A DISCOURSE CONCERNING PURITANS. TENDING TO A VINDICATION of those who unjustly suffer by the mistake, abuse, and misapplication of that NAME.

Vivere qui vultis sanctè, discedite Româ,
Omnia cùm liceant, non licet esse bonum.
You who would guiltlesse be, depart from hence,
No guilt is here so blacke as Innocence.

The second Edition, much inlarged, augmented and corrected by the Authour.

LONDON, Printed for Robert Bostock, 1641.

To the Puritan Reader.

IF thou art such a one as doest confesse thy selfe a Puritan (as the name is now unjustly used) thou wilt soon find in this short Tract, that my indevour has been to do thee right, but not to humor thee; to take off unjust aspersions from thee, but not to insinuate by flattery into thee. An Ambi­dexter I would not be in two contrary factions, by seeking to please both; neither would I be a Neuter, if I could avoyde it: but in things where I dissent, I will de­part from both sides, rather then from that which I think the truth. I shall not use the word Puritan facti­ously, as if all Puritans were alike to be imbraced: but cautiously, as if that difference and contrariety might happen amongst Puritans in England, as did once amongst the Disciples in our Saviours owne Schoole. Charitie urges me not to censure any man in particular for an hypocrite, yet wisdome teaches me not to free all men in generall from being hypocrites: such charity may well stand and agree together with such wisdome, and such wisdome with such charitie; but if I doe not at all scruple any mans integrity, this necessitates me not therefore to ascribe an infallibilitie: for if I can easily yeeld to hope and think well of all Puritans, yet it ought not to be expected that I should yeeld my consent to all Puritans in all things. I am free and open in declaring my opinion aswell against the rigorous and necessary urging of Presbyteriall as Episcopall Government in all places, and at all times; but I relye upon proofe not [Page] meere phansie, and my proofe being enervated by my clearer judgement, it will be a pleasure to me to retract. Variety of opinion and understanding (some say) has place amongst those glorious spirits in Heaven, amongst whom no other kind of discord can have place: and even the Apostles themselves though inspired by God, yet when they spake not by inspiration, they were not desi­rous to lead captive the beliefes of other lesse-knowing men. Heat and acrimony amongst such as dissent in opinion has done more mischiefe in the Church of God, then any thing that I can imagine besides; and certainly 'tis not the meere love of truth, but some other sinister respect that workes thus violently in the minds of men so naturally dimme, as we all are. For why should I burn with indignation against another, because he is lesse un­derstanding then I am? or why should I so farre pre­sume upon my selfe, if I think I am liable to errour, as well as other men? can the meere love of knowledge make me abhorre ignorance more in another then in my selfe? or make me arrogate more freedome from errour to my selfe, then to other men? Sure, truth has more af­finity with charity then so, and charitie with humility. For my part, I doe acknowledge my selfe not onely sub­ject to much ignorance, but to much scandalous offence too; my greatest enemie shall not charge me of more staines, then I will my selfe; I will confesse my self the chiefe of sinners, and that not only in regard of sinnes past, as perhaps Saint Paul did, but also in regard of my present sinfull condition; but certainely since sin and ignorance are such things as cleave radically to all men, and must be accounted sortis humanae; therefore to beare mutuall reproofes, and to forbeare all bitter­nesse and censure, ought to be professed as vertues, and to be accounted Sortis Christianae. And since I my [Page] selfe notwithstanding all my other defects▪ do not glory in them, but confesse them to my shame, and since I doe not maligne the graces of God in rigid Puritans, but rather rejoyce thereat, I am persuaded, howsoever I appeare to the eye of God, no man living ought to despise me, much lesse to expunge me out of the booke of life. If God does not give me so much grace as he does thee, wilt thou say, He gives me not that which he accounts sufficient? and if I am not in this or that so unblame­able as thou art, wilt thou say, my grace generally is not equall with thine? if thou exceedest me in all other vertues, and yet art by me exceeded in humility alone, wilt thou upon this proceede to censure me? Puritans have not made themselves more inexcusable by any thing then by condemning other men: for though they see not as God sees, yet they will often undertake to judge as God ought to judge: and in this they have not been greater enemies to themselves, then to the whole state of Pietie and Religion. It does not appeare to the contrary, but that the Pharisee in the Gospell, of whom our Saviour put his case, might be a good man, and his cause might be good to praise God for not leaving him to the scandalous excesses of some other men: but when he would undertake to judge particular men, more righ­teous perhaps in Gods sight then himself, we know what judgement he received himselfe. And if it be not lawfull to censure a Publican, much lesse will I censure a Pharisee, except alone in that particular wherein hee is himselfe censorious, and wherein our Saviour Christ condemnes him: that doctrine therefore which I shall recommend to all men both Pharisees and Publicans, is, to be Charitable, to be Humble: to be Charitable, because they are Christians, to be humble, because they are men. [Page] The Times have lately received a very great and wonderfull change, almost equall to that of Edw. the 6. and yet still there is the same use of Charitie, as was before. Lukewarmnesse that odious and nauseous bane of Religion was hitherto decored and guilded over with the title of Moderation: but now we are in danger to suffer in the other extreme, for Moderation that blessed pacificall vertue is now likely to be as much debased, and defaced under the title of Lukewarmnesse: Both wayes Charity is violated, both wayes Piety is opposed: and what difference is it to Satan, if he prevaile, by which extreme he does prevaile, whether he sinks us by a Tempest, or confound us by a calme? For a remedy of all mischiefes then let us embrace Charitie, and that Charitie may dwell amongst us, let us all learne to cen­sure, despise, and abhorre our selves more, and other men lesse hereafter.


ITis a common Maxim amongst Politi­cians, that a State is maintained by Ac­cusations, but ruined by Calumnies: and therefore (saies Marquesse Malvezzi) Happy shall the Subjects be of that wise Prince, which countenances Accusations, and checks Calumnies: for the suffering of Accusations to goe lesse in repute, and Calumnies to get footing, hath beene the encrease of manslaugh­ter, and the continuance of enmity in all ages. Many beleeve that nothing which is done would be knowne, if this meanes of dispersing privie calumnious speeches were not used, where­as little is knowne because it is used: for falshood constantly affirmed for truth, sometimes deceives, and when it does not, but is knowne to be falshood, yet it forces to some suspension of judgement, and makes us yeeld some way even to that which we beleeve not. This is most apparant at this day in [Page 4] this Kingdome in the Case of Puritans, for did accusation and legall processe take place, few crimes would be proved against Puritans, and did not malicious calumny prevaile, as few men would be proved Puritans, whereas now nothing is so mon­strous, which is not branded upon Puritans, and no man is so innocent as to escape that brand. So great also is the audacity of those which lacerate the fames of Puritans, and with so much confidence doe they vent their obloquies, that they which know the falsity thereof, and easily perceive that the same aspersions are more truely due to the Autors and raisers of them, yet they are dazeled, and driven to some doubtfull admittance thereof. Neither could this audacity be so preva­lent amongst the vulgar, but that Scholars, and the greatest of the Clergy are now become the most injurious detesters and depravers of Puritans, having taken up in Pulpits and presses, almost as vile and scurrilous a licence of fiction and detracti­on, as is usuall in Play honses, Taverns, and Bordelloes. Some men divide generally all Protestants into Puritans, and Anti­puritans, but I shall admit of subdivisions in both, for all men are not alike, which either affect or disaffect, either Puritans or Antipuritans. Antipuritans I shall thus divide. Some An­tipuritans are so tearmed, because they are no Puritans, but such I dislike not, for I my self am neither the one nor other, I neither merit the name of Puritan, neither doe I hate them so as to professe my self an Antipuritan.

Others are accounted Antipuritans, because they are of the Romish Religion, and so professe themselves, but their enmity is but a due antipathy, and as a necessary consequence of their Religion, and such I take no notice of, I think Puritans expect no other from them. Others again there are which are very averse from some Puritanicall Tenets, and hold Puritans in very many things erroneous, but yet they mean well them­selves, and bear no hatred to the persons of Puritans, they al­low Puritans sound in the most and weightiest matters of faith, they hold dissent in disputable things no ground of malice, and they attribute no infallibility to themselves in [Page 5] those things wherein they dissent: from these men I am but little removed. The worst sort of Antipuritans, and they which ought only to be so called, are they which bitterly hate and persecute many good men under the name of Puritans, and many goods things in those which are Puritans, whose antipa­thy is to mens persons, as well as opinions, & in opinions those which are sound, as well as those which are erroneous. These are the Antipuritans which I shall now strive to detect, whom I now hold to be of great number and power in the State at this day, whom we may account the chiefest causers, and pro­curers of all those mischiefs and plagues which now incumber both Church and Commonwealth, and to be guilty of all those crimes, which falsly they charge upon Puritans, being therein like Caesars enemies which therefore onely hated him, because they had deserved hatred from him. By such Antipuri­tans is all love to goodnesse and zeal to the Protestant Reli­gion, and all hatred of vice, and dislike of Popish Superstition, brought into contempt. For as they admit all true of Puri­tans which Papists object against Protestants, so they account all Protestants almost (besides their own faction) Puritans. By such is the Religion of the Scots made ridiculous; by such is the amitie of the two Nations, and therein the Honour and safety of the King, his Crown, and Progeny endangered. By such is Calvin, & the Reformers of our Religion for hearkning therein to Calvin, traduced, and another reformation attempted; by such is Antiquity preferred to obscure Scripture, Uniformity in Ceremonies to the disadvantage of unity in hearts; by such is the outside and walls of Religion trimmed and decored, whilst the soule thereof is neglected and defaced; by such is the Kings heart stolne from his Subjects, and the Subjects e­stranged from the King: by such is the Name of Royalty pre­tended whilst a Papall Hierarchy onely is intended; by such is dissention nourished in the State, that they may fish in trou­bled waters: by such is truth in other men styled faction, and faction in themselves styled truth; by such are innovations preached and printed for necessary points, whilst necessary do­ctrines [Page 6] in other men are prohibited. In the power of such it now remaines to teach and publish all things consonant to their owne ends, and to quash and silence all gainsayers, and either to promote or detrude all Suiters for preferment at their discretion being absolutely possessed of Presses, Pulpits, and the eares of great men; by such are many good men revi­led and oppressed for their constancie to the true Religion, whilst many factious, semipopish Dunces are unduly prefer­red every where for neutrality in Religion, or some worse in­novation; by such are Puritans made as Sinks and Sewers to unlode and discharge their own filth into, whilst their black railing tongues expume nothing against Puritans, but what is true of themselves. These things (if I am not deceived) will appeare in this ensuing discourse.

In all ages true Religion hath been odious amongst Hea­thens, and true devotion amongst Sensualists, Judaisme appear­ed to Painims meer Superstition: Christianity seemed to the Jewes grosse blasphemie: and now amongst Christians Prote­stantisme is nothing else but Heresie: and amongst Protestants Zeal is misnamed Puritanisme; But in this word Puritanisme is a greater mystery of defamation then ever was before, it may well be called [...], it is a word of depravation, fit onely for these times, wherein the shine of the Gospel is at the brightest, and the malice of Satan at the highest. This word sprung up almost with the Reformation, no sooner had the woman brought forth, but the Serpent pursued her to devoure her issue, and she being fled into the Wildernesse, this streame of infamy was spued forth after her to overtake her.

The Bishop of Downe in Ireland, in his Visitation speech 1638. endeavours to make it credited, that Puritans have increased since the Reformation by degrees, both in number and malice: but the contrary is most apparently true.

Dissent in Ecclesiasticall Policie about Ceremonies and o­ther smaller matters, being not of the substance of Religion, first gave occasion to raise this reprochfull word Puritan in the Church: but since that time mens minds being better satisfi­ed, [Page 7] and peace being more firmly setled about those indifferent things, the more few Puritans remayned, and the more mo­derately those few became inclined, the more furiously their e­nemies raged against them, Bastwick, Prin, and Burton, the onely men which Law can take hold of, are Names now as horrid in the world, as Garnet, Faux, Ravilliack. Precisians have now wonne the Scene from Iesuites: Poysoning of Em­perours, massacring of Provinces, blowing up of Parliaments are all now grown into oblivion, and drown'd in the stories of Ceremony-haters. Howsoever as amongst Antipuritans, so amongst Puritans (it must be confessed) there, are some diffe­rences to be observed. Some Puritans think all Puritans alike to be loved, and all Antipuritans alike to be hated, but sure there is truer affinity in minde between some which are Puri­tans, and some which are not, then between some Puritans and others, or some of the contrary opinion and others. Paul un­converted equally opposes Peter as Simon Magus does, and in regard of this joynt opposition, both are unanimous, but even in this opposition both have their opposite ends. Magus oppo­ses maliciously for ambition and lucres sake, but Paul igno­rantly seeking thereby the same Gods Honour whom Peter serves in a truer way. Therefore in regard of the mayne end, there is more unity and consent betwixt Paul the persecuter, and Peter the persecuted, then betwixt Paul and Magus, though both persecuters of the same cause. The like is now visible in England, for every man which is an Antipuritan is not so for the same Reasons, some have more of malice, others are more ignorant, some are pestilent Engineers, and through the sides of Puritans knowingly stab at purity it self, others are but Engines misimployed, or by their owne blind zeal misled, and these perhaps whilst they persecute Gods children, ima­gine they doe God a gratefull service therein.

In Samaria, from an unkindly mixture of Israelites and Syrians, a strange heterogeneous of-spring different in Religion from both did arise; and the like is now in England, nay, it may be said here (as it was in Constantines dayes) There are [Page 8] almost as many Religions as Opinions, and as many Opinions as Men. Papists have their differences, Protestants theirs, therefore needs must there be many more differences where Papists and Protestants live so confusedly blended together. For examples sake, how many differences have we even about indifferent Ceremonies; and that meerly amongst Protestants? Some men loath Ceremonies out of Antipathy to Popery, which too superstitiously extols them; others againe admire them for Antiquities sake, which before Popery innocently (yea, and perhaps profitably for those infant times of the Gospel) used them. These two sorts of men, though different are not dangerous. Again, some men are thought to disrelish Ceremonies out of stomack to that authority which com­mands them; but if there be any such, I thinke they are very few, and scarce visible to the eye of man. Others on the con­trary give reverence to them for Poperies sake, which depends so much upon them; and I feare there are many such amongst us. Again, some men stand devoted to Ceremonies, as they are the lightest things of the Law: like the Tythers of Mint and Annis in the Gospel, embracing them instead of weightier matters, and none are more unmercifull then these to scrupu­lous minded men. Others in the mean while account all things of the same moment, both great and small, pretending to spie some faults, and some truths on either side, and there­fore they hold it indifferent to assent to either, or dissent from either in any point whatever. But the wisest sort conceive there may be errours on both sides, but not alike grosse and perni­cious, and therefore such eschew the wrong, and apply them­selves to the right in either side, yet neither honour, nor de­spise either side alike. And these instances shew that all men doe not professe, or condemne Puritanisme alike, or from the same ends, and yet in the Chaos of this Countrey, as things now stand.

