THE PRELATES PRIDE: OR THE MANIFESTATION, THAT THE BISHOPS LORDLY Government from the originall institution, is not De Iure divino, by divine right; but meerely humane and contrary both to the holy word of God, the practise of the Apostles, and of the primitive Churches in the purest times.

WHEREVNTO IS ADDED THE Bishop of Lincolnes Prophecie concerning the Prelates.


Printed in the Yeare. M. DC. XLI.

To the Bishops of ENGLAND.

OH, that your visards were vnmasked, that your wayes might be discovered, that the state might see your aime, whereas now it is so much disturbed to rove to find out your seduce­ments by conjectures! Now you are a great advan­cer of the Chaire of Rome, and by and by a child of our Church, and in difficult and unsettled times betwixt both, and stand out for neither. And sure Rome scarce dare trust you, lest you will not leave us, and we are fearefull, lest you will fly to them, your own consciences can testifie that you affect both, yet are you entire to neither, give me leave to speake plainly, because you are firme to neither, you are trou­blesome to both. To be too zealous in a pretended good worke is ill, and so is it to sit still and be satis­fied with ignorance, but worst of all to know both, and he firme to neither, will you still abide amongst us, and yet not be of us, and will you still cast your eyes on Rome, and yet ahide with us, are you ignorant, or unconstant; that you still stand on doubts, know [Page] your selves, that we may know you: either abide with us with whom you speake, and cut your wings, or else betake you to your wings, and speake at Rome, and not so trouble us both. Either speake to us in the light, or abide with them who worke in the darke. Remember death, and let the thought thereof cause your wavering to cease, and be firme in your resoluti­ons. Will you not yet resolve? If you meane to chuse, when shall it be, why not now, let your learning disco­ver to you the dangers of delay, it makes you misera­ble in what you want, & doubtfull in what you have, and trouble us to know what you are: why will you looke to heaven with one eye, and on Romes pompe with the other? God cals you if you will stād for him: then take a resolution, to cast this Iezebell out of the Windowes of our Churches, this Whore of Rome that hath thus advāced her pride, & bewitched you, is their not just cause for what I cry? Yet if you will still remaine unconstant, who shall make you firme? If you love to stagger, yet aquaint us why you wi [...] thus be unconstant? Surely you waver, because you speake not plainly to us, your words are one thing and your aime another. Methinkes I see your silence with a blush to answer this conjecture, as if thereby you granted, this to be the cause? Are you offended? I am grieved, and have I not cause, since civill jarres have beene by you so lamentable: will nothing please you but the glory of your owne partaking, and the quietnesse of your owne ful-bellied peace? Thinke you to finde more glory in them then in our Churches, wee have one Christ; labour not [Page] then for those who divide his Garments: nay, his very body and blood. If you will bee to vs like Bar­nabas to Paul, yet bee not to vs like Simon Ma­gus to Peter. Other Churches have complained of these distractions as well as we; yet our greatest gree­vance is in your vnsetlednesse. Thinke you the glory of Rome to be so famous for you, amongst whom are severall hundreds of Contrarieties amongst her selfe, which will distract you more then you expect, though their Dissentions are smothered by their subtleties; have not you learned of them to fight closly within doores, without noise, which endange­red, I had almost said begun frayes in the field? Surely the more you labour for their policie, the more you runne with them into want of Peace, and if you bee not either partiall, or incredulous, you may easily perceive the mischiefe of their secret Differences. Will you Rule the Church alone? alas! how full is such rule of contradiction and purposes repugnant to Christ her head! If you alone lay claime to the Church as yours; why doe you chide with her best members, & disturbe them; why doe you fight with your selfe; will you looke for Peace, and not from GOD; indeed much pompe, and glory Romes Churches sonnes receive, but it is better to be content with what estate Christ bequeaths to his Church. Will you rather let your Soule, and the Soules of all your Flockes want their food, then you be taken from your Palaces? Is nothing worth your re­spect but earthly peace? But if you love your peace and glory so dearely that you will not leaue it; take [Page] your peace and pompe to your selves; let us have truth: yet if it may bee Peace too; If you love your safety, and the Churches, seeke rather grounds whereon to rest, then excuses for your abode in trouble, seeke Peace and follow Truth, forsake Rome, and follow CHRIST: except you will rather abide in earthly pompe then come to Christ.

