The true NON-CONFORMIST In Answere To the Modest and free Conference Betwixt a CONFORMIST And a NON-CONFORMIST, About the present Distempers Of SCOTLAND. By a Lover of Truth, And Published by its order.

HEBR. XII. Ver. XIV, XV. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, looking diligently lest any man faile of the grace of God, lest any root of bitternes springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

Printed in the Year 1671.


ALthough I judge it no less of my concernment then of yours, to be concealed and un­seen in this undertaking; Yet seeing, that I do not captate the empty praise of an affect­ed modesty, I am resolved in liew of your Sta­tioner to the Reader and Friend to the Stationer, to give the following Sheets this direct and im­mediate adress.

And to begin with my self, as your Friend doth with you, really I think I should have had nothing to say of such a nothing, were it not in opposition to that Character wherewith he pre­tends to honour you. He sayes, You are a per­son of extraordinary Moderation and Peaceableness; And no doubt these qualities understood in their due mediocrity and subordination, are of no­table value: But that you can allow any difference of opinion but such as is incompatible with the peace & [Page] quiet of the Chuch, is an ampliation so little fa­vourable to truths preference, & so inconsistent with these Scripture intimations of Heresies and divisions through mans corruption inseparably attending it, that I cannot otherwise esteeme it to be extraordinary, then as it is excessive. If truth do allow, nay require a synathletick zeal, which error doth no wise warrant; to ac­commodate their contradictions by an easie in­differencie, is more agreeable to the love of this World, then the love of God. And verily your Friends excusing the tartness of some of your expressions, from a zeal that he allowes against that uncharitable Spirit, which can suffer nothing that is not exactly of its own vvay, is not more calum­nious in its insinuation against us, who desire utterly to disclaime selfe conceit in all thir matters, then unjustly restrictive of the true zeal of God, no less enemy to an irreligious lukewarmness, the apparent measure of your latitude, and the extreme now so dreadfully prevalent, then an humorous severity so little at present to be apprehended. But let all who desire to be found of a true Christian temper seek first the Kingdome of God, and his righ­teousnesse, and as his peace and the love of the Brethren cannot be wanting, so the quiet of the Church is best submitted to his good pleasure.

For the occasion of my writing, the account [Page] which your Friend gives of the occasion of yours doth equally justifie it. The English Dia­logues please you, and I assure you, both they and their answer are displeasing to me. I re­flect not upon the method of Dialogues; Nay I am so far from censuring it, though I relish it not in thir matters, that I am confident, that had you and your English pattern managed it sin­cerily, it had proven the ruine, and not the sup­port of your design. But finding the English man so insolently scornful, as not to rest satisfied with an answere, which by taking sanctuary in the Act of Indemnity, & other such fearful & faint­ing shifts, did rather bewray, then vindicat the commoun cause, and perceiving, by your little essay, the humors of the unquiet Spirit in both Na­tions (as you are pleased to speak evill of the up­rightnesse of such who run not with you to the same excess of ungodlinesse) not to be more the same, then it is the same strange Spirit of Hy­pocrisie and irreligion that at present abounds so much in these Lands, to the perverting of both truth and righteousnesse, I was moved by these considerations to make you this free and round reply. Your Friend sayes, you designed not vanity by your few sheets, written almost as hastily as they could be transcribed: And the truth is, I am so much convinced of it, that I am more enclined to a­pologize for the seriousnesse that I have used in [Page] confuting such a trifling bable, then to purge my endeavours of any such suspicion. Only, be­cause he saith, You wish that every one may see the weakness of these grounds upon which such specious stru­ctures are built, which, when they come to be examined, prove but painted sepulchers, I thought it worth my paines, by clear descriptions, & firme demonstra­tions, both of the solidity of the foundations, and beauty of the superstructure of the work of God, to check the tumor of this insinuat boasting.

But in the next place, we have your great de­signe in your small Book, and it is, To let some well-meaning People, who have a love, to godlinesse, see that Religion is not at all concerned in things wherein they do concern themselves very much, and that in contending for the shell, we are like to lose the Kernel of Religion. Why herein is a mar­vellous thing, if I may use the blind mans words, since I think you would almost have me to lose that sight which he had then lately received, while the things wherein we did concerne our selves were sincerily owned and improven, Re­ligion flourished, holinesse was in request, pro­fanity was ashamed, & iniquity stopt its mouth; and since by you and your partakers, they were subverted and decried, wickednesse only hath exalted it selfe, and its blasphemous Impieties and violences have abounded, to the very hor­rour of every ingenuous man: And yet we must [Page] believe that Religion is not at all concerned in the change. And your Friend doth attribute to you the confidence, not only to write, but to di­rect your writing to well-meaning People, Lovers of godlinesse. For this effect, I shall not antici­pate my performance in the ensuing answer; only, as I have singly aimed at the establish­ment of the Lord's faithful remnant in this hour of great & manifold temptations; so I am hope­full, that eternal life, and the meanes thereof, the Gospel and its Ordinances, shall never be so divided in this Land, as to separate the things that they and I do contend for, from Religions real and true interest: Your Friend sayes, They are but the shell, and not the Kernel of Religion. And if I may presse his lame similitudes, I would enquire, whither he call's them so be­cause of their use for conservation, or their su­perfluity when broken off? And though it be manifest, that this later sense can only warrand his undervalue, and is indeed a proper allusion for such who have not stood to devoure that which is holy, and after vowes to make enquirie; Yet I am assured, that unto his second thoughts its absurdity will appear so palpable, as by for­cing him to the first meaning, it will constrain him rather to contradict his asserting of Religi­ous inconcernment in these matters, being the special means of its preservation, then pro­phanely [Page] to despise them as rejectaneous trifles.

The language and manner of my writing is such, as I conceived to be most proper for my purpose; if the prosecution of your particulari­ties, specially in an essay, pretended indeed to be equally managed, but without question un­equally designed, for the parties therein con­tending, prove irksome and tedious to others, as it hath been to my self, I have no Apologie, but the necessity of a full reply, aswel to deliver the true Non-Conformist from your disinge­nuous imposings, as to refute your Conformist's Objections. As for other matters, I referr all to the Reader. There is one thing only I would intreat, and that is, that if in the perusal of what I have written, you do find any thing that may move you again to take up your pen, you would not imploy it in any further continuation of this dramatick way of scribling: But seeing truth's interest is that which both of us ought to re­gard, let the differences in controversie be fairly stated, propositions clearly drawn forth, and by you either defended or impugned, according to the exigence of your cause, and I promise you either my assent, or the reasons of my dis­sent without passion or partiality. Now as to your language and manner of writing, your Friend sayes, It is accommodated to these meaner capacities, who are most apt to be abused, by such as [Page] care not, nay, which is very sad, but too true, wish not Religion nor godlinesse to prosper in the hands of those who differ from them in opinion about external things, which are not of great moment. Sir, this is a charge of too high an import to be let flye at randome. There are, I confesse, amongst us, who do apprehend, that both the opinions and practices of you and your Associats do directly tend to the debauching of Conscience, by the false pretences and undue extensions of Civil Obedience and Allegeance, the perverting and destroying of Gospel Ordinances, not only of Church-government and a sent Ministry, but even of the two Sacraments, by turning their divine institution into ecclesiastick custome, and lastly, to the subverting of the very founda­tion, Justification through faith in Jesus Christ, by the superadding of our own to his righteous­nesse, and who therefore justly fearing that your colouring and covering of these most momen­tous points, as if different opinions about things externall were all the controversie, to be only a turning of things upside down, and a seeking deep to hide your Counsel from the Lord, do wish that the Lords people may bewar of such deceivers, specially, seeing their universal perjury and intrusion, their common profanity and ordinary insufficiency, are obvious to all men: But that there are any of us, who care [Page] not, nay, wish not Religion to prosper, even in the manner here represented, is not more groundlesse, then it is most certain, that the prospering of Religion and godlinesse would be the most effectual mean both to ruine your course, and establish what me maintain.

But let us hear how your Friend makes out his accusation; and he saith, it may appear from their perswading poor souls to take for a mark of zeal that which in all christian Nations is lookt on as a very great mark of impiety, to wit, not going to Church. A mighty conviction, and worthy to be write in greater letters. But where did he learn, that not going to Church, in the meaning only perti­nent to his reflection, viz, our not going to the house appointed indeed for publick divine worship, but invaded and usurped by perju­rious Intruders, for the most part, as palpa­bly wicked and naughty as their intrusion is undeniable, is lookt on in all Christian Na­tions as a great mark of impiety? Or how will he make it out, that we perswade not going to Church, that is, to the assembling of our selves together for the more solemn worship and ado­ration of God, and hearing of our lawful Pas­tors, though in corners, as God gives oppor­tunity, which is most certainly all whereunto Christianity doth oblidge? Let him prove either, and then let him boast himself: But [Page] seeing either of these demands must of necessity sinke him into perpetual silence, how foolishly doth he second his allegeances? He subjoynes, that you mean no prejudice to any person in writing of it (viz.) your DIALOGUES, & that it is only pu­blished to informe sincere people. Whither it be so or not, let the work bear witness; As for my intention in answering, I have already declar­ed it, and I hope the answer it selfe will not contradict, I wish indeed it had been more ti­mous: But as I affect not hasty productions, so there are many other reasons, easily supposible for the delay: If it may give any light for establishment in this evil time, I know it is not yet unseasonable: And in this single and earnest desire, I recommend it to all that love our righteous Cause, and wait for the Lords appearance.

A short INDEX Of the chief things handled in this Treatise.

  • NOn-Conformists vindicated from some groundlesse and odious charges suggested in the entrie. Pag. 2, 3, &c.
  • The sound & clear rule for Christian practice in the point of Separation, with the true reason why Non-Conformists can­not join with Curats. 6, &c.
  • The work of God which Non-Conformists owne no Rebellion. 9
  • Whether that argument, taken from the Prophets their not exhor­ting to Popular Reformation doth militat against Subjects their fighting for Religion. 10
  • Positive grounds from Scripture warranding Subjects to defend Re­ligion by armes 11, 12, &c.
  • The Peoples obligation to Popular Reformation cleared. 16
  • The example of the Maccabees a good ground for Peoples main­taining Religion by armes. 18, 19
  • The invalidity of these Objections, taken from the mortifying design of Religion and our Lords beginning the Gospel with suf­fering, discovered. 20, 21, &c.
  • Whether that injunction of our Saviours to his Disciples not to draw for him, and his words to Pilat, Iohn. 18. 36. doth militat a­gainst the defending of Religion by Armes. 24, &c.
  • Whether the Practice of the Primitive Christians be a sufficient ar­gument to condemn fighting for Religion. 29, 30
  • Why N. C. cannot keep the Anniversary day. 32
  • The Publick course against the adversaries of the Covenant & Work of Reformation vindicated from the Calumny of Cruelty and ri­gor, and proven to be most rational and righteous. 34, 35
  • A short account of the barbarous and inhumane Cruelty of the Pre­lats and their party, against innocent Non-Conformists. 36
  • Ministers cleared from that charge of Medling in State or Publick af­fairs. 39
  • Superstition how unjustly charged upon N. C. 41, &c.
  • A discovery of the evil of the new convenient contrivance of Re­ligion. 52
  • Kirk-Sessions vindicated. 54, 55
  • Their excellent use for suppressing ungodliness. 57
  • The Ministers liberty and manner of reproving sin vindicated, also their cariage toward the late King. Ibid.
  • [Page]Their Preaching vindicated. 60
  • Communions vindicated. 67
  • Of the posture in time of publick Prayer. 70
  • Family Worship and private meetings vindicated. 71, &c.
  • The Divisions charged upon N. C. whence they did proceed. 75
  • PResbytery and Prelacy how falsly said to be only mere distin­guishing names. 78
  • The present looseness most unjustly charged upon Non-Confor­mists. 79
  • Unanswerable arguments against Episcopacie. 84
  • Whether this Title of Lord be due to Bishops. 85
  • That Scripture 1. Pet 5. 3. cleared from the false Glosses of Adver­saries. 87, &c.
  • The Ius Divinum that Presbyterians plead for, together with these things that do fairly exhibite the Platform of Presbyterian Go­vernment. 90, &c.
  • Of Lay-Elders. 96, &c.
  • Of Deacons. 99
  • Of Diaconesses. 102
  • Of Evangelists. 103
  • Of the Classical Subordination of Sessions to Presbyteries, &c. 104
  • Of Discipline and whether the Penitence of Lent, the Table altar­wayes, and officiating in a surplice may be as lawfully appointed by the Church, as the circumstances of publick repentance to wit, so many dayes, a place of repentance and the use of Sack­cloath for scandalous persons. 109, &c.
  • Of the decree of the first Council at Ierusalem. 113
  • Of the washing of Feet, where you have the Conformist's design of resolving the necessity of Sacraments into the arbitrement of the Church discovered. 115, &c.
  • Anointing the sick with oyl why not used by N. C. 117
  • Of the change of the Sabbath. 119
  • Whether the Scriptures contain direct Rules for the Churches Policy which is wholly Ecclesiastick. 121
  • Of the Kingdom of Christ, & how the Officers, Laws, Censures and Order of his House are by himself established. 126, &c.
  • Whether the Angels of the Churches assoord any ground for Bis­hops. 144
  • The plea of Antiquity for Bishops, together with a short delinea­tion of the rise, progress and product of Prelacy in the first Churches. 144, &c.
  • [Page]SUbmission to, and complyance with, the present Prelatick Go­vernment cannot be without sin. 165
  • Whether Paul's conforming to Iews and Gentiles doth enforce Compliance with Prelacie. 166, 167, &c.
  • Whether it be unsufferable Peevishness, if the Magistrate enjoin a thing, declaring it free in itself, and only necessary because com­manded, upon that score to refuse obedience. 170
  • Of Christian Liberty, and wherein it stands. 174
  • Prelatick exactions high impingements upon Christian Liberty. 175
  • Why Non-Conformist's cannot joine in Prelatick Courts for Church Discipline. 181, 182, & 376, &c.
  • The Conformist's reasoning for joining answered, where that Ques­tion, why ought we not to submit to the Bishops, as wel as to the late Usurpers in the State? Is fully answered. 182, &c.
  • The just ground People have of disowning Curats, and charging them with that Schisme whereof they would make N. C. guil­ty. 189, 190
  • The Conformists arguments for owning and hearing Curats fully answered. 192, &c.
  • How and in what cases Children are bound by their Fathers Oath. 205, &c.
  • That charge of breach of Covenant in some things, viz. silence and not declaring against the Apostacy, Tyranny and Perjury of the Usurpers, and a faint giving over to pray for the King, answer­ed. 219, 220
  • The National Covenant vindicated. 222 &c.
  • Whether the Laws annulling the Covenant doth loose its obligation, where you have a plain account of the Nature & obligation both of Vows and Laws. 230, &c.
  • The Conformist's allegations for justifying the King's setting up of Prelacie false and calumnious. 236
  • THe grosness of the Conformist's perswasion of extemporary prayer redargued. 244
  • That Q [...]estion about the composing and imposing Set-forms fully handled, 246, &c.
  • The Conformists reasoning against extemporary Prayer answer­ed. 258
  • Whether singing Psalms and Scripture-songs be a restraining of the Spirit. 272 [...]
  • [Page]Why all David's Psalms is used in Praising, together with the right way of singing Psalms-prayers. 274
  • Of the English Liturgie. 285, &c.
  • Of the 5. Articles of Perth. 288, &c.
  • ANent the name and Principles of Latitudinarians. 305, 306
  • The opinion of the Author of the Dialogues anent Justification [...]xamined and found unsound. 313, &c.
  • The men of the Latitude more inclineable to favour Papists. Armi­nians or any Sect or party, rather then Conscientious Non-Conformists. 345, 346, &c.
  • WHether the Conformist doth sufficiently purge himself of Soci­manisme, Popery and Arminianisme. 365, 366
  • Non-Conformists unjustly charged with the progress of Quake­risme. 369, 370
  • Whether the Prayers and actions of the Prelatick Conformists evi­dence any tenderness of Love towards Non-Conformists, 378, &c.
  • Naphtali's Doctrine vindicated, specially his Doctrine upon Phi­neas his Act. 382, &c.
  • The Surveyer's calumnies and objections against Naphtali remov­ed. 393, &c.
  • That Doctrine concerning private Persons their punishing of Crimes in case of the Supinnels of the Magistrat cleared. 401, 402
  • That Religion was maintained by resistance, is no vulgar error, but a thing undenyable, 1. From the Waldenses their resisting of the King of France. 418, &c.
  • 2. From the Bohemian wars under Zisca. 424, &c.
  • 3. From the wars in Germany. 427, 428
  • 4. From Sweden. 441
  • 5. From the Practice of Helvetia and Genev [...]. 442
  • 6. From the Practice of Basile. 444
  • 7. From the wars in the Netherlands. 446, &c.
  • 8. From the Civil wars of France. 454
  • That allegeance, that the Church of Scotland was condemned by the Churches abroad, for her maintaining Reformation by Armes, shown to be false. 460, 461
  • That the Pop's usurpation is not abolished in Brittain and Irland, but in effect only transferred from him to the King.
  • Of the Supremacy, and whether it takes away the Churches intrin­seck power. 472, 473
  • Arguments for the Supremacie answered. 479
  • [Page]What account is to be had of the Indulgence as flowing from the Su­premacie. 487
  • Whether there can be an accommodation with the present Prela­tick party. 493, 494
  • Whether Peace, Love and Charity be due to Conformists. 496

READER, Ere thou read correct with a pen these Errata as followeth.

PAg. 9. Lin. 6. read mightily. p. 17. l. 18. r. directions. ibid. l. 19. r. out. p. 23. l. 17. r. it is. p. 25. l. 12. Peter. r. Pilat. p. 26. l. 19. is r. it. p. 31. l. 12. r. off. p. 33. l. 22. r. stipend. p. 34 [...] l. 30. r. suffering. p. 37. l. 22. r. in. p. 38. l. 24. r. into, in. p. 41. l. 22. r. thought. p. 45. l. 28. r. place. p. 50. l. 33. r. poe­nitentem. p. 56. l. 6. r. the. ibid. l. 32. r. are. p. 62. l. 12. r. your. p 65. l. 5. r. Preachers. p. 66. l. 20. r. acknowledge. p. 82. for first Dialogue, r. third Dialogue. p. 87. l. 16. r benches. p. 90. l. 33. r. least. p. 97. l. 1. r. inconsistence. p. 101. l. 12. r. least. p. 102. l. 1 [...]. r. [...]. p. 103. l. 3. r. do p. 112. l. last. r. continued. p. 127. l. 12. r. Kingdomes. p. 130. l. 29. dele whrest. p. 133. l. 9. r. purity. p. 135. l. 4. r. the. p 137. l. 7. r. ap­pointment. p. 146. l. 22. r. contrary. p. 147. l. 32. r. perceive. p. 154. l. 21. r. thing. p. 162. l. 28. r. restless. p. 196. l. 32. r. subjected. p. 199. l. 1. r. out. p. 207. l. 33. r. concerned. p. 208. l. 32. For, r. To. p. 215. l. 17. r. fealty. ibid. l. 34. r. and any. p. 217. l. 3. r. That. p. 220. l. 2. r. our. p. 228. [...]l. 9. r. 1590. ibid. l. 10. r. doubted. p. 242. l. 8. r. on. p. 252. l. 9. r. one. p. 253. l. 7. r fervent. p. 269. l. 29. r. pattern. p. 284. l. 17. r. ridiculous. p. 341. l. 16. r. mostly. p. 387. l. 6. r. mitigated. p. 391. l. 31. r. ashamed. p. 572. l. 14. r. this. p. 496. l. 8. r. maintained. p. 502. l. 17. r. convinced. ibid. l. 18. r. qualifies.

Reader, what others thou may find through a letter wanting, or redundant, or one for another, or through a comma, colon, or the like misplaced or wanting thou mayest correct as thou readest.

The first DIALOGUE Answered.

SIR, If I premise, that your modest and free conference doth obviously ap­pear to me, to be rather a phantas­tick rancountre of a mocking Confor­mist, and a Mock-Non-conformist, it is not from any design to preoc­cupy, by so severe a character; but only to releeve both you and my self, of the fruitless observation, and tedious prosecution of the many impertinencies incident to such a practice: and therefore, as you are not to expect my particular noticing of the high pretensions, weak replyes, faint cedings, ridiculous evasions, plain concessions and flat­tering insinuations, whereunto you prompt your Pup­pet-non-conformist, [Page 2] either for your own advantage, or diversion; so, in the tracing of these things that seeme to be more serious and important, in your Dialogues, I promise you all the candor and calmness whereof I am capable: Yea, though your double dealing in this cause (which not content to impugne as a Conformist, you go about also as a Non-conformist to betray) might well warrant a more sharpe and large animad­version, both upon your end and method; yet, being only desirous of truths vindication, and in the occur­rence of so many temptations justly jealous of my own infirmitie, I do here francklie cease from, and lay aside all wrath and bitterness, that I sin not; and shall, as sincerely & distinctly as I can, review and answere your reasonings, as they ly.

Before you fall to your direct accusations, you sug­gest 1. That the Non-conformists do boast of their way as the Glory. 2. That, their Ministers tell them only of Christs death, which is not to preach him. 3. That they study more to convince them of the need of Christs Righteousness, then of having an [...] of their own. 4. That Non-conformists think they may quite the Communion of the Church, if, in their opinion, no [...] in the truth, in every point. 5. That in former times they repressed some sins, specially of the flesh, but scarcely in a Gospel way: and as for other sins, were very gentle to them; Nay were themselves guiltie of them. Sir, were I not very loath to irritate you in the entrie, I would tell you, that to commence your conference, with such groundless, odious and incoherent hints, which you dare not positively affirme, is more agree­able to a design of prejudice, then to the charitie you so amply professe. But to particulars, & to the first, that the Non-conformists do boast of their way as the Glo­ry. 1. We bless our God our Glory, who hath made all the manifestations and means of his Grace Glori­ous: [Page 3] these are the overflowings of the excellent Glo­ry, by the streames whereof all our gloryings and praises ought to be carried back to, concentred in, and swallowed up of the Ocean-fountain, whence they proceed. 2. The Scripture is plain, that Jesus Christ the Prince of Glorie, in the revelation of his Glorious Gospel, hath made the ministration thereof so farre to exceed in Glory, that, even he himself accounteth the Messengers thereof his Glory. Whether these things be not sufficient to justifie both the Non-conformists boasting and regrete, needeth not my assertion. Sure I am, if a pure Ministrie, not modelled by the policy and pride of man, but singly squared to our Lords in­stitution; if able Ministers of the New Testament declaring all the Counsel of God, and imparting the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel; And lastly, if the growing and Multiplying of the word of God, and his peoples desire after, and rejoicing in it, have any lustre of this Glory, the present sad catastrophe, whereby all these have been so wickedly and wofully changed to their contraries, may more justly move every con­cerned & serious soul to a lamentation for the depart­ed glory, then these occasions that first produced that complaint. If you judge these to be swelling words of vanitie, remember that, as I do speak the true Non-conformist, so it is your part, by this your conference more solidly to redargue him.

The second thing you suggest, is, that the Non-con­forming Ministers tell us only of Christs death which is not to preach Christ. Sir, this allegeance, short as it is, presents it self with a disgust, that I can scarce express; Not that I think the Non-conformists are thereby in the least noted: Nay, on the contrarie, I am confident that, in whatsoever sense you are able to render the accusation pertinent, the Non-conformists [Page 4] are most free to deny it, and that with the universall evidence of all their unprejudicate hearers, and the unanimous testimony of all their confessions and writ­ings extant: And whether this be more to their ad­vantage, or your dishonour, I hope you will consi­der: But that which in my heart I detest, is to hear the glorious subject of the precious death of Christ so both slighted, and narrowed within its Scriptural ac­ceptation, by such a Cold restrictive. If the Apostle Paul desired to know nothing but Christ and him cru­cified, and Gloryed only in his Cross, If the death of Christ doth necessarily suppose; and did certainly con­firme his preceeding Testament; nay, if in the Go­spel it be often mentioned, as the substance and root of all, had you no fitter words for your intended ac­cusation of N. C. then that they tell us only of Christs death? I know your meaning viz. That to tell peo­ple onely of an interest in Christ, while they are strangers to his Laws and Gospel, is to deceive them, is as sound, as it is untruly charged upon the Non-con­formists. Neither would I have taxed an innocent lapse in the phrase observed; but its too visible tenden­cie to the discredite of the doctrine of Justification by the bloud of Christ, and to the new rationall Me­thod of more exalting our righteousness, to an equa­lity with his merit, then pressing it in Conformity to his life and love, is the cause of my aversion. The Non-conformists therefore do indeed tell us of the death of our Lord Jesus, not with your ill appropriat and restringent only; but do preach to us alwayes and principally this doctrine of his Cross, as that where­by, both the great mean of our reconciliation [...] and the strongest motive, best pattern, and most certain assurance of our dying unto sin and living unto God (wherein our Sanctification consists) are held forth.

[Page 5]3. You say, that you feare the Non-conformists do study more to convince us of the need of Christs Righ­teousness, then of having any of our own. 'Tis answer­ed, this your suggestion is a great confirmation of my reflection on your last passage: I have already shewed, that the fear whereby you usher it in, hath no reall nor palpable ground, none were more se­rious, sound and powerful, in the pressing of holiness, then the men you would accuse: Neither do I stand to appeal to the fruites of their Ministery, notwithstand­ing of your cavilling at our practice; but I have a greater fear of your fear, that it prove only proud reason, spurning at the righteousnes of Jesus Christ, and aspiring to adde a Mantissa, an addition of your own, to his sole purchase: If I could conceive you a man to propose feares, both groundless and design­less, I might be judged uncharitable; but the cer­tainty of the first, by removing the second, too plainly justifies my apprehension: beside your fear is so soli­citous for your own righteousnes, that it doth not so much as allow the righteousness of Jesus Christ to be more pressed; and yet you know that not only his righteousnes, as being the price, spring and accep­tation of ours, doth therefore acclaime an infinite preference, but that the conviction of its necessity, by reason of the untoward reluctancie of the pride of reason, and blindness of unbeleefe, doth require a more powerful perswasion. And therefore I must again tell you that I almost suspect your insinuation of a very deep tincture of a greater Sophistrie then that which you give warning against; but seing you do profess to beleeve that Christ came to lay down his life a ran­some for our sins: and Non-conformists are perswad­ed, that without holiness we shall never see the face of God, it is certainly the better part for me to ap­plaud [Page 6] your good agr [...]ement: Only that you may be assured of this necessarie holinesse, and also of its ac­ceptance, see that you hold fast Jesus Christ as the sole foundation; for he it is who of God is made un­to us Wisdom, and Righteousnes, and Sanctification, and Redemption. And remember, that although Non-conformists love not to talk much of their own righteousnesse, at best both freely bestowed, and, as in us Viatores, while we are in the way, such, as of it self, can no wayes endure the consuming fire of di­vine jealousie; yet they not only subscribe to your necessity of holinesse, but further do beleeve with joy, that it is impossible for any man to lean truely and entirely unto Christ, who doth not imbrace him, and have him both his Red [...]emer, Lawgiver and San­ctifier.

4. You suggest, that Non-conformists think, they may quite the communion of the Church, If, in their opinion, nor in the truth, in every point: at least you will have this to be the case, betwixt you and your Non-conformist. Really might it not offend your reverence, I would remit you to Eph, 4. 25. and abide the reproof of the 26. without more an­swer, but, because 'tis like the sottishnesse of the person you confer with, hath induced you to this mistake, beleeve me in name of all true Non-conformists, that as they do not think they may quite the Communion of the Church, if in their opinion, not in the truth, unless the difference be both reall, & in profession & practice; so it is not every reall difference, in profession or practice, that they hold to be a sufficient cause; Nor do they judge that, even the cause being suffi­cient, the separation should be alwayes carried to the extremity; but the sound and clear rule which they propose for Christian practice in this matter is, that [Page 7] where the controverted difference is such, as would render a conjunction therein either sinful or conta­gious, then a just and proportionat sepa [...]ation, pre­cisely and with all tenderness, Commensurate to the exigence, is the safer course. As for your conceit, stating the cause of Separation, upon difference of opinion, in a truth of greater importance then the article of our faith, the Catholick Church, the communion of Saints; the examining of it, by what I have said, plainly discovers both its mistake and ambiguitie. In the next place let me tell you in behalf of honest Non-conformists, that the true reason of their present withdrawing is none other then what you allow: That they account themselves bound to obey God, in adhering to their true Pastors, and disowning Intrud­ing-hirelings, rather then man commanding the contraire. I will not digress to a more particular inqui­rie, since you are pleased to carry your Non confor­mist by it: but if you had made him give this answer together with a clear condescendence, I doubt not but either he or I had made it out: I might here take notice how smoothly and perswadedly you suppose, that Non-conformists do separate from the Church, although they for the most part think your conceiting your partie to be the Church, no better founded then the rest of your usurpations, but because this point will againe occurre I proceed to your [...] hint, that in former times Non-conformists repressed some sins specially these of the flesh, but fc [...]rce in a Gospel way, and for other sins, were very gentle to them, nay, were themselves guiltie of them. Sir, your suggestion being so general and groundless, I only wish that its latter part were as void of malice, as its former is farre from truth: I know that all men are sinners, and heartily desire that all Non-conformists may be serious­sly [Page 8] warned, throughly and impartially to search, and examine their wayes, and unfainedly to repent of their transgressions. Nay, though the frequencie and high import of your generall accusations render the sin­ceritie of your meeknes, in forbearing particulars, many wayes suspected; yet I urge it not: Only remember, that as I disown the Patrocinie, either of mens fail­ings or infirmities, so I do as little hold the work of God chargeable with any such extrinsick and acciden­tall objections, but should thy impudence make men hold their peace, and when thou mockest shall no man make thee ashamed, When you offered to reflect upon the infirmities and failings of former times, might not, and should not, the present irreligion and wicked­nesse, every were abounding, which are not only connived at by your Church-men, but do visibly go forth from them into all the Land (for they commit lewdnesse and walk in lies, they strengthen also the hands of evil doers, that none doth returne from his wickednesse) have confounded you unto silence? Certainly this your procedour cannot but suggest to all sober men, that too applicable passage of the Gospel, And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy bro­thers eye.

And thus, Sir, I am arrived at your plain and set im­pugnation of the N. C. courses: And to begin the matter, you make your N. C. in place of a solid re­presentation of the truth controverted, rap out an in­digested heap of Pompous titles, and, by this perso­nat blustering, you take the occasion, very kindly to commend your own personall modestie: whether this be not more invidious then ingenuous dealing let [Page 9] others judge; certainly if you had used that candor which you professe, your N. C. would have told you, that the work of God we desire to own, is that inlightning grace, and assisting presence of God, whereby, after that the Lord had caused his people to receive the truth in its power, he mightly stirred them up, and inabled them to resist the growing cor­ruptions, and shake off the heavie yoke of wicked Prelacie; to restore and establish his ordinances, spe­cially the Ministerie, and Government of his Church, in puritie; to maintain and defend the same against the violence of Adversaries; and to direct all these en­deavours and attainments to the advancement of our Lords Kingdom, over the hearts and consciences of men, and the prospering of his pleasure in these Lands, and that by such righteous means and me­thods, as are clearly warranted and approven, by Scrip­ture, Reason and many uncontroverted precedents: This is the truth your Non-conformist ought to have witnessed, not more confirmed by the publick writ­ings and actings of these times, then indelebly sealed in the hearts, and by the experiences of many thou­sands of the seekers of God; but seing I am astricted to follow you, I returne to your objections.

And first, you say, Rebellion was the Soul of our whole work, & our Covenant a Bond to cement us in it, &, in an excess of faire dealing, not questioning the particular merit of the hypothese of our cause, you demand one place in both the Testaments, warranting Subjects their fighting for Religion, & say plainly you can bring ma­ny against it. Sir, if you had thought it convenient, I judge it was proper for you, to disprove, from Scrip­ture, Subjects their fighting for Religion, & not to re­quire your Non-conformist to prove it, for seing you know that quae sunt juris permissivi, such things as law and [Page 10] right permit, if not prohibited, [...] su [...]ficiently under­stood to be permitted, any N. C. by an undeniable subsumption may easily evert your argument. If a miserable Melancholian, falling in disgust with certain necessary means of [...], should affi [...]me that it is un­lawful to use them, because he finds not one place in either Testaments expresly warranting it, would you account his reasoning conclusive? I am confident you would not: wherefore then do you urge us with his dreams? Now your negative objection a Testi­monio negato, from a negative Testimonie, as they say, being such a notorious fallacie, I need say nothing to what you adde of the Scriptures silence, of the Jews & Israelites their not rising up against their apostat idola­trous Princes, much less can their omitting what they might and ought to have done be of any import. If you could bring an example from Scripture of a King polluting the Sanctuary, and the people offering to oppose him, restrained either by rational perswasion, or the Lords plain prohibition, that only were ap­posite to your purpose. But you say, The faithfull Prophets their not exhorting to popular Reformation, or resisting Princes, doth evidently show that the o­mission of it was no sin. 'Tis answered, to make this argument better then your last, it is not enough to alleage, that the Prophets did not provock to such courses, unless you adde, that they did industriously forbear so to do, even in its season. You know so well the necessity and beautie of tide and season to every purpose and work, that your inconsideratnesse in this point is scarcely excusable. The Scripture tells us most frequently of the perversnesse and bent­ness of that peoples heart to Idolatrie and Rebellion against God; And no doubt in publick defections they were either the Kings entisers, as Hos, 7. 3. or did [Page 11] willingly walk after the Commandment. Hos. 5. 11. What wonder then if the Prophets did forbear to ply them with any such expresse exhortation, let be, that you should account their simple omission, as you love to speak, or rather the Scriptures silence in the thing, of any force: And here I cannot but note the unequall dealing of the men of your perswasion, who notwithstanding of their clamorous arguings from the silence of the Prophets, against Subjects their tak­ing Armes; Yet, when, in the case of the ten Tribes their falling away from Rehoboam, by them con­demned for Rebellion; by others justified as warrant­able, they are pressed, not with a bare negative si­lence, which is all that you object, but with a si­lence of reproof, circumstantiat with all that could render it significant, they wave it as of no strength. But lest you should think me too rigid, in insisting only against your methods, I proceed to give you, though not obliged, a positive return to your de­mand, and to shew you some of the positive war­rants that I finde in Sripture, for Subjects their sigh­ting for Religion, and although, as doubtful of the old Testament, you seem to alleviat its testimony by terming its dispensation more carnall and fierie; yet, I hope, you are perswaded, that change of dispen­sations doth no wayes alter the truth and righteous­nesse of God.

The first ground therefore which I take from Scrip­ture, is, from the Law of Moses, where I finde the keeping of the Lords Covenant not only injoined to the People of Israel, as one body incorporat, under the highest perswasives, and strongest Sanctions that can be conceived, and established to be their supreme Law; but also its vindication and execution recom­mended to them, in such a manner as doth clear­ly [Page 12] evince, that it was the constant dutie of the faith­ful amongst them, all other regards set aside, even by force, to have asserted and maintained it: If salus populi, the safety of the people, under the interpretative notion and force of Suprema Lex, Soveraigne Law, have in all just exigences, in all ages, amongst all Nations, licensed and warranted a defensive resistance and controll against their King and Rulers, can Reli­gion, infinitly preferable in it self, and confirmed by such an expresse Law, be thought destitute of this prerogative? It is in vain to alleage a disparitie from the inconsistencie of carnall weapons with the spiri­tuality of Religion, this is already obviat by the Lords own determination Deut 13. 12. If Israel was to animadvert with the sword against any city turning aside to Idolatrie, can we doubt that it was lawful for them, in the same manner, to defend the true wor­ship? Do not recurre and say it was certainly law­full in many cases, but not against the Prince? For, if you allow Religion this weapon, I have already prov­ed its right and privilege, by a higher title, and clearer evidence, then any other received cause of de­fence can pretend to: But if you utterly disallow de­fensive armes against the Powers, you destroy Nature, deny Reason, contradict Scripture, pervert the sub­ordination of Laws, preferre midses to their end, and repugne to the unanimous consent of all Nations, as you may elswhere understand.

The next ground I alleage, is from Deut. 17. vers 18. 19. Where you have the Law of the Kingdome delivered and committed to the people, and in it an express provision, that the King to be set up, should keep all the words of this Law; and these statutes to do them: whence I inferre, that, as the delivering of the Law to the people doth undeniably import, [Page 13] that they were to be its keepers and exactors; so the Prince his deportment, in conformity to this part of it, did in such manner belong to their cognition and oversight, as he could not, impunè, without dan­ger of punishment, mal-verse, much less subvert Re­ligion, and persecute its true Professors without con­trol. The only difficulty in this argument is, whe­ther the tuition and custodie of this Law be, by its ad­dresse, intrusted to the people? I may not stand upon long elucidations, but if you consider 1. That there is not an jota of the Law of God in vain. 2. That this directing of the Law to the people can have no other signification. And 3. That both the continued tenor of the words, and the just Analogie of reason, must make the oversight appertain to them, to whom the election, and setting up is so expressely given, your hesitation, if prevalent, can only appeare ob­stinacie.

3. As the frequencie or infrequencie of instances doth wholly depend upon matter of fact; so one clear­ly found in Scripture, I know, will be to you as a a thousand: I shall therefore content my self with the case and practice of Libnah. This citie being a citie of Iudah, and also of Priests, Ios. 21. 13. in the reign of Iehoram, a wicked and idolatrous Prince, and one who compelled Iudah to the like abomina­tions, revolted from under his hand, because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers. Say not as the Surv. of N. profanely alleageth, that this was a citie of Priests seditiously inclined, or that the revolt was only providentiall, like to that of Edom, and not lawful, by-reason of the Kings apostasie. If you but read the Text, bearing that Edoms revolt was from under the hand of Judah, without any motive annexed; And then, in a distinct Period, mentioning [Page 14] Libnahs to have been from under Iehoram's hand, (not Iudahs, intimating plainly their resistance to an Idola­trous Tyranne, without any Apostasie from the Com­mon-wealth, which Edom did make) and because he had forsaken the Lord, you will discover both his un­sincere handling of Scripture, and the clear evidence of this passage, specially if you remember, that there­after under better Kings, we find Libnah returned to her subjection, and affoorded a wife to good Iosiah. If it were needfull to superadde more examples, I might adde another Scripture, 2 Chron, 25. 27. Where you may read how after that Amaziah did turne away from following the Lord, they made a conspiracie against him in Ierusalem, and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and treated him more se­verely then I love to mention: and really were not this storie too tragicall for me to dip in, the justice of the cause, the generality of the concurrence, and the impunitie of the actors, specially adverting to the dif­ference of this case from that of the Fathers exit, may be so evidently held out from Scripture, to the ad­vantage of my assertion, that any reply, which you could make from the application of a dubious word, Conspiracie, would prove a poor reliefe. With these might also be remembred King Vzziah's elevation in a pretended Supremacie, and his invasive attempt of the Priests office, with the noble resistance made by Aza­riah and the fourscore valiant Priests, who went in after and withstood him. 'Tis true it broke out into force upon a second occasion, which I think I cannot so fair­ly urge, yet if you consider their number, character, and peremptorie manner of speech, so particularly not­ed by the Spirit of God, I doubt not but you will grant that the same force was very agreeable to, if not influenced by, their first resolution, but it is enough.

[Page 15]4. Though I have already told you, that the Pro­phets their not provoking unto popular Reformations is no argument for you, unless you could represent their om [...]on in an opportune season, as well as a clear exigent, yet now I further adde, that the fre­quent exhortations made by the Prophets to both King and People, as, in the first place, they have a respect to every ones proper station, so, by reason of their principal intendment of the great end, to which all Politick degrees and their order are subordinate and do referre, in the deficiencie or perversion of the more immediate midses, they must of necessity lay a subsidiary obligation upon the people, as succe­daneous, in that exigence. If the nature of this discourse did allow me to inlarge, I could confirme this po­sition 1. From Nature, which, in the perturbation of its established harmonic, forcing things, for the good of the whole, contraire to their proper tenden­cies, exhibite [...]a clear emblem of these vicarious assis­tances. 2. From things rationall, wherein the Pre­valencie of the end, and its obligation, doth alwayes overrule the order and regard of the midses, to a con­venient subserviencie. 3. From the received acknow­ledgement of a twofold calling, appertaining to eve­ry man, one Generall, flowing immediatly from the end, and exerting it self in extraordinarie emergents: another Particular, aranging to a certain fixed sta­tion, in the regular course of ordinarie events. 4. From the approven instances of many extraordinarie stretches, in the case either of our own, or others their unforeseen, and imminent dangers, specially from that most apposite example of the noble effort of Sauls Souldiers in rescueing Ionathan from his fa­thers unreasonable violence, without the least impu­tation of a transgression. 5. From this plain supposi­tion. [Page 16] A certain King commands a bodie of Souldiers to chose their own Generall and other Officers, and march against one of his Provinces apostatized to Idolatrie, severely injoining unto both Generall offi­cers and souldiers the execution of his pleasure, under pain of death: In the expedition, the General chosen and others with him, forgetting dutie, fall away and joyne with the Idolaters, whereupon the remaining part of the Armie, although in a sufficient capacitie to have effectuat their Prince his Command, yet deserte and returne, making no other pretense then that they were not free to exceed their private vacations, whereunto they held themselves abso­lutely confined: Would this be sustained for a good defence, and not rather looked upon as a cowardly, and lasie shift, taking refuge in the words, contraire to the certain meaning of the orders? Let any man judge and apply. But leaving all these grounds to your better improvement, the plain and obvious read­ing of the Scripture is my entire satisfaction: And really when with these warnings generally made, I also take a view of the commensurat threatnings wherewith they are enforced, and the suiteable execu­tion ordinarily ensuing, I almost marveile that the ob­vious connexion, adequating the guilt and punish­ment, doth not discover unto all this secondarie obligation incumbent to the people, in its punished and therefore sinfull, omission. I know the Soveraig­nity of the most high, & the nothingnesse, & noughti­nesse of all flesh in his sight, will be alleaged sometime to justify the extent, not only of his judgements, but also of his threatnings, beyond the desert of the for­mal expresse provocation, whereby they are occasion­ed, without the least shadow of unrighteousnesse. But (that I may forbear lanching forth unto that un­searchable [Page 17] deepth) to recurre to these Mysteries, when both the strain, and reason of the exhortation do lye so faire for the obliga [...]ion pleaded, is visibly to ener­vat the aw [...] and dread of the Lords Commandments. Do not alledge, that to persuade this Subsidiarie call and engagement to Popular Reformations, is not only to put tender Consciences upon the rack, of a conti­nual scrutinie into publick affaires; but to draw them altogether out from the inward and most important duties of Christianitie, unto an over-curious search, and consequently a sinistrous jealousie, of the actions of their Rulers, of all practices the most pernicious, both to Religion and Peace: for as at best, these are only the pretensions of men, upon the other extreme sunke into themselves, and wholly devoted unto their own ease, so, the very consideration of Mans Poli­tique as well as private capacitie, with the many in­controverted precepts and directio [...]s pertaining to it, do necessarily hold ont a laudable Mediocrity [...] I have already told you, that these exhortations do, in the first place, oblige every man to procure the trust of his own proper assignement, and you cannot be more desirous then I am consentient, that private men abstract from officious medling, forbear presuming censures, and render unto their Rulers, with their due obedience, all the honour, esteem, submission, charitie and tendernesse, that both their high digni­tie, insuperable infirmities, and manifold tempta­tions call for, But as these duties have their proper limites, in matters secular, known and acknowledg­ed by all, so, I am confident, that to hold them illimited in matters of Religion, no less privileged and defined, by most certain and evident rules, is a most manifest inconsequence, either of Ignorance or Malice. Then indeed is a Kingdom truely happy; [Page 18] when all, in their several Orbes, do observe their proper motions about the same common Centre of, the glory of God, and good of the Publick, without any other communication then that of benigne influen­ces, and due assistances, and this though without the reach of hope, ought not the lesse to be our wish, and the patern of our endeavours: and therefore in these inevitable jarrings, whereunto we are subject, the next remedie is certainly in the applications of Charitie, first, covering as much as is possible, then by its gentle means of Intreatie and Counsel, curing these disorders, that cannot be hid; but if the evil proceed to the endangering of the whole, and all the more moderate courses become desperate; As it were vain, in that case, to alleage mens visible and felt discoveries, to be curiosities and jealousies; so the extraordinary and resolute interpositions of the soun­der part, is assuredly the only probable safety of the Common-wealth. To these grounds adduced from the Old Testament for Subjects their fighting for Reli­gion and Popular Reformation, I take leave to adde one more from the Apocrypha: and that is the Exam­ple and Historie of the Maccabees. I need not nar­rate the matter of fact, how the King polluted the San­ctuarie, and persecuted the poor People of the Jews unto a conformitie with his abominations; and how Mattathias, first resisted, then killed the Kings Com­missioner, with the whole sequel of these warres, all is evident upon record. That it exactly quadrates to the case of our Controversie, is apparent from the sin­gle proposal. If you deny it, it is your part, and I am sure, will prove your singular wit, to shew a disparitie. These ordinarily objected by the men of your opinion, are either that Antiochus was not the Jews Lawfull King, or that the opposition was made [Page 19] in the Spirit, and under the dispensation of the Old Testament, and is not approveable by the New. As to the first, Grotius thinks the contraire so clear, from the plain phrase of the Books of the Maccabees, where­in Antiochus is frequently termed the King, that he ad­deth no further confirmation: If this do not satisfie it may be considered that Antiochus his title to Jurie, is not obnoxious to any particular exception, which doth not equally implead his right to all his other Do­minions: for seeing the Land of Judah was first by the Lords gift, Ier. 27. 6. 12. 16. 29. 2. Zedekiahs Cove­nant with Nebuchadnezar, ratified and confirmed by the Lord, whereby the Kingdome became base, Ezek. 17. vers. 12. to 22. 3. By right of Conquest upon the revolt, Ier. 39. and 4. by Cyrus his resti­tution, restoring the jews to their own Land, Reli­gion and Laws, but only with a provinciat liberty, as Ezek: had prophesied, and is most apparent from the Books of Ezrah and Nehemiah, unquestionably an annexed part of the Babylonish Monarchie, An­tioc hus his clame to it and his whole Realme, is evident by the same; Nay though you could prove him an Usurper of the principal Monarchie, as you cannot, the violence of the first Conquest, being by long Pre­scription, and a faire succession wholly purged; yet you must remember, that, that would not al [...]er the condition of the dependent Provinces, nor render the Usurpers right, as it respecteth them, in the least de­betable. Let not the Law of the Kingdom, delivered by Moses, demurre your persuasion: it excludes in­deed a Forrainer from the Peoples free Election, but doth no way limite the disposition of Divine Sove­raignity. As to the second objection made, that the resistance of the Maccabees was Old Testamentaire, and now antiquate, seeing it hath no contingence, ei­ther [Page 20] with the nature, or reason of the things innovate by that change, you cannot alledge it, without ex­presse warrant, which notwithstanding Grotius his attempt, is yet undiscovered. What your invention will further adde against this passage, I cannot con­jecture. I know you think it marvellous dealing in your N. C. to tell you of the Law of Nature, aud possibly may call it Monstruous for me to use the Apo­crypha: But not to trifle, either with your quiblings, or the respect that your Prelatick Church beareth to these Books, when I consider, that the Historie of these worthies, is not only honourably pointed at by the Prophesie of Daniel, cap. 11. 32. 33. But also appeares to be with applause commemorat by the Au­thor to the Heb. chap. 11. 33, 34. I look upon it as an Argument, not more strongly founded in Reason, then firmly established by the unite Testimony of both Tes­taments. Here I might take notice of what you say of the New Testament, viz. that its whole strain runs upon suffering: but seeing your insinuation is General and inconcludent, and that afterward, you do more particularly object from it, I proceed.

Having thus at some length supplied your N. C. omission, in the next place I come to the Argument where with you furnish him, viz. That the law of Nature teacheth us to defend our selves, & therefore there is no need of expresse Scripture for it: In Answere to this, having broke your j [...]ast, You begin very Magisterially with your N. C. & tell him, that he is a stranger to the very de­signe of Religion, which is to mortifie Nature; that it is a thing Super natural, that the Scriptures are strangely contri­ved, ever telling us of suffering, without the exception of re­sistance, if in a capacitie; you appeal to Conscience if either [...]ighting, which a carnal man may do, or suffering, which he cannot do, be the likelier way to advance Religion? [Page 21] whence you conclude; That it is not to be defended or ad­vanced by rules borrowed from Nature, but from Grace. Fye upon you M. Conformist, where is ingenuitie? Your N. C. sayes that Nature teaches us, To defend against injuries, though inflicted for Religion, & you tell him that Religions desig [...] is to mortifie Nature, & that it is not to be defended or advanced by natures rules. Is not this strangely contrived reasoning? The N. C. is as per­suaded as you are, that the Grace of God bringing Salvation, hath appeared unto all, teaching us to deny ungodlinesse and wordly lusts, and so to mortifie corrupt Nature; but doth it therefore contradict pure Natures light; or warrant us to destroy our selves? If any private Person should injuriously impose upon and invade another for Religions sake, were it not lawful for the Person thus injured to defend himself? Or were this contraire to the designe and nature of Religion? you cannot say it.

I know the Magistrat invested with authority, is no private Person: but remember, that you now argue from the Supernatural quality of Religion, and not from the character of the Magistrats power: and therefore as upon this subject I would tell you, that not­withstanding the Magistrat, by reason of his place, may deserve a greater (though no illimited) for­bearance, yet he hath as litle warrant for, and greater sin in persecuting then a privat person; so in the case in hand, it is evident, that if the mortifying designe of Religion reject all Natures assistances, in must of ne­cessity do so as well against a privat as a publick person. And verily if this be your understanding of the designe of Religion, you are too forward to teach others: but what you lacke in skill, you endeavour to make out by cunning. The N. C. asserts Natures warrant only for defence which you perceiving Religion not to con­troll, [Page 22] draw out a faire conclusion, not against Defen­ding, but against Defending and Advancing of Religion by Natures rules. Sir you know so well the difference of these two, Defending and Advancing; and that Non-conformists are no Turks, that I wish my charitie could hide your calumnie. Setting aside therefore this your foisted in, Advancing, which all Non-conformists do disown, let us hear what you adde against Defen­ding? You say The Scriptures do ever tell us of suffering without the exception of resistance when in a capacitie, I grant the Scriptures do speak of many and great suffer­ings, according to the holy Counsel of God, and frequent lot of his Saints; that all that will live godly, must suffer persecution. They contain also many pre­cepts, and excellent encouragements to Patience un­der Suffering: but that they do hold out any direct Command to men simply to Suffer, abstracting, from patient suffering, or the least insinuation, that, though in a full capacitie, they should not at all resist, which in effect doth little differ, the many passages adduced by me in the contraire, with the advice of Flight often given, show to be as remote from Truth, as requisite to your inference. As for your appeal to Conscience, Whether fighting or suffering be the like­lier way to advance Religion? I appeal to common Sense, if it be pertinent to contest for that, which your Adversarie doth not deny. The glorious power of the grace of God, in propagating Religion by the weaknes and sufferings of his Servants, is the great miracle of the Gospel, and the praise of all Saints: and yet if at any time, the Lord in pitie to his afflicted, did raise them up a Saviour, or give them a banner for Truth, was this blessing therefore despised, or the means of it condemned [...] God forbid. The works of the Lord are all holy, beautifull and well consistent, and in this [Page 23] the Non-conformists do experimentally joy. As to your close of this passage, That a carnall man can fight, wee know that spiritual men have done it also, Heb. 11. 33. And where you adde, that he cannot suffer, it is no further my concernment, then to bid you be more advertent, seeing you tell us in the very next leafe, of some Murtherers that suffered gallantly, and that the seal of a Martyrs bloud is not alwayes the seal of God; and to ponder the native import of 1 Cor, 13. 3.

Now, as if you had demonstrate the unlawfulnesse of fighting, you still your N. C. regrate, for the neglect and ruine of the work of God, by the Consideration of Gods Power and Providence; and tell him, that to defend Religion by force, is but the wrath of man; that Religion was first propogate by suffering, whereas fighting hath been ever fatal to it. Its answered, as it is but to tempt and mock God and his Providence, to neglect the means of preservation allowed by him? So in the love of his Glory to appear for his interests against Persecuters and Subverters, with the hasard of all our worldly concernments, is not the sinfull and selfish wrath of man, but the very power and zeal of God. That Religion hath been much propagated by suffering, is already acknowledged: but that figh­ting hath been ever fatal to it, is manifestly contra­dicted, by the establishment of almost all the Refor­mations in Europe. But you go on and tell your N. C. that our Lord did begin the Gospel with Suffering, when he could have commanded Legions in his defence, and when you have made him to mutter out, That Christ knew it was his Fathers will, you proceed to tell, with com­passion for his ignorance, of Christs injunction to his Disciples, not to draw for him, and add his words to Pi­lat, not only as an evident assurance of what you assert, [Page 24] but as a manifest conviction of the coldnes of your Ad­versaries. Sir, such is the hight & severity of your con­ceitednesse in this place, that if the aversion I have for all things like it, did not restrain; I should hardly forbear to give you a humbling retaliation: But all I desire is, that by descending a little from it, you may be in case to receive a sober answere. That our Lord, did not only begin, but found the Gospel upon his most Voluntarie, free and desired, as well as comman­ded suffering, is a Truth so high and precious, and justly accounted inimitable in substance, that I strange you should debase it, by making it a part of your Ar­gument, when you know that Christ came into the world, that he might freely give himself a ransome; and that therefore he neither would be diverted, nor use the flight which he had formerly both command­ed and practised, do you rationally argue, that because he thus suffered, so ought we to do: or because he refused his Disciples endeavours of rescue, that there­fore Christians in persecution should neither give nor admit of assistance. I grant, that if God so order it, in suffering, we ought to imitate his patience, 1 Pet. 2. 21. But what maketh this for you? You insinuate, as if his not commanding Angels to his defence, had been a meere effect of his patience; but as this opini­on is not countenanced by the description thereof gi­ven by the Apostle in the place cited, so, I pray you hear our Lord himself, Thinkest thou that I cannot (which I am certain soundeth plainly May not) pray to my Father, & he shall presently give me &c. but ho [...] then shall the Scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be? here then is the reason of our Lords forbearance, presume not to fancie another. But you say he forbad his Disci­ples to draw the sword in his defence, whith a severe threat­ning, for all they that take the sword shall perish with the [Page 25] sword, Take you this to be a threatning against the Disciples? which for their comfort is so plainly spoken against the traiterous band that came against him, upon whom also it was most dreadfully accomplished. Thus Grotius upon the place, though in the point of defence he be very inconsequent; if you cannot under­stand it thus from the context, I desire you onely to read it in a parallel application, Rev. 13. 10. He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword; here is the Faith and Patience of the Saints? are you not then ashamed to make it their threatning and fear? Next you adde, that what our Lord said to Peter, my Kingdome is not of this world, &c. is so Plain language, that you wonder it doth not convince all. If I were to oppose confidence to confidence, I should make no other reply, then that this is indeed so plain language, that I wonder what Conviction you mean; but because this is the ground of your proud and vain boasting which you are not affrayed to seal with the veracity of God, let us hear the words at length Iohn. 18. where our Lord being questioned by Pilat, art thou the King of the jews ver. 33. returnes the direct Answere. ver. 16. thus, My Kingdom is not of this world if my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the jews: but now is my King­dom not from hence. In which words, as he witnesseth his Kingdom, so, to remove the jews accusation, and Pilats jealousie, he declareth the quality of it viz. That it is not of this world, that is, a worldly Kingdom, to be exercised as other Kingdoms of the world are in out ward power and splendour, and therefore can neither interfeere with, nor diminish Caesars Em­pire and grandour; and this he confirmeth by a most plain and convincing argument, If my Kingdom were of this world then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the jews: that is, if I designed a [Page 26] worldly Kingdom, I would have gathered followers; or rather (according to the assistance mentioned by him at his first taking) called Angels my servants, to fight for my rescue [...] but since I imploy no reliefe, but willingly give my self unto the death, now is it plain that my Kingdome is not from hence. Thus I have set down both the plain language, and I hope the plain meaning of the place but whence it is that you derive your advantage, I protest I cannot divine. If the Lord prove his Kingdom not to be a worldly one, because he imployed no aid for his rescue from the Jews, doth it therefore follow, that all persecute Christians should reject all assistance, and deliver themselves up to suf­fering after the same example? Are you not yet satis­fied that the manner only, and not the act of our Lords suffering, is proposed to our imitation. Beleeve me Sir, I have been often serious to finde out wherefore this text is so much talked of by the men of your per­su [...]sion; but unless is be that men who would be con­tent that Christs Kingdome were not in the World, do love to hear a phrase so neer it, that it is not of the World, or that the great Devotionaries of ease, with­out adverting to the reason, and making an Emphasis in that which is a clear speciality, would force from the words, contraire to their plain tenour and scope, this general Rule, that his Servants fight not, no not (as they would read it) for his rescue. I could never attain to a better conjecture. It comes in my thought while a writing, that it is possible, that in reading the words forward, you may understand them back­ward; As if our Lord in saying, If my Kingdom were of this World, then would my Servants fight, had reasoned thus; because my Kingdom is not of this World, therefore my servants do not fight: But seeing his Argument is evident as the Meridian Sun, [Page 27] My servants do not fight for my rescue, therefore I pretend to no worldly Kingdom, the force of the in­ference is no more clear then it is certain, that the spi­rituality of his Kingdome neither is in this place, nor can be at all used to astrict his followers to his unimi­table example, in this his free and voluntaire suf­fering: But because I am resolved to constrain you to an acknowledgement, that the Non-conf. Answeres to your Scriptures, are neither irrational nor ridiculous as you alledge, I shall enlarge a little more upon this subject: Some men of your way say, that seeing Christ doth here declare his Kingdom not to be of this World for the clearing of Pilat and all Powers of the Jealousies, which such a thing might raise, of neces­sity the inconsistencie and prohibition of fighting (the great fear of the Princes of the Earth,) must be im­ported: It's answered, our Lords answere is no doubt framed and suited to the Jews accusation, which be­yond question; both in Pilats and in their understan­ing, was his affecting an outward Kingdom in preju­dice of Caesar, and, as of this he doth unanswerably purge himself, and, thereby fully satisfy all the just feares that could be objected, so, to imagine that his purpose was to remove all the false apprehensions, and restlesse inquietudes, which only the wickednesse and violence of Tyrannes do suggest [...] and thereby to gratify Tyranny, is, both groundlesse and impious: But to convince you plainly, that the spirituality of Christs Kingdom doth not restrain Fighting for Reli­gion [...] I ask you in a word, what is the reason that the Christian world, doth not patiently stretch out its neck to the Turkish Cruelty? Sure you are not ignorant that the pretended cause of his invasions, hath often been to destroy the Christian Faith: if then the spirituality of Christs Kingdom doth altogether prohi­bite [Page 28] his Servants fighting, wherefore do not Christian States and Princes lay down their Carnall defensive weapons, and rest quietly in this, that God who governs the world can maintain his own right, and the wrath of man doth not work his righteousnesse, as you are pleased to Cant to your N. C. I know the only reply you can make, is, that the case of free Estates and Soveraigne Princes against foreiners is very different, from that of Subjects against their Rulers; but doth not this plain­ly discover the Sophistrie of your Method, you tell us, first, that Subjects may not fight for Religion against their persecuting Prince, because the spirituality of Christs Kingdom forbids all fighting upon that ac­count. And then when you are urged with the incon­trovertible practice of Christian Kingdomes, you just recurre & say, that the instance not being of Subjects against their Prince, doth not quadrat, and not re­membring that this is the very quaes [...]um, you make the vain and emptie assertion of the irresistibilitie of Princes, without any proofe, both head and tail of all your reasonings: I may not insist to tell you, that if the spirituality of Christs Kingdom did cause the King of Kings, and him, who even on earth owned himself greater then Solomon, to suffer without resi­stance; The Soveraignity of Christian Princes can­not give them a contrary privilege. I know these of your way, and many others also, carried away with their error, forgetting both the Authority which Christ exercised, and for which he was questioned by the jewish Rulers, and also his own most expresse words, no man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of my self. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again, stick not to make an obli­gation of subjection to the then Tyrannes & Murthe­rers, an ingredient in his submission: but I am tedious, [Page 29] More consideration of the worth and wonderful love of our Lord Jesus Christ, would teach you no doubt, both a better understanding in the Truth of God, and more reverend and tender vindications then these you make of the True and Faithfull Witness.

You proceed in the next place, upon occasion of your. N. C. alledging that you condemne our first Refor­mation, carried on by Fighting, to tell us, that the ages immediatly after Christ afford the best examples, in these the Christians, though suff [...]iently numerous, and cruelly irritate, did onl [...] increase by suffering, and not by figh­ting: the force used in our Reformation was the enemies tares, and no precedent of men is to be opposed to the ex­presse [...] word of God. Sir, to begin where you leave, I hope I have already fully cleared, that the expresse word of God is against you, and not for you: neither will I expatiat upon the undeniable Necessitie, Righ­teousnesse, Reason and evident blessing of that Force used in our first Reformation, by which our Religion, Libertie, yea the Royall line and Crown, were un­der God only preserved [...] Nay your reprochful like­ning of it to the devils tares, is so far from lessening the evidence of that Spirit, which after having resisted unto bloud, and wrestled through many great and strong persecutions, did animate the Lords people to a very noble defence, countenanced by all the then Reformed Churches, that it doth not so much as de­murie my charitie, that if you your self had been in these dayes, you had taken part with the Congrega­tion: That which I shall stay a little upon, is the prac­tice of the Primitive Christians, whereby you think fighting for Religion, to be as much condemned, as suffering is highly commended. And because this objection doth lead unto the delightful search and vin­dication of the works of God, for answere, I ob­serve [Page 30] first, that as in the holy and determinate Counsel of God, it became the Captain of our Salvation to be made perfect through suffering, so it pleased him for the greater manifestation of the power of his Grace by the Foolishnesse of Preaching, and Weakeness of Suffering, to render the propagation of his Truth more glorious, and thus in the first times of the Gospel, the greater the crueltie, and the more ineluctable that the necessity of the suffering was, the more inexpres­sible was the glory of that presence and the joy of that consolation, whereby the Church in its deepest dis­tresse did most highly triumph. 2. So unspeakeablie did the power of this assistance prevail, to the dispel­ling of the fear, and removing of the horrour, of all these torments and afflictions, that many instead of flying, incontrovertibly lawfull, did directly run to suffering; and to a great part, the Garland of Mar­tyrdom became a most Ambitionat Crown; by the mistake of the exuberance of which assisting grace, not only many odd practices in precipitating themselves unto suffering and death, but Opinions also then held, such as that of the unlawfulnesse of all resistance for Christians, even against Robbers and Murtherers, can only be excused. 3. But if the beautie and splendor of this grace did in some measure dazle the eyes of its more immediate witnesses, how much more did it asto­nish its more remote and after admirers, who receiving the report with fames increase, and taking their mea­sures, more from their own good design, then the exact simplicitie of truth, by their pious and affectionat Rhe­torications, stopt not to strain matter of fact, sometimes beyond probabilitie. If you be a stranger to this truth, advert how the almost immediate after Age magnifies their Patience and Sufferings, such as veflra omnia re­ple [...]i [...]us, with more then one grain of allowance. [Page 31] 4. As this was the dispensation of the first ages of the Gospel, so, when the Lord advanced the Church to a certain and visible capacity of defence, peruse Histo­ries, and you will find plenty of instances of Christians their fighting for Religion. The Armenii very early even before Constantine his Empire, Libertatem exercen­di Christianismi Armis vindicant, Clade afficiunt Maxi­minum as the History beares, and how the persecuted Christians, under the Persian and Arrian, did implore and receive the aid of the Roman and Orthodox Em­perours, would be superfluous to narrate.

By these few reflections as I have cut of from your argument all the necessary suffering and strained capa­cities of the Primitive Christians, so I have given you such a full and evident account of their not searching after, or improving sooner, any real measure of suffi­ciencie for defence, which probably they did but little minde, that this their omission cannot without mani­fest calumnie, be adduced to disprove, either their immediate after [...] practises, or the agreeable and univer­sally approven examples of our late reformations. Now if for proving their more early capacite for, or expresse dissent from Defensive Armes, you do further urge particular Authorities, when you have answered all my just scruples against the former, and satisfied me in all their other opinions in the matter of Armes, then you shall have my Answere: but in the mean time pardon me, if while I do indeed admire and praise the Grace and Glory of these Primitive sufferings, I be neither too credulous of the mistakes of men, nor do con­demn the diversitie of the operations of the same God, which worketh all in all, specially seeing that by the same suffer­ings whereby you go about to impugne, he hath so sig­nally confirmed these practises, which I do maintain.

But to this last you answere, that you are far from [Page 32] thinking the better of a Cause because some die handsomlie for it: Neither Atheis [...], Heresies nor Murthers want their pretended Martyres. Sir, I neither approve your too much magnifying. pag. 7. nor your too much under­valuing, pag. 9. of mens sufferings: And therefore as at best I account them only a confirming and accessory, and not a principal and leading argument; so I must tell you that I conceive the force of its inference to flow from a certain lustre and insinuation of grace, which your jejune Epithets of handsomnesse and gallantrie do but meanly expresse; whether or not this appeared in our late Sufferers, I wonder nothing that you deny it: but sure I am that all the sincere lovers of the Truth, have to their joy both acknowledged it, & been esta­blished by it.

After this by a transition of your own framing, making your N. C. faintly and childishly disown and wave bygones, whereof, to deal plainly, I do as little fear the odium, as I account your A [...]ologies, taxing them of Rebellion, to be most odious, you come to en­quire wherefore wee keep not the day of thanksgiving for the Kings restauration? and seing you are not pleased with your N. C. answere I will give you mine. Aud first, it is not because you make it a holy day; I know this is as much above your power, as your act is presumptuous in ordaining it to be observed, and your practices are far from keeping it as a holy day; Nor do I now de­bate the Magistrates power in appointing pro re nata dayes of solemne thanksgiving, wherein it is more then certain, that the apparent abuse that hath been in institutions of this kinde, and the end and designe of the appointment, do give the Church a very neces­sary interest of advice. Nor lastly will I detain you in the application of the difference of designing a day as a Circumstance for thanksgiving to be performed on it, [Page 33] and dedicating a day to be kept as Holy in Comme­moration; a Popish error, expressely by us abjured and by you revived; he who desires a full clearing in this matter, with a satisfying answere to all objections, may find it in the English popish ceremonies; but the great reason wherefore N. C. neither doe nor ought to keep that day, is because you have assigned for the cause of it, not only the mercie of the Kings returne, but also the wicked overturning of the work of God; and that with such a libeling preface of blasphemies against God and his cause, and vile reproches upon the whole Nation, that no true hearted man can read the Act, without abhorrencie. Now before you reject this my answere, I only desire you to peruse and con­sider the Act, and I am almost certain that although perhaps, you will not come the length of the cha­racter I have made of it, yet you will think it strange that men accessorie to many of these Righteous things, against which it so foully railes, should have been on the one hand indulgently indemnifyed without any ac­knowledgement [...] and on the other obliged, under the pain of losing their s [...]ipends, to a thanksgiving, expres­sing the highest recantation. Are these wayes equal? Think not that my indignation against this Act, is all and only from my disaffection to your establish­ment, that is indeed one cause, sufficient to produce a just detest; but ingenuously I have so much of true Loyaltie to my Prince and affection to my Countrey, that the disservice done to the King, in rendering the celebration of that day (which in its righteous and pro­per use might have been an acceptable & kindly warm­ing of his Subjects affection) a very odious provoca­tion to aversion and alienation, is to me not a more just then powerfull incentive: but such were the heal­ings [Page 34] of these violent Physitians, and such have been and will be the effects.

Again, making a stepping stone of both your N. C. and his cause, after you have made him confess disloy­altie, because you are not able to prove it, you hold out his way to be evil, because of its crueltie and rigor in forcing men to take the Covenant, and punishing such as refused. and your N. C. granting this to be a fault also, you charge it home very odiously against our Leaders. as Men unacquainted with the meek spirit, and obstinat in those severities. Its answered, whether these things be objected or not in a meek spirit is more your con­cernment then mine, who regard not your bitternesse in any dresse? That which you call cruelty, if counter-ballanced with the guilt of the recusancie, will quickly be alleviat to moderation: If the Covenants (for I shall touch both) pressed, had been new Oaths arbi­trarely imposed; there were some ground for your challenge: but as to the first, was it not the same, wherein the Nation stood engaged from the first be­ginning almost of the Reformation; and if after a great and visible defection it was, upon our returning, renewed, and with a more expresse application against these corruptions, whereunto we had backslidden, required to be taken by all, who could not decline without a manifest declaration of both their unsound­nesse and insinceritie in the Oath of God? call you this Rigor? And as to the second, the League, if the Com­munion of Saints, and that sympathie wee ought to have with all Christs sufferings Members, did persuade it as a dutie, and if your then ejected Prelats, did by their restlesse instigations, and the breaches of Faith, and Hostile invasion from England thereby procured, render it convincingly a most necessary meane, for the preserving and prosequuting the ends of the first, was [Page 35] it not both rational and righteous that they, who stood thus obliged, by vertue of the first Covenant, to take the Second, upon their recusance, should be proceeded against as Deserters: And the truth is, as they were not many that were troubled simply, for not taking the Covenants; so there were but few, if any, who re­fused the second, who either before were not, or thereafter became not, directly opposite to the First; Nor did these few refusers subsist in a quiet dissatisfac­tion; but for the most part turned violent and bloudy Enemies, or at least partakers with such Adversaries, Notwithstanding of all which perjury and wicked­ness, the procedour against these recusants, or rather Apostates, was so litle adequate, either to their guilt or number, that upon a considerate and impartiall re­view, I am assured, all the excess that can be quali­fied will not suffice to purge your objection of Cruelty against the publick courses of these times, of plain Calumnie: I say the Publick courses; for as to the par­ticular practises of private persons, although the cor­ruption inherent to the best, and the many and rapid Temptations of times of division and wars, do offer me large matter of Apologie; yet I doe rather wish that the outbreakings which wee have seen, and felt, of the Lords holy jealousie, may make both the Lo­vers of his work to remember their provocations, and tremble before this holy Lord God, who will be Sanc­tifyed in them that come nigh him: And also the hat­ers of his Name to consider how much more upon such he will be Glorifyed: But you, not content to pervert the Righteous wayes of God, go about main­ly to represent his Ministers as bloudy men, rejoycing and obstinate in bloud; certainly such a grievous and horrid accusation ought to have been evidently in­structed; but since it is impossible to imagine the least [Page 36] shadow of ground for it, unlesse that sometimes his Servants, either in the more eminent and signall ap­pearances of Gods vengeance upon his bloudy and perfidious Adversaries, have joined their praises with Heavens Alleluiahs, for the manifestation of his true and righteous judgements, or that when the Lord called to punish, they have regreted an unsea­sonable and partial excesse of Lenitie: Are not these arrows, firebrands and death, which you throw in your pretended meekness, like to the symptomes of Madnesse?

And now Sir, since you will have it so, give me leave to manage the retortion for your N. C. You accuse our times of cruelty, for forcing men to take the Co­venant; though in effect it was only to make them stand to an Oath, whereby all were antecedently o­bliged; but have not you and many of you, such as formerly were very forward to presse it upon others, Now, without either reason given, or repentance so much as pretended, been most violent to have all men to renounce it? I will not mention the exclusion of all Non-renouncers from Publick Trust, and the first Arbitrary fining, and remitting or abating, upon condition of the Declaration, Temptations not only unjust, but no less powerful, and a hundred fold more extensive, then all the certifications execute upon simple Noncovenanters: the very instances by you given shall also serve my turne: Are not to con­curre in the present Church-Government, and to promise submission to Episcopacie, certain reductive disclamations? And yet you cannot deny, that for the refusing of these things many hundred, of Mini­sters have been thrust out, and in such manner vexed and tossed with imprisonments, banishments, con­sinements, and proclamations upon proclamations, [Page 37] that if the Lord had not provided, your mercie in sparing their Lives, had been only the complement of your Cruelty: Its true that Ministers are not made to sweare to Maintain the present Establishment; but if they be required to break a former lawful and ap­proven Oath, where is the disparity? As for the People, you tell us they are desired to do nothing, but live peaceably, and join in worship: And veri­ly though this were all, and though your Publick Peace were not so perverted, as it cannot be subscrib­ed unto, and your Worship so polluted, and pro­faned, as may give too just occasion of scruple, it were easie to demonstrate, that such hath been the Rigor, and violence of your Methods, that it is a wonder that a hundred to one have not been thereby irritate to more unpeaceablenesse, and greater desertion: but be­cause you have brought against us and our leaders, the odious accusation of Bloud, although I have already removed it; yet in pursuance of the parallel I must further tell you, that the Bloud of the former Times, abstracting from its justice, was in a manner the Bloud of War i [...] War: but in your Times wee have seen; over and above its injustice, the bloud of War shed in Peace, and that of such Persons, for such Causes, and with such Circumstances, as time doth only increase and not diminish its astonishment: next, the tragedie of these poor harmlesse persons, who by your insuf­ferable insolencies and exactions were provoked to take Armes, is yet recent. I shal not resume particu­lars but I am confident, their cause, their number, their condition and their rout being considered, the tortures and bloudy executions that ensued, not upon the chief Actors and instruments, but upon the inferior yea meanest of these Innocents led out to the slaugh­ter, without choise, are hardly to be matched: what [Page 38] hand your Lords of the Clergie had in these things; how suift their feet were to shed bloud, and how Burnet the A. P. of Glasgow, taught the Executio­ner to truss him up with a pulley, who for weaknesse could not be otherwise execute, and the Armie Offi­cers commanded drums to be beaten to drown the Testimony of the Lords dying witnessess, is well known. Nay it is more then probable that if the King had not put a stop to that but cherie, and these op­pressions and barbarities wherewith the West was af­terward aflicted, your Prelats had not given over, until that partie had been utterly cut off, and that whole Countrey laid desolate for their cause: I might further tell you of your other severities, and how by your rigid exceptions and other ensnaring Acts, not only the intended favour of the Kings Indemnity was corrupted; but also its very designe and effect frus­trat: But what need of many words, let the fervent aud conspiring desires of the 1659, and the more ex­ [...]lting joyes of the 1660. with the many disappoint­ments, grievances and exactions that ensued, togeth­er with the present Universal coolness, dissatisfaction and distraction, and unsetled condition of the King­dom be considered, and impartially searched into their proper cause, and if Prelacie be not found the only marrer of our joy and quiet, ferment of our distemper and moth of our Loyalty, then rejoice yee in the Bishops, and let them also rejoyce in you: but if thus it be, then &c. Thus you have forced me to reta­liat your provocation, and I am more then wearied of the subject.

In the next place you taxe the N. C. of great hight and insolencie, in assuming the big Names of the Godly Partie, and the People of God, and calling their way the cause and Kingdom of Christ. Sir if they did indeed con­tend [Page 39] for the Ministery and Ordinances of Christ; And that for the vindication of his Power and Government over his Church, and the Prospering of his pleasure, I think truely they had good right to all these names: but that they did vainly and arrogantly use them, it is more then you have proven, or I doe remember: And really J am in the opinion that upon search, it will be found, that the Titles of the People of God, and of the Godlie Partie, were at first not so much assum­ed by the asserters of our cause, as appropriat unto them by the reproach and mocking of their Adversa­ries: As for after contests (if any were) among their own subdivisions, they were no doubt the sad conse­quents of other evils, wherewith it pleased the Lord that his own should be tried; but if you think that for all the competition the Titles, are still vacant, I wish from my heart that both you and your partie may be thereby animat to put in, and to shame and ex­clude all lowd Pretenders, by reall demerite.

To this you subjoin another great Article, that Our Ministers who complained, of Bishops, their medling in matters of State, when the scene turned, did therein absolute­ly Govern: And to this challenge you make your N. C. returne the Popes Answere for his Usurpa­tions: viz: that all was done in order to Religion, on purpose that you may make the reply, That the Pope and Presbiterians doe much agree in Politiques. Sir, wa­ving the immodest terme of impudence and other ar­rant peccancies against truth, where with you set forth your Modest representing of faults, as yow are pleased to call it. I returne shortly for answere this clear and certain position, wherein I am sure we can­not disagree viz. that as the direction of Conscience appertains to the Pastoral charge, so the Ministers of Gods Word ought both to advise, exhort and warne [Page 40] thereanent, according as in every occurrent, the circumstances of the thing which make its season, do thereto cleare their call and accesse: This truth is evi­dent in its own light: whoever owneth Conscience, the Word of God to be its Rule, and its Ministers to be our Teachers and Guides, cannot deny it. All the diffic [...]ltie is in the right performance; the exceeding goodnesse and rare beautie of a word in season, is no ordinary attainment; because to every purpose there is time and judgement; therefore the miserie of Man is great upon him. If I should ascribe the exactnesse of this ob­servance to our Ministers, I should forget them to be Men: but as to the instances, which you alleage of their warnings given against the Engagement 1648 and all deeds directly relating to it, And of their Mi­nisteriall accession to a prudent exclusion, in the year 1649 of such as had proven Unfaithfull: their singu­lar importance as to the very summe of the work of God, hath been so signally comprobat by after events, that if upon the matter, you doe condemne these practises, you in effect doe adjudge Ministers to ab­solute silence, at least in opposition to State determi­nations, whatever be the concernment of the Cause of God, or good Conscience: It were superfluous to mention the difference of Prelatick medlings, or what are the Popes invasions: the meanest capacitie may easily distinguish a Ministeriall advice in point of Conscience, all, either attribute to, or assumed by Ministers in State, or any other extrinsick affaire, from these corrupt practises: And with the same fa­cility join Prelacie and Papacie in their common pride and usurpation. You add a particular reason where­fore Ministers should not medle with war and matters of bloud, because of its contrarietie to the Pastoral dutie, which obligeth to feed and not to kill. But as none hath [Page 41] been more guiltie of this Sanguinary medling then, these who with most ceremony would appear to ob­serve the letter of the Rule; so, considering what I have lately touched of your Clergie, and who did principally direct the suppression and executions of the late Risers in Armes, I am in the opinion you de­signed this reflection more for your own Lords, then our Leaders: but it is enough I agree with you fully, that Pastors ought not to be Criminall Judges, farre less instigators to war and bloud; yet if in these matters you allow to Conscience any place, they are no doubt Subjects proper both for Ministerial warning and advice.

For a conclusion of your charge, ye surprise both your N. C. and me with a challenge of Superstition, whereof you say wee are in many things guilty: sed quis tulerit Gracchos de Seditione querentes. Sir yee are not so wittie in this anticipation as yee trow; for tho ye have taken the first word of fliting; yet the successe is rather a foaming out your own shame, then the fixing of that reproach upon us, which was the mark ye yought to hit. What? Sir, did ye dream by this device to terrifie your N. C. into a forbearance to charge you with the guilt of Superstition? or did you think by this artifice to vindicat your partie, and be avenged at once on these great Worthies, who have so manifestly laid open unto the World the Superstition of the men of your Kidney and Gang; that though they have travelled to Rome to fetch water to wash these spots, and have put their invention upon the rack to palliat them with all imaginable pretenses; yet the shame of their Nakednesse was so unfolded by these searching Seers, that it could never be hid. But Sir, are ye in good earnest? or have ye been in the fore­going lines so transported with rage in fighting against [Page 42] Defensive Armes, and wresting the sword of just de­fence out of the hands of poor Innocent and oppressed Subjects, that in this paroxysme ye have forgotten to be honest and rational at once? Did you beleeve that you spoke truth when you represented us as such? If I thought ye did, and continued to doe so still, I pro­fesse I am so litle your enemie that I would pitie you, as one who walketh in the darknesse of gross delusion, and knoweth not whether he goeth, because the darke­ness hath blinded his eyes. But I would gladly know how ye make out the charge: Ye did wisely only in one thing, to condescend upon none of these many things, wherein you say we are guilty of Superstition, when ye make your charge good ye will be admired for your invention; till then, it will neither be shame nor reproach to the N. C. to be silent, or laugh at the audacitie of such a Novice. But to be serious with you, Sir, if ye would not take it amisse to be Catechized in the Chair, doe ye understand what Superstition is, that ye call us so? Are we such to you in many things, because in every thing we owne the Scriptures as the Rule of Faith and manners, and assert that there is a sufficiency in these to make wise to Salvation, and that, without the wild mixture of humane inven­tions, they are able to make the man of God perfect, thorougly furnished unto every good work? Is it be­cause we own no Office-bearers in the house of God, save such as are of his own appointment? Is it because we judge the Episcopal Hierarchie Apocryphal, and cannot acknowledge the Prelat and his juncto for the Courts and Officers of Jesus Christ? Is it because we maintain that all things in the house of the God of Hea­ven ought to be done according to the will of the God of Heaven, and because we stand fast in the libertie where with Christ hath made us free, and will not [Page 43] suffer our selves to be imposed upon or intangled with a Yoke of bondage? Is it because we maintain that no power upon Earth can make things Necessary which God hath made Indifferent, more then they can make things, indifferent, which he hath made Necessary? Is it because we know or will acknowledge no Law­giver or Lord in the house of God, beside our Lord Jesus Christ, and are bold to put all pretenders to produce our Masters warrant when they call for our obedience to their Commands, as not darring to make the will of a poor frail fallible creature the Law of our Conscience? In a word is it because we dare not with you homologat all the impieties of that Partie, who have burst these holy bonds for Reformation and Righteousnesse, wherewith together with us they had so solemnly bound their Souls, and are now returned to their former vomit? Is our esteem of, and adherence to, the wayes of righteousnesse, an overrating of things more then we ought? and are we only guilty of Superstition because we cannot be Metamorphosed into a detestable newtrality and Gallio like indiffe­rencie in the matters of God? Truely Sir providing our Zeal for these things were such as our own heart did not reproach us for a sinful short coming and de­fect in, (as alas it is not) we could bind al your re­proaches, for what ye count excess and over-rating, unto us as a crown, and indulge you a libertie to lay to our charge things that we know not, and cast ini­quitie upon us, without taking further notice of what ye have said, then thereby to be stirred up to pour out our complaint before God, and Pray him that he would not hold his peace, since the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitfull is open­ed against us, and have spoke against us with a lying tongue. But I know ye follow your old Leaders [Page 44] D. Mortown, D. Burgess &c. who had the same un­happiness to go before you in accusing the Brethren, who could not be cudgelled into a complyance with, nor cast in the mould of your Ceremonies, that you have in following of such, who in this did not follow the Lord fully, and had not the lamp of the word to shine in their way: They did plead innocent, asserting they were not guiltie of Superstition in using and im­posing Ceremonies, but the N. C. were in refuseing. But Sir, ye should either have had the head to have made the insuficiencie of these great mens vindication manifest, or not have had the fore-head to renew the same challenge, without taking notice of their replyes which stand unanswerable to this day: your over-rating [...] the Doctors reason, such as it is, couched in it: they alledged the N. C. guiltie of Superstition, why? because, forsooth, the N. C. (say they) place a special peice of Religion in not using of these Cere­monies, and teach others to abstain from using them for Conscience sake, and this is the vermiculation of your pu [...]se too, But what would these Gentlemen have said, or what will the altitude of your invention sug­gest to the Apostles words, why are ye subject to Ordi­nances, touch not, taste not, handle not, &c. i. e. Keep you [...] selves free from these things which are after the commandments and doctrines of men, be ye not sub­ju [...] as the servants of men to the observation of such things, which are obtruded upon you as a peice of Religion, being meer human inventions without any warrant from the Word of God? was there nothing of Religion in abstaining from these? Sir ye and your Fellows have the unhappiness to be of a different minde from th [...] Apostle who had the minde of Christ. Are me [...]s Consciences nothing concerned to stand fast in the liberty where with Christ hath made them free, [Page 45] and to withstand, while a Dominion over their Faith is usurped, and the thing intended is to wreath a Yoke of bondage to the Doctrines of men about the neck of the Conscience? 2. If this be good arguing, may not the prophane multitude have the same plea against all who abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the Soul? May not these I say be prompted by your [...]ogick to flout at all who run not with them to the same excess of riot, as superstitious fools, because they place any thing of Religion in these negatives, and suppose that conscience is concerned in that abstinence? Hence 3. we say that we look upon our abstaining from a com­plyance with the Commands and Doctrines of men, from foolish and vaine Ceremonies, from whatsoever is obtruded upon us in the matters of God without his warrant, as acts of common obedience, and as service to our Lord and Master; but we no more fansie this abstinence to be an act of immediat and formal worship (as you would make the world beleeve we do, to the end that beleeving us they may beleeve ye speak truth and reason) then we do a keeping of our selves unspotted from these pollutions and corrupt­ions, which come not within the compass of worship; so that we may be aswel said to over-rate things Super­stitiously, because we do not drink, who [...]e, lye, steall, break Covenants, persecute the People of God, who desire to hold fast their integrity, while broken in the place of dragons and covered with the shadow of death; as, because we cannot we dare not comply with abjured and wicked Prelacie, Lording it over Gods inheritance, and recuiring obedience to their vain inventions. I must tell you moreover that I do not admire your definition of Superstition, ye had it, I grant, from your friend Doctor Hamond, and to make it your own, you have supplyed the Doctors [Page 46] Nimiety with your over-rating: But if you think it not an honour to erre, and be put to a disadvantage with the Doctor, you should have guarded your self and your partie from the rebound of your own blow. Sir, what your over-ratings of foolish Traditions and vain Ceremonies are, hath been at a very dear rate experi­enced, by the bleeding and weeping People of God, in whose bloud, exile, bonds, spoilings, persecutions and afliction, you have made your minde and exor­bitant esteem of these things legible: Your most bi­got and fond Conformist must grant, that the things ye plead for, Patronize and press, are not necessary in themselves, and have no connexion with the Salva­tion of the Soul, by way of midse, or by virtue of di­vine precept; and that all the degrees of necessity they can pretend to, is only from the will of the imposer. Now Sir, may a man ask you without putting you in [...]o a chaffe, what an over-rating of these things is it, for you to debarre, eject, vex and smite faithfull Shep­herds, scatter the Flocks, turne such Labourers out of the Vine-yard who have a seal of their being the sent Embassadours of Jesus Christ upon the Souls of many, and a Testimony of faithful servants in the Conscien­ces of some of their grand Opposites, as hath been found when their Conscience began to speak, and they saw themselves ready to be sisted before the righteous Tribunal of God, and that for no other cause, but because they durst not do as you would have them, in adoreing your Dagon; and upon the other hand, to compleat your wickedness, thrusting in Men upon these Flocks, who were bereft of such as did stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, without any thing else to commend or qualifie them, save that ye knew them to be of such mettal and complexion, as they would not decline nor dis­pute [Page 47] your impositions, which is certain as to matter of fact, that I might here appeal to your own Con­science & to the Conscience of the chiefe men who are chiefe in the transgression, persecuting them who ad­here to their Covenant, keep the Commands of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ, because they will not ackowledge and submit to such obtruded Intruders as the sent & called Ministers of Jesus Christ, if they would committ the keeping of their dogs, the careing for their swine, or the feeding of their horses to persons who had so little skill to do, and faithful­ness to performe it, as most of these have, to whom, the flock of God purchased with his own Blood is committed. Sir, this is an over-rating with a witness, and such as, if ye will rate right and reflect upon it, may, and certainly will, f [...]ll your Soul, with hor­rour: if the wrath of God be come upon them to the uttermost, who forbid his Sent Servants to speak unto his people these words, by which they must be saved, it only argues a judicial blindness of minde & benum­nedness of Conscience, in the chiefe of your partie and promoters of that interest, that their lyableness to the wrath of God Almighty, for the desolations made in his Sanctuary by them, doth not make them roar by reason of the disquietness of their heart, and cry out as persons against whom the terrors of God have sett themselves in array. I might tell you of an over-rating also, of which ye (as we have in part heard already) and your companions glory, wherein the very fundation of our Salvation is struck at, viz such an over-rating of works and our pitiful performances, as advances them to the altitude of being the condi­tion of the justification of a sinner before God, and is utterly inconsistent with the teno [...] of the Covenant of Grace; the unhappie Author, whom we last named, [Page 48] hath led you and your companions into this ditch also, and ye glory in this shame; but I shall forbear the discovery of your dangerous folly and false-hood, about this great foundation of Salvation by you put out of course, till I come to examine your sixt Dia­logue. It was only fit here to give the Reader an hint, and let him see what over-raters ye are. But Sir, why are ye so shye as to shun the true known, and common definition of Superstition given by Godly and Learned Men: ye know that that excellent definition, given by Zanchy, and followed by other great men, makes Superstition to consist in the addition of Ceremonies in the worship of God not instituted by Christ, as well as in the addition of more substantial matters; but, easiely foreseing that this would not serve your evil designe of loading the Servants of Christ with re­proach and calumnie, and that the bulk of your bur­densome Ceremonies must be rejected as reprobate mettal, if nothing pass for current as a part of worship in the Church, but what hath the Seal and impress of God upon it, ye substitute in its place one where­with ye are at present better pleased, but with what advantage to your cause I leave it to be judged. But sir, since you do not ingage further upon the head of Superstition, then first to cast it into such a mould as may sute your designe, and having done so, then to cast the iniquitie of it upon us, I shall at present satis­fy my self with what is said, and for your further sa­tisfaction I will give you all the assurrances you can require, both in my own name, and in the name of all the N, C. that when ever you are able to instruct your challenge, we will thank you for your charitie; And if your evidence as to proof answere your confi­dence in the charge, yee shall find us so far from a per­tinacious obstinacie, that we will abandon with a [Page 49] blush, whatsoever of Superstition we might through ignorance have indulged in our way, and in the mean time rest confident that, as, in demonstration of my reality in what I undertake, I shall endeavour hence­forth to affect my own heart more and more into a deep abhorrence at, and detestation of, all your ab­jured usurpations, Antiscriptural methods, and Epis­copal impositions, in the matters of God, and, so far as I am able, shall interpose with all the People of God to do the same; Yet Sir, there is one thing more before we part; I must tell you that when I consider your straine thorow the whole, by the superstitious over-rateing of things, imputed unto us in your first, and our being charged with our overprizing of Ordi­nances in the next, with the neglect (as you say) of your Moralitie, and your stretch of charity for Papists, with your insinuat censures of all who have stood up in the defence of the absoluteness and immutabilitie of the Decrees of God, the efficacie of his Grace &c. against Arminians, which is to your moderation and latitude but a digladiation about niceties and curiosi­ties; I say Sir, when I consider these things, and grant you the common Privilege acclaimed by every man, to be optimus interpres suorum verborum, the best expounder of his own words, I must take this to be your meaning, that we are superstitious over-raters of things in standing at so great a distance from Papists, and in contending with Arminians, about these things in controversie betuixt them and u [...]: and because we are not cast into that new convenient mould of yours, whereby you can coutch under and comply with any mutation in the matters of God, and in your profound heights, deep silences, abstractions and novell latitude, [...]ush at all these things as not to be contended for, and despise all the men who are not cast in the new mould [Page 50] of your perfection, as pitifull Puntes of the lowest sise; this we see is manifestly your meaning, and truely Sir, I only regrate we are so litle worthy of your indig­nation, and that the truths of God are not more deare to us, and that the Zeal of his house doth not more eat us up. And while you contemne these things as not to be contended for, to make the world beleeve your holy fire is not extinguished, though nothing of its flame appear, about the conservation of these, (to us precious things though to you despicable,) ye would make all these stirrings for them, and striveings about them, to be the sparkles of a superstitious wild fire, and not a flame of God. I cannot remember how Plinie, in his Epistle to Trajan, does paint the tender and conscientious Practice of the Primitive Christians with the same vermilion of Superstition; but I am apt to think, it is still the same Spirit of op­position to the Puritie of Ordinances, power and practice of Godliness, which prompts men to these unjust representations of such, as dare not run the same course with them, or who are constrained by the love of Christ to hold fast that, which is below their Luke-warme temper to contend for. But I need not be further solicitious in this vindication; being, confident that you are not able to proselyte into a be­liefe of this reproach any sober or rational men, nor will I envie you the advantage you are like to reap as a just retribution from every unprejudiced Reader; and that is, not to be beleeved afterward when ye speak the truth, having with so much calumnious confidence solicited them into the beliefe of what they know to be a falsehood. But Sir, to shut up this Dialogue with you, though raro vidi Clericum penitentem I have seldome seen a Clergy man a repenter hath been mostly verified in the men, who have perverted the right [Page 51] ways of the Lord; yet the Calumnie is so gross and groundless, that I would willingly [...]latter my self into a hope, that when ye think on what ye have said, ye will smite upon your thigh, and be brought to an acknowledgement of the sin of unjust accuseing the brethren: And I assure you Sir, our joy would be al­most equal with your advantage, to see you weep over the falshoods, and calumnies, and evil designe, of this first borne of your strength.

