (and as a Critick referring it to this place) it is spoken of Callings and Offices: Ʋsurpatur de vocationibus & functionibus. Non disputat quales sint Pon­tisices, sed de coram officio a­git; Beza. Act. 20. 28. Such must not be taken by violence, but received by a Call. Much more might be spoken of this, but that will refer properly to the next thing; I hope it is ma­nifest that there must be a Call. Whence else is it, that they are said to be made Over-seers over the Flock of God by the ho­ly Ghost, Acts 20. 28?

Saith Apostle concerning Christ, To which of the Angels said he at any time; This is my Son, this day have I begotten thee? I may say, Unto what unsent Minister, or or self-made Prophet, did God at any time say, Take care of the Flock, feed the Church of God, over which the holy Ghost hath made you over-seets.

Besides, which I wonder at, Those who think men may run without a Call into this Office, (or rather employment, for it scarcely now acknowledged an Office) will pleade for a Call, a Commission for any other undertaking: Strange I that this which is the most excellent imployment, should be adven­tured on with the least warrant: as if God had only neglect­ed his own service: or rather that men were resolved to be carefull of himself when Gods work shall be carelesly un­dertaken. He must not sit in the place of a Judge, that hath no Commission, but is guilty of murther that puts a man to death (be the cause what it will) without just Authority. The [Page 12] common Souldier will not receive the Commands of his fel­low, onely of a Commissioned Officer; nor will one Officer take the Word of Command from another, unlesse by Order he be impowred to give it: Nay, in your Cities, men are not suffered to manage a trade, but after serving an Apprentiship, and being made free of the Company. Such are generally con­ceived to have least skill, and to sell the worst wares, and then pernicious to Societies. And is the Ministery the only Office to be run upon without a Call?

Again, If one man may go without sending, why not ano­ther? why not more? why not all? else what number is as­signed, and what measure of gifts is competent? Truly, people love the power of Heads, would cast off the subjection of Members: So then, we should have all Priests, and no peo­ple; all Teachers, and no Hearers; all the Members would become Head; all the Flock would be Over-seers, and at last none left to be overseen but by their own eyes.

How then should men fear and tremble that dare take this honour to themselves; who go without a Call, run without a Commission; who go not in at the door, but creep into hou­ses, who need no other power but their own to make them Preachers! I mean such, who have no Flock to oversee, but go from place to place venting their errours, sowing their seeds of Heresie; as if there were no Duty well done, nor any Office well discharged, where their Gift is not exercised. In­deed there is among wiser and more religious men, dispute a­bout the Call, which I shall speak to afterward; but what must we think of those who pretend to no Call at all, but what their Gifts, which they call extrordinary, confer upon them? Such (me think) should fear the judgement of God, who speak in his Name, yet have of his Authority. Christ sends forth his Disciples as Sheep among Wolves, but then promi­seth to be with them; whom he sends he is engaged to defend; but what protection can they expect, who have none of his Commission?

Nay, how should people that fear the Lord be afraid to run after such Teachers; not only in that they countenance, [Page 13] and say God speed to them that are not in Gods way, and then may partake of their plagues: as Numb. 16. 21. 22. but in that their doctaine is dangerous; they make people to erre; the lea­ven of their doctrine is to be avoided. Such as steal into trades, sell for the most part but false wares; they would not be un­willing to stand a trial, if their intentions were honest in their undertakings. Nay, although they speak good things, yet they shall not profit the people (ut suprà.) As there is no protection promised to their persons, neither is there any blessing promi­sed upon their labours. But the next thing will further illu­strate this; which is,


2 2. THis calling or sending, is not only gifting of men, but (besides that) a setting them apart for that work. Were the consent of Churches, and their practice, or the opinions of single men at all available with the opposers of the Ministers call, how many might quickly be produced: but I know these, if urged would be rejected, and therefore I shall not put you to the trouble of a refusall; Scripture-practice being chiefly pretended to by them, Scripture-rule shall be my way of trial.

(If gifting be calling; it must be either ordinary or extra­ordinary. It is not an ordinary Call, for the Scripture speaks of another way of setting men apart ordinarily for this ser­vice (as will be proved afterward.)

Nor is it an extraordinary calling; although if it were, it would not at all help our uncalled Preachers; for as it is not our businesse here to handle extraordinary cales, so neither is it our wisedom now to expect extraordinary callings. Extra­ordinary sending is either, when in the primitive times God did by his immediate command send out whom he pleased to that service; Yet then there was an act of sending different from the work of gifting of them (as will appear presently:) Note. this I beleeve our gifted brethren will not pretend to; if so, let them discover their mission. Or when in the first erecting [Page 14] or re-building of Churches, where an ordinary call cannot be had, men are called out by an extraordinary power of God upon their spirits for this work.Paul (who is so much talked of) if ye exa­mine the Scri­pture, Act. 9. to the 20. ver. was not only gifted, but sent also, ver. 6. he must go into the City, and there it should be told him what he should do, ver. 15. He is a chosen vessell to bear my Name among the Gentiles, which was to preach the Gospel, ver. 17. He was filled with the holy Ghost, ver. 19. He was certain daies with the Disciples at Damascus: and all this before that straightway which is so much urged, v. 20. It is more clear, if you compare it with Act. 22. 14, 15. what Ananias told Paul be should do. And v. 21. you will see the Commission Christ gave him, although filled with the holy Ghost. Perkins saith, Extraordi­nary only take place, where ordinary is not to be had: yea, it must afterward, when the Church shall be setled, receive Ordination in an ordinary way.’ This our opposers cannot plead, because among us an ordinary call is to be had; (which if they suspect, I shall shew them in the third thing.) Or, when there are some extraordinary gifts conferred to enable men for this employment. Extraordinary gifts, I mean not compa­ratively only, when some have better gifts then others; or then ordinarily men of that place and breeding have, some may have a better Genius, may be more industrious, may have more advantages then others; but such which are given in an extra­ordinary manner, as the extraordinary gift of Prophesying, the miraculous gift of Tongues, when there hath been no or­dinary means used for the acquiring of them: the immediate gift of working miracles, which were given in those daies, Note. not only to enable them for their work, but (besides other rea­sons) to manifest and declare their calling. Which is concei­ved to be the reason of that extraordinary gift which is called Prophesying, not preaching (as is now pretended) that was given to the Seventy, Numb. 11. Numb. 11. But of this more in its place. Nor do I think that those who talk of great gifts, will ac­knowledge them thus extraordinarily bestowed.

Some of them indeed are Scholars, have (besides other learn­ing) the gift of Tongues, but it is by ordinary means acquired; although they may by false pretences delude common people, yet let any of the best gifted men make it appear that they received that or any other gift extraordinarily: they may speak good matter, and well manag'd, and so be cried up for [Page 15] excellently gifted men, when they have gotten their abilities, but by the same way others have gotten theirs; then where is the wonder? I wish that subtle Jesuites, learned Priests, come not under a grey cloak, or a blue apron, and so pretend to an extraordinary gift. For it is observable, that most of our gros­sest errours, that have been so plentifully vented, have been first broached in such meetings: which for the most parttend to Arminianism, or Libertinism, fit leaven for Popery.

Others have no extraordinary gifts at all, have scarcely common gifts, they are so far from having the gift of many Tongus, that they know not how to use their mother Tongue properly; nay, those petty gift-lings they have, they have ac­quired by some like endeavour of reading, hearing or confe­rences. I know no more then ordinary gift they have, unlesse it be of impudence and confidence.

But yet more clearly to handle this thing; That gifting is not sending: I shall do it in some few particulars.

1. The Scripture puts a difference between gifting, and sending men for the work of the Ministry: Those who were qualified with abilities, were Commissioned (besides) before they undertook that service. There is a difference between [...], which is collatio donorum; and [...], which is collatio potestatis, (as is distinguished:) the former makes a man able to preach, the other gives him authority to preach; there may be abilities, where there is no Commission, and there may be a Commission where many qualifications may be want­ing. There is a Text much urged by (almost) all that handle this thing; but because something may be spoken against it, I shall lay no stresse upon it: (viz.) Act. 13. 1, 2. yet me think it plainly intimates a difference the Scripture owneth between gifting and sending: Barnabas and Saul were gifted before, but they must be set apart for the work to which God had called them. But other Scriptures are plain.

When God sent the Prophet Isaiah to preach to the peo­ple, he first gifted him, he afterward gave him his Com­mission, Isa. 6. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. He touched his lips with a coal from the Altar; thereby he was qualified: but afterward he received [Page 16] his authority to exercise his gifts, when he bid him Go and tell this people: Nay Isaiah would not run till God sent him, ver. 8. Judicious Perkins interprets this to be giving him his Autho­rity to preach. Nor do I see what other unforc't exposition can be given of it. But lest the Old Testament (being almost out of fashion) should disrellish, we will see what evidence the New will give us.

If Christs own method in calling his Disciples may be suf­ficient testimony, you will see, that gifting for, and sending them to execute the work were two distinct acts, Mat. 20. 1, 5. Mat. 20. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8. Reade the Text.He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, &c. ver. 1. there he gifted them: but afterward he bids them, Go, preach, saying, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; heal the sick, cleanse the leper, &c. ver. 7, 8. there he gave them Authority to do what he gave them Power to do before, ver. 1. Yea, when their work was encreased, their Commission was enlarged too, Math. 28 19. Mat. 28. 19.Go teach all Nations, bapti­zing them, &c. we reade not that they preached till they re­ceived Commission, nor that they went to any people, but who were comprehended in it. Timothy had a gift conferred by God, and discovered by Prophecy, yet he was set a part for the Office by the imposition of hands, 1 Tim. 4. 14. 1 Tim. 4. 14. The gift was given by prophecy (i. e.) it was discovered in a prophe­tick manner, that he should be a Minister; yet notwithstanding so eminent a declaration of Gods minde, there was the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, which Diodate cals a sign of consecration and blessing. How many places might I name, where the Apostle speaks of Ordaining Elders in the Church­es, which plainly evidenceth (besides gifting of them) a set­ting them apart for the service as Tit. 1. 5. Act. 14. 2, 3. besides other places; but it is better to speak enough then all.

Shall I go one step farther, and then shew you, that Jesus Christ himself was fitted for the service he came about, yet was sent by his Father: although he was gifted, yet he would not go till he had his Fathers Commission, Heb. 10. 5. Heb. 10. 5. he had a body prepared him, he was fitted to offer Sacrifice, and so to perform his Fathers will, but yet he would not take the ho­nour [Page 17] to himself to be made an High-Priest, Heb. 5.5. Heb. 5 5. Mittam e á po­testate, quâ ego missus sum a Patre, Hence it is you finde him speak so much of his being sent by his Father, in many places of John's Gospel. Yea, he tels his Disciples, as my Father sent me so send I you, Joh. 20. 21.

