An Apologetical Narration: Or, a just and necessary VINDICATION OF CLEMENT WRITER, AGAINST A Four-fold Charge laid on him BY RICHARD BAXTER; And published by him in Print.

Pure Religion, and undefiled before God, and the Fa­ther, is this: To visit the Fatherless and Widows, in their Afflictions, and to keep himself unspotted from the World,

Jam. 1. 27.

In vain do they worship me, teaching for Doctrines, the commandments of men,

Mat. 15. 9.

Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdome prepared for you. FOR I was an hungry, and ye gave me Meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me Drink: I was a Stranger, and ye took me in: Na­ked, and ye clothed me, &c.

Mat. 25. 34, 35, 36.

Woe be to you Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites; for ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men: for ye neither go in your selves, neither suffer ye them that are entring, to go in,

Mat. 23 13, 14.

The Second Edition, with an Appendix by the same Author.

LONDON, Printed for Daniel White, and are to be sold at his Shop, at the seven Stars on the North-side of St. Pauls.

To the Reader.


I Have here set before thee the whole business between Mr. Baxter and my self, intreating thee to bear with such faults, as happily thou mayst apprehend either in me or the Book; and the rather let me move thee hereunto: First, Because I may requite thee with the like kindness, when ever thou shalt be provoked, in like manner to make thy Defence, being openly set upon, by such a potent Assailant as now I have been. Secondly, because it is more then probable, that thou and I (as well as all other men) may be mistaken in apprehend­ing of Errors, when indeed and in truth, the Error may be and many times is meerly in our own apprehension, being much vitiated by Custom and Education. Wherefore I advise thee, once and again, seriously and impartially to consider the whole matter over and over: and then also not hastily to enter into the seat of Judgment; because things of such high, deep and weighty concernment need always due and exact weighing, and that with sutable Balances, wherein humane learning must neither have the pre-eminence, nor bear any sway at all.

And especially in thy judging, be very sollicitous and ex­ceeding careful so to doe it, as neither to wrong the Truth nor thy own conscience: For if thou doest, I assure thee (whosoe­ver thou art) all the Honour and Advantage, Profit and Preferment, which thou shalt either retain or get thereby, will prove [...]tly unreparable damage at last.

Pray with me, therefore, that the eyes of our understand­ings may be opened, and anointed with Eye-salve; that we may clearly see, perfectly apprehend, and certainly judge be­tween both Persons and things that differ: And in the mean time, to exercise mutual Charity and forbearance one towards another; (at least) until our Ignorances be much less, and our Authority much more, to judge one another in these matters.


Reader, I am against my will provoked by Ri­chard Baxter, to make here my just Defence a­gainst some charge laid upon me by the name of Clem. Writer, in a Pam­phlet of his, INTITULED, A second Sheet for the Mi­nistry; wherein though he something mistakes my name, yet I suppose I am the Person he ayms at.

THe first Charge is in p. 6. thus: That Clem. Writer told him; That no man is bound to believe that Christ did rise again, or the rest of Christianity, that seeth not Miracles himself to prove it.

Answ. 1. I deny these words in manner, form, and sence, to be ever spoken by me.

And 2. If any such words, or, of like import, were spoken by me, it was to this effect and meaning; (namely,) That no unconverted or unbelieving man, is bound by God upon pain of damnation to believe and obey the Gospel, without Divine evi­dence, to attest unto him the truth thereof; whereon undoubtedly to ground that his faith, &c.

This long hath been, yet is, and must be my judgement, until I am otherwise in­formed; and I conceive, there are suffici­ent grounds both from Scripture and Rea­son, to confirm me therein. But I leave it to Gods will, (not determining) what Di­vine evidence he please to use for that pur­pose, whether Signs, Wonders, diversities of Tongues, Miracles, casting out of Devils, curing of the Lame, healing of the Sick, rai­sing of the Dead; for I finde, that by these, and other the like demonstrations of the powerful works and gifts of the Spirit, he usually confirmed the Word every­where, preach'd by his true Ministers for the conversion of men to the Faith of the Gospel; insomuch, as by the meer shadow of Peter, and by the very handkerchiefs of Paul, were special Miracles and many Cures wrought, as may be seen in Mark 16. 20. Heb. 2. 4. Act. 2. Act. 5. 14, 15, 16. Act. 8. 6, 7. 1 Cor 2. 4. Compared with Act. 19. 11, 12, 18, 19, 20. and many other places. And [Page 3] as for Tongues, these were for a sign, not for them that believe, but for them that believe not, 1 Cor. 14. 22. And we like­wise finde, that the end of Christs sending of these powerful gifts of the Spirit, (to abide with his true Ministry and Church for ever, Joh. 14. 16.) was chiefly to con­vince the unbelieving world, Joh. 16. 8. Thereby (not onely to afford them (suc­cessively in all Ages) an infallible ground of Faith, but also) to bring them under guilt of much sin, if they obeyed not the Gospel; which otherwise would have been no sin at all in them, Joh. 15. 24. And hence it was, that the Apostles themselves were commanded to stay until they were endued with power from on high, to enable them to do those mighty Works for the attestation of the truth of their Mission and Message, for the conversion of men to the Faith of the Gospel, Luk. 24. 49. Act. 1. 4, 8.

And it's likewise worthy our Observa­tion, That neither the twelve, nor yet the seventy, were sent out at first, until they had power given them over Devils and diseases, &c. whereby to enable them by Divine Evidence, to attest the truth of that their Mission, although they were then sent but to preach in the Land of Judea only, Mat. 10. 5, 6. Luk. 10. 1. &c. And these being per­sons meerly of the same Language, Kindred, and Country, might therefore have chal­lenged to have been credited by the Jews, upon their own bare testimony only, with­out [Page 4] producing any Divine Evidence at all (if any had been so to be credited:) Yet nei­ther were they, nor ought they (nor Christ himself) to be so credited in these matters, as is most evident, Joh. 10. 37. Joh. 5. 31, 34, 36. compared with Joh. 15. 24. And since that none of these were, nor ought to be so credited; how then dare any mortal man or men (of what degree, order, sort, or company soever, now upon the face of the Earth) assume, or challenge to them­selves any such Authority or Divine Prero­gative over any other man or men whatso­ever? For, as the Divine Evidences were formerly, so are they yet (for the very same ends and purposes▪) still useful and necessary to accompany the Ministry, (and so will they alway accompany the true Ministry) for the conversion of men to the Faith of the Gospel.

But for R. B. thus to extend my words besides or beyond my meaning, or to con­fine them short thereof; is not to be allowed by me, nor can it reasonably be approved by any man: for, whereas my meaning is limited onely to the conversion of unbelievers, he extends them to any, whether conver­ted or unconverted; as if I had been so irrational, as to say or think, That no man, after his Conversion to the Faith of the Gospel, was bound to believe or practise any other or further Duty of Christianity, without some new Miracle (yea, new Mi­racles) done in his sight, to prove it; for [Page 5] so much in effect his Charge amounts unto.

And who would ever think R. B. to be so void of understanding, or ingenuity rather, as to lay such and so irrational an aspersion upon any man that never did or thought him harm?

Now let any man in love convince me of my Errour in this my Position, and I shall take it kindly, and be as ready to retract and tread it under foot, as he would have me; but of all men in the world, R. B. is least able to do it, or to accuse me for it, having asserted as much, or more, himself: for in his Saints Rest, Part 2. pag. 201. of the sixth Edition, he as­serts, That Divine Faith hath ever a Divine Testimony: and in pag. 205. That we must know it to be a Divine Testimony, before we can believe, fide Divina (by a Divine Faith;) and I hope, by a Divine Faith, he intends no o­ther then a true and saving Faith, which must necessarily have a divine and infallible ground to be built on; seeing of other Faiths he plainly tells us, in pag. 201. That to be­lieve implicitely that the Testimony is Divine, or the Scripture is the Word of God, this is not to be­lieve God, but to resolve our Faith into some hu­mane Testimony, even to lay our Foundation up­on the Sands, where all will fall at the next As­sault. And in pag. 236. he expresseth him­self thus: (viz.) I demand with my self, by what argument did Moses and Christ evince to the world the verity of their Doctrine? and I finde it was chiefly by this of Miracles: and surely Christ knew the best argument to prove the Divine Au­thority [Page 6] of his Doctrine; and that which was the best then, is the best still. And in pag. 33. of his book of Infidelity, part 1. he tells us, That Tongues are not for them that believe, but for them that believe not; that is, (saith he) to shew them the power of Christ, and so convince them. And in part 4. pag. 46. of the same Book, he tells us, If it had no divine attestati­on or evidence that it is of God, then you might And, I hope, no man is bound by God to be­lieve that which he may with­out sin or danger re­ject. reject it without sin or danger.

Now let any rational and impartial man judge if R. B. himself hath not asserted suffici­ent and more then enough to justifie my Po­sition, and all that which I hold in the point, yea, and that which is tantamount the same, although in many places of his writings, he contradicts it; which is no rare thing to see in men of his undertakings, though they both speak and write much less then he hath done.

And amongst the multitudes of his failings in that and the like kinde, in his voluminous writings, thou mayst finde him friendly re­membred of some few in a small Treatise, enti­tuled, Fides Divina, which when thou hast read, then tell me, If a Bear may not be known by a small Member, even by his foot alone.

And whereas R. B. at the end of that his Charge intayles this: (viz.) Adding with­all, That indeed Antichrist may do Miracles:

What cause of exception can be taken at Answ. this my so saying, when the Scripture it self affirms, That the second Beast which came up out of the earth, (who is an Antichrist [Page 7] at least) wrought Miracles? Rev. 13. 11, 14. Rev. 19. 20.

This R. B. in his Saints Rest, pag. 206. flatly contradicts, by telling us there, That no created power can work a Miracle.

Let him be pleased hence to be asked these sober Questions.

1. Do you indeed and in truth (as you pretend) believe the Scripture to be the VVord of God?

2. And that it was confirmed by Miracles, as you assert it to be, about the midst of your Preface to your Book of Infidelity, and in divers other places of the same Book?

3. How then dare you so presumptuously put the lye upon God, by your flat contra­dicting his Word, as here you have done?

This Charge lies upon him unavoydably, unless he can prove that Beast to be an uncre­ated power: which he can never do.

But we may see here (as in many other places) how he plays Bo-peep with us, in rendring such persons abominable, who do not with all readiness, and without any chew­ing, swallow all that which he pleaseth out of his own fancy to say of the Scriptures indefi­nitely being the VVord of God, and that they Which indeed is the harder for any man to belive, because that some stuck not to raze and blot out of them sen [...]ences above 1200 years since, as Socrates reports, lib. 7. ca. 31. And what hath been the boldness of others in that or the like kinde, to do to them before and since, is not known, nor can be imagin [...]d. were confirmed by Miracles, when indeed and in truth he believes neither the one nor the other him­self; for if he did, how durst he be so bold, as flatly to contradict them, as here he hath done?

And upon my saying, that Antichrist may do Miracles, R. B. infers thus: viz. So it seems for all the talk. Miracles themselves would not serve, if they saw them.

Answ. By this your inference, you imply as if the signes and Miracles wrought by God himself, for the Confirmation of the Gospel, were no way dscernable by men from such as were or may be wrought by the Devil and his Instruments.

Is not this a casting a high disparagement upon the wisdom, power and justice of Al­mighty God, in his requiring faith and obe­dience to the Gospel, upon pain of Damna­tion, and yet produce no other nor better e­vidence for the Confirmation of the truth thereof, then Satan or his Ministers can do for the Confirmation of falshood? Doth not this amount to high Blasphemy against God himself? For did not the Signes and Miracles wrought by Moses in Egypt, so far transcend all those that were or could be wrought by the Egyptian Sorcerers, or by the Devil him­self▪ as they were apparently discernable by all that saw them, from those wrought by the Sorcerers, insomuch that the Sorcerers themselves were convinced, and openly con­fest them to be no otherwise wrought, then by the Finger of God?

And do not you your self, in your Saints Rest, part 2. pag. 232. tell us, That Irenaeus affirmeth, That in his time, the working of Mi­racles, the raising of the dead, the casting out of Devils, healing of the sick by meer laying on of [Page 9] hands and prophesying, were in force; and that some that were so raised from death, remained a­live among them long after? And that Cyprian and Tertullian mention the Note here, that these powerful gifts of the Spi­rit were both ordinary, and yet convincing ordinary casting out of Devils, and challenge the Heathen to come and see it.

And in your Saints Rest, part 3. pag. 242, 243. you do likewise tell us, That it is certain from cur­rant Testimony of Church-Records, that the gift of casting out of De­vils, and making them even to the Devils themselves, and continued 3 or 400 years at least in the Church after the Apostles: all which is granted and proved by R. B. himself. confess themselves mastered by Christ, did remain in the Church three or four hundred years at least after the Apostles.

And for this, you produce divers Authors, and after say, That no where could Satan keep his Possession, where the power of Christ did as­sault him.

And it is likewise evident by the Scripture, That the gifts of the Spirit, and the Ministry thereof, by laying on of hands, were to con­tinue in the Church, for all (that were either then or afterwards called or converted to the Faith) to partake thereof, even as well all afar off, as those that were neer, Act. 1. 5. Act. 2. 38, 39. 2 Cor. 3. 6. Gal. 3. 5. Comp. Act. 18. 12, 14 to 18. Act. 19. 1 to 7.

And it is evident also, That the Apostoli­cal Office, (to whom the Ministry of the Spirit was committed) together with the Prophe­tical and Evangelical, as well as the Pasto­ral and Doctrinal, being all such meerly [Page 10] by gift) were all joyntly by gifts to con­tinue in the true Church, for the perfecting of the Saints, &c. till we all come to the U­nity of the Faith, &c. in Christ, from whom the whole body fitly joynted together, and compacted by the effectual working of that one Spirit, by his several gifts in the mea­sure of every part, maketh encrease in the body, unto the edifying of it self in love; be­ing all baptized into that one Body, by some manifest gift of the Spirit to profit the body withal, Eph. 4. 8, 11, 12, 13, 16. 1 Cor. 12. 7, 13. For God (saith the Apostle) hath set in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, third­ly Teachers, after that Miracles, then gifts of healings, helps in Government, diversities of tongues, 1 Cor. 12. 28.

And as the gift of tongues was to con­tinue for a signe to unbelievers, so also was the gift of prophesie to continue in the Church, for the profit and comfort of belie­vers, 1 Cor. 14. 22, 31.

All which laid together, manifestly prove the continuance both of the Apostolical and Prophetical Offices in the true Church, not onely for the first age, and for four hundred years after, but also that they were and are alwayes to continue therein: and are and will be therein, wheresoever it is, and when­soever it shall be upon the face of the Earth; notwithstanding all that is or can be produ­ced or proved by R. B. to the contrary, in his proposing a lame and imperfect body of Christ, dismembred, and without his chiefest [Page 11] members, yea, and quite memberless: These spiritual diversities of manifest Gifts, being the formality of the diversity of the spiritual members of Christ, their spiritual Head: but R. B. tells the world, That these Gifts are now both useless and unnecessary, if a man might with safety take his word against both reason, scripture and experience: and albeit he may therein nevertheless easily prevaile with many weak and inconsiderate men, yea, and please many thousand others, whose in­terests are concerned, (who though they be at Daggers-drawing with him, and amongst themselves, concerning the most material points of the Gospel, yet) herein his service will be acceptable, in that he affords them help (though very little) at so dead a lift, even when they were breathing out their last of divine right both to Office and Benefice, and which was, not long since, quite dead, as may appear by their petitioning the long Parliament for its reviving; but the Parlia­ment declared (and that most truly) That all just power must be derived from the peo­ple: hence they proceed to act mighty matters, and all in the name and authority of the people of England; and still at the adjourn­ment of the Court, after a solemn cry of O yes, they founded out with a loud voice, God save the good people of England: whence will follow, as a necessary Consequence, that if any divine right remains now in England, it is in the people of England.

But a little further to the point in hand, [Page 12] and to use Christs argument against the Pha­risees slandering his casting out of Devils to be done by the Prince of Devils; If Satan, saith Christ, cast out Satan, how shall his Kingdom stand? The like may I say, If God doth not apparently distinguish the works done by his Spirit and Power, for the Confirmation of the Gospel, from those wrought by Satan, or any other created power; how shall his Wisdom, Truth and Justice, stand, in his requiring Faith and Obedience unto the Gospel, and that upon pain of damnation, meerly upon the account of the mighty works wrought for its Confirmation, and yet not to distin­guish them by some such apparent signes (from all other done by Satan or his instruments) as they might evidently and undoubtedly be known by all men? For, saith Christ, if I had not done (and that) among them, the works which none other man did, they had not had sin, John 15. 24.

