The Oath of Allegiance.

I A B do truly and sincerely acknowledg, profess, testify and declare in my Conscience, before God and the VVorld, that our Sovereign Lord; KING CHARLES is Lawful and Rightful KING of this Realm, and of all other his Majesty's Dominions and Countries, And that the Pope, neither of himself, nor by any Authority of the Church or See of Rome, or by any other means, with any other, hath any Power or Au­thority to Depose the KING, or to dispose any of his Majesty's Kingdoms or Dominions, or to Authorize any Foreign Prince to invade or annoy Him or his Countries; or to dis­charge any of his Subjects of their Allegiance or Obedience to his Majesty; or to give Li­cense or Leave to any of them to bear Arms, to raise Tumults, to offer any Violence or Hurt to his Majesty's Royal Person, State, or Government, or to any of his Majesty's Subjects within his Majesty's Dominions. Also I do swear from my Heart, That notwith­standing any Declaration, or Sentence of Excommunication, or Deprivation, made or granted, or to be made and granted by the Pope, or his Successors, or by any Authority de­rived, or pretended to be derived from him, or his See, against the said King, his Heirs or Successors, or any Absolution of the said Subjects from their Obedience; I will bear Faith and true Allegiance to his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, and him and them will defend to the uttermost of my Power, against all Conspiracies and Attempts whatsoever, which shall be made against his or their Persons, their Crown or Dignity, by reason or colour of any such Sentence or Declaration, or otherwise; and will do my best endeavour to disclose and make known unto his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, all Treasons, and Traiterous Conspiracies, which I shall know or hear of, to be against him or any of them. And I further swear, That I do from my Heart abhor, detest and abjure, as Impious and Here­tical, this damnable Doctrine and Position, That Princes which be Excommunicated or Deprived by the Pope, may be deposed or murthered by their Subjects, or any other what­soever. And I do believe, and in my Conscience am resolved, that neither the Pope, nor any other Person whatsoever, hath Power to absolve me of this Oath, or any part thereof, which I acknowledg by good full Authority to be Lawfully ministred unto me; and do re­nounce all Pardons and Dispensations to the contrary. And all these Things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledg and swear, according to these express VVords by me spoken, and according to the Plain and Common Sence and Understanding of the same VVords, without any Equivocation, or Mental Evasion, or secret Reservation whatsoever. And I do make this Recognition and Acknowledgment heartily, willingly and truly, upon the true Faith of a Christian. So help me God.

The Oath of Supremacy you may see at large in this Book, page 2.

THE LAWFULNES OF THE Oath of Supremacy, AND Power of the King IN Ecclesiastical Affairs.

With Queen Elizabeth's ADMONITION, declaring the Sence and Interpretation of it, confirmed by an Act of Parliament, in the 5th Year of her Reign.

Together with a Vindication of Dissenters; proving, That their particular Congregations are not inconsistent with the King's Supremacy in Ecclesiastical Affairs.

With some Account of the Nature, Constitution, and Power of the ECCLESIASTICAL COƲRTS.

By P. NYE, a Congregational Divine, sometime Minister in London.

In the Epistle to the Reader is inserted King James's Vindication and Explication of the Oath of Allegiance.

LONDON: Printed for Jonathan Robinson in St. Paul's Church-Yard, and Samuel Crowch in Cornhill. 1683.

The Publisher to the Reader.

THE reprinting of this judicious and learned Trea­tise of Mr. Nye's, is occasioned by the re-imposing of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy on the City of London at this Juncture for Election of Common-Councel-Men; some supposing that many Dis­senters will refuse the said Oaths, or at least that of the Su­premacy, but by what is here said it will appear, King James in his Cata­logue of Tor­tus's Lies, saith, The Puritans do not decline the Oath of Supremacys, but do daily take it, &c. and the same Supremacy is defended by Calvin him­self, Instit. l. 4. c 20. Bp Andrews says the same, Tortura Torti, p. 110. that the Principles of Dissenters are not inconsistent with the King's Supremacy in Ecclesiastical Affairs, and as a further Testi­mony hereof, as they have* formerly, so they are again ready to take the said Oaths, and professedly assent also to all the Articles of Religion, which concern only the Confession of the true Christian Faith, and the Doctrine of the Sacra­ments, comprised in a Book, entituled, Articles, &c. print­ed 1562, and so do humbly hope, living peaceably under his Majesties Government, they shall obtain that Indulgence which his Majesty hath often graciously promised, and which they formerly enjoyed, his Majesty having told us in his Declaration for Indulgence, — It being evident by the sad Experience of twelve years, that there is little fruit of forcible courses. And in his gracious Speech, Febr. 5. 1672, assured the Parliament that he had hitherto found the good Effect of the said Indulgence.

The Reverend Author hath said nothing of the Oath of Allegiance, supposing no Protestant scruples that (unless it be such as scruple all manner of Swearing:) but that all may understand the nature and design of both, I will here insert the Words of King James, in his Apologie for the Oath of Allegiance, p. 46, &c. in his Answer to Card. Bellarmin's Letters, Viz.

As the Oath of Supremacy was devised for putting a Diffe­rence between Papists, and them of our Profession; so was this Oath [of Allegiance] which Bellarmine would seem to impugn, ordained for making the Difference between the civi­ly obedent Papists, and the perverse Disciples of the Powder-Treason. In King Henry Eighth's time was the Oath of Su­premacy first made; by him were Thomas Moor and Roffensis put to death, partly for refusing it. From his time till now, have all the Princes of this Land, professing this Religion, successive­ly in effect, maintained the same: and in that Oath only is con­tained the King's Absolute Power to be Judge over all Persons, as well Civil as Ecclesiastical; excluding all Foreign Powers and Potentates to be Judges within his Dominions: Whereas this last made Oath containeth no such matter, only medling with the Civil Obedience of Subjects to their Sovereign in meer Tem­poral Causes. And that the Injustice as well as the Error of Bel­larmin's gross mistaking in this Point, may yet be more clearly discovered; I have also thought good to insert here immediately after the Oath of Supremacy, the contrary Conclusions to all the Points and Articles, whereof this other late Oath doth consist; whereby it may appear what unreasonable and rebellious Points he would drive my Subjects unto, by refusing the whole Body or that Oath, as it is conceived. For he that shall refuse to take this Oath, must of necessity hold all or some of these Proposi­tions following.

  • 1. That I King James am not the lawful King of this King­dom, and of all other my Dominions.
  • 2. That the Pope by his own Authority many depose me: If not by his own Authority, yet by some other Authority of the Church, or of the See of Rome. If not by some other Au­thority of the Church and See of Rome, yet by other means with others help he may depose me.
  • 3. That the Pope may dispose of my Kingdoms and Domi­nions.
  • 4. That the Pope may give Authority to some Foreign Prince to invade my Dominions.
  • 5. That the Pope may discharge my Subjects of their Obe­dience and Allegiance to me.
  • [Page]6. That the Pope may give Licence to one or more of my Subjects to bear Arms against me.
  • 7. That the Pope may give leave to my Subjects to offer Vi­olence to my Person, or to my Government, or to some of my Subjects.
  • 8. That if the Pope shall by Sentence excommunicate or de­pose me, my Subjects are not to bear Faith and Allegiance to me.
  • 9. If the Pope shall by Sentence excommunicate or depose me, my Subjects are not bound to defend with all their power my Person and Crown.
  • 10. If the Pope shall give out any Sentence of Excommuni­cation, or Deprivation against me, my Subjects by reason of that Sentence, are not bound to reveal all Conspiracies and Treasons against me, which shall come to their Hearing and Knowledg.
  • 11. That it is not heretical and detestable to hold that Prin­ces being excommunicated by the Pope, may be either deposed or killed by their Subjects, or any other.
  • 12. That the Pope hath Power to absolve my Subjects from this Oath, or from some par thereof.
  • 13. That this Oath is not administred to my Subjects, by a full and lawful Authority.
  • 14. That this Oath is to be taken with Equivocation, men­tal Evasion, or secret Reservation; and not with the Heart and good Will sincerely, in the Faith of a Christian Man.

These are the true and natural Branches of the Body of this Oath.


THe Occasion of this Oath, various Form and Alteration of it. Interpretations of this Oath given in our Laws, and Writers of note. The nature of our Assent and Stipu­lation.
What is ment by Things and Persons Spiritual or Ecclesiastical, in the proper as also in the vulgar use of these Terms.
Of Power, its rise and original. Two sorts of Power in Ecclesi­astical or Spiritual Things, their Agreement and Difference.
Of the necessity and usefulness of a Jurisdiction over Persons and in Causes Ecclesiastical, besides what is in Churches and Church-men. This Power is placed in Kings, and such as are the supream Go­vernours in a Common-wealth.
  • The Government of particular Churches hath Affinity with Families, Cities, and the like lesser Bodies, more than with the Government of Empires and Kingdoms, confirmed in six Instances.
  • A Digression. Of Independency Name and Thing; its consistency with the King's Supreamacy.
  • Of the Jurisdiction over particular Churches, placed in Ecclesiastical Persons, as it is.
    • 1. Exercised with us in this Nation.
    • 2. As it is in other Reformed Churches, herein;
  • Of Appeals that are properly such in Ecclesiastical Matters, these are always to be to the Supream Civil Magistrate only, or to such as are appointed by him.
  • A Post-script, giving some account of the congregational way from such Principles of it, as are laid down in this Treatis.

THE LAWFULNES OF THE Oath of Supremacy, &c.

THE Supremacy of the Kings of England be­ing eclipsed by the Bishop of Rome, in both parts of it, the State thought fit to enjoin a Provision of equal extension. In relation to the Civil Rights of the Crown, is the Oath of Allegiance; and against the Encroachments upon the Ecclesiastical, this of the Supremacy, which being first enjoined, containeth in a manner both. This Oath hath given the Papists such a Blow, as they could not but strike again, and have poured out a Flood of Arguments and Absurdities against submitting to it, which hath been a long time scattered, and stick in the Minds of divers of his Majesty's Loyal Subjects; who, tho otherwise well affected, yet by rea­son of some Doubts and Tenderness, are at a stand to this day, and scruple the taking of this Oath: For whose satis­faction, and clearing the Lawfulness of this Supremacy, is the ensuing D. scourse.


§. 1. The Oath it self, as now enjoined. §. 2. The Occasion of this Oath. §. 3. Various Forms of it, and Alterations about it. §. 4. Interpretations given of it in our Laws, and Writers of Note. §. 5. The Nature of our Assent and Stipulation.

The Oath of Supremacy.

I A. B. do utterly testify and declare in my Consci­ence, that the King's Highness is the only Su­preme Governor of this Realm, and of all other his Highness's Dominions and Countries, as well in all Spiritual or Ecclesiastical Things or Causes, as Tem­poral: And that no Foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State, or Potentate, hath, or ought to have any Iu­risdiction, Power, Superiority, Preeminence, or Authority Ecclesiastical or Spiritual, within this Realm. And therefore I do utterly renounce and forsake all Foreign Iurisdictions, Powers, Superiorities, and Authorities, and do promise, that from henceforth I shall bear Faith and true Allegiance to the King's Highness, his Heirs and lawful Successors; and to my power shall assist and defend all Iurisdictions, Pri­vileges, Preeminences, and Authorities, granted or belonging to the King's Highness, his Heirs and Suc­cessors, as united and annexed to the Imperial Crown of this Realm.

§. 2. For many Years there hath been a Contest about Juris­diction and Supremacy in Ecclesiastical Matters, between the Bishop of Rome, and the Kings of England; who hath got ground herein, according as our Princes were found more weak, necessitous, or devoted to his Holiness. Rome was not built in a Day. By William the Conqueror, Legates from the Pope, to hear and determine Ecclesiastical Causes, were admitted. Henry the First, after much Contest, yields to the Pope the Patrona­ges and Donations of Bishopricks, and all other Ecclesiastical Benefices; it being decreed at Rome, that no Lay-Person should give any Ecclesiastical Charge. King Stephen grants, that Appeals be made to the Court of Rome. In Henry the Second's Days, the Pope gets the Clergy, and Spiritual Persons, exempted from Secular Powers. The Bishop of Rome is now over all Ec­clesiastical Persons and Causes, even in these Dominions, Su­preme Head. And having upon the matter made Conquest over more than half the Kingdom, in the Times of King John, and Henry the Third, sets on for the whole, and obtains of King John an absolute Surrender of England and Ireland unto his Holi­ness, which were granted back again by him to the King, to hold of the Church of Rome, in Fee-farm and Vassalage. Being now absolute and immediate Lord over all, he endeavours to convert the Profits of both Kingdoms to his own Use; so that Prince and People were hereby reduced to very great Poverty and Servitude.

Such Ruine being brought upon both Kingdoms by this De­vice and Engine, (the Claim and Exercise of Ecclesiastical Ju­risdiction over Persons and Causes by a Foreign Power) the Nation was awakened, both King, Lords, and Commons, yea, the Spiritual Lords themselves, to join with more Vigor against this Foreign Usurpation. To this purpose severe Laws were made, in the Time of Edw. 1st, 2d, 3d. Richard the 2d, and Hen. the 4th. Notwithstanding these Laws, (and some formerly, as the Constitutions of Clarendon by Hen. 2.) partly by Sufferance, and partly by Negligence, the whole Nation being Catholick, and held under a devotional Slavery, there was no thorow or successful Contest against these Oppressions. They remained unto, and were complained of in Henry the Eighth's Days; as of Appeals to Rome in Causes of Matrimony, Divorce, Tithes, &c. [Page 4] to the great Inquietation, Vexation and Trouble, Costs and Charges of the King's Highness, and many of his Subjects. 24 Hen. 8. cap. 12. In a further Complaint, Anno 25, cap. 21. it is de­clared, how that the Subjects of this Realm have been greatly de­cay'd and impoverished by intolerable Exactions of great Sums of Money, claimed, and taken out of this Realm by the Bishop of Rome, as well in Pensions, Censes, Peter-Pence, Procurations, Provisions, Delegacies, Rescripts in Causes of Contention and Appeals, as also for Dispensations, Licenses, Faculties, &c. who assumed a Power to dispense with all humane Laws, Ʋses, and Customs of all Realms. And many the like Complaints were made to King Henry, by his Parliament, at several times, as it appears in the Statutes of that Age: In which Statutes, as in that of the 24th of Hen. 8. c. 12. & 25. c. 21.26. c. 1, 3. Anno 28. c. 1, 7, 10, 16, and 35 c. 1. you have the whole Fabrick of Romish Usurpation laid level, and all Ecclesiastical Power reduced with­in his Majesty's Dominions, and placed in the Arch Bishop, and other Ecclesiastical Persons under him, by firm and severe Laws.

This being done, the King is petitioned by his Lords and Commons, That for further Corroboration of those Acts, and utterly to exclude the long usurped Power, Authority, and Ju­risdiction of the Bishop of Rome, that an OATH, containing the Substance and Effect of those Statutes, be limited and tendred to his Subjects.

This Parcel of Sacred Worship (an Oath) is indulged to Mankind in Civil Affairs. Such is the Falseness, Unrighteous­ness, and Uncertainty of Men, as that human Societies could hardly subsist without it. The Lord, to repair our Credit, hath formed Mens Hearts generally to a great and apparent Religion, and Reverence of this Ordinance. The Heathens themselves termed it Sacramium, as if the most eminent or only Thing Sacred, and religiously to be observed. It is so effectual a Means to establish a Reformation, as Men will be kept firm by Oaths, (saith one) tho there were neither Laws nor Magistrates. Liv. Hist. We are exposed to more Variety and Changes from Ʋnsteadiness in the Mind, than from any thing that is without us. Fix the Consci­ence, and you six the Man, whatever Evil he is thereby exposed to. There is nothing generally more effectual to fix the Con­science than an Oath: If I have sworn, and invocated the Name of God in an Engagement, it will be an End of all Strife, and [Page 5]dispute with my self, as well as with others, Heb. 6.16. Our Coun­sels and Resolutions are in common apprehension become immu­table, when confirmed by an Oath, ver. 17.Numb. 30.3. Whosoever (saith Moses) sweareth an Oath, and bindeth his Soul by a Bond. It is the Bond of the Soul, we have given Security for our Faithfulness from Heaven. For removing the Romish Yoke, which lay so heavy upon Prince and People, Means hath been used again and again, almost in each King's Reign, for near Four Hundred Years but to no great effect. Gospel-Light dawning about us, and the binding of our Souls by an Oath, hath been the fixing of this great Work, and the best Fence against Popery that ever was set up. I have spoken the more sully of the Occasion, and this Means (our Oath), that we may not judg the taking of it to be a ta­king the Name of God in vain; for as long as this Nation is in dan­ger of Popish Tyranny in Ecclesiastical Matters, so long is this Oath of absolute use and advantage, as the best Security between Man and Man for Union against it.

§. 3. A Parliament being called in 22 Hen. 8. the King was recognized by the Clergy of that Convocation, Supreme Head of the Church; the Expression or Form hereof debated, a reed upon, and subscribed by each Person there, was this: Cujus (Ecclesiae Anglicanae) singularem Protectorem, unicum & supremum Dominum, & (quantum per Christi leges liect) supremum Caput, ipsius Maje­statem recognoscimus. This Title was afterwards confirmed by divers Acts of Parliament, and two Oaths formed to this pur­pose in one Parliament, viz. 28 Hen. 8. the one more brief, ha­ving with it the Succession of the Crown, in cap. 7. the other more full and large, and to this purpose only, cap. 10. Some Years after, viz. in An. 35 Hen. 8. a Revive of both these Oaths was made by the Parliament, and with some Alterations reduced into one: The Reasons there are given why this was done; and it was resolved, Those Oaths shall not therefore be administred, and this Oath to stand in force and place of the two Oaths. Which Oath began thus:

I A. B. having now the Vail of Darkness of the usurped Power of the See and Bishops of Rome clearly taken away from mine Eyes, do utterly testify, &c.

This Oath remained the same the rest of his Reign, and all Edward the Sixth's time. Queen Elizabeth, in the first Year of her Reign, made these Alterations: 1. That Expression of Su­preme Head, &c. went hardly down by some, as taking too much from the Pope; and as giving too much to any Secular Prince, by others. Tho Henry the 8th, by his Letter written to the Clergy of York-Province,Anno 1533. well defends it; yet Queen Elizabeth by her Parliament changed that Expression.1 Eliz. 2. The Oath was alte­red (to use Secretary Walsingham's Words) into a more grateful Form, In his Letter to Critoy, Sec. of France. the hardness of the Name, and the Appellation of Supreme Head being removed. 2. This Oath by that 35 of Hen. 8. might be tendered to any Subject at the King's pleasure, cap. 1. By the Statute 1 Eliz. 8. the urging of it was limited to certain Persons, employed in Publick Trust. 3. The Penalty for refusing it, at first was no less than High-Treason: By the Statute 1 Eliz. the Punishment for Refusal is only a Disenablement to take any Promotion, or exercise any Publick Charge, yet with this Pro­viso, if afterwards during Life there were a submitting to take this Oath, the Person might be restored to his Office or Charge. But by the Parliament in 5 Eliz. the Punishment (which as yet stands) is greater: The first Refusal of the Oath brings the Per­son within a Praemunire; and if tendred a second time, after the space of three Months, and again refused by the same Person, it is High-Treason. This Severity in the Punishment, is recom­pensed with a more gentle and indulgent Interpretation of the Oath, as will appear in the following Section.

As we are not to swear rashly, so our Laws do not give Oaths rashly, but with great care and tenderness, weighing and consi­dering both the Matter, Persons, Penalties, and the Season or Occasion, being not willing their Laws, or Punishments for breaking of them, be a Snare, or at any time more grievous to the Subject than the Necessity of State requires.

§. 4. The true Scope and Sence of this Oath may be gathered from the Laws and Statutes since established, and some Light also from other Writers of Note.

Queen Eliz. within a little time after this Oath was reduced to the Form wherein now it stands, in an Admonition annexed to the Injunctions, declareth the Sence and Interpretation of it, as followeth.