Yours, if you Christs, H. W.

THE PRELATES PRIDE, OR, The manifestation that the Bi­shops Lordly government, from the originall institution is not de jure divine, by divine right, but meerly Humane.
The Argument.

‘This is a token, that they hate the Lord, for that they will have themselves to be called by the name of Lords, saith Eusebius, in his 7. booke of Prepara­tion.

THe Lordly institution of Bishops is not from divine right, but meerely humane.

THat institution which is from men, and The Argument not from the Word of God, is not of divine right, but humane. But the institu­tion of Lordly Bishops is not from God, but of men; therefore such Lordly predominancy of the Conclusion. [Page 2] Bishops, is not de jure divino, by divine right, but meerely humane.

I. To prove that such institution as is from men, and not from the word of God, is not of di­vine right, but humaine which I shall cleare brief­ly 3. wayes, by Reason, by Scripture, and by the testimony of former Ages▪

I. Reason it selfe is forced to confesse that such institutions, as there is no warrant for in GODS Word, but are onely forged by the inventions of men, can no wayes be said to be from God, seeing the word of God expresseth not the same, except we will goe about to make humane mortals di­vine, or exalt them as Gods, or else adde to those things which God hath written, and so bring those heavie plagues upon us, Revel. 22. 18. that which is from God is divine, but what is onely from man, must needs be humane.

If the glory of all the wisedomes in the world, were in one assembly, and should conclude of some particular not exprest in holy writ, such in­stitution, though never so approved by men, yet is it notwithstanding humane, because instituted by men onely, and having no warrant from Gods holy word.

2. The holy Scripture so expresseth it; which, as the Prophet Ieremiah saith, is vanity, to speake the visions of a mans owne heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. Ier. 23. 16.

[Page 3] 3. St. Hillar. saith, that the tradition of man shall [...] Mat. [...] 12. be taken away (saith he) for it is humane.

Surely by this time I hope any reasonableman may be well satisfied concerning the first propo­sition, for the eyes of any may here behold how cleere this is laid downe, and proved, that such in­stitution as is from men, and not from the Word of God, is not of divine right, but meerely hu­mane.

II. That institution onely which is from the word of God, that alone is of divine right, and not the institutions or acts of the inventions of after Ages, being from themselves alone. Doth the scripture confirme it, then it must needes be di­vine; Is it onely from man? Oh fond Age, wilt thou maintaine such things as divine, which the holy writ doth not: then may many Caterpillers more plead free priviledges in Gods garden, and many wolves nest themselves amongst Gods sheepe. Have not some preferred playes before the Word of God, who have protested that the spirit of GOD hath more wrought upon their hearts at the conceit of some shadowed Tragedy, then being present at a Sermon? The Vsurer can pleade that God is honoured by his doing good. The Papists can pretend their Zeale before their Crosses, and Crucifixes, and all these, and many more can claime Antiquity, and pleade [Page 4] as much for themselves as any Prelate: but all this while they are but humane, and permitted by men, as the Prelates are; they are not permitted by Gods holy word: nor no such vaine inventi­ons, which caused holy David to take up this re­solution, I hate, saith he, vaine inventions, but thy Law doe I love. Psal. 119. 113. And though our Lordly Bishops would prove themselves to be the Lords Bishops from divine right, yet let them but consider that saying of St. AUSTIN, for as much (saith he) as Christ hath not revealed these in his 49 trea­ [...]s on Iohn. things, who dare be so vaine or rash amongst us, as to affirme, without any testimony of the scrip­tures, that such things are divine, which the Lord hath not so declared of them.

III. To prove that the Lordly government of Bishops is from men and not from God, and that shall be first from a briefe survey of history how they have received their institution from men; & secondly by a briefe Catalogue of some particular places of Scripture, in every booke through the whole Bible, to prove that they are not permitted thus to stand by the word of God.