Frigida cum calidis pugnant, humentia siccis.
Mollia cum duris, sine pondere habentia [...]ondus.

[Page 9] I could wish therefore that all well meaning men would take notice of these things, and affect by reason, not passion; for since some good men are Puritans, and not all, and since some ill men are Puritans, and not all, this ought not to be a rule of love and hatred in all cases alike. That which is most objected to Puritans, is fury, faction, and hypocrisie: if I see these in a man reputed no Puritan, yet to me He is a Puritan: and if I see not these in a man reputed a Puritan, as to me He is no Puritan.

If Gracchus be invective against Sedition, I censure him by his actions, not by his words, and if Cato be accused of mutiny, I censure him by himselfe, not by his accusers, I con­demne none meerely because condemned by others; for it is usuall for the Wolfe to sit on the Bench and condemne the Lambe at Bar, for that which is most proper to the Wolfe most unnaturall to the Lambe, and yet this proves the Wolfe the more a Wolfe, and the Lambe the more a Lambe. I cannot but professe it, there is nothing more scandalizes me at this time, then to see Puritans being so few in number, so de­spicable in condition, so harmelesse in example, so blamelesse in opinion, yet sentenced and condemned in judgement, as if they were the greatest Incendaries, and the only Innovators in the Christian World. Doctor Heylin a violent pamphleter against Puritans, calls Burton the great Dictator of Puritans, and the Law hath past upon him with great severity, yet Bur­tons crime was that He wrote against Altar-worship, and it was adjudged that his style was seditious. It is not manifest that his intention was seditious therein, and if it was so, it is manifest that He was most vaine and absurd therein as our State is now establisht, and as our King is generally revered, They which pretend great danger to the King likely to ensue out of such paper machinations as these, may have three mis­chievous ends therein. First, that they may be thought the only solicitous men of the Kings safetie. Secondly, that they may disparage the common peoples loyaltie. Thirdly, that they may crush their adverse Puritanicall party; but, it is thought, [Page 10] they which pretend most danger hereby to the King: doe least believe themselves, and therefore they doe spin that affe­ction and division out of the sufferings of Burton, &c. which his attempts could never have effected.

My Lord of Canterbury in all his invectives against Puri­tanisme, ever made fury and turbulence the ground of all his hatred and enmity against it, and yet let the whole world judge if the earth ever brought forth any thing more furious and turbulent then himself. At the same time whilst he adjudges torture to that incendiary Burton, &c. for writing a Pamphlet against Altars, &c. He himself is busie in sowing the Dragons teeth (I may say the great red Dragons teeth) all over England Scotland, and Ireland, and putting all the three Kingdomes in­to a posture of warre, that like earthen vessels they may be dashed to peeces by conflicting one against the other. To whom can it be credible that Burtons quill should blow the flame of warre amongst Nations so combined in spirituall, carnall and politicall consanguinity; under the protection of so peacefull a Prince, in such Halcyonean dayes of tranquilli­tie, when even my Lord of Canterbury himself with all his ill accomplices at home, and Spanish, Italian, French confede­rates abroad, ought for ever to be admired for his prevalence in that vast stupendious dis-service? Howsoever, as the times lately were, we beheld sedition grievously upbraided, and pu­nished in Burton by my Lord of Canterbury, and that old verse applyed as a proverbe:

Quis tulerit Gracchos de seditione loquentes?

But its no wonder that Burton should be an incendiary in that mouth, wherein Calvin was a knave, Good God, could he think the Reformed Religion any thing else but knavery, when he calls Gods most sanctified and best inspired instru­ment of Reformation Knave? Because God doth not now work by miracles, as he did in the first plantation of the Gos­pel; are not therefore his works as sacred, and his instruments [Page 11] as venerable? And since the Redemption, what work hath God ever performed more noble, and for ever to be exalted then the Reformation? for what was that worke, but a revi­ving of lost salvation, and a new restauration of the buried Gospel amongst us? and in that glorious worke who was an­oynted by God for a more egregious charge then Calvin? Is it not therefore the same sin in kinde if not in degree so to con­spurcate and defile this blessed messenger of this blessed ti­dings with impure termes of obloquie, as it was to ascribe the worke of our Saviour to Beelzebub? O the execrable gall of that breast, and venome of that tongue, which through the sides of Calvin did strive to defame the most gracious services of Calvin, nay that most pure aud fiery Spirit of God him­selfe, which enabled Calvin for those services! Needs must he hate and prosecute all Puritans whatsoever, and reject and disrelish all things whatsoever in Puritans, which is so ma­liciously bent against Calvin himselfe meerly because Puritans have him in so high esteeme, for that holy Spirits sake which rested so aboundantly upon him.

But let us a little further search into the mysterious abuse, and misapplication of this word Puritan. Those whom we ordinarily call Puritans are men of strict life, and precise opini­ons, which cannot be hated for any thing but their singularity in zeale and pietie, and certainly the number of such men is too small, and their condition too low, and dejected: but they which are the Devils chief Artificers in abusing this word when they please, can so stretch and extend the same, that scarce any civill honest Protestant which is hearty and true to his Religion can avoid the aspersion of it, and when they list a­gaine, they can so shrink it into a narrow sense, that it sha [...]l seem to be aimed at none but monstrous abominable Here­tickes and miscreants. Thus by its latitude it strikes generally, by its contraction it pierces deeply, by its confused application it deceives invisibly. Small scruples intitle mee to the name of Puritan, and then the name of Puritan intitles me further to all mischiefe whatsoever.

[Page 12] The Scots rise up against Episcopacie, it is questioned by some, whether they so rise up, for the good of Religion, or for the overthrow of wholsome Discipline.

Answer is soone made, that Episcopacie cannot be unplea­sing to any but Puritans, there is no opinion can smell stronger of Puritanisme, then that of a Church parity, and of Puritans what good can be expected? but the Scots also desire redresse in other grievances, and here their intention is againe question­ed. Answer is as soone made again. That the Scots being decla­red open Puritans, they must needs be enemies to Monarchicall government, and that no redresse can ever satisfie them, but such as shall debase royall dignity, and establish a popular rule a­mong them. But some of the Scots in some actions doe very much misdemeane themselves, and here it's thought by some, that this ought not to redound to the prejudice, or blame of the whole Nation: but strait the Antipuritan steps in againe with answer to the former purpose, that the same faction which makes them all Puritans, makes them all mutiners, and that there is no trust to be given, nor favour shewed to any whose very religion is disobedience. Other the like examples may be instanced in. Parliaments of late in England have beene jea­lous of religion, this laudable Zeale made them at first come into contempt as Puritanicall, and then the imputation of pu­ritanisme made this laudable Zeale contemptible; and so by degrees, as any thing else might be charged upon Puritans, as disobedience, and disaffection to Monarchy, so nothing could be charged but proceeding from Puritanisme. Some scrupulous opinions make Say, Brooke, &c. Puritans, Puritanisme inferres them mutiners, mutinie makes all that they can doe or say, all that they forbear to doe, or say, it makes their very thoughts wicked and perverse. Thus wee see what a confused imposture there is in this infamous terme of Puritan: but wee will yet fur­ther evidence by plaine instance how broad the devils net is in the vast application of this word, and how deep his pit is by its abominable sence, and the nature of its importance, that we may the better discover that net which intangles so many, and [Page 13] shun that pit which ingulphs so sure. Puritans (as I said before) were at first Ecclesiasticall only, so called because they did not like a pompous or ceremonious kinde of discipline in the Church like unto the Romish: but now it is come about, that by a new enlargement of the name, the world is full of nothing else but Puritans, for besides the Puritan in Church policie, there are now added Puritans in Religion, Puritans in State, and Puritans in morality. By this means whole Kingdomes are familiarly upbraided with this sinne of Puritanisme: As for example, All in Scotland which wish well to the Cove­nant, though some Papists, some Courtiers, and almost all the whole body without exception have now declared themselves for it, yet all these are manifest Puritans. So also in England, all the Commons in Parliament, and almost all the ancient impar­tiall temporall Nobility, and all such as favour and rellish the late proceedings of both the houses, which is the maine body of the Realme, Papists, Prelates and Courtiers excepted, nay, and its likely all Scotland, and more then halfe Ireland, all these are Puritans. They which deprave this great Councell of the Kingdome, suggest to the King that the major part is gull'd and dorde by the Puritan Party; but this is only because they are ashamed to speake it out openly in grosse termes, that all the major and better part in the Court of Parliament is Puri­tanicall. But this suggestion is utterly false and impossible, for such as the major part in Parliament is, such are those that chose them and sent them thither, and such are those that now approve their actions there, and both in the elections of Par­liament men, and in the consultations of Parliament affaires, the Kings party is as wise, cautious and vigilant (if not more) as the other party, and no subtilty could circumvent or cheat them out of their votes, if the Puritans were so small and in­considerable a side, as now they make them. No man of what capacity soever can admit this; it is to all undeniable, that the blame of a Parliament, is the blame of a whole Kingdome. But I returne to my Ecclesiasticall Puritan. Though it be true that Ecclesiasticall Puritans are fewer now, then hereto­fore [Page 14] they have been, yet it is as true that Ecclesiasticall purita­nisme is made a larger thing by farre then it was, being now spread abroad like a net to ensnare the more, as our many late additions and innovations testifie, which have crept into the Church (as may be feared) for the vexation and molestation of such men, as were not disquieted with former ceremonies. It is generally suspected, that our Prelates have aimed at two things in the novelties which they have lately induced into the Church; first, the suppression of those which are enemies to their pride, avarice, and ambition, by them tearmed Puritans: secondly, their owne further ease, promotion, and advantage. Both these ends seeme to be leveld at in sanctifying the Altar, and unsanctifying the Lords day, in advancing auricular con­fession, and corporall penances by externall mortifications, and crying downe lecturing, and preaching; for if we marke it, these new Doctrines doe not onely serve to terrifie and scan­dalize tender consciences, and thereby to deprive, and silence many painfull good Ministers, and to scare away into forreign Plantations whole troups of Laymen, and to inwrap the rest in opposition▪ but each of these doctrines besides hath a further reach in it of benefit to the Clergie. The Communion Table hath lately gained a new Name, a new Nature, a new Posture, a new Worship that Emperours and Kings may be brought againe to take notice how far the persons and offices of Priests excell in sanctity the persons and offices of Princes. Theodosius within one hundred yeares after Prelacie began to arrogate to it selfe, was presently taught this lesson, for taking his seat in the Chancell according to the Easterne and ancient fashion, a Deacon was sent to him in great state, to let him understand that none but men in holy Orders might presume to set their feet on that sacred ground. This was then the Bishops Law, not the Emperours, nor knowne in any other of his Domini­ons, but Italy onely; but sure it was fit discretion, that much should be ascribed by Bishops to that place, from which they were to derive much, and which would be sure to repay their homage with so great an advantage of homage back againe. [Page 15] Preaching is now also grown too burthensome, and the Lords Day to Priests according to that sanctity which Puritans al­low it, it requires too much praying, preaching, singing, which are not onely to them tedious, but also apt means to encrease, and foment Puritanisme amongst the people. Auricular Con­fession also is a godly devise to bring the Laity into subjection, and to make the people bow before the power of the Keyes, and it may aptly force the consciences of Kings themselves to feare the scourges of gowned men. Adde lastly Mr. Wats his bodily mortification to Mr. Sparrows confession, and then Laymen will be soone inured againe to finde out the fittest penances, especially Praesbyteris, & aeris advolvi, and so in time their purses, their bodies, their consciences shall all bee made sensible of the spirituall Scepter of Priests.

Its no great wonder then if our Court Divines, and their dependents doe what they can to draw us neerer dayly to­wards Popery, under shew of Antiquity, Uniformity and Cha­rity, for (without all doubt) of all Religions, Popery is the most beneficiall to Priests, most tyrannous to Laymen. Nei­ther is it strange that they pretend so much zeale and devoti­on to the Kings Crowne and Prerogative, as things now stand in England, as if none truly affected the same but themselves, for its cleare, that they cannot subject the people but by the King, nor the King without the people: and so long as they stand possessed of the Kings good opinion, no man shall have power to confute them.

