AN ESSAY FOR The Discovery and Discouraging of the new sprung Schism, raised and maintained by Mr SIMON HENDEN of Bennenden in Kent.

Exhibited in some Passages of Writing which have gone between Mr JOHN ELMESTON of Cranebroke, and the same M. Henden.

Love the Truth and Peace,

Zech. 8. 19.

Now I beseech you, Brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine that ye have learned, and avoid them,

Rom. 16. 17.

Haereses inimicus invenit & Schismata, quibus subverteret fidem, verita­tem corrumperet, scinderet unitatem.

Cyprian. de Unitate Ecclesiae.
The enemy the devil hath invented Heresies and Schisms, by which he might sub­vert the Faith, corrupt the Truth, and rend Unity asunder.

An esse sibi cum Christo videtur qui adversus Christi sacerdotes facit? Qui se à cleri ejus e [...]plebis societate secernit?

Idem. ibid.
Doth he seem to himself to be with Christ who sets himself against the Ministers of Christ? Who doth separate himself from the society of the Ministery and people of Christ?

Published according to Order.

London, Printed forC. Meredith at the Crane inPauls Church-yard, 1652.


Gentle Reader,

IT is like thou hast heard the Story of the Trojan-Horse, which the Grecians built by the councel of Pallas, and by subtle Sinons perswasion procured to be received into Troy, but to the ruine of that ancient and famous City: For in the next night issued out of it a warlike troop of the most valiant Greekish Captains couched secretly therein, which invaded the City, and laid it waste with fire and sword. Much like unto this Trojan-horse hath been set on foot here in England, an Universall Toleration for all wayes, and consciences in Religion. No doubt it was by Sa­tans craft, and by the insinuation of some cunning Sinons. It is like to redound to the great prejudice, if not ruine of our Troy, I mean, of the Church of God in this Land, and the Gospel of Christ. For out of it have come [Page] forth, not some small Bands, but numerous Armies of un­godly Blasphemies, Heresies, Errours, Sects and Schisms; some whereof oppose the Fundamental Truths of the Gospel; some disturb the Peace and Unity of the Churches: All this to the great Joy of Satan and Grief of the Godly, exceedingly hinders the thriving and pro­gresse of the Gospel. Out of this Womb have broken forth that execrable crue of Ranters, which speak hor­rid Blasphemies of God, of Christ, of the Scriptures: See John Hol­lands Paper of the Ranters. of the Arians, Secinians and Antiscripturists, who, by their cursed Doctrines break down some main Pillars of our Christian Faith. Out of this Womb also are bro­ken forth another sort of erroneous Persons, not so perni­cious as these former, though very dangerous, whose Do­ctrines are, I doubt, like unto those waters into which the Wormwood-star sell, and are become so bitter, that whoso drinks thereof is in danger to die: And of this rank are our Arminians, Antinomians, Soul-Mort lists, Anti­sabbatarians, Seekers, and such like. Out of this Womb also are come forth another brood, not so dangerous for their Errors (though some be grosse and absurd;) as grievous for the Rents and Divisions which they make, and delight to maintain: Among which our Anabaptists are the [...]ading men; After whom come up close all those other Se­paratists and Dissenters from us, who have embraced such a Truth and Gospel, as in their sense about it, will admit of no Unity with us of the Presbyterian-way, in Church, nay scarce in Christian Communion, and seem so strangely to be affected toward us, as if they would not willingly allow us a place in Heaven with them, nor they willingly be in the same Heaven with us. It is an ancient and approved Axiom: Quae conveni­unt [Page] in eodem tertio, ea quoque inter se conveniunt, Whatsoever things agree in some one third thing, they al­so agree between themselves. What a sad thing is this then that Christians, and Saints of God, meeting in the one and onely corner Stone Jesus Christ, upon whom they endeavour to build the whole frame of their Do­ctrine, Worship and Discipline, should so ill agree in their mutual Conversation each with other? so farre disa­gree in the joint-Worship of the Lord, that they seem to be possessed with as bitter a spirit of discord as the two Brethren the Poets fable of, Eteocles and Polynices, whose hatred was so unreconcilable, that after Death the flame of the fire wherein their bodies were joyntly burnt would not close, but did divide asunder. And if that good man (Linaker) were now alive, and should see this implacable division between the Professours of the same Gospel, would he not, and that justly, break out with indignation against us, into that his passionate Speech: Surely either these men professe not the right Gospel of Christ, or are not right Professours of his Go­spel? This is a Lamentation, and this shall be for a La­mentation. O God, who art the Father of Peace, O Christ, who art the Prince of Peace, O Holy Ghost, who art the Spirit of Peace, work it in the Hearts and Affections of thy Children, Disciples and Saints, that they may love and live in peace. But to come to mine intend­ed matter.

From hence also hath arisen this new forged Sect of M. Hendens, of the which these following Papers will give thee a slight view; and with the which I am at unawares more deeply engaged then at first I meant. [Page] The brief Story whereof is this, M. Henden hath been a man of good Note these many years, for Profession of Re­ligion; no despiser of Learning, but rather a lover of it. By his private Industry he hath added to his Grammar-School-learning, some Knowledge of the Original Tongues. Studious also he hath been of the Scriptures; (unto which his retired life, partly upon some bodily infirmity, partly (as some have thought) upon some worldly Discontents, gave him an opportunity) and especially of the dark Pro­phecies of Ezekiel, Daniel and the Apocalyps. In the which his vein hath been to vary from the stream of other Interpreters, and to produce some unusual notion of his own with no small confidence of its truth. This man was heretofore a great Antagonist of the old Separatists cal­led Brownists, and with much zeal did, against them, maintain our Churches in England, and our Ministery then, as the true Churches and Ministery of Christ. But now of late, I know not how, on the sudden it was noised abroad, that he was changed in his Principles, fal­len from our Communion, and had erected a new uncouth way by himself, and much purer then any other. And truly hereupon there was much flocking to him of unsta­ble souls: Much like as the Poet describes the flocking of people after Bacchus Pardon the simile, the man is unlike. his Orgia when they were first brought in at Thebes,

Turba ruit, mistaeque vi [...]is matresque nurusque,
Et vulgus proceresque ignota ad sacra feruntur.
Ovid. Meta. 3.
The rout rung headlong and all mixt together,
Mives, husbands, and their Daughters each with other:
[Page] The common people, and the noble Peer
After this unknown worship run carier.

This noise caused me, who had some Acquaintance with him, to write to him the first Letter in this Paper, not with a purpose to make any Controversie of it, but to be informed from himself what his way was. Hereunto in con­venient time he returned kindely unto me an Answer, as among these Papers you may see. I was therewith satis­fied, minding onely to seek into the truth of his way for mine own satisfaction without further medling. But lee I found that I had medled with a nest of Wasps which would not let me so go off. For it was by and by noi­sed and given out by his Party amongst us, that M. Hen­den had sent me a Writing in which he had utterly blown up our Churches, Ordinances and Ministery from the very foundation, and such an one as I could not answer. What should I do here? If I had replied nothing, there would have been no end of their triumph which was al­ready loud enough. Will I, nill I, therefore I was fain to take up the Bucklers, and return somewhat in reply to M. Henden. I had a purpose only a little to come aboard their Ship, and take a view of their Commodities what they were, but by the contentious humours of fellow-ven­turers, I am forced thus to fall into some earnest grapple about the goodness of their Wares. Take these as some slighter beginnings of the business between us: Some larger and more serious Discourse is in time like to fol­low: If M. Henden will be drawn to make his last Wri­ting more publick, which I desire. Reade these, if thou canst spare so much time as to take notice of this no [Page] trifling Controversie. And in reading take to thy self a free and full Liberty to judge of the cause according to evidence of Arguments on both sides. And know that at length the Word of God must and will both judge of it, and thy judgement about it.

Thine in the Lord Christ to learn of thee or any godly Christian how in the best way to know and serve Christ Jo. Elmeston.

I Have heard partly by common fame, but more certainly from M. Williamson (who lately had some conference with you) that you are devia­ted of late from many of those principles and practices, wherein heretofore you did concurre with us. Indeed there is now adayes great talk of much new light broke forth, and shining, to latter Pro­fessours, and those many, but young men, above that which elder Protestants and Professours have been or are acquainted with. Which boast occasioneth me to minde a Story which I have met with among ancient Authors, of one Nauplius a King, who to re­venge upon the Greeks the death of his son Palamedes, by them, as he conceived, wrongfully put to death, upon their return from Troy, did set up in the night a great light on the top of the hill Caphareus; which they, in their course and sailing espying, and supposing it to be a friendly light to shew them the way to some safe harbour to anchor in, directed their course thither, and so fell upon many dangerous Rocks and Whirlpools, whereof that sea was full, to the wofull casting away of many ships and men. Pardon me now if I think that Satan the Prince of darkness in­deed, who yet can transform himself into an Angel of light, hath a great hand in kindling and setting up much of this new light out of malice to the salvation of mankinde. This is certain and manifest enough, that too many, while they steer their course after and towards these lights, some make shipwrack of the faith upon the Rock of dangerous errors; others of peace and unity upon the Rock of rash and unjustifiable Separation from our publick, though well reformed Assemblies; others of Christian meekness, and moderation, and charity, upon the Rock of a bitter spirit, and base virulent railing. The more carefull had you need to be that you give not countenance too hastily to these new lights, nor forsake your old good way to [Page 2] walk after them who are not like to go astray alone, but to car­ry many along with you into errors. But notwithstanding all this which I have said, I do acknowledge Gods rich grace to us in these times, in vouchsafing much fuller and clearer light to us in many things then in former dayes. And that opinion have I with many Christians hereabouts, of you and your judicious piety, that you are like as soon to discern of old errors, and finde out some of those truths which have newly appeared, as some others, whose study hath been long and much bent to dive into dark and hard Prophecies, and to search out their mysteries, to take notice of the Church-controversies of our times, and to settle your self and others about them. The errand of these lines therefore is not to expostulate with you about your change; But to request you in writing briesly to impart to me those new Points you have pitched upon, & what your opinion is about our publick Ministery, the Presbytery and our Church-assemblies. Let me intreat you to set down plainly the Positions you hold about these, and to annex your reasons thereunto. I am willing to learn what I know not, & shall account myself much beholding to you or any other who shall fight me from the least errour in Divine matter, or discover unto me any truth of Gods Word to me yet unknown, the least whereof I esteem above all Indian Pearls and Rubies. It is a saying of Cato, though out of a young School-boyes-book and Author, yet very worthy to be remembred,

Ne pude at quae nescieris te velle doc [...]ri:
Scire aliquid laus est, [...]udor est nil discere velle.
Be not asham'd willing thy self to shew
Such things to be taught as thou dost not know.
To know some thing it is a commendation,
To nill to learn ought is a shamefull fashion.

