Truth Maintained, Or POSITIONS DELIVERED in a Sermon at the SAVOY: Since Traduced For DANGEROVS: Now Asserted For SOVND and SAFE.

By THOMAS FVLLER, B. D. late of Sidney Colledge in Cambridge.

The Particulars are These.
  • I That the Doctrine of the Impossibility of a Churches perfection, in this world, being wel understood, begets not lazinesse but the more industry in wise reformers.
  • II That the Church of England cannot justly be taxed with superstitious innovations.
  • III How farre private Christians, Ministers, and subordinate Magistrates, are to concurre to the advancing of a Publique Reformation.
  • IIII What parts therein are only to be acted by the Supreme power.
  • V Of the progresse, and praise of passive obedience.
  • VI That no extraordinary Excitations, Incitations, or Inspirations are bestowed from God, on men in these dayes.
  • VII That it is utterly unlawfull to give any just offence to the papist, or to any men what­soever.
  • VIII What advantage the Fathers had of us, in learning and religion, and what we have of them.
  • IX That no new light, or new essentiall truths, are, or can be revealed in this age.
  • X That the doctrine of the Churches imperfection, may safely be preached, and cannot honestly be concealed.

With severall Letters, to cleare the occasion of this Book.

I will beare the wrath of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, untill he plead my cause, and execute iudgement for me; then will he bring me forth to the light, and I shall see his righteousnesse,
Micah. 7. 9.

Printed at Oxford, Anno Dom. 1643.

TO THE Most Sacred, and Reverend ASSEMBLY For the REFORMATION of the CHURCH, now convened by the PARLIAMENT.

Most Sacred and Reverend Divines,

I Have but the thoughts of an Afternoone to spread before you; for I Examined the same Pace that I read, that if it were possible a Truth might overtake an Errour, ere it goe too farre. It is not a little Encouragement that I may sit like the Prophetesse under the Palme tree, under such a Shade as your selves, and what weakenesse soever may appeare in these my Assertions: This ayring them under your Patronage, will heale them. For so they [Page] brought forth the sick into the streets, that at least the shadow of Peter might touch some of them. Thus have I suddenly set up my Candle for others to Light their Torch at; and, I hope, you will pardon me, if my Zeale to the Truth made me see Ano­thers faults sooner then mine Owne,

Your Servant in Christ Iesus Iohn Saltmarsh.


I Dare not give you such high Epithites as Master Saltmarsh bestoweth upon the Assembly, Quid amplius praepotenti & immortali Deo tribuimus si quod eius pro­prium est eripi­mus? Bodin. de Repub. l. 1 c. ult to call you the MOST SACRED. Be contented to be Stiled the Two most Famous Vniversities; a Title, which it is no Flattery to give you, but Injury to deny you.

I have the Studies of some whole dayes to spread before you. I am not ashamed to confesse so much, but should be ashamed to present your learned Considerations with lesse. And will ra­ther runne the hazard of other mens Censure, to have studied so long to no purpose, then to [Page] be guilty to my selfe of so much disrespect to You, as to offer to your Patronage what cost me but sleight studying.

Indeed I examined his Examinations of my Sermon with the same pace that I read them. But I could not confute his Errors so speedily as I could discover them, nor could I so soon make them appeare to others, as they appeared to me; and the Evidencing of his Faults did cost me some Paines, whereof I hope I shall never have just Cause to Repent.

I am altogether out of hope that my Truth should quickly overtake his Error, which had the Advantage of me both at the Starting and in the Speed; And yet I beleeve what I want in the swiftnesse of my Feet, I shall have in the Firmenesse of my footing. And when I overtake it at last, as I am sure I shall, seeing untruths will Tire (as being better at hand then at length) I am confident by Gods Assistance, it will get firme and quiet Possession in spight of opposi­tion.

It is altogether Improper for mee to com­pare You being Two in number to the Palme Tree under which the Prophetesse Deborah sate; [Page] But the Analogie will, hold well, if I should re­semble You to the Two Olive Trees continually dropping oyle in the Presence of God. And me­thinks Master Saltmarsh his Expression to the Assembly, VNDER SVCH A SHADE AS YOVR SELVES, making them in the Assem­bly but a Shadow, (and then what is the Sha­dow of a Shadow worth under which hee desi­reth to sit?) was but an undervaluing and di­minutive expressing of their worth.

I honour you as You Deserve, and Counting You a Real and Lasting Substance, so I addresse my Respects unto you:

Humbly requesting you to be pleased to Pa­tronize and defend this my defence: the rather because what doctrines therein I deliver, not long since I suckt from One of you, and in this respect I beleive both Breasts give Milke alike; And therefore as your Learning is most Able, so your Goodnesse will bee willing to Protect the same, not so much because I had them from you, as because you had them from the Truth.

Some perchance may blame my Choice in Choosing You for my Protection who in these troublesome times are scarce able to defend [Page] your selves▪ The Universities being now Degra­ded, at least suspended from the degree of their former Honour. And I wonder, Men should now talke of an Extraordinary great Light, when the two Eyes of our Land (so you were ever ac­compted) are almost put out. However this short Interruption of your Happinesse will but adde the more to your Honour hereafter.

And here, as it were Store of Pride for me to Counsell you, so it were want of duty not to Comfort you. Know, the only Good Token of these Times is, That they are so extreamely Bad they can never last long. God give you a sancti­fied Impression of your Afflictions, neither to sleight them nor sink under them; and so, for­bearing to be longer troublesome to your more serious Employments, resteth

The meanest of your Sonnes or Nephewes Thomas Fuller.



WHen I read a Pamphlet of M. Saltmarsh written against me, it something moved my Affecti­ons, but nothing removed my Judgement. But when I saw it recommended to the world with your Approbation, in this manner,

Nihil invenio in hoc Libello, cui Titulus, (Examinations, or a discovery of some dangerous Po­sitions, delivered in a Sermon of Reformation Prea­ched by Tho. Fuller, B. D. quin utiliter imprimatur.
Charles Herle.

[Page] I must confesse it troubled me not a little, suspecting either my Eyes or my Understanding, that either I mis­read your Name, or had mis-written something in my Ser­mon. Wherefore fearing Partiality might blind me in mine Owne Book (knowing that Eli was not the onely Indulgent Father to his owne Off-spring) I imparted my Sermon to some whom you respect, and they respect you: Men of singular Learning and Piety, to Examine it. These likewise could discover no dangerous Posi­tions in it, except such as were dangerous for a Preacher to deliver, but safe for People to Receive in these Troublesome Times. And I am Confident that their Iudgement was such, They would not be deceived with my Falsehoods: and their Honesty such, They would not deceive me by their Flattery.

And now Sir (Love cannot Hate, but it may justly be Angry) Consider how your accusing of me, to maintaine dangerous Positions, might, as the Times stand, have un­done me and mine, and at least have intituled mee to a Prison, now adayes the Grave of men alive. Times are not as formerly, when Schollers might safely Traverse a Controversie in disputation. Honourable Tilting is left off, since men fell to down-right killing; and in vaine should I dispute my Innocence against Souldiers vio­lence, who would interpret the Accusation of a man of your Credit to be my sufficient Conviction.

I have in this my Defence, so well as God did Enable me, more clearely expressed, and strongly confirmed the Positions I formerly delivered, and request you to tell mee, which are the dangerous Points that here I maintaine. By the Lawes of our Land, the Creditor hath his Choice, whether he will sue the Principall, or [Page] the Surety, and discretion will advise him, to sue him which is most solveable. Your Ability is sufficiently knowne, and seeing you have beene pleased to be bound for Master Saltmarsh his Booke, in your Approving it: blame me not Sir, if I (I will not say sue you) but Sue to you for my Reparation.

If you can Convince me of my Faults herein (and I will bring great desire, and some capacity to Learne from you) I shall owne my selfe your Proselyte, thanke God for you, and you for my Conversion. Yea in a Prin­ted sheet I will doe publique Penance to the open view of the World, to shew men, that although I had so much Ignorance as to Erre, I have not so much Impudence as to Persist in an Errour, and shall remaine,

Yours in all Christian Offices. THOMAS FULLER.

To the Reverend and his Worthy good Friend, Master IOHN DOWNAM.


BEing about to read Master Saltmarsh his examina­tion of a Sermon of mine, which you (to the Prea­chers credit, and Printers security) were pleased to approve for Orthodox and Vsefull, mine eyes in the begin­ning thereof, were entertained (I cannot say welcomed) with this following note, ‘An Advertisement returned to the Author, by a Reverend Divine, to certifie him touching the Licensers allowance of Master Fullers late Sermon of Reformation.’

Sir, To satisfie you concerning M. Downams approbation of Master Fullers Sermon of Reformation, I assure you I heard him complaine, that he was wronged by him, in that ha­ving taken exception at some passages of that Sermon, Ma­ster Fuller promised to amend them according to his cor­rection, but that he did not performe what he promised.

Conclude me not guilty if I were moved, but sence­lesse if I had not beene perplext with this accusation. Had it beene true, I want a word bad enough to expresse [Page] the foulenesse of my deed. Yea iustly may my preach­ing be suspected of falshood, if my practise be convicted of dishonesty. We know how the Corinthians,2 Cor. 1. 17. 18. from the supposed breach of S. Pauls solemne promise, were rea­dy to infer the falsity, at least the levity of his doctrine, till the Apostle had rectified their mistake. This added also to my trouble, that I can privately enjoy my inno­cence with more contentment to my selfe, then I can publikly declare it with safety to others. For the pre­sent therefore, all that I will returne, is this.

Here is an Accusation without a witnesse, or a witnesse without a name, and both without truth. Would the Inke of this reverend Divine (whosoever he was) only hold out to blot my name, and not to subscribe his owne? We know what Court was complayned of, as a great grievance, because Men therein might not know their Accusers. If it cannot consist with our mutuall safety,Acts 25. 16. to have my accusers (as S. Paul had) face to face, yet it will stand with equity, I should have them name to name: till when, I account this namelesse note, no better then a Libel both on you and me.

God put an end unto these wofull times, before they put an end to us; that all outward hostility being laid aside, we may have more leisure to attend, and com­fort to follow, that inward Christian Warefare, which your paines have so well described.

Yours in Christ Iesus Thomas Fuller.

To Master JOHN SALTMARSH Minister of Heslerton in Yorke-shire.


YOu have almost converted me, to be of your opi­nion, that some extraordinary Light is peculiarly conferred on men in this age. Seeing what cost me many dayes to make, you in fewer houres, could make void and confute. You examined (you say) the same pace, you read, and (as is intimated) wrote as fast, as you exa­mined, and all in one ofternoon. This if it were false, I won­der you would say it; and if it were true, I wonder you could doe it. However I commend your policy herein: for besides that you have given the world notice of the Pregnancie of your parts, (and it is no fault of yours, if you be rather heard then beleeved) hereby you have done me a great disadvantage. For if I at leisure disco­ver some notable errors in your examinations, you have a present Plea, that you wrote them suddenly, and I shall only be repaired for the wrong that you have done me, with your raptim scripta, whereas you had done God as much Glory, the cause as much good, more right to your selfe, and credit to me, if you had tooke more time, and more truely.

And now consider, you only endeavour to confute some dismembred sentences of my Sermon, of which [Page] some are falsely, and more of them imperfectly alleged. You know, how in a continued speech, one part receives and returnes strength and lustre unto another. And how easie is it, to overthrow the strongest sentence, when it is cut off from the Assistance of the Coherence, before and after it? Alas, this disiointing of things, undoeth kingdomes as well as sermons, whilest even weake mat­ters are preserved by their owne unity and entirenesse. I have dealt more fairely with you, and set downe your whole Examinations, thereby not expecting any praise, but preventing just censure, if I had done otherwise.

If you demand why my answer comes so late, seeing so long silence may be interpreted a consent. Know Sir, it was the tenth of September, before either friend in love, would doe me the favour: or foe in anger, the dis­courtesie, to convey your booke unto me.

Whether this proceeded from the intercepting com­merce betwixt the City and the Country, or that your Booke was loath to come out of London: as sensible, that the strength of your positions, consisted in the fortifica­tions thereof.

When I had received one of your bookes, I had not your present parts to answer it. Men must doe, as they may doe: I hope, though my credit may, Gods cause shall not suffer by my delay; seeing Truth doth not abate with time. Here I speake not of those many afflictions, that have befalne me, as not being so unreasonable, as to ex­pect any pitty from others, in these dolefull dayes, wher­in none are at leisure to bemoane the misery of any pri­vate men, whilst the generall Calamity ingrosseth all greife to it selfe; and yet, I may say, such losses could not but disturbe my studies.

[Page] When I had finished my answer, I could not so spee­dily provide to have it printed. And to speake plainely, I was advised by my best friends, to passe by your pamphlet altogether with silence and neglect, and apply my selfe onely to enlarge my Sermon, for the satisfacti­on of others.

However, that you may see I will not decline any thing: I have answered every operative passage in your Examination.

Here I might take just exception at the sentence pre­fixed in the title page of your booke, 2 Tim. 3. 5. Having a forme of Godlinesse, but denying the power thereof. Out of the whole quiver of the Bible, could you choose no o­ther Arrow to shoot, and make me your marke? whom if you taxe for a meere formalist; God grant I may make a good use of your bad suspition of me, endeavouring to acquit my selfe in Heaven, whom you have accused on Earth: I must stand or fall to my owne Master, to whom I hope I shall stand, being held up by my Saviour. Remem­ber, remember, we must all appeare before Gods Judg­ment Seat, when those things which have been done in se­cret, shall bebrought to light. Meane time goe you on, a fast as you can in the high way to heaven; but be not too free, willfully to dash your fellow travellers, with foule aspersions: for if dirt may passe for coine, debts in this nature, may easily be paid you backe againe, so resteth

Thomas Fuller.


MY deare Parish, for so I dare call you, as concei­ving that although my calamities have divorced me from your bed and board, the matrimoniall knot betwixt us is not yet rescinded. No not although you have admitted another, (for feare I hope rather then affection) into my place. I remember how David when forced to fly from his wife,2 Sam. 3. 14. yet still cals her, My wife Mi­chall: even when at that time, she was in the possession of Phaltiel the sonne of Laish, who had rather bedded then wedded her.

This Sermon I first made for your sake, as providing it, not as a feast to entertaine strangers, but a meale to feed my family. And now having againe inlarged and confirmed it, I present it to you, as having therein a pro­per interest, being confident, that nothing but good and profitable truth is therein contain'd.

[Page] Some perchance will obiect, that if my Sermon were so true, why then did I presently leave the parish when I had preached it? My answer is legible in the Capital letters of other ministers miserie, who remaine in the City.1 Cor 7. 26. I went away, for the present distresse, thereby reser­ving my selfe to doe you longer and better service? if Gods providence shall ever restore me unto you againe. And if any tax mee as Laban taxed Iacob. Gen. 31. 27. Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, without taking solemne leave? I say with Iacob to Laban, Gen. 31. 31. because I was afraid. And that plaine dealing Patriarch, who could not be accused for pur­loining a shooe latchet of other mens goods, confesseth himselfe guilty of that lawfull felony, that hee stole away for his owne safety: seeing truth it selfe may sometimes seeke corners, not as fearing her cause, but as suspecting her judge.

And now all that I have to say to you,Luk. 8. 18. is this, Take heed how you heare: Acts 17. 11. imitate the wise and noble Bereans, what­soever the Doctor, or doctrine bee which teacheth, or is taught unto you. Search the Scripture dayly whether these things be so. Hansell this my counsell, on this my booke: and here beginning, hence proceed to examine all Ser­mons, by the same rule of Gods word.

Only this I adde also, Pray daily to God, to send us a good and happy Peace; before we be all brought to ut­ter confusion. You know, how I in all my Sermons unto you, by leave of my Text, would have a passage in the praise of Peace. Still I am of the same opinion. The lon­ger I see this warre, the lesse I like it, and the more I loath it. Not so much because it threatens temporall ruine to our Kingdome, as because it will bring a generall spiri­tuall [Page] hardnesse of hearts. And if this warre long conti­nues, we may be affected for the departure of charity, as the Ephesians were at the going away of Saint Paul, Act. 20. 38. Sor­rowing most of all, that we shall see the face thereof no more. Strive therefore in your prayers that, that happy condi­tion which our sinnes made us unworthy to hold, our re­pentance may, through Gods acceptance thereof, make us worthy to regaine.

Your Loving Minister THOMAS FULLER.

To the unpartiall Reader.

BE not aff [...]aid to peruse my Positions, though they be accused to bee dangerous. The Saints did not feare infection from the company of Saint Paul, though he was indicted to be a Pestilent Fellow. Acts 24. 5.

To acquaint you with my intentions in this Book (that so you may proportion your expectation accordingly) Herein I have to my Power vindicated the truth: consul­ting with my conscience, not outward safety; Insomuch that I care not whom I displeased, to please the Bird in my Breast. Yea when the actions of other men, have by the Examiner beene laid to my charge, I have tooke the boldnesse to leave them to their Authors to defend. For though Honestie commands me to pay my owne debts, yet discretion adviseth me from Solomons mouth, to a­void Sureti-ship, Pro. 11. 15. and not to Breake my selfe with being bound for the Errors of others.

I cannot but expect to procure the Ill-will of many, because I have gone in a middle and moderate way, be­twixt all extremities. I remember a story too truely ap­pliable to me. Once a Jayler demanded of a Prisoner, newly committed unto him: whether or no he were a Roman Catholick. No, answered he: what then said he are you an Anabaptist? Neither replied the Prisoner, What, (said the other) are you a Brownist. Nor so said the [Page] man, I am a Protestant. Then said the Jayler, get you into the dungeon: I will afford no favor to you, who shall get no profit by you: Had you beene of any of the other re­ligions, some hope I had to gaine by the visits of such as are of your owne profession. I am likely to finde no bet­ter usage, in this age, who professe my selfe to be a plaine Protestant, without wealt or garde, or any Addi [...]ion: equally opposite to all Hereticks and Sectaries.