The Admoni­tion annexed to the Queen's Injunctions.

THe Queen's Majesty being informed, that in certain Places of this Realm, sundry of her Native Sub­jects being called to Ecclesiastical Ministry in the Church, be, by sinister Persuasion, and perverse Construction, in­duced to find some scruple in the Form of an Oath, which by an Act of the last Parliament is prescribed to be requi­red of divers Persons, for the Recognition of their Alle­giance to her Majesty, which certainly neither was ever meant, ne by any equity of Words, or good Sence, can be thereof gathered; would that all her Loving Subjects should understand, that nothing was, is, or shall be meant or intended by the same Oath, to have any other Duty, Al­legiance, or Bond required by the same Oath, than was ac­knowledged to be due to the most noble Kings of famous me­mory, King Henry the Eighth, her Majesty's Father, or King Edward the Sixth, her Majesty's Brother.

And further, her Majesty forbiddeth all manner her Subjects to give ear or credit to such perverse and malicious Persons, which most sinisterly and maliciously labour to noti­fy to her Loving Subjects, how by the Words of the said Oath it may be collected, the Kings or Queens of this Realm, Possessors of the Crown, may challenge Authori­ty and Power of Ministry of Divine Offices in the Church; wherein her said Subjects be much abused by such evil dis­posed Persons: For certainly her Majesty neither doth, ne ever will challenge any other Authority, than that was challenged, and lately used by the said noble Kings of fa­mous memory, King Henry the Eighth, and King Ed­ward the Sixth, which is, and was of ancient time due to the Imperial Crown of this Realm: That is, under God, to have the Sovereignty and Rule over all manner of Persons born within these her Realms, Dominions, and Countries, of what Estate, either Ecclesiastical or Tempo­ral soever they be, so as no other Foreign Power shall, or [Page 8]ought to have any Superiority over them. And if any Person, that hath conceived any other Sence of the Form of the said Oath, shall accept the same Oath with this Inter­pretation, Sence, or Meaning, her Majesty is well pleased to accept every such in that behalf, as her good and obedient Subjects, and shall acquit them of all manner Penalties con­tained in the said Act, against such as shall peremptorily or obstinately refuse to take the same Oath.

In the fifth Year of her Reign, there is by Act of Parliament, a Confirmation of this Sence, by way of Proviso, in these Words:

The Proviso in the Statute of 5 Eliz. cap. 1.

Provided also, That the Oath expressed in the said Act, made in the said first Year, shall be taken and ex­pounded in such Form as is set forth in an Admonition annexed to the Queen's Majesty's Injunctions, pub­lished in the first Year of her Majesties Reign: That is to say, to confess and acknowledg in her Majesty, her Heirs and Successors, none other Authority than that was challenged, and lately used by the Noble King Henry the Eighth, and King Edward the Sixth, as in the said Admonition more plainly may appear.

There may be a Doubt made about this Interpretation, as whether it be not inconsistent with the Words of the Oath, it seems to be rather a material Change of them, than an Inter­pretation. In the Oath it is, All Spiritual or Ecclesiastical Things or Causes; in the Interpretation it is, All manner of Persons, of what Estate, either Ecclesiastical or Temporal, soever they be. The Oath seems to speak of one thing, and the Interpretation of another;Ad leges, per se requiritur potestas in per­smam, secun­derio in res altas. Suarez de Le [...]. lib. 1. cap. 8. the one of Causes, and the other of Persons.

Answ. There is no opposition or Inconsistency between these two, Persons and Causes. The principal Object of a Law is a Person, and a Person with respect to his Actions, a Person mo­rally considered; for a Person physical, that is, in his Being on­ly, and Nature as Man, without moving, or acting any thing [Page 9]good or evil, is not the Object of a Law: nor Actions of any kind or sort whatsoever, as Actions, and in that general Con­sideration, do come under a Law, but as they respect Persons, and are some way or other the Actions of reasonable Creatures: Tho a Law be made to punish the Ox which goreth a Man that he dieth, Fxod. 21.29. yet it is with respect to Man, to let him know how much God is provoked by shedding Man's Blood, as Gen. 9.5.1 Cor. 9.9, 10. Doth God care for Oxen? Doth God in his Law respect the Beast for it self? is it not that Man may be instructed and restained? Verse 10. He saith it altogether for our sakes. The mentioning of Ec­clesiastical Causes therefore doth imply Persons, and Persons of the same Denomination, to whom such Actions are peculiar, that is, Ecclesiastical Persons.

2. And that this latter is an Interpretation of the former, will thus appear: The Oath, in giving a Supremacy in all Spi­ritual or Ecclesiastical Causes, might seem to imply Spiritual Things to be the immediate and proper Object of the Magi­strates Power, and spiritual Persons, only for this, because they had to do in spiritual Matters; and to infer thence, that the Christian Magistrate hath Power in spiritual Administrations, as the Word and Sacraments, after the same manner as hath the Ministers of Christ, who have Power in these Things, as the principal and immediate Object of their Function: Which this Form af Expression in the Admonition doth clearly take away, 1. In asserting, that by the Words of the said Oath, Kings or Queens of this Realm may not challenge Authority and Power of Ministry of Divine Offices in the Church. 2. The mentioning Ec­clesiastical Persons, and not Spiritual or Ecclesiastical Causes at all, implieth, that the Persons of Bishops, Presbyters, and such like, are primarily and immediately the Object of this Supreme Power, and the Laws made by it, upon another Consideration than as Bishops, &c. namely, as being born within these her Ma­jesty's Realms and Dominions, and such Persons, of what Estate, either Ecclesiastical or Temporal, soever they be, She hath the Sove­reignty and Rule over them.

Spiritual and Ecclesiastical Things are mentioned in the Oath upon a twofold Account: 1. Because the Civil Magistrate's Power and Jurisdiction really extends it self to the Duties of both Tables, and hath to do with Matters and Causes, as well as Persons, that are spiritual, (as hereafter we shall shew) [Page 10]but, 2. Principally, that a Calling or Employment in Church-Affairs, (whatsoever hath been formerly judged and practised) doth no more exempt a Person and his Actings, (that is a Sub­ject to the Queen upon any other account) from her Secular Power, than doth a Temporal Calling or Employment in any worldly Affairs.

There is something of Explication further, in the Articles of Religion, concluded in the Year 1562. The 37th Article is this:

The 37th Ar­ticle professed in the Church of England.

The Queen's Majesty hath the chief Power in her Realm of England, and other her Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all Causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be subject to any Foreign Jurisdiction.

Where we attribute to the Queen's Majesty the chief Go­vernment, by which Titles we understand the Minds of some slanderous Folks to be offended, we give not to our Prince the ministring either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments: The which thing the Injunctions also, lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen, do most plainly testify: But that only Prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all Godly Princes in Holy Scriptures, by God himself; that is, that they should rule all Estates and De­grees committed to their Charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the Civil Sword the Stubborn, and Evil-doers.

The Bishop of Rome hath no Jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

It is mentioned in the Admonition, that the Queen's Ecclesi­astical Power is the same that was challenged and used by Henry the Eighth, &c. Which is supposed by some, to be the same that was in the Pope, the Person only, and not the Power chan­ged; so that our Princes are but Secular Popes. This Objection [Page 11]was strengthned by the Subtilty of Gardiner abroad;Whom Calvin terms Impostor ille, in Am. 7.13. and at home, by a Sermon preached at Paul's-Cross, in the Year 1588, by Dr. Bancroft, who calls Queen Elizabeth a petty Pope, and tells us, her Ecclesiastical Authority is the same which the Pope had formerly. This 37th Article removes the Scruple suffici­ently: 1. In asserting the Authority given to her Majesty to be no other but what we see to have been given to all Godly Princes in holy Scriptures, &c. And for what Power Henry the Eighth challenged, it was no new Jurisdiction wrested from the Pope, but a Power or Prerogative justly and rightfully belonging to him,26 Henry 8. cap. 1. claimed and exercised by his Predecessors some hundreds of Years before his Time, being anciently annexed to the Crown. 2. In the latter part of the Article it is also evident: For tho a Power in spiritual Causes be given to a Secular Prince, yet it is not a spiritual Power, and such a Jurisdiction as the Pope claims, but such a Power only, and in such a way as is put forth and exercised in ordinary Civil Affairs; and the same, in respect both to Ecclesiastical and Temporal Persons, namely, a restraining with the Civil Sword the Stubborn and Evil-doers. So to restrain or coerce, is an Authority or Jurisdiction peculiar to Civil Magistrates, and by Christ himself denied to the highest Ecclesiastical Powers. Mat. 20, 25, 26. Ye know (saith Christ) the Princes of the Gentiles exercise Dominion over them; and they that are great, exer­cise Authority upon them: but it shall not be so among you, you apostles; and threatens the Use of the Sword in such Persons, Mat. 26.52.

King James speaking of the Oath of Supremacy; ‘In that Oath (saith he) is contained only the King's absolute Power over all Persons, as well Civil as Ecclesiastical, excluding all Foreign Powers and Potentates to be Judges within his Do­minions.’ In his Apol. pag. 76. And more fully afterwards, pag. 164. ‘It implies (saith he) a Power to command Obe­dience to be given to the Word of God, by reforming Religion according to his prescribed Will, by assisting the spiritual Power by his temporal Sword, by Reformation of Corruption, by procuring due Obedience to the Church, by judging and cutting off all frivolous Questions and Schisms, as Constantine did; and finally, by making a Decorum to be observed in all indifferent Things, for that purpose, which is the only Intent of our Oath of Supremacy.’

My Lord Coke, out of 1o Eliz. and in the Words of the Statute gives this Interpretation: ‘There is (saith he) no Jurisdiction by this Act affixed to the Crown, but was of Right, or ought to be by the ancient Laws of this Realm, parcel of his Jurisdiction, and which lawfully had been, or might be exercised within the Realm. The End of which Ju­risdiction, and of all the Proceedings thereupon, is, that all Things might be in Causes Ecclesiastical to the pleasure of Almighty God, Increase of Vertue, and the Conservation of the Peace and Unity of the Realm, as by divers places of the Act appears. And therefore by that Act, no pretended Juris­diction exercised within this Realm, being ungodly, or re­pugnant to the ancient Law of the Crown, was, or could be restored to the Crown, according to the ancient Right and Law of the same. Coke, de Jure Ecclesiastico, fol. 8.

Bishop Bilson, a great Searcher into the Doctrine of the Su­premacy of Kings, gives this as the Sence of the Oath. ‘The Oath (saith he) expresseth not Kings Duty to God, but ours to them: As they must be obeyed, when they join with Truth; so must they be endured, when they fall into Error. Which Side soever they take, either Obedience to their Wills, or Submission to their Swords, is their due by God's Law, and that is all which our Oath exacteth.’ And in a few Lines fol­lowing, he interprets what is meant by Supremacy. ‘We do not (saith he) give Princes Power to do what they list, in the Matters appertaining to God, and his Service. Indeed we say, the Pope may not depose them, nor pull the Crown off their Heads. In this only Sence we defend them to be Su­preme, that is, not at liberty to do what they list, without regard of Truth or Right, but without Superior on Earth.’

Dr. Morton against the Pope's Supremacy, out of an Epistle of Leo to the Emperor, speaking thus: You must not be igno­rant, that your Princely Power is given unto you, not only in worldly Regiment, but also spiritual. for the Preservation of the Church. ‘As if he had said, not only in Cases Temporal, but also in Spiritual, so far as it belongeth to the outward Preservation, not to the personal Administration of them. And this is the Substance of our English Oath: and further, neither do our Kings of England challenge, nor Subjects condescend unto. pag. 26.

Mr. Mason in his Vindiciae Ecclesiae Angliae, Lib. 3. c. 5. speaking of Calvin's being offended, verum si intellexisset nihil aliud sibi voluisse hunc Titulum, &c. Calvin would never have disallowed this Oath, if he had understood by the Title of supream Governour in Ecclesiastical Things, that nothing else had been claimed, but an exclusion of Popish Tyranny, and a lawful Power in the King over his Subjects; which stands not in coyning new Articles of Faith or Forms of Religion, such as were Jerobo­am's Calves; but in defending and propagating that Faith and Religion of which God in the Scripture is the undoubted Author. In this sence and no other that ever we have heard of, is the Title of Supream Governour given to, and accepted by the King.’

§. 5. This Oath hath matters contained in it, (as you may perceive) that are not of one nature and kind; the Assent and Stipulation required of us, in respect to the several parts of it, is likewise various and different: As our Creed according to the different nature of the Articles, is believed by the different Acts of Faith. To what is contained in the former part of the Oath in these Words; I do utterly testify and declare in my Conscience, that the King's Highness is the only Supream Governour of this Realm, &c. Herein is required a true, re­al and cordial Assent to, and Profession of what is mentioned; as also to give this Testimony with such Sincerity of Heart as in the Presence of God. To swear positively to any dogma­tical Assertion, is not required; it would be taking the Name of God in vain: for if it be a certain and undoubted Truth in it self and to others; as are Principles in Reason and Articles of Faith; an Oath is vain, for it ends no Strife. 2. If doubtful,Heb. 9. and a question whether true or not, though such an Oath puts it out of question that I believe so; yet not that it is a Truth. My Belief though ever so much evidenced and confirmed, doth not make a doubtful matter it self more credible; nor is one Man's believing an Assertion any just ground for another Man to believe the same; such an Oath is therefore in vain, it's not a fit medium to end such a Controversy. 2. It is further said, I do utterly renounce and forsake all Forreign Iurisdictions, &c. This requires not only the Sincerity of my Perswasion and Profession against the Title and Claim of all foraign Powers; [Page 14]but upon Oath to forsake, that is to abjure (we abjure when we swear to quit and forsake.) To forsake a Power or Juris­diction, is to refuse, and not to receive, submit, or yield Obedi­ence to any Commands given by it, or make any Appeals or Complaints to it. 3. That which followeth, and wherein the main of this Engagement lieth, is in these Words, I do promise that from henceforth I shall hear Faith, &c. and to my Power shall assist all Iurisdictions, &c. Herein is required a Promissa­ry Oath, swearing Allegiance to the King, (as a Loyal Sub­ject) to submit to his Laws, as also if there be occasion; to my Power to assist and defend him, and all Jurisdictions and Priviledges belonging to him. Though my Perswasion be ever so right, my Resolution ever so sincere, at the taking of this Oath; that's not all is required. In an Assertory Oath, if there be Truth and a right Frame of Heart in time I swear, and give my Testimony, it sufficeth: But a Promissory Oath is not discharged by this, that I sincerely intend what I say and pro­mise, for I engage to Action, and for the time to come; I must not only promise, but (if it be lawful and possible) I must act and do accordingly, Numb. 30.2. If a Man swear an Oath to bind his Soul with a Bond, he shall do according to all that proceed­eth out of his Mouth.


What is meant by Persons and things Spiritual or Eccle­siastical; in the proper, as also in the vulgar use of these Terms.

IF this Expression Spiritual, be interpreted by the Contradi­stinct Member, Temporal, it seems to direct us, to under­stand such matters as concern Eternity, for that is the true Op­posite to what is temporal: 2 Cor. 4.18. The things that are seen are temporal, and the things that are not seen, are eternal: now in strictness of Speech carnal, not temporal, is the opposite Member to spiritual; I could not speak unto you as spiritual Men, but as to carnal; 1 Cor. 3.1. and 1 Cor. 9. If we have sown unto you spi­ritual [Page 15] things, is it a great matter if we reap your carnal things? But this is too narrow and strict a Sense. There are matters vulgarly termed Spiritual or Ecclesiastical, being such in Name and Title only, having nothing of a spiritual Nature in them-Such a Distinction of spiritual things you have in a Letter writ­ten by Henry the 8th to his Clergy, of the Province of York, in the Year 1533, who were offended at his Title of being Su­pream Head of the Church: ‘Men (saith he) being here them­selves earthly and temporal, cannot be Head and Governour to things eternal, nor yet spiritual; taking this word Spiritual not as in the common Speech abused, but as it signifies indeed. By spiritual things as abused in common Speech, he means what is given to all such Persons and Causes as belong to the Spiritual Court, and are termed by Civilians, causae vel res conten­tiosae vel judiciales, matters of contest, inter partes, actorem & re­um, and come to be determined by Sentence of the Judg in those Courts. By those things that are indeed spiritual, is meant res extra judiciales, or non contentiosae; that is, such things as are determined not in a Judicial, or Court-way of Tryal, by Witnesses, Oaths, Interpleadings, Sentences, and the like; but in a more deliberate and synodical way, having the Word of God for Witness and Judg; both in respect of what we do, and what we may do in things of this Nature. Causes Eazle­siastical (saith Dr. Field) are of two sorts; Field of the Church p. 680. for some are originally and naturally such, and some only in that they are referred to the Cognizance of Ecclesiastical Persons, as the probat of the Testaments, Matrimony, &c. Those Spiritual Courts being continued; and the same Causes tried in them as before, when this Jurisdiction was usurped; the matters that were then, are still vulgarly re­puted Spiritual.

Emperors receiving the Christian Faith, honoured the learned and godly Bishops antiently with some Jurisdiction, in the cases of Tythes, Matrimony, Wills and the like; which are termed Ecclesiastical or Spiritual; not from their own Nature, but from the Quality of the Persons who were made Judges of them. They being spiritual Men; the Causes come to be called spiritual Causes (after their Names and Quality) that were set over them. These Causes growing and increasing in after­times, according as spiritual Persons were able by the Popes assistance, to rifle from Princes; the managing of them re­quire [Page 16]more hands, than those to whom first committed, namely the Bishops, and such as were in holy Orders, they therefore took in for Assistants, a great number of others, as Archdeacons, Chan­cellors, Commssiaries, Officials, &c. and these are denominated Spiritual from those Causes, and their assistance of Bishops in the managing of them: and their Courts, Spiritual Courts.

There are Persons that are truly spiritual, The spiritual Man (saith Paul) judgeth all things, 1 Cor. 2.14. and Gal. 6.1. Ye that are spiritual, &c. That is, such as have Grace and Holiness. He also that hath spiritual Gifts, and in a Gospel-Office or Calling, is a spiritual Person, 1 Cor. 14.37. a Man of God, 2 Tim. 3.17.1 Pet. 2.5. And there are Matters or Causes that are truly spiritual; as the Law is spiritual, Rom. 7. The Gospel and preaching of it, is a sowing of spiritual things; 1 Cor. 9. the Worship and Ser­vice of God,1 Cor. 12. and 14.12. and all Gifts and Ordinances of Christ, are spiri­tual. Yea whatsoever things natural, or moral, that are helps to the Persons worshipping; and by which the Wor­ship it self becomes more orderly and to Edification, and in the defect whereof the Name of God is taken in vain, and Ordinances of Christ become less acceptable and effectual: these Things and Circumstances, in some sence may be termed Spiritual or Ecclesiastical. Persons and Causes of each sort, whether vul­garly or properly, termed Spiritual or Ecclesiastical, are some way or other under the Magistrates Government.

The former of these, those spiritual Persons and Courts, and Causes appertaining to them in the first framing of this Oath, were principally (if not only) intended and aimed at, as appeareth in the Statutes before mentioned. And indeed the greatest Contention between the Pope and our Princes in all time hath been about Ecclesiastical Matters of that nature; being then judged of greatest prejudice in respect both to the Honour and Wealth of this Nation. For, those matters more truly spiritual, and nearly relating to God and his Service (the Ignorance of the times was such) his Impositions, both in Do­ctrine and Worship (though very sinful, unsound, and super­stitious) were generally recelved by Prince and People in this Nation, without resisting or complaining.

There can be no question but these matters being indeed temporal, properly belong to the Secular Powers. For, for the space of three hundred Years, this Distinction was not [Page 17]known (saith Sir John Davis) or heard of in the Christian World; the Causes of Testaments, Matrimony, Sir J. D. in his Reports, the Case of Premunire. &c. termed Ec­clesiastical or Spiritual were meerly Civil, and determined by the Civil Laws of the Magistrate.

