The Fathers seem to call those Hereticks, who separated, or made divisions in the Church, though the Errour they maintained were very small. See Mr. Baxter's Infants Church membership, his Answer to Mr. Tombs's Valedictory Oration at Bewdly, p. 169.

LONDON, Printed for Walter Kettilby at the Bishops-head in St. Pauls Church-yard. 1682.


IF Aegles the Champion that was dumb all his life before, had the strings of his Val. Max. Tongue loosed, that he spake for ever after, to see the deceit that was at the sa­cred Exercises in Samos; 'tis certainly enough to amaze us to see the greatest disturbers of the Churches Peace yet talk so much of Love and Holiness, terms of Union and ways of Concord, Pleas for Peace and Cures of Church-divisions, as the Provincial of the Protestant Schismaticks doth; to see them become as Fire-brands in the Church, that were ordained for saving Lights, and as Trumpets to sound Martial al­arms, that were designed for Retreats to po­pular Furies; to see pretended Holiness a Co­ver to the deformity of Sedition and Innova­tion, and the most barbarous Villanies set on the Score of Religion and Reformation; to [Page 2] see those that, to remove him from evil Coun­sellors, have murder'd their lawful Sovereign, yet to startle at the use of a Ceremony, like a Capuchin at the sight of Money; to see these still hunting upon the File, insinuating the vi­lest abominations in shew for the publick good, abhorring Idols, yet committing Sacri­ledge, espying Moths yet winking at Beams, crying down the Whore of Babylon when they mean nothing but the overthrow of Episcopa­cy; in a word, pretending nothing but Piety and Peace, when intending nothing but Schism and Sedition, and by the help of these holy Guises [as our Royal Martyr called them] to [...]. come to such a summity of seditious insolence, that if one offer a fight with these Beasts of Ephesus in contradiction to their peevish Fa­ction, (as one merrily observed) they present­ly play the Duke of Anjou's Cow, that bedaub'd the fingers of any that offer'd to pull her back by the tail, they make him the very Butt of the most infamous defamations, that the twi­sted malice and subtilty of Earth and Hell can devise. Now one would think this enough to make a dumb Ass speak, in reproving the insolencies and dotages of such Prophets, who run thus in the ways of Balaam, to curse a [Page 3] Church and People that the Lord hath blessed: At least, 'tis enough to put any serious person on enquiry into the causes of these honest re­ligious Villanies, as Seneca calls prospering Wickedness, and how such a pernicious Fa­ction could arrive to such a pitch of Reputa­tion and Insolence. The Enquirer will find these following means among others regar­dable.

REMARKS ON Non-Conformity, &c,

1. Toleration and Indulgence.

HE is much a Stranger to Non-Confor­mity, that knows not how much Con­nivance and Indulgence have conduced to its Increase, and how necessary are the coërcive means to the safe suppress of that dangerous Faction.

The first Instance I assign for this, is in Queen Eli­zabeths How Presby­tery first got footing in England. tolerating the French Church to be setled in London upon Calvin's Principle in 1560. Calvin having solicited Bishop Grindal; upon the impetration of the Bishop the Queen assigned to the French Exiles the Church of St. Anthony, with liberty to erect the Genevian Discipline, and set up a Form of Prayer which had no conformity with the English Liturgy; which proved in the event a design'd expedient of Calvin's for the advancing of Presbytery in the room of Episcopacy. Upon this Toleration their numbers so increased, that in 1568. they broke out into open [Page 6] Schism, chusing to meet in Barns and Fields rather than in Churches with their Brethren as formerly; teaching that it was impious to hold any correspon­dence with the conforming Churches. Upon this ve­ry occasion, (viz.) the Queens toleration, and parti­cularly her indulging them the liberty of the Genevian Discipline, within eight years time their numbers so increased, and their insolence also, that the Queen plainly saw (as her own words were) that such were the restless spirits of that factious People, that no quiet was to be expected from them, till they were utterly sup­pressed. In order to which she calls a ParlJam.nt in 1592. wherein strict Laws were enacted against them, and executed accordingly. Barrow, Penry and Burchet, were hanged for such their Non-conformity-principles Cambdens Eliz. and practices as were treasonable. And by these sharp Laws made against them, and some severe executions done on them, the Ringleaders of them were hum­bled, the whole body of them brought to a good measure of quietness, which these wholsom severities kept them in till the end of the Queens reign: and in all probability, as a late Writer observes, they might Aer. Red. l. 11. n. 1. have been for ever suppressed and kept quiet, had K. James at first held the reins with that strict hand that Queen Elizabeth did before him; but for want of that they soon grew bold, fell a petitioning for Re­formation of sundry Ceremonies and Abuses, (viz.) Cross at Baptism, Bowing at the name of Jesus, Sur­plice, &c. which occasioned the Conference at Ham­pton-Court, Conf. at Ham­pton-Court. p. 85. where the defence made for their Cause was so mean, that the King turning his head to some of the Lords expressed himself thus; If this be all they have to say, I'le make them conform, or I'le hurry them out of the Land, or somewhat worse.

This Conference being in February, the next Month [Page 7] produced the Kings Proclamation, wherein he strictly enjoyns Conformity; admonisheth all his Subjects never after to expect alteration in the Form of God's publick Service then established. Accordingly the Laws were put in execution, without sparing Non-Conformists or Half-Conformists, and by this they were reduced to that quiet state again, that he found them in when first come to the Crown, till the Gun­powder Treason, at which time they began to be ve­ry bold and busie; the King being terrified with the apprehension of so great a danger, turn'd all his thoughts upon the Papists, and so let the Non-Con­formists take breath, and regain some strength. And as their custom ever was to fish in troubled Waters, prodigious Lies and Stories still finding best entertain­ment in troublesome times, quia tutius finguntur & fa­cilius creduntur, says Livy. Therefore upon the occa­sion of this horrid Plot, the Gun-powder Treason, their next expedient was (upon discovery of this Plot) to alarm the Court and Country with the fears of Po­pery, and of new dangers from the Papists, to exert the greatest zeal for the Reformed Religion, for pre­serving their Liberties and Priviledges against the in­croachments of the Court, and by this very means (the Reins being loosed to them on the occasion of the Plot) they drew much people to them, strengthened much their Faction, and by degrees made a Party in the House of Commons, who at last came to that height, that the King could do little in ParlJam.nt without applying himself to that popular Faction, and by the pretence of standing for the Subjects Property, the preservation of the true Religion against Pope­ry, &c. they grew strong in ParlJam.nts, weakened the Prerogative Royal, aspersed with the name of Pa­pists all Anti-Presbyterians, and by this means grew so [Page 8] strong in both Kingdoms that they wanted now no­thing but occasion to break out into open War. Now their last advance to all this, beginning at the discove­ry of the Gun-powder Treason, the Faction having that opportunity for their revival, 'tis hard to say whether did most promote their designs, their taking this opportunity to arrogate to themselves the repu­tation of the greatest Anti-Papists, or the King's loo­sing the Reins, and letting them grow headstrong by imploying all his care in the discovery of the hellish Popish Plot, and punishment of the Plotters; but cer­tain it is, that upon the Kings remitting his former se­verities, and increasing their Liberty, they soon grew headstrong beyond the power of his Son King Charles the First ever to suppress. And 'tis known beyond the reach of scruple, that that martyred King did meerly comply himself into nothing, by his Tolera­tions and Indulgences towards that Party, and de­livered him himself into their bloody hands by his meer condescension and compliances with them; and that as he said, [...]. cap. 5. it was his suffering them to get to the Pinacle of the Temple that so tempted them to cast him down headlong. And 'twas undoubted­ly the sound and smart experience of the evil of Tole­ration, that made the wisest of our Ancestors so decry it. St. Augustine wrote several whole Epistles of the evil of tolerating Dissenters. In his Epistle to August. Vin­centio Ep. 48. Bonifacio Ep. 68. Ceciliano Ep. 166. Ep. ad Dona. Vincen­tius he expresseth at large his great joy de correctione Donatistarum, for the punishing (or suppressing) of the Non-Conformists of his time: adding in the same Epistle that he was once for Toleration, but that that opinion of his was overcome Ep. 48. l. 5. non contradicentium verbis, sed demonstrantium exemplis. And he tells us in his Epistle to Donatus, Ep. 166. that after Constantine had made strict Laws against the Donatists, i. e. the [Page 9] then Nonconformists, Julian the Apostate, one of his successors, gave toleration to the Donatists for their Schismatical Meetings, suffered their sacrilegious dis­sensions (as he calls them) as the expedient whereby he thought the Christian Religion most likely to pe­rish out of the World, in these words, Julianus Christi August. Ep. 166. L. G. desertor & inimicus—libertatem parti Donati permi­sit—eo modo putans Christianum nomen posse perire de terris, si sacrilegas dissensiones liberas esse permitteret. And accordingly Constantine the first Christian Empe­rour dealt with the Non-conformists of his time, say­ing, Pestium illarum audacia mea executione coercebitur.

And Archb. Whitgift declared it impossible to defend the Religion and Rites of the Church of England, to ap­pease the Schisms and Sects therein, to reduce the Mini­sters thereof to Uniformity and due obedience, if after a long risk of Liberty, Dissenters had any countenance shewed them; adding, That if way were given to their clamours and surmises, it would cause that confusion which hereafter the State would be sorry for. But hark what the grand Church-Barreter himself saith in his Trea­tise of Self-denial, (Ep. Ded. to the then honourable Mr. Baxter. Colonel James Berry one of the Council of State, now reduced to Beggary.) In his Epistle to this great Beli­zarius, he calls Toleration Englands misery, a liberty for drawing men to Hell, a wicked damning liberty, a streng­thening the Party tolerated, a making way for their Power, a giving away our own Power, a preparing Faggots for our own Martyrdom; he speaks of the Magistrates tole­rating, as of a sort of men that rule as though they were uncertain whether there were a Heaven or Hell, &c. Such a sin was Toleration in the times of Usurpation, and after this manner did he call for fire down from Heaven to consume all that gave any toleration to the Episcopal Loyalists, that now upon the least touch of [Page 10] restraining Non-conformists, cries out of Gaols, Starvings Ruine, bloudy Persecution, &c. 'Tis true indeed, in some of the fore-cited places, 'tis against tolerating of Popery he speaks; but what's that? 'Tis well known that Pope ry and Episcopacy were then made termini convertibiles, and that the English Hierarchy was the Popery then opposed, as uncapable of the least degree of Toleration.

