THE Independents Dream, OF A New-Nothing, CALLED A Church, without either Govern­ment, Doctrine or Manners, suitable to the Gospell of Jesus Christ: Zealously interpreted, by a Christian Brother, who is a profest enemy to confusion.

Shewing how the Independent-dreaming Teachers, through the spectacles of phantasie, discover strange New-Lights, and new-born Truths, wherewith they delude the hearts of the simple, and allure them into the Labyrinth of their innovated traditio­nall forme of godlinesse.

1 TIM. 4. 1. In the latter dayes some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devills.

Printed in the Yeare 1647.

The INDEPENDENTS Dreame of a New-Nothing, called, a Church with­out either Government, Doctrine or Manners, suitable to the Gospell of Jesus Christ: Zealously interpreted by a Christian Brother, who is a profest enemy to confusion.

THat the Spirit hath revealed in these latter dayes in the Church of England such strange new lights, that the Saints and godly of the Land, as they call them, can clearly see to distin­guish themselves from the enemies of Jesus Christ, and separate their sanctified members into new moulded Congregations in purity to enjoy their new-borne truths, with a supposed imitation of the Church of Jerusalem, Act. 1. 15. where the number of names were 120. from thence gathering, that eve­ry particular Independent Church must have the same authority that Assembly had, and none to bee capable of their membership, untill they have had sufficient triall of their conversation, and have heard the confession of their faith, and the evidences of of the truth of their conversion, and untill they have entred into a solemne Covenant, and have the joynt consent of the whole Congregation, proclaiming all that are not moulded up after their new modell, [Page 2] to be people out of Covenant, and to have no right to the new Covenant, neither they nor their chil­dren, though believers time was when the old way, and the good way leading to eternall life was care­fully and constantly walked in by all those who were Saints indeed, to just [...]fie their publike professi­on of the faith in Jesus Christ: But in these last and perillous daies, such braine-sick humours have pos­sessed the spirits of many men, that they are carried away with every wind of Doctrine, and like meere naturalists, are ever thirsting after some new-borne truth, though the tradition of a mortall man, to tic­kle their itching eares, disobeying the commands of their Lord and Master specified in the Law and Gospell, which ought to bee their rule of righte­ousnesse, and the perfect path to everlasting hap­pinesse.

The Devill hath power to transforme himselfe into an Angell of light, and being the God of this world blinding mens eyes, the Prince of the ayre ruling in the hearts of the children of disobedience, we may probably conjecture from whence the In­dependent seducing Teachers have their new lights, even from the father of lies, who was a liar from the beginning, he hath possessed their wavering and un­stable thoughts with an Ignis fatuus, or a prodigious Comet, which presageth ruine to the Church and State: maintaining a faction cleane contrary to the League and Covenant, which by Ordinance of Par­liament hath been generally entred into: Good warrant have the Magistrates of England to suppresse any innovated faction, from the practise of the Pro­phets [Page 3] and Elders of Israel, prescribed in holy Writ for their imitations who in all ages had the sword of justice in their hands to punish all seducers, as ap­peares Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3 4, 5. 1 Kings 18. 21. Iudges 6. 30. 31.

For their Church▪ Government after their separa­tion into new-moulded Congregations, the better to imitate the whole Colledge of Apostles and Presby­ters they would grace every sucking Church of theirs with all [...]he authority the grand Presbyterie at Jerusalem could challenge to themselves, and addi­tionall innovations, more then they ever practised, as evidently appeares, when contrary to the Scrip­tures they give authority to silly women to have voyces in admitting members into their solely san­ctified societies.