The Second DIALOGUE Answered.

YOu begin with a question, What great goodnesse it was which so commended our Partie? and having made your N. C. make a pitifull simple vaunt, that you may out-vaunt him, you proceed to accuse and censure, as you list. Sir if we dared to make our selves of the number, or compare our selves with them that commend themselves, we want not mat­ter wherein we might indulge a little to the foolish­nesse of boasting; but seeing that he whom the Lord commendeth, and not he who commendeth himself is approved, we will not boast of things appertaining to our selves; but endeavour that all our Glorying may be in the Lord. I have already told you, how God blessed us with his Ministery, and that Minis­tery [Page 52] with Power and Presence: It was he who gave the word, and great was the company of these that Published it; it was he who clothed his Priests with Salvation, and made his people to shout for joy: It was he who in the more special times and shinings of his love, made the Graces of his People to flow, and Souls were ravished with these discoveries: And if not only in the Publick Assemblies Gods fear was Great, but Families also did seek him apart; If the vulgar whom you undervaluingly so name, did great­ly delight in the Law of the Lord, and the Sabbath was called a delight, the holy of the Lord honoura­ble, we cannot but account these great matters, and the very paths and Methods which do most assuredly lead to the great hights of Christianity; Yea surely these Gospel Ordinances do lead unto the living God, and to Jesus the Mediatour of the New Cove­nant, and unto Communion with him, and the Par­ticipation of all Graces.

I know there is a shorter way, which too many take, who forming unto themselves faire Ideas, and words of Self-denyal, resignation, abstraction of minde, and the like, do entirely and pleasantly rest in the phan­sie, and talk of these things, and as much of a specious outward converse as may in some sort salve their re­putation, from these many forfeitures, which by the sinfull accommodations of their love of ease, they manifestly incurre: and these men commonly in their self-elevation, do not only slight the true Ordinances, and from the infirmities of [...]raile men intrusted there­with, do take advantage to mock; but license them­selves unto an absolute compliance with every mode and dress, in Church-Government and worship, which humane policie, or Sathans Malice please to invent, nothing regarding how much thereby they [Page 53] may make themselves partakers of the Perjury, Bloud and Violence, which promove, and the Profanity, that followeth the courses that they approve; but as they prudently provide for their own advantage and credite, by the abused pretext of an illimited respect to Authoritie, so they easily quiet all the reluctan­cies of their inward Light, with any verball, slender, and inoffensive dissent. This is the New convenient contrivance of Religion, which indeed desires to be admired, for its pretended Mortifications, high at­tainments, and peaceful enjoyments; but in effect, doth only recommend it self, by a luke-warme and quiet indifferencie in the Matters of God, a flattering and safe deference to Authority, and a sinfull and sweet veneration of outward peace, Whether your dis­course and practice do [...]avour or not of this way, I do not judge: I hope the serious seekers of God will still see and ask for the Old Paths, and do know that it is the Good way, wherein neither by a Pharisaick show of external devotion, not yet by vain and No­tionall pretendings, but by humble and sincere wait­ing upon God, in the means of his own appointment, they have really attained to these graces in the names whereof you boast, and so do finde rest to their Souls: And certainly if to such the present sad alteration (which, for the former light, power and frequen­cie, observed in the Assemblies of the Lords People, hath covered his house with darkeness, death and de­solation) doth minister suitable reflections, it can be no matter of wonder: When David remembred these things, and did consider the like changes, he poured out his soul in him, because he had gone with the multitude, and went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise: for this Ieremiahs heart di [...]d faint, for these things were his eyes dimme [Page 54] because of the Mountain of Zion which was desolate, the foxes walking upon it: O what want had they of you for a comforter, who could have carried them farre above these external shaddows, and taught them Resignations and abstractions, in such a hight, that nei­ther the corruption, nor the removing of Gods Or­dinances, should have overclouded their Easefull Serenety?

But you insinuat, that N. C. do overprize Ordi­nances, and undervalue Moralitie. I have already told you, that this is but a calumny, and that an holy and pure conversation, is the greatest and best part of Religion, is not by us in the lest questioned; with­out the endeavour of holinesse; the other parts may possibly in Hypocrisie be pretended, but cannot in­deed have any reality, only remember that Christ Je­sus who is our all, is also our Sanctification, and let your Morality be indeed Christianity.

In the next place, you fall upon Particulars and alleage, That our Discipline was wholly different from the rules of the Gospell, and far short of that of the Ancient Bishops; This you instance in our Kirk Ses­sions, which you say were like Birlaw Courts. I will not examine your expressions, but your reasons. You tell us first that the Church should only Medle with Sins as they are scandals, and not as they are injuries; whereas our Sessions cognosced upon wrongs which belonged to the Magistrat. But pray Sir, May not the same Offence be both as a wrong cognoscible by the Magistrat, for the reparation of the Plaintiffe, and punishment of the Delinquent, and as a scandal appertain to Church censure, for the reproofe and amendment of the Of­fender, reconciling of the offended, and instruction of all? Certainly it cannot be denied: Now seeing our Sessions did only medle with Sinnes, under the [Page 55] second formality, what doth your challenge amount to? This matter is to me so plain, that I incline to think, that the too Narrow acceptation of Scandal, for the offence of one Brother against another, with­out any external injury, must be the only ground of your scruple; but as all injurie is attended with a very sensible Scandal, and every open sin hath also a Ge­neral harding Scandal in it, for which it is to be re­buked before all, that others also may fear, so its necessarily previous traill, cannot in reason be separat­ed from its commanded rebuke. But your next ob­jection carping at the dilations made to these Courts, because not preceeded by private Admonition made by the partie offended, shews more plainly your mistake, in as much as the Gospel order of Admoni­tion can only have place in private offences, in the which case it was also by us observed. But to re­quire the like Method in Publick offences, is mani­festly to exempt from their censure all open sins, which being equally offensive unto all, render this proce­dure wholly improper. 3. You object That our Church Sessions did exact Fines: but if you consider, that these Fines which you mention are particularly imposed and determined by Statute, and thereby ap­pointed to be applyed to pious uses: And therefore the demanding and uplifting thereof only, aswell for the more summare and effectual restraint of sin, as for the end whereto they are d [...]stined, in use to be exercised by Kirk Sessions, or rather by their Officers and Bedels in deficiency of the Magistrate, who should have been appointed in every Paroche for that effect, this your scruple must quickly cease: but if you still think that notwithstanding both the manner and conveniencie of this practise, the [...]amine is unsuit­able to a Church Iudicatorie, do ye not strain at a [Page 56] G [...]at, and swallow a Camel: nay a monstruous one Viz your Spiritual Lords in the highest temporall Courts where both civil and capital punishments are irrogated and inflicted. 4. You say that we forced people to stoup to our Discipline by threatning them with the Temporall sword. Sir, this is a great untruth, we never owned nor exercised High Commissions, And if obstinat transgressours were then, and still be, pu­nishable by the Laws of the Land, wherefore seek you to make this our burthen? 5. You say that the the time of our pennance was short; the ancient Bishops did separat offenders as many years, as we did weeks. Just now you accused us of rigour, and here you com­plean of our lenity, And not remembring that the Ancient Bishops, did not more exceed us in strictness of Discipline, then we do exceed the Modern, You are not ashamed to make your own sloth the Charge of our Mediocrity. However, the lawfull, though various, regulations of Prudence (whereof according to the diversity of times and circumstances, things undetermined by Scripture are acknowledged to be capable) may sufficiently reconcile any apparent dis­crepancie in our practise, from that of the Ancients, 6. You say, we used Discipline to put a temporal shame upon Offenders. Again we are too Rigid: but where­fore may not Discipline be used to shame Offenders, as well as the disobedient are commanded to be not­ed and separated from, that they may be asham­ed? 2. Thes. 3. 14. And the Incestuous person is ordained to be delivered to Sathan for the destruction of the flesh, 1 Cor. 5. 5. As for your Phansie, that Penitents are more Gazed at, as you phrase it, upon the high place you mention, then at the Church doore, we are not of your Opinion, and the Church doore was ever thought a place of more obvious observance, [Page 57] and severe pennance, 7 You say we wretchedly abused Discipline by subjecting people to Censure for trifling mat­ters; and that Ministers were more Zealous against oppo­sition to their courses, then against opposition to the Ever­lasting Gospel. But Sir as these trifling matters, which I suspect you hint at, were no lesse then the whole im­port of the present differences; so, whether the op­position you make so light of, hath not in the event proven a most pernicious opposition to the Everlast­ing Gospel let any serious Soul judge?

This vindication, whereunto ye have engaged me for our Kirk sessions, obliges me to add in their be­half, that although these Courts be very low, and plain in themselves; yet hath their excellent use, for the suppressing of all ungodlinesse, been alwayes very observable. I need not go back to former times, nor adduce, as I may, even, K. Iames his expresse Testi­monie; to represent the notable and effectual influence of their right exercise; the present increase of Propha­nity, through the ceasing of this remedy, and the most ordinary jeer of dissolute Persons, taxing one another for their exorbitancies, with this sco [...]ing regrate, Oh for a strick Kirk! are too obvious confirmations: And truely, as, I have o [...]ten marveiled to see a thing so mean in appearance, so much the eye sore and scorne of Proud licentious Persons; So I doubt not but this consideration alone; by pointing out the reason, may abundantly satisfy all serious scruplers.

From your dissatisfaction with our Kirk Sessions you go to taxe our Ministers their Libertie and Manner of reproving sin. And as to the first, you do so invidiously exaggerat their dealing in order to the late King, and him who now Reigneth, that I cannot dissemble my surprizal, at your so excessive and abusive Railing on the Ministers of Christ, and some whereof you your [Page 58] self say, within two leaves, are very good men, fear­ing God, but all are here reproached without distinc­tion, as Unnatural Hams, Incendiaries, open Lyars, inhumane, unchristian and malitious Persecutors of the memory of a pious dead Prince and that with the hight of insolencie and barbaritie: Deliver my Soul o Lord from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. Sir I pretend not to your Privilege to scold in a meeke spirit, and to lie walking in the Spirit and falshood? But as I cannot but commend your wisdome, in tristing the vent of your rage and malice against the Lords Ministers, to such a subject, not more advantageous against a retri­bution, then apt to point the keen arrows of your spite, with a most mortal odium; so were it not for the reall and high respect, that I bear to the Person, and many excellent qualities of our deceased Prince; and the dutie I owe the now King, nothing else could refuge you from the full returnes of a just resentment. Passing therefore the many horrid Blasphemies, Lies and Reproaches, wherewith your Clergie during these unhappie wars did not cease continually to proscind the Cause and People of God, more precious to him then all the Monarchs on Earth, and did most instantly labour to render both detestably hateful unto the Prince, until they brought all to ruine: I shall in a few sober words, vindicat the Lords servants from all these umbrages [...] and appearances, whereby you endeavour to set off your reproach. That the late King by evil Counsel, specially that of unconscionable and ungrate Prelats, wickedly abusing, for their own ends, a Conscientious Prince unto a fatal obstinacie, was precipitat into many grosse errours of Govern­ment, such as an excessive indulgence to Papists, ille­g [...]ll and violent exactions, many unusuall and high at­tempts against fundamental Laws and Liberties, a [Page 59] strange connivance at the Irish Rebellion, and at length, a bloudy and pertinacious war against his Parliaments, his greatest and best friends and Counsellours; it was not the invention of evil affected men or Ministers, as you alleage, but the sad evidence of plain deeds, and the unanimous verdict of these most capable and pro­per to discern. Now if in this state of things, the Lords Ministers, favouring his righteous Cause, did endeavour, by a true representation, both to avert the People from, and animat them against evil cour­ses, destructive to Religion and Right; wherein are they to be reprehended? You say they charged the King with all; But know you not that as whatever passed upon the Kings side, did beare the impresse of his Name and Authority, so they did continually charge the guilt and wickednesse of all, mostly upon bad Counsel, praying the Lord uncessantly, with much tendernesse to the Kings Person, that the Wic­ked might be removed from about the Throne, that so it might have been established. And as to what you alleage, That contraire to Humanity and Christianity they did Persecute the memory of that Prince after his death and that with the hight of insolencie and barbaritie, in the presence of his Son, who now reigneth. It is a calumnie, which you are not able to justify: Its true they wished and moved the King to repent, of his accession to, and mourne for the opposition to the work of God, violence and bloud, wherein his Father was unhappi­ly engaged, and from which the Throne, except by serious Repentance, will never be purged. If this be the Inhumane, Insolent and Barbarous raking into his ashes which you lay to their charge, you remem­ber little, and fear lesse, the jealousie of God, who [...]isiteth the iniquity of the Fathers upon the Children to the third and fourth Generation: Neither doe you consider, [Page 60] that the stain of Bloud is such, specially upon a Throne, that the unfeigned teares, even of the Author, do not wash it away. Ezrah and Nehemiah mourned and repented for the Provocation of Kings and Princes, many Ages past, without the least reflection upon their memories. Seeing therefore, that the practises where­upon you found these high accusations, were alto­gether consonant to the Word of God, and the Prin­ciples then acknowledged both by King and People, and to which in Conscience, we do, and must still adhere, doth not your apparent bearing with us in the main, and yet so virulently inveighing against a clear dependencie, manifestly discover more then an inveterate malice?

As to our Ministers their manner of reproving sin, you say they reproved not in secret, but triumphed in the Pulpit without controll, and against absents, and that either out of Malice, or ostentation. Thus the tumor raised by the poison of your last calumnie doth still swell, and you forget that you your self are vainly triumphing in Print against a Mock-adversarie: But as you cannot verifie, that ordinarely, or allowedly, secret reproof was omitted, where there appeared rea­son, and accesse for it; so, I am confident, your allegeance hath no better ground, then, that Mini­sters for the strengthning of the Lords people, did freely hold out the Apostacie and wickednesse of his declared Enemies for whom such a reproofe had been but in vain intended.

In the next place you tell us, that the Sermons of our Ministers, were no Extraordinary things. Sir I will not compare, I am no lover of Extraordinary things; but I heartily wish that such Preaching were now more Ordinary: to believe, and therefore to speak, though with speach contemptible, is certainly infinit­ly [Page 61] more gracefull, then to speak, even Seraphickly, and in practise to counter-act. There is a Foolishnesse of Preaching commended by Paul, above the wisdom of man: Whether you would value it as an Ordinary or Extraordinary thing I know not? But this Epithet of Extraordinary, which you seeme to desiderat, is very little consonant to Luthers Opinion, Hi sunt optimi ad Populum, Conc [...]onat [...]res, qui pueriliter, popula­riter, & quàm simpli [...]issime docent. These are the best Preachers unto the People, who teach in a plain, homely, and most simple way, You adde, that their Sermons were half stuffed with Publick Matters, nothing con­cerning Souls: Why do you Hyperboliz [...] so widely in prejudice of Truth? You know publick Matters were not medled with, but in a clear exigence, and if some did exceed, others were defective; and these were the infirmities of both; but you tell us, That these things concerne not Souls. This is a touch of your Convenient Religion. Pray Sir, are Publick Maters transacted without private mens accession? or in this accession, hath Conscience no concernment? Nay are not the solid practises of Christianity, such, as the contempt of the World, for the most part, most necessaire and conspicuous in Wrestling with, and overcoming the great and frequent temptation of a publick sinful course? But O the rare temper of this New device, that both inwardly elevats to the high­est Spiritual abstractions, and outwardly smooths to a most easie temporizing complyance?

You say further, that the solid Practises of Christia­nity were scarce [...]ver named, and that vertue was little Preached by us, and far lesse Practised: but why do you make so little Conscience of truth? Your often touching upon this string, with the presumption of Common ingenuity, which I have and desire to re­tain [Page 62] for all men, have made me apply to all conjec­tures, to find out your ground for this allegance; but in the end I see it is a plain forgerie. The Lord knows that I am far from boasting of former Practises, but that in this so visible a change, attending the present Establishment, from the Generall restraint and aw of Sin, that before did oblige even the most profligat, unto a seeming conformity, unto these confessed a­boundings of all manner of profanitie, which do now fill the Land, you should have the confidence to say [...] that vertue was by us little Preached and far lesse Practised, is that, which, I am sure, these of your own way do laugh at, and which, if ever ye returne to the right way ye will weep at.

And yet you proceed, to oppone to us our Sa­viours Sermons, Particularly that upon the mount: I will not contend with your Mockeries. I wish that both yours and ours may reflect on short-comings, and endeavour amendment according to that pattern. Next you say, That the true hights of Spirituality were as little preached as the living in abstraction, silence, soli­tude, and the still contemplations of God, the becoming dead to all things, and being much in Secret fastings. Sir you are so much upon your hights, that you see nothing about you. Pray descend a little and consider that your own Ministers are as great strangers to these fine ex­pressions of yours, and you and they to the things sig­nified, to say no worse, as ours are, and much more: And in effect seeing that you only measure your self by your self, you are not wise; and this affected no­veltie of words doth argue litle sincerity. But if Com­munion with God, fellowship with the Father and with his Son Iesus Christ, a heart and conversation in hea­ven. Christ our Life, dying dayly, victorie over the World, and the like, may relish with you, in this, if Courser, [Page 63] yet Scriptural style, our Ministers, I am sure, were not unfrequent in pressing of them, and secret prayers and fastings also, and, I am confident, their Mini­strie hath a seal yet abiding, which may witness that it hath not been unfruitfull.

I cannot follow you in your again repeated accusa­tion, as if our Ministers had only preached a Pharisaick observance of Ordinances, and a bare relyance on Christ without obedience to his Gospel. These are only your al­legeances destitute of truth. Your next charge is that our Ministers handled nice subtilties, which they called Cases of Conscience. But Sir, as you grant that some devout people may be under doubtings, and fears; so in reason, you must allow, not only a privat appli­cation for their remedy, but also Publick Doctrine, both necessaire for prevention, and conducible for cure: that in this there was an excesse, I believe few would have imagined, unless you had said it; Yet when I call to minde, what men of Conscience the generalitie of your Partie are, and how in effect, un­acquainted with, nay declared Enemies to, all tender­nesse thereof, if you had termed Conscience it self, & Melancholy Imagination, as well as Cases of Conscience, nice subtilities, it had added but little to my wonder. As for what you adde That it is unsufferable to hear peo­ple who led but common lives talke of such things: It is a truth which I have often heard our Ministers assert, as also, that the best way of silencing all doubts, is, as you speak, to act Faith, renew Repentance, study Holinesse, Humility, and the other great practises of Christianity: Why then are you so Divisive, as to object things to us, wherein we do not differ? But a­las the reason is too evident; the designe to render us Odious must be observed, and pursued by all Arts; And therefore, when you cannot contradict the [Page 64] Power, that appeared in, and the fruit of Conversion and Edification, which accompanyed our Ministers preaching, Yet your eye being evil, by carping hints at Methods, and by unnecessary cautions, you suggest the things, which you have not the confidence to object: Thus you bid your N. C. See that by Power, he do not mean a Tone in the voice, A Grimace in the face &c. and by Conversion a change in Opinion, or out­ward behaviour, influenced by Interest; But Sir, as both in Power and the fruit of Conversion, our Ministers have been througly made manifest amongst us; so I must add for their Voice and Gesture, that although some of them might have been rude in speach, yet not in knowledge: And if your better breeding, and sight of the Scene, have modelled your Tone and action, above the rate, as you phansie, of both yours and ours, you but the more marre its ridiculous grace­fulnesse, by undervaluing others. And as for the Conversions attending our preachings, many of them are tryed and cannot be blasted by your mocking. I Grant some were proselyted, in whom the Evil Spirit having by Apostacie re-entered with seven more, they are become more the Children of the Devil then they were before; but seeing they are now yours, make them not our reproach.

Your next challenge, is, that wee termed our Preach­ings the word of God, and you tell us that to call them so, and yet to confesse that Ministers may be mistaken in them, is a Contradiction; But why do you not rather accuse us plainly, for terming our Ministers the Ministers and Embassadours of Christ? If their Preach­ings be not his message, no doubt they are not his Embassadours: and if they be his Embassadours, how can you deny their preachings in his Name, to be his Message? These things have such an evident, and [Page 65] convertible coherence, that I am in a suspence whe­ther to impute this passage, to your mistake, or not rather to a designe to subvert the Ministerie: And as many of your way would have it, to turne all Christs Preaches unto Royal Orators. As for your Contra­diction, it doth no more impugne Preachings then Preachers: for to call Preachers the Lords Embassa­dours. And their Embassie the Word of God, have the same appearance of inconsistencie, with the infir­mity of Mistaking, wherein you phansie your repug­nancie to lye; the truth is then first, that Ministers are the Lords Messengers; Next that their Preachings in his Name, and conforme to the Warrant of his Word, have not only that derived Authority, which the Scripture equally imparts to all Rational and sound deductions made from it, but also, a particular su­peradded obligation from the Lords Commission, wherewith the Preacher is Ministerially cloathed, whence it clearly follows, that, as all true Ministers, their Preachings are in his Name, and ought to be agreeable to his Truth, so, the Preachers their admi­xed mistakes, are of no more force, either to deprive Preaching of the name, or these things therein, that are sound and true, of the special Authority of the Word of God, then the accidental miscariage of an Embassadour, to make void his mission, in other things consonant to his instructions. How unsound then is your insinuation that The text indeed is the Word of God, but Ministers Glosses, (by which terme you mockingly understand all Preaching or Expounding) the words only of fallible men, as if a Ministers sound interpretation and application did pertake of Nothing speciall from the Character which he sustains, whereas you know that not only his Mission, doth impresse his words, with his Masters Authority; but hath [Page 66] also many and great Promises of a suitable assistance: Having thus cleared the Common Cause of the Mi­nistrie, and that their Preachings when sound, are from a special ground the Word of God: That which you subjoin of Ministers their usurping this name to their Preachings by Way of Artifice, that thereby they might procure the credite of the Infallible and Inspired Prophets, is as far from truth, as their diligence in searching of, and their care of confirming all their Doctrine by the Scriptures, with their frequent and continual intimations, that the People ought to build all their Faith upon that sure foundation, are notourly known.

But you have not yet done with our Ministers, you tell us again, that our great Men were medling Men, and most of them were very little spiritual in their con­versation, and Seldom in the Commendation of God and Religion to the People. Sir, omitting your insinuate distinction of Greater and Lesser Ministers amongst us, which you know we acdnowledge, no further, or otherwayes, then the Lords free Grace & gifts do make it: and passing your accusation of Medling, which I have already answered: As to Spirituality of converse, it is indeed a thing so excellent, and beautiful, that it can never be enough studied, never enough practised, and never enough pressed; but the manner and designe of your reflection considered, it is so void of truth and charitie toward Non-confor­mists, whereof so many have been burning and shin­ing Lights, and so sadly applicable to your Clergie, the very scume of Men, let be of Christians, that I can only marvel at, and regret the excesse and confi­dence of your Malice. Pardon me, if the strange­nesse of your procedour force me to such expressions: I protest sincerely, your Methods are so perverse, [Page 67] that I have no greater difficultie then how to find civil termes, sufficient to detect them: Thus after you have delivered a groundless and calumnious challenge of our Leaders, their want of Spirituality, in ordinary discourse, you hold out its singular usefulnesse: And falling to question us, as wholly strangers to these great things of Devotion, and holinesse, which you enumerate, you falsely conclude, truely these things are as little among you, as any partie I know: Well Sir, as I wish heartily that they were more, and that they may still encrease, even to your conviction, which, I am certain, requires a degree equall to, if not beyond perfection; so, my prayer is, that God who both knows all the darring and open wickednesse and un­godlinesse of these of your way, and sees your heart, and weighs your words, may discover unto you the sin of speaking wickedly, and talking deceitfully against him and his servants.

In the next place, telling us, that we seeme very de­sirous to be noticed in our Religion, You charge our Communions as tumultuary, disorderly, and talkative. It's Answered, that sometime they were numerous, is not denied; but if you consure Great multitudes their following of Christ as tumultuary, and disorderly, it is more then the jews ever did: That our running many miles to them shews us to be Idolizers of Men, your ob­jected opporrunity of the Sacrament nearer hand, does not prove it: for as we were far from neglecting nee­rer occasions, or undervaluing any of the Lords sin­cere Servants; so, to acknowledge also and improve the difference of Gifts, which the Lord hath dispen­sed, savours nothing of Idolizing, and cannot, with­out palpable envy, be dissallowed: If in other things I were satisfied, and in the libertie of a free election, I am confident, that without slighting the call of [Page 68] neerer invitations, I might chuse rather to go ten miles to your Communion, then five to anothers, and yet you cannot say that I Idolize you. As to what you object That at our Communions, all our businesse, both in preparation and Participation, was to hear and talk. it is but your mis-information or mistake, I am su [...]e previous self-examination (whether by the names or Inward stilnesse and recollection I do not indeed well remember) was alwayes most seriously pressed, and also much practised, and in the action it self, a short convenient silence, was the more general custome. As for your other alledged inconveniences of Croud and Distraction, these are but the peculiar aversions of your particular Genius, other more strong and lesse delicate and nice Spirits did easily overcome these dif­ficulties.

You further say, that You cannot think them very devout, who love rather to hear one talk, then to retire inwardly and commune with their own hearts; but what esteem have you for him, who disliking the hearing of others, and pretending to inward retirements, mak­eth the talk of these things all his work? And why do ye without ground accuse us of a preference, where­of we are not guilty? As we hold both Hearing and Meditation to be duties, and beautiful in their sea­sons; so, we endeavoured to practise, without ei­ther the Partiality which you object, or its contrary which you incurre, O but you adde that some of us will be many hours in Publick worship, and perhaps not a quarter of an hour in secret. That there may be such amongst us, and worse, I nothing doubt; but if you intend this for an accusation, either against our way, or the Generality that own it, it is an allegeance, for which our Father who seeth in secret will in due time rebuke you.

[Page 69]Another fault which you find about our Commu­nions is their i [...]requencie as being brought by us from the dayly practice of the Apostles, and the after frequent custome of the whole Church, to once a year. Sir, you know so well the Churches power, and the dif­fering observations that have been in use, as to this circumstance of time, that I think although your disatisfaction had been founded on better grounds; Yet you should have been tender to make of it an ob­jection. That the Primitive Church did soon f [...]ll from the first dayly celebration, your own Argu­ment grants: what was the after practice, and is at present your custome, I need not mention: it is cer­tain that neither the one, nor the other, do agree to your rule of Weekly Communions. Suppose then our Church had by a suitable regulation of this matter, de­signed the greater solemnity of Gods Ordinance, had this been a licentious admixing [...] four own devices, as you are pleased to terme it: but the plain account of the thing, is, that there was no positive Prescription, as to the times of this observance, known amongst us. Only, as the Churches of old did Ordain that all Chris­tians should Communicate, at least once a Year; so our Church did appoint that at least once, if not tuice, in the year this Sacrament should be administrate: Now if we liking better a joint then a separate partici­pation of the people of the same Parish, and know­ing that the particular exigences and desires, possibly incident to private Christians, might be easily supplied in other places, none being tyed to any fixed time, did therefore not so often celebrate, and for the most part but once a Year, truely I think that the variation from the former frequencie, was visibly compensed with a greater advantage of Solemnity [...] As for your demands why the Communion was not keept every Lords [Page 70] day? It's answered, as there is no command for it, so you have already heard, that we wanted not reason­able considerations, which did persuade the contrarie. For the hint you give of the strict notice should be ta­ken of receivers, I have often heard our Church char­ged with the excesse, but never before with the defect in this particular.

You fall next to censure the posture of sitting in time of Publick prayer, as very irreverent. Sir, not to de­tain you I am not far from your opinion: For my own part, and I have many of our way assenting, I dislike sitting in prayer, (if infirmity and other great incon­veniences do not hinder it) and for proof of it, I adde to your answere made to the instance of Davids sitting before the Lord. 1 Chron. 17. 16. That he who con­sidereth the occasion of David's address, even the gra­cious and high exalting message that the Prophet had delivered to him, with the tenour of his words, ex­pressing rather an astonishing Meditation of wonders, not able to forme it self at first into either direct pray­er, or praise, then any thing els, will find no diffi­culty to acknowledge that the decent enough proprie­ty, yea almost the necessity of sitting in such an op­pressing amazement, cannot rationally be drawn in consequence: but as in this we agree, so I cannot but disagree from you in your overprising and exacting the postures that you plead for: for though I am con­vinced that there is an indecencie, and other incon­veniences in sitting, for which I wish, that where­ever it may be, it were wholly disused; Yet I am far from offending at, let be imposing upon, these who of no intended irreverence, but for the most part from a just disgust of the too great weight hath been laid upon such circumstances, do innocently practise It. I confesse that kneeling and standing in prayer, are [Page 71] in the Scriptures very frequently mentioned: but as thereby the thing is only circumstantially noted, and no where, no not in these invitations, O come let us worship and bow down (where the Gesture is only men­tioned as the more Ordinary, and the substance ex­horted to) designedly pressed; So there are also upon record, such clear instances of an undetermined liber­ty in these matters, apparent enough in our Lord his Disciples and Company, their Ordinary sitting down to meat, and blessing and giving thanks in that posture, that I cannot bu [...] strange at your bringing any of these practices under an obligation: But that which I do most admire, is, that you who just now were telling us that even heavenly Publick pra [...]ers, [...]asts, Commu­nions, keepin [...] the Sabbath, and the like, are but exter­nall devotion p, 16. And spirituall things of a very lo [...] syze and degree [...] such as cannot car [...]on to perfection p 20. should on a sudden descend so far below your spirituall hights and great Christian Practices, as to debate about Sitting or Standing, as the Cardinal points of Religion Nay to such a heat, that though you do not say, you would separate upon this ground from these Si [...]ters; Yet in substance you say no less, then that you would be content that they did separate from You, and so do both approve and wish for a separation: Sir, you are discovered beyond the disguising of all your shifts: God grant you to consider it. And also how neer this doth approach, to what our Lord sayeth, in almost the like case, This people honoureth me with their Lips, but their heart is far from me, howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men: for laying aside the Commandments of God, ye hold the Tradition of men.

Your next reflection is upon the Family-Worship that was so frequent in former times, and here you [Page 72] taxe Masters of Families, For Expounding Scripture, and wish that we do not overvalue other lawfull exercises. Sir, as to what yow make your N. C. say of Expounding Scripture, I look upon it as a meere suggestion of your own, that yow may finde somthing to reprehend even in our best performances: You know all that was al­lowed in the directions for Familie-Worship, was, that Masters with their Families should read the Scrip­tures with understanding, and by mutuall conference Edifie one another, neither are you against Expoun­ding by Masters, who are very intelligent: And for the practice, it was in effect so rare, and imperfect, that I am con [...]ident your accusation of excesse to most N. C. will only prove a check for their deficiencie. As for your Wish I verily think it good, but no good wish. When the calling upon the Name of the Lord in Families is now so universally and irreligiously flight­ed, and by many openly mocked at, think you it a season for such over-cautelous advices? Nay Sir, in the so sad and Lamentable decline of this dutie to the ex­treme of neglect and contempt, groundlesly to cau­tion against the other, of an over-value, is but to har­den the wicked, who forget God, and weaken the hands of such as seeke his face in sinceritie.

From this point, in the eagernesse of your pursute of the people of God, you passe to private meetings. And with you I can grant, that they have had both their use and abuse, I can grant also that, in the setled plentie of pure Ordinances, to bring Church-exercises to Cham­bers; or private conference to a publick confluence, is (in my opinion) superfluous and affected; Not that I would have Religion wholly astricted in its exerci­ses, to Churches, Families, or to Mens Closets: but [...]s I acknowledge a communication and speech alway with Grace, to be the very [...]alt of Christians their con­verse, [Page 73] & would judge nothing more becoming then to see Religion so seriously & constantly minded, that men were pursuing & observing its occasions more then these, either of bussiness or recreation; so I think to con­trive & keep particular meetings with a visible affecta­tion of singularity were a thing justly to be avoided; & thus in our better times, it was commonly both held & followed. But Sir, ye must suffer me withal to tell you, that as Satan had a speciall envy at these, perceiv­ing how much, when in singleness and sincerity gone about, and performed with just caution, they did con­tribute to the grouth, comfort, and mutuall edifi­cation of the Saints; and therefore to make the thing it self odious, he abused the well-meaning honesty of some, and used the sinister designes of others to a tur­ning of these out of their proper channels, that so they might miss of their just ends: though I must tell you, that to talk so much of these justly reprehensi­ble escapes, without incouraging to the dutie, where­by so many have reaped advantage, seems to be a fault no less challengeable in a Minister of the Gos­pel, one part of whose work it is, if he be a worker together with God, to exhort his hearers to comfort themselves together, and edifie one another, then any of these abuses amongst private Persons in such meetings, against which you with so much eagerness exclaime: it would no question much better become one careing naturally for ye flock of Christ, and car­rying as a faithfull Feeder, to be assiduous in pressing the dutie, carefull in directing, and deeply affected with any advantage that Sathan got over the Saints, in the use of such a mean, then to publish to the world his victories, that the thing it self might pass for a vice. As for the practice of Private Meetings in evil times, all your supposed and accidental inconvenien­ces, to which even the best of things are obnoxious, [Page 74] are far from making me condemn that, which to the Lord is very acceptable, and to his People profitable, Mal. 3. 16. So that, if the inten [...]ment and applica­tion of your Discou [...]se be levelled at our latter cus­tomes, seeing you cannot truely charge them with any of these evils which you mention, and since your o­pinion doth clearly depend upon your different judge­ment as to the main. I must take liberty to dissent from you, with the same confidence wherewith you assert it, and withall tell yow that I wish their frequen­cie did keep a proportion with the deep distress of the People of God, in this penury of pure publick preaching; and then, I am sure, we should have ten for one, and if so, there were ground of hope that they might, in these Private Meetings, pray your Intruders out of their publick capacities, that so these, who now dare not be over [...]heard in their meetings to mourne for the desolation of the Sanctuary, and the departings of the G [...]ory, might bless him together in these Assemblies, out of which they are thrust and keept, and might once more, as of old, be made glad in his house of Prayer.

For a close to this Dialogue, you make your N. C. boast of the glory of our Unitie, to the effect that you may the more foully set out the divisions that fell out amongst us, and to do it with the greater advantage, you endeavour prudently to remove by a preface, the suspicion of what you are resolved to practise; and therefore you tell us, You love not the Spirit of detrac­tion; but whether you be acted by it or not, let these Epithets you give us, of Unchristian, Malitious, Brethren in Cruelty, and Implacable, bear witness: for my part, though I do so much detest divisions, that I am content to let your representation passe, with all its excesse, on purpose, that to all concern­ed [Page 75] they may appear more odious, and that if it be the Lords will, even your reproachful tongue, may smite the guiltie into Repentance; yet for the vindication of the truth, I must say, that such hath been its bad fate, and worse reception in the Earth, that I should sooner judge Division; then Unitie, to be the signe of Orthodoxie, to be found among a partie; Perfect unity in truth, is a blessing so great, that it is reserved for Glory: If you think that our Lord came to send peace on Earth, remember his own words; I came not to send peace but a sword, and to set a man at variance against his Father, &c. Schismes must be, nay were the very first temptations and trial of the Church, a­gainst which all the Light and Power of the Apostles could not guard it. As therefore Sir, you do falsely make us to glory in our Unity, so, take head lest by making division our charge, yow do not far more calumniously reproach the Christian Faith. Do not imagine that I do hereby patronize divisions; Nay I know and am persuaded, that because there is nothing more repugnant to the Genius, and hurtfull to the progresse of Truth, then Contentions, therefore it is, that the Devil hath even laboured most to infest it: with these temptations; but I would have you to understand, that seeing these strifes, whereof you ac­cuse us, did certainly proceed from the remaining dreg, and adventitious mixture of ane Evil Spirit, relaxing former Engagements, remitting the first Zeal, and not a little bending to your way, and from mens corruptions on all hands, although that you could say that our course did take away Peace, and in place thereof being War; yet it would no more inferre the Spirit that moved therein to be contentious, then you can justly object against the blessed Gospel of Peace, these Schismes, hatred, and tumults, where­with [Page 76] in all Ages it hath most [...]ocently filled the World. As therefore our Lord doth make it the great characteristick of himself, blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me, so let not the heats and con­tests about Tru [...], affright you from its search, or foolishly induce you, unconcernedly, without dis­stinction, to condemn all Contenders; but rather more engage you to seeke and hold it fast, and highly to esteem all its zealous adherents, where ever you perceive the Devil to best [...]re himself most actively a­gainst it: Surely if this disposition were in you, the offense you seem to take, either at the greater opposi­tions betwixt the Friends & Adversaries of the Lords work, or these humane infirmities wherewith his Servants amongst themselves hapened to be exercised, would soon be removed. As for you [...] Veneration, whereof you judge us unworthy, we acclaime it not, we wish your Most Reverend and Right Reverend did truely merite it, which is all the Scolding wherewith I repay your Malice.

The third DIALOGUE Answered.

SIR, you cause your N. C. begin this con­ference with so just an animadversion upon your [...]eeming pretenses to some extraordinary sublime thing and reall deficiencies, not only in being guilty o [...] our common evils, but also in [...]ou [...] want o [...] these good things, which you acknow­ledge were amongst us, that I cannot but wi [...]h you had reserved as much ingenuity to your self in your an­swere, as you make, and acknowledge him to speak truth in his alledgance. But in place of considering his challenge, of the ev [...]ls of your Way, and the sad and strange alteration it hath procured, in this poor Church, you subti [...]ly labour to evade, by telling, That you are not so engaged, as blindly to desend any in­terest: you are so far Episcopal, as to love the Order, and submit to it, but you have not sworn fealtie to any Sect: your prayer is, that all distinguishing names were buried: you do not patronize, but mourn in Secret, for the sins, that are amongst you, adding That Non-con­formists are guiltier of the present loos [...]sse then perhaps they think. And thus, after that in your second Dia­logue, you have not only riped up, mis-construed, and exaggerated to the hight, the infirmities of the Men o [...] our side; but imployed all the invention of calumny, to render them odious, and then charged [Page 78] all these things directly upon our Way; when you see a retortion appear, you instantly decline it, by insi­nuating the evils to be the faults of men, and no way­es chargeable upon your cause. I will not complain of this unequall measure, neither shall I take notice, that, when you apprehend a stress, for all your inveighing against the one, and love to the other, you can for a shift alleviate both Prelacie and Presbytrie to Emptie names, & shreud your self in the Sanctuary of ease the convenience of your new divised latitude.

But I must remember you, that as the thing we contend for is an Ordinance of Jesus Christ, both in­stitute for, and greatly commended by the effectual propagation of the Gospel, and conspicuous advance­ment of holinesse; so the ignorance and licentiousness, which (as the shadow doth the body) do attend the prevailing of your Order, are not more the impu­tation of men, then the bitter and corrupt fruits, that undeniably demonstrate the corruptnes of that plant of Prelacie, not planted by God, whereby they are pro­duced. ye shal know them by their fruits is a Test for Cour­ses, as well as Persones, and that a good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit, is no lesse applicable to, and clearly verified in, the one then in the other. The pure ordinances of a Gos­pel Ministrie, and Church-Government, according to our Lords appointment; as they have his warrant and promise; so they may expect his blessing; but Lordly Prelacie the unwarrantable invention of man, accomodate to a politique or worse designe, and car­ried on by palpable avarice, pride and falshood, for the reducing of the just liberty of preaching, and due respect to Conscience, unto a subserviencie to mens lusts, and secular interests, cannot be more atten­ded, with the evil effects of ignorance, profanitie, and irreligion; then it hath a peculiar influence, [Page 79] directly productive thereof: and therefore Sir, as you say that you are so far Episcopal as to love the order (I suppose because it is Ordered) and submit to it, be­cause you see that rest is good; so [...] intreat you to be so far Rational, as to consider that Presbytery and Prelacie are not meere distinguishing names; but such realities as have even in our experience produced most Im­portant and different effects, and then I question not, but the sad and woful consequences of that aboun­ding Sin, and Profanenesse, which from your Pro­phets are gone forth into all the land, will render you so far Christian as to know by such fruits, the cor­ruptnes of your Episcopacie, that hath brought them forth [...] and without adjuring you to any Sect, turne you not only to be a mou [...]ner for the sins of your parti [...] but a serious supplicant, that the accursed cause there­of may be removed,

But you say that Non-conformists are guiltie of the pre­sent loosnesse who. 1. By making Religion a cloak to so many State-designes, make too many suspect Religion to be but a designe o [...] it self. 2. by driving people to an outward compliance in formes, cause them to nauseat at all Religion: but. 3. and mostly, by their waxing cold in love, to which our Saviour plainly knits the abounding of iniquitie. Sir, as to your two first reasons, If I should as lightly deny them, as you do affirme them, you should be fully answered; but this your accustomed confidence of objecting to Non-conformists these things, where­of their Adversaries are mostly, if not only, guilty, obliges me to a further reflection: That Religion may be made a cloak to State-designes, nay, to the grea­test villanies, is certainly one of the most grievous of these offences, because of which a wo is pronounced to the world; but that this hath not been so much the accidentall practice of any Person of our way, as the [Page 80] very substance of your whole course, is obvious to the meanest Consideration. How austerly our first Refor­mers were denied to all Worldly advantages, and how faithfull to the Crown, and then infant King, I leave it to the candid and impartiall consideration of all sober Men, not preferring the vain pretenses, made for perverted, yea profaned Authority in Odium of Truth, to the most convincing evidences, of all impotencie and wickednesse, that can be instanced from any His­tory: The next passage that occurres of these who on our part in a most stedfast simplicity, did assert, and establish Presbytrie, untill the year 1596. & of others, who on your part, by Fraud, Perjury and Violence, did, in compliance with King Iames, his design of Complementing the English Clergie, on the one hand, and attaining to a greater freedom, of indul­ging and gratifying the Popish partie, on the other (both supposed necessaire for assuring, the then much courted Succession) endeavour, the overthrow of Presbytrie, as being too straight for such crooked courses, is an instance against your first reason, which I am bound in Charity to think, you did not call to minde: sure I am, that which you object, of our aiming at State-designes, change but State, into Court, and you will finde it was so far from being our guilt, that it was King Iames his regret, on our behalf, that honest Men would not be thereby tempted. But it is like, the times you hint at, are these of our late Trou­bles: Wherein, though I acknowledge, that the feigned concurse, and corrupt designes of some, did in their occasion discover themselves; Yet, it cannot be denied, that such was, and is, the truth of the work of God, and stedfastnesse of its faithfull Adhe­rers, that even unto this day, through all the various temptations of Malignancie, on the one hand, and [Page 81] Sectarianisme on the other, both it, and they, do retain their integrity. Really Sir, when I consider, that neither the tempting terrour of the prevailing Malig­nant interest in the Years 1645. and 48. nor the suc­ceeding victory, usurpation and very plausible and insinuating offers of the Sectarians, with all these strange revolutions that have since happened, have moved the Lords faithfull remnant in the Land, from that well tempered, and justly ballanced fear of God, and honour to the King, which from the beginning they professed, and do hold forth in the Covenant, and all their Publick actings, Your accusation of the work of God, as a State design, appears to me a very palpable inconsistencie, and ridiculous calumny; to design State changes or advantages, and yet, to omit and slight all the probable, yea and possible op­portunities, of compassing them, are things, which Malice it self cannot affirme to be compatible. As for these, who not being upright, nor stable in the Lords Covenant, have, according to the impulse of their own worldly designes, turned and figured themselves, unto every sort of compliance, they are now so unexpectedly, and wholly almost, become of your way, that there needs no other evidence, of the eàsie accommodation, that all self [...]seekers, and time-servers do finde in it: but wherefore do I seek to retort? Can there be any thing more certain, then that as corrupt Court designes, have only imposed this heavy Yoke of Prelacie, upon the Lords Church, and People amongst us; so such have been, and are the wicked and ungodly practices of its Lords, and their dependents, & the vast dissonancie of their lives, even from their own Canons and profession; that I do not so much wonder at your impudence, in objecting against our course; The tempting of many to suspect Re­ligion [Page 82] to be but a design of it self, as that the monstrous­nesse of your Hierarchy hath not scandalized the whole world to account all Religion but a cheat. 2. You say by driving of people to an outward compliance in forms, we have caused them to Nauseat at all Religion. Who would think that this were the accusation of Non-conformists, who from the very beginning of Re­formation, have been continually vexed, by your im­positions; and not rather conceive, the objection to be made by them, against your violent pressing of Crosse, Surplice, Service-book, Book of Canons, and other [...]rash, wherewith the Lords people have been unces­santly urged, as the main, yea only things of Reli­gion? But I cannot stand upon every one of your ca­lumnies, the Lord deliver you from this perverse spirit: Only if by the driving objected, you do understand our causing the people of the Land to stand stedfast, and adhere to the Lords Covenant, whereby they were for­merly obliged, it is already fully answered.

But, that which you say is of greatest weight, is, that we are guilty of the waxing cold in Love, to which our Saviour knits the abounding of Iniquity: And this challenge you qualify, by our judging you in Matters which are doubtful disputations, spreading tattles [...] of you, as you call them, carrying sowrly toward you, and casting odious aspersions upon you, as Apostates and the like, with petulant railings, and this you adde, is a greater persecution, then any little suffering of ours in the World. Sir, though I cannot sooth you as you do your felf, by the mouth of your N. C. (whose tongue you teach to speak lyes) in your smooth words of deceit, by telling you, that too much of what you speak is true; Yet I heartily wish, there were more Charity on all sides; but where you ac­cuse us, of waxing cold in Love, and thence would [Page 83] inferre our accession, to the present abounding ini­quity, I would first have you to read the text aright, which runeth thus, And because iniquity shall abo [...]nd, the love of many shall wax cold, which is a plain in­version of your causality. 2. Admitting your ground to be good, I seriously wish, without vanity, that the waxing cold in love, both toward God and your Neighbour, were not more your sin, then ours; then had we not been scorched into a blacknesse, and con­sumed almost into ashes, by these fiery trials, kind­led, blown and kept into a flame, by the Grandees of your way (pourtrey them as you please) whose heat speaks them to be set on fire, against the Work, People, and Interests of God. 3. To call the causes of our Differences matters which are doubtfull Dispu­tations, when both by Scripture, Reason, and So­lemne Engagements, and many sad experiences, they are so fully determined, is indeed, to put false glosses upon things; and to pretend to be a good Christian, and to acclaime the charity and kindnesse of others, in an avoued persistence, in open Perjury, Opposition to the Cause of God, and persecution of his People, is it not to wipe your mouth, and say you have done no wickednesse?

But you say it is from the spirit of the Devil to fasten the brand of Apostasie upon the leaving of a par­tie, and that to grow wiser is not to play the changling, nor is a consciencious obedience to standing Laws time-serving. Sir, as I love neither to irritate, nor preju­dicate by hard words; so I approve not either your or your N. C. tattles; but if to leave God, and not a Partie, be Apostasie? if to forsake the way, and Truth of God, be to play the changling? and if to obey, and conforme to mischief, framed by a Law, be time-serving? I am sadly apprehensive, that, what [Page 84] you account to be, but the Malice of the spirit of the Devil, shall one day be found, the Verdict of the Spi­rit of God; Whether it be thus or not, in our con­troverted differences, let the things themselves, and the issue of our discourse declare? What you tell us of the primitive application, of the word Apostasie, is no restriction of its proper acceptation: And for your other petty conceits, in this place, with your mock-complaint, of the persecution of a just, but disdained censure, they are not of that moment, to stop my procedour, to that part of your conference, which concerns Episcopacie.

This head you say falls asunder in two, the one a ge­neral consideration of that Government, the other, suppo­sing it were amisse, how far it ought to be separated from: And for the Government, in place of all these weighty and unanswerable objections, viz. the want of our Lords Warrant. 2. Repugnancie to his, and his Apostles Precepts and practice of restless labour, simplicity, equality, humility and contempt of the world, &c. 3. Disconformity to the first, and purer times of the Primitive Church. 4. The pride, ava­rice, usurpation, and cruelty, to which, it naturally tends, and hath been depraved: And lastly, these evil and bitter fruits, of profanity, ignorance, and su­perstition, that it hath ever in its prevalencie produc­ed, which have been charged upon, and made out against it, by many of the Lords faithfull Witnesses; you make your N. C. faintly and poorly to aledge, I cannot think that Church-men should be called Lords, and be great Persons; that this is a desingenuous prevari­cation, is obviously manifest. Yet such is the weak­nesse of your cause, that the meanest argument, you could put in your N. C. mouth, is stronger then your answere, wherein you tell us, That this belongs not to [Page 85] the thing it self; but is an addition of the Christian Ma­gistrat. But I must remember you first, that Church-men and Ministers, are not capable of every addition: Civil offices, and administrations, are very lawfully bestowed by the Magistrat, upon fit Recipients: but as for Ministers, they are not only an intolerable dis­traction, many degrees above that charitable imploy­ment which the Apostles could not bear, but so in­consistent with the nature, manner, and end of their Ministrie, that, even our Lord, while in this capaci­tie, doth bruskly decline, to be so much as an ami­cable trister: And therefore to justify Bishops titles, from this ground, that they are extrinsick additions, or from their civil place, and voice in Parliament, is no wayes concludent. 2. Though this were not; yet, I am confident, that who ever considers, the received use, and import of this title of Lord amongst us, will find it an addition, as full of fastuous vanity, for Ministers, as the title of Rabbi, (even admitting that its excess did lye another way) therefore ex­cepted against, and prohibited by our Lord, was un­lawfull for the Apostles: but 3. This title is not an addition flowing from the Christian Magistrat, as you pretend; but the very product, of that pride, and usurpation, that at first exalted Prelacie, which, as as first, it was assumed by the connivence of, if not, rather forced from the Civil Magistrat; so now, by the Bishops, it is only derived from him, in conse­quence of that Supremacie, which both falsly against our Lord Jesus Christ, and traiterously to the Pope, in this respect their proper head, they have, for their own conveniencie, transferred upon him.

But you add, that we consider not that, Sir, and Lord, Gentleman and Nobleman, differ but in degree: since therefore, a Minister by Office, [...]hes the temporall [Page 86] [...]onour of a Gentleman, why may not the temporall honour of a Lord, be as well put upon a Bishop? Sir, if you were as innocent of the vanity, as you seem to be ig­norant of the Nature of these titles, Our controver­sie were at an end: a Faithfull Minister, truely mind­ing his work, values not himself upon points of He­rauldri [...]; to acquit himself as becometh an Embassa­dour, for the Glory of Christ, is all his ambition, and truly honourable, beyond the accession of all tem­porall dignity, If it were not so, I could further in­form you, that a Gentleman and Nobleman, do not only gradually differ, but are prorsus disparata wholly different. The King, wee say, can make the one, but cannot make the other. I grant the privileges of a Gentleman, are commonly supposed to belong to Ministers, and decent civility may respect them, as of that ranck, but really, there appears to me such a disparity, betwixt these things, and a Bishops re­ceiving, let be the usurping, of the temporall, and more eminent honour or Lord specially as above his Brethren, that if a Minister as such, should but te­naciously lay claime to the title of a Gentleman, I would think it not only very misbecoming his Pro­fession, but a plain forfeiture of the pretended pri­vilege.

But, your N. C. urges to better purpose, that Bi­shops should not Lord it over Gods heritage: And you for Answere, tell us, That by Lording, is meant a tyrannicall domination, and not a tittle. Next, That Gods Heritage, applyed by us to the Clergie, is not in the Text, bearing only not Lording over their Lots or Divi­sions, to which you adde That Whatever argument we use to put down Bishops from being as Noble-men, will also prove Ministers not born such, not to be Gentlemen. Sir, to put this foolish trifling about titles, first by [Page 87] hand, Bishops neither are Noblemen, nor ought to be esteemed quasi Noblemen: because 1. The thing is altogether incompetent, and the title without the thing is a vanity. 2. Either title or thing, as it ex­alts them above their Brethren, is sinful, and the very reverse of our Lords Command: Whosoever will be chief among you let him be your Servant not your Lord. He that is chief, let him be as he that Serveth not as a Nobleman: How then can ye acclaime either thing or title? 3. The title of Lord in its Ecclesiastick usur­pation, hath been, and is so grossly abused by Church-men, above all that our Lord reprehends, in the pride of the Pharisees, not only to the pretending to the uppermost roomes at feasts, and the chiefe seats in the Synagogues; but the chief places in States, and the first banches in Parliaments, not only to Greet­ings in the Merca [...]s, and to be called of men Rabbi, Rabbi, but to ride next to the Honours, and be called Grace, Grace, that, seriously I marveil how you or any Christian, regarding our Lords express words, can justify it? That these reasons do not mi­litate against the civil, and ordinary respect common­ly payed to all Ministers, and men of any fashion, without either a vain usurpation in the receivers, or any other thing, then that courteous mutua [...]l prefe­rence, commended by the Apostle in the givers, & which without falling into the ravings of the Quak­ers, their austerity, you cannot from our Lords words redargue, I think it needlesse to resume. Now you say that by Lording, prohibite to Church-men, a Tyrannical domination is only meant, why do you thus offer to impose, contraire both to the import of the word, and tenour of the Scripture? the word used by Peter is [...], and the very same used by our Lord Math. 20. Whence Peter himself learned the [Page 88] Prohibition, that it signifies not to Tyrannize, bu [...] simply authoritative Dominari, to rule with Authoritie, all Lexica attest; Neither doth the proposition [...] joyned to [...] import more of force, then what doth more expressively denote, and distinguish the dominion of Empire and Authority, from that of propriety: As for the tenour of Scripture, that it repugnes to your exposition is manifest 1. Because that where Math. in this passage useth the compound [...], Luke doth indifferently use the simple [...], as of the same import to the present pur­pose, by which your gloss, of a tyrannicall domina­tion is deprived of all shadow of ground. 2. Because our Lord by both words, doth only prohibite such a domination, and authority amongst his Disciples, as was exercised amongst the Gentiles by their Princes, and which they who were called their Benefactors did use over them, but certain it is, that neither was the dominion of the Princes of the Gentiles, allow­edly or commonly tyrannick; nor is it our Lords purpose in this place, to brand them with such a cha­racter. 3. The positive Command plainly set down, and enforced by our Lords own example, is too evi­dent, to leave any man hesitant, as to the Prohibition: But it shall not be so among you, but whosoever will be great among you [...] truely great in virtue and reward, let him be your Minister: Let him exercise the Ministery committed to him, by way of humble and painfull service, denyed to all worldly advantages, and nei­ther affect, nor assume the Grandour, and Authority of Civil Governours. Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to Ministere, and to give his life, &c. and made himself of no reputation (contemning his Gen­tility, and not valuing his Nobilitie) but took upon him the form of a Servant: Sir, do we indeed beleeve [Page 89] that this is commanded, and proposed for a pattern to Gospel Ministers? And yet it is not only most cer­tainly so, but also undeniable, that if there were in Ministers and Church-men, that same Spirit of Obe­dience to God, and love to Souls, which was in him, who accounted it his meat and drink to do the will of him that sent him, and to finish his work, and if they had the same eye, and regard, to the joy set before them, which he had, who is the Author and [...]inisher of our Faith, it could not be other wayes. For my part, I think a serious reflection on these things, is not only enough to confound for ever, the ease, vanity, and pomp of aspiring Prelats, but to make the best of Ministers ashamed, to appear so much above their Master, even in their indulged honesties, and con­veniencies. But 4. Because the place that you touch is taken from Peter, see how it also agrees with that of Math. Feed the flock of God &c. Not as being Lords or Lording, over Gods heritage, but as being Ensamples: where it is evident, that the adversative, doth not only reject your Gloss, of a tyrannick do­mination; But by commanding rather to lead and instruct by example, then to rule by Authority, hold furth the same humble and simple Ministerie, to be en­joined here, which by our Lord was before recom­mended. The next thing you answere, is, that Gods heritage applied by us to the Clergie, is not in the Text, Pray you Sir, how came this in your head, that we apply the title of Gods heritage to the Clergie, or own them under this name? Know you not, that the usurping of this prerogative, both by your, and the Popish Church-men, hath been alwayes esteemed by us, an high arrogance? As for your pretending to correct our Translation, Pray Sir, be sober, and remember the respect which you bear to the Authors. [Page 90] 2. I grant the Greek Verbatim [...]ndered seemeth to sound, neither as exercising Lordly authority over the Lots by which as your interpretation of a tyrannical domi­nation is disproved, so, even your pretended exact­nesse (Your being wanting [...] is exceeded. 3. Since the Lords People are certainly here meant, whether you understand them to be termed [...] lots, in or­der to their respective Pastors, who [...]e [...]ortitions, and divisions they are, or as being Gods heritage, accor­ding to the usuall signification of the singular [...] heritage [...] and the clear Synonymous import of the word [...] in the following part of the verse, but being Ensamples to the flock it matters nothing, as to our present business, but plainly shews your imper­tinent curiosity. However, I wish you to consider, that as we condemn the worldly, and pompous usur­pations of Prelats, above their own degree, and over their Brethren, so, we most of all condemn their spi­ritual Tyranny, in Lording over the Consciences of Gods People, whom they cease not now, as alwayes, to vex with their Pharisaick imposing, and exacting of implicite obedience to vain Traditions and humane inventions, more then obedience to the Command­ments of God, as will afterward appear.

Your N. C. proceeds to say that his chief quarrell against Bishops, is, that they are a function of mans devising, and no where instituted by God. To this you think fit to answere, by way of retortion, telling us of our great, but vain pretenses, to a jus divinum in se­verall things: As first, in the matter of Lay Elders, thus Sir you deall wittily, when you can do no better [...] seing you cannot confirme your own opinion, you endeavour at lest to subvert your adversarie; but be­fore I enter with you upon particulars, I must tell you first, that Presbyterians in pleading for a jus di­vinum, [Page 91] do not pret [...]nd to a posi [...]tive, and expresse prescription from Scripture, of all the smaller points and circumstances, either of decencie or order, re­quisite to their Government and Discipline, in as much, as, the regulation of these, being abundantly provided for, by the general rules revealed, and the things themselves, and their use, such as ingenuous persons cannot probably mistake, the want of express warrants, in all or any such particulars, cannot be justly cavilled at as a defect: 2. That it had better become the sobriety, that you require of your N. C. for you to have answered, what many worthy Men have written, for the jus divinum of Presbyterie, then to have passed all with the empty censure of your own airy character of big talking, and minding it as little, as any could, to the effect, you may amuse your poor N. C. with a fear of your conceited quibl­ings; but leaving these things with as confident an estimation, as your undervaluing is vain, and ground­lesse, to the impartial perusal of judicious Readers, I do only here premise, that, whoever abstractly and seriously considers, the clear light, and obvious project of the Gospel, will of necessity finde. 1. That our Lord Jesus by vertue of that Kingdom, and All Power given to him, in Heaven and in Earth, did, for the carrying on, and prospering of his pleasure, the Salvation of sinners, appoint, in the Persons of his Apostles, a perpetual Ministrie in his Church, the summe of whose charge, is both severally & jointly, to take heed, to oversee, and feed the Church of God, and the chief part and dutie of which office, is, to Preach and Teach, and consequently to reprove, rebuke, exhort, remit and retain, bind and loose &c. in which things, the heads of Doctrine, and Disci­pline, with their immediate power, and warrant from [Page 92] Jesus Christ, and their connex [...]on, and dependence betuixt themselves, do certainly consist, and are clear­ly held out. 2: As the Apostles were all the Mini­sters (waving the matter of the Seventie, whose missi­on and imployment was only locall, and preparatorie, unto every Citie, and place, whether he himself would come, and to say the Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you, and de facto, ended at their returne, Luk 10. 1. 9. & 17.) appointed by Christ, and in them, the order, office, and full pattern of the Gospel Ministrie established, [...] even unto the end of the world, so they are by our Lord ves­ted with such equall power, so expresly prohibited the aspiring to, or usurping these degrees, lawfull and allowed in secular dignities, and so enixely comman­ded the lowliest humility and submission conceivable, not only in their personall conversation, but in their Ministrie, that to introduce an imparity, either of Power, Dignity, or stated Preheminence, amongst Gospel Ministers, is plainly to reject, and deny our Lords institution, and ordinance. 3. That although the Apostles were singular above their successors, in many respects, such as an infallible assistance in the dis­charge of their Ministrie, eminencie of Gifts, an unconfined exercise, an universall oversight, and the privilege, not only of our Lords peculiar and chos­en Witnesses, but of being the spirituall Fathers, and Authors of conversion, to almost the whole Chris­tian Church; yet were these prerogatives only tem­porary, and necessarily requisite, and suited to, or depending upon the particular exigence of the Gospels first propagation, and so far from changing, or in­novating that equality, parity and lowlinesse of Mi­nisters, most manifest from our Lords command and appointment, that on the contraire, these other ad­vantages, [Page 93] hindered not the Apostles, to respect and acknowledge the Pastors of particular Churches, as partakers with them of the same Ministeriall power, their fellow-labourers, Brethren (not in the bare name, as your Prelats scorne their Curates, and the Pope in his pretended sevus servorum Dei, the whole Roman Church) Compresbyters, and in the Pastoral charge, altogether their equals. 4. As the power of Government, consisting in the Authoritative decid­ing of Controversies, according to the word of God, the due application of Ecclesiastick Discipline, and Censures, and the right regulation of all other things, pertaining to the Ministeriall function, is clearly im­ported in the Command of Feeding, and Over-seeing, beside its naturall inseparability from the conduct of every rational, let be Christian, institution and So­ciety, and consequently only assistent, and secondarie to the other offices of the Ministerie; so, the Lords command of that most lowly submission, and sim­plicity, incapable of the very notion of imparity, which he opposeth even to that lawfull Authority, and dignity allowed in civils, doth in such a peculiar manner, regard the exercise of this Governing Power, that whether it be more absurd, to introduce a stated degree of Superiority and Dignity among Ministers, in the point of Government, or to separate and exalt Government, from and above the office of Preaching, to which it is subservient, and to appropriate it to cer­tain Ministri-prelati, above others, can hardly be determined, I need not here caution concerning ru­ling Elders, seeing the more full description of Eccle­siastick Government, is here given, in order to Mi­nisters, in which these Elders being only partiall sha­rers, it is not more agreeable to their warrant, then suitable to this position, 5. As the grounds of the e­quality [Page 94] and parity of Ministers by us asserted, are by these truths plainly held out; so that superiority of Power, though still Ministerial, competent to the meetings of the Brethren, as well over the severall constituent members, as over the Church according to their warrant hereafter declared, is thereto very consistent, and thereby mostly established: whether these things, all evident in the Doctrine, and prac­tice of Christ and his Apostles, do not fairely exhi­bite, the principles and platform of a Presbyterian Ministerie and its Ministerial parity, Let men judge.

Really Sir, when I consider Preaching, to be the main office, even our Lords own commission, & great erand into the world, Discipline to be dependent upon it, and wholly referable to its end, and a sim­ple Ministerial Government, only allowed for the regulation and advancement of both, and when I do remember, that neither the glorious excellencie of the Lord Jesus, hindered him to be amongst his Disci­ples, as he who served; nor did the many advantages of the Apostles, and others extraordinarily gifted, and accordingly imployed and sent out, as their assistents, requisite in the Churches infancie, make them assume to themselves, or endeavour to settle in the Church, any superior Order, above the degree of preaching Elders, and Overseers, whom they all­wayes respected as their equals, in the work of the Gospel: And thirdly when I call to minde, that wherever a Church came to be gathered, the A­postles did either by themselves, as at Lystra, Ico­nium and Antioch, or by their fellow labourers (as Timothy at Ephesus, and Titus in Crete; there left and appointed by Paul for the work, and charged to leave the place when called) therein ordain Elders, without any imparity, or higher order, and that Paul [Page 95] after, having testified that he had keep back nothing profitable, nor shuned to declare all the Counsel of God; but shewed them all things, did commit to the Elders of Ephesus, the full charge and oversight of the Church of God, without appointing any An­gel. Prelat over them: And lastly when I reflect how that in the beginnings of the Gospel at Ierusalem, all things almost were acted by Common counsel: that where, and when, the Christian name did first take place, there and at the same time, we finde a Pres­byterie of Prophets and teachers assembled, and ac­ting jointly, and by the Command of the Holy Ghost, sending out even the greatest of the Apostles, as sub­ject to them, that Paul imposeth hands with the Pres­byterie, & termeth it their deed, & Peter exhorts El­ders, as his fellows & their Compresbyter; when I say I ponder these things [...] they do make me assuredly con­clude, the Ministrie & Government of the Church in the way of Presbyterie, to be as much Iuris Divini, as it is opposite to, and removed from your Hierarchie. Having thus discovered the foundation, and traced the undeniable lineaments of Presbyterie in the Word of God, I may not insi [...]t upon the inconsonant defor­mities of Prelacie, only this I must say, that though Prelacie were not attended, with many and great cor­ruptions, and in its exaltation (mark it lest you think me injurious to good men) had not been alwayes ene­my to Religion, and Godliness; Yet a superiour Order of Church-men, usurping from the Pastors of the flock of God, the Ministerial Power of Iuris­diction, and the only right of Ordination, and ac­claiming to themselves the sole management of Go­vernment, as their proper work, with dignity and authority over their Brethren, hath neither warrant, nor vestige in the Scripture of the New Testament: but is so palpably the invention of man, that, it is [Page 96] not a greater wonder, that the Devil should have im­proved it to all that pride, avarice, wickednesse and villany, which it hath produced, then it is a mysterie, how the world should have been thereby imposed u­pon, and have endured, all its rapine, sacrilege and usurpation, under the pretext of Religion, to which it is so repugnant.

I come now to try how you impugne the jus divi­num, which we assert for Lay elders, and other mat­ters condescend [...]d up on by you, and therefore hither­to by me not touched: You say Lay-Elders are founded on no Scripture, as the most judicious amongst us ac­knowledge; And you wonder, that when we urge from the Apostles giving rules only for Bishops, and Deacons, that Diocesans must be shu [...]fled out, how we do not also see, that ruling Elders, are not there. Who these most ju­dicious amongst us in Scotland, may be, who deny Lay or rather Ruling Elders, to have any Scripture warrant, seeing your own N. C. is none of the Num­ber, I cannot apprehend; but for your wonder, I think it may be easily satisfied, if you will but consider, that it is not from the simple omission of Diocesans, in this Text, that we exclude them from the Church: but since it is manifest from the Epistles to Timothy and Titus that the true Apostolick Bishop was no other, either in name or office, then a Presbyter: Nay, that by the rules to him set down, your Diocesans is plainly cast, and rejected, like as both in Acts Chap. 20. and Titus the names of Bishop and Presbyter are pro­miscuously used, is it not clearly concludent, that your Diocesan hath no Scripture warrant, whereas the ruling Elder, as he is not in these places confound­ed, and made the same with the preaching Elder, but may justly enough share both in the general names of Elder, and Over-seer, and also in their rules without [Page 97] any incosistence; so his liquid warrant, as a distinct officer, is elswhere obviously extant.

In the next place you add, that the Brethren in the Council at Ierusalem prove too much, viz. That our Elders are judges o [...] Doctrine [...] but if their concurrence, both in the me [...]ting and in the decree, may be fairly under­stood of an assisting and approving suff [...]age, without attributing to all unanimous assenters, the same power and Authority of deciding, as is very casible, in a­ny other heterogeneous Assembly, whether our argument conclude from the Brethren, as distin­guished from the Apostles, and preaching Elders, and therefore to be taken for ruling Elders, or from the Elders there mentioned, as including both the preaching and ruling Elders, your ab [...]u [...]dity doth not follow, and our argument is nothing convelled: But you say, it is absurd to think, that, that was a Church judicature: Pray Sir, not so fast, you would say, that, that meeting was not a General Synod; for that it was a Church judicature its decree doth evince: As to the Arguments taken for ruling Elders from the exhorta­tion to rule with diligence, and the enumeration of Helps, and Governments, amongst other Gifts bestow­ed on the Church, seeing they are not adduced as by themselves, so convincingly concludent, but as accessory to these other places, whereby the distinct office being proved, the promise and gift agreeable, cannot but add a considerable light: Your terming them Sandie foundations is as foolish, as your calling Helps, and Governments, extraordinary gi [...]ts, is groundlesse.

But both your N. C. and I inquire what you say to that Scripture let the Elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honour, Especially they who labour in the word and doctrine, That here both the Preaching [Page 98] and ruling Elder are included, in the word Elder, as I hinted before, and that a distinction is made, of him who both Preaches, and Rules, from him that only Rules, is manifest, from the words; and you are so far thereby convinced, that you acknowledge the office controverted to be spoken of, but you say the Text supposeth its bei [...]g, but doth not bear its institu­tion, this is truely exact and strict; it seems you re­member not, that although all that was ever pleaded in behalf of your Bishops, and the faire likelikood for them, which you would draw from the Angels of the Churches, proceeds only upon a supposition, of the thing in being; Yet none of our side, do redargue your arguing, from that place only, for want of an express institution: Consider therefore Sir, that, if the being of our Elders office, be in this Scripture supponed, and commended, its institution is also thereby supponed, and commended, and this nice­ty of yours, is no evasion; but adding that there are five or six glosses put on these words, which you protest (without any reason) to be better then ours, you give us your own, thus: [Let such among you, as are fixed to rule particular charges, be doubly honoured; but spe­cially these Evangelists, who medle not in rule, but labour in word and doctrine.] Sir, I am sorry that having plenty, you have made choise of one, so many wayes peccant, as importing, first, that at the time of the writing of this Epistle, there were Elders fixed to particular charges or Parishes within Ephesus, where­of the contraire is most commonly and probably held, 2. That either there were at the same time, beside your fixed Elders unfixed Evangelists, belonging pro­perly to Ephesus; or that the Apostle speaks here of these Catholick Evangelists, who belonged not to Timothie's inspection, but which is worst of all, your [Page 99] Gloss plainly destroyes the Text, for whereas Paul doth first deliver a General, that all well-ruling Elders be doubly honoured, and addes a speciall ampliation, d [...] Natura regulae of the Nature of a Rule, in favours of these, who also Preach, you expresly say, that these Preachers medled not with rule, and flatly deny them to be of the number of these well-ruling Elders, which are to be honoured: Next, where the Text makes labour­ing in the word, an additament to well ruling, and therefore deserving a special allowance, you preferre the sole merit of Preaching to the double deserving, of both Preaching and well-ruling: but I pursue your raveries too far, the words are plain, well-ruling El­ders, Preachers or not Preachers, are to be doubly honoured; but such who do both Preach and rule well, have the preheminence: Now whether or not you have shown, our Elders to be ill grounded I leave it to your second thoughts.

But you proceed to surprize your N. C. with a how want you Deacons? and then you tell him, That we had indeed somewhat called Deacons, but they were not Scripture-deacons; for such were not Lay-persons but Ec­clesiastick, separate by imposition of hands, for the fun­ction, and so were to continow, whereas we yearly altered our Elders, and Deacons. Sir, though in this point you represent our Leaders as Deceivers, Yet really, I should be sorry, that you were aswell known to be a calumniator, as the Deacons used in our Churches, are clearly found in our Bibles: Their institution Acts 6. is plain, specially vers 3. Wherefore Brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the holy Ghost and Wisdom, whom we may appoint over this businesse viz. the dayly ministration, and serving of tables: From which Scripture, our Practice of chos­ing honest, approved men, for the Ministration of [Page 100] Charity, there meant, and the serving of tables, is so exactly copyed out, that I cannot but admire your confidence: But you say, that Scripture Deacons were not Lay-persons, but separate by imposition of hands: If by separation you mean the solemn appointment and designation of Deacons, and hold the same suffi­cient to make them Ecclesiastick, our Deacons as well as these in the Text, are indeed Ecclesiastick; but if by separation you understand a totall and perpetual sequestration, from secular medling, as you cannot be ignorant, that it was and is the wish of many wor­thies amongst us, that the Church could have been served with such Elders and Deacons; so, seing in­evitable nece [...]tie, through the want of an al [...]mony, hath forced both our Church, & other reformed Chur­ches, which observe the same practice with ours, to make use of such as they can get, it is no commenda­ble practice in you, who are such a pretender to mo­destie and civility, to cast up this lamented de [...]ect, as our unpardonable blemish; since it had become you rather, who would be accounted a kindly child of the Church of Scotland, to have overtured a way how the Church Patrimony (whereby these Officers of the Church might have lived) may be recovered from the Harpyes who devoure it now without remorse: neither hath the after abuse of Deacons, unto a preach­ing order, used in the Roman Church, any Scrip­ture warrant, as is clear from the Text, and the rules therein expressed: I grant we finde in Scripture Phi­lip chosen a Deacon in the 6. chap, and Preaching chap 8. vers 5. Acts, and that it is probable, that this and the like practices, were there after made the occasion, and colour, of the formentioned abuse, but if you suppose that the first Deacons did Preach by vertue of their institution, you have no just ground for it in the [Page 101] word: And Philips Preaching, is so plainly annexed to an extraordinary dispensation, or tacite mission to him and to many others, upon the dispersion after Stephens Ma [...]tyrdom, insinu [...]te in the 4. vers of the 8. chap. that I doubt not, but a second reading will con­vince you.

Next you add, that Scripture Deacons, were separate by imposition of hands, for the [...]unction. I grant, that was the manner of their first solemn d [...]signation; but if the Chuch, by reason of the Posterior abuse, of which, in probability, the mistaking of this forme hath not been the lest cause, or because of the reason formerly hinted viz. that because of the want of a competent maintai­nance, they could not get such as would be totally and perpetually separa [...]ed fo [...] that work, hath thought fit, notwithstanding that they do warrantably retain it in the ordination of Ministers, yet prudently to disus [...] in that of Deacons, will you therefore conclude that we disown the thing it self? But you tell us, That Scripture Deacons were to continow, whereas we alter ours every year: You said first, that we took away from them their Church-office, without a fault; but remembring that our annual change, is not a deposing from the office, only used by us in the case of demerit, but a relieving from the exercise, you did well to phrase your charge better, in the terme of altering: In answere where­unto, I deny that the Scripture doth repugne to our custome, nor can yow show any Text in the con­traire: Nay I question not, but he vvho considers the end, for which Deacons were first institute, vvill easily grant, that vvhen Philip became an Evangelist, he ceased from the exercise of his Diaconat, and that though the then particular condition, and commu­nion of Goods, in use amongst the first Believers at Ierusalem, did not require this reliefe to be expresly [Page 102] provided for; yet the after state of things, both there and in other Churches, not permitting their constant attendance, nor providing for them any stipend, might have induced it.

Having thus weakly objected against our Deacons you ask in the next place, Why want you Diaconesses, whose Order, Qualifications, Age and Imployment, are particularly set down in Scripture? To which you cause your N. C. very poorly answere, that he hath heard many of our Ministers say, the want of them was a fault: But seing I am not of his opinion, I make this reply to your demand, that we want Diaconesses 1. be­cause the appointment of the office hath no clear Scrip­ture Testimony; its true, that passage. 1 Tim. 5. 9. is commonly understood of your Diaconesse, and by these better seen in Antiquity of these feminine [...] quae faeminarum mores formabant, who did teach the women good manners and differed as much from the Diaconesse, whose office it was, faeminas pauperes, aut aegrotas pecuniâ aut operâ sublevare, to help the poor, or sick women with money or service. as our Elders do from our Deacons; yet if a man should interprete that whole Text, to be meant of such, who were to be received unto a more special manner of the Churches charity, seeing their by-past deservings only, and not their future imployment, appear there to be noted, and the command subjoined Ver. 16. to believers to re­leive their own widows, doth insinuat no less, I could not accuse him of any straining: and as for that other Scripture, Rom. 16. ver. 1. where we finde Phebe termed [...] a Servant of the Church, it may be so properly, and easily under­stood of Her occasional services, without making her an officer, that it signifies nothing in the con­traire. But 2. admitting that the primitive Church [Page 103] among the Grecians, whose women did live under a more severe rule, and were not so accessible, as among the Jews, as Interpreters doth note, had therefore both [...] and Diaconissas, aswel as Presbyteros and Diaconos, whereas the Jews did only use the latter, it may possibly inferre that women in case of an urgent necessity, are not incapable of these offices; but doth no wayes conclude either distinct offices institute in the Primitive Church [...] and unknown among us, or that we who enjoy and prac­tise a more free converse, like unto that of the Jews, ought to imitate the practice of the Grecian austerity, and weaknes: and therefore since our Deacons are sufficient to perform the duties apper­taining to the office, and are not by our customes excluded from a due and decent Administration to both sexes, your objection of our want of Diaconis­ses, is but an emptie inadvertent cavil: I could further tell you, that a form or constitution, ob­serving all things that are of divine Precept, though using other things of no necessary nature, only ac­cording to their exigence, may neverthelesse be per­fect and of divine right, but the former answeres do fully cleare the matter.

The third defect you challenge is, why wanted you Evangelists? and because your N. C. answeres, that, that was ane extraordinary thing, you think you picque him wittily, when you say, any thing in Scripture that makes f [...]r you, call it ordinary; and what doth not please, is extraordinary: And yet in the very preceeding page, in answere to the argument for ruling Elders, from Helps and Governments, you tells us more bluntly, that by these are meant some ex­traordinary Gi [...]ts; but not to detain you in this mat­ter, that Evangelists are only proper, and profitable [Page 104] in the penurie o [...] [...]e [...]ed [...]astors, not only their first use, but both the order and edification, that clearly appears, in a distinct affixing of Ministers to their respective flocks, doth abundantly evidence: As to what you say of the peculiar Eminencie, of some Pastors, and the imp [...]ssibility of such a Mini [...]erie for a whole Ch [...]rch, as wer [...] to be d [...]sir [...]d, As it doth not a little impinge upon the dispensations of the most High, so, it is more vain, then to counterballance the inconveniencies, which would follow on your conclusion; but if you will ref [...]ect how in the begin­nings of our Reformation, both Superintendants and others were sent out by our Church, upon the like imployment, having Provinces, and not Parishes committed to their oversight, you must of necessity acknowledge, our due esteem, and seasonable use­making of this excellent Gift in that exigent of ne­cessity; and if you account these to have been Evan­gelists (though you shall have many who shall dissent from you in this, upon many accounts, ye [...]) [...]ou will be constrained to acknowledge, that we do not construe it to be so extraordinary, as to restrict it wholly to the primitive times.

You object in the nex [...] place, where do you read in Scripture, your classical Subordination of Sessions to Pres­byteries, &c? Before I make use of your N. C. An­swere, let me first imp [...]ove [...]our own acknowledge­ment: You say [...] this is indeed rational, and orderly, and thence I inferre, in Opposition to your assertion, that therefore it is founded on a divine right: I am not so captio [...]s, as to build this consequence, upon that Na [...]ural Divine right, which is the undoubted impr [...]ss, and light of Reason, Na [...], but taking Di­vine right [...] for a divine right positive, as they speak, my conclusion proceeds thus: The Church of Christ, [Page 105] by express divine appointm [...]t [...] is constitute in one Society being made one Body, gathered into one; and from the beginning, the more pur [...], the more joint, and unite in all counsels and prac [...]ices: therefore what ever is the natural, and rational right and privilege of a Society, must also appertain to it, by vertue of the same right, whereon its constitution subsists; the reason is, because, in every concession, the things natural and proper to that which is conceded, are cer­tainly understood, to be imported: Now that union in Counsel, and Power in the whole, over the parts, and the subordination of the parts unto the whole, in matters pertaining and relating to the body, and con­cerning its end, are the inseparable propri [...]ties, and privilege of a Society, is evident a [...]ove exception: which argument is the more confirmed, that in the acts of the Apostles, we finde the Church assembling, and by Common Counsel managing its affaires, and determining differences, not by any speciall and ex­presse warrant or command, but meerly in the exer­cise of this intrinsick power, compet [...]nt to the Church as gathered, and erected in one Society: This right then and power of meetings being undeniable to the whole by the same reason & precedent they are con­firmed to the parts, the Subordination whereof to the whole, cannot be drawn in doubt: Thus you see, how your own grant, affirmeth what you d [...]ny: but your N. C. answeres further That they at Antioch send up to them at Jerusalem; And are not the Spirits of the Prophets sub­ject to the Prophets. To these Scriptures you reply, be­ginning with the last, That it is clear, that in that place the Apostle is speaking of P [...]r [...]chial Churches, which sub­jection none deny: But Sir, is not that which you call in question, the Subordination of Sessions to Presby­teries: Now if the Apostle tell us, That the Spirit [Page 106] of the Prophets, who in the dayes o [...] the Apostles, had many of them charge pro indiviso jointly, over the same Church, but now a dayes, have their distinct charges over Parochial Churches, are subject to the Prophets, gathered in one assembly, may not the Subordina­tion questioned, be sufficiently thence concluded, espe­cially seing I can hardly suppose you so Anti-episco­pal, as to be Independant, and still to doubt, after the many irrefragable demonstrations given by the Presbyterians, whether this Church of Corinth was a Presbyterial, and not a meer Congregational or Paro­chial Church. As for what else may be in your return I confesse I reach it not, seeing that at the time of the Apostles writing, we finde no divided Parishes, and to fancie that the subjection spoken of, wa [...] of the Prophets, in one Parochial Church, such as at that time there was properly none, and not rather of the many Prophets, having the charge pro indiviso jointly, over the whole company of the Beleevers, in that Citie, in which many parishes were virtually includ­ed, is groundless and absurd. To the first instance you say, It is ridiculous to urge it, seing they of Antioch sent not up to Jerusalem, either as to a Church superior, or as to an Oecumenick Councel, but to men there who were im­mediatly inspired. That they sent not up as to an Oecu­menick Councel, I cannot dissent from you, seing I finde in the Text no suitable concurse for, or vestige of such an Assembly; but that they sent not up as to a Church superior is by you ill asserted and worse proved, seing 1. The phrases in the letter sent from that meeting, that certain which went out from us, and it seemed good &c. to lay upon you, and that the same letter is termed a Decree, do clearly prove a superior Authority in the writers. 2. Because the example which ye adduce from the jews their high [Page 107] Priest for confirming your Gloss, doth plainly redar­gue you, in as much as the Jews consulted not the high Priest, his Urim and Thummim without regard to his Authority; but consulted him as the high Priest, and the Person to whom God had therefore commit­ted them, Deut. 17. v. 10. 11. & 12. putting them in the breast-plate termed of judgement, and not of Res­ponses: But you may say, supposing the matter was thus carried, what makes it for your Assemblies? I Answere, yes very much: for it sheweth 1. That, if the Apostles, who all of them severally were im­mediatly inspired, and so might have determined this controversie, did notwithstanding join with other ordinary Elders or Church [...]officers, and by common counsel give out their Decrees, that common Coun­cels & their authority in the Church, are juris Divini. 2. That as the Church of Antioch, in which the Apostle Paul, Barnabas, and several other Prophets were [...] and the other Churches in Asia, received and submitted to the decrees, so, it evidently intimats a subordination of these, making as it were one Pro­vincial Church, to that great Assembly of the Apostles & Elders conveened at Ierusalem.

