THE AGREEMENT OF THE ASSOCIATED MINISTERS OF THE County of Essex: Proposed to their particular Congrega­tions, and to all such of the County that love the Churches Peace; with a word of Ex­hortation to Brotherly Union.

Rom. 14.19.

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edifie another.

1 Cor. 1.10, 11, 12.

Now I beseech you Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgment: For it hath been declared unto me of you my Brethren, by them which are of the house of Cloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul, I am of Apollo, I am of Cephas, I am of Christ.

Rom. 16.17.

Mark them that cause divisions and offences contra­ry to the Doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them.

The second Edition Corrected and much Amended.

LONDON, Printed for Edward Brewster, at the Crane in Pauls-Church Yard. 1658.

THE PREFACE.

THe richest Crown, and highest glo­ry of a people, is to be Gods Pecu­liar, related in Covenant-nearness to him, dedicated to his Praise, trusted with his Word, the only perfect Rule, guided in the alone way of Sal­vation, the true Religion; Religion shining in those greater Beauties of Purity, Power, and Ʋ ­nity (still that Purity being preserved most ten­derly, the Power held up eminently, the Ʋnity maintained entirely) and to have all due provi­sion made for this Crown, and Glory to descend, and settle upon Posterity for ever.

To consider how much of the fore-mentioned Glory hath dwelt in our Land, together with its gradual declining, great decay, almost departing; the hopes of Reformation given, and heightned, but soon disappointed, sadly turned into fears, confusions, and such vast evils, which once let [Page]in, have been so lengthened out: Above all, to seriously view our present condition; of sin, af­ter soarest smartings, more abounding it spreads farther, roots deeper, rises higher, but comes dai­ly nearer to a filling up; Of miseries, in complicate distempers, imminent dangers, and so extreme difficulty of healing, settlement and security, our hearts cannot but break and bleed within us; To see Souls more precious than Worlds (whose price can never fall lower) to run unwonted higher hazards of utter undoing. The numbers among us either more setled in ignorance, or im­proved in prophaneness, fixed in meer civility and formality, without any Power of Godli­ness, or arrived at very Neutrality; and not a few (which we tremble to mention) under fearful Apostacy of damnable Heresies, and vi­lest practises, often also attended with hellish blasphemies. These Souls, all retaining their in­valuable worth, and for ought can be known, possibility of saving, should they not have all endeavour of pulling them out of the fire; and if by Covenant-Obligation, and Sacramental-Dedi­cation, they are Christs Propriety and Right; should not his Officers and Stewards strive to the utmost to recover them to the King of Glories [Page]use and service? yet these poor perishing ones, as to any effectual order for Instruction or Refor­mation, remain helpless.

Ah! that we could not go higher to the inju­ries and dissecurities of Religion it self, in those checks given to the progress, damps to the Power, wide breaches made in the Ʋnity, and most daring attempts against the very Being and Reality; almost no Doctrine or practise escaping vain doubting, yea impious vilifying and decry­ing. Add that further danger of Opportunity and Temptation, either of shifting wayes and Religi­ons, till the substance and foundation is over­turned, or for to shake off profession of Godliness, shut out the Knowledge, and sit at home at doing nothing.

Besides (which still more endangers) many of the elder sort, (who should derive Religion to succeeding Times) by sinful indifferency, are rea­dy to let go their hold of the Truth; and most of the younger, either distracted at diversities of Wayes and Opinions, or disacquainted with the very principles of Christianity, are never like to take sure hold of it.

Oh that we had not to bewail the dissatisfacti­ons, divisions, distances, and oppositions, among [Page]Brethren of the same houshold of Faith; and these arising chiefly from less and lower points and pun­ctillioes, when in fundamentals, and the main, there is so great an accord. And to all we annex, the offence given the weak, discouragements to commers in to godliness, just scandal to many at home, and in Forraign Nations, opening wide the mouths, and strengthening the hands of Adversa­ries against us; and the most (if not all these e­vils) arising chiefly from our unestablishment, as to Scripture and Gospel-Order.

Therefore when Souls are thus perishing, Truth lies bleeding, divisions continuing, enemies insul­ting, dangers and difficulties not abating, and (which far transcends all that can be said) the most precious and glorious Name of Christ so in­finitely suffering: All this likewise, when our ca­lamitous condition is not utterly hopeless, but like the patient languishing, not from utter defect of remedy, but want of the Physitians willingness to joyn together, study the case, and apply the cure, For these things our hearts melt, and eyes mourn, till the Lord look down from heaven and help: But when all looking, bewailing, pities and pray­ers can little avail, without endeavours of redress in a right way first resolved, and then unanimous­ly [Page]carried on, for which the conceived expedient, is a Brotherly Association, long since in our thoughts, and already begun by others, godly learned, in di­vers Counties; others of different judgement, in point of Church-Government, shewing the hither­to hindred Ʋnion, to arise, not so much from diffe­rence of principles, inconsistent with Ʋnion, as from defect of will and inclination, and this from a grand failing in Brotherly Love.

Therefore laying aside all private respects, and carnal interests, and resigning our selves wholly up to the Lord, we resolve in his strength, accord­ing to what we have attained, to unite together for carrying on the work of Reformation, and dis­charge of our duties, in our respective places: and not only an Associating in this particular County, but correspondency with our Brethren in other parts of the Nation, yet hereby, not binding up, and limiting our selves from further improve­ment of Ʋnion, which we hope the Lord will teach and stablish in his time Ʋniversally.

And for an Introductive to the work in hand, and freeing our selves from imputed Innovation in the Doctrine of Religion, we declare, that as all way formerly we have owned; so we do, (and by Christs assistance) will ever own, and maintain the [Page]form of wholesome words, contained in the Scrip­tures, of the Old and New Testament, in the con­stantly received sense of the Orthodox Churches of Christ, exprest more especially (as to the Funda­mentals of Faith) in that most Ancient and Ʋni­versally received Creed, called the Apostles, in the therewith agreeing famous Nicene Creed, and that notable Creed of Athanasius; to which (we might add those excellent Creeds of the Great Councils of Constantinople, Ephesus, Calcedon, and o­thers,) likewise we declare our owning, and re­solution to own and maintain, the whole Body of Protestant Reformed Doctrine, so far as it is joyntly held forth in their Confessions of Faith, and in our English Articles, the Articles of Ire­land, 1615. And in the late Confession of Faith, by the Assembly of Divines, so fully and excellent­ly set forth; and having it, (as to the matter it self) long since imprest on our thoughts, which some pious and prudent Brethren have published for the Basis & ground of their Associating work, we think it no diminution, but honour (if not du­ty) to tread in their exemplary Christian, and peaceable steps, shewing our ready concurrence with them in building on the same Foundations, which are these ensuing Rules.

1. THat in the exercise of discipline, it is not only the most safe Course, but also most conducing to brotherly Union, and satisfaction, that particular Chur­ches carry on as much of their work with joynt, and mutual assistance, as they can with conveniency, and edifi­cation: and as little as may be in their actings, to stand di­stinctly by themselves, and apart from each other.

2. That where different principles lead to the same pra­ctice, we may joyne together in the same practice, reserving to each of us our own principles.

3. That where we can neither agree together in principles, nor practice, we agree to beare with one anothers differences, that are of a lesse and disputable nature, without making them a ground of division among us.

Yet notwithstanding we do not thereby bind up our selves from endeavouring to informe one another in those things, wherein we differ; so that it be done with a spirit of Love and Meeknesse, and with resolution to continue brotherly Ami­ty and Association, though in those particulars our differences should remain uncomposed.

Upon these grounds we agree as followeth.

1. BEing each of us in our hearts perswaded of our own parti­cular Call by Christ unto the Gospel Ministry, and that we are entrusted, and imployed as Embassadors, Stewards, Overseers, Guides, Watchmen and Labourers in his Church, and Vineyard: We resolve through his help sincerely and constantly, both to en­deavour the fulfilling of this our Ministry; and to labour in all things, that the Ministry be not justly blamed, that so we may promote the glory of God in saving the precious souls committed to us.

2. We resolve (through the grace of Christ) to contend day­ly to the comprehension of that Ministerial Knowledge and Wis­dome, whereby we may understand our way, and to study more, and strive after that excellent Wisdome, and Art of winning souls; and likewise the putting on, growing in, and exercising of that Love, Faithfulnesse, Compassion, Humblenesse, Meeknesse, Long-suffering, and such other graces, Christ especially enjoyns for the due discharge of our great trust.

3. We resolve to endeavour the attaining those high ends the Ministry is appointed unto, by all such wayes the Scripture re­quires, and allowes: As by Preaching, Catechizing, private In­structing of, and conferring with our people, visiting the sick, and exemplary walking: Together with dispencing the Sacraments, Church-Government, and Brotherly Union for mutuall Assi­stance, and better carrying on the Work of Christ.

1. In preaching, we agree to hold forth to our hearers, the Word of Life, and the whole Councel of God therein contained, clearly and plainly to their apprehensions, close and home to their Consciences, and Hearts; by Doctrine, Instruction, Confutation, Exhortation, Reproof and Comfort, in such manner as the Scrip­ture prescribes, and according to that wisdome and opportunity the Lord affords.

2. In Catechizing, we agree to make use of the shorter Cate­chisme made by the Assembly, which we will endeavour to goe through at least once in the year.

3. In private Instruction, and Conference, we agree, as our strength, and labours will permit: and our people shall offer us occasion (which we earnestly desire they should) we will instruct them privately, and confer with them of the things of God, and their souls, in that way each of us shall judge most expedient for Edification.

4. In visiting the sick, it being our peoples duty in case of sick­nesse, according to that Rule of the Apostle James 5.14. To send for Elders, We agree, to go to those, who shall send for us, (un­lesse the case be such, as will not stand with our publike work) and then we will deale with them, sincerely, plainly, and effectually, as God shall enable us concerning their souls condition, and eternal salvation.

5. Because every Minister of Christ is to be an example in con­versation to his Flock. To seale his Doctrine by his Exemplarie doing.

Therefore we resolve through Christ to have an especial care that our lives be not destructive to our Doctrine, but a Confirma­tion of it, and thereby an Instigation to our people to follow us in that we follow Christ.

2. Being we are in Scripture enjoyned to love all men; and so much as in us lieth, to follow peace; but especially to evidence both peculiar love to all the godly, and such as walk as becometh the Gospel, and likewise to delight in their Societie. Therefore we shall endeavour in our converse, to demeane our selves accor­dingly: Yet not any way denying, or with-drawing that charity, civility, helpfulnesse, and duty, in any sort due to the scandalous, and such as walk inordinately.

Seeing prophanesse, such as Swearing, breaking the Lords Sab­bath, together with Uncleannesse, Ryot, Drunkennesse, and the like enormities, are so abominable to God, and his Saints, pernici­ous to the practisers, and oft so mischievous to others that behold them, we resolve besides the publike reproving them, to endeavour their suppressing among our people, so farre as will stand with our calling and conveniency.

Reforming Congregations.

1. BEcause Reforming Congregations, and preserving them being Reformed, depends so much upon setling that Order and Government, which Christ requires in his Word; therefore we shall use our best endeavours to inform our people of the na­ture, necessity, and excellency of this Scripture-Order, and per­swade them to a willing agreement with us; namely, in such things which are clearly held forth in Scripture, and to which we our selves do all agree, which (though not to every circum­stance) yet for the substance, we shall set down in due place hereafter.