It is agreed by most, that to a faithfull Preacher, there are two things required; there must be gifts and abilities for the work, and there must be Authority and power to exercise those gifts; the one is from man ordinarily, the other from God. Id tantum pos­sumus, quod jure possumus. Paul seems to favour this distinction, where he oppo­seth the call of God to the call of man, Gal. 1. 1. Gal. 1. 1.Paul an Apo­stle, not of men, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ. I know not what glosse or interpretation can be put upon this, but what will prove that there must be a calling, and this calling not on­ly extraordinary from God, as it was in him, but that there is a calling from man, which can be no other, but Commissi­onating or setting apart. Thus Perkins glosseth it. Not of men, he was not called by men as the only authours of his Call, not only by the authority of men: in this he opposeth himself to the false Apostles, who might have an outward Call only from men, but had none from God at all. Nor by man, he was not called of God, by the ministery of meer man; in this he opposeth himself to ordinary Ministers, who might have an inward Call from God, but it was by mans ministry; they were set apart for it by man. To the same purpose Beza observeth a difference between the Praepositi­ [...] and [...], of men, and [...], by man; the one intimates the Authority we receive from him in whose power it is to make Ministers, (which Perkins before cals the Author of our Call;) the other a Ministerial setting apart for the Office. [...] Non auctoribus hominibus ullis. Beza. [...] authoritatis esse videtur; [...] verò Ministerij a superiori quo­piam demandati, Idem. Primum illud membrum non esse vocatum ab hominibus, commune habeat eum omnibus veris Christi ministris; & paulo post, Vocatio non potest esse legitima nisi a Deo. Tametfi autem ritè vocatus interdum quispiam crit Ecclesiae respectu, qui tamen prava cupiditate, non rect â conscientiâ ad ministerium pervenerit. Secundum membrum, non esse vocatum per homines peculiaritèr compe­tebat Apostolis. Et infrà, [...]sta est ordinariae ratio eligendi Pastores. Calvin in loc. Apostolatum ab aliis Ministeriis discerni oportebat. Calvin in Act. 1. 26. To this agrees the exposition of Calvin, Not of men; as wicked Ministers only are, who have no other [Page 18] Call then what man can give them. For as no man must take that Office to himself, fo neither must any else put whom they please into the Office; the harvest is Gods, and such only must be labourers there which are of his sending. Nor by man; which was to distinguish his Apostleship from ordinary Ministers; he being an Apostle, was called by Christ immediatly; and after he saith, that this calling by man is the usuall way of choosing Ministers. Very much further goes Calvin, if those who are curious will search him.’ What need I tell you of Matthias his being sat apart for the Apostleship in the place of Judas? Act. 1. 26. he was qualified by God, nor could the falling of the lot drop any en­crease of gifts into him, but the lot must be given, that he may be thereby designed, and set apart for the Office: It was in­deed an extraordinary way of setting him apart, but the rea­son of that was, because it was to an Apostleship, to which the calling was different (as was newly said) from the ordinary call of Pastors and Teachers. But my businesse (in this) is not to shew what way men are set apart (that belongs to the next thing,) it is sufficient for me here to prove that there is (be­sides gifting) some or other setting apart for this service; I shall do the other afterward.

Besides I finde a frequent distinction made in Scripture, between the gifts of private Christians, whereby they may be able to edifie one the other; and of others who have recei­ved the Ministry. The Romanes were full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another, Rom. 15. 14. Rom. 15. 14, 15. yet they were not hereby authorised to preach presently, but Paul had the grace given to him of God, to be the Mini­ster of Christ to the Gentiles, vers. 15. The Thessalonians were commanded to edifie one another, 1 Thes. 5. 11. 1. Thes. 5. 11. 14. yea, they must warn the unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, vers. 14. this could not be done without a treasury of gifts, yet they were not to be exercised in a Ministeriall preaching; for at the same time they must know them that labour among them, and are over them in the Lord, and esteem them highly &c. ver. 12, 13. they must not quench the Spirit, vers. 19. 12, 13, 19, 20. which [Page 19] Zanchius expounds in one sense, of quenching the spirit of the Ministers by discountenancing and discouraging them. Interpretatio 32 prospiritu Pro­phetiae, extingui­tur autem spiri­tus Prophetiae contemptu, dum eum prophetan­tem asperus­mur. Zanch. in loc. Nor despise Prophesying, ver. 26. Yet further, I finde there is much stresse in Scripture laid upon mens outward call to an Office, by which they receive their designation and Commission to execute it. When Christ taught in the Temple, and none doubt­ed his abilities, that they could not quarrel with him for them, the chief Priests and Elders questioned his authority, that they might finde an occasion of contempt for want of that, Mat. 21. 23. Mat. 21. 23.By what authority dost thou these things, and who gave thee this authority? it was spoken only of his outward call to it. Nay Christ himself commands people to obey evill Mini­sters, who, although wicked men, yet having an outward call, must be hearkned to, Mat. 23. 2, 3. Mat. 23. 2, 3. Legitima voca­tio hic notatur, quia ideò Scri­bas audiri jubet Christus, quod publici essent Ecclesiae docte­res, Cal.The Scribes and Pharisees fit in Moses chair, all therefore they bid you observe, that ob­serve and do: there is a strong emphasis in the illative There­fore, because they sate in Moses chair, and (in Calvins words) were publike preachers of the Law, they must be hearkned to in what they spake from the Law. Probably Christ could have divided the Land with more equity, and lesse partiality, then an authorized Judge; yet having no call to it, although in a lesser businesse then in the work of the Ministry, he would not meddle, only [...]o nomine, as not being Commissioned, Who made me a Judge? Luke 12. 14.

2. All who have gifts must not preach; the work of a Mi­nister is only to be performed by him who is called to the Of­fice, it is unlawfull in others. Preaching of the word is one part of the Ministers Office, but all that have gifts must not perform it, for it is forbidden to women to speak in the Church, 1 Cor. 13. 34. who (it may be) many of them have better gifts then some of those that think themselves sufficiently gifted for it. Whatsoever the practice of some women in some places is, the Scripture must be our rule, which will not per­mit it.

Administring the Sacraments is another peece of a Mini­sters work, but this only gifted men cannot perform, they are not Sacraments as administred by them, The same Commis­sion [Page 20] whereby Christ authorized his Disciples to preach, gave them power to baptize too, Mat. 28, 19. Go, teach all Nations, baptizing them, &c. this the Apostles practised: the whole Ministry of John is named under baptism: Matth. 21. 25. The baptism of John whence is it? it is meant of the Ministery of John. But those who through their gifts deem themselves suf­ficient to preach, will not judge themselves fit to administer the Sacraments. Yet the Apostle looks upon Preaching as the greater service, 1 Cor. 1. 17. I am not sent to baptize, but to preach. It is spoken there comparatively, preaching the Gospel was his chief and greatest businesse.

The performance of the outward act is not to administer a Sacrament, if he be not called to the Office that executes it. It hath been received among the Churches of Christ, that if a person be baptized by one called to the Office, although an evill man, or his Call not right in every circumstance, it shall stand; if a Papist who hath been formerly baptized, should be converted to the true Religion, he should not be baptized a­gain; whereas baptism administred by a Midwife, or only some gifted person, is no baptism, the person must afterward be baptized by an Officer. I will not in­sist on what at some extraor­dinary times hath been done; I handle what ought to be done ordi­narily. It's said, factum valet, quod fieri non debet. A gifted member may give you bread to eat, and wine to drink, but it is only a Minister that can administer the Sacrament. A gifted person may sprinkle water upon the face of a childe, but it must be a Minister only that can baptize in the name of God; And (if I may speak it) a gifted brother may speak good things, but it's a Minister on­ly that can preach the Gospel. It is another part of a Ministers businesse to binde and to loose, Joh. 20. 23. it was spoken to the Disciples, which is only declarative, not that they have power to for give sins; but surely gifted men, who were not cal­led to the Office, will not undertake this imployment, to binde and loose. This is the second Proposition.

3, Christ hath set Officers in the Church, for the work of the Ministery, which are distinct from the flock to whom he hath committed the word of reconciliation. Christ gave these as gifts to men when he ascended, he left some Apostles, some Evangelists, some Prophets, some Pastors, some Teachers, Ephe. 4. 8, 11. Eph. [Page 21] 4. 8, 11. Diodate. Tantum abest ut haec dona de­beamus usurpare ad unionis Ec­clesiae dissoluti­onem, ut potius ijs utendum sit ad illius umo­nem conservan­dam, Zanch. in loc. He toucheth the principall and publike Offices of the Church, whereof the three first were extraordinary for those Primitive times, and the two last ordinary and perpetual. It is a good note of Zanchius, that these gifts should be used to pre­serve, not to destroy the Churches union, (What Christ's end in giving then was, is manifest, v. 12, 13 for the work of the Mi­nistry, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the edifying of the bo­dy of Christ. How can gifted brethren take to them any of these Titles, unlesse they be in the number of those Officers? how can they dare perform any of this work, unless they are called to some of these functions? For these Officers, are di­stinct from the flock: edifying of the body of Christ, feeding of the flock, was the great end of their being given; it is certain that all the body of Christ, yea every member of the body hath some gifts, if that will sufficiently authorize them to be Tea­chers, (when the Scripture hath proposed no measure,) what body would there be left to edifie? Besides, the holy Ghost is said to make them Overseers over the flock, Act. 20. 28. Act. 20. 2 [...]. and to fied the Church of God; Who must be fed, or what of the flock must be overseen, if every gifted member may be a Tea­cher, may become a Pastor? Nay, to them is committed the word of reconciliation, 2 Cor. 5. 19. Surely every gifted mem­ber will not pretend to this, that the word of reconciliation should be committed to them. Nor can it be thought that those Officers were all of them (as some) only temporary, that they were constituted for the Primitive times only; for the pro­mise of Christ to his disciples is to be with them to the end of the world, Mat. 28. 20. which could not be restrained only to the persons of the Disciples, who were so far from living till the end of the world, that being sent forth as sheep among wolves, they might rather expect a sudden dissolution.

4. I'le but adde this. The names Christ gives to his Ministers, are such, which belong only to them, who besides their abili­ties to perform the work, must have some other Call to Autho­rize them to undertake and execute it. They are called Watch­men, Ezek. 33. 7. Ezek. 33. 7. I have set thee a Watch-man to the house of Israel. It's no hard matter to perform the Office of a Watch-man, [Page 22] but he must be appointed to it by some superiour Offi­cer that executes it. It is lawfull, it is a duty in him to stop, to examine, to secure, when the same Acts in another may be suspicious, felonious, and so punishable. They are called Em­bassadors, 2 Cor. 5. 19. 2. Cor. 5. 19. It is the Commission, not abilities, that makes a man an Embassador: Another man may have better Gifts, be of greater fitnesse for the employment; but he only that hath a Deputation for the service, is received, and hath audience. They are called Overseers, Act. 20. 28, Act. 20. 28. It is not for every man that is able to oversee the Will or Estate of o­thers; they only can do it, who by some Deed or Commissi­on are impowred to undertake it, when others may have more skill, and no lesse fidelity. Chrysost. saith it must be [...]. Chry­sost. lib. 6. de Sacerdot. cap. 1. Nay (tremendum quiddam) they must so oversee the Flock, that they may give an account for their souls, Heb. 13. 17. Is there any such charge given to, or under-taken by those unsent Teachers, who love to be seen in exercising their gifts, not to be observed in taking care of souls; who delight to scatter their bread (if I may call it so) where they have most followers, but have no Flock to feed? I could shew you that they are called Stewards, Elders, Ru­lers, Ministers, but what is already said is sufficient. Which laid to the rest, I hope will even extort an ingenuous acknow­ledgement from all un-prejudiced, disengaged persons, That onely gifting of men is not a sufficient calling of them to the work of the Ministery, but besides that there must be a setting them apart for that service: and then by consequence, that the preaching of such men is no Ordinance of Gods making.


OH that this might prevail with you! If this be true, how are they mistaken, that so lowdly cry up gifted men for the only Preachers! Be their gifts what they will, or (in these daies) can be, were they far beyond the greatest abilities of Or­dained Ministers, yet if they are not otherwise set apart for [Page 23] the service, if not (besides that) called to the Office, they are not lawfull Preachers. But what must we think of those who have but few or small gifts, whose greatest gift is to talk of gifts? The gifts of Tongues, of Prophesying, were extra­ordinary gifts conferred upon those who were extraordinarily called, but these have scarce ordinary gifts: Ʋtsuprà. Nay, which is the wonder, when others whose gifts are far greater and better (who might be followed, and admired for their parts if they were not Ministers) shall be neglected, these * Donatilists shall be cried up and honoured, Men of little gifts. when that which should be the cause of their esteem, shall be the occasion of their contempt; when what indeed is the badge of their ho­nour (I mean that they are Ministers) shall be the mark of their reproach.

When I consult the frame of some mens spirits, who after the acquisition of some gifts, and their approbation too, yet suspect and doubt their sufficiency, who after a lawfull Call, yet tremble to think of the work, who could with desire (did not conscience forbid, and Gods frequent assistance support) lay down their Office, desert the service: Onus ipsis etiam Angelis tre­mendum. Chry­sost. When Latimer to keep a good conscience laid down his Bi­shoprick, put­ting off his Rochet leaped for joy, feeling his shoulders so light, and being dischar­ged of so heavy a burthen. Act. and Mon. fol. 1578. when I think of Chrysostom's burthen, and Latimer's joy in laying down his Bishoprick, and which is yet more, the warning that Paul hath fastened upon the door-posts, [...], who is sufficient? I am amazed to consider their confidence, who think it a light thing to speak in Gods Name; who can without triall judge themselves sufficient for such a service, and without fear (I had almost said wit too) undergo such a Burthen. More Ar­guments I might have given, drawn from the Disorder, He­resie, the greater inconveniences that may follow upon such evill; but such things might not take: Multitudes of Authors I might have quoted to confirm it, Ancient and Modern; yea, (as they are called) Presbyterian and Independent, but this (with some) might be of no weight; I was resolved to build all my strength upon that foundation which might not be denyed. All then I shall say to such, is what the Scribes and Pharisees said to Christ upon his preaching in the Temple; By what Authority do you these things, and who gave you that [Page 24] Authority? Tuum est Cae­sa [...]i pulmentum praeparare, non Evangelium ex­ponere. Or as Basil said to the Steward of Caesars house, abusing the Scripture to defend Arminianism; Look you to your Masters businesse, let the work of the Gospel alone. It were well such men would walk in the Callings in which God hath set them, and use the gifts they have within the compasse God hath prescribed them.

