A Confutation of the ANABAPTISTS, AND All others who affect not Civill Government; Proving the lawfulnesse of it: and a full Answer to all their Cavills, that are, or can be made against it.

WITH A Nut-cracker for an unnaturall Nut, whose Shell is as hard as the Scales of Leviathan, and the kernell of his heart as hard as a piece of the nether Mill-stone, Iob 41.15.24. yet the hammer of Gods Word that breaketh in pieces the Rocks, Ier. 23.29. will break this Nut, that all may see the devillish kernell that is in it.

Also Arguments against the Anabaptists, proving that Infants borne of Christian Parents ought to be Baptized: With a full Answer to all their Cavills that are (or can be) made against it.

Imprimatur Ja. Cranford.

And thou Ezra, after the wisedome of thy God, that is in thine hand, set Magi­strates and Iudges, which may Iudge all the people that are beyond the River, and whosoever will not doe the Law of thy God, and the Law of the King, let Iudgement be executed speedily upon him, whether, it bee unto death, or unto banishment, or confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment,

Ezra 7.25, 26.

Put them in mind to be subject to Principalities and powers, to obey Magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

Titus 3.1.

They sent them Peter and John, who when they were come, prayed for them that they might receive the holy Ghost, for as yet he was faln upon none of them onely they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Iesus,

Acts 8.15, 16.

Then Peter said unto them repent and be baptized every one of you, and ye shall re­ceive the gift of the holy Ghost, for the promise is unto you, and to your chil­dren,

Acts 2.38, 39.

LONDON, Printed by M. O. for T. Bankes, and are to be sold in Black Friars [...]


To the Reader.

Christian Reader,

THE maine cause that moved me to undertake this Worke is this; many faithfull Christians, and loyall Subjects are blamed to be enemies to Civill government, as also my selfe bearing a part of that reproach with them: now to cleare both my selfe and others in these divided and distracted times, J thought it not amisse to discover them, and to make them knowne who they be that despise dominion, and speake evill of dignities, Jude 8. that faithfull Christians and loyall subjects may not be blamed, who are subject to Prin­cipalities and Powers, and willing to obey Magistrates, and ready to every good work, Titus 3.1, 2. Who every day that passeth over their heads put up prayers and supplications, intercessions and giving of thanks at the Throne of grace for Kings, and all in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godlinesse and honestie 1 Tim. 2.12. And as for mee, God forbid that I should sinne against the Lord in ceasing to pray for them, 1 Samuel 12.23. Tet Gods peo­ple were alwayes blamed to be enemies to civill authoritie. Ahab said to Elijah, Art not thou he that troubleth Israel? 1 Kings 18.17. And saith Haman that great Courtier, There is a certaine people scattered and disperced among thy people in all the Provinces of thy King­dome, and their Lawes are divers from all people, neither keep they the Kings Laws, Esther 3.8. Nay further, this Court-flatte­rer so prevailed with the King to get Letters sealed with the Kings seale, to destroy, to kill, and cause to perish all Jewes, both young and old, little children and women in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth Moneth (which is the Moneth Adar) and to take the [Page]spoyle of them for a prey, Verse 13. And it was told the King saying, Daniel, one of the captivity of the children of Judah, regardeth not thee, O King, nor the decree that thou hast signed, and so was cast into the Denne of Lions: but in the morning the King comes to the mouth of the Donne, and calls Daniel; to which hee answered, O King, live for ever, my God hath sent his Angel, and hath shut the Lions mouths, that they have not hurt me, for as much as before him Innocencie was found in me; and against thee, O King, have I done no hurt, Daniel And Paul was accused to be a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition: but when the tryall came, neither against the Law of the Iewes, nor against the Temple, nor against Caesar had he offended any thing at all, Acts 24. [...].25.8. Nay fur­ther, they said of Christ himselfe to Pilate, If thou let this man goe, thou art not Caesars friend, for he speaketh against Caesar: Iohn. 19.12. Yet Christ, although he was a true heire to the Crown and Kingdome of the Iewes, shewed himselfe loyall to Civill Government, saying, Ren­der to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are Gods, Matthew 22.21. And hee payed tribute to avoyd offence. Matthew 17.26, 27. although an heire to the Crowne, and free from Tribute; Thus in all ages, both all the faithfull, and Christ himselfe was blamed to bee enemies to civill government: And now I come to our own age, witnesse those three Worthies, and faithfull servants of Iesus Christ, who pleading for God and the King, and declaring how those Traite­rous Prelates did intrench upon the Kings prerogative in many particu­lars; these men venturing lives and states, and all outward comforts, through a tender affection they had to their Prince, as not being able to indure to see the wrong done to him, and be silent; and yet for speak­ing, and declaring those Traytors, they were punished altogether, although they did expresse such Loyalty that I think their examples are not to be pa­rallel'd; witnesse that renowned Doctor Bastwick, who laboured to main­taine the honour, and dignity, and prerogative Royall of our Soveraigne Lord the King; saying, Let the King live for ever: Had I a thousand lives, I should think them all too little to spen [...] for his Majesties Royall Prerogative: and had I as much bloud in my veines as would swell the Thames, I would shed it every drop in this cause: And then wishing the people not to bee discouraged, nor daunted at the Prelates power, but bid them labour to preserve innocencie, and keep peace within, and goe on in the strength of your God, and hee will never faile you in such a day as this: Then saith he, as I said before, so I say again, had I as many lives as I have haire [...] [Page]upon my head, or drops of bloud in my veines I would give them up all for this Cause. Yet all this could not free them from sufferings, although Mordecai had saved the Kings life from the hands of Tray­tors, yet no honour is done to Mordecai: But the Lord hath all these things upon the File, and in his due time he will cause the King to read the the Chronicles, to finde out that which Mordecai hath done, and requite it, Esther 6.1. For behold thy servants are ready to doe whatsoe­ver my Lord the King shall appoint, 2 Samuel 15.15. Not as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service, as to the Lord and not to men, Ephesians 6.6.7. For we must be subject, not onely for wrath, but for conscience sake, Romans 13.6. Yet not as bringing the consci­ence under any humane power, but as in obedience to Gods command, who is the onely Lord of Conscience, he saith, Let every soule be sub­ject to the higher powers, Verse 1. Submit your selves to every Ordi­nance of man for the Lords sake, whether it bee to the King, as su­preame, and to Governours sent by him, 1 Peter 2.14.15. And we honour and reverence them as the Deputies of God: for the powers that be are ordained of God, & their place is Gods Ordinance, Vers 2. He saith, By me Kings reigne, and Princes decree justice; by me Princes rule, and Nobles, and all the Judges of the earth, Proverb; 8.15, 16. All Princes Iudges, and Magistrates beare the name of God, as being cloathed with his authority: GOD standeth in the Congregation of the mightie, and judgeth among the Gods, I have said yee are Gods; Psal. 82.16. Also we reverence them from Gods command, which saith, Feare God and honour the King, 1 Peter 2.17. Yea we must feare God and the King, not with a slavish, but with a filiall feare, My sonne feare thou the Lord, and the King, Prov. 24.21. Thus we are highly to e­steem of civill government; for as the breath of our nostrills is the Lords anoynted. Lam. 3.20. And when David would goe forth to war him­selfe, the people answered, Thou shalt not goe forth, for if we flie away, they w ll not care for us, neither if halfe of us dye, will they care for us; but now thou art worth ten thousand of us, 2 Samuel 18.2.3. So then our lives and states, and all wee have is not too deare to doe him service. Now such a one is a faithfull Christian, and a loyall Subject: but because some are like the unjust Iudge, who nei­ther feared God, nor regarded man, Luke 18.4. Yet they would bee thought to be faithfull Christians and loyall subjects: therefore to make them manifest, I shall first shew negatively who they are not, and then I will endea­vour affirmatively to shew unto you who they are.

First, they are not that prophane blaspheming [...]rout that cling a­bout his Majestie, who in their common talke dare Jehovah to his face to damne and sinke them to the pit of Hell: but can these that are enemies to GOD and to themselves bee either faithfull Christians or loyall Subjects? it is impossible. Such as these, saith the Prophet, being in any straight, as when they are hungrie, they will curse their King and their God, and looke upward, Isaiah 8.21. And did not those many of them at the fight at Newburie breath out their last breath, blaspheming GOD and cursing their King? but as they love cursing so let it come unto them: as they cloath themselves with cursing like as with a garment, so let it it come into their bowells like water, and like oyl [...] into their bones, Psal. 109.17, 18. But although these men sweare, yet faithfull Christians and loyall subjects feare an Oath, Ecclesiastes 9.2, They know that because of swearing the Land mourneth, Jeremiah 23.10. They tremble at that flying rout that is sent into the house of the thiefe, and into the house of the swearer to cut them off, Zechariah 5.3. Neither dare they curse the King, no not in their thought; for a Bird of the ayre shall carry the voyce, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter, Ecclesiast. 10.20. It is written, that thou shalt not speake evill of the Ruler of thy people, Acts 23.5. Then those that cannot keep their tongues from swearing and their hands from stealing, declare plainely how they despise civill government, and those Lawes that should restraine those cursed practises, these licentious sonnes of Belial, who seek to overthrow civill government by violence. But I shall bee more brief in the rest, because J am but in the Preface.

Secondly, the Romish Clergy or the Prelacy are enemies to civill govern­ment, who exempt themselves from under their power, and not onely so, but they seek to take the power from the Magistrates to themselves, and so to make them their vassalls: their cavills I have answered distinctly in this Booke.

Thirdly, the Antinomians and Familists are enemies to civill go­vernment, who seek to overthrow the eternall Law of God, on which the ci­vill Law is built: now if these men take away the foundation whereon all our Lawes are built, what doe they else in this, but seeke to overthrow all ci­vill government, that they may more freely satisfie their licentious affections?

Fourthly, the Brownists, who call themselves Independent; there bee many Sects of them, since Browne first breached that Schisme: some follow [Page] Smith, some Iohnson, some Robinson, some Ainsworth, but they all dash one against another, and all excommunicate themselves from the Church of Christ: and, suith Pager, three or four hundred Brownists have brought forth more A­postate Anabaptists and Arrians sometimes in one yeare than ten thousand members of the Reformed Dutch Church in Amsterdam hath done in ten years, though tempted by seducers as much as any others: of this he was an eye­witnesse, being then and there a member of the Classicall Assemblies; see his Epistle to the Arrow against the Brownists. They deny that Magistrates should have any hand in Religion, or the worke of Reformation: they affirme that Christian Princes and Magistrates have no more to doe in or about the Church than Heathen Princes: but here they intrench upon civill govern­ment, denying Caesar his due: thus they would have civill government les­sened, or limited. The Popish Clergy, they would have civill power remo­ved from the Magistrate to themselves: prophane people would have it conni­ved at, in respect of themselves; and Antinomians seek the violation of it by accident, in seeking to make voyd the Morall Law of God. Yet my purpose in writing this book was not to meddle with any of these; but as they set up­on me in the pursuit of those grand enemies of civill government, which are that wicked generation of the Anabaptists; these are they to whom I chiefe­ly bend the whole drift of my disputation, as being absolute enemies to the essentiall being of civill government. It is neither conniving, nor limiting, nor removing that will serve their turnes, unlesse they have an utter extirpa­tion of it: so then all the rest doe some way or other dash against civill govern­ment: but these are professed enemies to it. Hence I conclude that none of these are the men whom I intend, when, J say, they are faithfull Christians, and loyall subjects.

Now J answer affirmatively, that those faithfull Christians and loyall sub­jects are those people that are faithfull to Luthers Protestation, and to Calvins Jnstitution: the first of these was the originall cause from whence the name of Protestants did first arise: for when Luther did first renounce that strumpet of Rome, he caused them all that were with him to enter into a Protestation against all Popery, and popish Innovations; and all that took it were ever afters wards called Protestants: and we in this Kingdome have taken the very same Protestation against all Popery and popish Innovations; and I doubt not but we have many amongst us who will hazzard lives and states and all they have, to maintaine that Protestation, and through Gods mercy will prove themselves good Protestants. Now for Calvins Institution, I doe not call it so, as if he had made it of his owne head, but as a faithfull servant of Iesus Christ, he hath faithfully declared all the counsell of God, as Paul did, Acts 20.27. that all may see what a Church Christ hath instituted in his word, and the [Page]great blessing of God upon this mans labours, and upon all that walked in the same steps.

Dear Christian and loyal subject, thou that endevourest to have a conscience voyd of offence both towards God and towards men, Acts 24.16. Thou that renderest to God his due, and to Caesar his due; thou that obeyest both the first and second table of the Law, thou that fearest God, and ho [...]ourest the King, and submittest thy self to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake, I say to thee, Be faithful to the death, and thou shalt have the Crown of life, Rev. 2.10. Ye shall be hated of all men (saith Christ) for my names sake, but he that holdeth out to the end, the same shall be saved, Matth. 10.22. And for those that do in any case dash against Gods Law, or mans Law, I would entreat them to read this Book with an impartiall eye, and it may be they may see their errour; and if so, then I would entreat them to imitate the faithfull Christian and loyall Subject; and so as they grow in strength and wisedome, they shall grow in favour with God and men, as our perfect patterne did, Iesus Christ, who said, learne of me who am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your soules, Matth. 11.29. And so I commend thee to God, and the word of his grace, which is able to build thee up, and to give thee an inheritance among all them that are sanctified, Acts 20.32. Now the God of pe [...]ce, that brought againe from the dead our Lord Iesus that great Shep­heard of the sheep, through the bloud of the everlasting Covenant, make thee perfect in every good work, to doe his will, working in thee that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Iesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen Hebr. 13.20, 21.

Thine in the Lord Jesus, THOMAS BAKEWELL.

The Errata.

Some faults have escaped the Pressc, and because the number of pages is not sot, I must direct thee to them by the letters on the lower and on the first, b. l. 20. for God r. Gods. On the backeside, l. 5. for if. r. for. On the second, b. l. 1. leaveout to on the bakside of the second, d. l. 35. put in are. On the first, h. l. 25. put in called. On the backeside of the second, h. l. 11. for of r. as, l. 40. for Prophet [...]r. paths. On the backeside of the third, I. l. 35. put in not. On the second, k. l. 1. put in the meanes of. On the blancke of k. l. 11. for Gervenus, r. Servetus. On the backeside, l. 13. for Churches r. witnesses. On the first L. l. 8. put in the. On the backeside, l. 36. for if r. that. l. 35. leave out no.

A confutation of the Anabaptists and all others who affect not Civill Government, proving the lawfulnesse of it, and a full answer to all their Cavils that are or can be made against it.

THere be two main arguments to prove the lawfulnesse of ci­vill government amongst Christians.

First, Civill government is very necessary, and that ap­pears in many perticulars, such as these; It is necessary to de­fend the outward worshipping of God, and to defend the sound Doctrine of Godlinesse, and the state of the Church; and to frame our life to the fellowship of men, and to fashi­on our manners to civill righteousnesse, and to procure us into Friendship one with another, and to nourish common peace and quietnesse. Now while we are here we stand in need of such helpes, so then the thought of put­ting downe Civill Government is outragious cruelty, for we stand in as much need of it as of our bread and water, the Sun and the ayre, yea the dignity of it is farre more excellent; for if there were no civill government, men could not live together the outragiousnesse of mans nature would be so boundlesse: Againe, if it were not for civill government it were unpossible to uphold the true Religion, for all man­ner of wickednesse would so abound, as Idolatry and Sacriledge against the name of God, and blasphemies against his Truth, and all manner of sin; For the man Micah had his house of Gods; In those daies there was no King in Israel, but eve­ry man did that which was right in his o [...]ne eies, Judges 17.5.6. And he con­secrated a Levite to Idolatry, & put [...]m in his house of God & said, now I know that the Lord will doe me good: In those daies there was no King in Israel, ver. 12.13. chap. 18.1. The Levites wife played the whore and went from him and was afterwards forced to death: In those daies there was no King in Israel, Chap. The Children of Israel had sworne saying, cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin, yet they dispenced with their Oath and gave their daughters to them: In those daies there was no King in Israel, every man did that which was right in his owne eies, Chap. 21.18.25. Now the civill government restraines all these outragious abhominations among the people, that common peace be not disturbed, that every man may keep his own in safety, that men may use their af­faires together without hurt or danger, that honesty and modesty may be kept, and that among Christians there may be a profession of religion, and that among men may be a man like civility; So then this Ordinance of policie is to defend the true religion which is contained in the Law of God, that it be not openly and sacriled­giously broken and defiled.

The second maine ground to prove the lawfulnesse of civill Government, is ta­ken from the honourable Titles that God is pleased to put upon it when he com­mends [Page]it unto us; Those whom it pleased God to put in the place of Magistrates, they are called Gods, I have said ye are Gods, Psal. 82.6. And this is of no small Importance, for thereby is signified that they have Commandment from God, and that they are furnished with the authority of God, and do altogether bear the person of God, whose place they doe after a certaine manner supply, see Iohn 10.35. If the Scripture saith he calleth them Gods unto whom the Word of God was given, which is his word of Command, being a word of Authority; what is this else but to de­cla e that God hath committed his basinesse to them, that they should serve in his Office as Moses and Iehoshaphat said to their Judges, whom they appointed in e­very City of Iudah, that they should sit in judgment not for man, but for God, Deut. 1.16. 1 Cron. 19.6. And so to the same purpose the wisedome of God affi [...]meth by the mouth of Solomon, that it is his work that Kings reign, and Princes decree justice; By me Princes rule, and Nobles, and all the Iudges of the earth, Prov. 8 15.16.

This plainly declares that the government of all things in earth that is in the hand of Kings and other Rulers, is onely from the Providence and the holy Ordinance of God to whō it seemed good so to order the matters of men, forasmuch as he is both present and President among them, in making of Lawes, and in executing upright­nesse in judgments: This also Paul affirms & reacheth when he reckoneth Govern­ments among the gifts of God, which being diversly distributed according to the diversity of grace, and ought to be imployed of the servants of Christ to their e­dification, Rom. 12.8. And although he there properly speaketh of a Counsell of grave men which in the Primitive Church were appointed that they should have the rule of ordering the publique Discipline, which Office the Apostle calleth Govern­ment, 1 Cor. 12.28. Yet forasmuch as we see that the end of civill power tends to the same end, therefore we need not doubt but that he commendeth unto us all kinds of Governments, but see Rom. 13.1. Where he purposely maketh a full dis­course of that matter, for there he sheweth that Power is the Ordinance of God, and that there is no Powers but they are ordained of God, and that Princes themselves are the Ministers of God, for a praise of them that d e well, and for a terro [...]r to e­vil doers. Hence I conclude, that civil Government is a calling not only holy & law­ful before God, but also the most holy and most honourable calling of all other in the whole life of men; yet saith Mr. Perkins on his Commentory on Iude page 110. many Libertines sprung up in the Apostles daies, such as Simon Magus, and his Disciples, who taught that men might lawfully commit fornication: So also the Disciples of Basilides Eunomius, and the Gnosticks, Heretikes who taught that men might live as they list, seeing now such liberty was procured them, being freed from being under the Law any longer, which sin died not with those cursed here­tiques, but the Divel hath in these last daies revived it, especially in 4. so [...]s of men.

First, the Libertines of this age, who hold with the former, that being under grace, they are freed from the obedience of the Law. Secondly the Anabaptists, who upon consideration of the liberty [...] that civill Jurisdiction [Page]& to Magistracie is unlawful, as also to make war, and take an Oath before a Ma­gistrate, these (saith he) are dangerous enemies wheresoever they be, both to the grace of God, and to the good of men, for where the civill sword ceaseth, there can no society stand in safety. Thirdly, another kind of Libertines are the Papists with their whole Religion, being open enemies to the grace of God, turning it into wan­tonnesse and liberty of sinning against him divers waies: First, God having of his grace given unto the Church a power of the keyes to open and shut Heaven, but their religion hath turned it into an instrument of prophanenesse, in setting up a new Priesthood to absolve and forgive sins, properly in offering a Sacrifice both for the quick and dead, and so abolishing the Sacrifice of Christ. Secondly, of inju­stice, for by it they depose Kings and Princes, and they free Subjects from their Allegiance, and they stir them up and encourage them to conspiracies and rebelli­ons, and they maintaine Factions, Civill Wars and Seditions, and all by vertue of their power. Thirdly, of horrible Covetousnesse, by selling of pardons for thou­sands of years, by which Craft they have gotten the third part of the Revenews of Europe into their hands, which proveth plainly that they turne the grace of God into a liberty of sinning against him.

The fourth sort of Libertines, are carnall and formall Protestants, who turne the counsell of Gods election into wantonnesse, saying, if I be elected to salvation, I shall be saved, let me live how I will, but if I be not elected, I shall not be saved, lot me do what I can.

Secondly they turne the mercy of God into wantonnesse, in saying God is mer­cifull, I will deser my repentance, for at what time soever a sinner repenteth, God wil put all his sins out of his remembrance: Therefore they will not repent yet, say­ing, what young Saints and old Devils, thus they cast away the timely acceptance of Gods mercy with a scornful reproach.

Thirdly, some under pretence of brotherly love spend all that they have in wan­tonnesse, ryot, excesse, gameing, and company keeping to the begge [...]ing of them­selves and their Families.

Fourthly, others under a pretence that the Jewish Sabboth is abbrogated by Christ, and now there is no distinction of times, hence they will keepe no Sabboth at all.

Fiftly, some others say where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, Rom. 5.20. Therefore say they, let us continue in sin that grace may abound: But all these turne the grace of our God into wantonnesse, and therefore by the just judgement of God for committing such things are worthy of death, yet they not only do the same, but take pleasure in them that do them, R [...]m. 1.32.

Now these Libertines for the better encouragement of their Disciples in evil, they tell them they shalbe illuminated & deified, such great matters they promise them, and by this means make them the children of the Devill seven-fold more then they were before: and for the Romish Clergy they have been very large in their pr [...] ­mises unto their hearers. They tell them that they shalbe able to satisfie the justice [Page]of God for their sins, yea, and to merit everlasting life, and not only so, but they shalbe able to do works of Supererogation, that is, they shalbe able to do more then the law of God requires of them, yea, for a little money they shall have a tolleration to break any of Gods Commandements, and to reject them at their pleasure, much like to the old Pharisees, when Gods law said: He that curseth father or mother shall dye the death; but these men will say, although he honour not his father or his mother he shall be free, Mat 15.46. These Achans have a long time troubled our Israel: They neither feare God nor regara man, Luke 18.4. They despise all government both of God and man, divine and humane.

Divine government is the absolute power of God, whereby he makes lawes to bind the conscience, and that under pain of life or death eternall; Now this is the power of the whole Trinity, but the administration of it is committed to the sonne, this divine law of God is despised by Libertines, or as now they are more com­monly called Antinomians, and by Anabaptists, Papists, and prophane Protestants, yet at this time I intend not to call them to an account for despising of that govern­ment alone, as in it selfe, but there is another kind of government despised of these men, which is a humane government, for the Apostle saith: Submit your selves to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake, whether it be to the King as supreame or unto governours sent by them, 1 Pet. 2.13, 14. This is that government which is so much despised, especially by the Anabaptists, to them I chiefly bend the drift of my disputation, yet not conniving or sparing any other that shall dash against it, or any way seem to undervalue it.

This humane or civill government is a state of superiority consisting in the pow­er of commanding, and in the power of the sword for the good of mankind, that it is a state of superiority appeareth, Rom. 13.1. Let every soule be subject to the higher power. Again, it consisteth in a double power, 1. In commanding, that is, of making laws and edicts, calling and conventing, the second power is that of the sword, and it may be comprehended under thesce 4. heads, 1. In arresting, 2. Im­prisoning, 3. In putting to death, 4. In making warre in way of protection or o­therwise.

The reason why this power of the sword is added, is this, to put a difference be­tweene the authority of the magistracy, and the authority of the ministry: Now this difference standeth in 3. things. First, the magistracy hath a power in it selfe, whereby the civill Magistrate may command in his owne name, but the Ministry hath power only to pronounce what God commandeth, and in his name saying; Thus saith the Lord, none durst ever say from himselfe, I say unto you, but Christ alone, Math. 5.

Secondly, the authority of the civill Magistrate is in himselfe, but the authority of the Minister is not in himselfe, but in Christ, so then the civill Magistrate may command obedience to himselfe, but the Minister commandeth it to God.

Thirdly, the civill Magistrate hath power over the outward man, but the Mini­ster hath power only to counsell, perswade and exhort. So much of the difference [Page]between the Magistracy and the Ministry.

Secondly, this power of the sword is added to distinguish the power of the ma­gistracy from all private power, as in Schooles and Families, which have a power of commanding, but not of the sword.

Lastly, I adde for the common good of mankind, Rom. 13.4. He is the Minister of God to thee for good, or for thy wealth, that is in procuring the welfare of soule and body, which standeth in two things, First, true Religion, Secondly, civill ju­stice, both which are by the magistracy maintained,

Now here it may be demanded, how farre the power of civill government rea­cheth. I answer, over all causes, things, and words of men, whether Civil, or Ec­clesiasticall, over Temporall things. I know none that will make question of it, but the Anabaptists, who deny the very being of it, but it also reacheth to the causes of the Church, and this appeareth in that the Kings must have the booke of the Law before them when they sit upon the Throne of the Kingdome, and it must be with them, and they must read therein all the dayes of their lives, that they may learne to feare the Lord their God, and that they may keep all the words of this law, and do them, that their heart be not lifted up above their brethren, Deut.

Secondly, this we may see in many examples of holy Kings in Scripture, Iosiah kept the Passeover and commanded others to keep it, 2 Chron. 35.1.16. and K. Asa commanded Iudah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to doe the Law and the commandement, and he took away the Altars of the strange Gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves, 2 Chr. 14.3.4. And Manasseh repaired the Altar of the Lord, and sacrificed thereon Peace-offe­rings, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord, Chap. 33.16. And Josiah tooke away all the abhominations out of all the Countreys that pertained to the children of Israel, and he made all that was present to serve the Lord their God, Cha. 34.33. Israel served the Lord all the dayes of Joshuah, and all the dayes of the Elders that out-lived Jo [...]huah, Iosh. 24.31. And the Lord raised up unto them David to be their King, to whom he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the s [...]nne of Jes [...]e, a man after mine owne heart, which shall fulfill all my will, Acts 13.22. And so when he was King, he did not only reform his own Family, that no lyar should dwel in his house, nor deceitfull person should tarry in his right, and slan­derers he would cut off, and proud persons he would not suffer: the faithfull should dwel with him, but yet this is not all (marke saith he) I will early destroy all the wicked of the land, and cut off wicked doers from the Citie of the Lord, Psal. 102.

Thirdly the command of God, goes down to the house of the King of Iudah, and speake unto him this word and say, heare the word of the Lord ô King of Judah that sittest upon the Thro [...]e of David, execute judgment and righteousnesse, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, do no wrong nor violence to the stranger, and fatherl [...]ss [...] and the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place, then if they do these things, abundance of blessings are promised, but if they do [Page]not these things, fearfull judgments are threatned, Jer. & 21.11.12. And (saith David) Be wise ô Kings, serve the Lord, kisse the Sun lest he be an­gry, Psal. 2. Fourthly, the Lord hath promised that Kings under the Gospell shall be nursing Fathers, and Queenes nursing Mothers to his Church, Isa. 49.23. Yea Kings shall bring their honour and glory into it, Revel. 21.24. That is, the honour and glory of their power and authority, and riches also, shall be all improved for the good and welfare of the Church, they shall cast their Crownes before the Throne saying, worthy art thou O Lord to receive glory and hoxour and power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are & were created, Reve­lat. 4.10.11. And as they have given their power to the Beast, so time will come, the Lord hasten it, that they will give all unto Christ for the good of his Church, as David did. 1 Chron. 29.11.12.