Let me mate this with another observation. By the Law of the twelve Tables, if a man were indebted but to one creditor,Bodin de Re­pub. lib. 1. p 50. he had no Power over his body: but if he owed mony to many, and was not solvable, all his creditors together might share his body betwixt them, and by joynt consent pluck him in peeces. Me thinks, a good Morall lurkes in this cruell Law: namely, that men who oppose one adversary alone, may come off and shift pretty well, whilst he who provokes many enemies, must expect to bee torne asunder: and thus the poore Le­vite, will bee rent into as many pieces,Iudg. 19. 29. as the Levites wife was.

Yet I take not my selfe to bee of so desolate and for­lorne a Religion, as to have no fellow professors with me. If I thought so, I should not only suspect, but con­demne my judgement: having ever as much loved sin­glenesse of heart, as I have hated singularity of opinion. I conceive not my selfe like Eliah to be left alone: 1 King. 19. 14. having, as I am confident, in England, more then seventy thou­sand, just of the same Religion with me. And amongst these, there is one in price and value, eminently worth tenne thousand, even our gratious Soveraigne, whom God in safety and honour long preserve amongst us.

And here I must wash away an aspersion, generally, [Page] but falsely cast on men of my profession and temper: for all moderate men, are commonly condemned for Luke-warme

As it is true, Saepe latet vitium proximitate boni.

It is as true, Saepelatet virtus proximitate mali.

And as Lukewarmnesse hath often fared the better (the more mens ignorance) for pretending neighbourhood to moderation: so Moderation (the more her wrong) hath many times suffered for having some supposed vi­cinity with lukewarmnesse. However they are at a grand distance, Moderation being an wholesome Cordiall to the soule: whilst lukewarmnesse (a temper which seekes to reconcile hot and cold) is so distastefull, that health it selfe seemes sick of it,Rev. 3 16. and vomits it out. And we may ob­serve these differences betwixt them.

First the Lukewarme man (though it be hard to tell what he is; who knowes not what he is himselfe) is fix't to no one opinion, and hath no certain creed to beleeve; Whereas the Moderate man, sticks to his principles, ta­king Truth wheresoever he findes it, in the opinions of friend, or foe; gathering an herb, though in a ditch: and throwing away a weed, though in a Garden.

Secondly, the Lukewarme man, is both the archer and marke himselfe; aiming only at his owne outward se­curity. The Moderate man, levels at the glory of God, the quiet of the Church, the choosing of the Truth, and contenting of his conscience.

Lastly, the Lukewarme man, as hee will live in any Religion, so he will dye for none. The Moderate man, what he hath warily chosen, will valiantly maintaine, at least wise intends, and desires to defend it, to the death. [Page] The Kingdome of Heaven (saith our Saviour) suffereth vio­lence. Mat. 11. 12. And in this sense, I may say, the most moderate men are the most violent, and will not abate an hoofe, or haires breadth, in their Opinions, whatsoever it cost them. And time will come, when Moderate men, shall be honoured as Gods Doves, though now they be hooted at, as Owles in the Desart.

But my Letter swels too great, I must break off. Only requesting the reader by all obligations of charity. First, to read over my Sermon, before he entreth on the Exami­nation. To conclude, when I was last in London, it was ge­nerally reported that I was dead: nor was I displeased to heare it. May I learne from hence with the Apostle, To Die daily. And because to God alone tis known, how soon my death may come, I desire to set forth this book as my Will and Testament, which if it can be of no use to the rea­der, it may be some ease and comfort to the writer, that the world may know, in this multitude of Religions, what is the Religion of

Thy Servant in Christ Iesus Thomas Fuller.

TRUTH Maintained.

The A Policy of the Sermon of Re­formation.

THE Scope of the Sermon is Reformation, but it so B moderates, so modificates, and conditionates the Persons, and Time, and Businesse, that Reforma­tion can advance C little in this way, or Method. As our Astronomers who draw so many Lines and imagi­nary Circles in the Heavens, that they put the Sunne into an heavenly Labyrinth and learned D perplexity; such is the Zodiack E you would make for the light of the Gospell, and the Sunne of Reformation to move in. It was one of the Policyes of the Jewes F Adversaries, that when they heard of their Buildings, they would build with them. They said, let us build with you, for we seeke your God as you doe. But the People of God would have no such Helpers, there is no such G Jesuiticall way to hinder our worke as to work with us, and under such Insinuations set the Builders at vari­ance when they should fall to labour. And how easie is it to reason Flesh and Blood back from a good way, and good Resolutions? I remember the old H Prophet had soon per­swaded even the man of God to returne when he told him I am a Prophet as thou art. 1 King. 13. 18.


A. The Policy of the Sermon.) Such carnall Policy wherein the subtilty of the Serpent stings the simplicity of the Dove to death, I utterly disclaim in my Sermon. Chri­stian Policy is necessary, as in our Practice so in our Prea­ching, for Piety is alwayes to goe before it, but never to goe without it.

B. But it so moderates and modificates.) The most Civill Actions will turne wild, if not warily moderated. But if my Sermon clogges Reformation with false or needlesse Qualifications (till the strength of the matter leakes out at them) my guilt is great. I am confident of my Innocence, let the Evidence be produced and the Reader judge.

C. That Reformation can advance but little in this way.) Know that Zoar a little one that is lasting, is better then a great Babel of Confusion. That Reformation which begins slowly and surely, will proceed cheerfully and comfortably, and continue constantly and durably. Builders are content to have their Foundations creepe, that so their Superstru­ctures may runne; let us make our Ground-worke good, and no more hast then good speed.

D. They put the Sunne into an heavenly Labyrinth and learned perplexity with their imaginary Lines.) This your strong line more perplexeth me to understand it: Onely this I know, that you might have instanced more properly in any other Planet which is more loaden with Cycles, and Epicycles, whilst the Sunne hath found from Astrono­mers this favour and freedome, to be left to the simplest Motion.

E. Such a Zodiack you would make for the light of the Gospell.) were I to spread the Zodiack of the Gospell, it should stretch from Pole to Pole, and be adequate to the Heavens. There should be no more Pagans in the World then there were Smiths at one time in Israel;2 Sam. 13. 19. not that I [Page 3] would have any kild, but all converted; yea the Sunne of Reformation should not have so much darknesse as a shadow to follow it. To effect this, my wishes are as strong as my power is weake. I will (God willing) pray and preach for it, and therefore doe not slander me to be an Hinderer of the Word.

F. G. H. Of the Jewes adversaries. J [...]suiticall way. The old Prophet.) What you say is as true in the History as false in the Application to me. You compare me to the Am­monites (Adversaries to Gods people, to Jesuits, to the old lying Prophet. I hope the God of Michael the Arch-An­gell will give me patience,Jude 9. when he that disputed with him shal furnish him others railing. And now torture me no lon­ger with your Accusation, come to the proofe.


I find there are three Principles animates the Sermon.

1 How imperfect I a Church will be and a Reformation doe best you can.

2 That the light which the K Fathers had formerly, was as full and glorious as the light of these dayes, or rather brighter.

3 That none but the supreame Authority, or Authority L Royall, and that alone ought to begin and act in this Refor­mation.


I How imperfect a Church.) I said it and I say it againe; it was a Truth before your Cradle was made, and will be one after your Coffin is rotten.

K That the light that the Fathers had formerly, was as full & glorious. Shew me such a sillable in all the Sermon and I'le yeeld the cause: Not that this Position is false, but because I never said it; except you collect it from those my words [Page 4] where I say, that the Moderns had a mighty advantage of the Ancients who lived in the Marches of Paganismes and in the time wherein the Mistery of Iniquity began to worke.

L. None but the supreame Authority or Authority Roy­all.) I said that the supreame Authority alone in those re­spe [...]tive places wherein it is supreame, hath the lawfull cal­ling to reforme. Thus of the three Principles which you reck [...]n in my Sermon. The first I said I will defend it: The second I said not, and doe deny it: The third I said o­therwise then you doe alleadge it. And yet even for the two latter (that you may not complaine for want of play) in due time as occasion is offered, I will fully discover my o­pinion, that so we may eitheir freely agree, or fairely dis­sent.


These are your principles, and let M any judge if this be a Qualification fit for him, that judges or writes of such a Truth. For first, he that conceits there can be no Perfection in a Church, will N scarce labour to make that Church bet­ter, which he is sure will be bad at all times: Nor will he care for any new light, whilst the old is best reputation with him: nor will be seeke to advance the worke, but stay for a supreame Authority alone: A good policy to stay the Reformation till His Majesties returne, and there is hopes it may coole in their hands.


M, And let any judge.) On Gods blessing let any indiffe­rent person, who is devested of prejudice, which ma­keth a bad witnesse and a worse judge: And now we joyne Issues.

N. For first, he that conceits there can be no perfection in a Church, will scarce labour to make that Church better.) If [Page 5] the He you spake of be a meere carnall man, this nor any other principle (save Grace and Gods Spirit) can spurre him on to goodnesse. But if this He be a regenerate man, this doctrine will make him tire no whit the sooner in his en­deavours of Reformation. You say, he will scarce labour, whereby you confesse he will labour. The Gramarian saith, Quod fere fit, non fit, quod vix fit, fit. One scarce is bet­ter then ten thousand almosts. Yet I perceive by the scant measure in your expression, that you conceive this Doctrine of the impossibility of a Churches perfection on earth, to be but a backe friend to Reformation. Heare therefore what I answer for my selfe.

First,1 The Doctrine of the impo­ssibility o [...] a Churches per­fection in this world, being well under­stood, begets not lazinesse but the more industry in wise reformers hereby you furnish the papists with a Cavill, and with a Colour to enforce the same against the Protestants. For we teach and maintaine, that the best workes of men are stained with some imperfections. Hence the papists may inferre, That he that conceits there can be no perfection in a good deed, will scarce labour to doe one. And thus our Doctrine shall be condemned for disheartning of holinesse. See Sir how you meet popery in your undiscreet shunning of it.

Secondly, though there can be no absolute perfection in a Church, yet quo ad gradum, in some good degree it is at­tainable, and all good men will endeavour it. Mariners which make forth for the Northerne Discoveries, goe out with this assurance, that it is impossible to come to the pole. Yet have they sought and found out very farre, almost to the eightieth degree of latitude. What covetousnesse or cu­riosity did in them, sure Grace is as active to doe in Gods Children who will labour to draw neere to a perfect Refor­mation, in obedience to Gods command, though they know they shall never fully attaine unto it.

Thirdly, the Doctrine of the impossibility of a perfect Reformation in this world well understood, begets not idle­nesse, but the more industry in mens endeavours. For those that beleeve that the perfection of a Church may be attain­ed [Page 6] in this life, are subject to this mistake (one errour is pro­creative of another) to thinke that sometimes they them­selves have attained it, and so ending in the midst of their journey, may sit downe and take up their rest: Whereas those who conceive the impossibility of perfection are kept in constant doing, having still plus ultra. with Saint Paul, forgetting those things that are behind, they reach forth to those things which are before, Phil. 3. 13. and presse towards the marke.

Fourthly, if it be objected that the impossibility of per­fection discourageth men to endeavour it, seeing they can­not rationally desire it, non est voluntas impossibilium, it is no levell wish aimed at a marke, but a Velleity shot at ran­dome, which desires an impossibility. It is answered, that Gods servants endeavouring a perfect Reformation, doe not light on a labour in vaine, that which is wanting in them being supplyed in Gods acceptance: If they doe their best, their desire is taken for the deed: The deformities of their imperfect Reformation being pardoned by God in Christ, in which respect, their labours are not in vaine in the Lord.

Lastly, seeing this point of the impossibility of a Chur­ches perfection is most true (as hereafter we shall make so appeare) if hereupon any grow remisse and large in Refor­ming, it is not the fault of Gods straight Doctrine, but of mens crooked practice: For if men inferre hellish Conclu­sions from heavenly premises, such bad consequences are not the lawfull Children of Gods Truth, but the Bastards of mans corruption, where they are justly to be fathered for their maintenance. And now I suppose that your excepti­on in those your words will scarce labour, is abundantly an­swered.

O. Nor will we care for any new light, whilst the old is in best reputation with him.) This is grounded on what I never said, but if by the old light be meant that which shined from the Ancient of dayes into the Scriptures and thence through the Fathers to us, I preferre it before any new light whatso­ever.

[Page 7] P. A good policy to stay the Reformation till His Maje­sties returne.) It need not have stayed till His Majesties re­turne, which might have been done before His going away; who so often and so earnestly offered to reforme whatsoever could justly be convinced to be amisse in our Church; which proffers had they been as thankfully accepted, as they were graciously tendered, long since it had been done what we now dispute of, though it matters not for the spilling of our inke, if other mens blood had beene spared. And I doubt not when opportunity is offered His Majesty will make good his word, whom no Vollyes of discurtesies though discharged never so thicke against him, shall drive him from His Princely Promise, whilst he lookes not downewards on mens behaviour to him, but upwards to his Protestations to God, learning from Him whom he repre­sents to be Unchangeable. But if (which God foresend, and yet all earthly things are casuall) it should come to passe, that in point of Reformation, what formerly was proffered by the Sovereigne, and refused by the Subject, should here­after be requested by the Subject, and denied by the Sove­reigne; we shall have leisure enough to admire Gods Ju­stice, bemoane our owne condition, and instruct our Poste­rity not to outstand good offers, least for want of seeing their happinesse they feele their owne misery. But to re­turne to your mentioning of His Majesties return; when all is done for ought I can see, Reformation must stay till His Majesties returne. As for the time and manner thereof when and how it shall be done. God in his wisdome and goodnesse so order it, that it may be most for his glory, the Kings honour, the good of the Church and State. But this I say againe, that till this his returning, the generall enjoy­ning and peaceable practising of any Reformation cannot be performed.

Q. And then there is hope it may coole in their hands.) If by their hands you meane his Majesties (and what else can your words import) it is as disloyall a suspition, as his [Page 8] would be an unfitting expression that should say, that Re­formation would boyle over in the hands of the Parliament. But Sir, thus farre you have excepted against my Sermon in generall, now you are pleased to confute some particulars thereof.

Sermon Paragraffe 10.

‘Withall we falsly deny that Queene Elizabeth left the dust behind the doore, which she cast on the dunghill, whence this uncivill expression is raked up. The Doctrine by her established, and by her Successors maintained in the 39. Articles if declared, explained and asserted from false glosses, hath all gold, no dust or drosse in them.’


I will not detract from the Religious huswifry of such a Queene of famous memory, but we know her Reformation is talk'd of now in a Politicke R Reverence, and we are commended backe into her times onely to hinder us from going forward in our owne; for I am sure till this Engine was contrived, Shee was not such a Saint in the Prelates S Calender.


R. If there be any so base that they now make Queene Elizabeths Reformation their protection, which formerly they disdained (running in raine to that bush for shelter, which they meane to burne in faire weather) shame light on them for their hypocrisie. Let such be stript naked to their utter disgrace, who onely weare the Memory of that worthy Queene to cloke and cover them in their necessity, whose Reformation was signed with successe from Heaven; our Nation in her time being as famous for forreigne At­chievements [Page 9] as now it is infamous for home-bred dissenti­ons. Yet God forbid our eyes should be so dazled with the lustre of her days as not to goe forward to amend the faults thereof, if any such be justly complained of.

S. Shee was not such a Saint in the Prelates Calender.) I never saw the Prelates Calender, but in the late reformed Almanacks, I find neither Her nor any other for Saints.


For the Doctrine established from Queen Elizabeths times, though it be not the businesse so much of our Reformation as the 39. Articles where it dwels; yet this we know, ei­ther the light of the Doctrine was very dimme,Bishop Mon­tague, Fran­ciscus, Secta Clara. or the eyes of our Bishops T and Jesuits, for one of them would needs spy Arminianisme, and the Jesuit Popery. And some will make it a Probleme; yet whether their glosse may accuse the Articles, or the Article their glosse, such Cassanders [...]ound so much Latitude in our Doctrine as to attempt a V Reconciliation of their Articles and ours together.


T. I expect (and ever may expect) that you would have produced some drosse in our Articles, instancing in some false place or point contained in them, and then I must ei­ther have yeelded to you with disgrace, or opposed you with disadvantage. But instead of this, you only tell us how some have seene Arminianisme and Popery in them. I an­swer: So the Papists doe read every point of Popery where you will say it was never written in the Scripture. Those who bring the jaundies in their eyes doe find yellownesse in every object they behold; and nothing can be so cautiously pen'd, but ingaged persons will construe it to favour their opinions.

V. As to attempt a reconciliation of their Articles and [Page 10] ours together.) Thus many Egyptian Ks. attempted to let the red sea into the Mediterranian. A project at first seeming ea­sie to such as measured their neernesse by the eye and at last found impossible by those who surveyed their distance by their judgement; seeing art & industry can never marry those things whose bands Nature doth forbid. And I am confident that with the same succes, any shal undertak the Accommo­dating of English and Romish Articles. Nor can the wisest Church in such a Case provide against the boldnesse of mens attempting, though they may prevent their endea­vours from taking effect. For my owne Opinion, as on the one side, I should be loath that the Bels should be taken downe out of the steeple and new-cast every time that un­wise people tune them to their Thinke: So on the other side, I would not have any just advantage given in our Arti­cles to our Adversaries. However, what you say confutes not, but confirmes my words in my Sermon, that the 39. Articles need declaring, explaining and asserting from false glosses. And seeing it is the peculiar Priviledge of Gods Word to be perfect at once and for ever, on Gods blessing let the darke words in our Articles be expounded by cleerer, doubtfull expressed in plainer, improper exchanged for fit­ter, what is superfluous be removed wanting supplyed, too large contracted, too short enlarged alwayes provided that this be done by those who have calling, knowledge and dis­cretion to doe it.

SERMON Paragraffe 11.

‘Againe, we freely confesse that there may be some faults in our Church in matters of practise and Ceremo­nies, and no wonder if there be it would be a miracle if there were not. Besides▪ there be some Innovations ra­ther in the Church then of the Church, as not chargeable on the publike Account, but on private mens scores, who are old enough, let them answer for themselves.’


