The Temple measured: OR, A brief Survey of the Temple mystical, Which is the Instituted CHURCH of CHRIST.

Wherein are solidly and modestly discussed, Most of the material Questions touching the Constitution and Government of the Visible Church Militant here on Earth.

Together with The solution of all sorts of OBJECTIONS which are usually framed against the Model and Platform of Ecclesi­astical Polity, which is here asserted and maintained.

In particular here are debated, The points of so much Controversie, touching the Unity of the Church, The Members of the Church, The Form of the Church, and Church Covenant, The Power of the Church, The Officers of the Church, and their Power in Church-Government, The Power of Magistrates about the Church, and some Church Acts, as Admission of Members, and other things set down in the Table before the Book.

By JAMES NOYES Teacher of the Church at Newbery in New England.

LONDON: Printed for EDMUND PAXTON, and are to be sold at his Shop in Pauls chain, over against the Castle Tavern neer to the Doctors Commons. 1647.


IT is a thing well known to them of New-England (and too well known amongst our selves) in what excentrick motions the judgements of some of the Elders and Churches there have of late been carried about matters pertaining to Church-Administrations; yet hitherto, for the most part, they do concur in their practise, though not all acted upon the same principles, nor regulated in all things by the same Ca­tholique and individual Rule. For the practise of some is directly upon particular Rules of Scripture, by them apprehended and acknowledged: The practise of o­thers (to whom the former Rules seem misapplied) is upon more general Rules of Scripture (viz. Rules of Charity and Christian Peace) which do by consequence only, and not directly lead them to an Identity and U­niformity in their practise with the rest of their Bre­thren. A general Rule may very well supersede a par­ticular; it is a maxime planted in the nature of things, which do often act contrary to the Rule of their parti­cular nature, for the conservation of the universe: and were we as well grounded upon it as our Brethren of New-England be, we should both the more prefer the Peace and Tranquility of this Church (which is a ge­neral good) above our own private Interest, and the less censure them, who upon the same principle have [Page]somtimes taken (and will doubtless have the wisdom always to take) just Animadversion upon them that cause Divisions and are disturbers of the Churches Peace, though they may haply plead their Conscience, and transform themselves into Angels of Light.

As for this Reverend Author, who (amongst others) is not satisfied touching the Charter of the Churches where he lives, and cannot yet finde in Scripture that the Lord Jesus did ever give them Commission to the full exercise of that Government which is there Esta­blished; he did after long silence, at length acquaint his People, and the Reverend Presbyters of that coun­trey with his doubtings concerning the way they went in: And upon conference had with them about the particulars controverted betwixt them, finding himself still unsatisfied both in their Arguments against him, and Answers to him (in neither of which he could per­ceive so much truth, as might convince him of Error, or move him from his own principles) but perceiving ra­ther that jealousies and misunderstandings of him did arise in the hearts of his Reverend fellow-Presbyters (whose love he did always estimate at a high rate) there­fore that he might the more freely and fully, and at once declare what are the points he holds, and wherein he can or cannot concur with them, and the Reasons why, he hath drawn up and published these short notes; in the mean time resolving that love shall set bounds to [Page]his enquiry after truth, and not under pretence of seeking truth to transgress the Rule and Law of love, according to the Apostles direction, Eph. 4.15. Follow­ing the truth in Love. [...].

In all this Treatise it will be evident at first sight that he is altogether free from a Spirit of Faction, seeking only truth and satisfaction; and therefore he hath in­geniously and impartially laid down his Judgement, which is in some things coincident with the judgment of the Reverend Presbyters in New-England: in some things consenting with our Reverend Assembly here in England, and in some things distant from them both; being neither for Aristotle nor for Plato, but for Truth; neither for Paul nor for Apollo, but for Christ.

In his Stile he does affect to make his words and his matter commensurable: for the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power. The truth is,1 Cor. 4.20. it is an Argu­ment of want of Argument and of most odious Sophi­stry in most of the Disputers of this world, that they cannot speak of an Argument, but it must be ushered in with an out-braving Preface to raise the esteem of the Au­thor or Cause; that so the affections being bribed with fair speeches, the understanding may be won to assent to Error; which is the subtilty of the Serpent, not the sim­plicity of Christ; the jugling of a Seducer, not the craft of one that can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.



  • COncerning the Vnity of the Church Pag. 1.
  • Of the matter and quantity of the Church p. 5.
  • Of the Form of the Church p. 8.
  • Of the Power of the Church p. 10.
  • Of the Officers of the Church p. 16.
  • Of the Power of the Presbytery p. 29.
  • Of the Power of Synods and Councels p. 49.
  • Of the Power of Magistrates about the Church p. 58.
  • Of their Power of Iurisdiction in the Church p. 60.
  • Of Admission of Members p. 62.
  • Of Imposition of hands p. 69.
  • Concerning Excommunication p. 74.
  • Concerning the Retention of unnatural mediums of Worship p. 80.
  • Concerning the Morality of the Sabbath p. 83.
  • Of the beginning and ending of the Sabbath p. 89.
  • Of the maner of observing the Sabbath. p. 93.

The Temple measured: OR, A brief Survey of the Temple mystical.

Concerning the Ʋnity of the Church.