And for Persons and Causes Spiritual or Ecclesiastical, that are properly and indeed such, as first-Table-Duties, which con­tain matters of Faith and Holiness, and what conduceth to the eternal Wellfare of Mens Souls; an Interest and Duty there is in the Civil Magistrate more suo, to give Commands, and exercise lawful Jurisdiction about things of that nature. And for Persons, there is no Man for his Graces so spiritual, or in respect of his Gifts and Office so eminent; but he is under the Govern­ment of the Civil Powers in the Place where he lives, as much in all respects as any other Subject.


1. Of Power, its rise and original. 2. Two sorts of Power in Ecclesiastical or Spiritual Things. 3. Their Agree­ment, and, 4. Difference of the one from the other.

§. 1. THere is a difference between Potentia and Potestas Po­tentia, [...], Strength, Force, Robustness. Such a Power is found not only in Men, particular Persons, as Sampson, Goliah, &c. but in other inferior Creatures. Potestas [...], Jurisdiction, Authority, this is peculiar to rational Creatures,Job 40.18. and as they are a Commonalty and in Society one with ano­ther. Though Force and Strength as in singular Persons be sufficient for publick Actions, yet without Authority, we act not lawfully; and having Authority, if we have not Power and Strength sufficient, we cannot act effectually, therefore joyned together in a King. Dan. 2.37.

All Men by Nature are equal; yet, in the first forming of Man, a Capacity is found in him, with some remote Disposi­tion to rule and obey; as, 1. A Sociableness, let us make Man in our Image; Ʋs and Our, a Trinity in One his Creator: Hence in each Man's Constitution, a Propension and natural bent to [Page 18]Union. This God himself observes, It is not good for Man. to be alone: the Woman is created, not only for a Companion, but that Men and Women might increase and be multiplied. 2. Mul­titudes of Men if not reduced into Subordination and Order, having lost their original Righteousness, will be a greater Evil than if each were alone by himself. One Man will exalt himself ever others, and according to that brutish Force and Strength wherein he excelleth, rob, oppress, murther and pil­lage others. 3. Hence a necessity of Republicks and Common­weals, that some Rules and Laws may be provided not only for Direction, but for Correction if need be. 4. Such Laws im­ply Authority, and a Supremacy also in it; for such Authority or Jurisdiction only is Legislative.

Man consists of Soul and Body. This Principle of Civility or Sociableness (whence Authority hath its Original and Rise) is placed primarily in the Soul. Society and Republicks are for the moral Good of Mens Souls therefore, and not to ac­commodate the Body only. The Powers also that are, being ordained of God, Rom. 13. who is the Father of Spirits, ought to be ma­naged and directed to Matters wherein our Souls and Spirits are concerned. The Good and Evil for which these Powers are ordained is not limited to the Body or outward Man.

The Power of Parents and Masters in the Family, it is civil, not sacred, yet ordained for the bringing up Children and Ser­vants in the Nurture of the Lord. Ephes. 6.4.

There being a new Creation in and through the Lord Jesus Christ: These Persons created of God, partake of a Divine Na­ture, and thence the like Propension to Union and a holy Fellow­ship with those whom Christ hath redeemed out of the World. Therefore a special Provision is made by the Lord Jesus for such, to joyn together in particular Societies or Churches, Himself being appointed by his Father to be their King and Law-giver, who hath left them Rules and Laws for managing the Affairs of these spiritual Corporations or Brotherhoods (as the Scripture terms them); Power also and Authority for putting these Laws in execution is given unto Churches. So that there is a twofold Power or Authority, to be exercised in Causes, and over Per­sons Ecclesiastical or Spiritual, the one placed in the Princes, the other in the Churches of Christ.

  • 1. The difference betwixt these two Powers.
  • 2. The Necessity if the Civil Power in Ecclesiastial Matters, not­withstanding Church-Power.

§. 2. What is common to both, and wherein each of these Powers differ from the other, shall briefly be shewed.

1. They are Powers, both a Subordination or Policy in the Church as well as in the Common-weal, and an [...], or Jurisdiction exercised in each. You read of Authority or Juris­diction not only in Civil Assemblies, as Rom. 13. John 19.11. but also in Churches, 2 Cor. 10.8. and 13.10. the word is [...] in both places.

2. They are both from God, and the Ordinance of God, and ought to be submitted to for Conscience sake, and are for En­couragement to those that are Good, and for Wrath upon him that doth Evil; and he that resisteth this Power in either, resists the Ordinance of God, and they that resist receive to themselves Damnation (as the Apostle speaks) as well in respect to the one as the other. And both being from God, they are also both Powers under God, that is, under his Designment and Limits, as also his Direction and Guidance; for his Glory, as the ultimate; and the good of Mankind, as the penultimate end of both.

3. This Power of Princes is termed spiritual, Ratione objecti, because it hath to do with Spiritual Persons and Causes. In such like a sense and manner of Speech (if it had the stamp of vulgar Use) the Church-Power, may be termed Civil or Temporal; because all sorts of Persons and Causes without Difference are under the Power of it. That as the secular Power is Custos utrius (que) Tabulae, matters of Holiness (and what's opposite to it, Blasphemy, Heresy, Perjury, &c.) as well as Righteousness; so Church-Power is Custos utriusque Tabulae, Righteousness and second-Table-Duties, and what is opposite, as Rebellion, Sedi­tion, Lying, Stealing; if any Man that is called a Brother, be a Fornicator, or a Drunkard, or an Extortioner, &c. In all these and such Cases the Church-Power is applied in an Ecclesiastical, or Spiritual way; as in a Civil and Secular way the Magistrate deals with what are Duties of the first Table.

The Powers do mutually further each other, and so ordained by God, (from whom they are both originally) as they sweetly [Page 20]comply and agree (being kept in their just Bounds) each with other; as Moses and Aaron, David and Nathan, Zerubbabel the Son Shealtiel, and Joshua the Son of Josedech. Jungamus Gladios, said the Emperor to his Bishop, let us joyn our Forces and purge the Land of Wickedness. And our Senators in Par­liament, speak thus of these;Stat. 20. Hen 8. c. 12. Both Authorities and Jurisdictions joyn together, and the one helps the other.

§. 3. Their Differences are in these Particulars.

1. Though both have (in their respective way) to do with both Tables, yet the Civil Magistrates Work lyeth most over Persons with respect to the Duties of the second Table; as in matters of Justice, and Righteousness; in the managing where­of, the very being of a Common-wealth principally consists; its wel-being, only as he hath to do in Spiritual or Ecclesiastical Causes. So the Church-Power is chiefly and principally exer­cised in the ordering of Persons, with respect to the first-Ta­ble-Duties, and which appertains to Piety: Wherein is the Being and constant Employment of Churches. The other, that is, matters of Righteousness, Justice, Sobriety, and the like, are occasionally only and in ordine ad spiritualia, under Church-Power and Censures.

2. The Power of Churches is not only spiritual Ratione objecti, because its over spiritual Persons and Causes; but ex natura rei, a spiritual Power having Spirituality, and its Denomination from more intrinsick Considerations, as the Matter, Form, Sub­ject, Rule, End, &c. and not from the Object only, as that other Power; which though it be in spiritual things, yet it is not properly spiritual Power, the Sword which it bears is not the Sword of the Spirit, Rev. 1.16. Ephes. 6. which is the Word of God, and this Word is eternal, not temporal, it endureth for ever, the Power and Soveraignty of it is from Christ; out of his Mouth went a sharp two-edged Sword: his Sword and Power being spi­ritual, it pierceth, runs deep, Heb. 4. even betwixt the Soul and the Spirit; there comes no such Sword or Law from Civil Au­thority: that Power in its greatest Efficacy, reacheth not the Inner-Man, though to be submitted unto for Conscience sake. Indeed this Power is over spiritual Persons, but not immediately and directly over their spiritual part: By these Powers we are given up to a Prison, to Banishment, to Death, [Page 21]but not to Satan. It is not for cruciating the Souls, and per­plexing the Consciences of Men, as is Church-Power, where there is Cause.

3. That of Secular Magistrates, even in Spiritual Affairs, and having to do primarily with the outward Man, is more Autho­ritative; it is Jurisdictio propriè dicta, Legislative, Coercive, and in all respects the same as in Civil Matters, what he doth in his own Name. And truly [...], Church-Power, is not properly Jurisdiction or Authority, as in the Church, but as in Christ; the Head of the Church; as seated in the Church, or Caetus fidelium, it is only [...], Ministerium, not Demini­um, and acts all in the Name or Authority of Christ.

4. They differ in Extension, in respect to both Persons and Causes. 1. Church-Power is limited to a particular Congre­gation, as Family-Power to those of our own Houshold: But this other Ecclesiastical Power, seated in the same Person or Persons, extends it self throughout a whole Kingdom, yea, sometimes to more than one. But in some one Province or Kingdom, you read in Scripture of many Churches. This co­meth to pass from another Difference between these Powers: The Manage of Ecclesiastical Affairs, as in Civil Magistrates, may be delegated to other hands, by way of Commission or De­putation; they may ordain under them subordinate Thrones, and inferior Powers, acting in their Names, which is Lordly, and full of Honour and State: But Churches may not do so, by delegation of Power, Representatives, or any other Method or Way, to stretch forth the Wing of their Authority (like that of the Civil) over all the Churches of a Nation, or over more Congregations than one, or a greater than ordinarily par­take of all other Ordinances together, is not at all suitable to a Church-Condition, which is Ministerial, not Lordly. So Mr. Bradshaw, as the Opinion of the Nonconformists: ‘We confine and bound all Ecclesiastical Power within the Limits only of one particular Congregation, holding, that the greatest Ecclesiastical Power ought not to stretch beyond the same: And that it is an arrogating of Princely Supremacy, for any Ecclesiastical Person or Persons whatsoever, to take upon them­selves Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction over many Churches, much more over whole Kingdoms, and Provinces of Churches.’

Dr. Bilson speaks much to this purpose:Of Supremacy, pag. 238. ‘Tho (saith he) Bishops may be called Governors in respect of the Soul, yet only Princes be Governors of Realms. Pastors have Flocks, and Bishops have Diocesses; Realms, Dominions, and Coun­tries none have, but Princes and Magistrates. And so the Stile, Governor of this Realm, belongeth only to the Prince, and not to the Priest, and importeth a Publick and Princely Re­giment. The Common-Wealth (saith Mr. Baxter) contain­eth all the People in a whole Nation,Holy Com­mon-wealth, pag. 220. or more, as united in one Sovereign: But particular Churches have no general Ecclesi­astical Officers, in whom a Nation must unite as one Church, but are as several Corporations in one Kingdom,’ &c. We see (saith Sir Fr. Bacon) in all Laws in the World, Considerati­ons about Church-Af­fairs. Offices of Confidence and Skill cannot be exercised by Delegation, all such Trust is perso­nal and inherent, and may not be transported and delegated, as that of Kings, which for the most part is hereditary, and rather an Office of Interest than Confidence. 2. In respect to Causes, the Church-Power extends its Censures to no Causes, but such as the other may, as to Popery, Heresy, &c. But in many Cases the Civil Magistrate extends his Care and Authority, where Church-Power moddles not: As to Jews and Pagans, and such as are not Members of the Church; some things may be done by the Magistrate even for these, being Members of his Common-Wealth, that may conduce to their spiritual Good. The Church-Power is limited, as 1 Cor. 5.12. So likewise whether the Crime committed be private or publick, Matter of Scandal, or not, or the Person penitent, or otherwise, these Powers are at liberty to punish or pardon alike, and as they shall judg it ex­pedient, to be severe or merciful accordingly. They may form or reform the Laws and Statutes by which they govern;1 Eliz. cap 1. with 35 Hen 8. ma­king the same Fault Treason in one Age, that in the next not so much as Imprisonment. But Church-Power is limited, the same Crime, the same Punishment ever, not being in the Power of this Republick to vary in their Process, in respect of lesser or greater Censures, if the Crime be she same.

5. In their Constitution or Tenure: Licet omnis Potestas (saith Carbo) tum Ecclesiastica tum Civilis, Carbo de Leg. iib. 2. cap. 8. sit à Deo, tamen non eodem modo; nam politica licet universe sit jure Divino, in particulari est jure Gentium, Ecclesiastica omni modo est jure divino, & à Deo. Government in general is of Divine Right, but whether in this [Page 23]or that particular Form, as in one, or a few representing the rest, this is humane, and hath its Original from Man. That Power which is termed an Ordinance of God, in Rom. 13. is called an Ordinance of Man, in 1 Pet. 2. Church-Power and Government being spiritual, hath all particulars for substance, both in respect of Persons and Administrations, for matter and manner appointed by Jesus Christ, and in all Nations to be the same. Civil Power, even in Ecclesiastical Matters, in many things for substance, is left to the Prudence of the State in which it is exercised; and in the Forms of it various, according to the manner of the Nation. As for Instance; Inspection into Religious Assemblies, visiting and observing their Demeanour, receiving Complaints, by reason of Wrongs, Disorders, &c. These things may be done by the Civil Magistrate, in his own Person, or by Persons authorized from him; these Persons may be many, or but one in a Division, these Divisions of larger or less Compass. And for the manner of Procedure, it's various, as Ecclesi­astical Courts differ in their manner of Process from Civil, or of a Method or Way of handling Causes different from each, be esta­blished by Law, it is equally warrantable. There are particular Directions left by Christ, according to which the Officers (and Persons more especially entrusted with this Power) are de­signed to, and invested in their Places and Charge, as Election, Ordination, &c. with Fasting and Prayer. The other Powers are setled upon, and claimed in such ways, as the respective Law of Nations design, as by Birth, Lot, Victory, Donation, or the like, as well as Election; insomuch as a Woman or Child may have a rightful Claim to this Supreme Trust, and the Management of it, by themselves or others, as shall be appointed.


§. 1. Of the Necessity and Ʋsefulness of a Jurisdiction over Persons, and in Causes Ecclesiastical, besides what is in Churches. §. 2. This Power is placed in Kings, and such as are the Supreme Governors in a Common-Wealth.

§. 1. FOr the second, we shall shew how necessary and use­ful Civil Power is, even in Ecclesiastical or Spiritual Matters, notwithstanding the other. It is not to be denied, that Souls were converted, and Churches established, and kept up, when there was no Assistance, but rather Opposition, from the Princes of the Earth, as in the Apostolick and Primitive Times. The Benefit we have now by Christian Mgistrates, was then more abundantly supplied, (the Infancy of Christianity requiring more) by the Miracles wrought, and the constant Direction and Care of Apostolick and extraordinary Persons, who were gifted by Christ for that purpose.

All the ordinary Helps that now we have, by external and more sensual or carnal Means, contributing any thing to these great Works, is only a pious and Christian Magistracy, where a Nation is blessed with it. The Benefit hereof is much in a spi­ritual respect, both to the World, as likewise to the Church.

1. It is (tho remote) a great Help to bring Men out of their natural Condition, unto Life and Salvation. We are exhor­ted to pray for Kings, and such as are in Authority, 1 Tim. 2. The reason, v. 4. For God will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledg of the Truth. As the Knowledg of the Truth is a means to bring a Soul into a saving State; so is the Magistrate (being enlightned himself) a great Means to bring us to the knowledg of the Truth. Those Men were in a great Distance from God, in a Rage against Christ and Religion, Psal. 2.1. they did combine against the strict Ways of the Gospel; these poor Heathens being, notwithstanding, given to Christ by Election, v. 8. David useth a twofold Method for reducing them: The first is, [Page 25]a representing their wretched and miscrable Condition, while in this State of Enmity, ver. 9. Then, 2. deals with their Prin­ces and Rulers, to be forthwith instructed, and serve the Lord, i.e. as Kings and Magistrates, in their publick Capacity. But must not the People be instructed also? Such Magistrates will speedi­ly provide and take care for their People, that they may be brought to the knowledg of the Truth; and therefore it needs not to be mentioned.

The Magistratical Power conduceth to this Work divers ways, 1. By setting up and protecting a Gospel-Ministry. He only can subserve Providence, by sending, or giving way to others to send forth fit Persons, and enforce a Maintenance for their Encou­ragement in this Work. By such a Word of Providence (it is [...]) we come to hear, and by hearing we believe, Rom. 10.17. He can urge his People to come to the Means, and outwardly conform to the same, and so bring them to the Knowledg of the Truth, the very Knowledg whereof, tho not saving, is a means at least to restrain our inbred Corruption, and to work preparatively to Conversion, bringing Men into a Condition not far from the Kingdom of Heaven, as Christ speaks.2 Pet. 2.20.

2. The Civil Magistrate hath Power to punish and reward, and so to work upon the Passions of Fear, Desire, Hope, &c. Man, even in his Natural Estate, hath free Will in Moral Actions, if it be excited and drawn forth. The Passions are so seated betwixt the Will and Senses, that outward and sensual Objects work ef­fectually upon it: the Motions of the Will, in this our State of Corruption, depending more upon the visions of what is sensu­al,Hominem etsi timore poenae fugiat pecca­tum, paulatian affectum & animum ad illud amittere, & è contrario concipere odi­um illius, idec (que) etiam vitare [...]cca­tum. Ariag. de Leg. Disp. 13. § 9. Hos. 2.6. than what is a rational Good or Evil. The most comman­ding and stirring Passion, and with most life and vigour, in a natural Man, is Self, or Self-Love; it is the first Principle usu­ally that God excites in us towards Conversion, as in the Para­ble of the Prodigal, and divers other Scriptures. Sickness, Po­verty, and the like Occurrence of Providences, (Punishments for Sin) being sanctified by the Lord, work much upon us; so Mi­series inflicted upon the more obstinate, from Magistrates (in Justice for evil-doing) have the same Operation: and by reason hereof, gross Corruptions are kept in and restrained, whereby the Habits of Sin decrease, and become less rank in the Soul. It is a hedging our Way with Thorns, as the Prophet speaks.

A great part of the World lies without the Pale of the Church, and the severity of its Judicature reacheth them not. This Power is exercised only on Church-Members; we have nothing to do to judg them that are without, 1 Cor. 5.12, 13. tho they be Fornicators, or Cove­tous, or Idolaters, or Drunkards, or Extortioners; Churches, in respect of Censures and Punishment, leave them to God by the Magistrate, or the like Providential way to judg them, vers. 13.

3. Impedimenta removendo; he removes corrupt Teachers, that slay Mens Souls,Mich. 2.11. by crying Peace, prophesying of Wine, &c. indulging Sinners in their Security; and such as by Errors and false Doctrine poyson Mens Souls, to their eternal perdition; by restaining Stage-Plays, not permitting Brothel-Houses, and the like Fomenters of Sin.

Now there is no means or provision so certain, and generally effectual to send out Preachers, to urge and constrain Men to hear, and for all these purposes, as this, when the Magistrate, according to his Trust and Duty, puts forth his Authority in these Matters; or that will so universally, as an external means, stir that Principle of Self-love in all Men, to the seeking after what is good, and the shunning of what is evil. A Coercive Power of this Nature is placed in no other hand but his. Ministers may preach and persuade,1 Tim. 3.3. Mat. 20. but must be no Strikers, may not ex­ternally afflict and constrain; Peter may not use his Sword in Christ's Quarrel. God only, and the Civil Magistrate, further our Happiness, by making us miserable.

Paul, who had as much Power as any Man of that Order, yet his Weapons were only spiritual; and tho an Apostle, yet could not do so much as the meanest Civil Magistrate in such a Coercive way: for their Weapons will, whether Men incline or not, have an operation, and constant effect, less or more, to whomsoever applied. This Power therefore of the Civil Magi­strate cannot well be wanted; or if it be, there is no ordinary means to be had for a supply in the room of it.Judg. 17.6. When there was no King in Israel, every Man did what was right in his own Eyes, followed the Ways his Lusts led him to. Suppose there be good Counsel and Instruction, yet to many Persons it signifieth little; for some Men are not corrigible by Words, Prov. 29.19. The Foolishness that is bound up in our Hearts, must by Correction be driven far from us. Prov. 22.15.