These are but subtill W Apologies and distinctions, for the X superstitions in the Church, and to take off the eyes of the Reformers, and entertaine them into changeable dis­courses, as if they were faults and no faults, and those that were, were irreformable, and could not be made better. And thus while the errours of our Church should call them to reforme, your difficulties Y and impossibilities would call them off. You say it were a Miracle to have none: This is such Sophistry as the malignity of your Clergy would cast in the way of our Reformation. And for the A Innovations they have beene made by your most learned the immediate issues of our Church, our Rubrick and pra­ctise have beene called to witnesse it; therefore goe not on to perswade such a B Fundamentall Integrity and Essen­tiall Purity. You know in what a case that C Church was when she thought her selfe rich, and full, and glorious. He is no lesse an enemy to the Patient then to the Physitian that would perswade him that all is well or at the lest incurable.


W. These are but subtill Apologies.) Truly no such matter; they are even plaine and downeright confessions from the simplicity of my heart.

X. For the superstitions in the Church.) Sir, lay not your Enditement higher then you are sure your proof will reach. You might have done well to have insisted on some parti­culars, whilst now your generals accuse much, convict no­thing.

Y. Your difficulties and impossibilities would call them off.) Not so; for to shew wise Reformers the true difficulties of their worke will quicken not quench their endeavours. Thus the Carpenter being truly told that the wood is hard, he is [Page 12] to hew, will therefore not throw away his Axe, but strike with the greater force. And that the Doctrine of the im­possibility of a Churches perfect Reformation on with well understood, is no hinderer to mens Labours to Reforme, hath been largely proved before.

Z. You say it were a Miracle for a Church to have no fa [...]lt [...] ▪ This is such sophistry as the Malignity of your Cler­gy would cast in the way of our Reformation.) This sophistry will at last prove good Logick, and whatsoever you pretend of Malignity, this is a truth to be confided in: Namely, That no Church in this world can be so compleat, but it will have faults. For the Church being a body consisting of imperfect men the Members thereof, the body must needs be imperfect also. This appeares by the constant necessity of Preaching, which otherwise might well be spared, and all our Sermons turned into Psalmes, as also by the power of the Keyes, which will never rust in the Church for want of imployment. Yea that Petition in the Prayer of Christs p [...]oviding for us (and forgive us our Trespasses, as we for­give them that Trespasse against us) were both needlesse and false if men might be perfect in this world. This per­chance is the reason why the Perfection-mongers of this Age quarrell with this Prayer, as having too much pride to confesse their owne faults, and too little Charity to for­give other mens, so ill doth a Publicans prayer fit a Phari­sees mouth.

A. As for Innovations they have beene made by your most learned.)2. That the Church of England can­not justly be taxed with [...] ­perstitious in­novations. Concerning Innovations I must inlarge my selfe. In mixt Actions wherein good and bad are blended toge­ther, we can neither chuse nor refuse all, but may pick out some, and must leave the rest.

First, they may better be tearmed Renovations then In­novations, as lately not new forged, but new furbished. Se­condly, they were not so many as some complaine. The sus­pitious old man cryes out in the Comedy, that 600. [...]ooks were set into his house, when they were but two. [Page 13] Jealousie hath her hyperboles as well as her flattery. Third­ly, some of these Innovations may easier be rayled on then justly reproved; namely, such as concerned the adorning of Churches, and the comlinesse of mens behaviour in Gods service, where outward decency (if not garish, costly above the Estates of the parish, mimicall affected or superstitious) is the Harbinger to provide the lodging for inward holi­nesse. For some bodily distance brings our souls the neerer to God, with whom some have such clownish familiarity, they have the lesse friendship. Fourthly, if these gave of­fence, it was not for any thing in themselves but either be­cause;

First, they were challenged to be brought in without law. This often makes good matters to be ill relished, honest men if wise withall, being loath to pay their obedience, be­fore it becomes legally due.

Secondly, because they seemed new and unusuall, and we know how in dangerous times every well-meaning stranger may be suspected for a spy till he hath given an ac­count of himselfe. Now few daughter-Churches had seen such Ceremonies, though some of their Mother-Cathedrals could well remember them.

Thirdly, because they were multiplied without any set number; and those Ceremonies which men saw were in­definit, they feared would be infinit.

Fourthly, because they were pressed in some places with­out moderation. And herein some young men (I will not say ran without sending, but) ran further then they were sent, outstripping them who first taught them to goe.

Fifthly, because they were pressed by men, some of whose persons were otherwise much distasted; how justly? let them seek who are concerned.

Lastly, because men complained that painfull Preaching and pious living, the life of Gods service were not pressed and practised with equall earnestnesse, as outward decency the lustre thereof; whence their feares inferred, that the [Page 14] shaddowes would devoure the Substance.

Now whereas you say that these Innovations have been made by our most learned, herein I must confesse that the scales of my skill are too little in them to weigh the lear­ning of great Schollers, and to conclude who have the most. But this I know, that alwayes a distinction hath been made and admitted betwixt the opinions and practise of the most eminent particular Doctors (how great soever in place pow­er or parts) and the Resolutions and Commands of the Church in generall. In which respect, what hitherto you alleadge to the contrary, doth no whit disprove my words, that such Innovations are rather in the Church then of the Church, by which they were never abso [...]utely enjoyned nor generally received, as alwayes disclaimed by many, and late­ly disesed by most.

Such indeed as used them out of Conscience (I should have no Conscience to think otherwise of some) are not to be blamed if they privately practise them still, at their own perill, till their judgements are otherwise informed. Such as took them up for fashion sake, for fashion sake have since laid them downe. Such as were frighted into them desist, now their feare is removed. Lastly, those who used them in hope of preferment, now disuse them in despaire there­of, not to say some of them are as violent on the contrary side, and perchanee onely wait the Word of command from the prevalent party to turne Faces about againe. In briefe, seeing generally these Ceremonies are left off, it seems nei­ther Manners nor Charity, alwayes to lay that in mens di­shes, which the Voider some pretty while since hath cleane taken away.

Say not that these Innovations are now rather in a swound then dead & likly to revive, when cherished with the warmth of Authority seeing His Majesty hath often and fully prof­fered, that whatsoever is justly offensive in them shall be re­moved, and pitty it is but that the rest should by the same lawfull power be re-enforced. But enough hereof, and [Page 15] more perchance then will please the Reader, though lesse could not have satisfied the Writer; if I have contented any, well; If I have displeased all, I am contented.

B. Therefore goe not on to perswade such a Fundamentall Integrity and Essentiall purity.) Indeed the pains may well be spared, for all wise men are sufficiently perswaded there­of already. For if hereby you meane (and I would faine learne what other sence your words are capable of) that the Csturch of England hath not as yet been Entire in the Fun­damentals, and Pure in the Essentials to Salvation. We all are in a wofull Condition. Have we lived thus long in our Church, now to dye eternally therein? Seeing none can be saved therein if it be unsound in the Fundamentals of Reli­gion; must the thousand six hundred forty third yeer from Christ's birth, be the first yeer of the nativity of the Church of England, from which she may date her Essentiall purity? Sir, I could at the same time childe you with anger, be­moane you with pitty, blush for you with shame, were it not that I conceive this passage fell unawares from your pen, and that you intend to gather it up againe.

C. You know in what a case that Church was, when shee thought her selfe rich, and full, and glorious.) Good Sir, ac­cept of my service to stay you, or else run on till you be stopt by your owne wearinesse. Our Church never brag'd thus her selfe, nor any other for her; whose faults we have already freely confessed, yet maintained her to be sound in all Fundamentals, and pure in all Essentials.

SERMON Paragraffe 12.

‘A thorow Reformation we and all good men desire with as strong affections, though perhaps not with so loud a noyse as any whatsoever.’


If your thorow Reformation in this page be compared with [Page 16] your fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen pages, where you have bound it up with so many D Restrictions, the fallacy will soon appeare. You would smoothly tax some Bre­thren for clamour E and noyse in their desires after Refor­mation. Indeed if you could perswade the Prophets of God into silence, or slight endeavours, halfe your Designe were finished; but they have a Fire which slames into stronger expressions: If the zeale of the Prophets and F Martyrs had given no further testimony to the truth, then their own Bosomes, we had not had at this day such a cloud of witnesses; you know these loud importunities awaken and hasten men unto that holy G Businesse you would so faine retard. If you think it your vertue that you can be si­lent in the midst of our importunities and loud cryes after Reformation, I am sure 'tis your policy too, for should you make too great a noyse after it, you might be heard H to Oxford, and perhaps you are loath to speake out till you see further.


D. Fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen pages, where you have bound it up with so many Restrictions.) Indeed I bound Reformation with Restrictions, but such as are Girdles to strengthen it, not fetters to burthen it, and thereupon no fallacy, but plaine dealing will appeare. And if those pages you instanee in be guilty of any such fault, no doubt when your examination doth come to them, you will presse it home, and I shall be ready to make my best defence.

E. You would smoothly tax some Brethren for clamour.) If any be faulty herein they deserve not onely to be smoothly taxed.Pro 9. 13. A foolish wo­man is clamo­ro [...]. Ephe. 4. 31. wrath and anger, and clamour. but sharply reproved. For clamour (as the English word is taken in Scripture) sounds in a bad sense, as arguing an ill tempered Spirit with a mixture of pride and impati­ence. And as Reformation ought to be prosecuted and sought after with holy and zealous importunity (farre from [Page 17] all Lethargicall dulnesse and carnall stupidity) so it must be done with a quiet and compose soule,1 Thes. 4. 11. Study to be quiet. a grace commended by the Apostle. Now grant none to be guilty, yet seeing all are subject (especially in tumultuous times) to clamour and passionate extravagancies, my gentle Advertisement by the bye could not be amisse.

F If the zeale of the Prophets and Martyrs had given.) I thanke you Sir for mentioning the Martyrs; They were the Champions of passive obedience, and the lively Patternes of that holy Temper I now described; Men of a meeke and quiet disposition, not clamorous, though since their death, the noyse and fame of their patience hath sounded aloud thorow the whole world to all Posterity. And I pray God in continuance of time the very Doctrine of Martyrdome be not Martyred.

G That holy Businesse you would so faine retard.) I appeale from your hard Censure to the Searcher of hearts, who one day will acquit my innocence and punish your uncharitable­nesse, except it be first pardoned upon your repentance.

H For should you make so great a noyse, you might be heard to Oxford.) I care not how farre I be heard, nor which way, to Oxford and beyond it, to Geneva, or to Rome it selfe: Truth is Calculated for all meridians. But speake not sligh­tingly of Oxford, it is ill wounding of a Court, and a Camp, and an University, and all in one word.

I And perhaps you are loath to speak out till you see farther.) I see too farre already; namely, that ruine and desolation is likely to follow, except Moderation be used on both sides: If you meane, till I see farther into His Majesties pleasure of Reforming, what shall be found amisse, his unfained desire thereof doth already plainly appeare? But if you meane till I see farther into his successe, know Sir, my Religion ob­serves not the tides of His Majesties Fortune, to ebbe and flow therewith. Where Conscience is the Fountaine, the stream keeps the same height.

SERMON Paragrasse 12.

‘But with this Qualification, that by thorow Reforma­tion, we meane such a one whereof we are capable, pro sta­tu viatorum, made with all due and Christian Modera­tion.’


You write of the Reformation of a Church like K Bod [...], not like Bucer, you make it a worke of Policy L not of Pie­ty of Reason, not Divinity. Such Counsellers had M Jero­boam and Jehu, and they made a Church as unhappy as a Kingdome miserable. This Moderation and Qualification you speak of is not so consistent with spirituall Essenses and N operations: If the Spirit of God should not work in the soules of O unregenerate, but expect an answerable Com­pliancy first, who should be sanctified? If God had expected any such Congruity in our businesse of salvation, we had been unredeemed. To speak P closer, what Qualification did Queen Q Elizabeth expect when shee received a King­dome warm from Popery? What Qualification did R Hen­ry the eight expect in his Attempt against the Supremacy, when all his Kingdome was so universally conjured to Rome? Such Moderation and Qualification is no other but a dis­creet taking so much as will serve your turne. To the law (saith the Scripture) S and to the Test mony; Moses wrought according to the Patterne,Bucer in lib. d [...] Regno Christ [...]. so Salomon too; godly Bucer makes it his worke to perswade King Edward to build up a perfect Church and he V prophesies sadly, that he was afraid Popery would succeed, because the Kingdome of England was so averse to the Kingdome of Christ. And we know the Marian dayes followed, me-thinkes we are too like his pro­prophesie, and our W Marian times approach too fast.


K You write of a Reformation of a Church like Bodin.) Would I wrote like Bodin, though on the condition that I never wrote Answer to your Examinations. Would we had some Bodins, some such able States-men, that they might improve their parts to advance an happy Accommodation betwixt our Sovereigne and his Subjects.

L You make it a worke of Policy not of Piety.) I make it as indeed it is, a work both of Moses and Aaron, wherein Pi­ety is to be prefer'd, and Policy is not to be excluded.

M Such Counsellours had Jeroboam and Jehu.) Sir, shoot your Arrowes at me till your Quiver be empty, but glance not with the least slenting insinuation at His Majesty, by consequence to compare him to Jeroboam or Jehu, for their Idolatry; He knoweth how to bestow his Gold farre better, and to leave the Calves for others.

N This Moderation and Qualification you speake of, is not so consistent with spirituall Essenses and Operations.) This your line is not so consistent with sense, as to need much lesse deserve a Confutation.

O If the Spirit of God should not have wrought in the souls of Unregenerate.) I wonder that allotting (as you say) but one afternoon for the whole work of your Examination you could spend so much time (some minutes at least) in such impertinencies.

P To speake closer.) And truly no more then needs, for as yet you are farre enough from the matter: But I will not confute what you confesse.

Q What Qualification did Queen Elizabeth expect.) She needed not to expect any, when she had all Requisites to re­forme. Those who have such Qualification are not to expect, but to fall a working; those that want it are not to fall a wor­king, but still to expect. Queen Elizabeth as supream in her Dominions had a sufficient calling to reforme, nothing was [Page 20] wanting in her: Onely her Memory doth still deservedly expect a more thankfull acknowledgement of her worthy paines then generally she hath received hitherto.

R What Qualification did Henry the eight expect in his attempt against supremacy?) He likewise had Qualifi­cation sufficient (and therefore needed not to expect any) as your following words doe witnesse, wherein you say that All his Kingdome was universally conjured to Rome. If it was his Kingdome, then he had a cal­ling; if it was conjured to Rome, then he had a cause to reforme: and being the King was bound to be the Exorcist to un-conjure his Subjects from such superstition: Yea, had King Henry reformed as sincerely as he had a law­full Calling thereunto, his memory had not been constantly kept in such a purgatory of mens tongues for his luke­warme Temper, even the most moderate counting him too good for to be condemned, and too bad to be com­mended.

S To the Law (saith the Scripture) and to the testimony.) I will treasure up this excellent passage till a convenient time, being confident that before the next Paragrasse is ex­amined, I shall appeale to these Judges, and you decline them.

T Godly Bucer makes it his worke to perswade King Ed­ward to build up a perfect Church.) The book of godly Bu­cer which you cite I have seene▪ on the selfe same token, that therein he makes [...] perpetua [...] Ecclesia [...]um observation [...] ab ipsis iam Apo­stolis v [...]d mus, visnm & h [...]c esse spiritus Sancto ut inter Presbite [...] quibus Ecclesi­arum precura­tis potissimum est comm [...]ss [...] u­nus Ecclesia [...] rum, & let us Sac [...] Minis [...] ­rii [...]aram [...] singularem ea­que enra & so­licttudina cauctis prec­ [...]at alus, qua de ca [...]sa Ep [...]s­copi nomen hu­iusm [...]di sum­mis Ecclesia­rum Curatori­bus est peculia­ritur attribu­tum. Bucerus de regno Christi lib. 2. cap. 12. Bishops to be above Presbyters Jure divino. You know Bucer wrote this worke (as leading the front of his Opera Anglicana) in the very beginning of King Edwards reigne, before the Reformation was generally re­ceived in England, and whilst as yet Popery was practised in many places. And next to this his book followeth his gra­tulation to the English Church for their entertaining of the Purity of the Gospell; so that what he doth perswade in the book you alleadge, was in some good measure performed in that Ks. reign, and afterwards better compleated by Queen Elizabeth.

[Page 21] V And he prophesieth sadly that he was afraid Popery would succeed.) Herein he took shrewd aime and it happened he hit right. Such predictions are onely observed when after­wards they chance to take effect: otherwise, if missing the marke, men misse to marke them and no notice at all is ta­ken of them: I know a latter Divine (not the lowest in learning▪ one of the highest inM. Greenham in his grave Counsels in the word A­theisme, pag. 3. zeale amongst them) who foretelleth that Atheisme rather then Popery is likely to o­verrunne England. Such Presages may serve to admonish not to afright us, as not proceeding from a propheticall spi­rit, but resulting from prudentiall observations. But be­fore we take our farewell of this book of Bucers, it will not be amisse to remember another passage (not to say presage) in the same worthy worke; that we may see what sinnes in his opinion were forerunners of ruine in a Kingdome. The margin presents the Reader with theQ [...]am hor­renaum illi faciunt di­vina Maiesta­ti contumeliam qni Templa Domini habent pro De Ambu­laer [...]is lucisque tam prophanis ut in illis quae­vis impura & prophana cum similibus suia garriant & per [...]ractent.—Haec certa tan­ta est divini numinis Con­temptio ut ea vel sola prid [...]m meriti sumus o [...]n no de Ter­ra exterminari & quidem sup­pliciis gravis­simus multari Bucerus de r [...]gno Christi lib. 1. cap. 10. latin which I here translate, though the former part thereof be englished alrea­dy in mens practise, and the latter I feare will be englished in Gods judgements.

How horrible an affront doe they doe to the Divine Maje­sty who use the Temples of the Lord for Galleries to walk [...] in, and for places so prophane, that in them with their fellowes that prattle and treat of any uncleane and prophane businesse. This sure is so great a contempt of God, that long since even for this alone we have deserved altogether to be banished from the face of the earth, and to be punished with heaviest judge­ments.

Such I am afraid will fall on our nation for their abomi­nable abusing of Churches (besides other of their sinnes) and prophaning the places of Gods worship. Not to speake of those (and yet what man can hold his tongue when the mouthes of graves are forced open) who in a place to vvhich their guilty conscience can point vvithout my pens directi­on did by breaking up the Sepulchers of our Saxon Christi­an Kings▪ erect an everlasting Monument to their ovvn sa­criledge. Such practises must needs provoke Gods anger, [Page 22] and now me-thinks I write of the Reformation of a Church like Bucer and not like Bodin.