But heare the Schisme of Brownie, those independant people will set upon mee, who tell us that Christian Princes and Magistrates have no more to doe in or about the Church then heathen Princes; I answer, but every faithfull Subject under a Christian Prince will acknowledge his place is to defend the saith, I mean the Do­ctrine of faith, all those truths which are necessary to be believed to salvation they are to defend, that no heresie as a canker may corrupt, as also the written word of God, which is called the word of faith, because by it faith is wrought in the Elect, Rom. 10.17. this faith they must defend also: But they object, that those Kings of Iudah mentioned before, who medled in the Church with Reformation and E­stablishment of Religion, that they did it not as Kings, but as Types of Christ, so that now Christ is come, he hath put an end to all such Types and Shadowes; but this is a wicked errour for us to exclude any perticular calling that is lawfull, espe­cially such an eminent calling as that of the Magistracy, from [...] any hand in the worke of Reformation, and setting up of the true Gnvernment of Jesus Christ amongst us, as though that Christ was not then the King of his Church [...]swell as now.

I once demanded of some of the chiefe of them in that way what Christ was to the Church of the Jewes, if not their King while those Reformers were living, but I was never answered yet: But what saith the Lord, I have set my King upon the hill of Sion, Psal. 2.6. The Lord said unto my Lord (saith King David) Psal. 110.1. Yea before the Law was given when Abraham sate in his Tent doore, he lift up his eyes and looked, and loe three men stood before him, but one of them was Christ, for (said he) My Lord if now I have found favour in thy sight, passe not away I pray thee from thy servant, Gen. 18.2.3. The other two were angels which went to Sodom, Chap. 19.1. He appeared often, as to Iacob Gen. 32.24.28. & Exod. 23.20. Ioshua 5.14.15. He is called the King of Iacob, and the King of Israel, and wisedome which is Christ saith, By me Kings reigne, and Princes de­cree justice; By me Princes rule and Nobles, yea all the Iudges of the earth, Pro. So that then Kings were Gods Deputies on earth aswel as now: But will they debar that honourable calling of the Magistracy from having any [Page]hand in the worke of Reformation of Religion under the Gospell, how will they answer such places as these, They shall bring thy sons in their Armes and thy daugh­ters shall be carried upon their shoulders, and Kings shall be thy nursing Fathers, and Queenes shal be thy nursing Mothers, Isa. 49.22.23. And saith Paul, pray for Kings, and all that are in Authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godlinesse and honesty, 2 Tim. 2.1.2. Then must we pray that Kings and those in authority may be a meanes to help us to lead a peaceable, quiet, honest and godly life, and then say presently that they have no more to governe us in a godly life, than heathen Princes, but Kings must read in the Law of God all the dayes of their life, that they may learne to feare the Lord their God, and keep all the words of this Law, and doe them, Deut. 17.10 19. If this doth not satisfie, see one place more, 2 Sam. 22.3, The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel speake to me he that ruleth over men must be just, and not only so, but ruling in the feare of God. If this sufficeth not, let them shew whem or where any lawfull calling was debard from the work of Reformation, if they cannot, then why should this honou­rable calling be excluded? We may read of many callings that put to their hand in repairing the walls of Jerusalem, which was a Type of the Church, as the Apo­thecaries, Goldsmiths, Merchants and others, and Rulers that put their hand to the worke, and commended but their Nobles, are branded for this, that they put not their necks to the worke of the Lord, see Nehem. 3.5.

I grant that Ministers are to informe the Church what is the will of God con­cerning Reformation but the Church and People are to doe it in obedience to Gods Commandment, and the commandment of the Magistrate, see both these Ezra 6.14. these were heathen Kings, and were they also Types of Christ: Again, shall heathen Princes have their hand in the worke of Reformation, and shall Christian Kings be barred from it, shall those without the Covenant and without Grace doe it, and shall not Christian Kings and Magistrates being in the Covenant and in the state of grace doe it? those that are not blind may see their folly.

In the next place it wil be demanded whether Magistrates have the same authori­ty in Ecclesias [...]icall things as in Civill: I answer, no, there be two differences to be marked; First in civill causes it ordereth all, and executeth all, but in Ecclesiasti­call it hath power to order al, but not to execute thē, the Magistrate indeed ordereth and prescribeth an all, but the Min ster is he that executeth in Ecclesiasticall causes. Secondly, Civill Authority hath power over all the things of men, as their words and actions, body and goods, but not over the things of God, as the Word and Sacraments, Faith and Conscience, and all the graces of Gods spirit wrought in the heart, civill power hath no rule over these, for (saith Christ) Give unto God the things of God and unto Cesar the things of Cesar. Secondly, this authority ex­ten [...]eth to all sorts of persons, as well Ecclesiasticall as Civill, but so as it reacheth not beyond the out ward man, it's to the body life, conversation & outward things, but not to the soul & conscience of which God is the only Lord & governour: Now if it be demanded how many kinds of Civill Government there be, I answer, it is of [Page]three sorts, first in one person, which is a Monarchie. 2. In more then one, when the government is in a few States and Peeres, this may be called Aristocrificall. or a Parliamentary way of government. 3. When it lyes in the body of the Peo­ple, this is called a popular governement by one of these three is every Common-wealth governed.

Here I need not to dispute which of these is the best kind of government for a Christian Common-wealth to be governed by. I suppose a populer government is the way to sedition and to Civill wars, and mutinies in a Common-wealth, and Monarchiall would be a very heavy burden for a free Nation to beare, when Rehe­boam told them he would make their yoake heavy, and whip them with Scorpions, he almost lost all his Subjects. 1 Kings 12.14. Then I conceive a Parliamentary way of government to be most agreeable to Gods word, and most comfortable & beneficiall to all the people, when the three States are assembled, the King entring a Covenant with the Lords and Commons, representing the whole body of the land: Thus all the Elders of Israel came to Hebron, and David made a Cove­nant with them in Hebron before the Lord, and they annoynted David King over all Israel, 1 Chro. 11.3. And when Joash was annoynted King, all the chiefe of the Fathers of Israel came to Jerusalem, and all the Congregation made a Cove­nant with the King in the house of God, 2 Chron. 23.2, 3. Now this Covenant between the King and the representative body of the Kingdome bindes all in obe­dience, see Iosh. 9.18, 19.20. What the Princes of Israel then did, if Saul al­though a King, and many hundred of years after, shall presume to breake this Co­venant, his house and Kingdome shall sinart for it, see 2 Sam. 21. Nay, although the covenanting with those people was a sinne, and many of the people murmured at it, yet it being made, must not be broken, which doth at this time charge us all to be under this Nationall Covenant, considering the representative body of the Land have solemnly taken it, although some refractory people refuse it and mur­mure at it, yet this wil not free any from observing of it, Deut. 29.14, 15.

The Oath of the Kings of England taken out of the Parliament Role, 1. H. 4. N. 17.

The form of the Oath wont and accustomed to be taken at the CORONATION.

YOu shall keepe the Church of God, the Clergy and the people entirely in peace and concord in God, according to your power. He shall answer, I will keep them.

You shall cause equall and right Iustice in all your judgements, and discretion in mercy and truth, according to your power. Hee shall answer, I wild [...]e it.

You shall grant just Lawes and Customes to be kept, and you shal promise those shalbe protected by you, and to the honour of God, to be strengthned, which the Common people shall chuse according to your power. He shall answer, I grant and promise it.

And the people bind themselves to the King in the Oath of Allegiance.

BUt now step out the Anabaptists, who despise government, saying, all swearing is unlawfull; for say they, Christ saith, swear not at all, Mat. 5.34. I answer, that is meant in our communication, which must be Yea, yea, and nay, nay v 37. Again, God commands swearing as a part of his worship, saying, Thou shalt feare the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shale sweare by his name, Deuteron. 6.13. & 10.20. Now Christ came to do the will of his Father, Iohn 5.30. And not to contradict it as our Anabaptists blasphemously affirme, while they say, Christ here flatly forbids swearing, which was commanded by God as a part of his worship: but see how these wicked people would make a breach of Unity in the very Trinity betweene God the Father, and God the Son; then wel may these blasphemers make rents and divisions in Kingdomes and Common wealths. Again, the Apostle is so far from denying the lawful use of swearing, that hee gives a sufficient reason to prove the lawfulnesse of it in some cases for saith he men verily sweare by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is the end of all strife, Heb. 6.16. Again, we have ma­ny examples of them that have sworn upon some occasions, both out of the old Te­stament and out of the New, Gen. Rom. 9.1.2 Cor. 1.23. 2 Kings 6.31. This may suffice to prove that swearing in some cases is lawfull.

Now to know what an oath is, we shall see by the parts of it, which are two, Confession and Imprecation: Confession is threefold, though for the outward forme the words be few: First, a man confesseth that which he sweareth to be true [Page]in his conscience. 2. That God is a witnesse not of his outward action and speech, but also of his particular conscience. 3. That God is an omnipotent Judge of all, and of him that sweareth, and able to justifie him if he sweare truly, or otherwise to condemne him eternally if he sweare falsly, these things are confessed by him that sweareth.

The second thing in an oath is Imprecation, which is a prayer to God for two things. 1. That God would be witnesse with him that sweareth, to testifie that hee sweareth truly, and according to his conscience, so Paul did, Rom. 9.1. I speak the truth in Christ, I lye not, my conscience bearing me witnesse in the holy Ghost. 2. a man prayes that God would become a Judge to curse him with eternall wrath, if he sweare falsly, thus did Paul, 2 Cor. 1.23. I call God to record upon my soule; and the forme of swearing in old time was the using of this imprecation, God doe so to me, and more also if I do not thus and thus, 2 Kings 6.31. Thus you see what an oath is: Now it may be demanded, when be the times, and in what cases we may lawfully sweare, seeing we may not sweare in our communication.

I answer, a man may lawfully sweare, when the Magistrate ministreth an oath unto a man upon a just occasion, for the Magistrate hath the power of God in this case, and therefore when he justly requires it of a man, then he may lawfully swear.

Secondly, when a mans own calling generall or particular, necessarily requires an oath, and that in foure cases, 1. When the taking of an oath serveth to main­tain, procure, or win unto God any part of his glory, or to preserve the same from disgrace, in this regard Paul moved with a godly zeale, used an oath for confir­mation of his Doctrine, that the Churches to whom he writ, might be established in the truth, and so glorifie God the more.

Secondly, when his oath serveth to maintain or further his own or others salva­tion, or preservation in soule or body, in this case Paul calls God for a record unto his soule, that he came not to Corinth to spare them, 2 Cor. 1.23. And David to further himselfe in the way of salvation bound himself by an oath that he would keepe Gods Commandements, Psal. 119.106.

Thirdly, when the oath serves to confirme and establish peace and society be­tween party and party, countrey and countrey, Kingdome and Kingdome: Thus did Abraham and Abimilech sweare each to other, Gen. 21.23. And Jacob and Laban, Gen. 31.53. And by vertue hereof do Subjects binde themselves by oath in Allegiance to their Princes, and souldiers to their Generalls.

4ly, when a man by oath may free himselfe, and can no otherwise from tempo­rall losses, or procure to himselfe some temporall benefits which be of great weight and moment, then do men take an oath for confirmation to put an end to all strife, Heb. 6.16. For much strife and contention ariseth about worldly affairs, and in this regard, a man by oath may purge himselfe lawfully from infamy and slander: in these four cases a man may lawfully swear, not only before the Magistrate, but al­so privately, so it be with due reverence and good conscience, but in common talke or on light occasions, a man cannot lawfully sweare, either by great or small oaths, [Page]for that it is to take the name of God in vaine.

Secondly it may be demanded, how must a man take an oath, when he is by a just occasion called to swear? I answer, there be three vertues or ingredients in an oath, which must not be wanting, Ier. 4.2. Thou shalt sweare, the Lord liveth in truth, in judgment, and in righteousnesse.

First, truth, and that respecteth 2. things, 1. The matter whereto we swear, for God may not be brought for a witnesse to a lye, 2. It must be in truth, according to the mind of him that sweareth without fraud or deceit, and with intent to per­forme that truly which he promiseth thereupon.

Secondly, we must sweare in righteousnesse, which also respecteth two things, first the thing sworn to, that must be just and lawfull, and according to Gods word: secondly, the conscience of the sweater, for a man must not sweare for a trifle, al­though the thing be true, but either by authority of the Magistrate, or upon some necessary cause of his lawfull calling, and against this vertue do those sinne that sweare usually in their common talke, though the thing be true, for trifles and light matters are not a just cause of an oath.

Thirdly, we ought to swear in judgement, that is, he that sweareth rightly, ought to know the nature of an oath, and be able to judge of the matter before whom, and to whom,, and of time and place, and other circumstances, and for his owne per­son, he that sweareth, ought to see in his own conscience that he is fit to take an oath, and thereby to worship and glorifie God; for he that sweareth aright, ought to have his heart smitten with feare and awe toward God, as in all other parts of his worship, Deut. 10.20. The feare of God and swearing are joyned together, & therefore a prophane man that hath no feare of God in his heart, ought not to sweare, this may suffice our Anabaptists concerning the lawfull use of swearing, especially that oath of Allegiance to Princes, wherein they are bound in subjection to Civill government which they despise, and so much for their first objection a­gainst the lawfull use of Civill government.

Their second objection, they say that subjection came in with sin, but (say they) Christ hath taken away sin, and therefore he hath taken away subjection also: A­gaine, they say that man in innocency was to rule over the fish in the sea, the fowels of heaven, and over the beasts on the earth, and all creeping things, but not over man, Gen. 1.26. But after the fall Eve is put under subjection to Adam, Gen. 3. To this I answer, that there be two kinds of subjection, the first is servile, the se­cond civill; the former is the subjection of a slave or vassal, who is onely to seeke the proper good of his Lord and Master, the latter is that whereby one man is sub­ject to another for the common good, the first of these came in by sin, but the second was before sin, even in innocency, and so Eve was subject to Adam in innocency; and the Apostle argueth thus, Let the woman be subject to the man, for shee was taken out of man; for the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man; nei­ther was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man, 1 Cor. 11.8.9. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection; I suffer not a woman to usurpe [Page]authority over the man, for Adam was first formed then Eve, 1 Tim. 2.11.12, 13. Now this was in their innocency that the woman was taken out of man, & that A­dam had the priority in creation, & woman was made a help meet for man, Ge. 218. Therfore she was subject in the time of innocency: Again, in the time of innocen­cy it was s [...]d, increase and multiply, therfore by the light of nature there is a plain distinction between the father and the sonne, the one to rule, the other to obey, ther­fore obedience is due to Magistrates: Again, they mis-alledg that place Gen 1.26, because it was spoken not of man alone, but of all mankind, which comprehends aswell women as men, for all mankind without exception had dominion over the vest of unreasonable creatures; and for the second place Gen. 3.15. He shal rule, a [...]d thou shalt be subject; this is not spoken as if ruling & subjection were not before the fall, but because now subjection is joyned with feare, griefe and sorrow, this is that curse that came in by sin, and was not in innocency, for then subjection was de­lightfull and full of pleasure; So then subjection it selfe is not a curse, but as feare, and griefe and sorrow are joyned with it; then let us make our subjection to Magi­strates a pleasure, and so the curse is taken off, and we shall enjoy the blessing pro­mised Ephes. 6.2.3.

Thirdly they object, that every beleever is in the Kingdome of Heaven even in this life; and further, they say in Heaven there is no King but God, therfore belee­vers are to be subject to none but God and Christ: I answer, there be two kinds of Government upon earth, one is spirituall and inward, this is called the King­dome of Heaven that is within you, which standeth in righte usnesse, peace of con­science, and joy in the holy Ghost, Rom. 14.17. In regard of this government of Christ there is no difference, of bond and free, Master and Servant, Father and Sonne, for all are one in Christ, Gal. 3.28. But the other is actuall Government, wherein orders and distinctions of men must be maintained, as some must be Prin­ces, some must be Subjects, some Fathers, some children, some Masters, some servants: hence every man ought to sustaine two persons, and is to be considered first as a believer, and a member of the Kingdome of Christ thus he is equall to a­ny beleever, and any beleever is equall to him. Secondly, he must be considered as a member of the Common-wealth wherein he liveth, thus he is either a Superi­our, or an Inferiour, so then their reason were to some purpose if every beleever were only in the Kingdome of Heaven but every one that liveth here is also a mem­ber of some Common-wealth, so that he must either be a Magistrate to rule others, or else hee must be subject, and obedient to others whom the Lord hath appointed to rule them.

Fourthly, they object that civill Government is full of cruelty, which having the sword in their hand, they destroy the bodyes and soules of offenders in not giving them time of repentance, and therefore is intolerable among Christians: I answer, Moses and the Levites by Gods commandement flew 3000. of the Israelites for worshipping the golden Calfe, and never gave them space to repent. Secondly, ma­lefactors that are not moved to repentance under the sentence of present death, there [Page]is little hope that ever they will repent although they had longer time allowed to them. Thirdly, Gods wisedome and commandement must take place of mans rea­son, but he commandeth that the malefactor should dye, that thereby the evill may be taken away; then better it is that one should be destroyed then unity; bet­ter that one be removed then a multitude by the contagion of his example should be infected, therfore civill government is necessary, and ought to be obeyed.

Fiftly, they object many places of Scripture, such as these, Gal. 5.1. Stand fast in the liberty wherin Christ hath set you free, from this they plead that they are freed by Christ from all obedience to Magistrates: I answer, the liberty which Christ hath procured us, is liberty of conscience, and freedome from the power of sin, Satan, death, hell and condemnation and therfore spirituall, but not from tem­porall or civill subjection.

Sixtly, from Ram. 13.8. the Apostle saith, owe nothing to any man but love, therefore say they, no obedience or subjection: I answer, there be two kinds of debts, 1. a civil debt occasioned by contract and bargaining between man and man, the second is a debt to which we are all bound by Gods commandement, Law or Covenant; but this place is to be understood of the first of these so far as lies in our power, but we are bound still in subjection and obedience to the latter, and besides in this word love is comprehended all manner of duty whatsoever, therefore love is the fulfilling of the whole Law: For as love to God includes obedience, so doth love to man the same.

Seventhly, from Mat. 17.26. Where Christ had demanded before of whom the Kings of the earth take tribute, whether of his owne Children or of strangers, and Peter answered, of strangers, to which Christ replied, then are the children free; From hence they would gather, that there is no subjection due to Magistrates, be­cause Kings Sonnes are freed from paying Tribute: To this I answer, that Christ here speaketh of himselfe, who was by his birth the heire of the Crown and King­dome of the Jewes, and therefore by right was to pay none, neither did he but to avoid offence, but how doth this free othermen from their obeciēce to Magistrates?

Eighthly, from these words of Paul, Yee are bought with a price, be yee not the servants of man 1 Cor. 7.23. I answer the Apostle here doth not free servants from their subjection and obedience to them that are their Masters, for (saith he) Servants obey in all things your Masters according to the flesh, Col. 3.22. But they must not make them absolute Lords over their soules and Conciences, and the graces of Gods spirit in them, these are the things of God; Now, if our con­science move us to obedience, it must be from Gods commandement and not from mans for ye serve the Lord Christ therefore do it heartily; but mark how, as to the Lord, and not to men, Col. 3.23 24.

Ninthly, they object from these words of Christ saving, The Kings of the Gen­tiles exercise Lordship over them and they that exercise authority are called benefa­ctors but ye shall not be so, Luke 22.25. But what of this, here was a strife among the Disciples which of them should be accounted the greatest, and Christ to sup­presse [Page]their ambition, told them that their ministery was not like to Kingdomes in which one man hath preheminence above the rest; but how doth this place hin­der Magistrates of that subjection which is due unto them? It is cleare from hence, that although the ministry should be equall, that one should not exalt himselfe above another, yet it ought to be so in Kingdomes, therefore civill Government is war­rantable and lawfull.

Tenthly, they object, that beleevers are governed by the spirit of God, and so are able to governe themselves every way, and need not any government of man: I answer, it is one thing what we doe, and another thing what we ought to doe, we ought indeed so to live as not to need any governours, but we doe not live so, yea if beleevers could live so, yet were the reason nought, for the visible Church con­taines as well bad as good, hypocrites as well as sincere Christians, and therefore the best Churches stand in need of Magistracy for the punishment of evill doers, & for the praise of them that do well, yea the Church lying open to the malice of Sa­than and wicked men, standeth ever in need of Magistracy to protect it by force, or warre, or otherwise.

Eleventhly, they object that all Christians by the law of God are forbidden to kill, and saith the Lord, speaking of these times under the Gospell, that they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountaines, Isa 11.9. I answer, Magistrates in executing justice, do not do it of themselves, but as they are Deputies to the Lord, they do but execute his will; Iehosaphat said to the Judges, take heed what you do, for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, 2 Chron. 19.6. Then they doing all things by Gods authority, they ought not to beare the sword in vaine, Rom. 13.4. Therefore David rehearseth this among the vertues of a King: To cut off the wic­ked of the Land, and all the workes of iniquity from the Citie of the Lord, Psal. 101. This made Moses to forget his meeknesse, and David his gentlenesse, to doe the justice of the Lord: The King that sitteth on the throne of judgement, sprea­deth his eyes over every evill man. Again, a wise King scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them Pro. 20.8.26. Take away the wicked from before the Throne, and the Throne shal be established in righteousnesse: An evill man seeketh only rebellion, therefore a cruel messenger shalbe sent against him, Pro. Thus you see that magistrates may cut off malefactors by death, and yet be free from spilling blood, or the breach of that Commandement, which saith, Thou shalt not kill: Nay, it is their righteousnesse to cut off the guilty malefactor, and by so doing, they do keep their own hands pure from the blood that those murde­rers have shed, and on the contrary if they do not, they are guilty of most horri­ble wickednesse, yet a Magistrate must take heed that hee doth neither with rigo­rousnesse of mind wound them that he should heale, nor with a superstitious affe­ctation of clemency, fall into most cruell gentlenesse.

12. But they object, that under the Gospell Christians shall turne their swords into Plough shares, and their spears into pruning hookes: Nation shall not lift up sword against Nation, neither shall they learn warre any more, Isa 2.4. To this I [Page]have given a large answer in that book intituled the Saints Inheritance after the day of judgement, when the Saints shall inherit all things: but till the day that Christ shall come to judgment? wars shall never cease, they shall fall by the edge of the sword, but when shall this be? surely very neare the end when there be signes in the Sun, Moon, and Stars, then they shall see the Son of Man in a cloud with power and great glory, but what of this? I answer, when ye see these things come to passe, know ye that the kingdome of God is nigh at hand, Lu Now will you know when wars shall cease? I answer, when the Son of Man shall come with power, and great glory, then is that Kingdome of God at hand, in which there shalbe no wars, but then all that offend shalbe gathered out of his Kingdome, and cast into the furnace of fire, and the righteous shall shine as the sun in the Kingdome of their Father, Math. 13.41, 42, 43. Then wars shall cease when there shalbe none in that Kingdome that offends, but these offenders must be in the Church, till the very judgement day at the end of the world: The Angels which are the Reapers, shall take out those tares that did offend, and cast them in­to hell fire; then shall the second Adam restore to the Saints all the creatures in their first perfection, after that they are purified by fire, at that day the Saints shall inherit all things, and not before: For the first Adam by sin brought vanity and corruption upon all the creatures, but at that day the creatures shalbe purified and purged from their vanity and corruption, and then restored to the Saints alone, & so they shall remain for ever; for the Second Adam wil restore againe to the Saints all that they lost, and not as they are now corrupted & cloathed with vanity: For the new heavens and the new earth which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, Isa 66.22. Of that Kingdome there shalbe no end, Luke 1.33. Now because the Church shalbe pestered with many enemies till the day of judgement, the sword of the Magistrate is necessary to keep down the seditious stirs of unqui­et men, which trouble all Kingdomes with violent oppressions and hainous evill doings, then Magistrates ought to defend them that are troubled, and to preserve the lawes & discipline with purity, which is the only means to regulate such wic­ked men to better obedience; shall Theeves that rob a few be punished, and shall they suffer whole Countreys to be spoiled with robberies; so then the chiefe Ma­gistrate is not only to suppresse private injuries with judiciall punishments, but also must defend with war the Dominions committed to his charge against any forraign invasion whatsoever, and such wars by the testimony of Scripture in ma­ny places are lawfull.

Thirteenthly, they object that in the new Testament is neither witnesse nor ex­ample which teacheth that war is a thing lawfull for Christians: I answer, the same rule that was to the Jewes remaines still for Christians, and there can be no cause to the contrary why Magistrates should not now defend Christians aswel as they did the Jewes. Secondly, we should not look for a full declaration of these things in the writings of the Apostles, for their purpose was not to frame a Civill State, but to establish and to settle the spirituall Kingdome of Christ. Thirdly, if [Page]Christ had intended that wars should end at his comming, he would have said to those Souldiers which demanded of him saying, what shall we doe? Luke 3.14. I say his answer would have been this, cast away your weapons, and utterly with­draw your selves from war, but he shewes no dislike of their being Souldiers, only he counsels theat to be content with thear wages, and to doe violence to no man; yet by the way, I approve not of every light-occasion to be ground sufficient to goe to wars, unlesse they be driven to it by extreathe necessity: For as Cicero, a heathen man said, our going to war should tend to peace, for war should be sought onely, when no other meanes will procure peace: Lastly they ought not to goe to warre upon any private affection, but as they are sensible of some injury dōe to their King­dome, which they are charged to keepe in peace, for if any private affection should move them for wars, they abuse the power committed to them; which was not gi­ven them for their owne Commodity, but for their Kingdomes benefit; thus they may use Garrisons and Fortifications to defend the borders of their Countries, and if any trouble arise, they may joyne their Forces together to suppresse the common Enemy which would spoile their Kingdome, which they are charged to keepe in peace and safety.

The Apostle compares the fight of faith, that spirituall combate the child of God [...] corruptions, to the bodily fight with open enemies to the Church of Christs which shewes the lawfulnesse of wars undertaken by Christians for de­fence of their Religion, now the good souldier must give himselfe wholly to it, and strive lawfully, and he shall be crowned 2 Tim. 3 4 5. And we read of rare Chri­stians that were Souldiers, the Centurion had souldiers under him, and yet he had such a saith, the like was not found in Israel, Mat. 8.9.10. And Cornelius was a devout man, and a Captain of the Italian Band, and he had devout souldiers un­der him, Acts And Paul was guarded by a Band of souldiers, Acts 23.23.24. We read that Gog and Magog will compasse the Campe of the Saints, Revel. 20.8.9. But what, shall not this Camp of Saints resist them? I saw the Beast and the Kings of the Earth, and their Armies gathered together to make war against him that sate on the horse, (marke) and against his Army, and the Beast was taken, Revel. 19.19.20. But what, was this done without any fight? did this Army of Christians, and this Camp of Saints stand all for cyphers? You shall see Ierusalem compassed about with Armies, Luke 22.20. And there shall be warres, for all these things must come to passe, Mar. 24.6. It is spoken indefi­nitely, that if one King goe to war with another, they ought to withstand him if they be able, Luke 14.31. As we would doe against a thiefe, and not suffer our house to be broken up, Mat. 24.43. (saith Christ) I came to send fire on the earth, & it is already kindled, Luke 12.49. I came not to send peace, but a sword, Mat. 10.34. Then he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one, Luke 22.36. And resist unto bloud, Heb. 12.4. Then those that thinke their lives too deare for Christ and his Gospell, are unworthy of either, Mark 8.35. & ill members both to Church and State.