1. To prove that their institution is from men, & that to be briefe, I will give you a litle glimps of Linus (in the first place) by the way, because Euseb. lib. 3 ch, 2. he was the first Bishop of Rome, that we reade of from the time of the Apostles suffering; who ne­ver was recorded to be exalted to the prelasie, or Lordly government, whō St. Paul stiles a brother and not a Lord, amongst those other brethren [Page 5] Eubulus, and P [...]dence, and Claudia, and the rest of the brethren, whom, as I take it, St. PAVL aimes. 2 Timoth. 4. 21.

In those dayes also was Clement Bishop of in Eusebius. Rome, and the text of Scripture by St. Paul calls him no Lord. Lord Bishop was a strange language with him; no it was faithfull yoak-fellow, it was Clement and other fellow-labourers, with the rest of the Preachers of the Gospell, these were the stiles of the Ministers, after the Apostles Cu­stome, as it is. Philip. 4. 3.

There were then also many Christian preachers Idem lib. 5; ch. 12 in Ierusalem, as Marcus, Crassianus, Publius, Ma­ximus, Valen [...]e, these and other Bishops in those dayes, wee never reade of any of them that were made Lords: or that were exalted to temporall dignities, except onely such as Demas, who fell in love, indeed with the glory of the world; but the Apostle brands him for a forsaker of his cal­ling, for his labour. 2 Timoth. 4. 10.

Indeed some decretall Epistles have beene for­ged Sym. 3 cen. of B. on Zephyrinus the 14. Bishop of Rome, but they are very foolish, and ridiculous; onely forged of late, as many judicious Readers judge. As to con­secrate the holy Cup, to be in a vessell of glasse.

That a Bishop being accused shall choose his own Iudges; and that no diffinitive sentence shall be denounced against a Bishop; untill the time that his cause were heard of the Patriarch of Rome, &c. But alas! this is but a mocking of the Church of God, to attribute such swelling pride, such unaccustomed formes of judicature, such [Page 6] fencing, and guarding of unrighteous men against just deserved punishment, which being falsly for­ged upon the fathers, were, without all doubt, al­together unknowne unto them in those dayes.

And so also some decretall Epistles ascribed unto Pontianus, as Pontianus sanctae & vniversalis Ecclesiae Episcopus, &c. how palpable doth this seeme to be false and forged, for such magnificent stiles as these were not as yet in use. And after­wards Tom. 1. concil. when they crept into the Church, they were onely at the first ascribed to them by such as admired the vertues of some singular and rare men, such as Cyprian & Athanasius, but no church man of any degree whatsoever, did in those times usurpe such proud and arrogant titles of dignity in his owne writings directed to other Christians, Sym. 3. cen. of B. and therefore the learned reject this Epistle, as composed by some late unlearned, and flattering fellow.

Some have bin so bold, not onely to attribute to Cajus the 27. Bishop of Rome, the constitution of Plat, in decret la [...]ex lib pont. Damasi. these Ecclesiasticall orders, but to attribute it e­ven to the Apostles themselves, but I say, beatus qui non credit, they father the institution of these degrees upon them, as first to be Ostiarius, 2. to bee Lector, 3. Exorcista, 4. Acoluthus, 5. Subdiaconus, 6. Diaconus, 7. Presbetor, 8. Episcopus, but happy is he who beleeves no such lyes. As for Cajus the time wherin he lived, was a time of persecutiō & Cajus, he was fain to hide himself a long time in a Sym. 3 cen. of B. Cave. Had this bin attributed to Bonifacius the 8. [Page 7] Gregory the 7. or to Alexander the 3. it might have bin more probable: And as for the Apostles, in­deed we find allowed 2 orders of Ministers, a Bi. and a Deacon, or an Elder and a Deacon, 1 Tim. 3. 1. but surely with them, a Bishop, Elder, Pastor, Shepheard, was all one, and not two distinct de­grees, Acts 15. Titus 1. 5, 6, 7. Gordius, 8. Narcissus, Hierom catal. script. eccl. and a worthy man called Alexander, were Bi­shops in Ierusalem all at once, yet none of them desired preheminence, or any Lordly title, or rule over other Ministes.