THe Militant Church of Christ upon earth,Pro. 1. is one in­tegral Body visible, and hath power to act in Synods and Councels to the end of the world. 1. The A­postles, and Prophets, and Evangelists were visible members of the Universal or Catholike and Inte­gral Church. They could not be members of any particular Church, because they were not constituted members of any particular Church by special reference to any particular Church. That which constitutes one a member of a particular Church, doth so constitute him a member of that Church, as that he is not (in that respect) a member of all Churches, or of any other. Therefore the Apostles, &c. were members of no visible Church, if they were not members of a visible Church Universal. 2.Acts 15. 1 Cor. 16. The Apostles were vi­sible Heads of the whole Church, and did Decree and Ordain with reference to the whole Church. This they could not do as members of one particular Church, but as transcendent Officers, and as visible Heads of the Catholike Church. The Apostles have been called heretofore (and that justly) [...]. Now many and all [Page 2]Churches under the same visible Officers, are but one Church: many Corporations under one King, are but one Body Politick. The twelve Tribes in Israel under one King, made but one Kingdom. 3. The Apostles, &c. admitted members into the Catholike Church, neither in the presence nor under the notion of any particular Church.Acts 8. & 10. & 16. The Eunuch, Cornelius, the Jaylor, and such like, were baptized members of no visible Church, if there was not a visible Church Universal.Ecclesia non est Resp. non aristocratio, sed regnum. Beza Ep. 83. p. 367. 4. Christ is one visible Head, one Master of the family, one Bishop, one King visibly, by vertue of his Laws and Or­dinances, and works of special providence in the Churches. Christ walketh in the midst of the golden candlesticks, Rev. 1. and sitteth in the midst of two or three gathered together in his Name, Matth. 18. Thus a King, though absent from his Kingdom, is a visible King in his Kingdom. The King of England is visibly King of Scotland, though he makes his abode and keeps his Court in London. 5. The Church of the Jews was a type and patern of the Christian Church, Ezek. 40.41, 42. Revel. 11.1, 2. compared with Rev. 21. The Church of the Jews consisted of many Tribes and many Cities, yet was but one Body politick. The great Synedrian of Jerusalem, might re­semble the great Presbytery of the Apostles and extraordinary Elders, in respect of more ordinary execution in Primitive days, and Synods and Councels, in respect of lesse ordinary execution in succeeding ages.Acts 12.1. Eph. 3.21. 1 Tim. 3.15. 6. It is correspondent to Scripture-phrase; the visible Church is termed in Scripture one Universal Church, Matth. 16.18. the U­niversal Church is one visible Church, because it is described as acting visibly in the administrations of the Keys: This may be more fully proved in another place.See Calvin Instit. lib. 4. cap. 1. In Eph. 4. the Universal Church is one visible Church, because it is described by its visible Officers, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. 1 Cor. 12, the Univer­sal Church is one visible Church, because it is described by its visible Officers in like manner. Rev. 11.1, 2, 3, the Universal Church is de­scribed as visible, by one city, by one court; and is called the outward court, and so distinguished, as it is visible, from the mystical Church, which is resembled by the Temple. 7. The mystical Union of Bro­therhood doth naturally constitute one Body mystical: Why should not the visible Union of Brotherhood in profession, constitute one Body visible? The Lord severed the children of Israel into Tribes; yet so as that all might be one Body, under one Prince and Priest. 8. All natural grounds of fellowship in particular Churches, in [Page 3]respect of more ordinary execution,A sin a­gainst au­thority, is a greater sin; an e­vil inflict­ed by au­thority, is a greater evil. do bespeak fellowship in one Catholike Church in point of lesse ordinary execution. Brotherly Union, Christian profession, the edification of the Church, the cele­bration of the Name of Christ, all these are prevalent. Christ is glo­rified most eminently in the great Assembly. Pride and Independen­ce are inseparable. If the children of Jacob had been divided into Tribes as independent States, they might soon have rejected one ano­ther as Esaeu and Jacob did. The notion of a relation doth cherish affection and maintain union. 9. The manner of admission in Pri­mitive days, obligeth to all Churches, to the whole Church as well as to a particular Church.2 Chron. 15.12. & 34.31. As all Israel together was wont to professe their purpose to walk according to the Law before the Lord; so all converts in Primitive days did professe their purpose to walk with all Saints in all the Ordinances of Christ. That covenant which converts then made, seemeth to be general with reference to all Churches. Thus then the Church Militant is one visible Body, one House, one Family, one Tabernacle, one Temple, one Candlestick, one Citie, one New Jerusalem, Rev. 21. this Jerusalem hath twelve gates, and these gates are particular Churches, which do admit into the whole City, as well as into the particular gates: every gate is an entry into the city, and all in the city have a virtual admission tho­row every gate. Every Common-wealth hath power offensive se­condarily for the defending of it self, or any other in case of oppres­sion. Abraham had power to rescue Lot; but this power is not equal to the power of Churches. God hath distinguished Esau from Jacob in point of Politie; but God hath united the children of Jacob, by one staff of beauty and another of bonds, both by temporal and spiritual authority before Christ came. God hath altered the consti­tution of the world; sin hath rent the world in pieces: but God hath repaired and united the Church by an Uniformity of Ordinan­ces, and by an identity of profession under one visible Head the Lord Christ. All Saints are next brethren as the children of Jacob were, and united, by a perpetual bond. The Churches do approve of each others acts by mutual consent, when one Church admitteth mem­bers, electeth Officers, dispenseth Censures, it acts for all Churches. What is done by one gate in Jerusalem, is done by the whole city (in­tuitu, Beza Ep. 68. p. 290. though not interventu totius Ecclesiae) as Master Parker distin­guisheth to another purpose. Lastly, it is generally supposed that all Churches have power to act together, and to exert power of Juris­diction [Page 4]in a General Councel. Calvin is expresse, Instit. l. 4. c. 8 & 9. And if this be granted, it follows that the Church is one visibly. It could not act as one in a General Councel, if it were not one visi­bly.—Operari sequitur esse.

Object. The whole Church hath no visible Head.

Answ. Particular Churches are visible Churches when they are de­stitute of visible Officers: The whole Church accordingly may be one visible Body without any visible Officers, at least in respect of power to act conjunctim ordinarily. 2. Christ is supposed to be a visible Head in some respect; and Ecclesiastical Policie is acknow­ledged to be Monarchical in respect of Christ.Judg 8.23 Josephus observes that there was a Monarchical Theocracie in Israel: we may as well conclude that there is such a Monarchie in the Christian Church to the end of the world. 3. The Church is one so as to act ordinari­ly, as one, divisim. And therefore when a particular Presbytery ex­communicateth any person, he doth excommunicate that person out of all particular Churches or the Universal Church; and that by the authority of the universal Church, because there is such a mutual con­sent in all Churches.