2. We agree, that every one who professeth Faith in Christ, and hopes for Salvation by him, ought to joyn himself as a Mem­ber to some one or other Visible Church, where the Word of God is truly preached, and the Sacraments are duly administred; and that it is most agreeable to order and edification for those that dwell together in one place, to joyn together as Members of the same particular Church; and that a peoples meeting together or­dinarily, to attend upon the publike worship in one place, and sub­jecting themselves to the Ordinances of Christ therein dispenced, is a real expression of their consent & agreement, to joyn as Mem­bers to that Church: Yet because we conceive the more express this Agreement and Consent is, the more fully it puts us in mind of our mutual relation, and stirs us up the more to the performance of our respective duties to each other; therefore we have hereun­to annexed a profession of Assent to the Fundamentals of Faith, by way of Explication of the Creed, called the Apostles (which we all own, and will maintain.) Likewise a profession of Consent to the tearms of the Covenant of Grace, (which also we all freely agree unto) and both these, we conceive, may not unfitly be used (if not in the express words,) yet at least as to the substance of them) either at the Sacrament of Baptisme, and the Lords Sup­per, or on other occasions, as prudence shall direct.

And we also engage for our selves, to endeavour the settlement and practise of that Church-Order and Government, the Scrip­tures [Page 5]warrant for admonition, reproof, and other Church-cen­sures, hoping that our people also will agree with us in the things fore-expressed, as being not only lawful in themselves, but so conducing to the Churches Union and Reformation, Ministers en­couragement, and mutual edification.

Baptisme.

1. VVE agree, that not only those who do actually profess Faith in Christ, and obedience to him, but also the Infants of one or both Believing Parents, or Parents that are Church-members, are to be Baptized: But we shall not Baptize the Children of such as are strangers to us, until we have had per­sonal conference with them; and the like conference we will en­deavour with such Parents, who offering to us their Children to be Baptized, are either ignorant of the grounds of Religion, or scandalous in Conversation.

2. Because some Brethren of the Association judge it meet, when a Parent ignorant of the grounds of Religion, or scanda­lous in Conversation, offers his Child to be Baptized, that the Ordinance may be forborn, till that ignorant Parent get compe­tent Knowledge, or the scandalous do testifie serious Repentance: Therefore for preserving Unity amongst us, we agree, that none of us of different judgements, from such Ministers, will over-hastily Baptize the Child of such a Parent, till first we understand the case from any such Ministers that so defer Baptizing; and if then we think fit to Baptize, yet first we will render our Reasons to them for so doing, which also we shall not be unwilling to submit to the censure of the Association.

3. We also agree, to administer Baptisme publikely, and in the most solemn manner, and therefore to perform it ordinarily on the Lords Day, or upon some other day of Preaching the Word; or at least when the Word by some Exposition, or Exhortation, may accompany the Ordinance: and likewise (so far as may be) to avoid private Baptisme.

The Lords Supper.

1. VVE agree, according to Scripture Warrant, the gene­ral Judgement and Practice, both of the antient, suc­ceeding, and present Churches of Christ; (with which the Rubrick before the Communion, in divers passages of it; and the Confessi­on of Faith, the larger Catechisme, and form of Church-Govern­ment, made by the Assembly concur) that the Church-Guides should still put a difference in their Admissions to the Lords Sup­per, between the evidently worthy, and unworthy, encouraging, and furthering the one to, and in a frequent partaking thereof; but warning, and not suffering the other to profane the Ordi­nance, endanger their own Souls, and give scandal to other Chri­stians. And seeing Church-Rulers are apt to fail in their duty, either from too great severity, rigidly excluding the competently fit, or by inadvertency, over-facility, or fear, promiscuously ad­mitting such, who on prudent and moderate Tryal, would appear unworthy: Therefore we resolve, as to encourage good Christi­ans to an often coming to the Lords Supper, so not to admit such to it, who appear unfit: Namely,

  • 1. Those that have not a competent Knowledge in the princi­ples of Religion.
  • 2. That are not of an unblameable Conversation.

And if some of us require more positive signs of Grace in per­sons that come to the Ordinance, it shall be no breach of Union a­mong our selves.

Competent Knowledge.

BEcause a total, or gross ignorance in the principles of Christi­anity, cannot consist with saving Faith, sound Repentance, coming up to the terms of the Covenant of Grace, of which this Sacrament is a Seal; neither with that discerning the Lords Body, and such self-examination, as is necessary to worthy partaking. [Page 7]But that persons thus ignorant, must needs miss of benefit by this Ordinance, and meet with a Curse, instead of a Blessing.

Therefore we shall not admit any, that on Tryal are found such, till Competent Knowledge be attained.

That we may therefore proceed more clearly, and with less in­conveniency to any, we will not give the Rule our selves for this Tryal, but express our concurrent sense and approbation of that direction, being very full and plain, which the Assembly in their form of Church-Government offers, yet not limiting any strict­ly, or solely to it.

Their words are these:

The Rubrick at the end of the Confirmation formerly men­tioning the Curats Duty, of taking account what Children could say the fore-mentioned Catechisme; Add these words, —And there shall none be admitted to the Holy Commu­nion, until such time as he can say the Catechisme, and be con­firmed; where the Catechisme is made the Rule of Tryal of Knowledge, in first admission to the Lords Supper; and that saying the Catechisme, when Children but six or seven years old may rehearse it, yet can­not understand it, nor examine themselves, must therefore be a saying of it, with understand­ing the meaning and sense, of which the Curate must take no­tice, before he admits to that Or­dinance.All such persons, who shall be admitted to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, ought to know that there is a God, that there is but one Everlasting and true God, Maker of Hea­ven and Earth, and Governour of all things; that this only true God, is the God whom we worship, that this God is but one God, yet three distinct Persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, all equally God. That God cre­ated Man after his own Image, in Knowledge, Righteousness, and true Holiness; that by one man Sin entred into the world, and Death by Sin, and so Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned, that thereby they are all dead in trespasses and sins, and are by Nature the Children of Wrath, and so lyable to Eter­nal Death, the wages of every sin.

That there is but one Mediator betwixt God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus, who is also over all, God blessed for ever, neither is there Salvation in any other.

That he was Conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, that he died upon the Cross to save his people from their sins, that he rose again the third day from the Dead, ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, and maketh Intercession for us, of whose Fulness we receive all Grace, necessary to Salvation.

That Christ and his Benefits are applyed only by Faith; that Faith is the gift of God, and that we have it not of our selves, but it is wrought in us by the Word, and the Spirit of God.

That Faith is that Grace whereby we believe and trust in Christ for remission of sins, and Life Everlasting, according to the Pro­mises of the Gospel; that whosoever believeth not in the Son of God, shall not see Life, but shall perish eternally.

That they, who truly repent of their sins, do see them, sorrow for them, and turn from them, to the Lord; and that except men re­pent, they shall surely perish.

That a godly life is conscionably ordered according to the Word of God, in Holiness and Righteousness, without which no man shall see God.

That the Sacraments are Seals of the Covenant of Grace in the Blood of Christ; that the Sacraments of the New Testament, are Baptisme, and the Supper of the Lord; that the outward Ele­ments in the Lords Supper, are Bread, and Wine, and do signifie the Body and Blood of Christ crucified, which the worthy Re­ceiver by Faith doth partake of in the Sacrament, which Christ hath likewise ordained for the remembrance of his Death, that whosoever eateth and drinketh unworthily, is guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord; therefore that every one is to examine himself, lest he eat and drink Judgement to himself, not discerning the Lords Body.

That the Souls of the Faithful after death, do immediately live with Christ in Blessedness, and that the Souls of the Wicked, do immediatly go into hell torment; that there shall be a Resurre­ction of the Bodies, both of the Just and Unjust, at the last day, at which time all shall appear before the Judgement-Seat of Christ, to receive what they have done in the Body, whether it be Good, or Evil; and that the Righteous shall go into Life Eternal, and the Wicked into Everlasting Punishment.

3. Because some persons, through want of Education; weak­ness of apprehension, bashfulness, and other impediments, are un­able to express their minds in fit and composed words, and yet o­thers by roat, can easily speak more than they understand; we will therefore use the most familiar means, by easie questions and dis­course, to discern the meaning of such, not taking any for igno­rant, for want of apt expressions, nor accepting every one for [Page 9]competently knowing, who verbally can recite the fore-mention­ed particulars, but so far as we can discover, we will make their ignorance, or knowledge it self, the ground of our proceeding.

Unblameable Conversation, and Scandal.

1. SCandalous sinners, we agree, cannot be admitted to the Lords Supper, without great sin, and judgement to them­selves, danger by their example, of leavening the whole lump, de­filing the Ordinance, and very great dishonour to Christ; there­fore we resolve not to receive any of what degree or quality soe­ver, that is proved such, before satisfaction be given the Church, by evidence of serious Repentance.

2. We will not reject any from our own private apprehensi­ons, and suspitious, or others bare report, but where the matter of fact shall have some evident proof.

3. Because all sins are not alike evil, nor of a scandalous na­ture, therefore we shall distinguish of such sins, and according­ly proceed.

4. We agree, that no person ought to be judged scandalous for sins of such meer infirmity, and daily incursion, that all the Saints daily are subject to mourn for, and strive against.

5. But such we agree are scandalous persons, who continue in any course or way of open wickedness whatsoever, and particular­ly are evidently guilty of any of those wayes of sin, mentioned in Scripture as marks and characters of wicked persons, being utterly inconsistent with Holiness, saving Faith, true Repentance, new O­bedience, and coming up to the terms of the Covenant of Grace, sealed by this Sacrament, and thereby appearing in open rebellion against Christ the Ordainer of it, such as Idolaters, Sorcerers, For­nicators, Drunkards, Lyars, and any such kind of evil livers.

6. We agree, that a person is scandalous, by not only a way, or course of open wickedness, but likewise by any one single act, or work of manifest wickedness, whereby the people of Christ have that evil example set before them, and may be drawn into the like Rebellion and disobedience against Christ; such as a single act of Fornication, Drunkenness, Blasphemy, Idolatry, or any the like immorral and flagitious act.

To this we add (for further evidence) that innumeration of scandals by the Assembly in their Church-Government. The words are as followeth.

All scandalous Persons hereafter mentioned, are to be suspend­ed from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper; that is to say; all persons that shall blasphemously speak, or write any thing of God, his holy Word, or Sacraments; all Renouncers of the true Prote­stant Religion, professed in the Church of England; and all per­sons, who shall by preaching, or writing, maintain any such Er­rours, as do subvert any of those Articles, the ignorance where­of doth render any person excluded from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper; an Incestuous person, an Adulterer, a Fornicator, a Drunkard, a prophane Swearer, or Curser, one that hath taken away the life of any person maliciously; all Worshippers of Ima­ges, Crosses, Crucifixes, or Reliques; all that shall make Images, or Pictures of the Trinity, or of any person thereof; all Re­ligious Worshippers of Saints, Angels, or any meer creatures; any person that shall profess himself not to be in charity with his Neighbour; all persons in whom malice appeareth, and they re­fuse to be reconciled; any person that shall challenge any other person by word, message, or writing to fight, or that shall accept such challenge, and agree thereto; any person that shall know­ingly carry any Challenge, by word, message, or writing; any person that shall upon the Lords day use any Dancing, playing at Dice, or Cards, or any other Game, Masking, Wakes, Shooting, Bowling, Playing, playing at Foot-ball, Stool-ball, Wrestling, or that shall make resort to any Playes, Interludes, Fencing, Bull­baiting, Bear-baiting, or that shall use Hawking, Hunting, or Cour­sing, Fishing or Fowling; or that shall publikely expose any wares to sale, otherwise then is provided by an Ordinance of Parliament of the sixth of April, 1649. Any person that shall travell on the Lords Day without reasonable cause; any person that keepeth a known Stew, or Brothel-house, or that shall solicite the chastity of any person, for himself, or any other: any person, Father or Mo­ther, that shall consent to the Marriage of their Children to a Papist; or any person that shall marry a Papist; any person that shall repair for any advice to any Witch, Wizard, or Fortune­teller; any person that shall menace, or assault his Parents, or a­ny Magistrate, Minister, or Elder in the execution of his office a­ny person that shall be legally attained of Barrotry, Forgery, Ex­tortion, or Bribery.