But to come to after times, some there are who have gone about to prove that Constantine did confirme the Bishop of Rome in his glory; but how can that be since the purple garment, the Palace of Lateran, the Superiority of Rome, and government of the West, all these honours, the Socra. lib. 5, ch. 2. Sym. 4. cen. of B. Emperours successours to Constantine possessed and not the Bishops, for many hundred Yeares af­ter.

Let us view the dayes of Innocentius the 1. about the time of St. Ambros. St. Cipriau. And we shall finde that at his first beginning, a­bout the yeare of our Lord, 400. About the raign of Theodosius ye Emperour, who fighting with Eu­genius the tyrant, was so miraculously delivered, who having recourse to God by prayer, his cause [Page 8] being holyer, in the battell by a tempest of wind, Ruffin. lib. 2. cap. 17 GOD hearing his so often recourse to him by prayer, in the battell the Lord sent a wind which blew so vehemently, that the darts were turned back by the violence of the wind, in the faces of the Tyrants Army, of whom the Poet Claudian writes.

Sure God doth love thee well, from heaven to send
Claudian de 3, Consul. Honorii.
his tempest for thine end, For from the Ayre
By blasts couragiously, its force doth lend
thou prayest, God heares, fierce winds to thee repaire.

The power which the Bishop of Rome now possesseth, did appertaine to the Emperour, yet Ambros St Ci­priau. Theodo, lib. 5 ch, 10. neverthelesse in this Bishops time, at the Emperors death were playes and enterludes practised, & ma­ny vain things invented, & this man also brought Sozom. lib. 8, ch. 28. ambition to the Chaire of Rome, who swelling in pride, usurped jurisdiction over other Churches: but the greater he grew in Lordly predominancy, Sym. 5. cen. of B. the more ignorantly were those ensuing Emperors led to their owne misery, and the Saints of God cruelly persecuted. Socra. lib 6. ch. 23.

Pope Bonifacius comming into the Chaire of Rome, about the space of a yeare after Innocentius prevailed with the Emperour Phocas, in whose dayes Antichrist sprang, and flourished in greater abundance, these were the dayes for which a pro­verb was used long time after, saying, the time of Phocas was the calamity of the Romane Emperour, but where was the great Bishop to helpe him af­terwards, when his Head, Feete, and secret Mem­bers were cut off, and burnt? Oh the [Page 9] misery that Princes, Churches, and Kingdomes have bin brought to by the usurping, tyranizing Prelates, who glory in their usurped Dominions.

The Bishops of Rome are then successors you The Councill of Ser [...]ica. see to Innocentius; who for the great See, have no warrant from God, and stand upon no better grounds then on a temporall, and personall act; meerely humane.

And what hath beene the practice of other Prelates since this usurpation of the See of Rome, what doe all other Lordly Bishops, but by de­grees even as they are able tread the same steps; are they not a nest of ambitious Prelates, hunting for the supremacie fore-told of Antichrist, 1 Ioh. 2. 22. & 4. 3. 2 Thes. 2. 3. but oh how hath this su­premacie Greg. lib. 4. E­pist. 32. ever bin detested of the ancient primi­tive Churches, who with Gregorie have beene compelled to cry out as well as wee? Oh times! oh manners! behold in all the parts of Europe, all things cry under them. Townes are destroy­ed, Castles are overthrowne, Provinces are spoy­led, because the Priests who should lye in ashes upon the ground weeping, they are seeking un­to themselves names of vanity, and they doe glo­ry in prophane stiles.

Truly, saith Claudius Thurinensis, hee is not to Opt triparti, tum. be counted an apostolicall bishop who sitteth in a chaire of glory, but hee who fulfilleth an A­postolicke office. Oh it is a miserable thing to heare of those inormities, and abuses, comman­ded and committed by the Prelates from time to time, as the number of their holidayes, and all [Page 10] lusts of uncleannesse according to the sayings of Whores, and naughty women, who have brag­ged that they have gained more in one such day, then in 50. other dayes, and also their idlenesse, and vncomely behaviour proceeding from them, who have so defiled other mens houses, that the stinke of their uncleanesse, is known to the whole world.