Wherewith I conclude, and am

Your much well-wishing friend and brother in Christ, J. E.
Most worthy Sir,

VVHom I highly esteem for Piety, and reverence for Gra­vity and learning: Your Letter I have received, con­taining a friendly admonition to beware of old errors in­truded under the specious shew of new lights. It is true, Satans sub­tilty was deep and deceivable in all ages; but the main strength of his Art and Policy was combined in making up the Man of Sinne. All deceivablenesse of unrighteousnesse, the whole Mystery of ini­quity is in him contracted; who, being now by the glorious beams of truth more clearly discovered in the Romanist, Episcopacy, &c. to be a false Christ in the wildernesse, hath since entered into his secret Chambers, where he seemingly puts on a more curious dresse of Holinesse and Purity neerly resembling the wedding garment of the Primitive Church, that by his glittering array he might, if it were possible, deceive the very elect. Hereupon the Spirit reckons it for a principal point of wisdom to know the full number of the Beast. Truly Sir, I do with you confesse, that I have searched the Scripture from my childehood, neglecting no part of the Old and New Testaments, and that I have much enquired into those mysteries couched under the Visions of the Prophets; but especially those shewed by Christ himself to John in his Apocalyps, as that contracting the rest belonging to his and after times into a methodi­cal Abridgement. My ground for it was this, Because I found a peculiar blessing attributed to those who read, hear and keep the words of this Prophecie, as that containing the whole testimony of Jesus, being so full as nothing can be added to or detracted from it, without a dreadfull curse, Revel. 13. & 19. 10. & 22. 18, 19. and from hence concluded, That there was a divine Treasure of heaven­ly wisdom enclosed in this precious Cabinet, and being a Prophecie of all Gospel-times, that the several dispensations of God proper to every period with Satans opposite works, was here included, which no plain Text of Scripture so fully evidences; and that the know­ledge [Page 4] thereof would be as a pillar of Cloud to direct us in every age to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes thorow his seve­ral administrations, and a true light to discover those Rocks of error, which men running against hazard the wracking of their souls; and that this being veiled from the sight of the world under dark Types, that so Antichrist fore-prophesied of, might have closer and freer entrance, requires the more industry to draw it out, Neither was the highest reach of my capacity able to dive so farre into these secrets, as to discover the Beast farther then the Pope and Bishops, till the Spirit who only knows the deep things of God, removed farther from mine eyes that veil cast upon the eyes of all Nations, Isa. 25. 7. and revealed unto me, That the foundation of Antichrist consisted in an usurped power of Church-Discipline footed upon man and his will without the Call of God. And that the call of God in our times is onely for separation and rewarding; being during the vials pouring, but in our journey toward Sion visibly separated, and having but in part put off our Babylonish Garments, Revel. 18 4, 6. and 15. 8. And that the time for visible marriage is not till all enemies are down by the vials, and God onely reigns, Revel. 19. 7, 8, 9. Isa. 62. 5. And that all visible Church-marriage from the Apostasie till this reign is out of Gods time (whose Prerogative it is onely to ordain the times and seasons) and so being founded only on the Will, Call, Name and Power of man, and not on Gods Call, must be bea­stial. And that the breathing of the Spirit in these both Officers and Ordinances in the Primitive Age, the life and soul of both, was since restrained, being as a carcasse without a soul, Ezek. 1. 4. Act. 2. 2. 1 Timoth. 4. 14. Revel. 7. 1. And then at the bright­nesse of Christs coming the same Spirit of pouring and breathing returned, Isa. 32. 15. Ezek. 37 9. Matth. 24. 27, 28. Psalm. 97. 4. Now least any mistake me, as though I subverted all Gospel. Ordi­nances, we conceive that Ordinances are of two sorts,

1. Such as are founded more immediately on our spiritual union, and the Covenant of Grace, as Ministery, Baptism, the Lords Sup­per, Prayer, Profession &c.

2. Such as are footed upon Church-stating, and appertain to Officials, as Ordination, Confirmation, Excommunication, [Page 5] Admission, Absolution, &c. The first of these we say, The gates of hell never prevailed against them, but they were born up by the Spirit of Prophecie thorow the whole time of this deep Apostasie. As teaching and Baptism was overlasting, Matth. 28. 19, 20. Isa. 55. 13. & 56. 5. Revel. 7. So the bread and wine hold forth his death till he come, 1 Cor. 11. 26. Also Prayer was alwayes, 1 Thess. 5. 17. Revel. 8. 34. & 9. 13. Likewise Profession conti­nued, Rev. 11. 3.

The second sort, to wit, The Keys deemed essential to Officials, were not alwayes truly used. Though the name was fore prophesi­ed to be everlasting, yet [...] jad, the Hand or the Keys held forth by the Hand, interpreted Place, is not so specified This in Mr Henden was quoted Isa. 66. for 56. which errour I not finding out, said nothing in this writing to that place. Isa. 66. 5. But was wholly resolved in the Pope, to whom another Key was given with other Smoke and Officers, the Locusts, Revel. 9. Neither was there any other face of Officials, but amongst the Papists in Luthers time, who himself was a Monk. Nay the visible Church, the foundation of these failed; onely a sealed elect number remain­od, Revel. 7. 3. to 9. and 9. 4, We destroy not these Ordinances, but hold that they have a being in the Scripture of truth, and in the minde and desire of the faithfull. And now in our return from Ba­bylon, we do as the Israelites of old, carry these vessels of the Lord along with us in this our journey of separation, Isal. 52. 11. but dare not officiate in them in the Territories of Babylon, in which we are till we have passed by the sixth vial over the River Euphra­tes, Revel. 16. 12. These with many other Discoveries I have received; the full explanation whereof with all their Scriptures and Reasons would require a volume; which neither the strength of my body, or my time, being now precious, will permit me largely to delineate with my Pen. You shall command any thing which with convenience I am able to perform: And therefore, Sir, let me beseech you to come unto me, who am not able to visit you, with what friends you shall make choise of, and you shall be re­ally welcome, where I will (as God shall inable me) grant your request by a living voice, and freely hear your Answers and Objections against what I shall speak. For I desire to have it brought to the Touchstone of Truth, and there to be tried to the utmost. And if by our confeerence we cannot be united in [Page 6] our Judgement, yee I shall desire to be joyned with you in my Affection, as highly prizing my union with all the godly. With this Proviso of Aristotle, Amicus Socrates, amicus Plato, sed magis amica Veritas, Socrates is my friend, Plato my friend, but truth is my more speciall friend. The Truths of God are to be valued above the nearest Relations. Thus with my best respect remembred, I rest and remain,

Your very loving Friend Simon Henden.

AN ESSAY FOR The Discovery and Discouraging of the new­sprung Schism raised and maintained by Mr Simon Henden of Bennenden in Kent.

Good Mr Henden,

I Thank you very much for your taking in good part my writing to you, for your pains taken to answer me, and your free imparting to me your Principles on which you go in this new way, and embrace all this as no small testimony of your good opinion of, and good affections toward me. But having with some de­liberation perused your Letter, I must needs professe that your Principles do not appear so clear and solid unto me as that I ean close with them. In which respect for a fuller debate and clear­ing of them, I have thought meet to propound to you in writing my doubts about them, since I can hardly finde leisure from my School-imploiments, nor since my weaknesse am hardly strong enough to come over to you in presence to conferre about them.

First then, for what you glance at out of Matth. 24, 26. con­cerning the Man of Sinne, as being discovered int he Romanist and Episcopacy to be a false Christ in the wildernesse, and now retired into his Secret Chambers, in a curious dresse of holinesse and purity the more effectually to deceive: it cannot be made [Page 8] good by you that that place of Matthew is particularly meant of the Roman Antichrist, it is meant of those who should take on them to be Christ in their own Person, or to shew unto men Christ in Person. Some such of old did arise among the Jews, as he in the time of the Emperor Adrian, that called himself Ben Cochab, the sonne of the Starre, viz. that starre prophesied of by Balaam, Numb. 24 17. whom afterward the Jews having discovered him for an impostour, called Ben [...]coshan, the sonne of a lie: Some such of latter years have been in England, viz. Hacket with his companions in Queen Elizabeths daies, and some not long ago amongst us in these so fertile in seducers and seducements. And if it may be extended unto other seducers by way of allusion, who preach false doctrine in the name of Christ, with a shew and pretence to discover Christ unto men in a more clear and perfect way then others do, this cannot ve­ry fitly be applied, much lesse be appropriated to the Roman Antichrist, who hath not acted his part in a wildernesse or de­sert, as it is taken in Matthew according to the proper sense of the word, viz, for a place not at all, or slenderly inhabi­ted by some poor cottagers, But hath set as God in the Temple of God, 2 Thess. 3. 4. And ruled over Kingdoms, Nations and Contries in much pomp and magnificence. Revel 17. 15. Indeed John, Revel. 17. 3. was carried into the wildernesse that he might take the better view of the Whore, i. e. this great Anti­christ, but she was presented to him as riding on a Beast of seven heads and ten horns, and sitting on many waters, Revel. 17. 13. as reigning in the great and stately City of Rome, and ruling o­ver multitudes of people, Revel. 17. 9, 10. 15. so farre was she she from flying into the wildernesse, or hiding her self therein: Nor did the Beast nor the Frogs coming out of his mouth ever heretofore, or now more invite men into Chambers under a co­lour and pretence to shew them Christ, as not to be seen in the publick Profession of the times, more then other hereticks may and have done, nay not more then the most orthodox Christians may do and have done in some sad times of darknesse and perse­cution. Finally, I wish you to consider, whether this calling men into Chambers in these daies from publick Assemblies to see Christ, do not fully reflect upon the practice of Brownists, [Page 9] Independents, Anabaptists, Seekers, and the like, who leave our publick Assemblies and Ordinances, as if Christ were not there to be seen and enjoyed, and call men into houses, parlours and chambers, with a specious pretext of more then ordinary holi­ness, and exact serving of God, and keeping themselves and others from the pollution of publick worship, and bringing men to nea­rer and fuller Communion with Christ then can be enjoyed in publick Ordinances. I may say then touching this, as the Poet doth of a witty fable he had told, and after doth apply to one who thought himself little concerned in it,

—Mutato nomine, de te
Fabula narratur—
Change but the name, if I may make so bold,
Of your own self, the story may be told.