I would not be thought by this to condemn or deny the use of the best, or meanest gifts of any Christian; as there is place for the meanest gifts to be exercised, so there is room enough for the greatest gifts to be employed within the compasse of a mans Calling: I would have the smallest spark of fire blown up, nor would I have the greatest flame to be quenched, if it may be usefull, but I would have them both burn within the Chimney; he is no enemy to the use of fire that would not have it burn the house. A small spark out of its place will quickly threaten, a violent flame will sooner produce destru­ction upon the whole fabrick. Water is usefull and profitable, when within its bounds; but dangerous and pernicious if it once break out beyond them. You see then by this, that a man may use his gifts a­mong his neighbours, that if his neighbour comes while he is reading a Chapter, he needs not to shut his Bible, or if he meet another upon the way he needs not to hold his tongu, A man may use his gifts among his neighbours, yet not preach.

Men may have Families to instruct, Children and Servants to teach, who yet may not have the over-sight of the Flock committed to them: They may have Neighbours to reprove, Friends to comfort, who yet ought not to go into the Pulpit to preach. I could wish that Christians gifts were yet greater, yea, I should be glad, that (as Moses said) in this sense, All the Lords people were Prophets! Would they but thus manage their abilities, would they but edifie one the other, warn the unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak (which are the common duties of Christians, 1 Thes. 11. 14.) they might finde sufficient use for their gifts within the bounds of their Calling. Men may finde work enough at home, with­out running out of their places to exercise their parts, were they far greater then they are. I shall apply what the Apostle speaketh, and so fitly use for my purpose what others object against what hath been spoken, 1 Pet. 4. 10. As every one hath received the gift, so let him administer the same, &. But it is in respect to the gift men have, and the calling they are in; pri­vate [Page 25] persons in their places, according to the liberty God hath given them; Publike Officers in their function according to the injunction God hath laid upon them. For the place doth not intimate that every one that hath any gift should preach presently, but (chiefly) that he who is a Preacher should be faithfull and painfull in his Ministry; that in season and out of season he should wait upon his Office.

There is a vast difference between the only charitative ad­monitions but of private Christians, and the authoritative preaching of called Ministers: The one requireth and enga­geth to obedience, not only virtute materiae, for the matters sake which he preacheth; but virtute officij, by reason of his Office, If a private man require another to keep the peace, this he may do, because it is a good things; but if a Con­stable require, it must be done because the Officer commands. speaking in the Name, and by the Authority of God; the other may engage the hearers to observance virtute obje­cts & materiae, in respect of the truth of the matter that may be spoken; but not virtute officij; they have no power to ob­lige by Office. Thus I have shewed you (to avoid all offence and quarrell) how private Christians may use their gifts, al­though they have no liberty to preach.

But I am afraid I may complain, that many who talk most of, and crave most liberty for the use of their gifts in pub­like, make least use of them in private; they will go many miles to get a Pulpit, who will scarce step a foot to a neigh­bours house unlesse to perswade him from his stability; they who glory in speaking to Congregations, and would every day be exercised in a publike throng, are negligent to instruct their house, can hardly any day spare time to oversee their pri­vate charge. As if there were no vertue but in extremity, nor excellency but in excess; as if no water were sweet, but what were stoln: In this (although I am somewhat loth to use the comparison) too like the swinish drunkard, who although he hath good meat and drink at home, delights not in the eating or drinking of any, but where he may use it to intemperance. Or like some filthy Adulterers, who have handsome wives of their own, and (were they not wives) could sufficiently de­light in them, yet care not for the enjoyment of any, but whom they have no Commission to touch or desire. Indeed [Page 26] in this, as in all things else, mans Nature is strongly proclive to runne beyond its bounds, and to abuse what in its place might be very usefull.


3 3. I Am to shew you; What setting a part of men to the Of­fice of the Ministry ordinarily the Scripture mentions. It is (if the expression will be born) by Ordaining them to that service, (viz.) When Church-Officers, as such, upon former examination and approbation of a persons fitnesse, shall sepa­rate him for that work by fasting, prayer, and laying on of hands.

This hath been so generally received in the Churches of Christ, that Reformed Churches and their Divines have con­demned the contrary, as the opinion and practice of Anaba­ptists, Libertines, Arminians, and Socinians. But I'le not urge them. Zanchius saith, that no man should be admitted to this Office, unlesse lawfully called, and legally Ordained. But I'le fall upon Scripture.Nemo ad ordi­nariam Ecclesiae functionem ad­mitti debet, nisi legitimè vocatus eóque legitimè electus & ordi­natus. Zanch. So then, it is not what is the practice of one Church, or the custome of an­other people, but whether practice is most agreeable to the example and rule of the word.

Only in this (as was said formerly) you must not extend my Proposition beyond the bounds of ordinary cases; As in the primitive times, where extraordinary callings were gi­ven, in the beginning and persecution of Churches where this cannot be had. I shewed you in generall, there must be a Call, and that this Calling was some setting a part, besides gifting of men: This was true of Christ, and the Apostles, who were most extraordinarily separated: Christ by the Father, the A­postles and Disciples by Christ: but now I am to shew you what way the Scripture laies out for the ordinary practice of after ages, when such extraordinary Cals should neither be given nor expected. But somewhat more of this afterward.

When Barnabas and Saul, were set a part for the work to which God had called them, they were thus separated by Church-Officers, with fasting, praier, and laying on of hands, Act, 13. 3, 4. Act. 13. 3, 4.They are Prophets and Teachers, ver. 1. and when [Page 27] they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away, ver. 4. It was not by the designation of any single person by his own power, nor was it the act of any particular Congregation by their only election, but by the Ministers there assembled. Timothy received his gift by prophecy, but he was set a part to the work by laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, 1 Tim. 4. 14. 1 Tim. 4. 14. By the Presbytery there is meant, or­do Presbyterorum: which although Diodate explains to be of the Pastors, and of the other guides of the Church; Beza re­strains it to those who laboured in that Church (which is con­ceived to be Lystra,) in the word and doctrine. Indeed it is said, 2 Tim. 1. 6. that he received the gift by the putting on of Paul's hands, but it cannot be thought to be meant of his a­lone, but of his with the conjunction of the other Presbyters: for (as Junius) In a common thing to argue from the position of one to the removing or denying of another, is inconse­quent (as in this case) Because Paul laid his hands on Timothy, therefore other Presbyters did not; it will not hold.

Others say, that the Apostles by laying on of hands, did mi­raeulously confer the holy Ghost, but (besides that it no where appears in Scripture, that the laying on of hands in the setting a part of Ministers did work any such Miracle) in that exam­ple of Timothy it seems otherwise; for the Apostle bids him attend to reading, to meditation, that his profiting may appear, which are the ordinary and usuall means of getting abilities for the work of the Ministry. If abilities were given by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, what need of read­ing and meditation to acquire them? if the holy Ghost were conferred by the imposition of Pauls hands, what need any other way to make his profiting appear? Besides we finde, that others who were not Apostles used imposition of hands, in whose power it cannot be imagined to be, to confer the holy Ghost by it. The Presbyters laid hands on Timothy, and Ti­mothy upon others, for it is given him in charge to lay hands suddenly on no man, 1 Tim. 5. 22.

It is well observed, That imposition of hands was used un­der the Law for divers causes; in blessing those on whom [Page 28] they are laid, Gen. 48. 14, 20. in consecrating or setting a part a sacrifice unto God, Numb. 8. 12. in ordaining or appointing men to an Office, as Joshua was appointed to succeed Moses, Num. 27. 23. now in this use of it all these ends meet toge­ther; Blessing, Consecration, and setting apart to the Office. Presbyteros & Pastores, Dia­conos & alios Ecclesiae guber­nationi praefe­ctos, Beza. Presbyteri hic vocantur quibus injunctum fuit docendi munus. Barnabas and Saul ordained Elders by fasting and prayer, Act. 14. 23. it is manifest who did it, and the manner of do­ing is as clear. Nor is it to be doubted, but that by Elders there were meant Ministers If you but view what rites were used in the Ordination of Deacons, and who performed them, you will finde it not much different, Act. 6. 6. The Apostles pray­ed, and laid their hands on them.

I could tell you of Titus, who was left to ordain Elders in Crete, and Timothy, who was to lay hands suddenly on no man. But what need further testimony? especially unlesse there were or could be some Scripture produced, which would shew some other prescript or practice in and for the ordinary setting a part of Ministers to that Office.

It is said that Matthias was otherwise set a part, Act. 1. 26. It is true, and so were all the Apostles of Christ, but that was extraordinary, which (ut suprà) was to discover his Apostle­ship to be different from ordinary Ministers, which is not now to be expected till Apostles are called again.

But there is much ado made about that place, Act. 14. 23. where what is rendred ordained, is in the original [...], which properly signifies to strech forth the hand; whence it would be inferred, That the people by suffrage, or by vote chose the Elders, and that election were sufficient ordination.

But suppose this true, that the word did signifie only a giving of consent, or electing by holding up of the hand, it was only spoken of the Apostles, Barnabas and Saul; of those who preached the Gospel, ver. 21. who confirmed the souls of the Disciples, ver. 32, who passed through Pisidia, v. 24. who preach­ed the word in Perga, ver. 25. for the sense is continued all a­long; so that if nothing else were to be said, this were suffi­cient to shew you, that Ministers, Church-Officers ordained them. Died [...]e. He that of any expositor I have consulted in it speaks [Page 29] most for it saith but, that they ordained Elders with the con­sent and approbation of the Churches.

But indeed the word is otherwise used: for that it at all signifies choice and election is only metaphorieall, because among the Greeks, it was their custome to give their votes in elections by the holding up of their hands: but by the like metaphor it may be used for imposition of hands, and it is so frequently used among Greek Authors: because the hands when they are imposed on others, are stretched forth. Leigh (in his Critica Sacra) saith it is taken among Ecclesiasticall Authours for imposition of hands, which no way belonged to the people, but was alwaies referred to the Apostles and their successors, Stephanus (well skilled in the Greek) saith, that when it hath an Accusative case after it, it signifies not to give suffrage, but to create and ordain, so it is hete, [...], it is rendred by the Vulg. Lat. quum constituissent, &c.

Not that by this it should be denied to people or Congre­gations, any right God hath left them, or may be fit for them; Election, approbation is allowed them, although Ordination be in the hands of others: In the setting a part one in the Of­fice of Judas, the 120. presented two, but God chose one of them, Act. 1. 23. Act. 1. 23, 24. It is but an injury to the Text to say that the people chose him, for if they had chosen one, why should they have presented two? but it's manifest that the choice was in him that had the determination of the lot, Shew whe­ther of those two thou hast chosen, ver. 24. When the Deacons were ordained, Act. 6. 5, 6. the multitude appointed seven, and set them before the Apostles, ver. 5. but the Apostles laid their hands on them, and sent them forth, ver. 6.

I desire in this to go as far as safely I may, but I dare not give this as absolutely necessary, for the many inconveniences the Church may suffer by it; wherefore it is the practice of the Reformed Churches, that the Presbytery be consulted with in their Elections; Praecunte diri­gente Presbyte­rio. and that although a rationall dissent be allowed to Congregations, yet the assistance and direction of the Presbytery is required in it.

[Page 30] I have done with this: I hope it is evident to sober-minded people, That there must be a Call, that this calling is not only gifting (but besides this) setting apart men for that office; then what setting of men apart for the Office of the Mini­stry the Scripture ordinarily mentions. If this be granted, the great cry of disorderly men against Ordained Ministers will be much allayed.