Hence we may gather, that if this be so, then Tributes and Taxes are lawfull Revenues for Princes, which they may chiefly imploy to sustaine their common charges of their Office, and likewise use to their private Royalty and honour of their Princely state and dignity, as wee may see by the examples of many holy Kings in Scripture, which according to the State of their persons which they did beare, were sumptuously maintained of the common charge, and we read in Ezek. 48.21. That there was a very large portion of land assigned to the King, &c. Yet again Princes should remember, that their treasure chambers are not so much their owne private coffers, as the Treasuries of the whole People; therfore saith Paul, For this cause pay we tribute, for they are Gods Ministers, attending conti­nually upon this very thing, to execute wrath upon him that doth evill, and he is the Minister of God to thee for good, render therefore tribute to whom tribute is due, Rom. 13. So then they may not prodigally waste and spoile what they are betru­sted with, for if they doe, it is manifest wrong to the people; nay it is no lesse then most cruelly and unnaturally spilling the bloud of the people, for their Impositi­ons and Subsidies, and other kind of tributes are but the supports of publique neces­sity: Then to weary the poore Communalty without cause, is tyrannicall extorti­on, these things considered, doe not encourage Princes to wastefull expence and ry­ot, but rather it behoveth them with pure conscience before God to doe all that they are bound to dee, lest by their wicked boldnesse they be despised of God; and they must be raught by them to whom it belongs, how much is lawfull for them, neither is this Doctrine needlesse for private men, they must not rashly and stub­bornly give themselves leave to grudge at the expences of Princes, although they exceed common and civill measure, see Calvin Insti. 4.20.13.

Here it may be demanded by what rule Civill Government is to be regulated: I answer, by the Civill and positive Lawes of that Kingdome from which they re­ceive their authority and dignity of civill Magistrates, these Lawes are as strong si­newes of Common-weales, or as Cicero calleth them, the soules, without which the Magistrate cannot stand, neither have they without the Magistrate any force, for the Law may be called a dumb Judge, and the Magistrate a living Law.

Now the Jewes had three sorts of Lawes, the Ceremoniall, which was to them a darke Gospell, shewing forth Christ to them in darke Types and shadows, but blessed be God, the vaile is taken away to us, and Christ is more clearly set forth to us since the publication of the Gospell, and Christ is come, the substance of all those dark Types and shadowes. Secondly, they had the Judiciall Law, which was the civill or positive Law of their Common-wealth; so answerable to this, wee have our positive Lawes of this Kingdome. Thirdly, they had the eternall Morall Law of God, which commandeth simply without guile to worship God with pure faith and godly life. Secondly, it commandeth to imbrace man with unfained love, it is the true and eternall rule of all righteous walking both to God and men, and it is prescribed to men of all ages and times who are willing to frame their lives to the will of God, for this is his eternall and unchangeable will, that he himselfe should [Page]be worshipped of us all, and that we should mutually love one another; So then although the judiciall or positive Lawes of the Jewes be taken away, yet the perpetuall duties of the Morall Law abide for ever.

Hence I gather, that every Nation hath that liberty left them to make such Lawes as they shall foresee to be most profitable for them, but they must be framed after the perpetuall rule of charity, they must be grounded upon the same foundation, al­though they may differ in the form-from other Nations: Now the Law of God which we call morall, is nothing else but a testimony of the naturall Law that was written in the heart of man by creation, & some reliques of it are still remaining in man, this morall law must be the marke, and end, and rule of all Lawes; then whatsoever lawes shall be framed according to that rule, and directed to that mark, and limited to that end, there is no cause why we should disallow them, al­though they differ from the Jewish Law, or one Kingdome from another in the ad­ministration of it: as for example; the law of God forbiddeth stealing, now the pe­tialty of theft is set downe in the civill lawes of the Jewes, to restore five oxen for an oxe and foure sheep for a sheep, Exod. 22.1. Now other Nations punished theft with recompence of double, the lawes that followed afterwards made diffe­rence between manifest theft and that which was not manifest, and some procee­ded to banishment, some to whipping and some at last to the punishment of death: Again, for false witnessing among the Jewes was punished with recompence of e­quall paine Deut, 19.18. In some places onely with great shame, in some pla­ces with hanging, in othersome with the crosse; and for man-slaughter, all lawes universally do revenge with bloud, yet with divers kinds of death: & for adultery, in some places were ordained great punishment, and in some lesser, yet we see for all this diversity, all tend to the same end, for they all agree togehter to punish those offences which the eternall law of God conde ones, as man-slaughter, thefts, adulteries, false w [...]essing, &c. But in the manner of punishment they agree not, neither is it needfull that they should, for in some Countries they must shew vi­gour with horrible examples against man slayers or else they will be immediately ruined with murders and robberies, and sometimes punishments ought to be more severe then at other times, as in the time of was, all humanity would be cast away unlesse they then use unwonted fear of punishments; and some Countreys are more addicted to some certaine vice, which must be the more sharply punished to stop the spreading of it. Hence we must not conceive that the eternall law of God is a­brogated, and new Lawes made and put in the place thereof, and prefe red above it, for they are not preferd above it simply, but in respect of the times, places and Nations, neither was the Morall Law given by Moses, but to Adam before he sin­ned, and manifested in writing to Moses, not for the Jewes only, but for all Nati­ons, and to be the ground of all their positive Lawes.

Objections against our positive Law.

FIrst, being the 14th. in number, they object against our lawes and Magistrates, saying, that they are of no use for Christians, for we cannot lawfully crave [Page]their aid in any suite at law, because they are forbidden to revenge, or to have any controversie. I answer, Paul saith that he is the Minister of God for good, and he is so ordained of God, and for that very purpose, attending continually upon this very thing, Rom. 13.16. To defend us from the malice & injuries of mischievous men, therefore we ought to pray for those in authority, that we may live a quiet & a peaceable life, but unlesse it be lawfull to use such helpe and benefit, they were gi­ven to us in vaine from the Lord, and saith Demetrius, if any man have a matter against another, the law is open, and there are Deputies, let them implead one another; and if you enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shalbe de­termined in a lawfull assembly, Acts 19, 28, 39. And saith Christ: Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest thine adversary deliver thee to the Iudge, and the Iudge deliver thee to the Sergeant, and thou be cast into prison; verily I say unto thee, thou shalt not come out till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing, Math. 5.25, 26. Upon these words saith Mr. Perkins, Christ here alloweth of the Magistrate and sear of judgement, 1. Of his proceeding a­gainst the guilty, in delivering him to the officer, 2. Of the office of the Sergeant, 3. Of casting guilty persons into prison, 4. Of suing at the Law, when right cannot be had by other lawfull meanes, but law must not be the first course that we take in seeking our right, we must rather suffer some wrong, and seek [...] to end the matter by friends, and use law, as Phisitians use poysons, when gentle physick will not serve the turne, then in case of extreamity, they do minister stronger physick, yea some poyson it selfe, so when we cannot otherwise precure our peace and right, then we may lawfully take the benefit of the law.

15. But they object, those which seek helpe at the Magistrates hands for them­selves and others, do prevent that help which they should have from God their hea­venly defender, I answer, not so, for the Magistrate is the minister of God ordained for this very end, to deliver his afflicted people from the cruell hands of wicked and malicious men; but they will reply in those words of Christ, saying, resist not e­vill, but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turne to him the other also, and if any man sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. I answer, here Christ would have them suffer double injury, rather then go to law, especially when they seeke to revenge themselves by law; all this I grant, and more also, for their whole life should be a continuall bearing the crosse, when one is gone to fit themselves for another; They must doe good to them that doe them wrong, and wish well to those that curse them, and, which is the only victory, o­vercome evill with good, being thus minded, they wil not seeke eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, as the Pharisees taught their Disciples to desire revenge; yet all this hinders not, but that a Christian may use the lawfull help of the Magistrate to pre­serve their goods, or through their love and zeale to the Common-wealth, they may sue a malefactor at the Bar for his life.

16. They will object that contendings in law are altogether forbidden & con­demned by Paul, where he saith: Brother goeth to law with brother, and that be­fore [Page]unbeleevers; Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye goe to law one with another: Why do you not rather suffer wrong, why do you not ra­ther suffer your selves to be defrauded? 1 Cor. 6.6, 7. I answer, Paul himself went to law with his adversaries, for said Paul, I stand at Cesars judgment scate, where Tought to be judged, Acts 25.10. And he answered for himselfe, saying; Nei­ther against the law of the Iewes, nor against the Temple, nor against Cesar have I offended any thing at all; for if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to dye, vers. 8.11. Then how can any wise man think that Paul went to condemn that which he himselfe did? if this were true, we might retort those words back upon himselfe, saying; Thou that judgest another, condem­n st thy selfe, for thou that judgest, dost the same things, Rom. 2.1. And as the Jewes said to Christ, Physitian, heale thy selfe, slandering his holy and blamelesse life that never did amisse, neither was guile found in his mouth; and so Paul living in all good conscience both towards God and towards man, Acts 24.16. Yet these men would here fasten a reproach upon him, to teach contrary to his practice; wel thē the true meaning of Paul was this, that because the Corinthiās were very much given to contentions and strivings at law, and that before heathen Judges, which became a great scandall to their profession, in not shewing Christian meekenesse one to another which they ought to do, yea they were so far from covering wrongs, that they greedily coveted one anothers goods, and so provoked one another to wrath: so that here Paul blames their abuse of this ordinance, when every trifling matter was enough to make them run to the Court of Law, and the least occasion that could be, was enough to kindle strife and contention, and to reveoge them­selves one of another; This Paul blames, but not the lawfull use of this ordinance appointed of God to preserve peace and unity, so that you see in all this that civill government is both lawfull and very necessary; then this may discover the wick­ednesse of that man of sin the Antichrist, who sits in the Temple of God, and exalts himselfe above all that is called God, and shewing himselfe that he is God, 2 Thes. 2.4. Thus against God himselfe, and against his Deputies who beare his name, he hath for many hundred yeares usurped a supremacy over civill government, being the highest rebellion that ever was in the world; for saith the Apostle: Every soule must be subject to the higher powers, Rom. 13.1. But let us heare what he hath to say for himselfe.

First, he objecteth against this place, saying, that it is to be understood of those that to be subject, but the Popes themselves are exempted; To this I answer, if the Pope have a soule, he must be subject to civill government; this is not to bring the soule it selfe into subjection to civill government, but this is spoken of all men living, who have souls, those men, their words and actions, body and goods, are to be subject to civill government; but in this reply of his exempting himselfe from all subjection to civill power, he plainly shews himselfe to be that Antichrist who exalts himselfe a­bove all that is called God, meaning all civill powers and Magistrates who are Gods Deputies, and who alone beare him name, Psalme 82.1.2. When they [Page]are upon the Throne of judgement, God judgeth among the Gods.

Secondly, but they object that Vzziah the King burnt Incense upon the altar of Incense: Then Azariah the Priest went in after him, and fourscore Priests of the Lord that were valiant men, and they withstood Uzziah the King, and Azariah the chiefe Priest, and all the Priests looked upon him, and behold he was leprous in his forehead and they thrust him out from thence, 2 Chron. 26.17, 18.20. Here say they, the Priest deposed the King, and thrust him out of the Temple: I answer, A­zariah resisted the King not by force or violence, but by word only and admoniti­on, whereby they caused him to depart out of the Temple; for it is said, that hee himselfe hasted to go out, vers. 20. Neither was he deposed from his government, but being by God stricken sodainly with a leprosie, he was by the law shut out from the company and society of men, and so disabled to govern, although the right of it still belonged unto him.

Thirdly, they object that example of Iehojada the high Priest who deposed Qu: Athaliah from her Kingdome, and set up young Ioash to be King, 2 Chron. 23. Hence they conclude that the Pope hath authority to depose Kings and Emperours: I answer, Iehojadah the high Priest was next to the King in blood, 2 Chron. 22.11. And was one of the States of the Land, who deposed her not alone by himselfe, but by the common consent of all the States and Peeres of the Land, see Chap. 23.1, 2. He indeed is chiefly named, because he was the chiefe of them in blood; neither did he set up Ioash, but helped to maintain his right which was usurped by Athaliah: in a word, he protected the right heire, but could not himselfe depose nor make o­ver the Kingdome unto him; hence I conclude, that to exempt the Clergie from un­der the authority of the Civill Magistrate is rebellion.

Fourthly, they object that Kings and Princes of their bounty have granted these priviledges unto them. I answer, the law of nature acknowledgeth a civill subjecti­on, and the law of God straightly commands it, saying: Let every soule be subject to the higher powers, Rom. 13. And put them in mind to be subject to principali­ties and powers, to obey Magistrates, and to be ready to every good worke, Titus 2.1. Then I conclude hence, that no law of any man may offer violence, or dero­gate from either of these.

Fiftly, they object from Ier. 1.10. where the Lord saith, I have set thee over Nations and Kingdomes, to plant and to pluck up: Hence they gather, that the Prophets and their Successors are not to be subject unto civill Government: I an­swer, the Prophet is set over Nations and Kingdomes, but not to governe by the Ci­vill sword, but by the sword of the spirit in his mouth, and he is to plant and pluck up Kingdomes no otherwise then by declaring that God would plant, or pluck them up.

Sixtly, they object from Isa. 60.10. That Kings shall come and serve the Church under the new Testament, and therefore the Church is not to be subject to Princes, but they unto the Church: I answer, in the Church are two things, first, the persons of men, secondly, the things of God: Now it is true that Kings are [Page]subject to the things of God in the Church, as the word and Sacraments, to these Ordinances of God no calling is exempted, saith Paul, our selves are servants for Iesus sake; But to the first of these, which is, the persons of believers, to these, Kings and Magistrates are not subject; but to this very question, when some servants were converted, when they lived under Infidell Masters, they thought themselves by this spiritual calling to be freed from serving their Masters any longer, but (saith Paul) Let every man abide in the same calling wherin he was called; art thou called to the state of grace being a servant? care not for it, yet if thou couldest be freed from ser­ving an Infidel, use it rather; but if thou canst not, here is thy comfort, he that is cal­led, being a servant, is the Lords free-man, therfore brethren let every man wher­in he is called, therein abide with God, 1 Cor. So a subject be­ing called, is not freed of his obedience to Civill Government, although he were effectually called under Infidel Governours: it is in this case, as it is with outward riches, the people of God onely have a true right to them all by Christ, so that all the riches in the world is theirs, all is yours, and ye are Christs, 1 Cor. 3.21. And what others have, they are but usurpers, yet beleevers must not presently goe and take these outward things from any man, although he be never so wicked; So it is with places of Masters or Magistrates, although never so wicked, yet while they are in it, we ought to yeild obedience to them, for (saith Peter) Cervants be subject to your Masters with all feare, (now marke) not onely to the good and gentle, but also to the froward, 1 Pet. 2.18.

Seventhly, they object that Kings and Magistrates are as sheep, and Ministers are as Pastors and Shepherds, therefore say they, Kings are under Ministers, as the flock is under the Shepherd: I answer, in the Prophets or Pastors consider two things; first their persons, secondly their Ministery; now in regard of their persons all of them are subject to their Princes, and that for conscience sake, but in regard of their Ministry, Princes and Magistrates are to be subject, both when the Word is taught & the Sacraments be administred, all must submit themselves unto it; even as a mean man being a Serjeant, may arrest a Baron, Earle or Duke, neither may they resist him, because he commeth with the Princes authority to which he must yeild himselfe, though not unto the person of the Serjeant; So must Magistrates submit unto Ministers, comming not in their owne name, but in the name of God and Christ; now this must be marked, that Magistrates are not simply subject to the Ministry, but so far as they teach the word truly, and rightly administer the Sa­craments, the which if they doe not, they have power to reforme or depose such mi­nisters as shall faile in their administration, and in this regard Magistrates are cal­led Shepherds, The Lord saith, Cyrus is my shepherd, Isa. 44.28. Though other­wise he be a sheep, so far as he is truly taught by the Minister, For they may say to the King and to the Queeno, humble your selves, Jer. 14.18. And Herod feared John, and did many things, and heard him gladly, Mark 6.20. Thus we see that all men are to submit themselves to the Magistracy or Civil Government, and to the positive Lawes of the Land.

Now the Romish Clergy are not enemies to Civil Government, as it is govern­ment, but as it is in the hand of Civil Magistrates, so that their drift is not to put it downe, but to remove it from the Magistrates to themselves, that they might make all Magistrates their vassals. Secondly, prophane people doe allow of civil govern­ment in their judgment, but they would have some liberty to intrench upon it in their practise. Thirdly, Anunomians and Ean [...]lifts are enemies to the eternall law of God, which is the ground and foundation of the civil law, which, while they take a way the foundation, of necessity the whole building must needs fall; So they, al­though they wil not openly say that they are enemies to civil government, yet by ac­cident, they are enemies to it, & in their way seek to overthrow it, 4, the indepen­dant people or the Brownists, who will have Kings and Rulers and Magistrates to have no hand in matters of religion, but all to be servants to the persons of belee­vers, and so they deny Cesar his due, which is to have power over the outward man both of words and actions, body and goods, although he hath no power over the things of God, which are, their soules and consciences, faith and all the graces of Gods spirit that are wrought in the heart, yet we must obey them for conscience sake, Rom. 13.5. Not as to bring these things of God under their command, but obeying because God commands it, even from the heart as to the Lord, Col. 3.23. Fiftly the Anabaptists, who are absolute enemies to civil government, to them [...] chiefly intend, yet all the the rest doe something dash against civil government, and the most of them do expect a time under the Gosoel, in which they hope to be freed from all civil power and government, witnesse that heretical booke intituled (The personal reigne of Christ upon earth) which affirmeth, that all civil power and go­vernment shall be cast downe before the end of the world a thousand yeares; this hath great approbation among them and they the meane time desiring and expe­cting when all Thrones and powers shall be cast downe, that they may live with­out rule or government: But see my answer to it in that booke, intituled (The Saints inheritance after the day of judgment) and for the present let it suffice that the Scripture mentioneth but three commings of Christ, one spirituaily, when hee changeth the heart, and st [...]mpeth his owne Image of grace upon it. Secondly, when he came visibly in the fl [...]sh. In the fulnesse of time God sent his Sonne, Gal. 4 4. This was done when the word was made flesh and dwelt among us. John 1.14. The third is yet expected, at which comming he shall judge both quick and dead, and the heavens must receive him un [...] the restitution of all things, Acts 3.21. The­fore no other comming to be expected before the end; but here we may see how they declare their affections to civil government, when as they expect that Christ shall come and free them from all obedience to it, and that a thousand yeares before the end of the world.

But here some may reply and say to me thus you affect neither Antinemians nor Familists, Anabaptists nor Papists, Brownists nor prophane Protestants, then what is it you would have? I answer, I desire to be found faithful to Luther's Protestation, and to Calvin's Institution; the first of these was the originall cause [Page]from whence the name of Protestants did first arise, for when Luther did first re­nounce that strumpet of Rome, he caused them all that were with him to enter into a Protestation against all Popery and popish Innovations, and those that took that protestation were ever afterwards called Protestants, & we in this Kingdome have of late taken the very same Protestation against all Popery and popish Innovations, therefore I doubt not but we have many amongst us, who will hazard lives and States and all they have to maintain that protestation, and so by the good blessing of the Lord will prove themselves good and faithfull Protestants: But for the se­cond, although I call it Calvin's Institutions, yet not as if he had made it of his owne head, but as a faithfull servant of Jesus Christ, he hath faithfully declared all the Counsell of God, as Paul did, Acts 20.27. to all his fellow-brethren, that all may see what a Church Christ hath instituted in his word.

Also this doth well agree with our late solemne Nationall Covenant, in which we have bound our selves, with our hands lifted up to the most high God, swearing thus; That we shall sincerely, really and constantly through the grace of God, en­deavour in our severall places and callings, the preservation of the reformed Church of Scotland, in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government against our com­mon enemies. Now I hope all those that have thus engaged themselves, are convin­ced, that their doctrine, worship, discipline and government are agreeable to Gods Word, else why have we bound our selves to preserve it there, and to acknowledge the enemies of it to be our common enemies, yet I deny not, but as it is there, it may have some failings which may admit of reformation: The Lord open our reformers eyes that they may connive at nothing that may prejudice the honour of Christ, or the good of his Church, but whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done, Ezra 7.23.

Againe, wee have sworne to endeavour the reformation of religion in England, Scotland, and Ireland, in doctrine, worship, discipline and government according to Gods Word, and the best reformed Churches, and for this I hope we are con­vinced, that the Presbyteriall is the best reformation, else why do we bind our selves to preserve it in Scotland? we are or should be resolved be resolved before we vow, and not after vowes to make enquiry, Prov. 20.25.

Againe, we swear, that we will endeavour to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdomes to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in religion, confession of faith, sorme of Church-government, directory for worship, and Chattechising, but if Scotlands government and discipline must not be altered, the case is cleare, that we have bound our selves to uniformity with them in the fore-mentioned things: Let therefore as many as be perfect be thus minded, and if in any thing ye be other­wise minded, God shall reveale even this unto you, Phil. 3.15. Thus you see the harmony between our protestation and Luthers protestation, as also betweene our Covenant and Calvins Institution, thus far blessed be the Lord for our blessed uni­on; therefore my motion I hope will not seem strange, when I shall desire faithful­nesse to our late Protestation, and to our solemne Covenant, not as though I did [Page]question the faithfulnesse of our reformers, for blessed be God they have already done more, then some yeares agone we thought we should ever have lived to see, or as though I questioned the faithfulnes of any that have taken that protestation or covenant only I wish & pray for their perseverance; That as their hands have laid the head stone thereof, their hands also may finish it, and when they bring forth the foundation of this house with shouting we shall cry, grace grace unto it. Zech. 4.7.9.

But I must expect some foul-mouth'd Prelate to stand up as in Doctor Bast­wick's case saying, that base fellow Calvin, for so that old Francis White the Pre­late of Ely called that ever to he honoured Divine, saying that he arose in an ob­scure come of the world, and violated and overthrew all order and authority in the Church, and would also have demolished the authority of the Magistrates; and then the pr [...]late of Canterbury avouched his Episcopal authority, and preeminence over his brethren to be only from God, very much blaming Calvin for his factious spirit, & said that they held the crownes of Kings upon their heads, for no Bishop, no King; and those that would have no Bishops, sought to overthrow all governe­ment, and so he concluded with honourable expressions to that strumpet Synagogue of Rome, saying she was a true Church, and that she did not sin in any fundamen­tal points, and so the rest blaspheming the holy Scriptures, calling them the refuge of heretiques and schismaticks, and that they could not be knowne to be the word of God but by the Fathers. These are they that blame Calvin for his factious spi­rit, and call him base fellow, and that he should seeke to overthrow all order and authority n the Church, and to demolish the authority of the Magistrate.

Again, the Prelate Whitgift and Saravia dash one against another about ruling Elders and P [...]esbiteries, Whitgift doth acknowledge they ought to be under a Ty­rant, but not under a Christian Magistracy, the other will allow them to be under a Christian Magistrate, but not under an Infidell. First, whereas Whitgift saith ther were in the Primitive Church Seniors, but it was before there was any Christi­an Prince or Magistrate. Secondly, and that God hath given the chiefe authority of government in the Church to to the Christian Magistrate. Thirdly, that if there were a Seniory established, there could remaine no authority Ecclesiasticall to the Civil Magistrate: I answer, if the office of Seniors under a Tyrant had medled with any part of the office of the Magistrate, then so much as they exercised of the office of the Magistrate, so much should have ceased; but the Elde [...]s are to assist the Pastor in matters Ecclesiasticall onely, and not in Civil, therfore it ought to be in times of peace, aswel as in times of persecution, and if a Tyrant-Magistrate could suffer them, it is evident that they did not offend against his office.

Secondly, there were Seniors among the Jewes under godly Kings and in times of peace, then why may it not be so among Christians?

Thirdly, the Ecclesiastical power is distinct from the Civil both in the subject, ob­ject and end, so that the one doth not h [...]nder the other; the Magistrates power is to punish the outward man with outward punishment, which the Presb [...]tery cannot hinder, and he may civilly bind whom the Presbitery spiritually looseth, and he may [Page]civilly loose, whom the Presbitery spiritually bindeth; Lastly, the Magistrate seeks not the repentance and salvation of the delinquent by his punishment, as the Pres­bitery doth, be only seeks to maintain the authority of his Lawes, and the qui [...]nes and preservation of the Common-wealth, so that a delinquent by repentance can­not escape the Civil Magistrate.

Fourthly, the Magistrate cannot determine questions of faith, nor know what order and decency in circumstances is fittest for each Congregation, neither can he excommunicate offenders, for when the Prelates exercised Ecclesiasticall Jurisdicti­on, and civil also, they did wrong both to the Prince; and also to the Presbitery.

Fiftly, when Presbiters are established in their full power, there remaines much power to the Prince even in things Ecclesiasticall, as to take diligent heed to the whole State of the Church within his Dominions, to indict Synods, and civilly to proceed in the same, to ratifie the constitutions thereof, to adde unto them the strength of a civil power, to punish heretiques, and all that disobey the assemblies of the Church, to see that no matter Ecclesiasticall be carried factiously or rashly, but that such things be determined in free assemblies, to provide for Schollars, Colled­ges and Churches, that all corrupt wayes of entring into the ministery, by Simony, bribing or otherwise, be represted; and lastly, to compel all men to doe their duty according to the word of God, and the lawes of the Church. So then the civil Ma­gistrate is to leave untouched that power which belongs to the Ecclesiasticall rulers, as the ministers of the Gospel, ruling Elders and Deacons for Ecclesiastical, doe not hinder the Civil in their administration.

Sixtly, is it so, that Prelates exclaime against Presbiteriall government? let us re­tort their exclamation back upon their own-heads, as Elishah did in another case, saying, it is thou and thy Fathers house that troubled Israel; So I say, it is the Pre­lacy, not the Presbitery that is prejudiciall to the power of Princes, and hath often encroached upon the same, as for example, the Bishops assembled in the 8. councell of Constantinople, ordained that Bishops should not light from their horses when they chanced to meet Princes, nor basely bow before them; and if any Prince should cause a Bishop to disparage himselfe by doing otherwise, he should be excommu­nicated for two years, Canon 14. And in the same councel, Canon 17. they also discharged Princes from being present in any Synod, except the Occumenick: so much for answer to Whitgift.

Now for Saraviah who alloweth such Elders as the Jewish Church had to be joyned now with Pastors under a Christian Magistrate, but not under an Infidell Magistrate, but this man takes the Jewish Elders to be their Magistrates, and so he affirmes that none but Christian Magistr [...]tes ought to sit with the Ministers of the Word in Ecclesiasticall Courts, as Princes and Nobles in generall or Nationall Councels, and that Magistrates of Cities should sit in particular Consistories, but this is as foule an errour as that of Wh [...]gift, for you see a plaine distinction between the power Ecclesiasticall and the Civill, both in the subject, object, and end, as I shewed before, and that the one is not to touch or to meddle with the office of the o­ther; [Page]Now if the Christian Magistrate by vertue of his civill power should sit in Spirituall Courts, this would make a mixture and confusion of civill and Ecclesia­sticall Functions; and again, he contradicteth himselfe, saying, that he admitteth grave and godly men in the Judicatories of the Church, although they be not Ma­gistrates, but private men. Again, there have been Christian Churches under Infi­dell Princes; but here I leave these two men as Ephraim against Manasseh, & Ma­nasseh against Ephraim, and both against Iudah; so Whitgift against Saravia, and Saravia against Whitgift, and both against the truth.

