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[Page]GOLDEN REMAINS of the ever Memorable Mr. Iohn Hales of Eton College &c.

LONDON Printed for Tim: Garthwait at the Little North doore of St. Paules. 1659

CONTROVERSERS of the Times Like Spirits in the Mineralls, with all their labor nothing is don.
My very Good Lord,

MY business is now effected by your L. care to my contentment, since the first day of my coming to Dort, they have made me an allowance equal with our English Divines, which is 20 Florens a day; a less allowance might very well have served me, if I had not been joyned with them, but being joyned, it was not fit that for matter of maintenance I should be in their debts: I am exceedingly beholden to Mr. Musius his kind­ness, not only upon this, but upon all occasions: It doth proceed I suppose from your L. to whom as I must ever stand bound for the return of perpetu­al thanks and service, so I would be a suiter to your L. that your L. would be pleased to give Mr. Musius thanks for his kindness: For our Synod busi­ness as we went too slow before, so now they would have us go too fast, they would have us to dispatch one article a week; which is too little time for so weighty questions. But I hope they shall be done to some purpose: with the remembrance of my faithfullest duty and service to your L. and your worthy Lady, and my best wishes for both your health and happiness, I take my leave and rest.

Dordretch this 2d. of Fe­bruary Stylo Novo. Your L. in all true respects of service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

SInce Mr. Hales his going, here hath been nothing done in the Synod of any note, on the seventh of February now still was held the 76 [...] Session; in which nothing was done, but that they which before had not spoken in the second article did speak what they thought fit, there was nothing of note spoken, save that one of the Transisulani, took it evil that we took the [Page 2] Remonstrants meaning in their opinions, where they spake best and sound­est; but he would have their meaning to be gathered out of all places in their Books, where they speak most absurdly, which we thought was very far besides the rule of charity: so in that Session the Synodical diquisition for the second article was ended. The President told us moreover, that the Delegats had sent to the Remonstrants, and had demanded of them if they had any thing in writ which might serve for the explication of their opinion concerning the five articles; and that they had given to them, their confirmation of their opinion concerning the first article, as likeways a confutation of that which they held for the Heterodox opinion, and a beginning of their explica­tion of the second article: now he shewed us the Book, of which is good faith I was ashamed to think that men of judgement could imagine that the Synod could have time to peruse it; for it is a little book of Martyrs, it doth exceed two hundreth folia in folio; moreover he told us that the Dele­gats had commanded them within 8. dayes to bring in all they would or could say as necessary for the understanding of their minde concerning the whole five articles. On the 8. of February Stylo Novo, was held the 77 [...] Session, i [...] which was nothing done but that the President did dictate to us, these drawn out of the Remonstrants writings concerning the 3. and 4. articles, which I hold not expedient to send to your L. but if I shal understand that your L. do desire them, I can easily send them: It was appointed we should this morning send our Amanuenses to write out so much of the Remonstrants big Book as did concern the second article, which we did, and that again Mon­day we should consult what we should have done with the great volumn it self; this day the President sent to our particular Colledge, some particular strange points which he had drawn out of their late explication of the second article, and in very pathetical terms did by his letter entreat us to have a care of condemning them in our judgement of the same article. Concerning this second article I beseech your L. give me leave to express my grief, as there is difference touching it in the Synod, so there is much difference about it in our own Colledge: will your L. be pleased to give me leave to say something of it; it is fit your L. should take notice of it, but no wayes as from me; the question amongst us is whether the words of the Scripture, which are like­wise the words of our confession. Christus oblatus est aut mortuus pro toto huma­no genere seu pro peccatis totius mundi) be to be understood of all particular men, or only of the elect who consist of all sorts of men; Dr. Davenant and Dr. Ward are of Martinius of Breme his minde, that it is to be understood of all particular men: the other three take the other exposition, which is of the writers of the reformed Churches, and namely of my late Lord of Sarisbury, both sides think they are right, and therefore cannot yield one untoanother with a safe conscience: It is my Lord a matter of great consequence for us to set down the exposition of one article of our Church confession: will your L. there­fore [Page 3] be pleased to think of this proposition: since our judgement of none of the five articles is to be known, till we have done with them all; what if we should desire the President to take no notice, but to let us go on to the rest of the articles, and in mean time we should send into England the true state of our controversie, and have advice there from some of the chief of the Church. What exposition they would have to be given of that article of their confessi­on, which we may safely follow, for it is no matter of salvation in which we differ, before we have done with the rest of the articles we may easily have one answer from England; if your L. like this motion or any other, your L. should do well by your letters to us to desire it, if not; I beseech your L. pardon my error which proceedeth only from my fear of distraction among our selves, and from my obedience to his Majesties charge, who command­ed me in all such cases to have recourse to your L. for counsel: so with my best prayers to God for your L. health and happiness, with the remembrance of my best service to your L. and your worthy Lady, I take my leave and rest.

Dordretch this 9. of Fe­bruary Stylo Nouo. Your L. in all true respect and service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

THough your L. Letters caused some anger here with the informer, who was unknown to them, yet believe it, your L. hath done a work worthy of your Honour, and such a one as if it had been left undone, would when it could not have been helped, have made us all heartily wish that it had been done: your L. Letters have taken the true effect which your L. in your ad­vice intended, we all acknowledge your L. counsel to be not only good but necessary, and yet we are displeased your L. should be informed of the vari­ance; without which we must have been deprived of this your L. wholsome and necessary direction: since my last Letters to your L. it is true that we a­greed upon some propositions, which are without question true, but they were such as did no ways decide the question controverted in the Synod; we retained the words of Scripture and our own confessions, but all the difference is in the interpretation of these words. When the Canons of the second ar­ticle come to be made, it will be determined whether Christ did really persol­vere pretium redemptionis pro omnibus ac singulis hominibus, an pro solis electis, in the Synod then should we have differed in voices: because I know your L. will write to my L. Grace, I beseech your L. require a speedy answer, in our Letters to my L. Grace, we have but a little noted the difference which is like to be; I have here inO Blatio Christi facta in cruce perfecta est redemptio, propitiatio et satisfactio pro omnibus peccatis t [...]tius mundi tam originalibus quam actualibus. Con­travertitur an per totum mundum intelligatur mundus electorum an mundus om­nium particularium hominum: ubi de his tribus ambigitur. Primo. An retinenda sit illa distinctio quae receptissima est apud Reformates Doctores, quem (que) Episcopu [...] Sarisburiensis astruit pag. 35. et sequentibus: mor­tuus est pro omnibus secundum sufficientiam seu magnitudinem pretii, non secun­dum proprietatem redemptionis, quidam put ant non retinendum esse quia putant sic sufficienter dici posse mortuum pro Diabolis. Secundo. Contravertitur de hac propositione. Christus obtulit se pro omnibus, seu persolvit pretium redemptionis pro omnibus: quidam putant sensum esse, per­solvit pretium quod sufficit pro omnibus non autem actu solvit pretium illud nisi pro redimendis electis, alii putant hanc expositionem incommodam, quia putant com­mentarium hunc verba ipsa destruere. Ea etenim putant sequi Christum quidem habuisse pretium in numera [...]o, quod persolutum suffecisset omnibus redimendis; verum Christum non persolvisse actu pretiumillud, aut factum esse propitiationem pro peccatis totius mundi. Tertio. Contravertitur de sensu horum verborum, totius mundi, quidam pu­tant intelligi de singulis hominibus, aliis de solis electis, (hic est sanguis novi testamenti qui funditur pro mult is in remissionem peccatorum) exponuntque haec vocabula (totius mundi) ficut Augustinus exponit, epist. 48. Totus mundus est in maligno positus propter zizania quae sunt per totum mundum, et Christus pro­pitiator est peccatorum totius mundi propter testicum quod est per totum mundum. Quaeritur ergo an per totum mundum debeamus intelligere singulos homines, an solos elect [...]s; an vero nulla sit danda explicatio; sed retinenda sint verba confessi­onis absque ullo commentario. this paper sent to your L. the true state of the difference, which will be concerning this proposition. Christus obtulit se pro peccatis to­tius [Page 4] mundi, I dare engage my credit with your L. that it is truly set down, and more fully then in our Letters to my L. Grace; your L. may take so much of it as you shall think fit, and make his Grace acquainted with it; and write that this is like to be the difference not in (as your L. is informed) our Col­ledge, but in the Synod about the second article, and therefore desire his Grace to send us some good counsel for our carriage in it; for certainly most voices in the Synod will follow the receaved exposition of the reformed Doctors, con­firmed much by my late L. of Sarisbury his G. brother, who was thought to un­derstand the meaning of our confession as well as any man. I doubt not but that your L. will crown your own work with following of it; when your L. shall find the fruit of peace in the Synod among us procured by your L. your L. will finde great matter of joy, arising from the conscience of this Christian counsel; our controversie among our selves, I must needs say, was with much love and amitie, no man desiring any thing to be put in our articles, but that we should all approve of; but so the question had never been decided: I beseech your L. pardon this my libertie to your L. it is the love of peace, and my respect to your L. Honour doth procure it.

Since my last to your L. there hath been three Sessions [...] first the 78. Ses­sion held on the 2. February Novo Stylo, in which Dr. Beckins one of the Hel­vetian Devines at the President his intreaty did publickly discusse the 7. argu­ments of the Remonstrants in Collat. Hag. whereby they prove Gratiam re­generationis esse resistibilem. That being done al auditors were removed, and it was inquired what order the Synod thought fittest to be taken with the Re­monstrants huge volume, the transcription whereof was impossible, the President told us he had cast a general glance over it all, and did finde that a few of the first leaves did contain a confirmation of their opinion of the first article, but all the rest did contain nothing but a confutation of the contra R. opinion, and an exagitation of their persons: we desired some part of it to be read; I must needs say the Remonstrants had no favour, for I will assure your L. that the President picked out the worst part of it; there were some five leaves read, which contained nothing but a bitter Satyr against Calvin, Beza, Pareus, Piscator, Whittaker, Perkins, Bogorman, Festus, and twenty more, but in truth though unhappily, yet finely penned, me thought it was Episcopius his tongue; about the taking notice of this book the suffrages of the Synod did varie much; yet most voices were, that it should be committed to some De­puted by the Synod, who should diligently peruse it, and relate unto the Sy­nod, if they found any new thing in it, which was not contained in their for­mer writings, but yet so that any member of the Synod that would, might be present with the perusers. The Delegats gave this mediatory sentence, be­cause they had observed that both the parts of it were desired by many: they desired their might be a forenoon Session or two kept for the nonce, in which that small part of the book which contained the confirmation of their [Page 5] opinion might be read, and every man take with his pen, what he should think fit, the rest to be put over to perusers, who should make relation to the Synod of any thing they found new or fit: and therefore the Assessors; and D. Damannus the Scribe were entreated to run over the book, & make choice of what things they thought fit to be read in the Synod, which when they have done we shall hear more of it.

The president telleth us that the campenses Remonstrants, who had been lately peremptorily cited to compeire before the Synod were not come, but that they had sent three others in their place to plead their cause: and that he had likewise received a supplication to the Synod from the Campenses contra-Remonst. The Synod referred the hearing of the whole cause to deputies, one out of every Colledge.

Sessio 79. 12. Feb.] The Synodical disquisition concerning the third and fourth article began, many Devines spake divers things, the disquisition came down to D. Crocius of Breme, and so the Synod was dimissed.

Sessio 82. 12. Feb.] We went on in the Synodical disquisition of the third and fourth article, where many men spake their opinions freely, when it came to Sibrandus he spake at least an houre, in his speech he took exceptions at some things that D. Martinius of Breme had spoken the day before, especially that he had said God was causa physica conversionis; he delivered some reasons against it, and desired Martinius to give satisfaction to them, and to instruct him in that which he knew not before; Martinius answered for himself, but between them both there were more words then sense, for they made it a meer Phylosophical speculation, like to keeping a phylosophie act, much against the gra­vity of questions to be discussed in a Synod: Martinius for the truth of his asser­tion appealed to Goclenius their present, as being princeps philosophorum, who were not wont to be appealed to in Synodical questions, and Goclenius took the moderator his place bravely upon him; told us that Themistius, Averores, Alexander Aphrodisaeus, and many more were of Martinius his opinion; and his opinion true in Philosophy, but yet he would not have it to prescribe in Divinity; Sibrandus fell upon Goclenius too, so after many words lost on all sides, the President cut them off, and so that act ended, and so the disqui­sition ended: yesterday we had no Session, this day we have one, of which your L. by God his grace shall be advertised in my next. So with the remem­brance of my best service to your L. and your vertuous Lady I rest.

Dordrecht this 15. of February. Your L. in all faithful service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

SInce my last unto your L. their hath been nothing of any moment done in the Synod; but what was done, the summe of it is this.

Sessio 81. 13. Feb. Stylo Novo.] Credential letters were read from the Frisians, by which Dacon ab Aisma, was deputed in the Colledge of the Frisians as a member of the Synod in the place of Meinhardus a senior Ecelesiae Leowar­densis, who lately died here; he took the oath of the Synod, & so was admitted. Alstedius the only Nassovical Devine now left, by appointment of the Presi­dent publickly all auditors being admitted, did vindicate the 10. argu­ments which the Contra-Remonstrants used in Collat. Hag. for proving of ir­resistibility of grace, from the objections, exceptions, and instances of the Remonstrants: and so the auditory was dismissed. The President giveth us warning, that on munday at 9. of the clock there should be a Session, in which they would begin to read the great volume of the Remonstrants, lately given in; and telleth us moreover, that now they had given in their explica­tion [Page 7] of the 3. 4. and 5. articles, but no confirmation of them: yet that the Delegats had commanded them within eight days to bring in all they would or could say concerning the five articles. Because the two Campenses Remon­strants being peremptorily cited had not compeired, the President desired the Synod to think of some fit punishment for this their contumacie. First we read letters from Fosculius, one of these two Remonstrants; in which he ex­cuseth his absence by these three reasons: first, that the Church could not bear their absence; because if they should both come, there was none to preach: not that he himself was making ready for the journey, but that he was stopped, by the tears, howlings, sighs, outcries, lamentations, and prayers of all sexes, and ages, and conditions of people, boyes, girls, ma­sters, servants, mistresses, and maids, young and old, and many more such specifications there were; thirdly, that they had sent two to the Synod to answer for them; and therefore do humbly intreat, that they by these their procurators may causam dicere: after these were read other latine let­ters from the Seniors of that same Church, wonderful long, but so extreamly foolish and idle, that one might see they were written by some indiscreet pedant, who had run himself out of breath with trotting through all the to­pick places of school boyes rhetorick; they contained in them the same reasons for their ministers none-comparence, which the former: and moreover did protest that their ministers were ready for their journey, but that the impor­tunity of their roarings, houlings, hindred them: and therefore in a most fu­rious strain did desire the Synod to conceit with themselves, that they did but now with their eyes behold this ruthful spectacle: to wit, The whole city of Camps male and female, young and old lying before them, tearing their hair, knocking their breasts, piercing the ayre with their sighs, and heaven with their lamentable howlings, having their eyes sunk in their heads with tears, and their hearts ready to burst out at their sides for anguish; with such a deal of female foolish Rhetorick, as no masculine pen can relate, they desire the non-comparence of their Pastors; of whose doctrines they might take sufficient notice without their personal presence, since it was the same which the Remonstrants had maintained in Collat. Hag. It is to be noted that the Magistrates of Camps, who before had written in these citati favour, did not now write.

Thirdly, there was read the contra-Remonstrants campenses, who were come to accuse the citati, answer to the reasons contained in the citati let­ters, to the first: that the Church could not want their presence, it was an­swered; that the Classis Campensis would look to that, as other classes now did to the charges of all the rest, who were present at the Synod; besides that no mans charge in private can excuse him for non-comparence before a judge, when he is cited. To the second, that they were coming, but were hindred by the people, it was answered that a seditious tumultuary concourse of peo­ple, [Page 8] ought not to hinder any man from comparence before a judge, especially since it is known that this seditious conflux was procured by the citati, as is evident by the confessions of many, (whose names were there expressed,) who being called to be present at that tumultuary assembly refused; who did testifie moreover, that the citati went about begging hands to subscribe these foolish letters to the Synod. To the third, that they had sent procurators to answer for them; it was answered, that it was a thing not heard of, that another man should give account of these things which they themselves bad taught. These things being read, the Synod was required to give sentence: the Delegats sentence was this: that notwithstanding all these idle excuses the citati were to be condemned of contumacie, to be suspended from their mini­stery, but with this provision, that if within fourteen days after the receipt of new Letters from the Synod, they did personally compeire, they should be absolved from this sentence of suspension; if they did not, this sentence should stand firm pro nunc et tunc et omni tempore: the rest of the Synod were entreated that again Munday they would deliberate of this business, and so give in their judgements of it.

Sessio 82. 18. Feb.] Their were read publickly 47. pages of the Remonst. book; all which did contain only one answer to the first foure places produced by the contra-Remonstrants, in collatione Hag. whereby they prove that (v [...]l­le Deum soles fideles salvos facere; et infideles in ira relinquere) is not to [...] um et integrum praedestinationis decretum; the like tedious prolixity, sometimes racking of S [...]ripture, sometimes paring and chipping of it hath not been heard; their was nothing in it which did not rather make men out of love with their cause then affect it.

Sessio 83. eodem die post meridiem.] The sentence of the Synod was asked concerning the Remonstrants Campenses, all agreed with the sentence of the Delegats given at the end of the 81. Session: except only the Divines of Breme; who delivered their opinion at large in writing, it was to perswade a milder course, the reasons were many and well penned: when it came to the Colledge of the Professors, notwithstanding that D. Polyander had delivered their col­legiat sentence; yet D. Gomarus, Martinius his professed enemy, asketh leave to speak; and so entereth into a confutation of that which they of Breme had delivered, so that he and Martinius fell foul in the Synod, very much against the dignity of such an assembly. In truth I must needs say, that some of the provincials do use Martinius very uncivily, and all the forraign Devines be­gin to take it evil at their hands, he is a man very learned, and very honest, sound in all the five articles, as any man in the Synod, except the Second, in which when the Canons come to be made, your L. shall hear there will be more of his opinion besides himself, notwithstanding of all this; because he doth mislike many of the contra-Remonstrants broad speeches in many points, which I think every learned and godly man will do; they use him with so [Page 9] much discourtesie, as I will assure your L. he hath been very near leaving of the Synod, and his colleagues were half purposed to go with him, what a blow this would give to the credit of the Synod, any man may easily perceive, the provincials in this take not the right course. Though one be against the Re­monstrants in all the five articles in substance; yet if he differ from them but in manner of speaking, they hold him as not sound: if by your L. means the Pre­sident were advertised of these things, it might do much good. What farther passeth in the Synod your Lordship by God his grace shall hear, in mean time with the remembrance of my best service to your good Lordship, I take my leave and rest.

Dordrecht this 18. of Fe­bruary Stylo Novo: Your L. in all true respects of service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

Since my last Letters to your L. there hath been no business of any great note in the Synod, but that which I am sure your L. will be sorry to hear contention like to come to some head, if it be not prevented in time: for there hath been such a plot laid ex composito for disgracing of the Bremenses, as I think the Synod shall receive small grace by it.

Sessio 84. 19. Feb. Stylo Novo.] That part of the Remonstrants big book was read, which concerned the 3. and 4. Articles; because these two Articles were now in deliberation: there were read 57 pages, which for the most part did contain nothing but an exagitation of some hard phrases collected out of Calvin, Beza, Zanchius, Piscator, many Contra-Remonstrants.

Sessio 85. die 19. Feb. eodem die post meridiem.] Acronius and another of the Church of Camps, who had compeired in the cause against the Remon­strants there, were called in, and the decree of the Synod made against them whom they accused was read; [the tenor whereof your L. may see in my last Letters.] D. Gomarus being he at whom the last disquisition of the 3. and 4. Article ended, was entreated by the President to speak his minde of the said Articles, but Sibrandus desireth the President first to give him leave to adde some few things to that he had spoken the day before: now what he added was nothing but a renewing of that strife, which was between him and Martinius in the last Session: two things he alledged, first that he had been at Goolenius his lodging, conferring with him about that proposition, whether God might be called causa physica of humane actions, and delivered certain affirmations pronounced by Goclenius, tending to the negative, for the truth of his relation he appealed to Goclenius there present, who testified that it was so: next whereas Martinius had alledged a place out of Pareus [Page 10] for the affirmative in opere conversionis, Sibrandus read a great many places out of Pareus tending to the contrary; and (no question it being plotted be­fore) he entreateth that some of the Palatines (naming them all severally) who were Pareus his colleagues, would speak what they did know of Pare­us his minde concerning the said proposition: Sculie [...]us beginneth with a set speech which he had in writ lying before him; but such a speech it was, as I, and I think all the exteri were exc [...]edingly grieved it should have come from a man of so good worth. The summe of it was this, that he did know upon his own knowledge, that Pareus did hold the contrary of that which had been falsely fathered upon him in the Synod, that he could not endure to bear his dearest colleague so much abused, as he had been by some men in the Sy­nod; moreover that he could not now dissemble the great grief he had con­ceived, that some in the Synod went about to trouble sound divinity with bringing in iricas Scholasticas, such as was to make God causam Physicam con­versionis; (that was for Martinius,) such por [...]enta vocabulorum as determina­re and non determinare voluntatem; that some men durst say that there were some doubts in the fourth Article, which Calvin himself had not throughly satisfied, nor other learned reformed Doctors; that it was to be feared that they intended to bring in Jesuits Divinity in the reformed Churches, and to corrupt the youth committed to their charge, with a strange kinde of Divini­ty: this last speech concerned D. Crocius, Scul [...]etus delivered his minde in exceeding bitter and disgraceful words, and repeated his bitterest sentences twice over: he having ended, Martinius with great modesty answered, first that he would read Pareus his own words, which he did, next that for Si­brandus, he wondered that he would now in publick bring these things up: since out of his love to peace, that very day he had sent his colleague Crocius to Sibrandus, with a large explication of that sense in which he had delivered that proposition, with which explication Sibrandus himself had sent him word that he was fully satisfied, and so he made account that that business had been peaceably transacted: all this while Crocius spoke nothing: Goma­rus beginneth to go on in the disquisition, but I think he delivered a speech a­gainst the Bremenses, which none but a mad man would have uttered. First, whereas Martinius had said that he did desire the resolution of this doubt, qui Deus possit ab homine, cu [...]us potentia est finita, fidem, quae est opus omnipoten­tiae, exigere, and that neither Calvin nor any of our Divines had yet plainly enough untyed that knot, he replied first, that he that had said so was not dig­nus qui solveret Calvino corrigiam; and that for the doubt it self it was such a silly one that ipsi pueri in trivio could ipsius solutionem decantare, at which speech every body smiled, moreover whereas Martinius in his answer to Scul [...]etus had not spoken one word against him, but only this, that he was sorrie that one who had now 25. years been a professor of Divinity should be thus used for using a School term; Gomarus very wisely had a fling at that [Page 11] too, and telleth the Synod that since some men thought to carry it away an­norum numero, he himself had been a professor not only 25. but thirty five years; next he falleth upon Crocius, and biddeth the Synod take heed of these men that brought in these monstra, p [...]rtent a vocabulorum the barbarismes of the Schools of the Jesuits, determinare and non determinare voluntatem, with many such speeches, delivered with such sparkling of his eyes, and fierceness of pronunciation, as every man wondered the President did not cut him off, at last he cut of himself I think for want of breath, and the President giveth Celeberrimo Doctori Gomaro many thanks for that his learned grave and accu­rate speach; the exteri wondered at it, at last my L. of Landaffe, in good faith in a very grave, short, sweet speech, (for which as for one of the best I am perswaded he ever delivered, we & all the Exteri thought he deserved infi­nite commendations: ) he spake to the President to this purpose, that this Synodical disquisition was instituted for edification, not for any men to show studium contentionis: and therefore did desire him to look that the knot of uni­ty were not broken: in this his L. speech he named no man, the last word was hardly out of my L. lips, but furious Gomarus knowing himself guilty, delivereth this wise speech: Reverendissime D. Praesul agendum est hic in Syno­do non authoritate sed ratione: that it was free for him to speak in his own place, which no man must think to abridge him of by their authority, my L. replyed nothing; but the President told my L. that celeberrimus D. Gom. had said nothing against mens persons, but their opinions, and therefore that he had said nothing worthy of reprehension: this gave every man just occasion to think the President was on the plot: Martinius against this speech of Go­marus said nothing, but that he was sorry that he should have this reward for his far journey. The disquisition went on to Thysius, who very discreetly told the Synod he was sorry Martinius should be so exagitated, for a speech which according to Martinius his explication was true, just as Thysius was thus speak­ing, Gomarus and Sibrandus, who sate next him, pulleth him by the sleeve, talketh to him with a confused angry noise in the hearing and seeing of all the Synod, chiding him that he would say so; afterward Thysius with great mo­desty desired Martinius to give him satisfaction of one or two doubtful sen­tences he had delivered, which Martinius thanking him for his courtesie fully did: the President was certainly on this plot against Martinius, for at that same time he did read out of a paper publickly a note of all the hard speeches Martinius had used: all this while D. Crocius his patience was admired by all men, who being so grossely abused & disgraced could get leave of his affections to hold his peace. What this is like to come to I will tell your L. after I have set down the Sessions.

Sessio 86. 20. Feb.] There were read 63. pages of the Remonstrants book, which concerned the fifth Article, it was for most part a confutation of the Doctors above named.

[Page 12] Sessio 87. eodem die post meridiem.] Dr. Mayerus one of the Helvetians, publickly all auditors being admitted, discussed the fifth Article de perseveran­tia Sanctorum: he did rather like an Orator then a School-man.

Sessio 88. 21. Feb.] There are read publickly 60. pages of the Remonstrants book, which concerned the first Article: they were of the same stuffe with the former, a confutation of the same men.

Sessio 89. 22. Feb.] There were read 57. pages of the Remonstrants book, which concerned their opinion of reprobation, in which they did lay open the harsh opinions of many of our men, which unless the Synod do condemn, as well as the opinion of the Remonstrants, I see not how they can give the world satisfaction touching their indifferencie: among the rest which was read, this was one if your L. can endure the smell of it, instan [...] Contrae-R. nassumus patroni reproborum, Resp. justitiae divinae patroni sumus non reproborum; sicut dicendum est D. Sibrandum inscript [...] su [...] adversus Vorstium non suscopisse defensionem latrinarum dum defendit deum esse in faetidissimis tatrinis, sed tantum suscepisse defensionem omnipraesentiae divine, quemadmodum nos justitia, this is all was worthy the noting in that lecture.

Sessio 90. eodem die post meridiem.] Deo datus was appointed to discourse of the first Article, but being sick, the five Belgick professors discussed it.

Sessio 91. 23. Feb.] There were read some 35. pages of the Remonstrants book, concerning reprobation, and so the whole book is ended.

Now my L. concerning this matter of the Bremenses, is come to this height: that they thought to have gone home, and withal were ready to have printed an apology for themselves, and an narration of their hard usage in the Synod: but that some of the Exteri Theologi came to the English Col­ledge, and desired them to help to quench this fire, all the Exteri take to heart these two things, first that strangers should be used so disgracefully, for using two School terms, which are both very common, next that Goma­rus durst openly in the Synod give such an irreverend answer to my L. of Lan­daffe, for which unless all the exteri may have satisfaction. (Except the Pa­latines) I believe their will be a shameful sturre in the Synod; they desired the English to labour the Bremenses to reconciliation with Scultetus, which this night they are doing; what becometh of it your L. shall hear; but I have small hope, for the Bremenses will take no satisfactiou but publick, because it was a publick imputation upon their professions and School, as if that were a place for corrupting of youth: and I think Scultetus will be loath to give publick satisfaction; yet my L. Bishop of Landaffe, D. Go [...]d, and my self have dealt with Scultetus, and finde him tractable, Dr. Davenaut, and D. Wa [...]d have dealt with the Bremenses, and finde them mightily incensed, Mar­tinius hath never come to the Synod since, but with the rest of his colleagues they have complained to the Delegats, who I think will take order with Goma­rus: we the English are purposed (but I know not whether that purpose [Page 13] shall hold) to desire the Delegats to take notice of the wrong offered by Go­marus to my L. of Landaffe; my Lord, all I will say is this, there are two men in the Synod, Sibrandus, but especially Gomarus, who is able to set it on fire, unless they be look' [...] too; I think there is no man will say, but that Gomarus hath wronged the Bremenses infinitely, hath wronged exceedingly my L. of Landaffe, and in him all the English Colledge, your L. counsel to the President may bring much water to this fire.

There is here a little Pamphlet here to be sold in the Synod. Jambi de con­cordia et pace, written by Petrus Bertius the author of Apostasiae sanctorum: they say it hath been out a great while; if any of the states have seen it. I wonder he is not severely punished: it is the most seditious Satyr against this state that ever I did read. Here is all, and I am sorry I had so much to write to your L. so with the remembrance of my humblest duty to your L. and your worthy Lady, I take my leave and rest.

Dordrecht this 23. of Fe­bruary, Stylo Novo. Your L. faithful and respectful servant,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

FOr your L. last letters to my self, and the news in the letters inclosed, as I stand much obliged to your H. so much more I with all others, who love peace and long for the happy success of this Synod, must ever stand much obliged to your L. for your Letters to the President; so full of sober, good, and necessarie counsel, the happy fruit whereof I hope during our being there we shall not cease to finde, as we have already begun to taste a little of the sweetness of it; for the very next Session after the President had received your L. letters, at the beginning in very milde and discreet words he entreated all the members of the Synod, that in their disquisition of the fifth Article, they should abstain from all bitterness, and personal opposition, and follow meekness and brotherly kindness, which in that disquisition was observed by the two Belgick professors, very strictly, and their phrase and stile tempered otherwise then heretofore it hath been; so as one might see they had been ac­quainted with the good counsel of your L. letters, for I will assure you they followed it: your L. joy can not chuse but be great when you remember the great peace procured by your L. I should hold my self an enemy to the weal­publick, if I should not particularly inform your L. of all the passages here, by whom if any of them go amiss, they may so happily be corrected. The reason why I have been so long a writing is, because I wanted news of which our Synod now is very barren, and will be so till towards the latter end of the next week; at which time all Colledges judgements of the five articles [Page 14] will begin to be read, the matters now in hand are matters of knowledge not of action: yet I will be bold for fashions sake to send your L. a note of such Sessions as have been since my last letters to your L.

Sessio 92. 25. Feb. Stylo Novo.] We bent on in the Synodical disquisition of the 3. and 4 article, which at that Session was made an end of, after that the President did dictate to us, and all we did write large Theses colle­cted out of the Remonstrants books upon the five Articles.

Sessio 93. 26. Feb.] Since the Remonstrants by commandement from the Delegats, had given up the defence of their opinion touching the second Ar­ticle, their were read 56. pages of this there other new volume, in which they studied to overthrow that distinction, sufficientiae et efficaciae mortis Chri­sti, and go about to prove that those places of Scripture, which say that Christ dyed pro peccatis totius mundi, are to be enlarged to all particular men, not to be restrained ad mundum electorum.

Sessio 94. 27. Feb.] There were read publickly 53. pages more of this vo­lume of the Remonst. upon the second Article, in which they did vindicate their own arguments propounded in Collat. Hag from the instances and ex­ceptions of the Contra-Remonst. in the same Conference.

Sessio 95. eodem die post meridiem.] Deo datus was this Session appointed to discuss the first Article; but because of the continuance of his sickness, his colleague Tronchinus did perform that task for him, publickly all auditors be­ing admitted, who with good commendation did establish Sanctorum perse­verantiam.

Sessio 96 28. Feb.] There was an end made of the reading the Remonst. volume on the second Article, there were read some 54. pages, which were spent in the vindicating the rest of their own arguments from the exceptions of the contra-Remonst. in Collat. Hag.

Sessio 97. eodem die post meridiem.] We begun the Synodical disquisition upon the 3. Article, where every one of our Colledge spoke at large, but es­pecially my Lr of Landaffe, who I will assure your L. hath by his most accu­rate and excellent speech at that Session gained unto himself wonderful great reputation; I doubt not but he will send a copie of it to your L. and then it will speak for it self, believe me I never heard him do any thing like it, and so thinketh every one in the Synod it was learned, devout, and the stile mas­culous; quicquid dixero minus erit: the disquisition came to the Helvetian Divines.

Sessio 98. 1. March.] We went on in our Synodical disquisition of the fifth Article, where my L. of Landaffe his yesterday speech was cited by two or three several Divines with great Honour and commendation: the disqui­sition came to the Colledge of the Geldrians.

This my Lord is all we have done, when there is any thing worthy the re­lating, I shall not fail to advertise your L. hoping your L. in this time of my [Page 15] other business, which must not be neglected, will pardon both the rudeness of the hand and stile; for both which my necessary plea is want of time. The matter between the Bremenses, and Scultetus, with the other two pro­fessors is taken up by the Praeses, and the Delegats; the Bremenses have shewn their inclination to peace, and were contented with private satisfaction, the other three did protest they had no hard opinion of them, but accounted them learned, religious, orthodoxal, were sorry they had done that which was done, and would do so no more: the Bremenses desired that one of our Colledge might be present at this satisfaction, but the other three would no way yield to it. Gomarus was there admonished to repair to my L. of Landaffe, and to testifie unto him his sorrow for the word which unawares had proceeded from him to his L. in the Synod; but yet the old tuffe man is not come to his L. I hope after this we shall live in peace; which I must needs confess for the greatest part of it, we are debters to your L. Notwithstanding the late pro­clamation set out by the states General, for restraining the printing of all se­ditious books during the time of the Synod: yet even now in the Belgick tongue, there is come forth a seditious pamphlet, with no name of Author or Printer, containing all the acts which hath been made against the Remon­strants in this Synod, especially by the Delegats; a book made only to incite the common people to a dislike of the Synod, they are not to be sold, but they send them abroad among their favorites, I have all this day been using means for compassing one of them to send to your L. but cannot, yet there is one of them promised me, but it may be your L. by this time hath seen some of them. By my letters from England, from one who I believe knoweth it, it wil light heavy upon the party your L. nameth in the end of your letter; as much I mean as his place in the State is worth; their is scuffling for to be his succes­sor: what is reported of Mr. Pakker is but guessing, your L. is in name for it at Court, but upon what ground I know not, I would it were as sure as my wishes are strong. So with the remembrance of my best service to your L. and your worthy Lady, I take my leave and rest.

Dordrecht this 2. of March. Your L. in all true respect and service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

THough our Synod yieldeth no great argument of writing, for now we are taken up in hearing altogether, yet I can not omit my duty in letting your L. know how we spend the time.

Sessio 99. 4. March Stylo Novo.] The President did invite the whole Sy­nod to the Funeral of a Helvetian Gentleman, one Mr. Staffurins who came [Page 16] hither, as comes itineris with the Helvetian Divines, the invitation was a­gainst the morrow at 11. of the clock. The President moreover with great joy told the Synod that he had received news from the Magistrates of Camps; whereby they signifie that they rest well satisfied in the last decree of the Synod concerning the suspension of their cited ministers, and continu­ance of the same suspension, in case of their not comparence within 14. days after new advertisement, that they would do what in them lyeth to perswade them to comparence, which if they refused, that they would not give them any more countenance or protection, as heretofore they had done; moreover that they did with all due respect expect the resolutions of the Synod, con­cerning the points of religion now in question, to which they mean to sub­mit themselves wholly, and by their own example of obedience, encourage and perswade as much as in them lyeth their distracted people to yield the like obedience, and that in the mean time the care of their Ministers Flocks should be no pretence to their cited ministers for not comparence, because that du­ring their abscence, they themselves would undertake to see their cures suffici­ently discharged both for reading and preaching of the word: I must needs say this message was much unlike their former letters, which they were wont to write in favour of their Remonstrant Ministers. Moreover the President told us that D. Altingius one of the Palatine Divines, had brought him letters to the Synod from old D. Paraeus of Heidelberge, together with his judge­ment in a written book of the five Articles in controversie, which he told us should presently after the Synodical disquisition be read. We go on in the Sy­nodical disquisition of the fifth Article, where some of the provincials obser­ved some things, some nothing, and so at this Session quickly our disquisition upon the first Article was ended; then Paraeus letters to the Synod were read; the summe whereof was this, I am not so good an English man as to adven­ture to translate, I will therefore give you the Latine.

Quantum doloris et lachrimarum sentiebamus hic omnes jam per aliquot annos ex flends illo schismate et dissidio quod Ecclesiam Vestram Florentissimam laceravit, tantum etiaem et nunc gandii et gratulationum experimur ex coactione Celeberri­mae bujus Synodi, cu [...]us ope et saluberrimis consiliis speramus altissimum hoc vul­nus sanatumiri; quantum gloriandi mater [...]am de derit Pontificiis Vestrum schis­ [...]a palam est omnibus: illis ut Synodus obstruat os, possitque hoc Ecclesia Vestra incendium restinguere, pacemqne vestram nimis collapsam restituere, illud est quod sieut expectant à vobis boni omnes, ita et à Deo Opt. Max. omnibus precibus expe­tunt: O utinam daretur mihi in ultima jam senectute venerandam hanc Synodum conspicari, Verum cum illud aetas mea mihi deneget tametsi Doctissimi mei Collegae meas vices supplebunt, visum tamen fuit mihi meam quoque de famosis illis 5. Ar­ticulis ad Reverentias Vestras senten [...]iam perscribere, et una cum Ecclesia Re­sormata meam quoque [...] testatam facere; Videbitis me hic conditionatam Electionem rejicere, Reprobationem una cum D. Calvino passim, praesertim Insti­tutionum [Page 17] lib. 3. ad vitiositatem referre, si minus fortassis quam par est Praedesti­onis mysteria pertractavero, illud putate consulto factumesse, sunt enim illa ado­randa magis quam discutienda: solitam et receptam de merito mortis Christi distinctionem puta sufficientiae et efficientiae, videbitis me retinere, Distinctionem illam de resistibilitate et irresistibilitate gratiae Divinae velim [...]ad authores suos puta Jesuitas relegari; Heteredoxa illa de apostasia sanctorum sententia se ipsam ju­gulat. Det Deus, ut in omnibus orthodoxam doctrinam retineatis, et paecem unice sectemini. The subscription was, Rever. Vest. Observantissimus David Paraeus Septuagenarius Scribebam manu propria: This was the summe of this letter, and of the Session too.

Sessio 100. 5. of March.] There was read publickly so much of Paraeus his sentence as concerned the first and second Article, in which he did accurately dispute against the Remonstrants opinion in both, and spent a great many pa­ges in expounding and confirming the received distinction of the sufficiency and efficiency of the merit of Christ his death.

Sessio 101. eodem die post meridiem.] Dr. Martinius of Breme aypointed by the President publickly, all auditors admitted, did very accurately and sound­ly discourse of the true Deity of Christ, and especially laboured to prove his omnipraesentia, opposing and answering all those places of Vorstius in which in his disputation de Deo he calleth the omnipraesentia of Christ into question.

Sessio 102. 6. March.] We went on in the publick reading of D. Paraeus his judgement upon the 3. 4. and 5. Articles; where I must needs say that he did most accurately, and soundly, and methodically, with great subtilty and variety of reasons overthrow the Remonstrants opinions of Resistibility of grace, and the apostasie of the saints, one would little think that that wit and judgement could be so young in so great age: the President told us that after the Collegial judgement were read, that the Synod by their publick letters must needs give him many thanks for these his great and good pains, as he did not doubt but that the Estates General would take order for doing of the like. So one of the Scribes by the President his appointment, was beginning to read our Colledge his judgement, but D. Davenant told the President, that he thought it greatly concerned the dignity of the Synod, that the Collegial suf­frages should not be read thus privately, but that they should be read as pub­lickly as might be, all auditors being admitted; both because it might be that the Remonstrants being moved by force of their reasons, might relent something in their opinions; and all other auditors be edified and confirmed in the truth, as likewise; because all auditors should perceive the consent of so many several learned mens judgements, who by the more perverse sort might otherwise be thought to use some plot and conspiracy to make their opi­nions meet together. This unexpected motion did not a little trouble the President, who was altogether set against any such course, which made all; especially the exteri wonder that he should offer to pass over a matter of so [Page 18] great consequence without asking the Synods advice for the manner of read­ing their own judgements; the reason why this motion was made by our Colledge was this; in forming of our judgements, as we have studied to con­demn all in the Remonstrants, which can justly be taxed; so we took pains to condemn no more but that which must be condemned, and to condemn too some hard phrases of the contra Remonstrants, especially in the matter of Re­probation; but they are only phrases; now we know that in the making of the Canons no words of ours, which sound any thing that way shall be ex­pressed, because the provincials in forming of the Canons will carry us down by voices; and therefore we desired that in the reading of our judgements, at least our ingenuity might be taken notice of by all the auditors. Well to this motion the President made this answer, that within these few days he himself was in that same opinion which now was propounded; but having with more mature deliberation thought upon it, and asked the advice of his Assessors, that he had now thought it fit, the judgements should be read, no auditors being admitted, unless it were some few choice ministers of good worth, who did here attend about the Synod, the reasons moving them thereunto were these. First, because this course seemeth to come nearer the intent of the commission of the Estates General then the other, in which they were appointed to enquire after Synodical suffrages privately among them­selves without other auditors, unless the Synod should think it fit to admit au­ditors. Secondly, because it had been a custome hitherto observed in all Sy­nods and counsels to take the suffrages, all auditors being excluded. Thirdly, because, though the suffrages of all Colledges do agree (as he perceived by reading of them) in the thing it self; yet because there was some disagree­ment in phrases and forms of speaking, it was to be feared that the Remon­strants and other Jesuits and Dominicans present, would make great matter of these verbal differences, that they would cast abroad among the people strange reports of the dissensions of the Synod, and in another case, that the Remonstrants no question (as lately they had done) would put out in print the opinion of the Synod concerning the Articles, before the Canons were formed by the Synod, and in their pamphlet no doubt they would oppose sentence to sentence, wheresoever they might take hold of the least suspition of difference. Fourthly, and chiefly, because by this course the judgement of the Synod concerning the 5. Articles, should go abroad among the people, before either the Synod it self had determined what should be their judge­ments, or the Estates General could be made acquainted with the judgements of the Colledges and Synod, who notwithstanding in all reasons and good manners ought next to the Synod it self, to know what is likely to be the event of all business in it: the President added that since this was but a matter of order, he hoped the Synod would trust him and the Assessors with the mana­ging of it; but perceiving that a great many were not content with it, he was [Page 19] glad to put the matter to voices; the Delegats being asked their voice, they desired the matter might be deferred till the afternoon, and so the Synod was dismissed.

The President in mean time sent Dammanus one of the Scribes, to entreat us to give way to the Presidents motion; and no question, they laboured other Colledges as well as us; but certainly all the Presidents reasons above menti­oned might easily have been answered; for my part I think his course was tu­tior, but ours honestior.

Sessio 103. eodem die post meridiem.] Voices were asked concerning the manner of reading the Collegial judgements. The Delegats suffrage pro­nounced by Heinsius was, that in reading of the judgements, all auditors whatsoever, aswel contra-Remonst. as Remonst. should be excluded; and besides they entreat all the members of the Synod, that they would conceal as much as might be the things that were done in the Synod. The whole mem­bers of the Synod without exception according to the judgement of the Dele­gats. So (Q. F. F. of the first Article, (que) sit) we begun to read the Col­ledge judgements, at this Session were read the judgements of our Colledge, and the Colledge of the Palatines, both of a just length, and agreeable in all things; except that the Palatines had added to the end of theirs a very good and necessary counsel for the sober and wholsome manner of propounding to the people the doctrine of Election and Reprobation; we purpose after our judgement on the fifth Article, to give in such a counsel for the sober pro­pounding of the whole five Articles to the people.

Sessio 104. 7. March.] There were publickly read the judgements of the Colledg of the Hassians who were exceeding long, of the Helvetians who were but short and grave, of Alstedius, he who is only superstes of the Nassovians, who was but short, there was no difference between their judgements, and the others which were read before them.

Sessio 105. eodem die post meridiem.] There were read publickly, first the judgement of the Genevenses, who were pretty long; they kept a form by themselves, for where the confirmations of other [...]olledges Theses, consisted of reasons, places of Scriptures, and fathers, their confirmations were nothing but places of Scripture, barely propounded in great number, and in a very fine contexture and frame; at the end they used this short peroration, that they had simply out of the Scripture delivered, that concerning the first Ar­ticle, which they knew to be agreeable with the Church of Geneva, nay, and beside of all the Churches of France which did stick to the French confession. Next was read the judgement of the Bremenses, which was of a just length very sound and accurate, in all things agreeable to the other judgements read before, except only with this difference; whereas other judgements had said either nothing of the election and salvation of Infants begotten of faith­ful parents, and dying in their Infancy, or they which had touched it, had [Page 20] determined that faithful parents had no reason to doubt of it; but might ve­ry well for any thing they did know hope and perswade themselves of it: the Bremonses did absolutely determine that all such Infants dying in their infancie if they were baptized were certainly saved, concluding it not only ex judicio charitatis as others had done, but ex judicio certitudinis too: Next begun to be read the judgement of the Divines of Embdane; from whom (as Mr. Hales well knoweth) extraordinary prolixity was to be expected; after it had been read half an houre the President told us, that because the houre was past, the rest must be left till the morrow.

Sessio 106. 8. Martii.] We went on in reading the judgement of the Emb­danes, which at this Session continued yet full two houres, in the coldest weather that we have felt. So now the judgements of all the Exteri Theologi con­cerning the first Article were read, among whom there was nothing to be seen but full and orthodoxal consent, for which the President told us God was to be praised, and he prayed God that the like Harmonie might be found among the Provincials: my Lord this is worth the observing, that there is no Col­ledge yet which hath not overthrown Gomarus his opinion of the subject of Predestination; for though none of them did directly dispute against it, yet all of them expresly took it as granted, that not homo creabilis, but homo lapsus was subjectum both of Election and Reprobation, which I think doth trouble Gomarus not a little. Now the Embdanes judgement being ended, we begun to read the judgement of the Colledge of the Belgick professors, where at the very first to our grief we observed the Belgick humour of particular opinions; for there are but five of that Colledge as we are of ours, and yet they are di­vided into three parts, and have given in three distinct and several judge­ments. D. Polyander, D. Thysius, and D. Wallaeus have given in and sub­scribed one judgement, Dr. Sibrandus hath given in another judgement by himself; and D. Gomarus a third judgement by himself; at the latter end of this Session the first three their judgements begun to be read; but by that time two pages were read the houre was passed, and so the rest of it was con­tinued till the next occasion, only my L. I must tell you that so much as was read, giveth us little hope of agreement among them, for where as other Colledges had taken it as granted only, that ho [...]o lapsus was subjectum Praede­stinationis, they in these two pages did only dispute by many arguments against Gomarus his opinion, and proved that largely, which others had only taken as a ground, their arguments Gomarus I see him note; what difference shall further happen in their judgements, your L. shall understand by my next.

Sessio 107. eodem die post meridiem.] This Session was publick, all audi­tors being admitted, in which D. Deodatus did at great length handle these two questions. 1. Quantum differat sides [...] seu temporaneonum à vera et justificante Regenitorum side. 2. Quousque conceditur Diabolo progredi in oppugnanda justificatorum side; he did very sweetly just as he useth to preach, not as Doctors use to do in Schools.

[Page 21] [...]This is all which is done this week; for this day being Saturday we have no Session. The last Sunday I (in which I returned the letter your L. was pleased to send me) sent to your L. all which had passed the week before, which I hope your L. had, your L. seeth there are but ordinary passages yet in the Synod, if there were any thing worthy of extraordinary note, I should not fail with all diligence to give your L. notice of it; in mean time with ma­ny thanks to your L. for all your L. courtesies, and the remembrance of my humblest service to your L. and your worthy Lady, I take my leave, ever en­treating your L. that I may be accounted by your L. as I am.

I doubt not but your L. hath seen this pamphlet, yet if you have not, here it is.

Dordrecht this 9. of March, 1619. Your L. in all true respect and service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord.

SUch things as have passed in our Synod, since my last letters unto your L. I here send your L. as briefly as I can: I hope now at length towards the latter end of the next week, we shall come to the making of the [...]anons.

Sessio 108. 11. Martii Stylo Novo.] Georgius Faebricius a Nassovian Di­vine, substituted in the place of D. Bisterfield, who died here, was with the accustomed solemnity admitted into the Synod: we go on in reading the judg­ment of the three Belgick professors, which was very sound and of a just length; it was subscribed by their three names: Johannes Polyander, Antoni­us Thysius, Anthonius Wallaeus, and a little beneath, that it was thus written, Ego Sibrandus Lubertus hoc collegarum m [...]orum judicium perlegi. et per omniae probo; Gomarus his name was not at it; but he presently rose and testified viva voce, that he had read it, and did in all things approve the judgement of his Colleagues, excepting only that part of it, which did determine homi­nem lapsum to be the object of Predestination, which he said had not as yet been determined in the Belgick Churches, in the French nor English Churches, and many others. Next was read the judgement of D. Sibrandus upon the same article, which differed nothing from that former of his Col­leagues, but that it was longer, it was subscribed with his own name, and a little beneath the former three professors by their subscriptions testified, that they had read it, and did approve it. Gomarus stood up, and viva voce gave this same testimony to this judgement which he had given to the former, ma­king the same exception. Next was Gomarus his judgement read upon the same Article; he said nothing of that question of the object of predestination, whether it was homo lapsus or not, which silence in that point being excepted, [Page 22] his judgement in all points agreed with the former judgements of his Col­leagues, it was only subscribed with his own name; but D. Polyander did vi­va voce testifie in the name of himself and his Colleagues, that they did ap­prove all things in Gomarus his judgement, excepting only that opinion of the object, the contrary whereof they professed themselves to hold: the Presi­dent instructed us concerning some particulars of the business of Camps, and desired us against three of the clock in the afternoon to consult about it; the particulars whereof your L. shall see in the next Session.

Sessio 109. eodemdie post meridiem.] The President told us first, that the time of fourteen days granted to the two suspended Ministers of Camps for their comparence was now passed, and so that they contemned this favourable respite granted by the Synod, & persisted in their contumacy. Next that the o­ther two Ministers of Camps, who were here among the cited Remonstrants had been appointed by the Synod to give in within 14. dayes an answer to the accusations layed against them by the deputies of the Reformed Church of Camps; the copy of which accusations at their own earnest request had been delivered to them by one of the servants of the Synod, but that now in place of their answer which was expected, they had sent to him a letter which was read unto the Synod; it had two great faults, it was exceeding long, and exceeding foolish; to this sense or rather none-sense, they did show that they could not at the day appointed give in their answer to the accusations; and why they could no more go on in this Synodical action which was com­menced against them; for many causes, such as were, first, because they were wholly taken up in making ready some writings for the Synod concern­ing the five Articles, which were imposed on them by the commandement of the Delegats. 2. Because the copy of the accusations brought unto them by one of the Synod officers, was not subscribed by the President, nor by ei­ther of the Scribes of the Synod; and therefore they thought it not an au­thentick copy or of any credit. 3. Because crimes in it were objected to them both promiscuously, and that laid to both their charge, which only one of them had delivered; and therefore their accusation was not exact according to form of law. 4. That there were many things in it objected to them, not warranted by any witness, unless it were by some proofs taken out of their Colleague Foskculius late book, which they christened with the name of stul­tum and tenebricosum scriptum. 5. Because it was full of false spellings and writing, and therefore they thought it was but negligently stubbered over; for these and many more such causes as idle as these, (with which I hold it not fit to detain your L.) though they might decline the judgement of the Synod, especially since against the practise of the Belgick Church, their own consisto­ry, Classis, and Provincial Synod being skipped over, they were immediately accused before the Synod; yet notwithstanding after they had done with all they had to say upon the five Articles, they promise that they will give in [Page 23] their answer to this bill of accusations; but upon this condition, (which I beseech your L. to observe,) that first the Synod would declare them to be free from these false and malitious slanders, wherewith they & the rest of their brethren Remonstrants cited to the Synod, had been most injuriously and falsely charged in that Session of the Synod, in which they were dismissed by the President, with this elogium, to wit, that they had refused to go on in the Synodical action; that they had showen themselves unworthy with whom the Synod should have any further dealing; and that as they had begun this business and continued it with lying and equivocations, so now they had ended it. But yet that notwithstanding of all this they were contented to go on in this action before the Colledge of the Delegats of the Estates General, but not before the Synod. These long letters being read, next was read an answer to these letters penned by the deputies of the reformed Church of Camps; to whom the President had given these letters that they might answer them, they did meet particularly with every thing alledged in the other letters, which was needless; and therefore I omit all their answers, save only to that one thing which seemed to require one, that was, that against the custome of their Church they were immediately brought before the Synod, to which it was answered, that both the consistory and Classis of Camps were altoge­ther Remonstrantical, and that therefore they were both of them such as ought rather to be abrogated then appealed unto; but for their Provincial Synod, they wondered with what face they durst affirm they had not been cited thither, since that Synod had dealt with them oftner then once, though to no purpose. Next was read a supplication penned and subscribed by Acro­nius in name of the Reformed Church of Camps, in which they relate how F [...]skulius one of the two suspended at Camps, while he was rehearsing unto his flock the sentence of his own suspension, that he had stirred up the people ad tumultuariam infamam: next they humbly beseech the Synod, that now for the two suspended, their sentence of suspension might be ratified by the Synod, and for the other two here present at Dort, to wit, Mathisius and Gosuinus, since they had refused to give in their answer at the time appointed, that the Synod would pronounce the like sentence of suspension against them: the President propounded this to the Synod, whether they thought it fit that the sentence already given against the former two should be ratified, and that the other two should be cited to give in their answer to the bill of accusations within fourteen days, in which if they failed, the like sentence of suspension should be given against them, which had been given against their Colleagues; the whole Synod approved it, and so it was decreed.

We beginning to go on in reading the Collegial judgements; but my L. of Landaffe (according as we at home had deliberated among our selves) de­sired leave to speak, which being granted he spake to this purpose. D Goma­rus in the forenoon delivered, that this question, whether homo lapsus be [Page 24] subjectum Praedestinationis, had not been determined by the confession of the Church of France; and as I and my Colleagues conceived he delivered the like for the confession of the Church of England; and therefore I do entreat D. Gomarus in my own name, and the name of my Colleagues to declare be­fore the Synod, whether he did say so or not. D. Gomarus with good mo­desty answered that indeed he did say so, but he protested it was not out of any evil meaning, but only to shew that as other Churches, so the Church of England had left that undetermined, since the words of the confession deter­mined no farther of the subject, then (quosdam ex humano genere) my Lord of Landaffe replied, that he himself and the rest of his Colleagues could not chuse but think themselves by that speech touched for temerity or ignorance; for since they in their judgement had delivered the contrary for homo lapsus, it was as much to say as that they had delivered that in the Synod, which was not according to the judgement of the Church of England, but to let the Sy­nod know that they had said nothing in their judgement, which was not the judgement of their Church, they desired the Synod to hear the words of their confession; so D. Goad read publickly the 17. Article of the confession, where the words are quosdam ex humano genere, in exitio et maledicto, which last words Gomarus had left out: Gomarus answered, that if he had under­stood the words of the confession amiss, he would submit himself to the judgement of the Synod. The President told Gomarus roundly enough, that it was free for every member of the Synod to deliver his own judgement con­cerning any point or question; but that men ought to be very careful that they do not rashly meddle with the judgements of other Churches. My L. of Landaffe desired further leave to adde this. Since all the forraign Divines, without exception, and likewise all the Belgick professors except Gomarus, had already delivered their judgements for homo lapsus, and that he doubted not but the Provincials would determine the same; it were very fit that the Synod should likewise determine so of it; neither was it any reason that for the particular opinion of one professor, who in this did disassent from the judgement of all the reformed Churches, the Synod should abstain from de­termination of the question. Gomarus answered, that the University of Ley­den had never yet determined for homo lapsus, and that both D. Whittakers, and Mr. Perkins had determined the contrary, whom he took to be such men as would not disassent from the confession of the Church of England: that the matter ought first to be discussed with arguments on both sides, before any thing should be determined on either side; to whom the President re­turned this answer, that after the judgements of all the Colledges were read, the Synod would decree of that question what they shall think best; after the Canon is conceived it shall be read, if then you can shew that any thing con­tained in that Canon is against the word of God. The Synod shall with al dutiful patience here what you can say.

[Page 25]There were read the judgements of the Geldri; the South-Hollandi, (who in their judgement wished that the question of homo lapsus might be left unde­termined) the North-Hollandi, the Z [...]landi, who were all not long; and a­greed in all things with the former judgements delivered, and so this long Ses­sion ended.

Sessio 110. 12. Martii.] There were read the Collegiat judgements of the Ultrajectini, the Frisia, the Transisulani, the Groninganii et Omlandii, all which foure were of a good length, and in all things consonant to the former judgements.

Sessio 111. eodem die post meridiem.] There were read the Collegial judge­ments of the Drentani, and Gallobelgici, which were brief, and agreeable to the former judgements, and so was ended the reading of the judgements of all Colledges; in which (God be praised for it) there was not the least suspi­tion of of dissention of any thing, and it is to be noted that all of them deter­mined homo laepsus to be the subject of Predestination; except Gomarus whom all men know to be against it; and the South-Hollandi, who only said they would determine nothing of it.

There was read the judgement of the Divines of Great Brittain upon the second Article; they were briefer then upon the first Article, they left the received distinction of sufficientiae and efficacia mortis Christi untouched; as likewise they did not touch that received restriction of those places which make Christs suffering general to the world, only ad mundum Electorum. There were read the judgements of the Palatines, of the Hassians, of the Helvetians, who all did maintain the received distinction, to wit, that Christ his death was only sufficient for all men, not efficient or impetrative, and did restrain all the general propositions which are in Scripture to that purpose only ad mundum Electorum, concluding that Christ was no wayes expiatio pro peccatis singulorum.

Sessio 112. 13. Martii.] There was read publickly the judgement of the Nassovici, after them the judgement of the Genevenses, both of which defen­ded the received distinction and restriction; after were read the judgements of the Bremenses, who according to the number of their persons had three se­veral judgements. Martinius his judgement was first read, who did stand in effect to the tenents of the Remonstrants in the second Article, he mainly overthrew the received distinction and restriction and did determine that Christ did truly die for all and every man, that he was made a propitiation both for the godly and wicked, and that by his death he did impetrate re­conciliation with God for them all, at the latter end he condemned many things both in the Remonstrants, and in the Contra-Remonstrants opinion, but more in the Contra-Remonst. next D. Isselburgius the second Bremensis his judgement was read, who was directly against Martinius defending both the received distinction and restriction. Thirdly, was read the judgement [Page 26] of D. Crocius the third Bremensis, who propounded a middle way between his two Colleagues; granting (which we also in our Colledge did) that Christ did merit by his death some supernatural things for the wicked; as the word preached, and all such good graces as are common both to the godly and wicked, but nothing belonging to remission of sin or reconciliation with God, and so indeed for any thing I could perceive his judgement was directly against that of Martinius, and in effect all one with that of Isselburgius. Next was read the judgement of the Embdani, who were exceeding long, and agreed in all things with the Contra-Remonstrants, as they do express them­selves in the Collat. Hagiensis.

Sessio 113. eodem die post meridiem.] D. Isselburgius one of the Bremenses, at the President his appointment publickly all auditors being admitted, did at very great length prove that God his vindicative justice is natural and ne­cessary unto him, and that therefore that satisfaction which Christ made for the sins of the world was simpliciter necessaria, proving withal by many ar­guments the fulness and sufficiency of Christ his satisfaction; answering the arguments of Socinus and Vorstius against both the former conclusions.

Sessio 114. 14. die Martii.] There was read the judgement of foure of the Belgick Professors, subscribed by Polyander, Gomarus, Thysius, Wallaeus, and a little beneath was written Ego Sibrandus Lubertus hoc Collegarum meorum ju­dicium per omnia probo: next was read Sibrandus his judgement who diffe­red nothing from his colleagues, save that he was shorter, it was subscribed first by himself, and then approved by the subscriptions of the rest of his col­leagues; all five of them did stand mainly for the above named distinction & restriction. Next was read the judgement of the Geldri, who were too too rigid in many things, next them the judgement of the South-Hollandi next them the judgement of the North-Hollandi, who had many things which we thought not only to be rigid but false, all these three Colledges at great length disputed for the received distinction and restriction.

Sessio 115. eodem die post meridiem.] There were read the judgements first of the Zelandi, next of the Ultrajectini, next of the Frisii, next of the Transi [...]sulani, next of the Groninganii and Omlandii: all of them stood for the same distinction and restriction.

Sessio 116. 15. die Martii.] There were read the judgements first of the Drevtani, who delivered many false and absurd propositions; next of the Gallobelgici, who were moderate enough, both of them did maintain the former distinction and restriction; and so was ended the reading of all Colle­gial judgements upon the second Article, in which their was not altogether so uniform a consent both in regard of phrases and forms of speaking; and i [...] regard of some propositions, as was in the first Article: yet certainly there was very great, more then could well have been expected from so great a num­ber of learned men in so hard and an controverted Article.

[Page 27]There was read the judgement of our Colledge upon the third and fourth Article, which was most just and equal, condemning the rigidity of some of the contra-Remonstrants opinion, though not by that name, as well as the errors of the Pelagians, Semipelagians, and Remonstrants.

There was read the judgement of the Palatines, who in all things agreed with the judgement of the contra-Remonstrants, as it is set down in Collati [...] Hagiensis.

Sessio 117. eodem die post meridiem.] There were read the judgements of the Hassiaci, the Helvetians, the Nassovici, who agreed in all points with the contra-Remonstrants of the Gene [...]onses, who carried a very even hand in this Article, their Theses, as before, were confirmed only by places of Scrip­ture, but finely digested; of the Bremenses who handled the head de gratia et libero arbitrio in general, and in particular overthrew resistibility of Grace. Of the Embdani, whose judgement after an houres reading was not neer half done, and therefore we were glad to make an intercession of their discourse of Grace till the morrow.

Sessio 118. 16. Martii.] We went on in reading the judgement of the Embdani, which yet continued above an houre and an half; they discussed 34. questions, and to speak truth they were long above the strength of pati­ence. There was read the judgement of the foure Belgick Professors subscri­bed by themselves, and afterwards approved by the subscription of Sibran­dus; next was read the judgement of Sibrandus subscribed by himself, and approved by the subscriptions of his Colleagues; next was read the judge­ment of the Geldri.

So my very good Lord, here is the summe of all hath passed this week; I hope your L. hath received the letters I sent these last two weeks, what fol­loweth I shall not fail to advertise your L. So with the remembrance of my most observant duty to your L. and your worthy Lady, I take my leave and rest.

Dordrecht this 16. of March, Novo Stylo, 1619. Your L. in all true respect and service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

AFter I had written these yesternight, I received your L. letters, for which I stand much obleiged to your L. I had before them received very par­ticularly news from England; but especially of the Star-Chamber sentence from a gentleman of good worth, who was present; many memorable sen­tences his Majesty delivered, such as were these, he said this sin was like the first sin committed in the world, that my Lady Lake was the Serpent, my [Page 28] Lady Rosseas Eve, and Sir Thomas Lake the man: he desired the noble men to take heed of their wives, for he had now known five of his counsel who had been overthrown by their wives, and especially bid such look to them­seves, who had Popish wives; if for no other thing, yet for this, that a Whore and a Papist were termini convertibiles. Moreover speaking publickly of the Navie, he gave in the Star-Chamber three reasons why he had made my L. of Buckingham Admiral; one was because the other was exceeding old; second, because this was young and fit for service; third, because of his love to this, and his being neer about him. I am sure your L. hath the Kings meditation upon the Lord [...] Prayer dedicated to my L. of Buckingham, else I would have sent your L. one. Yesternight their landed here one Eng­lish Gentleman of good worth, who assureth us that on Tuseday last the Queen died; and it may be true, for I had a letter written the first of March, assuring me that my L. of Canterbury was sent for in haste to Hampton-Court, as was thought, to see her die. I hear likewise, but cannot believe it that Mr. Dean of Worcester cometh this journey over with my L. Hayes in his Embas­sage to the Emperour.

Now for your L. directions in our Synod business, our thanks is but a small recompense, your L. may justly look for your reward in heaven; I pray God send us out of the second Article well, and I shall be perswaded of Harmony in all the rest: for in good faith some of the Provincials especially the Geldri, and the North-Hollandi; who are of all in the Synod, greatest in the Presi­dent his books, have delivered such propositions in that Article, as I dare say never any Divine in the world dreamed of but themselves, for mine own part, I had rather loose m [...]ne hand, then subscribe them. For that your L. adviseth from the King about the Palatines, it is a thing absolutely necessary, for they are the only Magistrales Doctores next to Gomarus in all the Synod, and think every thing they speak should be taken for text: in good faith in their judgement upon the second Article, they did gird most bitterly at some things which D. Ward had delivered in the Synod of that same Article, with which D. Ward is very much moved. Our judgement in the second Article is already read in the Synod, so we must study to frame our selves to our di­rections from England, in making of the Canons, my L. his Grace his letter is to have us conform our selves to the received distinction and restriction, with which his grace acquainted his Majesty and received approbation from him: but I must needs say, that the directions which your L. hath sent from Se­cretary Nanton, do seem to will us to be as favourable to the general propositions as may be, giving as little offence to the Lutherans as we can, which counsel in my poor judgement we have in our Theses already followed.

Frequent admonitions and exhortations rather from your L. or by your L. means procured to the President, for prudence and wariness, and keeping the bond of peace may hinder much indiscretion in this Synod, in which as I hope [Page 29] your L. will not be wanting; so by Gods grace I shall not be wanting to give your L. all convenient information, not be wanting in my prayers to the God of peace that your L. may still go on in procuring the peace of our assem­bly. So once again with the remembrance of my most sincere duty I rest.

This Sunday morning 17. March. Your L. faithful and respectful servant,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

SInce my last unto your L. there have been but three Sessions; no matter of moment hath been done in them, and therefore I will defer the relati­on of them to my next letters: only I thought good to let your L. know that yesterday after the forenoon Session, the President called me into his lodging, and told me he would show me a miracle, which in truth he did; for there he showed me a volume which the Remonstrants that morning had given in to the Delegats upon the 3. 4. and 5. Articles; I was I confesse astonished when I looked on it; for I could not with mine one hand lift it from the ta­ble, it is above twice as much as all they have given in yet; in good faith my Lord I think it is fully as big as one of our Church great Bibles; which I would have your L. think I speak without any figure, trope, or Rhetoricallie, for it is so big, I told the President, that it was a thing impossible the Synod could take notice of the contents of that volume under six moneths, he answe­red me that for my comfort he would show me two lines in the Preface, which would rid me of that fear, and so he did; for in these lines they doe protest that they do not offer this volume to the Synod, for they profess that they have nothing, nor will have nothing to do with the Synod, Since the Synod hath refused to have any doings with their living persons, but only their dead books, and therefore they do only offer this book to the Delegats, but will not have it thought by any man that they offer it to the Synod: Heinsius dyned with us yesterday, and I asked him when they had given in this book, he told me that morning, but with such impudence as is almost in­credible; for when one of the Delegats told them that he wondered why they would give in so much paper as was impossible it should ever be read in the Synod, Episcopius answered they had nothing to do with the Synod, they of­fered it only to them who were the Delegats; the former Delegat replied, that the Delegats were not to judge of their opinions, but the Synod; and that in their letters citatorie they were warned to come and give an account to the Synod of the doctrine which they had delivered in their Schools and Pul­pits; Episcopius most impudently answered thus briefly: we here delivered to you the Delegats this book and to none else, if you be pleased to take it [Page 30] from us, we will leave it with you, if not, we pray you give it us again, and we will keep it; one of the Delegats commanded Heinsius to write down that their peremptory and saucy answer, Episcopius very bravely told Heinsius that they would save him that labour, for they had set down the same words alrea­dy in their Preface, and pointed out to him the place where he might finde them: so that my L. they were never since the beginning of the Synod so lusty as now, so as none can chuse but think that they yet have some secret and sure hopes. I forget to tell your L. that the President told me he had been glancing at this volume, and he findes it to be in many parts a confuration of the several discourses which have been had publickly in the Synod upon the five Articles. There is some ta [...] here about the citation of Vorstius, and Fe­stus Hommius yesternight told me he had some talk with your L. about it. If he be cited your L. credit with the Prince of Orange, and count William must help us for discretion in dealing with him, else he will keep the Synod as long as the Remonstrants did; your L. I hope will give counsel to them, that if Vorstius should desire to have time to give in apologies and explications, for [...]he hard speeches in his book De Deo; and should desire to be convinced with Reason, and satisfaction of his arguments; all which would take up a long time, that the Synod would talk of no such matter with him, but in plain terms tell him that all the members of the Synod had read his book, and found many things in it very neer unto open blasphemy, and scandalous without all question to the reformed religion; that explications of things which are not once to be called in question, is no satisfaction; and they therefore only desire to know whether he will make a plain recantation and denial of it, and publick­ly ask God forgiveness for it, and his Church likewise there assembled, whom by that book he hath scandilized; if he do this we gain him; if not, then without any more ado, let the Synod censure him as they shall think fit; I wish that to the terror of others he might solemnly be excommunicated in the Synod; in this and all other businesses we do and must relie upon your L. care, for the handsome carriage of them; which as your L. hath hithertil done, so that your L. may still continue to the good of Gods Church, and your own immortal credit, it is no small part of the prayers of

Dordrecht this 20. of March. Stylo Novo. Your L. humble and faithfull servant,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

THis week hath been a very barren one for news, for we have been taken up wholly with hearing, yet such Sessions as we had your L. shall here have a note of them.

[Page 31] Sessio 119. 18. Martii. stylo novo.] There were read Letters from the Mar­ques of Brandeburgh in Dutch containing (as the President told us) an excuse why he deputed none to the Synod, the President told us they should be turn­ed into Latine, and after read again unto the whole Synod, there were read the judgements of the South-Hollandi, the North-Hollandi, the Zelandi, the Ultrajectini upon the third and fourth Articles.

Sessio 120. eodem die post meridiem.] The were read upon the same Articles the judgements of the Frisii, the Transisulani, the Groninganii, & Omlandii, the Gallobelgici, the Drentani; And so was ended the reading of all the Collegial judgements, upon the third and fourth Articles, in which there was wonderful great consent, both in the things themselves as likewise in the phrases and forms of speaking.

Sessio 121. 19 March.] There were read the judgement of our Col­ledge upon the fifth Article; Which was far longer then any which we gave in before; At the end of it we annexed an adhortation to the Delegates, for the defence in their Provinces of the Doctrine recived in the Reformed Churches; Likewise an Exhortation to all the Members of the Synod for avoiding harshness and rigidity, and embracing of all moderation in making the Cannos, especially upon the second Article; as likewise an admonition to the Provincials, for great wariness and discretion, in propounding to the common People the Doctrine of Predestination, and especially Reprobation; these things we told his Majesty, desired us to observe, and so with a Prayer we wisht both we and all the Synod might be careful in the observing of them; There was read the judgement of the Palatines, at the end whereof they annexed an Epilogue much to the same purpose with ours; In all the judgements that were read upon this Article, it is to be observed that every Colledge concluded with such an Epilogue and a Prayer.

Sessio 122. eodem die post meridiem.] There were read the judgements of the Hassiaeci, of the Helvetici, of the Nassovici, of the Genevenses, who used, as in their former judgements, no confirmations, besides plain citations of places of Scripture of the Bremenses.

Sessio 123. 20. March.] There were read the judgement of the Emb­dani who were exceeding long, of the four Professores Belgici, which was sub­scribed as with their own hands, so a little beneath with the hand of Sibran­dus; next the judgement of Sibrandus; subscribed likewise by the other four Professors, there were read likewise the judgement of the Geldri, of the South-Hollandi, all these except the Embdani were exceeding short.

Sessio 124. eodem die post meridiem.] D. Crocius one of the Bremenses ap­pointed by the President publickly, all Auditors being admitted, did discuss at great length these two questions; First, An fides justificans per Dei accepti [...]tione [...] repute [...]ur à Deo pro omni illa legis justitia quam nos praestare tenebamur; The Second, An ipsa fides s [...]n To credere id est actus credendi imputetur homini à [Page 32] Deo ad justitiam; he held the Negative of both against Socinus, the Remon­strants, but namely Bertius.

Sessio 125. 21. Martii.] There were read the judgements of the North-Hollandi, the Zelandi, the Ultrajectini, the Frisii.

Sessio 126. eodem die post meridiem.] There were read the judgements of the Transisulani, the Groninganii and Omlandii, the Drentani, the Gallobelgici, And so was happily ended the reading of all the Collegial judgements upon the five Articles, in which, praised be God for it, there was seen an incredi­ble harmony, far greater then almost could be hoped for in so great an Assem­bly of so many learned men. The President told us that the Estates Gene­ral between this and Easter did expect that the Cannons should be made, and therefore did desire that against the morrow at ten of the Clock every Col­ledge would depute one, who might meet about the conceaving of the Canons, that one should relate to the rest of their Colledge, what Articles they agreed upon, and accordingly consult with them to know what they would have ad­ded paired, or changed, so after these deputed & had agreed, the Cannons should be publickly read and approved.

This is all, but that I think our President hath need of your L. good coun­sel, for the carrying himself in making the Cannons; I finde every man murmuring already that he would make them, and doth but onely dictate them to the rest. With the remembrance of my best service to your L. and my Lady, I take my leave and am,

Dordrecht this 23. of March, New stile. Your L. in all true respects and service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

WHat stir we have had about the making of our Cannons your L. shall understand by letters from our whole Colledge; if we had not written a common Letter, and then your L. should have taken some particular notice of the contents of mine, the rest of my Colleagues must needs have suspected that your L. had had intelligence from me; And therefore I did presently deal with my Lord and the rest of our Society, that they would write a com­mon Letter to your L. concerning the particular passages of this troublesome business, These three things I may say in it; First, that the President would take upon him more then ever any President did, to make Cannons and pass them by placet or non placet, and then he hath so many of the Provincialls as command to pass what he will, I cannot I confess yet see how it can consist with the dignity of any, much more of some of the Members of the Synod, that the President should dictate Cannons and the rest especially a Bishop write [Page 33] after him; so that he maketh the Canons, and the whole Synod are called non ad consilium sed tantum consensum. Next I think my L. that if the Synod had wanted but two men which are of it, we had wanted a great deal of con­tention, which I perceive will not forsake the Synod so long as they are in it; I mean Sibrandus and Gomarus; they keep their fits of madness by course; the last fit before this came to Gomarus his turn, and this day Sibrandus flew out, but with such Raving and fierceness of countenance, such unheard bitternes a­gainst our Colledge; as I desire no other revenge on him then the very speak­ing of the words, which while they were in his mouth, were checked by both Presidents Politick and Ecclesiastical; D. Davenant who is a very mode­rate man, would have answered him much against my will, and no man could blame him, for Sibrandus his words against our Colledge, if they had come from a wise man his lips, had been above the strength of patience, I was glad the President gave not way to D. Davenant speech, which notwithstanding, I am sure would have been full of discretion; and for Sibrandus I blame him and Gomarus no more for these extasies, then I do a stone for going down­ward, since it is both their natural constitution. Thirdly, if your L. care do not now most of all show it self for procuring of good counsel to be sent hi­ther for the constitution of the Canons, we are are like to make the Synod a thing to be laughed at in after ages. The President and his provincials have no care of the credit of strangers, nor of that account which we must yield at our return unto all men that shall be pleased to call for it; their Canons they would have them so full charged with catechetical speculations, as they will be ready to burst, and I perceive it plainly, that there is never a contra-Re­monstrant minister in the Synod, that hath delivered any doctrine which hath been excepted against by the Remonstrants, but they would have it in by head and shoulders in some Canon, that so they might have something to show for that which they have said: God his goodness toward his Church, and your L. vigilant constancy in perfecting this good course, which you were so careful to procure, I hope will teach us to overcome all these difficulties.

In my last letter I wrote as I suspect, that the Palatines inveighed against some things delivered by Dr. Ward in the 3. and 4. Articles; if I had so, I was mistaken, I should have said the second Article. We shall have no more Sessions till all be agreed upon in private Colledges; and therefore I thought to have come over to have done my duty to your L. this Easter, but I under­stand by a letter from Sir Thomas Jermyn that my L. Hayes had warning to make himself ready for his Ambassage against the 10. of March; I think he will come by the Hague, if I understand of his coming I must likewise do my duty to him, and I can hardly make two journies; and so with my humblest service for your L. kinde invitation, and for all the rest of your L. most unde­served favours to a stranger, which since my fortune is not likely ever to give me leave to requite, I must take leave to acknowledge, and with my [Page 34] best prayers for your L. and my Ladies happiness, I take my leave and am as I ever shall be,

Dordrecht this 25. of March. Your L. in all true respect and service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord.

ALL my answer to your L. arguments is my acknowledgement of your L. extraordinary courtesie in your kinde invitations. I could not be so fit­ted in my mourning apparel as I would before Saturday at night: besides we must now narrowly look to the Canons which are sent to us by the Deputies of the Synod; for we are required upon Tuseday next to give in our obser­vations upon them; my L. of Landaffe being one of the Deputies, hath al­ready delivered his opinion of them; and therefore his L. may here be spared till Wednesday next, the rest of us have not, and it being the main business of our coming hither, we must plie it so as it may be done to some good pur­pose. My L. of Landaffe his comming to your L. telleth me that the writing of any occurrences here are needless; so with the continuance of my best wishes for your L. health and happiness, I take my leave; and shall ever ac­count it a great part of my temporal happiness, if your L. shall be pleased to account me as I am:

Dordrecht this 29. of March, Stylo loci. Your L. in all dutiful respect and service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

THis place is yet still barren of news, but I make no question but my next letters shall send your L. some. The Deputies appointed by the Synod have taken pains I must needs confess to give our Colledge all satisfaction; besides the second Article, some of our Colledge have been earnest to have this proposition out. (Infideles damnabuntur non solum ob infidelitatem, sed etiam ob omnia alia peccata suatam originale quam actualia.) Because they say that from thence may be inferred that original sin is not remitted to all who are baptized, which opinion hath been by more then one councel condem­ned as heretical: they have therefore at their request put it out; so I know now of no matter of disagreement among us worthy the speaking of: the morrow there is a Synod, one way or other we shall determine what shall be­come of the Canons, what we do your L. by Gods grace with the first occa­sion [Page 35] shall understand. I have here sent your L. my speech made in the Synod; I know your L. experience will pardon the imperfections of a discourse delive­red upon less then two days warning. Now my Lord, to write a History of Dr. Goad his journey and mine own, between Roterdam and Dort that night, on which we came from your L. would move too much pity, especially if you should make relation of the same to my Lady: the compend of it is this; that a little after five a clock in the afternoon we took ship at Roterdam, and about a little after one of the clock in the night we arrived at Dort, but could get no entrance; and therefore until half an houre past five in the morning, we sometime lay in the ship, sometime walked on the Bulwark: if we were not sufficiently assaulted with cold and watching we know our selves. Mr. Downs his wooing in Greek was never so cold as we were that night: Letters I have received from England: the summe of the news are, that the Spanish Navie is dissipated, and that it never exceeded 60. sayles. The King of Spain hath written large letters with his own hand to our King; in which he protesteth, that he never intended any thing against England nor any Christian Kingdom. The talk of the Spanish match hath of late been very fresh again in England, but this is certain that the other day at Theobalds the King asking a gentleman of good note what the people talked of the Spanish Navie, received of him this answer: Sir the people is nothing so much affraid of the Spaniards powder as of their match. My Lord I can but thank your L. for all your courtesies, es­pecially your L. great kindeness at my last being with you, which since my for­tune will not give me leave to requite, I must take leave to acknowledge. With the remembrance of my best duty and service to your L. and your worthy Lady, and my faithful wishes for both your happiness, I take my leave, ho­ping your L. will believe that there liveth no man of whom you may more freely dispose, then of

Dort this 4/14 of April. Your L. most faithful and respectful in all true service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

DOctor Davenant his coming to your L. saveth me the writing of any news here: for he will perfectly relate them to your L. we are full of trouble about things altogether unnecessary, they are so eager to kill the Re­monstrants, that they would make their words have that sense which no Gram­mar can finde in them: upon Tuseday in the afternoon we had a Session, in which were read the Canons of the first and second Article, and were appro­ved, except the last of the second Article, which we never heard of till that houre, and the second heterodox in that same Article, what they were Dr. [Page 36] Davenant will inform your L. the last was such as I think no man of understand­ing would ever assent unto. On Thursday morning we had another Session, in which was nothing done, but that it was reasoned whither that last hete­rodox should be retained; our Colledge in that whole Session maintained dis­pute against the whole Synod; they condemned the thing it s [...]l [...] as a thing most curious, and yet would have it retained only to make the Remonstrants odious, though they finde the very contrary of that they would father upon them in their words. That day in the afternoon was another Session, in which were read the Canons of the 3. 4. and 5. Articles and were approved, the particular passages of these Sessions I will send your L. by the next occasi­on, they were no great matters in them, yet when I send your L. the next Sessions in which it is like that something will be done, I will send a note of them too: yesterday there was no Session, but the Deputies met for ta­king order about the Preface and Epilogue of the Canons, and mending those things in the Canons which were thought fit to be amended, and have sent them worse then they were; in case we stand, and what need of counsel we have, this worthy Dr. will sufficiently inform your L. My Lord, I have had a great deal of talk with Mr. Douglas about the controversies in this Church, and finde him unquestionably sound in them, also that there is no fear of his opinions, if otherwise he be found sufficient: I much wonder that we do not hear of my L. of Doncaster. There is here in the Synod a report of our King his mortal disease, it cometh from Scul [...]etus, but I hope it is but the Goute; with the remembrance of my best duty and service to your good L. and my Lady, I take my leave and rest ever,

Dort this 9/19 of April. Your L. in all true respect and service,
Walter Balcanqual.
My very Good Lord,

NOw at last we have made an end of our business of the five Articles; what trouble we have had in these last Sessions none can conceive but those who were present at them: and what strange carriage hath been in them, especially on the President his part it is too palpable, he hath deceived all mens hope of him very far. ‘This matter of the personal censure which was a thing of great consequence, we were never made acquainted with before the very instant in which it came to be read; and because the Delegats must not be stayed from their going to the Hage, therefore all the Synod must say Amen to it; between the forenoon and the afternoon Session, there was strange labouring with the Exteri for getting their consent to it; yet we medled not with it; all I can say is, me thinketh it is hard that every man [Page 37] should be deposed from his ministery, who will not hold every particular Canon; never did any Church of old, nor any reformed Church propose so many articles to be held sub poena excommunicationis; but had it not been then cruel, if all had gone for Canons which they would have had gone, v. g. that of an absolute necessity of similitude of nature for working our redemp­tion. None of us have the Canons yet, neither shall till the Estates have approved them:’ a note of such Sessions as have passed since my last notes which your L. had I do now send your L. our Sessions have been so long and late as I had no time to write them: I was therefore bold to send them to your L. as my scribe transcribed them out of my notes which I took in the Sy­nod, hoping your L. will have regard of our perpetual business here: with the remembrance of my best service to your L. and my Lady, I take my leave, remaining alwayes,

Dort this 25. of April, Stylo loci. Your L. in all true respects and service,
Walter Balcanqual.

