THE STAVES OF Beauty & Bands. Opened in a SERMON Preached at YARMOVTH, August 23. 1663.

By the Right Reverend Father in God, EDWARD Lord Bishop of NORWICH.

Augustin. de Tempore, Ser. 169. Meritum Christianae virtutis vilescit in Cunctis, si unitatem non habet pacis; nec pervenit ad vocabulum Filii, nisi per nomen Paci­fici.

Id. de Civit. Dei. l. 15. c. 22.

Vera & brevis Definitio Virtutis est Ordo Amoris.

LONDON, Printed by T. Ratcliffe for George Thomason at the Rose and Crown in St. Pauls Churchyard. 1663.

To the Right Worshipfull the Magistrates, and to the Reverend Ministers, and other Members of the Corporation of Yarmouth in Norffolk.

Dearly Beloved,

THIS Sermon was Preached before you in order to the Peace and Vnity of the Church of God amongst you: and I presume in or­der to the same good end I was by You pressed to the publishing of it. Which motion I have the more rea­dily entertained, that the Argu­ments unto so necessary a duty, [Page] which I found prevalent with you then, might he always at your hand, to revive in you the same affections. And truly those many men in all parts of this Nation, who, upon what­soever plausible and specious preten­ces, have given entertainment un­to novel opinions, (never before these loose times heard of in the Church of God) and thereupon do forsake the Assemblies, and di­sturbe the peace of an Orthodox and Reformed Church, little consider the advantage they give the Common Adversary: who no doubt rejoyceth to see us break one another with our own hands, whom they with theirs hither to have not been able to harm; As Vespasian is observed by Jose­phus to have done in the siege of Je­rusalem, [Page] not choosing to storme the Jewes by any hostile assault, while they were destroying one a­nother by their Intestine confusi­ons. Certainly what ever prejudi­ces weak and credulous men may have their eyes dazled withall, Di­visions and Contentions in the Church have alwayes fleshly lusts at the bot­tome of them, as the Apostle assureth us, 1 Cor. 3. 3. Nor are they on­ly fruits of sinne in men, but evi­dences of wrath in God, and sad symptomes of his further displeasure. When Manasse is against Ephraim, Isai 9. 21. and Ephraim against Manasse, and both against Judah, it is a sign that Gods anger is not turned away, but that his hand is stretched out still. Shismes in a Church being like Leaks [Page] in a ship, or breaches in a Sea bank, which threaten speedy and extremest danger. And therefore all who wish well to Sion should listen unto Heal­ing and Vniting Counsels, not suffer­ing in so important a businesse, as the Peace and prosperity of the Church, any secular designes, single, or divi­ded Interests, carnal animosities, or perverse disputes, to embitter their spirits or alienate their affections from other their brethren, heirs of the same common salvation: or to draw them away from the Communi­on of that Church, from whose breasts they have often sucked the sincere milk of the word, and in whose fellowship they may still undoubtedly partake of all the means of Salvation. The Lord grant that all of us in all places [Page] of the Land, both Pastors and Peo­ple may be unanimously zealous for the Peace of the Church. That Ministers by sound and wholesome doctrine, which cannot be disproved by holy, humble, prudent, and peace­able Lives, and by unwearied dili­gence and fidelity in their Callings, may stop the mouthes, and winne up­on the affections of their Gain-say­ers: and that the People may not lean on their own wisdome, nor be carryed away blind-fold with uncha­ritable prejudices, or with every winde of doctrine, but may yeild themselves to the guidance of their faithfull Pastors, and be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for Contention is usually the mother of disobedience.Jam. 1. 19. Rom. 2. 18. Now the Lord of [Page] Peace himself give you peace always by all means; the Lord be with you all.

Yours in all Christian affection to serve you, Ed. Norvic.

THE Staves of BEAUTY and BANDS Opened in a SERMON preached at Yarmonth, August 23. 1663.

Zechar. 11. 7.‘I took unto me Two Staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands, and I fed the Flock.’

THERE was no Office which Christ under­took, no Ministery which he instituted in his Church, which was not by him directed and intended unto such excellent Ends, as whereby the Ho­nour [Page 2] and Welfare thereof might be ad­vanced. When in this place he assumed his Pastoral Office to Govern and guide his Flock, he doth by the names of these two Staves acquaint us with two noble Ends of that Service; The Restoring of Beauty to his Church corrupted, and of Unity to his Church divided; Of both which we shall, by Gods Assistance, take a brief View.

First, He Feedeth and Ruleth his poor Flock with his Staff called Beauty, his Word, Ordinances, and Govern­ment, being, as glorious things in them­selves, so the special Beauty and Ho­nour of the Church that enjoy them. Thus among the people of the Jews, the1 Sam. 4. 21 Isa. 4. 5. Ark and the Tabernacle are called their Glory; in which respect theRom. 9. 4. A­postle saith, That unto Israel did per­tain the Adoption, and the Glory, be­cause the Covenants, the Law, the Ser­vice of God, aud the Promises were theirs: As to external Pomp and Splen­dor, [Page 3] the greatDeut. 7. 7. Monarchies of the world went far beyond them, (for they were the [...]ewest of all People:) but herein was their Preheminence, and Pri­mogeniture, (as the Lord saith, Israel is my Exod 4 22. Jer. 2. 3. first horn) herein was theirDeu. 21 17. double portion above all other Nations, that they had the Oracles of God committed un­to them, that they were intrusted with theRom. 3. 2. Joh. 8. 17. Psa. 147. 19, 20 Custody of thatIsa. 42 [...]. 41. honourable Law, which as the Apostle sairh, was Rom. 7. 12. holy, just, and good. And in like man­ner in the Christian Church, the Go­spel, which is theGal. 6. 1. Law of Christ, is called by the Apostle a1 Tim. 1. 11. glorious Gospel, because it is theRom. 11. 11, 12. Riches and the Sal­vation of those that enjoy it; insomuch that the very feet of those that bring glad Tidings thereof, are said to be Beautiful, Rom. 10. 15. and therefore as weExod. 34. 89, 30. read of Moses, that his Face shined when he came down from the Mount; to signifie the2 Cor. 3. 7. Glory and Luster of the Legal Ministery, as the Apostle teacheth us: so likewise do we read of [Page 4] Christ, that his Mat. 17. 2. Rev. 7. 16. face shined as the Sun, in his Transfiguration on the Mount, to signifie the2 Cor. 3. 8 [...]. far more excellent Glory of the Evangelical Ministery of Life and Righteousness; in which re­spect he is called theLuk. 2. 32. Zach. 2. 5. Glory of his people, and aIsa. 28. 5. Prov. 4. 8, 9 Diadem of Beauty un­to the residue of them; for where Christ walketh in the midst of the gol­den Candlesticks, having his Ordinan­ces in their vigonr and Efficacy duly ad­ministred, he thereby rendereth his Church beautiful in these four Re­spects.

1. By the Verity of his heavenly Doctrine; When a people are taught of the Lord, then their Stones are laid with fair Colours, and their Foundations with Saphires, their Windows of Agates, their Gates of Carbuncles, and their Bor­ders of precious Stones, Isa. 54, 11, 12, 13. When the earth is full of the knowledge of the Lord, then is his rest, or the place of his abode glorious, Isa. 11, 9, 10. and therefore when Christ was [Page 5] Ephes. 4. 10, 13.ascended up on high, far above all heavens, that he might fill all things, he gave unto his Church, Apostles, Pro­phets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teach­ers, in order to the perfecting and edify­ing of his body, and carrying it on un­to the measure of the stature of his fulness, wherein alone the Beauty thereof con­sisteth.

2. By the Purity of Spiritual Wor­ship; When Sacrifices are offered with ac­ceptance upon Gods Altar, (and none are so bnt1 Pet. 2. 5. spiritual Sacrifices) then doth he glorifie the house of his Glory, and beautifie the place of his Sanctuary, and make it an eternal Excellency; then doth he give gold for brass, and silver for iron; then doth he call the Walls of the Church Saivation, and her Gates Praise, Isa. 60. 7, 13. 15, 17, 18. Therefore the second Temple, though far inferior in outward Splendor to the former, is said to exced that in Glory, because unto it the desire of all Nations should come, and set up the [...]ein his Spiritual Wor­ship, [Page 6] Hag. 2. 3, 7, 8, 9. For as the soul, which is the breath of Life, puts Beau­ty into the Body, so the Spirit of Christ poured out upon his Church, doth en­liven and beautifie that, and turn theIsa. 32. 15. wildernesse into a fruitful field.

3. By Sanctity of Life, renewing them after the image of Christ; for when the Church is sanctified, and clensed with the washing of Water by the Word, then it is fit to be presented unto Christ as a glorious Church, Ephes. 5. 26, 27. Holi­nefs is called by the Apostle theTit. 3. 5. Re­newing of the Holy Ghost, theGal. 4. 19. form­ing of Christ in us, theEph. 2. 5, 10. quickning and creating us in him unto good Works. Look what Beauty the renewing of a ru­inous and decayed Building bringeth up­on that, what Beauty the Re-union of a living Soul unto a gastly body doth re­store unto that, what Beauty the Creation brought upon the void and indigested Chaos, when it was wrought unto that goodly Frame and Sructure which we now behold; the same, and much more, [Page 7] doth the forming of Christ, and the Spi­rit of Holiness bring upon our deformed and defiled nature by the Efficacy of the Ordinances.

4. By Decency of Order, rendering the ChurchCan. 6. 4. beautiful as Tirzah, comely as Ierusalem, terrible as an Army with Ban­ners; Thus the Church of Israel march­ed in the Wilderness in the manner of a formed Camp, with exquisite beauty and order, whereof we have an ample de­scription, Numb. 2. In like manner the new Jerusalem, which descended out of Heaven, beautified with the Glory of God, whose street was pure gold as transparent glass, whose foundation was garnished with all manner of pre­tious stones, is said to be four-square, ha­ving an accurate proportion and symme­try in all the parts thereof, Rev. 21. 16. And thus the Apostle directed all things to be done in the Church of Christ with Decency and Order, 1 Cor. 14. 40. and rejoyced to see the Order which was in the Church of the Colossians, Col. 2. 5. [Page 8] When every Member keepeth his own Rank, and every Officer doth his pro­per Duty, according to the1 Chro. 28. 11, 12. Pattern andExod. 40. 16, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 32. Commission given him by Christ, then is the Pastoral Office administred with the Staff of Beauty.

In one word, the Ordinances are thus the Beauty of a Church, because in and by them Christ is spiritually pre­sent therein, and the Treasures of his Grace are unfolded unto it. He who is theCan. 5. 10, 16. chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely, who was theHag. 2. 7. desire of all Nations, and theCol. 1. 27 hope of Glory to his people, in comparison of whosePhil. 3. 8. Ex­cellencies all other things are but losse and dung, whose veryHeb. 11. 25, 26. Afflictions and Reproaches are preferred before the Pleasure and Riches of the world, in whose veryCol. 1. 24. James 1. 2. Sufferings there is joy, he is in his OrdinancesGal. 3. 1. evidently set forth before our eyes; hisRom. 13. 14. Isa. 61. 10. Rev. 6. 11. Righteousness the Robe wherewith his Church is cloathed, hisEzeck 16. 14. Comlinesse the Beauty wherewith she is adorned, and madeDeut. 26. 19. high above [Page 9] all the people in Praise, and in Name, and in Honour, by her interest in him, and relation unto him, she hath a new name given her,Isa. 62. 4, 5. Hephzibah the Lords delight, who deligheth over her as the Bridegroom over the Bride, esteeming herPsal. 132. 14. his rest, his dwelling place, his de­sire, so thatPsal. 87. 3. glorious things are spoken of her.

