TOGETHER VVith a serious Recommendation of Church-Unity and Uniformity.

As it was lately presented to the Church of GOD at great YARMOUTH, By John Brinsley.

Phil. 2. 1.

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of Love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any Bowels and Mercies;

Vers. 2.

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same Love, being of one accord, of one minde.

Jere. 32. 39.

I will give them one Heart, and one Way.

London, Printed by John Field for Ralph Smith, and are to be sold at the Signe of the Bible, neer the Royal Exchange. 1646.

THe testimony of Christ was Truth, Peace his Legacy; he came into the World to bear wit­nesse to the Truth, and at his departure bequeathed Peace to his Disciples. This Author walking in his Masters steps, hath contended for Truth against Heresie in his former Labors, in these for Peace and unity against Schism: A bold undertaking in these distracted times, but yet necessary, and hope­ful. Truth is strong, and will prevail against Heresies, and that Peace may be established in the Churches is the scope of this TREATISE, and the Prayer of him who approves it to be Imprinted,

James Cranford.

TO THE Christian Reader.


SEeing Dedication of Books (which is not so much of Gods Truth as Mans Labors, and a thing from Saint Lukes time (who DedicatesLuke 1. 3. Acts 1. 1. both his Treatises toIn per­sonâ Theo­phili fideli­bus omnibus sua scripta dedicavit Lucas: A­ret. in Luc. Theophilus vir Senatorii Ordinis [...] ibid. Doctrinam omnium communem privatim suo Theophilo destinat. Calv. ibid. Neque enim ideò minus ad omnes pertinet Pauli doctrina [...], quia [...]x suis Epistolis alias certis urbibus alias etiam hominibus dicavit. Idem. one Noble Personage, which he wrote for the use of all the Churches) till this present never questioned) is now in this Scepti­cal age byNathan. Homes Animadversions upon Mr. Tombs Exercitations: Preface to the Reader. some made a scruple; I shall for this once forbear it, though otherwise at sometimes aHâc lege Evangelium suum Theophilo nuncupat Lucas, ut fidelem ejus custodiam suscipiat: Calv. ibidem. useful formality, and at all times an innocent Ceremony. Onely for thy satisfaction take this breif Epistolary Declaration.

Mistake it not. It is not New England that I have here to deal with, nor yet properly New Englands way, commonly known by the name of Independency. Which though I cannot in all things subscribe to as [the] way of Christ precisely laid forth in the Word for all the Churches to walk in, yet, were I there, rather then make a Schism in the Body, I would quietly submit to, blessing God that I might sit down in it, and enjoy the comforts of it. It is Separation that my quarrel is against. And that not Separation in a Church, by purging of it; but Separation from [Page] a Church, by departing from it, and forsaking communion with it. For the former of these I plead, as the most hopeful means to heal our breaches. The latter I implead, and that by the name of Schism properly and formally so called. Whether this plea be just or no, let the sequel speak: Which as I was necessitated to Preach (meet­ing with so just a ground for it in the Text, which in my ordi­nary course (passing through the Epistle) I fell with, and but too just an occasion for it in the place where I live), so am I now to publish; and that, as for other ends, so for the vindicating both the Truth of God and my Self from those unjust and unchristian imputations, which have been charged upon both by some who have taken upon them to Censure what they would not vouchsafe to hear. I know the subject is such as must look for little better en­tertainment abroad at many hands. Naturally all men are given to think well, and to desire to hear nothing but well of their own opinions and wayes. What herein crosseth them, goeth against the grain of nature, and so no wonder if it seem harsh and un­pleasing. But this, as it hath been no invitation to me to deal with it, so neither is it now any discouragement to me in the pub­lication of it. The Work (I trust) is Gods; not undertaken (I am sure) without an eye to his glory, and his Churches good. And therefore I shall leave the successe thereof unto him to whom I have consecrated my Labors and my Self. Possibly somewhat of man may be found in the managing of it, (as in agitations of this nature it is hard not to mingle our own Spirits with Gods); If so, upon the discovery I shall freely acknowledge it. In the mean time my conscience beareth me record that my aym hath been to inform, and not to irritate; to make up our breaches and not to widen them. May my poor endeavors contribute the least to so a happy a Work, I shall acknowledge it an abundant recompence for whatever I am able to do, or am subject to suffer. In the desire and hopes whereof I shall quietly waite, and rest

Thine in the Service of Christ, JOHN BRINSLEY.


1 COR. 1. 10.

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 (no Schisms) among you; but that ye be per­fectly joyned together in the same minde, and in the same judgement.

HAving read this Text,Intro­duction. me thinks, I could now deal with it, as Origen is said once to have delt with a Text which he met with at Jerusalem. Being there over-entreated to Preach, opening his Bible, he fell with that of the Psalmist, Psal. 50. 16. Ʋnto the wicked God saith, what hast thou to do to take my words into thy mouth, &c. Seeing thou hatest to be reformed. Having read the words, and being conscious to himself of what he had formerly done in offering sacrifice to an Idol, and so de­nying the Truth, he presently closeth up the Book; and instead of preaching, falls to weeping, all his auditory weeping with him. And truely even thus (me thinks) could I deal with this Text which I have [Page 2] now read unto you. Having read it, I could even close the Book, and instead of preaching upon it, sit down and weep over it, inviting you to accompany me, considering how far we in this Kingdom, nay in this place at the present are, from what is here desired. What? All speak the same thing? No divisions? A perfect union in the same minde and judge­ment? Alas! nothing lesse. What multiplicity of divisions are here to be found? Tongues divided: Hearts divided: Heads divided: Hands di­vided: State divided: Church divided: Cities divided: Towns divi­ded: Families divided: the neerest Relations divided: Scarce a field to be found where the Envious man hath not sown some, and many of these Tares. Just matter for all our mourning. But I remember what the Lord once said to Josh [...]a, being faln upon his face, weeping and lament­ing over that unexpected repulse which a party of his Army (till then reputed invincible) had met withal at Ai. Josh. 7. 10. 13. Get thee up (saith the Lord) wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Ʋp, sanctifie the people, &c. Josh. 7. Brethren, it is not weeping and lamenting; without further endeavors, that will heal our distempers. Somewhat else must be done. And the Lord teach every of us in our places to do that which may be most pro­per for this end. For my self, seeing God here by his providence in this juncture of time putteth a Talent into my hand, I shall endeavor to improve it as I am able; though happily therein I may disappoint the hopes of some, and the fears of other, in not handling this subject in such a way as either of them made account of.

To close with the words.Divisions. Therein we have a grave, but earnest Obtestation, or Request; an Obsecratory Charge directed by Paul to his Corinthians; wherein we may take notice of two things. The Man­ner; the Matter. The Manner of propounding; which is by way of Obtestation, in an Obsecratory, Supplicatory way, intreating, beseeching, [Now I beseech you Brethren] which also he doth with a great deal of sweetnesse, and a great deal of earnestnesse. Sweetnesse, in the Comp [...] ­lation. [I beseech you Brethren] Earnestnesse. in the Adjuration. [I beseech you Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.] The Matter propounded and pressed, is in one word Ʋnity. Touching which we have here a Dehortation, and an Exhortation. The former dehorting from what is contrary to it. [Let there be no divisions among you.] The latter exhorting to what makes for it, viz. Agreement in Language, Minde, Judgement. [That ye all speak the same thing, and that ye be perfectly joyned together in the same minde, and in the same judgement.] In this method (God assisting) I shall handle the words: [Page 3] Beginning with the Manner of proposal, of which as briefly as I may.

Now I beseech you Brethren, Pauls af­fection in­sinuated. Huic morb [...] exulceratis­ [...]imo primu [...] malag [...]ata quaedam ad­hibet. Pare­us, ad Loc. &c.] An Introduction full of affection, fall of sweetnesse. Thus the Apostle here, (like a skilful, but tender and wary Surgeon, who being to launce an Impostume, a tumor in the body, he first supples, and ripens it, and draws it to a head, by mol­lifying Playsters and Pultesses, before he make an Incision) intending to deal sharply with these his Corinthians in reproving of their errors, he first applieth himself to them in a milde and gentle way. Being to come to them with the Rod, he first cometh in the spirit of meeknesse; lightning before he thunders, intreating before he chides.

Thus Nails dipt in Oyl,Observ. they drive the easier. Affectionate insinua­tions, and declarations, A fit pre­parative for sharp Reproofs. are apt and proper preparatives for tart repre­hensions. The Smith first heats his Iron, then strikes upon it. The Ministers of God in publike, Christians in private being to reprove others, let them do it with all tendernesse, and demonstration of hearty affection that may be. By this means, their words will take place the better. But this by the way.

Come we neerer the words, wherein (if we will resolve them) we shall finde couched a threefold Argument made use of by the Apostle,A threefold Argument here couch­ed. Each con­sidered first simply. for the letting in of this his charge. The first, in the Observa­tion [I beseech you.] The second in the Compellation [I beseech you Brethren.] The third in the Adjuration [I beseech you Brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.] These three I shall take up severally, looking upon each in a double aspect: First, Simply in themselves; then Relatively in reference to the thing here desired.

I beseech you] So the word ( [...]) is here most fitly rendered by precor, 1. obsecro, I intreat, I beseech you: rather then by Exhortor, I exhort you,The Obse­cration. Estius ad loc. as elsewhere it signifieth.

A language which (as Peter Martyr here notes upon it) is seldom or never to be found amongst the Prophets. Obs. They Exhort, Dehort, Command, P. Mart. Com. ad loc. A language peculiar to the New Testament. Threaten, and sometimes Promise, but seldom or never intreat, never beseech. Such language we meet not with in the Old Testament; but in the New Testament it is frequent, specially in the mouth of this Apostle. Now I beseech you Brethren, Rom. 12. 1. We intreat you be ye reconciled, 2 Cor. 5. 20. I beseech Euodias, I beseech Syntiche, Phil. 4. 2. Thus speaks Paul not onely to whole Churches, but even to particular persons, dealing with them in an obsecratory, supplicatory way, intreating, beseeching what as an Apostle he might [Page 4] have enjoyned,Ph [...]l. v. 8, 9. commanded. So he tells Philemon, Verse 8, 9. of his Epistle, Though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoyn thee that which is convenient; yet for love sake, I rather beseech thee. I bese [...]ch thee for my son One simus, &c. Paul might as an Apostle have enjoyned things convenient, much more then things necessary; yet such is his sweet­nesse, that oft times laying aside his Imperative Authority, he falls to intreating, beseeching.

Such sweetnesse is there in the Gospel above what was in the Law. Obs. In the Law God commandeth,The sweetnesse of the Gospel a­bove the Law. forbiddeth. Thou shalt; thou shalt not. That is, the Language of Mount Sinai; the Language of the Law. But in the Gospel it is otherwayes. Here God himself, as it were beseech­eth men. As if God did beseech you by us, saith the Apostle, 2 Cor. 5. 20.

And doth God stoop to do it,Applicat. much more may man. The Ministers of the Gospel they are not Lords over Gods heritage, What lan­guage Mi­nisters are to use to their peo­ple. They may command. 2 Thes. 3. 6 they are but fellow servants with their Brethren, (as the Angel tells John, Revel. 19.) And being so, for them to use intreaties, can be no disparage­ment.

Not, but that they may sometimes make use of other Language. Paul who here intreats his Corinthians, elsewhere he commands his Thessalonians. Now we command you Brethren, &c. 2 Thes. 3. And what himself doth, he bids Timothy do. These things command and teach, 1 Tim. 4. 11. 1 Tim. 4. This may the Ministers of Christ do. What they teach, they may also command. Onely in the Name of Christ. So Paul there qualifies his command. Now we command you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not in his own name. To the married I com­mand, yet not I, 1 Cor. 7. 10. but the Lord, 1 Cor. 7. Officers speak not in their own names. If they do, their commands are nothing worth. Shall the Ministers of Christ impose ought upon the Church in their own names (as some of late have done) their commands may as well (it may be better) be rejected, as obeyed. But speaking in the Name of Christ, now they may not onely intreat, but command. I, and where occasion is,And Re­buke. 2 Tim. 4. 2 Cum aucto­ritate sum­ma tanquàm Dei Lega­tu [...]. Beza ad Loc. rebuke. Preach the Word, be instant in season, and out of season, Reprove, Rehuke, 2 Tim. 4. Rebuke, and that if need be, sharply. So Paul willeth Titus to deal with false Teachers, Tit. 1. 13. Rebuke them sharply. This the Ministers of Christ upon occasion may do, and that with all authority, as Paul bids Titus to do, Tit. 2. 15. [...], Cum omni Imperio; viz. As Ambassadors of Iesus Christ, having authority from their Master to do it in his Name. Such [Page 5] Language the Ministers of God sometimes may use: Not alwayes intreat, not alwayes beseech.

Yet,But some­times be­seech. this sometimes they may do, must do, where there is any hope of prevailing for God in this way, they must not think much to fall upon their knees (as it were) and to become supplyants unto their people, begging that from them, which otherwise they might in the Name of Christ command. So doth the Apostle here. Now I beseech you.]

Brethren] There is [...]e Compellation [Brethren.]2. A word very frequent in Pauls mouth.The Com­pellation. Almost in every Chapter of every Epistle, upon all occasions, still, this is his Language, Brethren, Brethren. To let passe the proper signification of the word, which is well enough known. Brethren, such are all men by nature. Whence are ye my Bre­thren? saith Jacob to the men of Haran, Gen. 29. 4. Gen. 29. All partaking of the same common nature, issuing from the same Womb, having the same first parents. Such are Christians by Grace. All that professe the Faith of Christ, holding the same God for their Father, and the same Church for their Mother; they are Brethren; and so were these Corinthians in reference both to Paul, and one to another. Brethren.]

A word full of sweetnesse, Brethren a word full of affecti­on. breathing forth more then ordinary affection and love. So the servants of Benahad apprehended it, when they heard that word fall from Ahabs mouth concerning their master, He is my Brother; 1 King. 20. 32, 33. they presently take it up as a word importing more then ordinary respect, and thereupon (eccho like) return it back to him again, Thy Brother Benhadad.

Such Affections should all true Christians bear one to another. Obs. Look upon one another as Brethren, Christians should look upon each other as Brethren. Loving as Brethren. 1 Ioh. 3. 18. 1 Pet. 3. 8. Performing Brotherly offices each to other. not as strangers, as the guise of these dividing times is: but as Brethren. And that not onely calling one another so, but really acknowledging one another such. Loving not in word, neither in tongue (as Saint Iohn presseth it) but in deed and in truth: That is, to love as Brethren, as Saint Peter urgeth it, 1 Pet. 3. Love as Brethren. Such should the Church of God be, a true Phila­delphia, where all the Members should be [...], Lovers of the Brethren, and loving as Brethren. Withall, expressing their love by a ready performance of all brotherly offices each to other. Under the Law there was a brand of Ignominy set upon the Brother which re­fused to build up his brothers house, by raising up issue to him for the upholding of his family.Deut. 25. The Law was that, beside spitting in his face, [Page 6] he should have his shooe pulled off; and so was ever after called (as the Rabines tell us) The man that had his shooe pulled off. Vid. Ayns­worth ad loc. The meaning of which Ceremony was to shew how worthy he was accounted and ad­judged to go bare-foot himself, that would not do the office of a Brother to his Brother. An ignominious and infamous thing it is for Brethren by nature, not to be ready to brotherly offices; much more for Brethren by grace. Christians, in the fear of God remember your relation, and let it be your care, and end [...]vour to answer it. Ex­pressing Brotherly affection to such as are your Brethren; specially to such as are so indeed, not onely before men, but b [...]fore God: such as in whom the Image of your heavenly father is conspicuous. To such shew your selves Brethren indeed, helping, comforting, succouring, releeving of them: stepping in to them in their necessi [...]ies. For such a time a Brother is born.Prov. 17. 17. A Brother is born for adversity (saith the Wiseman.) Then to be helpful is the part of a Brother indeed. Thus should Christians in general stand affected each to other.

And thus should the Ministers of the Gospel in special stand affect­ed towards their people,Obs. looking upon them as Brethren, bearing and expressing Brotherly affection unto them.Ministers must look upon their people as Brethren. Though not deser­ving so to be account­ed I, notwithstanding they be such as in respect of personal wrongs and injuries, deserve nothing lesse. That was Pauls case here in the Tex [...]. Some of these Corinthi­ans delt very unkindely and unworthily by him. Notwithstanding God had made him to them their Father in Christ, to whom they were as truely beholding for their spiritual, as ever they were to their parents for their natural generation. So much himself puts them in minde of 1 Cor. 1 Cor. 4. 15. 4. Though you have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: For in Christ Iesus I have begotten you through the Gospel. Yet for all this, some of them would not now so much as own him, nor his Ministery: no, they were of Apollos, they were of Cephas. Paul was now no body with them, now they had gotten to themselves new Teachers. An unkinde requital for all the pains he had spent upon them. Yet for all this, see how Paul still beareth his old affection unto them: though they were changed, yet he was the same: though they would not own him, yet he will own them,Appl [...]c. and that as Brethren. Now I beseech you Brethren.]

A patern for the Ministers of the Gospel in these dividing times,A patern for Mini­sters in these divid­ing times. wherein some possibly may meet with the very like measure that Paul here did. They have bestowed their pains upon a people, and God hath blessed their labours amongst them, making them instrumental [Page 7] in converting of some, and building up of others of them: yet now, meeting with new Teachers, the old are despised in their eyes, their Ministery sleighted, their persons dis regarded, if not un-Christianly traduced. An ill requital it must be confessed: But what of this? Still look we upon them as Brethren; specially apprehending the work of grace truly wrought in them, let not all this unkindenesse make an alienation of affection from them: still love them. I, though it do fall out with us, as Paul complains of, and to these his Corinthi [...]ns, 2 Cor.2 Cor. 12. 15. 12. Though the more abundantly we love them, the lesse we be beloved of them; yet be we content and willing to spend, and to be spent for their sakes, [...], for their souls (as the Original there hath it.) In so doing we have the Apostle for a patern. N [...]y, herein we have God himself for a patern. The people of the Jews how did they requite the Lord,Isai. 1. 2. for all his fatherly mercies which he had shown to them? Here himself expressing it in that Pathetical complaint, Isai. 1. 2. Hear O Heavens, and give ear O Earth, for the Lord hath spoken; I have nourished and brought up children, but they have rebelled against me. For children thus to requite their parents, is an unnatural thing; much more for a people thus to requite their God. Yet for all this, still God tenders that people, owns them as his people, and it ready to do any thing for them that might tend to their good.Hoses 6. 4. O Ephrain [...], what shall I do unto thee? O Iuda, what shall I do unto thee? Is it so that the Ministers of God meet with the like measure from a people, whom God hath made them instruments to beget, and bring up to and for himself, yet let them tender them, still bear them good will, still with Paul here, look upon them as Brethren. This do we.

And this do you.How Christians should stand af­fected to­wards their separating Brethren. Your Brethren, however by their unkinde with­drawing themselves from religious communion with you, they may seem worthy to be unbrothered, yet still acknowledge that relation, and though they will not own you, yet do you own them: still look­ing upon them as Brethren. So did Ioseph upon his unkinde Brethren, who had cast him into the pit, and sold him into Egypt, yet still he looketh upon them as Brethren, his bowels yerned over them, and as occasion was,Gen. 45. his hand was inlarged towards them in the supply of their wants: thus stand you affected to your unkinde Brethren of the Separation. Suppose by their uncharitable censures they should cast you into the pit, excluding you from their communion, and send you to Egypt, to Rome, as some of them have done by their rash and un-Christian censures past upon the Church of England, and the Mem­bers [Page 8] of it; yet, still let your bowels yern over them, and be ready upon all occasions to do all good offices to them:Ipsum fra­ternitatis nomen, ut­cunque Do­natistis fastidiosum est, tamen Orthodoxis erga ipsos Donatistas necessarium. Optat. lib. 3. Looking upon those of that way, and dealing with them as Brethren. Brethren of the Separation. That was the stile of the last age which our fathers gave un [...]o theirs, and let not us grutch it their children. So call them, so own them (I mean such of them, as in whom the Image of God ap­peareth). Such still they are, or may be, to u [...], even as Iosephs Bre­thren were to him, Brethren by the Fathers side, though not by the Mothers: though they will not acknowledge the same Church for their Mother, yet they acknowledge the same God for their Father; and in that respect, let us yet look upon them as Brethren. I beseech you Brethrer.]

By the Name of the Lord Iesus Christ.]3. The Ad­juration. Eos per no­men Christi adjurat ut quantum ip­sum amant tantum stu­dcant con­cordiae. Cal­vin ad loc. The name of Jesus, what. Estius Com. ad loc. There is the Apostles Adjuration; so I may not amisse call it: For what is an Adjuration, but the requiring or commanding of a thing, by interposing the Name and Authority of God or Christ? And thus doth Paul here back his Obtestation or charge, by the sacred Name of the Lord Jesus.

The name of Jesus Christ is the same with Christ himself. I know some Romish Expositors would make more of it; placing a great deal of weight in the very name it self. In obtestationibus etiam nomina ponderantur, (saith the Iesuite Estius upon it.) In obtestations, requests and charges of this nature, names themselves have their weight.

Thus amongst the Iews (saith he) they had ever a special regard to that nomen Dei tetragrammaton, that four-lettered name of God (as they called it) viz. Iehovah. The name it self was sacred unto them, and consequently they took it as the most solemn Obligation which was bou [...]d with it. And of such account (saith he) should the name [Iesus] be unto Christians. Nomen sacrosanctum & super omnia venerabile, a sacred name, and a name above every name. And there­fore Paul in his Obtestation (saith he) here maketh use of that name as presuming it would carry a great deal of sway with them. But this we decline as smelling too much of the Iesuit, Who by advancing the name [Jesus] above all other names, thinks also to advance [...] is own Order above all other Orders. Leaving them the shell, seek we for the Kernel.

To beseech by the Name of Iesus Christ here, is no more but to be­seech for Christs sake, or by Authority from Christ. Take it either way, we shall finde it a prevalent Argument.1. For Christs sake.

