Remarks on Remarks: OR, THE RECTOR of BƲRY's SERMON VINDICATED: His CHARGE Exhibited against the Dissenters for Endeavouring to Corrupt the Word of GOD, Justi­fied and farther Confirm'd.

ALSO The Absurdities and Notorious Falsities of Mr. Owen, and other pretended Ministers of the Gospel are detected and expos'd.

By THOMAS GIPPS, Rector of BURY.

Siquis est, qui dictum in se in clementiùs existimet esse, sic existimet; sciat Responsum non dictum esse, quia laesit prius. Terent. Eunuch. Prol.

LONDON, Printed for Ephraim Johnston, Bookseller in Man­chester, MDCXCVIII.

ERRATA.

PAg. 1. Lin. ult. r. attack, p. 4. l. 9. for Acts read Accounts, p. 5. l. 22. r. Remarker, l. 37. r. Manchester, p. 8. l. 5. r. Remarker's, l. 14. r. intolerable, p. 14. l. 32. for the r. that, p. 15. l. 13. dele? p. 21. l. 7. r. [...], l. 23. after [...] add by, p. 27. l. 8. r. [...], p. 30. l. 28. r. Divisions, p. 40. l. 32. r. subprior, p. 41. l. 36. for noising r. nosing, p. 46. l. 31. r. convivae, p. 52. l. ult. r. Ʋoaligon.

CHAP. I.

IN these Parts of the Nation, for any thing I ever heard or knew, there had been for some Years a perfect Peace, at least a Cessation of Arms between the Church of England and the Dissenters, there was no Writing, no Publishing Inve­ctives, no raising of the old Disputes, nor so much as Preaching against one another, at least not in any foul and exasperating Man­ner: Our common Danger (I verily thought) and our common In­terest, like a Charm, had laid the Devil of Contention, and con­fin'd him to his own Place, never to enter in among us any more, till Peace, Plenty and Security from Foraign Enemies should (as 'tis too apt) conjure him up again, and embroil us with new Disor­ders. But contrary to all expectation, even when our public Af­fairs were at a low ebb, and whilst we were strugling with greater Difficulties, then we could hope of a suddain to surmount, the Peaceable Men (as they affect to be call'd) blew the Trumpet, and when we dream'd of no such Thing, assaulted us in our very Camp.

In the Year 1695. appear'd at Manchester, an Author of pro­digious Confidence, who, without any just Provocation, caus'd to be Printed his Scurrilous Libel entituled—Notes upon the Lord Bishop of Salisbury's four last Discourses, &c. It is incredible how the Dis­senters hugg'd and commended it as one of the sweetest Morsels they had ever tasted. And tho' it's ingredients were mostly Gall and Wormwood,Ezek. 3. 3. Impudence and Slander, yet was it in their Mouths as Honey for sweetness.

By it's Title one would imagin it calculated for the Meridian of Salisbury Diocess: But 'twas compos'd at Manchester, there best known, and design'd to expose the Members of the Church of England in those Quarters. We lay at that time (as I hinted before) in a pro­found Peace, and had given no Occasion for such a sudden and sur­prizing Attach. The Notes pretend indeed to be an Answer to [Page 2] the Bishop's four Discourses, and the Libeller plainly tells the World, that he was induc'd to write as he did, because my Lord of Sa­lisbury had (as he speaks) reflected upon the Dissenters as Separatists; Notes p. 1. but this will not (I presume) excuse the Authors Rudeness, and the Ca­lumnies, which he fill'd that Pamphlet with. It must be confest, that excellent Prelate in one of his four Discourses directed his Cler­gy, how to demean 'emselves towards Separatists (meaning the Dissenters:) But at the same time he us'd 'em with all the Meekness and Charity, that is due unto those, who differ from us. He gives 'em no hard Words, neither pursu'd 'em with any offensive Lan­guage: His business there was not to prove the Charge of Schism upon them (that was taken for granted between him and his Clergy,) but to shew how they were to be brought back into the Fold, and into Unity with the Church: To which purpose ‘He distinguish'd between those, who separated thro' Ignorance or Prepossession, and others whom worldly Interest, ungovournable Passions, or some Evil Affections had prevail'd with to depart from our Com­munion. The former (he said) are to be dealt with, with a great deal of Tenderness and Candour, are to be pitied rather then insulted over, they are not the Schismatics which St. Paul calls Carnal: Their Ignorance will happily find the same Mercy at the hand of God, as we hope our own will in other Cases. But the latter the Carnal Schismatics, being such, as are gone out from us, not upon any true Principle of Conscience, but on some carnal worldly Design, were to be handled more roundly, and their Wounds lay'd open with more sharpness and severity.’ After this manner the good Bishop wrote unto his Clergy, nor can I recollect any thing said by him, that could Exasperate any sober and conscientious Dissenter: I am sure the Note-maker pretended nothing else, but the supposing them Separatists.

Now by Carnal Schismatics, are (I reckon) to be understood all tho [...]e, who upon any worldly Account whatever, desert the Churches, and joyn themselves to the Separate Assemblies ex. gr. a Person leaves the Parochial Communion, and runs to the Barns, induc'd thereto thro' the restless importunity of his Wise an Heiress, to secure unto himself and Family her Estate, and to keep Peace at home. This Man is the Carnal Separatist, St. Paul and the Bishop speak of. His Religion is vain, it hangs on his Wife's Apron­strings not on his own Conscience; he abandons the Authority, which God has given him over his Wife, and truckles to hear as [Page 3] Adam did unto Eve. In a word, he suffers his Wife to usurp the Dominion to command him, whom she ought to obey, and to prescribe Rules to him,1 Cor. 14. 35. of whom she ought to learn, and to be instructed. Upon the same Principle such a Man would turn Mahometan, as Solomon did Idolater. 1 Kings 11. 3. But to re­turn to the Bishop of Salisbury and the Notes.

I cannot see that the Dissenters had just Cause from any thing spoken in that Discourse, to treat his Lordship and the whole Body of the Church of England, in so unmannerly and contemptuous a Manner, as the Note-maker has taken the liberty to do. It had been proper enough for any one of 'em to have endeavour'd to shake off the Imputation of Schism, and to have fasten'd it upon us, pro­vided he had us'd the same Temper of Meekness and Candor as my Lord of Salisbury has done: No body then would have blam'd him. But a Man must be excus'd, if, when he wants Arguments to make good his Point, he lashes out into down-right Railing and Billings­gate. For the famous Note-maker has loaded us with all the spightful Reflections and malitious Imputations and artful Declama­tions, which ill Nature, want of good Breeding, or a corrupt Phancy could furnish a profess'd Buffoon with. It is not my Intenti­on to confirm this in Particulars, and to that end to pursue this Li­beller thro' every Paragraph or Page. It shall suffice to observe that he has impeach'd us expresly as the Persons, who have been the Cause of that Deluge of Atheism, Socinianism, Popery, Lewd­ness of Manners, ay and of the Schisms too, which have crept in­to the Church and Kingdom;Notes P. 4, 8, 9. and this he has done without any o­ther Occasion or Provocation pretended, than the Bishop of Salis­bury's supposing the Dissenters Separatists in his Letter to his own Clergy; or (I may rather say) than the too gentle Expressions, which he in vain bestow'd upon these Schismatics, the Foxes and the Firebrands of this Poor Church and Nation, as he might more truly have styl'd 'em.

A little after the 'foresaid Libel was come to my Hand, I was presented with another call'd a Sermon preach'd at the Opening of a Se­parate Chappel by Mr. Baldwin. This Gentleman being greatly plea­sed (I was told as much by one that heard him say it) with the Note-makers admirable Performance, and declaring, that there were a great many biting Truths in it (that is, that we of the Church of England are all of us Promoters of Atheism, Socinianism, Popery, Schism and decay of Morals in this Nation) suffer'd his said Sermon [Page 4] to peep abroad, thinking doubtless with himself to reap some of the Honour due to that mighty Undertaking of trampling underfoot the establish'd Church of Engl [...]nd. I have already in another way delivered my Mind of this Sermon of Mr. Baldwins, and perhaps shall hereafter let the World see how weak and absurd it was. Here only let it be observ'd, that he took upon him to revile the Church of England with Arminianism, and with Popery, and now and then according to his weak Power (for he had a willing Mind) to give us an impertinent Wipe on some other Acts: How justly it makes no matter with such Men; it sufficeth them that they have some pretence to reproach us, and Confidence enough to load us with Calumnies.

Semper ego Auditor tantum? Nunquamne reponam,
Vexatus toties Rauoi Theseide Cod [...]i?

Do these Men in good earnest think, after they have first brav'd us and openly provok'd us with Lies and Slanders, to cast us into a sleep with a dose of Opium, to stop our Mouths with Maxims, which they are not at all careful themselves to observe? I mean those of having sincere Affection to the Truth, Remarks Epist. De­dic. Deference towards Superi­ours, and Charity towards Neighbours, especially in a Conjuncture, whenour Civil as well our Religious Interests do so loudly call for the Exerciss of 'em? To say nothing here of the Want of Charity, of Truth and Sin­cerity in those Notes, has the Author paid due Deference to his Superiours? If he has, why did he not own his Libel by affixing his Name to it? At least, why not the Name of the Printer? That we might have gratify'd our Curiosity with the knowledg of so celebra­ted a Writer. The matter is Plain: The Note-maker has paid such Deference to his Superiour my Lord Bishop of Salisbury, as happily would have cost him dear, if he had not been Incognito. But this is not the first time, that the Rulers of the People have been evil spoken of by Authors, who walk the Streets in Masquerade, and wound their Honour behind the back.

It will perhaps be ask'd, what's this to the Minister at Oswestry? If an unknown Person at Manchester has writ a tart Book against the Episcopal Party?

And I also ask what was it to the Minister at Oswestry, if the Re­ctor of Bury preach'd a Sermon in Vindication of the Church of England against the Lancashire Dissenters? But there is no great [Page 5] Mystery in this: The Rector had in another Treatise discover'd the Ministers design'd Corruption of St. Chrysostom, a piece of pi­ous Fraud, which ought never to be forgotten, and therefore the Minister with the help of his Friends at Manchester, was to give his Adversary a Diversion on some other Subject, and to patch up his broken Credit with Remarks on the Rectors Sermon. I said, with the help of his Friends at Manchester, but I rather believe the Note-maker was Principal in the Remarks. Mr. Owen is the pretended Author of 'em, and as I suppose sign'd 'em: Yet any one, who reads the Minister at Oswestry his other Writings, may easily discern such a different Air in the Remarks from his other undoubted Per­formances, as will force him to conclude, that Mr. Omen is but the reputed Father of this spurious Off-spring.

Or what, if one should guess the Remarks to be the Work of a Club of Ministers, of which he at Manchester was President pro tempore? This is certain that the Remarks in their way to London took a Tour to Manchester; there we heard of 'em long before their Publication, and had some Account of 'em also. There they re­ceiv'd their last finishing Strokes ('tis thought) and there they were drest up with all the gaudy Feathers and Embellishments, which the Wit of the Party could furnish them with. So that if one ask'd the Remarker his Name, and he would please to return a fair An­swer, he must say, my Name is Logion, for me are many.

But the great Question is, who is this Note-maker, who from behind the Curtain like the Heathen Priests delivers his Oracles? What is his Name? Unto whom does he belong?

'Tis no difficult Matter to resolve this Knot: That he is a Dis­senter, no one can doubt, that he is one of that Party in Manchester was once fairly acknowledg'd unto me by another, who is in their Interest, and of no small Reputation among them, who also ad­ded, that the Notes were but a Preface to another Work which the Author intended to set forth, I suppose to the Remarks. So then this Solo­mon's Porch is as big as his Temple, his Preface as large as his Book, and the mighty Work we were put in hopes of, is dwindled into a few sorry Remarks upon the Rectors Sermon. But we may make yet a clearer Discovery of the Note-maker, if we will but consider that a Dissenter within the Parish of Machester frankly own'd, that a certain Minister of the Gospel at Manchester wrote those Notes. We need no more Evidence. Only it deserves to be observ'd that the Defence of, &c. (a Book since Publish'd by the Minister at Oswe­stry) [Page 6] was sent down not to the Author at Oswestry, but to the Mi­nister at Manchester to be Revis'd and Corrected, as if Mr. Owen were not able to rectify the Mistakes committed in the Printing his own Book. This manifests a Confederacy and Correspondence be­tween 'em, and from hence it may be fairly gather'd, that the Notes and the Remarks have been done in a great Measure by the same Hand at Manchester. But especially, when we see 'em so like one another both in their Features and their Drapery, we cannot suffer our selves any longer to doubt, but the Remarks were ham­mer'd out at the same Forge, or at least polish'd by the same skil­ful Hand, as were the Notes.

But be these Things as they will, I thought it not improper to give the foresaid brief Account of the Notes on the Bishop of S. four Disconrses, if it were only to vindicate my self from the common Aspersion, as if I were the Occasion of the Disturbances that are now among us, whereas I profess and I hope it is already prov'd, that the Note-maker has been the Troubler of Israel. 'Tis He who first blew up the Coals of Dissention, which before lay as it were Dead in the Ashes. Do the Dissenters think that our Hands and our Tongues must be tied, whilst theirs are at liberty and let loose to pursue us in the most Contemptuous Manner, with all the Bitter­ness that Malice and Rage can inspire 'em with? Or can they hope to lull us asleep into Patience and Stoical Apathy, that they may with the greater ease and security torment and oppress us? Shall they prescribe unto us Charity towards them, whilst they are un­mercifully teasing and exposing us? What a Master-piece of Re­ligious Hypocrisy is this to stile themselves Ministers of the Gospel (of Peace they wisely leave out) and chalk out the way wherein we are to walk, but in the mean time transgress it themselves: To bind heavy Burthens and lay them on our Shoulders and not move 'em with one of their own Fingers? In short there is no colour for their Complaints, that we write and preach Controversies, that we tax our Adversaries with their Faults, that we set 'em forth with some Zeal and Warmth: 'Tis themselves which compel us, tho' non vident id manticae quod à tergo est, they cast their own Sins behind their Backs. They have hitherto at most been paid, but in their own Coin, and receiv'd the common Measure of Justice quid pro quo, with this difference and advantage on our side, they were the Aggressors, and Nature it self teaches us to stand on our Guard, [Page 7] and to protect our selves, whether it be by offensive or defensive Weapons.

It must then be confest, that the two first mention'd Writings, the Notes on my Lord Bishop of S. four Discourses, and Mr. Baldwin's Sermon at the opening of a new erected Meeting-house drew the Rector into the present Skirmish, which he was unwilling to decline, least our Cause should suffer by silence, and the Dissenters vainly ima­gin they had got any Advantage of us. That Saying of the Wise Man came into my thoughts—Answer a Fool according to his own Folly, Prov. 26. 5. least he be Wise in his own Conceit. I see no reason then but a Man may be angry, and rescent the Injuries of an Adversary with some Indignation, the Apostle permits it, Eph. 4. 26. And Solomon tea­ches that—To every thing there is a Season, Eccles. 3. 1, 7, 8. and a time to every Purpose under the Heaven, among the rest, that there is a time to Speak, and a time of War. And was it not high time to Speak, when we were by the Note-maker treated with Scorn and Insolence, and such things were laid to our Charge, which, if true, would justly render us o­dious to God and Man? And unworthy the Protection of the Go­vernment. I thought fit therefore to make use of the Policy of Scipio Africanus, to carry the War into the Enemies own Country, and to lay unto the Dissenters Charge a Crime, which I believe was prov'd upon them better than Atheism or Socinianism was or can be upon us.

Hereat the two Ministers at Oswestry and Manchester grew angry, and have made Remarks upon my Sermon: 'Tis what I look'd for, and design'd, to the end the World may see, that these Sober and Charitable Men can be intemperately Angry, when they appre­hend themselves touch'd to the quick, and therefore ought to give others leave to be sensible of the Injuries first done 'em without a­ny Provocation. Briefly, I am not surpriz'd at the Remarks, which are fraught with so much Venom and Rancour. I never expected Mercy at their Hands, who have no Mercy, no not in the Times of Peace, and when no Occasion is given 'em to break out into Passion, who in their calmest Mood, when Meekness and Chari­ty seems to sit on their Brow, and when the whole Face is in ap­pearence o're-spread with universal Sweetness and Smiles, are even then, as I have learn'd by Experience, designing Mischief in their Hearts against their Neighbours, and secretly undermining 'em. Upon the whole Matter, then the declamatory and popular Insinu­ations of the Remarks in his Ep. Dedic of want of sincere Affection to [Page 8] the Truth, of Deference to Superiours, and of Charity to Neighbours and other like Strains against false and malicious Accusing our Brethren, with all the dirty stuff wherewith this fierce Champion of the good old Cause has bespatter'd the Rector, recoil into the Note-maker and the Remarker own Faces, and lie heavy upon the whole Body of the Dissenters and some of the Politic and intreaguing Trimmers in and about Manchester.

Now in the Reply, I give unto the Remarker I will not make it my profest Business like a Merry Andrew to mind little else than the making Sport with my Adversary, as he has done with me, that's the least in my thoughts: I will take care chiefly to attend unto the Argument it self, and see that firmly establish'd, not ca­ring much what becomes of the drolling and the scoffing Part. Altho', if now and then, when his intollerable Absurdities and Im­pieties require it, I take the freedom to shew him his own Face in his own Glass, 'tis hop'd I may merit Pardon of the Candid Rea­der.

CHAP. II.
Being a Reply to that Part of the Remarks which Mr. Owen calls the Preface.