These Beauties of Christ in his Or­dinances, and in his Church by means of them, were typified and prefigured by theExod. 28. [...],—39. glorious Garments of the Priests, with allusion whereunto we are said in BaptismGal. 3. 17. Rom. 13. 14. to put on Christ, whose Righteousness is unto his Church a Isa. 61. 3. Garment of Praise. By the splendor of the Tabernacle, and of Solomons Tem­ple, and all the Vessels and Utensils be­longing unto the Worship of God there­in, all which were exceeding glorious and magnificent; for the building and providing whereof, David prepared as immense a1 Chro. 22, 14. Vid. Brierwood de nummis. [...]. 16 Budaeum. de Asse fol. 112. Sr. W. Raleigh. Hist. l. 2. c. 17. sect 9. Treasure as we shall like­ly read of in any History; in which [Page 10] respect that holy house is called the Throne of Gods Glory, Jer. 14. 21. By the City Jerusalem, Psal. 48. 2. the mountain of the Lords holiness, and the Joy of the whole earth; by theExo. 30. 23. Psal 45. 8. 2 Cor. 14, 15. 1 Joh. 2. 27. holy oyl, where­with the Tabernacle, the Ark, the ho­ly Vessels and Priests were anoynted, compounded of the principal spices af­ter the Art of the Apothecary; by the beautiful order which was in1 Reg. 10. 5 Solomons Family; by the dressing and preparing of aIsa. 61. 10. Psal. 45. 13, 14. Bride for the Bridegrome, as we read of the long and costly purification of the Virgins to go into King Ahasue­rus, Est. 2. 12. So here, in the Ordi­nances, the Spouse of Christ isRev▪ 19. 7, 8. at­tired and made ready, being arraied in fine linnen, clean and white, and there­by Rom 9. 23. 2 T [...]m 2. 21.prepared unto Glory, and unto every good work. Lastly, By aPsal. 5. 8. Heb. 12. 13. Prov. 4. 2 [...]. 3. 17. Isa 40. 3, 4. strait, smooth, even and pleasant path, where­in is no Crookedness, from whence all sla 62. 10. 57. 14.stumbling blocks and offences are re­moved.

The Author and Efficient of all this [Page 11] Beauty is the Lord, all whoseDeut. 32. 4. works are perfect, who hath made every thing Eccles. 3. 11. beautiful in his time. The summe and total of all Gods works are, the World and the Church; the world is called [...], for the Beauty and Comliness of of it; in the which every thing wasGen. 1. 31. very good when the Lord took a view of it. But the Lord hath chosen his Church upon which to bestow more abundant Glory. It is called a Land of Ornament, Dan. 11. 16. A land of Desire, Jer. 3. 19. in the building whereof the Lord is said to appear in his Glory, Psa. 102. 16. The World is beautified with the power and wisdom of God; the Church besides that, with his Love and Grace: in the World we have the foot-prints of his Greatness, but in the Church we have the Image of his Holiness: The World was made by him, the Church like him; the World to shew forth his Glory, the Church to enjoy it; the World a Tenement for his Creatures to dwell in, the Church a Palace for himself to dwell in; he hath [Page 12] Psal. 132. 13, 14. Psal. 76 2. Exod. 25. 8.desired it for his Habitation, it is his Rest for ever. Above all Excellen­cies, Holiness is the Beauty of a Crea­ture; and therefore the Angels, who excell in all created perfection, are a­bove all other Appellations honoured with the name of Saints Deut. 33. 2. they differ not in nature from Devils, in Holinesse they do. Derived Holiness consisteth in conformity to primitive ho­liness. The Lord is most holy in him­self, and our holiness standeth in his Image and Likeness, so far forth as he hath by an holy Law made his Holiness a pattern for ours. And when we threw away that Image of God, where­in our created Holiness consisted, and the Lord was pleased in any of us to re­new it again; he did it by the pattern of his beloved Son, who is theCol. 1. 15. Heb. 1. 3. Image of the invisible God, and the Character of his person, full of Grace and Truth. Now then according to the Excellency of the pattern, we are to measure, and take an estimate of that Beauty, wherein [Page 13] we are conformable unto that pattern; and what pattern more glorious then the blessed God, and the Holy Son of God, the chiefest of ten thousand? unto whom therefore the conformity of a Creature must be its chief and principal Beauty.

There are several Attributes or Pro­perties whereby the Excellency of this Beauty may be further discovered.

1. Light and Luster; for as a great part of the Corporal Beauty is in the life and vigour of the eye, so of spiritual Beauty in the clarity and brightness of the mind; when the Lord,2 Cor. 4 6 who commanded the Light to shine out of Darkness, shineth in our Hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; as the Sun is the greatest Beauty of the visible world, so Christ, as aMat. 4. 2. Sun of Righteousness, by thePhil. 3. 8. Ex­cellency of his knowledge, is the glory and beauty of the invisible.

2. Rectitude & Straitness; the wise man thus expresseth our primitive Beauty, [Page 14] thatEccles. 7. 29. God made man perfect; and we do then recover this Beauty, when we are without Psal. 32. 2. guil, and perverseness of Spirit; when we makeHeb. 12. 13. strait paths for our feet to walk in, andGal. 2. 14. do [...], go evenly according to the Truth of the Gospel.

3. Integrity andCol. 2. 10. Compleatness; when all the parts and members of the new man are formed in us, and we do partake of theJoh. 1. 16. fulness of Christ, Grace for Grace, as the Child of his parent, member for member. The Lord in the Law would not accept of a maimed Of­fering, Levit. 22 21, 22. And when we offer up our selves aRom. 12. 1, 2. living Sacri­fice holy and acceptable unto God, we must be1 Thes. 5. 23. sanctified throughout, and our whole Spirit, Soul, and Body must be preserved blameless: for wherever Christ is formed, though it be but in measure as to the degrees of Grace, yet that mea­sure must be theEph. 4. 13, 16. measure of every part, so that there is at once both [...] and [...], as the Apostle speaks, [Page 15] a measure in regard of the Imperfection of every Grace, and yet a fulnesse in re­gard of the perfection of every part, or member of the new man.

4. Symmetry and an exact proportion of parts, and equal temperament of humours one with another, which in regard of Spiritual Beauty is called by Eph. 5. 15.the Apostle [...], an exactnesse of Obedience; when there is such a due temper of Piety to God, Sobriety to our selves, and Righteousness to others, that none of these do obstruct the other, but that there is an equalPsal. 119. 6. respect to all Gods Commandments, and such a supply and accurate distribution of vital influ­ence, unto every member of the new man, that no part doth either swell or wither, that Zeal is not blind, nor Knowledge unfruitful, nor Faith with­out Love, nor the Duties of one Ta­ble without those of another; but that we g [...]ow up untoEph. 4. 15. Christ in all things, and have an effectual working in the measure of every part.

[Page 16] 5. Growth and Progress in these pro­portions; for while we are in this world, we are still in our Minority, and there­fore must still be contending towards perfection. To be a man in years, and a child in stature, is an unbeautiful thing. Christ hath no Dwarfs in his body; though one man attain greater degrees of perfection then another, yet all are in a growing condition: the life of Christ in us being aJoh. 10. 10. life that abounds; and his Grace like theEzek. 47 3, 4, 5. waters of the Sanctuary rising up higher and higher.

Lastly, Indeficiency, wherein spiritual Beauty surpasseth all other; forProv. 31. 30. bo­dily favour is deceitful, and Beauty vain, it runneth all at last into wrinkles and deformity; but as Christ himselfAct. 2. 31. 13. 35. ne­ver saw Corruption, no more doth the Beauty that he brings to the Soul with him. TheyPsal. 92. 13, 14. who are planted in the Lords house, do flourish in his Courts, and are fat and fruitfull in their old age. As we may truly say of sin in a wicked man, Concupiscenti [...] non senescit, though [Page 17] nature wax old and infirm, yet Lust doth not: so we may say of Grace in a good man, Charitas non senescit, it is not apta nata of it self to decay, but proceeds from strength to strength.

The ends of the Ordinances do like­wise further evidence this Beauty of theirs unto us: For they are by Christ intended for such purposes as these.

1. To Quicken us, and to fashion him in us. By nature we areEph. 2. 1, 4, 5 dead in trespasses and sins, and death ever induceth deformity; but by the holy Spirit of Christ working in and by his Ordinances, we are restored unto his Gal. 2. 20. 4. and likeness, andRom. 8. 29. conformed unto the Image of him who is altoge­ther lovely.

2. To clense and purifie us from all Defilements; for thePsal. 19. 8, 9 Ezek. 36. 25. fear of the Lord is clean, and his Commandment pure both in it self, and in its operations; his precious2 Cor. 7. 1. promises by ourAct. 15. 9. faith in them, and by our hope and expectation of them,1 Joh. 3. 3. do clense us from all filthiness of [Page 18] flesh and Spirit, and cause us to purifie our Selves even as he is pure, that we mayMal. 3. 2, 3, 4. offer unto the Lord an Offering in Righteousnesse, that our Offerings may be pleasant unto him.

3. To heal us of all our spiritual di­stempers, whereby the Beauty of the Soul is dimmed or impaired. As many of ChristsMat. 4. 23. Miracles were shewed in making the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame leap, and in curing of all manner of sickness and disease; so the spiritu­al vertue of his holy Ordinances is seen in spiritual Operations consonant un­to those, in which respect he is called a Mat. 9. 12. Isa. 30. 26. 61. 1. Physician to bind up the broken heart­ed, and to heal the stroke of the wound of his people; He is theRev. 22. 2. tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the Nations.

4. To comfort us, to wipe away all tears from our eyes, all sorrow from our hearts, and thereby to make our faces shine; for asExod 34. 29, 30 Moses, by extraordina­ry Converse with God on the Mount, [Page 19] had a lustre on his face, so in some proportion, all Communion with him doth, by the spiritual comfort, bring a Eccles. 8. 1. Rom. 15. 13. Phil. 4. 7. 1 Pet. 1. 8. Beaury upon holy men, filling them with the peace of God which passeth understanding, and with Joy which is unspeakable and glorious.