Thus the Rubrick before the Communion; in these words; If any be an open and evil li­ver, so that the Congregation by him is offend­ed, or have done wrong to his Neighbour by deed, or word, the Curate having knowledge thereof, shall advertise him, in any wise, not to presume to the Lords Table, until he have openly declared himself to have truly repent­ed, and reformed his former life, that the Congregation may thereby be satisfied, which afore were offended, and that he have recom­penced the parties whom he hath done wrong unto, or at the least declare himself to be in full purpose so to do, so soon as conveniently he may. The same Order shall the Curate use with those, betwixt whom he perceiveth ma­lice and hatred to reign, not suffering them to partake of the Lords Table, until he knows them to be reconciled. And if one of the par­ties at variance be content to forgive from the bottom of his heart, all that the other hath trespassed against him, and to make amends for that himselfe hath offended, and that the o­ther party will not be perswaded to godly Ʋni­ty, but remain still in his frowardness, the Mi­nister, in that case, ought to admit the penitent, and not him that is obstinate. Thus the Primate of Armagh, Doctor Usher in his Reduction of Episcopacy, lately set out by Doctor Barnard. Prop. 1. in every Parish, the Rector or Incumbent Pastor, with the Church-Wardens and Sides-men, may eve­ry week take notice of such as live scandalously in the Congregation, and if by such admoni­tions, and reproofs, as their offence deserves, they cannot be reclaimed, they may be presented to the monethly Synod, and in the mean time de­barred by the Pastor from access to the Lords Table.6. We likewise agree, that there are scandalous Omissi­ons, as well as Commissions, for which such as are guilty of them, till their Repentance te­stified, and satisfaction given to the Church, they ought to be debarred from the Sacra­ment.

1. Of this sort we judge all voluntary & customary Omis­sions, open, and manifest to the Church of that worship in­joyned Christians, as their ho­mage to their Lord Christ for honouring him in the eyes of others, and conducing to their Union and Communion with God in Christ, in effectual Cal­ling, Conversion, and Edifica­tion to perfection.

2. Such we judge also scan­dalous Omissions, which are ordinary and open neglects of such duties, whereof we have particular patterns, and pra­ctises of the Saints, recorded in the Word, grounded on gene­ral precepts, and having a mo­ral and general equity in them, and so carrying a force and ver­tue of a Command, though not expresly enjoyned in Scripture.

3. We agree also there are scandals of Omission, respect­ing duties of the second Table, such as manifest, and voluntary neglects of performing those duties to our Neighbours, [Page 12]touching the saving of life, estate, liberty, and such high concern­ments in present danger and hazard, yet are wilfully neglected, when there is ability and opportunity of their being performed.

7. But for the more full enumeration of scandals, we agree to refer it to determination in our Meetings of Association.

8. We agree, not to admit to the Ordinance any such, who are not only guilty of the fore-mentioned scandals, but of any other evil of like nature and quality, until they have given sufficient evi­dence of their repentance, which must not be slight, and meerly verbal, but serious, so far as may be judged by us.

9. We resolve to use great caution, concerning sins that make men lyable to the Law, as to their lives, liberties, estates, or any o­ther case not provided for in this Agreement.

10. We resolve not to admit any to the Sacrament, but such a one that hath been first declared to those with whom he is to com­municate, that if any of them can object, and prove duly any thing against him, whereby he appears unfit to receive, that party may be kept from the Ordinance, till the Church or Congregation receive satisfaction.

11. We agree to require of all Governours of Families, that come to this Ordinance, to bring and keep their families under Catechizing, and to see they learn and understand the Principles of Christianity; and if they cannot instruct them themselves, to bring them to us to be instructed.

12. If any person that hath been admitted to the Lords Supper, shall at any time hereafter prove scandalous in Concersation, we will not receive such a one to the Sacrament, till he testifie Repen­tance, and satisfie the Church.

13. We resolve to take notice of such, who formerly have been admitted to the Lords Supper, and absent themselves from it, and to enquire into the reasons of their absence, and accord. ingly we will deal with them as we find just cause, that neither Christs Ordinances may seem to be despised, nor opportunity of doing good to their own souls neglected.

14. We agree, to be very cautious of admitting such of other Congregations, that occasionally offer themselves to receive the Lords Supper with any of us, that so no just offence may be given thereby, either to godly Ministers, or Congregations from which they come, neither to our own people that joyn with us in that Ordinance.

15. We agree, not to admit any to this Sacrament, that are members of other Congregations, without either a Testimonial from their Minister of their orderly walking, or that we can be assured both of their fitness for the Ordinance, and their not re­jecting the fellowship of that Congregation, whereof they be Members.

16. We agree, when in any of our Congregations, such as are rightly qualified for receiving the Lords Supper, shall be so few, as not to make up any competent number to joyn together in that Ordinance; we will then advise with the Association concerning the best expediency, as to uniting with some other Congregation, for that present necessity, yet only until that impediment shall be removed.

Government in particular.

1. WHereas we all agree, that every Minister of Christ is made by him a Ruler in that Congregation, or Church to which he is called: And many of us think according to Scripture, and the way of divers Reformed Churches, there should be some adjoyned to assist him in Government, called, Ru­ling Elders: Yet divers of us also are dissatisfied, as touching such Elders, but all of us also conceive it meet, and a Ministers Wis­dome, to see with more eyes than his own, and have the best help he can, both to acquaint him with the Conversation of his people, and to assist him in matters of concernment, that cannot so safely or conveniently be done by himself alone: Therefore we agree (as we shall see it feisable and fit, in respect of our people,) to de­sire the assistance of some godly and discreet persons of our respe­ctive Congregations, both for the acquainting us with the Con­versations of our people, and to be present sometimes at least with us as witnesses of our due, and equal proceeding, both in deal­ing with such as offer themselves to the Lords Supper: And like­wise in case of some admonitions to be given to offensive walk­ers; yet it shall be no hindrance to the work of Union, for any of us to do, as he is best perswaded in his own judgement, and may more conduce to peace and Edification.

2. We agree, that for the Exercise of Government in our par­ticular Congregations, it is to be managed by those that rule o­ver them in the Lord, and that therefore the Examination and Determination of things, in point of admissions to Ordinances, and refusals, together, with other Church acts, shall be per­formed and mannaged by them; yet not without notice given to the people, of what in matters of general concernment and conse­quence, is determined by them; that if any can upon grounds out of the Word object any thing, their satisfaction may be endea­voured, or the matter forborn.

3. In these, and all such cases, wherewith the people are made acquainted, we agree, according to Scripture Rules, practice of the Churches, and all Societies rightly ordered, there must be one to govern the matter of speech, and silence, of which the Pastour or Minister is to take care that order be maintained.

4. We agree, that to heal offences, and remove scandals out of the Church, Christ hath provided the remedy of admonition of offenders, and other Church censures, to which there ought to be no proceeding, but in case of known offence, and such as cannot be healed without censure; and offences, being some of them pri­vate, others publike, they require a proceeding according to their nature and quality.

5. In private offences, or scandals of one Brother against ano­ther, known if to more than the brother, yet but to few, we agree, that as Christian Inspection, and watchfulness over each other, must not degenerate into imprudent, rash, and uncharitable prying into others failings, so Brotherly Admonition may not at any time become unadvised, and unwarrantable medling; therefore we are in proceedings of this sort to follow, as other Scripture Rules, so espcially that Rule, Mat. 18.15. If thy Brother, &c. which offence or trespass we understand, not to be meant by our Lord, of such humane infirmities, that all men, even the best Saints on earth, in this state of imperfection, continually fall into; nor of such smaller faults or injuries, which Christian prudence, love, and peaceableness, require an over-looking and passing by, but the of­fence there grounding the admonition is a greater evil, endangering the soul of the doer, scandalizing the Brother seeing it, and lying as a stumbling stone in his Christian course, and such a sin, that for the nature of it, is fit, in case of insuccessefulness of admoni­tion to be brought before the Church.

6. Besides this Ecclesiastical Admonition, we yeeld there may be other Charitative Admonitions, which must not proceed to Ec­clesiastical censure.

7. Therefore for our own particulars, we shall be very tender and cautious, what either we our selves do, or encourage others unto in this case, but on such grounds as the Word will sufficiently warrant.

8. The offence or scandal against a Brother, being more than a meer humane infirmity; the offending Brother, by the Rule of Christ, ought to go to his Brother offended, and declare his Re­pentance to him, who thereupon is to forgive him; but if the Offender neglect that duty, the Brother offended, is to go person­ally to him, and tell him his fault between themselves alone; and if by that admonition the offence be healed, and the Brother gained, it is to be concealed for the future.

If he hear not this first admonition, the party offended is to take to him two or three witnesses, and if he then hear at the second admonition before witnesses, the matter ought to be kept secret by both the Admonisher, and the Witnesses; but if he again hear not before Witnesses, then the matter is to be told to the Church, which though some understand of Church Rulers, others of the Church of a particular Congregation, yet all do agree, that for order and decency, the accusation must not first be brought to the whole Congregation, but to the Rulers, or Over-seers; and therefore we resolve not to countenance the bringing of any such matter before the Congregation, till those that are set over them in the Lord, have first been acquainted with it, to whom belongs also the giving of all publike admonitions; if afterward the afore­said party upon proof of sin be admonished by the Church, and he hear not the Church, but is obstinate in the sin, then he ought to be accounted as an Heathen man, and a Publican; and excluded the Church.

Publike Scandal.

1. VVE agree, that a private Scandal, by obstinacy added to it against private admonition, and thereupon [Page 16]told, and proved to the Church, especially by that further obstina­cy against the Churches following admonition, becomes a publike scandal; but properly a publike scandal, is that which in its own na­ture at the very first is publike and notorious, known to many, if not to the whole Church, in which case the former proceeding by a private gradual admonition, is not requisite nor proper; but the Church, when an offence is thus publike, ought immediatly to deal with it according to the nature of the offence, either by the less censure of admonition, when the Scandal is less, which admonition may be once, or oftner, as need shall require, or by the greater Censure of Excommunication, when the scandal is greater and hei­nous, wherein we resolve faithfully to endeavour the discharge of that duty shall be incumbent on us.

2. If the party offending after due proceeding, shall manifest Repentance, and satisfie the Church, he is to be received into fel­lowship again.

3. To the satisfaction of the Church is required more evidence of Repentance after some greater sin is committed, or in case of relapsing readily into the same sin, for which he hath declared Re­pentance before the Church, or falling into some new scandalous evil, after a former censure, and re-admission into Communion, then in other cases. Therefore we agree to be very cautious and circumspect herein, that there be not an over-hasty re-admitting of any such, till due tryal of Reformation be made in some compe­tent measure of time.

4. When an offender is under Church-Censure, though the former Christian-Fellowship be denied to him, yet ought there to be all due wayes used to reduce him to Repentance towards God, and former Fellowship with the Church, as being a Member or person under cure. Therefore we resolve so long as opportunity and hope remain, to do our best endeavours (when any Member of our Congregations shall come under Censure) for the Recove­ry of such out of Satans Snare, and reducing them to the obedi­ence of Christ, and his Churches Fellowship.

5. Whereas such Members of the Church born and Baptized in it, (by vertue of the Covenant of their Parents, and so re­ceived into it) have many priviledges, which others not Church-Members have not, as their being in Covenant with God, having the Seal of the Covenant of Baptisme upon them, and so if they [Page 17]are not Regenerate, yet are in a more hopeful way of attaining Regenerating Graces, and all the spiritual blessings, both of the Covenant and Seal; and are also under Church-watch and over­sight, and consequently subject to such Gospel-order, as may con­duce to their spiritual good: Therefore we agree to endeavour to perform what we judge our duty towards them accordingly, as God shall afford us power and opportunity.

