By the Right Reverend Father In GOD, THOMAS, LORD BISHOP of DVRHAM.

In his Sermon Preached at the Cathe­drall CHURCH of Saint Pauls the 19. of IUNE 1642.


LONDON, Printed by T. Badger, for R. Whitaker, and S. Broun, and are to bee sold in Saint Pauls Church-Yard. M. DC. XLII.


But if any Man seeme to be contentious we have no such Custome neither the Churches of God.

THe sound (Beloved in Christ Iesus) I say the very sound of these two words which you have heard, Contentions and Churches; can tell you of the conso­nancy which is between this Text, and these our times of Contentions and distractions in our Church, which will more manifestly appeare in the discussing the Text it selfe, which consisteth of these two parts.

The first is the presentment of a Schismatick, in these words [If any seem to be Contentious.]

The second, of a Renouncement and rejecting of him in the next words [We have no such Custome, nor the Churches of God.]

In the first place we are to learne the Presentment, [If any] doth the Apostle doubt hereof? He sheweth in the former Chapters that he had information there­of, [Page 2] and doth he now question it? Let us consult with himselfe in the 18 verse, Verse 18. where speaking of that his in­telligence, saying [I heare there are Schismes among you] addeth, saying [and I partly believe it.] O that wee could believe our contentions but in part: Next [If any] saith he, naming none, nor will I: No nor yet will I aime at any one; however: [If any] saith the Apostle, he is absolute, he will not spare any one; There is no respect of persons with God; and so it ought to be with the Ministers of God: But we shall see our Schismatick in the next words, If any seeme to be Con­tentious. Behold the Man, it is the contentious Man; who will be far more visible in the Greek, [...], signifying a contentious Man: And which is more, there is in it both [...], a Lover, and [...] in the end ob­served by the Grecians, to give this Emphasis to such words, as to import a delight of doing: And now you have the full face of this Schismatick, that he is one that delightfully loveth Contentions: Neverthelesse, because one may see the face of another, and yet not discern the linaments and figurature, except he take an exact view. So here will it be hard for us to marke the right properties of this kind of man, without some de­scription, setting out his Characters even to the life; to this purpose we have brought you one, as exact as either wit could invent, or art expresse; borrowed from St Augustine, which for the excellence thereof Calvin. Insti­tut. lib. 4. c. 1. §. 16. ex August. lib. 3. contra Parm. Illi filii mali qui non odio iniquitatem alienarum sed stud [...]o contentionum suarum infirmas plebes, jactantia sui nominis ir [...]etitas, vel totas trabere, vel ce [...]te devidere affe­ctant, superbia, tumidi, pervicatia vefani, calumniis insidiosi, sed [...]tionibus tumulenti, quine luce veritatis carere osiendantur umbram rigidae severitatis ostend [...]ntes ad sacrilegiem Schismatis & occasionem praecisionis. Master Calvin translated into his Institutions [Page 3] the which I am now to deliver to you paraphrasti­cally.