Secondly, The diligent search you do make or have made to understand the visions of the Prophets, and in special the myste­ries of the Apocalyps, is worthy commendation. But this I must adde, that you had need to be conversant in that search with much humility and self-denying, as not having any such conceit of your self that you are endued with a more excellent spirit of revelation and understanding in those mysteries then other learn­ed and godly men that have with much pains and prayer studied that Book, and published their meditations on it, but rather mi­strusting your own conceptions, in which you go alone, and dif­fer from the stream of most Writers and Interpreters, Qui opi­nione blandiente gravidi sunt, nihil serium pariunt, tumidi tantum­utres, saith one, Whosoever they be which travel big with childe of some pleasing conceit of their own, or vain opinion of them­selves, never bring forth any serious matter, being only big-swoln bottles. And if you hold forth any new conceit beyond or a­gainst them, judicious Christians will advise upon it, and not hastily receive it, unlesse you can make it appear, that you have Daniels spirit of wisdom and revelation for interpretation of dreams and visions given you, or can prove your interpretation by irrefragable arguments. For in such a case may it not be said to you, as Paul said to the Corinthians puffed up with some singular conceit of their knowledge above [Page 10] other Churches, Came the word of God out from you? or came it to you onely? 1 Cor. 14. 26. Came the Spirit of wisdom or knowledge unto you only? or came it from you to all others? Besides, if we de­sire to know Christ in the whole mystery of our salvation, viz. the doctrine of his Person, Offices, and the means to apply him to our selves, the waies of his Worship; the Nature of the Church, and the Ordinances belonging to it, and then what be the most dangerous errours in Faith or Worship: Such things are better learned out of the doctrinal books of Scripture then out of the Apocalyps. That doth hold forth a prophetical story concerning the enemies of the Church, who they should be, and where; how they should oppresse the Church, and at length be destroy­ed, and of the Churches estate before these enemies rising, under their power, its deliverance and glorious estate in the end; but it doth not doctrinally discourse of points of faith, worship and good works. Those matters in other Books are purposely hand­led, largely and fully discoursed; in the Revelation are but touch­ed on by the way, in other parts of Scripture they are plainly pro­pounded, that common Christians may conceive and come to the knowledge of them; but the Revelation is veiled with such mystical visions and allegorical phrases that very learned and most able Christians cannot uncover the veil cleerly, and see to the end of them; much lesse are they such as can be apprehend­ed by Christians of the lower sort, and weaker capacity. As the pillar of fire and cloud were such things as were open to the view of all the Israelites; so those Books of Scripture (though I exclude none) which are plainest and most obvious to the under­standing of all Christians, are specially to be accounted as our pillar of cloud and fire to direct us how and where in all ages we should follow the Lamb.

Thirdly, It is strange to me that you should affirm, That the foundation of the Beast doth consist in an usurped power of Church-Discipline footed on mans will without Gods call. It is true, that what Discipline is exercised only on mans will with­out Gods call, is bestial, as you term it, and Antichristian; As

1. That which for the thing it self was wholly invented by An­tichrist not being once mentioned in the Gospel, such was a­mongst others the Popes interdicting of whole Realms for ha­ving [Page 11] any service of God used in them upon their offending against his commands and Ordinances.

2. And if for the matter it self it were Christs Discipline, yet it was managed not by the hands of Christs Officers, but of Antichrist, and against Christs faithfull servants; such was Ex­communication exercised by the Pope, papal Bishops, Commis­saries, and the like. Notwithstanding Discipline, nor the usurped power of it cannot be the foundation of the Beast. There are three things in Christian, and so in Antichristian Religion, Doctrine, Worship and Discipline; and these so answer one another, that look what place any one of them hath in the one, the same it hath in the other Religion. Now none ever did or can affirm Discipline to be the foundation of Christian Religion; it is but as the roof, or at best but as the wals of it, and serves to beauti­fie or to guard and preserve it; It is sound Doctrine in the prin­ciples of faith that is the foundation of Christian Religion, 1 Cor, 3. 11. So it is the false Doctrine of the Roman Church that is the foundation of the Beast and Antichristian Religion. And this the Apostle S. John doth teach, 1 Joh, 4. 23. Every one that con­fesseth Christ to be come in the flesh, is of God; but every one that denieth Christ to be come in the flesh is not of God; this is the spirit of Antichrist. It is in effect as much as if he had said: Sound Doctrine concerning Christ his Nature, Person and Offices, is the main ground and mark of Christian Religion; and false do­ctrine touching these things the principal note and ground of An­tichristian Religion. Besides the Popes extravagant exercise of Discipline in excommunicating, suspending, &c. not onely single persons, but whole Nations, and disposing all Church-dig­nities, &c. was founded on that false Doctrine which was first laid, That the Pope was an Ʋniversal Bishop, Vicar of Christ, and the visible Head of the Church. Doctrine then is the foun­dation of the Beast, and not the usurped power of Church-Dis­cipline. Lastly, None can comply with the Beast in the founda­tion of his estate without losse of his salvation, as who doth lie and relie on some other besides the onely foundation of salvati­on, which is Jesus Christ, and worshippeth the Beast in acknow­ledging him for the Vicar of Christ in the Church and supreme Head under him, and submits to his Decrees and new Articles [Page 12] of faith; But many may and have too much complied with the Beast in the exercise of Discipline, viz. Excommunication, Su­spension, Ordination, &c, managing it in a Popish manner, whom yet we have just cause to acknowledge (and should deal most uncharitably not to acknowledge) for the main to have been godly Christians, and out of doubt saved, Such as were those Diocesan Bishops in Queen Maries dayes, Ridley, Lati­mer, Hooper, &c. and Grindal, Jewel and others in Queen Eli­zabeths Reign.

Fourthly, It is a new conceit not heard of before among In­terpreters of the Apocalyps, and which I cannot imbrace, That in these our times we are called onely to separating from Baby­lon, and rewarding her, so that upon separating from her, if Gods people go further, as to set up reformed Churches, and gather themselves into Church-order, it is in your opinion against, or at least without Gods command. But

First, This is a course flat contrary to that which the Lord hath followed and prescribed to his people in former times, whose se­paration from Idolaters and prophane Nations was still accom­panied with a present setting up of a Church-society for Gods service and mutual edification. No sooner did God call Abra­ham out of his idolatrous Countrey, but he set up a visible Church in his Family, teaching him to call on God and set up al­turs for his Worship, Gen. 12. 8, and furnishing him with some power of Discipline, Genes. 17. 14. and 18. 19. So when the Lord brought the Israelites out of Aegypt, he brought them not out to wander up and down as a confused multitude, but within short time formed them into a Church, and within a year or thereabouts gave them the Law, furnished them with a Taberna­cle, Sacrifices, Ministry and Ordinances of all sorts. This did the Jews also upon their return out of Babylon take to be their duty in a Church-way to set up Gods worship, in building the Temple, providing Sacrifices, restoring the Ministery, and or­dering means for them. And when the Jews slacked their hand this way upon a pretence that the due time to build the house of God was not yet come (much like as you now say, it is not yet time to set up visible Churches or Church-Discipline) they were reproved for the slacknesse and vain pretence by the [Page 13] Prophet Haggai, Hag. 1. 3, 5. And did not the Apostles the like also at the first preaching of the Gospel, so call men from Pa­ganism and Judaism, as those that did separate from them, and imbrace the Gospel, were with all convenient speed gathered and formed into Christian Churches to exercise Gods Worship and Discipline among themselves? And what sound reason can be given, why the separation Gods people are called to, Revel. 18. 4. should not be thus presently followed, with joyning toge­ther in visible Churches, to serve God aright, and enjoy all his Ordinances, but that they must remain a separated people with­out any Church-order among themselves, untill all the vials be poured out, that is none knows how long?

Secondly, This is against a common rule for interpretation of Scripture; Among which rules this is an approved one, That what Scripture doth command the avoiding any thing as evil, the same doth virtually command the pursuing of the contrary good. Hence commonly those two commands go together, Flee evil and follow good, Psal. 34. 14. Isa. 16. 17. Rom. 12. 9. and in ma­ny other places. The reason whereof is plain, because as the perfection of a good tree is not in wanting bad fruit, but in bear­ing good: so the true goodnesse of a Christian is not in forbear­ing evil, but in doing good. This then is certain, that the voice from Heaven which cals Gods people to depart from Babylon, as idolatrous, and to keep themselves from her sins, doth virtu­ally call upon them to seek our Sion, and to joyn with her in so­ciety for the worship of God; which Sion if it were not then extant or to be enjoyed, the command were vain, and their en­deavour would be to no purpose.

Thirdly, This conceit and course doth cast a foul blot of gross ignorance or rash presumption upon all reformed Churches; which upon their breaking off from Rome have not contented themselves with a bare separation, but did also set up evangelical Churches opposite to the Roman for Doctrine, Worship and Discipline, some lesse, and some more pure and perfect. So hath all Reformation been practised in Germany, France, Ne­therland, Scotland, Old and New England of late. And what man is he, or who be they, unlesse they can prove themselves new Apostles or Prophets, or have the pregnant word of [Page 14] God for it, and build not only upon their own conjectural in­terpretation of prophetical mysteries, about which other godly learned are at a stand, who will presume to tax and blemish so many famous Churches, and so many godly and learned Di­vines which were their guides and leaders? Surely it is not piety to condemn the generation of the righteous, Psalm 73. 15. nor humility to slight the consent of so many Churches of God, 1 Cor. 11. 16.