Brotherly Union, and Assistance.

1. BEcause we judge it lawful and necessary for Members of divers Churches, in sundry cases of common concernment, and greater weight, to hold correspondence and communion to­gether, we agree to associate our selves, and keep frequent meet­ings together, as occasion shall require.

2. We agree, that whereas Synods and Councils (wherein di­vers of several Churches meet for matters of common concern­ment, and greater importance) may Ministerially determine and order such things according to the Word of God, so their deter­minations and orders being consonant to it, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for the agreement with the Word, but for the power whereby they are made, as being an Ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his Word, so we judge our selves and our Congregations bound to follow whatsoever Advice, Direction, or Admonition (being consonant to the Word) any of us shall receive from the Brethren in their meetings of As­sociation with us.

3. If in our Associate Meetings any thing proposed, shall seem less convenient to any of us in particular concerned, yet if it be not evidently contrary to the Word of God, we resolve to yeeld to it, rather than to break peace, and to give an evil example of disorder by our dissenting.

4. If any Minister, or particular Church, shall obstinately, af­ter many endeavours, much waiting and patience, reject the coun­sel or admonition of the Association, in things manifestly agreea­ble with the Word of God, then we resolve to withdraw from that Minster, or Church, the Right Hand of Fellowship.

5. There being severab matters of concernment, wherein we may need the advice and help, not of one Association only, but the generall Association of the whole County: Therefore we agree to have divers Associations, some particular, others more general also of the whole County, where matters most weighty, and that cannot be determined in the less, may be deba­ted, and receive advice and direction in the greater.

6. We agree to dispose of our selves into divers divisions, each division consisting of such a number, as may conveniently meet together at fit times, and places, for consulting and ordering such matters of consequence, which shall be propounded according to such Rules as are hereafter expressed.

7. We agree for furtherance of desired general Union, and to shew our readiness, to give all due satisfaction, concerning the proceedings in our Associations, that we purpose not to exclude all those which are Members of our Congregations from being pre­sent at our Meetings, and therefore do desire the Members that are Communicants of our respective Congregations, to chuse and send (if they think meet) one or two fit persons among them, to be present at our Meetings, held either in their own divisions, or for the County in general.

8. It being agreeable to order, and conducing to Edification (as is expressed in the second Generall Proposition) for those that dwell together in one place to joyn together as Members of the same particular Church or Congregation; and it having been an occasion of difference among Brethren to receive Members out of other Churches or Congregations than their own. Therefore for the future, we agree, not to receive into our Churches or Con­gregations, those that live in other Congregations, except first they have no Minister of their own; or secondly, one that is scan­dalous; or thirdly, one that hath not competent ability for the Ministery: Fourthly, except any Minister himself shall be willing, that some of his Congregation shall joyn to another Congregati­on or Church, tendring his Reasons to be approved first by us in our Association, who upon the referring the matter to us, will not be rigid against any expediency, that may be without a manifest doing of injury, and breaking peace and unity.

9. We resolve (so far as any of us shall be interessed) to advise with the Association, concerning the justness or unjustness of ex­ception [Page 19]made against Ministers, in point of scandal, inability, or a­ny other matter that may be alledged by any that desire to be ad­mitted Members into other Congregations, than where they live, conceiving, that neither people desiring to depart from their Mini­sters, nor yet Ministers themselves, with whom they desire to joyn, are competent Judges in such cases; yet we agree (if the excepti­ons be approved by the Association) that it is fittest for the du­ties of mutual inspection, and edification, together with the avoid­ing disorder and offence, for people to joyn themselves to some near Congregation, that may be for the best conveniency, and where a godly able Minister is placed.

10. In case hereafter for peoples want of a godly able Minister,These three last Propositi­ons, although for some speci­al reasons thus passed; yet be­cause they may seem to bear upon the par­ties in this a­greement con­ceined, they will be redu­ced to a due moderation in our after As­semblies. we shall admit any of them to be Members of our Churches, or Congregations: Yet when once a godly able Minister is placed in that Congregation, then will we seriously advise such a person, whom in that case any of us have admitted, to joyn himself to that Minister, neither will any of us retain such a person any longer.

11. In case complaint be made of any Minister in Association with us, we the rest of the Ministers complained to engage to, hear it freely, and impartially; and if any such complaint be brought to the Association against any of us in particular, we do all engage freely to submit our selves to the admonition, reproof, censure, or advice of our Brethren of that Association, particular, or general, yet not as encouraging frivolous quarrellers between Minister and people, neither being hasty to receive an accusation against an El­der.

Excommunication.

THe Censure of Excommunication being in it self so weighty, and concerning, and that wherein none can be too over cau­tious, and circumspect, nor receive too great advice. Therefore we judge it very expedient, that consultation be had with the As­sociation in cases of this nature, before the Sentence of Excommu­nication be declared in any particular Church, or Congregation, and accordingly we will not any of us either declare the Sentence of Excommunication, or give consent for any other to declare it in [Page 20]our Congregations, or Churches, before advice first had from the Association, either the next particular Association, or when the weightinesse of the matter requires the assistance of the general Association, unlesse the case be so easie, and evident, that there needs no consultation.

Yet we agree that whosoever shall be duly cast out of any one particular Church, we will look on that person, as cast out of all Churches, and accordingly will decline fellowship with him, till he testifie serious repentance, and be received into the Churches com­munion again.

Ordination.

THe different perswasions among Ministers, and People, about the Call, and Ordination of Ministers having been such an oc­casion of difference among Ministers themselves, distraction a­mong people, disadvantage to the free course of the Gospel, of­fence to the weak, and opportunity to adversaries, to advance their destructive designes against the reformed Religion, and a­greement therein being so necessary, both for uniting our selves, and people together, joynt carrying on the work of Christ, and disappointing the adversaries of Religion, and Reformation: Therefore we hold forth this following accord for the present, and shall endeavour in our Meetings of Association all further, lawful and due agreement, as God herein shall guide us.

1. Seeing that Ordination of Men to the Ministry is an insti­tution of Christ so necessary, that in an ordinary way, none can preach as a Pastor, or administer the Sacraments without it, and because Admission, and Ordination of a Minister, is a work that cannot have too great care, and caution about: Therefore when a Minister is to be ordained among us, we agree, that such as are of the Ministery faithful, and able, be intrusted, and imployed in the tryal, and approbation of him, and in the work of Ordinati­on, which Ordination (the most of us judge) to be that act of Ministers, whereby a fit person, first duly tryed, and approved by them, or some of them, is solemnly set apart, and appointed to the Ministery, and sent into the Lords work by such acts, and in [Page 21]such manner, as is peculiar, and proper for that setting apart, ap­pointing, and sending. Namely, by such suteable prayer, with fast­ing, and laying their hands on him, as is according to the Go­spel; which laying on of hands, being the universal practice of the Church of Christ from the Apostles time to this present age, grounded on Scripture Rule, and Patterne, we earnestly desire, that all of us might unanimously, and constantly practice, when occasions are offered we likewise for due, and more orderly pro­ceeding agree, that when any person desires to be ordained a Mi­nister among us, that he do apply himself to that particular Asso­ciation, wherein he is to exercise his Ministery; and therefore the Moderator of that Association, assisted with some of the Bre­thren, appointed by the Association to joyn with him, shall take care that a due tryal be made of the persons fitness, according to the direction given by the Assembly in that case (or at least to the substance of it) and such Brethren as shall be chosen by that Association after the aforesaid tryal, and also approbation of him, shall ordain him in manner as is fore-expressed; and likewise in that place, and before that Congregation, where the party is to exercise his publike Ministery, unless for better conveniency some other place adjoyning (and to which the people he is to take charge of, may come, and be there present) shall be chosen, that so both Minister and people may together be instructed in, and exhorted to their mutual duties.

We agree, though the most of us judge the way of Ordination should be performed, as is formerly expressed; yet if some Bre­thren among us are not at present throughly satisfied therein, we are willing to keep union with them, if that Ordination among them be performed by ordained Ministers, solemnly setting a part a person tryed, according to the substance of the directions of Tryal expressed, and appointing him to the Ministery with sutable prayer, and fasting, and there shall be endeavour, (as is formerly provided,) of further Unity in practise in this particular in our As­sociate meetings.

We will also seriously labour a Closure in affection, as well as in judgement and practice, and to that end we resolve to lay aside all names, and termes of difference, forbearing so much as may be, all such things which may occasion mistakes, jealousies, or dissa­tisfaction, [Page 22]and practising whatsoever may encrease and confirm Brotherly Union.

Lastly, in respect of the Civil State, we will avoid in our Asso­ciate meetings, and otherwise, all such things which may disturb or prejudice the quiet thereof, endeavouring, by what lies in our sphear and power, to promote the publike peace and welfare.

Consentimus omnes nos infra scripti.

I believe in God the Fa­ther Almigh­ty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, And in Jesus Christ his on­ly Sonne our Lord, which was concei­ved by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Ma­ry, suffe­fered under Pontius Pi­lare, was cru­cified, dead and buried, he desconded into holl, the third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended in­to Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence [Page 24]he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost. The holy Catholick Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, The Resurre­ction of the Body, and life everlasting. Amen.

I do heartily take this one God, for my only God, and chief good, and I take this Jesus Christ for my only Saviour and Redeemer, and this Holy Ghost for my Sanctifier, by his grace giving up my self wholly to this one God, to love and obey him sincerely, and faithfully, according to all his Laws contained in the holy Scriptures, and all this unto the Death.

And also I consent, and resolve in the strength of Christ, to hold constant Communion with the Church of Christ in the publike Wor­ship of God, and to submit to the Discipline and Government which Christ hath ordained for his own glory, and his peoples good.

And that I may have the opportunity of enjoying of these privi­ledges for the advancement of mine obedience, I resolve, and promise to submit to the Ministerial Guidance and over-sight exercised, ac­cording to the Rules of the Word in this Congregation, and to the Bro­therly advice and admonition of Fellow Christians here.

1. I Believe that there is one only true God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which are three distinct persons, and each of them God, and all of them that one and the same God, Infinite, Eternal, Unchangeable in being, and all perfection.

2. I believe, that this God is the Fore-ordain­er, Maker, Preserver, and Governour of all things, according to the Counsel of his own Will.

3. I believe, that God made man upright after his own Image, in Knowledge Righteousness, and Holiness, who by transgressing the Law of his Creator, fell from that holy and happy estate, and brought himself, with his whole posterity, into an estate of sin and death.

4. I believe, that man thus fallen, not being able to deliver himself from this estate of misery; God so loved the world, that he sent forth his only be­gotten Son, Jesus Christ, who took to himself our nature, and became man, being conceived by the Holy Ghost in the Womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, who being per­fect God, and perfect man in one person, free from sin, even in his humane nature and life, having ful­filled all Righteousness, gave himself a Sacrifice for our sins, and a Ransome for us, by suffering the wrath of God, & the death of the Cross, to re­concile us to God, and being buried, yet so trium­phed over death, that he rose again the third day, and afterwards ascended into heaven, where he now remaineth, ruling in equal power and Glory with the Father, and making Intercession for us, whence he shall come again at the appointed day to judge the World in Righteousness.

5. I believe, that God the Holy Ghost, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, hath ful­ly [Page 24]revealed the truth, and will of God, contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, for a perfect, perpetual, and only Rule of Faith and obedience, and doth effectually apply to his Elect, by working Faith in them the saving bene­fits of that Redemption, purchased by the Blood of Christ, which precious benefits are dispenced by the same Spirit in the use of those holy Ordinan­ces, which Christ hath instituted in his written Word, for the begetting and perfecting grace to be carefully observed till his second coming.