1. For Christs sake. For the love of Iesus Christ; so Calvin ex­plains [Page 9] it.A prevalent Argument. Quantum ipsum amant. As you love Jesus Christ, as you bear any true respect unto him. And can there be a more forcible per­swasive to a Christian then this? Paul himself having felt the work­ing of this love in his own Brest, he found a compulsory force in it. The love of Christ (saith he) constraineth us. 2 Cor. 5. 14. And hereupon he maketh use of it as an Argument to others, as conceiving that if this would not prevail with them, nothing would. And surely so it is. Where the Name of Christ, love to Christ, respect unto Christ, unto his Honor and Glory, will not prevail with Christians, there is little hope of prevailing. The name of Christ, it should be dear and precious to every Christian, a thing alwayes in his eye. Like the Pole-star to the Mariner, which way soever he stears, yet he hath an eye to that. Thus in what ever a Christian undertaketh he should have a respect to this name.Col. 3. 17. So Paul presseth it upon his Colossians, Col. 3. What­soever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. viz. With a respect unto him, in reference to his Honor and Glory. What ever may tend that way, that do we. What ever is dishonorable to Iesus Christ, that avoid.

2.2. By Autho­rity from Christ. Or (secondly) By the name of Iesus Christ, that is, by Authority from Iesus Christ. Thus Officers speak, and act not in their own, but in their Masters name, the Kings name, by Authority from him. And thus the Ministers of Christ being Church-Officers, what they say or do to the Church,2 Cor. 5. 20 it must not be in their own name, but in the name of Iesus Christ. In his name they must Preach, as Ambassadors for Christ. 1 Cor. 5. 4. In his name dispense Sacraments and Censures. In the name of our Lord Iesus Christ, when ye are gathered together in the power of our Lord Iesus Christ, to deliver such a one unto Satan: So Paul would have his Corinthians deal with that scandalous person. And so himself here dealeth with them,The Argu­ments looked up­on in refe­rence to Church­unity. not in his own name, but in the name of the Lord Iesus Christ. I beseech you Brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.]

Thus have I cast a glance upon the words severally, and simply con­sidered, finding somewhat in each branch not unuseful. Give me leave now, before I part with them, to reflect upon them again; looking upon them as they stand in reference to the thing here so much desired by the Apostle from these his Corinthians: Obser. Which is, Unity, Peace, Church-Peace, Church­unity a thing of high con­crnment. and agreement amongst themselves.

A thing certainly of very great consequence, of high concernment to the Church. Otherwise (questionlesse) Paul would never have [Page 10] laid so much weight upon it, never have put so much strength to his r [...]qu [...]st and charge concerning it. Wise men do not use to intreat for trifles: Much lesse to beseech, Solent au­t [...] pruden­tes viri non nisi in rebus gravis [...]tmis a [...]hibere obtestationes scrias. A­ret. ad loc. and that with such earnestnesse. It is Aretius his note upon the Text, and it is a good one. Wise men (saith he) will not make use of such serious obtestations (much lesse of Adjura­tions) except it be in matters of great importance and weight. Now if this be a truth (as undoubtedly it is, and I wish it may be so looked upon by those who are so ready upon every sleight and trivial occasi­on, to break out into such deep and solemn protestations, not sparing to make use of the name of God to binde them; surely this cannot be the part of wise men, much lesse of wise Christians) then certainly there is scarce any one thing of greater concernment unto Christians then this.A Pearl in Pauls eye. Sure I am, there is no one thing that Paul doth (nor I think any man can) more earnestly make suit for, then he doth for this. Witnesse but that one Rhetorical and Pathetical Obsecration, and Ad­juration of his,Phil. 2. 1, 2. which we meet with Phil. 2. 1. If therefore there be any consolations in Christ, if any comfort of Love, any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mer [...]i [...]s. Did you ever hear more earnest­nesse in any cause? And what is the matter? The next Verse will in­form it. Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, &c. Let it be so in ours. Such a Pearl was Church-Peace in Pauls eye. O that it were so in ours, and our Brethrens.

That it may be so to us,To that end con­sider. give way to that threefold Argument which the Apostle here maketh use of in handing this request to these his Corinthians.

1.1. The Apo­stles Ob­secration. Let his Obsecration, his Supplication move us. [I beseech y [...]]. Surely (as I said) it is not a trifle that brings a man of Pauls spirit to his knees: It is not for nothing, nor yet for a smal matter, that so great an Apostle should here become a suppliant to the Church of Corinth, begging this at their hands, that they would be at unity amongst themselves. Let this make us think the more of it, and set more by it then we have done.

2.2. His Com­pellation. (secondly) if this Obsecration move us not, yet let this Compellation prevail with us. [I beseech you Brethren]. It was Moses his Argument which he made use of to the two Hebrew Combatants, Sirs, ye are Brethren, why do ye wrong one another. So Stephen relates the story,Acts 7. 26. Acts 7. And the same argument Abraham had made use of before him, in composing the difference betwixt his Kinsman Lot and himself,Gen. 13. 8. and their Herdmen. Let there be no strife, I pray thee, be­tween [Page 11] me and thee, &c. for we be Brethren, Gen. 13. Christians are Brethren. And if so, why do we fall out? Why do we not speak the same thing? Why are not we joyned togeth [...] in the same minde, and in the same judgement? Why do any amongst us breed and foment divi­sions, by separating and withdrawing themselves, both from publike and private communion with those whom yet they dare not but call Brethren? If Brethren, then let us live together, and love together as Brethren. So live. Brethren in their Fathers house do not use to part Tables: For Christians to withdraw Religion, Communion with their Brethren, to set up table against table, is a most unbrotherly part.Heb. 13. 1. Cum consen­su deponi videtur fra­ternitas. Aret. ad loc. And so living, so love, even as Brethren. Let brotherly love con­tinue. So the Apostle presseth it, Heb. 13. To lay down holy unity and agreement, is to lay aside fraternity. I beseech you Brethren.

3. But in the third place. If neither of these will take place, yet let this Religious Adjuration prevail with us. I beseech you Brethren by the name o [...] our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is a Cord of many Strands, strong enough one would think to binde us to the peace.3. His Adju­ration con­taining many Ar­gum [...]ts pressing the c [...]re of Church­unity. Scarce a word, but we shall finde a several Argument couched in it.

1. By the [Name] of Jesus Christ. Have we any love to Jesus Christ, any regard to his Authority, any respect to his Honor and Glory? endeavour we after unity. It is a thing wherein the name of Christ is much interessed and concerned, in point of honor, or dis­honor. In the holy unity and agreement of Christians, the name of Christ is honored. In their divisions and dissensions it is as much dis­honored. By the name of Christ then be we intreated,Argu. 1. nay, adjured to seek after peace.

2.Argu. 2. By the name of [our Lord] A Lord, and our Lord. Being so, what he commands we are bound in duty to obey, and observe. Now amongst other his precepts to his Disciples,Mar 9. last. this is one. Have salt in your selves, and have peace one with another. Besides, being our Lord, we are now fellow servants; and consequently for us to fall out, it can­not be without dishonor to our Lord, and disturbance to his House. Therefore endeavour we to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace,Eph. 4. 3, 5. in as much as we have one Lord; so the Apostle presseth it, Eph. 4.

3.Argu. 3. Aret. ad loc. Our Lord [Jesus]. There is yet more. Jesus, a Saviour, our Saviour. And being so, he doth onely salubria suadere, perswade and command nothing but what is safe for us to observe and obey. With­al, as a Saviour, amongst other benefits, he hath procured this for one, [Page 12] even Peace. Eph. 2. 14. He is our Peace, (saith the Apostle) Ephes. 2. viz. The Author of our Peace, as betwixt God and us, so betwixt one another.

4.Argu. 4. Lastly, Our Lord Jesus [Christ]. One anointed by God his Father, to be a Prophet, Priest, King, unto his Church. Now as a Pro­phet he hath taught,Verse 17. and doth teach us peace. He came and preached peace (saith the Apostle). This he did in his own person. This he hath done by his Apostles. Isai. 52. 7. This he doth by his Ministers, all which are or should be as Messengers and Ambassadors of peace. As a Priest, by the offering up of himself he hath purchased peace, breaking down that [...],Eph 2. 14. that middle wall of separation, taking away the ground of division which was betwixt Jews and Gentiles, that so he might make both one. And shall we go about to set up what he hath pulled down, to set up walls of partition and separation amongst our selves? As a King, he is the King of Peace, the true Salomon, Pacificus, the Peace-maker (as the word signifieth,) the Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9. 6. Isai. 9. Who governs his subjects in peace, having made Laws to binde them to the peace, putting his Spirit into them, which is a Spirit of Peace.

Now put these together, here are Arguments enough. Et quae non prosunt singula—. If any one of these should not be sufficient, yet (me thi [...]ks) all together should be superabundant to perswade us to yeeld to what the Apostle here so earnestly presseth. Which what it is, will more fully appear in the sequel, wherein we have the matter of this his request, or charge.

Therein (according to the method propounded) I shall look first upon the Dehortation, [...]. Are [...]. ad loc. Quod se­cundo loco posuit, ordi­ne primum est: ut sci­licet cavea­mus dissidi­a, Calvin ad loc. The De­hortation. Schism, the word expounded. Schisma est propriè corporis solidi sectio qualis in lignorum fissura, Aretius Pro­blem. de Schismate. [...] Scapula ex Xenop. & Plat. then upon the Exhortation. Begin with the former.

I beseech you, &c. That there be no divisions among you.] Here is the substance of what he dehorts from, in one word, Divisions. [...] (saith the Original) Schisms. For the opening of which, give me leave to look first upon the word, then upon the thing.

For the word [Schism]. The learned know the root whence it springs to be the Greek [...], which signifieth scindere or lacerare, to cut or rend. To cut or cleave, or rive, as wood is cloven or riven. That (say some) is the proper signification of the word. Or to rend as a garment is rent. So then, Schisma, a Schism, is the same with Scissura, [Page 13] a violent division and rent. So our Saviour useth the word Matth. 9. 16. where speaking of the putting of a new peice of Cloth to an old Garment, he saith, that thereby the rent is made worse. The word in the Original is the same with that in the Text. [...], the Schism. Here is the proper signification of the word. By a Metaphor it is translated from inanimate things unto men, and applied to their divi­sions; which we know are either Civil or Ecclesiastical. Civil in the State, Luk. 23. 25 Ecclesiastical in the Church. The former of these is properly called [...],Schism, a word pecu­liar to the New Te­stament. Chamer. lib. de Ecclesia, c. de Schis­mate. Sedition; the latter [...], Schism.

A word (as the Learned Chameron notes upon it) not to be met with in any prophane Writer, nor yet in the Old Testament. True, the root from whence it is derived, is found in both, and used in this sense. Thus we read of the rending of the Kingdom of Israel, which was done in that seditious falling off of the ten Tribes from the House of David. And so men of different opinions are said to be rent a sunder. But the word it self [Schism] it is peculiar to the New Testament,1 Kings 11. 11, 12. from whence Ecclesiastical Writers have taken it, and appropriated it to the Church,Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgu [...]. Jure quo­dam Eccle­siae facta sunt Eccle­siastica. Cham. ubi supra. Schism, the thing ex­plained. and the affairs thereof. So they have delt by some other words, as Sacramentum, Idolum, Haeresis, Sacrament, Idol, Heresie. Ecclesiastical Writers have appropriated them to the Church, affixing a peculiar sense and signification to every of them. And so is it with this word Schism, an Ecclesiastical, or Techno-Logical term (as they call it) a term of Art. This for the word.

For the thing. A Schism (take it in the latitude of it) is any divisi­on in the Church. When the unity of the Church is (as it were) rent and torn by any kinde of divisions. The Church (we must know) is to be considered as one intire body, having many members, whereof Christ is the head. Now where that unity is broknn, that body (as it were) rent and torn by the divisions and disagreements of the Members, there is said to be a Schism. Even as it is in the natural body; where the Members do not agree to perform mutual offices each to other, there,1 Cor. 12. 25. in Pauls Language, is a Schism in the body; so you have it, 1 Cor. 12. So is it in this mystical body, the Church. The divisions of the Members make a Schism in the Body, a Schism in the Church.

Now this division amongst Church-Members (I beseech you follow me close a little,Church-divisions in opinion or practice. least I loose you) it may be either in Opinion or Practice. And each in a large acceptation of the word may be called Schism. Ioh. 7. 43. Division in Opinion. Of such a Division we read, Joh. 7. There was a Division among the people; a Schism, (saith the Original). [Page 14] And what was it about? Why about Christ himself, viz. What he was, and whence he was.

But more properly divisions in practice are notified by this name of Schism. The latter properly Schism. As for the former of these, it is properly called Heresie, the latter Schism. Which two, how ever they are sometimes indifferently used,1 Cor. 11. 18, 19. and put the one for the other. (So they are 1 Cor. 11. 18. l hear that there are Divisions [Schisms] among you; For there must be al [...]o Heresies among you. Schisms and Heresies used in the same sente.) Yet ordinarily and in proper acceptation they are distinguished.

About the distinguishing of them,Heresie and Schism how distin­guished. Schisma est congregati­onis dissidiū ex diversi­tate senten­tiarum. Haeresis ve­rò Schisma inveteratū. August. contra Crescon. Grammat. Inter Haere­sin & Schisma hoc interesse ar­bitramur, quod Haeresis perversum dogma ha­bet, Schisma ab Ecclesiâ separat. Hi­eron. in Epist. ad Galat. Aquin. 22. q. 39. Calvin In­stit. lib. 4. c. 2. s. 5. The Schisms in the Text, chiefly Divisions in practise, which are either Without Separation, we finde some difference amongst the Ancients. Augustine conceived the difference to lye onely in the continuance. As if the one were a recent and new, the other an old and inveterate division. But Jerom more rightly. Heresie (saith he) is properly a perverse opinion; Schism is a perverse Separation. The one a Doctrinal, the other a Practical Error. The one opposite to Faith, the other to Charity. These are the two bonds and ligaments by which the Church is united, and knit together. By the one (viz. by Faith) all the Members are united unto the head. By the other, (viz. by Charity) they are united one to another. Now the breaking of the first of these bands, is Heresie, the latter Schism. Thus they are distinct, the one from the other. So as a man may be the one, and not the other. A man may be an Heretick denying some Article of the Faith; and yet not a Schismatick in as much as he may still keep com­munion with a Church which doth professe the true Faith. And on the other hand, a man may be a Schismatick, forsaking communion with a true Church, and yet not be an Heretick, in as much as he may rightly beleeve all the Articles of the Faith. Distinct they are. Yet so as they are near a kin, and the one making way to the other. Heresie maketh way for Schism, and Schism maketh way for Heresie; the one for the most part falling into the other.

But not to detain you here. The Schisms which we meet with in the Text, import chiefly divisions in practise. Such were these divisions amongst the Corinthians. In Doctrinals, they were for the most part agreed. In Practicals they differed.

Now these Divisions (to follow the point home to the head) they may be either without Separation, or with it. Without Separation from the Church; when men holding communion with the same Church, [Page 15] yet divide themselves into parties, siding, and banding, making head one against another, either in maintenance of some opinion, or way, or in regard of their Teachers. Such were the Sects of the Pharisees, and S [...]duces, and Essens, amongst the Jews, who notwithstanding that they did all hold communion with the same Church, yet they had several opinions and wayes, and about them they were divided into Sects and Factions. And such were these Divisions amongst these Corinthians which the Apostle here speaketh of. Divided they were, but not wholly Separated. Divided about their Teachers, some crying up one, some another, so siding, and making of parties, yet all hold­ing communion with the same Church. So much we may learn from the Apostle,1 Cor. 1. 18. 1 Cor. 11. 18. where he [...]ells them, that when they came together in the Church, there were Divisions amongst them. [...], Schisms, Factions, and part-takings, tending to the breach of Charity, and disturbance of the Church.

Other Divisions there are which are with Separation. Or with Separation. Quia autem haec scissio maximè per­ficitur & apparet in debitâ com­munioue Ec­clesiastica [...] recusandā, idcircò illa separatio per appropriationem singular [...]m recte vocatur Schisma. Ames. Cas. Consc. de Schismate. When men shall withdraw themselves from fellowship and communion with a true Church, so breaking themselves off from the Body. And this (sai [...]h our judicious Ames) by way of special appropriation, deserves most rightly to be called by the name of Schism: In as much as Heresie in this Division is perfected and brought to a head, as also most clearly manifested, and declared, viz. in refusing of due Church-Com­munion.

Which refusal may be either partial, Separation Partial, or Total. The latter most pro­perly a Schism. Separation from the Church-Catholike, Don [...]ism. From a particular Church, Separatism. Which is either Negative, or total. Partial, in some par­ticular Acts and Exercises, wherein a man cannot (or at least conceives he cannot) communicate without sin. Total, a rejecting, and renoun­cing of all Religious Communion. This latter all Divines look upon as a Schism, and that most properly so called.

Which (again) may be either from the Church, or from a Church. From the Church Catholike, the whole Church. That was properly Donatism (the direct Error of the Seekers at this day): Or from a particular Church; and that is properly Separatism. My eye is cheifly upon the latter of these.

Of which (to advance yet one step further, following the conduct [Page 16] of the learned Chameron) there are two kindes,Secessio Negativa, Positiva. Cham. de Eccles. cap. de Schism. or rather two de­grees. There is (to use his terms) a Negative, and a Positive Separa­tion. The former is simplex secessio, when one or more do quietly and peaceably, withdraw themselves from communion with a Church, onely enjoying themselves and their consciences in a private way, not making a head against that Church from which they are departed. The other,or Positive. when persons so withdrawing, do consociate, and draw themselves into a distinct and opposite body, setting up a Church against a Church: Exercising the Worship, and Service of God, Ad­ministring the Ordinances, Word, Sacraments, Censures apart in a separated body, and in a separated way. This is that which Augustine, and other Divines after him (alluding to that act of King Ahaz's, 2 Kings 16.The high­est kinde of Schism. Altare ad­versus altare erexit. Au­gust. de Donato lib. contra Crescon. Gram. Hoc est quod Schisma Autonoma­sticôs dici­tur & [...]. Cham. ubi suprà. in setting up an Altar of his own making, after the fashi­on of that which he saw at Damascus, besides the Lords Altar) call the setting up of an Altar against an Altar. And this it is (saith that judicious Author) which in a peculiar manner, and by way of emi­nency is, and deserves to be called by the name of Schism.

And thus you see both the name and thing in measure opened unto you. What Schisms are. viz. Church Divisions. Which if they be in Doctrine, are properly Heresies; in Practise, Schisms. Which may be either without Separation, or with it. The former are Sects and Facti­ons; the latter more properly Schism. Which consisteth in an un­warrantable separating and withdrawing from Church-communion. Whether it be from the whole Church, which is Donatism; or from a particular Church, which is Separatism: Which may be carried either in a private way by a simple secession and withdrawing, or in a publike and open-way, by setting up a Church against a Church; the former a Negative, the latter a Positive Schism.

Now these are the things which the Apostle here with so much earnestnesse and importunacy diswades his Corinthians from.Reas. And surely not without cause is it,Schism a great evil. that he should be so zealous in this cause; as will appear, if we do but rightly consider the nature of such Divisions, such Schisms, which are Evils, and great Evils.

Evils. 1. An evil of Punish­ment: A great Iudgement. Amos 6. 11. Take it as you will, for the evil of punishment or sin. We shall finde it true in both:

1. Schism is an evil of Punishment, a Judgement, and that a great one. It is one of the judgements which the Prophet Amos threatens against Israel, Amos 6. Behold, the Lord commandeth (saith he) and he will smite the great house with Breaches, and the little house with [Page 17] Clests. That place Joramo applieth and that not unfitly to Here [...]s. and Schisms, which are as Br [...]a [...]hes and Clests in the Church. A sad Judgement.Psal. 60. 2. Such are Divisions in the State. Heal the Breaches thereof for it shaketh, (saith David, speaking of the Civil Commotions in his Kingdom). A judgement which we all feel of, and groan under at this day. And such are Divisions in the Church, a judgement, a sad and sore judgement. Such are the Ecclesiastical Breaches in this Kingdom at this day. The Schisms and Divisions which are broken in, and that amongst God own people: for my own part. I cannot but look upon them as one of the blackest Clouds, one of the saddest judgements which hang over the head of this Kingdom at this day: Of sad influ­ence for the present, and unlesse they be healed, of dangerous conse­quence for the future. A great Judgement.

2.2. And (in the second place) a great sin. Such are heart divisions amongst a people.A great sin. Hos. 10. 2. They are both a judgement and a sin. Their heart is divided (saith the Prophet Hosea) now they shall be found faulty. Their heart is divided, or, He hath divided their heart, (as the Margin reads it). This had God done. In as much as they had divided their hearts from God, God in his just judgement divided them amongst them­selves, taking away his spirit of peace, and communion from them, giving them over to Seditions, and Fractions, which afterward proved the ruine of their Kingdom. And being thus divided now, they were found faulty, guilty of many and great evils. Such is Sedition in the State, and such is Schism in the Church, each a [...] evil, a Mother evil, an inlet to an Ocean of Evils.

We have to deal with the latter (Schism) which is a sinful evil, and that no small one.Schism [...] [...] ­priè dictu [...] est [...] gravi [...] ­mu [...] Peccatum gravissimum. So our judicious Casuist determines it concerning Schism properly so called. It is a most grie­vous sin. Musculus informs me of some, who in point of sinfulnesse have compared it with H [...]resie, and others who have aggravated it beyond it,Ames, C [...] Consc. de Schismat. Sunt quidi peccatum Schismatis ad aeque [...]t peccato▪ H [...]re [...]s, sunt qui illud adhuc pra ist [...] exaggerent, Musc. loc. Com. de Schism. Sacr [...]legium Schismatis vestr [...] defen [...]r [...] non v [...]c [...]is, Aug▪ contra [...] lib. 2. exp. [...]. as the greater evil of the two. Himself concludes it a sin of a high nature. And therein all Divines agree with him.