Now suppose the Cavaliers at Oxford should step forth and say that the Presbi­teriall government is worse then the high Commission or the Spanish Inquisition; see Diurnal, Feb. 22. 1643. I answer, it is but the testimony of prophane Papists, and blaspheming perjured Traytors both to Church and State, and therefore I leave them as not worthy to be answered.

But suppose they should seek to comply with our independant people, and tell them that the King will grant them a free toleration if they wiladhere to him to oppose Presbiteriall government. I answer, it hath cast an ill savour upon indepen­dant government, and makes it to relish basely with Gods people.

But what if the independant people themselves shall take upon them to examine the Presbiteriall government, and present their examination to the King and both Houses of Parliament, and tell them boldly, that all learned men have granted that the Churches constituted by the Apostles were all independant bodies but the man cannot produce any of these learned men, and therefore the case is doubtfull, & be­sides it were a hard case if neither Scotland, France, Holland; and many other pla­ces where the Presbiteriall government is, or hath been, could not yeeld a learned man, this man I suppose to be either a Cobler or a Button-maker, or some such prime Scholler, and yet be takes upon him to examine the learning of all the refor­med Churches; but wil you be pleased to see his learned exposition of some texes of Scripture, such as these? The Kingdome of God is at hand, that is saith he, a parti­cular Congregation is at hand, Math. 3.2. And to be fellow Citizens with the Saints and of the houshold of God, this saith he, is meant of a paiticular Congregati­on, Ephes. 2.19. And for the Queen to stand on the right hand of Christ in gold of Ophir, this saith he also is a particular congregation, Psalm. 45.9. Thus you see how this mans learning exceeds all thereformed Churches, who expound these pla­ces to be meant of the universall or invisible Church.

But further he saith in that examination, that the Pope is Antichrist because hee will have men to appeale from other Churches to him, and to stand to his sentence and decree; but saith he, doe not Presbiter: all Assemblies and Synods take upon them the same authority?

I answer, no, they differ thus: First, the Pope is one and receiveth appellations Monarchically, but Synods consist of many, and receive appellations aristecrati­caly. 2. The Pope receiveth appellations from other Nations beyond Sea, but Presbiteries and Synods do not so. 3. The Pope will have his sentence received as [Page]infallible, but Presbiteties and Synods acknowledge themselves subject to errour. 4. The Pope acknowledgeth neither Elders nor elderships of Congregations, but Presbiteries and Synods doe 5. The Pope acknowledgeth no power Ecclesiasti­call on earth, but what is subject to him, and derived from him, but Presbiteries & Synods doe. 6. The Pope receiveth appellations in other causes besides Ecclesia­sticall, but Presbiteries and Synods do not so. 7 The Pope hath neither commission himselfe from Churches, nor will admit the Commissioners of Churches to sit in judgement with him, but Synods are made up of Commissioners of Churches. 8. The Pope maketh his power boundlesse, & exalteth himselfe above the very Scrip­ture, but Synods when they receive appellations, are tyed to certaine rules of pro­ceeding and judging, especially by the Scriptures; thus wise men may see the diste­rence between them to be as great as between light and darknesse.

But now give me leave, being thus set upon by the independant men, to lay open some of their errours, to see how they will stand in a well ordered Church.

First, independant Churches hold themselves to be all Rulers, and none to be ru­led: which is against all sence, reason, and Scripture also, Heb. Tim. 5.17. But they are something ashamed that they have none to rule, therefore they would make their ruling Elders themselves be their servants; and yet to hold still the name of rulers, which is as bad an errour as the former, for although ruling Elders must not be as Lords to the Church, neither must the Church be as Lords over them, and while they claime this authority for their Church, they do but seeke to remove the Prelates Lordship to their independant Church.

2. They do not give those to the Lord from their child-hood that are to be their Ministers, that they may be trained up in the schooles of the Prophets, which is the ordinary way for to attain to the knowledge of the tongues; Now that extraordi­nary is ceased which the Apostles had. Lu. 24.49. Acts 2.4. But they not taking this course, are constrained either to take some broken Tradesman for their Pastor to be employed in Gods work, whom the world hath cast off, or else they must take one that is employed in a calling already; But for the first, will God accept of the worlds leavings? and for the second, what warrant have they to take a man to this great calling, who is already entangled with the affairs of this life? see 2 Tim. 2.4. The Ministry alone is a burden more befitting an Angell then a fraile man, saith Paul, who is sufficient for these things? 2 Cor. 2.16. The Apostles gave themselves wholly and continually to prayer and to the Ministery of the Word, Acts 6.4 And yet they complain of their weaknesse, as unable to undertake such a heavy burden, who were so exceedingly furnished with gists, and gave themselves wholly to it, how then shall our independent Pastors discharge it faithfully, who are employed otherwise: If the world encrease, the work of God must needs decrease.

Thirdly, when their Pastors gifts are to be proved, as Paul saith, 1 Tim. 3.10. They will appoint none but mechanick men to do it, unlesse some Ministers come in by chance unexpected, not as any duty they are boun [...] to do, for they are all inde­pendant, & who hath to do with them? but how shall Mechanicks judge of que­stions [Page]and controversies of faith or how shall they determine the same? they cannot find out and discover sub i [...]e Hereticks, then how shall they excommunicate them?

But I suppose in this they goe contrary to their own judgment in other things, when they will have all other things tryed and proved by men of that calling which have the most knowledge and skill in such a thing, that they may not be deceived, and will they have lesse care of their soules then they have of worldly things, it is but a bad signe of grace in such a heart.

Fourthly, mechanick fellowes must intrench upon the ministery after they have proved them to ordain them, but although the Cities of Creet might elect them El­ders, yet saith Paul, I left thee in Creet to ordaine Elders in every Citie as I had appointed thee. Titus 1.5. And Paul and Barnabas retu [...]ned againe to Listra and to Iconium and to Antioch and they ordain [...]d them Elders in every Church, and prayed with fasting and commended them to the Lord Acts 14.21.23. And the Prophets and Teachers of Antioch ministred unto the Lord, and fasted, and the ho­ly Ghost said, sepa a [...]e me Barnabas and Saul for the worke whereunto I have cal­led them, and when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away, Acts The Apostles said unto the multitude, chuse you out men of honest report, and full of the holy Ghost and wisedome, (but mark the next words) whom we may appoint over this businesse, & so they nominated 7 & set them before the Apostles, and when they had prayed, they layed their hands on them, Acts 6.7, 8. Neglect not the gift that was given thee by prophesie (now marke) with the laying on of the hands of the Presbitery, 1 Tim. 4.14. But I find no mechanicks about the point of ordination.

Fifthly, these mechanick fellows which are unskilfull in the Pastors office, yet they must teach them their duty that never were Pastors themselves, & these mem­bers may very well be ignorant of many poynts of faith, being sometimes long without a Pastor, then much more they may be ignorant of his office, yet they must pray for they know not what, and the greater must be blessed of the lester, neither must these sick people have any helpe from others, till they can helpe themselves; but I thinke they would not do so by their bodies which would soon perish if none must help them in time of sicknesse: but God hath better provided for his Church then so.

Sixthly, they hold that not only the power of the keyes, but the execution of this power also belongs, and must be done by all the congregation, but the punishment of excommunication, saith the Apostle, was inflicted of many, 2 Cor. 2.6. But this were improper to say it was inflicted by many, if it was by all, yet I grant it must be done by the consent of all, or of the greatest part, and it may be said to be done by all, as the representative body of all, as what the Parliament doth, it may be said the whole Kindom doth: but as the Kingdome refers their businesse to the Pa [...]liament, so doe the particular Churches to the Presbitery: but they say every case ought to be heard and determined where the fault was committed: By this argument we must remove our Parliament and all other Courts to the place where any offence is [Page]committed to try them there. But this their folly needs no confutation, and saith Paul concerning Church censures, I heare that there is fornication committed a­mong you, (now marke) For I verily as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged and determined already concerning him that hath so done, and that was to deliver such a one to Sathan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be sa­ved in the day of the Lord Iesus: Yet it was not fully done without the consent of the whole Congregation, although judged and determined in their absence; Yet it was executed when they were gathered together, 1 Cor. 5.3, 4, 5. So the Presbi­tery ought to judge and determine of things, but they are not to be accomplished privately, but openly with the consent of the whole congregation.

But they say, if thy Brother trespasse against thee, tell him his fault betweene him and thee alone, and if he will not heare thee, take with thee one or two more; but if he neglect to heare them, tell the Church, Mat. This Church (say they) is a particular Congregation. but I deny it, and will prove it to be a collective part representing the Church, to whom binding and loosing was referred, for (saith the Lord) if two of you shall agree on earth touching any thing as binding and loosing it shal be done for them of my Father in heaven, vers. 18.19. The reason is, because where 2. or three a [...]e gathered together out of a Congrega­tion in the name of Christ, about such a bus [...]nesse (saith Christ) I am in the midst of them, ver. 20. Now in a small congregation having but two ruling Elders, and one Pastor, these comming to gethe [...] in the name of Christ, if but two of them agree, it shall be done, ver. 19. But it were a si [...]ly conclusion to gather from hence, that if any two of the whole parish, or of the whole cong [...]egation of Bro [...]nists agree together about binding or loosing, it shal be done in heaven, So t [...]en I conclude, that where there are but two Elders and a Pastor, if these come together, and but two of them agree, saith the Lord, it shall be done: Now if they should say, it is a particular congregation, and yet but three persons in it, this I also deny, for a par­ticular congregation must have both Officers and people, or else it is not a congre­gation; but suppose they say there was a Church in the houses of Aquila and Nimphas Rom. 16.5. Col 4.15. I answer, they had teaching and discipline which did resemble a Church, but they neither taught nor governed as Church-officers, but as parents and Masters: for they had no election nor ordination, and therfore no calling; neither had they the sacraments, nor the power of the keyes for Excommunication. So then if they were Churches, it was because Christians re­ [...]orted thither, and had the use of the Word and Sacraments, see Acts and because there were no Churches built.

7. The independent government cuts off all remedy for injured persons, for those perties must be their Judges while they deny Presbi [...]eties and Synods to appeal to, which is against the very light of nature that parties should be their Judges, who if [...]ney get the greater number, the innocent party must needs suffer although his cause be never so just, but this is flat against the Scripture: There was variance in the Church at Antioch, and they appealed to the Apostles and Elders then assembled at [Page]Jerusalem, Acts 15.2. It is in this case as it is in civil injuries, see Acts 24.11. where Paul saith, no man may deliver me to them because they were parties, but I appeale to Cesar: these men blame the Prelates for being parties in their owne Courts, & yet here they will tye their members to be tryed by none but themselves, denying Presbyteries and Synods, which is the onely refuge of innocent persons, and the meanes of justice to the guilty.

Eightly, Independent people exclude women and children from having any voice in their Churches, yet they deny a representative church gathered out of many par­ticular Churches: In this I demand what is their owne, when men of yeares must represent their whole Church, and where doe they find such a Church in the Scripture as this is; in this we may see plainly that their practise contradicts their te­nets, while they deny representative Churches, their own is such a one, but they be­ing silent to our demand, we shal give them better satisfaction concerning Presby­teriall government; for when that controversie was at Antioch, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certaine others of them should goe up to Ierusalem, unto the Apostles and Elders about this question: now these certaine that came with Paul and Barnabas are called the Church, being brought on their way by the Church, Acts 15.3. But they did not every man of the Church of Antioch come, for then how could they be sent? yet these few that were sent are called the Church, and when they came to Jerusalem, they were received of the Church, ver. 4. But did every christian in Ierusalem come forth to meet them, or whether did some part of the church there kindly entertaine them in the name of the rest, and so are called the church, and so that place before mentioned, Mat. 18. tell the Church, is no more, but tell the officers of the church, and great feare came upon all the Church, Acts 5.11. Here is meant none but the Apostles, who in the next verse went all into Solomons Porch, which could not hold al at Ierusalem, and the rest are menti­oned distinctly, ver. 13. yet you see here these officers are called the church: and when Moses was charged to speake unto all the congregation, be called for all the Elders of Israel, and said unto them, Exo. 12.3.21. As a Parliament is a congre­gation of the mighty, Psal 82.1. So is a National Synod, but they are much trou­bled at this word National church, but why should not we be as much offended at the word independent church, seeing that there is none such in the Scripture? Again I answer, when there was but one Nation that received the ordinances of God. there was but one National church, but now the Gospel [...]s preached to all Nation [...], then so many of them as receive and make profession of it, so many national church­es there is: again, as many flocks make one flock. Gen. 30.36.40. Luke 2.8. & many congregations called are one church, see Act. Revel. 2.1. compared with the 7th: Again, as one congregation may be called a particular church; So when a Kingdome or Nation receives the Faith, and makes profession of it, we suppose it may be called a national church; but yet, if they can give any other name better befitting a Kingdome or Nation that have received the Faith, we shall not differ much about words or names; only this, as many mem­bers [Page]make one body; so, many particular churches make one, call it what you will; and, as many ships make one Navy, and many regiments make one army, & many companies make one Citie: yet although ever, sh [...] [...]ath his Officers compleatly, yet they must not say they are independent, but m [...]st s [...]cke the good of the whole Navy; So although every Regiment hath gov [...]ours of their owne, yet they must j [...]yn together for the good of the whole Army: and so every Company in the City hath Officers of their owne, yet they must [...]l [...] be helpfull for the good of the whole, and so every congregation, although they have all o [...]ees needfull for themselves, yet they must all joyne for the good of the whole, and [...]o say they are independant and that they are indifferent what becomes of others, so they may have their inde­pendant government, is much like to the answer o [...] [...]a [...], when he said to the Lord, am I my brothers ke [...]per? see Protestation protested.

9. While they deny Pres [...]teries and Synods, they doe not seek for that which makes for peace, as they are commanded, Rom. 14.19. Paul and Barnabas might have decided the controver [...]e at Antioch but they being parties would not, because it would not make for peace, saith Paul; L [...]ok not every man on his owne things, but every man also on the things of others; Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Iesus, Ph [...]l. 2.4.5. But they will say that they will not joyne in Church-government and discipline till they have some expresse word for it. But if they will not joyne with us till then they had as good say they will never joyne with us, for in many things the word speaks only in generall terms, as concerning the onely Form of excommunication, or the only form of ordination, o [...] the outward gesture of externall reverence to be used, and no other in severall ordinances then this doing they may trouble themselves, and never find the true discipline therein: in all these things they ought to condescend to the peace and edification of the whole Church & not to make rents and divisions about these things: for what a confusion in Families would it be, to set up severall independant Churches, when the father shalbe of one Church and the sonne of another, the husband of one and the wife of another; the Master of one and the servant of another, how would this hinder all family duties, and it would not only be as a canker to the duties of the generall, but to the duties of their particular calling.

10. These independant people demand that which they themselves would not grant, if the power were in their hands: for in new England they will not suffer men of other opinions in doctrine or government to live within the bounds of their patent, but they banish them out of it; although they be godly Christians, they shal not reside there, unlesse they will enter Covenant, professe their faith, and submit to their Church orders; these men do not follow that golden rule of the law & the Propheths, to do [...]o others, as they themselves would be done by Math. 7.12. And these partiall men will beare great de [...]ects and wants in their owne Churches, as want of officers, Sacraments, and prophesying; some of these many yeares toge­ther, and nor to groane under the burden of it, when as a ceremony or something of as little moment shall make them separate from us, making [...]ents and divisions a­mongst [Page]us; but let the world see the unjustnesse of their separaration, especially from the Presbiteriall government.

11. The independant people hold that one Church, if required, ought to give an account to other Churches, and that differences of importance in one Church should be heard in others, and that one Church may be advised and counselled by another, and their doctrines tryed and judged by Synods; and in case they deserve it, to be admonished and reproved by Synods, and complained of to the civil Magi­strate; These things they will take upon generall rules, for I am sure there is no spe­ciall rules for them in the word: but further they will not goe, neither shall we de­sire more helpe from one particular congregation to another, then they do, for wee hold them all equall in authority as they do, but yet we expect more from Synods being made up of many congregations, [...]eeking the good of the whole; these we hold to have some power over particular Congregations, being chosen out of them by their consent for the same purpose, they may write, conclude and impose, and lay it upon them, and deliver them the decrees for to be kept, see Acts And saith Paul; Now I prayse you brethren, that you remember me in all things, and kept the ordinances as I delivered them unto you, 1 Cor. 11.2. But for new Englands Synods which come together upon courtesie, as many as will, & who will, if none will come from Stamford, they may chuse: and they have one meane Minister weake in parts and gifts, if not worse qualified, they do not care if he goe, they can spare him best, and they being independant, must looke onely at their own particular, and not seek the good of the whole, and it is not much mate­riall who goes, for they have no power to reforme any thing, save only to counsell, admonish, and complaine to the civil Magistrate, who they say themselves, hath no more power to reform, or to do any thing, in, or about the Church then hea­then Princes; this is independant government, & the reformation they would have, which is nothing else but a flood-gate set open for all sects in the world, to the ruine of the true Church of Christ, as Anabaptists, Familists, Jewes & Papists, or any o­ther, for all would separate themselves into Churches in their own judgement to do whatsoever Sathan or their owne corrupt hearts would lead them unto; well may those cursed blaspheming traytors and Papists at Oxford hearken to this way, and grant them their full desire; for it is the road way to all confusion, yea, their owne Churches divide commonly upon the death of their Pastor with contempt and ha­tred to each other; But God hath called us to peace, 1 Cor. 7.15. Let all things be done decently and in order, for God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the Churches of the saints, 1 Cor. 14.33, 40.

Now forasmuch as the Magistrate is the Father of the countrey, and the Pastor of the people, the keeper of peace, the protector of righteousnesse, and the avenger of innocency, then he is unworthy to live in a Common-wealth that is an enemy to such government; But here some will object, that Princes in all ages, some have been carelesse of their charge committed to them, to foresee dangers to prevent them, giving themselves to earthly delights, and slothfully minding nothing else, [Page]and others addict themselves to their game, and so set to sale all lawes and priviled­ges, judgments and grants, other some spoyle the poore communalty of money to spend it wastefully and prodigally, other some exercise more robberies, pillaging of houses, deflouring of Virgins, murdering of Innocents, so that no image of God is seen upon them, that ought to shine in Magistrates, nor no token of the Minister of God is seene in him which was given for prayse to the good, and for vengeance to the evill.

Now men naturally abhor tyrants, and love their lawful Kings, then what shal poore subjects do in such a case? I answer, Inferiours are to submit to the governe­ment of such Princes, although Pinces do not that which pertaineth to them: but they goe beyond those bounds which the Lord hath set them: yet it will not follow, that we may sin against them, because that they sin against God, saith Peter: Fear God and honour the King. And ye servants be subject to your Masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward: For this is thanke-worthy, if a man for conscience towards God endure griefe, suffering wrongfully, 1 Pet. 2.17, 18.19. Wee ought to observe the providence of God, who disposeth of all Kingdomes and setteth up Kings as it pleaseth him, see Dan. 2.21. Although Ne­buchadnezar was a wicked man, yet saith Daniel, the God of heaven hath given thee a Kingdom, vers. 37. And saith the Lord, I will give Nebuchadnezar the land of Aegypt for his good service, and the spoile thereof shalbe the wages of his Army, Ezek. 29.19, 20. And King Saul was a cruell tyrant, see 1 Sam. 8.12. Yet the people are not freed of their obedience to him, and saith the Lord, I have given the earth to whom it seemed meet unto me, and the Lord hath power to do what plea­seth him, Psal. 115.3. And he made the earth, and man and beasts upon it; then it followes, I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezar King of Babylon, and all Nations shall serve him, Jer. 27.5, 6, 7. Thus you see God will have this tyrant to be honoured. And David said to Abishai concerning the King, destroy him not, for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lords Anoynted and be guiltlesse? and another time saith he: God forbid that I should do this thing unto my Master the Lords Anoynted; so David stayed his servants with these words, & suffered them not to rise against Saul, 1 Sam. 24.6, 7.26.9. And we ought to have a reverent esteeme of them as wives to their husbands, and as children to their pa­rents: for the King is worth ten thousand of us, 2 Sam. 18.3. The breath of our [...]o­strils is the Lords Anoynted, Lam. 4.20. Then they that curse the King bu [...] in their thought, a bird of the ayre shall carry the voyce, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter, Eccl. 10.20.

Then are we unmercifully tormented by a cruell Prince? or are our goods spoy­led by a covetous and a ryotous Prince? and are we neglected by a slothful Prince? and are we vexed for a godly life by a wicked Prince? then our duty must be to call to remembrance our sins which are scourged by that scourge of the Lord, and by humility bridle our impatience, and let us call to mind that it belongs not to us to remedy such evills, it is only our duty to crave help of the Lord, in whose hands [Page]are the hearts of Kings, and the bowing of Kingdomes to his will: He is a God who standeth in the assembly of Gods, and judgeth among the Gods, Psalm. 82.1. And all Kings shall fall before him, and all the Iudges of the earth shalbe dashed in peaces like a potters vessell, that will not submit to the Lord, and kisse his Anoyn­ted, Psal. 2.9.12. Yea, woe be to them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that turne aside the needy from judgment, Isa 10.1.2. God reproved Kings for his peo­ples sake, and suffered none to doe them wrong, Psal. 105.14. Yea he hath broken the bloody Scepters of proud Kings, and overturned their intolerable government: yet I say, although God may justly correct their unbridled government by his owne revenging hand, yet let us not think that we may do so, which have no com­mandement given us, but to obey and suffer: this I speake concerning private persons.

Now it may be demanded of some, that in case the chiefe Magistrate shall thus tyrannize over his people, whether other Magistrates may not defend them, and withstand this tyrant in the Cause of God? I answer with Master Calvin, Instit. 4.20.31. If there be at this time any Magistrates for the behoofe of the people, such as in old time were the Ephori that were set against the Kings in Lacedemonia, or the Tribunes of the people against the Roman Consuls, or the Demarchi against the Senate of Athens: or as it is with us, the three Estates in Parliament, holding the principall Assemblies, saith he, I am so far from forbidding these to withstand the outrageing licentiousnesse of Kings, that I affirme, that if they winke at Kings wil­fully rageing over, and treading down the poore Communalty, that their dissem­bling is not without wicked breach of faith, because they deceitfully betray the li­berty of the people, whereof they know themselves to be appointed protectors by the ordinance of God. And saith he in the 8. Section, no kinde of governement is more blessed then this, where liberty is framed with such a moderation, as it ought to be, and is orderly established for continuance, and so I count them most blessed, that may enjoy this estate, and if they stoutly and constantly trav [...]ll in preserving and retaining it, do nothing against their duty: yea the Magistrates ought with most great d [...]ligence to bend themselves hereunto, that they suffer not the liberty of the people, of which they are appointed governours, to be in any part diminished, much lesse to be dissolved, but if they be negligent and carelesse therein, they are faith-breakers, and false in their office, and betrayers of their Countrey, and the ve­ry thinking to bring in any other change of government, is not only foolish and su­perstitious, but also very hurtfull.

Then would any bring in Monarchical government? let me tell them that it is sel­dome seene that Kings so temper themselves, that they will never swerve from that which is just and right. Again, they are not alwaies furnished with so great a sharpnesse of judgment and wisedome, that every one seeth so much as is sufficient for every thing; therefore the wants that are in single persons, are cause sufficient to prove it to be more safe and tolerable, that many should have the government, that they may mutually help one another, and one teach and admonish another, & [Page]if any advance himselfe higher then it is meet, there may be others to restraine his wilfulnesse; so then in case a King be a child, and not able to order the affaires of his Kingdome, or in case he want naturall abilities, or in case he be led away by e­vill Counsellors, then the Magistrates ought to make supply, that neither the King nor his Subjects may suffer wrong: This way of government gives more honour to Kings then any other, because this procures the love and happinesse of the Subjects, when as Monarchicall brings feare, misery, and slavery upon them; so then this kind of government is the best, wherein King and people do rejoyce in each others hap­pinesse.

Again, it may be demanded, if the chiefe Magistrate and the rest be at variance, & the contention encrease so through ill-affected persons, that it produce civill wars amonst us, now what are the inferiour people to do in this case, and who are they to side withall? I answer, first they must not stand as ne [...]ers or spectators to behold and see the ruine of the Kingdome, but they must enquire on whose side God is, as wise Gamaliel said; If this work be of men, it will come to nought, but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest happily ye be found to fight against God, Acts 5.38.39. Shouldst thou helpe the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath come upon thee from the Lord, 2 Chron. 19.2. Neither must we stand as spectators: Vriah said unto David: The Arke and Israel and Judah abide in tents, and my Lord Joab and the servants of my Lord are encamped in the open field, shall I then goe into my house to eate and to drinke and to lye with my wise: as thou l [...] ­vest, and as thy soule liveth, I will not do this thing, 2 Sam. 11.11. Curse ye Me­roz and the Inhabitants thereof; yea curse them bitterly, because they came not to the help of the Lord against the mighty, Judg. 5.23. Then who is on the Lords side, who that will march furiously like Jehu against all the cursed enemies of God, those Antichristian Idolaters, and have no peace with them so long as the whoredomes of Jesabel, and her witcherafts are so many, and if the Princes of [...]ud [...] be li [...]e them that remove the bounds, God will po [...]re out wrath upon them [...]k [...] water, Hos. 5.10. Then if such a boundlesse Prince shall command obedience to his boundlesse hu­mour, must he be obeyed? It may be that Ephraim being oppressed and broken in judgment, will shew it in this, because he willingly walked after the commande­ment, vers. 11. But now the question is, what did that boundlesse Prince get by his commanding, and crackt-brain'd Ephraim for his blind obedience? (mark saith the Lord) I wilbe unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah like rotten­nesse: Yea I will be to Ephraim as a lyon, and as a young lyon to the house of Judah; I, even I, will teare and goe away, I will take away, and none shall rescue him, vers. 12.14. Therefore we must not so obey the King, as to make us disobey the King of Kings, unto whose Scepter all Kings must yield obedience: therefore when Daniel disobeyed the Kings proclamation, he answered with a cleare conscience saying, against thee ô King I have done no [...]urt, Dan. 6.22.

So then we must put difference between our obedience to God, and our obedi­ence to man; when God commands, we are not to reason with flesh and blood, nor [Page]call into question the lawfulnesse of it; God is greater then man, and he gives no account of any of his matters, Job 33.12, 13. It is our duty to put in practise with all speed what God commands us: but when man commands, we must bring it to the tryall, and see how it agrees with that perfect rule of Gods command, and if it agree not with Gods command, we must not obey it, as for example: God com­mands that we shall not murder? now if the King do command us to murder, this contradicts Gods command, and therefore must not be obeyed. King Saul said to the footmen that stood about him, turne ye and slay the Priests of the Lord; but the servants of the King would not put forth their hands to fall on the Priests of the Lord, 1 Sam. 12.17. And King Pharoah sent unto the Mid-wives say [...]ng, when ye do the office of a Mid-wife, to the Hebrew women, if it be a sonne, ye shall kill him, but if a daughter, she shall live: But the Mid-wives feared God, & did not as the King of Aegypt commanded them, therefore the Lord dealt well with the Mid-wives, Exod. 1.16, 17.20.

