[Page] THE Due right of Presbyteries, OR, A PEACEABLE PLEA FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE Church of Scotland,

Wherein is examined

  • 1. The way of the Church of Christ in New England, in Brotherly equality, and independency, or coordination, without subjection of one Church to another.
  • 2. Their apology for the said Government, their Answers to thirty and two Questions are considered.
  • 3. A Treatise for a Church Covenant is discussed.
  • 4. The arguments of Mr. Robinson in his justification of separation are discovered.
  • 5. His Treatise, called, The peoples Plea for the exercise of prophecy, is tryed.
  • 6. Diverse late arguments against presbyteriall government, and the power of synods are discussed, the power of the Prince in matters eccle­siastical modestly considered, & divers incident controversies resolved.

By SAMUEL RUTHERFURD Professor of Divinity at Saint Andrewes.

CANT. 6. 10. Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, faire as the Moone, cleare as the Sun, and terrible as an Army with Banners? [...]

LONDON, Printed by E. Griffin, for Richard Whittaker, and Andrew Crook and are to be sold at their Shops in Pauls Church-Yard, 1644.

TO The most Noble and Potent Lord Archbald Marquesse of Argile, one of His MAJESTIES honourable Privy Councell, wisheth Grace, Mercy and Peace.

WHo knoweth (most Noble and potent Lord) how glorious it is, and how praise-worthy, when the mighty, and these who are Psal. 47. 9. cal­led The shields of the Earth, and the Cedars of Lebanon cast their shadow over the City of God? Airie wits and broken spirits chase fame, but fame and glory shall chase him, who is (as the spirit of God speaketh) [...] a Sonne of courage, and one who hath done Sam. 23. v. 20. [...] many acts for the Lord. The followers of Christ are the sonnes of Nobles Omnis san­guis concolor. Franc. Petrarch. All blood is of one colour, holinesse maketh the difference. Fortuna vitrea est, tum cum splendet, fran­gitur. Things we rest on here be made of cristall glasse, while they glister, they are broken. Plures tegit fortuna, quam Psal. 84. 11. tutor facit. The world may cover men, it cannot make them secure. But the Lord is a Sun and a shield. What hath Jesus Christ on Earth, which he loveth, as he doth his Church? What a created peece is the true Church? Revel. 12. 1. A wo­man clothed with the Sunne, and the Moone under [Page] her feet, and upon her head a Crowne of twelve Starres. Her very servants are the 2 Cor. 8, 23. glory of Christ. Yet is this poore woman in Brittaine, crying, travelling in birth, pained while shee be delivered, because of the Ido­latry of the Land, and our defection and apostacy practi­sed, countenanced, tolerated in both Kingdomes. Many graves, many Widowes, and the Land turned into a field of blood are the just fruits of many Altars, of Masse-idolls, of Bread worship, of many inventions of men, let then: have a name and flourish in the House of the Lord, and let them be written with the living in Jerusalem who contribute help for the desired birth of the manchild. Prelacy and Popery wither, as in a Land of drought, ex­cept they be planted beside Rivers of blood; but the Lord shall build his own Jerusalem.

Your honour may justly challenge this little expression of my obliged respects to your Lordship. I acknowledge it is little, though it may have some use. Etiam capillus u­nus habet umbram suam; one haire casteth its owne shadow. Jmpotency to pay debt layeth not upon any the note of unthankfulnesse, except it be impotency of good will. If I be not a debter for will, I am nothing. And this I owe, and this Church and Nation may divide the sum with me; for which, wishing to your Lordship all riches of Grace, I stand obliged.

Your Lordships servant at all dutifull observance in Christ Jesus. Samuel Rutherfurd.

To the Reader.

THere be two happy things (worthy Reader) as Cassian. de incar. lib. 1. c. 4. Primum est er­rores penitus non in curr [...]rc, sec [...]n­dum bene repudi­are. one sayth, The one is not to erre, the other is to es­cape from the power of error. Times wombe bringeth forth many truths, though truth be not a debter to Time, because Time putteth new robes on old Truth; But truth is Gods debter, and oweth her being to him only. It is a great evil under the Sun, and the sicknesse of mans vanity, that the name of holy men should be a web to make garments of for new opinions, but the errors of holy men have no whitenesse, nor holinesse from men. And it is a wrong that mens praise should be truths pre­judice, and mens gaine, truths losse. Yet I shall heartily desire that men herein observe the art of deep providence, for the Creator com­mandeth darknes to bring forth her birth of light, and God doth so over-aw, with a wise super-dominion, mens errors, that contrary [Page] to natures way, from collision of opinions, re­sulteth truth; and disputes, as stricken flint, cast fire for light, God raising out of the dust and ashes of errors a new living truth. What mistakes, errors, or heresies have been anent Church government, that vigilant and never slumbering wisdome of Providence, hath thence made to appeare the sound doctrine of Gods Kingdome. So here Satan shapeth, and God seweth, and maketh the garment. Er­ror is but dregs, by the artifice of all com­passing Providence, from whence are distilled strong and cordiall waters. And what Anti­christ hath conceived for a Hierarchy and hu­mane ceremonies, hath put Christ in his two witnesses in Brittaine to advocate for the truth and native simplicity of his own Kingdom.

But I heartily desire not to appeare as an adversary to the holy, reverend, and learned Brethren who are sufferers for the truth, for there be wide marches betwixt striving, and disputing. Why should we strive? for we be Bre­thren, the Sonnes of one father, the borne Citizens of one mother Ierusalem. To dispute is not to contend. We strive as we are carnall, we dispute as we are men, we war from our [Page] lusts James 4. 1. we dispute from diversity of star-light, and day-light. Weaknesse is not wickednesse, a roving of wit must not be deemed a Rebel­lion of will, a broken inginne may part with a dead child, and yet be a Mother of many healthy children. And while our reverend and deare Brethren, fleeing the coast of Egypt, and Babylons wicked borders, aym to shore upon truth, wind may deceive good Sailors, naturall land-motions (as when heavy bodies move downward, toward their own (clay Countrey) are upon a straight line. But Sea­motions of sailing are not by right lines, but rather by Sea-circles. We often argue and dispute, as we saile. Where grace and weight of Scripture make motion, we walke, in a right line, toward God. But where opinion, a messenger only sent to spie the Land of lies, and truth, usurpeth to conduct us, what mar­vell then we goe about truth, rather then lodge with Truth. And Christ his Kingdome, Scepter, Glory, Babylons fall, be the materiall object of opinions, on both sides; And yet the word of God hath a right lith, that cannot suffer division. In Gods matters there be not, as in Grammar, the positive and comparative [Page] degrees, there are not here, truth, and more true, and most true. Truth is in an indivisible line, which hath no latitude, and cannot ad­mit of spleeting. And therefore we may make use of the Philosophers word, amicus Socra­tes, amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas. Though Peter and Paul bee our beloved friends, yet the truth is a dearer friend: The Sonnes of Babylon make out-cries of di­visions and diversity of Religions amongst us, but every opinion is not a new Religion.

But where shall multitude of Gods be had, for multitude of new wayes to Heaven, if one Heaven cannot containe two Gods, how shall all Papists be lodged after death? what Astro­nomy shall teach us of millions of Heavens, for Thomists, Scotists, Franciscans, Domi­nicans, Sorbonists? &c.

But I leave off, and beg from the Reader candor and ingenuous and faire dealing, from Formalists, men in the way to Babylon, I may wish this, I cannot hope it. Fare-well.

Yours in the Lord, S. R.

A Table of the Contents of this Book.

A Company of believers professing the truth and meeting in one place every Lords day, for the worshipping of God, is not the visible Church endued with ministeriall power. p. 1. 2, 3. & seq.

The keys of the Kingdome of Heaven are not committed to the Church of Believers destitute of Elders, p. 7, 8.

The keys are given to Stewards by office, p. 13, 14, seq.

The places, Mat. 18. and Mat. 16. fully discussed, by evidence of the text, and testimonies of fathers, and modern writers, p. 14, 15, 16, 17. seq.

Power ministeriall of forgiving sins, belongeth not to private Christians, as M. Robinson, and Others imagine, p. 20. 21. seq

Private Christians, by no warrant of Gods Word, not in office, can be publick persons warrantably exercising judiciall acts of the keys, p. 26, 27, 28. & seq.

Who so holdeth this, cannot decline the meere popular govern­ment of Morellius, and others, p. 28.

These who have the ministeriall power by office, are not the Church builded on the Rock, p. 29.

The place Col. 4. 17. say to Archippus, discussed, p. 26, 27.

The keys not given to as many, as the Gospell is given unto; as Mr. Robinson saith. p. 28, 29. seq.

[Page] There is a Church-assembly judging, excluding the people as judges, though not as hearers and consenters, p. 32. 33.

Reasons why our Brethren of New England allow of Church-censures to the people, examined, p. 33, 34, 35, 36.

There is no necessity of the personall presence of all the Church in all the acts of Church censu [...]es, p 36, 37. seq.

The place, 1 Cor. 5. expounded, p 36, 37, 38.

How farre Lictors may execute the sentence that is given out, without their conscience and knowledge, p. 41. 42. seq.

A speculative doubt [...]nent the act, maketh not a doubting conscience, but onely a practicall doubt anent the Law, p. 43.

Ignorance vincible and invincible, the former may bee a question of fact, the latter is never a question of Law. p. 43, 44, 45.

The command of superiors cannot remove a doubting con­science, p. 45, 46.

The conscience of a judge, as a man, and as a judge, not one and the same, p. 46, 47.

The people of the Jewes not judges, as Ainsworth supposeth, p. 48, 49.

That there is under the New Testament, a provinciall and nationall Church, p. 50. 51. seq.

A diocesian Church farre different from a provinciall Church, p. 52, 53.

The place, Acts 1. 21. proveth the power of a visible catholick Church, p. 54, 55.

The equity and necessity of a Catholick visible Church, p. 55. 56, 57, 58.

How the Catholick Church is visible, p. 58, 59.

The Jewish and Christian Churches were of one and the same visible constitution, p. 60, 61, 62.

The Iewish Church was a congregationall Church, p. 61. 62. seq.

[Page] Excommunication in the Iewish Church, p. 62. 63, 64, 65.

Separation from the Jewish, and the true Christian Churches both alike unlawfull, p. 68. 69.

The Iewish civil state and the Church different, p. 68. 69, 17.

Separation from the Church for the want of some ordinances how far lawfull, p. 71, 72, 73.

A compleat power of excommunication how in a Congregation, and how not, p. 76. 77.

How all are to joyne themselves to some visible Church. p. 78. 79, 80.

The place, 1 Cor. 5. 12 considered, p. 80.

That all without are not to be understood of all without the lists of a parishionall Church, ibid & 81. 82.

That persons are not entered members of the visible Church, by a Church-covenant, p. 83, 84, 85, 86, 87. seq.

That there is no warrant in Gods word, for any such covenant, ibid. in seq.

The manner of entering in Church state in New England, p. 91. 92.

The place, Act. 2, 37, 38. is not for a Church-covenant. ibid.

The ancient Church knew no such Church-Covenant, p. 97. 98.

No Church-Covenant in England, p. 98. 99.

Nor of old, the places Genes. 17. 7. Exod, 19. 5. Acts 7. 38. favour not the Church-Covenant, p. 100. 101, 102.

Nor Deut. 29. 10. p. 104, 105. seq.

The exposition of Deut. 29. given by our Brethren favours much the glosse of Arminians and Socinians, not a Church-Covenant, p. 102. 103. 104. 105.

A Church-covenant not the essentiall forme of a visible Church, p. 123, 124.

The place, 2 Chro. 9. 15. 2 Chro. 30. 8. speak not for a Church-covenant. p. 111. 112.

Nor doth Nehemiahs Covenant ch. 10. plead for it, the place [Page] of Esai. 56. alledged for the Church-covenant discussed, p. 112. 113.

The place Ezech. 20. 27. considered. p 114. 115.

And the place, Jer. 50. 5. p 115. 116.

And the place, Esay 44. 5. p 116. 117.

The place, 2 Cor. 11. 2. violently handled to speak for this Church-covenant, p 118. 119. seq.

A passage of Iustine Martyr, with the ancient custome of bap­tizing, vindicated, p. 121.

John Baptists baptising vindicated, p. 121.

The place Acts 5. and of the rest durst no man joyne himselfe to them, &c. wronged and put under the Arminian glosse, p. 123. 124.

The pretended mariage betwixt the Pastor and the Church, no ground of a Church-covenant, and is a popish error, p. 127. 128.

Power of election of Pastors not essentiall to a Pastor all relati­on, p. 128, 129.

It is lawfull to sweare a platforme of a confession of faith, p. 130, 131, 132. seq.

Our Brethren and the Arminian arguments on the contrary are dissolved, p. 136, 137, 138.

Pastors and Doctors how differenced, p. 140.

Of ruling Elders, p. 141. 142.

And the place, 1 Tim. 5. 17. farther considered, the place 1 Tim. 5. 17. Elders that rule well examined, p. 141, 142, 143. especially, 144, 145. seq.

Arguments against ruling Elders answered, p. 152. 18. seq.

The places, 1 Cor. 12. 18. Rom. 12. 8 discussed and vindicated p. 154. 155, 156, 157. seq.

Of Deacons, p. 159. 160. seq.

The place Acts 6. for Deacons discussed, p. 161. 162.

The Magistrate no Deacon, p. 161, 162.

[Page] Deacons instituted, p. 163. 164. seq.

Deacons are not to preach and Baptize, p. 165, 166. seq.

Os Widdowes, p. 172. 173, 174.

How the Church is before the Ministery, and the Minestery be­fore the Church, p. 175 176, 177.

The Keys and power of ordaining Officers not committed to the Church of believers destitute of Elders, p. 180. 181. 182.

Robinsons reasons on the contrary, siding with Arminians and Socinians, (who evert the necessity of a Ministery) are dissolved, p. 182. 183.

No Ordination of Elders by a Church of onely Believers, but by Elders, in a constituted Church, p. 184. 185. seq.

Ordination and Election differ, ibidm

Corrupt rites of the Romish Church added to ordination destroy not the nature of Ordination, though such an Ordination be unlawfull yet is not invalid and null, p 186. 187, 188.

The various opinions of Romanists anent Ordination, ibid.

Election may stand for Ordination, in case of necessity, p. 187.

Of the succession of Pastors to Pastors, p. 185. 186.

Calling of Pastors seems by our Brethrens way not necessary, p. 200

Arguments for Ordination of Elders by a Church of onely Be­lievers dissolved, p. 189. 190, 191 seq.

Believers, because not the successors of the Apostles, have not power of Ordination, p. 192. 193, 194. seq.

The Keys, by no warrant of Gods word, are given to Pastors as Pastors, according to the Doctrine of our Brethren, p. 197. seq.

They side with Sociaians who ascribe Ordination to sole Be­lievers, p. 200.

Election belongeth to the people, p. 201. 202. seq.

In the ancient Church this was constantly taught, till Papists did violate Gods Ordinance, p. 203.

[Page] Election of a Pastor not essentiall to his calli [...]g, p. 205.

The calling of Luther how ordinary, and how extraordinary, p. 205, 206, 207. seq.

The essence of a valid calling, p. 208. 209.

How it may be proved by humane testimonies that the now vi­sible Church hath been a visible Church since the dayes of the Apostles, p. 229. 230. & seq.

Since the long continuance of the Waldenses, p. 235, 236. seq.

A calling frow the Papists Church as valid, as Baptisme from the same Church, p. 237, 238. seq.

Robinsons arguments are removed, p. 239. 240.

Of addition of members to the Church, p. 241.

What sort of Professors, whether true or seeming believers doe es­sentially constitute a visible Church; divers consider­able distinctions anent a visible Church, p. ib. 242. 243, seq.

The invisible, not the visible Church the prime subject of the Covenant of grace, and of all the priviledges due to the Church, and of all title, claime and interest in Jesus Christ, and how by the contrary doctrine our brethren imprudently fall into a grosse poynt of Arminianisme, p. 244. 245, 246, 247, 248. seq.

The invisible Church hath properly right to the seales of the Co­venant, our brethren in this poynt joyne with Papists whom otherwise they sincerely hate, p. 242, 205, 251. seq.

What sort of profession doth constitute a visible Church p. 356.

That Christ hath provided no Pastors as Pastors, for convert­ing of soules and planting visible Churches, is holden by our Brethren, p. 256.

The arguments of our brethren for a pretended Church of visible Saints, not only in profession, but also in some measure of truth and sincerity, as the author saith, are disolved, The way of the Churches of Christ in New England, c. 3. sect. 3p. 256. 257, 258.

Robinsons arguments at length are discussed, p. 268. 269, seq

[Page] The Lords adding to the Church invisible, no rule for our ad­ding, p. 256.

The places Mat 22. & Mat. 13 of the man without his wedding garment comming to the feast, and of the t [...]res in the Lords Field discussed, p. 261, 262. 263.

The typical Temple no ground for this pretended visible Church p. 263, 264.

Nor the place, 2 Tim. 3. 5. p. 261.

Nor Rev. 22. 15. without are Dogs, p. 267. 268.

And of diverse other places and persons at length, in seq.

Ordinary and prosessed hearing is Church-Communion, p. 268, 269, 270 & seq.

Excommunicated persons not wholy cut off from the visible Church, p. 272, 273, 274 seq.

Sundry distinctions thereanent collected out of the Fathers and Schoolemen, p. 277, 278, 279, 282.

Some Separatists deny that the regenerated can be excommuni­cated, as Robinson; some say onely the Regenerated are capable of excommunication, as Peter Coachman, p 279, 280, 281.

Of the diverse sorts of excommunication and the power thereof p. 282, 283, 295.

The reason why Papists debar not the excommunicated from hearing the word, p. 275, 276.

How the Seals are due to the visible Church, only in foro Ecclesiastico properly, p. 281.

In what diverse considerations the word preached is a note of the visible Church, p. 283, 284. seq.

The difference betwixt nota and signum, p. 301.

And nota actu primo & notificativa, and nota actu secun­do, and notificans, p. 285.

Arguments of Robinson and others answered, p. 286. 287.

Whether discipline be a note of the true church, diverse distincti­ons [Page] thereanent, p. 287, 288.

The order of Gods publick worship, p. 228.

Of the Communion of the visible Catholik Church, p. 289, 290.

The Ministery and Ordinances are given principally to the guides of the Catholick Church, and to, and for the Catholick Church, p. 289, 290, 291.

And not to a Congregation only, ibid 292.

Congregations are parts of a Presbyteriall Church, p. 293, 294.

Christ principally the head of the Catholick Church and secon­darily a Spouse, Head, Lord, King of a praticular Congrega­tion, p. 295.

The excommunicated is east out of the Catholick visible Church p. 295, 296.

A sister Congregation doth not excommunicate consequenter only, but antecedenter also, p. 297.

How Presbyteriall Churches excommunicate not by power derived from the Catholick visible Church, p. 299, 300.

Of the power of the Catholick visible Church, p. 300, 301.

A Congregation in a remote Ile hath power of Jurisdiction, p. 302.

A Presbyteriall Church is the first and principall subject of the Ordinary power of Jurisdiction, p. 302, 303.

What power generall councells have and how necessary, p. 304.

Power of excommunication not in a single Congregation con­sociated with other Churches, p. 205, 206.

Synods or councels occasionall, rather then ordinary, p. 307.

A Congregational Church, how it is by divine right, p. 307. 308

Tell the Church, Mat. 18. not restrained to a single Congre­gation only, p. 310, 311.

The place (Mat. 18. 17. Tell the Church) considered, p. 310, 311, 312, 313, seq.

An appeale from a Church that hath lawful power, p. 315.

[Page] A representative Church, p. 316.

The power of a single Congregation, p 320, 321, 322.

Matthew 18. Tell the Church, establisheth a Church Court, p. 322, 323, 324.

What relation of Eldership do the members of the classicall Pres­bytery beare to the whole Presbyteriall Church, and to all the congregations thereof, p. 325, 326, 327, 328 329, & seq.

They have power of governing all Congregations in those bounds, and not power of Pastorall teaching in every one of them, ibidem

Oncrousnesse of ruling many Churches, whereof the Elders of the classicall Presbytery are not Pastors, no more then the one­rousnesse of advising that is incumbent to sister Churches, p. 331, 332, 333.

The power of Presbyteries Auxiliary, not destructive to the power of Congregations, p 334. 335.

A Church-congregationall within a Church Presbyteriall, p. 336, 337, 338.

Entire power of government in one Congregationall Church against nature and the order of grace, p. 340, 341.

A Nationall Church no Iudaisme, but Christian, p. 342, 343.

How Pastors are Pastors in relation to these Congregations, p. 344, 345.

And Churches whereof they are not proper Pastors, p. 344, 345, 346.

The place, 1 Cor. 5. considered, if it can prove that all the mul­titude have an interest of presence in all acts of Iurisdicti­on, p. 348, 349, 350.

The place Acts 15. for a lawfull Synod considered at length, Acts 15. p. 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362. & seq.

All the requisites of a juridicall Synod here, p. 355, 366, 357.

The Apostles did not act in this Synod, as Apostles, p. 358, 359, 360. 361, 362, & seq. 368. 369, 370.

[Page] The power of this Synod not doctrinall onely, but also juridi­call, p. 365, 366, 367.

The Church Acts 15. 22. seemeth to be a Synodicall Church, p. 346, 347.

If the Apostles as infallible did reason in this Synod, p. 371, 372.

How the Holy Ghost is in all lawfull Synods, p. 373, 374.

And what Holy Ghost is meant, ibidem

This Synod not a company of counsellors, p. 382, 383, 384.

Church power intrinsecally in every part of the Church and not derived either by ascending or descending, p. 383, 384.

Which is the first Church, and five necessary distinctions, thereanent, p. 384, 385, 386.

Presbyteriall government warranted by the light of nature, p. 386, 387.

Power of censures in this Synod, p. 388, 389, seq.

Acts of this Synod could not have been performed by any one man, p. 387, 390, 391. 393.

Reasons proving that the Apostles acted in this Synod as A­postles, are removed, p. 391, 392, 323.

A power to act Church-acts cannot want a power of censuring the contraveners, p. 396.

How the decrees Acts 15. bind all the Churches, p. 398, 399.

What was in question Acts 15. p 403, 404.

The Apostles proceeding by way of disputing not by apostolick infallibility in this Synod, p. 406, 407. seq.

The question Acts 15. a Church question, p. 410, 411.

The synagogue of the Iewes a compleat Church though all the Ordinances of God were not there, p. 414, 415.

The power of an Oecumenick Synod above a nationall Church, what it is, p. 416, 417, 418.

There is a visible Catholick Church, 1 Cor. 12. p. 418, 419, 420.

The Church of Herusalem was a Presbyteriall Church, p. 425 427, 428.

[Page] The Church of Jerusalem an ordinary Christian Church, p. 429, 430, 431, 432.

A presbyteriall Church after the dispersion, p 438, 439.

The Apostles exercised acts of a classicall presbytery as ordina­ry Elders, Acts 6. p. 440. 444. seq.

The seales not to be denied to approved professors, though they be not members of a parishionall Church, p. 185, 186 seq.

Whether the invisible or visible Church hath right to the Seales, p. 188.

The visible Church of the Jewes, and the visible Church of the Gentiles of one and the same nature and essentiall constitu­tion, p. 190, 191, 162.

Whether for every sinne of ignorance there was need of a sacri­fice, p. 191.

Arguments to prove that only members of a parishionall Church are capable of the seales dissolved, p. 192.

No strong hand of providence, such as necessary absence from the congregation, as traffiquing, but only morallimpedi­ments maketh men uncapable of the Seales, p. 197, 198.

The place, 1 Cor. 5, 12. concerning these who ore without, again discussed, p. 200, 201.

Pastors doe warrantably performe pastorall acts in other con­gregations, then their own, p. 204, 205. seq.

The place, Acts 20. 28. discussed. p. 206, 207.

The congregation make and unmake Pastors, by our Brethrens Doctrine ex opere operato, 207, & seq.

Arguments of our Brethren hereanent dissolved, p. 208.

That persons are received into the visible Church by Baptisme, diverse distinctions hereanent, p. 210, 211, 212, 213.

The efficacy of the Sacraments handled, p. 202.

A fourefold consideration of Sacraments, p. 212, 213.

The error of Papists making Sacraments physicall instruments, the error of Arminians, Socinians and of our Brethren, [Page] making them naked signes, p. 212. 213.

Of Sacramentall grace, p. 214.

Arguments of our Brethren removed, p. 605. 606 607.

The mind of Socinians, the difference of a Sacrament and a ci­vill seale most considerable, p. 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220.

In what case separation is lawfull, p. 221.

Fundamentalls, p. 221. Fundamentalls

Of fundamentals, superstructures circa fundamentalia, things about the foundation, p. 221, 222.

Matters of Faith, and poynts fundamentall different, p. 222.

Ignorance of Gods matters have a threefold consideration, p. 222, 223.

Ignorance of fundamentals, ibidem

Knowledge of fundamentals how necessary, p. 223.

What are fundamentall poynts, p. 223.

How Iewes nnd Papists have all fundamentals, and how not, p. 230, 231.

The error of Papists hereanent, that the Churches determinati­on maketh fundamentals, p. 224.

Nine considerable distinctions anent fundamental poynts, con­taining diverse things anent fundamentals, p. 224, 225. & seq.

Our Brethren ignorant of the nature of a visible Church, p. 231, 232.

Neither believing, nor unbelieving essentiall to the visible Church, ibidem

Robinsons arguments for separation found light and empty, p. 232. 233. seq.

The place 2 Cor. 6. 14. fully vindicated, p. 233, 234. seq.

By evidence of the place, fathers and protestant divines, ibid.

The place Iohn 17 6, 7, 8. fully vindicated, Robinson his in­terpretation borrowed from Arminius, and other places and reasons discussed at length, p. 246, 247, 248. seq.

Eight distinctions anent separation, p. 253, 254, & seq.

[Page] Infants of visible professors are to be baptized, p. 255, 256 seq.

Arguments on the contrary dissolved, ibid.

What right to baptisme the child hath from parents, p. 257 seq.

Conversion of soules an Ordinary fruit of a sent Ministery, p. 266, 267, 268. seq.

Rom. 10. 14. how shall they preach except they be sent, diseussed, diverse sending acknowledged by our brethren, p. 269. seq.

No warrant for the preaching of gifted personsnot called by the Church in a constituted Church, Six distinctions there­anent, p. 272, 273. seq.

Socinians deny the necessity of a sent Minister, p. 271.

Robinson expoundeth the place Rom. 10, 14. as Socinians do ibid. & 275 276, 277, 278.

Robinsons arguments for preaching of unofficed Prophets, answered, as from Eldad and Medad, p. 281, 282.

And 2 Chro. 17. 7. from the Hebrew Text and R. Jarchi Sa­lomon his exposition cleared, p. 282, 283.

And Jehoshaphat his Sermon, how Kings may exhort, p. 284, 285.

That Christs disciples before his Resurrection and the seventy disciples were not unofficed preachers, p. 286, 287.

And other places, p. 290.

As Joh. 4. 28. Luk. 8. 39. Act. 8. 1, 2. 3. p. 291. 292, 293. seq.

And 1 Pet. 4, 10. 11. Rev. 11. 3. Rev. 14. 6. fully vindicated, p. 294, 295, 296, 297.

That there be no ground for unofficed Prophets, 1 Cor. 14, p. 297, 298, 299. seq.

The place Heb. 5. 11. vindicated all objections from 1 Cor. 14. of Robinson, particularly discussed, and found empty and most weake, p. 297, 298, 299, seq.

Mr. Coachmans arguments dissolved, p. 305, 306, 307. seq.

The way of Church judging in independent congregations examined, p. 308, 309.

That there be no peculiar authority in the Eldership, for which Authority of Elders. [Page] they can be said to be over the people in the Lord, according to the doctrin of independency of Churches, and their six ways of the Elders authority confuted, p. 311, 312, 313, 314, 315. seq.

That independency doth evert communion of sister-Churches, and their seven wayes of Churches-communion refuted from their own grounds, p. 324, 325, 326. seq.

The divine right of Synods, Ten distructions thereanent, p. 331, 332. seq.

The desinition of a generall or Oecumenick Synod, p. 332. 333

The place Acts 15 farther considered, p. 334, 335.

Synods necessary by natures Law, p. 336.

Papists no friends to councells, p. 336, 337, 338. seq. 340, 341.

Three ways of communion of sister-Churches according to the doctrin of independent Churches confuted, p. 346, 347. seq.

How the magistrate hath power to compell persons to the pro­fession of the truth, p. 352, 373. seq.

Six distinctions thereanent, 2 part. p. 352, 353.

The Magistrates power over a people Baptized, and over Pagans Magistrats power in matters Ecclesiasticall. who never heard of Christ, in this poynt of Coaction to profes­sion, not alike, p. 353, 354, 355.

The magistrates compelling power terminated upon the exter­nall act, not upon the manner of doing, sincerely, or hypo­critically, p. 355, 356.

The magistrates power over hereticks, with sundry distinctions thereanent, p. 356, 357, 358. seq.

Socinians judgement and Arminians hereanent, p. 359, 360,

A farther consideration of compelling, or tolerating diverse Religions, p. 361, 362.

Some indirect forcing lawfull, p 362.

Erroneous opinions concerning God and his worship though not in Fundamentalls censurable, p 363 364.

Diverse non Fundamentalls are to be believed with certainty of [Page] Faith, and the non-believing of them are si [...]nes punishable, p. 365. 366 367 seq.

Arguments on the contrary dissolved and the place Philip. 3. 15. cleared, p 316. & seq.

How an erring conscience obligeth, p. 378, 379, 380, 381 seq.

Arguments on the contrary answered, p. 383, 384. seq.

The Princes power in Church affairs; Ten distinctions there­anent, p. 391, 392. 393.

How the Magistrate is a member of the Church, p. 392, 393.

The Prince, by his Royall Office, hath a speciall hand in Church-affaires. p 393, 394.

The intrinsecall end of the Prince is a supernaturall good to be procured by the Sword and a coactive power, and not only the externall peace of the State, Spalato resuted, p 396, 397, 398. seq.

How the Magistrate is subordinate to Christs mediatory King­dome, p 402, 403, 404, seq.

The ordinary power of the Prince is not Synodicall teaching, or making Church-Lawes, p. 403, 404, 405, 406. seq.

The influence of the Princes civill power in Church-Canons, p. 409. 410, 411 seq.

The government of the visible Church spirituall, and not a formall part of the Magistrates Office, p. 417, 418. seq.

The power of Ordination and Deprivation not a part of the Magistrates Office, p. 427, 428. seq.

Instances from David, Salomon, Ezechiah, &c. answered, and our Doctrine and Iesuites differenced, p. 438, 439. seq.

Difference betwixt the Princes commanding Church-duties, and the Churches commanding these same, p. 417, 418, seq.

The Kings ordinary power to make Church-Lawes examined, p. 438, 439, 440. seq.

The intrinsecall end of the Magistrate a supernaturall good, p. 442, 443, 446, 447, 448.

[Page] The Popes pretended power over Kings, protestants contrary to to Papists herein, what ever the author or Popish libeller of the survey, and the night-Author of Treason Lysimachus Nicanor say on the contrary, p. 449, 450, 451, 452. seq.

The way of Reformation of Congregations in England, accor­ding to the independent way, examined, p. 457, 458.

The originall of Church-Patronages, p. 459.

And how unwarrantable by Gods Word, p. 462, 463.

Other wayes of Reformation of England according to the way of independent Churches modestly considered, as about maintenance of Ministers, and replanting of visible Churches there, p. 464, 465, 466. seq.

Errata.

THe Author could not attend the Presse, therefore pardon errors of the Printing; Observe, that the Author was necessitated to make some occa­sionall addition to the mids of this Treatise which occasioned-variation of the Figures of the Pages, and therefore stumble not, that when the Booke commeth to page 484 the next page not observing due order, is page 185. 186 and so forth to the end of the Treatise, page 60. title of the page 60, &c. page 61, 62. 64. dele not; and for, not of the same essentiall frame, &c. read of the same essentiall frame, &c. page 484, line 22, Churches their persecution, read Churches through their perse­cution, for page 229 read 209. for page 259. read 269. for. p. 484. r. p. 498.

יהוה


THE Way of the Church of Christ In NEW ENGLAND, Measured by the Golden Reed of the SANCTUARY. Or,
The way of Churches walking in brotherly equa­lity and independence, or coordination without sub­jection of one Church to another, examined and measured by the Golden Reed of the Sanctuary.
Propositions concerning the supposed visibility and Consti­tution of independent Churches, examined.

CHAP. 1. SECT. 1. PROP. 1.

THe Church which Christ in his Gospell hath in­stituted, The way of the Churches. and to which he hath committed the keys of his Kingdome, the power of binding and loosing, the Tables and Scales of the Covenant, the Officers and Consures of his Church, the Administration of all his publick worship and Ordinances, is, coetus fidelium, a company of Believers, [Page 2] meeting in one place, every Lords day, for the administration of the holy ordinances of God to publick edification. 1 Cor. 14. 23. 1 Because it was a company whereof Peter confessing and be­lieving was one, and built on a rock, Mat. 16. 18. a Such as unto whom any offended brother might complaine, Mat. 18. 17. 3 Such as is, to cast out the incestuous▪ Corinthian, 1 Cor. 5. Which cannot agree to any diocesian, provinciall, or Nationall assemblie.

Ans. From these we question.

Quest. 1. If a company of believers and saints builded by faith, upon the rock Christ, and united in a Church-Covenant, be the only instituted visible Church of the New Testament, to the which Christ hath given the keys:

Let these considerations be weighed.

1. Dist. The matter of an instituted visible Church is one thing, and the instituted visible Church is another, as there be ods betwixt stones and timber, and an house made of stones and timber.

2 Dist. It is one thing to govern the actions of the Church and another thing to governe the Church, the Moderator of any Synod, doth govern the actions of the Synod, but he is not for that a Governour, Ruler, and Pastor of the Synod. Or, ordering actions, and governing men are diverse things.

3. Dist. A thing hath first its constituted and accomplished being in matter, forme, efficient and finall causes, before it can performe these operations and actions that flow from that be­ing so constituted, a Church must be a Church, before any Ministeriall Church actions can be performed by it.

4. Dist. It is one thing for a company to performe the acti­ons of a Church mysticall and redeemed of Christ, and another thing to performe actions ministeriall of a Church instituted and ministeriall.

1. Concl. A company of believers professing the truth is the matter of the Church, though they be saints by calling and builded on the rock, yet are they but to the Church institu­ted, Trelcat. loc. 16. a [...]t. [...]. Tylen. Syntag. disp. 14. de Eccl. as stones to the house. 2. Because they cannot performe the actions of a constituted Church, till they be a con­stituted Church. 3. Our Divines call men externally called, [Page 3] the matter of the visible Church, so Trelcatius, Tilenu [...], professors dis. 1. Thes. 19. Profess. leyd. synop pur. Theol. dis. 4. thes. 34. 35 Piscator dis. 23. n. 15, 16. Bucan. loc. 41. quest. 7. s. 5. of Leyden; Piscator, Bucanus, so say our brethern.

2. Concil. Ordination of Pastors, and election of Officers, administration of the seales of grace, and acts of Church censures, are holden by Gods Word, and by all our Divines, actions of a ministeriall and an instituted visible Church, and if so, according to our third distinction.

It is a wonder how a company of Believers united in Church-Covenant, cannot performe all these, for they are Answer to Quest. 2. united, and so a perfect Church, and yet cannot administrate the Sacraments: for though they be so united, they may want Pastors, who onely can performe these actions, as this Way of the Church. Ch. Sect, com­pare with. chap. 2. Robins. Iustifie. pag. 106. Confess. Separ. art. 37. Treatise sayth, and Robinson and the Confession. And it is no lesse wonder that Officers and Rulers who are to feed, and governe the Flock, are but only accidents and not parts, not integrall members of a constituted Church: no perfect Corporation maketh its owne integrall parts or members, a perfect living man doth not make his owne Hands, Feete, or Eyes, the man is not a perfect one in all his mem­bers, if all the members be not made with him; but Officers by preaching make Church-members.

3. Concl. The visible Church which Christ instituted in the Gospel is not formally a company of believers meeting, for publick edification, by common and joynt consent, as this Author sayth. 1. The instituted Church of the New Testament is an organicall body of diverse members, of eyes, eares, feete, hands, of Elders governing, and a people governed. 1 Cor. 12. 14, 15. Rom. 12. 4, 5, 6. Act. 20. 28.

But a company of believers, meeting for publick edi­fication by common consent, are not formally such a bo­dy; for they are a body not Organicall, but all of one and the same nature, all believers and saints by calling, and are not a body of Officers governing, and people gover­ned; for they are, as they are a visible Church, a single uncompounded body, wanting Officers, and are as yet to choose their Officers: and all thus combined are not Officers, Rom. 10. 14. How shall they preach except they be sent? 1 Cor. 12. 29. Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? we justly [Page 4] censure the Papists, and amongst them, Bellarmine, who will scarce admit an essentiall Church of believers, but ac­knowledgeth other three Churches beside, to wit, a repre­sentative Church of their Clergy onely, excluding the Laickes Bell de Eccl. li. 3 cap. 2. (as they call them) 2 A consistoriall Church of Cardi­nalls. 3. A virtuall Church, the Pope who hath pleni­tude of all power in himselfe, against which our writers Cal­vin, Beza, Tilenus, Iunius, Bucanus, professors of Leyden, Whittaker, willet doe dispute; so the other extremity can hard­ly be maintained, that there is an instituted, visible, mi­nisteriall Church to which Christ hath given the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, exercising Church actions, as to ordaine, and make and un-make Officers and Rulers with­out any officer at all. The major of our proposition is grant­ted by our brethren, who cite, 1 Cor. 12. Rom. 12. Acts 20. 28. To prove a single Congregation to be the onely visible Church instituted in the New Testament. Nothing can be said against this, but a Church of Governours and People governed is an instituted visible Church; but there is an in­stituted visible Church before there be Governours, but such an instituted Church we cannot read of in Gods Word, which doth and may exercise Church acts of government without any Officers at all.

2. That company cannot be the Church ministeriall in­stituted by Christ in the New Testament, which cannot meete all of them, every Lords day, as the Church of Corinth did for administration of the holy Ordinances of God, and all his Ordinances to publick edification; for so this Author descri­beth a visible instituted Church, 1 Cor. 14. 23. But a com­pany of believers meeting for publick edification, by joynt and common consent cannot meete for the publick admini­stration of all the Ordinances of God, 1. They cannot ad­minister the seales of the Covenant being destitute of the Officers, as the Scripture, and their confession saith, 2. They cannot have the power of publick edification, being destitute of Pastors, because the end cannot be attained without the 1 Cor. 11. 23. Mat. 28. 19. 1 Cor. 1. 17. Confess. art. 37. meanes appointed of Christ. But Christ for publick edifica­tion and Church edification hath given Pastors, Teacher [...] [Page 5] and other Officers to his Church Eph. 4. 11. 1 Tim. 5. 17. I [...] is not enough to say, that such a company meeting hath pow­er of Pastorall preaching and administration of the Seales of grace, because they may ordaine and elect Officers, for such publick edification, but 1. we prove, that that which our brethren call the onely instituted visible Church of the New Testament, hath not power to administrate all the Or­dinances of Christ, and how then are they a Church? can we call him a perfect living man, who cannot exercise all the vitall actions, which flow from the nature and essence of a living man? 2. If this be a good reason that such a company should be the only instituted Church in the New Testament having power of all the Ordinances, because they may appoint Officers, who have such a power; then any ten believers, who have never sworne the Church-Covenant, meeting in private to exhort one another is also the only in­stituted Church ministeriall, in the New Testament, for they have power to make such Officers, and may invest themselves in right, to all the Ordinances of Christ, by our brothers Doctrine, 3. All the places cited by the Author, speake of a Church visible made up of, Officers governing, and people governed & as Mat. 16. Mat 18. cannot exclude Pastors who binde on Earth, and in heaven, or Pastors who are stewards, and beare the keyes, as hereafter, I shall prove. Also the Church of Corinth did meete for the administration of the Lords Supper, 1 Cor. 11. 20. and so were a Church of Officers and governed people, they met with Pauls spirit, and the au­thority of Pastors. 1 Cor. 5. 4. another Church that exercised Discipline, as Collosse Col. 2. 8. was a Church of Officers and people Col. 4. 17. Philippi consisted of Saints, Bishops, and Deacons. Phil. 1. 1. 2. Ephesus of a flocke, and an elder­ship, Acts 20. 28. so the visible ministeriall Church that the word of God speaketh of, as all the seven Churches of Asia and their Angels, had in them Officers to governe, and people governed, and therefore they were not a number of sole. believers united in a Church-covenant, which in very deed i [...] but stones and timber, not an house builded of God; for in the ministeriall Church of the New Testament, there is e [...]e [...] [Page 6] a relation betwixt the Elders and the flock: wee desire to to see a Copy of our brethrens instituted visible Church, to the which Elders are neither essentiall, nor integrall parts, for their instituted visible Church hath its compleat being and all its Church-operations, as binding, loosing, ordeining of Officers, before there bee an Edldership in it, and also when the Eldership is ordained, they are not Eyes and Eares to the instituted Church, nor watchmen, because it is a body in essence and operation compleat without officers. 2. the officers are not Governors, for as I trust to prove, they have no act of ministeriall authority of governing; over the people by our brethrens Doctrine, 2. all their governing is to Rule and moderate the actions of the whole governing Church, which maketh them no wayes to be governours, nor over the believers in the Lord, nor overseers, nor watchmen: as a Preses who moderateth a Judicatorie, a moderator in a Church-meeting, a Prolocutor in a convocation, is not over the Judicatorie, Synod, or meeting, or Convocation. 3. The Eldership are called by them, the adjuncts, the Church, the subject: the subject hath its perfect essence without its ac­cidents and common adjuncts.

2 Quest. Whether or not Christ hath committed the Keys of the Quest. 2. Kingdom of Heaven, to the Church of Believers, which as yet wan­teth all Officers, Pastors, Doctors, &c.

The Author sayth, this company of believers and Church which wanteth Officers, and (as we have heard) is compleat without them, is the corporation to which Christ hath given the keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven; which deserveth our brotherly censure: for wee then aske a Scripture for the Lords giving of the keys to Pastors and Elders; if the keys be given to Peter, Mat. 16. as a professing believer, by what Word of God are they given to Peter, as to an Apostle and Pastor, it would seem the Pastors have not the keys jure Divino; for by this argument our Divines prove the Bishop not to bee an Office of power and jurisdiction above a Pastor and Presbyter, because the keys were not given to Peter as to the Archbishop, but as to a Pastor of the Church, and indeed this would conclude that Pastors are not Officers [Page 7] of authority and power of jurisdiction, jure Divino.

Hence the question is, if it can be concluded that the keyes of of the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 16. Mat. 18. were given to Pe­ter, as he represented all professing believers, or if they were given for the good of professing believers, but to Peter as carrying the per­son of Apostles, Pastors, and Church-guides?

1. Distinction, There is one question of the power of the keyes, and to whom they are committed, and another of the exercise of them, and toucheth the government of the Church, if it be popular and democraticall or not?

2. Dist. It is not inconvenient, but necessary that Christ should give to his Church, gifts, Pastors and Teachers, of the which gifts the Church is not capable, as a subject as if the Church might exercise the Pastor and Doctors place: and yet the Church is capable of these gifts, as the object, and end, because the fruit and effect of these gifts redoundeth to the good of the Church, see Parker de po [...]it. Eccl. l. 3. c. 8. Parker, see the C [...]hol. Paris. pag. 8. Parisian schoole and Paul Baynes docesart tyrall. 3. q. concl. 3. pa. 83. Bayner.

3. Distinct. There is a formall ordinary power, and there is a vertuall or extraordinary power.

1. Concl. Christ Iesus hath immediatly himselfe without the intervening power of the Church or men, appointed of­fices and Officers in his house, and the office of a pastor, and Elder is no lesse immediately From Christ (for men as Christs Vicars and Instruments can appoint no new Office in the Church) then the office of the Apostles, Eph. 4. 11. 1 Cor. 12. 28. Mat. 28. 19. The Offices are all given to the Church im­mediatly, and so absolutely, and so the power of the keys, is given to the Church the same way. But the Officers, and key bearers now are given mediatly, and conditionally, by the intervening mediation of the ruling and ministeriall Church, that she shall call such and such, as have the conditions re­quired to the office by Gods Word, 1. Tim. 3. 12, 3. Hence we see no reason, why the keys can be said to be given to believers, any other wayes, then that they are given for their good.

2. Concl. I deny not, but there is a power virtuall, not for­mall in the Church of believers, to supply the want of ordi­nation of pastors, or some other acts of the keyes simply ne­cessary, hic & nunc; this power is virtuall, not formall, [Page 8] and extraordinary not ordinary, not officiall, not proper­ly authoritative, as in a Church in an Iland, where the pa­stors are dead, or taken away by pest or otherwayes, the people may ordaine Pastors or rather doe that which may supply the defect of ordination, as David without imme­diate Revelation, from Heaven to direct him, by only the Law of nature, did eate shewbread; so is the case here, so an­swer the casuistes and the schoolemen, that a positive Law may yield in case of necessity, to the good of the Church; so Thom. 22. q. 28. art 10 ad 2. Thomas Molina tom. 6 tract. 5. dis. 57. n. 6. Molina Suarez. Tom. de legib. lib. 2. cap 15. Suarez Vasq. 12. dis. 129. cap. 2. Vasquez Viguertus in institut Theol. cap. 15. s. 1. Vigve­rius, Sotus de instit li. 2. q. 3. art. 8. Sotus Scotus 3. dist. 37. quest. 1. Scotus Altisiodore. l. 3 sum tract. 7. cap. 1. Qu. 5. Altisiodorensis Durandus 1. Durand Gabriel. 3. dist. 37. q. 1. Art. 1. Concl. 2. Gabriel, and consider what the learned Voetius des. causa. pap. li. 2. c. ca. 21. sect. 3. 6. Voetius sayth in this. What if in an extreame case of necessity, a private man, endued with gifts and zeale should teach publickly, after the example of the faithfull at Samosaten. Yea and Flavianus and Diodorus preached in Antioch, as Theodo. l. 4. ca. 14. c. 24. Theodoret sayth; yea, saith Voetius, an ordinary ministery might be imposed on a Laick, or private person by the Church, though the presbytery consent not, in case of necessity. God (sayth Gerson par. 2. Sermon Rhen. dom. 2. postpashat Gerson) may make an immediate intermission of a calling by Bishops; yea (sayth Anton. 3. l. 3. c. 83. Anton. speaking of neces­sities Law) The Pope may commit power of Excommunication, quia est de jure positive, pure Laico & mulieri, to one meere Laicke, or a woman; though we justifie not this, yet it is hence concluded that God hath not tied himselfe to one set rule of ordinary, positive Lawes: a captive woman (as Socrates saith) preached the Gospell to the King and Queen of Iberranes, and they to the people of the Land.

3. Concl. The Author in the foresaid first proposition, will have no instituted visible Church, in the New Testament, but a Congregationall or Parishionall Church, that meeteth together ordinarily, in one place, for the hearing of the Word. But we thinke, as a reasonable man is the first, im­mediate and principall subject of aptitude to laugh, and the mediate and secondary Subjects are, Peter, Iohn and par­ticular men, so that it is the intention of nature to give these and the like properties, principally and immediately, to the speci [...]e, and common nature, and not immediately to this [Page 9] or that man; so are the blessings of the promises, as to bee builded on a Rock; victory over hell, and such, given prin­cipally and immediately to the Catholick and invisible Church, as to the first and principall subject; and no wayes to a visible Congregation consisting of 30 or 40. professing the Faith of Christ: but onely to them, not as Professors, but to them as they are parts and living members of the true Catho­lick Church. For sound professors, though united in a Church-covenant, are indeed the mysticall Church, but not as profes­sors, but as sound believers, and therefore these of whom Christ speaketh, Mat. 16. Are builded on a Rock, as true be­lievers; but the keys are given not to them, but for them, and for their good, as professors making Peters confession, and in Gods purpose to gather them into Christ. But the Text evinceth that these keys are given to Peter, as representing the Church-guides especially, though not excluding belie­vers, giving to them popular consent, and not to Believers, as united in a company of persons in Church-covenant, excluding the Elders.

1. To that Church are the keys given, which is builded on the rock as a house, the house of wisdome, Prov. 9. 1. The house of God, 1 Tim. 3. 15. Heb. 3. 4. By the Doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, by Doctors and Teachers, whom Christ hath given, for the building of his house, Eph. 4. 11. But this house is not a company of professing believers united by a Church-covenant and destitute of Pastors and Teachers, but a Church edified by the Word, Seales, and Discipline: Ergo such a Church is not heere understood. The propofition is granted by the Au­thor. I prove the assumption. The Church of believers com­bined in Church-covenant, but wanting their Pastors and Tea­chers, is not wisdomes house, nor builded by pastors and Doctors given to edifie and gather the body, but they are on­ly the materialls of the house: yea wanting the pastors, they want Ministeriall power, for pastorall preaching and admini­strating the Seales, and for that, they want the power of edi­fying the body of Christ, which is required in a visible Church Eph. 4. 11. Though the building of this Church on the Rock Christ may well be thought to be the inward building of the [Page 10] Catholick and invisible Church in the Faith of Christ, yet as it is promised to the Church, to the which Christ promiseth the keys of the Kingdome of Heaven, it can be no other beside ex­ternal and Ministeriall building by a publick Ministery.

2. Arg. To these are the keys here promised, who are stewards of the mysteries of God, 1 Cor. 4. 1. And servants of the house by office, 2 Cor. 4. 5. And are by office to open the doores and behave themselves aright in Gods house, 1 Tim. 3. 16. and to divide to these of the house their portion in due season, Mat. 24. 45. and to cut the word, 2 Tim. 2. 15. But a company of professing believers joyned together in a Church-covenant, and destitute of officers, are not stewards by office, nor servants over the house, &c.

Ergo, to such a company the keyes are not here given.

The proposition especially is to be proved (for the assump­tion is granted by our brethren and evidently true) but it is sure by the phrase of Scripture, Esai. 22. 22. And I will lay upon his shouldier the key of the house of David.

[...] Clavis a [...] apperuit, proveth this. Shindler in Lexico. Shindle­rus in Lexico, metonymicè significatur, Authoritas, Facultas, po­testas omnis gubernationis, iubendo, ac vetando, expediendo ac coercendo, power of government Muscul. com. in Is. 22. 22. Insigne acceptae potesta­tis, Occonoms & Praeposito do­mûs commen­dantur claves, quibus potestatem suam administret. Musculus, so Calvin com­ment ib. Gualter Homil. 114. Claves symbolum pote­statis, regibus Claves offerunt Calvin: these who are made masters of housholds receive keys, whereby they open and shut, it is a token of power given to Kings Iunius. Plenam administrationem Iunius, it noteth a full government, by this borrowed speech, sayth Beza in. Ma. aunot. Potestas Mi­nistrorum, in Mat. 16. Beza, is signified the power of Ministers, Isai. 22. Mat. 16. Pareus. domus meae faciam te aeconomum Pareus. I shall make the steward of my house, Hieron. Clavis, po­testas excellentiae Hierom the key is a power of excellency, and Chrysostom. Homil. 55. in Mat. Magnam potestatem Chrysostom, August. de civit. de lib. 20. ca. 9. potestatem pastoris Augustine, Beda in Iohan. Clavis est potestas ligandi & solvendi. Beda sayth the same.

li. de fide ad Pet. Fulgentius calleth this the power of binding and loosing given to the Apostles; so other Scriptures expound the keyes to be a power of office, as Esa. 9. 6. And the government shall be upon his shoulder, Interpreters say, Davids keys are given here, Rev. 3. 7. These things (saith he) that hath the key of David, [Page 11] who open [...]h and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, Rev. 1. 18. I have the keys of hell and death, Rev. 9. 1. And to him was given the key of the bottomlesse pit; so Stephan. in thesaur. ling. Graecae. Stephanus on the word, [...], Clavis. Whittakee tom. 2. contr. 4. c [...]. 5. Whittaker, it signifieth a power of office given to some, and not to all; as Calvin. ib. dissert. de Aposto­latu Petri. Calvin here (saith he) Christ speaketh of Peters publick office, that is, of his A­postleship Bullinger ib. so, Bullinger, Erasm. Para. Erasm. Zwinglius. Zwinglius Marlorat com. Marlorat, Pareus. ib. Pareus on the same place. I think, while of late, never interpreter dreamed, that in the Text, Mat. 16. the keys of the Kingdome of Heaven are given to all believers, but only to the stewards of the house builded upon the Rock.

3. Arg. To these in this Text doth Christ give the keys, to whom he giveth warrant, for the actuall exercise of the keys, to wit, to bind and loose on Earth, and so open and shut the doores of the Kingdome. But this warrant and officiall autho­rity of binding and loosing, Christ giveth to Peter onely as re­presenting Apostles, Teachers and Elders, and not to the Church of believers convened Covenant-wayes, and destitute of Officers; Ergo, the proportion is cleare in the Text; to the same person, to whom the promiseth the power or keys, to the same he pro­miseth Officiall warrant to exercise the speciall acts of the keys, but to Peter is the promise of both made 19. and if Christ al­lude to the place, Is. 22. 22. Then (I say) these to whom Christ gave the keys, doe by Office represent him who hath the keys of Davids house and the Government on his shoulder, And I will give to thee the Keys of the Kingdome of Heaven, there is the power and authority granted; And whatsoever thou shall bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven: there is a warrant, for the exercise of the acts of the power given also to Peter; Now if the keys be not given to Peter as to a Pastor; Peter and pa­stors, by this place, as pastors, neither have the keys, nor of­ficiall warrant to preach, and to remit, or retaine sinnes; and if by this place, they have it not, we desire to see a warrant from Christ, before he went to heaven, for pastorall preach­ing Beza. Mini­sterii Ecclesi­astici, authorit [...] caelestis. Beza in his marginall notes in this Text, sayth, here is the Heavenly authority of the Church Ministery; also binding and loosing is all one, with opening and shutting Heaven Gates, and with remitting and retaining sinnes, Ioh. 20. Papists, I know, deny [Page 12] that the Apostles were made priests judicially to remit sinnes be­fore Christs Resurrection, Ioh, 2. so Tolet com­ment in Joan. in loc. an. 21. the Cardinall Tolet, and Maldonat. Harm. in loc. Maldonat Cajetan. com. in Ioh. 20. 23. ideo hoc in loco insti­tuitur & pro­mulgatur sacra­mentum paeni­tentiae. Cajetanus; but the Truth is, what is gi­ven here Mat. 16. Is but repeated and enlarged Joh 20. And they are now sent to the whole World, whereas before they were to preach to Iudea only, but this Ioh, 20. Rolloc. ib [...]c­petita & reite­rata potestas. (sayth Rollocus) is but a reiterated power, it was given before his Resurrecti­on, and Beza in ani. mad. in Mat. 16. sicut Ioannes iu­terpretatur in sra. c. 21. Beza sayth the same, and Bulling. Mat. 16. Bullinger sayth, the promise is made here and fulfilled Ioh. 2 c. and Pareus. Quic­quid solveris, id est, Joh. 20. quo­rum peccata re­miseritis. Pareus ex­poundeth (what thou shalt loose) here by these words Ioh. 20. So Calv. instit. 4. ca. 6. Calvin Whittaker. tom. 2. contr. 4. q. 2. ca. 5. VVhittaker Zwinglius com. Zwinglius Asuscul. in Joh. 21. Musculus, Now this same Way of the Church of n. E. ca. 2. sect. 9 Author acknowledgeth that Ioh. 20. Christ gave pastorall power to all the Apostles to forgive sins.

2. To bind and to loose, are act. s of officiall power, and of Princes, Rulers, and Feeders, Ergo they are not given to the Church destitute of Feeders and Governors. I prove the ante­cedent. 1. To bind and loose, by all Interpreters, Augustine, Cyrill, Chrysost. C [...]prian, Euthymius, Hyeromi, Basilus, Ambrose, Sedulius, Primasius, and by our owne Calvin, Musculus, Gualther, Pareus, Beza, Zwinglius, Rolloc, VVhittaker, and the evidence of Scripture, i [...], by publick and pastorall preaching, to re [...]nit and retaine sins, to believers or unbelievers; and Bulling. in loc. Mat. 16. Bullinger com­ment, Mat. Bul­linger saith it is taken from the Scripture Isa. 52. 49 v. 9. where Christ is said to loose the prisoners, and so Muscul. ibid Musculus Beza an. Be­za, and Calvin comment Calvin will have them to be words signifying the [...]fficiall authority of Princes, Ambassadours, to set at li­berty prisoners, or to cast malefactors in bands and prison, as Magistrates and Rulers doe, so binding in Scripture Psa. 105. 27 Judg. 15. 10. Psal. 149. 8. Mat. 22. 13. Acts 21. 11. Acts 22. 4. Mark. 3. 37. is an authoritative act of Princes, Superiors, Governors and Ru­lers. And so is lo [...]sing a judiciall and authoritative act of Rulers and Overseers Levit. 14. 7. Psal. 102. 20. Jer. 40. 4. Ps. 105. 20. Act. 2. 24. Rom. 7. 2. 1 Cor. 7. 27. Rev. 20. 3. Rev. 9. 15. Job. 12. 18. as Scripture teacheth us. But the Church of believers wanting their Officers, watchmen, and Overseers, though combined in a Church Covenant, is not a company of Overseers and Rulers, or judiciall and authoritative binders and loosers exercising power over themselves.

[Page 13] 4. Arg. If Christ doe not say in this place, nor in Mat. 18. that the keys and the actes of the keys, to wit, binding and loosing, are given to the Church of believers, without their Of­ficers; then neither places prove, that the keyes are given to such a Church.

But Christ doth not say it; Ergo, the Text cannot beare it: the assumption I prove. Christ, Mat. 16. 18. speaking of the Church builded on a Rock, sayth not, I will give to the Church so builded, the keys; but he turneth the speech to Peter, when he promiseth the keys V. 19. And I will give to thee, (Peter, not to the Church) the keys of the Kingdome of Heaven, surely none needeth to teach our Lord to speak. This change of the per­sons to whom the keys are promised, wanteth not a reason. Our brethren say, the promise is made to Peter, because he gave a confession of Christ in the name of all believers, and because the keys are given to believers, as the Spouse of Christ, and as his body uni­ted to him: but this author, granteth every company of belie­vers, because they are believers, are not an instituted visible Church, but they must be a company of believers professing Co­venant-wayes Faith in Christ, and Church-communion. But, 1. then the keys are not given to believers because they are belie­vers, and the Spouse of Christ, but because they are such pro­fessors, so and so combined in a Church-covenant. But yet I aske, whether true or false profession be the neerest intervening cause of these, to whom the keyes are given. If a true profes­sion, then. 1. Unbelieving Pastors are not Pastors; for their profession is not true. And children baptized by them are as not-baptized, or as baptized by Women, 2. If one shall be ex­communicated by seven (for such Cap. 3. Sect. 1. a number this Author requireth to make a visible Church) even, clave non errante, and most deservedly, he is not bound in Heaven, and excommuni­cated, in foro Dei, before God: for the profession of these seven may be false, and so the Church actes performed by them, are a non habentibus potestatem, and null, if they be no Church, 3. We can prove by Scripture Mat. 10. 2. Joh 6. 70. Acts 17. 20. 21. that Iudas though the child of perdition, was a called Apostle. But if a false profession be sufficient to make persons a true visible Church, the [...]. 1. The keys are not given to believers, because they are believers, and uni­ted [Page 14] to Christ, as his body and Spouse, but. 2. This Author sayth amisse, That the Church instituted by Christ is a company of belie­vers, and faithfull and godly men, whereof Peter was one; for a company of hypocrites are not such. 2. Our brethren prove the keys, to be a part of the liberty of the redeemed ones, but counterfeit professors are not redeemed ones, nor have they that liberty purchased to them in Christ. 4 It shall follow, that our brethren widely mistake a supposed difference which they de­vise, betwixt the Iewish and Christian Church, to wit, that to make men members of the Iewish Church, externall holinesse, as to be borne Jewes, was sufficient, and to be circumcised, and not a bastard, not descended within three or foure Generations of a Moabite, or Ammonite, but that the visible Church of the Gen­tiles after Christ must be the bride of Christ, and by true Faith united to him. Whereas the members of a Christian visible Church are and may be hypocrites, though not known to be such, as were the members of the Iewish Church. Also Mat. 18 18, 19. Christ changeth the persons, v. 17. after he hath spoken of the Church v. 17. he sheweth v. 18. of what Church he speak­eth, and directeth his speech to these to whom he spake v. 1. to the Disciples who were Pastors, verily I say unto you, What soever yee shall bind on Earth, shall be hond in Heaven, and therefore none can make an argument from, Mat. 16. to wit thus, to as many are the keys promised, as are builded on the Rock, but all the faithfull are builded on the Rock, Ergo to all the faith­full are the keys promised. 1. The proposition is not in the Text either expressely, or by consequent. 2. The proposition is false, for the Catholick invisible Church is builded on the rock, but by our Brethrens confession the keys are not given to the Catholick invisible Church, but only to such a compa­ny of professing believers, as make a Parishionall Congregati­on. 4. That Christ speaketh to Peter as to one representing the Apostles, and not as to one representing all believers, is cleare. 1. Because by the confession of our Brethren bind­ing and loosing are denyed to many that make Peters confession, thou art Jesus the Son of the living God, as to believing Women and children; and many out of Church. state. 2. If believers as giving Peters confession, and as builded upon the rock, Christ, [Page 15] by this place made a ministeriall Church, by Christ, and gifted with the power of the keys, then the Ministery & officiall power of preaching and binding and loosing should be made as stable and firme from defection, as the Church of elect believers, against whom the gates of hell cannot prevaile: now besides that this is most untrue since, visible Churches doe fall away, as these seven Churches in Asia, the Church of Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Thessalonica may prove, when as it is impossible that the elect Believers in Christ can fall away, it shall also give good war­rant to Papists, to make such use of this place, as they doe, that the Church may erre in points of conversation and life, but cannot fall from the rock, nor be overcome by the powers of Hell in the definition of Articles of Faith. So Gretser de in Augnr Doctor Luther. p. [...]9. Gretser Bel [...]. de cöcli. vut. l. 2, ca. 2. Bellarmine Suarez de trip. virt [...]dis. 9. de Eccl. Sec. 7. n. 7. Suarez. Greg de Va­lent tom. 3. dis. 1. q. 1. punct. 7. Gregor. de Valent. Hosius in confess. Polmiea. Cardi. Hosius Joan. de Turre cremat. de Gal. l. 1. ca. 24, 25, 26. Turrecremata, reason from this place; and the connexion must be good, if the Ministeriall power not only be given to the Church as to the Object, that is, for the good and salvati­on of the Church, but also to the Church as to the Subject, who hath all the power of the Keys, and may use it also, because they are believers and builded upon the rock Christ; nothing hindereth, but Ministeriall power should be as stable and free from being overcome with the ports of Hell, as the Christian state of perseverance in grace. Now we see, these who have Mi­nisteriall power, abuse it, and fall from the rock and perish eternally; which we cannot say of these, who by Faith are builded upon the Rock Christ Iesus. 3. These to whom Christ giveth the Keys, doe represent the person of Christ, and who despiseth them despiseth Christ, and he that honoureth them, honoureth Christ, which is evidently spoken of the Ministers of Christ, Matthew 10. 40. And is said here Matthew, 16. 19. Whatsoever then yee shall bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven, &c. Thus Christ bindeth and looseth in Heaven, when these to whom the Keys are given, binde and loose; and so they are to be looked unto as co-workers with God. Now Scripture never maketh all believers Ambassadours in Christs roome. Where doe we reade that the despising of all be­lievers commanding in Christs Name, is a despising of Christ, and that in obeying them, we obey Christ? Nor are all Am­bassadors, [Page 16] Pastores, &c. 5. These to whom the Keys are given doe authoritatively forgive and retaine sins, and their acts of forgiveing and retaining are valid in Heaven, according as the party repenteth and believeth, or according as they remain impenitent, as our Divines teach against the Papists, in their Doctrine of Sacramentall absolution. But the Church, or com­pany of believers wanting their Officers, by no Scripture can authoritatively forgive, and retaine si [...]s. Robinson, Smith and others answer, that believers out of Office may forgive, as Mat. 18. 21. Peter said, How oft shall my brother offend me, and I forgive him? Lu. 17. 3. 4. 2 Cor. 2. 10.

But I answer, the place, 2 Cor. 2. 10. is controverted, and we doubt not, but of that same nature, with the power of Ex­communicating. 1 Cor. 5. 4. But for private forgiving, it is not the Church-forgiving here meant, because 1. The private for­giving is a duty of charity commanded in the Law of Nature to all, even out of Church-state, and obligeth the Excommuni­cate, who, though they be cast out of the Church, are not ex­empted from the Law, that bindeth all, Mat. 6. 12. 14, 15. Mat. 5. 44. 45. but the Church-forgiving is an Act of obedi­ence to a positive Church-Law of Christ, 2. private Christians are to forgive their Enemies whether they repent, or not, even as Christ forgave those who crucified him, Col 3. 13. Luk. 23. 34. and when the party repenteth not, this forgive­nesse is not ratified in Heaven, yet are we obliged to forgive, and to commit vengeance to God; but the authoritative forgive­ing is a thing that the Church, is not obliged unto, absoiute­ly; nor may they, or can they forgive, except the Offender repent: and if they see that he repenteth not, they cannot law­fully forgive; but, being in Gods roome, must take vengeance on all disobedience, and their retaining of sin and forgiveing, is valid in Heaven, because they are in Gods place. Now any forgiving or retaining of sin but these two, together with Gods forgiving and retaining, we know not. But Peters for­giving his offending brother seventy times seven times, is com­mon to all private Christians, even out of Church-state, and so the instance given is not to the purpose, 6. To these only are the Keys given, who having Pauls pastorall spirit, may [Page 17] convene and deliver to Sathan, but the Church of believers without Officers, not having Pauls pastorall spirit which is a spirit officiall, and authoritative to preach, excommunicate, and administrate the seales of the Covenant, may not convene and doe this; Ergo, &c. indeed Fran. Iohn­son art. 5. in M. Clisions booke. p. 29. Francis Johnson sayth it is holden now by some of the Separation, that people out of Office may execute all the workes and duties of the ministery, in Baptisme, the Lords Sup­per, censures, &c. which I thinke followeth from the grounds of our brethren, to wit, that believers without Office are a compleat Church, having the whole power of the Keys: if administration of the Sa­craments be not a speciall part of the Keys, and the opening of Heaven and forgiving of sins, we know not what belongeth to the power of binding and loosing; yea this is not only contrary to Scripture Mat. 18. 19. 1 Cor. 11. 23. 1 Cor. 1. 17. Joh. 4. 12. but also to their Consess. art. 27. own confession, and Remonst. conf. 21. & apol. cons. ib. is the Doctrine of Arminians Socin. tract. de Eccl c. 1. n. 140. Gatechis. Racco­viens. c. 11. n. 305. and Socinians Cartwright ans. to the adm [...] ­nit. tract. 18. c. 1 [...] div. 5. p 663. Cartwright sayth the Sanedrin, Mat. 18. to these who have skill in the Rabbines, especially in the Iewes Talm [...]d, was a selected Judi­catory, and that to this Christ alludeth Mat. 18. Beza an. in Mat. 17. learned Beza, sayth much from Scripture for this, that the Church here signifieth not the multitude, Pareus, A­postolis dict manisestum est, quicquid vos Apostoli ligave­ritis, ut supra Petro dixerat Christus, Mat. 16. 19. Parcus also is most cleare on this place Calvin com. ib. Calvin hath reason to say, he alludeth to Iewish Synedrie, Joh. Weemes vol. 3. expos. of the judiciall Law. c. 16. see also VVeems. I [...] it needlesse to cite Iunius, Zan­chius, Peter Martyr, VVillet, Whittaker, Tilen, Becan, and all our Divines of the reformed Churches; for when he hath spoken of the Church representative, Mat. 18. 16, 17. and speaketh to these, to whom the Sermon was made, v. 1. at the same time came the Disciples to Jesus (they were then Apostles in Office and called to preach and Baptize, though not yet sent to the whole world) saying who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God? Now to these Christ sayth, 18. to the Apostles, Verily I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind on Earth; and this place is to be expounded by Mat. 16. 19. Where the Keys are given in a more restricted manner to Peter only, though as represent­ing the whole Apostles and Church-rulers, and we have bet­ter reason to expound this place, Mat. 18. by the place fore­going, Mat. 16. then they have to expound the place, Mat. 16. by this place, Mat. 18. because these [...]am [...] Keys that binde and loose in the one place, remit and retaine finnes, in the [Page 18] other; and we find the keys given to Officers and Stewards only. And here is no Church, Mat. 18. or yet Mat. 16. with­out Pastors, except they say, that Christ Mat. 18. 18. speaketh not to the Disciples, but to the multitude of the Jewes, which is a great crossing of the Text. And to say, that Christ speak­eth to the Apostles, not as to Apostles, but as to the Church of believers, is only a bare affertion, and cannot be proved, and all they can say, hangeth upon this one place, and this is the most. The power of binding and loosing is given to the Church, which is to be obeyed and heard in the place of God. But this Church, is never in the VVord of God (say they) taken for a company of Officers, Pastors, and Elders only; it signifieth al­wayes the Body of Christ, his Spouse, his Saints by calling, par­takers of the most holy Faith. To which I answer, The body, Spouse of Christ, and Saints by calling, as they are such, is the invisible Church, and the keys and Seales Way of the Church of n. E. c. 4. sec. 5. sayth this Author) are not to be dispensed to all the faithfull as such, but as they arè confederate or joyned together in some particular vi­sible Church, that is, sayth he) as they are members of a visible Church; Ergo, &c. the body and Spouse of Christ, as such, is not the Church here meant of, but the visible Congre­gation. Now the essence of a visible Church of which Christ speaketh here, is saved in ten, who are only visible profes­sors, and not a Church of sound Believers, not the true bo­dy mysticall and Spouse of Christ: and yet, by this place, the Keys are given to such a Church; now wee desire againe, a place, in all Gods Word, for a Church in this sense, and a Body of Christ and his Spouse in this meaning: for cer­tainly, professors this way confederate, as professiors, are no more a Church of Christ, redeemed ones, and his Spouse, then an Assembly of Elders onely can be called such a Church of Believers; for both Churches are, and may be; where no believers are at all, at least for a time, and even while they exercise this power of Binding and Loosing, and so th [...] place, Matthew 18. is as much against our brethren, as against us.

And Lastly our Doctrine is acknowledged, by all our Di­vines, against the Papists, proving that Mat. 16. the Keyes were [Page 19] given to Peter as representing the Apostles, and his successors in the pastorall charge, not as representing all believers. Irenaus i [...] qui in Eccle­sia sunt, Pres­byteris obed [...] oportet, iis qui successionem habent ab Apo­stolis: qui cum Episcopatus suc­cessione, charis­ma veritatis certum, secundum beneplacitumpa­tris, acceperunt. Nazianzen. o [...] at. 21. de laud. Bas. ejusdem throni particeps est Pe­trus, cum reliquis Apostolis, in illa verba, dabo tibi Claves Cyprian de unita Ecclesia, Christus eandem dedit omnibus Apostolis potestatem, & hoc erant utique & caeteri Apostoli, quod, Pe [...]us suit, pari consortto praediti & honoris & potestatis, he should have said, Hoc erant utique & caeteri cre­dentes in Christum, quod Petrus suit; also Basil de vita solitar. c. 21. Omnibus pastoribus & Doctoribvs candem potestatem tribuit, cu [...]us signum est, quod omnes, exaequo & ligant & solvunt. He should have said, Omnibus credentibus in Christum eandem potestatem tribuit. Ambros. in Ps. 38. & in Luc. 10. Ser. 66. Quod hic dictum est, Apostolis omnibus dictum; non ait, omnibus credentibus dictum. The p [...]ilact. in Mat. 6. Quamvis soli Petro dictum, tamen omnibus Apostolis concessae sunt (Claves.) Cyrill [...] in Joh. 4. l. 4. Responsionem illi Christus committebat, qui ordine primus, omnibus Apostolis: non ait, omnibus credentibus. Euthymius in Mat. ca. tibi dabo claves, atqui donum hoc ceterorum fuit Apostolorum. Hugo de sanct. victor Tom. 2. institut sanct. monaster. Quamvis potestas solvendi & ligandi soli Petro data videatur, tamen caeteris Apostolis data est, Haymo. Homil in festo Petri & Pauli. Quod Petro dixit, in Petro, caeteris Apostolis dixit. Cardin Cusan. concord. Cathol. 2. c. 13. Nih l dictum a [...] [...]ctrum, quod alits Apostolis n [...]n di [...]tum. Glossa ordinaria, Pet [...]us tanquam principa is in­ter alios (Apostolos) non inter alios creientes, pro aliis dat respensionem. Cyrill in Es. 4. orat 2. sancti Apostoli & Evangelist [...]e fundamenta. Hyeron li. 1 cont. Iovian, Omnes Apostoli acceperunt claves, non solus Petrus. Anselm in Mat. 16. Habent eandem judiciariam potestatem al [...]i Apostoli. Anasta­sius in quest. sac. script q. 79. in 6. Tom Biblioth. Potestatem clavium non soli Petro, sed aliis etiam Apostolis, & toti Ecclesie in Episcopis & Presbyteris datam. August. tract. in Joh 50. & lib. de ag [...]d. Christi c. 30. Beda, homil. in Mat. 16. Chry [...]ostom Homil. 70. ad popul. Hilarius ae trinit l. 6. Eu­scbius histor. Eccl. lib 2. c. 14. Leo Serm. 10. de assumpt. & citat Bellar. de Pont. lib. 1. c. 14. Petro hoc singulariter creditur, quia cunct is rectoribus Petri formâ proponitur, Lyra in Mat. 16. durand 4 dis: 18. q 2. Pro omnibus Apostolis dictum. Thom. 4. d. 24. q. 3. Scot. 4. d. 24. q. 3. Adrian 6. in. 4. d. q. 2. Synod Coloniens. sub. Adulph c. 1. med. 6. Hugo Cardinal. in Matthew 16. con­cilum aqu [...]sgranens. cap. 9.

