[Page] CERTAINE SERMONS AND LETTERS of DEFENCE AND RESOLUTION, TO Some of the late CONTROVERSIES OF OUR TIMES.

By JAS: MAYNE, D. D.

LONDON, Printed for R. ROYSTON, at the Angel in Ivie-lane. 1653.

THE CONTENTS.

  • I. A Sermon against Schisme, or the Separations of these Times, on Heb. 10. 24, 25.
  • II. A Serm. concerning Unity and Agreement, on 1 Cor. 1. 10.
  • III. A Sermon against False Prophets, on Ezek. 22. 28.
  • IV. The Serm. against False Prophets, Vin­dicated by Letter.
  • V. The Peoples War examined, according to the Principles of Scripture and Reason.

[Page] A SERMON AGAINST SCHISME: OR, The SEPERATIONS of these TIMES. Preacht in the Church of Wattlington in Oxford-shire, with some Interruption, September 11. 1652.

At a publick dispute held there, Between JASPER MAYNE, D. D. And one——

MAT. 13. 47.

[...].

LONDON, Printed for R. ROYSTON, at the Angel in Ivie-lane, 1652.

THE PREFACE.

IF you please to turne to the 19. Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and to read from the 24. to the 33. verse of that Chapter, there is there mention made of a great Assembly, and concurse of people; Who upon the Instigation of one Demetrius, a Silver-Smith, were confusedly drawne to­gether into a publick Theater. And when they were met there, the Confusion was so great, that the Theater for the time, was quite changed into a Babel; there was a per­fect Division of speech, and Tongues among them, scarce any two spoke the same Language; For some cryed out one Thing, and some cryed out Another, as you may read at the 32. v. of that Chap. Rudenesse, Clamour, Tumult, Noyse, was all that issued from them. Nay 'twas a Meeting so confused, so wholly void of Reason, that the greatest part knew not why they were come together, as you may read in the end, and close of that verse. And hence 'tis, that when Saint Paul would have ingaged him­selfe among them, and would have preacht to them to convert and turne them from their Errour, 'Tis said at the 31. verse of that Chapter, That some of the chief of Asia, who were his Friends, sent to him, and desired him, that he would not adven­ture himselfe among such a rude, Tempestuous rout of peo­ple.

And now, if you desire to know why I have sayd this to you, [Page 2] 'tis to let you see, First, That this hath partly been my case, I have been sent, nay spoken to, by some persons of Quality and Honour, not to ingage my selfe among such a mixt Multitude as this; where my Affronts may be great, but my successe, and Harvest small: And to speak truth to you, if I had been left to the peaceablenesse of my owne quiet Temper, (which never did delight in stormes, nor to dispute with Fire.) If the fierce, and eager Importunity of some who have provokt me, had not drawn me from my Iudgement, I should have followed their Advice, this Meeting had not beene. Nay, I should have lookt upon my Appearance here, as a Distemper, like to theirs, who have provokt and called me hither. For my coole and wiser Thoughts have still suggested to me, that to dispute of Truth with those who doe not understand it, is such a piece of Madnesse, as if I should dispute of Colours with a Blind man, of Musicke with a Deafe, or of the Sent of Flowers with One borne without a Smell.

Next, therefore, having so farre departed from my Reason, as to submit to a Dispute in this great publick Meeting, lest it should prove such a confused Meeting, as I described to you be­fore; A Meeting where my Logick must fight Duels with Men made of Rudenesse, Tumult, Noyse; Or lest it should prove a Meeting where Men who can speak nought but English, shall yet speak divers Tongues; And where some shall cry out one Thing, and some shall cry another, I have made it my humble suit to some persons of Honour here present, that by their presence they will free the place from all such wild Confusions. And that, if I must dispute, I may dispute with civill men, and not undergoe Saint Paul's misfortune, who fought with Beasts at Ephe­sus.

Thirdly, lest this Meeting should prove like the confused Meeting, which I mention'd to you before, in one particular more; That is, lest the greatest part of you should not know why you are this day come together. Before I enter upon a full pursuit, or handling of this Text, it will be needfull that I tell you the occasion of this Meeting, which that I may the better doe, I shall desire you to beleeve, that 'tis not a Meeting of my projection or Contrivance. I appeare not here to raise a Faction, or to draw a party after me, nor to adde to the Rents of the Coun­trey, [Page 3] which are too wide already. Nor am I come hither to revenge my selfe in the Pulpit, or to speake ill of those who have most lewdly railed at me. Let them wallow themselves, as much as they please, in their owne grosse filth, and mire; let them, if they please, be those raging Waves of the Sea, which Saint Iude speakes of, which are alwayes foming out their owne shame, when Jude 13. they have steept their Tongues in Gall, and spewd forth all their Venome, They shall not make me change my Opinion; which is, that to cast dirt for dirt, or to returne Ill-Language for Ill-Language, is a course so unreasonable, as if two Men should fight a Duell, and chuse a Dunghill for their weapon. As therefore, I am not come hither to shew my selfe Malitious, so I am not come hither to gaine Applause, or Reputation by this Meeting. No thirst of Fame, no affection of Victorie hath drawne me from my Study to steppe into this Pulpit. I understand my owne Infirmities too well to be so selfe-conceited. Or if my Abilities were farre greater then they are, yet I have alwayes lookt on Fame thus got, to be so slight a Thing, as if a Man should feed on Ayre, or make a meale of shaddows.

Not to hold you therefore any longer in suspense, if you, who know it not already, desire to know the true occasion of this Meeting, 'tis briefely this; I have for some yeares (even with Teares in my eyes) seen one of the saddest curses of the Scripture fulfill'd upon this Nation: With a bleeding Heart I speake it, I have seene, not onely three Kingdoms, but our Cityes, Towns, and Villages, nay even our private Familyes divided against them­selves. I have seene the Father differing in opinion from the Sonne, and I have seene the Sonne differing in opinion from the Father. I have seene the Mother broken from the Daughter, and I have seen the Daughter divided from the Mother. Nay, our very Marriage-Beds have not scapt the curse of Separation. Like Iacob and Esau issuing from the same wombe, I have seene two Twins of Separation rise from between the same Curtains. I have seen the Wedlock knot quite untyed in Religion; I have seene the Husband in opposition to the Wife, goe to one, and I have seene the Wife in opposition to her Husband, for many years together, goe to another Congregation. In a Word (my Brethren,) the Church of Christ among us, which was once as [Page 4] Seamelesse as his Coate, is now so rent by Schismes, so torne by Separations, that 'tis become like the Coate of Ioseph which you reade of in the 37. Chapter of Genesis, at the 3. verse, scarce one piece is colourd like another; And I pray God it prove not like the Coat of Ioseph in one particular more; I pray God the Weaker be not sold by his Brethren, and his Coate be not once more dyed red, once more imbrued in Bloud. This, you will say, is very sad, and yet this is not all; That which extremely adds to the Misery of our Rents, and Separations, is, that the wisest can­not hope they will ere be peeced, or reconciled. For the persons who thus Separate, are so far from beleeving themselves to be in an Errour, that they strongly thinke all Others erre who separate not too; They thinke themselves bound in Conscience to doe as they doe. Nay, zealous Arguments are urged, and Texts of Scripture quoted, to prove that 'tis a damning sinne not to goe on in Separation. The Churches where their Neighbours met are now contemned, and Scorned: Nay, I have with mine owne Ears heard a Dining Room, a Chamber, a Meeting under Trees; Nay, I have heard a Hog-stye, a B [...]rne, called places more sancti­fied then they. In a word, one of the great Reasons which they urge, why they thus forsake our Churches, and make divided Congregations, is, because (They say) the people which assemble there are so wicked, so prophane, that they turne Gods House of prayer into a den of Theeves. To keep this infection from spread­ing in my Parish, and to keepe this piece of Leaven from sowr­ing the whole Lumpe; And withall to satisfie one, whom I looke upon as a well-meaning, though a seduced, and erring per­son, who hath ingaged her selfe by promise, that if I can take the mist from her Eyes, and cleerly let her see her Errour, she will returne back to the Church, from which she hath for some yeares gone astray; and being invited to doe this in a way of Christian challenge, which hath raised a great expectation in the Countrey, I have taken up the Gauntlet, and here present my selfe before you; and before I enter the Lists, to let you all see the Justice of the Cause which I here stand to defend, I have chosen this Text for my shield; where He, who wrote this Epistle to the Hebrews sayes, Let us consider one another to provoke one another to love and to Good works, not forsaking the Assembling of our selves together, as the manner of some is.

The Division.

IN which words, the only poynt which I shall insist upon, as the fittest, and most seasonable to be preacht to this divided Con­gregation, shall be the point of Schisme; or, in plaine English, Separation, as 'tis exprest to us in these Words, Let us not for­sake the Assembling of our selves together, as the manner of some is. In the pursuit and handling of which words, I will proceed by these two plaine and easie steps. First, I will prove to you, by Arguments, which have a sun-beame for their parent, That the Rent or Separation which is now made in the Church, is a very grievous sinne: Indeed, a sinne so grievous, that I scarce know whether Christians can be guilty of a greater. Next, I will Ex­amine and answer their Arguments, and Texts of Scripture; who doe perswade themselves and others that their separation is no sinne; Nay, that would be a grievous sinne not to separate as they doe. In the meane time I beseech you to lend me a quiet and favourable Attention, whilest I begin with the first of these parts, and that shall be to prove to you, that the separations of our Times, are great and grievous sinnes.

Among the other Characters and Descriptions which have been made of us Men, we have been called, [...]. That is, a Creature borne and made, and created for Society. Towards the preservation and maintenance wherof God at the Beginning, ordered his Creation of us so, that whereas other Creatures take their Originall and Birth from a Diversitie of parents. He made us Men to spring from one, undivided, single payre. One Adam, and one Eve were the two joyn'd parents of Mankinde. And the Reason of this was, That there might not onely be among us one common Kinred and Alliance, but that we might hold a firme, and constant League and Friendship with each other too. And hence 'tis we see, that without any other Teacher but their owne Naturall Instinct, Men in all Ages have avoided seperati­on, by gathering themselves into formed Bodyes of Cittyes, Towns and Commonwealths. Neighbourhood, Society, mutuall help, and Conversation, being one of the great Ends for which God made us Men. And upon this Ground it hath been disputed, [Page 6] whether a Hermit, or Monastic man, breake not the Law of Na­ture, because he separates himselfe from the company of Men? And 'tis clearly stated by some great Casuists, That if he seperate from others for no End but separation, if he retire himselfe into a Cave or Wildernesse, or Desart, (as some of the Ancient Hermits did) not for Devotion, but out of a hatred, or distaste of the rest of Mankinde; In that particular he cannot well be called a Man, but some wilder Creature, made to dwell in Caves, Desarts, Forrests, Dens.

As then, the Law of Nature doth require us to preserve society and Friendship, so the Law of Christ hath tyed, and woven this knot much faster. We are all of Kinne by Nature, but we are all Brethren as Christians: Men allyed to one another by one common Hope, one common Faith, one common Saviour, one com­mon God, and Lord, and Father of us all. And upon this Ground, when one Christian shall divide or forsake the society of Another, unlesse it be upon a just principle of Conscience, and to avoid a sinne, the Scripture calls it not barely Separation, but Separation which is Schisme. That is, such a Separation as is a Gospel-sinne too.

Which, that you may the more clearly understand, give me leave to aske you in truth what is Schisme? Why the best Defi­nition of it that was ever yet given is this, That Schisme is nothing else, but a separation of Christians from that part of the Visible Church, of which they were once Members, upon meere fancyed, slight, unnecessary Grounds. In which Definition of Schisme, three things doe offer themselves to your serious observation, to make it formall Schisme, or a signe of Separation. First it must be a separation of Christians from some part of the Visible Church, of which they were once Members; That is, (according to the Definition, a visible Church as it concerns this present purpose) it must be a Deniall of Communion with that Congregation of Christians, with whom they were once united under a rightly-con­stituted Pastor. Next, they who thus separate, must betake them­selves to some other Teacher, whom, in opposition to the for­mer, they chuse to be their Guide, and so make themselves his Followers.

Thirdly, they must erect a New Assembly, or place of Con­gregation, as a New Church distinct from that from which they doe divide.

[Page 7] Lastly, This choyce of a New Guide, and Separation from the Old, this Erection of a New Church, and Division from the former must be upon slight unnecessary Grounds; For if the Cause, or Ground of their Separation be needlesse, vaine, unne­cessary, if it spring more out of Humour, Pride, desire of change, or Hatred of their Brethren, then out of any Christian love to keepe themselves from sinnes; 'Tis in the Scripture-Language Schisme, That is, a sinne of Separation.

Or if you will heare me expresse my self in the language of a very learned Man (who hath contrived a clue to lead us through this Labyrinth) This breach of Communion, This separation from a Church rightly constituted; This choyce of a New Guide, New Teacher, New Instructer. Lastly, This setting up of a New Con­gregation, or place of private Meetings, is the same sinne in Re­ligion, which Sedition, or Rebellion is in the Commonwealth or State. For upon a right examination of the matter 'twill be found, That Schisme is a Religious, or Ecclesiasticall Sedition, as Sedition in the State is a civill, Lay-schisme.

Which two sinnes, though they appeare to the World in di­verse shapes, the one with a Sword, the other with a Bible in his H [...]nd; yet they both agree in this, that they both disturbe the publick peace. The one of the State, where men are tyed by Laws as Men; The other of the Church, where men should be tyed by Love as Christians.

To let you yet farther see, what a grievous sinne this sinne of Schisme or Separation is; If the time would give me leave, I might here rayse the Schoolemen, Antient Fathers, and Generall Councells from the dead, and make them preach to you from this Pulpit against the sinne of Separation. I might tell you, that in the purest Times of the Church, a Schismatick, and Hereticke were lookt upon as Twinnes; The one as an Enemy to the Faith, the other to Communion. But because in our darke Times, learn­ing is so grown out of date, that to quote an Ancient Father, is thought a piece of Superstition; And to cite a Generall Councell is to speake words to our New Gifted men unknowne, I will say nothing of this sinne, but what the Scripture sayes before me.

First, then, I shall desire you to heare what S. Paul sayes in [Page 8] this case, in the last Chapter of his Epistle to the Romans at the 17. verse. Turne to the place, and marke it well I beseech you. Now I beseech you, brethren, sayes he there, Marke them which cause Divisions, and offences, contrary to the Doctrine which [...]e have learned, and avoid them: That is, in other words, Separate your selves from them. And then he gives you a Character, and De­scription of those Separaters at the 18. verse of that Chapter; And sayes, For they that are such, serve not our Lord Iesus Christ, but their owne Belly. And by good words and faire speeches deceive the Hearts of the simple.

In which words, Foure things are so exactly drawn to life, as makes them a perfect Prophecye, or rather picture of our Times. The first is, that there were some in S. Pauls dayes, who caused Divisions in the Church; Men, who in a way of Schisme, and Separation, made themselves the Heads and Leaders of divided Congregations.

Next, The Ground upon which they built their Separation; 'twas not upon any just, true, lawfull, Scripture-Ground. For the Text sayes, 'Twas contrary to the Doctrine which the Apostles taught, and preacht. But the true cause, or Ground, why they thus caused Separations, was meerly self-Interest; And that they might gaine by their Divisions. Nay, 'twas such a poore, base, unwor­thy selfe-Interest, that 'tis there said, they did it in compliance to their Belly.

The third thing which will deserve your observation, is, the cunning Art they used to draw the weaks to be their Followers. 'Tis there sayd, that by good Words and faire Speeches, they decei­ved the Hearts of the simple, especially the simple of the weaker sex. And who these were, S. Paul, in other words, but to the same purpose tells you, in the 3. Chapter of his second [...]pistle to Timo­thy at the 5, 6, 7. verses of that Chapter. Where speaking of such Coseners, he sayes, they had a Forme of Godlinesse, an outward seeming Holynesse to deceive and cosen by; And that under this Forme of Godlynesse they crept into Houses, and there led Captive silly Women, loaden with sinnes, and drawne away with divers Lusts. Women so unable to distinguish Right from Wrong, that they were alwayes learning, and never able to come to the Know­ledge of the Truth.

[Page 9] And certainly, my Brethren, 'tis no new thing under the sunne, to see the weaker sexe misled by holy Formes, and Shews. 'Tis no new thing, I say, under the Sunne, for a man that makes long prayers, to eat up a Widdows House; Or for a cunning Angler to catch the fillyer sort, with a hooke bayted with Religion. 'Twas so in our Saviours time, and 'twas so in S. Pauls. And whether their demure lookes, their precise carriage, their long prayers, their good words and fayre speeches, be not the Hooke, and snare, by which weake people are caught now; whether the feasting of their Bellyes, or the making Gayne of Godlinesse; Or whether the Itch and pride of being the Leaders of a Faction; Or whether the vaine Ambition of being thought more holy or more gifted than the rest, be not the true end of those, who doe now cause Separations, I will not rashly censure, but I have some reason to suspect. But this is not all.

The fourth, and last thing, which most deserves your observa­tion, is, that Separation in that place is such a Scripture-sinne, that S. Paul commands us to separate from those, who doe thus cause Separations. Heare the place, I pray, once more repeated to you, I beseech you, Brethren, sayes he, Marke them who cause Divisions among you, and avoid them. That is, as I said be­fore, Separate your selves from them. If they, who upon no just cause doe Separate, must be Separated from, I hope you'l all confesse that Separation is a sinne.

And what sinne thinke you is this sinne of Separation? Why, I know some of you will thinke it strange if I should say, 'tis a sinne of the Flesh. And yet S. Paul sayes, that 'tis a sinne of the Flesh, in the 3. Chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians. Marke I beseech you what he sayes in that place. Are ye not carnall? sayes he there. For whereas there are among you Envyings, and Strifes, and Divisions; Are ye not carnall, and walke as men? Sayes He at the 3. verse. Againe, when one saith, I am Paul; And when another saith, I am of Apollos; Are ye not carnall? sayes he at the 4. v. of that Chapter. If to divide and separate from the Followers of S. Paul, and to make themselves the Followers, and Disciples of Apollos; or if by way of Separation to make themselves the markes of severall Churches to which Apostles were the Guides, were a sinne of Carn [...]lity; [Page 10] (as S. Paul sayes it was) what shall we say of some people of our Times? who instead of severall Apostles to divide themselves by, doe chuse to themselves Guides so meane, so unlearned, so lia­ble to Errour, that they perfectly make between them the pi­cture of Mistakes: The Blinde leading the Blinde, and both fallen into a Ditch? 'Tis not now, as 'twas then. When some said, we are of Paul, and when others said, we are of Cephas, and when others said, we are of Apollos; Others, we are of Christ. Though to make the Names of Christ, or Paul, or Cephas, names of Fa­ction, was a sinne. But we are faln on Times so made of Se­paration, that people doe divide themselves by Teachers, whose second Trade is Teaching. Teachers so obscure, so bred to ma­nuall Occupations; Teachers so sprung up from the basest of the people. Lastly, Teachers, so accustomed to the Trewell, Forge, and Anvill, that I almost blush to name them in the Pulpit. 'Tis not now sa [...]d, we are of Paul, And we are of Apollos; But we are of Wat Tyler; We are of Iacke Cade; We are of Alexan­der the Coporsmith; We are of Tom the Mason; and we are of Dicke the Gelder. And whether to Divide and Separate under such vulgar Names as These, be no a sinne of the Flesh, I leave to every one of you, who have read S. Paul, to judge.

And here, now, if Time were not a Winged Thing, or if it would but stay my leisure, I might lay before you many other places of the Scripture, which clearly doe demonstrate that Separation is a sinne. For though, like the Ghost of Samuel, which you read of in the Scripture, it usually appeare cloathed in the Mantle of a Prophet, though it were Holinesse in the Tongue, And precisenesse in the Face; yet to let you see what an Apple of Sodome it is; How it lookes with a Virgin cheek without, and is nought but Rottennesse within, I shall once more desire you to heare what S. Paul sayes of it, In the 5. Chapter of the Galatians at the 19. and 20. verses of that chapter, Where he once more reckons it among the sinnes of the Flesh. As for Example, The Works of the Flesh are manifest, sayes he, which are these. Adulterie, Fernication, Uncleannesse, Lasciviousnesse, Idolatrie, Witchcraft, Hatred, Variance, Emulation, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Haeresies, sayes our English Translation. But the words in the Originall Greek, (which are the true Word of God) will beare it [Page 11] thus. [...], That is, Divisions, Sects, Envy­ings, Murthers, Drunkennesse, Revellings, and such like. Of the which I tell you before, sayes he, As I have told you in Times past, That They which doe such Things shall not Inherit the Kingdome of God. Where you see Seditions, Sects, and Schismes, as well as Adulterie, and Murther, are there listed by S. Paul among those works of the Flesh, which doe shut men out of Heaven, and exclude them from salvation.

Many such like places of the Scripture I might lay before you. But I will content my selfe with one Argument more; which shall not onely prove to you, That Separation is a sinne; But one of the Greatest sinnes, of which Christians can be guilty.

To make this cleare to you, and beyond all Dispute, or Questi­on. That which I will say to you (and mark it well) is this. 'Tis a Rule in Divinity, (and tis a Rule infallible) That those sinnes are the Greatest, which are most contrary, and doe most oppose the greatest Christian vertues. Now the Three Great Christian ver­tues which doe make and constitute a Christian, are set downe by S. Paul, in the 13. chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, at the last verse, where he sayes, Now abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity; But the Greatest of these is Charity. Thus, then, stands the case. Distrust in Gods promises, or an unbeliefe in his power, is a very great sinne. For 'tis a sinne which doth oppose and quite cut off the wings of Hope. Haeresie, or the strife, and obstinate Defence, and persisting in a knowne Errour, is a farre greater sinne. For 'tis a sinne against Faith, a sinne which strives to draw a Cloud about the Beames of Truth. But if it be true what S. Paul sayes, (as most certainly it is) If it be true that Charity is greater then either Faith, or Hope, Then 'twill follow by Good Logick and all the Consequence of Reason; That that sinne which doth untie, and break the Bond of peace; That sinne which destroyes Christian Friendship, and Communion; Lastly, That sinne which rends, and teares the Cords of Charity asunder, is a farre greater sinne then unbeliefe or Haeresie. And the sin which doth all this is the sin of Separation.

First 'tis a greater sinne in it selfe, and the very formality of the sinne. As being the worst Extreme to the best, and greatest vertue, Namely, The vertue of Love; By which Christ would have his [Page 12] Followers distinguisht from the rest of Mankinde. For by this shall all men know, sayes he, that you are my Disciples, if yee love one another. As you may read in the 13. chapter of Iohn at the 35. verse. And agreeable to this is that which is delivered here in this Text, where the Authour of this Epistle to the Hebrewes sayes, Let us consider one another to provoke one another to Love. And not forsake the Assembling of our selves together, as the manner of some is.

And as Schisme, or Separation upon a slight, or needlesse Ground is in it selfe one of the greatest sinnes; So tis one of the greatest sinnes too, in its dangerous Effects. Besides the Hatred, Envy, Strife, which it begets among Men of divided Interests, and Mindes, Tis many times the Coale which sets whole States and Common-wealths on fire. It pretends, indeed, very much to the Spirit, And at first cloaths it selfe in the Dresse of Humility and Meeknesse; But they who have written the Chronicles of the Church can tell you, That those pretences to the Spirit have no sooner gathered strength, but they have proceeded to bloudy Bat­tells, and pitcht fields. Where the Meeke persons have throwne aside their Bibles; and have changed the Sword of the Spirit into the Sword of Warre. The proceedings of the Donatists in Affricke, and of the Iohn-of Leyden-Men at Munster are two sad Examples of the truth of what I say.

The Grounds of Separation examined.

BUt here, perhaps, will some of you, who heare me this day, 2. say, What's all this to us? In saying this which you have hitherto said, like those who wrote Romances, you have but created an Adversary out of your own fancy, and then foyl'd him; or like the man in Aristotle who drove his shaddow before him, you first frame a man of Ayre, and then cry he flyes from you. But if this be to conquer, one of our Gifted Men who is at all no Scholler, can as well triumph over men of Ayre, and shad­dowes, as your selfe. To let you see, therefore, that I am one of those, who desire not to fight Duels with naked unarmed Men, nor to meet any in the Field, before we have agreed upon the [Page 13] just length of our Weapons: If your patience will hold out so long, who come dis-interested hither, This second part of this Sermon shall be spent in the pursuit of that, which Master Deane of Christ-church just now very seasonably noted as a Defect in our present way of Arguing, and Dispute, which was, that the Grounds were not examined upon which the present Separations of these Times, do build themselves. These Grounds, therefore, I shall now in the next place call to some reckoning and Account, And in the doing of this, I will hang up a payre of Scales before you, you shall see their Arguments placed in One Scale, and my Answers in the Other: And because no Moderatour sits in the Chayre to judge (which was a thing foreseen by me, but could not well be compast) I shall make you the Iudges who heare me this day. And because the Rudenesse, and Ill-language of those who have disturbed me in this Pulpit, hath made me stand before you here like a man arraigned for Errour, I will freely cast my selfe upon God, and you the Countrey. Thus, then, I shall proceede.

Here (as I said before) may some of the Separating party, say to me, How doth the former part of your Sermon concern us? We separate, 'tis true, But not on those false Grounds which you have all this while described. We grant, indeed, That if we broke Communion with you out of Faction, or Selfe-Interest, or Pride, or desire of Gaine, or meere Love of Separation, you might well call us Schismaticks; and we should well deserve that Name. But the Ground on which we separate from you, is, because you are not fit to be Assembled with, you are sinners; wicked, lewd, profane, notorious sinners. The places where you meet breathe nothing but Infection. Your Teachers preach false Doctrine; and your people practise Lyes. In a word, we cannot with the safety of our Conscience frequent your Congregations. Since to appeare there would be an enterprize as dangerous, as if we should make Visits to a Pest-house, and there hope to scape the Plague.

This you will say (good people) is very hard language. And How, thinke you, do they prove it? why, as they thinke by two cleare places of the Scripture, which no man can oppose, and not make Warre with Heaven. Two places of Scripture, I say, have [Page 14] beene produced, and quoted to me, like Sampson and Achilles, with Invincible Lances in their Hands. Places which doe not onely allow, but command a separation; Nay, they command it so fully, that if they should not separate, or forsake our Congre­gations, they say they should sinne greatly, and disobey the Scri­pture. And what are these two places?

The first you shall finde set downe in the 5. last verses of the 6. Chapter, of the second Epistle of S. Paul to the Corinthians, where the words run thus. Be ye not unequally yokt together with unbeleevers. For what Fellowship hath Righteousnesse with unrighte­ousnesse? And what Communion hath Light with Darknesse? And what Concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an Infidell? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idolls? For ye are the Temple of the living God; Levit. 26. 12. As God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walke in them; And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye seperate, Esay 52. 11. saith the Lord, and touch not the uncleane thing, and I will receive you. This is their first great place, which they urge for separation. Will you now heare their second? That you shall finde set downe in the 4. first verses of the 18. Chapter of the Revelations. Where the words run thus, After these things, sayes S. Iohn there, I saw another Angel come downe from Heaven, having great power; and the Earth was light­ned with his Glory. And he cryed mightily, with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the Habi­tation of Divells, and the hold of every foule Spirit; And the Cage of every unclean, and hatefull Bird. For all Nations have drunke of the wine of the wrath of her Fornications; And the Kings of the Earth have committed Fornication with her. And the Merchants of the Earth are waxed rich, through the Abundance of her Delicacyes. And I heard Another voyce from heaven, (sayes he) saying; Come out of her my people, that yee be not partakers of her sinnes, and that yee receive not of her plagues.

These two places of Scripture (if you will heare me expresse my selfe in the thred-bare Lunguage of the Times) They say, doe hold Forth themselves soe clearely, that I may sooner quench the sunne than finde an Answer to them. Nay, to deale freely with you, these two places, and these only are a piece of the Challenge [Page] which hath occasioned this Dispute. For I am promised by Her, whom I here come to undeceive, that if I can answer these two places, she wil be my Convert; And will soparate from these who doe now make separations.

I take her at her word, and doe thus contrive, and shape my Answers; Marke them I beseech you. As for the first place in the 6. Chapter of the second Epistle to the Corinthians; you are to understand, that when S. Paul wrote that Epistle, The City of Corinth was not wholly converted to the Faith, but was di­vided in Religions, some were yet Heathens, and sacrificed to Idols: Others did imbrace the Gospell, and gave up their Names to Christ.

Neverthelesse, they were not so divided in Religions, but that dwelling together in the same City, certaine Neighbourly Ci­villities, and Acts of kindnesse past between them. As for Ex­ample, when a Heathen or Unbeleever offerd a sacrifice to his Idol, 'twas usuall, for old Acquaintance sake, to invite his Chri­stian Friends to be Guests to his sacrifice; And to eate of his meate which was offered to his Idol, As you may read, 1 Cor. 10. 27, 28. And the place where the sacrifice was eaten, and where the Feast was made, was, for the most part in the Temple of the Idol, As you may read, 1 Cor. 8. 10. Now, this mingling of Religions; This meeting of Christians with Heathens, at a Hea­then Feast; Nay, at a Feast where the Meat was first offerd to an Idol, Nay in that Idol was offered to the Devils, as you may reade, 1 Cor. 10. 20. Nay, this meeting of Christians with Heathens at an Idol sacrifice, and their eating with them of that sacrifice in the very Temple of the Idol, was a thing so dangerous, so apt to call weake Christians back againe to their former Idolatry, That Saint Paul thought it high time to say, Be not thus unequally yokt with unbeleevers. In which expression he doth cast an eye upon that Law of God, which you may read set downe in the 22. Chapter of Deuteronomye, at the 9, 10, 11. verses of that Chap­ter. Where God sayes, Thou shalt not sow thy Vineyard with diverse seeds; Nor shalt thou plough thy field with an Oxe, and an Asse yokt together; Nor shalt thou weare a Garment of divers sorts, Name­ly, of Linnen, and Woollen woven together in one piece. To the My­sticall meaning of which Law, S. Paul here alludes, when he sayes, Be not unequally yokt with Unbeleevers. For a Christian [Page] mingling with a Heathen, in a Heathen Congregation: Nay, a Christian mingling with a Heathen in the Temple of an Idol, was a more disproportion'd sight, then to see an Oxe yokt with an Asse in the same Plough; Or then to see Corn sown with Grapes in the same Field; Or then to see Wool mixt with Linnen in the same Garment. In a Word, the Idolatry of the Heathens was so incon­sistent with the Religion of the Christians, that S. Paul proceeds, and sayes, that they might as well reconcile Light to Darknesse, or contrive a League betweene Christ and Belial; Or tye a Marriage knot between Righteousnesse and sinne, as make it hold in fitnesse; That Christians who are the Temples of God, and of his holy Spirit, should meet, and eate, and beare a part in the Idol Temples of the Heathens. And these Infidels, these Heathens, who did not believe in Christ; These Corinthians unconverted, These Worshippers of Idols, who strived to draw the Christians back to their former Superstitions, were they from whom S. Paul bids his New Converts separate themselves. Come out from among them, and be ye separate, sayes he, at the 17. verse of that Chapter. O [...], (in the Language of the place) Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the uncleane thing, and I will receive you. Which words are but a string struck by the Prophet Esay 52. 11. Esay first, and spoken by him, of the separation of the Iewes, from the then Idolatryes of the Heathens. And that this is the true Interpretation of this place, will appeare to any who shall compare, what S. Paul here sayes, with that which he sayes, in the 10. Chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, from the 19. to the 30. verse of that Chapter.

This then, being so, Let me aske the zealous persons, who thus de­light in Separation, are They from whom they separate such Infi­dells, such Heathens, such Worshippers of Idols, as S. Paul doth here describe? Doe they see any Gods of Gold, erected in our Tem­ples? Or doe they see any Images of Silver adored, and sacri­ficed to by our Congregations? Doe any of us make prayers to a stocke? Or doe any of us burne Incense to a Stone? Nay, let them (if they please) examine us by their private-meeting-Cate­chisme. Doe we not confesse the same God that they doe? Doe we not beleeve in the same Iesus Christ? Do we preach another Gospel? Or hope to be saved by any other Name but His? Are not our Congregations built on the Scripture-Rock? Is not Christ [Page 17] our Corner Stone, and his Apostles our Foundation? Doe we not agree with them in all things, but where they differ from the Scripture? As for Example, we doe maintaine, and say, that separation is a sinne. They doe maintaine and say, That 'tis a Christian Duty; We urge that Text which sayes, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptisme; They urge no Text, which sayes, Men must be twice Baptised. We say, that if a Child of God doe breake Gods Laws, a Child of God sinnes. Some of them say that God beholds no sinne in his Children. Lastly, we say of the Scripture, as 2 Pet. 3. 16. S. Peter said of S. Pauls Epistles; That there be some things in them, very hard to be understood, which they who are unlearned wrest to their owne Destruction. They say unlearned Gifted Men are the best Expounders of the Scripture; What they meane by Gifted Men I will not here examine. But that which I will say is this, because We differ in Opinions to divide themselves from us; Nay to apply such a reproachfull place of Scripture to us, as makes us no better then Infidels, and Heathens, and Worshippers of Idols, is to revile us with the Word of God, and to Libell us with Scripture.

Would They take it well, if we should apply to Them that place which sayes; Woe to you, yee Hypocrites, yee Blind Leaders of the Blind; you who strayne at Gnats, and yet securely swallow Camels? Would They take it well, if we should quote a place of Scripture, and make it call Them Whited Sepulchers; which showe fayre and beautifull without, and hold nought but stinke, and Rot­tennesse within? Againe, would They take it well if we should apply to them, that place which speakes of Men, who have a Forme of Godlinesse, but deny the power thereof? Men, who like the old Pharisees, with a long prayer in their Mouth, creep into Houses, and there leade Captive silly Women? Lastly, would They take it well if we should apply that place to Them, which sayes; That as Iannes, and Iambres withstood Moses, so doe these men re­sist the Truth? Men of corrupt Mindes; Reprobate concerning the Faith? (as 'tis in the Greek, and the Margin of your Bibles) [...], Men purblinde, voide of Iudgement con­cerning the true knowledge of the Faith? If they would not take it well, why doe they not observe the Rule of Equity, and Iustice, which is, To doe to us, but as They would have us doe to them?

[Page 18] But here perhaps, will some of you who heare me this day, say; We doe not separate from you, because you are out-right unbeleevers, Pagans, Infidels, or Heathens; But because you weare the Names of Christians, and yet live the Lives of Heathens. Though you doe not worship Idols, yet there is Covetousnesse among you, which S. Paul calls Col. 3. 5. Idolatry. And though you doe professe Christ, yet you walke disorderly; And doe commit those sinnes which they who denyed Christ did. Though we see no Gods of Gold nor Silver in your Temples, yet if we came there, we might see a Congregation of such people as S. Paul in other places bids us Separate from. As for Example, turne to the 3. Chapter of his second Epistle to the Thessalonians, and the 6. verse. Doth he not there command us In the name of the Lord Iesus to withdraw our selves from every Brother, who walkes dis­orderly, and not according to the Traditions which he taught? Or if this place be not cleare enough, turne to the 5. Chapter of the first Epistle of S. Paul to the Corinthians, and to the 11. verse, Doth he not there say, that if Any man that is called a Brother, be a Fornicatour, or Covetous, or an Idolater, or a Rayler, or a Drunkard, or an Extortioner, with such a one we are not to keep Company, No, not to eat?

I grant, indeed, S. Paul sayes so, and doe think it very fit that S. Paul should be obeyed. But how doth this prove that they are to forsake our Congregations? That there are such men among us, as S. Paul doth there describe, is a Truth too cleare to be denyed. But are our whole Congregations composed of such men? Are all Drunkards? Are all Fornicatours? Are all Raylers? Are all Extortioners? Are all, both Priests and People so like one another, that when they meete they make not a Church. Assembly, but a Congregation of such sinners? Or are they onely some? And they, perhaps, the lesser part who are guilty of those sinnes? Nay suppose they should be farre the greater part, who are guilty of these sinnes; yet you know our Mat. 13. Saviour Christ compares the Church to a Field sowne with good seed; But then he tells us too, That to the Worlds end, among the good seed there shall still grow Weeds, and Tares. Againe, in the 13. chapter of S. Mathew at the 47. and 48. verses of that Chapter, he compares the Kingdome of God here in this World, to a Net cast into the Sea, which inclosed Fishes of all [Page 19] sorts, Bad as well as Good. And what the meaning of this draught of mingled Fishes is, I shall desire you to read at the 49. and 50. verses of that chapter, where he sayes; That at the End of the world, and not till then, the Angels shall go forth, and shall separate the wicked from among the Iust: [...], sayes the Originall Greek, They shall separate the wicked from the midst of the Iust, which clearely doth prove to us, That till this finall Separation, in the Church of God here on earth, there will alwayes be a mixture: To divide or separate, therefore, from the whole Congregation, because some wicked men are in it, is a course so unreasonable, as if they should refuse a Field of Corne because there grew some weeds, or should renounce a Field of Wheat because it beares some Tares.

Besides, I would faine know, how farre they will extend the meaning of that Text, where S. Paul sayes, That they are not to eat with a Brother, who is a Drunkard, or Adulterer, or Rayler, or Extortioner. Will they extend it to all sorts of persons who are such? If they will, Then if a Woman have a Drunkard to her Husband, she must separate from him because he is a Drunkard, if she doe not, every time she eats with him, she disobeyes S. Paul; and in every meale she makes with him she commits a Scripture sinne. By the same reason also, If the Sonne have a Drunkard to his Father, he must remove Tables, and not dyet with his Father. And so there will be one Division more then those the Scripture speakes of: For that onely tells us that the time shall come when the Sonne shall be divided from the Fa­ther, and the Mother from the Daughter. But if this Interpreta­tion be true, the Wife must divide and break her selfe from her distemper'd Husband too.

Nay give me leave to goe one step farther yet. If the sinnes of a part be a just sufficient Ground to separate from the whole, Why doe not they who separate, divide and fall assunder? For here let me ask them, and let me ask without offence; Are they all so Innocent, so pure, so free, so voyd of sinne, that there is not one disorderly Brother among them? Is their place of private Meetings so much the New Ierusalem, That no Drunkard, no Adulterer, nor Rayler enters there? I wish there did not, my Brethren. We Ministers should not then so oft be called Dumb Doggs, Idol shepheards, Limbs of Antichrist, Baals Priests, by [Page 20] Tongues, wich if S. Iames say true, are set on fire of Hell.

If then, it be not the meaning of S. Paul in that place, that [...]am. 3. 6. we should separate from all because some of those All are wicked, upon what other just Ground doe they break Communion with us? Is it because we preach in Churches? They are Gods House of prayer. Made his by the Piety, and Devotion of our Fathers, who if they lived now would hardly call them Saints, who pre­ferre a Barne, nay a Hog-stye before a consecrated Temple. Or is it because there is Haeresie or Superstition mixt with our once Common Forme of prayer? If there had been, you see that scandall is removed. Or doe we persecute, or force, or drive them from our Congregations? We are so farre from that, that you see, they are ready to require that our publick Congregations, should stoope, and bow the Knee to their private Meetings. What other secret rea­son tis which thus divides them from us, I can by no meanes think, unlesse it be wrapt up in the Mystery and cloud of the 18. chap. of the Revelations, which is their other strong Herculean place of Scripture, which hath been urged to me to make good their Separation. From which dark place of Scripture when I have re­moved the veyle and Curtaine, I will put a period, and conclusi­on to this Sermon.

Tis there said, that S. Iohn heard an Angel proclaime aloud, and say, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen; and is become the Habitation of Divels, the Hold of every uncleane Spirit, and a Cage of every uncleane, and hatefull Bird; As you may read at the 2. verse of that chapter. Tis farther said, That he heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her my people, that yee be not partakers of her sinnes, and that ye receive not of her plagues. As you may read at the 4. verse of that chapter, where by Ba­bylon fallen, they understand the Church of England falne, By the Habitation of Divels, the Hold of foule Spirits, and Cage of uncleane Birds. They understand our Parish Churches, and Congregations which meet there; which, they say, are so much a Cage of uncleane Birds, places so corrupt, so full of wic­kednesse, and sinne, that God, by his Spirit, as it were, by a voice from the Clouds, hath said unto them, Come out of them, my people, divide your selves from them, lest ye be partakers of their sinnes, and go sharers in their plagues. This is, or must be their Interpretation of that place; or else 'twill no way serve to uphold [Page 21] their Separation. If, I say, by the Habitation of Divells, and Cage of uncleane Birds be not meant our Church Assemblyes, from which they doe divide, they doe but build a House of straw, and choose the sand for a Foundation. I am sure I have been told that this was the very Interpretation which the Gentleman gave of this place, who just now disputed with me, at a dispute which not long since he had with Mr. Gibson of Chinner.

But now will you heare my censure of this wilde Interpretation? Take it then, thus. Among the severall Expounders of the Reve­lation, I once met with one, who when he came to interpret the Seven Angels, which blew the Seven Trumpets, He said that by one of those Angels was meant Luther, by another Queen Elizabeth. And when he came to give the meaning of the Locusts which ascended from the Bottomelesse pit, with Crowns on their Heads, by the Locusts, He understood Schollers of the Universi­tie; And by the Crownes on their Heads, He understood Square Caps. Methinkes, these kinde of people deale just so with this place of the Revelation. They see strange visions in it which S. Iohn never saw; Namely, they see Babylon in our Churches, and uncleane Birds in our Assemblyes. Nay, though the Divels being Spirits are too invisible to be seen, yet, by the benefit of a New­light, they can see sights which no other Eyes can see without being present in the place to which foul Spirits do resort, (as if they had borrowed one of Galilaeo's Glasses) they can see Divels take Notes at our Sermons. But whether in short-Hand, or at length, S. Iohn hath not revealed.

Pardon me, I beseech you, you who are of the more grave and nobler sort, that I am thus pleasant in the pulpit; I am compelled to be so when I meet with people who deale with the Scripture, as men of melancholly Fancyes use to deale with the Clouds. For as I have knowne some Hypocondriack men, who have faigned to themselves flying Horses, winged Troops, and Skips sayling in the Aire; Nay, as I have knowne some, who, like the Melancholly man, who thought himselfe a urinall, have thought they have seene two Armyes in the Skie; and have mistaken Clouds, and Meteors for Soldiers, Trumpets, Drums, and Cannons; So I do not wonder that our Gifted, thinking people should so mistake the Revelation as they doe; or that they should see Monsters in the Scripture Clouds. Where the Scripture is most cleare, they hardly [Page 22] understand it; How then, should they finde out the Key to such darke prophecies as this?

But here may some man say to me, if they mistake this place, whats your Interpretation of it? Why, my Interpretation is the very same which S. Iohn Himselfe delivers, Rev. 14. 8. Where the Angel expresseth himself in the very same words, And sayes, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; That great City which made all Nations drinke of the Wine of the Wrath of her Abominations. And what was that Great City? Why the City built on seven Hills; As 'tis de­scribed in another place of the Revelation. That Great City which was the Queen of Nations; Namely, the City of Rome, when 'twas the seat of Heathen Emperours. Lastly, that Great City, which gave Laws to all the World, to worship her False Gods, and to par­take of her Idolatryes. And this was that Great City, which S. Iohn calls Babylon; either, because speaking of the Fall and Ruine of it, He thought it not safe to call it Rome, or by its right and proper Name; Lest, if he had done so, he might draw persecution on the Christians. Or els, Because as Babylon was the Head City of the Persian Monarchy, so Rome was then the Head City of the Roman. In a word, this is that Great City, which was then the great Court of Idolatry, the Queen of Superstitions; And therefore, justly called by the Angel which spoke to S. Iohn, The Habitation of Divels, and Cage of uncleane Birds. And from this Babylon, this Rome, the then City of confusion, the Angel of God bid the Christians of those Times to come forth, and separate themselves; lest they should be partakers of her sins, and go sharers in her plagues. But to say as they do, that the Church of England is that Babylon the great; or that cut Parish Congregations, from which they do divide them­selves, are the Habitation of Divels, the Hold of foule spirits, and Cage of unclean Birds here mentioned in this chap. is such a piece of Ignorance, as well as zealous slander, that they will never be able to prove it, till they can make the Capitol of Rome stand in our London streets, or till they can make the River Tiber run, where now our Thames doth; or till they can change the Countries in our Mapps, and make the Mid-lanà Sea flow on our English shore. And farther then this I will not trespasse on your patience; or inlarge my selfe to prove to you that Separation is a Sin.

THE END.

[Page] A SERMON CONCERNING Unity & Agreement. PREACHED AT CARFAX CHURCH in OXFORD, August 9. 1646.

By IASPER MAINE, D. D. and one of the Students of Christ-Church, OXON.

ROM. 12. 18.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Printed in the Yeere, M D C XLVII.

A SERMON CONCERNING UNITY and AGREEMENT.

1 COR. 1. 10.‘Now I beseech you Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that yee all speake the same thing, and that there be no Divisions among you: but that ye be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgement.’

THough Truth, from what mouth soever it bee spoken, or in what shape or dresse soever it ap­peare, be but one and the same; and where it is rightly understood, carries this uniting, peacefull quality with it, that it makes all its followers of one consent, and mind too; yet I know not from what mist, or impotence, lod­ged in our nature, with whom errors and mi­stakes do for the most part prevaile more then Arguments or De­monstrations; and with whom our owne mis-conceipts (conveyed into us from such whom we think too holy to deceive us, or too learned to deceive themselves) do for the most part sticke so deep­ly, and take such root and impression in us, that it is not in the pow­er of truth it selfe to remove them: This one, uniting, peacefull Bond of minds, this Ray of our Soules, according to the severall Teachers of it, and according to the severall formes and shapes, in­to which they have cast it, hath alwaies been looked on as so many severall Truths; And to the discredit, and disadvantage of it, hath in all Ages been as severally entertained and followed. Thus a­mong the Heathen Plilosophers, we finde the number of Sects, to be much greater then the number of Sciences. Every new famous Teacher, who professed severity in his looks, and austerity in his man ners, had the power to draw a cloud of Disciples after him, and to e­rect [Page 2] a new Truth with a new School. And thus in the very Church of God it selfe, the Gospell no sooner began to be preached to the world, but it began to have its Sects and Schismes, and sidings too. The Apostles taught but one Faith, one Baptisme, one Christ, one plaine, open way of salvation to men; yet they were mis-under­stood by some, as if they had preached many: Or as if the numbers of their severall Doctrines, had equalled the number of their seve­rall persons, and they had (every one where he went) scattered a se­verall Gospell.