'Tis a good observation of Mr. Baxter in his Exa­mination of Mr. Tombs's Praecursor, Sect. 13. p. 390. being an Appendix to his Infant-Church-membership; That 'tis from Separation that so many in so many parts of the Land have turned Ranters, Blasphemers, and com­monly unclean, that seemed religious, yea some down-right Infidels, so that not onely the Racovian Catechism, but the most hellish Books that ever was written, (called the Three Grand Impostors) labouring to prove Christ a De­ceiver, was Printed in London. Such Enthusiasm there was that Women ran naked into the Assemblies, and men went about the Streets, saying, they were Christ, that this their wickedness spread far and near. I cannot hear (says Mr. Baxter) of one among a multitude that comes to this fearful pass by any other way, than first turning to Ana­baptistry and Separation, and then to vilifie the Mini­stry, and then who knows whither? Thus Mr. Baxter.

On the like consideration it was undoubtedly, that St. Augustine taught, That there was scarce any thing so bad as Schism, Ep. contra Parm. not Idolatry, says Dionys. ap. Eus. l. 6. not Sacriledge, says Optatus l. 1. 'tis the Original of Evils, says Ignat. Ep. ad Smyrn. a heap of Evils, says Mr. Baxter of Church-divisions, Cure, Pref.

And in consideration of all this, what State-Phy­sician but will judge the coërcive means as salutary to the Body Politick, in case of such State-Convulsions, as the present Separation causeth, as dismembring is to the Body Natural in cases of Gangrenes. And 'tis [Page 11] observed that of late years, while the Oxford Act and other poenal Laws were put in execution, 'tis no­toriously known how quiet they were. 'Tis true they would please themselves with their Gloriola's con­cerning Persecution, as they called their just punish­ment, would congratulate to one another their suffer­ings, as for Christs sake, though it were for disobe­dience to Christ's Precept and Example, as well plea­sed with that love and pity which the noise of Persecu­tion gains to their persons and persuasions; but all this while they were quiet, desiring nothing but the exercise and liberty of the Conventicle. And no sooner had they gain'd this point, but by degrees, as their liberty increased, their number increased, and their interest increased, and their insolence increased which hath now at last improved its self into such libellings and licentious discoursings, as can be interpreted little less than praeludes of Rebellion. So that what Bishop Jewell said of Cartwright the Fa­ther of the Non-conformists, may fitly be said of these his childish Followers, Folly is bound up in their fro­ward hearts, and 'tis the Rod of Correction must fetch it out; The Non-conformity-Faction being always observed Crescit indul­gens sibi diru [...] hydrops. Hor. to have this Hydropical humour of increasing by be­ing indulg'd, which makes them just as fit to be in­dulg'd as a desperate Dropsie which is exasperated by mitigations. But the unreasonableness of Non-conformists Plea for Toleration, and complaints of Sufferings in being restrained, will sufficiently appear, by considering distinctly the Persons suffering, and the Things suffered. The Persons suffering, are 1. Such who at the same time revile the Government, reproach and expose their Governours, managing their pretence of Conscience in such an invective way as makes their complaints and clamours more like matter of superiority than of scruple.

[Page 12] 2. They are such as have kept days of Prayer and Thanksgiving for Victories over the King; have preached the People into Rebellion against him, have preached from him his Arms and Money, Laws and Credit, Liberty and Life, and in the most solemn man­ner have Justified all when they have done, and after this, endeavoured all they could to keep this present King out of his Throne. That Mr. Baxter's Holy Commonwealth was wrote to that very end and pur­pose will appear to any that compares the time of his publishing it, (which his Book was wrote as he says, [...] to satisfie the demands and doubts of) which was the Year 1659. when the grand point in doubt was, whether the King should be restored or no. He that compares this with those three Theseses 145, 146, 147. where he hints that the King was just­ly dispossessed, as by a lawful War, that being con­quered by the People, they were not obliged to re­store him, nay though he had been dispossessed un­justly, yet it was not the duty of Subjects to seek his restitution. I say these things compared with that vital circumstance (viz.) the time of writing it, make it evident that the design of it was only this, to keep out the King: But

2. The Unreasonableness of Non-conformists Plea for Toleration and complaint of Sufferings, will fur­ther appear by considering the things suffered. Con­sider it in the Comparison, and in it self.

1. In comparison of what the Conforming Clergy suffered under them. Their sufferings in the Usurpa­tion times will appear to be little less than those of the Spanish Inquisition, or the Marian Persecution, to any that reads but (1.) the Bill of Mortality of the Clergy of London, wherein we have account of 115 turned out of their Livings, Plundered of their Goods, their [Page 13] Wives and Children sent a begging, whereof above 40 were Doctors in Divinity, 20 imprisoned in Lon­don and the Ships, 25 fled to escape imprisonment, 22 died with grief in Prisons and remote places. The Protestants Remonstrance recounts many more alike sufferers in the Country, both which together shew that there were more suffered by Ejecting, Se­questring, and barbarous plundering by the Presby­terians in three Years time, then did by the Papists in all Queen Maries Reign. But (2.) Consider what their suffering is in it self, and it will appear to be little else but a self-silencing, meerly because they cannot get priviledge above the peaceable and loyal Sons of the Church. I call it a self-silencing, because all that the Law doth is to hold forth one common rule indiffe­rently to all: every man hath the conditions of his Freedom tendered him, which are such as themselves have for the most part acquitted from all intrinsick turpitude or sin; and he that will not comply with these conditions, siilences himself; beside, 'tis not the Man that is silenced neither, but onely this or that ir­regular Practice or Opinion, which the Magistrate see­ing insuperable necessity for, hath authority from God to regulate and restrain. Moreover their Plea in this matter is no more than what Dissenters of all sorts may use, so that if Rulers may be judge, they are to be suppressed; if the People must be judge, then Papists, Quakers, &c. must be tolerated also. And such Li­berty Plea for Peace, Preface. (saith Mr. Baxter) in matters of Worship and Faith, is the way to set up Popery in the Land. But let Non-Conformists Scruples be what they will, if it seem good to our Rulers to put the restraint upon them, I humbly recommend to them that good advice of Mr. Baxter; See to this my Brethren, (saith he) that none of you suffer as an evil-doer, or as a busie-body in [Page 14] other mens matters, as a resister of the commands of law­ful Authority, as ungrateful to those that have been instru­ments of our good, as evil speakers against dignities, as op­posers of the discipline and ordinances of Christ, as scorn­ful revilers of your Christian Brethren, as reproachers of a laborious and judicious Ministry. Saints Rest. p. 131. examining well whether the grounds and reasons of their sufferings be not the same as that of Popish Priests and Jesuites, (viz.) not their religious Principle, but their seditious Practice, encouraging People to tu­multuate and rebel, by rendering the Government and Governours odious, by teaching (as Mr. Baxter doth in his Plea for Peace) that 'tis not in the power of Princes to forbid The King forbids none preaching, only regulates preaching. Ministers preaching, (as much as to say,) 'tis lawful to resist the King's Authority in defence of the Conventicle.

2. Grindallizing.

A second thing that promotes the interest and in­crease of Separation is Grindallizing. By Grindallizers I mean the Conforming Non-conformists, or rather such as are Conformists in their Profession, Half-Con­formists in their practice, Non-conformists in their judgment, like the old Gnostick-Separatists which the Apostle calls. Jam. 1. 8. Jam. 4. 8. double minded men; or like the Sinner in Eccl. 2. 13. that looks two manner of ways, or like the Haven in Creet, Acts 27. 12. that bows and bends to the South and to the North, to the Church of En­gland, and to the Kirk of Scotland, as interest and op­portunity shall incline.

These are they which down with all Oaths and Sub­scriptions required, though what they swallow whole in their Subscriptions, they mince and mangle in their pra­ctice, they conform to all seemingly but hypocritically; [Page 15] mangle the Common-Prayer, handle the Surplice gently, plow socunningly with their Ox and Ass together, carry it so cunningly that they can scarce be known, but per modum opinionis, by their open compliances with the E­nemies of the Church, by their Gallionism in defending the Orders and Ceremonies of the Church, and other matters of Conformity, which require their propor­tion of Zeal and Resolution, by their hearing with patience and unconcernedness, the interest, honour, and peace of the Church run down by swaggering Sectaries; by their talking Conformity and Nonconfor­mity with such compassionate and serious innuendo's as may sufficiently signifie their favourable opinion of, if not good will to their Cause, by their defending the po­pular Election of Bishops, by ambiguously represent­ing the separation, as if it were no Schism; by their writing fraudulent Pleas for the Non-conformists; by endeavouring to acquit the Presbyterians and In­dependents of the King's Murder; and in statu quo, by their Votes in chusing ParlJam.nts and Convoca­tions, by their being à secretis with profest Non-con­formists, by their Self-designing compliances with them, under pretence of Moderation, & similibus; whereby they contribute as much to the encourage­ment of Dissenters, as the professed Encouragers them­selves; like King Charles's Presbyterian Murderers, who had the Villany to manage the contrivance, but the Cunning to disappear in the Execution. These Half-Conformists are the veriest Church-Moles, that by their blind Principles and undermining Practices contribute little less to the increase and interest of Non-conformity, to the danger and dishonour of the Church, than the open Enemy, whether Popish or Peevish. And of this we have frequent instances, particularly in Archbishop Grindal, whose indulgence [Page 16] to that Party, gave them the first revival in England, by his conniving at the Half-Conformists of York­shire, by his complying first with Beza in procuring a French Church setled in London on the Geneva Prin­ciple. And afterwards with those, who upon their re­turn from Geneva, Franckford, and other places (where they lived during the Marian Persecution) were pre­ferred in the Church, where they lived for some time Half-Conformists, as Cartwright Minister in Warwick, Whittingham Dean of Durham, Sampson Dean of Christ Church, afterwards turned out for Non-confor­mity, with great numbers preferred to Cures in City and Country; where they were not wanting to pre­pare the People for such Innovations as were in after­time to be brought into the Church, and by the pro­fest Non-conformists. As soon as safety and impunity permitted, they broke out into open Schism, and still when the Laws just severity frighted them, they crept within the Pale of the Church, seeming to conform, that they might have the Laws protection to shelter their contempt of Authority, and under the wing of Episcopacy to breed up their Presbytery. When Archbishop Whitgift's zeal and industry had reduced them to that, that in all probability their ruptures were crumbling to nothing, their then refuge was (as Beza advised in his Letter to Cartwright) to unite themselves again to the main body of the Church, there to be nurtured into contempt of the Churches Go­vernment under the indulgence of its Governours. And of this kind of Half-Conformists are those who at this very day, by outward Conformity have oppor­tunity, and by masked Non-conformity want not will through sneaking compliance to betray the Church into her Enemies hands, and themselves (though they know it not) into the veriest contempt and slavery; [Page 17] so that in this contemplation we might (as the Church of old did by the Waters of Babylon) sit down and weep when we remember Zion. Zion (saith the Pro­phet) tearing her self with her own hands. Or as the Tree in the Apologue, that was rent and splint, and torn asunder by Wedges that came out of its own sides. Therefore as we would not hypocritize and dissemble with God and Man, as we would not be found Church-Traytors, that have espoused a Cause which we are afraid to defend, and ashamed to own; as we would not be found in conspiracy against our selves, and in breach of those solemn Oaths took at our entrance into the Ministry, by a dastardly com­pliance with our own and the Churches Enemies; Let us every man to his Tents, O Israel, with resolu­tion and courage in gain-saying Seducers, in daring to look Faction in the Face, and opposing it, though never so insolent and domineering; according to the advice of Mr. Calvin to Bucer, that he should take care to avoid moderate counsels in matters of Religion, in­timating the intense zeal that is required in Ministers in order to the interest and honour of the Church: remembring that of the Wise man, Eccl. 2. 13. Wo unto them that have a fearful heart, and to the faint hands, and to the sinner that goeth two manner of ways.