You subjoin in this place, That if that meeting at Jerusalem was a Councel, then all Councels may speak in their stile, it seems good to the Holy Ghost, &c. It's an­swered 1. The connexion o [...] your proposition, con­taineth an obvious non sequitur, in as much, as it is not from their being a Councel, but from the cer­tainty of these Scripture evidences whereupon their determination proceeds, that their prefacing of the minde and sentenc [...] of the holy Ghost doth flow. 2. That, that meeting was a Councel of the Apostles, and Elders at Ierusalem, a conveened in one to Con­sulte, Reason and exercise Authority, which severally [Page 108] was not so satisfying [...]or the very Apostles to do, not­withstanding of their immedi [...]e assistance, is plain from the Text, & especially Pauls deference to them. 3. If you imagine that Ecclesiastick Councels cannot be of Divine right unlesse they have the Spirits abso­lute and infallible assistance, you erre as grossly, as he who for want of this infallibility, should deny to the Church a standing Min [...]strie, by Divine institution. 4. Though the infallible guidance of the Holy Ghost given to the Apostles, a [...]d being to them in stead of the rule, was indeed singular and extraordinary; Yet as the Lord to all his Ordinances, hath annexed the pro­mise of an agreeable presence, which doth not fail the sincere and faithfull improvers, so, Church Assemblies in matters of Faith to them committed, and follow­ing the rule thereto prescribed are also thereby countenanced, and in sound beleeving and upright walking, may both attain to, and profess their assu­rance of the Holy Ghosts assistance. 5 [...] Seing that all Councel-acts and Canons, anent matters of Faith, ought to be guided by the Spirit, and conform to the word of God, and enacted and emitted in this per­suasion, these Meetings that truly keeping the rule, and sincerely laying hold on the promise, do proceed in their determinations, may therein warrantably use the Apostles words; and such as do otherwayes, are only culpable in the presumptuous usurpation, because they have not rightly followed, and in effect attained unto the rule of the Word, and the conduct of the Spirit, which ought indeed to be their warrant. 6. Having on these clear grounds declared the Authori­ty of Ecclesiastick Meetings in Matters of Faith, I freely grant that in other things, which may be inci­dent to their cognition, and are not of Faith nor de­fined in Scripture, they have neither the like warrant, [Page 109] nor may they use the like expressions; and there­fore as in this case, they cannot found upon the Lords Commandments, so they are only to be respected as such, who are intrusted to give their judgement, and have obtained mercie of the Lord to be faithfull. 7. The con­tradiction which you alledge it is for fallible men to say, it seems good to the Holy Ghost, is abundantly salv­ed, both by the infallible rule of the word, to which they are astricted, and by the never-failing promise of him who is the Truth, and will be with his own to the end of the world: And your lapse in this objec­tion, is but the same with your former against Mini­sters, their calling their Preaching the Word of God, which I have already fully confuted: And thus I hope all impartial Men may see that the jus divinum, being in this matter our rule, the Independants have not the better of us, as you groundlesly give out.

Next you proceed to challenge our Discipline, and what warrant we have for it? but, seing as to the substance you are satisfyed by your N. C. Answere, from the Excommunicating the Incestuous Person, and the noteing these that walk disorderly, togeth­er with his & caetera (which you may finde very clearly amplifyed by many able Men) and do only fall a nibling at the circumstances of publick Repen­tance, Why so many dayes? (which might be questi­oned of any number) And why in a place of repentance? And Why sometimes the use of Sack-cloath? all well enough answered by your N. C. his telling you of the power of order in external Circumstances, given to the Church for Edification, I come to weigh, the stollen advantage, that you flatter your self to have gained, over your poor Adversarie, which you carry on [...] with the like questions: As 1. Why may the Church impose such days of penitence, and not as well [Page 110] order to all, for the sins of the year, the penitence, of Lent. 2. Why is a part separate for Penitents, and not for communicating? and thirdly Why may not a Church-man officiat in a Surplice as-well as a penitent put on Sack-cloth? and that the simple may fancie a pungencie in these empty conceits, you make your N. C. con­fess a surprisall, and refuge himself in a childish im­plicite belief of his Ministers ability above his own: whereupon you so vainly triumphe, that I am asham­ed to represent such a mean piece of pageantrie, but to the matter, dayes are assigned to Penitents, be­cause time being a necessary requisite, and its length­ening or shortening, very conducible for the end of publick Penitence, the edification of the Church the deterring of others, and the through convincing and gaining of the person, according to either the qua­lity of the offence, or condition of the Offender, its prudent regulation, as of a matter therefore left undefined, can no more be denyed to the Church, then the exacting of Penitence it self; but as for your expiatory quarantam of Lent, as it bears no parity to the reason by me adduced, so, it imports such a de­lay of repentance, hardening in sin, encrease of Superstition, and relaxing again to Licentiousness, that it is hard to say, whether its appointment be more groundless, or its effects pernicious? If you, object its first rise, and occasion, from the wel-mean­ing observance of pious Men, I will not tell you, that the samine flowed from their mistake, of our Lords total and Miraculous abstinence by the space of 40 dayes, neither by himself repeated, nor by his Apostles imitated: Nor what a superstructure of vanity, may be built on such foundations: but when you consider its great depravation, and bad fruits, I hope you will easily incline to say What is the chaff [Page 111] to the wheat? The invention of Man, to the Ordi­nance of God? 2. A place is separate for Penitents that they may be Noted, Rebuked and Ashamed, that others may fear; but to separate a place for Communicating, more then is done by us, in the time of the Administration, what shadow of reason can be adduced for it? Specially after the Idolatrous superstition, whereunto it hath been abus­ed, and from which unto this day, mens mindes are not throughly purged: Witnes these Superstitious Bowings, Cringins, and Kneelings, which your English Prelatick-Church doth still retain. As to the third point, I will not say, that where the Sur­plice in t [...]ken of Innocencie is most used, the Sack-cloth of Penitence would be more agreeable: Nor may I stand to shew you the Usurpation, and evils of Mens imposing Significant Ceremonies, others have done this already unanswerably, but the Disparity which I finde in your inference, is that Sack-cloth in Peni­tence for Grosser sins, was by us appointed (though not universally and constantly practised) not as pro­perly Significant, either of the Penitents guilt, or remorse, seeing it hath to neither any suitable report; but as that, which being at first the squallid neglect flowing from, and thence becoming the customable effect of deep and bitter mourning, might be both a humbli [...]ng badge to the delinquent, and a mean of fear to others; whereas your Surplice, is arbitrarily institute, and imposed to signify Innocencie, without either reall foundation, or sufficient warrant, wherein, whether you do more usurp against God's Prerogative, to appoint Sacred and mysterious Signes, and that simplicitie, in which he hath set forth his Gospel, or be more grosly mistaken in the event, and fruit of your application, is a great question? I grant, that Neces­sity [Page 112] or Decence, have introduced many things cir­cumstan [...]ial, that are rational, and consequently upon some real antec [...]dent ground, expressive of their use and end: as grave apparel in Pastors, a becoming covering of Pulpits, Tables in sacred use, regulation of time, postures, gestures, and the like, without which, wo [...]ship cannot be performed; but to ascribe a liberty to the Church, of appointing Ceremonies, having for reason of their signification, the will of the Instituter, and their use only in the representation, is so manifest an impingement upon Divine Authori­ty, and the Sacraments thereby o [...]dained, and hath already produced such a mass of Superstitious super­fluity, in the Romish-Church, that I much admire to finde a serious Person, pleading for such fopperies; specially seing, that this once granted, and common Resemblances sustained for good warrants, not only all Christians might be put to year [...] at least to assem­ble alwayes in their whites, but all the All [...]gories in Scripture, as the drinking in of the sincere milk of the word, stand therefor [...] having your loins girt, &c. And hundreds more, may be turned unto such vain shows, yea all Imagerie more probably allowed: where you say that both Surplice and sack-cloth were equally practised under the Law, I must by the wa [...] tell you, that I finde not Sack-cloth therein commanded as a solemn significant Ceremonie, I say commanded as a solemne Ceremonie, for that you finde it, not only mention [...]d, as the ordinary concomitant of more grievous mour­nings, nay by the Prophets even literally commanded, as also baldnes, sitting in the dust, [...]owling and wallow­ing in ashes, the better to express that serious mourning, whereunto the Lo [...]d did call, is plainly obvious, and can only inferre, that therefore, and after this man­ner, it is the more capable to be still contained. And [Page 113] for the Surplice, or rather the white linen and the Ephods, beside their expr [...]ss Warrant, the main thing of this Controversie, they had such an agreeable con­veniencie, and de [...]encie to the service of Sacrificing, then in use, and might probably in the Priests, to whom they appertained, have had such a prefigu­ing respect to the immaculate innocencie of Jesus Christ, our great Priest and Sacri [...]ce, and yet did so little appear in the more solemne Garments of th [...] high Priest, that the example adduced doth rather redargue, then confirme your continuance of this, now idle Rite: I might further tell you, that the use of Sack cloth among us was not offended at; and if it had, would probably have been forborne; And also adde to these clear disparities, your rigid impos­ing and exacting of these your Doctrines, more then the Commandments of God, both in prejudice of Christian Liberty, and to the slighting of true godli­ness; but whether the disparities above mentioned be subtile shifts as you are pleased to judge, before you hear, or solid differences, these who are less prejudi­cate will easily discerne.

In the next place, you returne, to show us our difformity, with the Scripture-pattern, in demand­ing Why we do not observe the decree of the first Councel at Ierusalem? to which I answere; that we observe it, except in so far as it was designed to be temporarie, and framed to bury the Synagogue with honour viz. in the matters of Bloud and things strangled: And as for meats offered to Idols, the Apostle Paul did thereaf­ter declare that point, so that in these particulars, the Decree doth not reach us: This answere as to your re­ply differeth nothing from your Non-conformists. And therefore I proceed, and really Sir, I finde in your return such pitiful inadvertencies, as to the Text [Page 114] of Scripture, that I cannot but premise my wish, that in the study of it you may become more serious. 1. You say that to alledge that the exceptions in the decree were made to please the jews, is a divised phansie against expresse Scripture, and yet the Text beareth, Iames first propounding the thing, and plainly adding, this reason Act. 15. 21. For Moses in old time hath in every City them that Preach him, &c. Whereupon it follows, then pleased it the Apostles, pray Sir, consider the Text, and what this then can els import? 2. You say St Paul wrote his Epistle before he went to Jerusalem and yet James tells him these things were still observed there; whence you infer that commands in externals may be both local and temporarie: What indistinctnesse, and bad logick have we here? If you mean that Paul wrote his Epistle, that I mean anent meats offered to Idols, before he went up to Ierusalem, from the Church of Antioch, to that Councel of the Apostles, and Elders, the Scripture is contraire, showing that his travels unto Greece, and all his dealing with the Corinthians, yea and almost all his Epistles, were there­after; but if you mean that he wrote befor his going up thereafter mentioned Act. 21. it may be so indeed, as to his Epistles to the Corinthians, and some other, but then the Apostle Iames, only tells him, that the beleeving Jews were still zealous of the Law, and that they were offended, that he taught the Iews a­mong the Gentiles to forsake Moses, which is so far from concerning the Decree under consideration, or the proving your point, that a thing may be obligatory in one place, and not in another, that as Iames ad­viseth Paul to purge himself of that calumny, anent the Jews, so v. 25 he expresly resumeth, and seclud­eth the case of the Gentiles, before determined: As to your other inference, that Commands in externals, are not intended [...]or lasting obligations, I grant this De­cree, [Page 115] or any other having a temporary reason, is there­by determinable; but if your meaning agree to your too visible design, to resolve the E [...]durance of these things, which are absolutely setled, into the Arbi­triment of the Church, or rather of the Civil Powers (for it is evident, that, though in all your discourse, you pretend the Church, yet you take your measures from the Civil Authority) it is not only groundless, from the matter of the Apostles th [...]ir Decree, but of dan­gerous consequence, to the shaking loose of all Reli­gion: for proof whereof, see how upon the back of this discourse, you boldly attempt to make even the very Sacraments Arbitrarie, by asking why we [...]se not washing of feet, since there is no Sacrament set down more punctually in Scripture? And when your N. C. retorts, that you are under the same obligation (which retortion may be pertinently made to most of your objections) you tell him, that you have a clear answere, that in these ex­ternals, God intended no perpetual obligation; and there­fore in them you follow the practice of the Catholick Church: O unhappy Bohemians, and you other Christians, who suffered so much, and so grievously, for the retainning of the Cup, in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper; If this new Doctor, who with his New Light, can penetrate unto the secrets of God, and measure the duration of his intentions, had lived in your dayes, he could have told you, that the Cup is but an externall thing, under no perpetual obligation, and by his Doctrine of Conve [...]encie, led you to a safe and peacefull Accommodation to the practice of the Catholick Church: but Sir, they are at rest: As for this your Laxe acceptation of a professed indifferency in externals, what part of the Christian Religion or Worship, may it not corrupt, or subvert? and seing it doth tolerate and allow, the not practising of the [Page 116] washing of feet, to you, as well founded In Scripture, as either of the Sacraments, would it not in a just parity of reason, dispense with, and forego these also? This is indeed doctrine so damnable, that I hope it shall ne­ver need an Antidote, and therefore I returne to ex­amine your third or eight Sacrament (I know not which, for all are but externall) of washing of feet, And you say, That it hath in Scripture of Element, Water, the Action, washing the feet, the Institution, as I have done so do ye, And ye ought to wash one ano­thers feet; and the spiritual use of it, Humility: Whence you conclude. Why do ye not there ore use this rite? To which last point, it is, that waving any further discourse an [...]nt the Nature, and requisites of a Sa­crament, whereof, notwithstanding your parrallel description of this washing, yet I perceive you are loath to apply the name, I shall direct my answere viz. that this washing is not to be used, because, though our Lord did practise this lowly act of Conde­scendence, as eminently expressive of that humility, whereunto he would have his Disciples instructed; yet, neither is it in it self, of the Nature of a Sacra­mental signe, whereof all the significancie is from the institution, and vertue in the exhibition of the thing signified, which you cuningly omit to mention; Nor doth Christ perform it by way of Institution, for Repetition; but by way of example, for Imitation, as is manifest from the Text, Iohn, 13. 4. &c. where we finde, that our Lord doth first wash his Disciples feet, before he told them what he was a doing, and then having done the act not simply significant by his appointment; but of it self as the effect expressing the greatest humility as its cause, he teaches them not a [...]o [...]emne reiteration, but the use in these words, If I your Lord and Master have washed your feet, ye also [Page 117] ought to wash on anothers feet: If I have been among you as he that serveth, so ought ye to serve one another; for I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you. I have not shewed you humility in a figure, to be repeated for your remembrance, but by a solid practice taught you, the like performance: so that to turne this pattern unto a rite, is in effect as far from our Lords purpose, as the instruction of plai [...] exam­ples, is preferable to that of Mystick representations: which exposition is so true, and sound, that as this phansie of yours, was never owned by the Church of Christ, so, it is most certain, that wh [...]re it hath been followed, (I mean by the Pope) and this action hath been used, as a rite, it hath only been made a colour to the most prodigious, and superlative pride, that ever the sun beheld: and thus I hope all men may see that the not using of this washing, never again us­ed, for any thing we read, by way of Sacrament, or Ceremony, either by our Lord, or his Apostles, and Churches; is neither a difformity in us, from the Scripture, nor an argument for your irreligious laxe­nesse in things you call externals.

As for your Demand, why in your Worship do you not Kiss one another with a holy Kiss? seing it is no where commanded in worship, as you seem boldly and igno­rantly to suppose, and the Christian manner of the thing, in customary civility, is only recommended by the Apostle, as an allay of chastity, and kindnesse in Civil rencounters, the question is, but a petulant extravagancie of your vain imagination.

Next you Enquire why do you not anoint the sick with oyl? I answere though you addresse this demand to a N. C. yet it is evident, that your conclusion of diffor­mity to the Scripture pattern thence inferred, is equal­ly levelled, against the whole Protestant Church, [Page 118] wherein this Ceremony is univer [...]a [...]ly di [...]used, and that not from your vain warrant of the Churches Au­thority in and over things expressly commanded, as you judge this rite to be; No, this is a presumption so high, and laxe, that even the grossest Papists, are unwilling to avouch it; but the [...]ound answere of all the Churches is, that as the custome of Anointing might have been occasioned, from an observance then in use in these parts, where Anointings were much more ordinary then in our parts of the world; so, it is mentioned in the Scripture by the Apostle Iames, not by way of Command, but as the accustomed Sym­bole, adhibite in the exercise of the Gift of healing, which being then Ordinary in the Church, is com­manded to be applyed by the prayer of Faith, where­unto the effect is solely re [...]erred, and only with the formality of Anointing, as being then customary in the like cases, seing then that the Text runs clearly thus, is any sick? let him call the Elders, and let them pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of saith shall save the sick; And that the application of the extraordinary Gift of heal­ing by prayer, with the then us [...]all circumstance of Anointing [...] is here only enjoyned, how can you make this Text binding as to the manner and circumstance? when you cannot but acknowledge, that the substan­ce viz. the power of healing is ceased. But having made your N. C. say That the Apostle promises reco­very upon the anointing, you turne to fight with your own shadow, and tell him There is no such matter; that the recovery is promised to prayer, and also forgivenesse; and seing we pray by all for their raising up, and that they may be forgiven, why do we not aswel anoint? But, what Logick can make out this consequence in as much as Anointing being there only spoken of as the conco­mitant [Page 119] rite used in the application of the Gift of heal­ing, it is manifest that without the existence and exer­cise of the Gift it self, it is not now to be repeated; and therefore though prayer be principally comman­ded as the speciall mean, by which even the Gift of Miracles was actuate and made effectuall, and to this day doth remain as the great one by which all the pro­mises either for raising up or remission are drawen out unto effect; yet thence to inferre that Anointing, a peculiar solemnity in the Gift of healing, should still continow, notwitstanding the Gift it self be ceased, is, very absurd: Now that Anointing was an Ordi­nary observance in the exercise of the Gift of healing you may read it clearly in the Disciples practice Mark 6. 13. And they Anointed with oil ma [...] that [...]re sick and healed them. This being then the just and true ac­count, not only of our practice, but also of that of the whole reformed Churches, how vain and ridicu­lous are you to tell us, that our pretense of Scripture is but to impose on women and simple people, and all our persuasion, grave nods and bigwords: but leaving you to puff petulantly where you can prove nothing,

I proceed to your next demand, who taught us the change of the Sabbath? and you say we will read the Bible long [...]re we finde it there; which you think sufficiently proved, when you tell us That the Churches meeting recorded to have been on the first day of the week, saveth not that they antiquated the Saturnday, (as you are plea­sed very cours [...]y to speak) and that of the Lords day, sayeth yet less: Sir, for answere, let me only tell you, that by this your conceited slighting of Arguments, which you cannot answere, with your vain arguings, against these things which you cannot disprove, you have discovered to me the deep wisdom of Solomons contradictory-like advice, answere a fool [...] and answere [Page 120] him not, Prov. 26. 4 and 5. in so sa [...]s [...]ying a recon­ciliation, that remitting you for answere, lest you be wise in your own conceit, to the labou [...]s of these who have cleared this point above cavillation, I [...]orbear to make any further answere lest I should be like unto you; Only I think it worth the observing how like the progresse of your dangerous Libertinisme is to that verdict of the Apostles, 2. Tim. 3. 13. Your first sally was only against ruling Elders and Deacons, the next attacques the very Discipline of Church, your third endeavours to introduce the Superstition of Lent, the Table Altar-wise, & the Surplice, & to corrupt the worship, your fourth resolves the necessity of Baptis­me and the Lords supper, into the Churches arbitri­ment, your fifth pleads for Extreame Unction, or els a liberty and power to the Church above the Scrip­ture, and your sext to compleat the carier of your de­lusions. Notwithstanding that the cl [...]arest light both of Reason and Religion, do exact a definite con­stant portion of time, for a rest, and this rest to be holy unto the Lord, that the Law of God in recom­mending the celebration of the old Sabbath, doth found it upon a perpetual determination of the seventh part of time, grounded on Divine Authority, and example, and lastly, that the Scripture in the anti­quating of the service and observation of the Jewish Sabbath, doth evidently translate the keeping of the perpetual holy rest unto the Lords day, the first of the week, Notwithstanding, I say, of these firme grounds your sext attempt darres to unfix this grand Ordinance, the reverence or contempt whereof, hath in all ages of the Church, by experience been found of great mo­ment, and unquestionable influence, either as to the promoving or decay of true Piety and Godlinesse: how justly may it be said of you and your Compli­ [...]es, who endeavour to make void the Divine in­stitution [Page 121] of this day, which your predecessours so grosly and wickedly profaned, ye be witnesses there ore unto your selves, that you are their Children, fill ye up the measure of your Fathers: But O [...]ear lest you do not es­cape the damnation of Hell: I will not take Notice of your own or your Non-conformist's meen reflec­tion on these things, That they may prove our Church was not perf [...]ct, but will not justify you, your answere to that, which follows viz. do you mean to lay aside the Scripture? [...] rather to be considered, wherein leav­ing the retortion of [...]ou [...] objected insolence, and big pretending, to the impartiall examiner of what you have alledged and I replied [...] come [...]o your summe of the whole matter, which you say, is, That the Scrip­tures were designed b [...] God, for the purifying of the hearts and conversations of Men; Most true: And therefore it was not necessaire they should contain direct rules for the Church-policie, which being a half Civill matter, needs not Divine warrants, a strange inference, whereof al­most every word is a ridle: for first you grant that the Scripture doth contain Rules though not Direct rules for the Church-policie, and yet you adde almost im­mediatly, that it needs no divine warrant: Then what mean you by Direct rules, if you mean Particular as the subjoined Antithesis of Common doth give us to understand, let these Scripture rules Common or not be observed, and particular determinations thereto duely squared, and it is all we contend for: Search therefore the Scriptures and whatever latitude may be left therein, as to the regulation of necessary and com­mon circumstances, according to decencie and order, for Edification; Yet I am confident, that as to the substance and main of the Officers, Discipline, and Government of the Church (the matters in contro­versie betuixt us) both you shall be found thereby [Page 122] clearly condemned, and we justified: but if by deny­ing the Scripture, to contain direct rules, for the Church-policie, you understand, that it only hold­eth out indirect, unstraight and ambiguous rules, ap­plicable to any forme, as may best sute & serve the in­terests, and lusts of vain Men, this indeed is agreeable to your scope; but as far from Scripture, as it is dis­sonant to the truth of God, and Great ends of the Gos­pel: 2. What do you understand by the Church policie? its Officers, Discipline and Government are the things which we contend for, If you think these half Civil, I would gladly learn what a Church as such can have more Ecclesiastick; certainly if a distinct Head, Jesus Christ; a distinct Authority, flowing from that all Power given to him; a distinck manner, nothing like but wholly opposite to the way of Civil rule; dis­tinct effects and ends, as Holinesse and eternall perfec­tion, are from external justice, and temporal peace; and lastly a distinct subsistence of the Church, and its Policie, not only when disowned, but mortally per­secute by the Civil Powers, may prove the Policie Ecclesiastick to differ from the Civil, there can be nothing more clearly disterminat; but if by Policie you only mean the externall protection, and assistance, which the Civil Magistrat may, and ought to give to the Church, it is not only half, but wholly Civil, as to its rise and cause; and therefore the ac­knowledgement thereof we render, under God, heartily and entirely, to the Powers, which he set­teth up: I might further question what you call half Civil? and how you come to deny that Divine war­rant which at first you half grant? but I shall con­tent my self, to declare the falshood of your inference, understood of the Discipline and Government of Gods house, the subject of our debate, by shewing you [Page 123] that its plain contradictory is a Scripture truth: viz. The Scriptures were designed by God for the Purifying of the hearts, and conversations of men, and therefore it was necessary they should & they do contain direct rules for the Churches Policie, wholly Ecclesiastick, & appoint­ed by Jesus Christ: The reason of the consequence is clear, not only because the Church Policie, viz. its Officers, Discipline and Government, are expresly and directly ordained by our Lord, for our Sanctification & Salvation as I have formerly shewen, & therefore their necessity such as cannot without the highest presump­tion be called in question: but also, because their use­fulnesse, in order to these ends, is by diverse Scriptures undeniably held forth: And he (who as the Son was faithful over his own house) gave some Apostles and some Prophets. &c. yea and all the Gifts, Power, Au­thority, and Directions to be found in Scripture, concerning them, for the work of the Ministrie, the Edifying of the body of Christ, and perfecting of the Saints Is a truth so evident, that I marvail, how you could adventure on this Architectonick reasoning, and of­fer to lay down the end and project of the Gospel, and then frame and Modell its institutions, and mid­ses according to your own imagination, and not ra­ther humbly endeavour, in the recognisance of his wonderfull love, and fidelity to, and care of his Church, his own body, with all sobriety, to pur­sue the knowledge, and practice of what things-so­ever he hath ordained for its edification? I might further remember you, that the rebuke, and all the Censures of discipline are for Edification, the Saving of the soul, making sound in the faith, and Causing o­thers to fear: and that we finde the exercise of the Churches Authority, and Government, in that Meeting and Decree made at Ierusalem, attended [Page 124] with The consolation and establishment of the Churches, But if your own concessions be but a little pressed, they will easily exhibite the inconsistencie of your va­nity: you say then, That the common rules are in Scrip­ture 1. That there should be Church Officers, and are not their Power, Degrees and Ministerial Autho­rity, as certainly therein defined. 2 That these should be separate for that function, Ought not then the best among them, give themselves continually and wholly to Prayer, and to the Ministerie of the word, with­out usurping a stated superior Order of Governing, as their special work, let be immixing themselves by privilege in secular Courts and affaires? 3. That they should be obeyed: is this their power for discipline and Government set down in Scripture, & not also its rules & limites? Were the Apostles more then Ministers of Christ, and Stewards of the Mysteries of God? was not the sure word of Prophecie their great war­rant? When the Apostle Paul is about to set order in the Church of Coriath, hear his Preface by ye fol­lowers of me even as I also am of Christ: And as in the ordinance of the Lords Supper, he only delivers what he had received of the Lord, so, even as to that smallest of matters, the Length and Fashion of the hair, doth he use any other Authority, then what he seconds with rational persuasion? How far was he then from that dominion over our Faith, which you ascribe to the Church, not only of appointing significant in­structing Ceremonies, but of abrogating things as ex­presly ordained, in your opinion, as the true Sacra­ments. 4, You say, That things should be done to Or­der, Edification and Peace, keep within these bounds, and invert not this Method, and we are agreed; but if you subsist not in the regulation of the manner, but wil impose New things, which the Lord requireth not, [Page 125] nay, which he abhorreth even your own inventions, framed to your own lusts and interests, or produced by your delusions, & then make peace your Argument, be­cause ye will not allow it to such, as in Conscience can­not conforme; the Lord, who hath founded Zion & Reigns in it, & who hath builded his House & rules o­ver it, will one day judge: Thus you see how these your everlasting obligations, do fully conclude, all the truths that we assert: Where you adde that the other Rules are now altered with the alterable state of things whereunto they were accommodate, if you understand it soundly, of these things only which are indeed ceased, it is a very certain and allowable truth; but you remember not that in the very Page preceeding, you impute this alteration so grosly [...] to the bare Practice of the Catho­lick Church, (a very doubtfull terme) and thereby not only unsetle Scripture foundations, as to the Sacra­ments, but endeavour to introduce such an arbitrary authority in the Church, that in place of establishing true Christian Liberty, which you seem here to assert, it is evident, that you go about plainly to set up; an absolute Spiritual tyranny, over the Church of God, and so to load it with the Ceremonies, and innova­tions, a bondage more severe then the old dispensa­tion, from which we are liberate; but blessed be our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath delivered us, not only from that old Law of Ordinances, but hath made us free, that we should be no more the Servants of Men, nor liable to be judged in meat or drink, or in respect of an holy Day, or of the new Moon, or of the Sabbath; and having blotted out the hand writting of God's Ordinances, that was against us, hath put no new blank in Mens hands for their own devices, and superstitions: To conclude then, in your own words, these things are so rationall and also so clearly de­duced [Page 126] from your own concessions, that I see nothing either to be excepted against our Conformity to the Scripture pattern and the true Christian liberty, both in opinion, and practice, which we maintain; or to be alleaged for your pretended liberty, consisting in a Licentious absurd imposing on such, whom you acknowledge to be free.

But in order to this last point, viz. your attempt to remove a Scripture rule, easie in it self, and im­parting true Libertie to its observers, and to set up an unwarrantable Yoke of Church Authority in its place, I conceive it is, that here you go about, to represent your N. C. as a vain and clamorous boaster, of the Crown, Throne and Kingdome of our Lord, on purpose, to prejudicate against our just complaint of your invasion and Robbery; but waving your Calum­nious Methods, I shal only endeavour to speak [...]urth the words of truth and sobernesse. I shall not here discourse of the Kingdom of Christ in all its parts, whereunto we finde in Scripture both the outward Protection of the Church, vengeance upon Adversa­ries, and all judgement, even the great and last ascriv­ed; but, in order to our present purpose, I affirme plainly, that our Lord Jesus as the Redeemer, is in a peculiar manner exalted to be Head and King in and over his Church, by vertue of which Kingdome, he sendeth forth, and Authorizeth his Ministers, hath defined their Order and Power, determined Cen­sures, and given and declared Laws to be observed in his house, and that in such a manner, and in that per­fection, that in all things properly thereto relating, he hath only left to the Officers by himself appointed, a Ministerial power of administration; so, that there is neither place left, nor power given, to diminish from, or adde to the Officers, Laws, Censures, [Page 127] and Orders, which he hath therein established that these things are so, cannot be better cleared, then by remitting you to our larger Catechisme, where, as you will finde satisfying Scripture proof for their confirmation, so really I cannot but, by the way, recommend to you its more serious study, for the curing of that loosenesse in Principles, which al­most in every thing you discover: My part at present shall be to consider your strange discourse on this sub­ject; You say then, Christ's throne, Crown and King­dom are inward and spirituall not of the World, nor as the Kindoms of the World. Sir, though I ac­knowledge the Scripture phrase, in this matter to be Metaphoricall; Yet I wish you had better observed it, and forborn the hard and unused expression of an Inward Crown: But to the question, Christs King­dom is indeed in its power, and effects (the restric­tion a little above premised being remembred) inter­nall and Spirituall, but doth it therefore follow, that its administration is not externall and visible, when the Lord declared all power to be given unto him, and by vertue thereof sent forth his Apostles and Mi­nisters, and gathered Churches, having peculiar Rul­ers, Laws, and Ordinances; was not this both visi­ble, and audible? Are not all the acts of Discipline and Government, properly thereto referable, of the same Nature? Our Lords Kingdom is truely not of the World, nor as the Kingdomes thereof, is it therefore not in the World? What doth this arguing conclude? You proceed, a great part of his Kingdom is the li­berty whereto he hath called us, and I grant, that as li­berty, and deliverance from Sin and Satan, are among its choise benefites, and therefore the exultation of Zachariah his thanksgiving, so our liberation from the yoke of Jewish Ceremonies, and all such bondage, [Page 128] is that which we readily acknowledge, in opposition to you [...] unwarrantable exactions: but what would you thence inferre? because Christ hes liberate us from the former slavery, and Pedagogie, hath he there­fore left us to the worse Tyranny of mens pretended, and corrupted power, and deluded imagination? God forbid; but as the hath set us free for ever, so he hath only laid on us, his own easie [...]oke, and light bur­then, of Pure and Evangelick ordinances, by which our Liberty is so far from being intringed, that it is thereby both preserved and enlarged.

In the next place you say Since no Allegorie holds, it is ridiculous to argue, because offices in a Kingdom are named by the King, therefor it must be so in the Church. It's answered 1. do you then think that our Lords Kingdom is only Allegorick? Or because the sym­boles and badges, usuall in Earthly Kingdoms, are, in a figure, thereto transferred, is it therefore wholly a figure? but God hath set his King upon his holy Hill of Zion, and Know you assuredly that God hath exalted him to be both Lord and Christ, b [...]wis [...] therefore and be in­structed Kiss the Son lest he be angr [...], and learn to ack­nowledge his Kingdom, in all the parts and privileg­es thereof, by him declared: Next it is most evi­dent, that not only Christs Kingdom, in and over his Church, is reall and certain, and that Officers truely such, vested with his Authority, and there­fore depending on Christ as King, are held forth by the Scripture, and to be really found therein; but seing he himself hath in the Gospel so expressly foun­ded their mission, upon that All power, given unto him, and Paul so plainly referres the giving of Apos­tles &c, unto his Ascension and exaltation, are you not ashamed to alledge these things, to be only by us concluded from the vain appearance of an Allegory [Page 129] And thus to make your self ridiculous, in that scorne you intended for others? But poor wretch, you adde, That we may as wel say, that there must be coin stamped by Christ, as Officers appointed by him in his Church: (for this is the runing of your words) Lord deliver you from this profane Spirit: thinkest thou, that the Kingdom of Christ, hath need of money, as it hath indeed need of Officers? Or, because money is cur­rent and symony a frequent practice in your Church, hes it therefore any place in Christs true Church? Sir, your profane scoffing at the Kingdome of Christ is one passage, amongst many, that give me Confidence to say, arise O God plead thine own cause, remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee dayly. But I professe I am confounded in my self, when I think of my own provocations, and on the iniquitie of his Sons and Daughters; for if the abuse of the Glorious Gospel, shineing amongst us in so much puritie, had not been great, he would not have given up the dearly belov­ed of his Soul into the hand of such persecuting adver­saries, and such scoffers at him, who justifie these malicious mockers in Cajaphas Hall, with an over-plus of wickednesse. O if he would returne, he would quicklie emptie Pulpits, and Chairs in Universities of such, who bend their tongues for lies, and make the world see, because they have rejected knowledge, he hath also rejected them that they shall be no Priests to him.

The next thing you subjoin is, what King will think his prerogative lessened, by constituting a Corporation, to whom he shall leave a liberty to cast themselves into what mould they please, providing they obey the General Laws, and hold that liberty of him. Thus you will alwayes aspire to enter into the Counsel of God: if your vote had been here asked, it is very like you would have [Page 130] bestowed large privileges upon that Church, where you might have been a sharer; But we bless him to whom the Church is committed, and on whom the Government is laid, who hath provided better, and given unto his Church complete Officers, perfect Ordinances, true Laws, and good Statutes; and or­dered his house in all things: and therefore as we are not to enquire, what the Lord might have done but humbly and thankfully to acknowledge what he hath done, so, in these things for men to disown his Au­thority, and deny his bounty, and usurp to them­selves a power of altering, what he hath established, and fashioning the worship and Government of Gods house, according to the device of their own heart, is no doubt no lawful liberty, but a licentious inva­sion of Christ's prerogative, and a jealousie-provoking sin of Laese Majestie Divine. That thus it stands, be­tuixt you and us, the preceeding passages do plainly witness, and the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, as a Son over his own house, so expresly commend­ed, and preferred before the faithfulnesse of Moses, is an argument, which you will never dissolve: You say his faithfulnesse consisted in his discharging the Com­mission given him by his Father: Most certain; but you ask who told us that it (I suppose you mean the appoint­ing the Officers Ordinances and Government of the house of God) was in the Fathers Commission? Herein is a marvellous thing. You know that Jesus Christ whrist was sent by the Father, to redeem, gather, feed, guid and Govern his Church; and you see, that as the things in question are thereto necessarie, so in discharge hereof, he sends out Apostles, and Mini­sters, Ordains Officers, vests them with power and Authority, instructs them to a Ministerial, and low­ly administration and deportment, defines Censures, [Page 131] appoints his Ordinances, and Laws, liberats the Worship of God from the shadows, and types of the Jewish Pedagogie, and cleares its true and spiritual exercise and liberty, and finally acquits himself faith­fully in all his house: do you then question, if he did these things, or doubt you that he did them by Com­mission? it is a hard Dilemma which you will never evade: but you adde that if we argue from Moses it will inferre that all particulars must be determined: where­upon you urge, that as Moses determines the dayes of Separation for a legal uncleannesse, why doth not the Gospel the like for spirituall uncleannesse? It's answer­ed, if you had taken up the Argument aright and con­sidered the faithfulnesse of Christ and Moses, not in order to the same; but with relation to their respective Commissions, You had not fallen into this mistake; but the Scripture parallel, is clear, Moses as a servant did faithfully & completely order Gods house, there­fore Our Lord much more as a Son, hath thus or­dered the Church, his own house: Whence as it doth no wayes follow, that whatsoever things were institute by Moses, ought to have been in like manner imitate by our Lord; so this is most concludent, that as Moses, as a Servant, did diligently and exactly execute his Commission, in order to the Tabernacle, its service, Ministers, and all its appurtinents, so Christ, both by reason of a command received and of his interest and power, hath exceeded the faithful­nesse of Moses, in the Ordering and appointment of things appertaining to his Church: But for the better confirming our Reasoning, and the removing of your Mistake, I do only recommend to you this obvious truth, viz. that the Commendation of our Lord held out by the Apostle in this comparison, institute betuixt him and Moses, regardeth the Manner, but [Page 132] not the subject, of their administrations: Not what was the Nature of extent of Moses his trust, but what was his diligence, and faithfulnes in the discharge; is the light and argument of the parallel: suppose two intrusted in imployments, wholly diverse, and ina­dequate, and the exact fidelity of the one trustie, to be notourly known, may not the faithfulness of the other, be thence very properly commended? And wil not this commendation very evidently inferre, that as the first was punctually observant of all things committed, so, the second did equall his exactness, without giving the least ground to conclude, that therefore either the second must have done the same or like things, with the first, or yet that the first ad­ministration was as extensive, as that entrusted to the second: this being duely perpended, and it being certain, that not the establishing of an universall, and perpetual order to all and every of the concerns of the jewish Church, as appeares from the alteration and addition made thereafter, by David, and Solomon; but only the setting up of the Tabernacle, its Sacri­fices, and service, according to the command, ac­commodate to the then state of that People, was to Moses (and that only by peremptory prescript, as to a servant) enjoined; whereas unto our Lord, as a Son over his own house was freely committed the unchangeable establishment of his Church, in all its requisits unto his coming again: then if our Lords faithfulnesse be indeed equall to that of Moses, his appointing of Officers, Ordinances, and Laws, necessare and convenient to his Church, with all requisite exactnesse, though neither after the pattern, nor in that particular and peremptory strict­nesse, of Moses his prescriptions, can neither be de­nied nor declined: If you yet cavill, that this sayes [Page 133] too much viz. that all particulars must be now as of old determined, It's answered, the determining of Particulars under the Law, was from the expresse [...]e­nour of Moses his Commission, and therein did con­sist much of the Pedagogie, and rigour of that shadow­ing dispensation, from which God having now relieved us, and given us the clear light of the Gos­pel, and these things necessare and convenient to its holy ends, in simplicity, parity and liberty, it is evident, that as our Lords faithfulnesse under this Gospel administration, did oblige him to provide the Church, in all things necessary and convenient, and liberate us from all further burthen of Antiquate rites and Ceremonies, beyond the necessary exigences of decencie and order, so, he hath fully acquit him­self, in this his own house, as Moses in his house, and by this his faithfulnes, for ever excluded all your superinduced humane inventions, whether in Church-Officers, Government or Worship: in a word, so ill grounded is the absurdity, wherewith you would urge us; and the faithfulnesse of Christ, compared to that of Moses, is so farre from saying too much, viz. that all particulars must be in the Gospel determined, that it inferres the direct contraire, viz, that seing God having committed to Moses a Law, descending to a most strict prescription of Particulars, and Ceremonial observances, he was therein faith­full; therefore our Lord more faithful having a dispen­sation entrusted to him only of Gospel Ordinances, with a becoming liberty, hath in his fidell discharge, both fully defined the former, and established the latter, free from all humane, either General or Par­ticular inventions, and impositions: But you go on and tell us, That Moses instituted no Church-Govern­ment in the way we use it, and that Synagogues their Ru­lers [Page 134] & chief Rulers were not appointed by Moses, & yet no unlawful thing, since countenanced by Christ & his Apost­les: Whence you conclude, That either what they did, was founded on Divine tradition, (which no Christian will grant) or that a form of Government was devised by men; and if the Iews had that Libertie, certainly the Chris­tian Church is more free, as to these externals. Sir, not to detain you in a curious enquiry into the special composition, gradual advance and necessarie altera­tions of the jewish Policie, It's answered, 1. I have just now told you, that Granting Moses did not insti­tute any Church-Government as used by us, because neither given him in commission, not at that time needfull, and agreeable to the condition of a wander­ing people, and the dispensation they were then un­der; Yet the Scripture Argument from our Lords faithfulnesse, preferred to that of Moses, being con­clusive of the same, yea of a greater care of all things necessarie, and requisite for his Church, to the end of the World, then that which Moses did adhibite, even in the setting up of the Tabernacle, and its com­manded service; must of necessity inferre, both that our Lord did de facto provide for the Ministerie, and Government requisite in his own house, and that the Ministerie and Government, which we finde descriv­ed in the Scriptures of the New Testament, are of his appointment, and such as may not be altered. 2. Not to mention the evident necessity of Synagogues, up and down the Land, for the end of teaching the people, a most certain dutie, which could hardly other­wayes be performed, the dispersion of Levi among the Tribes, Moses blessing, designing him to teach Iacob judgements, and Israel Gods Law, Davids appointing 4400. of the Hebronites, 1 Chron. 26. 30. 31. 32. thorow all Israel, in all businesse of the [Page 135] Lord, and for every matter pertaining to God, as well as affaires of the King, and Asaphs regret, for the burning up of all the Synagogues of God in the Land (not to mention the coincidence often hinted at in the Old Testament, of Judges and Teachers of the Law, in every City, and their appointment out of the Tribe of Levi) are grounds, more then probable of the Divine institution of Synagogues, and their Rulers; and that they were no humane invention, 3. The evident Testimonies that we have in the Word of God, not only of the Lords special appointing of the Tabernacle, its whole service and Ordinances, framed and suited to the then State and Posture of that people; but also, how that he Reformation, and establishment made in Davids dayes, together with the building of the Temple, its Officers and Porters, were particularly directed by the Spirit of God, in Samuel, David, and the Seers of these times, instru­mental in that work, 1 Chrom. 9. 22. and 28. 11. may sufficiently evince to any rational discerner, that the Synagogues, more material, then many of these circumstantial things expresly commanded, were also ordained by the Lord, and likewise instruct all to a most tender, and precise adherence to the ex­press Will of God, in all Matters relating to his house and Worship: And here, upon the mention­ing of David, I cannot omit to remember, how that in all the Scripture, we finde not a parallel and type, more frequent then that of our Lords King­dome, in and over his Church, to that of David over Israel: seeing then, that these [...]igures have their certain grounds of resemblance, and there is not a more conspicuous typifying Character, in the person of David; then, that of his Royall ordering, and establishing the house, and Church of God, where­unto [Page 136] he was raised up, and particularly inspired, and commanded, though the faithfulness of Christ, pre­ferred to that of Moses, should not, Yet his succes­sion in the Throne of David to reigne over the house of Jacob for ever, doth undeniably conclude both the Government and complete setlement of the Church, by us contended for: 4. If you would reflect upon the Lords singular Providence over his People Israel, first, in that Theocratie, whereby in a peculiar man­ner he Governed them, unto the dayes of Saul, 2. in their Urim and Thummim, and the holy Oracles of God, which they constantly enjoyed, 3. In the continuall assistance, which they had almost in all times, of Prophets immediatly inspired, you cannot lightly suppose, that either Synagogues, or any other Lawfull institution, concerning their Law and wor­ship, were a meer humane invention; but though the evidences of their appointment, remaining with us upon record, were more obscure, these passa­ges alone, do render it more then probable, that their Authority and rise was Divine. 5 The comparing of the Church of Christ, to that of the Old-Testament is so unfavourable to your cause, and there are such manifest disparities in that parallel, that it rather mak­eth against you then for you; for as the Ordinances of that dispensation, were such, as were to be done away and abolished; and therefore were appointed by God (who in times past spake unto the Fathers by the Prophets at Sundry times and in divers manners) in a va­riant and mutable forme, So, the Lord having in these last dayes, and now in the end of the World, spoken unto us by his son, to whom he sayeth, thy Throne O God is for ever and ever, the Anointing of the most Holy, attended by the sealing up the Vision, and Prophecie, and the setting up of his everlasting [Page 137] Dominion, do infallibly conclude, the introducing of a more excellent Ministerie, and the full and im­mutable establishment of all Ordinances, requisite to the ingathering, and perfecting of the Saints: Sir, if these things were considered by you, and that our Lord hath now at last, by himself, given and order­ed, for us, a complete and perfect ap [...]ointment, of all means necessary in his Church, you should finde more Soul-satisfaction in walking at true liberty in the observing of his precepts; then in the Lascivient fan­cies of your own vain Imagination, which not con­tent to rest in the blessed change that our Lord hath made, of the first Covenant, not faultles, unto this New one and better ordered, under the specious aspiring to a liberty, equal to that of the Jewish Church, doth plainly charge, the Christian Church, with the imperfections of that, which is decayed, and vanished. Having thus examined and answer­ed the strain and scope of your discourse, I shall briefly go over what remains: You say Our Saviour and his Apostles countenanced the Synagogues and their Rulers, and why not? seing not only their first insti­tution appears to have been such, as I have declared; but also other occasions, noted in the Gospel where­in you have no advantage, did clearly thereto invite: Next you say That this their practice was either founded on divine Tradition (which no Christian will grant) or that a form of Government not unlawful was devised by Men: I answere 1. I have exhibited already war­rants for their practice, beside tradition. 2. Might not the positive manner of the institution of Syna­gogues, have been then more clear, while the thing was in observance, then now it is, after its abolition, and the revolution of so many Ages? 3. If I were concerned in your parenthesis, against Divine Tradi­tion, [Page 138] I would ask you, why do you thus without distinction, make the admitting of it in the Jewish Church so great an absurdity? That there were Di­vine Traditions before the Word was committed to writing, and that under the dark, imperfect, and progressive dispensation of the Old Testament, as­sisted nevertheless by a more immediate presence, un­written traditions might both have been more usuall, and were less fallible, may be probabely enough held, by these who yet, now, after the full and perfect revelation of the Gospel by our Lord Jesus Christ, do upon solid grounds, very justly reject unwritten Tra­ditions, in the Christian Church; By which reasons, you may perceive, that the one member of your Dilemma, labouring so sadly of untruth, both in its supposition and the absurdity thence inferred, it can no wayes be cogent to enforce the other, of the li­berty of Mans devising in the point of Church-Go­vernment, even in the Jewish Church, let be in the Christian, so many wayes more excellent: But in the close you insinuate That the greater liberty you plead for to the Christian Church is in externals: That this Ge­neral ambiguous objection is only intended for a con­venient retreat, is apparent from all the preceeding discourse, seeing, if by Externals, you understand things in their own nature extrinsick to the constitu­tion of the Church, and which in the New Testament have no further use allowed, then is conducible to decencie, and order, we willingly grant, that the Christian Church (being in effect absolutely liberate from the old burthen of Ceremonies, and not (as you vainly conceit) endowed with a greater, and more arbitrarie power of imposing) is indeed herein more free then the Iewish was: But if by externals you mean, as alas the instances premised do too plainly speak, all the visible Ordinances of the [Page 139] Church, specially that of Government at least, what ever is in it visible, the liberty that you would intro­duce, is not more contraire to the Scripture, both of the Old and New Testament, as I have shown, then most licentious and irreligious.

Your last cavill against the exercise of our Lords Kingdom, in ordering the visible administration of his Church, is, That if this were inferred by his head­ship over the Church, his being also the head of the World, should argue the same determination in the order of the World, as well as in that of the Church. And having made your N. C. seemingly and poorly check you by saying, that Christs Church is dearer to him then all the World: Then you restrict the absurd [...]y, which you press, unto the civil Matters of the Church, and proceed in such a rambling discourse, that I am at a stand, how to medle with it: But waving the cen­sure of your impertinencies, I answere 1. That the Mediatory Kingdom of Our Lord over his Church, and his Natural (so to speak) Soveraignity over the World, are so grosly here by you confounded, that I can only intreat you to be more serious in reading, and searching what the Scripture doth very distinctly hold forth: 1. Of their different rise, the one given, the other not given. 2. Of their different objects and ends, the one having & proposing the World & men in order to a regular and peaceable being in it, the other the Church and men therein called unto spiritual du­ties and eternal life: And lastly of their different ad­ministrations, the one grounded on the dictats of reason, and using external Magisterial authority and power, and sensible rewards and pains, the other proceeding on divine revelation, and carried on by no such externals, save a simple Ministerie, and the power internal and spiritual; and then I doubt not but [Page 140] you will of your self rectify such aberrations, 2. The parallel of Gods Government over the World, with the Kingdom of Christ over his Church, is, so far from concluding, that Arbitrary or Architectonick power, which you endeavour to set up in Ecclesias­ticks, equall to that in Civils, that the contraire may from thence be sufficiently evinced, thus, therefore God hath not determined the order of Civil matters, either in the World or in his Church; because an Ar­chitectonick and free disposing Government, limited with general rules, necessare to its ends, was most suitable to that almost absolute right and power, which he hath given unto man, in and over the things about which it is conversant: but so it is that the things of the Church, about which our Lord Je­sus his Kingdom is exercised, being wholly Spiritual, are neither committed to our power, nor left unto our arbitriment; And plainly such, whereof, the Lord in all times, hath reserved to himself, the sole determination: and therefore it was clearly ne­cessare, that all the Ordinances, Ministerie, and Government thereto pertaining, should be also by him alone, ordered, and appointed; which dispa­rity, doth not only reject but unanswerably retort your Argument from this pretense. 3. Your great error, and greater presumption in this question is, that apprehending our Argument for the Determi­ned Ordinances and Government of Gods house, to be taken from the simple position of his Kingdom, and the consequences, that by allusion to the King­doms of the Earth may be thence deduced, you re­member not that the Scripture not only holds out his Kingdom, and the nature thereof, very distinctly; but also doth particularly exhibite, all the Ordinan­ces necessare unto its ends, and appointed to be there­in [Page 141] observed; So that our reasoning being wholly Scriptural, both in its ground and superstructure, your redargution from imaginary reason, opposed to the clear and positive Counsel of God, is plainly irrational: if in the dayes of old, Israel had changed the Law, and Ordinances given, and therein disowned Gods particular Kingdom and Government over them, and notwithstanding thereof pretended to the liberty of the Nations about, seing this their liberty was no wayes determined by, but very consistent with, the Lord's high Soveraignity, under which all do bow, had this poor reasoning, justifyed their re­bellion? certainly not: how much less then, can it conclude the exemption of the Church from Christs Kingdom, in these Ordinances therein by him esta­blished, of which the Lords peculiar Kingdom over Israel was but a slight adumbration.

But you say, Seing justice is a part of Gods Law, as well as devotion, why doth not the Lord determine how his Church should be governed, in Civils. It's answered, Jus­tice is indeed a part of Gods Law, and he hath there­in determined, as particularly as the right, which God hath given to man in Civils, doth permit; or the ends thereof do require; but as this your Arith­metical equalizing of Mans liberty, in matters of devotion, to that power he hath in things Civil, doth sadly discover the woful vanity of an unserious Spirit; So the Geometrical analogie of Gods determining, anent our Devotion, wholly dependent upon his prescript, unto his general appointment in matters of outward justice, accommodate to that power and liberty he hath therein left us, in place of inferring an equal power to Man in both, doth, on the contraire, evidently demonstrate, that the Lords determination, in matters of Religion, is as much more particular, [Page 142] then his Commandments are in the things of justice, as our Liberty in the former, is more restricted, then our Liberty in the latter: if you had but considered, th [...] th [...] [...] hath given the Earth unto the Children of Men, and that, the things thereof being put under his feet, an agreeable power of Government therea­nent is certainly given unto his hand; whereas our Lords Church and People are his peculiar people, his chosen Nation, redeemed and bought with his pre­cious bloud, and not their own; let be to have the things, concerning their Souls redemption, in their power, how happily had you been delivered from this strange confounding of things, Sacred and pro­phane; And how clearly might you have perceived, that Gods Dominion over the World, consisting in General Laws, suited to its object, and swayed by his Soveraign Providence, in order to his holy ends, doth bear but little likenesse, to our Lord Jesus his Rule, and Government in his Church, as a Son over his own house, and also its Ordinances. But to in­force your point you adde, that you hope we will grant that the Civil Peace is more necessary to the very being of the Church, then is Order in Discipline: Whence you insinuate that the former as well as the latter, re­quires Chri [...]s particular determination: Not to Scan­dalize you by frustrating your hope; Sir, you know so well, that a thing though more necessary; Yet if such only by a mediate and consequential necessity, may therefore fall under a quite diverse disposition, from that, which though less necessary, by this me­diate and extrinsick necessity, to the being of the Church, then the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, do the former therefore, aswell and in the same manner with the latter, belong to Christs Kingdom? As to what you adde, That it was for this reason that the [Page 143] things of Civil peace were determined in the Old Law: This did so certainly flow from Gods peculiar inte­rest in that People, as a Kingdom, as well as a Church, that I make no answere; That which you subjoin, for evincing, that either the Lords Kingdom over the Earth doth extend to the appointing of Civil Of­ficers, or els his Kingdom over his Church imports no such thing; is so manifestly, repugnant to the very nature of the things, and the Lords declared pleasure (the best decision) Nay this whole discourse doth so foolishly, and laxely cast, and weigh things Re­ligious and Profane in the same ballance of vain con­jecture, that I almost repent my noticeing of it so much; but see the flatterie of delusion, having made your N. C. childishly to decline all Reason, as Car­nal, and, in the fright forsooth of your strong rea­sons, retreat to his Ministers and the Bible, you ridiculously triumph over him, and think, your self so much Master of the field of Reason, that insinuat­ing your own praise, in the description of Sound rea­son, you puff at other mens, as pitiful niblings: thus being first in your own cause [...] you would seem just, how I have Searched you let others judge: for Scrip­ture, you tell us. That to qu [...]te it, is not to build sure upon it, the Devil did that, and so do all Sects: do you therefore mean, that it should be laid aside, as an in­sufficient Judge, or that we use it no better then the Devil did? I desire you may explain your self, if not for our concernment, at least for the Scriptures vin­dication: In the mean time, I am heartily willing that both what you and what I have said be rightly pondered, and whether the Church in matters of Government be lest to rove in your pretended liberty, or more excellently established by the infinite wis­dom, unspeakable love, and most tender care of its [Page 144] only Lord and Head, let Scripture and Reason im­partially decide: But to conclude all, you tell us with a preface, That the Angels of the Churches afford us fairer likely hoods for Bishops, then ever we shall finde in the Bible for Presbyterie It's answered, seing you your self do acknowledge, that nothing in it (whether you mean in this place, or in the whole Scripture, the words are ambiguous) amounts to a demonstration; I remit the matter to the Scriptures by me adduced, whereby I am confident all your Likelihoods are more then counterballanced: He who is further desi [...]ous to have them removed, may consult M. Durham upon the Text; for my own part, since ever I had the understanding to consider, that the R [...]velation was made in a Mystick phrase, that the Seven starres who are the Angels, do certainly signifie the many teachers that were in every one of these Churches, that in the Candle-sticks, as in the Starres, we finde the same oneness, and number, and lastly that though to the Angel be the inscription for address; yet we finde the body of all the Epistles written directly to the whole Churches, these things I say occurring I protest I could never discerne more reason in this argument, for subjecting these Churches unto seven superior sin­gle Prelates; then for making the same Prelats really Angels, or turning every Church into a Candle stick; Or if I may adduce another instance, not absimilare to your Faire Likelihoods, for interpreting the two Witnesses, to be the two Arch-Bishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow.

When you have spent your endeavours upon the Authority of Episcopacie, you think to seconde it in the next place with its Antiquity derived you say, from the times next to the Apostles, whereupon you conclude in these words That how this excrescing [Page 145] power, should have crept into the whole Church, and no mention when it came in, no Prince or Universal Council to introduce, it, in the times of persecution when the Church usually is purest, and most free of pride, no Secular consideration to flatter, but the first brunt of the persecution alwayes against it, and how none op­posed it, if this was not introduced by Apostles, or Apostolicall men, passeth my Divination: And really Sir, as to its particular Methods, and increase, so doth it mine: And so much more then it doth yours, that I am perswaded from clear Scripture, that it was not only not introduced, but plainly reprobate by our Lord and his Apostles; Yet am I so little thereby stumbled, that the more dark and obscure I finde its rise and progresse, I am the more confirmed, that it is the very Mysterie of iniquity, and do so much the more admire the incorruptible and eternall Truth of the Gospel, which as in the beginning it foretold the coming, and took very early Notice of the first motions of this prodigie of wickednesse; So hath it, through the many ages of its exaltation, preserved it self against, and now in the latter dayes overcomes its Malice; But to review your discourse more par­ticularly, I have already shewed, that the Ministe­ry and Government institute by our Lord, and con­firmed and practised by the Apostles, was plainly Presbyterian; if so, what place for further inquirie? Is your alledged traditional subsequent humane insti­tution of Prelacie of greater moment? 2. That even in the Primitive times, and for 140. years after our Saviour, no vestige of Prelacie appears upon record, is the consentient opinion of the best Searchers, both on your, and our part. 3. This plea of Antiquity hath already been so fully handled, and improved both by yours, and ours, specially Hamond on your [Page 146] part, and Blondel, Salmasius, and other Learned ser­vants of Christ on ours, that there needs nothing be added: and where the advantage is, the Ingenuous may easily discerne: He that desires a solid and short accompt of the matter, may read the appendix to the jus Divinum Ministerii Evangelici: But you proceed to give in some poor scrapes of pretended Antiquity, which not only the most sure, and clear, and farre more ancient Scriptures of Truth, but even the con­vincing answeres which they have often receaved might well have made you to forbear: And first you say That Ignatius his Epistles are plain language: And so they are indeed, but too plain for you to have cited, as the following passages, compared with the Scrip­tures subjoined may evince: In the Epistle to the Tralliani, we have [what is a Bishop, but he, that is possest of all Principality, and Authority beyond all, as much as is possible for men? Reverence the Bishop as ye do'Christ, as the holy Apostles have Commanded, &c. As the Lord Christ doth nothing without his Father, so, must ye do nothing without your Bishop, Let nothing seem right or equall to you, that is contra to his judge­ment.] In the Epistle to the Philad. [Let the Princes obey the Emperours, the Souldiers the Princes, the Dea­cons and the rest of the Clergie, with all the People, and the Souldiers, and the Princes, and the Emperour, let them obey the Bishop] (no doubt the Bishop of Rome) In the Epistle to the Smyrnenses; [The Scripture saith honour God and the King, but I say, honour God as the Author and Lord of all things, and the Bishop as the Prince of Priests, resembling the image of God, of God for his principality, of Christ for his Priesthood, &c. There is none greater then the Bishop in the Church, who is consecrated for the Salvation of the whole World, &c. Let all men follow the Bishop as Christ the Father, &c. [Page 147] It is not Lawfull without the Bishop to baptize, or offer, &c. He that doth any thing without consulting the Bi­shop Worshippeth the Devil: Now on the other hand let us hear what the Scripture saith to this purpose, Who then is Paul who Apollo but Ministers by whom ye beleeve? Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ; for we preach not our selves, but Christ Iesus the Lord, and our selves your Servants for Iesus sake: Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are hel­pers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. But so shall it not be among you, whosoever will be great among you shall be your Minister, and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be Servant of all: to these adde the practices, and other professions of the Apostles concerning themselves, and their fellow-Labourers, and really Sir, when you shall make these things found in Igna­tius, consistent even with the strain of pure Religion, and the truth of the Gospel, let be to the Orthodo­xie, and Piety of Ignatius, and the simplicity of his times; then shall I cede to the Authority of these Letters: Only in the mean time let me tell you, that for all the pains that Hamond hath taken, to assert their Faith, the words above cited, do savour so strongly of most gross and corrupt interpolation; that not only I reject their Testimony, as to the matter of Prelacie; but do esteem even the passages that may be therein found for Presbyterie, as to the Trallians, be sub­ject to the Presbyterie, as to the Apostles of Iesus Christ, The Presbyters are the Council of God, and joint, Assembly of the Apostl [...]s, and such like of little or no value. 2. You mention Cyprians time, but hold, I preceive your second Edition mends your first, and this your practice like to that of your more innocent friend Mr. Coluin, in his verses, of giving us second Editions, bearing additions, without ad­vertissment, [Page 148] had indeed abused me, If by accident I had not fallen in the review of my papers, to make use of your second Copie, and in this you tell us, in the next place of the Apostolicall Canons, a work of very venerable Antiquitie, at least the first fiftie of them, though perhaps none of the Apostles: But first why say you Perhaps, in a matter beyond all perad­venture. 2. Not to trouble you with Criticisms, he who would be resolved anent the Authority of these Canons, let him only read them: And as I am confident, he will be farre from thinking either the first 50, or the rest of them Apostolicall, So I am certain the mention made in the 3. Can. of Sacrifi­cium, Altare, Oleum in Candelabrum, & Incensum oblationis tempore, a Sacrifice, Altar, oyl in the lamp, and incense in the time of offering, the 17. Can, qui vi­duam duxit, Episcopus aut Presbyter aut Diaconus esse non potest, he who hath married a widow, cannot be a Bishop, or a Presbyter, or a Deacon, the 25. Can. Ex his qui caelibes in Clerum pervenerunt, jubemus ut Lecto­res tantum, & cantores, si velint, nuptias contrahant, Of Bachelors who hath entered into orders, Readers only and Singers if they will, may marrie, the great and constant distinction therein, made, inter Clericum, & Laicum, and the many other vanities therein to be found, specially in the last part of them, will easily render their venerable Antiquity of no moment, in our present Controversie: so that neither your 40 but in effect the 38. Canon, though it were more positive, and expresse for your Prelatick preheminence, nor your Synodicall injunction, to the same purpose, both posterior to the first Primitive purity, are of any regard: but 3. so wretched is the cause that you de­fend, that even in your clearest evidences, your par­tiality and hypocrisie is manifest: You alledge the [Page 149] Apostolicall Canons in defence of your Prelatick Or­der, and yet you consider not, that the same Canons, do not only condemn your Prelates; But subvert their present constitution. I shall not insist upon the 24. Canon Episcopus aut Presbyter in fornicatione, aut per­jurio deprehensus deponitor: Let a Bishop or a Presbyter guilty ofsornication or perjury, be deposed: the 20. Episco­pum aut Presbyterum qui fideles delinquentes (quid ergo si Innocentes) percutit, & terrorem ipsis hoc modo in­cutit, deponi praecipimus. We command that the Bishop or Presbyter who smiteth delinquents, and so becometh a terrour unto them, be deposed, what then, if they smite the innocent: the 28 [...] 41. 53. 57 & 75. which I am most assured, if observed would remove all the pre­sent Bishops and Curats in Scotland: but the Canons I offer are the 4. Omnium aliorum Pomorum Primitiae E­piscopo & Presbyteris domum mittuntor, Manifestum au­tem est quod Episcopus et Presbyteri inter Diaconos & re­liquos Clericos eas dividunt, Let the first [...]ruits of all others aples be sent home to the Bishop and Presbyters, for it is Manifest that the Bishop and Presbyters, divide them among the Deacons, and the rest of the Clergie, 33. Cu­jusque gentis Episcopos oportet scire quinam inter ipsos primus sit, neque sine illius voluntate quicquam agere inso­litum, illa autem quemque prosetract [...]re, quae ad Paro­chiam ejus & loca ipsi subdita attinent; sed neque ille citra omnium voluntatem aliquid facito. 36. Bis in Anno Epis­coporum celebrator Synodus, & pietatis inter se dogmata in disquistionem vocanto. and 80. Dicimus quod non opor­teat Episcopum aut Presbyterum publicis se admini [...]ratio­nibus immiscere, sed v [...]care & commodum se exhibere usi­bus Ecclesiasticis, animum igitur inducito hoc non facere, aut deponitor: together with the obvious strain of the whole plainly insinuating, the Bishop to be the per­son, to whom the flock is principally and immediatly [Page 150] committed, and who as the Primus Presbyter, the first Presbyter, ought chiefly to minde the charge, In which Canons although I grant that their appears a precedencie of Order, given to the Bishop, over the Presbyters, (who in these times were many Mi­nisters, living in one City and Society; having the charge in common among themselves, and with and under their [...] over the Church, and Flock in their bounds) and also to the first Bishop of a Provin­ce, over his Coëpiscopi; Yet I am sure your Prelatick power, and Superiority, acclaiming the sole power of Ordination, and Jurisdiction is no where thereby approved; but rather condemned: Your third Tes­timony you bring from Cyprian, in whose time you say That the power of Bishops was well regulate and Setled, and here knowing that he professeth That he would do nothing without the Clergie, that he could do nothing without them, nor take upon him alone: Whereby the antient Prostasia; and not your Prelacie, is plainly and only held forth: You insinuate as much, as if he had afterward retracted this opinion, and this you prove very pitifully, 1. From his answere to one Rogatian a Bishop, that he by his Episcopall vigour, and Authority had power presently to punish a Dea­con, for an affront received, which yet doth not at all seclude the Presbyters, according to the Rule of the Canon Law Episcopus non potest judicare Presbyte­rum vel Diaconum sine Synodo, & Senioribus, The Bishop cannot judge a Presbyter or a Deacon without the Synod, and Elders [...] 2. From this Censure of He­reticks and Schismaticks, for proud contempt of their then Bishops, which we do as little allow as you do. 3. From a letter written by the Presbyters and Deacons of Rome, after the Death of Fabian, wherein they complain of the want of one to Mode­rate, [Page 151] and with Authority and advice to take accompt of Matters, whence you say, that surely they thought little of Persbyters being equal in power to Bishops, who write so, where the Episcopal power seemed to be devolved upon them: but pray Sir, If a society consisting of Members all equal in power, but having a Head or President for order, and good Rule, do regret his loss, during the vacancie, in these very termes, wherein lyeth the inconsistence? How foolish then is that stricture of your vanity, which you here sub­join? viz. but. I believe, few of you know these writ­ings; whereas to be plain with you, in my thought, neither you nor I have given any great Specimen of this knowledge, or said so much, as the half of what is obviously to be found, in almost any printed debate anent this matter.

Sir, I must tell you further, if I my selfe were alone concerned in this reflection [...] I would scarce look upon it as a reproach worth the wipeing off, to be as great a stranger to these things as ye take me to be, nor would I think many cubits were added to my stature to be as knowing in them as your self; yet it is known that I tell the world no news, when I say, that there have been (and to this day are) not a few great men of our way who have given such proof of their knowledge in these ancillarie and minutious things, whereof you represente us as ignorant; as have made your greatest Rabbies finde, that wherein they gloried they were not short of them; and if ye know not this, yet seem to have lost your silly self in the Laby­rinth of Antiquitie, and by this means are fallen under the shameful reproach of being peregrinus Domi: and if ye know it, and yet so superciliously assert the contraire, what Apologie can ye make for speaking so great an untruth, that will either satisfie the world or [Page 152] your own Conscience. But Sir, ingenously I professe, I pitie you for your Vanitie and folly; for it seems ye think this the only expedient to make the world beleeve the pregnancie of your pate, and Pronounce you worthie of the Chair: but Sir, it will onely make the more serious weep to remember who did once fill it, and should have filled it still, when they consider how it is become the seat of a scorner; and the lesse serious will laugh at your prodigious folly. I have only one overture to propose unto you, that your vanity may be with some handsomeness hereafter coutch­ed, and the world may let pass what you say with­out quarrelling at it, as a known falshood: And it is this, in your after comparings and measurings of your abilities, that you may be taken notice of for a Non­such, be so wise as to compare your self with your Fellow-Curats, if ye hope to bear the bell, but when ye insinuate a comparison, with so many burning and shining lights, and then, in your Juvenile pride and self-conceit, arrogate a preference to these, ye do only force men to take notice of, and enquire into, your shame and short-coming: And, if I mistake not, fall upon the most certain method of making your self [...]ink above ground. Sir, if, in these two or three lines, I have digressed contrary to my inclination, the occasion will justifie it, and charity persuades to it. But, 3. You tell us, that in the Council of Nice, Speaking of the power of Metropolitans; the Canon sayes, let the ancient customes be in force: It's answered 1. We finde that Council did conveen in the year. 325. Now admit, that certain Customes concerning Metropo­litans, as well as Bishops, were b [...]ought into the Church about 165. years, before the Councel; which is the highest period from whence they can be cal­culat, These customes in this respect, might will [Page 153] therein be termed Antient, without the least contra­riety to my assertion. 2. It's evident enough from many suffrages, that as the primitive Episcopacie, which succeeded to Presbyterie, the Government first institute by our Lord and his Apostles, and exer­cised in the Christian Church, did only import the humane invention of a Prostasia, for Order; So the custome of Metropolitans, in these times, did differ nothing from it, as may appear from the 33. Canon of these called Apostolical already cited, wherein he is only termed Primus Gentis Episcopus, and tyed to the advice of his Coëpiscopi: In the next place, you tell us, that nothing can be alledged against your Epis­copal power, but Some few or disjointed places of some Authors, which at most Prove, that they judged not the origen of Bishops to be divine, and none save Aerius, re­pute an Heretick, did ever speak against the difference, betuixt Bishops and Presbyters: Sir, if you did not here acknowledge, almost all that I desire, I could easily shew you, that not only the Scriptures of the New Testament, and the agreeable practice of the Apostl­es, and their Immediate successors are against your Prelatick excrescent power; but that even for several ages thereafter, while both Bishops and Metropoli­tans did exercise their Prostasian, your Diocesan Prelat, having the sole power of Ordination and ju­risdiction, was unknown, yea expresly reprobate: but because the appendix whereunto I have already referred, and Smectymnus, do plainly make out this point, I shall not detain you: As for A [...]rius, it's true, he held that a Bishop and a Presbyter do not differ, and that Augustin cals this proprium ejus dog­ma, his proper Opinion, and Epiphanius, dogma furi­osum et stolidum, a furious and foolish opinion, and that both of them do ranck him among Hereticks; but [Page 154] seing they also accuse him of Arr [...]anisme, and withal do also taxe him for error in some points which are cl [...]ar truth, viz. that it is not lawful to pray and offer for the dead, their censure is as little to be noticed, as his Testimony; specially seing many Learned men do plainly assert, that not only Hierom, but even Au­gustin himself, Chrisostom and many others of the Fathers, were of the same opinion with Aërius as to the matter of this difference: but for Ierom you go about to alleviat his Testimonye, viz. Idem ergo est Presbyter qui Episcopus. Therefore a Presbyter is one and the same with a Bishop, & noverint Episcopi se magis con­suetudine quan dispositionis dominicae veritate Presbyter is esse majores, &c. And let the Bishops know that they are above Preebyters more through custome then any divine warrant. Because he himself was but a Presbyter. Pray Sir, who were they whom your men cite so fast for Bishops, were not they themselves Bishops, and yet the truth is, there were Bishops also at that time of his Opinion. 2. You say that his fervent if not sirie Spirit drives him along in every things to an excess. Good Sir, where is now your veneration for Antiquity and the holy fathers? For us, seing we do not found on mans Authority, this your brusk character, disco­vering more of your partiality then of Ieroms infir­mity, doth not offend: Only this I must say, that whatever be his fervor in his other writtings; yet I am sure that both in his Commentarie upon Titus and in his Epistle ad Evagrium, he confirms his assertion above set down, with Scripture Arguments, most calmly, solidly and unanswerably. 3. You alledge, that Notwithstanding that he make the Bishop and Pres­byter to differ in degree only, and not in office, and that by Ecclesiastick and not Divine Authority, yet he con­fesseth that Presbyters did not ordain, and that the origen [Page 155] of the exercising power was in the dayes of the Apostles to prevent schismes, &c. It's answered he saith indeed, quid enim facit, exceptâ ordinatione, Episcopus quod Presbyter non facit; But as he is there pointing only at the custome, then in use, so, this doth nothing derogate from that equality, yea identitie of power, which he attributeth to both from Scripture: what you mean by the origen of the exercising power, &c. Is not so clear. It's true he affirmeth that at Alexan­dria from Mark the Evangelist to Heraclas, and Dio­nysius Bishops, the Presbyters did always name one, chosen of themselves, and placed in higher degree, Bishop; but what says this more then that in all that time for orders sake, they had successive Presidents at first, it's like moveable, and thereafter fixed dur­ing life: And we have already both acknowledged, and regreted the grievous abuse, occasioned by that latter practice: You adde that he compares, the Bi­shops, Presbyters, and Deacons in the Church, [...]to the high Priest, Priests and Levites in the Temple: and since there was at that time, from Ecclesiastick custome then allowed (which according to his use, and as he useth to speak promiscuously, writing of Lent, he here indifferently termeth an Apostolick Tra­dition) a ground of resemblance, why might he not use the similitude, without stretching it either to evert, what he had said, or countenance your Pre­lacie? Lastly you alledge that he sayes, that it was de­creed through the whole World that a Presbyter should be over the rest, to roote out the seede of difference: It's an­swered that this in toto orbe decretum est, may, and is, to be understood, not of an express Decree, which doth no where appeare; but of a General consentient custome, taking place every where: both the truth of the thing, and Hieroms after Paulatim ad unum [Page 156] omnis Solicitudo est delata, by little and little all the care is devolved upon one, do abundantly cleare, How ever this may be warrantably said, that as this custome did with time universally obtain, and in Ieroms dayes, not having much exceeded the limits of a simple Pro­stasia, was by him also approved, as the remedy of dissention, so, he holding it to be not of Divine dis­position, no doubt if he had these other holy men, were this day to see the hundred part of these sad, and fearful effects, that it hath produced, nothing could be able to breake their astonishment, at the surprizing sight of such prodigious consequences of this Mystery of iniquity, but sorrow and Lamentation, together with deep regrete, that they did not better forsee, and more timously resist, the first tendencies and begin­nings of this evil: Now whether or not Antiquity be on your side, and if our grounds from Scripture against your Episcopall Authority, be not much confirm­ed, both by Ierom and the other passages here handl­ed, I willingly submit it to all the lovers of truth: but lest you think that by the representation I have made in the beginning of my answere to your alled­geance from Antiquity, of the early and strange rise and grouth of Episcopacie, I do thereby derogate from that light and purity, which with you I acknow­ledge in these Primitive times, I must note, first, That pride as it was the first sin and corrupter of Mans integrity, from which the felicities of Paradise could not exempt him; So is it of all sins the most inward, rooted, and subtile, attending a man in all condi­tions, finding Matter in all occasions, and immixing it self even in our fairest and purest actions. 2. That the Disciples of our Lord, notwithstanding of his own presence, holy instruction, and humble example were not free of the motions of this evil, the History [Page 157] of the Gospel doth plainly testify. 3. I note that the times of the Apostles, the most pure and powerfull that ever the Church enjoyed, were many wayes in­fested with this plague, I mention not the conten­tions betuixt Paul and Barnabas, which no doubt sprung from this latent corruption; but he who con­sidereth the great number [...] and many wicked practic­es of false Apostles, Hereticks and Schismaticks, in these days boasting against, and despising even Paul himself, with the affected Preheminence of Diotre­phes, and the then begun working of the mystery of iniquity, toward the exalting of the Son of perdition, in place of denying, must of necessity marveil, how this Devil of pride could in so gracious and short a time, destitute of all Earthly encouragements, so greatly prevail, and plainly perceive, that this active Spirit, would not be wanting, to imbrace and im­prove all occasions and opportunities offered; 4, That as order did no doubt at first in all meetings require a President, whom I also easily grant to have been, as any occasion did require, rather recommended by de­sert, no evil consequence being then apprehended, then presented by a constant and compleat Rotation; So it is very probable, and confirmed by Hieroms suf­frage, that contentions did first both fixe the presi­dencie or prostasia, and exalt it to any notable emi­nencie; but whether by way of remedy, or by way of victory, to the increase of the Maladie, is indeed the most observable points, and, as I apprehend, that whereupon we will divide: and therefore I note 5. That although the Authority of able and holy men at first, advanced to a fixed Presidencie, might then appeare, as in these dayes of great simplicity and hu­mility, in it self very innocent, and in the event also effectuall to concord; Yet without all question at best [Page 158] it was but an humane invention, copied from the pa­tern of the manner of the then Civil Government of the Empire, to which our Lord expresly commanded his Disciples not to conforme. 6. That seing affected preheminence and the contentions thence arising, did clearly occasion the introducing of this Prostasia, though in many, yea most places, the prevailing number of good men, might thereto advance worthy and deserving persons, studying more the prospering of the Gospel, and unity of the Church then adver­ting to the bad consequences, that thence might ensue; Yet it is not only most certain, that this promotion was that, whereunto these strivings did every where directly aspire; but also most probable, that even in the first beginnings, many ambitious pretenders, wanting a just opposition, did carry their design, and were preferred. 7. That by plain dealing I may satisfy all pretenses, I observe, that al­beit power and Authority, unite in the Prostasia of one amongst many, may be thereby rendered more strong, and effectual; Yet seing the benefits of this union, and advancement, doth only flow from the accidental worth, and ability of the person that hap­pens to be promoted, and that the order or institu­tion it self, destitute of divine warrant, and promise, and clearly occasioned by evil contention and intro­duced into the house of God by humane invention, could not at first have any thing in it recommendable, and hath since produced most corrupt [...]ruits; Neither the existence of Many excellent and great men in this degree, nor the laudable, yea extraordinary advan­tages, that the Church hath received from them in the concret, can now justify, and maintain the Order it self in the abstract: If this arguing were good, able and well qualifyed men vested with such a power, or [Page 159] placed in such a condition, have proven and may prove notable instruments of Good: therefore it is reason­able and expedient, that such a constant order should be erected, we might not only have Bishops, but most of the Monastick Orders of the Roman Church: We finde Peter with the singular benefite of the Church, exercing a power of Life and Death, and that given him from above, and not assumed; could therefore an order of Church-men, pretending to the like Authority, be rationally thence maintained in the Church? No wayes: Accidental advantages do not commend unwarranted institutions, much less can they justle out our Lords express constitution: But it is he, the perfect orderer of his own house, who hath positively defined, and blessed its Officers, and their power, and not left the matter Arbitrarie, to the probable contrivances of apparent benefite, farre less to the dissembling pretenses, of mens Lusts, and corrupt Interest. 8. It is to be noted, that although the great measure of Grace, given to the Primitive Church, and the hard and frequent persecutions, wherewith it was exercised, did for a time hinder that strange depravation and incredible [...]ruption of wickedness, whereunto the setting up of the Ancient Prostasia, the rudiment of your Prelacie, did from its first beginnings, secretly and covertly bend; Yet this is most evident, that so soon as the Church of God obtained the countenance, and was favoured by the more fond in many things (such as excessive Do [...]ations and Grants of privileges) then prudently pious benevolence of Secular Princes, this Prelatick order, which in its depression had been indeed ho­noured, with many shining lights and Glorious Mar­tyres, attaining then to its ascendent, did not only debauch the Lords Ministers, for the most part unto [Page 160] idleness, avarice and luxurie; but continually climb up according to its proper Genius of Ambition, until the Devils design in its rise, and progress, was fully discovered, and consummate, in the revelation of the Son of perdition: 9. This being the rise, progress and product of Prelacie in the first Churches, as may be clearly gathered from the writtings of these times, how it was introduced in other Churches, thereafter gathered and brought in, may be found in their Hi­stories: Only this is certain, that as in almost no Church it can be shewed, to have been coëvous with Christianity, and in all the western Churches where it obtained place, was ever a sprig of Romes Hierar­chie, propagate by her ambition and deceit, and the like practices; So the Church of Scotland in special, was in the beginning, and for some centuries there­after, instructed and guided by Monks, without Bishops until palladius from Rome, did set up Pre­lacie among us, as many Authors witness; Nay, we may finde it on Record, that even in the 816. year a Synod in England did prohibite the Scots any function in their Church, because they gave no honour to Me­tropolitans and other Bishops.

By these observations, having in some sort deli­neate the mysterious and crooked windings, of this excrescing Power, in its first motions, and setting forth: and very clearly and naturally traced its pro­gressions, and thence deduced that most prodigious production of the Antichristian Papacie, as any con­siderate man may thereby easily perceive, not only how it might, but how de facto it hath crept into the whole Church, without an Apostolicall introduction, notwithstanding of all your contrarie insinuations, so I am confident, that what ever other advantages, these primitive times had above our latter dayes; yet [Page 161] our discovery, made after so full a revelation, com­pared to the obscure appearances of this wickedness, in the first ages of the Church, cannot be thereby rationally disproved: and your scurrile disparaging of the latter times of reformation, as the fagg end o [...] sex­teen hundred years, doth with little less success, plead for the Pope and Antichrist, then for your An [...]i­christian Prelacie.

As for the rest of your discourse, wherein you tell your N. C. that though the ancient Bishops were better men, then either Bishops or Presbyters alive; Yet, in Presbyteries, Specially in the matter of Ordination, they were sine quibus non, and what ever be the present abuse of the Episcopall power; Yet it is a rational and most necessary thing, that the more approven and gifted, be pe­culiarly incharged with the inspection of the Clergie, an order of men ne [...]ding much to be regulate; and seing all humane things, and Presbytery also, are liable to be abus­ed, the common maxime remains to be applied, remove the abuse of Bishops, but retain their use. In answere hereto, I need not inlarge, he who knows Church History best, will easily grant, that as for the first Centurie and an half, we have no vestige upon re­cord, of your Prelatick power; So when [...] had place, their concurrence in Presbyteries, was only for order, as being the Mod [...]rators, a conside­ration of the same exigence and effect, whether they be fixed, or unfixed, and not from any peculiar power, proper to them as a superior order; A thing so certainly disowned by the primitive Church, that, even after the Bishops thought themselves well stated in their Prelacie, and were beginning to contend among themselves, for the Papacie, Hierom doth plainly deny them any such prerogative above Pres­byters, and was not therefore contradicted by any: [Page 162] How much more then doth this condemn that sole power, both of Ordination and Jurisdiction, where­unto your Bishops do pretend. As for your alledged reason, and necessity of promoting the better gifted over the unruly Cl [...]rgie, whatever application it may have to that naughty Company of your insufficient and profane Curats, or Conformity to the Court; yea, the worlds prejudice against our Lord Jesus, his Ministers, and all his followers; Yet these two things are most evident. 1. That as that lowely and ministe­rial Government, appointed by Christ in his own house, admitting no superiority or inequality of power among Ministers, is not subjected to, and alterable at the arbitriment of humane reason; so, the advantage of Gifts, whereupon you would found it, doth so little favour your conclusion, that the di­rect contrarie is recommended by our Lord, as its best evidence and fruit, he that will be chief among you let him be your Servant; and that not only as to the grace of humility, but in plain opposition to that supe­rior Authority exercised in Secular Rule, whereof the imitation in this place, is expresty prohibite to Go­spel Ministers: but the ground of your mistake is, that Notwithstanding our Lord hath said of himself and his Ministers, that one is your Master; and all you are Brethren and fellow-servants, among whom an inequality of gifts, may well consist with an equality of condition; Yet restess and most sub­tile Ambition, for grati [...]ying its evil lust, will, even in a plain opposition commanded, alleage the affecta­tion, and not the thing it self to be discharged; and in the low liest state of Service, devise superior and inferior degrees. The second thing is, that though I be [...]arre from denying humane infirmities incident to Ministers, as well as others, and do heartily wish, that the of [...]nces by them occasioned, may be alwayes, [Page 163] as the most hurtful to the Gospel, most seriously pre­cautioned and regreted; Yet I am sure, that, without regard to our Lords most gracious gifting, and most wise ordering of his Ministery for the feeding and ruling of his people, to affirme that neverthelesse there is no order of men needs so much to be regulated, is a presumptuous and vain imputation, against Je­sus Christ, the Head and King of the Church, and his Oeconomie: Hath our Lord taken so great paines to Separate, Instruct, Sanctify, and send forth Mi­nisters, and promised them so special a presence and assistance, for the oversight and conduct of Believers, and darre any Christian say, that even the order it self (for alas I grant the men are but earthen vessels) needs more then any other, the contrivance of mans invention for its regulation? But let none that ho­noureth Jesus Christ, or remembreth the former Beautie, Order and Successe of his Ministrie and Courts amongst us, be offended; this reflection pro­ceeds from the same Spirit, that accused our great Master, as a Rebell and Usurper, and his Apostles as the Troublers and Subverters of the World. As to your conclusion, when you have disproved the Di­vine warrant of Presbytrie, and shewed both its oc­casion, rise, tendencie, and proper fruits to be only evil, as I have done in the matter of Prelacie, then you may equiparat them in the point of abuse: but seing the abuse of Presbytrie is only accidental, from humane infirmity, and that of Prelacie, its most native Genius and Product; Na [...], seing Presbytrie is indeed the right use of the Churches Government, and Prelacie its manifest depravation, the maxime which you adduce, in its just application, doth most clearly say, remove the abuse of Prelacie, and let the use of Presbyterie be re [...]ained.

The fourth DIALOGUE Answered.

SIR, since you have said nothing that I have not to my self (and I hope to all rational and impartial men) satisfyingly answered, and seing I can say it in Gods sight, that in all the matters hitherto treated, I finde in my heart a serious desire to please him in all things; and also to comply with his Church, and obey the Laws of the Kingdom, in what I judge agreeable to his will, with as much distrust of my self, and charity towards o­thers, as humane frailtie doth permit: In this perswa­sion truely, and by your own verdict, conscientious, without either noticing the pitiful shift of a blind con­science, which you make your N C. pretend, or charging you with that arrogance, whereupon you make him weakly to exclaime, I shall proceed to consider the grounds which in this place you lay down, You say then, Private persons have nothing to do with Government; submission and not judging is their part. I cannot stand to discusse all the ambiguities that may be latent in this General; but it is strange. 1. That the Government of Gods house ( [...]or that is the point betwixt us) should be instituted by him, for the Edi­fication and Salvation of private persons, and his own Glory, as you cannot deny; and yet they to have nothing to do with it. 2. You say, Submission i [...] their [Page 165] dutie. And would you have it blind, and not rational, and conscientious? 3. Our Lord hath defined the Government of his Church, and did establish the same among us, engaging us thereinto by a perpetual Covenant, is it then nothing of our concernment? But may we breake these sacred tyes, and abandone our selves to an implicite compliance, with every humane invention? I grant that private persons are neither, under a righteous constitution, to usurpe the part of the Governours; nor yet under a sinful, un­lawfully to solicite, and endeavour an alteration: but as in the former case, both Reason and Religion, specially where an Oath hath interveened, doth ob­lige to maintenance, so in the latter, I am assured that all active owning and approving (the thing where­unto we are pressed) beyond a providentiall acquies­cence, is utterly sinful: If you require my reasons, there is none like your own, viz. first, because, I am perswaded that, what ever may be the compara­tive innocencie of an erring, but well-meaning opi­nion; Yet of every Soul, who hath seen the Glorious light and work of God in the Lands, and engaged himself thereto by solemn Covenant, and now of late, hath broken these bonds, and concurred to change Christs pure Ordinances, and set up, establish or countenance Prelacie, and its wicked Hierarchie, God will surely either in this life, as we have already seen, in the convictions of many, or in the last and great Judgement, openly require it. 2. Because not only perjury, manifestly ingredient in the active sub­mission and compliance which you exact, hath a plain and direct tendencie to the blotting of the Soul; but as the Gospel and all its Ordinances, are designed to purify the heart; So, this of Government, so clear­ly therein appointed, and of so necessaire and effectual [Page 166] influence, for the conserving of truth, edifying of the body of Christ, and perfecting of the Saints, doth undeniably contribute to the same end: And by these two easie rules it is whereby I heartily wish, that both you and I, and all men may examine our Con­scienc [...]s.