Augustine that famous Doctor of the Church, disputing against the Donatists about their Schism, (which was a Separation from the whole Church) he calleth it by the name of Sacriledge. Sacrilegi [...]m Schis­matis. The Sacriledge of Schism: Withall, not sparing to tell them that that Schism of theirs was a greater sin then that which they took [Page 18] such high offence at, and which was the ground of their Separation, because it was not so severely proceeded against as they judged fitting, but some that were guilty of it,An ut di­cere cepe­ram, gravi­ora sunt crimina Traditorum quàm Schis­maticorum? Aug. ibid. were still admitted to intermeddle in the affairs of the Church, (viz. The sin of the Traditores (as they called them) such as in time of persecution had through fear deliver­ed up their Bibles to the Persecutors to be burnt). This sin that judi­cious Father compares with their Schism. And to try which was heaviest, he brings both to the ballance of the Sanctuary: Where he findes this out weighing that. So much he collects from the grievous­nesse of the punishment inflicted by God upon this sin above that I, or any other.

Three sins he taketh notice of, each of which was grievously punished. The first was the Israelites Idolatry in worshipping the Golden Calf, Exod. 22. The second was a sin not much unlike to that of the Traditores, though for circumstance far more hainous, viz. That foul act of King Jehoiakim in cutting and burning the prophetical Rowl, Iere. 36. 23 Jere. 36. The third was that Schismatical and Seditious attempt of Corah and his company, rising up against Moses, and assaying to make a rent, a breach amongst the people, by dividing, and separating themselves from the rest. All three hainous sins, and each grievously punished. But none of them like the last. The first, the Israelites Idolatry, was punished with the Sword. The second, Jehoiakims con­tempt, was punished with Captivity: But the third, Corahs Schism, with an unheard of judgement.Numb. 16. 31, 35. The earth it self, as not able or not willing to bear so great an evil, that cleaves asunder (one Division punished by another), and swallows up some of the Authors of it; Fire from Heaven consuming the residue.Quis jam dubitaverit hoc esse sce­leratius commissum quod est gra­viùs vindi­ [...]atum, Aug. ibid. Never such a judgement do we read of in all the Scriptures executed up on any sin as this. Now then (saith he) Quis dubitaverit? Who can make any doubt but that this was the more hainous sin, which was avenged with the more grievous punishment? Whether so or more: Sure I am a grievous sin it is, and must needs be so.

1. In as much as first it is opposite to so great a Grace as Charity is▪ Charity the Queen of Graces. 1. So Paul maketh it, preferring it both before Faith and Hope. Schism op­posite to the great Grace of Charity. 1 Cor. 13. 13 Now abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity, these three, (three prime Theological vertues, most necessary to salvation), but the greatest of these is Charity. So it is in some, in divers respects, greater then Faith, I, then justifying Faith, (for of that the Apostle there speaketh, as appeareth by joyning it with Hope). As first, In [Page 19] regard of the Object, which is larger then the object of Faith. Faith respecteth God onely, but Charity both God and Man. Secondly, In regard of the manner of working. Faith worketh Intra mittendo, by receiving and letting in Christ and his benefits; but Charity Extra­mittendo, by giving out the soul and what a man hath, bestowing them upon God and man. Now Paul tells us from the Lord Jesus, that it is more blessed to give, Acts 20. 35. then to receive. Thirdly, In regard of duration and continuance. Faith and Hope are Temporary, of use onely in this life. Charity is for Eternity; not onely going to Heaven with the owner, but there receiving its full perfection. Thus if Graces be weighed, in some respects Charity weigheth down all. The great Grace. And if so, then that evil which is directly opposite to this great Grace, must needs be a great Evil: But so is Schism; being a breach of that unity whereof Charity is the bond.Eph. 4. 3. Schisma vinculum pacis dirum­pit, Charita­tem scil. Musc. l. c. de Schism. Keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of Peace, (saith the Apostle). Now what is that bond of Peace? Why, Charity. This is the bond whereby the Members of the Church are united one to another. As they are united to Christ by Faith; so one to another by Love. Now Schism breaketh this bond, and consequently must needs be a great evil.

2.2. And as it is opposite to Charity, so it is injurious to Christ, who seemeth by this means to be (as it were) divided. So Paul urgeth it in the third Verse after the Text.Schism in­jurious to Christ. Is Christ divided? Using this as an Argument to induce his Corinthians to eschew all such Divisions, and Schisms, 1 Cor. 1. 13. in as much as Christ himself seemeth hereby to be parted, and torn in peices. The unity of his mystical body being hereby dissolved, and himself made the head of two disagreeing bodies; which is dis­honorable and monstrous to conceive of him.

3.3. As it is injurious to the head, so to the body. As to Christ, so to the Church. Schism in­jurious to the Church And that many wayes.

1. Shaming it. The Churches unity is her glory. My Dove, my un­defiled is one, Cant. 6. Now to break this unity, to divide the Spouse of Christ,1. as the Levites Concubine was, into many p [...]ices, what a shame is this?Shaming it. Cant. 6. 9. Iudges 19. 1 Cor. 11. 22. A shame in special to the Church, from which this Separation is made. Paul writing to his Corinthians of their excluding the poor from communicating with them, he tells them, that herein they shamed them: [...]. They shamed them which had not as them­selves had.

2.2. Despising, and contemning it. So Paul there again chargeth it. Or despise ye the Church of God? Despising it. Why, wherein did they despise it?Ibid. [Page 20] This they did ( [...]s by other wayes, so) by their schimatical practices, dividing themselves from their Brethren, making their Love-feasts, and the Sacrament it self (both which were instituted and ordained for bands of Union) to be an occasion of somenting their Divisions, viz. By celebrating them apart from their Brethren. So the Apostle the [...]e taxeth them,Verse 21. Verse 21. In enting, every one taketh before other his own Supper. [...], praeoccupat. Each prevented other. This they did in their Love-feasts. And this most probably they did in the Lords Supper it self (as Parcus conceives of it) communicating apart,Ad [...]ò divisi crant, [...]t invicèm communica­re sacram caenam non dig [...]arētur. Singulae factiones id agebant ut alia aliam praeverteret. Paulini, verbi gra­tiâ, primi venientes suam caenam celebrabant, non expecta­tis Petrinis, Apollime is, &c. each faction by it self: Those that were of Paul by themselves, and those which were of Peter by themselves, and those which were of Apollo by themselves: None of them staying for those which were of Christ (the best and truest peice of the Church) nor yet one for another. But each seeking to prevent other, that so they might com­municate apart. This Paul calleth here their own Supper; in as much as they so made it, by appropriating it each to themselves and their party, contrary to the Insti [...]ution of Christ. Christ had instituted i [...], [...]hat it should be [...] & [...] totius Ecclesiae, a Communion, a Common Supper, wherein the whole Church should communicate together. But they by their celebrating it in such a separated way, had made it their own Supper. A [...]oul perverting of the Ordinance. Not onely an abusing, and corrupting of it, but plainly a destroying of it. So Paul there tells them in down right words, in the Verse foregoing. When ye come together into one place, this is not to eat the Lords Supper. What then? Their own Supper. Of su [...]h dangerous consequence is it to celebrate this Ordinance of God, the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, in a separated way. 1 Cor. 11. 20. If Pauls judgement may be taken in the case, it is not onely a corrupting, but a perverting of the Ordinance. A celebra­ting not of the Lords Supper, To cele­brate the Sacrament in a sepa­rated way is a per­verting of the Ordi­nance. but of our own Supper.

Which who so do, what do they therein but despise and contemn the Church of God? viz. That Church from which they so separate. Now this, if it be a true Church, can be no small evil. To contemn and despi [...] a private Christian, by shutting him out from desired commu­nion, there being no just cause for it, is a great evil. But to despise and contemn a Church, a true Church of Christ, by shutting it [...]ut from communion, and by separating from it, this is a far greater.

3.3. Disquet­ing it. As the Church is hereby despised, so it is disquieted. Even as it is in the natural body, if there be a solutio continui (as the Physitians call it), so as it be divided and parted, it breedeth smart and pain, which [Page 21] sometimes puts the body into Feaverish distempers. And surely such are the symptomes of Schism. The mystical body cannot be rent and torn by Divisions, but it goeth to the heart of all the sensible Members of it:Iudg. 5. 25. The Divisions of Reuben were great thoughts of heart, Judges 5. Reuben dwelling on the other side Jordan, they kept themselves sepa­rate, not joyning with their Brethren against their enemies, but stood as neutral, regarding more their own private then the publike in­terest. And possibly they were divided amongst themselves, distract­ed with several opinions what they should do. Some would joyn, others would not. Now these Divisions they were great thoughts of heart, working many strange impressions in the mindes, both of them­selves and others; of very sad consequence to all the Tribes of Israel. And truely, such are Divisions in the Church of God, specially when they are boy led up to compleat and perfect Schisms (as it is in the case of Separation, specially when it comes to the setting up of Churches against Churches). O these are sad thoughts of heart to the Israel of God; causing greif to the particular Members of the Church, and great disquiet and disturbance to the whole Body. Oft-times breeding those Feaverish distempers, those un-Christian heats of hatred, vari­ance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, envyings, I, and murthers too, as the Apostle puts them together,Gal. 5. 20. Gal. 5. These, all these are the fruits of Schism, by reason whereof there cannot but follow a dread­ful combustion in the Body of the Church tending to the great trouble, and disquietment of it.

4.4. Hindering it. As the Church is hereby disquieted, so hindered. As disquieted in the peace, so hindered in the edification of it. We know what it was which hindered the building of Babel, even a Schism in their Tongues, Division of Languages. (What do we think, a Schism in their hands would have done, if one should have saln to pulling down what the other built up?) And surely, there is no one thing that can more hin­der the building of Jerusalem, the edification of the Church then this, when Christians shall be divided in their heads, hearts, tongues, hands; in their judgements, affections, language, practise. How should the work of the Lord now go on? Even as it is in Civil Wars, whilest the parties are contending, the Common-Wealth suffers: So is it in Church-divis­ons, whilest the parties are contending, the Church suffers. As it is with a Ship brought to the back-staies, one Say [...] bears the one way, and another an other, in the mean time the Ship stands still. The Wall and Temple of Jerusalem went slowly on in troublous times. [Page 22] So will Church Work do, where ever Schisms, and Factions break it.

5.5. Endanger­ing it. Hoc consen­su stat & subnixa est salus Eccle­siae, Calvin in Text. Corpus Or­ganicum non potest disse­cari quin pariter & totum & partes inter­ [...]ant. P. Mart. in Text. Schism dangerous to the per­son ingaged in it, being the way to Heresie. Again (in the fifth place), as the Church is disquieted and hinder­ed, so indangered by it. As disquieted in the peace of it, and hindered in the edification of it, so endangered in the state of it. The cutting off of one member from the body is dangerous to the whole. What is the dismembring of a Church? The withdrawing of communion with it, the breaking off of all fellowship and communion with it by an actual and posi [...]ive Separation. Certainly, this cannot but endanger the state of that Church, from which this separation is made. Which if it live and continue, no thanks to them who have thus withdrawn themselves, who by their separation have done what in them lieth to destroy it. Thus is Schism injurious to the Church of God.

To these I might adde. It is also of dangerous consequence to the persons who are involved in it; who by dividing themselves from the body, are in a dangerous way to divide themselves from the head. So our judicious Casuist layeth it down. Schism maketh way to Heresie, and so to Separation from Christ. So Jerome observed it in his time. Nullum Schisma, &c. There is no Schism (saith he) but ordinarily in processe of time it inventeth and broacheth some Heresie, that so the Se­paration may seem to be the more justifiable. And Aquinas seconds him, Sicut amissio charitatis, &c. Even as the losing of Charity (saith he) maketh way for the losing of Faith, (pardon the error in that suppo­sition) so doth Schism make way for Heresie. A truth sufficiently ex­perimented in those ancient Schismaticks,Schisma viam facit ad Haeresin & separati­onem à Christo. Ames. Cas. Consc. de Schism. Nullum Schisma non sibi aliquam confingit Haeresin, ut rectè ab E [...] ­clesiâ reces­sisse videatur, Hieron. Com. in Tit. Sicut amissio Charitatis est via ad amittendam fidem, ità etiam Schisma est via ad Haeresin. Aquin. 22. q. 39. ad 3. the Novatians and Donatists, who from Schism fell to be the Authors or Defenders of Heretical Opinions, and those some of them most dangerous. But we shall not need to look so far back. We have a late and dreadful instance for it in those pernicious Schismaticks in New England, who falling foul with the Churches, and despising the Ministery there, fell afterwards into most desperate, and damnable Heresies, and those so many and so foul, as I think no place or age could ever paralel them. Neither shall we need to travel so far for instances. Would to God we had not some even amongst our selves, who from Schism are already advanced very far that way, even as far as may be on this side Hell; nay, (if it were possible) a step beyond it, even to the jearing at God himself. But I forbear to proceed any further.

[Page 23] You now see some of the streams which fall into this Ocean; some of the Evils which contribute their malignity to the making up of the sinfulnesse of this great Evil. Concerning which yet I may say that Lo the one half is not told you. But let this suffice for Explication, Con­firmation, Illust [...]ation. That which remains is the Application.

Which I shall direct in Saint Pauls way, Applic. Let there be no Schisms a­mongst us. and words: Beseeching, nay, adjuring you in the Name of the Lord Jesus, that there be no divisions, no Schisms among you in this place.

Quest. Why, but are there any such? Such there were in the Church of Corinth. But are there any such among us that should give ground to such an Adjuration? Quest.

Answ. Answ. Yes; That there are say our Adversaries of Rome. You are all involved in a Schism, Separation from Rome charged with Schism. and that far more dangerous then any were to be sound in the Church of Corinth. In as much as you have departed from the unity of the Church Catholike, (the Donatists Schism). You have broken off, and separated your selves both from the head, and body; in withdrawing due subjection to the visible Mi­nisterial head of the Church, the Vicar of Christ, and renouncing communion with the body, the Roman Catholike Church.

Reply: Discharged. In reply to this I sh [...]ll not waste much time, it having been already done by many more able Tongues and Pens. A departure we acknowledge, and a separation, but not a Schism. However, not such a Schism as they charge us with, a sinful Schism, a Schism properly so called.

Which that it may appear, give me leave yet a little more clearly, and distinctly to show you what such a Schism,A compleat Schism de­scribed. a compleat and formal Schism is. Will you have a Definition, at least a Description of it? Take it thus. It is A voluntary, and unwarrantable separation from a true Church. Wherein, you may take notice of four ingredients to make up this compound.

There must be,Parts of the Descripti­on four. first a Separation; secondly, a separation from a true Church; thirdly, a voluntary; and fourthly, an unwarrantable Separation.

1.1. Schism a Separation. A Separation. So much the word (as I told you) imports. Schism, from the Greek [...], or the Latin scindere, both signifying one and the same thing, to cut, to rend, to tear, to divide in a violent way. Such is Schism. A formal Schism is a Separation, a breaking off, viz. of Religious communion. Which first presupposeth an Ʋnion. Where there was no union, there can be no separation, and consequently no [Page 24] Schism. Hence it is, that neither Turks nor Je [...]s stand chargeable with Schism, in as much as they never were united to, nor held communion with the Christian Church. Schism is a withdrawing and breaking off of Church-Communion. A going out from the Church, as Saint J [...]h [...] phraseth it, 1 John 2. 19. They went out from us (saith he) speaking of Antichrists, Apostates, Hereticks, Schismaticks.

2.2. A Separati­on from a true Church. A separation from a true Church. So it must be, otherwise it cannot properly be a Schism. A separation it may be, but not a Schism Schism is the cutting off of a Member from a true Ecclesiastical body. A cutting off. Not a partial withdrawing from communion in some corruptions incident to a true Church, which being done in a quiet and peaceable way cannot be called Schism. But a total withdrawing, a renouncing of all Church communion with such a Church.

3.3. A volun­tary Sepa­ration. Which separation (in the third place) must be voluntary. Not necessitated, not enforced, whether in a natural, or moral way. Where persons are unduly excluded and cast out of the Church by an unjust censure of Excommunication; where they are driven away by un­sufferable persecution; or where they cannot hold communion with a Church, but they must also have communion in their Corruptions, their sins; here is no voluntary secession or departure. In these cases the persons withdrawing, are fugati, not fugitivi, not separating, but separated, and consequently are thereby freed from the guilt of Schism, which must be a voluntary separation.

4.4. Vnwarran­table: Whether Secessio Injusta, T [...]meraria. Cham. de Schism. And that (in the fourth place) unwarrantable. Unwarrantable either for the ground or manner. The former an unjust; the latter a rash separation, each a Schism.

1. Ʋnjust. When there is no just ground for dislike or distaste. When there is no persecution, no spreading Error or Heresie, no Idola­try, no Superstition maintained or practised; but the Church is peace­able, and pure, and that both for Doctrine and Worship: And in a good measure free from scandals (which no Church ever wholly was). Now in such a case to separate is an unjust Separation.1. Vnjust: or Chamer. ib. And such a Separation (as Chameron saith of it) is extrema schismatis linea, the very highest pitch and top of Schism.

2.2. Rash; ei­ther Rash. Which again may be in two cases:

1. Where a ground and cause is pretended, but it is but a light cause. Possibly some slight opposition or persecution, it may be by some small p [...]cuniary mulcts, 1. Vpon a light cause. or the like: some lesser Errors in doctrins, not fundamental, nor neer the foundation; some Corruptions in or [Page 25] about the worship of God, but those not destructive to the Ordi­nances, being not in substance, but in ceremonie; and those such as the person offended is not enforced to be active in: Scandals few, and those onely tolerated, not allowed: All tolerable evils, such as charitie may well bear with. Now in this case to separate, it is a rash separation, because it is upon a ground not sufficient, a light ground.

2.2. Carried in an undue manner. Where the separation is carried in an undue way and manner. Though the ground of the separation be just; yet if it be suddain and headie, without due indeavour, and expectance of Reformation in that Church, it may be a rash, and consequently, an unwarrantable separation, in as much as it is opposite to charitie. So is an unjust separation:1 Cor. 13. 6. Charitie (saith the Apostle) doth not rejoyce in iniquitie; [...], in Injustice: and so is a rash separation; it being the nature of Charitie to suffer much and long. Much: Charitie beareth all things, Ibid. very. indureth all things, [...] (saith the Apo­stle in the same Chapter.) It beareth with the infirmities of others, it endureth the burthens which are laid upon it selfe, viz. if they be tolerable: for so the Apostle [...] must be restrained; All things, that is, all things which are sufferable: and suffering much, it suf­fers long. Ver 4. [...], (saith the fourth verse of that Chapter) Cha­ritie suffers long, it is not presently distasted, so as to fly off up­on every small and triviall occasion; no, nor yet upon a just and weighty one, without first assaying all possible meanes of reme­die. So deales the warie and carefull Surgeon with his patient: not presently fall to dismembring upon every slight aylement; no, though the part be ul [...]erated, yet so long as there is any hope, hee forbeares that extremitie, reserving it for the last remedie. Even so deales Charitie by the Church: not presently separate and break off communion (which is the dismembring of a Church) for some supposed errours or corruptions, no, though really such: No, this (saith Chameron) is not Chirurgia, Cha [...]r. de Schi [...]ate. Epistle to M Williams. but Carnificina; which Master Cotton in his Disswasive from separation Englisheth rightly, apply­ing it to the case in hand, Not Surgery, but Butchery. Put these to­gether, you see what Schisme properly so called is.

Now then,Separation from Rome not such a Schisme: be­cause, come wee and bring our separation from the Church of Rome to this Beame, to this Touchstone, and see whe­ther it deserves the name of such a Schisme or no. A separation wee confesse and acknowledge; so far are we from denying of this, [Page 26] as that wee rather glory in it, standing to maintaine and vindicate it from all just imputation of Schisme.

1.1 Not from a true Church. Bish. Hall in his Re­conciler. In as much (first) as it is not a separation from a true Church. Let none here be deceived and deluded with the ambi­guity of a word: There is a twofold truenesse; Naturall the one, Morall the other: In the former sense a cheater, a theife may be said to be a true man, and a whore a true woman, and (till shee be di­vorced) a true wife; yea, and the Divell himselfe, though the Fa­ther of lies, yet a true spirit. And in this sense, wee shall not need to grutch the Church of Rome the name of a true Church: if not so, why doe wee call her a Church? A Church shee is, in regard of the outward profession of Christianitie; but yet a false Church: true in existence, but false in beleefe. Those Divines of ours who have indulged her the one,I say, Shee is a true Church: but I say withall▪ she is a false Church, Bish. Hall ibid. have yet still charged her with the other; with the same breath (it may be) calling her both true and false; not one Protestant pen ever yet dissenting: Such shee was at that time when the Waldenses, Wickliffe, Luther separated from her; a just ground and warrant for their separation. And such is shee much more since, specially since their last Councell of Trent, being thereby so much the more riveted into, and setled upon her old corruptions. So as now all that Charitie it selfe can afford her is,Field of the Church, in Append. that which that acute Doctour of our Church hath granted her; shee may be verè Ecclesia, but not vera Ecclesia; truely a Church, but not a true (much lesse the true) Church: not so a true Church, but that shee is also a false Church, an Hereticall, Apostati­call, Antichristian Synagogue.

Being so, here is now warrant enough for what wee have done in separating from that Church (or rather, from the errours and corruptions of it,Jun de Ec­cles cap. 17. Parem in Rom. 16. from the Papacie in it, as the learned Junius and Pareus, and others of our Divines rightly distinguish); in so doing, we have not separated from a true Church.

2.2. Not vo­luntary: but, Nor yet (in the second place) can it be truely said, that this our separation was voluntary, but necessitated, nay, enforced.