3. Their Zeal against Popery, a third Expedient.

So odious is Popery now in England, (blessed be God for it) that even Children will spit at the very naming of it: so that a better pretence could never be for the setting up of Presbytery, than a shew of the greatest Zeal against Popery: and therefore hath it been always accounted the most necessary Tool in the framing of Innovations.

[Page 18] When the Earl of Bothwel, having a mind to the Camd. Eliz. A [...]r. Red. Crown of Scotland, could not bring to pass the mur­der of the King by his dealing with the Witch of Keith, nor by his assaulting him first at Haly-rood, and afterward at Falkland, his last expedient was to join himself with the Presbyterians, and act hand in hand with them zealously against Popery; and under that holy guise attempted openly to assassinate the King. 'Tis well known how the very force of this Word (Popishly affected) blew up three Kingdoms but t'other day; hurrying People from the fear of Po­pery to the prostitution of Christianity it self; when to palliate their hellish out-rages against the King, they feared not to tax even him of Popery, who had said and done as much to satisfie the World of his de­testation of Popery, and true zeal for the Reformed Religion, as the wit of man could devise, or the ma­lice of man demand, as doth abundantly appear by his Royal Declaration or Manifesto sent from Oxford in 1644. And at this day a fiery zeal against Popery is the best expedient they have; 'tis that single pre­text that supports their Cause; to accuse Governours or Government of Popery is an expedient that in England never yet failed to render them odious to the multitude.

Now that the design of these groundless out-cries against Popery is not so much to keep down Popery, as to promote Presbytery, will appear very pro­bable to any that shall but examine the way and manner of their exercising this Zeal, which is three­fold.

1. Branding with the Name of Papist, or Popishly affected, every one that is not of, or at least that sets himself against their Principle and Practice. Arch­bishop Whitgift, a Prelate of the greatest Piety and [Page 19] Learning, eminent for his zeal against Popery, yet because against Presbytery also, they stiled him Beel­zebub of Canterbury, Pope of Lambeth, a monstruous Antichristianism Pope, &c. and but the other day in Smith's Protestant Intelligence, the King's Council is called Popish; of the 26 Bishops, four are called Pro­testant, and all the rest Popish. To that pass are things now brought that whoever will not side, vote, and petition as they would have them; whoever speaks reverently of the Orthodox Clergy, of the Order and Discipline of the Churches of England, in vindication of loyal Episcopacy against a confused and factious Presbytery, is presently a Tory and Popishly affected: and why all this, but for a Blind or Stratagem to blend and confound Popery and Prelacy, that People may not distinguish, but destroy one under the name and pretence of the other.

I shall not insist upon the Malice and Diabolism of these slanderous imputations, it will somewhat disco­ver their design, if we do but take notice what little reason they have thus to traduce our Church and Church Rulers; considering these two things:

I. That their correspondency of Principles and Practices with the Church of Rome, so far as they are erroneous and dangerous, is so very apparent to any that understand Popery. Ex. gr.

1. Both equally deny the King's Supremacy. The Papist saith, not the King but the Pope is Supream; the Presbyter saith, not the King, but the ParlJam.nt. Prove (saith Mr. Baxter) that the King is the higher H. Common­wealth. Pref. Power, and I'le offer my head to Justice as a Rebel. And Calvin in his Comment upon Amos cap. 7. v. 13. calls them inconsiderate men that had conferred the Supremacy on King Henry VIII. Bellarm de Pontif. l. 3. c. 7.

2. The Pope saith, an Heretical, i. e. a Protestant [Page 20] King is to be deposed. The Presbyterian says, 'tis lawful and commendable to fight against the King for Call before the ParlJam. Dec. 25 1644. Pol. Apho. Thes. 358. with 368. Religion, to depose him, says Baxter. And Martin Mar-Prelate in his second Book, advises the ParlJam.nt to put down the Bishops whether the Queen would or no.

3. Papists say, Heretical, i. e. Protestant Kings may be not onely deposed, but killed by their Subjects. Presby­terians say the same, Ministers may excommunicate Princes; and after a King is by Excommunication cast into Hell, he is unworthy to live upon Earth, says Bucha­nan. Buchan. de jure Reg. p. 70. Guignard the Jesuit hath it, France is sick and they must cut the basilick vein to heal her. The Presby­ter hath the same words concerning King Charles the First, Wound that Hazael under the fifth rib, you must Zion's Plea. strike the basilick vein, none but it can heal the Plurisie of State. And Mr. Love, O that our State Physicians Serm. at Ux­bridge Treaty would imitate God in cutting off from the Land those that have distempered it, meaning the King, as his next words shew, praestat unus pereat quam unitas. And ac­cordingly they have practised, as will be shewn in its proper place.

4. They both proceed in the same method; The Pope first Excommunicates, then Deposes, then Mur­ders. The Presbyter first Deposes the King, then Mur­ders Charles Stuart.

5. They agree in so much as time; The Jesuit, i. e. the bloudy Papist and the Presbyter are both of an age, the year 1535. is remarkable for the Geneva Disci­pline, and the spawning of the Jesuits Order.

6. Papists teach, That Truce is not to be kept with He­reticks, i. e. Protestants. Presbyterians teach, That Pro­mise is not to be kept when—the preaching of the truth, i. e. Presbytery is hindered. See their Marg. Not. on Matth. 2. 12.

[Page 21] 7. Both will reproach and slander, plunder and se­quester, kill and slay for the Churches good; though the Apostle says, We must not do evil that good may come thereby.

8. Both agree in that Principle, that Dominion is founded in Grace.

9. 'Tis the business of them both in Protestant Kingdoms, by ill interpreting their Princes actions, by slandering, libelling, and the like means, to draw Sub­jects from their Allegiance.

10. The Jesuits call themselves the Saintly Brother­hood, the Church of Rome, the onely true Church, and all Hereticks beside themselves. The Presbyterians call'd themselves formerly the Godly Party, and all others Malignants. Now the People of God, the Zealous Pro­testants, and all others Carnal, Superstitious, Formalists, Popishly affected, &c.

11. The Papists formerly Plot, Rebell, and Massa­cre, by entering into a Covenant, called the Holy League, (as in the Massacre at Paris, and Rebellion a­gainst King Henry the Third). The Presbyterian did the same by entering into a Covenant, called the So­lemn League, (as in England and Scotland against King Charles the First).

12. Papists warring against King Henry the Third French Hist. of Presbyt. p 88. of France, in performance of their Holy League, have frequent Fastings, doubled devotions, to persuade weak Consciences that they aimed at nothing but the setting up of Christ's Kingdom, and to instruct them to cut their Kings throat, as for the love of God, and the gaining of Paradise. Presbyters in warring against King Charles in performance of their Solemn League had frequent days of Humiliation and Thanksgiving for success in fighting against the King. The Papists French Hist. of Presbyt. p. 88, 89. Holy League and the Presbyters Solemn League were [Page 22] both entered, upon a groundless jealousie of the King's Religion. In both there is a League with Strangers, and Armies raised in the Kingdom against their natural Sovereign: who gave them no occasion of the War, but the too much gentleness and condescensions of them both. In both the Fire of Civil War was blown about by seditious Preachers.

13. Papists and Presbyterians both in their distinct Parties do still combine against the Government.

14. Both for many years have been the great di­sturbers of the Peace of all Christendom. Tell me (says a late Gentile Writer) of any Massacre, or bloudy Wars, or Stratagems against the Magistrate, of any Treason or Mach. Rediv. p. 71. Rebellion whatever, within the memory of man, but what was carried on by one of these two Parties, Papists or Presbyterians, and I'le be content to undergo the bloudy Inquisition of the one, and the fate of the two Archbi­shops, Canterbury and St. Andrews, murdered by the other.

Now if they will go no further from the Church of Rome than she hath gone from the Truth, let them shew, if they can, half so many parallels between the Church of England and of Rome. 'Tis true indeed, the Churches of England retain some things that are in use in the Church of Rome; but must we disbelieve and difuse every thing as Popish that the Papists be­lieve and use, then must we not believe that Christ is the Messias; then must we renounce the Word, Sa­craments, and Prayer, because the Papists believe and use them. But if we will depart no further from the Church in Reformation, than she departs from the Truth in Corruption, let the Non-conformists shew, if they can, wherein the Church of England agrees with that of Rome in half so many erroneous Princi­ples and dangerous Practices as the Non-conformist [Page 23] doth. What reason then have they so to curse a Church which the Lord hath blessed? Her Sisters (the Reformed Churches) all calling her blessed, and joying Col. 2. 5. to behold her order and stedfastness in Christ; so to stig­matize with the brand of Popish, all that are not peevish and turbulent like themselves.