Pastores (saith Chamier) si minùs singulos, tamen omnes, Ecclesiae toti praefectos asserimus, Apostolos non modò omnes sed etiam singulos. Some of our modern Divines do seem to allow onely of an essential and invisible unity, and yet they do ascribe a judicial power to Sy­nods and Councels. The Fathers so praedicated the unity of an uni­versal Church, that they laid foundations for an univerfal Bishop. Res Divinae (according to Polanus) administrantur Synodali [...], confirmantur regia [...]. In Synodo est authoritatis apex, totius Ec­clesiae unitas, ordinis firmamentum. Leid. Prof. de Conciliis. The Pa­pists would build their Babel for their Pope on this foundation: but they shall not proceed, because God hath divided the tongues of the Christian world: Protestants speak the language of Canaan, and it cannot be understood by the Antichristians.

The Church of the Lord Christ,Pro. 2. Acts 2 & 14. 1 Cor. 1. & 11. Gal. 1. Rev. 2, &c. in respect of more ordinary or constant execution, is many Churches. 1. The Scripture frequent­ly calleth particular congregations the Churches of Christ, and de­clareth that they were intrusted and furnished with compleat power to administer both Tables of the Law, the Covenants, the Seals, the Censures, in all Ordinances. 2. Conveniency and necessity do re­quire it, because it is impossible for the whole to maintain fellowship [Page 5]in one place for edification. The Church of the Jews (though but one Nation) could congregate but seldome: Circumcision was per­mitted at home, the Passeover was celebrated by families apart, onely in Jerusalem. 3. The Apostles direction and approbation is evident. They ordained Presbyters in particular congregations, and confined them to their particular congregations. Asts 20 and 14, they ordained no ordinary Officers sine titulo, but with reference to particular congregations. These particular Churches are called The tents of the shepherds, Cant. 2. the chambers of the temple, Ezek. 40. the gates of new Jerusalem, where the Presbyters are to sit in judgement for the ordinary, Rev. 21. These are so many chambers of presence; Christ sitteth in the midst of them, Matth. 18. those that are admit­ted into any one chamber, are admitted into the whole house, as those that are admitted into any one gate of New Jerusalem, are admitted into the whole city. It is determined in Politicks, that subordinate cities have need of Government within themselves.Triumvi­rale Syne­drium. If we look up­on the type or patern of the Christian Church in the State of Israel, we shall finde that the lesser cities in Israel had their particular Pres­byters, though consisting but of three Elders, such was their frame of Policie. Pistro Soane Polano, the author of the History of the Trent Councel (that excellent and impartial Historian) observeth that Episcopal power hath mounted from an office of charity (pra­ctised in all congregations in the Primitive days) to such an height, as maketh it suspected to Princes, and terrible to the people, to whole Kingdoms. Let this be the conclusion: All congregations have a divided power, but not an Independent power. The Synagogues in Israel had a divided power, yet dependent upon the Temple: they could excommunicate, Joh. 9. and in all probability, the Priests and Levites in the Temple did not admit such as stood excommunicate in the Synagogues, until the case were decided.

Concerning the matter of the Church, and also of the quantity of the Church.

MEmbers of the Church ought to be visibly holy,Pro. 1. or visibly Saints, in some appearance. A visible segregation from the world, and a visible aggregation to Christ, is necessary to Church­union [Page 6]and communion.Levit. 6. Num. 19.9. 1 Cor. 11.28. Ezek. 44. 2 Chro. 30. Whitgifts assertion (that all that are the Kings subjects are members of Christs Church) is not warrantable. The Temple is holy, the Keys, the Tables of the Law, the Seals, the Censures, the Officers, all holy; Christ is holy. The Aposties, &c. required profession of faith, Acts 2. Matth. 3. The Seals presup­pose faith and repeneance: If thou believest (saith Philip to the Eu­nuch) thou mayest be haptized, Acts 8. Phose that received the Apo­stles words [...] (that is, to whom the doctrine of faith and re­pentance was grateful) they were baptized, Acts 2. The stones of the Temple were to be hewn stones; the timber was to be squared and polished; the Tabernacle was curiously wrought; the Candle­stick was of beaten gold; the twelve Tribes were represented upon the High priests brest plate, by twelve precious stones; and the visi­ble members are correspondent to the mystical, in some appearance. The members of Churches were all Saints by calling, 1 Cor. 1.2. Eph. 1, &c. Yet the Church (as may be afterward demonstrated) must ad­mit by a general rule, such as may comprehend and take in all Saints. All Israelites must have a lot and portion in the congregation of the Lord. A dispriviledging of Christians, is a disinheriting of them. Churches must be open and forward to rescue all that flee from the a­venger of blood: the way must be made easie to the cities of refuge: Churches are represented by the cities of refuge,Num. 35. Josh. 20. Heb. 6.8. where sinners that flee before the avenger, may have free recourse to take sanctuary. Our facility in admitting visible members, must give testimony to the Lords dispensation of grace in the embracing of invisible members. The gates of Jerusalem do stand open, Rev. 21.25. The rule of ad­mission is a rule of Prudence, for the keeping out of such as are ap­parantly profane in toto, and such as are scandalous in tanto: and also it is a rule of charity, for the entertaining of all that have the least measure of saving grace.Leid. Prof. de discip. Eccles. The Leiden Prof. do acknowledge rigorens aliquem in nonnullis canonibus veterum Synodorum, qui mansuetudinis Christi & Apostolorum ejus, modum non nihil excedar. Calvin also, so great a witnesse of truth, joyneth issue with the forenamed, and speaketh more indefinitely against the ancient severity of the Chur­ches, Instit. lib. 4. cap. 29. See Beza, another great star in the Church, Epist. 73. p. 302. De quolibet bene prasumendum, donec constet contra­rium. This rule must moderate in censures absolutely, though not so in admissions. The rule of admission is a sutable profession of faith and repentance, with subjection to the Ordinances.