I would commend one place to your consideration, 2 Tim. 4. 3. 2 Tim. 4. 3. where Paul tels Timothy, that in the latter times men shall heap to themselves teachers. I cannot but think that the great fault here prophesied, was heaping up many teachers, and so submitting to them most, who best pleased their lusts. The Codex Claromontanus renders it, Prout hoc vel illud illis arri­ferit. [...], which Beza interprets, as this or that best pleased them. Yet I am apt to conceive an emphasis in this word (themselves,) they did not accept nor submit to those who were sent to them, but did take to themselves upon their own judgement whom they pleased. Leigh in his Critica Sacra: quod fine judicio & temer è sunt collecturi docto­res sues. Nor is this much differing from his opi­nion (who expounding the word [...] used in this place) saith, they shall rashly gather together Teachers of their own without serious judgement.

Here I read two Ordinances of Parliament; the one of Lords and Commons, (viz.) An Ordinance of Lords and Commons, April 26. 1645. Another of the Com­mons only, (viz.) A Declaration of the Commons assem­bled in Parliament, against all such persons as shall take upon them to preach or expound the Scriptures in any Church or Chappel, or any other publike place, except they be Ordained either here or in some other Reformed Chur­ches, Die Jovis, Decemb. 31. 1646.

Which was nor (as it was reported) to prove the Call, that be­ing better done by Scripture, then Ordinances of Parlia­ment could do it; but after I had ended my Sermon, I read those to let the people see, that I preached nothing, but what was agreeable to the Judgement and Orders of a Reformation-professing-State.


I Have now only (in the fourth place) to answer some Ar­guments which are urged for the lawfullness of their prea­ching, who are only gifted Christians, and against their C [...] who are Ordained Ministers.

I did not men­tion that of Philip, because he is called an Evangelist Act. 21. 8. Nor of Apollos; for he was called a Minister, and ranked with Paul, 1 Co. 3. 5. nor of other preaching for approbation only, which is granted by all, they being de­signed for the service, and it being one way of triall; these things were not worth the answering. So many are the Objections raised by many people, that (besides the trifling away of the time) it would be unnecessa­ry to name them all; I shall pick out three or four which are most insisted on, and seem most proving: the clear answering of them may end the quarrell.

But to avoid mistakes, and to contract the Arguments and Answers too into the narrower compasse, I would premise these two things.

1. I shall not stand much to answer any Arguments drawn from extraordinary cases; it is sufficient answer that they are extraordinary, which, but in the like cases, can be no pat­tern to us. For it is certain, that what hath been extraordina­rily done, cannot be ordinarily practised, (which because much controverted, I will a little clear.) The Disciples of Christ desired him, that they might command fire from hea­ven to consume those that received not their Master; and the reason they urged was from the example of Elijah, he did so upon the like occasion in his daies, and therefore they would do the same thing in theirs, Luk. 9. 54. but Christs answer is, v. 55. Ye know not what spirit ye are of, it might be lawfull for the Prophet to do what might not be fit for them: I say, it might be lawfull for the Apostles and Prophets in the Primi­tive times, for others at other times, when extraordinary things are, must be acted; which is not lawful at other times, when ordinary Calls may be expected and had.

2. I would not have you confounded in terms; there is a preaching the Scripture mentions, which is not that Mini­steriall preaching we are handling, and then an Argument drawn from that will nothing weaken the doctrine deliver­ed about this. There is a preaching which is nothing else [Page 32] but a declaration of the power and goodnesse of God. Thus David is said to preach Gods righteousnesse, Psa. 40. 9. (al­though if this should be further urged, we know that David was a Prophet) the word signifies to declare a good thing. [...] It is spoken of Animaaz his running to carry the King good ti­dings of Absaloms death, 2 Sam. 18, 19. It is the same word used for the earth's declaring, or shewing forth the salvation of God, Psal. 96. 2. which is not that preaching by way of Office, which Paul speaks of, where he saith, they cannot preach except they be sent, Rom. 10. [...] Indeed Solomon is called a Preacher, Eccl. 1. 1. as it is translated: but the word comes from that which signifies collected or gathered together, and is no more then the Book of Solomon, in which are collected or gathered together many wisdoms, and so it concerns not our businesse at all,

There is a Teaching also the Scripture speaks of, which is not that Teaching that is part of the Office of a Minister: a Teaching which is nothing but a generall instruction, or bro­therly admonition, either of superiours or inferiours, or of one Christian to another, and may be performed either by word or practice: Thus (amidst other things might be na­med,) Abraham taught his family, (yet he was a Prophet, Gen. 20. 7.) If it should be further objected, Thus Kings and Rulers, and Judges, may be said to teach, 2 Chron. 17. 7. which was different from the teaching of the Levites, who had the Law of the Lord, ver. 8. Thus in the New Testament, women might teach, for it is required that aged women should teach the younger to be sober. Titus 2. 4. it was both by their admonition and behaviour, which yet is not that teaching, which Christ gave in Commission to his Disciples, Matth. 28. 19.

Be peculiari do­uo praedicendi futura non de docendi manere in Ecclesia in­telligendum. Beza. Again, There is Prophesying in Scripture, which is some­time a foretelling things to come, as Agabus prophesied, Act. 11. 27. and the four daughters of Philip, Act. 21. 9. which is not a ministeriall Preaching. It is Diodates glosse upon that place, that they had the gift of foretelling future things by divine inspiration. Sometimes an extraordinary Office in the [Page 33] Primitive times, whereby they did not only foretell things to come, but explain the writings of the Prophets, and other difficult places, by immediate revelation; as would be easily proved, (and shall be spoken more of anon) from 1 Cor. 14. 30, and 1 Cor, 12. 28. which is not that ordinary Preaching, which is the work of called Ministers; which is also called prophesying (as I conceive,) in the 1 Thes. 5. 10. although some do interpret that too of the extraordinary gift of pro­phesying. Under the name of Prophet is every Minister and Teacher comprehended, Luk. 4. 24. By this will many things be answered, without naming of them, which to have hand­led particularly, would have spent much time, made a great noise, when they had had but little strength, and so scarcely worth our labour.

But now to proceed to those Arguments that are most confidently urged, and by which so certain a victory is pro­mised against us.


Argum. 1. 1. IT is objected from Numb. 11. 25. &c. That Eldad and Medad prophesied in the Camp; that Moses wished all the Lords people were Prophets: and therefore others, who are not otherwise Called may preach.

Resp. For answer: Either the force of the Argument lies in El­dads and Medads practice, or in Moses his wish; if in their practice, that they prophesied, the answer is easie; if in his desire, that all Gods people were Prophets, it is not hard; I'le give it you in some few particulars.

1. The Office unto which the 70. were here called, was not to serve at the Altar, to perform the Priests work, but to assist Moses in his Government, to bear part of his burthen; v. 16. 17. they shall bear the burthen of the people with thee, that thou shalt not bear it alone. So then, to argue from this a liberty of every gifted mans preaching, is scarce rationall. Suppose [Page 34] they had undertaken this service without a Call, which you see they did not, for they were set apart by God for it, yet thence to have argued a liberty of preaching without a Call, would not be ad idem.

[...]Enrooles) Ass. par Moyse, au nombrè des sep­tante, dont Dieu lui avoit ordon­né de faire le chois. Diod. Written (viz.) by Moses to the number of the 70. of which God had or­dained him to make choice. 2, Eldad and Medad were of the number of the 70. were not of the common people, and they were all Elders and Of­ficers over the people before they were thus set apart to this extraordinary imployment. It is true they were in the Camp, but it is clear they were of the number of them that were written, v. 26. although they went not with the rest to the Tabernacle (they were written,) as Diodate; they were written by Moses in the number of those Seventy which he chose help bear his burthen; and that they staid in the Camp, was upon some lawfull occasion (as is conceived) through some Ceremoniall pollution. Calvin is of the same minde, that they were of the 70. but gives another reason that they came not to the Tabernacle, (viz.) that the miracle God wrought in setting them apart for that work should be the more observed, for all the people came not to the Taberna­cle: so that whatsoever is here meant by prophesying (of which I'le speak presently) it is enough for our purpose, that they were set apart for the service, they had not only gifts, and called to Office before, for they were those whom Mo­ses knew to be Elders of the people, verse 16. but they were extraordinarily separated to this employment; nay, to make their calling the more eminent and visible, they had an ex­traordinary gift to ascertain the people of it; Non creati fu­erunt Prophetae, sed voluit Deus hác exteruā notā testari no­vos esse homi­nes, Calvin. in los. which is con­ceived to be the reason, why they had this extraordi­nary gift bestowed upon them, that the people might see they were called by God to it, So then this can prove nothing for the preaching of only gifted, uncalled Prea­chers, for these were eminently called, and set apart for the service.

3. It is agreed by all that I meet withall, that this which is here called Prophesying, was some extraordinary gift con­ferred by God only for some time; not that they did pro­phesie as the Prophets, Prophetia autem bic tantundem meo judicio vales ac eximia facultas magni­ficè dissercndi de rebus arcanis vel mysteriis. but whereby they did in a wonderfull [Page 35] manner, even to admiration speak of some difficult and ab­struse things, which would not have been known or spoken of, but by such a gift; Calvin saith, that prophesying here is no more then some excellent ability to reveal mysterious things; of the same judgement are many others But because some may que­stion this in­terpretation, I shall clear it from the ori­ginall: the word is [...] of [...] which is used in Niphal, when it is spoken of a true Prophet, speaking the minde of God unto people for their reproof and instruction; which alone must be the prophesying in question, and for which this place is urged. When it is used in Hithpahel, (as it is here) it is taken for a false Prophet, that runs of himself; or one, who being inspired by God, speaks of some mysterious things, sings praises to God, but prophesies not as a Prophet unto people, as is manifest, not only from its frequent use in the Scripture, as they who can search may finde, but from the consent of those skilled in the Hebrew about it. Pagnin of the word: Prophetae dicti, quafi oraculerum, & decretorum divinorum internuncij, aus mysteriorum explicatores, scu elocutores: & paulò post; Kimchi notat hoc verbum in Niphal, voce passivā efformari solitum, quod signifiet recipere Prophetiara a Deo ad loquendum per eam illi ad quem mittitur, uni, vel multis. Reperitur & in Hithpahel ac Elias notat ferè in e [...] conju­gatione falsam prophetiam significare, cum quis sefe propriâ authoritate a Deo non missus ingerit ut prophetet. Marinus in his Arca Noae, speaking of it as used in Hithpahel; Se Prophet [...]n fecit, vel vatem simulavit, fiuxit: vaticinatus est, futura praedixit vel Theologie occulta praedicavit. Sae­pius de Prophetiâ falsa dicitur, quod est vatem singere. Prophetare da dovero, à fintamente, parlare despirato, & parlare di cose alte, & divine. (i.) to prophesie at large, and feignedly, to speak by the spirit, and to talk of matters high and divine. Leigh out of Schind. in Niphal, significat ac [...]tionem prophe [...] Deo & mandatum bequer­di ad alies. In Himpahel usurpatur ferè de prophetiā fallá, seu sictitiâ pro natura istius conju­gationis. Again out of Danaeus, he saith it is wont to be formed out of the passive voice Niphal, when mention is made of the true Prophets of God, which were inspired by his Spirit; and received from him the prophecy which they delivered to men; but when they speak of false Prophets, they use the self same word in Hithpahel, because such prophets are not sent of God, but thrust forth themselves. Vatablus in locem: Hic prophetare Hebraei exponunt cantica & landes dicere: and [...] for the proof of it, 1 Sam. 10. 10. on which Chald. Paraph. & prophetavit (i.) & landabat Deum unà cum illis, & canebat cantica in honorem Dei. . Where­as it is said of the rest, that they prophesied, and did not cease, v. 25 It is [...] of [...] Vatablus renders it non addiderunt: the Sept. [...] Non ad­diderunt, subandi prophetare, (i.) hoc die tantum prophetarum, Vatablus. . it is to be meant only of that time, when God con­ferred that extraordinary gift upon them, for the manifesta­tion of their Call. So that had they prophesied (in this sense) without a Call, which yet you see they did not, it were no argument to prove preaching without a Call, because that is not at all intended in prophesying here.