First, this Contentious Man, saith he, maketh ostenta­tion of his own worthinesse; his Character here it selfe conceitednesse, rank poyson at the first,Prov. 24.12. as Salomon in his Wisdom thought of it: Seest thou one conceited in himselfe (saith he) there is more hope of a foole than of him: especially if it be of the worthinesse of his own wisdom: And if he be given to Ostentation, then sure he will seeke our some company among whom he may boast it: That is the next carrying people after him (saith Augustin) alluding to the words of Christ, con­cerning like contentious, drawing disciples after them, this Character is popular ambition, that that company may be dependant upon them, and then it is odds he will carry and draw them from the Church, which is spe­cified in the next words. Affecting Divisions: This Character is black mallice, affecting divisions, that is, delighting in divisions, even for divisions sake, as much as to cut off the Limbs of a Man, only to cut them off: And when this division is wrought, what will this boaster think of himselfe trow ye; It is told us, He swelleth with Pride, You have his Character na­med, it is swelling Pride. And no marveile, for when this ostentator shall look behind him and see, as a Leader, what Troops of People he carrieth, or, as a Rabbi, what number of Disciples he draweth behind him: Is it any wonder that being cryed up by their acclamation, their breath should be a full Gayle (He hoysing up his top-sayle) to carry him, he knoweth not himselfe whether, being now destitute both of the Helme of discretion, and Anchor of moderation, as [Page 4] will now appeare by his other Characters, in respect both of Church and State: Church how? He is de­ceitfully slanderous: You see the Character is lying deceitfully: And so it must needs be; for doth any separate themselves from any Church, but will cast dirt with their heeles upon the face of that Church by imputations (albeit never so false) against their gene­rall conversation, as prophane, their Doctrine Erroni­ous, their worship as Superstitious, or Idolatrous, whereof we shall have occasion to speake hereafter. Nor shall the Civill estate escape them. Therefore doth Auguistin note them to be Trecherously seditious: Germany gave the world sufficient Arguments hereof, by the miserable combustions raised by the Anabapti­sticall faction among them: And something I could say concerning the same among us; If the report of Pamphlets were worthy the Pulpit: only this one thing, which I have read in divers of their printed Books; that in their invective against Church Go­vernment and Service, they excite their Auditors by such Texts of Scripture as speake directly of massa­cring: One I have yet in memory, the words of Je­remiah, Cursed is he that doth the work of the Lord negli­gently, where immediatly followeth, And cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from Bloud: wherby was ment the vengeance which God would have execu­ted upon Moab, as if they who are now Thorns in the Eyes of States, would afterward prove Goads in their sides: But can any imagine how these contentious ones can presume to shew their faces in broyling the world in this manner? Be it known unto you that however ostentative such Men are, yet they disguise [Page 5] themselves, as the same Father will have us observe. Least they may seeme (saith he) to be destitute of the light of Truth. Destitute then they were of Truth, which is the Character of Ignorance, although they would not seeme to be such; next they arrogate to them­selves the shadow of Austerity▪ Not true austerity, but a shadow of it, which is a Character of Hipocrisie? The Devill himselfe could not deceive Men com­ming (as I may so say) in his own likenesse, and not putting upon himselfe the semblance of an Angell of Light. And notwithstanding all this, his Austerity is but a a shadow, Why so? Because it is not sub­stantiall in them; for what is the substance of a Chri­stian, is it not Charity? If I give my body to be burnt, and have no Love, I am nothing:1 Cor. 15. If I give all my goods to the poore, and have not Charity, I am nothing. So that these men having but a shadow of goodnesse, they themselves are transparent; so that a Man (in respect of Charity) may look thorow them, and then their Character must be just nothing, otherwise our Apo­stle will give them a proper one: where hee saith of such contentious spirits, Whilst you have Schismes are you not [...], Carnall? When therefore wee are to discerne of these, we are not to regard there outwards; because their Austerity is but a pretended singularity of Devotion in themselves, and tigidity against o­thers, which how spirituall soever it may seeme to be, yet it may be Carnall: For Pride and Envy are Notionals; and yet by the Apostle are listed among the Fruits of the Flesh, Gal. 5.20. which are the corrupt Acts proceeding from the rationall power of Man, even as Heresie it selfe is there termed, which beside attribute [Page 6] Sacrilegious what the appetite of Schismaticks hath always been this way is notorious, whereof somewhat hereafter. I have reserved for the last place a Chara­cter which maketh his case most desperate, called by Auusten maddish obstinacy, of which kind Augustin him­selfe had full experience, when he said Convincere cos possum, convertere non possum, convince them I can, although I cannot convert them, which is not to per­swade them, although they be perswaded, Aristotle his sothisters just whose scope in all Disputes was not verity but victory, especially by holding there one conclusion

And no [...] that we have so full a presentment of this [...], what shall we do with him? What, but send him to receive his doome from the Apostle in his next words in the second part of this Text.

We have no such custome nor the Churches of God.

As much as to say, that the Schismatick by raysing contentions in the Church, he is an adversary both to the Apostolicall Order, and also to the Custome of all Churches of God: And therefore he justly incurreth that judgement from God, which he is liable unto: In a word, these contentions being rise in the Church of Corinth, the scope of the Apostle herein was to pre­serve the reputation and dignity of this Church.

I must first being with this scope of the Apostle, who finding these contentious persons seeking divisi­on in this Church will have them know that departing from it, was to depart from the Church of God; but stay a little, could the Church of Corinth be accomp­ted then the Church of God? Did S. Paul think so; Nay, did he not reprehend some in that Church for [Page 7] their impetuous transferring of their Civill jars, and suits of Law unto the Courts of Infidels? 1 Cor. 6, 7. Others for their wicked connivance and indulgence towards the Incestious, 1 Cor. 8.5. Others for their vile prophanations in the sacred Assemblies, 1 Cor. 11.32. Yea and other some for Heresie to boote, 1 Cor. 15 Now is there any Schismatick, yea or not Schismatick almost who at the first hearing of thus much would not judge this Corinth, to have been a Sinagoge of Sa­tan, rather then so much as to carry the title of a Church, what would our Apostle have said to this objection if he had been now a live; verily the same which he said in the inscription of this his Epistle to the Corinthians, when he wrote thus, Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ to the Church of God (where) in Corinth: Corinth therefore was then the Church of God.