II. What Reason have they for it, considering what great things the Episcopal Divines have done and suf­fered above them all along from the beginning of the Reformation to this day, in detestation of Popery, and attestation of the Reformed Religion as now pro­fessed in the Church of England, some laying down their lives to testifie against Popery, as Cranmer, Rid­ley, Latimer, &c. others standing in the Gap upon all occasions to oppose the return of it with most emi­nent abilities and greatest zeal above what Non-con­formists can pretend to. In the beginning of the Re­formation, when Calvin sent to Cranmer, and after that to the Protector Seymour to offer his assistance, they rejected him utterly; so that neither he, nor any of the Consistorian Principle, had any hand in the first Reformation in England; or have any of them ever since done any thing comparable to what the Episco­pal Divines have against Popery. 'Tis true, Mr. Bax­ter, Pool, and two or three more of them have done their parts, but what to those many of the Church of England, Usher, Hall, Morton, Reignolds, Chilling­worth, Laud, Abbot, Jewel, Bramhall, Barlow, all Bi­shops, beside Hammond, White, Buckeridge, Sutcliff, Stillingfleet, Tillotson, and many others of our Chur­ches education, of as great Learning and Judgment in Religion, as holy Lives, and as comfortable Conscien­ces, as any the World affords, which one would think enough to make Malice it self ashamed to charge the Church or Church-men of England with any thing [Page 24] like Popery, or Popishly affected. Add to this:

III. If the Church or Church-men be any thing Popishly affected, how comes it to pass that the twisted strength and subtlety of Papists, with all their hellish malice, is engaged chiefly against them as their mortal enemies, as though nothing stood in their way but the Church of England, that hath the countenance of Laws and Reason, Antiquity and Decency to support it; never regarding Quakers or Non-conformists, as though it were below the wit of a Jesuit to encounter a Non-conformist, as one that's doing the Popes busi­ness, yet will not be made believe it. Now these three things considered, judge who will, what reason dissenting Protestants have to brand with the name of Popish or Popishly affected, the Church or Church-men of England. And if so, whether it be not probable that by their factious and extravagant zeal against Po­pery, they design not onely the overthrow of Popery, but the increase of their Party, and the promotion of their Interest also. But once more,

IV. If there be any Church of England men Popish­ly affected. I heartily wish in the Apostles words, [...], that they were utterly cut off from among us; and here will every true Church of En­gland Gal. 5. 12. man say heartily, Amen.

A Second way that they have of exerting their zeal against Popery (whereby they increase their Party, and promote their Interest) is to amuse the People with the Fears and Jealousies of a Popish Revolution. I confess this being purely politicae considerationis, is beyond my Province, but with humble deference to Superiours, suppose we the worst, even that of a Po­pish Successor, yet have we many good allays to the ex­travagance of that Jealousie, (viz.) all Offices and Power being in the hands of Anti-Papists, there being [Page 25] so many strict Laws in force against Popery, and the King's offer and readiness to concur in making more, or any other thing (that is lawful just and honest) to secure us against it.

To instance in the revolution of Queen Maries reign is vain; for there being now in the two Kingdoms so universal a detestation and loathing of Popery (which was not then) what Prince in the World would offer to set up that Religion so much against his own inte­rest, so utter inconsistent with his quiet and safety, and which will so certainly involve him into continual fears and troubles, most desperate dangers and incon­veniences, as that which, next to Hell, is most formida­ble and abominable to almost all his Subjects, and that which they will scarce ever be brought to submit to. Upon these and many the like considerations wise men think it not adviseable to forward a Popish revolution by exasperating the Heir to the Crown with the fa­ctious and unnecessary fears of a Popish succession, and to abandon our quiet and security for meer future possibilities, to make our selves certainly miserable before-hand for fear of being miserable hereafter. Like Gundamore the Spanish Ambassadour, who pro­cured a valiant English Knight to be put to death, (as he said) not for any hurt he had done, but for fear of doing hurt.

3. A third way they have of exerting their zeal against Popery (whereby they increase their Interest and Par­ty) is by appropriating to themselves the reputation of the zealous Protestants, and greatest opposers of Popery: which will appear as impudent a cheat as it is a falshood, (if by zeal and opposing, we mean not factious, but onely such as is of regular and religious tendency to the overthrow of it,) when 'tis consi­dered:

[Page 26] 1. How abundantly the Episcopal Divines have out-done them in opposing and keeping out Popery; (as hath been noted before) to which I add, that of Dr. Saunderson, That all along fr [...]m the beginning of Pref. to his Serm. §. 17. the Reformation, our Bi [...]ops with others of the Prela­tick Party were the Principal, if not the only Champions to maintain the cause of Religion against Popery, and in these latter times none have slept in the Gap more readily, nor championed the cause of Religion aga [...]nst Popery with more dexterity, zeal and gallantry than the Episco­pal Divines, by whose endeavours some that have been bred Papists have been gained to our Church, others that began to waver, were confirmed and setled in the Prote­stant Religion; but I profess (says he) as in the presence of Almighty God, and before the World, that I have not known, or at least ca [...]not call to remembrance, so much as one single example of any of this done by any of our Anti­ceremonian Brethren, whether Presbyterian or Indepen­dent. But

2. These Non-conformists are so far from being the truly zealous opposers of Popery, that (as the same Dr. Saunderson observes) they are really and eventually Pref. to his Serm. §. 18. (though not intentionally) the great Promoters of the Ro­man Interest among us, and that several ways.

1. By putting to their helping hand to the pulling down of Episcopacy (the main Bulwark against Popery, as having the support of Laws, Reason, Scripture and Antiquity against it). 'Tis well known (says he) what rejoicing that Vote (against Episcopacy) brought to the Romish Party, how in Rome they sang their Io Paeans upon the tidings thereof, saying triumphantly, now the day is ours, now the fatal blow is given to the protestant Religion in England; they could not but foresee that if the old Government (of England) a main pillar in the Buil­ding were once dissolved, the whole Fabrick would be [Page 27] sore shaken, if not presently shattered and ruined, that things would presently run into confusion, distractions and divisions, (as the event soon shewed.)

2. They promote the Interest of Rome (says that learned Author) by opposing it with more violence than reason; in opposing Popery (he observes) the Episcopal Divines have done it by dint of Argument, the Non-con­formists by opprobrious clamours, revilings, &c. so that it hath been obs [...]rved (says he) that in Lancashire, and other places, where there are most and most rigid Presbyte­rians, there are the most and most zealous Papists. Thus that judicious and learned Prelate.

3. Non-conformists promote Popery by causing those divisions in the Church which Jesuits have en­deavoured among us, as more conducible to Popery than all their strength of Argument; as is said to be determined at Rome in their concilium de propaganda fide. And as Mr. Baxter observes (in his Collections Pol. Aph. out of Contzen the Jesuite, and in his Defence of the Principles of Love.) Popery will grow (says he) out of our divisions; thousands have been drawn to, and con­firmed in it by this means. I am persuaded (says he) that all the arguments in Bellarmine and other Books, have not done so much to make Papists in England, as our Di­visions and multiplied Sects. And afterward, who sees not how fair a game the Papists have to play by our divisions? Archbishop Whitgist in his Letter to the Lord Treasu­rer, Fuller. and Dr. Oats in his Narrative, and others speak it as upon their own personal knowledge, that the Dis­senters have been animated to Non-conformity by the Jesuits. It hath been lately made out by a Peer of this Seasonable Address to the Parl. p. 8. Realm, that their making a Court-party and a Country­party, and fomenting fears and jealousies between both, was an expedient agreed upon in France, and sent over into England, for the promoting of Popish Interests. And [Page 28] in Queen Elizabeths time, as soon as ever the Puritan had made the Schism, over came Sanders and Harding Cambd. Eliz. into England, and practised in that sort as proselyted many to the Church of Rome.

4. They promote Popery by vilifying the Church and Church-men of England; when in Queen Eliza­beths time they traduced Archbishop Whitgift (that great and pious Prelate) calling him Beelzebub of Can­terbury, Pope of Lambeth, bloudy opposer of Gods Saints, Esau, Antichristian Beast, &c. and the rest of the Bi­shops as Petty-Popes, the Ordinance of the Devil, paultry Prelates, pestilent Usurpers; in the Convocation they called them Clergy-masters of the Confocation-house, Mon­sters of the Conspiration-house, the Convocation house of Devils, and Beelzebub of Canterbury the chief: and when they called the inferiour Clergy Dolts and Drunkards, Hogs and Dogs, Wolves and Foxes, Simo­niacks and Usurpers, &c. See what advantage the Papists made of this; Parsons in his Book of Three Con­versions, reports these Slanders and Calumnies for un­doubted Truths. Martin Mar-Prelate is said by Sir Ed­win Sandys to pass in those days for unquestioned Cre­dit in the Court of Rome, and his authority much in­sisted on to disgrace the Protestant Religion. Kellison a later one doth build as much on the credit of these Libellers to defame the Reformed Religion, as if they had been inspired by some infallible Spirit. And Ma­son tells it as a serious thing, Appellant Episcopum Can­tuariensem Lib. 3. cap. 16. Pseudo-episcopum, Principem Daemoniorum, Caiapham, Esaum, Monstrosum, &c. Alios autem Episco­pos Angliae, degeneres, perniciosos, Usurpatores, Lupos, Episcopos Diaboli, &c. Now upon these considera­tions, judge who will, what reason these men have to charge the Church or Church-men of England as fau­toring of Popery, to amuse the People with fears and [Page 29] jealousies concerning it, and to arrogate to themselves the reputation of the most zealous opposers of it, and yet by exerting their zeal these three ways they have strengthened their Faction and promoted their interest in Church and State.

4. Their Veneration to the Scriptures pretended above others.

Another way by which they increase their Party and Interest, is the great veneration which they above others pretend to have for the Holy Scriptures, their confident appeals to Scripture, as Judge of their Con­troversie, and constant retreat to it for defence of their Cause; teaching their Followers (even in matters of indifferency which the Scriptures are silent in, and leave to humane prudence) to swagger with the de­mand, Where do you find in Scripture such precept or ex­ample? And this to the more unwary and less know­ing Professors, is one thousand Arguments, and as apt to take with them as any thing. Now there are three things among others which do much liable this pre­tence to hypocrisie and delusion. 1. Their gross per­verting and misinterpreting of Scripture, beyond what the Papists themselves do. 2. The impracticableness and errour of demanding a Scripture-Text for the ve­ry externals of Gods worship. 3. Their disregard and sl [...]ght of those Scriptures (though speaking never so plainly) which contradict their errours and practi­ces.