Also the Fathers Irenaeus, Nazianz [...]nus, Cyprianus, Basilius, Ambrosius, Theophilactus, Cyrillus, Euthymius, Hyeronimus, Augustine, Beda, Chrysostomus. And ordinaria glossa, Hugo de sanct. Victor. Haymo. Cardinalis Cusanus. Anastasius, Leo, Du­randus, Thomas, Adrianus, Scotus, making a comparison be­tween Peter and the rest of the Apostles, say, the keys were gi­ven to all the Apostles, when they were given to Peter: and Peter received them in the name and person of the rest of the Apostles, wherby, they declare, it was never their mind that Peter received the keys in name of all believers.

Also the learned, as Augustine de trinit. lib. 2. cap. 6 & in Psalm. 60. Augustine Beda in Joh. 21. Beda Gregor. li. 3. c. 33. Gregorius, expound the Church builded upon the rock to be the Catho­lick Church, and not a particular visible Church. And Gerard. loc. com [...]tom. 5. de Eccl. c. 6. n. 50. [Page 20] Gerardus giveth a good reason, why this Church, Mat. 16. can­not be a particular visible Church, because the gates of hell prevaileth against many joyned to the visible Church in externall society, Wiclefus tract. cont. mo­nach. c. 39. and VVicklif writing against the Monkes resureth that error of the Papists, that any members of the true Church can be damned; and Whittaker cont. 4. q. 2. c. 3. Whittaker sayth, Augustin August. cont. Petilian. l. 2. c. ult. against Petilian sayth, the Church builded on the rock is the Church of the Elect, not the visible Church.

CHAP. 2. SECT. 2. PROP.

THis Church (saith the Author) doth meete together eve­ry Lords Day, all of them, even the whole Church, for administration of the Ordinances of God, to publick edifi­cation.

Ans. Two things are here said, 1. That all, even the whole Church, must meete for administration of the Ordinances of God, that so all and every one of the Church may be actors and Judges in dispensing of censures, this we take to be popular governe­ment. 2. That there is a necessity of personall presence of all and every one of the Church▪ Hence

Quest. 3. Whether or no the multitude of Believers, and the whole people are to be judges, so, as private Christians out of Office are to exercise judiciall acts of the keys?

For the more easie clearing of the Question, let it be ob­served.

1. Dist. There is a dominion of Government Lordly and Kingly, and this is in Christ only in relation to his Church and in civill judges, and is no wayes in Church-guides, who are not Lords over the Lords inheritance; there is a government Ministeriall, of service, under Christ, and this is due to Church-guides.

2. Dist. Regall power, being a civill power founded in the Law of nature (for the Ants have a King) may well be in the people ori­ginally and subjectively, as in the fountaine, nature teaching every communitie to govern themselves, and to hold off injuries, if not by themselves, yet by a King, or some selected Rulers; but power of [Page 21] Church-government being supernaturall, and the acts of Church-government, and of the casting such as offend out of Christs King­dome, being supernaturall, neither of them can be originally in the multitude of professing beleevers, but must be communicated by Christ to some certaine professing beleevers, and these are Officers. Therefore to put power and acts of government in all professors, is a naturall way drawne from civill incorporations. Christ is not ruled by our Lawes.

3. Dist. The government of Christs Kingdome is the most free and willing government on earth; yet it is a government properly so cal­led, for there be in it authoritative commandements, and Ecclefia­sticke coaction, upon the danger of soule penalties; in regard of the former, all the people by consent and voluntary agreement have hand in election of Officers, inflicting of censures, because it concern­eth them all: but in regard of the latter, the whole people are not over the whole people; they are not all Kings reigning in Christs go­vernment over Kings, but are divided into governours and gover­ned; and therefore the rulers Ecclesiasticke onely, by power of office, are in Christs roome, over the Church, to command, sentence, judge, and judicially to censure.

4. Distinct. The Officiall power of governing superaddeth to the simple acts of popular consenting, the officiall authoritative and co­active power of Christs Sceptor in discipline.

That distinction in the sense holden by our brethren Presbyte­tiall govern­ment exami­ned, p. 23. that the state of the Church is popular, and the government Aristocraticall in the hands of the Eldership, is no wayes to he holden; nor doe the Pa­risian Doct. Pari­siens. de polit. Eccles. pag. 10, 11. Doctors, the authors of this distinction, mind any Church-government to be in the people.

Our brethren in the answer to the questions sent to them from England, explaine their minde thus: 1. We acknowledge a Pres­bytery, whose worke it is to teach and rule, and whom the people ought Quest 15. to obey, and we condemne a meere popular government, such as our writers condemne in Morellius. They adde▪

Government meerly Aristocraticall, where all authority is in the hands of the Eldership, excluding the people from intermedling by way of power, we conceive to be without warrant and injurious to the people, infringing their liberties in chusing Officers, admitting mem­bers, censuring offenders, even Ministers, Col. 4. 16.

[Page 22] To which doctrine we oppose these conclusions:

1. Concl. Our brethren hold a meere popular government, with Morellius. 1. Because nothing is left peculiar in govern­ment to the Officers which all the people have not. 2. Because a greater power of Church-Jurisdiction, as I shall prove, is given to the people then to the guides; for, cursing by Excommuni­cation of all the Officers, and blessing of them by pardoning their faults, and admitting of Members and laying on of hands, is the greatest power that can be given to people. But this and many other acts of jurisdiction the people have by our brethrens Doctrine. 3. The people is no more obedient to the Elder­ship, in teaching, then Indians and Infidels, who are hearers of the word, and are under an obligation to obey the word; and under the very same obligation of an Evangelicke offer made to all: The people (say they) are under the obligation of obedi­ence to Pastorall teaching, under the paine of Church censures, but so are not Indians, who may be onely hearers, but are in no Church-membership. I answer, Obligation to Church censures from the Pastors, as Pastors, lyeth not on the people, by our brethrens doctrine. 1. Because Pastors, as Pastors, are not the Church builded on the rocke, nor the Spouse of Christ, nor any part thereof; nor any part of the visible Church, to the which Christ hath given the Keys: for the visible Church is a compleate Church in esse, & in operari, in their being and Church actions of a visible Church without all Pastors of any Officers, as they teach. 2. Because Pastors are onely parts of the visible Church, as believers, and so have the power of the Keyes as believers; and this the believers have, which the Pastors have not; and so seeing the Pastors as Pastors have not the Keyes, nor can they use the Keyes, or excommunicate as parts or members of the visible Church; because, as Pastors, they are neither parts nor members of the Church, but adjuncts, and meere accidents of the visible Church, and therefore the people are under no obligation of obedience to Pastors, as Pastors under paine of Ecclesiasticke cen­sures, more then Indians or Infidels, who are their hearers.

2. Concl. Christ hath given no warrant at all of actuall Church government, to all the whole visible Church. 1. so the places that I cited before Pauls Pres­bytery, c. 6. 63. 64. Iadde the styles of Officiall [Page 23] dignity given to Officers, because of their government, are given onely to Officers, and never to the people; Ergo, the people have no power of government; the consequence is sure, those who are priviledged of Christ to governe, ordinarily should be, and duely are Governours. But the stile of Gods is given to Church-guides, Ioh. 10. 33, 36. Ioh. 20. 21. which title for governing is given to Judges, Psalm. 82. 6. Exod. 21. 6. And his Master shall bring him [...] to the Judges. Now the people are not Gods, nor are they [...], Heb. 13. 17. over the people in the Lord. Which word, no doubt, the Apostle borrowed from the Septuagint, so stiling the Rulers, not because of their place of preaching onely, but of governing also, as Jos. 13. 21. Micah 3. 9. Ezech. 44. 3. Dan. 3. 2. Acts 23. 24. Matth. 27. 2. [...] and it is gi­ven to the Kings or supreame rulers, 1 Pet. 2. 14. [...], so it is frivolous, that they say Church-Officers are never called [...]: For these words of officiall power of government are no lesse powerfull, and never communicated to any but to Church-Officers, such as are [...], watchmen, not onely for preach­ing, but also for government, Phil. 1. 1. 1 Tim. 3. 2. Acts 20. 28. and the people are not [...], Governours, 1 Cor. 12. 28. nor are they [...], Rom. 12. 8. nor obliged to bee [...], Rulers, as they are the visible Church, nor should they bee [...], 1 Tim. 5. 17. nor are they to bee [...], Labourers, and over the Saints in the Lord. 1 Thess. 5. 12.

2. If all the people as contradistinguished from Officers, are to watch over one another, and by office to rebuke, censure, ex­communicate, ordaine, and exauthorate Officers, then must they in Conscience attend the judging of all causes, of adultery, for­nication, drunkennesse, swearing, oppressing, defrauding one another, as they fall under scandall. Now this is a calling di­stinct from their owne calling, in respect the holy Ghost allow­eth to the Elders stipend and maintenance, 1 Tim. 5. 17. yea, and hire as to labourers, Matth. 10. 10. as to souldiers, husband­men, dress [...]rs of vineyards, feeders of flocks, 1 Cor. 9. 7, 8. yea, as to the oxe that treadeth out, or thresheth the corne, vers. 9. and by this all the people are made officers and stipendiaries, to whom by the [Page 24] Law of God and nature stipend is due: Now this looscth them from their own proper callings of Merchandise, Trading, Hus­bandry, Laws, Medicine, Manufactures, and maketh all these cal­lings sinfull & unlawfull to the Saints by calling, who are mem­bers of a visible Church, according to that 2 Tim. 2. 4. No man that warreth, int angleth himselfe with the affairs (or callings) of this life, which is grosse Anabaptisme condemned by Gods Word, 1 Cor. 7. 20, 21. Eph. 6. 5. Col. 2. 22. 1 Thess. 4. 11. Now certainly, if actuall government, with the power of the Keyes, be committed to all the members of the visible Church, the Epi­stles to Timothy and Titus, and Canons of right government must be written to Timothy and Titus, not as to Pastors, but as to beleevers, as the Keyes were given in Peters person, and a war­rant to binde and loose, Matth 18. Matth. 16. as representing beleevers, not as to a Pastor: then they are to commit the word to faithfull men, who are able to teach others, and to give up their earthly callings, as 2 Tim. 2. 2 3, 4. and to lay hands suddenly on no man, and not to receive a testimony against an Elder, but be­fore two or three witnesses, 1 Tim. 5. 22, 19. and to war a good war­fare, 1 Tim. 1. 18. And this must needs follow, since Separatists teach, That all the people are obliged in Conscience to judge, and to be personally present, and that by their Office and Church-calling, when ever any sentence is given out against offenders; for, if the Elders be onely present and the people absent, the Elders shall tyrannize Answ. in his Animadvers. pag. 42, 43. (saith Answorth) over the peoples Consciences; for the people being absent shall not know if the Eldership have pro­ceeded right, yet must they repute the excommunicated person as an heathen or a publicane.

3. Arg. That government is not to be admitted which ma­keth men take honour to themselves, without God calling them thereunto. But the Doctrine of government in the hands of people is such, ergo; the assumption is proved: 1. By it, all are Kings, Rulers, and Guides, and all have the most supreame po­wer of the Keyes, as authoritative receiving in of members, and judiciall casting out, by the pastorall spirit of Paul, and all go­verne over all. 2. Beleevers are a ministeriall Church, a company of private Christians put in office, and doing acts of a Ministeries now a Ministerie is a peculiar state of eminency that [Page 25] God calle [...]h some selected & gifted persons unto that to the which he calle [...]h not all professors, as in Israel he chosed, one Tr be H [...]b. 8. 2. Ez [...]k. 7. 24. Ezr. 8. 17. Jer. 33. 21. Ezek. 44. 11. Jod. 1. 9. Ez [...]k. 45. 5. Ex. 28. 1. 3. 35. Ex. 29 1. Ex. 14. 15. Levit. 16. 32 Num. 1. 50. Deur. 10. 5. Deut 18. 6. 7. 1 Chron. 16. 37. 2 Chron. 5. 14. 2 Chron. 13. 10. to minister to himselfe, not all the visible Church of Israel, as the Scripture teacheth us. Ministers of the house of God, the Levites, the Lords Ministers, Ministers of Gods Sanctuary, and the ministery of the Eph. 3. 7. Col. 1. 25. Col. 4. 7. 1 Thest. 3. 2. 1 Tim. 4. 6. Acts 26. 16. New Testament, is a speciall emi [...]ency of office given to some few, and not to all believers, Eph. 4. 12. Colos. 4. 17. 1 Tim. 1. 12. Act. 1. 17. 25. a matter of worke that some, not all believers are put upon, and employed in, 1 Cor. 4. 1. 2. 2 Cor. 4. 1. 2 3. 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19, 20. 2 Cor. 3. 3, 4, 5. Gal. 6. 6. the act, of the Ministery not common to all, but re­stricted to the Ministers of the Church, and not common to the whole visible Church. Now to ordaine Elders, excommunicate, admit members into the Church, are positive actes of a received ministery, and must flow from an other principle, then that which is common to all professing believers.

4. Arg. All who have received such a Ministeriall state to discharge such excellent and noble actes, as laying on of hands, receiving of witnesses, committing the Gospell to faithfull men, who are able to teach others, and must save some by gentle awaiting, and stop the mouthes of other Pastors, as 1 Tim. 5. 22. 19. 2 Tim. 2. 2. 2 Tim. 3. 15. Tit. 1. 11. the Scripture saith, these must acquit themselves as approved worke-men to God, and shall therefore receive a Crowne of Glory at the appearance of the chiefe Shepheard, and must in a speciall manner fight the good fight of Faith, and must be worke-men who neede not to be ashamed. But these are not required of all the Church visible; all are not men of God, and ministeriall Souldiers of Christ, and feeders of the flock, but only such as Timothy, Titus, and Elders like to Peter, as these 2 Tim. 2. 15 1 Pet. 5. 1, 2. 5. 1 Tim. 6. 12 1 Tim. 6. 11. 1 Tim. 6. 13, 14. Scriptures prove. For the re­ward of a prophet is not due to all.

5. Arg. That Government is not of God which taketh away the ordinary degrees of members in Christs body the Church. But government exercised by all the visible body taketh away the deversity of offices, members, places, of Rulers and ruled, Ergo; I prove the assumption. 1. All have one and alike equall power of governing, all the members are one in place, and office, all are Eyes, all Eares, all are hands, according as all have one joynt and common interest, and claime to Christ. One is not an Eye and head in relation to another: for all are both governours and go­verned, all the Watchmen, and all the City; all the flock, and [Page 26] all the feeders, all the House, and all Rulers, Key-bearers, Stew­ards, all the children of the house, all the Fathers, Tutors, to bring up, nu [...]ture, and correct the children. 2. If the power and use of the Keys result from this, that the Corporation is the Spouse, Body, Sister of Christ, the redeemed flock, what should hinder but according as God inequally dispenseth the measure of grace, to some more, to some l [...]sse, so some should have more, some lesse power of the keys, and some exercise more e­minent acts of government, as they be more eminent in grace; some lesse eminent acts; and if we grant this, we cannot deny the order of a Hierarchy amongst Pastors. This connexion may be denied happily by our brethren, but there is no reason, if their arguments be good, they alwayes conclude Church-power from the graces of the members of the Church.

3. Concl. It is cleare then that the state of the Church cannot be called popular, and the government Aristocraticall, or in the hands of the Elders, as our brethren meane. 1. Because by our brethren, the government and the most eminent and authorita­tive acts thereof are in the hands of the people. Ergo, both state and government are popular. 2. Because the people are not only to consent to the censures, and acts of government, but also authoritatively to judge with coequal power with the Elder­ship, as they prove from, 1 Cor. 5. 12. 3. Pag. 10. The Parisian Doctors, the authors of this distinction acknowledge a vi­sible monarchy in the Church, and are far from popular govern­ment.

Let us heare what our brethren say for the government of the people, and their judiciall power in generall.

Quest. 15. Our brethren say, the Colossians are exhorted, Col. 4. 17. to say to Archippus, Take heed to the Ministery, that thou hast received of the Lord, to fulfill it in all points; Ergo, the people are to censure and rebuke the Pastors, and therfore they may, and ought to exercise acts authoritative.

Ans. 1. This is an argument off the way with reverence. [...] say to Archippus, take heede, Ergo, say Judicially and rebuke with all authority, it is an argument à genere ad speciem affirmativè, and a non-consequence, Mat. 18. 17. If he will not heare them, [...] tell the Church; [Page 27] Ergo, exercise an act of authority over the Church, Ioh. 8. 48. The Jewes said unto him. Ergo, they said it authoritatively, 1 Ioh. 1. 8. If we say, [...], we have no sinne; by no autho­rity can we say we have no sinne, Luk. 12. 11. Take not thought [...] what ye shall say Rev. 22. 17. 2. The Fathers, as August. de civ. Det. l. 1. c. 9. Augustine, Chrysost. Homil. in Exod. 23. Chrysostome, Ambros. in Luc. 17. Ambrose, Hiieronimus in Luc. 18. Hyeronimus; The Schoolemen, as Aquinas, 22. q. 23. art. 2. Aquinas, Bannes, in 1 33. art. 2. D. Bannes, Suarez, tom. de fid. spe & charit. d [...]s. 8. de con. Suarez, say, correcting of our brother is, (sublevatio miseriae peccan­tis.) a succouring of the misery of a sinner. Cajetan. in 22. q. 33. ar. 1. Cajetan [...]ait, actum correctionis elici à prudentia, imperari à misericordia: To warne or rebuke our brother is an act of prudence commanded by mercy and compassion. And. Du­vallius in 22. tom. poster. tract. de charit. q. 9. art. 2. And. Duvalius saith, it is an act, Non solum juris divini, sed etiam naturalis; and he citeth Lev. 19. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but shalt rebuke him; and shall beare one anothers burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ. And Gregor. de valent. tom. 3. dis. 3. de correc. fra. quest. 10. punct. 2. Greg. de Valent. saith it is a spirituall almes, & actum miseri­cordiae, quo subveniatur spirituali necessitati fratris. So the Doctors Doct. juris Canonici in de­cret. 2. q. 1. caus. peccaverit haec. of the Canon Law. So the Fathers say, Basil in Ps. 14. as Basilius, esse be­nevolentiam potius, quam severitatem. August. de verbo domin. serm. 16. Augustin. Vulnus fratr is contemnis, vides cum perire & negligis, pejor es tu tacendo, quam ille te offendendo. Hieronim. in Ps. 140. in illud corripiet me j [...]stus. Excellently Hieronim. Sivide at in corpore carnes putridas, & dicat. An ad me pertinet? scias, quiae crudelis est. And Nazianzen in or at. de moderatio­ne, in disputat. Nazianz. Charitatem potius hic quam potestatem ostendendam. To rebuke is a worke of charity, rather then of power. Calvin in Epist. ad col. c. 4. Calvin saith, Good Ministers stand in need to be admonished. Davenantius com. ib. Davenant thinketh that Archippus in the absence of Epaphras his collegue was to supply his absence, and, it is like, was somewhat cold, and therefore needed to be admonished. But because the Col­lossians were to exercise an act of mercy towards their Pastor, which the Law of nature enjoyned them, it is a wide inference, therefore they had Church authority and power over him, to censure, deprive excommunicate him; so the faithfull receiveth a charge, Hos. 2. 1. Say ye to your brethren Ammi, and to your sisters Ruhammah. 2. Plead with your mother, plead; plead­ing for wheredomes is more then a simple exhorting of Ar­chippus, yet none can well collect from these words, that those [Page 28] faithfull who kept themselves cleane from the common defecti­on, had power of jurisdiction over their breth en, sisters, and mother, to censure them judicially, and by authority to un-Church them. And certainely the Apostle, if he had comman­ded here the judiciall act of Church-jurisaiction to all the Saints of Colosle, men and women who may admonish Archippus, we we would looke he had said, (command, and charge with all authority Archippus to take heed to his ministery.) Also, it is much to be doubted, if the duties of rebuking, exhorting, and comforting one another, be positive acts of Church-member­ship, which the fellow-members of a visible Congregation owe one to another by vertue of a Church-covenant, or that the people owe to the Pastor in a Church way, for these (ex hort, teach, comfort one another) are duties mutuall, not restricted to fellow-members of a visible Church, or Parish, but such as we owe to all the members of the Catholique Church, as we are occasionally in company with them. Yea, and duties (as our brethren say) that sister Churches owe to sister Churches, and acts of the Law of nature that we owe to all, as brethren, not as brethren in Church-membership, Levit. 19. 17. onely.

I will here answer: What Robinson saith, Robinson justif. separation p 124, 125. 126 167. By the Keyes is meant the Gospell opening a way by Christ and his merits, as the doore into the Kingdome, the power of binding and loosing, ope­ning and shutting Heaven, is not tied to any Office or Order in the Church, it dependeth onely upon Christ, who alone properly for­giveth sinnes, and hath the Key of David, and this Key externally is the Gospell, which, with himselfe, he giveth to the Church, Isa. 6. 9. Rom. 3. 2. Ergo, the Keyes are given to all, though not to be used by all and every one alike, which were grosse confusior. The Keyes were not given to Peter as Prince of the Apostles, as Papists say, nor to Peter as chiefe Officer of the Church, and so to Prelates; nor to Peter as a Minister of the Word and Sacraments; but we say, to the conf [...]ssion of faith, which Peter made by way of answer to Christs demand, and therefore to every faithfull man and wo­man, who have received the like precious faith with Peter, 2 Pet. 1. 1.

Ans. 1. If the Keyes be given to as many as the Gospell is given unto, all have the Keyes who are beleevers, children, wo­men, [Page 29] whether within or without the Church; for all have ob­tained alike precious faith. So it is vaine to speake there of a Church builded on the Rock [...], or of any ministeriall Churc [...]. 2. The Keyes are not given to the naked Office or Order, distinct from the spirits working and proving the acts of preaching and discipline to be mighty through God, 2 Cor. 10 5. to open hearts, Act. 16. 14. for what, or who is Paul? and who is Apollo, but Ministers by whom ye beleeved? 1 Cor. 3. 4 5. and Christ a­lone worketh with the Sacraments, and without him great Iohn Baptist can but baptize with water. Joh. 1. 26. yet all say admi­nistration of Sacraments externally is so tied to the Office, as none can administer them without warrant, but Pastors, 1 John 5. 25 Math. 26 19. 1 Cor. 1. 17. and therefore this is weake, to prove that because Christ onely hath the Keyes of the Word; yea, and of the Sacraments also. that therefore he hath not com­mitted the Keyes to certaine Officers under him, who are Ste­wards, and Key-bearers. 3. The places alledged prove not Is. 6. 9. Christ is given to us, that is, to the Church, as to the sub­ject; O say it not, but to us the Church, as the object and end for our salvation. Ergo, the Keyes and the Gospell are gi­ven to the Church, yea and to every faithfull, that they may, by preaching, open and shut Heaven. You cannot say so. Also Rom. 3. 2. to the Jewes were committed the Oracles and Scriptures, that every one might be a Priest and Prophet, to teach and sa­crifice; it is a shame to say so: but to the Jewes, as to the object and end, that by the Scriptures and faith in these Oracles, they might be saved. 4. The Keyes, that is, the Gospell, is given to all, though not to be used alike by all and every one; which were grosse confusion: that is the same we say, the Gospell in use is not given alike to all; but to the believers as to the object and end; to the Officers, as to the subject and proper instrument. And so you fall into grosse confusion while you eschew it.

Robinson, Robinson justif. p. 127. The Keyes be one and the same in efficacy and nature, and depend not upon the number and excellencie of any per­sons, but upon Christ alone, though the order and manner of using them be different.

Ans. The Sacraments remaine one and the same in nature and efficacy, who ever be the persons, many or few, excellent or [Page 30] not excellent, in whose hands soever they be; it followeth not therefore, the power of administration of Sacraments is given to all. 2. We see no difference in the order and manner of using the keyes; if all, even a faithfull man or woman either, may also truly and effectually loose and binde both in heaven and in earth, as all the Ministers of the world, for those be Rob. lb. pag. 127. your words.

Robinson. lb. These keyes in doctrine may be turned also as well upon them, which are without the Church, as upon them which are within, and their sinnes either loosed or bound, Matth. 28 19. in discipline not so, but onely on them that are within. 1 Cor. 5 13.

Answ. If this distinction were in Gods Word, we would re­ceive it, but seeing by preaching there is receiving in and cast­ing out, and binding and loosing. I aske, how these, who were never within, can bee judged and cast out by preaching more then by discipline; may Pastors judge these who are without by preaching, and not judge those who are without by dis­cipline, and that in a setled Church?

Robinson. Rob. Ib. 127, 128. There is an use of the keyes publike, ministeriall, by men in office, by the whole Church joyntly together, or private, by one person severally who is out of office, and yet the power of the Gospell is still one and the same, notwithstanding the divers manner of using it.

Answ. 1. If one alone have the keyes spoken of, Matth. 16. there be keyes Ministeriall made by Christ before the house be builded, and have walls, roofe, or doore, the keyes all take to be metaphoricall, and to presuppose a company, a constituted Church, where some are put in, some put out; these private keyes of women to open and shut heaven upon men, and so to usurpe authoritie over the man, are no Church-keyes, and if they be not Church-keyes they are not for our dispute.

Robinson Ib. 128. If the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven be ap­propriated to the officers, then can there be no forgivenesse of sinnes without the officers, and there is no entrance into heaven but by the doore, there is no climbing over any other way, and without the key the doore cannot be opened: Then if there be no officers in the Church, or if they take away the key of knowledge Mat. 23. 13. then must the multitude perish eternally.

Answ. Though the keyes be appropriated to officers, it fol­loweth [Page 31] not, There is no forgivenesse of sinnes, nor opening of Heaven at all without officers; but onely no Ecclesiasticall for­givenesse, no Church-opening by a Ministeriall power, but through Ministeriall keyes; and opening cannot ordinarily be without officer [...]. Faith commeth by hearing, Ergo, no faith by reading. Baptisme saveth, Ergo, no salvation without Baptisme, so doe Anabaptists reason, as saith Gerard. loc. com. tom. 6. de minist. Eccles. n. 64. pag. 71. Gerardus; so reasoneth Socinus tract de Eccles. pag. 14. Socinus, averring, It is a worke of charity necessary to sal­vation, therefore all may preach; and the same doth both the Raccovian [...] Catechis. [...] Raccov. 2. pag. 1 44. Catechisme and Ostorod. in insi [...]t. German. cap. 42. p. 437. Ostorodius say, yea, and Theoph. Nicolaides Theoph. Nicolaides de­fens. Soc. de Eccles. cap. 1. pag. 146. defending Muncerus the Anabaptist. Though keyes bee a publike ordinary meane in a constituted Church, it fol­loweth not therefore, there is no other way of opening Heaven. In the Sacraments remission of sinnes is sealed, and heaven open­ed, it follows not therefore, all may administer the Sacraments. 2. What inference is here? if the keyes bee appropriated to of­ficers, then people must perish when officers faile; certainly so saith the Lords Spirit: Proved. Prov. 29. 18. Where there is no vision, the people perish; and this is a fearfull soul judgement, when God removeth the Rev. 2. 5. candlestick▪ Psal 74. 9. and there is no prophet to shew how long; Amos 8. 11, 12. and the people are plagued with a famine of the word of God; yet there be other meanes then publike ministery.

He addeth: Rob. justif. of separation, pag. 128, 129. They which may forgive sinne and sinners, save soules, gaine and turne men to the Lord, to them are the keys of the Kingdome of Heaven given, by which they open the doore to such as they thus forgive, gaine, and save. But all th [...]se, such as are no Mini­sters may doe, as Matth. 18. 15. 2 Corinth. 2. 5, 7, 8, 9, 10. Acts 8. 14.

Answ. The proposition is false, for all who open the doore by exhorting and gaining soules, as Christians in no Church-state may in some cases doe, have not the Church-keyes; for this were to make Church keyes without any Church, and to make keyes without house, doore, or lock: for the keyes are metapho­rically so called, with necessary relation to the Church, the house of God, and to the stewards of the house; the places al­leadged are the controversie it selfe, and to others of them I shall answer hereafter.

Robinson. Rob. 129. The twelve Apostles were not called to the of­fice [Page 32] of Apostles, Matth. 16. Ergo, they doe not as Apostles receive the keyes.

Answ. I trust to prove the contrary hereafter. 2. If the Apo­stles, Matth. 16. received not the keyes, by no warrant are the keyes given to Pastors at all.

Robinson. Robins. 129, 130. Every servant in the house, no lesse then Officers have authority; for the word carrieth authority with it whither soever it goeth, Matth. 25. 14. and all have received some good thing or gift for the good of the Church, and all should watch, but especially the porter.

Answ. What can be hence collected? Ergo, the keyes are gi­ven to all, and all are porters, and all should watch as porters; for, the word of exhorting given to all, is of like authority when a woman or boy speaketh it, as when a Prophet speaketh it. But it is not good to helpe Arminius and Jesuits, who reason for uni­versall grace given to all and every one from these Parables: Mr. Pemble, and opposers of Jesuits, in the doctrine of grace, ex­pound this of Pastors. 2. But let the Parable speake of all; all have authority, because all have the word, all who privately exhort have the word, have authority objective, and of divine obligation, as Christians, it is true; Ergo, all have the keyes, it followeth not: but all who privately and occasionally exhort, have not authority officiall by the calling of God and his Church, and therefore they have not this, they have not the keyes; and the word by publike preaching none have, but usurpers, (save onely called Officers) and because they steale the Word, they steale the Keyes also; and because the Sacraments have autho­rity from God, it followeth not therefore that Baptisme admi­nistrated by women is of authority.

Robinson Rob. 129, 130. acknowledgeth, that Elders and Bishops were or­dained to suppresse false doctrine, and lay hands suddenly on no man; but it followeth not (saith he) that they are to doe this there alone.

Answ. There alone they must lay on hands, that is, with the Presbytery, and in a judiciall way excluding all the people; for people never in the new Testament laid on hands upon any, to ordaine them Elders, nor did they it in the old Testament.

Robinson. Rob. 133, 134. The officers, Ephes 4. 11. are chosen of Christ to watch; so Mark 13. the porter should watch; Ergo, the rest of the [Page 33] servants should not watch, it followeth not, Officers are to knit toge­ther the Saints, and so are all who are spirituall, Gal. 6. 1. The Of­ficers are to edifie, so are all to edifie one another, 1 Thess. 5. 11.

Answ. The argument must be thus, These who are to watch, to knit together the Saints, to edifie them, have received the keys, and are Governours, and are Officers; but all the faithfull are to watch, to knit together the Saints, Ergo; first, the major is false; for if because the Saints may edifie, they shall have joynt power and use of the keys with the Officers, they may administrate the Sacraments. Now, because they may in a Christian way doe some acts of edifying, it followeth not that therefore they may doe these acts by power of the keyes, and with an Ecclesi­asticall and Church-power; they may doe the same duty, Ergo, with the same power. A scholler may teach his school-fellow the same lesson that his Master doth teach him; Ergo, he may doe it by the same Magisteriall authority: A wife may cure a disease, Ergo, shee may by the same authority that a Doctor of Physicke, approved by the incorporation of Physicians, cure a disease, it followeth not:

Beleeve me, so still doth Socin. tract. de Eccl. pag. 13. Socinus, and Ostorodius in instit. cap. 42. pag. 437. Ostorodius, The. Nicol. tract. Soc. dc Eccl. c. 2. p. 118. Theoph. Nicolaides, reason against Gods ordinance of a sent Ministerie. Rob. 137, 138. 139. Robins. God hath indeed set in the body some to be eyes and mouth, and hath not said to all the Church, Goe and preach; but, first, they have not their gifts from the Church. Secondly, you would have the body to starve, if such hands as Deacons will not feed; and all the body blinde, if the eyes of the watchmen be blinde.

Answ. Yet thus much is granted, that gifts give not the keyes, nor authority to use gifts; and so that all beleevers, though gifted and graced also, have not power of the keyes. 2. It's certaine, that in a constituted Church there be no hands nor mouthes to doe and speake by authority, and ex officio, by vertue of an office, save onely Elders and Pastors, and that if they doe or speake, they doe it extraordinarily, when Churches hands are lame, and her eyes blinde; or if they doe and speake ordinarily, it is from the law of charity in a private way, not by power of the keyes, and as Judges and Officers.

Manuscript. 5 ch. 4 sect.

The Churches, not the Angels of the Churches, are blamed for Way of the Church of Christ, in n. E. [Page 34] not executing censures against Balaam, Jezabel, the Nicolaitans. (g) Robinson saith more, 1. These whose workes Christ commendeth, (b) Robinson pag. 141. for that dwelling where Sathans throne was, they kept his name and denyed not his faith; these he reproveth for suffering the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans 13, 14, 15, 16. 2. They which were commended by Christ, for their workes, love, service, faith, patience, increase of workes; are reproved for suffering Jezabel, but these were not the Angels onely. 3. These conjunctions (but) (never the lesse) say, though they were z [...]alous in many things, yet they failed in not being zealous enough against false teachers.

Ans. 1. These connexions prove guiltinesse in Angels or Pa­stors, and one common fault may be laid upon them all, but hence it followeth not; that they all, abused one and the same power of the Keyes, as being all collaterall Judges, no doubt the Angels preached not against Balaam, J [...]zabel, and the Ni­colaitans doctrine, and yet women dwelt where Sathans throne is, and there faith and patience was commended, and yet our brethren will not say women are rebuked, and all the beleevers, because they did not pastorally preach against Balaam, and Iezabel; so this argument hurteth them as much as our cause. The Pastors were guilty, because they did not in their place use the Keyes; and the people, because they did not say to Archippus and their Officers, Take heed how you governe; as Israel was in­volved in Achans trespasse, because they warned not one ano­ther. 2. Seeing the Spirit of God maketh mention of Churches in the plurall number, and every one of the seven Churches, of Ephesus, Rev. 2. 7. of S [...]yrna, v. 11. of Pergamus 17. of Thyatira 29 of Sardis 3. 6. Philadelphia 13. Laodicea 22. It is cleare, there were more Churches then a single Congregation, and an in­dependent incorporation in every one of them, and so a Pres­bytery of Angels in every one of them behoved to be guilty of this neglect of discipline, yet not all one and the same way. It is not cleare enough, though that the whole Church in Ephesus was to be rebuked, or that all and every one of the Elders, whereof there were a good number, (Act. 20. 26. He prayed with them all they all wept sore,) were guilty of these abuses of the po­wer of the Keyes; for in Sardis there were a few names which had not defiled their garments, yet the whole body is rebuked.

[Page 35] Manuscript, Ch. 5. Sect. 4.

When the word Congregation is put for the Elders or Judges on­ly, Way of the Church of ch. in n. E. it is never understood of them sitting in consistery and judgement there alone by themselves, and apart from the people, but in the pre­sence of the publick assembly, who also had liberty in such cases to res­cue an innocent from unjust judgment, 1 Sam. 14. 45.

I answer, we urge not a Church assembly of Elders only to ex­clude the people from hearing yea and in an orderly way, from speaking, reasoning and disputing even in our Generall assembly, but for judiciall concluding, we find not that given to any, but to the Church-guides, Act. 15. 6. Act. 16. 4. 2 It is not a good argument, the people sate with the Rulers and rescued innocent Jonathan, 1 Sam. 14. Therefore all the people may fit and give judiciall sentence or impede the Elders to sentence any. This I grant, is alledged by Ainsnorth Ainsnorth. for to give popular govern­ment to the people; as also, 1 King 21. 13. and Ier. 26. 11, 12. but 1. a fact of the people is not a Law. 2. It was one fact and that in an extraordinary case of extreame iniquity in killing inno­cent Ionathan a Prince and Leader of the people. 3. in a civill busi­nesse, and the people were to be executioners of the sentence of death, and they saw it manifestly unjust. 4. they were not the common people only, but in thar company were the Princes of the Tribes and heads, and the King and his family only on the other side; what will this infer, but that there were no Kings in Israel, who had power of life and death, nor any judges, as Ains­worth, contrary to Scripture sayth, but that the people were joynt Judges with the King, and that the people in the New Te­stament are co-equall Judges with the Elders, from so poore an example; and so the Separatists Cons. art. 24. ap 8. proving from the peoples power of judging in civill causes (which yet is a wide mistake) and a punishment bodily to be inflicted upon strangers as John Paget defence of Pa­get doth learnedly observe; doe conclude the peoples power of judging in Ecclesiastick causes, which concerneth only the mem­bers Church-gover. ch. 3. pa. 13. and p 7. of the visible Church.

Manuscript.

We grant, it is orderly to tell the Elders the offence, that the whole Manus. ih, ch. 5. Sect. 4. Church be not frivolously troubled; but it followeth not, that the Officers may judge there alone without consent of the people: he who [Page 36] told his complaint to the Levite, told it orderly enough to the whole Congregation assembled at Mizpeh Jud. 20.

Ans. These to whom we are to complaine, these and these only, are to be heard, and obeyed as Judges binding and loo­sing in Earth and validly in Heaven, Mat. 18. but these are not the multitude, nor one Elder only, but the Church of Elders. 2. if the Church of Believers be the only subject (as you teach) of the Keys, and not the Elders, but in so far as they are parts of the believing Church, then it is more orderly to complaine to the multitude who only are proper Judges, then to Elders who are not properly Judges.

Manuscript.

A second reason why we allow such power to the people in Ib. Ch. 5. Sect. 4. Church censures, is from the Church of Corinth. 1. He directeth the whole Church of Corinth to whom he writeth, to excomuni­cate the incestuous man.

Ans. He writeth to all the faithfull, and so to women; the woman is not to usurpe authority over the man, 1 Cor. 14. 34. 1 Tim. 2. 11, 12. but to voyce judicially in Excommunica­tion is an act of Apostolick authority.

Manuscript.

Ib. The whole Church is to be gathered together and to Excom­municate, Ergo not the Bishop and Elders alone, 3. Pauls spirit was to be with them and Christs authority, 4. the whole Church, 2 Cor. 2. did forgive him, 5. nothing is in the Text that attributeth any power to the presbytery apart, or singularly above the rest, but as the reproofe is directed to all, for not mourning, so is the Commandement of casting out directed to all.

Ans. 1. It is cleare that if some were gathered together in the power of Christ and the spirit of Paul, that is, in the authority that he received over the Corinthians, for edification, 2. Cor. 10. 8. and Pauls Rod, 1 Cor. 4. 21. then as many as were con­vened Church-ways, and mourned not for the same, did not cast out and authoritatively forgive; seeing women and believing children did convene with the whole Church, and were not hum­bled for the sinne; and yet women and believing children can­not be capable of pastorall authority over the Church, which was given for edification. 2. The power of the Lord Jesus, that is, [Page 37] the keys of the Kingdom of God were committed to Peter, as to a Pastor, Mat. 16. and power to bind and retaine, to loose and pardon sinnes, Joh. 20. 20, 21, 22. Which power is given to these who are sent as Ambassadors as the Father sent Christ, v. 21. which power cannot be given to puffed up women, 3. Except this be said, the Text must beare that there was not a Presbytery of Prophets, Governors and Teachers there of all, who had a more eminent act in excommunicating and Church pardoning, then the women who mourned not, for by what reason our brethren would have the act of excommunicating an act of the whole Church convened, including all to whom Paul writ­eth, women and children, by that same reason we may appropri­ate it to these only, who are capable of Pauls pastorall spirit, and authority, according as attributes are appropriated (by good logick) to their own subjects, else that cannot be expounded 1 Cor. 14. 31. For ye may all prophecy one by one. What? may all that the Apostle writeth unto, 1 Cor. 1. 2. prophecy one by one? even the whole Church, even all sanctified in Christ Jesus? cal­led to be Saints, and all that in every place call upon the Lord Iesus? I thinke our brethren will not say so: so when Paul sayth, 1 Thess. 5. 12. Esteem highly of these that are over you if that command be directed to the whole Church of the Thessalonians which is in God our Father, as the Epistle is directed to them all, 1 Thess. 1. 1. then doth Paul command the Elders in Thessa­lonica to esteem highly of themselves, for their own workes sake: if exhortations be not restricted according to the nature of the subject in hand we shall mock the Word of God, and make it ridiculous to all.

Ainsworth sayth, The putting away of leaven was commanded to all Israel. Ergo, the putting away of the incestuous person is com­manded to them all in Corinth without exception, and the putting away of the Leper was commanded to all Israel.

I answer. 1. Proportions are weake probations, 1. every single woman, 2. privately in her own house, 3. without Churches consent and authority was to put away Leaven; but it is a poore inference, therefore every woman in Corinth he [...]e alone might excommunicate without the Churches authority, and in their private houses. 2. The Priest only judicially putteth away the [Page 38] Leper, Deut. 17. 13. and the Priests without the peoples consent put out Uzzah their Prince from the Sanctuary, when he was a Leper. 2. Ch [...]on. 26. 20.

Manuscript.

Lest this judgement should be restrained to Presbyteries only, he Manuscript, [...]b. magnifieth the judging of the Saints, taking occasion from thence to stretch their judicature, in some cases, even to the deciding of civill causes, rather then that they should fly suddenly to Law one against another, before Infidels.

Ans. That upon this Church judging, he taketh occasion to magnifiy the judging of the Saints, I see not, for he passeth to a new subject in reprehending their pleadng, before heathen Judges. 2. Though that cohesion of the Chapters were granted, yet doth he not magnifie the Judging, of all the multitude, the Saints of men and women shall judge the world by assenting to Gods Judging, but all the Saints, even women, are not Church-Iudges. Also he extendeth Judging of civill causes to the most eminent Seniors amongst them v. 5. Is there not a wise-man a­mongst you? no, not one who shal be able to judge betwixt his brethren? and therefore he layeth a ground, that far lesse can all the rest of men and women be Judges Ecclesiastick to binde and loose validly in Earth and Heaven, but onely the wiser and selected Elders.

I may adde what Master Robinson sayth, that our argument from confession, may be objected to the Apostles no lesse then to Separatists, Acts 1. 23. They presented two; that is, the multitude which were about an hundred and twenty men and women, and Act 6. 5. And the while multitude presented seven Deacons to the twelue A­postles, and the twelve Apostles called the multitude, and so spake to them and v. 6. prayed and laid hands on the Deacons. Now when the multitude Acts 1. presented Joseph and Matthias, it behoved them to speak; spake they joyntly, or all at once? this were confusion, contrary to, 1 Cor. 14. 14. did the women speak? they must not meddle in Church-maters, v. 34. did children speak? It is impossible; so Acts 6. did all the twelve Apostles speak at once? and pray (vocally) at once? did the whole multitude speak when they presented the seven Deacons? that is confusion; by these and the like, women and children are utterly excluded from the Church, as no parts of [Page 39] it, Acts 15. 22. The whole Church sent Messengers to Antioch, 1 Co [...]. 14. 23. the whole Church commeth together in one, to exercise themselves in praying and prophecying, but children could not send messengers nor pray, nor prophecy, and women might not speak in the Church, and therefore women and children must be excluded from being parts of the Church; if one be excluded, why not another? and so till we come to the chiefe of the Congreation.

Ans. This is much for us every way; therefore the 120, Acts 1. and the multitude, Acts 6. did present the two elect Apostles, and the seven Deacons by some select persons, and when these select persons spake, the Church spake, and when one Apostle prayed the whole twelve prayed; Ergo, there is a representative Church which performeth Church actions in the name of the Church, and you will have a representative Church in the New Testament to be a point (as you say Inf. pag. 163) of Judaisme; yet here you are forced to acknowledge it, 2. By all good reason when Christ, Mat. 18. sayth if he refuse to heare the Church, that is, the speaking and commanding Church, let him be as a heathen, he must speak of a representative Church; for a collective body of all believers even women and children cannot command, nor soeak in the Church, and it were confusion that women and chil­dren should bind and loose on Earth as Christ doth in Heaven, and when Paul sayth that the convened Church, 2 Cor. 5. should cast out the incestuous person, he meaneth not that they should all Judge him by the power and authority of Christ, and the pasto­rall spirit of Paul; therefore your doctrine is false, that as many are Judges in the Judiciall acts of excommunication, as did not mourn for the sin, as were Saints by calling, and to whom Paul writeth, 1 Cor. 2. and as met together for the publick worship, for it is as great confusion for women and children who are true parts of the Church to be Iudges, cloathed with Christs authority, and Pauls Ministeriall spirit, as for women to speak, or for twelve Apostles to pray all at once vocally in the Church; and the whole Church is said, Acts 15. 22. to send messengers, and Canons to Antioch to be observed, and yet that whole Church are but, in the act of governing and decerning, and judiciall passing of these acts, only Apostles and Elders, Acts 15. 2. v. 6. Act 16. 4: Act. 21. 5. (Ergo) it followeth not that we exclude women and [Page 40] children from being parts of the Church, or that all are excluded except Elders; all are parts of the mysticall, and redeemed Church; officers are only the ministeriall Church, and Mat. 18. Christ speaketh only of a ministeriall Church in the judiciall act of excommunication; though if you speak of excommunica­tion in all the acts of it, we doe not exclude the whole multi­tude, Mat. 8. nor 1 Cor. 5. from a popular consenting to the sentence, and a popular execution of the sentence of excommu­nication and therefore though the whole Church convene, yet the whole Church conveneth not with Pauls ministeriall spirit to excommunicate judicially; either must our brethren here acknowledge a Synocdoche, as well as we, yea and a representa­tive and select Church in the judiciall act of excommunication, else they must say, that women and children, Ex officio, by a mi­nisteriall spirit doe Judge and so speake in the Church, for he who Judgeth Ex officio, in the Church, may and must speake and excommunicate in the Church Ex officio: but more of this hereafter.

CHAP. 3. SECT. 3. QUEST. 4.

WHether or no is there a necessity of the personall presence of the whole Church in all the acts of Church-censures?

The Author Manuscript. The way of the Church of Ch. in n. E. giveth us ground for this question, whiles as he holdeth the company of believers cloathed with the whole power of the keys, and these meeting all of them, even the whole Church to be the only visible instituted Church. And Ainsworth animad vers. p. 20. 21. Ains­worth sayth, with what comfort of heart can the people now ex­communicate him, if they have not heard the proceedings against him? Let wise men Iudge, if this be not spirituall tyranny, that El­ders would bring upon the conscience of men? Also it would seem [...] if the people be to execute the sentence of excommunication, that they cannot in faith repute the excommunicated man, as a Heathen and a Publican, and eschew his company, except they be assured in conscience, that he is lawfully cast out: now how shall they have this assurance? the Elders say, he is lawfully cast out, and the cast out man sayth, no, but he is wronged; therefore it would seem that all the people must be personally [Page 41] present to heare that the processe be lawfully deduced against him, else they punish, upon a blind faith, now the like questi­on is, if Souldiers can make war, if they be not present at the counsell of war to know the just reasons of war, which the Prince and States doe keepe up to themselves, upon grave considera­tions. And the same is the question, if the Lictor and executioner of the Judges sentence be obliged in conscience to know, if the Judge have proceeded orderly and justly, or if he upon the te­stimony of the Judge, may execute the sentence of death.

1. Distinction, There be oddes betwixt a free willing people exe­cuting the sentence of the Church, and meere Executioners and Lictors.

2. Dist. There is a doubting of conscience speculative, through ig­norance of some circumstance of the fact; and a doubt of conscience practicall through ignorance of something, which one is obliged to know, and so there is also a speculative and a practicall certainty of a thing.

3. Dist. There is one certaeinty required in questione Juris, in a question of Law, and another in questione facti, in question of fact.

4. Dist. There is, and may be an ignorance invincible which a man cannot help, in a question of fact; but Papists and Schoole-men erre, who maintaine an invincible ignorance in questione Juris, in a question of Law, and in this they lay imperfection on Gods Word.

5. Dist. There is a morall diligence given for knowledge of a thing which sufficeth to make the ignorance excusable, and there is a morall diligence not sufficient.

6. Dist. There is a sentence manifestly unjust as the condemning of Christ by witnesses, belying one another, and a sentence doubt­somely false.

1. Conclu. The members of the visible Church are not meere Lictors and Executioners of the sentences of the Elder-ship, 1. Because they are to observe, warne, watch over the manners of their fellow members and to teach, exhort, and admonish one another; and are guilty, if they be deficient in that, 2. Because by the Law of charity, as they are brethren under one head Christ, they are to warne and admonish their Rulers. And by the same [Page 42] reasons the people of the Jewes were not meere executioners, though they were to stone the condemned Malefactors, yet were they not Judges as Ainsworth sayth. It is true Levit. 20. 2. they were to kill him who offered his seed to Moloch; but the precept is given first to Moses the supreme Magistrate, the accused for innocent blood stood before the children of Israel, Num. 35. 22. but their Gnedah signifieth the Princes, I [...]s. 20. 4. The slayer shall de­clare his cause before the Elders of that City, 2 Sam. 7. 7. there be Tribes who are feeding or governing Tribes, or 1 Chron. 17. 6. Judges: there is no reason to understand by the children of Israel or the Congregation, only the common people, when the word doth include a Congregation of Princes, so Num. 8. 11. the Levites are the children of Israels shake-offering Ainsworth animadvers. p. 25. Ains­worth saith the people are put for the Princes, the sins of unjust Judges are peoples sinnes, not because they judicially exercise unjust acts, for they should not judge at all, but because they mourne not for the publick sins of Judges, Eze. 9 9. and because the people love to have it so, Jer. 5. 31.

2. Concl. When the sentence of the Judge is manifestly un­just, the executioners and Lictors are not to execute it; for Doeg the Edomite sinned in killing the Lords Priests at the command of Saul, and the footmen of Saul did religiously refuse that service, 1 Sam. 22. 17. The Souldiers who crucified Christ, not only as men, but as Licto [...]s, sinned against a principle of the Gospel which they were obliged to believe (Maries sonne is the true Messiah) nor are we to joyne with a Church excommuni­cating a man, because he confessed Christ Iob. 9. nor need we consent to these, that the Senate of Venice is excommunicated by Paul the fift An. 1607. and Henricus Borbonius King of Navarre by Sixtus 5. and Elizabeth of England by Pius 5. and Henry the 4. by Gregory 7. or Hilderland, and Martin Luther by Leo the 10. An. 1520. the Pope is not the Catholick Church, as many learned Papists, especially, the Parisian Theologues teach.

3. Concl There is not required the like certainty of con­science practicall in a question of fact, that is required in a que­stion of Law. 1. Because in a question of Law all ignorance is morall and culpably, evill to any who undertaketh actions upon [Page 43] conscience of obedience to others; for to all within the visible Church the word of God is exactly perfect, for faith and manners; and every on is obliged to know all conclusions of Law that are determinable by Gods word. 2. Every one in his actions is to do [...] out of a plerophorie, and a full perswasion of heart, that what he doth, pleaseth God, Rom. 14. 14. I know and am perswaded by the Lord Jesus, that nothing is uncleane of it selfe. 3. We are to doe nothing but what is lawfull, and what in our consciences we are perswaded is lawfull, and are to know what is sinne, and what is no sin. All Souldiers in war, and Lictors, and these who execute the sentence of excommunication, are to know, what are the just causes of war, and what crimes by Gods Law deserve death, and what not, as what homicide, sorcery, par­ricide, incest, and the like sinnes deserve by Gods Law, and what not: because every one is obliged to know morally, what con­cerneth his conscience that he be not guilty before God; the executioner who beheaded Iohn Baptist sinned, because he was obliged to know this (a prophet who rebuketh incest in a King, ought not to be put to death therefore) It was unlawfull for the men of Iudah to come and make war with Ieroboam and the ten Tribes, because God forbade that war, 1 Ki. 12. 23, 24.

4. Concl. It is not enough that some say, if the question be negatively just, then Souldiers and executioners, and people may execute the sentence, that is, if they see no unlawfulnesse in the fact, I meane unlaw fulnesse in materiâ juris, in a matter of Law; hence some say, subjects and common Souldiers not admitted to the secrets of the councell of war, may fight lawfully, when there is this negative justice in the war; but forraine Souldiers who are conduced, may not doe so Regula juris 19. in 6. and 38. in ff. non est sine culpa, qui, rebus, quae ad ipsum non spectant, se immis­cet, cum periculo alterius. for the Law sayth he is not free of a fault who intermedleth with matters which belonge not to him, to the hurt of others; so Teacheth Suarez, de tripl. virt dis. 13. de bello sect. 6. n. 8. Suarez Bannes in 22. q. 40. concl. 1. D. Bannes An. Duvalli­us in 22. tract. de charit. art. 3. Andr. Duvallius, yet the command of the Prince can remove no doubt of conscience, also that the cause of the war in the matter of Law, so far as it is agreeable to Gods word is not manifest to executioners, is there culpable ignorance no lesse then the ignorance of a sentence manifestly unjust, Ergo, the practise of these who execute a sentence negatively only just, is not lawfull, I prove the antecedent, beacuse the practi­call [Page 44] ignorance of what we doe which is not warranted by Gods Word is alwayes culpable, whether the cause be cleare or darke: for no obscurity of Gods Law doth excuse our ig­norant practise, when the Word of God can sufficienty re­solve us. 2. It is not enough that our morall actions in their lawfulnes be just negatively; because actions morall which are beside the Word of God (praeter dei verbum) to us, who hold Gods Word perfect in faith and manners, are also, contra dei ver­bum, against the Word of God, and so unlawfull. 3. Because actions morall having no warrant but the sole will and Com­mandement of superiors, are undertaken upon the sole faith: that what superiors command, if it seeme not to us unjust, though it be in it selfe unjust, may lawfully be done. Now we condemne this in Schoolemen and Popish casuistes, that the Commandement of superiors (as sayth Gregor. de Valent. Bannes, Suarez, Silvester, Navarre) may take away and remove all doubt­ing of conscience, and make the action lawfull.

Whereas Nava [...]re dist. 7. de poe [...]itē. c. St qu [...]s aute [...]. Navarre, Corduba dist. 3 q. 4 & 5. Corduba Sylvester confessor. 3. s. 10. Sylvester Adrian quo. l libet 2. Adrian, hold that an action done without a due practicall certainty is un­lawfull. If he shoud diligently (Suarez. 1. 1. par. 2. de oper. sex dier. de proxim. regul. bonit. & malit. dis. 12. sect. 5. n. 3. sayth Suarez) search for the truth, and cannot find it, yet the doubter may practise, so he practically perswade himselse, he doth it out of a good mind; and whereas the Jesuite sayth, that it is his negligence in not seeking the truth, he answereth, his negligence which is by past, cannot have influence in his present action, to make it unlawfull, because it is past and gone. But I answer, it is Physically past, but it is morally present, to infect the action as habituall ignorance, maketh the acts of unbeliefe morally worse or ill. And to these we may adde, that he who doth with such a doubt, 1. He sinneth, because he doth not in faith Rom. 14. 23 2. He exposeth him­selfe to the hazard of finning, and of joyning with an unjust sentence. 3. It is the corrupt Doctrine of Papists who muzzle up the people in ignorance, and discharge them to reade Gods Word, and so maintaine (because of the obscurity and imper­fection of Gods Word which is not able to determine all questions) that there is an ignorance of many lawfull duties which is invincible, and to be excused, as no wayes sinfull, and which vitiateth not our morall actions, so Thomas 12. q. 19. art. 9. Thomas Bonavent. ib. art. 1. q. 3 Bona­ventura, [Page 45] Richard act. 1. q. [...]. Richard Gabriel ib. a [...]t 3. Gabriel Occam in 3. q. 3. Occam Antoni. 1 part tit. 3. c. 10. s. 4. Antoninus Adrian quod. l. 4. ar. 2. Adrianus Almaintrac. de opere morali. 1. c. 5. Almaine Suarez de o­per. sex dic [...] in 12 par. 2. de prox. Reg. Bon. & mal. act. dis. 12. sect. 4 n. 6. Suarez, though Occam and Almain may be expounded favourably.

5. Concl. Souldiers, Lictors, Servants, People under the Eldership, are not meere instruments moved only by superiors, as Schoolemen say. 1. Because they are morall agents, and are no lesse to obey in Faith, then superiors are to command in Faith and they are to obey their Superiours only in the Lord. 2. They are to give all diligence that they be not accessary to unjust sentences, lest they partake of other mens sinnes. What Aquin. 22. q. 19. art. 9. Aquinas Valentia. tom. 3. dis. 3. q. 16 princ. 2. Greg. de Valent Duvallius 2. Tom. 1. tract. de human. act. 10 q. 4. art. 12. and And. Duvallius saith against this, is not to be stood upon.

6. Concl. But in questione facti, in matters of fact, there is not required that certainty of conscience. But that we may more clearely understand the conclusion, a question of fact is taken three wayes. 1. For a fact expressely set down in Gods Word, as that Moses led the people through the wildernesse, that Cain slew his brother Ab [...]l, these are questions de facto, not questiones facti, and must be believed as Almain. de potest. Eccle. & Laica. c. 16. Almaine and Occam. in. 3. q. 3. Occam say well, with that same certainty by which we believe Gods Word. 2. A question of fact is taken for a question, the sub­ject whereof is a matter of fact, but the attribute is a matter of Law, as (if Christ in saying he was the Son of God did blasphem) if the Lords Priests in giving David shew-bread, did commit Treason against King Saul) there is some question there made circa factum, about the fact, but it is formally a question of Law. For these questions may be cleared by Gods Word, and the ignorance of any questions which may be cleared by Gods Word, is vincible, and culpable, for the Law sayth Reg. juris Culpabilis est ig­norantia rerum quas scire tene­mur. The ig­norance of these things which we are obliged to know is culpable, and excuseth not. But thirdly a question of fact is properly a question (whether this Corinthian committed incest or no) (whe­ther Tittrs committed murther, or no) and in this there is some­times invincible ignorance, when all diligence morally possible is given, to come to the knowledge of the fact. Now we know here the question of Law must be proved by the Law, all are obliged in concience to know what sinnes deserve death and Excommunication. But whether this man Iohn, Anna, [Page 46] Marie hath committed such sins, is a question of fact and can­not be proved by the Law, or the Word of God, for Reg. juris lex non est de singu­laribus, lex non c [...]rat de particu­la [...]bus. the L [...] is not anent singulars or particulars, this is proved by sense and the Testimonie of witnesses; and therefore the certainty practicall of conscience here is humane and failible, not Divine and infallible.

Now though Souldiers, Lictors, or People joyne to the exe­cution of a sentence, and have their doubtings anent the fide­lity of the witnesses, yet when all diligence morally possible is given to try the matter, they may well be said to doe in Faith, though they have not certainty of Faith concerning the fact,, because there cannot be certainty of Divine Faith in facts; mens confession, sense, the Testimony of witnesses cannot breed Di­vine Faith: yea here the Judge himselfe may condemne the innocent, and yet the sentence of the Judge may be most just because the witnesses are Lyers, and the Judge giveth out that sentence in Faith, because Gods Word hath commanded him to proceed, secundum allegata & probata, he must give sentence under Deut. 19. 15. Mat. 18. 16. [...] Tim 5. 19. Exod. 23. 1. two or three witnesses; yea, though the Judge saw, with his Eyes, the guilty commit the fact, yet he cannot by Gods Law condemne him, but upon the testimony of witnesses▪ For the wise Lord seeth what confusion and tyranny should fol­low, if one might be both Index, actor, & t [...]stis, the Iudge, the accuser, and the witnesse. And when the Judge giveth out a sen­tence to absolve the guilty and condemne the innocent, his sentence is judicially and formally just, and materially and by accident and contrary to his intention only unjust, if the Judge in that case should say (as Master Weemes observeth well) Ioh. Weemes 3. vel expos. of judiciall Larres ch. 17. p. 69. such a proposition is true when he knoweth it to be false, and being posed and urged in conscience, is this an innocent man or no? it he should answer and say he is not, he should then answer contrary to his knowledge? but as a Judge he must answer, he is not innocent, because witnesses being with all possible di­ligence examined, have condemned him, and it is no incon­venience here to say, that the Judge hath one conscience as a man, and another contrary conscience as a Judge, in the questi­on of fact; for God hath tyed his conscience, as a Judge, to the fidelity of witnesses, known not to be false. I desire the Reader [Page 47] to see anent this more in Bonavent. 1. q9. Bonaventura Rich. a [...]t. 1. q 3. Richardus Occam. q [...] 3. a [...]. 3. Occam Anton. 1. [...]. [...] act. 3. ca. 10. [...]. 4. Antoninus Adrian. quod. lib. 4 [...]. [...]. Adrian, Weemes loc. cit. and our Countreyman Iohn Weemes and Henricus 2 [...]. q [...]ll. 1. q. 8. Henricus. Now because Souldiers, Lictors, and people are not Judges, if they know the fact in Law deser­veth such and such punishments, where the sentence is not manifestly false and unjust, but in the matter of Law just, though erroneous in the matter of fact, all possible dilligence being used by the Judges, they are to execute that sentence upon the te­stimony of the Judges, though they be not personally present at the proceedings of the Judges and Eldership which may be proved many wayes. 1. By the confession of our brethren, i [...] any of the Congregation be absent by Sicknesse, Child-birth paine, Trading over Sea, imprisonment, the Congregation doth justly put away from amongst them the incestuous Corin­thian, and they who are absent are to repute the party Excom­municate, as a Heathen; as their own practise is at censures in the week-day, the largest halfe of the Congregation is ab­sent, yet the absent upon the testimony of the Church hold valid what is done by the Church. 2. Other sister Churches who ought not to be present at Church-censures, as our Bre­thren teach, are to repute the Excommunicate cast out by a sister Church-independent (as they say) as an Heathen, because being bound in Heaven: here, is he not bound in a Church vi­sible, one mile distant from the Church Excommunicating? yet this is no tyranny of conscience. 3. Women are to execute the sentence and to eschew the company of the party Excommu­nicated, yet are they not to be present [...]s Judges to n [...]rp au­thority over the men. This Robnson justi [...]. of sepa [...]at. p. 170. Robinson granteth. 4. This should evert all judicatories of peace and war, so many thou­sands, Acts 2. could not be present at every act of censure and that dayly, nor are acts o [...] Discipline necessarily tied to the Lords-day They are (I grant) acts of Divine worship, but the whole multitude of women and children are deprived of the li­berty that God hath given them for six dayes to the works of their calling, if they must be personally present, at all the acts of Discipline, to cognosce of all scandals, and to here and receive Testimonies against Elders under two or three wit­nesses, which is the office of Timothy [...] Tim. 5. [...]. this way the over­seeing [Page 48] of the manners of the people, which also our Brethren laye upon the whole people, taketh up the great part of the Pastors office, and the whole office of ruling Elders. And if we lay upon the people the worke and all the acts of the office, how can we not lay upon them the office it selfe? 5. All Israel gathered to war, from Dan to Beersheba, could not, by vertue of duty and obligation, be present personally at the determination of lawfull War: Nay if they were all present, as Judges, as Ains. loc. cit. Mr. Ainsworth would have them, there be no Governors and Feeders in Israel, but all the governed are Feeders, and so no Magistrate and Ruler, as Anabaptists teach here. 1. It were not lawfull for one to be King over more people, then he could in his own personall presence judge, con­trary to Gods Word, that teacheth us to obey these who are sent by the supreme Magistrate, as we obey the King, 1 Pet. 2. 13. 14. Ergo, these who are sent by him are lawfull Judges, and yet the King Judgeth by them, and in them. 2. This error is founded upon a worse error, to wit, that the supreme Magi­strate had no power of life and death in Israel, without con­sent of the people, but certainly there are as specious and plau­sible reasons, if not more specious, for the peoples govern­ment in all civill matters, then there can be for their Church­power of judging in the Church-matters, and government ther­of. Yet there is no ground for it. 1. Because the Rulers on­ly could not be charged, to execute judgement in the morning, to deliver the oppressed, to execute judgement for the Fatherlesse and the VViddow, nor can there be a promise made to establish, the Kings Throne for obeying that Commandement, as (a) Gods Jer. 22. 3, 4, 5. Deut. 17. 18, 19, 20. 1 Ki. 11. 38. 39. Isa. 1. 22. 23. Word teacheth; if the people have as great, yea, greater pow­er in Judging, then the Rulers have by this our Brethrens ar­gument. They say all the Believers at Corinth. 1 Cor. 5. could not be commanded to cast out the incestuous person, nor could they all be taxed for omitting that duty, if they had not power to excommunicate. 2. Neither can the Spirit of God complaint that the Judges builded Zion with blood, and the heads of the house of Jacob, and Princes of the house of Israel did abhor judgement and pervert equity as the Prophets say, Micah. 3. 9, 10. 11. nor could they be condemned as roaring Lyons and [Page 49] evening Wolves, as the Prophet sayth: for the Judge [...] might well be faultlesse, when the poore were crushed in the Gate, and Judgement turned into Gall and Wormewood, because they cannot helpe the matter, the people are the greatest part in caring matters in judgement. 2. We see Zeph. 3. 3. Davids practise in condemning the Amalckite out of his own confession, not ask­ing the peoples consent, and in condemning to death 2 Sam. 1. 15 Ba­anah and Rehab, for killing Ishbosheth. Solomon gave sentence 2 Sam. 4. 8. 12. against Adoniiah, Ioab, Shimei, without consent of the people, David pardoned Shimei contrary to the counsell of Zerviahs sons. 3. If from the peoples witnessing and hearing of judgement in the Gate, we conclude the people were Judges, with the Rulers, there was never a time, when there was no King in Israel, and no Iudge to put evill doers to shame, but every man did what seemed good in his own Eys, contrary to Scripture 1 Ki. 2. be­cause all are a generation of Kings and Princes no lesse then the Ruler himselfe, as Anabaptists teach. By the Doctrine of Jud. 18. 1. v. 7. our brethren I deny not but he that gathered stickes on the Sab­bath was brought, Num. 15. 33. to Moses and to Aaron and to all the Congregation, but the Congregation signifieth not the common multitude. For 35. Moses received the sentence from God and pronounced it, and the Congregation stoned him to death, And Numb. 27. 1. The Daughters of Zelophehad stood before Moses, Eleazar, and before the Princes as Iudges, and before all the Congregation, as witnesses, not as Judges: but v. 6. 7. Moses gave out the judiciall sentence, from the Lords mouth. And 1 King. 21. 12. Naboth stood in presence of the people to be judged, but the Nobles and Princes were his Judges, because v. 8. Iezabel wrote to the Nobles and Princes that v. 10. they should carry out Naboth and stone him, to wit, judicially, and v. 11. The Nobles and Princes did as Iezabel had sent unto them. And Ieremiah cap. 26. pleaded his cause before the Princes and people, for v. 10. The Princes.

[...]

Set down (judicially) in the entry of the new gate of the Lords House, nothing can be gathered from the place to prove that the people judged, but because Ieremiah spake to the Princes and the people who vers. 24: were in a fury and [Page 50] rage against Ieremiah, if Ahikam had not saved him from their violence.

CHAP. 4. SECT. 4. QUEST. 5.

WHether there be no nationall or provinciall Church under the New Testament, but only a parishionall Congregation meet­ing every Lords day, in one place for the worship of God?

The Author, in this first proposition denieth that there is any Nationall or provinciall Church, at all, under the New Testament, for clearing of the question observe these.

1. Dist. VVe deny that there is any diocescan, provinciall or Nationall Church under the care of one Diocesan or Nationall Prelate or Bi­shop, but hence it followeth not, there is no visible instituted Church now, but only a particular Congregation.

2. Dist. VVe deny any Nationall typicall Church, where a whole Nation is tyed to one publick worship, in one place, as sacrificing in the Temple.

3. Dist. VVe deny not but the most usuall acception of a Church, or visible meeting is given, as the [...] cont. Tylen. pare­nes. l. 1. c. 25. sect. 4. & 5. refutator of Tylenus sayth, to a convention of people meeting ordinarily to heare the word and ad­minstrate the Sacraments Steph. in Thesau. Stephanus deriveth it from [...]. And Cyrill. Hye­rosolamita. Cyrillus [...]. As Causab. cont. Baron. 6. 42. Causabon observeth; so these who meete at one Sermon are called Ecclesia, a Church, and it is called Ecclesia & concio, sayth the Refutator of Tilen, Loc. cit. but this hindreth not the Union of more particular Con­gregations, in their principall members for Church-govern­ment, to be the meeting or Church representative of these many united Congregations.

4. Dist. A Parish-Church materiall, is a Church within such locall bounds, the members whereof dwell contiguously toge­gether, one bordering on the other, our Brethren, meane not of such a Church; for as Baynes dio­cesan tryall. q. 1. p. 12. Pa [...] Baynes sayth well this God insti­tuted not, because a company of Papists and Protestants may thus dwell together, as in a Parish, and yet they axe of con­trary Churches, a Parish-Church formally is a multitude who meete in manner or forme of a Parish, as if they dwelt neere to­gether [Page 51] in a place ordinarily, to worship God, as the [...] of those who came together to celebrate the Lords Supper, is called the Church, 1 Cor. 11. 18. For first of all when ye come together in the Church, I heare that there are divisions amongst you. [...] what? have ye not houses to eat and drink in? or despise ye the Church of God?

1. Concl. If we shall evince a Church-visible in the Now Testament which is not a Parishionall Church, we evince this to be false which is maintained by our Brothren, that there is no visible instituted Church in the New Testament save onely a Parishionall Church, or a single independent Congregation. But this Church we conceive to have been no Parishionall Church. 1. Because these who met dayly and continued with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, that is, ad­ministrating the Sacraments together as our Brethren say, were a visible Church. But these being first an hundred and twenty, as Acts 1. and then three thousand added to them, Acts 2. 41. could not make all one single independent Congregati­on, whereof all the members had voyce in actuall government▪ Ergo, they were a visible instituted Church, and yet not a Pa­rishionall Church. The proposition is cleare, The Church of Ierusalem was one visible Church, and did exercise together a vi­sible act of government, in sending messengers to [...] Acts 15. 22. Then pleased it the Apostles and Elders and the whole Church (our Brethren say, the whole collective Church Men, Women, and Children at Ierusalem) to send men of their own company to Antioch 23. And wrote Letters, and some Decrees and Commandements to be observed. Now the many thousands of the Church of Ierusalem, by no possibility could meete a [...] one Parish, in one materiall house to administrate the Lords Supper: farre lesse could they be, as is said; Acts 2. 42. all continuing stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine and followship (our Bre­thren say in P [...]rishionall or Congregationall fellowship) and in breaking of bread and prayer, nor could they dayly con­tinue in the Temple and breake bread from house to house, being all one Church, or a fixed parishionall meeting in one materiall house. Now it is cleare, they were [...] even after they ex­ceeded many thousands in number, in one Parishionall and Con­gregationall [Page 52] government, as our Brethren would prove from Acts 15, 22, 23, 24, 25. And Acts 2. 42, 43. Else how could they have all their goods common, if there be not one visible govern­ment amongst them? but this government could not be of one single Congregation; for all who sold their goods, and had all things common, could not meete to give voyces in Dis­cipline, a judicatory of so many thousand Judges were impossible and ridiculous.