[Page 36] 4. That Moses wished all the Lords people were Prophets, hath nothing at all of proof in it; for besides that by prophe­sying here is not meant preaching (as was shewed before,) and that the Scripture makes a difference between Prophets and Teachers (as shall be shewed presently) his wish is only that they were Prophets; which implies no more, then that when they were Prophets they might prophesie; that if they were thus gifted and set apart, they might in the like manner exercise their gift. If we should hear of some great acts of mercy done by rich men, and I should wish you were all rich; it were not to intend that you should do the like acts, till you had the like riches. Or if we were filled with the reports of some famous acts of Justice done by some faithfull Judges in avenging bloud, in executing malefactours; and I should wish that all the honest people in England were Judges; It were not that every honest man should avenge bloud with­out Commission, or execute malefactors till he were a Judge. For my part, I wish that all Prophets may prophesie, and that there were more able and faithfull Ministers of the Gospel, that the Lord would yet thrust out more labourers into his Vineyard; yet I do not see, that this place will prove, that any should prophesie till they are Prophets, that any should preach till they are set apart for the Office.

Argum. 2. The second Argument is drawn from the order of the Corinthian Churches mentioned, 1 Cor. 14. 31. where it is said, that they may all Prophesie one by one, whence it is urged, that every one that is gifted may preach.

Resp. For the answer of this, as of the other, I shall lay down some particulars whereby you may see the mistake the more clearly.

1. Prophesying in that place was not Preaching, but was in the Church of Corinth an extraordinary Office; now an ex­traordinary example is no foundation to ground an ordinary practice upon; (as was spoken sufficiently before) Prophesy­ing is generally taken in Scripture for a gift differing from Preaching.

The Apostle reckons Prophets among extraordinary [Page 37] Offiuers; Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists are all together, 1 Cor. 12. 2. these Prophets could by immediate revelation explain difficult and abstruse places; could foretell things to come, as did Agabus. If we can in our daies finde any such Prophets, who without any study, by immediate Revelation can thus explain Scripture, he shall prophesie, and preach too by my consent. And that this was an extraordinary gift spo­ken of here is manifest from the Context: it is joyned with the gift of tongues which was miraculously given: yea, they spake by Revelation, Ver. 31. If any thing be revealed &c. this is not meant of every sudden fancy, any uncertain con­ceit of any ordinary Text: it is [...], which is spoken of discovering and making plain things in themselves hard to be understood, and that without our industry, by the im­mediate dartings of Supernaturall Light.

2. Where it is said that they might All prophesie; it is not meant of all the members of the Church, but only of the Pro­phets who had this extraordinary gift bestowed on them. That it relates not to all, is manifest from what is spoken pre­sently after, where some were forbidden to speak in the Church; vers. 34. It is not permitted to a woman to speak in the Church. Yea, the same Apostle saith, that all are not Apostles, all are not Prophets, &c. 1 Cor. 12. 29. if all were not Prophets then all must not prophesie, and if all must not prophesie, then the word All in that place must have some other refe­rence. The drift of the Apostle there was to prevent that disorder and confusion which was too common, and too evil among them, vers. 26, 33. It is strange that men should take occasion by it, to introduce and Foment disorder in the Church. That term [All] then must be referred to the Pro­phets; all the Prophets may prophesie; verse 29. Let the Prophets speak, and let the others judge; this can be only meant of them who were called to the office, and were partakers of that gift, which I told you was extraordinary; for they are called Prophets: Let the others judge; let the Prophets judge, who have the Spirit of discerning, and were able to try the truth, as Diodate: and so Beza nimirum Propheta: for saith [Page 38] he, it cannot at all be gathered, from those places, that it should be permitted to any of the Church to speak: to this purpose it is observable that the article ( [...]) is joyned with the adjective, it is [...] which speaks its reference to the Prophets: ver. 30. If any thing be revealed to another; this cannot be spoken of any of the private members, for it is onely of him that had immediate Revelation given him; if any thing be revealed to another, (viz) to another Prophet, so Diodate: and Beza renders [...], alii, nempe Prophetae, Then ver. 31. for ye may all prophesie, &c. of whom can this All be meant, but of those Prophets who were to speak two or three, while others judged, who had Revelations immedi­atly given them? Diodate renders it, all that had the gift and calling of Prophets: Nimirum Pro­phetae, non quivis ex caetu, imo non nifi ad munus prophetanda le­gitimè ordinati, Beza. and Beza explains [...] All, all the Prophets, it concerns not the private members of the Church, nay, the following ver. 32. explains it, and tels you who must speak, the Spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets; they surely were to speak whose doctrine (for that is meant by the Spirits) was to be tried by the Prophets; but the text saith they are the Spirits of the Prophets. Whereas it is said they must speak one by one, Diodate explains it by turns, Non eodem sane die. sed singulis conventibus. and in divers or several Assemblies; and so Beza saith, it must not be the same day, but at severall meetings; this is their glosse, although I shall not insist on it.

How little strength there is in this Argument to prove the lawfulness of their preaching who are only gifted, me thinks every one should see without any direction, and then what room there is left for a reply, (unless it be that wranglers can make room any where) I can scarcely see or imagine. Those that might prophesie one by one, were not the private mem­bers of the Church, for some are forbidden to speak; but the Prophets, whose Office was extraordinary and who had an extraordinary gift, who had this liberty of speaking upon a received Revelation. Adde but to this (what you heard be­fore) that Prophesying and Teaching were in that Church two distinct Offices, and I hope it will be sufficient.

Argum. 3. The third Argument is built upon that prophecy, Joel 2. [Page 39] 18. where it is said, that God will pour out his Spirit upon all flesh, and their sons and their daughters shall prophesie, &c. This is looked on as a Gospel promise, and therefore it is concei­ved that in Gospel daies all that have gifts may preach.

Resp. 1. For answer to this also; 1. Consider, that this promise of prophesying cannot be meant of preaching; else must the promise in the daies of Joel crosse the prohibition given by the same spirit in the time of Paul; here it is said their daugh­ters shall prophesie, In the Epistle to the Corinthians, it is for­bidden that women should speak in the Church.

2. If it be taken literally for prophesying, it must relate onely to those times when all parts of the same prophcey might equally be fullfilled: young men may as well now pre­tend to visions, and old men expect now to have God disco­ver himself by dreams, as others claim a liberty to prophesie now by this promise. Whatsoever prophecy is here meant (if you take it strictly) can then only be practised, when God gave such extraordinary gifts, and made such discoveries of himself to people.

3. It is manifest that the Prophet in this Promise referreth to the coming of the Messias, where there should be more Light, and greater knowledge given, then was before under the Law. The extraordinary part of it was fullfilled when the Spirit was most plentifully poured out. When Saint Luke urgeth this promise as foretelling what was there acted, Act. 2. 16. 17. (this is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel, and verse 22. it is said that Christ was approved by signs and wonders.

But fourthly, The true meaning of the place is, that when the Messias should come (as it is urged in Gospel daies) God would pour out of his Spirit (i. e.) he would give the gifts of his Spirit unto all sorts of people, as well [...]o young as old, to Female as well as male (viz.) illumination, sancti­fication &c. he would do it extraordinarily in the Primitive times, for the confirmation of the Gospel; which was ful­filled: he would do it ordinarily afterward, under the con­tinuance of the Gospel, which is performed in our experience. [Page 40] The Antithesis in the former verses will help well to confirm this exposition; he had before promised them meats, and drinks, and only outward mercies, but he would then multi­ply spirituall blessings upon them. This is the judgement of others upon the place. I will by the inward vertue of my spi­rit enlighten the understanding of mine Elect, who by nature are but children in knowledge, saith Diododate; and so Cal­vin; The holy Ghost means that knowledge and understan­ding wherein the Church under the Gospel shall excell that under the Law.Propheta sub his loquendi formis designes intelli­gentiae lucem, quâ excelluit nova Ecclesia post Christum exhibitum. Argum. 4. Resp.

The fourth Argument is framed from the practice of the Church that was scattered abroad after the death of Stephen, Act. 8. 1, 4. They were all scattered abroad except the Apostles, veas. 1. and they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the Word.

To answer this briefly, I could tell you, that it is probable that they had some extraordinary Call, from God, or Com­mission from the Apostles before they went, for they had extraordinary gifts, and where God gives extraordinary gifts by immediate inspiration, I should not oppose such mens Preaching.

But plainly and clearly, First, I cannot see any ground to imagine that the word (they) in verse 4. should be refer­red to every particular member, for in vers. 1. it is [...] all were scattered, but ver. 5. it is only [...], they that were scattered, which may relate to some only. Besides, it is past doubt, that among so many that were scattered, there were many women, and (as you heard already) they might not preach.

2. Although the Apostles were left, it is known that there were many Officers in the Church at Jerusalem besides; There were Prophets, Evangelists, and the seventy Disciples: Philip was one of the scattered ones, who went down to Samaria, and preached there; vers. 5. whom you will finde called an Evangelist. Act. 21. 8. so that if the word (they) must not be referred to all (as you see it cannot be) then more then probably to those onely who were called to [Page 41] Office; they who were scattered, being called to the Office of Teaching; did preach the word every where.

But thirdly, the answer is most easie: It was in a time when the Church was through persecution scattered, there was a great persecution against the Church, vers. 1. (which was one of the extraordinary cases I before mentioned) when an or­dinary Calling could not be had, nor expected; and among people who before had not received the faith of Jesus Christ. Nor do I know any sober-minded man that is or would be a­gainst the Preaching of well-gifted men in such times and cases, without any ordinary setting apart to the Office, when and where it is impossible to be had. But this (through the yet continued goodness of a patient God) not being our case, the Argument is too weak to prove the preaching of onely gifted uncalled men in our daies.

Argum. 5. There is but one thing more, and I have done. It is loudly cried out, That although gifted men may not preach, yet those who are ordained by Antichristian Bishops, are not true Ministers, and then not the Preachers neither.

Resp. For answer to this I shall tell you, 1. That all Bishops by whom Ministers in England have been ordained, were not Antichristian; Many of them have more strongly opposed, and done more against Antichrist, then yet we have. For be­sides their serviceable endeavours, they have many of them in suffering resisted unto bloud; Me thinks we might yet re­member the labours of Jewel, Abbot, Davenant; Ʋsher, &c. nor should we soon forget the bloud of Hooper, Ridley, Cran­mer, Latimer, &c. which I speak not to pleade for the Office of Lord-bishop, nor to excuse the wickednesse of those who were popish and ungodly, but to recover the names, and to remember the vertues of those who were and are godly and usefull in their generations.

2. There have been evil men in Office in the Church at all times, Hophni and Phineas among the Priests; Judas among the Apostles, Scribes and Pharisees in Moses chair; Those who preached out of envy in Pauls time. Yet this could not [Page 42] null nor evacuate their ministerial Acts. The Baptism of Ju­das (for he had Commission as well as the rest to baptize) might be of as good Authority as of the rest of the Apostles. If the water be pure at the fountain, although it run thorow many impure channels, it may become pure again. The Con­demnation or Reprieve of a Judge, though wicked, is as Legal, as Authoritative, as of the most godly. A wicked Col­lonel may give a Commission to a Captain, yet the Com­m [...]ssion's firm, it is not one tittle esteemed lesse effectual for the unworthinesse of him that gives it.

3. Bishops did never ordain Ministers as Bishops, but as Presbyters, not in their own names, nor by the Imposition of their own hands only, but in the name of others, and with the conjunction of other Presbyters.

But because that some say, That the Ministers are called by the Bishops, and the Bishops by the Pope, &c.

I'le speak a word of it. This (were it true) would not null their Call. For (not to insist on what is urged by some of the first Reformers of the Protestant Churches casting off the Pope) Baptism administred in the Romish Church is true Baptism; nor are any so baptized, if converted to the true Religion, baptized again, ut suprà. Many judicious Divines are of the same judgement concerning Ordination. Money coyned in Queen Maries daies was not the lesse cur­rant after; the Impress of the Popish Princess had no power to adulterate the silver. The Vessels of Gods house were car­ried to Babylon by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, which yet were not the lesse fit for the service of God, when returned. The naturall succession of Jesus Christ was propagated tho­row the loins of Rahab and Thamar, nay shall I say, he him­self came thorow the womb of a sinfull woman, yet received no pollution by it.