THE Remarker here in the Enterance, promises his Reader an Idea of the Rector's Sermon, but is not as good as his word. He has presented us with whatever he believ'd would bear a Dis­pute, and which he had the least Colour to make a Flourish with among the common People, but he has overlook'd, and neglected the most considerable things advanc'd against the Exceptions of Mr. de Laune, which he ought not to have past over, since he understood that Gentleman's Defence. Instead then of an Idea of the Rector's Sermon, he has presented the Reader with a Specimen of his own cavilling Humour. This is an hopeful beginning, when he who is pretending to vindicate others from the Charge of diminishing from the Word of God, stumbles at the very Threshold, and makes no difficulty to diminish from the Words of his Neighbours. If Sa­criledge or Robbing of God be a Crime, I am sure Burglary or [Page 9] Stealing from one's Brother is no Virtue: And if the former is by Law punishable without Benefit of Clergy, so is the latter also.

Mr. de Laune (as I mention'd in my Sermon) had alledg'd against our establish'd Worship,Serm. p. 3. ‘That in the Psalms used in the Liturgy are left out the Ancient Hebrew Titles, which are (says he) Ori­ginal and Parts of the holy Scripture, having a Tendency towards the unfolding the Misterys therein contain'd. Hereunto I reply'd, That it were well, if the Dissenters would first prove, that those Hebrew Titles are Original and essential Parts of the holy Scrip­ture.’ This Mr. de Laune ought to have done before he so round­ly and peremptorily challeng'd us with corrupting the Word of God: But he did not so much as attempt it.

Mr. Owen has now endeavour'd to supply that defect, tho' at the same time he professes he will not enter into this Controversy: Pref. of Remarks p. 1. But whether he will or no he's got into it before he's aware, and argues that, ‘The Titles are as Ancient as the Psalms themselves for ought appears to the contrary, they being in all the Hebrew and Greek Copies, that over I have seen: That the Jewish Church receiv'd 'em as Parts of Scripture, and they are most of 'em translated by the LXX and by Theodotion Symmachus and Aquila, as also by the Targumist: That they are received in the Christian Church as Canonical Scripture; Jerom translates them in his Version, and they are in the modern Versions: That some of 'em are undeni­ably Canonical, as that of the 18th Psalm mention'd 2 Sam. 22. Others of them must be prefix'd by the Pen-man, or by a Per­son divinely inspir'd: For they refer to passages of History not mention'd in the body of the Psalm, &c..’ Ʋnto all which I an­swer.

That the Subscriptions of St. Paul's Epistles, are to be found in all the Greek Copies I have seen or heard of, save that of Claromont, are always translated and taken into our modern Versions, and yet the Remarker will not own them for Canonical Scripture. It does not then hence follow, that the Hebrew Titles are essential Parts of the Psalms, no more than that the Subscriptions are Canonical.

That the Jewish Church receiv'd the Titles and annext them to the Psalms I will not dispute: But that they receiv'd them as essenti­al Parts of the Psalms, is the Question, we receive the Postscripts of St. Paul's Epistles, and the very English Contents of the Chapters of the Bibles, but we esteem neither Canonical.

[Page 10] The Subscriptions of St. Paul's Epistles are translated into all or most Languages, the Italian, Spanish, French, high Dutch, low Dutch, English (and Scotch I imagin) all Christian Churches re­ceive 'em, yet not as Canonical Scripture, but Ancient Records affixt unto the Epistles, when and by whom is not known. The like may with Reason be said of the Titles. It must be confest, that the Subscriptions of the Epistles, are not the same in all the ancient M. SS. nor in the Syriack and Arabick Versions, from whence it is rightly concluded; that they were not annext thereunto by any in­spired Person: And for the very same reason I argue, that the Ti­tles of the Psalms are not Canonical Scripture, there being great va­riety to be observ'd in them: If we compare the Hebrew, the Greek and the Oriental Versions, not two of 'em agreeing one with ano­ther in their Titles.

That the Title of the 18th Psalm is to be found 2 Sam. 22. is ve­ry true: But it does not follow, that an inspir'd Person affix'd it unto the 18th Psalm, as it now lies in the Collection of Psalms commonly call'd the Psalter of David. So that those words, as plac'd before the 18. Psalm, may in strictness be said not be to Canonical there, tho' they be Canonical, 2 Sam. 22. Ex. gr. Mr. Delaune has accus'd us for foisting 3 Verses into the 14th. Psalm, and does therefore certainly imply, that they are not essential parts of that Psalm, tho' no body will deny 'em to be Canonical Scripture in other Places. The like may with as good Reason be said of the Title of the 18th. Psalm.

That the other Titles were prefixed by the Pen-men, or by some other Divinely inspired Person (which is the Question in con­troversie) is not prov'd from that Reason, sc. because the Titles refer to Passages of History not mentioned in the Body of the Psalms. 'Tis a great mistake to affirm, that the Titles refer to Passages in Hi­story not mention'd in the Body of the Psalms, as I could easily shew, if it were worth the while. True, there are no particular and very obvious Expressions in many Psalms, relating to the Historical Passages to which the Titles refer; but there are general ones, which gave the Collectors of the Book of Psalms an occasion of affixing those Titles to the Psalms. Ex. gr. in the 90th. Psalm, tho' Moses and the Israelites are not mention'd in it, yet many Verses of that Psalm, and particularly the 9th. and the 10th. Verse, were thought to allude unto the Condition of the Israelites in the Wil­derness, whose stubbornness God punish'd by cutting their Live▪ [Page 11] short of what in the Course of Nature in those days is supposed to have been the ordinary length of Mans life. By such general and obscurer Passages in the Body of the Psalms (I do imagin) observing Men were induc'd to prefix the Titles. Thus Bishop Pearson after the same manner has with great Judgment and Curiosity fixt the Time and the Occasion of all the Treatises and Epistles of St. Cy­prian grounding himself upon sundry Passages,Annals Cyprian. which he observ'd in them, and accordingly the time and occasion is affixt unto the beginning of every Epistle and Treatise in the Oxford Edition.

But to return to Mr. Owen's Reason. The Titles (says he) refer to Passages of History not mention'd in the Body of the Psalm. This is a good Argument, (if it were true) that the Titles were not added by the Pen-men themselves, nor by any Divinely inspired Person; and that they are not Canonical, but the Conjectures of meer Men, which is the Reason also (I suppose) why many Psalms have no Titles at all, and many none to any purpose at all, some, whose Titles are grounded on very dark and doubtful Expressions in the Body of the Psalms, and some in the 70. have Titles, which the Hebrew Text has not. All which variety arises from the ignorance, or inobservance of those who prefixt the Titles, which would not have happen'd, if the Titles had been added by some inspir'd Person.

Having refeli'd the Remarkers Arguments brought to prove the Titles to be essential Parts of the Psalms, I will try what may be said in proof, that they are not, at least, not of a certainty, essen­tial Parts of the Psalms.

In the first Place, then I argue, that if some, or if any one Ti­tle may justly be question'd, then this renders all the rest suspici­ous. That of the 90th. Psalm, A Prayer of Moses the man of God, seems not to have been added by any Divinely inspir'd Person. There are plausible Reasons to be given, why Moses did not com­pose it. For thus the Psalmist speaks, ver. 10. The days of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength, they be fourscore, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Now the Life of Man in Moses's time was much longer than seventy or eighty years. Job, who was ('tis thought) contemporary with Moses, liv'd 140 years, even after his Afflictions, and at length died being old and full of days, (Chap. 42. 16, 17.) Levi liv'd 137 years, (Exod. 6. 16.) [...]th lived 133 years, ( [...] 18.) Amram 137. (ver. 20.) Aaron was 123 years old when he dy'd, (Numb. 33. 39.) Joshua dy'd [Page 12] being 110 years old (Chap. 24. 29.) Miriam according to Isaaeson, (see Numb. 20. 1.) was 129 years old. Caleb 85. (Josh. 147. 10.) and was alive, (Judg. 1. 15.) And Jethro, (Heb 11. 24 Exod. 2. 11, &c. Act. 7. 23. Exod. 7. 7. Chap. 18.) must needs have been an 100 years old and upwards. Yea, Ehud the Judge an Age or more after Joshua lived to be above 100 years old, having go­vern'd the Israelites eighty years, (Judg. 3. 39.) But above all, this Moses, the Man of God, the suppos'd Pen-man of this Psalm, was eighty years old when he was sent unto Pharaoh (Act. 7. 23, 30.) This must be before he could Pen the Psalm: He afterwards at­tain'd unto the 120th. year, and then dy'd: His Eyes were not dim, nor his natural force abated, Deut. 34. 7. It is not then likely that Moses was the Author of this Psalm, because the Body of the Psalm does not at all agree with the times, wherein that Man of God flourish'd, and himself had no occasion of complaining of the shortness and labour, and sorrow of our days, including himself. It must be confest, that this point is bandy'd by Learned Men, and sundry Answers are offer'd to the Arguments produc'd, which I will not trouble the Reader with, only let it be consider'd, that several Authors in Mr. Pool's Synopsis deliver their Opinion very cautiously,Argum. ad Psal. 90. Veri simile est Mosem hunc Psalmum composuisse, say they. 'Tis but likely then at most. I add, Greg. Nyssen reckons this Psalm among those which had no Title according to the Jews. And Basil says, David wrote it, and adds, that it wants an Inscription, tho' he himself gives it one. Of the 91. Psalm likewise he notes that it had obtain'd a right Inscription, implying that Inscriptions were Human Additions.

I'll produce one other Instance. 'Tis the Title of the 34. Psal. A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed. The King of Gath here meant is call'd Achish, 1 Sam. 21. 10. and not Abimelech, from whence the Truth of this Title may be doubted. We are told indeed that Abi­melech was a common Name of the Kings of the Philistines, as Caesar and Augustus were of the Roman Emperors. But I am not satisfy'd with this. For I read but of one, at most two Successive Philistine Kings of that name, Gen. 20. 2. Chap. 26. 8. Kings of Gerar. This was in Abraham and Isaac's days. But to fancy that the name of Abi­melech was continu'd among the Philistine Kings unto) the days of David about 800 years is not very likely, we meeting not with any one King so call'd in all that interval of time, save one of the [Page 13] Kings of Israel, Judg. 9. 6. who had no other name besides. Nor is the Achish King of Gath any where call'd Abimelech, except in this Title. Now that which might give occasion unto this mistake in the Title of his Psalm was, that in the said first of Sam. 21. there it mentior made of Ahimelech the High Priest of the Israelites, whose Congress with David takes up the nine first Verses of that Chapter, and may with some appearance of Reason therefore be said to have occasioned that Error in the Title of putting Ahime­lech for Achish.

That the Book of Psalms has receiv'd some humane Additions may be argu'd from those words rack'd to the 72. Psalm, at the end, The Prayers of David the Son of Jess are ended, which is mani­festly false, if the Titles of the Psalms are true, there being very many Prayers of David, which follow in this Book of Psalms.

If any stress should be laid upon the Distinction between Prayers and Psalms, I reply that the 142. Psalm is call'd a Prayer of David; and the Original word is the same in both, sc. [...] and [...] differing only in number. Besides the Psalms that follow the 72 are as truly Prayers as they which go before it. Some body then not inspir'd has either transpos'd the Psalms, or else added to them the foresaid Conclusion of the 72. Psalm, being either misplac'd, or thrust into the Text. It is not then impossible, but the like may have been done at the beginning of the Psalms by prefixing Titles unto them.

There are Titles added to very many Psalms in the 70 Ver­sion, which are not to be met with in the Hebrew. For Example, Psal. 137. [...]. Jeremy compos'd this mournful Song in the name of the Captives at Babylon, as any one will grant, that con­siders the Subject matter of the Psalm, and compares it with the state of the Israelites in Jeremiah's time. I ask then, is this Title Divinely inspir'd? And yet Jerome translates it, and comments upon it, as he does upon other of the Seventy Titles.

Lastly, the Oriental Versions the Syriack and the Arabick and the Chalde [...] Paraphrase oft-times want Titles, frequently change 'em, and sometimes add Titles, when neither the Hebrew nor the Greek lay claim to any at all, which could never have happen'd, if they had been Canonical Scripture.

Theodoret seems to believe the Inscriptions Canonical, as being found (so he says) in the Psalms, when the Seventy Translated 'em into Greek. But Gregory Nyssen who flourish'd half a Century be­fore [Page 14] him, observes, That among the Christians (who used the Seventy Translation) some Psalms have the Inscription of the Pro­phet, but not among the Hebrews; that sometimes the first Sen­tence of the Psalm, (so I understand him) is put into the Place of the Title both with the Christians and the Jews after the manner of our Liturgy Translation; that the Jews rejected the Titles of some Psalms, which the Christians receiv'd. He reckons 12 of this kind, viz. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 32, 42, 70, 73, 90, & 103 Psalms. None of which (it should seem) had at that time among the Jews any Inscription, tho' at this day all but the Second have. He no where pleads for the Divine Authority of the Titles. How could he, when there was such a disagreement between the Jews and Christians about 'em? He also speaks, as if some Titles were re­ceiv'd by Ecclesiastical Custom: but 'tis hard to determine at this time of day, which are by Divine Inspiration, and which by Custom.

From the whole some will be apt to conclude, that the Hebrew Titles are not essential Parts of the Psalms, but the Conjectures and Additions of uninspired Persons. I for my share am of that Opi­nion. All must confess that they are not Canonical Scripture of a certainty, which was all I insisted on in the Sermon; and therefore that Mr. Delaune did unworthily, when he positively objected to the Church of England, that she had left out of the Psalms some Ori­ginal Parts, meaning the Titles, when 'tis not certain, that they are Original.

The Minister at Oswestry here takes fair leave of his Client, and bids him shift for himself as well as he can, having no more to say in behalf of Mr. Delaune. Only, whereas I put the question, why the Titles were not all translated into plain English, if they were so serviceable to the unfolding the Mysteries contain'd in the Psalms, he surlily tells me the Bishops (they being the Translators of the Bible into English) could best resolve the Question. Pref. p. 2. I thank him hearti­ly for this, and desire the good People among the Dissenters, to think of it. Mr. Owen has herein done my Lords the Bishops some Justice before he was aware in acknowledging, that the Scriptures being in the English Tongue is owing to their Labours, Learning and Piety. But 'twill be objected, that they have not Translated all the Titles. True: Neither have the Dissenters, tho' they had power and opportunity in the Reign of the Long Parliament and Oliver; and had more lately Liberty to do it, if twere worth the [Page 15] while, and a matter of so great moment, as Mr. de Laune has made the World to believe.

If it might not be thought a digression from my present purpose, I would observe, that the Mysteries in the Psalms (as far as I am able to judge) are those, which relate unto Jesus Christ, or those princi­pally; but there is not one Title in the Hebrew, which is at all use­ful to the unfolding any of these Mysteries. For I do profess that after I am told it is a Psalm, a Song, a Song or Psalm, a Psalm of David, a Prayer of Moses, a Psalm at the Dedication of Davids House, a Psalm for the Sabbath, sent to such or such a chief Musician, on what Instrument it was to be sung, a Golden Psalm, a Psalm of Instruction, of Degrees, &c. I am just as wise as I was before, as to the Mysteries contain'd in such Psalms. The like I affirm of the rest of the Titles? 'Twas therefore unfair in Mr. de Laune to bear his ignorant and unobserving Readers in hand, as if the Titles unfolded the Myste­ries of the Psalms.

To the other Questions I there put, the Minister returns but a very sorry and evasive Answer, thus, They are not worth—An­swering.

However, he might methinks have diverted his Friends in and about Manchester with a Jest or two. They would have taken it for a solid Answer, and cry'd him up as the Jews did Herod, Act. 12. 22. But to the end the impartial Reader may see, that at least some of my Questions were to the purpose, and ought to have been reply'd to, or else Mr. Delaune left in the lurch undefended, and convict of dealing very dishonestly with us, I will draw one or two of those Questions into the form of an Argument, and then it will be seen, whether they are worth Answering, or whether Mr. Owen were able to answer 'em, so as to vindicate Mr. Delaune, or get any advantage of the Rector.

Setting aside then the Controversie about the Titles (which I will now suppose are Cononical Scripture of a certainty) yet Mr. Delaune had no Reason to accuse us of leaving them out of our Li­turgy Translation, which we sing or say; because the Dissenters themselves leave 'em out of their Psalms in Meter, nor do they sing 'em at their Divine Worship. Mr. Delaune therefore had no room to complain of us, when the Dissenters were guilty in the same kind. It will be time enough to quarrel with us, after they shall have amended their own fault. In the mean while they are so much the more inexcusable, that they have not to this day reform'd, [Page 16] what they seem to be perswaded is amiss. But the Truth is, were it never so manifest and certain, that the Titles are essential Parts of the Psalms, yet I believe neither the Church of England, nor Mr. Delaune, nor his Vindicator, nor any wise Dissenter would think fit to advise the Singing them, or putting them into Meter at the head of the Singing Psalms. Mr. Delaune's Exception there­fore was nothing but noise and cavil, and impertinence, which was the thing I design'd, and did effectually demonstrate in my Sermon. Instead then of saying my Questions, Are not worth An­swering, the Remarker should have done me right, and his Client no Injustice by confessing fairly, that Mr. Delaune impeach'd the Church of England without cause, and that himself was not able to justifie him. But he must be excus'd. His business and his head lies another way, viz. abusing the Rector and Bantering the ignorant and innocent People of his own Party. He has been so far from Exercising Charity to his Neighbours, that he has not been just to any side, no not to himself. In plain terms he has be­ly'd himself, and pretended the contrary to what he could not but know, sc. that those Questions merited an Answer in the Contro­versie between Mr. Delaune and me.