To speake yet more plainely to you, and neerer home to the History of this Text; The Corinthians (to whom this Epistle was written) as if from every new Teacher that came thither, they had learned a new Religion, began at length to have as many Religi­ons among them as they had heard Teachers. You might have di­stinguished divers Churches in the same City, and have divided their Beleefs and Creeds by their Families and streets. Where, by a fallacy and deceit of the eare, judging of the things taught, by their affection to the Teacher, and not judging of the Teacher by the things which he taught, every one chose to himselfe the name of his Minister to make a Side and faction by. One (as you read at the 12. Verse, of this Chapter) said, I am of Paul, another, I am of Apollos, a third, I am of Cephas, a fourth, I am of Christ: As if Christ had either been divided, or else were to stand with the rest as the name of a distinct Religion; Or at least, as if the Gospell (which at first sprung from him) like streams broken off from their spring-head, were no longer to retaine the name of the Fountain from whence it rose, but were to weare the stile of the severall pipes and channells, by which it was conveyed abroad into the world.

This diversity of names, and sides, grew at first from their diver­sity of opinions, and minds. When the unlearned wresting the Scripture which they had heard preached to an Apostles sense, would presume to impose that sense, which was indeed, not an A­postles, on others. And those others, equally as unlearned, thought it as reasonable, so they could entitle it to another Apostle, to im­pose their interpretation of Scripture on the first.

This diversity of minds, proceeded at length to diversity of lan­guage and speech. Congregation spoke censoriously of Congrega­tion, [Page 3] as if none had been in the right, but they onely who most vehemently could charge others with being in the wrong. Saint Paul was urged, and quoted against Saint Peter, and Apollos against both, and Christ against all three. Whose Sermons, like those changeable figures which melancholly men frame to themselves in the clouds, were made to weare the shape and form, which every mans zeale and fancy suggested to him.

Hence, in time, from difference and disagreement in mindes and speech, they grew to difference and disagreement in society and conversation too. Difference of opinion bred separation of com­panies; and that which was at first but a neighbourly dispute, by degrees tooke flame, and grew to be mortall hatred, division and schisme. Men of the next doore were no longer neighbours to one another. All the bonds of Charity became utterly broken. All Christian entercourse, and familiarity and commerce ceast between them. He was thought to be false, and to betray his side, who of­fered to shew himselfe affable or civill to one of another party.

In short, the breach became so wide, that he was thought to be the onely religious man who could most enlarge the rent, and could bring most fuell to the present combustion which was thus unhap­pily kindled among them. To compose these differences the refore, (differences not unlike those of our miserable, distracted times) and to make the Knot and Reconciliation as fast and strong, as the dis­agreement and rent was large and wide, S. Paul here in this Text, prescribes a severall Cure, for every particular and severall breach. First, to remove the discord which rose among them, by calling themselves by severall names, and to banish the ill consequences of all such factious compellations, which for the most part are bitter Invectives, and sharp arrowes of detraction hurld at one another, he perswades them to unity of language and speech, and exhorts them to call themselves all by the same name, in these words, Now I beseech you Brethren, that ye al speak the same thing. Next, to remove their want of meetings, and Communion together in the same place of Gods Worship, he perswades them to unity of Assemblies, and Congregation, in these words, Now I beseech you, Brethren, that there be no divisions, That is, (as I shall in the progress of this Sermon, make it clear to you from the Original) that there be no separations, that is, (as our English word doth wel express it) that there be no [Page 4] private sequestred meetings, no such things as Conventicles among you. Thirdly, to remove the root, and spring of all these uncha­ritable strifes, and divisions, and separations, he perswades them to unity of opinions and minds, in these words, Now I beseech you, Brethren, that you be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgement. Lastly, that he might with the greater successe do this, and (like a skilfull reconciler) might win upon all sides, he for a while layes aside the Authority of his Apostleship; and mingling Request and Conjuration, with Exhortation and Ad­vice, he acts the part of an Apostle, in the forme of a Petitioner, in these words, Now I beseech you Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, &c. Upon these parts, the Apostles mild in­sinuation, and addresse of himselfe, and the severall Degrees of unity and concord, in speech, in Assemblies, and in Opinions, to which he here exhorts the Corinthians, I will build my future dis­course. In the ordering of which, I will begin with the Apostles submissive insinuation, or addresse of himselfe, in these words, Now I beseech you, Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ.

For the clearer and more usefull handling of this part of the Text, First, it will be necessary that I speake somthing to you of [...]1. [...] qualifi Saint Pauls person, the Preacher here in the Text, and of his cal­ling to the Ministery; which well considered, will conduce very much to the removall of a certaine dangerous error received of late into the minds of too many unlearned, vulgar men among us: Which is, That Universities, and Bookes, and Studies, and Learning are so farre from being necessary preparations to make a Preacher of the Gospell, that any Lay-man, though perhaps brought up to a man­uall Trade, or a vocation of Husbandry, or attendance upon Cat­tel, if he finde by himselfe that he is called by the Spirit of God, may put himselfe into Orders, and take the Ministery upon him. And thus enabled from above, without the forme of Ordinati­on, or those other slow, tedious, lazy helps, of sitting twenty years in a Colledge to understand the Bible, may in the few minutes of a powerfull Inspiration spring up an Apostle, and go forth a Preacher of the Word of God.

To this perswasion they have been invited by two sorts of Ex­amples in the Scripture; one in the Old Testament, the other in the New, In the Old Testament, Doe you not read, say they, that [Page 5] God called Elisha from the Plough to be a Prophet? And doth not Amos tell you in the 7. Chapter of his Prophesie, at the 14. Verse, that he was a Herdman, and a gatherer of Sycamore fruit? Then for examples in the New Testament, pray what were the Apostles? were they great Schollars? or did Christ send to Athens for them? were they not Fishermen, men altogether unletter'd, men called from mending nets to preach the Gospell? If this were so, That God according to his good pleasure, without any consideration of study, or height of parts, chose simple, unlearned, unstudied men, to be Prophets and Apostles, and Teachers, then why should any thinke he hath so confined, or entailed his free Spirit, or vocation of men, upon great parts, and studies, that he may not, if he please call the like unstudied, simple men from the Plough or Fisher-boat, or Stall, or Shop-board, to be Ministers of his Gospel, and Teachers of his people now?

My Brethren, you see I have not prevaricated, or diminished ought of the strength of the Argument which is urged in favour of Lay-mens preaching. In answer to which, laying aside all partiality to my selfe, and prejudice against them, I shall with the same spirit of meekness and Candour, with which Saint Paul here in this Text bespoke his Corinthians, beseech you, who heare me this day, to observe, and weigh, and consider well this which I shall say for a Reply?

First, Far, far be it from me so to flatter the place of my Edu­cation, or so to biass my beleef, by any false ovevarluing of humane Industry, or great parts that I should pinion, as it were, or put li­mits to the power of the Almighty; Or should be so irreligiously bold, as to gain-say that piece of his Gospell which compares his holy Spirit to the Wind, which bloweth where it listeth. If they who thus pretend to a private Inspiration doe meane, that whatever God did in the times heretofore, he is able to doe now, I shall easi­ly grant it; And here in the presence of you all, confesse my selfe to be of their opinion. Nor shall I make any doubt or scruple at all, to say, that, if we looke upon what God is able to doe, by the same power by which he was able to raise up Children to Abraham out of stones, or (to speake yet more neerly to the Argument in hand) by the same power that hee was able to make a Herd-man a Prophet, or a Fisher-man an Apostle, he is able, in our times also, [Page] if he please, to make the meanest Tradesman one of the greatest Luminaries of his Church. Since to an Omnipotent Agent, whose gifts are meerly Arbitrary, and depend wholly upon the pleasure of his owne will, the greatest endowments of men, and the least, are alike easie. But though he be able to doe this, and in the an­cient times of the Scripture have imparted his Gifts without respect of Persons, yet whether he now will, or whether in our times hee doth still thus extraordinarily raise up Teachers to himselfe, is ex­treamly to be doubted. For here with all the Christian gentleness and reason, which may possibly conduce to the clearing of this doubt, were I to argue this Controversie with one of those men who invade our function, and from gathering of Sycamore fruit step up into the Pulpit, I would onely aske him this question; What Commission he hath thus to usurp upon our Office; Or who signed him his patent; Since the Apostle tells us in the fifth Chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrewes, at the fourth Verse, (A place well worth your marking, my Brethren) That no man taketh this honour of a Priest to himselfe, But he who is called of God, as was Aaron? I know his common answer will bee, that God hath called him to this Of­fice by the secret Instinct, and Motion of his Holy Spirit. But, then, he must not take it ill, if I yet farther aske him, by what signes, or markes, or testimonies, or tokens, he can either ma [...] it reasonably appeare to himselfe, or others, that God hath dealt with him as he dealt with some of the Prophets, or Apostles; called him from his Trade by such a motion of his Spirit? Elisha we know, made I­ron swim, and knew mens Closet-discourses in a farre Countrey, which was a sure and certaine signe that God had called him to be a Prophet. The Apostles also we know, wrought many of Christs miracles, which was a most infallible signe that God had chosen them to be Apostles. If any of these men, who derive their warrant from the same sacred spring, can make Iron swim, or like Elisha, remaining here in their owne. Israel, can tell us what the King of Syria saies in his Bed-chamber; Or if like Saint Peter they can cure fevers and diseases by their bare shadowes passing over them; Or if, like the rest of the Apostles, having never before knowne Letters, they can of a sudden speake all Languages, the Con­troversie is at an end; It would bee a very great sinne against the Spirit of God to deny, that hee is in them of a Truth. [Page 7] But if all the proofe and signe they can give us that they have him, be onely a strong perswasion of themselves; Nay, if by an infalli­ble Illumination they could assure themselves, that they have him, yet as many as have not the like infallible Illumination to assure them so too, will not be guilty of an unpardonable offence, if they suspect they have him not. For here, I must once more re­peat my former Question, and aske by what effects, or signes of the Spirit, men shall know them to be called? By what? will some man say, why? Doe you not heare them preach, expound Scrip­ture, unfold Prophecies, interpret Parables; nay plucke the veile and cloud from the Booke of Mysteries it selfe, the very Revela­tion? Can any of you great Schollers, with all your study of Phi­losophers, Fathers, Councells, Schoole-men, Historians, Oratours, Poets, either hold your Congregations longer, or send them a­way more edified? And will you yet ask Questions? Or doubt of the certainty of their vocation? I must not dissemble with you, if I could meet with an unlearned Handicraft-man, who without study, can doe this to the same height, and measure of Truth, as those unjustly-cryed downe, learned, and well-studied men doe, I should begin to alter my opinion; And should reckon him as hee deserves, in the number of the inspired. But alas, my Brethren, as I am not come hither to disparage the guifts of the Holy Ghost, in what person soever I finde them, or to per­swade that Scripture rightly expounded, is not one, and the same, from the mouth of a Priest, or an inspired Lay-man; so this I must freely say to you, That as many of those strange Teachers as I have heard, have expounded Scripture indeed, and have ventured upon some of the hardest places of the Prophets. But, then, if all my studies of the Bible, assisted with all those holy, uncorrupted learned helps, which might enable mee to understand it aright, have not deceived me, their expositions, and Sermons, how passionately delivered, or how long soe­ver, are evident proofes to mee that they have not the Spirit. If they had, they would never, certainely, expound Scripture so directly contrary to his meaning; Or make the writings of the Prophets or Apostles, weare only that present shape, not which the holy Ghost hath imprinted and stampt upon them, but which tends to the division of a Kingdom, and the confusion of a Church; [Page 8] Nor would they, as they do, what ever the Text be, presse that sense from it, not which is genuine, and naturall, but which tends most to the destruction of a party, or the fomentation of a most un­naturall Civill Warre. Saint Paul tells us in the fift Chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians, at the 22, and 23. Verses, that the fruits, or effects of the Spirit, are love, peace, long-suffering, gentle­nesse, meeknesse, temperance. He useth to speake to men in the voice, and figure of a Dove: But to entitle him to all those forbidden workes of the flesh, of variance, hatred, sedition, heresies, envy­ings, murthers, and the like, there reckoned up in the precedent Verses of that Chapter, is to make him speake with the voice of a Raven.

In short, my Brethren, the Holy Ghost is not the Author of such Doctrines as breake Gods Commandements in the Pulpit. Nor is it a long Prayer, or a zealous two-houres reviling of the foot-steps of the Lords Anointed, their lawfull Soveraigne, which can make their Sermons to be any other then so much Libell, or holy De­tractation; Or which can make their Intrepretations of the Word of God, how moderate soever in other cases, if they be not agree­able to the scope, and minde, and intention of the Holy Ghost, to be any more then so many zealous mistakes, and so many ille­gitimate births, and creatures of their own deluded fancies.

Next, in pursuit of this seasonable Argument, give me leave, I pray, with all the plainenesse I can, (for I well know where I am, and to what Auditorie I speake) to make it yet farther evident to you, that if I should grant what these [...], as S. Basil calls them, these Saints of a daies growth, challenge to themselves, who thinke that all that is required to make a Minister of the Gos­pell, is [...], onely to be willing, and to start up a Preacher. If, I say, it should be granted them, that they have the inward cal­ling of the Spirit, yet God is so much the God of order, that un­lesse they will enter themselves into his service, by undergoing those Rites of Consecration and Imposition of Hands, which God hath prescribed in his Church, to stand for ever as the outward formes and signes of their vocation too, every act of the Ministerie which they performe, is but a sacrifice like theirs who offered strange fire before the Lord, and miserably perisht by their owne forbidden Censors. Or if you will have me expresse the danger of it by a [Page 9] judgement as terrible. Thus to put their hand to the Arke, thus to support it, if 'twere ready to fall, is such an unwarranted piece of officiousnesse, as will (certainely) unrepented, at some time or other, draw the punishment of Uzzrah upon them, provoke the abused Almighty to breake forth in a flame of fire upon them, and consume them for their unnecessarie diligence. For here, all the Scripture examples which imbolden them to this worke, do re­turne upon them, as so many instances and proofes of their in­croachment on our office. For here let me once more ask them, How was Elisha called to be a Prophet? meerly by the secret, unknown whisper and instinct of the holy Ghost? Truly, if he had, yet this would not make much for them; because God never tyed himself precisely to those outward formes in the choice of a Prophet, which he then did, and still doth in the choice of his Priests. Yet the calling of this Prophet was not without its visible signe. Goe, saies God to Elias, in the 19. Chap. of the first booke of Kings, at the 16. Verse, Anoint Elisha the Son of Shaphat to be Prophet in thy roome. And whether the like Ceremony of powring oyle on his head, were not also performed by some elder Prophet upon A­mos as the younger, as 'tis not affirmed, so 'tis not denyed in Scrip­ture, but left probable. In the Consecration of the Priests of those times, the case is much more evident: Read at your leisure the 29. Chapter of Exodus, there you shall finde, that before God would receive them into that sacred function, first, divers Sacrifices were to bee offered for them; then they were to be brought to the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and there to bee washt; then the Priests Garments, the Coat, the Ephod, the Brest-plate, and Mitre, were to be put upon them. Lastly, followed the a­nointing oyle, which was powred upon their heads: And this was the Consecration of the Priests of those times.

The Ceremonies of Consecration in the New Testament, were different, I confesse, from those of the Old; but yet equivalent, and answerable to them in their kinde. These were, a publike mee­ting of the Church together, a presentation there made of the person to bee made a Priest; solemne prayers and supplications put up to God, to make him usefull to his Church: and for a seale of all the rest, the Imposition of the Bishops hands, assisted by his Presbyters. Now, my Brethren, apply this to the strange [Page 10] Priests of our times, who with unwasht feet thrust themselves into the Tabernacle; not a sacrifice, not so much as a handfull of meale, or grain of Incense, or drop of oyl spent towards their Consecrati­on; No solemne assembly, no presentation of themselves made to God, no imposition of hands, not so much as a short Prayer, or be­nediction, or God speed you, used towards their setting forth in­to the Lords Vineyard, and you will find that these are the theeves and robbers (pardon the hardness of the language, I cannot make the Scripture speake mildlier then it doth) which our Saviour Christ speaks of in the 10. Chapter of S. Iohn at the first Verse, Men who enter not in by the doore into the sheep-fold, but climbe up some o­ther way. In briefe, men, whose Sermons and Doctrines correspond to their consecrations. By stealth they enter into the Ministery, and by stealth they exercise it. And whereas the mark and Character of all the true Ministers of the Gospel is to stand, having their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, these men wander, and goe about, having their feet shod with the preparation of the Go­spel [...]. 5, 15. of strife. Men, who never think themselves sufficiently Apostles, till all the world doe call them the sons of thunder too. Men who speake fire, and throw lightning among the people; and thinke they have then onely done the worke, and businesse of an Apostle, when they have cast the Congregation which they leave behind them into a cumbustion and flame. I shall trouble your pa­tience but with one Objection, which may possibly be made against what I have hitherto said; that is this: Here, some one of these moderne, selfe-inspiring Teachers may say, Sir, you tell us of Ceremonies and Consecrations, and I know not what, Impo­sition of hands; but either you have forgot your selfe, or wisely dissembled the vocation of the Apostles. Were not they without your formality of laying on of hands, without all this adoe of con­veying orders, and the holy Ghost by fingers, immediately called by Christ? What imposition of hands went to change S. Peter from a Fisher-man into an Apostle? or what Bishops Ceremonies past to make S. Paul (in whose person you have all this while preacht against us) of a persecutor of the Church to become a Doctor of the Gentiles? Doth no [...] your own Tertullian say, Nonne & Laici Sacerdotes sumus, That any Lay-man, if he please, may be a Priest?

To this I reply; first, As for the Apostles, 'tis true, indeed, we [Page 11] doe not read that they were consecrated to their Ministerie by such Rites and Imposition of hands, as were afterwards received and practised in the Church. Yet something answerable to the Im­position of hands went to their Consecration, before they were invested with full Authority to preach the Gospell to the world. For besides their first vocation by Christ to be his Disciples, from whom they learnt that Gospell which they afterwards preacht, what saies the Scripture? Tarry yee at Ierusalem, sayes Christ to them, after his Resurrection, till I send the promise of my Father upon Luk. 2 [...]. you, and yee be indued with power from above. And, pray, what was that promise, and what was this power? Certainly, that which you read of in the second Chapter of the Acts, where at the time pre­fixt by Christ, the Holy Ghost descended on them. And how did hee descend? in a still, soft, secret, invisible perswasion of the Fancy? Or in the silent whisper of an unperceived Illumination? No such matter, Quod Episcopus aliis, Spiritus sanctus Apostolis, saies a learned man. The holy Ghost here supplyed the Office of a Bi­shop, descended upon them in an audible rushing wind, which sig­nified his election of them to the eare; And sate upon their heads in the shape of cloven Tongues of fire; which signified his electi­on of them to the eye. Hi ritus, haec impositio; These were his Ce­remonies, this his Imposition of hands, sayes that Author. So that all the difference betweene the Admission of the Apostles to the Ministery, and others, was onely this: In other Consecrations the Bishop onely granted the power to preach, but bestowed not the Guifts; Here the Holy Ghost bestowed both. He first by visi­ble, outward signes, testified to the world whom hee had chosen, and to whom they were to hearken; And then furnisht them with Tongues, and Languages, and knowledge, and parts, fit to be the Guides and great Instructers of the world. Let these men make it appeare to me, that the Holy Ghost hath thus descended upon them, thus furnisht them with parts, and I will most willingly resign my place to them in the Pulpit.

Next, as for S. Paul, 'tis cleare by the story of his Conversion, that he received not his Commission to preach from that which Christ spoke to him immediately from Heaven. But what saies the place? After he was fallen to th [...] Earth blinde, Arise, saies Christ Acts 9. to him, and goe into the City, and there it shall be told thee what thou [Page 12] must doe. When hee came into the City, a certaine Disciple named Ananias, pre-instructed by Christ in a vision, was sent to him, who putting his hands on him, saies the Text, said to him, Brother Saul, the Lord (even Iesus that appeared to thee in the way) hath sent me, that thou mightst receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Till his Imposition of hands, the holy Ghost was not bestowed upon him. And when he was bestowed upon him, yet he had not his full Commission; he was but yet a Disciple consecrated by a Disciple. To make him an out-right Apostle, a higher, second, and more solemne consecration past upon him, which you may read in the 13. Chapter of the Acts, where, sayes the Holy Ghost to the Trophets, and Teachers of the Church of Antioch, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the worke whereunto I have called them, Ver. 2. And how were they separated I pray? The third Verse tells you, When the Prophets and Teachers (there mentioned) had fasted, and prayed, and laid their hands on them, saies the Text, they sent them a­way, till then they wanted power. To which passage of this voca­tion, or calling to the Ministery, give me leave to adde this for his parts. That in a humane way of acquired Learning, hee was the greatest Scholler of his time, bred up at the feet of Gamaliel, a great Doctor of Law, spoke more Tongues, attained by his owne Industry, then all the other Apostles, which had almost all Langua­ges instilled into them by infusion. In short, he was verst, and read, and studied, not onely in the Scripture, but in the highest parts of secular learning; In the writings of Menander, Epimenides, and Aratus, Heathen Poets. Which is sure signe to us, that studies, and learning, and parts acquired in Universities, ar [...] no hindrances, or impediments, if not helps to the Ministery. Lastly, as for that saying of Tertullian, that Lay-men may be Priests, hee tells you, in the following words, in what case this is to be understood. Ubi Ecclesiastici ordinis non est consessus; Where the condition of the time and place is such, that Ecclesiasticall orders cannot be had; If a Christian Lay-man should come into a Pagan Island, or into a Countrey of Heathen people, where there is no true Minister, here Tinguis, & offers, & sacerdos es, everie man is a Priest, and may baptize, and adminster the Sacrament, and preach as much of the Gospell as hee knowes. But where this necessity is not, to snatch the Sermon out of the mouth, or the Sacrament out of the hands [Page 13] or the child out of the armes of the true Minister, is certainly to to be in the number of those uncalled Teachers, of whom God complaines in the 23. Chapter of Ieremy, at the 21. Verse, where he saies, I have not sent these Prophets, yet they [...]an; I have not spo­ken to them, yet they prophecied. And farther then this I will not pursue the first thing I proposed to you; which was by occasion of Saint Pauls calling to be an Apostle, to remove an errour of late taken into the minds of some, that crafts-men may exercise the place and function of a Priest.

The next thing I shall observe to you, is, the holy art and insinu­ation The a [...] insinua himself which S. Paul here useth to win upon the minds of his dis­agreeing Corinthians. Though he professe, in the beginning of the next Chapter, that he came not to them with that part of an O­rator about him, which consists in the excellency of speech, or the entising words of mans wisdome, (lest if he had done so, he might perhaps, have gained much glory to himselfe, but then his Master must have been in danger to lose his, and so the Gospell have suffe­red from his Eloquence; and his Epistles might, perhaps, have past for a good piece of Rhetorick, but not for good Sermons) yet he every where carried this other, equally prevailing part of a good Oratour with him, that by complying with the affections of those to whom he wrote, he first transformed himselfe into their shapes, and became all things to all men, that he might the better transforme them into his, and make all men become like himselfe. Thus to the Jewes he became as a Jew; and put himselfe a while with them under the Law, that by insensible degrees hee might take their yoke from them, and might beget their liking, and entertain­ment of the Gospell. And thus to the Gentiles, who were with­out the Law, he became as a Gentile, without the Law too, that he might unite them to the Jewes. If I may speake of him, by his owne description of himselfe, (and certainly, in that descripti­on of himselfe, he was inspired to speake truth as well as in his o­ther writings) as he was not chosen, like the rest of the Apostles, out of Fisher-men, or men unlearned, nor call'd to preach the Go­spell from mending Nets; But as there was a concurrence of na­turall, acquired, and infused abilities in him, which rendred him though not one of the twelve, yet of equall guifts and endowments to them all. Lastly, as his taske and patent to preach the Gospell [Page 14] was much larger then the rest, as much larger, as the rest of man­kind was larger then the Nation of the Jewes; So in the perfor­mance of his taske, he never failed to expresse all this. Like the beast, of which Pliny speakes, which puts on the likenesse of every thing next it, and showes like a flower before a flower, like a streame before a streame, and like a flame before a flame; so 'twas a piece of this Apostles (Art shall I say? or) holy com­mission, to be all things to all men. Strong with the strong, and weak with the weake. To part with his Liberty to the scrupulous, and to use it with the indifferent. To eat all things wtth those that did eat all things, and with those that did not, to keep himselfe to herbes. Will you heare him in all these particulars expresse him­selfe? Turne to the ninth Chapt. of this Epistle, and to the nine­teen Verse, where setting downe the end, and aime, which hee proposed to all his holy Arts, he saies, Though I be free from all men, that is, no way obliged to doe as I doe, but for my Masters ser­ [...]ice, yet have I made my selfe a servant to all, that I might win the more. Now if humility, and the casting of himselfe below himselfe; if to beseech, and entreat, and petition there, where he had suffici­ent authority and commission to enjoyne and command, be to wear the forme of a servant; and if all discreet behaviours, complian­ces, and applications, take their measure, and use, and praise, from the good end to which they are directed, and the good successe which they are likely to procure, in all his Epistles I finde not this Apostle more expediently making use of his Art in the forme of a suppliant, then in this Text. For consider these Corinthians, to whom he here applies himselfe, divided, and broken into Factions; and these Factions severally deriving themselves, some from him, others from Cephas, others from Apollos, (Names in their opini­ons, as holy, and great as his) and to have dealt imperiously with them, or to have used his Apostolicall power, and to have comman­ded them to agreement, had not been to make peace, but to ani­mate, and inflame that party which called themselves his side. It had been too, to call up opposition, and disdaine in the others, who were not of that side. Who citing Apollos, or Saint Peter against him, and thinking it to be some confession of their error and weak­nesse to yeeld first, or to go over to them who said they were of Paul, it being as reasonable that they should come over to them, [Page 15] who said they were of Cephas or Apollos, might have askt the same question which the striving Israelite askt Moses, Who made thee a Iudge over us? And might have seconded this question with ano­ther, and have askt him, how one interested, and ingaged, nay the head (as they conceived) of a Faction, could be presumed to be an impartiall reconciler? The better therefore, to establish a peace and concord among them, S. Paul in this Chap. proceeds by three conducible waies of Reconciliation. At the 13. Ver. hee cleares himselfe from all interest and ingagement to a side; and equally blaming those who said they were of Paul, as those who said they were of Cephas, or Apollos; he askes them how it came to passe, that they dealt with the Gospell of Christ, which was entire and seamlesse, like his Coat, as the Souldiers did with his other Gar­ments, divided it by a kinde of blind Lottery among them, and every one take his share? Is Christ divided? Saies he. Was Paul cru­cified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? If you were not, why doe you raise a Sect, and Faction from him? VVhy doe you call your selves by way of marke and distinction, Paulists? And so turn the name of your Preacher and Apostle, into the name of a Schisme and side?

Next, as he well knew that the readyest way to reconcile all sides, was to manifest himselfe to be of none; so he well knew too, that he that would knit, and re-unite disagreeing mindes, was not to deale roughly, or magisterially with them, (for that were to lose both; and to turne the enmity and hatred which they held be­tween themselves, upon the Reconciler, who strived to make them friends) but was to quench such discords with soft language, and to cure such rents and wounds of the Church by pouring oyle into them. Though, therfore, being armed with the authority of Christ himselfe, he might, with justice enough, have made Decrees and Ordinances to bind them to agreement, yet he rather chooseth to reconcile them to one another with their owne consents. In a mild, and humble addresse of himselfe; therefore, not entitling himselfe more to one side then anonher, he equally beseecheth them all, that he might the more regardfully be listned to by all. And he beseecheth them for things which little concerned himselfe, but for their owne good. He petitions them that they would be sa­ved, and spends intreaties that they would vouchsafe to goe to [Page 16] heaven. He requests them that they would not be worse Christians, that is, Schismatiques and Seperatists, then they were Heathens, that is, unanimous Idolaters.

Lastly, he begs of them that they would once more be a Church and City; that is, a place of communion, and society, and Christian conversation. And that hee might the more prevailingly obtaine this of them, he addresseth himselfe to them in a stile and compella­tion of the greatest and gentlest perswasion to peace that can bee used, and calls them Brethren. A word, which to remove all opini­on of better or worse, or of inferiour or superiour, (the usuail grounds of discord) not only signifies an equality between the be­seecher and the beseeched, and the beseeched among themsevles; (For Esse Fratres est relatio inter aequales, sayes the Lawyer as well as the Logician; to be brethren, carries a reference of equality to one another) but it implies all the naturall and religious grounds for which men ought to maintaine League and Agreement, and Peace with one another. For in calling them Brethren, he called them men of the same fociable kinde, equally descended from the same common Originall and stock, and equally wearing in their nature one and the same common Image of God. And therefore, for this they were not to disagree, or quarrell with one another: Since likenesse of kinde maintains agreement between savage beasts and Tygers. Leonum feritas inter se non dimicat, serpentum morsus non petunt serpentes; Who ever heard of a Lyon devovred by a Lyon? Or who ever heard of a Serpent stung by a Serpent? much lesse should men then, bite and devour, and prey upon one another.

Againe, in calling them Brethren, besides the naturall affinity that was between them as men, he put them in minde of their spirituall alliance, as they were Christians too. That is, men alli­ed to one another by one common Faith, one common Hope, one common Redemption, and therefore to meet in one common bond of Peace and Charity too. Rixari, & se invicem convitiis lacessere Infidelium est; 'Tis for Infidells, and men not converted to the Faith, to provoke, or brawle, or quarrell with one another.

Thirdly, lest all this sweetnesse of addresse and language should not prevaile, he joynes Conjuration to Petition, but vailes it in the stile and forme of a Petition too, and beseecheth them to unity by the name of his, and their Lord Jesus Christ. A name, by which [Page 17] as he had before dispossest Devills, cured sicknesses, and restored the dead to life againe, so he repuests that he may dispossesse opi­nions, cure divisions, and restore agreement by it too. It being that name into which they were all baptized, and to which they had all past their promises, and vowes. Lastly, a name by which they were all to be saved; and by which they, by whose names (to the ble­mish and disparagement of this) they called themselves, were, with them, equally to be called, that is, Christians.

Here then, 'twere much to be wisht, that the Preachers of our times would deale with their disagreeing flocks, as this Apostle dealt with his: That is, that they would imploy their holy, and religious arts and endeavours, by sweetnesse of language, and in­differencie of behaviour to all parties, to reconcile them. For since it may be truly said of Preachers, what was once said of Ora­tours, that the people are the waters, and they the windes that move them; to be thus the windes to them, as to speak, and move, and blow them into waves and billowes, which shall roll, and strike, and dash, and breake themselves against each other; Or to be thus the windes to them, as to rob them of their calme, and to trouble the peacefull course, and streame of things well setled, and to raise a storme and tempest there, where they should compose and allay one, is not to act the part of an Apostle, or of a Preacher of the Gospell, but of an Erynnis, or Fury, who ascending from hell with a firebrand in her hand, and snakes on her head, scatters warres, and strifes, and hatreds, and murthers, and treasons, and betrayings of one another as she passeth. Every haire of her head hurld a­mong the people becomes a sedition, and serpent; and every sha­king of her Torch sets Villages, and Towns, and Cities and King­domes, and Empires in a Combustion.

Alas, my brethren, how many such furies, rather then Preachers, have for some yeares walkt among us? Men who speaking to the people in a whirle-winde, and breathing nothing but pitcht-fields, and sieges, and slaughters of their Brethren, doe professe no Ser­mon to be a Sermon, which rends not the Rockes and the Moun­taines before it: forgetting that God rather dwells in still, soft voices. 'Tis true indeed, the Holy Ghost once assumed the shape of cloven Tongues of fire: But that was not from thence to be­get Incendiaries of the Church; Teachers whose Doctrine should [Page 18] be cloven too; and which should tend onely to divide their Con­gregations.

If I should aske you, from whence have sprung our present di­stractions? Or, who are they who keep the wounds of our divided Kingdome bleeding? Are they not certaine tempestuous, un­charitable active men, who make it their work and businesse to rob men of the greatest temporal blessing of the Scripture, and to preach every man out of the shade of his owne Vine, and out of the fruit of his owne Fig-tree, and out of the water of his owne Cisterne? Are they not men who will stone you for your Vineyard, and then urge Scripture for it? And will take away your field, your posses­sion, your daily bread from you, and then repay you with a piece of Esay or Ezekiel, or one of the Prophets, and call this melting, and reformation? Are they not men who doe onely professe to have the art not to heale, or close, or reconcile, but to inflame, and kindle sides? Men who blow a Trumpet in the Pulpit, and there breath nothing but thunder, and ruine, and desolation, and destruction, Whose followers call themselves Brethren, indeed, and boast much of their charity; But they call only such as are of their owne confederacy, Brethren: and make no other use of the word which was at first imposed by Christ, to bee the stile and marke of agreement and peace, then to bee the word and mark to know a faction by, and make no other use of their charity, which should extend it selfe to all men, even to their very enemies, but onely to keep themselves together in a separation and conspiracy.

Lastly, these are the men, who when they should strive to quench the present flame with their teares, do conjure as earnest­ly by the name of Christ to discord and confusion, as S. Paul here in this Text doth to order and agreement. Men who call it prophecy, and edification, and building up of the people, when they breake and divide them into Sects and Factions. As zealously exhorting them to speake divers things, as S. Paul here exhorts them to speake all the same. Which is the next thing to be con­sidered; and the first step towards the reconciliation, and peace, here petitioned for, which is unity and agreement in compellations and names in these words, Now I beseech you Brethren, that yee all speak the same thing.

Whether the dispersion of men, after the building of the Tower [Page 19] of Babell, over the face of the whole earth, were a punishment or a blessing to mankinde, I shall not in this Auditory examine or dispute. Only thus much we learne from the History of that place, that the occasion of that dispersion and separation of men from one another, sprung first from the confusion which God threw a­mong them, and that confusion sprung from their diversity of speech. For as speech was at first bestowed upon us by God, that wee might hold league and society, and friendship with one another: so you may read in the 11. Chapter of Gene­sis, that as long as all the world was of one language, and of one speech, they lived unanimously together like men of one family and house. One heart, one soule seemed to move in them all. But when they once ceast to be unius labii homines, men of the same lip and speech, when as many languages were throwne among them, as they afterwards possest Countries, then society, and co-habitation, and brotherhood ceast among them too. They were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth, saies the Scripture. They who were before children of the same common An­cestours, and derived themselves from the same common parentage and stock, as if they had been borne in the adverse Hemispheres of the world, or had taken their beginning from as many severall Pa­rents, as they afterwards found Islands, of one great Family and Kindred, became so many divided Nations.

As this diversity of Tongues at first broke the world into the severall crumbles and portions of men, who from that time to this have divided it among them; so there is not any one thing which hath so fatally divided Kingdomes, and States, and Churches against themselves, somtimes to an utter extirpation, many times to an eternall breach, and Irreconciliation, as diversity of Lan­guage. I doe not meane when men speake divers tongues of seve­rall dialects, and significations, (as when they at the building of Babell spoke some of them Hebrew perhaps, some of them Greek) but my meaning is, that nothing more directly tends to the divisi­on of a State, or Church, then for severall companies of men to distinguish, and divide and separate themselves from one another by certaine words and names of marke and difference, especially if they be words of disgrace, and scandall, and reproach, mutually imposed, and stuck upon each other; Or words of faction, and [Page 20] combination, assumed and taken by themselves. Then, if hatred of person, or difference of Religion doe accompany such words of distinction, that for the most part befalls them, which befell the men of the old world, they breake society and Communion, and crumble asunder; and of one people become so many divided Na­tions, and Churches to each other. This is an Engine which the Devill and wicked Polititians have in all ages of the world made use of, to disturb the peace, and trouble the happinesse of King­domes and Common-wealths. Making holy, vertuous words and names, many times the partition wall of separation; And the device, and incitement, not onely to divide Kingdomes but Cor­porations, and private Families against themselves. As long as the Jewes called themselves by one and the same common name of their Father Iacob, Israelites, they made but one State, one Com­mon-wealth among them. But when once ten Tribes ingrossed that name to themselves, and the other two for distinction sake called themselves by the name of the Tribe of Iudah, the most united, hap­piest, neerliest allied people in the world, a people of one blood, as well as one language, fell asunder, and divided themselves, like Ia­cob and Esau, into two hostile, irreconcileable, never more to bee united Kingdomes. And this was the case of these disagreeing Corinthians, to whom S. Paul directed this Text. As long as they called themselves by one, and the same common name of Christi­ans, they made but one City, one Church, one place of Concord. But when they once began to distinguish themselves by their se­verall Teachers, when some said, We are of Paul, others, we are of Cephas: A third sort, we are of Apollos; And onely a fourth sort, more Orthodox then the rest, we are of Christ; Then, then indeed, as if Christ had been divided, or had beene the Author of severall Religions, preacht among them by severall Apostles, they became broken, and rent, and torne asunder, into severall Churches and Congregations. Where their usuall custome was, not onely to op­pose Sermon against Sermon, and Gospell against Gospell, and Teacher against Teacher, but everie one in the defence of their owne Teacher, and his Gospell, thought it part of their Religion to extoll, and quote, and urge the purity and infallibility of the one, to the depression, and disgrace, and contempt of the other: Till at length it came to passe, (as I told you before) that that which [Page 21] begun in Religion, proceeded to bad manners, and ill behaviour. Markes and words of distinction, and difference, grew to bitter invectives, and mutuall reproaches of one another. They who were the followers of Saint Pauls Doctrine, called those who fol­lowed Apollos, by way of marke and infamy, Apolonists. And they who were the followers of Apollos, by way of retaliation, and brand, called the followers of Saint Paul, Paulists, though Saint Paul and Apollos preach both the same Doctrine. Hard censures flew between them in as hard language; who ever was not of a party, nor enrolled of a side, was thought to be without the pale of the Church. The gates of heaven were shut against him, and nothing but reprobation, and the lot of the damned, and hell fire were al­lowed to be his portion.

Here then, my Brethren, let me make my appeale to eyery one of you, who heare me this day, hath not this been our verie case? I must with sorrow of heart confesse to you, that as often as I have for some yeares, made to my selfe a contemplative survey of this unhappie Kingdome, I have been able to discover no cause so pernicious for the many alienations of mind, or the many sepa­rations of Congregation from Congregation, heightned at length into the tragedy of an over-spreading Civill War, as certain vain, ridiculous, empty words, and names of distinction among us; which have sprung from some mens stricter or looser carriage of them­selves in their profession of the same Religion. They of the more free, and open carriage and behaviour, who call a severe regularity and strictnesse of life, precisenesse, and an abridgement of Christi­an liberty, have called those of a more reserved, and lockt up, and demure conversation, Puritans, and Round-heads, and I know not what other names of contumely, and reproach. And they of the more strict behaviour, have equally as faulty, called those of a freer, and lesse composed conversation, Libertines, and Papists; the usuall words of infamy made to signifie a Cavalier. These two words my Brethren, have almost destroyed a flourishing Kingdome be­tween them.

To this, I cannot but adde one most pernicious cause of our pre­sent divisions more, which people have derived to themselves from making themselves followers too much of severall Teachers; and affecting too much to bee called after their names: whilest one [Page 22] saies, I am of Paul, another, I am of Cephas, a third, I am of Apollos, only a few neutrall men, We are of Christ. Nay, if we needs must goe severall waies, I could wish wee had such sacred names as S. Paul, or S. Peter, or Apollos to divide us. I know not whether it will be seasonable for me to speake it in this Assembly: But we for some late yeares have chosen to our selves names more mo­derne, and fallible to divide our selves by; whilest some have said, We are of Calvin, others, We are of Arminius, others, VVe are of Socinus. These, to the blemish, and reproach of Christian Religi­on, have been made names of strife and faction. Yet they have been great and learned names; though some of them, I must con­fesse, have been lyable to humane Errours. But if you consider the many rents and separations into which the ordinary sort of peo­ple have for some years divided themselves, either you will find no names at all for them, or names so unlearned, so obscure, so al­together mechanick, and unconsiderable, that it will be your won­der how such vulgar, rude, untaught Teachers should draw Disci­ples after them. It would pose me very much to tell you by any Monument of learning, or piety, which he hath left behind him to be knowne by, who was the Father, or first bringer up of the Sect of the Brownists; or who was the first Author of the Sect of the Anabaptists. I know there were Anabaptists in divers of the Fa­thers times; and I know too, that the Parent of that Sect then, though he were an Hereticke, yet hee was a Scholler. But as for the Author of the Sect of the Anabaptists of our times, I cannot well say what he was. One who hath written the History of their wilde proceedings at Munster, (where they begun with the Refor­mation of the Church of Jesus Christ, and proceeded at length to three wives a piece) saies, hee was a Dutch Botcher; one who re­paird old Germents under a stall at Leyden in the Low-Countries; Another sayes, he was a Garmane Cobler; A third, that hee was a Westphalia Needle-maker; But another controlls that, and saies he was a Westphalia Baker. But whatever hee were, have not we in our times seene Patriarches and Prophets, as vulgar and me­chanick, as unlearned and base as he? Men who have invaded the Pulpit. I will not say, from mending old breeches, or cobling old shooes, (pardon the homelinesse of the expression I beseech you, it is but the Historians Latine translated into my English) but from [Page 23] Trades so meane, so dis-ingenuous, so illiberall, that I should defile your eares, and the Pulpit to describe them: And yet, have not these moderne shades of Muntzer, Iohn of Leyden, Rotman, Knippenburge, Knipperdolling, Melchior Hoffman, the great Enthusiasts, and disturbers of Germany, to the Astonishment of all Judging men, drawn Disciples after them, I wish I could only say, as meane, and base, and vulgar as themselves? Certainly, my bre­thren, consider the parallel well betweene the inspired Troublers of our Kingdome, and those, who by their wild Doctrines did set Westphalia, Saxony, Munster, and all the noblest parts of the Ger­mane Empire in a flame, and you will finde, that in this sad Eclipse of Monarchy among us, there wants onely a Sarcinator, or bot­cher, to assume to himselfe the Crowne, and to be called by a Sanedrim or privy Councell of the like Trades, Rex Iustitiae, & novae Ierusalem Imperator, King of Righteousnesse, and Emperour of the new Jerusalem, to make our case the very same with theirs.

Againe, in this diversitie of Guides and pastors, (Pastors scarce fit to be Overseers of unreasonable Flocks) do we not also hear as great a diversity of language spoken? The Lay-Preacher accuseth the University-man with want of the Spirit; and we of the Uni­versity doe backe again account such Lay-men mad. Nay among us Schollars, they who pretend to Calvins Doctrine, doe banish all those out of the state of salvation, who deny absolute Predestina­tion; Or hold not, that from all eternity without any respect of their workes or actions, whether they be good or bad, God hath past this sad irreversible sentence and decree, That some shall neces­sarily be saved, others shall as necessarily be damned. They who thinke this a piece of Stoicisme, or a Doctrine brought into the world to drive People to despaire, doe equally banish those from the state of salvation, who thus uncharitably banish others. But what speake I to you of this Congregation of such high, schollarly dissentions? or discourse to you of disputes and controversies, not in the power of Scripture, Synods, or Generall Councells to de­cide? That which hath more troubled the peace of our distracted Kingdome, hath been a strife of words about things as small as Cummin, or Annise: And about that part of the Kingdome of heaven, which lies not wrapt up in an unsearchable Decree, or an eternall sentence of Gods concealed Will, but in a grain of mustard-seed: A little, sleight indifferent Ceremony, or piece of Church-Discipline. One hath called it an Idolatry to make an obeysance [Page 24] in the Church; another hath call'd it a piece of Gods outward worship to doe so. One hath stiled the Crosse in Baptisme a signe of Superstition; another hath stiled it the marke, and badge, and embleme of his Christianity and profession. One calls all Pictures in Church windowes, Idols; another looks on them as so much holy story, brought into Imagery and Colours. The very garments we weare have not escaped contradiction. One calls the Surplice a Romish vesture; another calls it a white robe of Innocence, and Decencie. Nay our very Prayers and Devotions have not been free from quarrels. Whilst some have called the Lords Prayer, A per­fect forme, enjoyned by Christ to be said as it is; others most irre­verently have called it a Taylors Measure, fit onely to cut out o­ther Petitions by.

In this miserable diversity of sides, th [...]n, where Countrymen, and men of the same speech, doe so ordinarily speak divers languages, What way is there left to beget a peace and union among us?

Truly, my brethren, I know none so fit as that which Saint Paul here prescribes in this Text; a way, which if it were well practised, or if men would either have more charity, or lesse gall in them, would in time beget an union and agreement between all Churches; that is, [...], that we all speake the same thing. That is, first, that wee lay aside all those odious, hatefull names and words of reproach, which serve onely to Pro­voke and engender strifes, and to beget a dislike of one mans con­versation with another; that the honest, strict, regular, heedfull, conscientious man, be no longer called a Puritane, nor his wife a holy Sister; Nor the free, sociable, affable, open, harmlesly un­scrupulous man, be any longer called a Papist, or Atheist, or by way of reproach, a Cavallier. I speak not now of the adulterous, swearing, riotous, lying, drinking, covetous man; these are such, that one of the wayes to reforme them, is to call them by their right names.

Next, that we no longer, as our interest, or affections, or preju­dices, or education, or customes sway us, pin our beleefe or faith upon any one Particular Guide or Teacher, so irremoveably, as without comparison or examination to reject and despise al others. I am of opinion we should quickly make one Church againe, if those new-borne names and words of Independent and Presbyter did [Page 25] not divide us. And I am also Perswaded, that our severall Disci­plines and Doctrines have not kept the Church of Rome at a greater distance with us, then the style and compellation of Protestant and Papist

Thirdly, that we Schollars, in those high mysterious poynts which have equall argument and proofe on both sides, and which both sides (for ought I know) may hold yet meet in heaven, doe fa­ctiously or peremptorily betake our selves to neither; But either lay them aside, as things of meere contemplation, not of practise or use; or else speak of them to the people, onely in that generall sense wherein all sides agree, and as that generall sense is laid downe to us in the Scripture.

Lastly, that in matters of Ceremony and forme, things either altogether indifferent, or at most, neither enjoyned, nor forbid­den in the Scripture, that our carriage and words be alwayes as in­different: That we call not that scandalous which is decent; or that decent which is scandalous: That we presse not things as ne­cessary, which are meerly ornamentall; nor impose ornaments as things of necessity. That where no well-establisht Law is broken by it, both in Actions and Language, where ever we come, we con­forme our selves to the harmelesse (though to us unusuall) custome of the place: Herein imitating that sure example of S. Paul, by being strong with the strong, and weak with the weak, as neere as we can, to become all things to all men. In things meerly Ceremoniall, to part with our Christian liberty, and peaceably to yeeld to those, who, being otherwise perswaded, will contentiously refuse to part with theirs. And where our salvation, or the salvation of our neighbour is not concerned, charitably to comply, and sort with their infirmi­ties; neither crossing them by our practice, though perhaps the better, nor perplexing them with our disputes, though perhaps the more rationall: But if it be possible, as much as lies in us, not only to have peace with all men in words and speech, but in society, and conversation, and Church-Assemblies too: Which is the next de­gree of Unity here petitioned for, that is, an unity of meeting to­gether in the same house of God, set downe in these words, I be­seech you Brethren, that there be no divisions among you.