Fourthly, It is well worth the while to scan the time when this call for separation Revel. 18. 4. was given; And if all cir­cumstances be well weighed, this call was not proclaimed untill God had put it into the heart of some Kings and States to joyn to invade and destroy Rome itself, which preparation is intima­ted before, Chap. 17. 16. and was surely about the pouring out of the last, or some of the last vials. And now being ready to give the on-set on Rome, by this voice they are called on to plague her thorowly, Revel. 18. 6. At which time this call is directed to such of Gods people as might then be hidden in that idola­trous City, or the adjoining Territories by a personal flight to forsake her and those places of danger, and provide for their safety. Which things considered, it is not clear that the time of this call is yet come, since we see small preparation made as yet or intended by Christian States or Princes against Rome, the Throne of the Beast, or Italy his Nest and Fortresse. And how long it will be ere this be effected onely the Lord knows. I am sure that most accounts that learned men have hitherto made of these things, have missed, and they are in a mist about the three or four last vials, not being able certainly to unfold them. So that if you have no other ground for your separation then that call (as you produce none other) you are in danger to prevent the due time of separation, and to do all you do in it meerly up­on your own will without Gods call. As for the spiritual sepa­ration made by Protestant Princes, and Churches, from Rome, in Doctrine and Worship, as they had a warrant for it from this call, the reasons whereof being such as belong to all times and persons, not to partake in Romes sins, do sufficiently enforce it; so had they pregnant grounds for it also from other general commands to flee Idolatry, and set up Gods Worship. I may [Page 15] last ask, Why you and your company go farther in your practice then bare separation? For if by separation Revel. 18. 4. you understand a separation meerly negative to be meant (as you needs must to make it serve your turn) by what warrant do you on the Lords-day celebrate holy Assemblies, and exercise the main parts of Gods Worship by your selves, and in opposition to our publick Assemblies, which you account bestial? For this kinde of separation allows no such practice, but confines it self to an abstaining from all communion in the publick Worship if corrupt, and so farre as it is corrupt. But if it be a positive se­paration that the godly are called to (as your practice doth in­terpret it) then nothing lets, but others also may set up Church­es for the enjoying of all Ordinances as well as you for some. And surely when the Apostle did urge such a call for separation unto the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 6. 17. out of Isa. 52. 11. he did conceive that the Christians of Corinth were not onely called barely to separate from Paganish Idolatry, but also to join toge­ther in the true worship of God.

Fifthly, Here follow some things which I apprehend to be some reasons of this your Assertion touching this point of sepa­ration.

1. We are yet, you say, but in our journey to Sion, visibly se­parated, and not arrived thither, and so may not take on us to set up Sion-like Churches.

Answ. But why are we but on our journey unto Sion? visibly separated? when as the Apostle describeth this to be the estate of all imbracing the Gospel, that they are come to Mount Sion and the celestial Jerusalem, and the same not meerly invisible, but visibly separated from the impious world, Heb. 12. 22.

2. St John saw many thousands Revel. 14. 1. walking with the Lamb on Mount Sion, and the same visible as seen by John during the time of the great Apostasie, and before the time of this more publick departure and Reformation. And why may not our late reformed Christians be ranged among those thousands, and admitted to the same Mount Sion with them, since in their Re­formation they have endeavoured to conform unto them, 1. In bearing their Fathers name in their forehead by an open pro­fession of Religion; 2, In restoring an orderly performance [Page 16] of Gods Worship by the Ministery and Church-assemblies, as they praised God before the four Beasts and the Elders; 3. In ascribing their redemption only to God, and praising him for it, which is meant by the new Song those hundred fourty four thousand did sing; 4. By cleansing themselves from Popish Ido­latry, as those kept themselves virgins and undefiled; 5. By holding forth the practice of holinesse, as in the mouths of the other there was no guile.

3. Admit that we be but in our way to this Sion, what lets but that we may set up and use all Gods Ordinances as well as some, in this our journey? The Israelites whenas they were but in their way to Canaan had all Gods Ordinances set up amongst them, and made use of them more or lesse, as their unsetled estate, and sudden occasions of removing would give leave. What you seem elswhere to conclude to this purpose from the Jews bringing along the Temple-vessels with them from Baby­lon, but not officiating with them in their way, shall in its place be considered. About these matters you referre me to Revel. 15. 8. where we read that the Temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, &c. that none could enter into it untill the seven plagues of the seven Angels were fulfilled. From whence it seems you would conclude, that we are not yet come to Sion.

Answ. I wish you had made the argument your self, opened the place in your sense, and applied it to the purpose: For my part I finde a Temple even under the Apostasie measured out, and an Altar, and some worshipping in it Revel. 11. 1. Yea, I finde Angels, i. e. Magistrates, Ministers, and other persons of note, whom the Lord would use to execute his judgements up­on the Antichristian world, Revel. 14. 15, 17, 18. conversant in it, and the four Beasts abiding in it, Revel. 15. 7. The Temple then which was before the seven last plagues fulfilled, was not so shut but some did enter into it and served God therein: Yea that John during this time saw it opened in heaven, Revel. 11. 19. and 15. 6. And if Sion and the Temple in your opini­on be one and the same thing, and both note the state of a true visible Church (as you seem to think) it is plain that before and under the vials there are acknowledged in the Apocalyps visible [Page 17] Churches, and the same true and right unto which Christians had accesse, and in which they were conversant. You must par­don me then if herein I do not concurre with you, that none could enter into the Temple, or arrive at Sion, i. e. that no vi­sible Church could be found into which men might have en­trance and admission, untill all the vials were poured out. I do rather agree with other godly Interpreters, who do understand it of those people, who yet for their whole body are clean out of the Church, viz. the Jews and Pagans, but chiefly the Jews, of which, it seems, no full harvest sufficient to make up a Church or Churches shall or can come in, untill the vials be fully poured out to Romes utter destruction. It doth not exclude those who were already admitted and entered into the Temple, as were the reformed Churches of the western world.

The second thing which you adde is, That we have not yet wholly put off our Babylonish Garments. Touching which I shall not say much, because you expresse not what you mean by these Babylonish Garments, nor wherein they are not put off. Only two things I do reply, 1. That the retaining of some rags of the Babylonish Garments, though it be a deformity to a Church, can no more keep a Christian company or person out of Sion, then sacrificing unto God in high places, somewhat after an Heathenish manner, could or did put the Church of the Jews out of Sion, or Polygamy not warranted by the Lords first In­stitution of Marriage, put Abraham, Jacob or other holy men out of the Catalogue of the ancient and godly Patriarchs; or the re­mainder of some sinfull infirmity in a man regenerate, barre him of Communion with Christ. 2. Those seven Angels which had the last seven Plagues, as they came out of the Temple; so also they were cloathed with white and pure linen, and were girded about the brests with golden girdles, Revel. 15 6. Now what are those Angels but types of those instruments which the Lord would use in executing those seven last Plagues? And what is the meaning of their coming out of the Temple, but that they were persons belonging to some of the Protestant reformed Churches? Now surely as the habit of the members was, such was the ha­bit of the Churches to which they did belong: For how could they come so purely cloathed out of Churches utterly impure? [Page 18] These Churches therefore which are our reformed Churches of these dayes, had cast off their Babylonish Garments, and were clad with fine linen, which is the righteousnesse of the Saints.

The third thing, you say, is, That the time for visible marriage is not yet come, untill all enemies be brought down, and God only reign; and that therefore all visible Church-marriage since the Apostasic taken up before the time, being onely founded on the will, name and power of man without Gods call, must needs be bestial.

Answ. Concerning this, I say first, That it is much the Jews excuse Hag. 1. 2. saying, That the time was not yet come that the house of the Lord should be built: Whenas the time for building it was seasonable enough, and nothing letted but their greater care to build their own houses then the Lords house: So say you, The time is not yet come that visible Churches should be gather­ed and married unto Christ in visible manner, whe [...]as the time is seasonable enough, but that many have more minde to disturb the work by venting fancies of their own, then to contribute their endeavours towards the work.

Secondly, This is to make Christ to have been a Widower, as it were, or a Bridegroom without a known or visible Bride, an Head without a visible Body, a King without a visible Kingdom for more then these thousand years; and how long he is like so to continue none can determine. For what is Christs visible Spouse, Body, Kingdom, but a visible Church? and none such hath been, according to your opinion, right and true, all this time of the Apostasie, nor yet is or shall be untill all the vials be poured out.

Thirdly, This is to make all the reformed Churches, which since their breaking off from Rome, have been erected, or are now in Germany, France, Netherland, Scotland, Old and New England, to be Antichristian and bestial, which in all moderate and understanding mens judgement, will be thought a rash, un­charitable and audacious Assertion.

Fourthly, It may as well be said by you, That there is no vi­sible Marriage between Christ and particular Christians before the time, as that there is none between Churches and Christ. [Page 19] For no particular Christian can be a meet Bride for Christ, who is not cloathed with pure fine and shining linen, viz. The righ­teousnesse of the Saints. And if no Churches shall be found be­fore that time fitly thus arrayed for their Marriage with Christ, what sound reason can be yielded, why any single Christians can be so cloathed, when as commonly they receive their spiritual birth, being, cloathing, and all in visible Churches where they live? Now nihil dat quod non hab [...]t, None can give that which they have not; And if no visible Churches can be found thus ar­rayed, it is not easie to imagine how single Christians should ob­tain it. If private Christians may be so cloathed before that time, and so fitted for visible marriage with Christ; so also may whole Churches, whenas Churches are made up of particular Christians, and particular Christians are thus cloathed, among other ends, that they may be fitted for members of visible Chur­ches. But to make this good, you referre us to Revel. 19. 7. which, how that is understood not of reformed Churches in ge­neral, but of the Church of the Jews, when that Nation shall be converted to the Faith, by the most learned Interpreters of the Apocalyps, I know you well know. And for my part, though I will not say as he did, Malo cum Platone errare, quam cum aliis vera sentire, yet I cannot but say, That it is farre safer to follow so many godly, learned and judicious Divines, who have bent themselves to finde out the mysteries of that Book, then any one man, though he would be held as singular in this mysti­cal Divinity, as Plato was in Philosophy. And that which you point unto farther out of Isa. 62. 5. if they both concern one thing and time, as you seem to intimate, doth much confirm this Interpretation. For it directly and expresly speaks of Sion, and its restoring, as appears by the beginning of the Chapter, and what follows; which if it had not its full accomplishment in the Jews Deliverance out of Babylon, and their Church and Commonwealth restauration thereupon, it cannot well be ap­plied otherwise, then to the last conversion of the Jewish Nation, and to that excellent Church-condition whereunto they shall then be brought.