[Page 7]A particular Church must consist of no more then may ordinarily or constantly meet together for the edification of the whole assembly.Pro. 2. 1 Cor. 5. & 14. 1. The Apostles directed the Churches to meet together in one place, Acts 2 & 5 & 6. An Apostolical Direction is sufficient for an Insti­tution. 2. Edification and constant communion (the natural grounds of multiplying Churches) do necessitate such a limitation of Churches. A Diocesan-Church is too big and too monstrous to be one Church for ordinary execution. 3. The Apostles instituted Churches [...], in every Citie: and [...] doth not exclude villages, as it appeareth by Matth. 10.10. Cenchrea was but answer­able to a village, and yet it is said to have a Church, Rom. 16. One Province contained many Churches, 1 Cor. 16.1, 19. Gal. 1.2 & 21. Rev. 1.2. The Churches of Galatia were Churches of one Province, not one Provincial Church. 4. There was no ordinary Officers in­stituted by Christ for any other then congregational Churches. The Elders of every congregation have the same power both intensive and extensive: there are no Archbishops or Archdeacons instituted by the Lord. 5. All congregations have the same Titles, the same Power, the same Ordinances compleatly. Nature giveth the same name to similar parts; every drop of water is water; it hath the same name and the same nature. Paris in parem non est pocestus. The lamb of the Passeover was to be eaten onely by so many together, as might enjoy a festival communion together at one Table, Exod. 2. Ancient Canons did prohibite the ordaining of a Presbyter to more then one Title; but as the Church did degenerate, there came in Non­residence, Pluralities, Commendaes universal and perpetual,Commen­daes for term of life. or for term of life; a distinction of Benefices compatible an incompati­ble, and Canons; all these were added to Diocesan Episcopacie and Prelacie.

The Church in respect of its integrality,Pro. 3. may consist but of two or three. Noah and his wife and children were a Church. Abrahem and Sarah were fundamentally the whole Church of the Jews. Adam and Eve were actually the whole Church upon earth. The Churches indeed in the Apostles time seem to be somewhat grown before they erected Presbyters: yet they were Churches when they were not so numerous; and there was the lesse need of ordinary Presbyters, be­cause there were extraordintry. Two or three cannot be a com­pleat Church organically. Those two or three in Matth. 18. do refer to the Presbytery, as may be proved hereafter. The family or dome­stick [Page 6] [...] [Page 7] [...] [Page 8]Churches preceding the Levitical Priesthood, do correspond to the congregational Churches, constituted by the coming of Jesus Christ: and the state of the Church then in point of unity and uni­versality, doth confirm the unity and universality of the Church at present. The Masters of families with their fathers, were Priests in their childrens family, as well as in their own houses. Melchize­dek by vertue of a natural precedency in age (as may be supposed) was a Priest to Abrahams family as well as in his own. Adam (if sin had not degraded him) had been naturally a Priest for ever unto the whole world. If Officers and Discipline strictly taken are not necessary to the being of a Church, then a number of Seven, or such a number as may afford Officers and exercise Discipline according to the rule Matth. 18, is not necessary. And suppose such qualifications in members (as are necessary to Officers) unnecessary in members to the being of a Church, it will follow that such a number (as is necessary to the constituting of Officers) is unnecessary to the being of a Church.

Concerning the Form of the Church.

EXplicite and particular covenants are not necessary to the consti­tution of Churches.Pro. 1. Heb. 10. Acts 19.9. 1. Christians fell into fellowship without any such form in Primitive days. The Ordinances, brotherly relati­on, cohabitation, were natural motives: the directions and exhorta­tions of the Apostles and Elders did concur, Acts 19.9. Paul is said to separate the brethren in Ephesus. 2. Elders were ordained without any explicite covenants, both before and since the time of the Gospel: we read of a charge, but not one syllable of a covenant. Now if Officers were ordained without any covenant, May not members (by proportion) be admitted without any explicite cove­nant? 3. One ground may be the unity of the Church in general: we must not so close with a particular Church which is but a part of the Church, as to break relations with the whole Church universal, in confining members strictly to one particular Church. 4. Ano­ther ground may be this: Fellowship in a particular Church is con­ditional and transient, and a duty of no greater moment then many other which are not to be instanced in, unto admission. 5. In the [Page 9] Acts there is no appearance of explicite covenanting with the Church, in particular or general. There was an explicite profession of faith and repentance, and a cleaving unto the Lord, Acts 2.8. No shew of covenanting to cleave to each other in Church-fellowship; no shew (I say) of any such explicite covenanting. Christians coun­ted themselves next brethren, one and the same houshold, and were exhorted to maintain the unity of the Spirit, as one body at one ta­ble, as much as might be for edification. The mystical Church in the Temple was represented by twelve cakes on the table, called The bread of faces, because all Saints sit there together face to face feeding on the Lord Jesus in way of communion. The visible Church, or Church of the outward court, is also called to one and the same table mystical, as far as all may sit together. 6. We finde no explicite co­venanting in Israel but with God; and Israels covenanting with God was solemnized and attended as occasion did urge in collapsed times. There is not any evidence of their covenanting conjoyntly with God at their first constitution: there may be granted an expli­cite covenant of reformation, but not of constitution; of confirma­tion or reformation, not of admission.

Object. It is recorded in Neh. 10.29, that they clave to their brethren.

Answ. It is explicated in the same verse how they clave to their brethren, namely, to covenant with God. They did not covenant to cleave to their brethren; but they clave to their brethren to covenant with God. Besides some duties that concerned the House of God and the Officers of the House of God, are there particularized; but Church­fellowship is made no part of the covenant. For an explicite cove­nant of reformation, we have Nehemiah, Hezekiah, Jehoiada, &c. au­thentick examples; but for an explicite covenant of constitution, we have authentick examples to the contrary, the Apostles themselves, such as it must needs be presumption in us to oppose. In the Old Te­stament it is usual to speak of a covenant of conversion and reforma­tion; but neither in the Old or New, can we finde an explicite cove­nant of constitution of Churches and admission of members. A people professing faith & a resolution to embrace the Ordinances of the Lord Jesus Christ together, is a Church before there be any explicite cove­nanting together, & there is an implicite covenant in such a profession.Pro. 2.