1. Their perverting and misinterpreting of Scri­pture; when Fathers and Councils, Reason, Antiqui­ty and Scripture fail them, then a good Gloss must serve for a Text, vexing and urging the Holy Writ, which the Apostle calls emphatically [...], i. e. cog­ging Eph. 4. 14. [Page 30] the Die to make it speak what they list; and [...], i. e. crafty deceitful applying and expound­ing 2 Cor. 4. 2. it. Thus by Babylon they understand Episcopa­cy, by beggarly Elements they mean Church-Ceremo­nies; they justifie their out-rages against the late King and Nobility, with a Bind your Kings with chains, and your Nobles with Dr. Hammond observes that that [...] from whence the first Non-conformists, the Gno­sticks, had their names, signifies such a knowledge as was the interpreting the mysteries of the Scripture after their own fansie, (erroneously.) Annot. on the N. Test. Postscript con­cerning New-light, p. 12. lin. 6. preliminary to Matthew. fetters of iron; they have commented Rebellion out of the very thirteenth of the Romans, which enjoins Subjection and Loyalty upon pain of damnation, and have fetcht Presbytery out of the first of Titus ver. 5. which plainly ex­hibits the very essentials of Episcopacy. The Murder of the late King they have out of Daniel's Dream, and from the Beast and the lit­tle Horn in the Revelations; and because the Apostle says Moses was faithful in all the house of God, therefore there must be nothing in the externals of God's Wor­ship but what you have a Text for; for the like rea­son that that ignorant Popish Priest urged out of the Psalms, Paveant illi non paveam ego, to prove his Pa­rishioners ought to pave the Chancel. Look in the Geneva Bibles, their Note on Rev. 9. 3. you will find that by the Locusts which came out of the Smoak (they say) is meant false Teachers, worldly subtle Pre­lates, Monks, Friers, Cardinals, Patriarchs, Archbi­shops, Bishops, This Translation was made about the time that Cart­wright (who had a hand in it) was denied his Doctors Degree, and driven out of Cambridge by Doctor Whitgift then Vicechan­cellor. Doctors, Batchelors, Masters, (to which is subjoined) which forsake Christ to maintain false Do­ctrine; where they bring all Archbi­shops, Bishops, and all that take Uni­versity Degrees, under the name of Lo­custs, and rank them with Monks and Friars, whom they beheld as no other than the limbs [Page 31] of Antichrist. One would think that that Curse at the end of the Last Chap. Ver. 18. Revelations, should make them afraid so to wrack Scripture-Texts, those 2 Tim. 3. 16. God-breathed Oracles, to make them obstetricate to their Impieties, and confess such abominable falsities. But thus it was ab origine, The Donatists justified their separation with that 1 Cant. 7. Tell us where thou makest thy Flocks to rest at Noon, Meridiem versus, the French Translation is, towards the South: therefore they being Southern confine the Church of God to themselves, and sepa­rate from the Orthodox Christian Churches. And we know who it was that first practised this Art, by the manner of his urging our Saviour with a Scriptum est, in all his temptations, Matth. 4.

2. A second thing that liables their pretended vene­ration for the Scriptures above other men, to the suspi­cion of seducing, is their frequent use of demanding Scripture-Texts for every thing in the Discipline and Orders of the Church, denying Church-rulers the pow­er of appointing Ceremonies. Before I come to speak of the delusion of this pretence, I would premise some­thing concerning its errour, which did not the con­stant practice of the Seduced require, it were a shame to take notice of, it hath been so oft refuted by Gro­tius, Morton, Sanderson, and others, shewing;

1. That even in the Jewish Church (from whence they fetch this doctrine) in which God did by imme­diate Revelation prescribe the Rites and Orders of his Worship, even in that Church the Magistrate had a power in the Circumstantials of Religion. David altered some things, and instituted others, he ap­pointed Instrumental Musick to be used in the Wor­ship of God, without any Commission from God that we read of. He distributed the Priests into Orders for the conveniency of their Ministration, yet 'twas 1 Chron. 23. 5, 6. [Page 32] not accounted any innovation in Religion. Hezekiah caused the Passover to be kept in all Judah and Israel 2 Chron. 30. 5. on the second Moneth, on the advice of his Council, upon prudential and pious considerations, though not according to any Divine Institution. He appointed the Levites to kill the Passover, which by God's ap­pointment V. 17. was to be done by the People. He pre­ferred the Levites to assist the Priests in killing the other Sacrifices, which before they were never admit­ted to; and all this was afterward retained in use without reprehension. By all which, it appears that the Magistrate had once a power of ordering matters in God's Worship, and that, even in times when God prescribed the rites and orders of his Worship by im­mediate revelation. And in the New Testament, the Apostle's circumcising Timothy after Circumcision had been abolish'd, shews that all ceremonial appendages are but subordinate, and ought to yield to the designs of Peace, Charity, and Edification. The same Apo­stle in prescribing Church-Orders, leaves out particu­lars, prescribes onely generals, (viz.) Obedience to Ru­lers, doing things decently and in order, to edifica­tion and the like. Now all the question is, who shall be Judge of that decency, order, and edification? The Scriptures cannot, for they no where determine it: The People may not, it was denied them in the Dire­ctory, the Worcester-shire Association, &c. Therefore Church-Rulers must, those higher Powers that are or­dained of God, and established in authority by the Fundamental Laws of the Land. Besides, that every Church-National hath authority to appoint and change Church-Ceremonies and Ecclesiastical Rites, Sir Richard Baker Chron. p. 359. was a main Argument that the first Reformers, Jewel, Cox, &c. used against the Popish Bishops for the chan­ging of Religion from Popish to Protestant.

[Page 33] But 'tis enough to shew the errour and delusion of this pretence, That the most learned of the old Non-conformists themselves have believed and taught that a Scripture-Precept or Example is not necessary to the Institution of Church-Discipline or Ceremonies. Cal­vin Instit. l. 4. cap. 10. §. 30. teaches, That Christ would not prescribe singularly and particularly concerning external Discipline and Cere­monies, because he foresaw things to depend on the occa­sions and opportunities of Times; nor did he think on Form to accord with all Ages; whereupon (says he) we must have recourse to the general Rules, that all things may be tried by them. Finally, he delivered nothing in these points expresly, because they are not of necessity to salvation, but ought to be accommodated to the edification of the Church, according to the different disposition and custom of Times and Countries. Thus Calvin himself, and accordingly he practised, when (without a Scri­pture-Precept or Example) he caused a consult to be Barkley's Pa­raenesis ad Sco­tos, l. 1. c. ult. Reasons of the Christian Re­ligion. held at Geneva in the Year 1543. for changing the Lords Day from Sunday to Thursday. Master Bax­ter himself hath confest, that the vesture, gesture, (and other Ceremonies) are all at the determination of the lawful Magistrate. Now when they suggest thus to People what themselves believe not, what can one think of their design in teaching the seduced Ignorants (when they have nothing else to say) to cry, Where doth the Scripture this or that? where have you Scri­pture-Precept or Example for it?

3. If their pretending such Veneration for the Scri­ptures above other men, were not delusory, their re­gard to the Sriptures would certainly be more uni­form. They would not (as they do) disregard and contemn those Texts (though speaking never so plain­ly) which make any thing against them. Tell them (as the Apostle doth the Corinthians) of Whisperings, [Page 34] Back-biting, Tumults, &c. and that while they are full of strife, envyings, and divisions, one of Paul, another of Apollos, (one of this mans Congregation, another of that) they are carnal, they will perhaps laugh at you, but neither regard you, nor the Apostle. And here is regardable what the learned Doctor Lit­tleton observes (in his Sermon, entituled The Churches Peace asserted, p. 25.) of these Corinthians that the Apostle charges with envyings, strife, and Schisms, which he calls carnality; that they kept to their pub­lick Ministers, yet are charged with those things, meer­ly because they preferred one before another, who were both (Paul and Apollos) men of eminent abili­ties, and extraordinary graces. And if this be envy­ing, strife and carnality, what would Paul have said of us? How carnal are they who desert the publick Ministry, and gad after, not the Pauls and Apollos's (there are not so many among them to gad after) but (as that Reverend Doctor speaks) after every Will-in-the-Wisp, men neither Orthodox nor able. If you urge it to them, that Christ and his Apostles have fore­told us of false Prophets that should be amongst us, and that the marks they have given us to know them by are such as these (viz.) They are such as separate them­selves, Jude 8. 9, 11 This descri­ption the Apo­stle gives of the Gnosticks, to prove them Seducers. (Geneva Translation, Such as make Sects) that they are such as despise dominion, i. e. that cannot endure Superiority or Government: that they are such as speak evil of dignities, (Geneva Translation, of those that are in Authority,) that they are such as are murmurers and complainers, i. e. never content under any Govern­ment: Such as shall perish in the gain-saying of Korah, which was disobedience to the Magistrate, mutinying against Moses and Aaron, the Prince and the Priest, telling them, that all the Lords People are holy, that they had as good a right to govern as Moses and Aaron [Page 35] had, that they took too much upon them, &c. Tell them that the Scriptures call Seducers, false Accusers, (as those that accuse our Worship of Superstition and Idolatry) Traitors, (as those, who like Absalom, draw away the hearts of the Kings Subjects with fine words and fair Speeches): Tell them that the Scripture de­scribes Seducers to be of that sort, that creep into houses, and lead silly women captive, they will no more regard you than if you quoted the Alcoran. Though these Characters hit them, like the left-handed Benjamites, to a hairs breadth, yet 'tis strange to see with what scorn and contempt they will reject that man that shall tell them of these things, though with the greatest de­mission and meekness that may be: and with what slight and disregard they will hear and read these plain Scripture-marks of Seducers, though as competible to them as Treason to a Traitor. Now upon these three considerations, judge who will, what fit persons these are to pretend to Scripture-rule above other men: yet this pretence is one of their wiles whereby to se­duce the People and increase their Party.