6. I believe, that this Holy Spirit dwelleth and worketh in all that are drawn to believe in Christ, who being united to him, the Head, maketh up one holy Catholike Church, which is his body, the members whereof, having fellowship with the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost, by Faith, and with one another in love, do receive here on earth forgiveness of sin, with the life of Grace in Christ, and at the last Resurrection of the bodies of all men, then dead, shall for ever enjoy the life of glory with God in Heaven, when the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment in hell.

I I Believe that there is one only true God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which are three distinct persons, each of them God, and all of them that one and the same God; Infinite, Eternal, Unchangeable in being and all perfection.

I believe, Mark 9.24. And straight way the Father of the child cryed out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe, &c.

That there is one only true God, Deut. 6.4. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; Isa. 44.6. 1 Cor. 8.4.Isa. 44.6. 1 Tim. 2.5. There is none other God but one; and ver. 6. to us there is but one God, 1 Tim. 2.5.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,Heb. 1.3. John 14.26. compared with 15.26. which are three di­stinct persons, Matth. 28.19. Go ye therefore and teach all Nati­ons, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 2 Cor. 13.14. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.

Each of them God, 1 Cor. 8.4. To us there is but one God the Father, &c. Rom. 9.5. Christ is over all,1 Cor. 8.6. 2 Cor. 3.17. God blessed for e­ver. Acts 5.3, 4. But Peter said; Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lye to the Holy Ghost, &c. Thou hast not lyed unto men, but unto God.

And all of them that one and the same God; 1 John 5.7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.

Infinite, 2 Chron. 6.18.Job 11.7. &c. Psal. 45.3. with Psa. 139.7, 8, 9. But will God in very deed dwell with men upon the earth? Behold heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee.

Eternal, Deut. 33.27. The Eternal God is thy refuge, Psal 90.2. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.

Unchangeable, Mal. 3.6. I am the Lord, I change not,Exod. 3.14. James 1. v. 17. With him there is no variableness, neither shadow of change.

In being and all perfection,Exod. 34.5, 6, 7 1 Chron. 16.27. with 29.11. Mat. 5.48. with 6.13. Job 37.23. Acts 7.2. Isa. 46.10. Eph. 1.11. Gen. 17.1. I am the Almighty God, Rom. 9.5. Who is over all, God blessed for ever.

I believe that God is the Fore-ordainer, Maker, Preserver, and Governour of all things, according to the counsel of his own will.

I believe that God is the Fore-ordainer, Prov. 19.21. There are many devices in a mans heart; nevertheless, the Counsel of the Lord, that shall stand, Acts 17.26. And hath made of one blood all Nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.

Maker, Gen. 1.1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, Acts 17.24. God that made the world, and all things therein, &c.

Preserver, Neh. 9.6. Thou, even thou art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven,Heb. 1.3. the heaven of heavens, with all their Host, the earth, and all things that are therein,—and thou preservest them all, Col. 1.17. By him all things consist.

And Governour of all things, Psal. 103.19. His Kingdome ru­leth over all.Dan. 4.34, 35. Mat. 10.29, 30. Acts 17.28. John 5.17.

According to the counsel of his own will, Eph. 1.11.

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predesti­nated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

II I believe that God made man upright, after his own Image, in knowledge, righteousnesse and holinesse, who by transgressing the Law of his Creator, fell from that holy and happy estate, and brought himself with his whole posterity into a state of sin and death.

I believe that God made man upright, Eccles. 7.29. God hath made man upright: But they have sought out many in­ventions.

After his own Image, Gen. 1.27. In knowledge, Coloss. 3.10. and have put on the new man,Gen. 3.6, 7, 16, 17, 18. Rom. 5.18, 19. with Rom. 3.9, 10, 11, 12, 23. which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him; Righteousness and holi­ness, Eph. 4.24. Put on the new man, which after God is crea­ted in righteousness and true holiness.

Who by transgressing the Law of his Creator, fell from that holy, and happy estate, Eccles. 7.29. God hath made man up­right: But they have sought out many inventions.

And brought himself with his whole posterity into a state of sin and death, Rom. 5.12. sin entred into the world,Psal. 51.5. John 3.3, 5, 6. Eph. 2.1, 2, 3. and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

III I believe that man thus fallen, not being able to deliver him­self from this state of misery, Rom. 5.6. for when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly,Eph. 2.1. Rom. 8.3. for what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh.

God so loved the world that he sent forth his only begotten Son Jesus Christ,] Joh. 3.16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him,Gal. 4.4, 5. 1 John 4.9. should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Who took to himself our nature, Heb. 2.14. for as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy, &c.

And became man, 1 Tim. 2.5. there is one God, and one Me­diatour between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Being conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, Matth. 1.18.20, 21. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise.Luke 1.27, 31, 35, 42. When as his Mother Mary was espoused to Joseph (before they came together) she was found with child of the Holy Ghost—for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost, and she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, &c.

Made of her substance, Rom. 1.3. Concerning his Sonne Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, Gal. 4.4. In the fulnesse of time God sent his Son made of a woman, and borne of her, Matth. 1.25.—she brought forth her first-borne Son, and he called his name Jesus. Luke 2.7.

Who being perfect God and perfect man in one person, Matth. 1.23. Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Sonne, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, John 1.14. Rom. 9.5. 1 Tim. 3.16. which being in­terpreted, is God with us.

Free from sin even in his humane nature and life,Heb. 7.26. 1 Pet. 2.22. 1 John 3.5. 2 Cor. 5.21. for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we, &c. Heb. 4.15. he was without sin.

Having fulfilled all righteousnesse, Matth. 3.15. with 5.17. Jesus said unto him suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousnesse.

Gave himself a sacrifice for our sins, and a ransome for us, Eph. 5.2. And walk in love as Christ also hath loved us,Heb. 9.14.26.28. Mat. 20.28. 1 Tim. 2.6. 1 Pet. 3.18. Mat. 26.38. and 27.46. Gal. 3.13. Phil. 2.8. Rom. 3.24, 25, 26. with 5.9. Heb. 2.17. 1 Pet. 3.18. and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smel­ling savour.

By suffering the wrath of God, and the death of the Crosse, 1 Pet. 2.21, 24. Christ hath suffered for us, &c.—who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, &c.

To reconcile us to God, 2 Cor. 5.18, 19, 21. All things are of God, who hath reconciled us unto himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, &c.

And being buried,Acts 2.23, 24, 27. Col. 2.15. Heb. 2.14. yet so triumphed over death, that he rose a­gain the third day.

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; And afterwards ascended up into heaven,Luke 24.51. Acts 1.9, 11. Mark 16.19. after the Lord had spoken unto them he was received up into heaven, &c.

Where he remaineth,Rom. 8.34. Act. 3.21. whom the heavens must re­ceive until the time of the restitution of all things.

Ruling in equal power and glory with the Father,Col. 3.1. Eph. 1.20, 21, 22. which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church;

And making intercession for us,Heb. 7.25. Rom. 8.34. who is even at the right hand of God, who maketh intercession for us.

Whence he shall come again,1 Thes. 4.14, 15, 16. Act. 1.11. this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

At the appointed day to judge the world in righteousness,2 Thes. 1.7, 8, 9, 10. Acts 10.42. with 17.31. John 5.22, 27. for the Father judgeth no man: but hath committed all judgement unto the Sonne—And hath given him authority to execute judgement, &c.

IIII I beleeve that God the holy Ghost who proceedeth from the Father and the Sonne, Gal. 4.6. John 15.26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spi­rit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall, &c.Luke 24.27.44 Rom. 3.22 with 15.4. 2 Tim. 3.15, 16, 17. 2 Pet. 1.19, 20, 21. Ephes. 2.20. Deut. 9.2. Rev. 22.18, 19 Ephes. 2.8. Acts 13.48. Joh. 6.37, 39, 44, 45. 2 Thes. 2.13. Tit. 3.4, 5, 6, 7 Eze. 36 26, 27 Nehem. 8.1, 2, 3 Isa. 59.21. Acts 15.21. with 17.11. Mat. 15.10. Mark 7.14. Rev. 1.7, 11. Mat. 28.19, 20 1 Cor. 12.28, 29.

Hath fully revealed the truth and will of God contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, Luke 1.70. as he spake by the mouth of his holy Prophets, which have been since the world began:

To be a perfect, perpetual, and onely rule of Faith and obedi­ence, Psal. 19.7. The Law of the Lord is perfect, Isa. 8.20. to the Law and to the Testimony, Luke 16.29. They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them.

And doth effectually apply to his elect, by working Faith in the saving benefits of that redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, Eph. 1.5, 7, 9.

Which precious benefits are dispenced by the same Spirit, 1 Cor. 6.11. But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

In the Use of those holy Ordinances, John 5.39. Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testifie of me.

Which Christ hath instituted in his written Word, Eph. 4.11.12. And he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors, and Teachers; for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministery, for the edifying of the body of Christ.2 Tim. 4.2. John 6.44, 45. Acts 12.37. with 10.44. & 26.18. 1 Pet. 1.23, 25.

For the begetting, Rom. 10.14, 15, 17. how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a Preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, how beautifull are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of Peace, and bring glad tidings of good things? So then, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

And encreasing Grace,James 1.18. 1 Thes. 5.19, 20. Acts 2.42, 46. 1 Cor. 10 16, 17 with 11.20, 23. 2 Pet. 2.2. As new-born-babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.

Carefully to be observed, Isa. 2.3. Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of [Page 30] Jacob, Luke 4.16. Acts 13.14, 15, 16, 42, 43, 44, 1 Thes. 5.20. 1 John 4.6. and he will teach us his waies, and we will walk in his paths.

Heb. 10.24, 25. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love, and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of our selves together as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approach­ing.

Till his second coming, 1 Cor. 11.26. for as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this Cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come.Matth. 28 20. Eph. 4.12, 13. Heb. 2.25. Rom. 8.9, 11. 1 Cor. 3.16. 2 Tim. 1.14.

I beleeve that the holy Spirit dwelleth, John 14.17. even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: But ye know him, for he dwel­leth with you, and shall be in you, and worketh, Joh. 16.13. he will guide you into all truth.

In all that are drawn to beleeve in Christ;Rom 8.14. Phil. 2.13. Heb. 13, 21. 1 Joh. 3.23, 24. with 4.15.16. Ephes. 3.16.17. That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthned with might by his Spirit in the inner-man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by Faith, &c. Who being united to him their Head,Eph. 5.23.30. Joh. 17.21.22.23. that they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us,Eph. 1.10.22, 23. with chap. 2.19.20. & 3.15. & 4.12, 13, 14, 15. & 5.23. with Heb. 12.23. &c.—that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them, and them in me, that they may be made perfect in one, &c.

Make up one Catholick Church, which is his body, 1 Cor. 12.12, 13, 14, 27. For as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that one body being many are one body: so also is Christ.

For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit; for the body is not one member, but many. Now ye are the body of Christ, and mem­bers in particular.1 Cor. 1.9. 2 Cor. 13.14. Phil. 2.2. 1 Cor. 2.12. 2 Cor. 4.13. John 17.20, 21 Eph. 3.17. with 4.4, 5, Acts 2.42, 44, 46. Rom. 12.5, 6. 1 Cor. 12.25 26, 27. Gal. 6.2. Eph. 4.2, 3, 4, 15, 16. Phil. 2.1, 2, 3, 4 Acts 10.4. and 26.18. Col, 1.14. Rom. 8.1, 2. John 15.4, 5. Gal. 5.25. 1 John 5.12. 1 Cor. 15.51, 52. 1 Thes. 4.16, 17. Luke 12.32. Col. 5.4 Rom. 6.8. 1 Tim. 2.11, 1 Thes. 4.17. John 1.3, 2. Matth. 25.46. 2 Thes. 1.8 9. Rev. 22.8. Mark 9.24. 1 Pet. 3.15. The members whereof having fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by Faith, 1 John 1.3. Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

And with one another in love, 1 John 1.7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.