SEssio 127. 26. Mar [...]ii Stylo novo.] Praeses D. Delegatorum, oratione brevi monet Syno­dicos, D. Delegatis omnino videri futurum è re et dignitate Synodi, si domino prae sidi, et D. assessoribus pauci aliquot à Synodo tum ex exteris tum ex provincialibus adjungantur, in quos authoritate publica, cura concipiendi, et concinnandi canones devolvatur; publicisita gratiis ab ipso nomine Delegatorum D. Praesidi Ecclesiastico actis ob grat [...]ssimum laborem ha­ctenus in canonibus concipiendis susceptum, eorundem nomine rogat, ut quam viam ingressus esset in primo, eandem quoque in reliquis articulis viam insif [...]eret, rogat porro ut statim ali­quot nominet Synodus qui cum D. Praesidi in idem negotium incumbant; utque velint rotum hoc negotium quam fieri possit citissime maturare; cum id praesertim ab ipsis D. ordines gene­rales vehementer contendant: Rogantur de deputatis hisce Synodicorum sententiae in qui­bus ferendis suit magna admodum varietas; multi volebant praesidem eodem quo caeperat pe­de pergere in o [...]on [...]bus Dictandis, inter Exteros isthoc consilium vehementius urgebat D. Sculretus, inter provinciales D. Sibrandus, sed immodeste et imptudenter satis, adversus enim illos qui hoc consilii suggesserant fervide admodum declamabat seu potius exclamabat; dicebat enim quosdam esse qui huc illuc cursitaverant ut alios in suas partes pertraherent; quos putabat omnino censura ecclesiastica notandos, neque hic debere Exteros nimium laborare, ut pote quibus non tam constaret de ratione Ecclesiarum Belgicarum, quam provincialibus, ed demum serebatur, ut D. Praeses politicus, itidem et D. Praeses Ecclesiasticus, eum graviter monerent, suaderentque ipsi majorem modestiam; D. Davenantius cum se et collegas suos hic sugillati putaret; petiit à D. Praesidi ut liceret sibi à se et suis calumnias istas depellere; verum roga [...]u D. Praesidis à responsa abstinuir, cum vero deposceretur South Hollandorum suffragium. D. Latius (is est qui historiam Pelagianorum scripsi [...]) eo quod putaret se et col­legas suos nomine cursitantium à Sibrando imperitos suisse modeste certe in suffragio suo D. Sibrandum perstringebat; aiebat enim omnino sibi videri è dignitate Synodi, ut Canones authoritate publica non privata conciperentur; posseque se facillime illi respondere qui hoc suum et collegarum consilium perstrinxerat, nisi charitate aliquid dandum esset, neque hic sicut dicehatur consilium consilio opponi, inconsulte admodum hoc dictum esse, eumque non minus Ecclesiasticam censuram mereri qui tam inconsulti loqutus sit, quam illos qui autho­res suerant consilii istius de nominandis deputatis. Tandem post lata omnium suffragia po­tioribus sente [...]iis nominati sunt inter Exteros, D. Episcopus Landavensis, D. Sculcetu [...], D. Deodatus, inter provinciales D. Polyander, D. Wallaeus, D. Triglandius qui una cum [Page 38] D. Praeside et assessoribus canonibus concinnandis incumberent, quos concinnatos ad singula collegia mitti curarent, si quid forte additum, demptum, mutatum cupiant, deinde à colle­giis remissos limarent manu ultima, ut sic tandem toti Synodo propositi ad eadem appro­benter.

Sessio 128. 16. Aprilis stylo novo post meridiem.] D. Praeses narrat jam tandem post aliquot septimanarum laborem assiduum, indulsisse Synodo Deum consensum illum suavissimum quem omnes tanto opere exoptaverant: moram monebat nemini debere esse gravem; sed gratam potius, quia ut ut in fundamentalibus optime inter omnes et singulos (sicut patebat in iudi­ciis) convenerat: sperari tamen non poterat singulos in ipsis loquendi formulis conspiraturos: monebat porro dictam fuisse hanc sessionem, ut D. Delegati omnium et singulorum consensum observarent: Rogantur singuli Synodici, ut diligenter attendant lectioni articulorum, et moneant si quid forte mutatum velint, nec aegre serant si mutetur fortassis verbulum aliquod aliter quam se habeat in exemplaribus quibus heri singuli subscripserant; eum in reipsa nihil plane sit mutatum.

Leguntur itaque articuli Synodici, seu canones de 1. articulo contraverso: singuli Synodici post ipsorum lectionem viritim rogati de consensu, singuli solenniter profitebantur se articulos Orthodoxiam complectentes probare ut pote consentientes cum sacra scriptura et confessio­nibus Reformatarum Ecclesiarum, articulos vero Heterodoxiam complectentes improbare ut ab iisdem dissentientes, Deo agebant singuli gracias de tam suavi consensu, votoque deum rogabant ut vellet parem semper harmoniam Ecclessis suis Reformatis largiri: observandum au­tem est hic singulos significasse, quod heri illis articulis subscripserant; exceptis folis Theo­logis Britannis qui subscriptiones suas differebant, donec posset exemplar aliquod n [...]tide de­scribi.

Leguntur articuli Synodici seu canones de secundo articulo contraverso: in iis autem arti­culis praelectis, fuerant quaedam verba mutata et aliter disposita, quam fuerant in articulis quibus heri Synodici omnes exceptis Britannis subscripserant: Britanni eandem sente [...]tiam quoad consensum de hisce articulis quam de prioribus serebant, nisi quod secundam Heterodox­am putarent magis clare et perspicue proponi posse, et ultimam Heterodoxam, quae est de po­tentiadei, an potuerit alium reconciliationis modum quam per Christum acceptasse, dice­rent jam p [...]imum ipsos observasse, et videri sibi esse eam magis scholasticae speculationis, quam disquisitionis Synodicae, itaque petebant deliberandi tempus: petebant porro ut quae in illis articulis damnatentur pro Socinianismo, possent ipsis oftendi ex Socino deprompta, rem ipsam damnabant, sed an à Socino prosectum esset i [...]hoc dogma nesciebant, cum scriptorum Socini­anorum non dum facta esset ipsis copia: Hassiaci eundem testati sunt consensum quem in priori articulo, nisi quod in articulo octavo orthodoxo vox illa (Singulari) non addita esset ad isthaec verba (liberrimo con [...]lio) prout in observationibus suis ad canones de secundo arti­culo anno [...]averant, verum cum persuasum sit illis omissionem istius vocabuli facere ad pacem Ecclesiarum Belgicarum, se acquiescere, et semper exposituros canonem illum secundum suum sensum id est quem possit habere verbo illo addito: verum ne fratres putarent ipsos in suis observationibus aliquid posuisse quod in rei ipsius substantia aut fundamento à canone jam praelecto discreparet, paratos s [...] esse qui cum fratribus, si modo id cupiant, observationes su­as communicent: Helvetil testabantur consensum suum cum illis articulis quibus heri subscrip­serant; verum cum nunc videant aliqua verba immurata esse, rogant ut articulos relegant ut sic ad conscientiae consensum possit quoque o [...]is consensus accedere: Bremenses, consensum quoque suum testabantur, sed addita eadem illa ad eundem articulum cautione quam adhibu­erant fratres Hassiaci, reliqui omnes Synodici plenum suum consensum sicut in primo articulo testati sunt, Annotarunt solum Goclenius, Sihrandus, Gomarus, et fortassis unus adhuc aut alter, quaedam, sed quae plane Grammatica erant: aberant ex Synodicis pauci aliquot sed quos praeses narrabat singulos articulos suis syngraphis comprobasse: propter publicum quod die crastino celebrandum est jejunium, monet praeses non habendam esse Sessionem ante diem jovis.

Sessio 129. 18. Aprilis, stylo novo.] Quaesitum fuit susius de ultimo Heterodoxo canone in articulo secundo, qui rejicit eorum opinionem qui statuunt ad sufficientiam Pretii Redemptio­nis [Page 39] nostrae, non fuisse necessariam naturae nostrae similitudinem in Christo: Quaerebatur an deberet hic re [...]ineri tanquam error Remonstrantium, an vero hic omitti, & numerari postea inter errores Vorstianos: Theologi Britanni pluribus rem disceptabant, contendebant enim si canon intelligendus esset de absoluta necessitate, id est tali quae removeret à Deo omnem poten­tiam aliter statuendi, ante suppositionem omnis decreti, & volunratis cerrae temere nihil defi­niendum esse de absoluta Dei potentia, esse ha [...]c speculationem magis Scholasticam, Ideoque Canones Synodicos non debere ingredi, praesertim cum quidam Patres, et nonnulli Doctores reformati putent illam naturae similitudinem hoc sensu non fuisse simpliciter & absolute neces­sariam, si veto Canon sit intelligendus, de necessitate hypothetica id est ex suppositione decreti & voluntatis certo nobis in Scriptura Revelatae, (quo sensu putant vocabulum necessita­tis in hoc negotio in sacra Scriptura accipi) canonem verum esse putant; sed nullo modo ferire Remonstrantes qui absolutam tantum necessitatem rejiciunt ut pa [...]et ex ipsorum verbis in nupera declaratione exhibita, Ideoque putant consul [...]us hunc cannonem posse omitti, à pluribus multa de hac quaestione dicta sunt; quibus omnibus Britanni Responderunt; Potior [...] tamen suffragia voluerunt canonem illum retineri, praeses monuit sic concipiendum esse ut pos­sit omnibus sati [...]sieri.

Sessio 130. [...]odem die post meridiem] Leguntur Canones Synodici de 3. & 4. articulis, ubi omnes ac singuli Synodici post ipsorum praelectionem viritim consensum suum solennibus verbis testabantur; Varii Theologi tamen va [...]ia annotabant: sed quae tantum perspicuitatem in verbis spectabant; in re ipsa nihil desiderantes.

Leguntur Canones Synodici de 5. articulo post ipsorum Lectionem singuli potro (ut in prio­ribus) ipsos solenni consensu comprobabant: D. Goadus recitavit catalogum duriorum phrasium quas Theologi Brittanni cupiebant à Synodo rejici, eo quod exipsis, tum Remonstrantes tum Pontificii, doctrinam Reformatam calumniandi magnam ansam sumerent; D. Scultetus etiam suadebat ut usus aliquis à Synodo deligeretur qui ultimam manum canonibus imponeret, daterque operam ut stylus canonum ubique par esset & limatus satis & perspicuus, aliqui nec dictionem nec stylum mutari voluerunt; quidam quoque putabant non fore è re Synodi ut duriores illae phrases rejicerentur à Synodo, quia sic laederetur fama excellentissimorum virorum quorundam; Praeses movet die crastino mane deputatos Synodicos conventuros esse, capturosque con [...]ilium de mutandis illis aut delendis quae observata sunt à quibusdam fratribus atque etiam de rejiciendis phrasibus durioribus, idque ea ratione qua possit magis commode omnibus satis­fieri; porroque de praefatione, & Epilogo canonum prospecturos; Rogatque ut singula col­legia unum aliquem ad horam quartam pomeridianam mi [...]rant; qui describant ea quae conce­perunt deputati, & ad collegia sua referant, ut sic de omnium consensu cons [...]are possit ante proximam Sessionem.

Sessio 131. 20. Aprilis stylo novo] Legitur Epilogus post Canones conceptus à deputatis, in quo etiam continebatur abstersio calumni [...]um quarundam, quibus doctrinam Ecclesiarum Belgicarum Remonstrantes gravare conantur; Quaetitur an omnes Synodici in forma prelecta acquiescant: Britanni voluerunt quaedam alia rejectanea addita qualia erant illa duo praecipue [Deum movere Hominum linguas ad blasphemandum] & [Hominem non posse plus boni facere quam facit.] Hassiaci legerunt scriptum prolixum & bene conciunatum, in quo pluribus rationibus ostendebant necessarium esse ut plures duriores locutiones quae apud privatos scriptores repe­riuntur, rejicerentur à Synodo, ut sic Ecclesiae reformatae à gravissimis calumniis circa Reproba­tionis doctrinam liberari possint: Bremenses itidem scripto bene prolixo idem contende­bant: Reliqui Theologi Exteri formam jam prelectam probabant: D. Praeses movebat non roganda esse provinci [...]lium suffragia ante Sessionem pomeridianam; quia vid [...]bat Theologos Exteros hic non idem sentire, & movet professores Belgicos ut in horam quartam pensitent rationes quae urrinque fuerunt allatae.

Sessio 132. eodem die post meridiem] D. Praeses antequam pergat in rogandis suffragiis de quaesito antemeridiano, rogat Synodum ut velit audire quae ipse una cum D. assessoribus tempore intermedio de rejectione duriorum locutionum conceperant: & rogat Synodum ut velit ha [...]c duo perpendere, primo neminem ex Theologis Belgis istiusmodi nun quam scripsisse aut doc [...] ­isse; ac proinde non spectare illa ad hanc Synodum quae tantum Belgica esset: Secundo [Page 40] doctores illos apud quos isthaec duriora dicta comperiuntur fuisse & esse vel Theologos Anglos, vel Gallos, vel Germanos; qui cum a suis principibus & Ecclesiis ob illas duriores loquendi formas non essent notati, ve [...]isimile aiebat esse principes illos & Ecclesias exteras aegre laturas si Synodus haec nationalis Ipsos ob isthaec dicta aliqua censura notaret.

Legitur forma Epilogi jam de novo concepta, in qua plures aliquot incommodae locutiones rejiciebantur quam in priori, sed nullae ex iis quos Theologi Exteri addi cupiebant: Quaeritur Synodicorum de hoc Epilogo sententia: Britanni serio urgent additionem plurium praeser­tim eorum quae Sessione antemeridiana memoraverant: ad duas Rationes à D. Praside allatas Respondebant ad primam Remonstrantes in declarationibus suis ad Synodum exhibitis, multa loca contra Remonstrantium, ipsos libros & paginas ci [...]are in quibus istiusmodi scripserint; nisi ita (que) Synodus istiusmodi dicta improbet, non posse Belgis ab istiusmodi calumniis liberari ad secundum Theologos Exteros non debere quidem in Synodo notari, verum si quid dixerint aut scripserint quod cedat Reforma [...]ae Ecclesiae in contumeliam; illud posse Synodum cujuscun (que) demum sit rejicere ne (que) hoc debere Synodum morari. Quod forrassis non sint Belgae, hac enim ratione Synodo nihil permitti in Socinū cujus tamen dogmata saepius quā semel in canonibus damnat; neque debuisse Regem Magnae Britanniae aliquid adversus Vor­stium statuere qui ipsius subditus non erat; optare se ut fiat summus delectus eorum quae re­jiciuntur, nec posse aliquam Reformatam Ecclesiam hoc aegre ferre; cum nihil cupiant rejici quod a consensu alicujus Reformatae Ecclesiae comprobatum sit: cupere se presertim ut illa sententia rejiciatur, [Neminem posse plus boni facere quam facit] cum exinde nulli Reformato doctori defuncto aliqua contumelia inferatur; cum sit sententia heri tantum nata, quae vix septimum aetatis suae numeraret annum: Reliqui omnes Theologi exteri quia cupiebant (ut ajebant ipsi) multum paci dare; in forma prelecta acquiescebant; optabant tamen illi qui antemeridiem rationes su [...]s at [...]ulissent ut possint plura rejici, Provinciales omnes formam prae­lectam probabant: & prosessores Belgae multis rationibus contendeb [...]nt non debere Synodum dicta virorum alioqui optime de Ecclesia Reformata meritorum aliqua censura notare; D. Si­brandus tamen ajebat negati non potuisse quin aliqui in Belgio duriora qua dam docuerint quam essent illa quae Theologi Bri [...]anni in caralogo suorum rejectaneorum recitaverant, sub finem praeses monet cum haec sit res ordinis, non doctrinae solius consulendos esse de hoc negotio Dominos Delegatos: qui rogati deliberaturos se de re praesenti in Sessionem crastinam matuti­nam pollicentur.

Sessio 133. 22 Aprilis stylo novo.] D. Praeses rogat D. Delegatos ut velint Synodo exponere quid ipsi de Epilogo proxima Sessione prelecto statuant: D. Delegati cupiunt ipsum Danuo Relegi, Relegitur: D. Delegati illum probant, & rogant Synodicos ut si id fieri possit velint in ipso acquiescere, Orant porro ut jam tandem quam fieri possit maturime negotium hoc. 5to ar­ticulorum semel absolvant; quippe quod ipsi jam denuo iteraris Jussionibus urgeantur a D. Suis ordinibus Generalibus ad hoc serio flagitandum: Rogantur Synodici de hac formula praelecta; Britanni omnibus modis urgebant ut aliqua rejectanea porro adderentur hoc prae­ [...]ipue, [Hominem non plus boni facere quam facit:] verum si hoc obtineri nequiret; ut da­rent multum paci non nemo ex ipsis monebat, ampliandam esse illam sentenriam [Et quae alia sunt huju [...] generis plurima] ut si quando exprobaretur ipsis aliqua horriblis sen­tentia quam non rejecerant, possent se excusare per illam parenthefin, & asserere omnia istiusmodi in illa sententia rejecta fuisse a Synodo: Itaque ut paci & tempori con­sulant, acquiescunt; monentes tamen illud omnino mutandum esse quod habetur in Epilogo; doctrinam Reformatarum Ecclesiarum censendam esse Eam quae hisce canonibus continetur, se enim profitebantur deputatos à serenissima Regia majestate non ab Ecclesii [...] suis, nulla sibi commissam authoritatem qua possent Ecclesiarum sua­rum confessiones explicare, tulisse se tantum privata sua judicia quae ipsi putarent vera esse; multa se in canonibus tanquam vera conclusisse, de quibus ne verbum quidem habetur in Ec­clesiarum su [...]rum confessionibus, verum quod sciant nihil in illis contineri quod iftis confessi­onibus repugnaret: Reliqui Synodo prelectum Epilogum probabant, et complurimi cense­bant reliquas duriores loquendi formulas deberi in scripto Elenchico quod adornatur discuti; [Page 41] atque illic calumnias quibus ob ipsas gravatur reformata Ecclesia debere depelli. D. Praeses icaque mouet Deputatos Synodi à meridie conventuros, ut quam fieri possit, canones illos duos Heterodoxos in primo articulo de quibus tantopere in Synodo non ita pridem discepta­batur, ita componant ut singuli facile in consensum adduci possent. Interea monet jam de­scribi nitidum omnium Canonum exemplar, quibus publice in Synodo à singulis sessione cra­stina autemeridiana subscribendum effet ut sic Canones—absoluti eodem die possunt Hagam ad D. Ord. Generales transmitti, sub initium enim hujus Sessionis, narrabat D. Gregor: Mar­tinii, D. Delegatos quosdam exipsorum numero delegisse qui die Crastino Canones ad D. Or­dines essent delaturi, hoc enim ajebat D. Ordines; et cum Ecclesiae, tum Reipubli [...]ae Belgi­cae statum deposcere.

Sessio 134. 33. Aprilis stylo novo.] Leguntur articuli de primo articulo contraverso quibus omnes et singuli solenniter subscribunt, in tribus exemplaribus, praeses monet à singulis col­legiis unum exemplar describendum esse cui etiam singuli Synodici subscripturi essent: loca Scripturae narrat postea describenda esse et addenda fusius, quae jam per temporis angustias describi non potuerunt: Narrat jam inter deputatos convenisse de mutatione secundi articuli Heterodoxi in secundo articulo in tres articulos, et deletione ultimi Heterodoxi in eodem articulo qui erat de absoluta necessitate similitudinis naturae in mediatore nostro: quae muta­ta etant in secundo Heterodoxo leguntur; et rogat D. Praeses singulos ut in sessionem pome­ridian [...]m deliberent num possint in mutatis acquiescere.

Sessio 135. eodem die post meridiem.] Rogantur Synodicorum sussragia num placeat ipsis ut ultimus ille Heterodoxus Canon in secundo articulo deleatur, et secundus ille in tres praele­ctos Canones mutetur, placuit omnibus et singulis. Leguntur itaque Canones de secundo, tertio, quarto, quinto, articulis, quibus etiam singuli solemniter subscribunt, duravit haec sessio in horam 10. vespertinam.

Sessio 136. 24. Aprilis stylo novo.] D. Praeses monet D. Deputatos à Synodo, mandasse uni, ut conciperet formam personalis censurae quam Synodus exerceret adve [...]sus citatos, et quos­cunque alios qui recusarent doctrinam Synodicam, varios quoque Synodicos Deputatis formu­las obtulisse, [...]os tandem in unam convenisse, quae nunc prelegenda esset Synodo ut eam pro­bet, vel corrigat: legitur, fuit autem in hanc sententiam, Synodum censere Remonstrantes esse novatores et perturbatores patriae, Reipub. praesertim Ecclesiae Belgicae, ejusmodi docu­isse dogmata quae à verbo dei, et confessionibus Reformatarum Ecclesiarum dissentirent, prae­terea citatos ad hanc Synodum tentri reos contumaciae adversum cum supremum Magistratum cujus decreta spreverint, [...]um ipsam Synodum quam pro legitimo judice nunquam voluerunt agnoscere, ideoque Synodum omnes ad praesentem Synodum abdicare ab omnibus suis mune­ribus tum Ecclesiasticis tum Academicis, eo usque dum paenitentiam agant de falsis dogmati­bus à se scriptis, prelectis, et doctis, et possint hanc suam paenitentiam indubitatis studiis et signis Ecclesiis Belgicis testatam facere, reliquos vero Remonstrantes in Belgio ad Synodos provinciales remittit, quibus mandat ut ductores et pertinaces continuo omnibus suis mune­ribus abdicent, reliquos vero vitio temporis lapsos, et à seductoribus abreptos omni lenitate et patientia, conentur in viam reducere, quos si lucrifacere possint omni conatu id agant, sin minus pa [...]iter et cum ipsis agant: Porro Synodus, illustrissimos ord. Generales obnixe ro­gat ut hanc suam sententiam de quin (que) articulis, atque etiam de Remonstrantibus abdicandis firmam et ratam esse velint et jubeant, gratiasque ipsorum Dominationibus cum omni debito ob­sequio desert propter ipsorum de reformandis Ecclesiis suis studium fingulare: Queritur Sy­nodicorum judicium de censura hac personali: Theologi Britanni omnes ac singuli responde­bant doctrinam Ecclesiarum Belgicarum hic in Synodo assertam suam fuisse, ac proinde ip­sos vocatos sententiam suam de illo exposuisse, personas vero qui contrariam sententiam docu­ [...]rint esse cives Belgas; Ideoque de aliorum subditis nolle se ullo modo personalem sententi­am ferre, ideoque se censuram omnino provincialibus relinquere, quibus, integrum esset de suis ministris statuere: idem sentiebant omnes Theologi exteri, exceptis Genevensibus et Embdanis qui sententiam praelectam probabant, et Bremensibus qui tempus deliberandi pos­cebant: Provinciales quaedam in forma praelecta observabant: Cujusmodi suit illud non esse fori Ecclesiastici eos damnare tanquam perturbatores patriae et pacis Reip, hoc spectare ad ci­vilem [Page 42] magistratum: magna fuit disceptatio inter provinciales an tollerandi essent illi qui uteun­que nollent subscribere articulis Synodicis, tamen reciperent se nihil unquam vel publice vel privatim adversus ipsos dicturos aut docturos: quidem ex provincialibus petebant ut The olo­gi Exteri de hac re suam sententiam aperitent, sed D. Praeses respondebat is [...]a particularia om­nino oportere relinqui Synodorum provincialium prudentiae, et nescire se adhuc quam tolle­rantiam permissuri essent D. Ord. Generales, itaque forma prelecta, si paucula quaedam mu­tarentur, ab omnibus provincialibus probata est, exceptis Zelandis et Gallobelgicis qui spati­um deliberand [...] de re gravissuna petiverunt.

Sessio 137.] Relegitur censura personalis emendata in qua illud de perturbatione patriae et [...]eip. omittebatur: quaeritur Synodicorum sententia de ipsa jam correcta, Britanni et Hasciaci eam nec probabant nec improbabant, noluetunt enim se personalibus immiscere, reliqui om­nes Exteri, ut aiebant re ipsa melius perpensa quam ante meridiem cam probabant, exceptis Bremensibus, quorum duo priores initius quoddam consilium suggerebant, tertius vero D. Cro­cius rem putabat esse maximi momenti ideoque nihil posse se de ea statuere nisi apographum formulae praelectae et tempus deliberandi concedatur: provinciales, omnes eam probabant, Go­marus autem etalii petebant ut Synodus apud ord. generales intercederet pro largiendo Re­monstrantibus minus percinacibus trimestri stipendio, fortassis enim possent cupere illo tem­pore cum viris doctis conferre suisque conscientiis de canonibus Synodicis satissacere; sed volnit ipsos primo quoque tempore à ministeris sui exercitio suspendi, D. Praeses Respondebat non esse è dignitate Synodi tam Angustae, ut intercedat apud D. Ordines pro re stipendiaria, verum non dubitare se quin D. Ordines benigne satis et clementer cum ipsis acturi essent: ro­gatur D. Delegatorum de hac praelecta censura judicium, qui respondebant se nolle tantum si­bi assumere ut ipsam probent, sed delaturos se ipsam D. Ord. generalibus, à quibus solis com­probatio expectanda esset: Theologi Britanni monebant in hac censura dici Synodicos arti­culos conclusos esse secundum sententiam omnium Reformatarum Ecclesiarum quo dicto in nuebatur Ecclesias Lutheranas, quae aliter sentirent, non habendas esse pro Reformatis, quod ipsis durum admodum videbatur; D. Scultetus, et Polyander reponebant, ipsos Lutheranos nomen hoc deprecari, et nostris Ecclesiis ex hoc nomine (Reformatarum) solere invidiam conslare, et D. Praeses addebat hic in Belgio solere nostras Ecclesias per illud nomen (Refor­matas) non solum à pontificiis verum etiam à Lutheranis distingui: Britanni respondebant in suis Ecclesiis Lutheranos haberi pro Reformatis, ut pote à quibus Religionis Reformatio pri­mum tentata est, habereque se porro in mandatis à serenissimo D. Rege ut quantum fieri pos­sent despicerent ne offenderentur Ecclessae Lutheranae, itaque addita est isthaec vox Nostrarum.

Leguntur blasphemae opiniones duorum fratrum Thomae, et Petri Gesterranorum, qui Re­monstrantes erant, et ab Ordin [...]bus Hollandiae et West-Frisiae suspensi à ministeriis dum Syno­dus possit de ipsorum opinionibus cognoscere.

Sessio 138. 25. Aprilis stylo novo.] Legitur supplex libellus Johannis Macovii Theologiae professoris in Academia franekerana, quo gravissime queritur se apud ordines Frisiae in simula­tum fuisse hereseos à D. Sibrando Luberto, petit itaque suppliciter ut Synodus velit de tota causa cognoscere, ut audito Sibrando ipse possit d [...]cere pro se s [...]ltem ut Sibrandus et ipse ex Synodicis arbitros deligant, qui totum hoc negotium diligenter examinent et ad Synodum referant, Praees rogat D. Sibrandum ut exponat coram Synodo sente [...]tiam suam de tota hac lite, Sibrandus negat se unquam suisse Macovii accusatorem, verum testimonio duorum fra­trum Frisiorum probat ipsum à classe Franekerana fuisse accusatum, se autem jussu D. ordinum Frisiae, et rogatu praedictae classis solum classis os pro illo tempore fuisse, itaque sicut ante hac in hac lite pars non suerat, fic et nunc nullo modo se velle haberi pro parte protestatur: D. praeses narrat conveniens esse ut Synodus de hac causa cognoscat, quia id serio petunt D. Ordi­nes Ftisiae per literas suas ad D. Delegatos, atqne etizm huc ad Synodum omnia acta in lite hac apud ipsos contestata transmisctint. Queritur itaque à Synodo cum Sibrandus non sit pars, an debeat ipse Macovins primum audiri, an vero ipso semoto ex actis ordinum Frisiae de causa cognosci, placuit Synodo ut primum acta prelegerentur, deinde si opus esset, ut audi­tetur coram Macovins.

Legitur proaemium bene longum quod praefigendum esset canonibus Synodicis, quaeritur de [Page 43] illo judicium Synodi, quod sic se habebat, esse putabat isihoc proaemium nimls longum, porro que styli sublimis admodum, adeoque à stylo canonum admodum disparis, Ideoque [...]mnino brevius conficiendum esse putat, succinctum & nervosum, exponens occasionem & finem con­vocatae Synodi, quod praemit tendum esset Canonibus, si fortassis ab actis Synodicis seorsim excudantur: praeses itaque monet deputatos Synodicos ut ante meridiem conveniant, ut ex pluribus brevioribus formulis, quae sibi a variis Synodicis essent oblatae: unum aliquod succin­ctum proaemium possent conficere.

Sessio 139. eodem die post meridiem.] Legitur aliud novum brevius proaemium à deputatis Synodicis ex variis formulis sibi oblatis confectum: quod totum Synodo placuit si paucula quaedam mutarentur: Britanni putabant pro [Anti-christi tyrannide] magis commode dici­posse [Anti-Christiana tyrannide] quia ut ut fortassis verum putarent pontificem Romanum esse magnum illum Antichristum, tamen sine justo examine praemisso vix putarent debere hoc à Synodo determinari, quod à nulla Reformata Ecclesia adhuc excepta Gallicana quae & jam ar­ticulum illum ex confessione sua retraxit sactum esset; quidam ex Synodicis aegre ferebant hoc vocari in quaestionem; quibus reponebant Britanni, non vocari nunc rem ipsam nlmirum an pontifex Romanus esset ille antichristus qui quaestionem; sed hoc an debeat hoc à Synodo determinari nulla deliberatione praemissa.

Sessio 140. 26. Aprilis stylo novo.] Legitur alter supplex libellus Macovii, quo petit ut arbitri deligantur, & ut responsum suum ad errores sibi objectos ipsiusque explicatio legi possit. D. Scribae & porro D. Thysius & D. Lydius publica fide testantur se quaedam exempla­ria canonum Synodicorum cum criginali fideliter contulisse, eaque cum ipso per omnia conve­nire, quibus singuli Synodici subscribunt.

Leguntur acta in lite Macovii ad Synodum ab ordinibus Frisiae transmissa; & primum le­gebantur. 50. errores objecti D. Macovio in classe Franekerana quos videre poteris in altero meo libro Synodico: qui revera primo quoque auditu videbantur exceptis uno aut altero, non suisse tanti momenti ut homo doctus de illis coram Synodo accusaretur: com­plurimi ipsorum erant ex ista receptissima distinctione agentis Physice & moraliter, ab accu­satore male intellecta.

Sessio 141. eodem die post meridiem.] Legitur una D. Macovii Responsio ad errores sibi ob­jectos; deinde alia brevior, in utraque satisfaciebat criminibus sibi objectis abunde satis, alios negando, alios explicando.

Legitur Epistola facultatis Theologicae Heidlebergensis ad Ordines Frisiae, in qua facultas Theologica monet dominos ordines Frisiae ne patiantur Theses tam otiosas metaphysicas, obscuras, falsas in suis scholis disput ari, quales fuerant nuper in Academia Franeke [...]ana Theses de traductione sub Macovio disputarae.

D. Praeses quarit a Synodo an ubetior Macovii explicatio quam hic offert Synodo, deberet etiam in Synodo legi, & qua ratione pergendum sit in hac causa: Quidam ex Exteris Theolo­gis dicebant potuisse illos. 50. errores, ad quinque vel etiam quatuor reduci potuisse; nec ullum crimen haereseos sicut objectum fuerat in illis deprehendi; Omnes exteri per deputatos rem putant agendam, & cupiunt duos exteros nominari & totidem professores B [...]lgicos, qui­bus adjungi possent duo pastores qui de tota causa cognoscant, & referant ad Synodum, pleri (que) ipsorum explicationem prolixam Macovii putant non audiendam in Synodo, sed referendam etiam ad deputatos: Genevenses soli hoc consilium non probabant: Deodatus rem ad solos provinciales voluit deserri post exterorum discessum; Tronchinus vero oratione vehementis­sime contendebat nullo modo Macovium audiendum esse coram; sed debere agi cum illo tan­quam cum Remonstrantibus & Episcopio: Illum judicandum ex scriptis: quod Judicium in hominem nullo modo heterodoxias suspectum mirabantur omnes: dum suffragium dandum esset à D. Sibrando, Immodeste satis invehebatur in Festum exprobrans ei summam in se in­gratitudinem: recitabarque porro novum catalogum oplnionum D. Macovii quae ejusdem erant farinae cum prioribus: festus venia fandi a praeside impetrata modeste satis D. Sibrandum excipiebat, narrabat theses illas compositas fuisse nō à D. Macovio sed à quodā Parkero Iuvene Doctissimo, & ab omnis heterodoxias suspitione longe remotissimo; & licet nunc Sibrandus sustinete partem accusatoris recuset, tamen se à quibusdam fide dignis accepisse, omnes illos [Page 44] errores Macovio objectos; D. Sibrandum ex Thesibus illis & aliis ipsus praelectionibus com­pilasse, quod ut audiebat D. Sibrandus vehementissime commotus bis deum vindicem in ani­mam suam precabatur [...] isthaec vera essent; adeo ut D. Praeses eum saepius modestiae sanctae & Reverentiae Synodo debitae Jusserit meminisse.

Sessio 142. 27. Aprilis stylo novo.] Pe [...]gitur in rogandis suffragiis de causa Macovii plures Mirabantur eum ob illas Theses po [...]se haereseos insimulari, praelertim cum unus ex South-Hollandis testatus sit D. Aimesium: illas theses primum vidisse & approbasse, & jam paratum esse qui ipsas defendat: tandem potioribus suffragiis, statutum est tertium scriptum Macovii legendum esse publice in Synodo, & tres ex Theologis Exteris, totidem ex provincialibus deputandos esse qui rem totam cognoscant & referant ad Synodum [...] verum quia D. Preses di­cebat illud scriptum continere multa personalia praesertim in D. Sibrandum compilata, Qui­dam ex Exteris ob p [...]cem conservandam petierunt, ut rogarentur de is [...]ho [...] den [...]o Synodicorum suffragia, quod factum est: & plura suflragia tum voluerunt legi tantum privatim apud depu­tatos: Nominati itaque sunt potioribus suffragiis deputati ad causam hanc audiendam, ex exteris Scultetus, Sthenius, Brittingerus: Ex provincialibus Gomarns, Thysius, Menius: certe Exteri mirabantur D. Scultetum nominatum fuisse à provincialibus, & multo magis D. Scultetum id munus velle subire cum facultas Theologica Heidelbergensis, cujus ipse pars esset, theses illas quae examinandae sunt jam hactenus tanquam otiosas, metaphysicas, & falsas damnaverit.

Sessio 143. 29. Aprilis stylo novo] Leguntur literae Belgicae à magistratu & presbytero Cam­pensi ad Synodum quibus rogat Synodum ut velit scribere ad magistratum & presbyterium Arnemiense ut velit dimittere D. D. Stephani, quem poscunt ipsis pastorem dari: Item ut ve. lit ad magistratum & presbyterium quoque scribere pro dimissione D. Plancis, Sy­nodus noluit se istiusmodi negotiis immiscere, ne fortassis cederet in praejudicium classium & presbyteriorum: Leguntur al [...]ae literae a magistratu Campensi, quibus petunt ut per Synodum liceat Ecclesiae Remonstranticae Campensi in templis suis habere lectionem sacrae Scripturae per lectores suos, eo usque dum posset ipsi prospici de pastoribus: D. Praeses monet perscriptum esse campis lectores illos solere attexere capitibus prelectis longas enarrationes subministratas sibi à duobus ministris suis jam à Synodo suspensis, quibus doctrina Remonstranium asserebant, & in Orthodoxam invehebantur: porro duos ipsorum ministros qui sunt ex numero citatorum hic ad Synodum, misisse hinc literas ad Ecclesiam Remonstrantium quae est campis: quibus plebem animabant ad constantiam in Remonstrantium doctrina, jubebantque brevi certissimam liberationem ab hac persecutione expectare; quae literae ante dies non ita multos à lectoribus publice in templo pro tota blebe recitabantur.

Leguntur aliae literae Belgicae à Domino Battenberg, quibus Belgio Synodum gratula­tur; promittitque se onaturum ut inditione sua, obtineat illa doctrina quae hic à Synodo stabilita esset.

Legitur proaemium praesigendum Canonibus jam emendatum, ubi pro [Antichristi] pone­batur [Romani Antichristi] quo vocabulo addito satisfie bat illis qui voluerunt sine delibera­tione à Synodo statim pontificem Romanum esse insignem illum Antichristum; sed Antichri­stum tamen, atque ita proaemium sic emendatum omnibus placuit.

Legitur confessio Petri Molinae [...] pastoris Ecclesiae Reformatae Parisiensis super quinque articu­lis in Belgio contraversis; quam huc ad Synodum transmisit.

Sessio 144. eodem die post meridiem.] Pergitur in prelectione confessionis Petri Molinaei: D. Praeses monet jam rediisse Haga D. Delegatos, qui Canones Synodicos illuc ad illustriss. ord. Generales detulerant: oratque ipsorum Dominationes, ut velint eoram Synodo exponere; Quid D. Ord. General: de ipsis sentiant. D. Greg. M [...]rtinii oratione brevissima refert Ord. Generales summopere gavisos esse de Synodico consensu, in canonibus; probare ipsorum do­minations, eos universos & singulos, agereque de labore exantlavo Theologiis tum Exteris tum Provincialibus gratias maximas: rogare porro ut jam Synodus velit proximo in loco confessionem Belgicam perlustrare, in qua nihil mutatum cupiunt fine gravi & necessaria causa:

Dies Lunae proximus publicandis Canonibus omninm Synodicorum consensu judicitur.

[Page 45] Praeses [...] togat Singulos ut velint dilig [...]nter attendere lectioni confessionis Belgicae; incidit quaestio, quaenam editio confessionis Belgicae habenda esset pro authentica, cum ipsus editiones multum discreparent: eam statuit Synodus legendā, & perlustrandam quae inseritur Syntagmati confessionum Ecclesiarum Reformatarum: Illa itaque publicè prelegitur: D. Praeses rogat singula collegia ut in horam nonam crastini diei velint exhibere collegialia judicia de confessi­one prelecta tota, exceptis tribus articulis videlicet 30. 31. 32. qui ordinen & Regimen Eccle­siae spectant, Rogat singulos ut non velint insistere in latinitate, aut phraseologia sed simplici­ter, ferre judicium num quicquid illa contineatur; quod non sit verbo divino consentaneum.

Sessio 145. 30. Aprilis, stylo novo.] Quaeritur judicium Synodicum de confessione Belgica, Britanni Probant omnia dogmata ipsius, putant nihil in ca quoad substantiam contineri, quod sacrae paginae repugnet, quaedam minutiora in ea observabant, sed quae fac [...]llime ex collatis exemplaribus in correcta, & nova quam parant editione emendari possent, monent de tribus capitibus, quae ordinem Ecclesiasticum spectant se nullam ferre sententiam, sed interim putare se regimen Ecclesiarum suarum esse institutionis Apostolicae: Episcopus autem Landavensis oratione brevissima contra illa tria praedicta capita perorabat; contendebatque in Ecclesia neque Apostolorum temporibus, neque postea unquam fuisse ministrorum aequalitatem: Itaq: communi Britannorum consensu declaratum est, nihil in confessione Belgica contineri, quod pugnaret cum sacra pagina, aut analogia fidei. Eximus omnes ad funus D. Canteri Se­nioris Ultrajectini unius ex deputatis Synodicis, Redimus, Legitu [...] judicium deputatorum à Synodo in causa Macoviana; cujus summa haec erat; D. Macovium nullius, gentilismi, judaismi, pelagianismi, socinianismi, aut alterius conjuscunque haeresos reum teneri, immeritoque illum fuisse accusatum, peccasse eum, quod quibusdam ambiguis, & obscuris Phrasibus scholasticis usus sit, quod scholasticum docendi modum conetur in Belgicis Academiis introducere quod eas selegerit quaestiones disceptandas, quibus gravantur Ecclesiae Belgicae: Monendum esse eum, ut eum Splritu Sancto loquatur, non cum Bellarmino aut Suarezio: hoc vitio vertendum ipsi, quod distinctionem sufficientiae & efficientiae mortis Christi asseruerit esse futilem, quod nega­verit humanum genus lapsum esse objectum praedestinationis, quod dixerit Deum velle, & de­cernere peccata, quod dixerit D eum nullo modo velle omnium hominum salutem, quod dix. erit duas esse electiones: Judicant denique liticulam hanc inter D. Sibrandum, & D. Macovium componendam esse, & deinceps neminem debere eum talium criminum insimulare.

Sessio 146. eodem die post meridiem.] Pergitur in rogandis suffragiis de confessione Belgica in eadem sint sententia cum Britannis: propter editionum varietatem petunt, ut exaretur exemplar aliquod unum exactum. ord. generalium authoritate confirmandum.

Sessio 147. calend. Maii. stylo novo.] D. Gregorius Martinii exponit mentem Illustriss. ord. general, eandem esse de Catechesi, quae fuerat de confessione; Rogat itaque Synodum ut de Gatechesi quo (que) Palatino-Belgica velit sententiam dicere, nec tam methodum, aut Phraseolo­giam spectare, quam dogmata doctrinalia: Legitur totus catechismus: Rogantur Synodici, ut ad horam. 4. Pomeridianam parent le ad rerendum collegialia de catechesi perfecta judicia.

Sessio 148. eodem die post meridiem.] Omnium judiciis approbantur dogmata in eo cate­chismo comprehensa, ut verbo dei coasentanea, ac piè prudenterque conscripta, Britanni de interpretatione articuli, de discensu Christi ad inferos suam ab aliis Ecclesiam vindicat al [...]ter explicandi potestatem: Ac [...]demum propter gravem ab urbe Dordrechtana datam neglecti diei dominici offensionem, rogant, ac monent Synodum, ut apud Magistratum intercedat, ne foren­ses emptiones, apertis mercium officinis eo die exerceri permit [...]ant: ea occasione à quodam ex provincialibus mota quaestio de observatione Sabbathi, sed non discussa penitus, quia reje­cta inter gravamina provincialia post ubi tune nostra tractanda.

Sessio 149. 2. Maii. stylo novo.] Gregor [...] Martini unus ex politicis delegatis, Synodo & or­dinum mentem exponit de Vorstio, eos nempe mandare, ut de Theologia ejus fiat summaria ex scriptis cognitio, ac ut eo respiciant judicia Synodica, utrum doctrina Vorstiana ad Ecclesiae aedificationem faciat, adeoque talis doctor Dignus videatur, qui Cathedram teneat [...] Theologi eum: Scripsit jam tum Vorstius eodem exemplo literas ad singula exterorum collegia, simul­que ad Synodum publicas: eae (que) perleguntur, in quibus Synodi aequanimitatem, & Christianam charitatē implorat, s [...]ū corā Synodo cōparēdi desideriū insinuat, rogat, ut si quae ab ipso liberius suit disputatū, veritatis eruendae studio imputetur, ut rationibus ex verbo dei petitis convinca­tur, [Page 47] se paratum esse testatur ad collationem cum Exteris Theologis in eundam item ad heresin Socinianam refutandum, si ipsi ea mandetur provincia. Nec posse sibi persuadere comburendos ipsius libros, cum quaedam Piscatoris scripta longe horridiora, et bonis moribus infensiora non sint rogo addicta.

Lecta hac, epistolae antiquae nonnullae Vorstii simulatoriae, et vulpinae praesertim circa sui ex­plicationem, ac palinodiam Heidelbergae praestitam fraudes in medium proferuntur deinde er­ [...]orum, et blasphemiarum Vorstii catalogus à Belgicis professoribus collectus Synodo praelegi­tur ad capita reductus de dei attributis, Christi (que) deitate, ab illo partim aperte partius clancu­lum imminutis.

Sessio 150. 3. Maii stylo novo.] Collegia singula tam exterorium, quam provincialium suum proferunt de vorstio judicium scripto exaratum, Britanni lecta à se collecta precipuarum Vor­stianarum contra divinam naturam blasphemiarum Synopsi, monenti Vorstium dato hoc scan­dalo, nunquam tamen in subsequentibus suis seu explicationibus, five defensionibus ullum in suo de dei attributis libro propositum errorem agnoscere, sed absurdissimis distinctiunculis, et inanibus subterfugiis obvelare, imo etiam praecipua orthodoxae doctrinae fundamenta calli­de pro viribus suffodere. Se itaque non modo ipsum Vorstium orthodoxe professoris munere ac nomine indignum judicare, sed etiam persuadere ne hujusmodi ejus libri in bibliopiliis pro­stare permittantur. Denique rogare, ut in exemplum, sanctium in dei causa zeli testimonium Vorstii de deo tractatus sumi magistratus jussu, aut Synodi decreto eadem munito palam solen­niterque flammis absumatur, simulque hujusmodi infamis holocausti specimen. A Britannis eorum Synodo legitur authenticum procancellarii Cantabrigensis sigillo munitum, decretum 21. Septembris 1611. Cujus vi etiam Serenissimi regis nostri iudicio preeunte publice flam­mis ultricibus expurgatus est liber praedictus: ejusdemque decreti Cantabrigiensis exemplar inter Synodi acta relatum. Serenissimi regis, et Cantabrigensis intentio se examini subscribe­re testantur Palatini Theologi, ac Vorstii palinodiam multis abhinc annis Heidelbergae presti­tam, quam fuerat fraudulenta narrant.

Hassiaci etiam commemorant quam fuerat post modum non modo parum grata, sed etiam in­visa illustrissimo suo domino Landigravio dedicatio sui de deo libri, eidem pio principi nuncu­pata, quamque prudenter ipsum Vorstium princeps ille ad se commendatum ad Cathedram professoriam admittere recusaverat. De Vorstio ut cathedra indigno exautorando reliqui tum exteri tum provinciales omnes consentiant quod autem se obtulerit jam pugilem evocandum contra Socinianos responsum est.

Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis,
Tempus egit.—

Ut pote cum ipse Vorstius ad errorum, hereseon curriculum etiam Socianismi sit suspectissi­mus, nec ex animo rem ges [...]rus putetur: ac in eo negotio sibi dudum commisso, nihil pror­sus prestiterit.

Sessio 151. 4. Maii stylo novo.] Decretum quoddam Synodicum de Vorstii causa conceptum legitur et approbandum proponitur inde nonnulla interpellanda, alia omittenda, alia expli­canda, moventur presertim à Britannis, qui hic urgent quaedam attribui Vorstio, de capite justificationis de quibus, nec dum satis constat, quid asserat Vorstius, illin [...] autem omitti alia, aut non satis aperte damnari, quae maxime blasphema sunt, et Ecclesiae quasi universae Christianae gravissimum commoverunt offendiculum, ibidem multis agitatum, cum Verstius corporis ejusdem resurrectionem neget, aut Christi satisfactionem cum Socino penitus tollat. Et rei probandae leguntur privatae Vorstii ad Dominum Tossanum llterae pluribus abhinc annis scriptae in quibus aperte Socinianismom, profitetur. Sed à Britannis responsum judicandum reum ex libris à se agnitis et publicatis, non ex epistola privata de qua etiam non constat num ab ipso conscripta fuerit, constet ante scriptum fuisse ante palinodiam ejus Heidelbergensem. De libro Vorstii comburendo Synodus non volt statuere, sed ad summum refert magistratum.

Sessio 152. eodem die post meridiem.] Decretum contra Vorstium denuo proponitur paulo mu­tatum, in eo desiderant Britanni plura dei attributa à Vorstio impetita recenseri, ac Vorstii de Christi satisfactione et hominis justificatione sententiam, vel in censura omitti, vel Synodo, ut de eo melius constet, explicare. De his aliisque Vorstianis dogmatibus diu multumque dis­ceptatur. Tandem consensum est in eam, quae sancita est formam, (quam vide in altero meo [Page 46] libro Synodico,) qua Vorstius ob suam in suffodiendis praecipuis fidei fundamenris audaciam et impietatem indignus Cathedra Theologica judicatur. Optaturque ne ipsius libri de deo passim volitare permittantur, et nonnulla speciatim alia quae in eodem decreto continentur. Ante quam dimitteretur hic confessus qui in multam noctem duravit, legitur: et per plu [...]a Synodi suffragia approbatur, sententia dependatorum in causa Macoviana qui eum ab omni haeresi absolvendum censuerunt, sed monendum ut Theologiam docendi modum commodio­rem sequatur, verborumque formis ex sacra scriptura petitis utatur etiam justam eum reprehen­sionem incurrere ob quasdam propositiones ab ipso erudius et [...]igidius assertas. His itaque clam compositis, interpellat Frisius quidam senex nomine Donia se quod ad ipsum attinet Macovium (qui suum passus est tacite obvolvi negotium) nihil velle commovere: se ipsum autem [...] alios­que nonnullos hac in causa laesos, ideoque comuni collegarum nomine coram Synodo prote­stari salvo jure ut agant contra accusatores, partes autem accusatorias domino Sibrando esse demandatas, constare ex literis quibusdam publicis, quas è sinu deprompsit, ac coram Sy­nodo legi postulavit, increbescenti hac in inexpostulatione plurium servori, ac multiloquio, modum imponunt Delegati politici malleo suo, quo mos est silentium obstr [...]pentibus impe­rare. Denique praeses ad Synodum [...]efert diem lunae proximum Canonibus in majore u [...]bis Templo publicandis destinatum esse, et sic conventus dimittitur.

Sessio 153. 6. Maii stylo novo.] Convenimus primum in loco Synodali, ubi erat spectatorum nobiliumet aliorum, uttiusque sexus maximus confluxus; praeses solennem precationem con­cipit; qua hodierno negotio faustum successum vovet, auditorium dimittitur, paulo post, sin­guli Synodici non sine decora pompa a loco Synodali ad magnum Templum per platcas Dor­drechtanas pergunt; nudique, cuncti numerosis spectatoribus, incedebant autem Synodici bini, hoc ordine, primo incedebant illustrissimo ordines Generales Delegati quos sequebatur ipso­rum Secretarius D. Heinsius: postea sequuti sunt D. Episcopus Landavensis; et D. Praeses Synodi ipsi a sinistra, dein reliqui omnes Theologi Exteri, secundum loca ipsis, in Synodo de signata, Exteros sequebantur D. assessores et scribae; post illos D. professores Belgici, et post ipsos reliqui provinciales Theologi, secundum illum quo in Synodi sedebant ordinem, In templum devenimus capacissimum et splendidum, quod tamen ingenti auditorum numero suit repletissimum, inter quos suerunt complurimi nobiles et Generosi, in utroque sexu cum ex Belgico, tum etiam ex aliis nationibus, occuparunt Synodici loca sua in choro templi ubi to­ta haec solennitas peragebatur, à parte dextra considebant, primum D. Praeses Ecclesiasticus, post eum D. Assessores et scribae, post illos D. Episcopus, reliquique deinceps se cūdū ordinem Syno­dicū, Theol. Exteri, in loco editiori et satis cōmodo, in scamnis inferioribus cōfidebant illust. ord. Gener. delegati, pos [...] illos D. Professores Belgici, D. Praeses singulis suo ordine jam collocatis, ex pulpito ibi extructo cōmodissime sito ad partem chori occidentalem adeo (que) in ipsa Templi medietate, ubi possit cōmodissime à cōsertissi [...]a corona ex audiri, solennitatem auspicatus est precatione valde prolixa, sed pientisima et appo [...]itis [...]ima, cujus prior pars et multo longior fuit ex solis scripturarū sententiis, cum summ [...] elegantia, et judicio contexta, plane (que) concin­nata ad venerandū antiquitatis stylum, legebat eam ex Schedulis descriptis, duravit (que) per hor [...] ­dimidium, postea sine ullo prae famine, narrat quā brevissime auditorio indictū fuisse hanc solen­nem conventū, ut omnes jam tandem fructum laborū Synodicorū perciperent, audiren [...] (que) pre­lectos illos canones, quos tot tantis (que) laboribus exantlatis, immenso dei beneficio, et suavissi­ma omniū ac singulor ūm cōspiratione, veneranda Synodus conceperat, ac efformaverit.

Ita (que) D. Dāmānus unus ex scribis Synodicis, in idem pulpitū ascendit, ac prin ū prelegit pro­aemium quod canonibus praefigitur: quo prelecto, D [...] Praeses monet omnes auditores ut ex more recepto, singuli velint hodiernā laetitiam, et suam divinae majestati gratitudinem testari erogando [...]leemosynā pauperibus: quam diaconi quidā Ecclesiae Dordrech [...]anae ad id muneris designati colligebant, procul dubio satis amplam: neminem enim observavimus qui manum suam fronte hilari non porrigebat, redit ad pulpitum D. Dammannus et aggreditur ipsorum canonum prae­lectionem, lectis articulis primi capitis contraversi, propter templi magni [...]dinem, et spissas frequentissimi auditorii animas, deficere incipiehat ipsum vox, itaque D. Festus Hommius al­ter scriba Synodicus pulpitum conscendit, legitque canones de secundo tertio et quarto arti­culis; et voce ipsum qnoque ob praedictas causas deficiente, rediit D. Damma [...]nus, legi [...]que canones de quinto articulo, et Epilogum Synodicum, quibus finitis legit quoque singulorum [Page 48] subscriptiones, singuliad nomina sua audita sidem canonum apertione capitis restabantur postea legit quo (que) Idem sc [...]iba Synodi censuram personalem de Remonstrantibus cui non ad­dita crant singulorum Syngraphae, eo quod quidam ex Exteris voluerint de hominum personis sed tantum de ipsorum doctrina aliquid statuere.

Post omnia lecta, legebatur quoque testimonium, D. Delegatorum, quo testantur se inter, fuisse dum isthaec agrerentur, om [...]iaque quae jam prelecta fuerant optima [...]fide relata fuisse; quod singuli una cum D. Heinsio ipsorum secretario, suis Syngraphis comprobant, monet porro D. Praeses, confessionem & catechesin Belgicam esse quoque à Synodo comprobatas; & sic concludit cum precatione & gratiarum actione; ejusdē Plane flyli cum priori & fere Paris pro­lixitatis; post absolutam totam solennitatem pulsantur Organa, & sic omnes Synodici domum redeu [...]ted locum Synodicum eodem plane ordine quo venerant; Ibi dominus Praeses monet jam omnia negotia Synodica quae poscerent opem Exterorum Theologorum, abloluta esse; Ideoque monet ut singula collegia duos mittant qui ad horam quartam Pomeridiana incipiant describere canonet, quibus postea subscribant ipse cum Assessoribus & scribis, ut sic singula collegia habeant exemplar authenticum asservandum in perpetuam rei memoriam: brevi pre­catione Synodum dimittit.

Sessio 154. & ultima. 9. Maii. stylo novo.] D. Praeses movet hune ultimum Synodi conventū celebrari ad agendū Deo gratias pro exoptatissimo Synodi exitu, porr [...] (que) ad agendas gratias Theologis Exteris pro gravissimis laboribus susceptis: Gregorius Martini unus ex Delegatis, [...] precationē habet suavissima & justae prolixitatis qua Deo gratias agit pro asserenda religionis punirate in Ecclesis Belgicis, operi & consiliis hujus Synodi, precatur (que) iisdem Ecclesiis in veri­tate hic asserta invictam constantiā, Precatione finita, oratione eleganti Theologos Exteros cō ­pellat, nomine Illustriss ord. gen. singulis gratias rependit pro saluberrimis ipsorū consiliis, & gra [...]vis [...]imis laboribus quibus hoc tempore Ecclesias Belgicas sublevassent, itidem & ingentibus illis princibus Rebuspublicis, Magistratibus qui ipsos delegassent, nominatim ipsos cū summa obser­vantia recensendo; rogat (que) ut Ecclesias Belgicas ipsorū [...]elsitudinibus curatent fore cōmenda­tissimas: rogat ut singuli praesentes persuadeant sibi de prolixissimo ord. gen. erga ipso animo, utque ante discessum Hagam comitis petant, referantque ab illustriss. ord. gen. gratias, & porro ad principes & Respublicas sus literas dimissorias.

D. Praeses Ecclesiasticus oratione pia cōmemorat Dei beneficia in Ecclesiā suā saepius lapsentē, applicatione facta ad Ecclesias Belgicas praedicat mediata illa instrumēta quibus Deus ad hanc rem usus fuerat, cum primis Regē magnae Britanniae, deinde reliquos principes & Magistratus no­minatim, qui huc Theologos fuos misissent: deinde omnes & singulos Theologos Exterors hic praesentes, quibus omnia fausta et caelestes benedictiones comprecatur, Jubet (que) ipso esse persua­sissimos eorū memoriā fore hic in aeternum suavissimā primū Theologi Britanni singuli orationibꝰ brevibus et succinctis, Deo agunt gratias de Synodi tam faelici successu, D. Delegatis et fratribus Belgis ob singularē humanitatē, Deum rogant ut velit Ecclesias Belgicas sem [...]er faelices esse et pacatas: Idem praestiterunt palatini perdominū Scultetū; Idem Hassiaci per D. Crucigerum, Idem Helvetii per D. Brittin germu. Idem Nassovici per D. Alstediū: Idem Genevenses singuli; Idem Bremenses, per D. Martiniū, Idem Embdani singuli, sed uter (que) prolixissime, ita (que) omnes Exteri vota sua nuncupassent praeses Synodo piissima et Gratulatoria precationē finem impo­suit; Tum, primum D. Delegati, dein. D. Praeses, dein. D. Assessores et scribae, dein Singuli Synodici Belgae loca sua relinquentes singulos Theologos Exteros ordine datis dextris et adjunctis votis humanissime salutant; at (que) sic Sessio haec auditoribus frequentissima [...] ad [...]o (que) ipsa Synodus Dor [...] drechtana, cum summis gratulationibus, et maxima animorum laetitia ob speratum finem, et maerore ob corporum divulsionem Q. F. F. Q. sit dimissa est.


To the Reader.

IF that [...]Reverend and worthy person Mr. Farindon had not died before the Impression of this Book, you had received from that excellent hand an exact account of the Authours Life, which he had begun, and resolved to perfect, and prefix to this Edition. And as the loss of him is great in many particulars, so especi­ally in this; because there was none to whom Mr. Hales was so throughly known as unto him, nor was there any so able to declare his worth, partly by reason of his own abi­lities eminently known principally because he learn'd his Authour from an intimate converse, who was a man ne­ver to be truly express'd but by himself.

I am therefore to entreat thee, Reader, being deprived of the proper Plutarch, not to expect any such thing as a Life from me, but to accept of so much onely as is here in­tended. If Mr. Hales were unknown unto thee, be pleased to believe what I know and affirm to be true of him; if he were known, then onely be satisfied that what is published in his name did really proceed from him: and [Page] more then this needs not to be spoken in reference to the advancement of this Work; because he which knew or believeth what an excellent person Mr. Hales was, and shall be also perswaded that he was the Author of this Book, cannot chuse but infinitely desire to see and read him in it.

In order to the First of these, I shall speak no more than my own long experience, intimate acquaintance, and high veneration grounded upon both, shall freely and sincerely prompt me to. Mr. John Hales, some­time Greek Professour of the University of Oxford, long Fellow of Eton College, and at last also Prebendary of Windsore, was a man, I thinke, of as great a sharpness, quicknesse and subtilty of wit as ever this; or, perhaps, any Nation bred. His industry did strive, if it were possible, to equall the largenesse of his capacity, whereby he became as great a Master of polite, various and Universall Learning as ever yet convers'd with Bookes. Pro­portionate to his reading was his Meditation, which furnished him with a Judgement beyond the vulgar reach of man, built upon unordinary Notions, rais'd out of strange observations and comprehensive thoughts within himselfe. So that he really was a most prodi­gious Example of an acute and piercimg Wit, of a vast and illimited Knowledge, of a severe and profound Judge­ment.

Although this may seeme, as in it selfe it truly is, [Page] a grand Elogium; yet I cannot esteem him lesse in any thing which belongs to a good man then in those intellectuall perfections: and had he never understood a letter hee had other Ornaments sufficient to endear him. For he was of a Nature (as we ordinarily speake) so kinde, so sweet, so courting all mankind, of an affability so prompt, so ready to receive all conditions of men, that I conceive it neer as easie a task for any one to become so Knowing as so Oblige­ing.

A a Christian, none more ever acquainted with the nature of the Gospel, because none more Studious of the knowledge of it, or more curious in the search, which being strengthened by those great ad­vantages before mentioned could not prove otherwise then highly effectuall. He took indeed to him­selfe a liberty of judgeing, not of others, but for himselfe: and if ever any man might be allow­ed in these matters to judge, it was he who had so long, so much, so advantageously consider'd, and which is more, never had the least worldly de­signe in his determinations. He was not onely most truly and strictly Just in his Secular transactions, most exemplarily Meeke and Humble notwithstand­ing his perfections, but beyond all example Chari­table, giving unto all, preserving nothing but his Bookes to continue his learning and himselfe: which when he had before digested, he was forced at [Page] last to feed upon, at the same time the happi­est and most unfortunate helluo of Books the grand example of learning and of the envy and contempt which followeth it.

This testimony may be truly given of his Person, and nothing in it liable to the least exception but this alone, that it comes far short of him, Which intimation I con­ceive more necessary for such as knew him not than all which hath been said.

In reference to the second part of my Design, I confess, while he lived none was ever more sollicited and urged to write, and thereby truly to teach the world, than he; none ever so resolved (pardon the expression, so obstinate) a­gainst it. His facile and courteous nature learnt onely not to yield to that sollicitation. And therefore the World must be content to suffer the losse of all his learning with the deprivation of himself: and yet he cannot be accused for hiding of his talent, being so communicative that his chamber was a Church and his chair a Pulpit.

Onely that there might be some taste continue of him: here are some of his Remaines recollected; such as he could not but write, and such as when written were out of his power to destroy. These consist of two parts, of Ser­mons, and of Letters, and each of them proceeded from him upon respective obligations. The Letters though written by himself yet were wholly in the power of that Honourable person to whom they were sent, and by that meanes they were perserv'd. The Sermons preached [Page] on several occasions were snatch't from him by his friends, and in their hands the Copies were continued or by transcription dispers [...]d. Of both which I need to say no more then this, that you may be confident they are his.

The Editor hath sent these abroad to explore what well-come they shall find; He hath some more of his Sermons & Tractates in his hands, & desires if any Person have any other Writings of the same Author by him, that he would be pleased to com­municate them to the Printer of this work, T. Garth­wait upon promise, and any other engagement, that he will take care to see them Printed, and set forth by themselves. This, Reader, is all the trouble thought fit to be given thee [...]

Mr. Garthwait.

I Am very glad you chose so Judicious an Overseer of those SERMONS of Mr. HALES as Mr. Gunning, whom I alwayes have had in high esteem both for his Learning and Piety; and I am of his Opinion, that they may pass for extraordinary. That Sermon of Wresting hard places of Scripture may well begin your Collection. The other on Rom. 14. 1. Him that is weak in the Faith receive, &c. was preacht at Pauls Cross, and I moved him to print it. That of My Kingdom is not of this World; I once saw and returned to Mr. Hales with foure more which I saw him put into Mr. Chillingworths hands: I wish Dixi Custodiam were perfect, I have often heard him speak of it with a kinde of Complacency. That of He speak a Parable that men ought always to pray, I believe is his by the passage of the Spunge and the Knife, which I have heard from his mouth. The Sermon which you had from D. Hammond upon Son remember, &c. was preacht at Eaton Colledge. The other of Duels was either one or two, and preacht at the Hague to Sr. D. Carlton and his company. That you call a Letter on I can do all things, is a Sermon. The Sermon of Peter went out and wept, &c.—is under his own hand.

One caution I should put in, that you print nothing which is not written with his own hand, or be very careful in comparing them, for not long since one shewed me a Sermon, which he said was his, which I am confident could not be; for I saw nothing in it which was not Vulgaris monetae, of a vulgar stamp, common, and flat, and low. There be some Sermons, that I much doubt of, for there is little of his spirit and Genius in them, and some that are imperfect, that of Genesis 17. 1. Walk before me, &c. is most imperfect, as appears by the Autographum which I saw at Eaton a fortnight since.

[Page]For his LETTERS, he had much trouble in that kinde from se­veral friends, and I heard him speak of that friends Letter you men­tion, pleasantly, Mr.—He sets up Tops and I must whip them for him. But I am very glad to hear you have gained Those Letters into your hands written from the Synod of Dort, you may please to take notice that in his younger days he was a Calvinist, and even then when he was employed at that Synod, and at the well pressing 3. S. John 16. by Episcopius,—there, I bid John Calvin good night, as he has often told me. I believe they will be as acceptable, or in your phrase as Sale­able as his Sermons, I would not have you to venture those papers out of your hands to me, for they may miscarry, and I fear it would be very difficult to finde another Copy; peradventure I may shortly see you, at the Term I hope I shall, and then I shall advise you fur­ther the best I can about those other Sermons you have.

I see you will be troubled yet a while to put things in a right way. I have drawn in my minde the Model of his Life, but I am like Mr. HALES in this, which was one of his defects, not to pen any thing, till I must needs.

God prosper you in your work and business you have in hand, that neither the Church nor the Author suffer.

Septemb. Your assured friend to his power
Anthony Farindon.


By Mr. John Hales of Eton College.

LONDON, Printed for Timothy Garthwait, at the Little North­door of St. Pauls.

2 Pet. 3. 16.‘Which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.’

THE love and favour which it pleased God to bear our Fathers before the law, so far prevail'd with him, as that without any books and writings, by familiar and friendly conversing with them, and communicating himself unto them, he made them receive and under­stand his laws: their inward conceits and intellectuals being after a wonderful manner as it were Figured, and Character'd, In Psal. 28. (as St. Basil expresses it) by his spirit, so that they could not but see, and consent unto, and confess the truth of them. Which way of manifesting his will, unto many other gracious pri­viledges which it had, above that which in after ages came in place of it, had this added, that it brought with it unto the man, to whom it was made, a preservation against all doubt and hesitancy, a full assurance both who the author was, and how far his intent and meaning reacht. We that are their ofspring ought, as St. Chrysostome tell us, so to have demeand our selves, that it might have been with us as it was with them,Hom. 1. in Mat. that we might have had no need of writing, no other teacher, but the spi­rit, no other books but our hearts, no other means to have been taught the things of God, Nisi inspirationis divinae internam suavio­rémque doctrinam, ubi sine sonis sermonum & sine elementis literarum, eo dulciùs quo secretiùs veritas loquitur; as saith Fulgentius. [...] [Page 2] [...] saith Isidorus Pelusiota: for it is a great argument of our shame and imperfecti­on that the holy things are written in books.L. 3. Epist. 106. For as God in anger tells the Jews, that he himself would not go before them as [...] hither­to he had done, to conduct them into the promised land, but would leave his Angel with them as his deputy: so hath he dealt with us, the unhappy posterity degenerated from the antient purity of our forefathers. When himself refused to speak unto our hearts because of the hardness of them, he then began to put his laws in writing. Which thing for a long time amongst his own people seems not to have brought with it any sensible inconvenience. For amongst all those acts of the Jews, which God in his book hath re­gistred for our instruction, there is not one concerning any pretend­ed ambiguitie or obscurity of the Text and Letter of their Law, which might draw them into faction and schisme; the Devil belike having other sufficient advantages on which he wrought. But ever since the Gospel was committed to writing, what age, what mo­nument of the Churches acts is not full of debate and strife, con­cerning the force and meaning of those writings, which the holy Ghost hath left us to be the law and rule of faith? St. Paul, one of the first penmen of the Holy Ghost, who in Paradise heard words which it was not lawful for man to utter, hath left us words in writing, which it is not safe for any man to be too busie to interpret. No sooner had he laid down his pen, almost ere the ink was dry, were there found Syllabarum aucupes, such as St. Ambrose spake of, qui nes­cire aliquid erubescunt, & per occasionem obscuritatis tendunt laqueos de­ceptionis, who thought there could be no greater disparagement un­to them, then to seem to be ignorant of any thing, and under pre­tence of interpreting obscure places laid gins to entrap the uncaute­lous; who taking advantage of the obscurity of St. Pauls text, made the letter of the Gospel of life and peace, the most-forcible instru­ment of mortal quarrel and contention. The growth of which, the Holy Ghost by the Ministery of St. Peter, hath endeavoured to cut up in the bud, and to strangle in the womb, in this short admo­nition which but now hath sounded in your eares. Which the un­learned, &c. In which words, for our more orderly proceeding, we will consider, First, the sin it self that is here reprehended, wre­sting of Scripture: where we will briefly consider what it is, and [Page 3] what causes and motioners it findes in our corrupt understandings. Secondly the persons guilty of this offence, discipher'd unto us in two Epithets, unlearned, unstable. Last of all the danger in the last words, unto their own damnation. And first of the sin it self, toge­ther with some of the special causes of it.

[...]. They wrest. They deal with Scripture as Chimicks deal with natural bodies, torturing them to extract that out of them which God and nature never put in them. Scripture is a rule which will not fit it self to the obliquity of our conceits, but our per­verse and crooked discourse, must fit it self to the straightness of that rule. A learned writer in the age of our fathers, com­menting upon Scripture spake most truly when he said,F [...]ber. that his Comments gave no light unto the text, the text gave light unto his Com­ments. Other expositions may give rules and directions for under­standing their authors, but Scripture gives rules to exposition it self, and interprets the interpreter. Wherefore when we made in Scripture, non pro sententia divinarum Scripturarum, as St. Austine speaks, sed pro nostra ita dimicantes ut tan velimus Scripturarum esse quae nostra est: When we strive to give unto it, and not to receive from it the sense: when we factiously contend to fasten our conceits upon God: and like the Harlot in the book of Kings, take our dead and putrified fancies, and lay them in the bosome of Scripture as of a mother, then are we guilty of this great sin of wresting of Scrip­ture. The nature of which will the better appear, if we consider a little, some of those motioners which drive us upon it. One ve­ry potent and strong mean is the exceeding affection and love unto our own opinions and conceits. For grown we are unro extremi­ties on both hands: we cannot with patience either admit of other mens opinions, or endure that our own should be withstood. As it was in the Lacedaemonian army, almost all were Cap­tains: so in these disputes all will be leaders: and we take our selves to be much discountenanced, if others think not as we do.Schol. in Thucyd. So that the complaint which one makes, concerning the dissention of Physicians about the diseases of our bodies, is true likewise in these disputes which concern the cure of our souls, hinc­illae circa aegros miserae sententiarum concertationes, nullo idem censente, ne videatur accessio alterius. Flinie. From hence have sprong those miserable contentions about the distemper of our souls, sin­gularity [Page 4] alone, and that we will not seem to stand as cyphers to make up the summe of other mens opinions, being cause enough to make us disagree. A fault anciently amongst the Christians so apparant, that it needed not an Apostolical spirit to discover it, the very heathen themselves to our shame and confusion, have justly, judiciously, and sharply taxt us for it. Ammianus Marcellinus passing his censure upon Constantius the Emperour: Christianam re­ligionem absolutam & simplicem (saith he: and they are words very well worth your marking) Christianam religionem absolutam & sim­plicem anili superstitione confudit. In qua scrutanda perplexiùs quàm componenda gratiùs, excitavit dissidia pluri [...]a, quae progressa fusiùs aluit concertatione verborum, dum ritum omnem ad suum trahere conatur arbi­trium. The Christian religion, a religion of great simplicity and perfection, he troubled with dotage and superstition. For going about rather perplexedly to search the controversies, then gravely to compose them, he raised great stirs, and by disputing spread them far and wide, whilst he went about to make himself sole Lord and commander of the whole profession. Now (that it may appear wherefore I have noted this) it is no hard thing for a man that hath wit, and is strongly possest of an opinion, and resolute to maintain it, to finde some places of Scripture, which by good handling will be woed to cast a favourable countenance upon it. Pythagoras Schollers having been bred up in the doctrine of numbers, when afterward they diverted upon the studies of nature, fancied unto themselves somewhat in natural bodies like unto numbers, and thereupon fell into a conceit that numbers were the principles of them. So fares it with him that to the reading of Scripture comes forepossest with some opinion. As Antipheron Orietes in Aristotle thought that every where he saw his own shape and picture going afore him: so in divers parts of Scripture where these men walk, they will easily perswade themselves that they see the image of their own conceits. It was, and is to this day, a fashion in the hotter countreys, at noon, when the sun is in his strength, to retire themselves to their Closets or beds, if they were at home, to cool and shady places if they were abroad, to avoid the inconvenience of the heat of it. To this the Spouse in the Canticles alluding, calls after her beloved, as after a shepherd: Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest thy flock, where thou dost rest at noon. The [Page 5] Donatists conceiting unto themselves that the Church was shut up in them alone; being urged by the fathers to shew how the Church being universal, came on a sudden thus to be confinde to Africk: they had presently their Scripture for it: for so they found it writ­ten in the Canticles: Indica, quem diligit anima mea, ubi pascas, ubi cubes in meridie. In which text, meridies doubtless as they thought, was their Southern countrie of Africk, where the shepherd of Isra­el was, and no where else, to feed his flocks. I may not trouble you with instances in this kinde: little observation is able to furnish the man of slendrest reading with abundance. The texts of Scrip­ture which are especially subject to this abuse, are those that are of ambiguous and doubtful meaning. For as Thucydides observes of the fat and fertile places of Greece, that they were evermore the occasions of stirs and seditions; the neighbouring nations every one striving to make it self Lord of them: so is it with these places that are so fertile, as it were, of interpretation, and yield a multiplici­ty of sense: they are the Palaestra for good wits to prove masteries in, where every one desires to be Lord and absolute.

A second thing occasioning us to transgress against Scripture, and the discreet and sober handling of it, is our too quick and speedy entrance upon the practise of interpreting it, in our young and green years, before that time and experience have ripened us and setled our conceits. For that which in all other business, and here like­wise doth most especially commend us, is our cautelous and wary handling it. But this is a flower seldome seen in youths garden. Aristotle differencing age and youth, makes it a property of youth, [...] to suppose they know all things and to be bold in affirming: and the heathen Rhetorician could tell us, that by this so speedy entring upon action, and so timely venting our crude and unconcocted studies, quod est ubique perniciosissimum, praevenit vires fiducia, a thing which in all cases is most pernicious, presumption is greater then strength, after the manner of those, who are lately recovered out of some great sickness, in whom appetite is stronger then digestion. These are they who take the greatest mysteries of Christian religion to be the fittest argu­ments to spend themselves upon. So Eckius in his Chrysopassus, a work of his so termed, wherein he discusses the question of predesti­nation, in the very entrance of his work tells us, that he therefore [Page 6] enterpris'd to handle this argument, because forsooth he thought it to be the fittest question in which he might Juveniles calores exercere. The ancient Masters of fence amongst the Romans were wont to set up a post, and cause their young Schollers to practise upon it, and to foin and fight with it, as with an adversary. Insteed of a post, this young fencer hath set himself up one of the deepest mysteries of our profession to practise his freshmanship upon. Which quality when once it findes Scripture for his object, how great inconveni­ence it brings with it, needs no large discourse to prove. St. Je­rome, a man not too easily brought on to acknowledge the errours of his writings, amongst those few things which he doth retract, censures nothing so sharply as the mistake of his youth in this kinde. In adolescentia provocatus ardore & studio Scripturarum, allegoricè inter­pretatus sum Abdiam Prophetam, cujus historiam nesciebam. He thought it one of the greatest sins of his youth, that being carried away through an inconsiderate heat in his studies of Scripture, he adven­tured to interpret Abdias the Prophet allegorically, when as yet he knew not the historical meaning. Old men, saith our best natural master, by reason of the experience of their often mistakes, are hardly brought constantly to affirm any thing, [...] they will always caute [...]ously interline their speeches, with it may bees, and peradventures, and other such par­ticles of wariness and circumspection. This old mens modesty of all other things best fits us in perusing those hard and obscure texts of holy Scripture. Out of which conceit it is that we see St. Au­stine in his books de Genesi ad literam, to have written only by way of questions and interrogations, after the manner of Aristotle in his Problemes, that he might not, (for so he gives his reason, by being over positive prejudice others, and peradventure truer interpretations: that every one might choose according to his likeing, & ubi quid intellige­re non potest, Scripturae Dei det honorem, sibi timorem: and where his understanding cannot attain unto the sense of it, let him give that honour and reverence which is due unto the Scripture, and carry himself with that aw and respect which befits him. Wherefore not without especial providence it is, that the Holy Ghost by St. Paul giving precepts to Timothy, concerning the quality of those who were to be admitted to the distributing of Gods holy word, expres­ly prescribes against a young Scholler, least saith he, he be puft up. For [Page 7] as it hath been noted of men, who are lately grown rich, that they differ from other rich men only in this,Arist. Rhet. 2. [...] that commonly they have all the faults, that rich men have and many more: so is it as true in those who have lately attaind to some de­gree and mediocrity of knowledge. Look what infirmities learned men have, the same have they in greater degree, and many more besides. Wherefore if Hippocrates in his Physician required these two things, [...] great industry and long experience, the one as tillage to sow the seed, the other as time and season of the year to bring it to maturity: then certainly by so much the more are these two required in the spirituall Physician, by how much he is the Physician to a more excellent part.

I will add yet one third motioner to this abuse of Scriptures, and that is the too great presumption upon the strength & subtilty of our own wits. That wch the Roman Priest somtimes told an over pleasant, and witty vestal Virgin, Coli Deos sanctè magis quam scitè, hath in this great work of exposition of Scripture an especial place. The holy things of God must be handled sanctè, magis quàm sci è, with fear and reverence, not with wit and daliance. The dangerous effects of this have appeared, not in the green tree only, in young heads, but in men of constant age, and great place in the Church. For this was that which undid Origen, a man of as great learning and indu­stry, as ever the Church had any; whilst in sublimity of his wit, in his Comments on Scripture, conceiving Meteors and airy specula­tions, he brought forth those dangerous errors, which drew upon his person the Churches heaviest censure; and upon posterity the loss of his works. Subtil witted men in nothing so much miscarry as in the too much pleasing themselves in the goodness of their own conceits; where the like sometimes befals them which befel X [...]uxis the Painter, who having to the life pictured an old woman, so pleas'd himself with the conceit of his work that he died with laughing at it. Heliodor Bishop of Tricca in Thessaly, the Author of the AEthiopick story, Nicephorus. a polite and elegant I consess, but a loose and wanton work, being summon'd by a Provincial Synod, was told, that which was true, that his work did rather endanger the manners then profit the wits of his Reader, as nourishing loose and wanton conceits in the heads of youth: and having his choice [Page 8] given him either to abolish his work, or to leave his Bishoprick; not willing to loose the reputation of wit, chose rather to resign his place in the Church, and, as I verily think, his part in Heaven. And not in private persons alone, but even in whole nations, shall we finde remarkable examples of miscarriage in this kind. The Gre­cians, till barbarism began to steal in upon them, were men of won­derous subtlety of wit, and naturally over indulgent unto themselves in this quality. Those deep and subtil heresies concerning the Tri­nity, the Divinity of Christ and of the holy Ghost, the Union and Division of the Divine Substance and Persons, were all of them be­gotten in the heat of their wits; yea, by the strength of them were they conceived, and born and brought to that growth, that if it had been possible for the gates of Hell to prevail against the Church, they would have prevailed this way. Wherefore as God dealt with his own land, wch being sometimes the mirrour of the world for fer­tility and abundance of all things, now lies subject to many curses, and especially to that of barrenness: so at this day is it with Greece Where sometimes was the flow and luxury of wit, now is there no­thing but extream barbarism and stupidity. It is in this respect so de­generated, that it scarsly for some hundreth of years hath brought forth a childe that carries any shew of his Fathers countenance. God as it were purposely plaguing their miserable posterity with extream want of that, the abundance of which their fathers did so wantonly abuse. The reason of all, that hitherto I have in this point delivered, is this, Sharpness of wit hath commonly with it two ill companions, pride, and levity. By the first it comes to pass that men know not how to yield to another mans reasonable positions; by the second, they know not how to keep themselves constant to their own. It was an excellent observation of the wise Gre­cian,Thu [...]yd. [...] &c. Sad and dull spirited men usually mannage matters of State better then quick and nimble wits. For such for the most part have not learnt that lesson, the meaning of that voice that came to the Pythagorean, that was desirous to re­move the ashes of his dead friend out of his grave, [...] things lawfully setled and composed must not be moved. [...] [...] saith, Iulian. Men over busie are by nature unfit to govern. For they move all things, and leave nothing without question and innovati­on, [Page 9] [...] as Nazianzen speaks, out of desire to amend what is already well. And therefore we see that for the most part such, if they be in place of Authority, by unsea­sonable and unnecessary tampering, put all things into tumult, and combustion. Not the Common wealth alone, but the Church like­wise hath receiv'd the like blow from these kinde of men. Nazi­anzene in his six and twentieth Oration, discoursing concerning the disorders committed in the handling of Controversies, speaks it plainly: [...] &c. Great wits, hot and fiery dispositions have raised these tumults. From these it is (saith he) that Christians are so divided. We are no longer a tribe and a tribe, Israel and Judah, two parts of a small nation: but we are di­vided kindred against kindred, family against family, yea, a man against himself. But I must hasten to my second general part, the persons here accounted guilty of abuse of Scripture.