W Me-thinks we are too like his prophesie, and our Marian times approach too fast.) I hope otherwise; trusting on a good God and a gracious King. But if those times doe come, woe be to such as have been the cause or occasion to bring or hasten them. One day it will be determined whe­ther the peevish, perverse and undiscreet spirit of Sectaries, bringing a generall dis-repute on the Protestant, hath not concurred to the inviting in of superstition and Popery, may come riding in on the back of Anabaptisme. If those times doe come, I hope that God who in justice layeth on the burthen, will in mercy strengthen our shoulders, and what our prayers cannot prevent, our patience must un­dergoe. Nor is it impossible with God so to enable those whom you tax to have onely a forme of Godli­nesse, to have such Power thereof as to seale the Pro­testant Religion with their blood.

SERMON Paragrasse 13. 14.

‘Such who are to be the true and proper Refor­mers, they must have a lawfull calling thereunto; duties which God hath impaled for some particular persons, amongst these Actions Reformation of a Church is chiefe. Now the supreame Power alone hath a lawfull calling to reforme a Church, as it plainely appeares by the Kings of Judah in their Kingdome.’


I had not knowne your meaning by the lawfull cal­ling you name, but that you expound it in the lines [Page 23] that follow, to be the calling of the supreame Magi­strate; as if no calling were warrantable at first to X pro­move a Reformation but that. But you must take no­tice there is an inward and an outward Call. The in­ward Call is a Y speciall excitation from the Spirit of God, and such a Call is warrantable by God to be active; I am sure it hath beene sufficient alwayes to set holy men on worke: Another Call is outward, and that is either of Place and Magistracy, or publike Rela­tion. Now though Magistracy be of publike Relation, yet when I speake specifically of publike Relation. I meane that in which every man stands bound in to God and his Country; now all these Callings are com­missions enough either to meddle as Christianly inspi­red, or Christianly ingaged. In ordinary transactions, I know the ordinary dispensation is to be resorted to; but the businesse of Reformation as it is extraordinary, so God giveth extraordinary Conjunctures of times and circumstances, and extraordinary concurrences, and ex­traordinary incitations. In the building of the Temple you shall see in Ezra and Nehemiah such workings of God,Nehem. 8. 1. when the people were gathered together as one man, they spake to Ezra the Scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses. Here the people put on even Ezra to his duty.


Before I deale with the particulars of this examina­tion, I will enlarge (not alter) what I said in my Ser­mon of this point, promising as much brevity as God shall enable me to temper with Clearnesse, and desi­ring the Readers patience whilst at mine owne perill I deliver my opinion.

But first, here we promise necessary distinction. Di­stinguish [Page 24] we betwixt those Times, when the Church liveth under Pagan or persecuting Princes, and when God blesseth her with a Christian King, defender of the Faith: In the former case the Church may and must make an hard shift to reforme her selfe so well as she can (for many things will be wanting, and more will be but meanly supplyed) without any relating to a supreame Power, whose leave therein will be dan­gerous to desire and impossible to obtaine. But with­all, they must provide themselves to suffer, offering no violence, except it be to drowne a Tyrant in their teares, or to burne him with coales of kindnesse hea­ped on his head. In the latter case, when the supreame Power is a nursing Father to the Church, suckling it, not sucking blood from it, the Church must have recourse to it before shee may reforme. Reforming of a Church must neither stay behind for Nero his leave, nor runne before without the consent of Constantine. Religion it selfe must not be deckt with those flowers which are violently pluck'd from the Crownes of law­full Princes.

Come we now then to shew, how in a Christian state, all are to contribute their joynt endeavours to promote a Reformation.

In a Church,3 How far pri­vate Christi­ans, Ministers and subordi­nate Magi­strates are to concur to the advancing of a publike Re­formation. and such a State I consider three de­grees thereof. First, meere private men without any mixture of a publike Relation. Secondly, persons pla­ced in a middle posture with the Centurian in publike imployment over some, yet under Authority themselves. Thirdly, the absolute supreame Power, who depends of God alone.

For the first of these, meere private men; they have nothing to doe in publike reforming but to advance it by their hearty prayers to God, and to facilitate the generall Reformation, by labouring to amend their owne and their Families lives according to the Word; [Page 25] this is all God requireth of them and more I feare then most of them will performe.

Next, succeed those persons in a middle posture, and these are either Ministers or Magistrates. Ministers even the meanest of them have thus far their part in publike Re­forming, that they are to lift up their voice like a Trumpet (though not like Sheba his Trumpet to sound sedition) both to reprove vitiousnesse in Manners,2 Sam. 20. 1. and to confute er­rors in Doctrine. And if men of power and imminent place in the Church, then as their ingagement is greater, so their endeavours must be stronger, to presse and per­swade a publike Reformation to such whom it doth concerne.

Magistrates may have more to doe in publike Reforming having a calling from God, who therefore hath set them in a middle place betwixt Prince and people, to doe good offices under the one, over the other, betwixt both. And having a calling from the King, especially if they be his Counsellours, whose good they are to advance by all lawfull meanes, and rather to displease him with their speech, then to dishonour him with their silence; and having a calling from their Country, whose safety they must be tender and carefull of.

First, therefore they are with all industry (both from the Ministers mouth and by their owne inquiry) to take true notice of such defects and deformities in the Church or State as are really to be reformed. Secondly, they are with all sincerity to represent the same to the supreame Power. Thirdly, with all humility to request the amend­ment of such Enromities. Fourthly, with all gravity to improve their request with arguments from Gods glo­ry, the Princes honour, the peoples profit, and the like. Lastly, with their best judgement to propound and com­mend the fairest way whereby a Reformation may as spee­dily as safely be effected. And if they meet with difficulties in the supreame Power delaying their request, they are not [Page 26] to be disheartned, but after their servent prayers to God, who alone hath the hearts of Kings in his hands, they are constantly to re [...]ue their request at times more seasonable, in places more proper, with expressions more patheticall, ha­ving their words as full of earnestnesse, as their deeds farre from violence.

As last comes the supreame Power,4. What parts therein are onely to be acted by the supreame Power. who alone is to re­forme by its own Authority, though not by its owne advise alone. For because it is rationally to be presumed▪ that Di­vines have best skill in matters of Divinity, they are to be consulted with; and here comes in the necessity and use of Councels, Convocations, Synods and Assemblyes. And because there is not onely a constant correspondency but also an un­seperable complication betwixt the Church & State; States­men are therefore to be advised with in a Reformation, so to settle it as may best comply with the Common-wealth. For God in that generall warrant, Let all things be done decently and in order; p [...]ts as I may say the Cloath and Sheeres into the hands of the Church and Christian Princes, to cut out and fashion each particular decency and order, so as may shape and suit best with the present Time and Place wherein such a Reformation is to be made.

These parts therefore are to be acted in a Reformation by the supreame Power. First, he is (either by his owne Motion, or at the instance and intreaties of others) to call and congregate such Assemblyes. Secondly, to give them leave and liberty to consult and debate of matters needing to be reformed. Thirdly, to accept the results of their consultations, and to weigh them in the ballance of his Princely discretion. Fourthly, to confirme so much with his Royall Assent as his judgement shall resolve to be neces­sary or convenient. Lastly, to stamp the Character of Au­thority upon it, that Recusants to obey it may be subject to civill punishments.

But now all the question will be what is to be done if the endeavours of Subjects be finally returned with deafnesse [Page 27] or deniall in the supreame Power. In this case a pulike Re­formation neither ought nor can be performed without the consent of the supreame Power: It ought not,

First, because God will not have a Church reformed by the deforming of his Commandement. He hath said Honour thy Father and thy Mother and requireth that all Superiours should be respected in their places. Secondly, the Scrip­ture rich in Presidents for our instruction in all cases of importance affords us not one single example, where­in people attempted publiquely to reforme, without or against the consent of the supreame Power; and in this particular, I conceive a negative Argument followeth undeniably: wherefore seeing the Kings in Judah (there the supreame Power) were alwayes called upon to re­forme, commended for doing so much, or condemned for doing no more; and the people neither commanded to remove, nor reproved for not removing publique I­dolatry, without the consent of the supreame Power; it plainly appeareth, that a publique Reformation belongeth to the supreame Power, so that without it, it ought not to be done.

As it ought not, so it cannot be done without the consent thereof; for admit that the highest subordinate Power should long debate, and at last conclude, the most wholsome Rules for Reformation; yet as Plato said, that amongst the many good Lawes that were made one still was wanting, namely, a Law to command and oblige men to the due observing of those Lawes which were made. So when the best Resolutions are determined on by any infe­riour Power, there still remaines an absolute necessity that the supreame Power should bind and enforce to the ob­serving thereof.

For instance: Some Offenders are possessed with such uncleane Spirits of prophanenesse,Mar. 5. 3. 2 [...]. that none can bind them, no not with Chaines of Ecclesiasticall Censures, onely outward Mulcts in purse or person can hold [Page 28] and hamper them. Scythian slaves must be ordered with whips, and a present prison more affrights im­pudent persons, then Hel-fire to come. In the Writs De Excommunicato capiendo, & de Haeritico comburendo, such as flout at the Excommunicato and the Haeretico, are notwithstanding heartily afraid of the Capiendo and the Comburendo. Wherefore in such cases the Church when it is most perfectly reformed is fame to crave the aid of the State by civill and secular penalties, to reduce such as are Rebels to Church-Censures (sometimes inflicting death it selfe on blasphemous Heretickes) and this cannot be performed by any subordinate Power, in the State, but onely by the supreame Power. Otherwise, Offenders, if pressed by any inferiour Power would have a free Appeale and no doubt find full redresse from the supreame Pow­er, without whose consent such penalties were imposed on them.

Now if it be demanded, what at last remaines for a­ny to doe, in case the supreame Power finally refuseth to reforme: Thus they are to imploy themselves. First, to comfort themselves in this, that they have used the meanes, though it was Gods pleasure to with-hold the blessing. Secondly-they are to reflect on themselves, and seri­ously to bemoane their own sinnes which have caused Gods justice to punish them in this kind. If a [...]rhumaticke head sends downe a constant flux, to the corroding of the lungs, an ill affected stomacke first sent up the vapours which caused this distillation: And pious Subjects conceive that if God suffer Princes to persist in dangerous errours, this distemper of the head came originally from the stomack, from the sinnes of the people, who deserved this afflicti­on. Thirdly, they are to reforme their selves and Fami­lies, and if the supreame Power be offended thereat, to prepare themselves patiently to suffer, whatsoever it shall impose upon them, having the same cause though not the same comfort, to obey a bad Prince as a good one.

[Page 29] By the way,5. Of the pro­gresse and praise of pas­sive O [...]e [...] ­ence. a word in commendation of passive obe­dience: When men who cannot be active without sin­ning, are passive without murmuring. First, Christ set the principall copie thereof, leading Captivity captive on the [...]rosse, and ever since he hath sanctified suffering with a secret soveraigne vertue even to conquer and subdue persecution.

Secondly, it hath beene continued from the Primitive Church by the Albigences to the moderate Protestants un­lesse some of late ashamed of this their Masters badge,Est haec ponti­ficiorum tess [...]ra crudelitas, ali­ud est Protestantium symbol [...]m clementia. Isti occidunt, Hi occidunt Lau­rentius Hum­phreys in re­sp [...]n. ad Episto­las Camp [...]ani. have pluckt their cognisance from their coats, and set up for themselves.

Thirdly, it is a Doctrine spirituall in it selfe. It must needs be good, it is so contrary to our bad natures and corrupt inclinations, who will affirme any thing rather then we will deny our selves, and our owne revengefull dispositions. And surely the Martyrs were no lesse com­mendable for their willing submitting to, then for their constant enduring of their persecutors cruelty. And it was as much (if not more) for them to conquer their owne [...]indicative spirits, as to undergoe the heaviest tortures in­flicted on them.

Fourthly, it is a doctrine comfortable to the Practisers, bitter, but wholsome. Yet it is sweetned with the in­ward consolation of a cleere conscience, which is Food in Famine, Freedome in Fetters, Health in Sicknesse, yea, life in death.

Fifthly, it is glorious in the eyes of the beholders, who must needs like and love that Religion, whose professors (where they cannot lawfully dearly sell) doe frankly give their lives in the defence thereof.

Lastly, it is a Doctrine fortunate in successe. By prea­ching of passive obedience, the D [...]ve hath out-flowne the Eagle. Christ's Kingdome hath out-streatched Ca [...]sars Mo­narchy. Hereby the wisdome of the East was subdued to the folly of Preaching. The Sunne of the Gospell arose in [Page 30] the Westerne parts. The parched South was watered with the dew of the Word. The fro [...]en North was thawed with the heat of Religion: But since the Doctrine of resisting the supreame Power came into fashion, the Protestant Re­ligion hath runne up to a high top, but spread nothing in breadth; few Papists have beene reclaimed, and no Pa­gans have beene converted. Alas! that so good a Do­ctrine should be now in so great disgrace; yet will we praise such suffering, though we suffer for praising it. If we cannot keepe this Doctrine alive, we will grieve be­cause it is dying; being confident, that though now it be buried in so deepe dishonour, God in due time will give it a glorious resurrection. And though I must con­fesse, it is farre easier to praise passive Obedience then to practice it, yet to commend a vertue is one degree to the imitation of it, and to convince our judgements: First, of the goodnesse of the deede, is by Gods blessing one way to worke our wils to embrace it: In a word, if this Doctrine of passive Obedience be cryed downe, hereafter we may have many bookes of Acts and Monuments, but never more any bookes of Martyrs. And now these things premised, we returne to Master Saltmarsh his examination of my Sermon.

X As if no calling were warrantable at first to pro­mote a Reformation but the supreame Power.) I never said or thought so: But in what manner, and by what meanes inferiours may and must labour to promote it, I have at large declared.

Y The inward call is a speciall excitation from the spirit of God, and such a call is warrantable to be active.) I shall have presently a more proper place to deale with these speciall excitations, when I come to answer your ex­traordinary incitations.

Z Now all these callings are commission enough to meddle.) I am not of so froward a spirit, as to quarrell at a word. Otherwise I could tell you, that to meddle generally im­porteth [Page 31] an over-businesse in some Pragmaticall person, tampering with that which is either unlawfull in it selfe, or hurtfull to, at least improper for the party who med­leth with it, and in Scripture it is commonly used with a prohibition,Deut. 2. 5. Meddle not. To passe this by, the question is not whether Magistrates may meddle (as you say) in advancing a publique Reformation;2 King. 14. to Cro. 15. 19. Pro. 20 19. & 24. 21. & 26. 17. & 20. 3. but how? and how farre they may be active therein? Therein I report the Rea­der to what I have largely expressed.

A In ordinary transactions, I know the ordinary dispensa­tion is to be resorted to, but the businesse of Reformation as it is extraordinary, so God giveth extraordinary conjun­ctures of Times and circumstances, and extraordinary con­currences, and extraordinary incitations.) Now you soare high, give us leave to follow you as we can. First, I con­fesse that a publique Reformation is an extraordinary worke in this sense, as not common or usually done e­very day (as private amendment of particular persons is or ought to be.) But it is a rare worke, which commeth to passe but seldome, and the doing of it is out of the road of ordinary mens imployment. But I deny a pub­lique Reformation to be extraordinary in this acception; as if it were to be ordered or managed by any other rules or presidents, then such as are ordinary and usuall in the Bible, where many patterns of publique Reformations are presented; in which respect the ordinary dispensation is to be resorted to in the performance thereof. Whereas you say, that in publique Reformations, God giveth ex­traordinary conjunctures of Times and circumstance, and extraordinary concurrences. It is true in this sense, that the great Clock-keeper of Time so orders the coinci­dence of all things, that when his houre is come, where­in such a Reformation shall be made, every officious cir­cumstance will joyfully contribute his utmost assistance to the advancing thereof. Whetefore if men cannot make a Reformation without roving from their calling, or break­ing [Page 32] Gods Commandement (according to which it cannot be done without the consent of the supreame Power.) Hereby it plainly appeares, that the hand of Divine Pro­vidence doth not as yet point at that happy minute of Reformation, there being as yet times distracted with jarres and disjunctures, not onely in circumstances, but even in substantiall matters requisite thereunto. And therefore seeing Gods good time may not be prevented, but must be expected, men are still patiently to wait and pray for that conjnncture of Times and concurrency of cir­cumstances, whereof you speake.

But whereas you speake of Extraordinary Incitations (paralell to what you said before, of speciall excitations and christianly inspired.) In these your expressions you open a dangerous Pit,Exo. 21. 33. 34 and neither cover it againe nor raile it about with any cautions, so that Passengers may unawares fall into it.

For everyman who hath done an unwarrantable act,6. That no ex­traordinary excitations, incitations or inspirations are bestowed from God on men in these dayes. which he can neither justifie by the law of God or man, will pre­tend presently that he had an extraordinary Incitation for it; a fine tricke to plead Gods leave to breake his law. Nor can we disprove the impudence of such people, except we may use some touch-stones, thereby to try their counterfeit incitations; my opinion herein shall be contrived into three Propositions.

First, no such extraordinary incitations are extant now a dayes from God, as stirre men up to doe any thing con­trary to his Commandements. Indeed, some such we meet with in the Scripture, where the Law-giver dispen­sing with his owne law, incited Abraham to kill his son, Sampson to kill himselfe,Gen. 22. 2. Judg. 16. 30. Exod. 12. 36. and the Isralites to rob the E­gyptians. In such cases it was no disobedience to Gods publique command, but obedience to his private coun­termand; if the servant varied his practice according to his absolute Masters peculiar direction. But such incita­tions come not now a dayes but from the spirit of delusi­on.

[Page 33] Secondly, no extraordinary excitations are extant now a dayes from God, seizing on men (as anciently) in Enthusiasmes, or any such raptives, as make sensible im­pressions on them. For these are within the virge of Mi­racles, which are now ceased, and our age produceth things rather monstrous then miraculous.

