REFLECTIONS UPON THE ANIMADVERSIONS UPON THE Bishop of Worcester's LETTER

By H. G.

Quis coelum terra non misceat, & mare coelo,
Clodius accuset moechos, Catilina Cethegum,
In Tabulam Scyllae si dicant discipuli tres.

LONDON, Printed by A. W. for John Martyn, James Allestry and Thomas Dicas, and are to be sold at the Bell in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1662.

Reflections upon the Annimadversions upon the Bishop of Worcester's Letter by H. G.

IF he be inexcusable that Judges another, because he condemns himself, what excuse then shall he have that condemns another in what he himself allows? With what face then can D. E. declame so against the Bishop of Worcester's Passion, when as were he so guilty as D. E would have him; yet in this very thing doth D. E. so cleerly out­vy the Bishop that no impartial Reader but must grant this phrensy he hath antidated the Dog-days above four Moneths the usual season? & in­deed D. E. shall do well to glory in his Victory herein; for unlesse you grant him his Arguments for propagation of Paganis [...]: you shall nei­ther find Sense nor Reason in Animadversions upon the Bishops Let­ter.

The second Paragraph contains a Concession of the Cause in contro­versie between the Bishop and Mr. Baxter, upon supposition it to be stated as Dr. Gunning and Dr. Pearson do attest: yet is he much unsa­tisfied with many things of general concernment: as

1. First, That Kings and Bishops are of such inseparable dependance, that they must needs stand and fall together; and all who are enemies to one, must [Page 2] needs be Enemies to the other. Nor was this passionately affirmed by the Bishop: for if men may argue a posteriori, from the effect to find out the cause, or that men may take warning from others harms, then do I affirm that no where in the Christian world, that ever Christian men (if they be worthy to be called so) did ever cast off their obedience to Episcopal Government, but when they acquired force proportionable to their will, they did, or did attempt to subvert the State Government ei­ther in person or Specie; besides in reason if men may arrogate to them­selves a licenciousnesse of casting off their obedience to the Church, what then can restrain them to their obedience to the State? for it is the same Spirit which commands men to hear the Church, and to sub­mit to Higher powers; and if this were not to the Church governed by Bishops, I would desire D. E. to shew any Church in Christ endome be­fore Calvin otherwise governed; and certainly D. E. upon better con­sideration cannot believe our Saviour to have with his blood established a confused Church, to continue till his next coming again, without any Order or Government, especially having the constant custome of Christianity to the contrary; and he that is possest, hath title good e­nough, untill he be evicted by a better title or arguments than D. E. can find against this. How much D. E. is in his Judgement for the Order of Bishops, will appear by and by in his second Objection against the Bishops assertion.

1. D. E, his first Argument against the Bishops assertion is, that, It is clear from Story, that Kings were in all parts of the World, in their most flourishing state, defore ever Bishops were heard of; and no reason can be given; why what hath once been, may not be with the same convenience again; a pretty convenient argument this is: why certainly D. E. is not so very a Heathen, as not to believe the Bishop to be a Christian, or that the Bishop did not speak to Christians, or affirm this of a Christian State? Why let D. E. shew that ever in the Christian world, Episcopal Government was rejected, and yet Regal continued (unless in Scot­land, when King James was a child, and made an Instrument to advance the Kirks seditious ends) and he says something; unlesse D. E. by his convenient argument would utterly abolish Christianity from us, and introduce Paganism and Heathenism again amnog, which he very handsomely prosecutes in his next argument, viz.

2. Bishops, as they are established by Law in England, are purely the Kings subordinate Ministers in the management of Ecclestastical affairs which his Majesty may conferr upon whae Order of men he pleases, though they be as [Page 3] much Lay persons at you or I am. It is therefore very injurious to the Kings Authority, to aver that he could not otherwayes uphold and maintain it, than by preserving the undue, and as some think Antichristian Dignity and prelation of his inferiour Officers; So that one of these two consequen­ces do inevitably follow, either that Christ left no Episcopal Power and Ministers in his Church, or else that by the Law established in Eng­land, it and they are utterly suppressed; and the Bishops in all acts of Preaching, Baptizing, Consecrating, Ordaining &c. are not Christs but purely the Kings Ministers. And in truth I do not know any thing which hath rendred Christianity, and all Christian Religion, nay, and Gods taking our Nature upon him, to redeem and save mankind, so vile as this argument hath done. I desire to be satisfied as a Christian, to know what Christ hath established, that does any way repugn my duty as a man which I ow my King. I am sure he most certainly and positively commands all obedience to Kings and higher Powers. I am sure the Administration of the Sacrament, the Preaching of Christ crucified, the Burial of the Dead, and consecrating proper places for Gods Worship and Service, and Ordaining separated persons for such purposes, no way hinders the Kings Supremany over all the persons of his Subjects; even in these very cases; but they are as much his Subjects, after such Or­dination as before. Nay I affirm, that in a Church planted; the free exercise of this power in all Kings Dominions, and all Glebes, and endowments whatsoever are Donations and Concessions from them, Nor was the practice of Christians (when there was a Christian Church and no Christian State, though D. E. thinks it absurd and insignificant to distinguish them) ever better to Princes in their obedience than in the primitive times.