That I may the clearlier proceed in the interpretation of this 4. Unity of blies. part of the Text, I shall desire you to observe, that the word which [Page 26] we here in English doe translate Divisions, is in the Originall Greek (by which we are to order our exposition) [...]: A word which signifies not every kinde of rent, or division, or disagreement a­mong men; but such a division onely as is accompanied with a per­verse, unreasonable deniall of society and communion together in the same Church. A division which carries with it an obstinate sepa­ration upon unnecessary grounds. Which unnecessary separation upon weake, slight grounds, is that which Saint Paul here in this Text, by way of difference and distinction from lighter Rents, calls [...], Schismes. A sin, my Brethren, of which if I should dis­course to you at large, and should shew you the hainousness of it, by its dangerous effects; I might tell you that it is not only a sin against the sociable nature of men, who are borne for Communion and Commerce, and the mutuall help of one another; but it is a sin directly against that unity and peace, which Christ, as his last Le­gacy bequeath'd to his Church. A sin, which (besides the unchari­table opinion which accompanies it, which is, that they who are separated from, must therefore be separated from, because they are wicked, deplorably wicked men, men reprobated, and ut­terly lost in the wayes of Errour, and with whom all commu­nion is destructive to our Salvation) doth not alwaies confine it selfe within the retired, sequestred limits of a bare separation. But that which at first began from a scruple, hath many times pro­ceeded to a Tragedy and massacre. They who at first causelesly se­parated themselves from their Brethren, because they were wicked, have many times, as their strength and numbers have encouraged them, and as the time hath favoured their Reformation (as they have called it) proceeded from the rectifying of mens Errors, to the lessening of their fortunes. And they only have at length been called the wicked, who have been rich, and have had estates to lose.

That onely which I shall further say to you of it, is this: Sepa­ration is a sin which hath alwaies veyl'd it selfe in the disguise of sanctity. Thus Montanus, and his followers broke off Commu­nion with the whole Christian Church then in the world, because, forsooth, 'twas revealed to them by divine illumination, that the Holy Ghost was no where to be found but in their Conventicle. An Heresie, which beginning in Schisme proceeded at length to this monstrous conceit among them, That only the house of Mon­tanus [Page 27] was the true. Church, and that Montanus himselfe▪ was the Holy Ghost. Thus also the Donatists (an over-scrupulous Sect of men) divided themselves from the then Catholique Church, be­cause it was not pure enough for such sanctified Communicants; nor complied with the inspired doctrines of the Father of that Sect. And this, it seems, was the fault of these Corinthians here in this Text; who having intitled themselves to severall Teachers, procee­ded by degrees to divide themselves into severall Churches and Congregations: every one of which challenging to themselves the true and right Religion, and charging the others with the name of the false, thought at length that no way was left to keep themselves pure and unspotted, but by breaking off all Religious, nay Civill Commerce and Communion with each other. Hence, for feare of infection, it was held a crime for any but the Righteous, to as­semble, or converse with any but the Righteous; or for any to meet together at a spirituall Exercise, but such who first agreed in the same purity of Opinions.

Here, then, if I may once more take the liberty to parallel one people with another; is not this our very case? Hath it not been the practice of many, many yeares, for those who call themselves the godly, the righteous, the children of the most High, to breake off society and communion, nay almost neighbourly civility, with those whom they call the wicked? As there were among the Jewes cer­taine uncleane places, and things, and persons, which whosoever toucht were for that time uncleane too; so, hath not the like opi­nion past among us, that there have been certaine unholy, unsancti­fied places, and persons, which make those who touch, or approach neer them unholy too? Have not some Pulpits been thought un­sanctified, because, forsooth, the Preacher hath been ungifted? And wherein, I pray, hath his ungiftedness appeared? Because hee hath not expressed himself in that light, fluent, running, passionate, zealous stile, which should make him for that time seem religiously distracted, or beside himselfe? Or because his Prayer or Sermon hath been premeditated, and hath not flowne from him in such an Ex-tempore loose careere of devout emptinesses and nothings, as serve onely to entertaine the people, as Bubbles doe children, with a thin, unsolid, brittle, painted blast of wind and ayre? Or because, perhaps, the sands of his Glasse have not fleeted for [Page 28] two tedious houres together with nothing but the bold insolent defamation and reviling of his Prince?

Againe, have there not been some who have thought our Tem­ples unholy, because the Common-Prayer Booke hath been read there? And have renounced the Congregation, where part of the Service hath been tuned through an Organ? Hath not a dumb Pi­cture in the window driven some from the Church? And in ex­change of the Oratories, have not some in the heat and zeale of their Separation, turned their Parlours, Chambers, and Dining­roomes into Temples, and Houses of Prayer? Nay, hath not Christ been worshipt in places yet more vile and mean? In places, which have reduced him the second time to a Stable? If I should aske the people of both Sexes, who are thus given to separation, and with whom a Repetition in a Chamber edifies more then a learned Ser­mon in the Church, upon what religious grounds, or motives either taken from the Word of God, (which is so much in their mouthes) or from reason, (which is so little in their practice) they thus affect to single and divide themselves from others: I believe it would pose them very much to give a satisfying Answer. Is it because the persons from whom they thus separate themselves, are irreligious, wicked men? Men who are Christians onely in forme, and whose conversation carries nothing but evill example and pollution with it? If I should grant this to be true, and should allow them to be out-right what they call themselves, The Elect, and Godly, and Ho­ly ones of the earth; and other men to be outright what they call them, The Reprobate, the wicked, the ungodly and prophane, yet is not this warrant enough to divide or separate themselves from them. Nor are they competent Judges of this, but God only, who by the mouth of his Son, hath told us in the Parable, that the wheat and corne is not to be separated from the chaffe and tares when we list, but that both are to grow together till the great harvest of the world. Till then 'tis a piece of the building of it, that there bee a commixture of good and bad.

Besides, let me put this Christian Dilemma to them: either the persons from whom they divide themselves are holy or unholy: If they be holy, they are not to separate themselves from them, be­cause they are like themselves; If they be unholy, they are in cha­rity to converse with them, that they may reforme and make them [Page] better. Did not our Saviour Christ (and certainely his example is too great to be refused) usually converse with Publicans and sin­ners? Did he forsake the Table, because a Pharisee made the Feast? Or did he refuse a perfume, because a harlot powred it on his head? Or did he refuse to goe up into the Temple, because buyers and sel­lers were there, men who had turned it into a den of Theeves? Cer­tainely my Brethren, we may, like Christ, keep company with Har­lots, and Hypocrites, and Publicans and Sinners, and yet retaine our innocence. 'Tis a weake excuse to say, I will never consort my selfe with a swearer, lest I learne to blaspheme: Or, I will utterly renounce all familiarity and acquaintance with such and such an A­dulterer, or with such and such a Drunkard, lest I learne to commit Fornication from the one, or Intemperance from the other. In all such conversations, we are to imitate the Sun, who shines into the foulest puddles, and yet returnes from thence with a pure untainted Ray. If mens vices then, and corruptions, bee not a sufficient cause to warrant a separation, what else can be? Is it the place of mee­ting, or Church, or the things done there, which hath made them shun our ordinary Congregations? Yes, say some, we have held it very unlawfull (as we conceive) to assemble in such a place, where we have seen Altars, and Windowes worshipped, superstitious gar­ments worne, and have heard the more superstitious Common-Prayer Booke read, that great bolster to slothfull Ministers, and twin-brother to the Mass, and Liturgie of Rome.

Were this Charge true, (a very heavy one, I confess) had there been any among us so unreasonably stupid, as to spend their devo­tion on a pane of glass, or pay worship to the dumb sensless crea­ture of the Painter, or adore the Communion-Table, the wooden issue of the Axe and Carpenter, (as I think there were none) had there (I say) been very Idolaters among us, yet unlesse they would have compelled them to be Idolaters too, I (after all the impartiall Objections which my weake understanding can frame) can see no reason why they should not communicate with them in other things wherein they were no Idolaters. I am sure, if S. Paul had not kept company with Idolaters, we to this day (for ought I know) had remained Infidels.

My Brethren, deceive not your selves with a fallacy, which eve­ry child is able to discover. If such superstitio ns had been publike­ly [Page 30] practised among us, it is not necessary that every one that is a spectator to anothers mans sin, should presently be an offender. Nor are all offences so like the Pestilence, that he that comes within the breath and ayre of them, must needs depart infected. Thou seest one, out of a blind zeale, pay reverence to a picture, he hath the more to answer for. But why dost thou, out of a zeale altogether as blind, thinke thy selfe so interested in his errour, as to thinke thy self a partaker of his fault, unless thou excommunicate thy selfe from his conversation.

Againe, tell me thou, who callest Separation security; what seest thou in a Surplice, or hearest in the Common-Prayer Booke, which should make thee forbeare the Congregation where these are re­tained? Is it the web, or matter, or colour, or fashion of the gar­ment, or is it the frame or forme, or indevotion of the Book which offends thee? Or art thou troubled because they have both beene borrowed from the Church of Rome? That indeed is the great ar­gument of exception; which under the stile of Popery, hath al­most turned Religion it selfe out of the Church. But, then, it is so weake, so accidentall, so vulgar an Argument, an Argument so fit for none to urge but silly women, with whom the first impression of things alwaies takes strongliest, that I must say in replie to it, That by the same reason, that thou poore, tender-conscienc'd man, (who art not yet past milke, or the food of infants in the Church) makest such an innocent, decent vesture as Surplices, unlawfull, because Papists weare them, thou mayest make eating and drinking unlawfull, because Papists dine and sup. The subject is not high or noble enough to deserve a more serious confutation. That there­fore, which I shall say by way of Repetition, is onely this: If to weare or do, whatever Papists weare or doe be unlawfull, as it will presently concerne us all to throw off our garments and turne A­damites, so it will very neerely concern us too, to lay aside our Ta­bles, and betake our selves to fasting, as the ready way to famine. Then to reject the Common-Prayer Book, because some of the Pray­ers in it resemble the Prayers in the Romish Liturgie, is as unreaso­nable, as if thou shouldst make piety and devotion in generall un­lawfull, because Papists say their Prayers. And so, in opposition to whatever they do, shouldst think thou art to turne Athiest, because most in that Church do confess there is a God.

[Page 31] The time wil not give me leave to say much in the defence of that excellent Book; Or, if I should, tis in any thing, I presume, which can fall from my imperfect mouth, which wil be able to recover the use of it back again into this Church. Yet thus much, out of the just sense, and apprehension which I have of the wisedome, as well as piety, and devotion of it, I shall adventure to say. That I cannot think, that ever any Christian Church, since the time that that name first came into the world, had a publique forme of Gods Worship, more Primitively pure, more Religiously grave, and more agreeable in all points to the Scripture, then that is.

To which I shall only add this one praise of it more, that there is not any Ancient, Classically condemned Heresie, to be found in the Records of Councells, Church-Histories, or the Confutations of Fa­thers, which is not by some clause or other in that most Orthodox Book excluded.

Here, then, if there be any in this Assembly of that il-perswaded mind, that he would not at this present make one of the Congrega­tion, if the Common-prayers were read, let me once more ask him, what that great Antipathie between him, and that admirable Book is, which should make them quarrel one another out of the Church: Is it because it prescribes a Ring i [...] marriage, or a Cross in Baptis­me? over-scrupulous man! who would'st rather choose to make a rent and schisme, and division in the Church, then be spectatour to th [...]ngs so harmless, and indifferent. But thy weak Conscience is woun­ded. Weak, indeed, when a piece of marriage-Gold, or a little water sprinkled in the signe, and figure of a cross, the Type, and Emblem of thy Christianity, shall drive thee from the Church. I must con­fess to you freely, if such things, as the veneration of images, or ado­rations of Altars, or sacrifices for the dead, or the worshiping of the Hoste, or the Mass-book, with all the unsignificant Ave Maryes, and superstitious prayers, which use to trauell round the Circle of a numerous set of Beads, had been establisht among us by publique Au­thority; And had be [...]n enforced upon the practice, and Consciences of men, and no Liberty of person, or freedome of estates allow'd them, un­less they would conform to the present Golden Calf of superstition set up before them, a separation had not only been allowable, but ne­cessary. [Page 32] We would have offended God very much to be partakers of such dross. And our best Answer would have been the Answer of the Three Children, when the King would have had them fall down to the huge image, and Colossus which he had set up, O King, we are [...]. 3. 16. not carefull to observe thee in this matter. But where no such things were enjoyned, where every one was left to the full use and exercise of his Christian liberty, where nothing was blameable among us, but the ridiculous, over-acted postures and gestures of some few busie, fantasticall men, whose Popery lay in makeing discreet men laugh, to see them so artificially devout, and so affectedly ceremoni­ous, to divide, and separate, or to give us over for a lost Church, be­cause the Psalmes of David, after his own Musicall way, used to be sung to an Organ; As innocently, certainly, as if they had been tu­ned through his own loud Cymball, or had more softly been sung, and vowell'd to his Harpe: Or to renounce our solemne Assemblies, for such sleight, indifferent things, as a piece of holy story in a glass win­dow, or because the Minister wears white, or because marryed peo­ple come together by a Ring, or because the Lords Prayer is more then once repeated, is not only Schisme, and I may safely say, Schisme upon scandall taken, not giuen, but tis directly contrary to S Pauls advice, here in this Text; who is so far from tolerating any such need­less divisions, and separations of presences and bodies, that he will not allow in the same Church and Congregation the least dissent or division of minds; But makes it the least part of his Peti­tion to his disagreeing Corinthians, that they would not only meet together in the same place of Gods Worship, but that they would be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judg-ment, which is the last part of the Text. To which I shall only adde some brief Application of some things in this Sermon to you my hearers, and so commend you to God.

'Twas well said of one of the Philosophers, (which saying of his hath since almost grown into a Prouerb of truth) Nihil est in In­tellectu, 5. [...]ty of minds quod non fuit priùs in sensu; That there is nothing in the understanding, or mind within, which was not first in the sense with­out. Tis as great, and measured a Truth, that there is nothing in our speech, or words, or actions without, which was not first in our mind, or wil, or affections within. For what our Saviour Christ [Page 33] said, that Out of the heart proceed evill thoughts, murthers, adul­teries, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, and the like; to every Mat. 15. 1 one of which sins without, belongs some secret, invisible spring with­in. As, I say, to every Adultery without, belongs some hidden lust within; and the uncleannesse of the body is but the foul issue, and off-spring of the soul; And as to every murther without, belongs some secret envy, or hatred, or thirst of revenge within; and the rancour of the heart only clothes it self in the violence and bloud-shed of the hand: so we may say of our Divisions, and Disagreements too. All those odious words, and names of mutuall infamy and re­proach; all those perverse crossings, and thwartings, and contradicti­ons of speech; all this duell, and skirmish, and quarrelsomeness of language; Lastly, all this shunning and lothing of one anothers com­pany; all this separation, and denyall of communion, which we so ordinarily see exercised, and practiced without, are but so many un­christian behaviours, which take their originall and birth from as un­christian grudges, and prejudices, and jealousies, and mis-apprehen­sions within. Never man yet dissented from another in speech, but he first dissented from him in opinion: And never man yet separated from another in communion, but he first separated from him in affe­ction and will. To remove, therefore, the root and spring of all dis­agreements, as well as the current and stream; and to beget a peace, and concord, and reconciliation without, Saint Paul, like a skilfull Artist, who reserves the hardest part for the last, proceeds from mens words and actions, to their opinions and thoughts: and like those who set Watches, and Clocks, where the Hand upon the Dyall with­out, cannot move regularly, unless the weights and springs which guide it, move orderly within; the better to make us go all alike, and strike the same time, he endeavors to setle and compose those inward wheels, by which our words and behaviors without, are to be ruled and governed.

The thing then for which he here so earnestly Petitions, is Unity, and Agreement, and Consent of minds. Which, in plain terms, is to exhort us, that as we are all men of one and the same reasonable kind, formed and created like one another in the shape and figure of our body, so that we would approve our selves to be men of one and the same reasonable kinde, in the Musique and [Page 34] Harmony of our souls too. Which would then come to pa [...]s, if every one of us would by the impartiall search, and examination of his own mind, dislodg those mists and clouds of errour, which blind him to­wards himself, and benight him towards others. Or, if he cannot do this by the strength and diligence of his own naturall Forces, that he would have recourse to t [...]ose who are most able to pluck this beam out of his eye; and whose work and business it is so to apply their Cures, as by proposing that one, constant, immutable, eternall, Di­vine Truth to his mind, in which tis possible for all minds well en­lightned to concenter and agree, by degrees to reduce him from his bli [...]dness and errour, and to make him not only speak, but conceive, and think the same things with him that taught him.

It was wel said of him, who compared our minds to Looking-glasses, or Mirrours; For certainly if we could but keep them open, and un­clouded, they carry this property of Mirrours with them, not only to return the images, and shapes, and truths of things, which pass be­fore them as they are; but all minds in a clearer, or less clear degree, have a capacity to receive into them the truth of the same things alike. As a thousand Glasses, if they be true, successively lookt in, wil shew us the same faces: But then, as Glasses, if they be false, wil cast false resemblances; or if they be discoloured, wil transform all things which flow into them into their own die: So tis with us. I know not how it comes to pass, or whether I may ascribe the fault to Education, or Custome, or to our parents, or to our Affections, too much knit, and wedded to the Religion, or Doctrin, or Opinion, or Teacher, which most complyes with our Fancies; but there are cer­tain ill-cut, false-reporting minds, which look upon men, and things, in another size and figure then they are. Other minds there are stai­ned and died (as it were) with certain weak prejudices, and cor­rupt opinions; through which, as through so many deceiving colours, they discern no truths which wear not that hue. As he that looks through a green Glass, takes all things for green; and he that looks through a blew Glass, takes all things for azure. And this was the very case of these Corinthians here in the Text. They first ad­dicted themselves over-partially to severall Teachers; and from their severall Teachers, took in severall apprehensions, as they pleased to like or affect him above others, whose Disciples [Page 35] they called themselves. Some, though they did not well understand what they held, resolved (without any examination what they were) to be only of Saint Pauls opinions: Others resolved to hold only what had been taught them by Apollos: Others resolved to hold only what had been preacht by S. Peter. All which three taught and preacht one and the same Gospell; yet that Gospel was not alike en­tertained by all hearers. Whilst some disliked it in S. Paul, because 2 Cor. 10. (as himself complains) he was of an humble presence, and of an un­grateful utterance. Others dislike it, perhaps, in the mouth of Apollos, because it came Rhetorically from him, and he was guilty of that un­edifying crime, forsooth, of being eloquent in the Pulpit. Others perhaps entertain'd it coldly from S. Peter, because he had not been bred up in the School of Demosthenes, nor tasted of the finer Arts and educations of Greece.

In short, one and the same saving Truth, for want of a little right judgment in the Hearers to compare it, comming from several mouths, past into divers opinions first; and then these opinions broke forth into divers factions. And is not this, my Brethereu, our very case? Do but consider the present distempers of our poor, divided King­dome; and, pray, what hath been the true root and spring of so much variance, and hatred, and heart-burning among us? what hath crumbled us asunder, and turn'd one of the purest, and most flou­rishing Churches of the world, into a heap of Heresies and confusion? Hath it not been the very word of God it self? In which all minds, I confess, should agree, and which should be the rule to compose all our strifes; and before whose decisions the greatest Scholars Disputes, and the meanest mans Doubts, should fall down, and mutually im­brace, and kiss each other. How comes it then to pass, that Religi­on, which was ordained by God to be the oyl to cure our wounds, should prove only the oyl to feed, and nourish our combustions? Whence is it, that the Scripture, that Sword of the Spirit, should prove to us only [...], a two-edged sword, and that no o­ther use should be made of it by us, but only to be the weapon of our Conflicts, by committing the edges, and making them enter duell, and combat with each other? Truly, my bretheren, all the reason that I can give you for this, is, That some (perhaps wel mind­ed people, but not of understandings either strong, or learned enough [Page 36] to reach the true sense and meaning of some places) have stept beyond their measure; and have presumed to interpret more then they have well understood. Others, of a more modest, but credulous com­position, have thought that only to be the right meaning of the Word of God, which they have heard from the mouth of the Prea­cher which they most affect. Others, of a more dangerous policy, finding that the Scripture rightly expounded would extreamly make against the plot of their dark proceedings, and that the holy Ghost cannot be bribed to finde Texts to make covetousness, sedition, or the slaughter of their Brethren, or Rebellion against their Prince, lawfull; have, with some formall helps of piety, and zeal, put to their expositions, made the Scripture speak only those plausible un­truthes, which most complied with their ends, and the peoples Fan­cy. Hence, the better to arrive to their Estates, by the distracti­ons of their minds, they have dealt with them as cunning Anglers do with silly fishes, troubled the stream, and blinded them, and then made them their prey. The way to do this was to affront, and disgrace, clamour down all the primitive Truths for some Generations taught among them; and to recall from their sepul­chres, and dust, all the old, intricate, long since buried Opinions, which were the madnesse of their own times, and the Civill Warre of ours. With which opinions they have dealt, as the Witch of Endor dealt with her Familiar, raised them up to the people clothed in a long mantle, and speaking to them in the shape and voyce of a Prophet. Hence come those severall acceptions, and interpretations among you, even in your ordinary discourses, of one and the same plaine, but sinisterly understood places of Scripture. One, following the practice of all the purest ages of the Church, thinkes the Sacrament of Baptisme is to be admini­stred to Infants. Others, (who would certainly be a strange fight to the Congregation, if they should appear the second time at the Font) of late are taught to thinke that none are to be bap­tized, but such as are old enough to be their owne Godfa­thers, and can enter into Covenant with God, and promise for themselves. Some, because it hath beene called a binding of the spirit, to fetter their devotions in a set forme of Prayer, have banisht that Prayer, which Christ prescribed to his Apostles, out of [Page 37] their Closets, as well as Temples. Others, of as rectified a piety, think no Prayer so likely to finde acceptance with God, as that which was conceived, and put into forme by his Sonne. I should tire your patience too much to give you an exact Catalogue of all the rotten opinions which at this present swarm among us. One who hath computed the Heresies, which have sprung up in this Kingdome within these five years, sayes, they have doubled the number of those which were in Saint Austins time; and then they were very neer fourscore. One is a Chiliast, and holds the personall Reigne of Christ upon Earth. Another is a Corporealist, and holds the death of the Soul with the Body. Nay, as 'tis said in Africke, a Lyon will couple with a Tyger, from whence will spring a Libbard; so certain strange, unheard-of, double-sex't Heresies are sprung up among us: not able to understand what he would hold himselfe. You shall have an Arrian and Sabellian lodged together in the same person. Nay, (which is yet worse) whatever Celsus spoke in scorn, and Origen in vindication of our Redeemer, Christ and his Mother, hath of late trodden the Stage again, and appeared to disturbe the World. One (I tremble to speak it) hath called the Virgin Maryes chastity into question; And others have spoken of the Saviour of the World so suspiciously as if he had been a thing, of a stoln, un­lawfull Birth. In short, there want only some of those Munster men among us, of whom Sleydan writes, where one calleth him­selfe. God the Father, another God the Sonne, A third Paraclete, or God the holy Ghost, to make our Babel and confusion of wilde opi­nions at the height. In this miserable distraction, then, where He­resie, and Errour, hath almost eaten up the true Religion; And where all the light of the Gospel, which shines among us, is but like that imperfect light at the Creation, which shined before the Sunne was placed in the firmament; A light creeping forth of a dark Chaos and blind masse, and strifefull heape of jarring Elements: In this thick fogge of strange Doctrines, I say, which hath condenst it selfe into a cloud, which hath almost overspread this whole Kingdome, from which Truth seemes to have taken flight, and made way for Igno­rance to stile it selfe once more the Mother of devotion, what way is there left to reconcile our minds, or to beget one right knowledge, and understanding of the wayes of God among us? Truly, [Page 38] I know none but that which Saint Paul here prescribes in the Text; which is, that we endeavour as near as we can, to be of one mind, and of one judgment.

But how shall this be brought to pass, unless all judgments were alike clear, and unbiassed? Or, unless, laying apart all partiality, and affection to their own side, and all prejudice, and hatred against those from whom they differ, men would submit themselves to him, who is best able to instruct them; Or who can bring with him the most saving Truths into the Pulpit? Besides, (may some one say) if people should bring minds prepared to entertain the Truth, where is that in­structor so infallible, or so opinionated of the strength of his own gifts and knowledg, that another pretending to the same Truth, may not challenge to himself the like infallibility? who shall be the Judg of Controversies? or who shall present Truth to us with such known marks and notes about it, that as soon as tis presented, every con­gregation (of what mean capacities soever) shall presently acknow­ledg, and entertain it? Wil you, Sir, who have all this while thus bemoaningly pitied our divisions? we are bound to thank you for your charity to us; and should be desirous enough to imbrace a truth of your description. But you are a Scholar, whose parts and abilities lye in the humane modell, and building of your own secular studies. We are therefore bid to doubt very much, whether you have the Spi­rit; and are told by some who profess themselves inspired, that all your Readings, and Studyings, and tyrings of your self over a difficult piece of Scripture, at midnight perhaps, when all others sleep, by a lone, solitary, dumb candle, are but so many labours in vain, Since tis impossible for any to understand the Scripture aright, but such on­ly who have it revealed to them by the same holy Spirit that wrote it.

My Brethren, what shall I say to you? Modesty, and the know­ledg I have of my own imperfections, wil not allow me to say pe­remptorily, that I have the Spirit of God. Or if I could distinguish his secret influences and assistances from the operations of my own soul, or could certainly say I have him, (which S, Paul himself durst not say definitively) yet 'twould not become me so to confine him to my frail, narrow parts, as to deny him to all others more learned then my self.

[Page 39] For the setling therefore, and composing of your divided minds, I will not take upon me to be the Judge of Controversies, but you your selves shall be. Onely the better to enable you to peforme this charitable office to your selves, and for your better direction how not to be out in your judgement, as a sure clue to guide you through the perplext windings of that labyrinth into which some of you are falne, so falne, that they seem to me quite lost in a wood of mistakes, where every path is a guide, and every guide is an error, give me leave to commend to you that seasonable advice of Saint Iohn, which he delivers in the fourth Chapter of his first Epistle, at the first verse, where (as if he had prophecyed of our times) he sayes, Beloved, beleeve not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God: because many false Prophets are gone out into the world. In which words; you have two of the best Rules assigned you to go by, that can possibly be prescribed for the set­tlement of minds.

First, be not too credulous; Doe not presently beleeve every man that sayes he hath the Spirit; nor suffer your selves to be tost and carried about with every wind of doctrine: For that is not the way to be all of one, but of as many severall minds as the art or cunning of severall Teachers shall please to work upon you. I am perswaded this easinesse of belief, this credulity, or (as the Apostle calls it) this admiration, this overvaluing of some mens persons, hath been one of the great parents of our present dissentions: whilst some weak, but yet well-minded people, building their judg­ment meerly upon the outward appearances of men, have mista­ken the zeal and strict life of their Preacher for his sufficiency. And taking their Logicke from the precisenesse of his behaviour, have framed these charitable, but false conclusions to themselves: He is a man of a composed countenance, of a reserved speech, of a grave carriage, and of a devout elocution, therefore surely he is a holy man. And because he is a holy man, therefore whatever hee saies, shall be to us Oracle; as coming from the mouth of one, so much in the favour of God, that it is impossible he should deceive us, or speak that which is not right.

My Brethren, I have no designe or purpose to bring Holinesse into contempt; nor can I bee so injurious to piety or a good life, where ever I find it, as to expose it to the scorne of the licentious, [Page 40] by not giving it its due. I am so farre also from lending encourage­ment to the lives of vitious Teachers, (Teachers who are the shame of their Mother, and the scandall of their Flock) that I could wish that every Congregation in England were furnished with such an exemplary Minister, that his life as well as preaching, might be Ser­mon to the people. Nay, give me leave, I beseech you, to extend my charity yet one degree farther. I am so farre from disliking ho­linesse either in Preacher or people, that I wish we all made but one united Kingdome of Priests. Or, if you will have me expresse my selfe in the words of one of the holiest and meekest men of the earth, I could wish that all the Lords People were Prophets. But, [...]b. 11. 29. then, you must give me leave to say too, That holinesse and strict­nesse, and austerity of life, are no infallible signes that the Preacher may not erre. Nor hath God so annext the understanding of his Word to the unstudied, unlearned piety, or sober carriage of the Expounder, that he that is most zealous shall still bee most in the right. As long as that saying of S. Paul remaines upon record, That we hold this treasure; this knowledge of Gods Will [...] [...]r. 4. 7. [...], in earthen vessells; As long as the Preacher, how holy soever he be, is so much one of the people, as to dwell in a fraile, weake Tabernacle of clay; Lastly, as long as men are men, they will bee liable to mens infirmities. And as the learned scandalous Preacher may be sometimes in the right; so it is possible that the ignorant, zealous, holy Preacher may be often in the wrong. How to know this, and how to distinguish them, therefore, you are to make use of the next Rule prescribed to you by Saint Iohn; that is, when you heare an Exposition, or a Sermon, or a new Doctrine preached to you, not rashly, without distinction or choice to consent to it, till you have past the impartiall sentence of a cleare judgement on it; compared and weighed Sermon with Sermon, and Preacher with Preacher; called every Doctrine, every Proofe, every confi­dent Assertion to the touch-stone, and measured it by some plaine evident place of Scripture; and examined whether the Holy Ghost, or his owne vaine, popular ambition, have for that time inspired the speaker; or whether his Sermon have had some dissembled, se­cular end, or Gods glory for its marke. And this Saint Iohn calls, [...]ying of the spirits; which is then done, when (as I said before) you reduce what you heare spoken by the Preacher to the infallible Rule [Page 41] of Truth, the Word of God; and make that, well considered, the scales to weigh his Doctrine in. Does hee preach charity, and ba­nish strife from his Pulpit? Does he not flatter Vice, though he find it clothed in Purple, nor speak neglectfully of Vertue, though he finde it clothed in rags? Does he strive to plant the feare and love of God in his Auditory, the forgivenesse of their enemies, and pity towards the poore? Dares he arraigne a publique sinne, though never so fortunate? or speak in defence of afflicted Inno­cence, though over-borne by oppression? Dares he maintaine his Christian courage in Tyrannicall, doubtfull times? And dares he call prosperous Sedition, but a more successefull mischiefe? Lastly, does he preach such Christian Truths for which some holy men have di­ed, and to which he himselfe would not be affraid to fall a sacrifice? This, this man is to be hearkned to; this man is fit to bee obeyed. And this man speaking the same things which God himselfe doth in the Scripture, (whatever his gifts of pleasing, or not pleasing sick, fastidious, delicate fancies be) is thus at least to be thought of, That though he speake not by the Spirit, (as a thing entailed upon him) yet, for that time, the Spirit speaks by him, which ought to be all one to you. On the contrary, does the Preachers Sanctity and Re­ligion consist meerly in the devout composure of his looks and car­riage? Does he strive to preach downe Learning, or does he call Study a humane folly? Does he choose his Text out of the Bible, and make the Sermon out of his Fancy? Does he reprove Adulte­ry, but preach up discord? Is he passionate against Superstition, but milde and calme towards Sacriledge? Does hee inveigh and raile at Popery, and at the same time imitate the worst of Papists, Jesuits, urge Texts for the Rebellion of Subjects against their Prince, and quote Scripture for the deposing, and Butchery of Kings? Does hee startle at a dumb picture in a Church-window, and at the same time preach all good order and right Discipline out of the Church? Does an Oath provoke his zeale, yet does he count lying in the godly no sin? Lastly, does hee preach separa­tion upon weake untemper'd grounds? Or does labour to divide the minds, which hee should strive to reconcile? Let him bring what demurenesse or composure of countenance he please into the Pulpit; Let him, if he please, joyne sanctity of deportment to earnestnesse of zeale; Let him never so devoutly bewaile the cala­mities [Page 42] of his Country, which he hath helpt to make miserable; Or let him weepe never so passionately over the Congregation, which he hath broken into factions; In short, how seemingly holy, how precise, how unprophane soever his behaviour bee; though the Scripture doe so continually over-flow in his mouth, that hee will neither eat, nor drinke, nor speake, nor scarce sleep but in that phrase, yet as long as he thus forgets his Charity, thus Preaches strife, thus Division, I shall so farre mistrust whether he have the Spirit, that I shall not doubt to reckon him in the number of those false Prophets which S. Iohn sayes are gone out into the world.

The Conclusion then of this Sermon shall be this. Men and bre­thren, I have with all the sincerity and plainnesse which might be­nefit your soules, preacht Truth, and Concord, and mutuall Charity to you. I have also for some yeeres, not been so sleepy an Observer, but that I have perceived some of you (who have thought your selves more Religious then the rest) to be guilty of the (I might say Crime, but I will rather say of the) mis-guided Zeale of these Corinthians here in my Text. There have been cer­taine Divisions, and I know not what separations among you. I have farther observed, that certaine false, causlesse prejudices and aspersions have been raised upon our University, which to the grief of this famous Nursery of Gods Church at home, and the reproach of it abroad, are still kept waking against us by some of you, as if Conscience and Religion, as well as Learning and Gifts, had so far forsaken us, that all the Schools of the Prophets cannot afford you a set of able, vertuous men, fit to be the Lecturers to this soule-famisht Parish. How we should deserve to be thus mista­ken by you, or why you should under-value those able Teachers which you have already, or refuse to take your supply from so ma­ny Colledges which here stand present and ready to afford you choyce: or why you should supplicate to the great Councell of this Kingdome, in pitty to your soules, to send you Godly Teachers, (which, perhaps, is but a well-meaning Petition from you, but certainly 'tis agreat scandall, and Libell against us) I know not. But whatever the mysterious cause be, I am confident, that unlesse they will sleep over their infamy and reproach, it will alwayes be in the power of our despised University-Divines, to make it ap­peare, [Page 43] even to those whom you intend to petition, That this is but a zealous errour in you: And that they are as able to edifie you, certainly, as he, whose occupation it was to repaire the old shooes of the Prophets. I should shame some of you too much, who were the Disciples of that Apostle, if I should discribe him to you by a larger character.

Instead therefore of a farther vindication of the reproach throwne upon us, that which I shall say of more neere concern­ment to you, is this: If I have in the progresse of this Sermon, ript open any wounds among you, it hath not been with a pur­pose, to enlarge, or make them bleed, but to powre wine and Oyle into them, and to heale, and close them up.

Next, If I have cleared any of your sights, or inabled you at length to discerne, that the reason why the mote in your brothers eye seemed so big, was, because an over-scrupulous zeale had placed a beame in your owne; and that in contributing to the ruine of one of the purest Religions in the world, the reason why you have swallowed so many monstrous Camels, hath been, be­cause at first you made scruple, and strained at gnats, I have what I intended: Which was to let you see, that to divide and separate your selves from the communion of our Church, if it had been guil­ty of a mole or two, is as unreasonable, as if you should quarrell the Moon out of her Orb, or think her unworthy of the skies, be­cause she wears a spot or two writ on a glorious ball of light.

Lastly, if I have said any thing in the reproof of discord, or the praise of charity, which may re-unite your minds, and make you all men of the same heart and beliefe, as well as of the same Citie and Corporation, I shall thinke I have done the work and busi­nesse of a just Divider of the Word of God towards you, and of a faithfull Servant and Steward towards my heavenly Master. Whose blessing of peace be upon you all, together with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost. To which glorious Trinity, be ascribed all Honor, Praise, Dominion and Pow­er, for ever.

AMEN.

FINIS.

[Page] A SERMON AGAINST FALSE PROPHETS. PREACHED In St. MARIES CHVRCH In OXFORD, shortly after the Sur­render of that Garrison.

By IASPER MAINE, D. D. and one of the Students of Christ-Church, OXON.

IER. 23. 16.

Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the Prophets that prophesie unto you; They make you vaine; they speak a vision of their owne heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

Printed in the Yeare, M D C XLVII.

A SERMON AGAINST FALSE PROPHETS.
THE PREFACE.

EZEK. 22. 28.‘Her Prophets have daubed them with untempered Morter, seeing vanity, and divining lyes unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken.’

THat which the best Orator said of Oratorie put to the worst use, Nihil est tam horridum, tam in­cultum, quod non splendesent oratione, That there is nothing so deformed, or rude, which may not be made amiable by Speech, hath alwayes been verified of Religion too. No one thing hath, in all Ages, been more abused, to paint and disguise foule actions. It hath been made the Art to cozen people with their owne Devoti­ons, and to make them, in the meane time, think sacredly of their [Page 2] seducers. Conspiracies, and Insurrections, drest in these colours have been called holy Associations and Leagues: And the Ambitious, to worke the more securely on the credulity of the simple, have not onely presented evill to them growing on the Tree of Good, but have proceeded thus much farther in the fallacy, that they have still made forbidden fruits seem pleasant to the eye. And the false colours under which they have seemed pleasant, have alwayes been taken from Religion. Thus in these Heathen States, where they first made their owne gods, and then worshipt them, never plot was hatcht to disturbe the Common-wealth, but the writings of some Sybill, or other, were entitled to that plot; And never any designe was laid to destroy the Roman Empire, but some Augur, or Priest was taken in, whose part 'twas, to make the Entrailes, and Liver of his sacri­fice, give credit to the ambition of the designe. And thus among the Iewes, some ambitious men, the better to gild over their pro­ceedings, still entitled God to them. Who, as if he had been one of those Tutelar, changeable Deities, which used to be enticed, and called over from one side to another, they still entertained the peo­ple, that they who most zealously pretended to him, had him most. And that however he be the God of Order, and Iustice, & Agree­ment among men, yet in favour of his owne Cause, he would for a while be content to change his nature, and become the God of In­justice, Disorder, and Confusion too.

The better to worke this perswasion into the minds of the Mul­titude, their first piece of policy was to draw the Prophets into their Faction. This is exprest to us in the 25. verse of this Chapter. Where 'tis said of Ierusalem, There is a conspiracy of her Prophets, in the midst thereof. And truely, 'twas a Conspiracy so unfit for Prophets that the resemblance of it was never yet found in any but those Men of a much unholier stile, of whom the Historian saies, Est aliquod etiam inter Latrones & Sicarios foedus, that Theeves and Robbers hold League and friendship amongst themselves. For 'tis said in the following words of that verse, that 'twas a Conspi­racy like the roaring of a Lion, ravening the prey. A Conspiracy, by which they devoured Soules, and took to themselves the Treasure, and pretious things of the Land. And because pillage of this pub­lick Nature, could hardly be gained without the Death, and Mur­ther of the Owners, 'tis said in the close of that verse, That they [Page 3] made her many Widdows in the midst thereof. To which if the Scrip­ture had added these two words of pitty, the Fatherlesse and Or­phane too, nothing could have beene added to the calamity of the Description.

Nor is there a much more favourable Character stuck by the ho­ly Ghost, upon the Priests of those times. For by that which is said at the 26. verse of this Chapter, (And 'tis well worth your marking) you may perceive that the Disorder to which things were brought in the State, sprung first from the Disorder, to which things were brought in the Church. For 'tis there said, That The Priests had violated the Law, and prophaned the holy Things; That they did put no difference between the Holy, and Prophane, nor made any Distinction between the unclean, and the cleane. In briefe, the Legall, well establisht Service, and Worship of God was at a kinde of losse, and Indifferency. 'Twas referred to every mans Fansie, to make to himself his own Religion, Blemisht, and unblemisht Sacri­fices began to be sacred alike. And the Scripture of another Pro­phet, became quite altered; He that offered a Swine, was thought as religious as he that slew an Oxe; And he that [...]t off a Dogs neck, was thought as liberall a Sacrificer, as he that brought a Lambe to the Altar.

Next, having taken the Prophets, and Priests, so far into their plot, as to mingle and confound the Services of the Church, they made it one part of their policy, more, to make them lend Reputa­tion, to their proceedings in the State. This is plainly intimated to us, by that which is said at the 27. verse of this chapter, cohering with that which is said in the words of my Text. For there men­tion is made of certaine [...], or Princes, or chiefe men, who are there said to be like Wolves ravening the prey; Yet there wanted not some Prophets (as you may gather from my Text) who presen­ted these Wolves to the people in Sheeps cloathing. 'Tis said too that they had this property of Wolves, that they tooke pleasure to shed bloud; yet there wanted not Priests, who called Blond thus spilt Sacrifice. 'Tis said too that they did shed Bloud that they might get to themselves dishonest Gain; yet there wanted not some, who cal­led even that dishonest gain, godlinesse. If you will have all this lim­bed to you in one short Draught and picture, how cruell soever, & destructive to the common safety, the Projects, and proceedings of [Page 4] some men powerfull in the then State of the Iewes were, there wanted not Prophets who dawbed them with untempered Morter; seeing vanity, and divining lyes unto them, saying, thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord had not spoken.

Which words are a History of the worst Times, in the then worst division. State. In which we have these considerable parts. 1. An irreligi­ous Compliance, or rather Collusion, of Spirituall men with Lay. Some there were, (as you have them described in the precedent verse) whose designe 'twas, to make their Countrey their Prey; O­thers there were, whose part twas, to make them seem Good patri­ots, and Protectors of their Countrey. Some destroyed Soules in the way to their Ambitious Ends, Others made it their businesse to put Holy colours on their Slaughters. Or if you wil have me express my self in the Language of both Texts, some there were who did Shed bloud, that they might get to themselves Dishonest gaine; And some Prophets there, were, who to make their proceedings seem specious, did put religious pretences to them, and with these pretences did disguise, and dawbe them.

Next, we have here, the Frailty, and Weaknesse, and Deceiveable nature of such pretences. How plausible soever they seemed to the deluded vulgar, and however they might a while, not onely serve to cover, and veile foule purposes, but to set them off with a Beau­ty, and Lustre too, yet this could not be lasting. Dishonest projects thus adorned were but so many painted Ruines. And therefore, the Prophets, who thus disguised them, are here said to Dawbe them with untempered Morter.

Thirdly, for the effecting of this, we have here a very strange a­buse of their Ministery and Function, set downe to us in three Ex­pressions, having every one of them something of the Forme, but nothing of the Reality of a Prophet in them. First, they are here said to be S [...]ers. But as for the things they saw, they were of that foolish empty nature, that the Scripture hath not vouchsafed to call them Dreams. We may call them visions, perhaps; But such as Aene as in Virgil saw among the Shades. So voyd of Weight, and Body, and Substance, so far from Sense and Reason, as well as Reve­lation, that as the fittest word which could be found for them, they are here in this place called Vanity. Next, they are here said to Di­vine, or foretell. But 'tis added withall, that they foretold not [Page 5] Things, but lyes. As many untruths as Prophecies fell from them. And their predictions had onely thus much of Divination in them, that some time was required for men to prove them false; And to perceive, that, contrary to all true predictions, they would never come to passe. Lastly, (which was the third, and great abuse of their office and function) they were not afraid to entitle God to their vanities and lies. As often as they were pleased to deceive the peo­ple, he was cited, and quoted, as the inspirer of the deceit. And this bold, insolent sin was committed against the holy Ghost, that the vaine, foolish, groundlesse conjectures of the Prophets, were called his Inspirations: who, to make their falshoods take the strong­lier, still uttered them in the holy, Propheticall stile of Truths, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord had not spoken. All which contracted into a narrow room, the Irreligious Compliance of Spirituall men with Lay, the weaknesse of their pretences, the abuse of their Calling, by uttering their owne vanities for inspirations, and and their owne Fictions for Truths, together with the injury offe­red to God, by entitling Him to all this, shall be the parts on which I will build my future Discourse. In the ordering of which, I will begin with the Compliance or Combination. Some there were a­mong the Iews (as you have them decyphered in the former verse) who did shed bloud, that they might get to themselves dishonest gain; and some false Prophets there were, who, to goe sharers in that gaine, by the Holinesse of their Function, did disguise and dawbe them.

It was well said of a vertuous man in the praise of Vertue, Si 1: The com [...] ­ance. oculis cerneretur, If it could be seen, or could be put into Limbes or Colours, nothing would more inflame, or ravish the Beholders. And hee had spoken as well in the dispraise of Vice, had hee said, Si oculis cerneretur, if it could be made visible, or put into Colours, nothing would appeare more deformed, or loathsome. To speake of it, as it deserves, there is so little Beauty or Amiablenesse in Dis­honest actions, that to be disliked, and abhorred, it hath alwayes been sufficient for them to be understood. None but the Father of mischiefe, ever loved mischief for it selfe: And none but the Children of such a parent, have found out a comlinesse of Evill, meerely as 'tis Evill. Of all other men, who have not quite lost their Reason with their Innocence, and over whose understandings [Page 6] darknesse and Errour have not so prevailed, as to present vice and vertue to them, as one and the same thing, the saying of the Poet hath alwayes held true, Exemplo quod [...]un (que) malo committitur ipsi displ [...]cet Authori; Bad actions are so farre from pleasing others, that they never yet pleased themselves. Nor can I perswade my selfe, that ever any man could so stifle his Conscience, or force it, (like some compelled to enter into unwilling contracts) to imbrace a Bad Designe, but he for that time divided himselfe between his Designe, and his Hatred. And the advantages which have accom­panyed the foulenesse of the Enterprize, have never been so great, but that the poore cosened offendor, at the same time sinned, and lothed himselfe. But then, as some either borne, or grown de­formed, have found out certain arts to hide their deformities; As some I say, of a withered, ill-shaped complexion, have by the help of their pencill, turned yellow into red, and pale into white, and by the same help, have placed a Rose there, where there was before a decay; And so have bestowed, not onely an Artificiall beauty, but an Artificiall youth upon themselves, and in this borrowed shape have flattered themselves, and deceived others: So few bad men have been so unpolitick, not to hide their Deformities by painting too. And this cunning use hath beene made of vertue, that it hath alwayes been made the colour, to adorn, and cover vice. A thing the more easie to be effected, because that saying of the Philospher hath alwayes been true, Difficile est Nonnulla vitia â virtut [...]bus se­cernere, adeo prudentes nonnunquam fallunt, some vices are so neare­ly allyed to some vertues, that wise men have frequently mistaken them for Twins. Thus Rashnesse with successe hath past for valour, and cowardice with discretion hath past for Counsell. Covetousnesse well order'd hath worne the shape of Thrift; and Ryot hath put on the name of Magnificence, and a large m [...]e But where this Neighbourhood between good and evill is not, ot [...] helps have been taken in; And a vertue of one shape hath [...] [...] [...] dis­guise the fowlenesse of a vice of another. Thus among the Iewes in our Saviour Christs time, there were some who tithed Mint, th [...] they might wi [...]hhold Iustice, and some pa [...] [...]min, that they might keep back the weightier matters of the [...] [...]ome made long prayers, that they might devoure Widdowes [...]ouses, and some wore broad Phylacteries that they might swallow Orphans goods. [Page 7] And thus in this Prophet Ezechiels time, some disguised their rapine by a Prophet, and their slaughters by a Priest; their Covetousnesse by a Seer, and their Oppressions by a Man of God. Between whom the parts were so speciously carried, that, as if there had been no such things in Nature, as Right or Wrong, Iustice or Injustice, but only as Holy men would please to call them, the one devoured the prey, the other gave a Blessing to it; The one destroyed Soules, the other excused the Murder; The one committed Sacrilege, the o­ther made it plausible. Or if you will have me expresse my selfe to the true Historicall Importance of this Text, the one grinded the fa­ces of the poore, and polluted themselves both with private and and publique Oppressions; the other gilded, and palliated, and vey­led, and dawbed them. Complana [...]ant, sayes one, Gypsabant, sayes another Translation. The Prophets did smooth, and sleek, and put a faire crust upon them. The words are diverse, but have all one Sense.

