[...]. THE TRIVMPH OF LEARNING OVER IGNORANCE, AND OF TRUTH over FALSEHOOD. Being an Answer to foure Quaeries.

  • Whether there be any need of Universities?
  • Who is to be accounted an Haeretick?
  • Whether it be lawfull to use Conventicles?
  • Whether a Lay-man may Preach?

VVhich were lately proposed by a Zelot, in the Parish Church at Swacie neere Cambridge, after the second Sermon, October 3. 1652.

Since that enlarged by the Answerer, R.B. B.D. and Fellow of Trin. Col. Camb.

TALMUD.

[...] Qui auget Academias, auget Sapien­tiam & Sapientes.

IGNAT.

[...].

ROM. 16.17.

Marke them which cause divisions and avoid them.

ROM. 10.15.

How shall they preach except they be sent?

LONDON, Printed for R. ROYSTON at the Angel in Ivie-lane, 1653.

A CATALOGUE of the most famous ACADEMIES in all Christian CHURCHES, Digested into the Order of the ALPHABET.

In Latin thus, (as followes) by L. 2. ad. Octa­vum, de Aca­demiis. Middendorpius (Vice-chancellour of the Universitie of Colen) and Alstedius. l. 24. c. 13. Encyclop. Scholas.

  • Anglia 2.
    • Cantabrigiensis.
    • Oxoniensis.
    a Cantabro Hispanorum Rege per tumultum ac seditionem a pa­triâ pulso (longe ante Oxonium ab Alphredo) fundata.
  • Bohemia 1.
    • Pragensis.
  • Dania 1.
    • Hafinensis.
  • Gallia 15.
    • Andegavensis.
    • Avenionensis.
    • Aurelianensis.
    • Bituricensis.
    • Burdigalensis.
    • Cadurcensis.
    • Dolana.
    • Duacensis.
    • Lugdunensis.
    • Monpeliensis.
    • Parisiensis.
    • Pictaviensis.
    • Rhemensis.
    • Tholosana.
    • Valentina.
  • German. 25.
    • Argentinensis.
    • Altorfensis.
    • Basiliensis.
    • Coloniensis.
    • Dilingana.
    • Erfordiensis.
    • Francofortensis.
    • Francherana.
    • Friburgensis.
    • Gryswaldensis.
    • Groningensis.
    • Heildebergensis.
    • Helmstadiensis.
    • Ingolstadiensis.
    • Lipsensis.
    • Lovaniensis.
    • Leidensis.
    • Marpurgiensis.
    • Moguntina.
    • Regiomontana.
    • Rostochiensis.
    • Treverensis.
    • Tubingensis:
    • Vicimensis.
    • Witebergensis.
  • [Page]Hispania 18.
    • Conimbricensis. (in Lusitaniâ.)
    • In hâc Ig­natius Loiola, Ecclesiae & Rerump. pe­ctis, est educa­tus.
      Complutensis. (in regno Castellae.)
    • Compostellana. (in regno Galliciae.)
    • Eborensis. (in Lusitaniâ.)
    • Gandiana.
    • Granatensis.
    • Hispalensis.
    • Ileridensis.
    • Majoricana. (Aliter vocata Lulliana.)
    • Onnedensis.
    • Oscana.
    • Ossunensis.
    • Salmanticensis.
    • Sequensana.
    • Toletana.
    • Valentina.
    • Valiodoletana.
    • Vallisoletana.
  • Italia 11.
    • Bononiensis. à Theodofio Im­peratore fundata. Ann. Dom. 425.
    • Ferrariensis.
    • Florentina.
    • Mediolanensis.
    • Patavina. (à Carolo mag­no instituta.)
    • Papiensis.
    • Perusina.
    • Pisana.
    • Romana.
    • Senensis.
    • Tauriensis.
  • Polonia 3.
    • Cracoviensis seu Graccoviensis à fundatore urbis Graccho dicta. Ʋnde prodiit Catechismus iste nu­per ex merito flammis traditus manu Carnificis, cùm sit blasphemiis in Filium & Spiritum S. refertissimus. Cui hoc inscribi jure poterat, [...].
    • Posnensis.
    • Samosciana.
  • Scotia 3.
    • Aberdoniensis.
    • Glasquensis.
    • Sanctandreae.
Sic erat in fatis: Postrema est Scotia, nullum
Quae sanè ob mores debet habere locum.

Genuinis Musarum Mystis, Legitimis utriusque Academiae filiis, Salu­tem in Iesu Christo plurimam. P.A.L.

NE cui fit offendiculo, bilemve moveat, quòd Cantabrigiam hîc praefixerim Oxonio: Nôrint Universi, post replicatos annales temporum, post reserata monumenta veterum, me (qui veritati, non partibus studeo) pro compertissimo habuisse, deberi primas, (antiquitatis ergo) Grandaevae nostrae matri Academiae. Quin apagè has nugas de Antiquitatis titulis, & de inanis umbris gloriolae; Contentionis nullâ incensi faculâ posthac exardeamus; id solum operae impendamus aemuli, ut vitae integritate, ut artium & virtutum instructi choragio, ut Charitate, humilitate, contemplationis studio, & morum exemplo alii aliis praeluceamus; Non tàm anxiè curantes quinam pri­ores simus, quàm ne priùs pereamus. Hoc tantùm apponam, quod vir Doctissimus innuit, ut amplificen­tur Scholae, requiri in magistratu paternum erga Scholas affectum & animum, qui cernitur in amore literatorum, Privilegiorum tutelâ, & munificentiâ erga literarum cultores: Tam benevolè affectos magistratus habui­mus, ut porrò habeamus usque, apud Deum obnixè precibus contendamus.

Florente Republicâ literis omnibus honor maxi­mus fuit: nihil in eâ urbe majus, nihil opta­bilius literis & doctrinâ extitit.

Blondus de Repub. Romanâ.

To all sincere and true-hearted Chri­stians, Lovers of Learning, Truth and Peace.

THe Jews have a saying not more short then ingenuous, that Truth stands upon two Legs, and a Lye upon one: [...] Talm. Their mean­ing is, That as Falshood and Haeresie fall at the length of themselves without any contradiction, so, Truth is and ever was firme, stable, and lasting getting ground growth, and strength by opposition. By this meanes many Questions which lay hid, and as it were buryed in the grave of silence, are raised, discussed, and evidenced even to vulgar capacities.

S. Augustine in his 18. l. de Civ. Dei, cap. 51. Treating of Haereticks, and proving that the Catholick faith is strengthned and confirmed by haereticall dissentions, sayes thus of false Teachers, Habentur in exercentibus inimicis, &c. They are to be put into the file or num­ber of those enemies who exercise the gifts and graces of Gods servants; who, like the Starres that shine brightest in the cold nights of Winter, are in times of Op­position more active then ever in Zeale, more Vigilant and circumspect in their lives, (as those Dabant ope­ram per inculpa­tos mores ut illius dogma­ta non plus va­lerent. Sozom. lib. 6. cap. 27. Religious men were in the dayes of Apollinaris; who laboured to out­shine him in strictnesse of life, knowing that by this his opinions thrived and prevailed.) Lastly, more earnest in their devotion and prayers to the Father of Lights, Jam. 1.17. that the seduced may be undeceived, and the Seducers con­vinced [Page] of their errours. This (not to be seen in Print, which is a poore piece of ambitious pride) is the scope of my penne, and the aime of my unworthy endeavours: Especially now that Hujus fursu­ris (ne dicam farinae) est Burtonus iste, besternae diei ho­mulus, cui do­ctrinam & pic­tatem audaciae inauditae parem optamus. little birds, scarce fledgd or hatcht, flying with their shells upon their heads, and having only a feather or two of boldnesse in their faces, shall dare and that in the bosome of their Nurse or Mother preach or rather prate against Learning, which they never had, and inveigh against Universities, quà tales, simply as Uni­versities, of which they never deserved to be Members.

It is an ill bird, &c. Every Englishman knowes what followes in the proverb. There are no such enemies to Learning as the Malitious and Ignorant.

It was my happinesse of late to meet with some Adver­saries, not perhaps so knowing, yet more candid then the former, Declamers against Academies, and men of more Christian Spirits, not (as S. Augustine writes of the Do­natists)Ep. 167. pertinaciâ insuperabiles, invincible and perti­nacious in their opinions, but such whose mindes were tuned to that obedience and meeknesse, that they after a long and mild debate yeelded, with thankfull acknowledg­ments and protestations of love, to my reasons. And hereby declared plainly before the Congregation, that they were free from that whereof they were falsely suspe­cted, i. e. Haeresie: agreeable to that of the Learned and most profound Augustine. Ep. 162. Qui sententiam suam quamvis falsam atque perversam nullà pertinaci ani­mositate defendunt, sed veritatem cautâ solicitudine quaerunt, corrigi parati cùm invenerint, nequa quàm sunt inter haereticos deputandi. The meaning of which words in brief is this, that He onely is to be counted an Haeretick who persists with obstinacie in an opinion which is against the word, not He, who erres, yet is rea­dy [Page] to forsake his errour and yeeld to the Truth so soon as he is convinced of it.

This pious and humble Temper was in those my Anta­gonists; for whose farther confirmation; and satisfacti­on to their modest desires, together with the rest of that populous Parish of Swacie, I have published the Discourse with some enlargements, hoping that it will meet with as good successe (by Gods blessing on it) in the convi­ction of those by whom it shall be perused, whose judge­ments perhaps have been formerly perverted by false Teachers; who beguile unstable Soules, having hearts exercised (or overcome) with covetousnesse; cursed Children (they are children for their Ignorance) who forsaking the way of all righteousness have gone astray, following the way of Balaam that made Israel to sinne. 2 Pet. 2.14.15. Jude ver. 11. Num. 25.2. 31 16. Such blind guides as these have been the cause of many poore Soules falling into the ditch of Haeresie, which (if backed with obstinacy) is a barre that shuts men out of all hope of glory. This hereafter shall be proved in my an­swer to the second Doubt.

May the Infinite goodnesse, (to whose onely glory I humbly desire to devote my selfe and all my weake endea­vours) make them as usefull and beneficiall in the con­firming and reforming of weak deceived Soules, as they are well meant and intended to the Churches good, by the unworthiest of his servants: who am likewise, Christian Reader,

Thine in Christ Iesus, R. BOREMAN.