The second Charge is in pag. 7. If Mi­racles, saith R. B. were ordinary, few would be moved by them, as any proof of a divine testi­mony. To this (saith he) Clem. Writer an­swers me, (miracles were convincing in the first age, when they were common.) How common? (saith R. B.) not as natural operations.

Answ. VVho ever said they were as com­mon as natural operations? not Clem. Writer. But here R. B. sets up a Dudman of his own invention, to affright Daws from question­ing his far-fetcht, false and unwarrantable Do­ctrines; and then when he pleaseth, makes [Page 13] an Adversary of it, fights it stoutly, conquers it, beats it to Clouts with his Fists; and who now can deny him his just triumph for so glorious a victory?

But to the Charge it self against Clem. Writer, for answering you, (Miracles were convincing in the first age, when they were common) is this any offence in Clem. Writer for so saying, when R. B. himself hath proved it over and over, That Miracles were both ordinary and convincing, even to the Devils themselves, not onely in the first age, but for 400 years at least after (which contain many Ages?) See this granted and proved by R. B. out of his own writings, a little before cited.

And he further acknowledgeth it in his book of Infidelity, part 1. pag. 35. where he expresseth himself as followeth: viz. Whence came the Holy-Ghost which the Lord Jesus did send down upon his Church, which sate on his Disciples in the likeness of firy cloven tongues, which filled all Churches in all parts of the world at once, how distant soever, with the miraculous gift of strange Languages, prophesying, inter­pretation, healing, casting out of Devils, or the like, that fell on men ordinarily (note that) and in such numbers, as soon as the Apostles laid their hands on them, after they were bapti­zed?

And in pag. 33. he tells us, That tongues are not for them that believe, but for them that believe not, (saith Paul, 1 Cor. 14. 22.) that it, saith R. B. to shew them the power of Christ, and so convince them.

From all which granted and proved by R. B. I thus reason: Even as the powerful gifts of the Spirit (raising of the dead, casting out of Devils, miracles, prophesie, &c.) were ordinary in the first Age of the Church, and for four hundred years at least af­ter, and yet lost not their convincing force, nor were taken by men otherwise then as some proof of a divine Testimony: So they might have been ordinary in all Ages since, and yet not lose their convincing force, nor have been taken by men otherwise then as some proof of a divine Testimony.

The third Charge is likewise in page the seventh, thus: And we (saith R. B.) have ex­perience of Millions that still do actually and stedfasty believe in Christ without miracles; and many have laid down their lives on that belief; therefore without miracles men may believe: but to this Clem. Writer saith to me, (These belie­vers of all sorts condemn each other as Here­ticks) but not (saith R. B.) as Infidels; and none but the ignorant or passionate condemn all other sorts as Hereticks.

Answ. 1. R. B. by his granting here that the ignorant and passionate do it justifies my Answer so far, as it needs no other defence.

2. By this his grant, he concludes the ge­nerality of Christians in this and late Ages, to be ignorant and passionate; and who would deny it, though thereto should be added soiteful and malicious, as in a thousand pregnant instances might be evidenced, though we should omit the late case of Mr. [Page 15] Biddle and others here, and Mr. Williams and Mr. Gorton, and others in new England, who meerly for difference in judgment from them, in matters of religion, hardly escaped with their lives?

And is not the mark of Heathens common now upon such as think themselves the best of Christians, even by this Authors own con­fession, in his Saints Rest, part 1. pag. 137. in the Margent?

3. It's granted on all sides, That Hereticks, and others who have no true Faith in Christ or the Gospel, may yet lay down their lives in maintenance of their respective Tenents, true or false, as the experience of all Ages can witness.

4. Let R. B. therefore prove that these millions were true believers in Christ, and in the true Gospel of Christ, or did or do so much as truly and undoubtedly know Christ, and the true Gospel of Christ, without any Mi­racle, or other divine evidence to attest the same: which he can never do; being good at drawing confident and strange consequences from weak, yea, and from groundless pre­misses. For

1. If these millions believe the true and onely Gospel of Christ, How is it possible for them to condemn each other as Here­ticks?

2. If they all believe it without miracles, or other divine evidence, How could or can it be by any divine Faith? for R. B posi­tively aff [...]rts, That divine faith hath ever a di­vine Testimony.

[Page 16] 3. If they all believe it by no divine Faith, but by some humane Faith, how then could or can they still, both actually and stedfastly believe, and lay down their lives on that be­lief? But that, as it was said before, mis-belie­vers may lay down their lives for their O­pinions. for all Faiths not grounded upon di­vine Testimony or evidence, are no better then humane, whose foundation (R. B. hath told us) is laid in the sand, where all will fall at the next assault?

Here it may be, R. B. will seek to relieve himself by some distinction of divine evi­dences, and tell us of some such that these millions had, or that he himself now hath, which was unknown to the primitive Churches, the Church being then in its in­fancy, and Christians but Babies (in compa­rison of us) and then fed meerly with the Doctrine of Christ, and pure VVord of God, and had then no other divine evidence then the gifts of the Spirit, with the powerful de­monstrations thereof, which these (like Children as they were) contented them­selves withall, denying themselves in many good and delicate things of this life, which we, being grown Christians, have, and know how to use and enjoy without any hurt to our selves; which the others, being then but Babies in Christ, knew not at all what to do with, unless to hurt and hinder themselves in their Christian race and warfare set before them: and therefore many needless hard­ships went they through, not knowing how to expound Christs injunctions so well and so profitable for themselves, as we now can [Page 17] and do: such as their forsaking all, and follow­ing Christ; these, simple as they were, in­stantly forsook the Riches and Profits of this World, contenting themselves meerly with Food and Rayment: as Peter said, Lord, we have forsaken all, and followed thee, what shall we have? But all such Rocks and Shelves have we avoyded, knowing the meaning of that and the like Precepts, better then so, viz. never to forsake the World, till it for­sake us; or at soonest, not till it come in di­rect competition with Christ and Christianity, (which we hope will never be.) Then, and not till then, we intend to fulfil that, and all such-like Precepts.

But to the point in hand: R. B. had need to tell us, if he can, what Divine Evidence these Millions had, or that he hath, which were not Miracles, nor any such other Divine Evi­dence, as were formerly exhibited to the Pri­mitive Churches, and before specified.

And since R. B. himself believes, practises and maintains the sprinkling of Infants to be an Ordinance of Jesus Christ, and a Doctrine of the Gospel, with many other Doctrines of the Gospel, which he believes, holds and maintains, against many other Ministers being of the Reformed Churches, as well as he; Now let him tell us, what Divine Evidence he hath or can produce for any of these, which the Dissenters from him have not, who hold and maintain the contrary?

It cannot be the Scripture, for all have that; nor can it be humane Learning (which R. B. [Page 81] makes to be a gift of the Spirit, as by and by shall be shewn) for all have that also: nor can it be the perswasions of the Spi­rit that he can pretend to have, which the o­thers may not pretend to have, as well as he. And I think it may be boldly asserted unpos­sible for such different perswasions to proceed from the spirit of God, as to judge or condemn one another for Hereticks, or Erroneous Per­sons either, as these do.

Wherefore it is more safe and reasonable to deem that none of them all were nor are indued with the Spirit of God, but such onely who could or can, and also did or do manifest the same by some Divine Evidence and De­monstration, as none, being destitute thereof, can possibly do.

The fourth Charge is in the eighth page, being thus:

If the Church or Ministery (saith R. B.) had an end, Christs Kingdom had an end, and he Reigned not for ever. Mat. 28. 20. Lo, I am with you alwayes, even to the end of the world. To this express Promise, Clem. Writer hath no wiser an answer, but that (it is conditional, if they teach men to observe all things that Christ hath commanded them, he will be with them, else not.) To which R. B. replies and saies, This is your forgery, there is no such words, but an absolute Promise.

Answ. And doth the Promise, indeed, come in so independently, as R. B. hath here set it forth? Reader see with thine own eyes, for thou, and I too, have look'd too much and [Page 19] too long with other mens: see if it hath not a necessary Dependence and Relation to the next precedent words in the Text, which thou shalt finde to run thus, viz. Going there­fore, teach (or disciple) all (or in all) nations, baptizing them, &c. teaching them (i. e. the bap­tized Disciples) to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.

The genuine and true sence whereof, I con­ceive to be this, viz. That in their so doing and teaching alway, Christ promiseth to be with them and their true Successors, alway, even to the end of the world.

But R. B. his sense seems to be thus much, That Christ doth there promise absolutely to be with them and their successors, alway, even to the end of the world, they teaching whatsoever false Doctrine, or introducing never so many humane inventions into the Gospel-Worship: yet that Christ's promise is absolute, still to be with them, alway, even to the end of the World, notwith­standing.

An Exposition highly gratifying the Pope, and justifying his Divine Authority, being Pe­ters Successor. No Papist can advantage him by an Exposition of this Text, more or better then R. B. hath here done.

And whereas R. B. tells me. This is your forgery, there is no such words, but an absolute promise.

Answ. Can any man give his Sence of any Text, or explain the meaning thereof, but he must do it in some other and more words [Page 20] then are in the Text: yea, and doth not R. B. himself, in the next words following, tell us, That the promise is absolute, Christ being with them, to support and help them in his Work?

Answ. These words not being in the Text, is his forgery also: for how else is my taking but the same liberty, forgery, and his doing the same thing, no forgery? But perhaps his Commission is with a non obstante, to pervert or falsyfie Scripture at his pleasure, and yet have the absolute promise of Christ still to be with him, to support and help him in that his Work.

How strangely hath he perverted the true meaning of this Text? For,

1. He cites the last words thereof, as if they had been intire and absolute, without dependence upon any precedent words.

2. The word [whatsoever] he leaves out, and also [them] which relates to the baptized dis­ciples; and instead thereof, he foysteth in [men] as if the teaching last mentioned in the Text, had relation to men in general, and un­converted; whereas it is confined onely to the baptized Disciples; that they being con­verted and baptized, should then be taught to observe all things whatsoever Christ had com­manded those eleven Disciples; and according­ly R. B. himself hath opened (and given the sense of) this very Text in his book of Infi­delity, Part 4. page 40.

And nothing in Scripture is more evident, then that Christ after his Resurrection com­manded these eleven not to go out in the ex­ercise [Page 21] of their Ministery and preaching of the Gospel for the converson of men to the faith, until they were indued with power from on high, telling them that they should be so in­dued when the Holy Ghost was come upon them, Luk. 24. 49. Act. 1. 4, 5, 8. And as these were commanded by Christ, so they according­ly stayed and waited, until they received this power, before they went forth.

Now if R. B. had been disciplized and ba­ptized by any of these Eleven, or by any true Ministery succeeding them; he ought and un­doubtedly should have been taught the very same Lesson, viz. to stay until he had been in­dued with like power from on High, as these Eleven did; and who had run before they had been sent, (as R. B. hath done) if they had not so stayed.

Multitudes are the Scriptures throughout his first and second sheet, which he forceth against their genuine sence to do him Divine Service, in up-holding the Ministery he pleads for.

In his first sheet, page 4. he brings in for that purpose, Christs speech in Luke 10. 16. He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.

Answ. These words were spoken by Christ to the twelve Disciples, Chap. 9. 1. and to the seventy, Chap. 10. 1. VVhom he sent out to preach, giving them power over all devils and diseases, and to do other miraculous works, to attest the truth of their Mission and Message, as is to be seen, [Page 22] Chap. 9. 1, 2, 6. and Chap. 10. 9, 17, 18, 19. Charging them to take nothing for their journey; neither staves, shooes, scrip, bread, purse nor money: giving them also, other special directions for their behaviour wheresoever they came, Chap. 9. 3, &c. Chap. 10. 3, &c.

Now although these words of Christ were truly applicable to these, to whom they were spoken, and to all others succeeding them, un­to whom God should himself in like manner bear witness by such mighty works; yet are they not applicable to any others to whom God bears no such witness: The Reason is, because their preachings being evidently wit­nessed by God himself to be truth, it was, and might therefore be truly said of such, He that believed not them, made God a lyar: And also to such, He that heareth you, heareth me, &c.

Yet it is no more true nor appliable to the preachings of R. B. nor of any of the Ministers he pleads for, coming without such Divine E­vidence, then it is to the Preachings of the Jesuites, or of any other, coming without such Divine Evidence to attest the truth of their Mission or Message.

And strange it is, to see with what seeming Zeal R. B. seeks notwithstanding to maintain the Ministers of the Reformed Churches to be truly Called, and divinely Ordained the Ministers of Jesus Christ, and to be such as they to whom Christ said, He that heareth you, heareth me, &c. whenas he himself makes bold very much, and in many things, to contradict and gain-say very many of their Doctrines, [Page 23] which they preach as from God, to the people. How would he take it to be charged for his so doing, with a despising of Christ, and of God, and with making God a Lyar? would he (think you) submit unto it, confess and repent there­of, as of his great and haynous sin? or would he not rather think him that should so charge him, to be some Fool or Mad-Man, for his la­bour?

And in page 8. of his second sheet, how strangely and untruly doth he expound and ap­ply the Kingdom and Reign of Christ over the House of Jacob for ever; making this to mean the Gentile-Christian Church in this World; and from the endlesness of that King­dom of Christ mentioned in Luk. 1. 33. and in other Scriptures of like import (there cited by him) he would prove the endlesness of a true Ministry, and Christian Church upon Earth, in this world; asserting the Ministers of the Re­formed Churches to be the ordinary and true Ministers of Christ, continued by him since the extraordinary Ministry ceased; and the refor­med Churches to be that his Kingdom and House of Jacob, over which, Christ by these his Officers reigns for ever.

And this he indeavours to prove by many Arguments, from the Third Proposition in the seventh Page, to the end of his Book: Argu­ing in the eleventh Page thus: Either these Pastors of the Reformed Churches are the true Ministers of Christ, or else there are none such visible in the world: but there are such visibly and certainly in the VVorld, else there is no Church.

Answ. I must here confess, that I never so well knew as now I do, what was meant by the Presbyterial Discipline and Church-Go­vernment; which they so much, so long, and so eagerly have pursued and sought to be esta­blished amongst us, and are yet restless to get it up. Yet I have heard of their Horning men in Scotland (for their not conforming to the Worship, Discipline and other their hu­mane Inventions) even to the utter ruine of the Men, their Wives and Children.

But now I perceive their Government is Imperial and King-like: Their Parishes their Kingdoms, where­in And see what blind obe­dience he requires us to yield to these Rulers, in the se­cond Part of his Saints Rest, pag. 241. Where he tells us, That if these Ru­lers & Stewards require us to believe, when we know not our selves whether it be Truth or not; or if they re­quire us to obey, when we know not our selves, whe­ther it be a Duty com­manded by God or not, here it is (saith he) that we ought to obey them. they are to Rule and Reign; and their silly Parishioners their Subjects and Vassals, over whom they are to Reign as Stewards and Deputy-Kings in Christ's stead.

And I must also confess, that I never saw in so small a Com­passe, so much Sophistry used, and so much Scripture with so much impudence and with so much Ignorance expounded and applied, as in these two sheets of his. For by Christs Kingdom and Reign over the House of Jacob, mentioned Luk. 1. 33. can be meant no other thing then the Throne of David, which Christ is to inhe­rit, mentioned in the 32 verse, and in Isa. 9. 7. wherein he must sit and Reign over the House of Jacob for ever; according as it was Cove­nanted [Page 25] and sworn to David, who (as Peter saith, Act. 2. 30.) Being a Prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his Throne.

Now where Davids Throne and Reign over the Twelve Tribes or whole House of Jacob was, there Christs Throne and Reign over them must be: but David's Throne and Reign over them was in Jerusalem, in the Land of Canaan; therefore Christ's Throne and Reign over them must be there also.

It being therefore fore-told by the Prophet Ezek. 37. 16, 19, 20, 21, 22. That all the Tribes or whole house of Israel shall be brought again into their own Land, and be there again u­nited into one Kingdom, and one King shall be King to them all, and they shall be no more two Nations, neither shall they be divided into two Kingdoms any more at all.

