1 COR. 3. 2, 3.

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hither to ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnall: for where­as there is among you envying, and strife, and di­visions, are ye not carnall?

JUDE. 3, 4.

It was needfull for me to write unto you, and exhort you, that ye should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the Saints. For there are certain men crept in una­wares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousnesse, &c.

Published according to Order.

LONDON, Printed by G. Miller, and are to be sold at his house in Black-Fryers. 1645.

To the Reader.

ARt thou conceited of thine own know­ledge? then read no further; thou art too wise to learn: or dost thou desire to learn new notions? then I must tell thee, this treatise is not for thy palate: here is nothing but plaine, old, and despised truth; which thy queasie stomack will not away with: or art thou a tender and humble Christian, willing to stoop to the contemned Ordinance of Catechise, that thou mayest be confirmed against the sects, and errours of the Times? if this be thy temper, and this thy aime, then mayest thou expect a blessing, if thou shalt pray, read, and study my answers; wherein I have not been so carefull, to give you the forme of an answer; as to referre you to such Scri­ptures as afford matter for the answer: which course I finde warranted by the like practice of our Saviour, and I judge it the profitablest way in a tractate in this nature; for thereby the reader will bee constrained to studie the Scri­ptures to understand the force of them, before he can satisfie himselfe with an answer from them: as for example, in the question concerning Ba­ptisme, [Page] the reader must weigh the circumstances of the text, and compare it with the History in Exodus, and so he may be enabled to satisfie him­self in forming an answer thus, All the Israelites presently after their comming forth from Egypt, when many of them were little children, were Baptized by the cloud which hung over their heads. Thus much, reader, I thought good to inti­mate to thee, that thou mightest not take offence at my method.

A CATECHISME for the Times.

First Question,

WHat times do we live in?

A. In the last dayes perillous times shall come, 2 Tim. 3.1.

2. Q Why so?

A. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, 2 Tim. 1.2.

3. Q What speaks the Scripture of the doctrinall errours of these latter times?

A. The spirit speaketh expresly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Tim. 4.1.

4. Q. What think you of the ringleaders, and teachers of such doctrines?

A. These resist the truth; men of corrupt mindes, re­probate concerning the faith. 2. Tim. 3.8.

5. Q But may we not think them sincere, seeing they pro­sesse much holinesse?

A. Having a form of godlinesse, but denying the power thereof, 2 Tim. 3.5.

6 Q But so far as we can judge, they are the redeemed of God: how then can you think so hardly of them, and their doctrines?

A. There shall be false teachers among you, who pri­ [...]ily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, 2. Pet. 2.1.

7. Q But if they, and their opinions were so grosse, would they be followed by so many professours?

A. Many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of, 2. Pet. 2.1.

8. Q. But the teachers are some of them knowing men; and would they, think you, teach notorious falsehoods?

A. Speaking lies in hypocrisie, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, 1. Tim 4. 2.

9. Q Those which you count the seduc [...]rs amongst us, cry out upon antichrist; and do not they stand then for the truth?

A. It is the last time: and as ye have heard that anti­christ come▪ even now are there many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time. 1. Ioh. 2.18.

10. Q But is it not strange that you should count these antichrists, who seem rather Angels of light, and Apostles?

A. Such are false Apostles, deceitfull workers, trans­forming themselves into the Apostles of Christ; and no mervail, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light: therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the Ministers of righteousnesse, 2. Cor. 11 13, 14, 15.

11. Q. But these men alledge Scripture for what they urge, and can you say then that they follow the devil as his mini­sters?

A. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thy self down, for it is written, He shall give his Angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone, Mat. 4.5, 6.

12. Q Those whom you count the ministers of Satan, do they not serve God according to their light?

A. They that are such, serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but there own belly, Rom. 16.18.

13. Q You seem to imply, that their hearts are corrupt, as well as their judgements: what corruption makes them seducers?

[Page 3] A. Through coveteousnesse shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. 2. Pet. 2.3.

14. Q. But all of them seem not to be covetous: what corruption then sways the rest?

A. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholsome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Doctrine which is according to godlinesse, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions, and strifes of words, whereof commeth envy, strife, railings, evill surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt mindes, and distitute of the truth, 1. Tim,

15. Q. Is the want of Learning in some of their teachers any cause of their wresting the Scriptures?

A. In which are some things are hard to be understood▪ which they that are unlearned and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures. 2. Pet. 3.16.

15. Q Do not the affecting of new notions, and other lusts in the hearers, make them ready to embrace seducing teachers?

A. The time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables, 2. Tim. 4.3, 4.

17. Q Do not also the weaknesse, and shallownesse of the hearers, together with other corruptions, make them apt to be seduced by such men?

A. Of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women, laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, 2. Tim. 3.6, 7.

18. Q Do the false teachers use slights to inveigle such persons?

A. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every winde of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftinesse, whereby they he in wait to deceive, Eph. 4.14.