4. I shall conclude, adding in the last place,Rom. 13. the Praise of Well-doing. The Countenance and Encouragement of the Ma­gistrate to those that preach, and those that obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, renders it even to a carnal Heart desira­ble. The Lord gives this honour to a poor Servant, faithful in his place, that he adorns the Gospel, Tit. 2.10. and renders it more acceptable and effectual. So likewise the Conversaetion of a Wife, that those who obey not the Word, 1 Pet. 3.1. are without the Word won by such a Conver­sation; that is, won to the Love of the Word, and the liking of those Ways that are according to the Word. Much greater is that Honour and Ornament which comes to the Gospel, when the Magistrate, not only by his Conversation, and personal Example, but by his Laws and Authority, sets himself to en­courage all he can, the Preachers and Professors thereof, bearing them up against Despisers and Scoffers.

2. In respect to the Church,To the Church. and such as are effectually call'd out of the World; God hath promised, and in the Scripture much comforted his People in this, that they shall have great be­nefit by the Civil Magistrates that are over them: as Isa. 32.2. & chap. 49.23. & chap. 60.16. These Promises relate to Gospel­times. And those Places, Numb. 27.16. and 1 Tim. 2. are equi­valent to Promises: a Prayer is as it were a Promise reversed; what is spoken by the Lord in a Promise, being returned, is the strength and confidence of a Prayer. Encouragements also to obey Precepts, imply Promises; so that of Rom. 13. and 1 Pet. 2. our Subjection is required upon this consideration, that Kings are for the praise of them that do well, Rom. 13. ordained of God to thee (to the Church, and to every Saint) for good. The Lord in this doth not only promise, but as it were undertake for the Magistrate, that he shall be such an one, as those that are pious and righteous, those that do well, need not dread or fear to be under him. A good Magistrate is a Blessing, and matter of joy and rejoycing to the People of God, Prov. 29.2. Eccles. 10.17. a great Fruit and Evidence of his Love to them, 1 King. 10.9. and 2 Chron. 2.11. Because the Lord hath loved his People, he hath made thee King over them; it is so spoken of Solomon.

The Benefit and Good to the Churches and Saints from the Civil Magistrate, may more particularly be judged of in these Considerations.

1. Kings and Princes are an Ordinance of God, or Medium by which, in a more special and peculiar way, he communicates his Power, Wisdom and Justice for the governing of all Socie­ties of Men. 1 Kings 3.28. All Israel feared the King, for they saw that the Wisdom of God was in him, to do Judgment. So the Power and Justice, and the like Attributes of God, become visible in this Ordinance of God. See Eccles. 8.2. Numb. 27.20. Prov. 16.10. and 21.1. It is brought as an Argument to Magi­strates against Partiality and Bribery; 2 Chron. 19.7. There is no Iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respects of Persone, nor taking of Gifts. What is, or is not in God, should be, or not be found in him that is a Magistrate. They are therefore termed Gods, be­cause a visible Representation of God's Attributes, is, or ought to be in their Governing. And as Christ is said to be present with those Officers in the Church which he hath appointed, be­cause there is a special Virtue and Efficacy of Christ manifest in their Ministry: So in this great Ordinance of a Magistrate, there is said to be a special Presence of God with him, 2 Chron. 19.6. From the like Manifestation of God, in his Wisdom, Power, Goodness, &c. for the Welfare of Societies.

There is such a Harmony and Neighbourhood between the outward and inward Man, that what works upon the one, af­fects the other. When therefore the Ministry by Christ's pre­sence works upon a Man's Soul, the Man is of a better Behaviour outwardly, and to Civil Relations: So also being brought in­to outward Subjection and Conformity, (by Magistracy) the Mind and spiritual part is much the more fitted for Christian Communion. Moral Vertues, yea, Civilities are much pressed upon Church-Members every where in the Epistles, as to be kind, courteous, Rom. 16. humble, submiss, self-denying. Paul spends a whole Chapter in Greetings and Salutes. Men and Women that are morose, selfish, stiff, opinionative, ill-bred, such for the most part are burthensom in all, and as much in these spiritual Societies as in any other.

2. For Protection, Church-Power neither judgeth or restrain­eth them that are without; it is no Fence nor Security against the World. The only Hedg about this Vineyard, under God, is the Sword of the Civil Magistrate. Saints and Churches, being called and separated out of the World, are hated by the World, and such a Seed of Enmity in them against the Members of [Page 29]Christ; as if there were no higher Power to restrain, being the far greater number, they would utterly root us out.

The Church for Weakness and Helplesness is resembled by a Nurse-Child, or Infant, which needs the Care of those who have more Strength. This religious Care and Tenderness, is,Isa. 9.16. or ought to be in the Magistrate, who is termed a Nurse. The Prophet in this Promise hath an Eye to Gospel-Times, and Churches, called together amongst the Gentiles. In an Age when there would be no Prophets or Apostles, or Signs, or Wonders, or mighty Deeds wrought in the behalf of the Church,2 Cor. 10.12. as was in the Jewish Oeconomy, and first Age of Christians. It's promised that Kings and Princes (either by a common or saving Change) shall become nursing Fathers,1 Sam. 10.6, 9. 1 Kings 4.29. nourishing and protecting Christ's feeble Orphant the Church. And where the Magistrate is such, we ought to pray that all may be such; we have the Liberty under them (notwithstanding the World's Enmity) to lead a quiet and peaceable Life,1 Kings 4.29. and this not only in Honesty, but in all Godliness.

3. The Judgments of God, Sword of the Magistrate, and the like external Administrations are helpful to the best of Men, who are liable, while a Body of Sin, to as foul external Acts of Sin, as the worst of Men. The spiritual part in us by these means, helps it self much (in an hour of Temptation especially) against the Flesh, over-ballancing the Pleasures of Sin, from that Shame and Grief Sin brings with it; so that Self-love, or a higher Principle is hereby strengthened to avert us. Servile Fear (evil only in defect) is good and useful to the best of us, while in a mixed Condition, and not perfect in our Love to God. Joh was eminently godly and righteous, yet in both much furthered from the Consideration of Wrath and Judgment.Job 31.19, 21, with 23. If I have seen (saith he) any perish for want of Cloathing; If I have lift up my Hand against the Fatherless, &c. ver. 23. For Destruction from God was a Terror to me. The Magistrates Ecclesiastical Power had the like effect to restrain Impiety in him, as vers. 26, 27, 28. If I beheld the Sun, and my Heart hath been secretly enticed, or my Mouth hath kissed my Hand: this were an Iniquity to be punished by the Judg. The Apostle Paul though constrained by Love, vers. 14. Such was his Affection to Christ, yet moved also to Duty from the Consideration of Judgment and Terror, 2 Cor. 10.11.

If it be thus with the best of the Saints, much more will Churches stand in need of such an external Help against Cor­ruptions: There being not only a mixture of Flesh and Spirit, in those that are Members indeed; but a mixture with them of Hypocrites, and such as are Members only in shew.

We find in the Churches planted by the Apostles, a use not only of Spiritual Censures,1 Cor. 5. but also outward and bodily Afflic­tions, Sickness, Weakness, &c. for Church-Miscarriages; and it's said to be for the Salvation of their Souls, 1 Cor. 11. Chap. 5. ver. 5. with Chap. 11. ver. 32. So that Severity of the Lord on Ananias and Saphira, was for a Church-Fault, and it's said Vers. 11. Great Fear came upon all the Church. Rom. 13. It was an eminent Church, before whom Paul shakes the Magistrate's Sword, and tells them, if they do that which is evil, they have cause to be afraid, for he beareth not the Sword in vain.

Afflictions that are from a more immediate Hand of God, either in an ordinary or an extraordinary way, those also that the Lord chastiseth us with by the Hand of the Magistrate, I difference not, each being to the same purpose, and as an external Discipline. For where there are no Magistrates, or negligent ones, God in a providential way, and more immedi­ately judgeth and afflicts Evil-doers; even as where Church-Discipline is wanting or neglected, God himself excommunicates as it were, and gives Men up to Terror and Anguish of Soul, for their evil Deeds.

If we should draw in here Instances from the Jewish Church, and how the Lord disciplined them by the Civil Magistrate, and afflicting the outward Man, there can be nothing more evident than this, an undoubted Usefulness of such Dispensati­ons, even to the Churches of Christ.

And although it should not be a good reasoning, to argue from what Power the Princes of Israel exercised in respect of its Extent in Particulars;a Chron. 8 14. many of them being Prophets as well as Princes; yet the Benefit and Usefulness of such Power may be the same unto us as unto them, both in respect of Terror to Evil-Doers, and Praise to them that do well. Though an Argument from Circumcision applied to Infants, will not weigh with some, because they deny Baptism to be a Sacrament of that Nature: Yet this cannot be denied by them, that if an Infant be capable of Benefit by an Ordinance it understands not; [Page 31]Infants may as lawfully in that respect be baptised whille In­fants, as they were then circumcised. The Arguments brought from Ecclesiastical Power exercised by Magistrates in the Jewish Government, will argue at least that there is a Capacity in Men now to receive Benent and Good thereby (even in spiritual Matters) as they did then; which is all that is aimed at.

4. As it is the Duty of each Person,Col 2. so of Churches to walk wisely towards them that are without, that their Order may be looked upon, not only with Rejoycing by Neighbour-Churches, but such as may appear amiable and comely in the Eyes of all Men. There are many things common to all Societies, which Nature and civil Customs instruct us in, and are especially to be heeded by Churches. For as the things Moral and Lovely in the Eyes of Men, being neglected by Professors, the Gospel will suffer, so much more if by Churches. The outward Beauty of these Christian Assemblies, consists very much in what is requi­site and comely in all human Societies; as Unity, Love, Peace, brotherly Forbearance, &c. Let all things, saith the Apo­stle,Phil. 2. be done without murmuring or disputing. Paul charged the Church of Corinth with this, that there were Debates, Envyings, Wrath, Strifes, Back-bitings, Whisperings, Swellings, Tumults, 2 Cor. 12.20. and the like amongst them. There may be Wrongs and Op­pressions in Churches, as in other Assemblies. Innocent Per­sons impeached and censured as Schismatiks, Seditious, and Disturbers of the Peace; and no Remedy but from the Civil Magistrate. Paul appeals from the Church to Caesar, a Secular Prince, expecting from him, though a Heathen, more Justice, then from his Brethren, being Parties, and in their own Cause. For where Parties are Judges, the Sentence is passed before the Cause is heard. As a Church may be offended; so they may,1 Cor. 10 32. and oft-times do give Offence as well as single Persons. It's part of a Christian Magistrate's Care, and as a Magistrate, to punish open Offenderrs, whither single Persons or Assemblies. And the Truth is, if such Assemblies, that is, Churches, be not under the Magistrates Jurisdiction, they are under none, and will be at a loss in respect of all those Advantages before mentioned.

The Ʋsefulness of this Power being declared so fully, it will not be difficult to evince the Necessity if it, that is, to the well­being of Churches. For whatsoever thing is useful in Spiritual [Page 32]Affairs, is in the same degree necessary. I argue thus:

If the Ruling and Coercive Power in a Church extends it self no further than its own Members; if one particular Church cannot suspend, excommunicate, or exercise any the like Juris­diction over another; it will then follow, vvhatsoever benefit or advantage Churches, or their Members, are supposed to have and reap, by being under any external Ruling Power here on Earth; this may, and ought to be expected from the Ma­gistrates Ecclesiastical Power and no other: His being the only Power that is of such an Extension and Compass, as to be over all Persons and Societies without his Dominion,

For the further Explication and Confirming of what is asserted, I shall lay down some Considerations, and then answer Objecti­ons. Purposely enlarging upon this Argument, as tending much to a distinct understanding of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, both as it is in Church and Magistrate.

The Considerations are these.

Consid. 1 There is no Power or Authority either in Church or Magi­strate that doth directly and immediately compel or enforce the Soul. Pains, Penalties, Restraints, bodily Punishments; or what comes nearer, and is more spiritual, as Admonition, Suspension, Excommunication, or the like. 'When Persons in any of these ways are judged and censured, by the Church or Magistrate, or both; it hath its Fruit and effect in respect of Morals, only in a more remote and circular way, as by work­ing upon the Judgment and Affections; for there is no created Power can reach the Soul, to put upon it any immediate Force or Restraint, further than by applying such means (discove­red by the Scripture or Light of Reason) as are apt and sutable to set the Soul and Conscience of a Man, to work upon it self.

We term it Coercive, in difference from what is only directive and perswasive, for according as the Lord hath appointed means to this or that end, accordingly he works, and so we ought to judg and speak. Now besides means appointed for Instruction and Perswasion, God also hath added Discipline; a means mo­rally coercive, which hath Pain and Shame, it's a Punishment [...], and for the Destruction of the Flesh, therefore a means morally Compulsive, and more than meerly perswasive, the Rod [Page 33]and Reproof is more than a single Reproof,1 Cor. 4 21. Prov. 29.15. Prov. 29.19. it is a Correction which is compulsive; a Servant will not be corrected with Words. To make all but directive, is to confound the Keys. The Reverend Author should not judg or speak of an Ordinnce according to the Reception of a carnal Heart,Mr. B. in his first Dispute, p. 6. but according to what is de­signed by the Lord, as his ordinary Drift and Scope in such an Appointment. There is the Word read, Gospel preached, and visible Seals; we are to judg a greater and more effectual Exhi­bition of Christ in the one, than in the other, yet all alike to a carnal and unbelieving Soul.

Consid. 2 2. There are two great and Catholick Bodies, or Kingdoms, immediately and invifibly governed by the Lord and his Christ: The World and the Church, made up each of lesser Corpora­tions, as Cities, Families, particular Churches, &c. I say, invi­bly and immediately: for, as God is invisible, so what he acts immediately, he acts invisibly. As the Church is distinguished into visible and invisible, so is the Power by which it is gover­ned. Invisible as in a secret and mysterious way, and immedi­ately from the Lord: And thus are all Kingdoms, Nations, Tongues and Languages united as in one, even the great bulk of Mankind; as also the Catholick Church, that great Body of Saints, they are all thus governed by the Lord, and by the Lord alone, and not by Man. Visible, as where these great Bodies of Men and Christians, come to be cantoned, parcelled, and formed into Political Bodies, governed by Men,Whit. Tract 3. c. 6. p. 181. in an external and visible way.

These visible Bodies are either greater and containing, as Empires, Kingdoms, Provinces, &c. Or those that are less, and contained, as Cities, Colledges, Parishes, Families, and the like, whether they be Civil or Ecclesiastical. These lesser, though they have the Compleatness of a Body or Corporation, each in its kind, and sufficient Power to govern it self; yet not to govern one another. A Church hath not Authority to go­vern a Church, nor a Family, or the chief in it to govern a Neighbour-Family. The Light in the least Star is sufficient for it self, but not to rule the Day or the Night, as the Sun and Moon.

These lesser Bodies are therefore so composed in their seve­ral Regiments; that many of them together, may lie in the Bosom of a greater Corporation; and it will be for their bet­ter [Page 34]and more comfortable subsisting and Government.

There is no external Coercive, or ruling Power that falls in, and fills up the space betwixt those great and Catholick Bodies the World and the Church, and those lesser and lowest Regiments and Societies, but what is, or ought to be expected by or from the Civil Magistrate, who is to be acknowledged of his Sub­jects, whether Ecclesiastical or Civil under God to be over all.

Consid. 3 3. These lesser Societies therefore ordinarily are found under a twofold Regiment or Discipline. The one intrinsecal and peculiar, which in Families is received from the Light of Na­ture, and from the Light of Institution in Churches. The other more General and Common: And these lesser Bodies come under it by reason of their Situation, being within the Confines of such a Republick, they are under the Jurisdiction of the Princes thereof.De Episc. lib. 3. c. 5. Each Prince, saith Mason, hath Power in sub­ditos suos ac proinde in Ecclesiam modo subditi sunt Ecclesiae. If situated where there is no formed Common-wealth, King, or Supream Power over them, they are as a Free-State, each Fa­mily, City, and Church, immediately under God and Christ, and no other Power but what it hath in it self; which being a Power not derived from the Magistrate, but peculiar to a Fami­ly or Church, remains in them, though no Magistrate. Such was the Family and Church-state in the time of the Patriarchs for two thousand Years.

Consid. 4 As it is a Happiness to a People that live in Empires and Kingdoms, that these are parcels of that World which hath the righteous God to govern it, who is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. 2 Kings 19.15. So is it likewise to these lesser Bodies, a Fami­ly, or a Church, that they are situated under the Wing of a Christian, and well-governed Common-wealth. Where their Governours may be under some Government, and in Wrongs and Disorders, they may have the Benefit of a Magistrate's Au­thority to appeal unto.


1. The first Objection answered. 2. The Government of a particular Church, hath Affinity with that of lesser Bodies, more than with the Government of Empires and Kingdoms.


§ 1. IT may be objected, that Churches are spiritual Corpo­rations, and of a more peculiar Consideration, in re­spect of their Government; and therefore not to be reckoned with Civil, at least not with Families, or such mean and low Societies.

Answ. Policy or Government in it self, and all the sorts of it, is from the Light of Nature, and common Reason. And this is generally supposed by all; that tho the Subject Matter, or Persons governed, be of different kinds; yet the Law and Forms of Government may be the same where so appointed by Christ. And I rather insist on such a way of Discourse and Rea­soning, as most suitable to the Subject I am upon, but especially because Subordination of Churches to Churches is argued from the Light of Nature, and in this very Case, termed by our Bre­thren a Divine Topick. Now if we may argue and guide our selves in Church-Affairs by the Light that shineth forth (from the natural Wisdom and Prudence of Man) in the Government and managing of Kingdoms; there is as much a Jus Divinum, and ground of reasoning from the Light that appears in the pru­dent Constitution and Government of any other civil Society.

I have mentioned in the Considerations, Cities, Families, and those lesser, and contained (as I term them) Societies or Cor­porations with particulars Churches: Because I humbly con­ceive the Policy and Government of each (tho in other things different) to be more proportionable, and of greater Similitude in many things, then between particular Churches, and those grea­ter, and containing Bodies, Kingdoms, Empires, or the like. Churches thus humbly constituted and governed, are most con­sistent with Civil Magistracy, of what Form soever the Com­mon-wealth shall be.

In Confirmation of this Agreement or Similitude, I shall take for the most part the Concessions of the learned of each Perswasion. The In­stances or Particulars are these.

§ 2. 1. Families tho contained under the National Govern­ment where they are sinuated, yet are intrusted with a ruling and governing Power compleat and sufficient each in and for it self; so are particular Churches.

1. They are intrusted with a Government each for it self.

It is not sufficient (saith Mr. Perkins) for a Church to have the preaching of the Word, Perk. on Rev. 2.20. but Church-Government. This Church (speaking of Thyatira) is blamed because she did not use the Au­thority God had given her. There is given to the Ministers of each particular Congregation, according to Episcopal Ordinati­on established by our Law, not only a Power to preach, &c. [Take Authority to preach the Word of God] but they are made Rectors, Governours in those particular Churches, and it's said to them, [Whose Sins thou dost remit, they are remitted; and whose Sins thou dost retain, they are retained] by which Words the Keys of Discipline are given them; see Bilson Perpet. Govern. p. 213. ‘By Order of the Church of England (saith Bishop Ʋsher) all Presbyters are charged to administer the Doctrine and Sacraments, Reduct. of E­pisc. p. 2. and the Difcipline of Christ as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Realm hath received the same. And that they might the bet­ter understand what the Lord hath commanded therein, the Exhortation of St. Paul to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus is appointed to be read unto them at the time of their Ordi­nation: Take heed to your selves, and to all the Flock among whom the Holy Ghost hath made you Overseers, to [...] so taken in Mat. 2.6. and Rev. 12.5. and 19.15. Ho. Eccl. Pol. lib. 3. Sect. 1. rule the Congregati­on of God, which he hath purchased with his Blood.