And the Prophet Jeremy, Jer. 3. 17, 18. likewise tells us of a time when they shall call Jerusalem the Throne of the Lord: And the House of Judah shall walk with the House of Is­rael, and they shall come together cut of the North to the Land which was given to their Fathers to possess. And therefore it is that Ezekiel, in Chap. 20. 41, 42. tells us that they shall be gathered out of all Countreys, wherein they are scattered (or wherein they yet shall be led captive by the power of Antichrist, upon his surprisal of them, at his taking of Jerusalem, mentioned in Zach. 14. 1. compa­red with Dan. 7. 25, 26. which is not yet, nor will be until a little before the Personal com­ing [Page 62] of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose coming will be to avenge them on Antichrist, and on all other their Oppressors) to redeem them out of captivity, to set up that his Kingdom, and to set them therein from thenceforth and for ever; then will the Kingdom be restored to Israel, and Christs Reign over them and the whole earth shall be thenceforth everlasting, World without end, Zach. 14. 3, 4, 5, 9, 17. compared with Luk. 19. 11, 12, 15. and with Luk. 21. 23, 24, 27, to 33. & Luk. 18. 5, 9. with Jer. 30. 4, to 11. & Act. 1. 6. with Act. 3. 20, 21. & Isa. 45. 17, 18. Heb 2. 5. with Psal. 93. 1. This being the same Kingdom wherein Christ promised his Disciples that they should eat and drink at his Table, and sit on Thrones judging the twelve Tribes of Israel, Luk. 22. 29, 30.

This Kingdom also is mentioned Dan. 7. 14, 18, 20, to 28, and which shall not begin until the fourth and last Monarchy, together with Antichrist (set forth by the Little Horn, vers. 8.) be destroyed, which will not be until the Per­sonal coming of Christ, as Saint Paul informs us, 2 Thess. 1. 7. compared with Chap. 2. 1, to 9. and which also is pointed out in the seventh of Daniel, verse 8, to 12.

For Satan is the Prince of this world, John 14. 30. The portion therefore of the righte­ous in this life, is Tribulation, as Christ tells his Disciples, John 16. 33. 2 Thes. 1. 4. The Church-state in this world, being a persecuted and an afflicted estate, wherein they are to exer­cise much patience, expecting rest and reward in the Kingdom of Christ at his coming, 2 Thes. 1. [Page 27] 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Mat. 5. 12. They having here a race set before them to run with patience, and hold out to the end of their lives, before they can get the prize; And a warfare, wherein they must fight, hold out to the end, and conquer, before they can obtain the Crown in the day and Kingdom of Christ, 1 Cor. 9. 24, 25, 26, 27. Heb. 12. 1. Jam. 1. 12. 2 Tim. 4. 7, 8. Yea, and hold out unto death, and overcome, before they can receive the Crown of life, and sit with Christ in his Throne and Kingdom, Rev. 2. 10, 26. Rev. 3. 21. Come ye blessed of the Father, and inhe­rite the Kingdom, prepared for you, Mat. 25. 34. This will not be said and performed by Christ to the righteous, until after his coming in glory, verse 31.

All which places, with many more that might be cited, (if need were) do evidently shew, That the Church in this world, is not the Kingdom of Christ inten­ded and meant in Luk. 1. 33. Isa. 9. 6, 7. nor in Psal. 145. 13. as R. B. very inconsiderately expounds it to be: for the Children of God must through much tribulation enter into that Kingdom, Act. 14. 22. Through it, (note that) and be past all, for they shall have none at all after they once enter into that King­dom.

I hope, by this time, I have quit my self of being an Infidel, intimated by R. B. pag. the seventh; which, I conceive, cannot justly be charged upon any man, though he should but believe an Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, and that he is a Rewarder of them [Page 28] that seek him, being no Respecter of per­sons; but in every Nation, he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him.

But as for his term Heathen, I know not well his meaning; but it may be feared, That the righteousness of many who are by us called Heathens, will finde acceptance with God, when neither the faith nor righteousness of most called Christians will finde any. A Gentile I confess my self to be; so also must he, unless he be a very Jew.

Thou seest, Reader, that R. B. his whole drift in this his second Sheet, is to prove him­self, and the Ministers of the Reformed Churches, to be the true Ministers of Jesus Christ; which he endeavours to do, by lay­ing this ground: viz. Christ (saith he) must alway have a true Church upon Earth, even to the end of the world. Whence he infers a neces­sity of a true Ministry there also; because (saith he, pag. 8.) The Church never did nor can subsist without its Officers, who are an es­sential part of it, as it is a politick body; and the most eminent part, as it is a Community.

Then he endeavours to prove the Mini­sters of the reformed Churches, to be those Ministers or Officers, by an argument, pag. 11. thus framed: Either those Pastors of the re­formed Churches, are the true Ministers of Christ, or else there are none such visible in the world; but there are such visibly and certainly in the world, else there is no Church.

So then thou maist see, That the whole [Page 29] stress of his Arguments to prove the Mini­sters of the reformed Churches to be the true Ministers of Christ, hangs meerly upon this single pin, namely, That Christ must have a true Christian Church upon the earth alway, even to the end of the world: and his chief­est proof for that, is,

First, Mat. 28. 20. from Christs promise to be with his eleven Apostles alway, even to the end of the world.

This promise R. B. saith, is absolute, that Christ will be with the eleven Apostles and their successors alway, &c. and therefore a true Church must be alway, upon earth, even to the end of the world.

Secondly, from Luke 1. 33. and other Texts of like import, where it's said, That Christ must raigne over the house of Jacob for ever, and of that his Kingdom there shall be no end.

This house of Jacob, and Kingdom of Christ, R. B. expounds to be the Christian Church upon Earth in this world; and thence con­cludes no end of the being of a true Church or Ministry upon earth.

Both which Expositions of his, I have de­nyed; and thou hast seen my Proofs and Re­futations.

And mayst yet further see how these two Scriptures do interfere and cross one ano­ther, and that in the main and chief point, for which they are produced by R. B. to accord in, (viz) to prove the time of the continuance of the Christian Church upon earth.

For if it be granted, that both these Texts do mean the Christian Church in this world, (as they do not) yet the one refers the continuance thereof but to the end of the world, and the other refers it to no end at all, but to be everlasting and for ever; even as the Kingdom of Christ must be from the time of its first establishment, Rev. 11. 15. Dan. 7. 14, 18, 27. Micha 4. 7. compared with Luk. 1. 33. Isai. 9. 6, 7. Psalm 145. 13. These last three, being the Scriptures cited by R. B. to prove and uphold the kingly priest­hood and raigne of the Ministers of the re­formed Churches in Christs stead, in his King­dom over the house of Jacob everlastingly. And this must be the fulfilling of the prophe­sies of Christs inheriting of the Throne of his Father David, and of his restoring the Kingdom to Israel, and to be the King­dom wherein he will drink wine new with his Disciples; and also the Kingdom where­in the Mother of Zebedees children desired of Christ, that her two Sons might sit the one on his right hand, and the other on his left, Mat. 20. 20. Unto whom Christ answered, That to sit on his right hand and on his left, was not his to give, but to them for whom it is prepa­red of his Father.

Whereby it is evident, that such places are prepared of God, for some to fit both on the right and left hand of Christ in the Kingdom: Whence will clearly follow, That Christ will be personally present in his Kingdom, and therein sit with some on his right hand, and some on his left.

But Christ is no where personally present so to sit in the reformed Churches, nor in a­ny of them, nor in any other Church upon Earth, no not in the Church of Rome, nor yet in R. B. his Catholick or Universal Church.

Therefore the Refomed Churches, nor any of them, nor any other Church upon Earth, no not the Church of Rome, nor yet R. B. his Catholick or Universal Church, is the Kingdom of Christ.

Moreover, and besides all which, Let it be considered how that the Promise in Mat. 28. 20. was not to the Church, nor to any in­ferior Officer thereof: for neither any such Officer to officiate in a Church, nor any such Church wherein to officiate, was then consti­tuted: but the promise was made meerly to the Eleven Apostles themselves, who after­wards were both to plant Churches, and ap­point inferior Officers therein; and there­fore whatsoever the promise was, it was spe­cially and principally to the Eleven Apostles, and to their Successors in the Apostolical Office. Whence will follow, That if this promise be absolute, (as R. B. would have it) then it will prove the Apostolical Office to continue alway, even to the end of the world: but this promise, though it should be absolute, yet it will neither prove the con­tinuance of the Church, nor of any inferior Officer, any otherwise then by a Conse­quence, and that from the continuance of the Apostolical Office, which (together with the [Page 32] prophetical, and the rest of the powerful gifts of the Spirit) R. B. grants is ceased long since; and by consequence, both Church and inferiour Ministry likewise; for the inferiour Ministry was by gift, as well as the superi­our, and the superiour as well as the inferi­our, and both were of equal continuance, and for many reasons were both of them use­ful and necessary to continue with the true Church, the one as well as the other, and the superiour office most necessary of any, Eph. 4. 8, 11. 12. 13. 1 Cor. 12. 28.

Wherefore it is the less to be marvelled at, That R. B. (being so learned and so wise, yet) makes no learneder nor wiser a Reply to Clem. Writers foolish or no wiser an An­swer.

And now, I hope, a man may without any blasphemy or forgery, either say to this great Clerk, That he erreth, not knowing the Scri­pture nor the power of God. As for the Scripture, see how grossly he hath wilfully or ignorantly perverted it. And as for the power of God, (which always did accompany the true Ministry of the Gospel and Church, for the Conviction and Conversion of unbelie­vers to the Faith) this he denies, rendring it now useless and unnecessary; as if now there were no unbelievers in the world, nor any Children born unbelievers to be conver­ted; and as if Christs sending of that his powerful gifts of the Spirit to accompany and abide with his true Ministry and Church (for that purpose) for ever, had been for the most [Page 33] part useless and unnecessary, John 14. 16. John 16. 7, 8, 9. whereby he casts a foul aspersion on the Wisdom of Christ himself, in his doing that by much, which he might have done by little; a sault seldome or never committed by a wise man.

But the task here undertaken by me, was onely to make some necessary defence for my self, against his open assault made upon me by his fourfold Charge: which having done, I shall not follow him in the rest of his fallacious Arguments, to discover the vanity and falshood of them, but shall leave that to be done by some abler pen, who can throughly anatomize and lay the faults of them open particularly, and in their Colours; which I am as unable to do, as that plain and unlearned man was (who assembled at the first Nicene Councel) of whom Socrates (Lib 1. Chap. 5.) relates this Story: (viz.) Before the Bishops met together in one place, the Logicians busied themselves, pro­pounding against divers others, certain Preambles of Disputation: and when divers were thus drawn to Disputation, and allured, as it were, by bayts, a Lay-man, one of the number of Confessors, of a simple and sincere mind, set himself against the Lo­gicians, and told them this in plain words: That neither Christ, neither his Apostles, had delive­red unto us the Art of Logick, neither vain fal­lacies, but an open and plain minde to be preserved of us, with faith and good works. The which, when he had spoken, all that were present had him in admiration, and held with his sentence: then the Logicians, after they had heard the pure words [Page 34] of plain truth, quieted and setled themselves a­right; so that at length, by that means, the stir raised, by reason of Logick, was wholly suppressed.

From which we may observe, how great the bashfulness of humane learning was in former times, as so to be repulsed (from medling or intermixing it self in matters of Divini­ty) by the check of one plain man; and how impudent it is now become, even to bear all the sway therein, getting admission (no doubt) at first under the colour of being but a Ser­vant or Hand-maid to Divinity: but now this Hand-maid maid hath gotten into the Chair and Room of her Mistris, (the gifts of the Spi­rit) and justled her quite out both of Doors and esteem; These being now deemed both useless and unnecessary matters, and Humane Learning having now gotten the sole possessi­on of all the Glory, Honour and Praise, due onely to her Mistris: for do not some make great boast, What a Whereas the more learn­ed they are in humane Arts and Sciences, the more able they are to delude, by trans­forming the grossest Errors into the similitudes of the purest Truths. learned Clergie is now amongst us that the whole world hath not the like? Yea, and how doth my Assay­lant, R. B. glory and boast therein, and that so transcen­dently, in his Book of Infidelity, part 1. pag. 37, 38. as there to express himself thus: (viz) Let the wisdome of God be observed, both in the stream of Do­ctrine, and in the effect of the Holy-Ghost, in illu­minating the Church; so that you may look over all the rest of the world at this day, and easily see that they are all but Barbarians, even in humane [Page 35] and common knowledge, in comparison of the Chri­stians; especially, in the things of God they are ut­terly blind. (He further goes on.) Indeed, Christ did at Rome and Athens, cause a Star of humane learning to arise, but it was only for a time; and that at that season, a little before his own coming in the flesh, of purpose Note, how he all a­long denies the powerful gifts of the Spirit, to be now useful or necessary: yet see how useful and necessary he here makes humane learn­ing, as to be even a Star caused by Christ to arise of purpose to direct men to the Son of righteousness, and to be an Usher to prepare the way for the Gospel; and after all that, he makes it a gift of the Spirit, and con­tinued in the Church by Christ; as if Christs being exalted at the right hand of the Father, and by his re­ceiving of him, the promise of the Holy-Ghost, and his shedding it forth on his Dis­ciples, Act. 2. 33. was meant humane Learning. Is not be with the cloven foot filled with this gift of the Spirit, as much as R. B. or the most learned in Eu­rope? to direct men to the Son of righteousness, and to be an Usher to prepare the way for the Gospel; and when the Gospel was come, he hath now delivered even all the learning in the world that is worth the spea­king of, unto his Church, and con­tinued even these common gifts of the Spirit therein.

If this be the best Divinity he can afford us, I shall send him to a Cobler, (Samuel How by name) to learn better out of a Book extant, (entituled, The sufficiency of the Spirits teaching) being a Sermon of his, upon a Text given him by Mr. John Goodwin, and afterwards preacht before him, and divers other earnedmen, upon very short warning, and far shorter prepa­ [...]tion, of my knowledge.

But what may we think [...]e plain honest man before mentioned, were he now alive) might and would say, [...]pon his seeing how much honour humane [...]earning had now got even among reformed [Page 36] Christians, as to be esteemed essentially ne­cessary to Christianity, and to be so much ad­vanced, as even by eminent Pastors of the reformed Churches, to be accounted a gift of the Spirit, and to be continued in their Churches, in the room and place of those powerful and true gifts of the Spirit, which were at first established by God in his Church, whereinto Christians were all bapti­zed by that one Spirit, and thereby made partakers of some manifest gift thereof, whereby to become serviceable and profitable to the Church or Body of Christ, even as all the Members of a natural body are serviceable and helpful one to another.

Answ. I conceive he might and would tell us, That it is no marvel that the true-born gifts of the Spirit are now ceased and with­drawn from all their Churches, upon their en­tertaining such a Bastard as humane Learning into their Communion and Fellowship, as a necessary Fellow-helper and gift of the Spi­rit. And that God, who had commanded them not to be unequally yoaked, could no [...] possibly endure to have his own holy and blessed Spirit so unequally yoaked: For, wha [...] Communion hath Light with Darkness? An [...] what concord hath Christ with Belial? 2 Cor. 6▪ 14, 15.

Yea, he might tell us, That no virtuous an [...] Christian Woman in his days, would endur [...] Co-habitation with a nasty Strumpet, th [...] did partake of her Husbands Affections, an [...] Conjugal rights with her self, but woul [...] [Page 37] make use of her Christian liberty, and de­part.

He might also tell us, That humane Learn­ing, and the true gifts of the Spirit, are not necessary to be both in one Church; for they having the gift of Tongues, what need have they to acquire them by humane Learning? And if they have them by Acquisition, what need have they of them also by meer gift of the Spirit? Besides, if these were both in one Church, there would be some Emulation between them, and a contest for Superio­rity.

He might also tell us, That humane Learn­ing is no gift of the Spirit given forth by Christ, Act. 2.

1. Because Peter and John, who had these gifts of the Spirit poured on them, were both of them ignorant and unlearned men, in re­spect of humane learning, Act. 4. 13. yet were both of them able to communicate the gifts of Tongues to others by meer laying on of hands, Act. 18. 14, 17. compared with Act. 19. 6.