Oh then seeing so many Nations have from time to time received such corruption from the Prelates, Oh then where should reformation be­gin, but even at the Sanctuary, Ezekiel, 9.

We may say of England as a Bishop once said of Rome. that Heldeber, tus

England was blest if Bishops were not rulers of her state,
Or if her Bishops scorn'd not, their faith to violate.

Eugenius the 1. being Bishop of Rome, found out yet more for the Chaire of Bishops sees then be­fore, he was the first that made an ordinance that Bishops should have prison houses; nay, what glory would the prelates in all ages let passe, if they could obtaine it.

Let all men but consider how not onely the Bi­shop of Rome, the Metropolitan Prelate, hath from time to time advanced his Chaire, but even those lesser Prelates, but too great pastors, (too great said I) indeed the proverbe is, too good is starke naught, I pray God that their too great­nesse make not them starke naught, for I am sure it makes most, if not all worse then they [Page 11] were before, a good Minister may make a bad Lord Bishop, but I could never heare of a bad Minister that was made good by such advance­ment, yet they have also to their endeavour la­boured to advance their Sees, as time, and oppor­tunity would permit them.

Bonifacius, a man borne in England not farre Consta [...]ius 1. Gregorius, 1. and 2. Za­çharius Stepha­nus. from Exeter, he was familiarly acquainted with five Popes, and by them he was advanced to ma­ny honours, as to be the Popes Legate in Eng­land, Germany and France, and afterwards Arch­bishop of Mentz, and all his travells was to bring those Nations to subjection under the Bishop of Rome, who by his treachery to the King of France (then raigning called Childericus, caused him to be disthroned, and thrust out, and another to be set in his place, but in the end he was just­ly rewarded and slaine by the Pagans for his la­bour.

But when Rhotardus Bishop of Soisan was commanded by Hadrian the Bishop of Rome to excommunicate the King of France his sove­raigne Char. Calvas Lord, hee denyed, and refusing so to doe, returned an answer, advising him to bee circumspect, and not rash, in pronouncing sen­tence of excommunication; This Bishop was a very proud man, and very serious in inqui­ry concerning titles of land, and other tem­porall affaires of the Kingdome, but the No­bles of that Country reproved him for it, and told him that it was a strange and vnaccusto­med [Page 12] thing, that a Bishop should take-upon him, Sym. 10 cen. of B. to be judge in a Controversie of civill affaires, or about titles and rights of Kingdomes, because (as they told him) he could not be both a Bishop and a Iudge.

I can not heere over-passe that defence of Mar­silinus Patavinus, concerning Bishops. In his Booke Defensor pacis:

He saith:
  • 1 That one Bishop hath not authority over another, much lesse over Kings and Emperours.
  • 2 That the word of God ought onely to be Iudge in all causes as well Ecclesiasticall as Tem­porall matters.
  • 3 That the Bishops should be subject to the Magistrates.
  • 4 That the head of the Church is Christ, and that he never appointed any Bishop to be Vickar, over the vniversall Church.
  • 5 That Bishops ought to be chosen by their owne Church and Clergie.
  • 6 That the Clergy after Romes institution, are a denne of Theeves.
  • 7 That the Doctrine of the Pope is not to be followed, because it leades to eternall death.

But to come to latter times: Let us looke a lit­tle on Mr. Wicklisse, what hee saith concerning Church government; he declares,

1 That in the time of the Apostles there were onely two Orders, Elders, and Deacons, and no distinction of Patriarch, Archbishop, &c. and that such were onely found out by Pride, and humane institution.

[Page 13] 2 That he who is most serviceable, and humble in the Church, and most inamored with the love of Christ, the same is the nearest by Divine insti­tution, unto Christ in the militant Church.

3 That whatsoever the Bishops command, which cannot be deduced clearely out of the Scriptures, is to be accounted Hereticall, and not to be obeyed.