19. Q. Are not some honest meaning persons seduced by their craft?

[Page 4] A. They deceive the hearts of the simple, Rom. 16.18.

20. Q. How come they to seduce them?

A. By good words, and fair speeches, Rom. 16.18.

21. Q. If those whom you call seducers use such good language, is there not good hopes of them?

A. Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, 2 Fim. 3.12.

22. Q You seem to hate their ways that bold out the er­rours of the times: doth such an affection become Christians?

A. This thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate, Rev 2.6.

23. Q You not only distaste the errours but those also that teach them: where is your warrant for that?

A. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil, and thou hast tryed them, which say they are apostles, and are not, and host found them liars Rev. 2.2.

24. Q Is it likely that if these courses were so dangerous, God would suffer so many teachers to stand for them, and prevail so?

A. There came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will perswade him: and the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? and he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his Prephets: and he said, Thou shalt perswade him, and prevail also; go forth and do so: now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy Prophets, 1. Kin. 22.21, 22, 23.

25. Q Seeing it appears that God gives Satan a power to prevail, in the mouthes of seducers: what doth God intend thereby towards such as walk closely with him? is it likely that they shall be seduced?

A. There must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved, may be made manifest among you, 1. Cor 11.19.

26. Q. What is Gods aime therein towards false-hearted prosessours? are not they in great danger to miscarry?

A. Because they received not the love of the truth, that [Page 5] they might be saved, for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should beleeve a lie: that they all might he damned, who beleeved not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousnesse, 2 Thes. 1.10, 11, 12.

27. Q What use must we make hereof?

A. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the errour of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastnesse: but grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Pet 3.17, 18.

28. Q. Is there any hope that the errours shall be crusht?

A. The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly, Rom. 16.20.

29 Q. How is that likely, while they carry on their errours with such plausible pretences?

A. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest to all men, 2 Tim. 3.9.

30. Q. In the mean while may not these men be connived at?

A. There are many unruly, and vain talkers, and de­ceivers, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, Tit. 1.10, 11.

31. Q. May the civill Magistrate meddle with those that enaeavour to seduce others into errours in matter of Religion?

A. If thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the Minister of God, a revenger, to execute wrath upon him that doth evil, Rom. 13.4.

32. Q But though seducing be an evil work, may it not be good Christian policy, for those in authority to refrain from these men, and let them alone?

A. I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Iezebel, which calleth her self a prophetesse, to teach and to seduce my servants, Rev. 2.20.

33. Q It seemes you would fain have some course taken to be rid of them: what spirit doth that savour of?

[Page 6] A. I would they were even cut off which trouble you, Gal. 5. 12.

34. Q Till some course be taken for their suppression, what course must I take to keep out of the way of errour?

A. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them, Rom. 16.17.

35. Q. Besides shunning their company, what else must we do?

A. Beloved, beleeve not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world, 1 Ioh. 4.1.

36. Q. You would have us very suspicious in these times; what generall ground have you, whom to suspect as unsound?

A. They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made mani­fest, that they were not all of us. 1 Ioh. 2. 19.

37. Q Many which seperate, cry down your ministery for Antichristian, and speak much of the spirit; what can you say about them?

A. Beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how that they told you, there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after theit own ungodly lusts: these be they who separate themselves, sensuall, having not the spi­rit, Iud. 17, 18, 19.

38. Q. They have been very earnest with me to forsake your Ministers: what is their designe in that?

A. They zealously affect you, but not well: yea, they would exclude you, that you might affect them, Gal. 4.17.

39. Q How can you justifie against them, your ministery of the Church of England?

A. The seal of my Apostleship are ye in the Lord, 1. Cor. 9.2.

40. Q. Is then the ordinary conversion of souls a demonstrative argument of a right ministery?

[Page 7] A. How shall they beleeve in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent? Rom. 10. 14, 15.

41. Q. They deny your Church of England, and say there is no Church visible in the new testament, but a particular con­gregation: how prove you the contrary?

A. God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, se­condarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps in governments, diversities of tongues, 1 Cor. 12.28.

42. Q Have you any further warrant to judge, that there may be Nationall Churches in Gospel times?

A. In the last dayes it shall come to passe, that the mountain of the house of the Lord, shall be established in the top of the mountaines, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and people shall flow unto it, and many Nations shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, &c. Mich. 4. 1.2.

43. Q. Others dislike your Ministers, because they do not work for their livings, as Paul did; what say you to that?

A. Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to for­bear working? who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? say I these things as a man? or saith not the Law the same also? 1 Cor. 9.6, 7, 8.

44. Q But your Ministers are maintained by tithes: were not they proper to the Leviticall Priest hood, and therefore to be abolished with it?

A. He whose descent is not counted from them, re­ceived tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises, Heb. 7.8.

45. Q Others separate onely from the Communion, be­cause unworthy receivers are known to come to the table: how may their consciences be satisfied, till discipline be restored more exactly?

[Page 8] A. Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup: for he that eateth and drink­eth unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation, to him­self, 1 Cor. 11.28, [...]9.