The persons are noted unto us in two Epithets, unlearned, unstable. First, unlearned, It was Sain Jeroms complaint, that practitioners of other Arts could contain themselves within the bounds of their own Profession, Sola Scripturarum ars est, quam sibi omnes passim vendicant. Hanc garrula anus, hanc delirus senex, hanc sophista a verbosus, hanc uni­versi praesumunt, lacerant, docent antequam discant: every one pre­sumes much upon his skill, and therefore to be a teacher of Scri­pture: [...] (so Nazianzen speaks) as if this great mystery of Christianity were but some one of the common, base, inferior, and contemptible trades. I speak not this as [...] envied that all even the meanest of the Lords people should prop [...]sie: but onely that all kinde of men may know their bounds, that no unlearned beast touch the hill, least he be thrust through with a dart. It is true which we have heard, surgunt indocti & rapiunt regnum coelorum: they arise indeed, but it is as Saint Paul speaks of the resurrection, every man in his own or­der. Scripture is given to all, to learn: but to teach, and to in­terpret, onely to a few. This bold intrusion therefore of the un­learned into the chair of the teacher, is that which here with our blessed Apostle I am to reprehend. Learning in general is nothing else but the competent skill of any man in whatsoever he professes. Usually we call by this name onely our polite and Academical stu­dies: but indeed it is common to every one, that is well skild, well pra­ctised [Page 10] in his own mystery. The unlearned therefore, whom here our Apostle rebukes, is not he that hath not read a multiplicity of Authors: or that is not as Moses was, skilful in all the learning of the AEgyptians: but he that taking upon him to divide the word of God, is yet but raw and unexperienced; or if he have had experi­ence, wants judgment to make use of it. Scripture is never so unhap­py, as when it falls into these mens fingers. That which old Ca [...]o said of the Grecian Physicians, quandocunque ista gens literas suas da­bit, omnia corrumpet, is most true of these men; whensoever they shall begin to tamper with Scripture, and vent in writing their raw conceits, they will corrupt and defile all they touch. Quid enim molestiae tristitiaeque temerarii isti praesumptores, &c. De Genesi ad literam. as S. Austine complaineth: for what trouble and anguish these rash presumers (saith he) bring unto the discreeter sort of the bre­thren, cannot sufficiently be exprest: when being convinced of their rotten and ungrounded opinions; for the maintaining of that which with great levity and open falshood they have averd, they pretend the authority of these sacred books, and repeat much of them even by heart, as bearing witness to what they hold: whereas indeed they do but pronounce the words, but un­derstand not either what they speak, or of what things they do affirm. Be­like as he that bought Orpheus Harp, thought it would of it self make admirable melody, how unskilfully soever he toucht it: so these men suppose that Scripture will found wonderful musically, if they do but strike it, with how great infelicity or incongruity so­ever it be. The reason of these mens offence against Scripture, is the same with the cause of their miscarriage in civil actions, [...] saith Thucydi [...] [...]. Rude men, men of little experience, are commonly most peremptory: but men experienced, and such as have Waded in business, are slow of deter­mination. Quintilian making a question, why unlearned men seem many times to be more copious then the learned (for commonly such men never want matter of discourse) answers that it is because whatsoever conceit comes into their heads, without care or choice they broach it, cum doctis sit electio & modus: whereas learned men are choice in their invention, and lay by much of that which offers it self. Wise hearted men, in whom the Lord hath put wisdom and under­standing to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, like Bezaleel and Aholiab refuse much of the stuff which [Page 11] is presented them. But this kinde of men whom here our Apostle notes, are naturally men of bold and daring spirits, quicquid dixe­rint, hoc legem Dei putant, as Saint Jerome speaks, whatsoever con­ceit is begotten in their heads, the spirit of God is presently the father of it: Nee scire dignantur quid Prophetae, quid A­postoli senserint, sed ad suum sensum incongrua aptant testimonia. But to leave these men, and to speak a little more home unto mine own auditory: Let us a little consider, not the weakness of these men but the greatness of the business, the manage of which they undertake. So great a thing as the skill of exposition of the word and Gospel is, so fraught with multiplicity of Authors, so full of variety of opinion, must needs be confest to be a matter of great learning, and that it cannot, especially in our days, in short time with a mediocrity of industry be attained. For if in the Apostles times, when as yet much of Scripture was scarsly written, when God wrought with men miraculously to inform their understanding and supplied by revelation what mans industry could not yield; if I say in these times St. Paul required diligent reading, and expresly forbad greenness of schollarship: much more then are these condi­tions required in our times, wherein God doth not supply by mi­racle our natural defects, and yet the burden of our profession is in­finitely increast. All that was necessary in the Apostles times is now necessary and much more. For if we adde unto the growth of Christian learning, as it was in the Apostles times, but this one circumstance (to say nothing of all the rest) which naturally befals our times, and could not be required at the hands of those who guided the first ages of the Church: that is, the knowledge of the state and succession of doctrine in the Church from time to time; a thing very necessary for the determining the controversies of these our days: how great a portion of our labour and industry would this alone require? Wherefore if Quintilian thought it necessary to admonish young men that they should not presume themselves satis instructos, si quem ex iis, qui breves circumferuntur, artis libellum edidi­cerint, & velut decretis technicorum tutos putent: if he thought fit thus to do in an art of so inferiour and narrow a sphere; much more is it behooveful that young students in so high, so spacious, so large a profession, be advised nor to think themselves sufficiently provi­ded upon their acquaintance with some Notitia, or Systeme of some [Page 12] technical divine. Look upon those sons of Anak, those Giant-like voluminous writers of Rome; in regard of whom our little tractats and pocket volumes in this kinde, what are they but as Grashoppers? I speak not this like some seditious or factious spie, to bring weak­ness of hands, or melting of heart upon any of Gods people: but [...] to stir up and kindle in you the spirit of industry to inlarge your conceits, and not to suffer your labours to be copst and mued up within the poverty of some pretended method. I will speak as Joshua did to his people, Let us not fear the people of that land, they are as meat unto us, their shadow is departed from them: the Lord is with us, fear them not. Only let us not think, sedendo & votis debella­ri posse, Livie that the conquest will be gotten by sitting still and wishing all were well: or that the walls of these strong Cities, will fall down, if we only walk about them, and blow rams horns. But as the voice of Gods people sometime was, by the sword of God and of Gideon, so that which here gives the victory must be the grace of God and our industry. For by this circumcised, narrow and penurious form of study, we shall be no more able to keep pace with them, then a childe can with Hercules. but I forbear and pass away unto the second epithet, by which these rackers of Scriptures, are by St. Peter stiled Vastable.

IN the learning which the world teaches, it were almost a mi­racle to finde a man constant to his own tenents. For not to doubt in things in which we are conversant, is either by reason of excellen­cy and serenity of understanding throughly apprehending the main principles on which all things are grounded, together with the dis­crying of the several passages from them unto particular conclusi­ons, and the diverticles and blind by-paths which Sophistry and de­ceit are wont to tread: and such a man can nature never yield: or else it is through a senseless stupidity, like unto that in the common sort of men, who conversing among the creatures, and beholding the course of heaven, and the heavenly host, yet never attend them, neither ever sinks it into their heads to marvel, or question these things so full of doubt and difficulty. Even such a one is he, that learns Theology in the School of nature, if he seem to participate of any setledness or composedness of conscience. Either it never comes into his head to doubt of any of those things, with which the world hath inured him: or if it doth, it is to no great purpose, he [Page 13] may smother and strangle, he can never resolve his doubt. The reason of which is this. It lies not in the worlds power to give in this case a text of sufficient authority to compose and fix the thoughts of a soul, that is dispos'd to doubt. But this great inconvenience which held the world in uncertainty, by the providence of God is prevented in the Church. For unto it is left a certain, undoubted, and sufficient authority, able to exalt every valley, and lay low eve­ry hill, to smooth all rubs, and make our way so open and passable, that little enquiry serves. So that as it were a wonder in the school of nature to finde one setled and resolved: so might it seem a mar­vel that in the Church any man is unstable, unresolved. Yet not­withstanding even here is the unstable man found too, and to his charge the Apostle lays this sin of wresting of Scripture. For since that it is confest at all hands, that the sense and meaning of Scrip­ture is the rule and ground of our Christian tenents, whensoever we alter them, we must needs give a new sense unto the word of God. So that the man that is unstable in his religion can never be free from violating of Scripture. The especial cause of this levity and flitting disposition in the common and ordinary sort of men, is their disability to discern of the strength of such reasons, as may be fra­med against them. For which cause they usually start, and many times falls away, upon every objection that is made. In which too sudden entertainment of objections, they resemble the state of those, who are lately recovered out of some long sickness, qui et si reliquias effugerint, suspicionibus tamen inquietantur,Seneca& omnem c [...]lorem corporis sui calumniantur: Who never more wrong them­selves then by suspecting every alteration of their temper, and being affrighted at every little passion of heat, as if it were an ague-fit. To bring these men therefore unto an [...] and to purchase them a setledness of minde; that temper that St. Austine doth require in him that reads his book, tales meorum Scriptorem velim judices, qui responsionem non semper desiderent, quum his quae leguntur audierint ali­quid contradici: the same temper must be found in every reader of Scripture, he must not be at a stand and require an answer to every objection that is made against them. For as the Philosopher tells us that mad and fantastical men, are very apprehensive of all out­ward accidents, because their soul is inwardly empty and unfurnish­ed of any thing of worth which might hold the inward attention of [Page 14] their mindes: so when we are so easily dord and amated with eve­ry Sophisme, it is a certain argument of great defect of inward fur­niture and worth, which should as it were ballance the minde and keep it upright against all outward occurrents whatsoever. And be it that many times the means to open such doubts be not at hand, yet as S. Austine sometime spake unto his Scholler Licentius con­cerning such advice and counsel as he had given him: Nolo te causas rationesque rimari, quae etiamsi reddi possint, sidei tamen, qua mihi cre­dis non eas debeo: so much more must we thus resolve of those lessons which God teacheth us: the reasons and grounds of them, though they might be given, yet it fits not that credit and trust which we owe him, once to search into, or call in question. And so I come to the third general part, the danger of wresting of Scri­pture, in the last words, unto their own damnation.

The reward of every sin is death. As the worm eats out the heart of the plant that bred it: so whatsoever is done amiss natu­rally works no other end, but destruction of him that doth it. As this is true in general, so is it as true, that when the Scripture doth precisely note out unto us some sin, and threatens death unto it, it is commonly an argument, that there is more then ordinary, that there is some especial sin, which shall draw with it some especial punishment. This sin of wresting of Scripture in the eye of some of the ancients seemed so ougly, that they have ranged it in the same rank with the sin against the holy Ghost. And therefore have they pronounced it a sin, [...] greater then can be pardoned.Isidorus Pelusiota. For the most part of other sins, are sins of infirmity or simplicity, but this is a sin of wit and strength. The man that doth it, doth it with a high hand; he knows, and sees, and resolves upon it. Again, Scripture is the voice of God: and it is confest by all that the sense is Scripture, rather then the words. It cannot therefore be avoided, but he that wilfully strives to fasten some sense of his own upon it, other then the very nature of the place will bear, must needs take upon him the Person of God, and become a new inditer of Scripture: and all that applaud and give consent unto any such, in effect cry the same that the people did to Herod, the voice of God, and not of man. If he then that abases the Princes coin deserves to die, what is his de­sert that instead of the tried silver of Gods word stamps the name [Page 15] and Character of God upon Nehushtan, upon base brazen stuff of his own?2. Pet. 1. 20. Thirdly, No Scripture is of private inter­pretation, saith the Apostle. There can therefore be but two certain and infallible interpreters of Scripture: either it self; or the ho­ly Ghost the Author of it. It self doth then expound it self, when the words and circumstances do sound unto us the prime, and natu­ral, and principal sense. But when the place is obscure, involved and intricate, or when there is contained some secret and hidden mystery, beyond the prime sense; infallibly to shew us this, there can be no Interpreter but the holy Ghost that gave it. Besides these two, all other Interpretation is private. Wherefore as the Lords of the Philistines sometimes said of the kine that drew the Ark unto Bethshemesh; If they go of themselves, then is this from God; but if they go another way, then is it not from God, it is some chance that hath happened unto us: so may it be said of all pretend­ed sense of Scripture. If Scripture come unto it of it self, then is it of God: but if it go another way, or if it be violently urged and goaded on, then is it but a matter of chance, of mans wit and invention. As for those marvellous discourses of some, framed upon presumption of the spirits help in private, in judging or In­terpreting of difficult places of Scripture, I must needs confess I have often wondred at the boldness of them. The spirit is a thing of dark and secret operation, the manner of it none can descry. As underminers are never seen till they have wrought their purpose; so the spirit is never perceived but by its effects. The effects of the spirit (as far as they concern knowledge and instruction) are not particular Information for resolution in any doubtful case (for this were plainly revelation) but as the Angel, which was sent unto Cor­nelius, informs him not, but sends him to Peter to School: so the spi­rit teaches not, but stirs up in us a desire to learn: Desire to learn makes us thirst after the means: and pious sedulity and carefulness makes us watchful in the choice, and diligent in the use of our means. The promise to the Apostles of the Spirit which should lead them into all truth, was made good unto them by private and secret informing their understandings, with the knowledge of high and heavenly mysteries, which as yet had never entred into the con­ceit of any man. The same promise is made to us, but fulfilled after another manner. For what was written by revelation in their [Page 16] hearts, for our instruction have they written in their books. To us for information, otherwise then out of these books, the spirit speaks not. When the spirit regenerates a man, it infuses no know­ledge of any point of faith, but sends him to the Church and to the Scriptures. When it stirs him up to newness of life, it exhibits not unto him an inventory of his sins, as hitherto unknown; but either supposes them known in the law of nature, of which no man can be ignorant; or sends him to learn them from the mouth of his teach­ers. More then this in the ordinary proceeding of the holy spirit, in matter of instruction. I yet could never descrie. So that to speak of the help of the spirit in private, either in dijudicating, or in in­terpreting of Scripture, is to speak they know not what. Which I do the rather note, first, because by experience we have learnt, how apt men are to call their private conceits, the spirit: and a­gain, because it is the especial errour, with which S. Austine long agoe charged this kinde of men: tanto sunt ad seditionem faciliores, quanto sibi videntur spiritu excellere: by so much the more prone are they to kindle schisme and contention in the Church, by how much they seem to themselves to be endued with a more eminent measure of spirit then their brethren; whilst [...] (as St. Basils speaks) under pre [...]ense of interpre­tation they violently broach their own conceits. Great then is the danger in which they wade, which take upon them this business of inter­pretation. temeritas asserendae incertae dubiaeque opinionis, saith St. Au­stine, difficile sacrilegii crimen evitat: the rashness of those that aver uncertain and doubtful interpretations for Catholick and absolute, can hardly escape the sin of sacrilege.

But whereas our Apostle saith, their own destruction, is the destru­ction only their own? This were well if it stretched no farther. The ancients much complain of this offence, as an hinderer of the salvation of others. There were in the days of Istdorus Pelusiota some that gave out that all in the old Testament was spoken of Christ: belike out of extream opposition to the Manichees, who on the otherside taught, that no text in the old Testament did foretel of Christ. That Father therefore dealing with some of that opinion, tells them how great the danger of their tenent is. [...] for if, saith he, we strive with violence to draw and ap­ply [Page 17] those texts to Christ, which apparantly pertain not to him, we shall gain nothing but this, to make all the places that are spoken of him suspected; and so discredit the strength of other testimonies, which the Church usually urges for the refutation of the Jews. For in these cases a wrested proof is like unto a suborn'd witness. It never doth help so much whilest it is presumed to be strong, as it doth hurt when it is discovered to be weak. S. Austine in his books de Genesi ad litteram, sharply re­proves some Christians, who out of some places of Scripture mis­understood, fram'd unto themselves a kinde of knowledge in A­stronomy and Physiology, quite contrary unto some part of hea­then learning in this kinde, which were true and evident unto sense. A man would think that this were but a small errour, and yet he doubts not to call it, turpenimis, & perniciosum & maximè cavendum. His reason warrants the roundness of his reproof. For he charges such to have been a scandal unto the word, and hinderers of the con­version of some heathen men that were schollars. For how, saith he, shall they believe our books of Scripture perswading the resurrection of the dead, the kingdome of heaven, and the rest of the mysteries of our pro­fession, if they finde them faulty in these things, of which themselves have undeniable demonstration? Yea though the cause we maintain be ne­ver so good, yet the issue of diseas'd and crazie proofs brought to maintain it, must needs be the same. For unto all causes, be they never so good, weakness of proof, when it is discovered, brings great prejudice, but unto the cause of religion most of all. St. Au­stine observ'd that there were some qui cum de aliquibus, qui sanctum nomen profitentur aliquid criminis vel falsi sonuerit, vel veri patuerit, instant, satagunt, ambiunt ut de omnibus hoc credatur. It fares no o­therwise with religion it self, then it doth with the professors of it. Diverse malignants there are, who lie in wait to espie where our reasons on which we build are weak, and having deprehended it in some, will earnestly solicit the world to believe that all are so, if means were made to bring it to light: [...], as Nazianzen speaks: using for advantage against us no strength of their own, but the vice and imbecillity of our defence. The book of the Revelation is a book full of wonder and mystery: the anci­ents seem to have made a religion to meddle with it, and thought it much better to admire it with silence, then to adventure to ex­pound [Page 18] it: and therefore amongst their labours in exposition of Scripture, scarsly is there any one found that hath toucht it. But our age hath taken better heart. and scarsly any one is there who hath entertained a good conceit of his own abilities, but he hath ta­ken that book as a fit argument to spend his pains on. That the Church of Rome hath great cause to suspect her self, to fear least she have a great part in the prophesies of that book, I think the most partial will not deny. Yet unto the expositors of it, I will give this advice, that they look that that befal not them, which Thucidides observes to befal the common sort of men: who though they have good means to acquit themselves like men, yet when they think their best hopes fail them, and begin to despair of their strength, comfort themselves with interpretations of certain dark and obscure prophesies. Many plain texts of Scripture are very pregnant, and of sufficient strength to overthrow the points maintained by that Church against us. If we leave these, & ground our selves upon our private expositions of this book, we shall justly seem in the pover­ty of better proofs, to rest our selves upon those prophesies; which, though in themselves they are most certain, yet our expo­sitions of them must, (except God give yet further light unto his Church) necessarily be mixt with much uncertainty, as being at the best but unprobable conjectures of our own. Scarsly can there be found a thing more harmful to religion, then to vent thus our own conceits, and obtrude them upon the world for necessary and abso­lute. The Physicians skill as I conceive of it, stands as much on o­pinion, as any that I know, whatsoever. Yet their greatest master Hippocrates tells them directly: [...] &c. Then the Physicians presumption upon opinion, there is not one thing that brings either more blame to himself or danger to his patient. If it be thus in an art which opinion taken away, must needs fall; how little room then must opinion have in that knowledge, where nothing can have place but what is of eternal truth? Where if once we ad­mit of opinion all is overthrown? But I conclude this point, ad­ding only this general admonition, that we be not too peremptory in our positions, where express text of Scripture fails us: that we lay not our own collections and conclusions with too much precipi­tancy. For experience hath shewed us, that the error and weak­ness of them being afterwards discovered brings great disadvantage [Page 19] to Christianity, and trouble to the Church. The Eastern Church before S. Basils time, had entertained generally a conceit, that that those Greek Particles, [...] and the rest, were so divided among the Trinity, that each of the Persons had his Par­ticle which was no way appliable to the rest. S. Basil having dis­covered this to be but a niceness and needless curiosity, beginning to teach so, raised in the Church such a tumult, that he brought upon himself a great labour of writing many tracts in Apology for himself, with much ado, ere matters could again be setled. The fault of this was not in Basil, who Religiously fearing what by way of consequence might ensue upon an error, taught a truth; but in the Church, who formerly had with too much facility admitted a conclusion so justly subject to exception. And let this suffice for our third part.

Now because it is apparant that the end of this our Apostles ad­monition is to give the Church a caveat how she behave her self in handling of Scripture, give me leave a little, instead of the use of such doctrines as I have formerly laid down, to shew you, as far as my conceit can stretch, what course any man may take to save him­self from offering violence unto Scripture, and reasonably settle himself, any pretended obscurity of the text whatsoever notwith­standing. For which purpose the diligent observing of two rules shall be throughly available. First, The literal, plain, and uncontro­versable meaning of Scripture without any addition or supply by way of in­terpretation, is that alone which for ground of faith we are necessarily bound to accept, except it be there where the holy Ghost himself treads us out another way. I take not this to be any peculiar conceit of mine, but that unto which our Church stands necessarily bound. When we receded from the Church of Rome, one motive was, because she added unto Scripture her glosses as Canonical, to supply what the plain text of Scripture could not yield. If in place of hers, we set up our own glosses, thus to do, were nothing else but to pull down Baal, and set up an Ephod; to run round, and meet the Church of Rome again in the same point, in which at first we left her. But the plain, evident and demonstrative ground of this rule, is this. That authority which doth warrant our faith unto us, must every way be free from all possibility of errour. For let us but once admit of this, that there is any possibility that any one point [Page 20] of faith should not be true; if it be once granted that I may be deceived in what I have believed; how can I be assur'd that in the end I shall not be deceived? If the author of faith may alter: or if the evidence and assurance that he hath left us be not pregnant, and impossible to be defeated, there is necessarily opened an inlet to doubtfulness and wavering, which the nature of faith excludes. That faith therefore may stand unshaken, two things are of neces­sity to concur. First, that the Author of it be such a one, as can by no means be deceived, and this can be none but God. Secondly, that the words and text of this Author upon whom we ground, must admit of no ambiguity, no uncertainty of interpretation. If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall provide himself to battle. If the words admit a double sense, and I follow one, who can assure me that that which I follow is the truth? For infallibility either in judgement, or interpretation, or whatsoever, is annext neither to the See of any Bishop, nor to the Fathers, nor to the Councels, nor to the Church, nor to any created power whatsoe­ver. This doctrine of the literal sense was never greivous or pre­judicial to any, but onely to those who were inwardly conscious, that their positions were not sufficiently grounded. When Cardi­nal Cajetan in the days of our grandfathers had forsaken that vein of postilling and allegorising on Scripture, which for a long time had prevailed in the Church, and betaken himself unto the lite­ral sense: it was a thing so distastful unto the Church of Rome, that he was forc'd to find out many shifts, and make many apologies for himself. The truth is (as it will appear to him that reads his writings) this sticking close to the literal sense was that alone, which made him to shake many of those tenents, upon which the Church of Rome and the Reformed Churches differ. But when the importunity of the Reformers, and the great credit of Calvins writings in that kinde, had forced the Divines of Rome to level their interpretations by the same line: when they saw that no pains, no subtlety of wit was strong enough to defeat the literal evidence of Scripture: it drave them on those desperate shelves, on which at this day they stick, to call in question, as far as they durst, the credit of the Hebrew text, and countenance against it a corrupt tran­slation; to add traditions unto Scripture; and to make the Churches interpretation, so pretended, to be above exception. As for that [Page 21] restriction which is usually added to this rule, that the literal sense is to be taken, if no absurdity follow, though I acknowledge it to be sound and good, yet my advise is that we entertain it warily. S. Basil thought the precept of Christ to the rich man in the Go­spel, Go sell all thou hast and give unto the poor, to be spoken as a command universally and eternally binding all Christians with­out exception. And making this objection, how possibly such a life could be amongst Christians, since where all are sellars, none could be buyers: [...] (saith he) [...] &c. Ask not me the sense of my Lords commands. He that gave the Law, can provide to give it possibility of being kept without any absurdity at all. Which speech, howsoever we may suppose the occasion of it to be mistaken; yet is it of ex­cellent use, to repress our boldness, whereby many times, under pre­tence of some inconvenience, we hinder Scripture from that lati­tude of sense, of which it is naturally capable. You know the sto­ry of the Roman Captain in Gellius, and what he told the Ship­wright, that chose rather to interpret, then to execute his Lords command: Corrumpi atque dissolvi omne imperantis officium, si quis ad id quod facere jussus est non obsequio debito, sed consilio non deside­rato respondeat. It will certainly in the end prove safer for us to entertain Gods Commandments obsequio debito, then to interpret them acumine non desiderato. Those other ways of interpretation, whether it be by allegorizing, or allusion or whatsoever, the best that can be said of them is that which Basil hath pronounced: [...]. We account of them as of trim, elegant, and witty speeches, but we refuse to accept of them, as of undoubted truths. And though of some part of these that may be said which one said of his own work,Ausoni [...] in monosyl. quod ad usum lusi, quod ad, molestiam laboravi, in respect of any profit comes by them, they are but sport, but in respect of the pains taken in making of them they are labor & travel: yet much of them is of excellent use in pri­vate: either to raise our affections or to spend our meditations, or (so it be with modesty) to practise our gifts of wit to the honor of him that gave them. For if we absolutely condemn these interpreta­tions, then must we condemn a great part of antiquity, who are [Page 22] very much conversant in this kinde of interpreting. For the most partial for antiquity cannot chuse but see and confess thus much, that for the literal sense the Interpreters of our own times, because of their skill in the Original Languages, their care of pressing the circumstances and coherence of the text; of comparing like pla­ces of Scripture with like, have generally surpast the best of the ancients. Which I speak not to discountenance antiquity, but that all ages, all persons may have their due. And let this suffice for our first rule.

The Jewish Rabbins in their Comments on Scripture so oft as they met with hard and intricate texts, out of which they could not wrest themselves, were wont to shut up their discourse with this, Elias cumvenerit, solvet dubia: Elias shall answer this doubt when he comes. Not the Jews only, but the Learned Christians of all ages have found many things in Scripture which yet expect Elias. For besides those texts of Scriptures, which by reason of the hidden treasures of wisdom, and depth of sense and mystery laid up in them, are not yet conceived, there are in Scripture of things that are [...] seemingly confus'd, [...] car­rying semblance of contrariety, anachronisms, metachronisms, and the like, which bring infinite obscurity to the text: there are I say in Scri­pture more of them, then in any writing that I know secular or Divine. If we mean not to settle our selves till all these things are answered, let us take heed least the like be said to us, which S. Austine said to some of the Gentiles, who refused to believe till all objections were satisfied sunt enim innumerabiles quae non sunt fini­endae ante fidem, ne vita finiatur sine fide. The Areopagites in Athens, when they were troubled in a doubtful case in which they durst not proceed to sentence, were wont causam in diem longissimam differre, to put it off till a day of hearing for some hundreth years after, a­voiding by this means the further being importun'd with the suit. To quiet our selves in these doubts it will be our best way in diem longissimam differre, to put them to some day of hearing a far off, even till that great day, till Christ our true Elias shall come, who at his comming shall answer all our doubts, and settle all our wa­verings. Mean while till our Elias come, let us make use of this second rule. In places of ambiguous and doubtful, or dark and intri­cate meaning, it is sufficient if we religiously admire and acknowledge and [Page 23] confess: using that moderation of Austine: Neutram partem affirmantes sive destruentes, sed tantummodo ab audaci affirmandi praesumptione revo­cantes. Qui credit, saith one, satis est illi quod Christus intelligat. To understand belongs to Christ the Author of our Faith: to us is sufficient the glory of believing. Wherefore we are to advise, not so much how to attain unto the understanding of the mysteries of Scripture; as how it best fits us to carry our selves when either the difficulty of the text, or variety of opinions shall distract us. In the sixth General Councel Honorius Bishop of Rome is condemned for a Monothelite. Two Epistles there are of his which are pro­duced to give evidence against him. For the first I have nothing to say. For the second (I speak with submission to better judgement) notwithstanding the sharp proceeding of the Councel against him, I verily suppose that he gives unto the Church the best Counsel, that ever yet was given for the setling of doubts, and final decision of controversie. For that which he teaches in that Epistle, at least in those parts of it, which there are brought, sounds to no other purpose but this: That whereas there was lately raised in the Church a controversie concerning the duality or unity of wills in Christ; since that hi­therto nothing in the Church concerning either part hath been expresly taught, his Counsel was that men would rather cease to doubt, then to be cu­rious to search for any solution of their doubtings; and so abstain from teaching doctrinally either part, and content themselves with that express measure of faith, with which the Church hath hitherto rest satisfied. This to my conceit is the drift of his Epistle. How this advise of the Bishops was appliable or how it fitted the question then in contro­versie; or what reason moved the Councel to think that it was ab­solutely necessary for them, to give an express decision, and deter­mine for the one part, belongs not to me to discuss. But I verily perswade my self, that if it had pleased those, who in all ages have been set to Govern the Church of God, betimes to have made use of this advise, to have taught men rather not to have doubted, then to have expected still solution of their doubtings: to have stopt and damm'd up the originals and springs of contro­versies, rather then by determining for the one part, to give them as it were a pipe and conduit to conveigh them to posterity, I perswade my self the Church had not suffered that inundation of opinions, with which at this day it is overrun. Is it not Saint Pauls own pra­ctise, [Page 24] when having brought in a question concerning Gods justice in predestination, he gives no other answer but this, O man, who art thou that disputest with God? Is it not his plain purpose to advise the dispu­ter rather not to make the question, then to require a determina­tion of it at his hands? How many of the questions even of our own times, even of those that are at home amongst us, might by this way long since have been determin'd? I have, I confess, the same disease that my first Parents in Paradise had, a desire to know more then I need. But I always thought it a very judicious com­mendation, which is given to Julius Agricola, that he knew how to bridle his desire in pursuit of knowledge, retinuitque, quod est dif­ficillimum, ex scientia modum. Mallem quidem (as S. Austine saith) eorum quae à me quaesivisti habere scientiam, quàm ignorantiam; sed quia id nondum potui, magis eligo cautam ignorantiam confiteri, quam falsam scientiam profiteri. It shall well befit our Christian mode­sty to participate somewhat of the Sceptike, and to use their [...] till the [...] and remainder of our knowledge be supplied by Christ: In quem si credimus, ut si aliqua nobis non ape­riat etiam pulsantibus, nullo modo adversus eum murmurare debeamus. To conclude, S. Austine in his eightieth Epistle discoursing of the speedy or slow coming of our Saviour to judgement, to shew that it is the safest way to teach neither, but to suspend our belief, and confess our ignorance, ranging himself with men of this temper, obsecro te (saith he to Hesychius, to whom he writes that Epistle) obsecro te ut me talem non spernas. So give me leave to commence the same suit to you: obsecro vos ut me talem non spernatis. Let me request you bear with me, if I be such a one, as I have S. Austine for example. For it is not depth of knowledge, nor knowledge of antiquity, or sharpness of wit, nor authority of Councels, nor the name of the Church can settle the restless conceits, that possess the mindes of many doubtful Christians: onely to ground for faith on the plain uncontroversable Text of Scripture, and for the rest to expect and pray for the coming of our Elias, this shall compose our waverings, and give final rest unto our souls.

Thus instead of a discourse which was due unto this time, con­cerning the glorious Resurrection of our blessed Saviour, and the benefits that come unto us by it, I have diverted my self upon an­other theam, more necessary as I thought for this auditory, though [Page 25] less agreeable with this solemnity. Those who have gone afore me in that argument have made so copious a harvest, that the issue of my gatherings must needs have been but small, except I had with Ruth glean'd out of their sheaves, or strain'd my indu­stry which is but small, and my wits which are none, to have held your attentiveness with new and quaint conceits. In the mean time, whether it be I or they, or whatsoever hath been deli­vered out of this place, God grant that it may be for his ho­nor, and for the Churches good, to whom both it aud we are dedicate. To God the Father, &c.

Rom. 14. 1.‘Him that is weak in the faith receive, but not to doubt­ful disputations.’

MIght it so have pleased God that I had in my power the choice of my ways, and the free management of my own actions, I had not this day been seen, (for so I think I may better speak: seen may I be of many, but to be heard with any latitude and compass my natural im­perfection doth quite cut of:) I had not I say in St. Pauls Crossthis place this day been seen; Ambition of great and famous Auditories I leave to those whose better gifts and inward endowments are Admonitioners unto them of the great good they can do, or otherwise thirst after popular applause. Vnto my self have I evermore applied that of St. Hierome, mihi sufficit cum au­ditore & Lectore pauperculo in angulo Monasterii susurrare, a small, a private, a retired auditory better accords both with my will and my abilities. Those unto whose discretion the furniture of this place is committed, ought especially to be careful, since you come hither to hear, to provide you those who can be heard, for the neglect of this one circum­stance, how poor soever it may seem to be, is no less then to offend a­gainst that faith which cometh by hearing; and to frustrate as much as in them is, that end for which alone these meetings were ordained. We that come to this place as God came to Elias in the mount, in a soft and still voice, to those which are near us, are that which the grace of God doth make us, unto the rest we are but Statues: such therefore as [Page 27] my Imperfection in this kinde shall offend, such as this day are my specta­tors only, know, I trust whom they are to blame. At my hands is only required truth in sincerely discharging a common care, at others, care of profitably delivering a common truth. As for me, the end of whose com­ing is to exhort you to a gracious interpreting of each others imperfecti­ons, having first premised this Apology for my self, it is now time to descend to the exposition of that Scripture, which I have propos'd. In­firmum in side recipite, &c. Him that is weak in the faith re­ceive, &c.

GOodness, of all the attributes, by which a man may be stiled, hath chief place and Soveraignty. Goodness, I say, not that Metaphysical conceit which we dispute of in our Schools, and is nothing else but that perfection which is inwardly due, unto the Being of every creature, and without which either it is not at all, or but in part, that whose name it bears: but that which the common sort of men do usually understand, when they call a man Good; by which is meant nothing else, but [...] [...] a soft, and sweet, and flexible disposition. For all o­ther Excellencies and Eminent qualities which raise in the mindes of men, some opinion and conceit of us, may occasion perad­venture some strong respect in another kinde; but impression of love and true respect nothing can give but this. Greatness of place and authority may make us fear'd, Depth of Learning admir'd, Abundance of wealth may make men outwardly obsequious un­to us; but that which makes one man a God unto another, that which doth tye the Souls of men unto us, that which like the Eye of the Bridegroom, in the book of Canticles, ravishes the heart of him that looks upon it, is Goodness, without this mankinde were but (as one speaks) Commissiones merae, & arena sine calce, stones heapt together without morter, or pieces of boards without any caement to combine and tye them together. For this it hath sin­gular in it, above all other properties, of which our Nature is capable, that it is the most Available to Humane Society, incor­porating, and as it were kneading us together by softness of dis­position, by being compassionate, by gladly communicating to the necessity of others, by Transfusing our selves into others, and [Page 28] Receiving from others into our selves. All other Qualities, how excellent soever they are, seem to be somewhat of a melancholick and solitary disposition. They shine then brightest, when they are in some one alone, or attain'd unto by few; once make them common, and they lose their lustre. But Goodness is more sociable; and rejoyceth in equalling others unto it self, and loses its Nature, when it ceases to be communicable. The Hea­then speaking of God usually stile him by two Attributes. Op­timus & Maximus, the one importing his goodness, the other his Power. In the first place they call'd him Optimus, a name signi­fying his goodness, giving the precedency unto it; and in the se­cond place Maximus, a name betokening his Power: yea, Good­ness is that wherein God himself doth most delight himself; and therefore all the Acts of our Saviour, while he conversed on earth among men, were purely the issues of his tenderness without any aspersion of Severity, two only excepted: I mean his Chasing the Prophaners out of the Temple, and the Curse laid upon the in­nocent Fig-tree: and yet in both these mercy rejoyced against judg­ment and his goodness had the preheminence. For the first brought some smart with it indeed, but no harm at all, as Fathers use to chastise their Children by means that fear them more then hurt them. The second of it self was nothing, as be­ing practis'd on a Creature dull and senseless of all smart, and punishment; but was meerly Exemplary for us, sterilitas nostra in sicu vapulat. Christ whips our fruitlesness in the innocent fig­tree; like as the Manner was among the Persians, when their great men had offended, to take their Garments and bear them. Now that gracious way of goodness which it pleased our Saviour, thus to tread himself before us, the same hath he left behinde him to be gone by us, and hath ordained us a course of Religious and Christian service unto him, known by nothing more then goodness and compassion. The very Heathen themselves, though utter enemies unto it, have candidly afforded us this Testimony. Ammianus Marcellinus taxing Georgius a factious and proud Bishop of Alexandria, for abusing the weakness of Constantius the Em­perour by base tale-bearing and privy informations; notes pre­cisely that he did it, Oblitus professionis suae, quae nil nisi justum sua­det [Page 29] & lene; quite besides the meaning of his profession, whose especial notes were Gentleness and Equity. And Tertullian tells us that anciently among the Heathen, the professors of Christa­nity, were called, not Christiani, but Chrestiani, from a word signifying Benignity and sweetness of disposition. The learned of our times, who for our instruction, have written de Notis Eccle­siae by what notes and signes, we may know the Church of Christ may seem to have but ill forgotten, this which the Heathen man had so clearly discovered. For what reason is there, why that should not be one of the chiefest notes of the Church of Christ, which did so especially Characterize a Christian man, except it were the decay of it at this day in the Church: of this thing therefore so excellent in it self, so useful, so principally com­mended by the precept and example of our blessed Saviour, one especial part is, if not the whole, which here by our Apostle is commended unto us, when he speaks unto [...] of kindly intreating, & making much of such, who are as he calls them weak in Faith.

Him that is weak in Faith, &c. To know the natural ground and occasion of which words, it shall be very pertinent, to note unto you, that with the Church of Christ, as it signi­fies a Company of men on earth, it fares no otherwise, then it doth with other Societies, and civil Corporations. One thing there is unavoidable, and natural to all societies, which is the greatest occasioner, yea the very ground of disunion and dissent, I mean Inequality of persons and degrees. All are not of the same worth, and therefore all cannot carry the same esteem and counte­nance: yet all even the meanest are alike impatient of discoun­tenance and contempt, be the persons never so great, from whence it proceeds. Wherefore we finde that in States govern­ed by the people nothing did more exasperate the common sort, then the conceit of being contemned by men of greater place. For the taking away therefore of tumult and combustion, which through this inequality might arise, it was anciently accounted an excellent policy in the Romane state, that men of greater ac­count and place, did as it were share the inferiour sort amongst themselves, and every one according to his Ability entertain'd some part of them as Clyents, to whom they yielded all lawful [Page 30] favour and protection. Even thus it fares with the Church of God, it cannot be, that all in it should be of equal worth, it is likewise distinguished into Plebem and Optimates. Some there are, and those that either through aboundance of spiritual gra­ces, or else of natural gifts do far out-strip a great part of other Christians, these are the Optimates, the Nobles of the Church whom our Apostle, some where calls strong men in Christ. O­thers there are, and those most in number, who either because God hath not so liberally blest them with gifts of understanding, and capacity; or by reason of some other imperfections are ei­ther not so deeply skill'd in the mysteries of Christ, and of God­liness, or otherwise weak in manners and behaviour, and these are the Plebs the Many of the Church, whom our Apostle some­times calls Brethren of low degree, sometimes Babes in Christ, and here in my text the weak and sick in faith. Men, by nature queru­lous, and apt to take exception, [...] saith Electra in the Tragedy. A sick man is a pettish, and wayward Creature hard to be pleased; as therefore with the sick, so are we now to deal with a Neighbour weak and sick of his spi­ritual constitution, and much we are to bear with his froward­ness, where we cannot remedy it. For as Varro sometimes spake of the Laws of Wedlock. Vxoris vitium aut tollendum est aut ferendum, either a man must amend, or endure the faults of his wife, he that amends them makes his wife the better, but he that patiently endures them makes himself the better: so is it much more true in dealing with our weak Brethren, if we can by our behaviour remedy their imbecillities, we make them the better, if not, by enduring them we shall make our selves the better; for so shall we encrease the vertue of our patience, and purchase to our selves at Gods hand a more aboundant reward. A great part of the lustre of a Christian mans virtue were utterly obscure, should it want this mean of shewing it self; for were all men strong, were all of sufficient discretion, to see and judge of Conveni [...]ncy, where were the glory of our forbearance? As well therefore to increase the reward of the strong man in Christ, as to stop the whining and murmuring of the weaker sort, and to give content at all hands, our Apostle like a good Tribune in this [Page 31] Text gives a rule of Christian popularity advising the man of wor­thier parts, to avoid all sleighting behaviour, to open the arms of tenderness and compassion, and to demerit by all courtesie the men of meaner rank, so to prevent all inconvenience, that might arise out of disdainful and respectless carriage; for God is not like unto mortal Princes, jealous of the man whom the people love. In the world nothing is more dangerous for great men, then the extraordinary favour, and applause of the people. Many excellent men have miscarried by it. For Princes stand much in fear, when any of their subjects hath the heart of the people. It is one of the commonest grounds upon which Trea­son is rais'd, Absolom had the Art of it, who by being plausible, by commiserating the peoples wrongs, and wishing the redress; O that I were a Judge to do this people good, by putting out his hand and imbracing and kissing every one that came nigh him, so stole away the hearts of the people, that he had well-nigh put his Fa­ther beside his Kingdom: but what alters and undoes the King­doms of this world, that strengthens and increases the Kingdom of God, Absolom the popular Christian, that hath the art of win­ning mens souls, and making himself belov'd of the people, is the best subject in the Kingdom of grace, for this is that which our Apostle expresses in the phrase of Receiving the weak.

Now it falls out oftentimes that men offend through intem­pestive compassion and tenderness, as much as by over much rigid­ness and severity: as much by familiarity, as by supercilious­ness and contempt. Wherefore even our love and courtesie must be managed by discretion. St. Paul saw this well; and therefore he prescribes limits to our affections, and having in the former part of my text counselled us as Christ did Peter, to let loose our nets, to make a draught; to do as Joseph did in Egypt, open our garners and store-houses, that all may come to buy, to admit of all, to exclude none, from our indulgence and cour­tesie, in this second part But not to doubtful disputations; he sets the bounds how far our love must reach. As Moses in the 19. of Exodus, set bounds about Mount Sinai, forbidding the people, that they go not up to the Hill, or come within the bor­ders of it, so hath the Apostle appointed certain limits to our [Page 32] love and favour, within which it shall not be lawful for the peo­ple to come. Inlarge we the Phylacteries of our goodness as broad as we list, give we all countenance unto the meaner sort, admit we them into all inwardness, and familiarity; yet unto disputations and controversies, concerning profounder points of Faith and religious mysteries, the meaner sort may be by no means admitted. For give me leave now to take this for the meaning of the words: I know they are very capable of ano­ther sense: as if the Apostles counsel had been unto us to en­tertain withal courtesie our weaker brethren, and not overbu­sily to enquire into, or censure their secret thoughts and doubt­ings, but here to leave them to themselves, and to God who is the Judge of thoughts. For many there are, otherwise right good men, yet weak in judgement, who have fallen upon sun­dry private conceits, such as are unnecessary differencing of meats and drinks, di [...]ction of days or (to exemplifie my self in some conceit of our times) some singular opinions concern­ing the State of Souls departed, private interpretations of obscure Texts of Scripture, and others of the same nature: of these or the like thoughts, which have taken root in the hearts of men of shallow capacity, those who are more surely grounded, may not presume themselves to bee judges, many of these things of themselves, are harmless, and indifferent, only to him that hath some prejudicate opinion of them, they are not so, and of these things they who are thus, or thus conceited shall be accountable to God, and not to man; to him alone shall they stand or fall. Wherefore, bear (saith the Apostle) with these infirmities, and take not on you to be Lords of their thoughts, but gently to­lerate these their unnecessary conceits and scrupulosities. This though I take to be the more natural meaning of the words, (for indeed it is the main drift of our Apostles discourse in this chap­ter) yet chuse I rather to follow the former interpretation. First, because of the Authority of sundry learned Interpreters, and because it is very requisite that our age should have something said unto it concerning this over bold intrusion of all sorts of men into the discussing of doubtful Disputations. For Disputation, though it be an excellent help to bring the truth to light, yet many times by to [Page 33] much troubling the waters, it suffers it to slip away un­seen, especially with the meaner sort who cannot so easily espie, when it is mixt with Sophistry and deceit. Infirmum autem in side recipite, but not to doubtful disputations.

This my text therefore is a Spiritual Regimen and diet for these who are of a weak and sickly constitution of minde, and it con­tains a Recipe for a man of crazie and diseased faith. In which by that which I have delivered, you may plainly see there are two general parts. First an admonition of courteous entertain­ment to be given to the weaker sort in the first words. Him that is weak in the Faith receive, &c. Secondly, the restraint and bound of this Admonition, how far it is to extend even unto all Christian offices, excepting only the hearing of doubtful disputati­ons. In the first part we will consider; first, who these weak ones are of whom the Apostle speaks, and how many kindes of them there be, and how each of them may be the subject of a Christian mans goodness and courtesie. Secondly, who these persons are, to whom this precept of entertaining is given, and they are two, either, the private man, or the publick Magistrate. In the second general part we will see what reasons we may frame to our selves, why these weak ones should not be admit­ted to questions and doubtful disputations. Which points several­ly, and by themselves we will not handle, but we will so order them, that still as we shall have in order discovered some kind of weak man, whom our Apostle would have received, we will im­mediately seek how far forth he hath a right to be an hearer of sacred disputation, and this as far only as it concerns a private man: And for an up-shot in the end, we will briefly consider by it self, whether, and how far this precept of bearing with the weak pertains to the man of publick place, whether in the Church or in the common-wealth. And first concerning the weak, as he may be a subject of Christian courtesie in private. And here because, that in comparison of him that is strong in Christ, every man of what estate soever, may be said to be weak, the strong man only excepted, we will in the number of the weak contain all persons whatsoever. For I confess, because I wish well to all, I am willing that all should reap some bene­fit [Page 34] by my text. As therefore the woman in the Gospel, who in touching only the Hem of Christs garment did receive vertue to cure her disease: so all weak persons whatsoever, though they seem to come behinde, and only touch the hem of my text, may peradventure receive some vertue from it to redress their weak­ness; nay, as the King in the Gospel that made a feast, and wil­led his servants to go out to the high-wayes side to the blinde, and the lame, and force them in that his house might be full: so what lame or weak person soever he be, if I finde him not in my text, I will go out and force him in, that the doctrine of my Text may be full, and that the goodness of a Christian man may be like the widdows oyle in the book of Kings, that never ceas'd running so long as there was a vessel to receive it. Wherefore to speak in general: there is no kinde of man, of what life, of what pro­fession, of what estate and calling soever, though he be an hea­then, and Idolater, unto whom the skirts of Christian compassi­on do not reach. St. Paul is my author: Now whilest you have time (saith he) do good unto all men, but especially to the houshold of Faith. The houshold of faith indeed hath the preheminence; it must be chiefly, but not alone respected. The distinction that is to be made, is not by excluding any, but not participating alike unto all, God did sometimes indeed tye his love to the Je­wish Nation only, and gave his laws to them alone: but after­ward, he enlarged himself, and instituted an order of serving him promiscuously capable of all the world. As therefore our religion is, so must our compassion be, catholick. To tye it ei­ther to persons or to place, is but a kinde of moral Judaisme. Did not St. Paul teach us, thus much common reason would. There must of necessity be some free entercourse with all men, other­wise the passages of publick commerce were quite cut of, and the common law of Nations must needs fall. In some things we agree, as we are men, and thus far the very heathen them­selves are to be received. For the goodness of a man which in Solomons judgement, extendeth even to a beast, much more must stretch it self to a man of the same nature with him, be his con­dition what it will. St. Paul loved the Jews, because they were his brethren according to the Flesh. We that are of the heathen by [Page 35] the same same anology ought to be as tenderly affected to the rest our brethren, who though they be not as we are now, yet now are that which we sometimes were. Pacile est atque procli­ve, saith Austine, malos odisse quia mali sunt, rarum autem & pi­um eosdem ipsos diligere, quia homines sunt, It is an easie thing to hate evil men, because they are evil, but to love them as they are men this is a rare and a pious thing. The offices of common hospitali­ty, of helping distressed persons, feeding the hungry, and the like are due not only betwixt Christian and Christian, but be­tween a Christian and all the world. Lot, when the Angels came to Sodom, and sate in the streets: Abraham when he saw three men coming toward him stood not to inquire who they were, but out of the sense of common humanity, run forth and met them, and gladly entertained them, not knowing whom they should receive. St. Chrysostome considering the circumstances of Abra­hams fact, that he sate at his tent door, and that in the heat of the day, that he came to meet them, thinks he therefore sate in publick, and endured the inconvenience of the heat even for this purpose, that he might not let slip any occasion of being hospi­tal. The writings of the Fathers run much in commendation of the ancient Moncks, and were they such as they report, well did they deserve to be commended, for their manner was to sit in the fields, and by the high way sides, for this end, that they might direct wandring passengers into the way, that they might relieve all that were distressed by want, or bruising or breaking of any member, and carry them home into their cells, and per­form unto them all duties of humanity. This serves well to tax us, who affect a kinde of intempestive prudence, and unsea­sonable discretion in performing that little good we do, from whom so hardly after long enquiry and entreaty drops some small benevolence, like the sun in winter long ere it rise and quickly gone. How many occasions of Christian charity do we let slip, when we refuse to give our alms, unless we first cast doubts, and examine the persons, their lives, their necessities, though it be only to reach out some small thing, which is due unto him, whatsoever it be. It was anciently a complaint a­gainst the Church, that the liberality of the Christians made [Page 36] many idle persons. Be it that it was so yet no other thing befel them, then what befals their Lord, who knows and sees [...] that his Sun-shine and his Rain is every day abused, and yet the Sun become not like a Sack nor the Heavens as Brass; unto him must we, by his own command, be like: and whom then can we ex­clude, that have a pattern of such courtesie proposed to us to follow? we read in our books of a nice Athenian being entertain'd in a place by one given to hospitality, finding anon that another was received with the like curtesie, and then a third, growing very angry. I thought, said he, that I had found here [...] but I have found [...] I look't for a friends house, but I am fallen into an Inne to entertain all Comers, rather then a Lodging for some private & especial friends. Let it not offend any that I have made Christianity rather an Inne to receive all, then a private house to receive some few. For so both the precepts and examples I have brought, teach us, beneficia praestare non homini, sed humano generi, to extend our good, not to this or that man, but to mankind, like the Sun that ariseth not on this or that nation, but on the whole world. Julian observes of the fig-tree, that above all trees it is most capable of grafts & Siences of other kinds, so far as that all variety will be brought to take nourishment from one stock: Beloved, a Christian must be like unto Julians fig-tree, so Universally compassionate, that so all sorts of grafts by a kinde of Christian inoculation may be brought to draw life and nourishment from his root.

But I am all this while in a generality only, and I must not forget, that I have many particular sick Patients, in my Text, of whom every one must have his Recipe, and I must visit them all ere I go. But withal, I must remember my Method which was still as I spake, of Receiving the weak to speak likewise of ex­cluding them from disputation. So must I needs ere I pass away, tax this our age, for giving so general permission unto all to busie themselves in doubtful cases of Religion. For nothing is there that hath more prejudiced the cause of Religion, then this pro­miscuous and careless admission of all sorts to the hearing and handling of controversies, whether we consider the private case of every man, or the publick state of the Church. I will touch but one inconvenience which much annoyes the Church, [Page 37] by opening this gate so wide to all commers, for by the great preass of people that come, the work of the Lord is much hin­dred. Not to speak of those who out of weakness of understand­ing fall into many errors, and by reason of liberty of bequeathing their errors to the world by writing easily finde heirs for them. There is a sort that do harm by being unnecessary, and though they sowe not tares in the field, yet fill the Lords floor with chaff; For what need this great breed of writers, with which in this age the world doth swarm? how many of us might spare the pains in committing our Meditations to writing, contenting our selves to teach the people vivâ voce, and suffering our con­ceits quietly to die in their birth? The teaching the people by voice is perpetually necessary, should all of us every where speak but the same things; For all cannot use Books, and all that can have not the leisure; To remedy therefore the want of skill in the one and of time in the other, are we set in this Ministry of Preaching. Our voices are confin'd to a certain compass, and tied to the Individuating properties of Hic and Nunc: our writings are unlimited. Necessity therefore requires a multi­tude of speakers, a multitude of writers, not so. ‘G. Agricola writing de Animantibus subterraneis reports of a certain kinde of Spirits that converse in Minerals and much infest those that work in them, and the manner of them when they come is, to seem to busie themselves according to all the custom of workmen; they will dig and cleanse and melt and sever mettals, yet when they are gone, the workmen do not finde that there is any thing done: so fares it with a great part of the multitude, who thrust themselves into the controversies of the times, they write Books, move questions frame distinctions, give solutions, and seem sedulously to do, whatsoever the nature of the business requires, yet if any skilful workman in the Lords Mines shall come and examine their work, he shall finde them to be but Spirits in Minerals, and that withal this labor and stir there is nothing done. I acknowledge it to be very true, which S. Austine spake in his first Book de Trinitate: Utile est plures libros à pluribus fieri diverso stilo, sed non diversâ fide, etiam de quaestionibus iisdem, ut ad plurimos res ipsa perveniat ad alios sic, ad alios vero sic. It is a thing very profitable that diverse Tracts [Page 38] be written by divers men, after divers fashions, but according to the same Analogy of Faith, even of the same questions that some might come into the hands of all, to some on this man­ner to another after that. For this may we think to have been the counsel of the Holy Ghost himself, who may seem even for this purpose, to have registred the self same things of Christ by three of the Evangelists with little difference; Yet notwith­standing, if this speech of S. Austine admit of being qualified, then was there no time which more then this age required it, should be moderated, which I note, because of a noxious con­ceit spread in our Universities to the great hindering of true proficiency in Study springing out from this Root. For many of the Learned themselves are fallen upon this preposterous conceit, that learning consisteth rather in varieting of turning and quoting of sundry Authors, then in soundly discovering and laying down the truth of things. Out of which arises a greater charge unto the poor Student, who now goes by number rather then weight, and the Books of the learned themselves, by am­bitiously heaping up the conceits, and authorities of other men increase much in the bulk, but do as much imbase in true value. Wherefore as Gedeons army, of two and thirty thousand by pre­script from God was brought unto three hundred: So this huge army of disputes, might without any hazard of the Lords battles, be well contracted into a smaller number. Justinian the Em­porour when he found that the study of the Civil Law was sur­charged and much confused, by reason of the great heaps of unne­cessary writings, he calls an assembly of learned men, caus'd them to search the books, to cut of what was superfluous to ga­ther into order and method the sum and substance of the whole Law: were it possible that some Religious Justinian might after the same manner imploy the wits of some of the best Learned in examining the controversies, and selecting out of the best writers what is necessary, defaulting unnecessary and partial discourses, and so digest into order and method, and leave for the direction of posterity as it were Theological pandects: infinite store of our books might very well lie by, and peaceably be bu­ried, and after ages reap greater profit with smaller cost and [Page 39] pains. But that which was possible in the world united under Justinian in this great division of Kingdoms is peradventure im­possible. Wherefore having contented my self to shew what a great and irremediable inconvenience this free, and uncontroul­able ventring upon Theological disputes hath brought upon us, I will leave this project as a Speculation, and pass from this ge­neral Doctrine unto some particulars. For this generality, and heap of sick persons, I must divide into their kindes and give eve­ry one his proper Recipe.

The first in this order of weak persons, so to be received & che­risht by us, is one of whom question may be made whether he may be called weak or no; he may seem to be rather dead: for no pulse of infused grace beats in him. I mean such a one who hath but smal, or peradventure no knowledge at all in the mystery of Christ, yet is otherwise, a man of upright life and conversa­tion, such a one as we usually name a moral man. Account you of such a one as dead, or how you please, yet methinks I finde a Recipe for him in my text. For this man is even to be woed by us, as sometimes one heathen man wisht of another, Talis c [...]m sis utinam noster esses; This man may speak unto a Christian as Ruth does unto Booz, spread the skirt of thy garment over me, for thou art a near kinsman. Two parts there are that do compleatly make up a Christian man. A true Faith, and an honest conversation. The first, though it seem the worthier, and therefore gives unto us the name of Christians, yet the second in the end will proove the surer. For true profession without honest conversation, not only saves not, but increases our weight of punishment: but a good life without true profession, though it bring us not to Heaven, yet it lessens the measure of our judgement: so that a moral man so called is a Christian by the surer side. As our Saviour saith of one in the Gospel that had wisely and discreetly answered him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of Heaven: So may we say of these men, suppose that as yet they be not of, yet certainly far from the Kingdom of Hea­ven they cannot be, yea, this sincerity of life though sever'd from true profession, did seem such a jewel in the eyes of some of the ancient Fathers, that their opinion was and so have they [Page 40] in their writings (erroneously doubtless) yet so have they testifi­ed it, that God hath in store for such men not only this mitiga­ting mercy of which but now I spake, but even saving grace so far forth as to make them possessors of his Kingdom. Let it not trouble you that I intitle them to some part of our Christian Faith, and therefore without scruple to be received as weak and not to be cast forth as dead. Salvianus disputing what Faith is, Quid est igitur credulitas vel fides? saith he, opinor fideliter hominū Christo credere, id est, fidelē Deo esse, hoc est fideliter Dei manda­ta servare. What might this faith be? (saith he) I suppose it is nothing else, but faithfully to believe Christ, and this is to be faithful unto God, which is nothing else but faithfully to keep the commandments of God. Not therefore only a bare belief, but the fidelity & trustiness of Gods servants faithfully accomplish­ing the will of our Master, is required as a part of our Chri­stian Faith. Now all those good things which moral men by the light of nature do, are a part of Gods will written in their hearts, wherefore so far as they were conscientious in perform­ing them (if Salvianus his reason be good) so far have they title and interest in our Faith. And therefore Regulus that famous Roman, when he endured infinite torments rather then he would break his Oath, may thus far be counted a Martyr, and witness for the truth. For the Crown of Martyrdom sits not only on the heads of those who have lost their lives, rather then they would cease to profess the Name of Christ, but on the head of every one that suffers for the testimony of a good conscience, and for righteousness sake. And here I cannot pass by one very gene­ral gross mistaking of our age. For in our discourses concerning the notes of a Christian man, by what signes we may know a man to be one of the visible company of Christ, we have so tied our selves to this outward profession that if we know no o­ther vertue in a man, but that he hath cond his Creed by heart, let his life be never so profane we think it argument enough for us to account him within the Pale and Circuit of the Church: on the contrary side let his life be never so upright, if either he little seen in, or peradventure quite ignorant of the Mystery of Christ, we esteem of him but as dead; and those who con­ceive [Page 41] well of those moral good things as of some tokens giving hope of life, we account but as a kinde of Manichees, who thought the very earth had life in it. I must confess that I have not yet made that proficiency in the Schools of our age, as that I could see: why the second table and the Acts of it, are not as properly the parts of Religion and Christianity, as the Acts and observations of the first. If I mistake, then it is S. James that hath abus'd me, for he describing Religion by its proper Acts, tells us, that True Religion and undefiled before God and the Father is to visit the Fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted of the world. So that the thing which is an e­special refine dialect of the new Christian language signifies nothing but morality and civility, that in the language of the holy Ghost imports true Religion. Wherefore any difference that the holy Ghost makes notwithstanding, the man of vertu­ous dispositions, though ignorant of the mystery of Christ, be it Fabricius or Regulus or any ancient heathen man, famous for sin­cerity and uprightness of carriage, hath as sure a claim and in­terest in the Church of Christ as the man deepest skil'd in, most certainly believing, and openly professing all, that is, written in the holy books of God, if he endevour not to shew his faith by his works. The Ancients therefore where they found this kinde of men gladly received them, and converst, familiarly with them, as appears by the friendly entercourse of Epistles of S. Basil with Libanius of Nazianzen and Austen with sundry others, and Anti­quity hath either left us true, or forged us false Epistles betwixt Saint Paul himself and Seneca. Now as for the admitting of any of these men to the discussing of the doubts in our Religi­ous mysteries, who either know not, or peradventure contemn them, there needs not much be said: by a Cannon of one of the Councels of Carthage it appears, it had sometimes been the errone­ous practise of some Christians to Baptize the dead, and to put the Sacrament of Christs body into their mouths. Since we have confest these men to be in a sort dead, as having no supernatu­ral quickning grace from above, to put into their hands the hand­ling of the word of life at all, much more of discussing of the doubtful things in it, were nothing else, but to Baptize a car­cass, [Page 42] and put the communion bread into the mouth of the dead. Wherefore leaving this kinde of weak person to your courteous acceptance.

Let us consider of another, one quite contrary to the former; a true professor, but a man of prophane and wicked life, one more dangerously ill then the former, have we any recipe for this man? May seem for him there is no balm in Gilead, he seems like unto the Lepar in the law, unto whom no man might draw near, and by so much the more dangerous is his case, be­cause the condition of conversing with heathen men, be they ne­ver so wicked is permitted unto Christians by our Apostle him­self, whereas with this man all commerce seems by the same Apostle to be quite cut off. For in the 1 Cor. 6. St. Paul having forbidden them formerly all manner of conversing with Fornica­tors, infamous persons, and men subject to grievous crimes, and considering at length how impossible this was, because of the Gentiles with whom they lived, and amongst whom necessarily they were to converse and trade, he distinguishes between the fornicators of this world, and the fornicators which were Bre­thren. I meant not (saith the Blessed Apostle) expounding himself that ye should not admit of the Fornicators of this world, that is, such as were Gentiles; for then must ye have sought a new world. So great and general a liberty at that time had the world assumed for the practise of that sin of fornication, that strictly to have forbidden them the company of fornicators had almost been to have excluded them the society of mankinde. But saith he, if a brother be a fornicator or a thief, or a railer with such a one partake not, no not so much as to eat. Wherefore the case of this person seems to be desperate. For he is not only mortal­ly sick, but is bereft of all help of the Physician, yet notwwith­standing all this we may not give him over for gone, for when we have well searcht our boxes, we shall finde a Recipe even for him too, think we that our Apostles meaning was, that we should acquaint our selves only with the good, and not the bad; as Physicians in the time of pestilence look only to the sound, and shun the diseas'd? Our Saviour Christ familiarly converst, eat, and drank with Publicans and sinners, and gives the reason of it; [Page 43] because he came not to call the Righteous but sinners to repen­tance. Is Christ contrary to Paul? this reason of our Saviour concerns every one on whom the duty of saving of Souls doth rest. It is the main drift of his message and unavoidably he is to converse, yea, eat and drink with all sorts of sinners, even because he is to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance. Ne­cessary it is that some means be left to reclaim notorious offen­ders, let their disease be never so dangerous. Nescio an in ex­tremis aliquid tentare medicina sit, certè nihil tentare perditio est, who can tell whether in this extremity, were it at the last cast it may some way profit, to receive him, but this we all know that al­together to cast him out of the society of good men, is to cut him off from all outward means of health. The Leper in the law though he were excluded the multitude; yet had he access unto the Priest. Beloved the priest in the new law hath much greater priviledge then the ancient had, he was only a judge and could not cure: but this is both a judge and a Physician, and can both discern and cure the leprosie of our souls; wherefore he is not to be excluded from the most desperately sick person. Neither doth this duty concern the priest alone. For as Tertullian some­times spake in another case; In majestatis reos & publicos hostes om­nis homo miles est. Against Traitors and publick enemies every man is a souldier, so is it true in this. Every one who is of strength to pull a soul out of the fire, is for this business, by counsel, by advice, by rebuking a priest, neither must he let him lie there to expect better help. Again, no man so ill but hath some good thing in him, though it break not out, as being clouded and darkned with much corruption, we must take heed, that we do not pro solis comprehendere frequentissima mistake in thinking there is nothing else but evil, where we often see it. We must therefore entertain even nea [...] friendship with such a one to discover him. Nemo enim nisi per amicitiam cognoscitur, saith St. Austine. No man is perfectly discovered, but by his inward acquaintance. As therefore they who seek for trea­sure give not over by reason of clay and mire, so long as there is any hope to speed: so may we not cast off our industry, though it labour in the most polluted soul, ut ad quaedam sana in quorum [Page 44] delectaetione acquiescamus per charitatis tolerantiam perducamur, that so at length, through charitable patience and long suffering we may discover in him some good things which may content us for the present, and give hope of better things to come. For as they that work in gold and costly matter, diligently save every little piece that falls away: so goodness wheresoever it be, is a thing so precious that every little spark of it deserves our care in cherishing. Many miscarry through the want of this patience, in those who undertake them, whilest they despair of them too soon; dum ita obiurgant quasi oderint, whilest they rebuke us, as if they hated, and upbraid rather then reprehend. Transit convitium et intemperantia culpatur, uterque qui periere arguuntur. As unskilful Physicians, who suffer their patients to die under their hands, to hide their error, blame their patients intemperance: so let us take heed, least it be not so much the strength of the disease, as the want of skill in us which we strive to cover, and vail over with the names of con­tumacy intemperance or the like. David received an express message from the Prophet, that the childe conceived in adultery should surely die, yet he ceast not his prayers, & tears, and fasting as long as there was life in it: we receive no such certain message concerning any mans miscarriage, and why then should we in­termit any office which Christian patience can afford. Where­fore, what Maecenas sometime spake loosly in another sense, de­bilem facito manu, debilem pede, coxa: lubricos quate dentes: vita dum superest bene est, that we may apply more properly to our purpose, let our weak person here be lame, hand and foot, hip and thigh, sick in head and heart, yet so long as there is life in him, there is no cause we should despair. How knowest thou how potent the word of God may be through thy ministrie, out of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham? I cannot therefore perswade my self. that this prohibition of St. Paul, of which we but now spake, so far extended, as that it quite inter­dicted good men the company of the sinners, be they never so grosse. For when he delivered men unto Satan, (the greatest thing that ever he did in this kinde) it was ad interitum carnis, to the mortifying of the flesh, that so the spirit might be safe in the day of the Lord. But this is worse, for by this pe­remptory [Page 45] excluding the grosse sinner from the good, a greater gap is opened to the liberty of the flesh, and a more immedi­ate way could not be found to bring final destruction on him at that day. The extent therefore of St. Pauls precept, though given in shew to all, I take to reach no farther then the weak, and such as are in danger of infection; for the weaker sort of men are al­ways, evermore the most, and a charge given unto the most, is commonly given under the stile of all. Our Apostle there­fore jealous of the tenderer sort, whom every unwholsome blast doth easily taint, seems, what he intended for the most to make general to all. The reason which the Apostle gives, does war­rant this restraint. See ye not (saith he) that a little leaven sowers the whole lump? If therefore there be any part of the lump, [...] out of shot and danger of sowring and contagion, on it this precept can have no extent: and surely some wrong it were to the Church of Christ, to suppose that all were necessarily subject to sowring and infection, upon supposal of some admis­sion of leaven. Evil indeed is infectious, but neither necessa­rily, nor yet so, that it need fright us from those who are dis­eased with it. Contagious diseases which ceaze on our bodies, infect by natural force and means, which we cannot prevent: but no man drinks down this poyson, whose will is not the hand that takes the Cup: so that to converse with men of diseas'd mindes infects us not, except we will. Again, Aristotle in his problems, makes a question, why health doth not infect as well as sickness. For we grow sick many times by incautelously conver­sing with the diseas'd: but no man grows well by accompany­ing the healthy: thus indeed it is with the healthiness of the bo­dy: it hath no transient force on others, but the strength and healthiness of the minde carries with it a gracious kinde of infe­ction: and common experience tells us, that nothing profits evil men more then the company of the good. So that strength of minde accompanied with the preservative of the grace of God, may not only without fear of contagion, safely converse with ungra­cious sinners, but by so doing, as it were infect them, and make them such as himself is. No cause therefore hitherto, why the true professors, though notorious sinners should not be partakers [Page 46] of our Christian Courtesies; and therefore as of the former, so of this my conclusion is, we must receive him. Only let me adde St. Pauls words in another place, Ye that are strong, receive such a one.

HAving thus far spoken of his admission, let us now a little consider of his Restraint; and see whether he may have a­ny part in hearing and handling religious controversies; where plainly to speak my minde, as his admission before was, so his exclusion here is much more necessary, the way to these schools should be open to none, but to men of upright life and conversa­tion: and that as well in regard of the prophane and wicked men themselves, as of the cause which they presume to handle: for as for themselves this is but the field, wherein they sow and reap their own infamy and disgrace. Our own experience tells us; how hard a thing it is for men of behaviour known to be spotless, to avoid the lash of those mens tongues, who make it their chief fence to disgrace the persons, when they cannot touch the cause. For what else are the writings of many men, but mutual Pasquils and Satyrs against each others lives, wherein digladiating like Eschines and Demosthenes, they reciprocally lay open each others filthiness to the view and scorn of the world. The fear there­fore of being stained, and publickly disgraced, might be reason enough to keep them back from entring these contentions. And as for the cause it self, into which this kind of men do put them­selves, needs must it go but ill with it: for is it possible that those respects which sway and govern their ordinary actions, should have no influence upon their pens? It cannot be, that they who speak, and plot, and act wickedness, should ever write uprightly. Nam ut in vita, ita et in causis quo (que) spes improbas ha­bent: doubtless, as in their lives, so in the causes they under­take, they nourish hopes full of improbity. Besides all this, the opinion of the common sort is not to be contemned, whom no kind of reason so much abuses, and carries away, as when the discredit of the person is retorted on the cause, which thing our adversaries here at home amongst us know very well, a master­piece, of whose pollicy it is to put into the hands of the people, [Page 47] such pamphlets which hurt not our cause at all, but onely discredit our persons. Saint Chrysostome observes out of the ancient customes of the Olympian games, that whensoever a­ny man offered himself to contend in them, he was not to be admitted till publick Proclamation had been made tho­rowout the multitude to this purpose, Whither any man knew him to be either a servant, or a thief, or otherwise of infamous life. And if any imputation in this kinde were proved against him, it was sufficient to keep him back. Had the Heathen this care that their vanities should not be di­scredited? how great then must our care be, that they which enter into these exercises, be of pure and upright condition? Let mens skill and judgement therefore be never so good, yet if their lives be notoriously subject to exception, Let them know that there is no place for them in these Olympicks. Men indeed in civil business have found out a distinction betwen an honest man and a good Common wealths-man: and therefore Fabricias in the Roman story is much commended for nominating to the Consulship Ruffinus a wicked man and his utter enemy, because he knew him to be serviceable to the Common-wealth, for those wars which were then depending. But in the business of the Lord and Common-wealth of God, we can admit of no such distinction. For God himself in the book of Psalms, staves them off with a Quid tua ut enarres mea, &c. What hast thou to do to take my words into thy mouth since thou hatest to be reformed? The world for the managing of her matters, may imploy such as her self hath fitted: but let every one who names the name of God depart from iniquity. For these reasons therefore is it very expe­dient, that none but right good men should undertake the Lords quarrels, the rather because there is some truth in that which Quintilian spake, Cogitare optima simul & deterrima, non magis est unius animi, quam ejusdem hominis bonum esse ac malum. As impos­sible it is that good and bad thoughts should harbor in the same heart, as it is for the same man to be joyntly good, and bad. And so from the consideration of this sick person, let us proceed to visit the next. The weak persons, I have hitherto treated of are the fewest as consisting in a kinde of extream. For the greatest [Page 48] sort of men are in a mediocrity of men eminently good or ex­treamly ill the number is smallest; but this rank of sick persons that now we are to view is an whole army and may be every­one of us, if we do well examine our selves, shall finde our selves in it: For the weak whom we now are to speak of, is he that hath not that degree and perfection of faith and strength of Spiritual constitution that he ought to have; Wherefore our Recipe here must be like the Tree of life in the book of the Revelation, it must be medicine to heal whole nations. For who is he amongst men that can free himself from this weakness? Yea, we our selves that are set over others for their cure, may speak of our selves and our charge, as Jolaus in Euripides doth of himself and Hercules children, [...] we take care of these, our selves standing in need of others care for us. Hippocrates counsels his Physician, to look especially, that himself be healthy to be [...] fair of colour and full of flesh. For otherwise saith he how can he give comfort and hope of success to a sick patient, who by his ill colour and meagerness bewraies some imperfecti­on of his own. But what Physician of Soul and manners is capable of this counsel; or who is it that taking the cure of o­thers doth not in most of his actions bewray his owne desease? even thus hath it pleased God to tie us together with a mutual sense of each others weakness, and as our selves receive and bear with others; so for our selves interchangeably must we re­quest the same courtesie at others hands: Notwithstanding, as it is with the health of our bodies, no man at any time is per­fectly well, only he goes for an healthy man, who is least sick: so fares it with our souls, God hath encluded all under the name of weak, some peradventure is less weak then others but no man is strong. Infaelicissimū Consolationis genus est de miseriis hominū peccatorum capere solatia. It is but a miserable comfort to judg our own perfections only by others defects, yet this is all the comfort we have. Let us leave therefore those who by reason of being less crazy pass for healthy, and consider of those whom some sensible and eminent imperfection above others hath rank't in the number of the weak. And of those there are sun­dry [Page 49] kindes, especially two. One is weake because he is not yet fully informed, not so sufficiently Catechized in the Mysteries of Faith, whom farther Institution may bring to better Matu­rity. The other peradventure is sufficiently grounded for prin­ciples of Faith, yet is weak, by reason either of some passion or of some irritatory and troublesome humor in his behaviour, nullum unquam ingenium placuit sine veniâ. There is no man so perfect, but hath somewhat in his behaviour that requireth pardon. As for the imperfection of the former of these, It is the weakness of infancy and childehood in Faith rather then a di­sease: And with this weak man we are especially to bear above all others. For as for him that is weak through gross and wil­ful ignorance or contumacy or the like, it is pardonable, if some­times we yeild him not that measure of curtesie, which were meet, but to be cruel against infancy and childehood were in­humanity. The manner of our Recipe for these men, our A­postle somewhere expresses where he tells us of some that must be fed with milk and not strong meat: Unto these we must ra­ther be as Nurses then Physicians, submittendo nos ad mensuram discentis, & manū dando & gradū nostrā minuendo, by gently submit­ting our selves to the capacity of the learner, by lending our hand by lessning our steps to keep them in equipace with us till they come up to their full growth. As Christ being God emptied himself, and became Man like to us, so must we lay down our gifts of wit, in which we flatter our selves and take our selves to be as Gods, and in shew and fashion become like one of them. Grave men have thought it no disparagement, to have bin seen with their little sons, Ludere par impar equitare in arundine longâ, toying and practising with them their childish sports: and if any take offence at it, they are such as know not what it is to be Fathers. Those therefore who bear the office of Fathers a­mongst other men, to bring up the infancy of Babes in Christ, must not blush to practise this part of a Father, and out of Pauls lesson of becoming all to all, learn to become a childe to children, do it he may very well, without any impeachment to himself. He that helps one up that is fallen, non se projicit ut ambo jaceant, sed incurvat tantum ut jacentem erigat, throws not [Page 50] himself down to lie by him, but gently stoops to lift him up a­gain; but of this weak person, I have little need, I trust to speak. For no man in these days can be long weak, but by his own default, so long and careful teaching as hath been and every day is, must needs take from men all pretence of weak­ness in this kinde. Nam quid aliud agimus docendo vos, quam ne semper docendi sitis. For what is the end of all this labor and pains in teaching, but that ye might at length not need a teacher. Wherefore from this I come unto that other weak person, strong in Faith, but weak in carriage and behaviour.

Having before proved that Christian curtesie spreads it self to all sorts of men, to the Insidel, to the gross notorious sinner, then will it without any streining at all come home to all the infir­mities of our weaker brethren: For that which can endure so great a tempest, how can it be offended with some small drops. Is Christian patience like unto Saint Peters resolution, that durst manfully encounter the high Priests servant, yet was danted at the voice of a silly maiden, whatsoever it is that is irksome unto us in the common behaviour of our Brethren, it were strange we should not be able to brook. Epictetus con­considering with himself, the weakness which is usual in men, still to make the worst of what befals us, wittily tells us that every thing in the world hath two handles one turn'd toward us which we may easily take, the other turn'd from us harder to be laid hold of; the first makes all things easie, the second not so, The instance that he brings in my very purpose. Be it saith he, thy Brother hath offended thee, here are two hand-fasts, one of the of­fence, the other of thy Brother. If thou take hold of that of the offence it will be too hot for thee, thou wilt not easily endure the touch of it: but if thou lay hold of that of thy Brother, this will make all behaviour tolerable. There is no part of our Brothers carri­age towards us but if we search it, we shall finde, some hand-fast, some circumstance, that will make it easie to be born. If we can can finde no other, the circumstance of our Saviour Christs example will never fail. An example which will not only make us to endure the importunity of his ordinary behaviour, but all his outragious dealing whatsoever. For saith S. Chrysostome, [Page 51] didst thou know that thy Brother intended particular mischief against thee that he would embrue his hand in thy blood, [...], yet kiss that hand, for thy Lord did not refuse to kiss that that mouth that made the bargain for his blood. It is storied of Protagoras that being a poor youth and carrying a burthen of sticks, he piled so them, and laid them toge­ther, with such art & order, that he made them much more light and easie to be born. Beloved, there is an Art among Christians like unto that of Protagoras of so making up and ordering our burthens, that they may lie with much less weight upon our shoulders, this art, if we could learn it, would make us take all in good part at our Brothers hand, were he as bad as Nabal was, of whom his own servant complain'd that he was such a man of Belial that no man could speak unto him.

Wherefore leaving you to the study, and learning of this most Christian art, I will a little consider for what Reasons we may not admit of these two sorts of weak men to controversie. For as for the unlearned, in private, nothing more usual with them then to take offence at our dissentions, and to become more un­certain and unjoynted upon the hearing of any question discust. It is their usual voyce and question to us: Is it possible that we should be at one in these points in which your selves do disagree? thus cast they off, on our backs the burthen of their back-sliding and neutrality, wherefore to acquaint them with disputation in Religion, were as it were to blast them in their infancy, and bring upon them some improsperous Disease to hinder their growth in Christ. Secondly, what one said of other contenti­ons, In bellis civilibus audacia etiam valet singulorum, In civil wars no man is too weak to do a mischief, we have found too true in these our Sacra Bella; no man is to weak, (I say not) to do mischief, but to be a principal Agent and Captain in them. Simple and un­learned souls train'd up by men of contentious spirits have had strength enough to be Authors of dangerous heresies, Priscilla and Maximilla, silly women laden with iniquity were the chief ring-leaders in the error of the Montanists, and as it is com­monly said, bellum inchoant inertes, fortes finiunt, weaklings [Page 52] are able to begin a quarrel, but the prosecution and finishing is a work for stronger men, so hath it fared here. For that quar­rel which these poor souls had raised, Tertullian a man of great Wit and Learning is drawn to undertake: so that for a Barnabas to be drawn away to error, there needs not always the example and authority of a Peter. A third reason is the marvellous vio­lence of the weaker sort in maintaining their conceits, if once they begin to be opiniative. For one thing there is that wonder­fully prevails against the reclaiming of them, and that is, the na­tural jealousie they have of all that is said unto them by men of better wits, stand it with reason never so good, if it sound not as they would have it. A jealousie founded in the sense of their weakness arising out of this that they suspect all to be done for no other end, but to circumvent and abuse them. And there­fore when they see themselves to be too weak in reasoning, they easily turn them to violence. The Monks of Egypt, otherwise devout, and religious men anciently, were for the most part unlearned, & generally given over to the error of the Anthropomor­phitae, who held that God had hands and feet and all the parts that a man hath, and was in outward shape and proportion like to one of us. Theophilus a Learned Bishop of Alexandria having fallen into their hands was so roughly used by them, that ere he could get out of their fingers, he was fain to use his wits and to crave aid of his Equivocating Sophistry and soothly to tell them. I have seen your face as the face of God. Now when Christian and Religious doubts, must thus be managed with wilfulness and violence, what mischief may come of it is already so plain, that it needs not my finger to point it out. Where­fore let every such weak person say unto himself, as Saint Au­stine doth, Tu ratiocinare, ego mirer, disputa tu ego credam, let o­thers reason I will marvel. Let others dispute I will believe. As for the man strong in passion or rather weak, for the strength of passion is the weakness of the passionate; great reason hath the Church to except against him. For first of all from him it comes that our books are so stuft with contumelious maledicti­on, no heathen writers having left the like example of chol­ler and gross impatience. An hard thing, I know it is to write [Page 53] without affection and passion in those things which we love, and therefore it is free so to do, to those who are Lords over them­selves. It seems our Saviour gave some way to it himself. For somewhat certainly his Kinsmen saw in his behaviour, when as S. Mark reports they went forth to lay hold upon him thinking he was beside himself. But for those who have not the command of themselves, better it were they laid it by, S. Chrysostome ex­cellently observeth that the Prophets of God, and Satan, were by this notoriously differenced, that they which gave Oracles by motion from the Devil did it with much impatience and confu­sion, with a kinde of fury and madness but they which gave Oracles from God by Divine Inspiration, gave them with all mild­ness and temper, If it be the cause of God which we handle in our writings, then let us handle it like the Prophets of God with quietness and moderation, and not in the violence of passion, as if we were possest, rather then inspir'd. Again, what equity or indifferency can we look for in the carriage of that cause, that falls into the handling of these men. Quis conferre duces meminit qui pendere causas? Quâ stetit inde favet, what man overtaken with passion remembers impartially to compare cause with cause, and right with right. Quâ stetit inde favet—on what cause he happens, that is he resolute to maintain, ut gladiator in arenam; as a Fencer to the Stage, so comes he to write, not up­on conscience of quarrel, but because he proposes to contend, yea, so potently hath this humor prevail'd with men that have undertaken to maintain a faction, that it hath broken out to the tempting of God, and the dishonour of Martyrdom. Two Fryers in Florence in the action of Savonoralla, voluntarily in the open view of the City, offer'd to enter the fire: so to put an end to the controversie, that he might be judged to have the right who like one of the three children in Babylon, should pass un­touch't through the fire. But I hasten to visit one weak person more and so an end.