1.1. Necessi­tated. Necessitated through their obstinacie in their errours: which, notwithstanding the discovery of them, and that so cleer, as that some of their owne have been enforced to an acknowledgement of them, and all wayes and meanes used for their reformation, they still persist in; so as wee may well conclude their wound incu­rable, and themselves incorrigible: What then remains, but a cut­ting [Page 27] off? Jer. 51▪ 9. So saith the Prophet concerning Babylon, Wee would have healed Babylon, but shee is not healed. What then followeth? Forsake her, and let us goe every one to his owne Countrey: A war­rant sufficient, not onely for a negative secession, but for a positive separation from mysticall Babylon. Wee would have healed her, but shee is not healed; no wayes, no means that could be thought of, have been neglected for her cure. How many Physicians have had her in hand? Luther, and Zuinglius, and Calvin, and the rest of our learned and pious Reformers, a whole Colledge of Physicians; but all to no purpose; shee is not, shee will not be cured. What then remaines, but that wee should withdraw and forsake her; which cannot be construed as a voluntary, but a necessitated separa­tion. Nay,

2.2. Inforced. Inforced, and that through her violence exercised upon all those who will not hold communion with her in her corruptions; not permitting any to trade,Rev. 13. 16, 17. to buy or sell, to have either Religi­o [...]s, or Civill communion with her, except they receive her marke in their hands, or foreheads. But on the other hand, Anathemati­zing them, thundring out Excommunications against them, which (for feare they should be forgotten) are solemnly renewed every yeer upon their Holy Thursday (as they call it:)Die Jovis mag [...] Heb. don [...]ad [...], &c. P. Mart. loc. Comm de Schis. withall, prosecu­ting them with fire and sword, to confiscation of estates, losse of li­bertie, and life it selfe. These things considered, let God and the world judge betwixt us and them, whether our separation from them be voluntary or no.

3.3. Not an unwarrant­able separa­tion. However, (in the third place) whether voluntary or no, sure we are, it is not unwarrantable, being neither unjust, nor rash.

1. Not unjust: Being warranted both by authoritie of Scripture, not onely allowing, 1. Not un­just. but commanding this Separation, and that un­der a dreadfull penaltie, Come out of her, my people (so saith the the voice from heaven concerning mysticall Babylon) Revel. Re [...]. 18. 4. 18. As also by the ground and cause of this separation, which is not some light and tolerable errours; but Heresies, Idolatries: Errours in do­ctrine, and these, if not directly, yet by consequence, and that im­mediate consequence, fundamentall. Corruptions in worship, both foule and grosse; and that such, as those which hold communion with her, cannot but partake in. Now, whether this be not a war­rantable ground for separation from her, let the same voice from heaven speak; Come out of her, my people, that yee be not partakers [Page 28] of her sinnes, and that yee receive not of her plagues: No unjust sepa­ration then.

2.2. Net Rash. Nor yet Rash: There having (as I said) all the means been used for her Reformation and cure that possibly could be thought of; but all to no purpose: So as after this, what remains but a positive se­cession and separation?

Now put these together, and see whether this our departure from the Church of Rome deserves to be stigmatized and branded (as by them it is) with the name of Schism, Schisma ali­ud malum, aliud bonum: malum quo bona, bonum quo mala scinditur u­nit [...]s, Muse. Ioc. Com. de Schismate. or no: or yet to be drawn in, and made use of by any (as by some it is) for the patronage or coun­tenance of any of the Schisms of the times. If this be a Schism, it is a good and a warrantable Schism.

Qu. But are there any amongst us which are not so?

Answ. Here I wish I could make answer with the like cleernesse and freenesse as before. But, alas, What meaneth the lowing of the oxen, Many s [...]hi [...]ms amongst our selves. and the bleating of the sheep? I mean, the confused noise of our lesser and greater divisions, which ring so loud in the ears of the whole Christian world at this day. Scarce any part of the Kingdome free from some kinde or other of them: The Church therein following the temper of the State, as the soule oft-times doth of the body: Di­visions both Doctrinall and Practicall. The Text confines me to the later: Of those, how many every-where? And that not onely such as these in the Church of Corinth were, divisions without separation, sects, and sactions: but divisions of an higher nature, amounting to no lesse then direct separation; and that not barely to a negative, but to a positive separation, to the setting up of Altars against Altars, Churches against, Churches. That it is so de facto, I think it will not, it cannot be denyed. Would to God the Church of God in this Kingdome, and in this place did not feel the smart of it.

Qu. New separa­tion, whe­ther proper­ly a Schism, or no. But is this New separation a Schism in earnest, or no? There is the question. In the answering whereof I shall deal as tenderly as I may, (only so, as I may not betray the truth and cause of God, or the peace of this place wherein God hath made me one of his (though un­worthy.) Ministers) having an unfained respect to the persons of ma­ny who are ingaged in this unhappy cause.

Answ. T [...]ed by the at res [...]d description of S [...]im. For Resolution, I shall deale with this as I dealt with the former; bring it to the same balance, weigh it at the same beame. What Schism, and Schism properly so called is, you have heard, and I think the description will not be excepted against; viz. A vo­luntary [Page 29] unwarrantable separation from a true Church. Now whether this practise be such a schisme, or no, let it be enquired of in the particulars.Quest. 1. Whether out Chur­ches be true Churches.

1. Where the first enquirie will bee, touching the Church, from which this departure is made, whether it be a true Church, or no. Here it is not my purpose, to multiplie Controversies, which I rather desire (if it were possible) might be brought to a unity. And therefore I shall wholy wave the dispute about a Nationall Church: Whether the Church of England be a true Church, or no. Letting that goe; let the Question be about particular Congregations, Parochiall Churches, (as wee call them.) Whether these (I dare not say all, but some of them; suppose that wherein wee now are, and the like,) be true Churches, or no. True Churches, and that not only Physically, but Morally such. Not only Truly Churches (which is granted to the Church of Rome) but True Churches.

Now as for this,Vindicated to be such. (me thinks). I might well spare the labour of proving it, and take it for granted, having so much Charity as to hope, that whatever any rash and violent spirits amongst us may think and speak, yet those who are Judiciously godly, have more Charity then to disclaim us for such. If they dare, I wish they would speak out. But so it seemeth it is,T. Goodwi [...]s Zo robab [...]l. that even this Bitter Root of rigid separation (as a Reve­rend Brother rightly calls it) begins to grow & spring up again amongst us, there wanting not some, who stick not to maintain and justifie this their Separation from this ground, because we are no True Churches of Christ. For their sakes, (or rather for yours in defence of the cause of God agaainst them,) let mee speak a few words, and but a few.

1.Argu. 1. Here are Pil­lars of truth. are not our Congregations. True Churches? What are not here the Pillars of Truth? Is not the Word of Truth, the Gospell of Salvation, here held forth, and that in an ordinary and constant way, even as the Edicts and Proclamations of Princes are wont to be held forth by Pillars to which they are affixed? Now if so, shall wee question whether here be true Churches of Christ or no? Heare the Apostle,1 Tim. 3. 15. 1 Tim. 3. That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thy self in the House of God, which is the Church of the living God, the Pillar and Ground (or stay) of Truth. Where the Pillar of Truth is, there is the House of God, the Church of God. Where the light of Gods truth is set up and held forth in a loving way, to the guiding of passengers in the way to Eternall life;The Golden Candlesticks. are not here the Golden-Candlestick? And if so, shall wee question whether here be true Chur­ches [Page 30] or no? Let the spirit of truth decide it. The seven Candlesticks, which thou sawest, are the seven Churches, Revel. 1. So many golden Candlesticks, so many Churches. Here is a first evidence; where the light of the Gospell is held forth ordinarily in a publick and Ministe­riall way to a people that professes to walk by the direction of it, can it be questioned whether there bee a Church, a true Church or no?

Secondly,Arg. 2. where the Seales of Gods Covenant, the Sacraments of the New Testament,Here are the Seales of the Covenant, and conse­quently the Covenant it selfe. are for substance rightly dispenced, according to the Institution of Jesus Christ; can it be questioned whether there be a true Church or no? Where the Seales of the Covenant are, there is the Covenant it self; the visible Covenant; and where that is, there is a Church. To them pertained tho Covenants (saith the Apostle, speaking of the Church of the Jewes.) Now who will deny these appurtenances to our Churches?Rom. 9. 4. Here are the Seales of the Covenant, and consequently the Covenant it self.

Arg. Here is the presence of Christ in his O [...]dinances. 3. And as the Covenant, so the Glory. To them pertained the Glory of the covenants, (so Paul putteth them together.) The Glory, [...]iz. the Arke of the Covenant; a Testimony of Gods gracious and glorious presence. Now where this is, shall wee question whether there be a true Church or no? Where there is the presence of Christ, in the midst of his Ordinances, so as in an ordinary way, they are made effectuall to the conversion, and salvation of many; where Christ sitteth, Revel. 1. 13. walketh in the midst of the Golden Candlesticks, displaying his Power and Glory, can it be questioned whether there bee true Churches of Christ, or no? But that he hath done, and doth this in some of our Congregations, I think it will not be denyed. It must be an envious hand that will dare to write [Jchabod] upon the doore [...] of some of these houses.

Argu. Here are So­cieties of visible Saints 4. Where there are societies of visible Saint [...], all such by outward profession, and some of them, a considerable part of them, walking in measure, answerably to that profession; can it be questio­ned whether there be true Churches of Christ,1 Cor. 1. 2. or no? To the Church of God, which at Corinth, to them which are sanctified in Christ Jes [...], called to be Saints. It is the Apostles superscription to this Epistle, in the s [...]cond verse of the Chapter; where the latter clause is but an Exe­gesis, an Explication of the former. A true Church of God, and a com­pany of visible Saints, are one and the same.

Ob. Why, but wee are not all such.

[Page 31] Answ. No more were they in this Church of Corinth. The in­cestuous person, and many others amongst them, they were strange Saints: yet a Church, a true Church. A company of visible Saints joyning together in the Ordinances of God, though there be an unapprovable mixture of some heterogeneous members amongst them, maketh a Church a true Church.

Now, as for these, all these, I think it cannot, it will not be de­nyed, but that they are to be found in some of our Churches: Here are pillars of Truth, golden Candlesticks, the doctrine of the Gospel truely and purely preached: here are the seales of the Covenant, the Sacraments (for substance) rightly administred: here is the glory, the presence of Christ in his ordinances, ordinarily concurring with them, and giving efficacy to them, for the begetting and nourishing up of Christian soules unto eternall life: here are Congregations pre­fessing subjection to the Ordinances of Christ; a considerable part whereof are visible Saints, walking answerably to that pro­fession.

Object. Objections cleered. True, saith the Brownist, (for so I must look upon all those who shall deny the truth of our Churches, as Separatists, and that rigid ones) Suppose all this be granted; yet here are great de­fects, and those no lesse then destructive, making your Churches to be no true Churches. But what are they?

Why possibly some of them will not spare to say,Object. 1. We ha [...] no true Mi [...] ­stery. that we have no true Ministery.

Answ. If not; why then do they retain that Baptisme which they received through our hands?

Qu. Alleg. 1. Wee have our calling from Rome. But why have wee no true Ministery? Here possibly some will cry out upon us as Antichristian, charging us, That wee have received our calling from Rome, viz. by the imposition of the hands of those who had their Calling and Ordination from thence.

Answ. As for them, I shall put them and the Church of Rome together to debate the point, and so leave them. The Church of Rome challengeth us, that wee are no true Ministers: Why? Be­cause wee have not received our Ordination from them. The Se­paratist on the other hand, hee cryes out upon us, Wee are no true Ministers: Why? Because we have received our Ordination thence. Sure both cannot speak truth. I shall therefore here leave them to dispute it out; whilest in the mean time I speak a word or two with those who are of somewhat more cool and [...].

[Page 32] Object. Alleg. 1. We have not our calling from the people. Wee are no true Ministers (say they.) Why? Because wee have not received our calling from the people. Wee are neither Ordained, nor Elected by them.

Answ. To this charge, take this Reply in breif.

First, As for our Calling, wee acknowledg we have not received it from them, but from Jesus Christ our Lord and theirs. His servants wee are, and in his Name do wee execute our Ministeriall Offices and Functions, not in the Churches.

Secondly, As for our Ordination, wee acknowledg the same. We had it not from the people, and we blesse God wee had it not. In as­much as wee finde neither Precept, nor President for it in Scripture; neither untill this Last-last age, was there ever any such custome in the Churches of God.

Thirdly, As for our Election, if a Popular Vote be in this case needfull, some of us, many of us, can herein plead a Fore-consent, most of us (I presume) an After-consent. Now let me aske this quest­ion, What was it that made Leah Jacobs wife? Shee was not so the first night he bedded with her.Subsequens [...]onsensus Ja­cobi in Leam, fec [...] eos con­juges. Why? there came an After-con [...]ent, a Ra­tihibition (as the Lawyers call it) which made the mariage valid. And such a consent (I presume) must, if not all, the godly Ministers in this Kingdome have. If not an Explicit; yet an Implicit consent, which is ejusdem valoris, of the same weight. So as if their first entrance were not so orderly, yet, this after-act maketh, or rather acknowledg­eth them to be true Ministers.

Object. Object. 2. We want Discipline. 2. But supposing our Ministery to be true, yet wee want an Ordinance, and that one of the three, the first three, viz. Discipline?

Answ. Suppose this defect, yet cannot that destroy the essence of a Church. It was not the want of the Golden-snuffers, or some other like utensiles in the Temple, that could make it to be no Temple. Discipline maketh for the well being, not for the being of a Church.

Secondly,Potest [...] ipsa seandala re­movendi, &c. de jure & quoad a [...]um primum non potest ab Ecclesiâ verâ se­parari Ames. Cas. Conse. de Eccles. (But in the second place) however the Exercise of this Ordinance, be in some particular acts for a time suspended, yet is not the Ordinance it self alienated, which, being an Appendix to the word and Sacraments, cannot (in respect of the right of it) be separated from the Church.

Object. 3. But here is no right Constitution. Our Churches were not Rightly gathered at the first, neither are the Members of them combined in a Church-Covenant, Object. 3. We have no right consti­tution. which is the forme of a Church.

Answ. Suppose this also, that there were some Errours in the [Page 33] constitution of our Churches; yet will not that make them no true Churches: inasmuch as Constitution in that way is only an appendance of an externall form, no part of the essence of a true Church.

2. But neither must this be granted: Master Cotton himselfe in this case pleads our cause, remembring us (not without warrant from Antiquitie) that The first Churches in this Kingdome were gathered either by some of the Apostles themselves,Mr. Cottons way of the Churches, or by Apostolicall men: which being so,Cap. 7. See Acts and Monuments (as himselfe inferres) wee cannot but conceive that they were rightly gathered and planted according to the rule of the Gospel. So that all the work now is (saith hee) not to make them Churches which were none before; but to reduce and restore them which are, to their primitive institution.

3.Vinculum hoc est soedue vel ex [...]ress [...], vel implici­t [...], Ames. Medul c. 32. As for combination by Church-covenant, Doctor Ames truely states it, That an implicite Covenant in this case is sufficient: Now such a Covenant do all make, who joyne themselves to a Church, holding a constant communion with it in the Ordinances of Christ. So much and no more can be extorted from that phrase of joyning to the Apostles, Joyning to a Church, what. of which we read, Act. 5. 13. where it is said, that after that exemplary judgement executed upon Ananias and Sapphyra for their hypocriticall profession, Of the rest, (saith the Text) no man durst joyne himself unto them. And so it is said of Paul, Act. 9. When he came to Jerusalem, he assayed to joyn himself to the Disciples; that is, to have fellowship and communion with them: The word is the same with that which we meet with Act. 8. 29. where the Spirit speaking to Phi­lip, bids him go and joyn himself to the Eunuchs chariot: [...], pro­ximè adjungitor; that is, goe neer it, so as he might have converse and conference with the Eunuch. And so doe they, who in a constant way come and sit down under such a Ministery, holding communion with such a people in all the Ordinances of God, they joyn themselves to the Church in that place: which being an implicit covenant, cannot be denyed to be sufficient to the constituting of true members of a Church.

But I shall waste no more time upon this subject, in vindicating the truth of our Churches▪ which hath already been done so strongly▪ so convincingly by others; that certainly it cannot but be either great wilfulnesse, or great weaknesse, not to acknowledge them so to be. Taking this then for granted, which is by our judicious Brethren acknowledged, and, I think, will not be denied by any moderate spi­rit; now proceed we to a second enquirie; and that is, [...] [Page 32] [...] [Page 33] [Page 34] Quest. Qu. 2. Whe­ther here be a separation from these true Chur­ches. Whether here be a separation or no from these true Churches?

Answ. That there hath been so, I presume it will not be denyed by any who ever heard of the Brownists errour; of which rigid way, I wish there were not yet too many to be found, both in this, and other places of the Kingdome; such as professe Separation, and glorie in it. But I passe by them: the persons I have here properly to deale with, are such as would be thought to come neerer to us, and yet are divided from us; such as (in word at least) owne us for true Churches, and yet withdraw communion with us: and that, not onely in a negative way, (as Peter and some other of the Jewes are said to have separated from the Gentiles,Gal. 2. 12. 13. Gal. 2. Before that certain (that is, certain Jewes) came from James (viz. from Jerusalem) hee did e [...]t with the Gentiles: But when they were come, hee withdrew, and separated himselfe, &c. And other Jewes dissembled likewise with him. The very case of some in this and other places of the Kingdome: Before that certain of another way came from the other side, they did eat with us, they held communion with our Churches; but upon their coming, they have withdrawn and separated themselves:) but also in a positive way, combining themselves into separated societies, [...]et­ting up of Churches some of them in Churches, and against Churches; exercising the worship of God in a separated way, refusing commu­nion with us, whether for them to have communion with us, or for us to have communion with them. So is it in divers parts of the Kingdome; and I wish I might not say, that it were so in this place.

Repl. Separation dis [...]laimed. But doe wee not charge them wrongfully? Separation is a thing which they professe against, and they call in their practice to bear witnesse to their profession. Occasionally they will joyn with us in some acts of publick worship, viz. in hearing, and preaching the word; hearing our Ministers, and preaching to our people.

Answ. Yet justly [...]harged. True, some of them haply will doe the former: Some, I say, not all; for wee must know, that in this division (as commonly it is in all divisions) there are subdivisions. Some of this way will hear us in this place; a second sort will hear their owne Ministers here, but not ours; a third sort will neither heare ours, nor their own within these walls. But some of them will. And so they may by their owne principles, and yet have no Church-communion with us: Hear us as gifted men, not as persons in off [...]: Hear us as Teachers, [Page 35] but not as Ministers, (a distinction without a difference.) Besides, hearing (say they) is no act of Church-communion. See M. Ru­therford, Due right of Pres­bytery, pag. 270. Eating one bread at the Lords Table, that indeed is properly Communion (say they;) but not hearing one word. And as for occasionall hearing, it is agreed at all hands, it is not properly an act of Church-communion, which is no more then Infidels and Heathens may doe, who have no com­munion with the Churches of Christ. And so for preaching to us; this they may doe occasionally, nay constantly, and yet have no communi­on with us, nor yet preaching to us as Churches of Christ (which some of that way have openly and freely disclaimed in way of Pre­face to their Sermons) no more then they may doe to Turks and In­dians, with whom yet they have no communion. As for that Ordi­nance wherein Church-communion (as they conceive it) properly lyeth, therein they totally decline us. From my heart I wish there were not so much truth in this charge.

Repl. M. Burrough [...] Irenic. [...]ag. 172. No separation, because no praeunion. But this cannot properly be called a Separation; a separation imports a praeunion, a union by a Church-agreement: Now where there never was such an agreement, there cannot properly be a separation, and consequently, not a Schism.

Answ. Church-co­venant, how far necessa­ry. To this I have laid the foundation of an answer already, by distinguishing betwixt an explicite and an implicite Church-agree­ment or Covenant: the former is verball and formall, the later reall. Now as for this later, an implicite agreement, I presume it will not be denyed to our Churches, otherwise they were no Churches. And if it be granted, then to withdraw communion with them may stand chargeable with the guilt of separation, and consequently, of Schism, as truely, as really, as if they had been gathered by an explicite for­mall Church-covenant. As for such a Covenant expressed in words, however some may conceive it to make for the bene esse, the well being, the orderly gathering of a Church, (which my self will not wholly deny;) yet for the esse, the simple being of it, I think few or none will affirme it. And if there may be a Church where there is no such Co­venant; then there may be a separation from that Church, and that separation a Schisme: Otherwise the Brownists, nay, the Donatists separation had been no Schisme, in as much as they did not separate from Churches so gathered, and combined by an explicite Church-co­venant: which, whatever may be pleaded for the conveniencie of it, yet certainly, as it is distinct from the Covenant of grace, it is but a prudentiall way, no other then a humane, and that a novell invention. [Page 36] So then, as yet the charge runs on: Here are true Churches, and here is a separation from these Churches.

Qu. Qu. 3. Whe­ther this se­paration be voluntary. Schismatici pr [...]rie di­eun [...]ur, qui propriâ s [...]ion­te separant, Aquin. Suit. 22. qu. 39. Conclus. 1. Here i, no coaction. A third inquirie followes, Whether this separation be volunta­ry and spontaneous, or no. If so; this will contribute much to the ma­king up of the formalitie of this Schism. Now whether so, or no, let it be enquired, what coaction, what necessity there hath been, and is, for such a departure.

7. For the former, Coaction, and violent Expulsion, what-ever the former times might have done, yet I hope the present will not take up that plea: if so be the violence and rigour of the one did drive some away, yet, mee thinks, the lenity and indulgence of the other might invite them to return to communion again with that Church, those Churches which are so willing, so desirous to receive them into their bosomes.

Repl. 2. A necessity pleaded. But there was, there is a necessitie of this departure. Why so?1. A naturall necessitie in so [...]e places, where con­gregations are too great. Why, were there no more but this, the unequall division of your Congregations in many places necessitates a division. For instance, In this (and so in many other places of the Kingdome) your Congre­gations are too great, too numerous, the people too many to joyn together in a convenient way in church-communion. Now in this case, a withdrawing of some is necessary; as it is for bees to flight, when the hive is too strait for them.