2. In the next place Mr. Delaune excepted against the Establish'd Church, ‘That we read some select Portions of Scripture, commonly call'd Epistles and Gospels, and not the intire Chapters, which (says he) is a curtalling and mangling the Scriptures, which thereby be­come quite another thing,Serm. p. 5. &c. than the Evangelists intended in the Gospels, or the Apostles in the Epistles, altogether ruining the Scope and Connexion in divers Places.’ To this I reply'd,

‘That the Dissenters sing some small Portions of Psalms, which with them is not curtailing or mangling the Psalms: That they read single Chapters, into which the inspir'd Pen-men did not divide their Writings, as well as not into those shorter Sections call'd Epistles and Gospels; that 'tis as lawful (and perhaps as edifying) to read these, as whole Chapters, that there is often a Connexion between Chapter and Chapter, which binders not the Dissenters reading them severally; that this is every whit as much disturbing the Scope of those Places, as our reading the Epistles and Gospels is: that those Paragraphs of Scripture have two senses, a Relative, and an Independent sense: that tho' the Re­lative sense cannot be understood without its neighbouring Parts, yet it is not ruin'd thereby; to omit for a time is not ruining [Page 17] the Scope; nor doing it the least Injury. That the independent Sense however is still safe; that by the Rule imply'd in this Ob­jection, the Dissenters (who are not very fond of reading any at all) will be oblig'd to read many Chapters together, happily whole Books, and to sing the 119. Psal. at once.’ And what says the Remarker to all this?

He suggests that we omit reading some Scriptures (even whole Chapters and Books as he gathers from our Kalender) which seems to be a diminishing from the Word of God. Pref. p. 2.

This is nothing to the Defence of Mr. Delaune, but a Digression from the Argument in hand, which is call'd [...], and is meer cavil and shuffling. It betrays the weakness of Mr. Owen's Defence of Mr. Delaune. Our omitting Chapters and Books will not vindicate Mr. Delaune's unjust Accusation of us about reading the Epistles and Gospels. As for the rest of my Re­ply to Mr. Delaune, the Remarker puts me off with this slight An­swer, I leave him and Mr. Delaune to argue, &c.

But Mr. Delaune is long since dead; where and when we shall meet, God only knows: I am pretty sure not in this World. Mr. Owen perhaps with the help of our Lancashire Exorcists will under­take to bring Mr. Delaune back again. Why not? They who can cast out Devils, 'tis probable can raise the Dead. One Miracle is as easily wrought as another; yet still the mischief is, tho' these Wonder-workers should conjure him up again, as the Woman of Endor did Samuel, I am not sure the Rector would have the cou­rage to meet him. In plain terms Mr. O. has declin'd the Cause, being as little able to make good the Objection laid against us, as the Accuser himself was.

3. Mr. Delaune tax'd the establish'd Church, That in the Liturgy. Translation of the Psalms three whole Verses are foisted into the 14th. Psalm, immediately after the third Verse.

Hereunto I return'd, ‘That the inspir'd Pen-men of the New Testament had done the same,Serm. p. 7. 1 Cor. 15. 54, 55, v. that is, had put distant Passages of Scripture together,See 2 Cor. 6. 16, 17, 18. com­pared with Isa. 52. 11. Jer. 31. 1, 9. and cited 'em as one single and intire Testimony, That St. Paul had borrowed these very three objected Verses at least from other Psalms and Books of the Old Testament, and inserted them with the other Parts of the Psalm into Rom. 3. 10. v. &c. The which I sup­pose is sufficient to justifie us.’

[Page 18] And what has the Minister reply'd unto all this? Why just no­thing at all: He has not so much as taken the least notice of it, so as to vindicate Mr. Delaune's groundless clamour against us, that's out of doors. Ne'rtheless something he has to say against the Rector,Pref. Rem. p. 2. which whether it be to the purpose is no matter; 'twill make a noise among his Party, and that's all. He acquaints us then from Jerome, Pref. ad lib. 16. in Is. Tom. 2. 395. That the said three Verses were transcrib'd out of Romans into Psal. 14. that they are not in the LXX. and that none of the Greek Interpreters have commented upon them. My Answer here­unto is:

1. That this is nothing to the Argument before us. It acquits us from the charge of Mr. Delaune. It was not the Church of Eng­land then which foisted those three Verses into Psal. 14. Besides we have the Authority of St. Paul, and of the Primitive Church to warrant our continuing them in Psal. 14.

2. As for Jerome I do here protest against him, as unfit to be a Witness in this Case. He too warmly espous'd the Defence of the Hebrew Text against the LXX, and manifestly betray'd his Partiality. He car'd not what in his heat he said or wrote for the support of his own opinion.Tom. 1. pa. 1343. Par, Edit. Let any one consult his Hebrew Questi­ons and Traditions on Genesis, and it may be he'l be of my mind. Here arguing for the Hebrew against the LXX, because forsooth St. Luke (Act. 7. 14.) agreed not with the Hebrew Text, but with the Sep­tuagint, he gives that holy Evangelist this scurvy Character, Lucae qui ignotus & vilis & non magnae fidei in nationibus ducebatur.

I'll not English the words, because I will pay some deference to the Presbyterian Father. This only I say, He who sticks not to revile the inspir'd Evangelist after this manner, is unworthy to be believ'd in any thing he affirms upon this Point in Controversie, or indeed in any else.

3. I would desire to know when, and by whom, those three Verses were transcrib'd out of St. Paul into the 14th. Psalm. 'Twas done before St. Paul was born for any thing I know.

4. Whereas Jerome affirms (as Mr. Owen tells me) that these Verses are not in the LXX. Translation, I ask, where then did Jerome find 'em, and how came he to enter into the Dispute about 'em? Looking into the Place, Jerome (I find) confesses the Verses are in vulgatâ Editione quae Graece [...] dicitur & in toto orbe diversa est. I do not well understand him, but it seems the Copies of the Scripture then in ordinary use, whence Eustochium argu'd, had these [Page 19] Verses, and Jerome acknowledges, there was a Greek Edition call'd the [...], or vulgar, which had the said Verses in it, tho' Je­rome's had 'em not, if he is to be credited. But by whom and when these Verses were put into this vulgar Edition of the Seventy, Jerome says not.

The Vatican Copy Mr. Owen confesses to be one of the best, that has these three Verses: I dare not then believe that the Seventy Translation in Jerom's days was without 'em. Be this as it will, 'tis manifest that the Church of England added 'em not to Psal. 14. that St. Paul made no scruple to join distant Places of Scripture to one another; and how this should become so heinous a Crime in us to follow those Examples, Mr. Owen is yet in arrear to account for in behalf of Mr. Delaune.

Mr. Delaune moreover asserted,Serm. p. 8. That the three Verses are not in any of the Original Copies, whereas if there be many, as is imply'd in those words, the Greek must be one, as I noted, and there they are▪ And I further acquaint the Remarker, that they are in the Ara­bick and Aethiopick Versions also. Of this the Minister has ne [...] quidem, not one Syllable. Only because I took occasion hereup­on to offer unto consideration, whether the Greek Copy be not as good as the Hebrew at this day is, and grounded my self upon the Judgment of the Learned Isaac Vossius, he endeavours to make his Party believe I design'd to Depress the Authority of the Hebrew Copies. Pref. p. 2. Surely this Minister never considers what he writes.

If I had affirm'd roundly (which I did not) that the Seventy's Version is as good as the Hebrew, this would not have been any disparagement unto the Hebrew, tho' it would be an advancement to the Seventy: Except Mr. Owen thinks that the Commendation of one Man is the reproach of another. I don't think it any dispraise unto St. Matthew, if in answer to Jerom's foremention'd disparage­ment of St. Luke one should affirm that St. Luke's Writings are of as good Credit as St. Matthew's. In short, tho' I am inclin'd to believe the Seventy to be of Divine Authority, 'twas never in my thoughts to depress the Hebrew. So that it were sufficient for me to justifie the choice of my Text, tho' it were to be found in the Hebrew only.

It has (I do believe among them who are as ignorant as him­self) past for a current Piece of Wit, when he thus speaks: If the Seventy be of at good Authority as the present Hebrew,Pref. p. 2. it is very uncer­tain what becomes of the Rector's Text: Thus the Rector by maintaining [Page 20] one absurdity runs himself into more, and by advancing the Seventy has lost his Text. But how does this follow? when at the same time the He­brew is allow'd to be as good as the Seventy. The Rector then had his Liberty to chuse his Text out of which Copy himself pleas'd. Be­sides it falls out scurvily to the shame and confusion of the Re­marker, of Mr. Tallents his supravisor, of all his Fellow-helpers a­bout Oswestry and Manchester, that the Rectors Text is in the Se­venty, yea in the Vatican Exemplar, yea in that very Edition, whereof Mr. Owen makes mention, and which he has by him. Tell it not at Oswestry, publish it not at Manchester, that so many Pres­byterian Ministers, even when they are labouring to vindicate 'em­selves from the Charge of corrupting the Word of God, are at the same time Robbing and Diminishing from it. In two words, the Rector has found his Text, but the Ministers have lost their jest and their honesty too.

The Rector's Text is not indeed plac'd in the same order in the Vatican Seventy, as in the Hebrew, and our English Versions. But one would have thought the Gentleman at Manchester, who has the liberty of a good Library there, must have found the Rector's Text rightly plac'd both in the Frankford Edition of the Seventy, and in the Complutensian Bible also. But they were so fond of a Jest that rather than lose it, they would forfeit their Sincerity. I would now inform 'em, where they may meet with the Rector's Text in the Proverbs, according to the Vatican Copy it self, but that I be­lieve they knew it well enough themselves. Instead hereof I desire 'em to read a little forward to the 8th. ver after the Rector's Text, where Agur makes this Prayer, [...], Remove far from me vanity and lies.

It cannot be deny'd, the Seventy has been corrupted, and by consequence must not be allow'd as good as the Hebrew Copy, if the Hebrew be perfect and intire as it came out of the hands of the Pen-men, or of some inspir'd Collector of the Books and Volumes therein contain'd. But Isaac Vossius has abundantly prov'd the He­brew Copy corrupted, and I do not care to repeat what another has with so much Learning and Judgment said before me.

One of Mr. Owen's Reasons against any early Corruption of the Hebrew is drawn from the Testimony of Philo the Jew mention'd by Euseb. prepar. Evang. 8. 2. Pref. p. 2. that passage of Philo is in Euseb. prep. Evang. L. 8. C. 6. Pag. 1628. Here Philo speaking of the Israelites Obedience to the Law of Moses, acquaints us, ‘The Israelites re­verenc'd [Page 21] that Man (Moses) so much, that whatsoever seem'd good unto him they all approv'd of it. So that whether he devis'd this Form of Government of his own head, or whether he receiv'd it from, Heaven, they accepted it as no other than from God; and for the space of so many years (I cannot determine how ma­ny, but above two thousand) [...], alter'd no one word of what he (Moses) wrote, but suffer'd tho' it were a thousand Deaths rather than be perswaded unto any thing con­trary to his Laws and Customs.’

It is not to be doubted but the Religious Jews were always very careful to preserve Moses intire and free from all manner of Cor­ruption, even in the least Tittle, as the Christians have been to their power in preserving the New Testament.

But Philo aims not in this place to assert any such thing of the Jews (tho' Mr. Owen seems to understand him thus, and for what reason any one may guess, renders the Passage, Than suffer the Law to be changed in any one Point:) That which Philo affirms is, that the Jews alter'd none of Moses's Laws. This will appear by exami­ning the signification of [...], translated Word by Mr. Owen. [...] is indeed often render'd Verbum & Vocabulum, but as often Dictum & Sententia, or an intire Proposition▪ Hesychius expresses its Con­jugate [...], a Law or Ordinance; and so [...] & [...], are in the New Testament us'd for some complex Sentence or Proposition, and are Synonymous with [...] & [...]. Thus the Ten Commandments are call'd the Ten Words, Exod. 34 24. In the Hebrew, [...] [...], the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, or the Ten Words. So then Philo's [...], imports that the Reli­gious Jews alter'd not one single Commandment of Moses. But it follows not hence that there was no alteration not in any Word or Point. This might happen (tho' the Jews did it not wilfully) for any thing Philo offers to the contrary. It is yet more manifest from the Authors precedent Discourse, where he speaks of the Laws and Statutes of Moses, and from what follows in this very Period, where he explains himself thus, Rather than be perswaded unto any thing con­trary to his Laws and the Customs. 'Twas the Laws of Moses then they were careful of, and not the Words, Syllables or Letters, ac­cording to Philo in this place.

[Page 22] Tho' the Jews were careful to preserve the Scripture from Cor­ruption; yet Theodoret grants that before Esdras corrected it, it had been depraved partly through the negligence of the Jews, partly by the Impiety of the Babylonians (he means in the Seventy years of the Babylonish Captivity.) It may with much more reason be thought, that the Scripture was corrupted again (by the same means) after the Prophets were ceased from among the Jews, and they had been harrassed by the Greeks and Romans for some hun­dreds of years.

‘The Invention of the Masora (as he goes on) has been an effe­ctual means to preserve the Purity of the Hebrew Copies,Pref. p. 3. and renders it impossible, that any Corruption should have crept in­to them,’ says Buxtorf.

Doubtless, before Christ's Birth the honest Jews us'd all their Endeavours to preserve the Scripture uncorrupt, and yet who sees not that there might notwithstanding many Corruptions steal into the Hebrew Text, and designedly be thrust into it? 'Twas no hard matter for cunning Rabbies to alter Words and Letters, and still to keep the just number of 'em. When We is alter'd into Ye there still remains the same number of Words and Letters in that 6. Act. 3. v.

I do not affirm, that the Hebrew was corrupted in any material thing till after the Destruction of Jerusalem. Nevertheless it might have been corrupted before the Fifth Century, when the Masora is said to be invented. Yea, 'tis matter of Fact, that the Jews had corrupted the Hebrew Bible long before that time, if Mr. Owen will please to give any Credit to St. Justin Martyr, who flourish'd above 250 years before Jerome.

I shall have occasion in another Place to prove this by some Te­stimonies drawn out of Justin.

To conclude, 'tis but lately since the Christians receiv'd the He­brew Bible from the Modern Jews, who may very well be suspect­ed to have made bold with it in prejudice to the Christian Religion. And whether it be fit we should build upon the bare Testimony of the Jews only, deserves some consideration. For therefore it was, that in my Sermon I spoke not of the ancient Hebrew Copies, but of that which we have at this day from the later Jews. Serm. p. 9.

In short,Pref. p. 2. I (says he) will not dispute at this time the Authority of the Septuagint: Nor will the Rector call into question the Purity of the Hebrew, 'tis not necessary to decide the Controversie between Mr. [Page 23] Delaune and me. Whatever becomes of the Seventy, or the Hebrew, 'tis false what he put upon us. The Church of England foisted not those three Verses into Psal. 14. But if we had first done it, we are excusable, the Psalm being thus put together by St. Paul, Mr. De­laune then ought not to have vilify'd us for foisting them into that Psalm. Men who will take the liberty of misrepresenting others in such nasty Expressions deserve to be told of their own Faults in more cleanly Language.

4. The Rector observ'd from Rev. 22. 18, 19. Pref. p. 3. Serm. pag. That the Canon of Scripture is there (for ought we yet know) shut▪ up. I exprest my self thus cautiously (for ought we yet know) because the Passage alledg'd properly refers unto the Book of the Revelations, tho' the Learned sometimes accommodate it unto the whole Scripture. But the Cri­tick at Oswestry would insinuate, as if the Rector expected more Revelations still, and an enlargement of the Canon.

And is Mr. Owen certain we shall not have more Divine Re­velations before the end of the World?12, 13. I expect 'em as little as he: but 'tis one thing to suppose it possible, and another to look for it as probable or promis'd. God has indeed ty'd our hands, Thou shalt not add, but he has not ty'd his own, whatever this Solo­mon of our Age deems to the contrary. God we know add­ed to his own Word even after Agur had warn'd us, not to add thereunto; and he may (if he please) once more add unto it, after 'tis forbidden unto us in St. John; what he will do, is another Question. I am as well content with what we have already, as the Minister can be. But as Agur doubtless thought it possible God might add unto his own Word (as he did afterwards) so 'tis not impossible, but he may yet add thereunto, for ought I know, or the Remarker himself dares affirm. If he or his Revisor at Manchester know, that God will send us no more Revelations, than what we have already receiv'd, they might do well to assure the World of it by the Spirit of Prophesie, and so contradict 'emselves in the same breath.

If any Sort of Men should presume to add unto the Canon of Scripture, I know none more likely than those, who make such mighty boasts of the Spirit of God. They have made one pretty good step towards it already. They who dispossess Daemoniacks, will in good time heal all manner of bodily Diseases, remove Mountains also, and throw 'em into the Sea. Who then shall make any difficulty of entertaining their Doctrines, as the Ora­cles of God?

[Page 24] The Rector laid down this other Rule, Serm. p. 13 Then we diminish from the Word when we cast away never so little of it.Pref. p. 3. Upon which Words the Minister has the following Remark, I leave it to consideration, whe­ther the Titles be not a little part of the Word of God, and own'd for such in our Authoriz'd Bibles.

That has been consider'd already; but if they are own'd for Parts of the Word of God in our Authoriz'd Bibles, then we of the Church of England do more especially own 'em; we cannot then be accused of casting them away. But if to leave 'em out of the Liturgy Translation be a casting 'em away, then the leaving 'em out of the Singing Psalms is the same.

These tender-hooft-Creatures, who are convinc'd that the Ti­tles are part of the Psalms, and ought to be inserted into every Translation, yet against the Dictates of their own Conscience pre­fix 'em not, neither demand 'em to be prefix'd unto the Singing Psalms. Who ever hereafter can believe, that they have any Con­science at all? Or rather is it not to be suspected, that they have two Consciences? with the one accusing us, and with the other excusing themselves for the same thing.