For first, whether we expresse their palliation of Sinnes by daw­bing, (which is the word here used by our English Translators, and answers to Saint Ieromes Obliniebant in the Latine, and the Septuagint [...] in the Greeke) 'tis a Word (if a learned Inter­preter, well skill'd in the Originall, have not deceived me) taken from those who deale in Oyntments. And the meaning of the place is, That as some, skill'd in such Confections, have at times been hired to disguise deadly Receipts in fragrant Smels, and so have con­veyed poison in a perfume, and cloathed Death in the Breath and Ayre of an Odoriferous Sent; so these Prophets here in the Text, among the other Abuses of their Calling, changed one of Solomons best Proverbs into one of the worst Compliances: Which was, that by the Opinion of their Holinesle among the people, they made some mens Illnames passe, as 'tis there said of Good, like a pretious Oynt­ment powred forth. Perfumes and Odours were put upon Ambition and Avarice. And Gods Lawes were a while taught to forget their stile; And those Commandements were made most to defend the men, who did most violate, transgresse, and break them. Or next, whether we use the word sleeke, or smooth, 'tis a word taken from those who use the polishing toole, or file. And the meaning of the place will be, That, as such Artificers doe ordinarily file rude, rough, mishapen matters, into decent figures and formes, and [Page 8] by the Repetition of their instrument, and application of it artifi­cially to the same place, doe raise a Glasse and Lustre there, where there was before onely a deformity and shade; so these Prophets dealt with the publick Sins of their times. Rapines, and Oppressi­ons were filed, and polisht, into the softer names of just levyes and supplyes. Murthers also and Bloud-sheds, together with the Cries of Widdowes, and Teares of Orphans were smooth'd and glazed into the milder appearances, perhaps, of publique Utility & necessity of State. In briefe, these Prophets here in the Text, dealt with some mens vices, as the Philospher would have us deale with our Affe­ctions, transformed and wrought them into Ornaments, and vertues. Or lastly, whether we use the word Gypsabant, 'tis a word taken from those who deale in playster. And the meaning of the place will be, That as such Artificers, by laying a new Crust upon old De­cayes, doe many times make a falling building seem strong, and to the certaine danger of the dweller, doe so veile, and cover aged Walls, as to disguise Rottennesse, and make a ruine seem habitable; So these Prophets dealt with the sinnes of their times. They whi­ted Sepulchers and adorned Rottennesse, and putrefaction. Wicked designes had a faire crust put upon them; And ruinous projects were supported with splendid, holy Colours. If you will have mee speak more home to the minde of the Text, some ambitious men built Houses on the Sand, and some flattering, servile Prophets daw­bed them with weake, untempered morter. Which discovers to us the frailty and unsoundnesse of all such proceedings as are not built upon Iustice, or Truth, those two immoveable Rocks of the Scripture; And leads us on to the next part of the Text.

For the clearer understanding and interpretation of which [...] [...]he frailty of [...]d designes. words, it will be necessary, that I once more briefely reconcile the severall Translations of them. That which we in English doe read untempered morter, a very Classicall Interpreter of the Bible reads thus: Prophetae ejus linebant eos insulso, Her Prophets have dawbed them with a thing which is insipid, or which hath no salt in it. From whence some have made this exposition of the place. That though the thing with which these Prophets disguised the soule actions of their times were Holinesse, and Religion; and though it be true, that we may say of Religion, as Christ said of the Teach­ers of it, that it is the salt of the world, yet this salt sprinkled upon [Page 9] forbidden enterprizes, leaves off to be sale, and loseth its sa­vour. To speak yet more plainly to you; Holinesse it selfe applyed to wicked designes, leaves off to be Holinesse. And they who put sanctity to that vile use, to serve onely as the paint to make the un­lawfull projects of others seem faire, adde thus much guilt of their owne to the others, that they turne Religion it selfe into their crime. And I may confidently say, that they had beene much more innocent, if in such forbidden cases they had beene lesse holy.

Saint Ierome translates the words thus: Propheta oblinie­bant eos abs (que) temperamento, The Prophets dawbed them with a thing which would not piece, or unite, or make a mixture. From whence some have given this Interpretation of the place, That however religious pretences may be found out to mask irreligious deeds, and however Holinesse may be made the vermilion to impie­ty, yet there can never such a mixture, or composition passe between them, that it shall cease to be Impiety, because it hath piety joyned to it. But rather as gilt upon false coins makes it so much the more counterfeit; or as Tinne silver'd over is so much the more Treason, because 'tis silver'd over; and Copper so much the more deserves hanging, because it weares the Kings Image, and the Inscription on it is written in golden Letters: So 'tis with bad actions silver'd over with Religion; they are so farre from becomming good, that they double their iniquity, and become so much the more counter­feit. And as the spirit of Delusion is so much the more the spirit of Delusion, when hee transformes himselfe into an Angel of Light; so foule projects are never fouler, then when there is a glory and lustre put upon them. In all such disproportioned Commixtures, where the worse is sure to vitiate, and corrupt the better, we may not onely ask the Question, What agreement there can be betweene light and darknesse, or what fellowship Christ can have with Be­lial? but we may boldly pronounce, that light thus joyned with darknesse, loseth its rayes, and becomes darknesse. And that Christ thus joyned and matcht with Belial, degenerates into a Deceiver, and becomes Belial too.

The third and last translation of this place, (which our English Translators have followed) is that of Va [...]ablus, who renders the words thus, Prophetae ejus linebant eos luto infirmo, Her Prophets [Page 10] (that is, the Prophets of Jerusalem) have dawbed them with in­firme, untempered morter: That is, as Dyonisius Carthusianus, very fully expounds the Metaphor, Confirmabant eos in errore persuasioni­bus non solidis, sed fucatis: The Prophets confirmed them in their errors with weake, untempered Reasons. All which severall Inter­pretations doe agree in this one and the same undenyable sense; That such is the conscious, guilty, unjustifiable nature of sinne, so suspicious and fearefull 'tis to be seen publiquely in its owne shape, that it not onely deales with all sinners, as it did with the first two, upon a mutuall sight, and discovery of themselves, shewes them a­shamed, and naked to one another; but to cover and veyle their na­kednesse and shame, sends them to such poore, fraile, unprofitable shelters, as Bushes, and Fig-leaves: which though they should grow in Paradise it selfe, or should be gathered from the same holy ground, in which Innocence, and the Tree of Life were planted to­gether, yet applyed to hide an oppression, or pluckt to cover a sacri­lege, they will still retaine the fading, transitory nature of leaves, which is to decay, and wither, between the hands of the Gathe­rer, and lose their colour and freshnesse in the very laying on; and to every well rectified, religiously judging eye, instead of being a veyle to hide, will become one of the wayes to betray a naked­nesse.

To speake yet more plainly to you, and to lay it as home as I can to every one of your consciences, who heare me this day; If the designe and project be unlawfull, and contrary to Gods Comman­dements, let there be a Prophet found to pronounce it holy, let there be a Statist found to pronounce it convenient, let Reason of State be joyned to Religion, and publique utility to quotations of Scripture; Lastly, let it be adorned with all the varnishes and paintings taken either from Policy or Christianity, which may render it faire and amiable to the deluded multitude, yet such is the deceiveable na­ture of such projects, such a worme, such a selfe destroyer growes up with them, that, like Ionas Gourd, something cleaves to their root, which makes their very foundation ruinous, and fatall to them. At best they are but painted Tabernacles of clay, o [...] palaces built with untemp red morter. The first discovery of their hypocrisie turnes them into heaps, and the fate of the scarlet whore in the Revela­tion befalls them, whose filthinesse and abominations were no soo­ner [Page 11] opened and divulged, but she was dismembred, and torn in pie­ces by her owne Idolaters and Lovers.

Here then, if any expect that I should apply what hath beene said to our times, and that I should take the liberty of some of our Moderne Prophets, who have by their rude Invectives from the Pulpit made what ever Names are High, and Great, and Sacred, and Venerable among us, cheap, and vile, and odious in the eares of the people; If any, I say, expect that by way of parallell of one people with another, I should here audaciously undertake to show that what ever Arts were used to make bad projects seeme plau­sible, and holy in this Prophets time, have been practiced to make the like bad projects appeare plausible, and holy now; Or that in our times the like Irreligious Compliance, hath past between some Spirituall men, and Lay, to cast things into the present Confusion, I hope they will not take it ill, if I deceive their Expectation. For my owne part, as long as there is such a piece of Scripture as this, Exod. Diis non maledices, thou shalt not revile the Gods, (that is, thou shalt not onely not defame them by lying, but shalt not speake all truthes of them which may turn to their Infamy, and reproach;) I shall alwayes observe it as a piece of obligatory Religion, not to speak evill, no not of offending dignities. Much lesse shall I ad­venture to shoot from this sacred place my owne ill-built Iealou­sies, and Suspitions, for Realities and Truths: Which if I should doe, 'twould certainly savour too much of his Spirit of Detraction, who hauing lost his modesty, as well as Religion & Obedience, to the Scandall and just offence of all loyall Eares here present, was not af­fraid to forget the other part of that Text, which saies, Nec male­dices principi in populo meo, Thou shalt not reproach the Ruler of my people.

Yet because so many strange Prophets, of our wilde, licentious times, have preacht up almost five years Commotion for a Holy war; And because, in truth, no warre can be Holy whose cause is not ju­stifiable; If I should grant them what they have proclamed from so many Pulpits, that the Cause for which they have all this while, some of them, so zealously fought, as well as preacht, hath beene Liberty of Conscience; or, in other termes, for the Reformation of a corrupted, degenerated Church; Or to speak yet more like them­selves, for the Restitution of the Protestant Religion growne Popish; [Page 12] if I say, all this should be granted them, yet certainly, if Scripture, Gospell Fathers, Schoolmen, Protestant Divines of the most reve­rend, and sober marke, and Reason it selfe have not deceived mee, all Sermons which make Religion, how pure soever, to be a just cause of a Warre, doe but dawb the undertakers with untempered Morter.

For however it be an Article in the Turkish Creed, that they may propagate their Law by their Speare; yet for us who are Christi­ans, to be of this Mahumetane perswasion, were to transfer a piece of the Alcoran into a piece of the Gospell. And to make Christ not onely the Author of all those Massacres, which from his time to ours, have worne that Holy Impression, but 'twere to make him over-litterally guilty of his owne saying, that he came not to send peace, but a Sword into the World For though it be to be granted, that nothing can more conduce to the future happinesse of men, then to be of the true Religion; yet I doe not finde that Christ hath given power to any to compell men to be happy; or commanded, that force should be used for the collation of such a Benefit. All the wayes more proportioned for the atchieving of such an end, hee hath in his Gospel prescribed, namely preaching, and perswasion, and Holy example of life. He bade his Apostles goe, and teach all Na­tions; not stir up one Nation against another, or divide Kingdomes against themselves, if they would not receive the Gospell. This had been plainly to joyne the Sword of the flesh, to the Sword of the Spirit. Which to save their Lives, and Fortunes, might per­haps, have made some Hypocrites, and dissemblers without, who would neverthelesse, have remained Pagans, and Infidels within. In short, some things in the Excell [...]ncy, and Height of the Do­ctrines of Christian Religion being no way demonstrable from Hu­mane principles, but depending for the credit, and evidence of their truth upon the Authority of Christs miracles, conveyed along in Tradition and Story, cannot in a naturall way of Argumentation force assent. Since, as long as there is such a thing in men, as liber­ty of understanding, all arguments, even in a Preaching, and perswa­sive way, which carry not necessity of demonstration in their Fore­head, may reasonably [...] rejected. Much lesse have I met with it in all my progresse of D [...]vinity or Philosophy, convincingly maintai­ned, that men upon every slight disagreement, or dissent in Reli­gion, [Page 13] are to be whipt, or beaten into a Consent; or that the plunde of mens Estates is a fit medium to beget a Beleefe or perswasion in their Minds.

Here then, should I once more grant the charge of these Pro­phets to be true (a very heavy one I confesse) that the Protestant Religion among us, had very farre taken wing, and had almost re­signed its place in this Island to the Romish Superstition. Nay, sup­pose (which is yet farre worse) that a great, and considerable part of this Kingdome, had through the Corruption of the times, not onely relapst from the Protestant Religion in particular, but from the Christian Faith in generall; suppose, I say, (which is the worst that can be supposed) that they who have so frequently of late been branded for Papists, had out-right turned Infidels, however in such a case, that Warre which fights against the Errours of men thus lost, and proposeth to it selfe no other end but their Repentance, and Con­version, may to some perhaps, seem to weare the Helmet of their Salvation, and the Army which thus strives to save men by the sword, may to some seem an Army of Apostles, yet I doe not finde that to come into the field with an armed Gospel, is the way chosen by Christ to make Proselites. The Scripture indeed, tells us of some who took the Kingdome of Heaven by violence; But of any, who by violence may have it imposed upon them, 'tis no where record­ed. But alas, my Brethren, (if I may speak freely to you in the de­fence of that defamed Religion, in which I was borne and to which I should account it one of the greatest blessings that God can be­stow upon me, if I might, with the Holy Fathers of our Reforma­tion, fall a Sacrifice) that which these men call Idolatry, and Super­stition, and by names yet more odious, was to farre from having shrined it selfe in our Church; So little of that drosse, and Ore, and tinne, which hath lately filled our best Assemblies with so much noyse and Clamour, was to be found among us, that with the same unfainednesse that I would confesse my sinnes to God, and hope to obtaine pardon for them. I doe professe, that I cannot thinke the Sun, in all his heavenly course, for so many yeares, beheld a Church more blest with purity of Religion for the Doctrines of it, or bet­ter establisht for the Government, and Discipline of it, then ours was. And therefore, if I were presently to enter into dispute with the greatest Patriarch among these Prophets, who, even against the [Page 14] Testimony of sense it selfe, will yet perversely strive to prove that our Church stood in such need of Reformation, that the growing Su­perstitions of it could not possibly be expiated but by so much Civill Warre. I should not doubt with modesty enough to prove back a­gain to him, that all such weak, irrationall Arguments as have one­ly his zeale for their Logick, are not onely composed of untempered Morter; But that in seeing those spots and blemishes in our Church, which no good Protestants else could ever see, 'twill be no unrea­sonable inference to conclude him in the number of those erroneous Prophets here in the Text. Who to the great Scandall and abuse of their Office, and Function, did not onely palliate, and gild over the publique sins of their times, but did it like Prophets, and saw Va­nity too. Which is the next part of the Text; And is next to succeed in your attentions.

If the Phil [...]sophers rule be true, that things admit of definitions according to their essences, and that the nearer they approach to 3. [...] first abuse [...]eir functi nothing, the nearer they d [...]aw to no Description; to goe about to give you an exact definition of a thing impossible to be defined, or to endeavour to describe a thing to you, which hath been so much disputed whether it be a thing, were to be like those Prophets here in the Text; first, to see Vanity my selfe, and then to perswade you that there is a Reality, and Substance in it. Yet to let you see by the best lights I can, what is here meant by Vanity, I will joyne an inspired to a Heathen Philosopher. Solomon, (whose whole Book of Ecclesiastes is but a Tract of Vanity) as we may gather from the instances there set downe, places vanity, in mutability, and change. And because all things of this lower world consist in vicissitude, & change (so farre, that as Seneca said of Rivers, Bis in idem flumen non descendimus, we cannot step twice into the same stream; so we may say of most Sublunarie things, whose very beings do so resem­ble streams, ut vix idem bis conspiciamus, that we can scarce behold some things twice) that wisest among the sonnes of men, whose Philosophy was as spacious as there were things in nature to bee knowne, calls all things under the Sunne, vanity, because all things under the Sunne are so lyable to inconstancy and change, that they fleet away, and vanish, whilst they are considered; and hasten to their decay whilst we are in the Contemplation of them.

Aristotle desines vanity to bee [...], Every [Page 17] thing which hath not some reasonable end or purpose belonging to it. For this reason, he calls emptinesse, and vacuity, vanity; Because there is so little use of it in nature, that to expell it, things have an inclination placed in them to performe actions against their kinde. Earth to shut out a vacuity, is taught to flie up like fire; and fire to destroy emptinesse, is taught to fall downe like earth. And for this reason, another Philosopher hath said, that colours, had there not been made eyes to see them, and sounds, had there not beene eares made to heare them, had been vanities, and to no purpose. And what they said of sounds, and colours, we may say of all things else; not onely all things under the Sun, but the Sun it selfe, who is the great [...], the eye of the world, without another eye to behold him, or to know him to be so, had been one of Ari­stotles vanities.

As then in Nature those things have deserved the name of va­nities, which either have no reasonable end, or purpose belonging to them, or else are altogether subject to Mutability, and change, so 'tis in policy, and Religion too. To doe things by weake, unreason­able, inconstant principles, principles altogether unable to support, and upold the weight, and structure of publique businesse built upon them; or to doe things, with no true substantiall, solid, usefull, but a meere imaginary good end belonging to them; As for exam­ple, to alter the whole frame and Government of a State, not that things may be mended, but that they may run in another course then they did before; or to change the universally received Go­vernment of a Church meerely for change sake, and that things may be new, not that they may bee better, is a vanity, of which I know not whether these Prophets, here in the Text, were guilty; but when I consider the unreasonable changes already procured, and the yet farther endlesse changes as unreasonably still pursued by the Prophets of our times, I finde so much vacuity, and emptinesse in their desires, so much interested zeale, and so little dis-interested reason, so much novelty mistaken for reformation, and withall so much confusion preferred before so much decency, and order, that I cannot but apply the Wise mans Ingemination to them and call their proceedings Vanity of vanities.

For if we may call weak, groundlesse, improbable surmises and conjectures, vanities, have not these Prophets dealt with the mindes [Page 18] of vu [...]gar people, as Melancholy men use to deale with the clouds, raised monstrous formes and shapes to fright them, where no feare was? Have they not presented strange visions to them? Idolatrie in a Church window, Superstition in a white Surplice, Masse in our Common-prayer Booke, and Antichrist in our Bishops? Have they not also to make things seem hideous in the State, cast them into strange, fantasticall, Chymera figures? And have they not, like the fabulous, walking Spirits wee read of, created imaginary Appariti­ons to the people from such things, flight, unsolid melting Bodies as Ayre? And for all this if you enquire upon what true stable prin­ciple, or ground, either taken from reason (which is now preacht to be a saecular, prophane, heathen thing) or from Scripture, (which is now made to submit to the more unerring rule of fancy) they have proceeded; or what hath been the true cause, of their so vaine ima­ginations, you will finde, that (contrary to all the rules of right judgement, either common to men, or Christians) they have been guided meerely by that Causa per accidens, that fallible, erroneous, ac­cidentall cause, which hath alwayes been the mother of mistakes. So­crate ambulante coruscavit; Because it lightned when Socrates took the Ayre, one in the company thought that his walking was the occasion of the flash: this certainly, was a very vaine and foolish in­ference; yet not more vaine and foolish then theirs, who have [...]right people to conclude, that all pictures in Church-windowes are [...]dols, because some out of a misguided devotion, have worshipt [...]hem; or that Surplices, and the like Church Vestures are supersti­tious, because some superstitious men weare them; or that our Com­m [...] [...]rayer booke is Poperie, because part of it is to bee found in the [...] of that Church; or that the government of the Church [...] bishops is Antichristian because in their beleefe, Antichrist al­ [...]ady is, or, when he comes into the world, shall be a Bishop.

For here, if I should presse them in a rationall, logicall way, (un­ [...]sie they will call Argument, and Logick, and Syllogisme, Supersti­ [...] [...]oo, and banish Reason as well as Liturgy out of the Church) [...]o think (as they doe) that Churches are unhallowed by reason of their ornaments, or to perswade people to refrain them, because some out of a blind zeale have paid worship to the Windows, is to me a feare [...]s on reasonable, as theirs was, who refused to goe to Sea, because [...]ere was a Painter in the City, who limned Shipwracks. For cer­tainly, [Page 19] if that be all the reason they have to banish Images out of th [...] Church, because some (if yet there have been any so stupid) have made them Idols; by the same reason, we should not now have a Sun, or Moon, or Stars in the Firmament, but they should long sin [...] have dropt from Heaven, because some of the deluded Heathen, worshipt them. And if that be all the reason they have to prove Sur­plices, or white vestments superstitious, because Papists wear them, (pardon the meannesse of the subject, I beseech you, which is score [...] worthy of a confutation) why doe not they also conclude Linnes to be superstitious, because Papists shift, and so make cleanlinesse to be as unlawfull as Surplices or Copes? Thirdly, to say our Co [...] prayer-booke is Popish, because 'tis so good, that some in the Church of Rome have praised it, is to mee an accusation as sencelesse, as theirs, who accused the Generall of their Army of treason against the State, because his enemies out of the admiration of his vertues, erected a Statue to him. Lastly, to call the government of our Church by Bishops, Antichristian, because that Church which they make to be the seat of Antichrist is so governed, is to me such a weak Imputation, as by the same reason makes all the Christian Go­vernments of the world pagan. And therefore to be utterly extirpa­ted, and banisht out of the world, because in some points of Go­vernment they resemble the Common-wealths of Infidels. To all which vain, unlearned, impotent, shallow objections raised against the Church, when I have added their vain, improbable conjectures, and objections raised against the State too; Where things possible, nay in a civill, politick way, almost impossible, have beene urged, and cited as things present, and done; Where, because some Princes have been Tyrants, and grievous to their Subjects, people in serene, easie, halcyon times, have bin made beleeve that an Aegyptian bon­dage, and Thraldome was ready to fall upon them; And where, be­cause there was a time when a bunch of Grapes or two extraordina­ry was gathered for the publicke, people, after so many reparations, so many acts of recompence, have been entertained, that those few, irregular Grapes were but the prologues, and fore-runners to the in­tended rape which should in time have been committed upon the whole future, following vine; I cannot look upon the Prophets who have thus preacht vanity to them, thus amuzed them with false, imaginary dangers, but under that description which the Prophet [Page 20] Ieremy hath made of them, in his 23. chap. at the 26. verse; where he calls them Prophets of the deceit of their owne hearts, Seers who coyne their owne visions. Men who relying wholly upon the un­certaine illumination of their own fancies, which they call the Spi­rit, and having never acquainted themselves with the true wayes, and principles either of reason, or Religion, which should cleare their mindes, and take off the grosse filme which beclouds their un­derstandings, make it their businesse and profession to deceive them­selves, and others. Building false conclusions upon weak, irrationall premisses; and supporting improbable conjectures, by fictions, and untruths, Which suggests to me the second abuse of the Ministery, and function of these Prophets here in the Text. Which was, that they not onely saw vanity, but divined lyes too.

The thing in nature which makes the expression hold true, that man is [...], a sociable creature, is that we are able to repay 4. [...]he second a­ [...]e of their [...]nction. conversation with conversation; and have a privilege bestowed upon us, beyond that of beasts, that wee can unite, and joyne our selves to one another by speech. Without which, we, who now make rationall assemblies, and Common-wealths, had been only a rude, dis­composed multitude, and Herd of men. Nay, without Language to expresse our selves, and to associate our selves to one another in Discourse, every man had been thus like the first, that he had been alone, and solitary in the world. For where commerce and enter­course, and exchange of minds is denyed, and where all that passeth between us of men is that we are Alter alteri spectaculum, onely a dumbe, speechlesse shew, and spectacle to one another; meetings, and numerous Assemblies are but so many unpeopled Wildernesses and desarts. And where all that we enjoy of one anothers company is onely the dull sight, and presence, every one of us may reckon him­selfe single in a full theatre and crowd.

As speech, then, was at first bestowed upon us that we might hold conversation, and discourse with one another, so there was a Law imposed upon us too, that wee should not deceive one another by our sppeech. * [...], 'Tis Aristotl [...]s definition of speech, which hath a piece of commutative [...] Iustice in it. Words, sayes he, are the images of thoughts. That is, sayes the Divine, they alwayes ought, or should be so. The minde is thereby enabled to walke forth of the Body, and to make visits [Page 21] to another separated, divided mind. Our Soules, also, assisted by Speech, are able to meet, and converse, and hold entercourse with other Soules. Nay, you must not wonder at the expression, if I say, that as God at first conveyed our minds, and Soules into us by brea­thing into us the breath of Life, so by Speech he hath enabled us, as often as we discourse, to breath them reciprocally back againe in­to each other. For never man yet spoke Truth to another, and heard that other speake Truth back againe to him, but for that time the saying of Minutius Felix was fulfilled, Crederes duas esse animas in eodem corpore, there were enterchangeably two mindes in one Body.

But this (as I said before) is onely when Truth is spoken. Other­wise, as the Question was askt of fire, Igne quid utilius? What more usefull gift did God ever bestow upon us then Fire? And yet the same Poet tells us, that some have imployed it to burne Houses. So we may say of Words, Sermone quid utilius? What more bene­ficiall gift of nature did God ever bestow upon us then Speech? 'Tis the thing which doth outwardly distinguish us from Beasts, and which renders us, like the Angels, (who discourse by the meere Acts and Revelation of their wills) transparent and Chrystall to one another. But then Speech mis-imployed, and put to a deceitfull use, may turne Chrystall into Iet. And put into a Lye, may raise a shade, and cloud of Discourse, and Obscurity there, where there should be onely a Translucency and clearenesse. In short, some men, like the Fish which blacks the streame in which it swims, and casts an Inke from its bowels to hide it selfe from being seen, make Words, which were ordained to reveale their Thoughts, disguise them: And so like the Father of lies, deale with their hearers, as he dealt with our first Parents, appeare to them, not in their owne, but in a false, and borrowed Shape; And thereby make them imbrace an Impo­sture and Falshood, in the figure, and Apparence of a Reality and Truth.

An offence so fit to be banisht out of the World, that after I have said, that two thus talking, and deceitfully mingling Speech, are some thing more then Absent to one another; After I have said, that the lyar is injurious to things, as well as persons; Which carry the same proportion to our mindes, as Colours doe to our eyes; And have a naturall aptnesse in them to bee understood as they are, but are for [Page 20] that time not understood, because not rightly represented: I must say too that there is injustice done to humane society. Since in every untruth that is told, and beleeved, one mans Lye, becomes another mans Error, whereby a piece of his naturall Right is taken from him; which Right is by the Casuists call'd Iudicandi libertas. Hee is disabled to make a Right judgement of what he heares. His be­leefe betraies him: And the Speaker thus fallaciously conversing with him, is not for that time, his companion, but his deceiver.

But when Religion shall be joyned [...]o a lye, and when a Palsehood shall be attit'd, and cloathed with Holinesse; When they, whose pro­fession 'tis to convey Embassies, and Messages, and voices from Hea­ven, shall convey onely cheats, and delusions, and impostures from thence; though I cannot much blame the credulity of the Simple, who suffer themselves to be thus religiously abused, and like men who see Iuglers, thinke their money best spent, where they are best cosened; yet, certainly, the deceivers themselves doe adde this over and above to the sinne of Lying, that whereas others hold one­ly the Truth of things, these men hold the Truth of God in unrigh­teousnesse.

And such it seems, were these Prophets here in the Text. Who the better to comply with the Publique sinnes of their times, did put untruths, and falshoods to the same holy use, that others did sa­cred Inspirations, and Dreames. Fictions, the bastard creatures of their owne corrupt fancies, were delivered as Prophecies infused in­to them from Heaven, and he who fained most, and could lye with the most religious Art, was thought to have the greatest measure of the Spirit. Prosperous successes were foretold to wicked underta­kings, and the Prophets dealt with the people, as some bold Alma­nack-makers deale with us; coyn'd soule, or faire weather as they pleased to set the times, and then referred it to casualty, and chance to come to passe.

And can I passe over this part of the Text, and not say that there have been such Prophets among us in our times? Unlesse things should come about againe, that the devill should the second time get a Commission to become a lying Spirit in the mouth of the Pro­phets, with a promise from the Almighty, that hee should prevaile too, were it possible that so much cosenage should so long passe, for so much Truth? Have we not seene the Prophet Micah's prophe­ticall [Page 21] curse fulfilled upon this Kingdome? 'Tis in [...]his 2. Chap. at the 11. ver. where he sayes, that if a man walking in the Spirit, and falshood, doe lye, he shall be the Prophet of this people. Certainly, my Brethren, when I consider how much Romance, how much Gazet­te, how much Legend hath for some yeares past for Sermon; When I consider (even with teares in my eyes) the many false aspersions stuck upon our defamed, wronged Vniversity, by some, who (even against the light of their eyes as well as Consciences) have charged the Breasts that gave them suck with infected poyson'd milke; And have belyed their spotlesse Mother, as if she were turned Strum­pet; or as if't were grown a place from whence pietie, and gifts and true Religion, have long since taken slight; a place which needs Conversion, and which affords nothing but dangerous education; of which crime, I confesse, I know not whether [...]he be guilty, unlesse it be for bringing forth such abortive lying Sonnes, who thus make it part of their Religion to revile Her; when I farther consider, that they have not spared Majesty it selfe, though cloathed, and ar­med by God with all the sacred Guards which should protect it from the venome of such disloyall, slanderous mouthes; when I yet farther consider the seeming sanctity of the persons that do this, with what Holy passion, what inspired zeale, what composure of face, what contention of voice, what earnest Rhetorick of hand, What Language of Saints, they doe this; Lastly, when I consider how many there are, who, driving a gainfull Trade in fictions, (fictions as strange as his, who wrote of Virgins transformed to Bay-trees) use to lye as devoutly from such holy ground as this, as others use to pray; And when withall I doe observe that there is sprung up a certaine Sect of Hearers among us, who as zealously lend attention to lyes, as their Preachers utter them; I cannot but take the Philo­sophers liberty to my selfe, and pronounce of such Congregations, as he did of Markets; that they are places where people meet to deceive, and be deceived.

And as in Shops, and Markets, Religion is sometimes put to helpe out faulty Ware, and the name of God is cited to make up measure and weight, and part of the false light by which the Buy­er is over-reacht, is the seeming sanctity of the Seller: So 'tis here. A certaine religious, holy, sacramentall cozenage passeth between Preacher and People. And that they may the more solemnly bee [Page 24] cozened, these Prophets deale with their Fictions, as the Devill dealt with his temptations, when hee would have perswaded our Saviour Christ to cast himselfe downe from a Pinacle, cloath them with Scripture, saying, Thus it is written, and, thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken; which brings me to the third, and last abuse of their Profession, and Ministeriall Function. Which is to entitle God to their vanities, and lyes. To which I shall onely adde somebriefe Application of some things in this Sermon to our selves, and so commend you to God.

Lucian, I remember in his [...], or false Prophet, tells us of a certaine Mountebanke Cheater, who the more artificially to de­ceive the People, did set up an Oracle of his owne Fancying, and [...] [...]jury of­ [...] to God. contrivance; in which he was both the God, and Priest to the Peo­ple who came to enquire. And, like the Priests of those other true Oracles, which we read of, where the Sybill never gave answers till she was first entranced, and felt a kinde of sacred fury, and pos­session within her selfe; so he, (as often as he pleased to delude the People) had his sacred ragings, and trances too; and appeared to those who came to consult with him, filled with a kinde of holy fury, and possest with the God that spoke through him.

Me thinks, these Prophets here in this Text, were just such Iug­lers, who, in preaching their owne Fancies for Gods dictates, did not onely set up a false Oracle, in which they were to the People, both the Deity, and the Priest; but they divined untruths to them, in the same holy, solemne, Propheticall forme and way, as others did truths. Lyes had a kinde of holy trance, and extasie, and rapture put to them; and Falshoods came from them in a kinde of sacred madnesse, and possession As often as they had a minde to deceive the People, they could presently raise to themselves their owne in­spirations, and a [...] often as a Plot, or Project was to be brought about, they could [...]ently snatch themselves up into the third Heaeven; and could [...] from thence as full of holy fiction, and imposture, as S [...]. Paul did of astonishment, and wonder. In the delivery of which Fictions to the People, [...]here was thus much holy cozenage more added, that the [...]ips of the Reporters seemed for that time to bee touched with a Coale from the Altar; and God by the secret instu­ence and instinct of his holy Spirit, was thought to be the kindler of that Coale.

[Page 23] An injury of that (hipocriticall, shall I say? or rather) bold, pre­sumptuous, impudent nature, that when I have spoken of it the most gently I can, I must say tis something more then the breach of the third Commandement. For there wee are onely bid not to take Gods name in vaine; that is, not to mingle him with our ordinary, rash, light, unpremeditated discourses, or not to forswear our selves by him, or cite him to be a witnesse to our perjuries. But they who speak falsely in his name, and vent their owne sinister Plots for his inspirations; they, who, when they should bee the messengers of truth, and the reprovers of sinne, shall stand as the messengers of of falshood, and encouragers of publique wrongs, between him, and the people; doe not onely take his name in vaine, and (as much as in them lyes) draw a cheapnesse, and contempt upon it; but do com­mit a sin worse then perjury, for that onely calls him to testifie, and beare witnesse, but these men make him the Principall, and first Au­thor of a Lye: And so stick the reproach of a weak, impotent vice upon him, common to none, but base, servile, perfideous natures, and slaves.

You may read in the old Testament, that the Priest of those times, among his other Ornaments, wore two precious Stones in his Brest-plate, called the Urim and Thummim. Through which, ac­cording as they did at times cast a bright, or dimmer lustre, God re­vealed his pleasure, or displeasure to the People; and spoke to them by the sparkle of a Iewell, as he did at other times by the mouth of a Prophet. You may read too, that after the Tabernacle was set up. God had a Throne, or Mercy-seat placed for him, between the Wings of two Cherubims, which veiled it; from whence at cer­taine times he sent forth Oracles. Here then, let me put this case to you.

Suppose the Priest, who wore the Brest-plate, should have bely­ed his Iewels, and when the people came to enquire of him, should have interpreted a pale, for a bright Ray to the people; or suppose he should have taken out the true, and have placed two false coun­terfeit Iewels in his Brest-plate; and should have taught them, by a kinde of secret conspiracie, not to sparkle by the certainty, and holinesse of their owne impartiall Fires, but according to the de­sires, and Plot, and Stratagem of the Consulters; had not this been plainly to set up an illegitimate Anti-urim, and Thummim, which [Page 24] should have cast a false, as the other did a true lustre? Nay, had not this been to make God, who used to appeare, and reveale himselfe in these Iewels, as he did to Moses in the Bush, in a flame of Fire, to become like one of those erraticall, uncertain, wandring night-fires, of which Aristotle speaks in his Meteors; Fires, which shine onely to lead Travellers out of the way?

Once more put the case, that the Priest should have usurped the Throne, and Mercy-seat of God, and when the people came to enquire, should have placed himselfe between the Cherubins, and should from thence have uttered such false, pleasing Oracles, as he knew would most suite, and comply with the humour, and Interest of the Inquirers; Had not this been most insolently, to thrust him­selfe into the place of God, and for that time to depose him from his Sanctuarie or holy Place, and to assume his businesse and peculi­ar Office to himselfe? Nay, had not this been the way in time, to draw the same bad report upon him, which once passed upon the Oracle at Delphos, Apud Apollinem ut mihi videtur, mendacia emun­tur, men paid for lyes at Delphos, and sacrificed to Apollo to be co­zoned and deceived?

That this was the sinne of these Prophets here in the Text is evi­dent from the words of it, and from their coherence with the rest of the Chapter. Who, (as if they had entred into the same secret com­pact with God, as they had with their other Complotters of those times) made no other use of their profession, but onely to humour great men, and to make Sale and Gaine of their Prophecies. Enthu­siasmes, and Visions, and Dreames, and Revelations, were uttered, as some Mechanick men utter their Commodities, to him that would give most. The Sanctuarie, in plaine termes, was made a place of Merchandize; onely the VVare was Spirituall. And the difference between Simon Magus's bargaine with the Apostles, and the Bargaine here in the Text, was onely this, that here both par­ties consented; The one sinisterly bought, the other sinisterly sold the holy Ghost.

An offence, my Brethren, so directly against the Truth, and Veracity, and Majesty of God, so neere, ( [...]it not out-right) that never to be pardoned sin against the holy Ghost, that I am sorry I must say, that all the defence that can be made for it, is, that our times have brought forth prophets who have taken the same course.

[Page 25] For now, as if the Scripture were in a perverse, [...]sense the second time to be fulfilled, that the [...] things of the world shall confourd the wise, and that [...], and [...], and things that are not, shall bring to nought Realities, and [...], and things that are, he is not onely thought to be the holiest man, who can lye most in a holy Cause, but he thrives best, and makes the best spiritu­all M [...]kets, who most belyes God to his Glorie. To what unweigh­ed, aery scruples, and vanities, is he entitled? How is his Scripture, for want of learning to understand it aright, abused, and made the bellowes to blow a fire, fit rather to be quencht by the repentance, and teares of the Incendiaries, and feeders of it? How many are there who daily urge text for Bloud-shed, and undertake to prove the slaughter of their Brethren, (I had almost said of their lawfull Prince and Soveraigne too) warrantable by the VVord of God? What bold Libell, or Pamphlet hath not for some yeares railed in a holy style? And what Sermons have not been spiced with a a holy sedition? Hath it not (even to the ruine of one of the most flouri­shing Kingdomes of the world) beene made a piece of Religion to divide it against it self, & to divorce a King from his People, and his people from their peace? Have not men been taught that they cannot give God his due, if they give Caesar his? And that the onely way left to preserve in themselves, the grace and favour of the one, is quite to deface and blot out the image and superscription of the other? And have not the Teachers of these strange, unchristian Doctrines, delivered them to the people in the holy stole of Prophets? Have they not called a most unnaturall, civill VVar, the burden of the Lord? Have they not quite inverted the injunction of the Apostle, and turning his affirmative into their negative, have they not (di­rectly contrary to his word) said, Thus saith the Lord, honour not the King?

My brethren, let me speake freely to you, as in the presence of God, who knowes that I hate the sinne of these Prophets here in the Text, too much to flatter. Or if I would be so irreligiously servile, you your selves know that the present condition of things is at too low an [...]bbe, for me or any man else to hope to thrive by such a false Engine. If there be such a thing as a VVaking providence over the actions of men, (wich, I confesse, an unresolved man in such irre­gular times as these might be tempted to question) or if there bee [Page 26] such a thing in nature as Truth, with a promise annext to it by the God of Truth, that first or last it shall prevaile, unlesse by a timely, and seasonable repentance of their abuse of the Name of God, and of their many bold reproaches throwne upon his Annoynted, they di­vert their punishment: Something, me thinks, whispers to me, (I dare not be so confident of my owne infallible sanctity, as to call it the Spirit of God) but something whispers to me, and bids mee in the Prophet Ezechiels words in another place, Prophecie against these Prophets; and say, * VVoe to the foolish Prophets who have followed their owne spirit, and have seen nothing. Because with lies [...]ek. 13. 3. they have made the heart of the Righteous sad, whom the Lord hath not made sad; and have strengthned the hands of the wicked, that he should not returne from his evill way.

Or if this will not awake them, but that they will still be guilty of the sinne of these Prophets here in the Text, they must not take it ill, if, not I, but the holy Ghost (which they so much boast of, & by whom they so confidently pretend to speake) passe this sad sentence on them and their complyers, by the mouth of two other Prophets. 1. As for their complyers (if any such there have been) who have said to the▪ Seers, See not, and to the Prophets, Prophecie not unto [...]ay 30. 10. us right things, but speake to us smooth things, Prophecie deceit; let them heare with trembling what the Prophet Esay sayes in his 30. Chapter at the 12. and 13. Verses. Because (sayes he) ye despise my word, and trust in oppression, and perversenesse, and stay thereon; Therefore, thus saith the holy one of Israel, This iniquity shall bee to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling [...]ut in a high wall, whose brea­king commeth suddenly, at an instant. The meaning of which pro­pheticall judgement will be easily understood of any, who shall con­sideringly marke the beginning and progresse of the Chapter to the context where 'tis uttered and denounced.

Next, as for the Prophets themselves, who for poore, low, earthly interests, and respects, have suffered themselves to be mis-led, let them with confusion of face, heare what the Prophet Ieremy sayes in the 23 Chapter, at the 32. verse. A place no lesse remarkable then the former. As for those, sayes he, who doe prophecie false d [...]eames, and do tell them, and cause my people to erre by their lyes, and by their light­nesse yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; behold, I am against them, saith the Lord, and they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord God.

[Page 27] The conclusion then of this Sermon, shall be this. Fathers, and The conc sion. brethren of this University: I presume it could not but seem strange to you, to heare your Manners, and Religion, as well as Studies, and Learning not long since publiquely reproved, and preacht a­gainst out of this Pulpit, by men, who professe themselves, indeed, to be Prophets, but discovering to you so little, as they did of the abi­lities of Prophets sonnes, could not but seem to you very unfit Refor­mers, or instructers of this place. I presume also, that with a seri­ous griefe of heart, you cannot but resent, that there should bee thought to be such a dearth, and scarcity of able, vertuous men a­mong us, that the Great Councell of this Kingdome, in pitty to our wants, should think it needfull to send us men better gifted, to teach us how to preach. What the negligence, or s [...]oth, or want of indu­strie, in this place hath been, which should deserve this great ex­probration of our Studies from them; or how one of the most fa­mous Springs of Learning, which of late Europe knew, should by the mis-representation of any false reporting men among us, fall so low in the esteem of that great Assembly, as to be thought to need a Tutor, I know not: Nor will I here over-curiously enquire into the ungiftednesse of the persons, who have drawne this reproofe upon us, or say that some of us, perhaps might have made better use of our time, and of the bounty of our Founders, then by wrap­ping up our Talent in a Napkin, to draw the same reproach upon our Colledges, which once passed upon Monasteries, which grew at length to be a Proverbe of Idlenesse. But that which I would say to you, is this: Solomon, in one of his Proverbs, sends the sluggish man to the Spider, to learne diligence. Take it not ill, I beseech you, if I send some of you (for this is a piece of exhortation which doth concerne very few) who have been lesse industrious to these vaine, but active Prophets, which I have al this while preacht against. Mi­stake me not, I doe not send you to them, to learne knowledge of them. For you know 'tis a received axiom among most of them, that any unlearned, unstudied man, assisted with the Spirit, and his English Bible, is sufficiently gifted for a Preacher. Nor doe I send you to them to be taught their bad Arts, or that you should learn of them to dawbe the publique sinnes of your times; or comply with the insatiable, itching Eares of those whom St. Paul describes in the fourth Chapter of his second Epistle to Timothy, at the third [Page 28] verse, where he sayes, that the time should come, when men should not endure sound Doctrin, but after their owne lusts, should heap to them­selves teachers. A prophecie, which I wish were not too truely come to passe among us; where Studies and learning, and all those other excellent helpes, which tend to the right understanding of the Scripture, and thereby to the preaching of sound Doctrine, are thought so unnecessary by some Mechanicke, vulgar men, that no Teachers suit with their sicke, queasie Palats, who preach not that stuffe, for which all good Sch [...]llers deservedly count them mad: I do not, I say, send you to them for any of these reasons. But certainly, something there is which you may learne of them; which St. Paul himself commends to you, in the second verse of the fore-mentioned Chapter. If you desire to know what it is, 'tis an unwearied, fre­quent, sedulous diligence of Preaching the Word of God, if need be, as they doe: In season, out of season, with reproofe of sin, where ever you finde it, and with exhortation to goodnesse where ever you find it too; and this to be done at all times, though not in all places. For certainly, as long as there are Churches to be had, I can­not thinke the next heap of Turfes, or the next pile of Stones, to be a very decent Pulpit; or the next Rabble of People, who will finde eares to such a Pulpit, to be a very seemly Congregation. For let me tell you my brethren, that the power of these mens industries, ne­ver defatigated, hath been so great, that I cannot thinke the milde Conquerour (whose Captives we now are, and to whose praise, for his civill usage of this afflicted University, I as the unworthiest member of it, cannot but apply that Epithet) owes more to the Sword, and courage of all his other Souldiers, for the obtaining of this, or any other Garrison, then to the Sweats, and active Tongues of these doubly armed Prophets; who have never failed to hold a Sword in one hand, and a Bible in the other. There remaine then, but one way for us to take off the present reproach, and imputation throwne upon us, Which is to confute all flie, sinister, clancular re­ports, and to out-doe these active men hereafter in their owne in­dustrious way. To preach Truth and Peace, and sound Doctrine to the People, with the same sedulity, and care, as they preach Discord, Variance and Strife. If this course be taken, and be with fidelity pursued, it will not onely bee in our power to dis-inchant the People, (who of late (by what Spell, or Charme I know not) [Page 29] have unawares begun to entertaine a piece of Popery amongst them, and to think, ignorance the onely Mother of Devotion) But it will be no hard matter for us, (towards the effecting of so charitable a worke, as the undeceiving of so many well-minded, but mis-gui­ded Soules) to make our true Arts deale with their false, as the Rod of Moses dealt with the Magicians Serpents, first, shew them to be onely so much fantasticall Forme, and Aire, then consume and eate them up, in the presence of their Beleevers. To which (for a con­clusion of all) I shall onely adde this, That if this course bee taken, and bee reduced to practice, assisted with those great advantages (which are to most of them unknown) of Study, Learning, Tongues, the use of Libraries, and Books, besides those other helpes of oppor­tunity, time, and leisure, to render our selves able, (which they too immaturely ingaged to a Family, or Fortune, cannot haue) we shall not onely comply with the ends and intentions of those Founders, who built us Colledges: (which they, certainly, intended should be Schools of vertue, not Nurseries of sl [...]th) but our despised Mother, the University, shall reap more honour by us, our Countrey more service, and God more glory. To whom with his Son, and the Holy Spirit of truth, be ascribed all honour and praise.

Amen.

FINIS.

[Page] A late Printed SERMON AGAINST False Prophets, Vindicated by LETTER, From the causeless Aspersions of Mr. FRANCIS CHEYNELL.

By Iasper Mayne, D. D. the mis-under­stood Author of it.

LUKE 21. 19.

[...].

Printed in the Yeare, M DC XLVII.

A late printed SERMON against FALSE PROPHETS, Vindicated by Letter, from the causelesse Aspersions of Mr. FRANCIS CHEYNELL.