But alas! in this they make themselves a derision to all intelligent people, who are well versed in the waies of godlinesse because they know by the testi­mony of holy Scriptures, that as at first our Grand­mother Eve brought confusion upon all mankind, e­ven so it would be now in our destracted Church and State, may their Hermophradite councells be contin­ued contrary to the Covenant: The great emoluments which do redound unto their seducing Teachers may move them in private to plead for this forme of Go­vernment: Yet it being contrary to the expresse Word of God 1 Cor. 14. 34. 35. 36. 1 Tim. 2. 9. 12. there is neither sense or reason why such distructive practises should bee tolerated. What more uncha­ritable, and nnchristian-like scribling was ever pro­duced, then the pens of these men have in frequent [Page 4] editions manifested. As that the Minsters of the Church of England, that are not of their fraternitie, doe deny, disclaim and preach against Christs King­ly Government over mens consciences & Churches, and that all the people under their Ministery are men unconverted, or at least converted but in part, want­ing the main things, to wit Christs Kingly office: men visibly out of the Covenant of grace, who have not so much as an outward profession of faith, who deny Christ to be their King, to whose persons and infants, the very Sacraments, and Seales of grace which all Church Communion may and ought to be denyed.

In the fore-going words, our brethren the Inde­pendent Ministers, deserting the way, the truth, and the life, like the jugling Jesuits bring in their owne traditions and inventions as new-borne truths, ne­ver heard of before these distracted times: and un­der the notion of strange Revelations for their own profit and repute, this heresie both in pulpit and in presse hath been published, though there is no presi­dent in sacred authority for their practice, nor have they the least colour for it in Christs Commission: But because some illeterate mechanicks are exalted with a stile of state, as learned Interpreters of the Scriptures, who have learned a flattering faculty to magnifie their owne Churches as the onely Saints upon earth: And by this delusion are blind guides leading them to the pit of perdition, which clearely shewes that the Independent Teachers generally re­semble those the Apostle S. Iude mentions in the 10. and 19. Verses, They speake evill of those things they [Page 5] know not, who separate themselves, sensuall, having not the Spirit.

S. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians, Gal. 1. 8, 9. he chargeth them (though the Apostles themselves or an Angell from heaven should preach unto them otherwise then they had received) they should ac­count him accursed, intimating unto them, that they must containe themselves within the limits and bounds of that Doctrine and manner of preaching prescribed and set down in the Word of God.

How ridiculous then do the seduced Independents make themselves? who forgetting to search the Scriptures, as the Bereans did, doe embrace with great applause, the innovation of braine-sick phanta­sies, when in the whole current of the Scriptures there is no warrant, that after men believe and are baptized, they should walke with them some time, for a sufficient triall of their conversations, and make a publike confession of their faith and produce evidences for the truth of their conversion, enter in­to a solemne Covenant, and have the joynt-consent of the whole Congregation before they can be ad­mitted Members of their Church; had these circum­stances been necessary, Christ would have put them into the Apostles Commission, and the Holy Ghost Act. 1. would have suggested all these things into their memories: the new way, the new borne truth the new light, that they might have beene re­corded.

But the Eunuch no sooner desires Baptism of Phi­lip, that is admission into the Church, but Philip granted it, no mention made of the Churches appro­bation: [Page 6] the like admission you may find by Paul and Silas, Act. 16. 31, 32, 33. without the fore-going in­novated formallity.

Therefore St. Pauls caution is seasonable, to take heed of false Teachers, whatsoever shew of seeming Sanctitie they make, abusing the simplicitie of the people for their owne advantage. And make their owne traditions joyned Members, with the Gospell, as if they had a more fine weal and elegant way of gathering Churches and admitting Members then Paul, and the other Apostles, having new and better lights revealed unto them.

But that all reall Saints on earth may still heare the voyce of Christ, and persevers in the old and good way leading to eternall life. The same Apostles advice is like apples of gold in pictures of silver, Phil. 3. 17. Brethren be followers of me, and mark them which walke so as you have us for an example, for our conversation is in heaven: And in the 4. Chapter, Verse 8. Hee saith, Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoe­ver things are just, whatsoever things are pure, doe, and the God of peace shall be with you.


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