On this head I instanc'd in the Jews, Serm. pag. 13, 14. whom Justin Martyr dispu­ting with Trypho charg'd with corrupting and expunging out of the Scripture several Places, which pointed at the Messias.

Ay,Rem. p. 3. says the Minister, with corrupting the Seventy, but not the Ori­ginal Hebrew, which he ought to have taken notice of.

And why so, sweet Sir? I demand your Reason. Is it because 'tis no Fault to corrupt the Seventy? Or because the Places were in­tire in the Original Hebrew Text? This latter cannot be a Reason, because it is not true, that the Places objected by Justin against the Jews were then intire in the Original Hebrew. For the Jews doubt­less would have vindicated themselves, and not have suffer'd that Scandal to pass so smoothly and unanswer'd. They would have let Justin know, that their Hebrew Bibles were intire in all the Places by him alledg'd, or else that they never belong'd unto the Scri­pture.

It must be confest then the Hebrew Copy was corrupted in St. Justin Martyr's days, the several Passages by him mention'd to be thrust out of Scripture, being then (and still are) wanting in the Hebrew Text as well as in the Seventy. For instance, that Father produces Psal. 96. 10. [...], Say among the Heathen the Lord hath reigned. But Justin tells Trypho, [Page 25] that [...] had been struck out by the Jews, and that the place originally ran thus, The Lord hath reigned from the Wood, or Cross. But if they had been in the Hebrew, can any one think Trypho so dull as not to have told Justin as much? Nor are these words from the Cross found in the Hebrew or Seventy at this day. The reason of the Jews Knavery herein is obvious, viz. because those words from the Wood were an illustrious Prediction of the manner of Christ's Death, and by consequence a plain Testimony of his being the Messiah, the brightness of which Evidence they were not able to behold▪ and therefore raz'd out the words. In short, the Cross of Christ was to them a stumbling block in the Pro­phesie as well as in the accomplishment.

Lastly, the Hebrew Copy in Jerom's days wanted the same words, From the Wood He took no notice at all of 'em either in his Version, or in his Commentaries.

In Mr. Pool's Synopsis I find many Arguments against Justin, charging the foresaid Corruption upon the Jews; but they are of no weight, if it be considered, that Faminius Nobilius in his Scholia on this Place writes thus, Apud Sanctum August▪ & in Psalte­rio veteri & Romano sequitur à ligno; eoquo modo affertur à Sancto Cyprian. Just. Mart. Tertulliano, Sancto Leone Papa & in hymno Ec­clesiastico, Regnavit à ligno Deus. Besides this most ancient Fa­ther and Martyr, and the most Learned too of all others in and before his time has produced a great many Examples of the like kind,See Just. pag. 297, 298, 332, 348. & a­libi Edit. Paris. and not a few whole Periods or smaller Sections intirely ex­pung'd, which the Jews then living and disputing with him were not able to deny, or any ways palliate. So that all the pretended Care of the Jews notwithstanding, the Hebrew Copy had been cor­rupted early in the Second Century, and according to Vossius soon after the Destruction of Jerusalem by Vespasian, and remains so unto this present time.

I must not pass over Vossius's main Argument, but will represent it in very few words.

He shews, that the Ancient Jews believed their Messiah would come about the 6000 Year from the Creation; and that they ex­pected him about the time when Jesus was born, those two Periods being coincident. It follows hence,

1. That they believ'd the World 6000 years old at the Birth of Jesus.

2. That the Ancient Hebrew Copies reckon'd 6000 years from [Page 26] Adam to Jesus; else the Jews could not have been in expectation of the Messiah when Jesus was born, if their Chronology had then been the same as it is this day.

3. From the whole it must be confest, that the Modern Hebrew Copies are corrupted, the World according to them, being at the Birth of Jesus but about 4000 years old. The 2000 years wanting in the present Hebrew are supply'd in a great measure by the Seventy's Copy in the Chronology of the Patriarchs, the Re­mainder are made good out of the Intervals of the Judges of Israel, and the Reigns of the Persian Kings, which the Jews have shor­ten'd, and drawn the Christians into their Error.

Hereunto may be added another Observation near of kind unto the former. St. Luke, Chap. 4. 35, 36, v. affirms, Sala was the Son of Cainan, Cainan the Son of Arpbaxad. But Gen. 11. 12, v. Sala is reckon'd the immediate Son of Arphaxad, Gen. 10. 24. and Cainan quite left out in the Hebrew Copy, whereas the Vatican Seventy agrees with St. Luke; See Alex. Copy. which is a Demonstration, that the Jews have corrupted the Hebrew. By this one Artifice of theirs are lost 130 years.

I expect here the Remarker,1 Chron. 1. c. or the Note-maker will for the sake of the Hebrew, give the Holy Evangelist such another Chara­cter, as upon the like occasion their Friend Jerom did.

That Corruption of Psal. 22. 16. v. is known and acknowledg'd by all. The Jews read it thus, As a Lion instead of, They pierced my hands and my feet. So the Evangelist Mark 15. 24. and the Seventy more truly have it; the difference is but the half of a very small Letter, sc. [...] for [...] (which is less than that between Y and W) and the Epenthesis of [...], which is common among 'em in other Cases.

But after all this it was nothing to me or to my Argument in the Sermon, whether the Jews corrupted the Seventy only, or the Hebrew also, or both. I'll suppose it was the Seventy only, which is all Mr. O. contends for; yet still my Bill of Indictment laid against the Jews must be found. For the Scripture is the Word of God, in whatever Language 'tis written. They who would excuse the Jews for Corrupting the Seventy only, and not the Hebrew, in good time will defend the Corrupting the English Version only, and not the Original Greek. But if the latter Defence will not bring off the false Cameronian, neither will the former justifie the faithless Jews. I wish then the Jews, the Scotch Presbyterians, and Mr. O. in the name of his Brethren in England to concert these Matters among 'emselves for the Good of Christendom.

[Page 27] The Rector briefly noted that the Samaritans and Sadducees re­jected all but the Five Books of Moses; Serm. p. 14. and the Minister calls this a Vulgar Error; Pref. p. 4. let us see on what Grounds.

Mr. Owen pleads,Antiq. l. 18 c. 2. that whereas Josephus affirms, The Sadducees to have receiv'd the Law only▪ the Historian in another place explains him­self as if he meant, The written Law in Opposition to the Oral. In proof whereof he sends me back unto the 13th. b. and 18 Chap. I am there and read [...], &c. But now I will shew that the Pharisees having receiv'd from the Fathers many things as legal, which were not written in the Law of Moses, deliver'd them unto the People. And for this cause the Sadducees rejected them alledging, that those things only were to be accounted Legal which were written (sc. in the Laws of Moses) but that they ought not to observe the Traditions of the Fathers. I will not insist upon this that some Learned Men have thought the Prophetical Books of Scripture were by the Sadducees reckon'd a­mong the Oral Traditions of the Fathers; nor will I deny, (tho' there be reason to doubt) that Josephus's Passage in his Eighteenth Book is to be understood in the same Sense as that in the Thir­teenth Book, and that they explain one another. However this be, he speaks only of the Traditions added unto the Laws of Moses, which the Sadducees rejected; but not a Syllable concerning the Prophetical Writings, which whether the Sadducees rejected, or not, remains still to be examin'd.

Mr. O. assures us 'tis a Vulgar Error. But Mr. Pool in his Synopsis, informs me,Isidor. L. 8. Ch. 4. 'twas the constant Opinion of the Fathers, and never contradicted, til Scaliger and Drusius of late advanc'd the contrary Opinion. I hope the Minister will not thrust down the Fathers in­to the Vulgar Forme.

The Sadducees in all Probability would never have deny'd the Resurrection, if they had entertain'd a just esteem of the Propheti­cal Books: Hence, our Lord, overlooking all the other more plain and convincing Testimonies in the Prophetical Writings, singl'd out that of Moses, Mat. 22. 32. Exod. 3. 6. I am the God of thy Father, the God of Abraham, &c. as the most proper and effectual Argument, ad Hominem, in proof of the Resurrection, which the Sadducees on their own Principles cou'd not deny, tho' they might have avoided the other.

But the Remarker sends me to the Learn'd Dr. Lightfoot for fur­ther satisfaction herein, Vol. 2. pag. 541, 542. I am content to stand to this Gentleman's Judgment. Dr. Lightfoot then pag. 541. grants [Page 28] that the Samaritans might so reject all the Books of the Old Testament, (except the Pentateuch) as to forbid their being read in the Synagogues. Even this Concession alone were (I should think) sufficient to my purpose. The Sadducees and Samaritans forbad the rest of the Scrip­ture to be read in the Publick Congregations. If the Hagiographa, and Prophets were now by a Positive Order forbid to be read in our Churches, we should have Mr. O (I question not) soon about our Ears as Men, that put a Slur upon the Word of God, and question'd its Divine Authority.

But Dr. L. further adds, pag. 542. That it was one Fundamental of the Sadducees Faith, That no Article in Religion ought to be admitted, which cannot be made out plainly from the Five Books of Moses. From hence it appears that they did not believe the other Books of Scrip­ture to be of equal Authority with the Pentateuch, nor sufficient of themselves to establish any Doctrine of Faith. Now whereas the Doctor argues and proves out of his Rabbins, that the Sadducees and Samaritans us'd and read, and believ'd all the other Books, as well as the Pentateuch, and that they were not ignorant of 'em, nor ac­counted 'em Tales and of no value; and again, that those Books were known to 'em, and of Authority among 'em. All this I readily grant, for they doubtless highly esteem'd the rest of the Scripture, and [...]in [...]d it in confirmation of any Doctrine reveal'd by Moses, as we Christians do the Primitive Fathers, tho' uninspir'd. I have been longer on this trivial Subject, than I intended. Only let the Rea­der mark how the two Ministers are here Advocating for the Sama­ritans and Sadducees, as they before undertook the Protection of the other Jews. In good time the Dissenters will comprehend these also. Some of the Quakers and Anabaptists, the Modern Sadducees and Ma­hometans I mean the Socinians) and almost all the Nation of Schis­maticks and Hereticks are in their Interests already: The Samari­tans and Jews are happily coming into the Confederacy.

7. The Rector laid down this Observation also: Serm. p. 14. We diminish from the Word, when we lay it aside as not necessary, or not the Supreme Rule of Faith.Pref. p. 4. Hereunto Mr. O. answers, This implys, as if there were some other at least subordinate Rules of Faith. We know no other Rule of Divine Faith, but the Holy Scripture.

The Man thinks verily he has caught me now. But I am not afraid to say there are many subordinate Rules of Faith, and do pretend here to teach him them, because he seems to be ignorant of them. I reckon then that whatsoever confirms or illustrates any [Page 29] Doctrine is a Subordinate Rule of Faith, for whatsoever doth make manifest is Light, Eph. 5. 13. Such are the ancient Creeds, Cate­chisms, Decrees of Councils, Testimony of Fathers, Consent of Adversaries, the Instructions of Parents, the Dictates of Wise and Good Men, the Voice of Conscience, the Light of Natural Rea­son, the Preaching of the Word, the Intimations of Providence, and lastly Universal Tradition; every one of which when it ad­ministers Light to the Divine Truths contain'd in the Word of God, are Subordinate Rules of Faith. But of all these Universal Tradition may on very good Grounds be accounted a Rule. For I ask Mr. Owen, why he believes the Scripture to be Divinely in­spir'd, but because 'tis transmitted unto us as such by Universal Tradition? The Excellency of its Moral Precepts, the high Strains and noble Flights of Piety, which we meet with there renders it worthy every good Man's Acceptation; true! but they prove not that 'twas written by Inspiration. For then Plato and Seneca, St. Ignatius and St. Clemens Romanus, the Seven Wise Men of Greece, (and Mr. O. may reckon himself the eighth, if he please) and a thousand other celebrated Authors might lay claim to Inspiration. The Miracles reported in Scripture to have been wrought by the Authors or Divine Writers of the Books do not evince 'em to have been written by Inspiration, until it be first made out that those Writers did work those Miracles: and this cannot be proved at this time of day, but by Tradition. So then it is the Universal Te­stimony of the Church in conjunction with that vein of intrinsick Goodness and Piety running through all the Holy Scriptures, which convinces us, that they were deliver'd by Persons inspir'd and au­thoriz'd thereto by God. Tradition therefore is at least a Subordi­nate Rule of Faith, and confirms the Divine Authority of the Books of Scripture. Another perhaps would affirm it the first and leading Rule. But I give Mr. O. liberty to assign it which place he pleases. Only I ask, whether this Minister of the Gospel, who pretends to be a Teacher of others, and a Guide of the Blind, was ever yet able to give a solid Reason of his own Faith, and of the Hope that is in him. He can never do it without the help of Tradition.

The Rector added under this Head some things concerning the Sufficiency, Perspicuity and Supreme Authority of the Scripture, which this Critick (being it seems in a better humour than ordi­narily that Generation of Men are) is pleas'd out of his great Con­descension to declare, Are well Asserted.

[Page 30] But I must confess I like not the Rector one jot the better for this Commendation, and yet wish I could in any measure return his Complement, and let him know, that he has said any one thing well and wisely in his Remarks

Master, Mat. 22. 16. (said those vile and Hypocritical Pharisees and Herodi­ans) we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in Truth, &c. when at the same time they had a design upon Jesus Christ to puzzle and insnare him with a cramp Question. So my Ad­versary here notwithstanding his Commendations has something a­gainst the Rector. Some Men can never be pleas'd, and the Re­marker is one of that number I perceive.

Tell me (says he) is it lawful to Impose indifferent things? His words are,Pref. p. 4. Were this Principle practically acknowledg'd it would soon heal our breaches, &c. As who should say, did we once lay aside Ʋnscriptural Terms of Communion, and thereby Practically acknow­ledg the Sufficiency, Perspicuity and Supreme Authority of the Scriptures, all would be well in a trice, an end then would be put to our Divisions.

Verily if this would do the feat, I would embrace it with both arms: I'd do any thing for the purchase of so valuable a Blessing.

But how comes this wise Seer to look so far before him, as to assure us of this good issue? the experiment has been once made already but without success. Time was when Episcopacy was ex­ploded, and the Unscriptural Terms of Communion here com­plain'd of laid aside; but were our breaches soon healed? It was so far from that, that they were not healed at all, nor ever will be upon the Presbyterian and Congregational Principles. Our Division were increas'd and multiply'd, Schisms and Heresies grew to be as numerous as the Heads of Hydra. In short, I know no way of healing our Breaches but that every Man should obey them that have the Rule over 'em in all lawful things, q.d. which are not forbidden by God. For why should any one presume to scruple or call that unclean, which the Lord has not made so? They are much more superstitious who abhor a Surplice, than they who wear it.

I lastly observ'd,Serm. p. 20. that We diminish from the Word when we add any thing to it. I mention'd the Apocrypha which the Romanists insert in­to the Canon of Scripture;Pref. p. 4. and the Minister cavils here at our reading the Apocrypha, and omitting some confessed parts of Holy Scripture. I might with as good Reason ask him, why do the [Page 31] Dissenters neglect the Reading of the Word of God to make way for their own Sermons and Expositions? But this were to be like Mr. Owen to cover one suppos'd Fault with another. I an­swer then,

That this Exception is nothing to my Argument; that it is not a just Vindication of the Papists; that to read the Apocrypha is not to Canonize it; to omit reading some parts of Scripture is not to cast 'em out of the Canon; that in all our publick Offices and Assemblies we read something of Holy Scripture; that the Word of God has not prescrib'd any certain and constant quantity to be read; that we read perhaps more Scripture in one Month, than the Dissenters do in three. That the Story of Bell and the Dragon (wherewith the Dissenters usually make most sport, and which Mr. O. stiles fabulous) is by many Wise Men believ'd true. But grant it to be a Fiction or Fable, or in more civil and modest Terms a Parable, 'tis however a wise and grave one, able to instruct and beget in us a sense of God's Providence and Protection of Holy Men Zeal for his Glory and Hatred of Idolatry. Many think the Book of Job of this kind a Parable. Our Lord himself spake many great Truths, and wrapped them up in Parables or feigned Stories, and thereby made and left stronger Impressions upon the hearts of his Followers. The Dissenters oft-times in their Sermons make use of Profane Stories, whose Truth is not supported by Divine Authority. As for our leaving out some few Books or Chapters, or never reading them in our Publick Congregations, there are ma­ny good Reasons for it; particularly for our omitting the greatest part of Leviticus, and all Solomon's Song. They have been insisted on too often to be here needlesly repeated.

CHAP. III.
Being an Answer to Mr. Owen's first Chapter.

IN the Sermon against corrupting the Word of God, I took particular Notice of Acts the 6th. v. 3. where, as 'tis found in several Impressions of our English Bibles, We is changed into Ye, that is, the Apostles are turn'd out of doors, and the People put into Possession of a Power, to which they can lay no Claim, I observ'd that hence a Question might be started, Whether the People or the Apostles did appoint the Seven unto their Office, and by consequence whe­ther the People or the Bishops have Authority to appoint Parochial Mini­sters. But having set aside this Enquiry, I betook my self unto the Examination of this various Lection. I first vindicated the Place, and restor'd it to its right Reading; then I proceeded to search when the Corruption first stole into the Text and found it to have happen'd 1638. This done I made Hue and Cry after the Au­thors of it. In the pursuit I laid hold on the Dissenters, as Persons justly to be suspected, 1. Because when this Alteration first hap­pen'd Presbytery was in the Ascendant. 2. The Corruption fa­vours the Dissenters. 3. Is a Disadvantage to Episcopacy then. 4. I took a Presbyterian in the manner, supporting the Popular Government upon the Credit of this false Reading, and thence concluded that Party guilty at least of abetting and countenan­cing the Corruption. This Method I think was clear and easie, tho' Mr. O. has endeavoured with much Artifice to perplex it. I will not concern my self any farther to justifie my way of hand­ling the Argument, the Business now before me is to consider, how he would extricate his Friends. He begins in this Chapter, and all that he here offers in Vindication of the Dissenters is, That several Editions of the Bible abound with such Errors as are destructive of the Sense. To evince which he has produc'd a Catalogue of above twenty Errata's in his own Bible, (several of 'em as bad as that in the Acts, as he says) which it would be unreasonable to impute unto the Dissenters. Whereunto I reply,

[Page 33] 1. That he is so unfortunate, as whilst he is stopping one, and that the first hole like a Bungler he makes two. Mr. O. thus represents his Amendment of Eph. 1. 4. According as he hath chosen us—that she should be holy: It should be that we should be holy [...]. She (says he in this first instance) should be we; and (says the Rector) [...] should be [...] should be [...].