2. Paul writeth to the Galatians, where there were many Parish, Churches, Gal. 1. 2. as our Brethren teach, yet doth he write to them, as he doth to the Corinthians: where our Bre­thren will have one Parish-Church, and writeth to them of uni­formity of visible government, that they meete not together to keepe dayes, Sabbaths, and yeers Gal. 4. 10. as the Iewes did, that they keep not Iewish and ceremoniall meetings, and con­ventions, Gal. 4. 9. these Churches are called one lumpe in danger to be leavened, as Corinth is a Parishionall lumpe in hazard to be leavened, as our Brethren teach. Now how could Paul will 1 Cor. 5. them that the whole lump of all the Churches and Congregati­ons in Galatia, be not leavened, except he lay down a ground, that they were with united authority to joyne in one visible go­vernment, against the false Teachers: suppose there were twen­ty sundry Kings in Brittaine, and twenty Kingdoms, could our friends over Sea write to us as to one Nationall lump, to be­ware of the Spanish faction, except they laid down this ground, that all the twenty little Kingdomes, had some visible uni­on in Government, and might with joynt authority of all the twenty Kingdomes concurre to resist the common E­nemie?

Here that godly and learned Divine Mr. Baynes sayth, Com­munion in government is not enough to make them one Church, this (sayth he) Paul Baynes dioces. tryal. q. 1. p. 13. ib. p. 11. maketh them rather one in tertio quodam se­parabili (in a third thing which may be separated) then one Church; Government being a thing that commeth to a Church now constituted, and may be absent, the Church remaning a Church, I answer this is a good reason against the Prelates Diocese [...]n Church, which, as Baynes sayth well, is such a frame in which many Churches are united with one head-Church (under one [Page 53] Lord prelate, common Pastor to all the Pastors and particular Congregations of the Diocese) as part aking of holy things, or at least in that power of government, which is in the chiefe, Church, for all the others within such a circuit. Now the prel [...]tes frame of a properly so called Church, under one Pastor being a Creature with a hundred heads, having Church and pa­storall care of a hundred little Congregations and Churches, is a dreame, for we know no such Church fed by a Prelate, nor no such prelaticall Argos to oversee so many flocks; nor doe we contend that the many Congregations united in a presby­teriall government, doe make a mysticall visible Church meet­ing for all the Ordinances of God. But union of many Con­gregations in a visible government is enough to make all these united Churches one visible, ministeriall and governing Church who may meete, not in one collective body, for the worship of God; yet in one representative body, for government: though worship may be in such a convened Church also, as we shall heare. The name of the Church I thinke is given to such a meet­ing, Mat. 18. 17. Acts 15. 22. though more usually in Scrip­ture the Church is a fixed Congregation, convened for Gods worship: now government is an accident separable, and may goe and come to a mysticall Church; but I thinke it is not so to a Ministeriall governing Church. So the Church of Ephesus is called a Church in the singular number, Rev. 2. 1. and all the Churches of Asia, Rev. 1. 20. but seven Churches; and Christ directeth seven Epistles to these seven, and writeth to Ephesus as to a Church having one government, v. 2. Thou hast tryed them which say they are Apostles and are not, and hast found them lyers. This was Ecclesiasticall tryall by Church-Discipline, yet Ephesus contained more particular Congregations then one. 1. Because Christ speaking to Ephesus only, sayth, v. 7. He that hath an Ear [...] to heare let him heare what the spirit sayth unto the Churches, in the plurall number 2. Because there were a good number of preaching Elders in Ephesus, Acts 20. 28. 36. 37. and it is incongruous to Gods dispensation to send a multiude of pastors, to over see ordinarily one single and independent Congregation. 3. This I have proved from the huge multi­tudes converted to the Faith in Ephesus, so huge and populous [Page 54] a City where many Iewes and Greeks dw [...]l [...], and where the Word of God grew so migh [...]ly, Acts 19. 17, 18, 19, 20. and Christ writ­eth to every one of the seven Churches as to one, and yet ex­horteth seven times in every Epistle, that Churches in the plu­rall number heare what the spirit sayth. Now as our Brethren prove that the Churches of Galatia, so called in the plurall number, were many particular Churches, so doe we borrow this argument, to prove that every one of the seven Churches, who are seven times called Churche in the plurall number, contained many Congregations under them, yet doth. Christ write to every one of the seven, as having one visible Go­vernment.

2. Concl. A nationall typicall Church [...] was the Church of the Iewes, we deny. But a Church nationall or provinciall of Cities, Provinces, and Kingdomes, having one common govern­ment, we thinke cannot be denyed: so Paul Baynes citeth for this, 1 Pet. 1. 1. 1 Pet. 5. 2. Though we take not the Word Church for a my sticall body, but for a ministeriall company. But Acts 1. Matthias was elected an Apostle by the Church, as our Brethren confesse, but not by a particular Congregati­on who met every Lords-Day, and in ordinary to partake of all the holy things of God, the Word and Sacraments. 1. Here were the Apostles, whose Parish-Church was the whole World, Mat. 28. 19. Goe teach all Nations 2. In this Church were the brethren of Christ from Galilee, Acts 1. 14. and some from Jerusalem v. 15. 3. No particular Church had power Eccle­siasticall, as this Church had power to choose an Apostle, who was to be a Pastor over the Churches of the whole World, as our brethren teach, so Paget defence of Church go­vernment Chap. 6. Mr. Paget sayth well; These Dis­ciples who waited upon Christ, such as Barsabas and Matthias, were no members of the Church of Jerusalem, and so what pow [...]r had a particular Church to dispose of them, who were no members of their Church? 3. That which concerneth all, must be done by all, and that which concerneth the feeding and governing of the Church of the whole World, must be done by these who represent the Church of the whole World; but that Matthias should be chosen, and ordained an Apostle to teach to the whole World, concerned all the Churches, and not one par­ticular [Page 55] Church [...], Therefore there was here either no Church (which no man dare say) for [...]here is here a company of be­lievers where there is preaching and Church▪government, v. 15. 16. 26. or then there was here a Congregation which is against sense and Scripture; or there is a Church Provinciall, Naturall, or Oecumenick; call it as you please, it is a visible Church instituted in the New Testament, after the ascension of Christ, and not a Parishionall Church. Some answer, this was extraordinary and meerely Apostolick, that an Apostle should be ordained, and is no warrant for a nationall Church now, when the Churches of Christ are constituted. But I answer, this distinction of ordinary and extraordinary is wearied and worne to death with two much employment. 2. Beza, Cal­vin, Piscator, Tilenus, Whittaker, Chamier, Pareus, Bucanus, professors of Leyden, Walaeus, VVillet, P. Martyr, Ursinus, &c. and all our Divines, yea Lorin. com­ment in act. Lorinus the J [...]suite, Cajetan com. [...]b. Caje­tan, alledge this place with good reason to prove, that the ordination and election of Pastors belongeth to the whole Church, and not to one man, Peter, or any Pope. Yea Robin justi. p. 168, 169. Robin­son and all our Brethren, use this place, to prove, that the Church to the second comming of Christ hath power to or­daine, and exanthorate and censure her officers. 2. We desire a ground for this, that the Ecclesiasticall power of the Church which is ordinary and perpetuall to Christs second comming, should joyne as a coll [...]terall cause in ordination and election of an Apostle▪ which ordination is extraordinary, tempora­ry & apostolick; see for this Pet. Martyr com in 1 Cor. 15. Pet. Martyr Whittaker com. 4 q. 1. p. 381 VVhittaker Bilson per­pet. govern. p 338. Bilson Chamier pan. l. 6. [...]om 2. Chamier, Pareus 1 Cor. 1. 5. com. Mat. 18. Pareus, Beza, annot. in act. 1. v. 23. & 26. Beza. Calvin. com­ment in act. 1. 26. Calvin, Harmon. confess. art. 29, 30. Harmonie of the confessions [...] de Eccl. li 1. c. 4 Iunius, Cartwright refut R [...]em 1 Gor. 5 3 4 Cartwright Fulk against the Rhe­mistes act 1. 26 Fulk Ursin explic. Par 2. p. 534. Ursinus Zwinglius expl act. 1. 23. 26 Zwinglius Munsterus in Mat. 18. Munsterus, and Theodoret. dialog. 1. Theo­doret▪ would have us to rest upon Apostolick demonstrations like this. And Irenaeus cont Herm [...]g lib. 3. Irenaeus speaketh against rectifiers of the Apostles in this Cyprian l. 2. Epist. 4. Cyprian sayth the like, 2 Acts 6. A Church of Hebrewes and Graecians, together with the twelve Apostles is not a particular Ordinary Congregation, and [Page 56] a governing Church choosing Deacons, therefore they are a nationall Church; though the first ordination of Deacons be meerely Apostolick, and immediately from Iesus Christ, yet the ordination of these seven persons was a worke of the Churches power of the keys. Now let our Brethren speake, if this was a Congregationall Church, that meeteth ordinarily to the word and Sacraments, such as they say the Church of Corinth was, 1 Cor. [...]1. 18. So say I of the Church, Acts 15. 22. called Apostles, Elders and Brethren and the whole Church, this could not be a particular Church; for no particular Congre­gation hath Ecclesiasticall power to prescribe Decrees, and Canons to all the Churches of the Gentiles, and that this was done by an ordinary Ecclesiastick power that remaineth perpe­tually in a Church, such as this was, is cleare, because our Brethren prove that the whole multitude spake in this Church from vers. 12. Then all the multitude kept silence, and there­fore the multitude (say our Brethren) spake from v. 21. all the Church voyced in these Decrees and Canons, say they.

3. Sister Churchers keepe a visible Church-communion toge­ther. 1. They heare the word, and partake of the Seales of the Covenant, occasionally one with another. 2. They eschew the same excommunicated heretick, as a common Church-enemy to all. 3. They exhort, rebuke comfort, and edifie one another, as members of one body visible. 4. If one sister Church fall away, they are to labour to gaine her, and if she will not be gained, as your Author sayth Way of the Church of Ch­in N. E. c. 6. sect. 1. they tell it to many sister Churches, if shee refilse to heare them. they forsake Communion with her. 1. Here is a visible body of Christ, and his Spouse, having right to the keyes, word and seales of grace. 2. Here is a visible body exercising visible acts of Church-fellowship one toward another. Hence here a visible Provinciall, and Na­tionall Church exercising the specifick acts of a Church. Ergo, Here is a Provinciall and Nationall Church. For to whom that agreeth which essentially constituteth a Church visible, that must be a visible Church. You will say, they are not a vi­sible Church because they cannot, and doe not ordinarily all meete in one materiall house, to heare one and the same word [Page 57] of God, and to partake of the same Seales of the Covenant joyntly: but I answer 1. This is a begging of the question. 2. They performe other specifick acts of a visible Church, then to meete ordinarily, to partake joyntly, and at once, of the same ordinan­ces. 3. If this be a good reason that they cannot be a Natio­nall Church, because they meete not all ordinarily to heare the some word, and to partake of the same Ordinances, then a lo­call and visible and ordinary union joyntly in the same worship, is the specifick essence of a visible Church; but then there was no visible Nationall Churches in Iudea, for it was impossible that they could all meete in one materiall house, to partake of the same worship. 4. These who for sicknes and necessary avo­cations of their calling, as Navigation, Traffiquing and the like, cannot ordinarly meet with the congregation to partake joyntly with them of these same Ordinances, loose all member­ship of the visible Church, which is absurd; for they are cast out for no fault. 5. This is not essentiall to a nationall Church, that they should ordinarily all joyntly meet for the same wor­ship, but that they be united in one ministeriall government, and meet in their chiefe members, and therefore our Brethren use an argument, à specie ad gen [...]s negativè; a provinciall or na­tionall company of believers cannot performe the acts of a particular visible Church; Ergo, such a company is not a visible Church, just as if I would reason thus: A Horse cannot laugh; Ergo, he is not a living Creature, or it is an argument à negatione unius speciei, ad negationem alterius, such a company is not such a congregationall Church, Ergo, it is no visible Church at all; an Ape is not a reasonable Creature. Ergo, it is not an Ape.

3. Conclu. There ought to be a fellowship of Church commu­nion amongst all the visible Churches on Earth; Ergo de jure and by Christ his institution there is an universall or catholick visible Church. I prove the antecedent. 1. Because there ought to be mutuall fellowship of visible Church-duties, as where there is one internall fellowship, because Eph. 4. 4. we are one body, one spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling, v. 5. one Lord, on Father, one Baptisme, v. 6. one God, and Father of all. There also should there be externall fellowship, and Church- [Page 58] fellowship, of exhorting, rebuking, comforting, and Church-praying, and Church-praising, in the behalfe of all the visible Churches on earth, even for those, whose faces we never saw, Coloss. 2. 1. and when one nationall Church falleth away, the visible Churches of the Christian world are obliged to re­buke, and to labour to gaine such a Church, and if she will not be gained, to renounce all the foresaid communion with such an obstinate Nation. 2. As the Apostles had one publicke care of all the Churches, and accordingly kept visible fel­lowship, as they had occasion to preach, write to them, pray, and praise God for them, so this care as Apostolick I grant is gone and dead with the Apostles; but the pastorall and Church-care, and consequently acts of externall fellowship are not dead with the Apostles, but are left in the Church of Christ, for what Church-communion of visible fellowship members of one par­ticular congregation keepe one with another, that same by due proportion, ought nationall Churches to keepe amongst themselves. 3. This is cleare Act. 1. where particular Churches with the Apostles did meete, and take care to provide a Pastor and an Apostle, Matthias, for the whole Christian Church, and why [...]ut particular Churches, are hereby taught to con­fer all Church-authority that God hath given them, for the rest of the visible Churches; and the Churches conuened in their speciall members, Acts 15. 12. extended their Church-care, in a Church-communion of Ecclesiastick canons to all the visible Churches of the Jewes and Gentiles. Hence Oecumenick and generall councells should be jure divino, to the second com­ming of Christ; Neither need we stand much on this that our Brethren say, that one Catholick visible Church is a night dreame, because no Church is visible save only a particular con­gregation, the externall communion whereof in meeting in one ma­teriall house ordinarily, and partaking of the same word and Sacra­ments, doth incurre in our senses, whereas a Church communion and visible fellowship with the whole Christian Churches on Earth is impossible, and no wayes visible. But I answer, if such a part of the Sea, the Brittish Sea be visible, then are all the Seas on earth visible also, though they cannot all come in one mans senses at one and the same time; so if this Church particular [Page 59] be visible, then all the Churches also in their kind are visible. 2. There be acts of Church-communion externall with all the visible Churches on earth, Ergo, the whole Catholick Church according to these acts is visible. I prove the antecedent, we pray in a Church-way publickly for all the visible Churches on earth, we praise Church-wayes publickly for them, we fast and are humbled Church-wayes before God when they are in trouble, and so ought they to doe with us; we by preaching, writing, and Synodicall constitutions proclaime the common enemie of all the Churches to be the Antichrist, his doctrine and the doctrine of that body whereof he is Head to be false and here­ticall, by writings we call all the people of God to come out of Bab [...]l, and we renounce externall communion with Rome, in Doctrine, Discipline, Ceremonies: and Rites, all which are Church-acts of externall communion with the reformed ca­tholick visible Churches, neither to make a Church visible to us, is it requisi [...]e that we should see the faces of all the members of the Catholick visible Church, and be in one materiall Church with them at once, partaking of the same visible worship: yea, so the Church of Iudea should not be one visible Church, which our Brethren must deny, for they had one Priest hood, on Temple, one Covenant of God visibly professed by all; yet could they not all meete in one materiall Temple to partake to­gether at once of all Gods O dinance [...]. For I partake in ex­ternall worship with these of New England, who are baptised according to Christs institution, without the signe of the crosse, though I never saw their faces. Hence all may see that Oecumenick councel's are de jure and Christs lawfull Ordinan­ces, though de facto they be not, through the corruption of our nature; yet such a visible Church-fellowship in externall Church-communion is kept in the whole catholics Church visible, as may be had, considering the perversity of men, and the ma­lice of Satan.

It is constantly denied by our brethren, that the Church of the Iewes was a congregationall Church, and of that frame and institution with the Christian Church: but that it was peculiar and meerely in laicall to be a nationall Church; yet let me have liberty to offer a necessary distinction here. 1. a nationall Church [Page 60] is either when a whole Nation, and all the Congregations and Synogogues thereof are tied by Divine precept, to some pub­lique acts of typicall worship, in one place, Which the Lord hath chosen; so all Israel were to sacrifice at Jerusalem onely, and the Priests were to officiate in that kind, there onely, and they to pray toward the Temple, or in the Temple, and they to prese [...]t the male children there, as holy to the Lord, Luke 2. 23 &c. this way indeed the Church of the Jewes, in a peculiar manner, was a Nationall Church; and thus farre our brethrens arguments doe well conclude, that the Jewish Church was Nationall in a pe­culiar manner proper to that Church onely. But a Nationall Church is taken in another sense now, for a people to whom the Lord hath revealed his statutes and his testimonies, Whereas he hath not d alt so with every Nation, Psal. 147. 19, 20. which Church is also made up of many Congregations and Synagogues, having one worship and government that doth morally concerne them all. Thus the Iewish Church was once Nationall, and that for a time; God chose them of his free grace, to be a people to him­selfe, Deut. 7. 7. and Deut. 32. 8. When the most high divided to the Nations their inheritance. Iacob was the lot of his inheritance, Amos 3. 2. You onely have I chosen of all the families of the earth. But the Jewish Church was in this sence but Nationall for a time; Now hath God (Act. 11. v. 18.) also granted to the Gentiles repen­tance unto life, and called the Gentiles, and made them a Na­tionall Church, Hos. 1. 11. 1 Pet. 2. 10, 11. Esay 54. 1, 2, 3. that is, he hath revealed his testimonies to England, to Scotland, and He hath not done so to every Nation. So if a false Teacher should goe through Israel and call himselfe the power of God, as Simon Magus did. All the Congreations and Synagogues in Israel might joyne together to condemne him; if there were such a thing as an Arke in Scotland, if it were taken captive as the Pre­lates kept the Gospell in bonds, it were a morall dutie to all the Congregations, to convene in their principall Rulers and Pastors to bring againe the Arke of God, and by the power of Discipline to set it free; and if the whole Land were involved in a Natio­nall apostacie, they are to meet in their principall members, and this is morall to Scotland, as to Israel by Ordinances of the Church to renew a Covenant with God, that his wrath may [Page 61] be turned off the Land. In this sence, we see it never proved, that it was peculiar to Israel, onely to be a Nationall Church.

Nay, I affirme, that the Jewes had their Congregationall Chur­ches, as we have. For that is a Congregationall Church which meeteth, [...] in that same place, for Doctrine and Disci­pline. But the Jewes meet every Sabbath in their Synagogues, for teaching the people, Gods Law, and for Discipline. Ergo, the people of the Jewes had their Congregationall Churches, as we have. The major proposition is the doctrine of our brethren, except they say, (as its like they must) that except they meet to pa [...]take of all the Ordinances of God, they are not a Congrega­tionall Church. Yet truely this is but a knot in a Rush, for 1 Cor. 14 meeting for prophecying onely, is a Church Conven­tion; and the forbidding of women to teach in the Church, is an ordering of a Congregationall worship; and the meeting of the Church for baptising of Infants, is in the mind of our bre­thren the formall meeting of a Congregationall Church, though they should not celebrate the Lords Supper. 2. What Ecclesi­asticall meetings can the meeting of Gods people be, in the Sy­nagogues of God, as they are called▪ Psal. 74. 8 for hearing the Word, and for exercise of Discipline, if not the Church mee­ting in a Congregation? I prove the assumption by parts, and first I take it to be undeniable, that they did meet for doctrine, Act. 15. 21. For Moses of old time hath in every City them that preach him, being read in the Synag [...]g [...]e every Sabbath day. And Ps. 74. 8, 9. these two are joyntly complained of, as a great desolation in the Church, the burning of Gods Synagogues in the Land. And v. 8. that there are no Prophets which know how long. And Math. 9. 35. Christ went about all Cities and Villages teaching in their Synagogues. Luke 4 16. He went into the Synagogue on the Sab­bath day, and stood up to read, Math. 6. 2. And when the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the Synagogue; and many hea­ring him were astonished. Luke 6. 6. And it came to passe, another Sabbath day, he entered into the Synagogue and taught. John 18. 20. I ever taught in the Synagogues, and daily in the Temple whither the Jewes alwayes resort. Math. 13. 54. And when he was come into his own [...] Countrey, he taught them in their Synagogue, in as much as they were astonished. And that there was ruling & govern­ment [Page 62] in the Synagogue, is cleare, 1, by their Rulers of the Synagogue, Act. 13. 15. Act. 18. 17. 8. Luke 13. 14. Marke 5. 22. 35. And if this Ruler had beene any save a Moderator, if he had beene an unlawfull Officer, Christ would not have acknowled­ged him, nor would Paul, at the desire of the Rulers of the Sy­nagogue have preached, as he doth, Acts 13. 15, 16. 2. Also, if there was teaching cisputing, concerning the Law in the Syna­gogue, there behooved to be some ordering of these acts of wor­ship; for onely approved Prophets were licensed to preach in their Synagogues, to say nothing that there was beating in the Synagogues, and therefore there behoved to be Church disci­pline. Hence that word of delivering up to the Synagogue. Luke 21. 12. 3. There was the censure of excommunication, and casting out of the Synagogue, and a cutting off from the Congre­gation. Hence that act of casting out of the Synagogue any who should confesse Jesus. John 12. 42. which they executed on the blind man, John 9. 34. It is true, our brethren deny that there was any excommunication in the Church of the Jewes, and they alledge, that the cutting off from the people of God, was a taking away of the life by the Magistrates Sword; or, (as some other say) Gods immediate hand of judgement upon them. But 1. to be cut off from the congregation, or from the people of God, is never called simply off-cutting, and expounded to be destroying, as it is Genes. 9. 11. but expressed by dying the death: for who will conceive that the Sword of the Magistrate was to cut off the male child that is not circumcised, who is said to be cut off from the people of God, Gen. 17. 14. or to cut off by death the parents? I grant the phrase signifieth bodily death. Exod. 31. 14. and for this God sought to kill Moses. But Divines say it was excommunication, and never Ruler in Israel executed this sen­tence: not Moses, nor any Judge that ever we read tooke away the life of an infant for the omission of a ceremony. Nor are we to thinke, that for eating leavened bread in the time of the Pas­sover, the Magistrate was to take away the life, as is said. Levit. 7. 20, 21. 2. [...]his word, to cut off, is expounded, 1 Cor. 5. to put away; which was not by death, for he willeth them, 2 Cor. 2. to pardon him, and confirme their love to him. 2. Neither could Paul rebuke the Corinthians because Gods hand had not miracu­lously [Page 63] taken him away, or because the Magistrate had not taken away his life, which was not the Corinthians fault. 3. I am per­swaded, to be cast out of the Synagogue, was not to be put to death, because Ioh. 9. the blind man after he is cast out of the Sy­nagogue, Jesus meeteth with him in the Temple, and he believeth and confesseth Christ, and Christ Ioh. 16. distingusheth them cleerely, They shall kill you, and beside that, [...]. They shall excommunicate you. But though it were granted, t [...]t the Jewish Church used not excommunication had they no Ecclesiasticall censures before for that? I thinke it doth not follow; for the excluding of the Leper, that these who touched the dead were legally uncleane, and might not eate the Passover, were censures, but they were not civill; Ergo, Ecclesiasticall they must be, as to be excluded from the Lords Supper is a meer. Ecclesiasticall censure in the Christian Church. Also if Pastors and Preachers be complained of, that not only at Ierusalem, but every where, through all the land, they strengthened not the [...] eased sheep; They did not bind up the broken, nor bring againe the loosed, but with force and cruclty they did governe, Ezek. 34. 4. and if every where, the Prophets did prophecy falsely, and the Priests bare rule by their meanes, and the people lov [...]d to have it so. Jer. 5. 31. Then in Synagogues there was Church-government, as at [...]erusalem; for where the Lord rebuketh any sinne, he doth recommend the contrary duty. Now Prophets and Priests are rebuked, tor their ruling with force and rigour every where, and not at Ierusalem onely, for that they were not compassionate to carry the Lambs in their bosome, as Iesus Christ doth, Esai. 40. 11. their ill government every where must be condemned. 3. Luk. 4. 16. Christ, as his custome was, went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day; Paul and Barnabas were requested, to ex­hort in the Synagogue, as the order was, that Prophets at the direction of the Rulers of the Synagogue, if they had any word of exhortation, they should speake, and consequently their order was that every one should not speake; Ergo, they had cu­stomes and orders of Church-Discipline to the which Christ and his Apostles did submit themselves, And to tie all Church­government to the Temple of Ierusalem were to say, God had ordained his people elsewhere to worship him publickly, but [Page 64] without any order, and that Christ and his Apostles subjected themselves to an unjust order.

I further argue thus. Those Churches be of the same nature, frame, and essentiall Constiutions, which agree in the same es­sentials, and diff [...]r only in accidents; but such are the Church of the Iewes, and the Christian Churches; Ergo, what is the frame and essentiall consti [...]tion of the one Church, must be the frame and essentiall constitution of the other. Ergo, &c. the major is of undeniable certainty. I prove the assumption. These which have the same Faith, and the same externall profession of Faith, these have the same frame and essentiall constitution, but they and we be such Churches; for we have the same cove­nant of grace, Jer. 31. 31. Jer. 32. 39 40. Heb 8. 8, 9 10. There­fore that same faith, differing only in accidents: their faith did looke to Christ to be incarnate, and our faith to that same ve­ry God now manifested in the flesh. Heb. 13. 8. They were saved by faith, as we are, Heb. 11. Acts 10. 42, 43. Acts. 11. 16, 17, 18. and consequently, what visible profession of faith doth constitute the one visible Church, doth constitute the other. I know, Papists, Arminians, Socinians doe make the Doctrine, and Seales of the Iewish and Christian Church much different, but against the truth of Scripture.

The onely answer that can be made to this, must be, that though the Church of the Jewes wanted not congregations, as our Christian Churches have, yet were they a nationall Church of an­other essentiall, visible frame, then are the Christian Churches, because they had positive, typicall, and ceremoniall and carnall com­mandements that they should have one high Priest for the whole nationall Church, the Christian Churches have not for that, one visible Monarch and Pope; they had an Altar, Sacrifices, and divers pollutions ceremoniall, which made persons uncapable of the Passover; but we have no such legall uncleannesse, which can make us un­capable of the Seales of the New Testament: and therefore it was not lawfull to separate from the Jewish Church, in which did sit a typicall High Priest, where were Sacrifices, that did adumbrate the Sacrifice of our great High Priest, & c. not withstanding of scandalous persons in that Church; because there was but one vi­sible Church, out of which was to come the Redeemer Christ, ac­cording [Page 65] to the flesh, but the Christian Churches under the New Testament, be of another frame, Christ not being tyed to one Na­tion, or place, or Congregation: therefore if any one Congregation want the Ordinances of Christ, we may separate therefrom, to another Mount Sion, seeing there bee so many Mount Sions no [...].

Answ. 1. If the Church of the Iewes was a visible Church in its essentiall constitution different from our visible Churches, because they were under the Religions tie of so me carnall, ce­remoniall, and typicall mandats and Ordinances, that we are not under, then doe I inferre, that the Tribe of Levy was not one visible Church, in the essentiall frame, with the rest of the Tribes, which is absurd, for that Tribe conteyning the Priests and Levites, was under the obligatory tie of many typicall Commandements proper and peculiar to them only, as to offer Sacrifices, to wash themselves, when they were to officiate, to weare linnen Ephods, to beare the Arke of the Covenant, now it was sinne for any that were not of the Sonnes of Aaron, or of an­other Tribe to performe these duties; yet, I hope, they made but one nationall Church with the rest of the Tribes. Secondly, I infer, that the Christian Church that now is, cannot be of that same essentiall frame with the Apostolick Churches, because the Apostolick Church, so long as the Jewish ceremonies were indifferent, (in statu [...]) and mortall, but not mortiferae, deadly, was to practice these ceremonies, in the case of scandall, 1 Cor. 10. 31, 32, 33. and yet the Christian Church that now is, can in no sort practice these ceremonies: yea, I inferre that the Eldership of a Congregation doth not make one Church of one and the same essentiall frame and constitution with the people, because the Elders be under an obligatory tie to some positive Divine Commandements, such as are to administer the Seales, Baptisme and the Lords Supper, and yet the multitude of Be­lieveres, in that same congregation, are under no such tie; and certainly if to be under ceremoniall and typicall ordinances doth institute the whole Jewish Church in another essentiall frame different from the Christian Churches, reason would say that then, if the members of one Church be under Divine po­sitive commandements, which doth in no sort tie other mem­bers [Page 66] of the same Church, that then there be divers memberships of different essentiall frames in one and the same Church, which to me is monstrous; for then, because a command is given to A­braham to offer his sonne Isaak to God, and no such command is given to Sarah, in that case Abraham and Sarah shall not bee members of one and the same visible Church. But the truth is, different positive commandments of ceremoniall and typicall ordinances put [...]o new essentiall frame of a visible Church upon the Jewish Church, which is not on the Christian Churches. These were onely accidentall characters and temporary cogni­zances to distinguish the Jewish and Christian Churches, while as both agree in one and the same morall constitution of visible Churches: for first, both had the same faith, one Lord, one co­venant, one Iesus Christ, the same seales of the covenant in sub­stance, both were visibly to professe the same Religion; the dif­ferences of externals made not them and us different visible Churches, nor can our brethren say, they made different bodies of Christ, different Spouses, different royall Generations, as concerning Church-frame. Yet are wee not tied to their high Priest, to their Altars, Sacrifices, Holy dayes, Sabbaths, new Moones, &c. no more then any one private Christian in such a congregation, or a beleeving woman is tied to preach and bap­tize; and yet her pastor Archippus, in that congregation, is tied both to preach and baptize. Secondly, the Jews were to sepa­rate from B thaven, and so are we. Thirdly, they were not to joyne with Idolaters in Idol-worship, neither are we.

2 Whereas it is said that it was not lawfull to separate from the Jewish Church, because in it did sit the typicall high Priest, and the Messiah was to be borne in it, and because they were the onely Church on earth; but now there be many particular Churches. All this is a deception, a non causi [...] pro causâ, for separation from that Church was not forbidden for any typicall or ceremoniall reason, not a shadow of reason can be given from the Word of God for this: Because there can be no ceremoniall argument why there should be communion betwixt light and darknesse, or any concord betwixt Christ and Belial, or any comparting bètwixt the beleever and the infidell, or any agreement of the temple of God with idols, nor any reason typicall why Gods people should goe to Gilgal, [Page 67] and to Bethaven, or to be joyned with idols, or why a David should sit with vaine persons, or goe in to dissemblers, or why he should offer the drinke offerings of these who hasten after a strange god, or take up their names in his mouth. This is then an unwritten tradition; yea, if Dagon had beene brought into the Temple, as the Assy­ [...]ian altar of Damascus was set up in the holy place, the people [...]ught to have separated from Temple and Sacrifices both, so lo [...]g as that abomination should stand in the holy place: Nor can it be proved, that communicating with the Church of Is­rael as a member thereof; was typicall and necessary to make up visible membership, as ceremoniall holinesse is; for to ad­here to the Church in a sound worship, though the fellow-wor­shippers be scandalous, is a morall duty commanded in the se­cond Commandment; as to forsake Church-assemblies is a mo­rall breach of that Commandment, and forbidden to Christians, Hebr. 10. 25. who are under no Law of Ceremonies. And it is an untruth, that those who were legally cleane, and not ceremo­nially polluted, were members of the Jewish visible Church, though otherwise they were most flagitious: For to God they were no more his visible Israel then Sodome and Gomorrah, Isaiah 1. 10. or the children of Ethiopia, Amos 9. 7. and are condem­ned of God, as sinning against the profession of their visible in­corporation in the Israel of God, Jerem. 7. 4, 5, 6, 7. But shall we name and repute them brethren, whom in conscience we know to be as ignorant and void of grace, as any Pagan? I answer, That if they professe the truth, though they walke inordinately, yea, and were excommunicated, Paul willeth us to admonish th [...]m as brethren, 2 Thes. 3. 15. and calleth all the visible Church of Corinth (for he writeth to good and bad) amongst whom were many parta­kers of the table of devils, pleaders with their brethren before heathen, deniers of the resurrection, yea those to whom the Gospell was hidden, 2 Cor. 4. brethren and Saints by calling.

But (say our brethren) to be cast out of the Iewish Church, was to be cast out of the Common-wealth; as to be a member of the Church, and to be a member of the state is all one, because the state of the Jewes and the Church of the Jews was all one; and none is said to be cut off from the people, but he was put to death.

Answ. Surely Esay 66. vers. 5. these who are cast out by their [Page 68] brethren, and excommunicated, are not put to death, but men, who after they be cast out, live till God comfort them and shame their enemies; but he shall appeare for your joy. Secondly, that the state of Gods Israel and the Church be all one, because the Jewish policie was ruled by the judiciall Law, and the judi­ciall Law was no lesse divine then the Ceremoniall Law, is to me a wonder: For I conceive that they doe differ formally, though those same men, who were members of the state, were members also of the Church; but, as I conceive, not in one and the same formall reason; first, because I conceive that the State, by order of nature, is before the Church, for when the Church was in a fa­mily state, God called Abrahams family, and by calling made it a Church. Secondly, the Kingdome of Israel and the house of Israel in covenant with God, as Zion and Jerusalem are thus dif­ferenced, That to be a State was common to the Nation of the Jewes with other Nations, and is but a favour of providence; but to be a Church is a favour of grace, and implieth the Lords calling and chusing that Nation to be his owne people of his free grace, Deut. 7. 7. and the Lords gracious revealing of his Testimonies to Jacob and Israel, whereas he did not so to every Na­tion and State, Psal. 147. 19 20. but say they, The very state of the Iewes was divine, and ruled by a divine and supernaturall policie, as the judiciall Law demonstrateth to us. But I answer, Now you speake not of the state of the Jewes, common with them to all States and Nations; but you speake of such a state and policie which I grant was Divine, but yet different from the Church; because the Church, as the Church is ruled by the morall Law and the Commandments of both Tables, and also by the Ce­remoniall Law; but the Jewish State or Common wealth, as such was ruled by the judiciall Law onely, which respecteth onely the second Table, and matters of mercy and justice, and not piety and matters of Religion which concerne the first Table; and this is a vast difference betwixt the state of the Jews and the Church. Thirdly, when Israel rejected Samuel, and would have a King, conforme to other Nations, they sought that the state and forme of governmnent of the Common-wealth should be changed, and affected conformity with the Nations in their state, by introducing a Monarchy, whereas they were ruled by [Page 69] Judges before; but in so doing they changed not the frame of the Church, nor the worship of God, for they kept the Priest­hood, the whole Morall, Ceremoniall, and Judiciall Law en­tire, and their profession therein; Ergo, they did nothing which can formally destroy the being of a visible Church, but they did much change the face of the state and civill policie, in that they refused God to reigne over them, and so his care in raising up Judges and Saviours out of any Tribe, and brought the go­vernment to a Monarchy, where the Crowne by divine right was annexed to the tribe of Judah. Fourthly, it was possible that the State should remaine entire, if they had a lawfull King sitting upon Davids throne, and were ruled according to the Ju­diciall Law: but if they should remaine without a Priest and a Law, and follow after Baal, and change and alter Gods wor­ship, as the ten Tribes did, and the Kingdome of Iudah in the end did, they should so marre and hurt the being and integrity of a visible Church, as the Lord should say, She is not my wife, Hosea 2. 2. neither am I her husband; and yet they might remaine in that case a free Monarchie, and have a State and policy in some bet­ter frame; though I grant, de facto, these two Twins, State and Church, civill Policy and Religion, did die and live, were sicke and diseased, vigorous and healthy together; yet doth this More, that State and Church are different. And further, if that Nation had made welcome, and with humble obedience belee­ved in, and received the Messiah, and reformed all, according as Christ taught them, they should have beene a glorious Church, and the beloved Spouse of Christ; but their receiving and im­bracing the Messiah should not presently have cured their in­thralled state, seeing now the Scepter was departed from Iudah, and a stranger and heathen was their King; nor was it necessa­ry that that Saviour, whose Kingdome is not of this world, John 18. 36. and came to bestow a spirituall redemption, and not to reestablish a flourishing earthly Monarchy, and came to loose the works of the Devill, Heb. 2: 14. and not to spoile Cesar of an earthly Crowne, should also make the Jews a flourishing State, and a free and vigorous Monarchy againe: Ergo, it is most cleare that State and Church are two divers things, if the one may bee restored, and not the other. Fifthly, the King, as the King [Page 70] was the head of the Common-wealth, and might not meddle with the Priests office, or performe any Ecclesiasticall acts, and therefore was Uzzah smitten of the Lord with leprosie, because he would burne incense, which belonged to the Priests onely. And the Priest in offering sacrifices for his owne sinnes, and the sinnes of the people did represent the Church, not the State. And the things of the Lord; to wit, Church-matters, and the matters of the King, which were civill matters of State, are clearly di­stinguished, 2 Chron. 19. 11. which evidenceth to us, that the Church and State in Israel were two incorporations formally distinguished. And I see not, but those who doe confound them, may also say, That the Christian State and the Christian Church be all one State, and that the government of the one must be the government of the other; which were a confusion of the two Kingdoms. It is true, God hath not prescribed judi­cials to the Christian State, as he did to the Jewish State, because shadows are now gone, when the body Christ is come; but Gods determination of what is morally lawfull in civill Laws, is as par­ticular to us as to them; and the Jewish judicials did no more make the Jewish State the Jewish Church, then it made Aaron to be Moses. and the Priest to be the King and civill Judge: yea, and by as good reason Moses as a Judge should be a prophet, and Aaron as a Prophet should be a Judge; and Aaron as a Priest might put a malefactor to death, and Moses as a Judge should proph [...]sie, and as a Prophet should put to death a malefactor; all which wanteth all reason and sense: and by that same rea­son the State and Common-wealth of the Jews, as a Common-wealth, should offer sacrifices and prophesie; and the Church of the Jews, as a Church, should denounce warre and punish malefactors, which are things I cannot conceive.

Our brethren, in their answer to the eleventh question, teach, That those who are sui juris, as masters of families, are to se­parate To the ele­venth questi­on, pag. 32, 33. Church-government discussed. from these Parish-assemblies, where they must live without any lawfull Ordinance of Christ; and to remaine there they hold it unlawfull for these reasons: First, we are commanded to observe all whatsoever Christ hath commanded, Matth. 28. 10. Secondly, the Spouse seeketh Christ, and rests not till she finde him in the fullest manner, Cant. 1. 7, 8. and 3. 1, 2, 3. David lamented when hee [Page 71] wanted the full fruition of Gods Ordinances, Psal. 63. and 42. and 84. although he injoyed Abiathar the high Priest, and the Ephod with him, and Gad the Prophet, 1 Sam. 23. 6, 9. 10. 1 Sam. 22. 8. So did Ezra 8. 15, 16. yea and Christ, though he had no need of Sa­craments, yet for example, would be baptized, keepe the Passeo­ver, &c. Thirdly, no ordinances of Christ may be spared, all are profitable. Fourthly, he is a proud man, and knoweth not his owne heart in any measure, who thinketh he may be well without any Or­dinance of Christ. Fifthly say they, it is not enough the people may be without sinne, if they want any ordinances through the fault of the superiours, for that is not their fault who want them, but the su­periours sinfull neglect, as appeareeth by the practice of the Apostles, Acts 4. 19. and 5. 29. For if they had neglected Church-ordinan­ces lb. pag. 35, 36. till the Magistrates, who were enemies to the Gospell, had com­manded them, it had beene their grievous sinne. For if superiours neglect to provide bodily food, we doe not thinke that any mans con­science would be so scrupulous, but he would thinke it lawfull by all good meanes to provide in such a case for himselfe, rather then to sit still, and to say, If I perish for hunger, it is the sinne of those who have authority over me, and they must answer for it. Now any or­dinance of Christ is as necessary for the good of the soule, as food is necessary for temporall life.

Ans. 1. I see not how all these Arguments, taken from morall commandments, doe not oblige sonne as well as father, servant as master, all are Christs free men, sonne or servant, so as they are to obey what over Christ commandeth, Matth. 18. 10. and with the Spouse to seeke Christ in the fullest measure, and in all his ordinan­ces, and sonne and servant are to know their owne heart, so as they have need of all Christs ordinances; and are no more to remaine in a congregation where their soules are samished, because fathers and masters neglect to remove to other congregations, where their souls may be fed in the fullest measure; then the Apostles Acts 4. 29. and 5. 29 were to preach no more in the Name of Iesus, because the Rulers commanded them to preach no more in his Name. And therefore, with reve [...]ence of our godly bre­thren, I thinke this distinction of persons free, and sui juris, and of sonnes and servants, not to be allowed in this point.

2. It is one thing to remove from one congregation to an­other, [Page 72] and another thing to separate from it, as from a false constitute Church, and to renounce all communion therewith, as if it were the Synagogue of Satan and Antichrist, as the Sepa­ratists doe, who refuse to heare any Minister ordained by a Prelate: now except these arguments conclude separation in this latter sense, as I thinke they can never come up halfeway to such a conclusion, I see not what they prove, nor doe they answer the question, &c. concerning standing in Parish-assemblies in Old England, and if it be lawfull to continue in them. Which questi­on must be expounded by the foregoing, Quest. 10. If you hold that any of our Parishionall assemblies are true visible Churches, &c. Hence the 11. Question goeth thus in its genuine sense; are we not then to separate from them, as from false Churches? Now neither the Spouse, Cant. 1. 7. c. 3. 1. 2, 3. nor David, Psal. 63. Psal. 42. Psal. 84 nor Ezra. 8. 15, 16. nor Christ, in these cases when they sought Christ in all his Ordinances in the fullest mea­sure, were members of false Churches: nor did they seeke to Separate from the Church of Israel, nor is it Christs command, Mat. 28. 10. to separate from these Churches, and to renounce all communion with them, because these who sate in Moses Chaire, did neglect many Ordinances of Christ, for when they gave the false meaning of the Law, they stole away the Law, and so a principall ordinance of God, and yet Christ (I believe) forbad separation, when he commanded that they should heare them, Mat. 23.

3. Nor doe I judge that because there was but one visible Church, in Israel, and therefore it was not lawfull to separate therefrom, and because under the New Testament there be many visible Churches, and many Mount Sions, therefore this abun­dance doth make separation from a true Church, lawfull to us, which was unlawfull to the people of the Jewes. For separati­on lawfull, is, to not partake of other mens sins, not to converse bre­therly with knowen flagitious Men, not to touch any uncleane thing, not to have communion with Infidels, Idols, Belial, &c. Now this is a morall duty obliging Iewes and Gentiles, and of perpetuall equity; and to adhere to, and worship God aright, in a true Church is also a morall branch of the second commande, and a seeking of Christ, and his presence and face in his owne Or­dinances, [Page 73] and what was simply morall, and perpetually lawfull, the contrary thereof cannot be made lawfull, by reason of the multitude of Congregations.

4. The most that these arguments of our Brethren doe prove, is but that it is lawfull to goe, and dwell in a Congregation where Christ is worshiped in all his Ordinances, rather then to remaine in that Congregation, where he is not worshipped in all his Ordinances; and where the Church censures are neglect­ed, which to us is no separation from the visible Church, but a removall from one part of the visible Church to another, as he separateth not out of the house, who removeth from the Gallery, to remaine and lie and eate in the Chamber of the same House, because the Gallery is cold and smoaky, and the Chamber not so, for he hath not made a vow never to set his foote in the Gallery. But to our Brethren to separate or re­move from a Congregation, is to be dismembred from the only visible Church on Earth, for to them there is not any visible Church on Earth, except a congregation. And our Brethrens mind in al these arguments, is to prove, that not only it is unlaw­full to stand in the Parish assemblies of Old England, because of Popish ceremonies (and we teach separation from these ce­remonies to be lawfull, but not from the Churches) but also that it is necessary, to adjoyne to independent Congregations, as to the onely true visible Churches on Earth, and to none others, except we would sinne against the second Commande­ment, which I conceive is proved by not one of these arguments. And to them all I answer, by a deniall of the connex propo­sition. As this, These who must doe all which Christ command­eth, and seek Christ in all his necessary Ordinances, though supe­riors will not doe their duties, these must separate from true visible Churches, where all Christs Ordinances are not, and joyne to in­dependent Congregations, as to the only true visible Churches on Earth. This proposition I deny. 5. If our Brethrens argument hold sure that we are to separate from a Church, in which we want some Ordinances of Christ, through the Officers negli­gence, because (say they Church go­vernment dis­cussed, answer to quest. 11. pag. 33.) The Spouse of Christ will not rest, seeking Her beloved untill she finde him, in the fullest manner, Cant. 1. v. 7. & 3. 1, 2. then the Spouse Cant. 1. 7. & 3. 1, 2. is separat­ing [Page 74] from one Church to another, which the Text will not beare. 2. I would have our reverend Brethren to see and consider, if this argument doth not prove (if it be nervose and concludent) that one is to separate from a Congregation, where are all the Ordinances of Christ, as in New England now they are, so being, hee goe from a lesse powerfull and lesse spirituall Mini­stery, to another Congregation, where incomparably there is a more powerfull and more spirituall Ministery, for in so doing the separater should onely not rest as the Spouse doth, Cant. 1. & 3. seeking his beloved untill he find Him, in the fullest manner. For he is to be found in a fuller manner, under a more power­full Ministery, and in a lesse full manner under a lesse power­full Ministery. But this separation I thinke our Brethren would not allow, being contrary to our Brethrens Church-Oath which tieth the professor to that congregation, whereof he is a sworne member to remaine there. 6. The designe and scope of our reverent Brethrens argument, is that professors ought to separat from Churches where presbyteriall government is, because in these Churches, Professors, as they conceive, doe not injoy all the Ordinances of God. Because they injoy not the so­ciety of a Church consisting of onely visible Saints, and they injoy not the free use of the censure of excommunication in such a manner as in their owne Churches, and because in them the Seales are often administred by those Pastors who are Pa­stors of another Congregation then their owne, and for other causes also, which we thinke is not sound doctrine.

But we thinke it no small prejudice (say our Brethren) to the liberty given to a congregation, in these words, Mat. 18. Tell the Church, if he heare not the Church, &c. That the power of excommunication should be taken from them, and given to a Presbyterian, or nationall Church, and so your Churches wante some ordinances of Christ.

Answ. Farre be it from us, to take from the Churches of Christ any power which Christ hath given to them, for we teach that Christ hath given to a single congregation, Mat. 18. a power of excommunication, but how? 1. He hath given to a congregation thats alone in an Iland separated from all other visible Churches a power which they may exercise there [Page 75] alone, and. 2. He hath given that power to a congregation When Christ layeth [...] a warrant for the power of bind­ing and loose­ing given to all Churches, his wisdome hath fitted the rule, so that it agree to al churches, to a congre­gation thats alone in a re­mote Iland, to a Church pres­byteriall, or na­tionall, as Par­ker doth apply it to prove the power of Sy­nods. consociated with other sister congregations, which they may use but not independently, to the prejudice of the power that Christ hath given to other Churches, for seeing all sister Churches are in danger to be infected with the leaven of a con­tu [...]acious member, no lesse then that single congreation, wher­of the contumacious resideth as a member, Christs wisdome, who careth for the whole, no lesse then for the part, cannot have denied a power conjunct with that congregation to save them­selves from contag [...]ons, to all the consociated Churches, for if they be under the same danger of contagion with the one single congregation, they must be armed and furnished, by Christ Iesus, with the same power against the same ill: so the power of excommunication is given to the congregation, but not to the congregation alone, but to all the congregations ad­jacent, so when I say, the God of Nature hath given to the hands a power to defend the body, I say true, and if evill doe invade the body, nature doth tell it, and warne the hands to defend the body, but it followeth not from this, &c. if the power of defending the body be given by the God of Nature, to the hands therefore that same power of defence is not given to the feete also, to the eye to foresee the ill, to reason, to the will to command that locomotive power, that is in all the members, to defend the body, and if nature give to the Feete a power to defend the body, by fleeing, it is not consequence to infer, O then hath nature denied that power to the hands by fighting, so when Christ giveth to the congregation (which in consociated Churches to us is but a part, a member, a fellow­sister of many consociated congregations) he giveth also that same power of excommunicating one common enemy, to all the consociated Churches, without any prejudice to the power given to that congregation whereof he is a member, who is to be excommunicated, because a power is commmon to many members, it is not taken away from any one member. When a Nationall Church doth excommunicate a man who hath killed his Father, and is, in an eminent manner, a publick stumbling [...]lock to all the congregations of a whole Nation, it is presum­ [...]d that the single congregation, whereof this parricide is a [Page 76] member, doth also joyne with the nationall Church and put in exercise its owne power of excommunication, with the na­tionall Church, and therefore that congregation is not spoyled of its power, by the nationall Church, which joyneth with the nationall Church in the use of that power. And this I thinke may be thus demonstrated, The power of excomunication is gi­ven by Christ, to a congregation not upon a positive ground, because it is a visible instituted Church, or as it is a congrega­tion, but this power is given to it upon this formall ground and reason, because a congregation is a number of sinfull men, who may be scandalized and infected with the company of a scandalous person; this is so cleare that if a congregation were a company of Angels, which cannot be infected, no such power should be given to them, even as there was no neede that Christ as a member of the Church either of Iewes, or Christians should have a morall power of avoyding the company of Publicans and sinners, because he might possibly convert them, but they could no wayes pervert, or infect him, with their scandalous and wicked conversation, therefore is this power given to a congre­gation, as they are men, who though frailty of nature, may be If a little body of a congrega­tion, in a re­mote Isle, have power from Christ, to cut off a rotten member, l [...]st it infect the whole body; shall we doubt but our wise lawgiver hath given that same power to a greater body of many visible congregations, which is under the danger of the same con­ [...]agious infecti­on? leavened with the bad conversation of the scandalous, who are to be excommunicated, as is cleare, 1 Cor. 5. 6. Your glorying is not good, know yee not that a little leaven leavneth the whole lumpe? therefore are we to withdraw our selves from Drunkards, Fornicators, Extortioners, Idolaters, and are not to eate and drinke with them, v. 10. And from these who walke inordi­nately, and are disobedient, 1 Thess. 3. 12, 13, 14. And from Hereticks after they be admonished, lest we be infected with their company, just as nature hath given hands to a man, to de­send himselfe from injuries and violence, and hornes to oxen to hold off violence, so hath Christ given the power of ex­communication to his Church, as spirituall armour to ward off, and defend the contagion of wicked fellowship. Now this re­duplication of fraile men which may be leavened, agreeth to all men of many consociated congregations, who are in danger to be infected with the scandalous behavior of one member of a single congregation, and agreeth not to a congregation as such, therefore this power of excommunication must be given to [Page 77] many confociated congregations, for the Lord Iesus his salve, must be as large, as the wound, and his mean must be proportio­ned to his end. 2. The power of Church [...]jection and Church separation of scandalous persons must be given to those to whom the power of Church communion, and Church confirming of Christian love to a penitent excommunicate is given, for con­traries are in the same subject, as hot and cold, seeing and blind­nesse, but the power of Church-communio at the same Lords table, and of mutuall rebuking and exhorting, and receiving to grace after repentance, agreeth to members of many consociated Churches, as is cleare, Col. 3. 16. Heb. 10. 23. 2 Cor. 2 6, 7, and not to one congregation only; Ergo, &c. the assumption is cleare, for except we deny communion of Churches, in all Gods Ordi­nances, we must grant the truth of it.

2. We say that of our Saviours (tell the Church) is not to be drawen to such a narrow circle, as to a Parishionall Church on­ly, the Apostle practice is against this, for when Paul and Ban­nabas had no small dissention with the Iewes of a particular Church, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certaine others of them, should goe and tell the Apostles, Elders and whole Church Nationall or Oecumemek, Acts 15. 2. v. 22. and complaine of those who taught that, they behoved to be circumcised, Acts 15. 1. and that greater Church v. 22. 23. commanded by their ecclesiastick authority the contrary, and those who may lay on burdens of commandements as this greather Church doth expresly, v. 28. Acts 16. v. 4. ch. 2. v. 25. they may censure and excommunicate the disobeyers. And Acts 6. 1. the Greek Church complained, Acts 6. of the Hebrewes, to a greater and superior Church of Apostles, and a multitude made up of both these v. 2. and 5. and they redresed the wrongs done to the Grecian Wid­dowes by appointing Deacons; also though there was no com­plaint, Acts 1. Yet was there a defect in the Church, by the death of Judas, and a catholike visible Church did meete, and helpe the defect, by chosing Mathias: it is true the ordination of Matthias the Apostle, was extraordinary, as is cleare by Gods immediate directing of the lots, yet this was ordinary and per­petuall, that the election of Mathias was by the common suff [...]ages of the whole Church, Acts 1. 26. and if we suppose [Page 78] that the Church had been ignorant of that defect, any one mem­ber knowing the defect, was to tell that catholick Church, whom it concerned to choose a catholick Officer; we thinke An­tioch had power great enough intensively to determine the controversie, Acts 15. but it followeth not that the catholick Church v. 22. (let me terme it so) had not more power extensively to determine that same controversie, in behalfe of both Antioch, and of all the particular Churches: subordinate powers are not contrary powers.

CHAP. 5. SECT. 5. PROP. 3. QUEST. 6.

Manuscript.

ALL who would be saved must be added to the Church, as Acts 2. 47. The way of the Church of Christ in. N. Eng. If God offer opportunity, Gen. 17. 7. Because every Christian standeth in need of all the Ordinances of Christ, for his Spirituall edification in holy fellowship with Christ Jesus. Answer: for clear­ing of this we are to discusse this question. Whether all, and every true believer must joyne himselfe to a particular visible congrega­tion, which hath independently power of the keys within it selfe, God offering opportunity, if he would be saved?

1 Dist. There is a necessity of joyning our selves to a visible Church, but it is not necessitas medii, but necessitas praecepti, it is not such a necessity, as all are damned who are not within some visible Church, for Augustine is approved in this, there be many Wolves within the Church, and many sheepe without; but if God offer opportunity, all are obl [...]ged by God his Command [...]ment of confessing Christ before men, to joyne themselves to the true visible Church.

2. Dist. There is a f [...]llowship with the visible Church internall, of hidden believers, in the Romish Babel this is sufficient for sal­vation, necessitate medii, but though they want opportunity to joyne themselves to the Reformed visible Churches, yet doe they sin in the want of a profession of the truth and in not witnessing against the Antichrist, which is answerable to an adjoyning of themselves to a visible Church, And so those who doe not professe the Faith of the true visible Church, God offering opportunity, deny Christ before men, and this externall fellowship is necessary to all, necessi­tate [Page 79] praecepti, though our Lord graciously pardon this as an in­firmity in his own, who for feare of cruell persecution, often dare [...] confesse Christ.

3. Dist. The question is not whether all ought to joyne themselves [...] [...]isible Church, God offering occasion, but, if all ought by Christs command, to joyne themselves to the Churches indepen­dent of their visible Congregations, if they would be saved? our Bre­thren [...] it, we deny it.

1. Concl. An adjoyning to a visible Church either formally to be a member thereof, or materially, confessing the Faith of the true visible Church, God offering occasion, is necessary to all. 1. Because we are to be ready to give a confession of the [...]pe that is in us, to every one who asketh, 1 Pet. 3. 15. 2 Be­cause he who denieth Christ before men, him also will Christ deny before [...] Father, and before the holy Angells, Mat. 10. 33. 3 Yet if some die without the Church, having Faith in Christ, and want opportunity to confesse him before men, as repenting in the h [...]u [...]e of death, their salvation is sure, and they are with­in the invisible Church: so is that to be taken, extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, none can be saved who are every way without the Church, both visible and invisible; as all perished who were not in Ncahs Arke.

2. Concl. When God offereth opportunity, all are obliged to joyne themselves to a true visible Church. 1. Because God hath promised his presence to the Churches as his Sonne walketh in the midst of the golden candlesticks, Rev. 2. 2. 2 Because Faith commeth by hearing a sent Preacher, Rom. 10. 4. 3 Separa­tion from the true visible Church is condemned, Heb. 10. 24. Iud. v. 19. 1 Iohn. 2. 19. 4. Good men esteeme it a rich favour of God to lay hold on the skirt of a Jew, Zech. 8. 23. and to have any communion, even as a doore keeper in Gods House, and have desired it exceedingly and complained of the want thereof, Psal. 84. 10. v. 1, 2. Psal. 27. 4, Psal. 42. 1, 2, 3, 4. Psal. 63. v. 1, 2.

3. Concl. Our brethren, with reverence of their godlinesse and learning, erre, who hold all to be obliged, as they would be saved, to joyne to such a visible congregation of independent jurisdiction, as they conceive to be the only true Church vi­sible [Page 80] instituted by Christ. That this is their mind is cleare by the first proposition of this Manuscript, and by their answer The 12. question pro­pounded by the godly and lear­ned Brethren of old England. to the 12 Question where they say, that all not within their visible congregation as fixed sworne members thereof, are with­out the true Church, in the Apostles meaning, 1 Cor. 5. 12. what have I to doe to judge them also that are without? doe not yee judge them that are within? which is a most violent torturing of the word. For, 1. without are dogs, Rev. 22. so our brethren expound the one place by the other, then all not fixed mem­bers of the congregationall Church (as they conceive it) of Corinth, are dogs, what? was there not a Church of Saints on earth at this time, but in one independent congregation of Corinth? and were all the rest Dogs and Sorcerers? 2. If judge­ing here especially is the censure of Excommunication used according unto Christs institution, that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord, and so to be used only toward regenerated persons, then Paul was to intend the salvation of none by Ex­communication, but these who are members of one single con­gregation, who are within this visible house of Christ, then all the rest are without the house and so in the state of damna­tion. 3. These who are without here are in a worse case, then if they were judged by the Church, that their spirit may be saved. So they are left, v. 13. to a severe judgement, even to the im­mediate judgement of God, as Cajetan. coment. ib. Cajetan doth well observe; for, sayth Eras. Sarcer. in loc. Erasmus Sarcerius, Deus publica & occulta sce­ler a non sinet impunita, and Bullinger oomment. Bullinger maketh (as it is cleare) an answer to an objection, shall these who are without, even the wicked Gentiles commit all wickednesse without punishment? The Apostle answereth, that, (saith he) God shall judge them, Non impune in vitiorum lacunis se provolvent prophani, sed de­stinato tempore commeritas dabunt Deo ultori paenas. And Paraeus v. 13. Paraeus, num impune ibunt eorum scelera? [...]mo Judicem Deum invenient. 4. These who are within here, are these who are of Christs family, sayth P. Martyr. ib. P. Martyr, and opposite to Gentiles and infidels saith Paraeus in [...]s. 12. Paraeus, for all men are divided into two ranks, some domesticks, and within the Church, and to be judged by the Church; and some strangers, without the covenant, not in Christ, neither in profession, nor truth, as Gentiles, who are left [Page 81] to the severity of Gods judgement, but our Brethrens Text shall beare that Paul divideth mankind into three ranke. 1. Some within, as true members of the Church. 2. Some without as in­fidels, and some without as not members of a fixed congrega­tion, now Believers without, and not members of a fixed congregation, are not left to the severity of the immediate judg­ment of God, as these who are without here, because they are to be rebuked, yea nor was the excommunicated man, after he should be cast out, left to the immediate judgement of God: but he was, 1. To remaine under the medicine of excommuni­cation, and dayly to be judged, and eschewed as a Heathen, that his spirit may be saved. 2. He was to be rebuked as a brother 2 T [...]ess. 3. 15. 3. Paul saying what have I to doe to judge these that are without, God judgeth them, he meaneth as much, as he will not acknowledge them, as any wayes belonging to Christ; but the believers of approved piety, because they are not mem­bers of a fixed congregation, are not thus cast off of Paul, he became all things to all men, that he might gaine some, and would never cast off Believers, and say what have I to doe with you? In a word; by those who are without are meant Gentiles, as Ambrosus. Ambrose Oecumenius in loc. Oecumenius Theophylact. Theophilact. &c. Calvin. Calvin Pet. Martyr. comment. Martyr Bullinger. Bullinger Pareus Paraeus Beza. Beza, Pelican. Pelican. Pomeran cō. Pomeranus Meyer. Meyer Sarcerius com. Sarcerius Marloratus. Marloratus Paraphraste [...]. Pa­raphras. Haymo com. the Papists, Haymo Aquinas. Aquinas and Eras [...] Paraph. with them Erasmus, and all who ever commented on this place. Lastly, our Brethren expound these, who are within, to be the Church of Corinth, Saints by calling, and Saints in Christ Jesus, these to whom he prayeth grace and peace unto, and for whom he thank­eth God for the grace given to them by Iesus Christ, 1 Cor. 1. 2. 3. Now these thus within must be regenerated, and opposed to all not within: this way, but without, that is who are not Saints by calling, not in Christ Iesus, then by these who are without, cannot be understood, all not fixed members of one visible Congregation, who yet are by true faith in Christ Iesus; and our Brethren must mean, that Paul, if he were living, would take no care to judge, and censure us, who believe in Christ, and are members of provinciall and nationall Churches, and are not members of such an independent Congregation, [Page 82] as they conceive to be the only instituted visible Church of the New Testament.

But if they all not without the state of salvation who are not members of such an independent flock. 1. All the Churches of Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Th [...]ssalonica, Philippi, Rome, the seven Churches of Asia, who were not such independent Churches must be in the state of damnation. 2. All are here obliged, who looke for salvation, by Iesus Christ, to joyne themselves to this visible independent Church; then all who are not members of such a Church are in the state of damnation, if (say our bre­thren) they know this to be the only true Church, and joyne not to it. O but ignorance cannot save men from damnation, for all are obliged to know this so necessary a meane of salvation, where only are the meane [...] of salvation, for then it should ex­cuse Scribes and Pharisees, that they believed not in Christ, for they knew him not, and if they had knowen, they would not have crucisied the Lord of glory. 1 Cor. 2. 9, 10. Now we judge this to be the revived error of-the Donatists, whose mind was as Augustine saith, haeres. 69. Eccl. siam Christi de [...]oto te [...]rarum or [...]e [...], [...] (que) [...]s Africa Do­na [...]i parte re­mansyle. Augustine saith, that the Church of Christ was only in that part of Africa, where Donatus was, and Augustine writing to Vincentius Augustin. Epist. 48 ad Uincent in illa verba, indica, ubi pascis in meridie Viden. solam & solam illi in Me­ridie, vos in oc­cidents? saith Morton apolog p. 1. c. 31. answer­eth Bellarmine de Ecclesia mil­ [...] l. 3. c. 13. objecteth the same, as Morton an­swereth Bellarmine, and the same say Papists with Donatists, that out of the Church of Rome there is no salvation. And Field of the Church 3. book. 28. ch. Field answereth well, yee are to be charged with donatisme, who deny all Christian societies in the World, [...]to be where the Popes feete are not kissed, to pertaine to the true Church of God, and so cast into Hell all the Churches of Aethiopia, Armenia, Syri [...], Graecia, Russia, and so did Optatus (sayth Morton grand imposture ch. 14. 2. challeng p. 342. Morton, Answer, Donatists you will have the Church only to be where you art, but in Dacia, Misi [...], Thracia, Achaia, &c. where you are not, you will not have it to be, nor will you have it to be in Graecia, Cappadocia, Aegypt, &c. Where you are not, and in innumerable Istes and Provinces. See how Gerardus refuteth this Gerard. to. 5. de Ecclesia c. 4. p. 231. 232. nu. 35. and certainly, if this be the only true visible Christian Church, to which all who looke for salvation by Christ Jesus, must joyne them­selves, there is not in the Christian World, a true visible Church but with you. 3. I [...] all upon hazard of losing salva­tion, must joyne to such a Church, having power of juris­diction [Page 83] independently within it selfe, then must all separate from all the reformed Churches, where there be provinciall and nationall Churches, now this is also the error of the Do­natists and Anabaptists, against which read what Pa [...]k [...]r [...]n the Crosse parag. 2. c. 9. p. 113. d [...] c. 14. learned Parker saith and reverend Brightman in Apocal. 3. Brightman, and Cartwright repl. 1. p. 175. Cartwright, but of this hereafter. 4. The principall reason given by the Au­thor, is, The Lord added to the Church Acts 2. such as should be saved, this is not in the independent visible Congregation, as is proved elsewhere. A second reason he giveth, because every Christian standeth in neede of the Ordinances of Christ, for his spi­rituall edification, in holy fellowship, with Christ Iesus, or else Christ ordained them in vaine, therefore all who would be sa­ved, must joyne to a visible independent congregation; hence no Church hath title and due right to the Word and Sacra­ments, but members of such a congregation: this is the reason why men of approved piety are denied the Seales of the cove­nant, and their children excluded from Baptisme and them­selves debarred from the Lords Supper, because they are not members of your congregation, and members they cannot be, because they finde no warrant from Gods Word, to sweare your Church-covenant, and to your Church-government, which is so farre against the Word of God: the Seales of the covenant belong to all professing Believers, as Gods Word sayth, Acts 10. 47. Acts 8. 37. Acts 16. 31, 32, 33. 1 Cor. 11. 28. Whether Non distinguen­dum, ubi lex, ubi legislator non distinguit. he be a member of a particular independent Church, or not, God the Lawgiver maketh not this exception, neither should man doe it.

Propos. 3. All are entered by covenant into a Church-state, Manuscript ch. 1. sect. 3. or into a membership of a visible Church.

Answ. Here are we to encounter with a matter much pres­sed by our reverend Brethren, called a Church covenant. A Treatise came unto my hand in a Manuscript of this Subject; In their Apology, and in their answer to the questions pro­pounded by the Brethren of Old England this is much pres­sed. I will first explaine the Church-covenant according to our reverend Brethrens minde. 2: Prove there is no such thing in Gods Word. 3. Answer their Arguments taken out of the Old Testament. 4. Answer their Arguments from the [Page 84] New Testament, both in this Treatise here in this Chapter, and hereafter; and also their arguments in all their Treatises. Hence for the first two, I begin with this first question.

Whether or not all are to he In-churched or entered Members of a visible Church by an explicit, and vocall or prof [...]ssed Co­venant?

Our brethrens mind is first to be cleared. 2. The state of the question to be explained. 3. The truth to be confirmed. In the answers to the questions Quest. 8. sent to New England they require of all persons come to age, before they be received members of the Church:

1. A publiqu [...] vocall declaration of the manner and soundnesse of their conversion, and that either in continued speech (saith Apology of the Church­es of New England, c. 3. the Apologie) or in answer to questions propounded by the Elders.

2. They require a publick prof [...]ssion of their faith, concerning the articles of their religion, the foresaid way also.

3. An expresse vocall covenanting by oath, to walke in that faith; and to submit (saith the Authour) The way of the Church of Christ in New England, ch. 1. sect. 1. prop. 3. themselves to God, and one to another, in his feare; and to walke in a professed subjection to all his holy Ordinances, cleaving one to another, as fellow members of the same body in brotherly love and holy watchfulnesse unto mutuall edification in Christ Iesus.

4. And a covenanting, not to depart from the said Church, with­out the consent thereof.

This Church-covenant (saith the Apologie) Apology for the Church of N. E. ch. 3. is the essentiall or formall cause of a visible Church, as a flocke of Saints is the mate­riall cause, and so necessarily of the being of a Church, that without it none can claim Church-communion; and therefore it is that whereby a Church is constituted in its integrity, that whereby a fallen Church is againe restored; and that, which being taken away, the Church is dissolved, and ceaseth to be a Church; and it is that whereby Ministers have power over the people, and people interest in their Ministers, and one member hath interest and powerover another fellow-member.

The manner of entring in Church-state is this:

1. A number of Christians, with a gifted or experienced Elder meet often together (saith this Way of the Church, chap. 1. sect. 2. Authour) about the things of God, and performe some duties of prayer, and spirituall conference together, till a sufficient company of them be well satisfied, in the spiri­tuall [Page 85] good estate one of another, and so have approved themselves to one anothers consciences, in the sight of God, as living stones, fit to be said on the Lords spirituall Temple.

2. They having acquainted the Christian Magistrate, and neerest adjoyning Churches, of their purpose of entring into Church-fellow­ship convene in a day kept with fasting and praying, and preaching, one b [...]ing chosen with common consent of the whole, in name of the rest, standeth up, and propoundeth the covenant, in the foresaid four Articles above named.

3. All the rest declare their joynt consent in this covenant, either by silence, or word of mouth, or writing,

4. The brethren of other Churches, some specials, in name of the rest, reach out to them the right hand of fellowship, exhorting them to stand stedfast in the Lord. Which done, prayers made to God for pardon and acceptance of the people, a Psalm is sung.

But when a Church is to be gathered together of Infidels, they must be first converted believers, and so fit materials for Church fellowship, before any of those things can be done by them.

5. Baptisme maketh none members of the visible Church.

6. A Church fallen, cannot be accepted of God to Church fellow­ship, till they renew their Church covenant. Thus shortly for their mind about the gathering of a visible Church. Let these distin­ctions be considered for the right stating of the question.

1. Distinct. There is a covenant of free grace, betwixt God and sinners, founded upon the surety Christ Iesus; laid hold on by us, when we believe in Christ, but a Church Covenant differenced from this is in question, & sub judice lis est.

2. Distinct. There is a covenant of baptisme, made by all, and a covenant vertuall and implicite renewed, when we are to receive the Lords Supper, but an explicite positive professed Church covenant, by oa [...]h in-churching a person, or a society, to a State-church is now questioned.

3. Distinct. An explicite vocall Covenant whereby we bind our selves to the first three Articles in a tacite way, by entring in a new relation to such a Pastor, and to such a Flocke, we deny not, as if the thing were unlawfull▪ for we may sweare to performe Gods comman­dements, observing all things requisite in a lawfull oath. 2. But that such a covenant is required by divine institution, as the essenti­all [Page 86] forme of a Church and Church-membership, as though without this none were entered members of the visible Churches of the Apo­stles, nor can now be entered in Church-state, nor can have right unto the seales of the covenant, we utterly deny.

4. Distinct. We grant a covenant in Baptisme which is the seale of our entry unto the visible Church. 2. That it is requisit that such Heretickes, Papists, Infidels, as be received as members of our visible Church, (from which Papists have fallen, having received bap­tisme from us) doe openly professe subjection to God, and his Church, in all the Ordinances of God. And that Infidels give a confession of their faith, before they be baptized. 3. Nor deny we that at the ele­ction of a Pastor, the Pastor and people tie themselves, by recipro­cation of oathes, to each other, the one to fulfill faithfully the mini­stery that he hath received of the Lord; the other to submit to his ministery in the Lord, but these reciprocall oathes, make neither of them members of a visible Church, for they were that before these oathes were taken.

5. Distinct. Any professor removing from one congregation to another, and so comming under a new relation to such a Church, or such a Ministery, is in a tacite and vertuall covenant to discharge himselfe in all the duties of a member of that Congre­gation, but this is nothing for a Church-covenant; for when six are converted in the congregation whereof I am a member, or an excommunicated person heartily and unfainely repenteth, there ariseth a new relation betwixt those converts and the Church of God; and a tie and obligation of duties to those per­sons greater then was before, as being now members of one my­sticall and invisible body. Yet cur brethren cannot say, there is requisite, that the Church renew their Church-covenant to­wards such, seeing the use of the Covenant renewed is to restore a fallen Church, or to make a non-Church to be a Church; and if those six be converted by my knowledge, there resulteth thence an obligation of a vertuall and tacite covenant betwixt them and me; but there is no need of an explicite and vocall cove­nant, to tie us to duties that we are now obliged to in a stricter manner then we were before; for when one is taken to be a steward in a great family, there may be a sort of Covenant be­twixt that servant and the Lord of the house, and there resulteth [Page 87] from his office and charge a tie and obligation, not onely to the head of the family, but also to the children and fellow-ser­vants of the house; but there is no need of an expresse, vocall, and professed covenant betwixt the new steward and the chil­dren and servants; yea and strangers also, to whom he owes some acts of steward-duties, though there doe result a vertuall cove­nant. Farre lesse is there a necessity of an expresse and vocall covenant before that steward can have claime to the keyes, or be received in office. So when one entereth into covenant with God, and by faith layeth hold on the covenant, there resulteth from that act of taking the Lord to be his God, a covenant-obli­gation to doe duty to all men, as the covenant of God doth ob­lige him; yea, and to doe workes of mercy to his beast (for a good man will have mercy on the life of his beast) and he is obliged to a duty by that covenant with God to his children, which are not yet borne, to servants who are not yet his servants, but shall hereafter be his servants, to these who are not yet converted to Christ, now it is true a vertuall and tacite covenant, resulteth toward all these, even toward the beast, the children not yet borne, &c. when the person first by faith entereth in covenant with God; but none, master of common sense and judgement will say there is required a vocall and explicite, and professed cove­nant, betwixt such an one entered in covenant with God, and his beast, and his children not yet borne, or that the foresaid tacite and vertuall covenant, which doth but result from the man his covenanting with God is either the cause, or essence, or formall reason, whereby he is made a formall contracter and covenanter with God. So, though when I enter a member of such a congregation, there ariseth thence an obligation of duty, or a tacite covenant, tying me in duties to all members present, or which shall be members of that congregation, though they should come from India; yet in reason it cannot be said, that there is required an expresse vocall covenant betwixt me and all, who shall be fellow-members of this congregation; and farre lesse that such a covenant doth make me a member of that congrega­tion, yea because I am already a member of that congregation; thence ariseth a tacite covenant toward such and such duties and persons.