4 That the Emperours, and secular Lords, are Sym. 15. cen. of B. seduced, who so extoll the Prelates, which worke so much iniquity amongst them, by Simony, Covetousnesse, Whoring, and Pride, &c. yet pretend reformation in the Church.

How did the people cry out thus in the dayes of Iohn Husse, for working so much iniquity a­mongst them, and being accused before the King for such their wickednesse, were severally pu­nished.

All Ecclesiasticall persons should in the places of cure of soules, vse to their owne people onely the sword of the spirit by exhortation, reproofe, direction, consolation, by faithfull preaching, and instructing, which are the offices of the Church, and to leave the Temporall sword to the temporall Magistrate, which was the rule of the Apostles, and their true successors, Act. 15. Such also was the custome heere in England, un­till In the [...] yeare of his raigne. King Henry the 4. at which time the popish prelates following the example of the man of sin at Rome, obtained a statute, and that without the free consent of the subjects, by which statute [Page 14] they got the Temporall Sword into their hands, In the Record of the Tower. and have since vsed both at once, to the great grief and trouble both of Church and state, yet have they often gone about to prove their calling to be de jure divino, whereas you see it is from mans institution, and not from the Lord.

II. To prove that the Bishops have not their Lordly government from God, and that it is not warrantable by the holy word so to be lifted vp, that such a calling for a Bishop is not de jure di­vino, by divine [...]ight.

By the way, I shall give you a briefe relation concerning the name Bishop, the signification whereof gives no way at all to Lordly predomi­nancy, it signifies an overseer which hath a charge to looke to, and thus it may signifie.

  • 1 One that is a surveyer to see and provide things necessary, for the life of man, It was at the first gi­ven
    Saith M, Dove.
    to Clarcks of the Market, whose office was to see things bought and sould.
  • 2 One that is a spirituall overseer, an Instructer, one that hath a charge over soules, as it is Acts 20. 28. 1 Tim. 3. 1.
  • 3 A Pastor teacher, or Elder of a Church, Phil. 1. 1. Luke 2. 8. Gen. 4. 7. 3.
  • 4 The Mediatorship of Christ, in the salvation of the soules of his Elect, 1 Peter 2. last.

Having now shewed you that from the name bishop they can lay no right to their instituti­ons [Page 15] of Prelacy, so neither have they any exam­ple from the Apostles to allow the institution thereof, for it is contrary to the Apostles practi­ses as may appeare.

1 The Apostles were messengers of God for the good of the Church, Phil. 2. 28. and 4. 18. and 2 Cor. 8. Rom. 16. 7. the Prelates send messengers to hurt the Church.

2 The Apostles preached the Gospell constantly, Matth. 10. 1. Matth. 28. 19. Gal. 1. 1. the Pre­lates plead more to get to themselves the glory of the world, then preach to their flocke.

The Apostles preached the truth from the grace of [...]d, Rom. 1. 5. the Prelates plead for Romish Ceremonies, and superstitions.

4 The Apostles laboured for the enriching of the Church, and Congregation of Gods Saints, 2 Cor. 6. 10. but the Prelates labour for themselves.

5 The Apostles suffered rebuke, and crosses pa­tiently, 1 Cor. 4. 10. and 2 Cor. 6. 5. and 2 cor. 11. 23. but Prelates cannot endure to bee medled with.

6 The Apostles were satisfied with any dwellings; nay none at all, and they tooke great paines laboring with their hands, 1 cor. 4. 11. Acts 20. 23. and 1 Thes. 2. 9. 2 Thes. 2. 8. but the Prelates though they dwell in their stately Pallaces, and live idely, and labour not at all, except it may be for two or three sermons in a yeare, &c. yet are they not satis­fied.

[Page 16] 7 The Apostles never vsed to sit in Courts of Iudicature, after the charge was given them to preach, they medled not with states matters, they bu­sied not themselves with such secular imployments, Matth. 4. 18. Matth. 9. 9. Marke. 10. 28. Rom. 11. Acts 13. 2. But the Prelates intrude them­selves into such offices, and employ themselves more concerning states matters (I feare me) then they doe in their studies most of them, if not all.