5. To fit and prepare us for the Lord himself to delight in, that his I­mage in us mayCau. 4. 9. attract the eye and heart, the love and delight of the Lord of Glory unto us; the Lord hathPsal. 4. 3. set apart the man that is godly for himself, hath Psal. 135. 4chosen Israel for his peculiar Treasure, hathIsa. 43. 21. formed them for himself to shew forth his praise, andTit. 2. 14. purified them un­to himself for a peculiar people; and be­cause the Church is in this special man­ner Ezek. 16. 8. 14. Gods own, therefore he will in special manner put his Comliness upon her, and willIsa. 60. 13. beautifie the place of his Sanctuary; as he is called theLuk. [...]. 32. Glory of his people Israel, so he hath hononred his people Israel with this high dignity, to be calledIsa. 46. 13. His Glory

[Page 20] Lastly, The manner of Christs Go­verning his Church by his Ordinances is full of Beauty and Sweetness; with a 1 Reg. 19. 12. still voice, with theHos 11. 4. cords of a man, & with the bands of Love, Isa. 40. 11. 46. 3. he gathereth the Lambs in his arm, and carryeth them in his Bosome; asIsa. 66. 12, 13. one whom his Mo­ther comforteth, so doth he comfort them; he doth not Mat. 12. 20, break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoaking flax; he deals with perswasions and entreaties, by his Ambassadors,2 Cor. 5. 20 Ezek 33. 11. beseeching us to be reconciled unto God: hePsal. 23. 2. leads his Flock by still waters, and into green pastures, throughProv. 3. 17. ways of pleasantnesse, and paths of peace; heLam. 3. 32, 33. doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men; In theHab. 3. 2. midst of wrath he re­membreth Mercy; when he causeth grief, he sheweth compassion; and whenJer. 31. 20. he speaks against Ephraim, he earnestly re­membreth him still; he hath set up a sweet order in his Church both in Do­ctrine and Policy, managing both with 2 Cor. 10 1. meeknesse and gentlenesse, Eph. 2. 17. preaching [Page 21] peace,Isa. 61. 1. proclaiming Liberty, erecting over his people aCant. [...]. 4. Banner of Love; and though he have anPsal. 2. 9. iron Rod for his enemies, yet he holdeth forth a golden Scepter to his people, ruling in their hearts by a spirit of Adoption, and by a Law of Love. Thus he feedeth his Church by his Staff called Beauty; Great therefore is the Indignity which they offer unto Christ, who despise the sweetness of this his Government, the Isa 8 6.waters of Shiloah which go softly, re­fusing to submit to hisMat. 11. 30. easie yoake, be­ing Luk. 19. 21offended at the severity and Sanctity of his Doctrine, saying in their hearts like those in the Gospel, Luke 19. 14. We will not have this man to rule over us, disdainfully un­dervaluing thatHeb. 2 3. great salvation, which he by his pretious blood pur­chased for them, and by the word of his Grace doth continually tender unto them; Spretae injuria formae is no small dishonour done to him who is the Lord of Glory.

[Page 22] Great the Thankfulness we owe un­to him, for the fruit of this his Beautiful and amiable Government, that we who wereCol. 1. 21. enemies unto him by wicked works, and were well pleased with that our misery, should, by the power of his Spirit,Col. 1. 13. be translated from the Tyran­ny of Satan, into the kingdom of Grace, and be made aPsal. 110. 3. willing people, beautified with his Salvation.

Great the value we ought to set upon the Ordinances of the Gospel, the Staff ofPsal. 149. 4. Beauty by which he governeth his Flock, theEzek. 16. 10, 13. Ornaments and Bracelets, the Chain and Jewels which he sendeth unto his Spouse to adorn her withal; No man cometh unto Christ, till he seeth Beauty in him; and vain men,Prov. 8. 36. who love their Lusts better then their life, are naturally prejudiced against his holy ways: He is to the1 Pet. 2. 8. Disobedient a stone of stumbling, a rock of Offence, Luk. 2. 34. a sign to be spoken against. Now by the Light and Majesty of the Ordinances, this prejudice is removed, and2 Cor. 3. 18. we [Page 23] all, with open face beholding, as in a glass, the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same Image from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Great the Duty which we owe to the Gospel, to bear witness unto the Beau­ty thereof by our holy Conversation: ToPhil 4. 8. think on those things which are venerable, just, pure, lovely, and of a good report, whichTit. 2. 10. adorn, andPhil. 1. 27. become the Gospel, and areEphes. 4. 1. worthy of that high Calling wherewith we are called; to remember that we are2 Tim. 2. 21. vessels of Ho­nour, to be purged and sanctified, that we may be meet for our Masters use; that we are1 Cor. 3. 16, 17. 2 Cor. 6, 16. Temples of the Holy Ghost, separated unto his special service and presence; And if any man defile the Tem­ple of God, him will God destroy; That we are aTit. 2. 141 1 Pet. 2. 9. redeemed and a peculiar peo­ple, whom Christ hath purifiedPsal. 4. 3. 135. 4▪ 148 14. Isa. 43. 21. Lev. 20. 26. unto himself; ThatProv. 15. 8. Mal. 2. 3. without Holiness our prayers and Sacrifices are but an abomi­nation; For asHeb. 12. 14. without Holiness no man can see God, so without Holiness [Page 24] no man can serve him;Jer. 11. 15. What hath my Beloved to do in my house, saith the Lord, seeing she hath wrought lewdness? The Lord will be sanctified in all that draw nigh unto him.

We should thereforeall in our several places, especially those unto whom the Pastoral Dignity and Trust doth apper­tain, use our utmost care to preserve the Church of God amongst us in that honour and beauty which belongs there­unto; not corrupting the Doctrine thereof, or obtruding any meer pro­blematical, much less false and unsound positions of our own, upon the faith of our Hearers; not corrupting the Wor­ship thereof either with superstition, or irreverence, not suffering either the meer Form of Godliness to swallow up the power, or the pretence of power to shut out the Form, but to give the Lord both that inward and outward Ho­nour, which is due to his holy name in all our solemn Attendances upon him; not corrupting the sanctity thereof either [Page 25] with Hypocrisie or Prophaness, with meer specious Pretences of Holiness on the one hand, or with open and down­right Contempt thereof on the other. Lastly, Not corrupting the Decency and Order thereof; either by burthening Gods Service with an excessive number of needless Observances; or on the other side censuring and deserting the Communion of a Sound and Orthodox Church, because the Order thereof doth not in every particular please us. Thus is the Church to be fed and Ruled with the former of our Prophets Staves, The Staff Beauty.

Secondly, Christ, as the chief She­pherd, by his Spirit and Power, and his Under-Officers, by their Ministery and Service, do feed and rule his Church by his Staffe called Bands, procuring and advancing the Unity thereof, and gathering together into one all the members belonging thereunto, that the whole body may be fitly joyned together [Page 26] and compacted without Schisms and Di­visions, which is a singular and eminent Blessing of God thereunto. God made man at the first after his own Image, so that as the Lord is wholly one and un­divided in himself, no dissonancy be­tween any of his Attributes, Decrees, or Counsels; so in man as he came out of Gods hands, there was an exact har­mony and agreement; his Affections consonant unto his Will, his Will to his Reason, and his Reason to God. And being thus perfectly One with him­self, he could not but be one likewise with others, who were perfectly like himself, as finding nothing more in them, from the which to differ, then in himself. But when sin came into the world, it brake the bond of Union be­tween God and man, making usCol. 1. 21. Rom. 5. 10. ene­mies unto him by wicked works, and so Isa. 59. 2. separating between him and us, and hiding hie face from us. It brake the bond of Union between a man and him­self, the Will rebelling against the [Page 27] Mind, the Sensitive part against the rati­onal, oneJam. 4. 1. lust warring against another, and all against the Soul. It brake the bond of Union between man and man, between one wicked man and another, upon the ground of different Interests, Tit. 3. 3.hateful and hating of one another; between wicked men and good men, upon the ground of contrary seeds, the the Lord havingGen. 3. 15. put enmity between the Seed of the woman, and the Seed of the Serpent; Because God hath chosen his Church out of the world, therefore the Joh. 15. 19 1 Joh. 3. 1. D [...]on c. 36. world hateth them; When he had his Church only in one single people, the Jews, who dwelt alone, and were Num. 23. 9. Philostrat l. 5. not rec­koned among the Nations, we find not only in theNehem. 4. 2, 3, 4. Ester 3. 8, 9. Psal. 44. 13, 14. 79. 1, 4. 137. 3. Lam. 1. 7. 2. 15, 16. Isa. 43. 28. 47. 6. Jer. 24. 9. 1 Reg. 9. 7. Scriptures, but also in Cicero Orat. L. Flacco. Plin. l. 13. cap. 4. Tacit. Hist. lib. 5. Plutarch. Symposiac. 1. Pal. 5. Justin. l. 36. Sueton. August. cap. 76. H. Tiber. cap. 36. Horat. lib. 1. Sa­tyr. 9. Juvenal. Sat. 3. 6 14. Martial Petron. Epigram. Apion apud Josephum & Eusebium, Hist. l. 2. cap. 5. Vid. P. Cunaei Antiquit. Heb. l. 2. c. 24. & l. 3. c. 5.prophane Writers how great scorn and contempt was cast upon chem by those [Page 28] of other Nations. And when Christian Religion began to obtain in the world, the like horrible Reproaches were cast upon Christians, as we read of Thyestaea convivia, & Oedipi incestus, inTertul. A­polog. c. 1, 2, 3, 7. Ter­tullian, Euseb. l. 4. c. 7. & l. 5. cap. 1. Eusebius, and [...] Justin. Martyr, Apo­log. 2. & Dial. cum Tryph. Athenag. Lega­tio pro Christi­anis. p. 4. 37, 38 Minut. Felix in Octav. others. So true is that of Solomon, He that is up­right in the way, is an abomination unto the wicked.

This Enmity Christ came to heal, and to remove, by preaching, and by giving peace unto men, working the hearts of his people to be at unity and peace one with another; in which respect Christ saith of his Church, My Dove, my unde­filed is but one, Cant, 6. 9. Now a thing may be said to be one two manner of ways; there is unum per unitatem, when a thing is so one, as that it doth not any way consist of many, as God is one by the absolute simplicity of his Nature, without any diversity of part and part, power and act, matter and form, sub­ject and accident, being and not being: There is likewise unum per unionem, [Page 29] when one thing is constituted, and made up of many things united and joyned together, and thus the Church is One. 1 Cor. 10. 17. 12. 12. We being many, saith the Apo­stle, are one bread, and one body. And a­gain, as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. In this respect it is compared sometimes to anCan. 6. 10. Army, made up of many Souldiers, ordered into Companies and Regiments, under the Command of one General, called theJosh. 5. 14. Captain of the Host of the Lord, and theHeb. 2. 10. Captain of our Sal­vation. Sometimes toPsal. 132. 3 Rev. 21. 10.—21. a City compact­ed together, and accurately proportion­ed in all the parts and measures thereof: Sometimes to the Tabernacle of the Con­gregation, whereinExod. 26. 6. divers Curtains were coupled and joyned together, by loops and taches, into one Sanctuary: Some­times to the Temple, 1 Reg. 5. 17. wherein many goodly stones were framed and fitted into a Magnificent Structure, in which respect the Church is1 Tim. 3. 15 Heb. 3. 6. called the House [Page 30] of God, the Houshold of Faith, the Eph. 3. 15.whole Family of Heaven and Earth, a Eph. 2. 21. building fitly framed together, and grow­ing unto a holy Temple in the Lord: Sometimes to a Joh. 15. 5. Vine, consisting of one root and many branches; and to a Rom. 12. 4. 5. Eph. 1. 22, 23. bo­dy, wherein many members are conjoyned under one Head, and animated by one Soul. Thus the Church is One. And albe­it we frequently read in the plural2 Cor. 81. Gal. 1. 2. Act. 15. 41. Rev. 1. 4. of the Churches of the Saints, the Churches of Asia, of Macedonia, of Galatia, of Sy­ria and Cilicia, yet all these are mem­bers of one and the same Catholick Church, as many Cities of one Kingdome, and many houses of one City. For all the persons, all the Assemblies and Associati­ons in the world, who acknowledge and worship one true God, and one Me­diator between God and Man, the Lord Jesus, walking by one and the same rule of Faith and Love in the Gospel, do all make up but one Catholick Church.