A SHORT VINDICATION OF THE Use and Necessity of Ʋniversities, and other Schooles of Learning; Being An Answer to the first Quere, What need is there of Ʋniversities?

IT is truly observed by a learned Gentillet. exam. Concil. Triden. Li. 1. Sect. 7. 8. Ignorantiam & Romanae sedis autoritatē simul auctam, &c. Vicissimque ut bonarum artium & literarum in­stauratione fa­cessere caepit ig­norantia ita & Pontificis auto­ritas paulatim imminui & la­bascere visa est. Writer that the Pope of Rome, and that Church never flew higher in power, never sunk deeper into errour then when Ignorance prevailed, and Learning was suppressed. Wee may as safely, and with as much truth assert, That where the purity of God's Word is corrupted, and not preserved in it's integritie, that Kingdome, Church, or State cannot but fall into ruine, and moulder away into divisions caused by the multiplicity of false Opinions, which being joyned with Schisme, doe often (as they have now done) engender, and beget a monster, the subver­ter of all Government, and the disturber of Peace, the nurse of Religion. This and Learning wee may fitly resemble to the great Luminaries of Heaven, the Sunne and Moone, both for their light and influence. And as for the preserving the entire luster of the Moone, there is required a continuall emanation of light from the Sunne; So Learning borrowes it's true light from Religion, without which a man having a learned Head and an unsanctified Heart, is the fittest Agent and best Instrument for the Devill to doe mischief with: But now here is the difference [Page 2] between that lesser Luminarie and Learning, in that resemblance; The Moone repaies no tribute, conferrs no benefit to the Sunne, but Learning by way of reflection conduces much (if not to the being precisely taken, at least) to the happy and well being of Religion. These two, like Eros and Anteros in the Fable of the Poets, are sick and well both at a time. G Naz. Orat. 3. Julian the Apostat understood this well when hee put down by a poblike Edict the Schooles where the Children of Christians were to be educated; So did Pope Platin. in vita ejus. Paulus the second when hee absurdly pronounced those Hereticks, that did either in jest or earnest but use the Word Academie in their Tongues or Writings. The Jesuites and their Factours, men subtile in their Generations, and active in their mischeivous intentions, they know the same, and there­fore endeavour now to effect, (what of late one vauntingly said in the Eares of a good Protestant would be done) that is, To destroy the Ʋniversities, and with them the Ministery and Religion.

That the Ʋniversities so called as Fab. Soranus in Thesauro. one explaines the terme, because the Circle of all the Arts and Sciences is in them ex­pounded or taught to young Students and others of all sorts, Degrees and Callings whatsoever; That these Ʋniversities, and other Schooles of Learning (seedplots, and nurceries subordinat to them) are not onely profitable to the Church, but also ne­cessary for the maintenance of Religion so necessary, that without them, neither the Doctrine of the Gospell can be preserved pure and uncorrupted, neither the Church, wherein wee live, stand sure upon it's foundation, but will certainly be destroyed; This I shall endeavour to prove by a familiar climax or gradation, proposed to vulgar capacities by way of question.

First, by what meanes can the Church be pure and free from Heresies without the guidance, and light of the pure Word of God, the holy Scriptures?

2. How can that Word be preserved in it's purity without the Ministery?

3. How can there be a Ministerie without able and fit Ministers to explaine and publish that Word purely without corruption? whose Office it is to act the parts of Truth's Champions, to defend it against seducing Hereticks, who (as [Page 3] Tertul. lib. de praescript. Scrip­turas obtendunt & hâc suâ auda­ciâ quosdam movent, &c. Tertullian well notes, evermore alleage Scripture to back and bolster out their absurd Opinions, and by this their boldnesse they move some, tire out those that are strong by their restlesse disputes, take the weake in their Nets, and as for those of a middle temper, these they send away full of doubts and scruples. And whence doe Heresies arise, but from this (as St. Aug. Tract. 18 in Evang Joh. Augustine observes) dùm Scripturae bonae intelligantur non benè, & quod in eis non benè intelligitur etiam temerè & audactèr asseritur? &c. i.e. ‘"Whilest the good Word of God is not well understood, and that which is not well understood is rashly and boldly asserted for truth, &c. Now in the fourth place. How can such stout Champions, learned and faithfull Pastours, be had without Schooles of lear­ning, the Ʋnivesitirs?

It will follow then by a necessary Illation or Consequence that without Ʋniversities, out of which such Learned, Wise, Orthodox and pious men may be called and produced to govern particular Congregations, and to sit at the Helme of the Church; This cannot be preserved secure and entire from Heresies, but will be like the Luke 8.23. Ship wherein our Saviour was asleepe, i.e. battered with tempests, and beaten with the waves of contrary Opinions.

For this cause wee finde in ancient Records, that not onely among the people of God, the ancient Jewes and Christians, but also even among the Gentiles evermore in all ages, great care and diligence was used to ordaine and maintaine Schooles of learning, and to place in them holy and knowing men, whom they encouraged with large stipends, by whose paines and parts the liberall Arts and Sciences, together with the Doctrine of their Religion might be taught and fastened in the people's Me­mories.

To omit the Schooles of the Gentiles, as of the Aegyptians (Alsted. li. 24. c. 13. Encycl. Scholast. Heurn. primord. Philosoph.to whom Learning and Arts were derived from the Jewes) likewise those of the Chaldeans, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Ro­mans, all which (to the shame of Christians in these times) had learned, and men of Wisdome in high estimation, especially of Professours and assertours of their Religion, such were their Magi, their Gymnosophists, their Philosophers, their Augures or Sowthsayers; omitting these, I shall onely make a plaine dis­covery [Page 4] of the Schooles erected by the People of God, as well before as after Christ, and then leave it to the Judgments of dis­creet and moderate Judges, whether a want of love to Religion, and the feare of God does not discover it selfe in the profane practises of those men, who labour to pull down the Ministery (which is now the Jesuits maine designe) by doing as the Gen. 26.18. Philistines did by the Wells of Abraham, i. e. by seeking to stop the Springs and Fountaines of Learning, into which they have thrown dirt and stones, by undeserved slanders, and re­prochfull infamies.

Colledges and Schooles under the old Law.If wee traverse the story of the old Testament, wee shall find that there were (and this not without the prescript or com­mand of God) in the Kingdome of Israel Schooles constituted and opened to publick use; in some whereof were placed Levites, in others Prophets to teach and explicate the Law of God, to traine up Disciples or Scholars, who afterwards should teach either in the Temples or Synagogues, and propagate the Doctrine of the Law to succeeding Generations. For who were the Sonnes of the Prophets, of whom there is so often mention made in the Booke of the Kings; but those that were students educated and brought up in those Schooles, whereof the Prophets were heads and Governours?1 Kings 20 35. 1 Kings 2.3.7.15. This was the intent or meaning of the Prophet Amos, when hee said, I am not a Prophet nor the Son of a Prophet, Amos 7.14. i.e. never brought up in the Schooles of the learned Prophets.

What was the reason that the Lord commanded 48 Cities with their Suburbs to be assigned to the Levites above their Brethren of the other Tribes?Numb. 35.2. was it not for this, that in the Land of Israel there might be Schooles and Colledges, in the which the Levites might teach and instruct young Novices, their pupils, in the Law of God, and thereby fit them for the Offices of the Sanctuary?

Over these Schooles or Colledges there were ever placed men renowned for their Piety, Learning, Prudence, and Gravity of Manners, and those chosen out of the Prophets and Levites. Thus 1 Sam. 29.28. Samuel was the Prefect or Governour of the Schoole which was at Naioth in Mount Ramah; where was a Schoole and Scholers in the Raigne of Asa, if we may believe the Talmudists, [Page 5] who say that hee was therefore punished with lamenesse in his Feete, Vid. Buxtorf in [...] 2 Chr. 16.12. ‘"because hee compelled all the Wisemen or Doctors of that place together with their Disciples or Scholers, to leave their Studies and to take up Armes for his aide against Baasha King of Israel. This they collect (how truly I will not deter­mine) out of the 1 of Kings 15.22. where it is said that Asa made a proclamation thorowout all Judah (none was exempted) and they tooke away the stones of Ramah, &c. i. e. when the Scholars were all warned out by the King's Edict.

Elias was the Praepositus or Master of the Schoole at Hierico: 2 Kings 2.5. In his place succeeded his Disciple Elisha, and so others after him in succeeding ages.

In the second of Chron. 34.22. wee read of a Colledge in Hierusalem: It is called there [...] which is as much as a double House, so called by rea­son of it's two Courts. wherein Huldah the Prophetesse dwelt when Hilkiah went unto her with a message from Josiah. Doubtlesse shee dwelt by her selfe in one of the Courts remote from the Pro­phets and their Sonnes, who were taught in the other. For Colledges indeed ought to be (what a Name that is given them by Eusebius does import) [...], places of gravity and severity, which cannot well stand with a mixture of both Sexes in one and the same place. But to returne from this short digression;

To this end and purpose it likewise was, (I meane for the maintenance of Schooles) that the Levites under the Law had such large incomes by Gods appointment; they had well nigh (as hath beene proved by mee in another The Churches Plea, &c. Sect. 10 p. 23. Treatise) the fifth part of the Jewes Revenues, which large allowance was given them, that being free from all cares (to which the Ministers of the Gospell are too sharply exposed) they might, with the lesse distraction, and more freedome of Spirit, devote themselves wholy to their studies, and their Ministeriall Fun­ctions.

Againe, wee finde that the Jewes themselves ever in after Ages endeavoured (even when they were dispers'd amongst the Gentiles) to retaine their Schooles which are called some­times Synagogues, although in a strict sence a Schoole and a Synagogue differs. Philo (as hee is cited by Grotius on St. Mat.)Grot. in Mat. 4.23. uses the Names promiscuously, and calls those Synagogues [Page 7] [...] for that they did both Pray and Preach in them, and withall (as they doe now where they are) traine up their youth and exercise themselves by disputes and polemicall Dis­courses concerning the holy Scriptures: whereby they finde out many hidden Truths. This is the practise of Colledges in the Ʋniversities, by which meanes the Students learne to whet their Tongues in disputes against the Truth's adversaries, those of Rome, together with other Hereticks.