2. Because the gifts of the Spirit (as that of Tongues) were given by Christ to attest the Truth of the Gospel, and to convince unbe­ [...]ievers, giving them a sure ground of Faith: But so are not Tongues, nor any other Sci­ence acquired by humane Learning or Indu­ [...]ry. For,

1. In case we would fain know whether R. [...]. his dogmatizing the baptizing of Infants to be a divine Ordinance of Jesus Christ, be [Page 38] true or not, this cannot certainly be deter­mined by humane Learning; nor is it any di­vine evidence to prove it, because Mr. Tombes, and many more, by humane Learning, main­tain and attest the contrary.

But if either of them had the gifts of the Spirit to attest the truth of his respective Do­ctrine, then it might soon be determined whe­ther taught the truth, because the true gifts of the Spirit never did nor can witness any false, but always true Doctrine: but all He­resies and false Doctrines, yea, the most ab­surd Doctrines among the Papists, or that are or can be invented, are maintained and at­tested by humane learning. And,

2. In case we would know whether the many Arguments produced by R. B. to prove the Ministry of the reformed Churches to be the true Ministry of Jesus Christ, be true and sound, or not: And whether the multitude of Scriptures prest by him to that service, be truly and in their genuine sence cited, or not; this cannot be determined by humane Learning: Because the Papists be furnished altogether as well, and have as great a measure of humane Learning, whereby they are as able to pervert Scripture, and produce as many Arguments to prove their Ministry to be the onely true Ministry of Christ, as any of the Mini­sters of the reformed Churches can do, to prove theirs the true Ministery of Christ: but by the true gifts of the Spirit, all these doubts and questions would soon be determined, and that infallibly.

And since the true gifts of the Spirit are now wanting, let us yet see what may be said for the determining of these questions and doubts, and that from grounds granted by R. B. himself; wherein I shall be very brief, lea­ving the further Amplification thereof to o­thers more able.

The Grounds on which I shall raise my proof, are onely two:

The first is in page the fourth of his first sheet, where he citeth Luk. 10 16. He that heareth you, heareth me, &c. This saying of Christ, he useth in the behalf of the Ministers of the reformed Churches, holding them to be the true Ministers of Jesus Christ; whereby he grants, That this speech of Christ is truly applicable to all true Ministers of Jesus Christ. This is the one Ground.

The other is in the sixteenth page of his second sheet, where he proposeth, If a Mi­nister be in quiet possession of a place, and fit for it, the people are bound to obey him as a Minister, without knowing that he was justly ordained or called.

For the proof whereof, he produceth three Arguments; the last whereof he draws from an absurdity which would follow, thus: viz. Else (saith he) the people are put upon impossi­bilities.

Whereby he grants, That God puts not people upon any impossibilities. This is the o­ther Ground.

From both which true and undeniable Grounds, the plain man before mentioned [Page 40] might conclude, That the Ministers of the reformed Churches are not the true Mini [...]ers of Jesus Christ; for this Reason: Because they of the Synod of Dort were all Ministers of the reformed Churches, both the Remon­strants and Contra-Remonstrants. Now it is impossible for any to believe both these par­ties; nor doth God require any to believe them, nor can he in justice require it of any, it being impossible; but he requires the obe­dience of Faith to all his true Ministers: therefore the Ministers of the reformed Churches, are not the true Ministers of Christ.

And To instance in par­ticular all the contradicto­ry Doctrines and Ten [...]nts which have been, and are between the Ministers of the reform [...]d Church [...]s, would be a task too hard for any man to undertake, they be­ing so in [...]in [...]te. I have here instanced in [...], which may serve as well as many, to state and determine the case of the rest. then again, For us to believe onely one of the parties, (they being all Minister; of the reformed Churches, and so true Mini­sters of Christ, as R. B. asserts) we shall then be necessitated to despise the other party, and by consequence to despise Christ and God himself: but God puts no people upon any such neces­sities; and therefore also the Ministers of the reformed Churches are not the true Ministers of Christ.

Whence will, as a necessary consequence, follow, That all the Arguments which are or can be brought by R. B. to prove them such, are fallacious and deceitful; and all the Scri­ptures brought by him to ground and make good the said Arguments, are perverted and abused, [Page 41] because no good or sound Argument, nor any Scripture, in its true and genuine sence, can be brought or produced to prove a lye and falshood, as this is.

And if they, who said they were Jews, when they were not, blasphemed, Rev. 2. 9. What do they less, who say, They are the Ambassa­dors and Ministers of Jesus Christ, when they are not?

Now if any skilful in humane Arts, will please to put these Grounds and Reasons into Syllogistical Forms, he may: but I must let him know, That this is not desired by the forementioned plain man, for we may gather his Opinion of humane Learning, and of the Art of Logick, by his words uttered at Nice, who had therefore rather, with a plain and sin­cere minde, with Faith and good works, trust to such plain and downright Grounds and Reasons of his own, then to any Artificial, Logical or Fallacious Arguments brought now into the Churches by humane Learning, whereby such a cunning Sophister (as R. B.) is able to make plain men (such as he was) believe The Crow is white, the Swan black, and the Moon to be made of green Cheese.



THe supposed ground of this Charge (if he had any at all from my mouth) was from a small Conference he had with me some five years since; after which, about three years since, he sent me a Book of his Infide­lity, desiring me impartially to read it over; which when I did, I found therein very many things unsound, (at least to my apprehen­sion;) some few whereof I noted in the Mar­gent with my Pen, with some hints of my ex­ceptions thereunto: which Book, when I had thus gone through, I returned unto him a­gain, with an Epistle in a blank Page thereof. The Copy of which here followeth.



I Have read over this your elaborate Piece, most Learnedly and Zealously compiled; wherein are many observable Things, some excellent Good, and some liable to Exception, being asserted with much more Confidence then Proof, (at least, as I conceive.) I have noted some few Places; bear with the Rudeness and Imperfections thereof, being sudden Conceptions, hastily exprest, not in the least intending it for your scanning, but marking them meerly for my own fur­ther Consideration upon a Re-view: But in my second Thuoghts, considering your Ingenuity and Worth in divers re­spects to exceed the ordinary Pitch of Men of your Function, I altered my In­tention, [Page 44] and resolved to subject the same, notwithstanding all its Defects, to your View; well knowing, that you, by your far greater Abilities, can easily descant what further and more exactly to that or the like effect might be urged by an abler Pen; which I wish you would please impartially and without offence to con­sider, as I have done your Book, sent me, I hope, in much Candor and Love: for which, being much obliged, I kindly thank you. Farewel.

Clement Writer.

The Reasons of my thus returning the book, were chiefly these.

First, I saw the contents thereof were such as made me something suspect that it was sent me as an Assault to provoke me to some open Contest with him; which I desired to pre­vent, as being not onely indisposed thereun­to, but also utterly unable to incounter with such an Assailant, though it were to defend Truth against him.

Secondly, considering if I should have made no return, nor given him any account at all of my reading it, he might have imagined that Truth had been on his side, and have ascribed [Page 45] the modesty of my silence to the prevalency of that which he mis-calls Truth. Wherefore, to prevent both these, I sent him (in this loving and private manner) my notes for him to con­sider of; taking him then to be both honest and ingenious (but I am not the first that hath been mistaken in that kind) and therefore thought that by my communicating to him my appre­hensions in this Friendly and private manner, I should have had the like Love and Friendship returned me, or at least never any way to have been quarrelled with, about our differ­ent perswasions, otherwise then by some friendly and private conference about the same, which I expected and desired.

But I heard nothing from him at all about my Notes, nor ought else, until about August 1657. He (being then in Worcester) sent to speak with me: I readily went my selfe alone, thinking then, he intended some such Confe­rence: but I was much deceived therein; for coming to the House where he was, he sent for me up to him in a Chamber, whereinto I had no sooner entred, but in came one slink­ing after me (in a Ministers habit) and without speaking any word, sate him down at a distance from us, in the same Room: which observing, I resolved in my self to be very reserved, what­soever his business was with me.

The Scoene being thus set, in a stern authori­tative manner, he began to question me about a small Treatise then lately come forth, (inti­tuled Fides Divina) wherein, as it seems, some few of his Doctrines are touch'd, demanding [Page 46] of me who was the Author of that Book. I told him, If I knew, I would not tell him without the Authors leave, seeing the Author himself had conceal'd it. He then told me, That he knew that I was the Author, because it concurred with my Animadversions or Notes which formerly I had sent him. To which I answered, If he knew the Author before, why did he but then, ask to know who it was? Telling him withal, that he might be much mistaken in his Conclusion, from such a Ground; because there were very Many in England, of the same Judgement with my Notes, and far abler then my self to compile such a Book.

After which, he would have had me declare my Faith, and he would declare his, and then see how far we agreed; and in that we differ'd he would reason or Dispute it with me: but this I declined, telling him, That I was no meet Match for him, so great a Scholar, unless I had some as great as himself, to unty his fallacies, wherewith hee might else soon entangle me.

Yet then, the better to allure me to speak out fully, according to the monstrous shape and ugly look of his aims, He said to me, What, dare you not declare your Faith? You need not fear any thing now in this time of Liberty. But this Bait neither, would be swallowed by me; for I then ask'd him, If it would be his wisdome, without all fear, upon such terms, to declare his Faith, if he were in Spain. He an­swered me, No: But soon after he would have [Page 47] supped up again that his answer, by telling me, If it concern'd the Glory of God, he would.

After all which (with a low voyce) I told him, That if we were alone, I might (haply) be freer to speak, and to tell him more of my minde. Then stept he to the Lurcher, and dismist him, with words to this effect: You may now be gone, I have done with you: there's no more need now of your stay. Which hearing, I concluded (as before I suspected) that he was on purpose appointed in that manner to be there; which made me think it best to say little more to him, but rather to forbear, until I had studied and found out the man and his aims more perfectly: onely, I wish'd him to an­swer the Book, and not to be so inquisitive to know the Author; and also, to seek out some meeter Match then my self, for him to Dispute and Contest withal: Telling him in effect thus much, further: That when any great Boy en­counter'd with a little one, in the Street, the very Women and Wenches passing by, will re­prove him, saying: Thou great Knave, why quarrelest thou with this little Boy, who is quiet, not medling with thee? nor is he any meet Match for thee, so great a Lubber: For shame, let him alone, and meddle with thy Match. And ha­ving thus spoken, I took leave, and departed; being glad to be so well quit of such a Com­panion; well discerning of what Spirit he was.

Loe, this is the sum of the whole (that is worth the relating) which then passed between this busy Bishop and my sel.

Since which came out his second sheet, thus publiquely charging me, which I have here an­swered, and freely told him part of my mind, and something of my Faith too, (which he so much desired to know) for which I hope, no Impartial, Wise, Just or Rational Man will in the least blame me, doing it in my own Defence, being so much assaulted and provoked thereunto, and that both publickly in print, and otherwise, as is here already declared.

And now lest my Notes (being in his hand) should likewise be sent abroad either in some disguise, or without the right and proper Sen­tences of the Book to which they relate, I shall here make bold to publish them my self, even as they came rudely and hastily at first from my Pen, not in the least suspecting that I should ever have been thus caused to publish them in my own Defence, as now I am.

Wherein (for the Readers better satisfacti­on) I shall first set down the Sentence, as it is in the Book, and the page where it is; this shall be marked in the Margent with the letter [B.] for Book.

Next to which shall be my Note thereupon; and this shall be marked with the Letter [N] for Note.

And where any need is to add a word for explanation, this shall be marked with the let­ter [A.] for Addition.

The Title of the Book. The Unreasonableness OF INFIDELITY: Divided into Four Parts. By RICHARD BAXTER.

  • 1. The Spirits Extrinsick Wit­ness.
  • 2. The Spirits internal Wit­ness.
  • 3. The sin against the Holy Ghost.
  • 4. The Arrogancy of Reason.

The First PART.

Page 16.

B. TO one is given, by the Spirit, the word of Wisdom; to another, the word of Know­ledge, by the same Spirit; to another, wor­king of Miracles; to another, Prophesie; to ano­ther, [Page 50] discerning of Spirits; to another, divers Tongues; to another, the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the same Spirit.

N. Why is Faith here omitted, seeing the Text hath it?

Page 18.

B. If we were in a case of doubt between several Teachers, and one of them should write thus to publick Churches, even the Churches of England, Scotland, Holland and Germany, I appeal to your selves, whether you did not by that Doctrine which I delivered to you, receive the Holy-Ghost, by which you all received either the gift of tongues, healing, prophesie, or the like.

N. Can any Minister now truly so write to any Church, or infallibly tell what that Go­spel or Doctrine was, which was so confirmed to the Galatians?

Page 30.

B. We have yet Copies of Scripture extant, of very great Antiquity.

N. Admit all this, and that they all accord­ed, (as they do not) yet the Quere will be, Who gave those Copies, or any Translati­ons, Authority to be a ground of true Faith to the world, whereby they might be saved by their believing them; or damned everlasting­ly, for not believing them?

Page 32.

B. Men must not believe Gods Law ceased or abrogated, without good proof.

N. But the Gospel was in like manner con­firmed to the Centiles also, who had not the Law.

Page 32.

B. We have the full use and benefit of the Holy Ghost which was given then: that seal that was then set to the Christian Doctrines and Scriptures, stands there still.

N. Hereby every several Opinion and Do­ctrine drawn from Scripture, is justified, the one as well as the other.

Page 33.

B. Tongues are not for them that believe, but for them that believe not, saith Paul, 1 Cor. 14. 22. that is, to shew them the power of Christ, and so convince them.

N. What, are not now unbelievers in the world, as well as then?

Page 33.

B. But now the Scripture is sealed by these.

N. Who, but Mr. Baxter, dare to affirm this?

Page 34.

B. These glorious Experiments, and potent Workings, will not suffer them to change their Religion.

N. This justifies the Quakers, as well as Mr. Baxter, if not more; at least, they may pretend the same, as well as he.

Page 35.

B. The gifts of strange Languages, healing, casting out of Devils, fell on men ordinarily.

N. These gifts being ordinary, Why do you elsewhere term them extraordinary?

A. Yea, and why do you (in the seventh page of your second sheet for the Ministry) say, If Miracles were ordinary, few would be [Page 52] moved by them as any proof of a Divine Testimo­ny. And also (in the thirty sixth page, part two, of your book of Infidelity) say, Miracles, if common, would lose their convincing force, and be as none. Yet here you tell us, That they were ordinary, when no such incon­venience followed their being so.

But these, with other like slights and juggles, are so common in your VVritings, as no man in his VVits can take them for Mi­racles, nor your VVritings for any proof of a Divine Testimony.

Page 35.

B. That putteth such a new nature into the soul of every Saint.

N. [...]quere, VVhether this be any other­wise then by Faith, or their believing the pro­mise of having it? 2 Pet. 1. 4.

A. Afterward, viz. at the Resurrection, and now to have it meerly by promise: See the Text. Page 36.

B. If you would open your eyes, you might see very much of it (i. e. of the gifts of the Spirit before specified) in the holiness of the Saints.

N. If it be with any now, shew it, and so end the Controversie; but if not, then rest onely on that that is past: halt not so between both; if either be sufficient to uphold your Doctrine, then cleave to that: but you seem to doubt either alone, why else make you such use of both?

A. For do not you say, page 32. as before is noted, That you have the [...]ull use and be­nefit of the Holy-Ghost, which was formerly [Page 53] given? which (if true) is sufficient, without your having it now your selves in particular; for it alone was sufficient to them that then had it; and if you have the full use and be­nefit of that now, it alone is sufficient for you also; and now to have it your selves too, is supersluous, and over and above what is sufficient: but they formerly mani­fested their having of it; so must you, before any wise man will believe your having it, be­cause the manifestation of the Spirit was given to every one (that had the Spirit) to profit with­al, 1 Cor. 12. 7.

Page 38.

B. Christ hath now delivered up even all the Learning in the world that is worth the speaking of, unto his Church, and continued even these common gifts of the Spirit therein.

N. The Church of Rome will challenge this as much as you, if not more.

A. But the Church of Rome is more wise and reasonable, then to account humane Learning any gift of the Spirit, or to make it any mark of a true Christian, since Heathens and Unbelievers may have humane Learning, and had it in great measure among their Phi­losophers, &c. but the gifts of the Spirit were given onely to believers, and that after they believed, Eph. 1. 13. Act. 19. 2. Act. 2. 38.

Page 46.