We must learn to distinguish between the Persons and the Offices of men, between their personall Acts, and their Acts of Office; a wicked man may be a lawful, though not a good Officer; and then the Acts of his Office valid; this is ac­knowledged by all in other Offices, and must it be only de­nied [Page 43] in the Office of a Minister? Jehu was a wicked man, was therefore his pulling down the Idols of Baal evil? Could his personall wickednesse evacuate all the civill or religious Acts (although good in themselves) he did by vertue of his Of­fice?

If then it be proved that our setting apart or Ordination to the work of the Ministery, be right for substance, having an inward Call from God, and an outward Call according to the ordinary rule laid down in Scripture, the failing in some circumstances cannot make it void, nor then the Ministry ei­ther a false or no Ministery.

This was ad­ded since I preached it at Epping. But the great cry is against the wicked Oaths (as they are called) that the Bishops imposed, and the Ministers took at their Ordination. This makes a great noise; but you'l finde it laden only with powder, it may cast some filth, make some sound, it may defile the faces of some, and fill the ears of more, but hath nothing of strength to hurt them against whom it is discharged: For answer,

1. This nothing (or very little) concerns their Ordination who took no Oaths at all, as it is now, and for some late years hath heen in our Church; As it hath been longer in other Churches where there have been no Bishops to impose them.

2. Many godly men denied some Oath that some Bishops would have imposed, and were therefore refused: Not that they conceived their Ordination could have been injured, or their Call made void by it, but that they scrupled the matter of the Oath, and would not accept a Call upon such condi­tions.

3. Some had no offensive Oath at all offered; no other then what they in the Universities, and most men of the Nation upon some occasions had taken before (viz.) the Oath of Supremacy. I speak this on mine own experi­enbe, there was no other imposed on, no other offered to me.

But because it is the Oath of Canonicall Obedience, that (I think) is so much shot against us. I'le tell you what it is, [Page 44] and then (although I will not handle the matter of the Oath, but suppose, though not grant it, as bad as some con­ceive it) shew you, that the taking of this could not [...]ull, nor at all hurt the Call of Ministers. You shall obey your Ecclesiasti­call Officers, the Arch-bishop and Bishop in their Diocess in things lawfull and honest. This (if I'know it) is the Oath.

Therefore fourthly, Neither this nor any other Oath is any part of the Odination of Ministers. This was done by prayer and laying on of hands; the Oaths were given at some other time (before Ordiantion) for some other ends. A Constable before he is made such, had formerly the Oath of Supremacy given him, but that did not make him Consta­ble; it was only to try whether he was fit for the office. Collonels and Captains were made such by the Parliament; but before they had their Commission, were enjoyned to take the Covenant: the taking or giving of the Covenant did not make them Officers, but their Commission; the other was only to try whether they were fit to be employed in the Service. When men come to be Ordained Ministers, they had some Oath or Oaths imposed upon them, but not as part of Ordination, only as (some thought) convenient tri­als whether they were fit for the Calling: Every man that had valour, that had skill, was not fit to make a Command­er, but he must be faithfull to, else might he leade his men to the contrary party, or upon their own ruine: Every man that had Gifts was not fit for a Minister, unlesse he were or­thodox and peaceable too; else might he injure the Church by his Calling. The Oath of Supremacy was to try whe­ther they were Papists (and I could wish that there were some other way found now to stop the like gap) the Oath (as it was called) of Canonicall Obedience, was to discover (as the Bishops were pleased to fancy it) whether they were conformable to Government or not. But it is clear, that whatsoever the Oaths were, or whatsoever their intentions that imposed them, the taking of an Oath was no part of Or­dination, and so had no influence upon their Office that took it.

[Page 45] I shall conclude all with these three Proposals very consi­derable at this time, and to this purpose.

1. Whether every man ought not to continue in the Cal­ling in which God hath set him? according to that of 1 Cor. 7. 20.

2. What can we conceive to be meant by Christ, where he saith, He hath left some Pastors and Teachers. Eph, 4. 11. If all that have Gifts may do their work? or what Paul in­tends, where he saith, All the members have not the same Office, and therefore he that hath the Ministry must wait on his Ministry, or he that teacheth on teaching, Rom. 12. 4. 7. if this be not a distinct Office from the Membership of others?

3. Consider how much Papists and Socinians are by this gratified; and by our weakening the hands of each other get strength against us: what a breach we make for the open e­nemy to enter at.

The Papists would prove us no Ministers, because not made by them and their Church, and so would argue us to be (what they commonly call us) all Heretikes; as having no Mini­sters, and then no Sacraments, and then no conversion: and how sad is it, that seeming Friends should do the work of o­pen enemies; that Brethren (so called) should think to ac­complish that on a sudden, which adversaries have so long in vain attempted.

The Socinians would not have us right Ministers, because ordained at all: when the only giving of Gifts, and the Election of the Church is (in their esteem) sufficient Cal­ling: yet they although formerly decried Hereticks, go further then many now adares cried-up brethren. They deny not but if the Church had continued uncorrupt, the custome of the primitive times might have been continued: men might have been ordained, although they do not hold it necessary. Oh how sad it is [...] that we who have gone to the house of God as friends, and alwaies joyned against these professed adversa­ries, should now do the work of open enemies against one the other.Smalcius a­gainst Frans­zius in the name of others


Here ended the Sermons. AFter I had ended the Sermon (which was the last I had to preach on that businesse) It was asked, who made me a Minister, or in what Church I was made such? Which although then impertinently asked, hath been now sufficient­ly answered.

It was afterward enquired, Whether any men were ever made Ministers by men since the Apostles daies, or those sent by them? It hath been abundantly cleared, and by this enquiry in part acknowledged, that in the Apostles daies, and theirs sent by them, Ministers were by men set apart for the Office, and you have seen what setting apart it was which was in their time practised: I think then it will be granted, That the Apostles examples are rules for our pra­ctice, which is sufficiently urged by our opposers, when it may serve their turns, What pretence else for this conten­tion? Only they make use of the Apostles practice, as Jewel Jewel Apol. tels Harding he made use of the Fathers, if they favoured him then they are the Fathers, and must not their word be taken? If they were urged against him, then they were but men, and humanum est errare; As Merchants use their Coun­ters, sometimes they stand for a penny, and sometimes for a pound. Besides that, it hath been so constantly practised by all the Churches of Christ since, that it were but vain to in­sist on it. I shall refer you for that to D. Seaman, where it is so well done. Nay, if Ministers were not made by men since the Apostles daies, who made these men such? But if this were intended (as I fear) to delude the people, that we could not prove by Scripture, that any were made Ministers by men since the Apostles daies (in which there is so little strength in the eyes of wise men, it needs nothing to repell it, yet because more ignorant people might not see it) I shall only say, There was no Scripture written since the A­postles daies, then if I should ask him, how he could prove by Scripture, that there was any Minister, or any Church, [Page 47] or that any hath preached since the Apostles dayes, or those sent by them? either of these would be as hardly proved.

Vex filet meus deficit, & nox mea tantum sed etiam Angelo­rum. How strangely was Cyprian overcome, when he conside­red the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, That his tongue was not able to expresse, nor his thoughts in any measure able to reach it. If it were fit to apply it, I should think, what astonishment hath befallen even men and Angels, to behold the Incarna­tion of evil spirits (which in these daies) are risen up against, and would lay violent hands upon the Ministery, Clemens Alexandrinus saith, In all bodies there are two ranks, Head and Members, Father and Childe, &c. It is much, that only in the Church there should be no distinction of Minister and People, of Flock and Overseer. The seven Starres are in Christs right hand, Revel. 1. 20. which was spoken only of the Angels, Ibid. not of the Churches; of the Ministers, not of any gifted Brother. Surely they must tug hard that remove them. May I not say in this, as it was spoken in ano­ther case, My Father is stronger then I, and no man taketh them out of his hand.

What are the Ministers the only troublers of Israel, that they are so troubled by all sorts of people? Is this the re­ward of their pains, the return of their prayers, sighs, groans and labours for you? Whence hath so many people been freed from Popery, been converted unto God in Eng­land, that it hath been the most famous Church in the world (I would it had not lost its Crown) but by their endeavours instrumentally? And can that be an unlawful Ministery, that hath brought in so many souls to God? Or is this a just re­compence now to cry them down? Would you violently thrust them out of the Church, who have travelled in birth to bring you into it? Or can you think them Anti­christian, that have drawn you into Christ, if you are at all in him. Whence have these enlightened People gotten all their Knowledge and Gifts, whereby they are enabled to pleade so stifly against the Ministry, but from the Preachings and Writings of these Ministers they thus decry? (for [Page 48] Gifts are now acquired by the use of means.) Are they now so evil, who have been the Instruments of so much good? Is this all their Reward, to be beaten with the Weapons they have put into others hands? Is the childe bred up only to scratch out the Fathers eyes? Clemens who lived with­in an hundred and thirteen years after Christ, speaking of Clem. in Epist. ad Corinth. the Apostles being called by Christ, and Christ being sent by God, &c. saith, That those who for a long time have had a good report, cannot be put out of their Office with­out injury; and condemns it as a shamefull thing that they should raise sedition against the Ministers.’ Contra Presby­teros seditionem movere. For which of their good deeds would ye kill them? If the Ministers of Eng­land are no true Ministers, then where are the true Church­es? And if no true Churches, who hath power to send them to preach, that question the Call of others? Truly I would advise such to forbear preaching till Christ come again to call new Apostles, and then possibly they might be sent among the rest. Is the past example of the Apostles of no value? Is the constantly successive practice of the Churches in all ages of no prevalency?

Oh that I could speak (in this) a seasonable word to the whole Nation: If it hath been proved (as I hope it is) that the Ministery (so set apart) is Gods Ordinance, it is a great evil to oppose, a sin of a great magnitude to overturn it. I could say as Gamaliel, Act. 5. 19. Ye cannot overthrow it, lest happily ye be found to fight against God. A faithfull Ministry hath been alwaies esteemed the greatest blessing, and is it now become the greatest curse? Are we weary of our mer­cies, or are we weary of God, or rather is not God weary of us? I wish England trifle not so long with their meat, till it be lest before they are aware. Should the Ministry now contemned be suddenly taken away, be irrecoverably lost, how would it then be too late repented! Did you ever reade that the Ministery was lost to a people, and that God staied long after? If the Shepherd be destroyed, who shall watch the flock, who shall prevent the worrying, the devouring of the sheep? If there be no interpreter; who shall declare to [Page 49] man his Righteousnesse? Job 33. 23, 24. If Moses, and Noah, and Daniel be taken away, who shall pray for, or keep off the plague from the people! Did Jerusalem ever prosper, when the Prophets were slain? Is not God him­self ingaged in their quarrell? And is it nothing to make him your Enemy? He may at present permit their injury, but will severely avenge it afterward. Have not the Mini­sters been the Horsemen and Chariots of Israel? Have not they stood between you and Popery for these many years? Have not they stood in the gap between you and Gods in­dignation many a time? Are you now so strengthned a­gainst Popery, that you need their help no longer? Or ra­ther have not the Champions of Popery so insinuated, that they have perswaded you to cast off your defence? Are you so secure from Gods Judgements, that you need their in­tercession no longer? I pray God it be not rather, that your destruction being decreed, the Lord will no longer permit the means of its prevention among you, It was a sad sign, when the people would not hear Jeremiah, nor God suffer him to pray for them. What would be your misery, should it be ever said of England, as once of Jerusalem, Oh England, England! that stonest the Prophets, and killest them that are sent to thee; How often would I have gathered thee, as an hen ga­thereth her chickens, and thou wouldst not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate, Luk. 13. 34. 35. Oh that before it be too late, We might know the things that belong to our peace.

I have done, and can expect what I may suffer from un­ruly men, but I shall rather account it mine honour, then my shame, to suffer for Christ, whose cause (in this) I pleade, although I am sorry I have no more strength to defend it. It was a good encouragement Jerome gave to Austin; Signum est ma­joris gloriae, om­nes haereticite detestantur. but I'le not apply it, lest it should savour of too much glorying in my self, or bitternesse to others. I can think some will finde fault with all, some with some part, others with other parts of it. I hope none will accuse me of either ma­lice or bitternesse; If any shall discover to me my weaknesse [Page 50] (of which I am sufficiently jealous) I shall humbly acknow­ledge it. If any shall convince me of any falshood (to which I am not yet conscious) I shall chearfully retract it. Only I shall expect the same meeknesse and candor I have brought with me: Uneven Weapons make no fair combat: And shall desire, that if any answer it their Name may be subscribed: I shall expect the finger of a Jesuite, because their cause is so much concerned in it.