Secondly, Touching this allegation, and all other of the same kinde much used by you, I wish that that notable saying of Ire­naeus [Page 20] so much approved by learned Divines, were known to, or regarded by you, Omnis Prophetia priusquam habeat efficaciam▪ anigmata & ambiguitas sunt hominibus: Cum autem venerit tempus & evenit quod Prophetatum est, [...]um Prophetiae habent li­quidam & certam expositionem. All Prophecie before it be ac­complished presents nothing but Riddles and matters of doubt unto men: but when the time is come, and that is fulfilled which was prophesied, then Prophecies have a clear and certain exposition. According to which most right sentence, I say, that the mystical Prophecies of the Apocalyps or other Scripture which are but in part fulfilled, but specially such as yet are whol­ly to be fulfilled, and so subject to various Interpretations, are too too weak grounds to build such lofty opinions and assertions upon, as befool all learned Divines, over-turn all right and or­derly Ministry, and turn all latter Christian Churches into An­tichristian: For who is he that can infallibly say, What is meant by the vials poured out on Euphrates or on the Air; by the Marriage of the Lamb, and of his Bride, and sundry other things in the following Chapters, as he ought to be able to doe, that will inferre and make good such high and destructive Paradoxes, as are above-mentioned. There are many Prophecies in that Book already in part fulfilled, as many things about the two Witnesses, the distinction of the first and second Beast, the vial poured out on the Sun, with divers things Chap. 14 and 16. about which the learned which have searched into those Myste­ries do so differ that a man cannot finde from them any sure ground to rest upon. It is doubtlesse lawfull and profitable, as you and others do, to search into the Mysteries of that Book. But for a clear and full Interpretation of some things already fulfilled, much more of things to be fulfilled, we must wait the Lords time (to which somewhat doth accord that proverbial Speech, That Veritas est temporis filia) and his Revelation of them by clear and indubitable events. But by these mistakes and differences of learned men, as diligent and understanding search­ers as our selves, we should learn to be moderate and wary, how we did peremptorily determine matters so abstruse; and upon such our private determinations lay the weight of such no­table Paradoxes and strange strains; which to doe is rather [Page 21] rash presumption and self-confidence then true knowledge and wisdom.

Sixthly, Now follows your fourth Assertion, viz. That the breathing of the Spirit both in Officers and Ordinances which acted in them in the Primitive times, is now restrained, and (as seems to be your meaning) hath been restrained ever since the Apostasie, so that they were all that while, and now are but as a carcase without a soul.

Answ. If this be so, What means have there been all this while for mens conversion and salvation? For which the Lord out of his goodnesse cannot but ever make due provision. From whence hath proceeded the conversion of thousands, which have been wrought on since the Apostasie, if not from the Officers and Ordinances that have succeeded the Primitive times, and in some measure continued under the corrupt state of the Church, and the spirits breathing in and working by them? St John saw, and that under the Apostasie, a hundred fourty four thousand waiting upon the Lamb in Mount Sion, Revel. 14. 1. Whence now had these their conversion but from the Spirit in those times breathing in, and by the Officers and O [...]dinances that then were? Again, S. John saw (it seems) after this on Mount Si­on, upon the declining of Antichrist a great number standing by a glassie-sea mingled with fire which had gotten the victory over the Beast, his Image, his Mark, and the number of his Name, singing a new Song, and praising God for their deliverance, Rev. 15. 2, 3. Whence had these their conversion? They were not, I ween, Aborigenes, a people sprung out of the earth, or let down out of the Heavens, but surely had their spiritual birth and being from the Spirit breathing in the Officers and Ordinances of those times. Lastly, Have not thousands in these latter times in the reformed Churches (and so are many, the Lord be prai­sed unto this day) been converted to the faith by the preaching of the Ministers in them? And what more ample testimony can there be then this, that their ministery is not a carcase without a soul, but that the Spirit doth breathe in the Ordinance of pteaching and Sacraments administred by them? It may here by you be suggested perhaps, that in all these Ages, and so now, they preached but as gifted men, and in that way the Spirit [Page 22] went along with them Not as Ministers by Office.

Answ. This is but said, and not proved, and so may as easily be denied, as it is affirmed.

2. They in all Ages former and latter stood and acted as Mi­nisters by Office, were so acknowledged and received by the Churches, yea and also Christians converted (untill of late that they have been taught a new ungratefull lesson) who felt the power of the Spirit working on them by their preaching, did look on their conversion as a fruit of their true official Ministry, and a seal thereof.

3, The Apostle Paul doth produce the conversion of the Co­rinthians by his preaching, not so much for a proof that he was a man sufficiently gifted for the work of the Ministry, but as a seal of his Apostleship, and as a divine testimony, that as he act­ed as an Apostle in his Preaching, so indeed he was, and so they were to acknowledge him, 2 Cor. 3. 2. 2 Cor. 9. 1, 2. If there­fore the conversion of the Corinthians were proof sufficient for Paul, that he was an Apostle, that is, an official Minister, though extraordinary, surely the work of conversion formerly and now wrought by them, doth suffice to make good, That the Ministers of the reformed Churches have been, and are right Ministers of Christ, and rightly in office under him.

Lastly, For that of Revel. 7. 1. which you point to, of the four Angels holding the four windes, that they should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, &c. If it be certainly to be understood of the withholding of the Spirit from breathing in the Ordinan­ces (for others carry it fairly enough to another sense.)

1. There is nothing said in that place for the continuance, how long the restraint should last, much lesse is it shewed, that it should last during the Apostasie.

2. It may well be meant of a more sparing breathing in com­parison of Primitive times, not of an utter restraint.

3. If it be understood of an utter restraint, take notice, I pray, that the restraint is general, and cannot by any circumstance of the Text be confined only to official preaching and Preachers, as you speak, but as fully reach any Preachers, even your gifted men as well as them, and so doth conclude an utter ceasing of the Spi­rit, to breathe now or then in or by any means, Ordinances or [Page 23] Preachers whatsoever, which is grosly false, and to affirm it were exceeding derogatory to the Lords free grace and mans salvation.

Seventhly, In the next place it follows that we take a view of your distinction of Ordinances, and your opinion about them. Touching which, you say, some are founded more immediately on our spiritual Union (with Christ I conceive you mean) and the Co­vanant of Grace and Ministry, Baptism, the Lords Supper, Prai­er, Profession, &c. 2. Such as are footed on Church-stating, such as appertain to officials, yea deemed essential to them, as Ordination, Confirmation, Excommunication, Admission, Absolution, &c. The first of these have been kept up, you say, thorow all the time of the deepest Apostasie, and are now used rightly, and to be used. The second have not been alwaies rightly used, but (it seems to you) have been, and are so lost, that as yet there is no due time or place for their exercise. This I take to be your meaning about this point of Ordinances. If I mistake, it is because the matter is set down somewhat intri­cately by you.

Now touching this point we have many things to reply;

First, I would know, What Ministry you mean hath alwaies been kept up? Whether a Ministry exercised onely by virtue of Gifts enabling men unto it, or such as is exercised by virtue of an Office also, and right calling thereunto. If the first be meant, it is a matter in much question, Whether such a standing Ministry were ever allowed by Christ? and it must be proved before we can receive it. Surely if such a Ministry be currant and suffici­ently authorized for ministring Word and Sacraments, there was no need of an official Ministry; and Christ, it seems, therein ordained a superfluous Ordinance, according to that common Axiom, Frustra fit per plura quod fieri potest per pauciora. It is a vain thing, and not beseeming a wise man, to use many wayes to do that which may be done by a few. If the latter be meant, why are official Ministers by you questioned?

Secondly, It may be asked, Why you put Profession and Prayer in general in the rank of Ordinances. There is a wide difference between Ordinances and Duties. As to believe in Christ is a Duty, not an Ordinance; so to make Profession of [Page 24] the Christian faith is also a Duty which appertains to particular Christians in their own person, so to whole Churches in their Society. So likewise is Prayer as it belongs to particular men, of which Paul speaks specially, Colos. 4. 2. Onely publick Pray­er as it is performed by the Minister in publick Assemblies for Gods Worship, may come under the notion of an Ordinance. Ordinances, to speak properly of them, are those solemn means which Christ hath appointed in his Church according to his so­vereign power and good-will to communicate his grace unto us, and to perform our solemn Worship unto him, as the pub­lick preaching of the Word, celebration of the Sacraments, pub­lick prayer, publick thanksgivings, fastings; or to provide for the right performance of these things, as combination of Chri­stians into Church-societies, the election and ordination of Mi­nisters, and exercises of Church-Discipline. Now profession and prayer are such duties as flow from that natural relation which is between God the Creator and the creature, and were owing unto God without any special institution.

Thirdly, You say, That the last kinde of Ordinances are essen­tial to Officials, an improper, yea false assertion, unlesse you mean no more then what you said elswhere, that they appertain to Officers: For nothing is essential to a Church-officer, or any other thing, but the Matter and Form thereof, which doth con­stitute them. The Matter of an Officer are Gifts enabling him to perform it; the Form an orderly putting him into that Office by such as have Authority, and giving him a right to execute it. The Exercise of some thing may properly and onely belong to Officers (as preaching the Word and administring the Sacra­ments to Pastors and Teachers rightly called) which yet are not essential to them. Nothing can subsist or have a being in na­ture wanting its essentials. A Pastor or Teacher may be such an one in Office, and yet letted by sicknesse or some other wayes, that for many weeks together he neither preach nor administer the Sacraments.

Fourthly, It is not truly said, That some Ordinances are more immediately founded in our Union with Christ. For no Ordi­nances can be said to be founded on our Union with Christ. Such things onely can rightly be said to be founded on that Uni­on, [Page 25] which as the proper fruit and effects thereof do flow from it to our salvation; as Calling, Justification, Sanctification, &c. It may be granted, that an holy right to these Ordinances, and the blessed fruit of them comes and proceeds from our Union with Christ, but not the Ordinances themselves, of which many partake which have not, nor ever shall have Union with Christ. Indeed they tend either to bring men to that blessed Union, or to nourish and stablish them in it: To which purpose in their place serve those latter kinde of Ordinances, yea Excommuni­cation it self, which is specially ordained for the good of the E­lect to heal and recover them if they fall scandalously, by cutting them off, to the end they may repent and be restored, or to pre­vent their infection by putting scandalous and infectious persons out of their Society. But for the foundation of these and all Or­dinances, it is in the Institution of our Lord Jesus Christ, consi­sting partly in a command for the use of them, and partly in the promise of a blessing on the right use of them, as for Teaching and Baptism is to be seen, Matth. 28. 19, 20. and for the Lords Supper, 1 Cor. 11. 24.