He whom we now are to visit, is a man weak through here­tical and erring Faith, now whether or no, we have any receit for him it may be doubtful; For S. Paul advises us to avoid the man, that is, a maker of Sects, knowing him to be damned. [Page 54] yet, if as we spake of not admitting to us the notorious sinner, no not to eat, so we teach of this, that it is delivered respective­ly to the weaker sort; as justly for the same reasons we may do: we shall have a Recipe here for the man that erres in faith, and rejoyceth in making of Sects: which we shall the better do, if we can but gently draw him on to a moderation to think of his conceits only as of opinions; for it is not the variety of opinions, but our own perverse wills, who think it meet, that all should be conceited as our selves are, which hath so inconveni­enced the Church, were we not so ready to anathematize each other, where we concur not in opinion, we might in hearts be united, though in our tongues we were divided, and that with singular profit to all sides, It is the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and not Identitie of conceit, which the Holy Ghost requires at the hands of Christians. I will give you one instance, in which at this day our Churches are at variance. The will of God, and his manner of proceeding in predestination is undiscernable, and shall so remain until that day, wherein all knowledge shall be made perfect, yet some there are, who with probability of Scripture teach, that the true cause of the final miscarriage of them that perish, is that original cor­ruption that befell them at the beginning, increased through the neglect or refusal of grace offered. Others with no less favourable countenance of Scripture, make the cause of reprobation only the will of God, determining, freely of his own work, as himself pleases, without respect to any second cause whatsoever. Were we not ambitiously minded, familiam ducere, every one to be Lord of a Sect, each of these tenents might be profitably taught and heard, and matter of singular exhortation drawn from either; for on the one part, doubtless it is a pious and religi­ous intent, to endeavour to free God from all imputation of un­necessary rigour, & his justice from seeming unjustice & incon­gruity: & on the other side, it is a noble resolution, so to humble our selves under the hand of Almighty God, as that we can with patience hear, yea, think it an honour, that so base creatures as our selves should become the instruments of the glory of so great a majesty, whether it be by eternal life, or by eternal death, [Page 55] though for no other reason, but for Gods good will and plea­sure sake. The authors of these conceits might both freely (if peaceably) speak their mindes, and both singularly profit the Church: for since it is impossible where Scripture is ambigu­ous, that all conceits should run alike, it remains, that we seek out a way not so much to establish an unity of opinion in the mindes of all; which I take to be a thing likewise impossible, as to provide that multiplicity of conceit, trouble not the Churches peace. A better way my conceit cannot reach unto, then that we would be willing to think, that these things, which with some shew of probability we deduce from Scripture are at the best, but our opinions for this peremptory manner of setting down our own conclusions under this high commanding form of necessary truths, is generally one of the greatest causes, which keeps the Churches this day so far asunder; when as a gracious receiving of each other, by mutual forbearance in this kinde, might peradventure in time bring them nearer together.

This peradventure may some man say, may content us in case of opinion indifferent, out of which no great inconvenience by necessary and evident proof is concluded: but what Recipe have we for him that is fallen into some known and desperate Heresie? Even the same with the former. And therefore anciently, He­retical and Orthodox Christians, many times even in publick holy exercise converst together without offence. It's noted in the Ecclesiastick stories, that the Arrians and Right believers so communicated together in holy prayers, that you could not di­stinguish them till they came to the [...], the gloria patri, which the Arrians used with some difference from other Chri­stians. But those were times quorum lectionem habemus virtutem non habemus, we read of them in our books, but we have lost the practise of their patience. Some prejudice was done unto the Church by those, who first began to intermingle, with pub­lick Ecclesiastical duties, things respective unto private conceits. For those Christian offices in the Church ought as much as pos­sibly they may be common unto all, and not to descend to the differences of particular opinions. Severity against, and sepa­ration from heretical companies, took its beginning from the [Page 56] Hereticks themselves: and if we search the stories, we shall finde that the Church did not at their first arising thrust them from her: themselves went out, and as for severity: that which the Donatists sometimes spake in their own defence. Illam esse veram Ecclesiam quae prosecutionem patitur, non quae facit, she was the true Church not which raised, but which suffered persecuti­on was de facto true for a great space. For when heresies and schismes first arose in the Church, all kind of violence were used by the erring factions, but the Church seem'd not for a long time to have known any use of a sword, but only of a buckler, and when she began to use the sword, some of her best and chiefest Captains much misliked it. The first law in this kind that ever was made, was enacted by Theodosius against the Dona­tists, but with this restraint, that it should extend against none, but only such as were tumultuous, and till that time they were not so much as toucht with any mulct, though but pecuniary, till that shameful outrage commited against Bish. Maximian, whom they beat down with bats and clubs, even as he stood at the Al­tar: so that not so much the error of the Donatists, as their riots and mutinies were by Imperial laws restrained. That the Church had afterward good reason to think, that she ought to be salu­brior quam dulcior, that sometimes there was more mercy in pu­nishing, then forbearing there can no doubt be made. St. Au­stine (a man of as milde and gentle spirit as ever bare rule in the Church) having according to his natural sweetness of dispositi­on, earnestly written against violent, and sharp dealing with He­ [...], being taught by experience, did afterward retract, and confess an excellent use of wholsome severity in the Church. Yet could I wish that it might be said of the Church, which was sometimes observed of Augustus. In nullius unquam suorum necem duravit: he had been angry with, and severely punisht ma­ny of his kin, but he could never endure to cut any of them off by death. But this I must request you to take only as my private wish, and not as a censure, if any thing have been done to the contrary. When Absolom was up in arms against his Father, it was necessary for David to take order to curb him, and pull him on his knees, yet we see how careful he was, he should not die, [Page 57] and how lamentably he bewail'd him in his death: what cause was it that drove David into this extream passion? Was it doubt of heire to the Kingdome? That could not be. For Solomon was now born, to whom the promise of the Kingdom was made, was it the strength of natural affection? I somewhat doubt of it. Three year together was Absolom in banishment, and David did not very eagerly desire to see him. The Scripture indeed notes that the King long'd for him: yet in this longing was there not any such fierceness of passion: for Absolom saw not the Kings face for two years more after his return from banishment to Hierusa­lem. What then might be the cause of his strength of passion, and commiseration in the King? I perswade my self it was the fear of his sons final miscarriage, and reprobation, which made the King (secure of the mercies of God unto himself) to wish he had died in his steed, that so he might have gain'd for his un­gracious childe, some time of repentance. The Church who is the common mother of us all, when her Absoloms, her unnatural sons do lift up their hands and pens against her, must so use means to repress them, that she forget not that they are the sons of her womb, and be compassionate over them as David was over Absolom, loath to unsheath either sword, but most of all the temporal, for this were to send them with quick dispatch to Hell.

And here I may not pass by that singular moderation of this Church of ours [...], which she hath most christianly exprest towards her adversaries of Rome, here at home in her bosome above all the reformed Churches, I have read of. For out of desire to make the breach seem no greater, then indeed it is, and to hold communion and Christian fellowship with her, so far as we possibly can, we have done nothing to cut of the favourers of that Church. The reasons of their love and respects to the Church of Rome we wish, but we do not command them to lay down: their lay-Brethren have all means of instruction offered them. Our Edicts and Statutes made for their restraint, are such as serve only to awake them, and cause them to consider the inno­cency of that cause for refusal of communion, in which they en­dure (as they suppose) so great losses. Those who are sent o­ver [Page 58] by them, either for the retaining of the already perverted, or perverting others, are either return'd by us back again to them, who dispatcht them to us, or without any wrong unto their persons, or danger to their lives, suffer an easie restraint, which only hinders them from dispersing the poyson they brought. And had they not been stickling in our state-business, and medling with our Princes crown, there had not a drop of their blood fallen to the ground; unto our Sermons, in which the swarvings of that Church are necessarily to be taxt by us, we do not binde their presence, only our desire is, they would joyn with us in those Prayers, and holy ceremonies, which are common to them and us. And so accordingly, by singular discretion was our Service-Book compiled by our Fore-fathers, as containing no­thing that might offend them, as being almost meerly a compen­dium of their own Breviary and Missal, so that they shall see no­thing in our meetings, but that they shall see done in their own, though many things which are in theirs, here I grant they shall not finde. And here indeed is the great and main difference be­twixt us. As it is in the controversie concerning the Cononical books of Scripture: whatsoever we hold for Scripture, that even by that Church is maintained, only she takes upon her to adde much, which we cannot think safe to admit: so fares it in other points of Faith and Ceremony; whatsoever it is we hold for faith, she holds it as far forth as we; our ceremonies are taken from her; only she over and above urges some things for faith, which we take to be error, or at the best but opinion, and for cere­mony which we think to be superstition. So that to participate with us, is, though not throughout, yet in some good measure to participate with that Church: and certainly were that spirit of charity stirring in them, vvhich ought to be, they would love and honour us, even for the resemblance of that Church, the beauty of which themselves so much admire. The glory of these our proceedings, even our adversaries themselves do much en­vy. So that from hence it is, that in their vvritings they traduce our judiciary proceedings against them, for sanguinary and vi­olent, striving to persvvade other nations, that such as have suffe­red by course of publick justice for religion only, and not for [Page 59] treason have died, and pretend we what we list, our actions are as bloody and cruel as their own: wherefore if a perfect pattern of dealing with erring Christians were to be sought, there were not any like unto this of ours, In qua nec saeviendi, nec errandi per eundique licentia permittitur, which as it takes not to it self li­berty of cruelty, so it leaves not unto any the liberty of destroy­ing their own souls in the error of their lives. And now that we may at once conclude this point concerning Hereticks, for prohibiting these men access to religious disputations, it is now too late to dispute of that, for from this that they have already unadvisedly entred into these battels, are they become that which they are: Let us leave them therefore as a sufficient ex­ample and instance of the danger of intempestive and immodest medling in Sacred disputes.

I see it may be well expected, that I should according to my promise adde instruction for the publick Magistrate, and show how far this precept in receiving the weak concerns him.

I must confess I intended and promised so to do, but [...] I cannot conceive of it, as a thing befitting me to step out of my study, and give rules for government to Common­wealths, a thing befitting men of greater experience to do. Wherefore I hope you will pardon me if I keep not that pro­mise, which I shall with less offence break then observe: And this I rather do, because I suppose this precept, to concern us, especially if not only as private men, and that in case of publick proceeding, there is scarce room for it. Private men may pass over offences at their pleasure, and may be in not doing it, they do worse: but thus to do, lies not in the power of the Magi­strate, who goes by laws, prescribing him what he is to do. Princes and men in authority do many times much abuse themselves by affecting a reputation of clemency, in pardoning wrongs done to other men; and giving protection to sundry offenders, against those who have just cause to proceed against them. It is mercy to pardon wrong done against our selves, but to denie the course of Justice to him that calls for it, and to protect offenders, may peradventure be some inconsiderate pity, but mercy it cannot be. All therefore that I will presume to [Page 60] advise the Magistrate is, A general inclinablenesse to merciful pro­ceeding.

And so I conclude, wishing unto them who plentifully fowe mercy, plentifully to Reap it at the hand of God, with an hundred fold encrease; and that blessing from God the Father of mercies, may be upon them all, as on the sons of mercy, as many as are the sands on the Sea-shore in multitude. The same God grant that the words which we have heard this day. &c.

A Sermon Preached on Easter-day at Eaton Colledge.

Luke 16. 25.‘Son remember that thou in thy life time re­ceived'st thy good things.’

I Have heard a Proverb to this sound, He that hath a debt to pay at Easter, thinks the Lent but short: How short this Lent hath seemed to me, who stand indebted unto you for the remainder of my meditations upon these words, is no mater of consequence; to you peradventure it may have seemed so long, that what you lately heard at Shrovetide, now at Easter you may with pardon have forgotten. I will therefore recal into your memories so much of my former Meditations as may serve to open unto me a convenient way to pursue the rest of those lessons, which then, when I last spake unto you, the time and your patience would not permit me to finish. But ere I do this, I will take leave a little to fit my Text unto this time of Solemnity:

This time, you know, calls for a discourse concerning, the Re­surrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; of this you hear no sound in the words, which I have read, and therefore you conclude it a Text unbefitting the day. Indeed, if you take the Resurrection for that glorious act of his Omnipotency, by which through the power of his eternal Spirit he redeems himself from the hand of the grave, and triumphs over death and hell, you shall in [Page 62] these words find nothing pertinent; But if you take this Resur­rection for that act, by which, through the power of saving grace, Christ the Son of righteousnes rises in our hearts, & raises us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness, here in these words you may perchance finde a notable branch of it. For to raise our thoughts from this earth, and clay, and from things beneath (and such are those, which here Abraham calls the good things of our life) and to set them above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, this is that practick resurrection, which above all con­cerns us, that other of Christ in person, in regard of us, is but a resurrection in speculation, for to him that is dead in sin and tre­spasses, and who places his good in the things of this life, Christ is, as it were not risen at all, to such a one he is still in the grave, and under the bands of death: But to him that is risen with Christ, & seeks the good things that are above, to him alone is Christ risen: To know and believe perfectly the whole story of Christ's Resurrection, what were it, if we did not practice this Resurrecti­on of our own? Cogita non exacturum à te Deum, quantum cognó­veris, sed quantum vixeris, God will not reckon with thee, how much thou knowest, but how well thou hast lived: Epictetus, that great Phi­losopher makes this pretty parable, should a shepherd, saith he, call his sheep to account, how they had profited, would he like of that sheep, which brought before him his hay, his grass, and fodder, or rather that sheep, which having well digested all these, exprest himself in fat, in flesh, and wooll? Beloved, you are the flock of Christ, and the sheep of his hands, should the great Shepherd of the flock call you before him, to see how you have profited, would he content himself with this, that you had well cond your Catechisme, that you had diligently read the Gospel, and exactly knew the whole story of the resurrection? would it not give him better satisfaction to finde Christ's resur­rection exprest in yours: and as it were digested into flesh and wooll? [...] To have read Chrysippus his Book, this is not virtue: To have read the Go­spel, to have gathered all the circumstances of the resurrection of Christ, this is not Christianity: to have risen, as Christ, hath done, so to have digested the resurrection of Christ, as that we [Page 63] have made it our own, this is rightly to understand the Doctrine of the resurrection of Christ. For this cause have I refused to treat this day of that resurrection, in the Doctrine of which I know you are perfect, and have reflected on that, in the knowledge of which I fear you are imperfect: which that I might the bet­ter do, I have made choice to prosecute my former meditations, begun when I last spake unto you in this place; For so doing I shall open unto you one of the hardest points of your Spiritual re­surrection, even to raise your thoughts from the things of this life, and seat them with Christ above.

To make my way more fair to this, I will take leave to put you in minde, in short, how I proceeded in the opening of these words, when I last spake unto you out of this place: You may be pleased to remember, that after some instruction drawn from the first word, Son, I proceeded to consider the ensuing words, wherein having by an Alchimie, which then I used, changed the word [Recordare] Remember, into [Cave] Beware, and so read my text thus, Beware thou receive not thy good things in this life, I shewed you that we had never greater cause to consult our best wits, what we are to do, and how we are to carry our selves, then when the world, and outward blessings come upon us; Up­on this I moved this Question, Whether or no, if the things of this world should by some providence of God knock and offer themselves to us, we are bound to exclude them and resuse them, or we might open and admit of them: I divided my answer according to the divers abilities and strengths of men, first, qui potest capere capiat, he that hath strength and spiritual wisdom to manage them, let him receive them: But in the second place, he that is weak, let him let strong diet alone, and feed on herbs, let him not intangle him­self with more then he can manage; Let him try, quid ferre re­susent, Quid valeant humeri—to the first, the sum of what I spake was this, Receive them we may, and that with out danger of a Recepisti; first, if we so received them, as if we received them not, secondly if we esteemed them not good, thirdly if we did not esteem them ours: And here the time cut me off, and suffered me not to descend unto the second part, upon which now I am a­bout to fall, Cave ne recipias, Take heed thou receive not thy good things.

[Page 64]In this matter of Receiving & enterteining these outward and foreign good things, there have been two wayes commended to you, the one the more glorious, to receive them, of this we have spoken the other the more safe, not to receive them, of this we are now to speak; these ways are trodden by two kindes of persons, the one is the strong man, and more virtuous, the other is weaker, but more cautelous, the one incounters temptation, the other avoids it: we may compare them to the two great Captains, Hannibal and Fabius, the one ever calling for the battel the other evermore de­clining it. In one of these two rankes must every good man be found; If we compare them together we shall finde, that the one is far more excellent, the other far more in number: For to be able to meet and check our enemy, to incounter occasions, to act our parts in common life upon the common stage, and yet to keep our uprightness, this indeed is truly to live, truly to serve God, and men, and therefore God the more, because men. On the contrary to avoid occasions, to follow that other vincendi genus, non pugnare, to overcome the world by contemning and avoding it, this argues a wise, indeed but a weak and faint­ing spirit: I have often wondred at Antiquity, which doting ex­tremely upon a sequestred, a solitary, retired, and monkish life, sticks not to give out, that all perfection is in it, whereas indeed there is no greater argument of imperfection in good men, quam non posse pati solem, non multitudinem, not to be able without offence to walk the publick ways, to entertain the common occasions, but to live onely to God and to themselves, utilis ipse sibi fortassis, in utilis orbi, men of no great publike use, but excellent for them­selves; Saints indeed in private, but being called forth into com­mon life, are like Bats in the Sun, utterly ignorant of publike pra­ctice, like Scheubelius a great Mathematician, but by book onely, and not by practice, who being required sometime in an Army to make use of his Quadrant, knew not the difference between umbra recta, and umbra versa: yet, beloved, because this kinde of good men is by far the greatest in number, and secondly because it is both an usual and a dangerous error of many men, to pre­tend to strength, when they are but weak, and so forgetting their place, range themselves among the first, whereas they ought [Page 65] to have kept station among the second sort, I will take leave both to advise my self, and all that near me, to like better of the safer, though the weaker side, and to avoid the exprobration of a Rece­pisti here in my text, simply non recipiendo, by not receiving, not ad­mitting at all of the outward, lower, and temporal good things, rather than by an improvident foolhardiness to thrust our selves upon occasions which we are unable to manage without offence. This I am the more willing to do, because there is not among men a greater error committed, and more frequent, than in this kinde; for in most things in the world, men that have no skill in them, will be content to acknowledge their ignorance, and to give place to better experience: should we put the discussi­on of some point of Scholarship to the plough-hind, or a Case in Law to the Physician, or a point in Physick to the Lawyer, none of these will offer to interpose, but will advise to consult with every one in his proper mystery; but let offer be made of mo­neys, lands, places of honour, and preferment, and who will excuse himself, who will acknowledge his ignorance, or weak­ness to manage them? Whereas in all the Arts and Sciences there are not so many errors committed, as in the unskilful use of these things, cum tamen nusquam periculosius erretur, and yet our errors are no where so dangerous: It is therefore a thing most necessa­ry, that in this behalf we advise men, either to know their weak­ness or to suspect their strength. Malocautior esse quam fortior, for­tis saepe captus est, cautus rarissime; better to be cautelous and wa­ry than strong, and hardy, the strong man hath been often cap­tivated, but the wary man very seldome. We read in many places of Moses and Samuel of a race of men, greater in bulk and stature, than the ordinary men, unto whom men of common inches seemed but as Grashoppers; such were the Anakims, the Enims, the Horims, the Zamzummims, the Rephaims, and the like, but if you read the Scriptures, you shall finde it observed unto your hand, that the men of lesser bodies allways drove them out; if you demand the reason, experience will answer you, that the one went upon the opinion of strength and hardness, the other of wary wit, and policy; it fares no otherwise with these two orders of men, of which I have spoken, there is the Anakim, [Page 66] the man that goes forth in the conceit of his strength and valour, there is the man of mean stature, whose strength is his wariness; were there a survey taken of both those, it would be found, that more by far have perished by unadvised adventuring upon the things of this world, than by discreet and sober retiring.

Wherefore, dost thou finde that thou comest on, and thri­vest in the world, that the good things of this world wooe thee, and cast themselves into thy lap, that wealth, that honours, that abundance waits upon thee; take heed how thou presume of thy strength to manage them, look well upon them, and see if there be not written in the forehead of every one of them, Re­cepisti; but, beloved, I perceive, I deceive my self, for these gay things of the world carry not their recepisti in their foreheads, as they come towards us, they are smooth and fair: you can prog­nosticate nothing by their countenance, but serene, and summer weather, our great master Aristotle hath told us, that if our plea­sures did look upon us, when they come to us, as they do when they turn their back, and leave us, we would never entertain them; these goodly things have their recepisti written in their back, it is never discovered, till it be too late to mend it, when death summons us, when the world, the flesh, the glory and pomp of life turns its back & leaves us, then shal you read recepisti: Cave therefore, presume not, but be wary, and that thou may­est avoid a recepisti, cave ne recipias, be sure thou receive not; how many of those think you, who out of their opinion of skill and strength, have given free entertainment to the world, have made large use of the world, lived abundantly, fared costly, dwelt sumptuously, clothed themselves richly, when their time and houre came, would rather have gone out of some poor cot­tage, than out of a princely palase, and lived with no noise in the world, that so they might have died in some peace? See you not, what some great persons in the Church of Rome have often done? Charles 5. the Prince of Parma, sundry others, though they lived in all pomp and state, yet at their death, they desi­red to be buried in a poor Capuchins hood; miserable men, If to die in a state of perfect sequestration from the world were so precious, so available a thing, how much more precious, more [Page 67] available had it been, to live in it? For thus to die, not having thus lived, is nothing else, but to give sentence against their own life; for we shall not appear before God as we died, but as we lived. To profess hate, and desertion of the world at our death, as most do, to put on humiliation at our death, that live at ease and in state all our life, this is but to be buried in a Capu­chins hood; what is it, beloved, that thus reforms our judge­ment, and clears our sight at that houre? Nothing but this, all our pleasures, all our honours, all the May-games of our life, they now shall shew themselves unto us, and every one cry out unto us, Recipisti, Thou hast received thy good things.

Now, beloved, that I may a little the better strengthen with good reason this my advice, de non recipiendo, of retiring from, and rejecting the goodly things of the world, give me leave a little to consult with my Topicks, and to try out of what place I may draw some arguments, to bring you on the easier.

And first of all, were there no other reason to perswade you, yet the very reading of this story, where I have taken my text, would afford arguments enough; for what meant Abraham, I beseech you, when he told the rich man, he had received his good things? Did he use some obscure and unknown phrase, which no circumstance of the story could open? It stands not with the goodness of the Holy Ghost, to tell us of our danger in unknown language; something therefore certainly we shall finde, to open the meaning: cast back your eye upon the description of the per­son, whom Abraham charges with this error, and see if you finde not a paraphrase there; the man to whom this phrase is applied is described by the properties, of which I understand not that any one is a virtue, first it is said, he was rich; secondly, he ware scarlet, and soft linnen; thirdly, he was [...] he was jovial, and feasted liberally every day; doth not this accu­rate description of the person shew his error? For to what other purpose else could this description serve? Either here is his er­ror, or this character is in vain; it seems therefore we must conclude, that to be rich, to cloth our selves costly, to fare de­liciously, thus to do, is to receive the good things in our life, ex­cept some favourable interpretation do help us out; but we [Page 68] must take heed how we do de scripturis interpretationibus ludere, dally with, and elude scripture by interpretations, [...] when St. John describes the world, which he forbids us to follow, he makes three parts of it, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Do not all these three appear here in the character of our man? where is the lust of the eye, if it be not in gaudy apparel? Where is the lust of the flesh, at least one great branch of it, if it be not in the use of dainty diet? Where is the pride of life, if not in riches? and what reason have you now to doubt, what should be the meaning of recepisti, thou hast received thy good things? He then that fears to hear a recepisti, if he be rich, let him not forget to distribute, and empty those bags, which lie up by him; if he be costly clad, let him turn his scarlet into sackcloth; if he feed deliciously, let him turn his costly dishes into temperance, and fasting: otherwise, what can we plead for our selves, that we should not, as well as this man in my text, when our time comes, hear our recepisti?

But I see what it is, peradventure, that troubles you, you will ask me, whether I will avouch it to be a sin to be rich, I must walk warily, least I lay my self open to exception; Pelae­gius grounding himself upon that of our Saviour. [It is impos­sible for a rich man to enter into the Kingdome of Heaven,] taught that lesson indeed, as the words do lie, and would by no means grant, that a rich man could be saved; but for this the Church noted him for an Heretick, for among his heresies this is scored up for one, together with that, that it is not lawful to swear; but if Pelagius had never otherwise erred, the Church might very well have pardoned him that heresie: many times it falls out by the reason of the hardness of our hearts, that there is more dan­ger in pressing some truths, than in maintaining some errors: that it is lawful sometime to sport our selves, that it is lawful to feast at Christmas, that it is lawful to swear, and many other things of the like nature, are all truths; yet there is no necessity we should press them in our sermons to the people, for there is no fear the people will ever forget these, Cavendum est ne nimium me. minerint; better to labour that they do not too much remember them; he that will labour in repressing the abuses, which people [Page 69] ground upon these truths, must remember the old rule. Ini­quum petendum est, ut aequum feras, he must go very near to teach for truth the contrary falshood. To return then from this di­gression to our rich man, Pelagius, I grant, was deceived, when he shut all rich men out of the Kingdome of Heaven: but suppose we that he had prevailed in this doctrine, that he had wrought all the world to this bent, that the Church had received it for Catholick doctrine, shew me, he that can, what inconvenience would have attended this error? If every rich man should suddenly become liberal, and disburse his moneys, where his charity directed him; if every painted gallant did turn his Peacocks feathers into sackcloth; if every glutton left his full dishes, and betook himself to temperance and fasting, yea, and thought himself in conscience bound so to do, out of fear, least he might hear of Recepisti, I perswade my self the state of Greece would never suffer the more for this, but the state of Christianity would have thrived the more. Well had it been for our rich man here, if he had been a Pelagian; for this point of Pelagia­nisme is the surest remedy, that I know, against a Recepisti; whereas on the contrary side, by reason of the truth, many rich and covetous persons flatter themselves in their sin, whereof they die well conceipted, from which they had been freed, had it been their good fortune to have been thus far deceived, and been Pelagians. Let men therefore either quite refuse riches, if they offer themselves, which is the advice I give, or if they will give them acceptance, let them believe, that if they be rich, they may be saved, but let them so live, as if they could not; for the one shall keep them from error in their faith, the other from sin in their Actions.

A second reason, perswading us to the neglect of these so much admired things of the world, is the consideration of certain abuses, which they put upon us, certain fallacies, and false glosses, by which they delude us; for I know not how, the world hath cried them up, and hath given them goodly titles, ut vel lactis gallinacei sperare possis haustum, as Pliny speaks; men call them blessings and favours, and rewards, and think those men most blest of God, who injoy most of them; these goodly titles serve [Page 70] for nothing, but to set men on longing after them, and so fill those, that have them, with false perswasions, and those that have them not with despair and discontents; were they indeed blessings; were they rewards, then were our case very evil, and we ourselves in greater danger of a recepisti, than before: for as Abraham here tells the man of recepiste bona, thou hast received tby goodthings, so our Saviour tells more than once of some qui habent mercedem, have their reward; if then we shall beg, and receive these things at the hands of God, as a reward of our ser­vice, we shall be no more able, when we come to appear be­fore our God, to shelter our selves from an habetis mercedem, you have your reward, then the rich man here could defend him­self from a recepisti. They may indeed pass for rewards, and blessings, and that truly too, but to a sad, and disconsolate end; for their is no man, though never so wicked, but that some way or other doth some good, some cup of cold water hath been given, some small service enterprized even by the worst of men: now God who leaves no service unrewarded, no good of­fice unrespected, therefore preserves these sublunary blessings of purpose, ut paria faciat, to clear accounts with men here, who otherwise might seem to claim something at his hand, at that great day; It is the question Ahasuerus makes, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? God is more careful of his honour, than Ahasuerus was; none more careful than he, to reward every service with some honour: Nebuchadnezzar was no Saint, I trow, yet because of his long service in the subduing of Tyre, God gives him AEgypt for his reward, they are the Pro­phet Ezechiels words: when therefore thou seest God willing to bring the world upon thee, to inrich thee, to raise thee to ho­nours, suspectam habe hanc Domini indulgentiam, as Tertullian saith, be jealous of this courtesie of God, or rather cry out with St. Bernard, Misericordiam hanc nolo Domine, O Lord, I will none of this kinde of mercy: for how knowest thou whether he reward not thee, as he did Nebuchadnezzar only to even accounts with thee, and shew thee that he is not in thy debt, that thou mayest hear at the last either a recepisti, or an habes mercedem, thou hast thy reward? O quanta apud Deummerces, si in praesenti praemium non sperarent, saith [Page 71] St. Hierome, O how great a reward might many men receive at the hand of God, if they did not anticipate their reward and desire it in this life? Why do we capitulate with him for our services? Why not rather out of pious ambition desire to have God in our debt? He that doth God the greatest service, and receives here from him the least reward, is the happiest man in the world; there goes a story of Aquinas, that praying once before the Crucifix, the Crucifix miraculously speaks thus unto him, Benede mescrip­sisti Thoma, quam ergomercedem accipies? Thou hast written well of me, Thomas, what reward dost thou desire? To whom Aquinas is made to answer, Nullam, Domine, praeter Teipsum; no reward, Lord, but thyself: 'tis great pity this tale is not true, it doth so excellently teach, what to ask of God for our reward in his ser­vice. Let God but assure thee of this reward, caetera omnia vota Deo remittas, thou mayest very well pardon him all the rest: let us therefore amend our language, and leave off these solecismes and misapplied denominations of blessings, and favours, and re­wards, names too high for any thing under the moon, and at our leisure finde out other names to express them; as for this great esteem, which we make of the things below, it comes but from this, that we know not the value of things above; did we be­lieve our selves to be the heirs, and the sons of God, and knew the price of our inheritance in Heaven, it could not be, that we should harbour so high and honourable conceits of earthly things; it is a famous speech of MARTIN LUTHER, Homo perfe­cte credens se esse haeredem et filium Dei, non diu superstes maneret, sed statim immodico gaudeo absorberetur: Did a man indeed believe that he is a son and heir unto God, it could not be, that such a man should long live, but forthwith he would be swallowed up, and die of immoder ate joy: And certainly either our not believing, or not rightly valu­ing the things of God, or howsoever, not knowing them, is the cause of this our languishing, and impatient longing after earth­ly things; It is but a plain comparison which I shall use, yet because it fits the persoa, to whom I will apply it, and because it is Theophylacts in his Comments on St. Lukes Gospel, I will not be ashamed to make use of it; Swine, saith he, have their eyes so fram'd, that they cannot look up to Heaven; their keepers therefore [Page 72] when they finde themselves troubled with their crying, are wont to cast them upon their backs, [...] and so make them cease their crying, for that beast being amazed to see the frame and beauty of Heaven, which before he had never seen, [...] being stricken with admiration, forgets his crying; the eyes of many men seem to be framed like those of Swine, they are not able to cast them up to Heaven, for would they but cast themselves upon their backs, turn their face from earth, and view the beauty of things above, it could not be, but all this claim, or rather clamour after earthly things should utterly cease.

Again, (yet the more to quicken one to the neglect of these things below) among many other fallacies, by which they de­lude us, I have made choice of one more, they present them­selves unto us, sometimes as necessaries, sometimes as Ornaments unto us in our course of vertue and happiness; whereas they are but meer impertinences, neither is it any way material, whe­ther we have them yea or no; virtus censum non requirit, nudo homine contenta est, virtue and happiness require nothing else but a man: Thus say the Ethnickes: And Christianity much more: For it were a strange thing that we should think that Christ came to make virtue more chargable: In regard of virtue and piety, all estates, all conditions, high and low, are alike: It is noted by Petronius for the vanity of rich men, Qui solas divitias extruere curant, nihil volunt inter homines melius credit, qua quod ipsi tenent, those men whose minds are set upon wealth and riches, would have all men believe that it is best so to do: But riches and poverty make no difference, for we believe him that hath told us, there is no dif­ference, Jew and Gentile, high and low, rich and poor, all are one in Christ Jesus, Non naturae paupertas, sed opinionis est, saith S. Ambrose, Poverty, as men call it, is but a phansie, there is no such thing in­deed, it is but a Figment, an Idol, men first framed it, and set it up, and afterward feared it, oculi nostri tota haec lunuria est; as some Naturalists tell us that the Rain bow is oculi opus, a thing fra­med onely by the eye, so this difference, betwixt rich and poor is but the creature of the eye. Smindyrides the Sybarite was grown so extremely dainty, that he would grow weary with the sight of [Page 73] another mans labour, and therefore when sometime he saw a poor man digging, and painfully labouring, he began to faint, and pant, and requires to be removed: Beloved, when we are thus offended to see another man meanly clad, meanly housed, meanly traded, all this is but out of a Sybaritish ridiculous daintiness, for all this is but to grow weary at the sight of another mans labour: would we follow our Saviours precept, and put out this eye of ours, the greatest part of all this vanity were quite extinguisht, for what were all outward state and pompe imaginable, were no eye to see or regard it?

Now, beloved, yet to see this more plainly, what is the main end of our life? what is it, at which with so much pain and la­bour we strive to arrive? It is, or should be nothing else but vir­tue and happiness: Now these are alike purchasable in all estates; Poverty, disease, distress, contumely, contempt, these are as well the object of virtue, as wealth, liberty, honor, reputation, and the rest of that forespoken rank: Happiness therefore may as well dwell with the poor, miserable, and distressed persons, as with persons of better fortune, since it is confest by all, that happiness is nothing else but Actio secundum virturem, a leading of our life ac­cording to virtue; As great art may be exprest in the cutting of a flint, as in the cutting of a diamond, and so the workman do well express his skill, no man will blame him for the baseness of the matter, or think the worse of his work: Beloved, some man hath a diamond, a fair and glittering fortune, some man hath a flint, a hard, harsh, and despicable fortune, let him bestow the same skill and care in polishing and cutting of the latter, as he would or could have done on the former, and be confident it will be as highly valued (if not more highly rewarded) by God who is no accepter of persons, but accepteth every man according to that he hath, and not according to that he hath not; To him let us commit our selves: To him be all honour and praise, now and for ever.


Numbers 35. verse 33.‘And the Land cannot be cleansed of blood, that is shed in it; but by the blood of him that shed it.’

THese words are like unto a Scorpion: for as in that, so in these, the self same thing is both Poyson, and remedy. Blood is the poyson, Blood is the Remedy, he that is stricken with the Scorpion, must take the oyle of the Scorpion to cure him. He that hath poy­son'd a Land with the sin of blood, must yield his own blood for Antidote to cure it. It might seem strange, that I should a­mongst Christians thus come and deliver a speech of Blood. For when I read the notes and characters or a Christian in holy Scriptures, me thinks it should be almost a sin for such a one to name it. Possess your souls in patience: by this shall men know, that ye are my Disciples if ye love one another: peace I leave with you. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace in the Holy Ghost. Lee your soft­ness be known to all men: the wisdome that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easie to be entreated, full of mercy. It is re­ported by Avenzoar a great Physician, that he was so tender hearted, that he could not endure to see a man let blood: he that should read these passages of Scripture, might think that Christians were like Avenzoar, that the sight of blood should be enough to affright them, But is the Common Christian so soft? [Page 75] So tender hearted, is he so peaceable, so tame and tractable a creature? You shall not finde two things of more different countenance and complexion, then that Christianity which is commended unto us in the writings of the Apostles, and Evan­gelists, and that which is current in use and practice of the times. He that shall behold the true face of a Christian, as it is deci­phered and painted out unto us in the books of the New Testa­ment, and unpartially compare it with that copie or counterfeit of it, which is exprest in the life and demeanor of common Christians, would think them no more like then those shields of Gold, which Solomon made, were unto those of brass, which Re­hoboam made in their steed: and might suppose that the writers of those books had brought votamagis, quam praecepta had rather fancied to themselves some admirable pattern of a Christian, such as they could wish, then delivered rules and laws, which seriously and indeed ought or could be practised in common life and conversation. St. James observes, that he which beholds his natural face in a glass, goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was. Beloved how careful we are to look upon the glass, the books of holy Scriptures, I cannot easily pro­nounce. But this I am sure of, we go our ways and quickly forget what manner of shape we saw there. As Jacob and Esau had both one father, Isaac; both one mother Rebecca, yet the one was smooth and plain, the other rough and hairy, of harsh and hard countenance, & condition so these two kindes of Christians of which but now I spake, though both lay claim to one father and mother, both call themselves the sons of God and the sons of the Church, yet are they almost as unlike as Jacob and Esau; the one smooth, gentle, and peaceable, the other rough and harsh. The notes and characters of Christians, as they are de­scribed in holy Scriptures are patience easily putting up and di­gesting of wrongs, humility, preferring all before our selves: And St. James tells us, that the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easie to be entreated. St. James in­deed hath given the first place unto purity, and it were almost a sin to compare Christian vertues together, and make them strive for precedency, and place. For what Solomon saith upon [Page 76] another occasion, is here much more true: say not why is this thing better then that: for everything in its time is seasonable. Yet he that shall mark how every where the Scriptures commend unto us gentleness and meekness, and that peace is it quam nobis Apostoli totis viribus spiritus sancti commendant, as Tertullian speaks, which the Apostles endeavour with all the strength and force of the Holy Ghost to plant amongst us, might a little invert the words of St. James, and read them thus. The wisdome that is from above, is first peaceable, then pure. The son of God, who is the wisdome of the Father, and who for us men came down from Heaven, first, and before all other vertues commended this unto the world. For when he was born, the song of the Angels was peace upon earth, and goodwill towards men. All his doctrine was peace, his whole life was peaceable, and no man heard his voice in the streets. His last legacie and bequest left unto his disciples was the same. Peace, saith he, I leave unto you, my peace I give unto you: As Christ, so Christians. In the building of Solomons Temple, there was no noise of any hammer, of any instrument of Iron: so in the spiritual building and frame of a Christian, there is no sound of Iron, no noise of any wea­pons, nothing but peace and gentleness. Ex praecepto, fidei non minus rea ira est sine ratione suscepta, quam in operibus legis homici­dium, saith St. Austin, unadvised anger by the law of faith, is as a great sin, as murther was by the law of Moses. As some Physicians have thought, that in mans body the spleen hath very little use, and might well be spared, and therefore in dealing with sundry diseased persons, they endeavour by physick to a­bate, and take away that part in them, as much as may be; so if we look into a Christian man, as he is proposed to us in the Gospel, we may justly marvel to what purpose God hath plan­ted in him this faculty and passion of anger; since he hath so lit­tle use of it: and the Gospel in a manner doth spiritually diet, and physick him for it, and endeavours much to abate, if not quite to purge out that quality. Beloved we have hitherto seen who Jacob is, and what manner of man the Christian is, that is described unto us in holy Scripture. Let us a little consider his Brother Esau, the Christian in passage, and who commonly in [Page 77] the account of the world goes for one. Is he so gentle and tr [...] ­ctable a creature? Is his countenance so smooth, his body so free from gall and spleen? To trie this, as the Devil sometimes spake unto Job. Touch him in his goods, touch him in his body, and see if he will not curse thee to thy face: so touch this man a little in his goods, touch him in his reputation and honour; touch him in any thing that he loves, (for this is the only way to trie how far, these commands of peace, and forbearance, and long suf­fering prevail with us,) and see if he will not forget and loose all his patience. Which of us is there that understands the words and precepts of our Saviour in their literal sense, and as they lie? The precepts of suffering wrong, rather then to go to law; of yielding the coat to him that would take the cloak, of readiness to receive more wrongs, then to revenge one: these and all the Evangelical commands of the like nature Interpreta­mento detorquemus. We have found out favourable interpretati­ons, and glosses, restrictions, and evasions, to winde our selves out of them, to shift them all off, and put them by, and yet pass for sound and currant Christians: we think we may be just­ly angry, continue long suits in law, call to the Magistrate for revenge, yea sometimes take it into our own hands, all this and much more we think we may lawfully, and with good reason do, any precept of Christ to the contrary notwithstanding. And as it usually comes to pass, the permitting and tolerating lesser sins, opens way to greater, so by giving passage, and in­let to those lesser impatiences and discontents, we lay open a gap to those fouler crimes, even of murther and bloodshed. For as men commonly suppose that all the former breaches of our patience, which but now I mentioned, may well enough stand with the duties of Christians: so there are who stay not here, but think, that in some cases it may be lawful, yea, perad­venture necessary, at least very pardonable for Christians pri­vately to seek each others blood, and put their lives upon their swords, without any wrong to their vocation; out of this have sprung many great inconveniences, both private and publick. First, Laws made too favourable in case of blood-shed. Se­condly, a too much facility and easiness in Princes and Magi­strates, [Page 78] sometimes to give pardon, and release for that crime. Thirdly and chiefly (for it is the special cause indeed that moved me to speak in this Argument) an over promptness in many young­men, who desire to be counted men of valour and resolution, up­on every sleight occasion, to raise a quarrel and admit of no o­ther meanes of composing, and ending them but by sword and single combat. Partly therefore to shew the grievousness & great­ness of this sin of bloodshed, and partly to give the best counsel I can for the restraint of those conceits and errors which give way unto it, I have made choice of these few words out of the Old Testament which but now I read. In the New Testament there is no precept given concerning bloodshed. The Apostles seem not to have thought, that Christians ever should have had need of such a prohibition. For what needed to forbid those to seek each others blood, who are not permitted to speak over hasti­ly, one to another, when therefore I had resolved with my self to speak something concerning the sin of bloodshed, I was in a manner constrain'd to reflect upon the Old Testament, and make choice of those words. And the Land cannot be purged of blood that is shed in it, but by the blood of him that shed it.

In which words for my more orderly proceeding, I will ob­serve these two general parts: First, the greatness of the sin. Se­condly, the means to cleanse and satisfie for the guilt of it. The first, that is the greatness of the sin, is expressed by two circum­stances. First, by the generality, extent, and largness of the guilt of it: and secondly, by the difficulty of cleansing it. The larg­ness and compass of the guilt of this sin, is noted out unto us in the word Land and the Land cannot be purged. It is true in some sense of all sins. Nemo sibi uni errat, no man sins in private, and to himself alone; For as the Scripture notes of that action of Jepthte, when he vowed his daughter unto God, That it became a Custome in Israel: so is it in all sins. The error is only in one per­son, but the example spreads far & wide, and thus every man that sins, sins against the whole Land, yea against the whole world. For who can tell how far the example and infection of an evil a­ction doth spread? In other sins the infection is no larger then the disease: but this sin like a plague: one brings the infection; [Page 79] [...] but thousands die for it, yet this sin of bloud diffuses and spreads it self above all other sins. For in other sins noxa sequitur caput. The guilt of them is confined to the person that committed them. God himself hath pronounced of them. The Son shalt not bear the sins of the Father, the soul that sinneth shall die the death. But the sin of blood seems to claim an exception from this Law. If by time i [...] be not purged, like the frogs of Egypt, the whole land stank of them. It leaves a guilt upon the whole land in which it is committed. Other sins come in like rivers, and break their banks to the prejudice and wrong of pri­vate persons: but this comes in like a Sea, raging and threatning to overwhelm whole countreys. If blood in any land do lie unrevenged, every particular soul hath cause to fear, least part of the penalty fall on him. We read in the books of Kings that long after Sauls death God plagued the Land of Jewry with three years famine; because Saul in his life time had without any just cause shed the blood of some of the Gibeonites: neither the fa­mine ceased, till seaven of Sauls Nephews had died for it. In this story there are many things rare and worth our observation. First, the Generality and extent of the guilt of Blood-shed which is the cause for which I urged it) it drew a general famine on the whole Land. Secondly, the continuance and length of the pu­nishment. It lasted full three years, and better. Thirdly, the time of the plague; it fell long after the person offending was dead. Fourthly, whereas it is said in my Text. That blood is cleansed by the blood of him that shed it: here the blood of him that did this sin, sufficed not to purge the Land from it. That despe­rate and woful end, that besel both Saul and his Sons in that last and fatal battel upon Mount-Gilboah, a man might think had freed the Land from danger of blood: yet we see that the blood of the Gibeonites, had left so deep a stain, that it could not be sponged out without the blood of seven more of Sauls off-spring. So that in some cases it seems we must alter the words of my Text: The Land cannot be purged of blood, but by the blood of him, and his posterity that shed it. Saint Peter tells us that some mens sins go before them unto judgement, and some mens sins follow after. Be­loved here is a sin that exceedes the members of this division, for [Page 80] howsoever it goes before, or after us unto Judgement: Yet it hath a kinde of Ubiquity, and so runs afore, so follows us at the heels, that it stays behinde us too, and calls for vengeance long after that we are gone. Blood unrevenged passes from Father to Son like an Heirlome or legacy: and he that dies with blood hanging on his fingers, leaves his Off-spring and his Family as pledges to answer it in his stead. As an Engineer that works in a Mine, lays a train, or kindles a Match, and leaves it behinde him, which shall take hold of the powder long after he is gone, so he that sheds blood, if it be not be times purged, as it were kindles a Match able to blow up not only a Parliament, but even a whole Land where blood lies unrevenged.

Secondly, another circumstance serving to express unto us the greatness of this sin; I told you was the difficulty of cleansing it; intimated in those words, cannot be cleansed but by the blood of him that shed it. Most of other sins have sundry ways to wash the guilt away. As in the Levitical Law, the woman that was unclean by reason of Childe-bearing, might offer a pair of Turtle-doves, or two young Pigeons: so he that travels with other sins, hath either a Turtle or a Pigeon, he hath more ways then one to purifie him: prayer unto God, or true repentance, or satisfaction to the party wronged, or bodily affliction, or temporary mulct. But, he that travels with the sin of Blood, for him there remains no sacrifice for sin, but a fearful expectation of vengeance, he hath but one way of cleansing, onely his blood, the blood of him that shed it.

The second general part which we considered in these words, was, that one mean which is left to cleanse blood exprest in the last words, the blood of him that shed it. The Apostle to the He­brews speaking of the sacrifices of the Old Testament, notes that without blood, there was no cleansing no forgiveness. He spake it only of the blood of beasts of Bulls and Goats, who therefore have their blood that they might shed it in mans service, and for mans use. But among all the Levitical Sacrifices there was not one to cleanse the man-slayer: For the blood of the cattle upon a thousand Hills was not sufficient for this, yet was that sin to be purged with blood too, and that by a more constant and perpe­tual [Page 81] Law, then that of Sacrifices. For the cleansing of other sins by blood is done away; the date of it is out; but to cleanse blood by blood remains as a Law to our times, and so shall unto the worlds end, sanguine quaerendi reditus, out of blood no way to get but by blood, [...]: saith S. Basil, hast thou shed blood? wouldst thou be free from the guilt of it. Thy best way is to be a Martyr, and shed thy blood for Christs sake. Now that what I have to say may the better be conceived and lodged up in your memories, I will comprehend and order all that I will speak to under three heads. First I will in General yet a little further, briefly shew how great a sin the sin of blood is. Secondly I will speak of the redress of some misorders ve­ry frequent in our age which give way to this sin, especially pri­vate revenge and single combat. Thirdly I will touch at the means of taking the guilt of blood away, which here the holy Ghost commends to those which are set in authority to that purpose. And first of the greatness of the crime and sin of blood.

Of sins in holy Scripture there be two sorts recorded. One sort is a silent, dumb and quiet sin. God doth as it were seek after it to finde it, as the people did after Saul, when he was hidden a­mongst the stuff. Of this nature are the ordinary sins of our life, which do more easily finde pardon at the hands of God; but there is a second sort of sin, which is a vocal and a crying sin, a sin like that importunate widow in the Gospel, that will not suffer the Judge to be quiet, till he hath done justice: and those are the more heavy and grievouser sins of our lives. Of this second sort, there are two sins, to which the Scripture doth attribute this crying faculty. First the sin of Sodom; For so God tells A­braham, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is come up before me. The second is the sin of which I am now to speak, the sin of Blood-shed. For so God tells Cain. The voice of thy brothers blood cryes unto me from the earth, The sin of Adam in Paradise doubtless was a great and hainous sin, which hath thus made us all the children of death, yet it seems to be but of the rank of mute sins, and to have had no voyce to betray it, God comes unto Adam, convents him, examines him as if he had not known it, and seems not to [Page 82] believe any such thing was done, till himself had confessed it. But blood is an unmannerly, importunate, and clamorous sin, God shall not need to come and enquire after it, it will come up unto him, and cry as the souls do under the altar in the Reve­lation. How long Lord, how long? Nec patimur—iracunda Deum ponere fulmina, suffers not God to forget judgement, or enter­tain a thought of mercy. To satisfie therefore the cry of this importunate sin, and to shew men the grievousness of it, the Laws of God and men have wonderfully conspired in the aveng­ing of blood; by what means, or by what creature soever it were shed. Beasts, unreasonable creatures, though whatsoe­ver they do, they cannot be said to sin: for whatsoever they do, they do by force of that natural instinct, by which they are guid­ed, and led as by their proper law: yet mans blood if they shed it, is revenged upon them. God himself is the Author of this law, (Gen. 9.) where he tells Noah; The blood of your lives I will require, at the hands of every beast will I require it. And accord­ingly in the 21. of Exodus, he precisely enacts a law. De Bove petulco, If an Oxe gore a man that he die, the Oxe shall be slain, and the flesh cast away as an abomination. The laws of Natural men, who had no knowledge of God, come little behinde this; yea, they may seem to have gone before it in severe revenging of blood: for amongst the laws, by which Athens that famous city of Greece was governed, there was one, that if a Wall by chance had fallen down, and slain a man as the tower of Siloam did, of which we read in the Gospel; that then the Judges should sit, and formally arraign that wall, condemn it, and throw the stor [...]s of it out of the Countrey. This so formal pro­ceeding against unreasonable, against dull and senseless crea­tures, hath been thus joyntly both by God and man practised on­ly for our example, to teach us how precious the life of man ought to be in our eyes: and it resembles that action of Christ in the Gospel, where for our instruction he curses the barren fig tree: Sterilitas nostra in ficu vapulat, &c.

Now as exemplary justice is severely done on these creatures for mans instruction: so much more if man himself kept not his hands clean from blood, did the laws of God proceed with [Page 83] much strictness and severity: for to say nothing of gross, ma­licious, and wilful murther; if a man only in his haste strook an­other with a weapon, or with a stone, so that he died, though the striker intended but to hurt, yet he was to die for it. That he did it in anger, that he did it in his drink, that he did it pro­vok't, that he did it in defence of his honour, and reputation: none of all these pretenses might excuse him. Nay, which is yet more, God himself propounds the case; If saith he, a man cleaving wood his axe head flie off, and hit his neighbour, so that he kills him, except he could recover one of the Cities of Refuge, he was to die: and having recovered a city of refuge, if before the death of the high Priest, he were taken without the walls of the city, he was to die. So strickt was God in the case of chance-medly, (as they call it,) in a case which he takes unto himself, and makes himself the Author of. For in the 21. of Exodus, speaking of the man that thus sheds blood by chance and unwittingly, his words are these; If a man lie not in wait sed Deus objecerit manui ejus, but God put him into his hands, I will appoint him a city of refuge to flie unto. In which words God acknowledges, that he who thus dies by chance, dies by his providence, and not by the sin of him that slue him. If God (saith he) shall put him into his hands; yet you see, what a pe­nalty he layes upon the innocent instrument of such blood shed. The blood that is shed in battle, and in times of lawful war you all suppose as lawfully shed. Yet notwithstanding Moses in the 16. of Numbers, gives charge, that the souldiers returning from battel, should stay a while without the Camp, even seven days, until they were cleansed. Again, when David advised with himself about the building of an house unto God, he sends him word to lay by all thought of that: he was no fit person to do it; and he gives the reason of it. Quia vir bellorum & sanguinum es tu. For thou art a man hast shed much blood, and fought ma­ny battels. Beloved the battels which David fought were cal­led the Lords battels, and therefore whatsoever he did in that kinde, he had doubtless very good warrant to do: and yet you see, that it is an imputation to him, that he shed blood, though lawfully, ut fundi sanguis ne juste quidem, sine aliquâ injustitiâ pos­sit; [Page 84] so that it seems blood cannot be so justly shed, but that it brings with it some stain and spot of injustice.

All this have I said to raise up in you as much as possibly I can, a right conceit of the height and hainousness of this sin, and further, yet to effect this in you, as in the beginning and entrance into my discourse, I briefly toucht at two reasons, shewing the greatness of this sin, occasion'd therunto by the words of my text: so will I as briefly touch at the two more tending to the same purpose; one drawn from respect of the wrong, which by this sin is done unto God; another from the wrong done to our selves. And first, what wrong is done unto God, God himself shews us in the 9. of Genesis: where giving this for an everlast­ing law. He that sheddeth mans blood, by man let his blood be shed; he presently addes the reason of it. For in the image of God made he man: we shall the better understand the force of this reason, if we a little look into civil actions. It is the usual manner of subjects, when they rebel against the Prince, to think they cannot more effectually express their hate; then by disgra­cing, breaking, throwing down the statues and images erected to his honor. The citizens of Antioch in a sedition against Theodosius the Emperor, in one night disgracefully threw down all his sta­tues, which fact of theirs caus'd S. Chrysostom at that time preacher to that city, to make those famous Sermons, which from that action to this day are called his [...] his statues. This by so much the more is counted a great offence, because next unto wronging and disgracing the very person of the Prince, a great­er insolence cannot be offered. For it expresseth with what welcome they would entertain him, if they had him in their po­wer. Beloved man is the image of his maker erected by him as a Statue of his honour. He then that shall despitefully handle, batter and deface it, how can he be counted otherwise then guil­ty of highest Treason against his Maker. Rebellion, saith Samuel to Saul, is like the sin of superstition and Idolatry. The sin of blood therefore equals the sin Idolatry, since there cannot be a greater sin of Rebellion against God, then to deface his image. Idola­try through ignorance sets up a false image of God, but this sin through malice defaces, pulls down the true. Amongst the [Page 85] heathen, sometimes the statues of the Emperours were had in such respect, that they were accounted sanctuaries, and such as for offence fled unto them, it was not lawful to touch. Belo­ved, such honour ought we to give unto a man, that if he have offended us, yet the image of God which shines in him ought to be as a sanctuary unto him, to save him from our violence, an admonitioner unto us, that we ought not to touch him. A second reason. yet further shewing the hainousness of this sin, is drawn from the wrong which is done to our selves. All other wrongs whatsoever they be admit of some recompence. Honors, wealth, preferments, if they be taken from us, they may re­turn as they did unto Job in far greater measure, and the party wronged may receive full and ample satisfaction; but what re­compence may be made to a man for his life? When that is gone, all the Kingdomes which our Saviour saw in the Mount, and the glory of them, are nothing worth, neither is all the world, all the power of men and Angels able to give the least breath to him that hath lost it. Nothing under God is able to make satisfaction for such a wrong: the revenge that is taken afterward upon the party that hath done the wrong, cannot be counted a recompence. That is done In terrorem viventium, non in subsidium mortuorum. It serves to deter the living from com­mitting the like outrage, but it can no way help him that is dead: David at the same time committed two sins, great sins, Murther and Adultery; the reward of either of which by Gods law, is nothing else but death. Yet for his Adultery he seems to make some satisfaction to the party wronged; for the text notes that David took her to his wife, made her his Queen, and that he went in unto her, comforted her: all which may well be counted at least a part of recompence. But for dead Vrias what means could David make to recompence, to comfort him. For this cause I verily suppose it is, that in his penitential Psalm, wherein he bewails his sin, he makes no particular confession, no mention of his Adultery: but of the other, of blood, he is very sensible, and expresly prayes against it. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; as if Adultery in comparison of murder were no crime at all.

[Page 86]I am sorry I should have any just occasion amongst Christian men, so long to insist upon a thing so plain; and shew that the sin of blood is a great and hainous sin. But he that shall look into the necessities of these times, shall quickly see that there is a great cause, why this doctrine should be very effectually prest. For many things are even publickly done, which in part argue that men esteem of this sin much more sleightly then they ought. Aristotle observed it of Phaleas, (one that took upon him, to prescribe laws, by which a common wealth might as he thought, well be governed,) that he had taken order for the preventing of smaller faults, but he left way enough open to greater crimes. Beloved, the error of our laws is not so great as that of Phaleas was, yet we offend too, though on the contrary, and the less dangerous side; for great and grievous sins are by them provi­dently curbed, but many inferiour crimes finde many times too free passage. Murther, though all be abominable, yet there are degrees in it, some is more hainous then other. Gross, malicious, premeditated and wilful murther, are by our laws, so far as humane wisdome can provide, sufficiently prevented: but murders done in haste, or besides the intent of him that did it, or in point of honour, and reputation, these finde a little too much favour; or laws in this respect are somewhat defective, both in preventing that it be not done, and punishing it when it is done; men have thought themselves wiser then God, presu­med to moderate the unnecessary severity (as they seem to think) of his laws. And hence it comes to pass, that in mili­tary companies, and in all great cities and places of Mart and concourse few moneths, yea, few weeks pass without some in­stance and example of blood-shed, either by suddain quarrel, or by challenge to Duel and single combate. How many exam­ples in a short space have we seen of young men, men of hot and fiery disposition, mutually provoking and disgracing each other, and then taking themselves bound in high terms of va­lour, and honour, to end their quarrels by their swords? That therefore we may the better discover, the unlawfulness of chal­lenge and private combate; let us a little enquire and examine in what cases blood may lawfully, and without offence be shed; [Page 87] that so we may see where, amongst these, single combate may finde its place.

The Manichees were of opinion that it was not lawful to vio­late any thing in which there was life, and therefore they would not pull a branch from a tree, because foresooth there was life in it. To think that mans life may be in no case taken from him, is but a branch of Manichisme: and the words of my text do di­rectly cross it, where it is laid down, that for the cleansing of blood, blood may and must be shed. For the avoiding therefore of the extream, we are to note that the lawful causes of bloodshed are either publick or private, publick cases are two: First in case of Justice, when a malefactor dies for his sin by the hand of the Magistrate. Secondly in case of publick war and defence of our Countrey, for the Doctrine of Christ is not (as some have supposed) an enemy to Souldiership, and Military Discipline. When John the Baptist began to Preach Repentance, and amend­ment of Life; amongst those that came forth to understand and learn their duty, the Text saith that the Souldiers came and ask't him Master what shall we do. And John wills them not to lay down their weapons; or to take another course of life (which he ought and would have done, if that course had been unlawful) but he instructs them rather in their calling. For he gives them these two Lessons, Do no man wrong, And be content with your pay, your wages. Then which there could not have been better, or more pertinent counsel given to Souldiers, they being the two principal vices of Souldiers to wrong places where they live by forrage, and pillage and to mutiny in dislike of their pay. When Saint Peter came to Preach to the Centurion in the Acts we finde not a syllable in all that Sermon prejudicial to a Souldiers profession. And therefore accordingly in the times of the Primitive Church Christians served even under Heathen Emperours, and that with the approbation of God himself.

For in the Ecclesiastick story we read of the Legio Fulminatrix of a band of Souldiers called the Thundring Band. Because that at what time Marcus the Emperour lying with his Army in Ger­manie was afflicted with a great drought, and in great danger of the enemy, when they were now about to joyn battel, the Chri­stian [Page 88] Souldiers, (that Band) fell flat on their faces, and by their instant prayers obtained of God a great Tempest which to the Emperour and his army, brought store of cold refreshing water, but upon the enemy nothing else but fire and whirl-wind. The Emperors Epistle in which this story is related, is this day extant, recovered by Justin Martyr, who lived about the time the thing was done: wherefore we may not doubt of the lawfulness of that profession, which it hath pleased God thus to grace, and honour with such a miracle. Besides these two there are no o­ther publick causes of blood-shed. As for the causes in private, I know but one, and that is when a man is set upon and for­ced to it, in his own defence. If a thief be robbing in the night, and be slain, the Law of God acquits him that did it: and by the Roman Laws, Nocturnum furem quomodo libet, diurnum si se telo de­fenderit, it was lawful to kill a thief by night at any hand, and by day if he used his weapon, of private blood-shed there is no cause but this & this we must needs allow of. For in all other private necessities into which we may be driven, the Law and Magistrate have place to whom we must repair for remedy: but in case of defence of life against sudden on set, no law can be made except we would make a Law to yield our throats to him that would cut them, or our Laws were like the Prophet that came to Jero­boam at Bethel, and could dry up mens arms that offered violence, wherefore all cause of death, one onely excepted, is publick and that for great reason. For to die is not a private action to be undertaken at our own, or at any other private mans pleasure, and discretion. For as we are not born unto our selves alone, but for the service of God and the common-wealth in which we live: so no man dies to himself alone but with the damage and loss of that Church or common-wealth of which he is a member. Wherefore it is not left to any private mans power to dispose of any mans life, no not to our own, only God and the Magistrate may dispose of this. As Souldiers in the camp must keep their standing, neither may they move or alter, but by direction from the captain: so is it with us all. Our life is a warfare and every man in the world hath his station, and place from whence he may not move at his own, or at another mans pleasure, but only [Page 89] at the direction and appointment of God, his General, or of the Magistrates, which are as Captains & Lievtenants under him. Then our lawful times of death are either when our day is come, or to fall in battel, or for misdemeanor to be cut off by the publick hand of Justice, Ut qui vivi prodesse noluerunt, eorum morte respub, utatur. He which otherwise dies, comes by surreption and stealth, and not warrantably unto his end.

And though we have spoken something in Apology and de­fence of War, yet you may not think, that in time of War your hands are loose, and that you may at your pleasure shed the blood of your enemy. Misericorditer etiam bella gerantur, saith S. Austine, even in war and battel there is room for thoughts of peace and mercy and therefore many of the ancient Heroes re­nowned Souldiers and Captains were very conscientious of shed­ding the blood of their enemies, except it were in battel, and when therewas no remedy to avoid it. In that mortal battel, Sam. 2. between the Servants of David and the servants of Is­bosheth; the Scripture reports that Abner fled, And Azael Jo­abs brother following him hard at heels to kill him, Abner ad­vises him twise, Turn aside, saith he, why should I smite thee to the ground. But when Azahel would not hearken but followed him still for his blood, then he stroke him with his spear, that he di­ed. In the time of War when he might lawfully have done it, in the fury of the battel Abner would not shed blood, but by con­straint. Xenophon would make us believe that the Souldiers in Cyrus his army were so well disciplin'd, that one of them in time of the battel, having lift up his arm to strike his enemy, hearing the Trumpet begin to sound the retreat, let fall his arm and willingly lost his blow because he thought the time of striking was now past: So far were these men from thinking it lawful to shed the blood of a Subject in the time of peace, that they would not shed the blood of an enemy in time of war except it were in the field. J. Cesar was one of the greatest, & stoutest Captains that ever was in the World, he stood the shock of fifty set battels, be­sides all sieges and outroads, he took a thousand Cities and wal­led Towns; he overrun three hundred severall countreyes, and in his wars were slain well near twelve hundred thousand men, be­sides [Page 90] all those that died in the civil wars, which were great num­bers, yet this man protested of himself, and that most truly that he never drew blood but in the field, nunquam nisi in acie stantem never slew any man, but in a set battel, I have been a little the bolder in bringing these instances of heathen men. First, be­cause the Doctrine of Christ, through error is counted an enemy to policie of War and Martial Discipline. Secondly, because we have found out many distinctions, and evasions to elude the pre­cepts of our Blessed Saviour and his Apostles. For as it hath been observed of the God-makers, I mean the Painters and Statu­aries among the heathen, they were wont many times to paint their Goddesses like their mistresses, and then think them most fair, when they were most like what they best loved: so is it with many professors of Christian Religion they can temper the precepts of it to their liking, and lay upon them glosses and in­terpretations as it were colours, and make it look like what they love. Thirdly, because it is likely that the examples of these men will most prevail with those to whom I speak as being such to whom above all they affect to be most like. Except therefore it be their purpose to hear no other Judgement but only their own unruly and misorderly affections; it cannot but move them to see the examples of men guided only by the light of reason, of men I say the most famous in all the world for valour and resolution to run so mainly against them. To come then unto the question of Duels; both by the light of reason, and by the practice of men it doth appear, that there is no case, wherein subjects may pri­vatly seek each others lives. There are extant the Laws of the Jews framed by God himself. The Laws of the Roman Empire made partly by the Ethnick, partly by Christian Princes; A great part of the Laws of Sparta, and Athens (two warlike Common-Wealths especially the former) lie dispersed in our books: yet amongst them all is there not a Law or Custome that permits this liberty to Subjects. The reason of it I conceive, is very plain. The principal thing next under God by which a Common-Wealth doth stand is the Authority of the Magistrate whose pro­per end is to compose, and end quarrels between man and man upon what occasion soever they grow; For were men peaceable, [Page 91] were men not injurious one to another, there were no use of Go­vernment. Wherefore to permit men in private to try their own rights, or to avenge their own wrongs, and so to decline the sentence of the Magistrate is quite, to cut off all use of Authori­ty. Indeed it hath been sometimes seen that the event of a battel by consent of both armies, hath been put upon single combat, to avoid further effusion of blood: but combats betwixt Subjects for private causes till these later ages of the world was never al­lowed. Yet I must confess the practice of it is very Ancient. For Cain the second man in the world was the first Duelist, the first that ever challenged the field (in the fourth of Genesis) the Text saith, That Cain spake unto his Brother, and when they were in the field he arose and slew him. The Septuagint, to make the sense more plain do adde another clause, and tell us what it was he said unto his Brother, [...] Let us go out into the field, and when they were in the field, he arose and slew him. Let us go out into the field, it is the very form and proper language of a challenge. Many times indeed our Gallants can formalize in other words, but evermore the substance, and usu­ally the very words are no other but these of Cains, Let us go out into the field. Abel I perswade my self understood them not as a challenge: for had he so done, he would have made so much use of his discretion, as to have refused it, yet can we not chuse but acknowledge a secret Judgement of God in this that the words of Cain, should still be so Religiously kept till this day as a Proem and Introduction to that action, which doubt­less is no other, then what Cains was. When therefore our Gal­lants are so ready to challenge the field, and to go into the field, Let them but remember whose words they use, and so accord­ingly think of their action. Again, notwithstanding, Duels are of so ancient and worshipful a Parentage, yet could they never gain so good acceptance as to be permitted, much less to be counted lawful in the civil part of the world till barbarisme had overran it. About five or six hundred years after Christ at the fall of the Roman Empire aboundance of rude and barbarous people brake in and possest the civiler part of the world; who abolishing the ancient Laws of the Empire, set up many strange [Page 92] customs in their rooms. Amongst the rest for the determining of quarrels that might arise in case of doubtful title, or of false ac­cusation or the like, they put themselves upon many unusual forms of Tryal; as to handle red hot Iron, to walk bare foot on burning coals, to put their hands and feet in scalding water, and many other of the like nature, which are reckoned up by Hottoman a French Lawyer: For they presumed so far on Gods providence, that if the party accused were innocent, he might do any of these without any smart, or harm. In the same cases, when by reason of unsufficient, and doubtful evidence, the Judges could not pro­ceed to sentence, as somtimes it falls out and the parties contend­ing would admit of no reasonable composition, Their manner was to permit them to trie it out by their swords. That so the Conqueror might be thought to be in the right. They permitted, Isay, thus to do. For at the best 'twas but a permission to pre­vent farther mischief; For to this end sometimes some known a­buses are tolerated: So God permitted the Jews upon sleight occasions to put their wives away, Because he saw that other­wise, their exorbitant lusts would not be bounded within these limits, which he in Paradise in the beginning had ser.

And it is observed of the wise men which had the managing and bringing up of Nero the Emperor, that they suffered him to practice his lusts upon Acte one of his Mothers Chamber-maids, Ne in stupra foeminarum illustrium perrumperet si ill â libidine prohi­beretur. Least if he were forbidden that, he should turn his lust upon some of the Noble Women, permission and toleration warrants not the goodness of any action. But as Caiphas said bet­ter one man die then all the people perish; so they that first per­mitted Duels seem to have thought: better one or two mutinous persons, and disorderly die in their folly, then the whole Com­mon-Wealth be put into tumult and combustion: yet even by these men it was never so promiscuously tolerated that every hasty couple, upon the venting of a little choler, should presently draw their swords, but it was a publick or solemn action, done by order, with inspection, either of the Prince himself, or of some other Magistrate, appointed to order it. Now certainly there can be no very great reason for that action, which was thus [Page 93] begun by Cain, and continued only by Goths and Vandals and meer Bar­barisme.

Yet that we may a little better acquaint our selves with the quality of it, Let us a little examine the causes and pretences which are brought by them who call for trial by single combat. The causes are usually two. First, disdain to seem to do or suf­fer any thing for fear of death. Secondly, point of Honour, and not to suffer any contumely, and indignity, especially if it bring with it disreputation, and note of cowardise. For the first dis­dain to fear death. I must confess I have often wondered with my self, how men durst die so ventrously except they were sure they died well. In aliis rebus siquid erratum est potest post modum corrigi, in other things which are learnt by practising, if we mistak we may amend it: for the errour of a former A­ction may be corrected in the next. We learn then by er­ring, and men come at length not to erre, by having of­ten erred. But no man learns to die by practising it. We die but once, and a fault committed then, can never af­terward be amended, quia poena, statim sequitur errorem, be­cause the punishment immediately follows upon the errour. To die is an action of that moment, that we ought to be very well advised, when we come to it, ab hoc momento pendet aeternitas, you may not look back upon the opinion of honour and reputation which remains behinde you: but ra­ther look forward upon that infinite space of Eternity either of bliss or bale which besalls us immediately after our last breath. To be loath to die upon every slight oc­casion is not a necessary sign of fear and cowardise. He that knew what life is, and the true use of it, had he many lives to spare, yet would he be loth to part with one of them upon better terms then those our books tell us, that Aristippus a Phi­losopher being at Sea in a dangerous Tempest, and bewray­ing some fear, when the weather was cleared up, a de­sperate Ruffian came and upbraided him with it and tells him, that it was ashame that he professing wisedome should be afraid of his life, whereas himselfe having had no such education, exprest no agony or dread at all. To [Page 94] whom the Phylosopher replied, there was some difference be­tween them two. I know saith he, my life may be profitable many ways, and therefore am I loth to loose it; but because of your life you know little profit, little good can be made, you care not how easily you part with it. Beloved it may be justly suspected, that they who e­steem thus lightly of their lives, are but worthless and unprofi­table men: our own experience tells us, that men who are pro­digal of their money in Taverns and Ordinaries, are close hand­ed enough, when either pious uses, or necessary and publick ex­pence requires their liberality. I have not heard that prodigals ever built Churches. So these men that are so prodigal of their lives in base quarrels, peradventure would be cowardly enough; if either publick service, or religion did call for their help; I scarcely believe any of them would die Martyrs, if the times so required it. Beloved, I do not go about to perswade any man to fear death, but not to contemn life; life is the greatest bles­sing God gives in this world, and did men know the worth of it, they would never so rashly venture the loss of it, but now lightly prizing both their own and others blood, they are easily moved to shed it, as fools are easily won to part with jewels, because they know not how to value them. We must deal with our lives, as we do with our money, we must not be covetous of it, desire life for no other use but to live, as covetous persons desire mony only to have it: neither must we be prodigal of life and trifle it away upon every occasion: but we must be liberal of our lives, know upon what occasion to spare, upon what occasion to spend them. To know where and when and in what cases to offer our selves to die, is a thing of greater skill, then a great part of them suppose, who pretend themselves most forward to do it. Nam impetu quodam & instinctu currere ad mortem cum multis commune est. For brutishly to run upon and hasten unto death is a thing that many men can do; and we see that bruit beasts many times will run upon the spears of such as pursue them. Sed deliberare & causas expendere utque suaserit ratio vitae mortisque con­silium suscipere, vel ponere ingentis animi est, but wisely to look in­to, and weigh every occasion, and as judgement and true discre­tion shall direct: so to entertain a resolution either of life or [Page 95] death this were true fortitude and magnanimity. And indeed this prodigality and contempt of life, is the greatest ground of this quarrellous and fighting humour. Qui suam vitam contempsit, do­minus est alienae. There is a kinde of men, who because they con­temn their own lives, make themselves Lords and Commanders of other mens, easily provoking others to venture their blood, because they care not how they loose their own. Few places of great resort are without these men, and they are the greatest oc­casioners of bloodshed, you may quickly know them. There are few quarrels wherein they are not either principalls, or seconds, or some way or another will have a part in them. Might there be publick order taken for the restraint of such men, that make a practice of quarrelling, and because they contemne their own lives, carry themselves so insolently and imperiously towards o­thers. It will prevent much mischief, and free the Land of much danger of blood guiltiness.

The second cause, which is much alledged in defence of Duels, I told you was point of honour, a conceit that it is dishonou­rable for men of place and fashion quietly to digest and put up contumelye and disgrace, and this they take to be a reason of that authority and strength, as that it must admit of no dispensation; For answer. First, the true fountain and original of quarrel are of another kinde and honour is abused as a pretence. The first occasioners of a great part of them are indeed very dishonou­rable, let there an Inventory be taken of all the challenges that have been made for some time past, and you shall finde that the greatest part by far were raised either in Taverns, or Dicing houses, or in the stews. Pardon me, if in a case of this nature I deal a little plainly. Drinking, Gaming, and Whores, these are those rotten bones that lie hid under this painted Sepulchre and title of honour.

Lastly, To conclude, It is a part of our profession, as we are Christians to suffer wrong and disgrace. Therefore to set up an other doctrine, and teach that honour may plead prescripti­on against Christs precepts, and exempt you from patient endu­ring of contumely and disgrace, you withstand Christ, and denie your vocation; and therefore are unavoidably Apo­stats. [Page 96] But we loose our labour, who give young men and un­setled persons good advice and counsel. The civil magistrate must lay to his hand, and pity them, who want discretion to pity themselves. For as Bees, though they fight very fiercely; yet if you cast a little dust amongst them are presently parted, so the enacting and executing some few good laws, would quickly allay this greatness of stomach and fighting humour. how many have been censured for Schismaticks and Hereticks, only because by probable consequence, and a far off they seem­ed to overthrow some Christain principle: but here are men, who walk in our streets, and come to our Churches, who [...] [...] openly oppose that great point of Christianity, which concerns our patience, and yet for their restraint, no Sy­nod is called, no magistrate stirs, no Church censure is pronoun­ced. The Church of Rome hath long ago to the disgrace of the reformed Churches shut them out of the number of Christians, and pronounced them all excommunicated persons, who upon what pretence soever durst enter the field for Duel and single combate.

Theodosius the Emperour enacted it for a Law, and it is ex­tant at this day in the Code, a Book of Laws, that it any man spake disgracefully of the Emperour, Si ex levitate contemnen­dum, si ex infamia miseratione dignum, si ex injuria remitten­dum.

Lactantius. Summa virtus habenda patientia est quam ut caperet homo justus voluit illum Deus pro inerte contemni.

So great a vertue is patience, that for the attaining of it, it is Gods will we should suffer our selves to be contemned as Co­wards.

Christ is an Example to us of suffering disgrace; let us as the Israelites look up to this Serpent, and all the stinging of fiery Serpents shall do us no harm.

We must forsake all and follow Christ: therefore Honour and Reputation too; If we be ashamed of this pattern of pati­ence, Christ will be ashamed of us.

Now that God may give a Blessing to what hath been delive­red, let us, &c.

Matt. 26. verse 75.‘And he went forth, and wept bitterly.’

THus to commit to writing, as here our Evange­list hath done; and so to lay open to all po­sterity the many slips and errors which have much blemisht and disgrac'd the lives and actions of the best, and most excellent men: may seem in the judgement of a reasonable man to participate of much envie and uncha­ritableness; so that their good life had remained upon record for our example, we might very well have suffered their errors to have slept and been buried with their bodies in their graves. St. Paul makes it the property of charity to hide the multitude of sins: whose property then is it thus to blazon them at mid-day, and to fill the ears of the world with the report of them? Con­stantine, the first-born among Christian Emperours, so far mislik't this course, that he professed openly, if he found any of his Bishops and Clergy, whom it especially concerned to have a reputation pure and spotless, committing any grievous sin, to hide it from the eye of the world, he would cover it with his own garment: he knew well that which experience had long ago observed, Non tam juvare quae bene dicta sunt, quam noce­re quae pessime: things well said, well done, do nothing so much profit and further us, as the examples of ill speeches, ill actions [Page 98] do mischeif and inconvenience us: and men are universally more apt from the errors and scapes of good men to draw apolo­gies for their own, then to propose their good deeds for ex­amples and patterns for themselves to follow. Neither is this my own speculation: St. Austine observed it long since, who discoursing upon the fall of David complaines, that from his ex­ample many framed unto themselves this apology, Si David, cur non et ago? If David did thus, then why not I? Praeparas te adpeccandum, saith he, disponis peccare: Librum Dei ut pecces in­spicis: Scrip [...]uras Dei ad hoc audis ut facias qu [...]d displicet Deo. Thou doest prepare thy heart to sin: thou providest thy self of pur­pose; thou doest look into the book of God, even therefore, that thou mightest sin. The Scriptures of God thou doest there­fore hear, that by the example of those that fell, thou mayest learn to do that which is displeasing unto God. Yea, the great­er is the person offending, the more dangerous is the example. For greatness is able of it self, as it were, to legitimate foul acts, to adde authority and credit unto ill doings. Facilius effi­ciet quisquis objecerit, crimen honestum, quam turpem Catonem: saith Seneca of Cato, Whosoever he be, saith he, that objects drunkenness to Cat [...]o, shall more easily prove drunkenness to be a vertue, then that Cat [...]o, who used it, was to blame. When St. Peter (Galath. 2.) had halted in his behaviour betwixt the Gentiles and those of the Circumcision, St. Paul notes, that ma­ny of the Jews, yea, Barnabas himself was carried away with their dissimulation. And to speak truth, whom would not the authority and credit of Peter have drawn into an error? So easi­ly the faults of great men, adolescunt in exempla grow up and be­come exemplary, and so full of hazzard is it, to leave unto the world a memorial of the errors and scapes of worthy persons. Yet Notwithstanding all this, the Holy Spirit of God, who bringeth light out of darkness, and worketh above and against all means, hath made the fall of his Saints an especial means to raise his Church: and therefore hath is pleased him by the Pen-men of the lives of his Saints in holy Scripture, to lay open in the view of the world many grosse faults and imperfections, even of the most excellent instruments of his glory. That which he tells. [Page 99] the woman in the Gospel, who annointed him before his passion, that wheresoever the Gospel should be preached, this fact of hers should be recorded in memorial of her: the same, as it seems was his intent concerning his Saints; that wheresoever the word of life should be taught, there likewise should be re­lated the grievous sins of his servants. And therefore accord­ingly, scarcely is there any one Saint in the whole book of God, who is not recorded in one thing or other, to have notably over­shot himself. Sometimes he hath made the Saints themselves the proclaimers of their own shame. So he makes Moses to register his own infidelity: so David in his one and fiftieth Psalm, by the instinct of Gods spirit leaves unto the Church under his own hand, an evidence against himself for his adulte­ry and murther. Sometimes he makes their dearest friends the most exact chroniclers of their faults: for so St. Chrysostome ob­serves of St. Mark, the companion and Scholer of Peter, who hath more particularly registred the fall of his master, then any of the other Evangelists, [...] &c. Who would not marvel, saith he, that St. Mark not only concealed not the grosse es­cape of his master, but hath more accurately then any of the rest re­corded the particulars of it, [...] even because he was his Disciple. As if he could have done his master no better service, then to deliver a most exact relation of his fault. There are yet two things further to be noted in this dispensation of Al­mighty God. The first in regard of us, the second in regard of the Saints, whose errors are recorded: for the first, who can but marvel, that since all things that are written, are writ­ten for our instruction, that if they be good, they may serve for our imitation; if otherwise, for warnings to us: yet many sini­ster actions of the Saints of God are so exprest in Scripture, without censure, without note, that it were almost some dan­ger to pronounce of them? Abrahams equivocating with Abi­melech, Jacobs deluding his blinde father, Rachel abusing Laban with a lie, Jephthe his sacrificing his daughter, Sampson killing himself with the Philistins; these and many other besides are so fet down, that they may seem to have been done rather by di­vine instinct, then out of humane infirmity. Wherein the Ho­ly [Page 100] Ghost seems to me tanquam adoriri nos ex insidiis, to set upon us out of ambush, to use a kind of guile, to see whether we have [...] spiritual discretion, to trie whether we will attribute more to mens examples then to his precepts. Se­condly, in regard of the Saints themselves, it is worth our no­ting, that God seems to have had more care to discredit them, then to honour them, in that their faults are many times parti­cularly registred, but their repentance is wrapt up in silence: so the story of Noah is concluded with his drunkenness: after the report of Lots incest, there is not a word of him throughout the Scriptures: as soon as the story of Salomons idolatry is rela­ted, it immediately follows in the text: And Salomon died. We should very much wrong these men, if we should think that they past out of this life without repentance; be­cause their repentance is concealed. Doubtless if we were wor­thy to search the mysteries of the spirit, we should finde that the Holy Ghost hath left something for our instruction even in this particular; for nothing in Scripture is done by chance. But as St. Chrysostome is wont sometime to tell his auditory, that he will not resolve all doubts, but leave some to meditate on by themselves: so will I now deal with you, I will leave this to your private considerations, to practise your wits in the depths of christianity, and so to frame reasons unto your selves of this proceeding of the Holy spirit.