Hereby we have this Doctrinall point,Vse. to wit that we are not to depart from any Church of Christ, for any scandall given unto us by any members and pro­fessors therein, but either for extreame Errours of Do­ctrine, or Godlesse practises as being professed by it. You have heard of the resemblances which have been made of Gods Church, as namely that it is compared unto a Field, wherein are sowen Tares as well as Wheate; to a Net, wherein are conteined dead fish as well as living; and to a Fould, having in it Goats as well as Sheep: Yet is not the Field to be spoyled because of the Tares, nor the Net to be rent, because of the dead Fish; nor the Fould to be broken, because of the Goats. But the example of Christ may be our best direction, who since his Ascention into Heaven, sent his Messages to the seven Angels of the seven [Page 8] Churches in Asia, charging five of them with their severall faultes, Apo. 2. & 3. Saying, I have some­thing against thee: And I have something against thee, and thee: And in each of these every Something was a crime of a large cise. These Angels by Antiquity were termed Bishops, albeit ill Bishops, now let us see the processe of Christ against them, doth he deprive them at the first; No, but gives them their particu­lar admonitions, denouncing their removall, except they should Repent. Nor doth he threaten the Inno­cents together with the Delinquents: much lesse doth he denounce eradication of the Office, because of their abuse of it; no, but by reprehending their vices only, he thereby justifieth their Offices. As we read of the Lord of the unjust Steward in the Gospell, he said to him, because of his injustice, Thou shalt be no longer Steward: Out with the unjust Steward then; but will the Lord therefore have no Steward and abo­lish all Steward-ship ever after? There was no such meaning, neither had Christ here: Because the other two good Angels were still continued and conserved. In a word, I should but aske any of these refractories, wherein all their reading of the book of God, from the beginning of Genesis, unto the end of the Apoca­lips, they ever found a free and visible Church, wher­in there was not a mixture of Godly and Wicked pro­fessors.

Now that we have vindicated this Church of Co­rinth, you will expect (I suppose) how wee shall de­fend our own Corinth, the Church of England. This must be our next endeavour, by retourning to our Text again.

We have not such Custome, nor the Churches of God.

Which words we say, did consequently infer both a confutation of the errors of Schismaticks and likewise a condemnation of their practise; we begin with our confutation.

But first, we must understand their criminations a­gainst our Church, the principall are these; her Con­stitutions, Episcopacy, Ceremonies and Liturgies: The Imputations they lay upon her in these respects are towfold, one is the unlawfulnesse of them, as being no matters indifferent, the other is their other vicious­nesses, as being either Popish Superstitious or Idolatrous respectively.

Against the first, we shall answer by way of appeale, as our Apostle instructeth, namely, unto the Custome of the Apostles themselves, or of other the acknowled­ged Churches of God.

Are Constitutions unlawfull? We appeale to the Apostles and there Constitutions against eating of strangled or bloud, Act. 15. and for brevity sake, we challenge all our opposites, to bring us the example of any one publick peaceable constituted Church in all the Christian World, wherein there were not inacted Constitutions to regulate the Churches by; and wee shall as easily retorne unto them a perfect body of a Man without joynts or sinews; we shall not except herein the Church of God at Geneva: Beza Epist. 8. & 44. Beza a famous Pastor in that Church, wished that, They who oppose the Constitutions of the Church might be punished as the enne­mies to the Church.

[Page 10] Secondly, Episcopacy had the next Crimination, of which I shall not say many words, but yet much, for we (for the lawfulnesse thereof) dare appeale unto the Apostles institution of it, to Christ his approbation already spoken off, to the universall practise thereof throughout the whole Christian world, as Jerome speake, even the compasse and breadth of Christiani­ty, for this time as also for its length in the continu­ance of it Vniversally, untill this last Age: We adde (for the justification of the same lawfulnesse) to the Iudgement of all Protestant Churches of former times.

Thirdly, concerning the lawfulnesse of significant Ceremonies, likewise we appeale to this our Apostle, who saith here against the Schismaticks, We have no such Custome: You need not turne many leaves to find his Iudgement, it is expresly set down in the 14 and 15 Verses, immediatly before this Text as an occasi­on thereof, requiring that The Man should be uncovered, in the Assembly for Divine service, to represent his soveraignty over his wife; The Woman to be uncove­red, betoking her subjection to her Husband, both these Ceremonies significant, and used in the publick worship of God; shall any say this was by an extraor­dinary Apostolicall authority, and therefore not ap­pliable in this point to after Churches: Then was the the Angell of the Church of Geneva out when he in­ferred from this Text, a confutation of such refracto­ries then, as we do against the Zelots of our times; saying, (They are the words of Calvin) Tales sunt illi qui bonos ac utiles Ecclesiae ritus covellunt: Such are they (saith he) who abolish the good and usefull rites of the Church. [Page 11] Beside that the Apostle hath prescribed rules for re­gulating the Ceremonies of the Church, one whereof is Edification, and what is edificant the same is also signi­ficant: whereunto we say, all the chiefe Protestant Divines of severall Churches have subscribed.