8 There were none amongst them that had domi­nion, one over another, but were all equall, as loving, and deare brethren, Matth. 20. 25. Luke 22. 25. 2 Cor. 1. 24. 1 Pet. 5. 1. But Lordly Prelates are exalted in their provinces over all the [...] of the Clergie.

In a word our Lordly Bishops follow not the Apostles in their humble sincere, and pure lives, but in a proud, sinfull, and contrary course of life, to the misery of all those over whom they rule.

Their Lordly predominancie is directly cōtrary to the word of God; as may appeare in divers places of the Scripture, Gen. 2. 7. Exodus 21. 14. Levit. 10. 1. Num. 1. 53. Deutr. 18. 2. Iosu. 3. 8. Iudges 2. 7. 1 Sam. 25. 2 Sam. 15. 27. 1 Kings 1. 52. 2 Kings 22. 13. 1. Chron. 24. 5. 2 Cron. 29. 6. Ezra 7. 24. Nehem. 13. 29. Ester 3. 6. Iob. 36. 9. Psal. 132 9. Prov. 16. 5. Eccles. 2. 8. Cant. 6. 8. Esay. 14. 13. Ier. 23. 1. Lament. 2. 14. Ezek. 34. 2. Dan. 5. 17. Hosea 4. Amos. 4. 3. Obad. 2. 3. Ionah. 3. 2. Micha 3. 11. Nahum. 3. 18. [Page 17] Haba. 2. 5. Zepha. 3. 4. H [...]ga. 1. 9. Zachar. 3. 8. Mal. 2.

Let no man thinke to find any warrant in the word of God for Lordly predominasie of church men, a Minister of Christ, must not there expect to find a warrant for prelasie, for it is not of di­vine institution, no it is no custome of the church of Christ, it is the custome of the Gentiles to have dominion, and to exercise authority over their brethren, but saith Christ to the Apostles: It shall not be so amongst you saith he. Mat. 20. 25, 26. Mark. 10. 42, 43. Luk. 22. 25, 26. Christ gave them charge from time to time, to take heed of lifting themselves up by pride, warning them to take heed of Lordly predominasie: Christ sends them to be his servants, and to preach to the people in humility, and that by the example of himselfe, he sends them forth as Embassidours of his word, preaching it humbly, as he did, and warning them not to looke for greater glory and pompe in the world, then he himselfe received, Iohn 13. 15, 16.

St. Peter he practises this lesson, who spake be­fore not my Lord or right reve­rend father, &c the rest of the Apostles, and Elders, men and brethren, saith he, know that God chose out mee to preach the Gospell, that the Gentiles might heare the word out of my mouth, & he preached to them and the people beleeved, and received the holy Ghost, saith be, and there was no difference betwixt vs &c. as it is Acts 15.

And St. Paul teacheth them not to bee high minded, but to make themselves equall to them of the lower sort, Rom. 12. 16.

[Page 18] And let the lofty Prelates blush at that his modest taunt, now ye are full (saith he) now yee are made rich, ye raigne as Kings, but we are made a gasing stocke, ye are honourable, but we are de­spised, but saith he afterwards, I pray you be follow­ers of mee, 1. Cor. 4. Oh! ye Prelates will not these so plain testimonies of your pride convince you!

Looke upon Paul a little further, and you shall see that he was so farre from being a Lordly Pre­late, that he gloried in being a servant to preach Iesus Christ, as it is 2 Cor. 4. 5. who never expected to receive titles of temporall honour, but as Iames Cephas, and Iohn, the right hand of fellow-ship with the rest. Gal. 2. 9. Ephe. 6. 21.

And those Bishops and Deacons, which were amongst the Saints at Philippi, as it is Phil. 1. 1. there were no prelasie amongst them, because of the fellowship which they had in the Gospell, verse 5. Col. 1. 1. Thes. 3. 2.

Oh! how great and greevous a sinne is it for the Ministers of the Church of God, to sit in glory as Lords of the Temple of God! 2. Thes. 2. 4.