Having thus shewed that the Bishops, nor any thing ordained by our Saviour, is any ways injurious to the King. I desire the Reader to take notice how much D. E. hath verified his Judgement for the Order of Bishops, which makes it a meer Civil Sanction, and so hath not any dependence on, or creation by Christ.

3. He sayes, that Bishops are of so little use to support Regal Dignity (which is founded upon a distinct Basis of its own) that upon enquiry it will be found, none have been greater enemies to it than some Bishops; for want of argument to shew that Bishops are no support to Regal power, D. E. here only affirms against some Bishops to have been Enemies to it; and I can tell D. E. of twenty times more Bishops have been active & suffe­red for it; and so D. E. if he wil have the personal faults of particular men [Page 4] to make Episcopacy dangerous to Regality, will have above twenry to one against him, and therefore to advance it, it is therefore absurdly done of him to charge Crimine ab uno Disce omnes upon the Bishop here, when as he himself hath nothing else to make good his excep­tion.

2. For want of argument against the Bishops assertion, that the Bishop is the sole Pastor of all Congregations in his Diocess, D. E. is sure he says (but it is only upon his own Authority, & Gratis dictum) it can be defended by those arguments which maintain the Popes supremacy, which is all one, as if D. E. should be sure that my going to Church, can only be maintained by those arguments which are alleged to maintain Mass; and therefore I should never come there; and if he had under­stood a little Logick, he would have found he had proved the Bishops assertion by the practice of Paul and Peter (though no Saints of his) which he brings against it; for to bid and command, is the Predicament of Relation to something subject to it; and if Paul may bid the Elders of Ephesus, and Peter command his fellow Elders, then necessarily, must the Elders of Ephesus, and Peter's fellow Elders be subject to Paul and Peter, which is (I believe) as much as the Bishop will de­sire.

3. I commend D. E. that in his 3. objection he charges the Bishop, page 3. that such as come not in by the door, to be Thieves and Robbers ought to be understood of such Ministers as speak to Congregations without the Bishops License; whereas the Bishop then only charges Mr. Baxter not to come in by the door, but to be a Thief and Robber, because he had not only robbed the Right-full Vicar of Kidderminster of his Repu­tation, but of his means and maintenance, D. E. therefore does very well to set up a man of straw this cold weather, and get himself heat by threshing of it: but if D. E. be good at Addition, he is no less at Sub­straction, and therefore takes no notice of the Bishops instance of Saint Paul and Alexander the Copper-smith, and Demas, Philetus, and H [...] ­meneus, for D. E. his objection against preaching without a License af­ter Ordination, because it cannot be dissolved, much less hindered in the free use, except for moral and notoriously vicious misdemeanors: I grant that power indissoluble, because a divine institution; yet does it not therefore follow, that the exercise of it may not be suspended upon abuse of it. However D. E. puts the cart before the horse, in affirming it impossible to be dissolved, much less impeached, or hindred in the free use of it. For his 2. objection of being unreasonable for one Minister of [Page 5] the Gospell to silence another, and the Bishop to be no more. He himself be­fore granted it in Paul's bidding, and Peter's commanding the Elders, and Paul and Peter were but Ministers of the Gospell; and if Paul and Pe­ter might bid and command, then might Paul and Peter forbid, and si­lence, for cujus est velle, ejus est nolle. But it is well here he allows the Bishop to be a Minister of the Gospell, and so Christs, whereas, page 2. he makes him purely the Kings. And now let me tell D. E. that the Judges of Assize are fellow subjects with himself, yet for ought I know, may proceed against, and hang him, if he mends not his manners. Nor hath D. E. got so great a Goal of the Bishop in affirming our Saviour to put the Scribes and Pharises to silence by Argument only; for the Scribes and Pharises were rightfully in Moses chair, and had not as Thieves and Rob­bers invaded the rights and just possessions of other men, as the Presby­terians did; nor in that formality as Presbyterians had they, or now have any right or power to teach the people, and if it be not true (which he saith, the Bishop layes to their charge) of preaching nothing but sedition and treason, as contrary to their principles, I am sure it is no way con­trary to their Practice, and so they are the more manifest Hypocrites in being so.