‘Mr. Hooker tells us that for Preservation of Christianity there is not any thing more needful than that such as are of the vi­sible Church have mutual Fellowship and Society one with a­nother. In which Consideration the Catholick Church is divi­ded into anumber of distinct Societies, every of which is termed a Church within it self, not an Assembly, but a Society, — A Church (as we are now to understand it) is a Society, that is, a number of Men belonging to some Christian-Fellowship, the Place and Limits whereof are certain, having communion in the publick Exercise of such Duties as are mentioned, Acts 2.47. As those of the Mystical Church by their inward Graces differ from all others which are not of the Body, and those that are of the visible Body of the Church, have the Notes of external Profession. Even so these several Societies, or Churches, have [Page 37] Properties belonging to them, as they are publick Christian Societies. And of such Properties, it may not be denied that one of the very chiefest is Ecclesiastical Policy. We use the name of Policy rather than Government, because Church-Policy containeth both Government, and also whatsoever besides be­longeth to the ordering of the publick Affairs of the Church of God.’ In which words he asserts not each particular Church to have Government in it self; but this Government as a Property, or Propriety, by which it's distinguished from the Mystical, as also the Catholick visible Church. So that he doth not, as some of late, make the Catholick visible Church the first Subject of the Keys; but each particular Society, or Church, supposing that great Body of Christians to be only and imme­diately under the Spiritual Government of Christ Jesus.

2. Compleat and sufficient.

It is not to be understood of such a perfection, as may not with much advantage receive help both from the Power of the Magistrate, as I have shewed before, as also from the Counsel and Advice of other Churches: But I mean an essential Com­pleatness or Sufficiency, not being deficient in any material re­quisite for Government. This that learned Author expresseth in those last Words: 'We use the Word Policy, (saith he) rather than Government, because Church-Policy containeth both Govern­ment, and also whatever besides belongeth to the ordering of the Af­fairs of the Church of God. Every particular Church, Against Whit­gist, lib 3, pag. 147. (saith Mr. Cart­wright) having an Eldership, is a Catholick Church of Christ, under whom Pastors, Doctors, and Elders are the ministerial and immediate Governors. In which Words he intimateth a Compleatness in each particular Church for Government and Privileges, as much as if the Catholick visible Church were Organical,Rutherf. Due Right or Pres­byt. pag. 307. and a gover­ning Church. ‘The Power of Jurisdiction (saith one) is as perfect and compleat in one single Congregation, as in a Pro­vincial, as in a National, yea, as in the Catholick visible Body.’ All Things are yours, saith Paul to a particular Church, 2 Cor. 3.Parker's Polit. lib 3. cap. 13. To this purpose Mr. Parker: Sicut non para, &c. As a particular Church is not a maimed or half, but a whole and perfect Body; so it is possessed with the whole and entire Church-Government, and not with a part only.

This Oeconomick and Domestick Power is intrinsick and essen­tial to a Family,2d Instance. and is a Power derived immediatly from the [Page 38]Lord, by the Light of Nature, and hath not its original from any Power on Earth, Families being much more ancient than Common-Wealths: So Government or Discipline is intrinsick and inseparable from the very Essence of a Church, received im­mediately from Christ, and not the Grant or Constitution of any Secular Prince or State.Jackson of the Church, cap. 8. § 5. Churches are endued (saith Dr. Jackson) with a Judicature immediately derived from Christ, and independent upon any Earthly Power, or any Power whatsoever on Earth, whether Spiritual or Temporal. Bilson of Su­prem. p. 171. Bishop Bilson expresseth it thus: The Things comprised in the Church, and by God himself commanded to the Church, (these Things are specified in pag. 227. to be the Word, Sacraments, and Ʋse of the Keys, or Ecclesiastical Power, and Cure of Souls) are subject to no mortal Creature, Pope, nor Prince. And those of another Persuasion, are to the same pur­pose. ‘The Church (saith Mr. Rutherford) hath the Keys from Christ,Peaceable Plea, p. 300. equally independent upon any mortal Man, in Discipline as in Doctrine.Due Right of Presbyt cap. 9. § 9. A Power and Right to Discipline, saith the same Author, is a Property essential to a Church, and is not removed from it, till God remove the Candlestick, and the Church cease to be a visible Church.’ Potestas ipsa de jure, &c. Power (saith Dr. Ames) is so much the Right of a Church, Cas. cen. lib 4. cap. 24. p. 4. as it cannot be separated, because necessary, and immediatly floweth even from the Essence of each true Church. There are Authorities enow to be produced from the Writings of the Learned, for the con­firmation of this particular. All grant there is a Government jure divino, (I speak not of this or that Form) and by the ap­pointment of Jesus Christ. It is denied by none but Erastus, and those that follow him, who may as well deny Praying, Preaching, or Sacraments jure divino It is as expresly ordained, that Discipline be exercised in the Name of Christ, as to preach, pray, or baptize in his Name. There are certainly Things of God, that are not the Things of Caesar: And if those Things up­on which Christ hath put his Name, be not peculiarly his, I know not where we shall find the Joint. As we say, there were Fami­lies, so particular Churches, before any Commonwealths were, and Christian Churches and Discipline exercised, many Years be­fore any Emperors or Kings were Christian: And therefore as Families have many Privileges so peculiar, and by the Law of Nature so much theirs, as are never touched or infringed by the Supreme Power of any Nation: So likewise it is with Churches, [Page 39]they have very many Privileges so evidently theirs, from the Law of Christ, and their spiritual Constitution, as Christian Magi­strates will do their utmost to preserve and cherish, and not in the least infringe. It is a part of Magna Charta: Concessimus Deo, & hac presenti Charta confirmavimus, 3 Hen. 3. cap. 1. pro nobis & Heredibus nostris in perpetuum, quòd Ecclesia Anglicana libera sit, & habeat omnia jura sua integra, & Libertates suas illaesas. And it is menti­oned in the Oath our Kings take at their Coronation, that He shall keep and maintain the lawful Rights and Liberties of the Holy Church.

A third Particular,3d Instance. or Instance of what we have supposed in the former Considerations, is this: The lesser Corporations, Cities, Families, and the like, have not Authority or Jurisdiction one over another. It is the same with Churches, each having the Fountain and Original of their own Power (as before is shewed) immediatly proceeding from Christ in themselves, and not else­where, or one from another; cannot by any Art or Device of Man be made to rise up above it self, as it doth, if one Church exerciseth a Power or Jurisdiction over another. There is no Invention of Man, that by contriving Pipes, or any other Arti­fice, can make Water freely and naturally run higher than the Spring-Head. Tho that Jurisdiction which hath its rise in a particular Church, be pumped up into a Classis or Synod, it is but the same it was before. Synods, saith Parker out of Chamier, Polit lib. 3. cap. 13 § 9. Disp de Polit. Eccles. p. 5. nullam habeant Authoritatem, &c. They have no Authority but what is derived from particular Churches. So Voetius.

There seems to be a great Emphasis in those Particles of Pro­priety, Children obey your Parents, [...]; so to Servants:1 phes. 6.1. And speaking of the Relation of Husbands and Wives, by which is set forth our Obedience to Christ and his Officers, it is more appropriate, Ephes. 5.24. As the Church is subject to Christ, so let the Wives be to their own Husbands; it is, [...], propriis viris, not only theirs, but their own Husbands. It is said, 1 Tim. 3.4. One that ruleth well his own House, [...]. So of Ministers, Know them that labour among you, [...], and are ever you in the Lord, 1 Thess. 5.12. and in Heb. 13.17. it is [...], Duces vestri, your Captains, Officers in Churches, being as exactly limited, as in an Army. There is no Power in a Superior to command, where no Obligation upon the Inferior to obey. And therefore the Lord seems by these Expressions, [Page 40]to limit both Church and Family-Power within their own Walls.

This is the Judgment of the Learned of each Persuasion. Bishop Davenant. Nota est Jurisconsultorum regula, &c. ‘It is a known Rule of Lawyers, A Sentence given by him that is not his Judg, is void in Law. But particular Churches are not the Judges of private Persons that are of other Churches, how much less then over the Churches themselves; such Sentences were to be slighted and contemned, as of a Judg that presumeth to make Laws out of the bounds of his own Jurisdiction.’ Nec potest, De judice cont. cap. 16. p. 90. nec debet (saith the same Author elsewhere) particularis una Ecclesia judiciaria authoritate aliam sibi non subjectam a Catholi­ca abscindere, quaelibet enim Ecclesia filios suos ad consensionem in Doctrina publicè stabilita censuris adigit. Sed fratres Ecclesiarum externarum monet pro officio charitatis, non punit pro imperio potestatis. Dr. Field, Of the Church lib 5. as a common Resolution of Divines, tells us, That if a Bishop ventures to do any Act of Jurisdiction out of his own Diocess, (that is, his particular Church, so cap. 30.) as to excommunicate or absolve, or the like, all such Acts are utterly void, and of no force. The same thing, saith Dr. Crakanthorp, cont. Spal. cap. 28. pag. 177.Jue divinum Regim. p. 230. ‘Every Congregation (say our Brethren) hath equal Power one as much as another, according to the trite and known Axiom, Par in parem non habet imperium, An Equal hath no Power over an Equal.’ Ecclesiae institutae parochiales integrae sunt, Disp. de Polit. Eccles. p. 3. inter se collaterales, & potestate Ecclesiastica aequales, saith Voetius. Which you may English out of the English Puritanism thus: ‘Particular Churches are in all Matters equal, and are entrusted by Christ with the same Ecclesiastical Power and Au­thority.’ Cap. 2. § 3. Jewel, Reynolds, Whitaker, and most of our Divines, against the Papists, are large in their Disputes for a parity of Churches, and Mr. Parker hath written a whole Chapter de pari­tate Ecclesiarum. De Polit lib 3. cap. 21. Some make a particular Church to be of larger Extension, as a Diocess, a Province, &c. but that altereth not the State of the Question.


1. Of Independentism, Name and Thing. 2. Its consi­stency with the Kings Supremacy.

THis State of a particular Church, namely, their equality in respect of Jurisdiction or coercive Power one over another, was wont to be expressed by INDEPEN­DENCY, which though now it be a term of Raproach, yet formerly made use of by good Authors, as very fit and signi­ficant, to set forth this Priviledge of each particular Church compleat and intire: namely, their not Dependency or Subjecti­on, to the Jurisdiction of another Church, as their Head and Su­perior.

Dr. Jackson in his learned Treatise of the Church, Cap. 15. Cap. 119. useth this term frequently, ‘Unity (saith he in one place) of Discipline, or of INDEPENDENT Judicature, is essential and necessary to the Church, as visible. Hence there be as many distinct vi­sible Churches, as there be INDEPENDENT Judicatures Ec­clesiastick.’ Dr. Sibbs thus,Gospel-anoint­ings, pag. 94. ‘Particular visible Churches are now God's Tabernacle. The Church of the Jews was a Na­tional Church, but now God hath erected particular Taber­nacles. Every particular Church under one Pastor is the Church of God, a several Church INDEPENDENT. The Church of England (saith the same Author) is called a particular Church from other Nations, because it is under a Government Civil, which is not dependent on any other Foreign Prince.’ Each Church, saith Voctius, Desp. Cau. Pap. lib. 3. § 3. c. 4. as it hath its proper Form of an Eccle­siastical Body or Society, so its endued with its proper Government and Jurisdiction; which it exerciseth DEPENDENTLY upon Christ, his Word and Spirit, but INDEPENDENTLY in respect of all other Churches. Mr. Bates, ‘One Company of Men assembled,Treatise prin­ted Anno 1613. hath no Authority to impose things upon many Churches. 1. None now have Apostolick Authority. 2. Each Congrega­tion is a Body INDEPENDENT of any Ecclesiastical Power. There is no Ordinance of God for this, (saith Mr. Banes) that Churches within a circuit should be tyed to a certain Head-Church for Government, pag. 8. and pag. 13. We affirm that [Page 42]no such Head-Church was ordained either vertually, or actual­ly, but that all Churches were single Congregations, equal, INDEPENDENT each of other in regard of Subjection.’ Every true Church (saith one) now is an INDEPENDENT Con­gregation, A Collection of sundry matters, An­no 1601. and in another place, The Congregational Body Politick spiritually INDEPENDENT, is Christ's Divine Ordinance in the Gospel. ‘One ordinary Congregation of Christians, is a spiri­tual Body Politick INDEPENDENT. That is, it hath the Right and Power of spiritual Administration and Government in it self,Confession of Faith, p. Anno 1601. and over it self, by the common and free consent of the People, INDEPENDENTLY and immediately under Christ.’

This was the Opinion generally of N. Conformists, as is ob­served by one of themselves in the Name of the rest, as also by B. Downam, Sermon at Lambeth, p. 5. ‘They (that is the N. C.) say, that every Parish by Right, hath sufficient Authority within it self, immediate­ly derived from Christ, for the Government of it self in all Causes Ecclesiastical. To the Parishional Presbytery consisting of their Parish-Bishop and his Elders, they do ascribe that suf­ficient, immediate, and independent Authority for Ecclesiastical Government for every proper visible Church.’

That Independency of Churches was asserted (by those learned men of a former Age) in relation only to a superior Church-power properly spiritual, and such as is claimed jure divino; and not in relation to that Ecclesiastical Power which is in, or exerci­sed from, the Civil Magistrate. Some of them have thus descri­bed a particular Church; It's a Body Politick spiritually indepen­dent, or independent in relation to a spiritual Superiority: which is expressed fully, by him that wrote Church-Government with the Peoples consent, pag. 115. ‘Though we affirm the Church-Government is independent, and immediately derived from Christ; yet we affirm also, that the Civil Magistrate is even therein (that is, in Ecclesiastical Matters) Supreme Governor civilly. And though nothing may be imposed on the Christian Churches against their Will, by any spiritual Authority (for so only we intend) yet we affirm withall, that the Civil Ma­gistrate may impose on them spiritual Matters, by Civil Power, yea, whether they like or dislike, if it be good in his Eyes, that is, if he judge it within his Commission from God.’

And such an Independency hath been pleaded for also, and ar­gued by them to be much more consistent with His Majesties Su­premacy, than a DEPENDENCY or Subordination of Chur­ches, to any spiritual Power. And it was their professed Judg­ments, That no External Power ought to be exercised in spiri­tual Matters, any where (within that space betwixt a particular Congregation instituted by Christ, and the Catholick Visible Church) by any person but the Civil Magistrate, or by his Ap­pointment.

Take their own Words. They that make claim Jure Di­vino, of Power and Jurisdiction to meddle with other Churches, than that one Congregation of which they are Members, do usurp upon the Supremacy of the Civil Magistrate, who alone hath, and ought to have a power of Jurisdiction over the several Congregations in his Do­minions, &c. A Protestation of the King's Supremacy made and published in Anno 1605. §. 27. and in §. 28. ‘The King him­self is to be General Overseer of all the Churches within his Dominions, and ought o employ under him, fit persons to oversee the Churches in their several Divisions, visiting them, and punishing whatsoever is amiss in any of them.’

Mr. Bradshew in the Ʋnreasonableness of Separation, against Johnson, writes thus: It's their principal Honour (speaking of Archbishops and Bishops) to be Commissioners and Visitors in Cau­ses Ecclesiastical under the King, over the Pastors and Churches of Provinces and Diocesses. In his Answer to Johnson's first Reason: And in his Answer to his second. He questions him thus: ‘1. Whether the Supreme Magistrate hath not Power to oversee and govern all the several Churches within his Dominion, yea, whether he be not bound so to do. 2. Whether for his further help and assistance herein, he may not make choice of grave, learned, and reverent men, to assist him in the same Govern­ment. 3 Whether by vertue of his Power these persons thus called, to assist the Supreme Magistrate, may not lawfully try the Gifts of Ministers within his Dominions, convent them be­fore them, examine how they have behaved themselves in their places, and punish the blame-worthy.’

In a Petition also to King James for Tolleration, ‘That your Highness would afford us, and assign to us some persons qua­lified with Wisdom, Learning and Vertue, to be under your [Page 44]Highness our Overseers, for our more peaceable orderly and dutiful carriage of our selves, both in our worshiping God, and in all other our Affairs, at your pleasure. To whom with all Readiness and Subjection we are willing to be accomptable and answerable, always.’

The opinions of learned men about Church Matters (Go­vernment especially) were collected together, in a Treatise which was put into Latin by Dr. Ames, and in an Epistle of his pre­fixed, avouched by him (who was a man much studied in those Controversies) to be the Judgment of Cartwright, Fenner, Fulk, Whitaker, Rainolds, Perkins, Brightman, and those that were more Ancient: As Wichliff, Tyndal, Rogers, Bradford, Gilby, Fox, Moore, Dearing, Noel, Greenham, Dogmata ista, &c. These Tenents (saith he) were either their Principles, or so conjunct with them, as not to be denied, theirs. Christ Jesus (saith the Author) hath not subjected any Church or Congregation of his to any other Superior Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, than unto that which is within it self — the Civil Magistrate alone upon Earth, hath power to punish a whole Church or Congregation, Cap. 2. §. 3. and more fully in §. 12. ‘They hold and believe (saith he) that the Equality in Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Authority, of Churches and Church Ministers, is no more derogatory and re­pugnant to the State and Glory of a Monarch, than the parity or equality of School-masters of several Schools, or Masters of several Families. Yea, they hold the clean contrary, that In­equality of Churches and Church Officers in Ecclesiastical Juris­diction and Authority, was that principally that advanced Antichrist unto his Throne, and brought the Kings and Princes of the Earth unto such vassalage under him. And that the Civil Authority, and Glory of Secular Princes and States, hath ever decayed and withered, the more that Ecclesiastical Officers of the Church, have been advanced and set up in Authority beyond the limits and confines, that Christ in his Word hath prescribed unto them.’ And in Cap. 6. §. 6. They are said to deny a principal part of the Kings Supremacy, that hold any Juris­diction or Offices over Churches jure divino, [...] will and pleasure of the King and Civil States of the [...].

And from what is said, cap. 5. §. 12. It is [...] that this way is as little prejudicial to the Subjects [...] ex­presly there said, If any Member of a Congregation [...] [Page 45]crime, shall of himself forsake Communion with the Church, that then the Ecclesiastical Officers, have no authority, or jurisdiction over him, but only the Civil Magistrate, Parents, or Masters, &c. So that as persons are free (otherwise than from conscience of duty) to joyn with these Assemblies, so also to leave them, remaining al­ways under the Magistrates Ecclesiasticul power and care.

I have made this Digression, not only for the matters sake, which is very sutable to our present Subject, but also to vindi­cate the Congregational way. 1. That it is not such a Novelty as is pretended. This of the equality of Churches, and thence an In­dependency (from which we are reproachfully surnamed) seems to be the worst of our Tenents: Yet it appears to be no other, but what the reverend and learned of a former age have asser­ted. Nor do I know any other of their opinions or practices, but may as easily be remonstrated, to be the assertions of those holy men. Nor secondly, inconsistent with civil Magistracy, or with their Power in Ecclesiastical Affairs. And as a further Testi­mony hereof, they take the Oaths both of Allegeance and Supre­macy. Professedly assent also to ‘All the Articles of Religion which concern only the Confession of the true Christian Faith, and the Doctrin of the Sacraments, comprised in a Book enti­tuled, Articles whereupon it was agreed by the Arch-bishops and Bishops of both Provinces, and the whole Clergy in the Convocation Anno 1562. for the avoiding of diversity of Opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true Religion, as is required by Stat. 13 Eliz. cap. 12. And do humbly hope, living peaceably under his Majesties Government, they shall obtain their share in that Indulgence his Majesty graciously purposed to shew to such persons, as through want of full satisfaction, differ in smaller matters from the present Establishment.