One word of the by, What if the uncovering of our Heads (as then) were continued in our Church still, could it be called an Innovation, which is not now invented, or Popish, which rather should be an expro­bration to Papists, to see our devout and reverend com­portement, at the hearing of Embassages from Christ.

Lastly our Liturgy, because a set forme of Prayer is falne into their crimination; as though we might not appeale herin to our Saviour Christ, delivering the the Apostles that set forme, which we call the Lords Prayer, saying, Pray you thus our Father, &c.Math. 6.9. Yea (say they) it is said, Pray Thus, not pray This, that is, to make it a Patterne for othe Prayers, and not to be used as a Prayer it selfe, we desire that S. Luke may moderate the matter, who related Christs Words in this man­ner, viz. When you Pray say, Our Father, &c.Luke 11.2 [...]. And is not there that [Our Father, This,] which now they were commanded to pray? Again although it were a forme for other Prayers, yet this hindereth not but it may be our Prayer too: The standing measure of the Land for proportioning all other like measures for Graine, May, notwithstanding, be mea­sured by. It must be some new conceipt sure, which hath ingendered this Innovation, They thinke perhaps that the command, being Pray Thus or This, in our former sense, would exclude all other formes of Pray­er excepting This, which scruple ariseth from an in­consideration, [Page 12] not to observe that Christ his Answer was directed to the intention of the Apostles, then de­siring to have a prefixt forme of Prayer of Christ his own conception, as John's Disciples had from their Master: The sense then is, When you shall use a Prayer of mine own prescription, Pray thus, so that this kind of direction for that one forme can be no exclusion of all other: He that taketh from his friend own hand a speciall token of Remembrance in his absence, is not thereby forbid to make use of other Memorandums, which he might have had otherwise.

One thing more would be demanded of them, to wit: when ever they knew in all their Reading any Divine that made this Glosse upon that Text, as to say These words, Pray Thus, import as much as to have said, Pray not This Prayer.

Easie it were to mention the Greek and Latine Litur­gies of the antient Churches, I rather shall instance in one, which may be satisfactory in it selfe: The Em­peror Trajan appointed Pliny to be one of the Inquisi­tors to search out the behaviours of Christians, espe­cially when they were exercised in their Religious Assemblies and Devotions, and to certifie: His cer­tificat was this, The Christians (saith he) assembling in private places, among other Prayers, have one for your Highnesse, Praying God to grant you long life, a faithfull Senate, a strong Army, and a Peaceable People: These was the Collect of those Saints and Martyrs, to avow their Allegiance unto those Emperours albeit Heath­nish. I have done with the first imputation against these particulars, touching the simple unlawfulnesse of them.

[Page 13] The second criminations, I told you, was against their pretended vitiousnesse, judging two of them Popish, two superstitious, and two Idolatrous; In all which ac­cusations, wee finde that Character visible which Au­gustine noted then in his Schismatikes, when hee called them slanderous: as first for calling our Constitutions, concerning Doctrine, Popish; notwithstanding they manifoldly and manifestly make against both Pope and popery; And shall Episcopacy bee also called Popish without a slander seeing, that the Pope himselfe wil be reddy herein to give the Schismatike the lye, telling that he doth allow for Popish Bishop, none but such as shall have immediate dependance upon himselfe, their Pope, by acknowledging him the universall Bishop of all Bishops: A transcendent title which all our Bishops since the Reformation, have utterly abhor'd, and have abandoned h [...]s whole Papall jurisdiction, all of them even unto death, and some also by their death and mar­tyrdome.

Secondly, Superstitiousnesse the next crimination, and is one degree above Popish, because wee cannot say that every Popish act is superstitious, this they impute to our Liturgie and Ceremonies; Let us pit­tie their ignorance, who never yet knew what formall superstition meant; let them then learne it? A supersti­tious act (say we) is that which is founded upon a super­stitious opinions. It was not meerely the Pharises of­ten washing, but their opinion of some especiall pur­gation thereby, which Christ reprehended in them; nor was it the having of an Alter for which St. Paul reproved the Athenians, when he called them su­perstitious Aols 17. but the opinion of honouring a [Page 14] God thereby, they knew not whom: And is it not in our Law to hold it no fellonie or treason which is not done in a felonious or trayterous intention? Let us but opening our eyes, and we shall easily see their slande­rous lying also, for behold our Church in her service Booke, doth make knowne to all the world that shee doth detest the superstition of the Romish Ceremo­nies, by condemning their superstitious opinions. First, in making them necessary parts of Gods worship. Se­condly, in ascribing an efficacious sanctitie unto them: Thirdly, by arrogating a meritorious condignity from them unto themselves. Yea and besides she instructeth her Reader that she hath professedly purged her Litur­gie of all those Lees and dregges of superstitious opi­nion of Papists; which makes this their slander farre more slanderous.