I am apt to suspect Mr. O. is defective somewhere, else surely he would not have overlook'd these Errata's in that Book of Re­marks, which he favour'd me with, and corrected with his own Pen. But because at the same time he desir'd me to take no advan­tage of Mistakes in Printing, I'll say no more. Altho' if he thought it reasonable on my part, he should have been so fair as to have re­membred the Golden Rule, Quod tibi non vis, &c. But his business is to give Laws to others, not to observe 'em himself.

2. Tho' he might justly be suspected in the Account given of these Errata's; (for he who will make bold with his own LXX, will not be very Scrupulous to misrepresent his own English Bible) yet I will admit his Observations as to the Number to be true Nevertheless,

3. Tho' such Errors reckon'd up by Mr. Owen are destructive of the Sense; yet they do not establish any untruth, nor favour any side in the Controversies now on foot among us, neither lastly, has the diligent Mr. Owen given us one Example of the same Error repea­ted in several Editions. There can then no doubt be made, but these were accidental and unwilling slips, and the Remarkers Ob­servations will do him no Service. That Erratum in the 6th. Act has, as he assures us, been continued in (at fewest) 38 Editions; it establishes a Sense contrary to the Meaning of the Holy Ghost there, and favours a side in the Controversie between the Dissen­ters and us. It is then altogether improbable (I think) that this Er­ratum should be thus multiplied by chance only.

4. An Error of the Press deserves not to be taken to task, when no ill use is made of it; but when 'tis improv'd to the advantage of a Cause, and to the prejudice of the Truth, it is both just and necessary to take notice of it and to expose them, who make it their own, and a wilful Error too, citing [...] in support of their own Opi­nion or Practice.

It may not be improper here to speak of the Places of Scripture,Rem. ch. 4 pag. 20. which the Remarker has challeng'd me with, as having quoted [Page 34] 'em wrong, and not kept my self precisely to the very Word, and to their Order in the Texts.

1. I have not altered the Sense, neither pretended to promote any private Opinion or design thereby.

2. This liberty is and ever has been taken by all, who alledge the Holy Scripture in their Writings and Discourses, not scrupu­lously tying themselves up unto the very Words. St. Paul himself in that 3. Rom. 13, &c. is guilty of all those minute and trifling Exceptions which the Remarker has laid against me, as may easi­ly be seen by comparing him with the Places from whence 'tis thought by my Adversaries the Apostle took his Testimony.

Mr. Owen Ex. gr. taxes me for putting the Singular instead of the Plural. St. Paul does so, [...], whose mouth (Plural) but in the Hebrew 'tis his mouth, Psal. 10. 7. and in the Seventy, [...], whose mouth, (Sing.)

I use different words, and of somewhat different significations▪ So does St. Paul, Destruction and Misery, &c. ver. 16. In the He­brew, Wasting and Destruction, or breaking, Isa. 59. 7.

I observe not the Scripture-order of Words; nor is St. Paul ex­act in this, [...]: In the Seventy, [...].

I leave out whole Words: the same is true of St. Paul, [...]: Their feet are swift to shed blood, v. 15. In Isa. 59. 7. [...], Their feet run to evil being ready to shed (innocent) blood, almost the same in the Hebrew. Here also St. Paul has wholly omitted what is in the Hebrew, Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity.

I change Words, even so St. Paul writes, [...], v. 17. for [...], Isa. 59. 8. They have not known, instead of, They know not, in the Hebrew the Pre [...]er for the Present time.

I further note, our Lord himself (or the Evangelists) and the Pen-men of the New Testament have left out Words in their Ci­tations. The Scrip­ture Au­thentick, p. 68. Therefore my Lord Bishop of Cork and Ross confesses, The Sacred Pen-men of the New Testament content themselves with the gene­ral sense of the Text not following that, (the Seventy) or any other Ver­sion (not the Hebrew) that we know of. And again, They used a Li­berty, —Not following ever the expressions of any other known Translation, or indeed of the Original it self, the Hebrew, &c. p. 71. For this he cites Jerom also. For instance, I read Exod. 3. 6. I am the God of thy Father, the God of Abraham, &c. But, the God of thy Father is left out, [Page 35] Mat. 22. 32. Mark 12. 26. Luk. 20. 37. And 'tis Fathers in the Plural, Act. 7. 32. One might produce infinite Examples of this kind. Mr. Baxter also must come in for his share, as will afterward appear. So putid and ridiculous a Remark is that of the Author, p. 20. Allow Men (says he) a liberty of a literal variation from the lan­guage of the Holy Ghost, the sense and meaning cannot be long secur'd. I may well be content to be corrected by Mr. Owen, who takes up­on him to reprove Jesus Christ, St. Paul and the three Evangelists; yea, and the great Mr. Baxter also.

Having thus fully answer'd his Argument in this and the fourth Chapter, I must consider one or two Ref [...]ections he has here cast upon us. He mentions, the shameful scandals of some of our Clergy too notorious, &c. If it were fit to play such a prize, I durst undertake to point out as many Scandalous dissenting Ministers in Lancashire, as he can Clergy-men.

He twits me here also (and oft in the Remarks he makes him­self sport) with what I said of my self,Rem. ch. 1. p. 1. sc. That my diligence and ob­servation had not been a little in searching the several Editions of the Bi­ble, &c. Now what I propos'd to my self was not to search after all the Corruptions of this kind in the Bible, nor all the Impressions, wherein this was to be found, much less after all the other less ma­terial and accidental Errors of the Press. I employ'd my self on­ly to discover the first faulty Impression, whereinto this Corruption had stollen, and the Remarker, with all his curiosity and exactness, has not been able to out-do me. For any thing he knows, I have hit upon the right year, viz. 38. I have no reason to be asham'd yet of my diligence and observation, tho' Mr. Owen may be of his misrepresenting me so often on this score.

Mr. Owen here denies the Dissenters to have been concern'd in this Corruption, and is very angry at the suspicion cast upon 'em for their countenancing or promoting it. My Answer here is only this, Fecit quisquam quantum voluit. They who take the Advantage and are willing the Corruption should pass for good among their Disciples, and (which is the Case of the Cameronian) give it enter­tainment are justly taxt with the mischief done, the Receiver be­ing always as bad as the Thief.

CHAP. IV.
In which a Reply is made to Mr. Owen's Second Chapter.

MY first Argument (which was to bring the Dissenters un­der a suspition of contributing to this Corruption, Serm. p. 23. these are my words, tho' Mr. Owen would have his Reader believe I now posi­tively charge 'em with it) my first Argument (I say) is taken from the Circumstance of time. The alteration of the Text into ye happen'd in the year 1638, Presbytery being then in the Ascendant, and all things in preparation and tending toward the Subversion of Episcopacy, &c. Mr. Owen Answers,

1. Two Events may happen at the same time, R [...]m. p. 7. which have no relation to one another. Right, when there is nothing else to be alledg'd for confirming the suspicion grounded on the Circumstance of time, they may then have no relation to one another. But I ever thought this a good presumptive Argument in conjunction with others, which is the case before us, the turbulency of the times, the sway of the Populace, and the Corruption of this Place all looking the same way, viz. the extirpation and overthrow of Episcopacy.

2. He asserts that I my self acknowledge the first Error was an un­willing one, R [...]m. p. 7. and cites my Epistle Dedicatory for this. Mr. Owen cannot speak Truth for his heart. The Remarks are all of a Thread, Lyes and Stories, which we shall see he pursues unto the end. The Re­ctor's words in the Epistle are, When an Error, which one would have hop'd was an unwilling one, is supported with another, which must be con­fest and believ'd a wilful one, that is, when the Presbyterian Government, is publickly maintain'd by a Text of Scripture manifestly corrupted, &c. The unwilling Error here spoken of is the Presbyterian Government; but 'tis the Error in the Text, which is call'd a wilful one, as any Man will at first sight discern, but one, whose business it is not only to justifie others in corrupting the Scripture, but who himself perverts his Adversaries Words. This is his sincere affection to the Truth, and Charity to his Neighbour. Yea, Mr. O. himself just before (pag. 6.) had acknowledg'd that I call'd it a wilful Error in my [Page 37] Epistle Dedicatory, behold here what an ingenuous and sincere Ad­versary the Rector has to do with. Ay, but p. 27, & 28. the Re­ctor calls it an unfortunate oversight, a meer Error of the Press, an acci­dental slip, an unhappy mistake. True: yet unto the two first I have added,Serm. p. 27. I am willing to believe, and as we will suppose it was at first, which it was not necessary to repeat any more. These words then shew that having taken a Presbyterian [...], in the very fact, and endeavouring to establish his own Perswasion by this false read­ing of the Place, I would not any longer insist on the former cir­cumstantial Proofs of the first corruption, I needed 'em not: The matter was plain and could not be deny'd, viz. That the Dissen­ters at least have contributed to the Increase and Continuance of this Cor­ruption, Serm. p. 23. (p. 23.) and setting it up for Authentick, p. 28. Hereby we see this Remarker deals with the Sermon, as Mr. O. knows who did with the Holy Scripture, Mat. 4 6. telling our Saviour, He (God) shall give his Angels charge concerning thee, but leaving out a main part of the Text, To keep thee in all thy ways.

3. The Minister objects against the Rector, Rem. p. 7. that He is grievously out in his Chronological History, for Presbytery was not in the Ascendant in England Anno 1638, as he suggests.

I would not for any thing be found tripping in this part of my Argument, especially after I have been taught this grave and edi­fying Lesson,O. H's Family-Altar. that God is the Author of all Topography and Geography, as well as Genealogy and Chronology. I will then try whether the Rector can be vindicated, and that in a very few words too.

The foundation of Mr. Owen's Mistake is the Blunder he has made about the Signification of these words, Being in the Ascendant, which he understands of being in full Power and Authority, as if it were the same with having the Ascendant, as the Phrase is sometimes used now a days.

But the AstronomersSee Mr. Leyb. Cur­sus Math. p. 286. will inform him, that the Eastern Qua­drant of the Heavens is call'd the Ascendant; and a Star is said to be in the Ascendant, when having past the Imum Coeli, and be­ing got into the Ascendant it bends its course up towards the Me­dium Coeli, and the Meridian, that's to say, is ascending. Allu­ding hereunto I affirm'd, that in the Year 1638, Presbytery was in the Ascendant, that is, was rising, and so it was; that Prodigious and terrible Blazing Star the Covenant, that very Year began to ap­pear in the British Hemisphere in Scotland, and soon drew the Eyes (I wish I could not say the Inclinations) of a great Part of England [Page 38] upon it. I will not abuse my Reader with an elaborate and tedious Proof of this. 'Tis notorions, that Presbytery had then its foot in the Stirrup, tho' it had not yet got into the Saddle, that is, was in the Ascendant (or mounting) tho' it had not yet attain'd unto the Zenith or Vertical Point. And that this was my meaning appears from the following words, When all things were in a preparation and tended to the Subversion of Episcopacy, p. 23.

For I very well knew, and I believe scarce any Body is ignorant, that the Head of the Noble Earl of Strafford was not yet lopt off by an unpresidented Fiction in Law call'd Accumulative Treason, and which was not to be drawn into Example for the future; that the Innocent A. B. Laud was not yet murther'd, no tolerable Evidence being produc'd against him; that the University of Cambridge was not yet purg'd of the Episcopal Party, nor the Heads of the Col­ledges turn'd out of their Free-holds, imprison'd, and lastly clapt under Deck with design either to be expos'd in some foreign Coun­try, or perhaps to be sunk into the bottom of the Sea, where they could tell no tales, as the Arrians serv'd some of the Trinitarians; that the Sacred Blood of the Royal Martyr was not yet spilt by an Extraordinary Commission and Authority assum'd at the instance of the Rabble and the Red-coats. These among many others were the Pillars and Supports of the Church; and so long as they flou­rish'd, and in some measure kept up their Heads from sinking into the Descendant, the Presbyterians (it's true) could not be said to have been in the Ascendant, as the Minister ignorantly understands that Phrase.

I have repeated these old Stories to shew, that it is not probable I could imagine that Presbytery was so early, that is in 1638, ele­vated or set up on the Pinacle of the Temple, as also to cure some Men (if it may be) of that scurvy Disease of rubbing on old Sores. They may see we want not Materials to set them forth, and are able to lay unto their charge far more mischievous and exorbitant Actions, than they to ours. Whatever A. B. Laud did it was in the course of Law; but the Presbyterians Proceedings were Arbitrary, Tyrannical, violent and illegal. Lastly, hereby the younger sort will learn what deference the Presbyterians have heretofore paid to their Superiors, and what Charity they had towards their Neighbours, more than other folks, and what all Ranks and Orders of Men in this Kingdom must expect of 'em hereafter, if they once more have the Ascendant.

[Page 39] All the Question that remains is, whether Presbytery was that year in the Ascendant, as these words truly signifie, that was on the rising hand in England.

This cannot be doubted of, nor will be deny'd by Men of Sense, who know any thing of the Rise of the Civil War. I will not therefore spend my time, nor weary the Reader's Patience with the proof of it.Rem. p. 10. Only I crave leave to consider the view of the state of Cambridge, Which (says he) was not Presbyterian or Puritan in 1638, when and where the Corruption is suppos'd to have first happen'd. The Sum of the Account which he receiv'd from Mr. Fra. Tallents is, that all the Heads of the Colledges, that is Sixteen Persons, were for the Church. I'll suppose this; yet it follows not, but that the University (a great part of it) was then inclining to Presbytery.

Mr. Owen here talks like one, who knows not Cambridge, nor had diligence enough to inform himself, and the Old Gentleman Mr. Tallents is (I am afraid) past his Memory and Judgment, I will not say his integrity: I am sure he has not given a true and exact Information of the University. For besides these Sixteen Heads of Colledges, there are the Fellows of the several Colledges, the Scholars of the Houses, Noblemen, Fellow-Commoners, Pensi­oners, and Sisars or Servitors,In the last Printed Tables they amounted to 2500, and up­wards, ta­king in the Colledge-Officers and Ser­vants. which in all make up the number of 2000 in ordinary (I believe) besides the said Heads of the Col­ledges. So that my Gentleman has reckon'd without his Host, and I am oblig'd to bring him to another Account.

Among these 2000 there might be, and I am sure there was a great number which favour'd Presbytery, as will appear from the Colledge of Emanuel. Six Colledges were not long after furnish'd with Heads out of Emanual, which got the nick-name about this time of Pure-Emanuel, from the abundance of Puritans in it. I my self knew very well the 'foresaid Six Heads by Face. They were Masters of King's, Trinity, St. John's, Jesus, Clare-Hall, and Em­manuel it self. I think I may add another of Christ's Colledge. I spare their Names. Moreover, in Trinity Colledge Oxford, there are but Twelve Fellows, Ten of which were turn'd out at the Purga­tion, and their Places all supply'd by a like number from Cambridge. 'Tis manifest then that a great Part of the University was not well affected to Episcopacy. Mr. O. might do well to ask Mr. Tallents, whether he was well affected to Episcopacy in 38 or 40. I might add that the King's and Parliament's Armies were no sooner in the Field, but the Scholars were up in the University, and fighting, some [Page 40] for the King, and some for the Parliament, and that with various Success too.

From the whole then it may be gather'd, that it was not impos­sible, but that the Corruption of the 6th. of Acts might have been first contriv'd at Cambridge in the Year 1638. The Ferments which the whole Nation and the University it self were then in might give a favourable opportunity and encouragement to the attempt; It being too frequent, and as it were natural unto most Men to adore the Rising Sun.

The Minister has labour'd to prove,Rem. p. 9. that the Reformation in Scotland was first cast into the Presbyterian Plat-form. The contrary hereunto is fully prov'd in that learned Treatise, Entituled, The Fun­damental Charter of Presbytery examin'd and disprov'd, &c. He means the Article in the Claim of Right, (Apr. 11. 1689.) wherein Pre­lacy is asserted to be and to have been a great and insupportable grie­vance and trouble unto the (Scotch) Nation, and contrary to the Inclina­tion of the generality of the People ever since the Reformation (they ha­ving reformed from Popery by Presbyters) &c.