An Appendix.

SInce I had finished this task, there came to mine hands the confident news of the Pulpit Guard Routed: which might have prevented my further march; But upon better examination I found, in this, as in other things, men for the most part speak as they would have it; for surely had not the Author himself report­ed it, others would not have judged it a Rout, nor do I think they'l yet beleeve it. Indeed I should have imputed it to a strange Providenc, if through so much weaknesse, he should have gotten so compleat a victory. But I perceived that this attempt was not designed only against that Guard, but equal­ly against all the Party, and the Cause; I thought good there­fore to appear, although but in the Rear, and with this small Party, while the other might have liberty to charge him more throughly; at least, that my Brigade (I mean the Ser­mons I have printed with this) might march with the more repute in the world.

I had not time to answer the Book largely, (for I was constrained to do this, while the Presse wrought off the o­ther) nor should I have done much more in it, had my time been longer, and my leasure greater; not only for that I finde little of Argument, although it is swelled into some bignesse with railing, but that the sum of what is there urged, is al­ready spoken to by the Sermons herewith printed. I shall only in this make some further discovery of its weaknesse, and direct you to them for more full answer.

I confesse (upon what sudden view I had of it) I finde but little work to do, but am much puzzled about the manner of doing it. It is in this, as with some seabbed sheep, with some [Page 52] rancour'd wound, a man must cut off a great deal of filth, passe by much corruption, before he come to apply the plai­ster, or attempt the cure. He is so bitter in his expressions against the Gentleman, so loud in his railings against the Coat (as he cals it, pag. 19.) that he deserves no fair answer; But I forbear, least in this the Proverb should be verified, Like to like, quoth the Devil to the Collier. Onely, if I should take equall pains to tell large stories, of the many filthy behavi­ours, the ranting practices of men of his gang, malice might be suspected under it, no strength of Argument would be dis­cerned in it, yet I wish that those who might have account­ed it railing and bitternesse in me, do not esteem it a vertue, an excellency in him.

Master Hall. I'le not meddle with his review of himself in the Looking-glasse, I shall leave that to him, who is more able and more concerned in it; where he hath sufficient opportunity to vindicate Truth, if he will adventure to fully his finger with so black an object. Yet I cannot but observe how he ju­stifies his Antagonist, in what he complains of as most injured in: he is troubled that he is reproached with the term of dan­gerous Sectary; Surely he that but looks on him in that Loo­king-glasse, will conclude that he is only standered with a matter of truth.

Nor will I examine the triall and verdict he himself makes and gives of the Ministers (under the name of false Prophets) For that, I shall refer him to be judged by him, whom he is pleased to name as Judge (I mean Jesus Christ) in his cause; who will doubtlesse one day shew him, What sentence he will give upon the evidence he hath produced. Yet this is observable, that all the witnesses he summons or brings in, are either of his forcing or making. What testimony of Scri­pture doth he bring, which he doth not misapply? What evidence doth he produce from the Churches, deluded Souls, publike Peace, but what is dug out of his own pit, made of his own brain?

To take notice of his strength of Arguments, or depth of learning, is impossible, there is no discovery of what is [Page 53] not. Althoūgh I must confesse, when I heard of, and saw some bold and confident assertions, I expected something to support them. I shall acknowledge my self a false Pro­phet (in this) if ever much learning made him mad. Yet I cannot but smile, that those, who (because of their own ignorance) decry, and rail against learning in others, are willing to make use of what they have themselves, yea, would counterfeit more too sometimes. I finde him at the charge of too whole words of Latin in one place, Cum pri­vilegio; if it be the language of the Beast, methinks his mouth should not meddle of it: if it be any part of the tail of the Beast, his tongue should not lick of it. In another place pag. 98. he strains hard for two more, Episcopos, Presbyteros, But I confesse he hath brought them forth in a wofull case (the accusative plurall for the nominative singular) but I see he speaks all in the accusative case. I would not wrong the man; if he meant Greek, it may be he thought heathen Greek was not fit to be used by Christians, and therefore writ them in the letters of his mother-tongue, If he intended Latin, he might conceive that true Latin only was the Lan­guage of the Beast, or that the whores head had been shelter­ed under Priscians Cap, and he might lawfully break it. But I would willingly know how he got or came by this learn­ing; surely it was only humane, and then acquired only by industry; if it had been an immediate inspiration of the Spi­rit, that would have taught him to have spoken it true. The Spirit is able to bring forth its conceptions perfect. He that gives the use of Tongues, could not want power to speak properly: they that spake with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance, Acts 2. 4. were heard by the multitude speaking their own language, verse 6. Besides, what ado he keeps with his terms of Logick, the major and the minor Proposition; if Logick be so black an Art, I wonder he would touch it; but I see he loves all of the Colour, unlesse it be a black Gown.

I would give you a glimpse of his skill in interpretation of Scripture, that since he fails in his humanity, you might see [Page 54] what Divinity he hath; but I shall speak only of so much of that, as will fall into my way, as I run over those few things which relate to the Arguments I have urged or answered be­fore. In which I shall only give you some Animad [...]er ions upon what he speaks; the book will not require, nor will my time afford any long businesse.

I finde (in S. Walter Rawleigh's expression) much spoken but little said about the Priests under the Law, and Ministers under the Gospel (pag. 17.) Because there is some difference in their service, therefore must their Offices be questioned? The Office of a Priest (saith he) was appointed by God; and was not the Office of Pastors and Teachers so too? Eph. 4. 11.

To excuse himself both from Corah's guilt and punish­ment, he saith pag. 18. Corah and his company were smitten for doing what was forbidden, but the Saints are commanded, and commended for preaching, &c. he hath not proved either of them by the letter of Scripture, but let him prove the latter, either directly, or by just deduction, and we will forgive him the former. You may see (in the Sermons) what command they had, nor can I yet see, by what he saith, any more dis­covered.

But because it is questioned by him, to whom Corah and his company should be rather compared, whether to the Or­dained Ministers, or the only gifted Preachers: observe these particulars.

Corah and his company out of a pretended fitnesse to per­form the service to which they were not called, would have intruded into the Office of Moses and Aaron; It is easily jud­ged who are most guilty in this.

Corah and his company did not monopelize the Office to themselves (as he pretends, pag. ead.) but would have shared with Moses and Aaron, in what it was conceived they mo­nopolized. What think you now? who are most like Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, and then may most fear their punish­ment?

For his railing, That Ministers have no more Authority then the Devill and the Pope could give them, and no more [Page 55] Calling, then Corah and the Devil himself; The Lord rebuke him; only let him forbear such language hereafter. Where he makes the carkasse and form of a thing both one, I forgive him: he dislikes, and therefore (I conceive) pretends not to Learning. Only I would not have people deluded with such a soul-lesse carkasse.

The Ministers have no Call according to the letter (ibid.) I had though (if by the letter he means the letter of the Scri­pture) setting men apart by prayer, fasting, and imposition of hands, had been according to the letter of Scripture; I am sure what he objects against it is besides the letter.

Nor have they any Call from the Spirit, (ibid.) Are not their gifts manifest? Can he without blushing accuse them of walking in the Devils darknesse? will not many of his own party contradict him in this? will not they acknowledge, that many Ministers of England live holily, walk by the light of Gods Spirit? What spirit hath possessed the man? truth, meek­nesse, charity, are the fruits of the Spirit of God. He'l see what is spoken about gifts, suprà, He saith, it's dangerous for men to preach without a Call, and dangerous for people to hear such, &c. I am (in this) wholly of his minde; In the Ser­mons. I hope by what hath been spoken already, and what shall yet be touched on, it will appear manifest, that only gifted brethren have no Call to preach.

Nay, take his own words, and (if I understand them) there is enough granted for our purpose, (pag. 19.) although it's true, that none can preach according to the intention of that Scri­pture, Rom. 10. 15. (viz.) for the working of faith, and convert­ing of souls, yet it doth not follow, that every gifted brother may not preach: (these are his own words.) If he means that gifted brethren cannot preach for the working of faith and conver­ting of souls, we have enough; nor can I see what else he should mean; for it is evident, that the preaching of Sent Ministers is the means of converting souls, of the begetting of faith. Besides, the Gentlemans Proposition, which he tries to answer, is, If none may preach but those that are sent, then every gifted brother may not preach. What he speaks of sending, [Page 56] (pag. ead. & prox,) I'le speak somewhat to; and because upon that and two things more hangs all his discourse, the full answer of which shakes the whole book, Ile stand a lit­tle on them; yet not neither, because they have been so fully answered already, ut suprà.

1. Gifting is sending, it relates to the internall power of the Spirit in the Saints, &c. (ibid.) Indeed there must be a sending from God, where men are faithfull Ministers; but there must be (besides) an outward designation to the Office, where any be lawfull Preachers. But besides what hath been spoken already (in the Sermons,) That only gifting is not the sending the Apostle mentions; I'le shew you in Scripture, that send­ing is only spoken of the outward setting those apart for the service who are sent. (Not to name what is so much, and so often spoken of Christs being sent by his Father.) Where Isaiah was to go about Gods service, the Lord asked, Whem shall I send? and Isaiah said, Send me, Isa, 6. 8, 9. it was not spoken of gifting him, that was done before, but of his outward missi­on: and thus it is explained by all I meet withall, who had as much of the Spirit to interpret Scripture by, as this pretend­er. The Disciples were sent, when after they were gifted, they were bid to go, Mat. 10. 1, 5. yea, he seems himself to distinguish, where (p. 24.) it is said, The gifting and sending of the gifted brethren, is, when the Lord in a bleth them in a measure to it, and saith to them, Go. Are not gifting and saying go, two distinct acts? which is manifest in Paul, Act. 22. 14, 15, 10, 22, whom he instanceth in, although he would falsly infer the contrary from another Scripture, yea, would delude people, by telling them, that he preached before he was separated, Acts 13. 2. but I say he did not preach, before he was by a speciall command sent by Christ. To this purpose were the Apostles said, when by fasting, praier, and imposition of hands they se­parated Paul and Barnabas, to send them, Acts 13. 4.

2. He is very unhappy in confounding ordinary with ex­traordinary cases; which is so much answered already, that I searce know what to say more. I there shewed, that those who were sent most extraordinarily, were (besides gifting of [Page 57] them) set apart for the service; and what setting apart ordina­rily was afterward practised Although the Ministers were not immediatly sent by God, which was extraordinary, yet they had praier and laying on of hands, the ordinary designation the Scripture mentions. This he pretends not to; if he hath an extraordinary mission let him discover it. Extraordinary gifts we finde none; if God hath any time said to him, as to the Disciples, go; or as to Paul, Acts 22. 22. I'le send thee to the Gentiles, whose examples chiefly he useth to prove his Calling, let him manifest it. If he shall any more adventure upon such a businesse as this, let him no more pleade extraordi­nary Cals, but in extraordinary cases: let him not urge Act. 8. Disciples practice, unless he can parallell the cases to: It will else be to as little purpose as this.

3. He often distinguisheth between the gift and the Office. A gifted member may exercise his gift, although not execute the Office; I say their gifts may be exercised, but it must be within the bounds of their calling, not in the place of Offi­cers. A file-leader (if he be able) may exercise his file, or two files, &c. but he must not carry them, much lesse the whole company into the field, nor engage them against the enemy till he hath Commission. In the exercise of a private Christi­ans gift, there is but a charitative admonition, which hath no other obligation, but as the matter may be good he speaks; in the execution of an Office, there is an Obligation to obedi­ence, virtute offlcij (ut suprà.)

Yet notwithstanding his former distinction, he saith, page 27, 28. That a gifted brother may baptize and administer the Sup­per too. Strange! may they do all the service of an Officer, yet not execute the Office? It is time for me to cry down such Logick too. In the administring of Baptisin, there is but little exercise of gifts; I should have though this had been part of a Ministers Office.