When a company of Christians are called to dwell together where there is no foundation of a Church, there is need of some ex­plicite conjunction or consent. Such are to make known their de­sire [Page 10]and faith to one another, either by testimony or by their profession. And where Elders of some neighbouring Church may be procured, it is meet to request assistance for exhortation together with prayer and blessing, as also for the satisfaction of other Churches concerning the faith and order of such a Church. But for a Fast of constitution, for a concourse of Churches and their messengers, and solemnities in way of covenant unto the rearing of particular Churches, I finde no Apostolical direction, or footstep of primitive practice. A feast of dedication may seem as sutable as a fast for constitution. Apostles and such like were present, and did something in separating the bre­thren: but for explicite covenanting (pro modo & forma) I finde nothing. Explicite covenanting and searching of the conscience, may be a dispensation too violent and compulsory in respect of the facility of Gods grace in point of acceptance. The Ordinances of the covenant of grace are sutable to the grace of the covenant. The Elders of the cities of refuge did not expostulate with such as fled before the avenger of blood, in way of any explicite covenant or exquisite examination, Josh. 20. The Eunuch did not promise by any covenant explicite what he would be; he onely shewed what he did believe, or what he was. Excesse of complements in solemnities, formalities, punctualities, is unsutable to the simplicity and spiritu­ality of the Gospel, and also fully forbidden in the second command­ment. Calvin in his commentary on Rom. 14.3, 4. maketh Know­ledge a sufficient testimony that a man is received of God. When thou seest a man (saith he) illuminated with the knowledge of God, Sa­tis testimonii habes quod a Deo assumptus sit. And he addeth that we ought to hope well of any one in quo cernimus aliquid Dei. Confessi­ons of Faith have been deemed sufficient for mutual communion of Churches, either by writing or word of mouth.

Concerning the Power of the Church.

THe body of members (women and such as are unmeet to govern,Pro. 1. excepted) hath all power originally and essentially. The body of members is the immediate subject of the Keys. 1. Every being (be it never so subordinate) hath a defensive power, and the Church or body of members is a seat and society of Authority, and therefore [Page 11]hath power both offensive and defensive within it self. Those churches Acts 14.23. had no proper Officers when they were called churches; and there is no intimation that their Officers made them churches. Officers are not the like and soul of churches. 2. Else the church shall be left destitute of necessary supports for its subsistence: times may come in which no Elders are to be obtained for many particu­lar churches. Such as are wholly subject, have a defensive power according to the law of Nature: David and Elisha thought it law­ful to defend themselves; Israel defended Jonuthan. 3.2 Kings 6.32. 3. It is natural that the Whole should have Soveraignty over its parts, especially when parts are equal or pares. If all members in the body had an eye, all should give direction according to the order of nature. 4. The church hath relation of a Spouse unto Christ; and it is meet that the Spouse should have power some way or other, in absence of the Husband. 5. The church hath power to give the Keys, therefore it hath power to act the Keys. 6. Those which have power in other Societies to elect their Governours, have power also to act them­selves; yea, to reserve to themselves what power they please in re­spect of those that are elected. And if the church be a church in pro­priety, when it hath no Officers, then it hath an offensive power over such as are within, and a defensive power towards those without, as all Beings have which are sui juris.

Object. The church may have the Keys to give, yet not to act. A messenger may carry a commission, and yet have no power to open or execute the commission.

Answ. The Arguments from the constitution of the church, do prove that the church hath power to act as well as it can, until it be furnished with Officers. 2. The churches power of election is for­cible of it self, unlesse there be something against the proportion of the churches power, as compared with other Societies. 3. The church is not onely the conduit, but the onely ordinary fountain of power upon earth. 4. The members have all of them gifts for edi­fication, 1 Cor. 12.5. In Israel the whole body did act as well as elect; though when they had Magistrates, they could onely exercise a defensive power in interposing with or against their Magistrates, and that onely for demonstrable causes, not scandalously circumstantia­ted. The member [...] may act in the way of charity and of natural Office; the Elders onely in way of Stewardship or instituted Office: the people by a natural law, the officers by a positive law. The mem­bers [Page 12]have gifts, and therefore may act, as a potentia ad actum valet ar­gumentum. The people may give that which it hath onely virtual­ly, and act that which it hath formally, or in potentia proxima.

Object. There is not the same reason for supernatural Societies, as for natural; for the power of supernatural Societies, as for the power of natural Societies.

Answ. Supernatural Societies are as perfect as natural Societies; and therefore if natural Societies have power within themselves for their subsistence, the church must have the like.

Object. The church cannot administer the Seals without Officers.

Answ. The church hath power to act all Ordinances that are es­sential to its primary and natural integrality, that are necessary to its being or first being; though (without Officers) it cannot dispense some Ordinances as are necessary to its well-being, or secondary be­ing, and essential to its secondary integrality. The church hath not an organick integrity, but it hath an essential integrity, before it hath Officers.