Yet notwithstanding they persist in condemning the said Ceremonies as having bin either used or abu­sed in Popery, stil bewraying their ignorances, for even this our Apostle did make use of the saying of Poets, Menander Aratus, and Epimenides, all Heathens; And shall therefore such Divine sentences be called Heathe­nish. I cannot omit, the peece of Prayer in our Litur­gie, which is: That God will accept of our bounden duetie not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences; the same hath been continually used in the Romish Masse, beseeching God that hee would admit of them and their devotions, Non tanquam aestimater meriti, sed tan­quam veniae largitor, Not as an esteemer of merit, but as a giver of pardon; wherein the Romish, will they, nill they disclaime all conceipt of merit in their publike Liturgie, which is a condignity of a work by the exact [Page 15] Law of Gods; justice deserving an eternall reward, which merit notwithstanding they maintaine in their new Romish Creed, and bookes of controversies as an Article of their faith; howbeit, This sentence was that which brought the great Cardinall Bellarmine up­on his knees: when after his long and large dispute a­bout justification by perfection of workes; hee was inforced at last to cast Anchor absolutely upon the mercies of God, as (for so hee saith) Tutissimum, The most safe refuge of mans soule; this being granted, the same sentence serveth us, both for a testification of this our saving truth to our selves, as also for a confutation of the Popish error of merits, which is a judging out of his owne mouth: Wee demand then? ought our Church to have used this sentence or not? if so, then is not this prayer therefore to be called Po­pish, because used in Popery, but ought she not? Then doe they fondly affirme shee ought not use a forme of prayer, which is both wholsome for him that prayeth, and usefull to convince the Romish Church of Error in her superstitious opinion of merit; But our Saviour hath taught us a more Divine lesson, saying;Matth. 11. Wisdom is justified of her Children: to let us understand, that truth is truth wheresoever it soundeth, even as a Pearle is a Pearle of price, although it be taken out of the head of a toade: I have insisted on this point, because it may justifie our whole Liturgy against the censuring of a rite Popish for that it was used in that popish Church.

But there next blow is harder, condemning such rites, because abused by Papist [...], albeit not ignorant that herein wee can justly appeale not onely to the cu­stome of ancient Churches of Christ, but even to [Page 16] their owne schismaticall assemblies, for the Primitive Fathers, at the first dawing of publike peace in the Church, began to convert the Temples of Pagans, (al­though they had beene the brothell houses of devils) into the Houses of God consecreated to his worship; And our opposites themselves can sometimes bee con­tented to use these Churches wherein was professed and practised that Popish Liturgy, which they (and justly) inveighed against as indeed Idolatrous, which is the blackest brand that can bee put upon any worship­pers: and which these opposites cast upon our Church as their last filth and dung.

This they do because of two kind of kneelings, one at the administration of the holy Communion, the other of bowing at the hearing of the name of Jesus: To the first our answer is, that Papists will not ap­proach to our Sacraments; Or if any doe, yet it is in opinion that our consecration doth not operate their faigned transubstantiation, and also the professed Pro­testants, believing that there is therein no corporall presence of Christ, cannot adore that as Christ which they know is not Christ, and therefore can as impos­sible bee Idolatrous, as the Papists in the worshipping their breaden God, cannot possibly but be, our reason is that that was an Article of Faith in the Primitive Churches of God, whereunto we may justly appeale in a doctrine never to be repealed.

It is this: That it is impossible for any Creature to be in two places at once, not excepting the sacred bo­dy of Christ, which their Catholike doctrine they professed for two causes, one to avouch the prerogative of God, to whom the existence in diverse places at [Page 17] one time is properly essentiall: and this they groun­ded upon that divine foundation the Scripture of God, Psalme 39.6. wherein the Psalmist in professing the Diety of the spirit of God, saith, Whether shall I goe from thy spirit, if I goe up to Heaven, thou art there, if downe to Hell, thou art there also, and if to the outermost part of the Sea, thither shall thy hand lead me: The Ar­gument thus: The spirit of God is here, and there, and yonder, therefore it is in diverse places at one time, and consequently GOD, because by the same essentiall property, hee is as well in three Millians of places, and indeed every where as hee is in any three or two: and this they confirme by two circum­stances.