King Iames is a great instance for Antipuritans, and a great prop to the Episcopall Cause, its alleadged of him that Hee hated Puritans for their hatred to Episcopacie, and loved E­piscopacie for its amity to Monarchie: His Aphorisme was, No Bishop, no King: Let us therefore appeale from King Iames in their words to King Iames in his owne. In his Pre­face before his Basilicon Doron his words are: The style of Puritans properly belongs to that vile Sect of the Anabaptists, onely called the Family of love, Such were Browne, Penry, Howbeit there are others which participate too much with Ana­baptists [Page 16] contemning civill Magistrates, &c. It is onely this sort of men which I wish my sonne to punish in case they refuse to obey Law, and cease not to stirre up Rebellion. But I protest up­on mine Honour, I meane it not generally of all Preachers or o­thers, which like better of the single forme of Policie in our Church of Scotland, then of the many Ceremonies in the Church of England, which are perswaded that Bishops smell of a Papall supremacie, that Surplices, Caps, &c. are outward badges of popish errour. No, I am so farre from being contentious in these indifferent things, that I doe equally love and honour the learned and grave of either opinion, It can no wayes become mee to pronounce sentence so lightly in so old a controversie. Since wee all agree in grounds, the bitternesse of men in such questions doth but trouble the peace of the Church, and give advantage to Papists by our division. These were the golden words of that peacefull, just Prince upon his second thoughts: ô that they were now duly pondred, and taken to peeces word for word! ô that they were esteemed, and understood in their owne weight amongst us, that they might reconcile our present dif­ferences, and that the same peace which followed him to his glorious Urne, might still blesse these our times! ò how con­trary are these mild words to the unnaturall suggestions of An­tipuritans! Such as daily accuse all good men for Precisians, and all precise men for Puritans, and all Puritans for the onely Firebrands of the World, thus aiming the King against his Sub­jects, and by consequence raising Subjects against the King; Puritans here are described both what they are, and what they are not, the King had been misinterpreted before, writing ge­nerally of Puritans, now to avoid all mistake, he expresses him­selfe plainely and definitely. A Puritan positively in King Iames his sense, is He which imitates Anabaptists in rebellion, turbulence and opposition to Law, and such are liable to Law; but negatively a Puritan in the acception of King Iames, is not He which dislikes Episcopacie, or the Ceremonious Discipline of England. This King Iames protests upon his honour, though to his great dishonour He be now often cited to the contrary. [Page 17] As for those which rellish not Bishops and Ceremonies or the English Policie, Wishes them to be at peace only with those of the opposite opinion, Hee himselfe vowing equall love and honour to the grave, and learned of either side, and not taking upon him to be a Judge in so old and difficult a controversie; He onely like a sweet arbitrator perswades both parties to peace and amity. I wish our Bishops would now stand to this arbitration, I wish they would neither condemne the Scots discipline, nor urge the English; I wish they would put diffe­rence betweene seditious and scrupulous Puritans, and not in­ferre the one out of the other; I wish they would either dis­claime King Iames as a manifest favourer of Puritans, or else imitate him in the same definition, and opinion of them. King Iames further takes notice, that the reformation in Scotland was far more disorderly, then in England, Denmark &c. whilst the mayne affaires there were unduly carried by popular tu­mults, and by some fiery-spirited Ministers, which having got­ten the guiding of the multitude, and finding the relish of go­vernment sweet, did fancie to themselves a democratick forme of policy, wherein they were likely to be Tribuni plebis. That the Crown might be disincombred of these usurping ring-leaders, the King advises the Prince to entertaine and advance godly, learned, and modest Ministers, promoting them to Bishopricks, but restrayning them heedfully from pride, am­bition, and avarice. These things then are hence observable. First, Scotland differs from England in turbulent Ministers: Secondly, this is imputed to the iniquity of the times, not to Puritanisme, as if by nature the Scots were more inclining to Puritanisme then other Nations. Thirdly, notwithstanding that iniquity of those times, there was a number sufficient of worthy Ministers fit for preferrement. Fourthly, King Iames erects Bishops Sees in Scotland for peculiar reasons, and there­fore He speaks not of Denmarke, &c. Lastly, notwithstanding that peculiar reason, He advises the Prince to be indifferently at warre with both extreams alike, as well to represse Papall Bishops, as to curbe proud Puritans. For (sayes the King) the [Page 18] naturall sicknesses which have ever troubled and beene the decay of all Churches since the beginning changing the Candlesticke from one to another, have beene pride, ambition, and avarice: and these wrought the overthrow of the Romish Church in di­vers Countreys. King Iames knew well how apt Churchmen had ever beene to abuse their power and pompe, what ene­mies the High-Priests had beene to our Saviour, and what a tyranny Bishops had erected over all Christendome ever since Constantine almost, and therefore though he dislikes a De­mocracie in the Church, (as Hee had reason) yet Hee so li­mits and circumscribes his Bishops both in power and ho­nour, that they might be as sensible of their chaines and fet­ters, as of their Miters and Crosiers. I wish King Iames had particularly signified what bonds and bounds Hee thought fit to prefixe to Episcopacie, to preserve it from corruption, and what his opinion was of a Prelacie so active in secular affaires as ours is now in England, and how it would have pleased him to see a Metropolitan amongst Pro­testants almost a rivall to the French Cardinall. The world, in my opinion, hath little reason to doate upon a gowned Empire, wee have all smarted long enough under it, men of meane birth commonly beare preferment with little moderation, and their breeding having beene soft and effe­minate, in their malice and cruelty they neerest of all ap­proach to the nature of Women: and by the advantage of learning they extend their power, and win upon others more then they ought.

When the Church was at first under Heathen, or Jew­ish Governours, which sought as enemies to ruine it, not as Fathers to protect it, they which were within could not live in peace and unity without some Politicall bonds, so at that time there was a necessity of some coercive power within, besides that which was without. The world is now unsatisfied what kinde of power that was, whether Episco­pall or Presbyteriall, or what Episcopacy, or Presbytery was in those dayes. Yet me thinks what government so ever [Page 19] then was, it is not necessarily precedentary to us now. The Episcopall faction at this day takes advantage by the abuses of the Presbyteriall, and the Presbyteriall by the E­piscopall, and most men thinke either the one power or the other necessary, and some more favour the Episcopall as K. Iames, some the Presbyteriall as M. Calvin; but sure the Presbyteriall is lesse offensive then the Episcopall, and yet neither the one nor other of necessity. Kings may grant usuram quandam jurisdictionis either to Bishops or El­ders, but the jurisdiction it selfe is their owne property, from which they ought not to depart, nor can without wrong to their charge committed to them. For the pow­er which God gives the Prince, is not given for his use alone, but for the peoples benefit, so that since He cannot let it fall to decay without making it insufficient for good and entire government which is mischievous to the people, he cannot justly lessen it at all. And it is manifest that except one supreme head be alone in all causes as well Ecclesiasticall as Civill, humane nature must needs be de­stitute of those remedies which are necessary for its con­servation, since power cannot be divided, but it must be di­minished to him which suffers that division, and being di­minished it proves insufficient. All confesse some go­vernment necessary for men in holy Orders, to whom the power of the Keyes belongs, but some account Prin­ces but as meere Temporall or Lay persons, and therefore conclude against their authority over sacred Ecclesiasticall persons as incompetent, especially in cases meerely Eccle­siasticall. For this cause spirituall Governours have ever beene in the Church to whom some have attributed a di­vine right depending from none but God, and subordinate to none but God, but this hath beene controverted by others, and no little debate and strife hath followed here­upon. But it seemes to me, that Princes do receive from God a spirituall Unction, whereby not onely their persons are dignified, and their hearts prepared and enlarged with [Page 20] divine graces fit for rule; but their functions also innobled and sanctified above any other whatsoever, and higher advanced then the sense of Laick or Secular will beare. To Princes an assistance of counsell is requisite in spirituall as in civill affaires, but that, that Counsaile ought to bee composed onely of persons Ecclesiasticall, or that those persons ought to bee invested with all those Ensignes of Honour and Authority which our Bishops now claime as of divine right, seemes not necessary. Clergy-men are not alwayes the most knowing in all Ecclesiasticall cases, neither are they at all indifferent and impartiall, in many which concerne their owne honour and profit, (as the world feeles to his regret) therefore for jurisdiction they are not the most competent. But be they of what use so­ever, they may still remaine subordinate, and at the Prin­ces election, and admitted of ad consilium solum, not ad consensum, and it had beene happy for all Christians these many hundred yeares by past if they had not been further hearkned to. The Sacerdotall function is not at all dispa­raged by this subordination, for whether the order of Princes be more sacred then that of Bishops, or not, it is all one to Priests, for an obedience they owe, and must pay, be it to the one Order or the other. Our Bishops at this day stand much upon their Divine right of Jurisdi­ction, and they refer their style to the providence of God immediatly, not to the grace of the King: and though in words they acknowledge a Supremacie of power to re­main to the King; yet indeed I thinke they mean rather a priority of order. Whatsoever Supremacie they meane, if it be not such as makes them meerely subordinate, and dependent, so that the King may limit, alter, or extinguish their jurisdiction, as far as He may to his civill Judges, they derogate much from his Kingly office.

Bishops for their claime of Jurisdiction ought to prove that they alone did exercise it over all in all causes from our Saviours dayes, till the entrance of Christian Princes: [Page 21] and that being cleared, they must further prove, that those times also are leading, and precedentary to ours. In both these their proofes are lame, especially in the latter; for neither is the power of the Keyes the same thing as Iuris­diction, nor is jurisdiction now as it was in the Apostles dayes, nor is the State of the times now the same as then.

In those dayes either Christians were to implead one an­other before Infidel Magistrats whatsoever the case were, criminall or civill, spirituall or temporall, or else they were to erect some tribunall in the Church, or else they were to await no justice at all: and because some judica­ture within the Church was most fit, therfore Christ him­selfe according to the exigence of those times, did endow his Church with a divine Oeconomy, which was partly miraculous, and of use then but not now. The Spirit of God did then internally incite such and such men at such times to reside and preside in such & such places; and some of the Apostles at some times could judge by inspiration without proofs and allegations, and could execute sentence of death or other spirituall punishment upon secret hypocrites, not intrenching upon temporall authority, but in these times this discipline is uselesse, and therefore decayed. Whatsoever the offence then was, what injury or trespasse soever be­twixt brother and brother, the onely remedy was Dic Ec­clesiae, and yet that precept serves as strong for temporall as spirituall trespasses, so that it cannot be enforced now to continue, unlesse wee meane to drowne all temporall authority. As for the extent also of spirituall power in those dayes, I will onely cite a learned Politician of the Popish religion: who admitting (it seemed) that the keyes of heaven were given to Saint Peter alone, and his Suc­cessours, and not to all Bishops and Ministers whatso­ever thus proceeds. By the keyes given to S. Peter many Holy Fathers mean, the one of knowledge, and the other of power, and that that power ought not to be understood [Page 22] universally, but only concerning the Kingdome of Heaven which is spirituall: for the Civill, Royall, and Temporall power is expresly forbidden him by Christ. Even so that also of knowledge, it is not to be understood of naturall, po­litike, or morall things, but as Saint Paul saith, of Christs mysteries only.

Wherefore in matters of faith Ecclesiasticall authority may approve, and Secular cannot condemne, but in mat­ters of policy what all the Prelates in the World approve, Temporall authority may condemne. It is a great wrong to pretend, because Christ hath given Saint Peter the cog­nizance and power of the Kingdome, and forbidden him the earthly, contrary to this precept, to extend spirituall things to temporall. Saint Augustine often saith, That Grace doth not destroy any thing in Nature, but leaveth her all her owne; adding moreover divine perfection. The Temporality hath of its owne nature, power to forbid all things repugnant to publike quietnesse and honesty; and Christ came not to take away this authority from Magi­strates, He onely addes power to his Ministers in matters of faith, not knowne by nature, but revelation. For ought wee know, this power of opening or shutting Heaven, of binding and loosing sinnes was miraculous, and so but Temporary: but admit it in this Catholike Writers sense, yet we plainly see, it is no prejudice at all to limit Secular Princes thereby. The same learned Papist writes: That the Easterne and Westerne Churches continued in unity and charity for the space of nine hundred yeares after Christ, and this peace was easily kept, because the Su­preme power was then in the Canons, to which all Churches acknowledged themselves equally subject. Ec­clesiasticall Discipline was then severely maintained in each Country by its owne Prelates, not arbitrarily, but absolutely according to Canonicall rigour, none of them intermedling in anothers government. No Pope of Rome did pretend to conferre Benefices in other Bishops Dio­cesses, [Page 23] or to get money out of others by way of Dispen­sations and Buls: but when Rome began to shake off all subjection to Canons, then notwithstanding any ancient order of the Fathers, Councels, or Apostles themselves, in stead of her ancient Primacy she brought in an absolute Dominion, free from any Law or Canon, and this made the division. Neither could any re-union bee brought to passe within these 700 yeares, because this abuse which caused the Division is not remedied. Whilst the union held, Saint Pauls doctrine was joyntly observed, that Every one should be subject to Princes, no man pretended to be free from punishment. Nay, and after the division, the same opinion remained, that every Christian in temporall businesses is subject to the Prince. And nothing is more temporall then offence, because nothing is more contrary to the Spirit. Amongst the Greeks also it is still held that Bishops ought to judge what opinion is sound, what He­reticall, but to punish those of hurtfull opinions belong­eth to the Secular.

The State of Venice, as well as other Catholike King­domes, walks between two extreams, betweene Prote­stants, which have no other ayme but to diminish Eccle­siasticall authority, and the Court of Rome which hath no other aime, but to encrease it, and to make the Temporall her servant.

Those of the Court of Rome, making use of Religion for worldly ends and respects under a spirituall pretense, but with an ambitious end and desire of worldly wealth and honour would free themselves from obedience due to the Prince, and take away the love and reverence due by the people to draw it to themselves. To bring these things to passe, they have newly invented a doctrine that talks of nothing but Ecclesiasticall greatnesse, liberty, im­munity, and jurisdiction.

This doctrine was unheard of, till about the year 1300, then it began to be written scatteringly in some books, but [Page 24] till 1400, there were not written above two Bookes which treated of nothing else; after this such Writers in­creased a little, but after 1560, there were scarce any Bookes printed in Italy, but in diminution of Secular au­thority and exaltation of the Ecclesiasticall: And now the people have scarce any other Bookes to read, nor have the Confessors any other doctrine, or need any other learn­ing. Hence comes this perverse opinion, that Magistracy is a humane invention, and to be obeyed for policy onely, not for conscience: but that every intimation of Eccle­siasticall persons is equivolent to a divine precept; there want not in Italy, pious, learned men which hold the contrary, but they are not suffered to write, or print. Nei­ther are forraine Books permitted, or ancient Authours left ungelded of all which serves for Temporall authori­ty: as appears by a book printed 1607, called Index Ex­purgatorius: and Clement the Eighth in 1595, published a rule in his Index, that all Catholike Writers Bookes since 1515, might be corrected not only by expunging but also by interlining, and this hath beene practised though not publikely above seventy yeares. Thus we finde the Court of Romes, but not the Authors meaning, and finally, wee are sure to have no book true. I have hitherto cited this egregious Politician, for these purposes.

First, That we may see how easie it is for Clergie-men to wrest all authority out of the Temporalties hands, if Princes will be so easie to be hood-winkt, and deluded by them, and to resigne their judgements to them in such cases as concern their profit and advancement.

Secondly, That we may take notice how far the learn­edst of Papists themselves doe discover, and detect the errours and tyranny of the Court of Rome, and that mysti­call way of deceiving, whereby all hope of remedy is cut off. I observe this also the rather because our Prelates in England at this day assume to themselves almost as vast and unquestionable a power of stifling and repressing all ad­verse [Page 25] disputes, and of authorizing and publishing all ar­guments whatsoever favouring their cause, as the Court of Rome does.

Thirdly, that I might produce the same Author against himselfe in those points wherein he taxes Protestants. Wee will yeeld that for the space of nine hundred yeeres the See of Rome did not usurpe over other Sees, but did ac­knowledge equall subjection to the Canons, and that the division and separation of the Easterne Churches happened when Rome arrogated above Canons; but withall we must have it yeelded to us, that those Canons had been compo­sed only by Clergy-men, and that in too much favour of Clergy-men, and too much abridgement of Temporall Rights and Priviledges, and that they did concerne mat­ters more then meerely spirituall, and speculative, and things known by meere revelation. So that though one Prelate did not usurpe over another, yet all Prelates had usurped over the Laity from the times of Constantine almost.

It is true, the Church had Bishops before in its times of persecution, but of what power or pompe? It is said of Calvin, that in regard of his sway in Geneva, he wanted nothing but the Name of Bishop; and it may be as truly said of the Bishops before Constantine, that they wanted all but the Name.