The people have power to elect and authorize their own Offi­cers.Pro. 2. 1. The people did something in the election of Matthias, Act. 1. the members elected Deacons, Acts 6. 2. The Officers have no constant and ordinary mean of calling, but from the church and bo­dy of members; they do not receive their Office immediately from Christ, and they cannot receive it immediately always from other Elders. The power of Officers is dependent on the church, not the power of the church on the Officers. The church is greater then its Officers in respect of priority, fontality, finality, stability and dignity. Master Parker hath abundantly demonstrated this assertion in his Ecclesiastical Policie, and that from principles maintained by Gerson a Papist. 3. It was a continued custome from the Apostles days, that the people did elect their Officers, & consuetudo est bona juris interpres. Calvin hath demonstrated this point from Cyprian. Calvin is for some consent,Cal. Instit. l. 4. c. 3. Sect. 5. Beza Epist. 83. p. 365. Beza for an implicite consent. The electi­on of the people gives the Keys (at least incompleatly) when they have Elders, because their consent is necessary together with the consent of the Elders. The Elders have naturally a negative voice in point of ele­ction; but they cannot compleatly elect any Officer without the consent of the people. That act which doth give authority, is an act of authority: the peoples consent in election doth give authority. The assumption is thus proved: That which doth compleat the au­thoritative [Page 13]act of the Elders, or which doth adde authority to the Elders act, that act doth give authority: but the consent of the peo­ple doth (at least) compleat the act, or adde authority to the act of the Elders in election. 5. Either Election or Ordination alone, or both together, do give the Keys, not Ordination alone; therefore Ele­ction doth give the Keys, either in toto or ex parte. In Rome it was wont to be said that authoritas was in Magistratu, Potestas in plebe, Majestas in populo. 6. Ordination doth not give the Keys essentially, therefore Election doth give the Keys. 1. It appears from the na­ture of Ordination. Ordination is but a solemn declaration and con­firmation of a person in Office. Ordinatio est testificatio & comple­mentum electionis. 2. The body of members gave the Keys essenti­ally to their proper Officers in the resurrection and restitution of the church out of Antichristianism. There is no sufficient testimony of their immediate call; and the church of Rome had lost its power. 3. Election is not onely a signe of Office; then an officer should be an officer before he be elected, and before he be ordained also, because Ordination was wont to follow Election. 4. The Priests and Le­vites were essentially Officers before they were ordained: Ordinati­on was but a circumstance to the hereditary right of the Levitical tribe. 5. The fathers and masters of families were Priests before the Law essentially and absolutely, without any Ordination. The cere­monial Ordination under the Law is abrogated, and Ordination un­der the Gospel is onely moral, and a complement of Election. Do­ctor Ames compareth Ordination to the coronation of Princes and inauguration of Magistrates, in his Bellar. Ener. 6. Election in o­ther Societies doth give the authority. The gift of edification, facul­ty or aptitude is presupposed to Election, the authority or Office is conferred by Election; by Election sufficienter, by Ordination abun­danter. Reformed churches have attributed liberty to the people in point of Election, for the general. Polanus saith that an Elder is or­dained in the name of the church.

Object. Election is but an act of subjection.

Answ. Such an act of subjection transmitteth that power which the church had formerly within it self, unto the Officers, and there­fore giveth authority unto the Officers. Every one that is sui juris, or so far as any one is sui juri, he is so far indued with authority with­in himself, and therefore a servant giveth authority to his master; a servant (I say) giveth a master authority over himself, by putting [Page 14]himself under his masters authority, and by giving over to his master that authority which he had over himself while he was free.

Object. The members have not sole power of Election where there are Officers.

Answ. The power of Election is primitively in the body of members, though secondarily there be a negative and an authoritative voice in the Elders as Elders.

The common members are not meet Organs to ordain their Of­ficers.Pro. 3. 1. Common members have not co-ordinate power to act with their Officers; but Officers elected are essentially Officers, in respect of them at least. An Elder elect is supposed fittest to preach and pray for preparation unto his own ordination. 2. Ordination includes prayer as a part thereof, and the Elder elect is fitter to pray then the common members. 3. Ordination includes a blessing, and this blessing supposeth a meliority in order: Heb. 7. The Officers are to blesse the people, and not the people the Officers in way of church­order. 4. Ordination is an act of consecration, Numb. 8. but the Officers are to consecrate the people, not the people the Officers. Such as have been sent in way of special office, have been onely found to send others in point of Ordination, both in the old and new Te­stament. The Fathers have observed it so Religiously, as to appro­priate Ordination to the Bishop. The church is greater then its of­ficers in point of priority, and finality, and dignity; but the Officer: are greater in authority and power of execution. Christiani sumus propter nos, Augustine. Pastores sumus propter vos. 5. The Apostles and extra­ordinary Elders would never have taken ordination out of the peo­ples hands, if it had belonged to them, because they did not deprive them of the power of election.

Object. In case of general Apostacies there can be no ordinary way of ordination.

Answ. In case no Elders can be acquired, election doth suffice. The members do give power immediately of acting some Ordinances, The members have formally some power to teach, and the commissi­on of Christ giveth them power to baptize, which have the power of office to teach, Matth. 28.19. The church of common members have not formally and actually power to administer the Seals, but it hath power efficiently and virtually. The Sun giveth life, though it hath no potentia proxima of life; the foul hath power to see virtually, because it hath power to frame its organs, and convey power to them; [Page 15]so the members have power to set up Officers, and to convey power to them for the administration of the Seals; and thus qui possidet, dispen­sat. 2. God in extraordinary passages of providence, did ordain the Apostles; Moses ordained Aaron, but who ordained Moses? Ordi­nation is not essential; we may not make ordination with Scotus and Franciscus, a Sacrament. Ordination is not so necessary to a Minister, as the Sacrament to a christian; and yet a christian is a christian, though he never partake of a Sacrament. The Papists themselves hold it sufficient to be baptized in voto.

Object. The people of Israel are said to anoint Solomon, 1 Chron. 20.22.

Answ. Its evident that they anointed him by some sacred per­son, even as they did Zadoc the Priest: not immediatly, but by some Nathan, &c.

Object. Members may elect, which is the greater; therefore, they may ordain, which is the lesser.

Answ. Ordination is an act of order as well as of jurisdiction. Some Papists place the essence of Ordination in that form of words, (Be thou a Priest.) Where shall we finde the very form of Ordinati­on in the Scriptures? We conceive that it consisteth in Solemnities connatural to the confirmation of Election: and prayer, and blessing (which are acts of order) are acts of Ordination. Those that can do the greater, may not do the lesser, unlesse it be of the same kinde.

Object. The Levites were ordained by the hands of the congre­gation.