Do receive here on earth forgiveness of sins, Eph. 1.7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgive­ness [Page 31]of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

With the life of grace in Christ, Ezek. 26.27. A new heart will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my Statutes, and ye shall keep my Judgements, and do them.

Gal. 2.19, 20. For I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God; I am crucified with Christ, neverthelesse I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the Faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me.

And at the last Resurrection of the bodies of all men then dead, Acts 24.15. there shall be a Resurrection of the dead, both of the just, and of the unjust.

Shall ever enjoy the life of glory with God in heaven, Mat. 5.8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, Mat. 25.46.—But the righteous into Life Eternal.

When the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment in hell, Psal. 9.17. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the peo­ple that forget God.

I do heartily take, Is. 44.5. One shall say I am the Lords, and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel. John 1.12. But as many as know him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.

This one God for my only God,Exod. 20 2, 3. Josh. 24.21, 22 24. Psa. 48.14. with 63.1. Psa. 4.6, 7. Deut. 26.17. Thou hast a­vouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his waies, and to keep his Statutes, &c.

And chief good, Psal. 73.25.26. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.

And this Jesus Christ for my only Saviour and Redeemer,Job 19.25, 26, 27. Luke 1.47. John 20.28. Rom. 8.2. Gal. 2.20. 1 Pet. 1.2. Act. 4.12. Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none o­ther name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.

And this Holy Ghost for my Sanctifier, 1 Pet. 1.22. Seeing ye have purified your selves, in obeying the truth through the Spirit, &c. Psal. 51.11. Take not thy holy Spirit from me.

By his grace giving up my self wholly to this one God, 2 Cor. 8.5.Deut. 26.17. Isa. 44.5. [Page 32]First,Luke 10.27. Deut. 6.5. Acts 11.23. Joh 24.15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24.1 Sam 12.24. Luke 1.6. Deut. 4.2. with 5.32 & 12.32. Rev. 22.18. Job 14.14. Psal. 48.14. Luke 1.74, 75. Revel. 2.10. Psal. 119.106, 115. Esa. 2.3. Mich 4.2. Acts 2.42, 44, 46. Heb. 10.23, 25 Rom. 12.3, 4, 5 to the 10.17.2 Thes. 3.6, 11, 12, 14. Col 2.5.1 Cor. 11, 12, 13. with ch. 14.32, 33, 34, 37, 40. they gave their own selves to the Lord.

To love and obey him sincerely and faithfully, Mat. 22.37. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

According to all his Laws contained in the holy Scripture, Psa. 119.6. Then shall I not be confounded, when I have respect unto all thy Commandements.

And all this unto the death, Psal. 119.112.117. I have enclined my heart to perform thy Statutes alway, even unto the end. — I will have respect unto thy Statutes continually.

Also I consent and resolve in the strength of Christ, Josh. 24.15. I and my houshold will serve the Lord.

To hold constant Communion with the Church of Christ in the publick Worship of God, Jer. 50.5. They shall aske the way to Zion with their faces thitherward; saying, Come, and let us join our selves to the Lord in a perpetual Covenant that shall not be forgotten.

And to submit to the Government and discipline which Ghrist hath ordained: If thy Brother shall trespasse against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone, if he shall hear thee thou hast gained thy Brother; but if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that, &c. and if he shall neglect to hearken, then tell it unto the Church; but if he shall neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as a Heathen man, and a Publican.

For his own glory and his peoples good) 2 Cor. 10.8. For though I should boast more of our Authority which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for destruction; and Chap. 13.10. The power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.

And that I may have the opportunity of the enjoyment of these priviledges for the advancement of mine obedience, I resolve and promise, Isai. 44.5. One shall say I am the Lords, and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and another shall subscribe with his hands unto the Lord, &c. 2 Cor. 8.5. And this they did; first gave themselves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God, 2 Cor. 9.13. They glorifie God, for your professed subjection to the Gospel of Christ.

To submit to the Ministerial Guidance and over-sight, exercised [Page 33]according to the rule of the Word in this Congregation, Acts 14.22. And when they had ordained them Elders in every Church, Acts 20.28. Take heed therefore unto your selves, and to all the Flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you over-seers, to feed the Church of God, Heb. 13.17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves to such, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you,

And to the Brotherly advice and admonition of fellow-Christians here, Rom. 15.14. I am perswaded that you are filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another, Col. 3.16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdome, teaching and admonishing one another, Jude 20. Ye beloved, building up your selves in your most holy Faith, —keep your selves in the love of God, and of some have compassion, making a difference; others save with fear pulling them out of the fire, 1 Thess. 5.11. Com­fort your selves together, and edifie one another, Heb. 3.16. Ex­hort one another daily, Heb. 10.24. Let us consider one another, to provoke to love and to good works.

The Exhortation to Union.

IT will readily be yielded, that the great work of Christians here, is to advance to their utmost, the Superlative interest of Christ his Kingdome and Glory. That the way conducing here­unto lies; First, (for a sure foundation) to begin with a Totall and free subjecting themselves to Christ: Then for suller furthe­rance, to endeavour after the largest Heart, and most publike Spi­rit, for doing very much for Christ.

And (as a yet more full and proportionate meanes,) to put themselves into the best posture of the fullest and firmest Union and Conjunction, for exalting together of the Name and Cause of Christ; without which Generall Union, neither the Churches Edification, Reformation, or Preservation, can be sufficiently provided for, as necessarily requiring a conjunction of hearts, knit together in Love, of heads united in counsels and con­trivances, and of hands affording their best assistance and help.

Among others, there are these three things in the reformed Churches, which are the great Dolenda, the greatly to be be­wailed.

  • 1. That great defect and want of Union and good correspon­dencies for mutuall help.
  • 2. That height and depth of hazzard and danger, they daily run by that want of good Union.
  • 3. That so great, so great neglect of applying any just and proportionate remedy to heal divisions and prevent the dan­ger.

Certainly 'tis no small one, but one of the great scarrs seen this day in the Face of the Protestant Churches, that sinfull divi­sion and want of Union, which interrupts those good correspon­dencies and joynt actings thereupon, to the securing and propa­gating the Protestant interest, that would upon conjunction fol­low.

Our Lord indeed tells us, Luke 16. The Children of this world are wiser in their generation, then the Children of Light: and besides former, our own present age and experience, do abun­dantly prove and seale unto it.

Divers adverse parties, though smaller, they can hit it, they can be closely united among themselves, and strongly combined against the reformed; But Papists, (the greatest enemies, and the greatest party) are the most eminently and observedly prudent and wise (as to matter of Union, and combination against the re­formed.)

They (though so scattered over the earth, as to places of habi­tation;) yet are all one in heart, for to unite still strongly against the Protestants. And for a spring and feeder of all their affairs and dangerous actings, they have one chief (the deepest and most impenetrable) counsel; They have the choicest instruments, ex­actest correspondencies, surest intelligences, and the most equall and unwearied prosecutions of their grand design, the propa­gating of their own, and extirpating of the reformed party and way.

But the Protestants (though for numbers no whit despicable, and by good conjunction would be sussiciently formidable) are so defective towards themselves, as they neither do, nor will piece together in any entire and generall Union, for Counsels, cor­respondencies, and joynt prosecution of their own interest and preservation. And as this [...] and inconsistency, becomes a daily derision and reproach among their adversaries, and makes them look upon the Protestants, as a very simple party, and want­ing that wisdome of self-preservation by union; So it is the great ground given them, to place their destructive Engines, carry on their mines, and lay their trains.

But for any just and speedy remedy as yet undertaken effectu­ally, This is rather the Object of our Desires, Prayers, and Tears, then of our Hopes: and not to be expected untill God rebuke that spirit of division (gone out among the Churches) breathe a Spirit of Love and Unity, and bow the clashing interests of States and Kingdoms, into a due subserviency to that Supream interest of the Kingdome of Jesus Christ.

When therefore disunion and division is so great a scarr in the face of the Churches in generall, It can be no small blemish in a­ny [Page 36]particular Nations and Churches: but is more especially so, in this Nation of ours.

That so many Nations divided in situation, and of such diffe­rent Languages and interests, more especially, do not so perfectly unite, is not altogether so strange: But for those of our Nation, (and which formerly were so united,) to be so rent and torn in pieces, and so remain without a healing up into unity; to be­hold the great and growing divisions among us, to hear the con­tinuall scorns and derisions of the adversaries: to foresee that danger that heightens, and the ruine that hastens towards us, by our enemies close conjunctions, deep contrivances, and daily at­tempts of so many Parties, especially the Popish, who are both greatly encreased and encouraged, to act and strive with all their artifices and industries to make our divisions subservient to their own destructive purposes against us: And, which adds no little weight to all the former, for our selves to find it, and our ad­versaries thereby to observe, their great advantages by that great defect of any adequate meanes yet used; yea, and withall, so ge­nerall a heartlesness unto any such way, which may timely secure and relieve us,

— Pudet haec opprobria nobis,
Et dici potuisse & non potuisse refelli.

This is and must be for a Lamentation.

When therefore our distempers and dangers are from divisi­on: The remedy must needs be by a just and generall Union, especially of the conscientious and godly of different perswa­sions.

There are three wayes may be thought of for effecting U­nion.

The first is that, which though it may greatly be feared, yet cannot justly be desired, and that is the Storme and Flame of Persecution, to drive and warm us into a willingness to unite. This, although persecution sometimes hath brought about; yet now if persecution should arise, it must in most probability be from the Popish party, which is no way likely to occasion it. For now the way of the Papists, is not that of Queen Maries time, by a juridical Triall, condemnation and execution, by burnings, [Page 37]and such like: But by suddain Massacres and exposing to cold, nakedness, hunger, and all extremities.

This is the new way of the Papists, a proof of which we have in those three successive Instances, First, in that of Ireland, and then divers years after, in that of Poland, and that of Piedmont. These tell us plainly, what course they will run, if once oppor­tunity be given them. Then when the sword and violence hath taken away those that come to their hand; The inquisition will come to find out others that have escaped and are undis­covered

Therefore if the Popish party so encrease and are so busie dai­ly (as on very good grounds it is apprehended) there is great need of a present, firm, generall Union, to counterwork them: and the Lord set this home on the heedless and listless Spirits in this Nation.

2. A second way for procuring Union, is by the Civill Magi­strates Interposition, by setling such order and government as may gather and glue together, the broken and divided parties a­mong us. But this way though it is not desired at all by divers, who like no imposition, but a liberty to do as they please, yet if the civill power would please to give their assistance and en­couragement unto it; how soon might a happy Union be effect­ed, and the building of Gods House would bring a blessing, and greatly conduce to settle their own affairs. But when a dis­ease is mortall and high, the remedy must not be remote and de­layed: if at present this will not be done, we had need do that we can do.

3. There is a third way, (The way at present to effect a good and necessary Union) which is by our own free choice or volun­tary conjunction and association, in some just and moderate way, respectively to the godly and peaceable of different perswa­sions.

Continuance of disunion and every ones going his own way, as the best way of peace and preservation, cannot nor will not in the conclusion, be a relief and remedy to out distempers and dan­gers. Whatsoever may be said for a necessity of indulgence, the good party in the Nation must come in to some fit Union and accord. For such as conceive dis-union and division best, [Page 38]we may as soon credit them, as we would agree to him, who should affirm, that burnt tow is best to make Cord-age, or Roes of sand are fittest to make Cables for Ships that toss at Sea.

Or to say we need do no more then either lie still, or only act in our own private capacities, in our own particular places, this will avail us little.

For if the Ship be sinking, and so all engaged to endeavour the saving of it, it is no time for any particular person to lie sleeping like Jonas in the sides of the Ship; or to be busie in his private Cabbin to order his own affairs.