Colledges and Schooles under the Gospell.In the second place, That there were Colledges, places of publick concourse even under the Gospell in the time of the Apostles at Hierusalem, wee may collect or gather out of the Acts. And there were dwelling at Hierusalem Iewes devout men out of every Nation under Heaven. Acts 2.5.

St. Luke records concerning our Lord Christ, that when hee went into the Synagogue, that is, the Luke 4 15.17 [...] Schoole there was given to him, as to a Doctour, the Booke of the Scriptures, that hee should explaine a portion or piece of them, which hee accord­ingly did to the amazement and conviction of those that heard him. The same Apostle likewise reports,Luke 2.42.46. that when hee was twelve years of age he disputed with the Doctours of the Schoole with great admiration. There were then Scholers, Colledges and Doctours in our Saviours time: How then dare any disallow of those which Christ himselfe did approve of, so, as to go often into them, which hee did surely to demonstrat and shew their necessity and use. They who speake and act, by a bold opposi­tion, the contrary, by denying their use, to such I may aptly retort, what S. Augustine did once in aother case to the Dona­tists, Aug. Ep. 171. the true Pictures of our Separatists, Christianos vos esse dicitis, & Christo contradicitis; ‘"you say you are Christians, and contradict Christ in your Words and Actions, this cannot stand with Christanity, which admits of no such contra­dictions.

In the 6 of Luke vers. 9. there is mention of the Synagogue or Colledge of the Libertines, Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and Asia, who disputed with the Protomartyr St. Stephen.

The same Apostle tells us how that St. Paul came from Tarsus of Cilicia unto Hierusalem, Act. 22.3 where hee was instructed in the Law [Page 6] of the Lord at the feet of Gamaliel. It was the fashion or custome then of the Scholers, to sit at the feet of the Doctours, whence those are called by the Rabbines, [...] Pulverisantes, from the dust which they received thus sitting below their Teachers. The forenamed Gamaliel was a Doctour or Teacher of the Law in the Academy of Hierusalem, and Disciple of that old Simeon, Luke 2.28.29 who tooke our Saviour, being then a Child, in his armes, and then sung his Nunc Dimittis, &c. his Swan-like Song, Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine Eyes have seene thy salvation, i. e. The Lord Christ, who is mercy and salvation clothed in flesh.

That Schoole or Colledge of Hierusalem had many famous Doctours one after another successively in after dayes, amongst whom was Rab. Hillel, who lived an hundred years before the Destruction of the Temple by Titus: of which Hillel we finde so many rare and pious sayings in the Pirke Auoth, a Booke famous amongst the Jewes for choyce Proverbs and grave Counsailes.

Wee read likewise of St. Paul, Acts 18.28 that after his conversion hee went often into the Synagogues or Scholers of the Jewes, and mightily convinced them that Jesus was the Messias (or the Christ) and perswading the things concerning the Kingdome of God.

There is mention in the Acts of the Schoole of one Tyrannus: Acts 17.8 it was erected by one who was so called by his proper Name, as Beza proves by many testimonies against Erasmus, and others, and with him in this the Syriack agrees; which, as Salom. Glassius notes,Glass. Physiol. Sac. is the fittest to determine any doubt or contro­versie bordering upon a word of phrase in the New Testament, as the Caldee paraphrase in the Old.

To omit that famous Schoole in Asia at Ephesus erected by St. John the Apostle, in which Polycarpus and Ireneus were Scho­lers, with many other famous Bishops and Martys for the Truth of Christ.

Likewise that in Palaestina of Caesarea, in which Gregory Bishop of Neocesarea was brought up.

Also that in Alexandria, the most famous in the whole World, where (as St. Hierome attests) from the dayes of St. Marke [Page 8] the Evangelist many and great Doctours flourished, as, Pataenus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Hieracles, Dionysius, with many others.

To the forenamed wee might adde that of Byzantium in Greece, where St. Basil that Vid. Possouin. in vita Basil. Demosthenes amongst the Fathers (for his sublime elegancy so called) was educated, hee was Brother to that Learned Nazianzen who (being indeed, a Magazeen of all kind of Learning) in worthily called, [...], the Divine.

To this of Byzantium might be adjoyned that of Tiberias in Galilee by the Lake of Gennesareth, Vid. Buxtorf in Tiberiad. so famous for the Masorites, those laborious Textuaries and Cabalists amongst the Jewes.

But omitting the farther discussing and opening of these Schooles or Colledges, (whereby I might farther evince by demon­strative Arguments the necessity of Learning and Learned men: as so many Pillars to sustaine the vast Fabrick of a Church, Kingdome, or State, from crumbling into dust, and mouldring into ruine) I shall onely subjoyn what now followes by way of a concluding Parenesis, or Exhortation to men of vulgar conceits and m sled Phansies.

Let them runne back in their thoughts, and looke upon the Story of our Church in former Ages. Who were they that gave the Pope and his Factours their deadly wounds, stabbing them at the Heart with the sharpe weapons of their acute Arguments, who did this glorious worke, but first a Jewell, a Bishop? who was the first that in a Sermon at Paul's Crosse made a publick Challenge to all the Papists in the World,Godwin. in vitā ejus p. 409. to pro­duce but one cleer and evident Testimony out of Scripture, or any Father, or other famous Writer within six hundered years after Christ, for any one of the many Articles which the Ro­manists at this day maintaine against us, and upon good proofe of any one such good allegation, hee promised to yeeld them the Bucklers and reconcile himselfe to Rome. And although Harding and some others undertooke him and enter'd into the Lists with Him about the 27 controverted Articles, yet they came off poorly, and Jewell on the contrary with Triumphant Victory, having so amazed and confounded them with a cloud [Page 9] of witnesses in every poynt, that (as Bishop Godwin reports of him,Page 410. ‘"Dici non potest quantum haec res Pontificiorum apud nos vires fregerit, existimatione minuerit, ac praesertim postquam Hardingi frigida responsione errorum ab illi recensitorum novitas patuerit, i.e. It cannot be said how this thing broke the hearts and weakned the force of the Pontificians, with the losse of their esteeme and credit in these parts, especially when after the frigid or cold answer of Harding the Jesuit, the novelty of their opinions was plainly discovered.

This glorious Champion of Truth for his rare and admirable parts and gifts both naturall, and supernaturall, did every way correspond to his gracious and pretious name; Hee was a rich Jewell consisting of many gems, shining as well in his Life as his incomparable Writings: Lord adorne and enrich thy Church continually with such Jewells, deck her Cheeks with rowes of such Rubies, her neck with such glorious chaines, &c. Hee was borne in Devonshire, bred up at Oxford, First in Mert [...] afterwards in Corpus Christi Colledge. and if it lay at my mercy, to save or destroy it, I should spare it, because it bred such a Pillar of Truth, and the scourge of Rome, as the Con­querour spared Syracusa, because hee found in it an Archi­medes.

With him wee may parallel our famous Whitgift, who was contemporary with him; For, the former dyed, Anno. 1571. this latter was installed Bishop of Worcester, Anno. 1577. & after­wards Archbishop of Canterbury 1583. Hee was borne in Lin­colneshire, bred here at Cambridge, first in Pembrook Hall, after­ward fellow of Peterhouse, and not long after, hee being of rare and eminent parts, was made president of Pembrooke Hall, next Master of Trinity Colledge, in which time hee was, first, the Margaret, then the Kings Professor of Divinity. This match­lesse patterne of prudence and patience, did stand as stoutly, as the former, in the defence of the Truth, against our home bred Innovatours, who (as our learned Camden in his Annalls) trampled on all Government, and, making Phansie the mi­stresse of their judgement, pride and a zealous ignorance being their guides, they inveighed against the Elizah. Queenes authority, and herein spake the Language of Ashdod, acted highly for the Jesuits, denied uniformity in Divine worship, although esta­blish'd [Page 10] by the authority of Parliament, sever'd the Administra­tion of the Sacraments from the preaching of the Word; Sacramentorum administrationē à verbi divini praedicatione se jungebant. Camd. No­vos ritus pro arbitrio in privatis edibus usurpabant, &c. They neglected and despised the Sacraments (forgetting that God will not save us without the use of the meanes.) They refused to go to Church, thus making a dangerous Schisme, and rending the seamlesse coat of Christ, Pontificiis plaudentibus, multosque in suas partes trahentibus, quasi nulla esset in Ecclesiâ Anglicanâ unitas; Hereby they made our adversaries to rejoyce and triumph over us, and were the cause of many weake ones tur­ning Papists, upon this ground, that there was no unity in our Church. (I feare our Separatists have now caused the like, if not worse, mischief, in the revolt of many thousand from us.) Those Chams, men of hot and fiery Spirits, who inveighed against their Fathers, and uncovered their Mothers nakednesse; Those Scindentes (as Aug. l. de Civit. Dei 16. c. 2 comparat Chamo haereticos li. 4. c. 43. Irenaeus well calls them) to which hee joynes elati & superbi, those proud, high-minded, daring Schismaticks, that Reverend, Learned, and most patient Whitgife quell'd and suppressed in a short time by his discreet meeknesse, and gentle exhortations to peace; first stopping, by arguments, the mouths of their Antesignani their Leaders, (as Cartwright and others) this hee did by disputes and mild perswasions to peace, and at last having by a patient courage overcome many strong oppositions from the Nobles and their adherents, abettours in that schisme, by Gods blessing hee restored the Church to unity and concord both in Doctrine and Discipline. Who but a man of great learning and grace could have done this, and been the instrument of setling in a distracted Kingdome an universall Peace?

Let mee adde to these, one, though of a lower ranke in the Church, yet not much inferiour in gifts of nature, and grace, the renowned Whitakers, first Scholar, and after Fellow of Tri­nity Colledge, famous for his admirable skill in the Arts and Tongues: as for his Excellency in the knowledge of Divinity, his famous workes now extant, his confutation of Campian, Sanders, Duraeus, Rainolds, Stapleton, nay of Bellarmine him­selfe, with whom then living this our Champion encountred; Hee confounded the former, proving the Pope to be Antichrist, [Page 11] and maintaining the authority of the Scriptures above the Church, and at last singling out the Bellarmine. Cardinall himselfe, the Goliah of Rome, hee stunned him so with the strength of prevailing Truth and reason, in his controversies concerning the Church, Scrip­tures and councells, &c. That the Cardinall (it seemes, fi [...]st convinced by his argumentions) having him in high estimation, procured his Picture, and hung it in his stu [...]y among the por­traitures of other noted men, and was heard to say, That though hee was an Heretick, yet hee was a Learned one. Never any saying had more of Falsity and Truth in it. When he con­fessed him to be learned, it was all one as if hee had ac­knowledged that he was by him confuted. What firmer testimo­ny then that which falls from the Lips of a professed Enemy?