5. Their pretence to Reformation, Purity of Religion, Tenderness of Conscience, &c.

Mr. Baxter hath well observed, that the appearance of more spirituality and strictness was that which drew Catho. Theol. Pref. Tertullian to the Montanists, and which promoted a great part of the Heresies which have torn the Churches of Christ. This kept up the Donatists (whom St. Austin calls, Impios & fastidiosos, pertinaces & superbos sepa­ratores; Ep. 48. Ep. 166. 17 [...]. and their Separation he calls Sacrilegious, Heretical, and Seditious; yet these kept up their re­putation and separation from the Orthodox Chri­stians Assemblies by this very means, the pretence and [Page 36] shew of greater purity and sanctity than others.) This kept up the cause of the Priscilianists and Manichees, this kept up the Novatians long in great reputation; this was the strength of the Anabaptists in Germany and the Low-Countries; this is the strength of the Quakers, and (he might have added) of the Non-conformists and their Party at this very day. And the truth is, Piety and Holiness command such an universal love and venera­tion, that the very shew and counterfeit of it, hath deluded thousands into erroneous ways, and hath ever been accounted the most usefull Tool in the fra­ming of seditious and schismatical Innovations. Lycurgus could never have ingratiated his Laws so effectually, had he not pretended conference with his goddess. Nor could the Factious of our late Times have carried on their designs, have gained to themselves such strength of number, and height of reputation, but by the spe­cious disguise of a pretended Reformation and shew of Sanctity above others. Those late Usurpers never wanted a religious pretext for their most hellish un­dertakings. As King James told his Son King Charles, that under the pretence of Religion, he should find from [...]. that sort of People (as he soon did) the most barbarous and bloudy Villanies in the World. And King Charles the First to his Son King Charles the Second. I have [...]. c. 27. observed (says he) that the Devil of Rebellion doth commonly transform himself into an Angel of Reforma­tion; and when mens consciences accuse them of Sedition or Faction, they stop its mouth with the name and noise of Religion and Zeal. And accordingly the Non-con­formity-men of his time in their Sermons before the ParlJam.nt 1643. taught, That 'twas commendable to Calamy Serm. to the House of Lords. fight against the King for Peace and Reformation; that the War was God's Cause, and it should at last prevail: they called fighting for the ParlJam.nt, a following the Marshall. [Page 37] Lamb; and a fighting for the Lamb against the Beast, &c. And at this very day, when Uniformity in God's Worship is called Superstition, Decency called Idola­try, and Loyalty Popery. Grindallizing compliances with the Enemies of the Church, perjurious omissions in Church-ministration is called Moderation, Discre­tion, Prudence, &c. Cartwright the great oppo­ser of Kneeling at the Sacra­ment, died of a Disease that for a considerable time before his death, yielded him no rest or ease in any other gesture but upon his Knees, who had so bitterly inveighed against those, who in that reverend and reli­gious posture received the Sa­crament, Aer. Red. Sitting at the Sacrament [a Custom brought first into England by John Alasco, from among the Arrians of Poland, who used it in denial of Christ's Divinity.]. This sit­ting at the Sacrament, and many the like peevish contumacies in Non-confor­mity, are all put upon the Score of Ten­derness of Conscience, Purity of Reli­gion, &c. and indeed so venerable is right Reformation in Religion, so great a blessing, and so gracious a fruit of the Spirit of God is tender­ness of Conscience, that 'tis no marvel if the meer pre­tence and shew thereof so influenceth a Faction, and captivates the credulous and unwary populace: and therefore for the better discovery of that sort of men, consider we distinctly,

1. Their pretence to Reformation.

2. To tenderness of Conscience, and that without making our selves Judges of their Consciences any further than the Law of God allows, and the evidence of things compels.

I. In their pretence to Reformation, we consider the Method and Manner of their Reforming, and the Ob­ject or matter to be reformed.

1. The Manner of their Reforming was for the most part by savage and sacrilegious depredations. Such savage depredations never were committed by the Goths in the Sack of Rome, as were by these Refor­mation-men [Page 38] in the Cathedral Churches, particularly Winchester and Westminster, Exeter and Chichester, Can­terbury and Rochester, with many others; where their manner of reforming was by breaking down the Or­gans, Aër Red. l. 13. throwing down the Communion-Table and Rails, and in some places burning them in an Ale-house, turning the costly Pulpit-cloths, Cushions, Gowns, Surplices, and Plate into ready money. A golden Chalice belonging to Westminster, which is said to be worth three hundred pounds, was sold to one Allen a decayed Goldsmith, but then a Member of the House of Commons, for threescore pounds. When the De­predators of Hazlerigs conduct, were desired in the Cathedral Church of Chichester, to leave but one Cha­lice for the use of the Sacrament, they refused with these profane words, A wooden Dish may serve turn. They violated the Tombs and Monuments of the Dead; finding in Winchester Church two brazen Sta­tues of King James and King Charles the First, they broke off the two Swords placed by their sides, and with their own, mangled the Crown of King Charles, swearing in scorn, that they would bring him to his Par­lJam.nt. There being in this Church several leaden Chests, containing the dust and bones of some Saxon Kings and other Bishops, they overthrew the Chests, scattered the dust of their Bodies about the Pave­ment, and threw their Bones at that part of the Glass Windows which they could not reach with their Pikes to batter down. The like they did in the Ca­thedral Church of Canterbury by those under the Con­duct of Not that eminently loyal Sandys of Worcestershire, but he that within three Weeks after, was killed at Worcester fight in Pewick Field. Colonel Sandys: In this Church (as lately upon the Royal Effigies in Guild-hall) they strangely exercised their reforming Madness upon the Arras Hangings in the Quire, representing the [Page 39] Hist. of our Savior, some of them swore that they would stab him, others that they would rip up his bowels, which accordingly they did, so far as those Fi­gures of him in the Arras Hangings were The very Heathens made it Treason not onely to assassinate, but to offer to punish their Prince, but in Effigie, Salust. Bell. Jugurth. What is it then for Christians to—God their Saviour in Effigie. capable of it. Finding another Statue of Christ in the Frontispiece of the South­gate, they discharged their Muskets at it, triumphing greatly when they hit him in the head or Face. In the Cathedrals of Exe­ter and Westminster (horresco referens) to these horrid outrages they added such prodigious irreverences, as have not been heard of; turning the Church into a Jakes, and leaving their Excrements on and about the Communion Table, after they had sate about it with their Ale and Tobacco. Thus did they go about to reform the State with ruine, and to sweep the Church with desolation, taking the same method in Reforming, which Pelias's daughters took to make their old Father young again, viz. by cutting his throat to let out his old bloud, which when they had done, knew not where to get new bloud, nor how to put it in him. Consider who will, the hideous specta­cle of their ruining Ministers, abolishing of Govern­ment, devastation of Church, and desolation of State, profanation of God's Worship, and depravation of Religion, the violation of Duty, Conscience, Peace, Order, Laws, Justice, &c. and compare it with the Persecution of the Greek Churches, and he shall find that all the ravages of the Turks since the taking of Constantinople, hath not so disfigured them in two hun­dred years, as these Reformers did in six or seven years in their own native Country. Such abomina­tion of desolation is Presbyterian Reformation, which (Mr. Case says) Armies fought for, ParlJam.nts con­sult Serm. before the Parl. 1644. for, Ministers pray for, and all good People long [Page 40] for. And let no body pretend in this, as Mr. Baxter First Plea for Peace. doth about the Regicidy, that it was a rude conquer­ing Army: For read who will, their Souldiers Cate­chism, Set forth by Mr. Rob. Ram Minister. their Zions Plea, Christ on his Throne; as also their Ordinance on August 28. 1643. and he shall see that all this was done by Authority [from the Houses of ParlJam.nt,] and in the fear of God [by the advice of the Assembly of Divines.]

2. The extravagancy of their Reformation will further appear by considering the matter of it, or the things to be reformed, which are chiefly Episcopacy and the Liturgy.

1. Episcopacy, an Order which hath been proved abundantly to be founded on no other than Scripture and Apostolick practice, Antiquity and Necessity; necessary (as woful experience hath verified) to the support of the English Monarchy; according to those words of King Charles the Martyr, That he could scarce ever boast of one days felicity, after he had once consented to the taking away the Bishops Votes in ParlJam.nt. Which I take notice of the rather, since in a place of note in this Kingdom, at the last Election of ParlJam.nt in the year 1681. the Rabble of the Faction cried it, No Bishops, No Bishops, the very same words and with the same kind of violence as Dr. Burgess's Myrmidons did before the ParlJam.nt House doors in 1641.

2. The other thing to be reformed is the Liturgy; whose Reformation from Popery was sealed by the bloud of Martyrs. When it was first composed and used, the Peo­ple of England received it as a heavenly treasure sent down by God's great mercy to them. All moderate men beyond Seas applauded the felicity of the Church of England, in fashioning such an excellent Form for God's publick Worship. And the Act of ParlJam.nt that first confirmed the same, declared it to be done [Page 41] by the special aid of the Holy Ghost; (as the words of the Act are) and Mr. Fox the Author of the Book of Martyrs fears not to say, that it was indicted by the Holy Ghost: Yet this is that Liturgy which the pee­vish Professors of these stirring Times would have laid aside, for Reformation sake; that so (as King Charles observes, [...].) Ministers may be left to Cap. 20. their liberty and private abilities in God's publick Service, where no man can tell to what he may say Amen, or what adventure he may make of seeming, at least, to consent to whatever errours and ridiculous indecencies bold and igno­rant men list to vent in their Prayers and other Offices. But 'tis enough to satisfie any unprejudiced and ju­dicious Reader, of the unreasonableness of scrupling the Liturgy, that will but consider well those frivo­lous flaws and exceptions which the great Non-con­formity-Champion hath made against it, as the best First Plea for Peace. he could devise, after the twenty years study he speaks of.

II. The second thing to be considered in their pre­tensions above other men in their greater Sanctimony and tenderness of Conscience, which were it real, as it is pretended, I should tremble to think of charging them with the counterfeit, and pretence of it onely. But that which liables it to the suspicion of Counter­feit, lies in these two things:

1. The erroneousness of it, which is so gross as to call the Design of overturning the Government, no Treason; the taking up Arms against the King, no Rebellion; dividing from the Communion of the Church, no Schism; appropriating to private uses the Church-plate and Revenues, no Sacrilege; and using the name of God to all this, no Hypocrisie. How can such thickness of errour consist with true Sanctity and tenderness of Conscience, especially if we take [Page 42] tenderness of Conscience (as that Party doth) in the same latitude with a good Conscience, for such a ten­derness as to be afraid of sin, and to decline the tem­ptations, occasions, and appearances of evil.

2. Their pretended tenderness of Conscience above others, is to be suspected upon the account of its great partiality and defect, wanting that uniformity which is required to its sincerity. When a man shall scruple a Ceremony, and yet neglect an Institution of Christ; not dare to kneel at the Sacrament, yet whol­ly neglect the Communion; boggle at the use of a Ce­remony, yet openly avow the blackest of Crimes, backbitings, slanderings, schism and sedition; is this true tenderness of Conscience, or is it not rather (as one says) a conscience of making no conscience at all.