Againe, the Lord saith, thou shalt not make to thy selfe any graven Image, or likenesse of any thing, nor bow down to them nor worship them. Now if the King of Babylon set up a golden Image, and command all to fall downe and worship it; then which must be obeyed? the three Children answered the King saying, we are not carefull to answer thee in this matter, (nay further they say unto him in plaine tearmes) be it known unto thee O King that we will not serve thy Gods, nor worship the golden Image which thou hast set up, Dan. 3. Again the Lord saith, I will that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting, 1 Tim. 2.8. And men ought alwaies to pray, and not to faint, Luke 18.1. Now if King Da­rius shall make a decree that whosoever shall aske a petition of any God or man [...]o [...] the space of thirty dayes, shalbe cast into the Den of lyons, now which must be o­beyed? give eare to Daniel, and he will tell thee: who regardeth not the decree of the King, but maketh his petition three times a day, Dan. 6.13. Againe, Christ saith to his Apostles; Goe ye and teach all Nations, baptizing and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded, Math. 28.19.20. But when Peter and Iohn were obeying this command of Christ, they were brought before the Councel [...] and they charged them not to speake and teach any more in the name of the Lord Jesus, now what must they do? Peter and Iohn answered and said un­to them: Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken to you more then God, judg ye, for we cannot but speake the things we have heard and seene, Acts 4.18, 19, 20. After this they were taken and brought before the Councell againe, who said unto them, did not we straightly charge you not to teach in this name? and be­hold you have filled Jerusalem with your Doctrine, and intend to bring this mans blood upon us, and they answered: We ought to obey God rather then men, Acts 5.17, 18, 19. The feare of men brings a snare, Prov. 29.25. Thus wee may see, that although Magistrates must be obeyed, yet it must be onely when they keepe within their bounds, and not else.

But some of our Court Priests will object and say, not through any love to Ma­gistrates, [Page]but only to make divisions amongst us, that every soule must be subject to the higher powers, for there is no power but of God, the powers that be, are ordained of God, whosoever therefore resisteth the powers, resisteth the ordinance of God, & they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation, Rom. 13.1, 2. But here by the way we may see how they post this Text off from themselves, and then they thunder it against others; but when it is retorted back to themselves, then they make exceptions, saying, all must obey but them, but to leave them in their Anti­christian pride; I answer, and grant, that the place of Magistracy is the ordinance of God, and those Kings that keep within their bounds, are cloathed with Gods au­thority: for saith he, by me Kings reigne and Princes decree justice: by me Prin­ces rule, and Nobles, yea all the Iudges of the earth, Prov. 8.15, 16. The God of Israel said unto me: The rocke of Israel spake unto mee, he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the feare of God, 2 Sam. 23.3. But are Princes alwayes such: The heads of Jacob and Princes of Israel hate the good and love the evill, they eate the flesh of Gods people, and flay their skin from off them, and breake their bones, and chop them in peices as for the pot, and as flesh within the Caldron, Micah 3.1.2, 3. The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the Princes thereof, because they beate in peices his people, and grinde the faces of the poore, Isa 3.14, 15. Yea God renounceth such Princes, saying, ye have set up Kings, but not by me; they have made them Princes, and I knew it not, Hosea. 8.4. Not as though God were ignorant of what he did, but the meaning is, God did not approve of them, although their office be his ordinance.

But they wil object, that where the word of a K. is, there is power, & who may say to him, what dost thou? Who so keepeth the Kings commandement, shall feel no evill thing, Eccl. 8.4, 5. I answer, the Kings power is over the outward man, his words and actions, body and goods; but it reacheh not to the soule and conscience, nor the grace of Gods spirit in us, and though it be said, be subject for conscience sake, Rom. 13.5. It is answered directly in that place alleadged against mee, Eccl. 8.2. I counsell thee to keep the Kings command, and that in regard of the oath of God, not that they have dominion over our faith, 2 Cor. 1.24. Or that our inward gra­ces were under the Kings command, but we being sensible of Gods command, we obey them, because he commands it, saying, let every soule be subject to the higher powers: Put them in mind to be subject to Principalities and Powers, to obey Ma­gistrates, Titus 3.1.

Our inward graces are more worthy then any humane dignity, therefore not to be brought in subjection to any, we must do good to others with our inward gra­ces by vertue of Gods command, but they must not be brought under the power of any, 1 Cor. 6.12. But from the other words, who may say to him, what dost thou? from these words, some Sycophants would perswade Kings that their power is un­limited so that they may do what they list with any mans person and goods, with­out respect to the publike good of the whole Kingdome, if they doe but contradict their personall will, although they contradict Gods revealed will, these men cause [Page]them to punish the innocent, and passe by the guilty, and yet no man may say to them why dost thou so? to this I said before, that when a King keepes within the bounds that God hath set him, he is cloathed with Gods power and authority, be­ing his Deputy, and about his businesse: in this case, who may say unto him, what dost thou? Neither is it fitting to say to a King thou art wicked, nor to Princes, ye are ungodly, Iob 34.18. But when a King goes beyond his bounds, he strips him­selfe of that honour that God had put upon him. Then John Baptist may say to He­rod, why dost thou so? and further he may tell him that it is unlawfull to have his brothers wife, Math. 14.4. And Nathan may say to David, thou art the man; yet by a parable first convince him of it, and they must entreate him as a Father, 1 Tim. 5.1. 2 Kings 5.13. This being done, righteous lips should be the delight of Kings, and they should love him that speaketh right. Then should the wrath of the King be to the wicked as messengers of death: Then the Kings wrath should be as the roaring of a lyon but his favour would be as the dew upon the grasse, Prove. 19.12. Then through the mercy of the most high he should not be moved, but his hand should find out all his enemies and bring down them that hate him, Psal. 21.7, 8. And the Lord would give deliverance to his King, and shew mercy to his Anoyn­ted to David and to his seed for evermore, Psal. 18.50. Yet I say they must not goe beyond their bounds; God intended to use the King of Assytia as a rod to correct I [...]rael, but it is in his heart to destroy and to cut off Nations, not a [...] but for going beyond his bounds, when the worke is done upon Mount Sion [...] [...] on Jerusalem [...] The Lord wil [...] puni [...]h the stout heart of the King of Assy [...]ia, and bring downe the glory of his high lookes, Isa. And when Judah was in cap­tivity in Babylon, God was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the af­fliction, but for going thus beyond their bounds, God sent foure Carpenters to cut off those foure horns that scattered Judah, Zech. Therefore Zedekiah remembring his bounds, saith, the King is not he that can doe any thing against you, Ier. 28.5. And King Darius could not do any thing against a Statute, although he laboured to do it till the going downe of the Sun, Dan. 6.10.14. Neither could Ahab the King get Naboth's Vineyard although he was sicke for it, 1 Kings 21. Then hath the King bound himselfe by oath and covenant to his people, that he wil signe and seale such lawes as the common people shall chuse, and remedy all grie­vances that shall arise, by signing and sealing good and wholsome lawes amongst us; Saith the Lord thou shal [...] not forswear thy selfe, but thou shalt performe to the Lord thine oaths Math. 5.33. For breach of oath is a featfull sinne, and seldome goes unpunished, see King Zedechiah his sin, Ezek. 17.13. And his punishment. Ier. 52.10, 12. And King Hoshea suffered a lake for the same sin, 2 Kings 17. Lying lips do not become a Prince, Prov. 17.7. Neither should a Ruler hearken to lyes, Prov. 29.12. Then cursed be those Counsellours that make the King glad w [...] their wickednesse, and Princes with their lyes, Hosea 7.3. King Ahaziah walked in the wayes of Ahah, for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly, for they were his Counsellors to his destruction, for the house of Ahaz [...]ah had no [Page]more power to keep still the Kingdome, 2 Chro. And King Rehobo­am refused his Fathers grave Counsellours, and hearkened to a company of young upstarts, which not onely divided, but almost ruined his Kingdome, 2 Chro. 10.13. But (saith King David) mine eyes shall be upon the faithfull of the Land, they shall dwel with me; he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me, but he that worketh deceit shall not dwell in my house, hee that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight, Psal. 103.6.7. And the King said unto them, what seemeth you best I will doe, 2 Sam. 18.4. It is not for Kings O Lemuel, it is not for Kings to drinke wine, nor for Princes strong drinke, lest they drinke and forget the Law, and pervert the judgement of any of the afflicted, Pro. 31.4.5. For as a roaring lyon and a ranging beare, so is a wicked Ruler over the poare peo­ple: The Prinee that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor, Pro. 28.15.16. Then saith the Lord to Job out of the whirlewind, who is this that darkeneth Counsel by words without knowledge? Job 38.2. The Counsel of the Lord that shall stand, Pro. 19.21. (Saith King David) thy Testimonies are my Counsel­lours, Psal. 119.24. They should hearken to them that declare unto them the whole Counsel of God, Acts 20.27. But it may be some Court-Priest like Amaziah, that will informe the King saying, The Prophet hath conspired against thee, and the Land is not able to beare his words, and so bid him be gone and prophesie no more at Bethel, for it is the Kings Chappel and it is the Kings Court, Amos But for this (saith the Prophet) Thy wife shal be an harlot, thy sons & thy daugh­ters shal fall by the sword, and the land shalbe divided by line, and thou shalt dye in a polluted land, and Israel shall goe into Captivity, vers. 16.17. The Pharisees rejected the Counsel of God against themselves, Luke 7.30. Shame shal be to him that refuseth instruction but he that heareth reproofe shal be honoured, Pro. 13.18. He that reproveth shal afterwards find more favour, then he that flattereth with his lips, Pro. 28.23. Nathan that was so plaine with the King, and said, thou art the man, when any trouble arose in the Kingdome, still Nathan that down-right ho­nest man was sent for: then Kings must not free themselves from all admonition; for, better is apoore and wise child, then an old and foolish King that wil be no more ad­monished, Eccle. 4.13. The Lord commandeth to say to the King and to the Queene, humble your selves, Jer. 13.18. Then Daniel said to the King. breake off thy sins by repentance, and thine intquity by shewing mercy. Dan. 4.27. Now this admonition must be by them that have a calling to it, neither must it be with­out reverence, It is not fit to say to a King, thou art wicked, nor to Princes, yee are ungodly. Job 34.18. But as Nathan wisely gained upon the Kings affections by a parable, and also the woman of Tekoa another time, neither be hasty to take up an accusation against an Elder, and itreat him as a father, 1 Tim. 5.1.19. see Ier. 40 15 16. When the Preacher saw under the sun in the place of judgment that wickednesse was there, and in the place of righteousnesse, that iniquity was there, he refers it to God saying, God shal judge the righteous and the wicked, Eccle. 3.16. the uses follow.

[Page] 1. Our duty to Magistrates is to think honorably of them; first in regard of their office, which we must acknowledg to be a jurisdictiō committed to them from God, and therefore to esteeme and reverence them as the Ministers & Deputies of God, and let us learne of them that doe so as an encouragement of our better obedience to them. Secondly, we must honour them from the command of God, which saith, honour the King, 1 Pet. 2.17. And the Lord said to Moses, rake Joshua, a man in whom is the spirit, and set him before the High Priest, and before all the Con­gregation, and give him charge in their sight, that is, tell him the nature and man­ner of his office, and charge him to be faithfull in it; and then it followes, put some of thine honour upon him, that all the Congregation of the childen of Israel may bee obedient. Numb. And Solomon joyntly together commands us to feare God and the King, Pro. 24.21. So then Peter would have us to have a high estimation of them, and Solomon joyning them together with God himselfe, sheweth that holy reverence and dignity that is put upon them; Then cursed bee those filthy dreamers that despise dommion, and speake evill of dignities, Jude 8. And saith Paul ye must needs be subject for conscience sake, Rom. 13.5. That is, he would have us free in our obedience to them, without slavish feare of their pow­er, because what is done to them is done to God, yet this honourable calling can­not excuse the sins that cleave unto them that are in such places; but the calling it selfe is worthy of honour and reverence; then whosoever be rulers must be estee­med with us, and have reverence in respect of their being rulers.

Secondly, we must not only honour them in our minds, but this must be testified by our practise, in obeying their lawfull proclamations, and in paying tribute, and in taking publique office and charges upon us, that may serve for common defence, or any other lawfull commands; For he that resisteth, resistoth the ordinance of God, therefore be subject: Rom. 13.1. Again, saith Paul, warne them that they be subject to Principalites and powers, to obey Magistrates, and ready to every good worke, Tytus 3.1. And saith Peter, submit your selfe to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake. 1. Pet. 3.13. To the King as Supreame, and to other Rulers that are sent by him, for the punistament of evill doers, and for the praise of them that doe well and that they may be sincere in their obedience to them, Paul exhorts, that there may be prayers & supplications, intercessions and thankesgivings for al men for Kings and all in authority, that we may live a peaceable and quiet life, in all, godlinesse and honesty, 1 Tim. 2.1. Now if God doe thus require obedience to Magistrates, and he that resisteth the office of Magistracy, resisteth Gods ordinance, then let them know that God will avenge all disobedience to them.

After these things, when I thought I had finished my worke, I looking about me, saw a man approaching towards me, as I thought, to try his power in a single Duel with me, I shall desetibe him as neare as I can. His proper name is Thomas, his Sirname is Nut; his general calling an Anabaptist, his particular I am uncer­taine of, yet I suppose, a wood-cleaver; his descent I know not well, but I suppose him to be one of the children of the old mouse-catcher, who some years agone cryed [Page]mousetraps but when mice grew scarce, & his trading failed him, he proffer'd 10. l. to be hang-man; So now wood is something deare, & this man having but litle trading for his axe, would imploy it to cut off men which are of two forts, either the principall members of the body politick, or else the living members of the mystical body of Christ as he calls them, visible saints of the spiritual Kingdom: the ground on which he would build these principles, is Mat. 18.8.9. If thy hand or thy soot offend thee, cut them off: These members (saith he) are either the members of the bo­dy politick, or the members of the body of Christ; the first of these (saith he) are some principal members of the body politick, as the L. Keeper, which if he offend, being a hand of the body politick, the rest of the members must cut him off: but he dares not to stay to tell us what it is that will offend him, lest hee bee taken and hanged himselfe, for we know very well what it is that offends Anabaptists: First, his very being a Magistrate offends them, and for this offence, Nut would cut him off if he durst, although such a member were saithfull both to the King and King­dome: Again, many other things offend them, as the manntaining wars in our own defence is cause enough for them to cut off Magistrates, as also for imposing a Co­venant for reformation, or an oath of Allegiance to Princes: these, and such like are great offences that Magistrates give to Anabaptists, for which, this Nut thinkes he may cut them off, were it not that he feares the Nut-cracker at Padington; well, Nut is gone in all haste from the members of the politicall body to the mem­bers of the mysticall body of Christ, and if they offend, the rest must cut them off; neither in this doth he shew what it is that will offend him, but it seemes for any offence they must be cut off, for he hath no healing medicines, but like a butcher he akes his cleaver and chops them off; but I shal take the hammer of Gods word & split the shel of this Nut, and give you a further taste of the divellish kernel that is in it: he saith that our Saviour speaketh of a spirituall Kingdome, or body, or Church of visible Saints, but must we beleeve this Nut when he saith that a spiritu­all member of Christs body must be cut off in this manner that here Christ speaketh of he would have it to be meant by excommunication, but Christ saith, if they be not cut off, the whole body shall be cast into everlasting fire: and again, if they be not cut off, thou canst not enter into life: then suppose a member of Christ should of­fend thee, canst not thou be saved unlesse he be damned? again, to take thine owne exposition, suppose this offending member should not be cut off by excommunica­tion, must all the rest of the body of Christ be cast into everlasting fire? Againe, suppose some of the members be offended, and other some be not offended, must that member be cut off that offends thee alone, and doth not offend the rest, must that I say be cut off, or else thou and all the rest must of necessitie to hell fire? but in this case what wilt thou doe? such a member offends thee and no body else, and uniesse thou cut him off, all must to the Divel, neither canst thou cut him off, be­cause all the rest are against thee: but is thy salvation so pin'd upon other mens backs, that if but one faile and be not speedily cut off, all the Anabaptists must bee cast into hell fire? this kernel may please the Divels palat when he goes a Nut­ting, [Page]but I think no rationall man can like the taste of it: Againe, thou dost not declare what it is that will offend thee, so that I suppose, if Christ himselfe were here on earth, thou wouldst be offended at him as some others were, for many were offen­ded at him, they esteemed him as a rock of offence, Rom. 9.32.33. Againe, thou dost confesse that the body is Christ, and ye are the body of Christ, 1 Cor. Ephe. And ye are called members of Christ, see 1 Cor. and members of his body, Ephe. 5.30.

Then doth Christ say, If my hand offend me, or if my foot offend me, I must cut them off, and cast them from me; or else doth Christ say, both I all and my mem­bers must be cast into everlasting fire; and doth Christ say, if I doe not cut them off, I cannot enter into life? and doth Christ say, it is better for me that one of my members should perish, then that I with all my mysticall body should be cast into hell? neither doth he say, if my eye offend me, I must pluck it out, nor say, it is bet­ter for me with one eye to enter into life, then to have two to be cast into hell fire; Let thy conscience speak, thou blasphemer, and tell me whether it be so in thy book: neither is it said, if a hand or foot in Christs body offend him, they must be cut off; neither is it said, that if the eye of Christ offend him, it must be plucked out, or else the whole body of Christ shalbe cast into hel: Then hear the words of Christ; If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee, that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast in­to hell. And so, If thy hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell, Math. 5.29, 30. So then the meaning of these words is this: The members of our body naturall before conversion, do nothing but act sin; Now of necessity that corruption must be cut off from those members: and rather then the corruption should not be cut off, let that member perish, rather then it should abide on thy body to act sinne; What, are thy eyes so full of adultery that they cannot cease from sinne? 2 Pet. 2.14. Canst thou not looke on a woman, but thou must lust after her? thou committest adultery in thy heart, (then saith Christ expressely) plucke it cut, it is profitable for thee, Math. 5.28, 29. It were better those eyes were out, then so to sin against God: yet this must not be done till wee have tryed all other meanes, and nothing will reforme this lusting member, as we would do in the like case with a tooth, that with paine much offends us: first, we try if we can take away the paine and save the tooth, but when all means have bin used, and we cannot take a way the paine, we had better lose the tooth, then to be so offended with the paine of it. Now the evill of sinne that is in the eye, should of­fend us as much as the evill of punishment in the tooth, and we should use all means to remove it, as Iob did, to make a Covenant with his eyes not to looke upon a maid, Job 31.1. That is, we should bind our eyes with the cords of a Covenant from lu­sting, and we should bind our feet from carrying us into temptations, see vers. 5.7. And we should keep our mouth as it were with a bridle, Psalm 39.1. And be­cause our sins are too strong for us, we should therefore pray the Lord to turne our [Page]eyes from beholding vanity Psalm. 119.37. Thus when all meanes are used to re­clame our members from sin and nothing will do it, thou hadst better plucke out thy eye, and cut off both hands and feet, then to employ them in the service of the Divell to thy eternall ruine of body and soule.

Againe, if wee should lose a member here, we should have it restored againe at the Resurrection day, therefore that Bishop who had subscribed with his hand a­gainst God, when the Lord opened his eyes to see what he had done, he suffered for the truth, and caused that hand to be burnt off, which had so offended both against God, and against himselfe, yet I say againe, if it be possible, we must save the mem­ber; as Paul saith, no man ever yet hated his owne flesh, Ephes. 5.29. For we see if a man have got a hurt in his hand or foot, he will use all means that may be to heal it, to save his hand or foote; but when nothing will do it, he will rather cut it off, then endure the paine, and endanger his whole body: For if one part of the body be in paine, there is no part of the body free, saith Christ, if thy eye be evill, thy whole body is full of darknesse, Math. 6.23. That is, if the eye of the body be not good to see, the whole body is in danger in all places to be hurt: and so the eye of the soule which is the understanding, if that be not cleare, the soule is in danger to be split on many rocks; but let us come to Nuts exposition, which is this, if thine eye be evill, thy whole body is full of darknesse: This eye saith he, is the Minister or the Watch­man, the which if he be blind, all the Anabaptists are blind also: and if he be evill, then the rest cannot be good; he said before, that if one member did offend, he must be cut off, or else all the Anabaptists must perish in hell fire; and here he saith, if one be evill, all are so, if one be blinde, all are blinde: then I reply upon him thus, that if they be all alike, that if there be one bad, there is none good; then why should another be cast into hell to save Nut, when he is as bad himselfe; wel, Christ saith, if thy eye, thy hand and thy foot offend thee, do so and so; but saith Nut to Christ againe, if thy eye, or thy hand, or thy foot offend thee, do so and so: which shewes plainely to all men, that his eye is as blinde as a beetle, to discerne spirituall things.

Again, how will Nut construe this word, two eyes, two hands, and two feete in the my sticall body of Christ, so that if one be cut off, there is but one remaining: and againe, which is the right eye and which is the left in the my sticall body of Christ; I thinke all the braines that is in this Nut, knowes not how to give an an­swer to these things: but suppose they have two teachers, whom they call their eyes, suppose one of these offend and be excommunicated, and the other dye in the mean time, and so leave them all starke blind: And so the blind lead the blind till they all fall into the ditch: I hope they will not provide more eyes, then they have holes to put them in, so that when one is gone, to clap another into the hole; Thus we may see the folly of Nuts exposition, who would see by another mans eyes, but we must all appear before the judgement feate of Christ, and receive according to what is done in our owne body, & not according to what was done in another mans body.

Well thus you see that Christ here speaketh of our naturall members, that in case [Page]nothing will take off those sinfull corruptions that naturally cleave to them, those naturall members had better be cut off in this life, then that the whole man should perish eternally, so that neither politicall, nor mysticall members, but naturall mem­bers are meant in this place.

But will Nut say it is a great absurdity, when the body is maimed, that the soule should enter into life? In this he declares himselfe to be as blinde as a beetle, for all the members at the resurrection shalbe restored againe perfectly; but this man sees with another mans eyes, and not with his owne: I may suppose this is the cause why they will not allow of wars under the Gospell, lest they should lose a mem­ber, and so go lame to heaven.

He makes another absurdity, saying, if those corruptions that cleave to our mem­bers offend us, then we must cut them off, but if they do not offend us, we must not cut them off, and we may enter into life with our corruptions, if so be they doe not offend us. I answer, men are of two sorts; either in the state of grace, or in the state of nature; Now for those in the state of grace, who have a new life wrought in them, and they have given their members as servants to Christ, Rom. 6. It must needs grieve them when those members shall act any sin, saith Paul, I keepe my bo­dy under, and bring it in subjection, 1 Cor. 9.27. Yet saith he, this law of sinne that is in my members, warreth against the law of my mind, and against his will, leads him into the law of sin, Rom. 7.23. Yet when he cannot subdue those cor­ruptions in his members, it appeares plainely that they did offend him, else what makes him cry out, O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me? vers. 24. And although it be said, if they do offend, yet t [...]s is not alwayes a word of diffi­dence, as appeares by such places as these. If God be God, follow him, 1 Kings 18.21. If I be a Father, where is mine honour? If I be a Master, where is my feare? Mal. 1.6. If God spared not the old world, 2 Pet. 2.4. So here, if thy eye, hand or foote offend thee these are not words of of diffidence, but of certainty only; the doubt may arise from this, whether thou art converted or not, the which if thou be not, thou art dead in sins and trespasses, and past feeling, and not capable to be offen­ded at the sin of thy members: Now these are not here in dispute: being unbelee­vers they are damier already. John 3.18. Is Nut so blind, as to think these shall enter [...], because sin do [...] not offend them? I leave these as not to be disputed a­bout, whether they have all their limbs, or whether they want any, in that conditi­on they cannot be saved. Then the question is onely of the regenerate, whether their [...] off [...]nd or not? now for them, some are exceeding watchfull, having mor­tisted their earthly members, Col. 3.5. They that are Christs, have crucified the flesh with the affect to as and lusts, Gal. 5.24. Now such as these, these members do not o [...] fend them, out are very usefull and delightfull to them, acting lively in the wayes of God: but then others are something remisse, and so their members not be­ing e [...]oyed in the service of Christ, the Divell sometimes prevailes with them so, as to [...]ke them worke in his service; by his wiles and subtilties, he deceives the hearts of the simple, but such as Paul, who is not ignorant of his devices, 2 Cor. 2.11. [Page] Such a one is able to stand against all the wiles of the Divell, Ephes. 6. But yet the corruptions in all offend them, for none is freed from it in this life, yet some keep downe their corruptions more then others, and thereupon have lesse of­fence from them then others have; but these offences it seemes, Nut is not acquain­ted with, else he would not make it a question, whether corruptions doe offend or nor, and supposing corruptions may be in Gods people, and yet not offend them.

Another absurdity, he saith, is this, the Saints are commanded to cleanse them­selves from corruptions, to make them sound; but saith he, if corruptions of the members should be here meant, then we may enter into life with one lust, if we doe but cut off another: and although we be halt and maimed? I answer, although the body be maimed, yet the soule is not maimed, neither shall that maimed body arise maimed, but perfect. Againe, the cutting off corruption from the eyes, hands and feete, and from the rest of the members, neither maimes body nor soule, but makes them both more perfect, and if Nut were but a rationall man, hee would rather have said that corruptions are as wounds and bruises, see Isa 1.6. Ps. 38.5. Mat. 8.17. As the pool of Bethesda healed the impotent folke, blind halt, and wither'd, Joh. 5.3. So the taking away of corruption heals the spirituall Impo­tency of halt and blind, saith Christ, bring in hither them that are poore, maimed, halt and blind, Lu. 14.21. Now Christ sent for them to cure them, and that was done by taking away their sinnes and corruptions. Thy sinnes are forgiven thee, arese and walke, Math. 9.5,

Thus saith Christ, but what saith Nut? he flatly contradicts Christ, saying, the taking away of corruptions wounds the man, this is Nut's exposition: Again, the text saith not that halt & maimed shal enter into life Nut is much mistaken to think any such shall be in heaven, there is nothing lacking that makes for the happinesse of the creature, there is fulnesse of joy, Psal. 16. which could not be if halt or blind were there: well then the words of Christ are as an answer to a question that might be asked, whether is it better to enter into life wanting a member, or to be cast in­to everlasting fire having all the members? Christ answereth, it is better to enter into life although we want a member: but will it follow hence that if a child of God should lose a member here, that he must needs enter so into heaven at the re­surrection. Other absurdities he would raise from that other translation, If thy eye hand or foot cause thee to offend, pluck it out and cut them off, and cast them from thee; and if one lust cause thee to offend, cut that off, but keep still that which doth not cause thee to offend; but these are meere cavils and answered sufficiently alrea­dy. He would gather hence that some corruptions will offend, and some will not offend: to this I answered before, that all men have some corruptions, yet some men are dead in sin and past feeling, not capable to be offended, others have the life of grace in them, and if their members which are given to Christ should be acting sin, it must needs offend them; then are thy naturall members imployed in sinne against God, whether it be the eye to receive sin to the heart from objects without, or whe­ther it be any other member to act it or to increase and improve it; then either that [Page]sinfull lust must off, or else that member that acts it must off, rather then to be im­ployed in the Divels service to sin against God; and if Nut trample this under his feet as unsavoury salt, it declares plainely that he hath no relish as yet of hea­venly things.

After this Nut moves a question, saying, if this be the truth, that hands, feet and eyes be members most eminent in Churches. how comes it to passe that this truth hath been kept secret so long? but here by Nut's good leave I question whe­ther it be a truth, and it seemes he concludes it to be a truth before he hath the ad­vice of his neighbours, who would have counselled him better if he had told them that he had some carnest businesse with some of the eminent members of the body politick, they would have said to him, doe not goe to the foot, & why not to the foot? because it is not one of the eminent members of the body politick, it is very likely some child might have convinced his folly; but then it may be he will reply and say, the foot is eminent in the mysticall body, but now turne to the place and see how God hath set the members in the body, 1 Cor. 12 18. and there you shall see how he comforts weake christians, saying to them, if the foot shall say, because I am not the hand I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? vers. 15. Again, he speakes to those that are eminent, that they should not despise the weake ones, say­ing, the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee, nor the head to the feet, I have no need of you, vers. 21. Thus you see the feet are not the eminent members of the Church, but rather in the meanest place of all: now if this be so, how will Nut prove his truth (he saith) hath beene hid so long? here I will not proceed to his rotten answer, because that will fall together with his rotten foun­dation.