If a Country be invaded with an Army, it is not fit for the Inhabitants to run into holes and hide themselves, as the Israe­lites did, when the Philistines were up against them. Neither is that enough in this case, for every man to take up Armes, and then stand in his own door only; that may help against the ap­proach of the thief, but not against an enemy in a Body. But as the enemies strength and the Countryes danger is by that of many single persons joyned in one Army; so the single per­sons of the endangered Country must unite (as Saul and Jo­nathan did in that invasion by the Philistines) there must be Army against Army for the present security. The way left us at present is Union, by a free and voluntary associating, both to heal Divisions, and defend our selves against them that are all united, and joyntly acting against the Reformed Re­ligion.

But this must be a good and a just, an entire and extensive full union; so as the Remedy be not below, or short any way of the Malady.

A good union by the Good, Good men sincerely and cordi­ally closing for carrying on the work.

A due and entire union made by persons of a sutable due Go­spel temper, of Sobriety, Moderation and Discretion, that may thereby evenly joyne and glue together.

Rigidness and Harshness of spirit will not suit this work; as churlish Iron, and soft pliant Gold, will not agree in a cu­rious frame, for an exquisite and continuing motion: Nor harsher matter, with softer silk in the same piece; which will [Page 39]not wear or hold well, but soon fret out: Gospel calmness and gentleness, Humility and Yieldingness must make a due union.

But yet there is need also of Resolution, firmness of purpose, Confidence and Courage, to make the strong soder of a firm and lasting union.

Men must not be of a dubious Hesitancy, of a suspicious timo­rous temper, full of Doubts, Jealousies, endless Dissatisfactions, and continuall Unevennesses: but Fortes & Tenaces propositi:] that know first what they do, and then fix and hold up in evenness and equalities. For when the Remedy is proper, it must also be constantly used, so long as Necessity calls.

The persons concerned, that should contribute to, and concurre in this union, are both Ministers and people.

Ministers leading, and people willingly following, both to­gether coming in to help close up the breach, which the high-seas and spring tides of Distempers have made upon us. First, Ministers of the Gospel, the Gospel of peace and union; Mini­sters that are publike persons, and more peculiatly concern­ed.

These should specially be healers of Breaches in Churches, and among the people of Jesus Christ.

They are by Office Guides and Leaders. First, To lead, by preaching Christians into union, shewing the Gospel-duty, the Necessity, Excellency, and Utility; To set home all Gospel Di­rections, and Inducements upon the Consciences and Hearts of Christians, and do all they can to light, warm and winne them to it.

And they are likewise to guide and leade by example, Give the fairest Copie, Set the most excellent president of endeavours, Industry, and Zeal for godly unity. If Ministers leade not, will their people begin alone? If they are listless, will people be lively and active? If they are of a low narrow cold cowardly spi­rit, will people in probability be of an high heroical zealous tem­per? No, the Ministers Light must help to direct, their Heat to warm, their Resolution and Zeal to help others to be resolute and zealous.

And people also should design and endeavour union, to co­operate [Page 40]and go along with their godly Ministers in good and ne­cessary wayes, Not neglect their Ministers herein to let them go and act alone: but honour them with yieldings to, and followings of them in what they follow Chirst.

Formerly what a spirit of willingness was there to hear, learn, believe, and do as their godly Ministers guided and per­swaded? What a Gospel yieldingness and great sequaciousness was seen among people, that turned greatly to their own Edi­fication, and the great Comfort, and high encouragement of their godly Ministers.

Christs Ministers they have ever been Satans great eye-soar and speciall envy, and Satan hath ever endeavoured to make their credit run as low as he could, that the Gospel might run the lower, and be glorified the less in peoples hearts. A man is so far passable with others, as he hath esteem and credit in their hearts, and will accordingly prevail with them. It is Sa­tans grand design, to make the Reputation of the Ministers of Christ run low, that thereby the Doctrine they bring, might be little regarded.

Gods design in Scripture, and Christs great drift in the Go­spel, is to set up the Ministers very high in peoples hearts; (that they should have them in singular Honour for their work sake) knowing this would exalt both his Word, and himself also. But this hath been Satans design, and effected more of late then ever, since the Reformation; yea other Ages: scarce any have exceeded ours. But the loss is least to Ministers, and most to the Hearts, that suffer themselves to be prejudiced against them. The Word loses its efficacy, but the people the profit, and their souls into the bargain also, if they look not to it. But as Mini­sters of Christ must leade, and let their Light shine before their people; so people must let in their light, and suffer themselves to be guided and perswaded, as for their own Edification, so Ministers great encouragement and comfort. Thus in this great work of Union, both should help and encourage each other, and then the Adversaries may be disappointed, and in time our Divi­sions healed up.

Some looking into the obstacles, likely to hinder Union, a­mong those of different judgements gave (some years since) [Page 41]among others) a matter of ten Reasons; which though not in the same method, nor in all the words at length, yet is thought not amiss to mention here.

As 1. Some place too much of their Religion in standing off from others, as if the height of a Christian lay in rigid Separation from those that are of a lower size; and will be hardly drawn to remit any thing of their supposed necessary strictness; rather desiring to please themselves, than bear with the weak, suspecting even necessary provisions for admission of the weak, as savou­ring too much of loosnesse, and that which may bring on their partaking in other mens sins.

2. Some have drunk in such prejudice against their Brethren, that fancying the difference greater then it is, and supposing a Closure unlawful or scarce possible, are the more backward to any thing tending to a composure.

3. Ignorance may prove a great hinderance, many understand only the practick part of their own way, not fully knowing the extent necessity, indifferency of their severall principles, these out of a zeal to truth will stand off, as not knowing how far they may yield.

4. Some delight in contentions.

5. Some once embittered their blood is not easily cooled.

6. Some are pleased with nothing that themselves propound not

7. Many are engaged and will find it a hard task to deny themselves in point of honour and credit, which they think will be lost if they alter their course.

8. Many are so overdriven by their friends, and members of their Congregations, that they dare do little for fear of displeas­sing them.

9. Some want publick principles having but one thing in their eye as suppose purity or peace, prosecute that to ruine or neg­lect of other necessary things.

10. Some want publick Spirits, not caring what become of other Christian, so long as they have the Ball at their own foot, or things go with them as they would have it.

Now as the proper cure and relief of Divisions, and dangers thence arising, must necessarily be from Union, a suitable and [Page 42]speedy Union, answerable to the nature and extent of the Mala­dy: so that must first be removed that is the impediment to it, that (though many things else concur) is chiefly a great defect of publicknesse of Spirit, a Spirit carried out to the publick good of the Church of Christ and his Cause, together with a grand failing in Brotherly Love.

1. That defect and great want of a publick spirit (a spirit that hath made so many Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Mini­sters, and Saints in all ages to shine so gloriously.)

All Christians whatsoever should endeavour great pub­licknesse of Spirit, should put on and wear this rare Jewel, with the rich Pendants of it of purest and greatest aims, best contrivances, warmest affections, strongest highest resolutions for the Churches good, against all things whatsoever that inter­pose.

But publick Persons, Ministers, principally they should be of a very eminent and exemplary publicknesse of Spirit, as they are lights, and leaders, so in this, in a more observeable manner.

But now there's none should be of a meer private and impub­lick, but of the most publick Spirit.

We should not be like the Snail that houses her self in her shell, commonly cleaves to a block or stone, and seldome moves, and then but for a little food.

But like the Springs of Water, that rise up, run over, and make a river for general use.

Not like a Light in a dark Lanthorn, which shineth only in­ward; but like the Heavenly bodies that mounted up, are still running round the Heaven, to carry and convey their light and influence to all. It is too evident that great want of publicknesse of Spirit, that like an Epidemical common disease, hath spread it self about. This this is the reason of that want of endeavours for generall Union.

The School Maxime is, Omne negativum fundatur in affirmative, all disintending and neglect of a duty, arises from over intending and following something else, that should not be done. The neg­lect of the publick, must have some ill unworthy ground and occasion.

There's some evil that infects the Heart of Men, that breeds [Page 43]this animi deliquium, this heartlessness unto the publick.

It was holy Paul's complaint in his time, All seek their own, and none the things of Christ.

The defect of publicknesse of Spirit, seeking the things of Christ, breeds from a private Spirit, and sinfull seeking our own things.

There is a very private narrow Spirit gone out into the Nation, that like Pharaoh's lean and ill favoured Kine, eats up the fat and good.

Many Christians, many publick persons, many Ministers for their own safety, ease, self-enjoyments, and attendance on their own private affairs, design retiredness, and please themselves in unprofitable Privacies, lying hid, and lying still, withdrawing themselves from the publick in a great measure: when the pub­lick cals so loud to all for help.

There is a very sinful unworthy Spirit, in divers this way, suffering themselves to be of little use, in comparison of what they might, and hiding much of their Talent in the Napkin of an un­profitable privacy.

This is as if the Springs and Rivers should seal up themselves, or hide themselves under ground, and bid us go seek our water. As if the Sun should stand still, draw a Curtain before it and then bid the Moon and Stars to warm the world, and make day.

Ah how sinfull is it to be all self, Center-self, and Circumfe­rence self, aimes and actings all self; Or to prefer a mans own petty privacies and particularities, before the publick, to have all the heart on the one, no heart on the other, or in an exceeding great disproportion?

Never any Christian yet had his license made him, or his quietus est given him, to retreat from the publick, and lie still in meer unactivenesse.

It is the alone prerogative of him that is immutably self-suffi­cient (and from whom all things only are) to be solely for himself.

Weigh it seriously; there are but two sorts of Creatures in the world, that have made themselves a license to be meerly and only for themselves, and they are Divels, and wicked men, left to them­selves. [Page 44]There is nothing in the whole Creation, but as it is stampt with a principle of self-preservation, so likewise it hath a strong inclination, and will accordingly on occasion to bestir it self into a zealous activity to preserve the universe.

Many heathens though moved only by principles of Morality, yet were often Persons of a most Publick and Heroicall Spirit, eminently carried forth and acted, to undertake and adventure for the publick good.

Holy persons in Scripture are purposely put upon the file of a glorious Record, for their excellent publick Spirit, their being so studious and zealous for promoting the publick, and not regard­ing their own private, as to estates, liberties, lives, or whatsoe­ver might be dear and precious to them; As Moses, David, Ne­hemiah, Paul, and many others.

The Saints in Heaven, though so secure and happy, yet are all of a most publick, transcendently publick Spirit, engaging for the Church Militant in their requests continually.

The glorious Angels are of this publick Spirit, being daily most freely ministring Spirits for the good of the Heires of Salva­tion.

The most Blessed God, although he needeth nothing, and is under no obligation to any, but as himself pleases; yet hath the largest heart, and most liberall hand, doing good to all, especially his Churches: and guides continually every thing, as to his own glory, so the good of his.

That private Spirit, that designing of, and pleasing it self in un­profitable recesses, latencies, and lying still: That Spirit which is under a Spirituall Listlesness, and Cowardize for doing and adventuring any thing to promote or preserve the publick, is the most improper and irregular thing in the world.

The most excellent Christians have the most publick, lively Spirits, the greatest thoughts, highest aimes, largest affections, most abundant Zeal, activity, and equality of endeavours for the publick.

These when private, narrow, listless Spirited men, that over­minded their own, will have but a bad account to give in to Christ; These will render up their account with greatest joy and confidence.

This the first great Obstruction to our healing and relieving Union, want of a publick Spirit, and this from being so much of an unprofitable private Spirit, set upon, and seeking our own, and not the things of Christ.

The second (and which also greatly grounds the former) is that very great want of Love. First, To Jesus Christ his cause and Gospel-Brotherly Love.

Love, which is exclusive of a meerly private and narrow, of a listless cold and dull distemper, introduces a free and en­larged, active, adventurous, and zealous disposition, and way; and is one of the great Fountains and Feeders of publickness of Spirit. One of the great Legacies the Lord Jesus bequea­thed to his Disciples, when he was leaving the world, was peace.