In the New Testament, the Holy Ghost constantly holds the same course of relating the fall of the Saints: and so according­ly by all foure Evangelists sets down at large, the fearful sin of Peter in denying and forswearing his Master. But as it pleased him in mercy to give him repentance, so in these words which I have read unto you, hath it pleased him to leave unto the Church a memorial of it. Our first note therefore, before we come to the words, shall be a note of that exceeding use and profit which hath redounded to the Church by the registring of Peters repentance; for this is done by the Holy Ghost, to signi­fie unto us the necessity and force of repentance, and sorrow for sin. The concealing of Solomons reclaim hath occasioned some, upon acknowledgement of the necessity of repentance, to sup­pose [Page 101] that Solomon past away without it, and so received the finall reward of the impenitent. But he that should have read this story of Peter, and observed what authority he had afterwards, what especial favour our Saviour did him after his resurrection, notwithstanding his fall, if the manner of his recovery had not been recorded, might easily have entertained a conceit very prejudicial to repentance, Quid non speremus? Who might not hope to regain the favour of God without shedding a tear, if Pe­ter notwithstanding so grievous a crime without repentance should again be reconciled? We might therefore with excuse have presumed upon a nonnecessity of repentance, as if it had been enough in case of sin to practise that which common morality teaches, barely to relinquish it without any more adoe, that there­fore which we learn by this registring of Peters repentance is this, that for the clearing of a Christian mans account unto God, it is nor sufficient barely to cease from doing ill, to satisfie the law wch we broke either with our life, or with our goods: to make re­compence to our neighbour for wrong done him, all this and much more washes not away the guilt of sin before God. These are things which the very light of nature teaches us to do. It was not to be thought that David to his former adulteries and murther would have added new: he that hath been forc't to re­store fourefold, that which he had taken away by stealth, will peradventure take warning to steal no more. But this doth not suffice him. There is a further duty, a duty of repentance re­quired of every Christian man, a duty proper to him alone. For this doctrine of repentance Nature never taught in her school, neither was it ever found in the books of the learned. It is particular to the Book of God, and to the doctrine that came down from Heaven. In the sins against the first Table we offend immediately, and only against God: but in the sins against the second Table, there is a double guilt contra­cted, one against God, another against our Neighbour: In these sins, as there is a double fault, so there is a double sa­tisfaction to be made, one unto God, another to our Neigh­bour: for this second satisfaction between man and man, many Heathen common-wealths have been very sufficiently furnished [Page 102] with store of excellent laws. But of an attonement over and a­bove to be made to God, they scarce seem to have had any thought: and indeed to speak truth, to what purpose had it been to trouble their heads about it; It is impossible that it should ever fall within the conceit of any reasonable creature, to pronounce what satisfaction was to be made for offence com­mitted against God. He is of infinite majesty, holding no pro­portion, no correspondence with any created being. What re­compence then can he receive from the hands of dust and ashes? Ten thousand worlds, were we able to give them all, could not make satisfaction for any part of the smallest offence we have committed against him: when therefore the inventions of men were thus at a stand, when all discourse, all reason were posed, it pleased God in mercy to open his pleasure in his word, and to accept of true and unfeigned repentance, as the only means to wash away the guilt of sin against his majesty. A thing in the eye of flesh and blood altogether ridiculous. And there­fore Julian, that accursed Apostata, scorning Constantine the Em­perour for betaking himself to the Christian religion, in con­tempt and derision of Baptisme and Repentance, thus speaks: [...] &c. Hoe, whosoever is a corrupter and a defiler of wo­men, whosoever is a man-slayer, whosoever is an impure and unclean person, let him from henceforth be secure, and care for nothing. I will shew him a little water, in which, if he do but dip himself, he shall be forthwith clean: yea, though he desperately run again into the same crimes. I will give him this gift, if he but knock his breast and strike his forehead, (which are the gestures of the penitent,) he shall without any more adoe become as pure as glass. 'Tis true indeed, in spight of unbelieving miscreants, it hath pleased God through the foolishness of Baptisme and Repen­tance to save those that are his. The water of baptisme, and the tears of true repentance, creatures of themselves weak and contemptible; yet through the wonderful operation of the grace of God annext unto them are able, were our sins as red as twice-died scarlet, to make them as white as snow. The sentence of God denounced unto Adam, What day thou eatest of the Tree thou [Page 103] shall die, certainly was absolute and irrevocable neither could any repentance of Adams totally have reverst it. Yet Abulensis cries out, O quam foelix humanum genus, &c. O how happy should mankinde have been, if Adam after his fall had used the benefit of Repentance, and in time acknowledged his sin unto God. Yea, he goes further and seems to intimate, that it had been of force almost to restore us unto our primitive purity. For this way his words seem to look, when he saith, Quod si seipsum accusasset nos omnes ab accusatione & judicio liberasset; If he had accused himself; doubtless he had freed us all from accusation and curse. Whatsoever his meaning was, thus much without danger we may think, that if our first Parents had not so strangly shuffled their fault from the one to the other, the man to the woman, the woman to the serpent, but had freely acknow­ledged it, and humbly begged pardon for it, God whose mer­cies were then as many and as ready as now they are, would, if not altogether have revok't, yet doubtless much have qualified and mitigated the sentence of the curse. If Adam had used more ingenuity in confessing, God would have used less rigour in punishing. Out of all this I draw this one lesson for your in­struction. Whosoever he be that thinks himself quit of some sins into which either through weakness or carelessnes he hath fallen, let him not presently flatter himself as if for this his book of debt unto God were cancel'd, as if he were in state of grace and new birth: but let him examine his own conscience, and Impartially sist all the manner of his reclaim. He may peradventure finde that upon some moral respect he hath bro­ken off the practice of his sin: he may finde that he hath sa­tisfied his neighbour, contented the Law, done many acts, by which he hath purchast reconciliation with the world. But if he finde not this passage of Repentance and hearty sorrow twixt God and his own soul, let him know that God is yet unsatisfied, that he is yet in his sin: his sin is yet unrepented of and there­fore still remains.

THus from the necessity of registring Peters Repentance I come to the words wherein it is registred, And he went [Page 104] out, &c. In these words we will consider four things, First the person: He] He went forth; or, and going forth he wept. Secondly, the preparative to the Repentance, He went forth. Thirdly, the Repentance it self, comprised in the word wept. Fourthly, the extent and measure, and compass of this Repentance, in the last word, bitterly. I. He, The way of mans life is a slippery way: no man whilst he is in it hath the priviledge of not sli­ding, just, and unjust, thus far, are of like condition: both fall. But here they differ, the just man riseth again. Not the eminen­cy of Peters person, not his great understanding in the mystery of Christ, not his resolution in our Saviours quarrel, not the love and respect his Master bare him, kept him from falling. But Peter being fallen provides himself to rise, and therefore in the second place, he went forth, saith my Text, Peter was now in the High-priests Court, a place very unfit for one in Peters case. Princes Courts are no place for Repentance: To wear soft raiment, to fair deliciously every day, this is Courti­ers guise. But [...] the shirt of hair, the tear of Repentance; this is the habit of the penitent. But wherefore went Peter out? Did he as our Sa­viour observes of the Scribes and Pharisees, go out into the wilderness to see? to gaze and look about him? No, His eyes now must do him other service. He went out as Joseph did from the face of his Brethren, to seek a place to weep. Maldonat the Jesuite thinks it would have been a more goodly thing, and far more beseeming Peters resolution, if in the place he had of­fended in the same he had repented: if before those he had made a constant confession of Christ before whom he had deny­ed him: But be the reasons what they will which moved Peter to go forth, we will not prescribe unto the Saints a form of Re­pentance we will cease therefore to dispute what Peter should have done, and rather gather lessons for our selves out of what he did: fourthly, and last of all, as Peters fault was great, so he contends that his Repentance may be as serious. The tears therefore he sheds are not slight, and perfunctory shed only for fashions sake, such as Quintilian spake of, nihil facilius lachrimis marescit, Nothing sooner grows dry then tears: but as the Text saith, [Page 105] He wept bitterly: to summon up that Siccoculum genus Christiano­rum, a sort of Christians, who never had tear dropt from their eye to witness their repentance: to teach us to enlarge the mea­sure of our sorrow for our sins, and in case of grievous relapse not mince out our repentance, but to let loose the rains unto grief. And thus I come to handle the parts in order more particularly: and first of the person, He.

Amongst all the Saints of God whose errours are set down in holy Scriptures, there is none whose person was more eminent, or fall more dangerous then Saint Peters. That which wisemen have observed in great and eminent wits, that they evermore exceed, either they are exceeding good or else they are exceeding bad, in Saint Peter was true both ways. His gifts of Faith, of understanding in the mystery of Godlines, of re­solution to die in our Saviours cause, were wonderful: but yet his errours were as many and as strange, yea, so much the more strange, because in that thing he most offended, in which he was most eminent. It was a great argument of his Faith, when in the Tempest meeting our Saviour on the waters, he calls out unto him, if it be thou, command me to come unto thee on the wa­ters; but no sooner was he come out of the ship, but through infidelity he began to sink. Again, of his great understanding in the mystery of Christ he gave a notable instance, when being questioned by our Saviour whom men took him to be, he gave the first evident, plain, and open testimony that ever was given him by man, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God. John indeed gave testimony, and so did Simeon, and so did many more: but it was more involv'd, done in more covert terms, more dark: Whence we may and that not without some probability argue, that the understanding of these men was not so evidently, so fully, so perspicuously enlightned as was Peters. Signum est intelligentis posse docere: It is a great argu­ment that a man doth passing well understand himself, when he is able perspicuously and plainly to speak to the understanding of another. This confession therefore of Peter, that carries with it greater light and perspicuity then any yet that ever was gi­ven, doth not obscurely intimate that he had a greater mea­sure [Page 106] of illumination, then any of his predecessors. Yet to see the wonderful dispensation of the holy Ghost, scarce was this confession out of his mouth, but in the very next bout where our Saviour begins further to enform him in the particulars of his Passion, and Death, and despiteful handling by the Jews, the edge of his conceit was quite turned, quite blunted and dull. Poor man, as if he had been quite ignorant of the end of Christs coming, out of a humane conceit and pity, he takes upon him to counsel and advise our Saviour. Sir, favour your self, these things shall not come unto you: and for this pains he is rewarded with no less reproachful a name then that of Satan, of a seducer, of a Devil. He that shall peruse the story of the Go­spel, and here stay himself, might think that that which we read John the sixth, v. 70. spoken of Judas, Have I not chosen you twelve and one of you is a Divel: were here fulfilled in Peter, Last of all his love to Christ, and resolution in his quarrel, he gave an evident testimony, when he protested himself ready to lay down his life for him. Greater love then this in the Apostles judge­ment, no man hath then to lay down his life for his friend. This Saint Peter had, if we may believe himself. Yea, he began to express some acts of it, when in defence of his master he manfully drew his sword, and wounded the servant of the high Priest. But see how soon the scene is changed. This good Champion of our Saviour, as a Lyon that is reported to be daunted with the crowing of a Cock, is stricken out of countenance and quite amazed with the voyce of a silly Damsel. Yea, so far is he possest with a spirit of fear, that he not only denies, but abjures his master, and perjures himself, committing a sin not far be­hind the sin of Judas; yea, treading it hard upon the heels. But the mercy of God that leaves not the honour of his servant in the dust of death, but is evermore careful to raise us up from the death of sin, unto the life of righteousness; suffers not this rock, this great pillar of his Church to be overthrown. He first admonishes him by the crowing of a Cock: when that would not serve, himself (full of careful love and goodness) though in the midsts of his enemies, forgets his own danger, and remembers the danger of his servant. Himself was now as a [Page 107] sheep before the shearer, dumb and not opening his mouth: yet forgets he not that he is that great shepherd of the flock, but David like rescues one of his fould from the mouth of the Lion and from the paw of the Bear. He turns about and looks upon him, saith the Text, he cries louder unto him with his look, then the cock could with his voice. Of all the members in the body the eye is the most moveing part, that oft-times is spo­ken in a look, which by no force of speech could have been uttered, this look of Christ did so warm Peter almost frozen dead with fear that it made him well-near melt into tears. As if he had cried out with the spouse, Cant. 6. O turn away thine eyes, for they have overcome me, he grows impatient of his looks, and seeks for a place to weep, what a look was this think you? Saint Jerome discoursing with himself what might be the cause that many of the Disciples, when they were called by our Sa­viour, presently without further consultation arose and followed him, thinks it not improbable, that there did appear some Glory and Majesty in his Countenance, which made them believe he was more than a Man that thus bespake them; whatsoever then appear'd in his Looks, doubtless in this Look of his was seen some Soveraign power of his Diety that could so speedily re­cover a man thus almost desperately gone: a man that had one foot in hell, whom one step more had irrecoverably cast a­way: It was this Look of Christ that restored Peter. Quos respicit Jesus plorant delictum, saith Saint Ambrose, those weep for their sins whom Jesus looks upon. Negavit primo Petrus & non flevit, quia non respexerat Dominus. Negavit secundo: non fle­vit, quia adhuc non respexerat Dominus. Negavit tertio, & re­spexit Jesus, & ille amarissimè flevit. Peter denies him once, and repents not, for Jesus look't not back upon him: he denies him the second time, and yet he weeps not, for yet the Lord look't not back. He denies him the third time, and Jesus looks upon him, and then he weeps bitterly. Before I come to make use of this, it shall not be altogether impertinent to say something unto some queries that here arise concerning the condition of Pe­ter, and in him of all the Elect of God, whilst they are in state of sin unrepented of for, as for Peters faith, which some makes [Page 108] doubt of, there can as I conceive; no question be made. It is not to be thought that Peter had rever'st with himself the confes­sion that he had formerly made of Christ or that he thought doubtless I have er'd, this is not the person whom I took him to be. Indeed, through fear and cowardize he durst not confess that with his mouth unto salvation which in his heart he believed unto righteousnes. Any thing further then this, that speech of our Saviour takes away, wherein he tells him before hand, I have pray'd that thy faith might not fail. But since our Age hath had experience of some, who because the Election of God stand­eth sure, and Christs sheep none can take out of his hands, conclude therefore that for the Elect of God there is no falling from Grace, that to David & Peter no ill could happen, no though (for so they have given it out) that they had died in the very act of their sin: To meet with such disputants, I will briefly lay down what I conceive is to be thought in the point. Wherefore parate fauces pani, as Saint Barnard speaks. Hi­therto I have given you milk provide your stomacks now for harder meat, and such as befits strong men in Christ. Pe­ter and Judas (for I will couple them both together in my dis­course, whilst they are both joyned together in sin) Peter, I say, and Judas in regard of their own persons, were both, more or less in the same case, both fallen from Grace, both in state of sin and damnation, till the Repentance of Peter al­tered the case on his part. But the Grace of God signified two things: either the purpose of Gods Election, the Grace and Favour Inherent in the Person of God, which he still casts upon those that are his notwithstanding their ma­nifold backslidings: or else it signifies the habit of sancti­fying qualities Inherent in the Regenerat Man, those good Graces of God, by which he walks holy and unblamea­ble. Again, the state of damnation signifies likewise two things: either the purpose of Gods reprobation, or else the habit of dam­nable qualities in the sinful man: from the state of Grace, as it signifies the purpose of God to save, the Elect can never fall: In the state of damnation, as it signifies something inherent in us, every man by nature is, and the elect of God even after their [Page 109] Calling many times fall into it: that is, they may and do many times fall into those sins; yea, for a time continue in them, too (David did so for a whole years space) which except they be done a way by repentance, inevitably bring forth eternal death, for the state of mortal sin unrepented of, is truly and indeed the state of death; yea, the whole and sole reason of the condem­nation of every one that perishes; for Christ hath said it, except ye repent, ye shall all perish. So then you see, that into the state of damnation, as it signifieth something inherent in us, a man may fall, and yet not fall from the state of grace, as it signifies Gods purpose of election: for both these are compatible for a time; if then we look upon the persons of Peter and Judas, both of them are in the state of mortal sin unrepented of; and there­fore both in state of damnation: but if we look back unto God, we shall see a hand reacht out unto Peter, pulling him back as he is now running down the hill, which hand we do not see reacht out unto Judas. Christ had a look in store for Peter, which if it had pleased him to have lent unto Judas, Judas would have done that which Peter did. When then we pronounce Peter, and in him any of the elect of God, as they are in Peters case to be fallen from grace; we speak not with relation to any pur­pose of God; but we mean only that they have not that mea­sure of Sanctification, which ought to be in every childe, which shall be an heir to life, and what hinders to pronounce that man fallen from grace, whom we must needs acknowledge to be in that state, in which if he continue, there is no way open but to death? What then may some man say, had Peter lost the spirit of adoption? Had he not those sanctifying qualities of faith, hope, & charity, wch are proper to the Saints, and are given them by divine inspiration in the moment of their conversion: was that immortal seed of the word quite kill'd? No verily; How then? Having all these, may he yet be called the childe of death? I answer, he may and is indeed so, for these do not make him that at no time he can be so, but that finally he shall not be so, for they are not armour of proof to keep out all darts, neither do they make our souls invulnerable, as the Poets faine the body of Cyenus or Achilles to have been: but they are preci­ous [Page 110] balms evermore ready at hand to cure the wound when it is given. They are not of force to hinder mortal sin, (for then every soul in whom they are were pure, undefiled, neither were it possible, that the Elect of God after their conversion should fall,) but they are of force to work repentance, which makes all our wounds remediable. He that is mortally sick and dies, and he that is likewise mortally sick, and through help of restoring physick recovers, in this both agree, that they are mortally sick, notwithstanding the recovery of one party. The wound of Peter and of Judas was mortal, and in both festred unto death; but there was balm in Gilead for Peter, for Judas there was none. The sting of the fiery Scorpion in the wilderness was deadly, and all that looked not on the brazen serpent died. The brazen serpent altred not the quality of the Scorpions sting, it only hindred the working of the poyson: the sting of sin in Peter, and in Judas was deadly: but he that was lift up on mount Calvary, as the brazen serpent was in the wilderness, at him did Peter look and live: Judas did not look, and therefore died. How comes it about beloved that God every where in Scripture threatens death, without exception to all that repent not, if the state of sin unrepented of, in whomsoever it is, be not indeed the state of death. When David was intending to stay in Keilah; and suspecting the inhabitants of that city, asks of God whether the men of Keilah would deliver him over into the hand of Saul: God tells him they would: and therefore certainly had he stayed there, he had been betrayed unto Saul: to urge that Peter, because of Gods purpose to save him, could not have fi­nally miscarried, though he had died without repentance, (as some have not stuck to give out) is nothing else in effect, but to maintain against God, that David had he stayed in Keilah had not fallen into Sauls hands, because we know it was Gods pur­pose to preserve David from the violence of Saul. All the de­terminations of God are of equal certainty. It was no more possible for Saul to seaze on David, then it is for the Devil to pull one of Gods elect out of his hand; as therefore the deter­minate purpose of God to free David from the malice of Saul, took not away that supposition, If David go to Keilah, he shall [Page 111] fall into the hands of Saul, so neither doth the decree of God to save his elect destroy the supposition, if they repent not, they die eternally, for the purposes of God, though impossible to be de­feated, yet lay not upon things any violent necessity, they ex­empt not from the use of ordinary means: they infringe not our liberty, they stand very well with common casualty: yea, these things are the very means by which his decrees are brought a­bout. I may not stand longer upon this, I will draw but one short admonition, and so an end: Let no man presume to look into the Third Heaven, to open the books of life and death, to pronounce over peremptorily of Gods purpose concerning him­self, or any other man. Let every man look into himself, and trie whether he be in the faith or no; the surest means to trie this, is to take an unpartial view of all our actions, many de­ceive themselves whilst they argue from their faith to their works, whereas they ought out of their works to conclude their faith; whilest presuming they have faith, and the gifts of san­ctification, they think all their actions warrantable: whereas we ought first throughly to sift all our actions, to examine them at the Touch of Gods Commandements, and if indeed we finde them currant, then to conclude that they come from Sanctifying Graces of the Holy Spirit. It is faith indeed that gives the tin­cture, the die, the relish unto our actions, yet the only means to examine our faith is by our works. It is the nature of the Tree that gives the goodness, the favour and pleasantness to the fruit, yet the fruit is the only means to us, to know whether the tree be good. By their fruit ye shall know them, saith Christ: It is not a rule not only to know others, but ourselves too. To rea­son thus, I am of the elect, I therefore have saving faith, and the rest of the sanctifying qualities, therefore that which I do is good: thus I say to reason is very preposterous. We must go a quite contrary course, and thus reason: my life is good, and through the mercies of God in Jesus Christ, shall stand with Gods Justice: I therefore have the Gifts of Sanctification, and therefore am of Gods Elect: for Peter to have said with him­self, I am of the Elect, this sin therefore cannot indanger me, had been great presumption, but thus to have reasoned, my sin [Page 112] is deadly, therefore except I repent, I am not of the number of Gods Elect, this reasoning had well befitted Peter, and be­comes every Christian man, whom common frailty drives into the like distress.

I made my entrance into my Sermon with the consideration of the wisdome of God, in permitting his chiefest servants to fall dangerously: I have largely exemplified it in the person of Peter: give me leave to make this further beneficial unto you by drawing some uses from it; for great profit hath redounded to the Church through the fall of these men; Felicius ille cecidit quam ceteri steterunt, saith St. Ambrose of this fall of Peter. His sin hath more avail'd us, then the righteousness of many others; for wheresoever it pleases the Holy Spirit of God to work effe­ctually, (I speak cautelously, because I would give no place to presumption) in him he makes excellent use oftimes, even of sin and evil. First of all it is a tried Case, that many times through negligence and carelesness, we suffer our selves to lie open to many advantages. In such a case as this, a blow given us, serves us for a remembrance to call our wits about us, [...] to stir up the Grace of God that isin us, which many times is in­terlunio lies covered like fire under ashes; for as a skilful wrestler having suffered his adversary to take advantage upon some over­sight, recollects himself, and comes forward with greater strength and wariness: et pudor incendit vires et conscia virtus: shame of the foil and impatience of disgrace, addes strength un­to him and kindles him: so oft times is it with the Saints of God. The shame of having fallen makes them summon up their forces, to look better about them, to fulfil their duty in larger sort, then if they had not slipt at all. Hence it is, that we see that of the bitterest enemies of the Church, have been made the best converts; of this we have a notable example in S. Paul; how eager was he in the quarrel of the Jews against Christ? None a more mischievous enemy to the Christians then he; yet, when it pleased God to shew him his error, he proved one of the most excellent instruments of Christs glory, that ever was on earth. And so accordingly he gives himself a most true te­stimony: I have laboured more abundantly, not then one or two [Page 113] of them, but, then they all: his writings being as much in quan­tity, as of them all: and St. Lukes story being nothing else al­most but a register of the acts of St. Paul. The sense and consci­ence, I doubt not, of that infinite wrong done to the Church provoked him to measure back to the utmost of this power, his pains and labour in making up the breach, he had formerly made: here then is a notable lesson for us, teaching us to make our former sins and impieties, admonitioners unto us to know our own strength, & by Christian care & watchfulness to prevent all advantages, which the Devil may take by our rechlesness and negligence; for beloved, it is not so much our impotency and weakness, as our sloth and carelesness, against which the com­mon enemy doth prevail; for through the Grace of him that doth-inable us, we are stronger then he: and the policie of Chri­stian warfare hath as many means to beat back and defend, as the deepest reach of Satan hath to give the on-set. The Envious man in the Gospel rusht not into the field in despite of the hus­bandman, and the servants, but came and sowed his tares, whilst men slept saith the text. Our neglect and carelesness is the sleep that he takes advantage of; when David was so strangely overtaken, the Scripture tells us he rose from his bed, to walk on the top of his pallace, from his bed indeed he arose, but not from his sleep; for mark I beseech you: David had spent much of his time about the Court, he had been abroad, and seen and ran­sak'd many cities, and doubtless he had seen many women as fair as the wife of Vriah, and that in his younger days, when he was more apt to kindle. Why then now commits he so great an oversight? Look on him a while as now he is. He is now at rest in his pallace, at ease on his bed, and to solace himself he must rise and walk at the top of his house, and idely gaze up­on a naked dame: of this his idleness the Devil takes advantage: this is the sleep in which he comes and sows tares in Davids heart, even al manner of lust. So that David fell as Adam did in Paradise, not as a man that falls before an enemy stronger then himself. The greatest part of the sins which we commit, are in this rank with Davids sin: He is faithful, saith the Apostle, and suf­fers no man to be tempted above his strength. Many creatures, [Page 114] if they knew their strength, would never suffer themselves to be aw'd by man as they are. Beloved, we are become like horse and mule without understanding, we know not our strength we are more blinde then the servant of Elizaeus, and see not that they that are with us are more, and more mighty then they that are against us. The Angels are ministring spirits, sent out of purpose to gard us, and doubtless do many and great services for us, though we perceive not. We have the army of God, ubi mille clipei & omnis armatura fortium, where are a thousand bucklers and all the weapons of the mighty, the helmet of Salvation, the sword of the Spirit, the sheild of Faith to quench all the fiery darts of sin: only let us not neglect to buckle it on, and make use of it. We have to strive with an enemy, such a one as Anibal reported Marcellus to be, Qui nec bonam nec malam ferre fortunam potest seu vicit, ferociter instat victis; seu victus est, instaurat cum victoribus certamen; a restless enemy that is never quiet, howsoever the world goes, if he conquer us, he insolently insults upon us; if we foil him; he still bethinks himself how to set upon us a­fresh. Let us not therefore suppose sedendo & votis debellari posse, that the conquest will be gotten by sitting still and wish­ing all were well. We oft maintain against the Church of Rome, that our natural abilities whilest we live serve us not to fulfil the Law of God. What bootes it thus to dispute? shall the con­fession of our unableness to do what we ought, excuse us at all if we do not that which we are able? S. Austin was of opinion how justly I will not dispute but of that opinion he was, and it was the occasion of his book, de spiritu & litera ad Marcellinum: that it was possible for us even in this natural life seconded by the grace of God, perfectly to accomplish what the Law re­quires at our hands. Let the truth of this be as it may be: cer­tainly that is most true which the same Father adds: that let our strength be what it will, yet if we know not our duty we shall do it no more then the traveller sound of body or limb, can go that way aright of which he is utterly ignorant. Yea, let our a­bility be perfect, and let our knowledge be also absolute, yet if we have no minde; if we want a love unto our duty, if we suffer our selves to be overswayed by affection to other things, yet shall [Page 115] we not do our duty. For which of us being at liberty will do that which he hath no love unto? Beloved, as for or know­ledge God hath left unto us Scripture, the perfect register of all our duty the absolute itinerary and map of all the course which in this life we are to run: & as for love he plentifully sheds it in the hearts of all those that by faithful prayer beg it of him. If we shall search the Scripture to improve our knowledge, if we shall earnestly beg at his hands to inflame our love. Let our natural possibilities be what they will: he that now doth little amongst us shall do much, and he that doth much shall do much more: and the promises made unto the Jews concerning their carnal enemies, shall be made good on us concerning our spi­ritual and ghostly enemies, one of us shall chase a thousand, and if they come out against us on way, they shall fly before us seven wayes. And thus much for the first use.

There is a second benefit of great weight and moment, which we reap out of the consideration of the errours of these excel­lent Ministers of God: namely a lesson teaching us to beware of spiritual pride. Of all the vices which our nature is subject un­to, this is the most dangerous, and of which we had need be most cautelous. For whereas all other vices proceed from some ill in us, from some sinful imbecillity of our nature, this alone arises out of our good parts; Other sins draw their being from that original corruption which we drew from our Parents, but this may seem to be the mother of that; as by which even na­tures unstained and in their primitive purity may most easily fall. And therefore not without some probability is it concluded in the Schools, That no other crime could throw the Angels down from heaven but this. That which one leaves for a memorial to great men, that in dangerous times, non minus periculum ex magna fama quam ex mala, it was a matter of like danger to have a good name as an ill, that may I pronounce of a Christi­an man, the danger of his innocency is not much less then of his faults. For this Devil when he cannot drive us to despair by reason of our sin, takes another course to see if he can make us presume upon conceit of our righteousness. For when by the pre­venting grace of God we keep our selves from greater offences [Page 116] if we finde our selves to have a love unto the word of God, and the true professours of it, to be rich in almsdeeds, to have a part in other acts of righteousness, he makes us first take notice of these good things in us, notice taken draws us to love and admire them in us: self-love draws us on to compare our selves with others, then to prefer our selves before others, and third­ly to disdain others in respect of our selves. Here now is a gap laid open to a thousand inconveniences. And hence it is that we see divers times men otherwise of life and reputation pure and unblameable, upon conceit and unconsiderateness by a secret judgement of God to fall upon extremes no less fearful then are the issues of open prosaness and impiety. To cut of therefore all way that may be opened to let in spiritual pride it hath plea­sed God to make use of this as of a soverain remedy namely to permit even in his most chosen vessels, evermore secret and hid­den infirmities and sometimes gross and open scapes, which may serve when they look into themselves to abate all overweening conceit of their own righteousness, and when they shall look into the errours of others, may be secret admonitioners unto them, not rashly to condemn them, considering their own weakness. I will therefore shut up this place with the saying of Saint Ambrose, etiam laepsus sanctorum utilis est, Nihil mihi obsuit quod negavit Petrus, etiam profuit quod emendavit. The fall of the Saints is a very profitable thing. It hurts not me that Peter denied Christ, and the example of his amendment is very beneficial unto me. And so I come unto the prepara­tive unto Peters Repentance, in these words, and he went forth.

THe wisdom of God hath taught the Church sometime by express message delivered by words of mouth, some­time by dumb signes and actions. When Jeremy walk't up and down the city with a yoke of wood about his neck, when Eze­kiel lay upon his side, besieged a Slate with the draught of Je­rusalem upon it, and like a banished man carried his stuff up­on his shoulders from place to place: they did no less prophesie the captivity, desolation, famine and wo, which was to fall [Page 117] upon Jerusalem, then when they denounced it by direct word and speech: yea, many of the ordinary actions of the Patriarks, which seem to participate of chance, and to be in the same rank with those of other men, themselves (as a learned divine of our Mercerus age observes) not intending or understanding any such thing, contained by the dispensation of the Holy Ghost, especial lessons and instructions for us. That speech of Sarah, cast out the bondwoman and her son, &c. seemed to Abraham only a speech of curst heart, and she her self perceives not her self to speak by di­rection from God, but moved with impatience of Ismaels petu­lant behaviour toward her son. Yet the Holy Ghost himself hath taught us, that this act of hir prefigured a great mystery. Many disputations there are concerning the cause of this action of Peters going forth: whether it were out of the common in­firmity that is in most men, namely a greater shame to repent then to offend: or whether it were out of modesty and good na­ture, that he could not indure the sight of Christ, whom he had so grievously offended. Howsoever it were, we shall do this Scripture no wrong, if we think it to contain an act in outward shew casual, and like unto the actions of other men, but in­wardly indeed an especial action of a person great in the sight of God; and therefore comprehending some especial instructi­on. And to speak plainly, this abandoning the place wherein he fell, the company for fear of whom he fell, and those things that were occasioners of his sin, doth not obscurely point out unto us an especial duty of speedy relinquishing and leaving of all, either friends or place, or means, or whatsoever else, though dearer unto us then our right hand, then our right eye; if once they become unto us inducements to Sin. In former days before the Fulness of time came, the Calling of the Elect of God was not by any one act more often prefigured, then by this action of going forth. When the purpose of God was to select unto himself a Church, and to begin it in Abraham, come forth, faith he unto him, out of thy countrey, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house. When Israel being in AEgypt, it pleased God to appoint them a set Form and manner of serving him, be­fore this could be done, they and all theirs must come forth of AE­gypt, [Page 118] they must not leave a hoof behinde them. When the time of the Gospel was come, our Saviour holds the same course: none must be of his company, but such as come forth, leave all and follow him. And therefore the Apostle putting the Hebrews in minde of their duty, expresses it in this very tearm; Let us go forth, therefore unto him, saith he without the camp, bearing his reproach. And in the original language of the New Testament, the Church hath her name from this thing, from being called forth; so that without a going forth there is no Church, no Chri­stianity, no Service to God, the reason of all which is this: we are all by nature in the High Priests court, as Peter was, where we all deny and forswear our Master as Peter did: nei­ther is there any place for Repentance, till with Peter we go forth and weep.

For our further light we are to distinguish the practise of this our going forth, according to the diversity of the times of the Church. In the first ages, when Christianity was like unto Christ, and had no place to hide its head, no entertainment but what persecution, and oppression, and fire, and sword could yield it; there was then required at the hands of Christians, an Actual going forth, a real leaving of riches, and friends, and lands, and life for the profession of the Gospel. Afterward, when the Tempests of persecutions were somewhat alay'd, and the skie began to clear up, the necessity of actual relinquishing of all things ceast, Christians might then securely hold life and lands, and whatsoever was their own, yet that it might appear unto the world, that the resolution of Christian men was the same as in times of distress and want, so likewise in time of peace and security, it pleased God to raise up many excellent men, as well of the Laity, as of the Clergy, who without constraint, volunta­rily, and of themselves, made liberal distribution of all they had; left their means and their friends, and betook themselves to deserts and solitary places, wholy giving themselves over to meditation, to prayer, to fasting, to all severity and rigidness of life, what opinion our times hath of these, I cannot easily pro­nounce: thus much I know safely may be said, that when this custome was in its primitive purity, there was no one thing [Page 119] more behoofful to the Church. It was the Seminary and nursery of the Fathers, and of all the famous Ornaments of the Church. Those two things which afterwards in the decay and ruine of this discipline, the Church sought to establish by Decrees and Con­stitutions, namely to estrange her Priests from the world and bind them to single life, were the necessary effects of this man­ner of living, for when from their childhood they had utterly se­questred themselves from the world and long practised the con­tempt of it: when by chastising their body and keeping it under with long fasting they had killed the heat of youth, it was not ambition nor desire of wealth, nor beauty of women that could withdraw them or sway their affections.

That which afterwards was crept into the Church and bare the name of Monkery, had indeed nothing of it but the name, un­der pretence of poverty they seized into their possession the wealth and riches of the world, they removed themselves from barren soils into the fattest places of the land, from solitary de­sarts into the most frequented cities: they turned their poor cot­tages into stately pallace, their true fasting into formalizing and partial abstinence. So that instead of going forth they took the next course to come into the world: they left not the world for Christ, but under pretence of Christ they gain'd the world: [...] as Nazianz [...]ne speaks. One of their own, Saint Jerome by name, long ago complain'd of it. Nonnulli sunt diti­ores Monachi, quam fuerant seculares, & clerici qui possideant opes sub paupere Christo, quas sub fallaci & locuplete diabolo non habue­rant ut suspiret eos ecclesia divites: quos tenuit mundos ante men­dicos. But I forbear and come to commend unto you another kinde of going forth, necessary for all persons, and for all times. There is a going forth in act and execution, requisite only at some­times and upon some occasions: there is a going forth in will and affection: this let the persons be of what calling soever, and let the times be never so favourable, God requires at the hands of every one of us. We usually indeed distinguish the times of the Church into times of peace, and times of persecution: the truth is, to a true Christian man the times are always the same. Habet­etiam [Page 120] pax suos martyres, saith one: there is a martyrdome even in time of peace; for the practise of a Christian man in the calm­est times, in readiness and resolution must nothing differ from times of rage and fire. Josephus writing of the Military exercises practised amongst the Romans, reports that for seriousness they diffred from a true battel only in this, the battel was a bloody exer­cise, their exercise a bloodless battel. Like unto this must be the Chri­stian exercise in times of peace, neither must there be any differ­ence betwixt those days of persecution, and these of ours, but only this, those yeelded Martyrs with blood, ours without. Let therefore eve­ry man throughly examine his own heart, whether upon supposal of times of tryal and persecution, he can say with David, My heart is ready, whether he can say of his dearest pledges, all these have I counted dung for Christs sake, whether he finde in himself that he can, if need be, even lay down his life for his profession. He that cannot do thus, what differs his faith from a temporary faith, or from hypocrisie? Mark, I beseech you what I say, I will not affirm, I will only leave it to your Christian discretion. A tem­porary faith, that is, a faith resembled to the seed in the Gospel, which being sown on the stony ground, withered as soon as the sun arose, a faith that fails as soon as it feels the heat of persecu­tion, can save no man. May we not with some reason think that the faith of many a one, who in time of peace seems to us, yea, and to himself too peradventure to dy possest of it, is yet notwith­standing no better then a temporary faith, and therefore comes not so far as to save him that hath it? Rufus a certain Philosopher whensoever any Scholars were brought unto him to receive edu­cation under him, was wont to use all possible force of argument to diswade them from it: if nothing could prevail with them but needs they will be his hearers, this their pertinacy he took for a sure token of a mind throughly setled, & led as it were by instinct to their studies. If God should use this method to try who are his, and bring on us those Temptations, which would make the man of temporary faith to shrink: think we that all those who in these times of peace have born the name of Christ unto their graves, would have born unto the rack, unto the sword, unto the fire? Indeed to man who knows not the thoughts of his friend [Page 121] some trials sometimes are very necessary. But he that knew and foretold David what the resolution of the men of Keilah would be, if Saul came to them, knows likewise what the resolution of every one of us would be if a fiery trial should appear. Who knows therefore whether God hath numbred out the Crowns of life, according to the number of their souls, who he foreknew would in the midst of all Temptations and trialls continue unto the end? for what difference is there betwixt the faith that fails upon occasion, or that would fail if occasion were offred? for the actual failing of faith is not that that makes it temporary, it is only that wch detects it, wch bewrays it unto us to be so. The faith therefore of that man which would have sunk as fast as Peter did, if tempests had arisen, notwithstanding that through the peace of the Church he dies possest of, is no better then a temporary, and cometh short of a saving faith. Durus sermo, it as a hard speech some man may say: but let him that thinks thus, recount with himself that Dura via, it is is a hard way that leads to life. Be­loved, deceive not your selves: heaven never was, nor will be gotten without Martyrdom: In a word my Brethren try there­fore your selves, whether you have in you true resolution, sum­mon up your thoughts, surveigh every path in which your affecti­ons are wont to tread: see whether you are prepared to leave all for Christ. If you find in your selves but one affection looking back to Sodom, to the things of this life, remember Lots wife, her case is yours, you are not yet sufficiently provided for the day of battel.


Christian Omnipotency.

Philip. 4. 13.‘I can do all things, through Christ, that ena­bleth or that strengtheneth me.’

FRom henceforth let all complaint concern­ing the frailty, and weakness of mans Na­ture, for ever cease. For behold our weak­ness swallow'd up of strength, and man is become Omnipotent. I can do all things, saith my Apostle. The strongest reason, which the subtilest above all the beasts of the field, could invent, to draw our first Parents from their allegeance, was this, Ye shall be like Gods. Our Saviour who is infinitely wiser to recal us, then our adver­sary was to seduce us, takes the same way to restore as he did to destroy, and uses that for Physick, which the Devil gave for poyson. Is this it, saith he, unto us, that hath drawn ye from me, that ye would be like unto Gods? why, then return again, and ye shall be like Gods, by a kinde of Communicatio idiomatûm, by imparting unto you such excellencies, as are proper unto myself. [Page 123] As I my self do all things, so shall you likewise be enabled to do all things through me. Falso queritur de Naturâ suâ Genus hu­manum, quod imbecillis sit. It was the observation of the Hea­then Historian, that it is an error in men, thus to complain of the infirmities, and weakness of their Nature. For man indeed is a creature of great strength, and if at any time, he finde himself weak, it is through his fault, not through his nature. But he that shall take into consideration these words of my Text, shall farre better then any natural man, be able to perceive, that man hath no cause to complain of his weakness. [...] [...] [...], saith Aristophanes. It was a tale that passed among some of the Heathen, that Vulcan offended with the men of Athens, told them that they should be but fools: but Pallas that favour'd them, told them they should be fools in­deed, but folly should never hurt them. Beloved our case is like to that of the men of Athens, Vulcan the Devil hath made us fools, and weak, and so we are indeed of our selves: but the Son of God, the true Pallas, the wisdome of the Father hath gi­ven us this gift, that our weakness, shall never hurt us. For look what strength we lost in Adam, that with infinite advan­tage is suppli'd in Christ. It was the Parable of Iphicrates, that an Army of Harts, with a Lyon to their Captain, would be able to vanquish an armie of Lyons, if their captain were but an Hart. Beloved, were mankinde indeed but an army of Harts, were we Hinnuleo similes, like unto the fearful Hinde, upon the Mountains, that starts at every leaf that shakes: yet through Christ, that strengtheneth us, having the Lyon of the tribe of Ju­dah for our Captain, and Leader, we shall be able to vanquish all that force; which the Lyon that goeth up and down seeking whom he may devoure, is able to bring against us. Indeed we do many times sadly bemoan our case, and much rue the loss, which through the rechlesness of our first parents hath befallen us; Yet let us chear up our selves, our fear is greater then our hurt: as Elkanah speaks unto Hannah in the first of Samuel. Why weepest thou? Am not I better unto thee then ten Sons. So will we com­fort our selves in the like manner. Let us sorrow no more for [Page 124] our loss in Adam. For is not Christten fold better unto us, then all the good of Paradise. The Mulbery tree indeed is broken down, but it is built up again with Cedar. The loss of that portion of strength, wherewith our Nature was originally endued, is made up with fulness of power in Christ; It is past that con­clusion of Zeba and Zalmana unto Gideon, in the Book of Judges, As the man is, so is his strength; for now Beloved, as is God so is our strength. Wherefore as St. Ambrose spake of Peters fall: Non mihi obsuit quod negavit Petrus, immo prosuit, quod emenda­vit: So may we speak of the fall of our first Parents, it hurts not us that Adam fell; nay our strength and glory is much im­proved, that by Christ we are redeemed. Our natural weak­ness be it never so great, with this supply from Christ, is far a above all strength, of which our Nature in its greast perfection was capable. If we survey the particulars of that weakness, which we drew from the loines of our first parents, we shall finde the chiefest part of it to be in the loss of immortality. For as for the loss of that pleasant place, the blindness of understand­ing, and perverseness of will, being suppos'd to betide us im­mediately upon the fall, these seem weaknesses far inferior to our mortality. For, God forbidding us the fruit of the tree of know­ledg, & setting down the penalty that should ensue, making choice (as it is most likely) of the fearfullest judgement, and what he saw in his wisdome, was most likely to awe us, threatens nei­ther blindness of understanding, nor crookedness of Nature, but tells us, What day ye eat of it, ye shall die. Yet see beloved, with how great strength this mortal weakness is repair'd; For thus to be able to encounter with death, the fearfullest of all Gods cur­ses, and through Christ to overcome it, as all true Christians do, to turn the greatest curse into the greatest blessing, is more then immortality.

Si non errasset, fecerat ille minus. Had not man been thus weak, he had never been thus strong. Again, on the contrary, let us conceive unto the utmost, what our strength might be in our first estate, let us raise our conceit unto the highest note we can reach, yet shall we never finde it to be greater, then what here is exprest in my Text. For greater ability, then power to [Page 125] do all things, is not imaginable, I can do all things. Beloved, these words are Anakims, they beseem not the mouth of a man of ordinary strength. He that hath right unto them, must be one of the race of the Giants at least, for he saith not simply, [...] I can, though peradventure with some difficul­ty, hardly with much labour, and pains, but he saith [...] ; I can with ease, I have valour and strength to do them. I ask then first as the Eunuch doth in the Acts: of whom speaks our Apostle this, of himself or of some other man? I answer both of himself, and all other Christians; For every Christian man by reading it as he ought, makes it his own, for in reading it as he ought, he reads it with the same spirit, with which St. Paul wrote it. Wherefore as St. Paul some where records of himself, that he was not found inferiour to the chief Apostles, so is it true that the meanest Christian that hears me this day, in all that is contained in my Text, is parallel'd, is nothing in­feriour unto St. Paul, unto the chief Apostles. What a com­fort then is this unto the brother of low degree, when he considers with himself, that how mean soever he may seem to be, either in the Church or common weal, yet notwithstanding in so great a priviledge, as is this omnipotent power of doing all things; he is equal unto Peter, unto Paul, the greatest Peers of the Church. If then the weakness of Christians be so strong, as to deserve the name of Almightiness, what name, what title doth the strength of a Christian deserve to bear?

Secondly, I ask what meaning hath this word [...], this can do in my Text? I answer very large: first, though it be rendred by this word doing, yet it comprehends sufferings too, for pos­sum: valeo, I can, is as well to suffer as to do, and that our bles­sed Apostle amongst other things so meant it, is apparant by the words foregoing my text. And here is the first part of a Chri­stians omnipotency: his patience is infinite, it suffers all things. Never any contumely, never any loss, never any smart so great, as could weary out Christian patience. Talia (saith Tertullian,) tantaque documenta, quorum magnitudo penes nationes detractatio fides est, peaes nos vero, ratio, & structio. Such examples, such pre­cepts, have we of Christian patience, as that with infidels they seem incredible, and call in question the truth of our profession; [Page 126] but with us they are the ground and foundation of faith. God himself did never yet trie the utmost of a Christians patience: neither hath he created any object, that is able to equal it, yet he seems for our instruction to have gone about to trie, what might have been done: he commanded Abraham to sacrifice his dear and only son. Tam grave praeceptum, quod [...]ec Deo perfici placebat, patienter et audivit, & si deus voluisset, implesset, saith Tertullian. So heavy was the command, that God himself lik'd not it should be acted, yet Abraham heard it patiently, and had fulfilled it, if God would have given him leave. What should I speak of poverty, of disease, of the sword, of fire, of death it self, [...] saith Gorduis the Martyr in St. Basil, [...] [...]. O at what a loss I am, saith he, that I can die but once for my Saviour. Take the greatest instance of Gods sury and wrath, even the pains laid up in Hell for the sinner, and we shall finde that there have been Christians, who for the glory of God, would gladly have endured them. St. Paul is the man amongst all the Saints of God, the greatest and worthiest example of this wonderful strength, of this omnipotency of a Christian man. What evil is imaginable, which he did not either indeed, or at least in will, and affection undergo? Omnem patientiae speciem adversus omnem diaboli vim expunxit, [...] I am on fire saith Saint Chrysostome, when I speak of St. Paul, and indeed whom would it not inflame, to read that admirable Synopsis and brief of his sufferings registred in the second of the Corinthians, at the Ele­venth Chapter. In labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft, and could he do more? Yes, he could; Sed ubi historiam praestare non po [...]uit, votum attulit. Hi­therto he reports historically what was done, and as if that were not enough, he tells us what he would have done, and that his patience was able even gladly to have encountred Hell it self, [...] saith he in the ninth of the Romans, I have prayed un­to God, I have beg'd it at his hands, as a favour, that for the increase of his glory through the Salvation of Israel my Kinsmen, according to the flesh, I might become a cast-away, and en­dure the pains of eternal fire. Tertullian considering the won­derful [Page 127] patience of our Saviour upon his cross; thinks that if there had bin no other argument to prove him to be God, yet this alone had been sufficient. Hanc vel maximè, Pharisaei Dominum agnoscere debuistis: patientiam hujusmodi nemo hominum perpetraret. In like manner may we truly say were there no other argument to prove that Christ doth dwell in us, doth mightily streng­then and inable us, yet this wonderful measure of patience in so finite a creature, could never subsist, if God were not in us of a truth.

Again [...], this word of doing here in my text, signifies not only sufferings, and patience, this were to make a Christian but a kinde of Stone: A Christian hath not only a Buckler to resist, but he must have a sword to strike. Wherefore this word of doing, must signifie yet further, some action and life; And so indeed it doth; For it notes unto us the most glorious and emi­nent kinde of Christian action, Victory and Conquest; and when my Apostle here saith, I can do all things, his meaning is, I can over­come and conquer all things. And here is the second and most glo­rious part of Christian Omnipotency; Never was any true Chri­stian overcome or can he; For look how much he yields unto his ene­my, so much he fails of his profession and title. David complains of Joab and his Brethren; These sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. But, Beloved, a Christian man findes none of these sons of Zeruiah, whom he needs to fear, or of whom he needs to complain. For as Aristole tells us that a magnanimous man is he, [...] who thinks nothing great, but conceits all things as inferior to himself: so may we define a true Christian to be such a one as to whom nothing is dreadful, in whose eye nothing under God carries any shew of Greatness, S. Paul hath left us a Cata­logue in the end of the eight to the Romans, of all the forces, out­ward and inward, bodily and ghostly, that can be mustred a­gainst us, life, death, Angels, principalities, powers, things pre­sent, things to come, heighth, depth, any creature imaginable and pronounces of them, that in all these we are Conquerors, Con­querors is too mean a word [...] we are more then Con­querors, [...] saith Saint Chrysostome, we conquer them with ease, without any pains [Page 128] or sweat? Paucas victoria dextras—exigit, we shall not need to bring forth against them all our forces: a small part of them will be sufficient to gain the day; and not only overcome them, but turn them to our benefit and behoof. For sin is like unto Sampsons Lyon: it comes upon us with open mouth to devour us; but when we have slain it, we shall finde hony in the belly of it, wonderful therefore is the power of a Christian, who not onely overcomes and Conquers, and kills the viper, but like the skilful Apothecary makes Antidote, and Tria­cle of him. Indeed our Adversaries seem to be very great. S. Paul calls them by wonderful names, as if he meant to affright us: powers, principalities, [...] depths, the Prince that ruleth in the Air, the God of this world, and what not? Yet notwithstanding as one speaks in Livie of the Macedonian war, as I remember: non quàm magni nominis bellum est, tam difficilem existimaveritis victoriam; we must not think there will be any doubt of the Victory, because it is a war of great name, and noise; For me thinks, I discover in our Apostle, when he uses these strange astonishing words, a spiritual stratagem: by which to stir us up, and make us stand upon our guard, he makes the largest report of our enemies forces. We read that one of the Roman Captains, perceiving his Souldiers unnecessa­rily to faint draws out letters before them, and reads the news of that which never was, of, I know not what Kings with Armies and multitude coming forthwith against them, which art of his did much avail him to gain the victory; because it made the Souldiers to recollect themselves, and fight withal their might. Beloved, I may not think, that the Apostle in making this re­port of our enemies forces, relates that which is not, but this, I think, I may safely say that he makes the most of that which is; For it can never hurt us to take our enemie, to be as strong as he is; or peradventure stronger, for this is a very profitable error, it makes us more wary, and provide our selves the better. But to flight, and contemn our enemy, to erre on the contrary side, and think him to be weaker then he is, this hath caused many an over­throw. It is a rule which Vigetius gives us: Difficilimè vincitur, qui verè potest de suis, & de adversarii copiis judicare. It is an hard [Page 129] matter to overcome him that truly knoweth his own strength, and the strength of his adversary. And here, beloved, is the error of most Christians; we do not know of what strength we are. We look upon this body of ours, and suppose that in so weak and faint a subject there cannot subsist so great strength, as we speak of; as if a man should prize the liquor by the baseness of the vessel in which it is. As divers Landlords have treasures hid­den in their fields, which they know not of, so many of us have this treasure of omnipotency in us, but we care not to discover it, & to know it, did we but perfectly know our own strength and would we but compare it with the strength of our enemies: we should plainly discover, that we have such infinite advantage above them, that our conquest may seem not to be so great, as is pre­tended. For the greater the advantages are, the glory of the victo­ry is the less: and that which makes a conquest great, is not so much the greatness of him that Conquers, as the strength and greatness of him that is overthrown, Now what proportion is there betwixt the strength of God himself dwelling in us, and all the strength of Heaven, Earth, and Hell besides, how then can we count this spiritual war so fearful, which is waged upon so unequal termes. In quo si modo congressus cum hoste sis, viceris, in which if we but give the onset, we are sure to gain the victory? restitisse vicisse est; To resist is to conquer for so saith the Apostle, Resist the Devil and he shall flie from you. There was never yet any Christian conquer'd, that could not: and in this war not to yield the victory, is to get it. As therefore one spake of Alexanders expedition into India: Benè ausus est vana contem­nere: the matter was not much, which he did, the greatest thing in it was, that he durst do it: so considering our strength, and the weakness of our adversaries, we may without preju­dice speak even of the worthiest Souldiers, that ever fought these Spiritual Battels, Benè aust sunt vana contemnere. The greatest thing that we can admire in them is, that they durst do it. Would we but a little examine the forces of our adversa­ries, we should quickly finde it to be as I have said; When Alcibiades a young Gentleman of Athens was afraid to speak be­fore the multitude, Socrates to put him in heart, asks him; Fear you saith he, such a one? and names one of the multitude to him; [Page 130] No saith Alcibiades, he is but a Tradesman; Fear you such a one, saith he, and names a second; No for he is but a Pesant: or such a one, and names a third? No, for he is but an ordinary Gentle­man? Now saith he, of such as these doth the whole multitude consist: and by this device, he encouraged Alcibiades to speak: He that shall fear to encounter the multitude, and army of Spiri­tual adversaries which are ready to set themselves against him: Let him do by himself as Socrates did by Alcibiades. Let him sitdown and consider with himself his enemies one by one, and he shall quickly discover their weakness, Primi in praeliis vincantur oculi. Its a saying that the first thing that is overcome in a Soul­dier, is his eye, while he judges of his enemy, by his multitude, and provision, rather then by his strength. Beloved, if we judge not of our adversary in gross, and as it were by the eye: we shall easily see, that we shall not need to do as the King in the Gospel doth, send to his enemy with conditions of peace; For there is no treaty of Peace to be had with these, Had Zimri peace that slew his Master, saith the Scripture: And there is no peace unto the wicked saith my God. Not only Zimri and the wicked but no Christian hath or can have peace, he must be always as fighting and alwayes conquering: Let us single out some one of this ar­my and let us examine his strength, Is it sin doth so much affright us? I make choice of it, because it is the dreadfullest enemy that a Christian hath: Let us a little consider its strength and we shall quickly see, there is no such need to fear it. Sins are of two sorts, either great and capital, or small and ordinary sins. I know it were a paradox in nature to tell you that the greatest and the mightiest things are of least force. Yet this is true in the case we speak of: the greatest things are the weakest. Your own experience tells you that rapes, and murthers, parricide, poy­soning, treason and the rest of that rabble of arch sins, are the sins of the fewest, and that they have no strength at all but up­on the weakest men. For doubtless if they were the strongest, they would reign with greatest latitude, they would be the commonest, they would be the sins of the most: But wandring thoughts, idle words, petty lusts, inconsiderate wrath, im­moderate love to the things of the world, and the rest of that [Page 131] swarm of ordinary sins, these are they that have largest extent and Dominion, and some of these, or all of these, more or less prevail with every man. As the Magicians in Exodus, when they saw not the power of God in the Serpents, in the blood in the frogs; at the coming of the plague of the Lice presently cryed Digitus Dei his est; this is the finger of God: so I know not how it comes to pass, though we see and confess that in those great and hainous crimes, the Devil hath least power, yet at the comming of Lice, of the rout of smaller and ordinary sins, we presently yield our selves captives and cry out Digitus Diaboli the strength of the Devil is in these, as if we were like unto that fabulous rack in Plinie, which if a man thrust at with his whole body, he could not move it, yet a man might shake it, with one of his fingers. Now what an error is it in us Christi­ans, when we see the principal and captain sins so easily van­quisht, to think the common Souldier or lesser sort invincible? For certainly if the greatest sins, be the weakest, the lesser cannot be very strong; Secondly is it Original corruption that doth so much affright us. Let us consider this a little, and see what great cause we have to fear it. And first beloved let us take heed that we seem not [...] to fight with our own fansie, and not so much to finde, as to fain an enemy: Mistake me not, I beseech you, I speak not this as doubting that we drew any natural infection from the loins of our Parents: but granting this, I take it to be impossible to judge of what strength it is, and deny that it is any such cause why we should take it to be so strong, as that we should stand in fear to encounter it, and overcome it: For we can never come to discover, how far our nature is necessari­ly weak. For whilest we are in our infancy, and as yet not altred a puris naturalibus from that which God and nature made us, none of us understand our selves: and ere we can come to be of years to be able to discover it, or define any thing concerning the nature of it, custom, or education either good, hath much abated, or evil, hath much improved the force of it; so that for any thing we know the strength of it may be much less then we suppose, and that it is but a fear that makes it seem so great, [...] [Page 132] saith Chrysostome, It is the nature of timerous and fearful men evermore to be framing to themselves causless fears, I confess, it is a strange thing, and it hath many times much amazed me, to see how ripe to sin many children are, in their young and tender years: and ere they understand what the name of Sin and evil means, they are unexpectedly and no man knows by what means, wonderfully prompt and witty to villany, and wick­edness; as if they had gone to school to it in their mothers womb. I know not to what cause to impute this thing, but I verily sup­pose, I might quit original sin from the guilt of it: For it is a ruled case, and concluded by the general consent of the Schools, that original sin is alike in all: and S. Paul seems to me to speak to that purpose, when he saith, that God hath alike con­cluded all under sin, and that all are alike deprived of the glory of God. Were therefore Original sin the cause of this strange ex­orbitancy in some young children, they should all be so: a thing which our own experience teaches us to be false: For we see many times even in young children many good and gracious things, which being followed with good education, must needs come to excellent effect, In pueris elucet spes plurimorum, saith Quintilian, quae ubi emoritur aetate, manifestum est, non defecisse naturam sed curam: In children many times an hope of excellent things appears, which in riper age for want of cherishing, fades and withers away: A certain sign that nature is not so weak as Parents and Tutors are negligent: whence then comes this dif­ference? Certainly not from our Nature, which is one in all: but from some other cause. As for Original sin, of what strength it is I will not discuss: only thus much I will say there is none of us all, but is much more wicked, then the strength of any Pri­mitive corruption can constrain. Again, let us take heed that we abuse not our selves, that we use not the names of original weakness, as a stale, or stalking-horse as a pretence to choak, and cover somewhat else: For oftentimes when evil education, wic­ked examples, long custome, and continuance in sin hath bred in us an habit, and necessity of sinning, presently Original sin, and the weaknes of mans nature bear the blame: Ubi per se­cordiam, vires, tempus, ingenium, defluxere, nature infirmitas accusa­tur, [Page 133] When through floath and idleness, luxurie and distemper, our time is lost, our bodies decay'd, our wits dull'd, we cast all the fault on the weakness of our nature; That Law of sin in our members, of which S. Paul spake, and which some take to be origi­nal corruption; S. Austine once pronounced of it (whether he meant to stand to it, I know not, but so he once pronounced of it) Lex peccati est violentia consuetudinis; That Law of sin, that car­ries us against our wills, to sin, is nothing else, but the force and violence of long custome and continuance in sin: I know, that by the error of our first Parents the Devil hath blinded, and bound us more then ever the Philistines did Samson. Yet this needs not to make us thus stand in fear of Original weakness: For blinde and bound as we are, let the Devil build never so strong, yet if our hair be grown, if Christ do strengthen us, we shall be able Samson-like to bear his strongest pillars, and pull down his house about his ears.

Thirdly, is it the Devil that we think so strong an adversary? Let us a little consider his strength; he may be considered either as an inward enemy, suggesting unto us sinful thoughts: or as an outward enemy, lying in wait to afflict us in body, in goods, or the like. First, against us inwardly, he hath no force of his own; From our selves it is, that he borrows this strength to overthrow us. In Paradice, he borrowed the Serpent to abuse us, but now every Man is that Serpent, by which himself is abused. For as Hannibal having overthrown the Romans took their armour and fought against them with their own weapons. So the Devil arms himself against us with our own strength, our senses, our will, our appetite: with these weapons, he fights against us, and uses us against our selves; Let us but recover our own a­gain and the Devil will be disarm'd: Think you that the Devil is an immediate stickler in every sin that is committed? I know ye do. But take heed, least this be but an excuse to unload your faults upon the Devil, and to build them upon his back. For S. Chrysostome thought otherwise, [...]. The Devils hand says he, is not in every fault, many are done meerly by our own carelessness [...] [Page 134] [...]. A negligent carelesse per­son sins, though the Devill never tempt him. Let the truth of this lie where it will, I think I may safely speak thus much, that if we would but shut up our wills and use that grace of God which is offered. I doubt not but a great part of this suggesting power of his, would fall to nothing: as for that o­ther force of his, by which he lies in wait to annoy us outwardly, why should we so dread that? Are there not more with us both in multitude and strength [...] to preserve us? The Angel of the Lord (saith the Psalmist) pitches his tents round about those that fear him, to deliver them. And the Apostle assures us, that the Angels are ministring Spirits, sent forth for those, that shall be heirs of Salvation; shall we think, that the strength of those to preserve, is less then that of the evil Angels to destroy? One Garcaeus writing upon the Meteors, told me long since, that whereas many times be­fore great tempests, there is wont to be heard in the aire above us great noise, and rushing, the cause of this was the banding of good, and evil Angels, the one striving to annoy us with tem­pests, the other striving to preserve us from the danger of it. And I doubt not, but as about Moses body, so about every faith­ful person, these do contend, the one to hazzard, the other to deliver. Yea, but the Devil inspires into us evil thoughts: well, and cannot good Angels inspire good; they are all for a­ny thing appears, by the law of their creation equal, and shall we think that God did give unto the Devil an inspiring faculty to entangle, which he denyed to his good Angels to free us? Though good Angels could not inspire good thoughts, yet God both can and doth. So that for any thing yet appears, we have no such cause to stand in fear of the strength of the Devil, either inwardly or outwardly. Thus have I exami­ned the force of three of our principal enemies; I could proceed to examine other particulars of this armie of our adversaries, the world, the flesh, persecutions, and the rest, and make the like question of them, as I have done of these, and so conclude as Socrates did to Alcibiades. If you have just cause to fear none of these, why should you fear them all, since that of such as these the whole knot of them consists? But I must proceed to [Page 135] search out yet another meaning of this word of doing in my text; and that briefly.

Thirdly, therefore we may take this word of doing in its lar­gest sense: as if the Apostle had meant literally, that indeed a Christian can do all things, that he had such a power and com­mand over the creature, as that he could do with it, what he list. In which sense it is likewise true, though with some limi­tation, and here is the third degree of our Christian Omnipotency. In the former parts the omnipotence of a Christian suffered no restraint: it was illimited, unconfin'd. He is absolutely om­nipotent in his patience, and can suffer all things: he is likewise absolutely omnipotent in battel, and can conquer all his ene­mies. But in this third signification, his power seems to be streightned: for how many things are there which no Christi­an man can do? Yet is he so streightned, as that his Omnipo­tency suffers not. We are taught in the Schools, though God be omnipotent, yet many things may be named, which he can­not do: he cannot denie himself, he cannot lie, he cannot sin, he cannot die. Yet may we not conclude, that therefore God is not Omnipotent; for therefore is he the more omnipotent, because he cannot do these things: for ability to do these things, is imperfection, and weakness, but in God we must conceive nothing but what argues perfection and strength. In some de­gree we may apply this unto our selves, in things that tend to Christian perfection, every christian is omnipotent; he cannot raise the dead, turn water into wine, speak with tongues. True, but if he could, had he for this any further degree of per­fection above other Christians? Our Saviour seems to denie it. For many (saith he) at that day shall come and say, have we not cast out Devils, and wrought miracles in thy name, and he will answer them, away, I know you not. Beloved, our Saviour loves not to sleight any part of Christian perfection: yet my meaning is not to de­ny unto a christian the power of doing miracles, for every chri­stian man doth every day greater miracles, then yet I have spo­ken of. But beloved, in this matter of miracles, we do much abuse our selves; for why? Seems it unto us a greater miracle, that our Saviour once turn'd a little water into wine, then every [Page 136] year in so many Vine-trees to turn that into wine in the branches, which being received at the root was meer water; or why was it more wonderfull for him once to feed five thousands with five Loaves: then every year to feed the whole world, by the strange multiplication of a few seeds cast into the ground? Af­ter the same manner do we by the dayly actions of christian men. For why is it a greater miracle to raise the dead, then for every man to raise himself from the death of sin, to the life of righte­ousness? Why seems it more miraculous to open the eyes of him that was born blinde, then for every one of us to open the eyes of his understanding, which by reason, of original corrup­tion was born blinde. For by the same finger, by the same po­wer of God, by which the Apostles wrought these miracles, doth every christian man do this: and without this finger, it is as impossible for us to do this, as for the Apostles to do the mi­racles they did, without the assistance of the extraordinary po­wer of Christ. So that hitherto in nothing are we found inferi­our unto the chief Apostles: what if there be some things we cannot do? Shall this prejudice our power? It is a saying in Quintilian oportet Grammaticum quaedam ignorare. It must not im­peach the learning of a good Grammarian to be ignorant of some thing: for there are many unnecessary quillets, and quirks in Grammar, of which to purchase the knowledge, were but loss of labour and time. Beloved, in the like manner may we speak of our selves. Oportet Christianum quaedam non posse, it must not disparage the power of a Christian, that he cannot do some things. For in regard of the height, and excellency of his pro­fession, these inferiour things, which he cannot do, they are nought else but Grammar quirks, and to be ambitious to do them, were but a nice, minute, and over-superstitious diligence. And yet a christian if he list, may challenge this power, that he can do all things; yea, even such things as he cannot do. Saint Austine answering a question made unto him, why the gift of tongues was ceased in the Church, and no man spake with that va­riety of languages, which divers had in the Primitive times: wittily tells us, that every one may justly claim unto himself that mi­raculous gift of tongues. For since the Church, which is the bo­dy [Page 137] of Christ, of which we are but members, is far and wide disperst over the earth, and is in sundry nations, which use sundry languages, every one of us, may well be said to speak with divers tongues; because in that which is done by the whole, or by any part of it, every part may claim his share. Beloved, how much more by this reason, may every one of us, lay a far directer claim to an absolute power of doing all things, even in its largest extent, since I say not some inferiour member, but Christ, who is our head, hath this power truly resident in him. Howsoever therefore in each member, it seems to be but parti­al, yet in our head it is at full; and every one of us may assume to our selves this power of doing all things, because we are sub­ordinate members unto that head, which can do all things, but I must leave this, and go on to the remainder of my Text.

Hitherto I have spoken first of the person, I. Secondly, of his power can do, I should by order of the words proceed in the third place, unto the subject or object of this power pointed out unto us in this word [...] all things. But the subject of this Christian power hath been so necessarily wrapped up, and tyed together with the power; that for the opening of it, I have been constrain'd to exemplifie at large, both what this [...] this all things is, and how far it doth extend: so that to enter upon it a new, were but to trouble you with repetition of what is al­ready sufficiently opened. I will go on therefore unto the se­cond general of my Text. For here me thinks that question might me asked, which Dalilah asked of Sampson: Tell me I pray thee, wherein this great strength lieth. Behold, beloved it is ex­pressed in the last words, through Christ that strengtheneth.

This is as I told you that hair, wherein that admirable strength of a Cristian doth reside. I confess, I have hitherto spoken of wonderful things, and hardly to be credited; wherefore [...]; least the strangeness of the argument call my credit into question. Loe here I present un­to you the ground of all this: A small matter sometimes seems wonderful till the cause of it be discovered, but as soon as we know the cause, we cease to marvel: how strong soever my [Page 138] discourse of Christian Omnipotency doth seem, yet look but upon this cause, and now nothing shall seem incredible. For to doubt of the omnipotency of a Christian, is to question the power of Christ himself. As the Queen of Sheba told King So­lomon, that she had heard great things of him in her own coun­trey, but now she saw truth did go beyond report, so, belo­ved, he that travels in the first part of my Text, and wonders at the strong report of a Christian mans power. Let him come to the second part, to our Solomon, to him that is greater then Solomon, to Christ, and he shall finde that the truth is greater then the same of it; for if he that was possest of the evil spirit in the Gospel, was so strong, that he being bound with chains and fetters, he brake them all: of what strength must he be then, whom it pleaseth Christ to enable, or what chains or fet­ters shall be put upon him, which he will not break? From this doctrine therefore that Christ is he, that doth thus enable us, we learn two lessons, which are as it were two props to keep us upright, that we lean not either to the right hand, or to the left. First, not to be dejected or dismay'd, by reason of this outward weakness and baseness, in which we seem to be. Se­condly, not to be pust up, upon opinion and conceit of that strength, and glory which is within us and unseen. For the first, for our own outward weakness, be it what it will, we cannot be more weak, more frail then Gideons Pitchers: now as in them their frailty was their strength and by being broken they put to flight the army of the Midianites: so where it plea­ses Christ to work, that which seems weakness shall become strength, and turn to flight the strongest adversary, Satis sibi copiarum cum Publio Decio, & nunquam nimium Hostium fore, said one in Livie, we may apply this unto our selves: be we never so weak, yet Christ alone is army and forces enough, and with him, we can never have too many enemies. The flesh indeed is weak; for our Saviour tells us, yet this weakness of the flesh is no prejudice at all to the strength of a Christian; for though the flesh be weak, yet the spirit is strong, and so much our Sa­viour tells us too: and why then do we not follow the stronger [Page 139] part? Si spiritus carne fortior, quia generosior, nostra culpa infirmi­ora sectamur, saith Tertullian. If the spirit be stronger then the flesh, what madness is it in us to make choice of, and follow the weaker side? ‘Nulla sides unquam miseros elegit amicos.’ Which of you is so improvident, as in a faction, to make choice of that side, which he sees to be the weakest, and which he knows must fall. Again, this weakness of a Christian is only outward, within what he is, the words of my Text do suffici­ently shew. Socrates outwardly was a man of deformed shape, but he was one of an excellent spirit: and therefore Alcibiades in Plato compares him to an Apothecaries box, which without had painted upon it, an Ape or a Satyre, or some deformed thing, but within was full of sweet and precious oyntment. Thus be­loved it is with a Christian, whatsoever outward deformity he seems to have, howsoever he seems to be nothing but rags with­out, yet he is totus purpureus, all scarlet and glorious within: I have said, ye are Gods, saith the Scripture, the Magistrate is wont to ingrosse, and impropriate this Scripture to himself; because sitting in place of Authority, for execution of Justice, he carries some resemblance of God: but to whom can this Scripture better belong then to the Christian man? For the ma­gistrate carries indeed some shew of God without, but many times within is full of corruption and weakness; the Christian carries a shew of weakness without; but within is full of God and Christ. The second thing which I told you, we learn't was a lesson teaching us, not to be puft up with opinion and conceit of our own inward strength and glory: for if any man, because of this, shall begin to think of himself, above what he ought. Let him know that he may say of his exceeding strength, no other­wise then the man in the book of Kings, spake, when his axe was fallen into the water, Alas Master, it was but lent. Those [Page 140] that build houses make Anticks, which seem to hold up the beams, whereas indeed as St. Paul tells the Olive branch; Thou bearest not the root, but the root thee: So is it true in them, they bear not up the house, the house bears up them. Beloved, seem we never so strong, yet we are but Anticks, the strength, by which the house of Christ doth stand; is not ours, it is Christs, who by that power, by which he is able to subdue all things to him­self, doth sustain both himself and us.

Luke 18. 1.‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.’

MY Text is like the Temple at Hierusalem: It is the house of prayer, wherein we may learn many special points of the skill and practice of it. Now as that Temple had two parts; First, the Forefront the porch, the walk before it; and secondly the Temple it self: So have these words like­wise two parts; First, there are words which stand before like a porch or walk, and they are these, And he spake a parable unto them: Secondly, here are words like unto the Temple it self: That men ought always to pray, and not to faint. If you please before we enter into the Temple, or speak of these words, That men ought always to pray, Let us stay and entertain our selves a little in the porch, and see what matter of meditation it will yield; And he spake a parable unto them, &c. To instruct and teach the ignorant, no method no way so speedy and effectual as by parables and Fables Strabo gives the reason of it [...]; For man is a creature natural desirous [Page 142] to know but it is according to the proverb, as the Cat desires fish, loath to touch the water, loath to takes the pains to learn, know­ledge is indeed a thing very pleasant; but to learn is a thing harsh and tedious above all the things in the world; the book which Saint John eats in the tenth of the Apocalyps was in his mouth sweet as hony but bitter in his belly. Beloved those Librorum hel­luones students that like S. John eat up whole volums, these finde the contrary: For in the mouth in the perusal, their books are harsh and unpleasant; but in the stomach when they are under­stood, and digested then are they delightful and pleasurable: yet one thing by the providence of God our nature hath which makes this rough way to learn more plain and easie: it is [...] common experience shews, we are all very desirous to hear narrations and reports either pleasant or strange: Wise men therefore and God himself which is wiser then men being to train up mankinde Genus indocile, a subject dull of hearing, and hardly drawn to learn, have from time to time wrought upon this humor, upon this part of our disposition and miti­gated, sugred as it were the unpleasantness of a difficult, and hard lesson with the sweetnes of some delightful parable or fable: And S. Chrysostome tells us of a Physician, who finding his pa­tient to abhor Physick, but infinitely long for wine, heating an earthen cup in the fire, and quenching it in wine, put his potion therein, that so the sick person being deceived with the smell of wine, might unawares drink of the Physick: or that I may bet­ter draw my comparison from Scripture, as when Jacob meant to be welcome to his father Isaack, he put on his brother Esau's ap­parel and so got access: So beloved, wisemen when they meant either to instruct the ignorant, or to reprove offenders to pro­cure their welcome, and make their way more passable, have been wont for the most part, as it were to clothe their lesson or reproof in a parable, or to serve it in a dish savouring of wine that so Jacob might be admi [...]ted under Esau's coat, that the smell of the pleasantness of wine might draw down the wholsom­ness of Physick: Great and singular have been those effects which this kinde of teaching by parables hath wrought in men, by informing their ignorance, reproving their error, working pa­tience [Page 143] of reproof; opening the understanding, moving the af­fections and other soveraign commodities, [...] [...]. And for this cause not only our Poets, and pro­fane Authors, but whole cities, and men which gave Laws to Common-wealths have made especial choice of this course; Yea, our Saviour Christ himself hath filled the Gospels with parables, made them like a Divine and Christian AEsop's Fables, because he found it to be exceeding profitable. For first of all it is the plainest and most familiar way, and above all other stoops to the capacity of the learner, as being drawn either from trees, or beasts, or from some ordinary common and known actions of men: As from a shepheard attending his flock, from an husband­man sowing corn in his field, from a fisher casting his net into the Sea, from a woman putting leaven into her dough, or the like. So that in this respect a parable is like Moses Tabernacle which outwardly was nothing but goats skins, or some ordinary stuff, but within it was silk, and purple and gold. And indeed since those we teach are either children or ignorant persons who are but children ( [...] for every man in what he is ignorant is no better then a childe) that manner of information fits best, which is most ea­sie and familiar: Again, a parable is a kinde of pattern and ex­ample expressing unto us what we heare; Now nothing doth more illustrate and explain then instance and example [...] [...] in a parable as it were upon a stage, the thing that we are taught is in a manner acted, and set forth before our eyes. Secondly, parables do not only by their plainess open the understanding but they work upon the affections, and breed de­light of hearing by reason of that faceteness and wittiness which is many times found in them, by reason of which they insinuate themselves, and creep into us, and ere we are aware work that end for which they were delivered: who is not much moved with that parable of Jotham in the book of Judges, that the trees went forth to chuse a king, or that of Menenius Agrippa in Livie, that the parts of the body conspired against the belly, by which the one shewed the wickedness of the men of Sechem against [Page 144] the sons of Gideon, the other the folly of the common people in conspiring against the Senators and noble-men. And no marvel beloved, if this faceteness of parables doth thus work with men, since it seems to have had wonderful force with God himself. For when the Canaanitish woman in the Gospel had long importun'd our Saviour in the behalf of her daughter, and our Saviour had answered her with that short cutting and reproachful parable; It is not meet to take the childrens bread and cast it unto dogs, she facetely and wittily retorts and turns upon our Saviour his own parable. Truth Lord, saith she, yet dogs do eat the crums that fall from their masters Table: be it that I am but a dog: I require no more then is due to a dog: even the crums that fall from your table, with which speech our Saviour was so far taken, as that he seems to have been stricken into a wonder­ment: for he presently cries out, O woman great is thy Faith. Thirdly, there is one thing that this way of instruction by para­ble hath above all other kindes of teaching. It serves excellent­ly for reproof; for man is a proud creature, impatient of plain and open check and reprehension: [...]: ma­ny times no way of dealing with him, when he hath offended, but by deceiving him with wiliness and craft, [...] [...]: he that comes rudely and plainly to reprehend, doth many times more hurt then good. I speak not this only in regard of ministerial reprehension, used by the preacher of the word: but of all o­ther: for to reprove offenders is a common duty, and belongs to every private man as well as to the Minister. St. Austine in his book de civitate Dei, handling the question, why in com­mon calamities the good do bear a part as well as the evil, a­mongst many other reasons gives this as a special one, that good men are not careful enough in reproving the errors of their of­fending brethren, but by connivency and silence in a manner partake in their sins, and as it were by consent, make them their own. It shall not be amiss therefore, even for you of the Laity to hear something concerning this art of reprehension, as a duty concerning you as well as the Preacher. For the wisdome and gentleness of a Christian is never better seen, then in reproving. [Page 145] Now one common error of reprehenders is their over-blunt, and plain manner of rebuking, dum sic objurgent quasi oderint, whilest they reprove the vice, as if they hated the person, and upbraid rather then reprehend. By this our importunity we de­stroy more sinners then we save. It is an excellent observation in St. Chrysostome, [...] unseasonable and importunate reprehenders make offending persons, depudere to steal their forehead, and to set a good face upon their fact, as the phrase of the world is, and to seek out excuses and Apologies for their sinne. Tully tells us, that Antonie the Orator being to defend a person, who was accused of faction and sedition, bent his wits to main­tain sedition was good, and not to be objected as a fault. That we force not our offending Brethren unto this degree of impu­dency, let us consult with our charity; and know the quality and nature of the offender. Husbandmen tell us, that the young and tender branches of a Vine are not to be prun'd away with a knife, but gently pull'd away by hand. Beloved, before we re­prove, let us know the condition of our brother, whether he be not like the young Vine soft and tender, and so to be cured ra­ther with the hand, then with the knife: and if he be grown so hard, that he shall need the knife, we must not rashly adven­ture of it, but know there is a skill likewise in using the knife; as Ehud in the book of Judges, when he went to kill Eglon carries not his Dagger in his hand, but comes unto him with a present, and had his Dagger girt privily under his garment, or as a skilful Physician of whom we read, being to heal an impo­stume, and finding the sick person to be afraid of Lancing, pri­vily wrap't up his knife in a spunge, with which whilest he gent­ly smoothed the place, he lanced it: so beloved, when we en­counter our offending Brother, we must not openly carry the Dagger in our hand, for this were to defie our Brother: but we must wrap our knife in our spunge, and lance him whilest we smooth him: and with all sweetness, and gentleness of be­haviour cure him; as Esay the Prophet cur'd Hezekias, by laying a plaister of Figs upon the sore. Men when they have offended are like unto fire, we must take heed how we come too near [Page 146] them; and therefore as the Cherubin in the book of Esays pro­phesie takes a cole from the Altar with the tongs: so when the prophets dealt with them, they did not rudely handle them with their hands; but they came upon them warily under pa­rables, as it were with the Cherubins tongs. How could Na­than have come so near unto King David, and drawn from him an acknowledgement of his sin, had he not come with the Che­rubins tongs, and deceived him with a parable, or how should the prophet made King Ahab see his error in letting go King Benhadad, if he had not as it were put a trick upon the King, and disguised both himself and his speech, and mask't his errand with the parable of him, who let go the prisoner that was committed to his charge. So that in this respect, if we would define a parable we must pronounce it to be Piam fraudem a civil or spiritual Stratagem, by which persons who need instru­ction are honestly and piously beguiled for their own profit. No marvel therefore, if our Saviour Christ in his preaching doth every where drive upon parables. For being to deliver to us so many lessons, so strange, so uncouth, so hard to learn, it was meet he should make choice of that method of teaching, which hath most likelihood to prevail and commend them unto us. The doctrine which our Saviour in my text labours to beat into us, is the continuing and perpetuating of our prayer and re­ligious meditation. A lesson hard to be attained, and there­fore thrice he commends it unto us; once by example, twice by parable, both of them very effectual means to teach: by ex­ample of that importunate Canaanitish woman in the 15. of Saint Matthew: by parable first in the 11. of Luke, of him that lying warm in his bed, and loath to rise, yet at his Friends importu­nity gets up, and lends him bread: and secondly, by the parable of the unjust Judge here in my text.