4. D. E. 4th. objection is injurious and false: for in all ages, the Church did, and might in point of Conscience, injoyn penance for pub­lick, or private faults, although forgiven, or not taken notice of by Temporal Powers, without any breach, or disturbance of the publick Peace; neither do I find, or believe, that the Bishop does affirm the Church distinct from the State, to have any coercive power.

5. D. E. 5th. objection is so wild and impertinent, that I am confi­dent the Bishop did never dream of such a consequence as he there puts, where things are commanded by them who have no right, or Authority to do it.

6. And whereas D. E. in his sixt objection against the Bishop, would have it an unconscionable thing to go against any pretence of Scrip­ture, or practice of Primitive times, and to impose in Gods worship, things confessedly needless and trivial; and therefore what the Bishop un­compassionately tells us, that our Laws do well to punish, even with non­admission to the Sacrament, such as will not or perhaps dare not kneel. I am unwilling to dispute with any man, where the terms of the sub­ject matter are not first defined, much less where my Adversary, and I, it may be, mean quite contrary things by them. I say then by Conscience, I understand alwaies a rightfull power commanding, or forbidding any [Page 6] thing, and if any subordinate power to which I am subject, commands contrary to it, then to submit to the penalty, but never to resist the pow­er. Now would I know what Law of God forbids me to kneel at the receiving the Sacrament, or otherwise I cannot plead conscience against it, if I be injoyned to do it by any Authority to which I am subject, and therefore our Laws do well to punish those who will not conform; and that kneeling and outward gestures are not trivial and needless (as D. E. is pleas'd to tearm them) in the worship and service of God, is evident both by the old Law and Gospell, and consent of all men in all ages and places, untill denyed by our late, and now Hypocrites and Reformers. I say that outward gestures are commanded by our Saviour himself, in Gods worship; for when the Devil tempted our Saviour, he bid him not ask any thing of him, but fall down and worship him; which was only an outward gesture; but our Saviour told that, it was writen that thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve: to worship God therefore with an outward worship, is commanded by our Saviour. And I pray, what is God jealous of in the second Com­mandment of falling down and worshiping any creature, but that that should be given to it, which is only due and proper to him? and by the Authority of all storys, men did ever, wheresoever they apprehended a Deity, worship it with outward worship. It may be it was a trivial and needless thing in Moses, at another time to put off his shooes, it was not so when God bid him put them off, because the place was holy. But D. E. hath two reasons against the Bishops reason for non-admission of such as will not kneel at receiving the Sacrament, viz. that it become not the Law-givers to endanger the Churches peace for their sakes; one is, it did much more become all Law-givers in the things of God, to observe the Law of Christ, which is a Law of Love and Liberty. When D. E. shews that kneeling, or observing things duly required of us in Gods service does become destructive to Christs Law of Love and Liberty, then he says something: in the mean time, I think D. E. to be a won­drous proper instrument to plead for Love and Liberty in Religion; for his love it appears by his Animadversion, and for his Liberty, sure his Religion is yet to chuse. His second is the Churches peace to be more endangered by pressing things doubtfull, than by the forbearance of them; for since by enforcing of such things as God hath no where commanded, our Christian Liberty is enfringed, from hence it follows, if it ought not, yet we may lawfully refuse such impositions, as our Saviour did, not wash­ing his hands before meat, and the Apostle Paul in case of Circumcision. [Page 7] What, though God hath not commanded things in his worship and service, shall therefore nothing be done in it? nothing less; for it is sufficient to me, that God commands me to hear and obey the Church, and commands the Church to do all things decently, and in order, in his worship and service; what things therefore the Church commands for decency and order in Gods worship, if they be not contrary to Gods Laws, are not things doubtfull, but ought in conscience to be sub­mitted to, upon penalty of the breach of Gods Law, in not hearing and disobeying the Church. For D. E. his instances of our Saviours, and the Apostles refusing to observe the Pharises in washing of hands, and Cir­cumcission, it is both blasphemous and false; for our Saviour was in the power of the Pharises, in reference to the Ceremonial Law; and therefore D. E. cannot assume to himself like liberty with our Saviour, and Circumcission being typical was fulfilled by our Saviour, and the use of it a denyal of his coming in the Flesh.