But more particularly, doth not the partiality and defect of their conscientiousness appear, in their noto­rious uncharitableness and censoriousness, rash censu­ring and condemning, slandering and defaming all that differ from them, especially Ministers. But above all, those that oppose their way (if subtlety and ma­lice can do it) shall be sure to be rendred odious: but the partiality and defect of their conscientiousness is most apparent in their old Dr. Hammond Annot. on the N. T. pag. pre­liminary to the Romans. Gnostick Principle of disobedience to Magistrates. Will any man believe that Practice to be conscientious, or that Religion to be of God, which so dishonours God and Christianity, that so confronts God's Vicegerent, and those in Au­thority under him, which God commands obedience Disobedience to an inferiour Authority a­mong the Jews was to be pu­nished with death, Deut. [...] to, upon pain of damnation; and which (as though foreseeing the pretence of Conscience for their diso­bedience) doth so indispensably urge, you must needs obey, and for Conscience sake, and that even Heathen Governours; whereas the Governours, i. e. the Par­lJam.nt [Page 43] (in part) that our Dissenters are to obey, are of their own chusing, and so the Laws are partly Laws of their own making, as made by their own Repre­sentatives. What they urge for their disobedience is so ludicrous, and of so frequent and obvious confuta­tion, that 'tis a shame to insist upon them: But just to mention them; as,

1. That 'tis better to obey God than Man; which in Obj. the form of an Objection, is nothing else but a fa­ctious slander, intimating, as though our Rulers en­joined any thing in disobedience to God.

2. A second thing urged for their disobedience, is Obj. that of Christian Liberty: The same that the Gno­sticks urged for their revolt from Christianity, and which was used among the Jews as a Passport for Dr. Hammond's Annot. on 1 Tim. 6. 3. 1 Pet. 2. 26. Gal. 5. 5. fugitive Servants, and a praetext to all Outrages and Rebellions; and which the Gnosticks used to justifie their disobedience to Magistrates: Whereas indeed this Christian liberty is a quite contrary thing, viz. a discharge from the necessity of observing the Mosai­cal Law, and Rites of Judaism, and a power in utram­que to do or leave undone things not determined in the Scriptures, but in obedience to the commands of our Rulers, as the ends of Society shall require.

3. Another thing they urge is Passive obedience; Obj. an obsolete self-contradiction, which they have taught the Rabble to vapour with, but themselves are asha­med to own: as being no other kind of Plea than what Papists, Thieves, Murderers may use with the same reason as they; the vilest Malefactors are passive­ly obedient. So that since so leading a man, as Mr. Bax­ter hath said it, that the Priscilianists, Donatists, No­vatians, Cath. Theol. Praef. Anabaptists, Quakers, and other Sects, were kept up meerly by a pretence to more spirituality (Re­formation, tenderness of Conscience, &c.) let the pre­sent [Page 44] Non-conformists exempt themselves, by impro­ving their religious pretences into religious realities, loyalty, charity, meekness, and the like, and our ani­mosities and divisions will be quickly at an end. But notwithstanding these pretences to Reformation, Re­ligion and tenderness of Conscience; yet are,

6. Sedition, Rebellion, and Murders, real Promoters of Presbytery.

Of these I may truly say, in relation to Presbytery, as the Aenigmatist said of Ice and Water,

Mater me genuit, eadem mox gignitur ex me.

Rebellion hath all along nurs'd up Presbytery, and Presbytery hath tolerated and taught Rebellion. All History doth assure us, that for this last hundred years there hath been no Sedition nor Rebellion, no Tumult, Treason, or Massacre in all Europe, but what hath been acted wholly, or in part, by Papist or Presbyte­rian, as a means, and for the sake of propagating their Religion.

  • 1. This hath been their frequent Doctrine.
  • 2. Their constant Practice.

1. Their frequent Doctrine ab origine. Calvin in his Institutions (l. 4. cap. 10.) If there be any popular Ma­gistrate ordained to moderate the licentiousness of Kings—so far am I from hindering them in restraining those Kings, as their Office binds them, that I conceive them rather to be guilty of a perfidious dissimulation, if they connive at Kings if they play the Tyrants; and wantonly insult over the common People: i. e. if the People do but judge their Kings to do so. And after him Beza in his Epistle to the Outlandish Church in [Page 45] England, Ep. 24. Si quis, &c. If any man being lawfully invested with the Supreme Magistracy, shall unjustly spoil or deprive his Subjects of their Rights and Priviledges, (of which he makes the People Judge)—then the ordinary and inferiour Officers are to oppose themselves against him, &c. It was the frequent Doctrine of Knox, Buchanan, Willock, and the rest of Scotland, (as may be seen in their Writings) that if the King refuse to reform Religion, (i. e. to set up Presbytery) then the Nobles may, and if they refuse, the common People must. The present Non conformists of England have taught, that if the King raise War against the ParlJam.nt—the King may not onely be resisted, but he ceases to be King▪ and much more to the same purpose: Mr. Baxter's Political Aphor. Thes. 358. 368. 147. 136. 151. & pas­sim. When King James in his [...] [...]. Pref. ad­vises his Son King Charles, to take heed of those People called Puritans, as the very Pest of the Church and Com­mon-wealth, whom no deserts can oblige, nor oaths bind, breathing nothing but Sedition and Calumnies, aspiring without measure, railing without reason, and making their own imaginations the square of their Consciences, protesting before the great God, that he should not find in any Highlander, greater ingratitude, more lies, and viler perjuries, than among those fanatical Spirits. We find the ground and reason of these words of the King, to be his observation of their frequent use in their very Sermons, to preach, that all Kings and Princes were naturally enemies to the liberty of the Church, and could never patiently bear the Yoke of Christ; thus seditiously endeavouring to steal away the hearts of the People from their Soveraign. And in Queen Eli­zabeths time, when Burchet stabb'd Hawkins a Sea-Captain, thinking it had been the Lord Chancellour Hatton (because a zealous opposer of Presbytery) he [Page 46] declared (as the old Non-conformists the Donatists did before him) that it was lawful to assassinate any man that opposed their religious Principle or Practice. And as this was their Doctrine, so

2. It was their constant Practice: At the very first starting of Presbytery, in the Year 1535. when the Bi­shop of Geneva would not admit of such alterations as Viret and Farellus, with their Followers would have had, they presently tumultuated, drove the Bi­shop and Clergy out of the Town, set up Calvin, al­tered the Government Ecclesiastical and Civil, dis­claimed all allegiance to their Duke and Bishop, and standing on their liberty, as a Free State, governed the City by a Common-council of two hundred men, out of which, they chose four as Supreme, whom they called Syndicks. And Presbytery having thus been first setled in Geneva by Rebellion, was presently sent over into France, where the Abettors of it, suppor­ted by the Earl of Tholouse, made its way by murder­ing Trincannel the Viscount, and chief Governor of the City Beziers, and dashing out the Bishops teeth. They set it up in the Low-Countries beginning at the City Embden (the principal City of the E. of Friesland) by renouncing all allegiance to their Prince, taking up Arms against him, and setting themselves inform of a Commonwealth. Poltrot, who being set on by Beza, murdered the Duke of Guise, when he was upon the Rack, confest that he was promised great rewards by the Admiral, and was assured by Beza, that by taking out of the World such a persecuter of the Gospel, he could not but exceedingly merit at the hands of God. In Scotland, under pretence of removing the Popish Lords, and promoting the Presbyterian Discipline, the Earl of Bothwel and his Complices raised Forces to depose and murder the King. And after that, by the [Page 47] insinuation of fears and jealousies of the Kings avers­ness to the Gospel, his inclination to Popery, and of subverting the Presbyterian Discipline, the Gowries conspire to kill King James; which Plot was so ap­proved of by the Presbyterian Ministers of Edenburgh, that they refused to give thanks for the King's delive­rance, when commanded by his Proclamation so to do. The murder of King Charles I. was first attempted by Poison and Pistol by Captain Rolph, set on by the Par­lJam.nt Army, before they proceeded in those more gentle methods of disburthening him of his large Re­venues, easing him of the charge of Royal House-keep­ing, clearing him of his stately Palaces, putting him out of care of repairing his Armories, Arms, Ammuni­tion and Artillery, taking him off the charge of keep­ing his Wife, Children, and most trusty Servants, easing him of a multitude of his best Subjects and Friends by charitable famishing and brotherly banishing, liberal or free imprisoning, and ParlJam.nt-plundering, by friendly throat-cutting, and unlawful beheading and hanging; utterly ruinating as many as could be caught of those that loved, served, and honoured him; and at last making him a glorious King, by cutting him off with the Sword of Justice for the sake of God and the Gospel. I say, before they proceeded in these gentle, religious methods, they first design'd his mur­der with Poison and Pistol by the aforenamed Captain Rolph set on by the ParlJam.nt Army: Sir Rich. Bakers Chron. p. 585.

Thus hath Presbytery all along like any Penthesilea furens, been bred of bloud, and fed of bloud, and (as common History shews) was begot in Rebellion, born in Sedition, and nurs'd up in Faction.

7. Aspersing Governours and Government.

To this Head of Faction and Sedition may be redu­ced their frequent custom of aspersing, and reproach­ing Governours and Government.