But all this while I must not forget, that I am but in the [...] in the Porch, and entrance into the Temple, where to walk too long, were, if not to loose, yet to abuse my time. Let us now therefore enter into the temple it self, and consider the main words of my text. That men ought always to pray, and not to faint: which words have a double meaning. First, there is Sen­sus [Page 147] quem faciunt; there is a sense which the words themselves yield as they lie. Secondly, Sensus quo fiunt, the sense and mean­ing in which the Holy Ghost intended and spake them. If we look upon the sense which the words themselves do give; it seems we are advised by them to be like Anna the Prophetess in the second of Luke, who departed not from the temple, but ser­ved God with fasting and prayer night and day. In all places, at all times, in season, out of season, upon occasion, upon no occasion, perpetually without intermission to pray. For thus the words do run, that we ought alwayes to pray, and not to faint. But if we look upon the sense in which the Holy Ghost Spake these words, and consider what was his intent, when he wrote them, we shall finde that the lesson which we are hence to learn is, that we be like unto Jacob in the book of Genesis, wrastle with God, and tell him to his face, That we will not let him go till he hath given us his blessing. That we become like bold fac't suitors or impudent beggars that will not be put by with a denial: but when we have powred out our supplications unto God, and finde his ear lockt up against us, yet to commence them again and again, and the third time; yea, without any fainting or giving over, till by a kinde of importunate and un­mannerly devotion we have constrain'd God to let a blessing fall: and that this was the intent of the Holy Ghost in this place, it appears upon the very reading of the parable. I will briefly speak unto you of both these senses in their order, and first of the sense which the words do give. That we ought alwayes without intermission to pray. Devotion in ordinary persons is a thing easi­ly raised, and easily alayed, Every strange event, every fear, every little calamity or distress is enough to put us into a strain of religious meditation, but on the contrary side a small mat­ter doth again as quickly kill it. It seems to be like a quotidian Ague, it comes by fits, every day it takes us, and every day it leaves us: or like flax or straw, or such light and drie stuffe, which easily kindles, and as soon goes out. Indeed it is a good thing when we finde out hearts thus tender, and upon every oc­casion ready to melt into devotion: for as to be quick of sense is a signe of life, and the purest and best complexions are quickest [Page 148] of sense: so it is a great argument of spiritual life in us, and of purity of soul, when we are [...] so easily apt to fall upon devout meditation. But our Saviour requires yet another qua­lity in our devotion: it must be as lasting as it is quick. Quin­tilian advises his Orator to beware how he stand too long upon a place of passion: because that passion is not lasting, & nihil fa­cilius lachrymis in arescit; and men cannot long weep. But be­loved our Saviour gives other precepts of Christian Oratory: he wills, if we will prevail with God to insist and dwell long upon a place of religious passion, and provide that our tears may be perpetual and never drie: an hard thing you will take it to be; yet certainly it is very possible. There is a que­stion raised among the great masters of Natural learning, whe­ther or no there may be a lamp so provided, that it may burn for ever. And they think it may be done: beloved, our Savi­our here teaches to practise that in spirituals, which hath been but a matter of speculation in Naturals, even so to kindle and dress our lamps, as that they shall never go out, but be like unto the good Huswifes candle in the Proverbs, that goes not out by night, or rather like the sun which shines for evermore. Daniel is said to have kindled this lamp, and to have made his prayer thrice a day, David seven times a day, but this is not enough; for in that the one is noted to have prayed seven times a day, the other thrice: It is likely at other times they did not pray, but God is not contented with this Intermittent prayer; for if we look up­on my text, we shall see that there must be no instant free from prayer: we must not measure our prayers by number. Num­ber is a Discrete quantity as we call it, the parts of it are not con­next, are not tyed together, there is a separation, a distance betwixt them. That that measures out our prayer must be line and length, some continued quantity, whose parts have no se­paration, no intermission: For so saith my text, men ought al­wayes to pray. Alwayes, the whole life of a man ought to be but one continual prayer. But let us a little consider how possible this is, and see if there be any thing, that doth necessarily enforce intermission of prayer. And first, that wonderful lamp of which I but now told you great Schollers had spoken, is not yet [Page 149] made, because they are not agreed of what matter to make it. And indeed in the world, things either are not at all, or being, do at length cease to be, either because there is no fit matter whence they may be framed, or else the matter of which they are made, vanishes and dies. But beloved, prayer is a strange thing, it can never want matter: It will be made [...] è quolibet out of any matter, upon any occasion whatsoever, whatsoever you do, wheresoever you are, doth minister occasi­on of some kinde of prayer, either of thanksgiving unto God for his goodness, or of praysing, and admiring his greatness, or of petitioning to him in case of want or distress, or bewailing some sin or neglect committed. Is it the consideration of Gods bene­fits, that will move us to thankfulness? Then certainly our thankfulness ought to be perpetual, there is no person so mean, no soul so poor, and distressed and miserable, but if he search narrowly, he shall finde some blessing, for which he ows thank­fulness unto God. If nothing else, yet his very misery and di­stress is a singular blessing, if he use it to that end for which it was sent. Is it the consideration of distress and affliction, and some degree of the curse of God upon us that will stir our devo­tion? Indeed this is it with most men that kindles the fire of prayer in our hearts. Men for the most part are like unto the unslak't Lime, which never heats till you throw water upon it; so they never grow warm in devotion till somewhat contrary to their wishes and disposition begins to afflict them: then certain­ly our petitions to God ought never to cease. For never was there man in any moment of his life entirely happy, either in body, goods, or good name, every man hath some part of af­fliction? Blessing and cursing, though they seem to be enemies, and contrary one to another, yet are never severed, but go hand in hand together. Some men have more of one, some of ano­ther, but there is no man but hath some part of both; where­fore as it seems not only prayer in general, but all kind, all sort of prayer ought to be continual. Prayer must not be, as it were of one thred, we must blend and temper together all kind of prayer, our praise or thanks, our sorrow, and make our prayer like Josephs particolored Coat, like a beautiful garment of [Page 150] sundry colours. So then as fire goes not out so long as it hath matter to feed on, so what shall be able to interrupt our devo­tion which hath so great and everlasting store of matter to con­tinue it.

Secondly, many things in the world are necessarily intermitted, because they are tyed to place or times; all places all times are not convenient for them; but in case of prayer it is otherwise, it seeks no place, it attends no time; It is not necessary we should come to the Church, or expect a Sabbath or an holy-day, for prayer indeed especially was the Sabbaoth ordained, yet prayer it self is Sabboathless, and admits no rest, no intermission at all: If our hands be clean we must as our Apostle commands us lift them up every where at all times and make every place a Church, every day a Sabbaoth, every hour Canonical, [...]: As you go to the market, as you stand in the streets, as you walk in the fields in all these places ye may pray as well and with as good acceptance as in the Church, For you your selves are temples of the holy Ghost, if the grace of God be in you more precious then any of those which are made with hands; The Church of Rome hath made a part of her Bre­viary, or Common Prayer Book, which she calls Itinerarium Cle­ricorum, and it is a set form of prayer, which Clergy-men ought to use when they set out in a journey and are upon their way, why she calls it Itinerarium Clericorum, and impropriates it un­to the Clergy, I know not, she might, for ought I see, have cal­led it Itinerarium Laicorum. The Itinerary of the Laity: since it is a duty belonging unto them as well as to the Minister. Yet thus much the example of that Church teaches, that no place no oc­casion excludes Prayer. We read in our books that one of the Ethnick Emperors was much taken when he saw a woman go­ing in the streets with her vessel of water on her head, her childe at her girdle, her spindle in her hand twisting her threed as she went: He thought it a wonderful portion of diligence thus to employ all places and times indifferently. Beloved if it be thus with bodily labor, how much more should it be so with the labor of the soul, which is far more easie and needs not the [Page 151] help of any bodily instrument to act it. And how welcome a spectacle will it be think you unto the great King of Heaven and Earth when he shall see that no time, no occasion, is able to inter­rupt the labour of our devotion? Is it the time of Feasting and Jollity, which seems to prescribe against prayer: Indeed pray­er is a grave and sober action and seems not to stand with sport and merriment; yet notwithstanding it is of so pliable a nature, that it will accommodate and fit it self even to feasts and sport­ings; we read in the book of Daniel that when Belshazzer made his great and last feast to his Princes and Lords that they were merry and drank wine in bowls and praysed the Gods of Gold and Silver, of Brass, and of Iron, of Wood, and of Stone. Beloved, shall Ethnick feasts finde room for their Idolatrous worship, and praise of their Golden, Brazen, Wooden Gods, and shall not our Christian Feasts yield some place for the praise of the true God of Heaven and Earth. Last of all is it time of sleep that seems to give a vacation, and otium to prayer? Beloved, sleep is no part of our life, we are not accountable for things done or not done then. Tertullian tells us that an unclean dream shall no more condemn us then a dream of Martyrdom shall crown us: and the Casuists do teach that loose dreams in the night shall never bee laid to our charge if they be not occasion­ed by lewd thoughts in the day: for they are Cogitationes injectae non enatae, they are not thoughts springing out, but cast into our hearts by the Devil, upon his score shall they go and we shall not reckon for them: So then though sleep partake not of our devotion, yet this hinders not the continualness of it. Aristotle tells us that men who sleep perceive not any part of time to have passed; because they tie the last moment of their watching with the first moment of their awaking, as having no sense of what past betwixt, and so account of it, as one continued time. Beloved, if we do with our devotion, as we do with our time, if we shut up the last instant of our watching with a pray­er, and resume that prayer at the first instant of our wa­king, we have made it one continued prayer: without interru­ption.

Thirdly, and last of all the greatest reason why many businesses [Page 152] of the world cannot be acted perpetually, is because they must give room to others, Unicum arbustum non alit duos Erithacos: The actions of the world are many times like unto quarrelsome birds, two of them cannot peaceably dwell in one bush. But prayer hath that property which Aristotle gives unto substance nulli esse contrarium, it is at peace and holds good terms with all our cares of the world. No business so great, or that so much takes up the time and minde of a man as that it needs exclude prayer: It is of a soft and sociable nature, and it can incorpo­rate and sink into our business like water into Ashes and never increase the bulk of them: It can mix and interweave it self with all our cares without any hinderance unto them: Nay, it is a great strength and improvement unto them, [...] [...] &c. For saith S. Chrysostome as they that build houses of clay, must every where place studs and pieces of timber and wood so to strengthen the building, [...] [...] so all our cares of this life, which are no better then buildings of dirt and clay we must strengthen and compact together with fre­quent and often prayer, as with bonds and props of tymber; Let no man therefore think it, [...] that it is too much to require at the hands of men at one and the self same in­stant both to attend their vocation and their prayer: For the minde of a man is a very agile and nimble substance, and it is a wonderful thing to see how many things it will at one moment apply it self unto without any confusion or let. Look but upon the Musician while he is in his practice, he tunes his voice, fin­gers his Instrument, reads his dity marks the note, observes the the time, all these things simul & semel at one and the same in­stant without any distraction or impediment: Thus should men do in case of devotion & in the common acts of our vocation let prayer beare a part: For prayer added unto diligent labor is like a sweet voyce to a well tuned Instrument and makes a pleasing harmony in the ears of God, [...] [...] [...]; [Page 153] The good Huswife saith St. Chrysostome, as she sits at her distaffe, and reaches out her hand to the flax, may even then lift up, if not her eyes, yet her minde unto Heaven, and consecrate and hallow her work with earnest prayer unto God. Arator stivam tenens Hallelujah secantat, sudans messor Psalmis sese evocat & curvâ attondens falce vites vinitor aliquid Davidicum canit. The Husband­man (saith St. Hierome) at the Plough-tail may sing an Halle­lujah, the sweating Harvest-man may refresh himself with a Psalm, the Gardiner whilest he prunes his Vines and Arbors, may record some one of Davids sonnets. The reason of this pliable nature of prayer is, because it is a thing of another con­dition, then the acts of the world are. It requires no outward labour of the body, no outward fashion and manner of doing, but is internally acted in the soul it self, and leaves the outward members of our bodies free to perform those offices which re­quire their help. Our legal business in the world must be done in certain forms of breves and writs, and I know not what vari­ety of outward ceremony, or else it is not warrantable. But prayer, beloved, is not like an obligation or indenture, it re­quires no outward solemnity of words and ceremony. Quaint, witty, and set forms of prayer proceed many times from osten­tation more then devotion: for any thing I know, it requires not so much as the moving of the lips or tongue. Nay, one thing I know more, that the most forcible prayer transcends and far exceeds all power of words. For St. Paul speaking unto us concerning the most effectual kinde of prayer, calls it [...] sighs and groans that cannot be expressed. No­thing does crie so loud in the ears of God, as the sighing of a contrite and earnest heart, we read in the 14. of Exodus, that God speaks unto Moses, why cryest thou unto me, command the chil­dren of Israel that they go forward: yet there appears not in the text any prayer that Moses made, or word that he spake. It was the earnestness of Moses heart, that was so [...] that did so sound in the ears of the Lord. Wherefore true prayer hath no commerce with the outward members of the body, [...] [...] [...]; for it requires [Page 154] not the voice, but the minde, not the stretching of the hands, but the intension of the soul; not any outward shape or carri­age of body, but the inward behaviour of the understanding [...] how then can it slacken your worldly business and occasions, to mix with them sighs and groans, which are the most effectual kindes of prayer. And let this suffice concerning the first mean­ing of the words; I will briefly speak concerning the second meaning which I told you was the sense intended by the Holy Ghost when he wrote, and it is an exhortation to a religious im­portunity in our prayers: not to let our suits fall, because they are not presently granted, but never to leave solliciting, till we have prevailed, and so take the blessings of God by violence, Gratissima vis. This force, this violence is a thing most welcome unto God; for if the importunity of Esau's false, feigned, and malicious tears drew a blessing from his Father Isaac, who yet had no greater store of blessings, as it seems, how much more shall the true religious importunity of zealous prayer pull a bles­sing out of the hands of God, who is rich in blessings above the sands of the Sea in multitude? It is the Courtiers rule, that o­ver modest suitors seldome speed. Beloved, we must follow the same rule in the Court of Heaven: intempestive bashfulness gets nothing there. Qui timide rogat, docet negare, Faint asking does invite a denial; will you know the true name of the beha­viour which prevails with God; St. Luke in his 11. Chapter calls it [...] and St. Chrysostome speaking of the behaviour of the Canaanitish woman in the 25. of St. Matthew tells us, [...] [...] impro­bity, importunity, impudency, these be the names of that per­son & behaviour, which you must put on, if you mean to prevail in your suits with God. And indeed, if we consider that habit and manner, that God is wont to put on, when his children do become suitors unto him, how he puts on a rigid, rough and un­tractable carriage, even towards his dearest children, even then when he means them most good, we shall plainly see, we must use such kinde of behaviour,if we will prevail with him, for the more effectually to express this demeanor of God toward his children, and to assure us it is so, and to teach us importunity, [Page 155] our Saviour Christ, that great Master of requests, may seem to have done himself some wrong; first, by drawing in a manner odious comparisons, and likening the behaviour of God in these cases to a slothful friend, that is loath to leave his warm bed, to do his friend a pleasure, and here in my text to an unjust Judge, that fears neither God nor man; and secondly, by his own behaviour toward the Canaanitish woman. It is strange to observe, how though he were the meekest person that ever was upon earth, yet here he strives as it were to unnaturalize him­self, and lay by his natural sweetness of disposition, almost to forget common humanity, and puts on a kinde of sullen, and surly person of purpose to deter her: you shall not finde our Sa­viour in all the New Testament in such a mood, so bent to con­temn and vilifie a poor suitor. St. Austine comparing together St. Matthew and Mark, who both of them record the same sto­ry, and gathering together the circumstances out of them both, tells us, that first she follows our Saviour in the street, and that our Saviour takes house as it were to shelter himself from her, but she comes after, and throws her self at his feet: and he as offended with her importunity, again quits the house to be rid of her, and all this while deigns her not a word. If any beha­viour could have dasht a suit, and broken the heart of a poor suiter, this had been enough, but here's not all, we have a civil precept, that if we be not disposed to pleasure a suiter, yet to give him good words and shape him a gentle answer, it is hard if we cannot afford a suiter a gentle wo [...]. We read of Tibe­rius the Emperour, (as I remember) that he would never suf­fer any man to go sad and discontented from him, yet our Savi­our seems to have forgot this part of civility, being importun'd to answer her, gives her an answer worse then silence, and speaks words like the piercing of a sword, as Solomon speaks. I may not take the childrens bread and cast it unto dogs. And yet after all this strange copie of countenance, he fully subscribes to her request. Beloved, God hath not only exprest thus much in pa­rables, and practised these strange delays upon Canaanitish wo­men, but he hath acted it indeed, and that upon his dearest Saints. David one of the worthiest of his Saints, yet how passi­onately [Page 156] doth he cry out, How long Lord wilt thou forget me? How long shall I seek counsel in my soul and be so vexed in my heart. Not on­ly the Saints on earth, but even those in heaven do seem to par­take in this demeanor of God, we read in the book of the Reve­lation that when the souls of the Martyrs under the Altar cried out, how long Lord just and holy dost thou not avenge our blood from off the earth; they received this answer, have patience yet a little while. It is storyed of Diogenes, that he was wont to supplicate to the sta­tues, and to hold out his hands and beg of them, that so he might learn to brook and devour denial, and tediousness of suit. Belo­ved, let us but meditate upon these examples, which I have re­lated, and we shall not need to practice any of the Cynics art. For if the Saints and blessed Martyrs have their suites so long depend­ing in the Courts of Heaven then good reason that we should learn to brook delays, and arm our selves with patience and expe­ctation, when we finde the ears of God not so open to our re­quests. When Josephs brethren came down to buy corn, he gave them but a course welcome he spake roughly unto them, he laid them in prison; yet the text tells us that his bowels melted upon them and at length he opened himself, and gave them courte­ous entertainment. Beloved, when we come unto God as it were to buy corn, to beg at his hands such blessings as we need though he speak roughly, though he deal more roughly with us, yet let us know he hath still Josephs bowels, that his heart melts towards us, and at length he will open himself, and entertain us lovingly. And be it p [...]dventure that we gain not what we look for: yet our labor of prayer is not lost. The blessed souls under the Altar of which I spake but now, though their petition was not granted, yet had they long white garments given them. Even so, beloved, if the wisdom of God shall not think it fit to perform our requests, yet he will give us the long white garment; some­thing which shall be in liev of a Suit; though nothing else, yet patience and contentment which are the greatest blessings upon earth.

John 18. 36.‘Jesus answered, my Kingdome is not of this world: If my Kingdome were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews, &c.

AS in the Kingdomes of the world, there is an art of Courtship, a skill and mystery teaching to manage them: so in the spiritual Kingdom of God, and of Christ, there is an holy policie; there is an art of spiritual Courtship, which teaches every subject there, how to demean and bear himself. But, as betwixt their King­domes, so betwixt their arts and Courtship, betwixt the Cour­tier of the one, and the Courtier of the other, there is, as A­braham tells the rich man in St. Luke, [...] a great di­stance, a great difference, and not only one, but many. Sun­dry of them I shall have occasion to touch in the process of my discourse; mean while I will single out one, which I will use as a prologue, and way unto my text. In the Kingdomes of earth­ly Princes, every subject is not fit to make a Courtier; yea, were all fit, this were an honour to be communicated only unto some: Sic opus est mundo. There is a necessity of disproportion and inequality between men and men: and were all persons [Page 158] equal the world could not consist: Of men of ordinary fashion and parts some must to the Plough, some to their Merchandize, some to their Books, some to one Trade some to anothe [...]: only [...] as Aristotle calls them, men of more then common wit and ability, active, choice, pickt out of a thousand, such must they be that bear honors, attend on Princes persons, and serve in their Courts. The Scripture tells us that when King Solomon saw that Jeroboam was an active, able, and industrious young man, he took him and made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. Again, when Da­vid invited old Barzillai to the Court, the good old man excu­ses himself: I am, saith he, fourscore years of Age, and can thy servant tast what I eat, or what I drink: can I hear any more the voyce of singing men and singing women: Lo here my son Chimham, he shall go with my Lord the King, and do with him as shall seem good in thine eyes. Jeroboam and Chimham, strong and able, and a­ctive persons such are they that dwell in Kings houses: of the rest some are too old, some too young, some too dull, some too rude, or by some means or other unfit for such an end. Thus fares it with the honors of the world, they seem to participate of envy, or melancholy, and are of a solitary disposition they are brightest when they are alone, or but in few make them common and they loose their grace, like lamps they may give light unto few, or to some one room, but no farther. But the honors in the Court of the great King of Heaven, ore of another nature, they rejoyce in being communicated, and their glory is in the multitude of those that do partake in them. They are like unto the Sun that rises non homini sed humano generi: no [...] to this or that man, but to all the world; In the Court of God no difference between Jeroboam and Barzillai, none too old, none too young: no indisposition, no imperfection, makes you uncapable of honors there; Be but of his Kingdom, and you are necessarily of his Court: Every man who is a subject there, is a Courtier; yea, more then a Courtier, he is a Peer, he is a King, and hath an army of Angels at his service to pitch their tents about him, to deliver him; a guard of Ministring Spirits sent out to attend him for his safety. [Page 159] It shall not therefore be unseasonable for the meanest person that hears me this day to hear as it were a Lecture of Spiritual policy and Courtship: For no Auditory can be unfit for such a lesson. Aristotle was wont to divide his lectures and readings into Acroamatical, and Exoterical, some of them contained onely choice matter, and they were read privately to a Select Auditory: others contain'd but ordinary stuff and were pro­miscuously and in publick exposed to the hearing of all that would; Beloved we read no Acroamatick Lectures: The se­crets of the Court of Heaven (as far as it hath pleased the King of Heaven to reveal them) lie open alike to all. Every man is a­like of his Court, alike of his Councel: and the meanest a­mong Christians must not take it to be a thing without his Sphere, above his reach, but must make account of himself as a fit hearer of a lesson in Spiritual and saving policy; since if he be a subject in the kingdom of Christ, he can be no less then a Courtier.

Now the first and main lesson to be learned by a Courtier, is how to discover and know the disposition, & nature of the Lord, whom he is to serve, and the quality of that Common-wealth in which he bears a place, ad consilium de republica dandum caput est. That therefore our heavenly Courtier may not mistake himself, but be able to fit himself to the place he bears. I have made choice of these few words, which but now I read; words spo­ken by the King of that Common-wealth of which I am to treat, unto such as mean to be his Liege-men there: words which sufficiently open unto the Christian politician the state and quali­ty of that Court in which he is to serve: My kingdom is not of this world, for if at were then would my servants fight; which words seem like the Parthian horsmen, whose manner was to ride one way, but to shoot another way, they seem to go apace towards Pi­late, but they aim and shot at another mark, or rather like unto the speaker of them unto our Saviour himself when he was in one of the Villages of Samaria, Luke the ninth, where the text notes that though he were in Samaria, yet his face was set towards Hierusalem: so beloved, though these words be spoken to a Sa­maritane to an infidel to Pilate, yet their face is toward Hierusa­lem, [Page 160] they are a lesson directed to the subjects of his Spiri­tual Kingdom of that Hierusalem which is from above and is the Mother of us all. In them we may consider two General parts. First, a Denuntiation and message unto us; and Se­condly, a signe to confirme the truth of it. For it is the manner and method as it were which God doth use, when he dispatches a message, to annex a signe unto it, by which it may be known. When he sent Moses to the Israelites in Egypt, and Moses required a signe, he gave him a signe in his hand, in his Rod; when he sent Gideon against Madian he gave him a signe in the Fleece of Wool which was upon the Floor; when he sent the Prophet to Hieroboam to prophesie against the Altar in Bethel, he gave him a signe that the Altar should rend, and the ashes fall out, when he sent Esay with a mes­sage to King Ahaz, he gave him a signe; Behold a Virgin shall conceive: So Beloved in these words, There is a Message, There is a Signe: The first words are the Message; My Kingdom is not of this world, &c. The next words, For if it were then would my servants fight, &c. These are Moses rod and Gideons Fleece they are the signe which confirm the Message. The first part is a general proposition or Maxime: the second is an example, and particular instance of it. For in the first our Saviour distinguishes his Kingdome from the kingdomes of the world, and from all the fashions of them. In the second, amongst many other he chuses one instance, Wherein particularly he notes, that his Kingdome is un­like to earthly kingdomes. For the kingdoms of the world are purchased and maintain'd by violence and blood, but so is not his. The reason why our Saviour fastens upon this reason of dissimi­litude and unlikeness is, because in gaining and upholding tem­poral Kingdomes, nothing so usual as the sword and war. No Kingdome of the world, but by the sword is either gotten or held, or both. The sword in a secular common wealth is like the rod in a School, remove that away and men will take their liberty. It is the plea which the Tarquins used to King Porsenna in Livie. Satis libertatem ipsam habere dulcedinis, nisi quantâ vi civitates eam expetant tantâ regna reges defendant, aequare summa [Page 161] infimis adesse finem regnis rei inter Deos homines (que) pulcherrimae. The taste of liberty is so sweet, that except Kings maintain their authority with as great violence, as the people affect their liber­ty, all things will run to confusion; and Kingdomes which are the goodliest things in the world, will quickly go to wrack: when God gave a temporal Kingdome unto his own people, he sent Moses and Joshua before them to purchase it with the sword, when they were possest of this Kingdome, he sends then Gideon and Sampson, and David, and many worthies more to maintain it by the sword. But now being to open unto the world ano­ther kinde of Kingdome, of rule and government, then hitherto it had been acquainted with: he tells us, that he is a King of a Kingdome which is erected and maintained not by Joshua and David, but by Peter and Paul, not by the sword, but by the spi­rit, not by violence, but by love, not by striving, but by yield­ing, not by fighting, but by dying. Pilate had heard, that he was a King. It was the accusation which was fram'd against him, that he bare himself as King of the Jews; But because, he saw no pomp, no train, no guard about him, he took it but as an idle report. To put him therefore out of doubt, our Sa­viour assures him, that he is a King, but of such a Kingdome as he could not skill of: My Kingdome is not of this world, &c. For the better unfolding of which words; first we will consider what the meaning of this word Kingdome is, for there lies an ambiguity in it. Secondly we will consider what lessons for our instruction the next words will yield, Not of this world; first of this word Kingdome.

Our Saviour is a King three manner of wayes, and so corre­latively hath three distinct several Kingdomes. He is first a King in the largest extent and meaning which can possibly be imagined, and that is, as he is Creator and absolute Lord of all creatures. Of this Kingdome, Heaven, Earth, and Hell are three large provinces. Angels, Men, and Devils, his very e­nemies, every creature visible and invisible are subjects of this Kingdome. The glory and strength of this Kingdome consists least of all in men, and man is the weakest part of it. For there is scarcely a creature in the world, by whom he hath not been [Page 162] conquer'd. When Alexander the great had travelled through India, and over-run many large provinces, and conquer'd many popular Cities; when tidings came, that his Soldiers in Greece had taken some small towns there, he scorn'd the news, and in contempt, me thinks (said he) I hear of the battel of Frogs and mice. Beloved, if we look upon these huge armies of crea­tures, and consider of what wonderful strength they are, when the Lord summons them to battel: all the armies of men, and famous battels, of which we have so large histories in the com­parison of these what are they, but a [...] but Homers tale, a battel of Frogs and Mice. Infinite legions of Angels attend him in Heaven, and every Angel is an Armie: one Angel in the Book of Kings is sent out against the army of the Assyrians, and in one night foure-score thousand persons die for it. Base and contemptible creatures, when God calls for them, are of strength to conquer whole Countreys. He over-runs AEgypt with his armies of Frogs, and Flies, and Lice, and before his own people with an armie of Hornets chases the Cana­anites out of the Land. Nay, the dull and senseless elements, are up in arms when God summons them. He shoots his Hail-shot; with his Hail-stones from Heaven he destroyes more of the Canaanites, then the Israelites can with their swords. As for his armies of fire and water, what power is able to with­stand them; every creature, when God calls, is a soldier. How great then is the glory of this Kingdome of which the meanest parts are invincible. Secondly, again our Saviour is a King in a more restrain'd and confin'd sense, as he is in Heaven attended on by Angels, and Arch-angels, powers, principali­ties, and all the heavenly hosts. For though he be omnipresent and fills every place both in Heaven and Earth; yet Heaven is the Palace and Throne of this Kingdome, there is he better seen and known, there with more state and honour served, and therefore more properly is his Kingdome said to be there. And this is called his Kingdome of glory. The rules, and laws, and admi­rable orders of which Kingdome, could we come to see and dis­cover, it would be with us, as it was with the Queen of Saba, when she came to visit Solomon, of whom the Scripture notes; that [Page 163] when she heard his wisdome, and had seen the order of his ser­vants, the attendance that was given him, and the manner of his table. There was no more Spirit left in her. Beloved, Dum Spiritus hos regit artus. Whilest this Spirit is in us, we cannot possibly come to discern the laws and orders of this Kingdome, and there­fore I am constrained to be silent.

Thirdly, our Saviour is a King in a sense, yet more impropri­ated. For as he took our nature upon him, as he came into the world to redeem mankinde, and to conquer Hell and death, so is there a Kingdome annext unto him; A Kingdome, the purchase whereof cost him much sweat and blood, of which neither An­gels, nor any other creature are a part, only that remnant of man­kinde, that Ereptus titio. That number of blessed Souls, which like a brand out of the fire, by his death and passion he hath recove­red out of the power of sin; and all these alone are the subjects of that Kingdome. And this is that, which is called his King­dome of Grace, and which himself in Scripture every where calls his Church, his Spouse, his Body, his Flock: and this is that King­dome, which in this place is spoken of, and of which our Savi­our tells Pilate. That it is not of this world; My Kingdome is not of this world.

Which words at the first reading, may seem to savour of a little imperfection; for they are nothing else but a Negation or denial. Now our Books teach us, that a Negative makes nothing known; for we know things by discovering not what they are not, but what they are: yet when we have well examin'd them, we shall finde that there could not have been a speech delivered more effectual for the opening the nature of the Church, and the discovery of mens errors in that respect. For I know no error so common, so frequent, so hardly to be rooted out, so much hin­dering the knowledg of the true nature of the Church, as this, that men do take the Church to be like unto the world. Tully tells us of a Musician, that being asked what the Soul was, answe­red, that it was Harmonie, et is (saith he) à principiis artis suae non recescit. He knew not how to leave the principles of his own art. Again Plato's Schollers had been altogether bred up in A­rithmetick, and the knowledge of numbers, and hence it came, [Page 164] that when afterward they diverted their studies to the know­ledge of Nature, or Moral Philosophy; wheresoever they walk­ed, they still feined to themselves some what like unto Num­bers: the world they supposed was fram'd out of numbers, Ci­ties, and Kingdomes, and Common-wealths they thought stood by numbers, Number with them, was sole principle and creator of every thing. Beloved, when we come to learn the quality and state of Christs Kingdome, it fares much with us, as it does with Tullies Musician, or Plato's Schollers, difficulter à principiis artis nostrae recedimus. Hardly can we forsake those principles, in which we have been brought up. In the world we are born, in it we are bred, the world is the greatest part of our studie, to the true knowledge of God and of Christ, still we fancy unto us some­thing of the world. It may seem but a light thing that I shall say, yet because it seems fitly to open my meaning, I will not refrain to speak it: Lucian, when Priams young son was taken up into hea­ven, brings him in calling for milk and cheese, and such countrey cates as he was wont to eat on earth. Beloved, when we first come to the Table of God, to heavenly Manna and Angels food, it is much with us, as it was with Priams young son, when he came first into Heaven, we cannot forget the milk and cheese, and the gross diet of the world. Our Saviour and his blessed Apostles had great and often experience of this error in men; when our Savi­our preach't to Nicodemus the doctrine of regeneration, and new birth, how doth he still harp upon a gross conceit of a re-entry to be made into his mothers womb. When he preacht unto the Samaritane women concerning the water of life, how hardly is she driven from thinking of a material Elementary water, such as was in Jacobs well. When Simon Magus in the Acts saw, that by laying on of hands, the Apostles gave the Holy Ghost, he offers them money to purchase himself the like power. He had been trafficking, and merchandizing in the world, and saw what au­thority, what a Kingdome money had amongst men: he therefore presently conceited coelum venale Deumque: that God and Heaven, and all would be had for money. To teach therefore the young Courtier in the Court of Heaven that he commit no such Solecisms, that hereafter he speak the true [Page 165] Language, and dialect of God, our Saviour sets down this as a principal rule in our Spiritual Grammar: That his Court is not of this world; Nay, beloved not only the young Courtier, but many of the old servants in the Court of Christ are stain'd with this error. It is storied of Leonides which was School-master to Alexander the great, that he infected his non-age with some vices, quae robustum quoque & jam maximum regem ab illa institutione puerili sunt prosecuta, which followed him then, when he was at mans e­state. Beloved the world hath been a long time a School-master unto us, and hath stain'd our nonage with some of these spots which appear in us, even then when we are strong men in Christ. When our Saviour in the Acts after his Resurrection was discour­sing to his Disciples concerning the kingdom of God, they present­ly brake forth into this question, Wilt thou now restore the kingdom unto Israel? Certainly this question betrays their ignorance, their thoughts still ran upon a kingdom like unto the kingdoms of the world, notwithstanding they had so long, and so often heard our Saviour to the contrary, Our Saviour therefore shortly takes them up; Non est vestrum, your question is nothing to the purpose; the kingdom that I have spoken of is another manner of kingdom then you conceive. Sixteen hundred years, Et quod Excurrit, hath the Gospel been preached unto the world, & is this stain spunged out yet; I doubt it, whence arise those novel & late disputes, de notis Ec­clesiae, of the notes & visibility of the Church, Is it not from hence that they of Rome take the world & the Church to be like Mercury and Sosia in Plautus his comaedies so like one another that one of them must wear a toy in his cap, that so the spectators may distin­guish them; whence comes it that they stand so much upon State and Ceremony in the Church? Is it not from hence that they think the Church must come in like Agrippa and Bernice in the Acts, [...] as S. Luke speaks with a great deal of pompe, and train and shew, and vanity, and that the service of God doth necessarily require this noise, and tumult of outward State and Ceremony. Whence comes it that We are at our wits ends, when we see persecution, and sword, and fire to rage against the true professors of the Gospel? Is it not because, as these bring ruine and desolation upon the kingdoms of the world; so we sup­pose [Page 166] they work no other effect in the kingdom of Christ? all these conceits and many more of the like nature spring out of no other fountain, then that old inveterate error which is so hardly wiped out of our hearts; that the State of the Church and Kingdom of Christ doth hold some proportion? Some likeness with the state and managing of temporal kingdoms; wherefore to pluck out of our hearts, Opinionem tam insitam, tam vetustam, a conceit so ancient, so deeply rooted in us, our Saviour spake most excellently, most pertinently, and most fully when he tells us that his Church, that his Kingdom is not of this world.

In which words of his, there is contained the true art of disco­vering and knowing the true nature and essence of the Church. For as they which make Statues, cut and pare away all superflui­ties of the matter upon which they work, so our Saviour to shew us the true proportion and feature of the Church, prunes away the world and all superfluous excrescencies, and sends her to be seen as he did our first Parents in Paradice, stark naked; As those Elders in the Apocryphal story of Susanna, when they would see her beauty, commanded to take of her mask: so he that longs to see the beauty of the Church, must pull of that mask of the world & outward shew. For as Juda in the book of Genesis when Thamar sate vail'd by the way side, knew not his daughter from an whore: so whilst the Church, the daughter and spouse of Christ sits vail'd with the world and pompe, and shew, it will be an hard matter to discern her from an harlot; But yet further to make the difference betwixt these kingdoms the more plainly to appear, and the bet­ter to fix it in your memories, I will briefly touch some of these heads in which they are most notoriously differenced.

The first head wherein the difference is seen, are the persons and subjects of this kingdom; For as the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world, so the subjects of this Kingdom are men of another world, and not of this: Every one of us bears a double person, and accordingly is the subject of a double Kingdom. The holy Ghost by the Psalmist divides heaven and earth betwixt God and man, and tells us as for God, he is in heaven, but the earth hath he given to the children of men: So hath the same spirit by the Apostle Saint Paul divided every one of our persons into heaven and [Page 167] earth into an outward and earthly man, and into an inward and heavenly man: This earth, that is, this body of clay hath he given to the sons of men, to the Princes under whose go­vernment we live, but heaven that is the inward and spiritual man hath he reserved unto himself; They can restrain the out­ward man, and moderate our outward actions, by edicts and laws, they can tie our hands and our tongues—Illa se jac [...]et in aula AEolus. Thus far they can go, and when they are gone thus far, they can go no farther. But to rule the inward man in our hearts, & souls, to set up an Imperial throne in our understandings, & wills, this part of our government belongs to God & to Christ; These are the subjects, this the government of his Kingdom, men may be Kings of Earth, & bodies; But Christ alone is the King of Spirits and Souls: Yet this inward government hath influence upon our outward actions: For the Authority of Kings over our outward man is not so absolute, but that it suffers a great restraint; It must stretch no further then the Prince of our inward man pleases: for if secular Princes stretch out the skirts of their Authority to com­mand ought by which our souls are prejudiced, the King of Souls hath in this case given us a greater command, That we rather obey God then men.

The second head wherein the difference betwixt these King­doms is seen is in their laws; For as the kingdoms & the lawgivers so are their laws very different: First, in their Authors, the laws by which the Common-wealth of Rome was anciently govern'd, were the works of many hands, some of them were Plebiscita the the acts of the people, others were Senatus-consulta the decrees of the Senate, others Edicta Praetorum, the verdict of their Judges, o­thers Responsa Prudentum the opinions of Wisemen in cases of doubt. Others Rescripta Imperatorum, the Rescripts and answers of their Emperors, when they were consulted with; But in the kingdom of Christ there are no Plebiscita or Senatus-consulta, no people, no Senate, nor wisemen, nor Judges, had any hand in the laws by which it is governed. Only Rescripta Imperatoris the Re­scripts and Writs of our King run here, these alone are the Laws to which the Subjects of this Kingdom owe obedience. Again, the Laws of both these kingdoms differ in regard of their quality and nature; For the laws of the Kingdom of Christ are Eternal, [Page 168] Substantial, Indispensable, but Laws made by humane autho­rity, are but light, superficial and temporary. For all the humane authority in the world can never enact one eternal and funda­mental Law. Let all the Laws which men have made be laid to­gether, and you shall see that they were made but upon occasion, and circumstance either of time, or place, or persons in matters of themselves indifferent, and therefore either by discontinu­ance they either fell or ceased of themselves, or by reason of al­teration of occasion and circumstance were necessarily revoked; Those main fundamental Laws upon which all the Kingdoms of the world do stand, against theft, against murther, against adul­tery, dishonouring of Parents or the like, they were never brought forth by man, neither were they the effects of any Par­liamentary Sessions; they were written in our souls from the be­ginning, long before there was any authority Regal extant among men. The intent of him who first enacted them was not to found a temporal, but to bring men to an eternal Kingdom: and so far forth as they are used for the maintaining of outward state they are usurp'd, or at the best but borrowed, So that in this work of setling even the Kingdoms of this world, if we compare the Laws of God with the Laws of men we shall finde that God hath as it were founded the palaces and castles, and strength of them, but men have like little children built houses of clay, and dirt which every blast of wind overturns.

The third head by which they may be seen is in the notes and marks, by which they may be known: For the Kingdoms of the world are confin'd, their place is known their subjects are discern­able, they have badges and tokens, and Arms by which they are discovered; But the Church hath no such notes, and marks, no Herauld hath as yet been sound that could blazon the arms of that Kingdom. AEsculus the Poet in his [...] describing the captains, that came either for the siege or defence of the City of Thebes in Be [...]tia brings them in, in their order every one with his shield, and upon his shield some device, and over that device a Motto or word according to the usual fancies of men in that kinde; but when he comes to Amphiraus, he notes of him that he had no device in his shield, no impress or word, and he [Page 169] gives the reason of it; because he affected not shew, but to be that which others profest. But to carry marks and notes and de­vices, may well beseem the world which is led by fancy and shew; but the Church is like Amphiarus, she hath no device, no word in her shield, mark and essence with her are all one, and she hath no other note but to be. And but that learned men must have something to busie their wits withal these large discourses de notis Ecclesiae, of the notes and marks by which we may know the Church might very well lie by as containing nothing else but doctas ineptias, Laborious vanities, and learned impertinen­ces. For the Church is not a thing that can be pointed out: The Devil could shew our Saviour Christ all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them, I hope the Church was none of these; It is the glory of it not to be seen, and the note of it to be invisible; when we call any visible company of professors a Church it is but a word of courtesie. Out of charity we hope men to be that which they do profess, and therefore we so speak as if they were indeed that, whose name they bear, where and who they are that make up this kingdom, is a question unfit for any man to move: For the Lord only knoweth who are his. It is but popish madness to send men up and down the world to finde the Church; It is like unto the Children of the Prophets in the second of Kings, that would needs seek Elias or like the nobles in Hierusalem, that would needs go seek Jeremie the Prophet, but could not finde him, because the Lord had hid him: For in regard of the profession; The Church (as our Saviour speaks) is like a City set upon an hill, you may quickly see and know what true Christianity is, But in regard of the persons the Kingdom of Heaven is, as our Saviour again tells us like a treasure hidden in a field. Except the place of their abode, and their persons were discernable, who can tell, we go thus to seek them, whether we do not like false hounds hunt Counter (as the hunters phrase is) and so go from the game, when Saul went to seek his Fathers Asses, he found a Kingdom; Let us take heed least the contrary befal us, least while we seek our Fathers Kingdom thus, we finde but Asses. Will you know where to find the Kingdom of Christ, our Saviour directs you in the Gospel, The Kingdom of Heaven, saith he, cometh not by observation, nei­ther [Page 170] shall ye say, Lo here, or lo there, but the Kingdom of Heaven is with­in you: Let every man therefore retire into himself and see if he can finde this kingdom in his heart; For if he finde it not there, in vain shall he finde it in all the world besides.

The fourth head wherein the difference of these kingdoms is seen is outward state and ceremony; for outward pompe and shew is one of the greatest stays of the Kingdom of this world. Some thing there must be to amaze the people, and strike them into wonderment, or else Majesty would quickly be contemned. The Scripture recounting unto us King Solomons Royalty tells us of his Magnificent buildings, of his Royal throne, of his servants, and his attendants, of his cup-bearers, of his meats, and these were the things which purchased unto him, the reputation of Majesty, a­bove all the Kings of the earth. Beloved, the Kingdom of Christ is not like unto Solomon in his Royalty, It is like unto David when he had put of all his Royalty, and in a linnen Ephod danced be­fore the Ark: and this plain and natural simplicity of it, is like unto the Lillies of the field, more glorious then Solomon in all his Royalty. The Idolatrous superstitions of Paganism stood in great need of such Pompous Solemnities, Ut opinionem suspendio cogni­tionis aedificent, at (que) ita tantam majestatem exhibere vide antur quantā praestruxerunt cupiditatem, as Tertullian tells us; For being nothing of themselves, they were to gain reputation of being something by concealment, and by outward state make shew of something answerable to the expectation they had raised: The case of the kingdoms of the world is the same: For all this State and Ma­gnificence used in the Managing of them is nothing else but Secu­lar Idolatry, used to gain veneration, and reverence unto that which in comparison of the Kingdom we speak of is meer vanity. But the scepter of the Kingdome of Christ is a right scepter, and to adde unto it outward state, and riches, and pomp, is nothing else but to make a Centaure, marry and joyn the Kingdome of Christ with the Kingdome of the world, which Christ expresly here in my text hath divorced and put a sunder. A thing which I do the rather note; because that the long continuance of some ceremonies in the Church, have occasioned many especially of the Church of Rome, to think that there is no religion, no ser­vice [Page 171] without these ceremonies, Our books tell us of a poor Spar­tan, that travelling in another countrey, and seeing the beams and posts of houses squared and carved, askt if the trees grew so in those countreys? Beloved, many men that have been long acquain­ted with a form of worship, squared and carved, trick't and set out with shew and ceremony, fall upon this Spartans conceit, think the trees grow so, and think that there is no natural shape and face of Gods service but that. I confess the service of God hath evermore some ceremony attending it, and to our Fathers, before Christ may seem to have been necessary, because God commanded it: But let us not deceive our selves, for neither is ceremony now, neither was sacrifice then esteemed necessary, neither was the command of God concerning it, by those to whom it was given, ever taken to be peremptory; I will begin the warrant of what I have said out of St. Chysostome; for in his comments upon the tenth of the Hebrews, he denies that ever God from the beginning requir'd, or that it was his will to ordain such an outward form of worship; and asking therefore of him­self [...] how then seems he to have commanded it, he answers [...] by condiscending only, and submit­ting himself unto humane infirmity, now this [...] this condescending of God, wherein it consisted Oecumenius opens. For because that men had a conceit, that if was convenient to of­fer up some part of their substance unto God, and so strongly were they possest with this conceit, that if they offered it not up to him, they would offer it up to Idols: God saith he, rather then they should offer unto Idols, required them to offer unto him. And thus was God understood by the holy men themselves, who lived under the shadow of those ceremonies: for David when he had made his peace with God, after that great sin of his opens this mystery. For thou requirest not sacrifice, saith he, else would I have given it thee, but thou delightest not in burnt offerings; The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit, a troubled and a contrite heart, O God, dost thou not despise. After the revolt of Jereboam and the ten Tribes from the house of David; there were many devout and religious persons in Israel, and yet we finde not that they u­sed the outward form of worship, which was commanded. El as [Page 172] and Elizaeus two great prophets in Israel, did they ever go up to Hierusalem to worship, Obadia [...] a great courtier in King Ahabs Court, and one that feared the Lord exceedingly; the seaven thousands which bowed not their knees to Baal, when came they up to the Temple to offer. A thing which doubtless they would have done, if they had understood the commandement of God in that behalf, to have been absolute indeed; if we live in places where true religious persons do resort, and assemble for the ser­vice of God, it were a sin to neglect it. But otherwise it is suffi­cient, if we keep us from the pollutions of that place to which we are restrain'd. Quid juvat hoc nostros templis admittere mores? why measure we God by our selves, and because we are led with gay shews, and goodly things, think it is so with God? Sene­ca reports, that a Pantomimus, a puppet player and dancer in Rome, because he pleased the people well, was wont to go up every day into the Capitol, and practised his Art, and dance before Jupiter, and thought he did the God a great pleasure. Beloved, in many things, we are like unto this puppet-player, and do much mea­sure God by the People, by the World.


A SERMON On 1. SAM. 24. 5.

‘And it came to passe afterward, that Davids heart smote him, because he had cut off Sauls skirt.’

TEmptation is the greatest [...] Occasioner of a Christians Honour: indeed like an Enemy it threatens and endea­vours his ruine; but in the conquest of it con [...]ists his Crown and Triumph. Were it possible for us to be at league and truce with this Enemy, or to be [...] without danger of Gun-shot, out of its reach, like the Candle in the Gospel that is put under a bushel, the brightest part of our glory were quite obscur'd. As Maximus Tyrius spake of Hercules, if you take from him [...] the savage beasts that he slew, and the Tyrants whom he supprest, his journeys and labours, [...] you lop and cut off the manifest Arms and Limbs of Hercules renown. So, take from a Christian his Temptations, his Persecutions, his Contentions, remove him from the Devil, from the World, [...] you deprive him of the chief matter and subject of his glory. Take Job from the Dunghill, David from Saul, Daniel from the Lions, the blessed Martyrs from the rack, from the fire, from the sword, and what are they more then other men. As Sampson tells Dalilah in the Book of the Judges, If my hair be cut, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and like unto another man; so Beloved, these things are as it were the hair wherein their strength lay, shave that away, and they shall presently become weak, and like unto other men. But Temptations are of [Page 174] two sorts: some are like profest and open Enemies, which proclaim open war against us, like Goliah they publikely come forth and chal­lenge us. And such are the outward Evils that befal us, Loss of Goods, Sickness, Disease, Dishonor, Infamy, Persecutions, and the like. Others there are of a more secret, close, and retired nature, like un­to Traytors, that bear the behaviour and countenance of Friends; that espy out their advantage and set privily upon us: the most troublesome kinde of Enemies, per quos nec licet esse tanquam in bello paratos, nec tanquam in pace securos: with whom we can have neither peace nor war, and against whom we can neither be pro­vided nor secure, these are our own corrupt Thoughts and Imagi­nations, which secretly lye in our hearts, and watch their times to set on us, as the Philistines did in Dalilahs chamber to surprize Sampson. For let a man but descend into himself, examine his own soul, take as it were an Inventory of the passions, affections, thoughts of his own heart, look but what the number of them is, and let him make accompt of so many enemies. Tot venena, quot ingenia; tot pernicies quod & species, tot dolores, quot colores; as Tertullian rimes it. A sort of Enemies by so much the more dangerous, because that all those out­ward enemies, of which I but now spake, cannot come so neer as to rase our skin, or indanger one hair of our head, if these give them not way: from these ut aspis a vipera venenum, as the Asp borrows borrows poison from the Viper, do those other Temptations borrow all their power and strength to hurt us. For let us take a survey of all the outward afflictions, miseries and calamities, which have befallen all the Saints of God in Holy Scripture, and let us suppose them to be all set and bent against some one alone, yet notwithstanding, as the three children in Daniel walkt in the midst of the fire untoucht, or as our S [...]viour Christ pass'd away through the midst of the people, that were gathered together to mischief him, and throw him down the Hill, so shall he be able to pass from them all without any hurt or harm, if some discontented, or distrustful, or despairing, or proud, or angry, or impure and lustful thought do not betray him unto them, and as it were open a door, and let them in. David who is here the subject of my Text, had very much ado with both sorts of enemies, and by his own experience found, that this latter rank of secret and privie enemies in strength far surpassed the former. For whom neither the [Page 175] Lion nor the Bear, nor Goliah, nor Saul, nor the Philistines could ever fasten upon, or drive to any inconvenience, one lustful thought forced to Adultery and Murder, one proud conceit stirred up to number the people, and drew from God great inconveniences and plagues both upon himself and his Kingdom. How careful then ought we to be, and to stand on our guard, and keep a perpetual watch over our hearts, diligently to try and examine our thoughts, Nunquam securo trium­phantur otio, sed tantum sollicito premuntur imperio, August. Nor while we live shall we be able perfectly to master, or securely to triumph over them: the only way to suppress and keep them down is, to have a perpetual and careful jealousie of them. Now of this Religious care and watchfulness over our own thoughts, hath the Holy Ghost recorded for our use a notable example in these words, which but now I read, And it came to passe, &c.

To relate unto you at large the occasion of these words, and the story from whence they depend, were but to wrong you, for I cannot think so meanly of your knowledg in Scripture, as that any of you can be ignorant of so famous a passage. Yet thus much for the better opening of my way unto such doctrines, as I shall draw from this Text, I will call back unto your memories, that Saul hunting af­ter David to kill him, unwittingly stept into a Cave where David was; David having now his enemy in his hand, and opportunity to revenge himself, lets slip all thought of revenging, and only cuts off privily the lap of his Garment. For this deed so harmless so innocent the Scripture tells us that his heart smote him, that he suffered great anguish and remorse in Conscience for it. That which I will require you to note, is the tenderness of Conscience, and strange scrupulous­ness in David for so small an action; for it will yield us a great Les­son. I say it appeareth not by Scripture, that David intended any mis­chief or treason to Saul, or that he harbour'd in heart any disloyal thought against him. This purpose of cutting off the lap of Sauls garment was no other then to purchase to himself a harmless and ho­nourable testimony of his Innocency, and to prove unto Saul, that there was no likelihood that he sought his blood, whom he spared, having him at so great an advantage. Yet notwithstanding, as if the rending of Sauls garment, had been the wounding of Sauls body, or the shedding of his blood, David stands amazed, and is affrighted at [Page 176] so honourable, so innocent a thought. His heart smote him, saith the Scripture. As men that have been at sea, and indanger'd through the raging of windes, and tempests, and floods, when afterward the weather is cleared up, the windes allayed, the seasmoothed, and all calm, yet scarcely dare they set sail again, and trust to so uncertain, so fickle an Element: so seems it to have fared with David in this place. He was a man subject to the same passions with other men, and doubtless, through the raging of unruly and misorderly affections, he had many times been in danger of spiritual shipwrack; wherefore licet in morem stagni fusum aequor arrideat, and though now he could dis­cover no tempest in his heart, though the face of his thoughts were as smooth as glass; yet when he looks upon such fair and calm affecti­ons, his heart misgives him, and he dares not trust them: magnos hic campus montes habet, tranquilitas ista tempestas est. The care he hath over his own heart fills him with suspitions, and still he thinks, something he knows not what, may be amiss. But I must come unto the words. And it came to pass afterwards, &c.

In these words we will consider these three things.

  • 1. The Person, David, And Davids heart smote him.
  • 2. Davids Sollicitousness, his care and jealousy, very signifi­cantly expressed in the next words; His heart smote him.
  • 3. The cause of this his care and anxiety of minde in the last words, Because he had cut off Sauls skirt.

In the first point, that is, in the Person, we may consider his great­ness, he was a King in expectation, and already anoynted. A cir­cumstance by so much the more considerable, because that greatness is commonly taken to be a Priviledge to sin: to be over carefull and conscientious of our courses and actions are accounted virtues for pri­vate Persons, Kings have greater businesses then to examine every thought that comes into their hearts. Pater meus obliviscitur se esse Caesarem; ego vero memini me Caesaris filiam. It is the answer of Ju­lia Augustus the Emperour's daughter, when she was taxed for her too wanton and licentious living, and counsel'd to conform herself to the Sobriety and Gravity of her Father. My Father, saith she, forgets him­self to be Caesar the Emperour: but I remember myself to be Caesars daugh­ter. It was the speech of Enxius the Poet, Plebs in hoc Regi antest [...] loco; licet lachrimari plebi, Regi honeste non licet: Private men in this [Page 177] have a priviledge above Princes; but thus to do becomes not Princes: and if at any time these sad and heavy hearted thoughts do supprize them, they shall never want comforters to dispell them. When Ahab was for sullnness fallen down upon his bed, because Naboth would not yield him his Vineyard, Jezabell is presently at hand and asks him, Art thou this day King of Israel? When Ammon pined a­way in the incestuous love of his Sister Thamar, Jonadab his companion comes unto him, and asks, why is the Kings Son sad every day? so that, as it seems great Persons can never be much or long sad. Yet David forgets his greatness, forgets his many occasions, gives no ear to his companions about him, but gives himself over to a scrupulous and serious consideration of an Action in shew and countenance but light.

Secondly, as the Person is great, so is the care and remorse conceived upon the Consideration of his action exceeding great, which is our Second part: And therefore the Holy Ghost expresses it in very significant termes: His heart smote him, a phrase in scripture used by the Holy Ghost when men begin to be sensible and repent them of some sin. When David had commited that great sin of numbring the people, and began to be apprehensive of it, the Scripture tells us that Davids heart smote him, when he had commanded Jeab to number the People. Wherefore by this smiting we may not here understand some light touch of Conscience, like a grain of powder presently kindled and presently gone, for the most hard and flinty hearts many times yield such sparks as these. He that is most flesht in sin, commits it not without some remorse; for sin evermore leaves some scruple, some sting, some lothsomness in the hearts of those that are most inamour'd of it. But as Simeon tells the blessed Virgin in St. Lukes Gospell, Gladius pertransihit animam tuam; a sword shall peirce through thine heart; so it seems to have been with David. It was not some light touch to rase only the surface and skin of the heart, but like a sword it pierced deep into him. To teach us one lesson, that actions spotted, though but with the least suspicion of sin, ought nor carelesly to be past by, or slightly glanced at, but we ought to be deeply apprehensive of them and bestow greatest care and considera­tion upon them.

The third part of our Text containeth the cause of Davids remorse in the last words. Because he cut off Sauls skirt, in the two former [Page 178] parts we had to do with greatness: there was 1. a great Person, and 2. great Remorse, can we in this third part find out any great cause or reason of this, so to make all parts proportionable? Certainly he that shall attentively read and weigh these first words of my Text, and know the story, might think that David had committed some nota­ble error, as some great oppression, or some cruell slaughter, or some such royall sin, which none but Kings and great men can commit. But beloved this my Text seems to be like the Windows in Solomons Temple, broad within, but narrow without: or like a Pyramide large and spa­tious at the Basis and ground of it, but small and sharp at the top. The Person and Remorse, which are the Ground and subject of my Text both are great and large, but the cause which is the very crown and top of all, that is very small, yea peradventure none at all. For whether it be that my self accustomed to greater sins, and now grown old in them, have lost all sense of small and petty errours, or whether indeed there be no errour at all in this action of David, but only some fancy, some jealousy arising out of that Godly and care­full watch he kept over all his wayes, or whatsoever else it was that caused this scruple or remorse in David, it is a very hard matter to discover, and yet notwithstanding that we may make more open pass unto such Doctrines as I shall raise out of these words, let us a little scan and consider what it was in this action that made David thus strangely scrupulous.

And first of all was it for that he had toucht and taken that which was none of his own, and therefore might seem to fall within com­pass of the Law against injury and purloyning? This seems not proba­ble: for when afterwards in the like case he came upon Saul as he was sleeping in the Camp, and took from him the Spere and the pot of Water which stood at his head, we do not read that his heart smote him, and yet he took what was none of his.

Or 2ly. was it that he did wrong and dishonour Saul in mangling his garment? Indeed the Jews have a tradition that this was the sin of which David was here so sensible. And therefore say they, whereas we read in the first of Kings, that when David grew old they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat, this was the punishment of his sin committed against Saul: God so providing that garments should not be serviceable to him who had offended in wronging Sauls gar­ments. But this I must let go as a fable.

[Page 179]Or 3ly. was it that he had unadvisedly given way to some disloyal thought, and at first resolved to revenge himself on Saul, having him at the advantage, though afterward he repented? Indeed St. Chrysostome thinks so; and therefore on those words at the latter end of the verse next before my Text, And David arose, he notes [...] See you [...]ot, saith he, what a tempest of rage and anger begins to rise in him; for he supposeth him to arise in heat and fury, with a resolution for blood: but it pleased God in the way, to make him relent and change the purpose of revenge into the Action of cutting off his skirt: and that this smiting of Davids heart was nothing else but his repenting himself for giving over hasty entertain­ment to such a rebellious thought. But beloved, who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect? Davids thoughts were known only to God and himself. Since therefore God gives not this as a reason of Davids remorse, but another thing; far be it from me, that I should wrong David so far, as to burden him with that, with which none but God can charge him. I rather chuse to follow St. Basils rule: [...] let the Scriptures be understood as they lye. The Scripture tells us, Davids heart smote him, because he cut of the skirt of Sauls garment, and not because he had conceiv'd against Saul any thought of blood. But what cause then shall we give of Davids remorse, none other, Beloved, but that Religious and carefull jealousie which still he had over his own thoughts, which made him pietatis affectu etiam quae tuta sunt formidare, Hieron. To suspect all things be they never so safe, and never to think himself secure from the contagion of sin. It was with David as it is wont to be with men that are often troubled with sicknesses and diseases, suspicionibus inquietantur, medicisque jam sani manum porrigunt, & omnem calorem corporis sui calumniantur, Senec. Dis­quiet themselves with every little alteration in their Bodies, repair to the Physician when they are well, and think every heat to be an Ague fit. Horum corpus non est parum sanum, sed sanitati parum assuevit: these men are not sick, but they do not know what it is to be in health. In the same state is David, he had been often infected with Spiritu­all weakness and disease, and therefore he suspects every motion of his heart, and takes every thought to be a temptation. Hujus animus non erat parum sanus, sed sanitati parum assuevit, his Soul was not sick of any sin, but he did not know what it was to be in Spirituall health.

[Page 180]For us and for our use hath the Holy Ghost registred this example of scruple and tenderness of conscience. Let us returne to our selves and see what lessons we may learn hence for our behoof. Men usually are either grown old in sin, & therefore their eyesight is decayed, they cannot ea [...]ly see and discerne smaller sins: or else as Hagar in the Book of Genesis, laid Ismael afar off from her, that she might not be griev'd with the sight of him: so we labour to lay our sins far out of kenn, that the memory and sight of them might not exasperate and trouble us. For the cure of both these infirmityes I have borrowed out of the Lords treasury a Spectacle or Optick Glass, which if we use it, will restore our decayed eyesight and quicken and make us read our sins in the smallest print; and let them [...]ly never so farr from us, yet will it present them unto us in their true quantity and greatness. Towards the better use of which Spirituall Glasse, one lesson would I especially commend unto you; to be perpetually Jealous and suspicious of your thoughts, and to be quick-sented, easily to trace the footing of sin, to be easily sensible of it, when we think our selves to have done a­miss: a lesson naturally arising, as I take it, out of Davids example, com­mended unto us in this place. Now how absolutely behoofefull it is for us to hold a perpetuall Watch over our hearts, and be jealous of such thoughts as spring out of them it will appear by these Reasons.

First, because that sin is of such a [...]ly insinuating nature, that it will privily creep in, and closely cleave to our thoughts and intents, though we perceive it not. For as waters though of themselves most pure, will relish and [...]avour of the Earth and soyl through which they passe. So thoughts in themselves good, passing through the corrupt and evill ground of our hearts, cannot but receive some tincture, some dye, some relish from them. When David had an intent to build God an house, he doubtless conceived no otherwise of this his intent, then of a religious and honourable purpose, and in outward appearance there was no cause, why he should doubt of Gods acceptance yet we see this purpose of his misliked by God, and rejected, and the reason given, quia vir sanguinum es tu, because thou art a man of blood. How sh [...]ll we then secure our selves of any thought, if such an intent as this, so [...]avouring of Zeal, of Sanctification, of love unto the glory of God, have such a flaw in it as makes it unprofitable; and how neces­sary is it that we bring all our immaginations and intents to the fire [Page 181] and to the refining pot, so throughly to try them, & bring them to their highest point of purity & perfection. Be it peradventure, that the acti­on be in it self good; if it be lyable to any suspicion of evill, it is enough to blast it. It is the Holy Ghosts rule given by the blessed Apostle, that we abstain from all shew and appearance of evill, that we refrain as much as possible from all such actions, as are capable of misconstruction. What is more lawfull, then for the labourer to [...]ave his hire, then for those that labour in the Gospell, to live by the Gospell? Yet we see St. Paul re­fused this Liberty, and chose rather to work with his own hands; only for this reason, because he would not give occasion to any, that would misinterpret his Action, to live at others cost & feed on the sweat of o­thers brows. What befalls Princes many times and great Persons that have abused their Authority, the people rise and suppress them, deface their statues, forbid their coyn, put away all things that bear any me­mory of them: So seems our blessed Apostle to deal here [...]look what acti­ons they be which bear any inscription, any image & title, any shew, or spot of sin, these hath he thought good even to banish & qui [...]e prohibit. Our prophane stories tell us, that when Julius Caesar had divorc'd his wife; being asked why he did so, since nothing was brought against her to prove her dishonest, his answer was, that she that will be Wife of Caesar must not only be free from dishonesty, but from all suspicion of it. Beloved, St. Paul tells the Corinthians that he had espoused them unto one Husband, that he might deliver them as a chast Virgin unto Christ. And God every where in Scripture compairs his Church unto an espoused wife, & him­self unto an Husband, a Husband far more jealous then ever Caesar was. How carefull then must that Soul be, that intends to Marry it self to such a jealous Husband, to abstain not only from all pollution of sin, but from all suspicion of it. Last of all it is Tertullians speech: Quanto facilius illicita timebit, qui etiam licita verebitur. It is wisdom sometimes to sus­pect and shun things that are lawfull. For there are many actions in themselves good which yet to many men become occasions of sin and scandall. For it is with our Actions as it is with our meats & drinks. As, divers meats fi [...] not divers constitutions of Body; so all Actions accord not well with all Tempers of mind. As therfore what Dish it is we easily Surfeit of, though it be otherwise good it is wisdome totally to abstain from: so look what actions they be in which we [...]ind our selves prone to sin, it is good spirituall Physick to [Page 182] use abstinence & quite to leave them. For if our Savior command us to pluck out our eyes, and pare off our hands, if once they become unto us cause of sin, how much more then must we prune away all inward thoughts, all outward circumstances, which become occasion of offence unto us.

A 2d. reason, why I would perswade you to entertain a jealousie of all your thoughts and actions, is a naturall overcharitable affecti­on, which I see to be in most men unto their own wayes, and which is st [...]ange; the worse they are, the more are we naturally enclined to favour them. The Reason is because the worse they are, the more they are our own. When question was sometime made, Why good hearbs grow so sparingly, and with great labour and pains, where as weeds grow apace without any culture and tilling; it is was answered, that the earth was a naturall Mother to the one, to the other she was a Step-Mother; the one she brought forth of her self, to the other she was constrain'd. Beloved, it is with our hearts as it is with the Earth, the naturall fruit of them is weeds and evill thoughts, unto them our hearts are as mothers, injusta virescunt, they spring up in us of them­selves without any care or manuring: but as for good thoughts if they be found in our hearts, they are not naturall, they are set there by a high hand, they are there by a kind of spirituall inoculation and graf­ting, as men graffe Apples and kind fruits upon Thornes and Crabs. No mervail then, if like choice herbs and fruits they grow so tenderly, and need so much care and cherishing. As therefore Parents, though their own children be very deformed, yet love them more then o­thers, though more beautifull: so corrupt and evill thoughts are na­turally dearer unto us then good, because we are as Mothers unto them, to the rest we are but Stepdames. Two notable Fruits there are of this overcharitableness to our own actions. First a willingness that we have to flatter, to deceive and abuse our own selves by pretences and excuses. There is a plain, a downright, and as it were a Countrey reprobate, one that sees his sin and cares not much to excuse it, and is content to go on, and as it were in simplicity to cast himself away. There is a more witty, more refined, and as it were a Gentlemanlike reprobate, one that strives to smooth and guild over his sin, to deceive others and himself with excuses and apologies, [...] as St. Basil speaks, to take great pains, and with the expense of a [Page 183] great deal of wit and art to damn himself. When Saul, being sent against Amalek, had spared Agag and the best and fattest of the prey, at Samuels coming to visit him, how doth he wipe his mouth, as if all had been well, and trimly composes himself to entertain him, Blessed art thou of the Lord, I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And when Samuell had shewed him his errour, how quickly hath He his excuse at his fingers ends: We have spared the best of the Sheep and of the Oxen to Sacrifice unto the Lord, Et Deo adulatur & sibi lenocinatur, as Tertulian speakes, he thinks to gull Almighty God with fair and flattering pretences, and becomes a baud to his own vice, nimium idem omnes fallimur, it is the common errour of us all, a [...]nd in most of our Actions we do as Saul did, endeavour to put tricks upon our selves. Beloved, were we not partiall, but rigid censurers of our own thoughts, this corrupt fruit would quickly rot and fall a­way. Again their is a 2d. fruit springing out of this favour and dotage on our own actions, an errour as common though, not so dangerous, for we are content many times to acknowledg that something is amiss in our actions, we will confess them to be sins, but we ac­coun [...]t of them as little sins, sins of a lesser size, not so fearfull, ea­sily pardonable. There is a sinner who by committing some great and and heinous crime (crimen devoratorium salutis, as Tertulian calls it, such a sin as with open mouth devours salvation) doth as it were with one step leap into Hell? and of this kind of sinners the number is fewer. But abundance there are, who avoiding great and heinous sins, by committing lesser sins, as they think, can be content to go by degrees and as it were step by step into Hell. Beloved let us a little put on the spectacle I but now spake of, that we may see whi­ther any sin be so small, as we take it. I know there is difference of sins. Our Saviour tells us that there is a beam and there is a more: but withall this I know, that the best way to keep us from sin, is mi­nima pro maximis cavere, to loath even the least, as if it were the greatest; if we look through this Glass it will make us think every more a beam. Sins in themselves are unequall, but in regard of us and of our endeavour to avoid them, they are all equall. Fly from e­vill, saith the Psalmist: he tells us not, that there is one greater evill from which we must fly, and another less from which tis enough if we do but go: but he bids us fly, and to make haste alike from all. To [Page 184] think that a sin is less then it is, may be dangerous for it makes us the less carefull to avoid it: but to mistake on the other hand, and think a sin greater then it is, this is a very profitable errour. Utinam sic sem­per erraremus; would God we did alwaies thus erre; for besides that there is no danger in it, it makes us more fearfull to commit sin. Our Saviour reprehends the Pharisees in the Gospell because they could strain at gnats but swallow Camells, but yet it is true, that men learne at length to swallow Camells by swallowing Gnats at first. Nemo repente fuit turpissimus, no sinner so hardy as to set upon the greatest sins at first. The way by which men train up themselves to the com­mitting gross and heinous sins, is by not being at first conscientious of lesser sins, Et sane nescio, saith Paulinus in St. Hierom, an possimus leve aliquod peccatum dicere quod in Dei contemptum admittitur: who dares call any sin little, that is committed against God; small con­tempts against great Princes are accounted great oversights; for what is wanting in the thing is made up in the worth of the Person. How great a sin then is the smallest contempt that is done against God? Prudentissimus ille est, qui non tam considerat quid jussum sit, quam illum, qui jusserit; nec quantitatem imperii, sed imperantis cogitat dignitatem. It is the best wisdome for us, not so much to consider, what is commanded, as who it is that commandeth it; to consider, I say, not the smallness of the Law, but the greatness of the Lawgiver. Sins comparatively may be counted greater or lesser, but absolutely none can be counted small. To conclude then this point; Charity suspecteth no harm saith St. Paul: true, but we must note, that some vertues in us concern our selves, as Faith, Hope, Temperance, and the like: some vertues concern not our selves, but others; but such an one is Charity. Charity that wills Christians to think well of all others, can have little room upon our selves. Let us then make use of this Charity towards our Neighbours; hope the best of all their actions; but let us take heed how we be overcharitably minded to our selves. Caesar profest, that he would rather dy then, suspect his friends; and he sped accord­ingly: for he dyed by the treachery of those Friends whom he suspect­ed not: Let us take heed how we be overkind unto our own thoughts how we think it an errour to be two suspicious of them. [...] : peradventure those Sons of our own hearts whom we least suspect, will in the end prove those who shall betray us. But I come to a third [Page 185] Reason. A third reason why I shall advise you to this jealousy over your own thoughts, is the difficulty of discovering them betime, and ing of what spirit they are. For our heart is like that Field in the Go­spell, in which the Husbandman sowes good Corne, and the enemy sowes tares. God infuseth good thoughts, and the Devill ill. Now as weeds many times at their first budding are hardly known from good hearbs; so at the first springing and budding of our thoughts a hard mat­ter it is, to know the weed from the good hearb, the Corne from the tare. As Judah in the Book of Genesis, knew not Tamar, till the fruit of his sin committed with her began to shew it self: so till the fruits of our thoughts and purposes begin to appear, except we search very narrowly, we can scarcely discover of what rank they are. Tunc ferrum quod latebat in fundo supernatabat aquae, & inter palmarum arbo­res myrrhae amaritudo reperta est. Then the iron that lay in the bottom, will swim at the top of the water, and among the pleasant Palmtrees will be found the bitterness of mirrh. We read in the 2d. of Samuell that when the Arke was brought from Kirithjearim, the Oxen that drew the cart shook it, and Uzzah reaching out his hand to save it from falling, for his good service was laid dead in the place. Doubt­less Uzzah his accompanying the Ark was a sign of his love unto it: his love unto it begat in him a fear to see it in danger: his fear to see it in danger bred in him a desire to keep it from danger. See beloved, what a number of Golden thoughts are here: yet as we read in the book of Job, when the servants of God came and stood before him, Satan also came and stood amongst them: So in this chorus and quire of these Angelicall thoughts the Devill finds a place to rest himself in. For this desire of Uzzah to save the Ark from danger, made him forget what was written, that none should touch the Ark save only the Priests: the breach of which precept brought that fearfull judgment upon him. You see Beloved that though the course of our thoughts be like Ja­cobs Ladder, and God himself be at one end of them, yet Satan, if he can, will be the other. Let us learn by this example of Uzzah, betimes to discover our thoughts, and not to suffer them to grow till their fruit betray them. Indeed our Saviour hath given us a rule, You shall know them by their fruits; but we must take heed that we extend not this rule to far. Uzzah felt the fruit of his thoughts to his own cost. It is never good trying conclusions there, Ubi paena statim sequitur errorem. [Page 186] Let us learn to decipher our thoughts then, when we may do it with­out danger, whilst they are in semine whilst they are yet but budding and peeping above ground, done [...] Sarculo tantum opus est, non Securi, whilst yet there is only need of the weedhook, and not of the hatchet.

A fourth reason yet there is, for which I would counsel you to hold a strict hand over your thoughts, and it is, because that from outward sins we can better preserve our selves, then from our sins in thought. Beloved, there is a transeunt sin, and there is an imminent sin, there is a sin that is outwardly acted by the service of the body; there is a sin that requires not the help of the body, but is committed inwardly in the very thought and Soul, a speculative or an intellectual sin. Out­ward sins are many wayes pass'd by, means may be wanting, com­pany may hinder, time and place may be inconvenient; but for spe­culative sins, or sins in thought, all times, all occasions, all places are alike: [...] saith Saint. Basil: A man, saith he, of great gravity and countenance sits in the midst of the market-place, with many hundreds about him, and looking upon him, yet notwithstanding this man, [...] [...] even this man in the middest of all the company fancies to himself what he desires, and in his imaginations goes unto the place of sin, or rather retires into his own heart, and there he findes place and means to commit [...] a sin that hath no witness but God. If we retire to our private Chambers, these sins will follow us thither, and as Baa­nab and Richab did by Isboseth Sauls son, they will finde us out upon our beds, and slay us there. If we go to the Church, they will finde us out there, and as Adramelech and Sharezer slew Sennacherib whilst he was worshipping his God; they will set upon us even in the midst of our holyest meditations and prayers: neither Chamber nor Church, no place so private, none so holy, that can give us Sanctuary, or shel­ter us from them. S. Hierom confesses thus much of himself, that when he had forsaken the world, all outward occasions of sin, and gone into the Desart, and shut himself up in a poor Cell, and mace­rated his body [...] with watchings, with fastings, and perpetual prayers and religious exercise, yet could he not be se­cure from them. Pallebant orajejuniis, & mens desideriis aestuabat in frigido corpore: his body was now grown pale, and meager, and cold, [Page 187] but yet his heart burnt with unlawful desires. Again they are sins of quick and easy dispatch, they are done [...] as S. Basil notes; in a moment of time, without labour of body, without care of minde: One wanton look makes us guilty of Adultery, one angry conceit guilty of Murder, one covetous conceit guilty of Rob­bery. Whatsoever is outwardly committed either with difficulty of circumstance, or labour of body, or danger of Law, that is inwardly committed in the soul without any trouble at all: Thirdly consider but the strength of your thoughts, and you will see there is great reason to keep them low; for there was no man yet that ever was foil'd but by them, and not by the outward acting of sin. For the outward action is but the Cortex, the bark of the sin: but the very body and substance of sin is the wicked thought. Beware of men, saith our Savi­our, when he gave his Apostles counsel how to provide for their safe­ty in times of outward danger: but if we will provide against inward dangers, we shall not need to beware of men, or of any outward force whatsoever. Let every man beware of himself, for in this case every man is his own greatest enemy. To draw then to a conclusion: That sins of thoughts prevail not against us, our way is by a jealous care first to prevent them; and to this hath the greatest part of my discourse hitherto tended. Secondly if we have suffered them to gain a little ground upon us, let us betimes take the rains into our own hands and pull them back again, and cast out our Adversary, whilst he is yet weak. [...] saith S. Chrisoft. such are the souls of holy men: their recovery is so quick, that they may seem to have risen before they fell. It is a great signe of spiritual life in us to be quickly sensible of the first track and foot­ing of sin. For as bodies of the best and purest complexion have their senses quickest; so that soul which soonest perceives the first sent of sin, is of the Divinest temper. Our books tell us, that Dionysius the Tyrant was grown so gross and fat, that though men thrust bodkins into him, he could not feel it. Beloved, there is a sinner like unto this Dionysius. David tells us of him, when he describes unto us a sinner whose heart is fat as brawn. That we fall not therefore into that like [...] stupidity and senselesness, our way is to catch these young Foxes, and strangle them in the nest: Nolo sinas cogitationem crescere, saith S. Hierom, suffer not your thoughts to encrease and gather strength [Page 188] upon you. For as the man that touches only at but iron, and stayes not on it, burns not his hand, so the first glances of evil thoughts harm us not; the harm is, if by consent, though never so little, you stay upon them. To be free from all onset of evil thoughts is a matrer impossi­ble, whilst we have these hearts of flesh. Ille laudatur qui [...]ut coeperit cogitare sordida, statim inter [...]icit cogitata, & allidid ad petram, petra au­tem est Christus. That man is praise worthy, who as soon as any unclean thought, any childe of Babylon is born in his heart, straightway stran­gles it in the birth, and dashes it against the rock, which Rock is Christ. Thus, &c.


Mr. HALES LETTERS From the SYNOD of DORT TO THE Right Honourable Sr. DUDLEY CARLTON, Lord Embassador, &c.

Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

MAy it please your Honor: Wee arrived at Dort this last night betwixt six and seven of the clock; our passage was with­out any impediment at all, and wheresoever we were to take boat still we found some ready to put off, as if they had waited our coming. Immediately upon my arrivall I went to My Lord Bishop, and assoon as I had done my message unto him, I forthwith went to Monsieur Bogermannus, who humbly thanks your Honour for your great courtesie towards him, and promises to ac­quaint your Lordship by me with whatsoever passes in the Synod: had he known of so convenient meanes of writing to your Lordship, I suppose he would have written: but when I spake with him I knew not so much my self. Festus Hommius and Polyander I have not yet seen, and it will be the afternoon ere I shall speak with them, because this morning they have a sitting. Whatsoever hath past in the Synod formerly, your Lord­ship shall understand by a packet from my Lord Bishop; whatsoever spee­ches or other passages are to be copyed I shall this afternoon get of Mr. President, and I will not fail to send your Honour the transcripts of them, when Daniel returns. What shall be disputed of or decided in the next Sessions at the Synod I will at large inform your Lordship by the next messenger, mean time I humbly take my leave.

From Dort this 14/24. of Novemb. 1618. Your Lordships Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty,
Jo: Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

YOur Honour shall here receive inclosed an index of all the acts of the Synod since the beginning, till the 16/26. of this present. It is not that which I required, but is so much as Festus Hommius (whose writing it is) could spare your Lorpship. My desire was to obtain not only the bare conclusions, but the whole manner of proceeding, with all particulars propounded and concluded in the Synod [...] but it seems this was thought nimis grande postulatum. If I can come so far to persit my notes of all the former sessions, as that I shall be able to expresse them in form as I did the session on Saterday last, and by Gods help will express the following sessions, I will in time acquaint your Lordship with it. Mean while I come to the session on Monday morning, the 16/26. of this present.

It had been in some of the Former sessions determined that there should be chosen six Divines for the Translation of the Bible, three for the Old Testament, and three for the New with the Apocrypha: and likewise Revisors, one out of every Province, to whom the work being done should be brought to be revised and censur'd. In this present Session they pro­ceed to the choice of them. The manner of election was by Scrutiny: the Deputies of every Province in Scripta exhibiting one. The S [...]rutators were two of the Seculars, D. Simon Schottus, Secretary of Middleburrough, and President this week, and Martinus Gregorii, these calculated the voices and pronounced the election. And first for the translation of the Old Testament were chosen these three, Ioh. Bogermannus, Guil. Baudari­tus, and Gerson Bucerus: for the translation of the New, were chosen Iac. Rolandus, Hermannus Fauckelius, and Petrus Cornelii. From these they proceed to the nomination of the revisors. Here arose a doubt concerning the province of Utrecht. For because they are equally divi­ded three Contra-Remonstrants, and three Remonstrants, they could not agree upon the nomination of a Revisor for that Province, which thing bred a demurre in the Synod. The Praeses required the judgment of the Synod, what they thought fit to be done. Some thought they might be altogether past by. For there would be Revisors enough, though that Province chose none. Others thought fit it should be deferr'd till the end of the Synod, and then some one of that Province should be chosen com­munibus suffragiis totius Synodi. A third sort de [...]ermined that it should be defer'd till that Province were reconciled in it self, (which it was hoped would be at the end of the Synod) and then they should name some one of their Province to be approved by the rest of the Translators and Revisors; and this sentence past for currant. So that for the present there [Page 3] is no Revisor for the Province of Utrecht. Another doubt yet was moved, for one of the Provinces, had named two paribus suffragiis: the question was who should stand. It pleased the Synod to put it to Lots. And so the Praeses wrote their names in two little Tickets of paper, each by it self, and rould them up, and deliverd them to Martinius Gregorius; that which he took, stood, that which he refused, was presently torne. The Revisors for the Old Testament were these, ex Geldria Ant. Tysius; ex Suyd-Hollandia Io. Polyander: ex North-Holl. P. Plancius, ex Zelandia Iod. Larenus: ex Frisia Sibrandus Lubbertus: ex Transisulania Iac. Revius: ex Groning. D. Gomarus: ex Drentia Onias Boethus. The Revisors for the New Testa­ment were these, Ex Geldria Seb. Dammannus: ex Suyd-Holl. Festus Hommius; ex Northoll. Goswinus Geldorpius: ex Zelandia Ant. Walaeus, ex Frisia Bern. Fullenius, ex Transisulania Jo. Langius, ex Groning. Ubbo Emmius, ex Drentia Jo. Cuperus. It was farther enacted, that if any of the Translators should die, or by Sickness became unable for the Ser­vice, that then he that was next him in number of voices in the Scru­tiny should succeed in his place: If any of the Revisors should die, or be sick, power was given to the Praeses, the two Assessors, and the two Scribes to depute another in his roome: and so this Session concluded; in which though little was done, yet was it long adoing, by reason of the Scrutiny.