Answ. 1. Upon the same ground the members should now or­dain, and their proper Elders stand by. 2. The Levites were ordain­ed by Aaron and the Priests, Numb. 8.3. Imposition of hands by the congregation was proper to the ceremonial offering of the Le­vites as a Sacrifice to God, Exod. 29.13. not to our moral separating of Officers under the Gospel. That act of Imposition doth rather import somthing of Election then of Ordination, as we may shew in another question. Calvins opinion is, that Ordination ought to be admini­stred by Elders, praesse etium electioni debere alios pastores. Doctor Ames granteth to Bellar. Instit. lib. 4. cap. 3. that it is the doctrine of the reformed church that Ordination is an act of the Elders, except in case of a general A­postacie, Bellar. Ener. de vocations Clericorum. Election is an essen­tial application of authority in the way of Jurisdiction; Ordination is a circumstantial application of authority, sutable to the power of [Page 16]Order and Office. Election is an act of essential Jurisdiction; Ordi­nation is proper to official power and jurisdiction. The least Or­dinances in point of exemption, are proper to the Officers as the greatest persons, in respect of executive power. The Keys of natu­ral power of of general Office, are in the members; the Keys of instituted power, or of Office in special, in the Elders. I might di­stinguish thus: The Keys of natural power are in the body of mem­bers; the Keys of Office in the Elders.

Concerning the Officers of the Church.

A Bishop and Presbyter are the same in point of power,Pro. 1. both of Order and Jurisdiction, both intensively and extensively. 1. The Lording or Magistratical power, is prohibited all Presbyters: for what is allowed in Magistrates, is disallowed in Ministers, Luke 22.25, 26. The Apostle Peter interpreteth the words of our Savour, 1 Pet. 5.3. 2. All Elders or Presbyters of Churches are equally sty­led Bishops in Scripture, Acts 20. Phil. 3. Tit. 1. 1 Tim. 3. And those which have wholly the same Titles, have the same Office. 3. All Presbyters have equally the flock of Christ with them, Act. 20. Cy­prian might have said of Presbyters and Bishops together, what he said of Bishops in his own sense:—Episcopatus est unus, cujus pars in sclidum tenetur a singulis. The Apostle made many Bishops in one Congregation; but not one Bishop for many Congregations. The Word of God is far from allowing teaching Elders to be onely ru­ling Bishops, to rule by themselves, and teach by others. Personal qualifications must be personally executed; and teaching Elders are the excelling Bishops,The office of Bishops is a Mini­stery, not onely a di­gnity: therefore he that hath the title, must do the work. 1 Tim. 5.17. 4. The Office of Diocesans is both formally and efficiently Antichristian. Grant a Primate of Eng­land, and why not of the whole world? Gregory justly called John of Constantinople The forerunner of Antichrist. 5. In other Orders there was no precedency instituted by the Lord Christ. No Arch-Apostle, no Arch-Evangelist, no Arch-Presbyter or Arch-Bishop. In the Temple the High-priest was a type of Christ, the sons of the High priest were types of Presbyters, and they were equal in the matter of their Office. This Proposition according to Jeromes as­sertion, had place of great authority amongst the Papists themselves [Page 17]until the Councel of Trent. It hath been witnessed unto by the Fathers anciently. The invented Orders of the Papists have been some of the plagues of the Antichristian Egypt. The praedicant Orders of Antichrist, are like to the clamorous Froggs; the mendicant Friars or manducant Friars (as Buchanan hath it) are like to the creeping Lice, the plague of Egypt, of the Church, and of the world. This Proposition is abundantly elaborated by many. Some Theologes opposed the superiority of Bishops (as maintained to be Jure divino) in the Councel of Trent: the Cardinals opposed it also, though for their own sakes. It is an extraordinary judgement of God, that so many Christian Princes and Kingdoms do suffer the Papal bondage all this while. Nome populus (as one said) diutius ex conditione esse potest, cujus eum poeniteat.

Object. Timothy and Titus are made Diocesan Bishops by the Postscripts of those Epistles which are written to them.

Answ. The Postscripts are proved to be Apocrypha by Beza and others. When Paul saloteth the Elders of Ephesus, Act. 20, he owneth Archbishop there, but equally saluteth them all. Besides, Timoshy his course was ambulatory, and he is called an Evangelist, 2 Tim. 1.4. [...]. Titus was in the same rank with Timothy. As for the Angels of the seven Churches in the Revelation, they were Angels but of so many Congregations, and do represent all the Elders of those Chur­ches. No Diocesan can be made to appear in the three next centuries after the Lord Christ. The Angels are not called Archangels: The seven stars, the four beasts, are all the Elders of all the Churches, not onely seven or four. The two Witnesses Revel. 11, do represent all the witnesses of Truth. The singular is frequently read for the plural.

All Bishops or Presbyters, are both Pastors and Teachers:Pro. 2. Pa­stors and Teachers are not distinct Officers. 1. All the Priests un­der the High-priest, all the fons of Aaron had the same Function or Office in the Temple. There was not one a teaching Priest, another an exhorting Priest, a third a ruling Priest; as if one Presbyter should be a teaching Bishop, another an exhorting Bishop, a third a ruling Bishop. 2. The Apostle assigneth the title of Pastor and Teacher to the same. Office, Ephes. 4. Some are Apostles, some Prophets,Jer. 5.15. some Evangelists, some (according to the Apostle) Pastors and Teachers, which is as much as both Pastors and Teachers. It is supposed by some that the Apostle used [and] for some, as if the copulative [and] [Page 18]were disjunctive in this place, and the meaning of the Apostle this: Some Pastors, some Teachers. But the Apostle doth not speak after such a manner, as to insinuate any such interpretation; he doth not so much as say And Pastors and Teachers; onely Some Pastors and Teachers. There is no parallel in all the Scripture, which will prove that [and] loth stand for some. 3. Pastors do not any where denote such as had the gift of exhortation most eminently, but rather such as had the gift or office of Government, both in the Old and New Testa­ment. 4. Teachers are properly before Pastors in order, as they are taken for exhorters: exhortations are dependent applications of Do­ctrines. The Apostle placeth teaching before exhorting, 2 Tim. 13.16. Tit. 1.9. 5. All Bishops are called both to teach and exhort, Tit. 1.9. Every Bishop (saith the Apostle) must exhort with wholesome doctrine. 6. Pastors are sometimes described onely by the administra­tion of teaching. Go make disciples, teaching them, Matth. 28.19, 20. A Bishop must be apt to teach, 1 Tim. 3. The distinct gifts of teaching and exhorting, do denominate some teachers, and some exhorters, ra­ther then some Pastors and some Teachers. 7. The Office of Bi­shops or Presbyters, is made sometimes to consist onely in feeding, as if all were Pastors. Paul biddeth all the Elders feed the flock of Christ, Acts 20. Peter speaketh in like manner, 1 Pet. 5.2. Now if teaching and exhorting are most frequently applied to one and the same Office; Why should we make the one a differential character of a distinct Office? There is no appearance of any distinction be­tween Pastors and Teachers in antiquity: Quod est rerum non est ve­rum. All the sons of Aaron had full power to uncover the altar, the table, the ark; to open the Ministery of the Gospel in like manner, and that in way of Office.