And the former Resemblances and Similitudes whereby it is expressed, lead [Page 31] us to the consideration of a threefold Unity in the Church. 1. An Unity by way of Disposition and Order, as in an Army or Building. 2. An Unity by way of Composition, or integral Com­pletion, as between the parts of the body unto the perfection of the whole. 3. An Unity by way of Constitution, or Essential Concurrence of Soul and Bo­dy unto one man or of the Subject, and vital principles whereby it is animated.

There is then in the Church 1. An Unity of Order, as the Apostle rejoyced when he beheld theCol. 2. 5. Order of the Church at Colosse. And this consisteth, 1. In Variety of Offices, and in the due and regular Subordination of those one un­to another, and of the body unto them all, as the1 Cor. 12. 28. Eph. 4. 11, 12. Apostle telleth us, that God hath set in the Church first Apo­stles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teach­ers, &c. And that Christ when he a­scended up on high, gave some Apo­stles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors, and Teach­ers, [Page 32] for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; and these the1 Thes. 5. 12 Heb. 13. 17. Apostle requireth the rest of the Body to Esteem very highly in love, to obey them, and submit themselves, un­to them, because they watch for their Souls▪ 2. In Variety of Ordinances in the whichGal. 4. 1. Christ is set forth before the eyes of his people; Such are Read­ing the Scripture, for as in that Church of the Jews,Act. 13. 27. 15. 21. Moses and the Prophets were read in the Synagogues every Sab­bath day; So theCol. 4. 16. 1 Thes. 5. 27. Apostle directeth the Reading of his Epistl [...]s in the Chri­stian Church. Preaching of the Word, Rom. 10. 14, 15. Mark. 16. 15. how shall they hear, saith the Apostle, without a Preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent? Prayer, as the Temple is calledIsa. 56. 7. Act. 3. 1. an house of Prayer for all people, and Peter and John went up to the Temple at the hour of Prayer: Baptism, Mat. 28. 19 Go and teach all Nations, Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the [Page 33] Holy Ghost. The Supper of the Lord; 1 Cor. 10. 16. 11. 23.The Cup of Blessing which we bless, is it not the Communion of the blood of Christ? the bread which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ? 3. In variety of Gifts, which the Lord doth1 Cor. 12. 4, 11. severally divide as it pleaseth him, for the profit and good of the whole body. In the Administration of which Ordinances, Offices, and Gifts, such De­cency and Order is to be observed, as that it may appear, that in all the Churches of the Saints, God is a1 Cor. 14. 33, 40. God of Peace, and not of Confusion, ordaining in all of them, that1 Cor. 7. 17, 24. as God hath distributed to every man, & called every man, so he should a­bide with God within the Precincts of his own Calling,Jer. 23. 21, 32. 2 Chro. 26. 18. Rom. 10. 15. Heb. 5. 4. not running before he be sent, but serving the Lord in that rank & station wherein he hath set him.

2. An Integral Vnity, as between all the parts of an intire body, joyned in due order together, unto the compleating of the whole; and this Unity presup­poseth a double Vnion; the one of the [Page 34] body to the head, the other of the mem­bers to one another; of both which the Apostle speaketh, Ephes. 4. 15, 16.

1. There is a bond of Vnion between Christ and his body the Church;1 Cor. 6. 17. 1 Joh 3. 24. 4. 13. He that is joyned unto the Lord, is one Spirit; and this Bond is on Christs part his Spi­rit, whereby he joyneth himself unto his Body,Eph. 2. 22. we are an habitation of God through the Spirit; and on a Believers part his Fatth, whereby he joyneth him­self to Christ, andHos. 1. 11. Eph. 3. 17. appointeth him for his Head, by which means Christ dwelleth in the hearts of his people; Both which the Apostle putteth together, calling it the2 Cor. 4. 13. Spirit of Faith.

2 There is a Bond of Vnion between the members of the body amongst them­selves, viz. The mutual Love of Belie­vers unto one another, called theCol. 3. 14. 2. 2. Band of perfectness, whereby they are knit together; for this Grace is that Cement which joyneth the Stones of this spiritu­al building into one Temple, being shed abroad into their hearts by the holy [Page 35] Spirit, and is therefore called the Love of the Spirit, Rom. 15. 30. asEph. 4. 3, 4. Phil. 1. 19. 2. 1. elsewhere the Vnity, the Supply, and the Fellowship of the Spirit; For where this Unity of Spirit and Love is, every member doth make aEph. 4. 16. Supply according to the measure which it self hath, for the increasing and edifying of the body,Act 9. 31. walking together in the fear of the Lord, and in the com­fort of the Holy Ghost.

3. An Essential Vnity, or asHilar. de Trim. t. Lib. 8. St. Hilary calls it, Naturalis Vnitas; as the body and the soul being joyned together maketh one man; and thus Christ is saidEph. 2 15. to make in himself of twain one new man, by the participation of thatEph. 4. 4▪ one Spirit which wasJoh. 3. 34. without measure poured out upon Christ the Head, andJoh. 1. 16. 7. 38. 1 Cor. 12 11. from his Fulness shed abroad in such proportion upon his Members as he is variously pleased to dispence unto them; by which meansGal. 4. 19. 2. 20. Rom. 8. 10. Joh 6. 63. 1 Cor. 15. 45. 2 Cor. 3. 6. 18. Christ is formed in us; liveth in us, and is a quickning Spirit unto us; for the Spirit of Christ is that divine 1 Joh. 3. 9. seed, where­by we are regenerated unto his life and [Page 36] likeness, and as St. Peter expresseth it, are 2 Pet. 1. 4. partakers of the Divine Nature.

4. Consequent upon this Essential Vnity, whereby all the mystical members of Christ are animated and enlivened by one and the same quickning Spirit, doth follow a Moral unity of hearts and minds between all of them; as it is said of the Primitive Christians,Act. 4. 32. that the multitude of them that believed, were of one heart, and of one soul. And this Moral unity is four-fold.

1. An Vnity of Faith, in the great and necessary Doctrines of Salvation, or in theEph. 4. 13. Joh. 17. 3. knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, called by the Apostle the1 Cor. 3. 10, 11. Foun­dation, theHeb. 6. 1. Principles of the Doctrine of Christ, the2 Tim. 1. 13 Rom 6. 17. form of sound words, the pro­portion orRom. 12. 6. Analogy of Faith, the1 Cor. 2. 2. know­ledge of Jesus Christ and him Crucified, the1 Tim 6. 3. Tit. 1. 1. doctrine and truth which is after god­liness, chil. 1 27.the Faith of the Gospel, theRev. 14 12 Faith of Jesus, the1 Tim. 3. 16. Mystery of Godliness, the Phil. 3. 16. R [...]g [...]la parvis maga [...]s (que) com­mu [...]. Aug. Ep. 17. Rule by which we should walk, called by the Ancients, the Seed of Doctrine, [Page 37] the Character of the Church, the Rule which is common to small and great; in one word, whatever Doctrine there is, the Joh. 17. 3. Act. 4. 12. Joh. 8. 24.knowledge whereof, and assent where-unto, is simply necessary unto Salvati­on; in this all who shall be saved, do first or last most unanimously agree. Diffe­rences there may be, and usually are, in less necessary points, which are matters quaestionum, non fidei, as S. Austin speaks, for we1 Cor. 13▪ 9 Eph. 4. 13. know but in part, and are not yet come to be perfect men; and till the members have attained unto their full stature, there cannot be expected an uni­versal consent, and harmony of judge­ments in all points, even among the best and most learned men; in which case notwithstanding we shouldRom. 14. 1. 3. receive one another in love and Brotherly Commu­nion, because God himself receiveth even those who thus differ into his favour; but the Spirit of God doth never fail to lead all that shall be saved into all necessary truths, and to preserve them from any damnable and pernicious doctrines.

[Page 38] 2. Vnity in obedience, wherein all holy men do agree, albeit some may much ex­ceed others in their progress and de­grees of holiness (as we may see by com­paring the1 Reg. 15. 11. 14. 2 Reg. 23. 25. Testimony given unto Asa, and unto Josiah) such areLuk. 13. 3. 5. Repentance from dead works, without which we can­not be saved.Act. 16. 30, 31. Reliance upon Christ alone by a sincere and unfeigned faith for Life and Salvation.1 Cor. 16. 22. 1 Joh. 3. 14. A true love of the Lord Jesus, and of all that are his.Psal. 66. 18▪ 119. 128. Rom 6. 1, 2. 8. 1. 13. A sincere re­gard unto all Gods Commandments, and an hatred of every false way.Nehe. 1. 11 Isai. 26. 8. Psal 17. 3. 119. 57. Act. 13. 23. Num 14▪ 24. A desire to fear Gods Name, and a purpose of heart to cleave unto him, and follow him fully. Lastly,Mat. 6. 24. Self-denial, submitting our Will, and Reason, in all things to the Word and Will of God. There may be great differences in the spiritual growth and degrees of holiness between one Christian and another,Rom. 15. 1. Heb. 5. 13, 14. 1 Joh. 2. 12, 13. Mat. 12. 20. some sick, others healthy, some strong, others weak, some little children, others young men, some bruised reeds and smoaking flax, others bold as a Lyon. But this is obedi­entia [Page 39] parvis magnisque communis.

3. Unity in Worship: For though dif­ferent Churches may have different ob­servances in the External forms and modes of Divine Service, yet in the Substantials of Worship they all agree, viz. Joh. 4. 24. Ph. l. 3. 3. that God is to be worshipped in spi­rit, and in truth, and to beLevit. 10. 3 Job 11. 13, 14. Psa. 26. 6. 66. 18 Pro. 15. 8. Isa. 1. 15. 18. sanctified in all those that draw nigh unto him. That we are to call upon God only Joh. 16. 23, 24. in the Name of Christ, as our1 Tim. 2. 5 1 Joh. 2. 1. alone Advocate and Mediator,Col. 3. 17. giving thanks unto God the Father by him. That we areCol. 2. 18, 19. not to worship Creatures, who cannot know our hearts, nor answer our prayers, nor supply our wants, in whom we are not required to believe, but are to hold the head &1 Cor. 10. 14. 1 Joh. 5. 21. to keep our selves from Idols.

4. Unity in Ends and Designs; for being Brethren in theEph. 3. 15. 2. 19. 4. 4. 5. 6. same Family, fel­low-Citizens with one another, and of the houshold of Faith, having one Hope, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptisme, one God and Father of all; the same Enemies to op­pose, the same interests and common [Page 40] Salvation to look after, they conse­quently prosecute the same Ends, and do not only walk by the same Rule, but in so doing, do mind the same things, Phil 3. 16. It is true, being in part carnal, they do too much seek and serve themselves; but so far forth as they have the same spi­rit, they are of the same mind with the Apostle,Act. 20. 24. Phil. 1. 20. to prefer the honor of Christ, and the service of his Church, above their own dearest interest, according to what our Saviour hath taught us,Luk. 14 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his Father, and Mother, and Wife, and Children, and Bre­thren, and Sisters, yea, and his own life al­so, he cannot be my Disciple. The Glory of God, the progress of the Gospel, the advancement of Christs Kingdome, the subversion of the Kingdome of Satan, the comforts and concernments of the Church of Christ, are in their hearts and endeavours still to promote; as1 Cor 12. 26. the members of the Natural, so they of the Spiritual Body, have all a care one of an­other; the end of the parts is the safety [Page 41] of the whole; they are all partakers of one spiritual Nature, and all heirs of one common Inheritance; and there­fore as one principal fruit of the Com­munion of Saints, they aim at the same ends, and prosecute the same designes, joyning together in all Christian Servi­ces of Love against their common ene­mies, the World, the Flesh and the De­vill.