[Page 88] 6. I understand not how our brethren doe keepe Christian and religious communion, with many professours of approved piety, and that in private conference, praying together, and publiquely praising together, and yet deny to have any Church-communion with such approved professors, in partaking with them the seales of the covenant, and censures of the Church, I doubt how they can comfort the feeble minded, and not also warne and rebuke them, which are called acts of Church-c [...]nsure.

Then the question is not, if there be a tacit and vertuall cove­nant when persons become members of such a visible congre­gation. 2. Nor doe we question whether such a Church-cove­nant may be lawfully sworne. We thinke it may, though to sweare the last article not to remove from such a congregation without their consent, I thinke not lawfull, nor is my habita­tion in such a place a matter of Church-discipline. 3. But the The state of the question concerning the Church cove­nant. question is, if such a Church-covenant, by Divine or Apostolick warrant, not onely be lawfull, but the necessary and Apostolick meane, yea and the essentiall forme of a visible Church; so as without it persons are not members of one visible Church, and want all right and title to a Church-membership, to the seales of grace, and censures of the Church. Our brethren affirme, we deny.

Concl. The former considerations being cleare, we hold that such a Church-covenant is a conceit destitute of all authority of Gods Word, Old or New Testament, and therefore to be rejected as a way of mens devising,

1. Argum. All will-worship laying a band on the Consci­ence, where God hath layed none, is damnable; but to tye the oath of God to one particular duty rather then another, so as you cannot, without such an oath, enter into such a state, nor have title and right to the seales of grace and Gods Ordinances, is will-worship, and that by vertue of a divine Law, and is a binding of the Conscience where God hath not bound it.

The major is undeniable. Papists as Alphonsus à Castr. tit. vota. Alphonsus à Castro, and Bellarm. de eccles. milit. lib. 4. cap. 9. [...]andem heresin. Lampetianorum Lutherus tenet. Bellarmin [...] lay upon us, that which was the errour of Lampetians, that we condemne all sorte of vowe [...], [...] snares to the Consciences of men. But Bellarmine Bellarm, de Monarch. l. 2. c. 15. saith, that Luther [Page 89] and Ca [...]in acknowledge, We thinke vowes of things comman­ded of God lawfull; the truth is, we teach it to be will-wor­ship to a person to vow single life, where God hath not gi­ven the gift of continency, because men binde with an oath that which God hath not bound us unto by a command. So Origen. Nazianzen. Ambrose. Augustinus ex­ponit i [...]lud, Matth. 19. 11. Origen, Gregory, Nazianzen, Ambrose, Augustine say, Those which want the gift of continency cannot live without wives, and so should not burne. See how Bellarm. de Monach, lib. 2. cap. 31. Bellarmine and Maldonat. in Math. 19. Maldonat contending for will-worship, prescribe the con­trary. I prove the assumption; for a Minister to sweare the oath of fidelity to his flocke, is lawfull; but to tye an oath so to his Ministery, as to say the Apostles teach, he cannot be a mi­nister who sweareth not that oath, is to lay a bond on the Con­science, where God hath laid none. That a father swear to per­forme the duties of a father, a master the duties of a master towards his servant, is lawfull; but to lay a bond on him, that he is in Conscience, and before God no father, no master, except he sweare to performe those duties, is to lay a bond on the Conscience where God hath laid none. So to sweare subjecti­on to such a Ministery and visible Church, is lawfull; but to tie by an Apostolike Law and practice the oath of God so to such duties, as to make this Church-oath the essentiall forme of such membership, so as you cannot enter into Church-state, nor have right to the Seales of the Covenant without such an oath, is to binde where God hath not bound; for there is no Law of God, put­ting upon any Church-oath such a state, as that it is the essentiall forme of Church-membership, without the which a man is no Church-member, and the Church visible, not swearing this oath is no Church.

3 That way are members to be in-Churched, and to enter into a Church-fellowship, which way members were entred in the Apostolike Church. But members were not entred into the A­postolike Church by such a Covenant, but onely they beleeved, professed beleefe, and were baptized; when the incestuous person is re-entred (it is said) onely, 2 Cor. 2. he was grieved, and te­stified it, and they did forgive him, and confirme their love to him, 7, 8. there is here no Church-Covenant; and Samaria 8. 12. received the Word gladly, beleeved, and was baptized; [Page 90] when Saul is converted Acts 9. Simon Magus baptised, Acts 8. Cornelius and his house baptized, Acts 20. the Church of E­phe [...]us planted, Acts 19. of Corinth, Acts 18. 8. of Berea, Acts 17. 10. Philippi Acts 16. Th [...]ssalonica, Acts 17. of Rom, Acts 28. We heare no expressed vocall Covenant. So Acts 2. three thou­sand were added to the visible Church; now they were not gathe­red nor in-Churched as you gather: First, they did not meet often together for prayer and spirituall conference, while they were satis­fied in Conscience of the good estate one of another, and approved to one anothers Consciences in the sight of God, as living stones fit to be laid in the Lords spirituall Temple, as you require; The way of the Chur­ches, Chap. Sect. 2. because frequent meeting and satisfaction in Conscience of the regene­ration one of another could not be performed by three thousand, all converted and added to the Church in one day; for before they were non-Converts, and at one Sermon were pricked in heart that they had slaine the Lord of glory, Acts 2. 37. 42. and the same day there were added to them three thousand souls. Our bre­thren say, It was about the P [...]ntecost, when the day was now the longest, and so they might make short confessions of the soundnesse of their conversation before the Apostles, who had such discerning spirits.

Answ. Truly it is a most weake and reasonlesse conjecture for all the three thousand behoved to be miraculonsly quicke of dis­cerning; for they could not sweare mutually one to another those Church-duties, except they had beene satisfied in Conscience of the regeneration of one another. Surely such a miracle of three thousand extraordinarily gifted with the spirit of discer­ning would not have beene concealed, though it be sure, Ana­nias and Saphira, who deceived the Apostles, were in this number.

Secondly, how could they all celebrate a day of fasting and prayer, and from the third houre, which is our ninth houre, dupatch the confessions and evidences of the sound worke of conversion of thirty hundred, all baptized and added to the Church? Capiat qui volet; because this place is used to prove a Church-covenant, I will here once for all deliver it out of our brethrens hands: The Author of the Church-covenant Discourse of Church-covenant, fol. 22, 23. saith, There was hazard of excommunication, John 9. 22. and persecuti­on. [Page 91] Acts 5. 3. and therefore the very profession of Christ in such peri­ [...]us times was a sufficient note of discerning, to such discerning spirits as the Apostles.

Answ. If you meane miraculous power of discerning in the Apostles, that was not put forth in this company, where were such hypocrites as Ananias and Saphira. Secondly, this mira­culous discerning behoved to bee in all the three thousand, for the satisfaction of their Consciences, of the good estate spiritu­all of all of them. And if it be miraculous (as it must be, if done in the space of sixe houres, as it was done the same day that they heard Peter, vers. 41.) then our brethren cannot al­leadge it for ordinary inchurching of members as they doe. Se­condly, if it be an ordinary spirit of discerning, then at one act of profession are members to be received, and so often meeting for the satisfaction of all their Consciences is not requisite. Thirdly, if profession for feare of persecution be an infallible signe, then those who are chased out of England by Prelates, and come to New England, to seeke the Gospell in purity, should be received to the Church, whereas you hold them out of your societies many yeeres. Fourthly, suffering for a while for the truth is not much, Iudas, Alexander, Demas, did that for a while.

The Apolog. chap. 6. Apologie and discourse of the Church-covenant saith, Discourse of the Church-covenant, fol. 24. These converts professed their glad receiving of the VVord, vers. 37 38. in saving themselves from that untoward generation, else they had not beene admitted to baptisme. But all this made them not members of the Church for they might havereturned, notwithstanding of this, to Pontus, Asia, Cappadocia, &c. but they continued stedfastly [...], in the doctrine of the Apostles. Secondly, they con­tinued in fellowship, this is Church-fellowship; for we cannot say, That it was exercise of Doctrine and Sacraments, and confound this fellowship with doctrine, no more then we can confound doctrine and sacraments, which are distinguished in the Text, and therefore it is a fellowship of holy Church-state, and so noteth;

1. A combination in Church-state.

2. In gifts inward to edification, and outward in reliefe of the poore by worldly goods.

Answ. 1. They could not continue stedfast in the Apostles doctrine [Page 92] and fellowship before they were added to the Church, for sted­fastnesse in Doctrine, and saving themselves from the fro­ward generation, could not be but habituall holinesse, not per­fected in sixe houres. Now that same day, vers. 41. in the which they gladly heard the VVord, they were both bapti­zed and added to the Church; and therefore their stedfast con­tinuing in Church-state, can no wayes make them members in Church-state. Secondly, though they should have retur­ned to Pontus and Asia, &c. they returned added to the Church; Church-state is no prison-state, to tie men to such a congregation locally, as you make it. Thirdly, there is no word of a Church-covenant, except when they were baptized they made it, and that is no Church-covenant, and that should not be omitted, see­ing it conduceth so much, first, to the being of the visible Church, in the which we must serve God acceptably; Secondly, and is of such consequence to the end, that the holy things of God be not prophaned, as you say. Thirdly, that the Seales of the Covenant be not made signes of falshood. Fourthly, wee would not be stricter then God, who received upon sixe houres profession three thousand to Church state. Fifthly, the [...] fellowship is no fellowship of Church-order, which made them members of the visible Church, because the first day that they heard Peter they were added to the Church, and being added they continued in this fellowship, and in use of the Word, Sacra­ments, and Prayer; as a reasonable soule is that which makes a man discourse, and discoursing is not the cause of a reasonable soule Beza an­not. marg. Act. 2. 43. Beza calleth it fellowship in Christian charity to the poore. And Syrus in­terp. ibid. the Syrian interpreter, [...]. Arab. in­terp. ibid. The Arablan interpreter saith the same. Latin. in­terp. ibid. The ancient La­tine interpreter, [...].

Fourthly, if Baptisme bee the Seale of our entry into the Church, as 1 Cor. 12. 13. as Circumcision was the Seale of the members of the Jewes visible Church, then such a Covenant is not a formall reason of our Church-membership, but the former is true, as I shall prove hereafter; Ergo, so is the latter. The Proposition standeth, because all the baptized are members of the visible Church before they can sweare this Covenant, even when they are Infants.

[Page 93] 5. Argu. This Church-covenant is either all one with the Covenant of grace, or it is a Covenant divers from the Cove­nant of grace; but neither wayes can it be the essentiall forme of a visible Church; Ergo,

First, the Covenant of grace cannot be the forme of a visible Church, because then all baptized, and all beleevess should be in Covenant with God, as Church members of a visible Church, which our brethren deny. If it be a Covenant divers from it, it must be of another nature, and lay another obligatory tie, then either the Covenant of workes, or the Covenant of grace, and so must tie us to other duties then either the Law or Gospell re­quire of us; and so is beside that Gospell which Paul taught and maketh the teacher, though an Angell Gal. 1. 8. 2 Ep. Joh. 10. from Heaven, accursed, and not to be received.

The Apologie of the Church of new Eng­land. Apologie answering this, saith, First, We call it a Church-covenant, to distinguish it from civill Covenants, and also from the Covenant of grace; for the Eunuch and godly strangers, Isaiah 56. 3. were in the covenant of grace by faith, and yet com­plained that they were separated from the Church, and not in Cove­nant with Gods visible Church.

Answ. 1. No doubt an excommunicated person, whose spirit is saved in the day of Christ, may be in the Covenant of grace, and yet cut off from the visible Church for enormous scandals; but this is no ground to make your Church-covenant different from the Covenant of grace. A beleever in the Covenant of grace may not doe a duty to father, brother, or master; but it is a weak consequence, that therefore there is a Covenant-oath betwixt brother and brother, sonne and father, servant and master, which is commanded by a divine Law of perpetuall equity under both old and new Testament, as you make this Covenant of the Church to be, which persons must sweare, ere they can come under these relations of brother, son, and servant. The Covenant of grace, and the whole Evangell, teach us to confesse Christ before men, and to walke before God, and be perfect, and so that we should joyn our selves to the true visible Churh. But none can in right reason conclude, that it is a divine Law that necessitateth me to sweare another Covenant then the Covenant of grace, in relation to those particular duties, or to sweare over againe [Page 94] the Covenant of grace, in relation to the duties that I owe to the visible Church, else I am not a member thereof. And that same Covenant in relation to my father, brother, and master, else I cannot be a sonne, brother, or servant; this were to multi­ply Covenants according to the multitude of duties that I am obliged unto, and that by a divine commandment. The word of God Act. 20. 28. [...]. 13. 17. 1 Tim. 5. 17. 1 Pet. 5. [...], 4. layeth a tie on Pastors to feed the flock, and the flock to submit, in the Lord to the Pastors. But God hath not, by a new commandment, laid a new tie and obligation, that Timothy shall not be made a Pastor of a Church at Ephesus, and a member there­of, nor the Church at Ephesus constituted in a Church-state, having right to all the holy things of God, while, first, they be all perswa­ded of one anothers regeneration; secondly, while all sware those duties in a Church-oath; thirdly, and all sweare that they shall not separate from Church followship, but by mutuall consent.

Heare a reply againe to this of the Apol. [...]. 8 Apologie; such pro­mises as leave a man in an absolute estate as he was before, and in­gage onely his act, not his person, these lay no forcing band on any man, but as every man is tied to keepe his lawfull promise, are tied: But yet such promises or covenants as are made according to the Or­dinances of God, and doe put upon men a relative estate, they put on them a forcing band to performe such duties, such as are the pro­mises of marriage betwixt man and wife, master and servant, magi­strate and subject, minister and people, brother and brother in Church-state; these put on men a divine tie, and binde by a divine Ordinance to performe such duties. But these Scriptures make not these rela­tions, these places make not every man who can teach, a Pastor to us, except we call him to be our Pastor; indeed if we call him, we ingage our selves in subjection to him: you might as well say, It is not the c [...]venanting of a wife to her husband, or the subject to the magistrate, that giveth the husband power over his wife, and the magistrate power over his subject, but the word of God that giveth power to both, and yet you know well the husband cannot call such an one his wife, but by covenant made in marriage.

Answ. This is all which with most colour of reason can be said. But these places of Scripture are not brought to prove the Pastors calling to the people, or their relative case of subjection to him, but onely they prove, that the covenant of grace and [Page 95] whole Gospell layeth a tie of many duties upon us, which ob­ligeth us, without comming under the tie of an expresse, vocall, and publique oath, necessitating us by a divine Law, because in this that I professe the faith of Christ, and am baptized, I am a member of the visible Church, and have right to all the holy things and seales of grace, without such an oath, because the covenant of grace tieth me to a [...]joyne my selfe to some parti­cular congregation, and a called Pastor who hath gi [...], and a calling from the Church, is a member of the visible Church, be­fore he be called to be your Pastor, though he be a member of no particular congregation; for you lay down as an undeniable principle, and the basis of your whole doctrine of independent government; that there are no visible Churches in the world but a congregation meeting in one place to worship God, which I have demonstrated to be most false: for if my hand be visible, my whole body is visible, though with one act of the eye it cannot be seene; if a part of a medow be visible, all the me­dow, thought ten miles in bredth and length, is visible: so, though a congregation onely may be actually seene, when it is convened within the soure Angles of a materiall house, yet all the congregations on earth make one visible Church, and have some visible and audible acts of externall government cum­mon to all; as that all pray, praise, fast, mourne, rejoyce, one with another; and are to rebuke, exhort, comfort one another, and to censure one another, so farre as is possible, and of right and by Law meet in one councell, and so by Christs institution are that way visible; that a single cong egation is visible which meeteth in one house, though many be absent de facto, through sickenesse callings, imprisonment, and some through sinfull neglect; and therefore you doe not prove, that we are made members of the visible Church, having right to all the holy things of God, by a Church-oath or covenant as you speake; neither doe we deny but when one doth enter a member to such a congre­gation under the ministery of A. B. but he commeth under a [...]ew relative state, by an implicite and vertuall covenant, to sub­mit to his ministery, yea and A. B. commeth under that same relative state of Pastorall feeding of such an one. But you doe not say, that A. B. entereth by a vocall Church-covenant, in [Page 96] a membership of Church order, and that by a commanded co­venant of perpetuall equity, laying a new forcing band upon both the person and the acts of A. B. just as the husband and the wife come under a marriage covenant. So C. D. sometime excom­municated, now repenteth, and is received as a gained brother, in the bosome of the Church; all the members of the Church come by that under a new relation to C. D. as to a repenting bro­ther, and they are to love, reverence, exhort, rebuke, comfort him, by vertue of the covenant of grace, but (I conceive) not by a new Church covenant entering them as in a Church mem­bership, and Church order towards him. So a new particular Church is erected, and now counted in amongst the number of the visible Churches; all the sister Churches are to discharge themselves in the duties of imbracing, loving, exhorting, edify­ing, rebuking, comforting this sister Church new elected. But I thinke our brethren will not say, That all the sister Churches are to make a new expresse vocall Church covenant with this sister Church, and such a Church covenant as maketh them all visible Churches, which have right to all the holy things of God, in and with this new sister Church; it is the covenant of grace once laid hold on by all these sister Churches, which tieth them to all Christian duties, both one toward another, and also toward all Churches to come in. I thinke there is no necessity of an expresse covenant of marriage betwixt this new Church, and all the for­mer sister Churches, as there is a solemne marriage oath betwixt the Husband and the Wife, and a solemne covenant betwixt the supreame Magistrate and the King and his Subjects, when the King is crowned; all we say is this, if for new relations God laid a bond and compelling tie of conscience, and that of perpe­tuall equity, whereby we are entered in every new relative state, beside the bond that Law and Gospell lay on us, to doe du­ties to all men both in Church and Common-wealth, then when a person is converted unto Christ, and another made a Lawyer, and another a Pastour, another a Physitian, another a Magistrat, another a learned Philosopher and President of an Academy, another a skilled Schoolemaster, and so come under new rela­tions many and diverse in the Church and State, I should not be obliged to love, honour, and reverence them all by vertue of the [Page 97] fifth Commandement; but I behoved by vertue of a particular Covenant (I know not how to name it) to come under some new relative marriage toward all these, else I could not performe duties of love and reverence to them; and though there be a convenant tacite betwixt a new member of a congregation, and A. B. the Pastor, and they come under a new relation, covenant waies (which I grant) is not the point in question, but this new covenant is that which by necessity of a divine Com­mandement of perpetuall equity, maketh the now adjoyner a member of the visible Church, and giveth him right and claime to the seales of the covenant, so as without this covenant he is without, and not to be judged by the Church, but left to the judgement of God, as 1 Cor. 5. 12, 13. one who is without. Thirdly, the Apology for the Church­es of New England, c. 5. Apologie saith, and Discouse of a Church covenant, fo. 2. Author of the Church co­venant. The covenant of grace is done in private in a mans closet, betwixt the Lord and himselfe, the other in some publique assembly. 2. The covenant of grace is of one christian in particular, the other of a company joyntly, some call the one personall, the other generall. Answ. Though the covenant of grace may be layd hold on in a closet or private chamber, yet the principall party contracter is God on the one part; and on the other not a single man, but Christ, Gal. 3. 16. Psal. 2. 8, 9. Esau 53. 10. and all his seed, Heb. 8. 8. yea the Catholique church, Ier. 31. 31. ch. 32. v, 38, 39, 40, 41. I [...]rem. 50. 5. all the House of Israel; But our brethrens mind is, that conversion of soules to Christ is not a Church act, nor a Pastorall act, but a worke of charity, performed by private christians; yet by the Pastorall paines of Peter, three thousand, Act. 2. were conver­ted; and this is a depressing of publique ministery, and an exal­ting of popular prophecying, which is the onely publique and ordinary meane blessed of God, for conversion. 2. By this all the covenants sworne in Israel and Iudah were not a swearing of the covenant of grace but of a Church covenant, which we must refute hereafter. 3. We desire an instance or practice of recei­ving any into the publique assembly, by this Church covenant; publique receiving by baptisme we grant in Cornelius, Act. 10. the Eunuch, Act. 8. Lydia, and her house, Act. 16. the Iayler, Act. 16. but we never read of Sauls Church [...]covenant, and Church confession, wherby he was publiquely received into Church membership, nor of such private tryall of Church members [Page 98] and therefore wee thinke it to bee a devise of men.

6. Arg. If this Church-covenant be the essence and forme of a visible Church, which differenceth betwixt the visible and invisible Church, then there have beene no visible Churches since the Apostles dayes, nor are there any in the Christian World, this day, save only in New England and some few o­ther places, for remove the forme and essence of a thing, and you remove the thing it selfe: now if this be true, and if Mini­sters have Ministeriall or pastorall power over people, and the people no relation unto them as to Pastors, except they mu­tually enter into this Church-covenant, then are they no Pa­stors to the people at all, and so all Baptised in the reform­ed Churches, where this covenant was not, are as Pagans and Infidels, and all their Baptisme no Baptisme, and all their Church Acts no Church Acts, and they all are to be Re­baptized.

The Author of the Church-covenant Discourse of the Church-covenant fol. 26, 27, 28. saith, there is a reall, implicite, and substantiall comming together, and a sub­stantiall professing of faith and agreement, which may preserve the essence of the Church in England, and other places, though [...]hers be not so expresse and formall a covenanting, as neede were; The eternity of the covenant of God is such, that it is not the inter­position of many corruptions, that may arise in after time, that can disanull the same, except they willfully breake the covenant, and reject the offer of the Gospel, which we perswade our selves England is not come unto, and so the covenant remaineth which preserveth the essence of the Churches to this day; and he giveth this answer from learned Parker Parker de pol. Eccles. l. 3. c. 16. p. 166. 167. and he alleadgeth Fox Fox acts & monum. 137. who out of Gilda, saith England received the Gospell in Tiberi [...] his time, and Joseph of Arimathea was sent from France to Eng­land by Philip the Apostle an. [...]2.

Answ. I deny not but Tertullian, and Nicephorus both, say, the Gospell then came to the wildest in Brittaine, and no doubt be [...]ved to come to Scotland, when Simon Zelotes cam [...] to Brittaine; but so did the Gospell come to Rome, Philippi, Corinth, will i [...] follow that the covenant is there yet? And 1. If the not wilfull rejecting of the Gospell save the essenc [...] of a visible Church in England (which charity we command [Page 99] in our Brethren) Rome may have share of the charity also, and there may be a true visible Church there, as yet: and we then wronged them in separation from them, Because Gods people in Babel, did never wilfully reject the covenant. 2. Our bre­thren professe Apology c. 8. they cannot receive into their Church, the god­ly persecuted and banished out of Old England, by Prelates for the truth, unlesse (saith he) they be pleased to take hold of our Church-covenant. Now not to admit into your Churches, such as cannot sweare your Church covenant, in all one as to acknow­ledge such not a true Church, and to separate from them, and so the want of an explicite and formall Church-covenanting, to you maketh professors no Church-visible, and unworthy of the seales of grace; but reverend Parker P [...]ker de polit. 3. c. 6. saith, that there is such a profession of the covenant in England, sic ut secessi­onem facere salvâ conscientiâ nullus possit, that no man with a safe conscience can separat therefrom. 3. The ignorants and simple ones amongst the Papists have not rejected the Gospell obstinately, in respect it was never revealed to them, yet the simple ignorance of points principally fundamentall maketh them a non-Church, and therefore the want of your Church-covenant must un-Church all the reformed Churches on Earth: It is not much that this Author saith, the primitive Church never did re­ceive children to the communion, nor any till they made a confession of their Faith. What then? a confession of their Faith and an evidence of their knowledge, is not your Chuoch-covenant for by your Church-covenant the parties to be received in the Church must give testimony of their conversion to the satisfaction of the consciences of all your Church; The old confirmation of children was not such a thing. 2. The tryall of the knowledge of such, as were of old not yet admitted to the Lords Supper, is not an inchurching of them, because, if [...]ny not that way tryed in the ancient Church, did fall into scan­ [...]alcus sins, they were, being come to yeeres lyable to the cen­sures of the Church, which said, certainly the ancients acknow­ledged them to be members of that visible Church, but you say expresly, they are without, and you have not to doe to judge them, 1 Cor. 5. 12. And let the author see for this Concl. Laodi [...]. c. 7. the coun­ [...]ell of Laodicea, Gregorius de consecrat. c. 8. c. ab antiqua. Gregorius Leo Epist. 77. Leo, Augustin. in Joan. tract. 6. de trinit. li. 15. c. 1. de Baptismo l. 3. c. 5. Augustine Tertulli [...]n de resurrell. carnis. Ter­tullian, [Page 100] Cyprian. epist 73. ad Iubajan. Cyprian, Ambros. de Sacram l 3. c. 2. Ambrose, Concil. Eli­bert. c. 38. & 77. the councell of Elibert, Perkins. pro­blem p. 184. Perkins, Martin. Bu­cer in leiturg. Angl. ch. 482. Martine Bucer Chemnitii examen concili Trident. l. 2. p. 71. Chemnitius Pet. Martyr loc. com. class. 3. de confirm. Peter Martyr, who all teach that confirmation was nothing lesse then your Church-covenant. 2. That it had never that meaning to make persons formll members of the visible Church. 3. That that was sufficiently done in Baptisme. 4. That comfimation was never the essentiall forme of a visible Church, but rather the repetition of Baptisme; so Whitgift p. 59. 4. Whitgift, (a man much for con­firmation,) confirmatio apud nos usurpatur, ut pueri proprio ore, proprioque consensu, pactum quod in Baptismo inibant coram Ecclesiâ confirment, Pareus com­ment: in Heb. 6. Pareus sayth they were in the Church before, Sed impositione manuum in Ecclesiam adultorum recipie ban­tur. Beza annot. in Job. 6. Beza saith the same Calvin com­ment in Heb. 6. Calvin, liberi infidelium ab utero adoptati, & jure promissionis pertinebant ad corpus Ecclesiae, Bullinger comment. Heb. 6 Bullinger acknowledging that in Baptisme infantes were received into the Church, saith, Pastorum manus illis impone ban­tur, quorum fidei committebatur Ecclesiarum cura.

7. Argum. A multitude of unwarrantable wayes partly goeth before, partly conveyeth this Church-covenant, As. 1. It is a dreame that all are converted by the meanes of private Chri­stians, without the Ministery of sent Pastors, by hearing of whom Faith commeth, all are made materialls and convertes in private without Pastors; judge if this be Christs order and way. 2. How it is possible a Church shall be gathered amongst Infidells? this way Infidells cannot convert Infidells, and Pastors as Pastors cannot now be sent, by our Brethrens Doctrine, for Pastors are not Pastors but in relation to a par­ticular congregation, therefore Pastors as Pastors cannot be sent to Indians. 3. They must be assured in conscience, at least satisfied in every one anothers salvation, and sound conver­sion: were the Apostles satisfied anent the conversion of Ana­inas, Saphira, Simon Magus, Alexander, Hymeneus, Philetus, Demas and others? 4. By what warrant of the word are pri­vate Christians, not in office, made the ordinary and onely con­verters of Soules to Christ? conversion commeth then ordi­narily and solely by unsent Preachers, and private persons Ministery. 5. What warrant have the sister Churches, of the word, to give the right hand of fellowship to a new erected [Page 101] Church? for, to give the hand of fellowship is an authoritative and pastoriall act, as Gal. 2 9. When Iames, Cephas, and Iohn per­ceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave unto me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that is, saith Pareus, Pareus, in collei [...]m aposto­lorum nos rece­perunt, dextrit nobiscum jūctis, quod intimae con­junctionis nostrae signum fuit & obsignatio. they received us to the colledge of the Apostles, so Bullinger Bullinger ib. and Beza, a [...]not. Beza, now this is to receive them in amongst the number of Churches, as Pareus, and members of the catholick Church, but Churches being all independent, and of a like au­thority, the Sister Churches having no power over this new erect­ed Church, what authority hath Sister Churches, to acknow­ledge them as Sister Churches? For 1. They cannot be upon two or three houres [...]ght of them, hearing none of them speak, satisfied in their consciences of their Regeneration. 2. By no authority can they receive them as members of the catholick Church, for this receiving it a Church-act and they have no Church-power over them. 3. What a meeting is this of diverse Churches for the receiving of a new Sister Church? It is a Church (I believe) meeting together, and yet it is not a congregation, and it is an ordinary visible Church, for at the admitting of all converts to the Church-order, this meeting must be: surely here our brethren acknowledge that there is a Church, in the New Testament made up of many congregations, which hath power to receive in whole Churches, and members of Churches unto a Church-fellowship; this is a visible provinciall, or nationall Church, which they other wayes deny.

6. We see no warrant, why one not yet a Pastor or Elder should take on him to speake to a congregation, though they all conse [...]t that he speak, exhort and pray, we desire a warrant from Gods Word, that such a thing should be; here is preaching, and Church-preaching, Church-praying and praysing, and yet there is no Pastor nor man called to office, we see not how this will abide the measure of the Golden-neede, especially in a constituted Church▪

7. We desire to see such a Church-action, Acts 2. Where three thousand were added in one day to the Church.

8. If it be enough that all be silent, and testify their con­sent to the Church covenant by silence, how is the Church-Ma­gistrate and these of other Churches satisfied in conscience of the conversion of all? for all consent to this, the Magistrate may [Page 102] be a King, and he cannot acknowledge these as a Church, whose faces he never saw before.

9. They sweare to be good stewards of the manifold graces of God, and so to publick prophecying, for converting soules, here be men sworn in a Church-way to feede the flock, and yet they are not Pastor [...].

10. Here are Church-acts and the power of the Keyes ex­ercised in preaching, and praying, and discipline, and yet no stewards nor Officers of the house who have received the keys to feede.

Quest. 2. Whether it can be proved from the Old Testament, that Christs visible Church was gathered, and being fallen, restored to a visible Church-state, by this Church-covenant.

Our Reverend Bretheren contend that the Church was ever ga­thered by this Church-covenant.

The Author Way of the Churches of Christ in. N. Eng. ch. 1. sect. 1. Prop. 3. saith, that the Lord received Abraham and his children into the Church, by a covenant, Gen. 17. 7. Then when they violated the covenant, he renewed this covenant, Exod. 19. 1. 5. whence they were called the Church in the VVildernesse, Acts 7. 38.

Answ. 1. The covenant, Gen. 17. 7. is not a Church-covenant such as you dreame off. 1. That covenant is the covenant of grace, made with all the people of the Jewes, yea, with children of eight dayes old, v. 7. I will establish my covenant betwixt me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God, to thee, and to thy seed. Your covenant is not made with infants, for to you infants are not members of the Church visible, none are in your Church-covenant, but believers, of whose sound conversion you are satisfied in conscience: 2. This is the everlasting covenant made with Job, Melchisedech and many Believers; not in Church-state, as you grant, your Church-covenant made with a visible Church, is no everlasting covenant. 3. Infants can make no confession ere they be recei­ed in a visible Church. 4. If by this covenant Abrahams house was made a visible Church and all his children circumcised, then every family in the New Testament professing the Faith and covenant made with Abraham, and baptised as Abrahams children were circumcised, are the visible Church, and the place [Page 103] is for us. 5. Abraham and his house before this, when they were first called out of Aegypt, were a Church of called ones profes­sing the Faith of the Messiah to come Esai. 51. 1. 2, 3. Josh. 24. 2, 3, 4. 6. The Lord had a Church visible, before the renewing of the covenant at Mount Sinai, Exod. 19. even in Aegypt and when he brought them first out of that Land of bondage. Jerem. 31. 31, 32. 33 and before this they did celebrate the Passover, the very night, that they came out of Egypt, Exod. 12. and therefore it is false, that for that covenant renewed, Exod. 19. They are called the church in the VVildernesse, all the forty yeares that they were in the Wil­dernesse, they were the Church in the VVildernesse, The apology Apology ch. 3. c. 4. 5. and Discourse of the Church covenant. fol. 5. 6. Author of the Church-covenant and Manuscript The way of the Church ib. alledge Deut. 29. 10. Yee stand all of you this day before the Lord, & c. v. 12. that thou mightest enter in covenant with the Lord thy God, and the Oath which the Lord thy God maketh with thee, v. 13. That He may establish thee to day a people to Him­selfe. Hence they argue, That which maketh a society a people to God, to serue Him in all His Ordinances, that is that whereby a society is constituted in a Church-state; but by a covenant, God maketh a society a people to God, to serve Him in all his Ordinances; Ergo. Now that those were a true visible Church they prove, though the word say they had eyes and see not, &c. yet they were not in a carnall estate, but only dull and slow of hearkening, to dis­cerne sundry gracious dispensations, which sinfull defects were in the Lords Apostles, Mat 8. 17. dull and slow of Heart, for this was the Generation which was not excluded out of Canaan, for their unbeliefe, whose carcasses fell not in the wildernesse, and they were now within the space of a moneth or thereabout, to enter into the pro­mised Land, Deut. 1. 3. and it was they who entred by Faith, and subdned Kingdomes, and kept their children poore and constant in Gods worship all the dayes of Josuah 24. 31. It is true (say they) Apolog, c. 3. God entered also into a covenant with their Fathers 40, yeares before, but not till he had humbled them to a conscionable (though a legall) feare of His great Name; and even some of them also (it may be) remembred that they were borne under the covenant of grace, from the Loynes of Abraham, though needfull it was that God should enter with them into a new covenant, and lead them from the Law to Christ, because they had so long degenerated from [Page 104] the spirit and wayes of Abraham, during their abode in Egypt, Exod. 20. 7, 8.

Answ. This place maketh both against the constitution of a visible Church, and against the Church-Oath framed by cu [...] brethren, Therefore once, for all, it must be vindicated; and 1. I answer, the swearing of a covenant in truth by sound faith putteth person [...] in state of membership, with the invisible and true body of Christ; it is true, but not in the state of a Church as visible, and therefore the Major of the first syllogisme it false, it is one thing to be a member of the Church as true, and of the people internally in covenant with God, or a Iew in the Heart; and another thing to be in covenant externally and a member of the visible-Church, to be borne a Jew and circum­cised, and to professe the doctrine of Moses his Law did for­mally make persons members of the Jewish visible Church, though they should never sweare this covenant, as many died in Egypt, and lived and died members of the Jewish Church, and did eate the Passover, and were circumcised, whose carcasses fell in the Wildernesse, because of their murmuring, these did never sweare, neither this covenant, Deut. 29. nor the covenant Exod. 19. 2. Here is a people in carnall estate and cannot be a co­venanted, and churched society of Saints, for v. 3. the Lord objecteth to them habituall hardnesse. 3. The great temptations that thine eyes have seene, the signes and these great miracles. 4. Yet the Lord hath not given you an Heart to perceive, and eyes to see and eares to heare [...] to this same day; this is an habituall blindnesse, propagated from fathers to sonnes as Ez [...]. 2. 3. They and their fathers have rebelled against mee [...] even to the body of this day. Jerem. 25. 3. and Jeremy 3. 25. we have sinned we and our fathers from our youth to this day. Now this is not the state of the Disciples, Mar. 8. for Christ is not judging them of their state, as if they were yet carnall, but of their faithlesse actions, in some particu­lar: when they wanted bread, they distrusted the Lord, when I brake the five Loaves amongst many thousands, how many baskets took yee up? Christ rebuketh them, that they were yet hardened, notwithstanding some great miracles which might have induced them to believe he would furnish them with bread, [Page 105] But this people was hardened, (I meane not of them all, but of the greatest part) against all the meanes of grace, though Moses, by a Synecdoche, mention only signes, temptations and miracles, yet he understandeth and meaneth no lesse, then they were disobedient to all Gods dispensation of meanes, since the time that God first sent Moses to Pharaoh, and preached the co­venant to them, Exod. 4. 3, 4, 5. Exod. 6. 6, 7. and therefore na­meth he Pharaoh and Egypt with a note of universality, yee have seen all which the Lord did to Egypt, and to Pharaoh and therefore this is an universall habituall hardnesse, and cannot be their infirmity. 3. This is his expression in the like stile, Ez [...]. 12. 2. Esa. 6. 9. 10. Mat. 13 15.

4. This interpretation of our Brethren doth but helpe Ar­minians, our Divines say against it, Iunius anal. Deut. 29. non dederat vobis co [...] ad res visas & auditas obser­vandum. Iunius, God (saith he) gave not an Heart, cum fructu, with fruite, to observe what you heard and saw, Amesius Coron. 3. Art. Arg. 2. p 254 & Antisy [...]. Art. 3. c. 4. p. 294. Amesius hence proveth, that they were not con­verted, and that they wanted sufficient grace Piscator. amicâ duplicat. ad Vorst. p. 539. Piscator Calvin com. in Deut. 29. Cal­vin hence prove that many are externally called, who are never converted, yea a Papist as Cajetan in Deut. Cajetan, and Abulensis 29. Abulensis, carnalis itaque manifestatur hic populus, Arminians as these at Dort Remons. in Script. dordr. art. 4. p. 113. Vorstius Vorstius con­tra Piscat. p. 539. 540. Grevinchovius Grevinchov. con. Amis. p. 38. Episcopius Episcop. disp. 9. Th [...]ll. 3. are of mind, that such places as this hinder not, but all have suffi­cient grace, if they would believe: so doe the Socinians as the Catechis. Catech. Raccov. c. 10 p. 259. of Racovia Socin. ad object. critteni. p. 86. Socinus, Edvard. Poppius, August. part. p. 91. &. c. 31. 66. Edward Poppius, and our brethren by it will prove all these Jewes to be in the state of Regeneration.

5. The Author of Discourse of the church-co­venant fol. 5. the Church-covenant saith, they were generally a generation of Believers, but this covenant is made universally with all, as is cleare, it is made with Israel, Cap­taines, Tribes, Officers, little ones, VVives, children, strang­ers, the absents, and these who are not borne, v. 10. 11, 12, 13, 14. Now I aske, if all these were satisfied in their consciences, of one anothers salvation, as our Way of the church ch. 1. sect. 2. Author requireth, in fit materialls of a visible Church; It was impossible, Ergo, this is not the Church-covenant of converted persons, knowne to the conscience of Moses, to be converted. 2. Moses saith ex­presly of the same generation, ch. 31. 20. That when they were come to the holy Land, they would serve other Gods, and pro­voke [Page 106] God unto wrath. And of that same generation God saith, v. 21. For I know their imaginations, which they goe about even now before I have brought them unto the Land which I sware; this was (as you say) about a moneth before their entry to the holy Land. 27. I know thy rebellion and thy stiffe-necke (saith Moses) behold while I am yet alive, this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord, how much more then after my death? were they all then a generation, who by faith subdued kingdomes? Surely this was but verified in their holy Judges, like Ioshuab, and some few others; it is true they did not prosessedly in Ioshuabs daies make defection, yet they Were not all renewed, (as our brethren say) for Ioshuab saith▪ ▪ ch. 24. 14. Put away the strange Gods, which your fathers served in the other side of the flood, and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. v. 23. Now therefore put away the strange gods, which are amongst you. And that song of Moses, ch. 32. was made for the conviction of the present generation. ch. 31. 22, 23, 24, 25. Now in this song much is said of corrupting themselves, serving idols, forgetting of the rocke, and father who begate them, their sacrificing to devils, and therefore such were not generally such as subdued Kingdomes by fath, and by faith entered into Canaan, as yee say. And so also (say we) our Churches under the New Testament, though consisting of a mixed multitude, are rightly constituted, and true visible Chur­ches; therefore this covenant is not the formall being and essence of a Church. And what sort of people were they when the Lord co­venanted with them in Hore [...], Exod. 20. A generation who grie­ved the Lords Spirit, tempted him in the Wildernesse, offered to stem Moses, committed idolatry, would appoint themselves a Cap­taine to returne backe to Egypt, lusted in the Wildernesse, distrusted the Lord, and could not enter in through unbeliefe, and their car­casses fell in the Wildernesse, and three and twenty thousand were slaine for fonnication. And therefore there is no ground that Mo­ses first or last made a Church covenant onely with some selected and choice persons, partakers of the heavenly calling, heires an­nexed with Christ, Kings, and Priests unto God, for all promiscu­ously were the materials of this Church; yea those, who were not borne, and the absents, Deut. 29. 10. Yee stand this day, all of you before the Lord your God, your Captaines of your Tribes, you Elders, and your Officers, with all the men of Israel. V. 11. Your [Page 107] little ones, your wives, and the stranger that is within thy gate, from the h [...]wer of Wood, to the drawer of Water. V. 12. That thou shoul­dest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, &c. Now were Moabites and Amonites made members of the Iewish Church, and all the strangers? then they must enter into the Temple; how then are they forbidden to enter into the congregation of the Lord, to the tenth generation? You admitted not to your Church cove­nant in New England all professours, here none are excepted; this covenant is made with absents, and those who are not yet borne; now those who are not personally present, and those who are not yet come into the world, can make no restipulation of a covenant with God, nor can be the fellow members of the Church, except you make persons invisible to be visible mem­bers of a visible Church.

6. There is farre lesse ground to say, that because they had de­generated from the spirit and waies of Abraham, by idolatry, it was fit that God should renew a covenant with this generation, and so make them a visible Church; for this is as fitting to say, a sicke man in whom there is a living soule, is made a living man by the entring of a new living soule in his body, for before this cove­nant the people was the Church visible in the Wildernesse; the re­newing of a covenant may quicken a decaying life of God in some, but it cannot give the being, and essentiall forme of a visible Church, to that which before was a visible Church.

7. Papists would be glad that we should put this in print, that there is a time when God hath no visible Church on earth at all, Bellarmin, Stapleton, Pererius, and others lay this upon us, but unjustly. It would gratifie Arminians as Episcop. disp. 27. thesi, 8, 9, 10. Episcopius Remonst. in confess. cap. 21. thesi 6. the Remonstrantes in their confession, Iac Armin. Antiperke, pag. 224. in illa Math. 16. Iacobus Arminius. And the Socinians, such as Theoph. Nicolaides in refut. tractat [...] de eccle. cap. 3, p 23, 24 25. Smalcius dispu­tat de eccles. 8. p. 9. Theophilus Nicolaides, (e) Smalcius, Ostorodius jnslit. c. 42. p. 4. 2. and Ostorodius, to say that Christ may be a King and head, a husband and redeemer, and yet have neither subjects, members, spouse, nor redeemed people, and that it may fall out that Christ have no Church on earth; for the laying hold on the covenant giveth being and life to the Church, as the body of Christ and his true spouse, as well as it giveth being to the visible Church, according to ou [...] brethrens doctrine, and if this covenant cease, there is not a Church of Christ on earth.

[Page 108] 8. We have heard nothing here as yet, but the covenant of grace, and no Church-covenant. But saith the Authour of the Church-covenant, (g) Though it be indeed the covenant of grace, and made principally with God; it followeth not hence, that it is not a covenant of the members amongst themselves, for the covenant of God tyeth us to duties to our neighbour, and to watchfulnesse, and edification one of another, Levit. 19 17. Deut. 29. 18. the neglect whereof in the matter of Achan, brought sinne on all the congrega­tion, Josh. 7. yea it tieth us to duties to children not yet borne, who shall after become members of the Church, when Iehojadah made a covenant betwixt the King and the people; it was but a branch of the Lords covenant, obliging the King to rule in the Lord, and the people to obey in God.

Answ. 1. But if particular duties to our brethren bind us by a new Church-covenant, because Gods covenant commandeth these duties, then because Gods covenant commandeth sobriety toward our selves, and righteous dealing toward our brethren, there is required a selfe-covenant towards your selves, for tempe­rance and sobriety toward your selves, as there is required a Church-covenant to binde you to duties to those who are in Church membership with you, this no man can say, nor can seve­rall duties require severall covenants. 2. It is true when we enter into covenant with God, we sweare duties to all to whom we are obliged, but then we are made members of the visible Church, before we sweare this Church-covenant; and this is, as if Abra­ham were made a living man before he have a reasonable soule, and as if Abraham were Israel his father, before Israel be A­braham his sonne, for if Abraham be in-Churched when he did sweare the covenant of grace, (as the Authour granteth) then he must be a member of a visible Church, while as yet there is not a visible Church; to which Abraham is tied; I deny not but Israel may sweare obedience to all Gods covenant, and all duties therein, and that he may sweare also in particular, to performe all duties to Abraham his father, in another oath, but that he cannot enter in the state of relation of sonneship to his father, while he sweare that oath in particular, is a dreame which hardly can be conceived.

3. The peoples finne in not warning Achan was a finne against [Page 109] a duty of the covenant, exacting obedience of all in brother­head, though not in a Church-state, Levit. 19. 17. and Iob and his friends who were members of no visible Church, (as you say) did performe this, one to another, Iob 4. 3 4. Iob 2. 11. Iob. 4. 1. 4. The covenant that Jehojadah made betwixt the King and the people, will prove the lawfullnesse of a cove­nant to performe Church-duties, beside the generall covenant of grace, which we deny not, but doth not prove, that a cove­nant to Church-duties is the essentiall forme of Church-mem­bership, and the onely way, by Divine precept, of entring per­sons in a Church-state; for persons already in Church-state may, upon good reasons, sweare a covenant to these duties, yet are they not of new inchurched to that congregation, whereof they were members before.

Their next principall argument as (Apology c. 4.) the Apology saith, if a Church-covenant be the essentiall forme of a Church, as a stock of Saints is the materiall cause, then the Church-covenant is necessary to the being of the Church, and it is that wherby Ecclesia integra constituitur, collapsa restituitur, & quo sublato Ecclesia dissolvitur & destituitur, that is, it is by this covenant a Church is instituted in its integrity, and when it is fullen, it is restored to its integrity, and when this covenant [...]eas [...]th, the Church is no longer a visible Church.

Answ. When a Church falleth it is not restored to the state of a visible Church by circumcision, and yet circumcision is gi­ven as a signe of a covenant betwixt God and his Church, Gen. 17. 11. nor is a Church restored by Baptisme, or Baptizing over againe, and yet Baptisme is that whereby we are entered members of the visible Church. 2. When persons faile in omit­ting Church duties; I thinke they faile against your Church-Oath, yea when they fall into any sinne that may be a scandall to others, yea the finne of adultery, yet if they repent and heare [...]he Church, they are not excommunicated, neither doe they [...]ose the right of Church-membership and right to the seales of the covenant, nor is it needfull they be restored by renewing a Church-covenant, but we desire to heare from Gods word proofes of the singular vertues of this Church-covenant. 3. Dis­cipline is by all Divines thought necessary to the well being of [Page 110] a Church, but not to the simple being thereof, and for this we apeale to the learned Parker who denieth Parker de polit. l. 1. c. 17. Discipline to be an essentiall note of the visible Church, and citeth Cartwright adversus Harrin. sonum. Cart­wright for this, and therefore saith that Calvin, Bortrandus de Logues, Mornaeus, Martyr, Marloratus, Galusius, and Beza omit­teth discipline amongst the notes of the Church.

The apology addeth Apology ch. [...]. if the nationall Church of the Jewes was made a nationall Church by that covenant, and therby all the Synagogues had Church-fellowship one with another in the Temple, then the congregationall Church is made a visible Church by that covenant. 2. Also the fallen Church of the Jewes was restored to a Church-state (say they) by renewing a covenant with the Lord in the dayes of Asah & Hezekiah, and these who fell to Judah 2 Chron. 9. 25. are commanded not to stiffen their necks, or (as in the originall) to give their hand unto the Lord, that so they might enter into the sanctuary 2 Chron. 30. & 8.

Answ. Is it credible or possible, that all the Synagoues of so many hundred thousand people, as were in the 12. Tribes were all satisfied in conscience, anent the regeneration one of another [...] and this is required of you to the right swearing of a Church covenant, else how could they in the Oath joyne themselves to all Israel, as to a Generation of Saints? [...] Israel before this Oath, was circumcised, and had eaten the Passoyer, and so was a visible Church before, yea then God had no Church visible before this Oath, which is against Gods promise made to Da­vid, and his seed, Psal. 89. 28. [...]9. Also in Abijahs dayes Judah was the true Church of God, 2 Chron. 13. 8. And now y [...]t think to withstand the Kingdome of the Lord in the hands of the sonnes of David. 10. But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken Him. 3. The inchurching of members is a Church-action, as all the Church casteth out, so all the Church recei­veth in, as you Way of the Church ch. 3. [...]ct. 1. say, but the putting of Iudah and the stran­gers of Israel to this Oath, was by the Kings authority, who convened them, 2. Chron. 15. 9. And Asah gathered all Judah, and Benjamin, and the strangers with them, and they were com­pelled by the Royall sanction of a civill Law to this covenant, v. 12. and they entred into covenant, &c.

13. That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel, [Page 111] should be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 4. How were they all in, conscience satisfied anent the regene­ration one of another, 1. Being such a number of Iudah, Ben­jamin and strangers out of Ephraim, Manasse and Simeon, v. 9. Were. 2. Gathered together and meet but one day? 5. This covenant obliged young ones, your covenant seekes no Church duties of little ones, for to you they are not members of a vi­sible Church. 6. The place, 2 Chron. 30. 8. [...] yeild to God as servants Juni [...] in annot. prostrati auxilium cjus imploran [...]es. Iunius, humbly imploring his help, as the same phrase is Lament. 5. 6. we have served the Egyptians [...], and the Assyrians to be satisfied with bread, neither doth the Text say in infinitive, that yee may enter into the Sanctuary, as if a renewed covenant were a necessary pre­paration, before they could enter into the Sanctuary; but it is set downe as an expresse Commandement of the King [...] enter yee into his Sanctuary, and there is not a word of a covenant in the Text, but only of the peoples keep­ing the Passover, and though there had been a covenant (of which the Spirit of God, speaking so much of Iosiah's zealous Re­formation, would not have been silent) it is not to a purpose Iudah was a visible Church, before Hezekiah wrote Letters to them, to [...]ome to Jerusalem; to keepe the Passover, as is cleare ch. 29. 17. they begun to sanctifie the House, the first day of the first moneth, and all the congregation worshipped. 36. And Heze­kiah rejoyced at their zeale, and so there was a visible Church, and the Passover was eaten the 14. day according to the Law, also in all covenants renewed by the people of the Jewes, the matter was done suddenly, and all convened in a day, when a vo­luntary preparation, and evidenced regeneration, could not be evidenced to the satisfaction of the conscience of all the people; nor can this preparation be called Jewish and tem­porary, for it is as morall to all who sweare Churches du­ties one to another, as the covenant it selfe, which our bre­thren say, is of perpetuall equity. And all these may be answered to the covenant, Neh. 10. where there is no insinuation of Church duties, but in generall. 29. Yo walke in Gods Law, and to observe and [...]e all the Commandements of the Law, and not to marry strange [...]vives.

[Page 112] The apology Apolog. ubi supra. saith it is to no purpose that the people. 2 Chro, 15. was a Church before this covenant, because the place is not al­ledged to prove that a people are made a Church by entering into cove­nant with God, but to prove that a decayed Church is restored by a covenant, now the Church at this time was corrupted with idols, sodomy, &c.

Answ. 1. Yet it proveth well that this covenant is not the formall cause of a visible Church; for a visible Church hath not its formall being, before it hath its formall cause. 2. The convening of all the people to sweare, is an act of the Church visible, now nothing can have operations, before it have the formall cause. 3. The Author saith, who knoweth that all the Tribes of Israel were yet in covenant with God, from the dayes of their Fathers? Answer; I think that it is easily knowne, that they used and exercised many Church actions also, and so were a Church visible of a promiscuous multitude, and it is know [...]n that none were excluded from this covenant, none selected and chosen out as Regenerates, who onely were thought fit to sweare this covenant, and so that it is not your Church-cove­nant that all were forced to, and commanded under pain [...] of death, to attest.

Our brethren, as first The way of the churches of Christ in New England ch. 3. sect. 4. our Author, secondly Apolog. c 5. the A­pology, thirdly the Author of the Church-covenant, repose much on Isai. 56. 3. where the stranger is joyned to the Lord, in a personall covenant, for his own salvation, for so the Text saith v. 3. 4. yet are they not joyned to the visible Church, while they lay hold on the covenant, that is, to sweare a Church-covenant, now that they are not members of the visible Church is cleare f [...]r Deut. 23. 1, 2, 3. The Moabit, Ammonite, though never so holy, cannot be members of the visible Church, because they are discharg­ed, to enter into the congregation of the Lord. 2. They complain [...] that they are not of the visible Church. The Lord hath separated me from his people. 3. Adjoyning of them to the visible Church is promised; as a reward of their faith and obedience, v. 8. even a Name in Gods House, Hence it is cleare, persons under the New Testament have a promise and propbecy th [...] if they be inward [...]s joyned by faith God shall give them a Name of Church-membership amongst his people, by swearing a Church-Oath, or if they lay hold on the covenant of the Church.

[Page 113] Ans. 1. There is no churching here of strangers and Eunuches Author of the discourse of church-co­venant. fol. 12. by Church-Oath, but as Calvin Mus­culus in comme. Gualther in loc. Calvin, Musculus, Gualter, Iunius annot. Iunius, observe, the Eunuch and stranger are comforted that under the Messi [...]hs Kingdome, they shall have no cause to complaine of their ceremoniall separation from Gods people and the want of some ceremoniall priviledges of that kind, because the stranger and Eunuch shall have. v. 5. an everlasting roome, and honor in Gods Hous [...], and the Son of the stranger a place in the Catholick Church v. 6. 7. so being, they believe and obey. But 1. v. 6. to lay hold on my covenant is not to lay hold on the Church-cove­nant; give us precept, promise, practise, or one syllable in Gods Word for this interpretation. 1. v. 4. to take hold on the covenant is to believe the covenant, and not to sweare a vocall Oath. 2. To lay hold on the covenant, saith Musculus ib. Mus­culus, is to keep the covenant, and not to depart from it, to live ac­cording to it, Iunius annot saith Iunius) and to rest on God, to doe what is Gods will commanded in the covenant (saith) Calvin com. Calvin, and Gualter. Gualter) and so all who spake sense on that place, and ne­ver one dreamed of a Church-covenant before. 3. God saith of it (my covenant) there is no reason then to call it a Church-cove­nant here more then Ierom. 31. 32. 33. Psal. 25. 10. Isai. 55. 3. Ierem. 50. 5. Zach. 2. 11. 4 Laying hold on the covenant is not an externall, professed, vocall, visible and Church embracing of the covenant, for then the Lord promiseth to the Eunuch the name of a faithfull visible fellow member, in a congregation, if he shall lay hold on the covenant, and sweare it in the Church assembly, this Church-swearing is not rewarded so, for how is it proved that a name, even an everlasting name, better then the names of sonnes and daughters, is the name of a fel­low-member in some obscure congregation or parish? is this better then the name of a borne Jew, who was also a mem­ber of the visible Church, and if he believed in Christ, had al­so the everlasting name of a member of the Jewish Church? Sure­ly there is no ground for this in Gods Word, the everlasting name must be some spirituall remembrance and some invisible honour beyond the externall honour of being named the sonne or daughter of a Jew, and by what warrant also of Gods word is Gods holy mountaine and his house of Prayer. v. 7. which [Page 114] in the New Testament can no more be literally expounded, then offering of burnt offerings by what warrant is this called a parochiall visible congregation, where visible saints meets in one materiall house ordinarily, and in one visible Church-way? The house of Prayer there, is Joh. 2. expounded of the typi­call Temple, which spiritually did typifie Christs body, as he expoundeth it himselfe, Ioh. 2. 18, 19, 20. deare brethren doe no violence to Gods Word.

2. There is no ground that the Eunuch and stranger had no other complaint, but want of visible membership: for his laying hold on the Lords Sabbaths saith the contrary, and though he should complain of that, it is a small comfort promised, th [...] he shall be a member of a visible congregation, which mem­bership many Iudasses and Hypocrites injoy also. 3. Though there were a visible Church-membership here promised (as no in­tepreter that ever yet saw it, but your selves) yet it should onely follow, before heathen, who are come to age, be Baptized, and so inchurched, they should externally lay hold on a professed covenant, and so, that they might be members of the invisible Church, before they be members of the visible Church, which is much for our Baptisme-covenant, and nothing for your Church-covenant. 4. Church-membership, by your exposition, Regul. j [...]ris con­ditionatum [...]ihil ponit, nisi pona­tur conditio. is promised to none, but these, who inwardly by true faith are joyned to the covenant; then all Church-Acts performed by pastors and professors not converted, though they proceed, clave no [...] errante, following Christ his rule are null, and no bapti [...]ing, no binding in heaven, for a promise conditionall is no promise (say reason and lawyers) where the condition is not fulfilled.

The Author of the Church-covenant Discourse of the Church covenant art. 1. citeth that of Ez [...]k. 16. 8. I entred into covenant with thee, and thou becamest min [...], Eze. 20. 37. I will cause you to passe under the rod; here is a co­venant, not of a person, but of the whole House of Israel, v. 30. 39. This covenant is called a band, and Junius observeth well, takes from shepheards, who went amongst their sheep with a Rod, and select­ed and poynted out such as were for the Lords sacrifice, Lev. 26. 31. Ergo, under the New Testament, men enter not into the Church, hand [Page 105] over head, but they passe under the Rod of due tryall, and then, being [...]ound meet, are inchurched.

Answ. He entered into covenant with Hierusalem, dying in her owne blood, v. 6. v. 8. your covenant is made with a people washed and converted. 2. All are taken in promiscuously in this covenant externally, good and evill, who prospered to a king­dome, and were renowned amongst the Heathen, v. 13. 14. Your Church covenant is of persons who passe under the rod of pro­ [...]ation, and passe for sound converts.

The other place is not to a purpose, for God is not speaking of gathering his people to a visible Church, but as Calvin. Calvin Pola [...]. com. Polanus, Iunius. Iunius, God is meeting with the peoples wick­ed conclusion, who said, v. 34. They were banished and cap­ [...]ives mixed amongst the Nations, and so free from Gods cor­ [...]ecting rod, or band of Discipline, and God saith, and I will make you to passe under the Rod [...], and I will bring you under the [...]and of my covenant; The Word is also Psal. 2. 3. and it is true [...]hat [...] signifieth a staffe and a rod, Prov. 10. 13. but it sig­nifieth also a Kings Scepter, Gen. 49. 10. but the band of the covenant signifieth no union of a visible Church, nor is the Lord in that place promising the mercy of a gathered Church, but by the contrary, he threatneth an evill, as v. 35. And I will bring you unto the wildernesse of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face, 36. Like as I peaded with your Fa­thers 37. And I will cause you to passe under the Rod, &c. To se­lect you out from amongst the Heathen, as sheep for sacrificing, as the next verse. 38. and I will purge out from amongst you the Re­ [...]lls, &c. This place is violently brought to witnesse unjustly: And what though God would have them tryed, who were taken under his covenant of protection? it should be the cove­nant of grace, and not a Church-covenant, for he meaneth no such thing.

They alleadge, Jerem. 50. 4. And in those dayes, and at that time, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, saying let us be joyned to the Lord, in a perpetuall covenant, that shall not be forgotten.

Answ. 1. Israel and Judah together cannot be a parochiall [Page 116] congregation; nor 2. Can Sion be a parish Church; nor 3. is the Church-covenant, from which a man is loosed, when upon good warrants, and the consent of the congregation, he removeth cut of that Church to another, A perpetuall Covenant that shall never be forgotten; for eternity is proper to the covenant of grace be­twixt God and man, Jerem. 31. 33, 37, 38. Jerem. 32. 40. Isal. 54. 10. Isai. 55. 3. Isai. 59. 21. and there is no covenant betwixt mortall men, who shall d [...]e, an eternall covenant.

The Author Discourse of a Church­covenant, [...]ol. 23. saith, There is nothing more plaine then Isai. 44. 5. One shall say, I am the Lords; and another shall call himselfe by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand, and sir­name himselfe by the name of Israel: These words are so plaine as nothing can be more plaine.

Answ. This is a cleare place, that under the M [...]ssiah all peo­ple shall professe themselves in covenant with God, and the children of God and the Church, and Calvin prae­lect. [...]b. Calvin citeth Psal. 87. 5. and of Sion it shall be said, This and this man was borne in her. but this is not plaine at all, that these professe themselves sworne members of a particular Parish; yea, the contrary is most plaine, that they shall call themselves by the name of Jacob and Israel; that is, children of the whole visible Church, for Jacob and Israel is not restricted to one particular congregation. Before the peoples captivity, saith Musculus, Musculus com. Isai. 44. The names of B [...]l and idoll gods sounded in their mouthes, but then they shall professe the true God, and that they are his people. Now Gods covenant is made principally, not with one single congregation, not is the blood that sealeth the covenant shed for one single congregati­on; nor are the promises of the covenant, Yea and Amen is Christ, for one single flocke onely, and primò & principaliter, but for the whole Catholike Church, and therefore they shall name themselves Christians.

The Author addeth, Discourse of the Church covenant. f. 9. Every Church is Christs married Spouse, united to Christ by covenant, the violation of marriage is the violation of a covenant; yea, and there is a marriage betwixt the Church-members, Isa. 62. 5. as a young man marrieth a Vir­gin, so shall thy sonnes marry thee.

Answ. A marriage betwixt Christ and his Church we grant and betwixt Christ and every particular soule beleeving in him, [Page 117] in respect of the love. 2. mutuall interest and claime one to ano­ther, Cant. 2. 16. and what holdeth betwixt Christ and a Church catholick, or particular, holdeth also betwixt Christ and every soule, and to extort a Church covenant betwixt Christ and a particular soule, who may be and often is a beleever, & yet out of Church-state, from the borrowed phrase of marriage, is [...]oo vio­lent blooding of comparisons; and therefore from marriage be­longing to the catholike Church principally, how can a marri­age visible be concluded? 2. the sonne [...] are the whole Church of the Gentiles; too large a P [...]rish incolaeterrae, saith Musculus, Musculus. and excellently Calvin, Calvinus pr [...]l [...]ct. [...]o sic Deus Ecclesia m [...]i­tus est, ut Eccle­sie sue maritet [...]nes p [...]pulos, qui ad cam ag­gregantur. Christ so is the husband of his Church, that he marrieth upon his Church all people and Nations which are gathered to her, because while the Church wanteth chil­dren, she is as it were a widow; now this is nothing for a Church­covenant. Thirdly, there is a relative obligation of mutuall duties of love betwixt fellow members of a visible Church, and betwixt sonnes and the mother congregation; but this is first done in Baptisme expresly; secondly, in our comming to be members of such a congregation, but the person is before a mem­ber of the visible Church.

The Author addeth Author of the Church­covenant. If dissolving a covenant be that which dissolveth a Church, as Zach. 11. 9. 10. then the making of a cove­nant is that which constituteth a Church; if dissipating of stones unbuild the house, then compacting of them together doth build the house; but the breaking of the covenant under the name of break­ing of the two staves, beauty and bands, Z [...]ch. 11. is the inchurching of the Iewes, Ergo;

Answ. The dissolving and breaking of the covenant of grace, and the removing of the Candlestick, and the Word of God, Revel. 2. 5. Am [...]s 8. 11, 12. taketh away the being of a Church, both as a true Church, and as a true visible Church; and of such a breaking of the covenant doth the Lord speake Zach. 11. v. 9. and I said I will not feed you; that which dieth, let it die; and that which perisheth, let it perish, &c. and it taketh away the union of brotherhead amongst the members, verse, 14. so the thing in question is not hence concluded; for the question is, if a Church­covenant make a Church as visible, and the breach of that Church-covenant unmake and dissolve a Church as visible, and [Page 118] this place proveth what maketh and unmaketh a Church sim­ply as a Church, not as visible and under that reduplication.

Quest. 3. Whether by testimonies from the new Testament, and good reasons, a Church-covenant can be evinced.

Our Author The way of the Chur­ches, chap. 3. sect. 4. prop. 3. alleageth, 2 Cor. 11. 2. I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ; so also the Apologie, Apologie chap. 6. this was nothing else but the planting of the Church at Corinth; if you say this Paul did while he converted them to the grace of Christ by his ministery; if this were true, saith he, then should Christ have many thousands, hundreds, and scores at least of spouses in one Church, which we thinke inconvenient. Se­condly, it is plaine he speaketh of the whole Church as of one spouse, and as it were one chaste Uirgin; which argueth, he perswaded them all (as the friend of the bridegroome) to give up themselves with one accord as one man into one body, to the fellowship and worship of the Lord Jesus.

Answ. it is a weake cause, that hangeth upon the untwisted thred of a misapplied metaphor. For 1. espoufing into Christ in the Text is opposed to being deceived and corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, as Evah was deceived by the serpent, and opposed to the receiving of another spirit, and another Gospell; so then to be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, and to receive another Gospell, must have this meaning; as Evah was deceived by the Serpent, so I feare that your simple minds be un-Churched and loosed from the visible Church of Corinth, and that you forget your covenant, wherein ye sweare to take Christ for your husband, and me for the friend of the Bridegroome, and that you be remisse in the duties of externall discipline; and Church-fellowship, and in excommunicating scandalous per­sons, &c. A [...] brethren, let not our Lords word be thus tortured and wrested. 2. He expoundeth this espoufing, the presenting of them to Christ in the day of God, as a washed, redeemed, and saved wife of Christ, and not of their Church continuing in visi­ble society. Yea, all interpreters, ancient and moderne, as Au­gustine, Theophylact, Chrysostome, Oecumenius, Cyrillus, Ambrose, Our latter, Calvin, Bullinger, Beza, Pom [...]ran, Pellicanus, Sar­cerius, Marlorat, Paraphrastes, Erasmus; and Papists, Aquinas, Haymo: give this sense. Paul as the friend to the Bridegroome [Page 119] finding the Corinthians despising him, and in love with false teachers, grew jealous of them for his Lords cause, that though he had betrothed them to Christ, as a virgin hand fastned by promise to a husband, left they should be drawne away to other lovers, by the cunning of false teachers as Evah was led from her Lord, by subtill Satan. 3. Though he speake of them, as of one body, spouse, virgin, how doth it follow that he speaketh of them, as of a ministeriall and a parochiall body? for the marriage, the betrothing to Christ, and the acts contrary, the receiving of another spirit, the corrupting of their simple minds, are acts altoge­ther spirituall, internall, invisible, and acts of a Church, as a true Church, & the contrary are acts of a false Church, as false, and not acts of a Church as visible, in a visible meeting, in a visible external act of marrying, nor is their any insinuation, that Paul feared the dissolving of the Church oath and visible order of government. 4. It is not inconvenient, that there be many Spouses, as in every true beleever, there be many single acts of marriage love, and of beleeving, and so of taking Christ for their husband and Lord. A visible Church is the House of God, 1 Tim. 3. 15. the Temple of God, Rev. 3. 12. and yet every beleever is a Temple, 1 Cor. 3. 17. and every one His House; seeing he dwelleth in them by saith, Ephes. 3. 17. also if this be a good reason, he speaketh of them all, as of one chaste virgin. Ergo, he speaketh of them all, as of one visible parochiall Church. Then brethren, because Christ speaketh, Joh. 3. 29. of the whole Church of the new Testament, as of one bride of himselfe as the bridegroome, and of the whole Catholique Church, that Christ hath washen and redeemed, as of one glorious Virgin, Ephes. 5. 27. and of the one Lambes wife, Revel. 21. 9, 10. it shall follow that the Catholique church is one visible Church, and so one Parochial congregation, for you mock at a Catholike visible Church, (as your Authour doth) who cal­leth it Way of the Churches of Christ in new England, ch. 1. sect. 2. a Chimaera, though without reason. 5. And certainely twenty beleevers in one house and so twenty hundred convened in one, yet out of Church-state, are a body married upon Christ in respect of his Spirit, and their faith laying hold on him, as on their husband; yea, and the Church of Corinth, as Saints by calling; and considered without the respect of a visible Church­fellowship, is more properly Christ [...] wife, and Christ their hus­band, [Page 120] then they can be called Christs wife, for an externall communion of a visible profession, which is common to them with many repro [...]ates; yea, there is no ground at all to call a company, because of their visible profession, Christs wife, no [...] doth Gods Word speake so; the converted by Prophets not in office are most properly his wife; and these may say, we have betrothed you to Christ; and be not deceived nor corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus. Hence that place also is not for our brethren, 2 Cor. 9. 12. The Apostle thanketh God for the Corinthians professed subjection to the Gospel, in their liberall contri­bution. Then (saith the Apologie Apology, ch. 11.) here is a Church cove­nant; but if this professed subjection be a ground of a Church-covenant, the Corinthians extended this charity to the poore a [...] Hierusalem, as the Churches of Macedonia did also, then many particular congregations are Church-members in Church-fel­lowship, with the Church of Ierusalem; for they professed this subjection to the Gospell toward the distressed at Ierusalem, and so Corinth exercised Church-acts toward other Churches then their owne; Independencie by this must fall. Secondly, to re­lieve the poore is a duty of Christian charity, common to belee­vers in Church-state, or not in Church-state, how then can it prove a duty of Church-state?

The Apology, ch. 11. Apology addeth, Hebr. 10. The Hebrews are com­manded not to forsake the assembly of themselves together, as the manner of some is; Ergo, they convened by mutuall consent, and so by covenant.

Answ. Doe not Infidels and Indians, as you teach The way of the Church­es of Christ in New Eng­land, c. 3. sect. 2. come to your Assemblies to heare the VVord, and partake of the pray­ers and praises of the Church? But ye will not say, They are to come to those Assemblies by a Church-covenant. Secondly, what though they intended Assemblies by consent, and tacite covenant? it will not follow therefore by your Covenant, which is the formall cause of a visible Church, and this place proveth nothing, 2 Cor. 8. 5. The Churches of Macedonia first gave them­selves to the Lord, and then to us, therefore they were In-churched, by way of covenant to our ministery, so Discourse of the Church covenant, fo. 9. the discourse; but these Churches gave themselves to God (in that dutie of charity) and then to us, the exhorters to that charity, and the convey­ers [Page 121] thereof to Ierusalem; then the Church of Corinth was mar­ried on God, on Paul, yea and on the Churches of Jerusalem, for the Author maketh this mariage-love, and so Jerusalem is erected a mother Church, and Corinth subjected unto her; for these who give Almes, as becometh saints, are said to give their heart to God, and to the poore, as Isai. 53. 10. To draw out their heart to the poore, and that because of their chearefull and compassionate giving. Our Author The way of the churches c. 3. sect. 4. saith John Baptist re­pelled Scribes and Pharisees, and the prophane multitude, from his baptisme, Luke 3. 7. Mat. 3. 7. and this was godly zeale, for they were a generation of Vipers, Luk. 3. 7. 8. and therefore they were not meet for Baptisme, which is a Baptisme of Repentance, Luke 3. 3. Philip baptised not the Eunuch while he made profession of faith. These and the like the Author and our brethren bring to prove, that men are not inchurched but by confession covenant-wayes, and also to prove that the matter of the Church should be Saints by calling, hence Apolog. ch. 11. The Apology citeth Iustin Martyr Iustin Mar­tyr apol. who saith three things were required of such▪ as were to be received into the Church. 1. [...], that they be dedicated to God as members of their Church. 2. [...] or regeneration, [...] saith or a confission of faith and. 3. [...] which is a promise or covenant to live according to the rule of the Gospell; and the Author saith Discoruse of the Church coven. 25. there were three questions prop [...]unded to these who were received by Baptisme, Abrenuncias? Abrenuncio. 2 credis? credo 3. spondes? spon [...]eo, Zipperus de polit. Ecclesiasti­ca. l. 1. c. 14. Consuctum est nt qui admittantu [...] ad S. caenam corā totâ ecclesia, pub­licè sidei conses­sionem edam per parentes aut c [...]s qui erant pa­rentum loco. Zipperus the Author saith hath more of this Discourse fol. 25..