Thirdly, extraordinary incitations are still bestowed by God in these dayes; namely, such that he giveth to some of his servants; a more then usuall and common proportion of his grace, whereby they are enabled for and incited to his service with greater rigour and activi­ty then ordinary Christians. My judgement herein shall nto be niggardly to restraine Gods bountifull dealing, but I verily beleeve that he who was so exceedingly li­berall in former ages, is not so close handed in our times, but that in this sence he bestoweth extraordinary motions, especially on such whom his Providence doth call to eminent Places, either in Church or State. But such motions quicken them to runne the way of Gods Commandements, not to start without or beside it. And as hereby they are heightned to an Heroicall degree of Piety, so though sometimes we may say of them in a Rhetoricall expression, that they goe beyond themselves, yet they never goe beyond their calling, nor never goe be­yond Gods Commandements.

Now if any shall pretend that they have an extraordinary excitation to make a publique Reformation without the consent of the supreame Power, to whom by Gods law it belongs, such an excitation cannot come from the ho­ly Ghost: For if the spirit of the Prophets be subject to the Prophets. much more is it subject to the God of the Prophets, and to the law of that God. And truly Sir, this passage of extraordinary incitations, as it is by you rawly laid downe and so left, containeth in it seed enough if well (or rather ill) husbanded, to sow all the Kingdome with sedition, especially in an age wherein the Anabaptist in their [Page 34] actions, beaten out of the field by Gods Word, doe daily slye to this their Fort of extraordinary excitations.

And you may observe when God gave extraordinary excitations, quo ad regulam (stirring up men to doe things contrary to the received rule of his Commandements) then such excitations were alwayes attended with extra­ordinary operations. Phinehas, who killed Cosby and Zim­ [...]y, could stay the plague with his prayer; and Eliah who cursed the Captaines with their fifties, could cause fire to come downe on them from Heaven. It appeares this his curse was pronounced without malice, because in­flicted by a miracle. It is lawfull for such to call for fire, who can make fire come at their call; and would nore would kindle discord on Earth, till first they fetcht the sparks thereof from Heaven. Neither doe we proudly tempt Gods providence, but truly trye such mens pretended ex­traordinary incitations, if when they wander from Gods Commandements in their Actions, and plead inspirations, we require of them to prove the truth of such inspirations, by working a miracle.

Now Sir, you being (as it seemes) an opposite to Pre­lacy, would make strange worke, to put downe one Ordi­nary in a Diocesse, and set up many extraordinaries in e­very Parish: And for ought I know, if some pretend ex­traordinary excitations, publikely to reforme against the will of the supreame Power, such as side with the supreame Power, may with as much probability alleadge extraordi­nary excitations to oppose and crosse the others Reforma­tion, and so betwixt them both our Church and State will be sufficiently miserable. And now Sir remember what you said in the last Paragraffe: To the law (saith the Scrip­ture) and to the Testimony; to such Judges we may safe­ly appeale from all your speciall excitations, extraordinary Incitations and christian Inspirations.

B In the building of the Temple you shall see in Ezra and Nehemiah such workings of God, when the people were ga­thered [Page 35] together as one man, they spake to Ezra the Scribe, to bring the Booke of [...] the law of Moses.) The unanimous consent of so many we acknowledge to be Gods worke. O that we might see the like agreement in England, where the people are so farre from being gathered together as one man, that almost every one man is distracted in his thoughts, like the times, and scattered from himselfe as if he were many people. Well, they spake to Ezra to bring the Booke of he law; what of all this?

C Here the people put on even Ezra to his duty.) And little speaking would spurre on him who of himselfe was so ready to runne in his calling: But I pray what was this Ezra? who were these people? Ezra was indeed a Priest, a learned Scribe of the law who brought up a par­ty out of Babylon to Jerusalem armed with a large pa­tent and Commission from Artaxerxes. The people here were the whole body of the Jewish Church and State to­gether with Zerobabel the Prince▪ and Jeshuah the high Priest,This appeares because in the Prop [...]et he is stiled Gover­no [...]r of Judah, Hag 1. 14. and that at the s [...]lf same time when Ezra came thither, see Luthers Chronology in 40. millen­arco. who (by leave from the Persian King) had the chiefe managing of spirituall and temporall matters. And judge how little this doth make for that purpose to which you alleadge it that from hence private persons may ei­ther make the supreame power to reforme, or doe it with­out his consent. Had you free leave of the whole Scrip­ture to range in, and could the fruit of your paines find out no fitter instance for your purposes.


And whereas you say, Reformation is of those duties that are D impaled in for some particular persons. I an­swer, this were a grand designe if you could heighten E Re­formation into such a holy prodigy, as you would of late the Church into the Prelacy and F Clergy, and excluded the Layty as a prophane G Crew, and to be taught their distance. Luther H will tell you, this is one of the Ro­man [Page 36] engines, to make such an holy businesse; like the mountaine in the law, not to be touc [...]t or approacht to, but by Moses alone. Thus you might take off many good Workemen, and honest l Labourers in the Vineyard whom Christ hath hired and sent in, and to whom he hath held out his Scepter, as Ahasuerus to Ester.


D And whereas you say Reformation is of those duties that are impaled in for some particular persons.) It appeares that publike Reformation is so impaled; for whereas every man is commanded to observe the Sabbath, honour his Parents, and every man forbidden to have other Gods, worship I­mages take Gods Name in vaine kill, steale, &c. Yet the supreame Power alone in Scripture is called on for pub­like Reformation, and no private person, as Saint Austin hath very well observed.

E I answer, Auscrenda I­dola, non potest quisquam iu­bere privatus Aug. cont. li­teros Utilium lib. 2. cap 92. this were a grand designe, if you could heigh­ten Reformation into such an holy Prodigy.) I need not heighten it, which is so high a worke of it selfe, that our longest armes cannot reach it, though we stand on the tip-toes of our best desires and endeavours, till God shall first be pleased to send us a peace. A prodigy it is not (not long since you tearmed it an extraordinary businesse) yet if it be performed whilst warre lasteth, it is a worke of the Lord, and may justly seeme mervallous in our eyes.

F As you would of late the Church into the Prelacy and the Clergy.) When and where did I doe this? I ever accounted that the Cetus fi [...]l [...]um, the Congregation of the faithfull was Gods Church on earth. Yet I often find the Church repre­sented in generall Counsels by the Prelacy and Clergy (who are or should be the best & wisest in the Church) & their de­cisions in matters of Religion interpreted and received as the resolutions of the Church in generall.

G And excluded the Layty as a prophane crew, and to be [Page 37] taught their distance.) What honest man ever thought the Layty, as Layty, prophane? I conceive our Kingdome would be very happy, if none of the Clergy were worse then some of the Layty. And I am sure that the godly Clergy are Gods Layty his [...] & the godly Layty are Gods Clergy, his [...] Yet now a dayes, some usurping Lay-men may well be taught their distance, who meddle with ministeria'l functi­ons: Nor will a wel-meaning heart one day excuse the un­sanctified hands of such Vzzah's, who presuming to preach, hold not our Arke from shaking, but shake our Arke with holding it.

H Luther w [...]ll tell you this is one of the Romish engines.) Indeed this was a Popish device too much to depresse the Layty. But this engine thanks be to God) is since broken asunder, and it will be in vaine for any to glew the peeces thereof together. And now since the Monopoly of the Po­pish Clergy (ingrossing all matters of Religion to themselves) is dissolved; it is fit Protestant Ministers lawfull propriety in their calling, should justly be maintained.

I Thus you may take off many honest Labourers in the Vine­yard.) Farre be it from me especially if they be skilfull La­bourers such as will prune the Vines, not pluck them up by the roots. But this and what you say of those to whom God hath held out his Scepter, is nothing to the purpose; except you could prove where God in the Scripture, hires or cals private men to make a publike Reformation.


And whereas you tell us that the supreame Power alone hath the lawfull calling as appeares in the Kings of Judah. I answer that if so the Parliament were now in a dangerous K praemunire for you know that is suspended from us, and yet our state goes on in their worke, enabled (as they say) by their fundamen [...]all power and constitution: I shall not here dispute the emanations of this power in ordinances, votes [Page 38] and orders▪ they have made it appeare in their owne declara­tions; onely this I read of an ordinance made by the Nobles and Elders of Israel, those Lords L and Commons. That whosoever would not come according to the Counsell which was taken for Reformation, all his substance should be forfei­ted. Here is no King of Judah's hand, nor a [...]yrus King of Persias▪ but an ordinance of their owne to their owne peo­ple; onely they have King Cyru's writ for their assembling and consulting. Had Christ M and his Apostles waited in their Reformation for the consent of the Roman Magistrate the supreame Power, they had not made that holy expediti­on they did. Had Luther and Zun [...]glius N and Oecolampa­dius staid for the Emperours Reformation, they had not shed halfe that light in the Germane hemisphere: There was a time when God tooke part of the spirit of Moses and put it upon O the Elders.


K If so the Parliament were now in a dangerous Praemu­nire.) I will not marre a meane Divine of him, to make a meaner States-man, by medling with matters in the Com­mon-wealth. I that maintaine that every man must stay in his calling, will not step out of mine owne: Let the diffe­rences betwixt our Soveraigne and his Subjects which con­sist in points of State be debated by the Politicians on ei­ther side, the questions in law be argued respectively by their learned Counsell and the controversies in Religion be dispu­puted by their severall Divines. But alas! such is our mise­ry when all is done, the finall decision is devolved to the Souldiers sword on either side, and God send the best cause the best successe.

L Onely this, I read of an Ordinance made by the Nobles and Elders of Israel those Lords and Commons.) By your fa­vour it was a compleat act of state as confirmed by the roy­all Assent. True, there was no King of Judah's hand unto it, [Page 39] because at that time Judah had no King; and who can ex­pect that the Sunne should shine at midnight, when there is none in that Horizon. Reasonable men will then be con­tented with the Moon-shine, and see that here. For Zeroba­bel shining with borrowed beames and a reflected light from the Persian King (in which respect he is stiled, Hag. 1. 14. the Governour of Judah) concurred to this Ordinance by his approbation thereof. Besides this, there was also a triple con­sent of the Persian Kings.

First, the grand and generall grant from Cyrus, Ezra 1. 3. which still stood in full force, as confirmed by Darius. Ezra 6. 12. whereby the Jewes being authorized to re-build the Temple, were also by the same enabled to settle Gods ser­vice in the best manner, by what wholsome lawes they thought fitting. Secondly, a particular implicite grant, in that the Persian King knowing thereof, did not forbid it when it was in his power, had it beene his pleasure; and such a not op­posing, amounts to a consent. Lastly, they had a large expresse command from King Artaxerxes to Ezra (chap. 7. ver. 26.) And whosoever will not doe the law of thy God, and the law of the King, let judgement be executed speedily upon him, whe­ther it be unto death or unto banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. And now Sir, I have the lesse cause to be offended with you for citing mangled and dismembred peeces in my Sermon, seeing the Scripture it selfe finds as little favour from your hand; for had you compared on place thereof with another you could not but have seen the Persi­an Kings consent to this Reformation. Yea so observant were the Jewes of the Persian Kings, that at the first issuing forth of their prohibition to that purpose, they instantly desisted building the Temple; having their soules so well managed, and mouthed with the reines of loyalty, that their Kings ne­gative voyce checkt and stopt them as they were running full speed in so good an imployment:Ezra 4. 24. so little doth the instance alleadged advantage your cause.

M Had Christ and his Apostles waited in their Reforma­tion [Page 40] for the consent of the Roman Magistrate.) I answer. First, Christ and his Apostles; were Christ and his Apostles, I meane extraordinary persons, immediately inspired. Se­condly, the Reformation they brought was mainly materiall indeed, being the Gospell, without which there was no salva­tion. Thirdly, because they had not the Emperours consent to their Reformation they pacified his displeased sword by preferring their necks unto it, not repining at the dearnesse of the purchase to buy the safety of their soules with the losse of their lives; all the Jury of the Apostles (John one­ly accepted) followed their Master to Martyrdome: and hence we truly deduced the patterne of passive obedience.

N Had Luther and Zuniglius, and Oecolampadius stayed for the Emperours Reformation.) Luther was a Minister and so had his share in reforming, so farre as to propagate the truth and confute falshoods by his pen, preaching and disputations. What he did more then this was done by the flat command, at lest free consent of Frederick Duke of Saxony under whom Luther lived. This Duke owing homage, but not subjection to the Emperour; counted himself▪ and was reputed of others, absolute in his owne Dominions, as invested with the power of life and death to coine money, make offensive and defen­sive leagues and the like. And although this wary Prince long poised himself betwixt feare of the Emperor and love of the truth, yet he always either publikely defended Luther, or pri­vately concealed him, till at last having outgrowne his fears, he fell boldly to publike reforming. As for the states of Zu­rich and Basil, wherein Zuniglius and Oecolampadius lived, as those Cities in one Relation are but members of the Hel­vetian Common-wealth, so in another capacity they are in­tire bodies of themselves, and in these states the Magistrates did stamp the Character of civill authority on that Reforma­tion which these Ministers did first set on foot by their prea­ching. But if any extravagant action of worthy men be ten­dred us in example, our love to their persons binds us not to defend their practice, much lesse to imitate it. We crave li­berty, [Page 41] & if denied will take it to leave them to themselves who if they had any especiall warrant to justifie their deeds, will at the last day produce and plead it.

O There was a time when God took part of the spirit of Moses & put it upon the Elders.) I will not dispute the manner how the spirit was taken from Moses, perchance added to others, without being substracted from him,Drusius in pentetu­chen ex R. Aben-Ez­rah. as a candle looseth no light by gi­ving it to another. But this is falsly al [...]eaged by you to intimate that sometimes inferiour Officers may make Reformations without the knowledge, yea, against the will of the supreame power. For you must know, that though the Sannedrin or seven­ty Elders were a constant Court and standing Counsell, yet when there was a chief Governour they had recourse to him in acti­ons of Moment, Num. 27. 15, 16, 17. And Moses spake unto the Lord saying let the Lord the God of the spirits of all flesh set a man over the Congregation which may go out before them▪ and which may lead them out and bring them in, that the Congregation of the Lord be not as Sheep which have no Shepheard. See that not­withstanding the power of the Elders stood still in full force, & determined not at Moses his death, yet he accounted Gods peo­ple no better then Shepheardlesse, till they had a power Para­mount placed over them, and a supreame above the Elders to guide and direct them.

SERMON Paragraffe 15.

‘Mean time meer private men must not be idle but move in their sphere, till the supream Power doth reform they must pray to inspire those that have power. Secondly, they must re­forme themselves and their Families.’


Stil you drive on your design thorow many plausible P insinu­ations you would keep private men doing but still doing in their owne Q circle; I confesse I would not improve their interest too high nor too soon, for the early settings forth of private men is apt to exceed into a tumultuary motion: Yet I would not put them so far behind as they should like the lame & the diseased at the poole of Bethesda waiting till a supreame R Power came downe amongst them. There are many publike ingagements [Page 42] which they are capable on, & which providence will often guide them to as in finding S out-ways of facilitation & advancement for the businesse; besides some other arcana and secret T prepa­rations; we see every thing naturally is spirited with an instinct of aiding, the whole V water and ayre will part with their own interest to serve the universall in the danger of a vacuity; the very W Romans by a morrall principle, would contend to be first in the service of their Country, and it remains as a crime upon record that X Gilead abode beyond Jordan, and that Dan remained in ships, and Ashur abode in his breaches; that is that they would sit downe encircled with their owne interest and affaires.


P Still you drive on your designe thorow many plausible insinua­tions.) Not insinuations but positions, and those no more plausi­ble then profitable. Truth hath a precious inside, and withall a pleasing face.

Q You would keep private men doing but still doing in their cir­cle.) And good reason too for if they be out of their circle, they are very troublesome spirits to conjure downe againe.

R Not like the lame at the poole of Bethesda waiting till a su­preame Power.) If God in his Word will have it so, they must wait. Better to lye still in the porch, though not cured then to rush headlong into the poole and be drowned.

S Providence will guide them in finding out-wayes of facilitati­on.) I protest against all out-wayes, if they be any way different from the high-road of the King of Heaven; Reformation how­ever must come lawfully, and if it will not come easily, let it come hardly, we will tug at it with our prayers (which are al­wayes best at a dead lift) and will sweat but not sin to obtain it. Nor can any better facilitation for privat men be found out, then for every one of them to reform themselves. How doth an Army of ten thousand men almost change their postures from East to West in an instant, because every one turneth one, and so soone would the work be done in a publike Reformation, if particular persons would take care for their private amendment.

T Besides some other arcana and secret preparations.) Good Sir [Page 43] play faire and above board: The surface of the earth is wide e­nough for us both, creep not into crannies, to put me to the pains of Pioners to mine for your meaning:Pro. 3. 32. I know the secret of the Lord is with the righteous; but then it is such a secret, as being concealed from prophane persons is revealed in the Word. This your expression if cleer from fault, is not free from just suspiti­on, for hereby you buz into peoples hands (and such tinder I tell you is ready to take fire) that there are some strange unknown misteries of Religion lately communicated to some private men. Strange that others of the same forme with you for learn­ing and Religion should know no such secrets, except you have received from Heaven some expresse packet of intelligence. You might have done well to have told us what these arcana are unlesse being of Heavens close Committee you be bound to secrecy. Meane time I will be bold to tell you that if these se­crets differ from Gods will in his Word, they are depths of the Divell and misteries of Iniquity.

V We see every thing naturally is spirited with an instinct of ay­ding, the whole water and ayre will part with their owne interests to serve the universall in the danger of a vacuity.) I distinguish betwixt naturall Agents and voluntary, rationall and Christian Agents. Naturall Agents goe the neerest way to their owne home, their Center, except countermanded to avoid a vacuity, which being yeelded to, necessarily inferres a destruction of the whole. In such a case heavy bodyes have from God a dispensati­on yea command to ascend, light bodies to descend, forgetting their particular propensity, to remember the publike good, ac­cording to the words of the Psalmist,Ps. 148. Q He hath made a decree which they shall not passe. But voluntary, rationall and Christian Agents, are to regulate their actions by Gods will in his Word; the greatest and onely vacuity they are to feare is Gods displea­sure whose glory they are to preferre before their owne tempo­rall self-preservation; and indeed mans eternall good is wrap­ped up in his obedience to Gods will. Wherefore except you can produce a place in Gods Word, wherein private men are commanded to make publike Reformations, there is a meer vacuity of all you have alleadged.