A fourth Particular, which ariseth from the former,4 Instance. is this. Families being not subordinate one to another, they cannot associate or unite into any large or great Body; and therefore do, and may more conveniently retain their Government (though it be peculiar and distinct) in any Common-wealth, of what form soever, without prejudice to the Peace and Welfare of it. So is it with Churches, their State and Government (as it is appoin­ted by Christ) is such, as is consistent with, and no prejudice unto any civil Powers under whom they are situated. And that [Page 46]upon this account principally: Having no Dependency in Respect of Power or Jurisdiction one on another, they cannot in their own Sphere enlarge themselves by Subordinations, to a political Body of any such Extension and Greatness, as may render their Obedience or Compliance more doubtful or uncertain. It is matter of Jealousie with Princes and States, when there is in their Dominions a Body, large and extensive, firmly joyned and compact in it self, of an interest peculiar and not holding of them. Particular Churches are of a small compass, sometimes compre­hended in One, ordinarily but of a few Families. So that in this respect, though their Interest and Government be peculiar, they may retain it, and for substance the same (as Families do) throughout the World. Which will further appear in the fol­lowing Considerations.

1. It is granted on all hands, That the Lord hath limited his Church to a Government which is perpetual, and for substance to be the same in all places. As also that the Nations, from their Civil Government variously, and as they judge most prudent.

2. Since the Wall of partition by Christs Death was broken down: The Gospel and Christian Churches were by Christs commission to be planted in all parts of the World. It stands therefore with common reason, that the Church Government Christ hath left us, is of that Nature, as without any substan­tial Alteration may comply with, and not be prejudicial to, any Civil Government.

3. If particular Churches by Union become one body, for ex­tention as large as the Civil State, There will hardly be a due and peaceable accord, and each enjoy its priviledge and Liberties without prejudice to the other; unless these two great bodies be moulded and formed one with respect unto the other. The policy therefore of the Nation and the National Church of the Jewes, were both respectively formed by the Lord himself.

4. Hence this opinion of States-men, that there is no form of Church Government left by Christ, or his Apostles; but to be moulded by the wisdom and discretion of Christian Magi­strates, as may best sute and joynt in with the Civil Government. And of others the contrary, ‘The Commonwealth (saith one) must be made to agree with the Church, and the Government, thereof with her Government: for as the House is before the [Page 47] Hangings, therefore the Hangings which came after, must be framed to the House which was before: so the Church being before there was any Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth coming after, must be fashioned and made suitable to the Church: We need none of these extteams.’ The middle way is this, Let not the Churches claim to be National or Provin­cial Jure divino, but leave such disposements to the civil Magi­strate, and be numbred with those lesser Societies, Families, Cities, Colledges, &c. For these do retain in themselves much the same form of Government and Freedom therein throughout the World.

5. It is not so much a different Form of Government: For in each Republick there are contained lesser Societies of all Forms; but their Extention and Potency in numerousness of Persons, by which they are made up. Nor from this Principallity, but the na­ture of their Ʋnion and Incorporation begets the Jealousies. If parti­cular Churches become Diocesan, Provincial, or National by Union from the Law, or Direction of the Civil Magistrate, for the better exercise of that Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, the Lord hath intrusted him with, and conveniency of such persons as he shall appoint to in­spect the Churches; in such a case the Greatness of Churches can­not be disturbent to the Civil Government, being so directly un­der its cognizance.Holy Common-wealth, R. B. p. 2. 220. The Common-wealth (saith one) containeth all the people in a whole Nation or more, united in one Soveraign, but parti­cular Churches (distinct from the universal united in Christ) have no general Ecclesiastical Officers, in whom a Nation must Unite as one Church. How then become they to be termed a National Church? Ans. As several Corporations in one Kingdom, or as so many Schools that have a peculiar form of Government, but such only as is under (and united in) the Magistrates Government in its kind. If this should be claimed as the Law or Priviledge of each Family, that the Governors, be it the Father, or Husband, or Master, are thereby invested by Nature with the same Power, in respect to all Families in a Nation; and by several Correspondencies and Subordinations raise, and Ʋnite themselves at last into a general Assembly or Representative. And by Vertue of that Enconomical Authority give Laws to the whole Nation, though not as their Subjects; yet to the same persons under another notion, that is, as Wives, Children, Servants. There is no well Governed State could entertain such a spreading interest as this, without great [Page 48]doubtfulness, lest their Authority and Supremacy, should hereby be much Ecclipsed.

6. But a particular Church consisting only of a few persons in it self, and independent on others; is necessitated to depend, under God, upon the Magistrate for protection. Which if they should not obtain, but be opposed and persecuted; yet have no ability to resist, being as a Family single and alone, not able to defend it self or molest others. Nor if they were able, is it lawful for a Church to compel by the Sword, more than the Magistrate may by the Keyes, 2 Chron. 26. Matth. 16.19. with 24, 25. or what is peculiar to the sacred Function. Ʋzza erred in the latter, and Peter in the former. The primitive rule and practice was this, being persecuted in one City to fly into another, and pray that their flight may not be in the Winter. Matth. No nor do we judg that these spiritual weapons (the Keyes or Censures) may lawfully by a Church, or any Ecclesiastical Assembly be threatned, or drawn forth against a whole Nation, and the chief Governors thereof, to urge or compel, especially in State concernment (as the Pope and some others have done) though it be truly in ordine ad spiritualia.

The fifth Instance or particular is this.The 5. Instance. A Family of all Corpo­rations or Societies, is the lowest species or kind, it's Consociatio simplex & prima, and hath the least of pomp or state in the Go­vernment of it. Cottages are built low, Palaces with many stories one above another. Those great and extensive Bodies Empires and Kingdoms, represent in their Government more ade­quatly the mystical Church, in respect to Jesus Christ who is their King and Lawgiver, whose Kingdom is with Power and Glory, a Power that is truly Imperial and Princely, having Officers un­der him (his Kingdom reaching to the utmost ends of the Earth) who in his name command reward, and punish. But Par­ticular Churches as Governed by his Ministers, have their por­portion rather with the meanest and lowest Societies of men.

The Scripture seems to point at more than a similitude and likeness betwixt a Family and Church, in the managing of af­fairs; I mean in the general, and what is it not determined by express Institution. Paul speaking to Timothy about Church affairs, mentioneth their expertness in Governing a Family, as a good preparative or qualification for Church administrations. And this is not only Negatively, 1 Tim. 3.5. if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care over the Church of God. But af­firmatively, [Page 49] These things I writ, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thy self in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, The sence is full in those words,vers. 15. the Church of the living God, yet it is added the house of God, purposed as it were to carry the Eye back to what was written, ver. 5. which sheweth that there is a great affinity betwixt our Houses and the Houshold of God. In a Fathers Governing his Children (saith one) there is a lively resemblance of such Duties of Government, which he is to dispence towards the Church. There is nothing enjoyned, the Minister as a Father of Children, which belongeth not to him as he is a spiritual Father of the Children of God.

On the other hand, it may be observed, this question being a­mongst the Apostles,Matth. 18.1: who or which of us shall be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? upon supposition (the Church being ter­med a Kingdom) there would be places of State, and higher dignity in it, as are in the Kingdoms of the World. Christ An­swers: There shall be no such thing, no primacy in one Apostle over another, no, the greatest of you shall be the least, and the first shall be the last, Though a Jurisdiction and power truly Imperial, absolute, and equal to any of the Kings of the Gentiles, belongs to me, and I exercise it in those spiritual administrations, yet no such dignity may be assumed by you, [...]. Luke 22.25.

1. When the Scripture speaks of a particular Church under the notion of a Family or Houshold, Government or Ruling is mentioned as that wherein the similitude or proportion is most perspicuous and clear, as hath been shewed: But speaking here of a Church under this expression, a Kingdom, how purposely are we cautioned against an imitation in Rule and Authority?

2. We may further observe that Ambition after greatness in those that manage these great things, Hos. 8.12: 1 Pet. 1.4. is an infirmity almost un­avoidable. For if 1. Such persons, the holiest men on the earth, they who had forsaken all to follow Christ. 2. And these so often relapse into this folly after they had been reduced from it by Christ. 3. And at such times, immediatly after Christ had minded them of his Death,Matth. 20.19, 20. Luke 22.21, 24. & 19. with 24. and that one of them should be­tray him, when also they had newly been at the Communion with him: What great cause is there that every man be very jealous of his own heart?

3. It is not unevident also from the Disciples often Disputes about their greatness; that most of our controversies and con­tentions [Page 50]about Church-Government, if traced home, will be found to arise from hence, namely: The having our Eye fixed so much upon the lofty state of a Kingdom as our pattern in such ma­nagements, rather than that familiar and humble way of a Fa­mily. For indeed this was the only breach and contest that we read of, amongst those holy Men, the Disciples of Christ.

4. And where such differences are, a Reconcilement will be found more difficult, because where the mind is bent on worldly greatness, we are very dull and slow in understanding whatsoever shall be spoken (though from Christ himself) that seems to cross those thoughts; as appears also in that story, Mark 9.32.

A Parent or Master would not easily have been tempted into such an Error, or make this question, who or which of us shall be the greatest? that is, have a paternal power over other Pa­rents and their Families, &c. And had the Disciples looked up­on Ministerial power under so low and humble a notion as what is Economical, James and John would never have thought it con­gruous, that they should have an Apostolical power over the other Apostles, Hoc Papatum fefellit, &c. (saith Cartw.) This deceived the Papacy, which governs throughout after the form of worldly Plurimorum consensu Eccle­sia. à repub. formam illam magna parte mutuata est Eilesac. Em­pires. The Pope he is as the Emperor himself, the Cardinals as his Deligates or Representative, the Arch-Bishops as the Governors of Provinces, &c. Hence John calls the Church of Rome, the Image of the Beast, the Vizard of the Roman Empire.

For further confirmation of this fifth particular or Instance, let it be considered, how seldom and sparingly a particular Church in the N. T. is termed a Kingdom. Although 1. Its Go­vernment be derived as a Branch of Christs Kingly Office. 2. Church Ordinances are the most effectual means by which he exerciseth his spiritual Soveraignty in each mans soul. 3. His Mystical Kingdom on earth, thus by parcels, comes to be whol­ly under an external spiritual regiment, and 4. His Church when National was managed in the Glory and State of a King­dom. Yet notwithstanding all these leading occasions, how sparingly, and not without special Caution is a particular Church thus termed? Whereas not only the Society, but the Govern­ment, Officers, Ordinances, Censures, and other Church matters, are universally and frequently delivered unto us by Christ and his Apostles, in terms apt to mind us of this low and humble policy. To give some Instances thereof.

1. A particular Church or the Society it self, is represented unto us as the House of the living God, 1 Tim. 3. His Houshold, Matth. 24, 45. over which he hath set Rulers (therefore to be understood of a particular Church, for the universal is imme­diately under the rule of Christ.) A Brotherhood, 1 Pet. 2.17. and the Members of it Brethren and Sisters (as the Pastors Fa­thers) 2 Cor. 7.15. Jam. 2.15. 1 Tim. 5.2. and it is given as a title of Dignity, 1 Cor. 5.11. Ephes. 4.21. Rom. 16.1, 23. 1 Pet. 5.12. yea to the Poor as well as to the Rich, and to those of low as high degree, Jam. 1.9.

2. Church Ordinances as 1.Col. 3.16. By teaching and admonishing the Word is said to dwell amongst them in all Wisdom [...] compared with Matth. 24.45. The faithful and wise Ruler of Christs Houshold is to give them meat in due season. It is a descrip­tion of a Pastors duty, who is hereby admonished to feed with knowledge, and to be much in it, that the Family may be richly and plentifully, and not sparingly, niggardly fed. The Word dwelling, is the Houshold Bread or Food, which by the Stewards or Ministers is to be rightly divided, 2 Tim. 2.15. and respectively dispensed as milk to the Babes in the Family, and strong meat to others, Heb. 5.13, 14. 1 Cor. 3.2. 2. The Sacrament an Or­dinance peculiar to this Society, it's represented unto us as the Supper of the Lord, a Spiritual repast of Bread and Wine. It came in the place of a Family Ordinance the Passover, and so termed: Churches being now become Gods Family, and the Lords Supper their Feast, 1 Cor 5.8. but most to our purpose, are such expressions as set forth the Governours and Discipline appointed to a particular Church.

3. The Officers are as the Stewards and Servants in this Hous­hold, and so termed not in relation to Christ only, who is the Lord, but to the Church his Family.1 Cor. 4.5. Rom. 16.1. Christ abates of the over-high expectations of his Disciples, by telling them that those who are the chiefest amongst them, ought to be even as Ser­vants in the House, that attend at the Table, Luke 22.26, 27. There were those in Corinth raised much above their level (whom Paul personates in himself and Apollo and Cephas) even equal with Christ, as having the Fountain of their excellency in them­selves,1 Cor. 1.12, 13. with 4.6. and communicated unto others of their own (as great Princes and Benefactors) like Christ:1 Cor. 4.7, &c. this being Lordly and Princely, Paul tells them, they raigned like Kings. ver. 8. To reduce from [Page 52]this exorbitant height to a just ballance, Paul sets down the rate they may value themselves, 1 Cor. 4.1. Let a man so account of us, as of the Ministers of Christ, Stewards of the Mysteries of God.

4. Discipline and Censures, the Keyes that open and shut; this expression hath its reference to a House or City most properly. And in the first place, particularly the Censure of Excommuni­cation, which is as the purging out of the old leaven, 1 Cor. 5.7, 13. this was done by a careful and diligent search into every corner of the house.Exod. 12. So the Excommunicate person, like Cain, is cast out of the Family, and droven from the presence of God. With such a one not to eat, is all one with holding him as a Hea­then and Publican. This Censure is temed a Rod, [...], as the Correction of our Children is termed [...],Eph. 6.9. 2 Cor. 12.14. Discipline, see Beza. The Apostles being Spiritual Parents, threaten the Rod, that is to censure in a Discipline way, cap. 13. 1. In the mouth of two or three Witnesses, &c. compared with Matth. 18. And then vers. 2. If I come again I will not spare, which is the same with 1 Cor. 4.21. Shall I come with a Rod?

The sixth Instance: The 6 Instance. As the Government of a Family is low and humble, so it is carried on in the most familiar and affectionate way; there is an intimacy, and daily converse with our Gover­nours. Instruction and Correction are much sweetned from that Fa­therly care and Affection, we have experienced in other dealings. It is thus with Churches; though the Power there exercised, be some way coercive, yet brotherly, and submitted unto with much Reverence, being administred by those we love, honour, and de­pend upon,Prop. to the Gen. Assem. 1647. as Spiritual Fathers. Ecclesiastical Power (saith our Brethren of Scotland) is indeed furnished with Authority, yet that Authority is rather the Fatherly, than the Kingly Authority.

We have said that neither the censures of the Church, nor of civil Magistrate, morally work upon us further than we work upon our selves. Yet there is this difference, the weapons of the one being carnal, affect the senses, and by them the mind coming in upon it more suddenly and strongly. Sense and Appetite have now a broad, ready, and more direct way to the Soul than Reason. But Church-censures touch us not, or very little in any Bodily concernment. So that nothing comes in upon us any way, but what we our selves are willing to let in. It is a great advantage therefore, and much to our Edification, that the persons who deal with us in such [Page 53]a way, be first let into us, that is, much in our affections and good opinion, and having entertained the persons, their ministration will the easier be let in with them, and so we come to be taken by Craft, as it were, (as the Apostle expresseth it) 2 Cor. 16. that is, we are induced by a sweet and attractive Bait, to take our selves. The Persons therefore that are over us in the Lord, being such as we intimately know, and daily converse with, such as our selves have chosen to be our spiritual Fathers, such also as we have experienced their goodness and tenderness in other Gospel-Administrations: we more easily subject to their Rebukes and Censures, as coming from the same Affection. The Ruling power in a Family, is you know by those that are intimately known, and greatly oblige, as Parents who daily care and provide for us for present and to come, and therefore though they correct us, yea, sometimes in Passion, yet we give them reverence, Hebr. 12.9. Censures in Churches, or Church-Chastisements, are therefore or ought to be from those that instruct and give us our portion in spiritual Comforts: the Rulers of Christ's Houshold gives them their meat in due season. We exhorted and comforted, Mat. 24.45. 1 Thess. 2.11. (saith the Apostle) and charged every one of them, as a Father doth his Chil­dren. Paul can charge them, and with greater Authority, even in their own hearts who have had experience, how in a Fatherly way, he Exhorts, Comforts, and Travels as it were in Birth with them. The Apostle urgeth Obedience and Submission upon such a Consideration, Obey them that have Rule over you, Hebr. 13.7. and submit your selves; for they watch for your Souls, as they that must give an ac­count. That is, there is an intimate and affectionate relation be­tween them and you, being such, as Fast, and Pray, and Mourn, and Rejoyce, yea, Eat and Drink with you daily at the same Table of the Lord, and are intrusted with the Care of your Souls from the hand of Christ.

This cannot be where the Pastoral or Ministerial Work is divi­ded, and the Keys of the Church hung apart. Those that in­struct us not, nay, are Strangers to us, Rule over us; Rebukes and Chastisements in this spiritual way, are from those whose Faces we never saw, or know so much as by name. It's true, we may argue thus, They are strangers, expect no favour therefore, or mercy from them, if you offend: this procures Obedience indeed, but it is in a servile way. The mind of Christ is, that as our Submission to himself, so to his Ministers (who even in Censures [Page 54]act in his Name) be affectionate, filial, and drawn by the cords of love.

Thus have I gone through with the Instances promised, with what brevity the nature of the matter would permit. By which it is not in­tended to parallel these Societies in respect to the intrinsick Form of Government peculiar to each: (for that, in a Church is from the Institution of Christ, rather than the light of Nature) but the more general state and habitude of Ecclesiastical Government as Churches stand disposed to the Civil Magistrate, or one to another, and what the light of Nature and common Reason contribute hereunto, being so much insisted upon. What hath been said, I hope tends to Union and Ac­commodation. Those that hold any spiritual Government Jure Divino, and by the appointment of Jesus Christ, do not deny it to a particular Church: And those that hold none, yet are at a lesser distance from such who claim so-little.


A second Objection. Of the Jurisdiction over Particular Churches in Synods, Ecclesiastical Courts, &c. §. 1. as exercised with us. §. 2. and in other places.

Object. 2. THere are Synods, Consistories, Colloquies, and other Ec­clesiastical Courts, which exercise an Authority in spiritual matters over Churches: Therefore that of the Magi­strate before mentioned, is not so necessary.

Answ. It is humbly denied, and asserted, That these greater Assemblies, a Synod, Classis, Coloquie, and the like, either have no such coactive Jurisdiction, as we mentioned, or are dependent upon the Civil Magistrate for it. This we shall shew, by declaring more fully what Ecclesiastical Power is exercised by Synods, or such Courts. 1. In this Kingdom. 2. In other Reformed Churches.

The Ecclesiastical Courts in this Kingdom are of two sorts:

1. There are, we know, Spiritual Courts, (so termed) such as the Prerogative, the Arches, Court of Faculties, the Archdeacons and Commissaries Courts: These claim only from the Civil Powers, as was shewed before.Pag. 45, 46. In the Statute of 37 Hen. 8. c. 17. it is declared, That the Archbishops, Bishops, Archdeacons, and other Ec­clesiastical Persons, have no manner of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, but by, from, and under the King's Royal Majesty. By the Statute also [Page 55]of 1 Edw. 6. c. 2. All Courts Ecclesiastical within the Realms of England and Ireland, ought to be kept by no other Power or Authority either Foreign or within the Realm, but by the Authority of His most Excellent Majesty. And it was further Enacted, That all their Process shall issue out under the King's Seal, and His Name and Style, &c. but since repealed. Dr. Cosens, in his learned Defence of them, and their Proceedings, asserts thus: They are (saith he) warranted by the Statute and Canon Law of this Nation; professing also, that there were Reason enough against those Ecclesiastical Proceedings,Apol. Part 1. Cap. 1. if they were not claimed from the Crown, but from some other Authority immediately, as the Popish Clergy did theirs from, by the means and direction of the Pope.

2. Our Convocation or General Synod, which makes Laws and Canons about matters that are more spiritual. This is an ancient Court, and hath formerly been in it self of great Authority in Ec­clesiastical Regulations; it's not so now, but dependent upon the Civil Magistrate, for whatsoever Jurisdiction or Coercive Power there exercised, which will appear in these Particulars.