Answ. 1. Yee read not in the word that Iohn Baptist reject­ed any from his Baptisme, who desired to be baptized, yea by the contrary, Luk. 7. 29. It is said, and all they that heard him, and the Publicans justified God, being Baptized with the Baptisme of John. v. 30. but the Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the counsell of God, against themselves, being not baptized of John: then the Pharisees and Lawyers refuse to be Baptized, and Mat. 3. 5. Then went out unto him, Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the Re­gions round about Jerusalem, confessing their sins, but when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadduces come to his Baptisme, he sayd unto them. O generation of Vipers, &c. But that he bap­tized, them by the same Sermon, is cleare, for v. 8. He exhort­eth [Page 122] them to Repentance, and v. 9. dehorteth them from a [...] hypocriticall profession, v. 10. he threatneth judgement to them, and v. 11. saith, I did baptize you with water, that (you) is relative, to these whom he called a generation of Vipers, and includeth them, for there is no ground in the Text to ex­clude them, and Luk. 3. 7. and he said to the multitude, that came forth to be Baptized, O generation of Vipers, & c. v. 21. and when Also if you w [...]ge a confessi­on of faith be­fore Baptisme of all and every one, ourdivines from Iohn his Baptizing of all Judea, doe prove the Bap­tizing of In­fants, you call in question with Anabap­tists, if it be law full to Bap­tise Infants, & you make a Church covenant necessarily re­quisite before Baptisme, and so all Baptized must be mem­bers of the vi­sible Church, which you de­ny. all the people was baptized, &c. Iesus also was Baptized. It is true, all that were baptized, and come to age confessed their sins, but they were entered members of the Christian Church by professing the covenant in baptisme, and their covenant was no Church-covenant, entering them members of a parochiall Church Oath, but entered them members of the whole visible Church, and they were not tyed to such and such Church-acts of prophecying and judiciall binding and loosing; Also could they all be satisfied in conscience of one anothers rege­neration, for they did not meete frequently together to prayer and spirituall conference? 2. How could all Jerusalem and all Judea, Ma. 3. 5, 6. and all the regions round about, and all the people baptized, Luk. 3. 21. all sweare a Church-covenant, and give a particular confession of their sinnes to the satis­faction of Iohn Baptistes conscience? yea Iohn saith expresly of this visible baptized Church, Mat. 3. 10. 12. that they were some of them fruitles Trees to be hewen down, and some of them ch [...]ffe to be burnt with unquenchable fire, so the materials of this baptized Church are not visible Saints, and Lawyers hold of the covenant, as our brethren say. 2. The Eunuch com­ing to Jerusalem to worship, (which is an act of a Church-member) was in Church-state before he was baptized, and a Proselite. 3. It is true that you cite out of Iustin Martyr, but you omit a word [...] (saith Martyr) a Baptisme-covenant and professed by the heathen come to age, of which also onely and of no other, Iustine Martyr speaketh, we wil­ingly acknowledge, but by that covenant they were received unto the catholick visible Church, and not unto a single inde­pendent Church only.

4. These Questions were propounded to the aged before they were baptized, and reason that heathen be tryed, before they [Page 123] be baptized, and in this we agree with the Synod of Synod. Heide­burg. c. 64. Heidel­burge, Synod. Lug­dinens. act. 17. in concione Lugdunensi against Papiste, and in Synods Parisiensi Parisiens. art. 3. and what Mr. Parker Parker de polit. Ecclesiast. l. 3. c. 16. 9, 4, 5. saith further of this kind may be admitted, if well expounded. 5. Zipperus help­eth us, consuetum est, &c. He thinketh it an ancient custome in the primitive Church, that before any were received into the Church they should give a confession, either themselves, or (saith he) Parents and Tutors, and so he acknowledgeth that infants in baptisme were made members of the Church, though they could not sweare this Church-covenant, nor give evidences of their conversion, and this is acknowledged by all the reformed Churches, of France, Germany, Holland, Helvetia, Poland, England, Scotland, &c.

The Apology Apology ch. 6. citeth, Acts 5. 13. And of the rest durst no man joyne himselfe to them, Greece, durst not be glewed to them, a word of marriage covenant, Mat. 19. 5. & Acts 9. 26. Saul desired to be glewed to them, the former word must note some vol­untrary act of joyning to the visible Church, and that different from the act of conversion, for otherwayes it is grosse Armimains­me, to say that our conversion dependeth upon our daring, or not daring, or that it is suspended upon an act of our freewill, for it de­pendeth upon the omnipotent working of the grace of God; and Saul Acts 9. 26. though converted, yea and baptized, yet was he not received into the Churchfellowship, untill they were better satis­fied of his spirituall estate, by Barnabas, hence it is an error, that to be added to the Church is only to be converted to the faith, Ergo, a covenant is requisite.

Answ. How strong is Gods truth, Brethren, yee make your opinion weake which hangeth upon a grammatication of one borrowed word, None durst joyne mariage-way to the Church-visible; Erasmus in paraph. Erasmus, Beza annot in loc. Beza say it is a word translated from Trees glewed together, and signifieth neither marriage, nor covenant, and signifieth either naturall or artificiall or morall conjunction, Acts 8. 29. Philip is bidden joyne himselfe to yonder Chariot, joyning of Chariots is neither by marriage, nor covenant, so is the word, Luk. 15. 15. 2. It is not joyned to a visible Parish Church, but to the whole Christian Church out of which Ananias and Saphira were cast. v. 9. 10. Which [Page 124] made great feare, and made those who were not baptized (saith Pomeran. comment. Pomeranus) to feare to joyne to the Church of God, and so it behoved to be the unbaptized and unconverted, who were feared, v. 12. and they were all with one accord, in Salomons porch, that is, all the faithfull added to the Church, now oppo­site to these, he saith of the unconverted and not added to the Church. v. 13. and of the [...]est, without the Church, durst no man joyne himselfe to the Church: now this cannot be in a visible society, for then Luke should intimate, that the unconverted might have added themselves to the Church if they durst, and had not beene stricken with the terror of the miraculous killing of Ananias and Saphira, now this they could not have done (as our Brethren say) hand over head, they behoved first to be con­verted, and testified their conversion by a Church Oath, nay Cajetan Cajetan. com. in loc. saith well, they durst not haunt their company, they sled from them, and from the Apostle Peter, as from a man slayer, Nor doth the holy Ghost (I thinke) meane of any Church fellowship, he presupposing that they were unconverted, at least our Brethren must say this. 3. It is an unlearned reason that they give to prove, he meaneth not of conversion, for all vo­luntrary acts supernaturall even of joyning to a visible Church and marrying of themselves to Christ, and his visible Church (as our Brethren say) are acts wrought by the irresistible, and omnipotent working of Gods grace, no lesse then our first con­version; and to thinke otherwayes of our supernaturall actions, is grosse Arminianisme, for so all who have written against Arminians as the learned Doctor Twisse, Amesius, Pareus, Triglandius, have expounded that passage (It is God who work­eth in us both to will and to doe) so Calvin, Beza, Sibrandus, Pareus, Ursine, Tilenus, Bucan, make all the operations of saving grace in conversion, and after conversion, irresistible. And it is knowen how the Dominicanes, Alvarez, Estius, Bannes Fran. Cumel, Matthew Rspolis, and many of that side hold a predeterminateing operation of grace ad modum causoe Phy­sicoe, which beginneth before free will, so that no operations supernaturall, yea nor naturall are suspended upon the li­berty of freewill, and they hold againsti Pelagianes, and the Jesuites, Snarez, Vasques, Valentia, Becan, Lod. Meratius, [Page 125] Hyeron. Fasolus, Did. Ruiz; and if you suspend all voluntrary acts upon the influence of freewill, you follow Pelagians, Je­suites, Socinians, and Arminians in that point. 4. It is true the Disciples were affraid to admit Saul to their society, and no wonder, for he had not long since made havock of the Church; but. 1. They did not inchurch him by an Oath. 2. They re­ceived him upon the sole testimony of Barnabas v. 27. which order you keepe not, refusing communion to Christians of ap­proved piety, and knowen so to you, because they cannot sweare your Church covenant. 5. Who they be, who thinke, to be converted to the faith, and to be added to the visible Church, to be all one I know not; our divines never said it. 6. Though all were granted you, they durst not joyne to the apostolick vi­sible Church; Ergo, there is a Church covenant, it is a great con­sequent.

Now I desire to try your reasons for a Church covenant. It is not (saith the Apology) Apolog. c. 6. hearty affection that uniteth Church-members in a visible Church, for so England and Scot­land are united, nor. 2. cohabitation, for Papists and Protestants 1 Arg. from Reason. may cohabite, and yet they are not of one visible Church, nor 2. Meeting in one assembly uniteth not persons together, for infidels and Turkes. 1 Cor. 14. may come to Church-assemblies, and heare the word, Ergo, this union must be as in all Bodies, Ci­ties, Houses, Armies, by Covenant; none is made a Citizen to have right to the priviledges of the City, but by a Covenant, for when one is received a member of an House or of an Army, or of any incorporation, [...] is by a Covenant.

Answ. 1. The ennumeration is unsufficient, for the Seale of Baptisme and a profession of the truth, is that which maketh one a member of the visible Church. 1 Cor. 12. 13. for by one spirit, we are all baptized into one body, and can you deny the covenant, which is sealed in baptisme? and by this are all the Citizens and Domesticks inchurched and received into the visible Church, and when one removeth from one congrega­tion to another, hee maketh a tacite covenant to serve God in all his Ordinances with that new society, but he is not there­by made a member of the visible Church; for that he was be­fore: nor hath hee right to the Seales, as they are Seales of [Page 126] such a Church, but as they are Seales of the whole Catholick Church.

The Apostles (saith the Apolo ib. ch 6. apology) did two things when 2 Arg. they planted Churches 1. They joyned them together in a Church covenant. 2. They constituted Elders in every Church, Acts 14 13. what the Apostles did, after they converted their hearers, a baptizing, praying for them, laying on of hands, exhorting, in­churching against persecuters, disputing against adversaries, miracles▪ are acts tending to the good of the Church, not acts of planting a Church.

Answ. 1. The first of these two is in question, we reade not of such a covenant, as our brethren speake of. 2. Convert­ing of Soules after the Church is constitute, is an adding to the Church, and preaching tendeth to this; The Law of the Lord converteth, Psal. 19. and when the Church is planted, it is not a perfect house, but stones are fitted and laid upon the corner stone dayly. 3. That the Apostles act of planting is conver­sion and gathering to a visible body by a covenant, we deny; for planting is an erecting of Professors and Judges or Officer, whether they be converted, or not, so they professe the truth.

3. Arg. All Churches (saith the discourse Discourse of the church co­venant [...]l. 10. 11.) are confounded, if there be not this Covenant to distinguish them, Smyrna is not Ephe­sus or Thyatira, none of them is Laodicea. 2. Every one of them is re­buked, for their own faults. 3. Faith or cohabitation doth not distinguish them., Ergo, this Church-covenant only doth distinguish them.

Answ. Particular congregations differ not in essence and nature, as Church covenants differ not in nature; onely they differ in accidents and number, and it is folly to seeke dif­ferences, for Church covenants make not the difference; for [...] Church covenant ia common to them all. 2. So Peter may be re­buked for his fault, and John for his, yet Peter and John differ not in nature.

The apology Apology p. 11. addeth, it is not a Covenant simply and is generall, that doth constitute a Church, or distinguish it from ano­ther, but a Covenant with application, or appropriation, to these per­sons, as in mariage all promise these same duties, yet a Covenant ap­plyed to this man, and this woman, maketh this man such a woman [...] husband, and no other man.

[Page 127] Answ. If this be all, baptisme and professed Faith applied to this man rather then to this, shall as well distinguish persons and Churches, as Church covenants, so applied. 2. This is not a good and fit division, so to appropriate this Pa­stor to this flock, as he shall be a Pastor to no other people, but to them, and everteth all communion of Churches and Saints and denieth the use of the Seales in this Congregation from all members of another congregation whereas; God hath made him a pastor in relation to the whole visible Church on Earth, though his labours be tyed to one determinate Church; So Papists marry the Bishop and his Church, hence they thought it unlawsull for a Bishop to d mit his Church in any case, for Enaristus Epis [...] 2. de Epis­copis [...]j [...]ctis sicut vir non debet ad­ul [...]erare uxorem suam, ita neque episcopus ecclesi [...] suam ut cam de­mitttat. Enaristus calleth that spirituall adultery, and we cannot approve of the Concil. Anti­och. c. 21. councell of Antioch, and Concil. Sar­di. cons. 1. Sardis, that none can leave his Wife, that is, his married Church, etiamsi à po­pulis eri [...] Episcopus necessitate adactus; And they say that Concil Car­thaginense. 3 c. 38. Cres­ [...]on was condemned in the councell of Carthage, for changing his Wife, to wit, his Church, I [...]nocetius. 3. and Innocentius 3. saith, the spirituall baend of mariage betwixt a Bishop and his Church, is stronger, then the mariage-band betwixt a man and his wife; yea, Dominicus a Soto Dominicus Sotus justit. & jure. l. 3. quest. 6. art. 2. saith, to change Churches is against the Law of nature, as to change Wives; yea saith Innocentius. 3. Innocent 3. Onnipotens Deus conjugium quod est inter Episcopu [...] & Ecclesiam suo tantum judicio reservavit dissolvendum.

3. Argu. A free people (saith our Author) Way of the church ch. 1. sect. Prop. 3. cannot be joyned in a body, but by mutuall consent, as appeareth in all Re­lations, betwixt Parents and Children, Husband and Wife, no Church (saith he) Ibid. ch. 3. sect. 4. can take charge of a stranger believer comming from another congregation, unlesse he give himselfe, and offer his professed subjection to the Gospell, also it is a part of the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, that every one choose [...]his own Pastor, Rom. 14. 1. we are to receive a weake believer; Ergo, he is to offer himselfe to the Church and to their order, by Covenant.

Answ. 1. It is true, the relation of Pastor and free people is founded upon a tacite Covenant, but this Covenant is made in Baptisme, for a pastor is a pastor to yound children whom [...]he received into Covenant, in baptisme, according to that, Acts [Page 128] 20. 28. feed the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, now infants are of these, because he is to feed them as a pastor loveing Christ his lambes and young ones, no lesse then the aged. 2. Because hee exercised pastorall acts over young ones, when he baptizeth them, yet infants are not under a ministery by a Church covenant. 3. The act of election includeth a tacite promise of subjection to the Minister, who is elected, and the pastors acceptation of the Church-Office includeth a tacite promise to feede that flock, but this is no Church-covenant, which I prove by one argument unanswer­able. The Church-covenant (say our Brethren) is the formall cause of our Churchmembership, and of a visible Church, as a reasonable soule is the formall essence of a man, now the co­venant that can intervene betwixt a pastor elected, and a people electing, is a posterior and later by nature, then a Church-covenant; for a people is a Church, as our brethren teach) and so constitute in its full power of all Church operations, and so hath its entyre essence, and essentiall forme, before they elect a pastor, as a man must be a reasonable man, before he can exercise the second operations, or actus secundos flowing from a reasonable soule. Therefore a Church and Pastor d [...]e take charge of a stranger comming to the Congregation though there be no Church-covenant, betwixt the Pastor and stranger, for the Church covenant is prior to the comming of this stranger and hath already constituted the Church in its entyre essence and operations, though no stranger come at all, and though that stranger never covenant to obey the Pastor, and the Pastor never covenant to take care of that stranger. 4. Whereas it is said, It is a part of the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, that every one choose his own Pastor, I see not the truth of this in Scripture; The people hath power to choose, but that is a part of Christian liberty in this sense, I see not: the Prophets and Apostles exercised pastorall acts over many who made not choise of their Ministery, yea they preached to them against their will, and Paul preached as a Pastor to many in Corinth, against their will, and a faithfull Pastor may preach to many, who never made choise of him for their Pastor, and to whom the word is the savour of death unto death, and to whom he hath vengeance [Page 129] in readinesse. 5. There is no liberty purchased to us by Christ, but such as is regulated by Gods Word, and found reason, a li­berty of sole will in embracing or refusing a Minister, is licence, not liberty: now in Christ, we are called to liberty, not to li­cence, and if some of a congregation wanting the spirit of dis­cerning upon prejudice, refuse a called pastor, to be their pa­stor; yet if the most part of the congregation elect him, he is a pastor to all, and to those who refused him, as Christ doth reigne in the word and Ministery, over hypocrites, in a congre­gation, who say in their hearts we will not have this man to reigne over us; yet here is a Ministeriall charge which a pastor hath lawfully over such, as are not willing to submit to that mini­stery: the power of electing a pastor is not infallible; what if they or most of them, upon sole groundlesse prejudice, refuse such a man to be their pastor, is he not their pastor because all consent not? are we to thinke that Christ purchased a liberty in his bloud of refusing a called pastor? nor can we thinke these who taught the doctrine of the Nicolaitans in Pergamus, and these who held the doctrine of Balaam, or that the woman Jezebel which called her selfe a prophetesse in Thyatira, and seduced the people of God to commit fornication, and to eate things sacrificed to Idols, were received in Pergamus and Thyatira by a Church covenant; nor hath it colour of truth, that the faith­full there were satisfied in conscience, with the conversion of I [...]zabel, and such as held the doctrine of Balaam, and that they consented, and did choose the Angell of the congregation of Pergamus, and Thyatira (as our brethren speake) for their pa­stor, and yet the pastors and Church are rebuked for not exe­cuting the censures of the Church over the followers of Ba­laam, Revel. 2. 14, 15. and upon Iezabel the false prophetesse; Ergo they are not all such materialls of a visible Church, (as our brethren say) even saints by calling, and a Church doth well take the charge of those, who never offered their profes­sed subjection to Christs Ordinances, we are not to thinke, that these who called themselves Apostles, and yet were Lyers, were visible saints approved in the sight of God to the consciences of the Church of Ephesus, and that such did offer their profes­sed subjection to the Angell and Church of Ephesus, as you teach, [Page 130] yet that Church tooke care of them, by the censures of the Church, and are commended therefore, Revel. 2. 2. Thou canst not beare them that are evill, and hast tryed them, which say they are Apostles, and hast found them liers. If a false teacher shall come to a congregation, and be a hearer for some yeares, and at length fall to, and teach pernitious Doctrine, will not the Church censure him, labour to stop his mouth, yea and ex­communicate him, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord? I thinke they cannot but exercise some Church censures, and that the pastors convincing of such a gaine-sayer, and a stopping of his mouth, is the very pastorall charge, layd upon Titus by Paul, Tit. 1. 10, 11, 12. as is most cleare v: 13. Rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.

6. That place Ro. 14. is not rightly, expounded, for [...] is not to receive into Church-state by way of covenant, but it is, as Pareus Pareus com­ment, Rom. 14. saith, am [...]ter & placide instituere, patienter tolerare, to instruct him patiently in the Christian liberty about meates and dayes, and so Beza ann [...]t. Beza, take him in; and far lesse, slee not his company, Calvin. com. Marlorat, institute, fovete, donec proficiat, and so Castellio. Calvin, (e) Castellio, opitulemini, helpe him, and the word is Philem. 12. receive him as my bowells, not unto Church-state, for Philemon was no pastor.

Question 3. VVhether or not, it be lawfull for one, or many Quest. 18. sent and resolved by the postors of New Eng­land. particular Churches, to sweare a plate-forme, and prescri­bed vocall covenant, called the confession of Faith, of such a Church.

It is a fit place, having spoken so much of a Church covenant, to speake of a covenant of the faith of a Church; our Bre­thren being asked, what meanes have you to preserve unity and verity.

Answ. 1. We have (say they) Scriptures. 2. The pastors, Epk [...] 4. 11. and Gods promise to leade them in all truth, Ierem. 32. 39. Ier. 16. 13. But this is not a right Answer, for when we inquire of the meanes to preserve verity and unity, we aske for the ex­ternall meanes, whereby the Scriptures are kept, from false glosses; it is true the Scriptures keepe themselves from false interpretation: but the Question is, by what externall meanes doe the Scriptures keepe themselves from false glosses?

[Page 131] The answer is not right, the Scriptures keepe themselves from false glosse [...], by keeping themselves from false glosse [...]. Also the Question is by what meanes doe pastors keep unity amongst themselves. It is not right answered, that pastors, by pastors, keepe [...]nity amongst themselves.

But we think a plat-forme (say [...]ur Brethren ibid:) of doctrine and discipline, or a confession of Faith, or doctrine according to godlines, may be made by any Church or person, but (say they) [...] plat-forme to be imposed on our selves or others, as a binding Rule [...]f faith, and practise, so that all men must believe and walke accord­ing to that plat-forme, without adding, altering, or omitting, we doubt whether such be lawfull, or convenient. Whence our brethren con­ [...]emne the swearing or subscribing by Oath, of a confession [...]mposed or stinted by the Church. Let these considerations be weighed.

1. Distinction, There is a principall and originall and formall [...]round of faith which is the Word of God in the Old or New Testa­ment, this is the onely persit and formall ground of Faith. 2. There is a secondary and materiall ground of Faith, which is so far [...] ground of Faith and practise, as it agreeth with the VVord [...]f God.

2. Distinct. There is a confession which containeth fundamen­talls only, the knowledge whereof is simply necessary for salvati­on, and the simple ignorance whereof condemneth; There is a con­fession which containeth fundamentalls and non-fundamentalls, which are not simplie necessary to be knowen by all, necessitate [...]edii.

3. Dist. A confession of faith, is to be respected in regard of the matter, which is Divine Scripture, or according to the stile, conception and in­ [...]erpretation, which is in some respect, humane.

4. Distinct. There is a confession of a particular man, what such a person, or Church believeth de facto, as the confession of [...]e Belgick Arminians, and a confession de jure, what eve­ry one ought to believe, as the Nicen Creed, the Creed of [...]thanasi [...]s.

5. Dist. There is a confession of a faith firme and sure, quoad [...]ertitudinem fidei, quoad substantiam articulorum credendo­ [...]um, sure in the Articles believed, and a confession sure, quoad [Page 132] radicationem fidei in subjecto; the first way all are obliged [...] believe the Articles contained in the word, But we see not, how now after the Canon of Scripture is closed, but the certainty of faith, according to the measure of light more or lesse, as our Lord more or lesse doth reveale himselfe, in a more, or lesse measure of ligh: doth not grow, wo [...], or decrease, according to the certainy of faith, the second way, hence we say.

1. Conclusion, Onely the Word of God is the principall and formall ground of our Faith, Eph. 2. 20, 21, 22. 2 Tim. 3. 16. Luk. 14. 25.

2. Concl. A confession of Faith containing all fundamen­tall points, is so farre forth the Word of God, as it agreeth with the Word of God, and obligeth as a rule secunda­ry, which wee believe with subjection to God, speaking in his owne Word, and to this plat-forme wee may lawfull­ly sweare.

1. What ever wee are obliged to believe and professe as the saving truth of God, that we may lawfully sweare to professe, believe and practise, that the bond of faith may be sure: but wee are obliged to believe and professe the nationall con­fession of a sound Church; Ergo. The proposition is cleare, from Davids and the Saints practise who layed bands on their soules to tie themselves to that which is lawfull, as, Psal. 119. 106. I have sworn, and will performe it, that I will keep thy Righteous judgements. The major is the doctrine of our D­vines, and cleare, when they explaine the matter of a lawfull Oath as Pareus Ur­fin. in mand. 3. q [...]. 102. art. 4. Pareus 'Bucanus loco 45. quest. 6. Bucanus Tilen. sint. disp. 42. in tert. pr [...]c [...]pt disp. 1. Thess 17. Tilenus, Profess. Leyd. synop. purior. the­olog. disp. 38. Thess. 5. Profess Leydens. Calvin in mand. 3. Calvin, Iunius, Beza, Piscator, Zanchi [...], &c. That things lawfull, may lawfully be sworne to GOD, observing other due circumstances. The assumption is [...] ­deniable.

2. Arg. That whereof we are assured in conscience to be the truth and true Religion, bringing salvation to mens soules, to that we may tie our selves, by an Oath, upon the former grounds. But the sound confession of faith, set downe in a platform [...] is such, as we may and are to be assured of in conscience, [...] the truth of God; Ergo, The assumption is proved, because what is Gods Word and truth, of that we are to be assured of i [...] [Page 133] conscience, as Col. 2. 7. Being knit together in love unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, and Heb. 6. 11. should keepe the full assurance of hope to the end, Col. 2. 2, 3. Eph. 4. 14.

3. If the people of the lewes did sweare a covenant with God, to keep the words of the covenant, to doe them, Deut. 29. 9. 10, 11. To seeke the Lord God of Israel with all their heart, and with all their soule, 2 Chron. 15. 12. and if they entered into a curse, and an oath, to walke in the Lords law which was given by Moses the servant of God, to observe and doe all the Commandements of the Lord, and subscribed and sealed the covenant, with their hands, Nehem. 10. 1. v. 29. Then is it lawfull for a Church to sweare, and by oath sub­scribe an Orthodox confession. But the former is true, as the places alledged cleare; Ergo, so is the latter. That which onely may be doubted of, is the connexion of the major proposition, because Israel did sweare to nothing but to Moses written Law, which in matter and forme was Gods expresse written word; but it will not follow, that we may sweare a plat-forme of Divine truth framed and penned by men; but the connexion notwith­standing of this remaineth sure, because Israel did sweare the Lords covenant, according to the true meaning and intent of the Holy Ghost, as it is Gods Word, and we also sweare a Nati­onall covenant, not as it is mans word, or because the Church or Doctors, at the Churches direction, have set it down in such and such words, such an order or method, but because it is Gods Word, so that we sweare to the sense, and meaning of the plat­forme of confession, as to the Word of God; now the Word of God, and sense and meaning of the Word is all one; Gods Law and the true meaning of the Law are not two different things. When a Jew sweareth to the doctrine and covenant of God in the Old Testament, in a Jewish meaning, he sweareth not to the Word of God, because the Word of God unsoundly expounded is not the Word of God; and though the Sadducees and Pharisees sweare the five bookes of Moses, and the very covenant which Asah and the Kingdome of Iud [...]h did sweare 2 Chron. 15. yet doe they not sweare the covenant of God, and that same which Gods people did sweare 2 Chron. 15. Or if any professing they worship idols should sweare that covenant, alledging the cove­nant doth not forbid idols to be memorials and objects by [Page 134] which absolute adoration is given to God, we would not thinke that they had sworne the covenant of God, but onely words of God falsely expounded, yea and made to be not Gods Word, but a plaine lying invention. Therefore it is all one whether a Church sweare a confession, in expresse words of Scripture; or a cove­nant in other words expounding the Scriptures true meaning and sense according to the language and proper idiom of the Nation and Church; for we sweare not words or a platforme as it is such, but the matter, sense, and meaning of the Scriptures of God set downe in that platforme; and it is certaine, in Nehe­miahs time there was some platforme, either the writings of Moses, or some sound exposition thereof; else I see not how they could seale it, Nehem. 9. 38. And because of all this, we make a sure covenant, and write it, and our Princes, Levites and Priests seale unto it. Now that which was written could not but be a platforme either in Scripture onely, according to the meaning of the exacters of the oath, or some interpretation; else every man writ his owne covenant and sealed it, which is not like, for they all joyntly sware this covenant; and the reason of this written, sworne, and sealed covenant, being morall, as is cleare, because of the apostasie of the whole Church, and judgements upon them, for their apostasie, v. 38. And because of all this, we make, and write a sure covenant, saith the Text [...] & in toto hoe (vertit Arias Mont. Arias montanus) nos excidentes fideli­tatem Hebraei. Iudaei excudentes faedus fidele, Iunius annot. Iunius, pro toto hoc pe­pigimus constitutionem; now sinnes, back-slidings, and judge­ments may be and often are in all the Christian Churches. 2. To sweare to the true religion, the defence and maintenance there­of is a lawfull oath; as to sweare to any thing that is lawfull, and to lay a new band on our soules to performe holy duties, where we feare a breach, and finde by experience there hath beene a breach, is also a dutie of morall and perpetuall equity; there­fore such a sworne covenant is lawfull: I say not from this place, that it is necessary, that all subscribe with their hands a cove­nant, because I thinke onely the Princes, Levites, Priests and heads of families did subscribe the covenant, Nehem. 9. 38. but Nehem. 10. 28, 29. The whole people, all who had separated them­selves from the Lands sinne, and their strange wives, even their wives, [Page 135] their sonnes, their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding. V. 29. They clave to their brethren, their Nobles and entered into a curse, and into an oath to walke in Gods Law. If it be replied, that there was in Israel no written covenant drawne up by a man, and put in a mans stile, language, method, and frame, they did sweare to keepe Moses his Law. I answer, when we sweare a covenant, our faith doth not relie upon words, characters, stile of language, or humane method, or any humane respects, but upon the truth of God, in that platforme; and sup­pose we should swear and subscribe the Old and New Testament translated into our vulgar Language; we doe not sweare to the translation, characters, and humane expression; but to the mat­ter contained in the translation; and that because Iehovah our Lord hath spoken it in his Word. And if this be a good argu­ment why we cannot sweare a platforme, then should none sweare a covenant at all, or make any holy vow, but those who understand the originall Languages in Hebrew and Greeke; and yet the characters and imprinting is humane even in the original, so all religious covenants and oathes should be unlawfull.

4. Argum. What a Church or person is to suffer for, or to be­lieve, and obliged to render account of to every one that asketh account of us, that we may sweare, and seale with our hands, because what we are to suffer death for, and the losse of tempo­rall life, for which we owe a reckoning to God by vertue of the [...]ixt Commandement, that is a matter of truth which we pro­fesse before God and men, and our dying for the truth, is a sort of reall oath, that we are before God professing that truth, is to be preferred to our life.

But we are to suffer (if God call us) even death for the true Religion, Revel. 2. 13. Act. 7. 57, 58. Luk. 21. 15 16. Phil. 1. 20, 21. [...]nd the truth; and we are obliged to believe, and to give account thereof before all men, and a reason of our faith and hope, 1 Pet: [...], 15. Ergo, we may sweare it.

Argum. 5. If an oath to the true Religion, and forme of wholesome Doctine, be a speciall remedy against back­ [...]iding, and a meane to keepe off false and heretical doctrine; then is such an oath lawfull: but the former is true▪ Ergo; The Proposition is cleare; Gods people say, Nehem. 9. 38. Because of [Page 136] all this; that is, because they had done wickedly, and were tempted still to doe more, therefore they write and seale a Co­venant; and if false teachers teach, Circumcision must be if we [...] would be saved, then the Church may, according to Acts 15. condem [...]e that false doctrine by the VVord of God, and set downe Canons which the Churches are to observe; and what they are to observe as warranted by Gods VVord, layeth on bands upon the Conscience, and what layeth on such a band, that wee may binde our selves, by oath, to performe, it being a speciall remedy lawfull against backsliding from the truth.

6. Arg. Our brethren have their grounds and reasons against the swearing of confession common to them, with the Ar­minians and Socinians, and their Arguments are all one; for Remonst. in scrip. Synodicis pag. 81. Arminians censure the Belgick confession and the Pala [...]ines Catechisme, and propound thirteene questions against it, as the third question is, An quaecunque dogmata in confessione & Cat [...] ­chisme tractantur talia sunt, ut cuilibet Christiano ad salutem cre­ditu necessaria sint. And their seventh question is, If such con­fessions may be called secundaria fidei norma; a secundary rule of faith: also all Confessions, say they, Remonst. in presat. [...] De­clarat. suam Confessiones co fine editae, non ut authores earum, testatum face­rent quid sit credendum sed quid ipsi crede­rent. declare That Confessi­ons serve not to teach what we ought to beleeve, but what the Au­thors of these Confessions did beleeve. Hence they reject all the determinations of the Orthodox Councels, condemning the heresies of Arrius, Eutiches, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Sabelli [...], Samosate [...]us, Pelagius, and all the Oxthodox Confessions of the reformed Churches. Secondly, also upon these grounds they alledge in their Apologie Apolog. Rem [...]str. fol. 6. There be few things to be beleeves, that every sect may be the true Church, so they beleeve some few Articles not controverted amongst Christians, such as these, Th [...] there is a God, and that the Word of God is true, &c. Thirdly, they will not condemne the Macedonians, Arrians, Anti-trinitar [...], Pelagians, or others, of fundamentall herefies. Fourthly, that one Church of Christians may be made up of Papists, Prote­stants, Anabaptists, Macedonians, Sabellians, &c. and all sects so they leade a good life, according to the few Articles necessa­ry to salvation, may be saved, and all may be saved of any sect or Religion. Fifthly, that to sweare Declarations, Confessions, Canons of Orthodox Councels, is to take away the liberty of pro­phesying [Page 137] and growing in the knowledge of the Word of God, and the praying for grace and light of the holy Spirit for the right meaning of Gods Word. Sixthly, that Athanasius spake amisse, when he said of the Creed, that it was to be beleeved of every one who is to bee saved, [...], and the same is the doctrine of the Socinians, who doe in all these oppose all Confessions of Faith, and all Orthodox Decisions, Canons, and determinations of Sinods. So Socinus Respon. & Resp. & Volani pag. 2 22. Socinus rejecteth all Synods, all Confessions and Decisions even of the Church universall. So Smalcius refut. lib. de er­ror. Arr. au. 1. c. 1. f. 6. Smalcius cal­ [...]eth it a rejecting of the Word of God. And Nicolaid. in resut. tract. de Ecclesia c. 9. pag. 75. Theol. Nico­ [...]aides saith, That it is enough to know things absolutely necessary for salvation; and that the Churches determination cannot remove er­rours and heresies.

Our brethens first Argument against a Nationall Covenant [...], Quest. [...]8 [...] If the doctrine contained in your platforme of Confession [...]warve from the Scriptures, then the imposing thereof is so farre un­lawfull; if the doctrine be according to Scripture, the platforme is [...]eedlesse, the Scripture being sufficient.

Ans. 1. This is the argument of Arminians, Episcopius saith, Episc [...]pius disp. 32. thes. 2. and expresly Smalcius loc. cit. Smalcius, Qui vnlt sensum scripturae ab il­ [...]s (confessionibus) peti, tacitè deserit scripta Apostolica, & tradi­tiones humanas commendat. And therefore such decisions are [...]ay the Remonst. Apol. f. 29. Remonstrantes) Pestes Ecclesiarum & regni An­ [...]christi, idest, tyrannidis fulcra & tibicines. Secondly, this Ar­ [...]ument may be as well propounded against the preaching of the Word, all printed Sermons, Commentaries, and interpretation of Scripture, as against a Confession: For if the doctrine in Ser­ [...]ons bee not agreeable to Scripture, then in so farre as Mini­sters commend and command it to their hearers, it is unlaw­f [...]ll; if it be agreeable to the Scripture, it is needlesse, the Scrip­tures (saith the Socinian Smalcius) are sufficient.

Our brethren answer, Preaching is an ordinance of God, but a [...]atforme of confession is not an ordinance of God.

Answ. A platforme, as it is conceived, in such a stile, me­ [...]hod, and characters, and words, is a humane ordinance, Tali [...]rie & ordine, and so is preaching; but we sweare to no plat­ [...]orme in that consideration; but a platforme according to the truth contained in it, in which sense onely it is sworne unto, is [Page 138] the Word of God, as are systemes of Divinity, [...]ermons printed and Preached, and so though preaching be an Ordinanced God, as it is, Rom. 10. 14. yet according to the words, expres­sion, dialect method, or doctrine, it is an humane ordinance; and so the Argument is against preaching as against our plat­forme.

Our Brethrens second Argument is▪ The Platforme abridgeth Christian liberty, to try all things, and so though it be some means of unity, yet it is a dangerous hinderance of some verity, binding men to rest upon their former apprehensions, and knowledge, without libery to better their judgements.

Ans. 1. This in stile of language and truth of words is the very argument of Arminian [...]. So in their Remonstrant. apol. Hoc itaque fundamento se­ [...]el [...] j [...]cto, semper in Eccle­sia Christi sarta tecta man [...]it li­bertas ( [...] [...]an­di) quâ sine per­iculo in formu­las islas ( [...]d est fidei cōfessiones) inquirere, iisque sine periculo con­tradicere licebit. Preface, and in their Apol. Re­monst. s 7. Theo­logiae ipsius ani ma suffocatur atque eliditur, ubi decisiones sunt, quibus con­stanter sirmiter­ (que) haerendum esl. Apology it selfe they say. All liberty of prophecing and disputing against the Orthodox faith is taken away, if men be tied and obliged to decisions and confessions of Churches, and Synods. Yea to make an end of controversies (saith Episcop. disp. 32. Thes. 11. li [...]i [...]m sinem facere circa Religionis capita (per con­fessones & ca­vones synodicos) aliter quam persuadendo, est tyrannidem invehere in Ecclesiam, l. C. Et libertiu [...] conscientiarum si non omnino toll [...]re, saltem vehementer astringere & ligare. Episcopius) other­wayes then by perswading, is to bring a tyranny into the Church of Jesus Christ, and wonderfully to bind, if not to take away liber­ty of consciences; So in their Apology they say, confessions and de­cisions of Synods imposed by Oath, and to be firmely believed ar [...] contrary to the prayers of Saints, where they pray, that God would teach them his starutes, and reveale his Law and Testimonies [...] them, and open their Eyes to behold the wonders of Gods Law. But the truth is, though these of Berea did well to try Pauls Doctrine, if it was consonant to the Scriptures, or not. Yet Pauls Doctrine was the determination apostolick of Gods Spi­rit, to the which they were firmely to adhere, and their judge­ments are to be bettered, in graduali revelatione creditorum, [...] revelatione plurium credendorum, in cleare revelation of things revealed. For so the children of God are to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, 2 Pet. 3. 14. After Christ is once revealed: but not in believing in a new Christ, or in believing of poynts contrary to the confession of faith.

The Argument presupposeth the Doctrine of the Arminians, [Page 139] that there be a number of points in our confession, of which we have no certainty of faith, that they are Gods truth, but are things controverted, and, being not fundamentall poynts, may be holden, or we may forsake them, as false, after better information. Which indeed maketh our faith of Gods Word, [...]o full perswasion, but as the learned professors of Leyden Censure de­clar▪ profess, Leyd. in praefa. Fides [...]orari [...], vel menstrua stc erit. say, a faith of an houre, or a month, or a yeare, which we may [...]ast away, the next yeare. And this is to deny all confessions and points of truth, with pretence that the Spirit hath revealed new truth: but how are these new revealed truths (the Reve­lation whereof wee obtaine by prayer) rather workes of the spirit of truth; then the former poynts which wee retract? No man by this can be rooted and built in the faith, of any thing, except in the faith of things simply fundamentall. By which meanes all poynts at least many of them betwixt us and Papists, Arminia [...], Macedonians, Sabellians, Arrians, Anabap­ [...]tiste, are matters reconcileable; and either side may be hol­den, without hazard of salvation. Neither is this definition of confessions any tyranny. Because confessions are to be believed, in so far, as they are agreable to Gods Word, and lay upon us an obligation secondary onely, yet are they not so loose, as that we may leap from poynts of faith, and make the doctrine of faith arena gladiatoria a fencing field for Gamesters and Fen­cers. The materiall object of our faith, and the secondary ground and foundation thereof, may be very well, and is, Gods Word; primary is preaching, confessions, Creeds, Symbols, which are not serie & ordine Scripturae: and yet have wee certainty of Divine faith in these things, because the formall object is, be­cause God so saith in hi [...] Scripture, and wee believe these with certainty of Divine Faith, under this reduplication, because the Lord hath spoken these quoad sensum, in true meaning, though not in illâ scrie & ordine; But more of this hereafter.

CHAP. 6. SECT. 6.

Touching Officers and their election.

OUr Author laboureth to prove that Pastors and Doctors are different Officers, which wee will not much improves, but if the meaning be, that they are inconsistent, in one man person, wee are against him. 1. Because the Apostles in their owne persons, and in feeding the flock, 2 Tim. 3. doth both under the name of Overseers and Bishops, and exercised both, as they could, according as they did finde the auditory. 2. Be­cause the formall objects the informing of the judgement, and exhorting are not so different, as that they should be imcompa­tible, for if God give them gifts both for the Doctors Chaire, and the pastors Pulpit, as hee often doth, what should hinder but the Church may call one and the same man, to both the Pastor and the Doctors Chaire, as hee is able to, over­take both.

Author. 1. Reas. 1 Cor. 12. 8. To one is given a word of wisdom [...] (for direction of practice,) to another a word of knowledge (for directi­on of judgement.) Ans. This proveth they be different gifts and Offices, yet not that they are incompatible in one person, as one may have both gifts given unto him, as is cleare by experience.

2 Reas. Author ib. Hee speaketh of diverse members of the Church, as of diverse members of the naturall body, v. 4. 5. All the members have not one Office, it is the action of the Tongue to speak, not to see. Ans. The comparison holdeth not in all. The eye cannot heare, the eare cannot see, yet the pastor may both see as pastor, and heare and delate to the Church, as the Churches eare, the manners of the scandalous.

3. Reas. Author, If the Apostle speake of severall exercises of severall gifts, but both coincident to the same person or Church office; why then doth he command the Teacher to waite on teach­ing, and the Exhorter upon exhorting? One who hath a gift of give­ing Almes, and shewing mercy, is not commanded to wait upon Almes giving, unlesse it be his office, as well as his gift. Ans. It [Page 141] is not fit that the Doctor should attend the pastorall duties, ex­cept he be a pastor also, and have both gift and office, but ha­ving gifts for both, he may attend both, as the Church calleth him to both.

Author. Teaching and exhorting flow from severall gifts, and they are seldome found in one in eminency. Ans. Then where they are found in one in eminency (as sometimes they are) either hath God given a Talent, for no use, which is against the Wisdome of Gods dispensation, or then hee who hath gifts for both, may discharge both, as hee may and can through time and strength of body. But wee contend not with our bre­thren in this, seeing they confesse, he that is gifted for both, may attend both.

CHAP. 7. SECT. 7.

Of Ruling Elders.

WE subscribe willingly to what our Author saith, for the Ruling Elders. office of ruling Elders in the Church.

For Paul, Rom. 12. 8. from foure principall acts requisite in Christs house and body, v. 6, 7, 8. Teaching, Exhorting, Giveing of Almes, R [...]ling, maketh foure ordinary officers, Teachers, Pastors, Deacons and Elders.

Opposite to the office of ruling Elders, object, that by Rulers may be understood, Governours of Families. Ans. Families as they are such, are not Churches, but parts of the Church, and cleare it is that the Apostle Speaketh of Christs Body, the Church in that place. 5. As we have many members in one body, &c.

They Object that Paul speaketh of severall gifts, not of publick Offices in the Church, for he speaketh of all the power and actions, of all the members of the Body of Christ; now the offices alone are not the body, but all the multitude of believers.

Ans. This cannot well be answered, by these, who make all the believers governours, and a generation of Kings and Teach­ers: because it is expresly said, v. 4. all members have not the same office. Ergo, they are not all to attend ruling, and to rule [Page 142] with diligence. 2. [...] is false that he speaketh not of Officers, and publick Officer. Hee who speaketh of reigning doth in­deed speak of a King, as he who speaketh of exhorting which is the specifick act of a pastor, speaketh of a pastor. The place, [...]1 Cor. 12. 28. 29. Is cleare for Ruling Elders: but some say, that governours are but arhiters, which Paul biddeth the Corinthians set up in the Church for decyding of civill controversies. 2. Cor. 6. that they goe not to Law one against another▪ before heathen Judges.

Ans. Paul commandeth to obey Judges, but never to set up a new order of Judges in their roome. 2. These arbitees we [...] not governours to command, but rather faithfull Christians to counsell, and remove controversies, or Christian reconcilers to hinder them to goe to the Law, one with another before infi [...] judges. 3. The Apostle is speaking here of such Officers as Christ hath set in the Church, as the Church and Kingdom of Christ, but these civill arbitrators, are no Church-Officers, [...] Tim. 5. 17. The Elders who rule well are worthy of double honour, &c. This place speaketh cleare for ruling Elders.

The adversaries say: here are meant Deacons to whom are al­lowed stipends, for either here, or elsewhere wages are allowed for Deacons.

Answ. 1. Paul would not speake so honorably of Deacons, as to allow them the worth of a double honorable reward. Yea Gods Word purteth the Deacons out of the roll of Rulers and governours in Gods house, as having nothing to doe by Acts 6. v. 2. their office to labour in the Word and Prayer, but are in Gods wisdome set lower to attend Tables, nor doth the word call them Elders, or [...] in relation to the Church but onely in relation to their owne family and house. 2 Tim. 3. 12. their office is an office of meere service of Tables. 2. He is a labouring Elder worthy of wages, that the Apostle speaketh of here, as, v. 18. The Deaconship being to receive the mercy and charity, which is almes, and not debt, cannot be such an office as taketh up the whole man, so as hee must live upon the Churches charges. 3. Bilson Bilson. de gube [...] nat. Eccles. c. 0. p. 179. a man partiall in this cause, against the minde of all the ancients (saith Didocla­vius Didoclav. in altar Damascen. p. 918. giveth this interpetation. But it is seconded with no [Page 143] warrant of Gods Word, for Governours and Deacons are made two species of officers, Rom. 12. 8. [...] he who ruleth with diligence, and he who hath mercy with chearefulnesse. And two opposite species are not predi­cated, the one of the other. And if well governing, Rom. 12. be [...]ell teaching and diligent exhorting, all are confounded in that Text, where the Apostle marshalleth the officers and their severall exercises so accurately.

Nor can hee meane here Bishops so old that they are not now ab [...]e to labour in the word and doctrine, for then pasto [...]s for their age and inhability to preach, should because of their age and infirmity, deserve lesse honour and reward, then the yonger who are able to labour in the word and doctrine. This is crosse to the sift Commandement, which addeth honour and double honour to age, and gray haires, being found in the way of righ­teousnesse. 2. Against Justice, that because yeares and paines in Gods Service, hath made them aged, for that they are to have lesse honour and reward: whereas they deserve the double; rather then that the younger should be preferred to them.

Nor. 3. Can the Apostles meaning be, that these who rule well that lead an exemplarily holy life, are worthy of honour, especially painefull preachers. Because 1. A person is never called a labourer, and worthy of hire, as the Oxe that treadeth out the Corne, because of holinesse of life, especially the Church [...]s not to give stipend to a pastor, for his holy life. 2. Their life should be exemplarily holy, who did not labour in the word and doctrine, that is, we have a pastor passing holy in his life, but he cannot preach, or keepeth an ill conscience in his calling, be­cause he is lazy and a loyterer in preaching. 3. What Word of God, or dialect in the word expresseth a holy life, by well gover­ [...]ing, for a holy life is the sanctity of mans conversation be he a private, or a publick man. But to govern well, is the para­phase of a good Governour and officer, in the Greeke tongue or any other Language.

Nor. 4. Can the Apostle understand by labourers in the Word and Doctrine (as Bilson Bilson. de gubern. p. 183. saith) such as w [...]nt thorough the Earth, and made j [...]urnies, as Apostles and Evangelists did, to plant visit and confirme Churches, and by these who govern well, [Page 144] such as labour indeed in the Word and Doctrine, but are fixed to a certaine place.

I answer, Then the well ruling Elders are not labourers in the Word and Doctrine; for out of Question one of the species of Elders here mentioned, doe not labour in Word and Doctrine at all. But by this interpretation, both labour in the Word and Doctrine; but the one in a fixed place, the other by Apostolike journeys through the World. And the object of one of these Offices, to wit, the Word and Doctrine differenceth the one from the other, whose object must be not the Word and Doctrine; for word and Doctrine need not to be governed, but the Church, and persons in Church-state need to be governed.

2. There is no warrant of the Word, that to labour in the Word is proper to the Apostles and Evangelists, journeying through the World, seeing (as Didoclavius altar. Damascen. p. 921. Didoclavius observeth [...]) the same word [...], is ascribed to those who in a fixed place la­bour, 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. Who labour amongst you. Yea, and it is taken for any travell of minde or body in the Word. 3. He is not here to deny, nor can the Apostle deny, but travelling Apo­stles and Evangelists did governe well, especially in planting Elders in every Church, and governing the planted Churches, but he cannot speake of travelling to the wearying of the body: when the object of travelling is exprest, to wit, (in Word and Do­ctrine) which object is not given to the well ruling Elder.

A more speciall consideration of Ruling Elders, Deacons, and Widdowes. 1 Tim. 5. 17.

AFter the Apostle hath spoken of Widdowes, and their ser­vice in the Church, he passeth from them to speake of ex­cellenter Officers, to wit, of the ruling and the teaching Elders. There be many interpretations (say the opposers of ruling El­ders) given upon this place; and therefore it is hard to build a new Church-officer on a Text so obnoxious to various debates.

Answ. This would be concludent in part, if the nature of the Text were the native seminary of these various interpretations; but most of these debates arise from the wits of parties inter­ressed [Page 145] in the question, such as Papists, Prelates, or deniers of all Church-government. But I provoke to all the Fathers, especially to Chrysostome and the Greeke Fathers, who have expounded the place, if any ever did deny but this place holdeth forth two sorts of Elders, though I grant they vary concerning the Elders, which labour not in the word and doctrine. And this interpre­tation, Elders who rule well are worthy of double honour, especially [...], id est, [...], because, or upon this consideration and respect, that they labour in the word and doctrine, was never knowne till of late. But we desire these five circumstances in the Text to be considered; for we build not our interpretation on any one, or two, or three of them, but we desire they may be looked on copulatively; for I confesse a participle being attributum, or quasi attributum, though doubled or multiplied, doth not multiply subjects, be­cause two, six, an hundred attributes may agree to one subject; and the Scripture and Greeke language can well beare this. As Col. 2. 5. I am present with you in the spirit, ( [...]) re­joycing and beholding your order. One Paul onely did both rejoyce and behold. And 2 Pet. 3. 11. What manner of persons ought we to be, [...], looking for and hastening unto the comming of the day of God. Here is no multiplying of persons. 2. I confesse also, that two articles [...], or [...], doe not multiply sub­jects, or make a distinction of divers sorts of persons. As Revel. 2. 1. These things saith he, [...], it is one and the same Jesus who holdeth the seven Starres in his right hand, and who walketh in the middest of the Golden Candlestickes. But we desire that the confluence of these five may be looked unto: as 1. there is a genus, a generall attribute, [...], Elders; and this a­greeth both to well ruling Elders, and to those which labour in the word and doctrine. 2. There be here two participles, [...]. 3. Two articles, [...]. 4. Two species, two kinds of Elders, under the generall attribute of [...]. As the one species or kind is, [...], such Elders as rule well; and the other kinde of Elders be [...], such as labour in the Word, as Pastors; and in Doctrine, as Doct [...]rs. And fiftly, which is most considerable, here be two Participles, two Articles, two speciall Elders divided and separated [...], by the discretive particle [...]. And I provoke to all the Au­thours of the Greeke Language, Demost [...]enes, Isocrates, Aristo­phanes, [Page 146] Pindarus, &c. to the Septuagint in the Old Testament, to the whole New Testament for one parallel place, where one and the same subject or kinde is so expressed, except you play foule play to the Text: also that [...] is a particle of dis­cretion and multiplication of divers kinds, to me is cleare, [...] Ti [...]us 1. vers. 11. There [...] many unruly and vaine talkers, [...], especially those of the Circumcision, if [...] the particle (especially) doe not divide two sorts of vaine talkers, some vaine talkers of the Circumcision, and some vaine talkers not of the Circumcision; then must this particle conjoyne them, and make no vaine talkers, save onely these of the circumcision; and Paul shall say then, there be many unruly and vaine talking per­sons of the circumcision, but especially those of the circumcision; which non-sense is not to be ascribed to the spirit of God, so 1 Tim. 4. 10. Who is the Saviour of all men, especially of believers, [...]. It [...] doe not inferre that Christ is the Saviour of some who believe, and in a generall sence a Saviour of some who believe not; then must Christ bestow one and the same sal­vation on all men, and also on beleevers, which neither Arminians nor common sence can affirme, 1 Tim. 5. 8. He who provideth not for his olvne, [...], especially for those of his own house. If it be not required that a believer provide for two sorts, to wit, these of his family, children and servants in an especiall manner; and for friends also, who are not of his owne house; then will Paul have the believer to provide for none but for his owne house, which doth belie the Text, which saith, he must provide for all his owne, and in a speciall manner for his owne house; now if he be to provide for them, for this respect because they are of his owne house, then by this Text he is not to provide for his brethren, sisters, and blood-friends, because they are not of his owne as members of his house, or his owne, Gal. 6. 10. Let us doe good to all, but especially, [...] to those who are of the houshold of faith. Ergo, we are to doe good to some who are of the houshold of faith, and to some who are not of the houshold of faith; except you say the Text doth beare onely, that we are to doe good to none, save onely to those who are of the houshold of faith, which is non-sense, Phil. 4. 22. All the Saints, [...], salute you, [...] especially those of Caesars house. Hence two sorts of Saints saluted [Page 147] the Philippians, some Saints of Caesars house, and some not of Caesars house; this you must say if you will not have the Text to beare either that no Saints did salute the Philippians, save onely the Saints of Caesars house, contrary to sense; for the Text saith, All the Saints (here with me at Rome) salute you. Otherwaies you must say, that the reason and motive why the Saints saluted the Philippians, was because they were Saints of Caesars house, as you say, the speciall cause and respect why the well ruling Pastor is worthy of double honour, is because he laboureth in the Word and 'Doctrine; for so you expound it. Now this is two waies false, for 1. this can be no respect and cause why all the Saints saluted the Philippians, except all the Saints which did salute them were onely the Saints of Caesars house; and so both the argument should be false, and the conclusion false, for they were not all of Caesars house who saluted the Philippians. Nor 2. was this the reason why they did salute them; for the Saints did salute the Philippians upon this ground of Christian relation, because they were Saints, and loved one another in Christ, and not upon this civill and common consideration, because they were Caesars Do­mestickes, and Courtiers with the Emperour. So a Tim. 4. 13. Bring with thee the cloake which I left at Troas, and bookes, but [...] especially the parchments. And thus doe also the Hebrews speake, Prov. 11. 31. Retribution shall be made to the just, far more to the wicked. Here be clearely two sorts of retributions, and two kinds of persons which are recompenced. And Prov. 17. 7. The [...] Prov. 21. v. 27. li [...]s of honour are not seemely for a foole, much lesse is falsity to a libe­rall man, or to a Prince. I know these examples doe not every way come home to our point, but they prove that [...] is to the Hebrews a note of discretion; as also, [...] Psalm. 31. v. 11. is even as [...] is to the Greekes. It is true, where a genus and a species, a generall and a speciall under that are set downe, (for as much as genus & species non faci [...]nt numerism) there is no need that [...] or the particle (especially) should be as a note of dicretion or multiplication. As if (I should say, a Iudge is to be honoured, but especially judging righteously,) I should not inferre that there are two sorts of Judges; but the case is not so here, because two species are expresly set downe, to wit, those who rule well, and those who labour in the Word and Doctrine. And if I [Page 148] should say, (a Iudge judging righteously for all, is worthy of much honour, especially he that judgeth righteously for the Widow and the Orphane) I should in this hold forth, either two sorts of righte­ous Judges, or then I should say no other, but he who judgeth righteously for a [...], is to be honoured, especially he who judgeth righ­teously for these, and these comprehended under this (all.) Thirdly, I should in that also say that there be two things, though not two sorts of judges, worthy of much honour, to wit, the office of a Iudge, and his equall and unpartiall judging are both worthy of double honor. But Paul is not here allowing honour to the office in abstracto, and in a generall notion, but to the officer in specie and in concreto, who doth rule well, and labour in the word and doctrine.

Object. 2. But Paul doth here understand by him that ruleth well, the civill Magistrate.

Answ. When Paul is here speaking of the Oeconomy of Gods house, it is not consonant to the Text, that he would in­struct Timothy of the wages due to the Emperour Nero, and yoice the Emperour in one verse, with the Pastor and the Doctor labouring in the word and doctrine, and prove from the Law that the mouth of Nero should not be muzled. Nor doth the VVord give this word [...], to Magistrates, but some higher stiles, calling them [...], Tit. 3. 1. Principalities and powers, Rom. 13. 1. Secondly, this Text would prove that double wa­ges were due to Paul above Nero the Emperour, and that Pa­stors are more to bee honoured then Emperours and Kings. Thirdly, the Text speaks clearly of two parallel species of Bilson de Guber. c. 10. p. 179. Didoclavius Altar. Dama­scen. p. 920. Elders in the Church, but the Magistrate is no parallel line with preaching Elders.

Object. 3. By those who rule well, are understood Deacons, who take care of the poore.

Answ. Didoclavius observeth, that Deacons are never called Rulers, but distinguished from them, Rom. 12. 8. Secondly, the well ruling here taketh up the halfe of the Pastors Office, and all that belongeth thereunto, except labouring in the word and doctrine; as to receive accusations against an Elder, to judge and governe with the Pastor, to visit the sicke, to exhort and rebuse in a judiciall way; but to serve Tables, and to take care of the poore onely, is the least and most inferiour part of well-govern­ing [Page 149] of Gods house, and is but a care for their bodies: VVhereas to rule well, is an Ecclesiasticall Magistracy, to goe in and out before Gods people, to watch for their soules, as those which must give an accompt, Hebr. 13. 17. 1 Thess. 5. 12. The Deacon careth for the body onely, and the Deacon, that Bilson and others would have with him, is neither in this place, nor in all Gods VVord, as we shall heare.

O [...]. 4. By these who rule well, are understord, Bishops, who for age, cannot preach yet rule well.

Ans. Surely these who have laboured in the Word and Doctrine, and spent their strength in painefull preaching, and now, in old age, rule well, cannot in reason bee thought worthy of lesse honour and wages, then preaching Elders, but above them, as emeriti milites are not to be degraded: and if they have never la­boured in the Word and Doctrine, they being Bishops, by office, must be dumb dogs, and worthy of no honour at all. 2. They cannot rule well, as Pastors, and yet be dumbe, and not labour in the word. 3. The Text speaketh not of Elders, aetate, by age, but of Elders, Officio, by office, who labour, as work-men in a vineyard, v. 18.

Ob. 5. By ruling well he meaneth a holy life, so as he meaneth not only that Pastors should live holily, but also preach painfully.

Answ. Didoclavius answereth, that then all that live holily, should have stipend, as workmen; and certainly if Paul had spo­ken nothing of these who labour in the word and Doctrine, yet the Text doth hold forth that these who rule well, and doe not labour in the Word and Doctrine are worthy of honour; for the comparative here, or superlative degree, doth well inferre the positive degree. But 1. Ministers shall bee worthy of honor, though they preach not. 2. The arguments which I brought, to prove, and that undeniably, that there be two sorts of Elders, in the Text fight against this sense, which inferreth that their is but one sort of preaching Elders here, to whom double ho­nor is due, for two respects, to wit, holinesse of life, and painfull preaching. 3. Holinesse of life in all Gods Word, is never ex­pressed by well governing, which is a worke of a publick Church-officer, as is cleare. Rom. 12. 8. 1 Thess. 5. 12. 13. holinesse of life is common to all private Christians, yea and to women, who can­not rule, nor rule well.

Ob. 6. The Rulers here ought to have wages, as workmen, but your Elders have no wages. Ergo, your Elders are not in this Text.

Answ. That is not concluded, which is in question; for the as­sumption should be, but your Elders ought to have no wages, and are worthy of no honour,) and the assumption is onely de facto, (they have none) 2. This argument might prove that a noble man, called to be a Minister, if he should take no stipend, were not a lawfull Minister; and Paul then was no lawfull pastor, at Corinth, because hee refused stipend; but stipend is due to both Pastor and Elder, and in the case of scandall, it is due to neither of them, hic & hunc.

Ob. 7. If there be two sorts of Elders here, there must be two sorts of Bishops, for Presbyter and Bishop are synonyma, and one and the same, as is cleare, Tit. 1. 6, 7. Acts 20. 17. They are called El­ders, and v. 28. Bishops. But we cannot admit of two sorts of Bishops: some to rule, and some to preach, that were Antichristian.

Answ. Though there be two sort of Elders here, it doth not follow that there be two sorts of Bishops: and it is not proved because Elder and Bishop are not proved to be synonyma from the alledged places, genus & species, as a living Creature and a man are not synonyma, but have different definitions. Gladius & ensis have the same definitions, as a man and a discoursing crea­ture are synonyma. An Elder is a generall, and a Bishop a sort of Elder, and an Apostle is an Elder, and so Peter tearmeth him­selfe, 1 Pet. 5. 1. an Elder: [...]u [...] Divines say that a preaching El­der, and a Bishop are synonyma, one and the same, and synonyma non faciunt mum [...]rum, as Gladius & Ensis: but they never taught that an Elder in general and a Bishop, are synonyma and the same, nor doe the places, Acts 20. Tit. 1. prove it; for if they be all preaching Elders, to whom Paul preached at Ephesus, Acts 20. as the Text seemeth to make them, Acts 20, 28, 29. then the Elders that Paul called for v. 17. are preaching Elders, and the same with Bishops v. 28. and Tit. 1. Paul willeth Titus to ordaine Elders, that is, both preaching & ruling Elders, and there he giveth an instance in preaching Elders, or Bishops, and shew­eth what sort of men Bishops should be. 2. If there be two sorts of Elders, 1 Tim. 5. 17. then should there be two sorts of Bishops; [Page 151] I distinguish the proposition, then are there two sorts of preach­ing Bishops, I deny the proposition in this sense, but if the meaning be, there be two species of Bishops, or Overseers, one ruling Overseers, and another preaching Bishops, we shall not contend for the word, if we agree upon the thing, though I much doubt, if the ruling Elder in the Scripture, come under the name of Bishop or [...]. 3. This objection falleth under the stroake of the arguments proving that there be two sorts of Elders in this Text, and how they can bee answered, I know not.

Ob. 8. That office is not in Scripture, whose Characters, qua­lities, and notes are not specified in Scripture, as the Characters of a Deacon are, 1 Tim. 3. and of a Bishop ibid. But the Charact­ers, qualites and notes of a ruling Elder are not in the Scripture, Ergo, &c.

Answ. 1. I deny the major proposition; for then, because the Scripture saith not, an Apostle should be blameles, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, and thus and thus, and an Evangelist should be thus and thus, and a prophet should be thus and thus qualified, therefore Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets, are not in Scripture. It is true these were but temporall offices, yet it is enough to take off and breake the argument, for these temporary [...]ffices, must be no lesse warranted, by the word, ex­cept they be unlawfull, then the offices that are of perpetuall indurance. 2. I distinguish the major proposition, That office is not in Scripture, whose characters are not in Scripture, neither in one particular place, expresly and [...], it is not true; for baptism: in no one place is so expresly set downe in Scripture, from all its Characters in particular, as is the Supper of the Lord, which is described, Mat. 26. Luk. 22. Mark. 14. 1 Cor. 11. in the Elements, sacred actions, prayer, consecration, words of institution, efficient, forme, end, gesture, &c. Yet is baptisme for that not excluded from the classe and number of Gods or­dinances and seales, or, that office is not in Scripture whose Cha­racters are not in Scripture, nether in divers places of Scripture, nor by good consequence, and lawfull analogy with other its fellow offices, that I yeeld willingy: but now the assump­tion is false: for as baptisme by analogy is described in many [Page 152] of its Characters, as prayer, consecration of the Elements, end &c. when the Supper of the Lord is described, making a just proportion betwixt baptisme and the other Sacrament, and by other places of Scripture, so is the ruling Elder in his cha­racters described; when the Bishop his fellow-officer is des­cribed. 3. The assumption also is false; for the ruling Elder is described out of this Text. 1. negatively, that hence is gathered, by strong consequence, as is said, that he is an Elder who la­boureth not in the Word and Doctrine. 2. Hee is described affir­matively, for an office is sufficiently described, when the spe­cifick acts thereof are set downe, as a man is described when wee say, hee is a Creature who doth discourse, and make use of Reason; so is this Elder described, when wee say it is his office to rule well, 1 Tim. 5. 17. hee is a [...], and a government which Christ hath [...] instituted in the body, 1 Cor. 12. 28. and he is Rom. 12. 4. an Organ and member of Christs body, whose office it is to rule, [...] with diligence, Rom. 12, 8.

Ob. 9. But it is but a generall, that he rule, we have not these wherein the particulars of his ruling, consist.

Ans. If this be strong, you have not, 1 Tim. 3. the particu­lars of the pastorall teaching, but onely the generals, a Bishop must be apt to teach. Yet in other places we have the particulars, a [...] instructing, rebuking, confuting, convincing; so what ever the Scripture saith of the preaching Elders ruling, that same is saith of the ruling Elders ruling, seeing the ruling Elder is the assistant officer to help the preaching Elder, and both of them with the Doctor are to rule the House of God.

Ob. 10. But if ruling be the specifick and essentiall note of the ruling Elder, he cannot be a speciall officer different from the preach­ing Elder, for what is essentiall to one species cannot agree to an­other, and what constituteth one species, doth not agree to another.

Answ. This connexion may well be denied, and it is said well by one; The ruling Elder solùm regit, doth onely governe, sed non solus regit, but he doth not govern his alone, but with the Pastor and Doctor. From these things I infer that as this is not a good consequence, Mat. 26. Luk. 22. Mark. 14. the Spi­rit of God doth set downe the Lords Supper in all its materialls, and passeth over Baptisme in silence, and goeth to another sub­ject; [Page 153] Ergo, Baptisme is not the other Sacrament of the New Testament so neither is this a good consequence, (Paul, 1 Tim. 3. Discribeth the Bishop, and over skippeth the ruling Elder, pas­sing to the Deacon; Ergo, the ruling Elder is not an Ordinance of God) for while hee describeth the Bishop, he teacheth what an one, both the Doctor, and ruling Elder should be, by cleare analogy, and it had beene superfluous for the Holy Ghost to say more, then he doth. And by this wee may answer to what is tenthly objected, The ruling Elder is omitted in Christs roll, Eph. 4. 11. Ergo, there is no such officer. Answ. It followeth in no sort negatively, from one particular place of Scripture, Rev. 1. It is said onely God hath made us Kings and Priests unto God; Ergo, he hath not made us Prophets also, the contrary is, Esai. 54. 13. Ioh. 6. 45. so because, It is life eternall to know the Father, and the Sonne, Joh. 17. Socinians collect; Erge, the holy spirit is not God, because no mention is made of him, in this place. 2. In this place Paul ennumerateth offices necessary rather for planting Churches, then for ruling Churches already constituted and planted: Miracles and Tongues are ad benè esse; Elders and Deacons are not named here, because they are for the leading on of the Church, and the body already set up in a visible frame, and therefore reckoned out, Rom. 12. 4. 8. 1 Cor. 12. 28. and consider, I pray you, how uncertaine and lubrick a way it is to pin Gods Spirit, and to fetter him to any one place in his enumerations, Behold, Rom. 12. 8▪ all the or­dinary officers are expressed, and yet Apostles, Evangelists, Miracles, Tongues are omitted, all which are ennumerated, 1 Cor. 12 28, 29. yet are specifick acts of Prophets, Teachers omitted, 1 Cor. 12. at lest onely spoken of in generall under the notion of hearing, seeing, walking, and Rom. 12. they be more par­ticularly set downe. And 1. Tim. 3. Phil. 1. 1. onely Bishops and Deacons are mentioned, and governments, and Elders ruling well [...]mitted; and also all the extraordinary officers are omitted, and yet mentioned, 1 Cor. 12. 18, 29. and Miracles, Tongues, Deacons, Governments are omitted, Eph. 4. 11. and, 1 Tim. 5. 17. Preachers, Rulers, Doctors are expressed, Deacons and extraordinary officers, Apostles, Evangelists, &c. passed over in silence:

Ob. 11. The Keyes are not given to this ruling Elder, Ergo, he is no lawfull officer: the antecedent is proved, the keyes of jurisdiction, because they can operate nothing, but by the Key of knowledge, can­not be given to this new officer, now the key of knowledge is given on­ly to the preaching Elder.

Ans. All dependeth upon this false proposition; To these only are the keyes of jurisdiction, and power of binding and loosing given, to whom the keyes of knowledge are given,) for though the one key worke nothing without the other, yet the proposition is not from this made good, for the key of knowledge, and the power of pastorall preaching is given, uni subjectivè, non uni­tati nisi objectivè, to one man as to the subject, and to the Church, for her salvation and good, as for the end and object; and the Pastor being once ordained a Pastor, may use these Keyes, quoad specificationem independently, for hee may preach mercy and wrath, not waiting the Churches suffrages, Et potestas clavium quoad jurisdictionem data [...]st ecclesiae & subjectivè & objectivè, & data est non uni, sed unitati: but the power of the keyes, in censures, for binding and loosing is given to no one mortall man, but to the Church, both as to the subject, and the object. I meane the Ministeriall Church; and not one man Pastor, Pope, o [...] prelate may use the Keyes, the Church hath them, and can onely validly use them.

Ob. 12. But how is it proved that Ruling Elders are of divine institution?

Ans. God hath placed, [...], Ruling Elders in the body, as is said, 1 Cor. 12. 28. and this is, Rom. 12. 4. compared with v. 8. an Office that Christ hath appointed, and as these places prove the exhorter or pastor to be of Divine institution, and the A­postle, Teacher, Prophet, 1 Cor. 12. 28. and the Elder who la­boureth in the Word and Doctrine, to be an instituted worke-man worthy of wages, 1 Tim. 5. 17, 18. So must they prove the man who ruleth well, and with diligence, to be of divine appointment.

Ob. 13. But the ruling in diligence, Rom. 12. 8. and the govern­ments, 1 Cor. 12. 28. are generalls, and so cannot constitute a spe­ciall office, in the body: for it is against logick, that that which is generall, and common to all the officers, can constitute a species, or a speciall kind:

[Page 155] Answ. This obligeth the opponent, to teach, what is meant by governors, whether Magistrates, but these be not an office in Christs Body as is here said, Rom. 12. 4. and 1 Cor. 12. 14, 15. or doe they meane masters of families? but these be parts of hea­then societies, as well as of Christian, and a Family as it is such, is not the Church. 3. Nor can hee meane here of Preachers, for Rom. 12. 8. 1 Cor. 12. 28. the exhorter and the ruler with dili­gence, the Teacher, and Prophet, and governments are clearely differenced, as different organs of the body, Eye, Eare, Hand, Foote, 1 Cor. 12. 14, 15. Rom. 12. 4. nor (4) can they understand Rulers in generall: for, a genus, a generall doth not exist, or have actuall subsistence, but in some determinnate species; as a li­ving Creature doth not subsist but in man, or in some specifick nature of Birds and Beasts: now God is sayd to place these govern­ments in the body, 1 Cor. 12. 28. even as the Eye, and Eare and Hand are seated in the body, 1 Cor. 12. 16, 17, 18. Now as a ge­nerall Eye, or an Organ in generall is not placed in the body, but such a determinat Organ, an Eye, an Eare, an Hand, a Foot; so neither hath the wisdome of Christ appointed a governor in generall, and left it to the Churches discretion to specifie what this governour shall be, whether a Prelate, a Pastor, a ruling Elder: but as God hath not set Teachers in the body in generall, but hee hath placed such and such species, Apostles, not Popes, Evangelists, not Cardinalls; so must hee have deter­mined such and such Governors, ruling Elders, rather then a certaine Creature named a Diocesan prelate, an uncouth beast in the holy Scripture.

A very Jesuite, Salmeron, saith, by the two Elders hee meaneth, Salmeron in 1 Tim. 5. 17. disp. 15. Tom. 15. Ambrosius in 1 Tim. Chrysost. hom. 15. Estius, comment. 1 Tim. 5. 1 Tim. 5. 17. (apertè sermonem esse de presbyteris & Episcopis) of Elders and Pastors, and with that of Ambrosius, which wee all know to be ruling Elders, who were out of use in the Church, by the negligence, or rather by the pride of preaching Elders, forte Doctorum d [...]sidiâ, aut magis superbiâ; and we are not to thinke, Chrysostom was ignorant of his mother Tongue, and hee findeth 1 Tim. 5. 17. two sorts of Elders in this place, and a popish Ex­positor Estius, porrò manefeste Colligitur ex hac sententia, fuisse, etiam apostolorum tempore, quosdam in ecclesia presbyteros, qui & benè praeessent, & duplici honore digni essent, nec tamen labotarent [Page 156] in verbo & Doctrinâ, neque id hodierni sectarii negant; and all the haeresie that he layeth on Calvin, in this point, is that Calvin maketh these lay-men; And Estius maketh a question what these Elders were, whether they be the Cardinalls, which the pope hath, or the Canonicall Elders, which their Bishops use as councellors in grave matters, or Elders which rule well, and labour not in the Word and Doctrine, such as were in the A­postles time, or rather such as did help the Bishops in offering sacrifice, and in administrating the Sacraments; or if they be such as rule the people, but cannot preach, such as Alipius and Val [...]rius were in Augustines time; so Estius knoweth not what these Elders bee, but inclineth to make them elders to the Apostles, in the administration of the Sacraments.

Ob. 14. But Rom. 12. 8. the Apostle speaketh of divers gifts, as v. 6. having then gifts, differing according to the grace, that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophecy, &c. Ergo, the Apostle doth not speak of divers offices. 2. One and the same man may both teach, and exhort, and therefore Pastor and Doctor are not here differenced. 3. The Deacons office shall be here described, by the interjection of the ruling Elder, but the two acts of the deacon, which is to give with simplicity, and, to shew mercy with cheerefulnesse, and which is an insolent order, therfore the Apostle doth not here ennumer­ate divers offices.