[Page 44] W The very Romans by a morrall principle would contend to be first in the service of their Country.) It was well done of them. Their forwardnesse in serving their Country will one day con­demne our frowardnesse in deserving our rending our native soyle asunder with civill dissentions; but in such cases as this is which we have now afoot (whether private persons may reform without the consent of the supreame Power) we are not to be guided by the practice of the Pagan Rom [...]ns but by the precept of the Christian Romans,Rom. 13. 1 Let every soule be subject to the high­er Powers.

X And it remaines as a crime upon Record, that Gilead abode b [...]yond Jordan, and that Dan remained in ships.) Thus it was; Sicera a Pagan generall under Jabin a Tyrant and Usurper ho­stilely invaded I [...]rael. Deborah a Prophetesse by Divine inspira­tion incited Barach to resist him. In this case each single man had a double call to assist Barach: In publi [...]cos [...], om­n [...]s [...] T. r­tullianus. One from Nature to defend his Country, another from Gods immediate vocation. Here it was lawfull for all to be active, sinfull for any to be idle: Jacl the woman was valiant; shall men be womanish and cowardly? Now prove that private men have the like calling in point of publike Reformation and if they be not active, we will not on­ly confesse it their crime but proclaime a curse against them with Meros, till this be done this instance befreindeth not your cause.


And Y though you would put private men upon such duties here as are godly & commendable the policy is to keepe them exer­cised in one good duty that they should not advance another & thus you would cunningly make one peece or Divinity to be­tray another, and make the freinds of Reformation doe it a dis­curtesie in ignorance.


Y I confesse it is an ancient subtilty of Satan, to keep men ex­ercised in one good duty that they should not advance another. Thus he busieth some men all in praying to neglect preaching, all in preaching to neglect Catechizing all in prayers▪ preach­ing, catechizing,2 King▪ 9. 35. to neglect practising. Jesabels body was all ea­ten [Page 45] up, save onely her head, hands and feet. But indiscreet zeal so consumes some, that they have neither hands nor feet left, either to worke or to wa [...]ke in their Christian calling: Yea, of all their head nothing remains unto them but onely their ears, re [...]olving all Gods service into hearing alone.

But this accusation is not onely improperly, but falsly here layed to my charge because I forbid meer private men to med­dle with publike reforming, which belongs not at all unto them: That so cutting off the needlesse suckers the tree may be fed the better▪ and that private men leaving off those imploy­ments which pertaine not to them, may the more effectually advance their owne amendment; a taske which when it is done, the severest Divine will give them leave to play.

And because one dangerous Policy hath been mentioned by you, it will not be amisse to couple it with another device of the Divell, as seasonable and necessary in these times to be ta­ken notice of. Satan puts many meere private men on to be fierce and eager upon publike reforming thereby purposely to decline and avert them from their own selfe-amendment. For publike reforming hath some pleasure in it, as a Magisteriall act and work of authority, consisting most in commanding and ordering of others; whereas private amendment is a worke all of paine, therein a man, as he is himselfe the judge, so he is the malefactor, and must indite himselfe, arraigne himselfe, convict himselfe, condemne hmselfe, and in part execute him­selfe crucifying the old man and mortifying his owne corrupti­ons. And we can easier afford to put out both the eyes of other men, to force them to leave their deare darling sinnes, then to pluck out our own right eye (in obedience to our Saviours pre­cept) and forsake our owne sinnes,Mat. 5. 29. which doe so easily beset us. Besides men may be prompted to publike reforming by cove­tousnes to gather chips at the felling of the old Church gover­ment by ambition to see aud be seene in office by revenge to wreck their spight on the personall offences of such, whom for­merly they distasted. Self amendment is not so subject to pri­vate ends but goeth against the haire yea, against the flesh it selfe, in making men deny themselves in duty to God.

[Page 46] Yea, at the last day of judgement, when God shall arraigne men, and say, Thou art a drunkard, Thou art an adulterer, Thou art an oppressor; it will be but a poore plea for them to say Yea Lord, but I have been a publike Reformer of Church and State. This plea, I say, will then not hold water, but prove a broken [...] ­sterne. Nor will God dispence with their want of obedience, because they have offered him store of sacrifice. Such people therefore are daily to be called upon, to amend themselves and their Families, which is a race long enough for the best brea­thed private Christians, though they start in their youth, and runne till their old age.

SERMON Paragraffe 26.

‘Lastly, with carefulnesse not to give any just offence to the Papists.’


I Z wonder you would here expresse an indulgence which is not allowable, and the memory of the Parliament will be ho­nourable for that; they knew so much divinity, as taught them not to value their offence, & to proclaim to them both in Eng­land and A Ireland an irreconcilable warre. This carefulnesse and tendernesse you plead for, was the first principle which our Church so farre, as to take up their Altars and Ceremonies to avoid offence. Saint Paul was of another spirit who forbore not B a Disciple and Apostle. When I saw, saith he, that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospell. You much mistake the Divinity of Christ, in matter of offence, who never forbore to preach, or publish any necessary truth: Nay, when his Disciples were scandalized, and said, this is an hard saying, doth this offend you, saith he? What and if, &c. He goeth on C and pursues the offence, till they left him and his Doctrine too. And for the Papists, they are much of the relati­on and constitution of the Scribes and Pharisees, not without, as you say nor within & yet see if you can find our Saviour or his Apostles letting out themselves into such restrictions, and mo­deration, and cautions. Those truths which are essentially, D u­niversally, alwayes and at all times holy, ought not to be mea­sured by the unbrage and scandall of the Adversary. Indeed in [Page 47] things meerly civill or indifferent, our use or liberty may ap­peare more but for such truths as our Reformation shall bring they will be alwayes an offence to the Adversary: We preach Christ, saith the Apostle, unto the Jewes a stumbling-blocke, and to the Greeks foolishnesse and yet the Apostle preacheth, E and layes these blocks, & this rock of offence in the way too.


Z I wonder you should here expresse an indulgence which is not allowable. That it is utterly unlawfull to give a­ny just offence to the Pa­pists or to any men whatsoe­ver.) I wonder and am sorry withall, to see a Protestant take unjust offence at this Doctrine, that no just offence is to be given to the Papists. Know Sir, that besides those Papists in England and A Ireland, to whom you say, the Parliament hath proclaimed an irreconcilable war; there be also many of their Religion in Spaine, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, &c. all Europe over, with whom the Parliament hath not as yet, any professed open hostility, and to these no offence must be gi­ven. The eye of all Christendome is upon us, the Sea sur­rounds, but doth not conceale us: Present Papists read the text of our actions, and their posterity will write comments upon them; we cannot therefore be too wary.

Besides, grant that this irreconcilable war you speak of, should bind men in a martiall way to kill all Papists; yet I pray take notice, that in some cases we may justly kill them, whom in no case we may justly offend. Though a malefactor be condemned by the Judge to be executed, yet the Sheriffe is a murderer if he torment him to death, contrary to the sentence of law. Now giving unjust scandall to the Papists, is torturing of them, and tyranny to their souls which may eternally destroy them; and you are the first Divine, and I hope shall be the last, which ever held this to be lawfull.

Whereas you say, I much mistake the Divinity of Christ in matter of offence. I should be very thankfull to you, if you be pleased to rectifie my erroneous judgement to which end I will crave the Readers leave, the more largely to expresse my opinion in this point.

I hold that we ought not to give just offence to any man whatsoever: Indeed there is no danger of giving offence to the divell. He who fears to offend Satan, offends God with his foo­lish [Page 48] fear: Because the divels very nature is all mischief and ma­lice, nothing being good in him save his being which he hath of God and he is utterly incapable of salvation. But seeing in the very worst of men there is some goodnesse, or at lest a capabi­lity of grace here, and glory hereafter, through repentance and faith in Christ, we may not give any man just offence, as being against the rules of Piety, Charity and Christian Prudence.

Against the rule of Piety:1 Cor. 10. 32. Because God hath said, give no of­fence to any. Against the rule of Charity; because thereby we are cruell to them which are our Brethren by nature,2 Cor. 6. 3. and may be by grace. Against the rule of Christian Prudence because we cannot give any just offence, but also thereby we doe give them a just advantage against us. I beleeve Sir, were you to dispute in an University against Popish Opponents you would so warily state the question which you defend, as that you would not wil­lingly give any upper ground to your Adversaries, more then what they could get for themselves. Wherfore as the wrestlers in the Olimpian games used to annoint themselves with oyle, not only thereby to supple their joynts, but also to make their naked bodies the more slick and slippery, that so those who wrestled with them might catch no hold upon them, so ought we, who are like to have constant opposition with the Papists, to give them no more advantage then what they can earn & if we give them more, they will be more ready to jeere us for our folly, then thank us for our bounty unto them.

Yea, in this respect it is more dangerous to give just offence, and therby just advantage (for the one cannot be done without the other) to the Papists then to any meer Pagans: For Pagans being rude, dull and ignorant, though an advantage be given them, cannot in point of learning husband and improve it to the utmost. But the Papists whom we doe know and must ac­knowledge cunning fencers in the School of wit and learning, are so well skild, as ever to keep and inforce the advantage we once bestowed on them. And though we need never feare them and all their art so long as we have God and a good cause on our side, so if we betray our cause by giving them just ad­vantage, it is just with God to deliver us over into their hands, to beat us with our owne weapons.

[Page 49] And heare let the Reader be pleased to take notice, as much materiall to our purpose, that there is a grand diffe­rence, betwixt the Removing of things, bad in their owne nature, and betwixt the manner of removing them. If any thing be bad in it selfe, it may not be continued, it must be removed. None can dispence with the retaining there­of, though never so many or great Persons take offence at the taking of it away. If Friers bee offended thereat, let them turne their girdles, with all their knots in them behind them, whilst wee neede not care for their causelesse anger. They who were so quick sighted that they could see an of­fence, where it was never given them; Let them looke a­gaine in the same place, and their quick eyes will behold there, the amends which were never tendered them.

But now, as for the manner of removing of things badd in themselves, when there is a liberty and latitude left un­to us after what fashion we will doe it, either this way or that way, we must doe it so as to give none any just offence. For where it is at our choice and pleasure to use variety of waies, our discretion must pitch on the best, whereby God may receive the most glory, the action the most luster, wee our selves the greatest comfort, and all others no just cause of offence. And here once againe let mee request the Rea­der to observe, that in my Sermon, I never mentioned any tendernes, to give the Papists offence, in removing of thinges bad in themselves, but this caution of not giving the Pa­pists just offence, was inferted in the proper place, when we came to shew how discretion is to appeare in the man­ner of a reformation.

Yea the same thing for substance may be done and just offence either may or may not be given according to the different manner of doing it. For instance, such Pictures which are in the suburbs of superstition, because the gate of that City is alwaies open, may without any giving of just offence be fairely taken away. But to shoot off the head of the statue of Christ, either to spite the Papists, or sport our [Page 50] selves giveth just offence. Though the Image be nothing, yet such usage thereof is something, the bullet shott at the picture, wounds pietie: For to do serious worke in a jea­ring way, is inconsistent with Christian gravities, and ar­gueth not light of knowledge but lightnesse, not to say lewdnesse of behaviour.

Another instance. Suppose that some ceremonies anci­ent for time, used by the fathers, (though abused by the Papists (reduced by the Protestants, defended by our English, not opposed by forraigne Devines, be practised in our Church. And withall suppose, that such ceremonies as they are harmelesse so to be uselesse, and not without the suspition of danger, as the present times stand. In this case it will give no just offence to the Papists to take them away under the Nation, of things unnecessary, and unsuting with our present condition. But to remove them as things pro­phane, Idolatrous, or superstitious, giveth just offence and great advantage to our Romish adversaries, by the disgrace we put on Antiquity. Besides, hereby we betray our freinds which have don good service for our Religion, namely such English Devines who with their penns have Learnedly and truly asserted the lawfulnesse of such ceremonies, and this our retreating from them and leaving them ingaged, (as Ioas served Vriah 2. Sam. 11. 15. at the siege of Rahab treacherously) shews much basenesse in us and, in such a case, the dishonouring of good men is the dishonoring of God himselfe.

But if I should in Courticie yeeld so much unto you (which I never will) that it were lawfull to give just offence to & grounded dedicated Papists, yet know there be some, who in their opnions, & affections, the borderers betwixt us & the Papists, almost Protestants not far from our Religion, having one foote in it, and the other likely to follow, such People when they see, that we take no care, and make no conscience, to give just offence to the Papists, will be rea­dy to retract their resolutions, and call back their forward affections, say not that such men are better lost then found. [Page 51] Is this the bowels of Christian compassion, which ought to be in us, If we wilfully blast such blossomes, we are not worthy of any ripe fruite, and it is both cruelty and pro­fanesse to cast such doe bakt cakes to the Doggs, which by standing a while longer in the Oven, would make good and wholsome bread. Nor herein do I write only by guesse, but too much by knowledge, such as I can, neither well conceale nor comfortably, relate. For when the Re­ligious paines of some reverend Devines whom I know, have brought some Papists to the doore of our Church, the just offence given them, by the moderne extravagances of some undiscreet Protestants, caused them to fale backe againe to Popery. And now to returne to your Examina­tion. All things contained therein, are easily to be answe­red by that which we have promised.

B. Saint Paule was of another Spirit, who forbore not a Disciple* and Apostle, Gall. 2. 11 Saint Paule perceiving a dangerous error, in Peter, reproved him, both presently while the would was greene, and publiquely, that the plaister might be as broad as the fore. But in thus doing he gave no just offence to Peter but blamed Peter for giving just offence to other Christians.

C. He goeth on and persueth the offence till they left him) This instance of Christs his cariage herein nothing advan­tageth you. Give me leave to repeate what I said before, If things be bad in themselves, they must be removed, though they give never so many offence or rather though never so many or great men, take offence thereat so also if a necessary▪ Tru [...]h bee to be introduced, it must be preached and brought into the Church, though never so many be offended thereat. And if there be but one way, and no more allowed us, how and in what manner to do it, accor­ding to that one way, it must be don, not valluing the offen­ding of any. But if verity of way be permitted unto us, God expects that we should give the least, and if possible no offence to any. Now to apply the truth which our [Page 52] Saviour heare preached, and pressed, was of absolute and necessary concernment. Namely that he was the true Manna Messiah and bread from heaven. Such truths must bee preached, and if any burne with anger threat, let not their fire be quenched, till it goe out for want of fuell. The case is farre otherwise in this Reformation, betwixt us and the Papists. We had all essentiall truths before, and if any orna­mentall, or additionall truths be now to be brought in, they must be so done as to give no just offence to the Papists.

D. Those truths, which are essentially, universally, al­waies, and at all times holy ought not to be measured, by the umbrage and scandall of the adversaries.) If hereby you meane, that necessary truths must not bee forborne to bee preached, for feare of giving any offence, I clearely con­curre with you. Onely I say that all such truths are in our Church already, and not now to bee newly brough in, (as you intimate) by the Reformation.

E. And yet the Apostle Preacheth, and layes those blockes and this rock of offence in the way too.) The Apostle preached Christ, and intended him to be a rock of defence to all, As for those who perverted him to bee a rock of offence to themselves, this scandall was not justly given to them, but unjustly taken by them. If Papist take offence at any such truth, it shall affect us no more then the cryes of Baals Prophets1 King. 18. 29. affected any of whom it is said, there was none to answer them, nor any that regarged them. But as for the manner of removing away any errors, or bringing in any Truths, we ought to bee wary and circumspect, for our own sakes, as well as theirs, to give them no just offence.

To conclude. For mine owne part Sir I pittie the Persons of all Papists, & heartily desire their convertion, but hate theirs, and all other errors, with a perfect hatred. And this my enmity to all Popish Tenents, doth the more plainely ap­peare to be grounded on my Judgement not on my passion, Because I would have al men so cautious, as not to give them just advantage, least our actions fight for them, whilst our [Page 53] affections fight against them. What Frier will not laugh in his Coule at this your opinion, that it is lawfull to give Papists just offence? Well, you never shall have my consent, to combate as our Churches Champion, against Rome for the Protestant cause, untill you have learnt more skill in fencing, and not to lye at so open a guard. And if you hold it lawfull to give Papists just offence, by the next returne you will hold it lawfull to give just offence to all, which are termed Popishly affected, the Gangrean of which expression, is by some extended to taint as sound and hearty Prote­stants, as any be in England.

SERMON Page. 24.

‘That it is to be desired, not hoped for, a Pla [...]oes Com­mon-wealth and Moores Vtopia These Phrases are pleasing but unfeerable.’


Hee that lookes abroad shall soone have his sight ter­minated, but the more hee goes on the more he sees, and that which closed his prospect opens then into new disco­veries; if you see no perfect reformation as you stand, do not therefore say there is none, they that stand higher and on a holyer mountaine, perhapps see farther, you that stand in the Horizon G of Prelacy cannot see much beyond it; Corruption is deceitfull and makes us like Adam see all Generations in our selves, because we will not be pefectly reformed, let us not argue our Iudgments into a beleeife that we cannot, [...] let us think it as possible to be the best, as easie to be the worst, Let us not thinke that a Plato's Common wealth or a Mor'es Vtopia which for ought we know is reall and existent, there is under the Gospell I a royall Preisthood, an holy nation, a peculier People, and cer­tainly had former K ages lived to see, but the discovery of [Page 54] latter times, they would have admired their owne ignorance and our happinesse.


F. They that stand higher and on a holyer mountaine, perhapp's see further) I deny it not. But if they see a perfect Church on earth they see it in a trance or vision.

G. You that stand in the Horizon of Prelacy, cannot see much beyond it.) Misse not the matter, to h [...]tt my person, if I stand in the Horizon of Prelacy I stand no more for it, then it stands, with Gods glory, and will in his word. Because you taxe me with dimnesse of sight, I will strive by my stu­dy to get the best advantage ground I can, I will begg of God, to animate mine eyes with his Rev. 3. 18. eye salve, I will be carefull to keepe mine eyes from being bloodshot, by ani­mating any to cruelty in this unnaturall Warr And know Sir that they who stand in the Horizon of Presbutary, or Independency, are subject also to Errors, and mistakes. As delight in old Customes may deceive some, so desire of Novelty may blind the eyes of others. God helpe us all we are badd at the best.