7. Nor is that a Rope of Sand, which the Bishop affirms, that from diversity in external Forms, arises dislike, from dislike enmity, from enmi­ty opposition; thence Schism in the Church, and Sedition in the State: For as Socrates objects to Eutyphro, that there must necessarily be something to which men in difference must indifferently submit to, or their dis­sentions will be endlesse: and if the established Rules in the Church for Gods Worship and Service, be not that thing to which D. E. and I must indifferently submit to, then is there nothing in the power of D. E. or my self, which can prescribe another; and so by consequence there can be no decency nor order in the Worship and Service of God, but all things therein left in confusion and disorder, which is expressly against the Divine Canon.

Nor did ever D. E. or any seditious men, begin at Sedition directly, but alwayes pretended conscience, and made Religion a stalking horse thereunto, according to that of the Poet, Quoties vis fallere Plebem Finge Deum.

And I chalenge D. E. to instance in any Age or Place, where men invaded the Peace of the Church, but they at least attempted the like in the State: and now see how vain and Idle [...]ll 3 of D. E. objections a­gainst the Bishops assertion are: his first reason is, that in Diversity of external Forms, without any dislike as to the Person, the Apostles that preached to the Circumcision, gave the right hand of fellowship to the Apo­stles of the Gentiles; although their outward Rites and publick Worship were far more different than those, which by any of the most distant perswa­sions, [Page 8] are now practised in England. So that D. E. grants the Bishop, that external Forms in Gods Worship is an Apostolick practice, without a­ny prejudice to the Bishop's assertion: for, since God in our nature hath not left in what external Form he will be worshiped, but to every Church her liberty; and therefore divers Apostles, and divers Church­es, ever did, and now do use divers external Forms in their Worship of God; And therefore the Church of England may use one external Form, different from that of France, and that of France, another from that of Greece &c. without any dislike; yet doth it not therefore follow, that D. E. may raise Schism in the Church of England or France, any more than that because the Laws of England and France are different, there­fore D. E. is not obliged by them, but may make Rebellion and raise Se­dition in them. Certainly if D. E. had Logick enough to understand his Arguments, I would not wish the Bishop a better Advo­cate.

But whereas D. E. in his second objection, thinks for want of reason he hath so sure a Topick in his instance of a Pagan State existing without Bishops, and therefore in Triumph he again objects it; give me leave to speak as a man and Christian. I say then, as I am a man I acknowedge Regality to be a sacred Order and founded by God in Nature, and so ever continued both before and since the Flood in all the world, where it was not invaded and violated by Seditious men: and that by inherent birth-right I ow my Sovereign Lord the King, all Allegiance next under God; and this being founded in Nature, is an indelible Character, and cannot be dissolved but by God alone, but is due in all places, whether I be in the Kings Dominions or not; but since mans fall, there was no­thing in Nature left him whereby he might attain that blessednesse from which he fell; therefore God was pleased to take extraordinarily our Nature upon him, to redeem us, that by believing on him, and observing his commands, we might attain that happinesse from which our Parents first fell, and I acknowledge it his grace, that I am baptized into this Faith. But because parum est jus, nisi sint qui possunt jura gerere, it had been to no purpose for our Saviour to have made a will, unlesse he had made Executors to execute it; he was therefore pleased to ordain 12 Apostles, and 70 Evangelists his Executors, with power to propagate it to others, untill his next coming again. I say this power no wayes intrenches upon the Regal, for it only hath reference to Christ and him crucified, and Gods Worship and Service: And as the Power no wayes intrenches upon Regality, so is there nothing in Christs will a­gainst [Page 9] it, but to advance it. For there we are commanded to pay tri­bute to Caesar, and are taught that Higher Powers are Gods Ordinance, to which men must submit for Conscience sake: but as this Ghostly Power no wayes intrenches upon the Regal, so neither doth the Regal upon Kings Conversion to Christianity, annihilate or divide this power, but it is the same, and in the same manner propagated after as before, and the executors of it, in their Office are immediately Christs Mini­sters; and as in the Gospel, so under the old Law, the Levites and Priests in the Administration of their Office, were Gods immediate Ministers: and though Regal Power over the Children of Israel were as intire and absolute as in other places, yet was Saul rejected and Uzziah smote with Leprosie for invading it.

Nor do I see why D. E. should be so zealous for propagation of a Pagan state, when as it may be he would have found as much occasion to quarel therein, as against the Bishops in a Christian; for men by the light of Nature, wheresoever they apprehended a Deity, judged it necessary to have it worshiped by separated persons ordained therunto: and there­fore though in Pagan States God was not publickly worshiped and serv'd by Bishops and Christian Priests, yet had they every where something in Analogy thereto, viz. a High Priest, and Flamens to serve him in their publick Worship, and by consequence were not so very Heathens as D. E. And pray what reason is there that God under the old Law sho ld be served by separated persons ordained thereto, and that moral men by the light of humane Nature, conform thereto, and yet only God in Chri­stian States, is fit to be publickly served by such Cattel as D. E. and his Fellows?