These are those several Unities which Christ by his Staffe called Bands doth preserve in his Church, thereby greatly beautifying and strengthning the same. Of this Peace he is both theEph. 2. 13, 16. Col. 1. 20. purchaser by the price of his blood, and theJer. 32. 39. Au­thor by the Efficacy of his Grace, giving unto his people one heart and one way; And lastly, The Bond by the Communi­on of his Spirit; forEph 4. 16. from him it is that the body is joyned and compacted toge­ther, asEph. 2. 20. 1 Pet. 2 6. the corner stone of a building fasteneth all the parts thereof unto one another; and therefore the Apostle ex­horteth us to be like minded, by Argu­ments [Page 42] drawn from Christ and his Spirit; If there be any Consolation in Christ, if any Comfort of Love, if any Fellowship of the Spirit, if any Bowels and Mercies, ful­fil ye my Joy, that ye he like minded, have­ing the same love, being of one accord, of one mind, Phil. 2. 1, 2.

But it may be here objected against all this, that our Saviour himself telleth us, That he came not to send Peace but a sword, to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, Mat. 10. 34, 34. which wordsBuxtorf-Lexicon. Chald. p. 1648. Buxtorf hath observed in the Talmund to be affirmed of the days of the Messiah; and we see it plain by much experience; many times, Aug. in. Psa. 44.saith St. Austin, a young man pleaseth God, and so doing displeaseth a wicked father, who is angry that God is preferred before him; Fortior est gladius spiritualis separans quam copulans natura carnalis. Baron. [...] p. 300. Sect. 3. Baronius telleth us of Anastasia a Ro­mane Lady, whom because she was a Christian, her own husband did cast in to prison, and miserably afflict, and so [Page 43] theGal. 4. 29. Apostle assureth us, that as Isaac was persecuted by his own brother Ish­mael, so it is stil, They that are born af­ter the flesh, do persecute them that are born after the Spirit, Gal. 4. 29. Where ever the Gospel is preached, they that embrace and obey it, are hated and virulently opposed by them that disobey it.

In answer hereunto we say, That all this is accidental to the Gospel; it is no fault in the Sun, if shining on a dung­hill a stinking vapour be exhaled; nor is it the fault of the Gospel, if by occasion thereof, the proud lusts of men be exasperated and enraged. When the Asyrians spoiled the Nations, andIsa. 10. 14. none durst open the mouth, or peep, his Ty­ranny was not at all commended by such a doleful quietness. In like manner nei­ther is the Gospel at all prejudiced by any such commotions, as through the lusts of wicked men, are meerly per accidens and occasionally stirred up by the preach­ing of it. When Christ went into Jeru­salem to offer himself to them as their [Page 44] King, it is said, That the whole City was moved, Mat. 21. 10. And elsewhere, that thereJoh. 7. 43. was a division among the people be­cause of him; in like manner where ever he comes as a King to raign, there will be motions in the minds of the people; there will be some who will say,Luk. 19. 14. Nolimus hunc, we will not have this man to raign over us: and when their own pride and obstinacy are the causes of these moti­ons, they yet charge all upon the Gospel and the Preachers thereof, asAmos 7. 10. if the land were not able to bear their words; as Tertullus accused Paul, Act. 24. 5. We have found this man a Pestilent Fellow, and a Mover of Sedition among all the Jews through­out the world. As if the Chaffe should complain of the Fan, that all was quiet in the Barn till that came; or the dross of the Furnace, that the m [...]ttal and that lay quietly together, till the fire severed them. Christ comes with aMat. 3. 12. Fan to purge his Floor, and withMat 3. 2, 3. refiners fire, to purifie the sons of Levi, and to ga­ther his Church out of the world; by [Page 45] which means he did occasionJoh. 15. 15 the ha­tred of the world against it; which would not have been, if all had obeyed the Gospel;Act. 17. 32. but some receive it with scorn, and others with obedience, and hence it is that Offences come.

But the Gospel per se in its own Na­ture, and in its proper and primarie In­tention, is a word of Peace, and doth closely unite all that obey it unto Christ their head, and unto one another, by the firm bonds of Faith and Love, subduing the hearts of Wolves, Leopards and Ly­ons, Isa▪ 11. 6. giving gifts even to the Rebellious, Psalm 68. 18. casting down every high thing that exaleth it self a­gainst the knowledge of God, 2 Cor. 10. 5.

And besides, it is thus far a Staffe of Bands unto the Church farther, that though it doth thus exasperate the hearts, yet it doth usually muzzle and restrain the rage and power of wicked men, thatPsal 21. 11 they are not able to perform the evils which they intend: so that by [Page 46] the Majesty and Authority thereof Psal. 110. 2.Christ ruleth in the midst of enemies, Prov. 16. 7.maketh them to be at peace with his people,Exod. 3. 21, 22. maketh Aegyptians to enrich them,1 Sam. [...]2. 3, 4. Isa. 16. 4. 1 Sam. 27. 1. 5. Moabites and Philistines shelter them,2 Sa [...]. 8 [...]. Syrians bring gifts unto them, and theIsa. 60. 14. Psal. 66. 3. 68, 29, 30. enemies that afflicted them, bend, and profese to serve them.

Now for the Application of this Doctrine, it teacheth us:

1. THat Christian Policy and Order, prudent, meek, religious Go­vernment, is a very great blessing to the Church of God, and greatly to be de­sired, because thereby Vnity and Con­cord are preserved among the Sheep of Christ, and as by a ferce or hedge they are thereby secured from the irruption of Wolves who would devour and make a prey of them; and all leaven and chast which would soure the Lump, and cor­rupt the coin, is purged out, and fan­ned [Page 47] away.Tit. 3. 9. 1 Thes. 5. 14. 2 Thes. 3. 14. When the unruly are ad­monished, and the weak strengthned, and the Feeble-minded comforted, and Hereticks rejected, and disorderly Wal­kers made ashamed, this greatly tend­eth both to the honour, and to the health and safety of the Church of God.

2. It teacheth us to take heed of thoseRom. 16. 17, 18. who cause divisions and breaches contrary to the Doctrine of Christ which we have received, who rend his Seamless Coat, and make their tongues and their pens bellows to blow up the flames of contention among Christians, biting, tearing, and devouring one ano­ther, of whom the Apostle saith, That they serve not the Lord Jesus but their own belly. It is noted byEpiphan. Haer [...]s. 4 2. Epiphanius as a wicked speech of Marcion the Here­tick, Ego findam Ecclesiam vestram, & mi [...]tam fiffuram in ipsam in aeternum: And the Apostle maketh the ground of con­tentions and divisions in the Church to be fleshly Lusts, 1 Cor. 3. 3. Gal. 5. 20. [Page 48] It is a great sin to make an undue sepa­ration from the true Church of Christ. A sin against the Communion of Saints from which the Separation is made. A sin against the Unity and Peace of the Church, which we all ought with our ut­most endeavours to preserve. A sin against the Spirit of Christ, which is thereby grieved, as the soul is pained by the wounds which are made upon the body. A sin against the honor of Christ, whose name is thereby exposed to contempt and reproach. A sin a­gainst a mans own edification, who there­by cutteth himself off from the means of Grace, and exposeth himself to the danger of Heresie and Contagion. And therefore those holy Fathers St.Cyprian Ep [...]st. 65. Sect 2 Ep. 76. Sect. 5. de unitat. Ec­cles. Sect. 16. Cypri­an, Aug. ep. 162. & lib. 2. de Baptismo. c. 6. Augustine, andOptatus contra Parmen. lib. 1. Optatus, use to set forth the Atrocity and danger of this sin, by the greatness and strangeness of the Judgement, wherewith God pu­nished it in Corah, Dathan and Abiram, and those who adhered unto them, whom the earth opened her mouth to [Page 49] swallow up; and by the sore Judgement upon the ten Tribes, in their total re­jection, for separating from the house of David, and the true Worship of God in Jerusalem. We should therefore take special heed of departing from the true Church of Christ, where his Word is truly taught, and where Christ the foundation is held, for every infirmity or blemish which we may conceive to be upon it; for though the Apostle repro­ved many Corruptions and Abuses in the Church of Corinth, yet he blameth the Contentions, Emulations, Breaches and Divisions which were therein, 1 Cor. 1. 11, 12, 13. Of this sort were the No­vatians, Luciferians, Donatists, Audians in the antient Church, who for laxness of Discipline, or other Corruptions which they apprehended to be therein, did withdraw & keep themselves apart from their Communion: To such as these it was a good speech ofContra Parmen. l. 3. Optatus, We have one Faith, one Baptism, one Conversation: We read the same di­vine [Page 50] Testaments, we are of the same Sheep [...]fold, we have been washed and wrought together, we are parts of the same garment, but ripped one from ano­ther, Sar [...]ura necessaria est, there wants nothing but that we be sewed up and reunited again.

I shall not here enter upon any Po­lemical discourse to vindicate our own, or other Reformed Churches from that heavy Charge of Schism wherewith Pon­tificians implead us, for having forsaken the Communion of the Roman Church. Our Learned Writers have thus stated the Case.

1. That it is theB. Jewels Defence. part 5. P. 505, 506, 507 Mo [...]nay of the Church. c. 10. p. 358. D. Cra­kenthorp a­gainst Spalat. c. 79. se. 3. c. 82. sect. 7. c. 85. sect. 1. B. White against Fisher. p. 107. B. Lawd Confer. sect. 21. p. 133, 142, 143 D. Chilling­worth. c. [...]. sect. 30, 35, 38, 5 [...], 59, 74. Cause, and not the Separation, that makes the Schismatick; they who give the Cause, for which it is necessary to separate, are the Authors of the Schism; for where there is a ne­cessary Cause to separate, we are com­manded by God so to do, 2 Cor, 6. 17. Rev. 18. 4. As we find when Jeroboam had corrupted the Worship of God, the Priests and Levites, and out of all the [Page 51] Tribes; such as set their hearts to seek the Lord, departed from his Idolatry, 2 Chron. 11. 13, 16 30. 11. For certainly one particular Church may reform it self, though another will not.