The power of Bishops before the installment of Chri­stian Princes, was rather like that of Arbitrators then of Judges, and that held in all cases alike, Civill and Spiri­tuall, but in case of disobedience they did not intrench so farre upon the Lay power, as to inflict any pecuniary, or corporall punishment, but they did deny the Sacrament, and eject delinquents out of the Congregation, and this was then an abscission from Christ, being done Clave non errante: that is, whilst God did inspire (according to his promise) a miraculous power of binding and loosing in­fallibly.

[Page 26] The Priestly function was then an Office, not a juris­diction, of sacred dignity, not power: but the Function of a Prince was ever sacred both for honour and power, for dignity and command. Constantine the Great was the first Prince which tooke upon him the care and protection of the Church, after that it had suffered contempt and pover­ty for 300 yeares: and now did even that authority and protection cease, and devolve into his hands, which the poore persecuted Bishops had but feebly managed before; but such was the extraordinary indulgence of this pious Emperour, as well to religious persons, as to Religion it selfe, that taking little notice what the Church had gain'd by him as its Head and Governour, He heaped up greater Titles and Honors upon Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, and Popes, as if some other supreme Ruler more sacred and competent then himselfe were necessary. Neverthe­lesse it is thought, that this was as poyson poured into the Church, and not Balme, for from that very time Clergy-men began to be more glorious, but lesse gracious, more rich outwardly, but more poore, and vile inwardly. Within a little space after Constantine there was just cause of complaint that excessive Honours had corrupted the Church, and that Religion had prospered better in former times, when it had wooden Chalices and golden Priests, then now, when it had golden Chalices, but wooden Priests. It is remarkable also, that soon after Constantine the temporall power being too much restrained, and aba­sed, and the spirituall as much inlarged and exalted, the whole face of Christendome began to be imbroyled with wars, and poysoned with heresies, so that the Historians of those times have almost nothing else to write of but the forcible investing and devesting by armes of such Bishops and Patriarchs, and of the oppositions of such and such Councels and Synods, and of the Appeals, Iars, Schismes, Excommunications, and Commotions of such, and such Priests, and Monks. Nay, such were the ill effects of those [Page 27] ages, which were certainly more zealous then politike, that they cannot yet be wholly rectified, and purged in these our latter times, which are growne too too con­trary, being more politike then zealous: Thus did the Church fare for 900. yeares till the Romane Bishops began to Empire above all, and then did the greatest part of the Clergie themselves, especially East from Italy, make their departure and separation. Neither did the Romish Vice-god after this great rent and division in the world hang his head for shame, or seeke any re­union by letting fall his pompous, painted plumes, but audaciates himselfe rather to mount higher yet, and to detrude the Western Emperour quite out of the bounds of Italy. And in this, his industry failes him not, for after much bloud-shed in many cruell conflicts Hee gaines in Italy a Temporall, and in all Europe besides a spirituall Monarchy, making a triple Mitre shine as gloriously upon the seven-hilled City, as the Diadem had done be­fore. During his warres with the Emperour of Germany, He had other contestations also with England, and some other Potentates at sometimes, but all dismaid him not, only once He was heard to say, It was time for him to compound with the Dragon, that he might crush the lesser Adders at his pleasure. Yet after this even this Holy tyranny growes too insolent and insufferable, and so con­spires its owne dissolution, so that many Countries in the North-west parts lying more remote from Rome, quite revolt from her Allegeance, and protest against her. Amongst those other Countries also lesse distant, which still in words confesse her Supremacy, her Reigne is now but little more then precarious: Venice regards not Buls and Anathemaes, France disdaines a yonger brothers benediction, and Spaine being honoured with the title of the Popes eldest Son, confesses him a Father but imployes him as a Chaplain, gives verball, but reapes reall honours by him.

[Page 28] Augustus having cashiered an unworthy Comman­der, gave him leave to say, that hee had cashiered Au­gustus: and so the Popes great sonnes shake off his yoke by degrees, but conceale it, and give him leave to doe the like.

It is now very good policy in the Pope, not to pre­tend to Temporall things as they stand in ordine, or have relation to spirituall things, but rather to relinquish his right to spirituall things, as they stand in order to Temporall: it is eminent wisedome in him to for­beare threatning, roaring, cursing, and sending his ridi­culous Epigrams, out of his owne Territories: as he was wont to doe: Nay, his very last refuge of sending forth his poysoning and stabbing Ministers cannot re­maine in season much longer. But to returne to our learned Statesman: as Hee justly taxes the Court of Rome, so Hee unjustly taxes Protestants of the contrary extreme, and this will appeare out of his owne words. For He grants, first that the Secular Magistrates have no­thing diminished of their authority by Christs comming▪ and it is cleare that Princes were absolute Governours of the Church before Christ both in Spirituall and Temporall Cases.

In the next place He yeelds, that the power and knowledge of Clergy-men, called the power of the Keyes, is no other but such as Christ infuses in meere supernaturall things, knowne onely by Faith and Reve­lation, not by any physicall, or Ethicall Principles; but it is easily proved by us, that such power can extend to no proper jurisdiction at all in humane affaires, but is a meere speculative Notion, and such we deny not.

Thirdly, Hee yeelds that in Jurisdiction there bee three things distinct.

First, matter of Law.

Secondly, matter of fact.

[Page 29] Thirdly, matter of execution: whereby retribution is made to every fact according to Law. The first of these, and that in Spirituall Cases alone being tryable by Clergy-men only. Admit this and nothing followes, but that things meerely Spirituall, are best knowne to Spirituall persons, there is no power here concluded. As for example. In case of Heresie, that I hold such an opinion, must appeare by witnesses and proofes, and herein all kindes of witnesses besides Clergy-men are competent.

Next, that this opinion is hereticall, requires the judgement of Ecclesiasticall persons, but it does not follow, if they be the fittest Judges herein, that they must bee the supreme Judges herein, and not as well Dependent and Subordinate as our Civill Judges are in common actions. But in the last place, that such an hereticall opinion, so dangerous and pestilent to the Church and Common-wealth ought to bee corrected or eradicated by such coercive force, and the raising of that force whereby it is to be punished, is in the judge­ment, and in the power of the Supreme Magistrate, for two Magistrates cannot have a Supreme power of the same sword. Either the Secular must command the Ecclesiasticall, or the Ecclesiasticall must command the Secular, as to coercive power, or a worse confusion then either must needs follow.

So then, it is the Execution of justice alone, which is essentiall to the Supreme Governour, Matter of Law requires a Counsellour, Matter of fact a wit­nesse, Matter of Execution alone intimates a Prince, and that Principality cannot bee divided betwixt two persons of a severall nature.

From hence then it appeares plainely that no Catho­like differing from the Court of Rome ascribes more [Page 30] to Clergy-men, then this first poynt of adjudging according to the Law of God in things Divine; and this implyes rather a dependent, then an independent condition in the judge: and in this Protestants joyne with full consent. But all this while I finde my selfe in a digression: my scope is not to proove that Prote­stants doe attribute sufficient to Priests, it lies upon mee to prove that they attribute too much to them, and herein I am to undertake not onely the Episcopall, but the Presbyteriall side also, not onely Protestant Pre­lates, but even Master CALVIN that great Anti­prelate also.

Divines have much trumped the World hitherto in not setting forth the true bounds and limits of Eccle­siasticall jurisdiction, but if I mistake not, the first power (which they claime as most essentiall) they take to be the power of the Keyes, though they define not certainly, what that is, whether a power, or Of­fice; or to whom belonging, or of what extent, and continuance.

The second power which they insist upon, as next issuing out of the power of the Keyes, is in Excom­munication, Ordination of Ministers, Exposition of Scriptures, &c.

The third and more remote kinde of causes wherein they challenge an Ecclesiasticall power, is of such as concerne Matrimonie, Testaments, Heresies, Fasts, Tythes, and Immunities of Clergy-men, &c. And fur­ther doubtlesse they would proceed, but that these sa­vour so much of the Temporality, and discover their trumpery; but I have said, if in all these cases Clergy-men are necessarily more knowing and impartiall then all men else, there is necessity of their Counsell to de­clare matter of Law, but not of their Consent in apply­ing coercive, and forcible remedies for the execution of Law. I have said also that Clergie-men being as well Ci­tizens [Page 31] of the Common-wealth, as sonnes of the Church, and these Cases importing as well perturbance of the State, annoyance to the Church, that there can be but one Head which ought to have command over both, and in both. It is manifest also that many Cases are partly temporall, and partly spirituall, and that scarce any is so temporall, but that it relates in some order to spirituall things, or any so spirituall, but that it hath some relation to temporall things, so that the true subject of Ecclesiasticall and civill justice cannot rightly be divided. Further, also it is as manifest that where any doubt, strife, or uncertainty may arise betweene one Jurisdiction and another, neither ac­knowledging any supreme power of decision, no assured peace can continue, and by consequence no stability or per­manent subsistence to either, is to be expected. It is natu­rall therefore to be inferred, that either the Temporall or the Ecclesiasticall Magistrate must be in all Cases abso­lutely predominant, and that since the Ecclesiasticall ought not by Christs owne command, therefore the Temporall ought, as hath been further proved by sundry arguments, and Scripture proofes alledged out of this famous Politi­cian. So much of the temporall power, and its necessary Supremacie: my endevour shall be now to maintain that no Ecclesiasticall power is at all necessary in meere Eccle­siasticall persons.

Master Calvin according to the popish grounds main­tains, that spirituall jurisdiction differs from temporall, and is not incompatible but assistant thereto, because it pro­poses not the same ends, but severall, which by severall meanes may be the better compassed. But the spirituall Magistrate (as I conceive) can propose no other end, then what the Secular ought to ayme at, for either the Prince ought to have no care at all of the Honour of God, and the good of men, and that which is the prime meane of both, true Religion, or else his ends must bee the same which the Prelate aymes at, viz. to vindicate Religion [Page 32] by removing and correcting scandalous offenders. Se­condly, to preserve the innocent from contagion by the separation of open offenders. Thirdly, to prevent further obduration, or to procure the amendment of such as have transgressed by wholsome chastisement.

This is beyond all controversie, as also that the person and power of a Prince, are as sacred to effect these ends, as the Prelates: and certainly, God did not so sanctifie their persons and offices for any lesse end. And therefore in ancient times Holy Bishops did preach and recom­mend nothing more to Princes then the care of Religion, though proud Prelates now arrogate this onely to them­selves, and though it be still apparant, that no offence is so spirituall, but that it is a civill evill, as well as a ble­mish to Religion: forsomuch as true Religion is the foundation of a State. And this could not bee, neither were Princes answerable to God for the corruption of Religion, if God had not given them a supreme power, and that effectuall to bring all offenders whatsoever to confession, satisfaction and contrition, or to expell them the congregation by themselves, or their surrogates.

Master Calvin instances in adultery and drunkennesse, &c. and sayes, That the temporall power punishes these by externall force, and for publicke examples sake, as it con­cernes the State, but the Spirituall Iudge punishes them without force internally for the amendment of the de­linquent. Hee might as well have named swearing, ly­ing, stealing, murdering, and all sinnes whatsoever, and so have made all men twice punishable, and the Ecclesiasticall Courts as full of businesse as the Tempo­rall to the great vexation of the State, and danger of division, out of this false ground onely that Tempo­rall power hath not a competence for the amendment of offenders, or for the care of Religion, but only for the satisfaction of wronged parties, and the expedition of Civill Justice.

[Page 33] This is a way to erect regnum in regno, and to maintaine such concurrent jurisdictions, as cannot possibly stand together, for all being subject to sin and offence, as well the Spirituall as temporal, either the one or other must go unquestioned, and this may pro­duce division, or else both; and that will cause most certaine con­fusion. Both sides here seem strangely puzled, the rigidest of the E­piscopall faction allow Princes a coercive power over Priests, and Prelats, where they performe not what their duty is in their fun­ctions or jurisdictions, and this power requires a higher power of summoning, arraigning, and legally trying them: and yet the moderatest of the Presbyteriall faction would have Princes que­stionable, tryable and punishable by the Spiritualty. This is a grosse confusion, which will appeare to be so more plainly in the sequel; when it is more fully cleared, that to Princes alone God has pre­cisely committed utramque tubam, and utramque tabulam too, as our reverend Andrews says.

'Tis true, as Calvin alleadges, Princes are sons of the Church, they are in it, not above it: the word intending the Church universall, such as is both militant and triumphant; past, present, and future;for that hath no other head but Christ: to that all Princes and Priests are equally sons: but take Church for such or such a Nationall, Locall Church, and then the Prince is head thereof, under Christ; and the Clergy are part of his charge, and under his protection.

The same man also may in diverse respects be both father and son to the same man without confusion of relations. A King, a Bishop may heare the Word, and receive the Sacrament from an inferiour Minister; a Subject may be naturall father to his Prince, and in this respect, a filiall subjection is due from the Superiour, and so a King may referre his own case to his Chancellor, yet this destroyes not the greater, higher, and more generall superiority in other things, at other times. And to me it seemes that even in the exercise of the Keys, the Priest officiates under the Prince, as the Chancellour does in matters of Law, even when the Kings own case lyes in Iudgement before him, and when perhaps hee makes a decree against his own Master, and contrary to his owne Masters private advertisement: and yet the King is not properly either Lawyer or Theologue, though both are actuated, and orga­nized as it were, by the soule like commanding, over-seeing, and over-ruling of his more sublime and divine power.

[Page 34] Herein the Priest also may learne a limitation from the Law­yer, for though the Iudge bee bound to pronounce right Iudge­ment against his owne Master, yet this holds not in all cases a­like; because of his limitted condition, for in Criminall cases such as concerne the safety of the Kings own person, or the Roy­all dignity of his calling, therein Iudgement must be utterly mute. And therefore it is a weake argument of Master Calvin, though it be his best: when he inferres a necessity of an Ecclesiasticall Iu­dicature from hence, because else the Prince himselfe wanting punishment, should escape free: for the reason is the same in matters of Law; the King is not questionable, or responsible, for personall crimes, and yet this is held no politicall mischiefe. Besides if the Prince shall not go unquestioned, or undiscipli­ned by the Spirituall, yet the supreme Spirituall Magistrate must, and this is an equall, if not a greater mischiefe: for both cannot be equally lyable to the judgement of each other. Neither is it to much purpose that the example of Bishop Ambrose so harshly, so unreverendly treating pious penitent Theodosius, is so confidently cited always by either faction Episcopall and Presbyteriall; for though the name of Ambrose be great, yet I will crave leave to speake as an Advocate against him in the name of the Emperour Theodosius.

