SEVEN QVESTIONS ABOVT THE CONTROVERSIE betweene the CHVRCH of ENGLAND, AND THE Separatists and Anabaptists, breifely discussed.

  • 1. Whether is the Church of England as it now stands a true Church?
  • 2. Whether the Church of England be a right Nationall Church?
  • 3. Whether are the Ministers in the Church of England sent of God, and so are true Ministers or not?
  • 4. Whether is the Baptisme of Infants a true and lawfull Baptisme or no?
  • 5. Whether it be lawfull to be Rebaptized or not?
  • 6. Whether is it lawfull to separate from all the publike Ordinances and Christian Assemblies in our English Church, because there are some defects in Discipline, and in other things amongst us?
  • 7. Whether is it necessarie to demolish our Churches (Steeple-houses as the Separatists call them,) and to build them in other places, be­cause they were built by Idolaters for Idolatrous worship, were abused with Images, and dedicated to Saints?

By IMMANVEL KNVTTON, Preacher of Gods Word at Beeston in Nottingham-shire.

Endeavouring to keepe the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, there is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your cal­ling; one Lord, one Faith, one Baptisme, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephes. 4.3, 4, 5, 6.

London, Printed by Tho: Paine, and are to be sold by Andrew Kembe at Margrets Hill in Southworke. Anno Dom. 1645.

TO THE HONORABLE COMMITTEE of Parliament in Nottingham, Immanuel Knutton, Wisheth all present hapinesse and future blessednesse.

IT is well knowne to your Honours, that I endured a long and tedious bondage at Newarke, together with my godly Con­captive and fellow labourer in the work of the Ministry, M. William Hewit, for the space of almost thirty weekes; and how God wrought our enlargement, by the worthy instrument of his glory, Captaine John Needham Governour of Killingworth Castle in Warwickshire. But at my returne to Nottingham from New­arke, I found this Garrison much distracted by some Separatists in it, who desert our publike Assemblies and the Divine Ordinances, and have seduced too many to their way; In my conference with them, I found their Tenets unchristian, and themselves pertinacious in them; Their tenets were these, 1. The Church of England is no true Church of Christ. 2. The Ministers of this Church are not true Ministers, not called of God. 3. Baptisme of Infants is no true Baptisme, therefore not lawfull. 4. It is not lawfull to heare us Ministers Preach, least they should by their presence approve of our Popish calling by the Bishops, and because we preach in popish steeple­houses, also because wee were Baptized in our Infancy, but if wee will re­nounce our calling by the Bishops; Preach at the Market-crosse, not in the Steeplehouse; and be rebaptized, they well heare us, otherwise not. 5. Our steeplehouses ought to be demolished, neither is it lawfull to worship God in them. These their opinions too many in this Garison approve of, and follow, therefore I have breifely answered their arguments and published them▪ that I might hereby excite others more able then my selfe, to handle these points of [Page] controversie more fully; and in the meane time I beseech your Honours to suppresse these errours offencive both to God and the godly, least these Schis­mes turne to heresies, endeavour to extirpate all Popery, Scisme, and Pro­phainnesse, as the Covenant enjoynes you; which you heard worthily expli­cated and urged home to your consciences in St. Maries Church on Thurs­day August 8▪ by that faithfull Minister of Christ M. Richard Whit-Church in his Lecture Sermon upon that Text, Jer. 50.5. Almighty God establish you in his truth, direct you ever by his spirit, secure you and this Garrison by his presence, or owne your designes with comfortable successe, to the glory of his name, and to the perpetuall happinesse of this Nation, Amen.

So prayeth your Honours humble Servant Jmmanuel Knutton.

❧ SEVEN QVESTIONS about the Controversie betweene the Church of England and the Sepa­ratists and Anabaptists, breifely discussed.

QVEST. I. Whether is the Church of England as it now stands a true Church?

Answer. I Premize this; that in this Church is much defect in Discipline, and in the execution of it in comparison of other reformed Chur­ches, who in this, farre exceede us.

Next I affirme it is a true Church, yea the spouse of Christ.

Reas. 1 First, Because the Church of England hath the matter and forme of a true Church; the matter of a Church, are men and women in a right Logicall sence, matter which is one of the causes hath this pro­perty, it is passive; for action is from the forme which is called the beginning of doing, as matter is of suffering, so are men by nature (in the internall and reall worke of grace in conversion) passive, Phil. 2.13. such matter our Church hath; it hath also the forme of a Church, the forme of a thing in strict logicall sence, is a chiefe cause which actuates the matter and perfects it, it is a constituting cause; now the forme or constituting cause of a Church is faith, which brings it into relation to Christ, & therefore in Scripture the Church is called the Lords Spouse, Ʋineyard, House, &c. because of its relation to him: this forme our Church hath, it hath many true beleevers: Now Discipline, though it conduce to the well being of a Church to keep it in a sweet order, yet it is not the cause of a Church, it doth [Page 2] not give being to a Church, as the cause gives being to a thing; in na­ture a man is begotten and borne, but the order he is tied to observe in his life, makes him not a man, but conduceth to his well being in his life, so is Discipline to the Church; so then our Church hath ma­ny true beleevers, who by faith are united to Christ, and are thereby made members of his body (as the Separatists acknowledge) and if they helpe to make up his body, they must needs be Christs Church, for his body is his Church, Col. 1.18.24. Ecclsia est caetus hominum vo­catorum, Dr. Ames. 1 Cor. 1.24 1 Cor. 10 32.

Reas. 2 Secondly, because the Church of England hath the essentiall notes and markes of a true Church of Christ.

1. One is the word of God purely and powerfully preacht, profest, and maintain'd, which alwaies gathers a people to the Lord, being so taught, 2 Cron. 13.10, 11, 12.

2. The lawfull administration of the two Sacraments according to Christs institution, Mat. 28.19, 20.

3 The true obedience to the word of God, a right following Christs voyce, and conforming to his will, John 10.27.

4. The union with God by his spirit and faith, and with his Saints by love, Col. 1.4. 2 Cor. 6.16. Rom. 8.14.

Object. But this Church wants the Discipline of Christ, therefore no true Church.

Ans. I confesse it wants it, yet it hath these forenamed fundamentall & essentiall notes by vertue whereof, its the Church of Christ as tru­ly as the Church of Corinth was, in which was wanting the execution of spirituall Discipline, & more horrible abuses of the ordinances then in England, yet Paul writes to it as to a true Church, 1 Cor. 11.17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 30. So the Churches of Galatia maintained justifi­cation by workes, which we account a damnable heresie in the Ro­mish Church at this day, yet Paul called them Churches, though this heresie be worse then the want of compleat Discipline and other Ceremonies in our Churches. Also there wanted true Discipline a­mongst the Israelites, and was more prophane abuses of Gods wor­ship then is amongst us, yet wee account them to have beene a true Church, 1 Sam. 2.16, 17, 22, 29.

Reas. 3 Because this Church of England was rightly called and constitu­ted at the first by the preaching of the word and gratious Lawes of the Magistrate.

Object. But it should have beene gathered onely by the word taught, not by con­straint from the Magistrate:

Ans. Constraint it selfe may justly have place in the lawfull constitution or reformation of a Church, witnesse, 2 Chron. 33.16. 2 Chron. 34.32, 33. 2 Chron. 15.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Magistrates may com­pell Infidells to here the word, 2 Chron. 30. They are keepers of both tables, they must abolish Idolatry and prophainnesse, by command from the word, and they have as good ground to cause people to at­tend the publike Ordinances.

Ob. But to beleeve, is a voluntary act, and must not be inforced. Psal. 110.3,

Ans. True: God must sweetly and effectually perswade people to be­leeve and bend their wills by his spirit, the Magistrate must not com­pell any man to beleeve, but he must compell them to attend the meanes of grace, and to leave their wickednesse. Luke 14.23. The guests must be compelled to come in, though not to eate when they are come. Compelled, not by perswasions; for these were the first in­vitations; therefore by further meanes. So then both Word and Sword was effectuall through Gods blessing to gather a Church in this Iland, the Gospel was worthily taught in King Edwards dayes, which brought 300. Martires in Queen Maries daies to the Stake, and many godly professors to the succeeding times in Queene Eliza­beths dayes, there was great confluence of zealous Professors who spread the Gospel over the land, and drew flockes of hearers to them: then came a Christian Edict from the State, that every man should yeeld obedience to this truth wherein they had been thus instructed: it was performed by the most, whose submission was an actuall pro­fession of their faith and repentance.

Reas. 4 Because, We all in this land have entered into Covenant with God in Baptisme, to serve and honour him all our dayes, our Baptisme ties us as strictly to Gods service as Circumcision tied the Jewes, and that our Baptisme is a right Baptisme, you shall heare proved after­wards.

Ob. But the Church is a company of men and women called, as Doctor Ames describes it, now in England the most people are uncalled, prophaine, &c.

Ans. There is a double calling, externall and internall, so the Church is either visible or invisible, now many are outwardly called by the sweet invitations of the Gospel, God calleth all sorts of men, and men of all sorts, but his inward and effectuall calling, and the election of grace is but of few, which is the meaning of that, Mat. 22.14. Many are outwardly called to be Members of the Church visible, en­tered [Page 4] thereinto by Baptisme, made partakers outwardly of the word and Sacraments, but few of these belong either to Gods eternall E­lection; or are effectually called and chosen to be Members of the Church invisible. So John 15, 2. We are in Christ two wayes, 1. By externall profession, frequenting the Ordinances, having a forme of godlinesse but, &c. these are Members of the Church visible: 2. By reall implantation, and these are the true spiritual Members of Christ, both these our Church hath; the common sort are outwardly called by the word, initiated by baptisme, and have a forme of Religion, and are outward Members of the Church visible, as truely as such were in the Jewish Church, and as Judas was in Christs family, and as Hypo­crites are Members of any reformed Church, for Hypocrites are worse then the openly prophaine.