Answ. In answer to this, I shall not spare again to acknow­ledge what I have formerly both preached and published;The soverain [...]hur [...]-re­medy, prin­ [...]ed an 1645. That in this place (and so I suppose it is in divers other in the Kingdome) there is but too just a ground for this complaint: and my desire still is, (as I then expressed it) that this inconvenience might be remedi­ed by an orderly division. Far be it from me, and from all the Mini­sters of Jesus Christ, to cry out against divisions upon so base and un­worthy a ground as this, because wee would ingrosse a people whol­ly to our selves, though too many for us to have the inspection o­ver. This it was which made the souldiers in the Gospel so unwil­ling to have the seamlesse coat of Christ divided, John 19, 23, 24. because each of them hoped and desired to have it whole and entire to himself. And this it was (as Musculus aptly applies that Storie) which made those foure Colonels, Muse [...]l [...] ▪ com. de Schism. the four Patriarchs of the Church, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome, each to complain of the rending and tearing of the Church by divisions: Why? Because every one of them aspired to be Commander in chief, Universall Bi­shop, [Page 37] and so to have had the whole to himselfe. And this it is which ever since hath made that grand Schismatick the Pope, (so hee is the greatest Schismatick in the world) to cry out so much against Schism, because by every such division his greatnesse suffers some diminution. Now far be such base ends from the thought of any Minister of Christ: for my self, (I professe) I am so far from grutching an orderly division in this place, that I shall not rest satisfied till I see it accomplished: which I do not wholly despair to do, if some of those who take up this complaint for their own advantage, be not the hinderers of it.

2. But yet in way of Reply, I might (in the second place) minde them who take up this plea in this place, that however this Congre­gation be great, and too great, yet can it not be imagined to be so great as that at Jerusalem must needs be; which yet is so earnestly contended for by those of that way, that it was but one Congrega­tion, one Church.

3. However, (in the third place) whether this be the true ground of this Separation or no, let the emptie seates of diverse engaged in this division, being constantly in my eye, let them give evidence. If so be they for their parts want no convenient accom­modation, for participating in publike Ordinances; this plea in re­ference unto them, must be acknowledged to be in a great measure, (if not wholy) void and null.

Repl. 2 A moral ne­cess [...]ty plead­ed, in regard of our sinfull Mixtures. But though here should be no Naturall, yet there is a Morall necessity of separating. And why so? Why, in one word, we cannot hold Communion with you without sinne. Why not? Why, in regard of those sinfull mixtures which are tolerated among you. Your Congregations are miscellaneous companies, of all gatherings; where­in there is not that due separation of the Wheat from the Chaffe, the pretious from the vile, which ought to be: But all sorts are admitted even to Sacramentall Communion. Now this your not separating, necessarily putteth us upon separating, that so wee may not be intang­led in the guilt of your sin.

Answ. The chief a [...] ­gument for Separati [...]n [...]. Here is the common and great argument; the strongest hold which our Brethren of that way put most confidence in. But how weake, how unable to defend this their practise, when we have veiwed it a little, it will soone appear.

Answ. Mixtures in Church com­munion, the common stock upon which schism hath usually been graffed. 1. In the first place, I might here minde them and you, of what is very considerable, how that this hath been the common stock. whereupon Schism hath usually been grafted; the common plea and [Page 38] pretence, which for the most part hath been taken up by all Schisma­ticks, in defence of their separation from the Church. In the third and fourth Centuries, the third and fourth hundreds of years after Christ, wee read of three great and famous Schisms, the first of the Novaci­ans, the second of the Audeans, the third of the Donatists, all separat­ing from the Church. And what was the pretended ground of that their separation? Why, still the over great Indulgence of the Church, (as they thought) in receiving into, or keeping in her bosome, some whom they conceived unworthy of her Communion. This was the thing which Novatus cryed out against, that any of those who in time of persecution had fallen, should be received again into the fellowship of the Church, I, though upon the manifestation of their Repentance. And because he could not therein be hearkned to, he and his party separated from the Church, petending to greater purity in their way, then was to be found in any other Churches upon Earth: Whence they were called (or rather called themselves) by the name of Cathari, Cathari, qui seipsos isto nomine quasi propter mun­diciem super­ [...]issime atque [...]tosissime nominant August. de Haeres. Puritans, a word which the Devill hath since made great use of, for the discountenancing of all power of godlynesse. And this it was which Audaeus, the Father of that second Schism took so great offence at; First the Pompe and pride of the Bishops of his time, together with their Imperious insolency, in Tyrannizing, over the flock committed to them; which being a great eye-sore to him (and that justly,) he had often openly and tartly declamed against.Nimia jam Episcoporum Christian [...]. rum in ipsum gregem Dei insolentia, & in vivendi more & genere superbia, lux [...], etiam, [...] opes & lanticia, quibus vir ille, & merito quidem (ut Epiphan. scribit,) offensus saepe eos coram acerbe increpavit. Dinaeus de Heres. ex Angust. & Epist. Propter hominum vitia coetum orthedoxa Ecclesiae descrunt Andaei, (vel Audiani,) (quod Donatistarum erroris fu [...] postea seminarium,) sc. propter foenora Christianorum, & concubinatus coelibu [...]. Danaeus ibid. & vid. Simpson de Haeret. et Theodor. And besides, through the remisnesse of Discipline, there were divers Ʋsurers and Ʋncleane per­sons tolerated in the Church.

And the very same ground it was, that Donatus afterwards separa­ted upon. Being offended at the connivence shewed towards those Traditores (of whom I told you) he falleth off from Communion with the Church, Se ab eorum caetu sepa­rant quos peccatores & non satis pu­ros judicant, ut seorsim cae. [...] colligent, & Schisma faciant. Da­naeus ibid. de Donatist. setting up his Altar against her Altar (as Augustine saith of him,) gathering a Church, in and against the Church, pretending to greater strictnesse and purity, then was elsewhere to be found, sever­ing from their Communion all those whom they looked upon as Sin­ners, and judged not pure enough to joyne with them. From this head then sprang those first and famous Schisms in the Church.

And from the same root sprang that latter Schism of the Ana­baptists, [Page 39] which is now putting up here again in many parts of the Kingdom at this day.Cùm omnia sceleribus plena sint inter nos, promis­cuè ei [...]am ad. mitti omnes ad Coenam si­ne graviori vel censurâ vel discipli­nâ, &c. Arct. Problem. de Anabapt. [...]. de Schismat. The first, and great distaste which they took at the Reformed Churches, and whereupon they separated, was, the scan­lous lives of Ministers, and people, that they did not walk answerably to their professions, but were given over to all manner of scandalous evils; and yet notwithstanding that they were promiscuously admit­ted to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, without any censure or discipline exercised upon them.

And I shall not need to tell you that it was the very same stone at which Browne and his followers first stumbled, renouncing our Church upon this very ground.

Now,This new Separation justly rende­red suspici­ous. were there nothing else, me thinks this alone might render this pretence very suspicious, in that it hath still been taken up by most Schismaticks in most ages of the Church, and made the ground of their separations, which ye [...] have ever been universally condemned as unju­stifiable and unwarrantable for all that. That Rock which so many have been split upon, me thinks it should make Christians very shie and wary how they dash against it.

But I will not wholly prejudge this cause,The Allega­tion in refe­rence to our Churches further ex­amined. let it have a fair hea­ring, that so we may see what strength (or rather weaknesse) there is in this plea in reference to the Church, or Churches of God amongst us at this day.

Alleg. Alleg. We have unwarrantable mixtures among us, and that even in our Sacramentall Communion.

Answ. Answ. Sinfull mix­tures a just scandall. Here is a blot (I must confesse) which I heartily wish I were able wholly to wipe off from the Churches face in this Kingdom; mixtures there have been, mixtures there are; and for my part I shall not undertake the Patronage or defence of them. From my heart I wish that there were in all our Churches a due and orderly separa­tion, for the healing and preventing of that which is, or may be disorderly (such a Purge could not but be very proper in this Spring time of Reformation and Errours.) However that the Sacrament of the Lords Supper may be kept (as it ought to be) as a sacred and holy My­stery, not to be prostituted to all commers, how visibly unworthy, and uncapable soever: which, where it is allowed or practised, I must ac­knowledge it a just scandall.

But yet let not the Church of God in this Kingdom be too deeply charged with this guilt.But no [...] so justly char­ged upon the Church of England. Suppose it that (de facto) such unwarrantable mixtures have been, and yet [...]e to be found, yet cannot be properly [Page 40] put upon the Churches score. What her Ordinance was touching the keeping back of scandalous persons from the Sacrament, they which have read her ancient Rubrick, cannot be ignorant; and what at this day it is, let the late Directory speak, which expressely excludes all per­sons ignorant and scandalous, as not meet to partake in that holy My­stery. Now, what though there have been, and (it may be) yet are some deplorable failings in the execution hereof, thorough some past and present unhappy obstructions in the exercise of Discipline, yet cannot the Church properly stand charged with them.

Nor yet are all particular Congregations so deeply chargeable with this particular Errour.Much lesse upon all particular Congrega­tions. What care hath already been taken in this place for the removall of this scandall, it hath not been so privatly carried, but that all in the place (I presume) have been either eye or eare wit­nesses of it; and I doubt not but there hath been the like, if not great­er circumspection that way in many other Congregations of the King­dom: So as this pretended soar of mixt communion may be conceived to be in a fair and hopefull way of Cure.

Quest. Whether our suppo­sed mix­tures be a just ground for separa­tion. But suppose the worst, that it should not be so throughly healed, our Congregations not so throughly purged as our Brethren desire they should be; yet what is this such a Plague-soar, as that there is no abiding in the House with it? doth this inforce a necessity of Sepa­ration?

Answ. Enquire first whe­ther they be unwar­rantable. Here (in the first place) let it be enquired, whether the pur­ging which our Brethren desire, be such as the word requires or no? Possibly in this case they may fish with a net of a larger and wider maske then ever the first Fishermen, Peter, and the rest of the Apostles did; a net which will take none but grown fishes. As for weak Christians, and persons inoffensive in their lives and conversations, unlesse they can give positive, clear, and demonstrative evidences of the work of grace in their hearts, it may be they will adjudge them unworthy of their Communion. Now, if so, we must here crave pardon if we go not up with them to the height of strictnesse, which we think the word will not bear us out in; herein we must professe to exercise as much Charity as a holy discretion regulated by the Word will permit us, ac­counting it the safest course rather ampliare favores, to inlarge Gospel­favours and priviledges, reaching them forth to all such as we have no just and clear exception against, then to withold them from any to whom they of right appertain. And herein we presume we shall do no more then what we have good warrant from our Lord and Master for, [Page 41] who in the dayes of his flesh made good what was fore-told of him, not breaking the bruised reed, not quenching the smoaking flax; Is. 42. [...]. but deal­ing gently, and tenderly with weak and feeble ones, reaching forth sup­portation and comfort to them as occasion was offered.

2. But (in the second place) suppose it,2 If unwar­rantable, whether yet they inforce a separation. that herein we should fall short, not coming up to such an exact separation as the Word requires, but that still some persons be retained in the bosome of the Church, and received to her Communion, which are in truth unworthy of it. What then, doth this Laodicean temper in the Church inforce a separation from it?

Alleg. The affirma­tive plea­ded for by our brethren To this our separating Brethren will plead that it doth; And that upon the forenamed ground, because by communicating with such persons, they shall also be intangled in their sinne, at least in the Churches sinne, in tolerating them. Now in this case (say they) the warrant runs clear.Rev. 1 [...]. 4. Come out of her my people, that yee be not partakers of her sinnes; where it once cometh to this, that in holding Communion with a Church, we must of necessity have communion in her sin, here is a necessity of separation from her.

Answ. Answ. To joyn with them upon this issue: In the first place, we might not without just cause here demur upon the Proposition; No sufficient warrant for separation, because we cannot joyn with a Church in a [...] particular acts of wor­ship. In as much as put the case a man cannot hold communion with a Church in some particular act or exercise without sinne, yet is he not thereupon bound to separate from her. It was the case of the pious and reverend Non-conformists of the last age, they were perswaded (many of them) that they could not hold communion with the Church of England in re­ceiving the Sacrament in the gesture prescribed without sin, yet did they not thereupon separate from her. True, in that particular act they with-drew, but yet so, as they held communion with her in the rest; farre from a Negative, Answ. [...]. Communion may be held with a Church where in there are some un­warrantable mixtures, without sin. Reas. much more from a Positive separation. But let­ting that passe.

That which we shall insist upon, is this. That communion may be held with such a Church wherein there are some unwarrantable mixtures tolera­ted, and yet without sin.

The reason is plain. God hath not made all private Christians Stew­ards, nor yet Surveyours in his House, so as that every one should take an exact notice of the conditions of all those whom they hold commu­nion with,All private Christians are not Stewards in Gods house who are fit to be members of the Church, and who not; who are fit to come to the Lords Table, and who not. No, let them [Page 42] look to themselves.1 Cor. 11. 23 That is Pauls rule, 1 Cor. 11. 28. Let a man exa­mine himself, and so let him eate of that bread, and drink of that cup [...] Here is an exercise proper and usuall for private Christians, each one to try and examine himself: which if rightly and throughly done, it would make men lesse intent upon others. As for others, they must stand or fall to their own Master. Look thou to thy self; if others be not what they should be, see that thou beest what thou oughtest to be. In the mean time be not distasted with the Church for their sakes. It is Cyprians counsell cited by Aretius, and it is very wholsome and pro­per for these times. What though there be some Tares discovered in the Church, Vide Aret. Problem de Schism. (saith he) yet let not that be an impediment either to our faith or charity, so as to make us desert that Church wherein we see such a mix [...]ure; But let us for our parts labour every of us that we may be found good corn, that so when God shall come to gather his crop into his garner, we may not be cast out. [...] Tim. 2. 20 In a great house (so he goeth on) the Apostle will tell us, that there are not only vessels of Gold and Silver, but also of Wood and Earth: Now let it be our care and indeavour to make this sure that we are of the former sort, that we be vessels of honour: As for the other, leave them to their maker. God hath not made private Christians Stewards, or Surveyours in his house.

2.2. Much lesse fanners in his floor. Matth. 3▪ 1 [...]. Much lesse (in the second place) Fanners in his floore. This work is primarily Christs, who hath his Fan in his hand, and he shall thoroughly purge his floore. And ministerially the Church-officers whom Christ hath betrusted with the ordering of his Church according to the Rule of the Word; them hath he made the Porters in his house, for the open­ing and shutting of the doors of the Churches communion, by the Keyes of Doctrine and Discipline. Now in this case, if either their hands be tyed by any human restrictions of civill Authority, not permitting them to exercise that power which Christ hath committed to them, and of right belongeth to them, or if thorough remisnesse and negligence they shall let loose the reins of Discipline beyond what is fitting; In this case themselves may be guilty,Private Christians by cō ­municating with wicked men, are not thereby in­tangled in the guilt of their s [...]. others may be guilty: But as for private Christians, being not accessory to either of these, how they by their bare communicating with persons so tolerated, should come to be entangled in the guilt of that sinne, it cannot be conceived.

Repl. Object. No? The Apostle saith it expresly, 1 Cor. 5. 6. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? This he speaks touching [Page 43] the incestuous person, who by his continuance in the Church of Co­rinth uncast out, indangered the whole Flock.

Answ. The Church endangered by tolerati­on of min­tures. Indangered? True, so hee did, and so do scandalous sin­ners where-ever they are tolerated in a Church; they doe indanger the rest of the members, viz. by their evill examples, and in that re­spect ought to be cast out from communion,Ʋnius homi­ni [...] contagi [...] ­ne tota sap [...] inficitu [...] multitude. Calv. ad loc. Impunitas vitiorum ali­os ad peccan­dum invitat, Pareus ad loc. that so the Church may be preserved from infection: But yet it doth not thereupon follow, that all the members should presently be made guilty by that tole­ration. True indeed, in case they doe not lay that sin to heart, be humbled for it, and use all lawfull means for remedie, (which was the case of the Church of Corinth at that time, notwithstanding that, and many other scandalous evils were tolerated amongst them, yet they were secure, thinking highly of themselves, glorying in their Church-state,But not all the members thereby pre­sently made guilty. Calv ad loc. perinde acsi omnia fuissent apud se aurea, (to use Calvins words) as if all had been pure and perfect with them; this glorying of theirs Paul here tels them it was not good, Your glorying is not good, that is, very evill and sinfull:) in this case indeed they may make themselves accessory to the sin; but not barely through com­munion with that Church wherein such an evill is tolerated: The similitudes are obvious and common,—Greu [...] in agris [...] scab [...]e ca [...]t & poi­rigine po [...]ci; Ʋu [...]que con­tactâ livorem ducit ab [...] Juvenal. One scabbed sheep, one rotten grape, one gangrenated member, in continuance of time will infect the whole flocke, the whole bunch, the whole bodie, viz. by transmitting and communicating the malignitie which is in themselves to the rest. But it doth not therefore follow, that the whole is infected, because a part is so: Or, to hold to the Apostles proverbiall Allegorie there, A little leaven, by lying long in a masse of paste, will in time leaven the whole, viz. by transfusing its sowrenesse into all the other parts; but it doth not therefore follow, that the whole lump is presently leavened, because the leaven is there. Thus a scandalous person, one or more, tolerated in a Church, may by his or their evill example, made the more dangerous through impunitie, communicate the infe­ction of his or their sin unto others: yet are not all the members of the Church thereupon presently involved in the guilt of that sin to which they are no wayes accessory.

To inlarge no further in a case so cleer. You see how the charge of Schisme still runs on: Here is a separation; A separation from a true Church; A voluntarie separation from a true Church.

Quest. The fourth and last enquirie is yet behinde; and that is, [Page 44] Whether this be a warrantable separation or no.Qu. 4. Whe­ther this se­paration be unwarrant­able. That some se­paration may be so, I have shewen you already. Whether this be so or no, that is the question. And yet no question, in case it shall be demonstrated to be either an unjust, Demonstra­ted so to be; being or rash separati­on: Both which, I feare, upon the tryall it will be found to bee.

1.1. Unjust. An unjust separation: Such ever is a totall separation from a true Church. True, a partiall separation in some cases may be war­rantable; but a totall separation,Sec [...]ssio to­talis cum ab­soluta renun­tiatione out rejectione omnis communionis, non potest licitè adbiberi erga Ecclesiam veram: sed partialis tantùm, quatenus communio­non potest exerceri sine peccato, Ames. cas. de S [...]his [...]n. a renouncing of all communion with a true Church, can in no case be so: So our judicious Casuist rightly determines it.

No more is this separation (what-ever it be) which is made from our Churches.

1.1. Having no warrant from the Word. In as much (first) as it hath no warrant from the Scripture to bear it out.

Repl. Object. 1. Rev. 28. 4. No (say some of that way)? Yes that it hath: What else means that known charge, Come out of her my people?

Answ. Wee answer, It is the voyce of God calling his peo­ple to separation from mysticall Babylon. Now, let those our rigid Brethren once prove us a limb of that Antichristian bodie, and then we shall acknowledge their separation just.

Alleg. Our separa­tion from Rome no warrant for this separati­on from us. But yet Rome both was, and is a true Church, So as there may be a totall separation from a true Church, and yet not unjust.

Answ. How Rome may be said to be a true Church, I have shewen you already; not so true, but that shee is false: So to grant her the one, as to deny the other, is larger charitie then e­ver Protestant pen yet afforded her. Now, if our Brethren will acknowledge us to be a true Church in no other sense but that (as I feare, the charitie of some of them will reach no farther) wee shall have little cause with thankfulnesse to acknowledge their acknow­ledgement.

Repl.Object. 2. But what say wee to that expresse Text which speaks so full for Separation,2 Cor. 6. 17. examined. both name and thing? 2 Cor. 6. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separated (saith the Lord) and touch no unclean thing, &c. [...], Be yee separate.

[Page 45] Answ. True, from Infidels and Idolaters; of such the Apostle there speaketh: And with such, Christians are not to have inti­mate societie and communion, lest thereby they be drawne to the imitation of their sinnes, and so to the participation of their pu­nishments; specially, to have Religious communion with them in their Idolatrie. In this case (saith the Apostle) Touch not the unclean thing. However a civill converse and commerce may be had with such; yet into their secrets, their mysteries, let not our soules enter: More then this cannot be extorted from that Text. Now let the charge be made good against us, that we are such, then we shall acknowledge a separation from us just.

Repl.Object. 3. Why, but that knowne place in the former Epistle will reach us and our mixt communion, which is there cleerly held forth as a sufficient ground and warrant for separation: 1 Cor. 5. 11. examined. Now I have written to you (saith the Apostle) not to keep companie. If any man that is called a Brother be a fornicatour, or covetous, &c. with such a one no not to eat.

Answ. What meant by eating: Not religi­ous, but civil cōmunion. Commisc [...]ri, est familiari­ter versari cum aliquo, & e [...]us Con­suetudine implicari, Calv. ad loc. To this, how specious and promising soever, an answer is soon returned: That which Paul there prohibits is not properly a Religious, but a Civill communion; that hee meanes by not com­panying: [...], non commisceri; not to mingle them­selves with such scandalous livers, as that incestuous person was, viz. by a voluntary, familiar, and intimate conversation: so hee explains himselfe in that other clause, [with such a one no not to eate:] that is, in an ordinary way repariring to their tables, or in­viting them to yours, which is a token of intimate familiaritie and friendship. But what is this to the Lords Table, or to religious communion?

Repl. If the for­mer be un­lawfull, much more the later. Yes (say they) that it is. If wee may not have civill, much lesse religious communion with such a one: if we may not eat with him at our tables, much lesse at the Lords Table.