Reverend Sir, you take upon you to be a Iudge over me, and to condemne me of a bloudy Massacre committed unjustly at Thessa­lonica, and being so condemned, you proceed against mee with your ghostly punishment, subjecting me to your Ecclesia­sticall severity: But I pray consider what mischiefes may follow hereupon; if Emperours may be punishable by Bishops, then common equity requires that Emperors have the benefit of a faire hearing and arraignment, or else were their condition more mise­rable than the condition of the meanest vassals: for as Princes a­ctions are more inscrutible, and their counsels more mysticall; so also their ends are for the most part more lyable to envy, and mis­interpretation: It is not possible for you without due discussion, inquiry, and examination of impartiall witnesses, perfectly to un­derstand all the true circumstances, reasons, and grounds of this my fa [...]; and without this understanding it is not possible for you to pronounce a just censure against me. It's necessary then that some Tribunall be prepared for you, and some Barre for me, [Page 35] that upright Sentence may passe, and that Iustice may be done un­derstandingly, and upon this it must needs follow that I am your meere Subject, and must lay down my Scepter to bow my selfe under your Crosier, till this difficulty be fully ended. Admit this also, and then you may use what procrastination you please in this intricate decision; or in the like manner question mee of all other enormities, and scandalous deviations, which rumor, envy, or treason it selfe forges against me; and thus shall I have no lea­sure to judge other men, it will be scarce possible for me to acquit my selfe in judgment from other men: that power which God hath put into my hands for the protection of so many Myriads, will be utterly disabled by that higher power which is put into your hands over me. By the same reason also that I am to render an account to you in this place, I am to render the like to all your superiours, equals, or inferiours in other jurisdictions, of all sins whatsoever, whether reall, or imputable, Ecclesiasticall, or Civil, so that no end is like to be of my tryals, purgations, or condemna­tions.

You will say, my crime is sensibly evident; if I would deny this, you could not prove it so; and if I would not confesse this, you could not force me, for it was a politicall thing, and farre off acted: and my meere confession can give to you no Iurisdiction. But be my crime as manifest in it selfe as the disobedience of Saul was to Samuel, or as Davids murther was to Nathan, or as Sa­lomons incontinence was to all the World, or as Manasses his Idolatry: yet why should I suffer more than they? What new coercive, vindicative authority have Priests gained over Princes by Christs Gospel, which the Iewish Priests never used, claymed, or heard of? If Excommunication, &c. be now necessary, sure it was in use before Christ; and then we should have heard of some Kings Excommunicated, &c. by some Priests; for if the Temporall power had not of its owne nature a competent force and habitude to restraine all things repugnant to publique quiet­nesse, and honesty, a Spirituall power was necessary; and yet we read of none such. But if there was a sufficiency in the Tem­porall power, as is most manifestly apparent; then wee cannot imagine that Christ came to take away any of this authority from Magistrates: but that power which he added, was rather an ex­cellency [Page 36] of grace and vertue in matters of Faith, and illumination.

It cannot be alleadged by you, that that punishment is meerely spirituall, and so no politicall evill: for as it puts other men into the condition of Publicans, Heathens, and worse; so it further yet degrades, disables and oppresses Princes. How shall he be ho­nored and obeyed as the Vicegerent of God in all causes, whom the Layty sees ejected out of the Church, and expelled out of the Communion of the Faithfull, as a rotten contagious member? How shall hee be held more sacred than a Priest, whom the sen­tence, interdiction, and the confounding blow of a Priests spiritual execration, shall render so contemptible, miserable and abominable in the eyes of the world?

Saint Paul being accused in matters of Doctrine, made his ap­peale to a wicked Heathen Emperor; and yet now a Christian godly Emperor being accused by any Church-man, no appeale is allowed, though in meere civill accusations. S. Peters Keyes did either induce some new power not before known unto the world, or not; if it did, then our Saviours Gospell came into the world to the detriment of civill government, which is contrary to Re­ligion, and all reason: and if no new addition of power were imported, then Tiberius himselfe, though a Heathen, and Tyrant, remained as absolute as before; and yet in his time there was more necessity of an Ecclesiasticall judicature, than is now. But you will say, if Princes be not subject to some chastisement, then some scandals must passe unremediable. Not so, for here God is the revenger, and strikes often, as he did Vzziah; but if not, yet either the Temporall or Spirituall Governour must passe uncha­stiz'd, which is all one; for two Supreames cannot be, nor no en­tire Government without some supremacy, nor no supremacy without immunity, and exemption from judgement.

The perpetuall conflicts and contestations betweene Princes and Prelats, which are likely to ensue, will soone cleere this; that either Princes must at last submit to the tribunals of Church-men, and raigne at their discretion; or else Church-men must submit to them: For both Tribunals cannot stand compatible. For my part, I excuse so grave a Father as you are, of ambition herein; and ther­fore I am the lesse cautious in summiting my selfe at this time: but I conceive this Doctrine may bee the ground of dangerous consequences to others, and therefore I desire it may not [Page 37] from mee passe into a president for the time to come.

Let not proud Prelates from this my voluntary humiliation, arrogate to themselves as if it had been due; or derogate thereby from the more sacred order of Princes: neither let Princes from this particular learne to yeeld to any Spirituall Monarchy what­soever. My beliefe is, that the Prince is the Head, the Fountaine, the Soule of all power whatsoever, Spirituall, or Temporall; wherein he ought not to indure at all any kind of rivality of Ec­clesiasticall persons, nor can admit of any diminution in any part of his Iurisdiction, without offence to God, dammage to his charge, and danger to himselfe. So much for Theodosius, and so much for that Iurisdiction, which is due to Prelats: I should now speake of the exercise thereof, as it is granted by the favour of Princes, but this is a very tender point.

It seemes to some, that Princes ought not to incumber men in Sacred Orders, in any kind of judicature which is not purely spi­rituall; nor that Prelates can accept of any Temporall imploy­ment whatsoever, without dishonour to their Orders, and neglect to their cure of Soules: and yet now none so greedy of such im­ployment. A sacred place may not be put to secular uses, that's pro­phane: but a sacred person may, that's honorable.

A Bishoprick now adayes is but a Writ of ease, to dismisse from Preaching, and attending Gods service; whereby the man is pre­ferred from the Church to the Court, from the Altar to some Tri­bunall, from Gods Spirituall to the Kings Temporall affaires. In the High Commission, at the Councell Table, in the Star-Cham­ber, and the Chequer, Church-men are now more active than in their own Consistories, and yet their ambition further aimes (as 'tis said) to the Chancery, Court of Requests, &c. which could not chuse but redound to the scandall of Religion, the obstructi­on of Iustice, and vexation of the Subject: if there were not lear­ned and skilful men enough in Policy and Law to serve the King, unlesse Divinity were deprived of some of her followers, there were some seeming umbrage why the King might borrow of God; as in the shady times of Popery it was usuall: when all learning was as it were ingrossed by the Clergy, and purloyned from the Layty: but when the clouds of universall Ignorance are now dispelled as well from the Layty as Clergy; now the Clergy are not so necessary in temporall affaires, unlesse we judge it fit that [Page 38] Gods more Holy Offices should be neglected, for this purpose on­ly, that the Kings meaner businesse may be worse administred.

The functions of Divines are too sacred for any secular person to officiate, and therefore it should seeme, their persons also ought to be too sacred for secular functions; for it seemes prepostrous, that it should be thought an honour to Priests to relinquish spiri­tuall, and adhere to temporall imployments. Nic. Machiavell did observe that Christian Religion had long since falne to the ground, had not the regular strictnesse of poore inferiour Priests and Pryers held, and propped up the reputation of it in the world, as much as the Pride and Luxury of the great Cardinals, and Princelike Bishops, did strive to sinke and demolish it. The same observation holds true amongst us Protestants at this day, for the more our Prelats enjoy, the more still they seeke; and all our three Kingdomes are growne so sick of their Pride, Injustice, and Pragmaticall faction, that scarce any remedy but bloud-letting can cure them. Wee finde in Scripture the most High and Holy Offices of Religion performed by Princes, even amongst, and a­bove the greatest of Priests; but wee scarce finde any instance at all where Priests intermedled with any State affaires, either a­bove, or under Princes: and yet with us now the imploying and entrusting of Clergy-men in Temporall businesses, is held as po­litique as it was in times of Popery: although no time could e­ver justly boast of that use. But to passe over Temporall businesses, how violent have our Bishops beene in their own Canons about Ceremonies, and indifferencies? and what disturbance hath that violence produced? They strive as for the beauty and glory of Religion, to bring in the same formes of Liturgy, the same po­sture of the Communion-Table, the same gesture at the Commu­nion, &c. in all our three Dominions; as if uniformity were al­ways beautifull: and yet we see, all men are created with severall faces, voyces, and complexions, without any deformity to the uni­verse.

'Tis not externall variety, but internall dissention, which spoyles the harmony of Religion; and dissention is more nourish­ed by the harshnesse of Pastors over their flocks, especially over the weake ones in scruples, than by permitting various Rites and Formes in the externall worship of God. Certainly, liberty and variety in indifferences, and Ceremonies is more favour'd in [Page 39] Scripture, than any universall similitude, or rigorous force what­soever, over the perplexed, anxious consciences of weake men. We see in Scotland, where there is no Ceremonies, they enjoy that u­niformity without contention, which we ayme at only, and seeke to purchase with infinite debate, and persecution; and under their peace and unity, the Protestant Religion thrives, and Romish Superstition utterly ceases: whereas under our strife and disa­greement, Religion and true Devotion is over-run, and over­grown, like Corne choaked with weeds. Nay, it is thought that if our Bishops had been more gentle-handed all this while to­wards such as dis-relish't Ceremonies for Poperies sake, and had rather pitied them as men of tender consciences, than persecuted and defamed them, as seditious Puritans, these differences had not lasted so long: for when the Reformation was not yet fully perfected, the Puritans of those dayes were more fiery than now; but not being so odious in the Church, lesse combustion followed thereupon: whereas now they are so unmercifully treated, that no moderate complyance can serve the turne.

There seemes now little remaining of Puritanisme, but the breathlesse carkasse of it, and yet till that too be interred and con­sumed, no truce can be admitted. The very sufferings of Puritans now are sufficient guilt, and imputed as the effects of their owne malice, their punishment is argument enough for the desert of their punishment; the more they have borne, the more they must now beare; and the more they now beare, the more they shall hereafter. Fury is one of the maine things objected to Puritans; but in truth, the World has not any thing more furious than such as most pretend against them.

Hence it is, that the hatred of Puritans flowes and descends from the Highest of the Clergy to the lowest: and young Stu­dents in the Vniversity know it now their wisest course to Stu­dy the defamation of Puritans, as the first and most necessary point of their Learning and qualification, and as their surest path to promotion. And to make their detestation sure, and them­selves irreconciliable, they must ingage themselves by some no­table service of novelty, quarrelling with some point of Prote­stantisme, or refining some point of Popery; they must taxe Pro­testants as some wayes injurious to Princes, or extoll Papists as zealous observers of Antiquity. It must be maintained that royalty [Page 40] cannot stand without the prop of Episcopacy, though it never yet found greater enemy; and that Puritanisme only hinders the stretching of our Religion, or else Papists and we should soon a­gree. Those of vulgar wits which serve not for such straines, that they may bee redeemed from suspicion of Puritanisme, must do something factiously, or be vitious, or else their hopes of prefer­ment are almost desperate.

Charity to Papists, conformity to Ancient Fathers, and decent uniformity amongst our selves, are the specious colours where­with they dresse and deck all their pretences; for want of Secta­ries living in these dayes, they racke out of their tombes Hacket, Copinger, Brown, &c. to upbraid us, for want of opposites enow here in England, they calumniate the Scots to our dishonor; for want of true imputations, they forge any crimes how monstrous soever, and their most sure one is, that which is most undiscer­nible, hypocrisie. Neverthelesse it must be believed that the An­tipuritan disparages not our Ancestors in the Reformation, but for love of Antiquity; nor teares in sunder the bonds of Religion Nature, Policy betwixt two the most close-united Nations of the World, but out of love to unite: nor fils whole Kingdomes with bloud, but out of love to Order. Such was sure Diogenes his humility, trampling upon Plato's Couches; such was Nero's uniformity, setting on fire the streets of Rome; such was Procru­stes his symmetry, cutting his guests according to his beds. And therefore its thought Puritans are not so much hated for their op­position to Ceremonies, as Ceremonies are multiplied, and infor­ced for suppression of all zealous Christians, under the umbrage of Puritans: and that for the same purpose the enemies of Piety have blown those coales which they might have quenched.

Hooker that sweet and noble Antagonist of Ecclesiasticall Pu­ritans says much in defence of the Churches authority in impo­sing of Ceremonies, but he says nothing in defence of the Churches Charity in imposing many, and displeasing Ceremonies. So S. Paul might have justified himselfe, as fitter to be subscribed unto and complyed withall then his scrupulous brother, and he might have justified his case concerning eating of such and such meates: but S. Paul in wisdome, and Charity, would doe neither. S. Paul made not his strength an Argument to make his brother yeeld who was weake, but he made his brothers [Page 41] weaknesse an Argument whereby to prevaile and win upon him being strong. And why then does our Mother the Church maintaine her authority against her own scrupulous and tender-minded infants? If in Iustice and rigor they ought to obey her, and conforme to her wise commands; does it therefore follow that in Wisdome and Charity she ought not to pity, and preferre their foolish, groundlesse doubts and jealousies? Is it honorable for the Nurce to contest about authority with a forward Childe, when by indulgence she may better still it? If Ceremonies bee but things indifferent, they are not so valuable, as peace, for that is necessary. Admit fit and decent Ceremonies to bee the out­workes of Religion, the better to secure it from contempt, and prophanation: Yet let not the outworks be too vast, least they take up more admiration, than they repulse disregard. Neither let us suppose that all times are alike liable to prophanenesse. Be­fore Moses, Religion was very naked and simple in her Cere­monies, and yet we must not thinke that God did then make ill provision, or was carelesse of the government of his Church; but under the Law, Ceremonies were strangely multiplyed to the Iews, and that by Gods owne appoyntment; and yet in those times, I cannot thinke that any Discipline could bee invented more honorable for Religion. I shall desire therefore to walke between two extremes, neither wholy condemning all Ceremo­nies as superstitious, nor embracing many as necessary, besides the Ceremonious use of water in Baptisme, and of Bread and Wine in the Eucharist; the Gospell recommends no externall rites, but such as the generall rules of decency inclose, to our ob­servation: but it seemes utterly to discountenance all Iewish, carnall ordinances; yet certainly if multiplicity of pompous ce­remonies had been very usefull where knowledge abounds, and to be look't upon as the outworks of Religion, the Gospell would not have been so silent as it is concerning them. Were we now to plant a Church in the West-Indies, amongst rude Salvages, per­haps the externall splendour of our worship might bee as conve­nient as it was amongst the Iews to attract Proselytes: Or had we now such a dreadfull presence of God residing amongst us, as the Iews had in their Oracle, perhaps Musick Vocall, and In­strumentall, and Statelinesse of attire, and fearefulnesse in our Ge­stures, and Postures would beseeme us in our solemn addresses and [Page 42] Festivall celebrations: but the difference betwixt these times and those, and these Christian Countreys, and those that are Bar­barous is very great. What manner of Divine Service the French Protestants and the Scots use, and some other Nations I cannot tell, but I hope it is not so nasty, and slovenly as some of our Formalists would make us believe: for it seemes not impossible to me, but that in times of so much Light, as these are, God may be very ho­nourably and zealously served without many Stately Cere­monies.