H. Because we will not be perfectly reformed, let us not argue our Iudgments into a beleife that we cannot) A di­stinction or two of perfection and your fallacy will perfect­ly appeare. Some Saints in the Scripture phrase are stiled perfect, but then it is Comparatively as they stand in op­position toSanctorum nonnulli per­fecti dicuntur respectu mun­danorum, qui negligunt res divinas nec ingrediuntur unquam viam prosectionis Amb. Com. in Epist: ad Phil. Cap. 3. wicked men who have no goodnesse at all in them. Or else they are called perfect as so denominated from their better part (good reason the best Godfather, should name the Child) their regenerate halfe, which de­sires, and delights in endeavoring towards perfection, or lastly perfection is taken for integrity, sincerity, and un­rightnesse opposite to inward hippocrisie, and in such a perfection the Heart may have many defects by the by, but no dissimulation in the maine service of God. Such a [Page 55] perfection as this, men may have, yea must have, in this life, and without such a perfection here, no hope of any hap­pinesse hereafter.

But as for an exact [...] legall perfection (such as some Pa­pists dreame of, and most Anabaptists doate on) a perfecti­on able to stand before Gods Iustice, without the support of his mercy, it is utterly impossible for mortall men to at­taine unto it. In which sence in my Sermon, I said that a Perfect reformation of a Church in this world is difficult to be prescribed, and impossible to be practised.

Yea let me tell you Sir (cautious comming from goodwill, deserve to be heard, if not heeded) if you persist in this o­pinion of exact perfection, I conceive your condition dan­gerous. Elisha told King Ioram, Beware that thou passe not 2 King. 6. 9. such a place, for thither the Aramites are come downe. I may friendly tell you, presse not one any further in this point, for spirituall pride lyeth hard by in waite, and the ambush thereof will surprise you. For my owne part, as I hate my badnesse, so I hugge the confession that I am badd, And Gods children, finde both contentment and comfort in knowing they cannot bee perfect. Hence they learne, (what soule so bad, which hath not sometimes some holy-day thoughts) to loath earth to love. Heaven, to runne from themselves, to fly to their Saviour, to pittie others, to pray heartily for them, to hope comfortably of them, in a word this doctine, abateth pride, increaseth charity, and con­foundeth censuring.

Yea I solemnely professe that I would not herein change my doctrine for yours, to have much to boote. Should I say, that I could be perfect, both my head and my heart would give my tongue the lye. And one of the best hopes, I have to goe to Heaven, is that I am sute I deserve Hell. I remember a strange, but true and memerable speech of Re­verend Mr. Fox Cited by Mr. Capel in his Booke of Temptation. to this effect, that his Graces sometimes did him harme, whilst his sinne did him much good. A wonderfull thing, yet sometimes so it commthe to passe, God [Page 56] making a cordiall for us of our owne wickednesse, thereby teaching us humility.

I. There is under the Gospel a Royall Priesthood, an holy Nation a peculiar people.) True, Here these things are sin­cerely begunne, and hereafter fully perfected, for in this life there is still some basenesse, even in the royall priesthood, im­piety in the holy Nation, commonnesse in the Peculiar people. And I pray remember you are to prove, that a whole Church may bee perfectly reformed in this world. For though it were granted that some men might be perfect, yet it followeth not thereupon, that any one Church is existent on Earth, consisting intirely all of perfect members. Hipo­crites are of so glutenous a nature, they will stick close in e­very visible Church. They cannot be devided, who cannot be discerned, except one could borrow Gods touchstone of hearts, such shining drosse will ever passe current in this Kingdome of Grace.

K. Had former ages lived but to see the discovery of lat­ter times) If by former ages you meane the time of Popery, I concurre with you. If you understand the times of the Primitivs Fathers, I suspend my suffrage till the next pa­ragrave. But if you extend it to the age of Christ, and his Apostles, I flatly discent. Nor am I sensible of any such late discoveries in Religion though many Recoveries thanks he to God there have been, in rescuing the faith from Romish superstition.

L. They would have admired their owne ignorance and our happinesse.) By our Happinesse, I suppos [...] you meane, what lately we had before this Warre began, and what we had not the happinesse to keepe, and wee trust in due time, God will restore to us againe. Otherwise, as for our pre­sent woefull condition, I would not wish our friends, or en­vie our foes such happinesse.

SERMON Paragarffe 32.

‘There are some now adayes talke of a great light main­fested in this age more then before. Indeede we modernes have a mighty advantage of the antients, whatsoever was theirs by industry may be ours, all contribute themselves to us who live in this latter age.’


If we had no more light, then what you insinuate were seene from the Fathers, why doe we see more, and more cleerely and further? He that sees far, must either have a good sight or a cleare light, and sure in this age wee have both, Those errours which our Fathers saw for dimme truthes we see for Herisies; so surely both our eyes, and our light are better; for the light which our Fathers have in their lamps can discover, but so much to us, as it did to them, and we know our discovery is such, as wee are able to see the sha­dow which followed them, even that Mistery, which was working in their dayes, both in Prelacy and ceremony, who will deny but that the cloud of Antichristianisme, was thicke in their times, and then the light could not be so glo­rious, as now when those couds grow thinner, and more attenuated by the preaching of the Gospel.


To cut off all occasion and pretence of caviling,8. What advan­tage the Fa­thers had of us in Learning, and Religion, and what wee heve of them. wee will shew, God willing, in what respect the Fathers, for know­ledge excelled, and exceeded us, and in what respect wee modernes goe beyond them. They had a threesold advan­tage above us. 1. Of sight. 2. Of light. 3. and of a nearer object.

First, Of a better sight. Being men of eminent natural [Page 58] parts, improved with excellent learning, and to the Ea­sterne fathers, the Greeke tongue, the language of the New Teastament was naturall, so that it costeth us much paines and sweat but to come to the place whence they started.

Secondly, Of a brighter light. As their constancie in per­secution was great, so no doubt the heate of their zeale was attended with a proportionable light, and heavenly illumi­nation God doing much for them that suffer much for him. Especially in those points wherein they encountred here­ticks, they were more then men, and went beyond them­selves, as St. Athanasius against the Arians, St. Au­gustine against the Pelagians and Donatists, from whom our moderne Brownists differ no more, then the same man differs from himselfe in new cloathes.

3. Of a nearer Object. They living closer to Christs times, could therefore better understand the sence of the Church▪ in the doctrine delivered to the Apostles. Here we must know that Apostles, and Apostolick men as they wrote Gods word in their Epistles▪ and Gospels for the pro­fit of all posterity so for the instruction of their present age they also [...]. 1 Cor. 11. 23. traditioned it in their Preaching by word of mouth to the people of those times, not that they delivered any thing viva voce contrary or differtent from what they wrote, or that (as the Papists stile for their traditions) they supplyed and enjoyned any thing as necessary to salvation, which otherwise was wanting in the Scripture, but the selfe same things which they wrote in the New Testament, they also delivered in their Sermons, and in their Preaching de­lated upon them, wherefore the prime primative age, ha­ving (as I may say) two strings to their bow, Scripture, and Preaching, must needes bee allowed to have had the clea­rest apprehention of the meaning of heavenly misteries, and as the children Iudg. 2. 7 [...] of Israell served the Lord all the dayes of Iehossuah and all the dayes of the Elders, who outlived Ie­hossuah, who had seene all the great workes of the Lord which he did for Israell, in like manner wee may conclude, [Page 59] that the greatest puritie and the clearest light of the Church, lasted so long as any, within sight, hearing, or memory of Christ or his Apostles preaching, or miracles, did survive.

Now to hold the scales even, we in like manner have a three fold advantage over the Fathers. First a degree of experimentall light more then they had or could have, ha­ving seene the whole conduct, Mannaging and Progresse of Religion since their times, whereby (with a litle helpe of history) a Devine who is under sixtie in age, may be a bove sixteene hundred in experience.

Secondly, we have the benefits of the Fathers bookes, a mightie advantage if we were as carefull to use it to Gods Glory, as we are ready to bragg of it for our owne credit. And here I must complaine of many mens lazi­nesse. Indeed a learned manNos nani su­mus stantes super humeros Gygantum. Hol. cott. compareth such as live in the latter times in respect of the Fathers to Dwarffes stan­ding on Giants Shoulders. But then if we will have pro­fitt by the fathers learning, we must take paines to mount to the tope of their Shoulders. But if like idle Dwarfes, we still do but stand on the ground, our heads will not teach to their girdles, it is not enough to through the bookes of the fathers, togeather on an heape, and then making their workes our footestoolle to stand on the out­side and Covers of them, as if it were no more, but VP and RIDE, boasting how far we behold beyond them. No, if we expect to gett advantage by their writings, we must open their bookes, read, understand, compare, digest and meditate on them. And I am affraid many that least looke into the Fathers, boast most that they looke beyond them.

Thirdly. Wee have the advantage of a darknesse remo­ved by Gods goodnesse from our eyes, which in some mat­ters did dimme the sight of the Fathers. Namely the mistery of Iniquity which wrought in their times, & now is taken away in the Protestant Church. That Bramble of Rome, [Page 60] (soone will it prick, which will be a thorne,) which after­wards Lorded it over the Vine, Olive, and figtree, beganne very timely to play his parte, And the Man of sin, then but an infant (and every thing is pretty when it is yonge,) was unawares dandled on the knees of many a devout Monke, and rockt in the cell of many an holy hermit, who litle suspected that then voluntary sequestring themselves to enjoy heavenly thoughts, would by degrees degenerate to be in after ages the cover of Pride, lust and lazinesse. Now seing this man of sinne, is dead already in the Protestant Church, and hath a consumption attended with the Heck­tick Fever in all other places, the taking away of Popish superstition, may justly be accounted the third advantage which our age hath.

By the way we must take heed of a fault whereof many are guilty. For some are ready to challenge every thing in the practise of the Fathers which doth not please them pre­sently to be Popish, and pretend they tast superstition in whatsoever themselves distast. O say they, the Fathers lived when the mystery of iniquity did worke, and hence they in­fer that it is evidence enough without further tryall to con­demne any cerimonies used by them, because they were used by them. The way indeede to make Short Assises, but Perjur'd Iudges, whereas it is not enough to say, but to shew that they are superstitious, to anotomize, and dissect the Popery conteined in them, demonstrating where it crosseth the word of God, wheras on the contrary all wise and charitable men ought to esteeme the practises of the primitive Church not only to be innocent, but usefull and honourable till they be legally convicted to be otherwise.

If any object that the Fathers had another disadvantage, that besides the spreading of Popery, other Heresies did also spring and sprout apace in that time, to the darkening of the light of the truth, let them know that such oppositi­on only gave truth the opportunity to tryumph, and the teeth of Error filled it the brighter Heresies, In eodem secu­lo, [Page 61] quo natae, damnatae equos err [...]res patrum aetas tulit, eos & sustulit, condemnig them in Synods and Councells, And in this point to be an equall Empire betwixt the ancients and us, we must consider that we live in the Later age, and commonly bad humors which have visited the whole body, do settle at last in the leggs and lowest parts, with us Sects and Schismes do also abound, and some Heresies first set a broach in the Primitive times, now runne a Tilt with all their dredgs in our dayes.

Thus we see how the Fathers were both before and behind us, for knowledge, and wee therein both above and beneath them in severall respects. See the wisdome and goodnesse of God, how he hath sweely tempered things together. So good that all have some, so wise that none have all. And how easie may this controvercy be accommodated, whether ours or the Fathers light were the greatest, where if the difference be but cleerly under­stood, the parties are fully reconciled. And now I con­ceive having answered you in grosse, I need not apply my selfe to any perticulers of your examination.


The Gospel doth worke M and wind its beames into the world according to the propheticall seasons for Revelation, many propheticall truthes were sealed up, and those not unsealed but successively, and as our Generations after may have a Starre rising to them which we have not, so we may have Beames N and Radiations, and shootings which our fathers had not. The Apostles O had not all their truths and light revealed at once, some early, some late, some not till the holy Ghost was bestowed. Revelations are graduall and the vaile is not taken off at once, nor in one age. We honour the Fathers as men in their Generati­ons famous, their light was glorious in its degree and qua­lity, but they had not all the degrees attainable, they had [Page 62] a light for their owne times, and we for ours, and who can­not thinke that we are rising into that Age P wherein God shall powre his Spirit upon all flesh, and wherein the light of the Moone shall be as the light of the Sunne and the light of the Sunne as the light of Seaven dayes.


You hover in Generalls,9. No new light or new essen­tiall truths are or can be revealed in this age. and seeme to me desirous that your Reader should understand more then you are willing to expresse, my opinion breifly is this. That no new Re­velations, or new infused light in essentiall points of Re­ligion, is bestowed on any now-adayes, but that the same light hath in as plentifull a measure beene given to former ages, especially to the age wherein the Apostles lived, and when the faith was once delivered to the Saints, and by them sett downe in the Scripture, and that then so perfectly and compleatly, that it needed not the accessions of any fu­ture Revelations.

I confesse that men by searching the Scripture (that oyle will never leave increasing as long as more vessells be still brought) and diligent prayer to God may and do arive daily at a clearer understanding of many places of Gods word which they had not before. These words; Thou art Peter and on this rock will I build my Church, and that Place, this is my body, are now more truly and plainly un­derstood then they were 200. yeares agoe, when the Popes supremacy was as falsly founded on the former as transub­stantiation was unjustly inferred from the latter. How­ever these were not Revelations of new truthes, but repa­rations of ould. For the prime primative Church received and embraced the same, The SaintsRevel. 14 3. in the time of Popery Sung as it were a new song, a Song not new but renewed, not new in it selfe but perchance to the hearers, and such are many truthes, which are preached in our age in the Protestant Church.

[Page 63] They that maintaine the contrary opinion of moderne re­velations of new essentiall truths doe a three fold mischeife therein. First they lay an aspertion of ignorance and imper­fection of knowledge on the Apostles themselves, and this is no lesse then Scandalum Magnatum.

Secondly they much unsettle men in matters of Religion, and produce a constant inconstancy and scepticall hovering [...] all oppinions and as the Athenians erected an Altar to the unknowne God, so men must reserve a blancke in their soules therin to write truths as yet unknown, when they shall be revealed. Thus men will never know when their creede is ended, and will daily waver in that truth which they have in possession, whilst they waite for a clearer and firmer as yet in revertion.

Thirdly, they fixe on the Scripture an imputation of im­perfection and such as talke of new revelations of truth, may well remember the passage in the Old Revelation. Reve. 21. 18. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this booke. And it seemes to mee all one in effect whether men peece the Scriptures, with old Traditions, or new Revelations; and thus the Pa­pist and Anabaptist are agreed like men in a circle going so farre from each other with their faces, till their backes meete together. And I professe I should sooner trust a tradition containing in it nothing crosse to the Scripture and com­ming to mee recommended from the primitive times, and countenanced with the practise of the Church in all ages, then a new upstart Revelation. The best is, wee have no neede to trust either, whilst we have Gods word alone suf­ficient to relie on.

The result of all is this, We have now a-dayes no new truths revealed, but old ones either more fairely cleared or more firmely assented to, no new Starres of Revelation a­rise in any hearts. If any such doe burne and blaze there, they are but commerts which will fade at last. In a word this age is not happie with any new truths, but guiltie of many old lyes.

[Page 64] Yea, it rendereth it suspitious, that some men are going about somewhat, which they cannot justifie by the old knowne lawes of God, because they beginne to broach pre­parative doctrines, Introductorie of new revelations: Di­strusting (as it seemes) the Scripture, the old Iudge, as not for their turnes, because they provide for an Appeale to an other Vmpirer; and if those are justly accounted dange­rous members in the Church, who would bring in Innova­tions in Ceremonies, then pretenders of new Revelations in Essentiall points of Doctrine are so much the greater offen­ders, by how much Doctrine is more necessary, and funda­mentall in a Church then ceremonies. But I will answer some passages in your Examination particularlie.

M. The Gospel doth worke and winde its beames into the world, according to the propheticall seasons for Revelotions.) Distinguish we heare, betwixt matters of fact, and matters of faith. Matters of fact being foretold in the Scripture, are best understood when they are accomplished: In which re­spect the longer the world lasteth, the clearer men see & the plainer they understand such predictions. The Seales in the Revelations were successively opened, the Trumpets succes­sively blowne, the Vialls successively powred out, and the things imported in and by them, are successively performed. Wherefore time is the best comentator on the propheticall parts of the Bible, Dies diem docet. And to day, which is yesterdaies schoolemaster will be Scholler to to morrow, in which respect theDan. 12. 4. Prophets words are most true, Many shall runne too and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. But now, as for matters of Faith, they were at once, and for ever, fully, and freely, delivered at the first to the Apostles, and so from them to us, and that so perfectly, & compleatly, they neede no new revelations, quo ad Materiam, though quoad modum, old truths may now have a new measure to be more clearely understood then in the darke times of Po­pery.

N. We may have Beames, and Radications, and Shoot­ings, [Page 65] which our Fathers had not.) For Beames and Radica­tion of knowledge, I have delivered my oppinion: but as for Shootings, God k [...]owes wee have many such as our Fa­thers never had; God in his mercy cease such Shootings, or else in his Iustice direct the Bulletts to such markes, as in truth have been the troublers of our Israel.

O. The Apostles had not all their truths and light, revea­led at once, some early, some late, some not till the Holy Ghost was bestowed.) All this is most true which you say, The Apo­stles at first were (as we may say) Freshmen, newly admitted into Christs Company. Then they tooke their first degree of knowledge, when sent forth to Preach the Gospel, Mat. 10. to the Iewes alone in their Masters life time. They com­menced in a higher knowledge after Christ his Resurrecti­on; And after his Assention, assended yet higher in Spiritu­all Illuminations: Lastly, after the comming of the Holy Ghost, they proceeded Doctors in deede; I meane, they then had the completion and consumation of all understan­ding necessary to salvation. Now Sir, Consider that after this time, they wrote the New Testament, and therein all essentialls for us to know and doe for our soules health, so that we now doe deduce and derive our knowledge, not from the Apostles in their infancy, or minority of Judgement, but from them having attained to the Top, and Verticall point of their perfectest skill in heavenly misteries.