Answ. Difference betwixt ci­vill and reli­gious com­munion. Not so neither: In as much as the one is an arbitrarie and voluntary, the other, a necessary communion. Whether to have intimate societie, civill familiaritie with such a one or no, it is in our owne choice: not so in religious communion. Now of such a com­munion must the Apostle there be understood,1. The one arbitrary, the other necessary. Calv. Com [...]. ad loc. a voluntary and un­necessary communion: Quatenus liberum est (saith Calvin upon it) so far as wee are left to our owne libertie, wee ought to decline the [Page 46] societie of persons openly scandalous, (specially, in case once they be brought under the censure of the Church, the censure of Excom­munication (which is the particular case in that Chapter:) Per­sons scandalous, they ought to be excluded from religious commu­nion with the Church; with such the Church should not eat, they ought not to be admitted to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper: and being excluded from her Communion, Christians ought not to entertaine unnecessary societie with them.) Otherwise, civill communion with them may be had.p. Mart ad loc Peter Martyr putteth one case: Suppose a travellour in his journey (a case too ordinary) cannot be commoded with diet or lodging but in a profane Inne or Alchouse, Calv. ad loc. may hee not therefore take in there? And Calvin puts the like: Suppose a man coming to an Ordinarie, see an ex­communicate person there, may hee not sit downe and eate with him? In these cases a man is not left to his owne libertie and free choice: no more is a Christian in his religious communni­on. Whether hee will come to the Lords Table or no, it is not left to his owne choice; it is his dutie, not his libertie. And therefore, suppose the company communicating with him be not every wayes such as hee could desire, suppose some of them ap­parantly unworthy, yet is hee not thereupon to abstaine from that Ordinance, much lesse to separate from that Church where­of God hath made him a member. To this I might add, The one of these is an inward, the other onely an outward communion: the communion which a beleever hath with an unbeleever in eating of the Sacrament, is no other but what the unbeleever there hath with Christ, an outward and visible communion: But in intimate societie there is an inward communion; so as there is a broad dif­ference betwixt the one and the other. Here then is no warrant which can yet be found in Scripture to make this separation warrant­able and just.

Repl. 2. Unjust, because no warrantable cause for this s [...]para­tion. But is it not sufficiently warrantable in the ground and cause of it?

Answ. Not so neither in reference to our Churches (I speak still for some, not for all) wherein, what-ever blots may be found, let me yet say, There were as great (if not greater) in the Church of Corinth. Have wee some some scandalous persons tolerated amongst us? So had they. Have we a mixture in our Communion? So had [Page 47] they.Tertim abu­sus erat lux­us, quod epu­lando us (que) ad e [...]rietatem p [...]tarent. Ille vero (inquit) est ebrius. Non a [...]cipi [...] haec quasi [...]y­perbolice dic­ta, sed quod vere sic pro­fanarint sa­crum Ch [...]sti ordinent Co­rinthii. Pare­us ad l [...]c. G [...]la plus. se is indulge­bant. Estiu [...] ­ad loc. A strange mixture, specially if that word be to be taken pro­perly, (as some Expositours conceive it must be,) which the Apostle layeth in their Sacramentall dish, 1 Cor. 11. 21. where he chargeth them, that when they came together to Celebrate the Lords Supper, and to have Christian Communion in their Love-feasts, (which were annexed to the Sacrament, immediatly either going before it, or fol­lowing after it,Dubium esse possit an hoc genus convi [...] pre [...]esserit a­pud Corinthi­os, aut conse­cutum sit sa­cra mysteria. Chrysostomus aperte di­cit consecu­tum fuisse, quod videtur moribus ve­terum fuisse cōsonum, quia jejuni sume­bant; teste Tertullian [...], & Hierony­mo. P. Mart. Com. in 1. Cor 11. 21. uncertain whether, though most probably the lat­ter) some of them were Hungry, and others Drunken; however, if they were but intemperate in the use of the Creatures at that time, which Expositours generally conceive the word there to import; If so, here was such a Mixture, as I hope our Congregations will not, cannot be charged with. Yet, for all this, and many other abuses tolerated in that Church, we hear not a word from the Apostle, by way of advice and counsell to his Corinthians, that the godly party should withdraw themselves from Communion with such a Church; Or that they should mould and incorporate themselves into a new body, a new Church, consisting of a select party taken out of the old one. Which yet surely, had it been so necessary, or expedient, as now it is conceived by some to be, hee would not have neglected to put them upon: Still then it must remain an unjust Separation, notwith­standing what ever ground can be alledged to the contrary.

3 Unjust in regard of some Mini­sters who are hereby de­serted. Whether people may change their Ministers as oft as they please. To which I might yet add, (what is not altogether inconsiderable) the Injustice of this practise, in reference to those Ministers, and those Churches, from which this Separation is made. Those Mi­nisters are hereby deserted by those whom (it may be) God bath made them his Instruments, to beget, and bring home to himself, or at lest to nourish, and bring up for himself; Strangers entring upon the fruit and comfort of their labours: Themselves no more owned, then as if there had never been any such relation betwixt them, and their people.

Repl. Why, but, is this such an act of Injustice? What, may not people make choice of what Ministers they please, put­ting themselves under such a Ministry as by which they may edifie most?

Answ, Suppose it that a people have such a Power and Right, to choose their own Ministers; yet having once chosen them, and God by giving a blessing to their Ministery, having ratified and con­firmed that choice, evidencing that they are the Ministers of God to [Page 48] them; whether may they now upon your pretext of greater Edifi­cation, take a liberty to themselves to chose new ones, toties quoties, as oft as they please,Master Bur­roughs. Ire. nic. c 22. and to run from one to another: This the mode­rate Authour of the late Irenicon, will by no meanes allow, but con­demns as the direct way to bring in all kinde of disorder and confu­sion into the Church. And I think none, who are impartially judici­ous, but will therein subscribe to him.

As Ministers are hereby injured,4. Injust in re­gard of the Churches Se­parated from. so Churches. The Churches from which this Separation is made, though true Churches of Christ, yet hereby they are Shamed, Contemned, Condemned, Disquited, Hindred, Indangered. And If this be not an Act of high Injustice, let any, but those who are interested in the guilt of it, speak.

Sure I am,Separation not agreea­ble to the Rule of com­mon equity. Matt. 7 12. Totius justi­tiae breviarium Hieron. ad Celant. it is not agreeable to that Breviate of the second Table, the Rule of common equity and justice, layed down by our Saviour, Matt. 7. 12. Whatsoever yee would that men should doe unto you, doe yee even so to them. What Ministers, what Churches would willingly have such measure meated to themselves? And if not so, let them see with what pretext of equity and justice they can offer it unto others.

I know there will be found some Figleaves to cover the naked­nesse of this practice. But they are such as will soon be blowen away.

1. In the first place, it is alledged, that in this kingdom at present there is no way laid forth for the.Alleg. 1. No way yet stated. Churches to walk in. And then why may not they take liberty to set up their Way, as well as others theirs?

Answ. Judg. 17. 6. Now truly so it was in Israel, when there was no King there, every one did that which was good in his own eyes. So they did; but whether they should so have done or no, there is the questi­on, (and yet no question.) And so it hath been in this intermysticall season, this unhappie Interregnum of the Church. Multitudes have taken a licence to do what seemed them good, broaching of new Doctrines, The present unsetlednesse of Discipline, no just ground for Separation. and setting up of new wayes. But quo jure, by what right, and with what warrant they have done it, let them make answer; for I cannot. True it is, this unhappie Anarchie, no Church-Government, must be acknowledged to have been the occasion of them all, but a just ground or warrant for any of them, it cannot be said to be; not for Separation, I am sure.

[Page 49] 1.1. The church not dis­solved. In as much as the Churches frame and fabrick hath not been hereby dissolved and taken down. The Church-work which hath been, and yet is in hand in this Kingdom, is not new b [...]lding but repairing. No just reason why the Inhabitants should forsake the house for that.

2.2. The church seeking out, her way. But suppose the Church hath not her way as yet laid out, yet it will not be denied but that she hath been all this while seeking it out. Now for any in the mean time to withdraw and separate themselves from her is an advantage taken, not given. The story tells us of Ezra, Ezr. Ezra 8. 21. 8. how that he with his company in their return from Babylon to Jerusalem celebrated a Fast at the River Ahavah, setting them­selves in a solemn manner to seek of God a right way, for themselves and theirs. Now whilest they were at their prayers, should a party have broke away from them, upon pretext of a perfect knowledge of what they were seeking for, whether this had been a warrantable separation, or no, I dare put it to them who take up this plea for themselves.

3.3. That way in part laid, out. But neither (in the third place) can it truly be said, that the Church is so wholly destitute of a way to walk in, whether for Worship, or Government. The former of which is (and for some good time hath been) fully agreed upon. The latter how ever not fully compleated, yet is it for substance both determined, and held forth.

2.Alleg. 2. The Chur­ches way not held forth jure divino. But it is not held forth as jure divino.

Answ. I. Suppose it be not, yet is it not held forth as not jure divino.

2. Though it be not held forth as [the] Government expresly laid down in the Word, yet is it held forth as that Government, which is conceived to be most agreeable to the Word.Ans. Otherwise it should not come up to the National Covenant.

3.Alleg. 3. A Separa­tion inten­ded in our Churches. But your own practise will shortly justifie ours. You intend a separation in your Churches, and what do we more?

Answ. 1. A Separation in a Church by purging of it, will not justifie a Separation from a Church by departing from it.

2.Ans. Neither will it follow, that because we purge our own floors, therefore others (strangers) may come and set their fans on work in them.Alleg. 4. What if Separation be tolerated by Autho­rity.

3. Nor yet will a Separation which is orderly and regular, justifie that which is disorderly and irregular.

4. But suppose this our separation be tolerated by Authority.

[Page 50] Ans. Suppose it (which yet for my own part I cannot suppose), yet will not that make it warrantable. In as much (first) as Toleration is properly of evil. Thou toleratest that woman Jezabel, Revel. 2. 20. However (in the second place) Toleration doth not change the nature of the thing, but leaveth it as it findeth it. Much lesse (in the third place) will a Toleration for the future justifie a precedent act done before tha [...] Toleration.

Such and the like Allegations I might reckon up many. But they are but (as I said) fig leaves, though the best covers that can be found yet not sufficient to bide the injustice of this way.

Much lesse the rashnesse of it.2. The rash­nesse of this new Sepa­ration, proved That is the last particular, which if this practice of new Separation cannot be acquitted from, this alone will be enough to render it an unwarrantable Separation, and conse­quently a Schism. Now whether so or no, will soon appear, if we consider either the ground, or manner of it.

1.1. From the ground of it, which is not so weighty. For the ground, what ever can be pretended there will be sound none sufficient to bear it out. Suppose some just grievances may be found amongst us. Yet are they tolerable? If so, then is Separation upon this ground intolerable, unwarrantable. In as much as it ought not to be, but upon a very great and weighty cause, and that where there is no remedy. Si error est tolerabilis, non oportet fieri secessi­onem. Cha­mer. de Schism. Etiàm se­cessio fit te­merè cùm fit ob morum corruptelas. Cujus rei baec ratio est, quod ubi cunque viget puritas doctrinae, Deum in eo caetu necesse est habere Ecclesiam tametsi obrutam penè multitudine scaudalorum, Ch [...]mer. ibid. 1. As that which the Brown [...]st [...]s had. 2. As to wish down Shism. Suppose there be some, nay many just scandals amongst us by reason of corruption in manners. Yet is not this neither a sufficient ground for Separation from a Church, wherein there is purity of Doctrine and Worship, with some power of godlinesse to be found. So as should it be granted that there is a cause, and that cause weighty, yet is it not so weighty as to turn the scale for Separation. Surely, how weighty soever it may be pretended to be, yet

1. It is not so weighty as that which the Brownists had to plead for their Separation, most of those blocks which they stumbled at, being now taken out of the way. And yet for all that, theirs was, and yet is universally censured by all but themselves for a rash Separation.

2. Neither (in the second place) will it be found to be so weighty as to weigh down, as to justifie Schism. This being the weightier and greater evil of the two. This was Augustines Argument (as I told you) against the Donatists: And we may as truly take it up in this case. Though Toleration of some unwarrantable mixtures in a Church be an evil, yet is it not so great an evil as Separation upon that ground. [Page 51] Put them into the ballance together, and it will be found, that this pre­ponderates, and weighs down that.The un­advisedness of the new Separation in many of the follow­ers of that way: whose grounds are And, if so, needs must this be an unadvised Separation.

Ʋnadvised. So it must be concluded to be in the Leaders (how ad­vised soever in other things), much more in many of the followers who are carried away upon very light and sleight grounds. Instance in two or three of them.

1. The worthinesse of some of the persons who are leading-men, going before them in this cause. Is it likely that such men should be deceived?

Ans. 1. The wor­thinesse of their Lead­ers. And what (I pray you) were Peter and Barnabas? Were not they worthy men? And yet for all that we finde them taken in this snare, guilty of an unwarrantable separation.

2. But this way prospers. Many come into it daily.

Ans. Acts 11. 24 Gal. 2. And did not Arianism so? Though a damnable Heresie, yet how did it flie like lightning? over-spreading the world of a sudden, breaking in like a Land flood,2. The pro­spering of their way. Ingemuit totus orbis & Arria­num se esse miratus est. Hieron. advers. Lu­cifer. carrying all a fore it. And do not many Errors, acknowledged Errors, the like in the Kingdom at this day? And yet never the better to be liked for that.

3. But here is a great deal of strictnesse, holy strictnesse in this way.

Ans. And was there not so in most of those first, and famous Schisms of the Church? The Novatians, Audians, Donatists, Luci­ferians, all strict in their way: strict in their personal walkings; strict in their Church-Order; in all likelihood more strict then the rest of the Churches which they separated from. Neither is it to be wonder­ed at,3. Strictnesse in that way. that we should meet with extraordinary strictnesse in a right­hand Error. But the question is, whether there be not too great a strictnesse. Whether the way of the Gospel be not in this way made narrower then ever Christ made it,2. The rash­ness of this Separation proved from the Manner. or his Apostles left it. Such weak grounds they are which multitudes are carried away with. Now needs must this be in them a rash and unadvised Separation who have no better principles to bottom their practise upon then these.

In the second place, consider the manner of it. And here we shall finde some no small aggravations of this unadvisednesse, and that both in the leaders, 1. Separating in a time of Reforma­tion. and followers.

1. In separating at such a time, in a time of Reformation. That hath been the practise here, and I presume it hath been the same in many other parts of the Kingdom. Whilest publike Authority hath been at [Page 52] work to finde out Gods way, private persons have taken the advantage to set up their own. Whilest the one hath been reforming, the other in­stead of joyning with them to strengthen their hands, have been with­drawing, and separating themselves and others from them.

And what?To separate from a Re­forming Church a great ag­gravation. Separate from a reforming Church? A Church that profess [...]th so much willingnesse, and readinesse in every thing to be conformed to the rule of the Word? Brethren, let me tell you, there is more in this circumstance then happily some have been, or are aware of. When God is coming towards a Church, then to run away from it? When God is turning his face towards it, then to turn our backs upon it? When God is building it up, then to be active in pulling it down? This is a sad thing, and surely if rightly apprehended, must sit sad up­on the spirits of some.

Had it been some yeers since, when God seemed to have been about to depart from us, when Innovations, and Corruptions were breaking in upon us, then to withdraw, then to forsake the Church (however I d [...]re not a vouch it for a work so transcendently meritorious as some conceive of it, yet) I grant it tolerable. But now to do it, now that (as themselves conceive of it) the Church is coming up out of the wildernesse, now that she begins to boyl out her scum, now that she be­gins to be more refined, and reformed, now to forsake her, truely this is no small aggravation to this desertion.

For Marriners at Sea to forsake their ship when she is ready to sink, (though possibly it may be an Error and over-sight in them so to do; yet) it is pardonable. But if the ship shall begin to rise and float again, so as they see apparant hopes, that with a little pumping and baling she may be saved, now to leave her, (much more to cut holes in her sides) their owners will give them little thanks for it. Some yeers since the Church of God amongst us seemed to be in a sinking condition. Then to leave her might be pardonable. But now, now that thorow the mercy and goodnesse of God, she begins to be somewhat floatsome, and boyant, so as a little industry and labour in the pump­ing and purging may free her and save her, shall we now desert her? (that I do not say cut holes in her sides).Separation from this Church now more unwarrant­able then ever. Surely, surely, never was Se­paration from this Church so unwarrantable as it is at this day: warrant­able it never was since she was a true Church. In the last age an Error it was, a Schism; and that not onely Mr. Aynsworths more rigid, but Mr. Robinsons more moderate Separation. So accounted and censured at all hands. Surely then at this day it cannot be warrantable. Make the fairest of it, an unadvised Separation it is.

[Page 53] 2. Ʋnadvised, being (as is charitably conceived) undertaken with­out due regard to, and consideration of the consequences following upon it, whether Civil, or Ecclesiastical, both which upon experience are sound to be very sad. In the Civil state, how many divisions and fractions have broke in at this door? Even to the dividing and break­ing the nearest relations, betwixt Masters and Servants, Parents and Children, Husbands and Wives. In the Ecclesiastical state, in the busi­nesse of the Church, what a stop, what a hinderance hath this been? The Churches sayls were filled with a fair gale for Reformation, but this Remora how hath it stayed her course? Besides, what an in-let hath it been to all sorts of pernicious Errors and Heresies, wherewith this Land at this day is annoyed as much as Egypt ever was with Lice, or Flies?

3.3. People withdraw­ing without ever consulting with their Ministers. To these I might adde the apparent unadvisednesse in the great­est part of the followers in this way, of whom I cannot say that ever I yet knew any that came to advise and consult with their own Mini­sters (though Orthodox and pious) about the warrantablenesse of withdrawing from them and their Ministery, before such time as they were actually alienated from them, and engaged against them. Now whether this be an advised course or no, I dare leave it to the world to judge.

And thus you have heard this Inditement traversed with as much brevity as conveniently might be. The issue of it is no more but this. If there be amongst us a Separation from a true Church, and that both voluntary and unwarrantable, (which I suppose the evidences given in have sufficiently evicted) then must we give sentence, that here is more then either Crimen nominis, or Nomen criminis, then either the Crime of a name, or the Name of a crime, no lesse then a Schism formally and properly so called.

And if so, then suffer the stream of this Exhortation to passe on a reach or two further.

In the second place I might apply my self and this truth,Ʋse 2. Exhortati­on to such as are with­drawn, that they would return. to those of our Brethren and Sisters, who are already faln under the guilt of this inditement: Intreating and beseeching them in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they would entertain thoughts of returning back again by the way by which they are gone, returning to the flocks from which they have strayed, to communion with those Churches from which they are departed, not persisting and go­ing on to shame, contemn, condemn, disquiet, hinder, indanger them, as [Page 54] by this their practise they do, and must do. But I have little heart to spend my tongue in speaking unto them, who have lesse heart to lend an ear to hear what is spoken. And therefore let me direct my speech unto you, and that

1.Ʋse 3. By way of Caveat. Take you heed that you be not involved in the same guilt,A caveat to such as yet stand. Let them take heed of be­ing and that whether as Principals or Accessories.

1. As Principals. Such I must conclude them to be, who deserting the Church wherein they have been begotten unto God, and nourished and brought up for God, shall joyn themselves to any of these separa­ted bodies, holding communion with them in a separated way.

2.1. Principals in As Accessories. Such may Magistrates be by their Toleration, and connivence. If they shall not improve their Authority which God hath put into their hands for the staying of the course of so great an evil.2. Accessories to this evil. Nec pro [...]is aliquid pro­mulgasse quis inveni­tur, nisi A­postata Iu­lianus, cui pax & u­nitas Chri­stiana nimi­um displicebat. August. contra Parmen. lib. 1. Iulianus Apostata Donatistis Basilieas restituit. Marg. ibid. Much more if they shall improve it to the abetting and counte­nancing of it: then which they cannot lightly do a greater disservice to the Church. It is noted by Augustine of Julian the Apostate, (the worst of men) and, that as none of his best acts, that he, and he alone of all the Emperors, favored the Donatists (those famous Schismaticks) indulging them their liberty, restoring to them their Basilicas, their Cathedral meeting places, which before had been sequestred, and confiscated. All which, he did not out of any love that he bare to their way, but out of an envy which he bare to the peace and unity of the Church.

And such may Ministers be. Not onely by being active in this way, (which for the most part some of that coat still are.Veteres scrutans historias in­ventre non possum sci­disse Eccle­siam praeter cos qui sa cerdotes a Deo positi fuerant & prophetae. Hieron. in Hos. 9. 8. It was Jeromes observation, that in all his reading he could never finde the Church rent by any Schism, but still the Ministers had a cheif and principal hand in it. An office very incongruous, and unsuitable to our office. God hath made us Pastors to gather his flock, not to scatter it. Not onely so, but when by their sinful silence, their politike reservednesse, their not appearing against it, they shall suffer so great an evil to grow to an head. Which they ought not to do out of what ever respects they bear to the persons of any that are ingaged in it, or appear for it. Paul wanted no true affection unto Peter, and yet when he saw him faln in [...]o that unwarrantable Separation, he would not forbear him. No, he withstands him to the face, Gal. 2. 11. Reproving him openly, Verse 14. And this he did not fainedly, and in shew onely; (as Jero [...] [Page 55] construes that phrase [...], [to his face] as if it had been a packt businesse betwixt Peter and him, for which misconstruction he is justly taken up by Augustine) but seriously and ex animo; so the next words declare it, [For he was to be blamed, Verse 12.]

Such may Husbands be by permitting their Wives (so far as they can hinder it) to joyn where themselves will not, dare not. Such may Pa­rents, and Masters of Families be by permitting Children and Servants to ingage in such unwarrantable wayes, whilest they are under their tuition. And such may private persons be not onely by yeelding mainte­nance, or countenance; but even by affording their presence in an ordi­nary and constant way at such meetings, whereby the open profession and practise of Separation, there is a flag of defiance held forth to the rest of the Churches.Ʋse 3. Labour to heal this, and pre­vent the like evil. Odi opero­sas composi­tiones, Cra­to. Now then in the fear of God take we heed every of us how we intangle our selves in the guilt of this Evil.

On the other hand, do what we may for the healing of this, and the preventing of the like.

Quest. What shall we do?

Ans. In answer to this, I shall not multiply directions for either, ha­ving ever been of the minde of that famous Physition, who never approves those operosas compositiones (as he calls them) such medi­cines as are compounded of too many several ingredients: Besides,The hea­ling of Is­raels brea­ches, prin­ted Anno 1642. Mr. Bur­roughs Ire­nicon. it is a work which my self have some time since done in this place, in shewing you how Israels breaches might be healed. And since that, I finde it done more amply by some other hands.

Take a word or two for each.

Quest. What shall be done for the former, for the healing of this Di­vision, this Separation.