Againe, he saith by the way, that Christ will allow of no members of his body, Kingdome or Church, but visible Disciples: I answer with a demand of him, why they are called hidden ones, Psal. 83.3. If they be hidden, they are not visible, and what is that white stone, and that new name written, which no man knoweth save he that hath it? Revel. 2.17. If no man see the writing of Gods spirit but themselves, then sure they are not all visible Saints; and why did not the Prophet know that seven thousand that had not bowed the knee to Baal? and why did not the Apostles know the traytor that was amongst them? Is Nut so eminent to see further into spiritual things then Prophets and Apostles? and yet I proved him but even now to be as blind as a beetle in spirituall things, but to these things I shall speake more fully when I come to speake concerning baptizing Infants.

After this, he falls foule upon our Ministers, saying, that none of our Univerisity Ministers are faithfull, and that God will reveale his mind to mechanick fooles and babes, rather then to learned Ministers, and what he did to learned Paul, was but one example to shew his power; but he hath not promised to reveale his will to a­ny more wise and learned. To these things I answer, first, they that teach others must needs be first taught themselves (faith Paul to that young Minister Timothy) [Page] abide thou in the things which thou hast learned, and host beene assured of knowing of whom thou hast learned them, 2 Tim. 3.14. Christ taught that which he recei­ved of the Father, John 7.16. And the Apostles delivered that which they recei­ved of Christ, 1 Cor. 15.3. Acts 20.27. And ordinary Ministers must build their Doctrine upon the Prophets and Apostles doctri [...]e; this is the right tradition, and if it be truly observed without addition or detraction, the Gospel will remaine in its integrity; the meanes whereby Christ teachetn those that are to teach others, are two; one is by immediate revelation, the other is ordinary instruction in Schooles by the meanes and ministery of man: now (saith Amos) I was no Pro­phes nor Prophets Sonne, therefore not called the ordinary way, but he had his gifts and calling by revelation, tho Lord sent me to prophesie to Israel. Amos 7.4. But when revelation is wanting, being an extraordinary calling, then the Schooles of the Prophets remaine still, being the ordinary meanes appointed by God to teach all those that are to teach others; this manner of teaching hath beene from the be­ginning. The Patriarchs till Moses were Prophets in their Families, not onely in a generall way, but in an esprciall manner, they taught their first borne that they might succeed as Prophets after them. Againe, ther were 48. Cities, where not only the people were taught, but also Schooles were crected, that they might be taught which were to be Priests and Levites, and among the rest, one was called Kiriath Sepher, Iosh. 15.15. That is, saith Perkins, the Citie of bookes, or as we call it, the University. And Samuel a young man was sent to the Tabernacle in Shilo to be taught and trained up of [...] the Priest; and when Samuel was Judge of Israel, he crected Colledges of Frophets, and ruled them himselfe, 1 Sam. 10. And in the decayed estate of the [...] Tri [...]. Elias and Elisha set up Schools of the Pro­phets in flethel and Carmel: And the young Students were called the sons of the Prophets, 2 Kings 2.3. And Christ himselfe, besides the Sermons which hee made to the people, tramed up and taught his twesve Apostles, When they were alone, he expounded all thing a unto them, Mark 4.34. And also the seaventy when he sont them our. Luke 10. And saith Paul to Timothy; The things thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou so Jaithfull men, who shall be able also to teach others, 2 Tim. 2.2. Againe, this teaching is useful to maintaine the true interpretation of Seripture, for the right dividing of the word is a matter of great difficulty, and what ever men thinke of it, it requires the greatest learning in the world. Therefore it is necessary that teachere should first be taught, and learne the Gospell of Christ, before they teach others. Again, when men began to lay a­side the writings of the Prophets and Aposties, and gave themselves to study the writings of men, the [...]sgnorance, superstition, and idolatry came headlong into the world. Again saith Perkins on his Commentary, on Galat. page 385. There be sudry kinds of contention lawful, such as these, 1. Contention with an enemy in a just wae, 2. Contention at the Bar with an adversary in a just cause, 3. Con­tention in dispuration with an Heretick, 4. Contention in Schooles, disputation for exercise, and for try all sake.

The seeing teaching of them that are to be teachers is of such antiquity, and to so good use in the Ministery, all men should be exhorted to put to their helping hands that this thing may goe forward. Princes are to maintaine it by their bounti­fulues & authority, as they have done & do stil they must do it more, & parents must dedicate the fittest of their children to the service of God in the Ministery, and Stu­dents raust love and affect this calling above all other; of all gifts desire rather that ye may prophesie, 1 Cor. 14.1. And lastly, all men must pray that God would prosper and blesse all Schooles of learning where this kind of teaching is in use, that the ministery may be furnished at the least with the original tongues in which the Scripture was first published; for although Christ chese men into the ministery without learning, yet he furnished them in an extraordinary manner with the know­ledg of al tongues & languages, and although they were furnished with abundance of grace in their hearts before, yet he charged them to tarry at Jerusalem untill they had this gift also, Luke 24.49. And on the day of Pentecost the holy Ghost came upon them, and they began to speake with other tongues, Acts 2.1.4. But now no Minister can look to be surnished in this manner: they must goe the ordinary way now in the Schools of the Prophets to attain to so much learning as they are capa­ble to receive; this may suffice to satisfie any rationall man that our Universities are lawfull and warrantable, and that the Ministers of the Gospell ought to have the knowledge of the original tongues wherein the Scripture was first written.

Again, the calling of the Ministers ought to be manifest, both to their owne con­sciences and also to their hearers, and that for divers reasons; First they are Em­bassadors, and, as it were, the mouth of God to the people; for this cause they are to speake in the name of God, and this they cannot doe unlesse they know them­selves, Secondly, the calling of the Ministery tends much to edification, it is requi­fite that he should have the assistance of Gods spirit in a large measure, and the pro­tection of God on him and his Ministery, and also his hearers stand in need of the operation of Gods spirit in their hearts; but he that wants the assurance of his cal­ling cannot pray to God in faith for these things, neither can he apply the promises of God to himselfe. Thirdly, the knowledge of their callings breeds conscience of their duties, diligence and the feare of God. Lastly, the knowledge of their callings in the consciences of their hearers breeds a reverence in their hearts, and obedience to the ministery of the word.

Now here it may be demanded how they may know that they are called of God to the ministery of the word: I answer, they may know it if they find three things in themselves; the first is the Testimony of their consciences, that they entred not for praise, honour or lucre, but in the feare of God, with a desire to glorifie him, and to edisie the Church. Secondly, a faculty to doe that which they have a desire to doe; in this saculty are two things; 1. A knowledg of God and of his ways, 2. Aptnesse to deliver that which they know. The third thing whereby they may know their calling, is the ordination of the Church, which appeares and gives testi­mony of their will and abilitie; he that hath these things is certainly called of God: [Page]Now put the case a man wants the first of these three, and entred with an evill con­science, being carried with ambitious and covetous desires: I answer, yet his cal­ling still in respect of the Church is good and lawfull, and when he repents of his bad conscience, it is also accepted of God.

So then Ministers must have a calling or else they cannot preach, for (saith Paul) how shall they preach except they be sent. Rom. 10.14.15. No man ought to take that honour upon himselfe, but he that is called of God as Aaron was, Heb. 5.4. Vzzah was smitten with death for but touching the Arke, although his intent was but to stay it from from falling. 2 Sam. 6.7. And the men of Bethshemesh were slaine for but looking into the Arke without a calling, fifty thousand, 1 Sam. 6.19. therefore the Apostles in the front of their Epistles declare their calling. This might convince our phantastical Anabaptists, who think that any man may preach that will, without any speciall calling, and they alledge for their purpose, that the house of Stephanus addicted themselves to the ministery of the Saints, 1 Cor. 16.15. I answer, the meaning of the place is not that they called themselves but that they set themselves apart to the ministery of the Saints, in the purpose and resoluti­on of their hearts, of all gifts they desired to prophesie: yet these desires did not make them Ministers except God were pleased to furnish them with gifts, and they ordained by the Church; but till then they must give me leave to put it out of my beliefe that they were Ministers. Again, they alledge that all Christians are Kings and Priests, and the office of the Priest is to teach: I answer, we are spiritual Kings over our owne corruptions in this world; For grace reignes through righteousnesse, unto eternall life through Iesus Christ. Rom. 5.21. And in this world wee are a holy Priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Iesus Christ, 1 Pet. 2.5. But when iniquity shall have amend, and the Saints are freed from sin, Rom. 6.7. they shall inherite all things, Revel. 21.7. In stead of reigning over their corruptions, they shall reigne over all the creatures when they are again resto­red to their first perfection, as Adam did in his innocency, Gen. 1.26. The second Adam will restore them to us perfect againe at the day of judgement, being puri­fied by fire at that day. For he hath made us Kings and Priests, and we shall reigne on the earth, Revel. 5.10. And being Priests, when the sacrifice of player shall cease, being in full fruition, yet we shall offer the sacrifice of praise to God continu­ally, Heb. 13.15. I heard a great voice of much peoole in Heaven, saying, Halle­lujah, salvation and glory and honour and power unto the Lord our God, Revel 19.1. But this shall be when all teaching ceaseth, when all the [...]ares that did offend are cast into the furnace of fire, and there are none but Saints. Then they shall not need to teach every one his neighbour saying, know the Lord for they shall all know me saith the Lord, Jer. 31.34. Whether there be prophesies they shall faile, 1 Cor. 13.8. Now teaching more properly belongs to the Propheticall office then to the Priesthood; Every man ought to covet the best gifts, and desire to prophesie, 1 Cor. 12.31. & 14.1.5. [...]9. And thus Moses wished that all the Lords people were Prophets, Numb. 11.29. but neither Moses nor Paul desired that all were [Page]Priests to offer sacrifice; Vzziah went into the Temple to burne incense upon the Altar of incense, but the Priests said to the King, it pertaineth not to thee to burne Incense, and the Lord smote him with Leprosie, 2. Chro. But all might prophesie or teach, so that they keep within their bounds and limits appointed them, that is, their owne Families. Fathers may teach their children, and Masters their servants, they may command to keep the Sabbath all within their gates; but we being spiritual Priests maketh nothing to prove that all may teach publiquely. Thirdly, they alledge that the power of the keyes is given to the Church: I answer, that it is so, yet the use and administration thereof belongs to the Ministers onely in their dispensation of the word; So then none are to meddle in the Ministery but they that have a lawfull calling thereunto: Now it belongs to God alone to call men to the ministery, Paul an Apostle, not of men, nor by men, but by Iesus Christ, Gal 1.1. The Father thrusts forth labourers into the harvest. Mat. 9.38. And the Son gives pastors and teachers, Ephes. 4.11. And the holy Ghost makes over­seers, Acts 20.28. And the Churches power and authority to call and ordaine Ministers is no more but a duty or service whereby they testifie and declare and approve of them whom God hath called. Now they are called three waies; first by men and not by God, thus all false teachers are called. Secondly, when God cal­leth men by the ministery of men, thus are all ordinary Ministers of the word called. Thirdly, when men are called not by men but by Christ immediately, and so Paul and all the Apostles were called. Now this last manner of calling being extraordi­nary ceased with the Apostles; they were not only called immediately, but they were inspired immediately, and ayded with an infallible assistance of Gods spirit, of all this they had promises, Mat. 10.19.20. Luke 10.16. But now the ordina­ry way to furnish them with gifts is the Schooles of the Prophets, and if it please the Lord to sanctifie those gifts, and to give them a willing heart to doe service in the Church to the glory of God, and they have a lawfull ordination by the Church, this is the doore of the sheep-fold, and he that thus enters into the fold of Christ is a true shepherd of the sheep, neither may any preach publiquely but he that is thus called and fitted to take such a charge upon him, Acts 20.28. So then it is not for men of other callings; He that warreth in this warfare must not intangle himselfe with the affaires of this life, 2 Tim. 2.4. And (saith the Apostle) It is not rea­son that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables; but we will give our selves continually to prayer and to the ministery of the word, Acts 6.2.4. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Cor. 2.16.

But it may be they will object these words of Paul; For ye may all prophesie one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted, 1 Cor. 14.31. I answer, this is Schooles disputation. If any thinke himselfe to be a Prophet, or spirituall, that is furnished with spirituall gifts, and have a willing inclination to be a Prophet, to the prayse of God, and the good of the Church, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandements of the Lord, vers. 37. Let the Pro­phets speake, two or three, and let the other judge: the spirits of the Prophets are [Page]subject to the Prophets, vers. 29.32. But here is no encouragement for Trades­men to meddle with the Ministery: but they will object, that men of Cyprus and Cyrene, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus; And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number belee­ved and turned to the Lord, Acts 11.20.21. I answer, these were extraordinarily called and furnished immediatly from Christ, as the Apostles and those 70. Disci­ples were: but this manner of calling is now ceased, as I said before? but they will object that the Rulers of the Synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and bre­thren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on, Acts 13.15. Hence they would gather, that any of the brethren may preach. I answer, those brethren there spoken of were certaine Prophet [...] and Teachers of Barnabas, and Simon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen which had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch and Saul, or at the least some of these, as Barnabas, Saul, and Iohn that were their Ministers, ver. 1.2.5. For when that motion was made, then Paul stood up, and beckned with his hand, & said, men of Israel, ye that fear God give audience, vers. 16. So that it was not spoken to all the people, but for some of them to preach, that were sent amongst them by the Church: saith Paul, have not we power to forbeare working, (for so hath the Lord ordained) that they which preach the Gospell, should live of the Gospel, 1 Cor. 9.6.14. If the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spirituall things, their duty is also to minister un­to them in carnall things, Rom. 15.27. So much for the ministery alone.

Next, he blames both the Magistrates and Divines that are assembled, for two things. First, for going about to reduce all our distractions and Schismes into one way of worshipping God I answer, there is but one way to heaven, saith the Lord, I will gvie them one heart and one way, that they may feare me for ever, Jer. 32.39. Again, there is but one body, and one spirit, one hope, one God, one Medi­ator, one faith, one baptisme, Ephes. 4.4. Then why should not all our distractions and schismes be reduced to this one way of worshipping God, seeing all other ways misse of heaven? Again, the very end why God sent Christ, was to gather together in one all things in Christ, Ephes. 1.10. And the example of the Primitive Christi­ans, they had all one heart and soule, Acts 4.32. And Paul exhorts to be of one mind, to live in peace, and the God of Peace and love be with you, 2 Cor. 13.11. Nay further saith he, I beseech you brethren by the name of the Lord Iesus Christ, that ye speake the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joyned together in the same minde and in the same judgement, 1 Cor. 1.10. But will not they have our distractions and schismes reduced to one way of worshipping God, then saith Paul, marke them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine that ye have learned, and avoid them; for they that are such feare not the Lord Iesus Christ, Rom. 16.18. They would lead us from the ancient Prophets to walke in paths, in a way not cast up, Jer. 18.15. Let us enquire for the old way which is the good way, and we shall find rest for our soules, Jer. 6.16. A­gaine, we have all one Father, one God created us, Mal. 2.10. And Christ would [Page]have us united in one, as he and his father is one, Joh. 17.22.23.

The second thing for which he blames the collective body of our Kingdome, for supposing that the land is scourged for this cause, that so many Religions are suffe­red, affirming the contrary, that the cause of judgments, wrath and stripes is this, that all Religions are not suffered: his reason is, first saith he, the consciences of con­scious men are as deare to them as their lives, 2. Hatred will pursue them that a­gainst Gods rule will judge men for their consciences; this last reason is grounded upon a false foundation, for they do not take upon them to judge the conscience; we grant with him, that God alone is the judge of conscience: and I have shewed at large, that Magistrates do but command the outward man, as his words and a­ctions; and if they offend herein, they may punish them in their bodies and goods, so then they may command outward conformity in the worship of God, and if they be Hypocrites, it is from themselves who are not obedient to Gods command, which alone reacheth the heart: It is true, we must obey them for conscience sake, yet not from their command, but from Gods command, Titus 3.1. Rom. 13.1. Now for his reason that is built upon this, he saith, what hatred must needs pursue them that bring all religions into one, although it may be proved the true Religion; but saith Christ: If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you: If ye were of the world the world would love his owne: but because I have taken you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you, John 15.18, 19. Blessed are ye when men revile you, and say al manner of evil against you falsely for my names sake, Math. 5.11. But saith he, our consciences are as deare to us as our lives. I answ. if their conseience be dearer then Gods word, they may quickly be deluded with a blinde conscience, and may kill Gods people, and think they do God service, John 16.2. And that Strumpet in the Prov. 30.20. can wipe her mouth, and say she hath done no wickednesse; and we seldome heare a Malefactor plead guilty; then is conscience such a perfect rule, or must it rule the Word of God, or Gods word rule the conscience? But he replyes that every mans judgement is truth to himselfe, as theirs is to them. I grant it, but the word of God must rule over all. Neither doe they take upon them to frame a government for the Church, but they search the word, and endeavour to find out that forme that God himselfe hath set down in his word; and I doubt not, but ere long, if they humbly submit themselves to the Lord, and be ashamed of their owne wayes, that they have a long time walked in, that the Lord will shew them the forme of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and all the formes thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the lawes thereof, and write it in their sight, that they may keepe the whole forme thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them, Ezek 43.11. To the great praise of his name, and to the comfort of all his people.

Arguments against the Anabaptists, proving that Infants borne of Christian Pa­rents ought to be baptized; with a full answer to all their Cavills that are, or can be made against it.

FIrst, they are part of the Church of Christ: I hope if the parents be admitted, the children are not rejected before that they discover their desert to be justly cast out; well, then I take it for granted, that they are reputed members of the bo­dy of Christ; and therefore they ought to be baptized. For we are all baptized into one body, whether Iewes or Gentiles, bond or free, and have been made all to drinke into one spirit, 1 Cor. 12, 13. Then why should Infants be debatred of this benefit which is their due, and Christ at his first institution of Baptisme sent out his Apo­stles to baptize all Nations, Math. 28.19. They were commanded to baptize all Nations: hence I gather, that in the institution of baptisme, Christ made no excep­tion of nation, age, nor sexes; but the commandement is spoken in a generall man­ner, baptize all, then let us take heed lest we limit or straighten the command of Christ. And all the countrey of Judea, and all the region round about Jordan were baptized of John in Iordan, Math. 3.5, 6. But were there no children in all Judea, nor in all the region round about Jordan? or were they not baptized, when it is said all were baptized? I suppose they will grant that there were children, but they will say, they did not come to be baptized: for they that came, confessed their sins, vers. 6. I answer, if they came not then all did not come; but the Text saith, all came. Againe, when multitudes came to Christ, they brought their children, Mat. [...]9.13. And why not here as well as at other times? Againe, for this word confessing their sins, some few might doe it in the name of the rest, as our Ministers do every Sabbath day, having children in the congregation: then why may not our children be baptized as well as they?

Secondly, the Apostles practise sheweth, that they understood that infants were included in that command of Christ; for when they came to any family, if but the parents beleeved, and were baptized, they baptized all the houshold. When Lydia was converted, she was baptized and all her houshold. And the Apostle told the Iaylor, that if he beleeved on the Lord Iesus, he should be saved and all his house; and the same houre of the night he took them and washed their stripes, and wa [...] bap­tized, he and all his, Acts 16.15.32, 33. And saith Paul, I baptized also the houshold of Stephanus, 1 Cor. 1.16. Then if the Apostles understood Christ to speak in generall to all Nations, sexes, and ages without exception, why should we make question of it? saith the Apostle, marke them which walke so, as yee have us for an example, Phil. 3.15.

Thirdly, Infants were circumcised, and baptisme is come in the place of it, why then should not Infants of Christians be baptized? did Christ come to rob Infants of that benefit which they had before his comming, or did he not rather come to in­large his mercies to them? hee came to breake downe the partition wall, that all might partake of his free mercy, which is not lesse then it was before, but greater; First, in giving baptisme in stead of circumcision, which is far easier; Secondly, by [Page]admitting all Nations to partake of it, which before was to the Jewes onely; 3. In that baptisme more clearely signifies our Regeneration then Circumcision did; hence I gather, that if Christ hath given us a clearer signification then before, our children shall not have lesse, if God did not only give Parents the seales of the Co­venant, but their Infants also; will not God do so to Infants of Christians? shall we thinke that when Christ put his own name upon them, calling them Christians, that he took away part of their benefit? If God made a Covenant with the Jewes for them and their Children, and many gracious promises in it, which promises & seals also were made over to their Infants: is this, so great a benefit, taken from our In­fants? did God say to Abraham, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed also, Gen. 17.19. And the Apostle saith to their posterity, ye are the children of the Covenant which God made with our Fathers. Acts 3.25. But doth not the same Peter say also, that the promise is to you and to your children, therefore be ye bap­tized every one of you? meaning all you that the promises belong to; be ye every one baptized, both ye and your children: Then why should not Infants be bapti­zed? If but one of the Parents beleeve, the children are holy, 1 Cor. 1.14. If the rootes be holy, so are the branches, Rom. 11.16.

Fourthly, Infants may receive the seedes of grace by the Almighty power and wisedome of God, although the manner of working it in them be not known to us: for saith Christ; except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdome of heaven; And whosoever shall humble himselfe as this little child, shal be greatest in the Kingdome of heaven; And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that beleeve in me, &c. Math. Here you see by the testimony of Christ himselfe, that a little childe is converted and humbled, and beleeving in him; then who dares deny these Infants the Sacrament of bap­tisme? and saith Christ further; Take heed how you despise these little ones, for I say unto you, that in heaven they have their Angels alwayes beholding the face of my Father which is in heaven, vers. 10. Then doth Christ give such a testimony o [...] them that they are heirs of heaven by all those signes and tokens, and shall wee as much as in us lyes, bar them out of the Visible Church? by keeping them from the seale of the Covenant that should give them admittance into it, and further Christ doth straightly charge them to suffer little children to come unto him, and forbid them not, Math. 19.24. But doth Christ call them and charge them not to keep them backe from him, and dare any be so bold to withstand this charge of Christ, and as much as in them lyes, deprvive their soules of all spirituall good, what desperate soule-murderers be these? they are like unto the daughters of Jerusa­lem, who in that great famine and terrible siege, were more cruell to their suck­ing Infants then the sea monsters, or like the Estridges in the wildernesse, Lam 4.3. The pretious sons of Sion comparable to fine gold. were esteemed as earthen pit­chers, vers. 2. So these men, when Christ highly commends, and greatly delights in young Infants, these cruell parents think them not worthy of their society in divine ordinances; how doe they know but they were sanctified in the wombe as well as [Page] Ieremiah, Jer. 1.5. And how do they know, but they were filled with the holy Ghost even from their mothers wombe, aswel as John the Baptist? Luke 1.15. But was Iohn sanctified from the wombe, who was the first Minister of the Sacra­ment of baptisme? what is this, but to informe Iohn that Infants from the womb are fitted for baptisme? And again, Christ was conceived by the holy Ghost to sanctifie Infancy aswel as any other age, that none may be excepted against; then how dare these men make exceptions where Christ makes none? then may Infants be sancti­fied in the wombe, and receive the holy Ghost from the wombe; Then saith Peter, can any man forbid that these should be baptized that have received the holy Ghost aswell as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord, Acts 10.47, 48.

Fifthly, the Apostles did baptize them that did but in a generall way confesse that Christ was the Son of God, Acts 8.37, 38. And they baptized Simon Magus, & many in Samaria, when as yet the holy Ghost was fallen upon none of them, onely they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus: Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the holy Ghost, see Acts 8.15, 16.17. And the Apostles finding certaine Desciples, said unto them, have ye received the holy Ghost since ye beleeved? that is, have ye received the speciall gifts and graces of the holy Ghost since ye beleeved with a generall faith; but say they, we have not so much as heard whether there be any holy Ghost: and he said unto them, unto what were ye bapti­zed? and they said, unto Johns baptisme, Acts 19.1, 2, 3. Here you see them bap­tized that can make but a weake account of their faith; why may not Infants born of Christians be baptized much rather then these?

6. Iohn baptized them with water unto repentance: but saith he, he that commeth after me, shall baptize you with the holy Ghost, Mat. 3.11. That is, when Christ by his spirit shall make that baptisme by water effectuall by the inward working of the holy Ghost, and yet all this but one baptisme, Ephes. 4.5. And Paul speaking to those that were baptized with water, and yet were ignorant of the holy Ghost, saith, Iohn baptizeth unto repentance, and saith to the people, that they should beleeve on him that should come after him, that is, on Jesus Christ; And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Iesus, and Paul laid his hands on them, and the holy Ghost came on them, Acts 19.5.6. Now this was not another Bap­tisme, but onely the inward baptisme of the holy Ghost, as Iohn had told them be­fore, how that he which came after him should baptize those with the holy Ghost, which then only received the outward forme, Mat. 3.11. Then if this be so, why may not Infants of Christians now be baptized unto repentance aswell as these? But our Anabaptists will have Christ to be the forerunner of Iohn, to baptize them first with the holy Ghost, and then Iohn shall baptize them with water, and so Christ shall prepare the way for Iohn, and not Iohn for Christ; But the spirit is like the wind, and we cannot tell whence it commeth [...]r whither it goeth, John 3.8. That new name written, no man knoweth, but he that hath it, Revel. 2.17. Then twere a vaine thing to wai [...]e for that we shall never know in mother; so then to [Page]children borne of Christian parents we are to doe our duty in baptizing them, and let the Lord alone to take his own time to make it effectual to them; we must not tye the Lord to convert them, to any limited time of their age; some the Lord con­verts in the first houre, and some not till the last houre of their life. Again, it is said when Christ was baptized and went out of the water, then the spirit of God descen­ded upon him, and a voice from heaven came saying, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, Mat. 3.16.17. Then if we would see the work of God appear upon our children, let us first baptize them, and then we may looke for it and not before.

Seventhly, we may take notice of the two Sacraments of the Jewes compared with ours, and their agreement together: first, concerning their Passeover, it was required that they should know the thing signified by it, and that they should san­ctifie and cleanse themselves before they did receive it; and when King Hezekiah supposed that some of severall Tribes had not sufficiently prepared themselves, and yet had been at that Sacrament, he prayed for them, saying; The good Lord pardon them, and the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people, 2 Chron. And (saith Moses) concerning some that were defiled and had not cleansed themselves, therfore they could not keep the Passover on that day, Num. 9.6. Now to this Passover our Lords Supper doth well agree, which requires examina­tion and knowledge of the thing signified, and a remembrance of the death of Christ till his comming againe, 1 Cor. 11. But for the other Sacrament of the Jewes, was nothing required of them if so be they were but children of circumcised Jewes, and baptisme is come in the place of it? why then should more be required of our chil­dren then was of the children of the Jewes? let them answer if they can.