Reas. 5 Because, This Church hath a godly and learned preaching Mini­stry sent of God (as you shall here proved afterward:) and a faithfull heavenly people as any that live upon earth, the Ministers are buil­ders, and the other Gods building: 1 Cor. 3.9. Yet in that Church were horrible crimes, incest maintained. 1 Cor. 5.1.2. Some of them denied the Resurrection. 1 Cor. 15.12. Though we have ma­ny dumbe dogs and wicked people, yet the Church receives its deno­mination from the better part, not from the major part, as an heape of wheate having much chaffe in it.

QVEST. II. Whether the Church of England be a right Nationall Church?

Answer. I Affirme it is as true a nationall Church, as the Jewish Church was. Reas. Because this Church liveth by one Law Ecclesiasticall and Civill, it continues one body, and every Congregation is a Member of it, as, amongst the Jewes, they had their severall Synagogues: our Church hath the Sacrament of baptisme for imitation as the Jewes had cir­cumcision.

Object, But wee read of no Nationall Church in the New Testament, therefore there is no Nationall Church now a dayes.

Ans. 1. If this Argument were valid to prove that there is no Nationall Church now, then it may as well prove there was no Church at all before Christs comming, for we cannot find the word Church in all the Old Testament, God indeed called the Jewes his portion, inheri­tance, chosen people, &c. but never Church:

2. But I add further, that no Nationall Church is mentioned in the New Testament, Because there was no such, during the abode of Christ and his Apostles upon Earth, but only particular Churches ga­thered by the Apostles preaching amongst the Heathen, there was no King nor Potentate that imbraced the Christian Faith, for 300. yeares, till Constantine the great Emperour of Rome, who did most zealously receive, countenance, and promote the progresse of the Gospel, and encouraged the Ministers of it exceedingly.

3. If the judgement of Mr. Brightman, and some other learned Di­vines upon the Revelation, be Orthodox and sound, (which I questi­on not) then Nationall Churches are spoken of, and prefigured by those seven Asian Churches, whom that Eagle-eyed Expositour lookt upon as Types of succeeding Churches, and those Churches whom they set out to be the Counterpaine, as Sardis set out the Church of Germany, Laodicea our English Church, Philadelphia set out the Churches of France, Helvetia, Suevia, Geneva, Holland, Scot­land, because they live by one and the same forme of Ecclesiasticall Government, and so of the rest.

4. Lastly, In the Old Testament are divers illustrious prophecies of Nationall Church of the Jewes, when God shall convert them and bring them backe to, and settle them in their owne Kingdome, for the Prophets frequently speake of it. Isa. 60. Isa. 61. Isa. 62. and 63. and 64. &c. Jer. 30. Jer. 31. Jer. 33.12, 13. Ezek. 34.25, 26, 27, 28, 29. Ezek. 36.24. Ezek. 37.25. Likewise we find these Prophets speaking of Nationall Churches amongst the Gentiles, which should come and joyne with the Church of the Jewes. Isa. 49 23. Isa. 60.16. Isa. 19, 24.25. Doubtlesse there shall be many famous Nationall Churches after the conversion of the Jewes, which I hope drawes on fast. And when those dayes are come, there will be more famous Na­tional Churches then ever the old Jewish Church was. Zach. 14.20.21

Object. But the Church of England wants those Church Officers mentioned, Eph. 4.11. which Christ left to his Church.

Answer. Can there be no Church, no Christians without them? What shall we say of the Families of the Patriarkes? of the Jewish Congre­gations under the Law▪ yea, of Christ and his Apostles? Either deny them to have beene visible Churches, or shew us these distinct Offi­cers amongst them: looke upon the Church since Christ was there not a worthy Church of God in Jerusalem, from the time of Christs ascention, till the Election of the 7 Deacons? those hundred and [Page 6] twenty Disciples, Acts 1.15. And 3000. Converts, Acts 2.41. those continuall troopes that flocked to the Apostles, were they no true Church? Let the Apostles and Evangelists be Pastors and Doctors: where were their Elders, Deacons, Releevers? Afterwards when Deacons were ordained, yet what newes is their of Elders till Acts 11.30. Yet that of Jerusalem was more forward then the rest: we will not (as the Separatists are wont) argue from Scriptures negatively: no proofe, yet much probability is in St. Pauls silence: He writes to Rome, Corinth, and other Churches: Those his divine letters, in a sweet Christian civillity, salute even ordinary Christians: and would he have utterly passed by all, mention of these Church Officers, a­mongst his so precise acknowledgement of lesser titles in others, if they had beene ere this ordained? Rom. 1.8. 1 Cor. 15. 1 Thes. 1.7. Gal. 4.15. All these, notwithstanding all this, were true Churches, famous, forward and exemplary. Onely the Phillippian Church is stiled with Bishops and Deacons, but no Elders besides them. Phil. 1.2.

But through Gods great mercy, we have many who conscionably teach and feed, by teaching call them what you please, Lecturers, Parsons, Vicars, &c. If they preach Christ truely, upon true inward abilities, upon a sufficient (if not perfect) outward vocation, such are Pastors and Doctors allowed by Christ: we stand not upon circum­stances and appendancies of the fashions of ordination, manner of choice, attire, titles, maintenance, but if for substance these be no true Pastors and Doctors, Christ never had any in his Church since the Apostles left the Earth.

QVEST. III. Whether are the Ministers in the Church of England sent of God, and so are true Ministers or not?

Ans. I Affirme they be true Ministers of Jesus Christ sent of God into his Vineyard, to build up his Church and People as living stones upon Christ the cheif corner stone.

Reas. 1 Because we have many Godly, learned and painefull Ministers, as well qualified for that worthy function as any in the world, who are exceedingly dilligent in the excercise of their gifts, endeavouring to convert and confirme soules, to the utmost of their ability: now their ability and fidility argues, that God hath sent them. Rom. 10.15. Jer. 23.21, 22. As if he had said, I gave no commission to these [Page 7] Prophets, yet they ran, as of their owne heads, &c. If they had recei­ved directions and creands from me, and had delivered them accor­dingly to my people, they should have laboured to have turned them from their leud courses. Where the Lord shewes that the consciona­ble, and able preaching of his word, proves that he sends such about that worke.

Reas. 2 Because, That God hath blessed the labours of the Ministers of this Church, to the conversion of many, and to their confirmation in the truth, which thing God would not have done, if he had not sent them. Jer. 23.32. 1 Cor. 9.2. Yea. the Separatists themselves recei­ved their first Illumination, Faith, and other graces from the word preached by us, before they made a divorcement from us.

Object. But the Ministers of the Church of England were called by the Prelates, whose calling is Antichristian, from the Pope, therefore they are not the Mi­nisters of Jesus Christ.

Ans. I grant that the calling of the Lordly Prelates (as they are described in the second Article of the Covenant & exercise their jurisdiction in their Courts by their Substitutes) is Antichristian & yet the Godly and Learned Ministers of this Church (called by them) are true Ministers called of God, for these reasons.

Reas. 1 Because, the Prelates are Christians and so their calling of us is not altogether unlawfull: with the Separates, every Vlebeian Artificer hath power to elect and ordaine by vertue of his Christian profession (the act of the worthiest standing for all) how can they deny this right to persons in some measure qualified for this worke?

Reas. 2 Because, The Prelates are learned men, and Divines, many of them are judicious and orthodox in judgement against popish Heresies, and have written and preacht substantially against them, which yet I speake not in favour of their calling, for I looke upon it as Anti­christian, and directly opposing Christs words, in Mat. 20.25, 26.

Reas. 3 Because, The Prelates in their ordination, command us to preach the Gospel truely now, [...] we be not rightly called, because called from them, then one of these things of both these must necessarily follow. Either it is unlawfull for the Prelates to command us to Preach the Gospel, or it is unlawfull for us to preach the Gospel as they com­mand us, I cannot see how the former can be unlawfull, because their charge and command to Ministers is no waies Antichristian, but Christian, for they command us to preach the Gospel not as Popish Prelates, but as Christians and Learned Divines, now good counsell [Page 8] is worthy to be followed from whomsoever it comes, though from an enemie. I see not how the latter is unlawfull, if one be qualified w [...]th fidelity and ability, he ought to preach the word; (though the Prelates licenced and commanded him) because as yet here was no other outward way of calling Ministers to preach in this Church of England, appointed and established by authority.

I heard of an Usurer in this Kingdome, who had gotten very much money by usury and unjust gaine, he made it his only calling, (which doubtlesse is unlawfull) it pleased God to convince him of the unlawfullnesse of his usury, he made restitution largely to his debtors, and sent his servant with restitution money to divers of them, though his course of usury was unlawfull, yet it was lawfull, yea, needfull for him to command his servant to carrie home restitu­tion money to such as borrowed of him; and it was lawfull for his servant to obey him in this, of the like nature is the businesse I speake of.

Object, But the Ministers of the Gospel should be called in a Church way, by the Church, and not be obtruded upon them, as many Ministers in this Church be against the consent of the people, in this land people being prophaine as Heathens, and being no Church, cannot chuse Ministers, neither are such true Ministers, as are called by them:

Ans. 1. I thinke every Godly and Learned Minister will not account himselfe a Minister sent of God, as he hath his calling from the Pre­lates, but will rather looke at his divine qualifications for the Lords worke, as his internall call from God, and at his peoples election of him, to such a charge as his outward call, and will looke at the Epis­copall ordination as a meere Ceremony which cannot nullifie his di­vine call from God and the Church.

2. I conceive, that sometimes a Minister may be sent of God to preach the word, when the people desire him not. As after Christs ascensi­on the Apostles disperst the Gospel in divers heathenish Nations, so may it now fall out, if a Minister should goe and preach among the Pagans, and convert divers of them to the truth, for ought I see, he may be truely said to be a Minister sent of God.