Answ. There is no better consequence in this, to say, he speaketh of divers gifts; Ergo, he speaketh not of divers offices, then to say, he speaketh of divers faculties and habilities in the na­turall body, as of an hability of seeing, hearing; Ergo, hee ac­knowledgeth not divers members with divers offices, as the Eye to see, the E [...]re to heare, yea the contrary is rather a good consequence; and the Text is cleare that he speaketh of divers offices, v. 4. for as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office. So we being many, are one body, in Christ, and every one members, one of another. Yea the Text holdeth forth these five to us to be distinctly considered. 1. That the Church is one body organicall, having divers mem­bers. 2. That there be divers gifts of the spirit in this body, as is cleare, Rom. 12. v. 3. 4, 5. (3) That there be divers offices, and places and functions in this body, which the Apostle excel­lently [Page 157] divideth into two generalls according to the necessities of the members of Christs body. Now in generall this necessity is two fold, one respecting the soule, and for this, hee hath or­dained, [...] prophecy, and for the bodily necessity, [...]. Ministery and Service. v. 6. and v. 7. and these two ha­ving set downe in abstracto, hee commeth to divide them, in concreto, according to their severall offices and functions, which

be foure in the Text.1. The Teacher, or Doctor. v. 7.
 2. The Exhorter, or Pastor. v. 8.
 3. The ruler, or governing Elder. also [...]. 8.
 4. The Distributer, who is to shew me [...] on the poore, or the Deacon also. v. 8.

Then (4) the Apostle doth set downe the severall spe­cifick actions and operations of these offices, and that againe

two wayes. 1. in generall.1. Prophecying. v. 6.
 2. Ministering. v. 7.

2. He setteth down the operations and specifick actions of the

foure offices in particular, as1. Teaching, in the Doctor. v. 7.
 2. Exhorting, in the pastor. v. 8.
 3. Ruling in, the Elder. v. 8.
 4. Distributing, and shewing mer­cy, in the Deacon. v. 8.

Then (5) he setteth downe the manner and holy qualification of these operations, and exercises of their offices; and that also two wayes. 1. In generall. 2. In the foure particulars in

generall.1. In Prophecying; but how? according to the proportion of Faith v. 6.
 2. Ministering, and how? By being given or ad­dicted to Ministering v. 7.
2. He setteth them downe in foure particulars, as1. The Doctor or Teacher, is to be in, or given to Teaching. v. 7.
 2. The pastor, is to be in Exhorting, Sedu­lous and painefull. v. 8.
 3. The ruling Elder, to rule, [...] with di­ligence. v. 8.
 4. The Deacon is to distribute, and shew mercy, on the Sick, poore, imprisoned, stranger, distracted, in simplicity, in Chearefulnesse. v. 8.

[Page 158] Also though it be true, that one and the same man may both teach and exhort, and the comparison of the naturall body doth not in all things hold, for one member cannot both be the eye to see, and the eare to heare, but both are here a sort of eye to the Church; yet hath Christ made the Pastor and the Doctor diffe­rent. (It is needlesse to dispute, if they differ in nature, and if it be a confounding of Christs order, that one be both, when Christ hath given gifts for both to one man) for first, the VVord of God doth difference them; secondly, we know that many have gifts to teach, who are but dull and weake to perswade and worke upon the affection, as is observed amongst the Fathers. Augustine excelled in teaching and disputing, Chryostome in ex­horting. Salmeron observeth, that there Thomas Aquinas was Salmeron com­ment. in Rom 12. v. 8. eminent in informing the understanding, and Bonaventura ex­cellent for moving the affections. And many are fitted to worke on the affections, as Pastors, who are not able to teach as Do­ctors in the Schools. So hath Chrysostome and Theodoret obser­ved upon these words, Rom. 12. 7, 8.

Nor doth it move me much, that Paul speaketh twice in one verse of the Deacon, it is not unusuall to the Spirit of God in divers Scriptures so to doe, as Prov. 1. Prov. 2. Psal. 119.

How dangerous it is to affirme, that all the Officers are not set downe in Gods VVord, we may be taught by Papists, for Estius Estius com. in 1 Cor. 12. Idem com. in Ephes. c. 4. 11. Salmeron in 1 Cor. 12. 28. giveth a reason, why the Apostle setting downe, 1 Cor. 12. 28. the Officers in Gods house, hath omitted the Pope; he answer­eth, the Apostle is not here setting downe the degrees of the Hirarchicall Order, for then he should have set downe Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, which be parts of that Order, but onely he setteth downe some chiefe members of the Church, indued with rare gifts, and commenting on Ephes. 4. he saith, The Pope is set downe under the name of Pastors and Doctors, because he sendeth Pastors and Doctors to all the world; and this was the reason why the Prelate was reputed a Pastor, and the onely Pastor, be­cause though it was too base for him to preach; yet he preached in and through poore Presbyters whom he sent. And Salmeron moveth the question, why 1 Cor. 12. 28. the Pope, Cardinals, and Patriarches are omitted in this place; and we say, Why are Bishops, Archbishops, Primates, Metropolitans, Deanes, Archdeacons, [Page 159] Chancellours, Officials, &c. never once mentioned in the VVord of God. But Salmeron answereth, 1. They are implicitely set downe here, and under the name of helps, opitulations; Paul hath instituted Deans, Archdeans, and the foure lesser orders. And what else doe divers answer, who teach that government 1 Cor. 12. 28. is but a generall; and the Church, in a prudentiall way, under this may substitute and introduce such and such species of governments as they shall finde convenient, as ruling Elders, ruling Prelates, and such like. but I would gladly know why the Spirit of God hath particularly set downe the last specified Officers, as 1 Cor. 12. 28. Apostles, under which are no species of Apostles, but onely such individuall persons, Mat­thias, Paul, &c. and hath also set downe Pastors in specie, Do­ctors and Teachers in specie, Ephes. 4. 11. under which there be onely such individuall persons who are Pastors and Teach­ers, as John, Epaphroditus, Archippus, Thomas, &c. and there is no roome left for the Church to subdivide Pastors or Doctors into such and such new sp [...]cies, as Popes, Cardinals, &c. and yet un­der the generall of governments, many species and new kindes of governments in a prudentiall way may be brought in. If Christ have set downe the particulars of Pastors, Prophets, Apo­stles, according to their last specified nature, why hath his wisdome not beene as expresse and particular in all other offices necessary for feeding and governing the flocke of Christ? a Pope, a Prelate, a Cardinall, an Officiall, would take as small roome in print, and in Christs Testament, as Apostle, Doctor, Pastor, though I grant they doe take halfe so much more roome in the State and Parliament.

Of Deacons.

WE conceive, according to Gods VVord Acts 6. that Deacons be of divine institution, because when some poore widowes were neglected in the dayly ministration, the Apostles appointed seven men of good report, and full of the holy Ghost, to take care of Tables and provide for the poore, that the Apostles might give themselves to the Word and Prayer.

Object. 1. There is not one word of Deacons, Acts 6. not one [Page 160] word of the poverty of widows, and these seven were but civill cu­rators and tutors of the widows, and not Church-officers, for any thing that can be collected from Gods Word.

Answ. The equivalent of a Deacon in name, is Acts 6. there are those who are not to preach the VVord, but are to serve Ta­bles, [...] and some did complaine because their widowes were neglected, [...], if widowes were neglected through the want of a dayly Deaconry, the Text must insinuate a Deaconry, and a want of a Table to these wi­dowes. Secondly, it is unknowne divinity, that the twelve A­postles in a Church-assembly doe institute, and that with solemne prayer, and imposition of hands, officers meerly civill to tutor widowes. Thirdly, the daily ministration was the want of suste­nance, as it is said, That certaine women ministred to Christ of their Luke 8. 3. substance, [...], Acts 20. 34. Yea your selves doe know that those hands have ministred to my necessities. And is it like that the Apostles were civill curators to widowes before this time?

Object. 2. It is evident from the Text that these Deacons were not of divine institution, but of a meere temporary erection, for the present necessity of the Church. First, it is said they were appointed, Acts 6. 1. [...]. Secondly, they were erected upon occasion of the multiplying of the disciples. Thirdly, upon occasion of the poverty of widows, and therefore when there be no poore, there is no need of Deacons, and so it is but an office of a temporary stand­ing in the Church.

Answ. These words (in those dayes) are not so much referred to the institution of Deacons, as to the order of the history. Secondly, to Satans malice, who raised a schisme in the Church, when the number of Disciples grew. And thirdly, are referred to the murmuring of the widows; and they doe no more prove that Deacons are a temporary institution, and brought in, by the Church, in a prudentiall way for the Chuches present necessity, then the Lords Supper is concluded to be but a temporary and prudentiall institution of the Church, because it is said, In the night that Iesus was betrayed, he tooke bread, &c. Secondly, the occasion of the multiplying of Disciples & the neglecting of the widows, doth not prove that Deacons are a prudentiall and tem­porary institution: for here I distinguish betwixt an occasion [Page 161] and a motive and cause; divers Ordinances of God have both these. As the occasion of writing the Epistle to Philamon, was the flight of Onesmus a fugitive servant from his master, and his willing minde to returne to him againe, and upon that occasion Paul did write to Philamon; but that will not prove that the Epistle to Philemon is but a prudentiall Letter, and obliging for a time, because the motive and cause why the holy Ghost would have it written, was, that it should be a part of Canonicall Scrip­ture, obliging to the second comming of Christ. The like I say of the Epistle to the Galathians, written upon occasion of seducing Teachers, who had bewitched the Galathians, and made them beleeve, they must be circumcised and keepe the Law, if they would be justified in Christ: Yet hence is not proved, that the Epistle to the Galathians is but a prudentiall Letter, and not of divine and perpetuall institution; for the cause and motive of writing was, that it might be a part of the Canon of faith. So also the Covenant of Grace and the Gospell was made upon this occa­sion, by reason that the first Covenant could not save us, Heb. 8. vers. 7. Rom. 8 2. 3. Gal. 3. 21, 22. is therefore (I pray you) the Covenant of grace but a temporary and a prudentiall peece? Up­on the occasion of the death of Zelophead, who died in the wilder­nesse without a male-childe, whose name thereby was in danger to be delete and blotted out of Israel, the Lord maketh a generall Law through all Israel, binding till the Messiah his comming, Numb. 27. 8. If a man die and have no sonne, then shall you cause his inheritance to passe unto his daughter; this was no prudentiall Law. I might alleage infinite Ordinances in Scripture, the like to this. Yea, most of all the Ordinances of God are occasioned from our spirituall necessities; are they therefore but humane and prudentiall Statutes, that are onely to endure for a time? I thinke, no.

Ob. 3. But if the civill Magistrate had been a friend to the Church, Acts 6. his place had beene to care for the poore, for the law of nature obligeth him to take care of the poore, therefore did a woman in the famine at the siege of Samaria cry, Helpe O King; and if this were done by Christian Magistrates, Pastors should be eased thereof, that they might give themselves to the Word and Prayer, and there should be no neede of a divine positive institution of Deacons for this charge.

[Page 162] Answ. That the godly Magistrate is to take care of the poore, as they are members of the Common wealth, I could easily grant. But this is not now in question; but whether, or not, the Church, as it is an Ecclesiasticall society, should not have a trea­sure of the peoples E [...]angelike free-will-offering for the neces­sity of the Saints, as Heb. 13. 16. 1 Cor. 16. 1, 2. 2 Cor. 9. 5, 6, 7, 8, and concequently, whether or not Christ hath ordained, not the Pastors, but some officers besides, to attend this worke? VVee affirme he hath provided for his poore members, even their bo­dily necessi ies. Secondly, if this be true, that there should be no Deacon but the Christian Magistrate, then were these seven Deacons but the Substitutes and Vicars of the Emperour and King. Now certainly, if Apostolike benediction and laying on of hands, in the wisdome of God was thought fit for the Vi­cars and Deputies of the Magistrates, it is like that beside the coronation of the Roman Emperour, the twelve Apostles ought to have blessed him with prayer, and separated him by laying on of hands for this Deaconrie; for what Apostolike calling is necessary, for the temporary substitute is more neces­sary, and at least that same way necessary for the principall. But that civill Magistrates, ex officio, are to be separated for this Church-office so holden forth to us, 1 Tim. 3. 12. I can hardly beleeve. Thirdly, I see not what the Magistrate doth in his of­fice, but he doth it as the Minister of God who beareth the sword, Rom. 13 4. and if he should compell to give almes, then should almes be a debt, and not an almes and free-will-offering. It is t [...]u [...], there may intervene some coaction to cause every man to do his duty, and to force men to give to the poore; but then I say, that forcing with the sword should not be an act of a separated Church-officer, who, as such, useth no carnall weapons. Four [...] ­ly, the law of nature may lead to a supporting of the poore, but that hindreth not but God may ordaine it as a Church-duty, and appoint a Church-officer to collect the bounty of the Sain [...], 1 Cor. 16. 3. 5. I see not how the Apostle, 1 Tim. 3. should not hold forth his Cannons concerning a Deacon, to the King, if he ex officio be the Church-treasurer, but the Apostle doth match him with the Bishop, Acts 6. the appointing of the Deacon is not grounded Acts 6. upon the want of a Christian Magistrate, [Page 163] but on another ground, that the Apostles must attend a more ne­cessary worke, then Tables.

Object. 4. But the occasion of appointing Deacons was to disbur­den the Pastor, who was to give himselfe wholy to preaching and praying; Ergo, at the first the Apostles and so also Pastors were Deacons; if therefore the poore be fewer then they were at Ierusa­lem, Act. 6. where the Church did exceedingly multiplie; this Of­fice of Deaconry was to returne to the Pastors, as its prime and na­tive subject; and therefore is not essentially and primarily an Office separated from the Pastors Office. And if the poore cease to be at all, the Office ceaseth also.

Ans. I cannot well deny but it is apparent from Act. 6. 4. that the Apostles themselves were once those who cared for the poore, but I deny that hence it followes in the case of fewer poore, that the Office can returne to the Pastors as to the first subject, except you suppose the intervention of a divine insti­tution to place it againe in the Pastors; as the power of judging Israel was once in Samuel, but upon supposition that Saul was dead, that power cannot returne backe to Samuel except you suppose that God by his authority shall re-deliver and translate it backe againe to Samuel. For seeing God by positive institution had turned the power of judging over from Samuel into the person of Saul, and changed the same into a regall and Kingly power, that same authority who changed the power must re­change it againe, and place it in, and restore it to its first subject. 2. The fewnesse of poore; or no poore at all, cannot be suppo­sed, Joh. 12. 8. for the poore you have alwaies with you. And con­sidering the afflictions of the Churches, the object of the Dea­cons giving and shewing mercy, as it is Rom. 12. 8. cannot be wanting, as that the Churches fabricke be kept in good frame, the poore, the captives of Christian Churches, the sicke, the wounded, the stranger, the distracted be relieved, yea and the poor Saints of other Churches, 1 Cor. 16. be supported. 3. Not onely because of the impossibility that Pastors cannot give both them­selves to praying and the Word, and to the serving of Tables; but by reason of the wisdome of Christ in a positive Law, the Pastor cannot be the Deacon ex officie in any case. For 1. Christ hath made them distinct Offices, upon good grounds, Act. 6. 4. [Page 164] 2. The Apostle hath set downe divers qualifications, for the Bi­shop, 1 Tim. 3. 1. and for the Deacon, V. 12, 13. And 3. the Pastor who is to give the whole man to the preaching of the Gospell, cannot entangle himselfe with Tables, 1 Tim. 4. 15. 2 Tim. 2. 3, 4, 5. if we should say nothing, that if there were need of Officers to take care of the poore, when there was such grace and love amongst the Saints and Apostles able and willing to acquit themselves toward the poore, and when all things were common Act. 2. 44, 45, 46, 47. Act. 4. 31. 32, 33, 34. far more now is the Office needfull, when the love of many is waxen cold.

Object. 5. But if there were a community of goods, and no man lacked any thing, Act. 5. 34. there were no poore at all, and so no need of Deacons.

Answ. This is to carpe at the wisdome of God, who appointed seven men to serve Tables; for justice might say, those who had nothing to give to the publique treasury of the Church, should expect nothing thence, charity would say the contrary.

Object. 6. Distribution of earthly goods is not such a thing, at requireth a spirituall Office; for money given by a Church-officer hath no spirituall influence on the poores necessity, more then money given by the Magistrate, or one who hath no Church-office.

Answ. I deny the consequence: for then the Priests killing of Bullockes to God had no more influence, if we speake physically, then a Bullocke killed by another man. Now the Churches bounty and grace, 1 Cor. 16. 3. being a spirituall offering to God, by vertue of Christs institution, hath more in it then the com­mon charity of an Heathen, if it were but for this, that the wisdome of God, in his Ordinance is to be considered; and if we speake physically, the Word of God hath no more influence when spoken by a Pastour in publique, then when spoken by a private man; yet if we looke to Gods Ordinance, the one hath more assistance when it is spoken, then the other, caeter is paribus.

Object. 7. The Office of a Deacon is not mentioned in the Word, and what should be his charge is scarcely holden forth in Scripture.

Answ. The Scripture saith the contrary, 1 Tim. 3. 13. They that have used the Office of the Deacons well, &c. V. 8. Likewise must the Deacon be grave, Phil. 1. 1. 2. The Scripture holdeth forth to us, that he must take care that Widdows and the poore be not [Page 165] neglected in the daily ministration, Act. 6. 1. and therefore must he serve Tables, v. 2. And 3. he must be appointed over this worke, v. 3. and 4. looke how farre giving and shewing mercy, and how farre singlenesse of heart and cherefulnesse in these things extend, as farre must the office of the Deacon extend, hence all in poverty, want, captivity, bonds, sicknesse, are to be helped by him.

Object. 8. But it would seem, that a Deacon hath a higher imploy­ment then to distribute goods, and that he is to preach, as Stephen and Philip did: for 1. they did choose men Act. 6. full of the Holy Ghost; now to be full of the holy Ghost is a requisite in a preacher, and is not required in a man to distribute money; yea these who are least esteemed in the Church, 1 Cor. 6. 4. may judge in things per­taining to this life, Ergo, they may suffice to distribute [...], things which belong to this life.

Answ. To distribute in a civill and naturall way requireth not a man full of the Holy Ghost, but to distribute in simplicity, and with the grace of heavenly cheerfulnesse, Rom. 12. 8. and with the qualities of a compleat Deacon, 1 Tim. 3. 12, 13, 14. requireth the holy Ghost, though they may be good Deacons who are not full of the holy Ghost, but such were chosen, 1. because this was to be a rule to all 'Deacons to the Worlds end, and the rule should be as streight and perfect as can be. 2. Because there were choice of such men, as those in the Apostelike Church, and reason that God be served with the best of his owne. 3. The Holy Ghost is required for sanctification, as well as for gifts of preaching, Luke 1. 15. Matth. 10. v. 20. 4. Stephen did no more ch. 7. in his Apology then any witnesses of Christ convened before Rulers may doe who are obliged to be ready alwaies to give an answer to every one who asketh them of the hope that is in them, with meeknesse and feare, 1 Pet. 3. 15. yea though it were a woman who yet may not preach, 1 Cor. 14. 34. Philip was an Evangelist. 5. The Apo­stle, 2 Cor. 6. 4. doth sharply checke the Corinthians, for going to Law one with another, before heathen Judges, whereas the smallest amongst them might have supplied the bench of an hea­then Judge in matters of this life, the losse whereof was nothing comparable to the great scandall they gave. But there is a grea­ter grace required to the Church-distribution, and the officiall regulating of the conscience in a constant office of distribution, [Page 166] then in a transient and arbitrary act of deciding a matter of money.

Object, 9. 1 Tim. 3. 9. The Deacon must hold the mystery of the faith; Ergo, he must be able to preach.

Answ. It followeth not, for there is a twofold holding of the mystery of faith: one for the preaching of sound doctrine recommended to Timothy, of this Paul doth not speake; there is another holding of faith for stedfast beleevers, and for an holy and blamelesse conversation; and therefore it is not said simply, holding the mystory of faith, but, holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience. In which sense Christ saith to the Church of Pergamus, Rev. 2. 13. Thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith. And Paul saith of himselfe, 2 Tim. 4. 7. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. He meaneth not, that he kept so much of the knowledge of the sound doctrine of faith as made him fit for the ministery, and qualified him to teach, and 1 Tim. 1. 19. holding faith and a good conscience, which is meant of the grace of saving faith. But that the Deacon is not to preach is, cleare, 1. because Paul clearely differenceth the Deacon from the preaching Elder, 1 Tim. 3. 1, 2, 12, 13. and requireth that the preaching Elder be apt to teach, but requireth not this of the Deacon, and Act. 6. they are made two Offices not consistent in one man; for if the Deacon must be a Teacher, he must either be a Teacher as a gifted man, or he must be a Teacher in Office; he cannot ex officio, by his Office, be a Teacher as a gifted man, for the authours of that opinion hold that men are Preachers that way as Christians, and so the Dea­con though he were not a Deacon, he might be a teacher in that sense, though he were onely a gifted Christian: Ergo, he cannot be such a teacher by his Office: but neither can he be an officiall teacher as a Deacon, for he who doth teach that way must also pray, for the one cannot be granted, and the other denied; if then the Deacon, ex officio, by his office must pray and preach; he must pray and preach [...] in season and out of seasor, and give himselfe to it. But if he must give himselfe to praying and preaching by his office, then by his office he must give over the sorving of Tables, as is said, Act. 6. 2. and if he must leave Ta­bles by his office, the Deacon by his office must quit and give up [Page 167] his office, and it shall belong to the Deacon by his office, to be no Deacon. 2. Whoever by his office may teach, by his office may administer the Sacraments, for Christ giveth one and the same royall Patent and Commission for both, Matth. 28 19. 1 Cor. 11. 23. Joh. 4. 1, 2. but this is to be a Minister by Office, and so a Deacon, as a Deacon, is a Pastor. 3. The Deacons office is to preach if he be thereto called by the Bishop: hence the Bi­shop is the principall and sole Pastor; the Preacher, Elder, and Deacon, none of them may preach or baptize, except they be called thereunto by the bishop. Hence judge what a Pastor that man i [...], who actu primo, and by office is a preacher, but cannot nor may not exercise his Office, but by the will of a mortall man.

Object. 10. The Deacon must be the husband of one wife, ruling his children and his own house well 1 Tim. 3. 12. Ergo, he must be able to governe the Church well, no l [...]sse then the Pastor of whom the same qualification is required, v. 5. and so the Deacon must be somewhat more then a carer for the poore.

Answ. The Deacon is never called [...] a Ruler; nor is that same dignity of ruling the Church put upon the Deacon, v. 12. which is put upon the Pastor, v. 5. Nor are these same words spoken of both. Nor is it said that the Deacon must rule the House of God; but the meaning is, he who cannot rule his owne children and house shall not be able to rule the Hospitall houses of the poore and sicke; and this ruling is nothing but a cari [...]g for tables, and for the houses of the poore. Whereas ta­king care for the house of God is given to the Pastor, v. 5. but if you give to the Deacon the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, he is higher then his first institution can beare, Act. 6. where he is ex­presly removed from all officiall medling with word and prayer, and set to the serving of Tables.

Object. 11. The Deacon by his Office is to serve Tables, Act. 6. 2. that is, to administer the Sacraments, at least he is by office to baptize; for Iesus himselfe baptized not, but his Disciples, Io [...]. 4. 2. and Christ sent not Paul to baptize, but to preach; therefore the dpostles bap­tized by others, by Deacons, and by others whose ministery and helpe they used in baptizing, Ergo, the Deacons office is not onely to care for the poore.

[Page 168] Answ. I yeeld that the Deacon is to serve at the communion Table, and provide the Elements, and to carry the Cup at the Table: but that is no wayes the meaning of serving Tables in this place, Acts 6. 2. because the serving of Tables, here, is such a service, as was a remedy of the Widowes neglected in the dayly ministration, for of this neglect they complaine v. 1. but they did not complaine that they were neglected of the benefit of the Lords Supper, for the Apostles doe never thinke that the ad­ministration of the Lords Supper is a burden which they put off themselves as inconsistent with the preaching of the word and prayer, and which they devolve wholly over to Deacons, Its not so sayth the sixt councell, and Chrysostome seemeth to 6. Synod. can 16. invenimus eos esselocutos (Act. 6 non de viris qui ministrant mysterits, sed de ministerio quod in usu mensarun [...] ad hibebatur, se­cundum Chryso­stom. Chryost. [...]omil. 13. [...] act. teach the same; and because a Table signifieth an Altar, (as Salmeron saith) therefore some papists say that Deacons served at the Altar; and so saith pontificale Romanum oportet diaconum ministrare ad altare, Baptizare, & praedicare: and Salmeron saith, to serve at the altar is essentiall to the Deacon, but to preach and baptize agreeth to him by commission and of necessity. 2. The Apostles in the Text, Acts 6. doe denude themselves, of ser­ving of Tables in an officiall way, or, as serving of Tables was a peculiar office imposed upon seven men, of honest report, and full of the Holy Ghost, with apostolick benediction, and laying on of the hands of the Apostles, and doe manifestly make it an office different from their pastorall charge, which was to give themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministery of the word, v. 3. 4. for baptizing cannot but include praying and preach­ing. Mat. 28. 19. or at least must be necessarily conjoyned in one and the same Church-officer; for where doth the word of God hold forth to us such a rare and strange Creature, who by office is to baptise, but by office is neither to preach nor pray? now the Text doth clearely difference the office of serving Tables, and the office of continuall praying and preaching, as not consistent in one person v. 3. 4, 5, 6.

Object. 12. Paul, 1 Tim. 3. requireth that the Deacon v. 10. should first be tryed, and thereafter use the office, so he be found blameles; Ergo, the Deacon must be ordained with imposition of hands, as the presbyter, and so must be, by office, some more eminent person, then one who serveth Tables only; for grace was given to [Page 169] Timothy; by the laying on of hands, 1 Tim. 3. 14. and Chryso­stome observeth, that Steven did no miracles; nor did he speak with wisdome, that the adversaries were not able to resist v. 8. 9. 10. till first hee was appointed a Deacon, by imposition of hands, which evidenceth to us more then a poore office of giving almes to the poore.

Answ. There is need that Deacons be tryed; and it is sayd, they must be found [...], blamelesse in conversation, not [...], apt to teach, which is required in a Teacher, 1 Tim. 3. 1. for these who are to shew mercy with cheerfulnes, and to give with simplicity, as Deacons must by their office doe, Rom. 12. 8. must be of approved and tryed blamelesnes, lest they de­trand the poore. 2. It is not sayd that Deacons were ordained with fasting and prayer, Acts 6. as the Elders are chosen in every Church, Acts 14. 23. and as hands are layd upon Paul and Bar­nabas; Acts 13. v. 3. 4. but simply that the Apostles, Acts 6. 6. prayed and layd their hands on them. Which seemeth to mee, to be nothing, but a signe of praying over the Deacons, and no ce­remony, or Sacrament conferring on them the Holy Ghost; And Steven his working of miracles, and speaking with wis­dome irresistible, was but the fruit of that grace and extraordi­nary measure of the Holy Ghost, abundantly powred forth on all rankes of persons, in those dayes, when the prophecy of Iocl was now taking its accomplishment; Act. 2. 16, 17, 18 19. Iocl. 2. 28. 29. which grace was in Steven before hee was ordai­ned a Deacon, by the laying on of hands. Act. 6. 3, 4, 5. And the Text saith not that Steven did wonders and signes amongst the people by vertue of imposition of hands, or of his Deaconry, but because he was full of faith and power. v. 8. else you must make working of miracles a gift bestowed on all those who serve Tables, and are not to give themselves to continuall praying, and the Ministery of the Word. I thinke, papists will not say so much of all their priests; and we can say it of none of our pastors, nor doth Chysostome say that Steven, as a Deacon, and by vertue of the office of a Deacon wrought miracles; but onely that his miracles and disputing was a meere consequent of laying on of hands. Fa [...]ther laying on of hands was taken from the cu­s [...]ome of blessing amongst the Jewes, Christ layd his hands up­on [Page 170] young children and blessed them, yet did hee not, thereby, designe them to any office. The fourth councell of Carthage saith, Deacons should administer the Sacraments; but times were growing worse then: and two things in ancient times made the office degenerate. 1. The l [...]zinesse of pastors who layd preaching and baptizing on the Deacon. 2. The Deacons ha­ving in their hands aerarium Ecclesiasticum, the Church Trea­sury, as the Church became rich, the Deacons were exalted; and then came in their Archiliaconi, Archdeacons and Dea­cons, and so some Deacons were above pastors, whereas Acts 6. in their first institution they were inferior to pastors; this moved Spalato to tell us of two sorts of Deacons, the apostolick Deacons, which we assert, and the ecclesiastick Deacons, popi [...] and of the newest cut; which we discla [...]me.

As concerning the perpetuity of Deacons. I conceive that Deacons must be as permanent in the Church, as distribution and shewing mercy on the poore.

Ob. 13. How doe those words Act. 6. v. 7. and the word of God grew, and the number of Disciples multiplied in Jerusalem great­ly, &c. follow upon the institution of Deacons v. 2, 3 4. 5, 6. if Dea­cons were not, according to their primitive institution and Office, ordained to be Preachers of the word, by whose paines the word grew?

Answ. The cohesion three wayes is good. 1. Because the A­postles being exonerated of serving Tables, and giving themselves to continuall praying and the ministery of the word v. 2. Through the constituting of the seven Deacons the word thereby did grow (2) Satan stirred up a schisme betwixt the Grecians and Hebrewes, which is prejudiciall to the growth of the Gospell and Church, yet the Lord being superabundantly gratious, where Satan is exceedingly malitious, will have his Gospell and Church to flourish. 3. These words v. 7. doe cohere kindly with the last verse of the foregoing Chapter. v. 41. And dayly in the Temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ and Ch. 6. v. 7. And the word of God increased, &c. God blessing the labours of his persecuted Apostles, and the story of the ordained Deacons is cast in by Luke upon oc­casion of the neglected Grecian Widdowes, and the growth of [Page 171] the word could not arise from the appointing of such officers who were not to labour in the word and prayer, but imployed about Tables, to the end that the Apostles might labour in the word and prayer.

Ob. 14. But doth not the faithfull administration of the Deacons office, purchase to the Deacon a good degree, that is, doth it make him [...]ter in a preparatory way to be a Pastor?

Answ. The word of God, 1 Tim. 3. and elsewhere setting downe the qualification and previous dispositions of a Teacher, doth no where teach us, that none can be a minister, but he who is first a Deacon. 2. Didcclavius saith, many are faithfull Dea­cons who are never Teachers, nor apt to be Teachers, and ma­ny in the ancient Church were, of lay men, made Teache [...]r. Ambrosius heri Catechumenus, hodie Episcopus; and Estius Altar Damas [...]. p. 110. Estius com. in 1. Tim. Hugo Card. com. in loc. Cornelius a lap. in loc. Chrysostome in locen. Cyprian l. 4. epist. 2. ad Antonianū. Bernard Serm. 3. de [...]ssiupt. Lyra in loc. Salmero com. in loc. granteth, many good Deacons can never be Teachers, because of their ignorance.

Hugo Cardinal saith, this is onely against these, qui subito ascen­dunt in pr [...]lationes, who suddainly ascend to prelacies, Cornelius a lapide saith, ut promereantur altiùs promoveri in sacerdotia; they are to serve so, as they may deserve to be promoted to higher places; but this doth not infer that none can be presbyters who have not first beene Deacons. As Chrysostome saith, we use not to place a novice in an high place, antequam fidei suae & vitae dederit doc [...]m [...]nta, before hee have given proofe of his faith, and good conversation. And Cyprian writing to Antonianus, com­mendeth Cornelius that hee came not by a leap and suddainly to be a Bishop, sed per omnia ecclesiastica officia promotus, being promoted by degrees to all Church-Offices; and Bernard follow­eth the same meaning. Lyra, merebu [...]tur quod fiant sacerdotes, acquirunt altiorem gradum, saith Salmeron. Now it is cleare that the fathers and papists could extort no more out of the Text; but that hee who useth the office of a Deacon well, doth deserve of the Church, to be promoted to an higher office, but there is no ground for papists, or others to make the Deacons office a necessiary degree, without the which none can be a Teacher. Sozomen l. 5. c. 8. Sozomenus saith the Deacons office was to keepe the Churches goods Epiphan. l. 5. c. 19. Epiphanius, Diaconis in ecclefia non con creditum est, ut aliquod mysterium perficiant, sed ut administrent [Page 172] solùm & exequantur commissa; then they might neither teach nor baptize, Eusebius l. 4. de vna cons. Eusebius saith, the care of the poore and the keeping of the Church and the vessels thereof were committed to the Deacons Ruffinus l. 1. c. 14. Ruffinus saith, Deacons disputed in Synods; and Athanasius, when hee was a Deacon, helped his Bishop Alexander at the Nicen councell; but this came (as I suppose) because about the fourth century, they were admitted to be scribes in Synods Ambros. c. 4. ad Ephes. Ambrose saith at the beginning, Deacons did preach and baptise, but after when the Church was well furnished with officers, they durst not presume to teach. The Concl. Nice c. 20. Canon of the councel of Nice saith; Diaconi ne sedeant in concessu presbyterorum, aut illis praesentibus Eucharistiam divi­dant, sed illis agentibus solùm ministrent; if there was not a pres­byter present Ruffin. l. 2. c. 6. Ruffinus saith, then the Deacon might distribute the Elements.

I conceive, the place 1 Tim. 5. saith, that Widowes were in the Apostolick Church, both poore aged Women, who were to be mantained by the Church, and also auxiliary helps, for meere service to helpe the Deacons in these hot Countries. Both is apparent from the Text▪ honour Widowes that are Widowes indeed, that is as Hugo Cardi­nal. com. in loc. Hugo Cardinalis expoundeth it, who want both the comfort of an husband and of Children to maintaine them; and so also Chrysost. in loc. Chrysostome, before him expounded it; and Hugo Car­din. c. in. loc. Chrysosto. Theo­phyl. Anselmus. Hugo Cardinalis, the honour that is due to them, is, say Chry­sostome, Theophylact, Anselmus, that they bee sustained by the oblations of the Church. Ecclesiae oblationibus sustententur, say Salmer. com. in loc. Salmeron and Estius in loc. Estius; and Cornelius Cornelius à lapid. com. in loc. à lapide, saith, as (honour thy Father and thy Mother) doth include (h [...] ­norem sustentationis) that children are to give the honour of maintenance to their indigent parents, no lesse then the honour of obedience and reverence, so are Widowes to have this ho­nour. (2) It is said, if any VVidow have children or nephewes, let them learne first to shew mercy at home, and to requite their Pa­rents; Ergo, the children or grand children of these VVidowes were to sustaine them, and not to burden the Church, with them, and so they were poore Widowes; and this. 3. The Text cleare­ly holdeth forth, while the Apostle proveth that the children who are able, are to helpe the Parent being a desolate Widow; [Page 173] because v. 8. all are to provide for these of their owne house, and to maintaine them in their indigence, else they be, in that, worse then Infidell children, who by natures love, doe provide for their poore parents. 3. This is cleare from, v. 16. if any man or woman that believeth, hath widows, let them relieve them, and let not the Church be charged, that they may relieve them that are widowes indeed; Ergo, these widowes cal­led also, v. 3. widowes indeed, did some way burden the Church with their maintenance, and they were not to be layd upon the Churches stock, to be maintained thereby, except they were de­solate and without friends.

But some may object, if these widowes had a charge, and did any worke or service to the Church, (as it is cleare from the Text, v 9. they did) in overseeing the poore, and the sick, were not wages due to them, for their worke? for the labourer is worthy of his hire; the Scripture saith not, if a Preacher have a father who is Rich, and may sustaine his Son; let not the Church be burdened with his wages, but on the contrary, the Preacher is to have his wages for his work, as an hire; ad modum debiti, non ad modum elee­mo [...]ynae; as a debt, not as an Almes. I answer, the reason is not alike of the preaching Elder, and of the Widow; for the pastors service requiring the whole man was of that nature, that it was a worke deserving wages, as any worke-man, a dresser of a Vineyard deserveth wages, 1 Cor. 9 7. or a plower, or one that Thresheth v. 10. Therefore the Preachers wages is so wages that its debt, not almes: but a Widow of sixty yeeres being weake and infirme, cannot acquit her selfe, in such a pain­full office as doth merit poore wages, and therefore the reward of her labour was both wages and an almes.

Againe, that this Widow had some charge or service in the Church, (I meane not any Ministeriall office, for she was not ordained as the Deacon, Acts 6. with imposition of hands) I prove from the Text. 1. Because this Widdow was not to be chosen to the number or Colledge of Widowes, except shee had beene 60. Yeares, this is a positive qualification of a positive service, as if it were an office; for else what more reason in 60. Yeares then in 61. or 62. or in 58. or 59. if shee was a meere eleemosynary and an indigent woman? or can godlinesse permit [Page 174] us to thinke that Paul would exclude a Widow of 50. or 54. or 56 Yeeres, from the Colledge of Widowes, who were de­solate and poore? nor, 2. Would Paul rebuke the Widow taken into the society of these Widowes, because shee married an hus­band, except she had entered to this service, and had vowed chastity, nor is marrying the second time which is lawfull, Rom. 7. 1. 2. a waxing wanton against Christ and a casting off of the first faith; as the marrying of these widowes is called. v. 11. 12. there­fore this Widow, had some charge and service, in the Church. 3. The word [...] let a Widow be chosen of such an age, and not younger, and with such morall qualifications, as is re­quired in the Deacon, &c. doth also evidence that it was an election to some service or charge, as is she be of good report, if she have brought up her children; if she have lodged strangers; if she have washed the saints feete; which qualifications not being in a Widow poore and desolate, cannot exclude her from the Churches almes, and expose her to famishing for want: this also doth Ambrose, Augustine, tract. 58. in Ioan. Chrysostomus, Theophylact. Hieronymus observe on this place; It is not un­probable to me that Phaebe called a Deacon, or servant of the Church of Cenchrea, was such a Widow, seeing she is Rom. 16. 1. expresly so called: how shee came to Rome, if shee was a poore Widdow and now 60. yeares old, I dispute not, seeing Gods Spirit calleth her so. We can easily yield that VVidows of sixty yeares entring to this service did vow not to marrie againe; so teach Cyprian. l. 1. epist▪ ad Pomponium, Hyeronym. contr. Jovia [...]. Epihan. 48.

The last Canon of the councell of Nice (as Ruffinus l. 1. c. 6. saith) denieth Widowes to be Church-officers, because they were not ordained with imposition of hands. Hyeronimus in c. 16. ad Roman. saith, Diaconisses in the Orientall Church had some service in Baptisme. Epiphanius l. 3. tom. 2. Heres. 79. saith, they were in the Church, non ad sacrificandum, sed propter ho­ram Balnci, aut visitationis—quando nudatum fuit corpus [...] ­lieris. Constantine placed them amongst the Clergy, to governe the Corps of the dead; but Papists then have no warrant for their Nuns.

CHAP. 8. SECT. 8.

Of Election of Officers.

HEre the Author teaches, that Election of Officers belongeth to the Church whose officers they are. 2. That the Church of The way of the Churches of Christ. believers, being destitute of all officers, may ordaine their own of­ficers and Presbyters, by imposition of hands, in respect that the power of the keys is given to the Church of believers, Mar. 18.

Answ. Election of Officers (no doubt) belongeth to the whole Church, not in the meaning of our Brethren; but that this may be cleared, whether a Church without officers, may or­daine Elders, there be diverse other questions here to be agita­ted; as 1.

Whether the Church be before the Ministery, or the Ministery before the Churches.

1. Dist. There is an ordinary, and an extraordinary Ministery.

2. There is a mysticall Church of believers, and a ministeriall Church of Pastors and flock.

3. A Church may be so called by anticipation, as Hos. 12. Jacob served for a wise; or formally, because it is constituted in its whole being.

4. A Ministery is a Ministery to these, who are not as yet professors, but only potentially members of the Church.

1. Concl. There is a Church of believers sometime before there be a ministeriall Church. 1. Because a company of be­lievers is a mysticall Church, for which Christ died, Eph. 5. 25. And such there may be before there be a setled Ministery. As there is a house, before there be a Candlestick, because conversi­on may be by private meanes, as by reading and conference; yea a woman hath carried the Gospell to a Land, before there was a Ministery in it. 2. Adam was first and Evah by order of [...]ature a Church created of God, before there was a Ministery; So Adams Ministery is founded upon a nature created according to Gods Image.

2. Concl. A publick ordinary Ministery is before a Church of believers. Eph. 4. 11. Pastors, Teachers, and a Ministery, are given [Page 176] to the inbringing and gathering of the Church; [...]. That is, edifying, and not onely for confirming, but for the converting of the Body of Christ. Nor is Robinson Robinson Iust. of s [...]pa [...]. p. 320. and his fellowes here to be heard, that the word of re­storing is the same which is used, Gal. 6. 1. and so nothing is meant but repairing of Christians already converted, not the converting of these who are yet unconverted. But I Answer 1. The Word of restor­ing doth no more import that they were converted before, then the word of renewing, Eph. 4. 23. Rom. 12. 2. and the word of awaking from sleepe of sinners, Ep [...]. 5. 14. doth import that these were new Creatures before, and that they had the life of God, before they be said to be renewed againe and made new, and awaked out of their sleepe. And this Pelagian and popish ex­position, is a faire way to elude all the places for the power of grace; and to helpe Papists and Arminian [...]. 2. By this there is, 1. no necessity of a publick Ministery, for the conversion of Soules to Christ, nor is a Ministery and Pastors, and Teach­ers given by Jesus Christ, with intention, to open the eyes of the blind, and to convert soules to God. All the ordinary wayes of conversion of Soules, is by the preaching of men out of office, and destitute of all calling of the Church to preach, which is a wonder. 3. The Fathers begetting, by order of nature, are be­fore the children; the pastors are Fathers, the seede before the plant or birth; the word preached, Rom. 10. 14. is the immor­tall seed of the new birth, 1 Pet. 1. 23. The Ministery and or­dinary use thereof, is given to the pastors as to Christs Ambas­sadours, 2 Cor. 5. 18. 20. Therefore the Ministery is before the Church of believers, though wee will not tie the Lord to these only: yet is this his ordinary established way: but more of this hereafter.

Robinson objecteth Iust of separ. p. 320. 321. The Apostles and brethren were a Church of God, Acts 2. 25. when as yet no Pastors or Teachers were ap­poynted in it. How then are the Ministers spoken of Eph. 4. 11. before the Church out of which they were taken? yea the office of pastors was not heard of in the Church then. Ans. 1. It is cleare there were in that meeting, eleven Apostles called to be pastors; Mat. 10. 1, 2, 3. sent of God, Mat 29. 19 inspired or the Holy Ghost to open and shut Heaven, Ioh. 20. 21, 22. Before Christs [Page 177] ascension; and this meeting was after his ascension, Acts. 1. 15. and here was a governing Church, and without the Apostles, an Apostle could not be chosen and called by men. And an instance of such a calling is not in Gods Word. 2. He objecteth. The Apostles themselves, were first Christians and members of the Church, before they were Ministers.

Answ. Men may be a Church of Christians, and a mysticall Church before they have a Ministery, but they are not a gover­ning Church, having the power of the keyes, so long as they want officers and stewards, who only have warrant ordinary of Christ to use the keys.

3. He objecteth, God 1 Cor. 12. 28. hath set officers in the Church; Ergo, the Church is before the Officers, as the setting of a Candle in a Candlestick. presupposeth a Candlestick. The Church is the candlestick. Rev. 1. The officers candles, lights, stars

Answ. God hath put and breathed in man a living soule. Ergo, he is a living man, before the soule be breathed in him: friend your logick is naught. The Church is the Candlestick, not simply without Candles and Lampes: the Church ministeri­all is the Candlestick, and the Ministers the Candles set in the Church ministeriall, as Eyes and Eares are seated, and all the seales are seated in a living man; Ergo, he is a living man be­fore the senses be seated in him, it followeth in no sort. Be­cause by the candles seating in the Church, the Church becom­meth a ministeriall and governing Church: It is as you would say the Lord giveth the wife to the husband; Ergo. He is an hus­band before God give him the wife.

4. He objecteth. That it is senseles, that a Minister may be sent as a Minister, to the hidden number not yet called out, which are also his st [...]ck potentially, not actually; as Mr. Bernard saith, because it is the property of a good shepheard, to call his own sheep by name. Ioh. 20. also it is a logicall error, that a man may have a [...] actuall relati­on to a stock potentially, it is as if a man were a husband because he may have a wife.

But I answer; he not onely may be, but is a pastor to these that are but potentially members to the invisible Church, though unconverted, except you say, a man hath no relation as a pastor to the flock, to all and every one of a thousand soules, which [Page 178] are his flock, except they bee all truly converted, and members of the invisible Church, which if you say, I can refute it easily as an Anabaptisticall falsehood; for if they all professe the truth, and chuse him for their pastor, hee is their pastor, but they are a saved flock potentially, though actually a visible flock ha­ving actuall relation to him, as to their pastor.

But. 2. That a good minister know all his flock by name, be re­quisite, and is spoken of Christ▪ Ioh. 10. in relation to the whole Catholick Church, as is expounded v. 14. yet will it not follow, he is not a pastor nor not a good pastor, who knoweth not all his flock at all times. 3. A man is indeed not properly a pastor, and a Church officer to Indians, who neither are called nor pro­fesse the truth, if he preach to them, though he have not relation to such, as to a Christian flock, yet he hath a relation of a pastor to them in that case.

Yea I desire our brethren to satisfie me in this even according to their grounds. A number of Christians is a Church mysticall, but they are not a Church ministeriall, while they be conjoyned cove­nant-wayes, and use the keyes in such acts of Church union: Ergo, They are not a Church ministeriall before they bee a Church governing: which is all wee say; for then they should be a body seeing and hearing, before they be a body seeing and hearing.

Quest. 2. VVhether there be any Church in the Scripture ha­ving power of the keys, yet wanting all Church-Officers?

The Question is neere to the former, yet needfull in this mat­ter to be discussed. The Question is not, if the name Church be given to a company of Christians, without relation to their Officers, for the word [...] is given to a civill meeting. The Hebrews call, sometimes, any meeting of people a Church: as [...] doth sometime signifie, Gen. 49. 6. my soule come not thou [...] to their assembly. So the Rabbines use [...] for a place, where the Congregation meeteth. So the Chal­daick and Arabick use [...], for the place where the wor­shippers met, from [...] Caldaice & Syriace, Adoravit, be­cause it is a place of meeting for adoration; and [...] thè Con­gregation from the Arabick [...] congregavit. Yet speaking of a governing and orderly constituted Church, you shall never [Page 179] finde, such a Church having the name of a Church, but such a company as hath officers, and is spoken of as a house and family, where there are stewards, keys, doores, bread and other things no­ting a City-incorporation.

1. Because the keys are given to stewards, who, by▪ office, beare the keys; for taking in and casting out, by power of censures, is proper to an ordered City, where there are governors, and people governed. 2. Because wee reade not that the keyes are given to a company of single believers, out of office. 3. Wee never finde in the word of God, any practice, or precept, that a single company did use the keyes, or can use them, wanting all Officers.

Heare what Robinson objecteth, that he may establish a po­pular government. Robinson. Just. separ p. 107. 108. Two or three making Peters confession, Mat. 16. are a Church. But two or three may make this confession without officers; Ergo, The proposition is cleare, by the promise made to build the Church upon the Rock of Peters confession.

Answ. 1. I deny the proposition, and it is not proved: two or three making Peters confession are not the Church ministe­riall, to which Christ gave the keyes; for the keys include pastorall power to preach and baptize, which Separatists Confess art. 37. deny to two or three wanting officers, they may be a mysti­call Church or a part of the redeemed Church, Eph. 3. 25. 26. nor doth Christ promise to build the ministeriall Church pro­perly on the rock, but only the Church of believers, for whom he gave the keyes, but to whom he gave no keyes. 2. This argu­ment will hurt our brethren: for two or three not entred in Church-state, nor in Courch-Covenant, without Church-state, as well, as without officers, may, and doe often make Pe­ters confession; yet are they not for that a governing Church, because they may not happily as yet bee united covenant-wayes.

2. He objecteth, If the Apostles appoint Elders in every Church. Acts 14. 23. If God se [...] in the Church Apostles, Prophets, Teach­ers, 1 Cor 12. 28. Then there is a Church before Officers, A­postles, Prophets: a Major presupposeth there was a City, be­fore he was Major, a Steward presupposeth a family; is not the Eldership an ordinance of the Church, and called the Elders of the [Page 180] Church? The Church is not an ordinance of the Elders, or given [...] the Elders.

Ans. Job. 10. 20. God hath granted to Iob life; Ergo, Iob was a living man before God had given him life. The Lord breathed in man the breath of life; Ergo, he was a breathing and a living man, before God breathed that life in him. God formed man of the dust, Gen. 2. 7. Ergo, hee was a man before God formed him. All these are as good consequences. So Iac [...] served for a wife, Hos. 12. 12. Ergo, she was his wife before hee served for her; it followeth not.

2. This proveth not there is a governing Church without Of­ficers, but the contrary, because for that end doth the Lord appoint Elders in every Church, and a ruler in a City, a King in a Kingdome, to governe them, to feed the flock, Acts 20. 28. Ergo, before there be Officers in a Church, there is no govern­ment in it. And so it is not a governing Church; nor is a City a governing incorporation without a Major or some other Ru­lers, nor a Kingdome a monarchicall state without a King. And so the Elders, are the Churches Elders, as life is the forme of a living man. And this argument is much against them God (say our Brethren) hath appoynted a Church-covenant, in his Church, will it follow: Ergo, there is a Church, before a Church-covenant; They cannot say this.

3. These with whom (sayth Robinson) God hath made a cove­nant, lb. 108. to be their God, and to have them his people, and to dwell it them as his Temple, which have right to the promises of Christ and his presence, are his Church. But a company of believers with­out Officers are such; Ergo, The proposition is Scripture, Gen. 17. 17. Levi. 26. 11, 12. Mat. 18. 17. The assumption is true, because they may believe, separate themselves from the world, come out of Ba­bel without Officers, except you say they must go to Rome, to Jerusa­lem, and beyond sea, to seeke a Church.

Answ. The major is false; for God is in covenant with six believers before they sweare a Church-covenant, and so all the promises are made to them, and yet by your grant, they are not a Church. Yea all these agree to the invisible Church, and every single member thereof. 2. Without officers, believers may not separate themselves from the world, and come out of Babel, [Page 181] by a positive and authoritative separation, to erect a new Church without pastors, or in an ordinary way; though as Christians they may separate from Rome, negatively and touch no uncleane things. 3. We send none to Ierusalem and Babylon to seeke a Church yet, but except we fall unto the Tenets of Ana­baptists, Socinians and Arminians: wee must send farther then to every house, where three believers are, to seeke such as have war­rant from Christ to adminstrate the seales of grace, except you in casting downe Babel, build Iericho, and raise up a Tower of confusion, and evert the ministeriall order that Christ hath ap­poynted in his Church.

4. Then how often (saith he) the Officers die, so oft the Church dieth also; to remove the candlestick is to dischurch the assembly; but the death of Officers (which may be in a great persecution) is never said to be a dischurching of an assembly. And all communion of Saints shall perish, when the Officers are removed; for Baptisme is without the visible Church; Eph. 4.

Answ. 1. When the shepheards are removed, the Tents cannot be called the Shepheards Tents, and persecution often doth de­face the visible face of a Ministeriall Church, and to remove the candlestick is to remove the ministery, as to take away eyes, and eares and hands from the body, is to hurt the integrity of it, and make it lame. 2. All communion Ministeriall whereby we are a body visible, 1 Cor. 10. 16. eating one bread, may well be loosed, when pastors are removed, whose onely it is, by your owne confession, to administrate the Sacraments, except you allow all to administrate the Lords Supper, and women to Baptise; nor is there a communion in a family betwixt husband and wife, if you remove husband and wife out of the family, except, you meane a communion by way of charity, to rebuke, exhort, comfort one another, which communion is betwixt two in­dependent congregations, who are not in Church-state one to another: but if you meane in Church-communion, take heed that the keys of every christian family, and the keys of the Kingdome of Heaven be not by this, made all one.

Also it is (saith he) unequall dealing to make a prophane multi­tude, Robins. Iust of sepa [...]. p. 110. 11 [...] under a diocesian prelate a Church, and to deny, that a com­pany of faithfull believers is a Church. 2. God hath not tied his [Page 182] power or presence to any order, or office of the world, but accepteth of them that feare him, and worke Righteousnes. 3. A power to en­joy the officers is seated in the body, as an essentiall property. 4. Th [...] Lord calleth the body of the Saints the Church, excluding the Elders Acts 20. 17. 28. 1 Tim. 3. 15. because the Church is essentially in the saints, as the matter and subject formed by the covenant, unto the which the Officers are but adjuncts, not making for the being, but for the welbeing of the Church, and so the furtherance of their faith and their service.

Answ. A profane multitude under a diocesian prelate, is not a Church mysticall of redemed ones, as a company of Believers are, but professing the truth and consisting of a flock of called Officers, they may wel be a Ministeriall Church, which foure Be­lievers cannot be. It is true God hath not tied his power and pre­sence to any order or office, as Anabaptists say: and so speaketh the Catech. of Raccovia Catech. Rac. de eccles. ch. p. 301. 302. and Smalcius Smalcius in refut. thesiii Dr. sra [...]zii. par. 2. disp. 4 p. 379. and Nicolaides Nicolai [...]. in defens. tract. Socinian [...] de ministr. missione contra Miedzi­boz [...]um p. 140. say, there is no necessity of a Ministery, after that the Evangel i [...] preached by the Apostles and confirmed by miracles: and that a Ministery is onely profitable ad benè esse, and not necessary; The Arminians teach so, the Remons. apol. f. 246. Remonstrantes, praedicationem verbi ad id simplicitèr necessariam negant: quid clarius? So Episcop. disp. 28. Thes. 11. Eips­copius, pastoris actio non tam necessaria est quam utilis ad edifica­tionem, postquam Scriptura omnibus & singulis legenda data est, ut ex ca suopte Marte discat quisque quantum satis est. But Paul maketh it in the ordinary way, necessary for salvation to be­lieve, Rom. 10. 14, 15. to call on the Name of the Lord, and to heare a Prophet sent; and the presence and power of God in the Seales of Righte­ousnes, is tyed to lawfull Pastors, who onely can administrate those Seales, Mat. 28. 19. as to meanes ordained of God, not as if God could not save without them, and accept the righteous doers without them, but see how this man would beare us in hand, that the comfort of pastorall preaching and the Sacra­ments cannot be tyed to called Ministers, exccept we call God an accepter of persons, which is denied, Acts 10? I believed Teach­ers and Doctors and Elders, had beene the Eyes, Eares and Hands, and so integrall parts of the visible Church, as Christ is the head of the catholick church. And this man maketh inte­grall parts adjunctes of the church, thereby declaring Ministers [Page 183] may be well wanted, and that they are passements ad bene esse, and things of order. Never did Anabaptists speake louder against the Ordinances of Christ; and Socinians and Armini­ans are obliged to him. Thirdly, the beleevers have right to the Officers, and this right is an essentiall property of the Church; then also, because beleevers have right to the Keys, the Keyes are onely an adjunct of the visible Church, which our brethren must deny. 4. Acts 20. 17. 1 Tim. 3. 15. The Church excluding the Offi­cers is (saith Robinson) called the Church, as the Elders of the Church, and Timothy was to behave himselfe well in the Church of God. This is answered; they are first a mysticall Church, not a governing Church. Secondly, a man is called a man excluding his soule, (if your soule were in my soules stead.) Therefore a man is a thing living, and a reasonable man without his soule: what vani­ty is here! Fifthly, if the Church-Covenant be the essentiall forme of the Church, it is as accider tall to the well being of be­leevers, as Officers are; for they are the light of the world, the salt of the earth, which is more necessary then a Church-Covenant.

And Robinson saith p. 112, 113. further, Two or three have received Christ, and his power and right to all the meanes of grace, and Christ and his power are not divided; also the wife hath immediate right to her husbands person and goods for her use.

Answ. Two or three (yea one beleever) and these not en­tred in Church-state, but beleeving in Christ, have received Christ and his power in all Christian priviledges due to that state: True; They have received Christ and his power in all mi­nisteriall and Church-priviledges, it is false; nor can our bre­thren admit of this by their grounds: for then should they have right in their owne person to preach pastorally, and administrate the Sacraments; if Christ and the pastorall power to such acts cannot be divided, and if they have as immediate right to use the keys in pastorall acts as the wife hath to the husband and goods.

Also (saith he) Just. p. 1 [...]7▪ Of the Churches of the Gentiles, some were converted to God by Apostles, others by private Christians, Acts 8. 12. and 10. 36, 44, 47, 48. and 11. 19, 20, 21. and 13. 1, 12, 48. and 14. 1, 7. Can we in reason thinks, during the Apostles absence, that the Churches never assembled together for edification in praying, [Page 184] prophesying, and other ordinances? were not all they converts, who desired to be admitted to their fellowship? Had they not use of ex­communication? The Apostles came but occasionally to the Churches, where they appointed Elders, Acts 14. 25. Why did Paul leave Ti­tus at Crete, save onely that men of gifts might be trained up in pro­phesying?

Answ. All here said is conjecturall, he cannot give us an in­stance of a Church exercising Church-power, and destitute of Officers, onely he saith, Can we conceive that in the Apostles ab­sence there was no Church meetings for edification? But were there no Elders and Officers in the Apostolike Church, but onely A­postles? I thinke there have beene Pastors, and when the Apo­stles first left the planted Churches, can we conceive that they left new converted flockes without Pastors? and if without Officers they met for prophecying, can wee conceive that they wanted the Seales of the Covenant? certainly, Sacraments with­out Officers are no rules for us to follow. Secondly, of conversion by private persons, I purpose to speake hereafter; if they prea­ched, it is not ordinary, nor a rule to us. Thirdly, at Crete there have beene Preachers, but of government without them I see nothing; since Elders Timothy and Titus are limitted in recei­ving accusation: against Elders, and are forbidden to lay hands suddenly on any man; I see not how the people without Offi­cers did this. It is good, that this Church that they give us, is all builded upon conjectures, and an unwritten Church is an un­written tradition. If the Apostles appointed Elders in the Church for this end, to governe; wee gather the contrary of your collections. Ergo, there was no government in the Churches before there were governours, for the end could not be existing in Gods wisdome without the meanes; that watch­men should goe about the walls before the City bee walled, and discipline erected, I cannot conceive: without Officers, the ordinary disciplinators, the City of God can be no governing City.

It is (saith he) strange where multitudes are converted; and that where neither Apostles nor Officers were present, that there were no Churches here; it is grosse to say. That in the Apostles times nothing was begun but by them.

[Page 185] A. There was conversion of multitudes to the Lord; Ergo, there was a Church-Covenant in stating them all in Church-State; you cannot say it your selves. Secondly, it is not grosse, but Apo­stolike, that all new Acts of government should take their begin­ning from the Apostles, as the chusing of Matthias, Acts 1. the ordaining of Deacons, Acts 6. the preaching to the Gen­tiles, Acts 10. had their beginning from the Apostles, who foun­ded and planted Churches.

3. Quest. Whether or not ordination of Elders may be by the Church of beleevers wanting all Elders or Officers.

Here these particulars must be discussed; first, from whence is ordination of Elders from Elders or from the people. Secondly, if ele­ction by the people be all that is requisite in a lawfull calling. Thirdly, the argument from the calling of our reformers must be discussed.

For the first, observe the following considerations:

First, A succession in the Church is necessary ordinarily; extraor­dinarily, and in cases of necessity it may be wanting. Secondly, we deny the popish succession to be a note of the Church, nor doe we in any sort contend for it. First, because a right succession must be a successi­on to truth of Doctrine, not personall or totall to the chaire and naked office. So T [...]rtul. de praescrip c. 32. Tertullian, and falshood may succeed to truth, sicknesse to health, as Naz. orat. 21. [...]. Nazianzen. Yea, as Occam dial. p. 1. l. 4. c 9. & sect 5. c. 3. &c 28. qut si­dem primitus fundavit catho­licam, tot [...]st date pauperes, sim­plices ill [...]crator & rusticos in aedis [...]ationem Eccles. ortho­doxae. Occam saith, Laymen and Teachers extraordinarily raised up, may succeed to he­reticall Pastors.

Secondly, there is succession to the errors of preceding teachers, either materiall without pertinacie, holding what they hold; or formall to the same errors, with hatred of the truth and perti­nacie; the latter we reject, the former may be in lawfully called Pastors. See what Beza Beza to. 3 [...] in. opusc. p. 140, 141. saith of this. Neither will we here go from true succession, whereas Iren. l. 4. c. 43. Ireneus saith, men, Cum Episco­patus successione charisma veritatis acceperunt. And as Aug. de vinc. c. 16. Augu­stine, when they doe prove themselves to be the Church onely by Scriptures, non nisi caenonic is libris. Thirdly, we deny not but Asia, Africa, Egypt, and a great part of Europe heard not a word of Christ for a long time, as Binnius Binnius to. 4 p. 599. observeth in the Concil. la­teran. c. 10. s. 8. iacet desolata Asia &c. La­ [...]eran Councell. And succession was interrupted many ages in the world, saith Prosper de voc t gent [...]um l. 2 c. 6. Prosper and Aug. de con e [...]s. Evang. s. 2. c. 31. Augustine. Nor can Bellarm de Pont. Rom. 3. cap. 4. Bel­larmine deny it. 3. We desire that more may be seene of this also [Page 186] in lren. l. 3. c. 3. [...], Cyprian l. [...]. cp. 6. Cyprian, [...] 165 Augustine. And a great Iesuit [...]. The [...] 9 do eccles. sect. 7. n. 6 Suariz in words passeth from this note. The Epistles of A [...]acletus to all ingenious men, except to such as Stapleton, are counterfeit; and the Greeke Church hath as much of th [...]s as the Roman, and more. Antiochia, Alexandria, and Constantinople, may say more for it also.

3 Distinct. It is one thing to receive ordination from a P [...]lat [...] lawfully and another thing to receive lawfull ordination. The for­mer w [...] deny; Ministers si [...]ne who receive ordination from a Pr [...] ­late, as they sinne, who receive baptisme from the Romish Church; yet is the ordination lawfull and valid, because Prelacy, though diffe­rent in nature from the office of a true Pastor, is consistent in the same subject with the Pastors office.

4. Distinct. Though election by the people may make a minister in some cases, yet it is not the essentiall cause of a called Pastor, as a Rose caused to grow in winter by art is of that same nature with aR [...]se produced by nature in summer, though the manner of production be different. So are they both true Pastors, those who have no call ba [...] the peoples election, and those who have ordination by Pastors.

5. Distinct. The substance and essence of ordination (as we sh [...] after heare) consisteth in the appointing of such for the holy ministery by persons in office. All the corrupt rites added to this by Pa­pists, take not away the essence and nature of ordination. For the Greeke Church, even this day at Rome, receiveth ordination by imposition of hands, & not by the reaching a cup and a plat­ter, and that with the Popes good will. Whereas the Lati [...] Church have far other Ceremonies following the decree of E [...] ­ginius the fourth, and the common way of Rome, approved by Innocent. 4. ca. de Sacram. non iteran. tis. Innocentius the third, and yet they grant both wayes of or­dinations lawfull; because as Bell. tom. 2. [...] sacr. or. l. l. 8. c 9. Bellarmine, Uasquez In 3. part. Theol. disp. 239. Uasq [...] Joan de lugo to [...]n. de sacra. disp. 2 sect 4. n. 86. Joan. de Lugo the Popes Professor this day at Rome saith, These are but accidents of ordination; and because (say they) Christ ordained that this Sacrament should be given by some materiall signe, but whether by imposition of hands, or other­wise, he hath not determined in individuo (particularly:) see for this, Peter Arcudius his reconciliation of the Easterne and VVe [...] ­erne Church Petr. Ar­cudites de co [...] ­cor. Eccles. Occ. & orient. in sacra. admi­nistrat. l. 6. c. 4. cired initium rapitis. in the Councell of Florence. Concil. Flo­ren. The Greek Church is not blamed, though imposition of hands be com­manded [Page 187] in Concil. Car­thag. llll. c. an. 3, 4. the Councell or Carthage. See that variations may be in a Sacrament, and yet such as make not the Sacra­ment invalid, in Sotus 4. d. 1. q. 1. art. 8. Sotus Suarez in 3 part. disp. 2. sect 5. Suarez, Vasq. in 3. part. disp. 129. c. 6. & c. 7. Vasquez, Joan. de lugo desacra. disp. 2. sect. 6. n. 104, 105. Ioan. de Lugo, Scotus in. 4. disp. 3. q. 2. Scotus. But since Robins. Inst. sapa p 334. Robinson granteth, that the Baptisme of the Romish Church is not to be repeated, ordinati­on of Pastors is of that same nature, and must stand valid also.

Hence our first conclusion. In cases of necessity, election by the people onely may stand for ordination, where there be no Pa­stors at all. This is proved before by us; Ut supra; first, because God is not necessarily tied to succession of Pastors. Secondly, be­cause where men are gifted for the worke of the ministery, and there be no Pastors to be had, the giving of the holy Ghost is a signe of a calling of God, who is not wanting to his owne gra­cious intention, though ordinary meanes faile. And see for this that learned Voetius U [...]et. disp. causa Papatus. l. 2. sect 2. c. 20. & c. 21. p. 263, 264, 265. Nor do we thinke that we are in this straited, as the Papist Iansenius Apud Uoe­tium loc. cit. in that place saith, That wee must wait for an immediate calling from Heaven, as also Robinson Just. sepa. Ro­binson saith.

2. Conclus. Thence may well be deduced that they are law­full Pastors, and need not a calling revealed, who, in cases of ex­traordinary necessity, are onely chosen by the people, and not ordained by Pastors; and that Pastors ordained by Pastors, as such, are Pastors of the same nature; as Matthias called by the Church, and Paul immediately called from Heaven, had one and the same office by nature.

3. Conclus, The established and setled order of calling of Pa­stors, is by succession of Pastors to Pastors, and Elders by El­ders, 1 Tim. 5. 22. Lay hands suddenly on no man. 2 Tim. 4. 14. Neglect not the gift which was given to thee by proph [...]cie, with the laying on of the hands of the Elders. Secondly, the practice of the Apostles is our safe rule, because at all ordination of Church­officers the Apostles and Pastors were actors and ordainers, as Acts 1. 15, 16. Acts 6. 2. 3. Acts. 14. 23. 1 Cor. 3. 6. Tit. 1. 5. and this Robinson Iust. of sepa. p 327. Robinson granteth, because the charge of all the Churches did lie on the Apostles. As also before the Law, the people did not ordaine the Priest hood, but God ordained the first borne by succession to be teachers and priests; Gen. 21. 9. Gen 25. 31, 32 Num. 3. 12, [...]2 Num. 8, 15, 16 and after he chose the Tribe of Levi, without consent of the people, [Page 188] though the Princes and heads of Tribes said hands upon them. And also God of sundry other Tribes raised up Prophets, and did immediately call them, they had onely of the people not the calling, bu [...] [...]t the least the silent approbation of the faithfull amongst the people. Christ comming in the flesh chose twelve Apostles not knowing either the governing Church or the peo­ple; at length, when the Apostles established a Church-govern­ment, and a Pastor to a certaine flocke, they ordained that the ch [...]sing of the man should be with consen of the people, and beg [...]n this in Ma [...]thias, then the seven Deacons, then Acts 14. 23. Elders were chosen by lasting up of the peoples hands. But that persons were ordained Pastors and sanctified, and set apart for the worke of the ministery, by the authority of the sole multi­titude, and that without all Officers, we never read. And the lay­ing on of the hands we see not in the New Testament; we shall be d [...]si [...]ous to be informed of this by our deare brethren, and in­treat them in the feare of the Lord to consider of an unwritten calling of a Ministery. Thirdly, if ordination of Pastors bee laid downe in the Apostolike Canons to Officers, as Officers, then is not this a charge that doth agree to the people, especi­ally wanting Officers. But the former is true; Ergo, so is the latter. I prove the proposition: What is charged upon Offi­cers as Officers cannot be the charge of the people, because the people are not Officers. I prove the assumption, because 2 Tim. 2. 1, 2. To commit to faithfull men the things of the Gospell, which Timothy heard Paul preach, is a charge laid on Timothy in the very tearms, that he is vers. 4. not to intangle himselfe with the affairs of this life, but to be separated for preaching the Gospell, from all worldly imployment; as a Souldier sworne to hi [...] Cap­taine, can attend no other calling, vers. 5. and as he is to put other Pastors in minde of these things, and to charge them that they strite not about words; and as he is to be an approved workman, divi­ding the word aright, vers. 14. 15. But these are laid upon Timo­thy as a Pastor. So 1 Tim. 5. as he sheweth the honour and re­ward due to Elders, so doth he charge Timothy not to heare ac­cusations of Elders, but upon two or three witnesses testimony, which is the part of Church-Iudges; even as hee is to rebuke sinne publikely, that others may feare, vers. 19, 20. So according [Page 189] to that same office, must imposition of hands be conserred upon Pastors advisedly, vers. 22. As the Apostle commandeth all be­leevers to lay hands suddenly on no man. Also Paul would have said, I left a Church of beleevers at Crete to appoint El­ders in every City; if it be the Churches part, even though de­stitute of Elders to appoint Elders over themselves, but by what po [...]er Titus was to rebuke sharpely the Cretians, that they may be found in the saith, by that power was he left at Crete to appoint Elders in every City; but this is an officiall power, Titus 1. 13. due to Bishops, as a part of their qualification, vers. 9.

4. Argu. The speciall reason against ordination of Elders, by Elders onely, is weake; and that is, a succession of Pastors must be granted ever since the Apostles times, which is (say ourbrethren) Popish. This reason is weak, because a succession of Elders and Pastors, such as we require, is no more popish then a succession of visible beleevers; and visible Churches ordain­ing Pastors, is popish: but our brethren maintaine a succession of beleevers and visible prosessors since the Apostles daye. Se­condly, we deny the necessity of a succession perpetuall, which papists hold. Thirdly, we maintaine onely a succession to the true and Apostolike Doctrine: papists hold a visible Cathedrall succession to the chaire of Rome, and titular office of Peter.

4. Quest. Whether or not our brethren doe prove that the Church of believers have power to ordaine Pastors?

In answering our brethrens reasons; I first returne to our Au­thor; secondly, I obviate what our brethren say in the answer to Quest. 13. the Questions sent from old England; and thirdly, shall answer Robinsons arguments.

Our The way of the Chur­ches of Christ in new Eng­land, c. 2. sect. 6. Author saith, Beleevers have power to lay hands on their Officers, because to them Christ gave the keyes; that is, the mi­nisteriall power of binding and loosing, Matth. 16. 16, 17, 18. and Acts 1. The voices of the people went as farre as any humane suffra­ges could goe, of an hundred and twenty they chose two. And Acts 14. 23. The Apostles ordained Elders by the lifting up of the hands of the people. Acts 6. They are directed to looke out and chuse seven men to be Deacons. And the ancient Church did so from Cyprians words, Cyprian epist. 4. l. 4 [...]. Vlebs vel maxime potestatem habet, vel dign [...]s sacerdo­tes eligendi, vel indignos recusandi.

[Page 190] Answ. The places Math. 16. and 18. give, to some power mi­nisteriall to bind and loose, open and shue, by preaching the Gos­pell, and administring the Sacraments, as to stewards the Keyes of an house are given: but this power is given to Elders o [...]ely, by evidence of the place, and exposition of all Divines. 2. If the ministeriall power and the warrantable exercise thereof, be given to all; then are all Ministers; for the faculty and exercise doth denominate the subject and agent; but that is false by 1 Cor. 4. 1, 2. 1 Cor. 3. 6. 2 Cor. 4. 1. 2 Cor. 5. 18, 20. 1 Cor. 12 28. Ephes. 4 11. Scripture. 2. That all the hundred and twenty did ordain [...] Matthias an Apostle, Act. 1. is not said, they did nominate and present him. 2. they did choose him. But authoritative separa­tion for the Office was Christs and his Apostles worke. 3. That women, and Mary the mother of Iesus, v. 14. being there, had voice, and exercised authority in ordaining an Apostle cannot be orderly. Yea the Apostles names are se [...] downe, and these words, V. 23. and they appointed two, are relative to v. 17. these words, For he was numbred with us the Apostles, and to these V. 21. Where­fore of these men which have companied with us, &c. and to these v. 22. must one be ordained to be witnesse with us of his resurrestion, and they appointed two, that is, the Apostles; and the rest are set downe as witnesses, v. 14. These continued, that is the Apostles, with the women, and Mary the mother of Iesus, &c. The women and others were onely consenters. 3. Here is no probation, that onely a company of believers wanting Pastors are ordainers of Matthias to the Apostleship, and this is the question. 4. The place Act. 14. 23. proveth that Elders appoint or ordaine Elder. with consent, or lifting up of the hands of the people, which is our very doctrine. 5. Act. 6▪ The multitude are directed to choose out seven men, as being best acquainted with them. Yet if Nicholas, the sect master of the fleshly Nicolaitans was one of them; it is likely they were not satisfied in conscience of the regeneration of Nicholas, by hearing his spirituall conference and his gift of praying, which is your way of trying Church-mem­bers. But 2. they looke out seven men. 2. They choose the [...]. But v. 6. The Apostles prayed, and laid their hands on them (which we call ordination) and not the multitude. 6. Cyprian give [...] election of Priests to the multitude, but neither Cyprian, nor any of the Fathers give ordination to them.