AS often as I have, for some yeares, considered the sad Distractions of this Kingdome, me­thinkes, thus divided against it selfe, it hath verified upon it selfe the Fable of the Peo­ple sowne of Serpents T [...]eth; where, with­out any knowne Cause of a Quarrell, Bro­ther started up suddenly armed against Bro­ther, and making the place of their Nativity the Field, and Scene of their Conflicts, every one fell by the Speare of the next, upon the turfe, and furrow which hatcht and brought him forth. 'Tis true, indeed, some have preacht, and others have printed, that the Superstitions of our Church were growne so high, that they could not possibly be purged but by a Civill Warre. But finding, upon my most sober and impartiall Inquiries, that these Superstitions were onely the misconceipts of some mens sicke Fancies, who called certaine sleight harmlesse pee­ces of Church Ceremony Superstition, I thought it a peece of Chari­ty to them and the deluded people, to let them no longer remaine in the Case of the distracted Midianites in the Booke of c. 7. v. [...] Iudges; where, upon a Dreame told by a man to his Neighbour, and upon the sight of such inconsiderable things as lamps, and broken [Page 2] pitchers, every mans sword was against his fellow; and a well-or­der'd Host of freinds, struck with an imaginary feare, became a confused and disorder'd heape, and rout of enemies. This desire to rectifie mistakes, and withall to shew upon what slender threds of vanity their Sermons hang, whose accidentall, misguided Argu­ments, under certaine false colours, have strived to prove things indifferent to be unlawfull; and then, that thus by them pro­nounced unlawfull, they are to be extirpated by the Sword, caused me at first to preach a Sermon against False Prophets, which hath since past the Travell of a more publique Birth: wherein, what a cold Advocate I am in my pleadings for Superstition, will ap­peare to any, who with an unclouded understanding shall read it: yet M. Cheynell, (one of the Preachers sent downe by the Parliament to Oxford) in a morning Sermon of his preacht at S. Maries Jan. 17. upon Esay. 40. 27. Having directed the Do­ctrinall part of it against one M. Yerbury, an Independent, (who publikely in a Dispute with him held, that the Fulness of the Godhead dwells in the Saints bodily, in the same measure that it did in Christ) not without much violence offer'd to his Text, He di­rected the vse and Application of it to me; whom (after some characteristicall reproaches of my person, and defamations of my Sermon) He challenged to a publike Disputation with him. This (after two dayes) coming to my knowledge, I disputed with my selfe what I was to doe in such a case: To returne reproaches for reproaches, or to vindicate my selfe in the place where I was thus publikely reviled, had bin to make my selfe Second in a fault, which the whole Congregation condemned in him as the First. Besides if I could have dispens'd with my selfe for being so unchristianly revengefull, as to remove part of the Civill Warre, which hath too long imbrued our Fields, into the Temple, and there to answer Challenges, and fight Duells from the pulpit, this licence was denyed me; who have for divers monthes beene compelled to be a speechless member of this silenced Vniversity. Againe, To sleepe over my infamy, and to dissemble my disgrace, had beene to beget an opinion in the mindes of those that heard him, that either I wanted a good cause, or else my good cause wants a Defender. At length (something contrary I confess, to the peaceableness of my studies, which never delighted much in [Page 3] those quarrelsome parts of Learning, which raise tempests between men) following the Scripture counsell, which is, to take my offen­ding Brother aside in private, and to tell him of his fault, I resolved by the secresie of writing to wipe off those Calumnies for the fu­ture, and to answer the bold Challenge for the present, which hee hurl'd at me in the Pulpit; and having first banish'd all gall, and Bitternesse from my pen, sent him this following Letter.

SIR,

THat a Text of Scripture in your handling should weare two faces, and the Doctrine of it should bee made to looke one way, and the use of it another, is at all no wonder to me. But that pretending so much to Holiness, and Christianity as you doe, you should thinke the Pulpit a fit place to revile me in, would hardly enter into my beleif, were not the Congregation that heard you on Sunday morning last at S. Maryes, my cloud of Witnesses. From some of which I am informed, that you solemnly charged me with imprudence and impudence, for publishing a late Sermon against false Prophets. SIR, Though report, and my name perfixt in the Title-Page might probably perswade you, that I am the Author of it; yet to assure you, that I caused it to be publish'd, or consented to the printing of it, will certainly require a more in­fallible illumination, then, I presume, you have. Besides, if I should grant you that 'twas printed with my consent, (which yet I shall not) yet certainely the seasonableness of it in a time where god­liness is made the engine to arrive to so much unlawfull gaine, will excuse me from imprudence, though perhaps not from an unthri­ving, in your sense, want of policy. And as for the impudence you charged me withall, I am confident that all they who heard you with impartiall Eares, and have read that Sermon with impartiall Eyes, have, by this time, assigned that want of modesty a place in a more capable forehead. I heare farther that having in a kinde of pleasant disdaine shuffled pipes, Surplices, pictures in Church-win­dowes, Liturgy, and Prelacy together in one period, and stiled them the musty Relickes of an at-length-banisht Superstition, you were pleased out of that heape to select Images, and to call them Idolls, and then to charge me as a defender of them.

SIR, Had you done me but the ordinary Justice to pluck my [Page 4] Sermon out of your pocket, as you did the Practicall Catechisme, and had faithfully read to your Auditory what I have there said of Images, I make no question, but they would all have presently discerned that I defend not Pictures in Church windowes as they are Idolls, or have at any time beene made so, but that 'tis un­reasonable to banish them out of the Church as long as they stand there meerly as Ornaments of the place. From which innocent use having not hitherto digrest, for you to call them Idols, and then to charge me as if I had made them equall with God, by my defence of them so formallized, will I feare, endanger you in the mindes of youre Hearers, and beget an Opinion in them, that you are one of the Prophets who use to see Vanity. I heare farther, that when you had traduced me as a Defender of the fore-mentioned musty Relicts of Superstition, you said, that this was the Religion to which I profest my selfe ready to fall a sacrifice. Certainely, Sir, This is not faire dealing. For if, once more, you had pluckt my Sermon out of your pocket, and had read to the Congregation that passage of it which endeavours to prove that 'tis not lawfull to propagate Religion, (how pure soever it be) by the sword, they would have heard from your mouth, as they once did from mine, that the Religion to which I there professe my self ready to fall a Sa­crifice, is that defamed, true, Protestant Religion, for which the holy Fathers of our Reformation died before me. In saying, therefore, that I professe my selfe ready to fall a sacrifice in the defence of Surplices, the Common Prayer Booke, or Church Ornaments, (things which I have alwayes held not necessary, unlesse made so, by right Authority) you have incurred one danger more, which is, not only to be thought to see Vanity, but to be guilty of the next part of the Text. I am farther told, that to deliver your selfe from the number of the false Prophets there preacht against, you prophecyed in the Pulpit; and chose for the subject of your pre­diction, a thing which is possible enough for you to bring to passe; which was, that you will have my Sermon burnt.

Sir I have, for your sake, once more severely consider'd it. And can neither finde Socinianisme, or any other Poland Do­ctrine there which should deserve that doome. But if it must die like Bishop Ridley or Hooper, for its adhaesion to the best Religion that this Kingdome ever enjoyed, I must repeat the words of my [Page 5] Sermon, and tell you, that (without the fear of being thought by you a Pseudo-Martyr) I shall account it one of the happiest pas­sages to Heaven, to be dissolved to ashes with it in the same fune­rall pile.

Lastly, Sir, having, with all the sober detraction, which might probably beget a dislike in the mindes of your Hearers, of me and my Sermon, sufficiently defamed both, I heare you did beat up a Drumme against me in the Pulpit, and ehallenged me to a pub­like dispute with you. If by a dispute you meant a pen-combate, I shall be as ready to enter the lists with you, as you have beene to summon me to it, if you will grant me two things. The one is, that, if we engage our selves in a Conference of that nature, you will confine your selfe to the particulars in my Sermon which you quarrell'd at; and not use your strange, wilde Art of multiplying Questions upon Questions; or like another Hydra, what ever the Hercules be, make three heads spring up in the place where you finde one convincingly lopt of. The other is, that, when you have made your Charge, and I my Resistance, you will consent that the debate of every question, thus disputed, may bee made publike and printed. But if by a Dispute, you meant that I should fight a Duell with you upon the same stage, and in the same Theater of men and women, before whom you, and Mr. Yerbury played your prize, I doubt very much, if I should accept of your Callenge in that sense; whether all discreet men would not count this a spice of the phrenzy in me, which you complained of in the Pulpit, for being imputed to you by Him that wrote the Conference at your late Scruple-House; and say I deserved to be cured by the Disci­pline, and Physicke of a darke roome. To deale freely with you, Sir, I by no meanes can approve of an English Disputation in a University. But because you shall not loose your challenge, nor I be thought to desert the cause, which I professe to defend, so you will choose the Divinity Schoole, and Latine weapons, I shall not refuse (as well as God shall enable me) to give you a meet­ing there, and to sustaine the Answerers part in the defence of the lawfulnesse of white Surplices, Church Ornaments; the Common-Prayer Booke, and Prelacy; which are the particulars in my Ser­mon, which you called Relicts of Superstition. To one of these two offers I shall patiently expect your answer; unlesse without [Page 6] troubling me any further, you will let me quietly retire backe againe into the shade, from whence you have too importunately called me: Who, neuer the less, have learnt so much Charity, as to pray God to forgive you the wrong which you intended to­wards

The Author of the Sermon against False Prophets. J. MAYNE.

To this letter (in which (as briefly as the lawes of a Letter would permit) I indeavour'd to wash out the spots, with which M. Cheynell in his Sermon strived to defile and sully mine, and withall to comply with him in any sober way of Dispute, which might befit two University-men) after two dayes was returned an Answer: First, strange for the messenger's sake that brought it, which was One Iellyman (some say) a preaching Cobler; who from repairing the decayes of University-mens shooes was now thought fit to have a part in the conveyance of their disputes. Next, for the double Superscription of it, which without, on the side of the first paper that enclosed it, was as faire and full of Candor as the whited sepulcher in the Gospell, and was directed, To D. MAYNE AT CHRIST-CHURCH. But this outward stone was no sooner rolled away, but another Inscription, very un­like the first appear'd, which ran thus. FOR M. JASPER MAYNE (ONE OF THE NEVV DOCTORS) STUDENT AT CHRIST-CHURCH. By which parenthesis, it seemes M. Cheynell, thought it an errour in the University, to make me a Doctor. And truely (if I may be believed upon my owne report) as often as I compare my unworthiness with my degree, I am of his opinion; and thinke I am a Doctor, fit only to stand in a paren­thesis; and, without any iniustice done me, to be left out of the sentence. This second Superscription was underwritten with a kind of a preamble Letter to the more inward Letter; with the lock and guard of a scale upon it; and ran thus.

SIR, I have sent severall times to your lodging this day to an­swer your challenge yesterday; if you cannot meet to morrow, let me understand your minde to night. For I have a great deale of [Page 7] business, since the University was silenced for your sake.

What kinde of meeting was here meant, or whether I (having I thanke God, the use of my understanding) could consent to it, will appeare by the Letter it selfe; which (being an Answer to mine) was verbatim this.

SIR, I use to spend my morning thoughts upon a better subiect then a pot of dead drinke, that hath a litle froth at top, and dreggs at bottom;

SIR, It appeares by your Letter, that you doe not understand my Text, and the learned Scribe, or Intelligencer, did not vnder­stand my plaine, very plaine English Sermon. I am not at leisure to repeat every Sermon that I preach, (preaching soe often as I doe sometimes twice, and upon just occasion thrice a day) to every one that is at leisure to cavill at that which thay heard but at se­cond hand; yet to shew how much you are mistaken, I will give you a breife, but satisfactorie account.

My Text stands upon record, Isa. 40. 25. the Doctrine I raised from the words, was as followeth.

Doct. There is no creature in heaven, or earth, like God in all things, or equall to God in any thing.

The first Corollarie I deduced from thence, when I came to make application, was breifly this.

That no picture can be made of God, because there was nothing like him in heaven or earth. All nations are less then vanity in com­parison of God; to whom then will ye liken God, or what like­ness will ye compare unto him? Isay. 40. 17. 18. The Prophet urgeth this Argument, against all manner of images which are made to represent God, who sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and stretcheth out the heavens from the 19. v. of the same chap. to the 23. ver. and he enforceth this Argument vers. 21. have yee not knowne—have ye not understood? &c. as if he had say'd, yee are ignorant sotts, irrationall, and inconsiderate men, if yee apprehend not the strength of this Argument. Now, SIR, be pleased to pro­duce your strong reasons, and overthrow, if you can, the Doctrine or the Corollary. Your, Intelligencer was (if not a false Prophet yet) a false Historian, when he told you that I accused you of making images equall with God. SIR, I said, that images were not like unto God; and thereupon wondered that you tooke upon you to pleade for the retaining of those images which have beene too [Page 8] often turn'd into idolls, not by the piety; but superstition of former times. You say, that by the same reason there should be no Sun in the firmament. Whence I collect, that you will be forc'd to maintaine, that images are as necessary in the Church, as the Sun in heaven; be pleased to read the 22. page of the false Prophet.

Moreover, you plead for Copes, and for those parts of the Common-Prayer Booke which were borrowed from Rome, pag. 21, 22. The Uisitors will ere long enquire, whether there hath not beene a Superstitious use of Copes at Christ-Church? and ther­fore I did not make any such enquirie in my Sermon, but as a Freind I give you and your adherents timely notice of it, because I believe you had need study for an Answer.

You maintaine, that some things in the excellencies and height of the Doctrines of Christian Religion depend for their credit and e­vidence of their truth upon the authority of Christs miracles con­veyed along in tradition and story, pag. 16. and therefore I say your Religion leanes too hard and too heavy upon Tradition.

You are offended that I spoke not distinctly concerning Prela­cy, you may (if you please) try your strength, and endeavour to prove that Christ hath put the sole power of Ordination and Iuris­diction in the hand of a Prelate. 2. You may (if you can) justifie, that no Church that ever the Sun look'd upon hath been more blest with purity of Religion for the Doctrine of it, or better establish'd for the Government and Discipline of it, then the Church of England, pag. 7. if you believe this confident assertion, you may proceed and justifie all the Doctrines, which were publikely countenanced, or approved; all the superstitious practises, and prelaticall usurpati­ons, nay, the delegation of the Prelates, usurped power to Chan­cellors and all the Tyranny of the high Commission, together with all the corruptions and innovations introduced into the State, Church, University from the yeare 1630. till 1640. by a prevailing faction, who were not the Church or University, but the disease, indeed the plague of both. If you dare not undertake so sad a taske, you cannot justifie the 17. 18. 22, 23. 27. 35. pages of the False Pr [...]het; you must prove that the proceedings of the Parliament are Turkish, pag. 15. 17. that none of the Members of either House of Parliament (who complaine of the blemishes of the Church) are to be esteemed good Protestants, pag. [...]8. that the Reformation which they have made is vanity of vanities, pag. 20. that they are [Page 9] guided by no other principles but such as are contrary to all rules of right judgement, either common to men or Christians, pag. 21. that the Ministers who have appeared for the Parliament, are all of them False Prophets, who have encouraged the Parliament to oppression, sacriledge, murther, and to make all names that are great and sacred, cheap and odious in the eares of the people. That the Ministers are the liars, and the Parliament-men the compliers, as appears by all your unworthy insinuations, hints, intimations, quite throughout your Scurrillous Libell, falsly called a Sermon: let any prudent man judge whether this be not your maine drift and scope, à carceribus us (que) ad metam.

You talke of a Religion, in which you were borne, were you borne in a Surplice or a Cope? Christiani non nascuntur sed fiunt. Sir, the Parliament doth not defame nor will they suppress the true Protestant Religion, and therefore if you fall in this quarrell, I said, that you must be sacrificed in the defence of Tyranny, Pre­lacy, Popery: if you put not Religion in Copes, Images, Prelates, or Service-Booke, quorsum haec perditio? why doe you talk of being Martyr'd? say, that (if the King will give you leave) you will burne your Copes and Surplices, throw off the Bishops and Com­mon-Prayer Booke, you'l break your windowes, and take the Co­venant, and make it evident that you are and ever will be of the Kings Religion; for you hold none of these things necessary now, (whatever you have said heretofore) unless they be made ne­cessary by right Authority.

Sir, if I made any prediction, it was that your Sermon would be confuted, before it was burnt; you know Paraeus was burnt before he was confuted; and if you be not guilty of any doctrine received in Poland, I wonder, First, why you did endeavour to incense an Officer of this Garrison against me, because I had refu­ted M. Yerburies blasphemous errors. 2. Why you did maintaine those damnable Doctrines on the last Sabbath: forgive me this injurie, for I heare you did but vent them, and were no way able to maintain them.

Sir, I acknowledge that I doe contend for the restitution of the true Protestant Religion, and contend for the civill right which we have to exercise the true Protestant Religion: we were in ma­nifest danger to lose our right, by the force and violence of po­tent Enemies, whereupon the high Court of Parliament judged [Page 10] it fit to repell force by forces: be pleased to shew how the Par­liament doth hereby canonize the Alchoran, or declare them­selves to be of the Mahumetan perswasion; the Parliament will not compell you to be happy, onely take heed that you do not compell them to make you miserable. Though you renounce all Doctrines that M. Yerberie maintaines, yet I thinke you are too great a friend to the Rebels in Ireland; you contend for a Vorstian liberty, not for a liberty of conscience, for you desire a liberty for men that have no conscience, such as turne from being Prote­stants to be Infidels. There is one of M. Yerburies opinion, who saith, that the righteous are at liberty, [he that is righteous let him be righteous still] and the wicked are at liberty, [he that is wicked let him be wicked still,] but you are of a more dangerous opinion, the wicked as (as you think) are at liberty to kill and slay, but the godly are not at liberty to defend themselves by the power of the highest Court of Justice in the Kingdome from illegall and unjust oppression, violence. I am convinced by many passages in your Sermon, especially the 15, 16, 17. pages, that you think we ought not to fight against the Rebells in Ireland, because it is part of their Religion (as it was of your brethren the Cavaliers) to put all Roundheads (as you terme them) to the sword; missajam mordet, the Mass may be armed, but the Gospel must not: What thinke you of the War fore-told in the book of the Revelation? Sir, you abuse your betters when you talk of the Scruple-house. You are not worthy to carrie the books of those Reverend Mi­nisters after them, nor could your Carfax-Sermon have ever si­lenced the ungifted Preachers; you would have found them gif­ted Disputants: if you think otherwise try one or two of them in some of their beaten points; Sir, I speake thus freely, because I was not present at the famous meeting, Novemb. 12. but I see you can cite one of your owne Prophets, Poets I should say, but he is no truer a Prophet then you are like to prove a Martyr, a Cretian Prophet. Sir, the knowledge of my Brethrens worth, and your fa­mous pride and self-conceitedness hath provoked me to let my pen loose, that I might disabuse and humble you.

It seems you are unwilling to come upon the stage (though that be a fitter place for you then the pulpit) to appear before a Theater of men and women: Sir, you love the stage too well, take heed you doe not love women too ill, there is a friend of yours [Page 11] that doth entreat you to beware of dark rooms and sight women; for though a great Physitian doth advise you to the use of such pleasing physick, yet the Frenchmen will assure you, that it is not wholsome for the body, and the English can assure you, that it is not good for the soul; your kind of phrenfie must be cured by more severe remedies, your devill will be better cast out with prayer and fasting. You are mis­informed when you say, that I did beat up my drum. No Sir, you did sound a charge and made a challenge, my acceptance of it was but the eccho which answered the 17. and 21. pages of the False Prophet. In the 17. you seem prepared to enter into dispute presently with the greatest Champion that appeares for the Parliament, Sir, one of the meanest that appears for them, takes up that Gantlet which you threw forth with so much scorn and confidence.

In your 21. page you threaten to press us in a rationall logicall way; Sir, doe your best, you shall find that we have neither lost our reason nor our logick. We can distinguish between demonstration and supersti­tion; and truly Sir, if you had not put more Poetry then Logick into your Sermon, though your Sermon might have been longer, yet your Libell would have been shorter; if you please to blot out those few places of Scripture which you have abused by misapplication and im­prudent insertion of them into so prophane and wild a stamp, you may do well to turne your Libell into Verse, and then it may pass currant amongst the Balladmongers for a triobolar Ballad, and you will be ran­ked in the number of those who are reputed the most excellent Au­thors, next to them that write in Prose. If you are offended that I did not shew you so much respect, as I have shewed towards the learned Author of the Practicall Catechisme, consider the difference, nay, di­stance betwen his person, education, learning, civility, writings and yours, and you will see a very sufficient and satisfactory reason. Sir, if that Author did overlook your Letter, I believe he did advise you to contend onely for the lawfulness of Prelacy, because I see that is interlined, and he was present at the sad debate at Uxbridge; if that learned Doctor hath any thing to object against me, he knowes my mind, habet aetatem, he is able to speake for himselfe, the Oratour needs not borrow eloquence of so prophane a Poet.

You are unwilling to dispute in English, to which I answer:

First, your Sermon is English. Secondly, many of the persons whom you have abused and deceived by your printed Sermon, understand not Latine. Thirdly, you have been too much addicted to English [Page 12] Playes, and English Verses, and you have with a pleasant kind of igno­rance shuffled them (with other Verses published in more learned lan­guages) in the same book printed by the University-Printer, and there­fore I believe you are most able, and most ingaged to dispute in English, for the disabusing & undeceiving of those whom you have seduced by a Sermon preacht and printed in English. Be pleased to performe that task to morrow at two of the clock at S. Maries Church, where your Sermon was preacht, and I will meet you; and if you dare examine your Sermon by the Word of God, I shall be the Opponent, because you have chosen to be the Respondent.

If when the Doctor of the Chaire comes home, you please to dispute in the Divinity Schools, let us agree upon the state of the questions in controversie, and I will accept your challenge at your owne weapon, which will I feare have more false Latine, then true steele.

SIR,

You make a dishonourable retreat, when you say that Prelacy is lawfull; you have cried it up jure divino, & assured the King, that hee cannot in conscience passe the Bill against Prelacy, because it is a Go­vernment instituted by the will and appointment of Iesus Christ. Now stand your ground, o [...] confess your errour, acknowledge that you and your adherents have perswaded the King to destroy so many thousand of his loving and gallant subjects, that Prelacy might be established in its tyrannicall height and rigour; and now the God of heaven and Lord of hosts hath broken all your forces, you tell us that the Parliament must not pursue their victory; but we must in charity beare with those malignant, Prelaticall, and Antichristian errors, which will not consist with faith; be pleased to return such an answer as will indure the pub­like test and touchstone, and you shalbe rationally, nay spiritually dealt with by

The Prior opponent of the false Prophet, Francis Cheynell.

To this letter (which (as all the world may judge) declines that part of entercourse, which obligeth one mans letter to carry some corre­spondence to anothers, and instead of a confutation, only multiplies que­stions, and urgeth me to prove divers passages of my Sermon, which M. Cheynell's part was to convince) because the superscription of it dark­ly, and the close of it more clearly required me to meet him at an Eng­lish disputation the next day at S. Maries before the Townsmen and their wives, (very unfit moderators, certainly, in the points there to be dis­cus'd) I for the present (to divert that meeting) return'd him this short Answer.

SIR,

THough in the Letter you sent me yesterday by (I think) Ielly­man the Cobler, you have given me such a tast of your Lo­gick as well as civility, that I have small encouragement to med [...] ▪ a­ny farther with you, (unless you will promise hereafter to write with better consequence, and less distemper) yet, Sir, least you should tri­umph over me, as one beaten by your Arguments, not by your rude­ness, I have thought fit for once to return you this answer. First, that without the danger of a dark room (as I told you before) I cannot con­sent to meet you at S. Maries at two a clock. Next, that I do imbrace your offer to meet me at Latine weapons in the Divinity Schoole, when the Doctor of the Chayre comes to town. Thirdly, that if your Syllo­gismes be no better then your wit, (which I perceive strived to be fa­cete, when it adventured to say, that you feare my weapon will have more false Latine then true steele) I doubt the Poet you contemne so much, will go equall with you in the conquest. Lastly, not being inga­ged (I confess) to preach thrice a day) I will with as much dispatch as I can, put order to your chaos, and return a fuller answer to your strange letter; wherein I know not whether you have less satisfied, or more reviled

The Author of the Sermon against false Prophets, I. Mayne.

This Letter might have beene lengthened with many other reasons (besides those already set down) to shew how unfit 'twas for mee to meet M. Cheynell at an English disputation at S. Maries, as M. Yerbury did. As first, because the frame and carriage of the whole dispute be­tween us, in all probability would have been as irregular and tumultu­ous as the other was; where, because neither of them kept themselves to the lawes of disputation, which enjoyne the Disputants to confine themselves to Syllogisme, raised from the strict rules of Mood and Fi­gure, which admit not of extravagancy: In the judgment of all Schol­lers who were present, it was not a Dispute, but a wild conflict, where neither answered one another, but with some mixture of ill language, were both Opponents by turnes. Next, because the greatest part of the Auditory would have consisted of such a confluence of Townsmen and women, as understood good Arguments and Replies as little as they do Latine; and so the issue of this Disputation would probably have been the same with the former: where M. Cheynell was thought to have the better by one Sex, and M. Yerbury by the other. Loath, therefore to for­feit [Page 14] my discretion before such an Incompetent Assembly of witnesses, with as much dispatch as one ingaged by promise could make, I retur­ned to his Letter this fuller Answer.

SIR,

Among the other praises, which greater friends to the Muses then I perceive you are, have bestowed upon Virgil, he hath been cal­led the Virgin Poet. Yet Ausonius ordering his Verses another way, hath raised one of the most loose lascivious Poems from him that I think ever wore the name of a Marriage-song. Me thinks Sir (and I doubt not but all they who shal compare them together will be of my opinion) you in your Letter have just dealt so with my Sermon; it went from my hands forth a sober Virgin, but falling into yours, it returns to me so strumpet­ed, so distorted in the sense, and misapplied in the expressions, that what I preach'd a Sermon, you by translating whatever I have said of false Pro­phets to the Parliament, have with the dexterity of a falsification, trans­formed and [...]anged [...] a Libell. This I do not wonder at, when I re­member what the Physitian was, who said, that where the Recipient is dis­tempered, the most wholsome [...]od turns into his disease; just as we see in those harmfull creatures, whose whole essence and composition is made up of sting [...] poyson, the juice which they suck from flowers and roses, con­c [...]s into venome and becomes poyson too. Having said this by way of Preface to my following Reply, first, Sir, (confining my self to your me­thod) how you spend your morning thoughts, being impossible for me outright to know, unless your thoughts were either visible or you trans­parent; desire you wil not think me over-curious, if I open a door upon you, [...] proceed by conjecture. You say, you use to spend them upon a bet­ter subject then a pot of dead drink that hath a little froth at top, and dregs at bottome. To what passage of my Letter this refers, or why a language which I do not understand, should possess the porch & entrance to yours, I am not Oedipus enough to unriddle. But if I may guess what your mor­ning thoughts were, when (as you confess) you did let them loose by your pen to discharge themselves upon me in a shower of rude, untheologicall, flat, downright detraction, though they were not employ'd upon a frothy subject, yet they shew that you were at that time in his distemper in the Gospel, a piece of whose raging and distraction 'twas to fome at mouth.

Next Sir, had I been present at your Sermon, (as I am glad I was not, for I desire not to be an Auditor where I must hear my self libelled from the pulpit) I shal casily grant, by the taste which you have given me in this short Conference with you of the perspicuity of your stile, and the [Page 15] clearness of your matter, that 't was possible enough for me not to understand it. I doe, therefore, acknowledge it as a favour from you, that you will let me no longer wander in uncertain­ties, or write to you upon the mis-report of a fallible Intelligencer; but will your selfe be my Clue to guide me to what you said. Which favour, you have much heightned, by robbing your weigh­tier employments of so much time to convey it in, as might have been spent in providing your selfe to preach thrice a day, and yet not doe it so hastily, or with such a running negligence, as to be thought to preach but once a week.

As for your Text, and the Doctrine built upon it, at whom soever it was shot, I shall not quarrell with it. But how your Co­rollary should concern any thing that I have said in my Sermon contrary to your Doctrine, I cannot possibly imagine; who do there onely speak of the vanity of some of our Modern Prophets, who can see Idolatry in a Church-window: And do onely strive to prove that for people to refrain the Church (as you know who did) because some (though perhaps not of our age) paid worship to the windowes, was a fear as unreasonable as theirs was, who refused to go to Sea, because there was a Painter in the City who limn'd shipwracks.

Sir, had you a minde to deal pertinently or ingenuously with me, you would witness for me, that though I speak in defence of the Ornamentall use of Images, yet I in no passage of my Sermon do defend any Image or pourtraicture made of the Deity. Sir, 'tis not your saying, That no picture can be made of God, because there is nothing like him in Heaven or Earth, or the following proofs of your letter (which I conceive to be a piece of your Sermon at St. Maries, which because I came not to it, you in charity have sent home to me) that perswades me that any such picture is unlaw­full: Nature, as well as the numerous places of Scripture, which you have quoted to prove that which I never yet denied, have long since taught me, that to make, or draw any picture, or Image of God is not onely a breach of the second Commandement, which is built upon the invisibility of his Essence, and Nature, but that the Attempt would be much more vain, then if a Painter should endeavour to limn a soul or minde, which not affording any Idea, or resemblance to his fancy to be taken by, cannot possibly by him [Page 16] be exprest in Colours. The Task, therefore, to make any Draught or Figure of God (pray Sir, being misled by your example, do not think me superfluous in my pursuit of an Argument, to which I was not bound to reply) is (besides the sinfulness of it) much more impossible. For, First, Sir, if the School-men (which I hear you once said you had long studied to little purpose) may be Iudges, He cannot be limn'd or drawn, because he is a Spirit: Therefore not capable to be represented by any gross, materiall Thing. Next, because He is Infinite; and therefore not capable to fall under Symmetry, or be circumscribed within the finite lines which stream from a Painters pencill. Thirdly, because He is Sim­ple, that is, (as your Schoolmen say, for you know Sir, I am but an English poet) All in All, and All in every part: Or, in other Termes, a Thing entirely uniform, and indivisible within it self, which admits not of any false representation of it self by limbs or parts. Lastly, Sir, (because I will not be tedious, and go over all his other Attributes) who shall paint his Omniscience, who his Omnipotence, who his Eternity, who his Ubiquity? Knowing this Sir, and much more of him (not by the Help of a borrowed Illu­mination) I could not trespasse so much against my own studies, and Conscience as to allow of any picture of God. And therefore, in this particular, challenging me, (as you impertinently do) to produce my strong reasons, and overthrow, if I can, your Doctrine, or Corollary, deduced from E [...]ay 40. 25. where God by his Prophet sayes, To whom will ye liken me, or shall I be equall saith the Holy One? You would fain have me be your Adversary in an undefen­sible Cause, that your conquest of me might be the easier. In short, you would have me profess my selfe to be an Anthropomorphite, that you might have the advantage to confute me for an He­retike.

Sir, since you deny that you said in your Sermon, that I made Images equall with God (which if you had said, my Sermon without any new confutation, would have disproved you) I am in that par­ticular satisfied, and shall think it was, though not a wilfull one, yet a mistake in the reporter. But, then, Sir, I must tell you, that I am not at all satisfied with that which followes. Where you say, that Images are not like unto God, and Thereupon wonder that I took upon me to plead for the retaining of those Images which have been [Page 17] too often turned into Idols, not by the piety, but superstition of former times: For here, Sir, if I would take the advantage of expression not well considered, upon you, in saying that Images are not like unto God, and thereupon that I did ill to plead for the retaining of other Images not of God, a Sophister would make the world be­lieve, that you think all Images superstitious, and therefore fit to be banisht out of the Church, but onely such Images as are made of God; which would expose you to the opinion of being thought very subject to speak contradictions. But being a meer poet, Sir, whose ability, you know, lies not in making use of Aristotles Eleuchs, but in the soft, harmless composure of an Elegie or Ode, I shall deal more gently with you; That is, take you in the most advantagious sense which you possibly, upon your better morning thoughts can put to your words; & believe, that the fault you finde with me for the retainment of Images, is, because by the superstiti­on of former times they have been turn'd into Idols. Sir, if I be not deceiv'd, my Sermon, in this particular, is able to save me the la­bour of a reply. Where I have once for all said that which you wil never be able to controul (how poetically (that is not dully) soe­ver you may think it exprest) that by the same reason that Orna­ments are to be turn'd out of the Church, because some out of a mis-guided devotion have adored them, we should not have a Sun, or Moon, or Starres in the firmament, but they should long since have been banisht the skies, because some of the deluded Heathen worshipt them. The little fallacy with which you think to entrap me, when you say, that hence you collect that I will be forced to main­taine that Images are as necessary in the Church, as the Sunne in the Firmament, will expire, like all other thin Sophis [...]es, in vanity & smoke, when I have shewn the weakness and infirmity of it, which will be briefly done by repeating onely the sense of my Sermon in other words, and saying, that if Images doe agree with the S [...]nne, in that they have both been made Idols, though one be no necessary part of the Church, and the other be a necessary part of the building of the world, yet if for that reason wherein they agree, one must be banisht any man that hath Logick (though he be a Poet) may inferre, that 'twill be as reasonable that the other should be banisht too.

In your next Paragraph, or fardell of I know not what, you say [Page 18] that I plead for Copes, and for those parts of the Common-Prayer-booke which were borrowed from Rome: And then confute me with the threats of an ere-long Visitation. Sir, there is neither Logick, nor School-Divinity in this. As for Copes, you know I joyne them with Surplices in my Sermon; and say that by the same reason that the false Prophets of our times would perswade the people that Surplices are unlawfull because Papists weare them, they may endeavour to perswade them, that Linnen is also unlawfull, because Papists shift; and so conclude Cleanliness to be as super­stitious as Surplices or Copes. Sir, you may call this Poetry, but there is a Logick in it, which I hope doth not ceafe to be Logick, which you cannot resist, because 'tis not watrishly or slegmatickly exprest. As for those parts of the Common-Prayer-booke, which I doe not say were borrowed from Rome, (as you impose upon me) but are to be found in the Rubrick of the Church: if I had said they had been borrowed from that Church, yet you have said no­thing to prove, that upon this supposition 'tis Popery to use those Prayers in Ours. Foreseeing, I beleeve, that if you had offered to maintaine that what ever is in the Popish Lyturgie is Popery, that is, superstitious, and fit to be proscribed out of the Church, you would (meeting with a good Disputant, and one not addicted to Poetry) have been compelled to confess, that the Lords Prayer, and Davids Psalmes are Popery too, (though the one were deli­vered by Christ, the other by one who lived long before Antichrist) because they are bound up in the same volumne with the Masse. Sir, if this be your Logick, 'tis Socrate ambulante coruscavit, and will be a false fire to lead you for ever out of the way. But here, Sir, though I need not take the paines to confute the Nothings you have said against me, in this particular, yet whenever you shal call upon me to make good my undertaking, I doe promise to make it evident to you, that all the ancient parts of the Common-Prayer-booke, which I plead for, I doe not plead for because they are used by the Church of Rome, but because they were part of the Lyturgie of those Churches which were thought primitively pure, and not superstitious, and were in the world long before Popery, or Antichrist was borne. I must, therefore, for ought you have yet said to alter my opinion, still stand to my former conclusi­on; which is, that by the same reason that either the whole, or any [Page 19] part of our Comon-Prayer-Book is to be turned out of the Church, because in some things it agrees with the Lyturgie of the Church of Rome, Italy, and Rome it self is to be turned out of the world, (& so a new Map to be made of it where these places are not) be­cause they are the Popes Territories, and lye under his Iurisdiction. Lastly, Sir, as for the Visitors you threaten both me and Christ-Church withall, (of whom some report that you are one) when you come to execute your Commission, so you will not urge it as a Topicke to convince my understanding, but as a Delegary of power to examine my studies, life, and manners, I shall bring all the sub­mission with mewhich can be expected from one subject to the try­all and examination of such a power. Being withall very confident, that when that time comes, however you may perhaps finde an old Cope or two in our Colledge, yet you will never bring Logick enough with you to prove, that they are either Idolatrous, or have been put to a superstitious use. And therefore, Sir, in this particu­lar you have lost your friendly counsell, there being no need at all that we should against that time study for an Answer.

In your next Fascicle, you say, that I maintaine that some things in the Excellency, and Height of the Doctrines of Christian Religion depend for their credit, and the Evidence of their Truth, upon the Authority of Christs Miracles convey'd along in Tradition, and Sto­ry; And, therefore, conclude that my Religion leaues too hard, and too heavy upon Tradition. Sir, though I have alwayes lookt upon the Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New, as two glorious lampes, which to all eyes (that have not lost the use of seeing, by being kept sequestred from the sunne too long in the darke) mu­tually give light to one another, so that a vigilant Reader, by compa­ring Prophecies with their Accomplishments, will have very great reason to beleeve that both are true, yet because this amounts but to the discourses and perswasions of a single mans reason, if I prefer Tradition, which is the constant, universall consent of all Ages, as a fuller medium to prove doctrines by which are hardly otherwise de­monstrable, doe I any more, I pray, then prefer the universall Te­stimony, and Report of the Church of all Times, before the more fallible suggestions of a private spirit?

Your next Paragraph, is perfectly the Hydra with repullulating Heads which I warned you of in my first Letter; And multiplies [Page 20] so many causeless questions as make it nothing but a heape, partly of such doubts, partly of untruths, as would make it one of Her­cules labours to examine them. First, you bid me prove that Christ hath put the sole power of Ordination in the hand of a Prelate. Sir, if the practice of the Apostles in the Scripture in this point were not cleare, yet the practice and opinion of the Church for 1500 yeeres ought to be of too great Authority with you to make this a scru­ple. Knowing that no Church in the world thought otherwise, till the Presbyterian Modell crept forth of Calvins fancie; nor a­ny good Protestant in the Church of England, till such as you re­called Aerius from his grave, and Dust to oppose Bishops. Next, you bid me justifie, that no Church that ever the sunne lookt upon hath beene more blest with purity of Religion for the Doctrines of it, or better establisht for the Government, and Discipline of it, then the Church of England hath. Sir, you repeat not the words of my Sermon so faithfully as you should. I am not so extravagant as to say, that no Church that ever the Sunne lookt upon, but that the Sun in all his heavenly course for so many, many yeeres, that is, (in my sense) for many Ages, saw not a purer Church then ours was, both for the Doctrines, and Discipline of it. Against this you wildly ob­ject, I know not what Doctrines publiquely countenanced, but tell me not what these Doctrines were, speake of certaine superstitious practices, and Prelaticall usurpations, but doe not prove them to be either superstitious, or usurpt; quarrell with the Delegation of Bishops power to Chancellors, then proceed to the tyrannie of the High-Commission-Court, and at last conclude with I know not what Imaginary corruptions and Innovations introduced into the State, Church, and University. Sir, if I should grant this long­winded Charge of yours to be true, (as truly I think it is onely a seeing of vanity) yet my confident Assertion is not hereby enfeebled. I hope, when I spoke of the purity of our Church▪ you did not think I freed it from all blemishes or spots. The Primitive Church it selfe had some in it who broacht strange doctrines; Saint Iohn had not else written his Gospell against the Gnosticks, nor Saint Paul his Epistle to the Galatians against those that held the necessity of Circumcision. The next Ages of the Church have not been more distinguisht by their Martyrs, then Heretiques; yet the Primitive Church ceased not to be Apostolically pure, because it had a Ce­rinthus, [Page 21] or Nicolaitans in it; nor the succeeding Churches to be the Spouse of Christ, because one brought forth an Apelles, another a Marcion, a third a Nestorius, a fourth an Eutiches, a fift an Ari­us. Sir, as long as the best Church in the world consists of men not infallible there will be errors. But then you must not charge the Heterodox opinions or Doctrines of particular men, though, per­haps, countenanced by some in publique authority upon the Church. Besides, Sir, every Innovation is not necessarily a Corruption, un­less it displace, or lay an Ostracisme upon some other thing more worthy and better then it selfe. You your selfe say, that the corrup­tions introduced were brought in by a prevailing faction, who were not the Church. If they were not, my Assertion holds good, that notwithstanding such corruptions, yet our Church in its time was the purest Church in the world. This, then, being so, me thinks, Sir, you in your pursuit of Reformation, by making Root & Branch your Rule of proceeding, have beene more severe then the lawes of right Reason will allow you. If there were such a tyrannie as you speake of streaming it selfe from the High Commission Court, why could not the tyrannie be supprest, without the abolishment of the Court? Or if there were such a thing as Prelaticall usurpation, why could not the usurpations be taken away, and Episcopacie left to stand? Sir, if you be Logician enough to be able to distinguish betweene the faults of persons and the sacredness of functions, you cannot but pronounce with me, that to extirpate an order of the Church, ancient as the Christian Church it selfe, and made venera­ble by the never-interrupted Reception of it in all the Ages of the Church but ours, for the irregular carriage of a Prelate or two, (if any such have beene among us) is a course like theirs, who thought there was no way left to reforme drunkenness in their State, but utterly to root up, and extirpate, and banish Vines.

The remainder of your Paragraph is very politically orderd; which is, that because you finde it hard for you to confute my Sermon by your Arguments, you will endeavour to make the Par­liament my Adversary, who, you thinke, are able to confute it by their power: And bid me prove that the proceedings of the Parlia­ment are Turkish.

Here, Sir, methinks, being a Poet, I see a piece of Ben Iohnson's best Comedy, the Fox, presented to me; that is, you, a Politique [Page 22] Would-be the second, sheltring your self under a capacious Tortoise­shell. Why, Sir, can you perswade your selfe that the great Coun­cell of the Kingdome, by whom you are imployed, if they will vouchsafe to reade my Sermon, will not presently discerne your Art? And withall perceive, that though the Text, upon which I, out of the Integrity of my soule, preacht that Sermon, stick as close to False Prophets, as the Cen [...]aures shirt did to Hercules, and set them a raging, yet that they having never Parliamentarily profest to propagate Religion by their speare, can no way be concerned, when I say that such a perswasion in us Christians would be Mahu­metan; and we thereby should translate a piece of the Alchoran into a piece of the Gospel. Sir, I am so confident of the wisdome of that Honourable Assembly, of my owne innocent meaning, and of your guilt, (who have beene one of those Turkish Prophets, (and in your Letter to me still are) who have preacht that piece of the Alchoran for good doctrine) that for answer to all your slye, impo­tently-malicious mis-applications and shiftings off that which I have said onely of such as your selfe to the Parliament, I shall onely ap­peale to my Sermon. And by that, if you please to undertake the Devils part, and be my Accuser, shall be content to stand or fall. In the meane time, Sir, I must repeat what I said before, that if it be read, or lookt on through those refractions, with which you have mis-shap'd, and crookt it, I shall consent to what you say in the end of your filthy Paragraph; That 'twas once a Sermon, but you almost à Carceribus us (que) ad metam have made it a Libell.

In your next (what shall I call it?) you are very Critically plea­sant; And because I talke of a Religion wherein I was borne, aske me, whether I were borne in a Surplice, or Cope; and then very distinguishingly proceed, and say, Christiani non nascuntur, sed fiunt.

To the first, I reply, that it had been as unnaturall for me to be borne in a Surplice, or Cope, as for you to come into the world, with a little Geneva set-ruffe about your neck.

Next, Sir, for your sharpe distinction, I hope, though the Muses be your Step-dames, yet you thinke not the figures of Rhetorick to be so superstitious, that it shall be Popery in me, to make use of a Metonymy, and to express my selfe by the Adjunct, when I mean the place, and Country. I grant, Sir, that men are not borne, but [Page 23] re-born Christians; yet 'twill be no great Errour in speech for a man to say he is born in Christianity, if he be a Christian, and were born in the place where Christianity is establish'd. Sir, I doubt you begin to think secular learning to be a profane thing; And that you are bound to persecute Tropes out of Expression, as you have Liturgy out of the Church. If you do, Sir, we shall in time, (if we proceed in this conflict) fulfill a peece of one of Saint Paul's Epistles between us; I become a Barbarian to you, and you to me.

I am glad to hear you say, That the Parliament will not suppress the true Protestant Religion; Sir, I never thought they would. But, then 'twill be no harm to you, if I pray, That whilst you pursue such a through Reformation of it, as of late years hath left it doubt­full in the minds of the people what the true Protestant Religion is, you let not in Popery at that Gate, by which they strive to shut it out. If Queen Maries dayes do once more break in upon us through the [...]luce which we open to them by our unsetledness, and Distractions, and if I then fall a sacrifice in defence of the same Religion for which I now contend, I hope you then will think your self confuted; And no longer beleeve that I am such an ill Iudge of Religions, or so profusely prodigall of my life, that I would make it a Holocaust, or Oblation, either to Tyranny, or Popery.

In short, Sir, let the King and Parliament agree to burn Copes, and Surplices, to throw away the Common-Prayer-Book, or to break our Windows, I shall not place so much Religion in them, as not to think them alterable, and this done by Right Authority. But as for the Covenant, 'tis a pill, Sir, which no secular interest can so swee­ten to me, that I should think my self obliged to be so far of any mans Religion, as to swallow both parts of a contradiction in an Oath, if it appear to me to be such.

Your promise that my Sermon should be first confuted before it be burnt, gives me hope it will be longer liv'd, then upon the first report I thought it would. But then I wonder you should passe that sentence on it, and choose Paraeus for your precedent. I must confesse to you Sir, had I written so destructively of Parliaments as He did of Kings, I should think it no injustice from that High Court, if they should doom me the Author to be sacrificed on the same Altar with my Book. But having (upon the highest warrant that can possibly lend courage to a good action) directed it wholy against [Page 24] False Prophets, and no where reflected upon the Members of either House, but where I maintain it to be unlawfull to speak evill of dig­nities, to condemn it to the flame for speaking such Truths, as I could not leave unspoken, unlesse I had prevaricated with the Scrip­ture, will be so far from the reproach of a punishment, that 'twill en­crease the esteem and value of it from its sufferings; and make it ascend to heaven as the Angel in the Book of Iudges did, in the breath, and ayrc, and perfume of an acceptable sacrifice to God.

Sir, As your she-D [...]ciple did very much mis-inform you, if she told you that I endeavoured to incense an Officer of this Garrison against you, so 'twas one Errour more in her (as upon just occasion I shall demonstrate to you) to tell you that I vented damnable Doctrines in her Company, which I was not able to maintain. She is my Gentle Adversary, and I desire she should know, that as I desire not to fight serious duells with that unequall Sex, so when ever she will again provoke me to a Dispute (so it be not at Saint Maries, for S. Paul forbids women to argue in the Church) she shall return with prizes, and I will confess my self conquer'd. In the mean time, Sir, whither she came to you, or you went to her, Her Sex puts me in mind of some false Teachers, not mention'd in my Sermon, but branded by Saint Paul, * for creeping into houses, and leading captive silly Wo­men. 2 Tim 3. 6 If your Intelligencer be one of these (as I shrewdly suspect she is) I should be sorry for those Friends sake in whose Acquaintance we both meet, that she should be lyable to the Character of such silly women in the next verse; where 'tis said, That they were ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.