B. The Scripture being true, and the Christi­an Religion certainly true, every part of it must needs be true.

N. Where is that Bible or Scripture?

A. And is not the Church of Rome, the Quakers, the Antinomians, and divers other (whom you oppose) all Christian, and their Religion, Christian Religion? and if true in every part, VVhy do you then oppose them in many (if not in most) parts of their Re­ligion? but haply by Christian Religion, you mean onely your own Religion. Let me then ask you, Is your Religion true in every part? If it be, why then do so many (as learn­ed Christians, and as true Ministers of the reformed Churches as your self) oppose you, and you them, in so many parts of your Re­ligion, being all Christian Religion, and true in every part, and all of you also true Mini­sters of Jesus Christ (as you assert?) How fell you out? and, How comes it to pass that you be at so great Odds, even about the most essential Doctrines of the Gospel, yea, and about the very Person and Nature of Christ himself?

Nay, How comes it to pass▪ that you so heave and cast out one another out of Habita­tion, Liveli-hood and Maintenance, and so much seek to get places of profit from one a­nother, as you do, all of you being the true Ministers and Officers of the Kingdom of Christ? Surely the Apostles may fear to ad­mit you as such into the true Kingdom of Christ, lest you should there likewise heave them out of their places appointed for them to eat and drink at Christs Table, and also justle them besides their Thrones, whereon they are to sit, to judge the twelve Tribes of [Page 55] Israel in the Kingdom of Christ, Luk. 22. 29, 30.

Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cau­tum.

Page 57.

B. As the bodies of men do live and speak and reason by the soul; so doth the Church live and move by the spirit of Jesus.

N. In which of the many sorts and Sects of Christians is this Church to be found, since Rome, and all other, challenge to be the true?

A. And also to have this Spirit of Jesus, yea, and to live and move thereby; yea, and by that Spirit of Jesus, (which each will pretend to have) they will judge each other sort dissenting from them, to be led by the Spirit of Error.

Page 80, 81.

B. Jesus did send forth his Spirit into his pro­phets before his coming, and more fully into be­lievers since his coming, to be his infallible wit­ness to the world, to convince the unbelieving, and confirm believers; and that this Spirit was poured out on the Church, especially on the Apostles, causing them to prophesie, and speak with strange Languages, and cast out Devils, and heal Dis­eases, and that the same Spirit is given to all true believers in all ages, to guide, &c.

N. Is it the same, and not the same pow­erful works of manifestation to accompany it?

A. Yea, and which did and will alwayes accompany it? for by Spirit of God, and Power of God, is one and the same thing meant in many places of Scripture. As, Stay [Page 56] until ye be endued with power from on High: (i. e. with the spirit) Luk. 24. 49. Ye shall receive power when the Holy-Ghost is come upon you, (or, the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you) Act. 1. 8. My speech and my preaching came not with perswasive words of mans wisdom, but with evidence and demon­stration of the Spirit, and power: that your faith might not stand in the wisdome of men, but in the power (or Spirit) of God, 1 Cor. 2. 4, 5. And it cannot be imagined that this self same Spirit which was then so powerful, is now grown old, weak and feeble, nor that it hath lost, or is separated from that its might and power.

Page 81.

B. That it is and must needs be the holy Spirit of God which doth such Miracles as were then wrought, and attesteth and revealeth so holy a Doctrine.

N. But where are any such to attest the Truth of your Doctrine? or are we bound to take it on trust?

Page 83.

B. It is most expedient that Christ our head should be bodily present in Heaven, but send his Spirit to his lowest and remotest Members.

N. In 1 Cor. 12. these spiritual Members of Christs body are set out by manifest gifts onely.

Page 84.

B. It actuated the first Church after Christ, with a force extraordinary, by Miracles, Prophesie, Healing, Languages, &c.

N. Here you make a difference without warrant, see Mar. 16. 16. Joh. 14. 12. and by limiting it to the first, you contradict your self elsewhere, in proving these continued long after the first Church.

Page 85.

B. John 14. 16. I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.

N. The same Spirit and Power to be with the true Church for ever.

A. A little before (to wit) in page 80, 81. you say, That the same Spirit (by which the mighty works were wrought formerly) is given to all true believers in all ages. Whence will necessarily follow, That all true Churches, and all true Ministers of the Gospel, must be endued with the same power as formerly. And thus (and not otherwise) the text in John 14. 16. is truly expounded.

Page 87.

B. He that hath not the Spirit of Christ, is said to be none of his.

N. That is, no member of his Body or true Church.

A. For this Body of Christ is capable one­ly of profitable Members, by having some ma­nifest gift of the Spirit to profit the Body with­al; for the manifestation of the Spirit, for that purpose, was given to every Member of that Body, 1 Cor. 12. 7. &c. Whence will fol­low, No manifestation by some gift of the Spirit, no Spirit of Christ; and no Spirit of Christ, no Member of Christs Body.

Page 87.

B. The Spirit by extraordinary works former­ly, and by holy actuating the Church to the end, is Christs great witness to the world.

N. Christs great witness to the world by his Spirit, is by outward works, not by in­ward workings in the hearts of his Saints.

A. For how can any unbeliever be convin­ced and brought to the Faith, by the secret workings in another mans heart or spirit, with­out some powerful manifestation thereof out­wardly?

Page 96.

B. All this you know is Scripture.

N. Although all this is Scripture, yet little of all this is of Scripture; and that which is, is little to the purpose, to prove that which is endeavoured by the Author.

Page 98.

B. For the same spirit will not say and unsay.

N. How ill will this prove the generality of preaching now to be of the Spirit, since the same is so full of Contradictions?

Page 99.

B. The spirit of Illumination is the same, and given onely by Scripture; and for any spirit that shall contradict Scripture, it can never be holy, nor true, nor faithful, as contradicting Truth.

N. VVhen various and contradictious Ex­positions are made of Scripture, how may we certainly know, which is for, and which is a­gainst the Truth, and when or by whom were Miracles ever wrought to confirm Scripture or Doctrines taught now by our Ministers; or [Page 59] whether all Scriptures, Ministers and Do­ctrines now extant, be or have been so con­firmed, since all do or may challenge it the one as well as the other?

Page 105.

B. There is the Spirit of God within, that doth second these Doctrines, and take the received Spe­cies of them, and impress them upon the Soul, and doth this effectually and potently, according to the mighty unresistible power of the Agent.

N. How then is unbelief any sin deserving damnation, or belief any vertue, if it be wrought by an inward unresistible power?

Page 106.

B. You see the truth of Christian Religion, by the Spirit of holiness, besides that of Miracles for­merly.

All Sects and sorts of Christians pretend to have this Spirit of holiness, and may challenge the former Miracles, to give evidence for the one as well as the other.

The Second PART.

Page 32.

B. And to make the giving of the Holy Ghost to be that seal which should credit this report with their hearers.

N. VVhere is this seal to credit your Do­ctrine and Ministry? if you had it, it were more to purpose then a thousand such Books as this.

Page 34.

B. No man can know that the Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, or any other Statute of this Land, are indeed Genuine and Authentick.

N. Nor is any man bound upon Pain of Damnation so to know or believe it, as he is the Gospel, that hears it declared and attested by Signs and Gifts of the Holy Ghost: where­for the Comparison is frivolous.

Page 34.

B. The most unlearned man is so far bound to believe the Statute of Felony to be authentick and in Force, that he shall be justly hanged if he break it.

N. But no man can justly be hanged for not believing it onely; nor can any man be just­ly blamed for not believing you, more then another contradicting you.

Page 36.

B. Miracles, if common, would lose their Convincing Force, and be as none.

N. Miracles, though common, in the first Age, lost not their Convincing Force: Then Miracles, though common, in after Ages, may not lose their Convincing Force: But the first is true. Besides, in page 242 of the Third Part of this Book, you tell us, That it's certain from current History and Church-Records, that the Gift of casting out of Devils, and making them confess themselves mastered by Christ, did re­main in the Church for long time after the A­postles, even for three of four hundred yeers at least.

Page 45.

B. God doth still effectually convince millions of [Page 61] men of the certainty of Christian Religion, and that without renewed Miracles.

N. All several sorts of Christians have this Conviction respectively, yet condemn one another for Hereticks.

Page 50.

B. It was the Office of the Apostles, and the Duty of all other that saw Christ's Miracles, to bear witness of them.

N. It was the Office and Duty of such to stay, until they were indued with power to do the like Miracles. See Luk. 24. 49. Act. 1. 4, 5, 8. before their witness was to be received.

Page 50.

B. Those that saw not those Miracles, were bound to believe their witness.

N. Prove this if you can.

Page 55.

B. Lillies Grammar may be mis-Printed, or the Writings of Cicero, Virgil or Ovid, (which were written before the Gospel) and yet we are past all doubt, that their Writings are not forged.

N. That which God bindes men to believe upon Pain of Damnation, comes with more certainty then these or any other Writings or Words either; especially they coming to them in an unknown Tongue.

A. As the Scriptures did from the Pen-men thereof, unto nineteen parts of twenty men in the world.

Page 55.

B. Must you not believe him that tells you the Truth, and proves it to be so?

N. If one by his Scholarship proves it true, and another in like manner prove it false, which of the two is a man bound to believe? or must he believe both?

Page 56,

B. Object. Christ saith, If I had not done the works which no man else could do, ye had no sin. Answ. But doth not say, If ye had not seen them ye had no sin.

N. This Text is cited falsely and deceitful­ly, for it affirmeth (in effect) that which is de­nied in the Answer.

A. For you wilfully have omited [among them] and (that they did both see and hate both Christ and the Father) which being cited, and duly considered, will quite overthrow that Doctrine which you seek here to up-hold by omiting it: which is neither fair nor ho­nest.

Page 58.

B. All Historians are fallible, and liable to Error.

N. How then can it be any sufficient ground of true and saving Faith?

A. Or how then can any History or words from men fallible and liable to Error, with­out infallible Evidence, be any sufficient Ground for Divine Faith, since you tell us else­where, That Divine Faith hath ever a Divine Testimony? but no Testimony that is fallible and liable to Error can possibly be a Divine Testimony.

Page 59.

B. Such are the Scriptures, and it was necessa­ry [Page 63] that the Language should be suited to the mat­ter, so to the capacity of the generality of the Rea­ders.

N. How is this true? when it is Barbarism to the generality of men, being in an unknown Tongue to them.

A. Especially as it came from the first Pen­men thereof.

Page 81.

B. As these Testimonies were left by him (to wit) Christ on certain Record.

N. Upon what Record was it so left by Christ?

Page 149.

B. Would you have him bring you another Go­spel, when Paul would hold an Angel from hea­ven accursed, if he should so do? Gal. 1. 7, 8, 9.

N. The sence of this Text is perverted, be­ing applied to the Scripture.

A. For the Text runs thus: Though we, or an Angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel un­to you, then that that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you then that ye have received, let him be accur­sed.

So that it is evident that Paul here had re­ference onely to the preaching of the Gospel to the Galatians, whereby they were convert­ed to the Faith; which preaching was confirm­ed to them by miracles, and by ministring to them the Spirit, after their believing; as may be seen, Chap. 3. 5. Insomuch that this Text being rightly understood, and duly considered, [Page 64] quite overthrows that Doctrine which this Author would maintain, and here prove by it.

Page 150.

B. This is the Word which is able to make men wise to salvation.

N. Through Faith in Christ Jesus.

A. And through that alone the Gentiles were also made wise to salvation, who knew not the Scripture.

Page 150.

B. By this word it is, that those must be washed and cleansed, and sanctified, whom Christ will pre­sent pure and spotless to his Father at last, Ephes. 5. 26.

N. The Word preached by the true Mini­stry, witnessed by God, and not the Scripture, is here meant.

Page 167.

B. That many Heathens excel in this Learn­ing, (to wit) Humane Learning, and it was Gods Truth which they received by the study of the Creatures, though they detained it in Unrighteous­ness: yea, so much excellency was in it, that the a­buse of it will leave them without excuse, though they never had the Scriptures, nor heard of Christ: for that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God shewed it unto them: For the in­visible things of him from the Creation of the world are cleerly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal Power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse, Rom. 1. 19, 20.

N. If I am not much mistaken, the sence of [Page 65] this Text is here much mistaken.

A. For these Heathen came not to the un­derstanding of the Eternal Power & Godhead by Humane Learning, nor by the Study of the Creatures, but by Gods manifesting it to them in the preaching of the Gospel, which was invisible (or hid) from (or ever since) the Creation of the World; being the mystery which from the beginning of the World hath been hid in God, Eph. 3. 8, 9. and hid from Ages and generations, but then made manifest, Coloss. 1. 25, 26. This mysterious hidden or invisible power and Godhead (or Divine Essence) did God shew to them, and was clearly seen by them, and that by the preaching of the Go­spel, and by the mighty and powerful works done or wrought among them, for the Con­firmation thereof.

[Made] is very unaptly put into our Trans­lation; instead whereof [done or wrought] would more fitly set forth the sence of the A­postle in that place. And then when these Heathen (after so clear a discovery and ma­nifestation to them of the only true and pow­erful God, by the Gospel) fell back againe to their former Idolatry, this was it which ag­gravated both their sin and punishment to so great a height: but if the same discovery had been made to them by humane Learning, or the study of the Creatures, then they had been guilty of the same sin, and so would have been made liable to the same punishment e­ver since the Creation, and their attaining humane Learning, because they formerly [Page 66] committed the same Idolatry, but yet were not at all guilty of the same degree of sin, nor liable thereby to the same punishment; for in respect of the times before the coming of Christ and the Gospel, God winked at, as times of their Ignorance, Act. 17. 30. which could not be, if that the eternal Power and God-head had been so clearly manifested to them (as in the Text is set forth) by the Creation, or the study of the Creatures by hu­mane Learning.

Nor was it the Apostles drift or business to tell the Romans there, what means of know­ledge the world had 4000 years before; nor was it to set forth or declare the vertue or ex­cellency of humane Learning, nor of the knowledge attainable by it, or by the Creati­on: but to set forth the great and mighty power of God (which had been hid from Ages and Generations since the world began) but was then made manifest by the power which accompanied the Gospel, beginning at the 16 verse, thus:

16. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God to Salvation, to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

This he proves, and sets forth by its effects in divers instances, in the four next following verses, thus:

For there-in, or by it,
  • [Page 60]17. Is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
  • 18. The wrath of God is re­vealed from heaven, against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the Truth in un­righteousness.
  • 19. That which might be known of God, is manifest to them, for God hath shewed it unto them.
  • 20. The invisible (or hid) things of him, from (or ever since) the Creation of the world, are clearly seen, being under­stood by the things that are made, (done or wrought) even his e­ternal Power and God-head.

This may plainly be seen to be the drift and sence of the Apostle in that place: and to this sence the Scripture accords elsewere, Heb. 2. 3, 4. Heb. 6. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. but to the other sence, no where.

And therefore, seeing that humane Learn­ing is so pur-blind, as not in one thousand six hundred years to finde out the true scope and genuine sence of Scripture, which lies so ob­vious and plain, as here, and in divers other places it doth, where the true sence is hither­to mistaken, and not to this day attained un­to by humane Learning; How then can it rea­sonablybe thought possible, that Christ did ever [Page 68] advance humane Learning to so great and honourable an employment, as to cause a Star thereof to arise, of purpose to direct men to the Sun of Righteousness, or to be an Usher to prepare the way for the Gospel; or that he hath now delivered it up unto his Church, to be continued therein, or esteemed a gift of his Spirit, as our Author R. B. in his book of Infidelity, part 1. page 37, 38. most presump­tuously hath asserted. Cujus contrarium ve­rum est.

Page 174.

B. Are not our Divines themselves disagreed a­bout the Definitions of Faith, Repentance, and al­most all Graces?

N. This proves them no true Divines.

The Third PART.

Page 9.

B. If we can evince this, That Christs great works, and his Disciples, were done by the Holy Ghost, and not by evil spirits, then I think we shew the credibility and certainty of Christian Re­ligion.

N. I conceive the doubt lies not in this.

A. For it being granted, That those works were done by the Power of the Holy Ghost, yet the doubt still remains in full force, name­ly, How your Doctrines are any more con­firmed by Christs or the Apostles works, then [Page 69] the Jesuites, or Dr. Kendals, Mr. Crandons, or Mr. Tombes his Doctrines, (by all whom most of your Doctrines are contradicted) or then his Doctrines who may contradict both yours and theirs also.

Page 55.

B. And what I speak of sight, I say also of just report; he that will not believe, &c.

N. But by what warrant do you equalize these, since Christ hath put so vast a difference between them? John 15. 24. John 10. 37.

Page 59.

B. What evidence can be mentioned (de facto) of a divine attestation, that ever God gave to mankind in any case, that is higher, clearer, and more convincing, then those works by which he hath sealed the Scriptures?