In the next place you tell your N. C. That we have no rationall ground to think you wrong, in Matters of Religion: do you then think that obedience to the Lords Command, against swearing falsely, and ad­hering to, and owning the Kingdom, and Ordinan­ces of Jesus Christ, are no Matters of Religion? or have you already answered the full and just account, that I have given of our differences? But, supposing there may be error on your side, you adde, that unless the error be of greater importance, then the Communion of Saints is, it ought not to unty the bond of the unity of the Catholick Church. This is the rule which you gave us before, in your first Dialogue, and therefore I shall say little to it, only if your meaning be, that except the conjunction with the erring partie, be of greater prejudice, then separation upon that account, we ought not to unty the unitie of the Church, I wil­lingly assent: but if there be any other latent sense in your strange weighing the import of error, with an article of Faith, things quite opposite, without all communication of degrees; when you explain your self, I shall consider it. To this you subjoin many things of Pauls conforming both to Jews and Gentiles, in matters of greater scruple, then what we contend about, and thence conclude, That if Paul did so free­ly and out of Charity, then are we much more bound, from whom the dutie of obedience to Law doth also exact it: Now, because in this place, it is, that you not only abuse Pauls practice, but go about to intri­cate [Page 167] and destroy, by a new knack of pitiful Court Sophistry, the privilege of Christian liberty, I shall therefore endeavour briefly to give you a distinct and adequat return. And I say that Paul's conformity doth no wayes enforce the compliance required of us; because that all we finde in the Apostle, is a free and prudent accommodation of himself, in things whol­ly externall and indifferent, for the gaining of such, with whom he conversed; whereas the compliance demanded of us, is plainly to owne and approve unwar­ranted, wicked and accursed Prelacie, and its abo­minations: which, both by the Command, and Oath of God, we are bound to extirpate: If Paul, notwith­standing of the accomplishment of the [...] Mosaick dis­pensation, at first institute by the Lord, and not then expresly antiquat, did neverthelesse continue some of its observances, that by shewing a respect to, and not despising of these shadows, though already eva­nished, he might the better convince the Jews, of the fulfilling of what they prefigured; can any man thence inferre, that therefore we ought not only to relinquish the true Ordinances of Christ, but acknow­ledge the inventions of men, such as Prelacie, and its vain Ceremonies, although the samine be found con­traire both to the word of God, and power of God­liness, and therefore are by us solemnly abjured. As for Pauls freedom of converse toward the Gentiles, admitting that there appeares a seeming excess in it, obnoxious to misconstruction: yet, was it not in meat and drink only? And is not its principall design of asserting, in these things, such an absolute liberty, as might warrant the deed in it self, notwithstanding the possibility of some mens mistakes, wholly oppo­site to your purpose? so that, without question, the outmost advantage you can draw from this matter, [Page 168] is, that we have the liberty to do materially many of these externall things, by you enjoined, without homologating your intention in the imposing, which, whether you would accept of, or account consistent with sincere dealing, I leave to your self to judge? But 'tis like your meaning is, that all the things where­unto we are pressed, passing from our Covenant, re­linquishing of our sent and sealed Ministers, owning and active submitting to abjured Prelats, and the like, are in themselves things wholly externall, insignifi­cant, and nothing; wherein we may as lawfully complement Authority, by our obedience, as Paul, by a free exercise of his liberty, in washing, shavings, circumcising, eating, and drinking did complacent­ly insinuat upon Jews, and Gentiles: And if in these there be any parity, let the meanest capacity discerne 2. Although the things required of us, were indeed in themselves wholly indifferent; Yet we cannot be urged with Pauls conformings, because the reason and design of Pauls practice, being diametrally repug­nant to yours, instead of confirming, plainly subverts the compliance by you demanded: Paul's practice, did flow from liberty, and the reason and warrant of that, was, because that Christ hath made us free, and called us unto liberty, blotting out the hand-writting of Ordinances that was against us: dare you then, or any mortall else, offer to write and fixe another, and again intangle us with a yoke of bondage, and sub­jecte us to, or judge us concerning Ordinances, after the Commandments and Doctrines of men? What reasoning can be more absurd then that of yours? Paul did these things freely, therefore, you are bound to obedience: Do contraries, that remove, establish one another? I grant that, if in charity to our equals, even Aliens, we are bound to a compleasant and gain­ing [Page 169] acting or forbearance, in things indifferent, and in our power; much more doth the same charity bind us, to the like compliance toward our Superiors; but by what consequence can you extend this obliga­tion of charity, to a plain surrender of our Liberty; and turn the praise of a free benevolent exercise, unto a bondage of obedience, wherefrom our Lord hath so clearly liberat us, as to all these externals, which you so much plead for? But as to this point, you tell your N. C. That he bewrays great simplicitie; because forsooth Paul did not re [...]use compliance by reason that the things were commanded by Authority: But because certain false Brethren came to spy out his liberty, to whom he gave place by subjection, no not for an hour. Really, Sir, your N. C. must indeed be very sim­ple, that he could indure such imposing. You say, Paul did not re [...]use compliance, by reason that the Cere­monies were commanded, and yet his own words by you cited, say plainly, that though at other times, in the free and edi [...]ying exercise of his liberty, he hath in charity ceded to the weaker; Yet, to give place by subjection (mark it) the correlat and homologa­tion of command, he would not, no not for an hour, Is not then to repeat only your discourse, to redargue it? I might tell you further, that by the context, it is evident, that the Apostle speaks in this place, of these that would have brought Gentiles under the Law of Moses, and the observance of the Jewish ceremonies, who certainly did pretend Divine Authority for their Doctrine: And therefore, and for this only reason, were in the vindication of Christian liberty opposed by Paul, and Barnabas: but let us hear what Stilling-fl [...]et hath put in your Mouth as to this Matter: You say then that, If an [...] require of us compliance, as if it were necessarie of it self, we [Page 170] have reason to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. But it is unsufferable peevishness, if the Magistrat enjoin a thing, declaring it free in it self, and only necessary because commanded, upon that score to refuse obedience. To this it is answered 1. That it is unsufferable boldness for you, to alledge a peevishness in a practice, so exactly parallel to that of the Apostles, who, as they understood the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free, to consist in that reall relief and freedome granted to them from the yoke and burden of the Jewish ceremonies; so, they do exhort belie­vers to stand fast to it, which certainly imports a non­submission, and resisting to the imposition, either of these antiquat Jewish observations, or any other of Mans invention, seing that these are indeed contrarie, and not only an astrictedness, in opinion, unto the liberty purchased: 'Tis true, the false Apostles pressed their observance from divine Authority; but seing the Christians then did except, upon the liberty which Christ hath obtained, and thereby proclaimed to us an exemption even from the old Divine Law of Ordi­nances, is not the same much more forcible against Mens usurpation of an unwarranted tyrrany; or think you, that our Lord hath only freed us from Moses im­positions, that we might fall into the hands of more severe Task-masters, who not only take upon them to appoint, without Gods warrant into the house and matters of God, and introduce will-worship, which he abhorres; but after they have urged our obedience, as only Civill, and out of respect to Authority, and not from Conscience, do then tell us, that by a gene­rall and supervenient Law of God, their statutes be­come to reach even the Conscience also? But 2. you say, if the Magistrat declare the thing to he free in it self, and only necessary because commanded, Christian liberty is [Page 171] not thereby lessened. 'Tis answered, is not Christian liberty alwayes opposed to the Jewish bondage? Now, Sir, I demand wherein did this bondage consist, was it in the Authority only, whereby these ordi­nances were enjoined, and which did indeed imme­diatly reach the Conscience, and not rather in the obligation to that burthensome practice, which thence did ensue? And certainly, you, and all men, must grant the latter; seing the speciality of Divine Au­thority, is so far from rendering an imposition, other­wayes light, to be burthensome; that without ques­tion, as its precepts are the perfect law of liberty; So the clearnesse of its warrant, is the greatest relief of Conscience: Nay, this is a truth to certain, and apposite to our present purpose, that I am sure you are convinced, that if the Prelats could produce Divine commands for their injunctions, these would quickly satisfy all our scruples, and make Non-conformists, the most conformable of the Nation. Give over then your empty quibling, in telling us, that you exact not our compliance, as necessaire in it self by divine prescript, for though I could shew, how that not­withstanding you pretend not to any immediate divine warrant, for your imposings; you not the less alleage that Divine Authority, whence Magistracy doth descend, for astricting our obedience; Yet this is so far from being our exception, that plainly on the con­traire, your ceremonies commanded in the Matters of God, against that liberty purchased unto us, are not in themselves, or in any other respect, so much a burthen, as for lack of that very same authority, whereof you do most inadvertently pretend, that the want should be our solution. But 3. what can be more manifest, then that, as the hardship of the Jewish Pedagogie, did consist in the multitude of their Ce­remonies, [Page 172] and Observances, whereunto they were tyed in practice, and neither in the obligation of Di­vine Authority, whereby they became bound, nor yet in their opinion of things, which, notwithstand­ing of their being injoined by the Lord, they knew to be in themselves free, and were not in the least, by this liberty of opinion, delivered from the rigour of that Pedagogie, so the releasement, which our Lord hath purchased, consists in freeing us from that yoke, and burthen, which the Jews were not able to bear, and in liberating us from the Law of Ordinances, and the rudiments of the world? Pray Sir, is this only to change the opinion of things, and leave us as much ob [...]oxious, to be subjected in obedience as ever the Jews were? who can admit it? If you be still unclear, answere this demand with your self in sobriety: If the false Brethren had said to the Christians of old, we acknowledge with you, that the Jewish dispen­sation is accomplished; but since the Lord hath not expressly discharged the continuance of its observa­tions, and they are but things external, and of them­selves free, let us in the recognizance of his Authority, or for peace sake, still be subject in a conformable obedience: would not the Apostle have returned the same answere? It is the Lord who hath made us free, let us not again be brought unto bondage: the sun of righteousness is arisen, and hath obscured all the former shadowing lights, we have no need either of these, or the more pitiful tapers of mens blind invention: And here I must tell you by the way, that as I have drawn out my answere on purpose, to meet with your significant rites introduced in Gods service; So, as to the first part of it, anent the liberty purchased to us by Christ, I further adde, that it is a groundless conceit, to think that the only reason of abolishing [Page 173] the Jewish ceremonies, was, because they did pre­figure our Lords coming, seing it is most certain, that although the whole complexly, was indeed a Peda­gogie to lead unto him, and make that People to wait and long for his redemption; Yet a great many of them did not properly prefigure, such as the ob­servation of dayes, distinction of meats, and the like, to which no such relative signification can be attri­bute, without a groundless and violent straining: and therefore, as I grant, that many of these rites, as being only shadows of the good things to come, did evanish upon their appearance, and consequently could not have been kept up, without a tacite hint, that the things thereby typifyed were still expected; Yet I am very assured, that as to a great part of these Mo­saick Ordinances, our Lord did remove them, as a yoke and burthen, by the gracious concession of that Liberty, wherewith he made us free, and that to bring back that servitude, or to introduce the like, is plainly to bring us back again to the rudiments of the world, from which we are dead with Christ, to dis­own the liberty which he hath purchased, and con­sequently, and as plainly as in the former case, to deny that our deliverer is come. 4. Having shewed that the liberty of thinking the things to be free in themselves, the practice nevertheless being strictly injoined, is not Christian liberty, and that it is irra­tional to affirme, that an observance commanded by the Law of God, becomes o [...] this account more bur­thensome, then if mans authority only did make it binding: And seing on the other hand I easily grant, that in things in themselves free, and in our power, no reason of Religion or Righteousness gainstanding, it were peevishness to decline the request of an Equal, let be the command of a Superior: I shall here shortly [Page 174] declare wherein it is that Christian liberty stands, and consequently what the injury is of your invasion: As then Christian liberty, is neither a licentiousness to sin against God, nor to rebel against the Powers that are over us; So I plainly understand it, to be that free [...]dome of serving God in Spirit and in truth, where­unto our Lord Iesus, by releeving us of all outward observances, either as media in our worship, or for themselves requisite to the acceptation of our service, other then he himself hath expressly appointed, hath redeemed, and restored his Church. That the cir­cumstances of time, place &c. and their due regulation for Decencie, and Order, are not here rejected, the quality, for themselves, that is, for some respect, by special command, peculiarly to them appropriat, sufficently holds out; it being very certain, that, under this consideration, the matters of Decencie, whereof both the conveniencie and use flows only from the common exigence of all humane actions, do not fall: And that this is the true notion of Christian liberty, the Scriptures whence I take it, and wherein it is so clearly distinguished, from the Jewish bon­dage, there also described, Iohn 4. 21. Gal. 3. 4 and 5. Col. 2. are so plain, that nothing can be added. Only I observe, that because by this liberty, we are delivered from these performances, whereunto the exercise of Religion, requiring, in every act of wor­ship or service toward God, the Faith and Conscience of a Divine prescript, without which it is impossible to please him, was formerly by Moses Law astricted: Therefore it is indeed and is rightly termed, liberty of Conscience, which while you and others do con­ceive, to be nothing else then a freedom to think things to be free in themselves that are not command­ed by the Lord, you do not only grossly mistake it, [Page 175] as distinguished from the Jewish servitude; but open a door to humane lust, and invention, to incumber and deprave the whole body of Religion, and the worship of God, with whatsomever fopperies they please to devise: seing that, in your opinion, it is im­possible, that Christian liberty of Conscience, can be thereby prejudged. Now, to prove that your ex­actions are high impingements upon this freedome, I need not mention these compliances, which you crave, and are in effect directly opposite to the will of God; but even your other ceremonies, all added as in and by themselves significant, to the worship and service of God, without the warrant either of his word, or of the common exigence of all performan­ces, and so thereby made Religious in their use, and object; and therefore certainly belonging to Con­science, needeth no other argument to evi [...]ce it, then the subsumption of a condescendence. Having thus in some measure cleared what I proposed, lest you or any other should account these things, to be matters of meere doubtfull disputations, I must adde, that as it hath alwayes been observed, that the greatest urgers of conformity in the externalls of humane invention, have been very little, if at all, serious, in the life and substantials of Religion; so the great prejudice thence ensuing, to the power and practice of Godli­ness, partly by reason of the imposers evill lusts and ends, partly by reason of that spirit of delusion, to which they are given up, and partly by reason of the vanity of the things imposed, and the Lords abhor­rence of them, doth both discover that Mysterie of Hypocrisie, and Wickedness, which secretly worketh under these vain formes, and should ever render them most odious, to all the lovers of truth and holiness. I might here further adde, that as your impositions [Page 176] are invasive of Christian liberty, injurious to Con­science, and corruptive of the pure and acceptable worship of God, and consequently such, as no power on Earth can lawfully command them, or we therein obey; so, were it but for the offence that may thence redound, to the stumbling of the weak, and harden­ing of the imposers, to proceed from small begin­nings to the grossest mixtures, all conscientious Men may very justly be therefrom deterred; but to this I shall speak at greater length. 5. Having shewed that Paul's Christian civility, doth make nothing for your imposed conformity, and that to turne the free exercise of a charitable compliance, unto a yoke of bondage, is a perversion intolerable, I shall summe up the whole matter with this brief reflection, viz. that admitting the things required of us, were only such externals and nothings as you would groundlessly perswade, and that our forbearance had, in it, more of weakness then sound reason; yet the free Spirit of Christianity, which you alleage, and Paul describeth Rom. 14. is, so farre from urging us to your desired compliance; that I am very confident to affirme, that if the severest Non-conformist, had had the rule to dictate (pardon the supposition, blessed be the Dicta­tor) he could not more manifestly and directly have condemned your rigid exactions in thir matters, then the Apostle doth in this place: I need not insist upon particulars, the whole chapter is most expresse, Let not him that eateth (and you think all the points of the controverted conformity of no greater moment) despise him that eateth not. How do you then vex them with hard Laws, and grievous pains, more then you do heynous Malefactors: Who art thou that judgest another mans servant? Is a demand which one day will concerne Kings and Rulers, more then any of their [Page 177] Subjects: Why do they then judge? Why do they set at nought their brethren? for all shall stand (and that on even ground) before the judgement seat of Christ: Let us not therefore judge one another, but let us judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall in his brothers way: You assure us, and seem per­swaded, that the things pressed are of themselves noth­ing; but to him that esteemeth them unlawfull, to him they are unlawfull, and he that doubteth is damned if he do, because he doth not of faith; How then can you require this conformity? and of how different a tem­per, was the free and charitable Spirit of the Apostle, who not only indulgeth the weak Non-Conformist; but becometh such himself to evite his offence? If thy brother be grieved with thy meat (or with any of the matters now in debate, for you make no difference) now walkest thou (spoken in my opinion to the Prince as well as Peasant) not according to charity, destroy not him with thy meat (or your acknowledged humane in­ventions) for whom Christ dyed: Say not that the things in controversie being concluded by Law, are no more free, or in the condition of the things here mentioned; for, if not only judging and despising the Forbearer be here forbidden; but even the con [...]raire practice, when to him offensive, how much more must the designed framing, and strick executing of Laws, for no other visible end, then the violenting of scruplers, and rack­ing of their Consciences, (acknowledged by your self for the widest step to Atheism that can be made) be in this Scripture condemned? If you urge, that to carry this indulgence so high, is to frustrate all humane Laws, seing the person unwilling to obey, may alwayes pre­tend, from Conscience, the privilege of forbearance; And as de facto you reason, Any offender may decline Discipline, and say that the thing being indifferent, by [Page 178] command it becomes necessary, and so a burthen of Con­science. 'Tis answered, that as the burthen of Con­science, doth not stand in a necessity, by Divine precept, of the things imposed, otherwayes the Lords commandments, that are certainly most easie, should thence become most grievous; but, in effect, in a forced obligation to practice, in things wherein Conscience, requiring the Lords warrant in order to his acceptation, cannot at all finde it so; the liberty and privilege here spoken to, is only in order to Con­science, viz. That Christians ought not to press, or judge one another in the performance, or forbearance of things in themselves indifferent, as acceptable and well-pleasing to God, without his warrant: and therefore the force and effect of humane Laws, order­ing and commanding things in order to the Politick ends of Government, and, in so farre, by the Lord commanded to be obeyed, are not by this Doctrine in the least demurred: Now that your Ceremonies and other impositions, being all relative to the service and worship of God, wherein as every thing is to be observed, with the faith of the Lords acceptation, so nothing can be acceptable without his warrant, are not of the nature of things, as objected to civill com­mands; but plainly such, wherein Paul pleads for liberty, is manifest: Nay, you your self know so well, that the very things scrupled at by us, as en­joyned toward a religious observance, would be readi­ly complied with upon any other reasonable occasion; and that thousands, who detest the Surplice, would chearfully engadge in a Camisado, for their Prince's service, that I add nothing: If you say, that the things in debate, though commanded for religious uses, are never the less enjoyned not as acceptable to God and under this formality; but are only necessa­ry [Page 179] because commanded; You bewray, not only a sinful gaudie licentiousness, of doing things for, and in the house of the God of Heaven, not commanded by the God of Heaven; wherein even Heathens, let be Christians, have been tender; but expose the pu­rity and simplicity of Religion, to all the corruptions of mans vain imagination: As to what you adde anent the pretext, which this liberty may give to offenders, to decline Discipline, it is yet less to the purpose, in as much as submission to Discipline, doth in effect flow from the Lords Authority, whereby it becomes necessary, and Mens part therein is only a naked mi­nisterial application. Lastly if you object, that pub­lick Peace and Order require your conforming obe­dience: Your opinion and method in this point, is much different from the Apostles, he makes it his great argument, not only for not judging and censur­ing Non-conformists; but also, in the case of offence, for complying with them in their forbearance, That we ought to follow the things which make for peace, and wherewith one may edisie another: But you and your partie, for all the noise you make for publick Peace; before you tolerat a Non-conforming in the greatest indifferencies, and howsoever tender and innocuous; will sooner both deprive your Brethren of Peace, and for your vain trifles destroy the work of God: whereas though you had faith in these things, yet you ought to have it to your selves before God: But, Sir, it is already too manifest, that as in practice you know not the way of Peace, so, in this discourse, by pressing a strict obedience from the free Spirit of Christian liberty, which you seem to commend, you palpably con­demn your self in that which you appear to allow.

Having thus farre, in the pursute of your reason­ings, digressed, in the explanation of true Christian [Page 180] Liberty; because of its after use, in the perusal of your remaining purposes, I shall not stick in the con­sidering of what you make your N. C. add, That we forbear the things pressed, for avoiding the scandal of others: I have already told you, that the reasons of our forbearance have no less then the indispensable motive of the will and Oath of God: Yea, suppose the things required were meere externals, and indiffe­rent, as they are not; yet I have so clearly proven that your abridging of our Christian liberty therein, by vertue of your commands, is in it self repugnant to the Apostles Doctrine, and in its effects perni­cious, that your requiring to make the restraint of Authority, abused to these impositions, the warrant of Practice to the forcing of Conscience, and the offending of a Christian Brother, is a Sophisme, no better, then if the hardie practiser, or proud imposer, who is expressly commanded in Christian tenderness to regard his Brothers offence, should by a vain pre­tending of his own offence, taken from the others indulged forbearance, or recusancie, thereby turne the Argument, and elude the exhortation, to the very scorne of Scripture: That which I rather ob­serve, is, that seing that to give Scandal is not ill de­fined by you, to be a stretching of our liberty to practice, to the drawing of others to the like (or grieving or mak­ing them weak) who have not the same clearness, why do you not begin your application at Prelats, Who having first streatched their practice, to the ens [...]aring, do also frame unjust decrees to the forcing of such who have no clearness to conform? And on the other hand, ought you not to indulge such, who only de­sire to re [...]uge their Conscience, in the Sanctuary of an allowed forbearance? But these are the men, whom having first sinfully spoiled of liberty, you scornfully [Page 181] abuse, by telling they may now act, without regard to Scandal, since you do permit them no liberty to the contraire: But I hasten to your more closs exami­nation of the matter of Conformity.

And first you ask, why do not our Ministers join with your Courts for Church-discipline? It's answered, it were tedious to examine the follies of you, and your N. C. in this point; we join not in your Courts, because they are not the Courts of Jesus Christ; but of the King, and Prelates: If this you deny read the Act Par 1. 1661 Sess [...] 1. Concerning Religion and Church-Government, the proclamation of Councel there­after, discharging all Presbytries untill Authorized by the Bishops, and the Act Par. eod. Sess. 2. For the restitution of Bishops, where, as you will finde that Presbytries were made Precarious; as to their conti­nuance (not as to their right, which is indeed Divine) by the first Act, and then simpliciter discharged, and broken up by the Proclamation; so that which re­turnes, in their place, by the last Act and what ensued, is not the former Presbyteries, but only the Exercises of the Brethren, having both their regulation and au­thority from the Bishops, who have all their Church-power and Jurisdiction in a dependance upon, and sub­ordination unto the soveraign power of the King as Su­pream. So that the Kings Authority and Prerogative Royal, is plainly the proper fountain, and last resort of all the power and jurisdiction to be found, either in your Church, or its Meetings: Nay further, this [...] so certain, that as his Majesty doth not so much as pretend a Commission from Jesus Christ, as the an­ointed King of his Church, for this effect (which yet the Pope, in his most wicked usurpation, did al­wayes Judge necessary) so, if it be Treason, as it is dict. sess. of the same Parliament, act. 3. to derogat [Page 182] from the prerogative of the Imperial Crown of this Realm, and if absolute supremacie in Ecclesiasticks, incapable either of superior or conjunct, do thereto by the late Act of Supremacie appertain, certainly to make our Lord so much as a sharer with the King, in this matter, would fall under the compasse of this crime: However, not to rake into this abysse of wickedness, that Act of Supremacie, giving to the King, over all Persons, Meetings, and in all Causes of the Church, all the power, that Christ as head of the Church, in these things hath or can acclame, (a piece of such desperat solly, that I am assured, that as he that sitteth in the Heaven doth laugh, so shall he one day have all its contrivers, and abettors in dirision) in this I am very positive, that according to the pre­sent legall establishment made in these matters, to derive the power of your Courts from, or connect the same with, the power and headship of our Lord Jesus, is utterly impossible. That we then, who as Ministers of the Gospel, do take upon us, and exer­cise no power, save that which is our Lords, can­not join and partake with your Meetings, your self may judge.

But you say, That all that is Divine in Discipline, is, that scandalous persons be noted, and separated from worship; but how this shall be administred, can be no matter of Religion, or of the concernment of Souls, providing it be done: 'Tis answered, to argue thus, all that is Divine in Preaching, is that the truth of the Gospel be declared: but how this shall be performed can be no matter of Religion, or of the concernment of Souls, providing it be done, would it not be false and weak reasoning. 2. As your Providing it be done viz. rightly, is a salvo, whereby a man may as pertinent­ly argue against all means whatsomever, which cer­tainly [Page 183] are nothing useful, providing the end for which they are appointed be rightly done, so this quality hath such an exigence even of these midses, which you suppose to be of no import, that it plainly subverts your Argument: But 3. Your position, that all that is Divine in Discipline, is, that scandalous persons be noted, &c. Is false, in as much as this is no more clearly to be found in Scripture, then the Persons and Officers therewith incharged, are evidently thereby ordained, yea this matter is so certain, that there is scarce one place to be seen in Scripture, for the war­rant of Discipline, which doth not with the same evidence, hold out the persons intrusted with its ad­ministration: And I will give unto thee the keyes of the Kingdom of heaven: Whose sins soever ye remit they are remitted unto them: Feed, Over-see, Rule the slock, are Commissions so full, ordaining the persons, as well as designing their work, that I can hardly impute the laxeness of your reasoning, to your oversight.

In the next place (for as for your quibling with your N. C. anent the foolish answere which you put in his mouth it is altogether frivolous as shall be shewed in your 7. Dial.) you urge, That, seing that Presbytries do by Divine right acclaime a power o [...] jurisdiction, they ought to meet in these Courts, let the Law call it what it will, even as i [...] the King should abrogate all Laws for the worship of God, and declare, that all that assemble to wor­ship God, shall be understood to worship Mahomet, and thereupon command all to meet; though we meet not on that ground, yet you hope we would s [...]ill meet to worship God, how ever it be interpret: 'Tis answered, If the jurisdiction competent to Presbyteries by Divine right were in these Courts, your Argument might have some weight; but seing they are not the former Pres­byteries, but new Courts set up, as I have already [Page 184] declared, no more deriving power from Jesus Christ, then your late High-commission, how can you think in reason, that either the right and power of Pres­byters, or his Majesties call, should oblige Mini­sters to com to the one more then the other: For my part, as I esteem it a less sin upon the Kings call to come to a Court of his own erecting, then to abuse Christs warrant to the establishing of a Court, as his, which by its institution manifestly disowns him; So, I should sooner resolve, upon the Kings command to meet in the High-Commission, then, by coming from the motive of our Lords warrant, acknowledge your Exercises of the Brethren for his Courts, which are so palpably setled upon the basis of another Au­thority: As for your Similitude, not to insist upon such claudicant Arguments, it is like to the legs of the lame which are not equall, but make it straight, thus, the King dissolves all Christian Churches, and erects Mahometan Mosches, charging all to repaire there to worship, and declaring that he will account th [...]ir so doing, a testimony of their compliance with the change by him made: Now if one should stand up, and for the perswading of just recusants, say, that they may safely go there, and worship God, without either owning of Mahomet, or regarding the construc­tion may be made of it: Pray, Sir, how would you understand it? And what ever you, or any reason­able man think should be the practice or Christians in this case, I am content the N. C. be thereby judged: I confesse the termes of the Similitude are hard; But remember they are of your own choosing, and my work is only to make them just; to conclude there­fore, it is not Mens interpretation or mis-interpreta­tion (although in many cases these homologations, whereby either Enemies may be hardened, or friends [Page 185] stumbled, require also a very weighty consideration) that we regard in this matter: but the reall state of things, whereby as Christ's power is ejected forth of your Courts; So the Divine jurisdiction of Presby­ters cannot possibly therein have place: To this you subjoin that suppose Episcopacie were Tyrannie, and Bi­shops were Tyrannes in the Church; Why ought you not to submit to them, as well as you did to the late Tyrannes in the State? It is answered, if I did think there were any Emphasis, more then the strain of your discourse, in this your urging Our submission to the late Usurpers, I could tell you that though the cases were parallel, as they are not, all the submission made by us to Oliver would not make out your inference: And that it is Your, and not Our submission which only can serve your turn; I need not mention that Mr. Sharp Now of St. Andrews, was the first, if not the only Mini­ster in Scotland, that took the Tender, and thereby, deserting his Fellow-prisoners, procured his own li­berty: Nor how the late introductors of Episcopacie, were most or many of them such as by subscriving the Tender, abjuring the King, and the like compliances, had wholly deboshed their Consciences unto the per­fidious re-establishing of your abjured Prelacie: where­as the tenacious honesty of the faithfull of the Land, was both then, and is now, accounted their bigot­rie and folly. But to the purpose. 1. If Bishops had only been intruded upon Presbytries as they were in former times, it is not questioned, but Faithfull Pres­byters, not Outed of their possession founded on Di­vine right, might have continued the same with a due Testimony, and opposition against unlawfull usurpations, conforme to the old practice of Gods Servants among us in the like case; but seing in the late revolution, not only Presbytries were broken, [Page 186] and discontinowed, but the very foundations razed, a new foundation of the Kings Supremacie laid, and a new superstructure thereon built, Our compliance now, as you require it, would not be an act of Sub­mission, but a plain partaking in this wickedness. 2. The case of mens usurpation in the State is so vastly different from that of your usurpations in the Church, that it greatly alters the latitude of these submissions, which you go about to equiparat, for though, in Civils, the aspiring and usurpation of wicked men, be a hainous transgression, before God; Yet, such is the nature, and condition of the Kingdoms of the Earth, in themselves mutable, and at the disposal of the most high, who ruleth therein, and giveth them to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over them sometime the basest of men, that the attaining there­to becometh such a providentiall title, as may suffi­ciently warrant, not only necessary submission, and obedience in things lawfull, but even these other acts of seeming compliance, that do directly acknowledge the Usurper to be in titulo; providing that they pro­ceed no further, either to anticipate Divine Provi­dence, in the establishment, or homologate the wick­edness of the usurpation. If of this you have any doubt, I remit you to Scripture-practice, the cu­stomes of all Nations, the opinion of most Casuists, and Reason it self, whereby the taking and exercising of inferior offices, under undeniable Usurpers, is most certainly confirmed: And this is plainly the case, both of State-usurpations, and of the largeness of that submission, which it admittes. Now as for Church-usurpations, the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus, not being mutable and perishing, like unto the Kingdoms of this world; but his dominion of it self extra Com­mercium, as Lawyers speak, of things not acquir­able, [Page 187] and by Divine decree, an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed: As it is therefore in­capable of all acquisition, and his Crown such where­unto (however the great ones of the Earth may ban­die together and boast themselves against it) neither violence nor possession, can intitle; So, in case of a pretended usurpation, though Providence may order a passive submission; yet most certain it is, that in this case, where there neither is nor can be any title, all deeds, so much as of simple recognizance, are ut­terly unlawful: And therefore albeit that under the late Usurpation it was Lawfull to partake, in the ca­pacity of inferior Magistracie, of that power, where­unto the Usurper had in providence attained; yet, in the case of our present Church-usurpation, to ac­knowledge it in the least, by partaking of a jurisdic­tion founded in the pretended Supremacie, and not derived from Christ, to which neither the events of of Providence, nor immemoriable possession, can give the least shadow of title, is altogether un­lawfull.

Thus I have unfolded to you the disparity that in­validates your Argument, and have also granted the passive submission, which Providence and Christian patience do alwayes recommend: If the grounds here insinuate do not so easily engage you assent, when you shall add thereto these certain truths, 1. That in Civils, though the manner of purchasing may be in many cases injurious and unlawful; yet it may be suf­ficient to acquire the dominion. 2. That whereever the length of time, or prescription may superinduce a Right, there, even from the beginning, naked pos­sesion is quasi titulus, & qui pro suo possidet potest usu­capere. 3. That although Lawyers speak of certain [Page 188] vitia, that in private rights hinder definite prescription; Yet all Polititians grant, that immemorial possession, or even that of three ages, is sufficient to confirme over any people the most violent usurpation. And lastly, that on the other hand, our Lords Throne and Scepter are everlasting, and such as can never be moved, I doubt not but all your difficulties will e­vanish.

You proceed to say, that our Ministers are content to Preach and quite Discipline, a part of their Rights, why may they not aswell exercise Discipline, though not with a full liberty? 'Tis answered, 1. As I have al­ready told you, that to sit in your Courts, is not at all to exercise Christs Discipline, but a pretended power dependent upon another head; so, you do not truely accuse our Ministers of quiting Discipline: it is well known, that, in so farre as is permitted, they do not separate Doctrine and Discipline, which our Lord hes conjoined: And if full liberty be not permitted, and they necessitat to acquiesce to what the Powers will allow, it is very disingenuous in you, to mis­construe this force, which they suffer, unto a volun­taire quiting. 2. Though by the manner of your pro­posing the objection, you would have us to believe, that the cases are parallel, and that in the case urged, as well as in that instanced, there is only a restraint laid upon a more full liberty; yet the disparity is most manifest in this, that in the matter of Preaching, with­out the exercise of Discipline, we are by force debarred from doing full dutie, in which case, the doing of a part permitted, cannot be censured; whereas in the compliance you require, the very act is sinful, and is therefore, and not because we are denied a more full liberty, very justly by us refused: but having vainly concluded, upon the poor arguments which we have, [Page 189] heard, our Ministers to be Peevish, and made your pitiful N. C. confess himself non-plust by his general pretence of Conscience; You ask him, what he can pretend for the peoples withdrawing from your Churches, since there is only a small alteration made in point of Go­vernment. 'Tis answered, if all the matter be a small alteration in point of Government, it had farre better become that charitable, healing and free spirit, where­unto you so often pretend, to have reflected thus; since the change lately made, by its previo [...]s perjury, and subsequent deluge of profanity; the desolating of Churches, and dispersing of Shepherds and flockes; the disquieting, and vexing of thousands, unquestio­nably Godly and Loyal; the fiering and filling all the corners of the Land with contention and discontent; the burdening of a Countrey, formerly exhausted and now expecting relief, with heavie impositions, and strange exactions; And lastly, the necessary and worst result of all these evils, the provocking the Lord to Anger, and rendering his Majesties Government less comfortable, and desireable, hath occasioned so great a perturbation, and yet, is in it self, and imports so small a matter, why do not our King and Nobles con­sider for what the Land perisheth? Wherefore do not all men bend their knees and pour out their prayers to God and the King, that so seen destructive, and easily remedied a cause, may be removed? but seing for all your sparingness in passing judgment; yet you cease not scornfully to censure a poor people, needlessly and unchristianly, by you ensnared, and thereafter more cruelly persecute, and oppressed, not repeating what hath been said by others in their vindication, I shall briefly run over what you here subjoin.

You say then That Separation being a tearing of the Body of Christ, to forsake the unity of the Church, when [Page 190] there is scarce a colour of pretence for it, must be a great sin, 'Tis answered, I will not stand to descant upon the nature and several degrees of Separation, and how that non-conforming to, and compliance with a prevalent backsliding partie, in effect the worst of Se­paratists, which is our present case, is very different, from the case of Separation, from a Church formerly acknowledged, and joined with; nor love I to inquire how farre a mans entrie into the Ministrie, by open perjury and violence, and his profane and flagitious deportment therein, notourly known, may in the perturbed state of the Church, supply the want of a declarative sentence, making void his mission; Nor lastly, will I make use of your own plain laws, viz. the Act anent the restitution of Bishops, and the late Act of Supremacie, whereby all Church-power (mark it) is made dependent upon, and subordinat unto the Kings Supremacie, to prove your Ministers, to be but Court Curats: But in this I am plain and confident, that if the Prophets, who, by their lyes and lightness, cause the people to erre, and speak peace to such as despise the Lord, and strengthen their hands, who walk in the imagination of their own heart, be not to be hearkened unto; if we ought to bewarre and flee from false Prophets, whose fruits (of ungodliness as well as heresie, as is clear from the context) do dis­cover them, to be but ravening wolves, destroying Souls, under the sheeps cloathing of an exterior call, and hypocritical composure; if such who cause divi­sions and offences, contraire to the received truth, and who serve not our Lord Jesus, but their own belly, are to be avoided; and lastly, if these Destroyers, and Offenders be the only persons guilty of all the Separa­tion, and other inconveniences, which ensue, then are your Curates (as dignoscible by all, or one or other [Page 191] of these characters, as the night is by darkness) justly, yea necessarily, to be disowned, fled from and avoid­ed, and only chargeable with that schisme whereof you endeavour to make us guilty.

But you add, That, in a schismatical time-serving humour, we come sometimes to Church, to [...]vite the punish­ment of Law; but seldom, that we may retain our interest with our partie; that we hear some of you but not others; that some go to Churches in the Countrey, but not in the City; and finally some join with you in the ordinary Wor­ship of Prayer and praise, yet will not join in the Eucha­rist, which is but solemn praise. Sir, if you had been candid in this reflection, in place of imputing this va­riety to humour, and faction, it would indeed have moved you to pity the strait of so many good people, redacted to such a multi [...]arious perplexity; which yet, in its outward appearance, is but light, in compari­son of these inward inquietudes, wherewith the con­traire workings of the fear of God, love of truth, abhorrencie of wickedness, tenderness toward Au­thority, respect to union and peace, and fear of pu­nishment, do continually sollicite them: If I might presume so farre upon your credite, I could tell you that, in my certain knowledge, some have been, against their Consciences, forced by violence and spoill to hear your Curates, who therefore have mourned many Moneths thereafter, and certain of them even unto death; That others whom the generality of your Curates did either offend, or, according to the Lords prediction Ier. 23. v. 33. after long triall not profite at all, have searched by a choise to remedy the evill; (for, that there are better and worse not only as to private, but also as to Publick transgressions, you groundlessly deny) and lastly, that some have prevailed with themselves to hear and join with you [Page 192] in prayer and praise, who have yet still scrupled in their Consciences to communicate with you, in that Sacrament; which, beside the adjunct of solemn praise, is designedly institute to signify and confirme our communion in, as well as our union with Christ, from whom, we have reason to apprehend, that many of you, according to Scripture-rules, and the grounds which your conversations hold out, are at great dis­tance: If then these things be so, let it satisfy you in this point, that, as the Generality of the whole land would account it a great reliefe to be delivered of all your Tribe, and many of the godly are convinced, that your Ministery being neither of nor for our Lord Jesus, is not to be owned; so all these umbrages of compliance, which you observe, are only the effects of curiosity, fear, or some other humane frailty, wherewith by you we can, neither in Charity nor in­genuity, be urged: But you are so desireous to win us to this conformity of owning your Curates, that you are willing to suppose them to be but Intruders occupying the places of our faithfull shepherds violently torn away; and yet you argue, that although the high priest-hood was in our Lords dayes violently invaded by the Romans, and by them exposed to sale, and those Sy­moniacks, did also usurp th [...] right of others; yet we find Cajaphas, as high Priest, Prophes [...]ing, and our Saviour answering to his authoritative adjuration; and though the Pharisees were wretched teachers, and very guilty persons; yet our Saviour saith, hear them; for they sit in Moses chair: which you sa [...] is unanswerable and was the doctrine of our own Teachers? 'Tis answered, not to insist upon the particular, and full answere already made by others, for dissolving the apparent force of this ob­jection, it is to be considered. 1. That as this argu­ment doth proceed upon parallel instances, and simili­tudes [Page 193] for the most part lame, and unequal; so the Jews their particular customes and observances, in the examples adduced, are to us so hid and unknown, and the Jewish constitution in General, of a Church and Nation joined in one special people, unto God, by virtue of a Divine Law, for matters both Civil and Religious, committed, even in its Civil part, to the custody and interpretation of their Religious Offi­cers, is so manifestly different from that of the Chris­tian Church, gathered in one, out of all and every Na­tion, only for things Religious, without any alte­ration in their Civil State, under Jesus Christ their Head and King, and the Ministers by him sent forth, that little light as to our present purpose, can be thence concluded. 2. That not only in the point of the Churches Ministerie but also in its worship and other ordinances, to reason from the dispensations of Soveraigne Providence, in the decline of Churches, the lawfull compliance of good men with these Churches, in owning them in things found, and bearing with corruptions, which they could not remedy; and lastly from the Lords assistance and pre­sence, that never the less hath therein appeared, For the declaring of what is dutie, or not dutie, in the exigence of the first innovations, tending and leading unto the setlement of these abuses, is very deceitfull and dangerous. If in this ye be doubtfull, my charity, I hope, shall give you satisfaction: what, before the Reformation, were the gross corruptions of the Ro­mish Church, both in its Ministers Worship and Sa­craments, is to you well enough known: And yet, that many pious and devout Souls, and some of them convinced and mourning for its abominations, did nevertheless therein sincerely seeke and serve the Lord, and found the strength and joy of his presence, shall never be by me denied: If then it should happen, that [Page 194] in your high pretensions for Union & Peace, a Popish Ministerie, or other abuses should be set up, and en­joyned among us, would you think it just to require our conformity, and to offer to square dutie, in such a case, to any of these particular precedents to be found in the times of the former darkness? I am con­fident you would not: If our Lord, when on Earth, did for a while connive at certain corruptions, in a dis­pensation drawing to its period, and if at the times of ignorance God sometime wink, and according to the obscurer light, and witnessing thereof, do allow the endeavours of such, who happily may feel after him, and finde him; for any man thence to conclude, that the change unto the Gospel administration, made no alteration in dutie; or that in a greater measure of re­velation, whereby we are commanded either to re­pent of former, or to resist returning corruptions, we ought to be stinted to the old rule, and make no further advance, are wide mistakes: It ought to be the study of Gods Servants, to discerne times, and to know, in this their day, the things which belong unto their dutie, as well as unto their peace: to ty up practice, that ought to be advertent unto, and hath a dependence upon every circumstance, unto generals abstracted and concluded from the particu­lar instances of other times, is altogether fallacious. 3. Let me remember you of what I have already hint­ed at, viz. That seing Separation is a departing from an Union once acknowledged, even in these things which are not in themselves condemned, which cer­tainly is of great importance, and of a very weighty and various consideration; whereas non-conforming to, or non-compliance with the introduction of things that are clearly sinfull and unlawfull, hath a manifest warrant, and is of no such extent: from in­stances [Page 195] of not Separating, to conclude against Non-compliance; and from denying the Majus of Non-separation, to deny the Minus of a tender forbearance, is bad Logick: nay, so ill doth this parity hold, that on the contraire, the very aversion that every true Christian ought to have for Separation, doth mostly recommend this Non-compliance, which being a soveraigne and prescribed antidote against these evils, which, if once received, may go on to greater cor­ruptions, and necessitat a sadder division, is therefore to be timeously adhibite. For clearing of this, let me but ask you this one Question: The allowed Separa­tion of the reformed Churches from that of Rome, doth it not plainly inferre, that it had been better, and was the dutie of these informer ages, to have sea­sonably resisted, and not complied with the first be­ginnings of these errors, and evils, which afterward did procure the rent? And however you may judge, that the causes of that Separation were no more then sufficient, and could have laked nothing; yet I am assured, that you and every rationall man will say, that a timeous Non-conforming, warrantable upon lesser motives, might have proven the better course. I shall not enforce this consideration by suggesting the evill tendencie of your way; nor do I tell you that it is a reviving of the same causes, that in processe of time did produce all Romes abominations, and that these floods of Error, and Superstition, had their vi­sible rise from smaller aberrations; so that, if God should suffer the course of your defection to prosper, and weare out the present opposition, the Ages to come might more justly take up against us the com­plaint of our not timeous resisting; then we can regret the too easie compliance of these, who should have withstood the beginnings of Romes backsliding. On [Page 196] these things, I say, I do not insist; but, that you may the more plainly understand the difference that I conceive to be betwixt Non-compliance, and Sepa­ration, I freely acknowledge, that if God had per­mitted this whole Church, to slide into the present evils of your Prelacie and corrupt Ministers; and thereafter had blessed us with a discovery; yet I would not, in that condition, allow the same neces­sity, and expediencie of a Separation, that now I finde, to plead for a Non-compliance; in as much as our present Non-compliance, is not only a more certain, seasonable, and safe dutie; but is also attended with a faithfull and edifying adherence to our true and sent Teachers, who though removed to corners, do still remain the Lords Ministers, and our Pastors: which things do much difference it, from the case of a pro­per separation, as above descrived, and do not a lit­tle justify these more tender practices which you would disprove.

Now, though these few things premised do ob­viously satisfy the difficulty objected; yet, to render the application more full and easie, you may further consider, that your instance from these corrupt High Priests, set up by the Rom [...]ns, doth not help you. 1. Because that the high Priest was ordained by the Lord, as in order to Sacrifice, so also for Rule and Judgement, and that not only in matters purely Reli­gious; but also in all things determinable by Moses Law: at least as to the Ministerial declaring of the Ius, which, albeit in a great part meerly civill, are yet, in this respect, termed the matters of God, and jubjected to the high Priest his judgement, in the respect mentioned. 2. There is no statute in Moses Law, affixing, as you alleage, the high Priest-hood to the Eldest Son of Aaron's line, who possibly might [Page 197] have happened to be an Infant, or legally incapable; but only to his race in generall, so that there was a necessity that the determination of the choise should be in the hand of the Sanhedrin, thus Eli, Abiathar and Ahimelech were all of Ithamar, and not of Elia­zer his branch. As for the promise made by the Lord to Phineas, it is neither made to the eldest Son of his posterity, nor did it give any proper right; but only an assurance, whereof the accomplishment is suffi­ciently performed in the return of the Priest-hood to Zadock, and his line, notwithstanding the preceeding interruption. 3. Not to enter into a par­ticular debate anent the form and power of the Jewish Church, as distinct from the State, and wherein the differences did consist; this is the received opinion of the Orthodox, that though at the first institution, their supreme Church-sanhedrin was, as to causes and several other particulars, distinguished from their supreme Civil-sanhedrin; yet through process of time, and many revolutions of affaires, a confusion of the two grew more and more, and at length the Eccle­siastical Sanhedrin, whereof the High Priest was President did degenerate into a mixed Court, and having the advantage of enjoying their Religion under their civil mutations, and keeping their High Priests and his Courts, when they lost their King and civil Courts, for their greatest matters, did exerce by their Ecclesiastical Sanhedrin all the civil power they could be permitted to exerce. 4. Particularly it is evident that, from the dayes of the Maccabees, the High Priest-hood was much changed from its primary in­stitution; and as more extended to and busied in civil Rule, then conversant in holy things; so much ex­posed to frequent invasions at home, and at length, with the whole Nation, swallowed up by a forraigne [Page 198] dominion: Which things being d [...]e [...]y perpended, it clearly appears, that neither the practice of the Ro­mans, founded in the right (though an abuse of the exercise) of their conquest, nor the symony of the purchasers, a clandestine crime, did make void their Priesthood: How much less then do Cajaphas his prophesying, a Providential Dispensation, or our Lords free answering and confession to his adjura­tion, whether authoritativè made by him as a Judge of the Nation, or otherwise, scarce sufficient to prove a Non-separation, militat against our Non-compliance, with your re-introducing of abjured Pre­lacie, and its corrupt Ministery. As for your instanc­ing of the Pharisees, our Lords words in this matter Math. 23. 2, 3. are, the Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat; all therefore whatsoever they bid you ob­serve, that observe & do; but do not ye after their works, &c. And that hereby you have no advantage appears,

1. Because it doth not manifestly appear, that the Scribes and Pharisees here spoken of were Intruders; but, on the contraire, it is most probable that they were Doctors of the Law, lawfully appointed ac­cording to the use of that people.

2. The Scribes & Pharisees, sitting in Moses chair, did teach the Law, not as appertaining meerly to the Soul [...] & Religion toward God; but as the Municipal Law of that Nation containing also the rules of external righ­teousness and policie; and therefore are to be regarded not so much as Ecclesiastick Teachers, but rather as Doctors of the Law: whereby it is evident, that your argument from our Lords command, is as farre, in this respect, from concluding our compliance with your intruding Preachers, as these National Doctors, with whom our Lord was not to medle further, then to vindicat the Law of God from their corrupt glosses [Page 199] and practices, are different from out Spiritual Pastors, who being sent by Jesus Christ, cannot by Man be discharged.

3. If it be urged that the Scribes and Pharisees were also the Teachers and Directors of all matters of Religion; and even in civils did only respondere de jure from the law of God, although this do no way re­move the disparity, immediatly assigned; yet this is further to be observed, that as our Lord in this regard did expressly warn his disciples to beware of the lea­ven of the Pharisees, and in many things correct their vain and perverss doctrines; so his tolerance of them in Moses chair was only temporarie, as of many other things, until the then approaching end of that dispen­sation, which he would not anticipate: during which time, if our Lord do command a well-cautioned ob­servance, for the best improvement of that which was shortly to be abolished, can you rationally thence inferre, that we ought, at the pleasure of men, both deserte his sent Ministers, whom he hath not recalled, and comply with and owne Intruders, so lightly vio­lating, and abusing his Ordinance?

But 4. Admit that the Scribes and Pharisees their entrie to that office, were not in every point justifiable, and that they truely were very wretched Teachers; yet, their occupying of that charge, seing our Lord did not send forth and establish his perpetual Gospel Minis­terie, until after his resurrection, was not circum­stantiat with, and peccant in the violent exclusion of others, lawfully setled in that chair, which they possessed. Sir, this is so casting a difference, that I nothing doubt, but if you will only pose your self, what you think our Lord would have determined, in case that, there being among the Iews, an established order of lawful Teachers, the Pharisees had risen up, [Page 200] and by open perjury and violence ejected them, and that the business being still recent, and many of the Teachers remaining on life, and by all acknowledged for such, whom man could not exauctorate, the peo­ple had firmly adhered to them. Let your Conscience, I say, in these suppositions, sincerely resolve the question, and, I am most assured, the verdict of your own breast will be, that whatever was our Lords connivance for a time, at a Non-separation from a course, whereunto he was shortly to put a period: yet, in the case here stated, he would not have com­manded the people to deserte their lawful Guides, and follow Intruders, and thereby countenance such a wickedness.

5. Although I love not to play the Critick, and do grant, that the observance here enjoined, doth indeed inferre Hearing not to be prohibite; yet your exhi­biting of the command in these words, not found in Scripture, hear them, for they sit in Moses chair, doth found so like to that heavenly voice, this is my beloved Son, &c. and that Emphatick hear ye him there com­manded; whereby, the old letter and typical shad­ows of Moses Law being antiquat, life and immor­tality were brought to light; that I cannot but account (that, however our Lord permitting the hearing of the Pharisees so long as that dispensation did stand not abolished doth here directly aime only at its right improvement,) the two, hear ye him, and hear ye them, in the same signification, to be inconsistent; and this representation, a Stretch savouring more of favour to your cause, then tendernesse of Truth and Scripture-phrase. But I am tedious in a matter, so obvious, the summe, wher in I would have you and all to fixe, is this, that whatever may have been or may be the various dispensations of Providence, in [Page 201] the overcloudings of Churches, and decline and cor­ruption of Ordinances, wherein no doubt the holding the foundation Jesus Christ, by sound Faith, and sin­cerity in Gods sight, have gone a great length; yet as the instancing of such times, cannot, with any shew of reason, or measure of honesty, be alledged for a tacite, and toward compliance, with the re-in­troducing of the evils of these dark times, in Doctrine or Worship, contraire to the revelation of a more full and pure light; so no more can it be made use of, after the manifest and sealed blessing of a sent and faithful Ministery, to perswade a voluntaire abandoning, at the lust and arbitriment of Man, of our true Pastors, and a willing and tame imbracing, and owning of manifest and profane Intruders. According to which Rules, if you will be pleased to re-examine your in­stances, I doubt not but you will find them, neither to be unanswerable, nor that the Doctrine of our Tea­chers, against causeless Separatists, doth homologate your inference. As to what you add, That it is a great cruelty, if a Minister be put from his place, whether justly or unjustly, that the people should be starved. Sir, I am verily of your opinion; and therefore, as I wish our outed Ministers, had testified more love, in de­spising hazards for the relief of Souls; so I cannot but remember you, how dreadful a charge this driving away of Pastors, and starving of Souls will one day amount to, against such who have been its direct Au­thors: However, seing the love and faithfulness of Christ, the Great Shepherd, hath secured the event, they that believe need not make haste, for verily they shall be fed.

Your N. C. next Argument, is, That your Curates are naughtie men, and weak preachers. Sir, such is the notoriety of this charge, and so afflicting ought it to [Page 202] be to every one, concerned in the credit of the Gos­pel, and honour of its Ministery; that, I am assured, all sober men will rather impute it to tenderness, then want of matter, that I incline not either to inlarge the objection, or insist in the examination of your answere. You think it an odd piece of Religion, for us to reproach our Pastors by the name of Curats, a designa­tion not to be ashamed of: but though the name Curate, ows its invention, only to the vanity of men, by whom the lowly Scripture-stile of Minister was dis­dained, and be of no proper origination, and in effect the product of the corruption, both of the Churches humility, and purity of the Latine Tongue; yet, seing you account it honourable, and I and many others do rather use it for distinction, I heartily wish that you and others, who do appear so sensible of an apprehended reproach, may be as serious in reflecting upon that important aggravation, it shall furnish in the last Judgement, against these who, in stead of caring for Souls, do visibly destroy them. As for what you insinuat, that the Curats are our Pastors, and over us in the Lord, pardon me to say, that I cannot finde the relation, either in their office or exercise, and that, if Scripture-marks do intitle to Scripture-names, these Intruders, entering not by the door, are liker to Theeves, these false Teachers are but revening Wolves, and these Prophets, who teach lies, are but the taill: Nay, every one, who rightly considers, how that in place of minding the Lords Work, whereunto they pretend, and honouring him before the people, they have made his offering and Sanctuary to be ab­horred, and his name to be prophaned, in liew of that honour which you acclaime, may justly con­clude, that they that despise the Lord, shall be lightly esteemed. Say not where is Christian Charity? to call [Page 203] the manifest lewdness and lies of these pitiful Mis­creants, whose gross abominations are, almost every where, the grief of the godly, and the very scorn of all, nay such, whereof your self pag. 30. doth abhorre the patrociny, and for which, you pretend to be a bitter mourner in secret, Slight grounds, and to bid men be slow to take thence an impression, is plain mockery; Charity that beleeveth all things, resteth and rejoiceth only in the Truth, and rejoiceth not in iniquity: neither can you alleadge, our grounds being good, your Church, in our not complaining, to be neglected; it were strange charity to beleeve, as the proverb runs, that Satan will reprove sin. As for your alledging, that to separate upon the personal [...]ailing, much more weakness of a Preacher, will open a wide door to Separation. Whatever danger may be in your smooth generality; yet, I am confident, not to owne (for, as to separation, I have already cleared how the practice of these you do condemn doth differ from it) for Ministers, such vitious intruders, and flagitious livers, as your Curates are, is a Soveraign expedient for preserving both of Truth and Christian Unity: and that as to ty the good of Worship to the sincere inten­tion of him that manageth it, is an error; so, to think that Gifts and a suitable converse in a Minister, are of no influence or regard as to the work of his Mini­stery; and that because, not to hear Sermons only, but the solemn worship of God is the chief end of our meeting (wherein you are mistaken, if you think that you and we do not agree) which we can do, be the Minister what he will, is irreligion unmixed, which your jejune commending of the reading of good Scriptures, and singing of good Psalmes, doth not palliate. Be the mi­nister what he will: What? be he Socinian, Armi­nian, notoriously flagitious, an Adulterer, or Ince­stuous [Page 204] Person, a despiser of Discipline, a strengthener of the hands of the Wicked, and sander of the hearts of the Godly, a Symoniack, is nothing but what he may will, and many of yours do, de facto, will: nay, be he Popish, Mahumetan, Pagan or Atheist, all are but what he may will: O execrable latitude! But you conclude this point, that our croud­ing to hear such weak men, now in Conventicles, who formerly were of no esteem among us, sayes we are not so zealous for good Preachings, as we would make the world beleeve. Pray, Sir, if a man in plenty, make choise, and in penury make a shift, will you thence inferre, he is not desirous of the best, this is too weak: but, to be ingenuous with you, I question not, but some Curats make constantly more able, and frequently better Sermons, for the matter, then weaker Non-conformists; and vet, the just grounds of our excep­tions, do still conclude, that they are neither so good men, nor acceptable Preachers, as these whom we preferre. As for what you add, That the way to make a man popular among us, is to rail against Church and State, It is a malitious calumny, wherewith you endeavour to slander us unto our Rulers, and which they, who ought to be as the Angels of God, may easily discerne and repell.

Your N. C, in the next place objects to you, the obligation of the Covenant: wherein the whole Nation and the posterity are engaged, to main­tain our former Presbyterian Ministery, extirpat your Prelacie and all depending on that Hierar­chie, and whatsoever shall be found con [...]raire to [...]ound Doctrine, and the power of Godliness. I shall not improve this argument, being of such an obvious evidence, in any further explication; but briefly review what you answere, on the contraire: [Page 205] And 1. Your evil Conscience foometh forth your in­dignation against the Covenant, in your reproachfull calling it, our Goliah, alwayes brought out by us, to defy the Armies of the living God, whose strength, like Sampsons, lay in its hair, the Armies that fought for it, and not in any innate vigour. But as, notwith­standing all the arrowes of malice, blasphemy, and rage, that you and your party, have shot at it, it still abideth in strength, and the Armies of its followers have been made strong, by the hands of the mighty God of Iacob, and, even in their most desperat ex­tremity, did by the bloud of the Lamb, and the word of their Testimony, obtain the most signall victory; So, the Virgin, the Daughter of Zion, hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; Whom hast thou reproached? And against whom hast thon exalted thy voice? even a­gainst the holy one, the God of truth ( [...]or what are men or their doings, that you murmure against them) the swift Witness against such, as sweare [...]a [...]sly: He it is that it regardeth the rage, and tumult of your par­tie, and will turne you back: and as the inconsistencie, of your assimilations to Sampson, a Worthy of the Lord and to Goliah, a Champion of the Philistines, do plainly discover the unreasonableness of your spite; so the Lord who hath already proved the innate vi­gour of his Covenant, in the bloud and suffering of his Martyres, can also, in his good time, make its hair to grow, and strength to returne, to the utter ruine of your Prelacie, and all its adherents. But 2. You proceed to tell us, that it is a ridiculous fancie, to say, Children can be bound by their Fathers Oath, which is to make us the Servants of men, and give them Authority over our Consciences, Gods peculiar power: Sir; I per­ceive that whether you rage or laugh there is no rest: just now we heard you railing, and certainly here you [Page 206] are rallying: but first, I am glad to find your assert so plainly, the liberty of our Consciences from mans im­posing, and shall only remember you, that if a Father, in respect of this liberty, may not, at his arbitriment, bind his Son by an Oath, requiring a conscientious performance, undoubtedly farre less can Rulers, whether Civil or Ecclesiastick, perscribe at their ar­bitriment in matters of Religion, which, without que­stion, do exact a conscientious observance. 2. Though, the Lords Authority over Conscience do indeed ex­empt it from mans usurpation; yet, in so farre as it hath pleased the Lord, to vest any person with this power over another, all usurpation ceaseth, and the Lords reserved dominion doth rather establish it: for example; therefore it is, that the righteous and ne­cessary commands of lawfull Rulers, do even in con­science bind their Subjects; because in so farre as they observe the limits of their power, by him appointed, their authority is understood to be of God, and by him approved and allowed. 3. It is manifest that the Lord hath, in many things, given to Fathers, by virtue of his precept, a Power of Command, reaching even unto Conscience, without an interveen­ing Oath: Honour the Father and thy Mother, is that which God hath enjoined; and doth certainly require a sutable obedience; If then this Authority be not impugned by your alledged reason, that we are not the servants of men, can the interposing of an Oath, or the Fathers adjuration, in things otherwayes under the compass of his power, render your objection more effectuall? But 4. That I may returne you a round and full Answere: I say, that in many cases, whereof our present case of the Covenant is of all the most pro­bable, Children, by virtue of the paternal authority given and allowed by the Lord, can be, and de facto [Page 207] are bound, by their Fathers Oath: And first, where­ever the Fathers command doth engage to a perpetuall obedience, there can be no question, but, in that case, an accessory adjuration doth greatly intend the obligation: I need not confirme this by the parallel instance of Saul's adjuring the People, while in the pursuite of his enemies; the reason of this position is above exception, viz. That if a simple command, flowing from the paternall power which God hath established, be therefore binding, the solemn invock­ing of the same God to be an avenger of the contempt of that authority, by himself approven, cannot but add to the obligation: but if you desire to know in what things, and how farre the command of a Fa­ther, even of it self, without the consent and accep­tation of the Children, (which I grant, when inter­venient, doth alter the case) doth oblige? Take the instance of the Rechabites, who for obedience to their Father Ionadab [...]s command, who lived some Ages before, 2. Kings 10. 15. not to drink wine (a thing free in it self, and not under any Divine precept) they nor their sons for ever, have therefore the Lords ex­press commendation, sealed with a perpetuall blessing: If then a Father's command in things free, and arbi­trary, may be confirmed by the accession of an oath, and, in the case adduced, doth perpetually bind, how much more, must the sworn engagement of the Fa­ther for himself and his posterity in things comman­ded by the Lord, be everlastingly obliging. 2. In what case soever, a Father's Bond or Contract is binding to himself and his posterity, if he confirme the [...]amine by an Oath, the force and vertue thereof doth also reach all the off-spring, cocerned in the obligement. For explication of this truth, it is not needful that I determine particularly, what Contracts are perpetual, [Page 208] and what only personall: If these be perpetual, whereof the subject matter being either under the ne­cessity of an express perpetual command, or having an evident and lasting conveniencie, agreeable to the principles of Truth and Righteousness, the party con­tracter doth expressly thereby engage for himself and his posterity: as it is short of the true and full extent of perpetuall contracts, which cannot in reason be restricted within the limits of paternal commands, so it is more then necessary for my purpose, and more then proven by the instances subjoined.

Now that there are such obligations, as perpetual of their own nature so, carrying along with them the virtue of that accessory Oath, whereby at first they were established, is clear, not only from that Cove­nant and Oath Deut. 29. 10 & 14. whereunto Moses did engage the people of Israel, and which he decla­reth to be made with them that stood there that day, and also with him that was not there; to with the Ge­nerations to come, as appears by the sequele of that Chapter, specially, v. 29. an example whereof the exceeding evidence can only expose it to exception; but also from these more controverted instances 1. of that Promissory oath taken by Ioseph of the Children of Israel, for carrying up his bones from Egypt, Gen. 50. 25. which the after-generation in the Con­science of its Religion did punctually observe, Exo. 13. ver. 19. 2. From the Oath sworne by the People of Israel to the Gibeonites, Iosh. 9. 15. for the breach whereof, we find, the Lord severall ages thereaf­ter, severely animadverting against all Israel, and Sauls house in particular: 2 Sam. 2: 1, 2. For these you may add, the sworne Leagues, and Agreements of all Nations among themselves, which do undoubt­edly, with the same force and quality, descend to [Page 209] their Posterity. But wherefore should I insist in a matter so evident, and, at least as to the difference betwixt us, universally acknowledged? If your meaning, in affirming that Children can not be bound by their Fathers Oath, were only, that however, a promissory Oath, may be binding upon the Posterity, in the nature of a promise, and for performance; yet the religion of the Oath, is not so transmitted, as to render the Posterity, in case of a breach, perjured; there might possibly appeare to be some ground of debate betwixt us; (of which afterward) but seing it is apparent both from your proposition, explica­tion subjoined, and design aimed at, that you deny a Fathers promissory Oath, even in the substance, viz. so much as a promise, let be in the quality of an Oath, to be obliging as to his Children, you mani­festly repugne, not only to the instances given; but to the common opinion, reason, yea and sense of all Men, Nations and Ages, whereby it is most constant, that such is, and hath been alwayes repute, the power and representation of Fathers quoad their Children, that their pactions and contracts, not only in matters determined by divine precept; but also in things in themselves free and indifferent, viz. their condition in order to the Society civil, whereof they are mem­bers, yea even their state, as free men of slaves, have, without the least challenge of Usurpation over Cons­cience, seing founded in that Authority which God approves, been holden perpetually binding. But that I may immoveablie establish the obligation of this Covenant, which I am perswaded God will require, for ever: I shall not content my self with these com­mon concessions. 1. That the sworne Pactions and Covenants of a Nation or People incorporate in one Body Politick, do, even in the quality of Oaths, [Page 210] descend to after Generations; because, while the same civil form of their constitution remains, they are still understood to be the same People, notwith­standing of the change whether partial or total of the individual constituents, which doth no more alter the formal identity of the Nation, then the fluxe and change of parts in our bodies, waters in a channel, or boards in a Ship, do change the samness of the Per­son, River, or Ship. 2. That the promissory Oaths of Fathers, in all things, whereunto the sphere of their Authority doth extend, do at least bind the Children, as promises, and to the implement: which conces­sions granted by all, do nevertheless, above all scruple, confirme the obligation of our Covenants, which you impugne: yet, seing that I do apprehend, both the disparity placed betwixt a Nation and a private person, to be narrow and groundless, and the second position, to fall short of Truths full extent in this mat­ter; to remove from you all ground of scruple, I shall reduce the whole matter to these certain po­sitions.

1. That though assertory Oaths, being only ac­cessory for further security, do indeed intend, but cannot extend, the force of any Obligation, either as to its subject matter, or the persons thereby bound, beyond its rational import; yet such hath alwayes been the Religion, and Reverence of promissory Oaths as, (nothing impeding either from the peculia­rity of the subject, or other circumstances, or from the declared will of the person engaging) ever to am­pliat, and extend the interpretation, and make the successors, as well as the promiser himself, under­stood to be therein comprehended.

2. That the true ground and measure, both as to the determination of the subject, and extent of the [Page 211] obligation, whereby the force of the Fathers contract, expressly binding himself and his posterity, may be known and defined; is, this Paternal power and au­thority, it being in it self evident, that, as by reason hereof the Children follow the state and condition of the Father, (unless in so farre, as the favour of liberty, or positive Law hath made an alteration) so, where the Father by command may oblige to obedience, if by his obligation he do bind to performance, he is thereby truly to be understood much more, de facto, to exercise all the power he hath, whereby he may render his engagement effectual: Now in what things, and how farre Fathers may both dispose upon and command their Children, is sufficiently known, and their undoubted Authority, not only to command obedience to the Law of God; but also to determine them in matters free, are, by the examples of Pious Parents, and that of Ionadab upon record, much more cleared, then is necessary to our hypothesis.

3. Seing it is from the virtue and influence of this paternal power, that the Contract of Society, where­by Politick bodies do at first coalesce, doth descend unto the posterity, and so continue the Society, and its constitution to after-generations; the reason where­fore the other Contracts, either simple or sworne, en­gaged into by these associat people, do bind their suc­cessors, must of necessity resolve into the same cause; and to referre it to an imaginary samnesse, having no other reality then the first intercession, and continuance of the fundamental Contract of Society, is but an emptie Notion, importing no real difference: for, as the perpetual obligation of the original Contract, constituting the Society, can have no other cause then what is assigned; and it were irrational to attribute its continuance, to a samness, which it produceth; [Page 212] so, it is only in the force and power thereof, that all other after-National-Contracts, are binding upon the whole, and propagat to the succeeding race.

4. This third position being certain, it necessarily follows, that the oath taken by Ioseph, of the Child­ren of Israel, anent his bones, and that given by them to the Gibeonites, both, by Scripture declared to be binding, as Oaths, upon the Posterity, have no proper and peculiar reason, but do unanswerably con­clude, that whereever the Father's obligation, other­wayes binding to his off-spring, is confirmed by an Oath, it is transmitted to them with the same acces­sory force, to [...]ender them guiltie in God's sight, not only of breach of Promise, but breach of Oath: which argument is so much the more evident, in the first case of Ioseph, that the Children of Israel were not, when they sware to him, imbodied in a Politick state; but did only stand in their natural Relation of Con­sanguinity.

5. Seing we finde in Scripture the Lord Covenant­ing with Fathers, for themselves, and their Posterity; as in the case of Abraham: Fathers engaging to the Lord in the same manner, as Ioshua for himself and his house; the above-mentioned import, and extent of Ionadab's command, and (not to mention the Fathers power of devoting their Children, and of making void their vowes) even the adjuration and curse of Rulers, taking effect, many Ages thereafter; as that of Ioshua against the Rebuilders of Iericho: with what shew of reason, can we deny (the matter, or other argument of a contraire intention, not pro­hibiting) that the sworne obligations of Fathers, are binding upon their Children, aswell for the Religion of the Oath, as the Truth of the Promise? I know that, as to mans tribunal and judgement, it is thought [Page 213] hard poenam perjurij illi irrogari, qui ipse Deum testem ac vindicem non invocaverit, that one should be punished as perjured, who hath not himself invocated God as wit­ness and avenger. But as we do clearly see, the Lords judgement in the contraire; doth not the same reason, which, by making the Father's promise, for himself and Children, also their promise, and therefore bind­ing, by transmitting the Oath in like manner, con­firme its righteousness. I need not here precaution, against the Children their invincible ignorance of the Fathers Promise, and Oath; their innocencie in this case, descending from a clearer distinct head, and purging from breach of Promise, as well as breach of Oath, doth neither inferre the liberty, which you plead for; nor impugne the transmission of a sworne Promise, in its Religion, as well as in its Obligation

6. Our Covenant, being in the matter necessary and righteous; for the manner, made with and be­fore God, to be perpetually binding; and for its so­lemnity, unanimously sworne, by almost the whole Nation, and confirmed by all the Authority in it, hath, such a concurring evidence, of all arguments, and opinions, for its perpetuity, as an Oath, that your nibling at it, upon this head, is not a greater proof of your perfidie, then testimony of your incon­siderate ignorance; but if you be ignorant your self, you do well to make your N, C [...] no better: and there­fore you make him objecte against your assertion, that Children cannot be bound by their Fathers Oath: doth not the Fathers debt oblige the Son? and why not his Oath? But to give you the advantage you designe: I willingly turne the Argument to make for you, thus: The Father's debt doth not oblige the Son, unless he be also his Heir, and in this respect, only as Possessor of [Page 214] his goods: therefore &c. To which I answere, that as by the tenor of written Bonds for debt, it is clear, that the Debtor doth only oblige himself, & his Heirs, and Successors in his Lands and goods, so, both Law and Reason do interpret, all ordinary promises for debt, to be of the same nature, viz. to bind the per­son himself, and to follow and affect his Estate, to­gether with the person, who, enjoying, by universal title, the promiser his estate, is, by the interpretation of Law, understood to accept of the same, with that burthen, and no further; so, that, if a Son, as Son, be not liable, it is evidently from the restriction of the obligation, according to the meaning of the par­ties; which I already told you, that an accessory Oath doth not exceed; and maketh nothing for a Son's freedome in Conscience, as to such other en­gagements, whereunto both the Father's power, and intention, do concurre to make him liable.

In the next place, I confess you do your N. C. reason, and as just now we have heard, the ridicu­lous objection you put in his mouth; so, in this place, to his unanswerable argument, for the Childrens obli­gation by the Parents Oath, from the dutie of our al­legeance, descending from our Fathers their swear­ing the same; you returne as ridiculous an answer: viz. That we are not at all obliged to the King by their Oath, but because the right of the Crown is in his Person: who can forbear to laugh? are you a Doctor in Israel, and also a high pretender for the King, and understands no better? You say the right of the Crown is in his person, but supposing it came there by the originall consent, and allegeance sworne to his first Predecessor, (which I am sure is a title which, in this place, you will not quarrel) is not the same that is the cause of his King­ship, also the reason of our subjection? Or will you [Page 215] admit it to be the Creating, and not also the Conser­ving cause? How do the most common maximes of reason militat against you? You add, and we are born his Subjects: but, pray, doth our birth as men, or as men born in such a place, bring us forth with this character? then should all men, or at least even stran­gers, casually born in the place, be also born Subjects: whereunto then can it else be ascribed, unless it be, that we are the off-spring of such, who for themselves and their posterity, did submit to the King, by a per­petuall surrender, transmitted upon us, passivè with the same obligation? If these things do not satisfy, I intreat you to reflect, upon the ordinary strain of all impeachments: where you will finde, the person ac­cused of Treason, though he never actually swore, or promised allegeance; yet constantly, and very con­gruously, charged, with breach of Faith, Failty, and Allegeance: nay, I nothing doubt, but if you were describing to us the crime of Rebellion, you would at great length prove, it, to be both falshood and perfidy.

Your N. C. proceeds to argue thus: How was Adam obliged for his Posterity, if Parents cannot binde their Children? And in return you say, This is strange dealing: and because you will have the instance an in­applicable mystery, therefore, you recurre to secret Divine transactions, without either warrant, or ne­cessity: but, Sir, is not this a strange stupiditie in you; be it so, that God's Covenanting with Adam, as the common Head of Mankind, so as upon his deed, to make their standing or falling depend, is a difficulty, which only Gods Soveraignity can expli­cat: is this therefore also a mysterie, that Adam might have been, any other father may be obliged, both for himself and his posterity; so as to ty them to [Page 216] obedience, and upon their own [...] obedience (not their Fathers, which is the singularity o [...] Gods Co­venant with Adam) to render them guilty? or can there be any thing more plain, both in Scripture and Reason, then that not only the Lo [...]ds command, ac­cording to his will, should be perpetual to the Pos­terity; but also a Peoples Covenant, made with him to observe the same, doth oblige both them and after-Generations, to continuall obedience? as the 29. of Deut. most convincingly holds out. But you go on still stumbling, thus: I Parents can binde duties upon their Children, they may as well binde sins, and this is to make way [...] or more Originall sin then Adams. Who would not pity such impertinencies? The thing as­serted, is, that a Parent may oblidge for his Chil­dren to dutie: and you subjoin, he may as well bind sins upon them: Certainly, Sir, these are not the words of sobriety: A Parent may command his Son to dutie, may he also command him to sin? the ignis fatuus that seduces you, is that you appear to be dazled, by an imagination of your own, that we go about to im [...]ute to Children, not the Parents obligation; but their deeds, their duties, or failings, which, truly we as little dream of, as certainly you will finde your present dream, about Originall sin, when you returne to your self, wholly extravagant.

But the next lapse you make, is, in the person of your N. C. whom you cause in place of adducing an obligement by a Father, binding himself and his po­sterity, to bring in the instance of the Baptismal vow, undertaken by the Father, in Name of the Child, which seing it meets not our Question, you both ob­jecte, and answere to no purpose.

The next demand your N. C. makes, is, How then is Saul charged, and his Children punished, for killing [Page 217] the Gibeonites? And to this you make a very pleasant return, not unlike your answere made to our obliga­tion of Allegeance, viz Shat Saul is taxed for bloud, and killing the Gibeonites, who by the Lords rati [...]ying the Princ [...]s their Oath to them, had got a right to their lives; and not for perjur [...] against that Oath, which the Princes swore: Before I consider this answere, let us first hear the Scripture. 2 Sam. 21. 2. [Now the Gibeonites were not of Israel; but of the Amorites, and the Children of Israel had sworne unto them, and Saul sought to stay them, &c. Wherefore David said to the Gibeonites, what shall I do for you?] do not these words clearly intimate, that the injury done them, was contraire to that former Oath, whereby they were secured? To this you say, The Oath is only here mentioned, to reminde the Reader of the former History; but doth not at all say, that the Oath was still binding: But, if the words be set down to reminde the Reader, certainly, it is in order to some apposite purpose; and the blind account that you make, is scarce worthy of your self, let be the Scriptures of Truth. Next, what can be more evident, then, that the Oath is first men­tioned, to shew their right, thence derived; and Saul's injury, being thereto subjoyned, it is manifest, that for his breach thereby incurred, a reparation for an attonement is offered: and seing the Scripture saith enough, if it say not expressly, that the Oath was still binding, it seems only to be omitted, because in that Age, there was none who doubted, much less of your opinion [...] to deny it: Now as to your answer, I must take notice of what you seem to insinuat, that the Gibeonites were spared, not by reason of their Cove­nant, made with the Princes; but by the Lords ratisying of it, whereby they became to be excepted, from the rest of the devoted Canaanites; But Pray, Sir, do you not [Page 218] in so supposing con [...]adict your Fellow-brother the Surveyer of Naphtaly who ranteth (as you use to do) against his Adve [...]sary the Author of the Apologetical Relation, who asserted the same which you here sup­pose. 2. You speak of a ratification of this Oath of the Princes, by virtue of which, abstracted from the Oath these Gibeonites were spared, which you would do well to explain and cleare. Seing then you cannot but grant that the Gibeonites were spared, and enjoyed their lives, by the right of that peace sworne unto them, my next reply is most evident, viz. that your answere, alledging Saul's killing the Gibeonites, to have been cruell, and bloudy against their Right; but not perfidious against that Oath and Covenant, whereby their Right was granted, can no more be said of Saul, then it might have been said of the Prin­ces, who at first swore, if so be they had, the very next hour, brocken their Oath, and destroyed these, whom they had saved, it being a truth most certain, that as every violation of Faith, is, an injurious inva­sion of that right, which was thereby secured; so, it is impossible for a right, arising from a Contract or Covenant, to subsist, unless its cause do still stand, & be repute to be in force: You add, that Saul is taxed of bloud and not of perjury: A poor shift; But I have al­ready shewed him to be noted for both; & bloudy & de­ceitfull are of too near a conjunction, to allow of your negative inference, of the exclusion of the other, be­cause one only expressed. And now, Sir, I have ended this point: only let me say it without vanitie that as I judge, your folly in this last discourse to be such, as no sober man could lightly fall into, without a judicial desertion; so, I am confident if there be any ingenuity in you, the return which I justly make you of the Epilogue, which in this place you so vain­ly [Page 219] use, will cover you with blushes, viz. Thus I have taken more pains, then was needfull, to shew the ridicu­lous fondnesse of your absurd notion. viz. That Children can not be bound by their Fathers Oath; and have said more to disprove it then ever you will be able to answere.

What follows in this Dialogue is a meere rapsodie of railing, and in the first place to decline your N, C. too pungent demand, that for all you have said, you cannot deny but the Covenant binds these who tooke it, you make a hydeous noise, of that Little noise, which, you say, we made in breaking it in some things: viz. In our silence, and not declaring against the Apostacy, Ty­ranny, and Perjury of the Usurpers, and in our faint giving over to Pray for the King, Sir, contemning your calumny, I answere, were not the Usurpers sufficiently opposed in their evill courses, while there was hope? And is this all you can say, that the Lord having broken us, and brought us under their feet, in the humbling sense of his dreadful displeasure, we did not madly declaime against such, to warn whom, after their rejecting of our brotherly admonition, the Lord did not further require us: We love not to vye with you, or any other, either in stedfastness in the Covenant, or faitfulnes to the King, in these con­fused and calamitous times; but of this one thing I am most confident, that his Majesty was more obliged to the Covenant, and these who to this day, adhere to it, for the continuance of his remembrance, both with God and men, in the dayes of his Exile, and in disposing to, and preparing the way of his re­turn; then to all the present high and false pretenders who are not ashamed, in their flattering impudence, to averre, that the most notorious and base acts of Compliance, whereof they were then guilty, were [Page 220] yet the effects of a pure and constant loyalty: As for the thundering, you say, was in your Pulpits, against your course, before we were silenced, and is at this day in our Conventicles: is it not enough, that you mock at the warnings of the Lords Servants, whom for no other cause, then true Zeal for God, and tender Love to your Souls, and just indignation at your sin, you have beaten and expelled; but you must also thereto add falshood, in your alledgeance anent what you call Conventicles, and insolent insulting over our undeni­able short-coming, in due admonition, after his Ma­jesties Restitution; whereunto an excessive desire, by faireness and moderation, to stop the precipitant cur­rent of your late defection, did too generally tempt us, before we were ejected: but the Lord hears, and re­gards [...]

You tell us, in the next place, That the Tyrann's cruelty did formerly terrify us, and now we presume upon the King's clemencie. If I had ever professed the hun­dred part of that respect for Oliver that the Chief of your way did, I would say, and say it truely, that what ever he was Titulo, he was no Tyrannus Exerci­tio; however, I am farre from justifying the Usur­pers their practices, or denying altogether his Maje­sties Clemencie, whereof the indemnity given to the same Usurpers doth exhibite so faire an evidence; but this I must say, that as I do wholly impute the with­holding of much of the Kings goodness and favour from us, to the malign influence of the unlucky con­junction of accursed Prelates, whereby some even of the great and most solemn acts of his Maiesties in­tended bountie have been frustrat and depraved; so such hath been, and is, the implacable spite and rigour of their Malice, and Persecution, that not only it hath surmounted their resentment of the Sectarian inva­sion, [Page 221] and made them ascribe all these Mischiefs to us, who were their most constant Enemies; but by ma­ny degrees exceeded all the violences, wherewith the Englishes, during their Domination among us, can be charged: If you require a proof; instead of a long condescendence that I might adduce, the case of the then Tories in the North, and late Risers in the South, with the respective measures, where with they have been treated, being impartially pondered and com­pared, is an irrefragable instance. As to the trip, you mention, of these who ceased, for fear of loss of Stipend, publick praying for the King, which they had in print owned for a dutie: As at the worst you can call it but a trip, which I think, if not the respect you owe to your Arch-master Sharp, who, at that time, not on­ly desisted whith others; but, as he may remember, did overture it to his Brethren, to pray in publick for the then Protector; yet, the many horrid lapses whereof, upon smal [...]er temptations, yours are guil­ty, might have made you forbear to mention it, so, all circumstances being examined, and the practices of the Prophets and People of God in old times duely considered, a Prudent correction of an over-zealous assertion, will be found its more just censure.

But your N. C. adding oyl to your flame, by tel­ling you, that for our particular failings, you have re­nounced all, you go on in your accusation, and lay­ing aside our private faults, as if our publick alone were more then your indignation can decipher, and expressly waving all design of reflection, that by this smoothing unguent, you may render the spears of your envy better pointed, you tell us, That all you do, is, but to let us see, we are but as other men; and not such wonders as we would have the world believe? Sir, though the world knowes, that this is but your ac­cusation, [Page 222] and not our arrogance; yet I must add, that so strangely hath the apostasie, and wickedness of your course prevailed in this Land, that a very small measure of Faitfulness, is enough, without any miracle to make any man both a sign & a Wonder: but you pro­ced to tell us of Monstruous faults we committed in exac­ting the Oath of the League, over & above that it was a bond of Rebellion, as you hinted in your first Dialogue, & I have fully there refuted: And as to the Nationall Cove­nant, you say, it was a cruell imposing upon Consciences, to make a Nation sweare, what they could not understand: A man would think that you having turned us from being wonders o [...] piety to be Monsters of Cruelty, and after so high a charge given [...] that you were big with some amazing discovery to ensue; but behold the ridiculus Mus; you made the Nation renounce all the ar­ticles of poperie, and amongst the rest Opus operatum a Latine word, and abstruse conceit; with many other nice­ties that simple people did not understand: and to mend the jest, you add, was it not a contr [...]diction, to make them sweare against Worship in an unknown Tongue, and yet in the Oath, which is an act of Worship, to use it? yea, you made them preface this, with a great l [...]e, that it was after full & mature consideration, of all particulars whereof they were not capable, beside the Tyranny of making men sweare in matters, whereof some were debetable: &c. Before I enter upon this weighty challenge of words: I cannot but note the ingenuity that hath escaped you: Your Brethren commence our work from the 37, and tell us, that we were false pretenders to old foundati­ons; but you by a plain impugnation of the National Covenant, as it was first contrived, and sworne, in the 1580. 81. and 90; do clearly intimate, the true consequentiall extent of your common prejudice and very plainly signify, that Malignancie and Pope­rie, [Page 223] for all the industrious dissembling of your Partie, are nevertheless of a near cognation: nay forgetting, that this Covenant was framed at first by King Iames his speciall command, and by his reiterat autho­rity and example, very solemnly confirmed, and e­ven by King Charles, in the beginning of the troubles expressly ordained to be renewed; so prevalent is the malice of your errour, that all the regard to the pow­ers, whereof at other times you do so vainly boast, doth not here in the least restrain you from staging these two Kings with us, as Monstruous imposers. But to the objection it self, 'Tis answered, first, that it is indeed a cruell imposing upon Conscience, to make a Nation sweare an Oath, they could not under­stand; but do you think that because opus operatum is a Latine word, that therefore the people, who, un­der Poperie, had been too much acquainted with Latine termes and phrases, and at the first breaking up of the light o [...] Reformation amongst us, had of­ten, both in private and Publick, heard the Popish errors of Justification by works, Opus operatum, &c. fully explained and refuted, neither did, nor could understand its meaning? Or because to you, the opi­nion of Opus operatum, appeares an abstruse conceit, and many other Popish tenets, renounced in that Covenant, seem to be but niceties: must they there­fore be so to all? And was it impossible for these Ser­vants of the Lord, who where imployed in the con­version of the Nation, and did at first tender that Oath, to make the grossness of these popish fals­hoods, and of this in particular, though under a La­tine name, sufficiently plain, even to the meanest capacities? Certainly, Sir, the very simple ones, whom you despise, do laugh at the weakness of this arguing. 2. As you do not remember, that this Co­venant [Page 224] was first taken, u [...]on the back of our Refor­mation from Poperie, when all the errors, therein renounced, were recent in mens memories; so, you consider not, that thereby we first declare, the true Christian Religion, to be that which is revealed to the world, by the Preaching of the blessed Evan­gell, and received and beleeved, by the Kirk of Scotland, &c. And therefore do abhorre, and de­test, all contrarie Religion and Doctrine; but chief­ly all kinde of Papistrie in generall, and particular Heads as they are damned by the word of God, and in speciall the Usurp [...]d Authority of that Roman Antichrict, &c, and finally, all his vain Rites, and Traditions, brought into the Kirk, without, or a­gainst the word of God, and Doctrine of this reformed Kirk. Now I would inquire, if these general clau­ses, clearly referring to the word of God, as the only binding rule of Truth, may not be la [...]fully sworn to, without a distinct knowledge of all the Particulars, that possibly may therein be included? And if the condescending upon Particulars, doth import any thing more, then our sincere profession, that we judge the same to be comprised under the ge­nerall Rule, and therefore as such, do renounce them: seing then, that this enumeration, when o­mitted, doth not invalidate; and when expressed, doth require rather a sincere acknowledgement, then a dilucide and through knowledge; your arguing a­gainst it, from the possibility, nay even from the probability of an incident mistake, while in the mean time the perswasion of the truth of the blessed Gospel, as the regulating Rule is held firme and sure; is nothing solid nor concludent: but because the two Latine words, Opus operatum, are the great ground of your quibling, I suppose that the Oath, after the [Page 225] positive part, and generall abjuration of Papistrie, had only begun to enumerate particulars, thus, [and in special, the usurped authority of that Roman Anti­christ, all his tyrannous Laws,] and in place of the rest, had given us a faire et caetera: certainly as the premised, and subjoyned qualification of this & caetera, would have fully salved its generality; so no doubt the known signification of the words, had prevented the offence of their being Latine: If in this you be doubtful, let me only reminde you, by way of Argument ad ho­minem, of the Prelatick Oath ex officio, with its blind & caetera which, though for its illimited laxeness, joined with its evil tendencie, did give to all sober men, just ground of seruple; yet upon the account of the Latine, was never quarrelled, by either Man or Woman.

But you say it was a contradiction, to make them sweare against Worship in an unknown Tongue; and yet in that very Oath so to use it: A wittie knack indeed; if you were arguing with the Apostle, against wor­ship in a strange language, because the unlearned can­not thereto say Amen, would you not account this reply, viz. that it is a contradiction, to bring an ar­gument from the unlearned, not being in case to as­sent to a strange Language, when that very assent is, as to us, so expressed, absurd and ridiculous? Why then doth this vain subtilty so pitifully delude you? And why do you not advert, that a Tongue in general may be unknown, and yet, many of its words and phrases, not only transferred to our Vul­gar with a suteable accommodation (as is manifest in all our speech) but also simply borrowed, and by custome rendered to all significant? Seing therefore, it is the Tongue, as unknown, and not as Latine, Greek, or the like, that is the ground of the abjura­tion, [Page 226] against Worship in an unknown Tongue; and yet in that same Oath to use a word from it, of a known signification, is no contradiction.