Fifthly, It may be granted you, That these Ordinances are some way founded on the Covenant of Grace, if by founded you onely mean, that they are some effects of it. For as God by that Covenant doth oblige himself to give grace and salvati­on to his Elect: so by consequence to provide for them all means outward and inward, that should conduce to make them partakers of the Covenant and benefits of it, causing them to imbrace it, and stablishing them in it. But then this is not a thing peculiar to the first kinde of Ordinances, but belongs al­so to the latter, which have their use both in admitting men in­to fellowship with Christ and his Church, and maintaining them in it.

Sixthly, You grant, That these first Ordinances have never been lost, but continued all the time of the Apostasie. But what doth this grant avail for any benefit to Gods people all that while, or now; when you did before affirm, that they are but dead Ordinances, and have not the Spirit breathing in, or by them, nor shall have, untill the brightnesse of Christs coming?

[Page 26] Seventhly, How doth it appear that those latter Ordinances have been lost, as you seem to imply, during the Apostasie, more then the former?

1. The use of them was held up all that while in the Antichri­stian Church, where was Ordination, Excommunication, Ab­solution, &c. and that as Ordinances of Christ, as well as Teach­ing, Baptism, the Lords Supper, &c. and since the Reformati­on have more or lesse been taken up, and used in the reformed Churches.

2. To that you say, they were not alwayes rightly used, nor alway in right hands: I answer, That if that abolish them, up­on the same grounds those former Ordinances may as well be said to have been lost, as having been in many things corrupt­ed and usurped by those who had little right to meddle with them.

3. What reasons soever are, or can be alledged for the con­tinuance of the first sort, are as strong for the continuance of this latter kinde, 1. There is for these Christs Institution as well as for those. 2. They were instituted not only for a time, but to be continued untill the last day, Ephes. [...] ▪ 11, 12, 13. In the 11 verse there is the Institution of an Ecclesiastical and Official Mi­nistry distinct one from another, as some to be such, and others to be such, So that they that were Apostles, Evangelists, &c. were not properly Pastors nor Teachers, Nor they which were properly Pastors and Teachers, were not Apostles nor Prophets, &c. If they were all the same in office and power, what should need such an enumeration of so many kindes distinct one from the other? verse 12. is specified the end for which they were given, namely the perfect Knitting together of the Saints, the work of the Ministry, the edification of the body of Christ. If that then during the Apostasie Christ had any Saints among men to be joyned together, any work of the Ministry to be done, any mystical body to be edified (as doubtlesse he had) all these things were to be performed by the officiall Ministry which Christ gave for that end. But these things could not be all that while performed by Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and there­fore were done by other Officials, Pastors and Teachers, which [Page 27] Christ gave for that end, and in some sort continued all those corrupt times. In the 13. verse is set down how long this Mi­nistry was to continue, even untill we all meet in the unity of the faith, and attain to a perfect man in Christ, which will not be until the last day of the restoring and consummation of all things, 1 Cor. 13. 9, 10. Now if Christ did ordain such a Ministry, and for such a time, he hath surely for the substance maintained and continued it hitherto, and so will to the end. And if he have not, or shall not do so, it is either for want of power in him to do it, or of love and care for his Churches good: either of which to charge upon Christ were sinfull. And if this continu­ance have not been in a successive order of Apostles, Prophets and Evangelists (which long ago have ceased) it hath been con­tinued in an Official Ministry of Pastors and Teachers, such as Christ first gave and ordained. 3. There is a solemn Command­ment for the exercise and keeping up of Discipline untill the coming of Christ, 1 Tim. 6. 13, 14. There is a streight charge laid upon Timethy to keep that course of Discipline which he had prescribed him in that Epistle, Ʋntill the appearing of Christ, Now this command cannot concern Timothy onely, who was not to survive so long, or to that day: But belongeth to the Ministers and Church-officers, who in after times were to suc­ceed him in the care and rule of the Church. And if Pray con­tinually which you alledge from 1 Thess. 5. 17. to prove that prayer as a Church-ordinance hath been alway continued, it be­ing but a command for the continual use of it, and that rather of private prayer by Christians in their common course of life, then of publick in Church-Assemblies, be valid enough to prove your purpose: this command of Paul unto Timothy for the exercise of Discipline by him, prescribed to be continued un­to Christs coming, doth necessarily prove the continuance of it in the Church.

Lastly, What you alledge out of Matth. 28. 19, 20. for the perp tuity of teaching and Baptism, makes as much for the like continued use of Discipline. For as the Apostles there are bid to teach and Baptize: So likewise are they commanded To teach the Nations, to observe all things that he had commanded. Among which the exercise of Discipline was certainly one: For the [Page 28] maintenance of which, his promise is to be present with his Mi­nisters to the end of the world, as well as for the continuance of the other Ordinances. Now there are many other Scriptures which you point at for proof of this and your other points, touching which I wish that you had shewed how the Scri­ptures pointed at conclude your points. For my Logick doth not suffice to conclude the one from the other.

Eighthly, There ensue some reasons (as I conceive) of them, why this second sort of Ordinances are lost: First, This Key of Discipline was wholly resolved into the Pope; I take it that you mean, that it was wholly seised on by the Pope, and no Disci­pline was exercised but under and from him.

Answ. So was it with Teaching, Baptism and the Lords Sup­per, and other Ordinances you speak of, they were so got into the Popes hands, that they were administred and managed by none but those that were authorized by the Pope, or by such as under him did conferre authority for the same: And if that did not null or abolish Teaching, Baptism, &c. why should it null or abolish Discipline, or any part thereof, though ingrossed by the Pope, and abused by him. It was the policy of Satan and that great Impostour under him (the Pope) to seise into his hands all the Ordinances of Christ, that by the shew and pre­tence of them he might get the credit of Religion, and uphold­ing the Christian faith, and so the more closely and effectually deceive the Christian world, which he could not have done if he had wholly rejected and abolished them, and set up onely his own superstitions and inventions in the room of them: Christs Ordinances may and do still remain Christs Ordinances for mat­ter and substance, though in wrong hands and abused: As the great Seale of the Kingdome is still the right and true Seale, though in the hands of an usurping Lord Keeper, and imployed to wrongfull ends.

Obj. But the Pope had another Key given him, and other Of­ficers, as Locusts, Revel. 9.

Answ. Let it be so, that another Key was given to the Pope, viz. when he claimed to be an Universal Bishop, Christs Vicar, and the Head of the Church under him, and so usurped an il­limitted power in businesses secular and spiritual, and that he [Page 29] had with all other Officers called Locusts, viz. Monks, Friars, Priests, Abbats, Cardinals, and the whole Popish Clergy; yet with all subtilty he did retain the Key of Christs Discipline in Ordination, Excommunication, Suspension, &c. and made use of it to promote his own Kingdom, yea and had for substance some of the Officers ordained by Christ, such as were Preach­ers and Administrers of holy things in particular Congregations though under other names, as Parsons and Vicars, and not, without some corruption in their admission and administration. Notwithstanding as amongst all the corruptions under Popery, Baptism for the substance remained true and right, in as much as such as were baptized, were baptized In the Name of the Fa­ther, Sonne and holy Ghost, according to the form by Christ appointed. Neither have any taught or affirmed, That Baptism under Popery was or is null, and to be repealed; So for the substance, a true and right Ministry might be, and was there found, viz. such a one, as by which men were called and set aside to preach the Word, and minister the holy things of God.

Object. There was no other face of Officials among Papists, but of these Locusts in Luthers time, who himself was a Monk.

Answ. There was among Papists in and before Luthers time, Officials (as you stile them) which are not to be reckoned among these Locusts, but such as the holy Ghost in the Apocalyps doth honour and account of, as true and worthy Ministers of Christ, though what outward calling they had, was from Popish Bi­shops and Presbyters, and themselves were Monks and Friars, or of some such Popish order. It cannot be denied, that many of those which during the Apostasie for twelve hundred and six­ty years, did stand up by Writing and Preaching to witnesse Truth against Popery, were Bishops, Priests, Monks or Fri­ars, as in our England, Bishop Grosted, John Wickliff a Priest; in other Countreys Taulerus a Preacher, John Hus and Jerom of Prague Priests, Savaralona a Monk, and one Sylvester a Fri­ar, with many other the like. All which notwithstanding that their Ordination was according to the times from Popish Bishops, and their order superstitious, yet the holy Ghost doth reckon of [Page 30] them as Christs faithfull Witnesses, and so his true and lawfull Ministers, and not any of those Locusts which came out of the smoke of the bottomlesse pit; So Chap 1 [...] ▪ 6, 8, 9. there are three Angels which in course follow one another preaching the Go­spel, and declaiming against Babylon and the Beast: Who are these now? Not proper Angels coming from heaven, but ra­ther according to the currant of Interpreters, a series and rank of Ministers, which were raised up by the Lord, by their prea­ching to make way for the ruine of the Pope, and restoring the Church, such as by some learned men are named in particular, viz. Ockam, John of Gaunt, Dantes, our John Wickliff, John Hus, Jerom of Prague, Luther, men that lived in the Church of Rome, had their external calling from that Church, were of some of their Popish orders, and yet are acknowledged to be Angels, as well as those of the seven Churches of Asia, that is true Ministers of Christ, raised, sent, and authorized by him. It doth not then derogate from the truth of an official Ministry, if he be a sound Preacher of the Gospel, that a man hath been ordained thereunto by a Bishop Popish, not only in regard of the Office, but in Doctrine also; But this acknowledgment of such for Angels doth approve such Ordination good for substance; though in some things it be corrupt and defective, as before I said of baptizing. It is then a frivolous cavil, and which by this sentence of the holy Ghost is put to silence, that men make against our English Ministers as Antichristian, because ordained by Bishops, when such so ordained are called Angels, and their Ordination is conferted on them by Bishops which were sound in the profession of the Gospel, Presbyters and Preachers of the Gospel, and in the worke did joyne other Presbyters with them.