To these forenamed Worthies, I might adde the late Reverend Bishop of Salisbury, Davenant, the now living, and most knowing Prelats, Armach, and Morton, true nursing Fathers of the Church, fed with their Doctrine, and defended by their Pennes, which they have with great successe dipped in the Inke of confutation against Jesuites and Hereticks. 2 Sam. 23.12.20. The Lord hath done great things by these Benaiahs, and wrought great victo­ries by meanes of their painfull works against our Adversaries. Could these famous, usefull, and Church-preserving acts, with many hundred more which have beene effected by men of parts, could these mighty things have beene done without Learning; could this have been attained without the helpe and further­ance of publike Schooles and Universities? I suppose no man is so wanting to Truth and Modesty as to say it. This made Alphonsus King of Arragon, beare an open Booke in his Scutchi­on, to testifie thereby to the World his high esteem of learning, as being the prop of Religion, and the Pillar of a State and Kingdome.Middendorp. l. de Academ. 1. p. 104. And therefore Charles the Great wheresoever hee erected a Church, there hee ever annexed a Schoole of Lear­ning unto it. Oh then let not the undermining and crafty Jesuits (who now swarme amongst us) blow any longer this poyson into your Eares; believe not the voyce of these De his vid. Franzii Histor. S. p. 1. c. 20. Hyaenas who may speake like Men, nay like Angells, but within are ravening Wolves and savage Beasts. Their common Trade and Worke now is to cry downe Learning, and the Fountaines of [Page 12] it, the Ʋniversities: They know that their cause cannot thrive so long as Learning does flourish: These De his vid. Solinum. Solifugae hate that confounding light; These Frogs love to croake in the black Night of Ignorance, They ever digge their Mines in darknesse. The Traitour Faux and his dark Lanthorne was a true embleme of a Jesuit, who has some light within which makes him sinne against his conscience, yet that light wrapped up and obscured by malice, which forces him to act in defence of the Catholick cause, and contrive any bloody wickednesse.

And now is his Harvest, who loves to fish in troubled waters, Hee hath put forth the Sickle of his undermining policy to cut downe the Clergy and the Ʋniversities, witnesse the late Peti­tions against Tithes, and that other from some mistaken ones in the County of Bedford, who little dreame that they are now plowing with the Jesuites Judg. 14.18. Heister, who have closely contrived those Petitions, and incensed the Countrey-men against Church­men and Scholers. For shame, worke not any longer in this bloody Field; be not Dayes-men to these men of Darknesse, what they have covertly contrived, do not thou attempt open­ly and in publick. Believe it, if the Pipes be cut from the two Fountaines, if the revenews and meanes which flow from the Springs of Benefactours for Learning's maintenance, if they be taken away (which God I hope will prevent by his merci­full and over-ruling providence) Then (I trust this then will never be) then wee shall see (I hope wee shall never see it) Psal. 8.14. Cant. 2.25. 2 Cor. 10.13.15. Mat. 7.15.These Wild Bores coming out of Rome's Wood and Wilder­nesse, These Foxes, deceitfull workers, Ministers of Satan, Wolves in Sheepes clothing; They will, when they meete with no op­position, when the walls and watchmen are gone, breake with violence into the Vineyard, destroy it's pleasant branches, devour it's Grapes, and (like those Wolves in the Fable, when the Doggs at their perswasion were sent away) They will prey upon the poore sheepe, teare their fleece from their backs, devour their flesh; In a word, when they want their Guard and watch, i.e. Orthodox Pastours and sound Doctours or Teachers, the one to instruct the Churches, the other to traine up Students in the Schooles, Then will the people be left as a prey to Hereticks, 2 Tim. 2.17. whose Doctrine will eate like a Gangrene, i.e. Speedily, Incurably, [Page 13] Mortally. They will infect their Soules with poysonous Opi­nions, and (as they have begun) with damnable Heresies (to speake in S. Peters Language)2 Pet. 2.1. which S. Paul reckons amongst the fruits of the flesh, Gal. 5.20. and exclude men from the Heavenly inheri­tance. Of this Opinion was Ignatius a Scholar of the Apostles, Ignat. Ep ad Ephes. [...], &c. who assures us that both seducing and seduced Hereticks shall perish for ever, and that with as good reason as Theifes amongst men are put to death. Hereticks rob mens Soules of God and the Truth; They shut men out of Heaven, and drive them into Hell. To prevent all these fatall mischiefes, draine not (but rather encrease with augmentations) the Fountaines of Learning and Religion; if these be once dried up, a drowth of Truth will follow, and a deluge of Miseries, when Barbarisme and Atheisme with other horrid impieties shall abound in this Land, and overthrow the Church, Vid. Midden. dorp. de Acade­miis. li. 1. c. 4. & 8. whose wellfare is contained (to­gether with the Common-wealth's) in the preservation of Learning, Arts and Sciences, which I could prove more at large, did I not feare to load the Presse, and tire the Readers patience.

I shall conclude this first Quere with an open confession, that in these tumultuous, disordered Times, some dirt has gotten into our Fountaines, and mingled it selfe with our pure streames; but, what was ever in all Ages, wee hope will not with aggra­vations be charged upon us, as the onely fault of ours. And I trust that those Bedfordians (who clamour against the Ʋni­versities) will be laid to sleepe, and silenced by higher powers; neither doubt wee, but that those, who have made such loud cries and protestations for Truth, will not now at length (after so much spilling of blood in the defence of the Gospell as was pretended) give themselves the stab of a lie, by doing that, which will overthrow and lay Truth in the dust, and setting up Falshood with a painted Face, coloured with shewes of piety, and pretences of Godlinesse. Quod averruncet Deus. As for my part I shall ever beg of God (and it is a piece of my daily devotions,) That hee would open the Eyes and mollifie the hearts of the seduced, and obdurat Seducers in this Age, That being reduced to the saving knowledge of the Truth, they may have good wills joyned with their great power to preserve [Page 14] the keriothsepher, the Ʋniversities and other Schooles, That from thence may come knowing men of [...], Chrys. sound Opinions and incorrupt lives, whereby they may outshine Hereticks, and be able to refute and stop the mouths of Heresies. Men well learned, of good Lives and lawfully ordained Ministers, have a speciall call to so great a worke, they have a blessing promised on their labours; and may such be ever blessed who are lovers of Peace, and Truths defenders.Mat. 28.20. I am with you.

The second QUERE, Who is an Heretick, and what is Heresie?

AMongst many convincing Arguments to prove the great­nesse of the evill and danger of Hereticks, some have been drawn from the great paines, and cost, which the primitive Church imploid and spent to extinguish the flame or fire of Heresies, wheresoever and whenever it was unhappily kindled; This is attested by the learned Ep. 3. ad Ar­mand. Iesuit. Chamierus in an Epistle to Armandus, Scimus quantis olim sudoribus Episcopi Catholici He­reticos redarguerint, & quantis sumptibus orthodoxi Imperatores eos represserint. Thus from the great care and solicitude of the Physician, from the price and cost of the Physick, or remedies, wee may judge of the grievousnesse and danger of the Disease.

Againe, another argument to prove the greatnesse of this evill may be deduced from the raging Anger, and impatient wrath, which ever appeared, and brake forth in those ancient Christians, who were patterns of humility and rare examples of meeknesse, yet being falsly accused of Heresies, and branded with the name of Heretick, could not with any patience heare and endure it. Wee read in the Part. 2. de Patient. & humilit. lives of the Fathers, of one Agatho, whose name speakes him as hee was, a good man and most devout, that having held his peace, in imitation of his meeke Saviour, at the proposall of many crimes falsly object­ed and maliciously laid to his Charge, yet at the name of Here­sie [Page 15] (being called Heretick,) he was very much moved, and most wrathfully displeased.

This made Ruffinus (as hee is cited by Part. 1. c. 6. Defens. Auglic. Eccl. Bishop Jewell) say, Non est Christianus, qui notam haereseos dissimulat. i. e. Hee is no Christian that can endure to be called Heretick. To this pur­pose is that of S. Ep. 6. ad Pam­mach. Hierome, Nolo in suspicione haereseos quemquam esse patientem. It becomes every one with the greatest care and industry to avoyd the very suspition of Heresie.

Thus a meere imagination and false apprehension of being reputed and named Hereticks, exasperated of late the Spirits of some well-meaning Christians, and moved them to breake through all bounds of modesty, by a publick demand of mee, before the Congregation, (in Swacie neer Cambridge)Octob. 3d. 1652. to de­liver my thoughts concerning Heresie and Hereticks. To whom, (after a short Preface to our ensuing conference) I thus re­plied with great affection to their soules, and (in obedience to the Apostles command, Gal. 6.)Gal. 6.1. Yee which are spirituall re­store, &c. with as much meeknesse as I could, lest that in the flame of Passion and heat of con­tention Truth should singe her winges (as too oft shee hath done) and take her flight, leaving the parties wholy un­satisfied.

Who is an Heretick?First, to avoyd all needlesse questions, and endlesse disputes, wee must distinguish between these two Things, To be an Heretick, and to embrace an Heresie, or an Opinion that is erroneous.

For, not every one whose Opinion is hereticall, is to be reckon'd and listed in the black role of Hereticks, but onely he, who, having been baptiz'd into the Christian Faith, shall stifly maintaine, and obstinatly defend an untruth against it. By the Christian Faith, wee are not to understand in generall the Word of God in it's whole Latitude, viz. The Propheticall and Apostolicall Doctrine contained in the Bookes of the old and new Testament; For, not every false Interpretation of any one place in Scripture, nor every Opinion, resulting from that place so interpreted, falls under the name, and notion of Heresie (as S. Hierome seemes to assert in his comment upon the Galatians)C. 5. v. 20. but by the Christian Faith, The foure Prin­ciples of our Faith and Re­ligion. wee meane those foure Principles of our Faith, which are the foure kindes of [Page 16] Fundamentalls, the deniall and opposing any one whereof with pertinacy entitles a man to the guilt of Heresie, and the name of Heretick.