D. E. his third Objection is, that Christ's Unity is a Unity in heart and Spirit; whereas actus interior & exterior ea [...]dem constituunt virtu­tem. And what a Unity in heart and Spirit is, no man can tell, but as it is outwardly expressed: and our Saviour himself affirms, that he that de­nies him before men, him will he deny before his Father in Hea­ven. And what a Unity of Heart and Spirit D. E. is of, appears by the Annimadversions. And whereas D. E. tels the Bishop in his ear, that our late wars did not arise from the separation of consciencious dissentors, but from the violence and fury of unconscionable Imposers: I must needs tell D. E. it is a loud and slanderous lye; for there was nothing imposed upon the Dissentors, which was not legally imposed, and so not vio­lently, furiously, or unconscionably done, unlesse D. E. can shew where­in it was directly against Divine Laws.

[Page 10] Nor were any of these consciencious Dissentors furiously and violent­ly compelled to hold their Livings, but if they liked not the terms, they might have left them: and for these men to promise Conformity, that they would dayly offer up the publick service of the Church, Bury the dead, visit the sick, baptize Infants, and uprightly instruct the cure committed to them by their Diocesan, and do nothing of these, but in­stead of these, preach their own Passions and Affections, to make facti­ons and seditions in Church and State; and yet in conscience desire the means of the Church, is like to a man that stipluates with D. E. for a summ of money to do a thing, and doing nothing of it, in con­science desires of D. E. to pay him the mony; sure D. E. would think this man to have little conscience, and yet such men must be D. E. his Consciencious Dissentors. But sure the King and Parliament will not suffer such an affront to pass unquestioned as to make the King governing by the Laws, to be a violent, furious and unconscionable Imposer, and the cause of our late warr; and a company of Vermine and Hypocrites, who would be governed by no Laws, and yet furiously and violently impose their own wills and lusts upon their fellow Subjects, to death and utter ruine, to be the consciencious Dissentors.

8. I will not question the French Protestants standing, nor the Dutches kneeling in receiving the Sacrament, in D. E. his 8 th. objection, nor his profound Learning in the Ecclesiastical Laws of those Churches: this I will tell D. E. that by his ignorance in Divinity, he grants the Bishop, that kneeling is essential and necessary in receiving the Sacrament; for nothing done to a creature, can be Idolatry, if it were not before due to the Creator: and therefore cannot the Papists abuse kneeling at the Sa­crament to Idolatry, if kneeling in the Sacrament were not due to God; and if the abuse of a thing should take away the use of it, then must not D. E. say his prayers, because the Papists do Mass.

And whereas D. E. in his last objection is so angry with the Bishop for aspersing the whole order of the Presbyterians, with the faults of Mr. Baxter, I will tell D. E. they are such an Order as are in the cards when the Kings are out; I pray who did incorporate them so? or from whence do they derive their order? I grant they are a factious conspiracy known by that name, and the common Parent of all factions, and the Author of all our late calamities. I hope D. E. will not lay the Act of Oblivion to my charge, whereas he hath incorporated the Presbyterians, notwith­standing the Act would bury all names of difference.

I have done with his objections against the Bishops arguments, I [Page 11] shall not take notice of his quarelling with the Bishops policy; yet can­not I over-slip▪ D. E. his tenderness of conscience in his second particular for the lawfull part of the Covenant, and how zealous he saw the Cove­nanters were for restitution of his Majesty; Countrey-men in profer­ing gifts usually object, upon refusal, that they know not what to do with them; such was the Covenanters case, they had lost their domi­nion they had usurped over their fellow Subjects (and in the Coffee­houses we define a Presbyterian to be one, who if he may not perse­cute other men, cryes out he is persecuted himself)—the Indepen­dents, nay they were like to be undone by them; no wonder there­fore, when they had lost all other means, if they endeavoured to erect their Dagon by means of his Majesty; but since a repenting Presbyte­rian was scarce ever heard of, and since it is evident to all men, that the whole gang of them retain the same temper and metall they ever did, and since not only so many places in Church, and almost all the places of trust in Court swarme [...] so with them, It will not, I hope, be a crime, if good Subjects pray for a prosperous Reign upon his Ma­jesty, lest upon any adverse fortune, those very men serve him, as they did his Saint-like, and Martyr'd Father.

FINIS:

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