3. Though our land hath many prophaine in it, (yet its a Nationall Church as I proved) I should propose this quaere to the conscience of any reasonable man: Suppose a prophaine parish where no meanes of grace ever was, nor any Godly Christian ever dwelt, should from the conviction of the necessity of preaching, make earnest suite to [Page 9] some Godly and able Minister (not tyed to any other charge) to be their pastour, and teach them the way to life, I demand whether this man have a true divine call from God to them or not? I conceive he hath, though they be not a true Church, yet they may be; God by his spirit may excite in them a true desire after the word, and that Minister may have much worke to doe there. Acts 16.30. Paul and Silas had a true call, to goe into the Jaylours house at his questioning of them about salvation, though he was not fully converted.

4. I thinke a Minister may be truely sent of God, by a Synod of Godly and Learned Divines to a Pastorall charge, though the people sometimes call him not, as if he be to preach the word in a prophain parish, that desires not powerfull preaching, but hates it, and would oppose the comming in of such a Minister, the Synod may send him to such a place, and God may blesse his labours to the conversion of many there; a learned Synod is better able to judge of a Ministers abi­lity and fidility, for that sacred function, then a vulgar congregation, and there are too many ignorant parishes in this land, who will hard­ly ever call zealous and godly Ministers to them, if our blessed Parli­ament, and reverend Synod have not a care to send such to them.

Object. But the Ministers of this Church are maintained by Tithes, a Jewish Ce­remony, and abolished long since by Christ.

Answer. Tithes are not ceremoniall, for a Jewish Ceremony was a carnall type of an holy thing, injoyned for the service of the Tabernacle and Temple, only untill the time of Reformation. [...]eb. 9. Now, to say that tithes were instituted to signifie something only for a time, as all ceremonies were, is not truth: If any say, they signified the mainte­nance of Ministers under the Gospel, then it will follow, that they signified a farre larger maintenance for the Ministers of the Gospel, then the Leviticall Priesthood had, because the office of Ministers of the Gospel is of greater worth & excellency, then the office of Priests and Levites under the law. Also because the Antitype or thing signi­fied, is larger then the type or ceremony signifying. Neither could tithes signifie an Arbitrary maintenance, to be left to the will of the Magistrate, (as some say) for this were to make a certainty tipyfie an uncertainty. That tithes are morrall and so perpetuall, I thus prove it, 1 Cor. 9.13.14. That is by tiths, else the Apostles apodosis answers not to his protasis, then the similitude were lame.

Reas. 1 Because, The heathen by the light of nature, judged that tithes were to be paid to such gods as they worshipped, if the light of na­ture [Page 11] dictated tithes to be perpetuall, then much more doth the word of God. Herodotus saith, that Cyrus King of Persia, having conquered the Lydians, offered the tithes of all to Jupiter. Plutarch saith, the Ro­mans used to offer tithes to their gods, Camillus vowed tithes to the goddesse mater Matuta, in case he should overcome the Vejans. Hee saith, Lucullus grew rich because he observed the vse of paving tithes to Hercules. Xenophon saith, that others used to pay tithes to Apollo. Pliny writing of the Sabaeans, and Aethiopians (more barberous then the Romans) saith, that Marchants may not meddle with the Spices which those countries yeeld abundantly, before the Priests have laid out the tenth to their gods. Festus saith, the people of old did offer all the tenths to their gods. Which use amongst all Nations shewes that it was dispersed from Noah amongst them: yea, it argues that it came from the incorrupt light of nature before the law was given.

Reas. 2 Because, That tithes were the Lords right, long before the law was given. Levit. 27.30. Here is neither institution nor assignation of tithes, but a declaration of the Lords right, here he saith not they shall be, or let them be, as was said of other Ceremoniall lawes, as of the Passeover: Exod. 12.24. But as its said of the seventh day, it is the Lords Sabbath, so of tithes, they are the Lords. All that which concerning tithes was, instituted in the law, was that tithes should be assigned to the Levites so long as they served the Tabernacle. Numb. 18.21. Though God gave the tithes to the Levites, yet did he not first found them in that Incorporation, but only transferred his owne right to that order of Priesthood so long as it should endure, and af­ter the ceasing of that Priesthood, the same right descended to the Ministers of the Gospel: so tithes were due to the Leviticall, Ministers as Ministers, not as Leviticall and so are successively due to Evange­licall Pastors, as Pastors not formally, as Evangelicall.

Reas. 3 Because, It was the custome of Gods Church in all ages, to pay tithes to the Lord, before the law was written, so Abraham paied the tith of all. Gen. 14.20.

Object. That which Abraham payed was of the spoyles, Heb. 7.4. [...]

Ans. The word [...] signifies the best of a mans goods, sometimes the first fruits; But admit that it signified spoyles, and that Abraham gave tithes of the spoyles, yet it more confirmes the right of tithes, for if he gave tithes of the spoyles, much more did he use to doe the same of his owne goods, for here the Apostle saith. Heb. 7.2. He gave a tenth part of all, why is this compared with Leviticall tithes [Page 10] which were paied yearely, if this were not also usuall and continuall? the Apostle would not use this manner of speech of one only action, unlesse it shewed the common use and practise how tithes were then paied to the Priest, as by common use and practise they were after­wards paied to the Levites.

Besides, I thinke with judicious Calvin, that Abraham paied tithes not of the spoyles, but of his owne goods: because it's said Gen. 14.22.23. That Abraham had lift up his hand to God, that he would not take so much as a threed or shooe latchet of that which was ta­ken, which he yeelded to the King of Sodome, &c. It's more then probable that he paied no tithes of the spoyles, seeing he would not account any part thereof his owne. The next testimony before the law is, Gen. 28.20.21. &c. From hence it appeares that it was the generall opinion of the godly before the law was given, that tithes ought to be given to God. For otherwise Jacob did offend unlesse hee knew that this thing pleased God, as being appointed by him.

Object. But Jacob vowed a vow to give the tenth, now no morrall thing may bee vowed, because we are bound without a vow to performe such things?

Answer. Yet its lawfull to vow morall duties which God commands us, to binde our selves to more carefull obedience, to excite our dulnesse, to prevent omission, the holy practise of the godly proves it, 2 Chron. 15.12, 13, 14 Psal. 119.106. Psal. 50.14. Psal. 56.12. and though ceremoniall things might be vowed under the law, yet no otherwise, but as they drew to some morall duty. Besides, the other parts of Ja­cobs vow was not ceremoniall, but morall▪ Gen. 28.20, 21, 22. That God should be his God: this was vowed by him on like condition, with tithes, and for ought I know Iacob might as well vow tithes to God for ever, as that God should be his God: Iacob in this vow I thinke vowed not for himselfe alone, but for his seed that should suc­ceed; because the vision which Jacob saw, concerned all his posterity so did his vow, God promised many blessings to him and his seed: he vows holy service and obedience to God, for him and his posterity, those that would ascend into Heaven by Iacobs Ladder, (which is Christ Iohn 1.51.) must be tied to Iacobs vow, for Iacobs vow answe­ring the vision, whilest any part of the vision is to be performed, which will be till Christs second comming; so long shall tithes be Gods inheritance. Because as I said his vow concerned his seed, as much (if not more) then himselfe. And those are his seed who are more of his faith then his flesh: for all the families of the earth, which [Page 12] here are blessed in Iacobs seed, were not all of Iacobs flesh, but even Iaphets seed comming to the tents of Sem; the Gentiles called: There­fore all subject by Iacobs vow to tithing. Rom. 9 6.7.8.

Object. But we read not of the constant paying of tithes, nor of any law for tithing, till the time of Moses. Numb. 18.

Answer. Neither do we read of the observation of the Sabbath from the Cre­ation till Exod. 16. Yet doubtlesse the people of God observed it, but as concerning tithes, we have here two examples, Abraham and Iacob.

Reas. 4 Because, Tithes were due and were paied to Melchizedeke by A­braham, and so ought to be paied to Christ, or else Christ should faile in some thing to be as Melchizedeke was, which may not be granted, seeing he is after his order, as the Priests of the law after Aarons order, and so were in every thing as Aaron: Now tithes being due to Christ, must be paied to his servants the Ministers of the Gospel, Heb. 7.1. to 11. From this place consider these things, 1. The scope of this place is, to set forth the greatnesse and the honorable condition of Melchize­dek, and consequently, of Jesus Christ. 2. Melchisedecks receiving of tithes, the Apostle makes a speciall argument of his greatnesse, viz. his receiving tithes of Abraham, whose Offspring the Tribe of Levi tooke tithes. 3. Melchizedek is as great as ever he was, and so in all things as he was in the time of Abraham, for he is the Priest of God for ever that never dies, and so his Priesthood and the rights of it ne­ver cease 4. how can his admirable greatnesse in his Antitipe Christ, be said still to be the same, if Christ takes no tithes, neither hath right to take them? seeing the Apostle urgeth this as a maine argument of his greatnesse: his scope is to prove Melchizedek more excellent then Aaron or Abraham himselfe, or then any of the Jewish Nation, and consequently Christ more excellent, that the Hebrewes might not be hindred by an over weening opinion, touching the Aaronicall Priest­hood so long setled amongst them from comming unto Christ. The super excellency of Melchizedek is proved by this, that he took tithes of the Patriarke Abraham & blessed him, the title Patriarke being ad­ded for Abrahams greater honour, to magnifie Melchizedek the more.

Next, the super excellency of Melchizedek is in this amplified by comparing this tithing, with that under the law used amongst Abrahams children, for if some of them had a greater honour done to them in this that they tooke tithes of their brethren, Melchizedek was far more honoured in taking tithes of Abraham; and if they were honoured to blesse others their brethren, being [Page 13] hereby proved greater; then Melchizedek in blessing Abraham, was much more honored & proved greater then he, and by consequence then Levi, and the high Priest springing of him, for so much as Levi himselfe being then in Abrahams loynes paid tithes unto him, and was blessed of him: from all this it followes plainely, that tithes are due to the Ministers of the Gospel, in regard they are Christs Ambassadours to reconcile people to God, and to blesse them with conversion by preaching the word; because tithes are Christs and Melchizedeks as they were a meanes of blessing, for in this respect also Abraham is noted to have paid tithes to Melchizedek when hee met him and blessed him.