1. There are no Laws or Canons made by the Bishops, and others of the Clergy in the Convocation,Nihil habet vim legis pri­usquam Regius assensus fuerit adhibitus, iis quae Synodus decernanda censuerit. Co­sins Polit. Ta. 1. a. that oblige under any Penalty, without the Stipulation and Assent of the Civil Magi­strate, be it either in matters of Faith or Discipline. The 39 Ar­ticles and Canons about them, concluded upon by the Synod in Anno 1562. engaged no man under any Penalty in our Law to believe, profess, or subscribe, until they had an Assent or Establish­ment by the Civil Powers. Nor can they proceed against any Crime, as Heresie, Apostasie, or gross Enormity in Doctrine, but what our Laws declare to be such.

And for matters of Discipline and Worship, it appears by the Letters Patent, Copies whereof are annexed to the Canous pub­lished in Anno 1603, and 1640. That 1. All power to meet, con­fer, treat, debate, and agree upon any matter for common good, is from such Licence, Power and Authority as is granted to the Archbishops, Bishops, Chancellors, and other Members of the Convocation from His Majesty of His special Grace, and by virtue of His Prerogative Royal and Supreme Authority in Ecclesiastical Causes. And 2. the Synod having treated of, concluded and agreed upon Canons, Orders, &c. To the end and purpose by His Majesty limited and prescribed unto them, they are to offer and present the same to His Majesty in writing: He, upon mature consideration taken thereupon, may al­low, [Page 54]approve,The Licence to the Convoc. in Anno 1640. confirm, and ratifie, or otherwise disallow, anihilate, and make void such, and so many of the said Canons, Orders, &c. as he shall think fit, requisite, or convenient. And none of those Canons, &c. shall be of any force, effect, or validity in Law, but only such, and so many of them, and after such time as His Majesty by His Let­ters Patents shall approve and confirm the same.

The Civil Magistrate may suspend for what time he shall please, yea, wholly deprive any Bishop or Bishops from their Office and Place in this Synod, who are the chiefest Members thereof. He may Commissionate also by WritCook Instit. pag. 4. cap. 74., what other Persons He shall please to sit in Convocation with them. And if occasion be, He may likewise wholly constitute another Syond, and nominate each particular Person of what Quality and of what Number of His Natives as He shall please,Field, Of the Church. Lib. 5. cap. 53. Princeps potest assignare, no­minare, & au­thoritatem da­re quandocun (que) & quamdiu ipsi placuerit hujusmodi in­digenis subdi­tis quos ido­neos censuerit, &c. Dr. Cosin de Pol. Tab. 1. a. and give them like Authority in Eccle­siastical matters. So was that Synod of the 32. appointed (by Hen. 8. and afterwards by Edw. 6.) to do the work of a Synod, and present a Body of Ecclesiastical Canons for Confirmation by the Magistrate.

3. These Laws, saithDe Ju. Ec. pag. 9. Dr. Ridley's view. pag. 110. 25 Hen. 8. c. 19. 25 Hen. 8. c. 21. Cook, are termed Regiae Leges Ecclesi­siasticae, and another such Ecclesiastical Laws as now are in force, are called the King's Ecclesiastical Laws, for that now all Jurisdiction, whether it be Temporal or Ecclesiastical, is the Kings. And if there be any thing difficult or doubtful in these Laws, the Interpretati­on is ultimately to be given in the Civil Judicatures. So Cook's Instit. pag. 4. cap. 74. To the King also is the last Appeal to be made, and Delegates appointed by Him, give final Determination in Controversies, after adjudged by those Laws and Canons in any, yea, the highest of those Ecclesiastical Courts. Ʋltima Ap­pellatio sit ad Principem & non extra Regnum, saith Dr. Cosen, and tells us it is a Jurisdiction Coronae Regiae de Jure debita.

4. The King's Majesty may dispense with any of those Canons or Ecclesiastical Laws, indulge the Omission of what is enjoined by them, make void the Crime, and remove the Penalty incurred by breach of them, yea, and give Faculty to do or practise other­wise, any Synodical Establishment or long usage to the contrary notwithstanding, in what offends not the Holy Scripture and Laws of God.

5. The King may exempt Persons and Societies from the Juris­diction of the Ordinary or Bishop, or any else who are to execute these Canons.De Jure Eccles. This my Lord Coke asserts, and as a Prerogative [Page 57]annexed to the Crown. He gives many Instances of such Dispen­sations in several Kings Reigns, both ancient, and of later times. For doubtless what Power He grants, and is exercised under Him, may be re-assumed by Him. And Priviledge, even whole Parishes if he please, from Episcopal or Synodical Jurisdiction, and such Parishes are said to be Regiae Majestati immediate subditae: Mocket, de Ecclesiastica Ang. Pol. pag. 294. And many Parishes to this day, stand thus exempted, by the favour and grant of Princes formerly. The Dutch and French Churches in several Parts of this Kingdom, by Patent from Edw. 6. were exempted from the then Establishment, and exercised a Discipline, and Forms of Worship, according to their own Perswasion, our Synod and Ecclesiastical Courts having, by vertue of this Exemption, nothing to do with their Ministers or Churches; which Priviledge hath been confirmed to them by our Kings that Reigned since, and are enjoined to this day, His Majesty that now is, by His Prerogative in Ecclesiastical Matters, notwithstanding the present Form of Worship and Ceremonies, Graciously indulged Tender Conscien­ces a Forbearance in what they were not satisfied, and to practise otherwise, Declaration of October, 1660.

6. There is no matter or thing appertaining to Religion, or first Table-Duties, or so intimate and properly spiritual, which a Synod or Convocation hath Cognisance of, and may make Laws and Canons about: But the like things have been established by the Civil Powers (more than sometimes for Advice) without it, as will abundantly appear in the many Statutes and Laws of former and later Times, as against Swearing, Perjury, Sabbath-breaking, &c. That one instance, the Liturgy, and ordering Bishops, Priests and Deacons, the many Rubricks in each of those Books, are so many Canons and Ecclesiastical Constitutions, insomuch as some have termed the Parliaments of England Synods, or Re­presentatives of the Church of England; observing also, that in the King's Writ, by which a Parliament is called, there is expresly committed unto them the Considerations of what concerneth the Church as the Kingdom of England.

There hath been also Injunctions, Declarations, Advertisements, Proclamations, and the like Edicts published in Ecclesiastical Mat­ters, [Page 58]from time to time by our Princes, without calling or advising with a Synod: And Obedience hath been required unto those Precepts, by the Ordinary in each Diocess, as well as to the Canons and Ecclesiastical Laws made by Synods.

The Dependency therefore of Synods and Convocations upon the Civil Magistrate, according to the Constitution and Practice here in England, is very great and apparent: For,

  • I. They can make no Canon, or Ecclesiastical Law, without the Civil Magistrate, but he can and may without them.
  • II.
    His Majesties Licence to the Convocation, May 12. 1640.
    None of their Laws, though ever so Ancient, but may be revoked by a Parliament; but the Rubricks, or Eccle­siastical Laws established by it, may not be medled with by the Convocation.

I shall conclude with B. Bilson, who seems to state the Nature and Occasion of Synods, as they are in this Kingdom, very fully, and indeed much as they ought to be wheresoever they are called; his words are these:

‘With us no Synods may assemble without the Prince's War­rant,D. Bils. Per. Gov. cap. 16. p. 383. as well to meet as to consult of any matter touching the state of this Realm: And why? They be no Court separate from the Prince, nor superior to the Prince, but subjected in all things to the Prince, and appointed by the Laws of God and man, in Truth and Godliness, to assist and direct the Prince when and where they shall be called to assemble; otherwise they have no power of themselves to make Decrees, when there is a Christian Magistrate, neither may they challenge the judicial hearing or ending of Ecclesiastical Controversies without or against the Prince's liking.’

It appears evidently hereby, that in the Judgment of the Learned Author, Synods, in their Nature and Use, are not for Rule and Government, where there is a Christian Magistrate; or otherwise than as Assistants only to counsel and advise Him.

THe Synods in other Reformed Churches claim a coercive Juris­diction,Discip. of Scot. lib. 2. c. 11. also Act. of G. Assemb. before the Confes. of Faith. Jus divinum regiminis, cap. 3. from an intrinsick right received immediatly from Jesus Christ, as Ministers of the Gospel. There being no express Scriptures to uphold this Assertion, and the light of Nature and common reason being supposed sufficient to create a jus divinum. The Authors of this perswasion argue thus.

‘In all Kingdoms and Republicks, if wrong be done by in­ferior Courts, we may have right by appealing to a Court su­perior in Authority; there ought therefore to be such an order in Churches, that is, a Classis, Synod, &c. That there may be regular Appeals in like Cases. And further they argue,Jus D. regim. cap. 1. if it be not so, when whole Churches or their Consistories trans­gress, there is no ordinary Remedy.Assembly Di­spute p. 114. The Provision Christ hath made for Government in his Church will be found de­fective: For though there be a Remedy for particular persons;Ruthers. peace­able Plea, cap. 15. Assertion of the Gover. of Scot. by G. Gillespie part 2. cap. 4 yet for a Church offending, there is none, if there be not a superior Church or Ecclesiastical Power to appeal unto.’

Leaving wholly what they pretend from Scriptures: I shall exa­mine this only their Reasoning from common light, it being more suitable to our present subject; and in the general say.

Answ. 1 1. In the Mysteries of the Gospel (from which by their own concessions, Church-communion and Discipline is not to be ex­cluded any more than Preaching or the Sacraments) It is very unsafe to make the dim Eye of Reason our Guide. Of what ad­vantage such suppositions have been, in producing Arminianism, Socinianism, Platonism, &c. but especially of the many gross Er­rors and loathsom Superstitions in Popish Worship: we cannot be ignorant.

Answ. 2 2. An Appeal (as understood in this dispute, and ordinarily by Civilians) is a provocation to a superior Tribunal, upon the error or wrong done by an Inferior. Such an Appeal is not essential to Go­vernment, unless we can suppose a progressus in infinitum: Nor is there a defect in that Government where it cannot be had. Some Societies are 1. So low and little in compass, as they need not such Appeals. A Family is a compleat Society or Corporati­on, though there be not a Superior in the same kind, that is, an Economical power to appeal unto; so may a Church be, though not a Superior in a series, properly Spiritual or Ecclesiastical. 2. Others so High. If there be an Error or Wrong done in or by a general Assembly or National Synod, (supposed in the ex­ercise [Page 60]of power of greatest perfection) we have no remedy,Argued by the Commissioners of Scotland, Anno 41. p. 1, 2, 9. Also their De­claration a­gainst a Cross Petition. P. 10. no Superior to appeal unto; therefore they term their Church or General Assembly an Independent. If it be said, as it is by some, we may appeal from it to an Oecumenical Councel. Answ. These great Councels have erred, and may, and what then is the Reme­dy, or further Provision? To what Ecclesiastical Tribunal Supe­rior can we appeal from them?

Answ. 3 To answer more particularly: This Reasoning being grounded upon a Similitude betwixt the Ministerial Government of Christ, and the Political Government of Kingdoms, we say there is not Par ratio, and therefore no just consequence. The Disparity will appear in divers Particulars.

Disparity. I In their Natures, as Civil and Religious Assemblies. In this the Difference is so great as Councels, Schoolmen, and Casuists, who all grant Appeals in Civil Affairs: yet in Ecclesiastical Matters the ordinary use of them is so constantly and generally denied,Videtur axio­ma communiter acceptum inter probos Religio­sos Appellatio­nis vocem au­diendam non esse, Suar. de virt. Tom. 4. pag. 99. as it is an Axiom, saith One, That in Religious Causes, the Voice of Ap­pealing is not to be heard or mentioned. And in the same Chapter he gives us the Reasons of it in these words: Si in ordinariis cor­rectionibus quae juxta disciplinam religiosam fiunt, locum haberet Ap­pellatio à Priore ad Provincialem, & à Provinciali ad Generalem; magna sequeretur perturbatio, & disciplina religiosa sine dubio corrue­ret, &c. ‘In ordinary Censures, and such as are according to a Religious Discipline, if Appeals should be made from the Prior to the Provincial, and from the Provincial to the General, it would breed a great Disturbance, and be doubtless the Ruine of Religious Discipline: For, 1. Inferiour Governours would quickly be despised, and have little Reverence or Fear. 2. By such a dilatory way, opportunity will be given by Friends, or under-hand working, to prevent any Religious Discipline. It is therefore expedient for the good of Religion, that there be a more simple way of procedure in these spiritual Corrections, and that it be without any kind of Appellation:’ Thus far Suarez. And others of them also tell us, That in a voluntary and brotherly Society, Soto de Just. lib. 54.6. art. it's more comely and honourable to end Offences and Differences in a private and peaceable way, amongst them­selves, and within the Society, than by clamorous Appeals, to make Matters more publick. It should not be of little weight also with us, the Tenderness of Christ, if it be confidered, and how he would not have Breaches and Offences amongst Brethren [Page 61]to be made more publick, or carried further than is necessary. And by any thing we find in the Text, there is no Necessity we should carry Matters for Censure, out of the Church where the Offence is; if there were, doubtless Christ would have given us direction as well for the managing of Appeals FROM a Church, as IN a Church, Mat. 18.15, 16, 17. where each step and cir­cumstance, in the progress from a lesser to a greater Authority, is described.

Disparity. II From the different condition of Punishments in respect to Re­lief, if unjustly inflicted. Church-Censures have little operation on us, further than our own Conscience and the Spirit of Christ make them effectual, by working them in upon us: But if inflict­ed where no just Cause, and Clave errante, the Spirit of Christ will not convince us of Sin, or let in Satan's Terrors, nor any such impressions of Grief or Shame as much to afflict us being inno­cent. How little hath the Pope's Bulls, or such Thundrings from Rome, been valued or esteemed; or Excommunications sent out of our Spiritual Courts, when we know it is but for a Four-penny Offence? In Civil Affairs it is much otherwise: For, be the Sen­tence just or unjust, the Execution of it is equally grievous, and a punishment, be it in respect of Life, Liberty, or Estate; and there is no way either to avoid or mitigate such wrongs, but by Appeals: The necessity of such Appeals therefore is very great, but in respect to Ecclesiastical Censures, little or nothing at all.

Disparity. III The ordinary end and use of Appeals, is either, 1. For Re­lief of Persons suffering: Or, 2. That corrupt Judges be censu­red, and unjust Sentences rescinded. Persons come to be relieved, when by Appeals to Higher Powers there is a better understand­ing, either 1. in the Rule and Law; or, 2. a more righteous judg­ment in matters of Fact. There are none of these Ends or Uses of an Appeal so accomplishable in an Ecclesiastical Process, as in a Civil.

1. If the Rule be obscure, a right understanding of it may in­fallibly be had by appealing in Civil Affairs; the Supreme Court is here on Earth, that made the Rule or Law; what's determi­ned by a Parliament, or such Persons as are intrusted by it to this purpose, is to us unquestionable.

But it's otherwise in Church Affairs, our Law-giver is in Hea­ven, and cannot in such a forensical way be appealed unto, nor hath he left any Vicar or Visible Judge under him, of greater Authori­ty, [Page 62]in respect of Infallibility, than a particular Church, which is the ground and pillar of truth. 1 Tim. 3.15. The Papists, some of them in great and weighty matters (not otherwise) that are spiritual, yield Appeals; but it's upon this Supposition, that the Cause, at last, will be brought to a Tribunal that is Infallible, Licitumest (saith P. de Aragon) in re grave cuique causam suam defferre ad sedem Apostolicam; Aragon, in 2.2. q. 69. a. 3. D. Th. quando vel ex imperitia, vel ex Passione inferiorum judi­cum qui homines sunt ac decipi possunt, injuriam patitur: The Pope cannot be deceived, he is more than a Man.

2. Matters of Fact, by reason of Appeals, come to be senten­ced at a great distance from the place where the Crime and Of­fence lieth, which in Worldly Concernments may with more Righteousness be done, than in what is Spiritual, and of Church Cognizance.

1. Transgressions come under a Civil Judgment, as materially considered, and according to the gross Act, but brought to the Church, not as Sins simple, but as Scandals and Offences, which is a Consideration not so obvious, but requires good judgment in the Witnesses, as well as in the Judges. The Obstinacy also, or Penitency of the Person offending, accordingly as Testimony shall be given of either, is a more difficult matter to make out, than either the Sin it self, or the Scandal. Repentance, Godly Sor­row, or the contrary, is the principal thing to be regarded in Church-process. Repentance, I say, in truth and sincerity, so far as we can judge in (a seeing and not blind) charity. It is not only the Passion, Sorrow, or Shame, but Godly Sorrow, which is more spiritual, and deeper in the heart, and requireth much and particular knowledge of the Person, and his temper, and such as cannot be attained at a distance, but by frequent and familiar Con­verse. To sit in the Stool of Repentance, stand in a White Sheet, or do Penance, (as it's termed) these are (as the fruits of the flesh) manifest, and judged of at the greatest distance, it's not so deep,Prov. 20.5. as we need much understanding to draw it out.

2. The Censure, whether binding or loosing, is to be executed always by the particular Church where the Offender is a Member; those persons, above all others, are to have a particular knowledge of his Crime and true Repentance; they are to forgive, and con­firm their love, 2 Cor. 2.7. Mat. 18.15, 17 or otherwise, to withdraw from him. If THY Brother offend thee, let him be unto THEE an Heathen, &c. The Execution of the Censure being by each Brother of that Church, [Page 63]it is necessary the Examination of the matter be before them. Spi­ritual Duties are not to be performed upon an implicit Faith. What knowledge, but by remote heresay, can a Church in the Orchades have of a mans repentance or obstinacy, the ultimate tryal and cognizance whereof, is taken by a Synod at Edenhurgh. Civil censures are for Satisfaction of the whole Nation, and not the Parish or Borough only where the crime was committed: but in a Church-censure, the particular Assembly being only, and no other Congregation, or person morally leavened, and charged with the offence, are principally, and in the first place con­cerned, to have satisfaction of the repentance and submission of the person offending: For by this means only their Lump or Church, becomes again unleavened.

Disparity. 4 4. The other End (before mentioned) and Ʋse of Appeals is, that our Judges and their Sentence be censured and judged by su­perior Tribunals. To which proceeding,Ʋnaequa (que) res per quascun (que) res nascitur per easdem dissol­vitur. the Judges in Civil Judicatures are liable; but there is not the like Subordination in Churches for these Reasons.

1. All the Power and Authority placed in their Inferior Courts, is no other but the influx of the supream Civil Powers, to whom we always make our last Appeal, and therefore proper to them, to suspend Actings, nay utterly to destroy in part or in whole, what Jurisdiction is derived from them, as appears in the Constitution of all Kingdoms: But it is not so here a particular Church. The Court we are to Appeal from, hath not its Being or Jurisdiction, from a Classis or Synod;Ecclesia Pa­rochialis est Ec­clesia vera es­sentialiter & integraliter abs (que) ulla cor­respondentia vel Synodo Voet. de Syn. pag. 13. Parker de Po­lit. Eccles. lib. 3. cap. 13. It is an autho­ritative un­churching of an obstinate Church we plead for. Ruth. peaceable Plea, cap. 15. p. 223, and p. 222. Ex­communication is an authori­tative un­churching. these rather derive their Power from it, being Representatives only, as our Brethren have formerly written. Particular Churches, they term Ecclesiae primae, and Sy­nods Ecclesiae ortae. Again, if Synods (as they grant) exercise over Churches a Power only cumulative, not destructive: How can they Excommunicate a Church, seeing Excommunication ren­ders a Society as Heathens and Publicans, which is to unchurch them, as Mr. Rutherford rightly affirms.