2. That they gave the Cause of this Breach and Separation, and that upon several accompts. 1. ByB. Morton Prot. Appeal. l. 4. c. 2. sect. 9. sect. 37, 38. B. Ushers Serm. on Eph. 4. 13. p. 7. B. White a­gainst Fisher. p. 106. B. Lawd Con­fer. sect. 21. p. 135. & sect. 25. p. 192. B. Bramhal Church of En­gland defended. p. 13, 14, 66, 181, 367, 390. Chillingworth c. 5. s. 25, 31. 33 35, 40, 50, 51, 59, 62, 64, 65, 68, 69. 78, 106 many and great Corruptions in Doctrine and Wor­ship, whereby they themselves de­parted from the primitive Purity, which Errors and Corruptions they ob­truded and imposed upon us as Conditions of their Communion. 2. ByB. Bram­hals Defence passim. F. Mason de Minister. Angl. l. 2. c. 10. B. Lawd. sect. 25. Num. 10, 11. great en­croachments and usurpations upon the just power of Princes, and Liberties of Churches. 3. ByB. White against Fisher. p. 106, 107. Chillingworth. c. 5. 61. 96. Tyranny in Excommu­nications, Persecutions and fiery Inqui­sitions, frighting and thrusting us from their Communion 4. ByB. White. p. 106. B. Lawd sect. 24. p. 156. & sect. 35. p. 297. Chilling. sect. 53. refusing to be reclaimed, or healed of these distempers, in that they challenge a peculiar Infalli­bility, [Page 52] & a power to hold all other Chur­ches under their Laws & Dominations.

3. That this was not a Secession from theJewels De­fence p. 499. Mornay of the Church c. 10. Crakenth. c. 79 sect. 4. Morton. Appeal l. 4 c. 2. sect. 10. sect. 43. Gerard. Loc. de Eccles. sect. 180 B. Lawd. sect. 25 n. 18. p. 192. Chillingworth. sect. 32, 45, 47, 94. Catholick Church, nor from the Pri­mitive Church, (unto whose judgement we are willing to appeal) but only from the Corruptions, Faction and Tyranny of a particular Church, with whom not­withstanding we retain an Unity still, in all points of Doctrine and Worship, which they hold consonant to the Will of God in his Word revealed, disowning nothing but those Errors and Additions which they have superinduced upon the Institutions of Christ.

Lastly, That this isGerard ubi supra. sect. 179. B. Ushers Ser. p. 27, 31. Mor­nay of the Ch. c. 9. p. 324. c. 10 p 358. Cra­kenth. c 85. sect 2. Field of the Church. l. 3. c. 8, 12. & Ap­pendix p 3. sect. 2. B Lawd E­pist Dedicat. to the King. p. 16. Chilling. sect. 91. Carleton Consens. loc. de Scriptura. e. 1. pag. 9. 14. D. Jo. Whiteway, sect. 50. not to set up a new Church which was never in the world before; for the Church is the same now as formerly, only sick and overgrown with Corruptions then; healed, weeded, purged and reformed now; nor were there wa [...]ting in for­mer [Page 53] ages, after those Corruptions pre­vailed in the Church, many Witnesses who appeared for the Truths then sup­pressed, greatly complained of the con­trary abuses, and earnestly desired a re­formation, as under the defection of the ten Tribes the Lord had seven thou­sand who had not bowed the knee to Baal, 1 Reg. 19. 18. and a Remnant ac­cording to the Election of Grace under the Apostacy of the Jews, Rom. 11. 1, 5.

3. We should be exhorted to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace; not to judge, despise, or condemn one another, but mutually to edifie where we agree, and to endeavour Reconcili­ation wherein we differ; to be perfectly joyned together, if it be possible, in the same Judgement, to think, and to speak the same things; however to mind the same End, to intend the same Com­mon Salvation, to hold fast the same head, to pursue the same Interest, and however we go in several paths of the same Rode, yet still to have our faces towards the same City.

Arguments to perswade unto this holy uni­ty, to obey the Government of Christ under his Staffe Bands, are many and weighty.

1. A Contrario. Consider the Unity and Confederacy of Satan, and all his Instruments against Christ and his Church; for our Saviour telleth us, that Satan is not divided against himself, Mat. 12. 26. We read of theMat. 16. 18. Gates of hell, whereby we understand the united Powers and Counsels of the kingdom of Darkness ag [...]inst the Kingdom of Christ; and as Devils, so the wicked of the world joyn hand in hand against the Church; theyPsal. 2. [...]2. Psal. 83. 3, 8. Act. 4. 27. consult together with one consent, and are confederate against it; they will lay down their own private enmities to combine against Christ, as Luk. 23. 12. Isa. 9. 21. Pilate and Herod did; Fas est & ab hoste doceri; if enemies unite to destroy the Church, should not we unite to preserve it? especially considering what [Page 55] aHist. of the Councel of Trent. p. 49. Hoc consilio Ju­lianus inter Christianos dissi­dia fovebat ut minore negotio debell arentur, si prius bello in­ter se coaflictati fuissent. Baron. Ann. 392. sect. 285. grave Historian noteth, That in the cause of Religion, every Subdivision is a strong Weapon in the hand of the contrary party. Our intestine Mutinies and Di­stempers, do the Enemies work for him. He may stand still, and please himself, to see us bite and devour one another. A­gain, Consider the Turpitude, Defor­mity and Danger of Schisms and Divi­sions, which are the same in a Political or Ecclesiastical body, as in the natural, wherein whatsoever mangleth and se­parateth part from part, doth greatly weaken and deform the whole. They gratifie the common enemy; Hoc Ithacus velit. They grieve the holy Spirit, as wounds in the body natural put the soul to pain. They dishonour the holy. Gospel which is a Gospel of Peace. They loosen and weaken the Interest of Re­ligion; for when Gal. 5. 15. we bite and devour one another, we are in danger to be con­sumed one of another. They minister oc­casion to prophane Spirits to turn A­theists, and cast off all Religion, as a [Page 56] thing of uncertainty, wherein the Pro­fessors thereof themselves know not how to agree. They have their founda­tion in carnal and sensual Interests, as Pride, Revenge, Discontent, Coveteous­ness, and other inordinate Lusts, and therefore are reckoned by the Apostle amongst theGal. 5. 20. 1 Cor. 3. 3, 4. Rom. 16. 17, 18 1 Tim. 6. 3, 4, 5 Fruits of the flesh. If we examine theVid. Danaei prolegomena in Lib. Aug. de Haeresibus, cap. 6, 7. Rise and Original of ma­ny of the antient Heresies, whereby the Peace of the Church hath been torn and mangled, we shall find that some carnal End or other, as Ambition, Animosity, Discontent, or other the like sins, have been the Basis on which they were rear­ed. It was the speech of a graceless son to his mother,Aug Ep. 168 Transferam me in par­tem Donati, & bibam sanguinem tuum; as St.De gen. contra Mani­chaeos, lib. 2. c. 8 Austin saith, Mater omnium Haere­ticorum superbia. It is a very true speech ofBaron. Ann. 474. sect. 6. Baronius, ex Officina Sardanapali pro­dire consueverunt Haeresium sectatores.

2. A Necessa [...] from the the necessity of this excellent Duty; and this is a twofold necessity, Necessitas praecepti, be­cause [Page 57] it is commanded, Have peace one with another, Mark 9. 50. Necessitas Me­dii, because Peace and Unity amongst brethren in the Church, is an excellent means toRom. 15. 5, 6, 7 glorifie God, when with one mind and mouth we call upon him, and serve him with one consent; and to fur­ther the Gospel, and gain it honour and credit even in the hearts of strangers: the Heathen themselves took notice of the love of Christians, as Minutius Felix telleth us, Vide, say they, ut se diligunt Christiani.

3. A possibili; our endavours in this kind are not after things which are un­attainable; forEph. 2. 13. 16 Christ hath by the blood of his Cross procured the Churches peace, and by his powerful Intercession Joh. 17. 21, 23.prayeth for it; since therefore Christ Isa. 53. 11.dyed not in vain, but didGal. 2. [...]1. see of the travel of his soul, and wasJoh. 11. 42. heard in eve­ry prayer which he made; It is certain that the Lord will in due time pour out upon his people a spirit of Unity, and Amos 9. 11.close up the breaches of his Taberna­cle: [Page 58] as it is our Duty to seek Peace, so is it hisPsal. 29. 11. Isa. 54. 13. Jer. 32. 39. promise to work it; he is not the author of Confusion, but of Peace, as in all the Churches of the Saints,

4. A Facili, It is not only possible, but easie for Believers to be at peace one with another; those things which are natural are ever wrought without diffi­culty, it is not hard for the Sun to shine, or the fire to burn, nothing more easie then for the members in one body to agree with one another: And Be­lievers are members of the same body, and have one common spirit to actuate and animate them, and therefore should suffer and rejoyce together, and be kindly affectioned one towards another with brotherly love, as the Apostle ar­gueth, Rom. 12. 4, 10. 1 Cor. 1 [...]. 12, 13. 25. 26.

5. Ab Vtili▪ from the great good & ad­vantage which hereby cometh unto the Church; it is as the dew of Hermon which bringeth a blessing with it; it strength­neth against all adverse power, and [Page 59] maketh the Church terrible as an Army with Banners; it openeth the passages for Communion of Saints, that they may derive good from one another by the supply that every joint maketh, as divers members in the body have divers uses, the eye to see, the ear to hear, the tongue to speak, the hand to work; and these Uses mutually serviceable to the good of each other, and Vnion a neces­sary bond of this Service, so in the Church or body of Christ, every mem­ber hath his measure of gifts and graces, by which he may be profitable to the whole;1 Cor. 12. 8, 9. one the Spirit of Wisdom, ano­ther of Knowledge; one able to coun­sel, another to comfort; one to exhort, another to rebuke, what is wanting in one, is supplied by another; and this Eph. 4. is made by those joints where­by these divers members are united to­gether. Love is the Vehiculum of all that help and service which one Christian man deriveth upon another; hereby we Gal 5. 13.serve one another, andRom. 14. 19 Jud. v. 20, 21. edifie one ano­ther; [Page 60] we bear with the infirmities, sus­tain the burdens, and rejoyce in the comforts, mourn in the sorrows, distri­bute to the necessities, pray for the souls of one another; By this means the gra­ces of the Church are more bright and resplendent, as the flame which ariseth out of united fewel, is much greater then that which each stick alone by it self doth render; and hence it is that the servants of God doPsal. 26. 8. 27. 4. 42, 1, a. love the habitation of his house, and the place where his honor dwelleth, Act. 2. 1, 46, 47. 3. 1. assembling themselves there together with one accord, because he hath promisedExod. 20. 24 that in every place where he recordeth his name, he will come unto them, and bless them: and by this means there were added to the Church daily such as should be saved.

6. A Jucundo & honesto. It is not on­ly good, but pleasant for brethren to dwell together in Vnity, not only as the dew of Hermon for profit, but as the Psal. 133. ointment on the head of Aaron for com­fort and Delight. In the united [...]sal. 27. 6. Assem­blies [Page 61] of the Saints we behold the beau­ty of the Lord; when the members are disjoynted, the body is deformed: Shave away the eye-brows only from the face, Quantillum decedit de corpore, quantum de pulchritudine, saith St. Austin, you much lessen the beauty, by so little lessening the body; Now a Schism in the Church, is the same deformity as a mutilation in the body.

7. Ab Exemplo, from the great Exam­ples which we have of Peace in the word. God known by the name of Heb. 13. 20. Jo [...]. 22. 21. a God of Peace, with whom his peo­ple having Acquaintance and Com­munion are at peace. Christ by the name of aIsa. 9. 6. Prince of Peace, who as he is1 Cor. 1. 13. not divided in himself, so neither should he be divided in his Members. OurPhil 2. 1, 2. Consolation in him should make us be of one accord, and of one mind; the Primitive Church a mirrour of Vnity and Peace; theAct. 4. 32, multitude of believers were of one heart, and of one soul, & primum in unoquo (que); genere est Regula caeterorum.