Object. But we reade not that Christ or his Apostles received tithes or demanded them?

Answer. Neither received they ought else of some Churches, but their owne hands ministred to their necessities that they might not bee scandalous to weake brethren, nor chargeable to afflicted Churches, must Ministers of all ages doe the like?

Secondly, the argument followes not from no practise to inferre no right, for the Apostles travelled from place to place to preach the Gospel, that then this could not be well done, but the right was not infrienged hereby, no more then the right of Circumcising by the intermission thereof forty yeares in the Wildernesse.

Thirdly, wee reade soone after Christs ascention, the Apostles tooke the price of whole fields and possessions of such as joyned themselves to them for their owne maintenance, and of their poore brethren, Acts 2.45. Acts. 4 34, 35, 36, 37. this course continued about 200. yeares, during which time no marvell though they requi­red not tithes, that which was given them being a farre greater pro­portion: such as oppose the morality of tithes now, would not bee willing to deale so with us Ministers of the Gospel.

QVEST. IIII. Whether is the Baptisme of Infants a true and lawfull Baptisme or not?

Answer. I Affirme it is a true, right, lawfull, and fit Baptisme, and ought to be used in a Christian Church professing Gods truth.

Reas. 1 Because (excepting the difference of the visible ceremony) there is the same analogie of reason of Baptisme as of circumcision, the same internall, & spirituall thing signified, viz. remission of sins, & mortification of the flesh, Deut. 10.16. Jer. 4.4.6. Act. 2.38. Act. 22.16. [Page 14] Rom. 6.4. both of them are Symballs of our Adoption into Gods family, and so our imitation into the Divine Covenant, Gen. 17.7.10. 1 Cor. 12, 13. Gal. 3.26, 27. besides Baptisme succeedes Circum­cision, Col. 2.11.12. or else the conditon of Christian infants under the Gospel, were worse then the condition of Jewish Infants under the Law, in regard of their age; if Baptisme might not bee conferred upon them now, as Circumcision upon the Jewish children, if Bap­tisme belong not to Infants, then the grace and favour of God by Christs comming, is more obscure and straight and lesse testified, then it was to the Jewes, which to affirme, is an horrible indignity offered to Christ.

Object. But there was an expresse commandement for circumcising of Infants, Gen. 17. but no such for Baptizing of Infants now?

Answ. 1 There is a generall command Mat. 28.19, 20. all that beleeve of any condition whatsoever, should be Baptized; under which Infants borne of Christian parents are comprehended, for in Lawes and Precepts that be generall, an enumeration of singulars and perticulars is not required, because lawes doe command concerning the whole Kind.

Secondly, the Baptisme of Christian Infants hath descended and continued from the Apostles dayes to us, Origen who lived in the yeare 213. said, that the Church received the tradition from the A­postles, to give Baptisme to Infants. Augustine who lived in the yeare 420. said, that Baptisme of Infants, the Church univerfall held it not instituted by Councells, but alwaies retained it, and most rightly be­leeved it to be delivered by Apostolike Authority. Now such exam­ples are aequivalent to expresse commands.

Thirdly, The New Testament doth not literally command, re­member to keepe holy the Sabbath, not to say grace before and af­ter meales, not to pray with our families morning and evening, not women to receive the Lords Supper, & many other such like things I might instance, yet we hold this to be morall duties, and ought of necssiety to be performed, and may be proved sufficiently by conse­quence out of the New Testament.

Reas. 2 Because Christian Infants are in the Covenant of grace, as well as the children of Israelites, Gen. 17.7. Act. 2.39. for this blessed Covenant is exceedingly extended and enlarged by Christ, good reason then, the seale of this Covenant should not be straightned▪ nor made narrower then Circumcision was; now Christian Infants be­ing [Page 15] within the Covenant of Grace, Baptisme the Seale of it is their right, for as much as they are Christians belonging to the Church of God, 1 Cor. 7.14. here he saith your children are holy; if but one of the persons married be a beleever, some by (holy) understand, legetimate, as if he had said, your children are not bastards but law­fully begotten and borne; But the Apostle speakes not of civill legi­timation, for the children of Infidells may be and are legitimate, others construe the words thus, that your children are holy, viz. by education in Christianity: others interpret them thus, your Children are holy, viz. by the secret operation and illuminati­on of the spirit, which begets in them new inclinations towards God, as in John Baptist, and the Prophet Jeremy. Others say thus, your children are holy. viz. They are Christians, belonging to the Co­venant and to the Church, this I chuse: holy, here is not under­stood civill but legally; the Law called things uncleane, prophane, as vessells, and living creatures, and men without the Church, and so the Law called things dedicated to God, holy; therefore as the chil­dren of the Jewes in the old Testament were not uncleane but holy, that is, they were not Gentiles, but Jewes, in Covenant with God from the wombe, by the vigour and vertue of that promise, Gen. 17.7. though by nature they were children of wrath; so here, Christians with their children who are adopted into the place of the Jewes, now in the new Testament the Apostle calls holy; that is, they are not Heathens but Christians, though by reason of originall sin they are borne children of wrath; so according to faederall grace, wee are borne Christians, though according to nationall generation wee are borne sinners, by vertue of which faederall sanctity Christian In­fants have as cleare a right to Baptisme as Jewish Infants had to Cir­cumcision: such then who oppose faederall sanctity and teach that the custom or Baptizing Infants hath continued in the Church not from example or command in Scripture, but from the degrees of the Church, take part with the Papists who stifly seeke to main­taine theirs against us.

Reas. 3 Because Infants are capeable of the thing signified, therefore they may be Baptized, they may have grace secretly bestowed as Jeremy and John Baptist, many such belong to heaven, Mat. 19.14. as if he had said, of such little ones and of others affected like them doth the Kingdome of God consist, Marke 10.14. Christ blessed them, then we may bestow the Sacrament and seale of blessing on them.

Object. If wee could certainely know which Infants had grace wrought in them, and did belong to Heaven, then we might baptize them, but this we know not, therefore its the best not to baptize them, til they come to riper yeares to make a profession and a confession of the Christian faith?

Answer. First know, that wee cannot infallibly discerne which man hath true grace, and is elected, this God only knowes, we may and ought to judge very charitably upon an exact profession, & so upon a bare profession; Phillip Baptized Simon Magus, Act. 8.13. We must ne­ver Baptize any, if we stay for infallible knowledge of any particular mans Election and particular Sanctification.

Secondly, the faith of Parents may warrant their infants Baptis­me, yea though they have a bare historicall faith, (not a justifying faith,) if they can credere ad baptismum, though not ad salutem, this faith makes their children fit for Baptisme, there were many in the Apostles times who were Baptized having only an historicall faith, as Magus and others.

Object. But the new Testament runnes much upon these speeches; beleeve and bee baptized, repent and be baptized, teach and baptize, now Infants are not capeable of the exercise of any of these graces, nor capeable of teaching; and what good can the Parents faith doe to the Infaint in Baptisme, seeing every one must live and be saved by his owne faith?

Ans. Those phrases, Teach and Baptize, Repent, and Beleeve, and bee Baptized, &c. are meant of such who were of riper yeares, and made profession of the Christian faith, whom they gathered out of the Heathens by the preaching of the Gospel.

In like manner, if we were to preach the Word amongst the Pa­gans and Infidells who knew not Christ, beleeve not in him, heard not of him, wee ought not to Baptize them nor their children till they professe faith in Christ, and come to know him. But now in this Church of England, all our people professe themselves Christians, and say, they beleeve in Christ and hope to be saved by him, though in their workes many prophane Protestants and licentious Christi­ans deny Christ, opposing the power of godlinesse, yet having a temporary faith, they are intituled and called Christians, and have right to Baptisme as well as the Children of many prophane Jewes had to Circumcision.

Secondly, I say, the Parents faith may benefit the Infant so much, as to bring it under the compasse of the Covenant, and to make it a partaker of the signe and seale of the Covenant, Rom. 4.11. He saith [Page 19] Circumcision was a Seale of the righteousnesse of the faith, children we know were circumcised, what faith could they expresse? there­fore the faith of their parents, applying the righteousnesse of Christ to themselves, by their Circumcision, it made their children to bee borne Jewes by nature, Gal. 2.15. Next this their faith assured them, that God would be a God to their seede, according to that promise, Gen. 17.7. In as good stead doth faith stand Christian Parents in, now, about the Baptisme of their children, for Baptisme is a clearer seale of righteousnesse then Circumcision was.

Thirdly, We reade the Apostles Baptized whole families, Acts 16.15.33. Acts 18.8. 1 Cor. 1.16. and it is probable there were children amongst them.

Reas. 4 Because 1 Cor. 10.2. The Apostle making their passing under the cloude and through the red sea a tipe of Baptisme, he saith they were all Baptized through the conduct or Ministery of Moses in the cloud and sea, now there were sixe hundred thousand footmen, Exod. 12.37. besides very many young infants and small children, and they were all baptized tipically; very well, yea, much more may Infants of Christian Parents now under the Gospel, have Baptisme conferred upon them, in the Truth and Antitipe, for the Truth or Antitipe is larger and of greater consequence then the Type; The Israelites, their passing into the bottome of the sea, signified our buriall with Christ in Baptime, their comming out of the sea, our rising up to newnesse of life, Rom. 6.4. So the Apostle, 1 Pet. 3.21. Makes No­ahs Arke a type of our Baptisme; for saith he, the like figure where­unto even baptisme, &c. as if he had said: Answerable unto which preservation of the eight persons in Noahs family, by water, is the benefit which we receive by baptisme, which doth also now save us by, and in applying unto us, the power of the Resurrection of Je­sus Christ, and become effectuall unto us, not in respect of the out­ward element, which onely washeth off the filth of the flesh, but in respect of the inward efficasie of the grace, thereby represented, and exhibited; whereby the conscience is both quieted, & assured of par­don and favour, and is there upon enabled to treate for, and expect mercy from God, and reconciliation with him.