The Bishop of Downe makes a very sharpe speech to the Puri­tans in Ireland, as being very disobedient, and animated therein by the Scotish Covenanters; but his chiefest eloquence is uttered a­gainst his own Countreymen the Scots, whom bee paints forth, as the chiefest Traytors, Perjured Rebels, Heretiques and Hypocrites in the World: nay, he denounceth them worse than Anabatists, and such as have more than justified the Powder-Traytors, and all the rebellious practises of the Iesuites. Afterwards hee addes also, That Puritanisme is not the Nationall sin of Scotland only, but that they of the same faction in England had been as deep in the same con­demnation, had they had so much power. See here the lively por­traiture of an Antipuritane, see a true B [...]ner revived againe, but in Protestant habit; and for ought I see, here are none exempted from this black venomous censure in all the Kings Dominions, but those of the Popish and Episcopall Faction. It's not to bee wondred at that the King thinkes ill of his subjects, or that Bur­ton or Prin suffered worse than Traytors merits. Its rather to be wondred at, that our streets do not runne with bloud dayly, since this is the Gospell our Reverend Fathers of the Church preach.

This Speech was thought worthy to bee dispersed in Print o­ver all our Kingdomes in English; but since, because it redounds so much to the honour of the three Nations, and the repute of Protestant Religion, its Translated into Latine, and Coppies are Printed for all Christendome to take notice of. In this Speech its urged, that Puritans, who began about 80 yeares since, have proceeded from bad to worse by sixe degrees; first they did dislike, then contemne Bishops; then they did disobey their Jurisdiction; then separate themselves; then they fell into the Heresie of holding no dif­ference between Bishop and Presbyter: lastly, they rebelled, and grew [Page 43] more immoderate than Anabaptists: And here S. Cyprian is alled­ged, who says, that the contempt of Bishops is the beginning and ground of all Heresies and Schismes.

Here we see what Puritans are, the most cursed Miscreants on earth; next we see who Puritans are, all such as hold not with Episcopacy: that is in probability halfe Ireland, more than halfe England, all Scotland, and many other Protestant Countryes. King James did put a difference betwixt such as dis [...]relisht Bi­shops, and Ceremonies meerly, and such as under that pretext fraudulently sought to perturbe the State, and make a factious se­paration. But here the difference of all Puritans is graduall only, not substantiall: for dislike of Bishops is the beginning of all He­resie, and must needs end in Anabaptisme and rebellion.

How plainly d [...]es it here appeare, that Episcopacy is the true Helena of all this war; and yet S. Cyprian is to bee understood of the Pastorall function, not of the Ecclesiasticall Iurisdiction of a Bishop, or else in his sense the Genevans, and the greatest part of Protestants are Heretiques, and King James made a frivolous di­stinction.

Such stuffe as this had not mis-beseemed a Papist, but its very odde in a Protestant Bishop; except we consider him, as one who hath lookt back towards the Onions and Flesh-pots of Egypt, and is inamored againe upon those glorious Titles and Ensignes of Honour and Pompe, which Rome confers upon her Courtiers.

But to conclude this point, I wish Princes would not allow such Bishops to be carvers to themselves, and make them Iudges in cases of their owne interesse: they are surely good spectacles for Princes in Theologicall deliberations, as Temporall Coun­sellors are in State affaires; but miserable are those Princes whose eyes cannot see without such spectacles. If Religion did not pro­sper worse, if peace were not more violated, if persecution were not more common in Countreys where Bishops governe, than where they are expelled, we might suspect the Scots as Hereticall and rebellious by nature; for chusing all the plagues of war rather than Bishops: but when we see the contrary, we may as well li­sten to the Scots against Bishops, as to Bishops against the Scots. So much of the Ecclesiasticall Puritan, next after whom sprung up the Puritane in Religion, of whom I shall speake very briefly.

[Page 44] There are many men amongst us now, which brooke Bishops and Ceremonies well enough; and perhaps favourably interpret our late innovations: and yet these may bee too grave to escape the name of Puritans. To be a Protestant may be allowed, but to dispute against Papists, smels of precisenesse: to hold the Pope fal­lible is tollerated, but to hold him Antichrist, is abominable Pu­ritanisme: to go to Church is fashionable, but to complaine of the Masse, or to be grieved at the publique countenance of Po­pery, whereby it intwines our Religion, and now drinkes up that Sap which is scarce afforded to Protestantisme, or at all to take no­tice how farre some of our Divines are hereat conniving▪ if not cooperating, is a symptome of a deepe infected Pu­ritan.

He that is not moderate in Religion, is a Puritan, and he that is not a Cassandrian, or of Father Francis Synclers faith, is not moderate: he favours too much of Calvins grosse learning, ex­ploded now by our finest wits.

Sir Robert Cotton professes, that he stands much amazed to be­hold the magnificence of Churches built by our Ancestors, we their Successors being scarce able to keep up the same: but that hee is farther beside himselfe with exceeding marvaile, when he casts his eyes back upon the excellent ground-worke of Religion laid by our Fathers in the Reformation, and yet sees the same so ill built upon, and so negligently seconded by us their children: But this (he says) is not to be attributed to the hanging up of Pius 5. his Bull upon the Bishop of Londons gate, or to that favour which has been shewd to Priests, but it is the idlenes, and insufficiency of many of our own teachers, conspiring with the peoples cold zeale, that has wrought this apostacy. The Name of Recusant was scarce known till the II. of Queen Eliz. the Marian persequuti­on, being yet fresh in memory, and great zeale being begotten thereby, and the finger-worke of God being so apparent in the suddaine alteration of Religion. Then did the Layty and Cler­gy with holy emulation, strive who should shew themselves most affectionate to the Gospell: then were our Ministers as frequent in great mens houses, and as active as Jesuites now are: then were Praying and Preaching both equally pretious to great and small. The name of Papist smelt then ranke even to themselves, all sorts resorting dayly to Church, to avoyd the shame thereof, [Page 45] untill Arch-bishop Grindals disgrace, and Hatfields hard conceit of Prophecies, brought the flowing of these good graces to a still water: But when Sanders the Coripbeus of Catholicks had slily pinned the Name of Puritans upon all such as were most forward in encouraging, and couragious in opposing Catholiques, and when he perceived that the word was pleasing to some ill affected of our own side; He quickly heated some of us beyond the tem­per of discretion. And now with the crosse tumults of both fa­ctions in extreme choler vented in Pulpits, and Pamphlets, most men grew to be frozen in zeale, and so benummed, that whosever (as the worthy L. Keep. Bacon observed) in those days pretended a little sparke of earnestnesse, seemed red-fire-hot in respect of o­thers. Thus it betided Protestants, as those which fare the worse for ill neighbours, for whilst they curbe Papists, or reproove idle drones, they are incontinently branded with the ignominious name of Precisians.

See here Sir Robert Cottons Iudgement, as touching the occasi­on and originall of our Religious Puritans: and see also his cen­sure of the State, as touching the same: For where hee taxes the indiscreete zeale of those who were so violently incensed at San­ders his nickname, so maliciously and subtilly fastened upon them there in his Margin, his Note is this; If these mens zeale had beene imployed otherwise, and a taske set them to do some good, they might have been reformed, or made harmelesse by diver­sion.

But I passe from this kind of Puritan to another, whom I shall call my Political Puritan; for the bounds of Puritanisme are yet larger, and inclose men of other conditions.

Some there are yet which perhaps disfavour not at all ei­ther Ecclesiasticall Policy, or moderate Papists; and yet never­thelesse this is not sufficient to acquit them from the name of Pu­ritans, if they ascribe any thing to the Laws and Liberties of this Realme, or hold the Prerogative Royall to be limitable by any Law whatsoever.

If they hold not against Parliaments and with Ship-money, they are injurious to Kings; and to be injurious to Kings, is propri­um quarto modo to a Puritane.

Our present civill, nay more than civill warre with Scotland, and all the mischiefes thereon attending, the disaffection between [Page 46] the King and his Subjects, and all the mischiefes thereon attend­ing the discontinuance of Parliaments, the proper remedies of all State-maladies, and universall grievances, which is a mischiefe whereby all mischiefes become incurable, all are caused by the abusive mistake, and injurious mis-application of this word Puritan.

The Scots are Puritans, and therefore enemies to Monarchy, the English are Puritans, and therefore haters of Royall prerogative, both the Nations have been hitherto famous for their devout re­verence, and obsequious zeale to their Princes; but now Pu­ritanisme has infected them, and perverted them to dis­loyalty.

Thus is the Kings heart alienated from his Subjects, and by consequence, the Subjects loyalty blunted towards him, to the incomparable, almost irreparable detriment of both: neither is this disaccord b [...]tween the King and his best Subjects, more fa­tall and pernic [...]ous to the Common-wealth, then his accord with the Recusant faction. Papists have now gotten the repute of the best Subjects, and fittest for trust in places of eminent service; nay 'tis almost necessary that forraine Papists be brought in for the supporting of the indangered Royalty: for though the Popish faction at Court be strong and active enough for matter of Coun­sell, yet for matter of force, the Puritans in City and Countrey be too predominant.

The Bishop of Downe in his visitation speech layes all the calami­ties of Church and Common-wealth upon Non-conformists, and for proofe thereof instances in the Covenanters, whom he charges of rebel­lion, charging withall that rebellion upon Puritanisme. The first thing (says he) that made me out of love with that Religion, was their inju­rious dealing with Kings, which I observed both in their Practice and Doctrine. Hee taxes first their Doctrine, because they deny the Kings supremacy in causes Ecclesiasticall, and allow Subjects to resist, nay and depose their King, if he be a Tyrant Surely Ahab could say little for himselfe, if he could not lay his owne crimes upon Elijah; but see here by what art of confusion all Scots are cal­led Puritans, and all Puritans rebels.

King James spoke not so confusedly as if Puritanisme were a Religion; and all that disliked Bishops and Ceremonies were of that Religion; and all of that Religion were enemies to Kings. [Page 47] If a Bishop needed any proofe, it his [...] were not unquesti­onable, I would desire him to prove all Covenanters Puritans; de­nyers of the Kings supremacy: or to instance in any Kings which have been deposed or murthred by Presbyteriall authority. How far Bishops have incroached upon Kings, is knowne to all the world: our Protestant Bishops lately have by Oath and Canon, combined together to bind the Kings hands, though hee bee Supreme, that hee shall not governe our Church but by Arch-bishops, Bishops, Arch-deacons, &c. And yet these troublers of Israel have the face to taxe Elijah of their own sinne.

Presbytery indeed has heretofore passed her bounds, yet not of late, but Episcopacy has ever from Constantine claimed an inde­pendance of Divine right, till this instant. I conceive there are not in all the Kings Dominions, three men, except Papists and Anabaptists, which hold it lawfull to depose, or by any force to violate the persons of Kings, how ill soever. The Scotch Divines indeed maintaine that a great body of men may defend themselvs against the unjust sword of misled Kings, because they cannot fly, or otherwise save themselves; and this they take now to be their own case; whereas our Court Divines in England hold, that in such case, we ought all to yeeld our throats without defence. This seemes unnaturall, and truth was never unnaturall, but I forbeare to dispute a point so horrid to mans imagination.

The Bishop next instances in the rebellious practices of Puritans, & reckons up some Fasts in Scotland appointed by the Presbytery, with­out King Iames his privity, and some other seditious Sermons, and a­ctions whereby he was much annoyed. But what? Did not King James know his owne enemies, or how to blame them? Did hee condemne all Scots alike, or all Bishop haters alike, or joyne the English in like condemnation? We know well enough, that King James called rebellious precisians Pu [...]itans, but he never cal­led all Puritans rebellious precisians; He never used those termes as conve [...]tible, but declared his contrary meaning by a manifest difference taken between them. But the Bishops maine [...]nstance is in the present Scotch insurrection; this he cals a rebellion of Puri­tans, and far greater than the Powder-treason: For (says he) that plot was but the act of a few discontented Gentlemen, but in this rebel­lion of the Puritans they have ingaged a great part of the Kingdome, [Page 48] so that this may be said to be the common sin of that Sect. What could have beene raked out of Hell more slanderous to our Religion, more Apologeticall for Popery?

The Powder-Traytors are here preferred before the whole sect of Puritans: The sin of the Powder-Traytors was, that they being but an inconsiderable party, sought the destruction of their King and his issue, and the flower of the Nobility, Gentry, Commo­nalty, and the extirpation of the true Religion, by a most diaboli­cal bloudy practice and conspiracy. And it ought not to be charged upon the meere actors, as a symptome of discontent, onely wee know how far the Romish Religion it selfe favours and gives ground to such damned feats, and how far it has owned some ha­ving proved prosperous, and justified the doing thereof in nature as impious, though perhaps in degree not so hainous as this. For take this as it was conspired, and questionlesse, since the crucify­ing of Iesus Christ, the Light never discovered any treason more ugly and horrible.

Now to out-match this deed of darknesse, the Scotch Nation by a strange general unanimity have armed themselves to oppose the ill government of Bishops, and other alterations in the service of God, and the administration of Iustice, and being invaded there­fore by another Nation, have used force to defend their lives; and seeing that defence not safe in their owne Countrey, they have since pursued it further by way of prevention in the Country of their Invaders.

That is the greatest act of Rebellion whereby the common Peace and safety of a Kingdome is most disturbed and impeach­ed; but by the common act of a whole Kingdome, that mischiefe cannot be effected: therefore the Bishop failes in his politiques when he thinkes that the Major part disturbing the Minor, is more trayterous, than the contrary.