46. Q. Others take exception chiefly at your administring of baptisme: can you shew them by Scripture the baptizing of infants; and that without dipping?

A. Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that our fathers were vnder the cloud, and all passed thorow the Sea, and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, &c. 1 Cor. 10. 11, 2.

47. Q But you serve God according to a Directory: where is your warrant for that?

A. One of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples: and he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed he thy Name, &c. Luke 11. 1, [...].

48. Q. But where is your warrant, for singing of Psalmes together at your meetings?

A. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another, in Psalms, and hymnes, and spirituall songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord, Col. 3.16.

49. Q Others dislike the matter of your preaching generally, as too legall for these Gospel-times: what generall answer will you give them?

A. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law, Rom. 3.31.

50. Q Is it our duty then to keep the Law?

A. If you fulfill the royall law, according to the Scri­pture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self, ye do well, Iam, 2, 8.

51. Q. But what if we fail in any point of the Law?

A. Ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressiours, for whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all, Iam. 2. 9, 10.

52. Q. Should then a childe of God take notice of, and lay to heart the guilt of his sins?

A. Deliver me from blood-guiltinesse, O God, Psa. 51.14.

53. Q. Some say, David was under another dispensation then we are: can you shew them the like precedent before the Covenant from mount Sinai, which gendreth to bondage?

A. I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou pre­server of men? why hast thou set me▪ as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden unto my self? and why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine ini­quity Iob. 7.20, 21.

54 Q What should a childe of God do then to get his sins pardoned?

A. Forgive us our sins, Luke 11. 4.

55. Q. What must he do besides praying for pardon?

A. If we confesse our sins, he is faithfull, and just to for­give us our sins, 1 Iob. 1.9.

56. Q. What further condition is there required of a childe of God for the obtaining of pardon?

A. If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their tres­passes, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses Mat 6. 14, 15.

57. Q. Your doctrine implies, that God observes the sins of his people: can you prove that?

A. Neverthelesse, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love, Rev. 2.4, 23.

58. Q Doth God also correct his children for their sins?

A. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep; for if we would judge our selves, we should not bee judged, but when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world, 1 Cor. 11. 30, 31, 32.

59. Q May then a childe of God, when he is corrected look upon God as angry and upon sin as the procuring cause?

A. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, untill he plead my cause, and execute [Page 10] judgement for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousnesse, Mic. 7.9.

60. Q. Why? must not a Christian look upon Gods love, and not upon his dreadfulnesse?

A. We receiving a Kingdom, which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire, Heb. 12. 28, 29.

61. Q. Would you have a childe of God mourn for his sinnes?

A. I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of suppli­cations, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitternesse for him, as one that is in bitternsse for his first-born, Zech. 12. 10.

62. Q. Would you have Christians to try the goodnesse of their estates by the work of grace in them?

A. Examine your selves, whether you be in the faith: prove your own selves, know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Cor 13.5.

63. Q. What evident mark can you instance in, for a Christian to try himself by?

A. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren, 1 Iob. 3.14.

64. Q. Should we now have legall terrours prest?

A. Others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, Iude 23.

65. Q. Should wicked men pray to God?

A. Pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee, for I perceive thou art in the gall of bit­ternesse, and in the bond of iniquity, Acts 8 22, 23.

66. Q Is the usuall discourse of hard controversies among weak Christians to be approved?

A. Him that is weak in the faith, receive you, but not [...]o doubtfull disputations, Rom. 14.1.

67. Q. If I have a true opinion, which cannot be vented without offence, may I vent it?

A. Hast thou faith? have it to thy self, before God: happy is hee that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth, Rom. 14.22.

68. Q. I have heard of a book written to prove that the soul of man remains not after death, how will you confute that?

A. He went and preached to the spirits in prison; which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the dayes of Noah, 1 Pet. 3.19, 20.

69. Q They say, there is another book out, to prove that a man may out away his wife, if she be not a meet helper: how may I answer all the arguments there alleadged?

A. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of a divorcement: but I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery, Mat. 5.31, 32.

70. Q. There are many other new opinions, that men teach and write for with specious arguments, I would fain be satis­fied about them: how shall I discern the truth?

A. If any of you lack wisdome, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him, Iam. 1.5.

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, &c. Iob. 7.17.

To the Law, and to the testimony, if they speak not ac­cording to this word, it is because there is no light in them, Isa. 8.20.

Postscript to the judicious Reader.

IF thou hast read over this Catechise, their mayest easily perceive that it was penned for Christians of the lowest forme: to whom the Author intended, with briefnes, clearnes and Scri­pture language, to give generall notes for caution against all the dangerous Doctrines of the times, and speciall hints for satisfaction concerning some of the most obvious mistakes and errours▪ If the sight of this may occasion from thee a fuller, and exacter treatise of this nature, none shall be more willing to study such a Catechise then my selfe.

Thine and the truths, I. K.



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