Upon Tuesday the 17/27 of this present, the Deputies met in the morning, where the first thing that was proposed was concerning those of Drent. For whereas the day before they had named two Revisors for the Translation, they now upon better advice require to be excused in that behalf, because in their Province the Belgick Tongue was not well known. Which Petition of theirs was accepted. In the second place it was thought good, that since all the business concerning the Translation was determined of, there should be a repetition made in the Synod of all that had pass'd about it: to this purpose, that if any thing were either omitted or misrelated, it might be rectified: forthwith followed a Narration of all that had been done, where some small ex­ceptions not worth relating were stood upon. In the third place was proposed the defect of the Afternoon Sermons and Catechizing, especially in the Countrey Villages; and the Synod was moved to deliver it self concerning Remedies of this Defect. What had been heretofore de­creed in some of their Synods concerning this matter was publickly read. The Impediments were, First the negligence of the Pastors; Se­condly Combinations, that is double Benefices, when men having two Cures could not sufficiently attend both: Thirdly the difficulty or re­claiming the Country people on the Sundayes either from the Sports, or from their Work. The Synod beginning to consider of means to cut [Page 4] off these abuses, Festus Hommius amongst other things complain'd that through the negligence of the Remonstrants, it came that Catechizing was so much decay'd; which words of his, it is thought, will be an oc­casion of some choler, though for the present they pass'd uncontroll'd. Many delivered their opinions how the forementioned hinderances of Afternoon Sermons and Catechizing might be removed. First by im­ploring the help of the States General, that it would please them by their Authority to prohibit that ordinary prophanation of the Sabbath by working or playing: Secondly by requiring the like help of the particular Magistrate in every Town and Village: Thirdly by taking away those Combinations: Fourthly by providing of sufficient Schole-Masters in every Village, who should not only teach Grammar, but in­struct Youths in the principles of Religion: Fifthly that the Pastors should not omit afternoon Sermons by reason of the negligence of their Auditors, but should perform them, though they brought to the Church none but their own Family: that the Pastors and Deacons and Seniors should deal with their Friends and Acquaintance and bring them to Church with them. Sixthly that if any Pastor neglected to perform this Duty, he should be subject to Ecclesiastical Censure. Seventhly that the Deputies of other Nations should be requested to make overture of their Customs in this behalf. Lastly that diligent enquiry should be made throughout all the Classes, whether Catechizing and Afternoon Sermons were observed. It was decreed that in every Parish there should be two Sermons every Sunday, of which that in the Afternoon was to be Catechetical. That the Ministers should give good example by bringing their own Family to Church; that the help of the Magistrate should be implored; that Combinations should be taken away. When all was done, then was that requir'd which should have been done afore: the Deputies of other Nations were desired to deliver their Customs in this behalf. Where first my Lord Bishop shewed that with us in England the Magistrate imposed a pecuniary Mulct upon such as did absent them­selves from divine duties; which pecuniary Mulct generally prevail'd more with our people, then any pious admonitions could. Those of the Palsgrave's Countrey shewed that each Sunday they had two Sermons, and such as were absent, were first admonish't by the Clergie, and if this sufficed not, they required the help of the Civil Magistrate. Those of Geneva told us, that in the Churches in their Cities they had every Sunday four Sermons, &c. Those of Breme that they had three Sermons, of which one was Catechetical; and to avoid prophanation of the Sabbath, it was not lawful to celebrate any Marriage-feast, or such like upon the Sunday, till six a clock in the Evening. Many other things of this nature were related, of which a great deal I could not under­stand. [Page 5] When all had spoken, the Praeses told them that this proposal was not made because in the Belgick Churches there had not been order taken for Catechizing and Sermons, but because the Laws formerly made in this behalf were neglected: and that now means was thought of to bring them in force again. And so they brake up.

I received your Honors Letters of the 16/26 of this present, in which your Honour requires to be informed of such Proposals as Episcopius lately madein behalf of the Arminian Party. The thing is this. Shortly after that the Letters of Citation were sent to the Arminians, Episcopius with other of the Remonstrants came privately to the Deputies of the States, and exhibited a Remonstrance, in which they required especially these things. First that all of their Party throughout the Provinces might be allowed to make one Body, and out of it depute such as they thought good, whom they might send to the Synod to plead in their behalf. Secondly that it might be lawful for them instead of some of those who are written unto, to substitute others. Thirdly that Utenbo­gart and Grevinchovius might have safe Conduct and free access to the Synod. The Delegates immediately sent for the Praeses, the two Assessors and the two Scribes, and required their opinion in this business. For the first point, the Clergie men thought it not to be granted, as being fear'd would be prejudicial to the Belgick Churches. The Deputies for the Seculars answered, that they had given Episcopius this answer. For the two later, the Clergie thought that if it pleas'd the Seculars it might be done. Reply was made by the Seculars, that they were men infamous, tumultuous, on whom the Church censure, for Grevinchovius had ex­tended, and therefore they would permit them no place in the Synod. So was Episcopius and his Company dismiss'd. ‘This was a thing done only in private: the Synod had no notice of it, neither is it recorded in any publick Register. What more pass'd between the Seculars and the Remonstrants at this meeting is not known, and the Clergie know no more then it pleased the Seculars to impart. Of this I heard nothing, till by reason of your Lordships Letters I enquired into it.’

Whilst the Synod was sitting on Tuesday morning, there came in Newes of the death of one of their Company, Henricus ab Hell, Senior of the Church of Zutphaw, who died in the time of the Session. I am desirous to know whether my Letters upon Munday containing the Sa­terday Session came to your Lordships hands. I intended them by way of Roterdam, but Daniel tells me he delivered them to a Gentleman that went immediately for the Hague, marie what he was he knew not, this hath made me a little jealous. I beseech your Honour, by the next that comes from you hither, by word of mouth to let me know. Mr Prae­ses, Festus Hommius, Polyander, Tronchinus of Geneva requir'd me to re­member [Page 6] their Love and service to your Honour: and so for this time I humbly take my leave.

From Dort this 18/28 of Novemb. 1618. Your Honours Chaplain, and Bounden in all Duty
Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

UPon Saterday, the day after my coming to Dort, I went to Festus Hommius, and delivered him your Honours Letters, upon perusal of which, he liberally promised me an Index of all whatsoever had past in the Synod until my coming to town. The time of making his pro­mise good was Sunday morning. When I saw it came not at the time, after dinner I wrote a little note unto him, to put him in minde of his promise, but yet I heard nothing of him. I suppose this falls out by reason of his multiplicity of business, not that he would sleight your Lordship; though I remember in the speech that pass'd between him and me, he told me that their pass'd among the brethren of the Synod a consent de non eliminandis, &c. of not divulging of any passage till all was done, which I interpreted as spoken only upon the by, not with any intent of hindring any intelligence which should be given your Honour. I dealt with Mr. Praeses and with Festus for a Copie of Martinus Gregorii his oration: the answer from them both was the same, that he would not at any hand be intreated to deliver a Copie of it, no not so much as the summe of it: whether it was because of some matter that was in it, as that he spake somewhat roundly in disgrace of the Spanyard, or that the Politicks have some end in it, or that he himself is desirous to have it thought that he delivered it only ex tempore, or for what other reason I know not. As concerning what hath pass'd in the Synod, till I hear farther from Festus, I will acquaint your Honour with what past there since my coming.

On Saterday the 14/24 of this present, in the Morning the Deputies met, and debated some things of no great moment, concerning their intended TRANSLATION of the BIBLE. The first thing proposed was, whether the name JEHOVAH should be retain'd untranslated, or rendred by the Dutch word Heere, as the Greeks [...] the English Lord. The Praeses thought sit it should be rendred Heere, because the Holy Ghost in the New Testament, citing some things out of the Old, renders the He­brew Jehovah, by the Greek [...] according as the Septuagint had done. This past for currant, till it came to M [...]rtinius of Breme, who di­vided the sentence, and thought that it might ordinarily so be rendred, [Page 7] if some places were excepted. And to this purpose he cited some places of Scripture, where the word Jehovah had a peculiar energie and force, which the Belgick Heere could not attain unto. To the same effect did others speak: and great disputation would have arisen about this point, as whether the Name Jehovah had any points of its own, or borrowed his points from Elohim and Adonai, and the like, but that the Praeses still cut them off. It was at length by the greater part concluded, that it should be rendred by the Belgick Heere, which was alwayes to be ex­prest in Capital Characters, and concerning this the Reader should be advertised farther in the Preface. And when there should be in any place some peculiar force in that word, which the Belgick word did not express, of this the Reader should be admonished by a marginal gloss.

The second Proposal was, whether the Hebrew proper Names, should be retained, or translated likewise into Dutch. It was concluded they should be retain'd, for avoiding of all unnecessary novelty and altera­tion. The third proposal was, whether the ancient Division of Chapters should remain, for many Hebrew Copies differ'd from our Common in this point, and sometime the old division did seem somewhat incon­venient, as that somewhere it brake off in the middest of a matter, some­where in the middest of a sentence. It was concluded that the old di­vision should remain. For there would arise great confusion in quotati­ons, if the number of Chapters and Verses should alter. As for the va­riety of other Copies, and inconvenient division, of this the Reader should be advertised in the Margent. The fourth proposal was, whether there might not be added some Appendices to the Bible, as Chorographical and Topographical Tables, Geuealogies, and the like. It was thought fit they should, provided that in the Tables and Maps there were no pictures and babies, for avoiding superstition. The fifth proposal was concerning the appointing of persons fit for the work of the Transla­tion. The Praeses willed that every Province should exhibit by Bill the Names of those, who they knew in their Provinces were of sufficiency for the Translation, which forthwith was done, and the Names that were exhibited were all pronounced in the Synod: but out of these who should be chosen for the work was differ'd, until the next Session ap­pointed upon the Monday following [...] and so with prayer they brake up the meeting.

As I have done in this Session, so will I do in all the rest, if I shall get convenient place where I may stand and note. For, for any thing I see, mine own notes must be my chiefest help. The matters are but small, but I suppose they will amend when the Arminian Party shall make their appearance. Here is your Honours old Friend come to Town, and passes under the name of a Doctor of Physick. He is to dine [Page 8] with my Lord Bishop this day, but I have discovered him unto his Lordship what he is. I have presumed to keep Daniel with me longer then I determined at my departure; the reason is, because I am un­skilful of the streets, and I have not Dutch enough to enquire my way: I will shortly send him home. What shall be done in the following Sessi­ons, I will not fail to inform your Lordship by the next Messenger, in the mean while I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.

I have sent your Honour a Catalogue of the Synod Printed here with us.

Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

ON Wednesday the 18/28 of November, those of the Synod met in the morning. This Session was only deliberative, for they concluded nothing. The proposall was, what form of catechizing both for children and youths should be thought fittest to be put in practise in the Belgick Chur­ches. The Praeses first spake many things learnedly of the necessity of Catechizing, that it was the basis and ground of Religion, and the sole way of transfusing the principles of Christianity into men: that it was very ancient, practised by the Patriarchs, by the Apostles, by Origen, and approved by the consent of the fathers: that from the neglect of this came the ignorance of the common sort, and that multitude of sects a­mongst them, of Papists Anabaptists, Libertines, &c. whereas if an uniform course of teaching them their first principles had been taken up, there would not have been so many differences: that there was now greater necessity then ever of reviving this custom, because of the Jesuits who mightily labour in this kind, as appeared by some of their acts lately in Frisia, &c. Next were the Deputyes for the strangers called upon to deliver what formes of Catechizing were in their Churches put in use: which they did, and gave them to the Praeses in writing. After these, the Professors, and the other Deputyes spake their mindes, and almost all gave them up in writings, which were immediately pronounced in publick by the Scribe; and such as spake memoriter, promised to set down their opinions in script [...], and deliver them to the Praeses after din­ner. The principall heads on which they insisted, were these: that there might be three degrees of Catechizing, one Domestical, to be practi­sed by Fathers and Masters in their familyes: another Scholasticall to [Page 9] be used by Scholemasters in publick Scholes: and a third Ecclesiasticall to be practised by the minister in the Church, that so fathers might fit their children for the Scholes, the Scholes for the Church: That there­fore parents and masters should be admonished to look to this duty in their familyes: That Scholemasters should be chosen, such as were skil­full themselves to catechize, and that they should be carefull to bring their scholars to catecheticall sermons; that from sermons they should presently call them to the Schole, and there examine them how they had profited: The minister of every parish together with the Seniours and Deacons should monethly or quarterly visit the Scholes, and know the Scholars proficiency in this behalf: that the Ministers before the times of the Communion should repair unto private Families, and Catechize: that the Magistrates would be pleased to provide stipends for Schole-Masters, so to make them the more cheerful: that there should be va­riety of Catechizing according to the variety of the age, one for Chil­dren, which should contein the Lords Prayer, the Creed, the Command­ments, the Doctrine of the Sacraments, &c. that for such as were elder, other things should be added according to their capacity: that to take away confusion one form of Catechisme in each kinde should be used; that the Jesuits Catechismes of Lessius, Canisius, Ledesma, &c. should be abolisht. All this and more by sundrie men was exhibited in writing, and read in the audience of the Synod.

That which hitherto hath been done concerns only the manner of Catechizing, as for the matter of the Catechisme, that was not now thought fit to be spoken of, but was put off till the end of the Synod. When all had spoken their pleasures the Praeses signifyed, that he toge­ther with the Assessors and Scribes would compare all these Writings to­gether, and out of them all gather one forme of Catechizing as they thought best, and exhibit it unto the Synod to be approved of, or al­ter'd to their liking. And so the Session ended. Amongst the rest, there were some particulars told. One of the Deputies of Geldria, to shew the force of private Catechizing, related that amongst them there was a Minister, who when he first came to his Living, found his Church quite empty, because all his Parishioners were Papists; and therefore if he would preach, he was to preach to the bare Walls: but he takes so much pains as to go to every of his Parish privately unto their houses, and there by familiar conversing with them, and expounding unto them the grounds of Religion, he so far prevailed with them, that in the compass of a year he gain'd them all to come to Church, and by this means hath scarce a Papist in his Parish. But doubtless the most ef­fectual way of all the rest to bring young persons to learn their Catechisme, was that which was related by one of the Helvetian Deputies. For he told [Page 10] us that in his Countrey the manner was, that all young persons that meant to marry were to repair, both he and she, unto their Minister, a little before they meant to marry, and by him to be examin'd how well they had conn'd their Catechisme: if they had not done it perfectly to his minde, he had power to deferre their Marriage till they had better learnt their Lessons. I was much affected to this course when I heard it; and I thought that doubtless it was a speedy way to make all young persons, excepting my self and two or three more that mean not overhastily to marry, to be skilfull in their Catechisme. The Synod shall be ill advis'd, if they make no use of it.

Mr. Dean this day is to make a Latin Sermon in the Synod-house, and after that there are certain Supplications exhibited to the Synod to be considered of. What they are, and what they contein I will inform your Honour by the next convenient Messenger. I have suffered Daniel to come home, and supply himself of some necessaries, but to return to me again upon Saterday, except your Honour shall otherwise ap­point. His lodging and dyet are provided, and he will be serviceable to me this ill wether, to be sent in business, my self not being so well able in dirt and snow to trace the streets. But this I leave to your Lord­ships consideration, and for this present I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord.

UPon Thursday, 19/29 of this present, the Synod being met together, Mr. Dean of Worcester made in the Synod-house a polite and pa­thetical Latine Sermon; the portion of Scripture he chose for his Theme was the 17 verse of the 6th of Ecclesiastes, Noli esse justus nimium, neque esto sapiens nimis. After a witty coming upon his text, how it should come that Righteousness and Wisdom, which are every where commended unto us, should here seem to receive a check, he shewed how men might seem to be too just; First the Seculars, when sitting in place of Justice they stood too strictly in keeping the Letter of the Law, and then by inflicting too heavy punishments, when in equity lighter would serve: next in the second word sapiens nimis, he taxt the Divines for presuming too far in prying into the Judgements of God, and so came to reprove the curious Disputes which our age hath made concerning Predestination; that this Dispute for its endlesness was like the Mathe­matical line, divisibilis in semper divisibilia; that it was in Divinity, as the Rule of Cos is in Arithmetick. For the ending of these Disputes his [Page 11] advice unto the Synod was, that both parts contending should well con­sider of S. Pauls discourse in the ninth to the Romans, and for their final determination both should exhibit unto the Synod a plain perspi­enous and familiar paraphrase on that Chapter. For if the meaning of that Discourse were once perfectly opened, the question were at an end. From hence he came to exhort them to stand to the former determina­ [...]ions, which had hitherto most generally past in the Reformed Churches, in these points: and told them that it was an especial part of his Ma­jesties Commission to exhort them to keep unalter'd the former Con­fessions. How fit it was to open so much of their Commission, and thus to express themselves for a party against the Remonstrants your Honour can best judge. After this he brought a very pathetical conclusion, con­sisting of a vehement exhortation to peace and union, and so he ended. The Praeses gave him thanks for his good pains, and then told us, whereas it was once purposed to lay open before the Synod certain Libelli suppli­ces (which I mentioned to your Honour in my last Letters) he might not now do it, for some reasons which he then conceal'd. And so he dismist the Synod without doing any thing farther. What these Libelli supplices contain, is unknown. Some imagine it to be from the Remonstrant par­ty; others more probably think, that the subject of them were certain Gravamina of the Countrey Ministers.

Mr. Deans Sermon was taken well, for any thing I can yet learn to the contrary; but your Lordship shall understand, there was a little doubt made concerning these Latine Sermons. Mr. Praeses, when the Let­ters were directed to the Arminian party, requested the Forreigners that they would be pleased to bestow in their Courses some Latin Sermons to entertain the Synod till the Arminians made their appearance; and first commended this unto the English. ‘My Lord Bishop refused it be­cause of the suddain warning: but Mr. Dean would needs undertake it. But certain of the Exteri came to the Bishop, and shewed him how dangerous this might be. For it was, as they thought, a very hard matter so to walk, as not to touch upon some points that are in Con­troversy, which could not be without the offence of one party.’ My Lord Bishop and the other two, for this reason thought the motion very inconvenient: but Mr. Dean would by no means apprehend of it, but as of a business very fit to be done. It seems this was the general con­ceit of the Forreigners, which was the cause that there was in this kinde nothing done till now, notwithstanding that the motion was made a pretty while before my coming to Dort. But how well this ex­ample is approved, it will appear, if others of the Forreigners do fol­low it. Here is a rumour of a certain Jesuitical book, lately set forth in disgrace of our Synod. I have not yet seen it, but I understand it is [Page 12] in the hands of the Praeses unto whom I had repair'd to have looked into it, but that I conceive him to be exceeding full of business. As soon as I can learn what it is, I will acquaint your Honour with it. We have much speech of a strange Comet of an unusual length seen this morn­ing. I saw it not; and peradventure it is no Newes unto your Lordship, if it have appeared in the Horison of the Hague. My Lord Bishop and his Company remember their Love and Service to your Honour, and thank you for your Letter of English Newes, which they here return. I have sent according to your Lordships Will six Catalogues of the Sy­nod, printed with us in Latin. And so for this time I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

UPon Friday the 20/30 of Novemb. the Deputies met in the Morning: where first of all, there were recited the Judgements of some concerning the manner of Catechizing which was yet depending, who had not delivered their mindes in writing the day before. In this was there nothing extraordinary, save only the advice of the Remonstrants of Utrecht. For the Deputies of that Province gave their Judgments severally, the Contra-Remonstrants by themselves, and the Remonstrants by themselves. These first blamed the common Catechisme passant amongst them, as being too obscure for the Simple, and too long for the Memory. Secondly they thought it not necessary that there should be a threefold Catechism, for one well learnt might serve for all the rest. Thirdly, they would have a Catechism so made, that the Answers might be nothing else but bare Texts of H. Scripture. For they thought, that if Scripture alone were taught, and not any mens glosses, it would be a more immediate means to gain the Anabaptists and other Schismaticks to accept of the Catechism. Fourthly, they thought fit that in the Preface to these Catechisms, there should be a note given to this purpose; that these kinds of writing by Catechisms, &c. were to be esteemed only as the A­pochryphal Scriptures. To the third point some little thing was answered to this purpose, that this was a mean utterly to extirpate all other Forms of Catechizings out of the Church, there never yet having been any form of Creed or Catechism so conceived. Yet there might be a time hereafter for the Synod to consider of it, when they pleased. After this followed the Form of Catechizing, which the Praeses and Assessors had a­greed upon. My purpose was to have taken an extract of it and sent it to [Page 13] your Honor, and I dealt with Festus Hommius about it; but his answer was, that he was to communicate about this with the Praeses, and that it was in the hand of Sebast. Dammannus his fellow Scribe. To Dammannus I was not known, neither did I understand of any acquaintance he had with your Honor, and therefore I let it rest. The summe of it was this. That there should be observ'd a threefold Catechizing. 1. At home by the Parents. 2. In the Schole by the Schole-master; A third in the Church by Catechetical Sermons: then, that there should be a three­fold Catechism, one for Incipientes, containing the Lords Prayer, the Creed, the Commandments, the Doctrine of the Sacraments, and the Church Discipline. A second for the Middle sort, which should be a brief of the Palatine Catechism: a third for Youths, the Palatine Ca­techism it self. That every one that was admitted Scholemaster should be bound to teach no other Catechism, and that all other Forms should be abolisht: that if either Scholemasters in the Scholes, or Ministers in the Church, should refuse or neglect to Catechize, they should be subject to censure, &c. When this Form was read, the Provinces were in order askt what they would have alter'd or supplied. Those of Gel­dria thought it fit that the Minister before his Catechetical Sermon, should not only take the words of the Catechism (as the custom had in most places been) but likewise some Text of Scripture upon which the doctrine of the Catechism was grounded. For, as it seems, the custom is in Catechistical Sermons, not to take a Text of Scripture, but a portion of the Catechism for their Text and Theme. It was an­swered that this custom had been a long time laid down, and could not now conveniently be recall'd: the same Deputies proposed, whether it were not fit, that whereas in the Decree there is mention made of a censure to pass on those who neglected it, there should be some parti­cular form of Censure set down by the Synod. The thing being put to voices, it was decreed, that it should be left to the Judgement of the Classes how they should be censur'd. The South Hollanders thought it ne­cessary there should be publike catechizing in the Church by way of Question and Answer. It was answered, that this could not be by reason of the frequency of Sermons. Those of Overisell proposed somewhat con­cerning the form of chatechetical Sermons. It was answer'd that this should hereafter be thought of. Which answer is a civil way which the Praeses uses, when he means to put by an impertinent question. Last of all, those of the Walon Churches requir'd that this Decree should not preju­dice them, who had already accepted of Beza's Catechism in their Churches. Now whereas there were three Catechisms proposed, of which there was but one in being, namely the Palatine, they consulted of depu­ting some, who should make the other two. The matter being put to Scru­tiny, [Page 14] there were chosen these six, Polyander, Gomarus, Tysius, Lydius, Fauchelius, Udemannus. Here the Praeses proposed to the Synod, that they would think of fit means for the Education and training up of those who should enter the Ministery: but those of North Holland propo­sed a doubt, wherein the Church of Amsterdam requir'd the determina­tion of the Synod. The matter is this. The Merchants of Amsterdam having Traffick into the East Indies, took into their Families many of the Youths and Infants of that Country, but doubted whether they were to be baptized or no. The question was thus proposed, Whether the children of Ethnick parents adopted into the F [...]milies of Christians were to be baptized, if so be they who did offer them to be baptized did undertake that they should be brought up in the Christian Faith. But both these questions were put over to the next Session, and so the Synod brake up. This afternoon the Dutchess of Tremullio came to Town. The English went to entertain her, where my Lord Bishop made a speech unto her in Latin, which by her Chaplain was interpreted unto her, who like­wise in her name returned answer. But of the particulars of this en­tertainment, I suppose My Lord Bishop in his Letters relates more fully to your Honour, then I can; for I was not there.

On Saterday the first of December, stylo novo, the Deputies being met in the morning, the question concerning means of education of those who should be fitted for the Ministry was proposed; where, because they found it to be a greater matter then it seem'd when at first it was proposed, the Provinces requested further respite, excepting the Ze­landers and South Hollanders, who there delivered up their Judgements in scripto. The substance of what the Zelanders delivered was this: that it would please the States General to appoint that a certain number of Youths might be bred up for the Ministry at the charge of the publike purse. That the wealthier sort would send such of their children to the Scholes, as they thought fittest to make Scholars. That out of these should be chosen youths of ingenuous Parentage and Manners, of good wit, of strength and health of body, which should be sent unto the University. That in the University there might be distinct Colledges for every Province, and in these Colledges there might be Regents and Supervisors, which might prescribe unto Youths a Method of study, and not suffer them to wander in variety of study, and not persit themselves in some one kinde. That there might some time be prefixt for their abode in the University, as five or six years. And because many upon two years study seek for preferment in the Church, and others on the contrary stay in the University over long; for remedy of both these there might a time be fixt wherein the whole course of study should be absolv'd. That these Students every year should give an account of [Page 15] their proficiency to their Parents and Benefactors, and such as bred them up: that after this they should go and visit forreign Churches and Universities to see and observe. That at their coming home they bring with them the Testimonies of the Pastors and Governors of the Churches and Universities wherein they have been, and exhibit them to the Classes where they are to live; and expect their calling to the Ministery. That they should publickly in the Church read the Scriptures before the people, for this would make them known to the Church, embolden them to speak to the multitude, and mend their voices and delivery. That by consent of the Classes they be permitted to be with the Pastors, to conferre with them in Cases of Conscience, to go with them when they visit the sick, that thus they may learn how to deal in these cases, and how to conceive prayers upon occa­sion. That to fit them for the Church Regiment, which is a thing not learnt in Scholes, some moneths before their Institution, they converse in the greater Cities, to be present in the Presbyteries and the Meetings of the Deacons, to understand how Voices may be asked and gathered, how Church Discipline is to be exercised, and what in divers cases is to be done. That they be examin'd how fit they be to reform mens manners. That it were fit that even in Universities Youths were train'd up in Practick Divinity and Cases of Conscience. The substance of what the South-Hollanders delivered was this. First that Youths should stay at least two years in the University, and publickly read the Scriptures in the Church. Secondly, that after this they publickly dispute of some difficult question in Religion. Thirdly, that they be examined of all the Articles in Religion, and if they give satisfaction, then they may be admitted ad Propositiones, (what these are I know not) and after a years exercise in them, they may be examined by the Classes, who if they finde them fit may give them leave to exercise themselves in Catechizing and Preaching. That to learn Church Government they be admitted to Consistories and Classes to see what there is done, so that what there they see they keep in silence. That they leave not the studies of Divinity to meddle with other things. That they may have leave to Baptize, if the necessity of Rural Churches require. Yet they must expect a year ere they be admitted, which is not to be done without sufficient Testimony that all hath been done which is requir'd. The rest of the Provinces requir'd respite till Monday: and so they past to the Question which was proposed in the Name of the Churches of Amsterdam, concerning the Baptizing of the Children of Ethnick Parents. The English first exhibited their mindes in Writing to this effect. That Infants, if they were justly taken, as, if they were given, or bought, or the like, (for it might not be lawful fraudulently or [Page 16] violently to take them from their Parents) ought to be baptized. For so it is recorded of Abraham, that he circumcised every one in his house, even those whom he had bought with his Mony: but if they were Adulti, they might not be Baptized till they made Profession of the Christian Faith. With these agreed the Bremenses and the Professors. On the contrary the Helvetians and South-Hollanders concluded, that the Infants of Ethnick Parents ought not to be baptized, till they came to be of years to declare their Faith. Their chief reason was, because Baptisme was a Sign of the Covenant: but the Infants of Eth­nick Parents are not born within the Covenant, and therefore they can­not be partakers of this Signe. ‘Here was a little indirect dealing be­twixt the Helvetians and the Bremenses. The Helvetians Scribe had by some means or other suffered a copie of the reason for their opinion to be brought aforehand to those of Breme, who openly in the Synod house, in scripto refuted them:’ which thing is feared will cause some choler. And this was all that this day was done concerning this question, and so both the questions yet depend. The Synod did the sooner end, because they were at eleven a clock to go to the Funeral of Henricus ab Hell, who died lately, as I think I told your Honour. The Solemnity was no more but this. Some of the chief of the Town to­gether with the whole Synod went to the House where he died, ac­companied him to the Church, laid him in his Grave, and went home again, almost in as little space as I have told it you. The Dutchess of Tremullio was at this Session, and as I hear, spake ve­ry well of the Synod, commending it both for Piety and good Order.

The Remonstrants are now every day expected. We understand that they are already met together at Leyden. ‘Mr. Praeses came this day to my Lord Bishop, and under Benedicite told him, that it was thought the Remonstrants would become Suiters to the Secular Deputies, for some greater respect in the Synod, then it is likely otherwise they should have: and that for this they would use the English as Mediators. Then, that they would call in question the right of his Presidentship, as being made only by the Provincials without any respect had unto the Forreigners. To this my Lord Bishop replyed, that for the first, since they were Members of the Synod, they would not do any thing clancularily without the Consent and Pri­vity of the whole Company. To the second he answered, that hitherto they had acknowledged him for their Praeses, and so they would continue to do, notwithstanding any objection might be fancyed, so that of them he might secure himself.’ And this is all hath hapned since Friday Morning, at what time I addrest my last [Page 17] Letters unto your Honour: and for this time commending your Lordship to Gods good Protection, I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and Bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales
Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

MY Letters conteining the acts of our Synod upon Friday and Sa­terday, I dispatched this morning unto your Honour by a Soldier whom I knew not, and he delivered them to a Skipper whom he knew not, and whether or no they came to your Lordships hands I am un­certain. There are to come with them Letters from my Lord Bishop to your Honour. Upon Monday the third of Decemb. the Deputies being met, they prosecuted the two questions before left undecided; First of the Baptizing of children born of Ethnick parents: secondly, of means considerable how to breed up those who are to enter the Ministry. In the first, concerning the adulti, the Synod agreed, that if they made profession of the Christian Faith they might be baptized, etiam invitis parentibus. Their reason was, because that after children came to be of years, in case of Religion they depended not from the power of their parents, but might make their own market. All the difficulty was of infants, and children not yet of discretion to make their choice. The English, the Professors, those of Hassia, those of Breme, of Zeland, of Freesland thought it necessary they should be baptized, if they were rightfully adopted into Christian Families, and that their parents had altogether resigned them into the hands of the Christians. They grounded themselves upon the examples of Abraham circumcising all that were of his Family; of Paul baptizing whole housholds, of the primitive Church recorded in S. Austin, who shews, that anciently children that were exposititii were wont to be taken up by the Christi­ans and baptized. Now such were the children of Ethnick parents; for it was never esteem'd lawful for Christians to expose their children. All the rest were peremptory that they were not to be baptiz'd, till they came to be of years of Discretion, to make profession of the Faith. The North Hollanders themselves, whose business it was, and who moved the Synod in it, were expresly against it; whether they were bought, given, taken in war, or howsoever. Their reasons were, because they are immundi; because they are extra foedus, of which Baptisme is a signe; because Adoption could entitle them only to terrene, not to an Heavenly inheritance, &c. So that if plurality of voices carry it, the [Page 18] negative part prevails. The Praeses requir'd some time to compare the opinions together, and so for that time forbare to pronounce sentence. And because the examples of Abraham and Paul were much stood upon by those who held the affirmative, he proposed these two things to be considered of. First, whether it were likely that in Abrahams Family, when he put circumcision in act, there were any Infants, whose Parents died uncircumcised. Secondly, whether it were likely that in the Fa­milies baptized by Paul, there were any Infants, whose Parents died unbaptized: and so he past away to the second Question, concerning the manner of training up those who were to enter the Ministry. In my last Letters to your Honour I related at large the advice given in this point by the Zelanders and South Hollanders. It was now proposed to the Synod, whether they did approve their counsel, or except against it. Some thought it was unlawful for men not in Orders to preach pub­lickly, or baptize; (for the South Hollanders in their advice, had deter­mined they should,) others thought it unmeet, that they should be present in the Consistories and meetings of Deacons, or that they should read the Scriptures publickly in the Church (which was the joint advice of the Zelanders and South Hollanders.) Lastly, it was doubted whether the Synod could make any Decree in this Question; because of the several customs in several Provinces, which it lay not in the power of the Synod to prejudice. So that instead of deciding this one doubt the Praeses proposed five more to be considered of. 1. Whether men not in Orders might make publike Sermous. 2. Whe­ther they might baptize. 3. Whether it were fit they should come into the Consistories. 4. Whether they should read the Scriptures pub­likely. 5. Whether the Synod could make a Decree in this business, for the reason above mentioned, or only give advice. The Synod had begun to speak to the two first, and it was the general opinion that they might not baptize. In the point of preaching they differ'd. Some thought absolutely it might be permitted them: others on the contrary thought no: some took a middle course, thinking they might preach pri­vately before a select Auditory, who were to be their Judges how suffici­ent they were for that end: some that they may do it openly, so that it were understood they did it not cum potestate solvendi & ligandi. But when part of the Synod had spoken their mindes, because the time was much pass'd, they brake up, and put off the determination to the next Session.

Here is a rumor that some of the Remonstrants are come to Town, who they are I cannot yet learn. I shall to morrow make inquiry, and by the next Messenger acquaint your Lordship with it. In the mean time I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

UPon Tuesday the fourth of Decemb. Stylo novo, the Deputies being met in the morning they proceeded to determine of those doubts, which were moved the Session before. In the matter consulted concern­ing the training up of those who were to take upon them the Ministry, there were five questions moved. 1. Whether it were fit they should preach publikely. 2. Whether they should baptize. 3. Whether they should come to the Consistories and meetings of the Classes. 4. Whe­ther they should read the Scriptures publikely in the Church before the people. Lastly, whether they should make a Decree to binde all Provinces necessarily, or only to advise them. To the first two the Exteri had given their answer in the former Session. For the question of Baptism, no man stood upon it, but all accounted it unlawful, for men not in orders to take upon them to baptize: the doubt was con­cerning Sermons. Jo. Polyander thought it very fit that such as intend­ed the Ministry, before they were admitted should practise preaching. First because it was the practise of some of the Belgick Churches. Se­condly, because it took from them that [...], that subrustick shame­fastness of many men, by which they feared to speak unto the people. Thirdly, because it was convenient that they should be known for men fit for that duty, before they should enter upon it. Fourthly, that they might approve themselves to their Parents and Benefactors, who had been at the charge of their Education. Provided that it were with these conditions: first that it were done with consent of the Classes: Secondly that it were practised only when the Church was unsupplied, either by the death, or absence, or sickness of their Pastor, or in case of like necessity. With Polyander did Wallaeus of Middleburgh agree, and grounded himself upon the practise of the Jews, amongst whom not on­ly the Levites, but others also publickly taught the Law, as it appears by the story in the Acts, where Paul and Barnabas coming into the Syna­gogue, the Rulers call'd unto them, that if they had any word of ex­hortation, they should speak unto the people. Contrary unto both these was D. Gamarus, who held it utterly unlawful for any to preach before they were admitted to the Ministry. First, because they had no Missi­on; and who can preach except he be sent. Secondly, because they had not the Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven. Thirdly, it was granted that they could not baptize: now Christ hath put Baptisme and Preaching together, Go teach all Nations baptizing them: & quae Deus conjunxit home ne separet. Last of all, though there had been a custom [Page 20] in some places to the contrary, yet fitter it was that custom should con­form it self to Truth, then Truth to custom. With Gomarus agreed Thysius, and thought his argument drawn from Mission to be unan­swerable; and for mine own part I thought so to. D. Gomarus is a man of great note; but I never heard him speak with any strength of rea­son in the Synod till now. What Silrandus his opinion was concerning the point I know not; for he doth so favour his voice, that I can never tell what he saith: and I imagine I have no great loss of it. After the Professors was there little said, which was not said before, only Lydius of South Holland thought certainly to confute Gomarus, and told us, that such men might preach, and that they had Vocation so to do. For first that inward Vocation which they had from the Spirit, and then their Examination and Admission by the Classes was warrant for them sufficient to preach, though they had no particular charge. For this good News did Mr. Dean of Worcester publikely applaud D. Lydius in the Synod. I mervail'd much with my self to see Mr. Dean and Lydius so wide of the mark. For there was no question of those who were admitted by the Classes, but only of such who fitted themselves to be admitted. The Examination and Admission by the Classes is the very form of their Ministry, and not their being placed over a particular Church. And thus much at length did the Praeses tell us. When all had spoken, Mr. Praeses pronounced that it was concluded by the Synod, that it should not be lawful for them to baptize: but for the matter of Sermons, it was thought good by the Synod, that it should be left to the Judgement and Discretion of the particular Classes. In the third question concerning the Admission of the Proponentes (as they call them) to the Consistories, little was said, and so in the fourth, concerning the publike reading of Scripture in the Church; Some thought fit that the ancient custom of Anagnostae in the Church should be revived: others thought it some disparagement to publike Reading, that it was committed to Tradesmen, and many times to men unskilfull, that knew not well to read: In both these the Synod determined nothing, but left them free to the discretion of the Classes; and the later was to be left to the Liberty of the Proponentes, whether they would read or no; and that they were not to be inforced to it, it they would not. In the last question whether they should make any necessary Decree binding all, or only by way of Counsel, my Lord Bishop being asked what he thought fit, made answer, that they were to distinguish betwixt things necessary, and not necessary. Things absolutely necessary should be absolutely decreed: other things should be left arbitrary. Which sentence pass'd by the major part of voices, and was Synodically con­cluded. Here the Deputies for the Remonstrants of Utrecht exhibited [Page 21] to the Synod in Writing a Bill, containing some exceptions against what hitherto had pass'd in the matter of the Catechism. First they misliked that any such form should be forced upon them. Secondly, that all Scholemasters should be so strictly bound to that form, as that it should not be lawful to recede from it. For this did prejudice all o­ther forms now currant, and might discontent the Lutherans and others, who had admitted of another form. Thirdly, they charged the Praeses with some indirect dealing. For whereas he had, whilest the business was in fieri, solemnly protested, that there was no intent con­cerning the matter, but only concerning the form of Catechizing, yet in the issue they had confirmed the Palatine Catechism, which contain­ed as well matter as form. Fourthly, they misliked the Decree con­cerning the not premising of a Text of Scripture before cateche­tical Sermons. Lastly, they required that this their dissent might be registred. To this the Praeses replyed, that the Synod had only ex­prest it self what it thought fittest to be done. As for the necessity of Execution, that was not in the power of the Synod, but of the States General, who when all was done, might either pass or recall what they thought good. Secondly to the point concerning himself, he an­swered, he had done so, and thought it fittest so to do (but the Synod thought otherwise) and since there was a matter of Catechism to be concluded, they thought they might confirm this as well as any other: and this was not so confirm'd, but that it was in the power of the Sy­nod to alter what they please. To the point of premising a Text of Scri­pture before the catechetical Sermon, he answered that the determi­nation of the Synod was not to take that custom away there where it it was in use, but only to prohibit the urging of it there where it had a long time been disused. To the last, concerning the Registring of this their dissent, he answer'd, he saw not how this could be granted them; since the States General had concluded, that what pass'd by a major part of voices, should alone be accounted the Act of the Synod: and by the same proportion every one that passes not his voice with the major part might require his dissent to be registred. After this the Praeses signi­fied that concerning the question of the baptizing of Ethnicks children put up by the Church of Amsterdam, he required yet farther respite; because of the opinion of some of the Synod, which was somewhat ambiguous and obscure. He was therefore to conferre with the Au­thors of it, and therefore desir'd that the resolution might be put off till the next Session: and withall he commended to the Synod the consideration how the liberty of printing so promiscuously all kinde of scandalous and libellous Pamphlets might be represt, and so he dis­mist the Synod.

[Page 22]The Remonstrants are in Town, but because they keep themselves private, and have not presented themselves unto the States and Depu­ties, there is no notice taken of it. And so commending your Honor to Gods good Protection, I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord.

UPon Wednesday the 5. of December, stylo novo, the Deputies being met in the morning, the first thing which was done, was the ad­mission of a Senior or Elder for those of Groninga, whose number as it seems was not yet full. The thing was transacted in Dutch, and yet the consent of the English was askt: at which I did not a little muse. Next followed the advice of the Helvetians, what course was to be taken with those, who are to enter the Ministry; in which there was no great matter from what before was intimated. The Palatini pro­mis'd the like, and therefore the Praeses requir'd yet farther respite be­fore they did conceive any form of Decree in this behalf. ‘Then fol­lowed the Decree of the Synod concerning the question moved by those of Amsterdam, about the Baptism of children born of Ethnick Parents. The Decision consisted of two parts. The first concern'd the Adulti, and it was this; That such as were of years and capacity should be diligently taught and catechized, and then, if they did desire it, they should be baptized. The second concern'd Infants, and it was, That till they came to years of Discretion, they should by no means be baptized. A strange decision, and such as, if my memory or reading fails me not, no Church either Ancient or Modern ever gave. When it was objected, what if they were in danger of death; their answer was, that the want of Baptism would not prejudice them with God, except we would determine as the Papists do, that Baptism is neces­sary to salvation. Which is as much to undervalue the necessity of Baptism as the Church of Rome doth overvalue it.’ Here followed a recitation of all that had been done since the business of the Catechism had been set on foot: amongst the rest was registred the exceptions of the Remonstrants of Utrecht, and it was added, atque iis est à Praeside satisfactum. Those of Utrecht excepted against that word satisfactum: they had, said they, an answer given them, but no satisfaction. For they persisted in their former opinion: and forthwith that word was alter'd. Here was a doubt moved, whether it were not fit that some of the [Page 23] especial Reasons brought by the Synod in the Question of the Baptism of Infants should not be added to the Decree. It was answered, That Reasons were obnoxious to cavil and exceptions, and it was not for the Authority of the Synod to Reason, but to Decree. After this the Praeses signified to the Synod that the time prefixt for the appearance of the Remonstrants was now expiring, and yet nothing was signified concerning their appear­ance neither to the Secular President, nor Ecclesiastical. Wherefore naming them all, he thought good to cite them to appear. It was an­swered by those of Utrecht, that they did provide and would shortly be forth coming. In the mean while to take up the time, Mr. Praeses thought good to commend to the Synod the consideration and redress of those abuses which were in Printing. Every man was suffered to print what him listed, whence came abundance of blasphemous, heretical, obscene and scand [...]lous Pamphlets. Many here delivered their opinions, others requir'd farther time to think of it. The English first thought fit that the States General should be requested to take the care of this into their hands. That there should be Censors to approve all such Books as should go to the Press. That no man should print, but such as were known to be of the Reformed Religion. Unto this advice divers things were added by others; as that there should be a set num­ber of Printers: that they should be sworn: that there should be cer­tain Laws prescribed unto them: that they should print no Heretical Books, especially the Books of David Georgius, H. Nicolaus Socinus: that no libels, no unlawful pictures, either obscene, or made to any mans disgrace, should be permitted: that no Book should be printed without the names of the Author, Printer, Place, except the Synod or the Magistrates did in some cases otherwise think good: that there should be care that the Correctors for the Press were good Scolars: and many other things of the like nature. Then were there read cer­tain Canons made in some Synods before, concerning this business. Theodatus of Geneva told us, that in his travails, at Venice he had ob­serv'd that there was a Colledge of sundry persons, secular and spiritual, to whose care was committed all the business of Print­ing. He thought it fit there should be such Colledges here erected. When all had spoken that would, the Praeses told them that Adrian Smoutius had written a little Book in the Belgick, Tongue unto the Sy­nod, and sent the copies of it to him to be distributed. And so request­ing them to take in good part the good will of the man, for want of more business the Synod brake up.

At length are we coming to the main battel. The Armies have been in sight one of another, and have had some parly. The manner was this. Upon Thursday the 6. of Decemb. stylo novo. The Synod being set in [Page 24] the morning, the Praeses signified, that there had come unto him in the name of the Remonstrants these fower, H. Leo, Niellius, Matthisius, and Pinakerus, to give notice that the Remonstrants were ready according to their Citation; but because they had but lately come unto the Town, that yet convenient Lodgings were not provided, their papers, books and stuff were confused, therefore they requir'd respite either till Sa­terday, or at least Friday morning. The President of the Politicks re­plyed, that they should come, and personally make appearance before the Synod, and there propose their mindes, and if the Synod approved their causes, they might be deferr'd. Upon this were two of the De­puties of Utrecht sent forth, to give them warning to provide for their present appearance. In the mean while, till they came, the Praeses thought fit, that such as in the former Session delivered not themselves concerning the Reformation of abuses in Printing, should now do it. Here was little delivered, besides what was said the day before, only some few particulars, as that order should be taken to repress this long­ing humour in many men of coming to the Press: that there should be no Impression of the Bible at any time without leave had: Forreign Books brought out of other Countreys should not be distracted here without peculiar leave, after their being perused by the Censurers: to ease the Censurers, that they might not be troubled with reading too great a multitude of improfitable books, it was thought fit, that the books should first be brought to the Classes, and what they approved should be brought to the Censurers, &c. In the mean while the Remon­strants came, all that were cited by Letters, and were admitted into the Synod. There is in the midst of the Synod-House a long Table, set, as it seems, for them; for it hath hitherto been void, no man sitting at it: here Chairs and Forms being set, they were willed to sit down. The Praeses told them, that he had commended to the Synod their Suit of being a little respited: but it was the will of the Deputies for the States, that they should come before the Synod, and propose their cause themselves. Episcopius standing up, spake to this effect. ‘First he prayed God to give a blessing to this Meeting, and to poure into their mindes such conceits, as best fitted men come together for such ends: then he signified, that according to their Citation they were now come ad collationem instituendam, concerning that cause, which hitherto with a good Conscience they had maintain'd. As for the point of delay, true it is they spake to the Praeses concerning a respite until Saterday or Friday, by reason of that great distraction of their books and pa­pers, and want of convenient lodging, but not as a petition to be moved in that behalf unto the Synod; but only as a thing which out of common equity they might have presumed on without acquainting [Page 25] the Synod with it. For they were ready, even at that present to be­gin the business they came for, without any further delay. But this they left to the Deputies Secular and Ecclesiastical to determine of.’ Then were they requested to withdraw a little into a chamber near the Synod House; and immediately was it proposed unto the Synod, what time was to be set for to begin. The time prefixt was the morrow after. Jo. Polyander took hold of those words, ad collationem, and told the Synod, that it was fit the Remonstrants were told the end of their coming, and the manner of proceeding which should be taken with them,that they might know what they were to look for, and so pro­vide. They were to be inform'd, that they came not to conference; neither did the Synod profess it self an adverse party against them. Conferences had been heretofore held to no purpose. They ought to have heeded the words of the Letters by which they were cited. They were called, not to conference, but to propose their Opinions with their Reasons, and leave it to the Synod to judge of them. The Synod would be a Judge, and not a party. Then were they call'd in again, and all this was told them. Episcopius answered, that for the word Col­latio he stood not on it, and how they would carry themselves it should appear the day following. Mean while one thing they would request of the Synod: that is, that Grevinchovius and Goulartius should be sent for to the Synod as Patrons of this cause. That they had this last week exhibited a Supplication to the States General to this purpose, and re­ceav'd this answer, that they should put this matter to the Synod, and if the Synod thought it fit to be granted, they would not be against it. Neither did they propose this to seek delayes. For they were ready, whilst these men should be sent for to proceed to the action. Only they thought fit, that to maintain their cause they should be sent for, who could best do it. Then were they again dismist: and one was sent to them, to call for their Supplication to the Lords, and the Lords Answer. To this they return'd, that the Lords gave this answer, not in writing, but by word of mouth: and for the copy of their Supplication, they called not for it any more. Then was the thing proposed unto the Sy­nod, and the Secular Deputies replyed, that they would return their answer on the morrow: and the same was the answer of the Synod. Mr. Praeses thought that Grevinchovius might be admitted, salvis censuris Ecclesiasticis: yet notwithstanding he thought good to acquaint the Synod with the quality of this man, and thereupon he produced the Act of the Provincial Synod of South Holland, wherein it was witnessed, that the Synod, because he did refuse to appear when they cited him, and because of many blasphemies in his Book, and of many reproach­ful speeches against the Magistrates and against the Ministers, had [Page 26] suspended him ab omni munere Ecclesiastico. From this Grevinchovius had not appealed to the National Synod, and therefore it was in the power of the Synod to do what they thought fit. Then were the Remonstrants again call'd in, and it was signifyed unto them, that on the morrow they should understand the will of the Synod concerning their motion made, and so were they again dismist; and the Session ended, the Prae­ses having first premised, that all other things yet depending, as the Decree concerning the Proponentes, together with the Remedies con­cerning the abuses in Printing, and what else soever, must be deferr'd, and the business in hand alone attended.

My Lord Bishop was desirous that Mr. Carleton should stay this day, to see the coming of the Remonstrants. I would have had him stay to morrow likewise, that he might have seen the manner of proceeding with them; but he would not. Here is speech that Scultetus is to make the next Latin Sermon; but when we know not. There is a rumour that Vor [...]tius is gone from Tergoue, but of this I suppose your Honour may have better information then I can give; therefore ceasing to trouble your Honour any longer I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

IN my last Letters to your Honour, I related a doubt concerning the Deputies for the Remonstrants of Utrecht; whether they were to be a part of the Synod, or in the number of the Remonstrants, who were cited to appear before the Synod. The reasons of that doubt, which then I understood not were these. First, because in their Creden­tial Letters they were charged to defend the cause of the Remonstrants. Now it could not be that they should be both Defendants and Judges in the same cause. Secondly, it was objected that their case was the same per omnia with Episcopius, who was to have been of the Synod, if he would have brought his Credential Letters, as the rest of the Profes­sors were. But he refused it, because in the Remonstrants cause he was to be a party, except he would have laid by the Defence of that cause. Thirdly, when the question was of citing the Remonstrants out of each Province, it was then concluded in the Synod, that out of the Province of Utrecht none should be cited to appear, because of that Province there were some already, and therefore it was superfluous to cite any more. In the judgment of the Synod therefore they were in numero [Page 27] citatorum, as far as concern'd that cause, and not in the number of the Members of the Synod. Unto these Reasons were they cha [...]ged to give their answer upon Saterday, and then to resolve whether they would forsake the words of their Credential Letters, and so remain Judges, or else stand unto them, and become in the number of the citati. Where­fore upon Saterday, the 8. of December, stylo novo, The Synod being met in the morning, the Deputies for the Remonstrants gave up their Answer in scripto to these Reasons. And to the first concerning the Clause in their Credential Letters, they answered, that they were not so limited, but that in their private instructions they had leave to do other­wise, if they thought good. To the second, concerning the Parity of their case with Episcopius, they answered, that their case was quite an­other; for they were sent from their Provinces as Members of the Synod, which plea Episcopius could not make. To the third, concern­ing the intent of the Synod at the Citation they answerd, that they ne­ver so understood the words of the Synod, neither did they know but that they might shew themselves for the cause of the Remonstrants, and yet sit as Judges, since they were there to defend their opinion no otherwise then the Contra-Remonstrants were to defend theirs: and therefore they were purposed to take the oath, and to keep their places. The Praeses then requir'd them to shew that clause in their private in­structions, wherein that reservation was which they pretended. They stuck a little at first to bring forth their instructions, but at length see­ing there was no other remedy they consented to do it, provided that no more should be read then what they would suffer: which was gran­ted them. In the mean time whilst they were providing to produce their instructions, there were read in the Synod the letters of the Pro­vinciall Synod of South Holland, directed to the Nationall, to this purpose: that whereas Theophilus Ryckwaerdius, one of those who was cited among the Remonstrants, had lately been by them convented for certain misdemeanors the Synod would be pleased to give him leave to returne and make his answer to such objections as they had to charge him with. The thing was put to the determination of the Synod. The Deputies of the States thought fit it should be left to his own discretion to do as he thought good. Others thought it not fit he should be sent from the greater Synod to a lesser. Others thought it was necessary he should immediately be sent away to make his answer, since it was question of behaviour and manners only, and not of doctrine. In the end it was concluded it should be left to his own discretion, to do as he thought good. By this time were the Remonstrants of Utrecht ready to shew their instructions, which they there openly produced, but to no purpose at all. For all they could shew was this, that they had [Page 28] commission to defend their cause, or to labour, at least for an accommo­dation or tolleration of it: but that they had power to pronounce deci­sively de veritate aut falsitate sententiae, that did not as yet appear. The thing was acted with much altercation on both sides. At length it was agreed, with some reluctancy on the Remonstrants party, that it should be put to the determination of the Synod, whether they were to be accounted as Judges, or only as citati. Some favourably thought that their private instructions were not too narrowly to be sifted, but if they would suo periculo take the oath, it should be sufficient. Others thought that an oath was a greater matter then should so easily be per­mitted, although men did offer to take it, there being so good cause of doubt, as now there was. Others examining there Credentiall let­ters, and the words of their private Commission, and finding no authori­ty given them to define de falsitate sententiae, if it should appear to be false; and that the lowest point they could descend unto, was a Tolleration, concluded they could be no other then citati. As for their plea, that they came to defend their opinion no otherwise then the Contra-Remon­strants did for theirs, it was replyed, first that they did the Synod wrong to make this distinction of Contra-Remonstrants and Remonstrants: for in the Synod there was no Contra-Remonstrant, and no man was call'd thither under that name, whereas they in their letters came under the name of Remonstrants. Again, No man came with charge to defend any opinion, but were free to pronounce according to truth wheresoever it should be, which was not their case. In the end the judgement of the Synod was given up, that they could not be of the members of the Synod in this cause (for in any other they might) but only as citati. Yet notwithstanding that they might see the equity of the Synod to­ward them, it was permitted them to keep their places upon these conditions: first if they would quit their defence of the cause; Secondly if they would give no advise or counsel directly or indirectly to the ci­tati, and by no means meddle with them in their cause: thirdly, that they did not divulge any of the Acts and Secrets of the Synod (which Clause was a meer Formality. For who can expect that that should not be divulged, which is done in the sight of so many Spectators? Fourth­ly, that they should not be troublesome to the Synod, by any intempe­stive interpellations. This if they would promise, they should take the Oath, and sit as Judges; otherwise, no. Unto this were they charged immediately to give their answer. They again required respite. It was answered, that this request was needless, the case being so plain, and injurious to the Synod in detaining them from their business by fri­volous delayes. They persisting still in their Suit, the thing again was devolv'd unto the Synod, whether they should give their Answer pre­sently, [Page 29] or have farther respite. It was concluded that they should re­pair to Mr. Praeses the same day at five of the clock in the Evening, there without farther delay, roundly to deliver their resolution. Which thing yet they did not. They came indeed at the time appoint­ed, but gave no Resolution, neither yet have done, for any thing I can hear. And this was all was done that Session. I mervail much that the Province of Utrecht, being the strength of the Remonstrants, could finde no wiser men to handle their Cause. For as they did very fool­ishly in bewraying their private instructions, so in this whole alterca­tion did they not speak one wise word. This Session the Remonstrants that were cited appeared not all.

Episcopius is reported to have put a trick upon the Seculars. For whereas in his speech he had said some things concerning them, in that Copie which was exhibited, sign'd with all their hands, there is no such thing appears. He had committed it only to his Memory, as foreseeing the Copie might be called for.

Mr. Praeses remembers his love and service to your Lordship, and hath sent you a Copie of the Book which Adrian Smoutius dedicated to the Synod. The greatest Newes, for ought I perceive, is, that it is dedi­cated to the Synod; for else there is little that concerns them. I have troubled your Lordship with very long repetition of a petit matter: but it was all the argument of the Session. I trow, to morrow we shall have other manner of stuff. And so ceasing to trouble your Lordship, I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord.

ON Munday the 10. of December, stylo novo, the Deputies met in the morning, where the first thing determined, was the question as yet depending concerning the Remonstrants of Utrecht. They had accord­ing to their appointment come to the Praeses and Assessors to give their Answer, which was meerly dilatory, containing their answers to such reasons as the Synod on the Saterday Session had brought to prove them in the number of the Citati. But having better bethought themselves, upon the Munday a little before the Morning Session, they delivered their Resolution to the Praeses, to this effect, that since nothing else would content the Synod, they had resolv'd to leave their place of Judges, and to adjoyn themselves to the other Remonstrants which [Page 30] were cited: and so they did. After this fell in some speech concerning a supplication lately exhibited by the Remonstrants unto the Exteri: and because it seem'd to contein some aspersions against the Synod, there was question made whether or no it should be publickly read and stand: but this motion died, and there was nothing done in it. A Copie of this Supplication, I think, my Lord Bishop lately sent your Honour. Then Mr. Praeses signified unto the Synod, that without farther delay he thought it fit, the Remonstrants should be put in minde of the end of their coming, and that they should put up their mindes in writing, concerning the five points in question, and that forthwith. For he doubted it not, but they came very well provided to do it: and more, that some years past, they had provided certain considerations to be at hand, whensoever they should be called for, with which the World was not yet acquainted. This thing he remembred Monsieur Barnevelt sometime told him in private conference, and the Remonstrants them­selves have told the World as much in their pressior declaratio, which they joyn'd to their Edition of the Conference at the Hague. Then were the Remonstrants call'd in, and told, First of their indirect dealing, in pretending themselves to have but one Copie of their Oration, whereas it was known they had another, and in delivering up a broken Copie: then of the end of their being convented by the Synod. But by the way one thing was urged somewhat unnecessarily. The Remon­strants had given up, (as I told your Honour) their speech signed with all their hands. When those of Utrecht had joyn'd themselves unto them, they were urged to put to their hands also: to which they reply­ed, they had not as yet read it. Here Episcopius took occasion to clear him­self of that impuration lately fastned upon him, that he had abused the Delegates, in giving them a counterfeit copy of his speech: protesting he was not so ill qualitied, as that in so great a matter, and that before God and so grave a Congregation he would deal doubly, and dishonest­ly: that he never affirmed that he had one only Copie, but that he had none fairly written; for he confest he had another, and that the reason why he requested either the same Copie again, or at least a Transcript of it, was, because there was some difference betwixt the two Copies, and they had not yet perfectly compar'd them together. The Praeses an­swered, that what was laid to their Charge, was nothing else but that which the Synod verily understood to have been done, and he thinks, that if the Memories of those in the Synod were consulted with, they would all confirm it. About this was there likely to have been some al­tercation farther, but the Secular Praeses will'd them to leave that and pass to their business. Here Episcopius besought the Synod that he might have leave to speak some things by way of Proeme ere they came to the [Page 31] Action. It was at first denied him, but he did so earnestly intreat, that at length he had leave to speak his minde: and so forthwith there was recited è Scripto a long and tedious speech of two hours, at the least: consisting of two general heads: First of Exceptions they had against the Synod tanquam in judicem incompetentem: Secondly of a conceit of their own, what manner of Synod they thought fit it should be, which was to compose these controversies in hand. Their reasons of Exceptions were many, and manifoldly amplified and confirmed: but amongst them all there were two especially insisted upon. First, it was against all equity and nature that the adverse party should be Judge: the Synod was here the adverse party, and therefore they could not be Judges. Secondly, those who had made an open Schism and Faction in the Church, and had separated themselves from their brethren, could not be their Judges: but of this Synod a great part were Authors of Schism, and the rest Favourers and Abettors of it: they could not therefore be their Judges. In the prosecution of which Reason they did not spare very liberally to bestow on the Synod the name of Schismatici & Novatores, and schismatum Fautores, and other goodly titles of the same nature. The second part of their Ora­tion was a meere Chimaera saltans in vacuo; a strange phancy of such a Synod as never was, nor can be. I had thought to have taken an ab­stract of it, but the tediousness of it deterr'd me. I will give your Ho­nour a taste or two of it. There were but two wayes of instituting a Synod for the ending of these quarrels. The first was, by seeking out every where certain select men, who all this time of contention had taken part with neither side; but kept themselves unpartial. Secondly, if a Synod of such could not be found (as I think it could scarcely be found in the Netherlands, though the Sun it self should seek it) then such a Synod should be framed, as in which should be an equal number of both parties, each with their several Praeses and Assessors; and they should debate the matter betwixt themselves: and if they could not agree, (as it is likely they would not) what then, thought I? shall they part as they came? No forsooth. The Civil Magistrate, tanquam Deus è machina, he must come in, and prescribe the Modera­men, from which neither party must appeal. Provided alwayes, that he laboured onely for Accomodation, and not to determine decisively for on part. [...]. And so I awoke. Of the same threed was the whole piece of their speech. When they had well and throughly wearied their Auditory, they did that which we much de­sired; they made an end. The Praeses made a brief answer to this effect. For the point of Schism saith he, it is not yet fit time to discusse. But when it should in the Synod be made plain what had been the receiv'd [Page 32] Doctrine of the Church, then it would appear who they were that had made secession from it, and so were guilty of Schism. If you refuse us because we are your Adversaries, whom would you have deputed as Judges? your selves, or the Papists, or the Anabaptists, or the Liber­tines, or some other faction in these Countries? Let us be Sscismaticks, let us be Scribes and Pharisees, and worse; yet you may not deny this Synod to be a lawful Synod. For first it was done by the Civil Magi­strate who had authority to do it. Secondly, such as were there were deputed by the consent of the Provinces. Thirdly, they had all taken their oaths to judge uprightly. This is enough to make us your Judges, and common Charity should make you to hope we would judge up­rightly: at least it should make you resolve thus far, if we should de­cide truly, you would subscribe unto it, if otherwise you would pati­ently bear it. If you were in our places, so deputed, so sworn, and we were to be judged by you, we were to do the like. Here followed some wrangling to no great purpose, and so the Session ended.

The same day after dinner the Deputies met again; where first the Praeses commended to the Synod the consideration of that reproachful Name of Schism, which the Remonstrants did so openly and so often brand them with. For it was Episcopius his palmarium argumentum, the Synod was all either Schismaticks or favourers of them, and therefore could not be their Judges. It was much that they should grow to that boldness, as that openly they should call the Synod, the Seculars, the chief Magistrate, yea the Prince of Orange himself, Schismaticks. For what had formerly been done in the matter of Secession and Division of Churches was done by their consent and approbation. He requir'd therefore the Synod to deliver themselves what was to be done. Di­vers spake diversly. Lydius of South Holland relating the story of what had been done in the time of separation, clear'd them of Schism; and shewed first, that the name of Schism was used craftily by them, as for a reproach, so likewise for a farther end they had for themselves. For a Schism is only a breach of Charity and peace of the Church, the Doctrine remaining intire. If there were a separation by reason of Doctrine Heretical (as here he thought there was) it was not to be call'd a Scism. Now the Remonstrants did therefore use the name of Schism, that they might perswade the world, that the difference was only in certain points indifferent, in which it matter'd not which end went forward, by this means to make their way open to a tolleration. Again, the separation which was made, was made upon good reason. For they were forced unto it by the Remonstrants violence, as in particular he did shew. At length he and the rest of the Synod concluded, that they should roundly be put in minde of their duty, and to speak more re­spectively [Page 33] to the Synod. Upon this the Remonstrants being called in, the Praeses signifyed what the Synod disliked in them, and what behaviour it expected at their hands: and withall will'd them to attend the De­cree of the States. Episcopius would have answer'd, but he was prohibited. Then immediately followed a decree of the States to this purpose; that whereas the Remonstrants had hitherto made many dilatory answers, to the injury both of the Eclesiasticks and Seculars, it was decreed by them, that they should lay by all frivolous Excep [...]i­ons, and dilatory answers, and forthwith proceed to set down their minde concerning the Five Articles, for which end they were come to­gether. Then began Episcopius to purge himself, and declare, that in the imputation of Schism they included not the Seculars, they only charged the Eclesiasticks: and if the Seculars had a hand in it, they medled not with that. The Praeses urged them to give their answer, whether or no they would set down their mindes concerning the points in controversy: they still excepted, that the Synod were not their com­petent Judges. The Praeses asked by whom they would be judged? they re­plyed, they would not answer this, it was sufficient that the Synod could not be their Judges. They were will'd to remember they were Citati: they replyed, Citatorum est excipere de competentia judicis. The Praeses of the Seculars will'd them remember that they were Subjects; they replyed, the Magistrate could not command their Consciences: being again will'd to give their answer, whether or no they would exhibit their mindes concerning the five Articles, they requir'd first to have their exceptions answer'd; when no other answer would be given, they dis­mist them, and appointed that of the Synod two should be chosen De­legates, who should immediately go to them, and in the name of the Synod warn them to lay by all other answers, and at the next Session Categorically answer, whether they would exhibit their mindes concerning the points in Controversy, or no: that so the Synod might know what they had to do: and so they brake up: this morn­ing therefore we look what will be done. And so for this time I humbly take my leave, commending your Honour to Gods good Protection.

Your Honours Chaplain, and Bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales

Of the Remonstrants of Utrecht, two only have joyn'd themselves to the Citati: the third, which is an Elder, professes to submit him­self to the judgement of the Synod, if they shall decide according to his Conscience; and that if it please the Synod to give him his Oath, he is ready to judge neither as Remonstrant nor Contra-Remonstrant, but accordingly as it shall please God to open him the truth in the Synod.

Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

ON Thursday the 4/14. of Decemb. the Synod being sate, and repeti­tion made, according to the custom, of what had past in the former Session, the Remonstrants being called in were askt whether or no they had set down in writing their opinion concerning the first Article. Forthwith they exhibited to the Synod their opinion subscribed with all their hands. The copie of this your Lordship shall receive here with these letters. The paper being read, the Praeses askt them all one by one whether this were their opinion, to which each man answered affi [...]atively. The Remonstrants being dismist the Praeses proposed to the Synod, whether it were not fit that they should be sent for one by one and examined singly as concerning their tenent. His reason was, be­cause he understood that they made themselves an Antisynod, and had among themselves ordained a Praeses, two Assessours, and two Scribes according to the form of the Synod: and so they did all things communi consensu like a little Synod: to this some answered that they thought it fit: some that those only should be singled out who were carried away with respect to their company, and if they were alone would think and do otherwise: others thought it utterly unfit be­cause it might seem olere artificium aliquod, to savour of a trick, where­as it best became the Synod to do all things candide & syncere: others would have no man examined alone but when all the rest were by: o­thers left it to the judgement of the Praeses to do as he thought good when occasion served: which last sentence as it seemed stood good. After this was there a generall exception against the manner in which they had proposed their sentence: that they had done it confuse, di [...]tracte, & obscure: that they had intermingled things impertinent and belonging to other questions: that the most of their proposalls were negatives what they did not hold, and not affirmatives what they did; whereas their appearance there was to shew what they did hold, not what they did not hold. And it was discovered that this their pro­ceding by negatives was, that they might take occasions to refute o­ther opinions, and not to confirm their own; whereas by the decree of the States they were call'd thither ut sententiam SUAM dilucidè, perspicuè &c. exponerent & defenderent not that they should oppugne others. That it had been their custom very liberally to examine other mens opinions and to be sparing in confirming their own. That if they did refuse to deal more plainly in expounding their mind, the Synod should take order that the state of the question should be taken out of their books, especially [Page 35] our of the Hague conference, and so they should be questioned whether they would stand to it or no: that they did maintain amongst them an implicite faith, and it was usuall with some of them, when they were prest with any reason they could not put by, to answer that though themselves could say little to it, yet such and such could say much, which was enough for them. When all had spoken their pleasure, the conclusion of the Synod was, that they must reform the manner of propounding their mind: that they must give up their answer in affir­matives, as much as was possible: that this form of answer was not according to the Decree of the States: and this was the effect of that Session.

On Friday the 5/15 of Decemb. there was a short Session in the morning. The matter propounded was, whether it were not fit that the Remon­strants should be required to give up their minds concerning all the five points before the Synod proceeded to examine or determine any thing. The reason was, the connexion of the points mutually one with ano­ther, for which cause it was hard to determine of one, except their mind in the rest were known. The Secular Lords and the Synod liked well of the proposall. Those of Geneva thought it best to take their o­pinions out of their books: to which the Praeses answer'd, that it could not be, because they were call'd thither by their citatory. Letters to propose and defend their own opinions. That they could not com­plaine of the Synod for calling on them thus at once to deliver them­selves. For the Synod doubts not that they were provided, since them­selves had long since given it out in their books and private speeches that they were provided. The Remonstrants then being called in, were told that it was the determination of the Synod that they should de­liver their opinions at once concerning the five points; and for this they had given them time till Munday. For this would prove better for the Synod and for themselves. Then that they should deliver themselves in affirmatives as much as possibly might be. For by their negatives they delivered not their own opinions, but diverted upon o­thers. The Confessions and Creeds had always been framed by affirma­tives; thus or thus wee do believe; not by negatives. To this they replied, Attendemus ad ea quae a Domino Praeside dicta sunt & considerabi­mus. Then did the Praeses signifie that on the morrow there should be a Latin sermon in the Synod house. Scultetus is the man that makes it. And this is the effect of what was done at that time and so ceasing to trouble your Lordship any farther at this time, I humbly take my leave, resting.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

THe seventh of December, stylo novo, being Friday, in the morning the Synod met; the first thing that was done, was the pronouncing the Decree of the States concerning Grevinchovius and Goulartius to this effect, That whereas the Remonstrants had petitioned to the States, that Grevinchovius and Goulartius might be admitted into the Synod, there to defend the Remonstrants Cause, the Lords for good causes thought they neither ought, nor could grant it; yet thus much did they graciously permit, that they might freely come in private, and do them what help they could; and if they thought, that in any thing they saw further into the Cause then their Brethren, they might have leave to exhibit their minde in writing to the Synod. Provided, First, that they had leave of the Synod so to do. Secondly, that they did not seek any frivolous delayes: Thirdly, that they promis'd to submit themselves to the Decree of the Synod: and last of all, that the Church Censures respectively pass'd on Grevinchovius and Goulartius be not pre­judiced; but stand still in their full force and vertue. This Decree was consented unto by the whole Synod. Here the Praeses admonisht those of Utrecht to provide themselves, and resolve what they would do; whe­ther they would profess themselves parties for the Remonstrants, or keep their places, and sit as Judges; if they would express as parties, then must they cease to be accounted part of the Synod, and be ac­counted as Episcopius and the rest that were cited. They requir'd that time might be given them to deliberate. The Praeses eagerly urged them to give their resolute answer. They replyed it was a greater matter then might so soon be dispatch't. So far they went, that at length they fell on some warm words. For when two of the Remonstrants Deputies by chance spake both at once, the Praeses admonisht them to speak mo­destiùs & ornatiùs. For men here speak one by one, and not by pairs. But here the Secular Deputies strook in, and thought fit they should have time of respite till the morrow: yet so that in the mean time the Synod should proceed: Then were the Remonstrants call'd in, and the Decree of the States concerning Grevinchovius and Goulartius read unto them: Episcopius standing up requir'd that a little time might be granted to them to speak, and forthwith uttered an Oration, acrem sanè & animosam, and about which, by reason of some particulars in it, there will grow some stirre. The effect of the Oration was this.

[Page 37]THat Religion was the chiefest note of a man; and we were more di­stinguished by it from other Creatures, then by our Reason. That their apparence before the Synod was, ut illam etiam Spartam ornarent, that they might endeavour something for the preservation of the Purity of Religion: That Religion was nothing else but a right Conceit and Worship of God: That the Conceits concerning God are of two sorts; some abso­lutely necessary, which were the grounds of all true Worship; in these to erre might finally endanger a man; Some not absolutely necessary; and in these sometimes without great danger men might mistake; That they de­fcryed many conceits passing in our Churches which could not stand with the Goodness and Justice of God, with the use of the Sacramen [...]s, with the Duties of Christian men; These had given occasion to the Adversaries abroad to accuse our Churches, and lay upon them many strange imputations, That therefore their endeavour had been none other but to remove these imputations, and to provide, as much as in them lay, that the Conceits of some few might not pass for the general Doctrine of our Churches; But this their endeavour had hitherunto had but ill success: And as in a diseased body many times when Physick is administred, the humours which before were quiet are now stirred, and hence the body proves more distempered: so their endeavours to cure the Church had caused greater disorder, yet in this had they not offended. For they labour'd to none other end, but that the Church might not be traduced by reason of the private conce [...]s of some of her Ministers. That in this behalf the world had been exceedingly in­censed against them: but this Envy they esteemed their Gloriam & Pal­marium; That for this they did not mean to forsake their Cause, and were it so that they should lose the day, yet would they joy in it, and think it glory enough, magnis ausis excedisse. That this their stirring was not de lana cap [...]ina, of small, frivolous, and worthless matters, of mere qui [...]ks of Wit, as many of the common sort were perswaded, that out of this conceit it was that they had been so exceedingly roughly dealt withall, yea they might say soevitum fuisse against them, as against unnecessary Innova­vators in the Church: First matters were handled against them clancular [...] ­ly, and by stealth, after this they brake out into open but false accusations, and after this into wrath, into scoffing and bitterness, till at length effractis moderationis repagulis, every one came with open mouth against them, tanquam in publici odii victimas. [Here followed a grave and serious invocation of Christ as a witness to the truth of what they said] True [Page 38] indeed it was, that in their Books many things were to be found amisse. For a very hard matter they thought it for mindes exasperated semper rectum clavem tenere. That for the setling of these things, there could but three courses be thought of; either a National Synod, or a mutual Tollera­tion of each others Opinions, or the Cession and Resignation of their Calling and place in the Church. To quit them of their calling and to fly, this were a note of the Hireling: as for a Synod, which they much desired, remora­bantur qui minime debebant, and it was pretended that the condition of the Times would not suffer it. There remains only a mutual Tolleration, of the possibility of which alone they had hope. And for this end they did exceed­ingly approve of the Decreeof the States of Holland, and West-fryzeland, which they thought confirmed by the examples of Beza's dealing with some, of their own dealing with the Lutherans, of the Advice of the King of Great Brittain: But all this was labour lost; for there was a buzze and jealousie spread in the heads of men, that under this larve, this whifling Suit of Tol­leration there lay personated more dangerous designes: that behinde this, tanquam post siparium, there lay intents of opening a way to the Profession of all the ancient Heresies: and that the Remonstrants could pro tempore, Conscientiaesuae imperare quod volunt, upon this began mens minds to be alienated from them: which thing at length brake forth into Schism and open Separation. Now began their books to be more narrowly inquir'd into, every line, every phrase, every word and tittle to be stretcht to the uttermost, to prove them Hereticks. Witness that late work, intituled Specimen Controversia­rum Belgicarum, whose Authors credit and good dealing had already in part appeared, and hereafter farther would appear. That all Fundamental points of Divinity they had preserved untouched. For they knew that there were many things of which it is not lawful to dispute, and they abhorr'd from that conceit of many men, who would believe nothing but what they were able to give a Reason of. That what they questioned was only such a matter, which for a long time had been, without danger, both pro and contra disputed of. They thought it sufficient if the chief points of Religion remain unshaken. That there had been always sundry Opinions even amongst the Fathers them­selves, which yet had not broken out into separation of mindes, and breach of Charity. That it was impossible for all wits to jump in one point. It was the Judgement of Paraeus a great Divine, that the greatest cause of Contentions in the Church was this, that the Schoolmens Conclusions, and Cathedral Decisi­ons had been receiv'd as Oracles, and Articles of Faith. That they were [Page 39] therefore unjustly charged with the bringing in of a Sceptick Theologie: They sought for nothing else but for that liberty which is the mean betwixt servitude and License. That now they appear'd before the Synod, whether as cited, or otherwise, they were not careful. They had been present howsoever had it been lawful. They requir'd the Forreigners not to judge of them as they had heard abroad, but as they now should finde them. That they profess they oppose them­selves, first against those Conclusions concerning Predestination, which the Au­thors themselves have call'd Horrida Decreta. Secondly, against those who for the Five Articles so call'd have made a Separation, never expecting any Synodical Sentence: Thirdly, against those who cast from them all those who in some things dissent from them. And yet to raise the controversy greater, is the question of the right of Magistrates added above all the rest, which they main­tain'd against those, who taught the Magistrate should with a hoodwi [...]kt obe­dience accept of what the Divines taught, without farther enquiry. These are the points for which we have contended. Give unto us that respect which your selves would look for at our hands, if you were in our case; we have not am­bitiously sued to any: the Favour of God alone it is which we have sought; Look not upon this small number which you see, Unus Patronus bonae causae satis est. 'Tis not the smaller number that makes the Schism. If a major part carry the right, what think you then of the Province of Utrecht, where the greater parts are Remonstrants: From you doth the Schisme proceed, First here in this Synod, by making so an unequal a choice of Deputies with so small a number of Remonstrants. Secondly by proceeding against us a­broad, not expecting a Synodal Decree, by cashiering and subjecting unto Censures the chief Patrons of our Cause, eos apud quos sunt aquilae nostrae: and peradventure, even at this very hour you proceed against some of ours by suspending, discommuning, by expelling them from their Churches, &c. But yet we cast not away our Swords; The Scriptures and sollid Reason shall be to us instead of multitudes. The Conscience rests not it self upon the number of Suffrages, but upon the strength of Reason. Tam parati sumus vinci, quam vincere. He gets a great Victory, that being conquer'd gains the Truth. Amicus Socrates, ami [...]us Plato, amica Synodus, sed [...] magis amica Veritas.

[Page 40]These are the Fragments of Episcopius his speech, as far as my Me­mory and broken notes could supply me; I suppose what Errors I have committed by leaving out, misplacing, misrelating, Mr. Ames, when he comes to your Honour will rectify, this and much more for an hours space, he delivered with great grace of speech, and Oratorial gesture: The Praeses signified unto him, that because there were in his speech many things considerable, he was therefore to deliver the Copy of it: Episcopius replyed, that he had none handsomely written, if the Synod would have patience, he would cause a fair Transcript to be drawen for them; But this excuse would not serve. Fair or foul deliver it up he must, and so he did: The Deputies for the Politicks signified, that since there were many things in it, which did as well concern the Seculars, as E­clesiasticks, they were to give it up subscribed with all their hands: which forthwith was done. Then did the Praeses tell them how much they were beholding to the Synod, that had so patiently heard them, notwithstanding that they had no leave granted them to speak, and that they ought to have expected the Mandate of the Synod. To this Episco­pius replyes, that he had required leave before he began to speak; True, said the Praeses, but you stayed not till leave was granted you; besides, saith he, you are to know that no man may, no not of those that are the members of the Synod, offer to declaim without leave first had, and without manifesting the Argument and drift of his speech. After this followed a Form of Oath prescribed by the States, which all the Mem­bers of the Synod were to take, the Articles of it were these two, That only the Word of God should be taken for their rule to end their questions, and that they had no other purpose but the peace of the Church. First the Praeses took his oath in this order, standing up in his place, he said, Ego promitto coram Deo, (thus, and thus) ita propitius mihi sit Servator Chri­stus. Then the Provincials took every one in his order, standing in his place, and pronouncing these words, Idem promitto coram Deo & sancto Servatore, only the Remonstrants Deputies of Utrecht took not the Oath, because as yet they had not determined, whether they would make themselves parties or Judges; After the Provincials did the For­reigners in order do the like, and so the Session ended. And with it I think is time for me to end, and commend your Lordship to Gods good Protection.

Your Honours Chaplain and bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

UPon Saterday 5/1 [...] of this present, the Synod being sate in the Morn­ing, Scultetus made unto them a pious, and pathetical Sermon. In the beginning he signified, first how it joyed him to speak unto them Post eruditissimum virum Josephum Hallum, Decanum Wigorniae meritissi­mum. Secondly, that he saw that day, that which his Majesty of Great Brittain, and the Prince Elector his Master had so long desired to see, namely a Synod gathered for the setling of the Churches peace in these Countries. He took for his Theme the 122. Psalm. I rejoyced when they said unto me, Let us go up unto the house of the Lord, and so forth unto the end of the Psalm. Where first having shewed the occasion of this Psalm, that it was the Removal and bringing of the Ark unto Jerusa­lem, he considered in the whole Psalm three things. First, that it was Summum hominis gaudium, to see the Peace and flourishing of the Church; which he shewed by many Reasons, and confirmed by the examples of the Duke of Wittemberg, who at the Council held at Worms a hundred and twenty years since, when others discoursed of many Priviledges and conveniences of their Lordships and Territories, openly protested it to be his greatest felicity, that he could in aperto campo, & in sinu Sub­ditorum suorum dormire: and of Theodosius the Emperour, who at his death did more comfort himself that he had been a Son of the Church, then the Emperour of the World. Secondly, that it was Summum hominis Votum to pray for the peace and flourishing of the Church: which he con­firmed by the examples of the Apostles and of Christ himself. Thirdly, that it was Summum hominis studium to procure the peace of the Church [...] where speaking of the present occasion, I am no Prophet (saith he) yet I think I foresee, that the peace of the Belgick Churches would be a means to settle the peace of other Churches. He therefore wisht that the States, the Prince, the Delegates, would all propose unto themselves as their end, the peace and flourishing of the Churches amongst them, as he doubted not they did in calling this Synod. There was not in this Sermon any Doctrinal point discust, nor any particular toucht, which [...]ght mi­nister Newes. It was only a Pathetical exhortation to all sorts, as much as in them lay to procure the Churches peace. When he had done, the Praeses publikely in the name of the Synod gave him thanks, and pro­tested himself to have been very much moved with his speeches. Besides this there was nothing done that Session.