And one of the great Commandments given in charge by him was Brotherly Love, the ground of peace and unity; let that be well considered.

Brotherly Love (which besides that great weight of the gol­den Scepter of Christ, lying on it all the Scriptures over, and the clear stamps of his authority in those frequencies of strictest Scripture Precepts,) to make it more passable and currant, it re­ceived from Christ himself, a peculiar Stamp and new Signature, and is that alone in all the Scripture, which is stiled the new Com­mandment, required to be the proper Gospel-badge of Christs Disciples. Herby shall all men, &c. And Brotherly unity is the genuine and rare fruit of Brotherly Love, by every Christian to be endeavoured to the utmost extent of Gospel possibility. Nothing in our own Spirits of corrupt distemper, carnal ends or undue prejudice should hinder it; nothing in our Brethren sound in the Faith, and of Godly Conversation, though not ab­solutely agreeing with us in way, disposition, or opinion in all things: Christians cannot be all alike here. All have not the same intellectuall complexion. It is a great defect of meekness of wis­dome to refuse all agreement with others because they agree not with us in all things. Neither may any other Christian precepts hinder us.

Ah that we could duly consider of this new, this one new Com­mandment, our Lords peculiar charge given upon ground of [Page 46]great necessity in Gospel times, foreseen perfectly by the Lord the all-knowing Law-giver, and King of his Church!

Certainly when Christ will heal and stablish a people, he fills their Spirits with over-powering Brotherly Love, to smooth off heart-unevennesses of disinclinations, distrusts, and misunder­standings, and makes them firmly piece together in Godly unity. Love as the Apostle hath it, is the bond of perfectness. Yea, Love is the fulfilling of the Law, [...], That will encline and enable wise for, and make willing with it, and constrain us into it, into all the latitude of duties we owe to fellow-Chri­stians, and preserve us therein. Get we but that sincere and ar­dent Love, the Gospel calls for; and unity will be both easily brought about and kept a firm and full unity, that may answer the Churches present necessity. If there be any defect in Union 'tis from a deficience in this Bond, this affection of Love. Were there among other Gospel requisites this publick Spirit, were this Gospel Brotherly Love put on, this would recover and reduce us to happy unity, without which the breaches and distempers are not likely to be healed.

For to provoke us (those especially that are the backward and unactive!) oh that we could consider things together! and once more in Christs name be entreated to endeavour it. For is Bro­therly Union meerly arbitrary, and left to our liberty, and not of a Scripture and Gospel necessity? Are not divisions among Chri­stians carnall? Are not sowers of discord among Brethren abomi­nable to the Lord?1 Cor. 3.3. Prov. 6.12. Rom. 16.17. Must not those that make divisions, be mar­ked, and also avoided?

Hath not God in Scripture straitly Commanded Unity, Christ most signally, and peculiarly enjoyned it? Do not his Apostles very frequently in the New Testament, (Eph. 4.3. [...], &c.) both require and perswade to it? yea, must we not look to keep it studiously, solicitously, and zealously endeavour it? And that, as in other Scriptures, is there urged upon very General and equitable reasons, that extend to all Christians. There are seven ones, and all respecting all the People of God, as those Ephesians. It is not to be endeavoured only with some single persons, whom we shall please to pick out to our selves. Or with those particular Congregations we are fixed in, but with all [Page 47]Christians in General, as their condition requires, and opportuni­ty is afforded to us? And accordingly, have not good Christians in all Ages, both assented to the Doctrine, and earnestly endea­voured the practice of it? Doth not all experience of the Chur­ches, Evidence the Necessity of it? Did not those Churches so excellently constituted by the Apostles themselves, soon disco­ver the use and Necessity of it, as we see in the case of the Church of Antioch, Acts 15. which occasioned that Application to the Church of Jerusalem; and thereupon the first and exemplary Christian Synod, Whereby that , and likewise other Churches were established in the Faith?

Let matters be never so well Constituted in Churches, yet there ever will be New Emergencies, and after cases, which will call for, and still Necessitate union and correspondencie, and that cannot be relieved otherwise.

At this day, those Divisions among the Reformed, are not they acknowledged, and bewailed as sinfull, and greatly desired by the Godly, of any moderate spirits, of all parties, to be hea­led? Yea, among our selves is it not so acknowledged and be­wailed, and accordingly are not our desires and Prayers, still a going after it? Do we not Evidently see the evils, and mis­chief, that will unavoidably every day encrease, and Grow upon us, without Union?

Ah! What will become of Truth, of all Gospel-Truths, and the purity of Doctrine, which is preserved by Union? When the house is burnt, and the Gold and Treasure in it melted, is it not hard finding it among the Rubbish? Pearles if they should be buried in great heaps of sand, will they not hardly be recove­red? How hard will it be for people to find the Treasure, the Pearles of Gospel-Truth, in the Rubbish and sands of multipli­cities of errours?

And what will become of the life and power of Godliness, when mens zeale and fervour still evaporate, and breathe forth in contentions; and Christians become engaged to maintain Par­ties, rather then Godliness it self?

Yea, how must Ignorance, and Prophaness encrease, And how will Popery gaine upon us? Yea, and how will that be kept out at last; look seriously to the close. What can Magi­strates [Page 48]and Ministers do, if unity be not recovered? At the best must not the Doctrine be highly hazzarded, and hardly be saved.

Must not the Power of Godliness needs sink, and be swal­lowed up in these Quick-sands of Division; yea, and withall the civil state? When hearts are divided, and mens wayes and Conscience so continually clash, and run cross; must not that needs be but in a crazie condition, in comparison of that, which General union would produce, which also would in time, work out a happy settlement in the Civil State?

What though some are of the opinion that disunion is best, that makes it not so in it self?

But why should union (the entirest, fullest, and largest) union in States, and Kingdoms be best; and not in the Church of Christ, and among Christians?

If single persons or small Townes, and particular places, can­not carry on the Civil Interest, without Civil Union, nor never sufficiently provide for the security of the Civil State; then why must it, or how can it be, that single Christians, or particular Congregations, without Consociation can carry on, and preserve Religion in a Nation?

As all former, so late Experience proves, and after Experi­ence will ever prove the contrary.

Thus New England it self also, acknowledges and practices the contrary, and that upon Experience. And they accordingly (even the strictest of them) do not only wish, but encourage, and provoke the Godly of different Judgements in this Nation, to endeavour Unity. And certainly this must be very conside­rable, that they of New England, who left this Country for li­berty of Conscience, and went into a desolate wilderness: They that had such excellent Christians, and Eminent Ministers, to form and make up their Congregations; They that had so full a Li­berty, to choose their own way of Church Government, and withall had so great countenance and assistance from the Civil Magistrate, as ever Churches in the world had: yet these, these so accommodated and assisted, after almost thirty yeares expe­rience, find a Necessity of union of Churches; and of godly Christians, of different Judgement, are in expectation daily of [Page 49]it here; blame those that are opposite to it, or slothfull in it. And certainly this fresh experiment brings a cogent and con­clusive Argument, that out-weighs all colours and pretences made by any, for refusal or neglect of unity. But to adde no more, we our selves Generally see a Necessity of unity, we wish it, pray for it, and expect it also; but this layes great blame and sin to our charge, that we do so little for it: That our Judge­ments and Prayers concurre in it, but our hands stir not, and we do not (to any purpose) endeavour after it.

What then is and must be, the Obstacle to this so Necessary Unity? Is it private advantage? like men that having a private Trade, are enemies to joynt Stocks and Trading in Companies. Is it listlesness, and a spirit of slothfulness? like the sluggard, that will not pull his hands out of his bosom. A lothness to be un­hinged and taken off our old wonts of unactiveness, and doing nothing, but for our own particulars; and so being habited and accustomed to move, or go no further, we will not disease our selves, and be further engaged. They say, as speech, discove­reth, wisdom, or weakness; so Actions, or not actings, oft dis­covers custom and habit. If we have contracted an ill custom, of doing nothing or little, except for our selves, we had need do the more for after time. 'Tis too true, that meer sloth and love of ease, and lothness to do more then that is ordinary, especially that which seems New (though never so Necessary) is one great cause of the backwardness, and unactiveness of many: or is it cowardize, and a timourous temper, an over-cautiousness, and aptitude to suspect every thing, and every man; like the Beg­gar that is still shrugging the shoulder, or like a shy Horse that eats hay in the stable, and will startle at a little of it lying in the roade. Shall we alway cry a Lion's in the way, when we should be doing? and set up our own apprehensions, and then startle at them? If these be the hinderances, carry we our eye to Primitive Christians, go warm our selves into resolution and activeness, at that fire and flame of Heavenly Zeal. How did they adventure to hold toḡether in Christian unity, and continuing correspondency for the first three hundred yeares, when the Magistrate was not for, but against them, yet held Christian union with the hazzard, and oft to the loss of liberties, Estates, and lives, so warm was [Page 50]their Love, that it cast out fear, and kept up constantly desire of some good unity? And what had become of Religion, and Christianity, if they had been no warmer, and more resolute and active then many that go for good, are in our times.

What did the Waldenses and Albigences for divers hundred years, in matter of correspondency and union, notwithstand­ing the fury and rage of Persecution? What was it under Christ that kept up Religion in those so extreamly corrupt times, but their Conjunctions and Constancy?

What did the Blessed Reformers against the Pope, Emperour and others, the great difficulties and dangers that presently arose: did they not endeavour Unity and Agreement, notwithstanding the hazzards, and extremities of those times?

If the Spirit, and way of Christians in Primitive and succeed­ing ages, was to labour and adventure for unity, when Laws and the Civil Authority were against them; and it was so exceeding dangerous? Shall we not adventure and endeavour it, when the Lawes and Civil Power do not hinder us, yea and when of the chief Magistrate (to whom this Agreement being presented) it was not only well accepted, but with such expressions also of Great Readiness to countenance, and farther us, in these our endeavours after a just and moderate union.

Ah then will any of the fore-named private respects, any loth­ness and listlessness, fears and jealousies; will these in the Bal­lance of the Sanctuary weigh any thing? O will they weigh a­gainst Scripture Commands, Christs peculiar New Command, the Judgement and endeavours of the Church, old and new expe­rience, our own as well as others Approbations of Endeavoured for unity, and Prayers for it? Shall we approve it, and pray for it, and then confute our own Consciences, and ravel out our Prayers, by a sitting still and looking for an opportunity, as a ripe fruit to fall into our mouthes, and be made to our hands, and not take it when there is such need of it, and likewise the way so free for it? It is a good saying, Iter ad pietatem est intra ipsam pietatem, It is true of Godly and brotherly unity, the cure of Division and the way of Union is not so much with­out it, not wishing and desiring of it; but resolving, trying, act­ing vigorously, and carrying it on with constancy. Practice will [Page 51]bring that experience, that will ease and sweeten the way and work, and Evidence that very feisable, that was lookt on as im­probable, if not impossible. And that union is practicable and feisable, this we see by what others, in other parts of the Nati­on have happily begun and held on. Therefore shall we busie our selves in drawing circles in the dust, as he did when the City was storming, whereby he lost his life by a common Souldier? Shall we sit still when Necessity calls aloud for it, the way is so open to it, and others have so fairly led the way before us? If we should do nothing, Union and the work of Christ may arise and go on another way: But if we be doing, we among others shall be called the Repairers of the breach, and our labour shall not be in vaine in the Lord; For the Lord will be with them that are with him.

FINIS.

Books printed for and sold by Edward Brewster at the Crane in Pauls Church-yard.

MOtives to a good Life in ten Sermons, by Barten Holliday. 4o

A Treatise of Faith, wherein is handled the nature of true saving Justifying Faith, in opposition unto counterfeit: also helps thereunto prescribed; hinderances thereunto re­moved; and severall other Gospel­truths clearly discussed, by W. N.

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