You proceed, and say, That you were in manifest Danger to loose your Right to the Exercise of the Protestant Religion, whereupon the High Court of Parliament thought it fit to repell force by force. Sir, do not entertain me with your own false fears, and [...]ealousies; but demonstrate to me that the King (for Him I presume you mean) meant to extirpate the true Protestant Religion by the sword, and to plant Popery in its stead; And you shall not more [...] charge me that I make the Parliament by such a Resistance to Denizon the Al­choran, then I shall truely pronounce the Kings party, in fighting for him to that end, guilty of a Mahumetan perswasion. In saying this, you exceedingly mistake me if you think I contend for a Vorstian Liberty, or am hereby a Friend to the Rebels in Ireland. Sir, I hope [Page 25] you can distinguish between mens Disloyalty and Religion. As Rebels I hold it fit, if they will not otherway return to their Alleagance; that they be reduced by force. There is a right to their subjection pursued by such a War, which makes all Armes warrantable which are im­ploy'd for the recovery of such a losse. But to think, that as they are Papists, nay, (Sir, I shall not shrink from my word) if they were outright Infidels, that the Protestant Rel [...]gion is to be imposed upon them by force, is to make our selves guilty of all the hard Censures which have past upon the Spaniards Conquest of the Indians, where their Silver Mines were the true cause, and Religion the pretence. Notwithstanding your Holy War, therefore, mention'd in the Reve­lation (which place I have considered, and find it as mysterious as the pale or black Horse) for ought you have said in disproof of it, I find not my self tempted to desert my Opinion: which is, That to come into the field with an Armed Gospel, is not the way chosen by Christ to make Proselytes. And, therefore Sir, I will not so much distrust the Wisdome, or Iustice of the Parliament, that upon your bare Assertion, they will make me miserable, because I maintain that they cannot wa [...]rantably compell any man to be happy.

Why the bare mention of your Scruple-house should put you into such a fit of ill language, as to pronounce me unworthy to carry the Books of the Reverend Divines after them, who met there to heal Doubts, or why my Carfax-Sermon should contribute to the raging of that fit, I cannot reasonably imagine. Sir, I have no mind to fight many Duells at Once; nor, (having received a challenge from no other but your self) to ingage my self with them by whom I have not been provok' [...].

Whither they be ungifted preachers, or Gifted Disputants, is best known to themselves. But, certainly, Sir, if the Report which was made to me (by some who brought both their understandings as well as Eares with t [...]em to the famous meeting November 12.) be true, there was nothing so demonstratively by them either ob­jected, or replyed, as might incourage them, or their Hearers, to be­leeve this peece of Popery, that they are unerring, and infallible in the chair: pray, Sir, do not think my Famous pride, or self-conceited­ness (which you say hath provoked you to break your chaines, and to let loose your pen, that you might whip me into Humility) hath prompted me to say this. [Page 26] Had you named the Reverend persons whose Books I am not worthy to carry after them, so they be Greek or Latine Books, and those well understood by them, perhaps I should have exprest a greater Act of Humility then you are aware of, and have been content (though one of the new Doctors yet by the second Subscription of your Letter but a Master of Art) to sit a while at the feet of such learned Gamaliel's. But speaking indefinitely as you do, I hope Sir, for twenty years study sake in this University, (where I have learnt to distinguish the letters of the Greek Alphabet, and at first sight do know that it would be­get a [...], or quarrell among the Vowells, if [...] in a word should usurp the place of [...]) you will find me a nobler imployment then to carry Books after Them who count Liberaries Superfluous, humane, Secular Things; And think a Minister, not Minister of Gospel, (as your Scribe hath twice erred in the transcription of your letter, in a vowell very fatall to you) needs no other furniture but the Spirit, Cottons Concordance, and the English Bible without the Apocrypha.

Sir, I am sorry the Fit which the mention of the Scruple-house did put you into, should be increased by the mention of a Dark Roome. There goes a Story of one who had tasted a while of Bedlam, and was at length, by the help of Discipline, dyet, and Physick, cured of his Distraction; yet not so perfectly, but that still when he came within the sight of the place, his fancy remembred him of his old Distemper, and tempted him to do something which required a se­cond cure. I speak not this parable to upbraid any with an infirmity which is unavoydably naturall to them, and no way contracted from the pride, or irregularity of their own Wills; But if you have read Tully's Paradoxes, you may remember, Sir, that he there maintains the Opinion of the Stoicks, that not onely they whose chaines and fetters, proclaim them distempered, but that all foolish, over passio­nate men are to be reckoned into the number of those who are to be cured by manacles, and chaynes: pray Sir, do not take it ill, if (being as you say a Poet) I cite a Poet who was of this Opinion; but main­tains it like a Philosopher, (I will not say a School Divine.) And ha­ving insisted in verse upon Covetousness as one, Ambition as another, The love of beauty either in reall or painted faces, as another Species of Madness, He concludes in Anger, and sayes, Ira furor brevis est; that is, That the Cholerick man, during the fit of his oholer, is [Page 27] in a short phrenzy. That which Seneca, Tully, and Horace, called madness, (though not the other more naturall, (which I should be uncharitable to object to you) you by this letter (especially the an­gry part of it) have given me very justifiable cause to apply to you, who (as all dispassionated men may judge) have fulfill'd the Poets de­finition of Madness upon your self in all the parts of it but one, which is, that your Anger against me is not furor Brevis, a short di­straction, but extends from the word Scruple-house to the End of your Letter. For first, Sir, in Language almost as unclean, as the sin of uncleanness it self, you endeavour to raise a Suspition upon me in the world as if I had been more familiar then I should with light Women in dark Roomes: Sir, besides the poverty of your wit, and quibling Antitheses of Expression, (to which I finde you in other places of your letter very subject) I am not afraid (with all the con­fidence of an Innocent man) to tell you, That as I never was an Ene­my to that Sex, so I never converst with any of them single, or in a dark Congregation, so loosely, to deserve to have the slander fast­ned upon me, which Tertullian, and Minutius Faelix from him, say was laboured to be stuck upon the Christians of those Times, which was, That they used to meet in Conventicles, where their custome was, after the end of the Sermon, to put out the Candles, and then to commit Folly, the holy with the holy. Sir, in plain Termes, (How blameable soever other Errours, or vanities of my life may make me stand in the presence of God, who upon a true Repentance, Sir, is not so Fatally tyed to the Spindle of absolute Reprobation, as not to keep his promise, and to seal mercifull pardons, yet) in this particular, my known Conversation in this University, and all other places, bids me defie you; And challeng not only your self, but the precisest of your Informers, either heer, or any where else, (who use not to suffer the looks, Gestures, or thoughts of any who are not of their Tribe, much less notorious matter of Fact, to scape unquestio­ned) to appear in an accusation against me; where it shall be proba­bly, not conjecturally proved, that I have been frail with the frail Sex either holy or profane.

Sir, all they of that soft Sex, with whom I have converst, have accused me of too great severity, and ruggedness, towards them, but you are the first, who ever endeavoured to make me guilty of being too amorously affected.

[Page 28] Next, sir, However you may tell me that you have not so lost your Reason, or Logick, but that you, (the meanest who appears for the Parliament) are ready to take up the Gauntlet which I threw down, and to answer the challenge which I first sounded in the Pul­pit; yet, certainly, They who shall read that passage of my Sermon, where I say, That if I were presently to enter into a dispute with the greatest Patriarch among these Prophets, who (notwithstanding that which I said before) will still perversly strive to prove that our Church stood in such need of Reformation, that the growing super­stitions of it could not possibly be expiated, but by so much Civill War, I should not doubt with modesty enough to prove to him back again, that all such irrationall Arguments, as have onely his zeal for their Logick are composed of untemper'd Morter: And shall compare the wilde Torrent of ill language, with which the furious remainder of your paragraph over-flows, with the Sober Web, and Composition of my Sermon, which you there think no worthier of, then of a Triobolar Ballad, They will finde that you have said no­thing in the progress of at least forty Folio-lines together, which shews not that your Reason assisted not your pen. One passage I con­fesse (like a lucide Intervall) hath some taste of sobriety, and not short fury in it; which is, that how meanly so ever you think you may speak of me, yet you think you are to make a more honourable mention of the Author of the Practicall Catechism. That learned Doctor, Sir, I am acquainted with, but not so inwardly as that he should contribute to the interlining any letter I write to you; or should suggest to me what he, not I, think fit to be maintain'd. I wish your lucid intervall had been as long as your fit; For, then I perswade my self you would never have suspected that he did over­look my letter, or advised me to contend for the lawfulness of Pre­lacy, because he was present at the sad debate at Vxbridge.

What you mean when you say, That if the learned Doctor hath any thing to object against you, He knows your mind, and (being none of the new Doctors, who you presume are Infants) is able to speak for Himself, I cannot possibly divine: unless by this Oraculous Ex­pression, you would have him understand you ready to enter into a second conflict with him, and would put me to the mean imployment to convey your challenge. Sir, if I know that Doctor well, you had best content your self with me, who am a more poeticall adversary; & whose weapons, you know, when they strike most, being sheath'd in [Page 29] Roses, ought to be terrible to none but such, whose buying & selling Consciences (like the money-changers in the Gospel) wil drive them out of the Temple at the sight of a whip made of straws and rushes. Ne­vertheless, Sir, if you be so fruitfully quarrelsome, that you think your leisure will serve you to hold combate with us both, let me desire you to hold this Opinion of us, that as I shal at no time recruit my self fro him as an Oratour, so he is too good a schollar to need my assistance as a Poet. This word Poet, I do observe, through the whole phrenzy of your letter, you strive to make use of in ad [...]graceful sense; And object it to me as a Reproach that the Muses are my Friends. In one place you call me a Cretian Prophet, That is, (according to your Com­ment) a Poet; In another place you tell me, that onely the few places of scripture which I have misapplied in my Sermon, can preserve it from passing among the penny-merchandizes of those that s [...]l Ballads. In your next paragraph (where you challenge me to dispute with you in English at St. Maries, as Mr [...]rbury did) one of your Arguments to move me to that frantick enterprize is, because I am an English Poet, and have been not only addicted to Playes, but have shussied my Mother-tongue Verses, with other Verses publisht in more learned languages, in the same Book Printed by the University-Printer. First, sir, though the ungentleness of your stile, and Expressions, do sufficiently testifie that neither the Muses, nor Graces assisted at your Birth, yet I hope you are not such an enemy to numbers, to think poe­try Superstitious, and therefore to be turn'd with Imagery out of the Church. If you do, you will compell me to call Nazianzen in to my Ayde; who, besides his writing of a Play (if Erasmus have not mis­numbred them) hath written thirty thousand Heroick, [...], Hen­d [...]casyllable, Elegiack, and other verses. Tertullian, Si [...], you know hath confuted Marcion in Verse; and Synesius thought it as great a glory to be called a good Poet, as some who wrote in prose did to be called fathers of the Church. I wil not repeat a peece of Prosper to you nor tel you what S. Austin hath said in the prais of Virgil. To be a Cre­tian Prophet, that is in your sense, a lying [...], but in al theirs who un­derstand the first C. of Titus, an Evil Beast, and a false Prophet) Is I confesse a crime. But then, sir, as one excellently sayes in his Defence of Poesie, This is a kind of Poetry which belongs [...] those who lye in prose as wel as those who fain in Verse. For Plin [...] when he speaks of men with one foot, whose breadth interposed between them and the sun, shades their whole body, to be as great a poet as Ovid, when he speaks of [Page 30] a Virgin transformed into a Laurell, so, Sir, when you, (contrary to the direct minde, and Expressions of my Sermon) fain that to be spoken of the Parliament, which is onely spoken against False Prophets, you are a far greater Poet then I have yet shewn my self either upon the Stage at Black-Fryers, or in any University Book here in Oxford. Next, sir, I was never so addicted to English Poe­try, but that in the same University Book I had Latine Verses too; And the Reason why I wrote in both Languages was, because I was prompted to it by my Obedience to their Commands, who had Au­thority over me, and thought English the fitter Language for that part of the Court, whose Sex doth make it a Solecism to be writ­ten to in Latine.

Lastly, Sir, As for your Arguments to give you one of Mr Yerbury's Meetings, at Saint Maries; 1. Because my Sermon Preacht there is English, next, because you conceive that to be the readiest course to undeceive the people who understand not Latine; thirdly, because I am an English Poet; if you think I have not sufficiently answered them in my two former letters to you, I desire you once more to con­sider, if I should have consented to that course, whither you, as well as I, in the opinion of discreet men, might not have indangered our selves to have that half verse in Horace applyed to us, Aut insanit Homo, aut versus facit, That either we are both mad, or both Poets.

The way to avoyd such an Imputation, in a Time of liberty, where every body may say what they list, is for us to stand constantly to the more Academicall Proposition I made you; which was, to meet at Latine Weapons in the Divinity School. Where, sir, not agreeing upon the true state of the Questions before hand, (For if we agree before hand, nothing will be left us to dispute) if you please, the Question shall be that which concludes your Letter; That is, Pre­lacy, which, how far 'tis, or 'tis not to be defended to be Iure divino shall then appear. In the mean time, sir, as I can by no means allow that victory, and Success, are alwayes the true signes of a Right cause, (Because, The Lord of Hosts, who, you say, hath broken all our forces, is sometimes falsely thought to assist, when in truth he doth only permit) so, Sir when you write next to me, let me request you to keep your promise; which is, to deal with me rationally for the Matter, and Spiritually, that is, like a Divine for the language and forme. Otherwise, sir, though I have long since learnt from the [Page 31] best Master, that when I am reviled, I am not to revile againe, yet, instead of a Conference, meeting with nothing but Invectives, 'tis possible you may so farre provoke me from my mild temper, that the Philosophers expression in Lucians Nigrinus may be veri­fied upon me; [...]. The English of it will endure the publick test; to which if you will be pleased to submit your Letters with the same rea­diness that I am content to submit mine, I doubt not but the world will judge, that as you have not yet confuted, so you have very unchristianly injured

The Author of the Sermon against False Prophets, J. MAYNE.

To this Answer (in which the Reader may see, I have not much digrest from the copy which was before me, but have proportio­ned my Defence to every considerable particular of M. Cheynels Charge) at the end of six dayes was return'd this Reply.

SIR,

If I had not answered you according to your folly, you would have been wise in your owne conceit; but if I should againe answer you according to your folly, I feare I should become too like unto you, Prov. 26. 4, 5. I told you that I did let loose my pen, that you might see how easie it is to answer you with a running pen, nay a running negligence in the less serious part of the day; I did let fly so many quibbles that you might smell the stench of your owne elaborate folly; glad I am that you have censured me for imitating of you, I hope you will now be at leisure to censure your selfe, for setting me so foule a copy; doe but read over your owne Sermons and Letters, and suppose they were mine, and then seriously and impartially pass your sentence on them, and I dare say you will be a gainer by this conflict.

I am very much pleased with your faire condescension to have all things in controversie rationally and spiritually examined.

1. Sir, you did as I conceive preach in defence of all images set up in any Chappell in the University; you know there are divers Images of some persons in the glorious Trinity set up in some [Page 32] Chappels within this University: You must then acknowledge all Images of that sort ought to be taken downe.

You are not perswaded by any Scriptures which I have cited, Imago nos tan­tùm ut memori­ale excitat uti Iesuitae passim. Dico non esse [...]am certum in Ecclesiâ an sint faciendae ima­gines Dei, sive Trinitatis, quā Christi & san­ctorū, hoc enim ad fidem [...]erti­net, illud est in opinione. Bella. de imag. l. 2. c. 8 Inanimata spi­ritualem quan­dam virtutem exconsecratione adipiscuntur, &c. Tho. p. 3. q. 83. art 3. Deum imagini­bus inhabitantē colunt, Deum [...]utem virtutē stam spiritualē [...]etrahere al [...] ­quando sive [...] fatentur. Cajetanus hac [...]n re ne Genti­ [...]ibus quidem [...]apientior ha­ [...]tur. but nature hath taught you (so pure is your nature) that it is a breach of the second Commandement to draw a picture of God: (re­vise that fancy) the Schoolmen whom you prefer before the testi­monies cited out of the Word, have taught you that it is not onely sinfull, but impossible to draw any picture of God. But, be pleased to consider that the Scriptures are a perfect (nay indeed the onely All-sufficient perfect) Rule, & therefore you need not goe about to patch up the rule with the low generall dictates of nature & School­men, you may study the Lullian Art, & fill your braine with Sebund's fancyes, but my Schoole-men (as you call them) are the bestTutors, & the best Schollars. If you prove that is is impossible to picture God, you doe not touch the point in Controversie, for vaine men will fancy and endeavour to doe, that which is impossible for to be done. Beleeve it Sir, they who had consulted as many Muses, and courted as many Graces as you have done, and were able to demonstrate out of their Poets that we are Gods off-spring, yet were not able without the help of divine Revelation to infer, from thence, that the Godhead is not like to Gold, as you may see it con­vincingly proved; Act 17. 29. For as much then as we are the off­spring of God, we ought not to thinke that the Godhead is like to Gold or Silver, or stone graven by Art or mans device, I dare not there­fore make the Schoolmen my Iudges in this weighty point, and I beleeve you cannot prove them to be Iudges in any point which concernes the Mystery of faith or the power of godliness, but enough of that.

3. The word (thereupon) is sometimes Illative, sometimes Or­dinative, you are sufficiently answered; but let me adde, that if no Image is like God, then sure those Images, which are not made to represent God, and yet are by Idolatours turned into Idols, and worshipped as if they were divine, cannot reasonably be de­fended. Sir, I must guess at your meaning, because I beleeve you have omitted two or three words (such is your running negli­gence) which should help to make your sophisticall criticisme per­fect sense.

Truly Sir, if it be so high a fault to picture God: I may justly [Page 33] wonder that any picture of a Saint turned into an Idoll should be retained and pleaded for by any man that pretends to be a Prote­stant, and if it be impossible to picture God, it is also impossible to picture God-man. And I beleeve that you will acknowledge our Mediatour to be [...].

4. That the Sun and Images cannot be put in the scales of a comparison in point of fitness to be preserved, is a truth written with a Sun-beame; Sir, I never durst argue from the abuse of a thing against the use of it, if the thing be necessary; But the Sun is necessary, and Images are not necessary, ergo, there is no parity of reason betweene the termes of your comparison.

5. It appeares to me by your shifting fallacy, that you make Copes as necessary as clean Linnen.

6. You will never be able to prove, that all, that the prelates and their Faction have borrowed out of the Missall, Ritualls, Breviary Pontificall of Rome are to be found in any Lyturgie re­ceived by the Primitive Church; And I would intreat you to con­sider, whether they, who doe profess a seperation from the Church of Rome, can in reason receive and imbrace such trash and trumpery. And yet though you would willingly be esteemed a Protestant, I find you very unwilling to part with any thing which the Prelates have borrowed from the Court (rather then Church) of Rome.

7. Your next Paragraph doth concerne Tradition; I shall give you leave to preferre the constant and universall consent of the Church of Christ in all ages, before the reason of any single man; but Sir, you doe very ill to call the testimony of the spirit speaking in the word to the Conscience of private men, a private spirit; I thinke you are more profane in the stating of this point then Bellarmine himselfe.

8. You have not yet proved that any Prelate can challenge the Sole power of Ordination and Iurisdiction Iure divino.

9. I should be glad to know for how many yeares you will justifie the purity of the Doctrine, Discipline and Government in England. I beleeve the Doctrine, Discipline and Government of the Prelaticall faction whom you call the Church, was not excel­lent, if you reckon from 1630. to 1640. and that is time enough for men of our time for to examine. I beleeve that you will ac­knowledge, [Page 34] that the Prelates did lay an Ostracisme upon those who did oppose them; who were in the right both in the point of Doctrine and Discipl [...]ne, we shall in due time dispute. Though Prelacy it selfe be an usurpation, yet there were many other en­croachments which may justly be called Prelaticall usurpations, and the Parliament hath sufficiently declared its judgement in this point, they have clearly proved that Prelacy had taken such a deepe root in England, and had such a destructive influence, not only into the pernicious evills of the Church, but Civill State, that the Law of right reason (even Salus populi quae suprema lex est) did command and compell them to take away both roote and branch; you may dispute that point with them; Sir, you cannot prove that Prelacy is an Order of the Church, as ancient as the Christian Church it self, and made venerable by the never interrupted reception of it in all Ages of the Church but ours.

10. I am no Turkish Prophet, I never preacht any piece of the Alchoran for good Doctrine, much less did I ever make it a piece of the Gospell; all that I say is this, that Christians incorporated in a Civill State may make use of Civill and naturall means for their outward safety. And that the Parliament hath a Legall power more then sufficient to prevent and restrain Tyranny. Finally, the Parliament hath power to defend that Civill right which we have to exercise the true Protestant Religion, this last point is sure of highest consequence because it concernes Gods immediate honour, and the Peoples temporall and eternall good. Pray Sir, shew me if you can, why, he who saith the Protestants in Ireland may de­fend their Civill right for the free exercise of their Religion, against the furious assaults of the bloudie Rebells, doth by that as­sertion proclaime himself a Turke, and Denison the Alchoran; you talke of the Papists Religion, Sir, their faith is faction, their Religion is Rebellion, they think they are obliged in conscience, to put Heretiques to the sword, this Religion is destructive to every Civill State into which true Protestants are incorporated, & there­fore I cannot but wonder at your extravagancy in this point. Sir, Who was it that would have imposed a Popish Service Book upon Scotland by force of Armes? You presume that I conceive the King had an intent to extirpate the Protestant Religion; Sir, I am sure that they who did seduce or over-awe the King, had such a [Page 35] designe. I doe not beleeve that the Queene and her Agents (the Papists in England who were certainly confederate with the Irish Rebells) had any intent to settle the true Protestant Religion; & you cannot but beleeve that their intent was, to extirpate the Prote­stant Religion by the sword, and to plant Popery in its stead; I know Christ doth make [...], and breake the spirituall power of Antichrist, by his word and spirit, for Antichrist is cast out of the hearts and consciences of men by the spirit of the Lord Iesus; but Christ is King of Nations as well as King of Saints, and will breake the temporall power of Antichrist by Civill and naturall meanes. If Papists and Delinquents are in readiness to resist or assault the Parliament by Armes, how can the Parliament be de­fended or Delinquents punished but by force of Armes? I know men must be converted by a spirituall perswasion, but they may be terrified by force of Armes from persecution. All that I say, is, the Parliament may repell force with force, and if men were a­fraid to profess the truth because of the Queenes Army▪ and are now as fearfull to maintaine errours for feare of the Parliament, the scales are even, and we may (by study, conference, disputati­on, and prayer for a blessing upon all) be convinced, and convert­ed by the undenyable demonstrations of the Spirit; Sir, this is my perswasion, and therefore I am sure far from that Mahumetan per­swasion of which I am unjustly accused.

11. I am glad that you speake out, and give light to your darke roome; I did not accuse you of Conventi [...]les. I beleeve you hate those Christian meetings which Tertullian & Minutius, Pliny and others speake of; we had lights and witnesses good store at our meetings. And as for your conceit, that I deserve to be in Bedlam, because of the predominancy of my pride and passion, and the irregularity of my will; Sir, I confess that I deserve to be in Hell, a worse place then Bedlam; and if you scoffe at me for this acknowledgement, I shall say as Augustine did, Irrideant me arro­gantes, & nondum salubritèr prostrati, & elisi à te Deus meus, ego tamen confiteor dedecora mea in laude tua. Sir, be not too confident of the strength of your wit, make a good use of it, or else you may quickly come to have as litle wit as you conceive, God hath be­stowed on me. 1. Doe you beleeve that your nature is corrupt? 2. And doth not a wanton wit make the heart effeminate? 3. Did [Page 36] you never converse with any woman of light behaviour? rub up your memory. 4. Superstitious persons are usually lascivious, I could tell you more, but I spare you. 5. Are you more tempe­rate then the Disciples to whom Christ gave that caveat, Luk. 21. 34? you may then apply your selfe to Prayer and Fasting; doe not say that this is a filthy Caveat, but beware of that filthy sinne, and acknowledge that the Caveat is given you, upon sad con­siderations.

12. You tell me that God is not so fatally tyed to the Spindle of an absolute Reprobation, but that upon your Repentance he will seale your Pardon. Sir, Reprobatio est tremendum Mysterium; how dare you jest upon such a Subject, at the thought of which each Christi­an trembles? Can any man repent, that is given up to a reprobate mind, and an impenitent heart? And is not every man finally impe­nitent, save those few to whom God gives repentance, freely, po­werfully, effectually? See what it is for a man to come from Ben. Iohnson, or Lucian, to treat immediately of the high and stupendi­dious mysteries of Religion; the Lord God pardon this wicked thought of your heart, that you may not perish in the bond of ini­quity and gall of bitterness; be pleased to study the 9. Chapter to the Romanes.

You say if we agree upon the true state of the Questions before hand, nothing will be left us to dispute. Sir, it is 1. one thing to state a question for debate, so that you may undertake the affirmative, I the Negative, or è contra: 2. another thing to state a question in a supposition as the Respondent usually doth, and a third business to state a question after the debate in a prudent and convincing de­termination, as the Moderatour should doe; I speake of agreeing upon the state of the question in the first sense, that the Question may be propounded in such termes as doe so farre state the point in Controversie, that you and I may know which part to take, the Affirmative or Negative.

The questions as I conceive are these that follow.

  • 1. Whether all that our Prelates have borrowed of the Church of Rome, and imposed upon the people, ought to be still retained in the Church of England?
  • 2. Whether the Images of our Mediatour, and the Saints are [Page 37] usefull Ornaments in Protestant Churches?
  • 3. Whether any Prelate be endued with the power of sole Or­dination and Iurisdiction Iure divino?
  • 4. Whether they who defend the Protestants of Ireland against the Rebells by force of Armes, are therefore to be esteemed Ma­humetans?
  • 5. Whether that faith which is grounded only upon Tradition, ought to be esteemed a Divine faith?
  • 6. Whether the spirit speaking in the word to the conscience of private men ought to be esteemed a private Spirit?
  • 7. Whether any Reprobate can ever be converted or saved?
  • 8. Whether the Papists of England, & Rebells of Ireland with their Confederates did endeavour to extirpate the Protestant Religi­on and plant Popery in its stead?
  • 9. Whether they who endeavoured to impose a Popish Service-Booke upon Scotland by force of Armes, were of the Mahumetan perswasion?
  • 10. Whether the School-men are Competent judges in any point which concernes the Mysterie of Faith or Power of God­liness?
  • 11. Whether the Nationall Covenant contradict it selfe?

Sir, if you please to answer upon the three first questions in the Schools, and hold them as you seem to hold them all Affirma­tively, I shall endeavour to prove the Negative.

To all your scoffes and abuses I have nothing to reply; if God bids you revile or curse me, I shall submit to God; you call me Fool, Bedlam, Turke, Dog, Devill, because I give you seasonable advice: Sure Sir, Nazianzen, Prosper, &c. were not guilty of such Poetry, nor did Prudentius teach you any such streines.

I did very honestly forewarn you of a visitation; it is I thinke proper enough to enquire into matters of fact at a visitation. Now whether Copes have been put to a superstitious use is not a questi­on to be determined by any but In-Artificiall Arguments, I mean by sufficient witnesses. To that which you Prophesie of, that I am like to be a Visitor; I answer 1. I thinke you have litle ground for such a Prophecy: I call it a Prophecy, for I am sure the Houses of Parliament have not yet named any Visitor. 2. You talke much of the wisedome of the High Court of Parliament; and can you [Page 38] imagine that so wise a Court or (as you terme it) Councell will make choice of a Bedlam, a Turke, Dog, &c. to visit so many pru­dent and learned Doctors?

Sir, you say you are not satisfied with my Arguments, you might have consider'd that I doe reserve my arguments till we meete at Schooles, our worke for the present is to draw up the Points in Controversie into formall questions; I have you see for­med some questions, if you please to adde more, you may, I shall be ready to give you the best satisfaction I can, after these are dis­cussed, if I be not called away to some better imployment by those who have power to dispose of

Your humble Monitor, FRAN: CHEYNELL.

An

  • Omnia è Missali Breviario necnon Pontificali Romano à Pre­latis nostris decerpta, populo (que) obstrusa in Ecclesiam recipi­enda sint?
  • Christi Sanctorum (que) imagines Reformatorum Templis utili sint ornatui?
  • Soli Praelato potestas Ordinationis nec non Iurisdictionis Iure divino competat?

In hisce quaestionibus animi tui sententiam expectat

FRANCISCUS CHEYNELL.

Having read over this Letter, I felt two contrary Affections move within my selfe. First, I was sorry, that it began in that kinde of bitterness, which useth to have the same mischievous effect upon minds not addicted to quarrel, as blear eyes have upon other eyes more sound. Which finde themselves insensibly infected by be­holding; And in the presence of those that are bleared unawares learne their imperfections, and become bleared too. Next, I was glad, that the Controversies betweene us, (which like the originall of mankinde, began in two, and in a short time had multiplyed themselves past number) were at length reduced to three latine questions, and those to be disputed in the Divinity School; where that part of Oxford, which understands no other Tongue, but that in which they dayly utter their commodities, if they had been present towards the making of a throng, had yet beene absent to [Page 39] the dispute. Thus divided, therefore, between my provocations to Answer the reproachfull Preface, and my Alacrity to comply with the Conclusion of the precedent Letter, I returned this following Answer.

Sir, When I had open'd the Letter you sent me on Saturday night last, Ian. 30. and found by the first period of it, that as your first Letter shew'd you a great Master in Detraction, so in this you had learnt the Art to make the Scripture revile me too, and taught two of Solomons Pro. 26. 4, 5. Proverbs to call me Fool; Finding also in the next period how naturally and uncompelled ill language flows from you; who do here confess that you did let loose your pen that I might see, how easily, and with what an unforc'd Dexterity, in the less serious part of the Day, without premeditation, or the expence of Study, you could revile me; And withall, that you did let flye so many quibbles (as the exercise of your Recreation, I presume) to minde me of my more industrious Trifles, I must confess I not onely look't upon you as a Person fit to sit in the Psa. [...]. 1. Seat of the Scornfull, but as one very capable to be requited with a Proverb; which the same Pro. 26. 18. 19. Chapter which you quoted, presented to me at the 18. & 19. Verses; where 'tis said, That as a mad-man who casteth firebrands, Arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbour and saith he is in sport.

Sir, I should not have applyed this peice of Scripture to you by way of Retaliation, (which may seem to have some bitterness in it) had you not at the very threshold and first unlocking of your Letter, verified this Proverb upon your self, by casting firebrands and Arrows first, and thereby deceiving me, who (upon your pro­mise that I should be spiritually dealt with, that is, as a Divine ingaged in a needless Controversie with a Divine ought to be) un­succesfully flattered my self, that for the future, though I could not expect much Reason or proof or Argument from you, yet you would certainly bind your self to the Laws of Sobriety, and good Language. How you have made good your promise, will appear to any, who (besides the reproachfull proverb with which you begin your Letter, and for which, a greater then Solomon hath said, you shall be in Mat. 5. 22 Danger of Hell-fire) shall read the puddle of your letter which streams from the first foul Spring, and Head of it; where, having first charged me in my writing to you with Elaborate Folly, you make it an Excuse to the Dirt and mire of your pen, that I set you the Copy, and was foul in my Expressions first.

Sir, Though the saying of Tacitus be one of the best confutations of [Page 40] Detraction, Convitia spreta exolescunt, and though I have alwaies thought that to enter combate with a Dunghill is the way to come off more defiled, yet finding my self engaged (like one of the poeticall Knights errant) with an Adversary that will not onely provoke me to fight, but, whos best weapon is to defile me out of the field, I shal for once apply as good perfume to the stench you speak of, as can possibly in such times make me walk the streets in my own Oxford, uncondens'd not by you made foggy, Ayre; And shall make it evident, first to your self, next to the world, (if you will consent that what thus secretly passeth between us shall be made publike, and Printed) that you are not onely fallible in your most sad, and melancholy considerations, but in those more pleasant, mirthful chymes of quibbling, for which I before placed you in the Chaire.

First, sir, you bid me read over my two Sermons and the two letters which I have sent you, as if they were yours, and then impartially tell you, whether I am not to pass sentence upon them as you do; That they are Difficiles Nugae, Elaborate Follies.

To which my Reply is; First, that there is so much loyalty, and so little self-interest in them, that my imagination can never be strong enough to Suppose them to be yours, Next, That what Folly soever betrayes it self in your expressions, yet the matter is built upon such sure rocks of the Scripture, that 'tis not all the waves or Tem­pest which you can raise against them, wil be able to reduce them to the fate of a House built upon the Sand. Thirdly, (since all Dis­putes, as wel as wit, are like a Rest Kept up at Tennis, where good players do the best with the best Gamsters) I do sadly promise you, that when ever you shal either write or urge to me such Arguments of serious Consideration, that I shal not have reason to think St. Pauls saying verified in my Expressions, that my Foolish things are suffici­ent to confound, and bring to nought your wise; I wil lay aside the Folly you tax me withal. In the mean time, if you think my Letters to you (By what Glass soever my Sermons were made) are elaborate, pray compare the Dates, and Receipts of them, with the No-dates, and uncertain Receipts of yours; And you wil find that the longest letter, I have yet written to you, was but the creature of two days, when your unelaborate answer to it back again was the Birth, and Travell of a whole week.

Having said this, Sir, by way of Answer to your ungospel-like pre­face, I shal next, (confining my self once more to your own method) address my self to the examination of the rest of your letter. A hard [Page 41] task, I confess; It being so much a Twinn-brother to your former where your evasions, and little escapes are so many, and your true substantiall, solid disproofes of any one thing which I have sayd either in my Sermons or Letters, so few, that, to deal freely with you, my Conflict with you hitherto hath been (and for ought I yet foresee is like to prove) like the Fight between Hercules, and the River Achelous; which when 'twas foyled in one shape, could tire the Conquerour, and presently provoke him to a fresh encounter in ano­ther. Sir, I could wish (without your strange endless multiply­cation of Questions) you would assume to your self some constant figure, wherein I might say, I grappled with a bodyed Adversary. But changing Form, as you do, and putting me stil to prove that which you have not yet so much as seemingly confuted, pardon me (I beseech you) if I say, that my combate with you is not only like the combate of Hercules with that River, but like his, who thought he had entered Duell with a Gyant, and after much toyl found himself encountred by a cloud.

First, you conceive, that I preacht in defence of all Images set up in any Chappell within this Vniversity. Sir, This is but your con­ceipt, of which you, not I am guilty. My sermon, if you mark it, is not so confined either to Vanlings Draughts, or any other mans pencil, as to defend what ever their Irregular Fancies shal draw, or not to defend what ever, either heer, or any where else, they shal regularly limb. But if your conceipt were true, what doth your Logick infer, That because some Chappels are adorn'd with the I­mages of some of the persons in the Glorious Trinity, therefore I must acknowledg all Images of that sort ought to be taken down? Pray, Sir, how long hath the single-Topick of your meer Assertion been of such forcible Authority, that without any other proofe, you should think me obliged to hold such Images worthy of expulsion, be­cause you say they are? Had you either from Scripture (the most perfect Rule for the Decision of Controversies) or from Reason, (Though in your esteem but a peece of nature corrupted) urged any one necessary Argument to prove them unlawful, or things which deserve to be called the Idolatry or Superstition of the place, per­haps being a servant to Demonstration, (though a favourite of the muses) I should have been one of the first that should have cryed out for Reformation. But this not being done by you, nor indeed, possible to be done by any other, though my sermon speak not of any Image of any person in the Trinity, yet I conceive all Argu­ments, which shal strive to prove, that no picture of any person in [Page 42] the Trinity ought to be the Ornaments of a Church, or Chappell Window, will be as frail and brittle as the Glass in which they stand. Sir, I have said in my last Letter, and shal repeat it in this, that 'tis not you, but nature and the numerous places of Scripture, which forbid to make any picture of God, (either taken for the Divine essence com­mon to all the three persons, or for the person of God the Father di­stinct from the other two) which perswade me that any such picture (besides the impossibility) is unlawfull. And therefore you need not have put your self to the unnecessary trouble to hang your Margin with quotations taken out of Bellarmine, or Aquinas; since all such quotations applyed to that which I have said and you have cited, which is, That all pictures of God are a breach of the second Com­mandment, do strike me no more, then if I should enter conflict with those dead Arras-Captains, which in hangings threaten to assault the spectatour with imaginary, woven Lances. Much less need you so superfluously have called S. Paul from the third heaven to prove, that (because he once quoted this Greek Hemistick out of Aratus [...], that we are the Off-spring of God) God is not like to gold, silver, or stone, graven by the art of mans device. Since by that which I have said of him in my former Letter, you are obliged to testifie for me, that I have urged convincing reasons to prove he cannot be: which Reasons, as borrowed from nature and the schoolmen (with whom, sir, I hope you are not implacably fallen out) I do not urge as the supream Iudges of what I there prove, but as subservient mediums, which car­ry a musick and consent to that which God hath said of himself in the more perfect Rule of his Word. So that, for doing this, to charge me (as you do) with the Study of the Lullian Art, is either nonsence in your Letter, or an Illation which resolvs it self into a contemptible mistake; which is, That because Lullius, who wrote of Chymistry, was called Raymundus, I, who have read another Raymundus who wrote of Natural Theologie, am to be called a Lullianist, which is a Logick as wretched, as if I should say, Mr Cheynell hath read Cajetane, and hath made him a marginal note, Therefore he is a seeker of the Philo­sophers Stone, and study's to convert the Ore and Tin of the kingdom into Gold. Sir, Your Logick is not much mended when you say, That the Word (thereupon) is sometimes Illative, sometimes Ordina­tive. For take it which way you will, As it stands in your last letter, you are bound to give me thanks as a Poet, that I dealt not with you as a Sophister, and proclaimed your infirmity for having utter'd a con­tradiction. Which contradiction, I confess, might have been avoyded [Page 43] by the insertion of the omitted word or two, for want of which, you say my sophisticall Criticism is abortive, and came but with one legg into the World.

In answer to your next Paragraph, I shall most readily grant, That 'tis a high fault to picture God. Because, any such Draught not being possible to be made of him, but by resembling of him to something w [...]n is able to afford a Species or Idea to the sense, would, (besides the Falseness of it, where a gross material figure should represent a pure invisible Essence) degrade him from the honour which he ought to hold in our Minds which are his Temple; in which Temple if he should hang up in a frame or table, which should contract and shrink him to the finite Model of a man or any other creature, 'twere the way to convert him into an Idoll; and so (as I have often said) to sin against the second Commandement, which as it may be broken by spending our Worship upon false Gods; so it may also be broken by our false portraitures, and apprehensions, and venerations of the True.

The case of the Saints is far otherwise. For whose pictures turn'd into Idols, as I have no where pleaded, (For as Idols I acknowledge they are the crime of those who worship them) so, as Ornaments, you will never be able convincingly to prove but that they may be inno­cently retain'd, and be lookt on by those who do only count them speechless Colours. The like may be said of al Pictures made of Christ, which pretend to express no more of him then is capable of Represen­tation, and exceed not the lines and symetry of his Body and flesh. For I shal grant you that to Limb his Divinity, or to draw him in both his Natures, as he is [...] God as well as man, is altogether impos­sible, and not in the power of any Painter, though we should recall Apelles, or Parrhasius from their Graves, and once more put Pencils into their Hand. You know, sir, if a man should have his picture drawn, 'twould be an impossible task, if he should enjoyn the Painter to limb his soul, as well as the proportion and feature of his Body, since the Soul is a thing so unexpressible to the sense, that it scarce affords any Idea to be understood by the mind. Sir, if you have read Aristotles Books [...], you wil there find, that the proper Objects of al the senses besides those of the Eye (though much grosser then Spirits or Souls) cannot be brought into picture. A Painter may draw a flower but he cannot limb a scent. He may paint fire, but he cannot draw heat. He may furnish a table with an imaginary banquet, but he that should offer to taste of this banquet would find himself cozen'd. The Reason is, because Nature it self makes it impossible for the proper Object of [Page 44] one sense to be the Object of another; And finds not art or colours for any thing invisible; But only for those Superficie's, Symetry's, and sensible parts of Things, which are first capable to be seen, and then to be transcribed into a picture. But why that part of Christ, which after his Resurrection, (when it began to cease to be any lon­ger a part of this visible World) was seen of above five hundred bre­thren at once, may not be painted; Nay, why the figure of a Dove, or of cloven Tongues of fire (wherein the third person in the glorious Trinity appeared, when he descended upon our Mediator Christ, and sate upon the heads of the Apostles) may not be brought into ima­gery, I must confess to you, I am not sharp-witted enough to perceive. Though this I shal freely say to you, (and pray do not call it Poetry) That to maintain that Christ thus in picture may be worshipt, is such a peece of Supe [...]stition, as not only teaches the simple to commit I­dolatry, but endeavours to verifie upon him in colours the reproach which the calumniating Jews stuck upon his person and to make him thus painted, a Seducer of people.

As for your fourth paragraph, (which assaults me the second time with an Argument without an Edge, which is, that the Sun and I­mages cannot be put in the scales of comparison in point of fitness to be preserved) having in my former Letter already answered you, I shal not put my self to the needless trouble, the second time to confute it.

For answer to your Fifth, pray, Sir, read that part of my Sermon which you have corrupted into a quibble; And there you shal find, that what I say of clean linnen is not, as you say, a shifting Fallacy. But I there say that which you wil never be able to controule; which is, That by the same reason that you make Surplices to be supersti­tious because papists wear them, you may make Linnen also to be su­perstitious because papists shift; And so conclude cleanliness to be as unlawful as Surplices or Copes. Sir, this is [...]; I confess, the same Answer twice served in to you, not out of scarcity or barren­ness, or for want of another Reply, but because much of your Letter is but crambe repetita, a carret twice boyled.

Your sixth paragraph is a faggot bound up with more sticks in it, then you, without poetical Licence, can possibly gather from my Letter; where, Sir, I only promise you, (when ever you shal cal upon me) to derive to you all the ancient parts of our English Liturgy from Liturgy's which were in the Church before popery was born. Of which if any part be to be found in the Rubricks of the Church of Rome your logick wil never be able to prove, that therefore 'tis to be rejected as [Page 45] trash and trumpery in ours. Good things, Sir, lose not their goodness, because they are in some places mingled with superstitious. Nor, as I told you before, do Davids Psalms cease to be a piece of Canonical Scripture, because they are to be found bound up in the volumn with the Mass. Sir, if what ever is made use of by the Pope, or touches upon Rome, should be superstitious, the River Tiber would be the most blameable river in the World. What you mean by a prelatical Faction here in England, or what they borrowed from the Rituals or pontifical of Rome, is exprest to me in such a mist of words (which sound big to the common people, and signifie nothing to the wise) that I must con­fess my dulness, I do not understand you. If you mean, that they in­serted any new peeces into the old garment of our Cōmon-prayer-book; and those borrowed from the Missal, or Breviary of Rome, I beleeve, Sir, (abstracting from those alterations made in the prayers for the King, Queen, and Royal issue, which the Death of Princes exacted, (unless, for constancy sake, you would have them allow of prayers for the dead; and in King Charls and Queen Mary's days, to pray still for King Iames and Queen Anne, which would be a piece of popery equal to the invocations of saints) you will find nothing modern or of such new contrivance, as past not Bucers Examen in the raign of Edward the sixth; And was confirmed by Act of Parliament in the raign of Queen El [...]zabeth. In saying this in their defence, who had the ordering of such changes, I hope Sir, you will not so uncharitably think me imbark't in their Faction (which truly to me stil presented it self like the conceal'd Horses under ground, a fiction made to walk the streets, to terrifie the people) as to perswade your self, after my so many professions to fall a sacrifice to the Protestant Religion, that it can be either in the power of the Church or court of Rome, to tempt me from my Resolution: Which is, to go out of the world, in the same Religion I came in.

Sir, I gave warning in my last letter not to venture your writings upon the Argument, which deceives none but very vulgar understan­dings, and which I in my Sermon cal the Mother of mistakes; which is, from an accidental concurrence in some things to infer an outright si­militude and agreement in all. Because Bellarmine says tradition is a better medium to prove somethings by, then a private spirit, and be­cause I in this particular have said so too, you tacitely infer that I and Bellarmine are of the same Religion; which is the same, as if a Turk and a Christian saying that the Sun shines, you should infer, that the Christian is a Mahumetan, and for saying so, a Turk. I confess, you do not say we are both of the same Religion: but that I, in preferring [Page 46] Tradition, which you your self, in your seventh paragraph, tllow to be the Constant and universal Report of the Church) before he Testimony of the Spirit, speaking in the Word to the Consciences of private men, am more profane than he. Heer, sir, you must not take it ill, if I expose you to the censure of being deservedly thought guilty of a double mistake. The one is, that if Bellarmine in this par­ticular were in an Errour, and if I had out-spoken him in his Errour, yet the Laws of speech will not allow you to say, That in an unprofane subject, either of us is profane; more heretical, or mistaken you might perhaps have said: and this, though a false Assertion, might yet have past for right Expression. But to call him positively, and me compara­tively more profane, because we both hold, That a Drop is more liable to corruption then the Ocean, or the testimony of al ages of the Church is a fuller proof of the meaning of a text in Scripture, then the solitary Exposition of a man who can perswade none but himself, is as incon­gruous, as if you should say, that because Bellarmine wrote but three Volumns, and Abulensis twelve, therefore Abulensis was a greater Adulterer then He. Your other mistake is, That you confound the Spi­rit of God speaking in the Scripture with the private Spirit (that is) Reason, Humour, or Fancie of the person spoken to. Sir, let that blessed Spirit decide this controversie between us. He sayes 2 Pet. 1. 20 that no Prophesie of the Scripture is of private Interpretation. That is, so calculated, or Meridianized to some select minds & understandings, that it shall hold the candle to them only, and leave All others in the Darke. But, if you will consent to the Comment of the most primitive Fathers on that Text, The meaning of it is; That as God by his Spirit did at first dictate the scripture, so he dictated it in those thingswhich are necessary to Salvation, intelligible to all the world of Men, who will addict their minds to read it. It being therefore a Rule held out to all mankind, for them to order their lives and actions by, and there­fore universally intelligible to them, (it should else cease to be either Revelation or a Rule) for you to hold that it cannot be understood without a second Revelation, made by the same Spirit that wrote it, to the private spirit of you the more-Cabinet Reader, is as if you should inclose and impale to your self the Ayre, or Sun-beames; And should maintain that God hath placed the Sun in the firmament, and given you only eyes to see him. In short, sir, 'tis to make his word, which was ordained to give light to all the World, a Dark Lanthorn, In which a candle shines to the use of none but him that bears it.

Your Eighth Paragraph being the third of your eleven Questions as also the close of your ninth, shall receive a latine Answer from me in the Divinity School.