Next you add, That we made the people preface this Oath with a great lye, of full and mature consideration of all particulars, whereof we nevertheless knew they were not capable: but why do you in fixing lyes upon others, impinge so manifestly your self? The Co­venant doth only preface, Long and due examination of our own Consciences, in matters of true and false Reli­gion: as to your mature and full consideration of all par­ticulars, it beares nothing: 2. As every Oath is to be made in Truth, Righteousnes, and Iudgement; so, cer­tainly, the examination mentioned, is both every ones capacity, and dutie; and no doubt, in all times, when this Oath was taken, was not only recommen­ded, but sufficiently warned of, instructed, and promoved by these faithful men, by whom it was administrate: but 3. Think you it so hard a matter, for any person serious in matters of Religion, according to the truth revealed in Scripture, to be able from mature consideration, to reject all these vain Popish Inventions, and Supersti­tions, enumerate in this Covenant; whereof, as there are a great many that, without any curious scru­tiny into their nature, meerely for want of warrants and through Scripture-silence, come to be renoun­ced; so, in special, the conceit of, opus operatum, being contrary to the very life and spirituality of Religion, must to every one, who knows that God requires the heart, and is to be served and worshiped in Spirit and in Truth, certainly appear to be most detestable? Sir, your scrupulous doubting and min­cing in these matters, do sadly intimate a greater measure of unsoundness, then I am willing to ex­press: [Page 227] But you tell us, that many of the things sworne against, are disputable: Pray, Sir, tell us which, that you may be known? There are now nintie years since they were all abjured, as Popish Errors and Superstitions, without the least doubt in the con­trary by any Protestant among us: If you judge other­wayes, it were better you were known, by a con­descendence, then by your generall and subdolous hints, left to render mens mindes unstable. But you plead only charity [...] and think it hard, that no man may be of our communion, except he be of our opinion in all things: Sir, this is a groundless accusation, seing it is sufficiently plain, that, whatever tenderness we are to exercise toward such, as in points less mate­riall, do modestly differ from us; yet this Cove­nant, being entered into, in obedience to that com­mand, Come out of her (that is Babylon) my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins: and be ye separate saith the Lord: and touch not the unclean thing: the to­tall abjuration of Poperie, as opposite to the blessed Evangell, the summe and end of this Oath, doth not in the least interfere, with that Christian forbearance, which persons of the same communion, are mutually to shew, in matters doubtfull and of less moment: And where you compare this Covenant, for rigor, to the bloudy and cruell conjuration of Trent, thereby interminis renounced, it is too plain, that your turn­ing of the adequate extent of a just and necessary op­position, designed by this Covenant, to that wicked & impious Bond, to be a ground of an invidious likeness, is only a demonstration of your calumnie and malice.

Having thus vindicate the Nationall, Covenant, as it was first taken, I shall only put you in minde, that the renewing thereof, in the 1638. and making the people to stand to it, is so consonant to Reason and [Page 228] Scripture-practice, that it needeth not my Patrociny. But you say, it was a great trepane to make the Nation sweare it in the 38. and then by an after-game to declare that Episcopacie was abjured in it. I might tell you that your so frequent use of the termes of Art, do not a little insinuate, how expert a Jugler you are, in the matter of Oaths: But it is answered, the Nation swore it in the 1638. in the same termes wherein it was first taken, in the year 1591; but because that some doubts, whether the Innovations of Prelacie, and the Perth Articles, thereafter introduced, were by this Oath condemned; Notwithstanding that its obvious meaning doth abundantly import the same, both in the particular abjuration, of the Popes corrupt Doctrine, anent the nature, number, and use of the holy Sacraments, his unwarrantable dedication of Dayes, and his worldly Monarchie, and wicked Hierarchie; and also in the generall de­testation, which it contains, of all Rites, and Tra­ditions, brought into the Kirk, without, or against the word of God; And that the generality of the Godly in the Land did so understand it; yet, such was the tenderness then used, that the practice was on­ly at first agreed to be forborn, and the determination of the Question, for the gaining of the doubtfull and refractory, referred to a lawfull Assembly. Now, if this Assembly, in the light of the reasons, already touched, and others mentioned in their Act, did clear­ly determine this matter, and the Covenant was thereafter taken, with an agreeable Declaration, where can you fixe your challenge? To alledge, after an Oath is taken, that to be thereby abjured, which doth no where appear in it, is certainly, as false, as the termes you use are scurrilous; but to declare from un­deniable grounds, these things to be contained, in a [Page 229] prior Oath, which only the temptation, and dark­nesse, of an after-defection did make to be question­ed; is nothing els then a just vindication and appli­cation, requisite to a faithfull pursuance, and whereof the instance of Nehemiah his renewing Covenant with God, with a more large declaration of the manner of the Sabbaths observance, then is to be found in the Law, is an undeniable warrant.

But reason failing, your passion and big words must be made use of, to supply that de [...]ect: for you say, what violence did we use, to oblige all to bow on this Idole? Church-men refusing were deposed; yea both they and Lay-men also excommunicat. 'Tis answered, A faithfull, and zealous prosecution, of the Lords Oath, from the Conscience of his holy jealousie, is only the just and laudable effect of his fear, and no wayes to make it an Idol: But seing you love such expressions, to sweare and forsweare, as your partie hath done, without either constancie or repentance, is certainly to make an Idol not of the Covenant on­ly; but of the Great God thereto invocked, who in­fallibly will one day avenge it: As for the Censures you speak of, if the perfidie of that refusall, with the other transgressions and delinquencies, whereof, the persons particularly censured, were, for the most part if not all, notoriously known and found to be guilty, be duely pondered, they will rather be found to fall short of, then exceed the proportions of righ­teousness: And though I deny not, but the heats, prejudices, and other temptations, inevitable, in such changes, to humane infirmity, may possibly have rendered the lot of some few (and these very few) recusants (rather obstinate then malitious) a lit­tle hard and apparently rigid; yet, this is most ob­vious, that the late revolution, hath so infinitly ex­ceeded, [Page 230] not only for iniquity; but also in the mea­sure of its oppressions, all the excesses chargeable on former times; that nothing less then an impudence, sutable to the late perjury, could prompt you, or any of your partie, to move such an objection: but let us hear your conclusion: What man of common sense can think this the Cause of God, which had such monstruous errours in its first conception? Sir, though I think that in the matters of God, you do ap­peal to an ill Judge yet I am so little diffident of the cause, which I maintain, that only wishing you to be more sparing, in obtruding your own ridiculous delusions for monstruous errours, I heartily referre our discourse, to my greatest Opposite.

In the next place, making a step of your N C. weak and groundless concession, That there were faults in the imposing of the Covenant, and taking it up at your own hand. That the matters of the Covenant are in them­selves indifferent: you go on to argue, that seing in these things, a man is not his own Master; but by the command of God obliged to obey the Magistrat, in all things lawfull, a tye before all Oaths; as by no act of ours, we can be bound to break the Command of God; so no more can we oblige our selves to do any thing, in pre­judice of anothers right, our Soveraign's Authority; and therefore, since the King and Parliament, have by Law annulled the Covenant, and required submission to Epis­copacie, our antecedent Oath, a voluntary deed of our own, can no longer [...]ind us, against the commands of the Powers, which are the mediat [...] commands of God. I have set down this argument of yours more fully, to the effect, you may perceive, that if I have not so much of your common sense, as to comprehend it, as a clear demonstration; yet it is not for want of a just and true apprehension; but really from the greater evi­dence [Page 231] of the answeres subjoined: and first, I say, your foundation fails, the matters of the Covenant are not things indifferent; but in themselves true, righteous, and holy, importing such an antecedent obligation, as, in the occurrence of the preexistent circumstances, did render the taking and requiring of that Oath, an indispensable dutie: And this when you think good to quarrell, I am most ready to make out. 2. Supposing with you, that the matter of the Covenant is indifferent, and that in such things, the Magistrates power of commanding cannot, by any Oath or deed of ours, be prevented or prelimited; yet, Sir, think you, that your Omission, must so farre charme us to oblivion, as to make us forget, that as King Charles the first, did in plene Parliament, An. 1641. under his hand-writing, ratifie the Na­tionall Covenant, with the explication, and Bond thereto annexed, and prior Acts made anent it, with such solemnities and concurrent considerations, as it is impossible to question it; so, his Son, who now Reigns, did, in the year 1650. and 51. take and con­firme both it and the Solemn League and Covenant, with such Oaths, Subscriptions, (as well private and unrequired, as publick) Declarations and Acts, that greater grounds of assurance, were never heard of, amongst men: if then this was the case of the obli­gation of these Covenants, at his Majesties returne (admitting all that you suppose) dare you, or any say, that the King and Parliament had power, ei­ther to resile, or to loose others, from the Bonds, which they themselves had thus established? If a Fathers silence, and non-contradiction, to a Daugh­ters vowing, and whose vowes he may disannull, do make her vowes to stand; so that he cannot there­after make them void; how can the express, solemn, [Page 232] and sworne confirmation of King and Parliament, in favours of a Covenanting people, with any colour of reason, be thought to be either, in it self ambu­latory, or toward others less effectual? But 3 to un­deceive you, of the vain esteem you have for this ar­gument, the very grounds of it, are manifestly falla­cious: For, granting that, in things indifferent, we are by the command of God obliged to obey the Ma­gistrat; yet this subjection is nothing so absolute, as is requisite to the inferring of your conclusion: viz. that therefore he hath such a right, as no antecedent deed, or Oath of ours, can stand in the case of a subsequent an­nulling command: But, the solid principles whereby this matter is clearly resolved are 1. That, as the Magistrat is vested from above with power, requisite and proportional to the ends of Government, where­unto he is appointed; so such is his right by virtue thereof, that no Subject can either decline his lawful Commands, or yet bind himself in all events, by any such antecedent Oath or other deed, as, being incon­sistent with the condition of a Subject, may fall to interfere with a supervenient rational command: for example, sitting, standing, walking, are certainly things indifferent, and in a mans power; if then, in these things, a man should bind himself, by an Oath, as never to stirre from such a place, or walk without certain bounds, though, without question, the man left to his own liberty be rather to observe his Oath; yet it is as little to be doubted, that in opposition to, or for exemption from the Magistrat's lawful and ra­tional command, it could neither be binding, nor rele­vantly alledged: I say, Rational Command, because I am of the opinion, that if the Magistrat, without any necessity, should for meer o [...]tentation of his power, command the person contrary to his Vow, [Page 233] on purpose to make it void; such an injunction would be both sinful in the Magistrat, and no liberation to the poor Votarie. The 2 principle, I lay down is, That, as the Magistrat's lawful power doth indeed grant him a large right over a mans liberty, in manner just now explained; so it is most certain, that there are many things, still left to himself, and at his own free dispose, wherein he may freely vow, and having vowed, must not break his word; but do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth, and which are plainly of that nature, that the Magistrat's coun­termand would be only an accession, and no excuse to a breach: I need not adduce examples, every passage of our life, doth obviously exhibite them: if a man vow the Tenth of his substance to the Lord, it is evident, that the Magistrat's power cannot discharge the performance: and the Lord's expresse and well-cautioned concession of this dissolving power, only to a Husband over his Wife, and a Father over his Daughter in familia, and that by way of exception, to the general command, whereby all other free Vowes and Bonds are ratified, is such a confirmation, and extension of the Rules, to the case in hand, as admits no evasion? But to give you entire satisfaction in this point, the summe is, first, That God hath bestowed upon men a faire liberty, suted to their dignity: Next, He hath also ordained the Powers, and cloathed them with authority and right, requisite to the ends of their appointment; whereof the preser­vation of our just liberties, is not the meenest: as therefore, by virtue of the former, a man, in re­cognizance of the Lord's bountie, so farre as his li­berty is not restrained, either by a lawfull command, or by a visible inconsistencie of the thing vowed to any other dutie, may freely vowe, and ought to per­forme; [Page 234] so all the effect of the latter, is only to make void such vowes, as are directly, or designedly made to frustrate its right; and to suspend the execution of others, in so farre as the famine doth eventually cross its lawful exercise: if you had perpended these things, you would not have obtruded on us, such a raw dis­course, for a clear demonstration: the Magistrat hath right to command, and, it is the will of God that we obey him, in all things lawful; and this tye is before all voluntary Oaths: but, doth it therefore so swallow up our Liberty, that it leaves a man no power in the same things, to binde himself by a vow, unto the Lord? or may the Magistrat annul, and make void the same, at his pleasure? I am certain, your own Common sense tells you, these things are too laxe, and liable to another regulation. No act of ours can indeed oblige us to do any thing in prejudice of an­others right, neither can any Covenant binde to deny obedience to the Kings just Laws: but as I have already told you, that the Magistrat hath no such right, as doth wholly evacuate our liberty, and leave us no power in things indifferent, of binding our Souls by an Oath to the Lord: and that the outmost extent of his power, in these things, is only to make void the Vow, or restrain the execution, which is incon­sistent with his Government, or doth check its law­ful exercise: So I allow no such Covenant as bindeth directly to deny lawful obedience; but such a Cove­nant, such a Vow, such an Oath, yea such a Pro­mise, as being freely taken, without any direct or designed inconsistencie to the Magistrat's lawful power, and whereof the performance doth not even­tually thwart any of his rational commands, I affirme to be so binding, that it is neither in the Prince his power, at his Pleasure, to dissolve it; nor can a [Page 235] supervenient Law enacted, expressly for that purpose, make void its obligation: And this is the true and plain account, of the nature and obligation, both of Vows and Laws, which while you, in your design to exalt the power of the late Acts, above the Bond of the Covenant, do so iniquously ballance, as to make laws, the mediate commands of God, and Oaths, only our own voluntarie deeds, to which we are not bound, by any Divine precept, you grossly forget, that he who hath commanded Rulers to be obeyed in all things, committed to their trust, hath, on the other hand, not only ratified the Subjects their reserved liberty, but also, by his own sanction, confirmed all the Vowes, and Oaths, that by virtue thereof, they do freely make: whereby it is most manifest, that as the obligation, and binding virtue of Lawes and Vowes, is coordinate, and not subordinate; so, no­more can an arbitrary after-law dissolve our Vowes, at first freely and lawfully made, then our voluntary prior Oaths can impaire or prejudge the Magistrat's righteous Power, and Edicts. As for the application of these things, to the case in hand, viz. whether the Covenant, being once sworne, in matters at present supposed to be indifferent, the Magistrat could thereafter, by an after-act, render the matter un­lawful, and so make the obligation to cease? It is very easie to expede: for, seing all the laws which you plead for its dissolution, and submission to Epis­copacie, are such as do most arbitrarily condemn it, without the least conviction to any serious person, of the unlawfulness of our entering into that Oath, either from its matter, or inconsistencie with Government, and its righteous ends; it is evident, that to admit such as sufficient to make it void, were to destroy all liberty, and render men in every Oath, how free and [Page 236] voluntary soever, obnoxious to the Magistrat's ab­solute control, and plainly to ranverse both the free­dom of making, and necessity of keeping all vowes; which nevertheless the Lord hath most expressly al­lowed, and confirmed. Sir, as I have, with you, supposed the matters of the Covenant to be in them­selves indifferent, and taken this pains for no other end, then to rectifie your Common sense, and refell your pretended Demonstration, notwithstanding of so faire a concession: so, give me leave again to re­member you, and all concerned, that, seing the matters in these Covenants, were antecedently true and righteous, and are now concluded under the great Oath of God, your pitiful quibling, upon the Kings power in matters free and indifferent, is so far from licensing us to the least violation, that, though we do further unanswerably alledge his Majesties super­venient ratification; yet it is more for your redargu­tion, then our own confirmation, whose Consciences are, by the former ground, most satisfyingly esta­blished: And here I might put a period to my reflec­tions, on this Dialogue; seing, that what remaines doth nothing convel these sure grounds, whereupon we are founded; but because, in pursuance of your conceit of the Magistrats power, of rendering the matter of Vowes, antecedently free, unlawful; and thereby making their obligation to cease, you, in re­turne to the Question, What could move the King to preferre Episcopacie to Presbyterie? pretend to many strong inductives, whereby you suppose the change to be undeniably authorized: This calumny must also be removed. And before I enter upon this matter, I cannot but commend your providence, who, fear­ing that your allegations would be found false, do prudently provide a refuge, in the profound and re­cluse [Page 237] deepth of Princes their secrets, which you think should put a stop to the inquirie: which indeed neither you, nor all men beside, are able to answere; but as the strange wickedness and folly of this Act is such, as all the devices imaginable cannot so much as ver­nish it, with any apparent colour, and its conse­quences have been so pernicious, as have left no Sub­ject in the Nations unconcerned in their smart; so, I hope, without the imputation of a mutinous curiosity, I may take the liberty to tell you, that it was not our Leaders, which occasioned the work, you hint at, to the King's Grand-father, his Father, and Him­self; Art thou he that troubleth Israel? is an old and royall accusation of the Lord's Ministers: I wish the answer now a dayes, were as improper, as I am tender to use it: we have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy Fathers house, in that ye have forsaken the command­ments of the Lord, and thou hast followed thy own in­ventions: I need not put you in minde of K. Iames his engagements to defend the Gospel, and maintain the true and pure Ordinances and Discipline of God's house, and how he thereafter turned, and corrupted his way, by no less then a direct invasion of Christ's Throne, manifest perversion of his Ordinances, de­signed subjection of the liberty of the Gospel and its Ministery, to his lust and pleasure, and open perse­cution of many faithful Ministers and Professours; These things, if you were ingenuous, you should rather have essayed to answere, as being already ob­jected and proven by others, then provoked me to the repetition: As to what you objecte, from latter times, I am sorry that by so rude and false an accusation, viz. You involved the Nations in bloud, and not satisfyed with all the security you could demand; you engaged with the King his Enemies in England: and opposed the design of [Page 238] his deliverie An. 1648, you should engage me to re­flect upon a worthy, but abused, Prince, all whose faults I think both may, and ought to be buried under his mis-fortune; but seing this you will not suffer, I shall only desire you and others to consider these sad grievances, which are elswhere undeniably cleared viz. 1. The Prelatick Tyranny and impositions of these times. 2. The rage and fury wherewith they endeavoured to inflame and stirre up all against this Kingdome, after that they had first constrained us to just defence. 3. Their notorious and reiterate persidies, whereby they rendered all securitie desperate: And lastly the sin of that backsliding course 48. now so evidently unmasked, by the 9 Act of the late Par­liament, 1661 which, instead of delivering, did vi­sibly precipitate his Majestie's sad fate: these things are so manifest, even from the publick Records of the Nation, that I can not but admire the effron­terie of your confidence, that can so overly pass them.

But you add a Question, In a word, what jealousies had you justly raised in the hearts of Princes, of your Go­vernment? Sir, I wish you had deigned your self with another word of answere; for really I know none, except these old and endless ones, the temptation, and sin of all worldly Powers, against the Lord and his Anointed. As for our Tyranny 1649. against the Nobility, you should first have answered for their breach of trust, 1648: But since they themselves have publickly, by the Act above mentioned, avowed it; your charge of Tyranny against the moderately disproportionate censures, then inflicted, merites no answere.

In the last place, you say: our Ministers divided shamefully among themselves, I grant, and sinfully also, [Page 239] though that all engaged were not equally guilty, and this was a great triall; but since, that an excess of charity toward your party, on the one hand, and a sounder judgement of your principles or rather loose­ness, on the other, was the only cause of the diffe­rence, is it not invidious in you, not only to have dissappointed your favourers; but to taxe the greater number, whom you have since so fully justified, as men of maximes incompatible with Government: Sir, this is the summe of the ac­count, you make us, of the reasons of his Majesties change, with what evidence, the Reader and not you, must judge? If he miss your Sun in its Meri­dian, and finde your light to be but darkness, a more simple eye and heart, may be both his satisfac­tion and your remedy: If I might enlarge in a more full returne, I could easily demonstrate, that, all things being considered, both before, at, and since the Kings restauration, his adhering to the Covenant, and owning that interest, had been not only his safety and peace; but his most certain establishment and Glory: if the favour and countenance of the most High, the firme love and loyalty of all good men, and the undoubtedly equal compliance and submis­sion of the other parties, may be fit media, in such an argument; the conclusion is obvious: But lest you say, art thou made of the Kings Councel? Forbear; leaving events to God I shall be silent.

Having all along endeavoured to burne, in the close of this Dialogue, you go about to blowe us: I am not for triffling with you, in such unsincere and mixed complements: the Lord purge both you and us from all dross, and restore to the Land Truth and Purity, and then shall we certainly enjoy Peace and Unity. [Page 240] As for the liberty you taxe in our discourses, and writings, I hope no right discerner, will finde it to be an invective; but the native, genuine, and well-becoming freedom of Truth and Uprightness: whether the license that you usurp, in your pretended justifications of the King, the Laws, and your Con­sciences, be indeed uncharitable, bitter and mali­cious, I neither say nor judge; he whose glory is concerned he also judgeth: But for the allowance of your defence by Tongue and Pen, which you would appear to plead, from our asserting of defensive armes; you cannot be so serious in the demand, as I am free to accord it; seing I am perswaded, that if the defensive armes, which we maintain, were no better warranted, and as little to be feared, as the self-defence, which you pretend, neither you, nor any other, would have accounted them to be worthy of the opposing.

The fifth DIALOGUE Answered.

SIR, Neither envying you that poor ap­plause, which you vainly captate, from your Mock-Non. C. confessing himself to be by you much shaken in the matter of Bish­ops, nor regarding the pitiful scorne, you would cast on us by making him, or your self rather, ridiculous in avowing a blind aversation, notwith­standing of his professed conviction, I come to consi­der his quarrel against the Bishops on the account of your Common-prayer-book, and what you answere.

Your N. C. alledges That this Common-prayer-book is a dead and formal Lyturgie, set up instead of the pure and Spiritual worship of God: In answere whereunto, pretending as vainly, that these are but big words, as I have already clearly proved, that the Government which we contend for, is the interest, and doth ap­pertain to the Kingdom of Christ; and thereby mani­festly shewed this your confidence to be meer ca­lumny, you undertake to discover the fallacy, by telling us what it is to pray by the Spirit: And you say, [To Pray by the Spirit, is, when out of a deep sense of our misery and need, and firm confidence in God, we draw near to him, to offer up our prayers and praises to him, through Iesus Christ:] And you add, [That our hearts being moulded in this frame, we pray by the Spirit, use we words or not, the same or different; Nay, it will [Page 242] appear we are carnal, when we need to have our devotion tickled, and provoked, with new words:] Which des­cription, and the deduction from it, being laid for a ground, exciting your self, by the faigned inter­jections of your N. C. surprises, at the wit and no­velty of your invention, [in representing the Liturgie-worship, as Spiritual, and the conceived one, as car­nal:] You go one, to discourse [of the differences, be­twixt spiritual devotion, and prayer by words,] the termes, wherein you are pleased, very groundlessly, and impertinently, to state the distinction: [And the former (you say) lying in the will, and not in the fancy, and being affected with the thing, and not with words, can with the newness of affection, make the same prayer in words, though an hundred times repeated, at every return New: And, is a still, humbling, and melting thing, and so equable, that it is above the frisking fits of the fancy; neither doth it require a variety of words; but, in its sublimest exercises, can persist long, with great sweet­ness, in the simplest Acts; whereas, multiplicity doth perhaps lead out the minde, from pure and still devotion, interior prayer, and spiritual converse with God: On the other hand (you tell us, that) prayer by words, lying in the fancy, and its gratifications, by the varying of things into several shapes, the devotion raised by such Chimes, is only sensible, needing new phrases, to renew its fervour; and words, and all the heat begot by words, are but a false fire, in the natural powers of the Soul, which may heat the brain, draw forth teares, seem to wring the heart, b [...]t amounts to nothing, save a sensible fervour, and present tickling, wherein, he that abounds most in Me­m [...]r [...], Fancy, El [...]quence, and Confidence, is likely most to excell:] from all which you conclude, [that it ex­presseth a more spiritual temper, to be able to worship God in simple, and constant Forms, and that extemporary [Page 243] prayer, cannot be called praying by the Spirit; except by Spirit be understood the Animal or Natural spirits. This I suppose is a true account of your first floorish, upon this subject, to what purpose, remaines yet to be inquired.

And first, I might take notice of the inaccuracy of your expression, of praying by the Spirit; whereas the Scripture-phrase, is, to worship in Spirit, Iohn. 4. 23. Praying in the Spirit, Eph. 6. 18. to worship in the Spirit, Phil, 3. 3. to pray with the Spirit. 1. Cor. 14. 15. And though the difference be more in words then matter; yet, as the Scripture-diction is certainly the founder; so, I am apt to apprehend, that your not adverting to it, may have in part occasioned your vain and impertinent digression, upon praying by the Spirit, and praying by Words, as if these were by us wholly distinguished, and the latter preferred. 2. I might observe, that the description which you give us of Praying by the Spirit, is more suteable to the calme and serene progress of a Christians course, then to these doubtings, feares, wrestlings, depressions, and overwhelmings, so frequently found, in the expe­rience of all, to be thereto incident, which being no less removed from, and destitute of, a firm confi­dence, then the staying and assisting of the Spirit, with groanes that cannot be uttered, is therein obser­vable; your description appeares to be narrow, and inadequat: But the plain answer, which I returne, is, that as the stating of the Question, is by you wholly neglected; so the reasoning, whereby you go about to maintain your lifeless and superstitious Liturgie, is altogether inconcludent. The controversie betwixt you and us, anent your Service-book is twofold. 1. Whether the Publick worship of God ought to be astricted to set and imposed Forms? And 2. Whether [Page 244] that form of Worship, which your Book contains, be not in it self in many particulars, unsound and im­pertinent, and consequently not to be received by way of directory, farre less acquiesced unto as a precise injunction? That these are the two hinges of this de­bate, will easiely be acknowledged; but what your above mentioned discourse doth contribute to its de­termination, I must again solicite your second thoughts, to render us an account. We have your de­finition of praying by the Spirit; and we let it pass. Next you subjoin, and that with many empty reite­rations, that praying in words, specially extemporary and various, is sensible, fancical, affecting and heating the brain in lower minds, and producing only a natural fer­vour; and that thus it may be, with such, who pray in words without the Spirit, was never by us denied; but darre you, or any man els, not abandoned to utter irreligion, propose this as your opinion, of all prayer in conceived, and not precontrived and prescribed words? Do not the very truth of Religion, requiring both heart and mouth; the reasonableness of our ser­vice, consisting in their Harmony; the practice of the Lords people, in all Ages; the frequent examples, every where in Scripture; the experience of every se­rious Soul; yea the common reason of all men, re­dargue the gross absurdity of such a perswasion? Were David's Thanksgiving, 1 Chron. 29. 10. Solomon's Prayer, 1 King. 8. 23. and I [...]hosaphat's Supplication, 2 Chron. 20. 5. all without Book or Set-form, only extemporary heats? Are the praying Psalmes, with all the exer­cises of the Lord Servants, in the Nynths of Ezrah, Nehemiah, and Daniel, and in other places, clearly flowing, as the Spirit gave utterance, without any taught frame of words, frisking fits of the Fancy? Was our Lords Prayer, Ioh. 17. only a sensible servour? [...], [Page 245] Sir, I would rather suppose, that although your airy discourse, hath wildly seduced your observation; yet your heart abhorres such impiety: I will not there­fore insist on the advantage, which this your laxe in­advertencie so fairely offereth; nor shall I content my self with this obvious retortion, that where one instance can be given of conceived Prayer, only ma­naged by Fancie, and subsisting in its vain exercise, thousands may be found of persons, through the practice and custome of Set-forms, habituate to a most lifeless and superstitious mummery, more suteable to the worshiping of stockes and stones, then to the service of the true and living God: Nor lastly will I vex you, by shewing, that the distinction which you make of praying by the Spirit, and by words, is so impertinently by you applied, to our present purpose; that though you endeavour thereby, to impugne ex­temporariness, multiplicity, and variety of words, in Prayer; yet, it plainly concludes all words to be superfluous: for, seing that in opposition to the spi­ritual worship of God, which we contend for, you tell us, that we may pray by the Spirit, use we words or not, and that spiritual devotion is a still inward thing: Is it not evident, that all outward Forms, whether set or extemporarie, are thereby rejected? But freely waving these your lapses, that I may come more close­ly to the present purpose, it is to be considered, that the right and true worship of God, is certainly inward in the minde, will, and affections: God who demand­eth the heart, doth thence expect, that tribute of reverence, love, fear, acknowledgement, and praise, which in his sight is acceptable; and all other out­ward performances, as they ought to be the sincere expressions, and significations of this internal devo­tion, so they are wholly and only regulable, by the [Page 246] prescriptions of Divine appointment. If this truth were as seriously heeded, (as I am perswaded it is fixed, and constant,) both by you and me, our controversie would soon be ended: The Question then, is not, concerning the life and truth of internal Prayer, wherein, without doubt, the spirituality of that exercise doth principally consist; but, seing that you and we are agreed, that God whom we serve, is to be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth, the debate is, anent the manner, how this worship, specially when Publick, is to be performed? Whether in set and imposed Forms; or as the Spirit giveth utterance? Or if, for preventing mistakes, you please to take it at greater length; whether it be lawful for men, to compose and impose Set forms for Prayer, and Worship, and thereto to astrict the People of God, in their performances? Or, whether it be more agree­able to the will and service of God, that prayer and worship, which are to be performed inwardly, in the liberty and truth of the Spirit and understanding, in their outward expression, be left to be managed, by the free and sanctified use of the rational faculty, for that end given, and in many observably gifted? By which state, as you may easily perceive that I do allow, not only the antecedent improvement of the expressive power, by all warrantable aides and advan­tages; but also the free using, upon occasion, of such words, as others have formerly, either dictated, or made use of: Nay even in so ne cases of several of you Set forms; both which I conceive are very con­sistent with praying by the Spirit, either as by you or by us defined: So, the precise point controverted, and to which I would have you all along to advert, is anent the imposing, and astricting, which I plain­ly judge to be both destitute of Divine warrant, and [Page 247] contrary to the liberty of spiritual devotion; and so repugnant, in both qualities, to that Worship in Spirit and Truth, which only is acceptable. But before I proceed to a confirmation, there occurre some mis­takes to be removed: one is, of some of your way, who, defining praying by the Spirit, the uttering of such petitions, as are immediatly suggested, both matter and words, by the Holy Ghost, hold it for a Gift proper to the Apostles, and their times, and now ceased: thus the English Debater, and your own headless allegeance, that extemporarie Prayer cannot be called praying by the Spirit, unless we also call it infalli­ble, doth also coincide: But, seing by your descrip­tion, above mentioned, you do allow of praying by the Spirit, as not yet ceased, and do thereby very justly understand, rather the Grace, then the Gift of Prayer; although even the Gift, where it is (as it may be) without the Grace, may also have the name of praying by the Spirit; and seing that both the Debater, and you, I suppose, would be offended, if any should affirme, that no man using the Service-book-forms, could pray by the Spirit, I only add, that as the Spirit is the great promise of the Gospel, its Grace, the life, and its Gifts, the strength of all Christian duties; so, praying by or in the Spirit, can no more be impugned, for want of infallibility, then any other good work, of the same Spirit in us denied, for want of perfection: But who would not pitie two Doctors of the Church, either so disingenuous, or unable, as not to distinguish, betwixt the Spirits ordinary mea­sures, and extraordinary assistances. The next mistake is, that reflecting upon the greater exactness of phrase, attainable in a Set-form, above what can be expected in an extemporarie work; and commending the pro­priety, conci [...]neness and gravity, that may be in [Page 248] the former, in respect of that rudeness, incohesion, and levity, supposed to be incident to the latter, you exaggerate the comparison, as if the whole stress of the debate, did ly in this point, whereas he that duely considereth, will not only finde your Forms, at best to be but humane and imperfect, and that the Gift of Prayer promised, if duely improved, in and with the exercise of the Grace, is, farre more likely, to furnish sound, savory and acceptable words; then these jejune and lifeless composures; for framing and enjoining whereof, men have no promise of the Lords assistance: And lastly, that the whole word of God, and the excellent patterns therein recorded, with many other helps, are at hand, and allowed by us, by way of Directory; but he must also grant, that it is not our choice, but the Lords own prescription, which he doth accept: Suppose your Forms were as much better, then our conceptions, as a Mans First­born, is preferable to the beast of the field; yet, if not required, they cannot come up with acceptance on his Altar: and therefore, I conclude, that how­ever the sincere Users may finde grace in his sight; yet the peremptory Imposers, cannot be innocent. A third mistake, is, that because in the use of certain Set-forms, a man may possibly pray, with deep spi­ritual impressions, and high elevations: Nay the sublim­est acts of communion with God, may be expressed in the simplest Forms, such as, Thou art my God; therefore you conclude, that s [...]inted Forms, are more suted to true spiritual devotion, then the multiplicity and variety of words, in an extemporarie exercise, which do lead out, and do too frequently only excite a phantastick transient pleasure, almost evanishing with the sound, wherewith they are pronounced: But seing, that the variableness of the condition of a militant Viator can hardly be de­fined, [Page 249] much less the free actings of the Spirit, in such exigences, confined to any prescribed Forms, and that the more Seraphick raptures of Divine contem­plation, do therefore subsist in few and plain words, because above the reach of expression; it is undoubt­edly certain, that neither the right use-making, or rather agreeableness of certain forms to very sincere and serious devotion, nor the simplicitie of words, used in the nearest admission of heavenly fellowship, do at all remove the unwarrantableness and inconve­niencie of the restraint of Set forms, when under the necessity of an imposition. As for what is insinuate of these fancical heats and pleasures, wherewith words, ex tempore, may possibly delude; it is only an acci­dental inconvenience, from our corruption, and by the faults of your imposed Forms, infinitly overbal­lanced, as I have already shewed. These things, being thus cleared: for confirming of my assertion, against your stinted, and imposed Forms, I say first, That these impositions are peccant against the Truth of Gods worship; because the samine requires his own express warrant, and prescript: It is in vain to worship after the commandements of men; the ser­vice which he requireth not, he abhorreth; Will-worship is an abomination: But such is your imposed and commanded Liturgie: if now, what doth the Lord require? ought to be the serious reflection of every one, that draweth near unto him; if, in all things commanded, we ought to be circumspect, without adding to, or diminishing ought from it; If the Lord did most exactly define the manner, and every rite and ceremony of the legal Sacrifices and ser­vice, yea every pin of the Tabernacle, with the whole contrivance and orders of the succeeding Temple; if strange fire, made use of even in an offering to God, [Page 250] be so severely vindicat; and the erecting of another Altar, then he had appointed, even for his Sacrifices, what can we conclude, concerning your imposed Forms and the manner of that service, which you so arbitrarily enjoin? That they are of farre greater moment in his Worship, then many of these things, about which we see, his holy jealousie to be so atten­tively conversant, commonsense doth evince: how then can they be receaved without his warrant, with­out which, all humane devisings are rejected? Say not, that the rigor of this strictnes was a part of the old legall bondage: for granting that it may be so, as to the particular manner of that dispensation; yet you are so farre from being thereby helped, that, as I have formerly shewed that the burthen of the things, by you imposed, stands manifestly convicted by our Gospel-liberty; so, the immoveable princi­ple, that, in his Worship, his own prescription is the alone warrant of acceptable performance, doth equally redargue the presumption of your imposing, in whatsomever model, without his Command. But it may be objected, that, seing our extemporarie Pray­ers, are as well a part of Divine Worship, as your stinted Forms, and that as to the frame of the words, the former can no more, yea rather less, then the la­ter, pretend to a congruity to the word and will of God, the argument from the unlawfulness of Will-Worship, doth militat more against us, then you: 'Tis answered, If the question in this matter were only whether Set-forms, or extemporarie straines, may possibly be composed with the greater consonancie, in words, unto Scripture-phrase, the objection might have some, (though in respect of what I have already touched of the promised gift of Prayer very little), weight; but seing our debate runs clearly, concer­ning [Page 251] the manner, how the true and Spiritual Wor­ship of God is to be externally performed; If the Lord, whole alone it is to prescribe in this matter, hath in a just congruity to the liberty of his own Spirit, left it to the night and sanctified use of the rational ex­pressive facultie, and the due improvement of these helps and promises, wherewith he hath instructed us; for man vainly to arrogat a better contrivance, in his devised impositions, is an intolerable presumption: and therefore, though the conceived, as well as the stinted Prayer, be a part of Gods Worship: Nay, though this, as well as the other, singly and sincere­ly used, may be accepted; yet seing the Lord hath allowed the liberty of the former, and doth not at all require the obligation of the latter, the imposing thereof must, of necessity, be repute and cast, as an humane invention. I need not stay to resume, that conceived Prayer, for the reasons above mentioned, and in respect of the promised gift, and assistance of the Spirit, whereof the composing and commanding of Set-forms is destitute, may probablie be, and is often found to be, the better phrased: Nor shal I tell you, that the manner thereof is so undoubtedly the more rational, genuine, and lively, that if even those of your way could be perswaded, that men were sufficiently thereto qualified, they would easily grant the imposing and use of Forms, to be less ne­cessary: it is enough for us, that the Lord, who know­eth the best of our performances, in whatsomever sort, to be but lame and imperfect, hath both allow­ed, and accepted of our extemporarie petitions, whereas your injoined Forms are no where required. 2. I say, that the imposing of Forms impingeth u­pon the Spirituality of Prayer and Worship; That which boundeth and restraineth the free Spirit of the [Page 252] Lord, in the motions and breathings whereof, the very life of prayer doth consist, impingeth upon the Spirituality of Prayer and Worship: But so it is, that the imposing of Forms restraineth and bindeth up, &c. Therefore, &c. That the Spirit of the Lord, whereby his people, especially in prayer, are guided and acted, is free, not only in its gift, but also in its operations, both Scripture and experience do teach; The winde bloweth where it listeth, &c. and so is every on that is born of the Spirit: where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty: not only from the bondage of corrup­tion, but in the wayes and paths of the Lord; and more especially, in the large and all-searching disco­veries of the minde, yea of the deep things of God: and what strange exercises have been, and may be, in the experiences of the Saints, the result of this li­berty, and of the variety of our unstable condition, Iacob's wrestlings, Davids heart commu [...]ings, Spi­rit-searchings, overwhelmings, and again exultings, Ierimiah's mournings, and Daniel's supplications, do exhibite a few examples. Now that the imposing of Forms, which are set, certain, and determined, doth stint this liberty, and cannot possibly quadrat to all the variety above mentioned, needeth no other e­vidence, then that of an ingenuous reflection. I have already acknowledged that in the right using of several of your Forms, a man may have his heart very deeply affected; and now I further suppose for argument, that such may be the aptitude of a full and sound composition, as may possibly suppeditat peti­tions and expressions, convenient to every exigence; but yet, that the Spirits free use-making, and mens stinting thereof to these Forms, do vastly differ, cannot be denyed; since that, notwithstanding of all conceded, the enjoining of these impositions is [Page 253] not only inconsistent with the free methods, but also doth confine the illimited enlargements of the Spirit, as cannot but be obvious to any exercised discerner: But that which, I suppose, doth induce you and many others into an error, in this particular, is a preposterous observation of certain good motions, and sincere and servent devotions, which possibly some may feel, in the use of your Common-prayer-book, whence you inadvertently conclude, that the same Forms, not appearing obnoxious to the escap­es, incident to extemporarie expressions, may, more safely and sufficiently, serve to the exciting and signifying the like spirituall motions and devotions, in all; whereas it is certain, that as in the former case, these motions were only the free breathings and stirrings of the Spirit, and in a manner accidental to these Forms, wherein they come to be uttered; so to ty the same free influences to the manuduction of a set of words, is more absurd, then the same words are often found to be incompetent to the setting forth of the singularity that may be in the case of the Sup­plicant, whether a whole Church or single Person. Really, Sir, when I consider, that the Lord craves the heart, and that men Worship him in Spirit, and that it is thence, and out of its abundance, that the mouth ought to speak; and from a beleeving heart, that the tongues confession is acceptable, I cannot but wonder, how this inversion of preceeding and lead­ing Forms should be so much asserted: and certainly if we may, after the Lord's example, Mal. 1. 8. reason, in these things, from self reflection, may not the knowledge we have of our own way, in such sup­plications, to or from our Neighbours, wherein the heart, and not the justice and merit o [...] the sute, [Page 254] comes to be regarded, teach us, to reprobate, and nauseate such impositions? If in hearty requests, we ourselves can neither be confined, in the making, to a rat of words put in our mouth, nor relish the like practice from others, and do censure such methods, as too cold and indifferent; how much more should we stand in awe, to obtrude them to the Father of Spirits, the searcher and lover of the heart? I might arise higher, upon this subject, and demonstrate to you, from the order of nature, which certainly the Lord hath principally ordained for his own Worship, Service and Glory, that the heart, and minde, and not the eyes, common sense, or memory (unless in so farre as is requisite, to the joining of the hea­rers in Publick prayer) ought to preceed, in all; and without question did preceed, in the first acknowledge­ments rendered to him by his creatures; but I nei­ther love nor need to admixe such reasonings to these Scripture-grounds already adduced: I shall therefore summe up this argument, with answering two objecti­ons viz. That I seem 1. to forget, that our Mini­sters in publick prayer, do, as much, preceed and lead the peoples devotions and affections, by their conceived words, as if they were set and predevis­ed: 2. To suppose, that all who can or ought to pray in heart, are also qualified to a suteable utte­rance. And to the first it is answered. 1. That it is evident, that the People may, and ought to joine in publick prayers, uttered by one as their mouth, al­though the samine be by him conceived, and to them unknown, until expressed [...] this is clear from the practices of God's People, in these publick prayers of David, Solomon, Iehosophat, and others already mentioned: and you your self lay it for the ground of [Page 255] an argument, viz that the people can joyne, and pray by the Spirit, though the words be not of their framing. 2, That although our Ministers do preceed in words; yet seing the people are gathered in the Lords Name, and he, with the power of his Spirit, in the midst of them; and the Minister is called and appointed to oversee them, know their condition and necessities, and to be their mouth toward God; and lastly, seing there is a promise of the Spirits publick, aswell as private assistance, whereupon we may as­suredly confide, both for a due instruction, sense, and utterance in the Minister, of the Peoples state, and exigence, and a sweet uniting of their hearts, in an harmonious concurrence, the agreeablenesse and advantages of conceived, and not imposed prayer, are thereby abundantly conserved: and the difference betwixt the Ministers preceeding, in free and Spirit-directed words, from the manuduction of your re­stricting forms, manifestly held forth. Offend not that I say Spirit-directed words; for if I should descrive Prayer in the utterance, to be the expressing of these desires, which through the Spirit we make unto God, in the name of Jesus Christ, for things agreeable to his will, in words directed by the same Spirit; and thence draw an argument, for reprobat­ing your vain devising, and rigid commanding of Forms, which practice the Lord hath neither order­ed nor blessed, I should but define the dutie, accord­ing to the Precept and Promise, which is no more impugned, by the mixture of your infirmities, then the account given by you, either of internal praying by the Spirit, or external, by a Set-form, which, as from us, do alwayes labour of imperfection, are thereby made void. As for the second objection, that I seem to suppose, that all that can, or ought to pray [Page 256] in heart, are also qualified, to a [...]u [...]eable utterance; I answere 1. That my present discourse, of concei­ved Prayer, doth no more suppose, all to be thereto qualified, then your discourse of internal Prayer by the Spirit, doth warrant the like construction: how men do pray, and how they ought to pray, are easie to be distinguished. 2. The Spirit of supplication, is no doubt promised, not only for inward motions, but also for outward suteable expressions; and the teaching of God is sufficient, and may be forthcoming for the one, as well as for the other: Nay as we know, the expressive facultie, where the organes are not impedite, to be alwayes more or less subser­vient enough to the mindes conceptions; so, not­withstanding that the Gift, and Grace of Prayer, be certainly distinct, yea in such sort separable, that the gift may be, where the grace is wanting; yet seing the Gift is promised, and given, for the help of the Grace, at lest in general; (for, that in particular Per­sons, the gift may be found without the grace, for helping of the grace in others, is not refused) it is scarce to be supposed, nor can it be easily instanced, where one in whom the Grace was found, was totally destitute of all measure of the Gift; I say, of all mea­sure, for that many have had the Grace, without that eminencie of the measure, that men do ordinarily terme the Gift, cannot be denied; but the thing to be principally here adverted to, is, that we judge not of the competencie of this Gift, according to mens too frequent estimation. That the mixtures of that wofull vanity, from which, of all vices, our minds are most hardly purged, occasioned by a just aversion of Forms, ill framed and worse imposed, have too far altered the ordinary Rule, from sincere and ac­ceptable simplicitie, is too true a regret; certainly, [Page 257] if men were more denied unto their own wisdome, and more surrendered to the conduct of the Holy Ghost, even for the words which he teacheth, both the ungodly scorn of many, mocking at apparent weaknesses, and the pretended modesty, but reall vanity, of others, their self-diffidence; and lastly our true and undeniable insufficiencies, for a suteable utterance in Prayer, would soon, and happily be corrected: But 3. admitting that most men were more unqualified, and worse furnished, then really they are, for conceived prayer, pray, Sir, what doth your imposing of Forms help the matter? That the representing of Forms, and other Rules by way of directorie, may conduce for instruction, will easily be agreed unto; but that the imposition wherein the evill of your way lyeth, addeth nothing by way of help; but on the contraire, is a presumptuous pre­scriving in Gods Worship, a manifest restraining of the Spirit of Grace and Supplication, and plainly in­jurious, both to the exercise and improvement of the Gift of Prayer, is not less obvious, to every ones ap­prehension, then by the arguments adduced evidently evinced.

Having thus discussed the first part of our present debate, anent the imposing of Forms in general: The second part, whether that Systeme of Forms, contained in your Service-book, be not (for not a few of them) unfound, and impertinent, and not to be received, so much as for a Directory, remains yet to be handled? But since it is a little after, that you are pleased only to give a touch on this head, and that the samine on our part, hath been fully spoke to, by such, who by their examinations and anatomies, have abundantly discovered, both the Errors and Su­perstition, which your Liturgie contains; I proceed [Page 258] to answere, what remains of your reasoning.

And 1. You lay it down as a ground, that, in opposition to your Forms, we hold spiritual devotion to be only the using and pouring out of unprescrived words, as if that were all required: Which is altogether false, and ridiculous; seing it is evident, that as no prayer is acceptable, unless made in the Spirit; so we therefore call our way spiritual, yours formal, in respect, that ours is sut­ed to the liberty, and made dependent on the Spirits direction, whereas your impositions, do both restrain the Spirit, and are plainly a humane invention.

2. You say, That it expresseth a more spiritual temper, to be able to Worship God in simple and constant Forms: But 1. That this doth indeed import more spirituali­ty, then the imaginative straines of these, who only flow, and are fervide in words, and are not fervent in Spirit, serving the Lord; which is the very summe of your discourse, is no more certain, then imperti­nently by you insisted on. 2. That the elevations of Spirit may, sometime, surmount the faculty of ex­pression, as I have already touched, is as little to your purpose. 3. That it expresseth a more spiritual tem­per, to be able to Worship in a set-form, then, in the same inward frame, to be able in free and Spirit-directed words, in a more full and lively manner, then any stinted Forms can pretend, to expresse our prayers, and our praises unto God; I utterly deny: And am very confident, that when you attain to the experience, you will be farre from thinking, that this is a multiplicity, which doth lead out.

3. You say, that if extemporarie prayer be by the Spirit, it must be infallible: But poor man, do you not consider 1. That the Spirits direction, and out imperfection are not incompatible. 2. That this doth as much mi­litat against spiritual prayer, in, and by your hu­mane [Page 259] Forms, which you so much magnify; and yet they are neither perfect, nor infallible. 3. I have al­ready told you, that the Spirits extraordinary infalli­ble assistance, and ordinary presence and direction, are most distinguishable. 4. You your self plead, that as we affirme, that the people may join with the Minister, and Pray by the Spirit, though the words be not of their framing; so the Minister may also pray in the Spirit, though he use words framed by others, and yet you know, that neither the one nor the other are infallible. 4. You say, If one should with a short-hand follow his prayer, whom we say prayes by the Spirit; then, may not that prayer be used over again? Or, is the Spirit in the prayer so volatile, that it evaporats in the saving? Really, might I be free with­out offence, I would tell you my fears, that both your Reason, and Religionare evaporat: art thou a Master of Israel and askest such questions? do either we affirm, that praying by the Spirit, doth consist principally in the conceiving of words, so, as another using, but not conceiving the same words, cannot pray by the Spirit? Or, do you imagine that the Spi­rit in Prayer, is in the dress and form of words, so that whoever doth use them, doth pray by the Spirit? And seing that both members are groundless, what can your question import? What it is to pray by the Spirit, we have already heard, which, as it doth not impede, why a man may not possibly join, and pray in the Spirit, though in the words of your Forms, when uttered by the coldest Form alist; so, neither is it by us tyed to the conceiving and expressing of words; nor doth a mans praying by the Spirit, yet in words, either composed, or uttered by another, in the least impugne that spiritual liberty in orall Prayer, by us asserted, against your unwarrantable [Page 260] impositions; which liberty, consisting in the uncon­fined use of words, left to the Spirits direction, as it is most agreeable to the freedom of the Spirit, and our rational service, which the Lord, who requireth it, hath not astricted unto Forms; so, in respect of your carnal, restringent, and unwarrantable imposings, is therefore, and most justly, termed spiritual. But it were only a wearinesse to trace all your Mistakes, and inconsistencies in this question; he who can con­ceive, that the spiritual manner of prayer by us com­mended, is neither, on the one hand, a praying al­wayes in new words, nor, on the other, such as can be lawfully tyed up, to humane stinted forms; but is to be performed, whether by a man for himself, or with and for others, in words freely directed by the same Spirit, from which the inward desires and mo­tions ought to proceed, will easily tell you, that the case of a Ministers following this Rule, and being astricted to words, framed by another, hold no pa­rallel, and with the same facility, unravel all your other quiblings, and pitie your impertinencies: and therefore I go forward. Your N. C. asks, but doth not the Spirit help our infirmities and teach us to pray? And you tell him, that, the words aright considered, speak out a far different thing from what he would draw from them, and that the Spirit doth indeed teach us the matter of our Prayers, and also the manner, to wit, the temper of our hearts; but, that words are not meant, ap­pears from what follows, and maketh interc [...]ssion for us with groans that cannot be uttered. But, Sir, if the Apostle commend the Spirits assistance to us, in prayer, in intending our desires, above the earnest­ness that words can express; doth it therefore follow, that, in the directing of our utterance, which is a lesser matter, his help is not to be expected? [Page 261] 2. Though in this place, the Spirits help for the di­rection of our words were not meant; can you deny, that, that gift, is not fully elsewhere promised? have you forgot the anointing that teacheth us of all things? The Spirit that giveth utterance? And the Father of lights from whom cometh every good Gift? And who enricheth us by Iesus Christ in all utterance and in all knowledge? Or, need I to remember you of the promises, that the heart of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerer shall be ready to speak plainly, or elegantly: and again the tongue of the dumb shall sing: Really, Sir, if a man diffident of the readinesse of his expression, cannot from these open fountains draw supply, I am confident that the brocken Cisterns of your imposed Forms, will make him but small reliefe. After this, relapsing into your former prejudice, and causing your N. C. to say, That in this imbodied state, we need to have our Souls stirred up by the commotion of our Fancies, you accept of the acknowledgement, and thence inferre, That at least, such a way of praying, is not so sublime, and there­fore ought not to be called praying by the Spirit: But, Sir, as I have already told you, that he, who being inter­nally moved by the Spirit of Grace, neither needeth a Set-form, to obstetricat his expression, nor therein confineth himself to it; but out of the abundance of his heart, and, in words directed by the Holy Ghost, doth flow forth in his Prayers and Praises; is indeed of a higher size, then he who having the same devo­tion toward God, is therein either stinted by anoth­er, or straitened in himself, to a limiting and restrict­ing Form; so, your talking in this place of the stirrings of the Soul, by the commotion of Fancie, and the grati­fications of Nature and imagination, is, but the grati­fication of your own vanity, in as much, as it neither [Page 262] pertaineth to the present Question, whereof the law­fulness or unlawfulnesse of mens imposing Set-forms of Worship, and not the life or spirituality thereof (wherein I hope we are agreed) is the subject; neither do we either teach or defend, but plainly reject, these carnal methods, here by you supposed to excite de­votion by fancie, and kindle our affections by ima­ginations, where the inspiration of the Spirit ought to warm the heart, and blowe the flame, as being the offering of strange fire unto the Lord, in place of the heavenly fire, that descends from himself, upon his Altar: It is true, the heart, and desires thereof, being once set on work, by this divine principle, may, and ought to enlarge it self, by the summoning and exciting of its affections, and whole minde and strength, for the intending of its fervor, and elevat­ing of the Soul; but this truth, doth so little favoure your impositions, in preference to our way, that by a new argument, it further, and evidently confirmes, the narrownesse and insufficiencie of your stinted Forms, to that spiritual Soul-devotion, wherein the Lord delights.

But you say, That, you will convince us of the evill of extemporarie Forms; and 1. you say, That, I must long exercise my attention, to consider what he who prayes intends, and this strangely draweth out the minde from devotion, which cannot vigorously act two powers at once; and therefore you conclude, that both in reason and ex­perience, Set-forms do conduct a mans devotion, with less anxiety, wavering or distraction: To this it is answered 1. That seing the Churches of Christ are united, not only in the same form of profession, but in the same Spirit, and have the promise of the presence of the Lord and his power, in all their Assemblies gathered in his Name, whereby both Minister and People, [Page 263] may expect all due assistance in their performances; your supposed unacquaintedness in the People, with what the Minister intends, with the long attention, and strange out-drawing of the minde, which you thence inferre, are but your own groundless and faithless imaginations: 2. That a certain measure of previous attention in joining, either with conceived, or imposed Forms, is necessary to instruct our devo­tion, is neither by you, nor us to be denied; but how you can thence conclude, that attention, as such, which in this case, both in your and our way is absolutely necessary, directly preparatory, and leading into, should lead out from the devotion to ensue; and by what Logick you make the attention, or inclination of the minde, and the devotion thence arising, almost as connected, as the inclining of the ear, and hearkening are, two powers, (and not two acts) and these also incompatible, surpasseth common understanding: It is true, if I could suppose with you, that the People, nay the Minister himself, going about to pray, were wholly ignorant, how he will discharge it, and that therefore, they, either join blindly, or with anxiety; nay further that our way labours under many abuses of tedious length, scurrilous expressions, involved periods, petulant and wanton af­fectations, and the like; I might possibly finde some shadow of reason for your alledgeance: but since, you not only speak as a stranger to the Grace and Gift of Prayer, and to the unity of the Church of Christ, which is one Body, baptised and united into one Spirit, having one Hope, one Faith, one Lord, one Bap­tisme, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all; whereby Christians before Forms were imposed, are found both to have been, and to have continued with one accord in [Page 264] Prayer, and Supplication, and [...] to have lift up their voice, and that one voice, in the same ex­temporarie words to God, in Prayer and Thanks­giving; but do also subtilly and profanely take ad­vantage, from escapes incident to humane frailtie, to proclame the same as gross abuses, and thereupon scoff and mock at the heartie and spiritual Prayers of the Upright, wherein the Lord delighteth: I hope your own vanity and folly shall reprove you: But 3. as attention is requisite, even in the publick use of your Forms, and in our way is attended with such advan­tages, that do both render it sweet and easie, and fully secure the conduct of our devotion; so, by your course, it not only happens, that oftentimes the at­tention is sore put to it, and perplexed, as you objecte to us; but the very Rule of devotion is made alto­gether insecure and uncertain: for proof of this, there needeth no other Argument, then that you observe these Forms, lately added to the English service, that these were as uncouth to the People, at the first hearing, and required as great attention, as our ex­temporarie conceptions; is clear and obvious: But seing beside this, the People are put to join in words, they know not by whom framed, and for the com­posing and commanding whereof, their appeareth neither precept, nor promise in Scripture; that their attention in this case, must be more exercised, and their devotion in more hazard to be distracted, then when they join with him, whom they judge to be appointed by the Lord, to be their mouth to him­ward, and on good grounds suppose, to b [...] instructed, both with the knowledge of their condition, and the Rule and Spirit, whereby he ought to make the sa­mine known, in supplications, unto God, is beyond contradiction: neither is this the only inconvenience, [Page 265] of this sort, in your manner, there is a Court-prac­tice, that I could tell you of; how the King pro re nata, useth to issue out a Form of Prayer, either for his own Chappel, the Citie-Churches, or further as he pleaseth to extend his orders; and if these no­vell prescriptions, be not more chargeable to the at­tention, and disturbing to the devotion, then any thing in our way; nay, if it be not a Method, as dangerous in its tendencie, as destitute of warrant, let men judge: But this is the Supremacie, too high for you to have remembred: 4. If there were a great­er exercise of attention in our way then in yours; yet when I consider, that attention, if not surcharged, or confounded, doth certainly tend to the quickening of the devotion, and that on the other hand, by the coldness of your stinted Forms, both the attention, is, for the most part wholly slackened, and the de­votion deadened; the instance you make of a few se­rious, it may be, but weak and peevish persons of your partie, professing a great stayedness in the use of Set-forms; whereas in extemporarie Prayer, they could not keep their minde from distraction, doth neither impugne these more lively and powerful de­votions, whereunto the Lord, and not man, hath ordered our Method [...] nor, in the least, doth it counterballance these myriads of dead Formalists, whom your way doth burie in utter securitie, and ir­religion: In this place you tell us by way of wittie discovery, that the way of extemporarie Prayer, was well devised for spreading of Error, or Sedition, in respect, forsooth, that Ministers prayed over their Sermons; so that what in the discourse seemed the words of man, in the Prayer was called the dictat of the Spirit: But, Sir, darre you or any man deny, that extemporarie Prayer, was the first manner of mens calling upon the Name [Page 266] of the Lord? Are you not then ashamed, to talk of it, as a late device? 2. How come you to suppose, that words in Prayer, spoken by us to God, may rather seem the dictat of the Spirit, and more spe­ciously seduce, nor the same words delivered in Ser­mon, in the Name, and as the word of God? Cer­tainly admitting you had forgot, that you did already upon this very pretext, endeavour to devest Preach­ing of this Authority; yet common sense might have told you, that in this there could be no deep ar­tifice: But 3. Wherefore may not a partie given to sedition, or error, devise and compose Forms to the same purpose, and with more success? If Forms be but of humane invention, and if, as you suppose, they be more weightie and impressing, then ex­temporarie words, it is obviously evident, that they furnish a far more advantageous opportunity to this your excellent devise: I might confirme this, by telling you, how much this Method hath been made use of, and prospered, for the propagating, and establishing of many errors and superstitions in the Romish Church; but a nearer and latter instance of that piece of Herauldrie, blazoning the Kings Titles, and Prerogative, very irreverently and undecently, to God, foisted in by Act of Councel, in your Church-prayers, for inculcating and advancing the exorbi­tant Supremacie, may satisfy the world, that your evill and vain conjecture against us, was suggested by your own practice.

After the false and calumnious charge of gross abus­es, incident to our extemporarie Forms, given in by you, with much pretended tenderness and insinua­tion, as I have already touched; you N. C. An­sweres, that we had a Directory of the things we should pray for; Which, no doubt, if you had been pleas­ed [Page 267] to propound it, in its [...]ull latitude, viz. That the whole word of God, many other instructions and forms thence drawn and delivered, and left to us by godly men, with our own publick Directory, and these of other Churches, and lastly, that the teaching of our Parents, Masters, and Pastors, are all given to us, to guide us, and assist us, both for matter and words, in the prayers we ought to make: And if you had understood it aright, viz. that seing the rule in our way, is, as certain, though not so stinted, as that in yours, and that our Ministers appointed to be the peoples mouth, in publick Prayer and Worship, are not only tried, in their utterance for preaching, but also for prayer; And lastly that any material aber­ration, is as discoverable and censurable among us, as among you, you might have been fully satisfied, that neither the infirmities nor abuses of men, are charge­able upon our manner of Worship; nor doth your peremptorie imposing of Set-forms, more secure the matter, from the like, and greater enormities. But being resolved to carp, you say, why may not we have a Directory forwords, as well as things? 'Tis answered. 1. A Directory for things to be prayed for, is no doubt a Directory for words also, if the things be fully directed, the application of words, the known signes, can have litle difficulty: 2. The directory, distinctly and particularly ordering the method, and condescending upon the heads of prayer, with as much exactness, as the latitude to be reserved to the free grace and gift of God, will admit; cannot but be received for a Directory, both of words and things.

But you add, That it was but a cheat, to cozen the World who might have startled, to have seen us, with­out any rule for Worship, in as much as our Leaders quickly wearied of it. It is answered, first, So long as any Church doth own the revealed will and word of [Page 268] God, for the rule of Worship, none, but such phan­tastick Formalists as you will prove startlers at this sure and acceptable simplicity: 2. Whence you alledge our Ministers their wearying of the Directory, as such, except from the suggestion of your own malice, I cannot conceive: that our Leaders neither turned it, nor astricted themselves to it as, to an imposed Litur­gie, is very certain; but that they did not at all re­gard it, is a groundless calumnie.

In the next place, you add, that, Hence it clearly followed, that the Preaching was the great matter of the Worship; but the constant acts, wherein the Church should adore God, were thought too homely: How you will make out this connexion, seing, both the ground is false, and the consequence doth not hold, I re­commend to your second thoughts; though our Prayers and Psalms related to our Preaching, yet it will not conclude, that therefore the Preaching, was the great matter of the Worship; Your Service-book makes many, both Prayers, Gospells, Epistles, and Collects, relative to certain festivall dayes, is therefore the observation of these dayes, the great point of Worship? The great matter of Worship is the rendering of our acknowledgement unto God, which, if performed by prayer, hearing of His word, and praises, and that in such a harmony, as all the exercises may conspire, and be mutually help­ful, is thereby greatly advanced, and not in the least marred. As for these Constant acts, which you de­siderat in our Service; if thereby you mean your Con­stant Set-forms, you are already answered; but if only the dayly solemn performances of Prayer and Praise, which in liew of the morning, and evening Sacrifice, ought, as the stated and fixed recognizance of the great God, be observed and kept up, in every [Page 269] Christian Society, when other things shall be restor­ed, I frankly promise you my assent.

In the last place, you say: It is the least evill of ex­temporarie Forms, that a Minister is ready to pour out his Soul to God, in such devotions as are then most in his own Spirit, Which may possibly happen to be very unfit for Publick Worship, Sir, this is so groundless a fear, and so plain a diffidence of the assistance and presence of the Lord, that I shall not trouble you with any further answere, then to add, that as a thoughtfull serious Spirit, is ever found to be most prepared for dutie, and divine influences; so, all experiences do conclude, that a Ministers particular exercises, have been so farre from marring, that, on the contraire, they have alwayes rendered his publick performances, more spiritual and lively.

And thus at length your dull N. C. comes to see that you are for Set-forms, and demanding your rea­son, tels you, that the Apostles used them not, to which you answere, that you cannot doubt, but they used our Saviour's Prayer, and really, though I do as little doubt, but they might have done it; yet I think, both you and I, must acknowledge, that we finde no vestige of their doing of it. For as for your distin­guishing, betwixt Mathew's after this manner therefore pray ye; and Luke's when ye pray, say, the pattern to be proposed in the first, and the practice intended in the second: seing the form is formally the same, in both places, and the patterm so proposed by Mathew, that the practice might be its most exact imitation, and the practice so enjoined by Luke, that yet the latitude of a Pattern, is not discharged, your notion is but airie, and of no moment. But if it were needful, to give you my thoughts in this matter, I would say, that considering. 1. That this pattern was [Page 270] given to the Disciples, in the infancie of their know­ledge, before the out-pouring of the Spirit, as a short and easie rudiment. 2. That thereafter the Spirit is promised, and that in such an abundant measure, as it should flow like rivers of living water. 3. That our Lord in his last discourse, commands them frequent­ly to pray to and ask the Father, in his Name, and 4 that the Spirit being given de facto, they were enrich­ed unto all utterance, and both in their own Pray­ers, and in their Directions to others, how to pray, do constantly make mention of the name of Iesus, these things I say considered, I am verily in the opi­nion, they did not precisely use, either this form of Prayer, or any other; but leaving this digression; and esteeming this Form to be the most excellent mo­dell, and the very Substance of all prayer, and grant­ing the Apostles might have used it; yea supposing with you, they did use it; yet what makes all this for your imposing and enjoining of Forms, the only point of our present difference?

But you go on and say, the Iews at that time had a Liturgie, and hours of Prayer, which our Saviour ne­ver reproves: ergo quid. I have told you already, that to inferre an approbation, from our Lords tolerance for a time, of either the whole, or any of the parts of that service, which he was in a short space to abo­lish totally, is bad Logick. 2. Admit this tolerance were an approbation, how will you make it out, that the Iews their Lyturgie, was more then a Direc­torie, and that they were thereby astricted, to an imposed Set-form? Specially seing we finde, that where, in their best times, certain Forms of Prayer and Thanksgiving, dictated by the Spirit, are com­mitted by David, and other men of God, to the Ministers for publick use; yet the thing was both [Page 271] done, and observed, without the mention of any precise astriction, or limitation.

In the next place you tell us, that the Lords Prayer is word for word taken out of the Iewish Lyturgie: and thence you think, that exception against the English Service, that some of its Prayers are out of the Roman Missal and (not, or) Breviarie, to be foolish and ground­less: But pray, Sir, why talk you so confidently of the Iewish Liturgie of these times, (for other poste­rior Liturgies availl not) since to this day, though much search hath been made, and many forgeries have been obtruded, no such thing could assuredly be found: Next, if such a thing sound and pure was in our Lord's dayes, think you it was then no better Pattern, nor the Roman Missal, Ritual, and Brevia­rie were, in the very profoundest darkeness, of that Superstition, immediatly before the Reformation broke up; and when the first glimmerings of that light, managed as much by Police as Piety, did translate from it, the English Liturgie? The disparity of these things is too palpable. 3. Ad­mitting the Iewish Liturgies, used in the dayes of our Lord, were yet truely extant, it will not be sufficient for you, to [...]hew the words and sentences of the Lord's Prayer, to be therein disor­derly found, for so no doubt a good Christian prayer, might almost be said, to be taken out of the Alcoran; but even for evincing, that our Lord did respect them, so much, as Directories, you must make out the whole context of his Prayer, to be formally found therein: But you add, that, Though the Apos [...]les and o­thers immediatly inspired, might pour out extemporarie Prayers, it doth not follow, that every one may use the same liberty: Who would not pitie this folly? If infal­libilitie be required in our extemporarie methods, [Page 272] wherefore not also in your Set-forms? But seing the Apostles, were only the better assisted, and not sin­gularly privileged, to pray ex tempore, by their extra­ordinary Gifts; and if the same command of God, and promise of the Spirits assistance, are still with us, for our warrant, and encouragement to this dutie, your argument here insinuate, is emptie and inconclu­dent, and in effect, doth as much prove, neither the Apostles their Preaching, nor Praying, to be at all by us imitable, as the point you aime at.

Your next Argument for Set-forms, you usher in, by the instance of the Corinthians, who in their Wor­ship used Hymnes of their own composing, as well as pray­ers, and then you adde, that, you could never com­prehend, why we allow the Spirit to be restrained in Prais­ing, as to words, and not in Praying: Sir, whe­ther you preface the custome of the Corinthians, for enforcing your imposed Forms, or as the reason of your doubt, anent the difference used by us in Pray­ing, and Praising, doth not appear from your words? However, as it is evident, that in that Church, there was rather an exuberant liberty, then any thing like to your stinting; so, our practice, and theirs, shal soon be reconciled; but first, let us take your N. C. Answere to your main scruple, and he and I tell you, that, because the Psalmes and Scripture-songs, are a collection of Praises, dictated by the Spirit of God, for Worship; and have been so made use, both by the Church of the Iews, in the time of the old Testament, and by the Christian Church, in all Ages; therefore, they are used by us, to the same end, without either restrain­ing the Spirit, in the performance, seing it is his own appointment, or tying all our praises, to these Forms, seing God hath thereto, only tyed our solemn praise, by singing, and otherwayes left and allows us, a furder liber­ty: [Page 273] To your N. C. part of this answere you reply, that never were more absurdities crouded in less bounds: And if I may also anticipat, I am certain, there were never more profane and ignorant fopperies, stuffed into a return, then in that, which you here do make.

And first, you say, it is clear we may worship in the Spirit, and yet be restrained as towords; since we acknow­ledge, that God hes done it in praising: But waving that, which I have already plainly, and so often told you, viz. that it is the imposing of men, and not the free use-making of Set-forms, that we condemne; how absurd is it for you, to alledge, that a man worshipping in words, prescribed by the Spirit, is, in so doing, restrained in Spirit? Could you not advert, that the Spirits prescriving, and mens, are different, and that he prescriveth to himself, without any restraint?

2. You say, there are many Psalms prayers; and why may they not be used for constant prayers, as well as the other for constant praises? Nay why, for instance, may we not use the 51 Psalme in plain words, with a plain voice, as prayer, as well as in hobling rime, with a Tune [...] 'Tis answered, That I may first take out the waspish sting of your Mockerie; is this the tender respect, that you profess p. 70. to every thing, that relateth to Gods service; to call the Psalmes in meeter, used both by you, and us, hobling rime? or is your Poëtick vain so nicely delicate, that you can endure no verses inferior to your loftie Pindarick? Which yet, if Cri­ticks mistake not, doth trote more rudely, and lame­ly, then our hobling meeter: for my part, I see not what answere can be given to these Questions, save this, that it seems both your tenderness, and poesie, are but false, and forced: But to the purpose, 2. I [Page 274] answere, that the Psalms-prayers, and particularly the 51 Psalm, may in plain words, with a plain voice be used in Prayer, as Prayer, if so be, the Spirit do so direct our utterance; but if by constant prayers, you mean, that the Praying-psalms, may as well be imposed, and enjoined for prayer, as the other for praise; you want the warrant of the Word, and Spirit of God, who hath appointed the whole Psalms, to instruct our praise; but not to regulat our prayers, and so you widely miss your marke. But here you in­sinuat two difficulties; 1. How we come to sing Psalms-prayers? and this you afterward enlarge by demand­ing, our warrant, for using all David's Psalms, since many of them relating to particulars of Davids life, be­long not to us? Others of them are imprecatorie, hardly to be sung, and many things there are in the Psalmes, which we understand not, and lastly there were not above twen­tie of the Psalms used by the Jews in Worship. To this it is answered, that being commanded we sing Psalms-prayers, not with direct thoughts suted to the strain of Prayer, wherein they were first framed, and said, before they were appointed to be sung; but with a reflexe acknowledgement of the goodness and mercy of God, the hearer of Prayer, who both turned the Authors mourning into a song of gladness, and hath appointed it to be so used by us, that we may be en­couraged, and praise him, in the like hope: if in al­most all Psalms of Praise, we finde the preceeding distress and afflictions, with the prayers and groan­ings, therein made, first pathetically commemorat, as the ground of the ensuing praise, for the delive­rance; is it not easie to apprehend, how that a small reflection, might, after the Lord's reliefe, have made the reciting of a Psalm wholly of lamentation, the most exulting expression of the delivereds joy, [Page 275] and may commend it to us, to the same purpose? For my part, when I read or hear the 88 Psalme be­ginning with crying, and ending with darkeness, and like Iob's imprecation upon the day of his birth, hav­ing no light shining, but a cloud dwelling upon it, and yet finde it a song of the Sons of Korah, directed to the chief Musician, I cannot but acknowledge it, for a Psalme of high praise unto God, who turned such dolefull mourning, to be the matter of rejoic­ing; and thus, if you will rightly consider, that the Psalmes are ordained for the matter of praise, where­of the manner, consisting in reflexe acts, directed by the Spirit, unto such suteable meditations, as may excite our joy in, and praises unto God, is most ra­tionally, and warrantably expressed, by singing, you may very quickly be satisfied, that the Saints their complainings, David's particular History, Victories, and the like, with all the composures made there­upon; yea, even these imprecatorie Psalmes (which though in the direct act, they appear to be hard, and to need a special warrant, may nevertheless furnish, unto all, sweet reflections of praise) are, most proper for the matter of song, whereunto they were, both at first framed, and have since been used: are all the works of God wonderful, and such as may excite to praise? and do you think it strange that the various exercises of his Servants and People, should be ac­counted proper matter for this exercise? Sir, though I be no pretender to Poesie, farre less presumptuous PINDARUM AEMULARI; yet I conceive the smallest intelligence of the Nature, and manner of Encomiasticks, and Elogies, finding matter in every subject, might have guarded you from this escape; but here I must digress unto a very pertinent discove­ry; I have already told you, that though by command [Page 276] we use the Psalmes in our praises; yet seing these Forms are prescribed by the Spirit, it can import no restraint, and therefore can furnish no argument for your humane impositions; but now there appears a more significant disparity, viz. That the Psalmes being commanded by the Lord, only for the matter of our praises, though many of them may suggest, both inward elicite conceptions, and outward prop­er expressions of praise; yet it is evident, that by the injunction, the reflex acts, wherein the nature and exercise of praise doth formally consist, are not in the least narrowed, or confined, let be stinted, or re­strained; whereas by your imposed Forms, framed on purpose, not simply, to furnish matter, but to direct, nay to suggest, lead, and express our Peti­tions, the very formal desires of the heart, and spirit, in their substance, at least, though not in their de­gree, are so led and bound up, that it is hard to determine, whether this restraint be more visible, or injurious.

Having thus farre diverted I return to our purpose: You say, there are many things in the Psalmes that we understand not. To sing without understanding is cer­tainly sinful; but unless you affirme the Psalmes to be in themselves unintelligible, you may not, be­cause of our ignorance, or weakness, reject the insti­tution of God: Lastly you tell us, that there were not above twentie of the Psalmes used by the Jews in Worship. 'Tis answered. 1. You observe not, that all this clatter, is no more against us then against you, at least your Episcopal Church; for as for your self, I am almost in the opinion, that you are yet so little fixed, that the clearest redargution, will prove no con­viction: 2. The very inscriptions of more then thrice the number of Psalmes by you named, do demon­strat [Page 277] the groundless confidence of this your alled­geance; beside that we finde, 1 Chron. 16. 7. the very first Psalm, delivered by David to the publick Sing­ers, insert in the Book of Psalmes, without any di­rection by way of title, what may we then conceive of the rest? 3. Reforming Hezekiah commanded the Levites to sing praises unto the Lord, with the words of David and of Asaph the Seer; and this the opinion and custome of the Church in all ages, have under­stood of all the Psalmes: whence then is it, that you do assert so boldly? The 2 difficulty which I am to re­move, is, that you say we are not bound, or rather have no warrant to use the Psalmes in meeter or with Tunes. To this I answere, That we are bound to sing is evi­dent, both from Scripture-precept and example; and that we are thereby warranted, to have the Psalmes in meeter with Tunes, is as clear, as both are neces­sary, at least convenient in the propriety of our lan­guage, for the use of singing: I deny not, but prose may be sung; but seing it is certain, that our language hath no such exact Prosodie, as either to render it easiely measurable, or the measures distinguishable by points and accents; nay that the import of the musici or tonici accentus, in the Hebrew, qui olim mo­derabantur harmoniam musicam, is so farre now lost, and unknown, that if we were now to sing the He­brew Psalmes, we could not make use of them: Pray, Sir, leave us but the way of meeter, in place of points and accents, untill you teach us better Gram­mar: whereas you hint, that we may have all David's Instruments as well as Tunes, if you could learn us to sing without Tunes, as we may well do without Or­gans, I shal not contend, but seing that David did, no doubt, invent and introduce these his Instruments, as well by the special direction of the Spirit, as he did [Page 278] all other things, anent the service of the Temple, and that the Primitive Christians, worshipping more in the simplicity of the Spirit, then in outward showes, canebant assâ voce non [...], I think you may now put up your pipes, and spare the cost.

Next you say, Why may not the Christian Church compose new Hymnes, as they of Corinth did? And this you judge to be the more necessarie; because that David's Psalmes have not such full and clear Hymnes, upon the great Mysteries of the Christian beliefe: And you think the liberty, which we plead for in Prayer, should much perswade it. 'Tis answered, if you consider, that Scripture, 1 Cor. 14. and particularly the 26. v. you may understand, that as the Apostle's business, in the place, is, to set an order to the use of ex­traordinary Gifts, wherein that Church abounded; so, the Psalms, Doctrine, Tongue, Revelation, and Interpretation, there spoken of, appear to be in­spired and afflatitious motions, which will not found you any argument: And you your self do so plainly observe, that these Psalmes of the Corinthians were framed by private persons, that I marvell, that your remembring of the thing, to be extraordinary, did not stop your translation of it, by way of Privilege, to the Churches in our dayes. 2. Seing the Lord hath provided us with a plentiful variety of Psalmes and Hymnes; and beside, hath allowed us as full a li­berty of praising in prose, as of prayer, I think it doth fully remove, all that is here by you objected, and abundantly warrant us, both to abide content with Gods institutions, and refuse a superfluous mixture of humane Odes, with these Divine Psalmes, which he hath appointed, for the matter of our more so­lemne Praises.

But your scope is, Why do not ye use the Glorie to [Page 279] the Father, and your N. C. answering, Because it is not in the Scripture and is but the device of men: you re­ply, who would not be sick with such pitiful folly? Thus your nice ceremonious stomach, nauseats sure and so­lid truths: You add, shew me a reason, why you make prayers and not praises? I answere 1. Whatever we make we impose none. 2. We do not say, that we make either prayers or praises; our plain profession is, that as the Lord, whose it is, hath commanded, so we worship him, using that allowed liberty of Spirit, and utterance, both in prayer and praise, whereunto he himself hath promised to direct and assist us: And as for the Psalmes given us by Divine appointment, for the matter only (and not for the formal expression of our more solemn praising) we are satisfied with his bountie; and therefore do refuse your vain super­addition of an humane invention: That our Meeter-Psalmes are no device of men, seing they are the same in substance and sen [...]e, with these in prose, without any greater variation, then the application of the com­mand of singing to us Scots-men, doth both require and warrant, is obvious to any mans candid reflection: As to the possibility of singing in Prose, as well as in Rime, I have already acknowledged it, and when you shall make it plainly and safely practicable, I presume none will dissent.

But you again return to the Doxologie, and asks, Why it may not be used in the end of singing, as well as it is used by us in the end of praying? And this second Demand heats you to be unmannerly, and to tell us, that such childishnes makes you doubt our rational facul­ties: When in faire dealing, it would become your charitie better to informe them: but, passing your folly, I say, we close our prayers ordinarily, with praise and glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy [Page 280] Ghost; because it is warrantable from Scripture-prac­tice, to wit, in Blessing; and agreeable to the truth and liberty of Gospel-worship; and yet we refuse it in singing, (marke it, not in praising) because, for that exercise, the Lord having instructed us with a sufficient plenty of Divine composures, we think it neither needfull nor acceptable, that we should gra­tifie an arbitrarie imposition, in receiving the supple­ment of an humane addition: It is true, the words are Scriptural, but can you say, that the Scripture beares any such allowance, for their use in singing, as it doth for the Psalmes of David? Yea and many other spiritual songs, in Scripture, whereof you might indeed with some reason reprehend our too great dis­use: Hence therefore it is manifest, that not only the offence of your unlawful imposing; but also the want of Scripture-warrant, doth exhibit the reason of our different practice, in praying and solemn sung praises, which you so hotly urge. Having thus, Sir, vindicat, both the Truth and our rational Faculties, with how much advantage, might I retort your re­proach of Childish weakeness? suppose our Reasons for refusing were no better then yours for imposing, is it not a childish impotencie, to be angrie [...] let be to make such a stirre, for our scrupling to do a thing, when you have no better reason for you, then because we exactly and fully do the equipollent? And real­ly, when in my self I consider, that on your part, such is the nature of almost all the differences, that fill this Church and Kingdome, with so much dis­traction, how can it be sufficiently regreted? for Men, yea Christians, yea Christian Rulers, to vex and toss poor Innocents, whom they ought with ten­derness to protect, for no other reason, even in your acknowledgement, but because, they will not sur­rendare [Page 281] their Consciences to arbitrarie, vain and frivo­lous impositions, which the very natural liberty of reason would disdain, is indeed a matter of wonder, which nothing save a Devillish design to debosh Conscience, and judicial delusion from the Lord, can satisfie: But I pray the Lord to open their eyes, who ought to see.

In the next place, returning to Prayer, you bid us consider how Hosea the Prophet prescribes a form, when he sayeth take with you words and say: Strong reasoning! The Prophet is exhorting a backslidden, impenitent, and obdured People, to returne; and, for their help and encouragement, instructing them, how by a short supplication to God, they might avert his wrath: And this you make a warrant for men, rigidly to im­pose Forms: If a Non-conformist should go [...]orth in the Spirit of the Lord, and proclame, O Scotland returne unto the Lord thy God, take with you words, and say, take away the iniquity of a despised Gospel, and brocken Covenant, and receive us graciously &c. would not you think him very impertinent, who should thence conclude, that man to be for a set Li­turgie. But our saviour prayed thrice still in the same words, and yet the third time more [...]ervently: I will not tell you, that even in the Text there may be a little variation observed; but pray, Sir, who of us ever affirmed, that fervour in prayer did consist in a vary­ing of the phrase, which is the inference you here make, against us; and yet that a stinted form, spe­cially when imposed, may restrain fervour, is as evident to any impartial discerner, as that a deep fer­vor of Spirit may oftentimes fixe in one short peti­tion, nay sometimes be intended to a degree beyond words, is certainly confirmed by manifold expe­rience. You conclude that in the Church they used Forms [Page 282] very early: I will not tell you, that antiquity is not a better plea for Set-forms, then it is for Bishops: And really in my opinion, it is so much the worse for either, that it pleads so jointly for both; for that corruptions do draw on one another, and especially a declination in Government, a declination from the pure worship, though the first beginnings, and antient examples were more obscure, yet the joint pro­gress and increase of these evils, in the Roman Church, and the renewed late experiments, which we have had at home, confirme it above exception: But my answere is first, that the liberty of prayer, which we plead for, was in the Church long before Set-forms, even from the dayes of our Lord, during the times of the Apostles and their Apostolick Successors, is a most certain truth, and a better pattern then any after-alteration: why do you not then hold to it? As for the Liturgies of Iames and Mark, you your self disowne them, and they are notour forgeries. 2. Ad­mit that in the third and fourth Centuries, partly through declining formality, and partly for a remedy of the then much advanced decay, both of Piety and Gifts in the Christian Church, certain Liturgies were composed and used; yet the very variety of them, which you acknowledge, as of that of Basile that of Chrysostome, that of Ambrose, doth sufficient­ly testify, that though they might then have been proposed for helps, and so used; yet there was not one of them imposed by peremptory injunction: As for what you say of the Reformed Churches, that they have their Liturgies, and that so had we ours at our first Reformation, it so exactly quadrats to what I have answered, anent the antient Liturgies, their being framed for helps, that there can be nothing more ap­posite; in as much, as it is a most certain truth, that [Page 283] both our old Liturgie, (since you do name it so) and these of the Reformed Churches, are so farre different, and free from the impertinencies, corruptions ceremonies, and rigid restriction of your Service-book, by which it grossly bewrayes its foul Popish fountain, that they do more oppugne, then fortify your principal intent: but the matter speaketh for it self: what shall we then say of your bold assertion, viz. That never were extemporarie hea [...]s (as you love to speak of the liberty of prayer, as rudely and profane­ly as if you were talking of race horses) used in the Church? When not only frequent instances from the Old, the constant practice of the times of the New Testament, the first and purer ages of the Church, but the professed allowance, and known practice, of all the Reformed Churches, do so directly witness against you: Verily this is such an impudence, that le [...]t it tempt my Mediocrity, I rather leave it to your own Conscience.

In the next place, you make your N. C. alledge. That our Church was purer then any by you named, on purpose, that you may take the advantage to say; That we were cheated to believe, that all the World was wondering at us, a cheat like unto that of our alledged Prophetess: whereof you, and you forsooth, on your word only, assure, that neither were true: Sir, if the grossnes of that lye, anent the use of extempo­rarie prayer, wherein I have just now attraped you, did not sufficiently secure us from the slander of your scoffing calumnies; I could easily make it appear, that all the paines we took, in our own just vindication, was many degrees inferior to that restless labour taken by your partie, to represent us to all, as most arrant Rebells, and load us with the most atrocious reproch­es, which the Father of lies could invent: but [Page 284] Cui bono? It is sufficient for us, that as the work of the Lord, among us, was honourable and glorious, many wayes countenanced by his Grace, and Pre­sence, [...]oth in ordinarie and extraordinary appearan­ces, particularly in M. M. whom, I suppose, you have learned, from Balcanquels Mani [...]esto, and not from us, to call her our Prophetess, and only level­led against the wickednes and tyrannie of a Prelatick partie, enemie to all Conscience, and the scandal and betrayer of the Protestant interest; so these hard and contrarie things, that have of late befallen us, in place of obscuring, do only tend to its greater ma­nifestation, and more universal approbation, from all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity: But you proceed and tell us, that it is strangely inconsequen­tiall for us not to pray in a Liturgie; yet alwayes to bless the people in a Set-form: But, is it not strangely redicu­lous for you, to dessemble such an obvious dispa­rity? And will you still arrogantly pretend to be a Master of Ceremonies, in the Court of Heaven? The Blessing, used by us to be pronounced upon the people, at the breaking up of the Assembly, is only a short formula of a Christian fare-well, warranted by, and coppied from, the practice both of Moses under the old Testament, and the Apostle Paul in the shut­ting up of his Epistles; and therefore in use to be per­formed, sometime in the words of Paul only, some­time in the words of both, and sometime also with an [...] agreeable variation from both: What then can this make, for the imposing of set-forms, for all publick Prayer and Worship? Do not both the di­verse nature of the things, and the difference, be­twixt a peremptory imposition, and a free imitation, red [...]rgue this your reasoning? In civill converse, our ordinarie ran counters are commonly prefaced & con­cluded, [Page 285] with certain received Formulae of a respective benevolence; should therefore all mutuall addresses, be reduced, and strainted to the same methods? Cer­tainly the smallest attention will both acknowledge the just application, and marvel that (as you say of us) you are so little governed by reason.

But now to the English Liturgie, which commen­ding as an excellent Rule of Worship, and using other vain floorishes, not worth the noticing: in answere to your N. C. you tell us: That it is farre from being an easie way of praying, and that a natural man, would be better pleased, to be runnig out with his own concepti­ons; then to use the form of the Church, which is more simple and humble. 'Tis answered, That there may be some conceated Hypocrites, from such a carnal mo­tive, despising Set-forms, I shall not controvert; but as I have already told you, what are our just ex­ceptions against their imposition; so, that the gene­rality of men, who, for the most part, do only lay clame to the name, and make a slight profession of Religion, without busying themselves further in it, are by the carnal easines, that they finde in your way, not only more engaged to it, then to ours; but habituat to a superstitious, stupid formality, wherein placing the all of Religion, they ruine their own Souls, is a truth that millions of sad instances do confirme: seing therefore, this strong [...] food (as you terme it) of your Service is indeed both ranck and poisonous, we wish that, that princely tenderness in our Soveraign, to which you impute his forbearance to impose it, may at length, in its just exercise, extend to remove and discharge it, in all his Dominions. As for the discreet prudence of our Superiors (the Bishops no doubt) which you would also commend to us, upon the same ac­count; pardon us, Sir, if we be not such Babes: we [Page 286] have shared too largely of the strong food of their Vi­olence; and of the bread of adversity and water of af­fliction, from their hands, to be so abused; He who rightly considereth will easily assent, that they have hitherto been sparing, to enjoin these corruptions, for no other reason, then that which moved the Iews to forbear to take Christ on the feast-day, viz; lest there be an uproare among the people. As for the ensuing contest, betwixt you and your N. C. anent that dul­nesse and stupidity, which we see occasioned by, and attending your formality, the preceeding discourse, doth so rationally connect them, and common obser­vation so evidently confirme the matter, that your alledgeance of some godly people, who, in a well-mean­ing sincerity, have, in the use of your service, attained to some feelings of pure and simple devotion, doth fur­nish you no stronger exception, then what the Papists may also pretend for their Mass and Latine-service.