First, that the spirit of God was at one time in di­verse Prophets, Jeremie in Judea, Daniell in Babylon, Ezechiel in Chobar, this in the Old Testament, accor­dingly in the New, the same spirit of God, at one and the same time, was in the Apostles, when they were dispersed in diverse nations in the world for preaching the Gospell of Christ.

There second reason of this their dispute was to preserve the integrity of the body and humanity of Christ. According to that caution of Augustine, Ca­vendum est, ut ita divinitatem Christi astruamus, ne hu­manitatem ejus auferamus. Wee are so to defend the di­vine nature of Christ, that we destroy not his bodily and hu­mane nature.

And therefore they distinguish both natures (in re­spect of locall existence) arguing thus. Although the Deity be in Heaven, yet is it then on Earth also, and if on Earth, then is it in Heaven; but the humane Na­ture [Page 18] of Christ, if it be on Earth, it is not in Heaven, and when in Heaven, then is it not on Earth; This was the Catholique Faith in those perfects and purest times of Christianity; and that this was believed of them as an Article of Faith is as plaine: Because they maintained that Truth against the Hereticks of their time, who impugned the essential properties of Christs body, with one Article of ancient Faith doth strangle more all the virall parts of the Romish Masse worship.

When we speak of impossibility of this or that, you are not to imagine that we thereby derogate any thing from the Omnipotence of God: God forbid, no, but that which we say of Impossibility, is truly for the dignifying of his Power; as when we say of the God of Truth; It is Impossible that he should lye, Heb. 17. or for the Lord of Life, and in himselfe Immortall, that he should dye.

I would not have brought disputes into the Pulpit, if the importunity of this our unseasonable Season had not exacted it of me.

The next and last brand falleth upon the Reverence given to Christ at the hearing of the name of him our Saviour Jesus, and therefore Iesus, because our Savi­our, which they call (ô black tongue) Idolatrous; Be­loved Brethren, I appeale to every Conscience of Man when I heare mention of my Saviour, my heart is in­wardly lift up to reverence the person of Christ in my soule, now on the Throne of Majesty; shall it not then be lawfull for me to expresse the same prayse of him, which my body, who hath redeemed me both body and soule for his prayse. But reasons will not down with these men, except such as may seem to be [Page 19] Divine: We shall offer them not an only seeming, but even a convincing reason from God himselfe, who to preserve his people from Idolatry, least they might make any Image of him (the high way to an Idola­trous worship) commanded them to remember, that when he manifested his presence among them, you saw no shape (said hee,) how then did they perceive his presence? he tells them, you heard only a voyce: as if God had said unto them, pinge sonum: Let your Pain­ters picture a voyce, or any man adore a voyce if hee can, how impossible this is: you may know by this my every voyce, which while I utter, is transient, past and flowne, before you can fasten your thoughts upon it, and yet in despite of truth it selfe, they will have us Idolaters.

Before I can end the point of kneeling, I cannot silence my griefe, to see all gesture of kneeling almost shut out of the Church; And yet wee all know that kneeling in prayer time was the Decorum practised by Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Christ Himselfe; now what gout it is that hindereth, whether of prid, or lasinesse or perversnesse, I know not, This I know, that take away the outward forme of Devotion, the inward will sooner coole: hetherto we have beene exercised in the first consequence of this Text, which is, the confutation of the errors of the Schismaticall faction: Our second remaineth, which is the condemnation of their practises, yet before I can enter upon it, I would gladly be understood concerning the premises, namely that I have not so pleaded for Ceremonies and Littur­gy as to prejudice the wisdome of them, who by just Ecclesiasticall Order shall so regulate these matters, as [Page 20] may be most conducible for peace unanimity and uni­formity in the Church. In the interim, it cannot be offensive that the Child after so much vile ugly asper­sions cast upon our Mother, should vindicate her ho­nour, by whom, through the blessing and mercy of GOD; hee hath his soules spirituall birth and breed­ing.

And now I hasten to our last passage whereunto we have been induced by the same Text.

Wee have no such Custome, nor the Churches of God.

These words necessarily implying that they who are contentious against the Customes of the Apo­stles, and Churches of God, doe by their separati­on from her, make themselves Advesaries against the Church, against her members, against God and against their owne soules these foure. For the Church is thereby left to a vexatious destruction, breach of Christian libertie, loade of infamy, and lurch of spirituall maintenance as much as can possibly bee wrought.