The first of those Fundamentalls is placed in the Apostles Creed.

The second, in the Decalogue or ten Commandements.

The third, in the Lords Prayer.

The fourth, in the two Sacraments, Baptisme and the Lords Supper.

Thus the Reverend and Learned Bishop Davenant determines the case, in that most judicious, and Schisme-confounding worke of his, entituled, ad Pacem adhortatio. ‘"So then, hee that shall perversly deny an Article of the Creed, which is, Christianorum fidei & spei formula Veritatis summa ac funda­mentum, (To use the termes of the Tridentine Catechisme) The forme of a Christian's Faith and Hope;’ The Epitome and Foundation of Truth; Hee that shall likewise wilfully erre in principiis moralibus, in the Principles of manners or good living; Hee that shall believe or maintaine the contrary to any precept or morall command, as, that simple Fornication is no sinne, which is the Opinion of the Vid. Kinchi in Psal. Iewes and Papists, That it is lawfull to worship an Image, the worke of mens hands, or the like; Hee that shall overthrow the Doctrine of the Sacraments, either denying the exercise or use of the Sacrament of Baptisme, or not Baptizing according to the tenour of Christs Mat. 28. v. ult. injunction, In the Name of the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, or not cele­brating the Eucharist according to our Saviours institution, by denying the Cup to the People, or the like; Lastly, He or They that erre in the Fundamentall Doctrine concerning Prayer, making their addresses to any one, but to God alone, through the mediation of Christ his Sonne, by Faith in whom, and being knit to them in love, wee are bold to call God Our Father, &c. Hee that shall obstinatly persist both in Opinion and practice against any Precept, or Doctrine in these foure kindes of Fun­damentalls, hee cannot be exempted from the number of Here­ticks, whose names are not registred in the Booke of Life, into which none shall enter that worke abomination, or make a lie, Rev. 21.27. Such workers of mischiefe are those [...], [Page 17] as Cyril. l. 1. in Ioh. cap. 4. Cyrill rightly tells them, men that are Leaders and Abettours of an Haeresie. Such men, whom we may call Dae­monice Meridiana (as S. Hieron. Apol. adversus Ruffin. lib. 2. Hierome once called Arius) men blown up with pride, and infected with a Diabolicall daring Spirit, you must decline, as you would those that have the Le­prosie or Plague. Haeresie is a catching disease, and hardly to be cured; it enters into the Soule by the Eye and Eare (when you either reade the books, or heare the Sermons of Haereticks) and entring thus in, it brings Death and Destruction, as its at­tendants with it. S. Paul was not ignorant of this, as appeares by his wholsome and seasonable exhortation for these times. Rom. 16. Ver. 17. I beseech you, brethren, (observe the Apostles earnest supplication, grounded upon the danger of Hereticall infection) mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the Doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them. Ver. 18. For they that are such, serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their owne bellies. They are commonly Covetous and Luxurious persons, given over to their Appetites. They are dissembling Hypocrites, for, as it followes there, with faire Speeches and flatteries they deceive the hearts of their simple followers and Auditours. 2 Joh. 10. If there come any such unto you and bring not the Doctrine of Christ (but that which is contrary to it) receive him not into your House, neither bid him God speed (i. e. have nothing to doe with him, neither shew him any signe of familiarity or respect: lest under the guise or fleece of a Lamb-like Teacher, you meet (in the con­clusion) with devouring Wolfes, proud Anabaptists, or Soul­murdering Jesuites; Who now, like their great Master, the Prince of darknesse, goe about, seeking whom they may destroy with their Antiscripture, Antichristian, infectious Tenets or Haeresies. None, more then these grand Impostours, are plead­ers for Conventicles, that so they may with more security open the fardall of their Masse (that So called in the Confutati­on of the Pa­pists Cate­chisme, pag. 29. maze of Idolatry) amongst themselves, and draw poor deceived Souls from the love of the Church, and their Ministers. [...], marke with diligence those that preach this Doctrine, and conclude with your selves, that they are either immediately sent from Rome that Anti­christian Synagogue, or seduced by the Romish Agents, whose onely aime in these times is, to blow the Cole of Division [Page 18] (using the Doctor Cra­kanth. in his defence of our Church, does call them fit­ly, Flabella Jesuitarum. Separatists as his bellowes for this very purpose) and to draw mens mindes from the love of the Truth and Learning, knowing full well, that the fabrick of their Super­stition and Idolatrous worship relyes onely upon the rotten pillar of Ignorance, the onely prop too of the Pope's great­nesse.

For (as that examinatour of the Councell, or rather Conven­ticle, of Trent, saies well)Gentillet. ut bonarum literarum instauratione fa­cessere caepit ignorantia, &c. So soone as the cloud of Ignorance was dispelled by the bright beames of Learning, the Authority of the Pope began presently to faile and suffer a great diminu­tion. Therefore I exhort you againe, [...], to marke those who are sometimes of Division, who endeavour to disjoyne your hearts from the love of those, whom God hath placed over you to be your Guardians and watchmen, Ezek. 53.17,18,19. such among the Reverend Fathers of the Church are now (God be blessed for it) yet living, to the terrour and griefe of our Adversaries, such likewise yet breath (though with much discouragements) a­mongst the inferiour Ministers, who are more famous for the Pulpit and Schooles then for the Presse, and are able to weild the Sword of Argumentation to the confutation and con­founding of Rome's factours; who deale by us as the Haere­ticks of the former age by those propugnatores fidei, defenders of the faith, Basil, Nazianzen, Ambrose, Augustine, Hierome, &c. whom (as Praefat. in Pa­nopliam. Lindanus notes) the other impudently called Hae­reticks, Haeretici haereticos appellabant, so they undeservedly and most uncharitably terme us. To whom I shall onely reply to the words of S. Augustine to the Pelagians, Aug. contr. Pelag. Impetremus, si possu­mus, à fratribus nostris, ne nos insuper appellent Haereticos, quod eos talia disputantes nos appellare possumus fortasse, si vellemus, &c. i. e. We wish that we might obtaine this favour of our Brethren, that they would not call us Haereticks, which we might (if we were so pleased to breake the rule of Charity which loveth peace) rightly call them, &c.1 Cor. 13.7. As might be evidenced and proved by the former definition of Haeresie, and description of an Haeretick. To all which I shall subjoyne this, to strengthen my assertion, That as an errour in fundamento in any one of the forenamed fundamen­talls, so, one that is circa fundamentum, about, or bordering [Page 19] upon the foundation joyned with Conviction (after the testimony of the whole Church in word or writing to the contrary) and that conviction back'd by contumacie, these doe constitute an Heretick.

He that comes boldly in a mans face, and cuts his throat, and he that steales behinde his back, and knocks him on the head, are both equally guilty of murther (and would be found so were they to be tryed.) So he that directly and manifestly destroyes a fundamentall Truth, and he that obliquely does it, teaching or obstinately maintaining those things, which, if they be granted, by a necessary consequence overthrow the Do­ctrines of Faith, both these Antiscripturists are to be reckoned amongst Hereticks, although the former are farre worse then the latter.

Thus the Heresie of the De his vid. Epiphan. Aug. Philast. de haeresibus. Marcionites, and Manichees, who de­stroy the humane nature of Christ, by allowing him only a Phan­tastick body, is somewhat worse then that of the Popish Transub­stantiatours, who by consequent do that which is directly inten­ded by others: Cranmer. A [...]b. Haeres. for that with the defence of this their absurd opinion, the Articles of the Incarnation, Ascension, and Session of our Lord Christ at Gods right hand, all these will fall to the ground, as the Reverend and most learned Bishops Ep Mort. con­tra Missam. l. 8. c. 2. Hall in his Treat. called Rome irreconcil. White against Fisher Q. 19. Dr. Crakanth. c. 48. num. 23. Morton, Hall, and White, also the judicious Crakanthorp in his elaborat Defence of our Church against Spalatensis prove at large.

You may hereby collect what great boldnesse hath seiz'd upon the Tongues and Pennes of the proud Romanists, who dare throw that dirt upon us which covers their owne faces, whilst they with as much audacitie as falsitie, stile us (what they are indeed themselves judged by the learned to be) i.e. Hereticks. Thus the Arrians dealt by the Christians in the Pri­mitive times, as we finde in Salvian, Salv. l. 5. de Guber. Dei. who complaines thus of them, In tantum se Catholicos esse judicant, ut nos titulo haereticae pravitatis infament, which words would rightly fit our Tongues in reference to our Romish adversaries, Papists falsly call themselves Catholikes. who (speaking and wri­ting a meere contradiction) call themselves Catholikes, when as indeed they are not truly so: it is a terme proper onely to the Ʋniversall Church of Christ, dispersed and scattered over the [Page 20] face of the whole earth. They are a particular Church, and therefore whilst they stile themselves (indeed it is stilo novo) Catholikes, they speake as much or in effect as if a man should say, a particular Ʋniversall, or Ʋniversall particular, which is absurd and against the rule of Logick. Therefore in that they appropriat to themselves the name of Catholicks, they doe this as falsly as when they fasten upon us the name of Hereticks, which is a terme disgracefull, and odious.

Lord open their eyes that they may see the Truth, and en­flame all our hearts with a greater love of it, that knowing what we believe, and practising what we know, we may at the last be crowned amongst those, who with that invincible Athanasius cont. Mundum. Raimund cont. Athanasium. vid. Ribadin. in vitâ ejus. Atha­nasius have contended earnestly for the Truth, even to the losse of their lives and liberties. This is enjoyned by S. Jude ver. 3. and a cleere description of such heroick Spirit we finde Heb. 11.37. It. c. 10.34. which things were written for our instruction, that we being compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses should Heb. 12.1. verse 4. resist even unto bloud, and strive against Heresie and Hereticks, men of corrupt mindes, and destitute of the Truth, from such se­parate your selves, 1 Tim. 6.5. Converse not with such pestilen­tious persons. This too was the wise Councell of the blessed Martyr Ignatius, who (as we read in Euseb. l. 3. c. 30. Eusebius) used to go from house to house: through all the Churches in the Diocesse, admonishing and entreating the Christians to abstaine from the Society of knowne Hereticks, who like Eccl. 13.1. pitch defile the weake with the least touch of private conference.