Object. But the visible Church it self failed, which is the foun­dation of these Officials and latter Ordinances, and so these must needs fail.

Answ. This is somewhat indeed: Nay so much as will carry the cause if it be made good. It is not true, as is before shew­ed, That the visible Church is the foundation of these Officials or latter Ordinances; but Christs Institution and promise: but the visible Church is invested with a power and right to use [Page 31] them, and that onely, and not any other civil or heretical Socie­ty, and for the Churches good and service, they were by Christ appointed; So that if there were in those times of the Apostasie, no visible Church, it may be granted that they failed since there was no Church which had power to use them, or for whose ser­vice they were to be used: But me thinks for you to say, That the visible Church hath failed, is much one as if you should af­firm, That the pillars of the earth were broken down and over­thrown. For the visible Church standeth on as firm a foundati­on, as they, that is, Gods Ordinance, Power and Faithfulness. Concerning which point, by a visible Church may be meant a company of Christians with their seed joyned together in one place, and setled in a right and compleat order for the worship of God, and exercise of all Gods Ordinances. Now that there hath been such a visible Church all along the Apostasie in any one place, or in many places successively, cannot, I think, ea­sily be shewed, nor is it needfull for this matter to be proved. Next, by a visible Church may be meant a company of persons professing the true Religion, abstaining from false worship, and worshipping God in a pure way, though for the most dispersed in sundry places and meetings for Gods worship, but in small companies: Such a Church of God certainly hath been and shall be perpetual; Such a Church of God there was in Israel un­der their great Apostasie, viz. A company that did not bow the knee to Baal, 1 King. 18. 19. and did in solemn times meet for the main parts of Gods worship, as hearing of his Word and Prayer, 2 Kings 4. 23. though not for Sacrifice, which ordina­rily was onely to be offered at the Temple. Such a one was there under the Babylonish Captivity, in which state the Jews could not assemble, as in their own Land to the Temple, to perform all Gods service, but as they were scattered into seve­ral Cities and Towns, could onely where they were, make o­pen profession of their Religion, and in smaller companies meet together for the Word and prayer, and such main parts of Gods worship. And such a one also hath continued under the Popish defection.

To speak to which Point somewhat more largely, I affirm, First, That there never was, nor ever will be an utter failing of [Page 32] Christs visible Church. It is prophesied of Christ, That he shall sit upon the Throne of David, and his Kingdom, to order and sta­blish it with judgement and iustice, from henceforth even for ever, Isa. 9. And what is this Throne and Kingdome of David, but Christs visible Church, in which Christ is to sit and reign visibly, as David did in his Kingdom, and that for ever? It is written, Dan. 2. 44, That the God of heaven should set up a Kingdom which should never be destroyed: And what can this be meant of, but of Gods visible Church, set up in the view of the world, as those earthly Kingdoms were, which it should break and de­stroy, but it self stand for ever; But if this Church have at any time wholly failed, it hath not stood, nor doth stand for ever, but hath been destroyed.

3. Christ is set up by God his Father with power, and a com­mand given him, To rule in the midst of his enemies, Psal. 110. 2. which how should he do, if his enemies should so farre prevail, as to abolish his visible Church in which he is to reign? Besides, these are Relatives, and depend one upon another, a King and Kingdom, an Head and Body, Husband and Spouse. And what is Christs Kingdom, Body, Spouse here in the world (as we have afore-said) but his visible Church? So that it failing, Christ should cease to be a King, Head or Husband in the view of men, or be a King without a Kingdome, a Head without a Body, an Husband without a Wife, or as it were a forlorn Wi­dower.

Lastly, Christ is the same yesterday, to day, and so for ever, Heb. 13. 8. As therefore of old he hath had a visible Church, so ought he to have in these latter times, now and for ever. If at any time he were, or be without it, he is not the same, but un­dergoeth a notable alteration in respect of this estate and relati­on. It will not salve the matter to say, That his invisible Church never failed; and so that his Kingdom, Headship, &c. did and doth ever continue, for they are visible things, whereby the re­lation between him and his Church are deciphered, and so in all reason point out the visible state of the Church. 2. The Church invisible as so, is unknown and wholly unseen to men, and Christs invisible Rule and Government over them, cannot by men be discerned. And what honour were this then to Christ in the [Page 33] world to rule only invisibly, of which men can take no know­ledge. 3. Wheresoever Christ hath an invisible Church, there will a visible Church appear; for where true faith is, it will not be hid, but manifest it self to the world by open profession, and so those that are members of the invisible Church will become visible to the world.

Secondly, I affirm, That Christs visible Church never wholly failed under Antichrists Apostacy. It was sometimes lesse for the Territories it occupied, then at some other time, sometime more hid and lesse conspicuous for its shew unto the world, but it was ever extant, and so extant that it appeared unto men both in particular members, and in companies belonging thereto, by their profession of the true faith, witnessing against errours, worshipping God and suffering for the Gospel, though not so acknowledged by the Antichristian rabble.

1. There were two Witnesses of Christ all the time of Anti­christs Reign. Revel 11. 3. and what were they but a company of Preachers and Professors, which all that time successively witnessed for Christs truth against Popery? whose profession as it was open and manifest; so did it declare to the world, that Christ had a company which professed his truth, and that they did belong thereunto.

2. There were Saints so manifesting themselves by life and profession, so discovered by the Beast and Whore by their oppo­sition which they made to their wayes, against which the Beast made warre, and overcame them, Revel. 13. 7. And with whose bloud the Whore was drunken, Revel. 17. 6. Yet so that all Christs Saints were not destroyed, but some being slain, o­thers arose in their rooms, or continued other where so still to uphold the profession of the Gospel. Now where visible Saints are (as we do see here were under Antichrist) that professe true religion and worship; there is a visible Church.

3. There was by S. John during the Apostasie seen on Mount Sion with the Lamb a hundred fourty four thousand, Revel, 14. 1. whose description is such, as sheweth that Christ in them, during that time, had a visible Church. For, 1. They had their fathers, i. e. Gods name written in their fore heads, vers. 1. [Page 34] that is, they made open profession of his true Religion. 2. They did exercise themselves in singing before the Throne, the Elders and the Beasts, vers. 3. And what is that but that they wor­shipped God together in holy Assemblies? 3. They were not desiled with women, ver. 4. but were virgins, that is, they kept themselves from being polluted with the spirituall whoredom, I mean, the Idolatry of the times: And now tell me, Are not such companies as openly professe true Religion, worship God in holy meetings, and preserve themselves from common Ido­latry, visible Churches? what else can you make of them? Sure­ly they are neither Synagogues of Satan, nor confusions of Ba­bylon. Lastly, There was a Temple during the time of the A­postasie, in which also there was a company that did worship, Revel. 11. 1. And what was this but the true Church of Christ, and the same visible: For it was measured: Now measure­ment is of things visible, not invisible. Again, while the Apo­stasie lasted, Saint John saw a Temple in which Angels were conversant, and with them (no doubt) other worshippers, Revel 14. 15, 17, 18. Yea he saw this Temple opened, Chap. 15. 5. in heaven before the seven last plagues were fulfilled: It seems that for the greatest part of the Apostasie this Temple was somewhat secret and hidden, yet not so, but that it was visible also in some that worshipped in it, and some open Professors of the Gospel. But withall it became more open and manifestly visible upon the Reformation which was made by those worthy and godly Ministers, whom God raised some hundred years a­go, and so hath been ever since more visible and conspicuous: so far is it from being utterly lost and extinct.

Object. But all this while onely asealed elect number remain­ed, Rev. 7. 3, &c. & 9. 4.

Answ. If you mean that there were none that made any visi­ble profession of true Religion, but those sealed ones; you say that beside the book and without proof. For those sealed ones were (as you truly say) elect and saved ones. Now in all ages many more have made profession of Religion then the elect of God, Many are called few are chosen, Matth. 20. 16. And so here it is clear, that during the time especially at the beginning [Page 35] of the defection, as in Jerusalem, Ezek. 9. Besides the godly mourners which were marked in the fore-head, there were sun­dry that made profession of the Jewish Religion, and were visible Members, though not living Members of the Church: So during this Apostasie, beside these sealed ones there were many that did professe the Christian Religion a­right for the substance, and helpe to make up a visible Church.

Secondly, If there were none else, yet that doth not prove, that the visible Church did utterly fail. For even out of that number visible Churches in sundry places, and several Ages, in which successively they lived, might well be, and were constituted, as which were a company sealed in the fore-head, and making open profession of Christ and his Gospel in the Places where, and in the Ages when they lived: Two things are about them to be taken notice of;

1. That they were a sealed number, which doth import thus much, That in that great defection in which the great­est part of men perished eternally by wondering after, and worshipping the Beast, Yet there was a chosen number that were saved, that is, these sealed ones, and none but they, though there were many besides them which made visible pro­fession of the Gospel.

2. That they were sealed in the fore-head, which shews, that while the whole earth almost did worship the Beast, yet there was a great number in those times that did not defile themselves with that Idolatry, but did openly maintain and professe the true faith of Christ and worship of God; among which was found a visible Church.

For a Conclusion you adde, That these latter Ordinances have a being in the Scripture, and in the minde and desire of the faithfull, and that you carry them along with you, as the Israe­lites did of old the vessels of the Lord▪ but that you dare not offi­ciate with them, as being in the Territories of Babylon, untill you be past Euphrates.

Answ. What Ordinances are instituted and commanded in Scripture (as you say they are, for how else have they a being [Page 36] there but by institution and command?) Gods people are bound to practise them in all times and places, unlesse by some exter­nal violence of persecution, or so, they be letted. They must observe all things which Christ hath commanded, Matth. 28. 20. It will not then serve your turn, that you carry them along with you in your minde and desire, unlesse you officiate with them, as you phrase it. Nor will the example of the Israelites help here, who used not the vessels of the Lord for any holy ser­vice while they were in the way to Sion. Of which the reason is very plain; for their use was confined to a certain place, viz. The Temple at Jerusalem, and might not elsewhere be used. But so are not any Gospel-Ordinances, with which God may now be worshipped in any place, John 4. 21, 23. And if you purpose to forbear the use of them, untill you be past Eu­phrates, I would gladly learn from you, what this Euphrates is: How farre from it, or near to it we be. As Irenaeus above, said of Prophecies not fulfilled, That they are dark, and so doubtfull Riddles unto men: so about this, as not accomplish­ed in your own judgement, I finde Interpreters so to vary, that I know not where to fix my foot. Presume not too much of your own insight into such mystical Prophecies above other god­ly and learned men, but whatsoever your conceit be of it, count it but as a conjecture, and be content with us in sobriety and humility to wait untill the Lord shall accomplish it, and by a clear event reveal to us the meaning of it.