'Tis a Rule in Politie, Corruptio optimi est generatio pessimi, so that when the Monarchical and Episcopal Government are rendered odious, the Republican and Presbyterian must of course be hugg'd, and endeavou­red to be trump'd up: therefore hath it always been their restless endeavours to cast what odium they can upon the Government and Governours, as Arbitrary, Tyrannical, and Popishly affected; and on the Wor­ship and Discipline of the Church, as Formal, Super­stitious, and savouring of Popery, because when once People are seduced to opinion thus of it, they have plausible pretence to oppose it, and to endeavour all they can, an alteration in it; and therefore I say, it According to their Sol. Leag. and Covenant. hath always been their practice (as the Apostle ob­serves of the old Gnostick Schismaticks) to despise do­minions, and speak evil of things they know not; and that loudest of all in their infamous Libellings. Though the holy Scriptures teach, that he that provokes the King to anger, sinneth against his own soul, Prov. 20. 2. and that none may say unto Kings, ye are wicked; or to Job. 34. 18. Princes, ye are ungodly. Though the Scriptures call it Blasphemy to speak reproachfully of the King, and by Mo­ses's I King. 21. 10. Law, it was death to disobey but an inferiour autho­rity: Deut 17. 12. yet in despight of these Laws of God, Nature, and Nations, it is, and ever was their constant practice, by insolent and treasonable discourses, by impudent and seditious libellings to cast what odium they can upon the Government, as that which is very conduci­ble to the pulling of it down. Queen Elizabeth they [Page 49] compared to an idle dirty Slut, who swept the middle Aë. Red. of the room, but left the dirt behind the door, because she would not (for their Innovations sake) sweep all Decency out of the Church. For the same reason they called K. James the greatest and most deadly Ene­my Alt. Damas. Pref. of the Gospel. And it was his frequent observa­tion, [...]. that in their Sermons they used to teach, that all Kings and Princes were naturally Enemies to the Churches Liberty, and could never patiently bear the Yoak of Christ. And in King Charles the First's time, (to say nothing of their Sermons before the ParlJam.nt) they kept in constant pay Mercurius Britannicus, and other scandalous Writers, by their horrid Libels to defame the King, or as their word of advice was, to blacken him, and to enrage the People against him. And t'other day Fitzharris in his Depositions before Sir George Trebee (as I remember) and others, says, that Father Patrick the Jesuite desired him to send him over into Ireland all the Libels that came out in Lon­don, telling him, that libelling the King and the Go­vernment, was a thing necessary to be done, in order to distaste the King, and to make him and the People jea­lous of each other. And accordingly hath been their practice; as appears by their late Letter of Advice for Election of ParlJam.nt; their Appeal from the Country to the City; the Nations Aggrievance, and many the like venomous Libels, which send forth such poiso­nous evulsions and belchings of Fanaticism, as are e­nough to turn the very heart and stomach of any that hath but the least sense or savour of Loyalty in him. And yet how much these contribute to the encourage­ment and increase of their Interest and Party, may be partly seen by that pleasant eagerness, and jocond ti­tillation, wherewith they entertain and read them.

7. Their boast of their number and strength.

It hath always been their practice to endeavour the increase of their Party by boasting of their increase. When they had a mind to proceed in their Innovations in the Year 1585. Penry advised it as an expedient to terrifie the State into a compliance with them, that they present themselves to the ParlJam.nt with a Pe­tition subscribed by a hundred thousand hands. 'Tis said nothing more alarmed the Queen, no not the Spa­nish Armado, than the report of their strength and num­ber, published in a Book called, The Humble Motion, in which it was affirmed, that thousands did sigh for the Holy Discipline, and ten thousands had sought it; and that the most worthy men of every Shire had con­sented to it, that the Eldership was at hand, that all People were inflamed with a zeal for it, and that it was hard, dangerous, nay impossible to stand against it. The very first thing they offered at in King James's time, (soon after his coming to the Crown) was to pre­sent a Petition to him in the name of the Ministers of England, desiring reformation of sundry Ceremonies and abuses in the Church; it was given out to be sub­scribed by a thousand Ministers, and therefore called the Millenary Petition, which when 'twas examined, wanted several hundreds of the number. Of the same kind was that of B. H's True Prot. Intelligence, who lately printed an Address from the City of Colchester, subscri­bed by a great number of hands; which Address was never seen, nor presented by any of the Inhabitants of Colchester, as was made appear by an Instrument under the Town-Clerks hand. The Appeal from the Coun­try to the City says, that the City of London, is too powerful for any Prince, that governs not by the love [Page 51] of his People. A man can scarce come into any of their company, but he shall hear them with this kind of boast, flattering themselves, deluding others, and belying the whole Kingdom. Now whether the de­sign of this be to encourage the People in a Rebellion, if opportunity should serve, or whether it be meerly to intimidate the Rulers into a compliance with them, and a suspension of the poenal Laws. Certain it is, that this kind of boast of their number and strength, and what a considerable Party they are, is one frequent way they have, and of very proper tendency to en­courage their Followers in Schism and Faction, and to increase their Party. But as the design of it speaks Rebellion, so doth its falsity shew the Cheat.


Now upon review of the whole, it will appear to any, not blinded with prejudice, or hardened in Faction;

That Toleration of Church-Dissenters was never hitherto the way to Church-Union; but that Tole­ration and Separation are as inseparable in themselves, as intollerable in their effects, which are constantly such as these, Schism in the Church, Sedition in the State, Disorder, Distraction, and Confusion in both.

That the Grindallizers and Half-Conformists threa­ten little less to the danger and dishonour of the Church, than the open and profest Non-conformists, that their great familiarity and intimacy with, their complying and conniving at, and (instead of zealous, prudent opposition) their halting and sneaking to them, is that, which cannot but work in People a love and liking to their persons and their ways; and so by their treachery within the Pale, like Moles, undermine [Page 52] the Foundation, when the other, like Wolves and Fo­xes, can but howl and foam without, the Mound and Fence of the Church being strong enough against them. And that therefore the Eye of Government had need be watchful over these Half-Conformists, as well as over the professed Non-conformists.

That notwithstanding Non-conformists noise about Popery, they are far more conformable to Papists than the Conformists are, in principle and practice both; that in things relating to Monarchy, they are meerly be-jesuited, and Popishly agent in weakening the Cause and Interest of Protestantism several ways, (as hath been shewn) and that by their extravagant zeal, their irregular, disloyal, and irreligious pretences against Popery, they design something more; since common History makes evident, that Presbytery was never pro­moted any where, but under pretence of pulling down Popery.

'Tis obvious from the afore-mentioned Instances of their former Reformation, how dangerous is all super­perfluous Innovations, unnecessary alterations, and but pretended Reformation in matters of Church and State.

That so far as the Laws permit, they are still hunt­ing upon the same File, treading in the same steps as those in Forty one, since the pretences and practices of both are so very self-agreeable; and since the best of History assures us, that Discontent and Ambition, Faction and Sedition, Libelling and Tumultuating have been the ordinary promoting causes of their In­terest and Cause.

That the Non-conformists will never make good appeals to Scripture, their claim and pretensions to Sanctity above others, till putting away the Diabo­lism of their false accusations and slanderings, their [Page 53] spiritual pride and malice, they become more humble and charitable in their judgments, more meek and loyal in their behaviour and discourses, submitting themselves to those that have the rule over them, bewailing before God, and publishing to the World their Repentance for what they have contributed to the present sad Separation, as that which hinders the success of a learned, orthodox, and able Ministry, encourages the Papists, and multiplies other Sects, scandalizes the Weak, hardens the Infidel and wicked into a scorn and contempt of Religion it self, exasperates Rulers, tends to Sedition and Faction, weakens the Church and the Kingdom, causes such envy and wrath, hatred and contentions, (as the Apostle speaks) such biting and devouring one another, as is like enough to end Gal. 5. 15. in being consumed one of another. Since the present state of things is such, that either these things must be put upon the score of Religion, or that the Non-con­formists must take the shame thereof unto themselves, and vindicate the honour of Religion by a full and free acknowledgment to the World of their perni­cious errours in the present Separation. What men fearing God, would dare to justifie a Separation which hath so deplorable and dismal tendencies, as afore-mentioned.

Their laying the Separation at our doors, and charging it upon the King and ParlJam.nt, in causing such impositions as they cannot in conscience submit to, hath been sufficiently proved to be delusory, im­pudent and false, by the testimony of the Reformed Churches beyond Seas, (as well as by our English Di­vines) as may be seen in the French History of Presby­tery, in the Letters appendiced to Dr. Stillingfleets Se­paration, &c. And if they have any mind to lay down their Schismatical doings, to leave the Conventicle, [Page 54] and to come into the Pale of the Church, bringing their Flocks with them, and there behave themselves as the Disciples of Christ, and Sons of the Church, sound and sincere in their Conformity, peaceable and loyal in their behaviour; if so, behold, the sweet se­verity and prudent goodness of our Rulers to them, in chusing this very crisis of time to execute the Laws against them, when that which they call the great Mountain in their way is removed, (viz. the obliga­tion to renounce the Solemn League and Covenant ceases,) which they cannot but look on as their Rulers gentle driving through that gap, which March 28. 1682. the re­nouncing of the Covenant is not injoin­ed. See the Act of Unifor­mity. History of Presbytery, l. 9. n. 34. this 28. of March opens to them. But if this severity of Rulers will not drive them, let the examples of their Prede­cessors (the learnedst of them) lead them. Beza him­self, when Archbishop Whitgift in a long and learned Letter laid before him the deplorable rupture which, not without his concurrence, had been made in the Church of England, he justified the Church in her whole proceedings, so clearly, that Beza confest him­self conquered, and thence-forward never breathed any thing but Peace to the Church, and respect to that Reverend Prelate. Cartwright after all his clamours History of Presbytery, l. 9. n. 30. 33. 35. and tumultuous proceedings against Conformity, when he saw to what sad ends he brought some of his Followers, Barrow, Penry, &c. and with what horri­ble confusions he had disturbed the Church, he was at last content to conform; he confessed that there was more Discipline in the Church of England, than in any of those Churches beyond the Seas; (therefore more than in Geneva, and other transmarine parts in which he lived, where Presbytery was.) After some time of imprisonment, the Archbishop procured his enlarge­ment, which he accepted, promising never to write, preach, or act in any thing to the disturbance of the [Page 55] Church, either in reference to its Government or Forms of Worship. Henderson that greatest Cham­pion for Presbytery in his time, was so confuted by King Charles I. in a dispute about Church-Govern­ment, Hist. of Pres­bytery p. 77. and so confounded with shame and grief, at the Kings Answers to his Cavils, that he fell into a despe­rate melancholy and sickness, which soon brought him to his Grave, professing (says that learned Historian) that he died a Convert, frequently extolling those great abilities, which he declared to be in his Majesty. And t'other day Lewis Du-Moulin after he had writ­ten his Several advances of the Church of England to­wards the Church of Rome, and done all he could a­gainst Conformity, at last repents and recants, acknow­ledging Dr. Stillingfleet, Pres. to the Unreasonable­ness of Sepa­ration. his errours. And now Mr. Baxter's turn is next, if it please God to hear and answer that good Prayer of his for himself, in his Cure of Church-divi­sion: Lord hide not from me my miscarriages, and suffer P. 251. me not to take any sin that I have committed, to be my in­nocency, or duty, lest I should dare to father sin on God, and lest I should live and die without repentance, and lest I should be one that continueth judgments and dangers to the Land.



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