N. This is most true, being applied as it ought, to the preaching of Christ and his true Ministers, whose preaching they did seal and attest; but not the Scriptures, nor any mans preaching from them, is sealed by those migh­ty works formerly This and divers o­ther reasons, are here ur­ged, which are not so much as hi [...]ed, by the Author of Fides Di­vina. done: for a thing sealed, precedes the sealing thereof.

Page 62.

B. The inward work of the Spirit is either of common gifts, as Learning, or the like, succeeding our industry; or extraordinary, as Miracles, Tongues, Prophesie, &c.

N. Is it learning which makes Learning attained by Industry a Gift of the Spirit? or is it not (at least) in consideration? and if this may be justified by a distinction of Com­mon and special or extraordinary, then every [Page 70] natural gift and Science or Trade, may as well be accounted a gift of the Spirit, and given forth upon Christs Ascention.

A. Wherefore, as the Art of making Hats, Gloves, Shooes, Kettles or Pots, and other the like Crafts acquired by Industry, be not a­ny of the gifts of the Spirit, shed forth by Christ upon his Disciples, mentioned Act. 2. so the Craft of humane Arts and Sciences, acquired by Industry, is no gift of the Spirit given forth by Christ: for whatsoever is at­tained by Acquisition, is not by gift; and so on the contrary. Page 67.

B. Such works were done, when in all Churches many of them were so common, &c.

N. Were these common? why then do you elsewhere term them extraordinary? And, why might not we expect them to be as com­mon now as then, if we had true Ministers and Churches now as then? Mar. 16. 17.

Page 69.

B. There being but one Regeneration, but one Baptism to signifie and seal it.

N. Where in Scripture is Baptism termed a seal of Regeneration?

A. Or of any other thing. Page 71.

B. If I had not done the works which no man else could do, &c.

N. Among them, is here and elsewhere o­mitted.

A. Which is no fair play, nor just deal­ing. Page 73.

B. In case they hear onely of Christs Person, Sufferings and Doctrines, &c.

N. This hearing of Christs Person, &c. need to be attested likewise, to bind men to be­lieve, else men may wave it without sin, unless the Servant be greater, and of more Authority then Christ their Master, John 10. 37.

Page 74.

B. It is a not believing, when they have fullest evidence to force belief.

N. The fullest evidence was to them in whose sight and presence the mighty works were done; but not to such who onely hear of them by the report of another, or by tra­dition, or the like. Page 75.

B. The Spirit of Christ, especially in his ex­traordinary works, is the convincing, attesting seal, to draw men to believe; and there is but one such Spirit and Seal.

N. Then where this one is wanting, con­vincing is wanting, John 16. 7, 8, 9. Whence I quere, Whether the ground of this sin a­gainst the Holy Ghost be not also wanting, since it is granted, That there is but one such Spirit and Seal, and this one being wanting.

A. You your selves confess, That those con­vincing gifts poured out upon the Apostles, are ceased, against which the sin against the Holy Ghost might be committed: and you never yet produced any thing in its stead, armed with like Power and Authority for Con­vincement, whereby to bring men under sin, much less under the sin against the Holy Ghost, for not believing any of you all.

Page 76.

B. It is now the duty of all men to believe and repent.

N. Mens duty is in their power, else not their duty required by the Gospel; unless you can make it good news to any man, to be re­quired either to carry Pauls Church on his back, or else be hanged. Page. 133.

B. They (to wit, the Mahometans) will not suffer it to be disputed nor reasoned of but absolutely to be believed, without asking any evidence for its truth.

N. This is a fault among many who call themselves Christians, as well and as much as mong Mahometans.

A. Yea, and most of all, among such as call themselves Ministers of the Gospel.

Page 191.

B. The first Declaration of this undertaking, (to wit, of Christs conquest over the Serpent, &c.) was to the Serpent himself, Gen. 3. 15▪ but doubt­less in the ears of man to his comfort.

N. This is more then you find made known in Scripture. Page 191.

B. Here is meant the Devil himself, the tempt­ing Serpent.

N. So also is this, and many other things affirmed by you.

A. Besides, the Scripture tells us, The tem­pting Serpent was a Beast of the field, Gen. 3. 1. but so is not the Devil. Page 195.

B. Whether the Angels were ministring Spirit [...] to Adam in Innocency, is more then I finde made known in Scripture; and therefore I think it un­safe and imprudent to conclude either that they were, or they were not.

N. This Moderation had been well used in many other places, instead of your peremptory Assertions in things as doubtful.

A. Yea, and more improbable by much.

Page 219.

B. He (to wit, Christ) telleth us, That it was he (to wit, the Devil) that deceived Eve, 2 Cor. 11. 3.

N. How doth this appear? or, Where doth Christ tell us so?

A. Not in the Text cited by you; for that tells us, It was the Serpent that beguiled Eve. Page 245.

B. Christ hath appointed the first day of every week for this end.

N. Where is this to be found?

Page 244.

B. Christ used other kind of weapons then theirs: they pleaded by words, and he with migh­ty works; they used Sophisms, &c.

N. If we consider by what argument did Christ evince to the world the truth of his Doctrine, we shall find it was by this of Mi­racles; and undoubtedly Christ knew the best Argument to prove the divine Authority of his Doctrine: And that which was the best then, is the best still. See Saints Rest, page 236.

A. Yea, and do not all the Ministers of the Gospel, (as they call themselves) I may say, of all the various Gospels now on foot in the world, contest against one another, one­ly by words and Sophisms, &c. without u­sing any of the fore-mentioned weapons used by Christ, as well and as much as any of the learned Philosophers, and Artificial men, here specified by you? Page 247.

B. Christ obtained victory over Satan, and his best armed Souldiers, both Jews, Idolaters, Con­jurers, [Page 74] Sorcerers, Hereticks, with their Witch­crafts and jugling Delusions, the great learned Philosophers of all Sects, with Orators and Poets, and the rest of their learned men.

N. Are not all these sorts of Enemies to the Truth yet remaining?

A. Yea, and hath not Christendom since given entertainment even to such as are the most notorious Deluders of them all, and ad­mitted them into highest place, Rule and Au­thority in the Church? witness our Author, who informs us, That the Supremest Officers, even Popes themselves, have been Hereticks, Whoremongers, Sodomites, Symonists, Mur­therers: See the lives of Silvester 2. Alex­ander 3 and 6. John 11, 22 and 23. Gregory 7. Ʋrban 7. and abundance more. John 13. was proved in Council to have ravished Maids and VVives at the Apostolick doors, murthered many, drunk to the Devil, asked help at Dice of Jupiter and Venus, &c. in his second sheet, page 13. And can it be imagined, but that such heads had suitable bodies and members? If any Reformation since be urged, Answer: not in Rome, nor in the Reformed Protestant Churches: witness Mr Whites Centuries, being all Protestant Ministers, and that of the re­formed Churches; and witness yet their con­tinual supplying their Churches with teach­ing Ministers generally out of their Magazine of Artists and Sophisters, even to this day. Yea, and doth not our Author (being one of the most eminent Ministers of one of the most eminent reformed Churches) so highly [Page 75] magnifie and advance humane Learning, that he accounts it a gift of the Spirit, delivered by Christ himself to the Church, and therein to continue, as before is noted, out of his book of Infidelity, part 1. page 38?

Nor is any of all this more then what we finde foretold, (vizt.) That Antichrist should sit in the Temple of God, and be there worshipped as God. I shall not say that humane Learning is a special Limb of that Beast, but I will say that Antichrist shall never attain to that his Ad­vancement, but by the special assistance and means of humane Learning: nor shall I say that this worshipping of humane Learning as a Gift of the Spirit, is a part of the fulfilling of that Prediction; but this I must and dare say, That the Scripture informs us, How that the Apostle Paul, by the spirit of Prophesie, declared to the Church, That after his depar­ture grievous Wolves should enter in among them, not sparing the Flock; and that of their own selves should men arise, speaking perverse things, drawing Disciples after them: and that in the latter times there should be a departing from the Faith, and a giving heed to seducing spirits, and Doctrines of Devils, speaking lies in hypocrisie, having their Consciences seared with a hot Iron: And that Christians should turn away their Ears from the Truth; and ha­ving itching Ears, should be turned unto Fa­bles, and should heap to themselves Teachers for the purpose, Act. 30. 29, 30. 1 Tim. 4. 1, 2. 2 Tim. 4. 3, 4. which also is confirm'd by Peter, telling Christians, that there should be false [Page 76] Teachers among them, who should bring in damnable Heresies, denying the Lord that bought them, 2 Pet. 2. 1.

Now tell me, is not here work cut out suffici­ently meet, for the most notorious & exquisite of this learned & artificial Rabble (aforemen­tioned?) yea, even for the very worst of them, as, Witches, Sorcerers and Conjurers, &c. for who's more meet to teach Doctrines of Devils, damnable Heresies, &c. then Such, unless it be the Devil himself?

The Fourth PART.

Page 40.

B. His teaching is joyntly by his Word, Mini­sters and Spirit.

N. VVhere or who are they? Page 40.

B. Mat. 28. 19, 20, 21. where he bids them first disciple the Nations, which contains the con­vincing of them (of age) of the Fundamentals, and procuring their consent, and then baptize them, that they may be solemnly engag'd.

N. That is, whom they convincingly did disciple, those onely they ought to baptize. A good and honest confession for the Anaba­ptists. Page 40.

B. Now there are two gross Errors which Pro­fessors do oft run into, to their perdition; the one is when they do not first lay the Fundamentals as Certainties, but hold them loosly.

N. Can any make Fundamentals of Un­certainties? Page 41.

B. If they read the Scriptures, &c. and when they are at a loss, they do not go to their Teachers.

N. How ill is it that the Bible had not been kept in an unknown Tongue, and not made so common? Page 42.

B But they go as confident censurers, and as Boys that will go to School to dispute with their Master.

N. And who, many times, are these Ma­sters? even very Boys, coming from the Uni­versity. Page 42.

B. They receive not the truth in the love of it, that they may be saved; God oft gives them up to believe a Lye, and reject that truth which would have saved them, if they had received it.

N. This is only of such as reject such a Ministry which is absent from among us. Page 45.

B. I have shewed you already, how fully he hath sealed his Testament.

N. At his last Supper he said, This is the blood of the New Testament: which was before any of that which we call the new Testament was written. Page 46.

B. If it had no divine attestation or evidence that it is of God, then you might reject it without sin or danger.

N. Here it's confest, whatsoever Doctrine is brought by any for divine, without divine atte­station, may be rejected without sin. Pa. 56.

B. But when God hath put his seal to it, and proved it to be his own, if after this you will be questioning it, &c.

N. This need better proof, if the Scripture be here meant.

A. Or your, or any other mans Doctrine drawn from Scripture. Page 46.

B. Think not the proved sealed Word of God is ever the more to be suspected, because the matter in it [Page 78] doth seem strange and unlikely to your reason.

N. No rational man is guilty of this by his so thinking.

A. But he must upon some sufficient ground know it to be the sealed and proved word of God, else he cannot in reason but doubt it to be such.

About the middle of his Preface.

B. The Holy Ghost by special inspiration, was the author of these Scriptures, and by extraordina­ry endowments, was the Author of those Miracles which were wrought for its Confirmation.

N. When or by whom was this done, or any Mi­racles wrought for the Scriptures confirmation?

A. The Scripture reports the Miracles; can the Miracles reported by Scripture, confirm that report? The Scripture rather confirms the Miracles it reports, if any confirmation at all be between these two.

I shall here (for a Conclusion) onely note one passage more of his, (and that is in his Saints Rest, part 4. page 149.) being as follow­eth: God doth not regenerate thy soul, that it may be able to know him, and not know him; or that it may be able to believe, and yet not believe, &c.

By which is implyed, That none but rege­nerate persons are able to believe, and that regeneration is wrought onely by God.

Whence I may quere of him;

1. How then comes unbelief to be any sin in the Un­regenerate?

2. Or, is it a sin in the Regenerate onely? and if so, then regenerate Persons onely must be damned for not believing; it being inconsistent with the Goodness, Mer­cy and Justice of God, (especially by his Gospel of Grace) to require impossibilities of men, and that upon pain of Damnation.


An EPISTLE to Mr. BAXTER, Collected, for the most part, out of his Prologue to Mr. KENDAL.


BE pleased to minde what Solomon adviseth, Not to strive with a man without cause, if he hath done thee no harm, Prov. 3. 30. and, Not to go forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy n [...]ighbou [...] hath put thee to shame, Pr. 25. 8▪

It seemeth a st [...]ange thing to me, that you could finde no Man, among all your learned Opponents, to contest withal, but that you must make to your self an Adversary of one so unlearned as my self, unless it be because you are likely with such a one to have the easiest conflict: but then you should have remembred, that the victory will be as small. I pretend not to such a piercing Know­ledge or Acquaintance with the invisible Regions of humane Arts and Sciences, as infallibly to determine of what Province or De­gree that Spirit in you was that raised this Contention, or to know exactly the Name or Sir-name of that fury that animated these your practises or lines against me. Have you already levelled all those high Mountains that lay in your way, and fel'd to the ground all those Cedars with whom you formerly contended, that you seek now to stock up all Shrubs likewise, that bear not your Impress and Mark upon them? Doubtless this proceeds ra­ther from your Presumption and Pride, then from any just Autho­rity you have, either from God or Man: but seeing you are pleased to chuse me for your Adversary, I must desire you to bear with me, if I have spoken something less pleasingly; and to use what pa­tience you have yet left, as knowing you have drawn this trouble upon your self, by your causeless Provocations and Assaults made upon me; which, I hope, will excuse me in the eyes of all impar­tial and ingenuous Men.

I confess my self destitute of School-Learning, and humane Arts and Sciences (so much applauded in the world;) herein I freely give you the day, to weare those Titles and Robes of Honour ap­purtenant thereunto, contenting my self to have right to that far better Title, of being an honest Man, which (in respect of your self) you have much hazarded the loss of, by your dis-ingenuous carriage towards me. I contend not to have the Reputation of learning, or being a rare and excellent Scholar, but freely allow you the due praise thereof, scarcely thinking it worthy my labour, till I have higher thoughts of the Prize; mens applause being but an airy nourishment, meerly feeding vainglory in men empty of all true worth. Onely I must crave this of the Reader, that my confess'd weakness be no prejudice to the Truth here vindicated [Page] by me; and that he will not judge of the cause by the person, nor take the name or person, nor yet the rarity of the thing for a fault; which is the thing that the ancient Christians did much deprecate of the Pagans; and therefore, I hope, every ingenuous and impar­tial man, will grant it me in the present case. And I must also desire, that the want of Eloquence, Rhetorick, or smooth and plea­sing Words, may not be judged the want of truth: [Enim vero dissoluti est pectoris, in rebus seriis quaerere voluptatem, &c. inquit Ar­nobius, Li. 1 adv. Gent. p. 49.] viz. [It is the condition of a dissolute heart, to seek pleasures in serious matters; and when thou hast to do with those that are ill at ease, and sick, to fill their ears with pleasing sounds, and not apply medicine to their wounds.] I confess, I deeply compassionate the generality of Professors, to think how unpossible it is for them to discern the truth among the multitudes of smooth Words, plausible Arguments, fallacious School-distinctions and reasonings of the learned Contenders on each side: usually they think each Mans Tale good, till they hear the other, and then they think it bad; and at last, when they see what fair glosses a learned Sophister can put upon the worst cause, they are justly oc­casioned to believe or regard little or nothing they say.

The Reader that I expect should profit by this discourse, must neither be the careless vulgar, utterly unlearned nor any so learn­ed as your self; for the former are scarcely capable of it, and the learned think themselves beyond it, and will hardly learn any thing from any man that is less learned then themselves: it is the middle sort, and plain-hearted people, who are sincere Lovers of truth, whose instruction I intend, who are neither quite above, nor below information, nor so ingaged to any party or Opinion, but that their minds lye open to the evidence of Truth, by what hand soever it be made known to them

And although I come extreamly short of you in humane Arts, and Philosophical Notions; yet let not the Reader thence con­clude, That you are therefore right in your Divinity, or more right then another man that comes short of you in humane Learn­ing; for if he doth, let him be assured to be miserably deceived in the end. And I could wish, that you had so mean thoughts of your Philosophy, and other your humane Arts, as that you would not build your Divinity so much upon it, as you do, nor think much the better, either of your Writings or your self: for doubtless, when the Canon of a Councel forbad the reading of Heathen or humane Authors, this kind of Learning was not so highly valued as now it is; which may likewise evidently appear by Socrates, L. 1. C. 5. cited P. 33. of the foregoing Treatise. Farewel.