Object, But Christ was not Baptized untill he was thirty yeares of age, Luke 3.21, 22, 23.

Ans. True; he was baptized, 1 to fulfill all righteousnesse, Mat. 3.15. that is, to accomplish in all due obedience, all that part of Gods will [Page 18] which concerne him. 2 To confirme Johns baptisme, doctrine, & mi­nistry, & to commend and confirme to us the use of baptisme by his example. 3. That he might sanctifie our baptisme to us, and seale up this fellowship with us. 4 To signifie that he was sent to be baptized, namely to die, and to wash away our sins with his blood, Luke 12.50. 5 That the truth might answer the type or figure; for as the high Priest, at his inauguration had his whole body washt with water, the sacerdotall garment was put upon him, he was set in the sight of all the people, and oyle was powred upon his head; Exod. 29.4, 5, 6▪ so Christ being to enter upon the publike function of the Ministry to preach the Gospel, he would be baptized, that he might be ordained, and confirmed by the publike testimony of the whole Deity. But this example binds not us in respect of the time of his baptisme, for if it did then Ministers must be baptized at their entrance into the Ministry; then none might enter into the Ministry till they be thir­ty yeares old, nor bee baptized till they come to that age; so then, Christ entring upon his publike function at that age, did answer the legall type of the Priests and Levites, who ordinarily were chosen to the publike service of the tabernacle at thirty yeares of age, Numb. &c. He did not by his example binde us to receive bap­tisme at that age.

Reas. 5 Because Baptisme hath beene effectuall to produce mortification and vivificate in many, as divers good people can witnesse, which it should not have done, if God had not approved of Paedobap­tisme.

QVEST. V. Whether is it lawfull to be rebaptized or not?

I Answer, that if one were Baptized in the name of God in generall, without particular explication and recitation of the three persons be not mentioned but omitted in Baptisme, its not right and lawfull baptisme; or if one was baptized of those heretickes who delivered not the right doctrine of the Trinity, such as were the Marcianites, Arrians, and Pneumatomachi, its not right and lawfull Baptisme, be­cause the essentiall forme of Baptisme is not observed, which (accor­ding to Christs institution) must be in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: but if Baptisme be rightly administred according to the institution of Christ and the forme prescribed of him, then re­baptization is unlawfull, for these reasons.

Reas. 1 First, because there is no command for rebaptization, as there is for the frequent receiving of the Lords Supper, 1 Cor. 11.26. and the Apostle saith, there is but one Baptisme, Eph. 4.5.

Reas. 2 2. Because Circumcision was not iterated, to which Baptisme succeeded.

Reas. 3 3. Because Baptisme is a Sacrament of Regeneration, but its e­nough to be once borne againe, and to bee entered into the Church of God, as one is borne naturally but once; so the spirituall birth is but once.

Object. But many who were baptized in their infancy, were never truly borne a­gaine?

Ans. Likewise many who are baptized in their elder yeares are never truly regenerate, but are notorious Hypocrites, as Simon Magus, and others.

Reas. 4 4. Because the strength and fruit of baptisme lasteth all the life of a true Christian, and a Christian may, yea he ought to feele the force and vertue of his baptisme working mortification and vivification in him, he must often remember the covenant he made with God in that ordinance, and in the remembrance of it must bee carefull to take heede of falling into sinne, to rise after he is fallen, and to serve God in sincerity all his dayes.

Now some of the separatists hold that our baptisme in the Church of England is no baptisme, because its conferred upon Infants; and therefore they are rebaptized: but they grosly erre; not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God in that Sacrament to us; I hold these their tenets and practise unlawfull for these reasons.

1 Because they seeke to nullifie and frustrate the Sacred ordinance of Christ, viz. Baptizing in Infants, and so by consequence speakes blasphemy, horribly taking Gods name in vaine, in that they vilifie and reject one of his Ordinances, as a matter of no worth, efficacy, and consequences if any of them shall say, that they never felt or discerned any benefit by their baptisme in their infancy? I answer, that they doe discover carnality and pride, and are in the bond of iniquity with Simon Magus, if they were regenerate, they might feele as much benefit and comfort of their baptisme in their infancy, as the godly L [...]n might from their circumcision in their infancy: also they discover hypocrisie in that they made profession formerly of their Covenant made with God in Baptisme, but now since their Separation, they disclaime this Sacrament, and acknowledge them­selves nothing better for it.

[Page 20]2. Because many of them are baptized by such as are no true Mi­nisters of Christ, not sent by him to preach the Gospel, for I am cer­taine they are not able to preach the word, therefore not sent by the Lord; now, none should baptize but they who are able teachers, sent of Christ, Mat. 28.19.

3. Because this opinion revives the antient heresie of Marcion the Hereticke, who lived in the yeare 143. hee was the inventer of a strange & new custome, for he taught, that after a man had been once baptized, he may be baptized againe the second time, and third time also. This hee did to wash away his whoredome; his father was a Preacher of Gods word in Pontus, and hee himselfe had vowed cha­stety, and afterwards polluted himselfe with whoredome, and was cast out of the Church by his owne father; who when hee came to Rome, not being admitted to the fellowship of the Church, there he joyned himselfe to the fellowship of Cerdon and augmented his er­rour, who held that there were two Gods or two beginnings, the one they called the Authour of all good things, the other the Author of all evill things; to which Marcion added this heresie: hee said, first, there was one supreame and vniversall God, and him he called the good God, who created nothing that is in this world: secondly, there was a visible God, who was creator and maker of all things, and thirdly, there was the Devill, as a mid thing betweene the visible and invisible God; no heresie sprang up at that time that was so uni­versally over spread in many nations and countries as Marcions he­resie was.

Object But we reade Acts 19.3, 4, 5. that Twelve Disciples of Ephesus were Baptized by Paul, who had beene baptized by John; therefore its lawfull to be rebaptized?

Ans. Some thinke that those twelve Disciples were only instructed in the Doctrine of John (there called baptisme) and not bap­tized of him with water, but were now baptized in the name of Jesus.

Some hold they were baptized of John with water, & not of Paul, as the text seemes to import, but that they were baptized in the name of Jesus, that is, they were furnished with admirable gifts of the Spi­rit, after Paul had laid his hands upon them, which effusion of the spirit is called baptizing, Acts 1.5.

Some hold they were baptized amisse by some of Johns followers in a corrupt forme, but now were rightly baptized, yet here was no rebaptization.

[Page 21]Some hold they were baptized of Iohn and Paul both for the divers manner of signification, Iohn baptized in the name of Jesus that was to come, and to be exhibited, Paul in the name of Jesus already come and exhibited.

But let us consult the text a little better; first, the text saith not, that Paul baptized those who before were baptized of Iohn, as the Anabaptists urge, but wee must rightly distinguish the words of Paul from the words of the Evangelist, Luke re­lating that history, Pauls words were these; Iohn verily baptized with the baptisme of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should beleeve on him which should come after him, that is▪ on Christ Jesus. Lukes words were these, When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Iesus, and when Paul had laid his hands upon them, &c. So Luke saith, when they heard this, that is the Preaching and Doctrine of Iohn, then they were baptized in the name of the Lord Iesus; that is of Iohn, not of Paul: So that Luke here sets downe how truly, worthily, and rightly these 12. Disciples were baptized of Iohn and that Iohn baptized in the name of the Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost, for else his baptis­me had not beene right and sound, but Iohn baptized thus, I say, as appeares, Mat. Secondly, in that those twelve said, they heard not whether there bee an Holy Ghost or not? its not meant of the existence of the holy Ghost, for Iohn taught clearely concerning the holy Ghost. Mat. 3.11. but its to be understood metonymically, of the effusion of the visible gifts of the holy Ghost, which flourished excellently in the be­ginning of the Church, as Iohn 7.39. so that when Paul had laid his hands on them, the holy Ghost came upon them; that is after a visible manner, he meanes not here the gift of regene­ration offered to all in baptisme, but those peculiar and extra­ordinary gifts; as the gift of tongues, and gifts of working miracles and such like. Give me leave to set downe a short Pa­raphrase upon five verses in the beginning of this Chapter, for the further illustration of this point.

Acts 19.2. Have ye received the holy Ghost since ye beleeve? and they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any holy Ghost.

Para∣phrase. Have ye received the extraordinary and miraculous gifts of the holy Ghost, since ye beleeved? and they said unto him; [Page 22] we have not so much as heard, that there are those miraculous gifts of the holy Ghost, bestowed on men that beleeve.

Verse 3 And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? and they said unto Iohns Baptisme.

Paraph, And he said unto them? These graces and gifts are wont to be given by imposition of hands, after Baptisme; which since Ye have not taken notice of, tell me, unto what were ye bapti­zed? And they said wee were Baptized by Iohns Baptisme, to the remission of sins by Jesus Christ, that lambe of God, which taketh away the sinnes of the world.

Verse 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptisme of repen­tance, saying unto the people, that they should beleeve on him which should come after him, that is on Christ Jesus.

Paraph. Then said Paul, Iohn verily as the outward Minister of Bap­tisme, baptized you with water, to the remission of sinnes, to­gether with his baptisme teaching the people, that they should beleeve in that Jesus Christ, which should come after him; so as his baptisme was true and perfect; yet such as was not ac­companied, & attended with these miraculous gifts, which now since the full glorification of Christ, are bestowed upon men.

Verse 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Iesus.

Paraph. Whiles therefore Iohn taught them thus, and made this holy comentary upon his said baptisme, they that heard it (in recei­ving his baptisme) were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Verse 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the holy Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied.

Paraph. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them (as having be­fore beene fully and duely baptized) the Holy Ghost came downe upon them, in miraculous gifts, and they spake with tongues and prophesied.