First, The very separation it selfe is to the Church as a rupture in the body of Man; which did make Chrysostome to burst out into this hyperbole. These that raise contentions in the Church, are worse than they who pierced the sides of Christ: In which figure there is this truth, That Christ, who gave his naturall body for His Mysticall body, which is his Church, will re­quire a severe accompt of them who shall rent the peace of the Church.

[Page 21] The liberty of the Church (by the confession of all Christian Churches, none excepted) is a power in GODS Church to order things indifferent according to the Apostolicall rules, of Decencie, 1 Cor. 14. order and edification, whereupon wee make bold to call these contentious men, for their contrary opinion of judging this liberty of Gods Church unlawfull, superstiti­ons: strange will some say: They who enveigh a­gainst superstitions so bitterly, and in that pretence fall into separation from the Church, to bee termed superstitious.

Yes Beloved, and we need not to straine a gnat in proving it: That Admirable Man of God, and Pastor in the Church of God in Geneva, whom without pre­face of honour, I cannot name, to wit Calv. upon the words of Deutronomie, wherein Gods People were forbid to make any compacts with the Heathen: which (being no morrall but onely a judiciall Law, and therefore was not to bee exacted now of Christi­ans) reflecting upon the libertie of Christians in their use of Ecclesiasticall rites, gave this caution, that none urge to vehemently this against Ceremonies ac­cording unto the Apostles doctrine; wherein condem­ning them who tooke away the Christian libertie of eating meates by these and their contrary prescripts, Eate not, taste not, handle not: Col. 2: which is all one with moove not, reade not, and other cases of indifferency: Are not then these men fit objectors of superstition a­gainst the Churches Ordinances, who are themselves so grosly superstitious, pardon us, for who is their in these times that will not stand zealously upon his right of libertie.

[Page 22] Infamy is (after mortall) the most grievoust of per­secutions which they have multiplyd outragiously by their infamously famous Libels and Pamphlets; beside the slanders which, as have bin alleadged, by imputing Idolatry the vilest of Adulteries unto her, as if cursed children should call their mother whore: whereas our Apostle held it necessary to admonish all Christians to take heed they give no scandall to the Church of God, 1 Cor. 10. bee this spoken to the Sectarists who make themselves scandalous against the Church, rather than endure any the least of this which they call the scan­dalls in the Church.

The injuries to the members of the Church are the next mischiefes of separation: the first is the breach of Unitie: Ephes. 4.4. O how many obligations did our Apostle put upon his Ephesians for preserving of Unitie in the Church; the first is because it is one body; second one spirit, which is the spirit of Union: third one hope of our calling: that is to say the hope of one heavenly in­heritance; after followeth one Lord; which is our Head Christ, and one faith, the soule of our soules, and one Baptisme, the Seale of the said Faith, and last and chiefest one Father of all who above all things, de­lighteth in the unanimity of his Children; for take away Unitie, and all Sympathy is dissolved, which is a compassionate assertion one to each other, which the Apostles sheweth in his comparison betwixt the Church of God and Mans body, wherein the Mem­bers doe mutually rejoyce and greene at the joy or griefe of each other, in so much as, if the Heele bee prickt the tongue cryes I am hurt, and every part of the body if it were a tongue would cry the same, I [Page 23] am hurt, this is called the sympathy of the members of the body: but when Members are dislocated and disjoyned then mutuall affection is deaded; and where Sympathy ceaseth, fare well all Charity, which necessa­rily seperateth it selfe together with the separation; now, I beseech you, losses of Unitie, Sympathy and Charity are not these injuries? And commonly all these spring from one roote envie.

For Ecclesiasticall records tell us that the Originall of Schismes hath been that he who (according to the first Character of the contentious person) did make ostentation of his owne worthinesse and found not respect from Governours in the Church; did thereupon picke quarrels with her in one pretence or other, even as Aerius the Head of a faction, because he could not ob­taine to bee made Bishop, was the first that spake a­gainst the degree of Episcopacy it selfe; But yet there was peradventure some title of worthinesse of learn­ing in such kinde of men in ancient times: But what now? Our Apostle, according to the former compa­rison of members of the Church and parts of mans naturall body, wishing the contentation of every part, and to avoyd envie; The hand (saith he) will not say because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; meaning every part of the body contenteth it selfe with the na­turall Order it hath in the body, else their would be a dissolution of the whole body: But in these times the hand and foot both mutine cause they are not eyes and except our Coblers and Weavers bee allowed for Mi­nisters, they will acknowledge no head nor member; how these should receive so much tolleration any where within this Church I know not, except men [Page 24] thought themselves worthy to bee led with blinde guides: when as there might be as true Doctrin some time expected from Bedlam, whereof some examples might be given, if such Doctrines were not fitter for a Stage then a Pulpit.