The Author of the foresaid Treatise has at large, and (if the Records to which he appeals be true, as I think no doubt can be made of 'em) by undeniable evidence overthrown all those Preten­ces for Presbytery mention'd in that Article. I will offer here a little out of that Book unto the Reader for a taste, remitting him to the Treatise it self, which (if I am not mistaken) is worth any Man's perusing: I am sure it gave me infinite Satisfaction. He tells us then,

‘That there were many Prelates, who concur'd in that Work, (sc. the Reformation from Propery) as the Bishop of Galloway, and of Argyle, the Abbots of Lundoris, of Culross, of St. Colmes-Inih, of Coldingham, of St. Mary Isle, of Aberbrothoick, of Kilwin­ning, and of Newbottle; the Prior of St. Andrews, and the Sub­perior. Fundament. Chart. p. 4. He further shews, that not one Martyr, Confessor, or any that had an hand in the Reformation in the Year 1560, declar'd for Presbytery or against Episcopa­cy, pag. 20. not John Knox himself, pag. 21. but that Superin­tendency was erected by Knox, p. 35. that Knox compil'd the first Book of Discipline, Anno 1560. pag. 36. that in the Year 1559. the Scots being delivered from the French Slavery by the English Assistance, subscrib'd to the Religious Worship and Rites of the Church of England. [This is taken out of Buchanan, p. 714] [Page 41] p. 87, 88, 93. that the Scotch Protestants used the Liturgy of the Church of England in their Publick Devotions, Anno 1557. p. 95, 96, 101. that in the fifth Head of the first Book of Discipline establisht at Perth, Anno 1560, it was appointed that the Coun­cil should nominate Superintendents, p. 113, 114. that the Su­perintendents had Districts and Diocesses under them; that there were but ten or twelve design'd, for the whole Kingdom; that they collated or instituted Parish-Ministers, p. 121. that they de­pos'd Parish Ministers, if occasion requir'd; that the Superin­tendents were to be admitted, (that is Ordain'd) not by the Pa­rish-Ministers, but the Neighbouring Superintendents, p. 122. that their Income was five times as much as that of Parish Mini­sters, p. 123. that they were constant Members of General Assem­blies; that all inferiour Ministers were bound to pay them Cano­nical Obedience, p. 125, 126. that they appointed Diocesan Synods and Fasts, p. 131. that Appeals were made to them from Parish Judicatures, p 132. that in the second Model at Leith, Jan. 12. 1571-72, it was agreed the old Politie should revive, p. 185. the old Names and Titles of Archbishops and Bishops re­tain'd, and the old Division of Diocesses take place, p. 186. that the Reformation continu'd upon this bottom till 1576, by con­sequence, that Prelacy was the Government of the Scotch Church from the beginning of the Reformation for fifteen years, and not alter'd then but with much difficulty and struglings, as it fellows in th [...] Author.

But let it be suppos'd, That the Reformation of Scotland was first cast into the Presbyterian Platform, it proves not that Presbytery was the first and most ancient Government of the Kirk of Scotland, but only that at the time of Reformation it was agreeable to the Scots Incli­nation. For I shall in another Paper hereafter to be publish'd prove, that the Church of Scotland was govern'd by Bishops of old time. And therefore I am still of the Opinion, that the Scotch Kirk put away the Wife of its Youth, I mean Episcopacy, when it reform'd from Popery, and join'd it self unto an Harlot (I mean Presby­tery.) 'Tis an odd way for an Husband to reform his Wife by su­perinducing and noising her with a strange Woman.

Ay,Rem. ibid. but the Rector reflects upon the King, says the Remarker. This is the first time I ever heard of a Presbyterian having any due regard unto a King's Honour, and perhaps it will be the last, if the Commonwealth Principle gets a little more footing amongst [Page 42] us. But let us examin what Truth is in the Accusation. When the Scotch Parliament had intimated unto the King their Inclination unto Presbytery, the King tells his Commissioner, that he believes it is so, and therefore is willing to condescend unto their Petition; 'tis no Reflection on the King (I hope) to deride the Scots Reason. The Rector himself verily believes, that Presbytery is agreeable to the Scotch Parliament's Inclination, but intends not thereby to re­flect on himself. In short, the Scotch Parliaments Reason for the Act, was their Inclination, but the King's was to please and com­ply with them. He has been more kind unto them (I am afraid) than they mannerly and thankful unto him.

Now whereas the Act affirms also, that the Presbyterian Govern­ment is agreeable unto the Word of God, as well as to their Inclination; it was in my Opinion very sawcily done of 'em. Had it not been sufficient to acquaint the King, that Presbytery is agreeble to the Word of God, but they must needs farther tell his Majesty, 'tis agreeable to their Inclination, as if they had said, Sir, 'tis our mind it should be so, we must have this Point granted us, or else, &c. Finally this Ex­pression, Agreeable to the Word of God, is of doubtful construction. It may imply, that in their Judgment no kind of Church-Govern­ment being in Scripture expresly establisht, Presbytery as well as any other sort is agreeable, that is not contrary to the Word of God. Their Inclination then determin'd their Choice, and was made the Reason of it.

Before I dismiss the Vindication of my first Argument, I must look back to an observation of the Author's, a very wise one I will assure you before hand, and must not be forgot. You'l find it p. 6. where (I having call'd the Cameronians by the name of Circumcelli­ans, Serm. p. 27. and very rightly too (as were easie to make out) he notes that the Rector overlooks a little Rule of Grammar in rendring Circumcelli­ones, Circumcellians.

Mr. Owen is just as good a Grammarian, as he is an Astrono­mer. I know no Rule of Grammar that I have transgrest. The Pedant would (I imagine) have it render'd Circumcellions; for so we Englishmen are call'd Saxons, not Saxans.

But my Rule in rendring Latin words into English, is to follow the Custom of my Country, and those who have gone before me as to words; and 'twas Horace's long since, who was a better Gram­marian than Mr. Owen, or his Reviser at Manchester. He teaches me to conform my self to the usual way of speaking: [Page 43]

—Si volet usus,
De Arte Poeticâ.
Quem penes Arbitrium est & jus & norma loquendi.

I have heard frequently the Circumcelliones call'd Circumcellians in En­glish. I read 'em so render'd by Mr. Rogers in his first Propos. on the 12th. Article. I find the same in Cole's English Dictionary in Octavo. He was a profest Master of the English Tongue. But perhaps Mr. Owen may find 'em rendred Circumcellions also. Be it so. 'Tis then indifferent which way we write 'em, and I hope Mr. Owen will al­low me my liberty in an indifferent thing. Lastly, the Remarker might have attributed this little mistake to the Transcriber or Prin­ter, if he had so pleas'd. I am willing to deal so with him, when I read Cacilius instead of Caecilius. p. 2.

My second Argument was, That the Corruption in appearance fa­vours the Dissenters,Ser. p. 24. and their design against Episcopacy, that (if any) they may be suspected as willing to have it at least continued and pro­pagated.

The Question then here between Mr. Owen and me is, whether the Corruption favours the Dissenters, and their Design against Episcopacy. I determine it in the Affirmative, and prove it by gi­ving an Account of the Church of England's and the Dissenters Judgment and Practice.

Of the first. After a Person is nominated, chosen or presented unto a Church or Congregation, the Bishop first ordains him (if he was not in Orders before; if he was) then the Bishop institutes and appoints him by an Act altogether distinct from his Ordination, as we believe was the case of the Deacons. But tho' the Elders or Pastors among the Dissenters (who answer to our Bishops) Ordain Persons unto the Ministry, yet the People or Congregation both chuse and appoint 'em, as they please and can best agree among themselves. Does not then reading the place, ye may appoint, favour the Peoples power of heaping to themselves their own Teachers.

The Heads of Agreement give me no Satisfaction in this Point. They lay down this Rule: 'Tis ordinarily requisite, that every parti­cular Church in the Choice of its Minister consult the Pastors of Neigh­bouring Congregations. But what if the Pastors of Neighb'ring Con­gregations differ in Judgment from the People of that particular Church? Why this is an extraordinary case, and then it must go on the People's side, for so 'tis imply'd in that Head. To speak freely these Heads are meer shams to make the World believe that the united Brethren were come to some Agreement and Settle­ment [Page 44] among themselves. But those loose words Ordinarily requisite, spoil all, and leave the People still to do what seems good in their own Eyes▪ They may, if they please, ask the Approbation of the Neighbour Pastors; and if they obtain it, well and good; but and if they think [...], they may let it alone, or conclude contrary to their Advice, when they believe it an extraordinary Case. And who must be Judge of this but the People? In fine, our National, Provincial and Classical Presbyterian Government, is fairly given up, and dwindled into Independency, where the People domineer over their Pastor, and over one another also.

Mr. Owen argues, that the Dissenters had no necessity to corrupt this Place, the People's Power being just before abundantly asser­ted in those words,Rem. p. 11. Look ye out among you. Here (he says) the People chuse the Deacons. I answer they chose not the seven Persons imme­diately into the Office design'd 'em, but only nominate, present, and commend 'em to be approv'd and appointed thereunto by the Apostles. For if the People's looking out and presenting the Seven unto the Apostles, was an effectual appointing them over the Bu­siness, why is it afterwards added, Whom we (the Apostles) may ap­point over this Business, or as the various Reading has it, [...], Whom we will appoint over this Business. Did the Apostles appoint, after the People had before appointed 'em unto that Business?

The Remarker would obviate this by another Device, The People (says he) chose the Deacons, the Apostles ordain'd or appointed 'em so chosen, plainly intimating the Ordaining and Appointing is the same thing.

Here is not the place to dispute this matter, thorowly: Suppose Ordaining and Appointing the same thing, then the People's look­ing out and presenting the Seven unto the Apostles was not the ap­pointing or establishing them in their Office. Because the Apostles appointed them afterwards. Nor were the Apostles oblig'd to ac­cept the People's choice and presentation, for then it had been im­pertinent to add, Whom we may (or will) appoint. The Alteration then of the Text into Ye mightily favours the Power of the Peo­ples appointing their own Ministers.

Mr. Owen further objects that I have elsewhere granted, That the choice of the Persons to be presented unto the Apostles was made by the People. Tentam. nov. True. And I am of the same Opinion still, be­ing under no necessity to alter it, that I am sensible of. The Mul­titude sought out the Seven to be presented unto the Apostles, and gave this Testimonial of them, as must be suppos'd, that they [Page 45] were Men of honest Report, full of the Holy Ghost and of Wisdom. But still the Apostles appointed them over the Business, and not the People. Whereas if you read Ye then the People must be confest to have appointed the Deacons, and according to Mr. Owen, belike Ordain'd 'em too.

I might add (what would have been a sufficient Answer unto Mr. Owen's Cavil) that the Cameronian at least thought the alteration gave some countenance to the Presbyterians, else why did he alledg it.

But the Minister acquaints me, That the Seven Deacons were no Ministers of the Word and Sacrament in the Judgment of the Dissenters, and the Westminster Assembly, only Ministers of Tables, in other words, Overseers of the Poor.

I cannot help these Men's Judgments, if they do not or will not see it, 'tis because there is no Light in them. I appeal to the Law and to the Testimony of the Scripture in this and the eighth Chapters. I will not repeat the Evidence. I only ask why do they not Ordain their Overseers of the Poor as the Apostles did by their own confes­sion? I can imagine no other reason, but because it is against their inclinations, and looks like a Ceremony.

To [...] conclude this Argument: The Remarker suggests, as if I were not (according to my own Principle that is of the People's chusing their own Ministers) rightly invested with the Rectory of Bury.

I have already accounted for this in the Pref. to Tent. nov. The Remarkers Business is not to argue soberly, but to cavil. I advise him in the mean time to examin his own breast, whether he ob­tain'd his former Post at Wrexham by fair honest means: to ask himself the Question, Whether he did not betray and by a paultry trick supplant Mr. Barnet his Predecessor and step into his Place; whether he did not discover the Secrets of his inward Friend and Confident, who disclos'd his heart to him, as to a Confessor. I might moreover tell Mr. Owen, that time was when the Presbyte­rians decreed it Lawful for a Minister to take a Presentation from a Pa­tron. This Conclusion was made in the Provincial Meeting at Preston, July 6. 1647. as I find it Registred in the fifth Meeting of the second Classis at Bury, July 22. of the same Year.

But the Case it seems is alter'd; they have now quitted this Prin­ciple (I imagin) unto the Independents, who have requited them with submitting (in ordinary) unto the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. A Man cannot tell where to find these People.

[Page 46] Herod and Pontius Pilate are at length Friends; how long 'twill continue, time must shew. I am told there are some Dissenters, or Nonconformists among 'em already.

My third Argument was to this purpose,Ser. p. 14. that the Episcopal Party can not be imagin'd to have designedly corrupted this Place, nor to have conniv'd at it since; for that would be to destroy, what their Church Government seems to be built on.

Hereunto the Minister replies, That this proves nothing against the Dissenters, who do not charge the Episcopal Party with it. But I return,

If it were designedly done,Rem. p. 11. or at least, if it were afterwards countenanced and propagated with design, as I shall once more prove by and by, then because Mr. Owen has acquitted us, the Dis­senters must confess Guilty. And if Bishops are (as we contend) properly the Apostles Successors, if the Deacons (as has been said) were Ministers of the Word and Sacrament, then I am not absurd nor singular in hinting at an Argument for Episcopacy from this Text, as others before me have done.

But because this Man of Grammar once more gives us a Cast of his Office, and quarrels at the word Seems, which (says he) is as much as if I had contradicted my self, and by saying Seems to be built, had confest, it was not really built upon it. I must again shew what an unhappy Critick and Puny Grammaticaster he is. Let him then turn to Act. 15. 28. There he'l read, It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and unto us; and Chap. 25. 27. It seemeth unreasonable, &c. Was this as good as to say, It was not good to the Holy Ghost, &c. or it was not unreasonable to send a Prisoner to Rome and not signifie the Crimes laid to his Charge? Several other Examples of this kind I could produce out of Scripture, and human Authors were it worth the while. I only note that Tully in an hundred places uses videtur, when he intends to affirm. Thus Horace,

Tres mihi conviva propè dissentire videntur
Poscentes vario multum diversa palato.

Dissentire videntur pro dissentiunt, as the following words evince. Lastly, there is not a more common way of disputing than the Op­ponents ushering in their Arguments thus, Videtur quod sic. They do not thereby mean to intimate, that what they are about to prove true is false. The Remarker then and his Assistants have made a fearful stumble here and run their—heads against the Authority of Scripture and all good Authors. Nay I will con­fute them out of Mr. Owen's own mouth, Pref. pag. 2. Which [Page 47] (says he, meaning our omitting to read some Books of Scrip­ture) seems to be a Diminishing from the Word of God, i e. According to Mr. Owen's Criticism, is not diminishing from it; why then does he retort it upon us as if it were?

My fourth and last Argument was deduc'd from the Cameroni­ans citing this corrupt Place in favour of the People's Power of ap­pointing over themselves their own Teachers and Ministers.

The Minister objects, ‘That the Story concerns not the Eng­lish Presbyterians, that he expected I would have instanc'd in some English Presbyterians; who have made use of this false Reading, that the Scotch Evidence, is but hear-say, that 'tis scarce credible a Cameronian should assert a Doctrine directly contrary to the Presbyterian Principles, that the Error of one Man ought not to be charged upon all.’

In answer to all this, I say,

1. That for the matter of Fact I think it unquestionable. 'Tis thus:

The Honourable Colonel Fairfax reported this Fact unto the Reverend Mr. Piggot Vicar of Rochdale in the hearing of several Persons then present, in particular of Mr. Rob. Mills a Shop-keeper in Rochdale, and a known Dissenter. After Mr. P. had satisfy'd 'em about the true Reading of the place in the Original.

The Company then at Rochdale ‘consulted several English Bi­bles, which they sent for from private Houses, and found them corrupted in like manner; whereupon Col. Fairfax declar'd, that he thought the Presbyterians had some Knavish Design. A German Gentleman then in the Company with them pull'd a Dutch Testament of Luther's Translation out of his Pocket, wherein he read We, and then added, he was certain the Pres­byterians in Germany and in Scotland (where he had lately been) were Knaves, and it was well if they were better in England. Mr. Owen demanded a particular Account of this Fact; and I have gi­ven it him. These latter Circumstance I would have bury'd in ob­livion, had not my adversaries importunity forc'd me to make 'em thus publick. 'Tis Mr. O. they are beholden to for it.

2. The English Presbyterians are like to bear the Burden of their Brethren in Scotland. As they deal with us, they should be content to be dealt with themselves. They have no colour of Complaint, when they duly consider what they have done unto us.

3. I promise him presently an Example of an English Dissenter, who has made use of this false Reading.

[Page 48] 4. I am apt to believe almost any thing even Contradictions of a Cameronian. But the Comfort is, this is not one. The Came­ronian pleaded not against Ordination by the hands of the Presbyte­ries (as Mr. Owen like a Sophister represents the Case); but for the Peoples appointing their own Ministers of Tables. Therefore he read the Place Ye the People.

5. That 'tis no unusual thing for the Error of one Man (or a few) to be imputed to the rest of that Party. Thus (to make use of his own instance) Haman's Offence was reveng'd upon many Thousands of the Persons, and Saul's upon Seven of his Children. And thus the Note-maker fell foul upon the whole Body of the Episcopal Church for a supposed fault of my L. Bishop of Salisbury.

Ay,Rem. p. 13. but the Cameronian was an Ignorant Man happily.

I had thought there were no Ignoramus's among the Presbyterians. If a Man will believe 'em hereabouts, all their Geese are Swans. Every little Mushroom, as soon as he first prickt up his Ears in the Pulpit, is immediately cry'd up as an Angel sent from Heaven, tho' he sprung out of the Earth as it were, but a few days before.

CHAP. V.
Being a Reply to Mr. Owen's Third Chapter.

THE Minister goes on and objects, That no Protestant Dis­senters have ever urg'd the corrupt Reading in favour of a Popu­lar Government of the Church in their Writings.Rem. p. 14.

'Tis a bold Touch this, to be so positive in a Negative. Has he read all their Writings? I'll give him an Example of one, who tho' he urg'd it not in Writing or in Print, yet alledg'd it in a Disputation. One Mr. Jolly some while ago (since dead) at Ducken­feild Hall produc'd that Text in the 6th. Act as alter'd into Ye a­gainst the Reverend Mr. Ellison Rector of Ashton-under line; I have Permission from the said Mr. Ellison to assure the World of this under his Name and Testimony, and which he will be ready to verifie any other way, that shall be reasonably requir'd of him.