So that here is no ground for rebaptization in this place, these twelve doubtlesse had received the Holy Ghost, (though not in that miraculous and extraordinary manner as they did after) for Paul in his question saith they beleeved, now to beleeve, is a fruit of the Spirit; Therefore the Separatists doe very ill opo­sing our Baptizing of Infants, for in Scripture we finde no ex­amples, wherein Infants of Christian Parents were denyed bap­tisme but examples we find, wherein they had it conferred upon [Page 23] them, 1 Cor. 10.2. as I proved before, and Lydia with all her houshould was baptized, likewise wee finde no negative pre­cept inhibiting paedobaptisme, neither can it bee proved truely that Christs command. Teach and Baptize, &c. doth exclude infants from baptisme; now if their bee neither example▪ nor precept, against paedobaptisme, then such as oppose it doe ill; for they follow those pestilent hereticks called Annabaptists in Germany, who sprung up there (when the light of the Gospel first began to shine) not very long since, about Luthers time, this their opinion being but new and upstart, there is good rea­son they should disclaime it, and be humbled for it.

QVEST. VI. Whether is it lawfull to separate from all the publike Ordinances and Christian assemblies in our English Church, because there are some defects in Discipline, and in other things amongst us.

Ans. I Conceive it is absolutely unlawfull to relinquish Gods holy Ordinances, and the Assemblies of godly Christians in this Church of England, because of our mixt congregations, and be­cause of some defects in our Discipline.

Reas. 1 Because Jesus Christ leaves us not for our defects and weake­nesses, but continues with us, and I hope will doe for ever: It appeares Christ dwells amongst us, because hee hath setled his sacred word amongst us, sent us many godly and learned teach­ers, and where these are teaching the truth there is Christ, Mat. 28.20. Also he hath planted his Sacraments in our Church, he hath converted many soules in our land to himself by the faith­full dispensation of his Ordinances, but where all this is, there Christ is resident, Exod. 20.24. such a Church is the spouse of Christ, and whilst she holds the foundation of Religion, re­taining the substantiall grounds of it, agreable to the analogie of faith, she is spoused to Christ, but if shee reject the foundation of religion, she is an harlot, as the Church of Rome is, Revelat. 2. there Christ walkes amongst the seven golden candlestickes, viz. Those seven Churches of Asia, yet some of them had great defects; Now till Christ leaves us, it is unlawfull for them to leave us, and account our Church an harlot; such as do thus, do [Page 24] through the sides of our Church wound Christ, strike at him, and dishonour him, Luke 10.16.

Reas. 2 Because in separating from our Assemblies and Ordinances, you prevent the exercise of many an holy duty which you might, & ought to have performed amongst us, Heb. 10. And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love & good workes, but some might aske how must we performe this duty? he answers verse 25. not forsaking the Assembling of our selves together, &c. here the Apostles impugneth the supercidiousnesse of the selfe concei­ted Jewes, who out of contempt of the Gentiles deserted the Christian Assemblies, as if he had said, notwithdrawing and ut­terly separating our selves from the assemblies of Gods people, upon conceit of the peculiar rights & prerogatives which God hath given the Jewes above the Gentiles; and standing upon the high tearmes of difference, as the manner of some is, &c.

Reas. 3 Because its the high way to the sinne against the Ghost, as is very cleare, Heb. 10.25.26. for such as despise and desert our Christian Assemblies and Gods holy ordinances amongst us, for some defects and imperfections; (which doe not alienate Christ his presence & love from us) are in the ready way to fall to blaspheme the truth, and to sinne unpardonable. Mr. Paget of Amsterdam in his preface to his booke called An arrow against the Separation of the Brownists, complaines of them thus; It is apparent that three or foure hundred of the Brownists have brought forth more Apostate Anabaptists and Arrians, some­times in one yeare, then 10000 members of the reformed Dutch Church in this City have done in ten yeares or more, though tempted and compassed about with seducers as much as any o­ther. Now the Arrian heresie, is fearefull and odious, in the yeare 324 sprang up Arrins a Presbyter in Alexandria, who de­nyed that the Sonne of God was begotten of the substance of the Father, but said, that he was a creature, and that there was a time wherein the Sonne was not: The Anabaptists taught, that infants should not bee baptized untill they came to perfect age, and can give a confession of their owne faith. Next, that Christ tooke not flesh and blood of the Virgin, but brought it from heaven. Next, that God not onely revealeth his will by the written word, but also by visions and dreames. Next, that that Church is not a true Church; wherein there is any Spot or wrinckle. Next, that the Office of Magistrates under the New [Page 25] Testament is not a calling approved of God. Thomas Munt­zerus one of the first Fathers of this Sect, made a great insur­rection (though the Anabaptists teach that warres are unlaw­full for Christians) but was overcome and beheaded in the yeare 1533. Iohannes Leidensis troubled the City of Munster, but was taken and condemned to death, he called himselfe King of new Ierusalem. David Georgius an Anabaptist in Holland, said that he was Christ the Messias and Saviour of the world. Thus wee see when men disdaine the Assemblies of Saints for some de­fects, God leaves them to fall into fearefull errours and heresies through the pride of their hearts.

Reas. 4 Because it argues an extreame height of pride, such as sepa­rate from all the ordinances, are puft up with ambitious spirits like unto those in Isa. 65.5. such would make themselves seeme holier then Christ and his Apostles, who went and preached a­mongst the prophane Jewes and Heathens, and though some of these seeme humble, yet their seeming depth of humility, may be a reall height of pride; they may not lawfully separate from us except Christ also did, whilest hee stayes with us, they should doe the like.

Reas. 5 Because this doctrine of Separation crosseth the judgements and practises of the godly Saints in all ages, it is but of late in­vention, those that seeme to have beene the Separatists their predecessors in former ages were the Donatists, 400. yeares after Christ, Donatus Bishop in Numidia drew many after him, and had many favourers called by divers names, Parmeniani, Roga­tistae, Cirtenses, Maximianistae; Circumciliones, the worst branch of this roote, for these would burne, or drowne themselves, and account this kind of death Martyrdome: the maine heresie of the Donatists was, 1 that the true Catholike Church was no where else to bee found, but onely in that corner of Africke, wherein they themselves dwelt: 2 that baptisme was not ef­fectuall, except it had beene ministred by one of their society, against these heretiks did Augustine, Bishop of Hippo contend with mighty grace, the Separatists of these times are in some measure like them, but in some points they exceede the Dona­tists, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Johnson in one part confesse this their Separation to bee late and new; but in the nature and causes thereof, to be as ancient as the Gospel, the former I grant, the [Page 26] latter I deny, for we never read that the Saints in Scripture se­parated from those assemblies where God was truely worship­ped, in the old Testament Elkanah frequented the publike As­semblies at Shiloh, 1 Samuel 1.3. though there were more vile abuses of the Lords ordinances, then amongst us in England, 1 Sam. 2.22. and in that time betweene the Prophet Malachy & Christs Nativity, we reade that Zachary executed his Office, Luke 1.8.9. and did not Separate from the Lords ordinances, though there were fearefull abuses amongst them, as farre as I remember in the Old Testament, Caine was the first that sepa­rated from Gods holy servants and service, Gen. 4.16. and Iu­das in the new, 1 Cor. 11.33.34. he wisht them not to separate but to reforme their horrible abuses of the Lords Supper.

Reas. 6 Because to separate from us, is to separate from the sweete presence of Christ in his Ordinances, and from the fellowship of holy Saints as any be in the world, which to mee seemes un­lawfull.

Reas. 7 Because the Separatists themselves, had their first illuminati­on in our Church, by the word taught amongst us; they made profession amongst us before they left us, now that ministry of ours which first converted them, doubtlesse through God assi­stance is able to build them up, and they are bound to respect our Ministry before other, because it first converted them, 1. Cor. 4.14, 15. this their separation is an ill requitall to their spirituall fathers.

Object. Though we leave your Godly Saints and Ordinances, yet wee have the society of other holy Saints and the Ordinances in purity?

Answ. I beleeve there be amongst the Separatists some godly Saints; but this is no signe of a Saint to depart from our Church for some defects in it, it is altogether without example or ground from the Scripture, and is rather a signe of a proud Pharisee; doe not thinke that all your fellow Separatists are upright and sincere, there bee as discembling Hypocrites amongst them, as any are amongst us; neither expect such edification from the ordinances dispensed amongst you, as from the Ordinances a­mongst us; because God gives you not now extraordinary gifts, as hee did to the Apostles, and your lay preaching wants those eminent gifts of learning (which are gifts of the spirit, 1 Cor. which the ministry of this English [Page 27] Church enjoyeth, yea, some who followed the Separation a while, but afterwards returned from it, to our publike assem­blies againe, said, that the Ministry amongst the Separatists is a very fruitlesse, dead, and heartlesse Ministry, that they will of­ten disagree about the interpretation of some places of Scrip­ture, and sometimes none of them hit upon the right sense, whereas if they had a man of learning, and judgement amongst them, hee would soone resolve their doubts, and prevent that unedifying confusion that is too much amongst them. I desire you of the Separation to consider that place well, Heb. 13.7. whose faith follow: now those godly teachers who instrumen­tally converted you were not of your faith, but did beleeve this English Church to bee a true Church, wherein the Lord dwells, and they joyned with us in Gods service. I desire you likewise, to tell mee ingenuously, whether you have heard the voyce of Christ, & sensibly felt his spirit working upon your hearts, more by the Ministry of this English Church, than, or by the Mi­nistry of the Separation; time was when you would have melted in prayer amongst us, you would have trembled at Gods word in our Congregations, ye would have obeyed from the heart that forme of Doctrine we delivered, your hearts would have burned with zeale in holy performances amongst us, you seemed to be inflamed with precious love to Christ, to his ordi­nances, and to his servants, doe you finde the ministry of the Se­paration working these effects in you? I hardly beleeve you do.

Object. But (your Ministers being called by the Prelates, their calling is Antichristian,) we dare not come to your publike Assemblies to Gods worship, because in so doing wee shall approve of their unlawfull cal­ling.