The unanimous act of a whole Kingdome ought to bee pre­sumed to bee lesse injurious, and more wise than the act of any small inconsiderable party, for it hath scarce ever been seen that a whole Kingdome, or the majority thereof hath ever been treaso­nable to its selfe in procuring its own ruine.

Many States have perisht by the machinations of a few ill-af­fected, ill-advised Counsellors, (scarce ever any perisht other­wise) but the totall body and collection has never been guilty of [Page 49] its owne ruine: and if it were, such Treason could not be so great as that which is plotted by a few. Whilst the Scots contained themselves within their owne territories, and were considered as a kingdome within themselves, as they were when the Bishop past his censure, they were not rightly so censured: neither was he then privy to their intrusions, that they would infest our king­dome with the same combustion, and so prove a disturbance to the greater part of our British Monarchy, whereof they them­selves are but a member of lesse bulke and value. Cursed therefore are those uncharitable exasperating censurers, whereby the King is too far incensed, and by whose rash instigations the commoti­ons themselves become the harder to be appeased.

Great insurrections are like great fires, wherein delay is mischie­vous, and small remedies rather turne to fuell, then extinguish: and violent counsell against an inraged multitude, is like oyle, or pitch cast into the flame. The wise politician proportions his re­medy according to the mischiefe, if water will not prevaile, he useth milke; if a little quantity will not suffice, he powres as the combustion it selfe requires. Vnfortunate Rehoboam stands as a Seamarke to warne all Princes how to shun this rocke of violent counsell against a people violently inraged and aggrieved. Some men have interpreted the designes of the Scots to have been trea­sonable from the beginning, and wholy bent upon the spoyle and havocke of the English Nation from their first stirring: Others have wholly justified their intentions and proceedings hitherto as defensive only, and inforced by necessity: both these, I con­ceive, are too rash and head-long in their guesses. In so great a body of men, there must needs be variety of opinions, and its likely contrariety of affections; and therefore it behoves the King to be the more tender, moderate, and circumspect in his delibera­tions, as well for the one side as the other, especially since the Scots have not evidently and universally as yet declared them­selves for the worse. We may at once be charitable in hoping the best, and wise withall in preventing the worst; nay, a charitable and sweet demeanor, if it be not too fond, may prove a great part of our prevention: doubtlesse Rehoboam himselfe, had he not been wilfully devoted to yong, rash, and violent Counsellors, might have easily retained within his obedience many of his well-mea­ning Subjects, and reclaimed others of more moderation; and by [Page 50] that meanes have divided and dissipated the most obstinate, headstrong, and furious of all the rebellious party. Some Princes thinke themselves bound in Honour to do unwise things, and this was the error of Rehoboam, his aged Counsellours advised him to that which was most politick, concluding that to be most honou­rable; but his Genius rather led him according to the advise of his young Gallants, to conclude that most politick, which to his haughty stomack seemed most honorable: but what was the event? to avoid the scorn of young men, he incurred the scorn of old men; to avoid the unjust censure of fooles, he incurred the just censure of wise men; to gaine the honor of appearing stout, he purchased the dishonour of being rash; to shew a contempt of danger he made himself a prey to it; rather then to decline a blow by a gentle bow­ing of his body, he yeelded himself to be inevitably oppressed by it.

At this time of revolt the Israelites were not so wicked, as their revolt after made them; it may be so with the Scots, they are yet Protestants, and perhaps may be retained so: and who can thinke of Protestants, that so great a body of them, can at one fall so despe­rately tumble into the depth of mischiefe, as to make Fasting, Praying, Oaths and Sacraments, meere instruments and traines to commit murther, theft, sacriledge, treason, and the most unna­turall of all crying crimes? But to returne to our owne Nation, and what we suffer by our owne Divine.

Manwarings Doctrine is common at Court, and 'tis not long since a Byshops Chaplaine in Tearme-time, challenged a Iudge of Treason, for delivering Law according to conscience. And this is now no prodigie, for Pulpits are not publike enough to preach an unlimitable prerogative in; 'tis fit our learned Doctors should mount the Benches of Iustice also; there to advance Logicke instead of Law; for Law is growne injurious to Princes, and smels ranke of Puritanisme. Divines themselves will loose nothing to Princes, but all other men shall, that they may gaine the more: and neither Lawyers nor States-men must direct them in any thing, but both Lawyers and States-men must be directed by them in all things: but let us a little examine how the conditio­nate and absolute formes of government come within the circle of Theologie. The Israelites were governed by Monarchs, but not all alike absolute. The Patriarchs were not so absolute as the Iud­ges, nor the Iudges as the Kings, nor the Kings as those Heathen [Page 51] Emperours, which at last made them tributary. The due of Caesar, and the due of Solomon, and the due of Samuel, and the due of Jacob, was not the same as to all points of State, or all degrees of Royalty, and yet the nation was the same, and the forme of go­vernment still remained the same: viz. monarchicall.

It should seeme that God approved that degree of Soveraignty best, which was by himselfe setled in the person of Moses, for when that people afterwards desired a King, of a more awfull and large prerogative, in imitation of other Nations, the thing displeased God. Samuel also wrote a book of this subject, shewing the just conditions of Regall power; (the losse whereof is much to be lamented) for if it had been Gods will that all Kings should be equally absolute in all respects, and free from all limitations and obligations alike, Samuel needed to have written little thereof; one word had determined all. But in Scripture, as it now remaines, Samuels booke being not extant, our chiefest light and guide now is by example, not rule; and example we finde very various.

The State and Soveraignty of the Jewish Kings in generall, we find mild, and gratious; but much differing in particulars. Solo­mon was heavy over his Subjects, and under his Son they would not beare the like; yet Solomons pressure was not upon the estates of his Subjects by taxes, and impositions, for He made silver in Jerusalem as stones for plenty; nor did He vex their persons by Military hazzards and services, for He was at peace with all the world: Neither did He any way let fall, or lessen their honour amongst other Nations; He made them rather a spectacle of glo­ry and prosperity to the world. Solomons harshnesse was onely in imploying so great multitudes for his own pompous attendance, and for the performance of such publike workes, and structures, as did tend to the Magnificence and beauty of the State. Besides, Scripture does not satisfie us, neither by rule, nor example, whe­ther Kings ought to be successive alwayes, or elective; or whe­ther primogeniture of Males, or unigeniture of Daughters, ought to take place: many things are left so uncertaine, that it is not alwayes safe for Kings wholly to rely upon examples; and for the rule of obedience, it is generall, and no more advantagious for free Monarchs, than conditionate Potentates; no more for su­preame, than subordinate commanders.

[Page 52] The Law of Nature best determines, that all Princes being publike Ministers for the common good, that their authori­ty ought to be of sufficient latitude for that common good; and since Scripture is not expresse concerning that latitude, as to all people, the same not being to all alike necessary, the severall Laws of severall Countries best teach that certaine latitude. I could wish therefore that Princes herein would not so much consult with Divines, as Lawyers; or rather with Parliaments, which are the grand Courts and Counsells of Kingdomes; for (as Cotton saies) Every man in particular may deceive, and be deceived; but no man can deceive all, nor can all deceive one. Ancient times are not precedentary to ours by any necessity, for Lawes are now more learned, exact, and particular; and Courts and Tables of Iustice, and Policy, are more wisely and methodically composed and elected, then they were; and therefore there needs not that vocall power, or indisputable force to remaine in the breasts of Princes, as was of old.

The Courts of Parliament, and their unquestionable Acts▪ and Ordinances, and their infallible avisoes, are now in all well-go­verned Countries, the very Oracles of all Policy, and Law, they are the fountaines of civill bloud, spirits, and life; and the sove­raigne antidots of publike mischiefes. That Prince was never yet deceived which relied upon them, nor can he chuse but be decei­ved, which thinkes he can be assisted with any more wise or faithfull advertisement, then that which is given him by his whole Realme united, and contracted in a lesse circumference. What end can all the flower of the Nobility, Gentry, and Com­monalty of a Nation, being wise and religious, have in seducing their Soveraigne, or in limiting that Soveraignty, by which a­lone they are protected? Or what one party of particular men can better understand the true limits of sufficient Soveraignty, and the profit thereof; then this collective universality, whole rayes like the Suns, are every where dispersed; and yet whose bo­dy of light is here as in a refulgent Globe concentred?

Individualls may have many particular ends, severed from the Princes or the States, but Communities can ayme at nothing but the common good; as the lesser fountaines scatter their branching streames up and downe in various Maeanders, whilst the Sea con­taines it selfe in an intire body, within its constant bounds. [Page 53] Individuals also have but their owne particular set limit of per­fection, and have judgements beside apt to be darkened by their owne severall interests and passions; whereas the common body enjoyes a confluence of severall perfections, and hath the lesse force from abroad to overcloud them. Of all men therefore it will most concerne Princes to suspect them which are enemies to pub­like assemblies, and to confide in them most, whose ends are not di­vided from the generalities; and as they tender their owne hap­pinesse, to expect it chiefly from that generality, by which they are Kings, to which they are Gods, from which their very Dia­dems receive honour and sanctity, to which their very Royall Order imparts life, and breath, and necessary subsistence. I come now to my Ethicall Puritan.

The name of Puritan must not rest here, for there may be some moderate, well inclined, facile men, whose education may be such that they are not much vers'd or insighted either in matters of Religion, or matters of State; they may be such as are no waies busie but in their own particular affaires, and yet it behooves that these men too be brought in within the opprobrious compasse of Puritanisme. To the Religious, Ecclesiasticall, and Politicall Puritan, there must be joyned also an Ethicall Puritan.

This detested odious name of Puritan first began in the Church presently after the Reformation, but now it extends it selfe further, and gaining strength as it goes, it diffuses its poyso­nous ignominy further, and being not contended to Gangrene Religion, Ecclesiasticall and Civill policy, it now threatens de­struction to all morality also. The honest strict demeanour, and civill conversation which is so eminent in some men does so upbraid and convince the Antipuritan, that even honesty, strict­nesse, and civility it selfe must become disgracefull, or else they which are contrary cannot remaine in grace: But because it is too grosse to deride vertue under the name of vertue; therefore other colours are invented, and so the same thing undergoes de­rision under another name. The zealous man is despised under the name of zealot, the Religious honest man has the vizard of an hy­pocrite, and dissembler put upon him to make him odious.

Here I may alledge even Hooker himselfe in justification of this Ethicall Puritan, that good ingenuous man in these dayes, though he opposed them in polity, yet honoured them in mora­lity, [Page 54] and certainty if he were now living, he would strongly in­veigh against their opposers in this respect. He cites Aristotle in his 5. booke of Ethicks, and 3. cap. that many men in domesticall things may be vertuous, and yet offend [...], yea, I am perswaded (sayes he) that of those with whom we strive in this cause, there are whose betters amongst men could hardly be found, if they did not live amongst men, but in some wildernesse amongst themselves. And the cause (sayes he) of their disposition so unframeable to So­ciety is, for that what they thinke privately to be convenient and just with some shew of probability, the same they thinke themselves bound to practise and uphold, notwithstanding any Law of man to the con­trary: and thus by following the Law of private reason, where the Law of publike should take place, they breed disturbance. See here the maine taxation of Puritans amongst their honest and wise opposers (such as I allow Hooker to bee,) is this, that in things indifferent, they will not recede from their owne consciences, for any command whatsoever, in all necessary points of mora­lity there cannot be found better men. I cannot tell, I am left to pronounce here with the Poet.

Crudelis Mater magis, an puer improbus ille?
Improbus ille puer, crudelis tu quoque mater.

I will only wish that neither the child would be so disrespect­full of his mothers judgement in indifferencies, nor the mother so unpittifull of her childes weaknesse in scruples. Hooker al­so in his preface confesses, that Puritans at first were pityed only in their errors, and not much withstood by any: for the great hu­mility, zeale, and devotion which appeared to be in them, was in all mens opinions, a pledge of their harmelesse meaning. The hardest (sayes he) that men of sound understanding, conceived of them, was but this: O quàm honestâ voluntate miseri erant! and for this cause Luther made request to Fredericke of Saxony, that with­in his dominion they might be favourably dealt with, and spa­red, for that, (their error exempted) they seemed otherwise [Page 55] right good men. So then whilst their meaning is honest, and whilst their honest meaning tends onely to make themselves miserable, that is, objects of scorne, and punishment, favour ought to be shewed. Tis true, Hooker after complaines, that this favour produced ill effects amongst Puritans, who by meanes of such mercifull tolleration gathered more strength then was safe for the State: but under favour, this does not appeare so with me: In France, Scotland, and those parts of Germany where Zealots have had most liberty, and favour, I doe not see any effects so evident thereof, as these: that Popery hath the sooner vanisht, and enmity beene the better prevented. It seemes to me, that England of all Protestant countries has least cause to boast of her rigorous discipline towards Puritans, having never yet been either quiet, or safe til this instant, and now scarce being able to beleeve, that great worke of deliverance, which God hath mercifully wrought for us. It cannot be denyed, but the yet unsettled condition of these times hath been scandalous in mul­titudes of Anabaptisticall sectaries, whose severall conventicles cry, here is Christ, and here is Salvation: but what? Is this the blame of the Churches indulgence to weake brethren in nice scruples? surely no: for it is to be hoped, that when govern­ment is againe settled, as favour shall bee used in matters of indifferency, so the rod shall be resumed againe against all ob­stinate offenders in matters of weight.

And who does not see, that these swarmes of conventiclers which now sequester themselves from us, are but the dregges of the vilest and most ignorant rabble, whose doctrines can­not prevaile though they meet with no opposition, nor sub­sist when authority once lifts up its hands or shakes its Staffe against them.

The feeble Flyes of Sommer, which every shower, and cloud almost disperses, are not more contemptible, than these wretched throngs, whose workes not being of God, no nor scarce of Rationall man, cannot prosper in such an age of Knowledge, Learning, and Piety, as this is. Let us not then for some Gnats, or frogges sakes ungratefully mur­mure against Sommer, or undervalue all the sweet influences of the Sun, and the softer gales of Heaven.

[Page 56] Puritans by some are parallelled to Iesuites, Iesuites are called Popish Puritans, and Puritans, Protestant Iesuites; yet this is not indeed disparageable to them: For doubtlesse fiery zeale and ri­gour were not blameable in Iesuites, were not their very Religi­on false; as celerity and expedition in a Traveller is not in it selfe faulty, but commendable, though the Traveller being in a wrong path, it causes him to stray the further from his journies end.