C. W.

An Appendix and Supplement to the foregoing Discourse, by the same Author.

IF it were lawful further to dive into this mysterious fraud, we should finde, That the Gospel preacht by this Author R. B. and the Gospel preacht by St. Paul, to be different and not the same: First, because the Gospel preacht by St. Paul was accompanied with in­fallible Divine evidence to attest the truth thereof, for the conversion of men, and where­on infallibly to ground their faith and obedi­ence thereunto; without which he neither would nor could binde any to beleeve and obey it: but the Gospel preacht by this Author hath no such evidence; yet he will dare to say, That all (at least) those that hear it, are bound to beleeve and obey it. Secondly, Because illite­rate men are uncapable of the Gospel preacht by this Author, without their taking many things implicitely upon trust and upon the word of their Teachers, as he himself tells us, in page 238, 239. of his Saints Rest, where he thus [Page 2] expresseth himself, (viz.) Something must be taken upon trust from man, whether we will or no, yet no uncertainty in our faith neither: For,

First, (saith he) The meer illiterate man must take it upon trust, that the Book is a Bible which he hears read, for else he knows not but it may be some other Book.

Secondly That these words are in it, which the Reader pro­nounceth.

Thirdly, That it is trans­lated truly out of the Original Languages.

Fourthly. That the Greek and Hebrew Copies out of which it was translated are true authentick Copies.

Fifthly, That it was Ori­ginally written in these Lan­guages. These with many more (as he there tells us) the vulgar must take upon the word of their Teachers. Behold here, what use and benefit this Author makes of his having now the full use and benefit of the Holy Ghost which was formerly given and then sealed the Christi­an Doctrines and Scriptures, and stands there still, as he tells us (if we could beleeve him) in his Book of Infideli­ty, Part [...]. pag 32. And must we needs there­fore take these and all other his Doctrines which he hath raised or may raise, either from Scripture or out of his own fancy, for true and un­doubted Christian Doctrines formerly sealed by the Holy Ghost upon the account of his bare saying, That he hath now the full use and benefit of the Holy Ghost formerly given, &c. Sir, If this be your mean­ing, then speak it plainly out, and for shame, doe not im­pose upon the world such G [...]olleries as these meerly by implication.

But the Gospel preacht by St. Paul, and other the true Ministers of Jesus Christ, needed none of all this: it being preacht to all people in their own Languages, and to the understanding of the meanest; and this was all the Originals, Copies and Translations that they were trou­bled withall or needed, to bring them to the [Page 3] faith of the Gospel; they not being necessita­ted to take the least tittle thereof impli [...]itely upon trust, or upon the word or credit of their Teachers. For, When Philip went down to the City of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them, the vulgar people (as illiterate as they were) with one accord gave heed to the things which Phi­lip spake, hearing and seeing the Miracles which he did; and without more ado, they belee­ved and were baptised both men and women, Act. 8, 12.

All which was done before any of these be­leevers had received the Spirit, for (after this) were sent from Jerusalem, Peter and John, who administred the Spirit to them by laying their hands on them, ver. 17.

Even as Peter declared their ordinary method of administring of the Spirit to be after faith and baptism, Act. 2. 38, 39. by his bidding the Jews to repent and be baptized every one of them, and that they (i. e. every one of them) should then receive the gift of the Spirit, because the pro­mise (to wit, of the Spirit) was to them and their children, and to all that should afterward be converted or called to the faith of the Gospel, as well all afar off, as those that were neer. And therefore it was that Paul demanded of the Di­sciples at Ephesus, If they had received the Holy Spirit since they beleeved: and they answering, That they knew not whether there were any Holy Spirit or not; He presently asked them, Ʋnto what then were they baptized? He well knowing that the gifts of the Spirit was necessary to be administred to all, and to every one after their [Page 4] beleeving and being baptised: and therefore by laying his hand on them, he administred the gifts of the Spirit to them; for thereby the Holy Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied, Act. the 19. 1, 2, 3, 6. compared with Ephes. 1. 13.

This also is contrary to the Doctrine of the Gospel now preached by this our Author and others.

So then it is most evident, that to the true Ministery of the Gospel appertained these three special administrations, as essentially necessary thereunto.

1. The administration of the Word infalli­bly and evidently attested for the conversion of men to the beleef and obedience thereof.

2. The administration of Johns baptism by water, for the remission of sins.

3. The administration of Christ's baptism with the Spirit, by the laying on of hands, whereby the gifts of the Spirit were conveyed on the baptised beleevers.

Moreover, St. Paul tells the Corinthians, That his preach [...]ng to them, was not for them to take any thing from him implicitely upon trust, or upon any perswasive words of his, or of mans wisdome; but upon the demonstration of the Spi­rit and power (which he produced before them, to attest the t [...]uth and Divine Authority of his Doctrine) that so their faith should not stand upon the word, credit, or wisdome of men, but upon the power of God, 1 Cor. 2. 4, 5. for if they should have taken it implicitely upon the word and credit of Paul, (so great an Apostle as [...]e [Page 5] was) without the aforesaid Divine infallible evidence, This had not been to beleeve God, but to have resolved their faith into some humane te­stimony, even to have laid their foundation upon the sand, where all would have fallen at the next assault, as this Author himself hath told us, in his Saints Rest, pag. 20 [...].

3. The Gospel preach'd by St. Paul, was joyful news to every creature under Heaven, Col. 1. 23. But the Gospel preach'd by this Author is far short of that, being sad news to most men, especi­ally to such as beleeve not his Doctrines, when they often interfere & thwart one another, as in part is here already shewed; yea, and some things published by him in print, hath he already in print Next to the 160. pag. of his Saints Rest, part 1. He thus writes, (viz) Reader, un­derstand that since I wrote this, I begin to doubt of the sound­ness of what is expressed in the four next foregoing pages; which I am not ashamed to acknow­ledge, but ashamed that I pub­lished it so rashly. re­voked, and so may he doe (as there is just cause) many more before he die: yea, it is ho­ped that he will ere long pub­lickly own this truth, which he now publickly opposeth; for he hath so closely pursued it, and so neerly approached it, that he cannot but see some glimpses of its glory. For why else would he, or needed he to have so perverted Joh. 15. 24. as he hath often done, to obscure its lustre, to prevent its shi­ning forth to the view of all men, and that so purposely and [...]advisedly, if the truth oppo­sed by him had not glanced its light fully and di­rectly into his face? and he cannot but know how unsafe and dangerous it is in any man to [Page 6] persist in opposing a truth, after it is once dis­cerned by him.

Fourthly, The Gospel which St. Paul preach­ed was the same which Christ preached; but the Gospel preach'd by this Author is not the same which Christ preached, because the Doctrine of the Gospel which Christ preached would be proved and upheld by Joh. 15. 24. being truly and in its genuine sence cited; but the Do­ctrine of the Gospel preach'd by this Author would be disproved and overthrown by its being truly and in its genuine sence cited, for why else would he or needed he so much and so often (as he in his writings hath done) to have perverted it to a contrary sence, or to any other then its true and genuine sence to prove his Doctrine: He being no Baby not to know what he did, nor why he did it, when he did it.

Whence will necessarily result these conclu­sions, First, That the Gospel preached by this Author (not being the same which Christ and St. Paul preach'd) must be some other, and be­ing any other, cannot be the true, nor he any true Minister of the Gospel.

Secondly, That none can be blest by belee­ving or obeying the Gospel which he preach­eth, because St. Paul positively asserts, Gal. 1. 8. Though we or an Angel from Heaven preach any other Gospel unto you then that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. This he duplicates in the next verse (thus,) As we said [...]efore, so say I again, If any man preach any o­ther [Page 7] Gospel unto you, then that ye have heard, let him be accursed.

And who now can secure this our Author from the reach of these Comminations, or rea­sonably imagine, how any man can be blest in beleeving or obeying that Gospel, for the preaching whereof, the preacher is accur­sed?

Thirdly, That this Authors Sermons and Books are liable to the same destiny unto which he himself hath doomed almost all other mens: In his Saints Rest, Part 1. pag. 132. where he makes these pathetical demands (viz.) How many Sermons zealously preached? How many Books studiously compiled will then (to wit) in the world come by the Authors be all disclaim­ed?

These interrogations implying negations, are as if he should have said, That the Sermons and Books, which will (in the world to come) be disclaimed by the Authors, are so many as they can hardly be numbred.

And why may we not put into this numerous company, the Sermons and Books also of the rest of the Presbyterians, of whom one both learned and Mr. John Goodwin in his fresh discovery of the high Presbyte­rian Spirit, pag. 38, 56. judicious thus writes, (viz.) That day after day they preach broad-faced contradictions, and make the Scrip­ture to say and unsay, which being interpreted, is to make them say just nothing. Nor are many of their writings any whit more excusable upon the same account.

And that he had thorowly tryed many of their [Page 8] Doctrines and tenents, and found them lyars; yea, and had opportunity to stigmatize them for such publickly, and alarm the world concerning the hatefulness and danger of them.

Wherefore I could wish, that our Author in his future undertakings, would please to look round about him, and to grasp and duly weigh the whole matter of which he intends to treat, and to lay aside whatsoever he findes vain or si­newless; and no more to obtrude upon the world such empty humane traditions, for neces­sary Divine Doctrines, as he hath done, and that with such unwarrantable and groundless confi­dence, as thereby he hath given many great ad­vantages, more then I finde hath been yet taken against him by any.

Alas poor mortals! silly wretches, dust and ashes, meer baggs of warm dung as we are! can we command back the Sun when it is set, or instead thereof, place in the Firmament some e­quivalent light, to prevent the darkness which necessarily will follow its setting? No more can we (though furnished with all the acquired Arts of humane learning our natures are capa­ble of) call back the light of the glorious Go­spel of Christ, when it is withdrawn by God, as now apparently it is; the times and seasons for these things, being solely in his own power and dispose.

For doth not the Scripture plainly fore-tel of these times of general Apostasie? was not the woman, Rev. 12. (expounded by the learned to typifie the true Church) to be driven into the wilderness from the converse and sight of men, [Page 9] to be fed there by God? (and therefore not by Popedoms, Bishopticks, Masterships of Col­ledges or Hospitals, Parsonages, Tythes, Aug­mentation, or any other forced maintenance from men.) And was not her Man-child (the Masculine, Divine and powerful gifts, he fir [...]t­born fruits of the Spirit) to be taken up unto God and to his throne, from whom, and whence they were at first received by Christ, and given un­to men, Eph. 4. 8, 11. compared with Act. 2. 33. and are not these in more abundance to be pow­red out on the sons of men, Before the great and terrible day of the Lord, Joel 2. Act. 2. compa­red with Esa. 44. 3. even when he shall send his Angel to preach and make known his everlasting Gospel unto them that dwell upon the earth, Rev. 14. 6. and when he shall call his ancient people the Jews; until which time this Babylonish darkness which hath overspread the world, is like to continue, even that darkness which (the Pro­phet tells us) shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people (or Gentiles,) until they shall come and partake of the Jews light, when the Lord shall arise to them, and his glory be seen upon them, Isa. 60. 1, 2, 3. And therefore the duty most incumbent upon us (now in these Aporetick times) is not to hate, persecute, judge, or con­demn one another in matters of Religion, but) to joyn in prayer, for, and with the Jewes, That God would be merciful unto them, and bless them, and cause his face to shine upon them, that his way may be known upon the earth, and his saving health among all Nations: then shall the earth yeeld her increase, and God even their [Page 10] own God shall bless them; God shall bless them, and all the ends of the earth shall fear him, Psal. 67. For then many people shall goe and say, Come, let us goe up unto the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall goe forth the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, and he shall judge a­mong the Nations, and shall rebuke many people, and they shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning hooks, Nation shall not lift up sword against Nation, neither shall they learn war any more, Esa. 2. 2, 3. Mic. 4. 2, 3. add to this Zech. 8. 23.

And this great and general Apostacy is like­wise plainly foretold in many other places of Scripture; As, that all the world shall wonder af­ter the beast, and worshipped the Dragon which gave power to the Beast, and they worshipped the Beast, and all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, Revel. 13. To which add that of St. Paul, 2 Thes. 2. 3. where he willeth the Thes­salonians, To let no man deceive them, for that day shall not come except there came a falling a­way first: and telleth Timothy, 2 Tim. 4. 3, 4. That the time will come, when they will not indure sound Doctrine, but after their own lusts, shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned to Fables.

Where it is to be noted, That he doth not say some of them, or some of you, (as he did when he warned the Elders of Ephesus, of the beginning of this Apostacy, Act. 20.) but they indefinitely will not indure sound Doctrine, and [Page 11] they indefinitely shall turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned to fables.

And the same Apostle foretels the restitution of the truth with life and power again; for wri­ting of the rejection and restoration of the Jews, Rom. 11. 15. he thus expresseth himself, If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall their receiving be, but life from the dead, (namely,) to the world, which shall then be in darkness, and in effect dead, being destitute of the powerful and lively ordinances of the Gospel of Christ, from which darkness and death, the world shall then be delivered, in­lightned and revived. Hence we may see, that it was not for nought that our quondam Bishops continued among us the use of that common & necessary prayer, which begins thus, Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord, &c. And it were wel if the same were still continued, & that our present Rulers both civil & ecclesiastical would themselves also joyn with us in the use thereof, even as all our great need requireth. I thought here to have raised an objection against the pre­mises, but I find one already made to my hands, and that by this our Author himself in a sheet of his, lately put out against the Quakers, where with much confidence he thus objects; (viz.)


The Quakers are but of late years standing, they rose from among the Papists, Seek­ers, Ranters and Anabaptists, but a while agoe; and if Christ had no Catholick Church before then, and ever since his Ascension, he ceased to be Christ in Office, the head and Saviour of the Church: for no Church, no Saviour; no body, no head; no School, no teacher; no Kingdome, no King: no wife, no husband.

Answ. There being a Triumphant Church in Heaven (as they teach) this may supply Christ with a Kingdome, a Body, a wife and Church, to whom he may be King, head, hus­b [...]nd and Saviour, when there may be no true Church amongst us mortals, upon the face of the earth. For the making good whereof, they teach us, That the Souls of the righteous ascend immediately into Heaven to God, there to partake of present bliss and glory: and that the Soul of the penitent thief went immediately in­to Paradise, whither (no doubt) the Souls of many penitent theeves have gone since, as sure as that theeves Soul went thither: but now the greatest theeves crucifie, hang, rob and plunder men, and are neither crucified nor hanged, yet doe thinke upon that account to lodge their Souls there also when they die, though they nei­ther repent, nor make restitution so much as Judas did; wherein they will (I fear) at last finde themselves miserably cozened.

These Doctrines being both true, and doubt­ed by none but Hereticks; then Christ hath a double supply of a Kingdome, wife, body and Church, the one in the highest Heaven, and the other in Paradise: but and if these Doctrines should both fail of making good the proposition of a Triumphant Church in Heaven (as it is feared by many they will, in that they doe pro­pose two different receptacles for the Souls of the righteous) I shall mind them of one more, better then both these; namely, The bodies of many of the Saints which slept, arose, and came out of their graves after Christ's resurrection, [Page 13] went into the Holy City, and appeared unto many: These, I conceive, would much better make a Triumphant Church in Heaven, then either or both of the other, whereby Christ may be sup­plyed with a Kingdome, body, wife and Church, and all the supposed absurdities in the objection prevented; though Christ neither now hath, nor never is like to have (until the calling of the Jews) any true Church upon the face of the earth.

And as to his parallels of School and Teacher, King and Kingdome, (I say) a head-School-master, being lawfully established such in any place, may afterward be so interrupted by rea­son either of war, or some contagious sickness there raging, as he may not have one Scholar left for him to teach; doth this School-master therefore lose his right, or so much as his title of being head-School-master (especially he readily attending to perform that his office, when ever his Scholars shall return again to be taught by him?) I think not.

And as to Christ's Kingdome (I say) if Christ at his Ascension was a King (as is granted by the objection) and then had no Kingdome; he may also as well then be a head, a husband and a Saviour, without either body, wife or Church upon earth: but Christ was then a King, yet had no Kingdome on earth, because his Kingdome was then, and is yet to come, as may be thus proved.