Upon Munday 7/17 of this present, the Synod coming together in the Forenoon, there were two out of Wetteraw from the Counties of Nassau, Bisterfeldius a Preacher, and Jo. Henricus Al [...]tedius, Professor of Di­vinity in Herborne came as Deputies from the Churches in those parts, [Page 42] to be admitted as parts of the Synod. The Letters from the States Ge­neral, and then their Credential Le [...]ters from their Churches first being read, the Oath was read unto them, and they took it. Then did the Praeses in the Name of the Synod welcom them, and told them the end of their coming, and what these Churches expected at their hands Then were the Remonstrants call'd in, and willed to declare their opi­nion concerning the rest of the Articles: which they did at large, and added some Apologies for their proceeding by Negatives (which I could your Lordship formerly had been the Exception of the Synod against the manner held by them in the first Article.) I will not give a brief of what they then delivered, because I resolve to send your Lordship the perfect Copy of it, as soon as I can come to copie it out. When they had done the Praeses asked them, whether they were provided to deliver up their Considerations concerning the Confession and Catechisme, for the Synod expected it. They answered that they expected not the Sy­nod should call for them. The Praeses replyed, this could not excuse them, for they had often told the world in their Books, that they had paratam sylvam considerationum in that kinde: and that the Synod should better judge of each part, when it had learned their opinion of the whole. They requir'd leave to withdraw a little, and think of an an­swer. In the mean time the Praeses proposed to the Synod, to consider how well the Remonstrants had stood to the Decree of the Synod, con­cerning the proposal of their Tenents in Affirmatives, he thought that they had offended more against it, and that purposely in bringing their Apologie for so doing: in censuring the opinions of other Churches for blasphemous, &c. Howsoever it was their judgement that they should propose their sentence in Negatives, yet they ought not to have proposed, but to have submitted their judgement to the judge­ment of the Synod. The Remonstrants returning, gave answer to this effect: that though they might require time to give up their Conside­rations, yet they thought they were not bound to give them up, till the five Articles were discust; since their Citatory Letters so ran, that first the Articles, then their Consideration should come in place: that they thought it some wrong done them to have this order now perverted. The Praeses answered that no wrong was done them; for their Conside­rations should not yet be sifted, till the five Articles were concluded. And so the order in their Citatory Letters should be kept. That long since in a Synod at Delpht they had promis'd to deliver them up in a Pro­vincial Synod there, and therefore now after so many years they could not be unprovided. Here the Praeses Politicus charged them to obey their Decree, and to do as the Praeses and the Synod requir'd. The Praeses Eclesiasticus then admonisht them, that they were not to accompt [Page 43] of themselves as a Colledg, and so still to give answers in commune, but they must answer particularly every one for himself, and thereupon he asked every of them in order, whether they had any such Conside­ration or no: some answered they had, some that they had some few of no great moment, some that their Considerations were not written down, some that they had none at all. When the Praeses had said, jacta­tum fuisse by them long since, that they had sundry Considerations ready; Corvinus excepted against the word jactatum; the Praeses reply­ed, He used not the word to disgrace them, but only as a Frequentative, to signifie that they had often boasted of it. When some Litigation was here fallen, Martinus Gregorii (one that sits close upon the Remonstrants skirts) cut it off, and commanded them to be quiet. The Remonstrants here signified, that such Considerations as they had were only in the Dutch tongue. The Praeses replyed, they should have leasure to translate them. Then did the Seculars pronounce a Decree charging them to provide themselves singly one by one, he that had many to give up ma­ny, he that had few to give up few, he that had none to give up none, and that whether it were in Dutch or Latine. The Remonstrants re­quired some time; for, saith Episcopius, we came imparatissimi ad hanc rem. First there were given them to two dayes, then three, then four: within which space every man alone by himself, was to give up his Con­siderations: and this was the effect of the Session.

The answer of the English Divines to the Remonstrants exception against the Synod, I will send your Lordship in my next Letters, toge­ther with the Remonstrants answer upon the later Articles. Harman the Post came to Dort on Sunday about three of the clock, and went for England on Munday about ten of the clock in the morning. Mr. Dean of Worcester is very crazy and sickly of late, and keeps his Cham­ber, neither hath he been in the Synod some of these last Sessions. I hear he purposes to come to the Hague, to see if he shall have his health better there. Here is a Rumour that the Remonstrants are a little di­vided amongst themselves; and that Corvinus complains that what he hath done, was because he suffered himself to be drawn on by others, how true this is I know not; I heard Scultetus tell my Lord Bishop so much, and that Meierus of Basil, should say that Corvinus had signified so much to him. My Lord Bishop is a little displeased with Mr. Amyes for putting into his hand Grevinchovius his Book, in the Preface of which there are cited out of a Writing of Mr. Amyes certain words very re­proachful unto Bishops. Other Newes here is none, and therefore for this time ceasing any further to trouble your Honour; I humbly take my leave, resting

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord.

ON Thursday 10/20 of this present, in the morning the Synod being met, the first thing done was the Admission of the Scotish Depu­ty in this manner. He was brought to the Synod House by the two Scribes, and met at the door by two of the Deputies for the States, and by them conducted to his Seat, which is a little seat made under the English Seats, where he sits alone; when he was sate the Praeses wel­com'd him in the Name of the Synod. Then were the Letters from the States read, which were to stand instead of Synodical Letters; for otherwise the custom is here, that he that comes to be a Member of the Synod brings Letters of Credence from the Church that deputes him. After this he delivered himself in a short speech to this effect. ‘That the reason of his coming he had delivered unto the States at the Hague, namely the Kings pleasure: that he therefore once minded to have said nothing, but he could not obtain so much of himself, especially when he heard what gentle Welcome the Praeses gave him, and he was desirous to shew himself thankful for such great Courtesie; That the Scotch Nation had evermore so linkt it self to this people, that it hath alwayes laboured to endeavour the peace of this State, and now it was ready to do as much for the peace of the Churches amongst them. That they had very straightly bound unto them the Scotish Church (demeruistis Eclesiam Scoticanam) by this so kindly welcoming him. That his years were not many, but he hoped ere he departed to make amends for that; That the King at his coming away did charge him, verbis sublimibus, above all sphere of Con­ceit and apprehension to exhort them unto peace, and with a short passage to that purpose he ended.’ The Praeses thanking him for his good Counsel gave him his Oath. And so they past away to other business.

Tomorrow I trowe we shall have more matter, for then the Remon­strants are to give in their Exceptions, against the Catechisme and Con­fession, and so at length we shall come to the Question. For this time therefore I humbly take my leave of your Honour, resting

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty and Service, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

UPon Thursday the 17/27 of this present, the Deputies being met in the morning, the Remonstrants were called in, and willed to give up their Considerations upon the Catechism, according to the injuncti­on laid on them on Friday last. Episcopius, Corvinus, Duinghonius, Poppius, Pinakerus and Sapma gave up altogether in common, and excused them­selves, for not giving up one by one, as was enjoind them, because their Considerations being altogether the same, they thought they might exhibit them altogether; Niellius, Goswinus, Matthisius, and Isaacus Frederici, gave up singly, every one by himself, the rest gave up none at all. What these Considerations were I know not; for they were not publisht. Then did the Praeses require them coram Deo to answer di­rectly and truly, First whether or no these were the Observations which they gave up to the States of Holland; to which was answer'd, that as far as they could remember they were, and some others besides. Second­ly, whether they had any more Considerations besides these; to which they all answered, No [...] Here Scultetus stood up, and in the name of the Palatine Churches, required a Copie of these Considerations upon the Catechism. We have saith he a command from our Prince to see that nothing be done in prejudice of our Churches. The Catechism is ours known by the name of the Palatine Catechism, and from us you receiv'd it. The Observations therefore upon it concern us, we require there­fore a draught of them, with purpose to answer them, and submit our answer to the judgement of the Synod. This request of the Palatines was thought very reasonable. These Considerations (I speak of those on the Confession; for those others I saw not) are nothing else but Queries upon some passages of the Confession, of little or no moment: so that it seems a wonder unto many, how these men, which for so many years past, in so many of their Books, have threatned the Churches with such wonderful discoveries of falshood and error in their Con­fession and Catechism, should at last produce such poor impertinent stuff. There is not, I perswade my self, any writing in the world, against which wits disposed to wrangle cannot take abundance of such exceptions. After this did the Praeses put the Remonstrants in minde of the judge­ment of the Synod past upon the manner of propounding their Theses on the Articles. Two things there were misliked. First their propounding so many Negatives. Secondly, their urging so much to handle the point of Reprobation, and that in the first place; whereas the Synod requir'd they should deliver themselves, as much as was [Page 46] possible in Affirmatives, and begin first from Election, and from thence come to the point of Reprobation in its due place. He required them therefore to signifie whether they would follow the Judgement of the Synod, or their own. They answered, that they had given up their rea­sons to justifie their proceeding, and otherwise to proceed their Consci­ence would not permit them. For, saith Episcopius, the point of Repro­bation is that quod maximè nos aegrè habet: that he could not endure that Doctrine concerning the absolute Decree of God; that God should peremptorily decree to cast the greatest part of mankinde away, only because be would. Corvinus answer'd, that he could not salvâ Conscientiâ versari in Ministerio, till that point were clear'd. Isaacus Frederici, that prae­cipu [...]m momentum was in that question: others, that in the question of Election they had no seruple; all their doubt was in the point of Re­probation: and therefore their Conscience would not suffer them to proceed farther in disputation, till that matter were discust. To this answer was made, that the Synod did not refuse to handle the matter of Reprobation, but thought it not fit to have it done in the first place. But when this would not content them, the Praeses proposed unto them, whether they were resolv'd so to proceed, or else to relinquish all farther disputation. They replied, they resolved to break of all farther Treaty, if that matter might not be handled. It was told them, that it should be treated of in its due place, but the question was only de modo procedendi, whether they should handle that first or no. Episcopius and some others of them gave answer, that for the order they did not precisely stand upon, mode de tota re agatur: but this answer they stood not unto. For when the Praeses told them again, that it was the pleasure of the Synod, first to handle of Election, and then of Reprobation as much as should seem necessary, and for the Churches good, and withall charged them to answer roundly and Categorically whether they would proceed according to this order: they answered, No. Then did the Praeses require them to withdraw, and give the Synod leave to ad­vise of this: The sum of that which past in the mean time was this: That their pretence of Conscience was vain, since it was not of any thing which concern'd Faith or good manners, but only of order and method in disputing, which could not at all concern the Conscience; that the Disputation must begin from Election. First because the order of Nature so requir'd, to deal of the Affirmative before the Negative; and again, because that all Divines, who ever handled this Question, did hold the same order; and the Holy Ghost in Scripture had taken the same course. That they should be assured in the name of the Synod, that they should have Liberty to diseusse the question of Predestination throughout. That whatsoever they pretended, yet the true end of [Page 47] their so hotly urging the question of Reprobation, was only to exagi­tate the Contra-Remonstrants Doctrine, and to make way for their own Doctrine in point of Election: I [...]dius observed, that it had been the Custome of all those who favour'd Pelagianism, to trouble the Church, with the question of Reprobation. D. Gomarus that saw that his Iron was in the fire, (for I perswade my self that the Remonstrants spleen is chiefly against him) began to tell us, that Episcopius had falsified the Tenent of Reprobation: that no man taught that God absolutely decreed to cast man away without sin: but as he did decree the end, so he did decree the means: that is, as he predestinated man to death, so he predestinated him to sin, the only way to death: and so he mended the question, as Tinkers mend Kettles, and made it worse then it was before.’ In summe the Synod caused a Decree to be penn'd to this purpose. That it should be lawful for the Remonstrants to propose their Doubts, both in the Question of Election, and of Reprobation: but for the order in disputation, which of the two should come first, they should leave that to the Synod, who thought it fitter to give, then to receive Laws; and that whereas they pretended Conscience, it was but vain, since there was nothing in Scripture against this Command of the Synod; nay that it was more agree­able with Conscience to obey then to withstand. Then were the Remon­strants called in, and after a short admonission better to advise them­selves, the Decree of the Synod was read unto them. And when they began to urge their Conscience, the Praeses Poliricus spake to this pur­pose: that there had heretofore been many Decrees made by the De­legates, but they had been all neglected, he therefore strictly warn'd them, that no man should dare to withstand any Decree either of the Magistrate, or of the Synod, either by open opposing against it, or by sullen silence, under pain of penalty according to the will of the Lords. When Episcopius had said aegerimè ferimus, and would have said some­what more, he was enjoyn'd silence, and so the Session ended, Mr. Praeses telling us, that the next Session we should come to the question, si per Remonstrantes liceret.

Now concerning Monsieur Moulins Proposals, of which your Lordship requir'd to know what I thought, I will deliver my self in my next Let­ters to your Honour. In the mean time commending your Honour to Gods good protection I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain and bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

UPon Friday 18/2 [...] of Decemb. in the morning it was long ere the Synod met. At length being come together, there were read the two De­crees; one of the States, another of the Synod, made the former Session: the reason of the repeating was the absence of some the day before. Then did the Praeses signify, that that very morning, immediately before the time of the Synod, he had received from the Remonstrants Letters satis prolix [...]s, which concern'd himself and the whole Synod; the perusal of which Letters was the cause of his long stay. The Letters were sent to the Secular Delegates to know whether or no they would have them read. Whilst the Seculars were advising of this point, there were brought in a great heap of the Remonstrants Books, and laid upon the Table before the Praeses: for what end it will appear by and by. The Secular Delegates signifie, that they think not fit that the Letters should be publickly read, and that the Remonstrants should immediately be call'd in. They being entred, the Praeses askt them whether they were ready to obey the Orders set down by the States and the Synod: They require to have their Letters read: but the Seculars willed them, in­stead of reading their Letters, to hearken to a Decree of the States, and forthwith was read a Decree sounding to this purpose: that the States strictly commanded, that nothing should be read or spoken in the Synod in prejudice of the Decree made yesterday; but that they should with­out any further delay come to the business in hand. The Remonstrants reply, that except they may most freely propose their mindes in both the parts of Predestination, both Election and Reprobation they refused to go further in Conference, for that their Conscience would not per­mit them. The Praeses replyed, that for Liberty of proposal of their opinions they could not complain; for the Synod had given them Li­bertatem Christianam, aequam, justam: but such an absolute Liberty as they seemed to require, of going as far as they list, of oppugning be­fore the Synod what opinions they pleased of learned men, this they thought unfit. And as for Conscience, they knew that the Word of God was the rule of it. Now what part of Scripture had they that fa­voured them in this behalf, or that did take any order and prescribe a Method in Disputation. By thus stiffely urging their Conscience they did exceedingly wrong the Decrees of the States and Synod, as if by them something against the Word of God, some impiety were com­manded. When the Praeses had thus said, he began to propose unto them certain Interrogatories concerning the Five Articles. Your Honour [Page 49] may be pleased to call to minde, that in one of my former Letters I shewed, that because the Remonstrants had given up their opinions very perplexedly and imperfectly, the Synod had thought good that the Prae­ses should propose them certain questions out of their own Writings, so the better to wrest their meaning from them. This was the Praeses now be­ginning to do; and this was the cause of the bringing in of the Books. The Interrogatory proposed was this, Whether or no they did acknow­ledge that the Articles exhibited in the Hague Conference did contein their opinions? Episcopius stept up, and required that it might be law­ful for them to set down their own Tenents, and not be forced to an­swer thus to other mens Writings. H. Leo in choler told the Praeses, that he did evidently see, that it was the drift of the Synod, to discredit them with the Magistrate, and that for his own part he would rather leave his Ministry, then make any answer to these Interrogatories. The Praeses here advised him to bethink himself seriously, whether his Con­science could assure him that this was a good cause of leaving his Mini­stry; because he might not proceed in Disputation according as he thought fit. Wezekius answer'd, that he would not submit himself to this examen, and, nisi posset liberrimè agi, he would not answer at all. The same was the sence of Hollingerus his answer. Episcopius plainly told them, nisi in omnibus liberum esset to do as they thought good, they would go no farther. For we are resolv'd, saith he, agere pre judicio no­stro, non pro judicio Synodi: then one of the Seculars stept up, and wil­led those words should be noted. The Praeses then told them, that the true cause of all this their indisposition was, that they forgot themselves to be Citati, and that they were not acquainted with being commanded. They were to remember, that they stood before God, before their Ma­gistrate, and that their cause was the cause of the Church, whose peace would not be procured by this behaviour. They might remember what they told the Forreign Divines in their Letters to them, that there was of late a great Metamorphosis in the State. Non estis nunc judices & Do­mini rerum, sed Citati: but as it seem'd, they were resolv'd to suffer, omnino nullum judicium de iis fieri. Episcopius here urged his Conscience. Adde Verbum Dei then saith the Praeses, shew us upon what Text of Scri­pture you ground your Conscience, otherwise you wrong both the Ma­gistrate and the Synod. Corvinus answered, that that scantling of Li­berty, which the Synod gave them, did not suffice their Consciences. Poppius likewise required larger Liberty, and that he might not be dealt withall by Authority, but by Reason. The Praeses answered, that in Conscience he could not give them greater Liberty, then they had already given them, and therefore askt him if he would answer to the Interrogatories. He stoutly replyed, Malo quidvis pati. Sapma replyed [Page 50] to the same purpose, and over and above added, Ut nostrum judicium non satisfacit Synodo, ita nec Synodi Judicium nostro. Rickwardius told the Synod, that they dealt not charitably with them, and openly pro­tested, as Episcopius had before done, non agemus pro judicio Synodi, sed pro judicio nostro. The Praeses replyed, vocem hanc esse intollerandam. Niellius excepted against this proceeding with them capitatim, and requir'd that they might consult in common what answer to give. For my self, saith he, I am a man of no ready speech, and unfit for sudden disputation. Too great advantage is taken against men, by this kinde of proceed­ing. Many members of the Synod, were they thus singled out to give a sudden answer, might easily peradventure be put to some distress. Nullam esse causam tam justam, de qua non facile possit triumphari, si de ea agatur tantum pro arbitrio adversarii. The Praeses told them that here was nothing requir'd, but that they would give a reason of their Faith, which they had for this many years taught in their Pulpits, & in their Writings, & therefore they could not be unprovided to give an answer; and for that they mentioned the Synod as an Adversary, they had been already taught sufficiently by the Forreign Divines that the Synod could not be counted pars adversa: they answer'd, that they requir'd a copie of the reasons given by the Forreign Divines, that they might consider of them; but they were denyed it. Here was by one of them, I know not whom, a reply made, that the Remonstrants in refusing to proceed except they might freely handle the point of Reprobation, did no other then the Contra-Remonstrants had formerly done in the Hague Cenference, who there openly refused to proceed, if they were urged to have the same point handled; notwithstanding the command of the Magistrate. Festus Hommius replyed, that the narration was fal­sified; for the Contra-Remonstrants did not simply refuse to deal in the point of Reprobation; neither did the Magistrate command them to do it, as now he had commanded them. And thus much did some of the Secular Deputies stand up and give witness unto. Episcopius here urged some words out of the Conference, to prove what was said; but what these words were I could not take. The Praeses went forward to propose the Interrogatories: Goswinus and Neranus answer'd as their fellows had formerly done. Isaacus Frederici urged for himself, that when he was removed from being a Member of the Synod, he was commanded conjungere se Citatis: this he could not do, if thus he was enforced to answer for himself alone. The Praeses answered, that by the Decree of the States they were accounted no Colledg; but only as they were cited, so were they to answer Capitatim and by Poll. And as for Isaacus, since he knew that the Synod accounted of him as of one of the Citati, he could not be ignorant that his quality was the same with theirs. [Page 51] Isaacus answer'd that he had evermore been averse from sudden dispu­tations, and therefore he meant not to answer. Here it was denyed by some of the Remonstrants, that the States had made any Decree that they should thus give answer capitatim. The Delegates for the Seculars stood up, and signified viva voce, that they had decreed it. Episcopius answer'd, that the Scribe (Heinsius) used some such words, but he took it to have been only some phrase of Heinsius, not any Decree of the Lords. Heinsius replyed that he did nothing but what he was command­ed. Episcopius protested, that till that hour he never heard that by any Decree of the States they were enjoyn'd to answer thus singly, and by Poll. Poppius signifyed that he thought it a thing very unbefitting both his age and his Ministry, to submit himself to such a Pedagogica collatio, as sometimes by Martinus Gregorii it had been styled. The Praeses then askt them all in general, whether they did persist in this their Answer. They all replyed, Yea. The Remonstrants therefore being dismist, the Praeses required the Synod to think what course they would take to proceed, protesting that he thought that all Liberty befitting was grant­unto them: and calling in the Remonstrants again, and advising them to consider what they did: they all replyed, that they were resolv'd, non capitatim, sed conjunctim respondere. The President of the Politicks commanded them, that without peculiar leave granted, none of them should go out of the Town. The Praeses Eclesiasticus advising the Synod to think of some course of gathering the Remonstrants opinions out of their Books, since they could not get them from themselves, dismist the Company.

The same day after dinner was there a Session, but very private, nei­ther was any stranger permitted to be there. Wherefore a Relation of that Session I must give only upon hearsay. Which I would now have done, but that I hasten to the Session this morning. And I understand that the Synod will dispatch some of their Company to the States Ge­neral, to signify how matters stand, and to know their further plea­sure. I will here therefore shut up my Letters, reserving the rest of the News till the next occasion, and commending your Honour to Gods good Protection I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain and bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

THe State of our Synod now suffers a great crisis, and one way or other there must be an alteration. For either the Remonstrant must yeeld, and submit himself to the Synod, of which I see no great probability: or else, the Synod must vail to them, which to do, far­ther then it hath already done, I see not how it can stand with their Ho­nour. How the case stood at the last Friday Session, your Honor may perceive by my letters written upon Saterday. Three things there were mainly urged by the Synod, and as mainly withstood by the Re­monstrants. The first was the point of order to be held in discussing the articles: whether the question of Reprobation were to be handled after the five articles, as the Synod would have had it, because it is none of the five points, and by order from the States nothing ought to be determined of till the five be discust: or whether it should be hand­led in the first place, as the Remonstrants would have it, because, as they pretended, their doubts lay especially there, and that being clear­ed, they thought they should shew good conformity in the rest. The second thing, was the putting of interrogatories, which thing they much disdain'd as Predagogicall. Third was the Liberty of disputation which was to be given the Remonstrant, whether it were to be limited and circumscribed by the discretion of the Synod, or large and unli­mited, accordingly as it pleas'd the Remonstrants. So strongly in these points did the Remonstrants withstand the Synod, that on Friday last it was verily thought they would have gone their way, and left the Commissioners to determine without them. But the Synod bearing an inclination to peace, and wisely considering the nature of their Peo­ple, resolved yet further, though they had yielded sufficiently unto them already, yet to trie a little more, the rather to stay the clamour of the Country, and cut off all suspicion of Partiall dealing. And for this purpose call'd a private Session on Friday in the Evening, to mollify some things in thein Decrees and Proceedings. From that Session all Strangers were excluded, and what I write, I do only upon Relation. The summ of it was this. The Praeses much complain'd him of the per­plexity he was in, by reason of the Pertinacy of the Remonstrants. For, saith he, if we labor to keep them here, they will be but a hin­drance to us, as hitherto they have been, if we dismiss them, we shall hazard our credit among the People, as if we purposed only to do what we please. Whatsoever it is that here we do, is by some that come hi­ther and write all they hear, presently eliminated, and carryed to [Page 53] them which hath caused many hard, reports to pass of us, both with them and otherwhere. He therefore commended to the Synod to consider whether there might not be found some means of accommoda­tion, which might somewhat mollify the Remonstrant, and yet stand well with the Honour of the Synod. And first, to make way, they read the Letters which in the morning by publick Decree, of the States were forbidden to be read (a pretty matter in so grave a place, to break those edicts in the Evening, which but in the Morning had been so solemnly pro­claimed) and to speak truth, their Decrees, have hitherto been mere mat­ter of formality to affright them a little, for none of them have been kept; as being found to be Pouder without Shot, and give a clap, but do no harme.) The Letters being read they began to deliver their minds. Some thought the Synod had been too favourable to the Remonstrants already, and that it were best now not to hold them if they would be going, since hitherto they had been, and for any thing appeared to the contrary, meant hereafter to be a hindrance to all Peacable and orderly proceedings. Others on the contrary thought fit that all should be granted them which they required, to su [...]cease the Interrogatories, to let them speak of Reprobation in what place, in what manner, and how much they pleased, since this took from them all pretence of ex­ception, and Prejudiced not the Synods power of determining what they pleased. A third sort thought it better to hold a middle course and under colour of Explanation, to mollifie some of their Decrees. This sort prevailed, and accordingly it was concluded that the Decree of the Synod (of this decree I gave your Honor the summ in my Satter­day Letters) made in the Morrning, should be more largely and Signi­ficantly drawne, and withall in it should be exprest how far it pleased the Synod to be indulgent unto the Remonstrants in the points in Question. The Forraign Divines were requested, that they would con­ceive some Reasons by way of Answer to these late Exceptions of the Remonstrants, and give them up in writing the next Session, to try whether by these means they might make them a little to relent. This is all was done that Session, which though it seem but little, yet being handled with much and long Speaking among so many, took up a long time,

On Munday the 21/31 of Decemb. in the Morning the Synod being set Johannes Polyander made a Latin Sermon. His Theme was the seventh verse of the two and fiftieth of Isaiah. O quam specioc [...] in montibus, &c. he spake much of the greatness of Eclesiasticall Function; First in re­gard of their dignity in the word Speciosi, Secondly of their industry, in the word Montibus, which argues them either to be Pastores or Spe­culatores; Thirdly of the suavity of their Doctrine in the word Peace [Page 54] and Good things; After this he fell Pathetically to bewail the torne State of the Belgick Churches: and to commend the diligence of the Synod in endeavouring to establish their Churches Peace. This was the sum of his Sermon, it being only a passionate strain, and contein­ing nothing much Remarkable either for Doctrine or News. The Praeses in the Name of the Synod gave him great thanks: and signified that he had many causes Sperare optima quaequ [...]e de Synodo: but that Gods good Spirit was indeed amongst them, he gather'd especially by this Argument, that so many Learned and Pious Sermo [...]s had in this place been lately made and so He dismist the Company.

Concerning Monsieur Moulins proposition of which your Honor re­quired my opinion, thus I think, His project consists of two heads, of a Generall Confession, and of a peaceable treaty for Union with the Lutheran Churches. I imagine that the Generallity of the Confessions must not include the Lutheran. For if it doth, then are both parts of his proposition the same: it being the same thing to procure one gene­rall Confession of Faith and a Union. Supposing then that this Confessi­on stretches not to them, I will do as Jupiter doth in Homer, [...]. I will grant him one part, and deny [...]him the other. For a generall Confession of Faith, at least so farr as those Churches stretch who have Delegates here in the Synod, I think his project very possible, there being no point of Faith in which they differ. If therefore the Churches shall give power to their Delegates, to propose it to the Synod, I see no reason but it should pass. But I did not like the intimation concerning Church-Goverment. It had I think been better not mentioned: not that I think it possible that all Chur­ches can be Govern'd alike (for the French Church being sub cruce can­not well set up Episcopall jurisdiction) but because it may seem to his Majesty of Great Brittain, that his excepting the point of Government might not proceed so much from the Consideration of the Impossibility of the thing, as from want of love and liking of it in the Person. Now for that part of the proposition which concerns the Lutheran, either it aimes at a Union in Opinion or a mutuall tolleration. The first is without all question impossible. For in the point of the Sacrament and the dependences from it, as the ubiquity of Christs manhood, the Per­son of Christ, the communicatio idiomatum, &c. Either they must yield to us, or we to them, neither of which probable. Their opinions have now obtein'd for a Hundred years, ever since the beginning of the Re­formation, and are derived from the chief Author of the Reformation. It is not likely therefore that they will easily fall, that have such Au­thority and so many years to uphold them. But I suppose, Monsieur Moulins intended only a mutuall tolleration; and be it no more, yet if [Page 55] we consider the indisposition of the persons with whom we are to deal, I take this likewise to be impossible. The Lutherans are divided into two sorts, either they are Molliores, as they call them, or Rigidi What hope there may be of moderation in the first I know not, but in the second we may well despair of. For they so bear themselves, as that it is evident they would rather agree with the Church of Rome, then with the Calvinist. He that is conversant in the writings of Hunnius and Grawer [...]s, will quickly think as I do. The first of which hath so bitterly written against Calvin, that Parsons the Jesuit furnisht himself by compiling Hunnius his Books. If the whole lump be Leaven'd, as those two pieces, which I but now named, they are certainly too sower for moderate men to deal with. The French wits are naturally active and projecting; and withall carry evermore a favourable con­ceit to the possibility of their projects. Out of this French conceit I sup­pose proceeded this of M. Moulins.

Mr. Deane went away to the Hague, giving notice to no man. I un­derstood not till dinner that day, of any intent he had to go. I wisht him an ill journey for this discurtesy; but I hope he had a good one. I fear I well wearied your Honor with these my long Letters, I will there­fore take my leave, commending your Lordship to Gods good pro­tection.

Your Honours Chaplain, and Bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord.

WHat hath lately been done at the Hague in the business concerning our Synod, and what Decree the States have made to restrain the exorbitancy of the Remonstrants, I suppose is sufficiently known unto your Lordship, as a thing done in your presence. So much thereof it as shall serve the present purpose I will take, and leave the rest to your, Honors better knowledg. Upon Thursday the third of January, stylo novo, the Commissioners being met, and the Delegates ready to de­clare the pleasure of the States, the Remonstrants being call'd in, two of them were found wanting, Isaacus Friderici, and Henricus Leo: for Isaacus it was answered, that he had leave on Friday last, of the Prae­tor of the Town to go abroad: for Leo it was answered, that they knew not where he was. Having sent for Leo, and awhile in vain ex­pected him, the Delegates proceeded to declare the will of the Lords, and signified that the States allowed the Proceedings of the Synod, and [Page 65] commanded the Remonstrants to obey for the present, and whatsoe­ver Decrees hereafter the Delegates and Synod should enact; and if they refused to obey, they should expect both Civill and Eclesiasticall censure. If this served not, yet the Synod should go forward, and gather their opinions out of their books and writings; That the Re­monstrants should be commanded to remain in the Town, and be rea­dy to appear whensoever the Synod should summon them, and answer plainly and directly to such Interrogatoryes as it should please the Sy­nod to propose them. This first was read in Dutch, and afterwards for the information of the Forreigners it was put into Latin. The Praeses then put to them that Question, which in one of the former Sessi­ons he had proposed, viz. Whether or no they did acknowledg the Ar­ticles set down in the Hague Conference to contein their opinions, and amongst the rest, that first concerning Election, which by the Scribe was read unto them out of the Book. Episcopius beginning to make answer, Martinus Gregorii commanded that their answers should be taken and set down in their own words. Episcopius his answer was this. Omnibus in timore Domini expensis, & adjunctis etiam ad Deum precibus, non possum impetrare ab anima mea, ut aliam agendi rationem sequar, quam eam quae ultimo responso meo exhibita est. This their answer, of which he speaks, was given on Saturday last, as I have inform'd your Honor, and it was this, that except the Synod in antecessum, as they spake, would beforehand promise them, that they should have free Liberty to propose their own opinion of Reprobation, and refute the Contra-Remonstrants Doctrine in that point together with the Doctrine if all those whom the Contra-remonstrants held for Orthodox, and that as far as they pleas'd with­out receiving any check from the Synod, they were resolved to go no further. The same was the answer of the rest, with some alteration of words, for they were questioned one by one, every one by himself. Hollingerius answered, that he could not eam recipere legem, eamque ingredi viam, which tended openly to the ruin and oppression of the better cause. For by so doing he should greivously wound his Con­science before God, and cast irreparabile scandalum before the true wor­shippers of God. Imitabor itaque exemplum Christi: Silebo, et omnem eventum commendabo illi qui venturus est adjudicandum vivos & mortuos. Neranus spake after the same manner, and added, that the Reasons why they thus thought themselves bound to answer, they had exhibited this Morning to the Secular Delegates. Poppius gave answer thus, Respondeo, cum debita erga summas Potestates reverentia, me invocato sanctis­simo Dei nomine, & retota etiam atque etiam expensa apud animum meum, non posse des [...]iere ab ultimo meo responso. Exhibuimus rationes Dominis De­legatis in quibus etiamnam acquiesco, certo persuasus id quod facio Deo [Page 57] Optimo maximo & Christo Jesu probatum iri. Martinus Gregiiro advi­sed him here to bethink himself a little whether or no he spake not these words in Passion (for he seem'd to be somewhat Cholerick.) He replied, that he spake them with his best advice. The Praeses perceiving that they were resolved not to Answer, concluding the questions which he had proposed, thought that the Synod might without scruple accept of the first Article in their Remonstrance at the Hague, for their proper te­nent. He proceeded therefore to propose unto them another Interro­gatory: Whether or no, that Decree which they spake of in that first Article, did contein the whole Decree of Election, and so were the main ground of Christianity; or whether there were not some Decree besides this. The behavio [...]r and answers of the Remonstrants carryed the same Copie of Countenance with the former, and Poppius plainly answered, Quia conscientiae meae à Synodo non habetur ratio, non expecto ab ea instructionem in veritate: ideóque consul [...]um non est respondere. The Praeses then citing some Texts out of Johannes Arnoldi, and Arminius, and the Hague Conference, concluded that it was their opinion, that besides that Decree mention'd in the Conference, they acknowledged no farther Decree of Election. In the third place this question was put the Remonstrants: whether when they taught, that God chose Man propter fidem praevisam, this were not rather to be called an Election of (Faith) then of the person; since the person was chosen for the quali­ties sake. But they were still the same. Neranus was the man that gave it, but it was the common answer of them all: Si liceat nobis de Reprobatione, & Contra-Remonstrantium sententia super ea agere quantum nobis conscientia nostra & Eclesiarum nostrarum aedificatio persuadebit su [...] ­ficere, & boc nobis in antecessum promittatur, libentur ad quaesita responde­bimus: si minus, silere malumus. Now because they had often appeal'd to their Reasons exhibited in Scripto to the Secular Delegates that Morning, the Delegates thought good to read the writing in the Audi­ence of the Synod. It contein'd almost no new thing, but was a repe­tition of their old exceptions, that their Liberty was prejudiced, that the Synod was pars adversa (and for farther illustration of this, they reckoned up all the sharp speeches that either Scultetus or the Divines of Geneva, or any other had used against them) that their Consciences would not allow of this manner of proceeding, &c.

This last Night was there a private meeting, not by way of Session, but only it was a Conference to which some of the Graver & Discreet­er of the Synod were call'd. The end was only to advise what course is best to be holden in the following disputations. It was thought fit that the Remonstrants should alwayes be present at their meetings, and questions should be proposed them: but the Synod should proc [...]ed whe­ther [Page 57] they answer'd or no: and so they concluded of a course to gather their opinions out of their Books. Mr. Amyes will inform your Lord­ship more largely peradventure in some farther circumstances, his sud­den and unexpected departure hath made me scrible up this, more [...]udely and concisely then I had intended, because I was loth to miss of so good a Messenger. Wherefore I cease any further to trouble your Honor, and remit you to Mr. Amyes larger Relation.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty and Service, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

UPon Wednesday the ninth of January, stylo novo, the Synod met not at all. Time was given the Deputies to advise of the Theses which were to be handled: only at Night the English went in private to the Praeses to consult what manner of proceeding were fittest to be used. What counsel they gave him I know not: but this I see, that the course he taketh is not altogether so well approved by them. Upon Thurs­day the tenth of January the Commissioners met in the Morning in private, where Mr. Praeses proposed unto them four things to be consider­ed of. First, whether or no the Theses proposed by him formerly did not perfectly contein the opinion of the Remonstrants. Secondly, An electio sit una an multiplex, that so he might exclude the Remon­strants Division of Election in Revocabilem & irrevocabilem; completam & incompletam, &c. Thirdly, An electio sit ex fide & obedientia, an potius ad fidem & obedientiam. For this is one main point of difference: the Remonstrant teaches, that God foresaw only who would believe, and so ordein'd and Elected only to Glory: the Contra-Remonstrant teacheth, that God ar­dein'd who should believe, and so predestinated and Elected both to Grace and Glory. The fourth thing proposed was concerning the means how true believers become sure of their Salvation. After this the Synod was requested to deliver themselves concerning a Method of proposing and examining the Theses proposed. The greatest part of them liked well of that form which the Praeses proposed. The English, the South-Hol­landers and Festus Hommius conceived severally a form of Theses, every man according to his discretion, and exhibited them to the Judgement of the Synod, and had them publikely read: this was the sum of that meeting. A Copie of the Theses drawn by our Englishmen I will send your Honor, as soon as I can procure the sight of them.

[Page 58]The same day at Evening the Deputies met in private as before. They continued yet their consultation upon the point of manner of proceed­ing. The Praeses invented certain new Interrogatories and propounded them to the Synod, to know their mindes whether it were not fit to propose them to the Remonstrants. There was great doubt whither this were a thing fit to be done, since it is not likely that the Remon­strants behaviour in this behalf will be any other then hitherto it had been. This question, as it seems, was the greatest part of their consultation. It was at length Concluded that the Remonstrants should be call'd in, and the Interrogatories put to them, the next Session. This Morning therefore we look for an open Session, where we shall un­derstand the last nights Interrogatories, and the whole business of that Session. For I must Confess, I do not well conceive what was then done, or to what purpose. I perceive there is some variance about their form of proceeding: Mr. Praeses is desirous that the course he hath thought of may take place; the English and others, that some more ready and compendious way may be taken. What will be the Issue of it, I cannot yet conjecture as soon as I can understand any thing, I will acquaint your Honor, till when I humbly take my leave.

Your Honors Chaplain and Bounden in all Duty and Service, Jo. Hales.

I suppose Mr. Amyes can better inform your Honor of this last nights business. He hath been much with the Praeses, and I imagine understands most of his intent.

Right Honourable my very good Lord,

YOur Lordship by your kinde Letters doth engage me so far, as I should think it not the least part of my happinesse, if I could but hit on any way whereby I might express, in any proportion, my thank­fulness for the same; but since that cannot be, acknowledgement of non solvendo must pass for satisfaction. In that Letter which I wrote to my Lord of Buckingham, (wherein I mentioned your Lordships wonder­ful kindeness to me) I entreated his Lordship to move his Majesty, that either by my Lord of Canterbury his Letters, or Mr. Secretaries, [...] being joyned with the English, we might make up one Collegium Theologorum magnae Britanniae: Now this last week my Lord sent me word, that he gave my Letter to the King, who did read it over, and liked the motion [Page 60] well, and so accordingly gave order for it: he sent me word likewise, that the King had the Episcop [...]i Theses which I sent, and that he was mightily incensed at them. So my very good Lord, I [...]am well satisfied in that point; for we have now divided the business among us D. Ward his part assigned to him is, Impugnatio Decreti de salvandis fidelibus, & unico Decreto praede tinationis: My Lord of Land aff his part is, Responsio ad Argumenta Remonstrantium, quibus prius illud decretum conantur stabilire: Dr. Goad his part, Impugnatio Electionis peremptoriae ex fide prae­visa: and demonstratio hujus Propositionis, quod fides sit fructus Electionis, which doth coincidere with the other. D. Davenant his part is Orthodoxae sententiae assertio, & vindicatio rationum ii Contra-Remonstrantium ab objectionibus Remonstrantium in utroque membro. My part is, Solutio omnium argumentorum quae afferunt Remonstrantes contra Orthodoxam sen­tentiam. The confusion here in handling of business is very great; they do not know how to put any thing to Committees to agree of business, and then afterward to propound it to the Synod to be approved or dis­proved; which hath been the custom observed in all Councils and Synods: but nothing is known till it be propounded in the Synod, and then there are almost as many several voices as heads; if your Lord­ship would give your advice to some of the Estates in this kinde, it may be they would apprehend it, and we should bring business to some issue. The Palatine Divines and we have met now three times, and we have agreed on the same Propositions, and have resolved to call one of every Colledge of the Forreign Divines, and communicate the same with them; that so, if it be possible, all we strangers may set up, and throw down the same Conclusions. For the Provincials, for any thing I can see, they are so far set against the Remonstrants, I wish not their persons as well as their opinions, that I am afraid they will not like well of our moderation. For the Dismission of the Remonstrants, since your Lord­ship is pleased to take notice of it, I hope I may without offence say that it was such, as certainly did the Synod much wrong On Friday when they seemed to yield, then the Exteri Theologi could not be heard for the continuing of them in the Synod. Nay the trick which was put upon them was a little too palpable; For the Delegates had their Decree of Dismission written before they came into the Synod, yet our voices were asked, hoping it should have been answerable to their Decree: but finding it was otherwise, without so much as laying their heads toge­ther for consultation, they published a Decree which they brought written with them into the Synod. On Munday the late Acts of the Remonstrants incredible obstinacy being read; the Theologi exteri gave suffrages for their dismission; onely one to wit Steinius gave a bitter sentence; their voices being asked only, who are not above a third part of the Synod, [Page 61] they were call'd in and dismist with such a powdering spe [...]ch as I doubt not but your Lordship hath heard with grief enough, I protest I am much afflicted when I think of it. For if the Remonstrants should write, that the President pronounced a sentence, which was not the sentence of the Synod, they should not lie. The Civil Lawyers and Cannon of France, who write much about the formalities omitted in the Council of Trent, urge Exceptions of lesse moment then these; so neither was there a­bove a third part of the voices asked, ex quibus sententia ferri [...]quit: neither was the sentence conceived in writt, and approved by the Synod, and the bitter words in the Sentence were not the words of any of the suffrages, unless that some of them were spoken by one man only. Your Lordships Censure of that Sentence is just and honourable. Mr. Dean of Worcester at his going from hence, with the Remembrance of his service to your Lordship, desired me to signifie to your Lordship, that he could not possibly meet with Deodatus. The Remonstrants, (as Heinsius but now told me) have sent a very virulent and bitter writing to Mr. Bogarmanne, it may be now we shall hear of it at the Synod, whe­ther we are going: so with the remembrance of my humblest Ducie and service to your Lordship and your worthy Lady, I must conclude a Petitioner, that your Lordship would ever be pleased to reckon among your true observers

Your very dutiful, and faithful Servant W. Belcanqual.
Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

IT hath pleased the Synod at length finally to discharge themselves of the Remonstrants, and to proceed according as they had projected by gathering their opinions out of their Books. The manner of their dissmission was this. Upon Munday the 4/14 of January the Commissioners being set, the Praeses Polyticus made a short speech to this purpose. That they had hitherto labou'rd as much as in them lay to have the Decree of the Estates to be kept, and to bring the Remonstrants to some reasonable resolution. And for this purpose had upon Saturday last in the After­noon, covented them and advised them to give up their opinions, qui­etly, orderly, freely, and to refute the contrary as much as they thought fit, reserving alwayes to the Synod Authority to judge of what was convenien [...], what was sufficient, without which it could be no Synod. That they had undertaken in their behalf, that the Synod should so manage the b [...]siness, that they should have no just cause to complain. [Page 61] But all this labor was lost, neither would they be brought to relinquish their former plea; for in a writing exhibited unto them they signified so much in effect, in which writing they refer'd themselves to such con­ditions as had been by them partly scripto, partly viva voce formerly required. Wherefore they thought fit that it should be proposed to the Synod to judge whether or no there had not been sufficient order taken to give contentment to the Remonstrants, if at least any thing could content them. Yet they thought it convenient once more to call the Remonstrants before them, to see whether they would leave their holdfast and submit to the Synod. If no, then they should with­out any farther delay proceed to judge of their opinions by collecting them out of their Writings, This was the sum of that speech. The wrighting mentioned by the Praeses Politicus in his speech was then read first in Dut [...]h, then in Latine, in which the Remonstrants declared that they would submit themselves unto the Synod upon such conditions as had formerly been required, otherwise no. After this was the Synod requested to deliver their opinions, whether order sufficient to content the Remonstrants had not been taken. It was judged generally that more could not be granted them then had already been, which was they thought abundantly sufficient. Scultetus did in brief give as it were a history or rather an inventory of the Remonstrants behaviour since their first appearance before the Synod, and shewed how contumeliously they had handled it, how they had contemned the Decrees of the Secu­lars and of the Synod, that they had abused them with lyes, deceitfull speeches, &c. And concluded that it was unfit the Synod should farther condescend unto them. When the Forreigners had spoken, it was thought sufficient, nei [...]her did the Praeses proceed to ask the judgment of the Provincialls, knowing belike before what it was The Remonstrants then being called in the Praeses signified to them that upon Friday Morning they had given good hope of peacable dealing, and at least in shew seemed to forgoe such conditions as they had for­merly claimed, he was now in the name of the Synod to requre them to answer Categorically, yea or no, an veluit simpliciter & sine conditione parere Decreto Ordinum & Synodi & ita simplicitur venire in rem praesentem. The Remonstrants for answer require that they may be permitted to read a short writing which they had conceived. It was answered that it needed not, there was no more required, but their yea or no, but they persisted in their proposall, the Writing was taken and delivered to the Seculars to be perused, and they commanded to withdraw. There writing was read, wherein having signified; how welcome the moderation held by the Forreigners lately was unto them; whereas they were injoyned to obey the Synodicall Decree, or look [Page 62] for punishment, their answer was that it could not stand with their Conscience to promise Obedience to all Synodicall Decrees, since ma­ny of them stood not with Common AEquity, and as for Mulct and Pu­nishment, they left it to the Discretion of those to whose Government they were subject; they would provide their patience. That they in­tend not to contest with the Synod concerning order: that they promi­sed to submit: but with such conditions as they had heretofore menti­on'd. Thus as the Praeses said what they gave with the one hand, with the other they took away again. The Remonstrants being again called in, they were asked every man whether they acknowledged this answer, they all replyed, they did, and so were commanded to subscribe their Names to it, which forthwith was done. The Praeses then Bespake them on this manner. ‘The moderation of the Foreigners which you so much extolled, proceeded out of their Errour which to day having understood, they have pronounced concerning you another sentence.’

‘Upon Friday last when you seemed to disclaim all illimitted Liber­ty, and gave hope of some Conformity, they dealt with the Synod in favour of you: but to day understanding you to abuse the Sy­nod, and fly back again to your former claim, they all with one consent think you indignos esse quibuscum diutius res agatur. One a­mongst them there is who hath taken the paines to Mappe out your behaviour since your first footing in the Synod. Pretend you what you will, the true cause of this your indisposition is this, that you take the Synod for the Adverse part, and account your selves in Equall place with them, this conceit hath manifested it self in all your actions. Theses upon the question in controversy you gave up, but so confused, so nothing to the purpose that no use can be made of them. The Decrees of the Synod you have openly contemned. The Interrogatories put you, you have refused to answer. Your Ci [...]atory Letters notwithstanding the sence of them was expounded by those who gave them, and therefore best knew it, you have interpreted as you list, and profest that you will proceed according to your own judgement, and not according to the judgement of the Synod. At length on Friday last you seemed to lay by your claim of illimited Li­berty and give some hope of some conformity; but all this in your writing now Exhibited you have retracted. The Synod hath dealt mildly gently and favourably with you, but sinceritati, lenitati, man­suetudini Synody, fra [...]des, artes, & mendacia opp [...]s [...]istis. I will dis­miss you with no other Elogie then one of the Forreigners gave you, quo cepistis pede eodem cedite, with a lye you made your en [...]rance into the Synod, with a lye you take your leave of it, in denying lately that ever you protested your selves provided to give answer on the [Page 64] Articles, or to have had any such writing ready, which all the Synod knows to be false. Your actions all have been full of fraud ae­quivocations and deceit. That therefore the Synod may at length piously and peacably proceed to the perfecting of that business for which it is come together, you are dismist. But assure you the Sy­nod shall make known your pertinacy, to all the Christian World, and know that the Belgick Churches want not arma Spiritualia, with which in time convenient they will proceed against you.’ Quamobrem vos Delegatorum & Synodi nomine dimitto, Exite. So with much mutter­ing the Remonstrants went out; and Episcopius going away said, Dominus Deus judicabit de fraudibus & mendaciis: Sapma Exeo ex ecclesia ma­lignantium: and so the Synod brake up.

The same day at night there was a privat Session; what was done in it I understand not yet. I conjecture it was concerning the order of proceeding. As soon as I shall understand what was done I will ac­quaint Your Lordship with it, and till then I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain and bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord.

SInce the Dismission of the Remonstrants there hath not been any publick Session, and as I Conjecture for a while will not be. They are altogether in Consultation concerning their order of proceeding, and in gathering materialls out of the Remonstrants Books, whence they may Frame their Theses and propositions which must be the sub­ject of their disputation. This they purpose, as I conceive, to do through out all the Five Articles, before they come to the open discus­sing of any one, for they are past from the first, and gone one to the se­cond. So that till this Consultation be ended there will not be a­ny great occasion of news.

Against Mr. Praeses so rough handling the Remonstrants at their Dis­mission there are some exceptions taken by the Deputies themselves. The Forreigners think themselves a little indirectly dealt withall, in that it being proposed to the whole Synod to pass their judgement concerning the behaviour of the Remonstrants, the Provincials were not not at all required to speak, and by these meanes the envy of the whole business was derived upon the Forreigners. Whereas on the contrary when the like question was proposed formerly, and the Forreigners had [Page 65] spoken very favourable in ihe Remonstrants behalf, the Provincials stroke in, and establisht a rigid sentence, against the Forreigners liking, So that there is little regard given to the judgement of the Forreigners, ex­cept they speak as the Provincials would have them. Again upon the Tues­day Session in the morning, there being a repetition made, according to the custom, of the late Synodical acts, when they came to the act of the Remonstrants Dismission, Lud. Crosius of Breme signified that he per­ceived that Mr Praeses in that business had been paulo commotior, and had let slip, verba quaedam acerba, which might well have been spared; that in so great an act, as that was, a little more advice and consideration might have been used. The Synod ought to have been consulted with, and a form of Dismission conceived and approved of by all, which should in the name of the Synod have bin pronounced, and registred; whereas now the Synod stands indicted of all that unnecessary roughness which then was practised. It had stood better whith the Honor of the Synod to have held a more peaceable and passionless order. The Preses replied, that for Dismissing the Remonstrants without a Synodical form, it was from the Secular Lords, who willed him immediately to proceed, What his apologie was for his passionate speeches I know not. The Session was in private, and I have nothing but by relation. I hear nothing yet from Mr. Preses concerning the French project: as soon as I shall hear ought, I will not fail to acquaint your Honor till when I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and Bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.

The bringer of this Letter is Sir John Berks Son.

Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

YOur Honour shall here receive the Decree of the Synod mentioned in my last Letters, conteining the form of proceeding which they will hold in discussing the Articles. The morning they mean the Depu­ties shall spend in private, after dinner in open Synod the chief places of Scripture upon which the Remonstrant grounds himself shall be opened, and answers fram'd to the Arguments drawn from thence. According to which resolution they began to proceed upon Thursday the [...]/17 of Janu. in the Evening. The question proposed then was, An praeter Decretum de salvandis fidelibus, nullum sit aliud Decretum Electionis. The Remon­strant affirms there is none, and for this produces certain places of Scri­pture. The Contra-Remonstrant grants that there is such a Decree, but withall contends that this is but a Secondary Decree. For God [Page 66] (saith he) first resolved upon the Salvation of some certain singular persons, and in the second place decreed to give them Faith as a means to bring the former Decree to pass. But before this question came on the stage, other things were done at that time. The Synod therefore being met, at the time mentioned, First the Letters from the States concerning D. Goads Admission were read, and after that, some were sent to his Lodging to conduct him to the Synod. In the mean time were there Letters from Mr. Dean to the Synod produced and read, together with a form of Valediction and farewell, by him conceived. I suppose Mr. Dean ac­quainted your Honor with the thing whilst hee was with you, which is the cause I have not sent a transcript of it: as soon as I understand your Lordship hath not seen it, I will cause a Copy of it to be taken. It was then concluded by the Synod that the Praeses, and Assessors, together with the Seculars Scribe, should, after the Synod was ended, repair to Mr. Dean, and take their leave of him in the name of all the rest, and by him commend their love and service unto his Majestie, and render him humble thanks for his princely care, All which the same night was done. Now was Dr. Goade come to the Synod, and according to the manner, conducted to his seat, where being sate, he made a short speech, which being ended, the Synod proceeded to dicusse the question above metion'd. The Decree is, that the Professors shall expound those places of Scripture, on which the Remonstrant builds. Wherefore Jo. Polyander who is the Senior Professor, being absent, Sibrandus Lubber­tus who is the next in order, tooke the question, and answer'd such Texts as were urged by the Adversary, one out of the 3. of John, 36. Qui cre­dit in filium habet vitam aeternam: qui non credit non videbit vitam, sed ira Dei manet super eo. Another out of the 1. to the Ephes. 4. Elegit nos in Christo ante jacta mundi fundamenta: A third out of 11. to the Hebrews Impossibile est sine fide placere Deo. The summe of Sibrandus his answer at that, time I can not give. For being misinform'd that it would be but a private Session, I was not at it. Besides Sibrandus no man spake any thing that night. As soon as he had done, it was signified by the Praeses that the Campenses, who were lately cited, were now ready to make their appearance. It was concluded, that because the business of the Synod should not be interrupted, certain out of the company should be appointed to hear the cause and make relation of it to the Synod: so the Praeses concluded the Session with a prayer, in which he prayed for Mr. Deans Health, and for the good success of his journey. This was the summe of what was then done, and so I end, com­mitting your Honor to Gods good protection,

Your Honors Chaplain and bounden in all Duty and Service, Jo. Hales.

The Synodical Decree of the sixt of January, concerning the manner of handling the Five Articles.

COllatis diligenter per D. Praesidem, Assessores & Scribas ex prae­scripto illustrium D D. Delegatorum suffragiis omnibus, tum Scripto tum viva voce heri ac nudiustertius in veneranda hac Synodo dictis super modo agendi circa examen & judicium quinque Articulorum: compertum est plurimis placere, ut singula quamprimum Collegia ad examen illud in­stituendum judiciumque formandum serio se accingant. Ac primo quidem loco in manus sumant primum Articulum. In cujus examine, ut & dein­ceps in coeterorum, ad interrogatoria & Theses a D. Praeside dicta [...]a, ut & postea dictanda, quilibet in primis attendat. Si quis tamen plura, quae ad sententiam Remonstrantium proponendam & explicandam facere possunt, quae forte in Thesibus & interrogatoriis istis indicata non sunt, addere velit & possit, id cuique liberum relinquatur: & ut privatim singula collegia ante Meridiem de hoc examine cogitabunt; ita post Meridiem ne Synodus intermissa, ac nulla Auditorum Spectatorumque ex omnibus passim oris quotidie accurrentium ratio haberi videatur, publicus, nisi omnino res ipsa aliud postulaverit, conventus celebrabitur: in quo potissima Remonstran­tium argumenta maxime ex Scripturis desumpta, ipsorumque adeo ad con­trariae sententiae argumenta maxime ex Scripturis desumpta responsiones proponentur & excutientur, praeeuntibus D D. Doctoribus ac Professoribus nunc nostratibus, nune exteris ad Arbitrium D. Praesidis: relicta interim singulis libertate dictis addendi, & suam etiam [...]e praepositis argumentis sententiam dicendi. Quare necesse quoque erit ut quilibet serio de argumen­tis istis & responsionibus apud se cogitet ac meditetur. Dabit autem operam D. Praeses singulis Sessionibus, ut ea de quibus proxima Sessione erit agen­dum universae Synodo significet. Ac si quis fuerit, qui de quoquam, quod forte a D. Praeside monitum non fuerat, judicium Synodi au­dire sua vel aliorum causa desideret, ejus, si privatim D. Praesidem ap­pellaverit, ratio habebitur, prout ipse adhibito consilio Assessorum & Scri­barum, ac si opus fuerit plurium, ex usu Synodi, aut rei qua de agitur, esse existimaverit. Judicium formatum de quolibet Articulo, additis rati [...]nibus quibus subnixum est, Praesidi privatim exhibebitur asservandum, donec de omnibus judicium Articulis judicium formatum & similiter exhibitum fuerit.

Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

UPon wednesday the 6/16 of January there was no Session at all in the morning, in the evening there was one, but in private. In this they have concluded the question about their manner of proceeding. There was a forme conceived and concluded upon, and transcribed by all the Deputies. They concluded likewise their Theses upon the first Article, which they purpose publickly to discusse. It was late in the evening ere this Session was done, so that I could not get the Copies of either of these, but in my morrow. Letters I will not fail by Gods grace to send your Honor the transcripts of them. Besides, there were some things of smaller weight advised of. First, whether in delivering of their judgements upon the Articles in Controversie, the Forreigners should begin, as hitherto they had done. The Provincials at first strain'd courtesie, and thought it no point of good manners, to take Precedency of the Forreigners: but it is concluded, they must, as be­ing better tried in these Controversies then the Forreigners are, and therefore meete it was they should give them more time to advise. The second thing proposed was concerning their Auditory. For they questi­on'd whether they should admit of hearers, or do all in private. Old Sibrandus was very hot against the Auditory, and thought it not fit that any care should be had of them, as being only Mulierculae, & pu [...]enli juvenes incauti. There is some reason of this complaint of his, for many youthes, yea and Artificers, and I know not what rabble besides thrust in, and trouble the place. As for women whole troopes of them have been seen there, and the best places for spectators reserved for them. Which thing must needes expose the Synod to the scorne of those, who ly in wait to take exception against it. But the Synod hath determined in favour of their Auditory, that Sessions consultatory and Provisionall shall be private, but Sessions wherein they discusse and con­clude shall be publick. Meetings heerafter will not be so frequent, for men will take more time to advise. This is the summ, as farr as I can learn, of what was done at that time. To morrow your Lordship shall receive farther information, till which time I humbly take my leave.

Your Honors Chaplain and bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

UPon Friday the 8/18 of January in the Evening, the Synod being met, Doctor Gomarus answered some parts of Scipture, laid hold of by the Remonstrants, after the same manner as D. Sibrandus had done the night before, the places by him discust were for the more part the same which in the former Session had been handled. The order of discussing these arguments is by continued discouse after the manner of La [...]in Sermons, or rather of Divinity Lectures, such as are read in our Schools. In one thing the Discretion of both these Doctors was much approved. For both of them holding that extream and rigid tenent, which Beza and Perkins first of all acquainted the World with, yet notwithstanding they held an unpartiall and even course, and never stroke upon it. When Gomarus had spoken towards an hour and half, my Lord Bishop deliver'd himself concerning the meaning of the same places of Scrip­ture, and after him certain other of the forraign Divines. After this same Copy will all the news be yet this ten days or more, & these even­ing Sessions are only to entertain the Auditory, not to determine any thing at all. Each company must in private conceive and set down in writing their opinion concerning the Articles; and when they have so done the Writings must be exhibited to the Synod, and out of them must be gathered the Conclusion which must stand for good. This is a thing which will require some good time, and in the mean while be­sides these Theologicall Lectures, there shall be nothing done publickly in the Synod. The same day at night Bisterfieldius, one of the Depu­ties lately come out of Nassau died. When his Funerall will be I know not. Upon Friday Morning Mr. Dean took his journey toward Middle­bourgh. Upon Saturday their was no Session at all Mr. Balcangual com­mends his Service unto your Honor, and required me to signify to you thus much, that he had lately spoken with Musius, but understood no­thing by him concerning the matter which your Lordship is privy too. He willed me moreover to inform your Honor, That whereas you late­ly spake to Mr. Dean to deal with Deodati, Mr. Dean by reason of his indisposition of Body, and sudden departure; found no means to talk with him. Thus with humble recommendation of my Service to your Honor, I take my leave.

Your Honors Chaplain and bounden in all Duty and Service, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

‘THe Errours of publike actions (if they be not very gross) are with less inconvenience tollerated then amended. For the danger of alteration, of disgracing and disabling Authority, makes that the Fortune of such proceedings admits no regress, but being once howsoever well or ill done, they must for ever after be upheld. The most partialls spectator of our Synodal acts can not but confess, that in the late dismission of the Remonstrants, with so much choler and heat, there was a great oversight committed, and that whether we respect our common profession of Christianity, Quae nil nisi justum s [...]adet & lene; or the quality of this people apt to mutine by Reason of long Liber­ty, and not having learnt to be imperiously commanded, in which argument the Clergy above all men ought not to have read their first Lesson. The Synod therefore to whom it is not now in integro to look back, and Rectify what is amiss without disparagement, must now go forward and leave events to God, and for the Countenance of their action do the best they may.’ For this purpose have they lately by Deputies appointed for that end, made a Declaration of all their pro­ceedings unto the States Generall, from whom they have procured a Decree for Confirmation of them, which Decree upon Munday the 11/21 of Jannary was publickly, first in Dutch then in Latin, read at the Synod in the Evening. The particulars of it I shall not need relate as being sufficiently known to your Honor. The Decree being pronounced, Heinsius first signified that it had been before in private made known to the Remonstrants, and then in the name of the Delegates warn'd the Commissioners of the Synod, Ut quam mat [...]rimè & celerrime de istis controversiis statuant, ut possint tandem afflictis eclesiis Belgicis subvenire. I was very glad to hear that admonition, and it gives me hope that our Synod shall have end not long after Easter at the Farthest. After this did Tysius, another of the Professors discusse three other of the Re­monstrants arguments taken out of the Hague Conference, according to the same forme as Sibrandus and Gomarus had done before. This be­ing done the Praeses required Jo. Polyander and Wallaeus to provide to do the like upon Thursday next in the Evening (for before that time there is to be no publick Session) and requesting the Company the next Day to accompany Bisterfieldius to his Grave (which accordingly was done at the time appointed) he dismist the meeting. So that till Thurs­day next we are likely to understand no more news of the Synod.

I spake upon Tuesday with Mr. Praeses concerning Moulius project. [Page 71] His an [...]wer to me was this, that he communicated the thing with some of the discreeter of the Synod, and that he had required my Lord Bi­shop and Scultetus to conceive a forme of publick Confession. Which as soon as it should be concieved and allowed of by those, who should in that behalf be consulted withall, he would send a Copy of it to your Honor, to be sent to his Majesty, by him to be revised and altered ac­cording to his pleasure, and so from him to be commended unto the Synod publickly. Which course he thinks will take good success. As touching the point concerning the Lutherans he thinks it not fit that any word at all be made. I dealt with Mr. Praeses concerning a Copy of M. Deans Valediction to the Synod; he answered me that he had delivered it to Dammannus the Scribe to be copied out, and as soon as it was done, I should have it to transcribe, so soon therefore as I can procure the Copie of it, I will not fail to send it your Lordship. Mr. Dean at his departure had an Honorarium bestowed on him by the States. Heinsius the Scribe came to his lodging to him, and making a short speech un­to him, presented him in the Name of the States with munusculum as he call'd it. What or how much it was no man knowes. Thus commending your Honor to Gods good protection, I humbly take my leave.

Your Honors Chaplain in and Bounden in all Duty, Jo. Hales.
Right Honurable, and my very good Lord,

UPon Tuesday she 12/22 of this present in the Evening, for, for the debating of certain particular points in controversy belonging to the first Article, the Synod came together in private. It hath been lately questioned, how Christ is said to be Fundamentum Electionis. The Do­ctrine generally received by the Contra-Remonstrant in this point is, That God first of all resolved upon the Salvation of some singular per­sons, and in the second place upon Christ as a mean to bring this De­cree to pass. So that with them God the Father alone is the Author of our Election, and Christ only the Executioner. Others on the contra­ry teach, that Christ is so to be held Fundamentum Electionis, as that he is not only the Executioner of Election, but the Author and the Pro­curer of it: for proof of which they bring the words of the Apostle to the Ephesians, the first Chapter, elegit nos in Christo ante jacta mundi fundamenta. The Exposition of this Text was the especial thing discust at this meeting,: and some taught, that Christ was Fundamentum Ele­ctionis, [Page 72] because he was primus Electorum, or because he is Fundamentum Electorum, but not Electionis, or because he is Fundamentum beneficiorum, which descend upon us; others brookt none of those Restraints. D. Go­marus stands for the former sentence, and in defence of it had said many things on Friday. This night Martinius of Breme being required to speak his minde, signified to the Synod, that he made some scruple con­cerning the Doctrine passant about the manner of Christs being Fun­damentum Electionis, and that he thought Christ not only the Effector of our Election, but also the Author and Procurer thereof. Goma­rus who owes the Synod a shrewd turn, and then I fear me began to come out of debt; presently, assoon as Martinius had spoken, starts up, and tells the Synod, ego hanc rem in me recipio, and therewithall casts his Glove, and challenges Martinius with this Proverb, Ecce Rho­dum, e [...]ce saltum, and requires the Synod to grant them a Duel, adding that he knew Martinius could say nothing in refutation of that Doctrine. Martinius who goes in a quipace with Gomarus in Learning, and a little before him for his Discretion, easily digested this affront, and after some few words of course, by the wisdom of the Praeses matters seemed to be a little pacified, and so according to the custom, the Synod with Prayer concluded. Zeal and Devotion had not so well allayed Goma­rus his choler, but immediately after Prayers he renewed his Challenge and required Combat with Martinius again; but they parted for that night without blowes. Martinius, as it seems, is somewhat favourable to some Tenents of the Remonstrants concerning Reprobation, the la­titude of Christs merit, the Salvation of Infants, &c. and to bring him to some conformity was there a private meeting of the Forreign Di­vines upon Wednesday morning in my Lord Bishops Lodging, in which thus much was obtain'd, that though he would not leave his Conclusi­ons, yet he promised moderation and temper in such manner, that there should be no dissention in the Synod by reason of any opinion of his.

Upon Thursday the 14/24 of this present, the Synod being met in the Evening, Jo. Polyander and Wallaeus undertools the defence of some places of Scripture brought by the Contra-Remonstrants against the exceptions of the Remonstrants: the places of Scripture were, Luke 10. 20. Gaudete quia nomina vestra scripta sunt in Coelis. Apocal. 21. 27. inscripti in libro vitae. Rom. 9. 11. Ut propositum Dei secundum Electionem maneret, and 11. 5. Reservatio secundum Electionem: and Rom. 8. 13. Quos praede­stinavit ut conformes fiant imagini Filii sui, eos eriam vocavit. Act. 13. 48. Crediderunt quot quot erant ordinati ad vitam aeternam. Upon these places these two spake almost three hours.

It was expected that as the rest of the Professors hitherto have done, so Doctour Davenant the next Professour should speak in publike: It is [Page 73] said that he shall do it this day in a private Session (for there is no pub­like till Munday, and what will then be done I know not.) What the meaning is of this Audience only in private, I know not. But of this I will say more in my next Letters to your Honour, till when I leave your Lordship to Gods good protection.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.

Your Honour shall hear receive a Copie of Mr. Deans farewell, I fear me it is a little imperfect, for I understand it not in some places. If I can hear of another copie from Mr. Praeses who promised me one at the beginning of this week, and finde it to be perfecter, I will again transcribe it.

The Dean of Worcesters Valediction to the Synod.

NOn facile mecum in gratiam redierit cadaverosa haec moles, quam aegre usque circumgesto, quae mihi sacri hujus Conventus celebritatem toties inviderit, jamque me prorsus invitissimum, a vobis importune avocat & divellit. Neque enim ullus est profecto sub Coelo locus aeque Coeli aemulus, & in quo tentorium mihi figi maluerim, cujusque adeo gestiet mihi animus meminisse. Beatos vero vos quibus hoc frui datum! Non dignus eram ego ut fidelissimi Romani Querimoniam imitari liceat, qui pro Christi & Ecle­s [...]ae suae nomine sanctam hanc provinciam diutius sustinerem. Illud vero [...]: nempe audito quod res erat, non alia me quam adversissima hic usum valetudine, serenissimus Rex meus, misertus miselli famuli sui revo­cat me domum, quippe quod cineres meos aut sandapilam vobis nihil quicquam prodesse posse norit, succenturiavitque mihi virum e suis selectissimum, quantum Theologum! De me profecto, (mero jam silicernio) quicqui [...] s [...], viderit ille Deus meus, cujus ego totus sum. Vobis quidem ita feliciter pro­spectum est, ut sit cur infirmitati meae haud parum gratulamini, quae hujus­modi instructissimo succedaneo coetum hunc vestrum beaverit. Neque tamen committam, (si Deus vitam mihi ac vires indulserit) ut et corpore simul et animo abesse videar. Interea sane huic Synodo ubicunque terrarum sim, vo­tis, consiliis, conatibusque meis quibuscunque res vestras me pro virili serio ac sedulo promoturum sancte voveo. Interim vobis omnibus ac singulis, Ho­noratissimi Domini Delegati, Reverendissime Domine Praeses, Gravissimi [Page 74] Assessores, Symmystae Colendissimi, tibique Venerandissima Synodus Univer­sa, aegro animo ac corpore aeternum valedico: rogoque vos omnes obnixius ut precibus vestris imbecillem reducem facere, comitari, et prosequi velitis.

Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

UPon Tuesday the 19/29 of January, at the Evening Session, the point of Reprobation was Scholastically and learnedly discust by Altingius, one of the Palatine Professors. His discourse was the most sufficient of a­ny that yet I heard. He began from the Definition, and proceded to how far God had a hand in it, and how far man is the Author of his own De­struction, & lastly answered the Remonstrants arguments. He spake about an hour and half. I would willingly have given your Honour an account of his speech, but it was in the Evening, and the Auditory are allowed no candles, so that I could not use my tables. And thus have they discust the first Article; though I could have wished that the question of Repro­bation had been yet farther opened and stood upon, it being a point of large extent, and especially insisted on by the Remonstrant. As for Syno­dical Resolution in this first Article, that we must yet expect, till all the rest be examined as this hath been. There is no open Session till Friday next after dinner; and then is it their purpose to enter upon the Second Article, of Universal Grace: at which time Mr. Balcanqual, and Cru­ciger of Hassia are appointed to speak, according as the rest have done before, to this question, Whether the death of Christ were intended indif­ferently for all, or only for the Elect? Upon Wednesday the 20/30 of January, in the evening was there a private Session, wherein, belike for the make­ing of better speed, they consulted whether they should go on to ex­amine the rest of the Articles after the same manner they had done the first, or else bethink them of some more speedy order. After a long disceptation, even so long that Jo. Polyander put the Praeses in minde of the exceeding sharpness of the Weather, they at length concluded, that they would go on in the same course they had begun. And this as yet is all the Newes that is passant, wherefore ceasing farther to trouble your Honour, I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain, and bounden in all Duty and Service, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

UPon Friday the 15/25 of January, there was a meeting of the Synod partly publick, partly private. As the Provinciall Professors had done, so was D. Davenant, who is the first Professor of the Forraigners, enjoined by the Praeses to do. The intent of his discourse at that time, was to overthrow certain distinctions framed by the Remonstrants for the maintenance of their positions, and evasion from the Contraremon­strants Arguments. The Remonstrants usually distinguish upon E­lection, and divide it, into definitam & indefinitam, revocabilem & irrevocabilem; peremptoriam & non peremptoriam; mutabilem & immu­ [...]abilem, and the like. For the refutation of which distinctions he first set down the definition of election brought by the Contraremonstrant, and at large confirmed it: secondly he brought the definition of electi­on agreed on by the Remonstrant, and Argued against it: and thirdly he directly oppugned these forecited distinctions; all which he did learnedly and fully. When Dr. Davenant had spoken: the Auditory was commanded to depart. For having a purpose that others should speake at the same time, and fearing that some diversity of o­pinion might rise, and occasion some dissention, it was thought fit that things should be transacted as privately as might be. Many more of the Forreigners deliver'd themselves that night, and amongst the rest Martinius of Breme proposed again his former doubts unto the Synod, concerning the sense in which Christ is, said to be fundamentum electionis, & requested to be resolved. But D. Gomarus at this time, was somewhat better advised, & thought it best to hold his peace. This day will there be a private meeting wherein every company will give up their judgments in writing upon the first Article: and to morrow I understand they will go on unto the second, and proceed in it, accordingly as they have done in the former. As for any Decisive Sentence they will give none, till they have thus gone through all the five. In this I suppose they do very discreetly. For since the Articles are mutually linked toge­ther, it is most convenient they should first go through them all, since a predetermination in the former, might bind them to some inconve­nience in the later, there being no place left to look back, but stand they must to what they have once concluded. For avoiding of this it is thought best to determine of all at once. And this is all the news that here is currant: wherefore Commending Your Honour to Gods good protection, I humbly take my leave.

Your Honors Chaplain and Bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord,

UPon Munday the 18/28 of January in the Evening, the Synod being met, Scultetus spake at large de Certitudine gratiae & salvtis, that it was necessary for every man to be assured of his Salvation. The manner of his discourse was oratoriall, the same that he uses in his Ser­mons, not scholasticall and according to the fashion of disputation and Schools. For this cause the question was neither deeply searcht into, nor strongly proved. And this is all was done that night.

I spake with Mr. Dr. Goad concerning Mr. Brent, who answer'd me that he heard nothing at all of him, and that he will shortly write unto My Lord Archbishops Secretary to be informed farther concerning him. My Lord Bishop of late hath taken some pains with Martinius of Brente, to bring him from his opinion of Vniversall Grace. By chance I came to see his Letter writen to Martinius in which he expounded that place in the third of John, So God loved the World, that he gave his only begotten S [...]on &c. which is the strongest ground upon which Martinius rests him­self. Beyond this here is no news worth the relating, and therfore till farther occasion offer it self, I humbly take my leave.

Your Honours Chaplain and bounden in all Duty Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, my very good Lord.

UPon Thursday the 24/31 of January in the Evening the Synod met privately, and as they had done in the first, so did they in the second Article. For the speedier Direction to finde the places in the Remonstrants Books, where the particulars concerning Vniversall Grace are discust, there was a kinde of Index or Concordance drawn of the severall passages in their writings touching that subject. The next Day following, that is the first of February Stylo novo, Mr. Balcan­quall, and Cruciger of Hassia made entrance upon the second Article. Mr. Balcanquall spake above an hour, and did very well acquit himself. When they had done the Praeses enjoin'd Steinius of Hassia upon Tues­day next in the Evening (at what time will be the next open Session) to speak of the fourth Article (for of the third there is no question) and to sound whether the Grace of God converting us be resi [...]tible, as the [Page 77] Remonstrants would have it. This hast chat is made in this suddain passing from one Article to another is much mervail'd at by our English Divines: for the Colledges yet have not all given up their opinion upon the first, and besides that the Remonstrants upon Wednesday last were willed to give in their Arguments upon the first Article. For notwith­standing they be excluded from personall appearance in the Synod, yet are they Commanded to Exhibit to the Synod whatsoever they shall please to command. Now some time will be required for the Exa­mining of those reasons, if they be of late invention, and such as yet have had nothing said to them. But what the reason of this hast is, will appear hereafter.

I lately writ unto Mr. Collwall to know what Order was to be taken for the discharge of my lodging, whether your Honor were to answer it or the publick purse. I would willingly be resolved of it, because I have a desire to returne to the Hague; first because the Synod proceed­ing as it both, I do not see that it is opere pretium for me here to abide: and then because I have sundry private occasions that call upon me to return. For notwithstanding this hast, of which I but now spake, it will be long ere the Synod will come to determine any thing, and about that time, if your Honor shall be so pleased, I shall be ready to come back to Dort. And so remembring my service unto your Honor I hum­bly take my leave.

Your Honors Chaplain and bounden in all Duty and Service, Jo. Hales.
Right Honourable, and my very good Lord,

OUr Synod goes on like a watch, the main Wheels upon which the whole business turnes are least in sight. For all things of moment are acted in private Sessions, what is done in publick is onely for thew and entertainment. Upon Munday last the 4th. of February, stylo nov [...]. the Deputies met privately in the Evening, where the first thing that came upon the Stage was that old impertinent business concerning the Campenses, at what time Scotlerus a Remonstrant Minister who had been formerly cited to appear before the Synod, having not appeared at time appointed, pretended sickness and for that cause he required the Synods patient forbearance. After this they entred into consulta­tion concerning certain Books and Writings to be conceiv'd partly for declaracion of the Synods meaning in the Doctrine of the five Articles, [Page 78] partly in Apology for it. And first it was proposed that there should be scriptum didacticum a plain and familiar writing drawn, wherein the Doctrine of the five Articles according to the intent and meaning of the Synod should be perspicuously exprest for the Capacity of the Com­mon sort, and that in Dutch and Latin. The Apologicall Writings were of two sorts, first Scriptum Elenchicum wherein there were to be refuted such Errours as had been lately broached in prejudice of the received Doctrine: secondly scriptum Historicum, which was to consist of two parts, first a narration of the Synods proceedings with the Re­monstrant, from the day of his first appearance till the time of his E­jection: for the refutation of many bitter invectives which lately had been written against the Synod in that behalf. Secondly a Relation de causis turbarum, who were the Authors of the late Stirs in time of the separation; for answer of Episcopius his Oration, and other Writings of the Remonstrants, in which the whole misorder is turn'd upon the Con­tra-Remonstrant. For the Scriptum didacticum the English were altoge­ther against it: and so was Vosbergius. Their Reason was, because it seem'd incongruous that any writing concerning the Doctrine of the Articles should be set forth before the Synod had given Sentence. And indeed I must confess I see no great congruity in the proposall, whilst matters are in controversy: Judges walk suspensly, and are indifferent for either party, and whatsoever their intent be, yet they make no o­verture of it till time of sentence come. All this business of citing, in­quiring, examining must needs seem only as acted on a stage, if the Sy­nod intempestively before hand bewray a resolution. But notwith­standing any reason alleadgable against it, the thing is concluded, and Wallaeus, Udemannus, and Triglandius are deputed to write a discourse to that purpose, with the inspection and supervision of my Lord Bishop, Scultetus, Brittingerus, and Deodatus. For the scriptum historicum in the first part concerning the proceeding of the Synod with the Remonstrant, there is required the pains of Scultetus and Triglandius in the second part de causis turbarum, Latius must bestow his labour, with the help of Festus Hommius, of the South-Holanders and North-Hollanders, who best of any know the whole carriage of that matter. To the composing of the scriptum elenchicum there are deputed four of the Provincials Professors, Jo. Polyander, Lubbertus, Gomarus and Thysius, to whom are adjoyned as helpers and Supervisors D. Davenant, Altingius and Martinius. But the business of this writing past not without some opposition, Deodat. al­together misliked it, Polyander requested that his pains might be spared: Novi, saith he, quam sit mihi curta supellex. But above all D. Gomarus was most offended at the Proposall. Bella mihi video, bella parantur ai [...]. And therefore quite refusing to consent to any Polemicall writing, he [Page 79] advised that the scriptum didacticum should abstain, a non necessariis & privatis, and contein only necessary points such as pass by common con­sent. That they should expect till the Remonstrant had set forth some adversary writing, and then would be a fi [...]er time to think of some­what in this kind. I blame not D. Gomarus if he a little recoil. For being of the Supralapsarii, as they terme them, of those who bring the Decree of Gods Election from before the fall, and seeing the Synod not willing to move that way, but to subside in a lower sphere, he is to be pardon'd, if he deny his hand to that writing, which he supposes cannot be so warily indicted, but he must be forced with his own pen to let fall somewhat Prejudiciall to his own opinion. The Praeses an­swered that it was not his drift to force the Synod against their mindes to set out such a Book; but only to take hold of the present occasion whilst the Forreign Divines were here, and have such a Book in readi­ness for use hereafter, though it were not now set forth. He farther advised that those who were to undertake this, should have an eye to the inclination of the Synod, and beware as much as might be, that they toucht not there where any man was sore. Whatsoever the pre­tence is, the mentioning of these Books, before the Determination of the Synod be formally set down, must needs be very unseasonable. It will make the World to think they came resolved what to do, which though perchance they did, yet it is no wisdome to confess it. After this did they advise concerning the Exceptions against the Confession & Catechisme, and of such as should answer them. For the Catechisme, the Palatine Divines undertook it: for the Confession some of the Provincialls were appointed, whose names I have not learnt. The Praeses then by the ad­vice of the Secular Delegates, advised the Synod to think of gathering a Synopsis and brief of all the Synodicall Proceedings, to be sent to the King of England, and other Foreigne Princes and States, who had sent Deputies to the Synod, that so they may understand what hath been done. For this were there appointed Altingius Steinius, the Assessors and Scribes; and for Supervisors were named D. Davenant, Praeses. This is the summe of that Session.

On Tuesday at Even they met again in private, where every one spake in order what they had further to say concerning the second Arti­cle. Upon some occasion, I know not what, the Praeses mentioned Negotium Vorstianum, Bertianum, & Venatorianum, which I note because this is the first time that Vorstius his cause was named in the Synod. There hath not been any stay made amongst the Forraign Divines but only in this second Article, out of which if they can wel & clearly wrest themselves, their pas­sage out of the rest will be more smooth. I lately told your Honor that Martinius of Breme made some doubts amongst the rest concerning Uni­versall [Page 80] Grace. Not Martinius only but Dr. Ward in this point. ‘For the composing the doubts of both these, that they brake not out to any publick inconvenience there hath been of late many private meetings in my Lord Bishops Lodging; where upon Wednesday Morning were drawn certain Theses in very suspense and wary termes: to what end, whither to give content to all partyes, or to exhibite to the Synod, or what else I know not, by chance I had a view of them, but no opportunity to transcribe them.

On Wednesday the sixt of February, there was a publick Session in the Evening, at what time Steinius of Hassia spake to the fourth Article concerning the resistibility of Grace, in the same manner as others had done before him. He spake about an hour & a half, and when he had done, the Praeses gave warning of a publike Session to be upon Munday next in the Evening, and so dismist the Auditory, but not the Synod, who af­ter this sate a good space in private consultation.

Your Honors Chaplain and bounden in all Duty and Servoie, Jo. Hales.

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