Mat. 7.15. Beware of false Prophets, &c.’

The third QUERE. Whether it be lawfull (or allowable by the word) for any to frequent Conventicles, forsaking the publike meetings of Christians in Churches?

AS there is a peevish industrie in wickednesse, to finde or make Associats, So Si pertinacia insuperabiles vires habere conatur, quantas debet habere constantia? &c. Aug. Ep. 167. Festo. it is a commendable and industrious piece of vertue or goodness to oppose the attempts of wickedness, especially those of Scismaticks, who not contenting themselves with the bounds of their owne impieties, never rest till they have corrupted others with the poyson of their ungodly Tenets. And I cannot but grieve to see the once brave spirits of our Na­tion (shewed in the subduing the Genevising Scots) such in with greedinesse the positions of the new Jesuitising Englandians, who are infected with the venome of old moth eaten Heresies, which have lain asleep for a long while, but are now awakened and revived by the Prince of darknesse, and transported into our Church.

The ground (as I humbly conceive) of all the enormities and loose opinions amongst us, is, the discountenancing and dis­couraging of the publike ministerie, and the crying downe of Churches (Vox Diabolum sonat, non Deum certè) as if there were none other but those that are Spirituall, when as we finde upon record both in the 1 Cor. 14.35. word and in ancient writers, that there were materiall Churches, 1 Cor. 11.22. houses built and set apart for the publick worship of God, wherein the Christians solemnly met at the least once a weeke; Vid. a full and learned discourse of this in Mr. Mede's Diatri­bae. This was the practise of the Primitive times, even in the dayes of the Apostles, and conti­nued from them to us through all ages by uninterrupted succes­sions.

There is a fable amongst the Mythologists, of a Maiden, and a Lyon, who fell in love with her, and she promised out of feare to yeeld to his desires, on condition that she might first knock out his Teeth, which he presently yeelded to, and was by her im­mediately destroyed.

[Page 22] Thus the only aime of the Devill, and his associats is not onely to pluck out the Teeth of Discipline (the wall) but even the Tongue of sound Doctrine, which is the Heart of the Church. This he now endeavours by stopping the mouths of Gods lawfull Ministers, and sending out his Jer. 29.24. Jude 8. Shemaiahs, Nehelamites, his dreaming Chaplaines, who dream of a form of Govern­ment never thought of nor intended by Christ, and, ha­ving no commission to preach, thrust themselves into Conventicles, where they vent their dreams, and propagate their phancies, to the destruction of many poore well-meaning Chri­stians.

Concerning the unlawfulnesse of which private meetings (congregated by men who have no calling to teach, and in opposition to the Ʋnity and Ʋniformity of our Nationall Church) I shall now in all love and tendernesse to the Soules good of the unlearned, enlarge my thoughts, and deliver my opinion, which I trust will be embraced by those who shall peruse this short Treatise without a partiall prejudice; which, like a Curtaine drawn before a window, shuts out the light of Truth, and keeps darkness in, it harbours errours and mistakes which breed hatred and dissention.

The descripti­on of a Conven­ticle properly so called.First, take a Conventicle for a meeting of men and women in a private house upon the Lords day, then when they should joyn with the people of God in a Church appointed for Gods pub­lique worship and service; thus to convene or meet (though in times of restraint) without a lawfull Minister to head that body, and by enjoyn'd Prayers and Preaching to sanctifie the work, is held utterly unlawfull: which I shall prove both by the word of God, the practice of Christ, together with the authority of Fa­thers, and interpreters of the Holy Scriptures, as also by Argu­ments drawn from reason, which commonly (if not perverted) is a sure guide and a good judge.

First then, if we weigh the Truth in the ballance of the Sanctu­ary, if we looke into the Scriptures we shall finde a flat prohi­bition to the contrary, as Heb. 10.24,25. Let us consider one another to provoke to love and good workes, not forsaking [...], the congregation, as the manner of some is, but let us exhort one another, &c. upon which place Estius (a moderate [Page 23] and learned Interpreter) hath this glosse, Qui conventibus Ec­clesiasticis, &c.Qui conventibus Ecclesiasticis per fastum & superbiam sese subtrahunt, pro­ximi sunt gra­viori ruirae. Est. in loc. They that withdraw themselves from the pub­lick Congregation are in danger of an unavoidable and fearfull ruine; for that thereby they make a Schisme in the Church (the doing whereof is most dangerous and displeasing to God) and ingender Sects (so Estius on the Text) whereby they doe worse by Christ then the persecuting Jewes, they devide his seamelesse Coate, and give an occasion to the Adversarie of re­joycing and triumphing over the Church.

Therefore Ignatius in his EpistlesIgnat. in Ep ad Ephes. & Smyr­nenses. exhorts (and that with much earnestnesse) the Christians to frequent the Church, to be often present and seldome absent from the Meetings of Gods people there, lest that by their continued absence they fall at length from the faith, having first lost their Love to God and his Saints: which Love is commonly child by the cold breath of Conventicles, where hatred, and malice (against those of a con­trary judgement) with Sedition is commonly hatched and fo­mented, as hath beene found by sad experience in this sinfull Nation.

I might here accumulate the Testimonies of other Interpre­ters upon this place, to confirme this Truth concerning the unlawfulnesse of Conventicles.

Cornelius à Lapide writes thus upon this Text, much to our present purpose. The Apostle (saies he) by this word [...], intelligit caetus ecclesiae & conventus fidelium ad sacram synaxim, & ad verbum Dei precesque publicas, &c. i. e. He un­derstands the meeting of the Church in publique prayer, in receiving of the Holy Sacrament, and to heare the word. Hos ergo con­ventus Apostolus vult frequentari, &c. Therefore the Apostle would have these publick meetings frequented, that so men and wo­men may make a cleer and open profession of their Faith, which is a great meanes to beget mutuall Illi publici cat [...] & mutui con­gressus mire fo­vent fidem & charitatem, quae in secessu & se­peratione diutur­niori languessit, &c. Cornel. a lap. love and affections in those, who a­gree in the same faith with us. By this open profession we like­wise encourage and incite others to professe the same Faith, to worship the same God in that manner and after that way as it is done by us, who hereby shew our selves to be an example of good works. And examples we know are more prevalent then words or precepts. They have a greater influence upon mens [Page 23] practise in a way of conformity and obedience.

Besides the forenamed Ignatius amongst the Fathers, Chrysostome, Theodoret, Theophylact, and Oecumenius, interpret this Text in the same sence with à Lapide and Estius; who in­deed light their candle at those bright burning Tapers, whom God did set up for the good of his Church, to enlighten it, and to direct it in the wayes of Truth. And Luke 10.16. he that despiseth them (with the rest of the ancient Fathers) despiseth God who sent them.

The second Scripture proofe against private meetings (as be­fore were defined) is this. Mat. 24. Mat. 24.26. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, behold he is in the desart, go not forth, behold he is in the secret places, [...], Beleeve it not. Most of the ancient Fathers (therefore now despised, because they are enemies to Haeresies) as Origen, Augustine, and others interpret this place of the private corners of Schismaticks and Haereticks, who labour to draw the people's mindes from the love of the publick Con­gregation, and engage them to their private meetings, whereby they commonly intangle them in their errours and Haeresies. Therefore if they say (as the Vid. August. Ep. 48. Donatists once did) that Christ is onely amongst them in their Crypts and Conventicles, beleeve them not, for they doe contrary to the precept and practise of Christ, He wills or enjoynes us to Luk. 12.8. confesse Him and his Truth before men, i. e. to make an open profession of our Faith, both in times of persecution and peace. He himselfe ever Joh. 18.19,20. taught publikely (as he witnessed of himselfe before Pilat) He Luk. 4.15.44 did so to teach us this lesson, That Truth seeks not corners, but loves the light (therefore it is sometimes called light in the Holy Scriptures. Eph. 5.8. Walke as Children of the Light. Vid. Act. 26.18.) But they that Joh. 3.19. Men love darknesse ra­ther then light, because their deeds are evill. hate the Truth, delight in darknesse, dare not say that in an open Congregation, what they spawn and vent in a Conventicle or private meeting. Therefore avoyd them, joyne not with them, beware of making a Schisme in the [...]hurch, or making that rent wider which was first begun of late by the Presbyterians; Adhere not to Schismaticks, whose portion (without a deep repentance for so great a sinne as wounding Christs Church) shall be after death in the Land of darknesse, because they loved darknesse rather then light. I never [Page 25] read that saying of August. Aug. Ep. 204. but with horrour and dread, when I considered the common guilt. Foris ab Ecclesiâ constitutus & separatus à communione unitatis, & vinculo charitatis, aeterno supplicio punireris, etiamsi pro Christi nomine vivus comburereris. i. e. He (or She) that out of pride or peevishnesse separates him­selfe from the bodie of the Church (whose members are knit to­gether by the ligaments of one faith and bond of love) that man shall be punished with everlasting torments, although he should die, in the flame and be burnt for the name of Christ. (Such biting Truths as these are the cause why Schismaticks and Hereticks love not to read the Fathers, nor vouchsafe so much as to name them in their Sermons or writings.) Therefore let no man deceive you with vaine words, for, for such things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of Disobedience. Be not then companions with them: for ye were sometimes darkenesse, but are now light in the Lord, walk as Children of Light. Eph. 5.6,7,8. And conforme your selves to the Christi actio nostri debet esse instrinctio. Aug. example of our Lord and Master Jesus, who Luke 19.47. preached in the Synagogues and the Temple, not­withstanding they were places full of disorder and corruption. He Mat. 21.13. called the Temple a Denne of theeves (and are there not too many in ours?) Mat. 15.3. The Doctrine of the Law was then cor­rupted by the [...] the false glosses of the Scribes and Pharisees (& is not the Doctrine of the Gospel as much corrupted by ours?) Besides all this they were loose and wicked in their lives, witnesse that charge of our Saviour, to his followers and Auditours, against the Jewish Doctours, Mat. 23.23. Doe not after their workes, &c. Notwithstanding all these corruptions and defor­mities in the Jewish Church, yet our Saviour Christ made no separation from it, but came and preached in those places of publick concourse, where the Seducers and false Teachers were.