[Page 47] Your next Paragraph is againe the Hydra with repullulating Heads: Where, first, you put me to prove the purity of the Doctrine, Discipline, and Government in England. Which, being managed by a Prelaticall faction, whom, you say, I call the Church, was not excellent, if I reckon from the yeare 1630. to 1640. As for the Doctrine, Sir, I told you before, that the Primitive Church it selfe was not free from Heresies. If therefore I should grant you (which I never shall, till you particularly tell me what those er­roneous doctrines were) that some men in our Church were hete­rodox, nay hereticall in their opinions, yet I conceive it to be a very neere neighbour to heresie in you to charge the doctrines of persons upon the Kingdome or Church. Such Doctrines might be in Eng­land, (as you whether out of Choice or Luck have said) yet not by the Tenets or Doctrines of the Land: No more, then if you should say, that because M. Yerbury and some few o [...]hers hold the Equ [...]lity of the Saints with Christ, the whole Kingdome is a bla­sphemer, and was by you confuted at S. Maries. The publick do­ctrine of the Church of England I call none but that which was al­lowed to be so by an Act of Pa [...]liament of England; and that, Sir, was contained in the 39. Articles. If any Prelate or inferiour Priest, for the Cicle of yeares you speak of, either held or taught any thing contrary to th [...]se, (as it will be hard I beleeve for you to instance in any of that side who did) you shall have my con­sent, in that particular, to count them no part of our Church. In the meane time, Sir, I beseech you be favourable to this Island; and think not that for ten yeares space 'twas hereticall in all the parts of it on this side Berwick. Withall, Sir, I desire (since you have assigned me an Epocha to reckon from) that you will com­pare the worst doctrines which wore the date of the Trojan Warre among us, with those which have since broke loose in the space of a Warre not halfe so long, and you will find, that our Church for those ten yeares you speak of wore a garment, I will not say, as seamless and undivided as Christs coat: But since the Soldiers did cast lots upon it, so much heresie, as well as schisme, hath torne it asunder, that 'tis now become like Iosephs coat imbrued in bloud, where no one piece carryes colour or resemblance to another. As for the Discipline and Government of our Church, (if you would speak your conscience, and not your gall) you would confess, that [Page 48] the frame and structure of it was raised from the most Primitive Modell that any Moderne Church under the Sunne was governed by. A Government so well sized and fitted to the Civill Govern­ment of the Kingdome, that till the insurrection of some false Pro­phets, who presumed to offer strange fire before the Lord, and reduced a Land which flowed with milk and honey, into a wilder­nesse; they agreed together like the two Scripture-brothers, Moses and Aaron; and were the two banks which shut up schisme within its channell, and suffered not heresie or sedition to overflow their bounds. In short, Sir, I know not into what new forme this Kingdome may be moulded, or what new creation may creep forth from the strife-full heap of things, into which, as into a second Chaos, we are fallen; But if the Civill State doe ever returne to its former selfe againe, your Presbyterian Government, which was brought forth at Geneva, and was since nursed up in Scotland, mingled with it, (if I be not deceived in the principles of that Go­vernment) will be but a wild Vine ingrafted into a true. Vpon which unequall, disproportioned Incorporation, we may as well expect to gather Figs of Thistles, or grapes of thornes, as that the one should grow so Southerne, the other so Northerne; that one harmonious, musicall Body should arise from them thus joyned. What Errors in Government or Discipline were committed by the Prelates, I know not; neither have you proved them hither­to chargeable with any; unless this were an error, that they laid an Ostracisme (as you say) upon those that opposed your Govern­ment. I beleeve, Sir, when Presbytery is set up, and you placed in your Consistory with your Spirituall and Lay-Brethren, you will not be so negligent, or so much asleep in your place, as not to find an Ostracisme for those, who shall oppose you in your office. In the meane time, Sir, to call them, or those, who submitted to their Government, A Prelaticall faction, because the then wheels of their Government moved with an unanimous undisturbance, is, I be­leeve, a calumny, which you would faine fasten upon them, pro­voked (I suppose) by the description which I have made of the conspiracy of the False Prophets of Ierusalem in my Sermon. I must deal freely with you, Sir, do but probably make it appear to me, that this Faction in your letter was like the Conspiracy in my Sermon; Do but prove to me, that the Prelates devoured soules; That they took to themselves the Treasure, and precious things of the Land; [Page 49] That to effect this, they kindled the first spark towards a CivilWar; & then blew it into such a flame, as could not be quencht but with the bloud of Husbands ravisht from their Wives, and the slaugh­ter of parents prest and ravisht from their children: Doe but prove to me that they made one widdow, or built their Honours upon the ruine or calamity of one Orphane; Lastly, do but prove to me that the Priests (whom you make to be the lower orbe of their Faction) did so mingle, and confound the services of the Church, as to put no difference between the holy, and profane, or that in complyance with them, they saw vanity, and divined lyes to the people, and I shall think them capable of all the hard language, which you or others have for some yeares heapt upon them. Till then, Sir, pray mistake not Concrets for their Abstracts; nor charge the faults of persons, upon the innocency of their functions. Prelacy is an Order so well rooted in the Scripture, though now deprived of all its Branches in this Kingdome, that I verily per­swade my selfe, that as Caiaphas in the Gospell when he spoke Pro­phecy, perceived not himself at that time to be a Prophet; so you (over-rul'd by the guidance of a higher power) have in this Para­graph exceedingly praised Prelacy, whilst you laboured to revile it. For either it must be Non-sense, or a very great Encomium of it, when you say, that as long as it enjoyed a root here in this King­dome, it had not onely a destructive influence into the evils of the Church, but of the Civill State too. If the Influence of it were so destructive of evils, (as indeed it was) pray with what Logick can you say, that Salus populi quae suprema lex est, did compell the Parliament to extirpate a thing so preservative and full of Anti­dote both to Church and State?

Sir, if mens styles & denominations be to be given to them by the place & clymate where they are borne & bred, I shall grant you are an English, nay an Oxford Christian. But if you preach, & maintain, that Religion is to be propagated by the Swor [...], I must tell you, that an English Presbyter may in this case be a Turkish Prophet, and that though his Text be chosen from the Gospel, yet the Do­ctrine raised from it, may be a piece of the Alchoran. I shall allow you to say that the Protestants in Ireland had a Right to the defence of the free exercise of their Religion against the furious assaults of the bloody Rebels. But when you tell me that Christ is King of Nati­ons [Page 50] as well as King of Saints, (which I shall grant you) and say, that as one of his wayes to make Proselytes is by the perswasion of his Word and Spirit; so, if that will not do, his other way to break the power of Antichrist, that is, (as I conceive you mean) to con­vert men from Popery, is by civill and naturall meanes, that is, (if you meane any thing) to compell them to be Protestants by the Sword; Me-thinks I am at Mech [...], and heare a piece of Turcisme preacht to me by one of Mahomets Priests. In short, Sir, whether the Papists in England were confederate with the Irish Rebels I know not: But doe you prove demonstratively, not jealously, to me, that the Queene and her Agents had an intent to extirpate the Protestant Religion, and to plant Popery by the Sword; and the Army that should bring that designe to pass, shall, in my opinion, be styled an Army, not of Papists, but of baptized Ianizaries. As for your bidding me dispute the right of taking up Armes in such a case, with the Parliament; First, I must desire you to accept the Answer which Favroinus the Philosopher gave to a friend of his, who askt him, why he would let Adrian the Emperour have the better of him in a Dispute; I am loth to enter into an Argumen­tation with those who command Thirty Legions. Next, Sir, if I were of consideration enough to be heard to speak publickly to that Great Assembly, having first kist my weapon, I should not doubt, with all the respective liberty, which might witness to them that I strive not to diminish the rights of their power, but to de­fend the truth of my cause, to tell them, that to come into the field with an armed Gospel, is not the way chosen by Christ to make Prose­lites. If this be an error or mis-perswasion in me, shew me but one undenyable demonstration of the Spirit to disprove it, besides your untopicall perswasion of your selfe to the contrary, and, without any farther conference, or dispute in this point, I shall acknowledge my selfe your convert, and be most glad to be convinced. In the mean time, Sir, you are obliged, (though I be in your opinion in an error) to think more nobly of me, then of those Cowards of your side, who durst not speak Truth in a time of danger, when you see me, in the like time, such a resolute Champion (as you conceive) for the wrong.

Sir, 'tis one of the prayses of a good picture to be drawne so livingly, that every one in the room that beholds it, shall thinke it [Page 51] looks only on him; 'Tis just so with some Texts in Scripture, and some parts of morall Philosophy; which when they speake very Characterizingly of an irregular passion, or vice, if they meet with a man Conscious, and one subject to such passions, remember him of his guilt, and prick his minde as if he only were signified by that which was writ to all the World. By your charging me that I dealt more sharply with you then I should, you give me cause to suspect, that my Letter proved such a picture to you; and you to your guilty selfe seemed a person so concerned. The words of bit­terness which you have layed together in one heape, are compo­sed of such Language, as upon your twentieth perusall you will never be able to finde in my Letter. Sir, Christianity; and my pro­fession▪ (however you in your letter forgot both) have taught me not to returne Vomit for Vomit. And the love which I beare to to the Civility of expression, would never suffer me to be so revi­lingly broad. If I made use of one of Senoca's Epistles, or of Tully's Paradoxes, or Horace's poeticall Controversies, and if you would apply what they said of Ambition, Pride, or Choller to your self, certainly, Sir, you have no reason to call this the Luxuriancy of my wit. And thereupon to inferre these provocative conclusi­ons; that my wit is wanton, therefore I am effeminate. That I am superstitious, therefore lascivious too. Sir, as my wit is so poore that I shall observe your Councell, that is, never wax proud upon the strength of it, or despise those that are more weake, so (without sparing me at all) I doe once more challenge you to prove, that the wantonness of it hath betrayed me to the loose Conversation of any that are light. Lastly, Sir, I hope you doe not think I have so much of the vaine glory, or selfe-conceitedness of those Reverend Hypocrites in the Gospell in me, who were able to boast of their long Prayers, and broad phylactaries, and of their fasting twice a weeke, that I will offer to thinke my selfe more temperate then the Apostles. Yet, Sir, I dare once more challenge you, & the preci­sest of your inspired informers, to prove me at any time guilty of the breach of the Text you quote against Surfeiting, and Drun­kenness. Luk. 21. 34. That part of your Paragraph, therefore, which ends in exhortation, is a piece of Homily, which returnes to you, to be made use of towards some other on the next last Wednesday of the month, where Fasting, and Sobriety will be seaso­nable Theams.

[Page 52] I grant, Sir, that Reprobation is a Mystery to be trembled at. Yet Sir, all they who (maintaining it to be absolute) doe revive the fiction of the three destinies, where one holds the Distaffe on which the Thred of every mans Fate is spun, and doe preach a piece of Zeno's Philosophy for a piece of Saint Paul's Epistles, can have no reason to accuse me of a jest, because I apply'd a spindle to the Distaffe, on which mens fates are rolled. Sir, in plainer termes, as absolute Reprobation, is a piece of Stoicisme, which was never held to be Christian, till it crept forth into the Church from the same fancy, which was the wombe in which the Presbyterian Go­vernment was formed, so me thinks, Lucian, Sir, (how cheaply soever you think of him, or me, for having closed my last letter to you with a piece of his Nigrinus) in his confutation of this Hea­thenish Errour (which hath made so many hang themselves) urgeth Arguments which would become one of the Fathers of the Church. I know not whether you have read his [...]. But if you have, he there tells you, that if there be such a thing as the fatall Decree, you speak of; 1. That all they who lye under the Inflexibility of it, being tyed by an unalterable necessity to do what they do, can in no reason be rewarded if they do well, nor with any Justice be punisht if they do ill. Next, that the Sinnes which they commit, (if they cannot but commit them) are not to be called their Sinnes, but the Sinnes of that Decree which laid this necessity upon them. And, therefore, Thirdly that a murtherer (thus predestined) if he should be arraigned, may say to any Iudge thus stoically perswaded, Why doe you accuse me? Pray call my Destiny to the Bar; and do not sentence me, but my fate to the Racke and Wheel. I was but an oversway'd Instrument in this Murther; and was but such an Engine to my Destiny, as my Sword was to me. Though this were spoken by a Heathen, only in dis­proof of Fate, yet since Saint Chrysostome in more then three Ser­mons had said the same things in disproofe of absolute Reprobation, I hope, Sir, neither Calvin, nor Piscator, have so mistaught you to understand Saint Paul, as from any Epistler of his to conclude peremptorily, that anywithout their desert, are given up to a Repro­bate minde, and finally struck, & necessitated to a remediless impeni­tence. The 9. Chap. of the Romans, I have long since consider'd, and studyed it by the most ser [...], impartiall lights which might uncloud [Page 53] the great Mysterie to me which lyes so obscurely there wrap'd up. And to deale freely with you, the best Commentator I ever yet met with to lead me through the darkness of it, was another place of Scripture or two set in presence, and scale with this, both which joyned, me thought, made perfectly the Cloud which guided the Iewes through the Wilderness, which was a Cloud to the Aegypti­ans, but a pillar of fire to the Israelites. Sir, I know that neither Saint Paul hath written Contradictions, nor any other of the Apostles written that which is Contradictory to Saint Paul. Sir, I presume, also, that Aristotles Book [...] hath not so for­saken your memory, but you know that an Universall Affirmative, and a particular Negative are a perfect Contradiction, and cannot both be true. Here, then, stands the case. You, building your Opinion upon the [...] or great depth of the ninth Chapter to the Romans, inferre from thence that God gives Repentance only to some few, whose peremptory will 'tis that they only shall be saved. Saint Paul in his first Epistle to Timothy, Chapter 2. vers. 4. gives us a line and plummet to sound this Depth; and sayes expresly, That 'tis the will of God that all men should be saved. Between these pro­positions, 'tis his will that all shall, and 'tis his will that only a few shall be saved, there is no Medium, in which they may be reconciled; but one of them must necessarily be true, the other false. This, then, being so, I have alwayes held it safer to build my Faith upon those cleare places of the Scripture, which have no vaile before their face, then those which are mysterious, and lead me to a [...] over which I stand amazed, but cannot from thence infer. I doe farther profess to you, that I am not so wedded to this or any other Speculative Opinion, but that, if you will shew more convin­cing Scripture for the contrary, I shall most readily renounce my owne thoughts, and espouse my self to yours.

Your premonition or forewarning of me that we at Christ-church would e're long taste of a visitation, hath since come to pass, and in part approved it self to be true Prophecy. Whether inspired by you or no, I know not, but there have been two with us, who have taken away as many Copes and guilt candlesticks, as if they had been superstitious. Sir, 'tis no wonder to me that in our times silver should be Popery; Or that Church utensills if they be Gold should be called superstition. But certainly, Sir, 'twas a great misinfor­mation [Page 54] to send them to search for Copes or things of value to my poor Protestant Chamber; where there never was a Cope, though, per­haps, they might have found a long-disused Surplice, there. And as for Idolls of price, if they had searcht my purse, I beleeve that all the popery, which, in these impoverishing Times, they could have found in it, cast into the fire, like the Iewish Earerings, would neither have come forth a Silver Crucifix; much less so wealthy an Idoll as a Golden Calse.

Sir,

since at length I understand you, that by agreeing upon the true state of the questions before we dispute them, you mean that we should agree upon the termes in which they are to be held, I am very ready to comply with you in that reasonable particular. But to accept of any, either of your eleven English, or your three La­tine questions, in the terms in which you have formed them, I can by no meanes consent. First, Sir, Because I find a piece of Artifice in the Web, and contrivance of them, which hath something of a Trap, and Snare, and Engine in it. Which is, that by making them as Popish questions as you can, (especially one of them) where you insert the words Missall, Breviary, and Pontificall) words odious to the people, and part of the dismall spell which for six yeares hath raised the spirit of discord to walk among us; if I should hold it affirmatively under these termes of hatred, 'tis possi­ble it may beget an opinion in the minds of those that know me not, that, though I have more then once profest my selfe ready to fall a sacrifice in the defence of the Protestant Religion, yet that this was but a disguise which concealed my hypocrisie, 'till provo­ked I were put to defend the superstitions of the Church of Rome. Sir, I know upon what lesser grounds then this, some in our credu­lous times have been unjustly called Papists. Next, Sir, if I should hold them affirmatively, with their faces thus looking towards Po­pery, and should bring them thus clothed in your termes of super­stition into the Divinity Schoole, I doubt very much whethet the publickness of the Defence may not draw an aspersion not onely upon me, and the Moderator, (if he will vouchsafe to sit in the Chaire whilst we quarrell) but upon the whole already too much defamed University, which such as you have from numerous Pul­pits called long since Popishly affected; But if it should allow of such a Dispute, 'twould lend fuell to your calumnies, and be en­dangered [Page 55] to be no longer thought Popish, but out-right a Papist. Thirdly, Sir, your first and last Question (if they were purged of their odious termes) cannot publiquely be maintained without some affront to the Parliament, who by one Ordinance have put down the Common-prayer-book, by another Episcopacy. If, there­fore, under your termes, I should publiquely stand up in defence of them, you had need procure a third Ordinance, which when I have done may keep me safe. Yet, Sir, to assure you that this is no evasion in me to decline a dispute, because my Sermon was the oc­casion of your challenge of me in the Pulpit, and of this private conference betweene us since; Since also you allow me the liberty of alteration, and to adde my stroke to the Anvill on which the questions to be disputed on between us are to receive the last form, and shape, in which, with least offence, and scandall, they may walk into the publique. Lastly, since the three Latine Questions you sent me are three passages of my Sermon, but so corrupted from themselves, as shew them to have been once purely Protestant, but passing through your hands have degenerated, and clothed them­selves with a to-be-suspected robe of Popery, the nearest way I know for us to agree upon their true state is to deale with them as the Bishops at the Reformation dealt with the Religion of the Church of Rome; that is, purge them from their corruptions, and restore them to the Primitive rule from whence they have di­grest. Which Rule, being my Sermon, (if you read it with open eyes) presents you with your three questions, in this more genuine forme.

An

  • Liturgia Anglicana ideò [...]liminanda sit, quia nonnullas partes ab Ecclesiâ Romanâ mutuata est, Neg.
  • Christi, Sanctorum (que) imagines in Reformator. Ecclesiis l [...]ite retineri possint, Aff.
  • Regimen Ecclesiae Anglicanae per Episcepos sit Anti­christianum, ex eo quòd Ecclesia Romana (quā non­nulli sedem Antichristi statuunt) sic gubernatur, Neg.

Vpon these three Questions (which are but three periods of my Sermon cast into a problematicall for [...]e) if you approve of them, and, like a generous Adversary, will promise me, that neither for sending of them to you now, nor for defending them hereafter, [Page 56] I shall be question'd, (for this I require no other security but your word) I will not faile (God assisting me) to meet you in the Divinity Schoole at University weapons, when ever you shall think fit to call upon me; and to bring with you those Arguments, which, you say, you reserve for that place, and in your two letters have not vouchsafed to afford me, who doe daily pray (for I be­gin to be weary of fighting with shades) that this unnecessary con­flict may at length end in a Christian peace between you the oppo­nent, and me the defender of

The Sermon against False Prophets, J. MAYNE.

In the evening to the afternoone, in which this Letter was sent, M. Cheynell returned an Answer, not so large, I confess, as I ex­pected; but composed of Language, so complying with my desires, that I unfainedly felt a new strife within my self, how, having hitherto tolerably borne his rougher assaults, I should preserve my self from being conquer'd by his civilities. Which I confess, have such a forcible charme upon my nature, softend, and tutor' [...] to it by Religion, that the World cannot afford an Enemy, who shall raise such a tempest of persecution against me, but that I shall be ready to afford him my Imbraces, and Armes, if he will be con­tent to be received there in a calme. I do farther confess, that M. Cheynell, by undertaking to secure me against the danger which might have followed a publique dispute, hath not onely veri­fied my expression, and shewne himselfe a generous adversary; but by that engagement of himself, hath made me see, what reason I have to complaine of my hard fortune, which hath left me onely the will, and not the power, to be in the like kind, as generous to Him back again. His Letter was to a syllable this.

SIR,

You may be confident that the Messenger was not sent by me, because he return'd without you and without his fees. I never writ up one Letter to London that did in the least measure reflect upon you; if your Sermon had not been printed, I had not spoke one word against it. I desire to deale with you in a rationall way, and therefore I doe accept of your Academicall proposition or challenge so often sent me; and because I find my prayers in some measure answered, and you more civill then heretofore, I shall deale freely with you. I doe here under my owne hand assure you, that if you be questioned for defending these Propositions in a Scholasticall way, (you know reproaches are not Scholasticke) in the publique Schools, I will answer for you; the Parliament will not question you for any learned rationall debate about Prelates or the Common-Prayer-Booke, for the satisfaction of your self and others.

I will meet you if you please, at the Doctor of the Chaire his lodgings to morrow about two of the clock in the afternoon; I doubt not but by his advice we shall agree upon termes fit to ex­press the points in Controversie; if you like the proposall be pleased to send your approbation of it in two lines by this bea­rer to

Your friend to serve you, FRAN: CHEYNELL.

To this Letter (which was the last I received from him) by the same Messenger that brought it, I return'd this Answer, which was the last he received from me.

SIR,

I shall (God willing) meet you to morrow at your houre, at the Doctor of the Chaire's Lodging. Where if you be as willing to submit to the termes which he shall think fit to put the Que­stions in, which we are to dispute upon as I shall be, there will be no variance between us there, nor shall we I hope, bring any with us from the Divinity School. Where Sir, you shall meet one who is so great a lover of truth, that if you can convince me for [Page 58] being all this while in an Errour, I shall think my self indeed, a gainer by this conflict. And no longer stile my self the defender of the Sermon against False Prophets, but one, who for being confuted by you ought to remain

Your Affectionate friend and Servant, JASPER MAYNE.

Here, if any be curious to know how this last act of our confe­rence ended, or what Catastrophe did shut up the conflict between us, which had so much busie Epitasis and expectation in it, I could wish Master Cheynell himself were the Historian. Nevertheless, none will have reason to thinke me partiall or unfaithfull in my Report, having not only Master Wilkinson, if I deliver false story, but the Doctor of the Chaire to dispro [...], and contradict me. At whose lodging in Christ-church when we [...], First, with a prudence becoming the granity of his person, and the Dignity of his place, he told us, that he could not think it sit to sit moderatour to any disputation which was [...]ot either pro form, and conduced to the taking of a degree, or pro Termino, which is a Divinity exercise, at which the University Statutes require his presence in the chaire. Next, if we resolved to meet in the Schools without a moderatour, his advice was, that Master Cheynell should have his scribe and I mine, to write down faithfully his Arguments and my Replyes: which thus taken and compared, would not be so liable to the va­riations of report, as when the eares and memories of the hearers are their only Register.

There remained but one difficulty, which was, how to make us agree upon questions fit to be disputed in such a publike way. M. Cheynell utterly refused Mine, and the Doctor of the Chaire thought it no way reasonable, that in the dangerous attire they wore, I should accept of his; especially the first. Which upon M. Cheynells unlocking of the full extent and meaning of the termes, revealed it self to be a kinde of Trojan horse; consecrated indeed to Pallas without, but lined with an Ambush of Armed enemies within. For, besides the Words Missall, Breviary, and Pontificall (against which I before gave in my exceptions) by A praelatis de­cerpta, [Page 59] populo (que) obtrusa, Master Cheynell said, he not only meant those parts of our English Lyturgie which have been borrowed from the Church of Rome, but the Scotch Lyturgie too, as it was imposed upon that Nation by the Sword. Which, though it were a mistake in him to say it was imposed by the sword, (since the date of the reception of it in that Church was the year 1637. At which time the Sword of both Nations lodged peaceably in the Scab­berd) and though upon the perusall of it since, I finde it the same in all points with ours, but only in the contraction of the forme of the Administration of the Lords Supper, and so for the matter of it as defensible as ours, yet having been turned out of that King­dome, and Church as solemnly as it was at first introduced, that is, by an Act of Parliament; To whose birth the King and Houses concurred,, for me to have disputed publiquely for the second re­ception of it, had been the way not only to raise a Northern Ar­my of men against my self, (who would, doubtless, have thought it a very bold piece of insolence in me to disallow in a publique di­spute, the proceedings of a whole State) but of such Northerne Wo­men too, whose zeale upon the first reading of that innocent Lyturgie, mistook it for the Mass booke, and thereupon conver­ted their Ioynt-stools, upon which they sate, into Weapons, with which they invaded the Reader, and chaced him, with his New­born Popery in his hand, out of the Church. These Reasons being layed to those other, which in my last letter but one, produced to shew how scandalous, as well as unsafe, it would in all likely­hood, prove both to the University and my self, if I should pub­liquely maintaine a question which carryed so much danger with it, I prest M. Cheynell with the intimation which he gave me in his last letter, which was, to stand to that frame of Questions which the Doctor of the Chaire should contrive for us. To whose Or­dering of the terms of his first Question if he would submit, I pro­mised him to accept of his other two; (though in the Doctor of the Chaires opinion, the termes of his third Question were something hard) in that unaltered forme into which he had cast them. To this his reply was, that after the Words populo obtrusa, in his first Question, he would allow me to insert these two words of Miti­gation, ut fertur. Whereto my answer was, that this addition would so litle deserve the name of a Mitigation, that it very much [Page 60] increast my burther, and hung more weights upon me. Since here­by I obliged my self, not only to stand up for the Re-admission of the Scotch Lyturgie; which could not be done without an affront offered to the Act of State that banisht it, but for the Iustificati­on of all the unknown practices of the Prelates, who had the con­trivance of that Lyturgie, against the Sinister reports, and Calum­nies of the incensed people. Who, as for some yeares, they have been falsely taught to thinke the Order of Bishops Antichristian, so looking upon their persons through the mist cast by some False Prophets before their eyes, it ought to be no wonder if their best Actions have seemed Popery. The Conclusion of all was this. M. Cheynell at length, without any farther Clouds of discourse, told me plainly, that to any other alterations then this he could not con­sent; being bound up by his instructions to hold this Question only in the latitude & sense, which was signified by the termes in which he had Arrayed it. Whereupon, the long expected scene between us closed, and the Curtaine to this Controversie was let fall. And we, after some mutuall exchanges of Civility, parted, I hope like two Divines, in perfect Charity with one another.

THE END.

[Page]ΟΞΛΟ-ΜΑΞΙΑ. OR THE PEOPLES WAR, EXAMINED According to the Principles of SCRIPTURE & REASON, IN Two of the most Plausible Pretences of it. IN ANSWER To a LETTER sent by a Person of Quality, who desired satisfaction.

By JASPER MAYNE D. D. one of the Students of Ch. Ch. Oxon.

Rom. 13. 2.

[...].

Printed in the Yeare, 1647.

Honourd Sir,

I Have in my time seen certain Pictures with two faces. Beheld one way, they have presented the shape and fi­gure of a Man. Beheld another, they have presented the shape and figure of a Serpent. Me thinks, Sir, for some years, whatever Letters the King wrote either to the Queene, or his friends, or what ever Declarations he publish [...] in the defence of his Rights and Cause, had the ill for­tune to undergoe the fate of such a Picture. To us who read them impartially, by their own true, genuine light, they ap­peared so many cleare, transparent Copies of a sincere and Gal­lant Mind. Look't upon by the People, (of whom you know who said, populus iste vult decipi, decipiatur) through the An­swers and Observations, and venomous Comments, which some men made upon them, a fallacy in judgement followed very like the fallacy of the sight; where an Object beheld through a false deceitfull medium, partakes of the cosenage of the convey­ance, and way, and puts on a false Resemblance. As square, bright, angular things through a mist show darke and round; and straight things seen through water show broken and di­storted.

It seems, Sir, by your Letter to me, that your Friend, with whom you say, you have lately had a dispute about the Kings Su­premacy, and the Subjects Rights, is one of those who hath had the ill luck to be thus deceived. Which I doe not wonder at, when I consider how much he is concern'd in his fortunes that the Parliament should all this while be in the right. Be­sides, [Page 2] Sir, Having lookt upon the Cause of that Side meerly in that plausible dresse with which some pens have attired it, And having entertain'd a str [...]ng prejudice against whatever shall be said to prove that a Parliament may erre, it ought to be no mar­vaile to you if he be rather of M. [...]rinnes then Iudge Ienkins's. Opinion; And perswade himselfe, that the Parliament having, if not a superior, yet a coordinate power with the King, in which the People is interested, where ever their Religion or Liberty is invaded, may take up Armes against Him, for the defence of either. But then. Sir, finding by my reading of the publick writings of both sides, that both sides challenged to themselves the Defence of one and the same Cause, I must confesse to you, That [...] a while the many Battailes, which so often coloured our fields with Bloud, appeared to me like Battails [...]ught in Dreams. Where the person combating in his sl [...]epe, imagines he hath an Adversary, but a wake perceives his error that he hel [...] co [...]flict with himselfe. To speak a little more freely to [...], Sir, the Kings Declarations, and the Parliaments Remonstran­ces equally pretending to the maintenance of the same Prote­stant Religion, and the same Liberty of the Subject, I wonde­red a while how they could make two opposite sides, or could so frequently come into the field without a Quarrell.

But since your Friend is pleased to let me no longer remain a Sceptick, but clearly to state the Quarrell; by suffering the two great words of Charme, Liberty, and Religion. (from whence both sides have so often made their Recruits) to stand no longer as a Salamis, or controverted Iland between two e­quall Challengers; And since he is pleased to espouse the de­fence of them so wholly to the Parliament, as to call the Warre made by the King the Invasion of them; Both for his and your satisfaction, who have layed this taske upon me, give me leave to propose this reasonable Dilemma to you. Either 'tis true what your Friend saies, that the Parliament hath all this while sought for the defence of their Liberty, and Religion, or 'tis on­ly a pretence, and hath hid some darker secret under it. If it have been only a pretence, there being not a third word in all the [Page 3] World which can afford so good Colour to make an un­just Warre passe for a just, the first discovery of it, will be the fall, and ruine of it; And the People who have been misled with so much holy Imposture, will not only hate it for the Hypocrisie, but the Injustice too. If it be true, yet I cannot see how they are hereby advantaged, or how, ei­ther or both these joyned can legitimate their Armes.

For first, Sir, I would fain know of your friend, what he means by the Liberty of the Subject. I presume he doth not mean a Releasement from servitude. Since amongst all their other complaints, delivered in Petitions to the Parlia­ment, they never yet adventured to say that they were go­vern'd as Servants by a hard Master, not as Subjects by a Prince. Nor doe I find that the King was such a Pharaoh to them, that they were able to say, that he changed a King­dome of Freemen into a House of Bondage. Some Acts of his Government, I confesse, some have call'd Illegal; namely the exaction of Ship-mony. But this certainly, was a grievance which if it had not been redrest, deserved not to be reckon­ed among the Brick kills of Aegypt, or to denominate his Government despoticall too.

Next then, doth your friend, by Liberty, meane a Re­leasement from Tyranny, as Tyranny allowes men to be Subjects, but not much removed from slaves? Had the King indeed, made his Will the Rule of his Government, and had his Will revealed it selfe in nineteen years of Injustice, had he like Caligula, worne a Table-book in his pocket, with the names of the Nobility in it design'd and Markt for slaughter; Had he without any Trialls of Law made his pleasure passe for sentence, and lopt off Senators heads as Tarquin did Poppeys; Had he in his oppressions of the Peo­ple made them feele Times like those which Tacitus de­scribes; where no man durst be virtuous, least he should be thought to upbrayd his Prince; where to complaine of hard usage was capitall; and where men had not only their words, but their very looks and sighs proscribed; his Raigne would [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 4] beare that Name. But alas, Sir, you your selfe know, that these are Acts of Tyranny, which were so farre from being practised, that they have not yet been faigned among us. 'Tis true, indeed, certain dark Iealousies were cast among the people, as if some Evill Counsellors about the King had had it in their designe to introduce an Arbitrary Govern­ment. But these were but Iealousies, blown by those, whose plot 'twas to make the popular hatred their engine to re­move those Counsellors, that by their ruine they might raise a Ladder to their own Ambitions. For if the Calamity of these times have not quite blotted out the memory of for­mer, people cannot but remember, that no Nation under Heaven, more freely enjoyed the Blessing of the Scripture then we; every one secure under the shade of his own Uine. perhaps a grape or two extraordinary was gathered for the publique. But if any did refuse to contribute, I doe not find that like Naboth, they were stoned for their Uineyard. If therefore, the Gentleman your friend understand Liberty in this sense, the most he can say for the Parliament, is, that they have taken up Armes against their King, not because he was, but because he possibly might be a Tyrant. Which feare of theirs being in it selfe altogether unreasonable, and therefore not to be satisfied, could not but naturally endea­vour (as we find by sad experience it hath done) [...]o secure it selfe by removing out right the formidable ob [...]ect which caused it▪ which being not to be done but by the Removall of Monarchicall Government it selfe, could not but cast them at length upon a new forme of State, or such a confusi­on or no Forme of state, as, we see, hath almost drawn ru­ine upon themselves and their Countrey.

Once more therefore▪ I must aske your Friend what he meanes by Liberty. I hope he doth not mean an Exempti­on from all Governement; Nor is fallen upon their wilde O­pinion, who held that there ought to be no Magistrate, or superior among Christians. But that in a freedom of condi­tion we are to live together like men standing in a Ring, or [Page 5] Circle, where Roundnesse takes away Distinction, and Or­der; And where every one beginning and ending the Cir­cle, as none is before, so none is after another. This Opini­on, as 'twould quickly reduce the House of Lords to the House of Commons; so 'twould in time reduce the House of Commons to the same levell with the Common people. who being once taught that Inequality is unlawfull, would quickly be made Docile in the entertainment of the other Arguments, upon which the Anabaptists did here to fore set all Germany in a flame. Namely, that Christ hath not only bequeathed to Men, the liberty of his Gospell, but that this liberty consists in ones not being greater then an­other. It being an Oracle in Nature, that we are all borne Equall; That these words of Higher, and Lower, superiour, and Inferiour, are fitter for Hills, and Vales, then for men of a Kind; That the names also of Prince and Subject, Magistrate and People, Governours and Govern­ed, are but so many stiles Vsurpt. Since in Nature for one Man to be borne Subiect to another, is as much against Kinde, as if men should come into the World with chaines about them; or as if Women should bring forth Children with Gyves, and shakles on. Which Doctrine as 'twould naturally tend to a Parity, so that Parity would as naturally end in a Confusion.

Lastly, therefore, I will understand your Friend in the most favourable sence I can. That by the Parliaments de­fence of the Peoples Liberty, he meanes the maintenance of some Eminent Rights belonging to the Subiect, which be­ing in manifest danger to be invaded, and taken from them, could not possibly be preserved but by Armes taken up a­gainst the invader. But then, granting this to be true, (as I shall in fit place shew it to be false) yet the King being this invader (unlesse by such an Invasion He could cease to be their King, or they to be his subiects▪) I cannot see how such Rights could make their Defence lawfull.

For the clearer Demonstration of this, I shall desire you; [Page 6] Sir, not to think it a digression in me, if I deduce things somewhat higher then I at first intended, or then your Let­ter requires me; Or, if to cure the streame, I take the Pro­phets course, and cast salt into the spring; And examine first, How farre the Power of a King, (who is truly a King, and not one only in Name) extends it selfe over Subjects. Next, whether any such Power doe belong to our King; Thirdly if there doe, How farre 'tis to be obeyed, and not resisted.

As for the first, you shall in the Scripture, Sir, find two Originalls of Kings, One immediatly springing from the Election and choice of God himselfe. The other from the choice and election of the People; But so, as that it resolves it selfe into a Divine Institution. The History of Regall pow­er, as it took Originall from God himselfe, is set downe at large in the eight Chapter of the first Book of Samuel. where, when the Israelites, weary of the Government by Iudges (who had the same power that the Dictators had at Rome, and differ'd nothing from the most absolute Mo­narchs but only in their Name, and the temporary use of their power) required of Samuel to set a King over them, God bid him hearken to their voyce. But withall v. 9. Solemnly to protest and shew them the manner (or as one translat [...]s it more to the mind of the Originall, Ius Regis, the Right, or power) of the King that should raigne over them. That he would take their sonnes, & appoint them for his Charets; And their Daughters, to be Confectionaries, and Cookes f [...]r his Kitchin. That he would also take their fields their Uine­yards, and their Olive-yards, even the best of them and give them to his Officers; Lastly, That he would take the Tenth of their seed, and sh [...]epe, And yee, saies the Prophet (which is a very characteristicall marke of subjection) v. 17. shall be his servants.

All which particulars, with many others there specifi­ed, (which I forbeare to repeat to you, because they rise but [...]o the same height) may in oth [...] termes be briefly sum­med up into these two Generalls. That the Iews by requir­ing [Page 7] a King to be set over them, (such a King as was to Raigne over them, like the Kings of other V. 5. Nations) divest­ed themselves of two of the grea [...]est Immunities which can belong to Freemen, Liberty of person, and propriety of Estates. And both these in such an unlimited measure, as left them not power, if their Prince pleased, to call either themselves, or Children, or any thing else their owne.

To this if either you, or your friend shall reply, that this was but a Propheticall Character of Saul, and a meere pre­diction to [...]he people wha [...] He, made King would doe, noe true Draught of his Commission, what He in Iustice might, (since a Prince who shall assume to Himselfe the exercise of such a boundlesse power, doth but verify the Fab [...], a S [...]ork set over a Common wealth of Froggs, They to be his prey, not He to be their King) To the first I answer negatively. That what is said in the fore-mentioned Chapter by Sa­muel, cannot be meant only of Saul, since nothing is there said to confine the description to this Raigne. Nor doth any part of his History charge him with such a Government. Next, I shall g [...]ant you, that no Prince ruling by the strict Lawes of naturall-equity, or Iustice, can exercise all the Acts of power there mentioned. Nor can his being a King so legitimate all his Actions, or so outright exempt him from the common condition of men, that what ever he shall doe shall be right. Most of the Acts there recorded are not only repugnant to the Lawes of sociable Nature, or just Rule, (which forbids One to have All; and binds Prin­ces themselves in chains of Reason) but to the Deuter. 17. v. 16, 17, 18, 19. Law of God in another place; which allowes not the King of his own choyce, to Raigne as he list, but assignes him the Law of Moses for his Rule. From which as often as he broke loose, he sinned like one of the People. yet so, as that upon any such breach of the Law 'twas not left in the power of the People to correct him, or to force him by a Warre, lik [...] ours, to returne back again to hi [...] duty. His commission towards them (if you marke it well) [...]an in such an uncontroleable [Page 8] stile, that his best Actions and his worst, towards them, wore the same warrant of Authority. However therefore, Re­gall power, in the forementioned place of Samuel, be called the manner of what a King would doe, yet that Manner, (as I told you before) carryed a Ius or power with it unque­stionable by the Subiect, to doe if he pleased things unlaw­full. And hence 'tis that the Prophet tells the Iews at the 18. verse of that Chapter, That in the Day they found them­selves opprest by their King, they should cry out for redresse to the Lord; As the only Arb [...]ter, and Iudge, of the Deeds, and Actions of Princes.

The Originall of Regall power as it took beginning from the People, you have most lively exprest to you by S. Peter in the 13. v. of the 2. Chapter of his 1. Epist. Where ex­horting those to whom he wrote to order their Obedience according to the severall Orbes, and Regions of power of the States wherein they lived, he bids them submit themselves to every Ordinance of Man; whether it be to the King as su­preme, or unto Governors, as unto them who are sent by him &c.

In which words I shall desire you to observe. First, that Monarchy as well as other Formes of Government, is there called [...], a Human Creature, or thing of Hu­mane Creation. From whence some, such as your Friend, (who, I perceive by his Arguments against Monarchy in your Letter hath read Iunius Brutus, and Buchanan) have inferred, That as to avoid Disorder and Confusion, people did at first passe over the R [...]le and Government of themselves to a Prince, so the Prince being but an [...], or Derivative from them, doth still retain a Dependance on his first Creators. And as in Nature 'tis observed that waters naturally cannot rise higher then their Spring-head; so Prin­ces, they say, have their Spring-head too. Above which as often as they exalt themselves, 'tis in the power of the Fountain to recall it's streame, and to bring it to a plaine, and level with it selfe. For though, say they, it be to be granted, [Page 9] that a King thus chosen is Major singulis, superiour to any One, yet he is Minor vniversis, Inferior to the whole. Since all the Dignity and power which makes him shine be­fore the People, being but their Rayes contracted into his Body, they cannot reasonably be presumed so to give them away from themselves, as that in no case it shall be lawfull to call for them back againe.

For answer to which Opinion (taken in by your Friend from his misunderstanding of that Text) I will goe no far­ther then the place of Scripture on which 'tis built, where (without any criticall strife about the signification of the Words) I will grant that not only Monarchy, (which is the Government of a People by a Prince) But Aristocracy, (which is the Government of a People by States) & Demo­cracy (which is the Government of the people by the people) hath next, and immediatly in all States but the Iewish been [...], of Humane Creation. But then that 'tis not so purely humane, as not to be of Gods Creation, and In­stitution too, is evident by the words next in Contexture, where the Apostle bids them, to whom he wrote, to submit themselves to every such Ordinance of man, [...], For the Lords sake. who by putting his Seale of Approbati­on to mens Elections and choyce, hath not only authorised a Humane Institution to passe into a Divine Ordinance; But towards it hath imprinted even in Nature it selfe such a Necessity of Government, and of Superiority of one man over another, that men without any other Teacher, but their owne inbredde Instinct, (which hath alwayes whisper'd to them that Anarchy is the Mother of Confusion) have naturally fallen into Kingdoms, and Commonwealths. And however such a state, or condition of life under a Prince or Magistrate be something lesse free then not to be subject at all, (since mens Actions have hereby been confined to the Wills of Superiours, whose Lawes have been certaine chaines and shackles clapt upon them,) yet a subjection with security hath alwayes, by wise men, been preferr'd before Liberty [Page 10] with danger, & men have bin compelled to enter into those Bonds, as the only way, & meanes to avoyd a greater Thral­dome. Since without such a subordination of one man to ano­ther, to hold them together in just society, the Times of the Nomades would return where, [...], the weaker served only to be made a prey to the stronger.

The next thing which I shall desire you to observe from that Text, is, that the King, though chosen, and created by the People, is there stiled [...] Supreame. Now Sir, you know that [...] Supream, is so to be over others, as to have no Superiour above him. That is, to be so Inde­pendently the L [...] of his owne Actions, of what sort soever, whether uniust or just, as not to beaccountable to any but God. If he were, that other, to whom he is accounta­ble, would be Supream not He. Since in all things where­in he is Questionable, He is no longer the King, or [...] there describ [...]d, but a more specious Subject. Where­upon will either follow this contradiction in Power, That the same Person at the same Time may be a King, and no King; or we must admit of an Absurdity as great; which is, That a Supream may have a Supream; which to grant were to cast our selves upon an Infinite progresse.

For that there must be a Non-ultra, or Resolution of pow­er either into one, (as in a perfect Monarchy) or into some Few, (as in the Government by a Senate) or into the Maior part of the People joyning suffrages, (as in a pure Democracy; All three Formes agreeing in this, That some body must be Supream and unquestionable in their Actions,) the nature of Rule, and Businesse, and Governement it selfe demonstrates to us. Which would not else be able to obtaine it's ends, or decide controversies otherwise undeter­minable. And however this power may sometimes be ab­used, and strained beyond it's Iust limits, yet this not being the fault of the power, but of the Persons whose power tis, it makes much more for the Peace of the publique, that one, or Few should in some things be allowed to be unjust then that they should be liable to be Questioned by an Ill▪ Iudge­ing. Multitude in All.

[Page 11] The third thing which you may please to observe from that peece of Scripture, is, The Creation of Magistrates, or Governours, who are there said to be sent [...] By Him. Where a Moderne Writer applyes the [...] or By Him, to God. As it all other Governours were sent by Him, not by the King. Which Interpretation of the place I would admit for currant, if by the [...] or Governours, so sent, he did understand the Rulers in an Aristocracie, or Free-state. which being a Species of Governement, Contradi­stinct to Monarchy cannot be denyed to have God, as well as the other for it's Founder. But then the word [...] the peculiar Epithet of Monarchy, will beare another sence then I have hitherto given it; And will not only signifie the King to be Supream, (for so the Rulers of a Free State are within their owne Territories) but compared with other Formes of Supremacy to be the most excellent. Monarchy being in it selfe least subject to Disunion, or civill Disturb­ance. And for that Reason pronounced by the wisest State­ists to be that Forme of Governement, into which all o­ther incline naturally to resolve themselves for their per­fection. But by Governours, in that place, understanding as he doth, not the Senate in a Free-state, but the Subordi­nate Magistrates under a Prince, the [...] most cer­tainly belongs to the King. To whom the Apostle there as­signes the Mission of Governours as one of the Essentiall Markes, and Notes, that He is, in His owne Realm Su­pream.

And thus Sir, having drawne the portraiture of Regall Power to you, by the best Light in the world, but with the meanest Pencill; I know you expect that in the next place I should shew you what Rayes, or Beames, of this pow­er are Inherent in our King. Which being a taske fitter for one of our greatest Sages of the Law, then for me, (who, being One who doe not pretend to any exact knowledg in the Fundamentall Lawes, or Customes, of this Kingdome,) which are to stand the Land-marks and markes of partition between the Kings Prerogative, and the Liberty of the Sub­ject, [Page 12] may perhaps be thought by drawing a line or circle a­bout either, to limne Figures in the Dust, whose [...]ate bangs on the Mercy of the next Winde that blowes) the steps by which I will proceed, (leaving you to the late writings of that most learned and honest Iudge Ienkins for your fuller satisfaction in this point) shall be breifly these two. First I will shew you what are the Genuine markes, and proper­ties of Supream power; Next, how many of them have been challenged by the King, and have not hitherto been denyed Him by any Publique Declaration of the Parliament.

Sir if you have read Aristotles Politicks (as I presume you have) you may please to remember that he * there di­vides the Supream Powere of a State, into three generall Lib. 4. c. 4. parts. The Ordering of Things for the publique, the Crea­tion of Magistrates, and the Finall resolution of Iudgment upon Appeales; To which he afterwards addes the power of Levying Warre, or concluding of Peace, of making or breaking Leagues with forraigne Nations, of enacting or abrogating Lawes, of Pardoning, or Punishing Offendors, with Banishment, Confiscation, Imprisonment or Death. To which Dyonisius Halicarnassensis addes, the power to call or dissolve Comitia, or publique Assemblies; As well Synods and Councells in Deliberations concerning Religion; as Parliaments, or Senates, in Deliberations secular con­cerning the State. To all which markes of Supreame power, a * Moderne Lawyer (who only wants their Age to be of as great Authority as either) addes the power to exact Tri­bute, and to presse Souldiers. In the exercise of which two Grot. lib. 1. c. 3. de Iure Belli & pa­cis. Acts consists that Dominium Eminens, or Dominion Para▪mount, which the state, (when ever it stands in need, And that too, to be the Iudge of its owne Necessity) hath not only over the Fortunes, but the Persons of the Subject; In a measure so much greater then they have over themselves, as the publique poole is to be preferr'd before the private Cisterne.