[Page 62] 8. Ab Evangelio, from the nature of the Gospel, which is called by the Apo­stle, aRom. 10. 15. Gospel of Peace, whereby we areCol. 3. 15. called unto peace; by the power whereof theIsa. 11. 6. rage of Lyons and Bears is calmed and subdued; much more should the Sheep of Christ be preserved from biting and devouring one another; it is a presage of rain and storms, when Sheep run heads together, and certainly it bodeth no good unto the Church when the Sheep of Christ are at discord one with another.

Lastly, A Sacramentis, which are si­gilla & vincula pacis: from the Sacra­ments which are the Seals and Bands of Christian Peace; In Baptism we were 1 Cor. 12, 1 [...]. baptized into one body; in the Lords Sup­per we being many, are 1 Cor. 10. 17. one Bread, and one body, for we are partakers of that one Bread; as the Wine is made of many grapes pressed into one Liquor, and the Bread ofSicut multa gra [...] un [...] p [...] ­n [...]m consiciuat, & ex multis ra­ [...]emis unum vi­num extrabitur, sic ex multis hominibus Christi corpus efficitur. Serm. 28. ad fa­tres in eremo a­pud Aug. many grains moulded into one Lump, so the Church of many be­lievers compacted together by one Spi­rit [Page 63] of Faith and Love into one mystical body.

I shall conclude this Exhortation with two or three solemn and emphatical pas­sages of the Rom. 14. 19. [...] Cor. 1. 10. 2 Cor. 13. 11. Phil. 2. 1, 2. 2 Thes 3. 16. Romi 15. 5. Apostle, pressing Christians unto this duty; Let us, saith he, follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edifie another; And again, I beseech you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speake the same thing, that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same Judgement, And again, Be per­fect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace, and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you. And again, if there be therefore any Consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any Bowels and Mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same Love, being of one accord, of one mind. Unto which I shall subjoyn the same Apostles pathetical prayer, The Lord of Peace himself give you Peace [Page 64] always by all means, and the God of Pati­ence and Consolation grant you to be like minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind, and with one mouth, glorifie God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Before I leave this seasonable and ne­cessary Argument, let us in a few words consider, what is to be done in Diffe­rences of Judgement and Divisions of mind, to heal the breaches, and to re­cover the Peace of a disjointed and di­lacerated Church.

And here it cannot be denyed, but that in all ages of the Church, there have been, and still are like to be, Varieties of Judgement among the Members there­of. For 1. The best Proficients1 Cor. 13. 9. know but in part, and Prophesie but in part. 2. There are many things very abstruse and difficult in the disquisition of divine Truth; Religion hath its2 Pet. 3. 16. Heb. 5. 11. [...], things hard to be understood, as well as other Sciences. 3. There is in many men much Rom. 14. 1.weakness of Judgement, to make [Page 65] search and enquiry into these things, or to discover veritatem in puteo latentem. 4. There is much carelesness of heart in many men to try the spirits, and to prove all things; theyMat. 13. 21 sleep while the enemy soweth Tares. 5. There is in many men a Levity, Lubricity and Dis­composedness of mind whereby they are apt to beEphes. 4. 14. Rom. 16. 18 Col. 2. 4 1 Reg. 13. 18, 19. carried away with every wind of Doctrine, and out of Simplicity and Credulity to be wrought upon by the cunning of those who are skilful to de­ceive. 6. Some have2 Tim 4. 3, 4 Jud. v. 16 itching ears, heark­ning always after new things, whom Manna will not please without Quails, who have some particular mens persons in admiration, and give up themselves by a blind obedience and implicite Faith, into their hands, to be led by them into novel and singular Opinions. 7. Prevail­ing of Lust and domestical Interest, doth in many men darken their mind, and entangle their Judgements, and betray them unto that sad condition of being 2 Thes. 2. 10, 11. 1 Tim. 6. 10 given over to strong Delusions to believe [Page 66] Lyes. Upon these and such like Rea­sons there have been always Differences in the Church: We find a contention betweenActs 15. 39. Gal. 2. 11, 13 1 Cor. 1. 12, 12 Paul and Barnabas, and be­tween Paul and Peter; We find some for Paul, others for Apollo, and some for Cephas, and others for none of them all, but for Christ without them; we find some1 Cor. 3. 12. building upon the foundation Sil­ver and gold, and others Hay and stubble. We read of great differences between the Eastern and Western Churches, touching the Observation of Easter, and between the Roman and African Chur­ches in the matter of Rebaptization; of many sharp Dissentions between sun­dry great and famous Bishops and Pa­stors of the antient Churches. To say nothing of the present sad experience which we may everywhere observe of the same Truth, theMatth. 18. 17. 1 Cor. 11. 19 Scripture hath foretold it, and it cannot be otherwise, that there must be Heresies and Offences; nevertheless we must not hereby be dis­couraged from using all pious and pru­dent [Page 67] Endeavours for pacification of the persons so dissenting; concerning which Accommodation we are to distinguish;

1. Of Opinions, whereof some are in theMat. 7. 24 1 Cor. 3. 9, 10 Heb. 6. 1 Foundation, in those primitive Arti­cles of Faith, and Essentials of Religi­on, on which the house of God is built; the errors contrary whereunto are subversive,2 Pet. 2. 1 pernicious and damna­ble; some are only in the Superstructi­on, which are notAug. de Peccat. Orig. cap. 23. Fidei, but Quaestio­num, which do not overturn the Edifice, nor endanger the Vitals of Religion: such were in theRom. 14. 5, 6. 1 Cor. 8. 8, 9 Apostles time, Di­sputes touching Meats, and Drinks, and Days, and Things indifferent; wherein though men abound in their own sense, yet it must ever be with Meekness, and with humble submission to the Spirits of the Prophets, and to the Judgement, Order and Peace of the Church.

2. Of Persons; Some areEphe. 4. 14. Esay 3. 12 Jer. 23. 16, 26, 32. [...] 29. 8. Matth. 7. 15 Acts 20. 29, 30 2 Tim. 3. 13 Tit. 1. 10 2 Pet. 2. 1 2 John v. 7 Mark 13. 22 2 Tim. 2. 14. 18. Gal. 2. 4 Seducers, who out of Pride, Enmity against the Doctrine which is according unto God­liness, carnal ends, desire of Advantage [Page 68] and Domination, do sow Tares in the Church, and cause Rents and Divisions therein; such were Hymeneus, Philetus, Diotrephes, and others. Others are2 Cor. 11. 20. 2 Tim. 3. 6 Col. 2. 8 Ephes. 4. 14 se­duced people, who through Ignorance, Credulity, Simplicity, Facility and Flexibleness of Spirit, are led away cap­tive by the cunning Craftiness of them who lie in wait to deceive.

Again, Some are men of meek, hum­ble, peaceable and quiet spirits; amongst whom though there be differences of Judgement, yet they do upon common Principles of Faith and Holiness, agree in love, and joyn in pursuing the same common Salvation; neither monopo­lizing the priviledges of Saints, neither judging, or despising the other, neither holding any ErrorBi. Lawd. Conser. sect. 36. pag. 315. 316. supinely, pertinaci­ously, uncharitably or factiously. Others are men of turbulent, seditious and tu­multuating Dispositions, who love to kindle flames, to foment Divisions, to make Sides and Factions, that they may fish in troubled waters; these [Page 69] things being premised, we may touching Accommodations thus conclude.

1. There can be no Syncretism, or ac­commodation where the Differences are in points destructive to the founda­tions of Religion, and against the very Essentials of Faith, Worship and Obe­dience; there can be no reconciliation 1 Cor. 10 21. 2 Cor. 6. 14. 17 Gal. 1. 8, 9between Christ and Belial, between damnable Heresies and the Doctrine which is according unto Godliness.Tit. 3. 10 Euseb. H [...]st. l. 4. c. 13. He­reticks are to be admonished, and in case of Pertinacy to be rejected, therefore there may be no brotherly Communion with them. But seduced persons are in the spirit of2 Tim. 2 25, 26. meekness to be instructed, and if possible to be restored, and won unto the Truth, and delivered from the snare of the Devil.

2. Though the Differences at first view be not so pernitious and dange­rous, yet if it be evident that they be purposely sowed by men of turbulent and ungracious spirits, meerly to kindle flames, to foment Seditions, to lay the [Page 70] of perpetual Divisions or Commoti­ons in Church or State, to gratifie the common enemy, and to be subvervient unto such Ends and Designes, as where­in Truth and Holiness is endangered; in this case the Apostle hath taught us, both by his Example Gal. 2. 4, 5. not to give place by subjection for an hour unto such men, andRom. 16. 17. by his Doctrine, to mark and to beware of them.

3. Where a Syncretism and Agree­ment is allowable, yet we must love Zac. 8. 19. Heb. 12. 14. Peace and Truth, follow Peace and Ho­liness, 2 Cor. 4. 2. Basil. in Psal. 14. 1. edit. Grae­colat. Paris. p. 153. & Greg. Naz. Orat. 1. p. 20. B.not adulterate, or in any case betray, or play the Hucksters with the Word; as it is said of the Samaritanes, that they2 Reg. 17. 33. feared the Lord, and served their own Gods. We must not temper, or reduce divine Truth to the Rules or Di­ctates of our own Lusts, nor captivate our Conscience to our carnal desires. 1 Reg. 12. 27, 28, 33. 2 Reg. 16. 10. Jeroboam and Ahaz acted inordinately, when they erected a Worship dissonant to Gods Will, and subservient to their own; for we2 Cor. 13. 8. can do nothing against the [Page 71] Truth, but for the Truth; Pro. 23. 23. buy it we may, sell it we must not for any other gain.

4. Where the Fundamentals of Re­ligion are safe, and on all sides unani­mously embraced, and the differences purely problematical, and such as do not at all endanger the Vitals and Essentials of Religion,Rom. 15. 1 Gal. 6. 1. Eph. 4. 2, 3. mutual meekness, tender­ness and forbearance are to be used, as amongst brethren and fellow-members. Disputes are to be managed with all calmness of Spirit, without Passion, A­nimosity, Exasperation, invidious Con­sequences, or any thing tending to the vi­olation of brotherly love; hereby we pre­serve the Communion of Saints, when we own one another as brethren, and not as strangers: We credit the Gospel of Peace, and adorn our mutual pro­fession of the same common Faith: We make way to the more cleer Discovery of Truth, when no Passion or Prejudice doth dazzle our eyes, or overcloud our Judgement; We stop the mouths, pre­vent [Page 72] the Insultations, and take away the advantages, which the common adver­sary promiseth to himself by our diffe­rences and Dissentions.