My Lord of Downe professes that the first thing which made him distast the Religion of Puritans (besides their grosse hypocrisie) was sedition: So grosse hypocrisie, it seemes, was the first. What is grosse or visible hypocrisie to the Bishop, I know not, for I can see no windowes or casements in mens breasts, neither do I think him indued with Saint Peters propheticall spirit whereby to per­ceive and search into the reines, and hearts of hypocrites; but let him proceed. It is a plausible matter (saies he) with the people to heare men in authority depraved, and to understand of any liberty and power ap­pertaining to themselves, The profession also of extraordinary zeale, and as it were contempt of the world workes with the multitude. When they see men goe simply in the Streets, and bow downe their heads like a Bull-rush, their inward parts burning with deceit, wringing their neckes awry, shaking their heads as if they were in some present griefe, lifting up the white of their eyes at the sight of some vanity, giving great groanes, crying out against this sin and that sin in their Superiours, under colour of long prayers, devouring widdowes, and married wives houses; when the multitude heares and sees such men, they are carried away with a great conceit of them, but if they should judge of these men by their fruits, not by outward appearance, they should find them to be very far from the true Religion. See here the froth of a scurrilous libeller, whereby it is concluded that he that is of severe life, and averse from the common vanit [...]es of the time, is an hy­pocrite: If these descriptions of outward austerity I shall not only shew what is an hypocrite, but point out also who is an hypocrit, our Saviour himselfe will hardly scape this description; doubtles our Saviour, and many of his devoutest followers did groane shake their heads, and lift up their eyes at the sight of some publick [...], and vanities, and did not spare to taxe the vices of Superiours, and to preach to, and ad­monish the meaner sort of the people; yet who but an Annas or Cai­phas will infer from hence that therefore their inward parts burne with deceit, and that their end is meerely to carry away the multitude; [Page 57] such as judge only by outward appearance, and have not their sen­ses exercised to discerne betwixt good and evill? It is likely the High Priests and Pharisees did thus blaspheme in those dayes, and that the rather, because from their owne fayned sanctity, they were the more apt to suspect the same in others: But what I must wee needs follow them, or this Bishop in this? But to proceed with this Bishop, Saint Iames (sayes he) gives us a full description of true Religion.

Wisdome from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easie to bee entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without judg­ing, and Hypocrisie. None of these properties will agree with the Religion of Puritans. It is not pure for it allowes Vsury, Sa­criledge, Disobedience, Rebellion, &c. It is not peaceable, for these men are the incendiaries of Christendome, It is not gen­tle, nor easie to be intreated, for they are more austere than Cato, and not to be moved by perswasion or command. It is not full of mercy and good fruits, for they are all for sacrifice, nothing for mercy; for the first Table, not the second; for faith, not charity; they pull downe Churches, but build no hospitals. It is not without judging, for they are known to be most rigid censurers. And hee is an Hy­pocrite which spies a mote in his brothers eyes, and not a beame in his owne.

Here is a confused proofe, that such Puritans are hypocrites, but no proofe at all, that this man is such a Puritan. If my Lord Say be such a Puritan, this denotes him an hypocrite, but this does not prove that my Lord Say, or Brooke, or Dod, or Clever &c. or any the most famous Puritan living is guilty of Vsury, Sacri­ledge, Rebellion, pulling downe of Churches, setting the World on fire, or of renouncing the second Table and all works of justice and charity, or of censuring and condemning malignantly other men: If these things were true of particular men, calumny were needlesse: Accusation would better suppresse them. And sure it is not out of favour that Law proceeds not, for malice has often en­ough shewed her teeth, and would have bitten if she could, nei­ther would she now calumniate if she could accuse.

The Bishop expects not to be beleeved; if he puzzell, and work some into doubt, it is sufficient: but since bitter censuring, and calumnious condemning of others is s [...] infallible a signe of hypo­cris [...]: how doth the Bishop wipe this off from himselfe? Can Pu­ritans, [Page 58] speake worse of any, than he doth of Puritans? Sure they may well joyne with him upon this issue, that the greatest slan­derer is the greatest hypocrite; and yet seeke no further for slan­ders, than this very speech, wherein he so eagerly inveighs against slander; but if individuals cannot be thus convinced by the Bi­shop, how shall these signes and symptomes be applyed to whole Sects, Religions, Kingdomes?

The most ordinary badge of Puritans is their more religious and conscionable conversation, than that which is seene in other mens: and why this should make them odious or suspected of hypocrisie amongst honest and charitable men, I could never yet learne. A seeming religious consists in doing actions outwardly good, and the goodnesse of those actions is apparent to man; but the false hypocriticall end of them is onely discerned by God: and therefore with what conscience can I condemne that good which is visible, for that evill which is not visible? Say, Brooke, Dod, Clever, &c. are knowne to me; yet no otherwise but as men singularly devote, and as all the Prophets, and Appostles would, if they were now living: and shall I conclude because they seem so, therefore they are not so? I am so far from this, that my owne conscience bindes me to honour them, and that in those things, wherein I have not the grace to follow them. I have been a dili­gent inquirer into Puritans, and have exactly tryed them three wayes. First, in themselves; and so I finde them zealous, at least seeming so outwardly, and distinguisht principally from other men by their remarkeable, and singular zeale to God and the Truth: and this to me is no ground of uncharitable censure. Se­condly, in those, which in these times thinke and speake charita­bly of them; and they are so many in number, and of so good quality, that indeed to the Popish and Episcopall faction, all the kingdom almost seems Puritanical; but for this I cannot think the worse of them. But thirdly, when I consider Puritans, and com­pare them with their common notorious adversaries, then their goodnesse seemes most evident to me, and if it were legibly in­graved in the open wickednesse and scandall of their chiefe op­posers. Nothing but Truth, Hollinesse, and Goodnesse, seemes to me to be the cause, that Papists do so implacably abominate them: that our proud Hierarchists, Ambidexters, and Neuters in Religi­on, do so uncessantly pursue their subversion; that Court-flat­terers [Page 59] and time-serving Projectors, and the ravenous Caterpil­lars of the Realme, do so virulently prosecute them with defa­mations and contumelies; that Stage-poets, Minstrels, and the jesting Buffoones of the age, make them the principall subject of derision: Lastly, that all the shamelesse rout of drunkards, lechers, and swearing ruffians; and the scume of the vulgar are so tickled with their reproach, and abuse. Certainely, nothing but an unap­peaseable antipathy could be the cause of all this, and no testimo­ny of goodnesse can be more sure, un-erring, and unanswerable than such antipathy.

Amongst wicked men there may be particular hatred, but not a generall antipathy: One wicked man hates not another as wic­ked, but rather loves him therefore, or else the World did not ob­serve a decorum in loving her owne, and hating strangers: As there cannot be division in Satans kingdome; so there cannot be communion or compatibility betwixt Christs and Satans Sub­jects. But tis a miserable thing to see how far this word Puritan in an Ethicall sense dilates itselfe. Heretofore it was Puritanicall, to abstaine from small sins; but now tis so to abstaine from grosse open sins. In the mouth of a Drunkard, he is a Puritan which re­fuseth his cups; In the mouth of a Swearer, he which feares an oath; In the mouth of a Libertine, he which make any scruple of common sins; In the mouth of a rude Souldier, he which wisheth the Scotch warre at an end without bloud. It is suffici­ent that such men thinke themselves tacitly checked and affron­ted by the unblamable conversation of Puritans, Byshop Lake that good and godly man moved at the declining state of his time, is said to have expressed his regret thus: We feare, saith he, a relapse into Popish error, and superstition; but my heart misgives me worse than so: Vtter irreligion and Atheisme, me thinkes, begins to prevaile strangly amongst us: we are not so likely to lose the light of truth, as the heat of zeale; and what benefit is in Religion, where the name of it is honoured, but the power of it is not at all seene? where Gods Will is truely understood, but his commands are wholy slighted? where men know like Christians, but live like Heathens? The soule of Religion is hearty devotion, and that growes dayly more and more ridiculous amongst us; and yet Religion without the soule of it, is ra­ther a curse than a blessing to us. No impiety is so hainous in an igno­rant Sodomite, as want of Piety is in a right instructed Israelite. [Page 60] In this wise I have heard that good Prelate did complaine; and this makes me thinke, that he had in his complaint some respect to this word Puritan, then which, certainely the Devill hath not a more fatall engine whereby to confound religion, and to sub­vert all true zeale, goodnesse, and devotion. Thus farre it appeares what a vast circumference this word Puritan has, and how by its large acception it is used to cast durt in the face of all good­nesse, Theologicall, Civill, or Morall: so that scarce any moderate man can avoid its imputation. And thus it does mischiefe to men, not commonly noted for Puritans, but if a man be so noted, though perhaps irregularly, then it is farther otherwise abused: for all such a mans evill shall be charged upon his Puritanisme, and all his good defaced for his Puritanisme. Such a man is condem­ned for murther, and adultery; and at his death gives strong assurances of unfaigned repentance, and contrition of heart. He was a Christian, a Protestant, a Minister, a Puritan; yet this crime is recorded and blowne abroad, not for the shame of Chri­stians, Protestants, Ministers, but of Puritans. And as for his attesta­tion of deepe humiliation, how excellent soever, the honour of them, if any be acknowledged, shall redound to the Christian, the Protestant, the Minister, to any thing else except the Puritan.

Howsoever in the first place it ought to be observed, that an uncleane streame does not alwayes receive it's uncleannesse from the filth of the Fountaine, but in the second place a pure streame necessarily infers a pure Source. Tis true, Trees are knowne by their fruites, and so are men generally by their workes; but this similitude holdes not in all men, at all times: for good men sometimes commit soule sinnes, and bad men performe laudable services. David defiles Vriahs wife, and to conceale it from the world, makes drunke and murders Vriah; and together with him casts away the lives of many other faithfull Souldiers: yet nothing moved at this his owne mis-doing, at the same time he sentences to death a Subject of his for damnifying a neighbour, to the value of a poore lamb: what might Joab, and the other pri­vy Ministers of these his foule deeds, censure all this while of this his externally professed sanctity, and purity, and strictnes in point of justice to other men; or of his so great indignation against pet­ [...]y offenders? what might they judge of the root, from whence these fruits sprung? did they conclude these fruits, good? or did [Page 61] they conceive that such fruits might grow upon a good stocke? It's strange, that he which would be so rigid to a petty fellon, should himselfe find no remorse at his owne murther and op­pression, in spoyling so gallant a Commander, of his wife, of his sobriety, of his life, and to continue so long a time without regard either what himselfe had done, or what Vriah had suffered. But it's well, David lived in those times when the name of Purita­nisme was not invented to blast all goodnesse: had he lived a­mongst us, he had been accounted a Puritan, and being a Puritan, God might have forgiven him, but the world never would: but it seemes the world was not then poysoned with the same base word, though I beleeve under some other nicke-name goodnesse was alwaies odious: for we read, that for that very sin of David, Gods name was evill spoken of amongst the wicked. So Solomon the Sonne of seduced Bathsheba, if we censure him by many of his actions, perhaps Jeroboam, and Ahab that made Israel to sinne, were not personally addicted to so much excesse of bodily lust, and pollution, nay perhaps many heathens and Turkes have de­tested his enormous lubricities.

I speak not this to countenance sin, but to discountenance rash censures of sinners, wishing all that thinke themselves fraile and mortall, to turne their eyes inwards, and to lay their hands upon their owne mouths, forbearing to censure all sins, but most espe­cially the most latent and obscure of all sins, hypocrisie.

Solyman the magnificent is held the honestest of all the Princes which raigned in his time, not excepting Christian Princes, nay not excepting the great Father of them all, the Apostolicke man of Rome: yet this is no shame to Christianity, but to Christians ra­ther; nay I wish it might be accounted rather a rebuke, than a shame; rather a rebuke to humble them, than a shame to confute them. For Christ tels us that many times the first are last, and last first, God sees not as man sees, and yet he that will judge upright­ly ought to see as God sees, and not as man. So much of the exten­sive infamy of this word Puritan, now of its intensive malignan­cy: but little more needs to be spoken hereof, for he which tels you who is a Puritan, for the most part tels what is a Puritan.

The Papist we see hates one kind of Puritans, the Hierarchist an­other, the Court Sycophant another, the sensuall Libertin another; yet all hate a Puritan, and under the same name many times hate the same thing. He which is an enemy to our Religion which [Page 62] is the truth, hates the Puritan as an enemy to Truth; he which is an enemy to Piety, Policy, Morality, charges the Puritan of being the same: wherefore whatsoever is hated by the perver­ted and disaffected in Religion, Piety, Policy, Morality, is a Pu­ritan, and whosoever is a Puritan, is censured, hated, and slan­dered as a man perverted and disaffected in Religion, Piety, Po­licy, and Morality.

This sufficiently appeares by the common slanders of all good­nesse in these dayes, and particularly by the Byshop of Downe, for as he justifies Jesuites, Anabaptists, and the Powder-Traiters be­fore Puritans; so he describes, and proscribes whole Religions, Sects, and Kingdomes for Puritans.

In the yeare of grace 1588, when the Spanish Armado had mis­carried, notwithstanding that his holines of Rome had so perem­ptorily christned it, and as it were conjured for it, One of that Religion was strangely distempered at it, and his speech was as 'tis reported, God himselfe was turned Lutheran: By which, for certaine, he meant Hereticall. 'Tis much therefore that my Lord of Downe, now that Episcopacy is so foyled in Scotland, has not raged in the like manner, and charged God of turning Puritan: but surely, if he has spared God, he has not spared any thing else that is good; and if he has spared to call God Puri­tan, he has not spared to call Puritan Devill: but to conclude, if the confused misapplication of this foule word Puritan be not reformed in England, and that with speed, we can expect no­thing but a suddaine universall downefall of all goodnesse what­soever. AElius Adrianus the Emperour, about an hundred yeares after our Saviour, having beene certified by Serenius Gra­nianus, Proconsul of Asia, that the Christians in those partes were illegally oppressed by the malice of unjust Sycophants, sends this his Imperiall edict to the next successor Minutius Fundanus.

If the Provincials can prove ought against the Christians, where­of they charge them, and can at the barre of justice make good the same, let them proceed in a juditiall course: but let them not ap­poach, the Christians meerely for the name, by clamouring, and ray­ling scandals against them: For it is expedient, if any be disposed to accuse, that the accusation bee throughly knowne, and judicially tryed you; therefore if any accuse the Christians that they trans­gresse [Page 63] the Lawes, see that you judge and punist according to the qua­lity of the offence, but if any upon spite or malice by way of calumny complaine agai [...]st them, see you chastise such for their malice, and repay them with condigne punishment. I began with a Mar­quesso, I end with an Emperour, both read the same Le­cture, both teach us a difference betwixt privy mali­cious calumny and open judiciall accusing, or impleading; God sends us to hear­ken to both, asmuch as the necessi­ty of our case requires it.


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