If this example and practise of our Saviour will not convince and startle into feare and obedience the Separatists of our age (both Teachers and Disciples) I know not what will doe it. Area Dominica nondum ventila­ta est, sine pa­leis esse non po­test. Nos eremus atque agamus quantum possu­mus ut palea si­mus. Aug. Ep. 203. If Christ should have trodd in their steps, been led by their fond opinion, he would have made a Separation, and fled from the Society of the Jewes, and not so much as once gone into the Temple or taught in their Synagogues, but he did other­wise; and from what he did we may conclude, that the pra­ctise [Page 26] of those Phanaticks who separate themselves from all Assemblies, or publick places of Gods service, pretending either a want of gifts or a defect of holinesse in the Ministers, I say the practise of such men doth speake them to be those Anti­christs, which the Apostle S. John mentions in his first Epistle, 1 Ep. Ioh. c 2. v. 18, 19. Now there are many Antichrists, whereby we may know it is the last time: They went out from us, &c. i. e. They turn'd Separatists, & therefore Antichrists, because they went flat against the practice and precept of Christ, who commands us by his Apostle, Phil. 1.27.2.2. to be of one heart and of one minde, to thinke and speake, and doe the same thing, (in good) to love as Brethren, who forsake not one ano­thers company, and desert not their family, when they disco­cover any infirmity in their Father or any deformity in their Mother, but keep close to both in observance and humble duty. We may have communion or fellowship with mens persons in publick worship, and not partake in the guilt of their Sinnes. Ille communicat malis qui consentit factis malorum. Aug. Ep. 171. He commu­nicates with the wicked that consents to their wickednesse; abhorre and forsake his sinne, then maist thou without feare or danger communicate with a wicked, man. Si malos odistis, vos ipsi mutamini à Scelere Schismatis. Si malorum permixtionem timeretis Optatum inter vos in apertissimâ iniquitate viventem per tot annos non teneretis. Thus Augustine bespeakes the Dona­tists; So may I the men of our times; If you hate the ungodly, shew your hatred towards your selves by repenting and tur­ning from your Schisme and Heresies; And if you feare the mixture or company of the wicked, shun the Society, and abhorre the persons of your Leaders by whom you are sedu­ced and corrupted.

To conventicle on the Lords day a breach of the fourth Commande­ment.A third Argument against such meetings in private on the Lords day may be deduced from the intent and scope of the fourth commandement, whose morality, in the judgement of all both Fathers and moderne writers, consists in this, that God be worshipped in the Congregation with publicke service in an open confession of our Faith and a profession of our love and thankfulnesse to him for all his mercies and blessings, those which concerne our Soules and those which respect our bodies, &c. But to wave this and other Arguments which might be [Page 27] produced to confirme my former Thesis, I proceed to reasons against Conventicles.

First, Reason suggests this Truth to our Spirits, that our Soules (being, as it were, so many sparkes of the Deity, the Gen. 2.7. breath of God) are more Mar. 8.37. Mat. 16.26. pretious then our bodies, which are clodds of earth, and by nature cages of uncleannesse; by so much greater ought our care to be towards those then these mortall bodies. Now no man, that hath a Treasure, of Jewels or gold, about him, will venture alone into a place which is a recep­tacle of Theeves and Robbers: None that is found in health will thrust himselfe boldly without feare or wit into the company of those who are infected with the plague or some other noy­some disease: Oh then how doe they at once betray their Re­ligion and forfeit their reason, who mingle themselves with Hereticks, and resort frequently to the company of Schisma­ticks, who are Theeves and Robbers,John 10.8. for that they steale the Truth out of mens hearts, and rob their high-born Soules of the love of God and goodness: whose opinions likewise are worse then the plague in the event and consequent; for, as they incurably infect the soul, So, being embraced and followed, they debarre men from ever coming to the Kingdome of God. Vid. Gal. 5.19. witnesse likewise that of Ignat. Epist. ad Philad. Ignatius, which (did our Sapara­tists understand his language) they would read with a trembling in their joynts, like that great prince in Daniel c. 5. v. 6. when he read his doome on the wall. The words of Ignatius in En­glish are these; [...], &c. Ignat. ibid. They that joyne themselves in a faction, and adhere in affection to such who separate and divide their hearts from the Truth, such men shall not inherit the Kingdome of God. They who shun not the company of false Teachers, shall be condem­ned to everlasting torments. For as with David we must hate the congregation of the wicked, or evill doers, such are perverse Schismaticks, So must we delight in the company of the Saints, who are such not onely in name but also in practise: being pure in their opinions, holy in their lives, not carnall, nor sensuall; Psal. 26.4. They despise not Government, neither speake evill of those who are set in authority over them by God,Jude ver. 8. but are Spirituall, Heavenly minded, meeke and obedient; these are the [...] Those that excell in vertue, commended by [Page 28] H. Psal. 16.3. David for our choice respect, and companie.

Againe, in the second place, as reason fetches an argument against them from the danger of such meetings, where the Devill may seize upon thee, (as hee did once upon that wo­man in the Theater, as Tertullian recordes)Tertul. cap. 26. li. de spectaculis; There he calls Conventicles Diaboli Eccle­sias, &c. so my reason tells mee (Thus should every one argue with himselfe) That it is a shame and disgrace for a Christian, a brother of Christ to follow such a Teacher, to make him his Master, who is [...], a servant to his owne belly, and a slave to his lusts; the subserviencie to which hath ever beene the originall of Heresies, as Theophylact notes well upon that place of the Apostle, Rom. 16.18. They serve not the Lord Jesus but their own bellies. This is spoken of Schismaticks, whose private meetings end commonly in belly-cheere, in luxurie and wan­tonnesse: This is too well knowne to be true in these Truth-denying times: and this too was confessed of It was on the 1. of April last 1652. on which day I baptized two of his children, in the open Congregation, one newly borne, the o­ther of the Age of two years and an halfe. late to me by a Taylour here at Whethamstead to be the cause of his revolt from such private meetings, and coming againe to our Church, it was (as he ingeniously said) their disorder and un­seemly carriage in their Conventicles, that moved him (a man of a tender Spirit) to forsake their wicked company, and return to God.

Oh therefore be perswaded in time before you meet with destruction to avoid such Teachers, and their meetings in dark cells and corners: They are nurceries of sinne and corruption. Though Israel play the Halot, let not Judah offend: Come ye not to Gilgal, neither goe up to Bethaven, Hos. 4.15. Give not up your names to be those mens Disciples, who for ought ye know may be the Popes Legats, who broach new opinions con­trary to those you have received, and repugnant to the Scri­ptures; Bern. Non pastores sed Impostores. such men are not Doctores but Seductores, not Doctours but Seducers, not Pastours but Imposters: Therefore shun their company, come not into their privat assemblies, lest ye be de­filed with their pollutions, corrupted by their Haeresies, which ever end in Schisme; both which break the bones and bruise the flesh of Christs Church, his Cant. 4.9,10. S [...]ouse. And he that lives and dyes in a Schisme, cannot hope to be saved, being severed from that body whereof Christ Jesus is the Head, which body is [Page 29] quickned by that Spirit, whereby we shall be raised. Rom. 8.11. If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortall bodies, &c. If then that Spirit dwell not in you, you shall not be glorified: As a member that is cut off from the body dyes, and by no art can be quickned or have life put into it, being severed from the Influentiall vertue or activity of that Soul which gives life to the body, whereto whilst it was joyned it lived and moved. Ile conclude this third Quaere with that ex­hortation of the Apostle, Eph. 4.3. Keep the Ʋnitie of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that is, in Love and Charity. If this heavenly fire burnes and glows in your Christian breast, you will not from that which I have delivered deduce this uncharitable and mistaken Inference (as some once did, but are now better in­formed of my intentions) That I am an enemy to all kindes of meetings of Gods Saints and Servants; I am not, I exhort them often to meet, but when? Not when they should be at Church; what to do? Not to take upon them the Ministers office to preach, but to repeat what they have heard from the mouths of their orthodox Teachers, or to read the Scriptures to the unlearned, or lastly, to doe as David did, i. e. Psal. 66.18. Tell what God hath done for their Souls, (the manner of their Conversion, the me­thod and meanes God used to comfort them in their tribula­tion, or to pray together Psal. 122.6. for the peace of Hierusalem, for the re­stauration of the poore distressed Church, for a blessing upon the persons and labours of their honest Ministers, let this be the end of your house-meetings, and my Soul shall meet with you in commendation of your holy practise, and in prayer for a blessing on your pious exercise; but if you do otherwise, e. i. for­sake the Church, the place where Gods people his servants do congregat, I fear that it wil happen to you as it doth to the silly Sheep, that strayes from the flock, which becomes a prey to the devouring Wolfe; or as it did to Dinah the daughter of Leah, Gen. 34.2. who leaving her Fathers house to see the daughters of the Land, was met with and ravished by Shechem. So, they that forsake their Ministers, and out of curiosity resigne and de­vote themselves to be followers of those who are none, they must expect to be defloured of their faith and manners by such [Page 30] seducers, who are spirituall Adulterers and Murtherers, who corrupt mens Judgements, and feast it with the Souls of their simple Disciples, whom they grinde with the [...]. Cyril. in Hos. Teeth of errour, and poyson with that cup which they themselves have drunk of, a guilded cup of Haeresies, full ofabomination and filthinesse. The Lord prevent us with his grace, and preserve us from these Corruptions.

S. Augustine in his fourth booke de Doctrinâ Christianâ Rev. 17.4. c. 10. notes that the word in Latin which signifies a Conventicle or place of privat meeting (it is conventiculum) tantùm singulari­tèr dicitur, is onely used in the singular number, improperly in the plurall; as if by God's Spirit (the prime Authour of words in the hearts and by the Tongues of men) this was thereby in­tended to be implyed, that there must not be more places then one, for Gods people to meet in, in their severall parishes, that is each particular Church, the onely place allowed and appointed by God for his publick worship and service. Psal. 107.31.32. Oh that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodnesse, and declare his wonderfull workes before the Sonnes of men. That they would exalt him in the Congregation of the people, leaving their Conven­ticles, wherein God cannot be so highly praised, nor so much honoured as in a place of publick concourse, a Church.

I must for a close of this third Quaere freely vent my thoughts which have beene ever in my brest.