After this, you make your Non-conformist objecte the vanity of your Service-book-repetitions, in the often redoubling of Lord have mercy upon us, and 2. its confusion, in that all the people say some of the Pray­ers together, and use Amen: but seing these objecti­ons are amongst the least of these exceptions, made by ours against that Liturgie, which ye altogether neglect: I only say, that as the 136. Psal. contain­ing a summare enarration of the great things God did for Israel, and most pathetically interrupted by these frequent eruptions of praise, agreeable to such a re­flection, can be no precedent or warrant for the fram­ing, and imposing the battologies of your Letanie, vainly composed, and as deadly exercised, in compa­ [...]ison to such a pattern; so, your instance adduced from Acts 4. where it is said, that the whole company lift up their voice with one accord to God, And the cus­tome [Page 287] intimated by Paul, of the saying Amen at the giving of thanks, do not remove the confusion objec­ted, 1. because, it is the opinion of some, that that passage in the Acts, was an afflatitious motion, both dic­tat and uttered by the Spirit [...]s immediate inspiration: 2. It may be doubted, if the whole company did all of them lift up their voice, in as much as one speak­ing in a company, and the whole consenting and join­ing, they may be properly enough said to lift up their voice with one accord, though every single member do it not: 3. Supposing, as is not impro­bable, that the great exultation of that smal compa­ny, did then express it self, in that extraordinary manner; would you make such extraordinary examples, precedents for ordinary service? sure Rea­son repugnes, and the effect of decencie doth not answere: 4. For your Amen, as I am certain, that the Apostles words, may be understood of a consentient, though silent, Amen; so it is evident, that, even in the point of order, your so frequently repeated A­men is superfluous, and vain: but if you will reduce your practice to a decent use, seing the matter appears to be indifferent, if you love to express it, use your liberty, only permit us the like favour of ours. As to what you subjoine, that The people all with their voice, join in the Psalmes, and therefore may also in Prayers: the disparities are clear. 1. we are warranted, and commanded to sing, which necessarily requires our own vocall performance and concurrence; whereas the command of Prayer, either private, or publick, hath no such import. A man may pray in his heart, or join with another, without using words: I hope you will not say, that he can also properly sing, and not use his voice. 2. I grant, your Liturgie being ad­mitted, the joining of all with their voice in Prayer, [Page 288] though not very orderly or decent, is yet practicable; but seing we refuse these forms, the reason of our different practice, in this matter, from our use in singing, must by your self be acknowledged: Having considered your answeres to what you make your N. C. objecte, against the English Lyturgie, I might give you an appendix of many more important ex­ceptions: As 1. Its scenical, and mimical composure throughout, very unbecoming the Worship of the great God: 2. The many impertinencies of its Le­tanies, Gospels, Epistles, and Collects. 3. Its manck­ing and confounding of Holy Scripture, specially in its Collects: 4. The superstitious observation of dayes and other ceremonies, twisted all alongs with its whole tenor, and exercise: And 5. Its corrupt tinc­ture, and unsavorie and unacceptable straines and methods, which it derives from the Roman Idola­trous Missal, and Superstitious Ritual, and Breviarie. whence it was translated; but seing others have fully declared them, to whom you have thought good to make no answere, civility forbids me to urge a de­clining Adversarie.

And thus we are arived at the controverted Cere­monies, viz. The five articles of Perth: which you say, were all lawful, and most of them useful and necessary: Sir, the matter of Ceremonies in general, and also of these by you specially named, with all the pre­tenses that possibly can be alledged for them, have been so fully treated and examined by ours, parti­cularly by Didoclavius alias Mr. Calderwood in his Al­tare Damascenum, and Gillespie in his English Popish Ceremonies, that I marvell, how you had the confi­dence, to set forth these poor mustie, and many times and wayes refelled and basted reasonings, which you adduce: Neither are you in this only censurable: [Page 289] but when I compare that wit and acuracie, adhibit by others of your way, in the handling of this subject, with that bluntne [...]s and confusion, wherewith you repone to us the very meanest of their Arguments, not so much as in the least recocted, nay, that the short motives and insinuations mentioned in the tenor of the Articles themselves, are of farre more weight, then all your superficial discourse, my cen­sure doth almost exceed to accuse you, either of bold ignorance, or a designed treachorie: However, since all the arguments, either used by others, or abused by you, with all that could be invented, for main­taining your vain plea, doth stand by us, fully and evidently discussed; I minde not by a disadvantageous repetition, to lapse into your error; and therefore shall content my self, by a summare and close review of what ensues, in this Dialogue, to bring it to a Period.

The first of the five Articles, which you begin with, is, Confirmation: And you say, That if it had been introduced as a Sacrament, we had reason to except against it; but seing it was only designed for a solemne re­novation of the Baptismal Vow, that Children who do not therein engage themselves, when they come to the years of discretion, may then do it; and is confirmed by antiqui­ty, the probable meaning of the laying on of hands men­tioned, Heb. 6. and the assent of most Reformers, the thing seems to be sufficiently warranted. 'Tis answered, 1. It seems that in this place you forget your self: did you not tell us, in your 3. Dialogue, that wash­ing the feet, and anointing the sick with oyl; though in appearance, as particularly descrived, and as well warranted by Scripture, as either of the Sacraments; yet, since antiquat by the Church, are now lawfully difused, wherefore then may not the Church, having [Page 290] power to exauctorate Sacraments, be also allowed the power to institute new ones, and so establish your Confirmation, as a Sacrament, specially since the Roman Church doth so practise it? 2. Not to contend with you anent the name and definition of a Sacra­ment: How come you to deny to the Church, the power of introducing Confirmation as a Sacrament, and yet to allow it the power to appoint it, as a so­lemn renovation of the Baptismal Vow? Certainly, whatever be the difference betwixt the two, yet the unquestionable Rule, that in the house and ordinances of God, men are not, without Divine prescript, either to add or change, doth equallie refute innova­tions of all sorts. 3. You speciously obtrude your Confirmation, as a solemn renovation of the Baptismal Vow; but, if you consider the thing, as it stands in the Article, whereby it is enjoined, it is plainly the Bishops solemn benediction of young beginners, for the increase of knowledge; whereby it is mani­fest, that your description, importing the young be­ginner his act, is manifestly different from the thing, (being the Bishops act) which you undertake to maintain. But 4. Whatever way we take it, its sin­gular solemnity, wherein its form consists, is not only without all Scripture-warrant, but plainly super­fluous; seing that, as the Bishop or Presbyters their blessing is not thereby bettered, or materially diffe­renced from their ordinary benediction; so the ordi­nary profession of beginners, in their examinations, and especially their after-partaking of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, doth more then supply your pre­tended solemn renovation. 5. As this conceit of Confirmation, as it is explained by you, doth evi­dently derogate from the Sacrament and Covenant of Baptisme, as to Infants; so, your appropriating [Page 291] the administration thereof to the Bishop, objected by your N. C. in his next demand, doth yet more discover its vanity and evill design: To the arguments therefore which you bring for it, and 1. to its Anti­quity: I answere, that the simplicity and purity of the first Ages of the Church, knew it not: 2. As, its very first beginnings cannot be calculate, beyond the times of the Churches declination, so, it is most certain, that from an arbitrarie well-meaning insti­tution, it hath since been depraved to such an abuse, as may sufficiently justify the total removal of its use. 2. As for your Scripture probability, from the laying on of hands so notourly known to have been then only used, in the conferring of the extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit, or in the Ordination, or Mission of Mi­nisters, neither it, nor your alleaged assent of most Reformers, do merite any answere.

Next you tell us, in defence of Private Baptisme, That for us to confine the Sacramental actions, to the walls of a Church, is gross Superstition: But, who would have thought, when you clamour so much upon our Non-conforming Meetings, you would have stumbl­ed into such a mistake? Our exception against Pri­vat Baptisme is therefore, not the want of a dedicated House, as you do vainly alleage; but because our Lord, having, by his commission, annexed it to the preaching of the word, whereof it is the seal, and it being the Sacrament of our initiation into the Church, its performance doth evidently appear to be most agreeable to the ordinary Church assemblies, where­ever held; beside, that peoples mindes, prone to superstition, may, by the practice of Private Bap­tisme, be readily inclined, both to apprehend the Popish absolute necessity of Baptisme, and thence to regard the exterior action, more then the spiritual [Page 292] signification and efficacie, is confirmed, by unde­niable experience, both in your and the Roman Churches: For the inconveniency, which you poorly exaggerate, from the distance of many Churches, the badness of seasons, and tenderness of Infants: as, unto this day, it was never made the ground of a reall com­plaint, so you should understand, that the dispensa­tions of Gods Providence do not alter the dispositions of his holy will.

From Baptisme, you pass to plead for the private administration of the Communion to Persons on death-bed, and this you think, the seasonablenes of its use, and the propriety of its ends to such a case, do abundantly perswade: To which I answere, 1. That though at no time, Faith and Love need more to be quickened, the Death of Christ more to be remembred, nor com­munion with the Church to be declared, then in the approach of the last pangs, it will not thence follow, that therefore the Communion may then be privatly administrat: for, since not the seasonableness of the fruits, but the warrant and Rule given unto us, is first to be heeded, in the going about of holy admi­nistrations; nay, since that, without this regard duely adhibit, the blessing and fruits are but in vain expected, it is evident, that barely from the exi­gence of the fruits, to conclude, in any case, the lawfulness of the celebration, is preposterous Reli­gion, and worse Reason: Now 2. That the rule set down to us, in this Sacrament, doth reprobate this your observance, is evident not only from that con­nexion, that there is and ought to be observed, be­twixt the word, and Sacraments: But, 1. From our Lords own pattern in the institution, keeping this solemnity with the company of his Disciples, making as it were a little Christian Church: 2. Because the [Page 293] Apostle in his regulation of this Sacrament, accord­ing and with respect to his Masters pattern, doth sup­pose the Churches coming together into one place, and consequently the ordinary Church Assemblies, as a necessary requisite, in the free and peaceable times of the Church: 3. Because the very Mysterie of the Lords Supper, representing the union of Believers with, and their communion in Iesus Christ their Head and the name that it hath thence obtained, 1 Cor. 10. v. 16, 17. is not well consistent with this private administration: 'Tis true, the Authors of your Arti­cles, not being able to decline the convincing evi­dence of this reason, do, among other preparations, require that there be three or four, free of lawful im­pediments, present with the sick person to commu­nicate with him; but as such a packt Conventicle, beside other inconveniences, hath no just resemblance of the Church her ordinary Assemblies; much less can communicating with hand-weal'd companions be a signe of that free, equable and comprehensive communion, signified by this Sacrament; so, it is manifest, that the forementioned requisite is only a colourable evasion, manifestly acknowledging the force of our argument, & in fraudem Legis, salvis verbis sententiam ejus circumveniens: But 3. This your Private Communion is to be reprobate; because, as the decum­bents faith, love, and other graces, in that hour of his need, are only best excited by the means at that time allowed and competent, and the sanctified re­membrance and improvement of other privileges, and ordinances, formerly enjoyed; so, it is certain, that this observance hath not only been abused by the Papists, unto the abomination of their private Ma [...]; but is also rejected, by the Reformed Churches, not Lutheran, as found to be inductive of vain Superstition, [Page 294] whereever it is used; and for this I need not go farre in search of confirmations, for you your self in telling us, That your practice was very early in the Church, subjoin, that Iustin Martyr sayes, they sent of the Eu­charist, to them that were absent, and that the story of Serapion shews, how necessary, Christians then thought it, to be guarded by this holy viaticum, which two in­stances, whether true or false, being generally held to be an excess, both inclining to, and introductive of vain Superstition; and therefore, reckoned among the first Naevi, appearing in the face of the Primitive Church, and now generally disused, by all the Churches of Christ, as they are by you ad­duced, do too evidently demonstrate, how much, both your spirit and customes, do bend to a relapse, in these evils.

In the next place your N. C. asks you What you say for Kneeling in receiving; sure this looks like Superstition and Idolatrie: And in return you confess, that it is the Article of them all, which you have least fondness for. And this indeed, is very fitly expressed, in as much as it is evident, it can be no rational or solid liking, which inclineth you, to any of them; but since even your fondness, as to this Article, is defective; how farre must you be from doing the thing in faith? And how much more sound and Christian would it be for you, here to subsist, and say, since, for want of the warrant of Faith, this Kneeling cannot possibly please God, let it be removed from his Holy Ordinance? But you proceed and tell us, That since the kneelers do declare, that they neither believe Christ to be corporally present, nor intend any Worship to the bread or wine; but direct their Worship to God and Christ, for that death which is therein shewed forth, it is great uncharitableness, for us, to call this kneeling Idolatrie. 'Tis answered, Sir, [Page 295] as in the general, I have as dull a facultie, and small an inclination, for constructive inferences, specially in the worser part, as most of men; so really; if the purpose of this discourse were only a contest of opi­nion, upon the practice of persons, professing, as you say, and gracing the same with humility, meek­ness, and sincere love of the truth, the great Apolo­gists for a dubious performance, for all the evill ap­pearances, which I finde in this matter, I think I ought rather to informe, in the Spirit of meekness, by pointing out the error, then by a severe naming of it, though just enough, both involve in more doubt­full disputations, and like wise irritate, but seing our business lyes with such, who, having rejected and scorned all information, resisted yea gone over unanswerable light, and shewed perverseness in prac­tice, do further go about, subtilly to seduce, nay rigidly and violently to impose upon others, who both have escaped and renounced these vanities: If the purity and truth of Gods Ordinances, and the very end of charity, do in this case allow, a more peremptory plainness, I think your censure of our uncharitableness altogether unseasonable: Now that all your Ceremonies, but specialy this act of Kneeling are Idolatrous, and that not only reductivè and parti­cipativè, as they speak; but also directly, and for­mally, by rendering Formalists such, Gillespie in his English Popish Ceremonies, hath so fully demonstrat, and therein hath so diligently searched you out, in all your subterfuges, and clearly discussed all imagi­nable pretensions; that I should but wrong both him, and my self, and the cause, by offering either to repeate, or add: Only to convince you yet more, how little, in this affaire, I am inclined groundlesly to taxe your way of Idolatrie: I grant that your [Page 296] Kneelers do not only profess, as you say, which may aswell be alledged for Worship done before a Cruci­fixe, and yet doth not purge it of Idolatrie. But furth­er do acknowledge, the act of receiving and com­municating to be no direct act of Worship; but first commemorative, having the acts of praise and thanks­giving, in the next place, resulting from it, and the gesture of adoration to be thereto only ascriveable; yet, seing in mediate Worship, the media are neces­sarily objected, and of the very substance of the or­dinance, without which it cannot subsist, it is mani­fest, that external adoration therein used, inevitably, though neither rationally, nor intentionally, respec­ting and relating to these objects, must of necessi­ty be Idolatrous: For instance, suppose a person abstracting in profession, as much as you do from all respect to the minister, who in his preach­ing sustaines his Masters person, and declaring, that neither rationally he could, nor intentionally did, attribute any more then becoming reverence to the word heard, should nevertheless in hearing, still kneell, would not you and all men say, that such an excess were superstitiously Idolatrous? How much more then, must this kneeling in the actual receipt and commemoration, (an act nothing so immediat betwixt God and the Soul, as that of hearing his word) of necessity respecting the Elements, in as much as without the presence thereof, it would not at all be by you exacted, fall under the same, yea a worse, construction? But, not to dip further in a discourse, which I have already told you, that I judge superfluous, as I have here exhibited the fairest in­terpretation of your way, and yet there is nothing found, even under the legal Ordinances, wherein the signes and instruments, often honoured with a [Page 297] visible Divine glory, were advanced to the highest pitch of a becoming reverence, that can, by any act of adoration, thereto properly directed or relative, any where recorded, justify your practice; so, when it occurres, that the samine is both contrary to our Lords own example, incongruous to the meaning, and end of the institution, and lastly known to be in­troduced by a Superstition, that very quickly disco­vered, and brought forth, the most gross of all the Popish Idolatries; how strange must this delusion be, that not only retaineth, but presseth it upon others? But when your N. C. urgeth you with our Lords example of sitting in a Table-gesture [...] you tell him, That none should alledge this, but such as communicate leaning, and after supper, and in an upper Room: And wherefore did you not add in the house, where one car­rying a Pitcher doth enter; and in a citie like to Ierusalem: and the like, that so the folly of your reply might have discovered it self, without my medling? But the matter is plain: Our Lords example is to be our pattern and rule, both for the substance, and in the circumstances properly respecting its nature and ends: the substance of the institution, is, a mysterious Eu­charistick commemoration of Christs Death, by the symboles of Bread and Wine, used in the manner prescribed; the circumstances are, that the samine be performed by way of a festivity, at a Table, and the like: these things being observed, as the particu­lar roome, time and manner of the Iews sitting men­tioned in the Gospel, were only accidental; so, the samine are variable, according to the customes of e­very People, and Nation, without the least deroga­tion from the Lords Ordinance, Nay if you would but deall with ordinarie ingenuity, in these matters; seing that our Lords familiar converse and Table-ges­ture, [Page 298] adhibite in this appointment, is not the least testimony of that condescending love, thereby repre­sented, the just and faire imitation of his example, consisting in the like familiar manner, in genere actus, regulate by a due decencie, doth equally reject, both the affected reverence of your impertinent Adora­tion, and also the other extreme of that rigid Apish conformity, in things purely accidental, whereby you go about to redargue our censure of your Super­stition. But you say, Seing the Jews, without any writ­ten warrant, did change the commanded posture of the Pass-over, from standing to sitting, and Christ did there­to conform, wherefore may not Christians, who are less restrained, change the first gesture, which is not com­manded, and only lamely exemplified, by leaning? 'Tis answered, The posture mentioned, Exod. 12. 21. in the institution of the Passe-over, is, that they should eat it with their loins girded, their shoes upon their feet, and their staff in their hand: there is no express men­tion made of standing. 2. Some are of opinion, that supposing standing to be imported, by what is injoin­ed; yet the posture was particular to that eating, at Israels departure from Egypt, and that thereafter the posture was free, in respect that the formal perpetual ordinance, given after the first celebration, Exod. 12. 43. makes no mention of the gesture; and there­fore, that the Iews did thereafter use sitting, at least from the dayes of Ioshua, in sign of rest and secure li­berty: however, certain it is, that as our Lords posture in eating the Passe-over, whatever it was, was not contrary to the Divine prescription; so, the Iews their practice, acknowledged by you to have been the same, can be no ground for your Superstiti­ous innovation of Kneeling, introduced contrary to our Lords example, the Rule of the institution; and [Page 299] both introductive of, and tending to plain Idolatrie. As for that greater liberty allowed to Christians, which you here plead; as we have already heard, that you only alledge our liberty, from the former rigor, to the effect you may impose your new yoke of a more i [...]rational bondage; so, it is evident, that in this pla [...]e you mention our freedome of Gesture, on purpose, [...] you may enslave us to the imposition of your Superstitious Kneeling: but he truely walketh at liberty, who keepeth the Lords Commandments. You shut up this Article with a perhaps, that more ve­neration is due to this action now, that our Saviour is exalted; then he could have allowed of in his humiliation: But. 1. the veneration, that you here speak of, to the action, sufficiently intimateth, that for all the pre­tenses made in the contraire, the Kneeling, which you plead for, is in some sort relative to the Elements therein used, and therefore Idolatrous. 2. your per­haps, unsoundly insinuats, that our Lord could not have allowed of the same adoration, now due to him in Exaltation, in the state of his Humiliation; which you know to be false. 3. at best, it is a conjectural intruding into these things, which you have nor seen, and so not meriting any regard.

In the last place, you treat of the Article, anent the observing of dayes, and denying that you pretend to make them holy dayes: you tell us, that it is another thing, to keep peculiar dayes of thanksgiving, for the great and signal mercies of the Gospel-dispensation, and in such customes you can apprehend no evill? and re­ally, Sir, I am confident you have seen as little good: but to be short, remitting what may be said against this Article, to the pious and learned Labours of these Authors, which I have already commended; I only add, that although the construction which you [Page 300] put upon this observation of dayes, is certainly the most plausible that can be made; yet you know so well, how grossly these dayes have, in the Roman Church, been abused to superstition and profanity, both in their dedication and observation, And it is so obvious to any, how, to this day, the generality in these Reformed Churches, where they are obser­ved, do, in the persvasion as well as practice, con­tinue the same abuse, that I think, since they are only an humane invention, not good in itself, your own rule, p. 70. that, when such things are grossly ab­used, then there is ground to change their use, may fully satisfy you, as to the justice and reason of our dis­sent.

But you affirme confidently, that in all Ages of the Church, Christians have had a peculiar veneration for these dayes: 'Tis answered, a veneration for these dayes, how doth this language agree with the above menti­oned interpretation, whereby, reducing these dayes, to the condition of a meere circumstance of a constant Anniversary thanksgiving, you go about to purge them of all further Superstition? But this wind of your vanity can not he hid: it is as the ointment of the right hand which bewrayeth it self. 2. These dayes, were not in veneration, in the first and purest Age of the Church, whereby, both the generality of your assertion, and your argument, from Antiquity, are subverted: you tell us that the observation of Easter and Pentecost, are clearly derived from Apostolical prac­tices: what you understand by Apostolical practices, concernes me not, seing that the Apostles, and Church, in their times, knew no such thing: And this Negative, proving it self, cannot be controlled: I grant, the succeding Ages became soon fond of these vanities; but, what were the bitter fruites of con­tention [Page 301] and schisme, which the Lord in his justice, did suffer this earely corruption to produce, is no­tourly known, and certainly such, as alone might have taught the whole ensuing generations, to be more tender of Gospel purity and simplicity: Shall we then also refuse instruction?

But you say, Paul hasted to be at Jerusalem to keep the feast of Pentecost: Pray, Sir, be more sincere; all we find in Scripture, is, that he hasted to be at Ierusalem, the day of Pentecost: And I appeal to com­mon ingenuity, if that any rational man, considering Paul to be a Iew, and to hasten, against one of their three great Feasts and Convocations, then by the Iews still observed, to his own Countrey and its Metropolis, where the general and solemne con­fluence of his whole Nation was to meet, can thence conclude, that he went thither to keep the Feast of Pentecost, in the meaning by you insinuate and requi­site to your purpose?

In the last place you tell us that Paul sayeth of the legall holy dayes, he that regardeth a day, to the Lord he doth regard it: Whence you inferre, that if Moses his Feasts might have been kept holy to the Lord, much more may these be, which the Church hath institute. Really, I am so wearied with this poor stuff, that civility, forgetting it to be your own, doth almost prompt me to demand your pardon, for resuming it: The Apostle Paul in that Chapter, is most expressly declaring, our Christian Liberty, and its right use, and in the case of a weak Brother, esteeming one day above another, belike from the difference made by Moses Law, he only adviseth, that he be fully per­swaded in his own minde, and seing he regardeth it unto the Lord, he would not have him therefore judged: Now tell me plainly, is this either the case [Page 302] or the controversie betwixt us? Are Bishops the weak Brethren, from the abiding impress, of a Di­vine dispensation fulfilled and evanishing, but not ex­pressly antiquat, tenderly and conscientiously over­esteeming and regarding certain dayes; and therefore only pleading a charitable forbearance. Or lastly: Seing the Bishops do not only, without warrant, keep up these superstitious observations; but per­emptorily enjoin and impose them upon others; whereas the Apostle in the same place, doth both declare our Liberty, and, with equal care, prescribe, that, seing he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it; that therefore he should not be judged: Are they not by the very Text here alledged manifestly convicted? But it is enough: And whether our dislike of these Festivals, and the other Articles of Perth, be not well grounded, and your observing and enjoyning of them both Superstitious and irrational, I leave it to the judgement of all the Lovers of Truth.

The sixth DIALOGUE Answered.

SIR, To this conference, very visibly con­trived for the commendation of your self and your way, and wherein pretending, by sub­lime speculations and the swelling words of a faire profession, to elevat Souls to the solid hights, and true liberty of Christianity, you plainly go about, to introduce a regardless indifferencie, for all these corruptions and superstitious practices, whereunto, in a convenient compliance with the present course, you cunningly endeavour to subjecte us; you make you N. C. preface, That there is no good to be hoped from you, who are so fierce against us, and to add with little serious reverence, but God be thanked an ill-willed Cow hath short hornes: Whence taking the occasion, you tell us of your extreme aver­sion from fierce and violent courses, your love to all Christians, your pitie of such as you judge mistaken, and that you quarrel with no man for his opinion, in these lesser matters, Which are but the skirts and sub­urbs of Religion, and so forth. Sir, if Censure were either my Genius or office, how easie were it for me, to strip both you and your partie of this your sheeps clothing: We have heard in the preceeding Dia­logues, your frequent accusations of Rebellion and Faction, your virulent calumnies of the most inhumane, [Page 304] unnatural, and barbarous Wickedness that can be pa­ralleled, your insolent mockeries at fancied mistakes, and lastly, all that hath preceeded, a continual quarrel about these things, which you call lesser matters, and all this, against the generality, nay, against the whole of the Godly and sober in the Land; but espe­cially, the Lords faithful and suffering Ministers; and yet you have the boldnes, to wipe your mouth, and make a boast of your singular gentlenes, Christian love, compassion upon them that are out of the way, and tender forbearance toward dissenters in lesser things. But, I have already medled too far in this concention, only, as I would not have men mistaken concerning you, so, for preventing of their mistake of us, from your N. C. suggestion, I assure you plainly, that though any man may affirme, without fear of a contradiction, that the Prelatick Spirit, mingled in the midst of you, is irreligious, false, fierce, jealous, cruell, covetous and proud; and, in these few years bygone, hath less or more appear­ed, in all these evill qualities, yet as the seen fury, folly and prophanitie of your Bishops and Curates, and a secret conviction, in all men, of the consistencie of true Loyalty with the Countreys just aversion from them, may in politick prudence, induce our Gover­nours to restrain some what of the rage of that Partie, which we are thankfully to acknowledge, so it is our Prayer to God, that he would lead them on, to a full and just consideration of the true causes of all our grievances, and to serious repentance and returning unto God, who alone, with truth, can restore unto us true peace and establishment. You subjoine here the late King's advice of Moderation to his Son, who now reigneth; and would, forsooth, have us to be­leeve, that his words to express both your opinion, [Page 305] and temper: and really, though I cannot altogether acquit their strain of prejudice, nor carrie their de­signe higher then the ends of Policie; yet they con­tain so much of sound reason, and the later part of them, viz. take heed, that outward circumstances and formalities of Religion devour not all, or the best, encou­ragements of Learning, Industrie, and Pietie, is so sadly verified, in the present condition of affaires, that I cannot but with wonder reflect, how such a rational instruction, taught to the Author, by long and costly experience, should at his Majesties return, have been so much neglected, and, even to this day, after so visible an accomplishment, so little remembred? But the use you make of this passage, is only to be­wray your N. C. childishnesse, and shew a little of your own affectation, by causing him first to say, It seems you are a Latitudinarian, and then by your an­swering, that if by latitude be meant charity, you glory in it; but as I have already demonstrat, in the second Dialogue, that it is conveniencie, more then sinceri­ty, which relaxes and dilates your charity; and, as it is too too evident, that it is the love of Peace, more then of Truth, which doth recommend men to the favour of your good opinion; so, I would have you to consider, that rectitude, and not latitude, is the measure and character of the wayes of God: Nay, when I remember our Lord's words, Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction; but strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life: The fairest gloss, whereof your latitude is capable, cannot re­concile me to the designation: It is therefore, in the streightness, yea and straitnes of this Rule, and in the practice of the new commandement of Love, that you may truly glory, but only in the Lord: The [Page 306] assuming of Names, other then that of Christian, is but an emptie vanity, and that of latitude, is so little expressive of pure Christian charity, that you see it is the very Gospel-epithet of the broad way of dam­nation.

In the next place, taking, as it appears, with this new name of Latitudinarian, for all your disowning of it, within a few lines preceeding, you and your N. C. together, playing to others hands, compound a prettie garland of praises, for your self, and com­plices: And where he acknowledgeth, That you live very good lives, are strong witted People, sound against Socinianisme, clear and free from Popish errors, you add on your part, That your principles are neither dangerous nor loose; that there are none greater haters of, and ene­mies to, Atheisme; that you give a rational and convincing account of Christianity, to all clear witted men; that with a due measure of Charity for Papists, and regard to the union of the Catholick Church, you disclame all errors, and give a most clear and scriptural account, of the points debateable; and lastly, that even where the attri­butes of Gods soveraignity, and goodness, seem to inter­fere, by faith, you stope the mouth of weak reason: Cer­tainly, then, the men of the latitude are sound, and orthodox men; nay, no doubt, but ye are the people, and wisdome shal die with you: Yet, if I might a little search you out, I would demand, 1. Why you thus distinctly characterize your self, under a peculiar name; for, that you do not understand these Epithets of all your partie, nay, not of your Bishops, and most of your Curates, is evident, even from the first, whereby you assert, that you live very good lives, which, I am certain, many of them do not so much as pre­tend to? 2. If the principles of you Latitudinarians, be the same, that we have set down, in the preceed­ing [Page 307] Dialogues, viz. that preaching is not to be termed the Word of God; and consequently that Ministers are not his Messengers; that the Church (and we know not what Church) may antiquat and cause to cease, the obligation of practices, such as the washing of feet, and anointing the sick with oil, though, as punctually and perpetually enjoined in the Scripture, as either of the Sa­craments; that Christs Kingdome is so inward and spi­ritual, that Offices, and Officers, can no more be thence pleaded for, in the Church, then the stamping of Coin; that, if the inward opinion be left free, no imposition upon the outward practice can wrong Christian liberty; that extemporate prayer is but fancicall and carnal; that there is no praying by the Spirit, unless in a manner and in words infallible; that the English Liturgie is an excellent Rule of Worship; and many such like things: Cer­tainly, if these, I say, be the principles of the La­titudinarians, as they are yours, they are very loose and dangerous, even subversive of the very founda­tions, the Word of God, and the Ordinances there­in appointed. 3. You take to your selves the com­mendation of very good lives: I wish you may not be deceived; the Pharisees made clean the outside of the cup and of the plater; but God requireth and search­eth the heart, and these things that come forth from the heart, evill thoughts, deceit, blasphemies, pride, foolishnes, as well as adulteries, murders, thefts, these defile the man: What of these may be found in this little Volume of your Dialogues, especially, lies, ca­lumnies, mockings, it were too rigid for me to reca­pitulat; I leave it to the impartial perusal of what both of us have said: Only as I desire not to be ac­counted so uncharitable, as to propose this, as a pro­portional cognizance of all the writings and sayings of the men of your way; so, I heartily pray the Lord, [Page 308] to make all of you, indeed, rectitudinarians. 4. As for your strong wits, I wish you may be as little puffed up with the conceit of them, as we are terri­ [...]fied by their opposition; that you do not abuse them to Atheism, or Socinianism, we chearfully accept of the acknowledgement: Only let me tell you, that though we be as loath, as you are, to deny Christia­nity, both in its Articles of beliefe, and precepts of practice, to be highly congruous, to the dictats of right reason; and do grant, that Religion, the highest accomplishment of Nature, is suteable to mans su­preme faculty; yet, that thus to propose them, is the most convincing way to all clear witted men, labours of these difficulties, 1. That, although there be not only as much obvious reason, in the revelation of the Gospel, as may stop the mouth of all Gainsayers, and unanswerably confound the vanities of Atheism, and all false Religions, but also, such a Divine congruous light, as, once entering and dispelling the natural man's darkeness, causeth these things, which former­ly were to him as foolishness, appear to be the wis­dome of God; yet, it is certain, that the things of God, depending solely upon his free, holy, and un­searchable good pleasure, and decree, and being only communicat by the revelation, and receivable in the illumination of the Spirit, to think to propose and enforce them, by rational perswasion, for the con­version of men in the state of nature, is vain and pre­sumptuous: and therefore, if it be in this manner, that you do understand your assertion, viz. that thus to propose them, is the most convincing way to all clear witted men, seing, it both imports a sufficiencie in the pro­poser, and a possible capacity in the hearers, to con­vert without efficacie of Divine grace, and the light of revelation, it is doubly peccant. 2. In what sort [Page 309] soever your assertion be understood, the superlative preference, which it giveth to your way of reason, directly impingeth upon the Apostles their manner of preaching; which was not with the wisdom of words, but in that simplicity, which unto these, that sought after wisdom, was as foolishness: It was neither by the Wise, nor by the Scribe; nor by the Disputer; but God choosed the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise: Consider the Apostles their Sermons, yet extant; specially Peters, not only to the Iews, but also to Cornelius and the first con­verts of the Gentiles, there can be nothing more sim­ple, either in perswasion, or in expression: Hear Pauls testimony of himself [and I brethren, came not with excellencie of speach, or of wisdom, declaring unto you, the testimony of God; but was with you, in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling:] &c. and certainly, if you will be pleased to ponder the reason and end, which he subjoins, viz. [that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men; but in the power of God] You cannot but perceive, both the difference of this way from, and its excellencie above that of rational perswasion, which you so much commend. 3. As neither the undoubted congruity of Christianity to reason once enlightned, nor the sufficiency of reason, by its own force, to redargue proud mockers and despisers, do conclude its aptitude for the discovery, explication, or right uptaking of the things of God, without the Spirit, which alone knoweth them; So, it is justly to be feared, that this new method, of adventuring by reason, without the testimony of the word, to propose and explain these mysteries [...] do not only prove ineffectual, for true instruction; but also inductive of the Authors themselves, into many misprisions and errors: For men to quite and lay aside [Page 310] the conduct of the true and only light which is the best evidence and manifestation, both of its self, and of its object, and in a vain curiosity, to set up and demonstrat by the taper of Reason, in the sunshine of revelation, and to endeavour, to cause reason lead or guide, which, with much difficultie, is able to follow, is a presumption, not more full of pride then of danger: Paul was a man very learned, long exercised, and no doubt mightily fervid in all the Arts and Methods of reasoning; but from the time, that, that light from Heaven, above the brightnes of the Sun, shined about him, and laid him on the ground, trembling and astonished, we find his speech in the matters of the Gospel, was not with entising or perswasive words of Mans wisdom; but in de­monstration of the Spirit, with much fear: some­time indeed he disputes, and thereby also confounds; but it is his preaching that mostly converts. Think not that, by these reflections, I aime particularly at either the fault or fate of the men of your way: no, let their writings speak for themselves; but that there is such a vanity, too much in present practice, the late, more pretendedly rational, then Scriptural, essayes of many, do too sadly evince.

4. You say that you Latitudinarians are neither Pa­pists, nor Cassandrians; but, in effect, charitable Pro­testants, and that you are far from that hight of rigour, of damning all Papists, which some of us owne. 'Tis an­swered, That we are sufficiently tender in this point, is notour to all, and this your challenge, if rightly understood of Papists, that is of all, who live within the verge of and own the Church of Rome, is as groundless as your needless profession of an uncontro­verted charity, because they hold the foundation Iesus Christ, though they build upon it, wood, hay, and stuble: [Page 311] I confess that, seing thereby you plainly enough in­sinuate, that Papists, even as such, do not erre funda­mentally, and consequently, under this reduplication may be saved, it imports to me an excess, where­with we ought not to comply. To join with the merit of Jesus Christ, that of their own good works, nay, of their own superstitious inventions; and to his Mediation, that of Saints, seem to me to im­pinge upon the very foundation, which you acknow­ledge. What shal we then say, of the avowed gross Idolatries and Superstitions, ridiculous penitences and perverted morality, whereby, both the truth, and spirituality of Gods Worship and Service, with the inward and genuine Grace of Obedience and Sanc­tification, are subverted? Really, Sir, these appear to me, to be a superstructure of such naughty stuffe, as neither the sincerity of Grace, with which I judge them incompatible, nor even the flames of their own purgatory, will ever purge away.

But you proceed: That though you will not say, that all things controverted, betwixt the Reformed Churches and them, are matters of Salvation; yet in their greater errors, such as the Popes Supremacie, the Churches in­fallibility, the corporal presence &c. you condemne them, and perhaps on clearer grounds, then we do: 'Tis an­swered, 1. That the things controverted with the Papists are not all of them such, as do directly and necessarily, in beleefe or practice, appertain to Sal­vation, is not by us denied; but, where, in this your latitude, you do in effect intimate such a dissent from the Reformed Churches, as if many things be­twixt us and the Papists, were needlessly by us drawn in question, it is such an undervaluing of the will and way of the Lord, whereupon, even in our small­est differences, we hope, we are founded; that I [Page 312] could not pass it, without an observation. 2. Wheth­er you do indeed condemn the Papists, in many of the points by you enumerate, let be on better grounds, is to me very dubious? You say, you are against the Popes Supremacie; but how is it then, that you have transferred it upon his Majesty, and that with a more ample extent, then ever was conceded to, nay, or arrogat by any Pope? That the King, may enact such Acts, and Orders, concerning the administration of the external Government of the Church, and the Persons there­in imployed, and concerning all Ecclesiastick Meetings and matters, therein to be proposed, as he shall think fit, is more then any Pope ever assumed: Pray, Sir, is the difference betwixt the persons of the Pope, and Prince, the hinge of the controversie? Or, is this one of the clearer grounds, you talk of? consider it at your leisure. In the next place, you tell us, that you condemn the Churches infallibility, and yet, p. 31. of this same Book, your affirme that even in matters, as punctually set down in Scripture, as either of these Sacraments, the Church may judge, that God did not therein intend any perpetual obligation, and, by her practice, oblige us to a cessation, and consequently, alter Scripture-determinations: Beside, you know what power you attribute to the Church, to impose significant cere­monies and other observances; which, although you tell us, for an evasion, do not take away the liberty of inward opinion; yet you affirme, that they do bind in Conscience to a conformable practice: Verily, if a Church so impowered be not infallible, the con­cessions are too large; but the truth is, Scripture de­fectible, the Church fallible, and nothing fixed, appear to be most aggreeable, to the lightnes of your brains, and the Conveniencie of your new latitude. 3. You af­firme, that you are against the corporal presence, and [Page 313] also the worshiping of Images; and yet, you are for Adoration, to, before, or, in order to, the Eliments: For call it as you will, you plead for it, as due vene­ration, in the action, whereof, they are the necessa­ry objects: how these do consist, I see not: For my part, I cannot but judge, the Papists, though more gross, yet more consequent. But we have enough of this subject, and these few instances premised may in­deed well justify the excessive love, which you pro­fess to the unity of the Catholick Church, wherein you include the Roman; and your esteem for such, meaning by Cassander, and others of his way, who have studied to bring things to a temper, do palpab­ly hold out your byass to their haltings: But if the unity and temper, that you aime at, be of this tem­per, since it hath not truth for its foundation, the Lord deliver his Churches from it.

In the next place your N. C. and you fall a quar­relling, about Iustification, and after you have first taxed, then smoothed, and again, in a manner, re­jected the Papists their Iustification by works, and their Merit, you proceed to Iustification by faith only: and when you have given us your explanation of it, you make a prettie bo [...]st, as it, forsooth, by your right apprehension of things, you had, in a few words, told that, which, with much nicety swels amongst us to Volumes: Sir, I so greatly defire to find you walking in the truth, and am so little in love with contention, especially in a matter of this impor­tance, that I am resolved, rather fanely to pass, then rigidly to strain, even your more ambiguous expres­sions; but since you would make the World beleeve, that, with you and you only, is to be found both Truth and Light; and that, on the other hand, we do perplexe this point, with Nic [...]ties and subtilties, it [Page 314] will not be amiss, that in this matter, I examine you more particularly: which that I may performe, with the greater candor and perspiciuty, I shall first exhibit your words, in their full context, and thereafter re­view them in parts.

You say then, That Iustification and Condemnation are two opposite legall termes, relating to the judgement shal be given out, at the last day: For though we are said to be condemned already, this is only, that we are now in the state of such, as shal be solemnly justified or con­demned. Now, at the great day, we must give an ac­count of our actions, and we must be judged accordingly; but since all must be condemned, if God enter in judgement with them; therefore God gave his Son to the death for us, that thereby we might obtain Salvation: And all jud­ment is, by the Father, committed to the Son: and Ie­sus Christ hath proposed life, through his death, to as many as receive his Gospell, and live according to it: And as that, which gives us a title to the favour of God, is the blood of Christ; so that which gives us an interest in his death, is faith, with a life conforme to the rules of the Gos­pel, and the root of this new life, is a faith which wor­keth by love, purifyeth the heart, and overcometh the world, and therefore Iustification is ascribed to it in Scripture: and this, you say, is the right apprehension of things; both ascribing all to Christ, and declaring clear­ly the necessity of a holy life. 'Tis answered; The mat­ter of Justification, being, in effect, the very sub­stance of the Gospel, and its right uptaking, of the greatest moment, in order to our Salvation, for as much, as you, by an affected simplicity, and simulat smoothness, do palpably laboure to involve and per­vert it; I shal first represent, in your words, and in its own colours, the error which you would impose, and then discusse these reasons, and insinuations, [Page 315] whereby you endeavour, rather cunningly to cover and convey it, then plainly to maintain it.

The scope then and aime of your discourse is, that the proposall of life in the Gospel, through the death of Christ, is to as many as receive it, and live according to it; that, that which giveth us an interest in the death of Christ, is [...]aith with a li [...]e con [...]orme to the ral [...]s of the Gospel, and that because of the fruits of faith, love, purity of heart, and victorie over the world; therefore Iustification is ascribed unto it in Scripture. The meaning of which expressions in plain language, is, that it is by good works, joined with faith, nay, by good works prin­cipally, and faith referred to them, as the root there­of, and not by faith only, as the instrument, where­by the perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ is laid hold upon, and becometh ours, in Gods sight, that we are justified. Now, that this your opinion is false, and is to be rejected, appeareth by these many, and plain Scriptures: By the deeds of the Law there shal no flesh be justifyed in his sight, Rom. 3. 20. The man is bles­sed, to whom God imputeth righteousnesse without works, Rom. 4. 6. By grace we are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast, Eph. 2. 8. 9. Not by works of righteousnesse, which we have done, but according to his Mercy he saved us, Tit. 3. 5. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their tres­passes unto them, 2. Cor. 5. 19. God hath saved us with an holy calling, not according to our works; but accor­ding to his own purpose and grace, which was given us, in Christ Iesus, before the world began, 2 Tim. 1. 9. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2. Cor. 5. 21. Iesus Christ, is made of God, unto us, Wis­dom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemp­tion, 1. Corin. 1. 30. He is the LORD OUR [Page 316] RIGHTEOUSNESSE, Ier. 23. 6. We are jus­tified freely by Gods Grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Iesus. Whom God hath set forth to be a pro­pisiation through faith in his blood. Rom. 3. 24, 25. By the righteousnesse of Christ, the free gift came upon all men to the justification of life: and by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous, Rom. 5, 18. 19. We are justi­fyed by the faith of Iesus Christ, and not by the works of the law Gal. 2. 16. He that worketh not, but believ­eth on him that justifyeth the ungodly, his faith is counted unto him for righteousnesse, Rom. 4. 5. And lastly, A man is justifyed by faith, it without the works of the law, Ro. 5. 28. This [...] hope is plain Scripture language, without any subtil [...]y: How can you then joine our works of the Law with the righteousnesse of faith, even the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which faith doth apprehend, & appro­priat for our Justification in Gods sight, contrary to these most manifest testimonies? Certainly, if men would but seriously examine and consider what Gods word doth so plainly and rationally hold forth, anent this purpose, how quickly would that pure and perfect light dispel darknesse, clear doubtings, and give us both a right understanding, and sound and easie expres­sion therein. God did creat and appoint man to bear, and be conformable to his image, for the manifesta­tion of his own glory; and thereby to partake and enjoy his favour, for our felicity: for that end, he gave his holy and righteous Law, on the one hand, being both the way to, and bearing the promise of life unto the obedient; and on the other, pronounc­ing wrath and death, against such, as should be dis­obedient: The sanction and pain of this divine Law being by [...] incurred, and all mankind standing there­by condemned, and bound over to wrath in Gods sight, the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation, ap­peareth, [Page 317] holding forth Jesus Christ, manifested in our flesh, and therein fulfilling all righteousnesse, suf­fering in both Bodie and Soul, dying, shedding his bloud, and making his Soul an offering, for a propitia­tion and ransome, for satisfiing Divine justice, and reconciling us unto God, rising again for our Justifi­cation, and being made perfect through suffering, became the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him; that is, believe and receive this Gos­pel-covenant (whereof he himself was also the Mi­nister) holding him forth, for Wisdom, Righte, ousnes, Sanctification, and absolute Redemption-to all that come unto and imbrace him: And there­fore, as at first, Christ came into the world, by doing the will of God, and making his Soul an offer­ing for sin, to bring in everlasting Righteousnes, even the Righteousnesse of God through faith in his Name; so, because he was obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross, God hath therefore highly exalted him and given him a name, which is above every name, and, vesting him with all power in Heaven and in Earth, hath made him the Head of all things, unto his Church, and committed unto him all Judgement, that he may, one day, render both vengeance unto the Disobedient and Unbelievers, and receive unto him­self and the Fathers Glory, his own, who, through faith in his Name, are justifyed in Gods sight, and by his grace purifyed, and preserved unto his heavenly Kingdom. This being then the plain Gospel-revela­tion, to lost and condemned sinners: what els doth it require, then, that in the knowledge and sense of this our sinful, wretched and miserable estate, flow­ing from Jesus Christ our Wisdom, we, by faith, lay hold on him and his Righteousnesse, for our ran­some from wrath, and alone acceptation in God's [Page 318] sight; and also for obtaining of Sanctification, consist­ing in the purging away of all filthiness of the flesh and Spirit; which the penitent Convert; as he feareth its guilt and wrath, doth, in like manner, detest and abhorre; and the perfecting holiness in the fear of God: And lastly for compleat Redemption from, and victorie over, Sathan, the World, the body of this death it self, in the triumph of the Resurrection, and the plenarie possession of Eternal life. By all which, it is evident, that whatever be these other graces and blessings, which we partake, in and through our Lord Jesus; yet it is through and by faith alone, as an instrument, and in respect of its peculiar aptitude for that end, apprehending or laying hold on Christ Jesus, the only Propitiation, and his Righteousnes, the alone Satisfaction, that we are justifyed in Gods sight. And really, Sir, when in this sincere and clear light, I have proposed this matter, I wonder, what vanity or ignorance could seduce you, to the doctrine which you here deliver. To grant, as you do, Justification to be a judicial act, whereby, no doubt, we are to understand, that God as the great Judge, attempe [...]ing justice with mercie, doth there­by accept of a Ransome and Surety offered, and therefore absolve, yea justify the Criminal; and yet, notwithstanding of the evident Scripture testimonies, that shew the Lord our Righteousness to be, in very deed, this Ransome and Surety, and faith only its in­strumental application, to join good works with it, and state both, as the condition of our Justification, is not only reproved by the Papists their more conse­quent explication, who, because they admit of works in Justification, do therefore hold it, not to be a judicial act; but rather a gracious work; but by the common sense of all men, in these similare instan­ces, [Page 319] from which the manner of explaining these things is borrowed: If in our ordinarie Courts, the Law being transgressed, and the transgressor con­victed, the pronouncing of the doome of judgement, and its execution, were stopt, by the interposition of a ransome and surety offered, so fully satisfying and acceptable in the eyes of the judge, that, for his sake, the poor Criminal were both pardoned and re­ceived to special favour, would any rational man say, that the person guilty, were thus absolved and justi­fyed, either for his act of laying claime to the price and pledge, as a condition; seing it is only the mo­ral instrument, whereby the true motive of the ran­somers satisfaction is applyed; or yet for the act it self, together with the absolved person his conse­quent good behaviour, which is the parallel of your interpretation which is yet more absurd; And not ra­ther affirme plainly, that it is for the ransome and sure­ty only, that the man is acquit and accepted? Cer­tainly common ingenuity, which must acknowledge all the defects of this similitude, to be the manifest advantages of the point, principally pressed, will both cede to the conviction of its evidence, aud trans­ferre it plainly to the case in hand.

Having thus set down a Scriptural and easie account of this important truth, which (reflecting upon al­most all Protestant Divines, with whom in this we agree, and wandering in your raveries, after no bet­ter guid then Patrick the Pilgrim) you say, is by us hand­led, with much niceness and subtilty: for its further clearing, and the better discoverie of your vanity: I shal now examine your discourse in its particulars: and 1. you say, Iustification and Condemnation are two op­posite legal termes. By legal, I know you mean judicial, and therefore, in place of urging your mistake, I se­riously [Page 320] wish that the tenor of what ensues, had been consistent to so true and solid a ground: but you add: That they relate to the judgement shall be given out at the last day: a strange fetch to compasse a false designe, I might remember you, that the Scripture is express, That being justifyed by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Iesus Christ: and there is now therefore, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Iesus, who (by their assured partaking of his grace, and in conse­quence of their true faith in him, and Justification therethrough) walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit: and that thence it is evident, that, as it is God that judgeth; so it is by an act of his free grace, in Jesus Christ, antecedent to the last judgement, that we are reconciled unto him, and justified in his sight. But your own words, viz. For though we are said to be now justified as the unbeleeving are said to be con­demned already, this is only, that we are now in the state of such, as shall be solemnly justified or condemned; do sufficiently reprove you, because,

1. It is certain, that the unbelieving are not, impro­perly, and with respect only to that future judgement, said to be condemned already; but, as by reason of sin, judgement is already come upon all unto con­demnation, and he that beleeveth not the Son shall not see life, is under the curse, and the wrath of God abideth on him; so it is manifest, that now it is, that they stand truely under the condemning power and sentence of Gods holy Law, from which, it is most unquestionable, that condemnation doth directly pro­ceed against all transgressours; however, in the for­bearance of God, they are not only for a time repriv­ed, but place left for a ransome.

2. To be justified freely through grace, doth plain­ly import, the person justified to be antecedently [Page 321] under condemnation; if by the offence, judgement had not come upon all to condemnation, there had been no need of the Righteousnes of Christ, to the Iustification of life: How then, can the opposite in­stance of Condemnation, be by your referred unto the last day? Far less made an argument to deferre, untill that judgement, our Iustification, which of necessity doth presuppose it: Certainly, you cannot but grant it to be most absurd, to think, that Believers shall, in that day, be first condemned, and thereafter justified.

3. When you say, That it is in that day, that men shall be solemnly justified or condemned, you clearly re­solve the matter: viz. that as the solemnity of the judgement of that day, shall be only declarative, and finally executive; so it evidently concludes, that the judgement, then to be pronounced, was given and established of before. Pray, Sir, do you think the Spirits of just men made perfect, are not as yet justi­fied?

But 4. you grant, that we are now in the state of such, as shall be solemnily justified or condemned; which clear­ly shews; your insinuation premised to be only a de­signe, to obscure by words without knowledge, in as much, as the question remains the same, anent this state, and how we now attaine to it, as anent the justification, which you would deferre: And 1. What is the state of Iustification? Is it not that we who were under the Curse and aliens, are accepted unto favour, pardoned, and brought near? Wherein doth it then differ, from actual Iustification? 2. How is it, that we attain to this state? Sure not by works, either alone, or in conjunction with faith, as we have heard from Scripture, and shall be further evinced. But if it be by faith alone, as the instrument laying hold on [Page 322] the sole meritorious Righteousnes of Christ, our dif­ference is only verbal, wherein you foolishly resile from Scripture phrase: If you shall further add, that by faith we do indeed attain to this state, but only inchoatly, or unfixedly, and changeably, then you evidently impinge, both upon the perfection of Christs Righteousnes, and the faire and certain grounds of the Saints their perseverance.

It followeth in your discourse, Now at the great day we must give an account of our actions, and we must be judged accordingly: And I note in your ensuing words That since all must be condemned, if God enter into judge­ment with them, and that not only, if he should charge us with our transgressions, but even if he should only reckon with us, upon our good works, and for that imperfection and weakness, wherewith, as they are from us, they are tainted; doth not the certainty of this judgement, above all things, plead the necessi­ty, and alone sufficiency of the Righteousness of Jesus Christ, for our Justification? But to restore your words to their own channell, you say, that since all must be condemned, if God enter into judgement; therefore God gave his Son unto the death for us, that thereby we might obtain Salvation: And though by this passage, it be clearly enough imported; that it is before God, and by the sentence of his Law, that all men stand con­demned; and that therefore, he hath given his Son, whose Death and Bloud is the Propitiation, and in whom he is well pleased, to be a ransome, for libe­ration and acceptation to all that believe on him; whereby Justification by faith in Jesus Christ, without the deeds of the Law, is in substance granted; yet for ushering in your good works, to share with faith, in Justification, by a strange connexion, you subjoin: And all judgement is committed by the Father to the Son, [Page 323] and Iesus Christ hath proposed life through his death to as many as receive his Gospell, and live according to it. But I must take notice.

1. That by laying down the commission of judge­ment given to the Son, as a ground to his proposing of the Gospel offer, you manifestly repugne to our Lords own words and testimony, expressly distin­guishing the character of his first coming, which was in the form of a servant, to minister, not to be minis­tered unto, and by performing the Fathers command­ment, to save the World, and not to judge it; from that of his second coming, which shall be with power and great glory, to the Salvation of all that look for him, and to judge and to execute judgement upon all, that are ungodly.

2. By making our Lords commission to judge, antecedent to his ministration of the Gospel, you in­vert Truth and plain Scripture-evidence, whereby it is clear, that our Lord was first sent into the World, to preach the Gospel, and lay down his life for sinners; that, whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life: And then, because of his compleat, and perfect obedience, is exalted to be the Head of all things, unto the Church, and hath Authority also to execute judgement committed to him, because he is the Son of Man.

But. 3. By this your doctrine, you in effect sub­vert the grace of the Gospel, in as much as, in the place of the Gospel-covenant, offering pardon and peace to poor lost sinners, through Christ Jesus, and, with and in him, all grace and glory; you introduce our Lord, as having, by his death, indeed merited the privilege of a new offer of life unto sinners; but making and renewing the same, in no better termes, then these of the Law-covenant; for as the Law [Page 324] sayeth, that the man that doth these things shall live by them; so, you tell us, that the termes of the Gospel-tender, are to receive the same, and live ac­cording to it: Now, if the Law doth offer life, to such as receive and live according to it; and our Lords proposal stand in the like termes, admit the proposers not to be the same; yet the proposals are certainly coincident: and therefore, although the eternal trans­action betwixt the Father and the Son, may be of Grace; yet it is undeniable, that, in your opinion, the tenders of the Law and Gospel, as to us-ward, do rune in the same tenor; and the condescendence of both, prerequiring our works, is equally to be reckoned of debt: These being the consequences of that Gospel-method, by you here contrived, and its designe no less evident, to make works with saith, the condition and procuring cause of our Iustifica­tion, at least in the sight of Christ, as the Judge ap­pointed: I add;

1. That your attributing of Iustification to Christ, as judge ordained over all, in the last judgement, is contrary to the Scripture, that telleth us, that it is one God that justifieth, it is Christ that died, marke the distinction made; and no doubt, reason it self in­forming us, that it is the Law and Law-giver, and not the Judge, which define dutie, determine paines, and condemne the transgressors, poenae enim persecu­tion, non Iudicis voluntati mandatur; sed legis authoritati reservatur: It doth also confirm, that it appertaines unto God only, as the Law-giver, to remit the pu­nishment incurred, and accept and justify sinners, upon an aequipollent satisfaction.

2. The Authority to execute judgement being given to our Lord, as the Mediator; and because he is the Son of Man, in which respect, he is not the [Page 325] principal Author and efficient, but only the merito­rious cause of our Iustification; not the very act, but only the solemn declaration thereof, can be ascrived to him, in this capacity; unless you can conceive, that our Lord is not only, both the Ransome, and the accepter thereof, but that, by becoming the Pro­pitiation, he also becometh the partie to be appeased, which are palpably inconsistent.

3. The plain Scripture-truth, in this point, is that our Lord having compleatly obeyed the will of God, and being made perfect through suffering, is therefore highly exalted above every name, and hath all power and judgement committed to him; where­by, as he doth, here in time, enrich with all Grace, guid, support, and preserve all that beleeve in him; and also over-rule, restrain, and punish all his, and their Adversaries; so, shal he, in the last day, appear, first, to receive and welcome all his redeemed ones, formerly justified by his Righteousnesse, and sancti­fied by his Grace, unto his Fathers joy: And then with them, to judge the reprobate, and take ven­geance on all, that know not God, and obey not the Gospel: by which it is evident, that Justification pro­ceeding from God, for Christs sake, and necessari­ly preceeding, both our Sanctification here, and Glorification in the last day, cannot be referred unto that judgement, which is only declarative and exe­cutive, according to these words, Come ye blessed of my Father, nor explicate, according to its scheme: And therefore, although our Lord do therein, for our encouragement in well doing, and the commen­dation of the riches of his bountie, make mention of our good works, and shall certainly, in that day, also crown his own free grace in us, with a reward; yet, thence to inferre, that our Justification before [Page 326] God, and in order to his holy justice, having for its alone cause, the Righteousnes of Jesus Christ, and imported in the compellation, ye blessed of my Father, is founded, on our weak love, and scant charity which, even the Righteous in that day, seeme asham­ed to owne, is both a groundless error, and high presumption.

But I proceed to your next words viz. That Christ Iesus hath proposed life through his death, to as many as receive his Gospel and live according to it. That, this is a manifest perversion of the free Grace of God, whereby our Lord Jesus doth freely hold out himself unto us, not only for to be our Righteousnesse for Justi­fication; but also our Sanctification through his Spirit, unto the glory of God; and therefore doth not re­quire our holinesse, as an antecedent condition, seing, it is indeed his own subsequent Gi [...]t, the obvious evi­dence of so clear a truth, may sufficiently confirme, and the following argume [...]ts do unanswerably evince.

1. Our Lords own words, the surest Rule for understanding the proposal controverted, do contain a free tender, and not the termes by you represented: Hear what he saith to Nicodemus: Whosoever beleeveth in the Son of man, shall no, perish, but have eternal life: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever beleeveth on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life, Iohn 3. 15, 16. Iohn addeth, he that beleeveth on the Son, hath everlasting life, chap. 3. v. 36. And again, our Lord sayeth, this is the work of God, that you beleive on him, whom he hath sent: And this is his will, that every one which seeth the Son, and be­leeveth, may have everlasting life: Verily verily I say unto you, he that beleeveth on me, hath everlasting life. Iohn. 6. 29, 40, 47. Surely these are Gospel proposalls, yea [Page 327] the very summe and substance of its offer, whereof your condition of a conformable life, maketh no part: I might add Paul's words to the Jailour, believe on the Lord Iesus Christ, and thou shall be saved; but it is so much the strain of the whole New Testament, that it were unnecessary to enlarge.

2. If when we were Enemies, and not for works of Righteousnesse, which we have done, we were reconciled unto God, by the death of his Son, then the proposal of life, and Justification, is made through faith in his Name, without the condition of these good works, which you join with it; but so it is, that the antecedent is plain Scripture; therefore that the consequent is identick with it, as Justification and Reconciliation are, cannot be denied.

3. That which is the end of our Election, Calling and Redemption by Jesus Christ, & is his undertaking for us, in that respect, and is the fruit of our faith, and of our acceptation therethrough, yea, and is the product of the Fathers care over us, as accepted in the Beloved, cannot be said to be required of us as a condition antecedent to our justification, no more then the same thing, can be thought, to be really both antecedent and subsequent. But so it is, that we are chosen, and called to be holy, and created in Christ Iesus unto good works; through faith it is, and that not of our selves, it is the Gi [...]t o [...] God, that we become partakers of Christ, for Reconciliation, and of all his graces for Sanctification; and lastly we are in him, Gods husbandrie, that we may bring forth the fruits of righteousnesse. Therefore &c.

4. Your requiring of good works, together with faith, previous to our acceptance by Jesus Christ, is an uncertain and desperat thing, in as much, as it is evident, that unless we be first accepted of him, [Page 328] and united to him, it is not possible for us to do any thing: without me you can do nothing, are our Lords own words. Say not that this Argument, equally mi­litats against previous faith, if we did hold faith, as it is our act to be required as a proper potestative fore­going condition of our acceptance, the objection might be of some moment; but since we do affirme, faith to be only the instrumental act, (to which the word of power exciting) the Soul doth thereby lay hold on, and close with Jesus Christ, it is thence manifest, that immediatly, without any other pre­requisite, he becometh our propitiation, peace, and all.

5. To these may be added, that this your Doctrine joining good works to faith, for attaining to our Lords acceptation, subverteth the peace, taketh away the joy of Beleevers, checketh Paul's exultation, in his so much professed assurance of the love of God in Christ Jesus; and lastly, as to sinners in extremity, called immediatly before the twelfth hour, removeth all ground of hope; but I am already too full, in a matter so clear, and so largely handled by many more able Pens. I might here subjoin, that as your joining of good works, as a condition with faith, in the pro­posal of the Gospel, is a manifest perverting of the free grace of God, upon which these good works, having a subsequent dependence, cannot, by any reall antecedent influence, possibly move it; so your turning faith, by this conjunction, to be a motive of the same nature, and to be also respected in the quali­ty of a condition, is a palpable depravation of its use, and comfort. Its true, our Divines taking the word condition, in a large sense, as it signifieth any thing prerequired, do ordinarily say, that faith and faith only is the condition, on our part, of the Gospel-covenant; but that it is not therein a condition, as a [Page 329] condition doth properly and legally import: viz. that which, though by convention only, yet hath a me­riting or moving influence, upon the other parties performance, and such as works, previously re­quired, either in the Covenant of works, or in that of Grace (as you would have it,) certainly hath, and can have, no other, I firmly maintain. I further grant, that the requiring of faith, as a proper condi­tion, doth no less exact the existence of the thing, then if it were repute to be necessary as an instrument; yet that it clearly changeth the office of faith, in the new Covenant, unto that of the condition of works, under the old; and that by respecting it as a condi­tion, on our part, it doth diminish that immediat regard, we ought to have to, and comfort, which we derive from, Jesus Christ and his Righteousnesse, tendered unto us to be laid hold upon, as the alone motive and satisfaction, acceptable to God for our Justification, cannot be denied.

But I go on with your discourse, you add, And as that which giveth us a title to the favour of God, is the bloud of Christ; so that, which giveth us an interest in his death, is faith, with a life conforme to the rules of the Gospel: But passing your conjunction, and this your third and which I am certain would require more study, to discover therein a connexion, then you did adhibite in the using; let me ask if the bloud of Christ giveth us a title to the favour of God, is it not then the sufficient, and sole price and purchase of our Iustification, in his sight? And must not faith its alone proper application render us accepted to the Beloved? What then can your, So, further import, Viz. so, that which giveth an interest in the death of Christ, is faith, with a life conforme to the Gospel? Can you, or any man els [...], conceive, that a man by faith alone [Page 330] in the propitiation, the bloud of Christ, should be reconciled unto God; and yet not attain, to an in­terest in Christs death, without a holy life, superad­ded and concurring, in the same causality? Nay, these things are plainly inconsistent: 2. The fairest sense that your words can bear, is that, as we are re­stored to a capacity of favour with God, by the bloud of Christ; so, it is faith, with a life conforme to the Gospel, that gives us an actual interest in his Death, and thereby unto the peace of God; but seing the result of this, in plain language, is no other then, that our Lord, having by his own bloud ransomed fallen and forfeited mankind, hath in liew of the first Covenant, made with man and by him transgres­sed, proposed to us a second, adding to the condi­tion of a holy life, required by the f [...]st, that of be­leeving. That this is altogether dissonant, both to the declared love of God, and the grace revealed by Jesus Christ, in his Gospel, any Christian may dis­cern.

Your next words are, And (a fourth And) the root of this new life is a faith, which worketh by love, pu­rifieth the heart, and overcometh the world; and there fore Iustification is ascribed unto it, in Scripture: But pray, Sir, how is it, that faith becometh such a fruitful root? Is it not by laying hold on Christs Righ­teousnesse, by which, pardon being obtained, and we reconciled unto God, we have right unto, and so do attain, in due time, the benefite of all the pro­mises of Grace, which, in Christ Jesus, are yea, and Amen? or, that the same faith, which layeth hold on him, as our Righteousnesse in Gods sight, doth also unite us to him, for Sanctification, and in­graffing us, as it were in him, through the commu­nication of his grace, purifieth the heart, and over­cometh [Page 331] the World? Or lastly, is it not, that by faith we are brought to the bloud of Sprinkling, which is both the bloud of atonement, that sprinkleth from an evill Conscience; and also the Laver, which cleans­eth from all sin, and wherewith we are sanctifyed? This being then, the Scripture account, and it being most apparent, that Christ, through faith, becom­eth, first our Righteousnesse, for remission of sin and Justification in Gods sight, and then our Sanctifi­cation unto Good works; your own acknowledge­ment, that faith is the root of this new life of holiness, may evince, that a holy life, subsequent to faith, and our acceptation therethrough, cannot be therewith joined, as a condition, for our Justification. But that which followeth in your discourse, and therefore (i. e. because of the above enumerat frui [...]s, which it produceth) Iustification is ascribed unto faith, in the Scripture: is, the grossest error of all, because 1. It directly repugnes to Scripture, clearly intimating, that it is unto faith, as the instrument only, whereby the Righteousnesse of Jesus Christ is unto us applyed, that Justification is in Scripture ascrived. If we be justifyed by the faith of Jesus Christ, and if, by the Righteousnesse of Jesus Christ, the free gift cometh upon all, to the Justification of life; if he be the pro­pitiation, through faith in his bloud; and our righ­teousnesse, which is of God by faith, are you not affrayed to say, that Justification, requiring a satis­factorie righteousnesse, is ascrived to faith, because of its poor, and imperfect fruits in us, and thereby to [...]light and vilipend the perfect Righteousnesse of Christ, the immediat object, whereon it layeth hold, and our only acceptation in Gods sight? 2. Because this your error derogates from Divine justice. We have already heard you call Justification a legal or judicial [Page 332] act, and consequently, an act, wherein free grace doth not more favour the lost sinner, then justice doth regard a valuable ransome and surety: If Iustification then be ascribed in Scripture to faith, this must cer­tainly be understood, either as faith is in it self, or is relative to a compleat and adequat satisfaction. Now, to think that faith in it self, or as it is an act, or habite, which is the Gift of God; or its fruits, which, (be­side, that they are also the gift of God, and our dutie as from us, are mixed with much weakness and im­perfection: or lastly, that any thing else then the Righteousnesse of Jesus Christ apprehended by faith, can be commensurable to holy Iustice, is more then redargued, by the simple proposal. 3. This your a­scribing Iustification unto faith, in regard of a holy life, which it produceth, doth no less detract from the praise of the glory of the grace of God where­in he hath made us accepted in the Beloved: Is it the praise and commendation of this wonderful love, and grace, that he spared not, but gave his only be­gotten Son, to be a ransome for sinners; and that it is in the Beloved, that we are accepted and justifyed; and should not you be ashamed to say, that it is unto faith, as the root of a holy life, and not as it doth respect and take hold on him, who was made to be sin for us, and knew no sin, that we might be made the Righteousnesse of God in him, that Iustification is in Scripture ascrived? 4. This your error, as it is contrary to the Scripture, and derogatorie to the Righteousnesse of Christ, the Holinesse of Divine justice, and the Glory of free Grace; so, it is the manifest product of, and cannot but be a most dan­gerous temptation to, that inward and spiritual pride, in the heart of man, of all sin the most subtilly insi­nuating, deeply rooted, and pernicious: A price, [Page 333] or something meriting, or moving, at least of our own, is that which the natural man liketh well; nay knoweth not how to renounce: was it not a subtile and strange effect of this pride, and corrupt selfe? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? When as the thing required by the Lord, was to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. And whence did the Iews their stumbling at the Gospel proceed? Was it not, that they went about to establish their own righteousnesse; and therefore, they did not submit themselves unto the Righteousnesse of God? Say not, that this accu­sation against you, is unwarranted: I know you tell us, That your explanation ascribes all to Christ, through, whom it is, that our sinnes are pardoned, our services accepted, and grace and glory conveyed to us, But it is evident, that these are but vain words; in as much as, though you here tell us, that our services are ac­cepted through Christ; yet almost immediatly before, we heard you say, that it is faith and a life conforme to the Gospel, by way of antecedent condition, which gives us an interest in his bloud: Now, that our ser­vices cannot be prerequired, by way of condition, to his acceptance of us, and also only accepted as per­formed by us, in him [...] is of it self manifest. 2. Though you should, more clearly, and consistently, ascribe all unto Jesus Christ; yet by turning his grace into a condition, the subtilty and folly of your pride doth but the more bewray it self: For, as simply to ob­trude our own good works, which in the acknow­ledgement of the most exact and confident legalist, are both commanded and given us of God, is a proud presumption; so, the more you attribute either the strength or the acceptance of performances unto the grace of God in Christ Jesus, while, in the mean [Page 334] time, you do still arrogate them, as a condition on the creatures part, you the more declare the folly, but in nothing diminish the sinfulnesse, of your vani­ty. These things need not to be illustrat: question­less, who ever doth consider his lost condition, by reason of sin and wrath, and hearkeneth unto that fun­damental Gospel-precept, deny thy self, imprimis all self-righteousnesse, and beleeve; will find the power thereof so deeply descending into his Soul, that all the desire, trust, and hope thereof, will be fixed on Jesus Christ alone, and to be found in him, not having his own righteousnesse, which unto his sincere reflection, will be so far from appearing a condition, that it will disappeare as dung; but that Righteous­nesse, which is through the faith of Christ, the Righ­teousnesse which is of God by faith. But who can suf­ficiently declare and regret the madnes and ingratitude of this pride of man? Jesus Christ is made of God unto us, Righteousnesse; and yet we will thereto join our own, for Justification in Gods sight: He is also made unto us Sanctification, that in Him we may bring forth the fruits of holinesse unto the glory of God; and the very same fruits, will we im­propriat, to be the condition, and, as it were, the price of our acceptance, even with himself, who is our only acceptation, and our all. Sir, be not de­ceived, as they who in the sight of sin, and fear of wrath, f [...]ee unto Christ alone, for a refuge, do finde his Righteousness, not more sufficient, then freely offered, to every one that willeth, for Justification in Gods sight; so, your Doctrine, requiring both faith and a holy life, as the previous conditions, to give an interest in Christs Death, and ascriving Justi­fication to faith, because, forsooth, of the pitiful fruits of our righteousnesse, and not that perfect [Page 335] Righteousnesse of Jesus Christ, which it doth appre­hend, is wholly dissonant unto the method of the Gospel, and cannot possibly attain its end. What shall be then said of your ensuing words? Now judge, but a little, what it is, to have a right apprehension of things? since I have, in a few plain words, told you that, which with much nicety, swels among you, to Vo­lumes: Really, Sir, if I may use the liberty of an­swering, by you permitted: I would say, what a sad thing is it, to have a wrong and conceited appre­hension of things; since you have in a few involved words, in such a manner, obscured and confounded a plain point of truth, that notwithstanding of express Scripture-light; yet it hath necessarily required a great many words, clearly to unsold it. There re­maineth now to be considered the main reason, where­by as you shut up, so you would seem to enforce, the opinion which we have heard: and that is the ne­cessity of a holy life, which you say, Your way of Iustification, doth clearly declare; as being that, where­upon we shall be solemnly judged, justified, and absolved, at the last day: and afterward, you add, That it may correct the error of many carnall Christians, who love well to hear of Salvation, by the death of Christ, provided they be bound to do nothing themselves, that they may be saved. 'Tis answered.

1. That there are many seeming Christians, who have a name that they live and are dead, who have and do delight in a form of knowledge, but want the power; of whose delusion, the error which you men­tion, may be a part, is an old and true regret: And yet the explication by you delivered, being so many wayes unsound and peccant, as we have heard, cannot possibly be an antidote.

2. As these carnal Christians, pretending to lay [Page 336] hold on Jesus Christ for Righteousnesse, and yet wholly neglecting the study of holiness, are, of all men, the most sadly deceived, and most wretched deceivers; so, your manner of Justification, dero­gating from the holy Iustice of God, and the perfect Righteousnesse of Jesus Christ, flattering the natural mans pride, to which, of all vices, we are most prone, and seducing souls, from the free Grace of the Gospel, cannot be less dangerous and pernicious.

But 3. This your reason, for departing from Justi­fication by faith only, as encouraging to licentious­ness, is so directly the objection which the Apostle Paul taketh notice of, and fully answereth, after his having declared the truth of Justification, as by us professed, that we are thereby exceedingly fortified: The passage is thus, the Apostle having shewed, that it is by the Righteousnesse of Jesus Christ, that the free Gift cometh upon all men, to Iustification of life, and that it is by the obedience of one, that many are made righteous; and summing up the whole matter, that it is grace that reigneth through Righteousnesse, unto eternal life, by Iesus Christ our Lord; he sub­joineth, What shall we say then? shall we continow in sin that grace may abound? Seing it is not by our works, but of free grace, through faith in the Righte­ousness of Jesus Christ, that we are justified from sin, shall we therefore, in as much as sin commendeth grace, and our good works availl not, continow in sin, that grace may abound? The plain insinuation of what you object: Now hear the Apostles answere both for us and himself. 1. He saveth justification by faith only, cannot encourage to sin; because such as do thereby, truely lay hold on Jesus Christ, partake of his death, and are made conformable thereto: How shall they then, that are dead to sin, live any longer [Page 337] therein? Sin may indeed remain, but that they who through faith in his Death, are planted in the likenesse thereof, and become as crucified with him, should live any longer in sin, is not possible: To the same purpose it is, that the Apostle Iohn, saith, whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God: And yet, if any false pre­tender, should therefore say, either that he cannot transgress, or that his transgressions are no sins, and so license himself unto wickedness, he but deceiveth himself, and the truth is not in him. 2. Paul saith that Justification through faith importeth a more cer­tain assurance of good works, then any thing by you urged. The necessity of good works, which ye plead for, is only that of a condition, strict indeed, as to its obligation; but very uncertain, if not desperat, as to its cause and reall existence; being previously re­quired, unto our acceptance by, and being in, Christ, as I have already shewed: whereas the Apostle tells us plainly, that according to the truth of Justification, by him and by us asserted, the necessity of good works, is causally certain, depending upon such in­fallible causes, that whereever true Faith is, the study of holiness must necessarily ensue; and where this is not, the pretense of Faith, and Justification thereby, is but vain and groundlesse: For seing by Faith, the only requisite, on our part, for Justification, we are not only dead indeed with Jesus Christ unto sin, but planted together with him, in the likeness of his Re­surrection, and alive through him unto God, that we also should walk in newness of life, the necessity of holiness is evidently thereby as much assured, as the acts of life are in their proper principle: How can it then be alledged, that, in our way, the ne­cessity of holiness is less secured, then in yours? Nay, [Page 338] such is the certainty of this truth, that true Faith in Jesus Christ, is the root and principle of the new life of holiness, that, as it is by you acknowledged; so, I cannot but wonder, how reason could so quickly desert you, as to think, that any necessary effect, such as you must grant good works to be of true Faith, can be rationally joined with its cause, in the consi­deration of a condition, which your discourse im­ports? If fire or life were, in any case, required as a condition, he that should thereto join heat or mo­tion, necessarily thereon dependent, were plainly ridiculous: I need not take notice, of what may be objected, from these seeming Beleevers, who, be­cause of their profession, are said to be in Christ, and yet for want of fruits, to be cut off; as it doth not more militat against us, then against you, who ac­knowledge true faith to be alwayes fruitful; so, it answereth it self: But 3. because by necessity, its like that you do understand, the obligation to holiness, as if, in your way, it were rendered more binding and pressing, and thence would commend your ex­planation, as more engaging unto a holy life; I shall not here resume, what I have already declared, viz. 1. That to press the necessity of holiness, antece­dently to our being, and acceptation, in Jesus Christ, is vain, and fruitless. 2. That to join our imperfect holiness, with Christs unspotted and alone sufficient Righteousnesse, which is faiths value, is proud and presumptuous; but rather represent these true grounds of the necessity of holinesse, which are found in our way, equally, yea more obliging, then all your vain pretenses.

And 1. We say with the Apostle, that the holy and just and good Law of God remaineth in its entire force, threatning and condemning all sin, whereever [Page 339] found; and as the poor sinner convicted, is thereby urged to flee for refuge unto Christ, who alone de­livereth from the wrath to come; so, he who ex­pecteth Salvation, by the Death of Christ, and doth not witness the truth of his profession, in a holy life, is, in so farre, no less exposed to its severity and ter­ror; neither can the Beleever sinning, whatever may be the difference of his state in Gods sight, more pretend to the peace and favour of God, without re­pentance renewed, and faith in Christ reacted, whence the study of holiness will undoubtedly revive and flow; then the wicked, persisting in his impenitence: What is then the difference betwixt you and us? You must acknowledge, that the great obligation of holi­ness doth descend from the Law of God; and we grant that this holy Law continueth, in the same force and power, against all sin (I say not sinners) whereever found, whether in the Beleever or Unbe­leever; so, that thereby, in our way, licentious­nesse to sin must be equally excluded. If you say, that by requiring Faith alone for Iustification, we re­laxe the study of holiness; I must again tell you, that true faith in Christ Iesus, the thing which we require, cannot be without the study of holiness: Next, if any person should thence delude himself unto licentious­ness, the Holy Law of God remaining in the same severity against it, cannot but, in our way, where­in that high aggravation of turning the Grace of God unto wantonnesse, is more manifest, be also more powerful. If any man go on to urge us with the pos­sible delusions of presumption and libertinisme, where­unto the Devil both hath, and may abuse the truth and free grace of God, he but fighteth with the Devils weapons, whereby mans wretched frailty is indeed discovered; but the truth, by Paul plainly asserted [Page 340] against the like cav [...]a [...]ions, and by us owned, not in the least impugned: Nay, I may further affirme, that as all error is delus [...]on, and inductive of more; so, where one hath been tempted to abuse the proposal of free Grace, hundreds, through Natures pride, both desiring, and overvaluing propriety, have stumbled upon this your so descrived conjunction of our good works, and fallen into that, not entire submitting unto the Righteousness of God, and a going about to esta­blish their own Righteousness; by which sin, the rock of Salvation became unto the Iews a rock of of­fence.

2. As the Law, in the severity of its sanction, doth still abide in force, to deterre from all sin, to bring in and reclaime unto Iesus Christ our Righteous­nesse and also our Sanctification; so, its more binding Authority, derived from the greatness and good­ness of God, its own holiness and perfection, are, upon none so powerful, and in none so effectual, as these, who, through faith, have laid hold on Christ Iesus, for Righteousness, and therethrough alone have attained unto peace. I need not tell you, that true repentance, discovering the sinfulness, as well as the guiltiness of sin, cannot but endeare holiness; and that God appearing in Christ Iesus, in that inconceiv­able glory of his Holiness, Iustice, Love and Mercy, and justifying us through Faith, in his Name, cannot, but beget a deeper reverence, and a greater regard to his will and commandments; then all the thunder­ings of mount Sinai, the greatest motive to holiness in the construction of your way. But when I consid­er, that Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousnesse, and that the Law through Faith is not made void, but more established; and therefore we are chosen, and created in him unto holiness, and good works, to [Page 341] the Glory of God; when I observe the connexion, that God hath established, and his word holds out, betwixt Iustification and Sanctification: (1.) In his purpose, Eph. 1. 4. 2 Thess. 2. 13. (2.) In his pro­mise, Ezek 36. 25, 26, 27. Micah 7. 19. 2 Pet. 1. 4. (3.) In his precept, Tit. 3. 8. (4.) In Christs pur­chass, Tit. 2. 14. (5.) In the Gift of Christ to his people, 1 Cor 1. 30. (6) In the sincere desire of and great d [...]light in holiness, as well as pardon, recorded of the Saints, in all the Scripture, specially Psal. 51. & 103. 3. (7.) In the description of lustification, given us by Paul, in the first 6 chap. Rom. and Gal. 2. I seriously wonder, how you, or any man, can doubt, but a holy life, both in its obligation, and also in its performance, is, by the way of Iustification by Faith only, molsty assured.

3. In the way of Justification by faith only, not only the obligation of the Law of God remains, in the manner declared; but also, our Lord, for our further encouragement unto holiness, hath graciously intimat, that even these good works, w [...]ich we per­forme in his strength, shall be, by the same grace from which they flow, also graciously rewarded: Wherefore the Apostle saith, That being made free from sin, and become servants to God, we have our fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Now then, if there be a constraint in love and gratitude, above the perswasion of fear; and if the desire of reward be powerful, above the apprehension of punishment, these considerations are certainly cumulative, and, in our way, above any thing that yours doth contain. That I may therefore summe up this discourse, anent the necessity of holiness: Know, that without holiness none shall see the Lord: But hence it doth so ill follow, that holiness by way of previous condition, is to be [Page 342] joined unto our Faith, in order to our Justification, that on the contrary, as God hath elected us in Christ Jesus to be holy; so, he also justifieth us through Faith in his Name, not because we are, but that in, and by him, we may be partakers of the glorious riches of his free grace, in begun holiness here, and consummat holin [...]ss in Glory hereafter; and hereby is our obligation unto and study of holiness, so far from being remitted; that it is both promoved, by the same standing fierie Law against all sin & ungodli­ness, and strengthened, by that alsufficiency of grace, which is in Christ Jesus for our compleating, to whom, through Faith, we are united: And lastly, we are bound and encouraged unto it, by all that is most binding in the Laws Authority, and obliging in Divine bounty. To all which, this consideration may also be superadded; that, as the exercise of holi­ness remaineth with us, still under the obligation of Divine precept, and is certainly the end and effect of our acceptation in Gods sight; so, the same being the necessary consequence, and inseparable effect of beleeving, and thereby becoming its most assured test, must, upon this ground, stirre up as effectually unto the truth and sincerity of Faith, whence it flows, and which doth again incite to the sincere, closs, and con­stant study of holiness, by a reciprocal influence, as your vain stating of it, as a condition in our Justifi­cation, doth but lamely perswade its persuite.

But I hasten to the last part of your discourse, viz. That it is upon the necessity of holiness that we shall be so­lemnly judged justified and absolved at the last day: I cannot now enlarge upon these mistakes, that are again by you crouded into these few words, it may here suffice, that I tell you, that it is without all doubt, that, on that day, all men shall be solemnly [Page 343] judged, according to the holy Law of God; and therefore seing, by the deeds of the Law, there shal no flesh be justifyed in his sight, The righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that beleeve, without the mixture, or con­junction of our imperfect righteousness, in the often forementioned respect, is only thereby the more re­commended 2. Where you say, that it is upon this, so understood, necessity of holiness, or upon our ho­liness, that we shall be, in that day, solemnly justi­fyed and absolved; you erre, and impinge most gros­ly, contrary to Scripture-evidence, the value of Christs Righteousnesse, the holiness of Gods Justice, and the glory of free Grace. as I have already demon­strat. I grant indeed, that, in that day, when our Lord shal gather into one, welcome, and appear glorious in, all Beleevers, he will also confess them before his Father, and the holy Angels, comme­morate their charity and good works, and, in the exceding riches of his bountie, reckon his own grace in them, unto the increase of their reward; but thence to inferre, that it is upon our holiness that we are jus­tifyed, and absolved in Gods sight, is destitute of all truth and reason: Nay, the very figure of that jud­gement, wherever represented in Scripture, bearing, only, in order to Beleevers, their solemne reception and welcome from our Lord and Saviour, as such, who are already, in him, blessed and justifyed, and by him redeemed and sanctifyed, doth, most plain­ly, and powerfully confute it.

And thus, I hope, I have evidently demonstrat, not in the language of men, or in Schoole termes, which on purpose I have declined; but in the express revelation of the Gospel, that, that Doctrine of yours, which you make your N. C. only to taxe, [Page 344] as singular in its phrase, and you your self do the more commend, as being closely Scriptu [...]al, is in effect, both vain and antiscriptural, in matter, as well as expression. What you mean by preferring the stile of the Catholick Church to Modern and Scholastical expres­sions, under which the Doctrine of all the Reformed Churches is unavoidably comprised, let others judge: but as for the abuses which you mention, viz. the presumption of such, who love to hear of Salvation by the Death of Christ [...] provided they be bound to do nothing them­selves, that they may be saved: seing there can be no­thing more engaging, and effectual unto holiness, then that, which in Scripture termes we do assert; viz. That we are saved, and called with an holy cal­ling, not according to our works, or doings; but according to his own purpose, and grace, given us in Christ Jesus, the sin thereof remaineth with the Authors, and pure and certain truth, is neither thereby lessened, nor ought to be stumbled at: And therefore having fully redargued the falsehood of your Doctrine, and the vanity of all your pretenses, that I may, once for all, vindicat this most precious and important truth, of Iustification by Faith only, from all calumnie; and warne all of that delusion, which you would, very unjustly, make proper to our way; I plainly and positively affirme, that the study of holiness is a most necessary and indispensable dutie, unto the justifyed Beleever, 1. By the necessity of Divine pre­cept, at length above declared. 2. By the necessity of loves constraint; holiness being both amiable in it self, and the high path way leading unto the seeing and enjoying of God, who therein delights. 3. By the force of fears perswasion, in regard of Gods fa­therly displeasure against all sin; a motive most ten­derly perswasive to all, that are truely godly. 4. By [Page 345] the obligation of gratitude, which is indeed the cords of a man, and cannot but powerfully engage the Be­leever to the constant acknowledgement of God's free love, and grace, and to walk worthy of him, who hath delivered us from death, and called us with so heavenly a calling. 5. For the manifestation, to our selves, of our faith, and justifyed state, to our own peace and comfort. 6. For the adorning of the Gos­pel, to the edification of others; nay, in a word, if our felicity be in God; if glory be our desire; if free grace be the most powerfull attractive, and sufficient help; and if there be any dread and terror from Gods displeasure, the study of holiness, is by the united force of all these motives, most strongly recommend­ed, and by the wonderful free love of God, in our Justification, through faith in Christ Jesus, only yea infinitly intended.

In the next place, your N. C. having acquit you of Poperie, how justly, or unjustly, I leave it to the Reader: You make him say, but are you not, ARMINIANS? And to that I must confess, in the words of your N. C. you answere with so much Legerdemain, that you are not easily discovered; yet these few things are manifest.

1. That such is the strange extent of this your lati­tude, that it is more inclineable, and favourable to any Sect or Partie, then Conscientious Non-confor­mists: If you deal with Papists, then all their gross Idolatries and superstitions, yea and their horrid Re­bellions and Cruelties, are forgotten, and they for­sooth, hold the foundation, and only build upon it wood, hay, and stuble: And you earnestly wish for a temper, which, undeniable experience shews, your partie hath endeavoured after, at the rate of a hundred fold more condescendence, then is required [Page 346] to the appeasing of all our complaints: If Arminians, come in your way: not one word of all these errors, so highly injurious to the Doctrine of the certainty & immutability of Gods holy Decrees; of the freeness and efficacie of his Grace, of the extent of the merit of Christs Death; and to the comfortable truth of the Saints Perseverance; nor yet of these disorders and tu­mults, wherewith, we know, they have infested the Reformed Churches: but away with these contro­versies, the itch of multiplying, and canvassing subtill questions, hath proven the chief pest of the Church: It is good to be sober-minded: And, thus, we see, they do indeed vent, profess, and seduce, according to their pleasure, whereas, if this your tendernesse of Re­ligion, and sober-mindedness, were reall, would not the first more readily teach you, that the departing from the simplicity, and humility of the Gospel, hath been the visible inlet to all the wickedness, and darknesse, at this day in the Church of Rome? And the second, that in nothing sober-mindednesse, is more sober, then anent imposing upon such, as do really scruple in Conscience, things that the Lord hath no where commanded: which two, are the hinges of most of these debates, which at present disturbe us. Now on the other hand, how you have treated Non-conformists, all alongs, I leave it to your own, and every mans obvious reflection: Rebellion, Hypocrisy, and Peevishness, you, falsely, make their ordinary Epithets: And for your inclinations towards them, a short look forward exhibits them in Verse, wherein, after your approbation of the bloud and fynings, that we have suffered, you melo­diously sing.

[Page 347]
This strange distemper doth all skill defy:
Physicians hopes still falsify.
But as a joint, which Gangren doth corrupt,
Must be cut off, from the sound lump,
Better the body grow a stump;
Then by such members, banckrrupt.

And then again, lest such rigour may prove a stain to your Christian and Catholick latitude, you add a forbearance for us, such as it is, wherein, though your own interest plead for a delay; yet you can for­give nothing, it is only

Till brimful be their cup;
Then chaffed justice, shall the chaff devour,
And Angel-reapers bring the Iust to Heavens floor:

This, this, I fear, is the inside of your pretended charity; and it but too plainly evinces, that all your professed stretches of a faire and comprehensive Lati­tude, are, in their regard to us, but the forced pro­duct, of your own conveniencie.