But to speak one word of them who arrogat the spi­rit themselves by their extemporall faculty wch they bragge of; and enveighing against Popery: notwith­standing make themselves Popish, yea very Popes, for this is the excellency which the Pope of Room boast­eth of, that he is the supreame and sole infallible Iudge in matters of Doctrine; a priviledge thus expressed by the Iesuite Valentianus: Papa sive diligentium adhibu­erit, sive non adhibuerit tamen infalibiter judicat; that is, whensoever the Pope determineth any doctrine, his judgement is infallible, whether he use diligence to try the Truth or not, which is flatly the heresie of Enthusia­sticks.

As for the impiety against God, it is evident in this that the Churches, wherein Schisme is made, are cal­led the Churches of God; And the God of these Churches is called the God of Peace; and so stiled by Saint Paul almost in every Epistle, a [...] Romans 15.13. in his blessing to them, The God of Peace be with you all, 2 Cor. 13.11. He joyneth blessing and admonition to­gether: Live in Peace and the God of Love and Peace be with you, Phil. 4.7. Hee prayeth, That their hearts and mindes may bee possessed with Gods peace: 2 Thess. 3.16. His Prayer to the Thessalonians is That God would give them peace, [...] alwayes and by all meanes: Peace is a Iewell. But to what end is this? even to know that he that is enemy to the Peace of God [Page 25] is also enemy to the God of peace. For 1 Cor. 14.33. For God is not the God [...], that is, of Tumultuous­nesse confusednesse: but of peace as in all the Churches of the Saints.

Sacriledge was the last Character wherewith Au­gustine decyphred this contentious man; And Sacriledge being a depriving the Ministers of God of their due. God by the Prophet accounteth it a Robery to Himselfe. But is it possible that devout men, who are so great enemies to Idolatry, and assume to bee a­bove all others spirituall, should become Sacrilegious. The Apostle sheweth this was no newes in his dayes, Rom 2.22. Thou that abhorrest Idolls, Committest thou Sacriledge. Match we now an Idolatrous, and a Sa­crilegious Man together, as the Apostle doth here, and the Sacrilegious will thinke that the Idolatrous is farre more execrable then he himselfe can be. This Text which I have alleadged will say no: for doubt­lesse Saint Paul the most excellent disputant that hath bin knowne, knew his Logicke, in reasoning, for when hee condemne, the Sacrilegious Iew in comparison of the Idolatrous Gentill, it must bee held either (as the Schoole speaketh) an argument ab aequali: that is, thou Sacrileger, art as ill as the Idolater is: or else a minori: thou art worst, wherefore how ever these contentious men may maske themselves, under the visard of Reli­gion and Austerity in abhorring popery, superstition, or Idolatry, yet are they in one respect farre worse than the other, in as much as experience of all times hath proved that the Idolater was alwayes a Reverencer of some Diety, nor ever was a Superstitious Atheist heard of, although contrarily when hath been of any Atheist [Page 26] who was not Sacrilegious, that is, a rober of Gods right.

Seeing now that contentiousnesse for separation is every way so pernicious: how shall the Seperatist sa­tisfie himselfe? shall he think to make a Church of his own which shall be a Church of God, let us try this, 1 Cor. 12.27. speaking of this Church of God at Corinth, 1 Cor. 12.27. he saith, You are the body of Christ, and Mem­bers of your part: Wherein we are two have to consi­derations of the Church of Corinth, one as it was a particular Church, and compared with that which is called the Catholike and universall Church of Christ: And so it is but a Member thereof. Secondly, as it is compared with its owne Members, so is it The body of Christ in it selfe; whence it followeth that Members broken from this Church of God in Corinth did ther­by devide themselves from God Himselfe: Cyprian and Augustine had to deale with such contentious persons in their times, and either of them proclaimed this saying: None can have God for his Father, who hath not the Church for his Mother; meaning them who were separated from their own Churches: The Papists you know arrogate this saying to the Church and Pope of Rome, but vainely, because Cyprian at this time was at difference with Stephen the then POPE and contemned his excommunication, and Augustine was one of them, who withstood the Popes usurpation of appeales to Rome.

It is time to conclude, the contentious men being Authors of too many miseries, the greatest mischiefe will bee against their own soules, because whosoever by contention maketh himselfe an adversary to the [Page 27] Church of the God of Peace, doth therein make the God of Peace of the Church an Adversary to him­selfe and what must his reward then bee but here sor­row and anguish of soule, and in the end, endlesse woe: As for you (Beloved in Christ Iesus) bee you exhorted in the words of our Apostle, 1 Cor. 1.10. I exhort you, Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you speake one thing, and that there bee no divisions among you, bee perfect in one minde and in one judgement.

All Glory bee to God, &c.


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