When he so confidently asserted this, I expected proportio­nable proof; I thought I should have heard of some extraor­dinary things at extraordinary times and cases; which I should have answered, quod fieri non debet, factum valet; but [Page 58] all the prof I finde is of Johns baptizing, (ib.) And was not John commissioned for the service? And the disciples, who were then the ordinary Christians, baptized, (p. e [...]d.) Did they bap­tize when they were but ordinary Christians, before they were sent forth by Christ? But if when they baptized, there were not other Christians, whom did they baptiz? And, Peter commanded people to be baptized. Act 10. (ib.) and (he saith) it is probable there were gifted preaching brethren who aid the work. Away with such probabilities. I see it is lawfull (when it may serve some mens turns) to draw inferences from Scri­pture: nor will Act. 8. (again urged) prove any thing.

But to delude the people, he saith, Preaching disciples may baptize. What then? They who had or have a Commission to preach, might or may baptize, the same Commission inclu­ding both; may those therefore either preach or baptize who have no Commission at all? (p. 30.) he saith, Preaching and baptism are not so united together, as never to be separated. But (whatsoever he pretends) we finde them put into the same Commission, nor (for all the smoak he raiseth) do I think he can produce one example in the whole Scripture, of any that ever baptized, who was not Commissioned to preach.

The command makes things lawfull or unlawfull, saith he, (ibid.) An excellent position, one of the clearest truths in his whole Book; and I could wish that as it holds, so it were be­leeved and practised in all things. I shall inferre, That till he proveth there is some command (or what is equivalent) for the preaching of only gifted men, he must give me leave to call it unlawfull.

I shall speak nothing to his bitter inveighing against Pres­bytery (in great part of his Book) only let you see his black mouth, and self-contradictions. You have altered the name from Bishop, Priest, and Jesuite to Presbyter, pag. 22. And were not Presbyters long before Jesuite, Priest or Bishop either (in his sense?) Pag. 22. he saith, There was a Presbytery in the pri­mitive times. Yet Pag. 25. It was a strange name till lately. Will prople never be sensible of such mens abuses? Had he but some few of these gifts that many of the godly Ministers of [Page 59] Christ have, he would finde Presbyters often enough in Scri­pture.

See how he foams Pag. 27. Presbyterian wolves, &c. if they could have prevailed, they would have sucked the bloud of the lambs of Christ. A charitable censure: What they would have done, he knows not, I know who do labour to suck the bloud of the lambs of Christ. Let me tell him, time was, that if o­thers had exercised such cruelty against him and his party, as he would have inflicted now upon the Ministers of Christ, his tongue must not have run at this rate. It is pity so much tendernesse should be repaid with so great severity. But the Proverb is true:

Pag. 20. We have no true Church, no true Ministers. How then got he to be of a Church, or when did the true Church begin? For Pag. 29. We are not speaking (saith he) out of, but in a constituted Church.

He is much put to it to answer that Argument, If gifted men may preach, then gifted women too. This (saith he) is your conclusion, we say, and the Scripture saith, that gifted Bre­thren may preach: you Will will conclude, that gifted women may preach. But where doth the Scripture mention gifted bre­thren more then gifted women? I had thought gifting had been the qualification, thè sending; and then in one as well as an­other. Let people see what pains he takes to shift off the truth, what [...]oles he runs into so prevent a conviction.

Nay Pag. 60. he saith, Women may prophesie too, though not in the Church, or at Last by the permission of the Church. For which [...]geth, 1 Cor. 11 5. An excellent interpretation. Paul saith the women must not be permitted to speak in the Church, and he would move they may, with his glosse upon another pi [...] But, besides what is answered by the Gentle­man t [...] I shall [...] that Learned Mead expounds it of singing, and for that exposition urgeth [...] Chron. 25. 2. 1 Sam. 10. 5. where prophesying is taken in the same sense, Every woman that praisth or singeth praise, &c.

He labours much to take off those answers given to what is urged, from 1 Cor. 14, But for all he saith to that, I shall [Page 60] referre the Reader to what I have spoken of that place, and of the argument drawn thence, in the former part of this Book. He acknowledgeth prophesying to be extraordinary under the law, but not in Gospel-daies, pag. 60. If it were ordina­ry in the Primitive times, why was it given then by Reve­lation? Why were not all that had gifts Prophets? If it be or­dinary now, Why doth it not continue? If Th. Collier can but discover that there is such a gift of prophesying now as was then; when (ut suprà) they received immediate Revelation, when they could foretell things to come, when they could by sudden instinct explain dark and difficult Prophecies, he will speak something; but I do not see that is attempted; I would advise him never to urge that Scripture more, until he can manifest such a gift. Yet I cannot but observe his learned exposition upon the 32. verse of 1 Cor. 14. Let the spirits of the Prophets be subject to the Prophets. P. 21. (i.) They are able to contain themselves, and be silent, while another speaks: When it it is said, ver, 29 that they must speak two or three, and the others judge. The text it self tels you what subjection is meant there (i.) to the judgement of the Prophets. Surely if he had such a measure of the Spirit that he pretends to, he would have more skill in discerning of Scripture. Let none think that he hath the spirit of prophesying, spoken of, 1 Cor. 14. that can no better explain so easie a Text.

Master Hall. The Gentleman having said that the holy Ghost com­mends Learning: He replies pag. 41. Holy Ghosts? Is there any such word in all the Scripture as Ghost? How now? which way went the Spirit of God from him? What immediatly inspired. yet ignorant of this? hath he forgotten Mat. 28, 20. Hath Baptism been so long out of fashion, that he hath forgotten the words of it? Is Act. 2. 4. (besides other places) quite out of his minde? Hath his new and clear light dazled his eyes? or hath he been digging so long in the bottomlesse pit, that the smoak hath wholly beclouded him?

He would know whether Pauls gift and ours were recei­ved different waies; (p. 45.) I shall grant they were, yet de­ny his false inference, we may have gifts from the same spirit, yet [Page 11] in a diverse manner: As different gifts, so different wayes of conferring them were from the same spirit. Paul had his by immediate Revelation, we receive ours more mediatly, by the use of means. One man takes up water at the Fountain; is it not the same water, or must it be wickedly come by, that another takes up in the channell? Why had he not as well questioned what Timothy's gift had been, when it was different from Pauls too? What is spoken concerning Numb. 11. 25. to the 30. is sufficiently cleared before: yet without further reference, he grants me enough, that it was an extra­ordinary spirit of prophecie: then whatsoever may be practised in Gospel dayes; that place will afford us no Argument in ordinary times, when extraordinary gifts are not given. Je­hoshaphat sent Princes to teach (pag. 62.) from 2 Chron. 19. but you'll see the Levites had the Law of the Lord, vers. 11. It is urged: May not you do your self, what you may command your servant to do? No: A King might command a Judge to hear and determine Causes, which he may not do himself: A King inthose dayes might command a Priest to offer sacrifice, which to have done himself had been sin. Our Iehoshaphats (saith he, pag. 63.) have of late rather encouraged the gifted bre­thren for to teach, then prohibited them. I think the State is little beholding to him; If another should have said so much, it might have been taken ill. I am sure they have not yet recalled those Ordinances of Parliament, made against such Preachers.

He that sent Christ extraordinarily, sends lay Prophets or­dinarily (pag. 67.) that remains yet to be proved: this is per idem as he learnedly answers in anothers place. Let us but see the examples of any in Scripture that ever Preached, who were no otherwise sent, then our gifted brethren are now. You have seen the Apostles, and Disciples were sent extraor­dinarily by the immediate voice of God; but these, although they urge their examples, have no such mission.

He would perswade us that Prophesying was not an Office, but a gift, (pag. 60. & alibi.) yet it is numbred among the severall Offices of the Church, Rom 12. 7. he confesseth that the Office of Ministers is meant in the same place, why then [Page 12] not prophesying; when they are equally called gifts? so they are called too, Ephes. 4. 11. yet there meant of Offices.

I shall say nothing of his vain-glorious crying up himself and his Party as the only gifted, the only godly men; his de­spitefull reproaching of the Ministers of Jesus Christ, as wic­ked, ignorant, Antichristian Devils, what not? Let the world judge who have the best gifts, and (by this) who have the most pride: I could quickly shew you a parallell between their Doctrines and lives too, whether are most sutable to the re­vealed will of God; but I could not do it without seeming bitterness to them, without a shew of arrogance in our selves. In this let God and all (but) moderate people judge be­tween us.

Nor shall I speak (more then I have in the former part) to his railing Arguments to prove Ministers Antichristian; there is but one that is at all likely to get any credit, and that is answered there.

I shall only propose what he asked, p. 44. Who are the un­quiet men, the gifted brethren or the Ministers? If their pra­ctice will not sufficiently discover it, in running from place to place to disturb Congregations, who practised quietness only while they had no power to be unquiet; let this railing book be spread before you, and then see what boilings of spi­rit, what trouble some humours these men are affected with­all; who under a pretence of Christian liberty disturb the peace of Christians; abuse the Names (and if it were in their power) would even take away the lives of godly men.

I must end, yet I might have spoken somewhat more, if I had had more time, but the Press will stay. I hope it is enough to discover the invalidity of his proof, who hath given in a great charge against the Ministers: and then to take off the prejudice of Readers that might possess them against what I have Printed in Justification of the Call of the Ministers of England. I am apt to think (but shall submit to the judgement of more wise, and (now) lesse engaged men) that there is no­thing of value in his whole book, but either in the former part, or this short Appendix, may receive a full and satisfying [Page 13] Answer. If there be any need, I may be larger afterward: In the mean time I shall earnestly desire the Reader to look up­on both with a single eye, and unprejudiced heart; look through the railing, and see what of Argument you can finde in that, then excuse my weakness, and see whether you may finde an Answer in this. Take not reproaches for Arguments (which content some) It is easier to accuse then to prove: cast not off the truth for any infirmity in the managure of its cause. It is easier finding then amending faults. If ever the like piece should come to mine hand again, I should take little delight to reade it, and lesse pains to Answer it: It is a great sign of weakness of Argument, where there is such strength of reproaches. Barking doggs are best appeased by neglect: the greatest scoldes are soonest quieted by silence. If by this unpleasant difference, truth may be at all mani­fested, and thereby the Saints of God in any measure advantaged; I shall bless God in it, and esteem it a most gracious Providence that I had any hand in it.


Courteous Reader.

THese new Books following are Printed and sold by W. Roybould at the Unicorn in Pauls Church-yard, near the little North-Door.

  • THe Holy Arbour; containing a Body of Divinity, or the Sum and Substance of Christian Religion, in Folio. By John Godolphin, J. C. D. 1651.
  • The History of the Bohemian Persecution, from the beginning of their Conversion to Christianity, to these times, in 8▪.
  • The Ladies Vindication, or the Praise of worthy women, in 12o, 1651.
  • A further Discovery of the Mystery of the last times, in 4o 1651.
  • The Life and Reign of King Charles, in 8o, 1651.
  • The Antiquity of Common-wealths, instanced by that of Holland, in 8o, 1652.
  • Church-Cases cleared, with a Pacificatory Preface to reconcile the difference between the Presbyterians, Independents, and Anabaptists: by Dr N. Homes, in 8o, 1652.
  • A Sermon Preached the 8th of Octob. 1650. before the L. Mayor, &c. By Dr Homes.
  • The Mischief of mixt Communions, in 40, By Dr Homes.
  • A Plea for the Ministry in 4o, by M. W. Wickins.
  • A Sermon Preached Novemb. 5. 1651. By Mr Jenkins, being the first he preach'd after his Releasement.
  • The Churches and Ministry of England, true Churches and true Mi­nistry, cleared and proved, by Francis Fullwood: before a numerous Con­gregation assembled to hear the opposition then made by M. T. Collier and others of his party. Also a Preface of the Manner, and a Narrative of the Dispute, attested under the hands of the Ministers then present, in 4o 1652.
  • The Ordering and Setling of Ireland, in Folio, 1652.
  • Christ alone exalted, in 17 Sermons, by Dr Crisp, in 8o.
  • The Assertion of Grace, by R. Town, in 8o.
  • A Sermon Preached at Taunton, by Mr Newton, May 12. 1652.
  • Poems with Additions. Also, The Muses Looking-glasse. Amyntas. Jealous Lovers; and Aristippus the jovial Philosopher. By Tho. Randolph, M. A. in 8o. 1652.
  • The Life of Mr Marriot the great Eater in 4o. With all his mercy A­ctions and Travels.
  • A Cat may look upon a King. Or, A Character of the Lives and Actions of all the Kings, from William the Conquerour to King Charles, in 12o. 1652.

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