2. By your opposing to the Soveraignity of God, which the Arminian opinion doth proudly impugne, his infinite Goodness, and Holiness, which they make their great pretense; and declaring, that the recon­ciling of these attributes is beyond your capacity; it is evident, by resolving this objection in the common difficulty of the unsearcheablenesse of Gods judge­ments, both by them and by us acknowledged, you take part on their side; however it is not my purpose to draw you unto debate; the Counsel o [...] God, though imperscrutable, yet it standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his: The Soveraignity [Page 348] o [...] God, though part [...]nding ou [...]; [...] it only so much the more, establisheth the liberty and certainty of his Decrees, without all shadow of unrighteousnesse, and in stead of interfering with, doth plainly render, both his Goodness and Holiness, the more eminent, and glorious: These are the ref [...]ections, that the A­postle maketh upon this subject: Pray consider the passage, Rom. 9. where the Apostle, after having shewed, that before the children had done any good or evil, God in his free purpose according to Elec­tion, not of works, but of [...] that calleth, preferreth the Younger, and passeth by the Elder, loving Iacob but hating Esaw, to vindicate the Righteousnesse of God, which is your stumbling, recurreth to his So­veraignity, having mercie on whom he will have mercie, and whom he will hardening: And he is so far from con­ceiving with you, that the Soveraignity of God, on the one hand, and his infinite Goodness and Holiness on the other, are to humane capacity irreconcileable attributes; that it is from this high Soveraignity, that he not only deduceth the excellencies of mercy, and illustrateth the glory of Gods power, and wrath; but rationally answereth, the proud reply of poor clayes carnal arguings against the Lord, its infinite maker, and free and absolute disposer. But you say, that you may well take his own oath for it, that he taketh no pleasure in the death of sinners: And so you may in­deed very safely, if either you understand it, of the death of sinners, simply and abstractly in it self con­sidered, or with respect to his serious call, to them to repent, and live, as the context of that passage doth hold out; but if you would thence deny, that God willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, purposed from all eternity, to pass by such, on whom he willeth not to shew mercy, [Page 349] enduring with much long [...] uffering the vessel [...]s of wrath, fitted to destruction; you directly contradict the Apostle, and all these other Scripture-passages, whereby God, and the Saints their rejoicings, in the manifestation of his righteous Judgements, are clear­ly holden out.

But 3. wishing to you, and all men, much fear, sobriety, and Scripture-simplicitie, in the Doctrine of this high mystery of Predestination, and not urging further the designed indifference, which, under a faire general, you clearly go about to introduce, for all Arminian tenents; my earnest desire is, that the Rule, which you give for a conclusion, may indeed both stint curiosity, and direct practice, Viz. Let none of our good be ascribed to our selves, and none of our evill be imputed unto God.

You proceed to make your N. C. alledge our Mi­nisters their jealousies, of this your new way; that you ma [...] again appeal to, and make a boast of your fruits; but since I have, without boasting, abun­dan [...]ly searched, and shaken you, and left all to open view; I also referre the judgem [...]nt, to that most righteous cognizance.

But now, you are wearied of these your wranglings, and therefore you resolve to leave these dry, and arid matters, and talk a little with your N. C. on better subjects. Sir, your resolution is just and good; only transferre not the faults, of your vain, airie, and insipid reasonings, upon the matters themselves by you treat­ed: If you have foolishly and petulantly impugned, not only the work of God, and his Covenant, in these Lands; the Ordinances, of the Government, Discipline, and Worship of his House; but also en­deavoured to unsetle and subvert the very founda­tions of Justification by Faith in Christ Jesus, without [Page 350] the deeds of the Law; a sent Gospel-ministerie, de­termined Sacraments, and Christian Liberty; And if your N. C. pretending to be the Respondent, hath on the other hand, manifestly betrayed the Cause, by such a faint, ridiculous, and absurd defence, as you were pleased to suggest, the folly of this your wrang­ling remaineth with your self alone; the matters there­in handled, as they continow still to be the firme truths, signal blessings, and especial means given us of God, for the declaring of his Glory, and the pro­moving of our Salvation, and are not by your dis­course, in the least, prejudged; so, they are so farre from excusing, that they greatly aggravat these je­june and gustless Methods, wherewith you manage this your conference; but foreseeing this censure, you cunningly cast in our way, the mention of better sub­jects; whether with a designe thus to evade, or by your insinuat distinction betwixt the forgoing matters, as dry, and arid, and your subsequent speculations, as these better things, only to be pursued, to drive on the deceit of an irreligious indifferencie, so much at present studied by the Adversarie, and his Emissaries, let others Judge? Two things only I must say. 1. That to go about to smooth the World, with the preten­sions of sublime and Seraphick attainments, and, in the mean time, from these hights, as it were, but really, in a convenient accommodation to every guise, whereunto carnal ease doth invite, and outward peace perswade, to slight, despise, and labour to relaxe from, the conscientious observance of these ordi­nances and midses, which the Lord hath given and appointed, as the only way, leading to himself, and the felicity of his favour, is the most delusive appea­rance of an Angelick light, wherewith Sathan can possibly palliat his blackest enterprises. 2. Though [Page 351] your subsequent discourse were much more sound and candid, both in its tenor and scope, then truely it is; yet, therein to figure your self, to be, as it were, a new burning, and shining light, teaching your N. C. in such a strain, as if all of us, whom by him you per­sonat, were wholly ignorant of the truth of Religion, both in its methods, and ends; and altogether stran­gers to its life, is visibly more disingenuous and arro­gant, then sincerely charitable: Say not that I am ill natured, if you find these words a little more point­ed, its you that hath sharpened them: Nay, if I should assume a furder confidence of boasting, in behalf of the Lords Ministers, and the true Seekers of his face, found amongst us, according to the measure of the grace, which God hath distributed unto us, and even become a fool in glorying, for the abasing of your self-flatterie, I do neither want a just provocation, nor a clear precedent, for my warrant. But seing there are several things by you here proposed, which may be for the use of edifying, to a serious and considerat Soul, and wherein a real union would indeed prove a most effectuall corrective, both of sinistruous de­signes, and evill mixtures; I shall therefore wave the direct prosecution of such discoveries, and wish­ing that, that power, light, and life, which is in true and pure Religion, may indeed end all our diffe­rences, I heartily join my assent to your subsequent discourse, with all the harmony and affection, that truth doth allow. That some do place Religion wholly in debates, others in external Forms, others in some privat devotions, others in the regulation of the out­ward man, and others in certain inward speculations, and self-devised strains, are things not so strange, as grievous; but as to know the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, is the [Page 352] summe and substance of Religion, and Eternal life, in which profession we are all agreed; so, it is the power of this knowledge, descending from Christ Jesus our Wisdom, and apprehending him, for Righte­ousnesse, Sanctification, and Redemption, which is mostly, and most sadly wanting: If in the conduct thereof, men were abhorring and denying themselves, and in the acknowledgement of him, who hath called us unto Glory, and Virtue, laying hold on these great and precious promises, which in Christ Jesus are all yea and amen; then, from the application of His Righteousnesse should the peace of reconciliation, and joy in the Holy Ghost abound; from the com­munication of his life and grace, should the Divine seed propagat, and diffuse it self through the whole man; and from and by this truth, and power of Re­ligion, Believers should be transformed, into the likeness and image of God, and rendered partakers of the Divine Nature, by which, it is manifest, that as Christ Jesus is the only foundation; so it is, that in him alone, there is Salvation, neither is there any other name under Heaven given amongst men, where­by we must be saved: The power, as well as the re­ward, of Natures light, was long since forfeited in Adam; and though in the succeeding Ages, God left not himself without a witness, in that he did good, and gave the invisible things of him, from the crea­tion of the World, to be clearly seen, being under­stood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; yet, the ungodliness of men still prevailing, and holding the truth in unrighteous­ness, this weaker light, served only to render them without excuse: 'tis true, the Patriarchs were burn­ing and shining lights; but it was from Divine re­velation, and the oracles, and promises of God, in [Page 353] which they saw Christ's day and rejoiced, and not from natures light, that this their radiancy was deriv­ed: The dawning opened by Moses, had certainly a great splendour, and therein Christ Jesus, the end of the Law for Righteousnesse, was very observably held forth; but as it pleased the Lord to vail the glory of this discovery, with many types and shadows, not making it a great ridle, as you do unadvisedly af­firme; but keeping and conducting that people, un­der the Pedagogie of that more burdensome and se­vere dispensation, until the fulness of the time should come; so then it was, that he sent forth his own Son, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel; to bless them, in turning away every one of them, from their ini­quities: to turne them from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and inhe­ritance among them which are sanctifyed, by faith that is in him: & thus our Lord Jesus abolished death; and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel: and the great designes thereof not lying in that preposterous in coherent order, by you repre­sented, are first, by proposing to us that stupendious mysterie of the Redemption of sinners through Jesus Christ; and proclaiming, that whosoever beleeveth on him, shal not perish, but have everlasting life; to reconcile us enemies, and bring us aliens, nigh unto God; and then being thus accepted, that in the same Lord Jesus, we may be filled with all grace, by the Spirit of grace, to the knowledge, and acknow­ledgement of God his wonderful bountie, his un­measurable love, his glorious holiness, his eternal truth and faithfulness, and unto the exciting, in us [...] of that ravishing and constraining love, that filial [Page 354] and perswasive fear, and that comforting and joyous hope; which graces, more and more moulding us into a lively conformity unto him, that loved us, and washed us from our sins, in his own bloud, and is become our life, our light, and our all; and thereby causing us, to bring forth the fruite, of holiness, meek­ness, patience, brotherly love, and of all virtues, to the praise of God, are the sweetness, excellency, and delight of Grace, here, untill it shall be perfected by, and swallowed up of Glory, hereafter: This, this is the work and purpose of the Gospel. And seing, it shall availl us nothing, to gain the whole world and lose our own souls, it ought indeed to be the great designe of our lives, to conforme unto it, even to hearken unto the call of God, and by beleeving in Christ Jesus, that we may be delivered from the wrath to come, to labour to be fou [...]d in him, not having our own righteousness, which is of the Law; but the righteousness, which is of God by faith; that so we may know him, and the power of his Resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and still reaching forth, unto these things which are before, press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus. The way then, to purify and save our souls, is not barely to affect a little virtue, or morality; nay, nor yet, from our selves, without the Mediator, to apply our mindes to God: God not in Christ Jesus is a consuming fire, the contempla­tions of his Glory, and Holiness, instead of deriving, into our souls, his excellent perfections, would but fill them with amazement and horrour: If the ex­ternall shew and figure only of this sight, was so ter­rible even to Moses, that he said, I exceedingly fear and quake; How do you think, that poor sinners can approach? We are therefore, to apply onr minde unto [Page 355] God; but, only in and through Christ Jesus, that by him, obtaining peace, and from him, grace, we may have access, and by faith (not by speculation only) have our hearts purified. Your precepts of stilness and abstraction of minde, to become of a thinking temper, and give up with passions &c. and use much in­ward recollection: As by you proposed, for the way to spirituality, without Jesus Christ, who is the only true way; are but stoical dreames [...] and delud­ing vanities: The awakened sinner, whom sin af­frights, and wrath terrifies, findeth no rest nor re­fuge; but in Christ Jesus, and the peace, and favour of God in him; and being in him accepted, is by his grace purified, and made to partake of that blessed­ness, pronounced by the procurer of it, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God: And thus with open face, beholding as in a glass, the Glory of the Lord, he is changed into the same image, from glo­ry to glory, untill that hereafter, he be brought to see him, as he is, and thereby be perfected; these are the great means, to attain to, and continue in, converse and fellowship with God. If any man love me, saith our Lord, he will keep my words, and the Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him: And thence, no doubt, it is that, not only all that sweetness of the meditation of God and his attributes, the admiration of his mercie and love in Christ, the adoration of his excellencies, and these soul breathings, and continual aspirings to­ward him, which you here mention, will flow in into the soul, to its constant satisfaction, in an entire submission and delightsome complacencie, in all Gods wayes and actings; but also the Beleever will be stirred up, prompted, and animat, in the holy and pure zeal of God's Glory, to fight out the good fight [Page 356] of faith, acquit himself strenuously, in that warfare, with the World, Sin, and Sathan; wherein now we stand ingaged, and readily to embrace every occasion, whereby he may approve himself unto him, who hath so dearly loved us; and walk worthy of God, who hath called us unto his Kingdom and Glory: but to suppose, that a man may think himself into this frame, or by the simple means of that Metaphorick ass [...]ilation, that is in meer thinking, attain to this Divine likeness, is no less groundless, then the active militant state of Christians, within time, is ill de­fined, by your imaginary stilness. Now, if any man would understand, wherein the sweetness, that is to be found in Divine converse, doth consist? The stilness, wherewith the minde is overflowed; the clearness of the judgement, stedfastness of the will, and calmeness of the passions, wherein you place it, are indeed qualities, which do highly advance a man, unto the perfection of his nature; and the Divine touches, that you mention, whereby the soul is some­times carried unto sublimities not utterable, are also found in the records of Christian experience: but the only proper answere, which can be returned, is, O tast and see, that the Lord is good! The unsearcheable treasures of his goodness have no measure; the excel­lencies of his glorious perfections, have no parallel; the poor narrow soul, admitted unto these felicities, by attributing unto God, the very form, essence, and substance of all its pleasure; and magnifying him, as its alone love, joy, and delight, hath, by these, as by the application of whatsomever else it doth conceive to be amiable and delectable, endeavoured to adumbrat this Divine satisfaction: But as the constant result of these ref [...]ections hath been ever ad­miration and wonder; so, a forced silence in that [Page 357] transport, of the Spouse her raptures, yea he is alto­gether lovely, is only its most significant period. What part our affections and passions have, in these enjoy­ments, it is not needfull to mention; certainly, God who hath commanded, that we love him, with all the heart, with all the soul, with all the strength, and with all the minde, will both purify and satiat all these capacities.

As for your telling us, that sensible passions may be very high, in an impure minde, and of a natu­ral devotion; specially in a person melancholick, a woman, or hysterical, which may mount very high; but doth not humble, or purify the minde. I judge it, to be such an unsavorie and little pertinent mixture, that I must expresse my fears, that it doth denote a minde, in your self, little humbled, and less purified: But that which you add, of Persons Divinely acted their deniedness unto all things, their absolute resignation unto, and intense delight in, and desires toward God, as the blessed effects of the souls union with him, is that which I rather observe. And here indeed it is, and in your declaring self abhorrence, and abnega­tion, and humble applications of the soul, unto Jesus Christ, to be that strait passage, and low gate, which is by violence to be entered, for attaining unto that heavenly state, wherein, spiritual solaces here, and immediat Divine enjoyments hereafter, do not only compense and swallow up all the preceeding anguish; but surpass all possible apprehensions of that uncon­ceived glory, that I do most heartily embrace that saving truth, if rightly understood, of Faith and Re­pentance, which hitherto I have desiderat. O that in the possession of so great a joy, and the hope of a greater blessedness expected, we would all vigorously set about the duties of a Christian life, not intangling [Page 358] our selves with the pollutions of this world, nor with the affaires of this life, how to serve our own lusts and ease, and comply with every device, and inven­tion of men, but enduring hardness, contradiction, reproach, and all persecution, that we may please him, who hath chosen us to be Souldiers! Certainly, he whose heart is thus fixed on God, in and through Christ Jesus, his life and actions will quickly mani­fest, that he hath not only the forme, but the power of Godliness; his rational and unconcerned contempt of this present world, his hatred of base and debasing lusts, his undervaluing of the things of sense, his well squared and solid indifferencie for all conditions and occurrents; and lastly, his love of truth, and study of innocencie, and delight in goodness, in all his words, and works, do evidently shew forth the love, and fear of God, to be, as it were, the vital springs of all his thoughts and motions, while self-denyall emptieth, and humility vaileth him, as nothing, and out of the world, the native and genuine lustre of free grace in him, is thereby rendered more conspi­cuous, and his light, doth the more shine, unto the praise of God, who hath called us unto Glory and virtue: He peaceably, and chearfully obeyeth the publick Father of his Countrey, but only in the Lord; he remembreth and honoureth such, who watch for his soul, who speak unto him the word of God, of these he is a follower, as they are of Christ, follow­ing their faith, and considering the end of their con­versation; he pursueth Charity, as the Crown of perfection. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father, which is in heaven is perfect, hath not with him a more commanding Authority, then an inviting and soul­ [...]a [...]ishing attraction: Hence it is, that as his bounty [Page 359] and beneficence toward men is prompt and uncon­fined; so, his obedience toward God is most punc­tual and circumspect, having respect unto all Gods commandments, and esteeming his precepts, con­cerning all things to be right, and hating every false way; a latitude of love, and good will toward all men, he heartily acknowledgeth, and rejoiceth in; but a latitude of compliance with sinful courses, and indifferency, even in the smallest matters of God, under whatsomever pretext, he from his heart ab­horreth. These, indeed, are a few of the faire lines, that compose the Christians Character, by which, as you may see in part, wherein Christian Religion doth consist; so, it is too too apparent, that many, who in their vain vaunting of serene and still specula­tions and high abstractions, do alledge the strickness of Conscientious practices, to be but loud pretenses, do themselves sadly and most dangerously, recede from it. O how much is it to be desired, that not only such, but all, would, in their secret retirements, often review and examine their actions, that, discovering their errors and fa [...]lings, they may be humbled and brought, unto the renewed and more serious exercise of repentance, stirred up by a more lively, and active faith, to lay hold on Jesus Christ, and from him, and by the power of his grace, quickened to new vi­gour and alacrity, in the wayes of God! Then should the Divine love, in Christ Jesus, inflame and elevat the soul, and captivate the whole powers thereof, unto these pure and free resignations, wherewith God is well pleased; then should the power of the grace of our Lord, mortify sin, overcome temptations, and advance, in every thing acceptable, unto God. And lastly, then should the offerings of our praises [Page 360] to God, for all his mercies, especially for the inva­luable and unspeakeable Gift of Christ Jesus, ascend with gladness, and bring back the returnes of more grace, and joy: and our prayers and supplications, in the name of Christ, according to the will of God, for all things, that we may be careful in nothing, and for all men, especially for Kings, and all that are in Authority, that we may lead a quiet, and peaceable life, in all Godliness and honesty, should be set forth before him, as incense, and mount up, as the even­ing Sacrifice: And it is, from these heavenly exer­cises, and the communications of Grace, which flow therein, that the heart is firmly fixed and strenthened, to order and do all to the glory of God, and the minde continually bended, by the strong applica­tions of fear and love, to direct all its wayes, as in his sight: And these truely are the frame, and fruits, of inward and secret devotion. As for publick Wor­ship, he who considereth it, as commanded by God, for the avowed and more solemn acknowledgement of our dependence upon him, and testifying our union with his Church, and that therefore, not only in reason, but also by express precept, it is to be serious­ly and sincerely performed, with and from the heart, and in that holy and pure manner, which he himself hath prescribed, without the contaminating mix­tures of mens presumptuous and vain inventions, will certainly go unto the congregation of the Lords people, met together in his Name, and sincerely pro­fessing thus to seek his face, not out of custome or formality, whereunto, of all things, the devising and imposing of humane forms and modes do most power­fully delude; but, that he may, jointly with others, cordially adore, and praise his Maker, and Redeemer, [Page 361] and give, not only an external concurrence, according to the Rule and decency of the Worship; but with his soul, and all that is within him, will blesse his holy Name, and joine his Amen.

Thus you have my hearts assent, to the truth that I find in your conclusion, my desire to God is, that both you, and we, were by a serious, humble, and holy practice; and not by talking only, experiment­ing the solid edification, and pleasure, that lyeth in these heads: If this you had minded more, you and your partie would have been farre from vexing the Lords Church and people, in these Lands, contrary to the Word of God, solemn Oaths and Covenants, established Laws, sound Reason, and Policy, and the general inclinations of all, with that grievous yoke of wicked and pervese Prelacie, and these vain and bur­thensome corruptions, wherewith, in all Ages, it hath been attended: Which things, as to your own recollected thoughts, they appear to be but extrinseck, and of little moment; so, pray Sir, whence did they proceed? And what have they produced? Certainly, if either serious reflections upon all the Ages of Chri­stianity, especially upon these alterations, that have happened amongst us, since the Reformation; or a just consideration, of the present condition, and state of affaires, could have place; as the pride, and avarice of corrupt Church-men, and consequently, of the worst of men, assisted, since the rejection of the Pope, with the same irreligious spirit, and prac­tices, observed in former times, of an aspiring Supre­macie, moving under the specious pretexts of order, and peace, will appear to be the only spring, and cause; so, ignorance, profanity, violence, and dis­traction, will be found, the woful fruits of these in­novations. [Page 362] But it is of the Lord, for the punishment of our iniquities; especially, our not receiving, and walking worthy, of the glorious Gospel, that judge­ment is farre from us, neither doth justice overtake us, we wait for light, but behold obscurity, for brightness, but we walk in darkness: We look for judgement, but there is none, for salvation, but it is farre from us. The Lord see to it, and let his Arme bring salvation, and his name be glorified.

As for the concluding complement of affection, which you do here give your Non-conformist, and make him to repay, at our cost, with the confession of his former unmeasured fury, it is but too palpably the wantonnesse of your own extravagant fancie, wherein to looke for more truth, then you do shew constancie in your resolution, to put a point to these matters controverted, and never to resume them againe, were great weaknesse. You add in words, Let us provoke therefore one another to charity and good works, and yet we know your practice to be, to press your trifling conformity, and provoke the Powers, against such, as cannot comply: We have indeed a blessed exercise for our tongues, even with them to bless God the Father; but since you do per­sist, in your maligning the wayes, work, and people of God, your mouth must, and shall be stopt, if the small endeavours, by me used, might make you minde the pursuance of truth more, then the study of your so often repeated Temper, my satisfaction would be little inferior to your advantage; but seing both your words and works, do shew, that thou art neither cold, nor hot; but lukewarm: I counsel the, in the words of the great Counseller, To be Zealous therefore, and repent: behold he standeth at the door, and knocketh, [Page 363] if any man hear his voice, and open the door, he will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with him. To him that overcometh, will he grant, to sit with him in his throne; even as he also overcame, and is set down with his Father, in his throne. And thus passing your preposterous post­script, and your Icarian Pindarick I proceed to your Continuation.

The Continuation, OR The seventh DIALOGUE Answered.

SIR, Beginning this your seventh Dialogue with your ordinary insinuations, whereof the slender artifice, obvious to the first view, needeth no further discovery, I only take notice, that where your preface affirmeth that the true reason of your consenting to the publish­ing of the former Dialogues, was, That since yow had allayed, a great deall of the heat you met with in your N. C. upon these matters, you presumed it might pro­duce the like good effect in others. It is an alledgeance too serious to be groundless, and beyond what the license of the fictitious form of your conferences will allow; and therefore, since any excess of heat that appeares in your N. C. is not ours, but purely your own invention, your pretense of having allayed it, doth both bewray your vanity, and shew this to be indeed the true cause of the publication. As for the advantages yow reckon upon, yow reckon before your Host, reckon again, and then boast of your Rea­son. [Page 365] But you would also be accou [...]ted a Droll for­sooth, though you say, you have only adhibite som­what of that, not out of humour, but for sweetening the transitions, according to the manner of all Dialogues; certainly you Latitudinarians are all brave compre­hensive spirits, Masters of all good qualities, whether you possesse them or not, and yet I dare affirm, that a pleasant humorist, will laugh more at this passage of your conceitedness, then all the drolries that hitherto you have vented.

But now begins your half-proselited N. C. and without connexion tells you, that some charge you with Socinianisme, others with Poprie, others with Armi­nianisme, and others with Quakerisme, though as it seems to him upon very slender grounds. Sir, what may have moved you, after what we have heard in your sixt Dialogue, again in this place to resume these things to so small purpose, I do not conceive. You shew as if you were extremly picked by such re­proaches, and tell us, that you know the arts of such, who will tell their people, that you are unsound and he­teredox, and back ther hard words, with grave nods and ivry faces. Poor man, your passion is stirred, and I am sorry to find you so impotent, as again to relapse in such a childish reflection, whereas to have used it once before was too much and unworthy of your gra­vity. Bu [...] sure who ever are your accusers, (who really to me are unknown,) they have too visible an advantage, in this your weakness; and if many men be not mistaken, no less ground of retortion in your own scenical gesticulations, and affected grimaces. The thing I am concerned to notice is, why being so sharp in your resentment, are you so scant in your purgation? You ask, if they do understand things, who charge him with Socinianisme, who believeth that [Page 366] Christ is the eternal Son of God, and hopes for salvation only through his blood. And I grant that these things being truely understood and believed, as I hope you do, are indeed the truth opposite to the Socinian errors: But seeing you know that some Socinians do also very easily admit, and acknowledge the same form of words, and that the cardinal point of this Controversie is, whether or not Iesus Christ the Son of God, be indeed essentially & naturâ Deus, according to that Scripture, And we are in him, that is true, even in his Son Iesus Christ, this is the true God and eternal life. I wish you had chosen the same positive assertion for your vindication.

As for your clearing your self of Poprie in the mat­ter of Justification, because forsooth, that you ascribe all we receive in this life, and in that to come, to the love and grace of God, thorough Iesus Christ. It is so far from being a sufficient test of your orthodoxy, that I am confident, there is scarce one understanding Pa­pist, who would not say it were a calumny, to charge them with the contrary. Nay you your self, in your sexth Dialogue do plainly say, that they hold the foun­dation Jesus Christ, and expressly wave their opinion of Justification, in the enumeration of their errors, which in effect amounts to all by you here asserted; however, having already at great length handled this purpose, and not loving to vex any with odious names, I shall only adde, that when you shall be­lieve and teach, that Christ alone, is our Righteous­ness and Peace, and that it is by the faith of Jesus Christ, and not by the works of the Law, that we are justified, then shall you have a good report of all men, and of the truth itself.

Next you subjoin, that we know that all that Calvin and his followers aime at in the matter of Arminius his [Page 367] points, is that all our good be ascribed unto God, how then can he be erroneous in this matter, who asserts that? Sir, having already waved these debates, I shall not now resume them, but though I have formerly ac­corded, and am still perswaded that this general prin­ciple, rightly understood and seconded with a sincere practice; would prove a happie antidote against the Arminian errors; yet I am far from the opinion, that its bare profession, which hardly any other then an Atheist will disown, should acquit you as to sound­ness in these controversies. Where you say that Calvin aimed at no more, I might tell you, 1. That that might be true, and yet he and Arminius differ in the manner. 2. It is certain that Calvin's aim was far­ther from Scripture-revelation, to vindicat both the Soveraignity of God, and the deep mysterie of the Divine counsel and decrees, from mens narrow self-devised and presumptuous notions and apprehensions, & also more evidently to defeat the errors of Univer­sal Redemption and the uncertainty of Perseverance bottomed upon the same ground: But since Armi­nius himself and all his followers, would be far from denying God, to be the alone Author and fountain of all good, what need of more words, for redarguing such a pitiful vindication.

Now follows your purgation of Quakerisme, which I confess is plain and positive, and I am indeed con­vinced, (though ignorant of them) that the grounds of that accusation, which you are ashamed to name, are in effect ridiculous; the severity of that mode, is no doubt too strict for yours of the Latitude: How­ever it shall still be my wish, that its large compre­hension, may not at least include some of the peculiar principles of that Sect, which to the discerning of all, that have penetrat into its deeps, you do very justly [Page 368] terme the subtilest device yet broached for the over­throw of the Christian Religion.

To this you adde, but if that spirit be not the womb, from whence all these Sects and errors have sprung amongst us, let all that look on judge. Pray, Sir, what spirit do you meane; that there is a chasma here is manifest, but whether in the print, as is obvious from the let­ter, or rather in your brains, as the futility of the reasons subjoined do more evidently perswade, may be very rationally doubted: In the mean time, if for the better examining of your discourse, I may supply the first, I suppose you meane, that the Presbyterian spirit is the womb spoken of; and this you go about to prove, because none fall to them viz. to Quakers, as I judge, but such as were formerly most violent in their. i. e. the Presbyterian (for all is here manck and conjectu­ral) way. But 1. If you knew how to reason fairly, to give your Argument a collour of probability, you should have taken it, not from the falling away of the most violent, which may be the issue of that excess from the soundest profession, but from the most se­rious in whom the natural tendency of opinions is best discerned. 2. That the more serious Presbyterians do remain stedfast and unbrangled with these delu­sions, is that which you dar not deny. 3. Even of these most violent that you speak of, the number fallen away is so few, that urged to a condescendency you would be ashamed to reckon them. 4. Your argu­ment, whatever way understood, is no more appli­cable to Presbytery, then to Christianity; nay if such loose reasoning, were of any moment, the thousands of heresies, which the Christian Religion hath occa­sioned, should postpone it to Paganisme.

But you say, though you are sure, that we are far [...]nough from being Quakers, yet our principles have a [Page 369] natural tendency that way, and for evidence, you demand, whence, think you, have they suckt there rejecting of all forms and order (under a pretence that the spirit is not to be prelimited) but from your notions against Liturgies and for extemporary heats. 'Tis answered. 1. Seing that we disprove your imposing of Set-forms, and reject your Liturgie from solid Scripture-grounds, as I have already evinced, the Quakers their abuse thereof being the same, whereby they pervert the plainest Scrip­tures, signifieth nothing in your behalf. As for the mention you make of extemporary heats; though your profane spirit, doth not stick to mock at the true man­ner of spiritual prayer, so much practised in Scripture, and by the people of God in all ages, under this false character, yet I think your own vanity, may make you blush at such a conceited repetition. 2. If I did not love to exceed in candor, more then you do hate calumny, I could retort to you with very good reason, that it is not so much the very abuse of our grounds against your Liturgies, that have deluded the Quakers unto the rejection of all form and order, as it is the manifest irreligion of your rigor in imposing, and dead formality in practising of these vain inventions, that have stumbled not only Quakers into their fancies, but many thousands into palpable Atheisme.

Next you tell us, that the liberty we take to medle in matters too high for us, and judge of every thing, without thinking on the reverence we owe the Church, opens a wide door for their pretensions, to a liberty of the spirit, re­nouncing all modesty and humility. Really, Sir, this arguing appeares to me so mean, that I can scarce repete it without blushing, we have heard you fre­quently object, that our Ministers did labour much to ty up the people, in an implicite faith, and here you taxe us for the contrary excess; if you say, that [Page 370] the fault here mentioned might be true of our Mini­sters, and your former challenge hold of the people, you miss your mark, since you cannot charge our Mi­nisters with that falling away which you object; but why do I trifle? As you cannot convince our way, either of the excessive liberty or irreverence alledged; so it is evident, that it is only our not subjecting our faith to your Lordly Prelacy, and complying with every foolish device of man in the matters of God, that moves your spleen.

But you proceed to object, that our humor of separa­tion, begets that giddiness in people, that no wonder they, being shaken from the Unity of the Church, also stagger through unbeliefe. Thus you move every stone that you may reach us; in former times the rigor of Presby­tery against separation, was a great clamour, and no doubt, if you had been Prelatick in those dayes, you would have made it a far more plausible medium for the same conclusion. And now our constancy to the truth once received, and most solemnly ingaged unto, and our abhorrence of the falshood and perjury of such, who, casting off all fear of God, and regard to their own reputation, either as Christians or men, have subverted the righteous and pure constitution of this Church, usurped its name and authority, and are turned to be persecutors of such who cannot com­ply with all this wickedness, is made by you not only a charge of separation, but exaggerat as a preparative to the Quakers their folly. O with how much more reason, and undeniable evidence, might the perju­rious lightness, and versatile falshood of your Prelats and their adherents, who have been carried about by every wind of tentation, be accused as the cause, not only of the Quakers their giddiness, by you objected, But of all that contempt and regardless indifferency, [Page 371] whereinto at present, we see Religion thereby pre­cipitat.

Your next quarrell is, that we cherish in our followers, a dejection of mind too much, as if Religion, which gives a man a right to the purest joyes, should become a life of doubting, and this, you say, introduceth a spirit of me­lancholy making way to pretended enthusiasme. Whether or not this your challenge doth not in effect coincide with the cavils of the profane world, and directly en­courage that spirit, which continually decrieth Reli­gion, as a [...]our melancholy and inconversable con­ceit, let every serious soul judge. It is enough for our vindication, that we do not teach any other de­jection, then that of humble repentance, mortifica­tion and self-denial; this is indeed a hard work, com­pared in Scripture to the most bitter and grievous mournings, nay unto death it self; and seeing the su­perstructure of grace and glory thereupon founded, is exceeding weighty and high, it is certainly very ne­cessary, that these foundations be firmly laid, and ever the deeper the better: But as it is by the power of the spirit of Jesus, and in the sense of his wonder­ful, both depressing and exalting love, that these things are best performed, so an excess of humbling (if not despairing) abasement in this matter, is no just fear, and more unjustly made our reproach. As for Religion, no question it gives a man a right to the purest joyes, and is also even in this life, attended with a most ravishing foretaste, and a most glorious and sa­tisfying hope: but if in this our bodily estate, the same pure excellency of the thing, and searching dis­coveries which it makes, do by reason of the enmity of Satan, and detestable and yet inevitable importuni­ties and warrings of the World and the Flesh, render us necessarily obnoxious to many doubtings, fears [Page 372] and oppositions, against which we are oblidged and by the word commanded to pray, watch, wrestle and fight continually; do you therefore, because we thus warn, justly accuse us, as if we made Religion a life of doubting, let be to countenance these melan­choly affectations and pretended enthusiasmes? Sir, if you were as serious in the practice, as you appear affected in the speculations of Religion, your expe­rience of the many devices of Satan, the deceitfulness of your own heart, the uncessant oppositions of the Flesh and Spirit, together with the oppressing and grievous sense of a body of death and sin which doth so easily beset, would certainly convince you, not only that security and not doubting is the common bane of professors, but that our brightest shinings of joy in time, are after the saddest shours of mourning, that the most relishing wine of our consolation is made of the water of Repentance, that it is from the seed of teares, that the harvest of our joy groweth; nay that our blessedness here is in a manner wrapped up in mourning, and that it is hereafter only that we are to look for the times of refreshing when we shall be fully comforted: But the Lord grant your more reall and solid dejections, and deliver you from the vanity of an airy imagination which both in it self doth bend to, and is frequently in righteousness plagu­ed by these enthusiasmes, wherewith you do reproach us. And thus all men may see, how unjustly we are by you blamed, for the progress that Quakerism mak­eth amongst us; and how directly, not only that, but most of the irreligion and profanity of these dayes, is chargeable upon your way. To this vindication I could further subjoin a very significant testimony viz. How that King Iames, in his first and more innocent years, did make his boast of the constitution of Pres­byterian [Page 373] government, as the most effectual bulwark against error and heresie, but the certainty of this truth needeth no such support. For your insinuation of piety and love here subjoined, we have so often found the most keen arrowes of your calumny dipped in this oyntment, that I think you oblidged to my ci­vility, when I pass it as one of your poor sweetening transitions.

In the next place you license your N. C. To characterize you freely, to the effect that, seeing you are resolved to let him prove nothing, even what is truth in his charge may be construed prejudice: but seeing it hath been my endeavour, so to draw and de­sign in vive collours, that naming would appeare super­fluous, I need not prosecute such a representation. As for the answere you return of your brave temper against reproach, Apostolick firmness against all re­ports, your pure anger without sin, and more then hu­mane goodness even to die for your hating traducers, it were folly in me to question the truth, where sin­cerity alone would be an incredible happiness; but seeing these elogies are the smoak you cap [...]at, I grud­ge you not.

You go on, and truly I beleeve with no less can­dor, to class us, in some sober and modest, and o­thers sour, heady, uncharitable and unsociable: and for the first, yow honour them, great civility, & honour them the more, for their first founder Calvin, great wit, and then lest this be taken for a jeer, you tell us that the first being ever Presoytery had, was in Calvin's brain; and this you assure, a great evidence indeed; and verily whether your civility, wit, or e­vidence be the greater, it were hard to determine; only as it must be an extraordinary complement, to which a scoffing jest doth make an accession, and an ex­traordinary [Page 374] jest, to which falshood gives the point, and an extraordinary falshood which both the Scrip­tures, the practice of the first and purest times of the Church, and the more judicious and ingenuous of your own partie do redargue; so questionless in all the three you are eminently singular.

Now for the second Class of us, which you make to consist of narrow headed, hot brain'd, crosse grain'd Fanaticks, you must be licensed to use them seve­rely; and with all my heart use such as you please, only use the whole party and their cause truly, and then I am confident this member of your distinction, will be found but a groundless malicious forgery; but to confirm it, you remember a passage of one of our Preachers, allowing Sharpness in defence of the Truth, and to check the proud conceit of Adversa­ries, and though it arise most natively from the words, and be clearly verifiable in all times and occasions; yet, loving to rake in our former divisions, you will have it to be directed against the insolence, forsooth, of the then protesting partie, and to serve as a complete apology for any sharpness you have used: But, Sir, as you cannot subsume in the termes of that doctrine, either upon your own defense of the Truth, or upon our proud conceit, and consequently do fall short of your designed apology; so your reflecting upon these differences, wherein you are nothing concerned, being plainly intended for the disgracing of the whole party, doth far more discover your malice, then our infirmities: and therefore to use the words of the Text, seeing you use these of the doctrine, although there be mockers with us, and our eye doth continow in their provocation, at which upright men may be astonied, yet let the innocent stir up himself against the hypocrite and the righteous hold on his way, and he that hath clean [Page 375] hands shall be stronger and stronger.

The next wedge which you set and drive for to di­vide us, is to tell the world, that our humors and sol­lies, are not chargeable upon the whole Presbyterian party, that the English Presbyterians are [...]ar beyond us in moderation, as appeares from Baxter's Disputations on Church-government, and all they desired in the late treaty, was to be joyned with the Bishops in the exercise of Dis­cipline which we refuse. 'Tis answered, what your o­pinion is of the whole party, shall not be taken from your fraudulent insinuations, but as these are plainly enough confuted, by your more free expressions in other parts, particularly in your, 1. Dialogue, Pag. 6. Where you say, Rebellion was the soul of our whole worke, and the Covenant the bond thereof, and Dial. 4. P. 62. where you charge both English and Scots, with all the blood of the late war; So these umbrages of differen­ces, which you alledge, either from a particular person his problematick disputations, or a streatch of Accommodation, flowing in a great pressure of necessity from men not by oath tyed with us to this preservation of that where unto they had not actually attained, but only to endeavour a Reformation accor­ding to the sure rules therein set down, ought not to be either a matter of stumbling, or an excuse to your de­ceit.

But now forgetting your distinction, with the same breath you exhibite one of your former charges a­gainst us all in these words, before the late dissorders, all the Presbyterians in Scotland, did sit in the Courts for Church-discipline, and why may not you aswel do the like; And to this you make your N. C. Answere upon the old legal establishment then standing, and never rescinded untill the year. 1662. On purpose that you may surprise him, as you speake, with a new [Page 376] discovery forsooth of an Act published, and printed now 57 years ago, whereby you say, the Act. 1592. S [...]tling Presbytery, was expresly annulled, and here­upon you pretend such amazement, and do make such exclamations upon our disingenuous forgery, or intolerable ignorance and groundless and presump­tuous shisme, that this whole passage, saving your reverence, doth plainly appeare to me to be but the schareleton tricks of a pitiful impostor. For,

1. I told you before upon your. 4. Di [...]l (Where I confess I waved this matter as not worthy the an­swering) That the reason of our different practice now in order to your meetings, from what was used for­merly, is plainly this, that Prelacy, being at first introduced in this Church mostly by cunning, and a lent procedure, our true Presbyteries were not there­by discontinued, but only injuriously invaded and u­surped upon; of which practices, any honest Mini­ster being free, and purging himself of all appearance of accession, by open protestation, might very law­fully sit still, and serve his Master therein: but in the late overturning, all things being carried at a far dif­ferent rate, and not only the old Presbyteries distol­ [...]ed, but a new foundation being laid, of the Kings Supremacy, and all the power and jurisdiction of this Church therein fountained, and both Bishops and the present pretended Presbyteries, thereon founded, it is most manifest, that your present meetings, being no lawful Church [...] in [...]sicatories, are not to be counte­nanced by any true Minister of Jesus Christ.

2. You make your. N. C. lay claime to a legal establishment, as a necessary warrant to impower Mi­nisters to meet in Ecclesiastick-courts, whereas you know, that although we judge Magistrats bound to give Christs Church the assistance and protection of [Page 377] their authority and laws, yet we constantly hold the power of assembling, as well as of Discipline, to be in­trinseck in the Church, derived unto it from Jesus Christ its head, and this is certainly a jus divinum, to which all true Non-conformists do constantly ad­here, and which your. N. C. doth very foolishly and weakly omit.

3. The noise you make, that it is in all our mouths that the law for Pres [...]yteries, was in force untill the year 1662. (Which for my own part, I may declare, I never either thought or heard alledged, as the account of the different practice wherewith you here urge us) and your pretended surprise, and vain account of being undeceived, by a person of great honour who shewed you the Act. 1612. (Which I hardly believe, that there is any in Scotland of your coa [...] ignorant of) What do they signify, but the dress of a ridiculous fable, to impose upon the simple to our prejudice?

4. If the matter were worth the contending for, I could shew you, that, that person of great honour, is not much oblidged to your report for the credit of his knowledge, in as much as your words do import that both he and you do understand the Act. 1592. setling Presbytery, to have been by the Act 1612. totally rescinded, and Presbyteries thereby totally disolved; whereas the clause of the Act runneth ver­batim thus, annulling and rescinding the 114 Act. Parl. 1592. Aud all and whatsomever Acts, Laws, Ordi­nances and Customes, in so far as they or any part thereof are contrary or derogatory unto the Articles above writ­ten, so that there being no Article or provision in the Act. 1612. Making void the approbation, given to the being and meetings of Presbyteries by the 1592. (Although I grant their power and priviledges, are thereby much diminished) It is evident, that the pow­er [Page 378] of meeting, and doing all other things, not al­tered by the posterior, did still remain allowed to Presbyteries by vertue of the prior. Say not that the first part of the abovementioned rescissory clause, re­lative to the Act. 1592. Is simple, and doth there terminat, as I heard once affirmed by one of your party, not, 'tis like, of so great honour as your infor­mer, but, I am sure, in this point, of more know­ledge then your self, who proving it by the point or­dinarily set after the figures of the year of God, would have the following restriction, only to concerne the Acts and Lawes generally annulled. But as it is evi­dent, that the point maketh no period, and protestant Religion contained in that Act. 1592. Should be va­cated and annulled; so the obvious tenor of the words, together with the sense of the Parl. Anno. 1662. Who in the new establishment of your Prelacy, did judge it convenient to the grounds therein laid down, to rescind de novo, that old Act, in all its heads, clau­ses and Articles, whatever might be the consequence, do abundantly elide this conceit. However I do again tell you, that our consciences, in this matter, are better founded, and not squared to such mutable rules: And, therefore, seeing our grounds are firme and sta­ble, let me in the words of your own exhortation, obtest you and your party to consider your way bet­ter, cease from your persecution, repent of your apostasy and usurpation, and return into favour with God and union with us.

Now follows a childish quarrel between you and your N. C. anent the tenderness of your love and prayers in our behalf, above that measure which we use towards you, and 1. You say, wo should be to you and you N. C. If the love of God to you did appear in such effects as the love of some of ours doth, the invi­dious strain of their prayers being universally, that God [Page 379] would bring you down, destroy the incorrigible, and shew the rest the evill of there defection: but, you say, how would we take it, if you should pray, that God would de­stroy our party, and shew us the evill of our Rebellion, and other wicked courses. 'Tis answered, 1. Seeing that wo shall certainly be unto all such, and they are far from the love of God, who are incorrigible, that God by making manifest his righteous judgments, would glorify his own Name, and deliver his Church from such adversaries, is a prayer clearly warranted, both from the word, and the practice of the Saints, nor is it in the least discordant, from that Christian charity, whereby I am really moved, earnestly to desire the Lord to deliver you and all both from the thing, and its punishment. 2. That God would bring down the proud that exalt themselves against Jesus Christ, and give repentance to backsliders, is a pray­er so agreeable to the will of God, and full of love to the persons prayed for, that I am certain, what­ever may be said against our principles, which I remit to the impartial discerner, yet our practice in this, as being both tenderly Christian, and fairly consequent, cannot but be approven. 3. Mistake not, if you should pray for us, in the same strain, we might possibly, and with great reason, account it an aggravation of the evils of your other principles and practices: but we are not so narrow, as to construe it a particular breach of charity: Nay for my part, as I would think it rationally consequent, so, abstracting from the errors which it suppos [...]th, I would take it for the greatest testimony both of your zeal toward God, and love toward us. But if I may use a little freedome, why do you please your self so much in vain talk? though we hear not many of your prayers, yet, I am sure, all know, that we want not plenty of mat­ter [Page 380] and instances for a retortion, in what termes soev­er you please to frame your challenge: are we so short in memory, as not to remember how your pulpits sounded, both in preaching and prayer, after the late rising, and that not only against these poor broken innocents, but in such a manner against our whole party, as, by false and fierce accusing of all without distinction, might almost have excused in them the like attempt, to save from that fury that thundered every where? If you would have any latter and more particular instances, pray inquire after the B. of St. Andrew's Sermons, specially that preached by him the 30 of Jan. 1669. and the other before the last Parliament: you complain of the severe stile of our prayers, he, good man, being ill satisfied, with such soft and a [...]rie tooles, and having passionately fumed out a most bitter invective against our Presby­terian Ministers, not long since his brethren and bene­factors, did very agreeably close it in these words, these are circumforaneous Demagogues, acted by a spirit, otherwise to be cast out then by fasting and prayer. But what need I mention your prayers, when indeed many of your practices have most visibly been such, as may justly make your fairest words suspected of the deepest dissimulation. I know some of you have a fashion of praying, that God would unite this poor Church, and heall our breaches: But if that be all the evidence you can bring, to shew the healing and peace­able spirit to be on your side. Pray tell me, why the Church of Rome, that may boast as much of the same formula, may not as justly pretend to it? I might further adde, that it appears to be no extraordinary merit for such as are countenanced by the Powers, and do Idolize peace and ease, to wish for an union with any whom they apprehend to be their opposits, [Page 381] and that perhaps the more sober amongst you, for all their compliance under the tentation, yet are not so far abandoned, as that they dare in Gods sight justifie there defection, and pray against the party and courses, which they know they did not desert, from any con­scientious conviction. But I have insisted too long on so poor a subject, and I can in your own words assure you, that we are not only ready to unite with you, but are extremly, though not implicitly, desirous of it; and do therefore dayly pray, that God would open your eyes, reclaim you from your backslidings, and grant unto us union and peace, in truth, to his glory. This is the Accommodation, that is only desireable, if you pursue any other, I am certain, that, however it may be consonant to your designes, yet it is alto­gether dissonant from your pro [...]ession; and therefore, if we be more rational and upright, to hate all sinfull Accomodation, and rather to wish that our differences may stand, and be perpetuat in the behalf of truth, then cemented by a sinful compliance, wherein are we to be reprehended? Now that this is all that we teach in this matter, the same books which you re­ferre to, do testify; and that it is none other, then the very doctrine of the School of Christ, the fre­quent Scripture-injunctions to the defence of, and stedfastness in the truth, with the commands of a just opposition to, and avoiding of every false way and its promoters, do sufficiently evince.

But you adde, Let all men judge, if there be not a bit­terness in the Preface to Mas [...]er Rutherfoords letters, the Apologetical Narration, and Naphtali, unsampled in any satire, let be grave and Christian writing. Sir, since you are pleased to ingage me into particular vin­dications, I answer, That, seeing the plainness of truth hath alwayes been an unsufferable bitterness to [Page 382] all perverse spirits, this your reflection doth not de­serve any special notice, if I were inclined to retort, it were not more easie for me, then evident to say in your own words, and let all men judge, if there be not a subtile poisonous malice, in your few Dialogues, above all the pretended bitterness against which you clamour: But, seeing these Writings, that you here mention, are not only too clearly warranted by undeniable truth, but manifestly approven by Scripture-practice, and almost stile, in the like cases of backsliding and apo­stasy, your charging them with a bitterness unsampled in any Satire, hath a higher tendency then probably you did advert unto.

But you proceed, and what cursed doctrine is it Naphtali broacheth, concerning private persons their pu­nishing of crimes in case of the supinnesse of the Magistrat? Pray, Sir, what is it? For really I am of the opi­nion, that, notwithstanding of your insinuat suppo­sition, the thing is only notour to your self. We finde indeed, that Naphtali, respecting the order and sub­ordination of ends, viz. the glory of God in the first place, the good of the whole Society, wherein the safety of the particular members is included in the next place, and thirdly, the maintenance of Govern­ment and Governours, for the procuring of these other ends, doth accordingly determine the obliga­tion and duty of Subjects; and as from this principle, both he and many others do, in the case of intolera­ble and inevitable oppression, allow, even to the smaller part, the right of self-defence; so, in the case of notorious Rebellion against God, and perversion of his righteous lawes, he, by an inference as much stronger and clearer in this case, then in that, as the indearing importance of the matter, viz. the Glory of God and the salvation of souls, is greater then that of [Page 383] our perishing lives and fortunes, and a manifest revolt from God and open overturning of his work, is a more enforcing exigence then any necessity can be pleaded for self-defence, the principal grounds of that privilege, proceedeth to assert, to these small or great, few or many whom the Lord stirreth up in the ceasing and failing of other means, the power and right of Reformation; and thence, by way of anticipation of an objection, he goeth on to shew, that the deed of Phineas may not be made a cavill, and that the samine, being only an heroick stretch of his more fervent zeal, and not an extraordinary act by reason of any special express warrant, may, both for encouraging unto, and justifying the like practices, very justly be regard­ed as an imitable example: but as for your blunt and uncautioned general, viz. that private persons may pu­nish crimes in case of the supinness of the Magistrat, I am confident who ever peruseth that whole passage in Naphtali, will find it no less calumnious on your part, then it is remote from the account that I have exhi­bited, Now, if you remain still of the opinion, that even the Doctrine, by me acknowledged for Naphta­li's, is accursed, when you shall have answered the reasons and Scriptures by which he confirms it, and particularly the command given, Deut. 13. v. 12, 13, 14, 15. with the examples of Phineas executing judg­ment without legal process, Saul's souldiers rescuing Ionathan from the Kings injustice, Elijah killing Saul's Priests, not by any special command mention­ed, in the presence of the King, without his leave, as the King himself narrates it, 1 Kings 19, 1. and Azariah with fourscore valiant Priests, their resisting Uziah in his proud usurpation, all of them less or more dependent, upon the forementioned position, it will be seasonable for me to reply. It is true, one [Page 384] o [...] your party hath been at the pains to survey Naph­tali, and particularly, and at great length, the points above mentioned, whether with candor, or with clamor, by strong and sound reason, or by carping, wresting and falsifying sophistry, I leave it to others to examine. Only when I consider, that where, in the beginning, Naphtali doth treate of thir matt [...]rs, he doth it expressly and tru [...]ly by way of narrative from the doctrine and practices of our first Reformers, and that with a very observable caution and moderation, and that when in the end he doth resume this purpose, he carrieth on his assertion, from most simple and evident principles, by a very rational and pe [...]spicuous connexion, to the conclusion designed, I do indeed ma [...]vel at the method wherewith I find him treated: but waving g [...]neral vind [...]cations, seeing your whole party as well as your self, do not a little talk of Naph­tali his making use of that instance of Phineas, and do think, by the inferences which you thence make, to render the truth odious, it will not be amiss that I enlarge a little on this subject.

And first I say, that the fact of Phineas appeares to me, not to have been extraordinary, or to have pro­ceeded upon any particular commission to him given, but plainly to be such, whereunto in its then-proper circumstances, any one of the Congregation was equally warranted, and which in the like exigence, hath still a laudable use for imitation. If you inquire my reasons, there can be none more convincing, then the Scripture account of this matter, Israel in Shittim, joines himself unto Baal-peor, and the anger of the Lord being therefore kindled, the Judges are com­manded to slay every one his men that were joined unto Baal-peor; yet the plague by this execution is not stayed, and the whole Congregation are weeping [Page 385] before the door of the Tabernacle, when, behold, even in there sight about such an exercise, because of a destroying plague raging in the camp, a man of Israel in his most impudent wickedness cometh, bringing a Midian [...]tish woman unto his brethren, which Phineas perceiving, he riseth up from among the Congrega­tion (tanquam quilibet) taketh a javelin, and going in after the Israelite brevi manu, in the very Act, thrusteth both the man and the woman thorow, and so the plague was stayed, and the Lord saith unto Mo­ses, Phineas hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, wherefore, behold, I give unto him my Covenant of peace and thus Numb. 25. Which the Spirit of the Lord again commemorating. Psal. 106. Describeth in these words, then stood up Phineas, and executed judg­ment, and so the plague was stared; and that was compted to him for righteousnesse, unto all generations for evermore; by which Scriptures this deed, in it self upon the mat­ter agreeable unto a positive and clear command, being represented, as proceeding, in the Author, not from any special call from God, or command from Moses, whereof there is not the least vestige in the Text, but from the alone impulse of an holy and fervent Zeal, exciting him to stand up to execute judgment, and therefore counted to him for righteousnesse, &c. If these be not the undeniable circumstances and charac­ters of a deed only in the manner heroick, and which any person in that Congregation, acting from the same sincere zeal of God, might without any particular warrant have performed with equall acceptance, let all ingenuous men judge.

2. I say that whatever capacity may be attribute to Phineas, as the son of Eleazar then high priest, (which indeed is all we find in Scripture concerning him pre­ceeding [Page 386] this time) or upon the ground of any other conjecture; yet the samine doth no wayes make out, that this deed was an Act of ordinary administration, and consequently deprives not Naphtali, of its perti­nent application, in as much as it is evident, that Phineas did not do this deed, either by vertue and u­sing the power of any Authority, wherewith possib­ly he might have been vested, or yet by Moses his order, or command, but simply from the motive, of that sincere and high measure of zeal whereby, without waiting the command of the superior Magi­strat, or observing a legal procedure, he was suddenly acted in such a flagrant, and openly provoking wick­ednesse, immediatly to interpose and execute judg­ment; and therefore we see, that as nather by Moses his command, nor by the judges there obedience, in slaying every one his men that were guiltie, the fierce anger of the Lord was turned away; so it was only by Phineas his fact, as being of another nature, and his eminent zeal appearing & prompting him in such a manner that the Lord was appeased, & the plague stay­ed. And really when I observe, that it is in the readinesse and fervor of Phineas, his zeal transporting him, as it were, to the omission of the ordinary solemnities of judgment, for the punishing of such a manifest and provoking villany, that the Spirit of the Lord seem­eth to place the high and singular praise of this acti­on, I cannot but equally admire, how that any per­son, should either attribute it to an extraordinary command, or account it an Act of common obedi­ence to Moses, or yet of ordinary jurisdiction.

3. I say, that although in certain particular cases, such as Abraham his stretching out his hand to slay his Son, the Israelits there borrowing to the spoiling of the Egyptians, and Samsons killing of himself with [Page 387] the Philistines, all obviously interfering with the ge­neral commands contained in the law, where an ex­press warrant is not recorded, the samine may, and ought to be supposed; yet where the deed is in sub­stance agreeable to the precept, and the apparent sin­gularity of any circumstance remitigated by another extraordinary occurrent, and where the performance is expressly ascribed to the actors zeal or fortitude, and not the least mention made of any special com­mand, there, to recurre to tacite warrants, is alto­gether groundless. If this the author of the Survey had adverted to, he could not in the pursuance of his alled­geance, that the soveraigne God can cross ordinary rules, and appoint some to execute his judgments ex­traordinarily, wherein they are not to be followed without the same special commission (a truth which we do not controvert) have thereto subjoined exam­ples so widely different, as Moses his killing the Egyptian which having vengeance admixed over and above the quality of the Israelits defence, is by Scrip­ture referred to an express warrant Act. 7. 24, 25. Ehud's killing of Eglon, which on the other hand was without all question lawful to any Israelite against such an oppressor, Elias his destroying of the fifties with fire from heaven, which no doubt doth not more upon the matter require, then by its extraordinary manner it is witnessed to have had an special com­mand, his killing of Baal's Priests, which on the other part I do nothing question, to have been only a noble act of executing Gods judgment, which a wretched uxorious Prince fearing to do, the people themselves might lawfully have done: Abraham going to kill Issac, which is plainly and particularly commanded, David's ingaging in duell with Goliah as I judge, which any in the camp of Israel might lau­dably [Page 388] with the same permission have undertaken, and lastly Samson's killing (not murthering, as he inadver­tently speaks) of the Philistines with himself, which for the reason above assigned did certainly proceed upon a particular license. But the Surveyer's design in this so inconsistent a mixture is evident, viz. that having premised so many, part pertinent, part imper­tinent examples to his position, he might with the lesse observation adde the Lords stirring up of Phineas as a suteable instance, whereas it is obvious, that the same is not more unlike to the cases of Abraham, Moses, Samson & Elias with the fifties, then it justly quadrats to that other of Elias against Baal's Priests, & both this & these of Ehud & David, are nothing referable to the ground he layeth down, but do plainly proceed by vertue only of general rules taking place in there respective exigences without the necessity (what ever message Ehud de facto had) of any special commission.

4. I say, that Phineas his fact, was indeed a stretch beyond the line of his ordinary vocation, but so far from importing upon this ground the necessity of a special warrant, that as the Scripture doth clearly impute this his transport to the rare measure of his zeal, inflaming him in a manner to the present execu­tion of a just vengeance upon such a detestable abo­mination; so it doth no lesse evidently hold forth how that particular and extraordinary exigences de facto occurring, the very common principles of duty, may, without a special extraordinary warrant, carrie to sin­gular performances. And thus we are arrived at the main point, whereunto this example of Phineas is by Naphtali applyed, and about which both the Surveyer, and you do raise such a noise, and yet in effect the matter doth contain no greater difficulty in thesi, then that which is fully satisfied and removed by the most [Page 389] common and ordinary distinction of a mans calling unto that which is proper and particular, whereunto in the ordinary course of things, he is regularly and commonly confined, and unto that which is general, which not being circumscribed by any particular rule, doth, from the common obligation of the end for which all particular stations are institute, in the clear exigence of an extraordinary incident according to the general rules of righteousnesse bind, to an agreeable practice. I know Naphtali in his tenderness to offend for preventing of mistakes, insinuates severall distinc­tions and subdistinctions, whereby an action heroick, and a call thereto, may be discerned from that which properly and strictly is termed extraordinary, and its call, and that the Surveyer in his rambling way, by proponing the distinction of acts heroical and extraor­dinary to consist in this, viz. that acts heroical do not deviat from the common rules of vertue, but differ only from its common acts quoad modum perfectiorem, whereas acts extraordinary go beyond ordinary rules and are founded upon special warrant, goes about to impugne Naphtali in that wherein they both agree. But seeing that all the difficulty of these distinctions, as I have said, is very easily and plainly resolved by these several aptitudes of a person in order to a commanded performance, which depending upon circumstances, may be thereby so diversified, that what in the ordi­nary and unperturbed condition of things would be accounted an excesse of our particular calling and an usurpation, in an e [...]aordinary occurrence becometh a necessary duty of our general calling, and seeing the certainty and usefulness of this distinction, according to the continual variety of humane affaires, may be undeniably instanced in thousands of experiences, and particularly in that more ready then regular concur­rence, [Page 390] which we see practised in the case of fire, or any such surprising calamity, the more zealous then orderly interposition which all men would allow to a son, even in the presence of a righteous Magistrat, for preventing or staying a sudden outrage intended against his fathers person, that resentment of justus dolor, which the common law indulges to a husband against his wife and an adulterer found in the act in his own house, and in many such cases, I think, I say, that these things considered without pursuing any further in­quiry, I may from the grounds already laid down fairly conclude, that as Phineas his fact was not ex­traordinary in respect of any special warrant, neither probable nor necessary in this subject, but a pure pro­duct of that large measure of holy zeal wherewith he was endued, and whereunto all men ought to aspire: so there may be certain exigences of the glory of God, which tristing with a suteable degree of the same zeall without waiting the consent of a godly, far more without regarding the opposition of an ungodly Ma­gistrat, may, upon the general grounds and obliga­tions to righteousnesse, lawfully provoke and excite to convenient action.

Now, if it be objected, that this conclusion being only general, allowing the power, but not defining what is the exigence requisite to its exercise, may more readily prove a snare and an offence, then con­duce to any good purpose, It is answered 1. That seing my undertaking was, to vindicat the Scripture truth of Phineas his deed, recorded for our instruction, from mens mistakes, and Naphtali from their ca­lumny, if I thence rationally elicite the inference made, the accidental hazard of mens misapplication, flowing from their own weakness and corruption, cannot more properly be charged upon Naphtali, [Page 391] then vpon his Surveyer; but it is in effect an inconve­nience, which all are concerned to explicate. 2. I freely acknowledge that such is the fervour of corrupt passion, far more rapid, almost in all, then the pure zeal of God is to be found active in any, that too much caution, tenderness and fear, can scarce be adhibite in a subject, wherein even the most war­rantable provocation of holy zeal is ordinarily atten­ded, with such a concurrence of self-interest and o­ther carnal temptations, as it is impossible without the signal assistance of the Spirit of grace, to have its ex­ercise, in any notable measure or manner, without the mixture of a sinful allay, beside the evil of ill ex­ample, whereunto, it may be very readily and most pernicio [...]sly drawn; and therefore seing the consi­deration, resulting from the concurrence of all cir­cumstances, whereupon the right dignoscing of such deeds doth mostly depend, is oftentimes most diffi­cult, and delicate, the more easie and safe course, and best use of this whole doctrine, is rather to give judgment upon a case of that nature, when actually existent, and its whole contexture exposed to certain examination, then to set down general rules directive of such practices, But 3. As the Lord hath delivered unto us the rules of righteousness, in themselves cer­tain and evident, and absolutely comprehensive of all cases incident, so he, who knoweth and doth the same, is no doubt of a good understanding, and whose heart is sound in the Lords statutes, walking therein continually in fear, humility and uprightness, he walketh surely and shall not be aehamed; The Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul, the testimonie of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple, the Statutes of the Lord are right, rejoycing the heart, the Command­ment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. Here [Page 392] is the complete and fixed Rule, and who so taketh heed thereto diligently, in faith and fear, is not on­ly fitted and prepared for all ordinary duty, but tho­rowly furnished unto all good works. It is true, that in all heroick, and more elevat acts, beside the rule and common vertue whence it flowes, we do find the exciting and impelling motions of the Spirit frequently mentioned, as customary and necessary thereto; but seing unto every righteous performance, the assistance of grace is requisite, and the impulse and excitation mentioned is nothing else but a greater mea­sure of that assisting grace, which the extraordinari­ness of the case, and the difficulties therein occurring, do call for, and, at most, doth only determine to the species (as Lawyers speak) of the action; but it is not at all its rule and warrant, the interveening of such motions dot not alter the rule, or restrict its ob­ligation, nor yet hinder the action so performed, to be to all an imitable example. That actions follow­ing from and depending upon special antecedent com­mands, which, for the most part, are singular in their matter, as well as in their manner, are not to be taken for examples, is very readily confessed: but that an extraordinary motion, first supposing duty, and in the next place only requisite and given because of some uneasiness in the execution, should restrict the duty in general to the person so gifted, when the same or the like measure of assisting grace is rather to be by all desired, is not at all agreeable. I say first, supposing duty; for, that great gi [...]ts, or strong im­pulses are not the rule of duty either under an ordinary or extraordinary exigence, much less do give men a call to go beyond the rules of their calling (as the Surveyer captiously alledgeth Naphtali to suggest) is by me heartily conceeded, as a very important point [Page 393] for clearing the truth which I maintain: That which only remains to be adverted to is, that although these singular motions and impulses be indeed subsequent & subservient, both to the rule of duty, & to a mans calling resulting therefrom, and from the circum­stances wherein he is stated; yet, they seem to have such a peculiar determining influence in these heroick performances, as to the species of the action, that it is not so much the particular deed, that we are to heed for our imitation, as we are to emula [...] the grace and principle of zeal, which produceth it, and is therein so conspicuously relucent, for our upstirring to acts in like manner, as God shall give us the opportunity. From all which it is obvious, that as it is the oppor­tunity, res facti, and the assistent motion of the Lord's Spirit, which chiefly do determine, by way of excita­tion, as to the particular species of an heroick enter­prise; so, it is only from the known and immoveable Law of God, and the nature of the occasion, where­in the samine doth take place, & from which two our calling doth proceed, that the obligation of Phineas his deed, and of all other the like practices, doth descend, and according whereunto they are to be ex­amined, and in their conformity thereto be proposed for imitation

These things then being thus explained, I shall take leave to lengthen this digression a little further, for the removing the Surveyer his calumnies and objec­tions against Naphtali on this point. And first, he saith, That Naphtali by adducing the instance of Phi­neas, for the Patrociny of such, whom he would have esteemed, as having acted from the like warrant and prin­ciple, maketh every man judge in his own privat discre­tion, to fall in hand with such practices, and conse­quently giveth leave to all or any, upon pretense, or be­cause [Page 394] he thinketh that Rulers have fallen into Apostasie, by any means to cut them off. But 1. if Phineas his fact be indeed such, and of use for imitation, as I have already proven, the perversness of the Surveyer's Malignity, is not so much levelled against Naphtali, as against the very Scriptures of truth, whence his doctrine is taken 2. Where doth Naphtali allow mens private judgment and discretion to be their warrant in such practices? That every man doth de facto judge, and practise according to his own private discretion, is indeed no more requisite to the procedure of ratio­nal agents, then, because of mans ignorance and cor­ruption, it hath both in matters of this kinde, and all other matters of truth and righteousnesse, been the sad productive of many great inconveniences; and if, for such inconveniences, the sure rules of truth and righteousnesse must be altered, I am certain, as there is nothing truth, either in natures light or Scripture revelation, which hath, through mans a­buse, produced so many and so sad evils, as that of the power of, and submission due to soveraignity, which almost every where, and in all ages hath been perverted unto tyranny and oppression, and, for one instance of disorder or sedition that, can be charged upon popular liberty, is attended with thousands of far greater extravagancies; so the Surveyer & his party of all men ought to be most sparing in the sophistry of such objections: but seing Naphtali alloweth no other judges de jure, save these unerring rules, which the Lord hath appointed, this fallacy which the Surveyer doth continually and most foolishly beat upon, tho­row all his Survey, alledging still where Naph. allo­weth to rational men a discerning facultie, (without which it is most certain, that nather reason nor mo­rality can subsist) that therefore he doth set up this [Page 395] judgment of discretio [...] to be the only dictat of righte­ousnesse, is by that most notour and obvious distinc­tion, of the last result of the practical judgment from the fixed rule of righteousnesse, unanswerably refuted, it being thereby manifest, that, as the former is, de facto, the necessary interveinent medium of application to every moral action; so, the later is that, by which, de jure, both the judgment it self, and the action thence ensuing, ought to be regula [...] and judged, and with­out either turning the use of our discerning, unto an implicite and stupid deference and submission, or exauctorating the rules of righteousnesse, by a law­less licentious liberty.

2. The Surveyer urgeth Naphtali with another ca­lumny; and that is, That although Naphtali doth al­ledge, that he holdeth not such instances as that of Phineas for regular precedents, for all times and persons; yet he giveth no caution against the false pretense of heroical exci­tations, it is easie to raise the divell, but not so to lay him; if he could set down rules to bar a headie people from tu­mult and confusion, he would say something to satisfaction. But 1. Is not his declaring such instances to be no regu­lar precedent, but restricting their imitation to the ca­ses of extreme necessity, or the like manifest exigence, a very considerable caution. 2. Naphtali doth so plainly require, not only that the matter of the action be just and lawful, and of it self natively and really conducing to the glory of God, but, in an evident necessity, formally intended by the actor from a Spi­rit of holy Zeal, wrought and excited by the Lord, with whom is the residue of the Spirit, & who there­by breatheth upon people and persons, when and as he listeth, that I marvel how the Surveyer was not ashamed to contradict so clear an evidence [...] But if he say all these things may be pretended, where they [Page 396] are not, and for this there is no caution given. 'Tis answered, seing it is impossible to adhibite a better caution against hypocritical shewes, then the touch­stone of truth, whereby they are to be tryed, and the abuse of lying pretensions is incident unto the most e­vident and certain duties, Naphtali, requiring truth and reality, and not admitting mens delusions, and imaginations, cannot be herewith justly charged; but, the truth is, the Surveyers whole representation of Naphtali in this matter is so foully calumnious, that, without following him further, I shall content my self briefly to review the objections, which he maketh against the doctrine delivered, anent the imitableness of Phineas his act, where finding himself caught by Scripture-evidence, how with disjointed reasons, and lame testimonies, he strangely tosseth and turneth him­self for an issue, the impartial eye, in his eight particular Answers to Naphtali subjoined, will easily discern.

And. 1. He doubteth if Phineas was a private person, and thence doth groundlesly pretend the warrant of his ordinary calling, as to the fact controverted. 2. De­parting from this, upon the supposition that he was a private person, he, without any reason, insinuateth from Moses his being present in that great assembly of the people, and his after-approving of the deed, that therefore it was done by his authority and command 3. He impertinently differenceth the case of Israels sin, from that of our present backsliding, whereas (waving the too manifest parity of our present open rebellion against the Lord, usurping his Kingdom, changing his ordinances, and filling the land both with the idolatry of poperie and all leudnesse, to the then horrible ido­latry and villanous whoredome, wherein he places Israels sin) the main disparity of a then godly Magi­strat, is Naph. undeniable advantage. 4. He falsly, [Page 397] and inconsistently with his former grounds, alledgeth, that Phineas acted by special commission, of which the Scripture is not only silent, but doth very signifi­cantly intimate the contrary, as we have heard. 5. He foolishly cautioneth, that actions specially warranted, are not for common rules, to which I freely adde, that not only such, but even these, which are spe­cial from the sole reason of their singular exigence, are not to be drawn to common example. 6. He needlesly quarrelleth, anent the distinction of Acts he­roical and extraordinary, and misconstruing the Lords approbation of Phineas, Numb. 25. He plainly wresteth the elogie. Psal. 106. And that was counted unto him for righteousnesse, as if its emphasis were not the rare commendation of the deed, but that other­wise it might have been imputed to him for sin, unto an inconcludent inference of a special command and calling. 7. He calumniously asserteth, that Naphtali holds great gifts, and secret impulses to be a suffici­ent call for men to go beyond the ordinary rules, which God hath set to them in their callings, where­as, all we find in Naphtali is, that joyning a zealous excitation to the Lords command, in an exigence of extreme necessity, he thereof, for superabundance, maketh up a sufficient call to the heroick action there­on ensuing, And. 8. And lastly, he grosly perver­teth the question, as if any of us did affirme, that we have warrant now to look for extraordinary persons, having Gods special and secret mandat to do works, which neither Reason nor Scripture do warrant, when, on the contrary, Naph. Labours mainly, to show, that even Phineas had no such character. Now that these are the Surveyers reflections upon this fact of Phi­neas, and this their successe, the perusal of his Papers with what I have here said doth aboundantly cleare.

[Page 398]It remains, in the next place, that I declare, how that, as Naphtali's doctrine, here vindicated, is by him only narrativè delivered from the records of our first Reformation; so, the samine is there truely and more fully to be found; and that Master Knox and our worthy Reformers were of the same opinion, as to the instance controverted, and from the ground there­of did give a resolution, in a case far more debatable, then that of Naphlali, the following passage may evence. In the year 1563 the Queen having emitted a proclamation against the Mass, and yet conniving thereat, and the Kingdom being visited by an univer­sal death, which master Knox sayes, was for the ido­latry of our wicked Rulers, and our ingratitude, that suffered them again to defile the land with that abo­mination, the brethren generally offended, deter­mined to put to their own hands, and to punish, for example to others, and so they practised on some, and made intimation to the rest. The Queen offended here at, sendeth for Master Knox, and dealeth with him earnestly, to perswade the people, and principally the Genlemen of the West, not to put to their hands to punish papists. Master knox, on the other hand, exhorteth her to execute justice, which, if she o­mitted, he feared some would let the papists under­stand, that they should not be suffered so manifestly to offend without punishment. To this the Queen answereth, will yow allow [...]that they shall take my sword in their hand? Now observe his reply The sword of justice, Madam, is Gods, and is given to princes and rulers for one end, which if they transgress, sparing the wicked and oppressing the innocents, they, that in the fear of God execute judgment where God hath comman­ded, offend not God, although Kings do it not; nather yet sin they, that bridle kings to strike innocent men in their [Page 399] rage, the examples of Samuel s [...]aying Agag, Elias Je­zabels Prophets, and Phineas, Zimri and Cozbi are evident. And so, Madam, your Majestie may see, that others then cheif magistrats have lawfully punished, and may punish, the crimes that God commands to be pu­nished.

By which discourse it is evident, as the sun light, that Naphtali in place of being the broacher of this doctrine doth indeed come short of that, which Mr Knox hath long since asserted; it is true, in his conclusion he saith, others then chief Magistrats, & as if meaning by infe­rior thereafter subjoines, that by act of Parliament po­wer is given to all judges, to search and punish mass-mongers and hearers; but seing the same is only spo­ken with an accomodation to the then case, and that both the grounds of Master Knox his reasoning, in this place, and his declared opinion, in his appellation & admonition to the commonalty, viz. that the punish­ing of idolatry and such crimes, as touch the majestie of God, doth not appertain to rulers only, but to the body of the people, and every member thereof, according to his vocation, and according to that pos­sibility, which God doth minister, together with the manifest consequence of clear reason, give no lesse power to the people against subaltern then to subal­tern against supreme magistrats,

I need not hereupon enlarge, far lesse to answer the Surveyers profane & inconsistent reflections upon these times: if the opposition then made to idolatrous and persecuting Rulers, had been indeed sedition or rebellion sinfully raised for some unjust cause extrinseck to the matter of religion, by our first Reformers, as many professors of that time were no dout too palpably guilty of sacriledge and self-seeking, there had been ground to have placed all into one category, and vin­dicate [Page 400] the Lords word from the sin of such instru­ments: but seing, the then-resistance was visibly made in the same Spirit, which, in the preceeding dispen­sation of and call to suffering, had so patiently and constantly endured firie and bloudy trialls, for the testimony of Jesus, and was carried on by these refor­mers, who continually testifying against the sacri­ledge and self-seeking mentioned, did from clear scripture-grounds, out of the manifest zeal of God, and for the maintenance of his Gospel, strenuously assert and promove these courses, it is certain, that their testimony is very significant, adding as much confirmation, as can be drawn from humane authori­ty: and the Surveyers alleviating thereof, by alled­ging that our Lord was crucified by wicked hands, and yet the result was the worlds redemption, that reprobat ministers have saved their hearers, a leprous hand may sow good seed, and that heirs of glory may be gotten in bastar­d [...], is not more impertinent from its non consequence, these works being manifestly evil, then wickedly con­tumelious and ungrate: but behold the instability of this double minded man, who having vented all this foul malice, against these doings of our first Refor­mers, subjoineth, let it be so, that much of their way was justificable upon the account of these motives, which then impelled them; yet how unlike was the case then, to what it is now, &c. Whereby it is evident, that it is neither Naphtali's principles, nor yet his doc­trine concerning Phineas, but the Surveyers different present apprehension of the hypothesis & consequently the blindfolding charme of self-interest against the po­wer of truth, that seduceth him and his accomplices to their absurd contradiction.

Having thus asserted Naphtali's doctrine against your maligne misrepresentation, it is time that I con­sider, [Page 401] what you objecte against him. And you [...]ay ransack all the Provincial letters, Escobar or the other pro [...]ane Casuists, you shall not find a more impious and detestable opinion among them, then this doctrine concer­ning private persons their punishing of crimes, in cas [...] of the supinnesse of the Magistrate.

But pray, Sir, 1. Wherefore do you enumerat the Provincial Letters, so elaboratly write against them, among other profane Casuists? This your escape, if designed, should be a bad reward for the Au­thors pains taken against that wicked School,

2. Though the assertion, as by you indefinitly laid down, be not a little invidious; yet seeing it is un­deniable, that Phineas and Elias did, neither as Magistrats, whatever was their capacity, nor by special warrant, punish crimes and execute judgment; and that desperate disorders in the publick govern­ment, may, by the force of necessity, license to private persons, specially parents and masters, this power controverted, to affirme without exception that the doctrine concerning private persons their pu­nishing of crimes, in case of the supinness of the Magistrate, is cursed, seemeth rather to be the effect of passion then of reason.

3. Divine impulses have been and are still casible, and that the Lord thereby, without the giving of any special commission, may stirre up to such an heroick act, as though necessarily debording from common methods, may not the less, in its whole tract and event, be attended with so peculiar a lustre and evidence of Gods approbation, as may even force from you an assent, notwithstanding that the deed can only be maintained by these general positions, which you seeme to disprove, is to me unquestiona­ble. And therefore, your so severe disowning, [Page 402] without any reserve, of private persons their punish­ing of crimes, in case of the supinness of the Magi­strate, excluding all possibility of divine excitations to that purpose, appeareth to be very precipitant. Are the contingencies of humane affaires, and their surprisals and pressures such as to move Kings and Princes on earth, over and above all fixed and regu­lar courses, to define certain causes and occasions, Quando liceat unicuiqne sine judice se vindicare, velpublicā devotionem, & subjug are edicto quod serum esset punire ju­dicio, it a ut cuncti, adversus latrones publicos, desertoresque militiae, jus sibi sciant, pro quiete communi, exercendae publicae ultionis, indultum: And if, in the far more pressing and conspicuous exigences of the glory of God, when Soul-murderers and Christ-deserters, are not only permitted but patronized, the Lord, in that case, animat private persons to heroick undertak­ings for his glory, when all other judgment faileth, shal the justifying of such practices, though otherwise countenanced by many undeniable testimonies, be ex­claimed against as accursed doctrines? far be it from us, and all that love the Lords glory, and adore his soveraignity. I say, otherwise countenanced, &c. for that some men, under these collours, may pretend to the like warrant, when in reality they have it not, is indeed to be regreted, nay, that the present loose, and lewd practices of some, who most licentiously invade Conformists, under cloud of night, in their own houses, to no good purpose whatsomever, but to the great scandal of Religion and prejudice of the Countrey, are such as by many clear circumstances, are utterly to be condemned, whatever they may pretend, is, I hope, manifest without any observa­tion, and needeth not any further caution.

[Page 403]4. If I may come a little nearer on this subject, wherein, I protest sincer [...]ly, I have no designe, but to vindicat the truth and wayes of the Lord, with all tenderness and fear, and with all due regard to the deceitfulness of humane passion and corruption, are there not many suppositions casible, wherein, to speake roundly & freely in the extreme pressure either of our own, or our neighbours interest in matter of life or estate, both you, and I, and all others, what­ever be our shynesse in opinion, would have a clear­nesse to act many things of the same nature with, or as important as the punishing of crimes, not only with­out, but even, in some cases, against the Magistrate: how can we then deny the like obligation and war­rant to the highest and most important concernment of the glory of God, in its just and manifest exigence? Sir, I know that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God: but, verily, when I reflect, how that in many cases relating to self, the most part of men, and even dissemblers in profession, are ne­verthelesse in practice firmly perswaded, and, in some cases, all without exception, are even in opinion most determined, as to their right and obligation of defence and resistance, And withall consider, that our love, which is certainly the foundation of this right and obligation, ought to be infinitly more in­tended toward God, then toward all things else, I cannot but wish, that both the perswasion and zeal of all men, in his matters, were accordingly pro­portional to their value: But oh! who is now on the Lords side? and who are they that aspire unto Levi's blessing, who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him, neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own Children?

5. Although the position be by you exhibited, in [Page 404] such a laxe Manner, as if, upon the emergencie of every crime, every private person were constitute the Magistrats overseer and exacter of his administra­tions, that you may the better load us with your forged absurdities; Yet Naphtali's doctrine above declared, over and above the just exigence required, is so clearly set down in the case only of gross and no­torious backsliding and defection, countinanced or connived at by the Magistrate, wherein the concern­ment of Gods glory, and our call to assert the same, is far more discernable and manifest, then in the punishing of other crimes, that, I hope, I have said enough to cut off vain and impertinent cavillations. It is therefore certain, that though this doctrine con­cerning private persons their punishing of crimes, in case of the supinnesse of the Magistrate, in its undefin­ed and uncautioned latitude, may be obnoxious to gross abuses, yet absolutely to deny the same, and thence to condemne not only many fair scripture-examples, but all heroick excitations, which, in their suteable exigences, are by a clear concurrence of cir­cumstances manifestly demonstrate to be from the Spi­rit of God, as to the matter warranted by his com­mand, and, in their manner dependent on his sove­raignity, were most rigid and unjust,

But you go on and tell us, that what cursed effects this cursed doctrine produced, all the Nation saw, when in the sight of the Sun, a villain, with a pistol, invaded the persons of two of the fathers of the Church, and that in the chief [...]rect of our royall City What an empty pomp of words have we here to make out this cursed effect, a villain, fathers of the Church, chief str [...]et, roy­al City, big words indeed. Sir, the way to be just in your resentments, is first to be equal, and then I doubt, but if you have as much respect to our [Page 405] Lord Jesus, King over his Church, as you pretend to your fathers of the Church, that the wrongs and invasions by them villainously committed, with a high and insolent hand, in the sight of all the Nations, against his glory and prerogative, will not only make you give to them the epithet, wherewith you censure their invader, but account the effects of their wickednesse a hundred-fold more accursed: But lest I offend you by such extenuations I verily think, all circumstances considered, & their exigence due­ly ballanced, that the deed was rash, precipitant & of evil example; but wherefore accursed, since against such a sacrum caput, and a person self-devoted, upon whom and his associats, by executing justice, both our Rulers, and the whole Land, may so certain­ly consecrate themselves unto the Lord, that he might bestow a blessing upon us, I confesse I hesi­tate.

In the next place you adde, that though the provi­dence of God sheilded one of your fathers to [...]ally from his fury, and preserved the life of the other, though with the losse (or rather disabling only) of his arm; yet his ma­lice was not to be blamed, for that assassinations were on­ly wanting to complete the parallel betwixt that Spirit and the Iesuits, which is indeed the same moving in dif­ferent characters. But, seing you would appeare so accurate an observer of Providence, why do ye not also remember, how easily and safely the inva­der did escape? Surely whatever may be the moment of these circumstances of the sight of the Sun, and the chief street of our royal City, as to the aggravation for which you adduce them; yet, in order to this passage of the escape they are of a more important considera­tion to render it remarkable. If you say that even­tual impunity, doth not argue innocency, the retor­sion [Page 406] is so just and manifest against your reasoning from the Bishops their providential preservation, that I need not insist. But this was an assassination only wanting to complete the parallel betwixt that Spirit and the Iesuits, which is indeed the same moving in diffe­rent characters. Sir, if I did intend the patrocinie of this fact, I could tell you. 1. That there can be no proper assassinat, without an interveening price, which in this case, you do not so much as alledge. 2. Admitting your meaning to be only of a delibe­rat insidiating murther, yet, I would have you to consider, that it is from the matter, and not from the manner that the guiltiness of many deeds, doth principally descend: For, as we must acknow­ledge the greatest villanies to have been sometimes perpetrat in forme of justice, so it cannot be denyed, that very eminent acts of righteousness have been per­formed without any legal process, as the deed of Phineas and the other examples above adduced, with many such like Histories that might be alledged, do plainly hold out; and really, when I consider but this one viz. how Saul's murthering of the Lords Priests, and Iehu his killing of the Priests of Baal; as to their summare manner of procedor, of so near alliance, nay, that this later hath plainly, in respect of the dissimulation used, a worse appearance then the former, I think this one reflection may direct you un­to a more solid judgment in thir matters. 3. The Iesuits their mischievous plots, flowing from a per­nicious principle, enslaving mens consciences to an im­plicite compliance to their dictats, without all re­gard to forms of justice, and being levelled against innocent persons, in order to their most wicked ends, and designes, are not only most remote, yea most opposite to Naphtali's doctrine, but nothing coun­tenanced [Page 407] by this very fact wherewith you urge us. But having above, seriously disowned this rash and inconsiderat attempt, and already cleared, how that it is not only the matter, but the concurrence of circumstances, bearing such a pressing exigence, as either cannot be satisfied by, or needeth not to attend the ordinary course of law, which doth sustain their more singular and heroick attempts, your paralleling of that Spirit (of Naphtali's I suppose) so congruous both in principles and practice, unto undeniable scrip­ture grounds and precedents, with that perverse and cruel one, working in the Iesuites, and making them to be the same moving in different characters, is like unto the rest of these bold and groundless calum­nies, wherewith you study to reproach: However, it were to be wished, that you who, upon so unlike­ly grounds, have the confidence to draw parallels, were upon the other hand as ingenuous, as to consi­der these most certain and evident arguments of pride, violence, falshood & irreligion, whereby your prelatick Spirit doth discover it self, to be not only Jesuitick, but unquestionably Antichristian and diabolick.

Now in the close, and after having made it your work all along to brand any measure of zeal for God to be found amongst us, with the characters of a [...]our, unsociable, violent and cruel disposition, you adde, that you charge not this fact upon the party, but acknowledge that all of them abhorre it; but yet you sub­joine, that, without all uncharitableness, you may charge it on the Author of Naphtali: And thus having be­fore mentioned Naphtali, as one of their Books and Authors, at lest owned by them, the vanity and deceit of this your insinuation is too too palpable. But seing that which is crooked cannot be made streight, it shall suffice me to say, that, as I have [Page 408] evinced Naphtali's doctrine to be none other, then the just vindication of Phineas his practice copied from our first Reformers, and also shewed, that the fact, which you do here objecte, hath not thereon any rational dependence; so your particular charge, with all the foolish clamour of your party, upon this account, against Naphtali, doth not so much reflect upon him, as on Phineas, and the Holy Ghost by whom he was acted.

After this, you cause your N. C. complain, of your design, To make him regardlesse of the state of the Church, and neglective o [...] the interest of Christ, contrary to that tender aff [...]ction we ought to bear him, and the ex­ample of his Saints, and only after the manner o [...] Gallio's indiff [...]rency. And to this you Answer, That all things have two sides, and so this doctrine o [...] resignation, on the wrong side, seems like unconcerned stupidit [...]; and yet, rightly considered, it is one of the highest pieces o [...] Chri­stianity. Whence you go [...]n, from the infinite Power, Goodnesse, and Wisdom of God, to reprove the [...]olly a [...]d pres [...]mption of anxiety, a [...]ent the Lords manage­ment o [...] matters, specially the conc [...]r [...]ments of his Church, and to perswade us to commit the [...]ame to him, and to rest securely on this, tha [...] all things cooperat &c. But still you say, We are to concerne our selves in the good of the Chur [...]h, as by fervent soliciting of [...]od in her behalf, w [...]ereby our zeal for God's glory, and charity to the Bre­thren are expressed; so by improving all opportunities of doing good in as for as we are called, upon all hazards: Yet, even in this, we are, with David, not to meddle, in matters too high for us, And with Paul, not [...] to s [...]retch our s [...]ves bey [...]nd [...]ur line: And with all not to let de [...]ecting melancholy possess our selves, contrary to the end and contrivance of Reli [...]ion, which is to beget in us [...]verla [...]ing joyes, which by such sorrows are mostly [Page 409] marred. Sir, I have set down this passage at large, not that I find in your answere abstractly considered, any error; seing it is very certain, that the wrongs done to these most dearly affecting concernes of God's Glory and his Churches welfare, ought not to be more tenderly afflicting, and powe [...]fully exciting to duties of prayer, and all righteous indeavours, then the Lords high and holy Soveraignity is both most strengthening to these duties, and comfortably exc [...]u­sive of all sinful anxiety and dejection, the heav [...]nly return made to our Lord, I have both glorified my Name, and will glori [...]y it again, doth abundantly hold out this consistency; and is so far from being contra­ry to a holy touching grief, upon that account, that on the other hand, you may find the necessary cer­cainty of God's Glory, the ground both of the ear­nest and assurance of our Lo [...]'s supplication, and of the comforting answere made to his troubled soul, whence it did proceed. But, that which I would enquire, is how you come to make such an answere to your N. C. challenge, which being very rational and sound, complaining only of a stupid misregard and profane indifferency, without the least [...]exure to the other extreame of sinful anxiety, had, in my thought, been better and more ingenuosly answered by a simple denial, then by your unnecessary cautions: To oppose one truth to another can have no innocent design: Nay, i [...] I may use your own maxime, that all things have two sides, I fear this your discourse prove also double faced, and that, under the colou [...] of excessive anxiety & dej [...]cting me­lancholy, you do indeed condemn that mean of a con­cerning solicitude for Gods Glory and his Churches wellfare, which you seem to allow, and by i [...]si­nuating, joy to be the end and fruit of Relig [...]on, [Page 410] resolve all its seriousness into the indifferency ob­jected.