2. Although whole Churches may be punished for male Admi­nistration by the Civil Magistrate, yet may not an Ecclesiastical Power meerly such, do the like, for to destroy or save whole So­cieties, for the Evil of a major part, or a few persons, is the pre­rogative of the Lord himself, which he communicates also in some cases to Civil Magistrates, his Deputies, but in no case to Churches; it being an Authority high and Princely, and not at [Page 64]all sutable to such as have only a Ministry, and not a Dominion. Bishop Davenant tells us, That a Censure is not to be drawn on the whole Body of the Church; Brotherly Com­munion, c. 9. p. 102. for as the Laws forbid to Excommunicate a Society or Corporation, because it may happen, that those that are in­nocent may be intangled in the censure: So Right and Religion forbids to exclude whole Churches from the Communion of the Faithful, be­cause this cannot be done without an injury and contempt to many that be innocent. What ever formerly of this same unchurching power in Synods hath been asserted, yet since upon further debate we are told; this same Excommunieating of whole Churches is a thing not known in the Presbyterian Government, and not the Churches, but particular persons in the Churches are censured. Assemb. disputes pag. 180. But how can we say single persons only are to be censured, and not the whole Church? Whenas we know the contending parties of what con­dition soever, are both equally liable to the Censure of the Judge. Now when matters are brought by Appeal to a superior Court, the Court Appealed from, is a Party; and in this respect upon no higher terms than the pars appellans, though a single person.

But grant it be so, and that the object of a Censure from a Synod be only particular members.Excommunica­tio ejus (que) de­nunciatio post appellationem legitimam la­tam, est nulla. Nardus p. 53. col. 2. Then, 1. Churches cannot have such a remedy as in Civil States; for Appeals of this Nature are not to be made to any, but persons invested with such a power, as may suspend, or make void in part, or in whole, the power of that Court by whom the wrong hath been done and Appealed from, as hath been shewed.

2. If there be no Power in a Synod, of such a proportion su­perior to a Church, as to censure it by Excommunication or Suspension at least: Then will the Members of this Church, by admitting such Appeals, be necessarily under a twofold Juris­diction not subordinate, which tends to the greatest confusion imaginable: For if the Synod and the Church in their Light and Apprehensions vary about the condition of an Offender, one of them may in Conscience be bound to justify whom the other con­demns.

3. There is no supply of a supposed Defect, or Addition of what was not before, for if their superior powers Excommuni­cate particular Members only and not the whole Church: This is nothing more than each particular Church hath power to do. And it is as much an Ordinance of Christ, where two or three, [Page 65]that is a lesser number are gathered together, as where a greater; a Censure by the Church at Keneria, is as much a Censure, as if by Corinth. If a Quarter Sessions Execute a man, its as much a Judicial deal, as if judged by the Assize, Kings-Bench or Par­liament. The reason is obvious, its the Law that judges him, not this or that Judicature: So it is the Law and appointment of Christ that Excommunicates, not this or that Presbytery, greater or less, and this Law is the same to all.

We come now to the other part of the Argument, drawn from the light of Nature, If Appeals be not, there will be a defect in Christ's Government; Persons are left without remedy, for wrongs done by whole Churches.

I answer with Suarez in the same case,De virtute Tom. 4. p. 99. Argumentum est (saith he) ab specie ad genus negativum, defensio est genus & latius patet quam appellatio. Potest enim ad superiorem recurrere per simplicene quaerelam vel per modum supplicationis, &c. quod est sufficens remedi­um diversum appellatione & multo magis decens religiosum statum. ‘It is an Argument from the Species to the Genus, there are other ways of defence. We may have recourse to a Superior by simple Complaint, or by way of Supplication; which is a sufficient re­medy, and divers from an Appellation, and much more becom­ing the state of Religion; thus that Author.’ More particular­ly, we therefore Answer.

  • 1. There may be a sufficient defence or remedy, though not by Appeals.
  • 2. There may be Appeals, though not in such a way.

1. For the first, this Address or Recursus to others Superior or equal, is not for the putting forth any Act of Jurisdiction or Com­pulsion: Such persons interpose by way of Intreaty, Perswasion, Pleading the Cause of the wronged, Reproving, Threathing, or in such way, as a single Pastor may deal with any of his people. Thus Paul often, in a difference between Philemon and Onesimus, Philem. vers. 10. I beseech thee for Onesimus, Phil. 4.2, 3. I beseech Evo­dias and Syntiche: It was upon some breach in the Church, 1 Cor. 1.10. Now I beseech you Brethren that there be no Division. This inter­position of the Apostle with the Corinths, was upon the desire of the House of Cloe ver. 11. There may also be more earnest Pleadings, Hos. 2.2. Reasonings, Rebukes; yea openly, and before others.Gal. 2.11, 14. The Apostles were equal in Authority, yet Paul. did not only Reason and Plead with Peter, but Rebuke and Reprove him publickly, and before o­thers. [Page 66]And in his dealing with Barnabas, Act. 15.39. Pauls spirit did rise high­er, and yet no Power or Jurisdiction exercised, or might be by one Apostle over another.

If Synods be applyed unto, only for Counsel and advice in diffe­rences and difficult cases, it is a provision not to be despised. Scrip­ture-light in an instruction or reproof is cogent, by what hand so­ever administred, but more especially when in the way of an Or­dinance or Appointment of Christ. As are Pastors, and Synods, though intrusted with a Declarative Authority only.

Let it be consider'd how the greatest reformation made in the Hearts and Lives of men and women, is ordinarily by the applica­tion of the Word of God in the Ordinance of Preaching; which is the Instruction, Reproofs, &c. of a single Minister, who hath not power to Excommunicate such as despise his Doctrine. Faith comes by Hearing, 1 Cor. 5. not by Discipline. Until they be judged, believers they are without. If this means, or such a Doctrinal Application by a single Minister, be sufficient to make such Reformation upon single persons, and those that as yet own not Christ, or have Conscience of an Ordinance, why should we not expect the like fruit where many Ministers are Synodically gathered for the Reformation of whole Churches, (persons professing to understand and reve­rence so solemn an Ordinance of Christ) though there be no co­ercive Power intrusted with it, to enforce Submission.

2.Receptum est in Gallia ab Ec­clesiasticis posse provocari ad ad curias su­premas Parlia­mentorum P. Gr. Tholos. l. 50. c. 2. §. 36. Ruther. Due Right cap. 6. §. 5. pag. 396. There may be Appeals, though not in the same Series, but to a Tribunal extrinsecal, and not meerly Spiritual: as when we appeal to the Civil Magistrate, or such as are appointed by him over Eccle­siastical matters. For 1. if the King in his Laws, and the Church in their Synodical Canons, command and forbid one and the same things, as is asserted. And 2. if the persons commanded stand as much in a Civil Relation to their Prince, being Subjects, as they do in a spi­ritual Relation to the Church, as Members. Doubtless the Chri­stian Magistrate having a Supremacy in Ecclesiastical matters as in Civil, and (especially) being assisted by the Councel and Advice of Synods, is a sufficient and effectual means to reform the miscar­riages of particular Churches, if appealed unto.

The truth is, though Churches were threatned, or struck with the highest censures (being meerly Spiritual) and from a National Synod the highest Throne: Were it not from foresight, that if such Discipline be despised, the Magistrates Sword, by some Cor­poral [Page 67]punishment will second it, there would be little fear or dread of those Synodical censures. And if so, as it is apparent to the most in a National or Provincial Church as ordinarily consti­stituted, it is no otherwise. Common Reason will direct us ra­ther to go immediatly by Appeals to the Civil Magistrate, or his Delegates, than in such a compass, as to drive the cause from a Consistory to a Classis, from thence to a Provincial Synod, and after that to a National Assembly; and when all this is done, there is little to any purpose done, if not seconded by a secular arm. Hence our learned Brethren formerly admitted no other Appeals of this nature, but to the Civil Magistrate, as we have fully shewed in the former Digression: To which we add what is by that Au­thor further said. ‘If the Brethren or Officers in a Church be per­verse,Cap. 2. and will not hearken to Reason, they (that are wrong­ed) are to crave the assistance of the Civil Magistrate, who alone hath Power, and who ought by the Civil Sword and Authority, procure to all Members of the Church, Governors or others, freedom from all manifest injuries and wrongs.’ The manner how the Civil Magistrate is to proceed in Church-causes, is there also described to us in the words following; ‘Though the Civil Magistrate cannot absolve the Excommunicate person, &c. or take away this power from the Church, yet when they or any of them shall apparently abuse the same, he is bound by the Law of God, and by virtue of his Office grounded upon the same, to punish them severely for it, and to force them by Civil Mulcts to rectisy, &c.

THus I have done with that first Consideration, upon the ac­count whereof the Ʋsefulness and Necessity of the Civil Ma­gistrates Ecclesiastical power is affirmed: Which is, in respect to the well-being of Churches. There is another consideration re­maining now likewise to be prosecuted, shewing the like necessity of this Power, in respect and relation to the well-being of the Commonwealth. The Knowledge and true Worship of God, and the means hereof the word of God, is a national gift. He hath given his Law to Jacob — he hath not dealt so with other Nations. Psal. 147. It was true then, for Israel had this priviledge as a peculiar; but now it is other­wise. And where the Lord is so bountiful to a Nation, thus to give the means of Life and Salvation, it is a Depositum Governors must account for. The whole Nation becomes peaceable, prosperous [Page 68]or otherwise, according as the matters of God and his Worship, are more or less Religiously attended by the Governors and People thereof. This Consideration is urged by Bishop Davenant to this purpose,Daven. de ju­du cont. ca. 16. p. 91. Regis potestas judiciaria se extendit ad ea omnia sancienda quae rem publicam florentem conservant at (que) ad ea tollenda, &c. ‘The Kings Legislative power extends to the establishming of whatso­ever may preserve a Commonwealth in a flourishing State, and the taking away of all such things as may prejudice or ruine it. But the Religious Worship of God is granted of all, even of the very Heathens; as of concernment to the well-being of the Republick, and the neglect of it to the eversion of it.’ The care­ful and orderly management of Religious affairs, being a special means and way to make the Republick prosperous, the care where­of lieth upon the Magistrate: It is necessary that he both judge of, and put forth his Authority, in the procuring and preserving such a means or conducement, the further prosecution of this second Argument, together with other particulars, requisite to the resol­ving this Case, I shall leave to a second Part of this Discourse, in which, after the clearing and vindicating the former part of the Oath as lawfully to be taken: The two great doubts arising from the latter part of it, shall more largely be insisted upon. The words are these: I shall to my Power Assist and Defend all Jurisdictions — belonging to the Kings Highness — or united to the Crown, &c.

The Doubts hereupon are,

1. The Jurisdiction, Priviledges, &c. granted and united to the Imperial Crown, are unknown unto us, and some of them Con­troverted: How can we swear in judgment? Jer. 4.2. Answ. Though there be not a distinct knowledge in respect of each particular, yet an Oath may be taken in Judgment, and how.

2. There are some Jurisdictions, Priviledges, &c. in Spiritual matters granted and united to the Crown, the lawfulness where­of are scrupled; and we may possibly believe they do not belong to the Civil Magistrate, How can we swear to assist and defend him in such, and Swear in Righteousness? Answ. In a Federacy, or Allegiance, to assist and defend another, against a common Enemy, if the things be just and lawful in His opinion, though doubted of, or thought otherwise in ours: It is no unrighteous­ness in us to give assistance according to our Oath. These Reso­lutions and Assertions I doubt not, will be made evident, in what is to follow, and be the other part of this Discourse.


HAving satisfied divers Friends that were scrupled about the Oath of Supremacy, I was desired by my Brethren in the Ministry, and others, (knowing my unhappy leisure) to publish something this way, wherein accordingly I made entrance, but finding this Oath not so much pressed, and the Subject such as is capable (from me especially) of a various reception, I laid it long aside, with purpose to make no further progress; afterwards understanding some Persons of Honour judged such a Work to be useful and seasonable, it was re-assumed.

In the Prosecution hereof, I have stated something of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, as claimed by Churches and Churchmen of each per­swasion, and how it stands in habitude and relation to His Majesties Supremacy in these Affairs. Not with any purpose to reflect upon the judgment or practice of others, whom for their Learning and Holiness I shall ever greatly reverence; but that I might the more fully and distinct­ly, lay down what is asserted by those of the Congregational way: And upon these Considerations.

1. It being now a season for us, humbly to apply for the Liberty of our Consciences in the Worship and Service of God, upon the encou­ragement of His Majesties most Gracious Declaration, exhibited on that behalf, wherein we understand our selves to be fully comprehended. And finding our Way and Principles, represented by some in Print, (though we fully agree with this, and other Reformed Churches, in all the Ar­ticles of Religion, concerning the true Christian Faith and Doctrine of Sacraments, Printed Anno 1658. which is evident by our Confession of Faith) as in­consistent with, and destructive to the Peace of Civil Government. This, if believed, cannot but be a sufficient Block in the way of our Li­berty; I thought it necessary, for the removing all Prejudices in order to the obtaining of our aforesaid Liberty, to give some further account of our Way, and to represent more distinctly and particularly our Princi­ples; that it may appear, whatsoever hath been said to the contrary, that there is nothing in them, but what is consistent with, and most agreeable to the Civil Government; or that should render us in any sort uncapable of receiving the fruit and benefit of the King's Majesties Favor and Indulgence promised to Tender Consciences.

2. We find Ecclesiastical Power where claimed Jure Divino, Secret. Wal­singham's Let­ters to Critoy. and immediately from the Lord, by their Churches or Officers, hath always been a matter of Jealousie, as derogating from the King's Supremacy.

I. The Jurisdiction we pretend to (as appears in this Discourse) [Page 70]and avouch as the appointment of Christ, is the lowest for kind, and of narrowest extention, exercised about the concernment only of a particular Congregation; and therefore we may well assert with that learned Bishop,B. Sanderson of Episcopa­cy, pag. 24. ‘It's very hard to give a satisfactory difference be­twixt such an Ecclesiastical Power, and the Oeconomical (both claiming by Divine Right) why the one should be more injurious to Regal Power than the other.’ We can further say, the Power we claim is no other but such also, as hath been always owned by our Laws and Writers of Note, to be immediately from God, and peculiar to his Holy Service, and the Sacred Function of the Ministery, with those other Parochial Duties; as to Preach the Word, Administer Sacraments, and the like: The word Sacraments, and the use of the Keys, (saith B. Bilson) are things comprised in the Church, (lie not open with other State-matters) and by God commanded to the Church, Of Suprema­cy, p. 170. & 227. Against Har­ding, p. 6. c. 9. D. 1, 2. Also D. Field of the Church, lib. 5. c. 53. and are subject to no mortal Creature, Pope or Prince. We teach not Princes, (saith Bishop Jewel) to offer up Incense or Sacrifice as Ʋzziah did, or to preach or administer Sacraments, or to bind or to loose. Each of these Duties are such and so spiri­tual, as our Princes openly and in their Laws disown them, as not depending upon their Administration, or Authority. In the 37th. Article of the English Confession, it is thus: We give not to our Princes the Ministring either of God's Word, or the Sacrament: And in the Admonition, &c. Kings and Queens of this Realm, Possessors of the Crown, challenge not Authority and Power of Ministery of Divine Offices in the Church.

II. The Power or Jurisdiction exercised over these particular As­semblies, or their Officers, hath its station in a higher Region, and such, as in which all Christian Magistrates in the world judge themselves in­teressed; and that what is done in this kind by any Person or Assembly, be by a Power derived from them, and subordinate to them. So our Law, 27 H. 8. c. 17. The Archbishops, Bishops, Archdeacons, and other Ecclesiastical Persons, have no manner of Ecclesiastical Juris­diction, but by, from, and under the King's Royal Majesty. And in the Statute of 1 Edw. 6. c. 2. All Courts Ecclesiastical within the Realms of England and Ireland, ought to be kept by no other Authority either Foreign, or IN THE REALM, but by the Authority of His most Excellent Majesty. It is evident therefore, that those Superior Powers (of what Form or Denomination soever they be) that are over these Congregations, have their motions in Caesar's walk: But the holy and spiritual Duties peculiar to particular Con­gregations, [Page 71]are expresly remitted to them and their Ministers, as the things of God, and not of Caesar.

3. Our situation is low, and quite beneath those Orbs, wherein the transactions of a National concernment move, and are managed. How Religion and Reformation thrive in a Nation, and is encouraged by the Governors thereof, we have a sence, and form our thoughts and most ef­fectual prayers and endeavors accordingly. We are engaged hereunto as Members of the Catholick Church, and particularly concerned in the welfare of our Native Countrey; otherwise our Principles are to keep within our Congregational Precinct, and not to give Laws, or exercise Power over others, or to engage our selves (unless thereunto by Autho­rity called) in more publick Affairs. Nor do we believe (as we have jointly professed) there is Power given by Christ to any Sy­nod or Ecclesiastical Assemblies to Excommunicate, Confession of Faith, pag. 61. Sect. 22. or by their Publick Edicts to threaten Excommunication, or other Church-Censures against Churches, Magistrates, or their People, upon any such account. And therefore we may be freed from the jealousie of being Troublers or Retarders of others, in the work of Reformation, or publick Settlement. Or were we (or could we be) so, in the Re­formation not long since attempted, otherwise than by not joining to fur­ther what our Consciences were not clear in; or in not putting our neck voluntarily into a Yoke we conceived was not Christs, and therefore would not be easie in the service of Christ.

4. We have been blamed more than once for this Surname INDE­PENDENT, (though a title not of our own choice) as an insolent assuming.Epist. ad Buch. pag. 91. Miror etiam viris piis—&c. (saith Spanhemius) Truly I marvel that holy men (so I judge them though dissenting from us) should not themselves be dissatisfied with the very title, an Independent Church, which seems to me not to stand with the modesty of Christians. The defects of all men through the blindness of their minds, since the Fall, is so great and obvious, as no Person or Society can assume to it self an INDEPENDENCY in this respect, without intollerable Pride, Independency in respect of Power only is another thing; Power simply and in it self is no Virtue, though Ju­stice, Prudence and Fortitude by which it is managed, are. Not to be in Power, is no Sin nor Moral Defect, more than not to be Rich, or in Honour. It is not so much the Praise, as the Charge of him that receiveth it, the honour and glory of him that can give it; of him only it hath its proportion, and doth not become greater or less from any worth or industry found in those that receive it, as Moral Virtues do. Power [Page 72]doth not vary in its kind, though the wisdom and ability to manage it, be greater or less in him that hath it: So that Power, whether abso­lute or limited, whether dependent or independent, is a most incon­siderable thing in its self, to be proud of, or glory in. If (saith the Apostle) there be any virtue, if there be any praise, Phil. 4.8. It is Virtue, not Power, we should be ambitious of, being an excellency in it self; and without it, Power will be but a lifting us up to our own destruction. Whatsoever Virtue or Gift is desirable for the manage of that Power Christ hath intrusted us with, we further seek after in con­sulting other Churches, and endeavour that all matters difficult, and of common concernment, may be proceeded in with joint consent. We pro­fessedly depend upon Synods for Counsel, which comes forth ordinarily from such Assemblies, better digested, and in a more perfect maturation, their part being to advise and give Councel onely; for men will not ea­sdy spend much time to untie a knot, if there be a knife at hand to out it.

5. The Apostle Paul, amongst other Reflections, met with this, from the false Apostles, who gave him out in their reckoning, as one that made some carnal advantage the scope of his Opinions; 2 Cor. 10.2, 3. with this hard measure we have met from first to last, I am therefore willing to leave some account in the hand of my Friends (being now aged, and near my period) of those Principles that have long (through grace) kept me and others steady in this perswasion: Not only in and through these late Changes and Disputings, but divers years before, and when no such Encouragements were, (as are surmised to be our aim) but the con­trary.

The Apostle inserts in the midst of his Church-Disputes, a whole Chapter in the praise of Charity, and tells us, in seeking our own, (for want hereof) we are easily provoked, and behave our selves unseemly, 1 Cor. 13. and apt to think and surmise evil: As for me (to use David's words) the Lord hath upheld me in mine in­tegrity. The reflecting thoughts whereof,Psal. 45.12. have been as the consolation of God in my Soul, when I lay many days together by the Graves side; Providence hath brought me back into a troublesom world, where with patience and perseverance, through Christ, I shall wait until my Course be finished, following peace with all men, in the way of holiness, without which no man shall see God.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.