P. And who cannot thinke, wee are rising into that age, wherein God will power his Spirit upon all flesh, &c.) What proportion doth this beare with what you said not long since. Prophesying that our Marian Times did approach too fast? When nothing was light but the Bo [...]efiers to burne the Marters. I will not deny, but this great sun m [...]y arrise, but the reigning vices of the time are but an ill Mor­ning Starre to harbinger the rising thereof. We have taken the St. Shippe from those in heaven, but have no more holi­nesse in our selves here on earth. What betwixt the sins which brought this Warre, and the sinnes this warre hath [Page 66] brought, they are sad presages of better times. Never was Gods name more taken in vaine by oathes and imprecations. The Lords day, formerly profained with mirth, is now profained with malice, and now as much broken with Drummes as formerly with a Taber and Pipe. Superiours never so much slighted, so that what1 Sam. 25. 10 Naball said sullenly, and (as he applyed it) falsly, we may say sadly & truly, there be many servants now adayes, that breake away, every man from his Master. Killing is now the only Trade in fashi­on, & Adultery never more common, so that our Nation (in my opinion) is not likely to confound the spirituall Whore of Babilon, whilst corporall whoredom is in her every where committed, no where punished. Theft so usuall, that they have stollen away the word of Stealing, and hid it under the Name of Plundering. Lying both in word & Print grown Epidemicall, so that it is questionable whether Gunnes or Printing, (two inventions of the same Countrey and stan­ding) at the present doe more mischeife in this Kingdome. It is past coveting of our Neighbours houses, when it is come to violent keeping them. He therefore that doth seriously consider, the Grievousnesse and Generality of these sinnes, will rather conclude that some Darkenesse of Desolation, then any Great light is likely to follow upon them. God I confesse in mercy may doe much, both to pardon and pro­sper us, and can extract Light out of Darkenesse, but whe­ther he will or no, I (though confident of his power,) see little cause to hope of his pleasure herein, And though here­in I must confesse, many of these inormities. may, (though not wholy be excused, yet) be something extenuated, by pleading the unavoidable necessities which warre doth cause, yet surely wee shall answer to God for causing this warre, by our crying sinnes, and transgressions.

Q Wherein the light of the Moone shall be as the light of the Sunne, and the light of the Sun as the light of the seven dayes.) This, for ought I can finde to the contrary, was ac­complished as Christ Comming, and the generall giving of [Page 67] the Gospel to the Gentiles, with the sending of Gods Spi­rit miraculously upon them, sure I am a Paralell place of the Prophet was then fulfilled, by the exposition of Saint Ioel 2. 28. Acts 2. 17. Peter himselfe, And it shall come to passe in the last dayes (saith God) I will power out my spirit upon all flesh: and your Sonnes and your Daughters shall prophesie, and your young­men shall see visions, and your old men shall dreame dreames. These words having the advantage of that Date In the last daies, might with the more colour have beene allead­ged by you, and applyed to these times, to prove some spe­ciall Revelations in our dayes, had not the Apostle marred your Mart, and prevented you by applying the prophesie to the primative times.


But we see the Policy R of commending the Fathers light to our Generation, for could you prevaile with us to set our Dialls by that, you then might reforme our Church by the Canterburian Gnomen, and so set us backe to a falsly-reputed, Primitive Reformation.


R. But wee see the policie of commending the Fathers.) I protest before Almighty God I have neither base nor by respect in praising the Fathers. Saint Paule blamedGal. 2. 11. Peter at Antioach, because he was to be blamed. I in the like man­ner commend the Light of Fathers, because it is to bee com­mended not for any favour or flattery. A falsely-reputed pri­mitive Reformation, I abhorre from my heart, & I presume our Church is to wise to be cosened therewith. If Canterbu­ry hath misbehaved himselfe his friends for him desire no more, and foes to him should grant no lesse, then a legall triall. But insult not on any mans sufferings, Organs I dare say, are not so offensive in Churches as the making of Mu­sick [Page 68] on men in misery. Time was when you sett as much by a smile from Canterbury, as he still setts litle by a Scoffe from you.

SERMON Paragraffe 13. 14. 15. 16.

‘The qualification for Reformers, the Decent burialls of such Ceremonies, as are taken from the Fathers, the ho­norable Reservation to our first Reformers.’


That it may appeare I looke not only at the worst of the Sermon, There are Excellent Truths in it, and it is pitty they are not better S scituated, I could alwaies wish to see a Diamond set in Gold.

These are good Positions, and in their pages not without their enamill of witt, yet there is a policy to write faire in one Lease, though you T make a blot in another, but I cannot let these passe without some observation.


S. And it is Pitty they are not better scituated, I could alwaies wish, to see a Diamond set in Gold.) I cannot blame you, especially if the Diamond be their owne. But what meane you by this Expression; Would you have had the Truths in my Sermon to have beene set in the Gold of rich & glittering language. Truly I could not go to the cost there­of especially on so sh [...]rt warning, wherein the Sermon was made. How ever a Diamond, is a Diamond though set in Horne, whereby the luster thereof may be somewhat dim­med, but the worth thereof no whit deminished. But in one respect I must confesse these Truthes were ill scituated, that they stood too neere to a captious Reader, who tooke causelesse exception at them.

[Page 69] T. Yet there is a policie to write faire in one leafe, though you make a blot in another) Shew me Sir, where these blotts bee. For as yet I am more troubled to know my fault, then my defence.


First for qualification, V I dare say, never age affor­ded more eminent in this Kimgdome, their calling lawfull, their Pietie exemplary, their knowledge radiant, their cou­rage experienced through a legion of difficulties, Their prudence in the conduct of a businesse, though opposed with the Policy, and malignity of a grand and Potent E­nemy.


V. For their qualification I dare say.) If you dare say it, I dare not to gainsay it. Their calling no doubt is lawfull, if the supreame powers concurres with them. Of their pie­tie, which consists in their hearts, God alone is Iudge. I will not dispute against their radiant Knowledge, nor fight with their experienced Courage, and it were folly in me to oppose their Prudence. Let not the perfections of King Davids 2 Sam. 3 [...] Subjects be numbered. God make their Konw­ledge, their Courage, their Prudence, an hundred fold more then it is, and may the Eyes of my Lord the King see the same, to his comfort and Honour.


And for the decent buriall of Ceremonies, and superstitions W of the Fathers) They shall have a Parliament of Senators, and an Assembly of Devines to lay them in their grave, And I dare say a Godly Congregation in the King­dome to sing a Psalme at their Funerall; and will not this [Page 70] be a very decent X buriall? And for the Honorable reser­vation, to the reformers, and their memories, our Devines and reformers, now have ever made resorte and appeale to the Truths they delivered; and in those times when Beza, and Calvin, and Peter Mertir were set lowest, till the Master of the feast came lately, and bid them sitt up high­er, a Caistan and Bellarmine, and a Councell of Trent, I am sure had more honor from the Devinity of the other yeare, or your times, so farre we admire the reformers as to love their Truths and to pittie their Errors. But I will not say much, Errors may be more provoked then remedied with over-handling; let us be wise in the Colours of good and evill, though it be an honest, yet it is a dangerous mistake to many our freinds, and to f [...]w our Enemies.


W. As for the decent buriall of Ceremonies and supersti­tions of the Father.)Paragraffe 24. You are cunning to improve your selfe on my words. In my Sermon I made a double supposition, First, if there be found in the Fathers practice any Ceremo­ [...]es smacking of Paganisme or Popery. Secondly. If the same can be justly Challenged to be continued in our Church now, (as if two Suppositions made a Position) you flatly in­fer & perumtorily conclude such Superstitions are in our Church. I should be loth to sell wares to such a Chapman, and to trust his honesty in measuring of them out, who hath such a slight in slipping his fingers, that gives him an inch and hee will take an ell. You might have don better, to have tould us what the perticulers of these superstitions are.

X. And will not this be a decent buriall.) The pleasant­nesse of your witt doth please me, some mirth in this sadd times doth well. But you might have been pleased to have taken notice, that by the decent buriall of superstitious Ce­remonies, (if any such can be proved to be in our Church) [Page 71] I ment the removing of them in that manner, as might give no just offence to any, as I have largely discoursed of before. However as you say, let but a Parliament lay them in the ground and I shall not moorne for their death but rejoyce at their solemne and legall Interment.

Y. Had more honour from the Devinitie of the other yeare, or your times.) The more shame for such, if any who under valued such Worthy Men. And blessed be God that they have recovered their former esteem. For my part they have not with me regained any new degree of Honor, but still keepe the selfesame place in my valuation of them whereof they ever were peaceably possessed.


If I be now examined what reformation I aime at, I answere, my endeavour here, was only to take out of the way such rubbish as others would bring in; If we can but cleare the passage, we go farre in the worke, and in the meane time let us like Ioshuas spies, bring no evill report upon the land we are going to.


Z. My endeavour here was only to take out of the way such rubbish as others would bring in.) Whether rather, you have not bronght in such Rubbish, which others have taken away, be it reported to the juditious Reader.

A. Let us like Ioshuas spies, bring no evill report upon the Land we are going to.) By Ioshuas spies, you meane those who accompanied Caleb, & Ioshua; to spie the Land of Canaan, and these were guilty of a three fold Fault.

First they spake truth with an ill intent, to disharten the Israelites, in their reporting of the strength of the Country. Secondly, they speake more then truth, rai­sing the walls of the Cannanitish Cities by their Hyper­bolyes [Page 72] bolyes as high as Heaven, 1 Dut. 28. Lastly they suppressed the most materiall point, not incouraging the people, (as Ca­leb and Ioshua did, by the assured assistance of God against their enemies. But I conceive my selfe, (against whome your words are darted) to be innocent in the foresaid per­ticulers.


But suppose this perfect reformation, B or Church, were among the C [...] the [...] the Ragione disacro Dominio. He were no wise D, nor faithfull Devine who would not preserve that secret E for holy advantages, t'is Gods owne designe and his Apostles to hould out a per­fection to us, be perfect as your Heavenly Father, And some pastors for the perfection of the Saints, I commend Boden and Tacitus for their Politicall faithfulnesse, they writt farre yet would not sunne the imperiall, [...] nor make them Popular.


B. But suppose this perfect Reformation were e. c.) It seemes you suspect the strength of your outworkes, that you so seasonably retire to your Castle, Now at last condemni [...]g this doctrine, not as false, but unfitting to be preach­ed.

C. Were among the [...] I thinke you would say [...] or otherwise Sir my learning will not extend to understand this your new greeke.

D. He were no wise and faithfull Devine) So then you conclude me a foolish & deceitful Minister, & I had rather you should call me so tentimes, then my guiltie conscience should tell me so once, for concealing of a necessary truth.

E. Who would not preserve that secret for holy advan­tages.) First the question is, wheither or no it lay in my [Page 73] power if I would to keepe this Point secret. What your people at Heslerton [...] in Yorkeshire are, you best know in this Doctrine, I was not the teacher but the re­membrancer of my people at the Savoy, from whom had I closely covered it with both my hands, they would have seene it through all my fingers. Besides what hope can one have to keepe it secret when (as you say) so great and glorious a light is shining now-a-dayes.

But if I could,10. That the Do­ctrine of the Churches im­perfection may safely bee preached and cannot honest­ly bee concea­led. I ought not to suppresse it. Let Po­pish tenents be shutt in a cloister, and sicke opinions keepe their Chamber, God never lighted this Truth for us to put it under a bushell, it being alwaies seasonable to bee divulged, and now dangerous to bee concea­led.

These holy advantages, (I would not count them ad­vantages were they not holy,) arise from Preaching this point. First, it awakens men from their Idle dreames of their conceited perfection of a Church here, and too many I feare have made this common-wealth here woefully militant, under pretence here to make the Church happily triumphant.

Secondly, to teach all Christians (Majestrates and Mi­nisters most especially) as industry so patience, daily to doe, and constantly to suffer no whitt disheartned in their endeavours to perfection. Knowing though things bee badd, after their best labours to amend them, that this proceedes from the inevitable vanity, to which the creature is subject.

Thirdly, to weane men from this world, making them to love and long for the time of the restitution of all things, when this world as a watch out of tune shall not one­ly bee taken ass [...]nder and scoured, but also have all the wheeles made new and then bee perfectly refor­med.

[Page 74] Yea Sir, let us try whether you or I proceeding on our contrary principles, shall more effectually perswade a reformation, you will tell the world that a perfect reformation in this life is attaineable, even to the antici­pating of Heaven heare, and this you will presse with all your power and flowers of Retorick, and all little enough to performe so unsavory an untruth. Now see sit what mischeifes will follow hereupon.

1. Because one falsehood requires more to support it, you must call in other auxilliary falsities to defend this, and so engage your selfe in a multitude of errors.

2. Seeing sl [...]ghts and shifts can never last long, your forgery will be detected.

3. You are lyable to Heavens Pillorie to bee punni­shed for holy fraud.

4. You will scarce be trusted afterwards though telling truth being once convicted and ever suspected of falshood.

As for those whom you have deceived unto the utmost of their endevours of Reformation, on your false perswa­sion that the perfection thereof may bee had in this world, though their labours therein bee very forward at the first, yet soone will they wither and weaken▪ with the graine in the Gospel that wanted Roote (no Roote and a false Roote are the same in effect,) and Gods blessing can­not be expected on the deceitfull proceedings.

As for mee who have no cunning in such hunting, but please my selfe with Iacob to bee a plaine man, I would goe another way to worke, and tell them the worst first, that indeede it is vaine to expect a perfect re­formation in this world. However let them comfort themselves, that wee serve such a Master who accepts of the will for the deede, and knowes whereof we are made. Hee remembreth that wee are but dust. And therefore let us doe our best, and strugle against our [Page 75] infirmities, being confident that God in Christ will pardon what is amisse, and reward what is good in us. And I doubt not but such doctrine by Gods bles­sing will both take deeper impression in mens hearts, and bring forth better fruits of amendment in their lives.

F. I commend Bodin and Tacitus for their politi­call faithfulnesse, they writt far, yet would not Sun the imperiall [...] nor make them popular.) I con­fesse it to bee unfitting, yea dangerous to impart mi­steries of State to private people, for such Iewels are to bee lockt in a safe and sure Cabinet, the bosoms of Politians, Not so in necessary Points of Divinity, for though every private man hath not a State to go­verne, hee hath a soule to save, and therefore must be partner in all wholsome doctrines.

Indeede in some cases, Preachers may though not finally suppresse, yet seasonably conceale, or rather wa­rily deferre the publishing of some points of Religion, First when they are not of absolute concernement to salvation, & the Minister by his Christian discretion plaine­ly foresees, that all the good which rationally can bee ex­pected to redound from Preaching such a Truth, will not countervaile the ill, which in probability will ine­vitably follow thereupon; Or else when the Auditors are not capeable as yet of such difficult Doctrines. Christ himselfe did fitt his Wines to his bottles, powring in not what hee could give, but they could take, least otherwise hee should rather spill his liquor, then fill his vessells.

Neither of these cases now alledged take place con­cerning the publishing of the Doctrine of the Im­possibility of the Churches perfection in this world. For we may by Gods blessing justly expect and promise to [Page 76] our selves and others much good and comfort from the preaching thereof, as we have largely proved before. Nor dare I so much to disparage the times we live in, (now it being above a hundred yeares since Luthers reformation) as to count them to have age so much, and Knowledge so litle, as not yet to be capable with safety & profit of so plaine & true a Doctrine, some short­ly expect the day of Iudgment, and sure then the world is already come to Age to understand Truths, except shee come not out of her Mynority till just shee be ready to die and to be dissolved.

G. Would not Sunne the Imperiall [...].) Godly secrets in Religion in some respects may be Sunn'd. First that thereby they may be tryed, (all Truths have Eagles eyes) whether or no they can behold, and beare the Sunne Beames. Secondly, because our Math. 10. 26 Saviour hath said, what I tell you in darknesse, that speake in the light, and what you heare in the Eare that preach you upon the House toppe. Lastly, that by pro­claiming them the Godly may have an oppertunity to re­ceive them, and the wicked be rendred unexcusable for refusing them, when such Truths are made generally knowne.

H. Nor make them popular.) I distinguish on the word Popular. If it be taken, as generally it is, (use having con­fined a word, of generall acception in it selfe, to an ill sence) to Court the good will of people for any private or sinester end, it is utterly unlawfull for Popularity, which is necessary love, in a Prince, is unlawfull lust, in a Subject, who may not Court the Kings wife, for to him a lone, are the People married in a Politicke Relation. All honest men therefore disclaime, to make Truths Popular in this fence, to impart them to the vulgar to gaine any vaine applause. Yea, consider herein, whether you ra­ther [Page 77] be not faultie in making the Imperiall [...] to bee Popular, who incite and incourage ordinary People, to make a Publique Reformation

But Truths in Divinity must be made Popular, that is bee communicated to all people, in true sinceritie for the saving of their Soules.

TheIude. 3. Apostle, calleth it the Common salvation, and therefore it must be preached to all in common, our Ser­mons must, aswell be ad Populum as ad clerum.

Otherwise such Monopolies are illegall and distructive to the State of the Church, for any Ministers to engrosse any wholsome Doctrine to themselves, and not im­parte it to their Parish, except in the cases afore men­tioned.

EXAMINER. Apology.

I have now done (I will not say) refuting, but com­mitting Errors, I am a fraid my hast at this time, hath made me mend one fault, only with another.


I will not oppose yours, but annex my owne con­clusion. If I should deny my owne many Imperfecti­ons, my practise would confute what my Pen hath maintained. Reader, for the matter of what I have written, I require thee, in Gods name do me Iustice, for the manner, method, or words thereof, I request thee, as I am a Man shew mee favour. Thinke not the worse of the Truths, for my sake, but thinke the better of me, for the Truths sake which I have defended. And [Page 78] conceive me not to be of a brawling and controversiall disposition, who do desire and will pray for an Agree­ment from my Soule, so long as my speech shall serve me. Yea if I should chance to be stricken dumbe, I would with Zacharia make signes for table booke [...] and write the name of that which I desire above all earthly thing is PEACE. God send it, Amen.


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