Answer. If you come to our Assemblies with good hearts, to get edifi­cation by the word, you bare presence at the ordinances, is no approbation of our calling by the Prelates, whilest your judge­ments and speeches are against it: many godly and learned men frequented our Christian Assemblies even when the Pre­lates lorded it over us, and troubled us with their ceremo­nies, yet they approved not of the Prelates calling, not of their ceremonies, but manifested their disapprobation and utter dis­like of them, so I desire you to come and joyne with us in our Christian Services, private and publike, speake what you please [Page 28] against the Prelates and their Ceremonies, and confute our out­ward calling from the Prelates by argument as much as you please, so that you will but keepe the unity of the spirit with us in the bond of peace; but this renting from us doth exceeding much hurt, it brings many an able Minister into contempt, and the word he preacheth to much disgrace; it makes many wea­ker Christians to stagger, and is commonly an inlet to divers errors and heresies, for inveterate schismes oft times turne to heresies; the Donatists because they could not effect their cru­ell designe against Cecilianus Bishop of Carthage, fell from the unity of the Church, and in the end were defenders of hereticall opinions: we reade 1 Sam. 2.22. what horrible abuses of the Lords service was then, yea worse then is amongst us, yet El­kanah and his wives did frequent the publike Assemblies, 1 Sam. 1.3. which he would not have done, if his presence there had beene any approbation of those abuses, 1 Cor. 11.33, 34. there were more horrible abuse of the Lords Supper, then are a­mongst us, yet Paul bids them not separate upon this, but come together againe, yet better prepared. I suppose it is law­full for you to reade a Papists Booke (whose religion is heresie) or to dispute with a Jesuite, and yet by your presence give no approbation of his Religion and condition, Mat. 23.3. Christ bids them heare the Pharisees (a vaine sect sprang up amongst the Jewes 144. yeares before Christ saith Josephus,) yet Christ approves not of them, farther then they taught the law truly, but in the same chapter denounced many woes against them, Phil. 1.18. Paul rejoyced that Christ was preached of envie and strife by the false Apostles (whose calling was not from Christ,) then I beleeve that Paul accounted it lawfull for people to here such Preach, and yet be in no danger of approving their false Apostleship. Besides if your bare presence at our Assem­blies doth give an approbation of our calling (which seemes Antichristian to you) then your presence in our markets where be many prophane people, may as truely approove of their sins and wickednesse, Christ knew Judas to bee a notorious hypo­crite, a covetous wordling, yea, a traitor, yet hee admitted him into his family, permits him to sit with him at the table; yet Christ was farre from approving of Iudas his sin and wick­ednesse.

Object. But I dare not joyne with your mixt Assemblies, least I contract the guilt of their sinnes upon mine owne head?

Answer. That blessed man of God, Mr. Hooker, (now in New England) in a fa­mous Sermon he Preached upon 2 Tim. 3.5. answers this objectiō thus; suppose saith he, those in authority will not cast out prophane per­sons, yet the Saints of God should not abstaine from the Congregati­on, it is pittifull indeede, and the thing is troublesome and tedious to a gratious heart, and we must mourne for it, but beeing it is not in my power, I must not abstaine: Then he answering the objections of the Anabaptists saith; They (saith hee) cast this as a reproach upon our Church, common drunkards say they, and swearers, if they pay but two pence for their offering at Easter, may receive the Lords Supper; he answers thus, we confesse this fault, let it lie where it is, we cannot reforme it, we onely can mourne for it, and that God will accept. Obj. 1 Cor. 5.11. if there be an adulterer, &c. with such do not eate, that is communicate not? he answers; to eate, there is not referred to the communion in eating the body of Christ, but eate not with him, that is, be not familiar with such a person, and it includes the word familia­rity, not communion at the Lords table, Psal. 41.9. their eating im­plyeth a common inward familiarity, mine owne familiar friend, &c. But (saith he) they reply from the greater to the lesse; if wee may not eate with them privately, then much lesse publikely may we commu­nicate with them? he answers, Its no good reason, because I have more authority to refuse the company of a man in mine owne house, then I have to refuse in the open congregation, I can keepe a man out of my house, but I cannot fling him out of the open congregation, that be­longs onely to those that are in authority. Thus farre Mr. Hooker.

Next, I say you may not lawfully relinquish our publique Assemblies and ordinances, because of prophane persons that be amongst them, whilest we have the Ordinances purely dispensed for the substance.

Reas. 1 Because there is neither example nor precept in Scripture to warrant it, if one cannot frequent the meanes of grace in mixt congregations, without contracting the guilt of their sinnes, then surely, Elkanah would never have sacrificed to the Lord in Shiloh yearely with Hophni and Phinehas such prophane persons: if there were such danger of con­tracting the guilt of others sinnes this way, then Paul would not have wisht the Corinthians to come together againe, though there were a­mongst thē most vile abuses of the Lords Supper, worse then amongst us. Vpon the same ground the Jewes might have refused to heare the [Page 30] Pharises, (as wicked a generation of Hypocrites as ever was, both for life and Doctrine,) yet Christ bids the Jewes and his owne Disciples heare them, Mat. 23.3. on the same ground, its unlawfull for you to frequent our markets, to have civill commerce with us, for there, even there doe the prophane people amongst us act, and practise their wick­ednesse more openly, bouldly, and frequently, then in our meeting hou­ses, in the Markets they use swearing, drunkennesse, lying, couzening, &c. I should thinke it more dangerous being there, (though a true Christian may lawfully bee there, through the necessity of his perticu­lar calling,) then in our publike Assemblies at Gods worship; for in Gods publike worship amongst us, the prophanest persons put on a forme of piety, carry themselves demurely with outward reverence, they doe not act their leudenes and follie there, but conforme to the outward worship; I conceive then, there is lesse danger for you to be there.

Reas. 2 Because we are bound in conscience by command from Gods word, to frequent the publike ordinances for our owne particular edification, Isa. 55.1, 2, 3. Prov. 8.1. to 11. verse. Prov. 9.1. to 7. verse. and in many other places, now this I must obey, or else I sinne fearefully a­gainst God and mine owne soule, if the wicked intrude amongst the Saints in their sinfull estate, there sins shall lie upon their owne head; indeede, if I commit their sins with them, or approve of their wicked­nesse, and encourage them in it, or if I connive at their sinne and re­prove them not for it, if I have a lawfull calling to doe it, or if I mourne not for their sinnes, nor endeavour to reforme them, then I make my selfe guilty of their sins; but if I come in obedience to Gods command, to meete him in his ordinances, for the enlargement of my communion with him, this makes me not guilty of their wickednesse; if it did, then doubtlesse Christ who knew Judas to be an Hypocrite, would not have suffered the other Apostles to eate the Passeover with him, but hee would have excluded Judas and expelled him, or else hee would have diswaded the other Apostles from comming into Judas his company; neither of which he did. Therefore it favours strongly of Pharisaisme, to relinquish our publike Assemblies; because they are mixt, the Pha­ [...]ees thought it sinne to converse with the base vulgar, their Phylacte­ries did say, touch me not, for I am cleaner then thou; though wee have some prophane, yet not all, there bee amongst us many godly Christians keeping the mistery of faith in a pure conscience, now, we should love these as much as hate the other; if all maine truths bee [Page 31] taught amongst some godly, some prophane, why should I more shun those prophane, then cleave to those truths, and those godly? If I have daily admonished him, and detest and bewaile his sinne, what is ano­ther mans prophannesse to me? If prophannesse be not punished, it is their sin whom it concerneth to redresse them: if the Officers sin, must we runne from the Church? its a famous and pregnant protesta­tion by God, Ezek. 18.20. and if the Fathers sower grapes cannot hurt the childrens teeth, how much lesse shall the neighbours? if any unbidden guesse come with a ragged garment, and unwashen hands, shall I forbeare Gods heavenly dainties? the Master of the feast may say, friend how camest thou in hither? not friends why came you hither with such a guest? God bids me come, he hath imposed this necessity, never allowed this excuse: my teeth shall not be set on edge with the sower grapes of others: if the Church cast not out the known unworthy, the sinne is hers: if a man will come unworthy, the sinne is his, but if I come not because he comes, the sinne is mine: I shall not answer for that others sin: I shall answer for mine own neglect: another mans fault cannot dispense with my duty.

Reas. 3 Because God hath many of his Elect amongst the prophane people in our Assemblies, though they be not yet converted yet they shall be, the word is sent principally for the Elects sake, to convert such as bee for the present, prophane; but yet elected, and to confirme those that be already converted; now if the prophannesse of the common sort, be a sufficient ground for us to separate from the publike ordinances, then how should the meanes of grace be setled any where amongst us, for the conversion of such as be elected?

Therefore its needefull for you to adhere to us, to helpe forward the conversion of many, who belong to Gods decree of Election, but are for the present in the state of nature.

Reas. 4 Because to separate from us for this cause, gives great offence to Gods people; which you ought not to doe, 1 Cor. 10.32. there is the offence of griefe, and the offence of errour, both these your separation gives to many Christians; it grieves their hearts, & the spirit of God in them exceedingly, to see you relinquish the publike ordinances, as if Christ was not to be found there; Object. also your separation causeth many Chri­stians to stumble, and to forsake those Ministers, and that preaching, who first begat them in Christ Jesus; 2 Cor. 6.17. Come out from a­mongst them and be yee separate, &c.

Answer. The Christians in Corinth, had too much fellowship with the idola­trous [Page 32] heathens, in going to their feasts, and in marrying with them, therefore the Apostle verse 14. dehorted them from this, and in this 17. verse: As if he had said; be not so familiar with the Idolatrous heathen, as to eate and drinke with them at their feasts, because thus yee should draw in one yoake of wickednesse with them, having com­munion in their abomination, & if any neere familiarity with them be condemned, much it more o marrie with such. To come out from amongst them is, to reprove their sinnes; to touch no uncleane thing is, to refraine from doing those sinnes which they do. Here is no ground to separate from Gods Church, because there bee wicked persons, wee should rather beare with some things for the preservation of the peace and unity of the Church, then through offence at these, to loose the benefit of communion in the word and Sacraments.