[Page 191] Author Sect. 7. If the people have power to elect a King, they have power to appoint one is their name to put the crown on his head. Ergo, if beleevers elect their Officers they may by themselves or some others lay hands on them and ordaine them.

Ans. The case is not alike, the power of electing a King is naturall, for Ants and Locusts have it, Prov 30 25, 16, 27. There­fore a civill Society may choose and ordaine a King. The power of choosing Officers is [...], a supernaturall gift. And because God giveth to people one supernaturall gift, it is not consequent that he should give them another, also beside ordination is ano­ther thing, then coronation of a King. Presbyters in the Word have alwaies performed ordination. Manuscript.

Neither will it hence follow (saith the Authour) as some object (a) Way of the Churches of Christ in new England, ch. 1. sect 2. that because the Church of believers neither make the Office nor authority of Pastors, that both are immediately from Christ, and that therefore the beleevers may not lay hands upon the Officers; nor doth it follow, because they receive ordination from the Church, that therefore they should execute their Office in the Churches name; or that they should be more or lesse diligent at the Churches appointment, or that the Church of beleevers have a Lordly power over them, or that the Elders must receive their commission from the Church, as an Ambassadour doth from the Prince who sent him, or that the Church in the defect of Officers may performe all duties proper to Of­ficers, as to administer the Sacraments. For 1. most of the objections doe strike as much against imposition of hands by Bishops and Pres­byters. 2. Though Officers receive the application of their office and powerly the Church, yet not from the Church; and if from the Church, yet not from her by any Lordly power and dominion, but onely ministerially as from instruments under Christ, so that they cannot choose or ordaine whom they please, but onely him whom they see the Lord hath fitted and prepared for them; nor can they pre­scribe limits to his Office, nor give him his Embassage, but onely a charge to looke to the Ministery that he hath received of the Lord.

Ans. 1. I know none of ours who use such an Argument, that because a Pasters or Elders Office is from Christ, that therefore the Church cannot ordaine him. For it should prove that the Presby­terie cannot ordaine him a Pastor, because his Office is from [Page 192] Christ and not from the Presbyterie. It would prove also, that because the Office of a Judge is from God, that the free States of a Kingdome could not ordaine one to be their King; or that the King could not depute Judges under him, because the Office of a King and Judge is from God, and not from men.

2. If Elders have their Ordination to that heavenly Charge from the people, as from the first principall and onely subject of all ministeriall power, I see not how it doth not follow, that Elders are the servants of the Church in that respect; and that though it doth not follow, that they come out in the name of the Church, but in the name of Christ, whose Ambassadours they are, yet it proveth well that they are inferiour to the Church of be­leevers. For 1. though the power of the Keys given to belee­vers in relation to Christ be ministeriall, yet in relation to the Officers whom the Church sendeth, it is more then ministeriail, at lest it is very Lordlike. For as much of this ministeriall po­wer is committed to the Church of possibly twenty or forty be­leevers, as to the Mistresse, Lady, Spouse, and independent Queen, and highest dispencer of all ministeriall power; and the Elders, though Ambassadours of Christ, are but meere accidents or or­naments of the Church, necessary ad benè esse onely, and lyable to exauthoration at the Churches pleasure; yea, every way the Officers in jurisdiction are inferiour to the Church of beleevers, by your grounds, and not over the people of the Lord. For if the Church of believers, as they are such, be the most supreame go­verning Church, then the Officers, as Officers, have no power of government at all, but onely so farre as they are beleevers; now if they be not believers (as it falleth out very often) then have they no power of the Keyes at all, and what they doe, they doe it meerely as the Churches servants, to whom the Keyes are not given marriage-waies, or by right of redemption in Christs blood: yea, Officers as they are such, are neither the Spouse, not redeemed Church, yea nor any part, or members of the redee­med Church. 2. The Church of believers are the [...]od, the Of­ficers meanes leading to the end, and ordained to gather the Saints; if therefore, as the end, they shall authoritatively send Officers, they should call and ordaine Officers as the States of a Kingdome, with more then a power ministeriall; Yea with a [Page 193] Kingly power, for all authority should be both formally and eminently in them, as all Regall or Aristocraticall power is in the States of a Kingdom, as in the fountaine.

But neither doe we bring this argument to prove a simple Dominion of the Church of believers over the Officers, or a power of regulating, limiting, and ordering the Ambassage of Officers, as King and State lay bands upon their Ambassa­dours; but we bring it to prove that this doctrine degradeth the Officers from all power of government above the believers, and putteth them in a state of ministeriall authority under these, above whom Jesus Christ hath placed them, contrary to Ier. 1. 10. Ioh. 10. 35, 36. Rom. 12. 7, 8. 1 Cor. 12. 17, 18, 28, 29. Ephes. 4. 11. 2 Cor. 10. 8. 1 Thes. 5. 1 [...]. Heb. 13. 17. 1 Tsm. 3 4, 5. 1 Tim. 5. 17. 19 20. 21. Acts 20. 28. Tit. 1. 5. 1 Pet. 5. 2. Revel. 2. 1. Scripture.

3. The Authour saith, believers may not administer the Sacra­ments in the defect of Pastors, because that, by appointment of Christ, belongeth onely to such as by Office are called to preach the Gospell, Math. 28. 29. which is indeed well said; but I desire to be satis­fied in these. 1. These places Math. 28. 29. Mar. 16. 14, 15. Luke 24. 28. being all one with Math. 16. 17. and Joh. 20. 21, 22, 23. The Keyes of the Kingdome are given to Church-officers be­cause of their Office. So the Text is cleare, and so the ancients have taught, as Tertullian, Irenaeus, Origen, Cyrill. Theophylact. Oecum [...]nius▪ Clemens Alexandrin▪ Iustin Martyr, Chrysost. August. Hilarius, Ambrose, Basil. Epiphanius, Ierome, Eusebius, Cyprian, Damascen, Beda, Anselme, Bernard. So our Divines, Calvin, Luther, Beza, Martyr, Iunius, Bullinger, Gualt [...]r, Daneus, Ti­ [...]enus, Bucanus, Trelcatius, Piscator, Pareus, Tossanus, Polanus, Decolampadius, Bucer, Hipperius, Viret, Zuinglius, Fennerus, Whittakerus, Feildus, Reynoldus, Anto. Wallaeus, Profess. Leydens. Magdeburgersis, Melanthon, Chemnitius, Hemingius, Aretius. Then the Keyes be given to Church-officers, because they are Officers, and Stewards of the Kingdome. And you will have the Keyes to be given to believers as believers, and as the Spouse of Christ. Now Elders and believers may be opposed, as believers and no believers, as the Church of the redeemed, and not the Church of the redeemed, but the accidents onely of that Church; as you teach, and as the Spouse of Christ and his body, and not the Spouse nor his body. I see not by our bre­threns doctrine that Officers as Officers have any right title or [Page 194] warrant to the Keyes, or to any use of them, seeing they are gi­ven to believers as believers, and as Christs body and Spouse. 2. The place Matth. 28. 19. is against you; for you say, that Pa­storall preaching and administration of the Seales are given onely to such as are Preachers by office. Now the converting of infidels and other unbelievers, to make them fit materials of a visible Church, is not (as you say) the charge proper to Pastors as Pastors, and by vertue of their Pastorall charge, as baptizing; by this place is their proper charge, because Pastors as Pastors convert none at all, nor can they as Pastors exercise any pasto­rall acts toward the un-converted; the un-converted by your way are under no Pastorall charge, but converted by Prophets, not in Office; Pastors as Pastors exercise all pastorall acts toward these onely who are members of a visible Church, as toward these onely who have professed by oath subjection to their ministery, ad are partakers of the precious faith, and are the sonnes and daugh­ters of the Lord God Almighty. So you teach. So by this Text, Pastors as Pastors cannot convert infidels, and we desire a war­rant from Gods Word for the pastorall acts in converting soule [...]; yea, seeing by this place persons out of office onely doe convert soules by your doctrine, with all reason persons out of place should baptize, for teaching and baptizing here, and by your owne doctrine are of a like extent. See to this, and satisfie us in this point of such consequence as everteth the ministery of the New Testament, which we believe our brethren intend not, be­ing so direct Anabaptatisme and Socinianisme, points that, we know, our deare brethren doe not love or affect.

The Author addeth, He who said to the Apostles, Whose sinnes ye retaine they are retained, and whose sinnes ye remit they are re­mitted, Joh. 20. 23. He also said to the Church, Whatsoever ye bi [...] on earth shall be bound in Heaven. Math. 18. 18. Which is a Commis­sion of the same power, and to the same [...]ffect; and so the Apostles and the Churches both received the same power immediately from Christ: and therefore though the Church presented their Officers chosen by themselves to receive ordination from the Apostles, [...] now when the Apostles are ceased, and no other successors left in t [...] roome from whom their officers might receive ordination, but fr [...] the Presbyterie of their owne Churches; where such a Presbytery [Page 195] is yet wanting, and is now to be erected, the Church hath full power to give ordination to them themselves, by the imposition of their hands.

Answ. If the Reverend Authour had framed an Argument here, it should have been thus: Those who have received immedi­ately from God a Commission of the same power, and to the same effect, by the Text Math. 18. 18. Which the Apostles of our Lord received by the Text, Joh. 20. 23. These may doe what the Apo­stles did in ordaining of Elders, seeing they are the successors of the Apostles, where there be no Elders.

But the Church of believers received the same Commission, Matth. 18. 18. which the Apostle did Joh. 20. 23. and where Ed­ders are wanting in the Church, the Church of believers is their successors. Erge. &c.

First, the assumption is false; for if the Church receive the same Commission Math. 28. The Apostles received Joh. 20. and you must adde Math. 28. 19. for the same Commission is given to the Apostles, Math. 28. 19. which is given Joh. 20. 23. But the Disciples received Commission, Ioh. 20. and Math. 28. of Pasto­rall binding and loosing, and preaching, by vertue of their Of­fice; and to administer the Sacraments in their owne persons, as you grant: therefore the Church of believers received com­mission from Christ (where Presbyters are not) to preach by vertue of an Office, and administer the Sacraments in their owne persons. Ergo, the Church of believers may, where there is no Presbytery, preach by verue of an Office, and administer the Sa­craments. You will happily say, there is no such necessity of baptizing as of ordination of Ministers, and baptizing is incom­municable, because we read not that any in the Apostolique Church baptized, but Pastors. I answer, there is, in an extraordi­nary necessity where there are no Presbyters at all, as little neces­sity of ordination if there be Presbyters in other Congregati­ons to ordaine▪ And since you never read that any in the Apo­stolique Church ordained Pastors, but Pastors onely; why, but we may have recourse to a Presbytery of other Congregations for or­dination, as well as for baptizing; for it is petitio principii, a beg­ging of the question, to say that baptizing is proper to Pastors, but ordination is not so. yea but ordination by precept & practice [Page 196] is never given but to Pastors, and Elders in consociation 1 Tin. 4 14 1 Tim. 5. 22. 2 Tim. 1. 6. 2 Tim. 2. 2, 3. Tit. 1. 5. Act. 6. 6. Act. 13. 3 Act. 14 23. 2. There is good reason why Pastors should be succes­sours of the Apostles in the act of ordaining Pastors; & you grant, where Pastors and Elders are, they succeed to the Apostles in the acts of ordination; but that all believers men and women should be the Apostles successours to ordaine Pastors, is a rare and un­knowne case of Divinity, for 1 Cor. 12. 29. Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? Yea, not long agoe you said that Act. 1. an hun­dred and twenty, amongst whom there were women, had all hand in the ordination of Matthias to be an Apostle; so that beleevers by you are made the Apostles successours; and more, yea even co-ordainers, and joynt-layers on of hands with the Apostles. Yea, if believers received immediately this same Com­mission from Christ, Math. 18. which the Apostles received Ioh. 20. Believers are to ordaine Pastors no lesse, when the Pres­bytery and Elders are present, then when they are absent; yea, and rather then the Apostles, because the Church of beleevers their patent passed the Seales first, even before the Lords resur­rection. 3. It is good you grant that ordination and election are different, we will make use of it hereafter.

The Authour addeth, We willingly also acknowledge, where God Ib. sect. 8. hath furnished a Church with a Presbytery, to them it appertaineth by imposition of hands to ordaine Elders and Deacons chosen by the Church; but if the Church want a Presbytery, they want a Warrant to repaire to other Churches to receive imposition of hands to their Elders. 1. Because ordination is a worke of Church power, now as Church hath power over another, so no Presbytery hath power over another Church then their owne; All the Apostles received alike power, Ioh. 20. 23. 2 The power of the keyes is a liberty purcha­sed by Christs blood, Math. 28. 8. Phil. 2. 8, 9 10. Therefore it is unlawfull for any Church to put over that power into the hands of another.

Answ. We desire a warrant from Gods Word, where Elders, where they are present, are to ordaine Elders by imposition of hands, and not believers; for ordination is a worke of the Church; Officers are not the Church, nor are they parts or members of the Church, but onely accidents; the Church hath its full be­ing, [Page 197] the power and use of the Keyes given to them by Math. 18. though there be not a Pastor or Officer among them; and if Christ before his resurrection gave the Keyes to beleevers as to his Spouse, living body, and such as have Peters faith Math. 16. Resolve us, we beseech you brethren, in this, how Christ can give the Keyes after his resurrection, Ioh. 20. 23. to the Apostles as Pastors, and as no believers, not his Spouse, not his body; for Officers, as Officers, are not the redeemed of God, nor Christs Spouse. If you say that Christ, Ioh. 20. gave the Keyes to his Disciples as beleevers, then he gave the power of baptizing after his resurrection also, by the parallel place Math. 28. 19. to the Apostles as to beleevers. Hence 1. Christ hath never given the Keyes to Officers as Officers. 2. The place Ioh. 20. is but a re­newing of the Keyes given to the Church, Math. 16. and Math. 18. and all believers are sent and called to be Pastors, as the Father sent Christ, and as Christ sent his Apostles, as our Lord speaketh, John 20. 21. This I thinke all good men will abhorre, though M. Smith saith these words, and that power Iohn 20. 21. was given to Cleo [...]has and Mary Magdalen. And by your way, Paul (as I thinke) without warrant interdicted women of the use of that power, that Christ purchased by his blood. 3. There is no warrant of the Word to make good, that Christ gave the Keyes to Officers as Officers, by your way, but onely to Officers as to beleevers; and therefore believers ought rather to ordaine Pastors then the Officers, though there be Officers to ordaine. 3. That Pastors of other Congregations may not ordaine Pastors to Congregations, who have no Pastors of their owne. as they may baptize infants to them also, we see no rea­son. Yea, and Church power is not a thing that cannot be com­municated to another Church by your Doctrine, for ye grant members of one Congregation may receive the Lords Supper in another Congregation, except you deny all communion of sister Churches, for it is a worke of Church power to give the Lords Supper to any, then if you give that Sacrament to members of another Congregation; consider if the liberty purchased by Christs Blood be not communicable to other Churches.

Thirdly, (saith he) if one Church repaire to another Church for ordination, they may submit to another Church for [Page 198] censuring of offenders, now how can Churches censure these that are not members? Is not this a transgression of the Royall Law of go­vernement? Mat. 18. 15, 16, 17, 18.

Answ. The offence being great, and the offender deserving to be cast out of all the visible congregations round about, yea and to be bound in Earth and Heaven, the congregation is to have recourse to all the congregations consociated, when they are convened in one presbytery; that they, being conve­ned in their principall members, may all cast him out, because it concerneth them all: as if onely one congregation doe it, they transgesse that royall Law, Quod omnes tangit, ab omnibus tractari debet. 2. The Author granteth, that the Church pre­sented Vbi sup. sect. 7. c. 2. their officers chosen by them, to receive ordination from the Apostles; Ergo, The Church did give a way their liberty of or­dination, bought by Christs bloud, to the Apostles, not as to Apostles, but as to pastors: which is against our Brethrens Doctrine; for except the Apostles bee said to ordaine Officers, as Pastors, and not as Apostles, our Brethren shall find none to be the successors of Apostles in the power of ordination, but onely Believers; so Pastors have no power at all to ordaine Pastors, the contrary whereof our Brethren teach.

Now I come to the Brethrens minde in their Questions. It was objected Quest. 21. How can it be lawfull for meere lay and private men to ordaine Elders? they answer, the persons ordaining are the pub­lick assembly, and so cannot, in any congruity of speech, be called meere Lay-men.

I answ. Seeing they have no Church office, they can be nothing, but meere private men; For the unwarrantable action of ordi­nation maketh them not publick Officers. As if a Midwife bap­tize in the name of the Church, shee is not a meere private person.

2. They say, The Church hath power from Christ for the greater, to wit, for Election; Ergo, she hath power to doe the lesse, which is or­dination; or ordination dependeth upon Election, and it is nothing but the putting of a person in actuall possession of that office, wherunto he had right by Election.

Answ. Ordination, by your owne grant, is more then E­lection, for the Apostles ordained, Acts 6. and must have done [Page 199] the most, and the multitude elected the seaven Deac̄ons, Acts 6 2. Ordination is more then the installing of a person cho­sen, it is a supernaturall act of the Presbytery separating a man to an holy calling, election is posterior to it, and is but an appropriation of a called person his Ministery, to such a par­ticular flock.

3. Say they; Ordination may be performed by the Elders, where there be Elders, 1 Tim. 4. 14. yet it is an act of the whole Church, as Quest. 21. the whole man seeth, but by the Eye.

Answ. Though you say, Pastors in the Churches name baptize, yet doth it not follow; Ergo, where Pastors are not, the Church of believers may baptize.

4. They object, when the Church hath no Officers, the prime grave m [...]n performe ordination; as Nu [...]. 8, The Israelites layd on Hands on the Levites, that is, some prime Man layd on hands.

Answ. Israel wanted not Officers. 2. These prime Men are called the Congregation; Ergo, there is a representative Church.

5. They object; If B lievers may not ordaine, it shall follow either that Officers may minister without ordination, against the Srip­ture, 1 Tim. 4. 14. Heb. 6. 1. or, by vertue of ordination received in another Church, they might minister. Now if this be, we esta­blish an i [...]d [...]l [...]ble character of Papists, but if being called to ano­ther Church, there be need of a new Election, then there is need of a new ordination, for that dependeth upon this; Ergo, then ordi­nation commeth by succession, but we see not what authority ordinary officers have to ordaine Pastors to a Church, whereof themselves are not members.

Answ. 1. That ordination be wanting, where Ministers are wanting, is extraordinary, and not against, 1 Tim. 4 14. No more then that one not baptized for want of a Pastor should yet believe in Christ. 2. We see no indeleble Character, because a Pastor is alwayes a called Pastor; if the man commit scandals, the Church may call all his character from him, and turne him into a meere private man. But to renew ordination, when electi­on to another congregation is renewed, is to speake ignorant­ly of ordination and election: for election maketh not the [Page 200] man a Minister, nor giveth him a calling, but appropriateth his Ministery to such a flock. But they speake of Election to a charge as of marriage, which is not well understood, for by marriage a man is both made a Husband, and a Husband to this Wife onely: by election a Pastor is not made a Pastor, by ordination he is made a Pastor of the Church Universall, though hee be not made an Universall Pastor. 3. The ordina­tion by succession of Pastors, where Pastors are, you hold your selves. But a popish personall succession, wee disclaime, as well as you doe:

The 5. Objection I omit to another time. The 6. 6. Reas. ib. Objecti­on is; If there be a magistrate before, the succeeding magistrate receiveth keys or (word from the preceding magistrate: but if there be none, he receiveth them from the people. So here.

Answ. Christs calling is not ordered according to the patterne of civill governments, his kingdome is not of this world. People may both ordaine and elect to a civill office, without consent of the preceding Magistrate. But we reade of no officers ordained by the people, only in an ordinary way.

Ordination (say they) is not of such eminency as is conceived, it is not mentioned in the Apostles first commission, Mat. 28, 19. Marke 16. 15, 16. The Apostles accompted preaching and pray­ing principall. So Perkins. on Gala. Perkins Willet synop. con. 1. 4, 3. p. 371. VVillet Whittaker de eccles. q. 5. c. 6. VVhittaker, Ames. Bel. l [...]m. enerv. de cler. l. 3. de ordin. c. 2. Amesius.

Answ. So answer Arminians Apol. Remo­stran. c. 21. [...]. 227 missio seu ordina­tio Episcoporum non est [...]am ne­cessaria in eccle­sia constitut [...]. and so doth the Socinian Nicola [...]d. in d [...]s [...]tract. de miss. min. c. 1. [...]. 144. In c [...]ombus A­postolorum, qui­bus describuntur om [...]. quae per­tinent ad consti­tuend [...] Episco­pos & Doctores, quon [...]am nulla sit mentio missionis (ordinatio is;) h [...]nc concludi­nus eam ad ips [...] muneris Episco­palis substantiā & naturam nul [...]o modo requi [...]i. Theol. Nicolaides, and Socinus in loc. ad Rom. 10. Socinus; and so in your words saith Ostorodius in de sens. de Eccles. & miss. Ministr [...]. adversus M [...]edzeboz. c. 1. f. 10 [...]. &. c. 2. falsum est Apostolos semper requisivisse in Ministro ordi­nationem. [Page 201] to reforme, but this is not to take away the necessity of ordina­tion, by Pastors.

I come now to answer, what Mr. Robinson doth adde, to what is said for the ordination of Pastors by Pastors, and not by single Believers, Mr. Robinson Robins. In­s [...]i [...]. p. 325, 326. saith, the question is, whe­ther succession of Pastors be of such absolute necessity, as that no Minister can in any case be made but by a Minister, and if they must be ordained by popes, and prelates.

Answ. But we say that this is no question at all, wee affirme ordination of pastors not to be of that absolute necessity, but in an exigence of necessity the election of the people, and some other thing, may supply the want of it. Nor doe wee thinke a calling from papists no calling, as we shall heare: before I proceed this must be discussed.

Q. 5. UUhether Election of the people be essentiall to the cal­ling of a Minister.

[...]. Election we are to consider, to whom it belongeth of right. 2. The force and influence thereof to make a Church-officer; but let these considerations first be pondered.

1. Consid. Election is made either by a people gratious and able to discerne, or by a people rude and ignorant; the former is valid, Jure & facto, the latter not so.

2. Consid. Election is either comparative or absolute; when E­lection is comparative, though people have nothing possibly positively to say against a person, yet though they reject him and choose one si [...]ter, the Election is reasonable.

3. Consid. Peoples Election is not of a person to the Ministery as a VVi [...]is choyse of a man to be a Husband, but of a Minister; E­lection doth not make a Minister.

4. Consid. Election is either to be looked to, quoad jus, or, quoad f [...]ctum. A people not yet called externally, cannot elect their own Mi­nister, a Synod or others of charity (as Reverend Junius Iunius con­tra Bellarm. de Cl [...]r. l. 1. c. 7. saith) may chuse for them, though, de facto, and in respect of their case, they cannot chuse their own Pastor.

1. Conclus. The people have Gods right to chuse, for so the Acts 15. 22. 1 Cor. 16. 3. 1 Cor. 8. 19. Acts 6. 6. Acts 14. 23. word prescribeth. So Tertul. apol. 39. Tertullian, Cyprian. l. 1. epist. 4. ad soeli. presbyterum. Eyprian. Non blandiatur sibi plebs, quasi immunis à contagione delicti esse possit, cum sacerdote peccatore communicans & ad injustum [Page 202] atque illicitum propositi Episcopatum consensum s [...]um ac­commodans, &c. and Cyprian cp. 9 c. 2. l. 2 ep. 5. nefas sine consensu po [...]uli: and this Cyprian writ an hundreth yeeres before the Nicen Councell. Bellarmine lo [...]ed hi [...] face Bellarmine. to say this custome began in the time of the Nicon Councell. It was not a consuetude Cyprian ep. 17 Qu [...]d ipsum (inquit Cyprianus) videmus de Divina autoritate descen­der [...]; Ignatius ep, ad Philadelph. Ignatius, It is your part, as the Church of God to chuse the Pastor; [...]. So speaketh hee to the people of Philadelphia; and so speaketh Ambros. [...]p 32. quae est ad Valentin. Ambrose to Valentinian, Omitto, quia jam ipse populus judica­vit, Origen H [...]m. 6. ad c. 8. Levit. Origen: Requiritur ergo in ordinando sacerd te praesentia populi, &c. and his reason is Scripture, a pastor must be of good report. And Chrysost. de sacerdot. l. 3. Chrysostome saith, all elections of pastors are null, [...], without the conscience of the people. And the Councell of Nice did write this to the Bishops of Alex­andria as Theodoret bist. l. 1. c. 9. Theodoret saith, and the fi [...]st generall councell of Constantinople wrote the same to Daemasus, Ambrose, and o­thers, as Theodoret. bist. l. 5. c. 9. Theodoret also sheweth Concil. A­fricanum. The councell of Africa is cited by Cyprian producing Scripture, as Acts 1. 23. Acts 6. to prove that the people had their consent in elections; and Con. Chalce­don. 1. 6. the councell of Chalcedon Concil. Ancyr. c. 18. the councell of Ancyron, and Conc. Laodic. can. 5. & can. 13 of Laodicea; and the Popes owne Gratian. ex constis. 63 glossa ad regul. 29. Canons say this, Nicolaus pa­pa c. in nomine d. 23. so Nicolaus the Pope in his Decrees saith, the Clergy and people did chuse the pope, Reliquus clerus & populus Romanus ad consensum nova electionis pontificis à Cardinalibus factae acce­dant. So Gelasius pap. ad Phil. & Ser. epist. dist. 62. Gelasius the pope writeth to Philippus and Cernuti [...] Bishops, so Stephanus ad Romanum Dist. 62. archiepiscopum Rav [...] ­natensem, is cited in the glosse to that purpose; in Jvo Episcop. Carnatensis ep. 3. the Epistles of Ivo Bishop of Chartres, we being called, by the will of God, the Cle [...]gy and people of such a City, and this Pope Ur [...] practised upon Ivo.

2. Conclus. But elections in the ancient Church were not by one single congregation, but by the Bishops of diverse other Churches. In the Concil. Sardicens. ut ha be [...]ure. 3. dist. 65. councell of Sardis, Si unum tantùm in pro­vincia contigerit remanere Episcopum, suporstes Episcopus con [...] ­care debet Episcopos vicinae provinciae. & cum iis orainare sibi comprovincales Episcopos; quod si id facero negligat, populus con­vocare debet Episcopos vicinae provinciae & peter [...] sibi rectorem. [Page 203] In the Concil. To­let, 12. can. 6. ut citatur cum lon­ge dist. 63. councell of Toledo it was ordained, that the Bishop of Toledo might chuse in quibustibee Pr [...]vinciis, in any provin­ces about Bishops to be his successors, salvo privilegio unius [...]n­jusqu [...] provinciae. Cardinalls are forbidden to usurp to chuse a Bishop, if the see vace in the time of a generall Councell, this was enacted in the councell of Concil, Con­stan. Sess. 24. Constance and Concil. Basil. Sess. 37. Basil. The Abbot of Panormo saith, it was obtained of the councell of Carthage In c. licet de electione dist. 2. to avoyde dissension, that they should transfer their right to the Cardinalls. So Jac. Ahnain de potest. Eccles. Almain and Ja. Gerson de potest Eccles. Gerson prove the equity of this by good reasons. That wicked councell of Trent, labouring to exalt the popes chaire, did abro­gate these good acts to the offence of many, as the Author Review of the Councell of Trent. l 4. c. 1. of the review of the councell of Trent sheweth; nor should good men stand for Leo his abrogation of what the councell of Basil did in this kinde, as may be seene in that wicked coun­cell of Lateran Concil. L [...] ­teran. wherein much other wicked power is given to the pope and his Legates by Iulius III. and Paul the III. and Pius the IIII. and Theodoret. l. 5. c. 23. Theodoret saith, all the Bishops of a Province ought to bee at the ordination of a Bishop. The ordination of the worthy, Ambrose, as hee Ambros. Epist. 82. himselfe saith, was confirmed by all the Bishops of the East and West. Cornelius Bishop of Rome was confirmed by the Bishops of Africa. More of this may be seene in Zonaras in Con. Laodic. c. 1. & 5. Zonaras, In Theol. hist, l. 1. c. 9 Theodoret Concil. Car­thag. an. 418. the councell of Carthage and Petru [...] a Navar. de rest. ablator. l. 2. c. 2. Petrus a Navarre, who all witnes ordination of a Bishop was never done in the ancient Church by one single Congregation, and these destitute of pastors and Elders. The learned say, that Gregory the VII. or Hildebrand did first exclude the people from voycing in elections of pastors. Il­liricus sayth onely from the time of Frederick the XI. about the yeare, 1300 they were excluded from this power. And though it were true, that the election of Alexander the III. was made 400 yeeres before that, by the Cardinalls onely, without the peoples consent, the Law and Logick both say; from one fact no Law can be concluded. Yea the election of Gregory the VII. (saith Vasquez 3. [...]. 3. disp. 144. c. 5. uum. 55. Vasquez) was five hundred yeeres before that, and like enough that such a monster and such a seditious head to the Lords annoynted to Henry the IIII, as this Gregory was, could violate Christs order. Platin. i [...] vit. pontis. Platina sayth so; yet Bellarmine, [Page 204] Suarez and others grant, in the Apostles time it was so; b [...] because it was a positive Law (some say) and others that it was a Church constitution, not a divine Law, the Pope might change it. Yet the Jesuite Sanctius Sanctius cō. Acts 14. 22. in his comment proveth it from Scripture, Azorius In­stit. moral. par. 2. l. [...]. c. 26. Azorius sayth, it should be common Law, communi jure, Krantius me­tropol. l. 8. c. 8. Krantius layeth the blame of wronging the people in this, on Gregory the IX. yea Concil. Bra­car. c. 2. the councell of Bracare, the Concil. Nic. 11. ca. 3. second councell of Nice; The councell of Con­stantinople. 4 called the eight generall Councell Concil. Con­stant. 4. c. 28. the councell of Conc. Laodic. c. 13. Laodicea are corruptly expounded by Bellarm. de cler. 1. c. 2. & l. de ordin. c. 9. Bellarmin. Vasquez in 3. [...]om. 3. de sa­cra. dis. 144. c. 5. V [...]s­quez and others: because. 1. They forbid onely disorder and confusion. 2. That all the multiude, without exceptionosage, gifts, or sexes, should come, and speak and voyce at the election. For in the councell of Antioch Concil. An­tioch. it is expressely forbidden that the multitude should be debarred. And wee will not deny but a pastor may be sent to a Church of Infidels that knoweth nothing of Christ, without their knowledge, as Ruffinus Histor. l. 10. c. 9. Ruffinu [...] sayth, that Frumentius was ordained Bishop to the Indians, they knowing nothing of it, Indis nihil scientibus neque cogitantibus. Epiphanius writeth to Iohn Bishop of Ierusalem, that hee had ordained Paulinianus a presbyter, the people not consenting. Gregorius ordained Augustine Bishop of England and sent him to them to teach them, Anglis nescientibus. And Gregorius II. ordained Bonifacius a Bishop to bee sent to Germany, Ger­manis nihil de eare cogitantibus. And thus Perkins on Gal. 1. 8. Perkins, if the Gospell should arise in America, where there were no Mini­sters, ordination might be wanting. And why not (say I) electi­on also in another case, if as Peter Martyr on Judg. c. 4. v. 5 Petrus Martyr sayth well; a woman may be a Preacher of the Gospell; Yea, and a Turke (sayth Zanchius com. in, Eph. 5. Zanchius) converted by reading the New Testa­ment, and converting others, may baptize them whom hee converteth, and be baptized where both ordination and election should be wanting: and this may answer what Robinson Iustification of separ. p. 338, 139, 340. Robinson saith for ordination by the people.

Nor did the people first begin to have hand in election in Tertulliam Apologe [...]. c. 30. Tertullians time, as Bellarmine saith, nor yet that the people might love their Bishops, nor yet by meere cu­stome.

[Page 205] Conclus. III. It is false our Quest. 20. Brethren say, that the calling of a Minister consisteth principally and essentially in election of the people, for the Apostles were essentially pastors, yet not one of them, except Matthias was chosen by the people. 2. If, as our Brethren say, the peoples after acceptance may supply the want of Election at first, as Iacobs after consent to Leah made her his Wife, yet all the pastorall acts of Word, Sacra­ments, and censures going before the after consent shall be null, because he wanteth that which most principally and essentially is required in a calling. And all baptized by him must be re­baptized. And what if the people shall never assent, and it is or­dinary that hypocrites in hearts will never consent to the Mi­nistry of a gratious pastor, shall his acts of converting, and baptizing be no pastorall acts, and to the hypocrites no pastorall acts: and shall all be Infidels, who are baptized by him? The people are not infallible in their choise, and may refuse a man for a pastor, whom God hath called to be a pastor; election maketh not one a pastor, in foro Dei, then he shall be no pastor whom God hath made a Pastor, because people out of ignorance or prejudice consent not to his Ministery. Nor are we of Dr. Ames judgement, that the calling of a Minister doth essentially consist in the peoples election; for his externall calling consisteth in the presbyters separation of a man for such a holy calling, as the Holy Ghost speaketh. Wee finde no Church-calling in all Gods Word of sole election of the people, and therefore it cannot be the essentiall forme of a right calling. All the arguments of Doctor Ames prove, that election is necessary to appropriate a made Minister to such a Congregation, but concludeth not the poyn.

Qu. 5. From whence had Luther, Calvin, and our blessed Refor­mers their calling to the pastorall charge?

This question there is moved because of our Brethren, who thinke. 1. If ordination of pastors by pastors, be so necessary for an ordinary calling to the Ministery, and if Election of people be not sufficient, though they want pastors and Elders then Luther and our Reformers had no calling, for they were called by the Pope and his Clergy, for saith Robinson Iustif. p. 119. Robinson when there be no [...] Church-officers on Earth to give ordination, we must hold [Page 206] with Arrians, and expect new Apostles to give ordination; neither can a true, pastor go and seek a calling from a false pastor. Hence observe carefully the following distinctions, to obviate both pa­pists cavillations and our Brethrens doubts.

1. Distinct. That is. 1. Properly extraordinary, which is im­mediately from God, without any other intervening cause; so Moses his calling, when God spake to him out of the Bush to goe to Pharaoh and command the letting goe of his people, was extraordinary, for, both the matter of the calling, and the per­sons designation to the charge was immediately from God Luthers calling this way was not extraordinary, because hee preached no new Gospell, nor by any immediate calling from God.

2. That is extraordinary which is contrary to the Law of of nature. Neither the calling of Luther nor of Hus and Wiccliff was extraordinary; for, that any inlightened of God and members of the Catholick Church should teach, informe, o [...] helpe their fellow-members being seduced, and led by blind guides, is agreeable to the Law of nature; but according to our Brethrens grounds Luthers calling here, was not onely extra­ordinary, but unlawfull and contrary to a Divine Law. For now when Apostles are ceased, Luher had no warrant (if our Brethren say right) no calling of God, to exercise pastorall acts of preaching, converting soules to Christ, and baptizing through many visible Churches & congregations, because that is (say they) Apostolick; and no man now can bee a pastor, but in one fixed congregation whereof he is the elected pastor.

3. That is extraordinary, which is beside a Divine positi [...] Law. So that one should be chosen a pastor in an Iland where there be no Elders nor pastors at all, and that the people onely give a calling, is extraordinary, and so it is not inconvenient tha [...] something extroardinary was in our reformers.

4. That is extraordinary, which is against the ordinary corruptions, wicked and superstitious formes of an ordinary cal­ing: so, in this sense, Luher and our reformers calling was extra­ordinary.

2. Dist. A calling immediately from God, and a calling from God, some way extraordinary, are farre different. An im­mediate [Page 207] calling often requireth miracles to confirme it, especi­ally the matter being new, yet not alwayes; John Baptists cal­ling was immediate, his Sacrament of Baptisme beside the posi­tive order of Gods worship, yet hee wrought no miracles, but an extraordinary calling may be, where there is an immediate and ordinary revelation of Gods Will, and requireth not mi­racles at all.

3. Dist. Though ordinarily in any horologe the higher wheele should move the lower, yet it is not against ordinary art, that the hotologe be so made as inferiour wheeles may move without the motion of the superiour. Though by ordinary dispensa­tion of Gods standing Law, the Church convened in a Synod should have turned about Hus, Wicliff, Luther, to regular mo­tions in orthodox Divinity; yet it was not altogether extraordi­nary, that these men moved the higher wheeles, and labou­red to reforme them. Cyprian urged Reformation, Aurelius Bishop of Carthage, Augustin and the African Bishops did the like, the Bishop of Rome [...]epining thereat It is somewhat extra­ordinary that Reformation should begin at Schollers, and not at principall Masters.

4. Dist. A calling may be expresly and formally corrupt, in respect of the particular intention of the ordainers, and of the particular Church, ex intentione ordinanris & operantis. Thus Luthers calling to bee a Monke was a corrupt calling, and eatenus, and in that respect hee could not give a calling to o­thers. But that some calling may be implicitely and virtually good and lawfull in respect of the intention of the Catholick Church and ex inte [...]tione op [...]ris & ipsius ordinationis, he was called [...]o preach the Word of God.

5. Dist. Luthers Oath to preach the Gospell did oblige him as a pastor, this is his calling according to the substance of his Office, and is valid; but his Oath to preach the Roman Faith intended by the exacters of the Oath was eatenus, in so far▪ un­lawfull, and did not oblige him. Even a Wife married to a Turke, and swearing to bee a helper to her Husband in pro­moving the worship of the Mahomet, or being a papist is in­gaged in an Oath to promote Romish Religion; if shee bee converted to the true Faith of Christ, needeth not to be married [Page 208] de novo, but remaineth a married Wife; but is not obliged by that unjust Oath to promove these false Religions, though the marriage Oath, according to the substance of marriage duties, tieth her.

6. Dist. A pastor may, and ought to have a pastorall care of the Catholick Church, as the hand careth for the whole bo­dy, and yet neither Luther nor Zuinglius are universall pastors, as were the Apostles. For they had usurped no power of Go­verning and Teaching all Churches: though, I professe, I see no inconvenience to say that Luther was extraordinarily called by God, to goe to many Churches, to others then to Wittenberg, where hee had one particular charge, yea even through Ger­many and the Churches of Saxony, and Zuinglius through the Helvetian and Westerne Churches, which yet doth not make them essentially Apostles, because. 1. They were not wit­nesses of Christs Death, and Resurrection, which as a new Doctrine to the World, as Apostles, they behoved to preach, Acts 1. v. 22. They only revealed the old truth borne downe by an universall Apostacy. 2. Because they were not immediately called, nor gifted with diverse Tongues. And the like I may say of A­thanasius, for men in an extraordinary apostacy to goe somewhat farther then to that which a particular Church calleth them to, is not formally apostolick, yet lawfull.

7. A calling to the Ministery is either such as wanteth the es­sentialls, as gifts in any messenger, and the Churches consen [...], or these who occupy the roome of the Church, the Church consen [...]ing, such a Minister is to bee reputed for no Minister. Or. 2. An entry to a calling, or a calling, where diverse of the Apostles requisites are wanting, may bee a valid cal­ling, as if one enter as Caiphas who entered by favour and mo­ney, and contrary to the Law was High-Priest but for a yeer: [...]yet was a true High-Priest, and prophecied as the High-priest.

8. If the Church approve by silence, or countenance the Mi­nistery of a man who opened the Church doore to himselfe, by a silver key, having given the prelate a bud. The ordinance of God is conferred upon him, and his calling ceaseth not to be Gods cal­ling, because of the sins of the instruments both taking and giving.

[Page 229] 9. Though Luther was immediately called by Men An. 1508. by the Church of VVittenberg as may be seene Tom. 9. Wet­tenber. p. 104. in his writ­ings as Gerard Gerard. lo [...] ­cem. to. 6 de mi­nister. eccles sect. 8 p. 148. sheweth, and the Jesuit Becanus Be [...]an. in o­pulc de voc. min N T thil. 48. p. 128. saith, hee was called and ordained a Presbyter, and so had power to preach and administer the Sacraments, yet that hindereth not that his calling was [...]t from the Church, whereof hee was a member, that is from the Roman Church, and from God, and that his calling to cast downe Babylon was not from the Church of Rome: and his gifts being extraordinary. 2. His Spirit heroick and supernaturally couragious, and so extraordinary. 3. His Faith in his Doctrine greate, that hee should so bee blessed with successe in his Ministery extraordinary, his calling in these considerations may well bee called extraordinary, though not immediate or apostolick.

10. Then wee may well acknowledge a middle calling be­twixt an ordinary and every way immediate calling, and an ex­traordinary and immediate calling, for the calling of Luther was neither the one, nor the other, in proper sense, but a middle be­twixt two; and yet not an immediate calling. See Saddeel ad­versus articul. Burdegal [...]uses Art. 5 [...] p. 502. Sadaecl and Paraeus com. 1 ad Rom. [...].

11. The question, if such a pastor bee called lawfully, is a question of Fact not a question of Law; as this, if such an one be baptized and there be an invincible ignorance in a questi­on of Fact which excuseth. And therefore wee may heare a gifted pastor taken and supposed by the Church, to have the Churches calling, though indeed he received no calling from the Church, at his entry.

1. Conelus. To shew that our Church was a visible Church before Luther arose, and that our Reformers were lawfully cal­led o [...] God, and h [...] Church, is a question of Fact: and cannot be proved by the Word of God. Because the Word of God is not a Chronicle of these who were the true Church and truly called to the Ministery since the Apostles departed this life. 2. Because these must be proved by Sense, and the Testimony of humane writtings, who can erre.

2. C [...]nclus. Yet may it be gathered from humane writers, that the visible Church of Protestants this day, hath beene since the Apostles dayes. I meane the determinate persons may be knowen by humane reasons and signes; as. 1. If Orthodox [Page 230] Doctors are knowen to have lived in all ages since the Apostles it is likely that there was a visible Church, which approved of these Doctors; and if we teach that same Doctrine in substance, that these Doctors did, then hath our Church, this determi­nate Church, beene since the Apostles time. But Orthodox Doctors are knowen to have lived in all [...]ges as men of appro­ved learning and soundnesse in the Faith; Ergo, our present Church visible hath continued since the Apostles time. The proposition is probable, for these Fathers would not be so re­nowned, if the Church about thē had not approved their Doctri [...]. It is probable (I say) because the writters against them have beene suppressed, false Teachers have beeve spoken of and re­nowned, and true Prophets ill reported of, Mat. 5. 11, 12. I prove the assumption; for there lived in the first age, Iohn the Baptist, the Apostles, and Polycarpus, the Scholler of Iohn (as they say) and Ignatius. And in the 2. age, Iustinus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Ireneus, Melito Sardensis, Theophilus. In the 3. age Tertullian, Cyprian, Dyonisius, Alexandrin, Methodi [...]s, Origen; It is likely they opposed purgatory, prayer for the dead, reliques and the Popes supremacy, which in their seede did arise in this age. In the 4. age were Eusebius Caesariensis, Ba­silius, Athanasius, Magnus Gregorius, Nissenus, Nazian. Ma­carius, Cyrillus Bishop of Jerusalem, Arnobius, Lactantius, Ep [...] ­phanius, Optatus Melivitanus, Hilarius, Ambrose, Prudentius, Hieronymus, Ammonius, Ephrem, Faeustinus. I thinke they op­posed the infallibility of councells, invocation of Saints, and the monastick life springing up in this age. In the 5. age were Anastasius, Chrysostome, Augustine, Alexandrinus, Theodoretus, Leo, Socrates, Vigilianus, Cassianus, Prosper, Elutherius, Mar­cus eremita, Marius Victorius. Wee conceive these opposed the corrupt Doctrine anent freewill, sinne originall, justifi­cation by works, mens merits. In the 6. age were Fulgen­tius, Cassiadorus, Fortunatus, Olympiodorus, Gregorius Mag [...]s, Max [...]ntius; These opposed the heresies of this age, as the Doctrine of worshipping Images, Indulgences, Satisfactions, Crossing, Pilgrimages, Service in an unknowen Tongue, Offer­ings for the dead, worshipping of Reliques of Saints, necessity absolute of Baptisme, the making the Sacrament a Sacrifice for the dead. In the 7. age being a time of Darknesse very [Page 231] few, Isiodorus, and few others, here the holiest opposed the Popes stile and place of being universall Bishop, and the abomi­nable Sacrifice of the Masse. In the 8. arose Beda, Paulus Dia­conus, Joann, Damascen, a superstitious Monke, Carolus Ma­gus, Albinus; In this age came in Transubstantiation, the Sa­crament of penance, and confirmation. It was an evill time. In the 9. age were Rabanus, Haymo, Re [...]igius, Hinaemarus, Pashasius, then extreme unction, orders, and marriage were made Sacraments. In the 10. age was Theophylact, Smaragdus, Giselbertus. In the 11. Anselme, Algerus. In the 12. Schoole Doctors, such as Peter Cluniarensis, Alexander Alensis, Thomas Aquinas, Scotus, at length Luther and Melanthon came, but from these we build no infallible argument to prove our Church to be the true Church.

2. The very visible Church that now is, was in the Waldenses. 1. One of their owne writters Raynerus rerum Bohemic. script. p. 222. 223. Rainerus saith, quod dura­verit à tempore Sylvestri, alii dicunt quod à tempore apostolorum, a Novator set out by the Jesuite Gretserus Petr. Pilich­dorff. cōtra [...]al­denses c. 1. Petrus Pilich­dorffius saith, they arose eight hundereth yeeres after Silvester in the time of Innocentius the 2. In the City of Walden in the borders of France one arose, who professed voluntary poverty, and because they were against preaching of the Gospell, he and his fol­lowers were excommunicated, but he is found a lier by popish writ­ters who lived long before Innocentius the 2. and make menti­on of them. The articles of Iohn Hus, saith Aneas Syl­vius hist. Bohe [...]. c. 35. Aeneas Silvius, cum confessionibus Calvinianorum consonant, and Silvius is not our friend. I grant Gretserus in exam. plessaeani myst. c. 63. Gretser denieth this, that the Faith of such as are called Calvinists agreeth with the articles of Hus; because hee will have them grosser Flaccius in Catalog. Testim. verit. Flaccius saith these Waldenses called Leonistae, their Doctrine was spread, per L [...]m­bardiam, Alsatiam, totum tractum Rhenanum, Belgicam, Saxoni­am, Pomeraniam, Borussiam, Poloniam, Luciniam, Sueviam, Si­lesiam, B [...]h [...]miam, Moraviam, Calabriam, & Siciliam. Carolus Lotharingus Petr. Ram. Epist. ad Lotha­ring. ann. 1 570. the Cardinall complaineth, as also Hegesippus apud Euseb. l. 3. c. 32. Hegesip­pus, that for sixteene ages since Christ, the first onely was of God, and of the Church was a Virgin. And none made these com­plaints, but these who were Waldenses. So also complaineth Lactantius div. Instit. l. 5. c. 2. Lactantius, and Pelusiot. l. 3. Ep 408. Isiodorus pelus [...]ota: Why did [Page 232] Costerus. cont. Causab. p. 21. Costerus taking on him to prove the succession of the Ro­man Church for 1400 yeeres, leaves 300. years blanck, where hee cannot finde his Mother Church; and yet Nicephor l. 2. c. 40. Nicepho­rus saith Simon Zelotes preached the Gospell in Maur [...]tania & Aphrorum regione, even to Brittaine, that is, to the end of the Earth, yea Balaeus, Flemingus, Sirop [...]s say, that Ioseph of [...] ­rimathea preached in Bri [...]taine, and Britannoru loca Romanis i [...] ­accessa (id est. Scotia) Christo subdua sum ad­vers. Judeos c. 6. 7. Tertullian in the se­cond century which was his owne time saith the like. See the C [...]nt 1. l 2. Centuriasts, yea and Baron anna. An. 183. sect. 6. Barontus, and Origen hom. 4. in Ezech. Origen about an. 206. saith the same; and Ierome Hierom. ad Euagrium. an. 407. Gattia, Brit­annia, Africa, Persis, oriens India, & omnes Barbarae nationes u [...]um Christum adorant, & unam observant regulam veritatis. What were all these but such as after were called VValdenses? And in the first ages Pius 2 Ep. 228. l. 1. Pius 2. saith, ante concilium Nicenu [...] parvus respectus babitus fuerat ad Romanam ecclesiars; before the Nicen councill little respect was [...]ad to th. Church of Rome. See this learnedly Demonstrated by the learned Voetius disp. caus. papatus l. 3 sect. 2. Voetius, and his reason is good. Ignatius, Ireneus, Iustin. Martyr, Cl [...]m. Alexan­dr. Tertullian, Cyprian speak not one syllable of popery or popish articles; also Lucian, Porphyrius, Tryphe [...], Cellus, Sosymus, Symmachus, Iulian, mockers of Reiligon would have spoken against transubstantiation, one body in many thousand pla­ces, worshipping of dead bones, the worshipping of a Tree, Crosse, and dumbe images, and bread, a Pope who could not erre, and they would have challenged and examined miracles, and I adde if they scoffed at the Doctrine of these called after VValdenses as the confession beareth, then were the Church of Waldenses (though not under that name) in their time. The Jewes objected against the Fathers Tatian, Theophilus, Athenages, Iustin, Tertullian, Alexand. Cy [...]rian, Chrysostome, Isiodorus, Hispalensis, Iulianus Po [...]nerius, They objected all they could devise against the Christian Faith, but not a word of poynts of popery now controversed; Ergo, popery hath not beene in the World then, an. 188. In the Time of Victor many opposed victors Tyranny: and as Plessaeus Plessaeus in myster. iniquit. c. 2. and Doctor Molineus Molin. de no­vitate papismi. c. 3. l. 1. part. 1. saith, were called Schismaticks therefore, and excommuni­cated. Neither can Gretserus Gretser. ex­am. myster. pless. [...]. 3. nor Bellarmine Bellarm de pontif. Ro. l. 2. c. 19. defend this, but by lies and raylings. Yea from the 4. to the 7. age [Page 233] (saith Vo [...]t. disp caus p [...]pat. l. 3. sect. 2. Voetius) produce one Martyr, professor, or Doctor. See Augustine de side ad Petrum, Ruffinus his exposition of the Creed, G [...]nnadius of the Articles of the Church, Theodoret his Epitome Divinorum decretorum, Cyrillus his tract de fide, and produce one holding the popish Faith. [...]l [...]m. Romā. [...]nstit. l 6. c. 14. Clemens Romanus and Elutheri [...]s Eleuther. in the Epistle to the Bishops of France ma­keth all Bishops pastors of the Church universall. Any who rea­deth Gretser, ex­am. pless. myster. c. 21. 16. c. 24. Gre [...]serus against Pl [...]ssie may see in the 4. age that Baronius and Bellarmine cannot desend, that appeale was made to the Pope in the councell of Carthage, yea the Popes Legate brought Apiarius to the Councell, that his cause might be judged there, becaus [...] the Pope could not judge it, and that the Councell of Chalcedon was, per precepta Valentiniani, con­vened. and that Canstantinople was equall with Rome. That Simplicius, G [...]lasius and Symmachus were Judges in their owne cause, and that Hormisda an. 518. had no command over the O [...]ientall Churches, as may be seene in Baron. An. 118. p. 70. Baronius. So Pelagius the 1. Ioan. the 3. and Pelagius the 2. were refused the honour of universall Bishops, and could not helpe the mat­ter; See Gretser. exā. m [...]st. pless. c. 30. Gretser, and Honorius. Honorius must be defended as not denying two wills; and two natures in Christ. See what saith B [...]ronius of this. The councell of Concl. Con­stant. An. 754. Constantinople would not receive the worshipping of Images. The best part of the Western Churches were against it. The Churches of France, Germany, Italy, Brittaine. The Concl. Fran­cosurtens. councell of franckford, of Concil. pari­sion. An. 1596. Paris, so did they all refuse the power of the Pope. So Occam, Gerson, Scotus, in most poynts were not papists. Nor Cajetan, Contaren, Alm [...]in, Ioa, Major, Caranza. Therefore said Thuanus histor. l. 5 p. 460. doctrinam (Hal­densiū) per inter­valia intermor­tuam renovavit. Thuanus the Doctrine of the VValdenses were now and then renewed by [...] and Hus, and when Hildebrand came in, all know what wicked new poynts hee brought in, as in the Tomes Concl. [...]om. 3 par. 2. p. 1196. of the councells may bee seene; and Onuphrius in Gregor. 7. vita. Onuphrius sayth, quod major pars antea parum in usu fuerit; The greatest part of his novelty not heard before, or little in use. His Tyranny up­on the consciences of Church-men forbidding marriage: and over the Lords people may be seene in Sleidan hist. 1. 5, period. c. 8. Sleidan Lampad. in Me [...]isic. hist. p. 3. 204, 205. In Lampadius, and his forme of excommunicating the Emperour as it is written by B [...]rur [...]edens­ses de vit. Greg. Beruriedenses and Sigon. de re­gno [...]tal. l. 9. Sigonius, Avent. l. 5. p. 563, 564. also [Page 234] Aventinus, Geroch. Rei­chers l. 2. de in­vestig. Anti-Christ. Gerochus Reicher sperge [...]sis Orthuin. Grat. in fascicu­lo rerum expeten­darum, &. An. 1595. Orthuinus; Gra­tius and others can tell. But ere I speake of this monster head I should not have omitted humble Stephanus the 5. To whom Lodovick the Emperour, descending from his Horse, fell down upon the Earth thrice before his feete, and at the third time saluted him thus, blessed be the Lord God, who commeth in the Name of the Lord, and who hath shined upon us. As Thegan. de gest. Lod. Imp. c. 16. Theganus saith that Pashalis excuseth himselfe to the Emperour Lod. That hee had leapen to the Popedome without his authority, which saith, this headship is not supreame, as Aimoin. l. 4. c. 105. Aimoinus saith, who was a murderer of Theodorus, The Roman Churches Seale-keeper and of Le [...]. for having first put out their Eyes, hee then be­headed them, say the same Aimoinus, Gregory the 4. caused Lodovick the Emperours sons to conspire against the Father and was upon that plot himselfe. Sergius the 2. made an act that a Bishop should be convinced of no fault but under sevety and two witnesses. Siconulphus a Prince desiring to have this Popes blessing, came to Rome and kissed (sayth Gretser. ex­am. pless. myster. c. 37. Gretserus after Anast. in [...]ergio. Anastasius) his precious feete. Anguilbert Archiepisc. Mediolanensis departed out of the Roman Church for the pride of Rome, and Simon of Sergius, sayth Sigonius, Sig. de reg [...] Ital. l. 5. It was or­dinary for all, sayth Anast. in Lev. 4. Anastasius, to kisse the seate of Leo the 4. Platina Platin. in vit. L [...]on. 1. saith, hee was guilty of a conspiracy against Gratianus a godly and worthy man, to expell the French-men out of the Kingdome and bring in the Greciane [...]. Gretser the Jesuite saith, their owne Platina is a Lyer in this.

Wee all know there was an English Woman-Pope called Ioanna, betwixt Leo the 4. and Benedictus the 3. Bellarmine, Baronius, Gretser, Lipsius will have it a fable. Platina a popish writter is more to be believed then they all, for hee affirmeth it as truth. A great schisme arose in the Church because Be­nedictus the 3. was chosen Pope without the Emperours con­sent. The Emperour did hold the bridle and lead the Horse of Nicolaus the 1. Grets. in exa. myst. pless. c. 39. Gretser cannot deny this) hee defended and maintained Baldvinus, who was excommunicated by the Bi­shops of France, because he ravished Iuditha the daughter of C [...] ­rolus Calvus. Hee pleaded that there was no reason; but the [Page 235] decretalls of the popes should be received as the Word of God, but because they were not written in the bookes of Church-Ca­nons: for by that reason some bookes of the old and New Testa­ment are not to be received as Gods Word (Grets. Ibid. Grets.) said, these Epistles were equall with Gods Word, and said, they had, neither these Epistles, nor the Scriptutes authority from the holy Spirit, but from the Church. That the church was foure hundred yeeres ignorant of the authority of the Scriptures: that hee himselfe was Jehova eternall, and that Gratianus had inserted it in his distinct. 96. That hee was God. Adrian the 2. ap­proved of Basilius his killing of Michael the Emperour his Father.

Onuphr. l. de pontis. et cardin. in praefat. Onuphrius who observeth 26. Schisms of antipopes thinketh Schismatick Popes, no popes, as Benedict. 5. and 10 Honorius 2. Clement 3. Gregor. 8. Celestinus 2: Victor 2. Some Popes have beene declared Hereticks by papists, as Concil. Pisa­num, An. 1411. Gre­gorius 12. Benedictus 13. In the councell, of Pisa [...]; and Concil. Con­stan. Genebraid, Chron. ad Anno. 901. per an­nos sere 150. a Ioanne scilice [...] 8. ad Leonem 9. Pontifices circi­ter q [...]quaginta [...] virtute majorii desecerunt, apo­statiei verius qua Apostolici. The Monk Man­tuanus l. de Ca­lam, Romae, tem­pla, sacerdotes, altaria, sacra, co­ronae, Ignis, thu­r [...], preces, coelum est venale Deusq. Iohn 23. In the councell of Constance; moreover Bonifacius 8. Ser­gius 3. Benedictus 7. Eugenius 4. Iohn 9. and Iohn 22. had no tolerable measure of learning to be priests, how then could they be universall prophets who could not erre? Liberius was an Arrian (as Athanasius Ep. ad Solitar. Alphonsus a Cast. adversus haereses l. 2. c. 4. Athanasius and Alphons. saith) Zepherinus was a Montanist, as Tertullian Tertullian adversus praxe­an. c. 1. saith. Honorius was con­demned, for saying Christ had but one will, in Tom. 2. Concil. Art. 13. generall coun­cells at Constantinople, Marcellinus sacrificed to Idolls as Bell. de pon. Ro. l. 4. c. 8. Bellarmine confesseth; faelix was an Arrian and consecra­ted by an Arrian Bishop, (as Hyerom. in catalog. in Acac. Hieronim. saith) Anastasius was a Nestorian (as Alphonsus [...] C [...]str. l. 1. c. 4. Alphonsus saith) Iohn 22. said, soules did not see God untill the Resurrection, as Erasm. prae fat. ad Jrenae. l. 5. Erasmus saith) Innocentius 1. ordained the Eucharist to be given to In­fants, as a Jesuite saith Maldon. in Joan. 6. c. 14. to wit Maldonatus. All this is ob­served to prove the Church could not be in the Pope. 2. That the Waldenses were opposers of the pope, whose confession is set downe by Reginald in Calvino-Turk. l. 2. c. 5. Gulielmus Reginaldus Turco-papista: as Vsserus de Eccles. Christ. suc. c. 6. p. 158. Vsserus saith, and cast to by Gret. ad Petr. Pilichd. p. 309. the Jesuite Gretser to [Page 236] the end of Peter Pilichdorffius his Treaties contra Waldenses, and Reinerus. by Reinerus contra Waldenses, Their confession con­taining a condemning of the popes Supremacy, unwritten Tra­ditions, worshipping of Images, Invocation of Saints, &c. and all the Articles of popery. We know how well Calvin Ep. 298. ad Walden­ses. Ep. 244. ad Tolonos. Cal­vin thinketh of their confession Gret. in ex­am [...]. c. 5. The slanderous Gr [...]tser saith, that Wicliffe renewed their errors and taught this Article. D [...]u [...] debet obedire diabolo. God should obey Satan. But that faithfull witnesse of Christ, hath no such thing in his writtings. Ma­ny other poynts are objected to the Waldenses, but Thuanus H [...]jlor. l. 5. Thu­anus saith, Reliqua quae à Waldensi [...]us affing untur, per invidi­am assinguntur. Other lies and false Doctrines are laide upon them, but the Magdebur­genses [...]ent. 12. c. 8. p. 1206, 1207. Magdeburgenses set downe faithfully the Articles that they held, which wee owne as the Truth of God.

What Sanderus de visibil Monarch. l. 7. An. 1198. Sanderus Coccius The­sau tom. 1. l. 8. Art. 3. Coccius Parsonius de tribu [...] Anglie conversionib. p: 2. c. 10. and Parsonius objected to them that they Taught that carnall co [...]cupiscence was no sin. 2. That all oathes in any case are unlawfull. 3. That the Magistrate may not use the sword. 4. That the Apostles Creed is to be con­temned these and other calumnies are well refused by Usser Usser de c [...]r. eccles. suc. c. 6. p. 158. 160, 161, 162, & [...]. and proved by the Testimony, that Papists gave of the Holy life of the Waldenses, to bee but Lies and meere ca­l [...]mnies.

These who of old (saith Serarius) Serarius [...] 5 were called Berenga­riani from Berengarius, are this day called Calvinists, and these who are this day (sayth Ioan Wen­delstonus p [...] & de­c [...]et. pe [...]t. Ioan, Wendelstonus) called Protestants, are novi, s [...]n G [...]rmanici Waldenses. The new Waldenses of Germany. Nec vero (saith Usser. de Eccles. Christ. S [...]c. & stabil. c. 7 p. 195. Usser, citing the foresaid Authors) justam a [...]l [...]c causam videre p [...]ssimus, quam [...]brem horum majnum pudere nos debcat; we neede not thinke shame of our forbearers the Waldenses. Whether did Berengarius feare Leo the 9. his unjust sentence of excommunication: but contrary to Victor the 3. he did stoutly plead that the E [...]ements were a figure or signe of the body and blood of Christ, Ar. 1056. And before Nicol [...]us the 2. in a Synod at Rome before 113. Bishops, for the space of seven dayes hee pleaded the same cause. So saith Albericus Albericus cass [...] in Chrom. l. 3. c. 33. Diacon. Cassinens. and Sig [...]nius de regm Italic. l. 9. Au. 1059. Carolus Sig [...]nius. Yea, and hee lest behind him in his age multitudes of his followers, [Page 237] so as Rome was not able to suppresse the visible Church ever since her Cedar branches did spring up to the Cloudes.

And we know that the Faith of the Councell of Trent, as pressed by Oath prescribed by Pius 4. and by the command of Gregorius 13. was not in the World the 10. age, Ambrosius, Ca­tharinus, Martinus, Isengrenius, Contarenus, the Sorbonists of Pa­ris, and the Doctors of Venice, in many substantiall poynts con­tradicted the Church of Rome: yea Thuand. 3. p. 214. Thuanus Aut [...]n. de dom. Archi Spa­latens. l. 2. sect. 2. c. 2. and the Bishop of Spalato teach that after the councell of Trent the Reformation spread through the Christian World. In the 12. and 13. ages, the Doctrine of the Waldenses, of Wicliffe and Berengarius did grow, but few did write, (saith Voetius disp. ca [...]. papat. l. 3. sect. 2. p. 634. Voetius,) in these times because of heavy persecution, multitudes in Germany Austria, Moravia, Silesia Leiden, Collen, Osenbruge, and many o­ther parts opposed popery.

Now we say there were multitudes professing the Truth, both of Doctors, Fathers, and witnesses opposing the Roman Church! and what calling the Church of Rome gave to our re­formers must be measured by the best of the Church consent­ing to their c [...]l [...]i [...]g: for wee are not to thinke that all profes­sed popery, but many of the gu des opposed, many were burdened in [...] and yet out of weakenesse durst not professe, because of the [...] [...]ea [...]nesse. 3. They durst not write and preach ag [...]n of the time. 4. Many were simple, many [...].

3. [...] Luther and Zuinolius had their whole cal­ling from the [...] ye [...] think we not that calling no calling, but that it hath that which [...]ssentially constituteth a Ministe. 1. C [...]j phas entered most c [...]r [...]n [...]ly to the Priest­hood, by the favour of men, and to bee High-Priest for one yeare contrary to the Law, which ordained the high-priest to remaine for his lifetime. But as Josephus Antiq l. 15. c. 3. Iosephus said Tolet. com. in Ioan. 11. Toletus Cajetan 16. Cajetan Maldonat. Maldonat Ianson. can. Iansonius: yea and our owne writers Calvin. Calvin Marlorat. Marlorat Muscul. com. in Ioan. Musculus Rollocus. Rollock Bullinger. Bullinger observe, all was done by the will and lust of men; yet Cajaphas was the high-priest and prophecied, which is a specifick act of a called Prophet. John, Ex. 51. 52. It is said, he prophecied as high-priest. 2. The Scribes and T [...]a­isees [Page 238] set in Moses chaire, and are to be heard, Mat. 23 1. In so far as they teach Gods Truth, and yet their entry to their calling was corrupt, if it be true that diverse say, that Christ, John 10▪ calleth the Scribes and Pharises. Theeves and Robbers, because they came not in by the doore, but climbed up another way, but how­ever there was corruption in the way of their comming to the chaire, for they leavened all other the Ordinances of God, and the high priest was entered a false way, the rest of the Rulers could not come, but in a corrupt way. But though Augustine Augustinus contra. advers. leg. & pro. l. 3. c. 4. vencrunt a seipsis, non missi. and Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. Non missi a Deo. Clemens Alexa [...]. expound the place, John 20. of such as want a lawfull calling; but then the place cannot agree with Scribes and Pharisees, which seemeth to fight with the course of the Text. But our Interpeters Brentius, bu­manarum tra­ditionum docto­res. Brentius Beza in loc. B [...]z [...] Rolloc. com. ib. Rollocus, expound the place of these who preach not Christ soundly, and to be the doore and the foundation, but humane Traditions, and yet had a calling; and the Text saith so much, where v. 9. Salvation is promised to every one who entereth in by Christ the doore, now salvation is not promi­sed to a man, because hee hath a lawfull calling to the Mi­nistery; hee may have that and yet b [...]e a Child of per­dition.

3. Wee are no where forbidden in Gods Word to heare Tea­chers sent and called, but onely Wolves in sheepe skinnes, voyd of all calling, and intruders: for pastors may be antichristian in the manner of the entry, as Cajaphas. 2. In the matter of their Doctrine Teaching some of mens Traditions, in place of Gods Word as Scribes and Pharisees. 3. Yea, and brooke an anti­christian calling, as prelates doe and have done in Brittain [...], and yet their Ministery be valid. For that the calling of a Mi­nister be valid, and his Ministeriall acts not null, it is suffici­ent that the governing Church give him a calling, either by themselves, their expresse call, their silence, or tacite consen [...], or their approbation communicating with him in his Ministery, or by these to whom the Church resigned her power, or by these who stand in place of the Church; though prelates in­vade the place of the Church: yet because first they themselves be pastors and have power to teach and Baptize as pastors called of Christ. Mat. 18. 19. 2. Because they stand for the Church [Page 239] the Church approving, or some way by silence consenting (as in the case of Cajaphas entry to the priest-hood) thereunto. these who are baptized of them, are not rebaptized, and these who are ordained pastors by them are not reordained, but have a cal­ling to the Ministery and doe validly confer a calling upon others. Yea, many of great learning thinke that at the begin­ning of Reformation thousands being under popery bapti­zed by Midwives and private persons, were never rebaptized, not that they thinke such Baptisme valid, but where the Sacra­ment is wanting, ex invincibili ignorantia facti, out of an invin­cible ignorance of a fact, such that way baptized doe indeed want the Lords Seale; but wee cannot for that say that they are no better then Infidells and unbaptized Turkes and Iewes, because. 1. Their being borne in the visible Church giveth a federall holinesse, as all of Jewish parents had a federall right to circumcision, and were, eatenus, in so far, separated from the wombe. 2. Because their profession of that Covenant where­of Baptisme is a seale, separateth them sufficiently from Infi­dells, though they want the seale externall. But our Divines esteeme, and that justly, baptisme administrated by Women, or such as have no calling, to be no baptisme at all; for which let the Reader see Calvin Inst. l. 4. c. 15. Sect. 20. Epst. 326. Calvin Beza libel. quest. de baptism. Beza Rive [...]s in Cathol. Orthod. [...]om. 2. tract. 2. q. 7. the learned Rivetus. We stand not for what Bellarm. de baptism. c 7. Bellarmine Maldonat. com. in Ioann. c. 6. v. 33. Maldonatus Gretser. in cas. conscien. q. 4. de baptism. p. 17. 18. & seq. Gretse­rus and other papists say on the contrary: and also Cajetan. com. in loan. 3. Cajetan and Toletus in 3. An. 3. Toletus.

4. Robinson Robins. Iusti­fic. p. 276, 277. and our Brethren acknowledge that the Church of Rome hath true baptisme, for they retaine the essen­tiall causes of Baptisme, even as the vessells of the Lords house pro­faned in Babylon may be carried back to the Temple, but if these vessells were broken and mingled with brasse and iron, and cast in another mould they could not obtaine their former place in the Temple. Baptisme is a vessell profaned in Babell, but not broken; but the ministry and priest hood of Rome is like the new melted and mingled vessell, and essentially degenerated from the office of pa­storship. But I answer, if baptisme be valid in Rome so are the Ministers baptizers, for if the Ministers and priests be essenti­ally no Ministers, the baptisme administrated by the Romish priests is no Ministery, and all one as administrated by Mid­wives [Page 240] and private persons, who therefore cannot administrate the Sacraments validly in the essentiall causes, because they are essentially no Ministers. If therefore Robinson will have the Romish priest-hood essentially no ministery, by that same rea­son he must say, baptisme administrated by Romish priests i [...] no baptisme, the contrary whereof he confesseth: otherwise hee must say baptisme administrated, à non habente potestatem, even by Women and private Men, is valid, and cannot be but esteemed lawfull in the substance of the act. 2. These have a ministery essentially entyre who have power under Christ to preach the Gospell and administrate the Sacraments, Matthew 28. 19. The Romish priests have this, and are called to this by the Church.

But saith Robinson. How can England forsake the Church of Rome, and forsake the ministery, which is in the Church, as in the sub­ject, especially, seeing you teach that a true ministery maketh essenti­ally a true Church?

I answer, England may well separate from Rome everting the fundamentall parts of Faith, and not separate from Romes baptisme, or ministery, in so farre, as they be essentially the or­dinances of Christ: and I retort this argument; How can Se­paratists separate from both us and Rome, and yet retaine the baptisme in both our Church and Rome. 2. A ministery true in the essence may make a Church true [...], in so far; but because of many other substantiall corruptions in Rome, it is a Church which we ought to forsake.

But sayth Robinson, Robinson Iustif. p. 316. Apostates in the 10. Tribes leaving the Church which was radically at Jerusalem, upon their repentance were readmitted to enter into the Temple, into which no uncircumci­sed person might enter, but any of the priests following Idolls, were never readmitted to be priests, though they should repent; Therefore the ministery and baptisme are not alike.

I answer, that the true Church was onely at Jerusalem radi­cally, as, you say, would import that the 10. Tribes revolting from Davids house ceased to be a Church, which is false: Israel though all the Land were in Covenant with God, had circum­cision and the Passover, and so were a true visible Church, even when they did meete in their Synagogues. The Altar, sacrifices, [Page 241] Temple, are not the essentialls of a visible Church, they were a Church, and did pray toward the Temple even in Babylon, and were to professe the True God before the heathen, Ierem. 10. 11. 2. There be typicall reasons to hinder men why they cannot be capable of the priest-hood, that did not exclude them from Church state; but this hindereth not but if the seales administa­ted by a Minister be true seales, then is the Minister thereof cate­nus, in so far, a true Minister.

He addeth Page 317. a Minister may leave off to be a Minister, and be justly degraded and excommunicated, but none ever attempted to unbaptize one who was baptized, nor can he be unbaptized who is baptized.

Answ. That proveth a difference betwixt the ministery and Baptisme, which is not the question; but it proveth not this to be false, if Romes baptisme be lawfull in its essence, so is Romes ministery.

CHAP. 9. SECT. 9.

Of the addition of Members to the Church.

THE Author sayth, a Church cannot consist of a fewer num­ber Way of the Church of Christ in, N. E. Cap. 9. Sect. 9. then seven, since there must be foure of them, a Pastor, Doctor, Elder, and a Deacon.

Ans. And wee contend not for number, but foure may be a Church of your making, and in Church-covenant: for it is a wonder, that you require officers who by your Doctrine, can­not be parts of the Church, seeing you make them accidents of the Church, and teach that the Church, in its being and operation, is before any officers be ordained in it: the acci­dents of a subject, and a subject make not multiplication, Peter & his learning and whitenesse make not two Peters. And there­fore seeing three believers may be united in your Church-co­venant, they must be a Church: and seeing these foure officers, a Pastor, an Elder, a Doctor, and a Deacon must be chosen by the Church, yea and ordained also (by your Doctrine) neede they must have their ordination and lawfull calling from [Page 242] three, and so these three must be their Church electing them; and a numerous congregation, we dislike with you.