But lest you judge this challenge, which is only an anticipation, to be want of charity, I proceed to what ensues, which is first your N. C's reply, to wit: That all this your preceeding discourse is still contrary to the holy men of God; the Psalms, Prophets, & Lamen­tations are full of sad complaints, and certainly a greater measure of zeal becomes the more clear manifestation of the love of God under the Gospel. And to that return which you give to it, running out upon the difference of the old and new dispensation, shewing forsooth, that out­ward desolations and losses, which under the former were curses and grievous, under the later are pronounced blessings and matter of joy, and so forth. What strange dealing and doctrine is this? Your N. C. tells you of the complainings and mournings of the holy Men of God in old times, for the desolation of Gods house, departing of his Glory, and the blasphemie of his Adversaries, Which I am certain every serious soul will take to be no other, then the same careful regard to the Glory of God, and the good of his Church, which just now we heard you ap­prove, and is, no doubt, inseparable from the true Love and Zeal of God in all ages: But you, in your present Answere, would have these regretes to be only suteable to a carnal dispensation, and nothing agreeing to that of the Gospel. Now, if this be not a palpable discovery of your sinistrous design, let all men judge: Or if you think that I do wrest your words, do you, or any man els, make them per­tinent, in any other sense, & I am content to bear the blame.

But neither is this your doctrine in it selfe more sound: You say, That outward desolations and af­flictions, [Page 411] were of old, signes of Gods displeasure, & cur­ses: but now they are pronounced and made blessings. Pray Sir, make you no distinction betwixt a sign of Gods displeasure, and a curse: Or do you think, that sufferings and afflictions, may not be, both signs of displeasure against sin, and yet profitable corrections, yea matter of joyous consolation in the event? Cer­tainly, if you had consulted Scripture in this matter, you would have found, that, as the sufferings of Gods People under the New Testament: are ac­counted chastisements, and consequently signs of the Lords displeasure against sin, which thereto pro­vokes; so, under the Old they were no less to be by them regarded, as the chastenings of a loving father, and the rebukes of love: But it seems you have for­gotten the exhortation, which under both dispensa­tions speaketh unto the Lords People, as unto chil­dren, My son despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth the chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he re­ceiveth. Nay, blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest out of thy law, being so plainly said of old [...] I wonder how you could lapse into thir mistakes. I grant that the Jewish dispensation is much countenanced by temporal promises, and that even the manner of divine service thereby appointed, did much depend upon their performance, Whereas that better Covenant being established upon better promises, is, in effect, so ordered, that afflictions and persecutions did and do tend rather to its advance­ment: But, if thence you conclude, either that the People of God in old times were to regard their sufferings, as they respected themselves, differently from what is commanded to, and commended in Christians, or that their complaints for the corrupted [Page 412] or suppressed Worship of God, and the departed Glory by reason of prevailing backsliding, or outward desolation, may not now under the Gospel, in the like calamities, be lawfully and laudably resumed, over and above your evil design mentioned, you be­wray palpable ignorance.

I might here further adde, that you may not only observe the same patience and fruit of chastisements under the old, that is found under the new dispensation, but also read the grace and glory of their confessions and martyrdomes, in almost the same termes, where­in you go about to represente the sufferings under the Gospel as new and singular. Others were tortured not accepting deliverance, they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were s [...]ain with the sword, they wandered about in sheep-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. Pray Sir, who were they, or wherein is this account short of that, which you exhibite of Christians their re­joicing in sufferings, except in the vain excess of your superstitious festivals, viz. the dayes of the death of Martyrs, observed by the Church under the name of Natalitiae Mart [...]rum? But I have already sufficiently demonstrate both the folly and falshood of this your impertinent distinction: And the mixture of the cup of Gods Children, being clearly confirmed by the ex­perience of all ages, your taxing of our mourning because of a broken Covenant, a profaned Sanctuary, and abounding wickedness and violence, as sinful re­pining, because of personal sufferings, notwith­standing that the joy and strength of the Lord hath been very conspicuous in our dying Witnesses, and our other Sufferers, doth plainly adde malice to your ig­norance.

[Page 413]But in our complainings you reprehend both in­justice and excess, and for injustice you tell us, That the reason thereof is only the alteration of the Law's and the Magistrat's denying to us further encouragement, and punishing us not for Conscience, since none hath suf­fered because he was for Presbytery, or against Episcopa­cy; but for unruly humors and practices. Sir, if our complainings and mournings, were according to their just causes, viz. our high handed Rebellion against God, unparalleled breach of Covenant, perjurious subversions and alterations of the Ordinances of God, aswel as the Laws of the Land, with the profanity, ignorance and violence, that have thence abounded and filled the whole Land, neither should I, or any of the fearers of the Lord, have eyes to write or read this my vindication. It is true, all this iniquity and mischief is introduced and established by form of Law, and thence you take the impudence to smooth it over, as if there were no more in it, then the al­teration of Laws; nay, as if what before the Act & Law made were righteously refused out of con­science, after the accession of an humane injunction could not be forborn, but out of humor: And as if Conscience and Laws could not inte [...]ere, you go on to tell us, That the reason of our suffering is neither our adhering to Presbytery, nor our non [...] compliance with Episcopacy, but only our unruly humors and practices. But seing the colour of Law, which you p [...]etend, is indeed no relief of conscience, but the greatest ag­gravation of that Apostacie and persecution, where­of we complain, and that notwithstanding of any reproch wherewith you do slander it, the true cause of all our sufferings is none other then our stedfastness in the Oath of God, binding us to the maintenance of Presbytery, and extirpation of your Prelacy. And, [Page 414] lastly, seing that we bemoan no violence, either to death, banishment, bonds or spoile, which, the taking of your Declaration against the Covenant, would not certainly have prevented, the witness of our cause and sufferings, who is in Heaven, heareth, and will reprove your lies.

As for our excess, you say, We make complaints to to God, as if Heaven and Earth were mixed, and adapt all the lamentations of Ieremiah to our sorry matters, com­paring the overthrow of Presbytery, to the Babylonish captivity: But oh that the causes of our grief were thorowly weighed, and the hainous [...]ess of our provo­cations, with the calamities come upon Gods House, Ordinances and Servants, laid in the balance together; certainly then, you should more regrete our defect, then now you mock at our excess: And in asmuch as sin is more grievous then judgment, and judgments spiritual, heavier then judgments temporal, Nay, Gospel Ordinances more precious, then these of the old dispensation, You would judge the overthrow of Presbytery visibly accompanied with breach of Covenant, and the rejecting and expelling of the Lords ministry, far more important, at least in these respects, (whatever other aggravations there might have been in that distress) then the Babylonish captivity.

To these objections you adde, Now, were your way what you imagine, you should rejoice that you are called to suffer for it, and not make such tragical com­plaints. Who ever heard such ridiculous discourse in such a serious purpose? Your N. C. doth only plead for a due concerning regard to the state of the Church, and the interests of Iesus Christ, you your self allow a fervent solicitude to God-ward, in behalf of His Glory and the good of His People: And we [Page 415] do not only propose for imitation the practice and ex­ercise of Gods Servants, who, both of old & of late & in all times, have from the love & zeal of Gods Glory, made the desolation of Gods Sanctuary, the corrupting and removing of his Ordinances, with the persecutions of his People, matter of heavy complaint, and deep mourning, but do also, greatly rejoice in that grace and glory, whereby the Lord hath countenanced and beautified the tryals of particular sufferers amongst us, no lesse then these of any other his Martyrs upon record: And yet after you have confounded the complainings of the Lord's People of old, for the desolations of his Sanctuary with their concernment in their own private losses, and falsely, and vainly distinguished betwixt the duty and deportment of Gods People under the old and under the new dispen­sation, in order to afflictions, you say dully, without any connexion or regard to the mixtures of the cup of Gods People, Our way is not what we imagine, els we should rejoice, that we are called to suffer for it. But the Lord, who giveth us both strength and joy in our sufferings, doth also know and hear our mournings, and will reprove your mocking.

But you say, That our bitternesse against our enemies, looks nothing like the mildnesse of Christ or the primitive Sufferers. How long will you love vanity, and seek after leasing? That we approve not bitternesse against our persecutors upon any account, is our serious pro­fession whereunto our practices ought to be conform: But with all, that we hate their way, pray that they may lay aside their opposition to the cause and people of God, otherwise, that such troublers were even cut off, and when God enables and calls, do stand up for the defence of the Gospell and our selves against evill doers, is so far from jarring with primitive prece­dents [Page 516] that both Scripture, Reason, and the practice of all times do allow it. And really Sir, when I consi­der these your discourses, so directly tending to the blunting nay extinguishing of all zeal for God, and the perswading of a stupid (not patient) endurance of all injuries, under the pretext of Christian Re­signation, that wickedness and violence, so much at present prevailing, may the better be estabilished, as I cannot but regrete this point of your conformity to primitive examples, (not indeed these of Chri­stians, but of their persecutors, who in the mad­nesse of their wickedness did often whe [...] their vio­lence, and intende their cruelty to the persecuted by their scornful reciting of the gospell precepts to pa­tient suffering); So, I must tell you my fears, that your pretendings to the serene and dove-like spi­rit, are only collours to palliat your deep deceit and malice.

But making your N. C. decline your instance of the primitive Christians with a vain scoff of your own suggesting, that far fowls have [...]air feathers, and appeal to the practice of late Reformers, as such who univer­sally resisted the Magistrate, out of an exceding vene­ration, as you pretend to the same Reformers, you do undertake from undeniable evidence of History, to convince us of the falshood of that vulgar error, that the Reformation was carryed on by resistance. But here, in the entrance, you must give me leave, (though I acknowledge that you take no advantage from it) first to rectify your expression, that the Reforma­tion in many places, where opposed by force, was maintained by resistance, Is that which we with as plain and full an evidence as can be instanced in any matter of fact, do very confidently assert: But that it was carried on by resistance, Is not only inconsistent, [Page 417] resistance sounding rather for the defence then the ad­vance of any cause, or interest whatsomever) but ac­cording to the proper import of the phrase, carrying on, intimating force to have been the mean used to propogat Religion, very false and caluminous. 2. I must premise that when I reflect on your under­taking in this place, and there with compare that of Doctor Heylen in his Aërius redivivus, I can not but observe the deep deceit of Sathan's contradicting Methods for advancing one & the same error: for whereas to disprove the righteousnesse of Defensive Armes, in behalf of Religion, you go about to show that all the lawfull wars instanced on our part for our assertion, had their rise from an other cause; he, on the other hand, aiming at the same mark, is so far from referring these wares to any other cause, that in his fury against Presbytery, he chargeth all home upon the Reformed protestant Churches, as Religious rebellions, just as in an other case, viz: for one and the same design of destroying Conscience and making void the ordinances of God, we find the Devill the old Serpent winding him self in courses no less opposite: for while on the one hand Tay­lour standeth up for the liberty of prophesying, and Henrie More for his liberty of Conscience; And on the other Hobes and Parker do no less plead for the subjection of Conscience to the Magistrat's dictates; that both do joyntly point, though differently, the for­mer by dissolute relaxing, and the later, by a wret­ched blindfolding and enslaving, to make void Con­science and all its obligation in these matters of God, which they would have to be Arbitrary, is evident as the Sun's light.

But passing these preliminaries, and without fur­ther prefacing upon the strange and selfe contradicting [Page 418] Arguments, whereby you go about to make an unde­nyable, nay generally on all sides an undenyed truth, a vulgar error, I come to examine your proofs. And first, you say, The Waldenses resisted not the King of France, as is clear in the History, notwithstanding of unparalleled persecutions, viz. 60000. killed in one town of Beziers, & 7000. Murdered at once in one Church. It is true that there were wars betwixt the Count of Montfort & the Count of Tholouse; but Tholouse was a P [...]er of France, and a vassal rather then a subject, besides he only [...]ought a­gainst Montfort, who was a bloudy Emissary of the Popes, not authorized by Philip then King of France, who only permitted his subjects to Arme in this war. So that here there was no resistance of subjects against their Soveraigne. A man would think, by the reading of this passage, that certainly all these thousands killed at Beziers, were in a submissive non-resistance persecuted to death by the Kings Authority, els to what purpose is their not resisting of the King, notwithstanding of their unpa­ralleled persecutions by you mentioned? And what can the connexion import? For, if either they were not persecuted by the King, or not killed without resis­ance, it is evident, that the instance is altogether im­pertinent. And yet it is certain, that as this execution was indeed one of the funeste effects of the war, which you afterwards mention, and therefore not suffered without resistance; so, you your selfe, upon the same consideration, do deny the King's concurrence & there [...] by plainly subvert the insinuation here made of their submission, & discover your own absurdity. But that I may cleare the truth in this particular from your con­fusion & deceit; the matter of fact (as by all recorded) Is most clear, viz. that, that time being the very hour & power of darkness, wherein all the World wondered after the Pope, it was indeed by his instigation, and, [Page 419] in a manner, under his banner, viz. The Croisade, that this war was raised against the Waldenses; & conse­quently by him was the Count of Montfort nominate to the conduct thereof [...] and, for his better encourage­ment, had, by decree of Councel, the dominions of Tholouse gifted unto him. But as it is most apparent that the King, who not only permitted his Subjects to go to that war, but sent his Son to take the crosse in it, as you your self do alledge, and also allowed of the commission, and confirmed the Gift [...]ade to Si­mon, did therein concurre; So your denying thereof is both groundless and absurd [...] Groundless, because of the deeds of his concurrence mentioned and con­firmed, by all the Histories of these wars, and by your selfe confessed; absurd, because if the King did not concurre, the example proves not your affirmation, viz. That the Waldenses did not resist the King of France notwithstanding they were grievously persecuted.

Now before I proceed, for confirmation of what I have said both of the King's persecution and the Waldenses their resistance, take the following testi­monies, viz. Hortatu Papae & Francorum Regis permis­su, per univers [...]m Galliam, quam plurima armatorum millia crucem sumpserunt &c. Nec vero tantum permisisse Phil [...]ppum Regem hanc expeditionem; (quod plerique so­lum dicunt verum & ipsummet, suo nomine sumptiousque exemplum aliis prebentem, quindecem millia armatorum ad eam dedisse ( [...]ipse namque aliis bellis detentus haud ire potuit ut cupiebat) asserit Gu [...]ielmus Brito, qui tunc vi­vebat &c. Bitteras, Urbem celebrem & copiosam, [...]ed prae caeteris haeresi infectam vi ceperunt & combusserunt, &c. 60 vel 70 mil [...] ia internecione delentur, atque intra ipsius Ecclesiam occisa septem millia; & quam multa castra & oppida, quâ vi quâ deditione Simon Montisfortis, Dux belli electus cepit; & quae Simon in hoc bello prestiterit, [Page 420] you may find at great length in the Historie Spond. ad ann. 1209 & sequentes, idem ad ann. 1227. Varia certamina, marteque vario inter Inbertum Bellojocensem istarum partium regium rectorem, & Raymundum Tho­losanum haereticorum sive sectatorem sive fautorem, inita sunt: & anno 1228. sanctius atque illustrius rebus interea in Gallia sub strenuo & sancto Rege puero, ac foemina pru­dentissima regni Procuratrice procedentibus, dum ex una parte &c. & ex alia perduelles Religionis, vi & suasioni­bus manus dare coguntur &c. obsessa enim ab Imberto cum exercitu Regio Tholossa, &c. with many the like pas­sages which may be seen in this Author, Innocentius tertius ad istam (Albigensium) haeresin extirpandam &c. arma in eos excitat, curam autem belli Leopoldo &c. & Simoni Comiti Montisfortis demandat, urbes vi captae erant Bitterae, &c. Item Francorum Regi in­stinctu Innocentii 3. Papae cum Albigensium haereticis negotium fuit: belli Dux Simon Montisfortis erat, Magdeb. Cent. 13. pag. 216, & 218. What then can be more evident, then that not only these Waldenses resisted their persecutors, though countenanced and authorized by the King; but that even though the King himself had been Dux belli, as his Son, by your own relation, was belli particeps, he had met with the same opposition. But you say, that the Count of Tho­louse was a Peer of France, and by Hugo Capetus con­stitution, Peers were rather Vassals then Subjects. It is answered, ne ultra crepidam, if Peers be Vassals, as they are indeed, being such Peers among themselves only, and not with the King, that therefore they are of all the most strictly oblidged subjects, is notour to all that know the fidelity and gratitude which Vassal­lage doth import, so that whatever priviledge their Peerage may give them over their inferiours, yet that, in order to their Soveraign and Liedge Lord, they are [Page 421] in every respect subjects, is uncontroverted. But why should I spend time on your triflings? Admitting that the Waldenses, in this war, had not so directly and immediatly resisted the King their Soveraign, as not being their direct and immediate Persecutor, have we therefore no advantage from this passage? And are there not many other precedents in the History of that people, which do fully and exactly infer our con­clusion? And as to the first, do we not at least finde, even in your own concession, the Waldenses persecute for Religion standing to their own defence. Now if once you allow to Religion the common priviledge of a defensive resistance, the main strength of your arguments, founded upon a pretended singularity in the cause of Religion, as disowning forsooth all re­sistance, and, in a special manner, astricted to suffer­ing both by Gospell precept and primitive practice, is thereby dissolved and removed. I may not here in­sist on this subject: But, once for all, let me demand you, may not Religion be defended aswell as other rights and interests? If you say it may, but neither that nor any other against the invasion and persecution of the King and soveraign Power: This is indeed a con­sequent, but so destitute of all reason, that, as there is scarce a man in the world so stupid or debauched by flattery, that will not, in some suppositions, grant the lawfulness of resistance; so, the most precious import of Religion, and the atrocity of the injuries, whereby it useth to be persecute, can not but render it the first and most favourable of all excepted cases. But if you say it may not; then, whether is it your meaning, that it may not at all be defended either against Superior, equall, or inferior? And certainly, the Scripture, and also many of the primitive instan­ces, abused to prostrate Religion unto tyranny, do [Page 422] seem to run in this latitude, without insinuating any distinction, so that this generality, being manifestly absurd, doth of necessity evince them to have an other meaning, and to be nothing conclusive to your pur­pose. Or do you understand, that in this the cause of Religion is singular, that though against persecuting inferiors or equals, Religion, aswell as other rights, doth permit defence; yet against the Powers over us, it is subject to a special restraint. Assigne me for this speciality but any colourable pretext, & cris mihi magnus Apollo. That the Gospel precepts, Resist not evill, Turn your cheek to the smiter, Love your ene­mies &c. Have their holy and Christian use of patience and godliness, for all manner of injuries from what­so [...]ever hand; And that these other commands of subjection, non-resistance, honour, and obedience to Kings and all in Authority, have also their righteous influence of determining, in every occasion, our due compli­ance and submission, without the least vestige either in all or any of the places, of injoining a singular sub­jection to Powers persecuting for Religion, is obvi­ously evident. What speciality you will gather from primitive practices, the general mistakes that we find in their opinions, as we may understand from Am­brose and Augustine, condemning private defence even against Robbers, ne dum salutem defendit pieta­tem contaminet, may give us a satisfying conjecture. From all which we may assuredly conclude, that seing Religion doth lay no speciall prohibition of resistan­ce [...] in order to Superiors, upon Subjects by them persecuted; and that the above-written passage of the Waldenses doth at least evince, that in other cases it hath the common priviledge, your inferring of spe­c [...]al consequences, in favours of the Powers, from abused generalls, is but a politick improving of your lies unto base and selfish flattery.

[Page 423]Now as to other examples that may be found among the Waldenses, Pray Sir, was this the only passage in all that History, which you conceived did favour our cause, or was you loth to follow them over the Alpes, unto the valleys of Piemont, to meet with instances, which indeed you have reason to think can only be best answered by concealing them, in the obscurities of the places where acted? And really, this omission is so grosly supine, that you must par­don me to think it designed. However, the History that I referre you to, for a full and particular account, aswell of the faith, stedfastness and simplicicy of these Waldenses in Piemont, as of their many and great persecutions by their own Rulers and Princes, and their just and frequent oppositions made against them, particularly from the year 1540 to the year 1561. And how in the year 1571 they entered into a League of mutual assistance, and from that year did under­go many vicissitudes, sometimes of peace and quiet, then of cruell and barbarous persecutions, wherein they testified great constancy and patience, and some­times of necessary defensive resistances, wherein they witnessed no less uprightnesse and courage, even until the year 1658, wherein the narration terminates, is that of the Evangelical Churches in the valleys of Piemont, very faithfully and acuratly collected and written by Mr Morland, Where, I am confident, every ingenuous person will finde the case of defence, for the cause of Religion, against persecuting Rulers, so justly stated, so tenderly and submissively proceed­ed into, and, lastly, so singly and moderatly prose­cuted; and that not only once or twice, but often; that as he will be thereby greatly confirmed in the righteousness of this practice, so he can not but observe the inexcusable omission of your silence.

[Page 424]The next instance which you undertake to vindi­cate, is that of the Bohemians under Zisca, their fighting and resisting when the chalice was denyed them. And for answere to this, you bid us consider, that the Crown of Boheme is elective; in which case, certainly the States of a Kingdom share more largely of the Soveraign power. But 1. You hereby plainly acknowledge that Religion is not indefendible, except by meer subjects, against their Soveraign: So that again we see, it is not from the cause of Religion, but from the quality of the persons, that you foolishly go about to exclude Religion from defence, which yet notwithstanding, in several excepted cases, all inferior to that of perse­cution, is to subjects against their oppressing Princes by all almost allowed. 2. That the States of a King­dom share more largely of the soveraign Power, in an elective, then in a successive Kingdom, hath no proper dependence upon the way of election, but is thereto meerly accidental, the Dictators in free Rome were elected, and that only occasionally, and for a short space, and yet were uncontrollable: The Ro­man Empire, though elective, yet gave to the Em­perours absolute Soveraignity: And, on the other hand, we see many Kingdoms successive, wherein nevertheless the Soveraignity is divided betwixt the King and the Estates; so that your ground doth not hold. As Grotius de jur. belli l. 1. c. 3. §. 11. in ex­plication of that distinction, aliud esse de re querere aliud de modo habendi, doth fully cleare. 3. Admit­ting the Crown of Boheme to be elective, which yet you know, in the competition betwixt Ferdinand and, Frederick, was much controverted; and that the Estates do indeed share largely of the Soveraignity, And further, that they were the Authors of this re­sistance, which also you ought to have alledged; yet [Page 425] the opposition by them authorized upon the denying and with holding of the Chalice, and undertaken upon the common and just grounds of defence, considering the participation of power, which our Estates, be­fore his Majesties restitution did constantly acclaim, and oftentimes by themselves exercise, this similitude of the cases doth only the more assimilate this instance to that of our last Reformation. 4. Although the Hus­sites, being numerous in Bohem, and their provo­cation very injurious and intolerable, the success of Zisca, their Chieftain, did in a little time draw the whole Estates of the Kingdom to appeare on that side; yet it is apparent from History, that the be­ginnings of these troubles were so far from being au­thorized by the Estates, that they were rather occa­sional, and, as it were, tumultuary, upon the hin­dering of some Hussites in the town of Prague to cele­brat the Lords Supper with their accustomed solem­nities, which the Hussites by force resisting, it was from this spark that the flame kindling, the party became to be headed by Zisca; and he and they ad­vanced, breaking down Images, and dissipating Cloisters, until at length he contracted a just Army, and strenuously stood to his defence, and thereby obtained the concurrence of the Estates against Sigis­mond then both Emperour, and upon Venceslaus his death, become King of Boheme: Now whether this was not a clear resistance of the people, begun at least without the States, against their Soveraign, upon the account of Religion, I remit it to your second thoughts.

But you say, that Comenius gives but a slender cha­racter of Zisca and his business, extolling him chiefly as a good souldier. And, I pray Sir, what would you have him to say more? beside that it is not Comenius [Page 426] his testimony, but the practice of the Bohemians, which upon your own appeal, we are concerned to notice.

In the next place you tell us, That the Iustifiers of the late Bohemian wars never run upon this strain of subjects resisting their Soveraign, upon the account of Re­ligion, but upon the laws and liberties of that elective Kingdom. I intreat you, Sir, to consider what you say, That the injuries provoking to that war, were the invasions made upon the Liberties of Religion, for­merly confirmed by Maximilianus and Rudolphus, is notour and manifest: Now, if in this case they did aggravate the wrong, not only from that liberty, which is every where due to truth, but from these royal concessions thereto superadded, certainly this can make no disparity to our prejudice. But if you mean that these Resisters had not only law for them, as to the making out of the wrongs which they suffered, but were in a legal capacity, as being the States of the Kingdom, to resist the invasions of their Prince, I have already told you how much this, if it were true, would make for and not against us. 2. You must consider, that the opposition, which gave the immediat occasion to the war 1618. and the war thereon ensuing, did proceed from, and was carried on only by the Religionis Bohemicae socii Or­dines, and not by the whole Ordines Regni, which were partim P [...]ntificii, partim Religionis Bohemicae. So that the share, which the Estates of the Kingdom had of the Soveraignity, in this case, doth not assist you. I grant, that the Ordines Religionis Bohemicae, at first prevailing, seem thereafter to have attained to the whole power, and so to have proceeded to the election of Frederick. But the lawfulness of his elec­tion is not now the point in question.

[Page 427]You add, Neither were the Protestants too well satis­fied with the last Bohemian businesse. And it is very like, that the briskness of the first assaul [...] upon the King's Counsellers, with other miscarriages in the progress of that businesse, might possibly offend; but can you thence infer, that either these defensive wars were not undertaken for Religion, or that on this account, the Protestants did dislike them? As for what you subjoin, Yea K. James notwithstanding of his interest in the elec­ted King, was no way cordial for it. He who desires a true account of King Iames his deportment in this affair, & how, contrary to the inclination of all English Pro­testants, the advice of his best Councellers, and the earnest solicitation of Archbishop Abbot, he strangely delayed to assist, and in effect deserted both his Son in Law, and the cause of the protestant Re­ligion in that juncture, may finde it at length in. Mr. Rushworth [...]s collections. But the truth is, his Majes­tie in that particular was so possessed and captivat by a design, or rather an humor, that then overacted him toward a Spanish match, not only in prejudice and to the ruine of his own Daughter and Son in Law, his own and Englands honour and interest, but contrary to his sounder opinion in [...]vors of the French protes­tants necessitate to a resistance, that if you had consult­ed the honour of his memory, you had in this mat­ter chosen to be silent.

Your third instance is adduced by your. N. C. In these words, But you know there was fighting in Ger­many upon the account of Religion, To which you answere, This showes how overly you read History when you bring this as a precedent. And truly Sir. I do con­ceive, t [...]at the most overly reading may give so full and intire satisfaction, as to this point, that I excee­dingly long to hear, how your more accurat peru­sal [Page 428] will convel the evidence. You say when Luther rose the Duke of Saxon, moved of God, did receive the reformation peaceablie into his principalities, &c. And what then as to the matter of defence? But you adde, that in the years. 1524. and 1525. There arose a war in Germanie fomented by some troublesome Preachers, as saith the Historian, who pretended the liberty of the Gos­pel for their chief quarrel; And this war of the Rusticks was again and again condemned by Luther as an execra­ble rebellion, nay opposed and broken even by protestant Princes. All the concludency of this passage on your part, depends upon the supposition, that this war of the Rusticks, was by them necessarily ingaged into, for defence of themselves and the true Reli­gion, against their persecuting Adversaries. Which though you be bold enough indirectly to insinuate, yet all your confidence durst not positively assert: But, that all men may see your disingenuous dealing, in this allegeance, it will not be amiss that we take a more exact account of it, in Sliedan's own words, where we find in his fourth Book, mense novembri, Ann. 1524. Ceperunt a suo domino Comite Luphio suevo dissidere ho­mines rusticani, propter onera quibus gravari se nimium querebantur, idem & alii deinde vicini faciebant in suum quisque Magistratum. Here you may perceive that the liberty of the Gospel was not so much as pretended to be the quarrel, let be the chief quarrel; but that as oppression only and not Religion was the cause which they held out, so their too prompt and illegal resent­ment by way of violence, without the pressure of an extreme necessity, is that for which they are very justly censured. The next mention we have of them is in the same Book, the following year, Cujus verè primo per Sueviam, &c. altera fuit exorta tempestas Ordinis plebeii contra quosdam proceres Ecclesiasticos. [Page 429] jamque jurejurando ac fide data societatem coibant obducta causa, quasi & Euangelii veritatem tueri, & servitutem ab se profligare vellent: And the author adds, Magistratus quidem cognoscere de quaerimoniis ipsorum, & quod ini­quum esset, emendare se velle dicebat; verum illi perse­verabant, & eorum postulata, mox aliis communicata, passim novos incendebant motus. Which obstinacie and refusal was certainly unjust. Now what these postulata were, I need not repeate, in so far as they did only demand the liberty of the Gospel and the reliefe of their oppressions, all men will judge them reasona­ble; yea Luther, for all his vehemence against them, Yet upon these considerations, doth not only seriously admonish and reprehend the Princes for their perse­cution and tyranny, and tell them that, talis est vester dominatus, ut eum homines nec possi [...]t, nec velint, neque sane debeant ferre diutius, & cujus Deus aut per plebem, aut per novos hostes quos excitabit, poenam exposcet: But also concluds, that if neither the one nor the other party will abate and hearken to right counsels, se fore utriusque ruinae spectatorem: nesas enim utrinque versari, & bellum esse plebi contra principes ut in oppressores ipso­rum, salutis atque doctrinae, magistratum invicem con­flictari cum plebeiis ut cum latronibus, & iis, qui nomini Christiano contumeliam faciunt. But the casting reasons against these tumults, were, that in effect what was right in their demands was only speciously alledged, to palliat an unjust design of a licentious levelling li­berty in all, and a more wicked ambition in their chief leaders and instigators, and that as carnal impa­tience and revenge, did give the rise to these stirs; so, their contagion and progress every where was carried on rather by an inconsiderate and fatal fury & rage then any shew of reason, or good conduct. Whence it is manifest, that these courses, being so plainly se­ditious, [Page 430] cannot be paralleled to the cases of defence by us mentioned.

But you say, they were fomented by some seditious Preachers, who pretended, the liberty of the Gospel for their chief quarrel? Thus you love deceitfully to insi­nuate where you cannot justly accuse. But because that Thomas Muncer, quiting first the truth, and then his station, did, under that general fa [...] pretext, with some others his associates, heeding their own delusions and dreams, and aspiring to enthusiasmes, become ringleaders to a mutinous rable, for the cut­ting off, of all Magistrats as wicked, and the des­troying of propriety, Dare you thence infer, that the practices, which we defend, are of the same na­ture, And that the Lords Ministers amongst us were no better? Certainly your calumny not hardie e­nough to turn this oblique reflection unto a direct ac­cusation, doth clearly enough evince its own fals­hood.

But you add, that Luther wrote again & again unto them, condemning what they did, as an excerable & cursed rebellion. It is answered, what Luther did write, first in answere to their appeal and demands, more soberly, by way of disswasive, and then upon their eruption unto hostility, more vehemently by way of incentive, to incite all, even private persons, by what somever manner of way, to repress and kill them, is extant on record. And [...]eing that I have already cleared, how widely the rising of these Ru­sticks, doth differ from the defensive risistances by us asserted, I am very free, upon the matter, to subscrive to his judgment. But because I confess his reasoning doth proceed upon the same grounds of sub­jecting to the Magistrate, not resisting of evill, and our Lords hindering of Peter to fight in his defence, [Page 431] which the men of your perswasion do commonly ab­use, and are indeed handled by him in such a man­ner, as may seem to give you an apparent advantage, Yow must pardon me, for this my ingenuity, to use a sutable liberty, and tell you, first, that although Luther, in his first discourse doth make certain sup­positions, viz, of the Magistrat's being intolera­ble for persecution and oppression, and that we suf­fered as atrocious injuries from him, as Peter and the rest of the Apostles did when our Lord was taken and led away from them; and even in such cases doth prohibite fighting; yet examine his words, & you will finde, that it is to restrain from revenge, and not to prohibite, that he there useth these passages. As for example, after having said, Sit Magistratus plane intolerabilis, he addeth, non tamen idcirco exci­tandi motus: Nec enim cujuslibet est coercere maleficia &c. And after having mentioned Christs comman­ding Peter to abstain from his defence, he subjoyneth, gravi latâ sententiâ in eos qui gladio [...]eriunt, hoc est, qui contempto Magistratu vindictam privatam exercent: So that albeit his words after the usual manner of dehor­tatives, do seem some what tending to the contrary extreme; yet his scope being fairly adverted to, as the surest rule of genuine interpretations, they ought not to be extended beyond the condemning of impa­tient revenge. 2. I say, that as all humane authori­ties are but accessory and not leading Arguments, And Luthers judgement in the matter of war, as in other things, was but progressive, and not at first thorowly enlightned; So although he had been more positive against us, at this time and upon this occasion, it ought not to stumble us; for as much as, in the first years of his Reformation, from which this war of the Boures was not far removed, Sleidan tells us, [Page 432] that he wrote not only that the Magistrat [...] was in no case to be resisted Lib. 8. But that to war against the Turk was to resist God; who useth him as a scourge to chasten us. Lib. 14. Both which he afterward, in his own manner, did retract and qualify as you shall hear. 3. Albeit the Boures their wars, were unjust, and seditious, as we have heard; yet that Luther in his arguing against them might, and did overstrain, beside the arguments already adduced, is easie to be gathered from his excessive vehemence, in his second writing, wherein, forgetting his main principle of appropriating the sword of justice and vengeance unto the Magistrate, he instigates even private persons to take vengeance on them, and (if you will understand it a right) to turn Phineases in the case, and this Sleidan sayes, ut nimis aerem et cru­entum multi passim vituperabant. The next thing you alledge anent thir wars, Is that the Protestant Princes stirred up by Luther, did fight against the Boures and break them. And why not; seing their rising [...] specially that of Muncer, against which they took armes, was plainly seditious and rebellious? And thus we see, how that by laying down of false suppositions, you do only accumulat impertinencies. [...] But the best advice that I can give you, is that which your confidence blindly offereth unto your N. C. viz. not to hearken to the tatles of ignorant persons, but read the History it selfe and there you may both understand the truth, and the true estimat to be made of Luther's Papers.

In the next place you tell us, That upon the inva­sion and combination of the Duke of Brunswick & others against the Lutherans, the Duke of Saxon the Lantgrave of Hesse, & other Princes and free cities met at Smalcald to unite among themselves: but Luther was dissatisfied until that from the Bulla aurea, and other constitutions [Page 433] of the Empire, it was shewed him, that it was lawful for them to defend themselves. Whereupon he consenting, they entered into that famous league. To this you add, and every one knows, the princes of the Empyre are Sove­raigns within themselves, And that the Emperour is only the head of the union. From all which, it seems, you would infer, that though this be an instance of in­feriour Princes standing to their own defence, upon the account of Religion, against their Superiour; yet it can not warrant people to resist their Soveraign: But here let me reminde you first, of your own un­dertaking, which was to convince us of the falshood of that vulgar error, that the Reformation was carried on or mantained by resistance: Now, whether this passage of the Smalcaldick league doth answere your designe, or not, I appeal to your second thoughts: You pre­sent your selfe in the proposal, as if you were to prove, that the Reformers were altogether for suffe­ring, and not at all for resistance according to the misconstructions that you make of the practice of the primitive Christians; And yet when you come to this instance, all your offer is a politick conside­ration de facto, incident, which neither as to Gos­pel-rules, or antient precedents, by you commonly abused, is of the least moment, as I have already shew­ed. 2. Although the provocation, which you mention, to the Smalcaldick League, viz. the inva­sion & combination of the D. of Brunswick & others against their neighbour protestants, do signify noth­ing in your behalfe, but be altogether proper and agreeable to the nature of defence, which we do maintain; yet, seing it is not so consonant to truth, in matter of fact, and that the true and genuine rise and progress of that League do much more illustrate [Page 434] our assertion, you must give me leave to note your inadvertency, in asmuch as we finde that the league of Smalcald was both proposed and entered into, long before the opposition of Brunswick and the confede­racy of Norimberg, whereby it was fortified. And as to the first beginning of the league at Smalcald, we have it, in the year 1526. At Spire, where the D. of Saxon, and the Langrave calling the Commissioners of cer­tain Cities, tell them quoniam ipsis charam esse vide­ant Evangelii Doctrinam, & vero quid Episcopi molian­tur, atque pontificii non sit obscurum, deliberare sese dicunt num qua societas atque [...]aedus iniri possit, ut, si quem hu­jus causa periclitari contingat, mutua subministrentur au­xilia &c. Thereafter when several Princes and Cities had first protested against the second Decretum Spirense, and, by many meetings and other previous transacti­ons, had prepared the thing, in the year 1530. these protestants meet at Smalcald, atque faederis concipiunt formulam, non quidem offendendi quemquam, sed sui defendendi causa, & huic continuo Principes subscrip­serunt, &c. Quod foedus postea Anno 1535. In an­nos decem renovatur; whereas it was in the year 1538. and after the Popish Princes and Bishops had leagu­ed together at Norimberg, against the Protestants, that we find Henricum Brunswicensem totum ad rum­pendum ocium publicum spectantem, & in hoc incum­bentem, ut belli fieret initium adversus Protestantes. And it was in the year 1542. that, Ob vexatas Gos­lariam & Brunswicum Smalcal. Foederis Civitates Saxo & Langravius communi sociorum nomine bellum ei fa­ciunt, clear arguments of your mistake. But, by all these and many other passages incident in these times, it is evident, that the principles of the then protestants did maintain the lawfulness of resistance, no less a­gainst [Page 435] persecution for Religion, then against any o­ther injurie. I might here adde the league made in the 1529. By the Argentinenses cum Tigurinis, Bernati­bus, & Basiliensibus for mutual defence in case of invasion for Religion, and that other, made the fol­lowing year, upon the same grounds by the Lan­grave with the same Cities, but I forbear to insist on examples so obvious and frequent.

As for what you say of Luther's Dissatisfaction, un­til that Lawyers shewed him, how that, by the bulla aurea and other Constitutions of the Empyre, it was lawful for them to de end themselves; That which I find in Slei­dan to this purpose is, that Luther had ever taught that the Magistrate was not to be resisted: but when in this deliberation, Lawyers did shew, that the lawes did sometimes permit resistance; and that now matters were stated in one of these excepted cases, He ingenuously professeth, that he knew not this to be lawful. And because the Gospel doth not impugne or abolish poli­tick lawes, and also because, in that so doubtful and dangerous a time, many things might fall out, so [...] that not only Law, but the very force and necessity of conscience, might make us take armes, He concluds, that a League for defence might be entered into. Now, whether this passage do more favour your design, or our assertion, is very discernible, if we consider, first, that there is no mention here of the bulla aurea, which though it do indeed contain the rights, liberties, priviledges and Dignities of the Princes and States of the Empyre; yet beareth no permission of resistance referable to this case. 2. The laws here spoken of sometime permitting resistance, are, no doubt, no other then these ordinary exceptions found­ed in the law of nature, whereby the laws of sub­jection and submission, flowing from the inferior law [Page 436] of Nations, are by all Lawyers held, in some cases, to be restricted. And though I grant, that many Ca­suists do require to the lawfulness of subjects their re­sistance, beside the justice of the cause, the concurring of inferior Magistrates; yet that the same grounds, with better consequence, do also allow to the people by themselves (inferior Magistrates either joining with the supreme oppressor, or deserting their dutie) the right of defence, is the opinion of the more judicious. Nay, seing it is most certain, as I have often touched, that there are certain atrocious in­juries, which do force, even from the most rigid roya­list, a particular exception in favors of single persons thereby attacqued, it is evident, that all this con­troversie is more in hypothesi then in thesi. 3. If it be remembred what were Luther's mistakes, in his youn­ger years, in the matters of war & resistance, & with­all that beside the information of Lawyers, he had a further and a most important reflection upon the force and necessity of conscience, in times of uncertainty and danger; it must of necessity be acknowledged, that this passage is not meerly a politick discovery, whereof before he was ignorant, but a manifest re­tractation of former mistakes.

I have already hinted, how absurdly the Scrip­tures, for not resisting of evill, and for subjection to Powers, are abused, by Court-flatterers, to a special prohibition of all resistance from Christians persecu­ted, for conscience sake, against their oppressing Princes, Only for sooth, because their unconcerned­ness in Religion, doth sufficiently secure them from the consequence; whereas it is clear as the Sun-light, that the same Scripture-rules do make no distinction, from what cause, let be from what person, the in­jurie doth descend; but equally and indefinitly enjoyn [Page 437] patience and submission, in their exigence and season' without the least prejudice to these other rules of righ­teousness, whereby, aswell in the case of persecu­tion for Religion, as of injurious invasions upon other accounts, the persons invaded, when in an other­wise unrestrain [...]d capacity, are warranted to resistance in their own defence. And for this, it may suffice, though there were no more, that Luther tells us, that he ever taught, that the Gospel doth not impugne or abolish politick laws, much less then the fundamental laws of nature, to which all politick laws do cede. But what he further addes, of a force and necessity of conscience, thereby joyning the obligation to the right of defensive resistance, is certainly a ground, which if it were here pertinent, I could improve to more then I have hitherto asserted.

But you say, that every one knowes, that the Prin­ces are Soveraigns within themselves, and the Emperour is only the head of the union. How doth this blinde Con­fident medle without understanding. That the consti­tution of the Empyre is purely feudal, the Empe­rour Liege-lord, and all the Princes feudataires recog­noscing him, and subject to the imperial Chamber, where they have been often doomed and for faulted [...] Is a thing most obvious. What do you then bable of united Soverraigns, and Soveraigns within themselves? By which dialect of discourse, and a fair descent a Majori ad Minus, you or any other private person may quo ad his reserved rights and liberties, be termed a Soveraigne within himself: We know, that by con­cession they have large priviledges, and that most of the regalia appertain to them, but are they therefore Soveraignes? Or is the Emperour only the head of the union? Beside, how will you make thir things quadrat to the Hanse-townes and free Cities, who [Page 438] certainly, for all their immunities and priviledges, are immediatly, and directly subject to the Emperour, and yet have often ingaged in these defensive leagues and wars against him. Thus I answere you, in your folly. But, pray Sir, do you think, that ever our Lord commanded, or the Gospel meant, that, though the poor people may not defend themselves, when persecute for Religion; yet great men their superiors, though subject to the Supreme, may? Or, if you be more rational, can you imagine, that an oppressed people upon any account, with the con­curse of inferior rulers may defensively resist their So­veraign, to whom all are subject, and that the same people, no more, but rather less subject to these infe­rior, then all are to the Supreme, may not as lawfully, upon the like provocation, defend themselves against both the Supreme & Inferror joyning in an oppressive combination? Specially, seing it is most certain that, as the Supreme hath all his power from the peoples suffrage and consent; so, the Inferior doth wholly and precariously for the most part, subsist by his grant.

But I proceed, you say, As for the war that after­wards followed betwixt Charles the 5th. & the Duke of Saxe, besides that the Duke was free to defend himselfe, as I have told, Charles the 5th. declared it was not for Re­ligion he fought. 'Tis answered, for the freedom of the Duke of Saxe, that it was no greater in this case, then the people may acclaime in the like, as also, that if the Duke of Saxe his war was lawful, upon the account of injuries, for other causes then that of of Religion, Religion doth only aggravat, and not alter the case, I have already cleared. But what a pitiful allegeance is this, that Charles the fift for­sooth declared it was not for Religion he fought? Whereas first by the league betwixt him and the [Page 439] Pope, it is expressely convented, That wherefore many years Germany had continued in great errors, for which the Councel of Trent was called and set down, And that these of the Smalcald confederacy, did reject the same: there­fore the Pope and Caesar, for the Glory of God and safety of that People, have transacted, that Caesar levy an army against Iuny next, and by force of armes reduce these Refusers of the Council, and Defenders of errors, into the old Religion and obedience of the holy See. 2. The Duke of Saxe and the Langrave writ to him to disswade him, closing, that when ever they should understand his pre­tended causes for that war, they would so answere, ut quivis intelligat, & injuriam nobis fieri, & te Romani Antichristi ac impii Concilii Tridentini impulsu bellum hoc suscipere, ut & Euangelii Doctrina & Germaniae libertas opprimatur, nec ullam aliam subesse causam docebimus. 3. They at the same time, emit a publick vindication for themselves, proving by unanswe­rable arguments that Religion was the only cause of that war. And should not you be ashamed, to obtrude to us Caesar's groundless and calumnious assertion, against both the Princes their declaration and reasons? 4. The very letters written by Caesar to the Argenti­nenses and other Protestant Cities, wherein, accusing the Princes of Rebellion and Oppression, under the pretext of Religion, he really maketh out nothing, together with their answer, wherein all his preten­sions are taken off; nay Sleidan's whole sevententh Book, containing the Pop's Bull, his letters to the Helvetii, the distinct returnes made to Caesar's demands by the Protestant and Popish Cantons, with many other letters and declarations, is but one evidence, and that irrefragable, against you. What impudence is this then whereinto you are hardened?

[Page 440]But the Electors of Cullen amd the Palatine both Pro­testants lay neuters. And what then? Do we not know how rare a things it is, in a time of danger, for all concerned to unite even in the most uncontroverted duties? Beside, the Elector of Cullen was then re­cently deposed and excommunicate, and his people (specially his principal Clergie) and he at great va­riance, for the Reformation by him intended. And the Palatine inclining to favoure, & in effect aiding the Princes with 400 horse, was by the evil suc­cess of the war forced to retreat and excuse him­selfe.

Next you adde, That the Elector of Brandenburg and Maurice of Saxe armed for the Emperour. And I grant, That Albertus & Ioannes Brandenburgici quanquam erant religionis, & Ioannes quidem etiam foederis Protestantium, tamen quod Caesar, non propter R [...]ligionem, sed quorundam rebellionis ulciscendae causa, bellu [...] sucsipi diceret, suam illi operam addixisse. But as their resting upon Caesar's assertion and promise, for the security of Religion, was, by all the circum­stances of that war, declared to be but an emptie pretext; so Iohn's breach of faith, in this his ingage­ment, can as little be denyed, as his relation of Son in law to Henrie of Brunswick, then detained cap­tive by the Langrave, seemes to have been his great motive. However it is certain, that the Elector of Br [...]ndenburg, for whom it is like, that, in your heedless way, you take one of his above mentioned Brothers, did stand off neuter, endeavouring rather to mediate, as the History testifies, and we may see by his interposing betwixt the Elector of Saxe and Maurice, at the seige of Lipsick. As for Maurice, his part, it was indeed foulest, and deservedly con­demned by all equal Judges. But seeing you can ad­duce [Page 441] no other argume [...]ts for your pretended vindica­tion, then undeniable wrong and perfidy, the truth and righteousness of that defensive war, on the Prin­ces their part, against the Emperour needeth not my further patrociny. And yet, As if you had said something to purpose, you have the boldness to con­clude in these words, So you may see what piti [...]ul His [...]o­rians they are who alledge the precedent of Germany. O os durum! Who would not Laugh at such excessive confidence, above the excuse of all possible igno­rance?

The fourth instance which you go about to cleare, is that of Sweden, and you say, That King Gustavus, with the States of that Kingdome, did in the Year 1524. peaceably receive the Reformation, and who would not wish that Religion and Reformation might have had the same fate every where, Neither were there any broils about it, till after seventy years, that Sigismond King of Polland, the Son of their former King, and therefore by them acknowledged, though a Papist, was by force entering the Kingdome, resolving to root out the Protestant Religion: Whereupon they deposed him; no strange thing in the Sweedish History, that being before an Elective Crown, and but newly then become hereditary, and the States still retaining the supreme Authority. Sir, I must confess, that this is a passage, whereunto I can make no reply; your undertaking was to con­vince us, by undeniable evidence of History, of the falshood of that vu [...]gar error, That the Reformation was carried on (that is maintained as, I have before shewed) by resistance; and here you give us an in­stance of a Kingdome, not only resisting, but depos­ing their King, because of his invading of Religion: Which, in place of a vindication, is a full and plain concession: For, as to what you insinuate, that that [Page 442] Crown had been a little before Elective, I told you, upon the instance of Boheme, that though it had been even for the time Elective, yet it could not make for you, much less when you acknowledge that then (for, as for your own or the Printers escape, referring the change to the Year 1644. I urge it not) it was become successive. And where you alledge, that the States did still retain the Supreme Authority, if you understand it otherwayes then according to that power and priviledge which appertains to our Parlia­ments, it is only your own fiction. But you, sub­joyne that, If this serve not to vindicat the Sweds, at least, the Reformation was not introduced by wars among them. And pray Sir, who of us did ever defend such a practice? To introduce, and to main­tain, are things so different, that they can not be fairly confounded. The last shift you make is, That the actions of that state were never looked upon as a precedent to others: But, if so, why then do you mention them, and if they be indeed a precedent, certainly it is hard to determine, whether you be more false in your general assertion anent the establishing of the Refor­mation, or ridiculous in this part of your vindi­cation.

The fift instance you mention, is, That Denmark received the Reformation peaceably. But seing this hypothese excluds the question controverted, anent the maintenance of Religion by armes, not casible without the antecedent violence, It is evident, that it is rather transiently then pertinently by you ad­duced.

The sixt instance is tabled by your N. C. thus, But you cannot deny there was force used in Helvetia and Geneve. A [...]d to this you answere both in the manner and termes of your accustomed vanity, That this [Page 443] shewes, what a superficial Reader of History your N. C. is. And then you tell us, T [...]at Zurich received the Re­formation peaceably, but being maligned by the other Cantons, and by them injured, at the Popes instigation, it broke out into a civil war, purely defensive upon Zu­riches part, Likeas the Cantons are not subject to one another, but free States only united in a League. It is answered, that here, upon the account of Religion, there was force used in Helvetia is clear from your own narration. How then do you taxe your N. C. for this allegeance, as a superficial Reader of History? As for that, that it was used by one associat against another, and not by subjects against their supe­rior, it is only accidental from the condition of these Cantons, & the other circumstances of that war. And seing, that neither the Gospel, nor Reason, do lay any special restraint upon subjects, in case of their Superiors intolerable persecution because of Religion, as I have already shewed, this precedent is no small confirmation of the practices by us main­tained. 2. I must tell you further, that this war, on Zuriches part, was not so purely defensive, as you give it out, in asmuch as it is certain from Slei­dan. 4. and 8. Books, that the provoking injuries were, for the most part, committed upon their citizens without their territories, and the first act of hostility, by the interclusion of passages, was done by these of Zurich, so that, although their guards were indeed surprised; yet dating the war from the hostile interclusion, it appears rather to have been assertive then purely defensive. 3. The advantage, which this example doth give us, is the more obser­vable, from that preface they make to their expostu­lation, emitted to their confederats in these words. Christus, inquiunt, unam ferienti maxillam jubet alte­ram [Page 444] quoque preberi feriendam, hanc eius doctrinam se­qu [...]ti, multa profecto toleravimus & patienter quidem: Nunc autem quando nullus est injuriarum finis, aut mo­dus, cogimur ad illud confugere quod Christus usurpavit, &, si malè quid egimus, doceri petimus illud atque de­monstrari, &c. Whereby understanding the patience; which our Lord enjoynes, according to its just exi­gence and measure, and, by a very exact and sound observation, holding out how in a continued tract of injuries the duty of patience may at length cease, and the liberty of defence then take place, they plainly reject these abusive inferences of absolute subjection, or rather stupidity, in the cause of Religion, which men, assured by their indiffe [...]encie in these matters against the temptation and hazard, would thence in­ferre. 4. When you remembred the practice of the Suitzers, in the point of Reformation, how came you to forgett Basile, Where you may finde (Sleid. l. 6) that after the Reformation was in a manner esta­blished, the Papists nevertheless did prosecute their own designe, until the citizens thereby provoked, as­semble and supplicate the Senate, that certain of their number, countenancers of the popish preachers, might be removed; Which being refused, they make an other Assembly and Supplication & quamvis sine armis, [...] non tamen tam demisse quàm antea, where­upon the Senate returning a second displeasing answere, and the people being more offended, because of the apprehended usurpation of a few, they openly de­clare that they would take a course, not for Religion (viz. simply and only) but for the vindication of their own right: And so they instantly take armes, And the same day, one of them casting down a cer­tain statue, they suddenly take the occasion to throw down all the idolls and statues within the city making [Page 445] answere to such, who came from the Senate to com­pose the matter, that what the Senate had been advising upon, for three years, they would perfect in one hour, that idols might no more be the cause of contention. Upon which the Senate grants th [...]m all their de­sire, removing the suspected Senators, abolish­ing the Messe, and settling the reformed Reli­gion. In which passage, subjects their maintain­ing and asserting of the Reformation by armes, a­gainst [...] their superiors, is so evident, that it is ve­ry easie to conjecture the reason of your silence and omission. It is true the people do mention the vindication of their right, and not religion, as the immediate cause of their taking armes: But seing their meaning is plain enough, that their just de­mands in behalf of Religion were in such a man­ner refused, as not only their common right, but their special priviledges were injured; and seing, in the progress, the cause of Religion was by them most directly intended and pursued, it is manifest above exception, that, as it was the occasion, so the Re­formation of Religion, was the principal motive and end of all this stir.

As for Geneve, you say; the Bishop fled from it out of a pannick fear, when the Reformation was receiv­ed. And 'tis true the History saves, that upon the change, Episcopus atque Clerus irati discesserunt ab urbe. But is it then pertinent for you to observe, that no force was used where there was no provocation. But you subjoine, that Geneve was a free Town, neither subject to the Bishop, nor the duke of Savoy. And no doubt you give this caveat for that war, which, you know, was made against them, in the year 1534. By the duke of Savoy, adjutus ab ejus urbis Episcopo, vel potius instigatus partim ob Evangelii pro [...]essionem, partim aliis [Page 446] de causis. But, seing although Geneve was a free Town, yet it had a considerable dependence upon the Bishop, and though it had not, yet the instance is no less concludent for us, then that of the war of Zurich, I will not insist in any longer reply.

The seventh instance, you also adduce by your N. C. Questioning what you say to the war in the Ne­therlands. To which you answere, that you say still they fought not for Religion: And that they fought not for Religion, that is, to propagate it by Armes you are in the right: But that persecution for Religion, carried on by the making of new Bis­hops, the Inquisition, and bloody Edicts, was the principal cause of all these wars, Historians on both sides, such as Bentivoglio, Strada, Grotius, Grim­stoun and his Authours do so fully attest, that your confidence is to me admirable. But you say, Papists and Protestants did jointl [...] concurr in it. It is answered, 1. That the cause of these wars being complexe, the Spaniard endeavouring no less to subvert the liberties of these Provinces, then to extirpate the Reformed Religion, it is nothing strange, that there should have been a joint concurrence i [...] the opposition. Specially seing, 2. even the persecution at that time, practised upon the Protestants in these Coun­tries by the Spaniards strangers, was so tyrannous, ragefull and pernicious, that many of their Com­patriots, though otherwise not of their Religion, were yet induced to favoure their cause. But 3. As it was the spreading of the Reformed Religion in these parts, that first gave the Spaniard occasion to exercise tyranny, and, by violating and subverting their Liberties, to designe an uniforme royalty over all his Dominions; So it is unquestionable, that Re­ligion and the cruelty practised upon its Professors, [Page 447] were the originall and principal cause of that war as the Apology, set out by the Protestants, after their first defeat, in the end of the Regency of Margaret, doth fully witness. And here I might tell you of the joynt supplications and confederacies made about that time by these of that Religion for their own preserva­tion, and also the concessions made to them in that behalf; But the History is so large in this matter, that it were superfluous in this place to be more parti­cular: And therefore I say 4. That although in the beginning, the mixed designe of the extirpation of Religion mainly intended, and of the erecting of an uniforme Monarchy assumed through the occasion thereof, carrying along a manifest and most injuri­ous violation of all rights, liberties and priviledges, did at first ingage even Papists in the resistance; yet it is most certain, that the principal cause of the war, viz, Religion, more and more prevailing, of the Flamings themselves there were few, save Protestants, that took part on the defensive side. And as for the French or others, who joyned afterwards upon a clear ground of interest, it belongeth not unto the present consideration.

You adde, that Egmond & Horn beheaded, by the D of Alve, as the chief instruments in it, died both Pa­pists. 'Tis answered, Egmond and Horn plainly accused of having joined to the confederats against the inquisi­tion, & for remisness in the maintenance of the Romish Religion, were very early cut off, even in the first fer­menting, as it were of these tumults, before the ensu­ing war was formed; but, however, certain it is, that although they professed and practised mainly for the liberty of their Countrey against tyranny, yet they greatly favoured the persecute protestants, and also much inclined to their way, as is clear from their very [Page 448] accusation, and also from the manner of their death, specially Horn's, who, for all Grotius his saying, that they were execute, post sacra romano ritu peracta; yet, at first refused to confess to the Bishop of Ypre, saving that he had confessed himselfe unto God. What then doth this allegeance, destitute of reason and little favoured by truth, avail you?

Your next argument is, that the States by a Placaet declared it scandalous, to say they fought for Religion. Sir, I wish you had given us the words, at least the date of that Placaet: For, sure I am, that in what termes soever, the Estates in policie might think fit to declare and publish the cause of these wars, and to assigne for the same rather the invasion of liberties and priviledges, which was the effect of the Spanish perse­cution, then Religion, which was the more remote cause; yet whoever reflects upon their first beginnings will finde that it was after this manner. The Flamings receiving the light of the Gospel, & being therefore sore vexed by long and cruel persecutions, the same upon the succession of Philip to his Father Charles, are by the Spainards much intended, and a resolution being taken, to root out the Protestants, new Bishops are created, the Spanish Inquisition is threatned, and many terrible edicts emitted, by which courses, not only in themselves wicked, but also contrary to the priviledges, and destructive of the liberties of that, people, many tumults and confusions were in all parts occasioned, untill at length the Nobles do confede­rate for resistance, and mutual assistance and relief; in consequence whereof, they petition the Regent, and applications are made to the King, when in the meane time, on a suddain, these of the Religion seeing no success that way, keep their meetings and assemblies openly, assuming armes for their own de­fence [Page 449] aggainst suddain violence, and by the meaner sort of the people, images and idols are as with a whirl-winde (quales olim saepe motus Iudeorum erant which is Grotius his remark) thrown down almost in all places. These things make the Regent more easie towards the Protestants, and force her to remit by­gons, and indulge their Preachers: but the Lords retearing to their respective charges, for rendering the concessions effectual, and being terrified by the reports of the King's implacable displeasure, betake themselves to divided Councels, whereupon the Re­gent resiles from the agreement, renewes the persecu­tion, levies new forces, imposeth new oaths, and the Spainards, supposing the whole people one way or other to have been involved in the late tumults, conceive them, as guiltie of rebellion, to have for­faulted their former liberties, and to be become ob­noxious to an absolute domination. This being the condition of matters when the Duke d'Alva was na­med to the government, the Prince of Orange & Bre­derode, both Protestants, retire. Brederod his forces of the same Religion resist and are beaten, and many shift for themselves: then the Duke arriving fills all places in a moment with tyranny and persecution, put­ting to death many Lords and Gentlemen, and many thousands beside, because of the former confederacie, and upon the account of their Religion: And the Prince of Orange, being cited and not compearing, his Estate and Lands ar seised on, and thereafter tak­king armes by the perswasion of the banished, and declaring to the world both the injuries done unto him, and that he was of the Religion, he is once and again beaten; so that there remained no oppo­sition to the Duk's rage & violence, save what was made by a few, escaped from the former defeats gi­ven [Page 450] to the Protestants, who made war in the Princes name, partly by piracie at sea, and partly from woods and forests, against Priests only and Offi­cers of justice. In this deplorable estate, under most insolent tyrannie and violent persecution, these poor Countries remain, untill the Earl vander Marke with his Protestants or sea Gueux, as they were then called, surpriseth the Town of Breill, after which Flussing and several other townes in Zealand and Hol­land, refuse spanish garisons, and being Protestants revolt to the Prince of Orange, who having implored the aid of all Protestant Princes, after a successess enterprise for the succour of his Brother Ludovick at Mons, and a proclamation emitted, declaring the cause of his ingagement to be for relief of these Coun­treys form Alva's tyranny, and from the crueltie and oppression of his proclamations, edicts, taxes, and imposts, cometh unto Holland, from which time the war for Religion and liberty, proceedeth thorow many and various accidents, and both are in all pla­ces equally restored. This is the plain and true and ac­count of the rise of these wars, at which period, even Grotius, who, of all the writters of that History, doth most decline and wave the cause of Religion as an ingredient in the quarrel, noteth, Religionis causa primi talibus caeptis sociaverant Smalcaldico faedere Ger­mani, post quos Galli proceres plurimis etiam Scriptis disseruerant non peccare, in fas obsequii minores potestates qui invito quàmvis principe divina ac publica jura, vi­tam que innocentium, si necesse [...]oret, armis defenderent, &c. And a little after, romanae ceremoniae ejectae tem­plis, &c. Whether or not then persecution for Re­ligion appears to have been the cause of these wars, let all impartial men judge.

[Page 451]But you tell us, that the true ground of the quarrel, as we may read in all the Histories, was that their Prince was not an absolute Soveraign, but limited in his power and that by expresse compact, they might use force if he transgressed his limits, as he no­toriously did. Sir, for the true and proper ground of the war I have alreadie clearly narrated it, from the best Historians: that which you point at here, is rather a justification of their resistance from the right and capacity whereunto their Prince was as­tricted. But 1. You cannot deny that persecution for Religion, whereby they were injured both in their special priviledges, and common and natural rights and liberties, was the provoking cause of these wars; and consequently that Religion no more then other interests, doth not forbid to subjects necessary de­fence and resistance against their Superiors. 2. For all the vaine talke that you and your fellowes make a­gainst us for allowing to the people a discretive judge­ment, anent their Princes actings, yet you not only suppose and approve it, in these of the Netherlands, in order to their Prince, but stick not to vent your aime, in saying that the King did most notoriously and tyrannically pass his limits. 3. Though we should urge this instance no further then you allow it; yet it stil remaines a very agreeable precedent for jus­tifying our late courses, it being certain, that not only the rights and priviledges of both Kingdomes were violate, but that the undoubted priviledges of Parliament, and the resticted nature of the Kings so­veraignity over us, did give us as good and sufficient a warrand for the oppositions then made, as upon this head can be alledged and instructed by these of the Netherlands. And really, when I reflect upon the par­ticular case of the late warres betwixt the King and [Page 452] Parliament, and how that in the Papers printed by consent of both, for clearing the controversie, there appeareth nothing, save the pretensions and pleas of prerogative and priviledge, and yet all do acknow­ledge Religion to have been the original cause, I think this sole consideration might have made you to for­bear this poor vindication.

It is true, Grotius sayes, and seems to lay much weight upon it, quod Brabanti illud quoque proprium pacisci solent, ut, principe leges violante, ipsi fidei & obsequii vinculo liberantur donec demantur injuriae. But not to draw you to long discourses, anent the effect of an irritant provision adjected to a mutual contract. 1. It were no great difficulty to shew you from undeniable reason, nay from Grotius himselfe, in his de Iur. Bell. that as there is such a connexion in all contracts, that the failzeer of the one party doth in so far liberat the other from his mutual & corresponding ingagement, and repone him to his antecedent condition and li­berty; so in the present case, an irritant provision, though, in other cases, it may sometimes extend its vertue and influence beyond the intrinseck import of the failzie wherby it is committed), appears not to have any special use, but only to serve, ad majorem, quia expressiorem cautelam. 2. It might here be sufficient to make that answere for us, which Grotius a little, after in the same place makes for the other Provinces, viz. ab aliis quoque Belgarum nationibus idem jus moribus usurpatum; which may be verefied as to Scotland and England, by many most pregnant and luculent examples. But [...] 3. As I grant that a reservation of these things, which otherwse would be imported in the peoples surrender, & appertain to the Soveraign, fortified or not fortified, by an irritant provision, may give to the people when therein wronged, the li­berty [Page 453] of asserting their own right, which without a special reservation had been none; so undoubtedly, as to such rights, which do reserve themselves, and are so much ours, that even by an express surren­der, they cannot be absolutely resigned (such as the right of Religion, our lives and whole fortunes are, the preservation whereof, being the very ends of go, vernment, can not be understood to be permitted to the Governour's absolute arbitrement) the people therein invaded, by vertue of the power inherent to rights reserved and the liberation, flowing from all such failzeours, though not expressed, may very just­ly resist, and demand reparation. And, is it indeed possible, that any rational man should think, because of a reservation of things of less value, and therefore within our power, a Prince transgressing may law­fully be resisted, and that nevertheless these high and atrocious invasions, in matters of the greatest value, and which therefore can neither be absolutely surren­dered, nor do need an express reservation, should and ought to be stupidly swallowed down? But seing the greatest Royalists do, in certain suppositions, wherein their own sense and interest do give them a better understanding, not stick both to acknowledge and practise, according to this principle, it is very evident, as I have often said, that it is only their in­differency in matters of Religion, and the security that they thence derive, which makes them and us to differ on this subject.

In the close of this instance, you tell us, That for all this, you refer us to Grotius. And for matter of fact, I decline him not, as you may perceive, but if his too manifest prejudice in matters of Religion, do make him less express to our purpose, I hope the supplement of other Authors, and also of solid reason, [Page 454] shall obtain from you & al men a just acknowledgment.

The 8th instance that you would vindicate, is that of the Civil warrs of France, and first you say, Their first civil wars, were managed by the Princes of the blood, who by the laws of that Crown are not ordinary subjects. And certainly by all law and common sense, extraor­dinary persons may well be said not to be ordinary subjects; but are they therefore not subjects? Surely the conferring of high dignities and great Authority, may well intend their obligation, it doth not alter their condition. And how often have we heard and seen them accused and forfeited for rebellion? Why do you then render you [...] selfe ridiculous by such a pi­tiful alledgeance?

But you add, besides, the wars were begun in the minority of the King. And do you seriously think, that (setting aside the greater incapacity it might have put them into) had the King been major, they would have been of another minde?

But you say, that, in this case, the power of the Princes is greater; And we have indeed often heard, that the dignity of the Princes doth consist mainly in two, viz. their right of succession, and privilege of Regencie, during the Kings minority or absence: but as, in the matter of Regencie, the nearest, and not all the agnati of the royal blood can pretend to it, and that only in the case of no nomination made by the preceeding King, and during the space of the young King's pupillarity, just according to the com­mon rules of tutela legitima; so you may remember, that the wars, we speak of, falling out in the reigne of Francis the Second, being for the time, at least, sixteen years of age, there was no place for the Prin­ces their pretence of Regencie: beside the first appea­rance of these wars was only supposed to be counte­nanced, [Page 455] but not openly by them owned. And as for the continuation of the war, in the non-age of Charles the Nynth, it is certaine, that the King of Navarre, to whom, as nearest agnat, the Regencie belonged, did voluntarily renounce his pretension, in favours of the Queen mother, nay that he joined with her & the Guisians, and died fighting against the Protestants headed by Conde and the Admiral. And likewise, these wars were againe renewed in the King his Ma­jority; But, not to enter further into these iliads of tumults, and confusions, occasioned by the restles perfidie and unsatiable cruelty of the adversaries, though I should admit, that these wars were not only incited and provoked to by persecution, but that also, even on the Protestants their side, they were not a little influenced both by particular inte­rests and passions, and the general fervor of that Na­tion (Which in effect is the very worst account that even the enemies of the truth do give of them, and cannot be received by any impartial inquirer) Yet, seing it is most evident, that persecution for Religi­on was the true cause moving the body of the Protes­tants to their own defence, and that their Ministers and Teachers, whom God had honoured to be in­strumental in their conversion, as Beza and others, did countenance these wars, and constantly maintain, that a defensive resistance to subjects in a due capacity, was no more prohibite, upon the account of perse­cution for Religion, then in the case of any other in­tolerable oppression. The mixture of mans corrup­tion (inseparable even from his best actions) in the prosecution of so good a cause, can neither prejudge its justice, nor deprive us of the advantage of this precedent.

But knowing your former answers to be weake and [Page 456] unsatisfying, you subjoyne, that you do not deny their following wars to have been direct Rebellion. And is this the vindication you promised? Only, you bid us, consider the fierce Spirit of that Nation, and we must confess it was not Religion, but their temper that was to be blamed. Well Sir, is this your candor? The question is, whether or not Religion was the cause of these wars, which, if the lawfulness thereof were not first suppos­ed, were utterly impertinent; and you not darring to deny it, do first tell us by a blunt petitio principii, that the wars were rebellion, and then, that the French temper more then Religion is to be therefore, blamed, Who should regard such a pitiful Sophister? But, seing it can not be denyed that the many and great in­juries, suffered upon the account of Religion, were the just provocation to these wars, although some small censu [...]e either of precipitancy, or of excess in the prosecution may possibly be imputed to the hote temper of that people, or excused by the signal inso­lencie of ther provocations; yet, sure I am, that neither the cause of Religion, nor the justice of it, is thereby in the least disproven.

But now you say, many of the eminent men of that Church are fully convinced of the evill of these courses, yea one of the glories of our Nation Cameron, in the wars of the last King, directly preached against their courses as Rebellion. I will not answere, that possibly it hath be­fallen the eminent men of that Church, as it did many of our own, who, as they were removed, from the first times of the Reformation, & the then opposition of adversaries, & from the evidence of the Lord's Spi­rit & presence that therein appeared; so according to the influence of after temptations, were induced to condemne that, which otherwise they would have ap­proven. It is enough for us, that your many eminent, [Page 457] whoever they be, are more then overballanced by many more and more eminent still abyding on our side. And for Cameron, whom, forsooth, in your pedantick stile, you more then cannonize, by terming a Glory, you must pardon us, who know him better, whatever be his opinion in this matter, not to be dazled by his splendour, specially seing you know, that, if we were disposed to vie with you in such va­nities, we might by adducing King Iames his justi­fying of the French Protestants their defensive wars, in his answer to cardinal Perron, eclipse this your glo­ry into obscurity: but what need of more words. If these last wars were purely defensive for Religion, they could not be rebellious; and if they were not, we only lose the instance, but not the argument, as I have abundantly proven.

But to this you make your N. C. Answer by ask­ing, How did the late King give assistance to the Ro­chellers, in the last wars, if so be they were rebellious? And to this you reply, That it proceeded from a particular reason, Viz. Because the King of Britain had become the surety in the former pacification that the French King should observe the agreement. Sir, If I had the management of your N. C. part. I think I should not have troubled you with this answer. The assistance you mention was so like rather to a treachery that both for the good of these poor Protestants, and for the honour of our King's memory, I wish it had never been. But, since you suppose it to have been real, how is it that by your return, you do so piti­fully betray your cause? For, seing by your ac­knowledgment the late King did in the pacification, after the second war of Rochell, with consent of the French King, become surety to his Protestant sub­jects for due observance, and, by this his accession, [Page 458] clearly acknowledged the lawfulness and validitie of the Protestants their treatie, it is a more manifest confession of the Peoples right and capacity to re­strain both by contract and necessary force the unjust and persecuting violence of their Prince, then all the instances adduced do afford.

It is true, you adde, That this assistance was on our Kings part most just, what ever the Subjects of France their part in it might be. But where is your reason for this insinuat distinction? Or what Logick [...] can prove that a just concurring assistance may be given in an unjust war? That the King of Britain interposing was injured and affronted by the King of France, his breach is not denyed by, or contrary to, us, more then the injury done by the French King unto these his Protestants subjects. But to clear this passage of your foolish quibles. The Duke of Rohan in the Ninth of his Politick Discourses, entituled, His Apology upon the last troubles of France because of the Religion, plainly tell us, that the King of Britain did, by a Gentleman sent to him, remonstrat how he was surety in the last peace, and did compassionate the Protestants their sufferings, that if by fair means he did not obtain relief, he would ingage his whole Kingdomes, and his proper Person in so just a war to which he found himselfe oblidged in honour and conscience, providing that the Protestants would take armes with him, and promise, as he would do, not to hearken to any treatie, but jointly with him. And thereto the Duke subjoines, that this promise of assistance was his principal ingagement to arme: What think you then? Do not these words plainly enough denote both Religion to have been the cause, and what was the Kings approbation of these wars? Or, if you doubt the French man's faith, pray take [Page 459] but a view of Mr Rushworth's Collections as to this affair, and there, beside the confimation of what the Duke sayes, I am perswaded you will find, the King so express, and the Parliament so cordial, in their re­sentments of the wrongs done to these poor Protes­tants, and in their readinesse to assist for their relief, that you will be ashamed hereafter to scorn your selfe by such confident childish conjectures and distinc­tions. But, I am sorry, that by reflecting upon the part of the French Protestants, in that war, as less just then the King of Britains, you should have forced me to a discovery, which rendreth its event so disho­nourable to our King's memory.

Having run thorow so many examples, with such success, as we have spoken, you conclude, And thus I have cleared the Churches abroad of that in [...]urious stain you brand them with. But seeing I have so ma­manifestly discovered your falshood and presump­tion, in this matter, I will not insult over this your folly. You go on in the next place to our Britain, and tell us of the English Reformation, and how that it was stained with no blood, save that of Martyrs, and that indeed was no stain, but, as you do well cor­rect your selfe, its chief Ornament. But Sir, if the Reformation in other places were no less confirmed and rendred glorious by this zeal and testimony, and withall the People, by defensively resisting, when in a sufficient capacity, did evidence a greater and more universal constancy, not versatile by every blast of Authority, and ambulatory at Princes their pleasure, doth it not rather augment then diminish their praise.

You adde, That in England, though a Popish and persecuting Queen interveened, betwixt the first Refor­mation of King Edward, and the second of Queen Eliza­beth, [Page 460] yet none rebelled. And what then? Pray Sir, how or wherefore doth Scotland want that glory? Sure I am, that the Reformation being established in Scotland, after a sharp war (and by the way, you may remember, that Queen Elizabeth sided with the subject) both by Pacification, Authority and de­termination of a General Assembly, yet we receiv­ed Queen Mary from France, a declared violent Papist, without the least question anent her right of Government, or any opposition moved against her, until provoked by such weakness & wickednesse, as I am ashamed to mention. Wherein then in this regard are we inferior to England, unless it be that neither for the favour nor fear of a woman, we were moved by any publict act, let be by vote of Parliament, as the Representative of that Nation, to deny the [...]aith, and again take on theyoke of the Romane Antichrist? Or how are you not ashamed, to reproach your Nation with a nimious fervour, specially upon this occasion, wherein our worthy Reformers did make the Court complyance, back-drawing and lukwarmness of a few temporizers, their great and continual com­plaint.

In the next place, you tell us, that all that travel­led the World, can witness that we were not approven in our late rebellion, and passing by Diodat, Spanhem, Rivet, Salmasius, Blondel, Amerald, de Moulin, and others, not named, as all either in print or publick discourse declaring for you, you say, There was an act made by the Consistory of Charentoun that no man should be barred the communion for the Scots Excommu­nication, except it were for a crime; And this, for­sooth was a loud declaration of their disowning of our practice? 'Tis answered. 1. Though you could give a account of the opinion of the Nations abroad, con­cerning [Page 461] our late wars, yet their judgement, in mat­ters so remote from their knowledge, and wherein, the favour generally born to Kings, specially when so fatally unfortunat as Charles the first was, is able to create in the most part, very little inquisitive, a very strong prejudice, cannot amount to a testimony of any moment. 2. That the more knowing among them did, both by their Histories and other writtings, & also by their letters, approve our proceedings, might be very easily made out by an unanswerable conde­scendence; nay that the generality both of Dutch and French Protestants did condemne the King's party and their practices, I am certain, none of these to whom you appeal, in this matter, can justly disown it. As for Diodat, and the rest you name, why do you not e [...]hibite their words? You say indeed for some of them, very wisely and safely, That they did only declare themselves in their Discourses and Ser­mons. And for these I think you must be excus­ed, because you heard them not. But for the rest I ingage, that whatever passages you shall adduce from them on your part, I shall redargue either their information, in matter of fact, or their reasons in matter of Right, to the satisfaction of all unbyassed men: Beside Salmasius is most ex­ceptionable, in respect he was imployed, and got money in the cause: and yet, in the judgement of many, though he had unanswerable advantages, as to the main design of his defence, he was even in that shamefully baffled. And for Amerauld, read but his own vain and ridiculous Dedication of his paraphrase, upon the Psalmes, to the King, in the year of his re­stitution, and I am certain you will allow us to think the want of his suffrage no prejudice to our cause. Now for your act made at Charenton I confess your [Page 462] not producing of it doth the more dissatisfy, because you represent it in termes little consistent, viz. That the Sco [...]s Excommunication should not debar, unless it were for a crime. That you take a crime in this place in its larger acceptation, for an offense, and not in that more strict and proper wherein Lawyers use it, it were disinge­nuity in me for to call it in question. But then how Excommunication can otherwise proceed without the allegation of any crime, as you seem to accuse us, is indeed to me a difficulty inexplicable, & whereof, I am sure, our Church could not be guilty; and there­fore seing the Consistorie could not doubt that the Church of Scotland did hold an offense and obstina­cie to be the necessary causes of excommunication, for them to have [...]lighted the tryal by us made, and judged the particular grounds of our procedure not an­swerable to the general rule, had been breach of Chris­tian communion and charity, whereof your naked assertion shall never make me think the French Church guilty: withal yow know that the Bishop of Galloway, whom you alledge to have been upon this act admitted to the Lords Table, notwithstanding of his excommunication, was excommunicate upon the ac­cusation of clear crimes. So that, what you call a loud declaration on the Consistories part, I ap­prehend to be only a loud calumny on yours. But, whatever be in that act, or the Bishops ad­mission, upon his own information, in opposi­tion to all your vain pretenses of contrary Authori­ties, it is certain, that not only the truth and right was on our side, but also that our practices were ap­proven, yea applauded and we therein encouraged by letters from several of the reformed Churches, yet extant upon record.

[Page 463]But, in the next place, your. N. C. Demanding it, you undertake to tell him ingenuously what precedents there are in History for subjects fighting upon the account of Religion. And the first, you say, that you know, is that of Gregory the seventh arming the subjects of Ger­manie against Henry the fourth, from whom other Popes taking example, they made no bones upon any displeasure, pretending alwayes some matter of Religion, to depose Princes, and liberat their subjects, As you instance in Frederick the. 1. und 2. Lewes of Bavier, and se­veral others, but the latest precedent, you say, is the holy league of France, from which you think our whole mat­ter seems to be transcribed. I have on purpose exhibited these passages together, that men may the better per­ceive the malice of your calumny, which prefacing and palliating with a great show of ingenuity, you prosecute with meer falshood and impertinency. But first, dare you, after second thoughts, affirme upon your ingenuity, small as it is, that this History of Gregory is the first precedent that occurres to you of fighting for Religion? I have already told you, how, before Constantin's Empire, the Christians in the East, the Armenii by name, did by armes assert the liberty of the Gospel, and rout Maximinus their Persecutor, and that the Persian Christians, perse­cute by their Princes, did implore the assistance of the Romanes against them, is obviously notour. Are not these then antient and undeniable precedents? But 2. What likeness find you in Gregories case to these practices that we maintaine? An usurping Prelat, according to the Spirit of pride and violence, moving in that order, quarrels with the Emperour, anent the investiture of Bishops, whether upon just grounds or not, is not the present concern, and thereupon ex­communicating him, extites his Subjects, yet unstable [Page 464] after a recent rebellion, to a second rising. Pray Sir, was this a war provoked to by persecution & the necessity of defence, in which points, the justice of our courses doth cheifly Consist? Sir, do you think that a war, being sometime made upon a false or unjust pretense of Religion, should be an instance sufficient to disprove all warres whatsomever upon a Religious account? Certainly, if we admit of such reasoning, the most necessary and just defensive war that ever was or can be supposed, may by the objecting (though most groundlesly) of any of the most arrant rebellions, by the same consequence be condemned. Seing therefore that Gregorie's course was plainly wicked. 1. Because his medling with the Emperour after this sort was a proud usurpation. 2. Because whatever right or wrong was in the matter, abstractly considered, yet, without doubt, the Emperour's pretense was better founded, then the Pop's. 3. Because he not only abused the spirituall censure, but perverted it to the instigatting to perjury, rebellion, and blood, for his own tyrannous lust and ambition, your reproa­ching us, who from our heart detest all such wayes; either with this or any the like act of the papal inso­solence and domination, is but dull and ridicluous envy.

As for the Holy league of France, from which, you say, our whole matter seems to be transcribed, Was it not contrived and entered into, at least in pretense, for the restoring and settling of Romes superstition, and consequently for the extirpation of the protestant Religion? How then can our necessary undertaking for the defence of our selves, in the maintenace of the true Religion, and covenanting together, in this cause, expresly against Romes designes and instruments, be assimulat to that precedent? Out of what Topicks [Page 465] will you prove such direct opposites, as a League for establishing error against truth, and a Covenant for truth's defence, to be parallel? Or do you think, that the same common name and forme of a League, or the accidental similitude of certaine ordinary methods and circumstances is sufficient to conclude all ingage­ments, accordingly modelled, under the same character? But it is so certaine, that the most wicked combinations of the ungodly may proceed in the same form & manner, with the righteous Covenants of the faithful, and that as these may joyn themselves to the Lord, in a perpetual Covenant, so those also may conspire against the Lord and against his anointed, plote against the just, and make a Covenant even with hell and death, that I am ashamed of your fu­tility.

But you say, That herein we symbolize with Courtiers, Canonists and Iesuites the worst gang of the Romane Church, and yet fill heaven and earth with clamors a­gainst the Church of England, for innocenter resemblan­ces. Sir, This your (herein) needeth explication; for that as they did, so do we enter into Leagues, is too general to import any reflection: and as to the specifications of that popish League, seing they dis­terminate our cases to no less opposition, then that of error, persecution and destruction, on their part, to truth, necessary defence and preservation, on our part, what remains to make out this your objected agreement? 'Tis true, these French leaguers were sub­jects, and did pretend for their Religion, with an avowed preference to the subordinate duty of their allegeance to their Prince: but seing their religion was a false superstition, and their ingagement neither pro­voked by injurie, nor limited to defence, but in ma­nifest malice, Without the countenance of Authority, [Page 466] entered into, to suppresse, by bloud and violence, truth and innocenie, our Covenant, authorized by [...] the unanimous vote of the Estates of Parliament, for the necessity of defence, in an exigent, very de­monstrable both from our first and chief obligation unto God, and unquestionable liberty and priviledge of selfe defence, can not without an impious effron­tery, be compared to that wicked and cruel Bond. And here, if comparisons were not more odious then pungent, it were easie for me to prove, that as our National Covenant was at first made in opposition to the bloudy decrees of the Council of Trent, and the combinations framed for execut [...]ing thereof [...]and our League and Covenant afterward ingaged in, upon the express consideration of the continual plotes and con­spiracies of the enemies of God, against his truth; so, it is only the practice of your Prelats, their persecut­ing bonds and subscriptions, with their persidious [...]ellum Episcopale, and not our defensive Covenants, that can be reproached with the imitation of these popish courses. But seing the necessity and justice of our cause was plainly such, as neither can be convelled by your aspersions, nor needeth the confirmation of the known precedents of the French, and other protes­tants, counter-leaguing, in opposition to that wicked League devised against them, I shall not detain you longer on this subject.

As for the Church of England's seeming to sym­bolize with Rome, in some innocenter things, as you phrase it, I wish she were indeed as innocent in that matter, as we are in what you objecte. But seing what you would only have to be a seeming appea­rance, is a manifest reality, already clearly De­monstrate, by the Authors of Altare damascenum, and the English Popish Ceremonies; passing this poor [Page 367] reflection, as one of your affected transitions, I fol­low you to your next purpose.

Which you table by a challenge from your N. C. that you still retain the papacie, and do only change the person from the Pope, to the King, whom you make, and swear to, as Head of the Church. And to this you ans­were very vehemently, that it is an impudent calumny, as you promise to clear by an account of the whole matter. But behold the worthie performance; a lame, con­fused, pitiful storie, how the Pope, beside his general tyrannie, did, upon King John his base r [...]signation, exercise over England a particular authority; that after the Reformation and the shaking of the papal voke, the Oath of Supremacie was brought in, to exclude all forraign Iu­risdiction, and reinstate the King is his Civill Authority; That Henrie the 8th did indeed set up a Civill Papacie, but the Reformation of England was never dated from his breach with Rome: that the Oath of supremacie was ne­ver designed to take away the Churches intrinseck Po­wer, or to make the power of Ordination, of giving Sa­craments, or of Discipline to flow from the King, that however, because the generality of the words might sug­gest scruples, they are explained in an Act of Parliament of Q. Elizabeth, and in one of the 29. Articles, and morefully by B. Usher with King Iames approbation. And lastly since we have this oath from England, none ought to scruple, the words being sufficiently plain, and the English meaning ours. This is the full and clear account which you promise; But who knows not these poor and insignificant pretenses: King Iohn's resignation was indeed so base, that by all disinterested it was ever held to be invalid, and in after times scarce ever men­tioned, let be pleaded. It is therefore the Pop's gene­ral tyrannie, and what it was, and whether abolish­ed, in these Kingdomes, or in effect only transferred [Page 468] from him to the Prince, that we are here to consider. And, I think, I may take it for granted, that you judge the Pope's exorbitant usurpation, specially his assumming to himselfe, not an external assisting over­sight (which we grant to be the proper right of Prin­ces) but, by way of an intrinseck and direct power, the sole and uncontrolable care of the Church, her mi­nistry and ministers, with his arrogating an architec­tonick power in the ordering of Gods Worship, so that in all Ecclesiastick meetings and matters therein proposed, he may enact what canons he pleases, to be parts of the Papal tyranny, not only as in him, but in all men under our Lord Jesus Christ, unwarrantable and antichristian; nay some of these are points of so high a nature, that the greater part, even of the mem­bers of the Romish Church, do reclaim against them. Now questionlesse if this power be to the Pope un­lawful and incompetent, all secular persons and Prin­ces are therefore much more excluded, in asmuch as the Pope being at least in shew a Church-man, and, according to the hypothese even of your Hierarchy, the first Bishop of the westerne, if not of the whole Church, he is fortified by certain seeming pretenses, of which the clame of civil Princes is wholly desti­tute. To come then to our purpose, that after the Reformation, the Popish yoke not only as to the particulars above mentioned, but also as to his forreign Jurisdiction, unlawfully usurped over Church-men in civills, to the prejudice of the King's Soveraignity; was righteously shaken off, and the King re-instated in his Civil authority, over all Persons, and also, in all Causes, in so far as they are committed to his royal direction and tuition, is not at all denyed: If that matters had here sisted, and upon the abolition of the Papal domination, the things of God and of Caesar [Page 469] had been equally restored, who could have gain-said it? But that, on the contrary, by the Pop's exclu­sion, and, in place of this righteous restitution, the King, under pretence of the vindication of his own Supremacy, did procure to himself a very formal and full translation of what the Pope had not only usurped from him, but arrogate from God, specially in the things above-specified, both the occasion of this change, and the manner how this Supremacy hath since been exercised, do aboundantly declare. And for clearing the occasion, it may be remembred, 1. That the Peter-pence, called in the beginning the King's almes, imposed by on Ina King of the West Saxons, was discharged by Act of Parliament in the reigne of Edward the Third, and the contention anent the exemption of Church-men from the King's Courts most hotly agitate, in the reig [...]es of Henry Second and King Iohn, was composed many years before the dayes of Henry the Eight: So that neither that ex­action, nor this old debate, and far less King Iohn's most invalide resignation, not worth the naming, could be the cause of King Henry his acclaiming the Supremacy. 2. The only motive that we find in His­tory, whereby Henry was instigat to reject the Pope, and to declare himself to be supreme in causes Eccle­siastick, aswell as civil, was his purpose of divorce from Queen Katharine, wherein, finding himself abu­sed by the Pope and his Legates their delayes, he dis­charges all appeals to Rome, appointing them to be made from the Comissary to the Bishop, from the Bishop to the Archbishop, and from the Archbishop to the King, and is thereafter first called by the Cler­gy, and then declared by the Parliament, to be Su­preme head of the Church, in liew of the Pope, whose authority was abrogat by the same Act: These things [Page 470] then being certain, and you your selfe acknowledging that King Henry did set up a civil Papacy, It is easy to determine, that this change was not a bare exclusion, but a plain translation of the Popes usurped power. We know the Reformation of England was never dated from that breach with the Bishop of Rome: But what then? Can you deny that this was both the rise and establish­ment of the Supremacy, which being transmitted to Edvard the sixth, and then renounced by Queen Mary, and again restored to the Pope,