The Means to be used unto such an Evange­lical Accommodation, are,

1. Out of a sincere love of all truth, to wait with humble, docile and tract­able hearts upon God, in the use of such means as he hath appointed, for the re­vealing of his mind unto us touching those things about which we differ, and for that purpose with single hearts to study the Scriptures, and to weigh every opinion in the ballance of the Sanctua­ry; 2 Tim 3. 16 Act 20. 32. Luk. 14. 2 [...]. This, the Apostle saith, is profitable for Doctrine and for Reproof: to this he referreth the Church against all danger of Wolves; out of this our Lord re­vealed to his Disciples the things which concerned himself; by this theOptatus contra Parmen. l. 5. Aug. Epist. 19. c. 1. ep. 48. & 112. contra ep. Parmen. l. 1. c. 2 c [...]nt. Lit. Petil. l. 2. c. 85. de Unitat. Ec­cles. c. 3. 6 17, 18, 19. in Ps. 2 [...] Exposit. 2. Antients desired to have the Controversies in their times stated and decided. And [Page 73] when any of them teach us to try Do­ctrines by Ecclesiastical Tradition, and the witness of the Church, they speak of Apostolical Churches, which Tertullian calleth Matrices & Originales, and not barely of the peremptory decision of some one or otherTertul. cont. H [...]rmog. c. 2 [...]. Dr. Field Ap­pendix. part. 3. c. 7. pag. 42. present or particular Church; for they were able to draw down from the Apostles,Tertul. de praescript. cap. 20. 21. Traducem fi­dei, as Tertullian calls it, a Doctrinal Succession, to assign the Time, the Au­thors, & the Posteriority of those Here­sies, whch they gain-said, as he saith,Advers. Hermog. cap. 1. contra Marci­on. lib. 5. c. 19. contra P [...]axeam. cap. 2. So­lemus Haereticis compendii causa de posteri­oritate praescribere. Now because we can­not understand the things of God but by the Spirit of God, forA [...]ts 16. 14. 2 Cor 3. 16, 17 1 John 5, 2 [...] he it is who openeth the heart, and draweth away the vail, and giveth us an understanding; and because the Scripture hath told us, that Gods people shall beJohn 6. 45 Aug. de G [...]t. Ch [...]isti. c. 13. & de praede­sti [...]at. sanctorum cap. 8. taught of him; therefore we must in our studying there­of, pray unto God withJob 34. 32. Job, That which I see not, teach thou me; and with Psal. 119. 66. David, Teach me good Judgement and [Page 74] knowledge; and with theEph. 1. 17. Apostle, beg of God the Spirit of Wisdom and Reve­lation in the knowledge of him; that in any thing wherein we arePhil. 3. 15. otherwise minded, he will reveal even that unto us.

2. To agree in the Fundamentals, in the mystery of Godliness, the Unity of the Faith, the Principles of Doctrine, the Rule by which we are all to walk, in theJoh. 17. 3. 8. 24. Act. 4. 11, 12. 1 Cor. 1. 23. 2. 2. 3. 11. saving knowledge of God and Christ, unto which eternal Life is annexed, and without which it cannot be had; in the Joh. 4. 24. 16. 23. Heb. 7. 25. Col. 3. 17. spiritual Worship of God, calling upon him, and coming unto him, in and by Christ; and in those primary grounds of Christian Obedience, Repentance, Since­rity, Love of Christ, Self-denial; & where there is an unfeigned and unanimous A­greement in these, there is a ground laid for discovery of the Truth in matters of smaller Difference. Agreement in Prin­ciples is a fair preparation unto agree­ment in all those Conclusions, which are naturally deducible from those Prin­ciples: and the more clearly we under­stand [Page 75] the Comprehension of Principles, the more exactly we shall discern the ge­nuine Connection of true conclusions, and the inconsistency of those which are false and fallacious.

3. In the things whereunto we have attained toPhil. 3. 16. walk by the same Rule, to hold the2 Thes. 2. 10 Aug. de Grat. Christi. c. 13. Truth in love, to1 Tim. 1. 19 keep faith and a good conscience; for Christi­an Doctrine is a1 Tim. 3. 16 Mystery of Godliness, and saving Knowledge, a1 Tim. 6. 3. Tit 1. 1. knowledge which is according unto Godliness, and therefore the best way to find out that wherein we differ, is, to obey that where­in we agree; The Lord having pro­mised, Joh. 7. 17. 10 4.that they who do his Will, shall know his Doctrine; that he willPsal. 25. 9, 14. teach the meek his way, and reveal his secret to them that fear him; that unto himPsal. 50. 23. who ordereth his Conversation aright, he will shew the Salvation of God.

4. To be spiritual and heavenly minded; for as heavenly bodies, so hea­venly minds are the proper subjects of Serenity and Tranquillity;Inferiora fulminant. Sen. Pacem summa tenent. Lucan. Storms and [Page 76] Tempests are the Effects of earthly ex­halations; heavenly Orbs are steady and regular, have no Combustions nor dis­agreements in them; Schisms and Divi­sions are1 Cor. 3. 3 from the flesh, and come from us as Men, not as Christians. As the reasonable Soul doth bind the parts of the body together in Unity; when that is gone, they are in a near disposition to dissolve, and fall asunder: So the1 Cor. 12. 13. Ephes. 4. 3 Spi­rit of Christ is the bond of his body; the Apostle calleth it▪ The Vnity of the Spi­rit in the bond of Peace; the more we have thePhil. 2. 2, 3, 4, 5. mind of Christ, the less we shall do things through strife, vain-glo­ry, revenge, or any other inordinate passion; for theJames 3. 14, 17. Wisdom which is from above, is pure and peaceable; but that which tendeth unto envying and strife, descendeth not from above, but is earth­ly, sensual and devillish.

5. To study and cast about for Peace, to do all that isRom. 12. 18. Rom. 14. 19. Heb. 12. 14 possible, and what soe­ver lyeth in our power to produce it; to follow after it, and all the requisite ex­pedients [Page 77] which conduce unto it; if it fly, pursue it; if it hide, search for it; find out, as2 Chron. 24. 4, 13. 2 Chron. 34. 8. 13. Jehoash and Josiah did Masons and Carpenters, & spiritual work­men to repair the breaches of the house: toRom. 14. [...]. have our private Opinions and Pro­blemes to our selves before God, rather then by our unseasonable venting of them, to scandalize and offend our brethen, and to endanger the quiet of the Church.

6. To be of a meek, humble and calm spirit:1 Cor. 13. 5, 7. Love is not easily provoked, is long suffering, kind, self-denying, bear­eth, believeth, hopeth, endureth all things. An Hammer makes no noise upon wool, so aProv. 15. 1 soft Spirit turneth away Wrath. Some men are so hot, so opinionative, so contentious, so wedded to their own conceits, so impatient of dissent, that none can have Peace with them, who will not mancipate and render up their Reason and Judgement into their hands. But though it be our Duty to try all things, and hold fast Truth, when [Page 78] we have found it, yet we must hold it with a Spirit of Meekness. Meekness is the fittest disposition to receive truth; Jam. 1. 21. Receive, saith the Apost. with meekness the ingrafted Word; And Meekness is the fittest disposition to teach Truth:2 Tim. 2. 25. In Meekness, saith St. Paul, instructing those that oppose themselves. 2 Tim. 4. [...]. Long-Suffering and Doctrine must be joyned together. Self-willedness and hastiness of Passion, are Obstructions unto the progress of Truth; else the Apostle would not have entred a Caveat against them in a Bi­shop: for, saith he,Tit. 1. 7. a Bishop must be blameless as the Steward of God, not self-willed, not soon angry, &c.

7. To be of a candid Judgement; not to widen, but as much as may be to nar­row Differences, and to reduce Con­troversies to as near an Agreement, as is possible; and in the managing of them, to retain Suavity and Ingenuity; not to infer without undeniable Evidence, odi­ous and invidious consequences from those Doctrines of our brethren, which [Page 79] we our selves dislike; but to believe other men as perspicacious to discern, and as tender to decline such desperate Rocks as we our selves. It argues great want of Charity towards others, and of Humility in our selves, when by our perverse Disputings, we go about to charge such opinions upon others, as from their own mouths we are assured, and therefore should in Charity believe, that they do detest. Pride in our selves, and Prejudice against others, are Two great Impediments to the healing of Di­visions.

I shall shut up all with one observati­on out of the Text more, which is this, That what Christ in the beginning of the verse did undertake, I will feed the flock of slaughter, in the latter end there­of he makes it good, I fed the flock. Christ never undertook more in a way of Of­fice then what he finished, nor more in a way of Promise then what he performed. He undertook a difficult service, to feed [Page 80] his Church not only with his Doctrine but with his Blood; he had aJoh. 10. 18. Command and Commission to do it, and this Com­mission he accepted,Heb. 10. 7, 9. Loe I come to do thy will O God. And though it were so hard a duty, that his humane nature did shrink, and as it were draw back from it,Mat. 26. 39 Father, if it be possible, let this cup passe from me, yet he submitted his will to the will of his father, and wasPhil. 2. 8. Joh. 17. 4. obe­dient even to that servile, ignominious and cursed death, which his humane na­ture so earnestly declined. And in like manner what he undertakes to work in us, heHeb 12. 2. Phil. 1. 6. Psal. 138. 8. will finish, as well as what he undertooke to work for us; he is as the Author, so the finisher of our faith; when he hath begun a good work in us, he will performe it unto the day of Christ.

HeJoh 16. 7. Luk. 24. 49. Promised to send his spirit up­on his Disciples, andAct. 2. 33 [...] he did send him; heLuk. 9. 1. Promised unto them power to cast out Devills, andLuk. 10. 17. they did so; his name isRev. 3. 14. Amen, the faithfull and true [Page 81] witnesse, and all the promises of God in him are2 Cor. 1. 20. yea and Amen; if he pro­mise peace, or grace, or salvation, he will give it: his fidelity, power, honour, love, mercy, oath, and covenant, are so many assurances unto his people that what he hath undertaken to do for, in, or unto them, shall undoubtedly be done. He will do every work of Salva­tion Heb. 7. 25. to the uttermost for those that come unto God by him; if he begin faith, he will [...] [...]2 1. finish it; if he begin holinesse, he willCol. 2. 10. compleate it; if heAct. 3. 16. heale, he heales perfectly;Joh. 13. 2. if he love, he loves to the end: Every work of his is per­fect.

There are works of his yet to do, to Joh. 11. 52 Deut. 32. 4. Isai 2. 18. Rom. 16. 20. 1 Cor. 15. 25 Gather the people of God that are scatte­red abroad, to destroy the idols utterly, to tread down Satan and death under our feet, and he will do all before he give up his kingdome to his father.

There are promises of his yet to be fullfilled, to Joh. 14. 2, 3. come again and to receive [Page 82] us unto himself,Joh. 6. 40. to raise us up at the last day, Mat. 12. 20. to bring forth judgment unto victo­ry. And the experience which the Church hath had of his Love, Power, & fidelity in former works, and promises, should raise up their hearts to trust in him assuredly, for the accomplishment of those which are yet behind (Heb. 13. 8. for he is yesterday, and to day, and the same for ever.) This we may plead in our pra­yers, do2 Sam. 7. 25. as thou hast said. This we may apply in our indeavours towards holinesse; he hath said he willMic. 7. 19. Ezek. 11. 19. 36. 26 subdue our iniquities, he will take away an heart of stone, and give an heart of flesh; for this end he was manifested1 Joh. 3. 5, 8. to destroy the works of the devil, and upon this Word Ps. 119. 49. I will Hope. This we may support our drooping and desponding hearts under, in any time of diffidence, and discomfort; when I begin to fear that my sinnes are greater then can be pardoned, stronger then can be mortified, deeper then can be eradicated; His Power is ever ac­companying [Page 83] his mercy; what he begins, he will finish: he hath saide he willIsai 55. 7. a­bundantly pardon: therefore we may say, Num. 14. 17 I beseech thee let the power of my Lord be great according as thou hast spoken▪ Mic. 7. 20.He will performé the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham; his word is an invincible barre to all our fears.


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