Now Sir, if you please to apply this to the King, though good Lawyers will tell you that the power of making or [Page 31] repealing Laws be not solely in Him, but that the two Houses have a concurrent right in their production, and Abolish­ment; yet they will tell you too, that His power extends thus farre, that no Law can be made or repealed without Him. Since for either, or both Houses to produce a Stat­ute Law by themselves, hath alwaies, in this State, been thought a Birth as Monstrous as if a Child should be begot­ten by a Mother upon her selfe. They usually are the Matrice and Womb, where Lawes receive their first Im­pregnation, and are shap't and formed for the publique; But (besides the opinion of all present Lawyers of this King­dome, who, like that great Iudg Ien­kins. example of Loyalty, dare speak their knowledge) it hath alwaies been acknowledg­ed by the Law made 2. H. 5. By the sentence of Refusall, Le Roy S' Avisera, and indeed by all Parliaments of former Ages, That the King is thus farre Pater Patriae: that these Lawes are but abortive unlesse his Consent passe upon them. A Negative power He hath then, though not an out-right Legislative. And if it be here objected, by your Friend, that the two Houses severally have so too, I shall perhaps grant it, if in this particular, they will be modest, and con­tent to go sharers in this Power; And no longer challenge to their Ordinances the legality & force of Acts of Parliament.

As for the other parts of Royalty, which I reckoned up to you; As the Creation of Officers, and Counsellours of State, of Iudges for Law, and Commanders for Warre, the Or­dering of the Militia by Sea and Land, The Benefit of Confiscations, and Escheats where Families want an Heyre; The power to absolve and pardon, where the Law hath Condemned; The power to call and disolve Parliaments, As also the Receipt of Custome and Tribute, with ma­ny other particulars, which you are able to suggest to your selfe. They have alwaies been held to be such undoubted Flowers of this Crowne, that every one of them like his Coyne (which you know Sir, is by the Law of this Land Treason to counterfeit, which is an other mark of Royalty) hath in all Ages but Ours, worne the Kings I­mage, [Page 14] and superscription upon it. Not to be invaded by any, without the crime of Rebellion.

And though (as your Friend saies,) this be but a regu­lated power, and rise no higher in the just exercise of these Acts, then a Trust committed by the Lawes of this King­dome, for the Governement of it▪ to the King, (for I never yet perceived by any of His Declarations, That His Majes [...]y c [...]aimed these as due to Him by Right of Conquest, or any [...]er of those Absolute, and Vnlimited waies, which might render His Crowne Patrimoniall to Him, or such an out-right A [...]odium that He might Alienate it, or chuse His Successour, or Rule as He pleased Himselfe) yet as in the making of these Lawes He holds the first place, so none of these Rights which he derives from them, can without His own Consent, be taken from Him.

For proofe hereof, I will only instance in three particu­lars to you, (for I must remember, that I am now writing a Letter to you, not penning a Treatise,) which will carry the greater force of perswasion, because conf [...]st by this Parliament. The first was an Act presented to the King for the setling of the Militia, for a limited time in such Hands as they might confide in. A clear Argument, that without such an Act past by the King, the two Houses had nothing to do with the Ordering of it. Another was one of the Nineteen Propositions, where twas desired that the Nomination of all Officers, and Counsellours of State, might, for the future go by the Maior part of Voyces of both Houses. Another Argument, That the King hath hi­therto in all such Nominations, been the only Fountaine of Honour. The third was, the passing of the Act for the Continuation of this Parliament; Another Argument, that nothing but the Kings consent could ever have made it thus Perpetuall as it is. Many other Instances might be giv­en, but so undoubtedly acknowledged by Bracton, By Him that wrote the Book call'd The Prerogative of Parliaments, (who is thought to be Sir Walter Raleigh) By Sir Edward [Page 15] Cooke, by the stiles and Formes of all the Acts of Parlia­ment, which have been made in this Kingdom, and by that learned Sir Iohn Banks. Iudge who wrote the Examination of such parti­culars in the Solemne League and Covenant as concerne the Law; And who in a continued Line of Quotation, and Proofe, derives along these and the other parts of Supreme power in the King, from Edward the Confessour, to our present Soveraigne King Charles, that to prove them to you, were to adde beames to the Sunne.

Here then, For the better stating of the Third thing I proposed to you, (which was, That granting the King to be Supreme in this Kingdome, (at least so farre as I have de­scribed him) how farre He is to be Obeyed, and not Resist­ed) Two things will fall under Inquiry. First, supposing the King not to have kept Himselfe to that Circle of power which the Lawes have drawn about Him, but desirous to walke in a more Absolute compasse, That He hath in some­things invaded the Liberty of his People, whither such an Incroachment can justifie their Armes. Next, If it be proved that He hath kept within his Line, and only made the Law the Rule of His Governement, whether a bare Fear or Iealousie, That when ever he should be able, He would change this Rule, (which is the most that can be pretend­ed) could be a Iust cause for an Anticipating Warre.

The Decision of the first of these Inquiries, will depend wholly upon the Tenure by which he holds His Crowne. If it were puerly Elective, or were at first set upon His Head by the Suffrages of the people; And if in that Electi­on, His power had been limited; Or if by way of paction, it had been said, Thus farre the King shall be Supreme, thus farre the people shall be Free; If there had been certaine Expresse conditions assigned Him, with his Scepter, that if he transgrest not his limites He should be Obeyed, if He did, it should be lawfull for the people to resist Him; Lastly, if to hinder such Exorbitances, there had been certaine Epho­ [...]i, or Inspectours, or a Co-ordinate Senate, placed, as [Page 16] Mounds, and Cliffes about Him, with warrant from the Electours, that when ever he should attempt to overflow his Bankes, it should be their part to reinforce Him back into his Channell; I must confesse to you being no better then a Duke of Uenice, or a King of Sparta; In truth no King, but a more splendid Subject, I think such a Resistance might be Lawfull. Since, such a Conveyance of Empire being but a conditionall contract, as in all other Elections, the chusers may reserve to themselves, or give away so much of their Liberty as they please. And where the part reserved is in­vaded, 'Tis no Rebellion to defend. But where the Crowne is not Elective, but hath so Hereditarily descended in an an­cient line of succession from King [...]o King, that to finde out the Originall of it, would be a taske as difficult, as to find out the Head of Nilus; where the Tenure is not conditionall, nor hangs upon any contract made at first with the people, nor is such a reciprocall Creature of their Breath, as to be blowne from them, and recalled, like the fleeting Ayre they draw, as often as they shall say it returnes to them, worse then at first they sent it forth; In short, Sir, Where the only Obligation, or Tye upon the Prince is the Oath which He takes at his Coronation, to rule according to the knowne Lawes of the place; Though every Breach of such an Oath be an Offence against God, (to whom alone a Prince thus independent is accountable for his Actions) yet 'twill never passe for more then perjury in the Prince; No War­rant for Subiects to take up Armes against Him.

Here then, Sir, should I suppose the worst that can be supposed, that there was a time when the King, misled (as your Friend sayes) by Evill Counsellours, did actually trample upon the Lawes of the Kingdome, and the Liberty of his Subiects, derived to them by those Lawes; yet un­lesse some Originall compact can be produced where 'tis a­greed, That upon every such Incroachment it shall be lawfull for them to stand upon their Defence; unlesse some Funda­mentall Contract can be shewen where 'tis clearely said, [Page 17] that where the King ceaseth to governe according to Law, He shall for such misgovernment cease to be King; To urge (as your Friend doth) such vnfortunate precedents as a De­posed Richard, or a Dethroned Edward, (Two dispropor­tion'd examples of popular Fury; The one forced to part with his Crowne by Resignation, the other as never having had legall Title to it,) may shew the Iniustice of former Parliaments growne strong, never justifie the Pitcht-feilds which have been fought by this. Since, (If this supposition were true) the King being bound to make the Law Hi [...] Rule by no other Obligation but His Oath at His Corona­tion (Then which there cannot be a greater, I confesse, and where 'tis violated never, without Repentance scapes vnpu­nish't) yet 'tis a trespasse of which Subiects can only com­plaine, but as long as they are Subiects can never innocent­ly revenge.

But this, all this while, Sir, is but only supposition; And you know, Sir, what the Logician saies, suppositio nihil ponit in esse, what ever may be supposed is not presently true. I [...] Calumny her selfe would turne Informer, let her leave out Ship-money (a greivance which being fairely laid a fleepe by an Act of Parliament, deserved not to be awakened to beare a part in the present Tragedy of this almost ruined Kingdome) she must confesse that the King through the whole course of His Raigne was so farre from the Invasion of His Subjects Rights, that no King of England before Him, (unlesse it were Henry the first, and King Iohn, whom, being Vsurpers it concern'd to comply with the People, the one having supplanted his Eldest Brother Robert Duke of Normandy, the other his Nephew, Arthur Prince of Britaine) ever imparted to them so many Rights of his owne. To that Degree of Infranchisement that I may almost say He exchanged Liberties with them. Witnesse the Peti­tion of Right. An Act of such Royall Grace, that when He past that Bill, He almost dealt with His people, as Tra [...]an did with the Pratorian praefect, [...]ut his sword into their Hands, [Page 18] and bid them use it for Him if he ruled well if not, against Him. In short, Sir, Magna Charta was a Uine, I confesse, cast over the People, but this Act enabled them to call the shade of it their owne. An Act which (if your friend will please to forget Ship mony) being in no one particular vio­lated, so farre as to be instanc [...]d in by those, whose present Ingagements would never suff [...]r such Breaches of Priviledge to passe unclam [...]ur'd, will ob [...]ge posterity to be gratefull, as often as they remember themselves to be Freemen.

Thi [...] then being so, the next inquiry will be, whether a bare Iealousy that the King would in time have recalled this Grace, and would have invaded the Liberty of his Subjects, by the change of the Fundamentall Lawes, could be a [...]ust cause for such a praeventive Warre as this. To which I an­sw [...]re, that such a Feare, [...] built upon strong presum­ptions cannot possibly be a just cause for one Nation to make Warre upon another; much lesse for Subjects to make Warre against their Prince. The Reason is, because nothing can legitimate such a Warre, but either an Injury already of­fered, or so visibly imminent, that it may passe for the first Dart or Speare hurled. Where the Injury or Invasion, is only contin [...]ent and conjecturall, and wrapt up in the wombe of darke Counsells, no way discoverable but by their own revelation of themselves in some outward Acts of Ho­stility, or usurpation, to anticipate is to be first injurious; and every Act of prevention, which hath only Iealousie for its foundation, will adde new justice to the enemies Cause, who, as He cannot in reason be pronounced guilty of ano­thers Feares so he will come into the Field with this great advantage on his side, That his reall wrong will joyne Battle with the others weake suspition.

But alas, Sir, Time, (the best interpreter of Mens Intenti­ons, hath at length unsee' [...]d our eyes, and taught us that this hath been a Warre of a quite opposite Nature. The Gen­tleman who wrote the Defence of M. Chaloners Speech, and M. Chaloner himselfe, if you marke his Speech well, will [Page 19] tell you, that the quarrell hath not been whether the subject of England shall be Free, but whether this Freedome shall not consist in being no longer Subject to the King. If you ma [...]ke, Sir, How the face of things hath alter'd with suc­cesse, How the scene o [...] things is shifted; And in what a N [...]w stile they, who called themselves the Invaded, have spoken, ever since their Victories have secured them against the power of any hat shall invade; If you consider what a poli­tick use hath been made o [...] those words of Inchantment, Law, Liberty, and Propriety of the Subject, by which the People have been musically en [...]ced into their Thraldome; If you yet farther consi [...]er the more then Decemvirall pow­er which this Parliament hath assumed to it selfe, by repeal­ing old Lawes, and making Ordinances passe for new; If you yet farther will please to consider How much Heavyer that which some call Priviledge of Parliament, hath been to the Subject, then that which they so much complained of, The Kings Prerogative; so much heavyer, that if one deserved to be called a Little finger, the other hath swolne it selfe into a Loyne; Lastly, if you compare Ship-mony with the Excise, and the many other Taxes laid upon the Kingdome, you will not onely find that a whippe then, hath been heightned into a Scorpion now; but you will perceive, that as these are not the first Subjects who, under pretence of Liberty, have invaded their Princes Crowne, (so farre as the Cleaving of Him asunder by a State Distinction, which separates the Power of the King from his Person) so ours, as long as he was able to lead an Army into the Field, hath been the first King that ever took up Armes for the Liberty of his Sub­jects. Vpo [...] all which premises, Sir, I hope you will not think it fa [...]e Logicke if I build this Conclusion so agreeable to the Lawes of the Kingdome, as well as the Lawes of God: Tha [...] supposing the Parliament all this while to have fought, (as was at first pretended) for the Defence of their assayled Liberty; yet fighting against the King whose Sub­jects they are, it can never before a Christian Iudge make [Page 20] their Armies passe for just. But being no way necessitated to make such a Defence (their Liberty having in no one particular been assaulted, which hath not been redrest) if S. Paul were now on earth againe, and were the Iudge of this Controversy between them and their Lawfull Sove­raigne, I feare he would call their Defence by a Name, which we in our Moderne Cases of Conscience doe call Re­bellion.

And thus, Sir, having as compendiously as the Lawes of a Letter will permit, given you, I hope, some satisfaction concerning the first part of your zealous Friends dispute with you; which was, whether the Two Houses (which he calls the Parliament) have not a Legall power, in Defence of their Liberty, to take up Armes against the King, I will with the like br [...]vity, proceed as well as I can, to give you satisfaction in the second part of his Dispute also; which was, whether Religion may not be a just Cause for a Warre. The Termes of which Question being very generall, and not re­strained to any kind of Religion, or any kind of Warre, whe­ther offensive or defensive, or whether of one Nation against another, or of a Prince against his Subjects, or of the Subjects back again against their Prince, allow me a very large space to walk in. In which, least I be thought to wander, and not to prove, It will first be necessary, that I define to you what Religion in generall is; And next, that I examine, whether every Religion which falls within the Truth of that Defini­tion may for the propagation of it selfe be a just cause of a Warre; and so whether all they who either are of no Reli­gion, or a false, may not be forced to be of the true. Lastly, what the Duty of Subjects is towards their Prince, incase he should endeavour by force to impose a Religion upon them which they think to be false, and can probably make it appear to be so by proofe [...] t [...]ken from the Scripture;

Religion then, (to define it in the dearest Termes) is saies [...]. Sae. q. [...]0. c. 3. Aquinas, Uirtus reddens debitum Honorem Deo, A vir­tue which renders to God his just Honour. This payment of [Page 21] Honour to God as 'tis built and founded upon his Creation of us, by which he hath a Right to our S [...]vice and Worship of him, so in the contemplative part of it, it consists in these foure Notions or Apprehensions of him. First, that there is a God, and that there is but One. Next, that he is not any part of this Visible World, but something Higher and more excellent, then any Thing we see. Thirdly, that he hath a providence going in the World, and takes care of Humane affaires. Lastly, that he made and created the World. To every one of which foure, answers a Commandement in the First-Table of the Decalogue. Where the first describes His Unity, by forbidding the Worship of other Gods. The next his Invisibility, by forbidding any Image, or Resemblance to be made of Him. The third his providence, described there by two eminent parts of it. His Omniscience, by which he knowes the Thoughts of mens Hearts: and his Iustice, by which he inflicts punishments on those whose Thoughts are disporportion'd to their Oathes and Words. The Fourth de­clares his Omnipotence, by which he created the World, and appointed the Sabbath to be the Feast and Memoriall of that great Worke. From which speculative apprehensi­ons of him doe spring these practicall, That being such a God thus known, He is to be Honour'd, Lov'd, Fear'd, Wor­shipt, and Obey'd.

Now since mens Religion, or Worship of God, cannot in reason be required to reach higher then their Knowledge of Him, (for Manifestation is so necessary to Obligation and Duty, that if'twere impossible to know that there is a God, 'twould be no sinne to be an Atheist) so if God had never made any second Revelation of Himselfe by the Scripture, but had left Mankind to their own Naturall search of Him, and to those Discourses of their Mindes, by which they in­ferred that such an orderly frame and Systeme of things, where every one works to the good and End of another, is too rationally contrived to arise from a concourse of A­tomes, or to be the Creature of Chance, and therefore must [Page 22] have some Efficient Cause higher, and nobler then it selfe, (since it implies a Contradiction, that any thing should be it's own producer) yet his bare Creation of the World re­presents so much of him, that without any other Booke or Teacher, all Ages have believed that there is a God who made the World; and that He hath a Rule, and providence going in it.

This then being so, 'Tis the Opinion of a very Grot. l. 2. de Iure Bel­ [...]i ac pacis c. 20. Learned Moderne Writer, That if there should be found a Countrey of Atheists, or a People of Diagoras Melius's Opinion, or of the opinion of Theodorus the Cyrenian, whose Doctrine 'twas, Nullos esse Deos, inane coelum, That there is no God nor a habitable Heaven, But that such Names of Emptinesse have been the Creatures of superstitious fancies, whose fears first prompted them to make Gods, and then to worship them; or if there should be a People found of Epicurus his opinion, who held that there were Gods, but that they were Idle, carelesse, vacant Gods, who troubled not themselves with the Government of the World, but past their time away in an undisturbed Tranquillity, and exemption from such in­ferior businesses as the Actions of Men such opinions (sup­posing them to be Nationall) as they are contradictory not only to the Dictares of Naturall Reason,) upon which God hath built the forementioned precepts of the Decalogue) but to that universally received Tradition, That there is a Di­vine power; whose providence holds the scales to mens acti­ons, and first or last sides with afflicted Innocence against suc­cesfull Oppression, so they would be just Causes for a reform­ing Warre. Not only because they are contumelious & re­proachfull to God himselfe, but because being directly de­structive to all Religion, They are by necessary consequence destructive to Humane society too. For let it once be gran­ted that there is no God, or (which, with reference to States, and Common-wealths, will produce the same irre­gular effects) that he regards not mens Actions, nor trou­bles himselfe with the Dispensation of Rewards and Pu­nishments, [Page 23] and the Doctrine of Carneades will presently p [...]sse for reasonable; That Utility is the measure of Right; And that he is most in the wrong who is least able to defend himselfe. That Iustice is the virtue of Fooles; and serves only to betray the simple and phlegmaticke, to the more a­ctive and daring. In short, Take away providence, especial­ly the two great parts of it, which raigne in the Hearts of men, hope of Reward, and feare of Punishment, and mens worst Actions, and their best will presently be thought e­quall. Whereupon Lawes, the Bonds of Humane [...]ociety, wanting their just Principle, which upholds them in their Reverence, will inevitab [...]y loose their force, and fall asun­der; and Men will be Men to each other in nothing but their [...] injustice & Oppressions of one another. 'Twas there­fore the politick observation of an Atheist in Adv. Mathemat. p. 3 [...]8. Sextus Em­piricus, That, to keep men orderly, and regular in a Com­mon-wealth, wise men at first invented Lawes, But per­ceiving that these, reaching only to their outward Actions, would never be well kept, unlesse they could find a way to awe their Minds within too, as a meanes conducing to that end, [...], one more wise, and subtle then the rest, invented Gods too. Well knowing that Religion, though but fained, is a conservative of States. upon consideration of which harmefull conse­quences, which naturally follow Atheisme, and the deniall of Gods providence, 'tis the opinion of that Author, that as 'twas no Injustice in those Grecian Citties, which banisht Philosophers, who were of this Opinion, out of their Com­monwealth, so if there should be found a Nation of such im­pious perswasions, 'twould be no Injustice in any other People, who are not Atheists, by way of punishment, to ba­nish them out of he World.

Though this, Sir, were the opinion of one, whose works have deservedly made him so Famous to the whole Christi­an World (besides the peaceablenesse of his Writings which decline all the wayes of quarrell) that to erre with him [Page 24] would be no disreputation to me, yet I must confesse to you, that I am so fa [...]re from thinking [...] Warre made for the propagation of Religion, how true soever it be, is warrant­able, that in this particular. I pers [...]ade my selfe I have some reason to dissent from, Hi [...] and to think it a Probleme very disputable, if his supposition were tru [...], that there were such a Countrey of Atheists, or Epicureans, who should [...] there is a God, or that he [...] providence going in [...] World; whether for that reason only another Nation [...] justifi [...]bly make Warre upon them. For first, what should give them Authority to doe so? Is't because men of this [...] perswasion doe sinne very grievously against [...]? [...] [...] to be true, to the utmost [...] of [...] that this speculative error in [...]h [...]ir Mindes, d [...] w [...]s a practicall errour [...] it in their lives, which i, not to p [...]y Worship to a God, which either they think not to be, or not at all to regard them, yet this being but a crime against God, the same Author hath answered himselfe in another Paragraph, where he saies, Deorum in­ [...]ae Diis cura, That God is able to revenge the injuries committed against Himselfe. Next then, is't because such an Opinion is destructive of Humane Society? Truly, Sir, though I shall grant that saying of Plutarch to be true, that Religion (which Atheisme, and the denyall of providence doe destroy) is, [...] ▪ one, (nay one of the firmest) Bonds of Society, and supporters o [...] Lawes, yet I have not met with any demon­strative Argument, which hath proved to me, that there is such a necessary dependance of Humane society upon Religi­on. that the Absence of the One must inevitably be the De­struction of the other. If it be, this is most likely to come to passe in the State, or Commonwealth, which is of this o­pinion among themselves, Not in a forraigne State, or Common-wealth which is not. But since 'tis possible that a Countrey of Atheists may yet have so much Morality a­mong them, seconded by Lawes made by common agree­ment [Page 25] among themselves, as to be a People, and to hold the society of Citizens among themselves. And as 'tis possible for them, without Religion, so farre, for meere utility and safeties sake, to observe the [...]aw of Nations, as not to wrong or injure a People different from themselves, so where no civill wrong, or injury is offered by them to ano­ther People, but where the morall Bonds of Society, and commerce, though not the Religious, of Opinion, and Worship, are unbroken by them, for the People not injured to make Warre upon them, for a feard, imaginary consequence, or because, being Atheists, 'tis possi [...]l▪ that their example may spread, is an Act of Hostility which I confesse I am not able to defend.

For thirdly, Sir, such a Warre must either have for it's end, their punishment, or their Correction. Their punish­ment can be no true warrantable end, because towards those who shall thus make Warre upon them, they have not of­fended. Nor can their Correction Legitimate such a Warre. Because all Correction as well as Punishment, requires Iu­risdiction in the Correctors, and Inflictors of the punish­ment. Which one People cannot reasonably be presumed to have over another People independent, and no way subject to them▪ unlesse we will allow, with that Lib. 2. de jure bell▪ & pacis c. 20. Author, that because Naturall reason doth dictate that Atheisme is pu­nishable, therefore they, who are not Atheists have a right to punish those that are; which Covarruvtas [...] Spaniard, who hath learnedly disputed this poynt, and others, as learned as he, have not thought fit to grant.

It hath been a Question [...]k't▪ whether Idolatry be not a Crime of this punishable nature in one People by another, who are not guilty of that Crime. To which the best Di­vines, which [...] h [...] yet read upon that Subject doe answer negatively, that it is not. For though it be to be granted that an [...] [...] [...] and kinds of Idolatry, One is more Ignoble and irrationall then Another; A [...] so t [...] e [...]nce towards God is greater or lesse as the Objects, to which men [Page 26] terminate their Idolatry, are more vile, or honourable; As in those old Heathens, 'twas a more faulty Idolatry to wor­ship a Dogge or Crocodile, or Serpent, then to worship things of a Sublimer kinde, namely the Sunne, or heavenly bodies, or Soules of famous men departed; And though all such Idolatries have deservedly been thought to be so ma­ny Affronts, and Robberies of the true God, whose worship is thereby misplaced, and spent upon false, yet having left behind him in his whole Globe of Creation no exact figure or Character of Himselfe, to be known or distinguisht by, nor any plaine Teacher but his Scripture to informe men of vulgar understandings, that there is but one God, and that that one God is only an Intelligible spirit, and no part of this grosse materiall World which we see, wherever the Scrip­ture hath not been heard of, if men (unable by the sight of a Naturall discourse to apprehend him as He is) have fan­cied to themselves a plurality of False Gods, or made to themselves false representations of the true, S. Paul tells us that Act. 17. 30. God connived at it, as a piece of unaffected ignorance. which can never be a cause meritorious of a Warre to cor­rect it. First, because being only an Offence against God, and the Offendors being (as I said before) free, and no wa [...] sub­ject to any People but themselves, Any forraigne Nation (unlesse they can show the like Commission from God to punish them, as the Iewes had to punish and root out the Canaanites) will want Iurisdiction, and Authority to their Armes. Next, because Idolatry though it be a false Religi­on, is yet as conservant of Society (which distinguishes it very much from Atheisme, and the deniall of Providence) as if'twere true. Nor can I see why He who worships ma­ny Gods, if he believe them to be Gods, should lesse feare punishment for his perjuries, or other Crimes, then He who only worships, and believes there is but one. Lastly, because though Idolatry be an Errour in men, yet being an Errour, without the light of Scripture to rectify it, hardly vincible in themselves, and no way criminall towards others of a [Page 27] more rectified Reason, 'Tis to be reformed by Argument, and perswasion, not violence, or force. Since a Warre made upon the Errours or mens mindes, is as unreasonable, as a Warre made upon the Freedome or their Wills.

And for this [...]ast reason, I conceive that the propagation of Christian Religion, cannot be a just cause for a Warre upon those who will refuse to imbrace it. First, because such a Refusall may possibly spring from an Errour in the under­standing, which even in a Preaching, and perswasive way would scarce be in the power of S. Paul himselfe, if he were on earth againe (unless he would joyne Miracles to his Sermons) to dislodge. For though some parts of the New Law doe carry such a Musick and consent to the Law of Nature, that they answer one another like two strings wound up to the same tune; yet there be other parts, which though they doe not contradict it, are yet so unillustrable from the principles of Reason, that they cannot in a naturall way of Argumentation force assent. And you know, Sir, 'twould be unreasonable to make Warre upon mens persons for the reception of a Doctrine, which cannot convince their Minds. I must needs confesse to you, should Christ now live in our daies, and Preach much harder Doctrines then those in the Gospell, and should confirme every Do­ctrine with a Miracle, as he did then, 'twould be an inex­cusable peece of Infidelity in all those who should see his Miracles not presently to consent, and yeeld beliefe to his Sermons. But somethings in his Doctrine appearing new and strange to the World, and depending for the probabili­ty of their Truth upon the Authority of his Miracles, And those Miracles being Matters of Fact, wrought so many Ages since, and therefore not possibly able to represent themselves to our times upon g [...]eater Authority an [...] proofe, then the Faith and generall Report of Tradition and story; If any shall think they have reason not to believe such a re­port, they may also thinke they have no reason to believe such Miracles, and by consequence the Doctrine [...] be [Page 28] confirmed by them. In short. Sir, the Gospell, at that very time when the [...] of it was accompanied with Mi­racles, obtained not alwaies that successe which the saving Doctrine of it deserved. The Iewes saies S. Paul 1. Cor. 1. 22. Require a signe; that is, they would believe it no far­ther then they saw Miracle for it; And the Greekes (That is, the learned Gentiles) seek after wisdome; that is, They would believe no more of it then could be proved to them by Demonstration. Nay, notwithstanding all those great Miracles which were wrought by Christ, and his Apostles after him, S. Paul tels us at the 23. verse of that Chapter, that the vilenesse of Christs death did so diminish the Autho­rity of his Doctrine, though confirmed by Miracles, that the Preaching of Him crucified, was a stumbling block to the Iewes, and Foolishnesse to the Greekes. Next, Sir, As Christ hath no where commanded that men should be compelled to receive the Gospell by any Terrors or Infl [...]ctions of Tem­porall punishments, so I finde that all such endeavours are ve­ry unsutable to his practise. You know what his answer was to his two zealous Disciples who would have called for Luke 9. 54. fire from heaven, to consume those Samaritans who would not receive him. v. 55. 56. ye know not, saith he, of what spi­rit ye are of. The sonne of man is not come to destroy mens lives but to save them. Which Answer of hi [...] was like the Commission which he gave to his Apostles, when he sent them forth to Preach the Gospell of verall Citties, which extended no farther then th [...]s. Luke 9. 5. If they will not receive you, shake off the dust of your feet against them, for a Testimony that you have been there. Ag [...]eable to this p [...]actise of Christ is [...]hat Canon whic [...] p [...]st in the Councell of C. de Iu­diciis dist. 45. Toledo, which s [...]ies praecipit san [...]ta Synodus Nemin [...] deinceps ad cre­dendum vim inferre, 'Tis ordered by this holy Synod, that no man be henceforth comp [...]lled to believe the Gospell. A Canon, which I wish the m [...] of the Countrey where 'twas made had worne in their Ensignes when they made W [...]e upon the Indians. And agreeable to this Canon, is the saying of [Page 29] Tertullian. Lex nova non se vindicat ultore gladio; The new Law allowes not it's Apostles to revenge the contempt of it by the Sword. And agreeable to this saying of Tertullian is th [...] [...] in Iu Arca­nâ Historiâ. Procopius; where one tell [...] Iustinian the Emper [...]or that in striving to force the Samaritans to be [...] by the Sword, he made himselfe successor to the two over zealous Apostles, who, because they would not [...] [...] Master, would have destroy'd them by fire. Th [...] [...] [...]ing [...]o, to deale freely, Sir, both with you and [...] [...], [...] as I read the writings of some of our [...] [...], w [...]o think all others Infidells who are not of th [...] [...]. And whose usuall language 'tis towards all [...] [...] [...] from them in Poynts, though in them­ [...] ind [...]fferent, and no way necessary to Salvation, Luke 14. 28. [...], make Covenants, raise Armies, st [...]p them [...] [...]ir Estates, and compell them to come in, [...] thinks a [...] of [...] Alcoran is before me [...]; an [...] the Preachers [...] [...] [...]christian Doctrines, [...] they walke our Eng­lish streets in the shape of Assembly Protestant Divines, seem to me to be a Constantinople Colledge of Mahomets Priests. To speak yet m [...]re pl [...]ly t [...] y [...]u, Sir, I am so far [...]e from thinking it a peece of Christian Doctrine, to Preach that 'ti [...] lawfull (if it may not be done by perswasion) to take from men the Liberty even of their erring Conscience, that the new Army which shall be raised (which I hope never to see) for the prosecution and advancement of such an End, however they may be Scots or English-men by their Birth, will seem to me an Army of [...]: and to come into the field with Scymitars by their sides, and Tuli­pants, and Turbants on their Heads.

How farre Defensive Armes may be taken up for Religi­on, cannot well be resolved without a Distinction. I con­ceive Sir, that if such a warre fall out between Two Inde­pendent Nations, That which makes the Ass [...]ylants to be in the wrong will necessarily make the Defendants to be in the Right, which is (as I have proved to you) a want of [Page 30] rightfull power to plant Religion by the Sword. For in all such Resistances, not only They who fight to preserve a true, but They who fight because they would not be compelled to part with a false Religion, which they beleeve to be a true, are innocent [...]like. The Reason is, (which I have inti­mated to you before) because All Religion, being built up, on Faith, and Faith being only Opinion built upon Autori­ty, and Opinion built upon Autority, having so much of the Liberty [...] mens wills in it, that they may chuse how farre they will, or will not beleeve that Autority, No man hath Right [...]o take the Liberty of another mans will from him, or to prescribe to him what he shall, or shall no be­leeve, though in all outward things hit other have sold his Liberty to him, and made his Will his Subject, where both parties, therefore, are Independent, and One no way Subiect to the Other, Religion it selfe, though for the propagation of it selfe, cannot warrant the One to invade the Others Freedome. But 'tis permi [...]ted to the Invaded, by both the Lawes of God, that of Nature, and Scripture too, (unlesse they be guilty of some preceedent Injury, which is to be repayred by Satisfaction, not seconded by Resistance) to repell Force with Force. And [...] the Army now in Conduct under Sir Thomas Fairefax be of this perswasion thus stated, I shall not think it any slander from the Mouth of a Presbi­terian, who thinks otherwise, to be called an Independent.

If a Prince who is confessedly a Prince, and hath Su­preme power, make Warre upon his Subjects for the propa­gation of Religion, the Nature of the Defence is much alter'd. For though such a Warre (whether made for the Impositi­on of a false Religion or a true) be as uniust as if 'twere made upon a forreigne Nation, yet this injustice in the Prince cannot warrant the taking up of Armes against Him, in the Subject. Because b [...]ng the Apostles [...] or Su­preme within his ow [...] Kingdome, As [...] power concerning the publick, secular Government [...]f [...] it selfe i [...]to Him, so doth the ordering of the Outward exercise of Re­ligion [Page 31] too. In both Cases he is the Iudge of Controversies. Not so unerring or Infallible, as that all his Determinations must be received for Oracles, or that his Subjects are so obliged to be of his Religion, that if the Prince be an Idola­ter, a Mahumetan, or Papist, 'twould be disobedience in them not to be so too. But let his Religion be what it will; let him be a Ieroboam, or one of such an unreasonable Idola­try, as to command his people to worship Calves, and Burn Incense to Gods scarce fit to be made the Sacrifice, Though he be not to be obeyed, yet he is not to be resisted. Since such a Resistance, would not only change the Relation of inequality, and Distance between the Prince, and People, and so destroy the Supremacy here given him by S. Peter, but 'twould actually enter duell with the Ordinance of God; which ceaseth not to be sacred as often as 'tis wickedly imployed. Irresistibility being a Ray and Beame of the Divine Image, which resides in the Function, not in the Religion of the Prince. Who may for his Person, perhaps, be a Caligula, or Nero, yet in his Office still remaine Gods Deputy and Vicegerent. And therefore to be obeyed, even in his unjust commands, though not actively by our compli­ance, yet passively by our sufferings. This Doctrine as 'tis a­greeable to the Scripture, and the practice of the purest, and most primitive times of the Church, so I finde it illustra­ted by the famous example of a Christian Souldier, and the censure of a Father upon the passage. This Souldier being bid to burne Incense to an Idoll, refused; But yeelded him­selfe to be cast into the fire. Had he, when his Emperour bid him worship an Idoll, mutinied, or turn'd his speare up­on him (saies that Father) he had broken the fift Comman­dement in defence of the second. But submitting his Body to be burnt, (the only thing in him, which could be com­pelled) instead of committing Idolatry he became himselfe a Sacrifice. I could, Sir, second this with many other Ex­amples, but they would all tend to this one pious, Christian Result, that Martyrdome is to be preferred before Rebellion.

[Page 32] Here then, if I [...] suppose your Presbyterian Friends charge to be true, (a very heavy one [...] [...]) that the King miscounselled by a Pre [...]ticall Court Faction when he first Marcht in [...]o the field against the Armies raised by the two H [...]uses of [...] [...] [...] a [...] inte [...]t to subvert the Protestant Religion▪ and to plant the Religion of the Church [...] Rome in it's stead, yet [...] [...] [...] [...] to me, that [...] [...] [...] [...] he [...] [...] [...] King▪ or the two H [...]uses to be his [...] or ( [...] their two Oath [...] [...]f [...] and Alleage [...]) that in so [...]ing [...]e for [...] his Crowns, and w [...] [...] [...] over all persons, and in all [...]auses as well [...]vill as [...]cclesiasticall within the [...] of his three Kingdomes supreame Head and Gover­nour, I know no Armes which co [...] [...]wfully be used a­gainst Him; b [...] these which S. [...] used against an Arian Emperour, Lach [...]as & Suspi [...]ia, Sighes & Tears, and Prayers [...]o God [...]o turne hi [...] heart. And therefore, Sir, when your Friend doth next aske you▪ Flow it could stand with the safe [...]onscience of any English Protestant, to stand an idle spectator, whilst Queen Maries daies were so rea­dy to break in upon him, that He was almost reduced to this h [...]rd choyce, either to follow the Times in the new e­rected fashion of Religion, or live in danger of the stake, and Faggot, if he persisted in the old, y [...]u may p [...]ease to let him know from me, That as I have no unruly Thirst, or ir­regular Ambition in me to d [...]e a Martyr, Not am so much a Circumc [...]lee, as to court, or woo [...], or (in case i [...] fled from me) enthusiastically to call upon me my own Death and Execution; So, if it had been my Lot to live in the fiery times He speaks of, when a Protestant was put to death for an Heretick, as I should not have quarreld with the Power that condemned me, so I should have kist my funerall pile; And should have though [...] it a high peece of Gods favour to me, to call me to Heaven by a way so like that of his An­gell in the Book of c. 13. 20. Iudges, who ascended thither in the Flame, and aire, and persume of a Sacrifi [...]e.

[Page 33] But what if this be only a Jealousie and suspition in your Friend? [...]ay [...] if it [...] [...] [...] [...] Disguise, and pa [...]t to some Ambitious m [...]s [...], who, to walke the more [...] [...] th [...] darke and politick ends, [...]ave stiled th [...]m­selves the D [...]fendours when they have all this while been the Invadors; And have calle [...] the King the subverter, who hath all this while (to his power) been the Defendor of this Religion? This certain [...]y if it be proved, will very much [...] and aggrav [...]e their sinne, and dye it in a deep s [...]let, through all the progresse of it. But because I rather desire to east a m [...]tle over their strange proceedings, then to ad [...]e to their Nakednesse, which hath at length discover'd it selfe to all the World, all that I shall say, to deliver so much Goodnesse from so much misrepresentation it this. That the report, (which at first poyson'd the mindes of so many Thousand well minded people) That the King had an intent, by this [...]re, in destroy the Protestant Religion, could at [...] have no other parent but some mens either crasty Ma­lice, or needlesse Feare, appears clearly in this, that after all their great Discoveries, they have not yet instanced in one considerable Ground fit to build more then a vulgar Iealou­sy upon. The Kings affection to the Queene, His Alliance and confederacy with Popish Princ [...]es abroad and the Gentle­nesse of his Raigne towards his Popish Subjects at home, be­ing premises [...] unfit to build this inference and conclusion upon, that, Therefore He took up Armes that he might in­troduce thei [...] Religion, as his in Aristotle were; who be­cause it lightned when Socrates to [...]k the Ayre, thought that his walking [...]use [...]hat commotion in the skyes. For that the Root and Spring of such a report▪ could be nothing but their own deluded fancy, they must at length [...] esse, un­lesse with their Faith they have [...]ast off their Charity too. Let [...] Friend, Sir▪ read [...]ve any one of His Majesties Declarations, and wh [...] sacred Thing▪ [...] there by which he hath not freely and uncompelled, obliged, and bound Him­selfe to live, and dre [...] a Protestant? By what one Act have [Page 34] these many Vowes been broken? Who made that Court Fa­ction, which would have miscounselled him to bring in Po­pery? Or let your Friend if he can, name, who those Miterd Prelates were, who lodged a Papist under their Rotchet. If he cannot, let him for beare to hold an Opinion of his Prince and Clergy, which Time (the mother of Truth) hath so demonstratively confuted; And let him no longer suffer himselfe to be seduced by the malitious writings of those, who, for so many years, and from so many Pulpits have breathed Rebellion, and Slander with such an uncon­trouled Boldnesse and Sting, that I cannot compare them to anything so fitly as to the Locusts in the Revel. 9. Revelation, which crept forth of the B [...]ttomlesse pit; every one of which worethe Crowne of a King, and had the Tayle of a Scorpion. In short, Sir, If he have not so deeply drunke of the Inchanted [...]uppe, as to forget himselfe to be a Subject, let him no longer endanger himselfe to east of their Ruine too, who, for so many years, have dealt with the best King that this Nation ever had, as Witches are said to deale with those whom they would by peece meale destroy, first shap't to themselves his Image in waxe, then prickt, and stab'd it with needles. striving by their many Reproaches of his Government, and Defamations of the Bishops, to reduce his Honour by degrees to a consumption, and to make it Lan­guish, and pine, and wither away in the Hatred, and Disaffe­ction of his People.

But, perhaps Sir, your Friend, and I, are not well agreed upon our Termes: If therefore he doe once more strive to perswade you, that (notwithstanding all this which I have said to the contrary) the King would, if he had not been hindered, have destroyed the Protestant Religion, pray de­sire him to let me know what he means by the Religion which he calls Protestant. Doth he mean that Religion which succeeded Popery at the Reformation, and hath ever since distinguisht us from the Church of Rome? Doth he meane that Religion which so many Holy Martyrs seal'd [Page 35] with their Blood, that for which Queene Mary is so odious, and Queene Elizabeth so pretious to our memories? Lastly, Doth he meane that Religion which is comprised in the 39. Articles, and confest to be Protestant by an Act of Par­liament? If these be the Markes, these the Characters of it, let him tell me whether this be not the Religion which the King in one of his Cabinet Opened. Letters to the Queene calls the only Thing of difference between Him and Her, that's dearest to Him, whether this also, be not the Religion, in which, if there be yet any of the old Ore, and Drosse, from whence 'twas extracted, Any thing either essentially, or accidental­ly evill, which requires yet more sifting, or a more through Reformation, Any thing of Doctrine to offend the strong, or of Discipline, or Ceremony, to offend the weake, His Maje­sty have not long since offered to have it passe the fiery Try­all and Disputes of a Synod legally called. To all which que­stions, 'till He and his Com presbyters, give a satisfying An­swer, however they may think to hide themselves under their old Tortoise-shall, and cry out, Templum Domini, the Temple of the Lord, They must not take it ill if I aske them one question more, and desire them to tell me, whether this be not the Religion which they long since compelled to take flight with the King, and which hath scarce been to be found in this Kingdome, ever since the time it was depri­ved of the Sanctuary it had taken under the Kings Stand­ard

This then, being so, hath your Friend, or his fellow As­semblers, yet a purer, or more primitive Notion of the Pro­testant Religion, which compared with the Religion which we and our Fathers have been of, will prove it to be Ido­latrous, and no better then a hundred years superstition? Let them in Charity (as they are bound not to let us perish in our Ignorance! shew ut their Modell. If it be more agreea­ble to the Scripture then Ours, have more of the white Robe, and not of the new invention; we may, perhaps, be their [Page 36] converse▪ And their Righteousnesse meeting with our Pea [...]e [...]ay [...] [...] ea [...]h [...] [...] [...] tim [...] ▪ Sir, [...] [...] [...] wi [...] not define [...]e Prot [...]stant Religion so b [...] Ne­g [...]tives, [...] to [...] [...] [...] [...]No Bishops, No Li­ [...], or No Comm [...] [...]er Bo [...]ke These we, ( [...] y [...] co [...]vinced to the [...]) [...] [...] [...] go [...]d [...], but not Ess [...]ntialls, [...] [...] which we c [...]l the Pro­ [...]t Religion [...] Si [...]e; Their Negation then, can b [...] [...] true Essentiall Constituent of the same Religion on theirs.

There is but On [...] positive Notion more in all he world, [...] whi [...]h▪ c [...]n p [...]ly [...]nderstand Them, when They say, T [...]ey have all this while Fought for the Defence of the Protestant Religion: T [...]at i [...], th [...]t by the Defence of the Protestant Religion, (if they meane any Thing, or if this [...]ave not [...] [...] [...] t [...] [...] more dangerous secret) They meane the [...] [...] [...] New Directory, and their a [...] length conc [...] Go [...]rnment of the Church by Presbyters. If this be thei [...] [...], (And [...], [...] [...] should rock my Invention, I c [...]not make [...] find [...]other) The Second part of that most Holy, and Glorious Cause, which hath drawne the eve [...] of Europe upon it, and renderd the Name of a Pro­testant, a [...]roverbe to expresse Disloyalty by, That Pure, Chast, Uirgin, without sp [...]t or wrinkle-Cause, which like the Scythian Diana hath been fe [...] with [...]o many Humane Sacrifices, And to which, as [...]o another Moloch, so many Men as well as Children, have been compell'd▪ [...] through the Fire, resolves it selfe into this Vnchristiaen Bloudy conclu­sion. That an Assembly of profest Protestant Divines, h [...]ve advised [...] Two Parliaments of England [...]nd Scotland, con­fe [...] Subiects, to take [...]p Ar [...] [...] [...] King, their Law­full Severaigne▪ H [...]e [...] [...] Three Kingdoms in a [...]lame▪ been the A [...]rs o [...] more Prot [...]stants [...] [...] [...] Ci­vi [...], th [...]n [...] [...]ave served to [...]ver the Pala [...]ate by a [...] [...], [...] [...] bu [...] thi [...] vnn [...]cessary [...]vell, accidentall Consider [...]on, T [...]t the King ( [...] compell'd [Page 37] by Force) would never cons [...]nt, (not indeed without Per­jury could) to the Change [...] [...] Ancient, Primitive, Apo­stolike, Vn [...]versally received Government of this Church by Bishop [...] [...] new, vpstart [...] ▪ Mushrome▪ Calvinisticall Govern­ment, [...] [...] Pre [...]bytery, of Spirituall & Lay-Elders. [...] [...] ( [...] [...] [...] [...] by [...]rinciples▪ [...]en both [...] [...], [...] [...]ture proved [...]o y [...]u) i [...] the m [...]st [...] [...] [...] R [...]sistance, [...] no▪ a [...] Invasion of the Higher [...] & [...] Higher [...] being Rom. 13. 2. [...], Gods O [...]dinance [...] [...] [...] [...] a Warre made against God [...]imselfe. And [...]he Authors [...] [...] (unlesse they repent, and [...] [...]hemselves t [...] timely r [...]turne to their Obed [...] ­ence) in [...]anger to draw upon themselves this other, s [...]d, tragicall▪ irresistible Conclusion, w [...]ich St V. 2. Paul tels us is the inevitable Catastrophe [...] Disobedience, which [...], [...], you may English i [...], swift Destruction.

And thu [...], Sir (Though [...]ll weak [...] Defences have some­thing of the Nature of prevarication [...] [...], a [...]d he may in part be thought to betray a Cause, [...] feebly arg [...] for [...]) I have return'd you a large Answere [...] the two Quere's [...] your short Letter; which i [...] [...]ou shall vouchsafe [...] Satis­faction, you will very much assi [...]t my Modesty, whic [...] will not suffer me to thinke that I, in this Argument, have said more then Others. Only being so fairely invited by you to say something, to have remain'd silent, had been to have con­s [...]st [...]ny [...] convinced; And my Negligence, in a T [...]me so seasonable [...]o speak Truth in, might perhaps, in the Opinion of the Gentleman, your Friend, have seemed to take part with those o [...] his side, against whose Cause though not [...]ir Persons▪ ha [...]e thu [...] freely armed my Pen, Sir I should think my selfe fortunate, if Any Thinge which I [...]ave [...] in this Letter migh [...] make him a Proselyte. But this being rather my wish then my Hope, all the Successe which this Paper a­spires to is this, that you will accept it as a Creature borne at your Command; An [...] [...]hat you will place it among your other Records, as a Testimony how much greater my De­sires, [Page 38] then my Abilities are to deserve the stile of being thought worthy to be

Your affectionate servant JASPER MAYNE.

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