Reas. 5 Because, in departing from our Christian Assemblies upon this ground, you depart not so much from evill company, as from the blessed presence of God, meeting us in his sacred Ordinances. By this meanes you loose more divine benefit and comfort in the ordinances, then you could have received hurt by the pretence of prophaine people there. Blessed be God for it, the presence of God, and the efficasie of his spirit in his ordinances amongst us, are more effectuall to doe good, then the presence of wicked men there, is able to doe hurt; or else there had not been halfe so many pretious Saints and heavenly Christians at this day in England, as now there be. God increase their number a thou­sand fold Amen.

In the next place, I shall shew you that it is more unlawful & unfit for you to separate from our English Church, now, then it was formerly.

Reason 1 Because it mightily hinders the worke of reformation, this is one cause that it goes on with much difficulty and very slowly, London can prove this by witnesse sufficient, this separation turnes many to the Cavaleeres, and exasperates the Cavaleeres extreamely against the worke of reformation, they thinke that both the Parliament, and all that side with them would turne Separatists, be rebaptized; and depose all humane learning, so that any mecanicke and artificer may turne preacher, all this and much more the Cavaleeres objected bitterly a­gainst the Parliament side to my face, in my long and tedious durance at Newarke where I was prisoner almost thirty weekes,

Reason 2 Because this Separation offers horrible indignity to the Honorable and high Court of Parliament, which sets more earnestly for a com­pleate reformation then any Parliament ever did formerly, and if we [Page 33] can but waite with patience, wee may comfortably hope to see it ef­fected, now this Separation doth rather disparage the Parliament by outrunning the authority of it, as if it was not wise enough to accom­plish a reformation, and as if it was lawfull and fit to set up a reformati­on in England without Parliamentary authority: The best Israelites in the times of Abijah, Asia, Iehosaphat, Hezekiah, Iosiah, never tooke upon them to reforme without, or before, or against their Princes 2 Chron. 13. 2 Chron. 14. and 15. 2 Chron. 29. and 30. 2 Chron. 34. Ne­hemiah without Artaxerxes (an heathen King,) did not set up the wals of Jerusalem, Ezra. 4 23.24. Zerubabell and Joshua built not without leave and command from Cyrus, and when contrary letters came from above, they laid by both trowells and swords, private profession is one thing, publike reformation is another; every man must doe that in the maine, none may doe this but they of whom God sais, I have said, ye are Gods.

Reason 3 Because this Separation is like to breede great distractions in the Parliament Garrisons, if ever they should be beseiged by the enemy, for many that outwardly stand for the Parliament, yet have little or no power of piety, do vow to fight as soone against the separatists as the Papists, if ever their Garrisons should be beseiged.

Reason 4 Because Separation crosseth the famous late Covenant which wee tooke, which enjoynes us to endeavour to extirpate Popery scisme, and prophannesse, doubtlesse this Separation is scisme, a renting from this Church which I proved to bee the spouse of Christ, therefore for such as have taken this Covenant, and yet Separate from us, how they can doe this with a good conscience; I cannot see.

QVEST. VII. Whether is it necessary to demolish our Churches (Steeplehouses as the Separa­tists call them) and to build them in other places, because they were built by Idolaters for Idolatrous worship, were abused with images, and dedicated to Saints?

Ans. I Hold it neither necessary not fit to pull them downe, because of the Idolatrous service practised in them.

Reas. 1 Because we that worship God in them, doe reject those Superstitions which were used in them, and use them lawfully in the true worship of God: as Golias his sword though an instrument of cruelty and murther, serving for the maintenance of heathenish Idolaty in the hand of the Gyant, was yet lawfully used by David as an instrument of justice [Page 34] to the glory of God, 1 Samuel 17.51. 1 Sam. 21.9. the authority of the Magistrate hath cast Superstition out of these houses, & converted them to the true worship of God.

Reas. 2 If for the Superstitious rits of consecration, our Temples should be demolished, then how comes it to passe that the Church yards are not liable to the same judgement, seeing they have beene consecrated by Bishops with abominable rites and Idolatrous superstitions as the Temples were? The people of Biscaie in Spaine admitts of no Bishop amongst them, for when Fernand the Catholike came in progresse hither, accompanied by the Bishop of Pampelune, the people arose in armes, drave back the Bishop, and gathering all the dust on which they thought he had troden and flung it into the Sea; If Popish super­stition have defiled our Churches, and Church yards with an indelible staine, why serve you not them so likewise?

Reas. 3 Then it will also follow, that Popish Baptisme being in like manner defiled with Idolatrous rits▪ ought by the like necessity to be abolished, & a new baptisme to be sought, & while you retain amongst you the bap­tisme administred in Popery, you cannot without partiality refuse our Temples; the pollution of Baptisme by idle ceremonies of crossing, ex­orcisme, exsufflation, salt, spittle, oyle, &c. is as great as the pollution of the Temples by their consecration; Besides Mr. Ainsworth in on part of his workes saith, that persons unlawfully circumcised and baptized in Idolatrous and false Churches, might yet through faith and repen­tance, come to a lawfull and comfortable use of their former circumsi­tion and baptisme, why then cannot our repentance and faith, as well sanctifie unto us, the places superstitiously consecrated, while we doe in like manner disclaime and renounce their superstitions?

Reas. 4 If the superstitious consecration of places unto Idolatry, doth neces­sarily inferre the destruction of the same, then are private houses of Idolaters to be destroyed, for many of them have beene defiled with images and superstitious Rits.

Reas. 5 If Temples popishly consecrated, must bee demolished because of their former superstitions, then it will also follow that the living Tem­ples, as Infants in their popish Baptisme, and popish Ministers in their superstitious ordinations, and popish Princes in their Coronations, be­ing as much defiled with Idolatrous rits, as our Temples are in like manner to be destroyed. Shall Achans tent be burnt, and not Achan himselfe? Iosh. 7.24, 25. this is the rather to be marked, because Revel. 18.13. the soules of men are expressely mentioned and reckoned a­mongst [Page 35] the wares and marchandise of Antichrist, so as the Temples are not; therefore such as stand for the demolishing of our Temples, I suppose they would not have such persons destroyed as are converted from popery, because they have beene Papists; nither would they de­stroy a Papists house, if the Parliament should bestow one upon them.

Object. But the retaining of these steeple-houses for the service of God is a breath of the second Commandement, Exod. 20.4, 5, 6. with Deut. 12.2, 3.

Ans. 1 I conceive that commandement, Deut. 12. is a temporary ordinance, part of Moses his pollicie that is abrogated, and therefore not binding us in these times, for how ever the equity thereof continue, teaching us to detest Idolatry, yet it bindes us not in such manner, and by such meanes, to signifie our detestation thereof, as it did them in Moses time: for example; as God here commands to abolish Idolatrous places, so in the next chapter, Deut. 13.12.15, 16, 17. God commands them, not onely to demolish their places of worship, but also their goods and cattell to burne it with fire; the equity of this commandement, leades us to a great detestation of Idolatry; but who will say, that it is to be declared by the very same meanes and manner of judgement, in de­stroying such things as are of necessary use?

Secondly, As God commands to destroy Idolatrous places, so hee commands to abolish their names, and not to retaine them, Deut. 12.3. this commandement appeares herby to be temporary and ceremoniall, because now in the New Testament, wee see that the names of divers Idolls, have beene retained in divers persons thereupon denominated, as the names of Mercury, Ʋenus, Phebe, Iupiter, Apollo, Fortuna, that were heathenish Idolls worshipped for gods and goddesses, and yet their names not abolished in the Saints mentioned by the Apostles, Rom. 16.14. Phil. 2.25. Rom. 16.1. Titus 3.13. 1 Cor. 16.17.

Thirdly, this command for destroying Idolatrous places, as its not perpetuall for time, so also not universall for the place, but expresly re­strained to the land of Canaan, to the Idolls of those Nations which Israel should possesse; from that place they were to be cut off, [...]s is thrise noted in three verses together, Deut. 12▪ 1.2, 3. even as God would have greater severity and detestation to bee manifested towards the Idolaters in Canaan, then to those of other Countries a farre off, Deut. 20.10.15, 16, 17. Iosh. 9.6, 7.

Fourthly, Seeing meates sacrificed to Idolls were as much polluted, as the places of their worship, and yet notwithstanding may now law­fully be retained for our necessary vse, Psal. 24.1. with 1 Cor. 10.15, 26, 27. why not the Temples also?

[Page 36]Fiftly, There is not the like reason, to abolish the buildings abused unto Idolatry now, as the high places of old, because God having ap­pointed one onely place for sacrifice, Deut. 12.5, 6 &c. Levit. 17.3.4. those high places being for sacrifice were to bee destroyed, though no Idolatry had beene committed in them, but beeing polluted with the service of Idolls, there was then double cause of their destruction, which is not now in these, while differance of place is taken away. John 4 21.

Sixtly, The high places, the Groves, Altars, Images destroyed by Josias, 2 Chron. 34. whereof no necessary use, as our Temples now are; the high places were Altars in heigh Mountaines and Hills. Acts 19.9, 10. There we find an Idolatrous place converted, by the Apostle un­to the service of God, the schoole of Tyrannus, being as the rest of the heathenish schooles, the nurseries of superstition, idolatry, false wor­ship, and pernicious opinions, was yet after this used by Paul, for a place of Gods worship, for a schoole of religion, to preach the Gospel of Christ in the same. Levit. 6.28. Levit. 11.32, 33. God there ordai­ned that things polluted, being of lesse price should be broken, but be­ing of more worth, were to be purged and so retained, as the mercifull care of God for his people appeared herein, even under the Law: so much more under the Gospel, this type is fullfilled unto us, and God in his large bounty doth grant us the necessary use, both of things pollu­ted with Idolatry, as also of such thing as were otherwise ceremoni­ally uncleane. I hope these reasons will satisfie any reasonable man, who truely loves the peace of Sion; they satisfie me, and convince me of the truth of these points, which I have endeavoured to defend; but howsoever, some may like these reasons, and others may dislike them, I shall say to my selfe in the words of the Poet Theogins;


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