Ans. Here I shall not meddle with what civil restrictions may be conceived to be necessary or expedient in such a case.Quest. What shall be done in way of cure. I know what Imperial laws were made by the good Emperour Theodosius, and others for the suppressing of the Schism of the Donatists. But these I shall leave to wise and Religious Authority, Answ. Civil re­strictions left to Au­thority. Vide Au­gustin. con­tra. Par­men. lib. 1. which I shall be far from instigating to any wayes of violence and rigour, but where appa­rent and eminent necessitie is for the preservation of the whole (which was the late case of New England) in which case that may be mercy, which otherwise were cruelty: My hopes are, and my prayers and counsels shall be, that our Divisions may be healed in another way, a way of gentlenesse and sweetnesse. For that end follow me a little.

[Page 56] Two wayes of Cure there are practised by Physitians, the one is Paracelsus his, the other Galens; the former to cure similia simi­libus, like with like: the other, contraria contrariis, one contrary by another. And we shall finde them both useful in this Cure.

For the former;1. Similia si­milibus. here is a Division, a Seperation, let it be cured by a Division, by a Separation.

1.1. Cure Divi­sion by Division. Cure this Division by a Division. Thus Physitians oft-times cure bleeding at the nose by Revulsion, by opening a vein in another part of the body: A topical remedy, very proper for this place (and so I conceive for many other in the Kingdom) where one pretended ground of this Division, is the numerousnesse of the Congregation. Now let there be a Division to heal this Division: A Division which may be orderly to heal this which is disorderly: A Division warranted by Au­thority to heal this which is made without, and against it.

2.2. Cure Sepa­ration by Separation. And (secondly) Let there be a Seperation for the healing of this Seperation. Thus Physitians sometimes cure fluxes with Purges, by car­rying away the noxious and peccant humour, which caused that Dy­sentery. A remedy very proper both for this and all places in the King­dom. The chief pretended ground of this Schism it is out unwarrantable mixtures in Church Communion. Now let this Sepa­ration (in the name of God) be cured by a Separation. This Separa­tion which is irregular, let it be healed by one that is regular, viz. by a due purging of all the Congregations in the Kingdom, making a due separation, between the precious and the vile; that so such may not be received to Church Communion, who are apparantly unwor­thy of it. This (I presume) is the great designe of all the Religious party in the Kingdom at this day. And truly till it be in measure effe­cted, we cannot expect a healing of our Divisions: And therefore all of us further it what we may; onely observing our stations, pub­like persons in their place, and private persons in theirs: And the Lord herein give a blessing to the desires and endeavours of his ser­vants.

Which if they be not every wayes so successeful at the first, as might be desired, yet take we heed of stumbling at those imperfecti­ons. Who art thou that dispisest the day of small things? Zach. 4. 10. Ezek. 24. 6. May we but once see this Pot beginning to boyl out her scum, see these Churches in a way of purging themselves, let us acknowledge God in these begin­nings, quietly waiting upon him for the compleating and perfecting of his own work in his own way and time. Here is the former way of cure.

[Page 57] 2.2. Contraria contrariis. Cure divi­sion by u­nity. The later is to cure one contrary by another. And this we shall also finde proper in this case. Here is confusion, and how shall that be cured, but by Order? Here is Division, how shall that be cured but by Ʋnity? viz. By setting up one way for the Churches to walk in. For this we have a promise. I will give them one heart, and one way. This God will do for his people.Ier. 32. 39. Pray we for the performance of it to us. This we have most of us ingaged our selves by Covenant to endeavor: viz. To bring all the Churches in these three Kingdoms to the nearest con­junction and uniformity in Religion and Government, &c. And this let us earnestly contend for, that there may be but one way amongst us, (and that Gods way); one way of Worship, and one way of Government. This latter (viz. Discipline) it is the Churches hedge, which is of use (as for other ends,An esta­blished Discipline the onely way to cure our Divisi­ons. so) to keep her sheep from scattering. No way so probable to heal our divisions, and confusions as the establishing of this. In the second dayes work of the Creation when there was nothing but a Chaos, a confused Masse, Heaven and Earth mingled together, God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the Waters. O that Authority would now say the same in this Kingdom at this day. In this second day of Reformation what a Chaos of Confusion is there upon the face of this Kingdom,Gen. 1. 6. by reason of the multiplicity of divisions and disorders in it? O that Authority would now say (and not say it, but do it, for such was Gods saying, Dei dicere est facere,) Let there be a firmament, a Rakiah (as the Hebrew hath it) an Expansion, a Rule and Order, which may spred it self in a uniform way from one end of the Kingdom to the other; and that a [...] (as the Septuagint renders it) a Fir­mament, a Discipline firmly setled and established in the Church. It is the want of this that hath bred, and it is the establishing of this that must heal our present, and prevent our future distempers.

2.2. What shall be done in way of pre­vention of Schism. That is the second [...] I propounded. Now how may that be done? How may Schism for the future be prevented? Here also take three or four Directions which I shall breifly propound, and so take leave of this subject.

1.1. Take heed of lesser differences. Take heed of lesser Divisions. Small wedges make way for great ones. Small differences sometimes rise to divisions, and those divisions (if not healed) grow up to Schisms, and those Schisms run out into Heresies. And therefore (as much as may be) be we precise in keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace; not leaving the beaten rode whether for doctrine or practise, unlesse upon clear evidences.

2.2. Be not over affected with no­velties. Be not over-affected with novelties, new Truths, whether such [Page 58] onely in appearance, or in reality. Of the latter sort (what ever noise there hath been, and is about them) few there are which this present age hath yet brought forth. As for those new Lights which have set this Kingdom on fire at this day, for the most part they are no other then what have been taken out of the dark Lanthorns of former Hereticks, Schismaticks, and Sectaries. Take we heed of having our eyes daz [...]led with them, or following af [...]er them, least they prove (as many of them already have done) to be no other but ignes fatui, false fires, useful onely to mislead those that will run after them. Not that Christians should shut their eyes against any truth, which with good and clear evidence is held forth unto them. Truth is lovely, and ought to be imbraced in what ever dresse she cometh, whether now or old. As not antiquity, so neither should novelty be any prejudice to verity. Onely take heed least whilest we over-affect the one, we be mistaken in the other.

3.3. Take heed of Scandals Take heed of Scandals. Whether of Giving, or Receiving. Of Giving, to drive off others. Of Receiving, to set off our selves. The former will come, must come. But, Wo be to the man by whom they do come. 1. Of giving. Matt. 18. 7. 1 Cor. 10. 32. And therefore have a care every of us to demean our selves in regard of our personal walkings inoffensively, and that towards all. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.

And being wary not to give, 2. Of taking. 1 Cor. 13. 7 be not ready to receive. Doubtful matters still construe them in the better part. So doth Charity. It be­leeveth all things, hopeth all things: that is, if credible, if possible. Not looking upon the infirmities of Brethren, or blemishes of Churches thorow multiplying, or magnifying Glasses, so as to make them more, or greater then they are. But (so far as may be without sin) hide them, cover them. With Shem and Japhet go backwards, and cast a garment upon this nakednesse.Gen. 9. 22. Cursed Cham he espies the nakednesse of his father, and makes sport with it. Let not Christians dare to do the like by the nakednesse of their mother.

4.4. See God in our Con­gregations. In the fourth place. Labor to see, and acknowledge God in our Congregations. There he is, dwelling betwixt the Cherubins, walking in the midst of his golden Candlesticks, manifesting the presence of his grace in the midst of his Ordinances, by a lively concurrence, and effectual operation with them, and by them. If we see him not, suspect our selves least the God of this world have blinded our eyes with preju­dice or unbeleef. Certainly some vail, some film or other there is [Page 59] over our eyes.Gen. 28. 16, 18. Now if he be here, how dare any withdraw? When Jacob apprehended God present with him at Bethel, (surely the Lord is in this place) he sets up his pillar there. Are we convinced that God is present in our Congregations? Have we our selves had some clear and comfortable visions of God there? Have we met with him, had communion with him in his Word and Sacraments there? Why do we not set up our pillar here? How dare any forsake that Church, which God hath not forsaken?

True, were it is, that the glory of the God of Israel were gone up from the Cherub, Ezek. 9. 3. to the threshold of the house, (as Ezekiel saw it in his vision) that God should make it manifest by clear evidences, that he were about to withdraw, and depart from his Church in this King­dom, then for us also to entertain thoughts of withdrawing, there might be some plea for it. But so long as he dwels betwixt the Choru­bias, manifesting his presence amongst us in a constant way, and in a gracious manner,2 Cor. 3. 18. so as we may with open face (as the Apostle speaks) behold as in a glasse, (the glasse of the Gospel) the glory of the Lord: In this case for us to withdraw communion with them, with whom God is pleased to hold so gracious a communion, how shall we answer it? But I hasten.

5.5. Despise no [...] the day of small things. In the fifth place. Take heed (of what I touched upon before) of despising the day of smal things. What if the foundations of the second Temple be not so large, so august and stately as the former was? What if the present Reformation do in some things fall short of the patern, and of what was expected and hoped for? Yet be not dis­couraged, be not discontented with these weak beginnings,Zach. 4. 10. be not distasted with these imperfections, so as to cast of all because we have not what we would have. So indeed do children, but so let not Gods children do, who should be content with, and thankful for their fathers dispensation, though their portion be not so large as themselves could have wished.

6.6. Have not the persons of men in admiration Iude 16. And lastly, Take heed of having the persons of men in admiration. This it was which occasioned all these Divisions in this Church of Co­rinth, they had the persons of men in admiration; being taken with the gifts and parts of their Teachers, some addicted themselves to one, others to another, making themselves their Disciples. I am of Paul, and I am of Apollo,1 Cor. 1. 12. &c. Take we heed of being taken in the same snare. Let not our eyes be so dazeled with what ever eminency of parts, or graces, which we apprehend to be in others, that we should [Page 60] set up their examples for our Rules. This it was that drew many of the Jews (and Barnabas amongst the rest) into the Error of an unwar­rantable Separation; Gal. 2. 12, 13. they saw Peter a leading man, a prime and emi­nent Apostle going before them. And surely this it is which hath mis­led many a well meaning soul in this Kingdom, drawn them into the same error, to separate from their Brethren, because they have seen some prime leading men, whose persons they honor, (and that it may be deservedly), to go before them. And this is the main Loadstone, the principal attractive that inclines them to look that way. No wonder in this case, if they be subject to miscarry. So hath many a ship done by following her Admiral, which carried the Lanthorn in a dark night, not heeding her own course as she should have done, both have been bilged upon the same shelf. A dangerous thing it is to shape our course by anothers compasse. And therefore (to draw to a conclusion) take we heed how we look too much at man, what ever he be. It was Pauls resolution concerning those who seemed to be somewhat, men of repu­tation, such as the Apostles were (for of some of them he there speaketh),Gal. 2. 6. What ever they were (saith he) it maketh no matter to me; God accepteth no mans person. It is rule, not example, a divine Rule, not a Humane example that we are to walk by. Let this be our guide, the Rule of the Word. Being led thereby, now are we in the way to peace, and that both inward, and outward, with God, our selves, others. As many as walk according to this Rule, Gal. 6. 16. Peace shall be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

And thus I have at length dispatched the negative part of this Apo­stolical Obtestation or Charge: Wherein if any conceive I have dwelt too long, I shall make them amends in handling of the latter part of the Text, the Positive part of this Charge, which I shall passe over with as much brevity as possibly may be.

That ye all speak the same thing, and that ye be perfectly joyned toge­ther in the same minde, and in the same judgement].

We have here the Apostles Exhortation, The Apo­stles Ex­hortation to unity. A three­fold unity. which in one word is to (that which we so much at this day in this Kingdom want) Ʋnity. A threefold unity, consisting in three particulars; in Tongue, in Heart, in Head. So Calvin and Beza distinguish the parts of this Gradation. In Tongue, [That ye all speak the same thing.] In Heart. [That ye be perfectly joyned together in the same minde]. In Head, [And in the same judgement]. So the Apostle here placeth them in a retrograde Order. Beginning first with that which in order of nature is last. Tongue-unity [Page 61] floweth from Heart-unity, and Heart-unity from Head-unity. Men first agree in judgement, think the same thing: Then in Affection, mind­ing the same thing; then in Language, speaking the same thing. The Apostle here goeth backwards, ab imis ad summa, from the bottom to the top, from the stream to the fountain, from the effect to the cause. And in that method I shall follow him; beginning with the first.

1.1. Tongue-unity. That Chri­stians may speak the same thing. Tongue-unity. Such a unity should all Christians, specially the Members of the same Church strive after, and labour for. A unity of tongues. This is that which Paul wisheth for his Romans, Rom. 15. where he prayeth, that they might with one mouth glorifie God. And this is one thing which here he so earnestly begs for, from these his Corinthians, [...], That ye all speak the same thing. Rom. 15. 6.

[...]. The same thing both for Substance, and Expression. Christi­ans should have an eye to both.

1.1. For sub­stance. For substance, that they may speak the same thing, though it be in different Language. So did the Apostles at the day of Pentecost, Acts 2. They spake divers Languages, but the same thing. A remark­able difference betwixt that division of Tongues at Babel, and this at Jerusalem. At Babel they spake different things as well as different words. One speaks of Brick, another answers him with Morter. But at Jerusalem the Apostles however they spake different Languages, yet they all spake the same thing, all Preached the same Gospel, deliver­ed the same Truthes. One Lan­guage in this King­dom, how desirable!

O that there were such an happy unity amongst us at this day in this Kingdom! That there were but one Language to be heard in this Iland. One Language amongst Ministers, amongst people.

Ministers, 1. Amongst Ministers. Acts 14. 12. Iere. 15. 19. Luke 1. 70. Acts 3. 18, 21. they are by their office speakers, (as it is said of Paul, he was the cheif speaker). Gods Mouth to his people. Thou shalt be as my mouth. O that this mouth might still speak the same thing; having but one Tongue in it: A mouth which should have more tongues then one in it, we would look upon it as a strange monstrosity. O let it not be said, or thought that the Mouth of God should have so. One Mouth. So runs the phrase of Scripture. As he spake by the mouth (not mouths) of all his holy Prophets. One tongue for one man. 1 Tim. 3. 8. Diodate ad loc. And one Tongue.

One Tongue for one man. It is one of Pauls qualifications which he requires in a Deacon, he must not be [...], Double-tongued; speak­ing sometimes one thing, and sometimes another. A foul blemish to [Page 62] a Minister of Christ to be so; to speak one thing to day, another tomorrow, to say and unsay, to have more tongues then one. If all should speak the same thing, then much more the same man. But that by the way.

One tongue for all. One Tongue for all. That all the Ministers of Christ might speak the same thing, the same Truths for substance: so as though they deliver several points of Doctrine, yet they may be such as are no way re­pugn [...] to another, or to the Truth. Truth we are sure is but one, Error be various. And the Word of Truth (as Saint Iames calleth the Gospel Preached) it is no more.Iam. 1. 18. Eph. 4. 4. It is but one Word. One Faith, one Baptism (saith the Apostle), one Doctrine of Faith.

How is it then that amongst us there should be more then one?Division of tongues amongst us a sad pre­sage. How is it that not onely Parlors, but Pulpits and Presses, ring with such a contrariety of Doctrine? And that not onely in some smaller differences, (as in the Interpretation of an obscure Text of Scripture, or the like, wherein men sometimes may safely disagree, each abound­ing in his own sense); but in points if not of, yet neer the Foundation, Surely a sad hearing, presaging no good to the Church, or cause of God in this Kingdom. This it was (as I have said) which hindered the building of Babel. And surely, hence it is that the building of our Sion riseth no faster. Our Tongues, the tongues of the builders are divided.D. Hall, Contemplat. Babel. O how happy were it for us, and for the Church of God, did we all speak but one Language! Whilest we thus differ (saith one truly) we can build nothing but Babel. Difference of Tongues caused their Babel to cease, but it builds ours. A truth, whereof we have lamentable experience at this day. O what a Babel is this our Sion at this day turned to, all thorow this confusion of Languages; because all do not speak the same thing,2. Amongst people. New An­not. in Gen. 11. See Mr. Ed­wards Gau­graena. not Ministers.

Much lesse people. Among them how many several Languages to he heard at this day? More then ever there were at Babel. At Babel some conceive that one Tongue was divided into seventy two Languages, But our divisions far exceed that number. At Babel others conjecture that there were as many tongues as several kinreds and families. With us there are more. Kinreds and Families being subdivided. The hus­band speaking one thing, the wife another; the parent one thing, and the childe another; the master one thing, and the servant another. Thus it should not be. Christians who have one Head, should have but one Tongue, all speaking the same thing for substance.

[Page 63] 2.2. Speak the same-thing for Expres­sion. And as much as may be for expression also. However, not affect­ing a difference. A vain and dangerous affectation: so it is to decline common and received expressions, whether laid down in the Word, or else being consonant to it upon good ground taken up by the Church. The later of these, many ancient Hereticks took great exceptions at, and sought to make advantage of. Some words they met with in common use in the Church, but because they did not finde them sylla­bically and expresly in the Scriptures, therefore they rejected them, and with them the things signified by them. Thus the Arrians, because they found not the word [...] Consubstantiality in the Text, there­fore they rejected it, and with it the Orthodox doctrine of the Church, touching the sons being of the same substance with the father. And so the Sabellians because they found not the word Trinity in Scriptures, therefore they denyed the Trinity of persons in the God-head. Upon like ground the Photinians denyed the two natures in Christ, and the Nestorians the Hypostatical, the personal union of those two natures.See Mr. Edwards, ibid. Thus it was of old. And thus it is in many places of this Kingdom at this day, where all these old rotten Errors are again revived, and raised out of their graves; and that upon the very same pretences. A dangerous affectation, which Christians should beware of.Ex praecepto Apostoli quantùm fi­eri potest, cum illis Loqui debe­mus, eum quibus cre­dere videri volumus. Pareus ad Text. Qui novas phrases, ter­minos, defi­vitiones re­rum excogi­tant, plerun que etiam nova dog­mata moliuntur, &c. Pareus ibid. Disagreeing in words ingendereth dissention of minde, whereof proceedeth repugnancy of judgement, which is the mother of Schism and Heresie, Genev. Annot. in Text. Do we beleeve with the Church, let us not (without just ground) refuse to speak with the Church, in the Churches Language, and Dialect. Specially in the phrase of Scripture.

This is that which the Ministers of Christ should affect as much as may be to speak in that sacred Dialect. Not setting the Min [...] of their Brains on work to coyn new, and high, and far-fetcht expressions, purposely to amuse the hearer, (a practise much in use with Familists and Antinomians, and some other Sects of the times). Of such Pareus observes truely, that giving themselves first to finde out new phrases and terms, afterwards oft-times they come to broach new Doctrines, new Opinions, and so to make Sects and Schisms in the Church. And therefore to prevent this, the Apostle here desires his Corinthians that they would speak the same thing. Therein (saith the foresaid Author) tacitely pointing at one of these heads from whence their Schisms, and Factions were sprung, viz. From their different Lan­guage in and about matters of Religion.

[Page 64] And let this his advice to them,Applic. be as acceptable to us as it is season­able. That we may avoyd the like evils; in speaking of the matters of God take heed of affecting an unwarrantable and wanton singularity. Ministers, 2 Tim. 1. 13. hold we fast that [...], that form of sound and wholesome words, which we have received from Christ, and his Apostles, and from the Orthodox Churches of God; speaking the same things in the same manner that they have done before us: Not crossing, not interfering with them, nor yet willingly with our Bre­thren. Pulpit against Pulpit is next to Altar against Altar. As much as may be, let such clashing be declined by the Ministers of Christ, whose endeavor should be, that they might all speak the same thing. This do we.

And this do you.

Quest. Quest. I, but how shall both we and you attain to it? How shall we come to this unity of Language?

Answ. Answ. Why; labor we for unity of Hearts and Mindes. Anatomists tell us of an Artery which goeth from the Heart to the Tongue. If Hearts be agreed,2. Heart-uni­ty. Tongues will soon be accorded. And thus I am got upon the second step of the Apostles gradation, which leadeth me to the third. That ye be perfectly joyned together in the same minde, and in the same judgement]. I shall not stand long upon either.

Onely the first word will stay me a little, being a word full of Em­phasis and significancy.

[...] That ye be perfectly joyned together].The word [ [...]] ex­plained. The proper significati­on of the word. [...] significat ità aptè & congruenter aliquid com­ponere & coagmentare, ut partes inter se & cum toto congruant, Corn. a Lapid. [...], i. e. Co­adunati ac compacti ut totum quippiam quod suis omnibus partibus aptè inter sc cobaerentibus compouitur. Beza. ad Text. Quemadmodum membra humani corporis optimâ symmetriâ inter se cohaerent. Cato. [...] loc. Perfect union desirable in a Church. So our Transla­tion renders it by divers words, not knowing how fully to expresse it in one. The word properly signifieth Compagination, when the parts of a thing are aptly joyned together, so as they do fitly agree with the whole, and amongst themselves. Even as it is in the body of man, wherein the Members are all fitly joyned and knit together in a due symmetry, and proportion, so as they are each serviceable to other, and all to the whole. This is properly [...]. And this it is which Paul here begs for his Corinthians, that they might be thus united and compacted together.

A blessing very desirable for every Church. Thus in the Church [Page 65] invisible united.Col. 2. 19. The whole body is knit together by joynts and bands, having nourishment ministred to it from the Head (as the Apostle speaketh) All true Believers they are incorporated into one Mystical body, knit together by the bands of Faith and Love. By the one united to their Head Christ; by the other one to another: And such a union, such a coagmentation is a thing very desirable for every visible Church.

This it is which maketh it a compleat and perfect Church.Vnion maketh a Church compleat. So the vulgar Latin here renders the word in the Text. Sitis autem perfecti. Be ye perfect. Then is a thing said to be perfect and compleat, when it hath all the parts thus aptly and fitly put together. And thence it is that the word [...] is sometimes used in that sense. So our Tran­slation renders it,2 Cor. 13. 11. 2 Cor. 13. Finally Brethren, Fare ye well, be perfect. [...]. That is, perfectly united unto Christ, and one to another, (as the Jesuit there fitly expounds it).Corn. a Lap.