Author, These who are to be added, are to make knowen to the Elders their desire to be added, that they may be tryed, if he be found graceles or scand [...]lous, he is not to be presented to the Church; if no exception be against him, he confesseth his Faith publickly, and shew­eth the grace of God to his soule in drawing him out of the State of sin.

Answ. 1. Wee reade not that three thousand added to the Church at one Sermon, Acts 2. Nor any other that we reade of, were in this manner and order added, and therefore this way we suspect. 2. You require in one to be added that he be not graceles and scandalous, to be free from scandals is visible and is required in a visible Church member, but grace is in­visible and can be a note of a member of the invisible Church, but no wayes a note of a member of the visible Church. The A­postles required it not in Simon Magus.

The Author in the same place proceedeth to prove that none can be members of the visible Church, but such as be regenerated so far as the Church can discerne. Hence our,

1. Quest. Whether the members of the visible Church be only visible saints, sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty, temples of the holy spirit, &c.

1. Distinct. Any who blamelesly professeth Christ is Eccle­siastically, in foro Ecclesiae, a true and valid member of the Church visible, having Ecclesiasticall power valid for that effect: but, except he be a sincere Believer, he is not morally and in fo [...]o Dei, a living member of the invisible Church.

2. Dist. That which is unseene is the forme and essence of an invisi­ble Church, and that which is visible must be the essentiall forme of a visible Church.

3. Dist. The invisible Church Catholick is the principall, prime and native subject of all the priviledges of Christians, the covenan [...] premises, titles of Spouse, bride, redeemed Temple of the holy spirit, &c. And the Church visible as she is such, is no wayes such a subject, the non-consideration whereof we take to be the ground of many errors, in our reverend brethren in this matter, which also deceived Papists, as our Divines demonstrate.

[Page 243] 4. Dist. A seene profession is the ground of members admission to the visible Church. Hence there is a satisfaction of the consci­ence of the Church in admitting of members, either in the judge­ment of charity, or in the judgement of verity.

5. Dist. There is a satisfaction in the judgement of charity po­sitive, when we see signes which positively assure us that such an one is regenerate: and there is a satisfaction negative when we know no­thing on the contrary which hath a latitude: for I have a negative satisfaction of the regeneration of some, whose persons or behaviour I know neither by sight nor report. This is not sufficient for the accepting of a Church-Membership, therefore somewhat more is required.

6. Dist. There be three rankes of men here considerable. 1. Some professedly and notoriously flagitious and wicked; little cha­rity may exclude these. 2. Some professedly sanctifyed and holy, little charity may accept and welcome such to the visible Church. 3. Some betwixt these two, of whom we have neither a certainty full and satisfactory to the conscience, that they are regenerate; nor have we any plerophory or persuasion, that they are in the State of nature.

7. It is no lesse sin to sadden the heart of a weake one, and to break the bruised reed, then out of overplus of strong charity, to give the hand to an Hypocrite, as a true Church-member.

8. Materially it is all one not to admit members of such a Church to your Church, as to separate from such a Church, and to Excommunicate such members: for it is a negative and autho­ritative leaving of such to Satan, if it be not a positive Excommu­nication.

9. There is a visibility of the Church by writing. 2. By Synods which meete for consultation, as our Brethren teach. 3. By Martyr­dome. 4. The seene profession of many Churches, and these being without the bounds of a Congregation, it is not Iustice to restrict all visibility to one single Congregation. 10. Visible security, backslyding, over swaying predominants tolerated may consist with the Church, membership of a visible Church:

1. Conclus. These two be farre different, (Hic vel in hoc satu est Ecclesia vera) there or in this company there is a true Church. And this (Haec est Ecclesia vera) this determinat com­pany [Page 244] of such persons by name is a true Church) the former is true, where ever God setteth up his Candle, there be their Church-members of Christs Body either actually or potentially; for asmuch as if their be no converts there at all, yet in respect of Gods Decree which Hee beginneth to execute while as Hee erecteth a Ministery, certainly there must be some converted there at last. But as concerning the latter proposition, none can say certainly, such visible persons by name, Iohn, Paul, Anna, Mary, &c. Are the true Spouse and redeemed of Christ, because, as Divines answer to Papists, we believe the Church of Christ rather then see it. Yea, the Spouse of Christ, as the true Spouse, is all glorious within, Psal. 45. 13. and that which essentially constituteth a Spouse of Christ, is not visible, but the hidden man in the heart, 2 Pet. 3. 4. Neither is there any Union of believers as believers visible. 2. Faith and true grace are not the essence of a visible Church, as it is visible, because no­thing simply invisible can essentially constitute that which is visible.

2. Con. The invisible and not the visible Church is the prin­cipall, prime, and onely proper subject, with whom the cove­nant of grace is made, to whom all the promises doe belong, and to whom all Titles, Stiles, Properties and priviledges of spe­ciall note, in the Mediator doe belong. If our reverend Bre­thren would be pleased to see this, they should forsake their Doctrine of a visible constituted Church, of separation, of popu­lar government, of independency, of parochi [...]ll Churches, which they conceive to be the only visible Churches under the New Testament. 1. The Church, to whom the covenant, and the promises of the covenant are made, is an Church, and a seed which shall endure as the dayes of Heaven. Psal. 89. 35 36. and such as can no more fall away from being Gods people in an eternall covenant with him, then their God can alter what he has spoken, or lic, Psal. 89 33, 34, 35. They can no more cease from being in Gods Favour, or be cast off of God, then the ordinances of Heaven can depart from before God, then Heaven can be mea­sured above, or the foundations of the Earth searched out beneath. Jerem. 31. 35. 36, 37. Nor the Mountaines and Hills can be remo­ved out of their places. Esa. 54. 10. Or the World can be destroyed, [Page 245] with the waters of Noah againe: Or then God can retract his O [...]th and promise. Heb. 6. 18, 19, 20. But the visible Church of [...] or that congregation or parish (as our Brethren say) of Rome, Corinth, Colosse, Thessalonica, Philippi, and the seven Churches of Asia, shall not endure as the dayes of Heaven, yea they are all this day under horrible defection of Antichistian Idolatry and Turcisme and Judaisme: if it be said, the faithfull and believing of the visible Churches at Rome, Corinth, Colosse, &c. could no more fall away, then the house of Israel and seed of David could cease to be Gods people. I answer, this is to flee to the invisible Church; but the Professors of these visible Churches as Professors and in Church-state might fall away from the Church profession. If they say, they cannot fall from the sincerity of a true profession; now yet they are aside, and flee from the visible Professors, and Churches visibility agree­ing to the Church as visible; to the Churches sincerity and invisible grace of constancy proper to the invisible Church, and by this meaning, none are the true visible Church, nor mem­bers thereof, but only such as have profession, and withall sin­cerity of profession; so Hypocrites, though never so fairely in­churched, have no power of the Keyes, of censures of excom­munication, of admitting of Church members, of Baptizing, &c. All which is very Anabaptisme, that there is no visible Church on Earth, but a company of truely, and (in foro Dei) regenerated and converted persons and the onely redeemed of God; and. 2. Our Divines in vaine contend with papists a­nent the visible Churches failing on Earth, for most certaine it is (except we hold with Arminians, Socinians and Papists the apostacy of Believers) neither the catholick Church, nor a particular congregation of sincere Believers can fall into heresies and lose true and saving Faith. But we hold that there is not a visible Church consisting of only visible professors never so or­thodox, but it may fall into fundamentall heresies, and we give instance, in the sometime orthodox and visible Church of Rome which hath fallen from the sound Faith, and is become B [...]bel and a whore and mother of fornications. 3. A Church consisting of seven professors (which our Brethren in this place say, is a visible Church) may have foure or five, yea six hypocrites in it, [Page 246] and yet the essence of a visible Church, the nature of a Church-state, Church-covenant, the power and use of the keyes is [...] in such a Church of seven: for it is certaine, Professon, [...] uniting themselves together in one Church-state, are not led by an infallible and apostolick Spirit, that they cannot erre in­constituting a visible Church: but if they be fallible and ob­noxious to error, then in erecting a Church of seven, five, six, and by the same reason all the seven may be (in foro Dei) in Gods Court, yea and (in an ordinary providence now with relation to the state of man fallen into sin) often are unbelievers and unconverted persons, and yet a visible Church performing all Church-acts of a visible profession. Now if our Brethrens grounds hold good, seven unbelievers are a company in cove­nant with God, and can no more fall from the covenant and grace thereof, then God can lie or alter that which is gone out of his mouth.

2. The Church with whom the covenant is made, and to whom the promises of the covenant are made, is the Spouse of Christ, his mysticall body, the Sons and Daughters of the Lord God Almighty, a royall priest-hood, a chosen generation, Kings and Priests to God: but this is the invisible Church of elect be­lievers, not the visible Church of visible professors. Therefore the invisible, and not the visible Church, is the first subject of all the priviledges of Christians, and all the promises of the co­venant. The proposition is not doubted. I prove the assump­tion; The visible Church as it is such, is a company of profes­sors of the truth, and connot be, as it is such, the Spouse of Christ and his Body. 1. Because then Professors, as Professors, should be Christs redeemed Body, which is openly false and a­gainst the Word of God: for Rom. 9. 6. for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. 2. Our Brethrens argument is strong to prove, that the Church of Elders are not the true Church spo­ken of in the Word; For, say they, the true Church is a flock that Christ hath Redeemed with his Blood, Acts 20. 28. The Temple of the living God, 1 Cor. 3. But the Church of Elders is not a flock of redeemed ones, and Temples of the holy Spirit, but in so far as they believe, and are elected to glory, and not as a flock of Elders, are they redeemed: so they say, true Elders, as Elders, [Page 247] are not a part of the true Church, nor the Church to whom Christ gave the keyes, Mat. 16. But the Church making Pe­ters confession. So say wee, the Church of visible professors, as they are such, are not the redeemed of Christ, and Temples of the holy Spirit, but in so far as they are Believers and the elect of God. For if our Brethren say, the Church, as it is a compa­ny of visible Professors, is also essentially the Church of Re­deemed ones, then only the Church of visible Professors, and all the Church of visible Professors are redeemed of God, but this is absurd and false. Quod convenit [...] convenit [...]. Our Brethren acknowledge there may be an hundred Believers and Temples of the holy Spirit, who are a flock of redeemed ones, and yet not be a company of visible Professors. 1. Because they are not united (say they) covenant­wayes into a Church-body. 2. (Say they) because of weakenesse and for feare of persecution, men may hide their profession as many doe in the Church of Rome, and yet be the redeemed of God, and be the seven thousand who have not bowed their knees to Baal; and our Brethren cannot say, that all the visible Church are the flock redeemed of God, for then should there be no hy­pocrites in the visible Church. 3. In this our Brethren main­taine one of the [...]ossest poynts of the Arminian, Popish and Socinian Doctrine, even that all visible Professors are chosen to glory, redeemed of God, and the children of the promise, and that in Gods purpose, the cove [...]ant of grace and the pro­mises of the covenant are made to all and every one in the visible Church, and that God hath an intention that Christ shall die for all and every one of the visible Church, and that he inten­eth to save all and every one of the visible Church. This I prove, for if th [...] covenant and promises of the covenant, if the stiles of Christs Body, his Love, his Spouse, his Sister and D [...]ve, if the revelation of Christ made not by flesh and blood, but by Christs Father the ground of that blessed confession of Peter Mat. 16. 17. For which the keys were given to the visible Church, if I say all these be proper to the visible Church as visible, and due to her as to the first principall and prime subject, and not to the chosen redeemed and invisible Church as such, then the pro­mises of the covenant, and all these styles belong to the vi­sible [Page 248] Church, and God promiseth and intendeth a new heart and a new spirit to all visible Professors as such, and so he in­tendeth redemption in Christ and salvation, and Christs Righte­ousnesse and Forgivenesse of sins to all the visible Church. But our Brethren do not (I hope) thinke that Gods intentions, are castles in the Aire, and new Ilands beyond the Moone, as if his intentions could be frustrated, and he could misse the white of the scope he shooteth at; for certainly these to whom the covenant, and promises thereof belong as to the prime and first subject, these are his covenanted people; now the orthodox and reformed Church holdeth, that the covenant and promises are preached to the whole visible Church, but for the elects sake, and that howsoever externally, the covenant of grace and promises be promulgated to every one, and all with­in the lists of the visible Church; yet they belong in Gods Intention and gratious purpose only to the Elect of God, and his reseemed ones, to that invisible Body, Spouse, Sister, whereof Christ alone is Lord, Head, Husband, and Brother, and the first begotten amongst many Brethren. Hence let me reason thus. The Church whose gathering together, and whose unity of Faith, knowledge of the Son of God, and growth of the mea­sure of the stature of the fulnes of Christ, the Lord intendeth by giving to them for that end, some to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Pastors and Teachers, Eph. 4. 11, 12, 13. must be the Church to which all the promises of the covenant and priviledges do belong. But the Lord intendeth the gathering together, the unity of Faith, the knowledge of the Son of God and growth of the measure of the stature of Christ only of the invisible Elected and Redeemed Church, not of the visible professing or conses­ing Church, nor doth the Lord send Pastors and Teachers up-on a purpose and intention of gathering the visible Church, and visible Israel, except you flie to the Tents of Arminians. I conceive these arguments cannot be answered. If any say, that Christ in giving Prophets, Pastors and Teachers to his Church intendeth to save the true visible Church of the chosen and redeemed, in so far as they are chosen and redeemed, now they who answer thus, come to our hand and forsake the Doctrine of their visible Church, and say with us, that the Ministery [Page 249] and the keys are given only upon a purpose on Gods part to save the invisible Church, and that all these promises of the co­venant, the styles of Christs Spouse, Sister, Faire one, are not proper to the visible Church, nor any ground or argument to prove that the keys, the power of excommunication, ordaining of officers are given to the visible Church, as to the prime and principall subject.

4. The invisible Church; and not the visible Church as it is such, hath right to the Sacraments, because these who have right to the covenant, have right to the seales of the covenant; and this is Peters argument to prove the baptizing of Infants to be lawfull, Acts 2. 38, 39. But only the invisible Church hath right to the covenant. For God saith only of, and to the invisible Church. and not of the visible Church in his gratious purpose, Jerem. 32. 38. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people, Jer. 31. 33. I will put my Law in their inward parts, 34. They shall all know me (all within the covenant) I will for­give th [...]ir iniquity. Now the visible Church as the visible Church is not within the covenant, therefore the visible Church as the visible Church, and being no more but the visible Church, hath not right to the Seales of the covenant, but in so far as they are within the covenant, and in so far as God is their God, and they his pardoned and sanctified people, as it is, Ierem. 31. 33 34.

5. It is knowen that our Brethren here joyne with Papists, for Papists ignorant of the Doctrine of the visible Church, la­bour to prove that the visible Church on Earth, the Ministeriall, Teaching and Governing Church, cannot erre, but that she conver [...]ed in a visible Synod, and met in Christs Name, hath a promise of an infallible assistance. And by what argumunts do they prove it? You know here Bellarmine, Pererius, Tolet, Stapleton, Bail [...]s, Suarez. Vasquez, Harding, Gretsirus, Coste­rus, Turrecremata, Salmoron, Locinus, Cajetan, and an host of them say, because the Church is builded on a Rock, and against it the Gates of Hell shall not prevaile: because Christ saith, I have prayd to the Father that thy Faith faile thee not: because Christ saith, I will send you the holy Spirit, and he shall leade you into all truth. Now our Divines say, that the invisible Church of [Page 250] Elect believers cannot fall off the Rock, and cannot fall from saving Faith, and cannot erre by falling into fundamentall here­sies, but it followeth not; Ergo, the visible ministeriall and Teaching Church, either out of a Synod, or convened in a Sy­nod, have an infallible and Apostolick Spirit to lead them so, as in their determinations they cannot erre. Just so our bre­thren take all the places for the priviledges, covenant, promises, stiles of Sister, Love, Dove, Spouse, mysticall Body of Christ, &c. Which are proper only to the invisible, redeemed, chosen, sanctified Church of God: and they give all these to their only visible ministeriall and right constituted Church in the New Testament; and say that this visible church gathered in a church-state, because of the foresaid priviledges and stiles, hath the supreame and independent power and authority of the keys, above all Teachers and Pastors whatsoever, and that the right visible church consisteth only of a Royall generation, Temples of the Holy Ghost, a people in covenant with God, taught of God, partakers of the Divine nature, &c. And that all visible churches that meet not in a materiall House, in a visible and conspi­cious Society, as on visible Mount Zion, and not consisting of such a covenanted, sanctified, and separated people, are a false church, false in matter, not an ordinance of Christ, but an Idoll, an antichristian device, a Synagogue of Satan voyd of the power of the Keys.

6. A church in covenant with God, and the Spouse of Christ, and his mysticall Body, and a church which he redeemed with the Blood of God, Acts 20. 28. Eph. 5. 25. 26. Col. 1. 18. 1 Cor. 12. 12. Is a church whereof all the members without exception are taught of God. Jerem. 31. 34. They shall all know me (saith the Lord) from the least, unto the greatest. Esa. 54. 13. All thy children shall be taught of the Lord. And therefore they all haveing heard and learned of the Father, come to Christ, Iohn 6. 45. and therefore have all the anointing within them which teacheth them all things, 1 Iohn 1. 27. And so they have all Eares to heare. Yea among such a company, Esai. 35. 9. 10. there is no Lyon, no ravenous beast, but the Redeemed and Ransom­ed of the Lord. But so it is that no visible congregation on Earth, that are visible Professors of any competent number, is such [Page 251] a Church whereof all the members are taught of God, all ran­somed and redeemed, and therefore no visible church, as such is a people or Church in covenant with God. See Rodger. Ca­techism part. 2. art. 6. p. 176, 177. Rodgers Catechisme.

3. Conclus. A visible profession of the Truth and Doctrine of godlinesse, is that which essentially constituteth a visible church, and every member of the visible church; onely our Brethren and we differ much about the nature of this profession which is required in members added to the Church. Our Brethren will have none members of the visible Church, but such as are satis­factory to the consciences of all the visible church, and give evidences so cleare, as the judgement of discerning men can atraine unto, that they are truly regenerated. We againe do teach, that the scandalously wicked are to be cast out of the Church by excommunication, and these of approved piety are undoubtedly members of the visible Church, so these of the middle sort are to be acknowledged members of the Church, though the Church have not a positive certainty of the judge­ment of charity, that they are regenerated, so they be knowen. 1 To be Baptized. 2. That they be free of grosse scandals. 3. And professe that they be willing hearers of the Doctrine of the Gospell. Such a profession, as giveth evidences to the positive certainty of the judgement of charity, of sound con­version, is not required to make and constitute a true visible Church.

1. Argu. Israel entered in covenant with God, Deut. 29. was a true visible Church, as our Brethren Teach, because that they conceive to be a Church-covenant, Deut. 29, but Churches by that Oath were not such, as to the satisfaction of Moses, and the whole people their consciences gave positive certainty of sound conversion. Because v. 4. The Lord (saith the Text) hath not given you an heart to perceive, nor eyes to see, nor Eares to heare to this day, Deut. 31. 27. for I know thy Rebellion and thy stif­neck, behell, while I am yet alive with you this day, yee have been rebellions against the Lord. ver. 21. Deut. 32. v. 5. v. 15, 16, 17. Josh. 24. 23.

2. Argu. Christ would not seven times have said. He that hath Eares to heare, let him heare what the Spirit saith to the [Page 252] Churches, if he had not supposed that in these seven Churches, there were blind, obdurate, and carnall hearers, as there were when, Mat. 13. upon occasion of the like hearers, he uttereth these same words in substance. Now Christ would have blam­ed their ill discerning in admitting such to be the materialls of a visible Church, as hee reproveth their other faults in govern­ment. Neither could Christ reprove these Churches, for not exercising the Church-censures against liers, false Apostles, fleshly Nicolaitans, followers of Balaams wicked Doctrine, Jezebed and other ill doers and seducers, if these had not been Church­members, as our Brethren teach, how can we conceive, that Christ would call these Churches, who were false in the matter, or give his presence and communion by walking among the golden candlestickes, and holding the starres, the Ministery, in his right hand? And if every one of these Churches were approved to the consciences one of another, that they positively knew they were all of them, a royall Priest-Hood, an holy Generation, all taught of God, all sonnes and daughters of the Lord God Almighty, how are there such grosse scandals put upon them by Jesus Christ?

3. Argu. Paul clearely teacheth, 1 Cor. 5. That the Church of Corinth convened had the power of the Lord Iesus amongst them, and was a betrothed Bryde espoused in a Church cove­nant, even all of the visible Church as one chaste Virgin to God, as our Brethren prove from the, 1 Cor. 11. 1, 2, 3. Who had re­ceived the Spirit and the Gospell, their minds being knit thereunto, in the simplicity of Iesus Christ; now if the matter of this betrothed Church was such, as our Brethren say, then Christs Power, and Presence and Spirit, were in these as the Temples of the Holy Ghost, and these were betrothed to Christ Iesus, and had received the Spirit and were Saints by calling, were justified, washen, sanctified, who were incestuous, Forni­cators, Drunkards, Railers, carnall, Schismaticks, going to the Law one with another before Infidells, partakers of the Table of Christ and of divells, deniers of the Resurrection, to whom the Word was the savour of Death, and the Gospell as it is to these, whom the God of this world, Satan, hath blinded. What can be more repugnant to the truth and to the Gospell of Christ? It cannot [Page 253] be answered, that these in Corinth who were hypocrites and walked so contrary to the Gospell were not members of the Church of Corinth. For only the truly converted were such. I answer. 1. Then Paul writeth not to the visible Church and to all whom he doth rebuke, the contrary whereof is cleare. 1 Cor. 2. 11. 2 Cor. 3. 22. 1 Cor. 5. 1. 2. 1 Cor. 6. 1. 2. 3. 1 Cor. 11. 17 18 19, 30. 1 Cor. 15. 12. 1 Cor. 10. 21. 1 Cor. 8. and in many other places.

2. Then the visible church was not betrothed to Christ as a chaste Virgin: contrary to this our Brethren alleadged, 1 Cor. 11. 1 2, 3. 3. Not only is conversion professedly true in the judg­ment of charity, but also in the judgement of verity, essenti­all to a visible church as you teach; and so none can be a mem­ber of the visible church, but he who is a member of the invisible Church, which is Anabaptisme. 4. Three thousand in one day were added to the visible church, who could not (as I have pro­ved) all be approved to the conscience one of another, as true con­verts, Acts 2. Since amongst them were Ananias and Saphira, and the time was short. 5. If we are to beare one anothers bur­dens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ, and if grace may be beside many and great sinnes, as we see in Asa, in Salomon who remained the children of God, under many out breakings, if the children of God may be the children of God, and yet some of them habitually proud, passionate, some of them worldly minded, some talkative and imprudently rash in zeale, some lustfull, some slothfull, some ambiticus, yea and if Simon Magus his profession, though false, was esteemed sufficient, for to give him baptisme, the Seale of the covenant, Acts 8. 9. Then it is not required that all the members of the visible church be such as positively wee know (so farre as humane knowledge can reach) that they are converted, yea if this were true, then spe­ciall commandements would be given, that as we are to exa­mine and try our selves, 1 Cor. 11. 28. 2 Cor. 13. 5. And to try officers before they be admitted, 1 Tim. 3. 10. 1 Tim. 5 22. and to try the spirits of Prophets and their Doctrine, 1 Iohn 4. 1. and, 1 Thess. 5. 21. Acts 17. 13. So would God in his Word give a charge, that we try, examine and judge carefully one ano­ther, and that every man labour to be satisfied in conscience [Page 254] anent the regeneration one of another. But such commande­ments we reade not of. 6. If many be brought and called into the visible church, of purpose both on Gods revealed intenti­on in his Word to convert them, and on the churches part that they may be converted; Then doth not the church con­fist of these who are professedly converted, but the former [...] true; Ergo, so is the latter. The proposition is sure, these whom God purposeth to convert by making them Church-members, they are not Church-members because they are al­ready converted. I prove the assumption, because. 1. The con­trary doctrine, to wit, that none are under a pastors care till they be first converted, maketh to the eversion of the publick Ministery, and gratifieth Arminians and Socinians, as before I observed, because Faith commeth not by hearing of sent pa­stors, as Gods ordinance is, Rom. 10. 14. but by the contra­ry, we aske a warrant from the Testament of Christ, that now since the Apostles are not in the Earth, private men not sent to preach, should be ordinary Fishers of men, and gatherers of Christs church and Kingdome. 2. That Christ hath provided no Pastors nor Teachers to watch over the Elect, yet remaining in the Kingdome of darknesse, and that Christ ascending on high, as a victorious King hath not given Pastors and Teachers by office to bring in his redeemed flock, which he hath bought with his blood, Acts 20. 28. 3. It is against the nature of the visible Kingdome of Christ which is a d [...]aw-net and an offici [...], a workehouse of externall calling into Christ, even such as are serving their honour, buying a Farme; and their gaine, buying five yoke of Oxen; and their lusts, having married a Wife. Luk. 14. 16, 17 18. 4. It is against the nature of the Ministery, and Wisdomes maides, sent out to compell them to come in. Luke 14. 23. Matthew 22. 4, 5, 6. Prov. 9. 2, 3, 4, 5. who are yet without.

7. If none can be members while they be first converted. 1. The church visible is made a church visible without the Ministe­ry of the church. 2. These who are baptized are not by bap­tisme entered in the visible Church contrary to Gods Word, 1 Cor. 12. 13. and the sound judgement of all Divines. 3. All these who are baptized. 2. Who write as Doctors for the de­fence [Page 255] of the Orthodox Faith. 3. Who seale the Truth with their sufferings and blood. 4. Who keepe communion with visible Churches, in hearing, partaking of the Word and Seales, as occasion serveth, if they be not professedly and notoriously to the consciences of a particular parish converted to Christ, are no members of the visible church.

8. All our Brethrens arguments to prove this Doctrine doe onely prove the truly regenerate to be members of the in­visible Church, and not of the visible Church. And if the arguments bee naught, the conclusion must bee naught and false.

9. It is against the Doctrine of Fathers, as Augustin. contr. Crescom. l. 1. 6. 29 de baptis. l. 7. c. 51. contr. donati [...]. coll. 20. Augustine Cyprian [...]. l. Eph. 6. Cyprian Gregror. hom. 11, 12 & 35. in evang. Gregorius Chrysost. in Psal. 39. & l. 3. de sacerd. Chysostome Nazianzen, orat. 1. in Julia. Nazianzen Eusebius de [...] praep. evang. l. 6. c. 18. Eu­sebius. Who al accord that the visible church is a company of pro­fessors, consisting of good and bad, like the Arke of Noah as Hierom con­tr. Pelag. & Lu­ciser. dialog. Hierome maketh comparison.

I might cite Ireneus, Tertullian, Origen, Cyrillus, Basilius, Hilarius, Presper, Ambrosius, Primasius, Sedulius, Just. Mar­tyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Euthymius, Theophylact, Epiphani­us, Theodoret, and Luther, Melanchton, Chemnitius, Meisner­us, Hunius, Hemingius, Gerardus, Crocius, Calvin, Beza, Voe­tius, Sadeel, Plesseus, Whittakerus, Ioannes Whyte, Fransc. Whyte, Reynoldus, Iuellus, Rich. Feildus, Perkinsius, Pau. Baynes, Trelcatius, Tilenus, Piscator, Ursinus, Paraeus, Sibrandus, Pro­fessores Leydenses, Antonius Wallaeus, And. Rivetus, Pet. Mo­lineus, Dam. Tossanus, Mercorus, Fest. Hommius, Bullingerus, Mns­culus, Rollocus, Davenantius, Mortonus.

Quest. 2. Whether or no our Brethren prove by valid agu­ments, the constitution of the Church visible to be only of visible Saints, of sanctified washen and justified persons.

Let us begin with our present Authour, and with what the (a) Apology saith. We admit all, even Infidells to the hearing of the Word, 1 Cor. 14. 24▪ 25. Yet we receive none as members Way of the Churches of Christ in N. E. Ch. 3. Sect. [...]to our Church, but such as (according to the judgement of charitable Christians,) may be conceived to be received of God, unto fellowship with Christ the head of the Church. Our rea­sons be. 1. From the neere relation betwixt Christ Jesus and the Church, as also betwixt the Church and other persons of the [Page 256] Trinity. The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church; even of the vi­sible Church, and the visible Church is the body of Christ Jesus 1 Cor. 12. and 27.

Answ. To admit as ordinary hearers of the Word and Church Prayers, is a degree of admission to Church-communion, and they who are baptized, and ordinarily heare, and pro­fesse a willing mind to communicate with the Church in the holy things of God, they being not scandalously wicked are to be admitted, yea and are members of the Church visible. [...]. Set the first reason in forme it is thus; These only are to be received as Church members who are conceived to be members of that body whereof Christ is head. But the promisccous multitude of professors are not conceived to be such, but on­ly the sanctified in Christ Iesus are such. Or thus, If Christ be the head of the visible Church, then only such are to be ad­mitted members of the visible Church, as are conceived to be members of Christ the head, and not the promiscuous multi­tude of good and bad. But the former is true; Ergo, so is the latter. 1. If Christ be the head of the visible Church as visible, it would seeme onely these who are conceived Members of CHRIST, should bee admitted Members of the vi­sible body. True and in this meaning let the Major passe; but if Christ be the head of the visible church not as it is vi­sible, but as it is a body of believers and invisible, then we see no reason to yeeld the connexion: Because Christ is the Head of True Believers, therefore none should be admitted members of the Church, but such as we conceive are Believers, because they are to be admitted to the visible Church, who are willing to joyne themselves are baptized and doe professe Christ to be their Head, though we cannot conceive whether they be sound believers or not; for a profession is sufficient to make them members of the visible body, though indeed to be sou [...]d Believers, maketh them members of Christs Body invisible. 2. That Christ is the Head of the visible Church, as visible, i [...] not in all the Word of God, he is the Head of the Church catholick and invisible, by influence of the Life and Spirit of Christ, Eph. 1, 22, 23. Eph. 4. 16. Coloss. 1. 18. and in a large sense may be called the Head of the church-visible, as visible, [Page 257] in regard of the influence of common graces for the Ministery; government, and use of the keys: but because of such a degree of Christs Head-ship, it followeth only that these are to be ad­mitted members under Christ the Head, whom we conceive to be [...]t members of the Church, as it is a Ministeriall and a go­verning society, and for this there is not required an union with Christ, as head, according to the influence of the life of Christ, but only an union with Christ, as head, according to the in­fluence of common gifts, for the governing a Ministeriall Church; in which respect, Christ may be called the Head of Judas the Traitor, and of some other hypocriticall Professors; and also though the promiscuous multitude, that is a multitude of prophane Atheists and scandalous mockers, be not mem­bers of Christ, nor are to be acknowledged as his members, but to be Excommunicated, yet the promiscuous multitude of Pro­fessors, whereof there be Reprobate and Elect, good and bad, are to be received and acknowledged as members of Christs vi­sible body, wherof he is Head in the latter sense. 2. The Argu­ment proceedeth upon the false ground before observed and discovered, that Christ is Head of the Church and the Spouse, redeemer and Saviour of the visible Church, as it is visible, which is the Arminian Doctrine of universall grace. 3. If these who are conceived to be members of Christ the Head and sound Be­lievers are to be admitted, why doe you professe that Brethren of approved piety, and so conceived to be Believers by you, and consequently members of Christ the Head, cannot be mem­bers of your Church, except they sweare to your Church go­vernment, which you cannot make good from Gods Word. Now to refuse communion to these who are knowen to be mem­bers of Christs body, and to separate from them is all one, and therefore in this you separate your selves from Christs Body.

The Author addeth. The visible Church is said to be the habi­tation of God by the Spirit, Eph. 2. 22. to be the Temple of the Ho­ly Ghost, and the Spirit of God to dwell in them, 1 Cor. 3. 16, 17. To he espoused to Christ as a chaste Virgin. 2 Cor. 11. and sonnes and daughters of the Lord God Almighty. 2 Cor. 6. 18. And are exhorted to be followers of him as deare children, Eph. 5. 1. Now how can the visible Church be the members of the Body and the [Page 258] Spouse of Christ, & c. Except they be in charitable discerning (as indeed the Holy Ghost discribeth them to be) Saints by calling. 1 Cor. 1. 2. and faithfull Brethren, Gal. 1. 2. and that not only in exter­nall profession (for these are too high stiles for hypocrites) but in some measure of sincerity and truth.

Answ. The argument must be thus. These only we are to admit members of the visible Church, who in the judgement of charity are conceived to be such as were the members of the visible Church of Corinth and Ephesus.

But only such as are the habitation of God by his Spirit, and the sons and daughters of the living God, not only in profession, but in some measure of truth and sincerity, were the members of the visible Church of Corinth and Ephesus:

Ergo, such onely are we to admit to be members of the visible Church.

Now this argument concludeth not what is in question; Ergo, only these are to be admitted members of the visible Church, whom we conceive to be the Spouse of Christ, and truely rege­nerated. Now if our conception be erroneous (as it cannot be infallible) then we may admit these who are not regenerated, to the Church-membership, if we conceive them to be regenera­ted; and so our Brethren say falsely, that the admitted must be Saints and faithfull, not only in profession, but in some measure of sincerity und truth, for these are members of the invisible Church who are truly and in a measure of sincerity regenerated, if our conception be not erroneous: yet it is by accident, that they are admitted de facto, who are not Saints in truth, for the Church may be deceived, and receive in for members of the Head Christ, hypocrites and such as are not the Habitation of God by his Spirit, but of Satan; as is cleare in Ananias and Saphira admitted by the Apostles to Church-fellowship, Acts 5. 1. 2. and in Simon Magus, Acts 8. admitted to the Church and bapti­zed by the Apostolick Church, who was yet in the Gall of bit­terness.

But. 1. The assumption is false, for the Apostle admitted to be members of the Church visible of Corinth and Ephesus, not only Saints by true profession, but also carnall men, deniers of the Resurrection, partakers of the Tables of Divells, and in [Page 259] Ephesus false Apostles and Liers, Revel. 2. 3. But Paul speaketh of Corinth according to the best part: for the Epistle and Doctrine of the covenant is written and preached for the Elects sake and for Believers; neither is the covenant of grace made with the Reprobate and Unbelievers, nor doe the promises of the co­venant, indeed, and in Gods Intention belong to the visible Church, though the Word be preached to carnall men for their conviction. 3 This proposition is false (these onely we are to admit to the visihle Church, whom we conceive to be Saints, and are in the judgement of charity perswaded they are such) for the Apostles admit all Professors, even three thousand at one Ser­mon in one day, Acts 2. and they could not be perswaded in the judgement of charity, that they were all Saints. 4. This argument sayth, that all the visible Church of Ephesus was a Spouse betrothed to Christ, and Saints by calling, which the Word of God sayth not. For were all the carnall in Corinth betrothed as one chaste Virgin to Christ? were these who called themselves Apostles in Ephesus and tryed by Church censures to be Liers, Revel. 2. 2, 3. betrothed to Christ as a chaste Virgin? were all the visible Church the sinnes and daughters of the Lord God Almighty? and that not only in profession but in some mea­sure of sincerity and truth? It is true, the stiles given to the Church of Corinth are too high to be given to hypocrites, but these stiles are not given to that Church precisely, as visible and as a professing Church, as you suppose, but as an visible and true Church of Believers: for a Church of Believers and a Church of Professors of beliefe are very different. Paul writing to the Corinthians writeth to a visible Church, but he doth not speake alwayes of them as a visible Church, but as of an invisible, when he calleth them Temples of the Holy Ghost, Saints by calling, &c. he wrote the Epistles to the incestuous man, whom he command­eth to cast out of the Church.

We reade (saith the Author) Acts 2. 43. that the Lord added to the Church such as should be saved, and how then shall we adde to the Church, such as God addeth not; such as have no shew of any spirituall worke in them to any spirituall discerning? Ought not the Lords Stewards to be faithfull in Gods House? And to doe nothing therein, but as they see God going before them, receiving [Page 260] whom he receiveth, and refusing whom he refuseth. So upon this ground Paul willeth the Romans to receive a weak brother, because God hath received him, Rom. 14. 1, 2, 3.

Answ. Gods acts of speciall and gratious providence, are not rules of duties to us; God addeth to the Church as it is invisible and Christs Body, it followeth not therefore we are to adde to the Church visible as visible. Gods adding is invisible by giving Faith and saving grace to some to professe sincerely, be­cause we see not Faith nor sincerity, therefore Gods adding can­not be a rule to our adding. God doth adde a person falling into an open scandall to the Church invisible, having given him true Faith, but the Church is not to adde him, but to cut him off, if he be obstinate to the Church, and refuse him, and so this proveth nothing, nor is the place, Rom. 14. by any, except your selves, expounded of a receiving into a Church-communion, as is elsewhere declared. 2. Where there is no shew of saving worke of conversion; there you thinke the Stewards want God go­ing before to receive, but then except God be seene to goe before to regenerate, the Church Stewards cannot follow to adds such to the Church; but since that same power that casteth out of the Church holdeth out of the Church, if any after they be received, shall be found to be not added of God, because they be not regenerated, yet we are not to cast any out for non-regene­ration, even knowen, except it breake out into scandals, and then the person is not cast out for non-regeneration, for though he were knowen to be regenerated, yet for scandals the Church is obliged to cast him out, because the scandall leaveneth the whole Church, and. 2. The casting out is a meane to save the spirit in the day of the Lord. But I prove, none are to be cast out for non-regeneration, where there be no outbreakings into scandalls. 1. Because, de occultis Ecclesia non judicat, non-Regeneration where it is not backed with publick scandalls is a hidden thing, that the Church can neither judge nor censure. 2. None are to be cast out but for such a scandall, that if the party deny, should be proved by two witnesses, as Christs Law provideth, Mat. 18. 16. 1 Tim. 5. 19. 3. Onely publick scandalls which of­fend many, are to be censured by the Church, 1 Tim. 5. 20. that others may feare. But non-regeneration breaking out into [Page 261] no scandalls, can neither be proved by witnesses, if the party deny, nor is it a seene thing which giveth publick scandalls, and therefore is not the object of Church censures. For it is evident though the Stewards see some not regenerated, and so not added by the Lord to the Church they are to adde these same and cannot cast them out. And yet God goeth before them in adding them to the visible Church, when they professe the truth. 3. God addeth such as should be saved to the visible Church by baptisme, because the adjoyning to a visible Church is a way to salvation, but it followeth not that all whom God addeth to the visible Church are saved ones, for then the visible Church should consist only of believers, which only Anabaptists teach. 4. Whereas he sayth, The Stewards should be faithfull, and should not adde except God adde, it seemeth to infer that either all the people are Stewards, and so Officers contrary to Gods Word, Eph. 4. 11. 1 Cor. 12. 29. or that onely officers admit Church-members, which is against our Brethrens Doctrine, for they teach, that the whole multitude of believers are only to adde and cast out.

3. If Peters confession (sayth the Author) be a Rock on which The Way of the Churches in N. E. Ibid, the visible Church (to which onely the Keys are given) is built, then to receive these who can hold forth no such profession is to build without a foundation.

Answ. This conclusion is against your selves, no lesse then against us, except all and every one whom you admit, be buil­ded upon this Rock; if there be hypocrites in your Church (as you cannot deny it) then you build without a foundation. 2. By this, Peter before this confession was an un-churched Pastor built upon no Church-foundation, 3. By this place is not pro­ved that the keys are given to the Church of Believers, but to the Ministers, for then against no parochiall Church can the gates of Hell prevaile. All the Fathers with good reason, as Au­gustine, Chrysostome, Cyrill, Tertullian, Hieronim. Nazianzen, Cyprian, Ambrose, &c. And our Divines against Papists (whom you side with in this) deny, that Christ meaneth here of the visible Church, such as Rome or Corinth, but of the catholick and invisible Church.

4. When (saith the Author) Christ saith, Mat. 22. 12. Friend, [Page 262] how camest thou here not having thy wedding garment, he doth in­timate a taxing of these, by whose connivence he came.

Answ. The contrary is in the Text, v. 9. Goe ye therefore to the high wayes, and as many as you finde, bid. Here is a charge that ministers invite and call all, and so the Church is a compa­ny of externally called, though few of them be chosen, as v. 14. and their obedience is commended, v. 10. so these servants went out into the high wayes, and gathered together all, as many as they found both good and bad. This is a praising rather then a taxing, seeing they are commanded, without trying or selecting only the regenerated, to call in as many as they finde both good and bad. For as many as you finde is as good in sense, as both good and bad, and the latter doth expound the former, and when the Lord commandeth them to bring in as many as they finde, and they finde in the streetes both good and bad, therefore they bee commanded to bring in both good and bad. 2. Yea, the very scope of the parable is contrary to this; the scope is that many are called externally, and so are the visible Church and that by Gods speciall command both here, v. 9. 10. and Luk. 14. v. 17. v. 21. v. 24. and yet few are chosen, and of the invisible Church. And Luk. 14. severall times the servants or pastors call all (by the Lord of the feasts commandement) without exception of regene­rated or not regenerated.

5. Christ in the parable imputeth it to the sleepines and negli­gence of the servants, that tares were sowen amongst his wheat, Mat. 13. 35, 38, 39. Ergo, Pastors are to be blamed that there be scandalous persons in the visible Church.

Answ. This doth but strengthren Anabaptists who object­ed the same An [...]ibaptist. in coloquio francola [...]ns. It is a fault that a very popish Doctor Aquinas condemneth. Theologia symbolic [...] non est argumentativa. For it is not said, while the servants sleeped, the envious man did s [...]w his seed, but while men sleeped, which is spoken (saith Pareus com. ib. Pareus) according to the manner of men, for otherwise Gods providence can hinder the growing of tares; and Cajetan com. Cajetan saith, here is not accused the negligence of pastors, and certainly since as Bullinger com. Bul­linger observeth well, Christ when he expoundeth the parable, passeth this part of it, to teach us (as Calvin com. ib. Calvin saith) not to presse every part and tittle of a parable, except we would be (saith [Page 263] Bullinger) Christo argutiores, sharper sighted then Christ, and therefore the Author alleadgeth that by sleeping of men is under­stood the negligence of pastors, but that is beside the Text and is not expounded at all of Christ, but signifieth that men cannot see the hollownesse and falsehood of Hypocrites, till it breake out in their actions, no more then the sleeping husband­man can see when weeds grow up in his F [...]elds. And if the Lord here condemne the sleepinesse of Pastors, for suffering scandalcus Professors to be members of the Church, how doth the Lord forbid these servants to plucke up the tares, but to let them grow till Harvest? for he commandeth the officers to cast out of the Church and excommunicate the scandalous persons. Yea certainly, seeing the Field is the Field of the visible church, it maketh for us against our Brethren, that wicked men are growing in the visible church. It is true that Barow with the Ana­baptistes Barow discov. of a false Church. expound the Field to be the Field of the World, mistaking Christs Words, v. 41. which indeed signifie the Field of the visible Kingdome of Christ, because the World of all mortall men is not the Lords Field, where he soweth his Wheate, but the visible Church only is such a Field. For seeing the Gos­pell, the immortall seed of the regenerate, 1 Pet. 1. 23. is not sowen through the whole World of mortall men, Psal. 147. 19 20. Mat. 10. 5, 6. Acts 16. 6. but only in the visible Church, the Field must be Christs Field, or his World of Church-Profes­sors. And also by this, their exposition falleth, for then it is the sleepines and sloth of Preachers that wicked men are borne in the World of mortall men, which is absurd.

We are bidden, 2 Tim. 3. 5. Turne away from such as have a form of godlines, and have denied the power thereof; Ergo, we cannot joyne The Author objecteth. Ib. in Church communion with them.

Answ. It is cleare by this argument, to our Brethren, that one and the same reason holdeth for turning away, and separa­tion from all persons and Churches, which are not inchurched by covenant, and constituted of visibly regenerated persons, and the not admitting Church-members. So our Brethren by this professe the lawfulnesse of separation from all Churches, except from their owne. 2. No marvell then Paul will have Timothy to separate from Apostates and from Resisters of the truth, v. 8. and [Page 264] from proud boasters, blasp [...]emers, Traitors. For such are to be excommunicated, as 1 Tim. 6. 3. 5. At l [...]quitur Paulus (saith Parkerus de polit l. 1. 6. 14. p. 41. Parkerus) de fundamentali corruptione istius Doctrinae, qu [...] est secundum pi [...]tatem: but Paul here forbiddeth to exhort the proud and malitious blasphemers and resisters of the Truth, and not to waite upon them any longer, whereas otherwise he had said in the end of the preceding Chapter, 24. 25. 26. O­thers, who are detained in the snare of Satan, must be waited on, and instructed with meekenesse, if God will give them Repentance; Ergo, Tim thy was as a Pastor to instruct unconverted persons, and to joyne in communion with them, but as for desperate enemies and blasphemers, he was not to waite on them, nor to exhort them with meekenesse. And if this Text prove any thing it will conclude against our Brethren, that such as deny the power of godlinesse, should not be hearers of the Word, and farre lesse (as our Breathren reason) members of the visible Church.

Can any (sayth the Author) judge such persons fit materials for the constituting and edifying of a Church, who are more fit for The Author ibid. the ruine and destruction of the Church, such as leave their first love (as all hypocrites will at length do) they procure the removall of the candlestick.

Answ. The argument must be thus formed. All these whom God intendeth shall edifie and not ruine the Church, are to be only members of the visible Church: but all knowen hypocrites are such; Ergo. The proposition is false, for if we speake of Gods se­cret Intention and his decreeing Will; It is not a rule for the Church to square and to regulate them in the choysing or refu­sing Church-members, because God intendeth in his decreeing wi [...]l, that many hypocrites, such as Judas and D [...]mas, shall be Church-members, and let our Brethren judge if they be fit ma­terialls to edifie the Church. If we speake of Gods revealed will, the proposition also is false; for by our Brethrens Doctrine, it is Gods revealed will that the Church receive as Church-members latent hypocrites, such as Simon Magus, Acts 8. who are conceived to be regenerated, as the church, Acts 8. concei­ved Simon Magus to be a sound Believer, as our Brethren say, and yet latent hypocrites, are no lesse unfit materialls to build the [Page 265] Church, then knowen hypocrites. 2. We doe not thinke that hypocrites fallen from their first love, and by scandalous liv­ing declaring themselves to be such should bee kept in the Church. But so the Author alleadgeth, Revel. 2. That the Church of Ephesus falling from her first love, must bee a false constituted Church, in which there were members fitter to ruine, then to edifie the Church. And yet certaine it is, Paul, Eph. 1. and Christ, Rev [...]l. 2. acknowledgeth the Church of Ephesus to be a true visible Church.

We passe (saith the Author) the types of the Old Testament, which yet are not without their due weight. Rough stones were not Ibid. laid in the building of Salomons Temple till they were hewen and prepared before, 1 King. 6. 7. and behold a greater then Salo­men is h [...]re, the attendance of the porteres suffering none to enter into the Temple who were uncleane (2 Chron. 23. 19.) doth evi­dently type forth the watchfulnesse of the officers of Christs Church, to suffer none uncleane in estate or in this course of life, to enter into the fellowship of the Church, which ought to be a communi­on of Saints. Their apology sayth A [...]olog. c. 9. though all Israel were ad­mitted to the fellowship of the Ordinances administrated in the syna­gegne, yet none uncleane were admitted into the Temple; for Revel. 21. without are dogs, &c. So Master Can and Robinson presse Can. necessit. of separat c. 4. sect. 3. p. 175. this place.

Answ. In this Type many things are loose and doubtfull. 1. We desire a warrant from the Word, that the Temple was a Type of a visible Congregation, and that all must be as really holy before they enter into a visible congregation, as they be­hoved to be Typically holy, who entered into the Temple of Jerusalem. The Temple is a Type of Christs Body, Iohn 2. and of the Church of the New Testament invisible, which must consist of sanctified ones, but how it is a Type of the visible Church we see not. For the Lords spirituall building whereof the Corner-stone and the foundation is Christ▪ is the Church invisible built by Faith as lively Stones upon Christ, 1 Pet: 2. 7. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious, v. 5. yee al­so as living Stones are built up a spirituall House. opposite to the disobedient, v. 7. who stumble at the Word, v. 8. 1 Cor. 3. 9. yee are Gods building, Eph. 2. 20, 21, 22. Expressely the building [Page 266] are these who are built on the Doctrine of the Prophets and A­postles, and grow up into an holy Temple in Christ, and are the habitation of God through his Spirit. This cannot agree to a vi­sible Church, the members whereof may be (as our Brethren teach from Revel. 2.) Hypocrites who fall from their first love. Yea also the laying on of stones on the bulding is not the act of in­churching, or of union to a Church, as it must be, if the com­parison prove the poynt, but the joyning of the stones to the building is the union of these stones by Faith to Christ, the chiefe corner stone, as is expounded, 1 Pet. 2. To whom com­ming as to a living stone, v. 5. yee also as liveing stones are built, &c. Yea, and Peter doth not build this comfortable Doctrine all upon the comforts of a Church-state in a single congrega­tion; for many of these to whom he writ, were dispersed and persecuted through Pontus, Asia, and Cappadocia, &c. And might have, and had an Union with Christ by Faith with­out a Church Union in a Parish. 2. Though in this Type were signified a morall obligation, that all before they be in­churched in a visible Congregation, should be converted, how is it proved that the Church should receive none to a visible Congregation till they bee converted? for these are farre different. All should be converted, but there is no new Law commanding the Church to receive none into her fellowship, but the converted. 3. The hewers of stones or builders of the Temple, must Typifie Pastors in Office, dressing stones for the spirituall building, our Brethren make them to Typifie pri­vate Christians out of Office, and deny that any Pastors as Pastors doe fit and prepare stones to bee layd on the spi­rituall building. Also none layd stones on that Temple save onely builders by Office, but by our Brethrens Doctrine, onely Pastors doe not convert Soules. There were no Stones at all in the Temple of Jerusalem, but choice and well squared stones, are no members of the visible Church but the chosen of God?

3. If the Porters typifie the Ministers of visible Churches, first only Porters hold out the uncleane; Ergo, onely Pastors should hold out the scandalous, but you admit the whole Church with equall authority to take in, or refuse Church-members. 2. If the [Page 267] Temple be a Type of the visible Church, then no prophane per­son, nor uncircumcised in heart should meet with the visible Church to heare the Word, for hearing of the word prophanes the holy things of God. This you cannot say, for infidels may be, as you say, fellow-partners with the Church, in hearing the word. 3. Robinson holdeth Robinson [...] [...]6. that Abrahams seed, and so all the Jewes were to separate themselves from the world, that they might be a visible Church to God, but we read not that the porters were to hold out any wicked person. Yea Jer. 7. pro­fessedly they came to the Temple of the Lord who were theeves, adulterers, and wicked persons. And so by that neither are the porters of the visible Churches of the New Testament to hold out unconverted persons because they are unconverted.

Lastly, the place, Revel. 22. 15. For without are dogges, &c. is fouly abused when it is applied to the visible Church, where there may be, and ordinarily are dogges; yea and liers, Revel. 2. 2. It is true that our divines say, that it is one & the same church which is both visible and in­visible, and that visibility is an accident of the church, but they then speake of the Catholick visible Church, but if we speak of a particular visible Church in this, or that place, all in such a Church as they exist, are either holy or prophane, but neither is holi­nesse, nor pro­phanes essen­tiall to a church visible, as vi­sible. idolaters, v. 14. Napper, Pareus, Marlorat, expoundeth it of the Kingdome of glory, for it is that Kingdome spoken of, Rev. 21. 27. but within that Kingdome cannot enter any thing that defileth, neither what soever worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lambes booke of life, But it is a­gainst all reason and the Lords Word that in the visible Church is nothing that defileth, that is no sinne, but onely those who are written in the Lambes book of life. This is the very doctrine of Anabaptists though we know our deare brethren hate that Sect, and their Doctrine.

Robinson Justi. separat p. 97. Robinson. The purest Church on Earth may consist of good and bad in Gods Eye, but the question is about the true and naturall members, whereof the Church is orderly gathered, but as it were fond Philosophy, in the discription of Wives and Children, to make Rebellion a naturall property of a child, and Whoredome of a Wife, so it is as profane Divinity to make ungodly persons the true matter of the Church, and prophanenesse a property of the same, because many seeming Saints creepe in.

Answ. If the holiest Church visible on Earth consist of good and bad, before God, then to be partakers of the Divine nature, Temples of the holy Ghost, Saints by calling, is not of the es­sence of a visible Church, nor is it essentiall to make one a mem­ber [Page 268] of the visible Church, that he be converted. It is sufficient that he be a professor of the Faith. And it is a poore compa­rison to say, that prophannesse cannot be put in the description of a visible Church, for in the essence of a visible Church as visible, we neither include Holinesse nor Propanenesse, but only a visible com­pany professing the Faith of Christ and called by the Ministery of the Word, whether they be Believers or Unbelievers it is all one, neither of the two belongeth to the essence of a visible church: a visible Church is saved in the number of fourty, all being conver­ted, or in 40. being all unconverted, so they be externally called by the Ministery of the Gospell and prosesse the same. And it is as foolish to make holinesse the essence of a child, as to make it of a visible Church, and as vaine to make chastity the essence of a married Wife; for this is not our philosophy, but a conceit of Mr. Robinson falsely imputed to us.

Robinson. Ibid. 97. Robinson. All the Churches that ever the Lord planted consisted of good only, as the Church of the Angells in Heaven and of mankind in Paradise. God hath also these same ends in creating and restoring his Churches, and if it were the Will of God that persons notoriously wicked should be admitted into the Church, then should God directly crosse himselfe and his owne ends, and should receive into the visible covenant of grace, such as were out of the visible estate of grace, and should plant such in his Church for the glory of his Name, as served for no other use, then to cause his Name to be blasphemed.

Answ. This argument proveth that the visible Church is not a visible Church, except it consist of onely holy and gratious persons, without any mixture; and so not only holinesse in pro­fession, but holinesse reall and before God is required essenti­ally to a visible Church. Then Pastors, Doctors and Professors, binding and loosing, clave non errante, are not a visible Church. Yea, this is downe right Anabaptisme that no visible Churches are on Earth, but such as consist of reall Saints only. 2. It is most ignorantly reasoned, that God in creating Man and An­gells good, did not intend that they should fall by his permission, but that they should continue holy and then God was frustrated of his end, as Arminians and Socinians Teach. So sayth Arm. Antip. p. 60. Arminius Antiperk. Corvinus ep. ad Wallachros p. 19. Corvinus. The Remonstrants [Page 259] Remonst. in script. Synod. art. 2. p. 256. in apolog. c. 9. sol. 105. at Dort, and Socinus contra puticum. c: 10 sol. 32 [...]. Socinus, that God intendeth and purposeth many things which never come to passe. 2. His Decrees faile and are changed. 3. Men may make Gods Decrees of election fast and sure, or loose and unsure, as they please. 3. Here is much ignorance that God intendeth nothing that may be against the glory of obedience due to him, as Law-giver; as if sinners and hypocrites being in the Church because they are dishono­rable to God, should crosse Gods end, and purpose: so Ter­tullian Tertullian contra Marcio­nem. O ca [...]es &c. Si Deus bonus & praes­cius futuri & potens, cur homi­nem possus est lahi? bringeth in some whom he calleth dogges, thus reason­ing against providence, which suffereth sinne to be in the World so contrary to his Will and goodnesse: And who de­nieth but Christ commanded Judas to preach, and that the Apostles according to Gods Will and Cammandement recei­ved Ananias, Saphira, Simon Magus in the visible Church by baptizing them (for I hope the Apostles sinned not against Gods revealed Will in admitting them to the visible Church.) And shall we say that God directly in that crosseth himselfe and his own ends, because God gathered hypocrites into his Churcch, and yet they dishonour and blaspheme the Name of God? Whiles Robinson saith, Gods maine end in gathering a visible Church is, that they being separated Robins. p. 98. from the World, may glorifie his Name, he speaketh grosse Arminianisme, that God faileth in his ends. Lastly, he saith that God cannot will that persons notoriously wick­ed should be in his visible Church, for then he should crosse him­selfe and his owne ends advert (notoriously) is vainely added, seeing we teach that notoriously wicked ought to be cast out of the visible Church; as also if he shall will wicked persons, let alone notoriously wicked, or latent hypocrites to be in the Church, yea or in this visible World, he should by this Ar­minian argument crosse himselfe and his owne ends? Do you be­lieve with Arminians that Gods end is, that Angells and men should have stood in obedience, and that a Redeemer should never come to save sinners? And that blasphemy and sinne is against Gods purpose and intended end, and that sinne crosseth him? but when all is done it is his intention and revealed will that hypocrites be invited to the visible and preached covenant, and yet he knoweth that they are out of the visible, yea and invisible state of grace.

[Page 260] Robinson p. 98. Robinson. In planting the first Church in the seed of the woman, there were only Saints without any mixture, now all Churches are of one nature and essentiall constitution, and the first is the rule of the rest.

Answ. Though God planted Adam and Eve two restored per­sons, to be the first repenting Church; from Gods fact you cannot conclude a visible Church gathered by men, should be voyd of all mixture, so as it is no visible Church; if it be a mixed com­pany of good and bad, this is contrary to his owne comman­dement, Mat. 22 9. Go and call as many as you finde. 2. Gods acts are not rules of morall duties, his Word and Commande­ment doth regulate us, not his Works. God hardeneth Pha­raos heart, should Pharao harden for that his owne heart? God forbid.

Robinson. Cajan that evill on was broken off, and cast out of the Church, and by Moses it is imputed for sin, that the sonnes of God [...]id. married with the daughters of men; Ergo, it is far more unlawful to contract with the wicked in a religious covenant of the communion of Saints.

Answ. Wee grant such as Cain are to be excommunicated, but what then? Ergo, none can be members of a visible Congre­gation but such as Abel, we love not such consequences, a Though God forbade his people to marry with the Canaanites, yet he forbade not that the Godly and ungodly should come to the Temple together, and that Noah and cursed Cham should be in one Arke together. 3. Though it be a sinne that the wicked should mix themselves with the godly and come unto the Kings supper without the wedding garment, yet that is not the question, but if the pastors inviting all to come to the supper do sin, and 2. If the Church be not a true visible Church, though it consist of good and bad.

Robinson. Circumcision is a seale of the righteousnesse of Faith, Page 98. Gen. 17. 10. Rom. 4. 11. Now to affirme that the Lord will seale up with the visible seale of Faith any visibly unrighteous and faithlesse person, were, that God should prophane his own Or­dinance.

Answ. God doth by this argument profane his owne seale, when a visibly wicked person is sealed with the seale, as when [Page 261] one visibly unrighteous is sealed, for the latent hypocrite pro­faneth the seale of Righteousnesse, as the open and visibly un­righteous and faithlesse person doth. Yet it is Gods com­mand that the latent hypocrite have the seales of Righteous­nesse, since the Church conceiveth him to be a sound profes­sor; Ergo, by your Doctrine God commandeth to prophane his owne seales, but this is the wicked reasoning of Arminians, and Socinians. So Arminians against Perkins, Corvinus against Molin [...]us, the Arminians at the synod of Dort would prove an universall grace accompanying the Word and Sacraments, and they say that Sacraments doe not seale remission of sins, redemption in Christ, and that they be empty and toome ordinances yea and mock­ing signes, except all who receive the seales, both elect and repro­ [...]ate be redeemed in Christ, and have grace to believe. But the truth is, God doth not prophane his owne seales, because he com­mandeth that they be received with Faith: and let us see where any male child, reprobate or elect, borne amongst the Iewes, but he is by Gods Commandement to be circumcised, yet that seale was an empty ordinance to thousands in Israel. 3. Nor is the seale, a seale of righteousnesse, actu secundo, sed actu primo it is a seale of righteousnesse, as the Word of God is the power of God to Salvation, not to all, nor of it selfe, but by the ef­ficacious grace of God, to every one that believes.

Iohn Baptist (saith Robinson) Christ and his Apostles being to repaire the desolation of Sion, did not by the coactive Lawes of men Robinson Justif. of lepat. p. 99. s [...] ffle together good and bad, as intending a new monster or Chi­maera, but admitted of such and none other, as confessed their sins Luk. 7. 29. 30. and justified God, and were not of John 15. 18. 19, 20. the World, but chosen out of it, and Acts 2. 41. 42. did receive the Word gladly, and communicated all of them in all things, as every one had neede, and that in glad­nesse and singlenesse of heart, as receiving Testimony of the Holy Ghost himselfe, that they were such as should be saved, as were Act 20 28. all of them purchased by the Blood of God, as Rom. 1. 8. for all for whom there was cause to thinke God, as whom the Apostle Phili. 1. 3. 4, 5. did remember in his prayers with gladnesse, being perswaded that God would perfect his good Worke begun in them, as became him to judge of them all, being all partakers of the grace of God with him in the confirmation of the Gospell, and after whom all he longed [Page 262] from the 1 Thes. 1. 2, 3. & 2 Ep. 2, 3. very heart roote in Christ, and for all whom he gave thankes, alwayes making mention of them in his prayers, without ceasing remembring their effectuall Faith, diligent love, and patient hope in the Lord Jesus, which did grow in every one of them.

Answ. Here is much Scripture abused to no good use; 1. that coactive Laws of Princes be the onely way of inchurching peo­ple, we never taught; but of this hereafter. 2. He calleth the Kingdome of God which is a draw-net of good and bad Mat. 13. 47. 48. a called company invited to the Supper of the Gospell, whereof many are called, but few are chosen. Mat. 22. 9. 14 which is the field where grow Wheat and Tares Mat. 13. 36, 37, 38. the Barne-floore wherein is Corne and Chaffe. Mat. 3. 12. He calleth (I say) these men good and bad shuffled together in a new monster or Chimaera. Sinne is a monster, but that it should be in the world is not without the decree of efficacious providence, except we turne Epicures with Arminians. 3. That all and every one baptized by Iohn Baptist justified God, and were true converts is more charity, then the verity of the Text Luk. 7. can warrant. 4. And that the visible Church con­sisteth onely of men chosen out of the World, as he spake from Ioh. 15. is a plaine contradiction to that (many are called, but few chosen out of the World) and serveth much for Huberians, who will have all the visible Church chosen, and for Arminians who make all in Gods intention separated from the World, and so make election to life eternall, as universall in the visible Church as the preached Gospell. 5. It is an adding to the Text, Acts 2. That the visible Church (all of them) and you say did communicate in all things with singlenesse of heart, and were to be saved. For we have not so much charity to bestow on An [...] ­nias, Saphira, and Simon Magus, who were added to the Church visible: but why call you this the Testimony that the Holy Ghost giveth of all them? where did you reade or dreame this? The Holy Ghosts Testimony is true, and what Divinty is it, that all added to the visible Church shall be saved? deeme you with Origen and some others that none are eternally d [...]mned? 8. And you say of the visible Church, Acts, 20. 28. All of them were redeemed by the Blood of God. If Luke had said so, I could have believed it, but your saying is groundles. All whom they are commanded to feede, and all who were to be devoured [Page 263] by grievous Wolves, and all the drawen away Disciples of false Teachers, 29. 30. Are all these redeemed by the Blood of God? Th [...] Church is an Arminian Chimaera: that all to whom the Gospell is preached by Feeders and Pastors, must be obliged to believe that Christ by his Blood redeemed all and every one of them, is Arminianisme. Corvinus contra. Molm. c. 27. Corvinus and A [...]n. Antip. p. 72. 73. Jac. Arminius, Grevincho. contra. Am [...]sium. p. 8. 9, 14. 15, 21. Nic. Grevinchovius Episcop. disp. 6. Thess. 1. 2. Episcopius, Socinus prae­bet. Theol. c. 22. f. 139. Socinus Smalicus resp. ad 4. par. resu Smigles. c. 28 s. 259. Smaleius Ostorodius Iustit. c. 36, 37. sect. 2. Ostorodius will thanke you, for they hold that Christ gave his Blood for all the damned in Hell, and purpose­ly to redeem them, and for his part gave his life for all the World, and especially for the visible Church. 7. That the Apostle gave thanks to God, for the sound faith of all who professed the Gos­spell at Rome, and were perswaded that God would perfect the worke of salvation in all and every one of the Philippians, is a wicked dreame, that they were all partakers of the grace of the Gospell, and that all the Thessalonians, without exception had effectuall faith, diligent love, and patient hope. All this is said, without ground of Gods Word: and contrary to the Word. Were there none, Rom. 6. Servants of sinne? None who walked after the flesh? Rom. 8 So Rom. 14. and Phil. 3. 2. 18. Phil. 2. 21. 1 Thess. 4. 2. 2 Thess. 3. 8 9, 10. None in Philippi whose God was their belly? none who minded earthly things? No dogs? No evill workers?

Robinson. ib. p. 104. Robinson; The Jewes were forbidden by God, under the Law to sow their Field with diverse seeds, and will he sow his own Field with Wheate and Tares? and Page 103. the Lords Field is sowen with good seed, Mat 13, 24 27, 28. His Vine Noble Jer. 2. 21. and all the seed true, his Church Saints and beloved of God Rom. 1. 7. but through the malice of Satan, and negligence of such as keep the field adulterate seed and abominable persons may be.

Answ. God who is above a law forbiddeth the Father to kill the son, yet may he command Abraham to kill his son, in po­sitive Lawes, such as sowing of seeds, Gods practice is not a Law to us; I remember Jesuites, especially Suarez, Didac. Ruiz Molina, Laessius, Lod. Meratius Hiero. Fasolus and their Disciples, the Arminians, labour to prove that God cannot pre­determinate the will of man to the positive acts that are in sin: For then he should be the author and cause of sin which [Page 264] he forbiddeth us to do, and he would not do himselfe, say they, that which he forbiddeth us. Which is but in the ge­nerall a weake answer, for it followeth not hence, that he is the author of the malice, because he praedeterminates the will to the positive act of sinning. For though God in his working Providence permit wicked men to be in the Church (as you cannot deny his providence here) yet doth it not follow, that he soweth wicked men in the Church. Nor doe we say, that it is the Lords appoving and revealed will that hypocrites should joyne with his friends at the marriage supper of the Gospell, they wanting their wedding garment. It is hy­pocrites sin that they joyne themselves to the Church, they being heart Enemies to the truth. And in this respect God soweth them not in the Church. But the question is if the Church and Pastors sin in receiving such into the bosome of the Church, because they see not, in conscience, that they are regene­rated: That we deny, yea the servants bid all come whom they finde. Mat. 22. 9. and that by the commandement of God. And in this respect God doth not plant his visible Church a noble Vine, and a Field sowen with good seed, yea it is his revealed Will that the Church and the Servants of God invite all to come to Wisdomes banquet, Prov. 9. 2. 3. and so all the called externally are not the choise Vines. This you are to prove, that the visible Church in all its members, or essenti­ally as it is a visible Church is a choise Vine, and an holy seed. Nor is it the Pastors negligence that Tares grow in the Lords Field (though it be Satans malice) yea the Pastors here are to invite all to come in, and to call externally all to come to Christ. That they who are invited give not obedience is their own wickednesse, but neither the Churches, nor the Pa­stors sinne.

(a) Robinson. There be amongst you hundreds and thousands (b) Robinson. Justis. 212. partakers of the life of God in respect of your persons, but in res­pect of your Church Communion, and your Ordinances, you are all alike, because you are all alike partakers of one set forme of worship.

Answ. The Church of the Jewes so should be a falsely con­stituted Church, because however there were many Believers [Page 265] amongst them, yet all are commanded to receive one Ministery of Sc [...]ibes and Pharisees sitting in Moses chaire. But know that the leaven of the externall worship (except it evert the foundation) doth not make the Church a falsely constituted Church.

Robinson Iustis p. 164. Robinson, Mr. Smith truely affirmeth your Church to be a greater Antichristian Ministery and worship then Rome, as the Temple which sanctifieth the gold, and the altar which sanctifieth the offering is greater then the offering: so the Temple of the New Testament, the Church and people of God, by whose Faith all the Ordinances of the Church are sanctified, is greater then the Ministery, worship, or any other Ordinance, and being Idolatrous is a grea­ter Idoll.

Answ. This is a new poynt of Divinity that the Faith of the Ministery or congregation sanctifieth the worship; as the Temple did the gold and the altar the offering: yea though the Mini­ster were a Judas, and the people latent hypocrites, the Ordi­nances of God lose no authority, for all the Ministeriall sanctifying of the Ordinances is from Christ the Instituter, not from the instruments; and the Donatists did suspend the power of the Ordinances of God, upon the holinesse, or unholinesse of the Instruments. 2. The Ministery in its substance is not An­tichristian, though it be from the Antichrist. For Prelates giving of a ministery is not to be measured by the particular intention of the Ordainers, but by the Nature of Gods Ordinances, and the generall meaning of all the Catbolick Church.

Robinson here objecteth, The Law sayth nemo potest plus juris in alium transferre, quam ipse habet. Prelates have no calling of God themselves, therefore they cannot give it to others.

Answ. Prelates reduplicativè, as Prelates have no calling, yet as Pastors they have, and Antichristian prelacy destroyeth not the essence of a Pastors office in the subject. They object, as a Prelate he ordaineth Ministers, and not as a Pastor. Answ. 1. as a Prelate he usurpeth to give a Ministery, but as a Pastor he giveth it. 2. He invadeth the place of the Church and with consent of the Church standeth for the Church, though he be not the Church, but a simple Pastor, therefore what Ministery [Page 266] he conferreth, it is the deed and fact of the Church. 3. They object, No man can give that which he hath not. Answ. No man can give that which he hath not, neque virtualiter neque formaliter, true; what he hath in no respect, that he cannot give. What he hath in vertue or in some respect, that he can give. What bap­tisme the hereticall Minister hath Ministerially, that he may give validly. Hieron. in diale [...] advers. Lucif [...]rian. Hieronimus saith, the Luciferians admitted Baptisme conferred by an Heretick, but not a Ministery, Ana­tolus was consecrated by Dioscorus, Faelix by the Arrians, as Mr. Iohn Ball answer to Can p. 98. Ball observeth. So Bellarm. de sacrific. li c. 26. Bellarmine. Gratian. de­cret c. 1. q. 1. c. 32. 32. Gratian Nazianz. Orat. 40. Nazianzen, August. con­sess. ar. S. August.

They say Apol. c. 1. we finde it by experience that the refusing of Church-communion hath been blessed of God, to their conver­sion who were holden cut. Answ. Manass [...]h his being bound in fetters was a meanes of his conversion. David by his afflictions learned to keep Gods Commandements: did therfore the perse­cuters of Manasseh or David right and lawfully?

The Apostles (say they Apol. c. 2. had commission to Baptize none but Disciples, Mat. 28. 19. Answ. See you doubt not of a warrant for Baptizing children, who are not Disciples: for then the A­postles from this place had no warrant to baptize the infants of Believers.

We should (say they Apol c. 9. open the doores of the Church more wi [...] then God alloweth, how shall we lay wittingly and willingly dead stones in the living Temple? If Christ be a Head of pure Gold, and the Churches golden candlestick, how shall we be allowed to put in leaden members?

Answ. This argument is against the Lords dispensation, be­cause not without his providence are hypocrites in the Church. It is not against his Commandement, for he alloweth and com­mandeth the Church to take in Hypocrites, so they professe the truth, and so commendeth that leaden toes and members be added to Christ the Head of gold. Christ is the Head of the invisible Church properly and according to the influence of the Life of God, but he is the head of the visible Church as it is such according to the influence of common gifts, which may be in Reprobates. And they may be this way in Christs Body, who are not of Christs Body, as Augustine sayth.

[Page 267] We are (say they) accessary to the prophaning of the Lords Or­dinances. Answ. So far as they are notoriously scandalous they are to bee cast out of the Church, and debarred from the Seales.

The Church (say they) shall be pestered with prophane and car­nall men, and the blind shall lead the blind, if all be admitted to Church f [...]llowship.

Answ. The admission or keeping in of all to partake especially of the Lords Supper, we doe not allow. 2. The multitude of carnall men in the Church is an inconvenience of providence, and resulteth by accident, from the receiving of Professors to Christs Body visible; but it is no kindly fruit growing therefrom.

A faithfull servant (say they Apol. c. 11. would admit none into his Lords House, but servicable instruments, therefore neither may the Stewards of Gods House (which is a spirituall building) admit any but men of spirituall gifts, living stones, sanctifyed and meet for the Lords Worke.

Answ. The comparison halteth many wayes. 1. All in a Noble mans house, are not stewards, you make all the Church to be stewards having the power of the Keys to put in, and out. 2. Members are received into the Church, not onely because they are serviceable, for the masters use, but to be made servicable and to be polished by the Word of God, and care of Pastors, but servants are taken into great houses because they are servicable; for if that follow, that they are made more servicable, it is not the intent of the Lord of the house, or of the under-steward