The Classicall Presbyters made way for these abuses and cor­ruptions in our Church by making an unhappy breach in it, when they brought in their Motlie Directorie into the Church, by which meanes they drove many out of it into Conventicles, and, like the Sonnes of Eli, 1 Sam. 2.17. by their unjust Usurpation made men to abhorre the offering of the Lord, and caus'd the people to trespass, ver. 14.

They too by their usurping the power of Ordination, con­trary to the rule of Christ, and the established order of the Church, were the cause that others (in opposition to them) did and doe now preach without Orders.

By this we see, what good friends and Servants, how dutiful Sonnes the Presbyters have been to their Mother the Church. All the hurt that I wish them is this, that they were confin'd and [Page 31] doom'd Scotorum pultibus saginari, to be fellow-Commoners, live, repent and die amongst their wretched brethren the Scots, the first fomenters of our divisions, and Authours of our mise­ries.Vossius Hist. Pelag. saies of Pelagius, that he was Socoto­rum Pultibus Saginatus.

Heavenly Father forgive them. They know not what mischiefe they have done.’

The fourth QUERE. Whether it be lawfull for a Lay-man to preach?

I Remember a saying of Isocrates, [...], it is not proper for an Oratour, or any one to spend many words about a businesse or Theme that is cleer and common. Therefore seeing that the Quaere is not attended with any great difficulty, and hath been so much discussed by the pens of the learned, I shall not spend many words about it. Onely this I shall say for the benefit and conviction of the Ʋnlearned, to whose capacity I desire to fit my discourse, and suit my phrase.

If by preaching we understand (as we are to doe) the 2 Tim 2.15. dividing of the word aright, i. e. The applying of it (according to the diversity of persons, times, and places)1 Cor. 7.20. to the consciences of the Hearers in publick; which application of it implyes a reproving of sinne in a judiciall authoritative way, and a de­nouncing of Judgment against sinners, and lastly a laying forth or unfolding of sweet promises of the Gospell, of pardon and for­givenesse to the faithfull and penitent, who renounce their own, and rely upon Christs merits, To affirme, that to doe this, in a constituted or setled Church, is lawfull for a Layman, is as in­congruous, and carryes with it as great an absurdity, as to say (which is impious) that S. Paul was mistaken and did not speak from Christ, when he enjoyned, every one to abide in that calling to which he is called. Art thou then called to be a Weaver, a Tay­lour, or a Cobler? desert not thy calling, and thrust not thy selfe into that which be­longs to ano­ther. For one to invade the proper duty of a Mi­nister without a speciall calling from the Church is altogether unlaw­full, so sayes Amesius himselfe, lib. 4. de Cas consc. cap. 25.

[Page 32] Secondly, He that can maintain it lawfull for a common Soldier, (because he hath good skill at his weapon and in the feats of Warre) to challenge the place of a Colonell or chiefe Commander, without the consent of the superiour Officers; He that can prove it that Korah and his two confederates sinned not in rising up against Moses and Aaron, and usurping the Priests Office.Num. 16.3. (Moses I am sure checked their boldnesse thus, Ver. 17. ye take too much upon you, &c. it was so much, and so weighty a burthen, their usurpation so great a sinne, that the earth could not beare them but opened and swallowed up them and all their proud associates.)

Thirdly, He that can convince my Judgement that 2 Sam. 6.6. Ʋzzah sinned not in touching the Ark; That the men of 1 Sam. 6.19. Bethshemel did not offend by looking boldly into it; That 1 Sam. 13.11. Saul and 2 Chr. 26.18. Ʋzziah did not commit a great trespasse in taking upon them the Priests Office. 2 Ch. 26.17,18 Thou hast done foolishly, so said Samu­el to Saul, 1 Sam. 13.13. He lost his Kingdome by it, as appears Ver. 14. Now the Kingdome shall not continue, &c. they are the words of the Prophet. Azariah the Priest, and with him four­score Priests of the Lord, Valiant men, they withstood Uzziah the King, and said unto him, It belongeth not to thee Uzziah to burne incense unto the Lord, but to the Priests, the Sonnes of Aaron, that are consecrated for to offer incense: goe forth of the Sanctuary, for thou hast transgressed, and thou shalt have none honour of the Lord thy God.—You may read ver. 19. How that he was punished with Leprosie (a soul disease) for his foul fact, and that in the forehead, the seat of Impudencie, he was too bold. His open sin was punished with open shame. Though his zeal seemed to be good and also his To a lawfull act there is re­quired not on­ly a good end, but also good meanes. A good intention if the meanes be bad will not bring a man to Heaven. Many with this mistake have gone to Hell. Bonum benè is the rule in Divinity. intention, yet because they were not regulated or gui­ded by Gods word, he did wickedly, and was therefore both justly re­sisted [by the Priests] and punished [by God.] This note you shall finde in the Margin of your English Bibles, which I wish were well observed by our too too forward Zelots, who flatter and deceive themselves with their good intentions, when the meanes they use is not lawfull but unrighteous.

Fourthly, He that can prove it by any plausible argu­ment (as I am sure none can, though he were as pow­erfull in invention and witty in Arguing, as Persuadebit nobis quicquid volet. ita de Perronio Pau­lus, sanctus in vita Perronii Opusculis ejus praefixâ. Perronius once a [Page 33] Cardinall of Rome) That it was lawfull under the old law for any Butcher, because he had skill in killing of a beast, to slay the Sacrifice, which was onely proper to Levit. 1.4. He shall kill the Bullock. the Levites. And he that shall demonstrate to my understanding that he is not guilty of great presumption, and much pride, who shall first think him­selfe fit for that office, which S. Paul so admired, and trembled at, that he brake forth into a [...], 2 Cor. 2.16. who is sufficient for it? He that thinkes himselfe so, is most unsufficient; especially, when he shall want all those gifts which are usually seen and required in ministers, as, skill in the Languages, Fathers, Councells, Schoolemen, Church histories, with other modern writers; toge­ther with the Arts and Sciences.

Fiftly, he that shall cleer this point unto me, that the practice of Christ and his Apostles together with the whole Church for sixteen hundred yeares and upwards, is not to be allowed of, especially, when that practice is confirmed and ratified by prae­cept in the holy Scriptures, where we find 1 Tim. 4.14.5.22. Tit. 1.5. Act. 14.23. &c. directions to the then Bishops for the laying on of hands upon those who were then, and now are to be admitted into holy Orders.

And lastly he that can evince it, that besides the inward Te­stimony of a mans owne Conscienee (That he is both willing and able to dis­charge the of­fice of a Mini­ster.) there is not upon the former grounds required the outward call or Testimony of the Church, to whom he is to give triall of his gifts, and then receive the Churches blessing, with solemn Prayers to God, to pro­sper the work which he is going about, i. e. that he may con­vert Soules, and thereby enlarge the Kingdome of Christ.

He, that is able (as I am sure none ever was, or will be) to prove all these particulars, shall subdue my reason, and bring me to a confession, that it is lawfull for a Layman to preach.

Till this be proved (as it never can be expected) I shall with the authority of Gods word, the consent of all Antiquity, and the practice of all Reform'd Churches, conclude and stand firmly to this position:

That no man ought to take upon him this sacred function, or office, Heb 5.4. but he that is called as Aaron was. i. e. by God. The voyce of the Church is the voyce of God; Ergo, Laymen that call themselves by a bold intrusion, we may lawfully call Ʋsur­pers of the Priests office, of the Stock of Korah, of the race of [Page 34] Jeroboam's Priests. 1 King. 13.33. He made of the lowest of the People, Priests of the high places, which thing became a sinne to the House of Jero­boam, even to cut it off and destroy it from the face of the Earth.

And unlesse the Divine Justice shall speedily stop the mouthes of the Apron-Rabbies, and Russet-Levites, by some strange judgement, and so cut them off who have kindled a flame in State and Church (that hath blasted all good order, consumed all Gods Ordinances, and caused a generall ebbe of Devotion and Piety amongst us) who also have crept in like theeves into the Church by back-wayes, have secretly insinuated themselves into the Society of Gods people, professing them­selves to be teachers of the True Faith, but are indeed the de­stroyers of it, and Disturbers of our peace, Jude 4. ungodly men, who were of old [...] ordained, appointed (as if it had beene set downe in a book) to this condemnation or to this Judgement, to be flagellum Ecclesiae, to try, to Id circo do­ctrinam Catho­licam contra dicentium obsi­det impugnatio, ut fides nostra non otio torpes­cat, sed multis exercitationibus elimetur. Aug. exercise and molest the Church by their false Doctrine, and, when they have done their worst, to receive for a recompence or reward of their impiety and wickednesse, damnation.

Till these Incendiaries be suppressed and silenced, we cannot expect but that this our now distracted Nation (which was once the scourge of others and the praise of all the world,) shall become the scorne of all Nations, (whilst (as the Jewes once did) we destroy our selves at home by our multiplyed divisions, and so prevent the mischievous malice of our foraine Enemies: Vid. Ioseph. Hist. which thing will make us a derision to those that are round about us, to the men of Gath and Askelon, the uncircumcised Philistines, bloody Jesuites, and Papists. Which God avert, for his mercies sake, and the Merits of his Sonne Christ Iesus.

Pray for the Peace of Ierusalem, Psal. 122.6.

ERRATA.

PAge 9. lin. 3. r, existimationem. ibid. l. 4. r. ab illis. p. 11. l. 6. r. argumenta­tions, p. 15. marg. r. [...].

The Authours Prayer to God, for the suppressing of Haeresie, and happy composing of our unhappy Divisions.

OH Thou who art one and infinite in power, the center of perfection, and the God of Love, collect our scattered thoughts from perverse disputes, and worldly distractions; draw in our hearts from hunting after Vanities; Confine them to thine Heaven, and to thy selfe who art the Heaven of that Heaven. Make us to love thy Truth, which is the brightnesse of thy ever­lasting light, the undefiled mirrour of thy Majesty, and the Image of thy Glory. And because there is but one Heaven, and one way to it, that living way of Faith and Obedience, Oh let the bright beams of thy grace shine in the hearts of thy people, who are now turned to the by­wayes of Errour, and wander in the desarts of Sinne and Haeresie; reduce them good Father, into the way of Truth, that with one heart and one minde, they may serve thee the onely true God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Trin-uni Deo sit Honos, Laus & gloria.
THE END.

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