And thus having said somewhat to most of your new con­ceits, I should here have ended, but that there cometh to minde, an argument of some weight, with the particulars of it, much making against your new way, which I desire to profer to your consideration. It is thus, What Way or opinion is contrary to any of the ten Commandments, any Petition of the Lords-Prayer, any commanded Duty, and to the furtherance of mens salvation, cannot be of Christ, but may justly be deemed Antichristian. Such is this of yours, which denies the setting up of visible Churches in right order, official Ministry, and calling thereunto, and the exercise of Discipline: and therefore it cannot be of God, but a spirit of Antichrist is in it.

[Page 37] To make good the Minor, of which onely the doubt can be; It is,

First, Contrary to the second Commandment, As the ne­gative of that Commandment doth forbid unto men all false and devised means of Gods worship, so the affirmative, accord­ing to the received rule of interpreting the Commandments, doth command to us the use of all means of worship appointed by the Lord. Now the Lord hath appointed for that purpose two sorts of means, the one more principall, as directly tend­ing to the exercise and nourishing of Faith, Hope and Love, viz. Preaching the Word, administration of Sacraments, pub­lick Prayer. The other lesse principall, as conducing to the right use of the former, and tending to Gods worship, as their proper end: such are Church-societies, official-Ministry, and a due Calling to it, exercise of Discipline, which that Commandment doth enjoyn as well as the former, and which cannot be wittingly and commonly omitted without breach of it.

Secondly, It is against the fourth Commandment, which, as it commandeth the sanctifying of the Sabbath, so according to the right interpreting of the Commandments doth it withall prescribe and enjoyn the use of all means that are profitable to the better sanctifying of it. And who can deny, who is not wilfully wedded to his self-conceit, that gathering and order­ing Churches in distinct societies, and an official Ministery right­ly called doth much avail hereunto, and that the Lords-day is much better sanctified in such Societies, and such a Ministry, then in confused Assemblies that are without order, and without any orderly Ministry? Now the ten Commandments are moral, per­petual and binde alwayes.

Secondly, It is against the two first Petitions of the Lords Prayer, wherein we are taught to pray, That Gods name may be hallowed, Secondly, That his Kingdom may come. Now what we ought to pray for, it is our duty to pursue the promoting of it by all Gods means; for to pray for this or that, and not to apply our selves to the use of all good means to obtain or pro­mote it, is to dally with God and to mock him: Now the set­ting [Page 38] up of visible Churches▪ of an orderly Ministery and Disci­pline, doe serve very much to the sanctifying of Gods name, and promoting his Kingdom, for they are Gods Ordinances, in appointing which his soveraign Power, Wisdom and Good­nesse are set forth.

Secondly, Particularly in and by a visible Church his Wor­ship is upheld among men, his Religion is professed, and the Doctrine of the Gospel published. It is therefore called, The Pillar of Truth, 1 Tim. 3. 15. In and by an orderly Ministery, the due honour and authority of that calling is maintained, Gods holy things are ministred with the more assurance of Gods acceptation, and hope of his blessing of them. By Discipline scandals are prevented or healed, and licentious living much restrained. To deny therefore these things, as unseasonable, and so now unlawfull, is to hinder the sanctifying of Gods Name, and advancing of his King­dome.

Thirdly, It is against the Commandment of Christ, con­cerning scandals, which all Christians are bound to doe their endeavour to prevent or take away, and for which Disci­pline by Christ is ordained the speciall Remedy, which since you oppose, what doe you but set your selfe against this command of Christ, and open a Gate for sinnefull Li­berty in erroneous Doctrine, and loosenesse of Conversa­tion?

Lastly, It is prejudicial to mans Salvation, which no ratio­nal man can or will deny, must needs be better furthered in a setled Society of Saints, under a constant Ministery and due exercise of Discipline, then where none of these are: But either an utter rejection of them, or confusion in them.

And thus you have my Notions touching your new Revela­tions, for which I have made you long to wait. If you impute it to my dulnesse or sluggishnesse, I will not deny it. I am, I confesse, a man but of a dull apprehension, and slow motion: But I can more truely ascribe it to my late domestick troubles and sicknesse, which I did slowly recover, and to my want of [Page 39] time, who have but by-times for such studies, my greatest time being taken up with my School: And to my pains which I have been fain to take in writing out more then one copy. Now for conclusion, I will onely adde a saying which Saint Augustine used unto one with whom he had debated some con­troversie, by writing, Ʋbiparit [...]r haesitas nobiscum, quaeras no­biscum, ubi pariter certus es nobiscum, pergas nobiscum, ubi tu­um errorem cognoveris, redeas ad nos; ubi nostrum, revoces nos. Where you are in some doubt with us, enquire with us; where you are alike certain with us, go on with us; where you shall perceive your errour, return to us; where ours, recall us. And thus hoping that you will not take that with the left hand of mis-interpretation, which I reach unto you with the right of good affection, I rest

Your truly loving and much well-wishing Friend in the Lord John Elmestone.

A Postscript.

WHat place of the Apocalyps I have before but touch­ed upon, I think meet again to propound for further consideration; It is Chap. 15. 23. there John saw a sea of glasse mingled with fire, and multitudes standing by it, which had gotten the victory over the Beast, and over his Image, and over his Mark, and over the number of his Name, having Harps of God, and singing the Song of Moses, and of the Lamb. Now I desire to know, who these can be but the refor­med Ministers and people that at the first Reformation (for John saw them before the Vials began to be poured out) re­nounced the Pope and Popery, and set up the pure Worship of God, and sound Doctrine of the Gospel, meant by the sea of Glasse there mentioned. If this be so (as surely it is) I ask, 1. How those reformed Churches then, or ours in these times which are more reformed, or their Ministery can be affirmed to be bestial and Antichristian, when the holy Ghost doth testifie for them, that they had gotten the victory over the Beast, his Image, Mark, and the very number of his Name? 2. Whether it be not a slander partly coming from ignorance, partly from malice, to brand the Ordination of our Ministers, though by Bi­shops, much more when done by preaching Presbyters, as now is in use with fasting and prayer, as a mark of the Beast, when it is so plainly said, that all they, i. e. Ministers as well as people had got the victory over the mark of the Beast in expresse terms? 3. Whether the reformed Churches which got such a victory over all these, yea even the number of the Beast his Name, have [Page 41] not cast off their Babylonish Garments. For what remains of that Garment where the Beast, his Image, Mark and Number of his Name are cashiered? 4. Whether it be not a perverse practice to reject singing of Psalms in Church-meetings for Gods service, whenas that company which was with the Lamb on Mount Sion, Revel. 14. 3. and this by the sea of Glasse, Verse 3. are praised for giving this Worship to the Lord? Lastly, There are some passages in your Letter seem to have slip­ped from you at unwares, as, That Teaching and Baptisme was everlasting, That Prayer was alwayes, That you are in a return from Babylon, and yet are within the Territories of Babylon; a speech which I cannot handsomly reconcile, being meant of a spi­ritual departure from her.

Vive, vale; siquid novisti rectius istis,
Candidus imperti; sinon, his utere mecum.
Live and farewell; if any thing you know
Righter then these, friendly do them bestow
On me I pray▪ if not, then lo with me
Make use of these, which to you offer'd be.

A Postscript.


I Would have thee know that M. Henden hath sent me an An­swer unto this my last here printed, large enough in words, if as solid in Truth, to the which I have begun some Reply, and the Lord affording me strength and life mean to go thorow with it. But in this businesse it much increaseth my labour, that he hath sent to me a Copy, in many places so closely written, so often interlined, and much blotted, that in such places mine eyes thorow age being dim, I cannot make out his full sense and meaning. I moved him­therefore by Letter, either for a fairer Copie, on to print it, as some­times I was told was his intent. To this request made a moneth since, I can have no sair answer, but what uncertain report brings me, that I must content my self with that Copy, as being not like to have any other from him: This then is one main cause of my publishing these for [...]er passages between us, that I may provoke M. Henden in like sort to publish his last writing, that the Christian world may the better know the whole mystery of his new way, and I may have a more plain Copy to inform my self, and ground to proceed on in my intended Answer. This is all, and so I commend all to their im­partial scanning by the word of truth.

J. E.

The Printer to the Reader.

COurteom Reader,

Thou art desired to take notice that there are lately come out partly concerning the same subject, viz.

1, A learned and full Answer to a Treatise, entituled, The Vani­ty of childish Baptism; wherein the several Arguments brought to overthrow the lawfulnesse of Infants-Baptism, together with the Answers to those Arguments maintaining its lawful­nesse are duly examined, as also the Question concerning the necessity of dipping in Baptism is fully discussed. By W. Cook Minister of the Word of God at Wroxal in Warwickshire.

2. Vindiciae Redemptienis in the fanning and sifting of Sam. Oats, his Exposition upon Mat. 13. 44. with a faithfull search after our Lords meaning in his two Parables of the Treasure and the Pearl, endeavoured in several Sermons upon Mat. 13. 44, 45. by John Stalham Pastor of the Church at Terling in Essex.

3. The summe of a conference at Terling in Essex, held between three Ministers John Stalham, John Newton, Enoch Gray, of Terling, of Little. Baddo, of Wickam, Opponents pleading for Infant-Baptism, and two Cata-Baptists Timotheus Bat Physician, Thomas Lamb Sope-boiler of London Respondents, denying Infants-Baptism.

John Geree's Sifters Sieve broken, or a Reply to D. Boughers sist­ing my Case of conscience touching the Kings Coronation oath.

Two Books of his in Defence of Infants-Baptism in answer to M. Tombs Objections, &c. 4 [...].

M. Nehemiah Rogers a learned and reverend Divine now of New England, discovering the cause of Gods continuing his wrath against this Nation.

All to be sold at the Crane in Pauls Church-yard.

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