But suppose they should require some qualification in our children, why may we not answer that children are the heritage of the Lord? Psa. 127.3. then why should they be kept from this ordinance of baptisme? Again, children were in the Temple and sang Hosanna to the sonne of David to the astonishment of the Priests and Scribes, yet to the great approbation of Jesus Christ, who said to the Priests, have yee not read that cut of the monthes of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise, Mat. 21.15, 16. Psa. 8.2. But doth Christ here acknowledge an Evan­gelicall perfection to be in the praise of babes and sucklings? then who dares to keep them from the ordinance of baptisme? Again, Christ saith, of such is the King­dome of Heaven, then who dares to make question of that which Christ affirmes? and he kindly embraced them, which he would not have done if they had not beene part of his Kingdom, neither could he be deceived, because he knew their hearts, and he prayed for them, Mat. 19.13. and his prayers were alwaies heard, Luke 11.42. neither would he pray for the world, but only for those that were given him, 17.9. and he blessed them; but who are blessed of Christ but they whose sinnes are forgiven? Psa. 32.1. And Christ was displeased with those that kept them from him, which plainly shewes his tender affection to them; and he gave his Apostles a double charge, that they should neither forbid those that brought them, nor drive [Page]way, but freely give them admittance into his presence; and (saith Christ) Hee that receives not the Kingdom of Heaven as a litle child, he shal not enter therein; and (saith he) their Angels are in heaven beholding the face of my Father which is in heaven, that is, they stand ready, and hearken for a command from God to bee sent for their good, Psa. 103.20. But the angels are ministring spirits onely for the [...] of salvation, Heb. 1.14. they incampe about those that feare the Lord, Psa. [...]4.7. Then why should Infants be debarred from the Sacrament of baptisme who have so f [...]re a Title to the Kingdome of heaven. But they will say, those in the Gospell are to be understood babes in Christ or young converts: To this I answer, when they brought them to Christ, he tooke them up in his armes when he blessed them, Mat. 10.16. which she wes plainely that they were litle children. Secondly, the Disciples call them young children and litle children ver. 13. and Luke saith, they brought unto him Infants, Luke 18.15. And when Christ called a litle child unto him, Mat. 18.2. he set him in the midst of them, which argues plainely that he had him in his armes; but see Mar. 9.36. there you shall see in plaine words that he took that very child in his armes and spake unto them. Thirdly, Christ saith unto his Disciples, who were strong Christians; except ye be converted and become as litle Children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but now will those men who say this place is meant of babes in Christ or young converts, will they I say make their inference thus, that strong christians must become weak in faith? yea the Apostles must become as babes in Christ, their strong faith must become weake againe, or else they cannot enter into heaven; these men declare their folly as So­dom delareth her sin, Isa. 3.9. For doth not Christ often blame a weak faith, see Mat. and doth he not highly commend a strong faith? Mat. Rom. 4.20. Then the true meaning is this, the Disciples had beene reasoning who should be the greatest, Mat. 18.1. Mar. 9.34. then Christ tooke a young child in nature up in his armes to convince their pride and envy, as the Apostle saith, in malice be ye children, but in understanding be ye men, 1 Cor. 14.20. So here in pride and envy Christ would have them to be as children, saying, except yee bee converted from your pride and envy yee cannot be saved; that is, your pride and en­vy must be mortified & crucified wch makes you affect high places; he that would be first, the same shalbe last & servant of all, Mar. 9.35.36. So, then the Disciples were already converted from the state of nature to the state of grace, but yet they were not sufficiently converted from their pride & envy; so then you see all these testimo­nies of Christ to be concerning young children in nature, and not of young converts being growne in age; therefore infants having such approbation and testimony from the mouth of Christ, I say againe, who dares hinder them from the ordinance of baptisme?

Eightly, from the ends of baptisme, which are these. First, it is a pledge unto us in regard of our weaknesse, to assure us of all the graces and mercies of God, & es­pecially of our union with Christ, and of remission of sins, and both mortification of them, and vivification to arise from them to newnesse of life, Rom. 6.3.4. For [Page]he that is baptized into Christ, hath put on Christ, Gal. 3.27. The second end of our baptisme is to distinguish Christians from Tuckes and Pagans; for it is a signe of our Christian profession against all the enemies of Jesus Christ, as Circumcision was a token of the Covenant, saith the Lord, between me and thee, Gen. 17.11. Christians may say as David did; Thy vowes are upon me O God, I will render praise unto thee, Psal. 56.11. The third end of our baptisme, it is a meanes of our entrance or admission into the visible Church of Christ, for saith Christ; Except a man be borne of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdome of God, John 3.5. The Kingdome of God here hath a double signification answera­ble to the double qualification: sometimes it is meant the visible Church; so then ex­cept a man be baptized with water, he cannot enter into it, & it is also meant heaven it selfe, and so a man must be borne of the holy Ghost, or else he cannot enter into it. The fourth end of our baptisme, it is a meanes of our unity with the Church and people of God; For we are all baptized into one body, 1 Cor. 12.13. There is one body and one spirit, and one hope of our calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptisme, one God and Father of all, who is above and through all, and in you all, Ephes. 4.4, 5, 6. Then would you have a pledge of Gods love to you in regard of your chil­dren that they are united to Christ, and their sins forgiven and mortified, and that they are risen with Christ to the life of grace? then let them be baptized.

And would you have them distinguished from the enemies of Christ, and to have a signe and a badge of their Christian profession before the world? then let them bee baptized.

And would you have them to be admitted into the Visible Church of Christ? then let them be baptized.

And would you have them to enjoy the priviledges of the Church, and to be at peace and unity with the people of God? then let them be baptized.

But some will here demand, whether baptisme be of absolute necessity to salvati­on, or not; I answer, to make covenant with God, and to be in the said covenant, is of absolute necessity to salvation, for unlesse God be our God in Covenant, and we his servants, we cannot be saved; now baptisme is the seale of this Covenant, and therefore necessary but in part; 1. In respect of Gods command, who hath enjoy­ned us to use it, 2. In respect of our weaknesse that have need of all helper that may confirme our faith: yet baptisme is not absolutely necessary to salvation. For the want of baptisme doth not condemne the children of beleeving Parents, if they dye before baptisme, when it cannot be had; for they being holy, theirs is the king­dome of God, although they dye before baptisme; the thiefe upon the crosse, and many other holy Martyrs dyed before baptisme, that are now in the Kingdome of heaven; and those parents that slighted this ordinance, so that their children dyed without it, if they repent of that sin, it may be forgiven, and their soules may be sa­ved for all that, yet it is of very dangerous consequence to slight or contemn any or­dinance of God, it is damnable of it selfe without repentance. There was a law in Israel, that the uncircumcised man-child, whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumci­sed, [Page]that soule shalbe cut off from his people; the reason is rendred, because saith the Lord, he hath broken my Covenant, Gen. 17.14. Now it was not the Infant that despised or slighted the Covenant: but it was the parents that sinned, by slighting or despising the ordinance of God, and did procure this judgment upon their child; also the childe when he came to age refused to be circumcised; and so hee broke the Covenant of God, and therefore he was cut off from the people; and why may not this be a just judgement of God upon the Parents neglect of the ordinance of bap­tisme which is come in the place of circumcision? And if the Lord were so severe with those that were not circumcised, which was a heavy burden for Infants to beare, see Ezod. 4.26. How much more now baptisme is come in the place of it, which is far easier; But wash and be cleane, 2 Kings 5.13. Then let them take heed how they neglect this ordinance of God: for when they expect to have them answer for themselves, they may justly answer with contempt, and despise the ordi­nance of God, and so for ever be cut off from his people, and from the visible Church, and so by that meanes debard from the ordinary means of salvation. For the Lord addeth to his Church daily such as shalbe saved, Acts 3.47. Yet I grant that place is chiefly to be understood of the Invisible Church, into which who soever shall enter, being the Kingdome of grace, shall without faile come to the Kingdome of glory for ever. But except a man be borne of water, that is, bapti­zed with water he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God here, which is the visible Church, and he that is entred into it is either in the invisible or in Gods way to it, which is nothing else but heaven begun, and heaven is nothing else but grace perfe­cted. We al with open face beholding as in a glasse the glory of the Lord, & are chan­ged into the same Image from glory to glory, even by the spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. 3.18. But they will object and say, that Infants cannot be knowne to us that they are indeed the children of God, and if they be not, say they, we may not to baptize them. I answer, the same may be said of men of yeares, for we know not certain­ly whether they be the children of God or no: therefore by this argument we may not only exclude Infants from baptisme, but men of years, yea all sexes and a­ges from both Sacraments, and so admit of none at all into the Church of God. But to come a little nearer to them, do they beleeve that the patents are the children of God, and in Covenant with him? then they ought to beleeve the same of their chil­dren till they manifest by their wicked life to the contrary. For is God the God of the Parents and not the God of their seed? this is flat against the tenor of the Cove­nant; Therefore if the child have a right to the Covenant, he must needs have a right to the seale of it.

Secondly, they object that Infants have no faith, and therefore baptisme is of no use to them. I answer, they may have the seeds of faith and regeneration, although we know it not; For without faith it is unpossible to please God, Heb. 11.6. And he that beleeveth not shalbe damned, Mar. 16.16. But howsoever they have an infolded faith, because that their parents by their faith receive the promise of God both for themselves and their children, so that the faith of the Parents is also the [Page]faith of their children. And th [...] to be born of Christian parents, and in the Church of Christ, is in stead of the profession of faith, and so it wil be usefull and profitable for Infants to be baptized.

Thirdly, they will object that Infants know not what is done when they are bap­tized. I answer, no more did those Infants that were circumcised, yet it was usefull to them and their parents both to have the Covenant sealed unto them, and is it not the same also to Christian Infants? many benefits come with it, it is a meanes to admit them into the fellowship of the visible Church, and by that meanes made right members of it. For as the Father makes a purchase for himselfe and his chil­dren, and they being Infants at the time of the sealing of it, and so not able to know what was done, yet the purchase is not in vaine for them; but as those Infants grow to understanding they can rejoyce that they have an interest in their Fathers pur­chase; so will Infants baptized, when they come to understanding they will re­joyce in the great love of God that should vouchsafe to take them into Covenant, and seale so many gracious promises unto them in the Sacrament of baptisine, which will be an engagement to them all their days, to endeavour to keepe the con­ditions of it.

Fourthly, they will object that the weaknesse of the Infant is such, that the cold­nesse of the water to be dived into it, may be the death of the Infant; there­fore say they, it were better to let them grow to more strength, and to take the warmnesse of the Summer season, rather then to endanger the life of the Infant. I answer, it is true that dipping the child doth more resemble our spirituall washing, for saith the Apostle, we are buried with him by baptisme into his death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walke in newnesse of life. If we be planted in the likenesse of his death, we shalbe in the likenesse of his resurrection, Rom. 6.4.5. But there is no necessity of dipping the Infant to endanger the health and life of it in these cold countries, when as the word baptizing signifies not only such a washing that is by diving of the bo­dy into the water, but that also which is by sprinkling water upon it, and the Lord saith by the Prophet, speaking of these times under the Gospell. Then will I sprin­kle cleane water upon you, and ye shalbe cleane from all your silthinesse, Ezek. 36.25. Therefore without all question in these cold Countries sprinkling is accepted.

Again, Gods word teacheth modesty, see Deu. 23.13.25 [...].12.1 Co. 11.6.14. But what modesty were it for a man or woman grown of age to go naked into the wa­ter to be baptized, whether it be before one man or before the whole congregation? saith Paul, let all things be done decently, 1 Cor. 14.10. Again, we are taught to pray the Lord to keep us out of temptation, and we have the example of David's fearfull fall into adultery and murder by seeing a naked woman washing her selfe, 2 Sam. 11.2. Abstaine from all appearance of ev [...]l, 1 Thes. 5.22. Now if they should object that men growne in yeares that were strangers were circumcised when they were converted to the Jewes Religion, therefore it was no shame to see their nakednesse: I answer, none but males were to be circumcised, Gen. 10.17. [Page]see 35.15. and it was done by men; but females were not circumcised, neither ought they to circumcise any; but both se [...]es are to be baptized, therefore we should have regard to modesty, and to keep out of temptation.

Fifly, it may be they will object and say, if the Infant be sprinkled but on one part and not on another, then it is baptized but in one part and not in another, and therefore no true baptisme: I answer in the words of Christ, if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me; yet saith he to Peter he that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet and is cleane every whit, John 13.10. Here Peter thought it had beene better to be washed all over: but the answer of Christ is, that one part is sufficient, and circumcision was not in all parts but in one part, and yet the Infant was by the vertue of that one place circumcised all over; So Baptisme doth infuse it selfe into all parts of the man, and into all parts of his life, and into all places whithersoever hee comes; therefore that baptisine that is by sprinkling the Infant is a true baptisme, and I have already shewed the danger of neglecting this ordinance: and here I may tell you againe, that the Lord met Moses and sought to kill him because that his child was not circumcised, thereupon his wife in her rage and fury went her selfe and circumcised him which was her great sin; yet the Lord in his great mercy passed by all because the thing was done, and so the Lord let him goe, Exod. 4.24, 25, 26. then take heed of carnall reasoning against Gods ordinance. Then I conclude, that in hot Countries and for men of yeares, diving may rather be used; but in cold Countries and to Infants, sprinkling may suffice, which also is the custome of our Churches and ought not altogether to be despised, see 1 Cor. 11.16. where Paul saith, if any man seeme to be contentious, we have no such custome, neither the Chur­ches of God; and when Israel had no setled Church, but travelled from one King­dome to another, in such a case circumcision might be laid aside, and yet did not of­fend the Lord; But he remembers their kindnesse when they followed him in the wildernesse, then Israel was holinesse to the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase. Jer. 2.2, 3. Although they laid circumcision aside for a space of time; and there is much difference betweene a setled Church and the first planting of the Gospel; when the Apostles preached, it was to men of yeares, and such they baptized that were present, and they were out of the Covenant; but we are children of Christians, and some of our fathers were in covenant with God and had the seale of it, which is bap­tisme: And we are the children of the Covenant which God made with our fathers, Acts 3 23. These things well considered, let the Reader judge whether God will accept the sprinkling of Infants at their receiving of Baptisme in this cold Cli­mate.

Sixtly, they object that the baptisme of Infants is grounded upon no institution of Christ: I answer, that Christ sent his Apostles to baptize all Nations, and the A­postles practise where they came baptized whole housholds, as I shewed before; and the Apostle speaking of the whole Church, saith, we are all baptized into one body. 1 Cor. 12.13. And the Apostle speaking of Israels going through the red Sea, saith, they were all baptized in the sea, 1 Cor. 10.3.4. Now if all Nations, all [Page]Housholds, and all the Church was baptized, where will they find that Infants were excepted against to be debarred of this ordinance of God? Let them but with an upright conscience tell me what they think, whether Infants be no part of Na­tions, Housholds, or of the Church of God, and then tell mee whether baptizing of them bee not grovnded upon the institution of Christ.

7thly, they object & say, that place in Mar. 18. is not meant of infants, but of good big ones wch were able to goe & answer for themselvs: this I have answered already, but saith Mr. Calvin in his Institutions 416.7. they are called by the Evangelist Brephe and Paidia, by which words the Greekes doe signifie babes yet hanging. on the breasts, therefore this word (to come) is plainely meant, to have accesse; loe (saith he) what snares they are compelled to make which are hardned against the truth: & where they say that the Kingdom of heaven is not given to Infants, but to such as be like them, but this is no sounder thē the rest; for the very intent & mea­ning of Christ is to shew that Infants in age are not strangers to him, when he com­mandeth that Infants be suffered to have accesse unto him; nothing is plainer then that very infancy indeed is there spokē of, & where he addeth, of such is the Kingdom Heaven, in this word such, are meant very Infants themselves and such as be like them. Now to compare those actions and carriage of Christ to those infants with the signification of baptisme together, and it will appeare to have the same significa­tion: Then if Infants be brought to Christ, why is it not meet that they should be received to baptisme which is the signe of our communion & fellowship with Christ? and if the Kingdome of Heaven be theirs, why should the signe thereof bee denied them? whereby there is as it were an entry made into the Church of God, that so they may be numbred among the heirs of the heavenly Kingdome; and by our bap­tisme we testifie that Infants are contained in the Covenant of God; and doth not that which Christ did to them the same? his receiving and imbracing, laying his hands on them & praying for them, doth not all this declare that they are his, & that they are sanctified of him? for (saith he) I pray not for the world, but for those that thou hast given me out of the world, John 17.9. Then how unjust are they which drive a way those whom Christ calleth unto him, and spoile them that Christ hath gar­nished with his gifts? and if they shut out them that he willingly receiveth, what miserable cruelty is this to their litle Infants, let the Reader judge. Shal not the In­fants under the old Testament be denyed the seale which the Lord calleth a token of the Covenant betwixt him and us? Gen. 17.11. And shall Infants now be de­prived of it? shall the Jewes be assured of the salvation of their seed, and shall it be taken away from Christians? did Christ by his comming take away the testimo­ny of their Infants, and leave us none in stead of it? what an extreame slander is this to Christ who came to put an end to all darke Types and shadowes, and to ma­nifest to the sons of men the infinite goodnes of the Father more clearely then ever it was before: Christ is the light of the Gentiles, Luke 2.32. Then let us not think that Christ came to deprive our children of that which the children of the Jewes had before his comming.

Eightly, they will object and say, that it is no where found that any one Infant was ever baptized by the hand of any of the Apostles. I answer, although it be not expresly by name set downe by the Evangelists, yet it is plainly implyed, when it is said that they baptized Lydia and her houshold, and the Jaylor and all his, Acts 16.15.23. But if all this will not suffice to answer them, I reply, that by the same argument women may be debard from the other Sacrament the Lords Supper, be­cause that we read of none that received it in the Apostles times: but if we observe and consider well what the instrution requireth, by that we may know to whom the use of the Lords Supper ought to be communicated; now the same rule is to be observed in baptisme, for when we consider to what end it was ordained, we may easily see that it belongs aswel to Infants as to elder folks; so that if they be deprived of it, the will of Christ is manifestly defrauded, then lot us not beleeve their lyes, when they say that baptisme of Infants was not in the Apostles times. But try the spirits whether they be of God, 1 John 4.1. And search the Scripture daily, and see whether those things be so, Acts 17.11.

Ninthly, they will object that although Infants were Circumcised, yet it will not follow that they should be baptized, because that the signs & the Covenant are diffe­rent, and also the names of the children. For first say they, Circumcision was a fi­gure of mortification & not of baptisme; so I say too, that mortification is the thing signified by both: hence I conclude that baptisme doth rightly come in the place of Circumcision, because that they both do signifie the same thing. 2. Whereas they affirm the difference of the Covenant, they are forced to wrest the Scriptures with audacious boldnesse, and all because they would make them speake a damnable lye which is this. They say that the Covenant which God made with Abraham did not exceed this temporal life, & al the promises therein contained are but for tempo­rall things; but if this be so, hence it wil follow that the Jewes were only filled with benefits like swine fatted with huskes, and so at length did perish with eternal dam­nation: for say they, Circumcision was but a litterall signe, and the promises there­of were but carnall. To this I reply, that Hereticks may draw the same inference from baptisme, for saith the Apostle, we are circumcised in Christ in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the Circumcision of Christ, (and presently he addeth) buried with him in baptisme, Col. 2.11, 12. Thus you see that baptisme is directly in the place of Circumcision, and the fulfilling of baptisme is also the fulfilling of Circumcision, for they figure unto us both the same thing, yet I deny not but the land of Canaan with many temporall blessings, was infolded in this promise, yet not as the chiefe, which was Christ, and in him all spirituall and eternall blessings, that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Iesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the spirit through faith, Gal. 3.14. Thus those soule [...] murderers do not only seek to murder our little Infants, but also the soules of all the Israel of God under the old Testament, in saying that Covenant which God made with Abraham, was but litterall, and all the promises contained in it were but for carnall things. 3. They say that in the old Testament they were called the [Page]children of Abraham because they carne of him, and now none but the faithfull are called Abrahams children, therefore say they that carnall Infancy which was by Circumcision grafted into the fellowship of the Covenant figured the Infants of the new Testament which are regenerated by the word of God to immortall life. This is a truth, but yet it is not the whole truth; for as the Serpent beguiled Eve, so doth this subtile Sophister seek to seduce those little ones that beleeve in Christ. 1. Here you see that he excludes all our Infants from having any right in Christ, because saith he, the circumcising of Infants, and receiving them, or ingrafting them into the fellowship of the Covenant, signified those under the new Testament, wch are rege­nerated by the Word, which no Infant can be; yet I have proved before that they may have the seeds of faith & regeneration wrought in them by the spirit of God, although the manner how it is wrought in them be hidden from us: then why should he exclude these Infants? Again, he calls them all carnall Infants that were circum­cised before that they manifest themselves so to be; not considering that God is a­ble to sanctifie them, and to give them the gifts of the holy Ghost from their mo­thers wombe, as I have shewed in Ieremiah & Iohn the Baptist. Again, Abraham was called the Father of the faithfull, aswell to Jewes as Christians; for when a company of wicked wretches called themselves the children of Abraham; saith Christ, if ye were the children of Abraham, you would do the workes of Abraham; Ye are of your father the Divell, and the lusts of your father ye will doe, John 8.39.44. And Abraham rejoyced to see my day, and ye goe about to kill me, this did not Abraham, vers. 56.40. Againe, all the faithfull, whether Iewes or Gentiles, are all joynt heirs with Abraham of the same promises, and shall come from the East and West, and sit downe with him in the Kingdome of heaven, Mat. 8.11. so then by Circumcision the Jewes were taught that God was the author of their salvation, & by this knowledge their minds were raised to the hope of eternal life, they were cal­led Gods peculiar treasure, and his purchased people, and what can be wanting to them when God hath taken charge of them. And Abraham had faith before he re­ceived the seale of the righteousnesse of faith, that he should be the father of all the faithfull, both of circumcision and uncircumcision, Rom. 4.10.11. Yet God was pleased particularly to imbrace the seed of Abraham with his mercie, and that the same mercy might be the more witnessed to them, he gave them the seal of circum­cision so like unto this is the Christian Church when the parēts receive the seal of the covenant, so must the children also; For if the root be holy, so are the branches, Ro. 11.16. Yea, if but one of the parents beleeve, the children are holy, 1 Cor. 7.14. And are so accounted of God although they be Infants, and not yet capable to be converted by the word of God preached unto them, yet they may have a work up­on them by the holy Ghost, which makes them to be in the Covenant, and to have right to the seale of it which is baptisme.

Tenthly, they object other differences to small purpose betweene baptisme and circumcision; they say that baptisme hath relation to the first day of our spirituall battell, but circumcision to the eighth day when mortification is ended, and by & [Page]by they fall soule upon themselves and break the neck of their owne argument, saying that circumcision is a signe of the flesh to be mortified, and baptisme they call buriall, into which none can be put till they be already dead, so that it is enough and sufficient to confute them in naming their owne contradictions; but let them know that [...]ortification is a continued action all the dayes of our life, and the more we [...]ease [...]n knowledge, the more we increase in sorrow, Eccle. 1.18. For wee [...]ayly find more sin, to be mortified, and circumcision was not deferred till the [...] th day because that should be the last day of mortification; but God in great mercy to the infant did forbeare the first seven dayes because they are held to be most dan­gerous, as also that it may have a litle more strength to undergoe so hard a service and also it was to typifie our Saviours resurrection. Another filly cavill they would make, that if we thus compare baptisme with circumcision, then say they, none but males ought to be baptized, and yet (say they) you baptize females: I answer, circumcision being in the generative part, it is all one as if both were circumcised, so that if but one of the parents were in the Covenant, as I said concerning baptisme, the children are holy, 1 Cor. 7.14. Thus then we see the agreement between cir­cumcision and baptisme in the inward mystery and in the promises; in the use and in the efficacy of them: Then why may not infants now be baptized aswell as they were circumcised, it being far easier to them to beare it?

11thly, they object that infants understand not the thing there signified, wch is their spirituall regeneration, this (say they) cannot be in their tender infancy, therefore they are to be taken for no other then the children of Adam till they bee growne to age meet for a second birth: I answer, if they have the seeds of faith and regeneration wrought in truth by the spirit of God in their soules, although the knowledge of it be hidden both from themselves and from us; it is too weake an ar­gument to deprive them of the ordinance of baptisme; for sometimes the strongest Christian may thinke himselfe a cast-away, and that he for the present hath not one dram of true saving grace as yet wrought in him, but must we judge him to be so, because he himselfe for the present cannot see it to be otherwise? so then must wee judge all Infants to be in old Adam, because they themselves are not capable to understand their own condition? If they be in old Adam, they are in the state of death and damnation. And if they should then dye, they must needs be damned; for in Adam all dye, 1 Cor. 15.22. But will these men leave them in that condition? what is this, but as I said before, to esteem the precious sons of Sion comparable to fine gold, to be but earthen pitchers? These are more cruell then sea monsters to their young ones, like the Estridges in the wildernesse, Lam. 4.2.3. She is hard­ned against her young ones, as though they were not hers, because God hath deprived her of wisedome, and hath not imparted unto her understanding, Job 39.16.17. Christ calleth them unto him, because he is life, and that they might have life in them, and these people drive them from him, and adjudge them to death. Neither will they bring them to Christ that they may have life; they will not use the means to have them ingrafted into Christ, that so they may be delivered from the bondage [Page]of death; they deprive them of all salvation, in debarring them from the ordinance of baptisme. But they will demand how Infants can be regenerate, which have nei­ther knowledge of good nor evil. I answer, God is able to work the seeds of grace in them, although we see it not, and in this thing we must beleeve more then we see, or else we shal condemn all those infants that die before they be capable of knowledge, and so David shall go to hell to his departed Infant; for saith he, I shall goe to him, 2 Sam. 12.23. And how can it be avoyded? For we are all shapen in iniquity, and in sin we were conceived, Psa. 51.5. We are all by nature children of wrath, then those Infants that dye, must be freed from the wrath of God, and from the guilt of original sin, or els they cānot be saved. But here is our comfort, God can sanctifie Ie­remiah in the womb, & he can give Iohn the Baptist the gifts of the holy Ghost from the womb, and why not our Infants aswel as they? Christ was conceived by the ho­ly Ghost in the wombe, that he might sanctifie his elect in every age, aswell at the first hour of their life as at the last, if he please: so then elect children shall be made holy and regenerate before they depart this life. And although the word preached be the immortall seed to regenerate men of years, it is not so to Infants, neither hath the Lord so tyed himselfe only to that means, but he may use some other in case that cannot be had, as among Turkes and Pagans, nor received by Infants; yet we must not limit the holy one of Israel, nor ty him to ordinary means in extraordinary cases.

12. But they object that baptisme is a Sacrament of repentance and of faith wch cannot be in Infants, and we ought to beware lest they being admitted to the com­munion of baptisme, the signification of it be made voyd. I answer, it is evident by Scripture that Circumcision was a signe of repentance; yet Paul calls it the seale of the righteousnesse of faith, Rom. 4.11. So then if Infants among the Jewes had faith to seale, why may not Infants of Christians have the like; I mean the seeds of faith; therefore baptisme is not void and of no effect to them. Again, if circumcision was commanded, baptisme is implyed, that is, come in the place thereof, and signi­fies the same thing, and instituted by the same authority. Then let them take heed how they rage against the ordinance of God; and although Infants that were cir­cumcised had no actuall repentance, yet they were truely Circumcised into the mortification of their corrup and defiled nature, in which mortifi­cation they should afterwards exercise themselves when they were grown to riper age; and saith Iohn, I baptize you with water unto repentance, Mat. 3.11. And o­thers that were baptized had not received the holy Ghost, for as yet he was faln up­on none of them, only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the holy Ghost, Acts 8.16.17. So then they were baptized into repentance and faith to come, for as yet these graces be not found actually in them, yet by the secret working of the spirit of God, the seede of both lies hid in them. Paul calls this the w [...]shing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy Ghost, Titus 3.5. But still they stand upon an expres word of God to command it. I answer, Circumcision had a command, and baptisme is come in the place of it; then let them shew how and when that command was repeated; for al­though [Page]the signe be changed, the command remaines still, as it was to Circumcision, so it is now to baptisme. Again, if they be elected and have this signe of regenerati­on, and shall depart before they be capable to understand the mystery of it, they shal be renewed by the power of the holy Ghost unconceivable to us, before they goe hence & be no more seen: but if they grow up to age, whereby they may be taught the truth of baptisme, they wilbe the more engaged to endeavour reformation of their lives, having the token or signe of regeneration given them from their Infancy; saith Paul, we are buried together with Christ by baptisme, Rom. 6.4. If this be done by baptisme, then it was no [...] done before; and saith he again, as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ Gal. 3.27. That they might hence­forth live unto Christ; and saith Peter, baptisme is the answer of a good consci­ence towards God by the resurrection of Iesus Christ, 1 Pet. 3.21.