Take another of the like kind: There is a Gentleman now li­ving at Bolton (ready upon demand to attest the Truth of what I here relate) who heard some Dissenters in a Dispute about Religion [Page 49] cite Acts 6. as the Cameronian did. But being told 'twas false Printed, they reply'd that they Reading it so in several, and especi­ally the Scotch Bibles, knew not but it was as true as the other. These Dissenters were not ('tis confest) Ministers, but doubtless had been furnish'd with this Argument grounded on this false Reading by some of their Leaders, who ought to have dealt with 'em more sin­cerely. 'Tis remarkable here how they more especially appeal'd to the Scotch Bibles. I believe Mr. Owen will be wiser, than to give us another Catalogue of the corrupted Editions in Scotland, tho' he has in part promis'd it. I shall be beholden to him, if he'l be pleas'd to answer my Expectation herein, since I have not my self interest enough among 'em to procure an Accompt. I hope by this time Mr. O. is in some reasonable Measure satisfy'd.

The Remarker further argues,Rem. p 14. that Had the Corruption been de­sign'd in favour of the Dissenters, it would have been promoted, when they were uppermost. To fortifie this Objection, he has taken pains to examin the Editions of most years from 1640 to 1696, and observes, ‘that most of the faulty Editions happen'd in the Reign of King Charles the Second, when the Bishops had the Manage­ment of the Press, that the faulty Editions amount to Thirty­eight according to his Collection, almost equal in number to the other, which were not corrupted.’ Let us now see what is to be said unto all this.

1. I cannot tell, whether the Dissenters would have promoted the Corruption when they were uppermost. I am sure there was no need of doing it after they had gain'd their Point by another Method, that of the Sword.

By the way we never heard of altering Religion in England by Dragoons, till the Presbyterians first oblig'd this Kingdom with that new Invention in the late Civil War.

2. Tho' far the greater number of faulty Editions were set forth in King Charles the Second's days, when the Dissenters were under­most, yet they may be suppos'd to have promoted the Corruption even then. I never yet could learn, but they found Means at all times to influence the Press in spight of Authority.

3. The Bishops had not in King Charles the Second's Reign the Management of the Press. That had been a long while in the hands of Men having receiv'd it by Patent to them and to their Assigns, who claim it as their Freehold and Inheritance; nor can they easily be controul'd in their Business. The Lawyers in West­minster [Page 50] Hall will tell you as much. The Bishops have nothing to do (no Authority) to Print, License, Order, Over-look, or to Correct the Impressions of the Bible; but the King's Printers have the sole Power lodg'd in them; and for the Errors committed in Printing are answerable to the King, or to the Law only. 'Twas needful to set the ordinary Reader streight in this matter, because the Remarker has so often harpt upon it, and entertain'd us with a great deal of stuff, which having no Foundation of Truth be­trays his Ignorance or Malice against his Superiors, unto whom he owes more Deference.

4. 'Tis acknowledg'd by Mr. Owen, that there have been [...]8. Editions faulty in this Place, besides those in Scotland, and at Ox­ford of late; and besides Mr. Clark's and Mr. Baxter's false Prints, and the same repeated in their Form of Church Government. Who can believe an Erratum to have been thus often repeated by Chance? Let the Minister give us an instance of any other mistake in Prin­ting, whereupon depends any Controversie in Religion, so fre­quently committed in different Volumes, in so many Presses, by so many Printers, and in so many distant Places, at Cambridge, Ox­ford, London and Edinburgh; and it shall suffice: Till then I de­sire to be excus'd, if I continue to believe and assert the Text to have suffer'd by design.

Here I must acknowledge my self beholden to the Remarker, who by the great Pains he has taken in hunting after the corrupted Editions has strengthen'd my Argument, and left no Place for his defence of the Dissenters.

To justifie my self yet further against the Censures of some Men, who have believ'd that the Charge, which I exhibited against the Dissenters in my Sermon, was not sufficiently made out by such Proof or Circumstances, as might have been expected in a thing of this nature, I shall here present the Reader with a Parallel Case, which I find in A B. Laud's Speech in the Star Chamber. It begins p. 64. The Puritans had in a Label accus'd the Prelates, ‘That to justifie their Proceedings they (the Bishops) had forg'd a new Article of Religion brought from Rome giving them full Power to alter the Doctrine and Discipline of our Church at a Blow, and had foisted it into the Beginning of the 20th. Article, Anno 1628. The Clause complain'd of is, The Church (the Libeller expoun­ded it the Bishops) has Power to decree Rites and Ceremonies, and Authority in Controversies, (the Libeller said in Matters) of [Page 51] Faith. This Clause is a Forgery (said the Libeller) not to be sound in the English or Latin Articles of Edward the Sixth, or Q. Elizabeth, Ratify'd by Parliament.’

The Archbishops Answer unto this heavy Charge is, ‘That the aforesaid Clause was by these Men,A. B. L's Sp. p. 67. or at least by some of their Faction razed out of the Article to weaken the just Power of the Church to serve their Turns; that the said Clause was in the En­glish Articles Printed 1612, 1605, 1593,Pag. 68. and in the Latin 1563, which was the first or one of the first Copies Printed but some few Months after the Articles were agreed on. The A. B. further confirm'd this from the Publick Records in his own Of­fice under the Hand of a Publick Notary,Pag. 69. viz. that the said Clause was in the 20th. Article. What then, and where lies the Mystery of Iniquity? why he tells us that in the year 1571,Pag. 70. there were some, who refus'd to subscribe; that in the same Year 1571 the Articles were Printed both in Latin and in Eng­lish, Pag. 71. and that this Clause was left out of both; and that this could not be done, but by the malicious Cunning of that opposite Fa­ction; and (for some reasons there given) it was no hard Matter to have the Articles Printed, and this Clause left out. The Archbishop adds out of the Records,Pag. 72. that all the lower House of Convoca­tion subscrib'd the Articles that very Year 1571, with the said Clause in them; and then concludes, I do here openly charge upon that pure Sect this foul Corruption of falsifying the Articles of the Church of England. Let them take it off, as they can.

Let then the Ingenuous Reader determin, whether I had not as good, yea the same Reasons to impeach the Dissenters for this Cor­ruption of Acts 6. at least for propagating it; and whe­ther the Archbishop's Charge laid against the Puritans is not lyable to the same or greater Objections than mine against the Dissenters. But that's admitted as Reason in one Man's Mouth, which will not pass from anothers.

But to come nearer to my present Argument. Besides the con­jecture of Col. F. and the Suspicion of the German Gent. before spo­ken of, which 'tis natural for any Man in such Cases to discover, I further add, the Right Reverend Edward Lord Bishop of Cork and Ross in his Treatise Entitul'd, Scripture Authentick, and Faith certain, p. 18. took Notice of this Corruption of Act 6. 3. and further says, p. 19 'Tis not improbable it might be done at first with design, and particularly of those who would establish the Peoples Power not only in Electing, but even in Ordaining their own Ministers.

[Page 52] I must now take notice of some things, wherewith the Remar­ker has imbellish'd this Chapter of his to give it a more agreeable Relish unto the Reader's Palate.

No Dissenters (says he) have ever urg'd this corrupt Reading against the Bishops and Ceremonies.Rem. p. 14.

How came Ceremonies here to be brought in by the head and shoulders, and who ever thought that Ye had any thing to do with the Ceremonies tho' we have? These Mens Brains are so full of Ceremonies, that they fancy they see 'em in every Book, and in every Controversie. So the Knight imagin'd he saw a Giant, and prepar'd himself for the Combate; but it prov'd a Wind-mill; so fearful and superstitious Men see Spirits or Hobgoblins, where ever they go.

Mr. Owen informs his Readers (the greatest part of whom will doubtless take it for Truth) that I confidently affirm without the least proof that the Scotch Bibles are generally faulty in this Passage,Rem. p. 16. Ser. p. 28.

My Words there are, Having now just Reason to suspect the Scotch Bibles generally faulty in this Passage. Mr. O. changes 'em into, Con­fidently affirms without proof. Whether I have just reason or not to suspect it, is submitted to the Judgment of the Impartial Reader; why else did the Cameronian send a great Congregation to their Bibles, where they might find it so? but for Mr. Owen to make the World believe, that I confidently affirm'd it without proof, is an impudent Slander not to be parallel'd (I think) except in the Plea for Scripture Ordination, and the five Disputations of Church Govern­ment and Worship, of both which more anon.

That Mr. Owen a Minister of the Gospel (as himself says) mo­dest Mr. Owen, who has an Affection for Truth and Charity for his Neighbours, should in the face of the World scandalize his Brother, and not blush nor repent of it, nor in a private way recal and cor­rect it (he knows my Meaning) is extraordinary. Tell it not in Gath publish it not in Ashkelon.

I beg pardon for gathering a Flower in the Ministers Garden. I am not wont to make so bold with him. But 'tis a choice one I per­ceive, I found it in his Plea (p. 71.) in his Defence, (p. 72.) and we shall presently meet with it again in these Remarks, (p. 18.) I was therefore ambitious to have it for once in my Posie.

'Tis no wonder to me that the Minister is so terribly frighted at the motion of a fire, especially at his own door.

—Tua Res agitur, Paries cum proximus ardet, Ʋcaligon.

I can't blame him then for being concern'd. If Forgeries once be­gin to be sacrificed unto the Flames, the Plea may happily take fire, and receive its just Reward. But it may be 'tis the Light of the Fire which offends him more than the heat. 'Tis natural for such as the Minister, whose Talent it is to corrupt Authors, to love darkness rather than light. Every one that doth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, least his deeds should be discovered, Joh, 3. 19, 20.

But why should the Note maker be so startled at my Proposal? Time was when he had not such an aversion unto the burning of Books.Notes on Bishop S. 4. Disc. p. 2. This calls to my mind how Lewis the 14th. after he had burnt many Goodly Cities, with his Bombs, and forc'd the Confe­derates unto the same method of annoying their Enemies, made hideous complaints of that Barbarous way of fighting, which he would never be sensible of, till it came to his own turn.

Well! but why burn the Holy Bible for one single Corruption? Why? because an Error which appears in Masquerade, and un­der the disguise of Scripture being discovered deserves no pity be­ing of so much the more dangerous Consequence. A Spy, when he is taken, is always put to death, but an open Enemy is only made a Prisoner of War.

The Concern which my Adversaries here shew, least this Cor­ruption should be publickly executed, and their willingness to have it live still under the Protection of the Holy Bible render it impossi­ble for 'em to dissemble its Parentage any longer. If we will be go­vern'd by the Judgment of Solomon, the Bantling must belong un­to them, at whose doors it has been laid. Whose else should it be? but theirs, who palpably discover an Affection and Tenderness to­wards it, and burn their own fingers rather than the Impostor should be flung into the Fire.

CHAP. VI.
An Answer to Mr. Owen's Fourth Chapter.

THE Minister has undertaken here a Defence of Mr. Baxter, whom the Rector charg'd with abusing the Scripture and leaving out the word these, Act. 15. 28. and being accus'd of this long since by Dr. Hook, never attempted a Reply or Vindication of himself.

[Page 54] If Mr. Baxter was capable of being excus'd in this Matter, yet of all Men living Mr. Owen ought not at this time o'th' day to have taken upon him that Province. He has now himself stood twelve Months and upward publickly indicted for a like Forgery, and has not yet been able to assoil and clear himself. It seems unreasona­ble that one Criminal should plead the Cause of another. Mr. B. is not likely to be brought off by the Minister; who cannot, or has not as yet,Luc. Epig. 1. made any tolerable Defence of himself.

[...]
[...].

'Tis impossible that a Man, who manages his own Affairs ill, should do his Neighbours wisely.

The Minister pleads in behalf of Mr. Baxter,Rem p. 18. that He was not at leisure nor dispos'd to take notice of every trifling Accuser.

And yet the Rector had prevented this Excuse by shewing,Serm. Ep. Ded. that Mr. Baxter had spare time enough to acquaint the World with the most trivial and ridiculous passages of his own Life. Cunning Men are never dispos'd to answer, when they see it impossible; tho' there be a sort of Men who will always be medling. Rem. p. 19.

The Minister excuses Mr. Baxter from our Lord's silence towards his Accusers at the time of his Condemnation, Mat. 26. 63.

If Mr. Baxter had not in the whole course of his Life been conti­nually engag'd in Controversies, and then at his death had not left us an Account of his Performances in the History of himself, which is a perpetual Monument of his Pride, and intemperate Heat a­gainst his Betters and Superiors; but had been content at last to have died with the meekness of a Lamb (as our Lord did) not opening his mouth, there had been some colour for this compari­son. But because he left behind him his own Life wrote by him­self in so haughty and contemptuous a manner towards his Adver­saries, which one may call his dying words, and design'd it for the Press, he cannot, with any Reason, nor in any Measure be excus'd from the Silence of Jesus Christ, but will pass henceforth for an e­gregious Example of self-sufficiency and a restless Disposition. Be­ing dead he yet speaks, and even in the Grave is carrying on the Squabbles and Controversies, which he made a dust with, when alive.

I will not deny, but Mr. Baxter after the Text alledg'd has (at least in my own Opinion) explain'd well enough what necessary things are there meant, and how they became necessary. And I do allow that no indifferent things ought to be impos'd except [Page 55] when they are casually become in some sort necessary. But that, which I contend for is, that our Ceremonies and our indifferent things (at least in our own Judgments) are at this day necessary in the same sense as some of those are, which the Apostles injoyn'd, Act. 15. But it is not a proper place to dispute this Point here. Only Mr. B.'s craft deserves to be observ'd. He by omitting the word these leaves an Impression upon the mind of his Readers, that no indifferent things at all ought to be impos'd on any account. Many were unable, and others take no notice of his Explication following.

The Point which Mr. B. was arguing in the Petition for Peace, was that no indifferent things might in any wise be impos'd upon scrupulous Consciences, which is manifestly and in the most gene­ral and unlimited Sense, the Proposition is capable of, asserted in that Text, if you leave out the word these, that is, the two or three things there mention'd.

Mr. B. (says Mr. Owen) when he cites the words of Scripture does it in a different Character in Italick Letters as in that very Page, 1 Cor. 11. 19. but Act. 15. 28. is cited in this Authors own Roman Character; and therefore he intended not to transcribe the very Words.

Well, tho' there is no great matter in this, yet I have look'd into the Page, and find it quite otherwise. A Man must not trust Mr. Owen further than he sees him. He'l be sure to deceive you if you do. He is not content to belye his Adversary only, but he'l venture hard in the defence of his Friend also. The Words of that Text, 1 Cor. 11. 19. are cited by Mr. Baxter not in diffe­rent Italick, but in his own Roman Letters, and go before the Quo­tation. 'Tis the following passage of Scripture, 2 Tim. 3. 2, 3. which is put into Italick Letters, I might lastly shew what Liberty Mr. B. takes seven times in this very place, and some few that follow, in citing Scripture not verbatim, but with some Variation, which is the heinous Crime laid to my Charge, and so dangerous to the security of the sense and meaning of the Scripture. But 'tis hoped I have sufficiently vindicated my self on that account already, and have got Mr. Baxter now on my side against the Ministers at Os­mestry and Manchester, if his Assistance were good for any thing.

I am further inform'd, that Had Mr. B. cited the very words of the Text he would have rendred them in the second Person thus: It seemed good unto the Holy Ghost, and to us, &c. O te Bollane cerebri foelicem! What a goodly Remarker's this! To us in the second Person? Here [Page 56] Mr. Owen has given us another instance of his mighty skill in Gram­mar. I ever thought the Pronoun us was of the first Person. But to make sure I took the Opinion of a little Boy of seven years old; who confirm'd me in it. These People the Remarker and the Note-maker, tho' they pretend so much Deference to Superiors, yet (I perceive) have no respect unto Persons.

But it is pleasant to consider how these Men, who pretend to be skill'd in the Hebrew Grammar and Rabbinical Criticisms, who talk at so confident a Rate of the Masora, and of the Keri's and Cethib's, are yet to learn the first Rudiments of all Languages, and know not the very English Accidence. Were not the Lads too big, l'd advise 'em to go to School again, and learn it a little better. And yet for all this there's a Mystery in the Mistake. Their Inclinati­ons are still towards the second Person, as some Bodys else was in citing Act. 6. 3.

Nor shall Mr. Baxter escape so. For, as 'tis no small Impiety to misquote the Scripture, so 'tis some Iniquity to corrupt good Au­thors. I am perswaded he, who makes no Conscience of doing the latter, will make no great Scruple of the former. Now Mr. Baxter cites and renders that Passage in Jerom's Celebrated Epistle to Eva­grius (Potentia Divitiarum & Paupertatis Humilitis vel sublimiorem vel inferiorem Episcopum non facit) in the Affirmative;Five Disp. p. 218. whereas in all the Editions I have seen or can hear of, 'tis in the Negative non fa­cit, and Jerom's Argument requires it should be so. Nor could it be the slip of Mr. B.'s Amanuensis or Printer, as any one may know, who will look into the Design of the Author in that Place.

And now my hand's in, it may not be improper here to take the Remarker once more to Task by demanding a Reasonable Ac­count, why he, having in his Plea corrupted St. Chrysostom, has not yet satisfied the World in that particular. He has indeed endeavour'd it in the Defence of, &c. p. 147. but very poorly, as I will now make to appear.

His first Excuse is, that 'tis but a Syllabical Mistake. And he says true, 'tis no more; yet 'tis of such a Nature, that it quite over­throws the sense and opinion of the Fathers, changing it from a Ne­gative to an Affirmative Proposition. He might every whit as well have altered that Text, wherewith he adorns the Title-page of his Remarks, and turn'd the Negative Precept into a Positive one, thus, Thou shalt bear false witness against thy Neighbour, and then have ar­gu'd 'tis but a Syllabical Mistake. I am apt to think the latter Syl­labical [Page 57] mistake of the Commandment would have suited the Re­marks much better, than the true Reading, I having demonstra­ted that he has more than once born false witness against the Rector.