Christ taught his Disciples to pray, That his Kingdome might come; a consequence where­of [Page 14] would be, that Gods will would then be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.

This prayer was by the Apostles left to fol­lowing Christians, and hath been ever since, and yet is used in the world, and the will of God not being yet done in earth as it is in Heaven, shews plainly, that Christ's Kingdome was not then, nor is yet come.

The general conformity to the will of God, both of Jewes and Gentiles, and their sub­jection to Christ in the time of his Kingdome and reign, is in many places of Scripture fore­told, as Psa. 110. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power: consonant to this, Mo­ses prophesied, which is by Peter repeated, Act. 3. 22. (thus) For Moses truly said unto the Fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall you hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And that the fulfilling of this is not to be until the personal and second comming of Christ, the three precedent ver­ses do shew.

And in Ps. 67. 7. God shall bless us (i. e. Jews) and all the ends of the earth shall fear him: con­sonant to this, is Esa. 2. 2, 3. Zac. 8. 23. be­fore cited.

Likewise Zac. 14. informs us of the coming of the day of the Lord, ver. 1. of Christ's per­sonal coming, ver. 3, 4. of his being King over all the earth in that day, ver. 9. of the subjecti­on of all Nations to Christ, and their worship­ping of him, being then King at Jerusalem, ver. [Page 15] 16, 17. even as it was foretold by the Ange to Mary, Luk. 1. 32, 33. That he should be great, and that the Lord God would give him the throne of his Father David, and that he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: hereunto con­tribute, Luk. 19. 11, 13. and Luk. 21. 23, to 33. where when Christ had set forth his perso­nal coming, and his redeeming of the Jews out of captivity, he then after all this tells them, That when they see these things come to pass, then they should know that the Kingdome of God will be nigh at hand.

Note, but nigh then, therefore not in being at his Ascention, nor at any time since. And as to his conjecture, that the Christian Church in this world, is the Kingdome of Christ, and his only Kingdome upon earth, as some imagine;

These conceipts are already answered and re­futed, in the 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, and 31. pages of the foregoing discourse.

And as to the phrases in Scripture which some stumble at, (such as these) The Kingdome is neer you, or in you, (this is to be rendred a­mong you, as the margent in King James his Bible shews) and the taking the Kingdom from one people, and giving it to another, and the like: These are to be understood of the Gospel of the Kingdom, being a special means of obtain­ing the Kingdome, and that to be neer them, or preacht among them, whereby they might come to inherit the Kingdome; for the word Gospel, or good news of the Kingdome, can­not be the Kingdome it self: and by the phrase of taking the Kingdom from any, is only meant [Page 16] the taking from them the Gospel, or means of their attaining the Kingdom, which (in effect) is the taking the Kingdome it self from them.

It is evident therefore, though Christ was a King at, and ever since his Ascention; yet his Kingdom is not yet, nor will be, until the sound of the Seventh Trumpet, When the Kingdoms of this world, will become the Kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, thenceforth for ever, Rev. 11. 15. Then, and not till then, shall the Heathen and the uttermost parts of the earth, be taken into his pos­session; although his right thereunto, and Lord­ship thereof, was given him of the Father long before, Psa. 2. 8.

The result of all which is this, That as he was a King before his Kingdome was set up; so might he be made Head and Saviour before his Body or Church was constituted; and so may he remain, whilst the Church is extinct, driven or withdrawn from off the face of the earth, as it must needs be, when all that dwell upon the earth shall worship the Beast, Rev. 13. 8. and when the way of God is not known upon earth, Psal. 67. 2. For although the relation between a natural head and its body be such, as neither can sub­sist without the other; yet it is not so between Christ and his Body the Church, being spiritu­al, as by and by I shall make appear.

And therefore to that part of the objection, No body, no head; I shall here offer him this short Dilemma: Christ (being made Head of his Church at his Ascention) either had a Christian Church then upon earth, or he had none: if none, then was he a head without a [Page 17] body, a husband without a wife; and if he had one, then there was one before that time: for there were very many, and as many baptized Disciples and beleevers before his death, as there were at or after his Ascention, until the powring down of the gifts of the Spirit, and the conversion of three thousand mentioned in Act. 2.

How else could he have been seen of more then five hundred Brethren at once, and of many other of his Disciples, with whom he conversed at least forty days after his Resurrection, and be­fore he Ascended? 1 Cor. I would fain know of R. B. If he and his fellow-Members of his Ca­tholick Church, are any fitter or tru­er matter, or in a better capacicy for Membership in Christs Body and Church now, then these Apostles, Disciples, and Brethren were in, before Christ Ascended: these had true faith and baptism, hath he and his fellow-mem­bers more or truer? I think not, but that it will be found (upon due exa­mination) to come many degrees and in many respects short of the others. How then can they be a true Church, and the other none? 15. 5, 6, &c. Act. 1. 3. And if any of these were a Christian Church, be­fore his death, or be­fore his ascension, then there was a body and wife before he was made a head or husband. Or else thus: either these were a Christian Church be­fore Christ ascended, or they were not: If he say they were, then there was a body without a head; if he say they were not, then there was no Christian Church upon the earth, for cer­tain dayes after he Ascended, and until the gift; of the Holy Ghost were powred down upon the Disciples, mentioned in Act. 2. And then for that distance of time, between his Ascention and his pow [...]ing down of these gifts, there was a head, but no body. Let him now chuse which of [Page 18] these he please, since either of them invalidates his objection.

And indeed the very truth is, That these were nobody or Church of Christ, until they had these gifts of the Spirit poured down upon them mentioned Act. 2. presently after which (but not before) they were denominated a Church, being then formed into several Spiritual mem­berships, for the several Offices and services of the whole body: like as the several members of a Natural Body are serviceable to the body: Now if these gifts of the Spirit formed Members, and knit them to­gether, and also to their head, from whom they received nourishment, growth, and increase of the whole bo­dy (as is most evident) they then nei­ther were nor could be any body or Church of Christ, until the powring down of the gifts of the spirit upon the Disciples at Pentecost, (ten dayes after Christs ascention;) when it is granted by the Objector, he was invested into Headship: and I suppose it must also be granted, that this Head-ship was con­ferred upon him before that time, even at his Resurrection: for how else could he presently after and be­fore his Ascention have told his Disci­ples, That all power was given unto him both in Heaven and in Earth? Mat. 28. 18. But all power had not then been given to him, if the Headship or Lordship over his Church had been omitted or suspended until his Ascention. This Jesus, God raised up, and made him both Lord and Christ, Act. 2. 35, 36. And he was the first born from the dead of every creature, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence, Col. 1. 15, 18. For nothing was left that should not be made subject unto him: but neither then, nor since, are all things actually made subject unto him, although he then was actually crown­ed with the Glory and Honour of Lordship over all things, Heb. 2. 5, 6, 8, 9. which hereafter are to be actually put in subjection unto him, as these Scriptures witness, Psal. 110. 1. Act. 2. 34, 35, 36. 1 Cor. 15. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, Phil. 2. 8, 9, 10, 11, Heb. 1. 6, 13. and 10. 12, 13. All which shews the imbecility of the objection, being composed meerly of non-sequiturs. unto which the Apostle plainly alludes, and com­pares the Church, 1 Cor. 12. where he also tells them, That they having these spiritual gifts, were thereby all of them bap­tized into that one body of Christ, by that one Spirit; before which they were not of that body, nor sutable matter for Membership in that spiritual body of Christ their Spiritual Head and husband: Even as the Apostle writing to a true Church, Rom. 8. tells them, That if any (of them) had not the Spirit of Christ, the same was none of his: (i. e. none [Page 19] of his body or Church,) which is as a building fitly framed together, groweth to an holy temple in the Lord, in whom they were builded together, for an habitation of God through the Spirit, Eph. 2. 21, 22. & Rom. 12. 4, 5. as we have many Members in the bo­dy, and all the members have not the same office; so we being many are one bo­dy in Christ, and every one members one of another, holding the head, from which all the body (by these gifts of the Spirit, as by joynts and bands) ha­ving nourishment ministred, and knit together, in­creaseth with the increase of God, Col. 2. 19.

Wherefore this learned Objector may as well and as soon truly define a Natural body without members or joynts and sinews, to knit them to­gether, as to define a true Christian Church or body of Christ, without these gifts of the Spirit.

For see we not how the most learned on all sides, flounder and fall before each other in their definitions of a true Church and each different party challenging their definition to be truest, and the true Church to be amongst them; each crying, Loe here, and loe there? as if the Church of Christ, when and where it is, will not be per­spicuously and distinctly discovered (as a light set upon a hill) to all beholders, even by her [Page 20] own eminency, and by that divine light and power which alwayes did and will accompany her, without the help of blind guides with their dark-lanthorns of humane Arts and Sciences to discover and find her out. This consideration alone, is sufficient to evidence, That the true Church is withdrawn from the earth, or at least so far removed, that we know not where to find it.

I shall instance in the definition made by one of the best reformed Churches (even the Church of England) as it was most advisedly framed by the wisest and ablest of them, and then publickly held forth in the Articles of the Church, which they stoutly defended against the world; inso­much as whosoever would not conform there­to, was obnoxious to censure; and being a Mi­nister, was liable to be reprobated and cast out as refuse and unsavory salt.

In the ninteenth Article it is thus defined, viz. The visible Church of Christ is a Congre­gation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly administred, according to Christs Ordinance.

Now let a Heathen be told, that by these marks he may know the true Church, may he not then demand how he shall know the pure word of God when it is preached? &c. must he not then be told, that he must know that by the true Church? and then again may he not ask, How he may know the true Church? and must he not then again be answered, That he must know the true Church by their preaching the pure word of God, &c.

And thus may he run the round again and a­gain to the worlds end, and be never the neer­er knowing the true Church, until he return a­gain into his own countrey, and there or else­where learn undoubtedly to know what the pure word of God is, when it is preached, and what the due administration of the Sacraments is according to Christ's ordinance: and as soon as he hath learned undoubtedly to know all these, he may then return hither again if he please, and find out the true Church of Christ a­mongst us as soon as he can.

But how unlike are these marks unto those which Christ himself gave to know his true Church by, Mar. 16. 17, 18. These signs shall follow them: In my name they shall cast out Devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Unto this also accords St. Pauls description of a true Cburch, 1 Cor. 12. 28. God hath set some in the Church, first, Apostles; secondly, Prophets; thirdly, teachers; after them, miracles; then gifts of healing, helps, go­vernments, divers kinds of tongues. And accor­dingly Ancient Christians judged these gifts of the Spirit, to be absolutely necessary to the be­ing of a true Church: for Eusebius informs us, That one Miliades disputing with certain He­reticks, proves them no true Church, or right Christians, by the discontinuance of the gifts of the Spirit amongst them (thus:) If that as they say, after Quadratus and Ammias the Phila­delphian, those women of Montanus succeeded in [Page 22] the gift of Prophesie, Let them shew who afterward succeeded Montanus, and his women; for the Apostle thinketh good, that the gifts of Prophesie should reign in every Church, even unto the end; but now for the space of these fourteen yeers since Miximilla dyed, they are able to shew us not one, Euseb. lib. 5. chap. 15.

And so modern Authors likewise doe judge these gifts necessary to the being of a true Church: for in a Book intituled The Doctrine of Baptisms, set out 1652. by a nameless au­thor (supposed to be Mr. Dell,) in pag. 22. it's asserted, That as Spirit-Baptisme makes us one with Christ the head; so with the Church, the Body, 1 Cor. 12. 13. for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, &c.

And a little after he saith, There are no more of that Church, which is the body of Christ-then they that are baptised with that one Spi­rit.

The truth of all which our Objector himself so far acknowledgeth, as (in his Preface to the second Part of his Saints Rest) to tell us, That they spake with Tongues before people of ma­ny Nations; and that it was not one, nor one hundred, but multitudes of Christians that had one gift or other of this sort, either mira­cles specially so called, or heal­ing, or prophecie, or tongues, He might have said, Not one, but bad one such gift or other. &c. and for proof there­of, he citeth 1 Cor. 12. Mar. 16. 17. both which Scriptures mention manifest gifts, and outward and visible works of the Spirit only; and not inward invisible workings thereof.

And he likewise tells us, That these manifest gifts did remain in the Church, at least three or four hundred yeers after the Apostles.

How easie by these gifts might any Heathen having but the use of reason undoubtedly know the true Church, and all at once, without any circumcursoes or wandrings hither and thither to finde her?

And since a true visible Church is here defi­ned to be a Congregation; I quere, When or where this Objectors Catholick Church (where­of he professeth himself a member) was ever congregated? I think he can hardly tell me; and if it was never congregated, How then can he prove it to be a congregation (or Church,) Act. 20. 28. 1 Thes. 5. 7. Col. 3. 16. Heb. 3. 13. much less any true Church of Christ? the Elders whereof are to feed and take care for all the flock, and the particular members thereof ought to e­difie, admonish, and exhort one another dayly: but how the Elders and members of this his Catho­lick Church do, or can perform all these their duties, he need to inform us, before we can or ought to beleeve it to be any true or visible Church of Christ.

I have been much the larger in answering this Objection, because I find the framer there­of, to build many great errors upon this fa­brick, founded upon meerfallacy and quicksand. But I now hope, that upon his review, a speedy way may be opened to him, no more to deceive others, nor longer to be deceived himself there­in; it being an ingenuous, valiant, pious and glorious thing in any man, at any time, upon a­ny occasion, to forsake an error and repent.

‘And that he may the rather be induced there­unto, I shall minde him of one at least as wise and as learned as himself, viz, Mr. John Good­win, well known to be both grave and judicious, against whom the like Objection is made, by Mr. Pawson (thus,) That notwithstanding such a purpose in God to save whosoever be­leeves, all might perish, and Christ be an head without a body, a King without Subject, &c.

Hereunto, Mr. Goodwin in his Triumviri, pag. 38. gives this sober and solid answer fol­lowing, viz.

These are offered under a pre­tence of high absurdities, in case they were truths, have nothing in them but what even a childe might readily vindicate from such an imputation. For what absurdity or inconve­nience is it, that Christ should be an head, actu signato, i. e. a person fit or meet to make an head, and not be an head actu exercito, i. e. not an head actually united to a body? there is the same reason of his being a King also. When Solomon saith, That he had seen Princes walking as servants on the earth, Eccl. 11. 7. he judgeth it no absurdity to stile those Princes who had no Subjects, nor any thing else externally comporting with the state of a Prince; but ascribes unto them the ho­nour and denomination, upon the account of their truly noble, and Prince-like qualities and endowments: but besides the regular­ness and inoffensiveness of such consequences, in case they were regularly deducible from their premises, the clear truth is, they are plain non sequiturs.

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It doth not follow, that if all men might perish, that Christ should be an head without a body, or a King without Subjects; for might he not, yea, should he not have been an head to a body of Angels, whether men had been any part of this body or no? Are not Angels also now his Subjects? If it were lawful for him that is Orthodox to learn any thing from a man that is erroneous, Mr. Pawson might have informed himself of these things, from pag. 438, 439, &c. as also from pag. 215, 216. of my Book of Redemption.

Thus far Mr. Goodwin, to whom I refer this our learned Objector, for his better learning and information in these particulars. It being no small cause of grief to see a man so studiously industrious as he is, (with so much zeal for God, and so much charity towards men, as he seems to have) to be in so many things so extreamly mistaken.

The Authors last farewell to his Reader.


Be intreated for thine own sake (in thy per­usal of the foregoing discourses) to lay aside all prejudice, which often so prepossesseth the minds of most, that it quite puts out the very eye of the understanding, or at least so transports the whole man, that we can by no means rellish or down with any thing that is contrary, or different to our education, or the approbation of the time and place we live in; though never [Page 26] so evidently made out unto us, to be both sound, wholsome and good; for when it is presented so to be, and that within our view, we then usu­ally wink with our eyes, lest we should see.

This deadly enemy to our peace, is bred and fostered in some by ignorance; in some, by per­verse and willful obstinacy; in some, by malice; See Act. 19. 24, to 36. and in many by self-interest and wordly emolu­ment: but never habituated or justified in any, but by extream weakness, or exceeding great wickedness. Wherefore be intreated, as be­fore, First, clearly to rid thy self of this evil Spirit; and then seriously and impartially to read and consider what is there said: And the Lord give thee a right understanding therein, and the exercise of a pure conscience in all things. Farewell.

C. W.

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