Now to this perfection and compleatnesse (as Beza here prosecutes it) there are two things requisite. To Church perfection two things requisite. 1. Ut pare [...]nlla defit, aut superfit. 2. Ut omnia apte inter se cobaereant. Beza Gre. Annot. 1. There must be no part either want­ing, or superfluous. 2. There must be an apt coherence and conjunction of those parts, both requisite to a compleat particular Church.

1.1. The due parts of it. There must be the due parts of it, none wanting, none su­perfluous.

1.1. None wanting. Ecclesia per Ministeri­um habet Organicum quendam statum, quoniam apta jam redditur ad omnes illas operationes exercendas quae pertinent ad bonum totius. Ames Medul. None wanting. There must be Ministers and People; Officers and Members; Governours and Governed. This it is (saith Dr. Ames) which giveth a Church an Organical state, which maketh it an Organical perfect body, when it hath all the several parts and mem­bers belonging to it, whereby it is rendred apt and fit to exercise such operations as tend to the good of the whole.

2.2. None superfluous None superfluous. Such Officers, and onely such as Christ hath appointed in his Word. This is one thing which maketh the Church of Rome a monstrous body, because she hath a superfluous Head. And such Members, such and onely such as are fit to joyn in Church-Communion.

2.2. A combi­nation of those parts. The second requisite is an apt combination of these parts, that they be fitly knit and joyned together: first to the Head, and second­ly [Page 66] one to another. The former is done by Faith, by a Profession of Faith. So it is in the Church visible, where the Profession of Faith maketh a Member and (if there be no other bar) intitles it to all the Ordinances. The later is done by Love, by a professed willingnesse and readinesse to perform mutual offices each to other. Put these together, and here is a compleat visible Church for the outward frame of it.

And O that all the Churches of Christ in this Kingdom were but thus compleat! Applicat. Seek we such perfe­ction for all the Churches in this Kingdom. [...], such compacted bodies, made up of all their due parts; such Officers, and such Members, as Christ hath ap­pointed; such and no other: And that they were so combined and knit together in the profession of the same Faith, and in the declara­tion of the same mutual love each to other. How beautiful, how glo­rious would this render them? Every of us in our places therefore do what we may to bring them to this perfection.

But in the mean time not forsaking them,In the mean, time depart not from them. not departing from them upon pretence that they are not every wayes such. It is no good rea­son for a Member to leave the Body, because it wants an Eye, or a Hand, or it may be hath a finger too much, or because the parts are not put together in such due proportion as they should he. What ever deficiency, what ever redundancy there is at present in the Churches of Christ amongst us, yet is it no sufficient cause for any to renounce or forsake communion with them. No, that is the way still to render them more imperfect, which take we heed how we be any wayes ac­cessary to; and a thing directly contrary to the Apostles direction here in the Text, which is not for Separation, but for Coagmentatur. Many disorders there were at this time in Corinth, but Paul doth not thereupon advise any to withdraw, but to be so much the more com­pacted, and combined together. That ye may be perfectly joyned to­gether.

There is the proper signification of the word.The Meta­phorical significatiō of the word [...] by Physiti­ans applied to bonefet­ting But I must not so leave it: I finde another sense peculiarly affixed to it. Among Physi­tians this word is commonly applied to Bone-setting. When a Bone which was out of joynt was set, and put into the due place again, this in their Language is properly [...], and [...]. And in this sense (as Beza conceives) the Apostle himself useth the word, Gal. 6. If a man be overtaken in a fault, restore such a one. The word rendred [restore] is the same with that in the Text, [...] Galene est luxata membra in suum locum restituere. Beza ad Text. P. Martyr. Gal. 6. 1. [...], set him in joyn [...] [Page 67] again. P. Mart. Aretius. Parcus. Observati­ons from the Meta­phor. And so divers Expositors of note conceive that the word may most aptly be understood, and taken here in the Text. That ye be per­fectly joyned together; That ye may be put in joynt again. An elegant and significant Metaphor, which will give us the hint of divers use­ful Observations.

1. That as there are divers Members in a Church, so every one hath his due and proper place. Even as Bones in the Body of man every one hath his proper joynt, his socket in which it turns and moves.

2. So long as they keep that place they are useful to the Body. So are bones to the natural; and so are the members of a Church to the Ecclesiastical body.Schismate luxantur membra Ec­clesiae, Pare­us ad Text. Schism a disjointing in two re­spects.

3. Schism in the Church puts the members out of joynt. This it is (saith Pareus) that Paul here in this word insinuates to these his Corin­thians, how that they by their Schisms had disjoynted that Church. They were thereby become as so many bones out of joynt. And very fitly may Schism be resembled hereunto. And that (as P. Martyr goeth before me) in two respects.

1.1. Membrae luxata in­epta sunt ad sua munera obeunda. P. Mart. Because hereby the Members of the Church are rendred unser­viceable, unapt and unfit to perform such offices and duties as belong to them. So it is we see in the natural body. A hand or foot out of joynt it is no longer useful to the body. Though active before, yet now made unserviceable through that dislocation. And even so is it with the Members of the Church, being put out of joynt by Schism, they become unuseful to the Body, unapt to those duties and services which before they performed. A truth whereof we have daily sad experi­ence in this and many other parts of the Kingdom. How is it that those who were wont to joyn with the Churches of God in this King­dom in religious exercises, in Hearing the Word, in Prayer, Sacraments, and were so ready to all mutual offices of love, they are now faln off from all? Alas, they are as bones out of joynt, disjoynted by Schism, and therefore no wonder that for the present they are no more useful to the body; which if once set in joynt again, they will be.

2.2. Membra luxata gra­vissimo d [...] ­lore corpus afficiunt. P. Mart. Bones out of joynt are not onely unserviceable, but painful, af­fecting the whole body with grievous dolours. Thence it is that David to set forth the greatnesse of his distresse, he borrows this expression, All my bones are out of joynt. And such are Schisms in the Church. They are grievous things, causing sad thoughts of heart, (as is said of Reubens Divisions): causing great trouble and disquietment to the Church,Ps. 22. 14. Iud. 5. 15, 16 and great dolour to all the living members of it. A truth ne­ver [Page 68] more sadly experimented then it is in this Kingdom at this day. O what trouble, what disquietment hath Schism procured to this Church and State! How dolorous a thing is it to all the sensible mem­bers of this body? For Christians to see their Brethren thus divided; to see their Mother thus set upon the Rack, and her bones (as it were) thus put out of joynt. Certainly they must be dead (at least stupified) members which are not sensible of these disjoyntings.

In the fear of God then suffer this word of Exhortation directed here by this Apostle to these his Corinthians to take place with us:Applicat. Be we set in joynt a­gain. [...]. Suffer we our selves to be put in joynt again. To that end yield we up our selves to the skill of those whom God hath appointed to the Bone-setters to his Church in this her shattered, dis­joynted and broken condition: those who are now consulting for the healing of these breaches, hearkning to their Counsels and Dire­ctions so far as they shall counsel from God, and for God, that so through his concurring with their and our endeavours, we may yet be restored to so happy a Ʋnity, as to be perfectly joyned together.

Q. How a Church may be per­fectly join­ed together. The same minde and judgement explained. But how shall we be thus joyned together?

A. Why, I have hinted it more then once. There are two bonds and ligaments whereby the members of this body are united together. By the one they are knit to the Head; by the other one to another. The one Faith, the other Love. And both these Calvin conceives to meet u [...] here in the Text. That ye be perfectly joyned together in the same [minde] and in the same [judgement]. The one of these he refers to Faith, the other to Love. And not unfitly may we so conceive of them. In all probability (as both he and Beza agree it), the Apostle in these two words [Minde and Judgement] intends a partition and divi­sion of the whole soul, which consisteth (as we know) of these two noble and principal faculties, the Ʋnderstanding and the Will. Now the one of these words seemeth to point at the one, the other at the other. Which is which, those two foresaid Authors are not a­greed. The former (saith Calvin) points at the Ʋnderstanding, the later at the Will. [...] ege hic pro vo­luntate ac­cipio. Calv. Beza on the other hand. The former saith he points at the Will, the later at the Ʋnderstanding. And to him I shall therein subscribe, as apprehending that Construction both most proper for the words, and most accommodate to the place. Wherein (as Beza con­ceives of it) Paul ascends by three steps; viz. from the Tongue to the Heart, and from the Heart to the Head. The one of which (as I told you) hath a dependance upon the other: Tongue-unity [Page 69] upon heart-unity, [...] Gracis i­dem est quod Latinis con­cordia, Be­za Gr. An. ad Loc. and heart-unity, upon head unity. Why do men speak the same thing? Because they are Concordes, of the same minde, of the same heart and will. And how come they to be of one minde, one heart? why, they are of the same judgement. Agreement in judge­ment, breedeth agreement in affection, and agreement in affection, breedeth agreement in speech. Fitly then may we so construe the words here, [minde and judgement] Taking the former as relating to the will, the latter to the understanding, the former importing an agree­ment in affection, the latter in opinion.

Both very desirable for every Church of Christ,Agreement in affection and opini­on, desira­ble for the Churches. Act 4. 32. Beza An. Gr. in Act. 4. that there may be such an harmony and agreement amongst the members of it. Such a harmony there was among the Primitive believers in the church of Ierusalem. They were all of one heart, and of one minde, (saith the Text) Act. 4 agreeing both in affection and opinion; so as there was no divi­sion, no dissension amongst them. Such an addition, both Beza and Be­da tell us, that they finde in some ancient Greek copies there. They were of one heart, and one minde, [...], and there was no difference, [no controversie] among them. Non erat in eis separatio ulla (so Beda renders it.) There was no separation amongst them. O that it were so amongst us!

To that end labour we for this double unity, agreement both in affection and opinion. Such an unity it is that Paul exhorteth his Phi­lippians to, pressing it upon them with as much earnestnesse as his pen could expresse,Phil. 2. 1, 2. Phil. 2. 1. If therefore there be any consolations in Christ, &c. fulfil ye my joy that ye be like minded. There is the general exhor­tation, which in the following words he subdivides into two parti­culars.

1. Having the same love and being of one accord, [...], as it were having one and the same soul, dwelling in several bodies.

2▪ And of one minde, that is, agreeing both in affection and judge­ment. Such an agreement let all the Lords people strive after; which is the second kinde of unity, which I spake of heart unity, Agreement.

1.1. Heart uni­ty. Ier. 32. 39. Rom. 12. 16 In affection, that they may have one heart: (That the Lord pro­miseth to bestow upon his people, I will give them oue heart) that they may be like affected each to other. So Paul presseth it upon his Romans. Rom. 12. Be of the same minde (like affected, saith the Gene­va translation) one towards another. That so they may praise God with one heart, as well as with one mouth. So Paul prayeth for his Romans, Rom.Rom. 15. 5, 6. 15. Now the God of patience and consolation graunt you to be like [Page 70] minded one to another according to Christ Iesus, (secundum voluntatem, & exemplum, according to the minde of Christ, and the example of Christ) that ye may with one minde and one mouth, glorifie God. The later of these, Christians do, when they professe and confesse one and the same faith, and when they joyn together in the publike exercises of Religion, particularly in singing of Psalms (an exercise which be­gins now to grow out of fashion, as all harmony doth) now they glo­rifie God with one mouth. O let us strive to do the former, to glorifie God with one minde, one heart.

Quest. Quest. Onenesse of heart how attai­ned. But how shall this blessed heart unitie be attained? what shall we do, that we may come to this onenesse of heart?

Ans. 1. To this end all of us (first) labour after new-hearts. The old heart is (like Israels) a divided-heart, divided from God, and divi­ded from men, Answ. Get new hearts, Hos 10. 2. P, Martyr ad Text. at least ready so to be upon any occasion. So it is now become through the corruption of nature (as P Martyr rightly ob­serves.) Hence it is that man is now naturally so prone to Divisions, to Sects and Schisms. From the beginning it was not so. At the first man was created a sociable creature, affecting communion with other of the same kinde. He was then created after the Image of God, who as he is one in himself, so he requireth unity in others. How is it then that man is so far degenerated, that he is so prone to division? why; this is the vitiosity and corruption of his nature. As we affect unity labour to get our hearts changed, renewed. To that end yealding them them up to the spirit of grace, that it may work upon them for the sub­duing of that frowardnesse and fiercenesse of spirit, that pride and self­love, that highmindednesse and selfconceitednesse, that selfishnesse, which is in every man naturally more or lesse. These are the grand enemies to unity. Give way to the spirit of grace for the subduing of these: that however, they may be kept in, and kept under, not suffered to mingle themselves with our counsels and actions. Such a holy care Paul presseth upon his Philippians, Phil. 2, 3, 4. Phil. 2. Where having exhorted them to a holy unity, he subjoyneth by way of direction, Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory. Look not every man on his own things. But on the other hand. In lowlinesse of minde, let each esteem other better then himself: Every man also looking upon the things of others. Not but that Christians may look at their own things, but not impropriate their care to them, not so look at their own profit or honour, or ease, or pleasure, as not also to have a respect to others.

2.2. Above all (which might be an other direction) having a respect [Page 71] unto the glory of God, Propound the same end, Gods glory. propounding this as our chief aim. And O that Christians did but all agree in this, their hearts all meeting in this Center, all minding this same thing, making the glory of God the mark which they level at. No readier way to an holy agreement then this. Quae conveniunt in uno tertio, &c. Lines meeting in the Center agree there. The hearts of Christians meeting in the same God, as the ultimate end of all their counsels and actions, it is the most di­rect way to b [...]ing them to a holy unity.

3.3. Walk by the same rule, the word, Phi. 3. 16. Propounding the same end, let us also make use of the same rule. So Paul presseth it as a direction to unity. Let us walk by the same rule. The same rule of faith and life, viz. the word. By this rule let us walk, not setting a step, not undertaking any counsel or action, but as we have the direction of the word for our guide and warrant.

4.4. Be jealous of our own hearts. Be ever jealous over our own hearts. And good reason we should be so; they being like unto tinder or gunpowder, ready to take fire by the least spark which falleth into them, ready to take and improve every occasion that is offered for division; [...], to take up occasions sometimes before they are let fall, through jealousies, and suspicious misapprehensions of things. Much more where there is a reality. Now, the least spark is enough, if not looked to, to set them on fire. It was no great matter that Paul and Barnahas differed upon. Onely, about the taking of an associate along with them,Act. 15. 38. Iohn Mark, whom Barnabas thought worthy, but Paul, in regard of his late desertion of them, not going with them to the work, adjudged unworthy of their Communion and Fellowship. Yet the difference betwixt them rose to a height, to no lesse then Separation. [...], there was a very sharp and eager contest betwixt them (saith the Text,)ver. 39.) inso much, that they departed, [separated] the one from the other.

Brethren take we heed of dashing upon the like rock.A useful caveat. Suppose it that a Iohn Mark, a person one or more should be admitted to our Communion, to the Table of the Lord, (a thing which I plead not for) whom in your judgements you conceive not so worthy of it, in regard of some former slips, whereby they have given just scandal (that was the proper case there) yet let there not be a [...], an over eager contest about it, however, take heed of separating upon it. It was a weaknesse in Paul or Barnabas, one or both so to do. It will be wilfulnesse in you to do the like, having now had warning of it a­gain, and again.

5.5. For other directions, I might send you to that of the Apostle [Page 72] Eph. [...]orbearand [...]rgive. Eph. 4. 31, 32. Col. 3. 12, 13. 4. 31. Let all bitternesse and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be you kinde one to another, tender hearted, for giving one another, even as God for Christs sake hath forgiven you. Seconded by the same Apostle, Col. 3. Put on therefore bowels of mercies, kindnesse, humblenesse of minde, meeknesse, longsuffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one ano­ther. Mark those two last, Forbearing, and forgiving. This must Christians be much in, otherwise no hopes of vnity.

6.6. Neglect not the sa­crament, an uniting or­dinance. To these I might adde. Would we be thus united, then neglect not means of union, such means as God hath appointed for that end. One chief whereof is the Sacrament of the Lords Supper: An Ordi­nance of God instituted (as for other ends, so) for the confirming and increasing of that union which is betwixt the members of the mystical body; as betwixt the members and the head, so betwixt the members themselves, for the knitting of their hearts together. When this shall be offered, take heed how we sleight, how we neglect it. Surely it cannot but be conceived, that the unhappy intermission of the admi­nistration of this Ordinance, hath been not a little accessary to the in­creasing and heightning of our heart-divisions. Through the mercy of God we hope you shall have it now again reached forth to you, in a more constant and comfortable way, then formerly. You therefore who are living members of the mystical body, who finde your hearts already in measure united unto Christ by faith, and to the Saints by love, do you with care and conscience attend hereupon, that by this means this your union may be confirmed and encreased, that you may be perfectly joyned together.

7.7. Labour for unity in judgement. Take but one more. And that is that which we next meet with in the Text, in the last clause of it, which I shall onely touch upon in a word, and so dismisse it and you. Would we be of one minde, of me heart, labor to be of the same judgement. Surely there is a great sym­pathy betwixt the head and the heart. As the one is affected, so will the other be. In vain to look for unity in the one, where there is divisi­on in the other. True (I confesse) so it should not be. Christians though differing in judgement, yet they should be one in affection. I, but so it will be, as long as men are flesh as well as spirit, carrying the remainders of corruption about with them. For my own part, I must professe,A Dream [...]f the [...]. I cannot but wonder that men, and some intelligent men, should be so taken with their own dreams, as to fancy not onely [...]pos­sibility, but a fair probability of a holy concord and agreement amongst [Page 73] Christians in the midst of the greatest diversity of opinions. The Pro­phet Amos puts the Question,Amos 3. 3. Can two walk together except they be agreed? And if not two, how shall twenty, nay a hundred several and contrary opinions and wayes do it? A thing contrary to all experi­ence. What bitter contentions have ever in all ages attended upon these differences in Religion? For instance, I might bring in the Jews and the Samaritans; the Arrians and the Orthodox Christians; Pa­pists and Protestants; Lutherans and Calvinists. Remonstrants, Con­tra-Remonstrants: amongst our selves of late, Conformists and Non-Conformists; at present, Presbyterians and Independents, (as they are called). Not to speak here of those many other Sects in the Kingdom, many of which with little lesse then a mortal hatred do prosecute each others way, if not persons, to the not onely present breach and inter­ruption, but (unlesse God be the more merciful) to the utter endan­gering, if not destroying of Church-peace and unity in this King­dom.

And if a bare connivance at these divisions have already occasioned such a combustion,Tolerati­on of seve­ral opini­ons and wayes de­structive to unity. what do we think would a Toleration do? A To­leration of all sorts of Sects and Schisms, and Heresies, and Blasphe­mies, which is by some (and those more then a good many) under the abused notion of Liberty of Conscience, so earnestly pleaded for. For my own part, should this be once yeelded (which I hope their eyes shall first fail who look for it) I should look upon it as the Passing­bell to the Churches peace and glory, if not to the true Religion of God in this Kingdom. Surely, blessed Paul was of another minde; other­wise he would not have been so earnest with his Corinthians for unity in judgement, as well as in affection. Never had he any thought of such a politike principle for the according of his Corinthians, to indulge every of them their several opinions and Wayes. No,Obj. Vnity in judgement not possi­ble. this he knew well enough was the high way to confusion. And therefore he presseth upon them unity in judgement as well as in affection. As we desire the one, endeavor after the other.

Obj. 1 Cor. 11. 19. Why; but it is a thing impossible that there should be such an agreement among Christians. Such a general consent in judgement, that all should be of one opinion. It never was so: it never will be so. Paul himself tells us expresly, There must be Heresies.

Answ. Ans. 1. No plea for broach­ing, or to­lerating Ueresies. True, so there must be. It is an unavoidable evil through Satans malice, and mans corruption. I but so there ought not to be. So [Page 74] as this is no plea, no just excuse; either for the broaching, or conte­nancing, or tolerating of them.

2.2. Not simply impossible. Neither (in the second place) is it a thing so absolutely impossible for Christians to attain to such an agreement in the Truth. A thing in one Congregation very possible, and or [...]nary; why then impossible in many?

3.3. Agreement in funda­mentals possible and neces­sary. However (in the third place) though there be some difference about circumstantials in some points of lesser consequence and con­cernment, yet in the fundamentals, the chief heads and principles of Religion, there may and ought to be an agreement amongst the Churches of Christ. This we are sure in a true Church is not onely possible, but necessary. Such an agreement there was in the last age be­twixt the Church of England, and other Reformed Churches, as also betwixt her own members in her own bosome. Some differences there were about Order, Government, Discipline, Ceremonies, but for Sub­stantials, matters of Faith, they were agreed, witnesse the sweet harmony of their confessions. And O that there were but the like con­cord and agreement to be found amongst us at this day! That our dif­ferences were confined wholly to the Hem of Christs Garment. Such were the divisions of the last age in comparison of ours: And yet even those divisions were then thought sad enough. What would not the godly party on both sides, have given to have bought them of? O what then shall we do for the healing of our present Breaches! All of us implore the help of the great Physitian, that he would undertake the cure; which if he do not, vain is the help of man, the Church of God among us is in a lost condition. For this mercy let the Favorites of Heaven ply the throne of Grace with their prayers, all of us second them with the best of our endeavors; striving after a holy unity in judgement, as much as others do after division.

To that end.Conclusi­on. Whereto we have already attained (as the Apostle ad­viseth) let us walk by the same rule. Truths upon good ground received and beleeved by the Churches of Christ,Phil. 3. 15. and our selves, hold them fast. In other things, if we be otherwise minded, differing from our Brethren in some points of inferior concernment, let us carry these our differ­ences in a humble, and (as much as may be) in a quiet and peaceable way; rather somthering our private opinions in our own brests, then to suffer them to break forth to set the Church on fire, to the disturbance and breach of the publike peace, which ought to be more [Page 75] dear to us then many of the children of our own brains: So waiting upon God until he shall further reveal his Truth to our selves, or others.

And thus I have with as much brevity as I could, dispatched also this latter branch of this Apostolical Charge. Concerning which I shall now onely pray, that God by his Spirit, which is the Spirit of peace and unity, would imprint it upon your hearts, and upon the hearts of all his people in this Kingdom. Amen.


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