In all the whole Bible we can find no warrant for prelasie, or Lordly government for Pastors of the Church to lay claime to, onely a Bishop or Pastor, or Elder, which you will, for they are all one, and a Deacon, the next degree immediately after them; and that onely in ordination, &c. Not in Lordly predominasie. 1 Tim. 3. 2.

[Page 19] And when there were any such amongst them, as had betaken themselves to worldly honour, and glory, the Apostles did reckon them forsaken, 2. Tim. 4. 3.

And we may so plainly in that place, where St. Paul writes to Titus concerning the ordaining of Elders, as he first calls them, Titus 1. 5. to be so, & so qualified, he gives the reason of it in the 7. v. for saith he, a Bishop must be unreproveable, so that the very same which he first calleth Elder, he afterwards calleth Bishop, as it is plaine to be un­derstood in that place.

They were all brethren, there were none of them set up or appointed by them to Lord it over the rest, as the Prelates doe over the rest of the Cler­gie, but taught as brethren. Philemon v. 1. Nay the high Priests themselves, are taken from amongst men, from causes of temporall matters, & are or­dained for men, only in things pertaining to God, Heb. 5, i. And then surely for such as professe thē ­selves to bee the Ministers of Christ, they ought not to be made temporall Lords, and to sit in pla­ces of Iudicature, and to judge of Civill matters, but their office is to draw nigh to God, Iam. 4▪ 8. 1 Pet. 1. 12. 2 Pet. 1. 21. 1 Ioh. 4. 3. 2 Ioh. v. 2. 3 Ioh. v. 11. Iude v. 1. what shall I say more, if our lord­ly Bishops will not take examples from the A­postles, let them take examples from the Angell, who would not suffer Iohn to fall downe before him, no (saith he) I am they fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the Prophets, Revel. 22. 9.

[Page 20] Thus you s [...]e that if our Lordly Bishops stand upon their guard to defend Episcopall predomi­nacie, they can neither father it upon God, or any title of his holy word, nor upon the Prophets, nor Apostles of GOD, nor upon pure times, who though they wrong the fathers of the primitive Church, to say that they had the same honour, yet you see it is not so, no, no, alas should the godly, humble, poore, unlordly Bishops of the primi­tive Orig. Hom. 6, in [...]s. Churches, (who had no such wordly honour, offices, state, pompe, and secular power, as ours now enjoy) arise out of their graves, and behold the dominions, wealth, habit, and imployment of our present Prelates, they would rather deeme them Monsters, then Ministers, Pilates, then Pre­lates, Lucifers, then Preachers, Tyrants, then O­verseers of Christs flock, yea Princes, rather then Bishops of divine institution.

An old Prophecie of Gostred, Bishop of Lincolne concerning the Prelates.

IT is reported of the Bishop of Lincolne that he should prophesie, that the Church shall not be de­livered from the servitude of Egypt, but by vi­olence and force, and with the bloody sword, and al­beit their government be esteemed but a light mat­ter, yet shortly more great and greevous things shall be seen. How hapneth it (saith father Latimer) that we have had so many cares many vnpreaching Pre­lates, Lordly Loiterrers, and idle Ministers: This land is not (saith he) [...] to plough, it is to stoney, too thorney, too hard for me to plough. They have so many things that make for them, so many things to say for themselves, that it is not for my weake teame to plough them. They have to say for themselves, long Customes, Ceremonies, [...] authority, placing in Parliament, and many things more, and I feare mee this Land is not yet ripe to bee ploughed, for as the saying is, it lackes withering, this Land lackes wi­thering, at least wayes it is not for me for to plough; for what shall I looke for among thornes, but pricking and scratching, what amongst stones, but stumbling, [Page 22] (I had almost said) what amongst Serpents but stinging; but thus much I dare say, that since Lor­ding and Loytering hath come vp, Preaching hath gone downe, contrary to the Apostles times; for they Preached, and Lorded not, but now they Lord and Preach not: for they that be Lords, will ill goe to plough. And if the Plough-men in the Countrey, were as negligent in their Office, as Prelates be, wee should not long live, for lacke of sustenance.


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