But they often erre in this, that they will have the the thing it selfe alwaies in or­der of time before the signe; But if this were so, then Infants could not have beene circumcised, for they could not manifest to others their regeneration being Infants, but circumcision was to them the witnesse of good conscience, the seeds of grace be­ing there but the declaration and manifestation, was applyed to the time to come; so also baptisme is to confirme and establish the Covenant made by the Lord with us, and we then receive the seale thereof; and when wee actually believe being of age, then we set to our seale that God is true, John 3.33.

13. They object that baptisme is given unto forgivenes of sins, but this we grant as wel as they, for we are al born sinners, & stand in need of pardon from the womb, and also of she signe of it to assure us, as soon as it may be had, seeing the Lord doth not cut off Infants from the hope of mercy, why should we deprive them of the signe which is far inferiour to the thing it selfe? so then Infants have remission of sins gi­ven them, therefore they ought not to have the signe taken from them. They say a­gain, that Christ cleanseth his Church by the washing of water by the word, Eph. 5.26. And this also we grant aswell as they, for it quite overthrowes their errour. For if the Lord will have that washing whereby hee cleanseth his Church to be te­stified by baptisme, why then should we do so much wrong to Infants as to debar them from that which is given in generall to all the members of the Church; And they also are heirs aswell as others to the Kingdome of heaven, Mat. And baptisme is an ingrafting into the body of Christ; then Infants who are recko­ned among the members, ought also to be baptized, lest we be found guilty of this horrible sin, to pluck away by violence any member from the body of Christ.

14. They object that the Apostles baptized none but those that did before make profession of faith and repentance For they said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, men and brethren what shall we doe? Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you, Acts 2.37.38. And wh [...]n the Ennuch required to be baptized, Philip answered, if thou beleevest with all thy heart thou mayest Acts 3.37. Hence they conclude that baptisme is to be granted to none but toose that have saith and repentance given before. I answ. The first of these places doth not [Page]mention saith at all, so that it seems by that place repentance alone may suffice, and the other place doth not mention repentance, so that it seems from that place, that faith alone may suffice, so that of necessity the two places must be joyned together; but if you goe to joyne Scriptures together, we will joyne with you, and lay some other Scriptures to them both, which will soone split your argument; for these to whom Peter and Philip spake, were men of yeares, and sufficient to have the pra­ctise of repentance, and to conceive faith. Now such as these, we grant, ought not to be baptized till we conceive of their conversion and faith so far as it may be concei­ved by the judgment of men, but the case of Infants is to be accounted otherwise, as for example; When any stranger joyned himselfe in communion with the reli­gion of Israel, they taught them first the Covenant of the Lord, & instructed them in his law before that he was marked with Circumcision, because that he was by birth a stranger to the people of Israel, with whom the Covenant was made, and with whom Circumcision was established. The Lord when he adopted Abraham to him­selfe, doth not begin at Circumcision, and hide from him what he meant by that signe, but first he declareth what Covenant he intendeth to make with him, & then after faith is given to apply the promises, then he maketh him partaker of the Sacra­ment of Circumcision; but why must Abraham first have faith, and then receive this Sacrament; and yet his son Isaac shalbe partaker of it at eight dayes old? I an­swer, because that he was a man grown in years, and before a stranger: therefore it was meet that he should first learn the conditions of the Covenant, our Isaac an In­fant begotten of him, is in Covenant by right of Inheritance according to the forme of the promise, which was not only to be [...]is God, but the God of his seed after him, Gen. 17.19. So that his son had right to it from the wombe, although he under­stood not the conditions thereof being an Infant, neither ought such Infants to be debard from the signe, for this that they cannot swear to the form of the Covenant. So then if heathens which are grown in age shall embrace the faith of Christ, they must not bee marked with baptisme till they doe evidently declare their faith in Christ, and repentance for their sins, which only can open to them an entrance into fellowship of the Covenant: but Infants of Christians as they are received of God into the inheritance of the Covenant as soon as they are borne, ought to be received to baptisme; but if a Turk or a heathen shall offer himselfe to baptisme, he must not be rashly baptized of us till after confession, whereby he may so satisfie the Church.

15thly, they object from the institution of baptisme, that Christ sending out his Apostles to all Nations, commanded them first to teach and then baptize them, Mat. 28.19. And so in the last of Mark it is said, he that beleeveth and is bapti­zed, shalbe saved; nence they conclude, saying, that teaching must goe before bap­tis [...]ne by the expresse command of Christ to his Apostles, and (say they) hee doth assigne baptisine to be a state after faith; and (say they) Christ shewed us an exam­ple of himselfe, which would not be baptized till the thirtieth yeare of his life: I answer from the first of these, that the Apostles after they have baptized any, then they are charged to teach them to observe all things whatsoever Christ commanded [Page]them, Mat. 28.19.20. Hence I gather frō their own exposition, thus, that although they do as Christ did who lived 30 years before that he was baptized, & al that time have bin taught to reform their lives, yet by their own expositiō they must not ob­serve & do what Christ here commands them till they be baptized, because observa­tion & reformation are set downe after baptisme in this place. Then seeing they fall thus foule upon their own exposition, that they must not observe & practise till they be baptized, in my judgmēt it were good to have thē baptized betime, that they may begin reformation betime, that they may not only be taught 20 or 30 years, but they may observe and practise what they have been taught. But here all may see what unprofitable hearers they make of their children, who shall heare before baptisme, because that teaching is set downe first, but they must not observe and practise till after baptisme because that is set down last, neither will they baptize them that they may observe and practise. Here I may repeat againe what I said before, that the Apostles were sent amongst heathens that are out of the Covenant, but we are Chri­stians in the Covenant; and they were men of age, but ours are Infants not capable of teaching. But do they stand so much upon this, that teaching is set down first, al­though observation be set down after baptismein the same place? then let us to this joyn another, Io. 3.5. see Acts 22.16. where Christ doth not say except ye be born of the spirit first, and then of water afterwards, ye cannot enter into the Kingdome of heaven; but contrary he saith, except ye be borne of water, and then of the spirit, shewing that baptisme must give them admittance into the visible Church of God here, and they must be borne of the spirit, that is, regenerated, before that they can come into God heavenly Kingdom, and we know that many were baptized before that they had the gifts and graces of the holy Ghost given them, Acts 8.16.17. Again, they being sent to teach those that were capable of teaching, & then to baptize them; but will it follow hence that Infants must be first taught and then baptized? because Abraham was ninety and nine yeares old when he was circumcised, must Isaac be so too? a pretty conclusion. But I have answered it already, and proved it too weak an argument to debar Infants born of Christians from the seale of bap­tisme: but further let me cleare this by a similitude, the Apostle saith, this we com­mand you, that if any will not worke, neither should they eat, 2 Thes. 3.10. will they hence conclude that the Apostle will suffer none to eat but such as worke? then what shall our aged people and Infants doe, and our sick and weak and lame peo­ple doe? shall we starve them all because they cannot worke? this is our Anabap­tists divinity, who make that a generall rule for all, which is spoken only of some; for (say they) because men of yeares must be instructed before they be baptized, therefore Infants must be so too, and because men growne & in health and strength must worke or else they must not eat, therefore infants must doe so too, or else they must not eat. Now for the example of Christ, who they say was not baptized till he was 30 years of age, I hope they will not say that he wanted fitnesse till he was of that age to be baptized, for when be was but twelve yeares old he disputed with the Doctors in the Teme, pl and all that heard him were astonished at his under­standing [Page]and answers, Luke Then the reason why Christ was not baptized till the middle of mans age or till he was 30 years of age, was, because he was minded then with his Doctrine to institute baptisme; and that he might procure the greater authority to his institution, he sanctified it with his owne body, who was baptized to sanctifie that ordinance unto us, and he sent out his Apostles to baptize all Nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Ghost, Mat. 28. Though Iesus himselfe baptized not, meaning with water, because (saith Iohn the Baptist) he that commeth after me shall baptize you with the holy Ghost, Mat 3.11. Thus Christ did then to many, as also now when he make to that or­dinance effectuall to the cleansing of their foules from sin; but if they stand so much upon the thirtieth yeare, why then did they suffer Gervetus one of their great Ma­sters to begin at the age of one and twenty years to boast of himselfe to be a prophet? and they suffered him to take the place of a teacher before that he had been a mem­ber of their Church.

16, they object, that if Infants be baptized, they may aswell receive the Lords Supper: I answer, no, that will not follow, for the Scriptures shew us a large difference betweene those two; baptisme is a signe of admission whereby they are numbred a­mong the people of God; & it is a signe of spirituall regeneration, whereby wee are born again the children of God, whereas on the other side the Lords Supper is given to men growne in years, and therefore able to beare stronger meat; and whereas the Scripture never saith that any infants born of christian parents are unfit for bap­tisme, yet none must receive the Lords Supper but such as discerne the body and blood of the Lord, and are able to examine their owne conscience, and able to de­clare the Lords death; the Apostle exhorteth that every man should prove and exa­mine himselfe and then eat of that bread and drinke of that cup; therefore examina­tion must go before, which were a vaine thing to looke for from infants: againe, he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himselfe, not discerning the Lords body. But if none can partake worthily but they that can dis­cerne the Lords body, why then should we give to our tender children poyson in stead of lively food? Again, the commandement is, that ye shall doe it in remem­brance of me, and that other sentence, as often as ye eat of this bread and drinke of this cup, ye doe shew the Lords death till he come: but what remembrance can bee required in our infants of the thing which they never attained with understanding? what preaching of the crosse of Christ can they comprehend in their mind? none of these things are prescribed nor required in baptisme, therefore between these two signes there is great difference, and it was so between circumcision and the passeo­ver in the old Testament; for circumcision (which is well knowne to answer our baptisme) was appointed for infants, but the passeover which our Lords Supper suc­ceeded did not receive all manner of guests without difference, but it was rightly ea­ten by them only that were of age, & did enquire into the signification of it. These things methinks might satisfie these men if they were not wilfully blinded and ob­stinately bent to goe on in their errour.

Now it may be demanded whether the children of Turkes of Jewes may lawful­ly be baptized. I answer, no, because their parents are out of the Covenant, so that the case is not the same as with Infants borne of Christans, with whom God hath made a Covenant, and with their seed who are children of the Covenant. There­fore as we our selves have right to the seale of this covenant, so have our Infants as soone as they are borne, although the Lord in mercy did forbeare eight dayes to the Jewes, because they were then unable to beare it.

2. It may be demanded whether children of professed Papists may be baptized. I answer, their parents are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and holy Ghost; and though the Papacy be not the Church of God, yet the true Church of God is hidden amongst them, and for this cause baptisme remaines still in the Church of Rome, and their children may be baptized, yet with these cautions. First, that their parents desire this baptisme. 2. That there be Churches which promise the educa­cation of the child in the true saith.

Thirdly, it may be demanded whether the children of prophane and wicked pa­rents who hold the true religion in their judgement, but deny it in their lives, may the children of such be baptized? I answ. They may for all that: for without excep­tion they that were of circumcised lewes were circumcised, Gen. 12.23. Although many were wicked, yet al were circumcised. Again, although our immediate parents were wicked, yet it may be some of our predecessors were holy, and if the roote bee holy so are the branches, Rom. 11.16. This also may answer a question whether the children of fornication may be baptized. I answ. They may, if some besides their parents will answer for their good education: neither is there any reason that the sins of the parents should hinder the child of baptisme being a thing pertaining to life eternall.

Fourthly, It may be demanded whether children of excommunicate parents may be baptized. I answ. as before, that if some will answer for their good education, they may; for the parents although excommunicated, yet still they remain for mem­bers of the Church, having still a right and title to the Kingdome of heaven, & are not absolutely cast out of it, but with this condition, if they do not repent; although in part they are in respect of their communion or use of their liberty, yet not in re­spect of their right and title; but as a free man of a corporation being imprisoned, remains a free man still, although for the time he hath no use of his liberty.

5. It may be demanded whether the intention of him that baptizeth be necessary; I answer, if the word of institution come to the element, it is a Sacrament, whatsoe­ver the Ministers intention be. Paul rejoyced that Christ was preached, although many preached of envy & contention, with no desire of any good to their hearers, Phil. 1.16. Then the intention of the mind is not necessary, if so be the institution be ob­served. And the efficacy of the Sacrament depends not on the will of man, but on the will of God.

6. It may be demanded what is the duty of the Minister in baptizing. I answ. he stands in the room of God, & what he doth according to the institution, is as much [Page]as if God himself had done it with his own hand, and therefore when the Mi­nister doth apply water to the body which is the signe and pledge of grace, he doth withall apply the promise of remission and life everlasting to the party baptized, & that is as much as if God should say to the party baptized, calling him by his name, I freely give unto thee the pardon of all thy sins, and life e­verlasting, upon condition that thou keepe the order set downe in baptisme, which is to turne unto me, and to beleeve in Christ; then here is ground for a speciall saith. First, God for his part by hand of the Minister applyes the promise of mercy to every particular beleever; then againe, every particular beleever is by a speciall faith to receive the promise. For when God shall speake unto us particularly, and as it were assure us of his mercies with his owne hand and seale; we must needs be moved in our obedience to his will, and our hearts must be affected with it.

7. It may be demanded whether baptisme administred by wicked men or Hereticks or such as cannot preach, be lawfull and true baptisme. I answer, if such a one be chosen and put in the place of a true Pastor, and keepe the true forme of baptizing according to the Institution in the name of the Father, Son, and holy Ghost, it is true baptisme: but if they baptize in the name of any o­ther, it is unlawfull; for were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thanke God I baptized none of you, lest any should say that I baptized in my owne name, 1 Cor. 1.13.14, 15. These things considered, although they were igno­rant and could not preach, or wicked Hereticks that did administer it, yet their baptisme was lawfull. For the Pharisees and Doctors of the Jewes were many of them not of the Tribe of Levi, but of some other Tribes, and many of them were Hereticks and Apostates, yet they were in the place of good Pa­stors, and sate in Moses Chaire, and taught some of Moses doctrine; there­fore saith Christ, heare them.

8. It may be demanded by the Anabaptists who are not pleased with our baptisme, whether those that we have baptized, may not be baptized againe by them. Such Katabaptists were in Calvin's time, that did furiously cal up­on them to be baptized againe. To this I answer, that they may not be bapti­zed againe, being once baptized; the efficacy of baptisme extends it selfe to the whole life of man, and we are but once new borne, and once ingrafted into Christ, and the gift of regeneration is never extinguished; if a man could be borne againe, he should need to be baptised againe, because that baptisme is the Sacrament of Incision or ingrafting. Now if any should say that a belee­ver that is ingrafted into Christ, should by his own sins and wickednesse make himselfe a dead member, I should tell that man, it is unpossible. For the spiri­tuall Temple is made of living stones, 1 Pet. 2.5. And they are passed from death to life. John 5.24. And beleevers are of the houe and flesh of Christ that can never dye more, Ephesians 5.30.

[Page] 9. It may be demanded what seale or marke is set on Gods people by this [...]acrament of baptisme? I answer, there is a two-fold seale, one outward, and [...]e other inward. The outward and visible marke or seale is to distinguish Christians from Turkes, Jewes, and Infidels; as the blood of the Pascall Lamb did betweene the Israelites and the Egyptians. Now the inward or invisible marke or seale that is set upon us in baptisme, being effectuall, is the know­ledge of our election; this baptisme being effectuall, shewes unto us that the foundation of God remaineth sure, having this seale, the Lord knoweth who are his, 2 Tim. 2.19. By vertue of this, saith Christ, I know my sheepe, John 10. And by this the elect of all nations are marked, Rev. 7.9. The second in­ward seale is the gift of regeneration, which is nothing else but the imprinting of the image of God in the soules of men, and by this beleevers are sealed, Epes. 1.13. 2 Cor. 1.22. Now baptisme is a meanes to see this marke in us, because it is the laver of regeneration: for as the water washeth away the filth of the body, so the thing signified which is the blood of Christ, doth wash away the sin of our soules.

Here I thought to have ended this discourse concerning baptisme, being alrea­dy, I suppose, sufficient to satisfie the Reader; but I looking about me, saw one Servetus a mighty Anabaptist, the glory of their company, he came matching with his twenty arguments, and he set upon me and forced me to give him Battell. First (saith he) the signes of Christ are perfect, therefore (saith he) they that receive them must bee perfect, or at least able to conceive perfection: But here this man is a litle too hasty to require perfection the first day; saith Paul, not as though I were already perfect, but I follow after and presse toward the marke, Phil. 3.12, 13, 14. Baptisme extendeth it selfe throughout all our life till death, therefore we must grow unto perfection in degrees. Second­ly, he saith, the signes of Christ were ordained for remembrance, that every man should remember that he was buried together with Christ, but here the man hath left his baptisme and is fled to the Lords Supper, see 1 Cor. 11.24.25. Thirdly, he saith, all they abide in death which believe not the Sonne of God, and the wrath of God abideth on them, and therefore infants which cannot believe, lie in their damnation: I answer, Christ only threatneth the despisers of the Gospell, which proudly and stubbornly refuse the grace that is offered them; but what is this concerning infants? saith Christ, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these litle ones should perish, Mat. 18.14. But how can this be if they he still in damnation under the wrath of God? no, the spirit of God can worke the seeds of grace in them although wee can­not conceive the maner how it is done. 4. he objecteth that we are first in our natural condition. therefore we must tarry for baptisme which is spiritual: It i [...] true, we are shapen in iniquity, & conceived in sin, Ps. 51. And by nature children of wrath, Ephes. 2.3. But by his good leave, God is able to remedy this even [Page]in Infancy, as I shewed in Ieremiah & Iohn the Baptist. Fiftly, then he bring­eth an allegory, saying, David tooke neither blind nor lame, but strong soul­diers with him into the Tower of Sion, 2 Sam. 5.8. But here I shall split his allegory with a parable of Christ, wherein God calleth to his heavenly ban­quet both the blind and the lame, Luke 14.21. Sixtly, then he bringeth ano­ther allegory, saying, that the Apostles were fishers of men, Mat. 4.19. And lesus said unto Simon, henceforth thou shalt catch men, and not litle children, Luke 5.10. To this I reply, and demand what that saying of Christ meaneth, that into the net of the Gospell are gathered all kind of fishes, Mat. 13.47. Neither were the Apostles when they were sent to preach forbidden to baptize Infants, and when the Evangelists name them Anthropous, men, which word comprehends all mankind without exception; why then should they except against Infants, when as God makes no exceptions against any Age, Sex, or Nation? Seventhly, he saith, sith spirituall things agree with spi­rituall, therefore Infants, which are not spirituall, are not meet for baptisme: I answer, here Paul speakes of Doctrine, where the Corinthians were very quick to apprehend carnall things, and blames them to be very dull to conceive spirituall things, 1 Cor. 2.13.14. But what is this to infants, which are not required to heare points of Doctrine, is any thing here to hinder them from baptisme? He replies, that if they be new men, they must be fed with spiritu­all food: I answer, the signe of Adoption may suffice till they be growne of age and able to beare stronger meat. But he objecteth, that Christ calleth all his to the holy supper: I answer, he admitteth none but them that are alrea­dy prepared to celeb [...]te the remembrance of his death; this infants cannot doe, yet Christ doth vouchsafe to imbrace them, which argues they are not strangers, although Christ hath stronger meat for them, yea many things hee hath to say to them which they cannot beare now, John 16.12. Eighthly, hee saith, it is monstrous that a man after he is borne should not eat: I answer, the soule may be fed although they doe not eat outwardly of the supper; Christ is meat to infants though they abstaine from the signe, which is the supper; but of baptisme the case is otherwise, for by it alone the gate into the Church is o­pened to them. Ninthly, he saith, a good steward distributeth meat to his houshold in due time: I grant it, but then withal let him prove that baptisme is given to infants out of due time. Tenthly, he bringeth the commandement of Christ, to make haste into the harvest, for the fields are already white, John 4.35. I answer, from this place Christ would have his Apostles to take notice of the present fruit and good successe of their labours, that they may the more cheerefully prepare themselves to teach because they were fitted to heare; but I say againe, what doth this concerne Infants to keep them from baptisme?

11th reason, he saith, in the first Church Christians and disciples were all one: It is true, those that were converted and baptized were both Disciples [Page]and Christians; but what of this? will he gather hence, that infants borne of Christians are strangers and out of the Covenant? let him prove it.

12. He alledgeth that all Christians are brethren, but infants are out of this number so long as we debar them from the supper: I answer, Infants are heirs of the Kingdome of Heaven; for of such is the Kingdome of Heaven, Mat. And they are members of Christ, 1 Cor. 12.13. And the im­bracing of Christ was a true token of their adoption, Mat. 19.15. Thus in­fants are joyned in common with full growne men; therefore although they abstaine from the supper for a time, it hinders not, but that they pertaine to the body of the Church.

13. He addeth that none is made our brother, but by the spirit of adoption which is given only by the hearing of faith; this objection hath been often an­swered, that it is spoken of men of yeares which is not required in Infants: this hearing of faith, but is this sufficient to prove that God neither will, nor can bring home any of his elect, but by the ordinary meanes of the Word prea­ched? shall we shut all the world out of heaven, because they have not this or­dinary meanes of salvation as we have? why then shall we limit the holy one of Israel, as though he were not able to graft Infants into Christ by his spirit, because the manner how is hidden from us.

14. Hee objecteth that Gornelius was baptized after hee had received the holy Ghost, Acts 10. But what of this, because one was so, must all be so? I have shewed the contrary by many examples, read Acts The holy Ghost was faln upon none of them; Yet they were baptized in the name of the Lord Iesus.

15. Here this blasphemer saith, by regeneration we are made Gods, and that they be Gods to whom the word of God is spoken; This, saith he, accor­deth not to children that be Infants. All that I will say at this time to this damnable errour, is this, to shew their hellish inference from some places where Kings and Magistrates by reason of their offices are called Gods, being his Vice-gerents or Deputies upon earth. Hence they would gather that all the saithfull are deified that they may the better banish Infants out of the Church.

16. He saith that Infants cannot be accounted new men, because they have not been begotten by the word. This I have often answered to belong to men of yeares, yet Gods spirit can worke without the ordinary meanes.

17. Here he brings another allegory, saying, in the Law a sheep & a goate were not offered in sacrifice as soone as they came out of the wombe. Here I might answer, that the first born of man and beast was consecrated to the Lord as soon as it came out of the wombe, Exod. 13.2.

18. He affirmeth that none can come to Christ but they that have beene be­fore prepared of Iohn. I answer, had those Infants beene with Iohn whom Christ embraced and blessed? away with such false principles.

[Page] 19. Here he calleth for Patrons, such as Trismegistus and the Sibylls, to prove that holy washing pertaine to none but them that are grown of age: here this man discovers his honourable esteeme of the baptisme of Christ, who will reduce it to the Ceremonies of the Gentiles, that it may be no otherwise administred then pleaseth Trismegistus, but we more esteem the authority of God, whom it hath pleased to make Infants holy to himselfe, and to admit them with that holy signe, the force whereof they did not yet understand: neither do we count it lawfull to borrow any thing out of the cleansings of the Gentiles, that may change in our baptisme the everlasting & inviolable law of God which he hath established concerning circumcision.

20. Last of all he maketh this argument, that if it be lawfull to baptize In­fants without understanding, that baptisme like an interlude may be in sport administred of boyes when they play. But of this matter let him quarrell with God, by whose commandement Circumcision was common to Infants, be­fore that they had attained to understanding: was it therefore a thing to bee played with, or subject to the follies of Children, that they might overthrow that holy ordinance of God? but it is no marvaile that those reprobate spirits although they were vexed with frenzie, do thrust in all the grossest absurdities for defence of their errors, because God doth with such giddinesse justly take vengeance of their pride and stubbornnesse. So much for the 20. arguments of Servetus, and his brethren the Anabaptists.

One objection I find since which is this, that Christ and his Apostles did en­joyne all that they baptized to make profession that they had justifying faith, although they had it not. I an. Christ said, some of you beleeve not, for Iesus knew who they were that beleeved not, John 6.64.66. And the Apostles say thēselves that the holy Ghost was faln upon none of those in Samaria, yet they were baptized in the name of the Lord Iesus, Acts 8.16. Then shall we think that Christ and his Apostles would enjoyne them to make profession of a lye, to say they have justifying faith when they had it not? or did Christ and his Apostles engage themselves to beleeve that the baptized had justifying faith, when they knew the contrary, and so beleeve a lye against their owne consci­ence? But they display their folly and reply, saying, the knowledge of Christ was above the rule, and therefore he might cause them to make profession of a justifying faith, though he knew they had it not; but what blasphemy is this to make Christ the author of their dissembling? and not only so, but a desem­bler himselfe, to professe that they had justifying faith, which, say our Anabap­tists, was the cause of baptisme, when he knew they had it not? Hence we may gather that knowledge of sin gives free toleration of sinne; for Chrst knew they had no justifying faith, yet he might baptize them. But this is no rule, say our Anabaptists, for other Ministers, because they do not know that they have no justifying saith, as Christ did; so then by the doctrine of Anabaptists, [Page]if our Ministers know that Infants have no faith, they may baptize them; but if they doe not know that they have no justifying faith, then they must not baptize them.

Now all sober-minded men may see how rashly they trouble the Church of Christ with brawls and contentions for baptizing of Infants; but it will be profitable to consider what Satan goeth about with this so great subtilty, even to take away from us the singular fruit of affiance and spiritual joy (which is to be gathered hereof) and to diminish also the glory of the goodnesse of God: for sweet it is to godly minds to be certified not onely by word, but also by sight to our eyes of the great favour that we have obtained of our heavenly father both to us and our posterity. How should this stirre up thankfulnesse, that God is not only in Covenant with us, but with our seed after us? this thankesgiving and praise unto our God for this mercy, is the thing that Satan seeks to hinder by depriving our Infants of this ordinance of baptisme. Now if Satan could hinder this assurance of the grace of God to our Posterity, he would soone sti­fle all the promises that ever God made to us and our posterity after us in his word: hence would follow in stead thereof, unthankfulnesse and sloathfulnesse to instruct our children in godlinesse; for what encouragement have we more then this, to bring them up in the feare of God. when we consider that even immediately from their birth the Lord taketh and acknowledgeth them for his Children. Oh then let us labour to see the bountifull goodnesse of God to­wards us, and let us offer to him our children, who will give them a place a­mong them that be in his family and houshold of faith, yea he will make them members of his Church and heires of his everlasting Kingdome. Then what heart can be so cruell to debar his litle Infants from the ordinance of baptisme, which is the doore of entrance to all the mercies of God both here and hereaf­ter, Psal. 102.28. For (saith Luke) all the people that heard him and the publicans justified God, being baptized with the baptisme of John; But the Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the counsell of God against themselves. being not baptized of him, Luke 7.29.30.


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