2. He imputes the Error unto the Transcriber, and neglect of correcting it in the Errata's

This will not pass muster, good Mr. Owen. The matter you were proving will not bear it, as I told you long since, and you could not gain say it. For tho' your Memory be never so good, and mine so bad, yet as you have reliev'd mine, I'll rub up yours. You had affirm'd in your Plea, Pag. 19. (as I observed to you formerly) that Evangelists were extraordinary Church Officers, such as were not Resident and fixt in one place, but past from one City or Pro­vince to another. You endeavour'd to make out this first from Eu­sebius, who writes, that the Evangelists [...], then you add, with whom agrees Chrysostome, [...], &c. In English thus (according to Euse­bius), Did pass over into other Countries and Nations: And according to Chrysostome, They did—go up and down every where. Now St. Chrysostome says, They did not go up and down every where. If then you had cited Chrysostome in the Negative (as you ought) he would not have agreed with Eusebius; and so instead of confirming your Point by this Father's Testimony, you would have confuted it. Your Design therefore necessitated you to corrupt that Place in St. Chrysostome, that you might confirm your Point by a second Testi­mony. In a word by discharging your own fault upon the Amanu­ensis (or Printer) you have cover'd one piece of foul play with another.

3. Mr. Owen would vindicate his Innocence by alledging, That he lay under no Temptation of altering [...] into [...] because He needed nei­ther Eusebius nor Chrysostom's Testimony to confirm his Opinion. For the Acts and Epistles of Paul make it evident.

That's to say Mr. O. wrote a Plea for Scripture Ordination, and in this part of his Argument, and in this Place produc'd not a Word of Scripture, but only two Authorities out of the Fathers, which yet he now pretends he had no need of; that is, he had no need of the only proofs he produc'd. For tho' now in his Defence he tells us, that it is evinc'd from Scripture, yet in his Plea he not so much as intimated any such thing.Def. p. 147 He boasts of his many Hundred Quo­tations: And had he no need, or did he intend to make no use of them to what purpose then did he cite 'em? Indeed, indeed, Friend, this is a very idle and Boyish excuse, and deserves a Rod rather than a Confutation.

[Page 58] 4. I will confess he has in part accounted for his leaving [...], out of Chrysostome, having at length sound one Edition without it, tho' 'tis one of the worst, and does him as much harm as good, for in aggravates his altering [...] into [...] That very Edition of Donat Veron. whence he transcrib'd his Testimony having this Passage of Chrysostome in the Negative.

Lastly,Def. p. 148 he contends he has Chrysostome on his side without that alte­ration. This I shall hereafter examin, at present I submit it to the Judgment of the Learned, whether this is sufficient to justifie him. We sometimes pardon those that steal for necessity, but certainly punish wanton Offenders.

It being now manifest, that Mr. Owen must have purposely cor­rupted St. Chrysostome, and that he has not been able in any tolera­ble manner to clear himself from this Charge, I crave leave of the Reader to let him know, what some Dissenters have frankly own'd, which is to the purpose following, ‘That if Mr. Owen is indeed guilty of the Crime laid against him, He is a Great As for this broad Expression, 'tis none of mine, I declare it. Rogve, they supposing (I believe) at the same time that he would certainly aequit himself.’ If he has acquitted himself I am content to bear the reproach; if not let his Peers see to it, whether they have pronounc'd a just Sentence upon him, and will give him his due Title of Ho­nour for the future.

He has no shift, that I can imagin, but fairly to plead Ignorance, and that he knew not the difference between [...] and [...]. But the mischief is, as he cannot truly (I believe) so neither would he wil­lingly plead Ignorance in so small a piece of knowledge. He had much rather (I am perswaded) his Honesty should be call'd into question, than his Abilities; and would chuse to pass for a Cun­ning R—rather, than an innocent Ignoramus.

In short, I would advise him to be sincere for once, to acknow­ledge what he cannot deny nor palliare, viz. that he was under a Temptation to corrupt St. Chrysostome. Let not the Old Diverb affright him; I promise to absolve him, provided he will do so no more, which is a Penance I fear he'l never be prevail'd with to submit unto.

For, as I was th' other day dipping in the Remarker's Tutamen Evang. or Defence of Scripture Ordination, I chopt upon Pag. 124, 125. and found him thus arguing, Where doth Luke mention Paul's Preaching the Gospel in Illyricum, which we are sure he did before his im­prisonment at Rome, Rom. 15. 19. Here is a gross and design'd corruption of Scripture to serve a Cause. 'Tis in the Original, [...] [Page 59] [...], and in English, Round about unto Illyricum, as if he had said as far as Illyricum; but not in Illyricum, as Mr. Owen aim'd to prove. I expect no other defence for this his shameless fal­sifying the Holy Scripture, but that 'tis a Syllabical mistake, that 'twas the Transcriber's Error, that he was under no Temptation, &c.

There are two things more which I must not pass over with­out some Reflections on them before I conclude.

The first is the mighty Character the Minister has bestow'd upon Mr. Baxter. The second is his reproaching me for my natu­tural or Providential misfortunes.

As to the first, I observe he calls Mr. Baxter, That Great Man, p. 18. 'Tis a great Scandal to Religion in my Opinion, when Men keep themselves within no compass in the commendation of those of their own Party, representing them as Stars of the first Magnitude in the Firmament of the Church, whereas hundreds of 'em put together would make but a dim light like that of the Milky-way, or of an empty Cloud; but much more, when they stretch their Praises beyond all the Boundaries of Truth and Mo­desty. I meet with several instances of this kind in the Life of Mr. N. H. One is that the said N. H. was wonderfully supported and blessed by God, to such a degree as that he lived creditably and provided well for his Family under very narrow circumstances; whilst his Adversary Mr. St. having no charge but great Incomes, was scarce able to sustain himself, and at length died in debt.

There needs nothing more to discover the malice of this Story than in a few words to let the world know, that the Widow of the said Mr. St. is in very good Condition to this day. I wish Mr. N. H.'s Posterity were so. This is all I think fit to say at present on this occasion, unless I should be bold to exhort Mr. O. H. to be a little more charitablee to his nearest Relations, who are not in so pros­perous condition.

The Note-maker (as I guess) or who ever he be that set forth the Life of Mr. P. acquaints the World that They who were present, observ'd him make his Ordination Vows and Promises with great Humi­lity of Spirit. And again, After he had taken his Degrees at Cambridge.

By these last words a Man would imagin that Mr. P. had at­tain'd unto the Degree of Master at least; but I have heard it oft affirm'd hereabout, that he never took any Degree at all. Mr. P. indeed before his Ordination produc'd a Certificate of his taking the degree of Batchellor in Arts (as the Class-Register informs [Page 60] me) and was wont always to affirm it upon occasion. But this does not convince me, and forces me to call his Truth into question. For I am morally certain that he never took any Degree, if the Pub­lick Register of the University may be trusted. But what will not some Men if it may any ways contribute to the credit of the Cause, and buoy up the reputation of the Heads of the Party?

As for his making his Ordination-Vows and Promises with great Hu­mility of Spirit, I have this to say, that 'tis spoken at Random, yea and against pretty good Evidence to the contrary. Is this consi­stent with the Forgery of the foremention'd Certificate? Besides, how can any one know another Man's Humility of Spirit? What Man knoweth the things of a Man, save the Spirit of Man, which is in him? 1 Cor. 2. 11. And altho' we may make charitable Conje­ctures of Men's inward Dispositions from their outward Deport­ment; yet in the case of Mr. P. there was less ground for this, he being naturally and at all times and in all his Actions of a very staid, grave and demure Behaviour. But that which I insist on is, that Mr. P. just between his Ordination and Examination when the Classis inquir'd into his gracious Qualifications, in which ('tis said) he gave good satisfaction, had marry'd a young Woman without her Parents consent, yea against their declar'd mind. Himself there­fore at that time stood guilty of the breach of the Eighth Com­mandment. He had entic'd the Woman unto the breach of the Fifth, and engag'd a young Man by Marrying them to be a par­taker in both. It can hardly enter into me, that Mr. P. was so re­markable at that time for Humility of Spirit. I intend not hereby to lessen Mr. P. in any thing, wherein he was justly commenda­ble. I very well know he was afterwards and in the main a good Man, excepting always his being engag'd in the Schism. For this I praise him not, and especially because tho' the Writer of his Life assures us he declar'd upon his Death-bed, that he repented him­self not at all of his Nonconformity (that may be true); yet I have oft heard it from very good hands, that in the year 1662, he would have conform'd, had not the Gray Mare been the better Horse.

The sum is, our Nonconformists commend one another at ad­venture, without Reason, above measure, and beyond Truth, which I cannot allow of. Thus the Remarker stiles Mr. Baxter, Great; but, if Truth may be spoken, tho' he made himself great and busie, yet he was but a very little Man; however far from truly deserving that Character.

[Page 61] If to value and commend a Man's self to write the Minutes of his own Life, to aggrandize his own Name and Performances, publishing in a vain glorious manner, what pains he had taken, what Difficulties he had strugled with and surmounted, and yet at the same time to insist on the most trifling and dirty parts of his Actions, even how well his Physick wrought (therefore I said the Minutes of his own Life), if such a Man can merit the Title of Great then is it justly given to Mr. Baxter.

If to raise one's own Reputation upon the Ruin of other Men's, to trample upon their good Name, to expose their Infirmities, and transmit 'em to Posterity, to spare neither great nor small, neither Friend nor Foe, neither Stranger nor Neighbour, no not Father nor Grandfather, so it may contribute something to his own glory, if such a Man deserves the Title of Great, then is it well bestow'd on Mr. Baxter.

If to speak evil of the Rulers of the People, to be continually declaiming against Superiours, undermining and overturning Go­vernments, speaking evil of Dignities, snarling at their Laws, spurning against their Commands, deriding their Conduct, tri­umphing over their Misfortunes, and being never at ease, but when he was embroiling the peace of the Nation; if such a Man may be stil'd Great, let Mr. Baxter have the Honour.

If to follow the Camp, and like ravenous Birds hover about Armies, attending the Events of Battel, and waiting for the Prey: If to have been in the heat of a Man's Zeal forward to change, Letter to Dr. Hill, in Hyp. Ʋnvail'd, p. 11. and ways of Blood, and for that Reason fearful God would not let him have an hand in the peaceable building of his Church, nor to see it; and yet still against the admonitions and checks of his own guilty Consci­ence, to be always busie in projecting it, making a perpetual noise and eternal wrangling about Church-Government to no purpose. But, I say, if to be forward to promote War and Bloodshed en­titles a Man to be called Great, then may it be allow'd Mr. Baxter, as well as Caesar and Pompey, as Solyman and Lewis XIV.

Some doubtless will look upon this as hard measure and severe, especially when the Great Man spoken of is gone to his Everlast­ing Rest. And I readily grant it is severe enough. But why then did Mr. Baxter take the liberty to rip up the Faults of the Ancient Fathers,Ecclesiast History. to fling all the dirt on them, which Malice and Rage, and intemperate Zeal, and a curious but ill-natur'd search into their failings and miscarriages could furnish him with? In short my Apology for this is, [Page 62]

Dehinc ut quiescant porro mon [...]o; desinan [...]
Maledicere, malefacta ne noscant sua.

2. Whereas the Remarker and his Reviser,Rem. p. 21. take the liberty to reflect upon me about my use of Spectacles, I am not asham'd to own that Age and Distempers have at length driven me unto this very ordinary shift. I believe they themselves have a tenderness for Life, and would be glad to number the days of their Pilgrimage as far as I have, and be content at last to betake 'emselves to their Spectacles. But there is no discretion, much less Humanity, least of all Piety to reproach any Man for his Natural Infirmities, how bold soever they make with his Morals. They might have remem­bred the Story of the Prophet Elisha, 2 King. 2. 23. And tho' there is no great fear of Bears tearing these Scoffers at Divine Provi­dence, yet God has other Means in his Power to chastise this in­solent way of Remarking upon his just and wise Administrations.

But of all Men living the Reviser at Manchester ought to have expung'd this Witticism. God has not been so liberal to him in the Perfection of these parts, but the Rector is still able to vye with him, and can perhaps see as far into a Mill-stone as he can. In retort then, I'le only present him with a Passage out of Horace:

Heus tu?
Horat. l. 1. [...]. 3.
Janoras re?
Cùm tua pervide [...] oculis mala lippus inunctis,
Cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum?
—at tibi contra
Evenit, inquirant vitia ut tua rursus & illi.

If it be reply'd they mean't not to meddle with my Natural Infir­mities, but glanc'd only at my reading my Sermons: Be it so: Even this is to despise me for my weaknesses. What if I have not a good Memory, or not a voluble Tongue, or not a sudden Inven­tion, such as may enable me to discharge the Office of Preaching off hand in so agreeable a manner, as some few can? and as, if at all, it ought to be done? Or what if all this be an effect of the want of Self-sufficiency and too great distrust of my self? I had rather be thought deficient in some of these Qualities, than be admired for those Boon-graces of Confidence and Impudence. I chuse rather by the help of my Eyes with the advantage of my Spectacles to deliver my Sermons in a set form of words readily and roundly pronounc'd (as I wish more would do) than utter Ex tempore a great deal of rambling incoherent stuff with hums and ha's, and vain repetitions, which tho' they are pretended for the [Page 63] benefit of the Audience, yet are indeed design'd for the Preachers own ease, and to get time to pump for some new matter, and what to say next. In short, I rather bestow my pains in compo­sing my own Sermons, as well as I can, that they may smell of the Oyl and of the Lamp according to the poor ability, which God has given me, than serve God and my Congregation with that which cost me nought, that's to say, than Preach other Men's Works by heart, as Mr. O. knows who did.

The CLOSE.

IT was once in my thoughts to have sum'd up the whole, that has been said, and to set it in a plain and shorter view before the Reader; but there is no room left for such a repetition. I on­ly desire it may be remembred that Mr. Owen and his Brethren ha­ving undertaken the Defence of the Dissenters charged with coun­tenancing and propagating the Corruption of the Word of God, have at the same time, as far as in them lay, corrupted it. They have endeavour'd to cast out of the Greek Bible a considerable Se­ction together, with the Rector's Text, and thrown it over-board. Mr. Owen has falsified Rom. 15. 19. meerly to serve a turn. They have unfairly misrepresented the Rector every where; but they have openly with a bare-fac'd and unparallel'd confidence down­right bely'd him in that Passage of the Epistle Dedic. and that other of the Serm. pag. 28. Whether these Men ought to be believ'd in any thing they say or write, is left to the Judgment of the Candid and Impartial Reader, what is to be thought of the Party, when the Advocates themselves are thus plainly detected in so many For­geries, is not hard to determine, whether my Adversaries will have the Grace to ask God, the Church, and the Rector pardon for these Scandals, is to be question'd. They are too far gone and hardned in their Impiety, I am afraid. Being plung'd over head and ears in Debt they'l despair of making any satisfaction. Their Predecessors (as in the Case of the Articles of the Church of Eng­land before spoken of in Archbishops Laud's Speech) began this Trade long ago, and it has been their continual practice ever since, as we see at this day.

How many slanderous Reports of the Rector have within a few Months been rais'd by that Party, is well known, and more still [Page 64] ('tis to be suppos'd) are upon the Anvil. The Sin seems like Gehazis Leprosy hereditary, and threatens to cleave to them and to their Seed after 'em for ever. But the comfort is, that as Hypocrisie so Lying when discovered tends to the Authors greater shame and disadvantage.

As for the Principal Matters debated in these Papers, viz. the Corruption of Act. 6. 'tis refer'd to the Judicious Reader whether I had not Reason on my side, when I tax'd the Dissenter with the De­sign, at least of continuing it. It favour'd the Schism, which was then hatching, and it began in a Juncture, when all hands were at work, and no stone was left unturn'd to overthrow the purest and most flou­rishing Church in the World: It has increased and multipli'd since in so many Impressions of the Bible, that 'twere sensless to believe it a casual Error: It has been publickly cited in the Pulpit for Authen­tick and in private Disputes urg'd and desended as the true Read­ing. What would any Man have more to make good the Charge laid against them, and what better Evidence can be given? except one had been sometime engag'd in their Interests and in their Coun­sels, which I thank God I never was, and by his Grace never will be.

I have not made it my business to provoke my Adversaries with all the keen and tart Reflections, which offer'd themselves Many, and especially such as seem'd most exasperating I rejected upon second Thoughts, tho' his paultry Treatment of me deserv'd it not at my hands. But I remembred that other saying of the Wiseman, Prov. 26. 4. my Purpose then hereafter is intirely to lay aside this way of con­troverting, and to leave Mr. O. Scolding by himself. For I perceive by that little I have read of his Tutamen Evang. or Defence, &c. (which I intend in due time to reply unto and to the Remainder of his Plea, &c.) that he has there likewise pursu'd me, as far as his Malice and Rancor (for which I never gave Occasion) enabled him, tho' very si­lily Godwo [...], and very flatly in Comparison with the Remarks, the Reason whereof I have hinted before. Let him then go on and pros­per: I'll give him no further diversion or trouble of this kind. When the raging fit is over, and Mr. O. is come to himself, he will per­haps see that his Tutamen is but like a Taylor's Bill, that after his im­pertinent Excursions, his froward Reflections on the person of his Adversary, the fulsom Commendations of himself, and the nause­ous Repetition of the same things over and over again are struck off; there will little remain, but what may be without the Expence of much Labour easily answer'd.

FINIS.

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