Object. The Apostle seemeth to distinguish him that exhorteth from him that teacheth, Rom. 12.

Answ. The Apostle distinguisheth one from the other in respect of gifts, but not in respect of Offices. 1. The Apostles project ac­cording to the face of the Text, is to speak of the distinct gifts of Officers in way of comparison, not of the distinct Offices of Offi­cers, or of Officers as comparatively distinguished in gifts, not as di­stinguished in Office, or of the Offices of Officers in a large sense, as they signified gifts, not distinct Offices in propriety of speech. Thus Elders were to attend on their Office in exercising chiefly, or especi­ally in exercising their special gifts. I suppose the Apostle useth [...] [Page 19]here for Office, yet properly it signifieth action: and I mean Office in a general or large sense, as before.

Object. The Apostle compareth the members of the Church to the members of the natural body; and their gifts to the offices of the members of the natural body. Now distinct gifts in mem­bers of the natural body, do denote distinct members; and con­sequently the distinct gifts of the Officers in a Church (according to the Apostle) must constitute or denote distinct Officers.

Answ. 1. Similies do not necessarily run on all four: some things serve for ornament as well as for argument, as Maldonate ob­serveth upon the Parables of our Saviour. 2. The Apostle compa­reth the gradual difference of gifts in officers, to the specifick diffe­rence of offices in the natural body. 1. This is evident from the like comparison, 1 Cor. 12. Common members have the same offi­ces, and yet (according to the Apostle) they are compared to the members of the natural body in respect of their gifts. The compa­rative distinction of gifts in common members, doth not make mem­bers distinct officers. All members of the Church (in the Apostles comparison) have gifts, and comparatively or gradually distinct; but all members are not officers. 2. Is it likely that the Apostle should speak here onely of a body of officers? 3. It is certain that the Apostle speaketh of a body of members in common: We are all members (saith the Apostle) one of another, vers. 5. as all, even subor­dinate members are members in the natural body. In the Apostles sense therefore members and officers in the Church are different in re­spect of spiritual gifts, onely as the right hand is different from the left; which by reason of use or constitution, is more active and use­ful then the other. Thus one eye may differ from the other in respect of its visive power. gradually, and yet not be a different member es­sentially, or in respect of its kinde and species. One Christian is more like to one member in the natural body, then to another, in point of use; and yet accommodate to the service of all the mem­bers in a measure. In like manner the same officers, or distinct per­sons in one and the seme office, may be different in respect of gifts gradually, and yet induce with a competent measure of all gifts suta­ble to their office. 4. It is apparent that in the Primitive nays God did eminently induc some with a spirit of Government, and compe­tently with a spirit of Prophetic, others with an eminent spirit of Prophetic, and a compat [...]t spirit of Government: and every one [Page 20]was to exercise that chiefly which was chiefly bestowed on him. 5. It is something that the Apostle putteth down these gifts promis­cuously, the distributer before the ruler. The Apostle is wont to ob­serve order, when he speaks of offices or officers. So Ephes. 4. Some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, &c. 1 Cor. 12.28. Some Apostles, then Prophets, then Doctors or Evangelists, then miracles, then gifts of healing. These are extraordinary and transient members of the Church, and therefore the Apostle nameth them in the first place, and then proceedeth to the ordinary or permanent; helps in the way of Prophecie or Doctrine. I interpret helps by gifts of Prophecie, because there is some correspondence between this second instance in v. 28, and the first, in v. 8. Prophecie and Tongues are put last, because they were ordinary in respect of use and continuance in the ordinary officers of the Church. 6. It is apparent by the scope of the Apostle in the whole Chapter, that he doth speak of the gifts of members and officers conjoyntly, and not onely of the distinct and compleat Ministrations, or gifts of officers, or of the distinct or compleat offices of members. The Apostle first instructeth the Church how to exercise gifts in general; then he cometh to gifts in particular; and first instructeth the Church how to use special or eminent gifts of edification (as the gift of teaching and exhorting, &c.) Lastly, he descendeth to common gifts, love, &c. When the Apostle therefore saith, He that teacheth, in teaching; it is no more then to say, He that teacheth, or he that hath a special gift to teach, and is in office, let him especially attend upon the exercise of that gift of teaching. 7. The Apostle doth not say here or elsewhere, He that is a teacher, or he that is an exhorter, or he that hath the office of teaching or exhorting. Pastors are distinguished from Teachers by the Apostle, Ephes. 4. not because Pastors do signifie exhorters there; but such as do govern, according to the special use of the phrase in Scripture: and so they are not there compleat titles of distinct offi­cers, but conjoyned to the constituting of one and the same kinde of office. 8. It is certain by what hath been already discoursed in the arguments, that exhorting and teaching are not compleat ministrati­ons of distinct officers. Distinct offices require distinct and pro­per ministrations; not onely special attendance upon the exercise of special gifts. Teachers are not such as do onely teach, nor exhorters such as do onely exhort, because that every Elder must attend both upon teaching and exhorting. An Apostle hath some proper mini­stration [Page 21]to make him an Apostle, a Prophet hath some proper mini­stration to make him a Prophet, an Elder hath some proper mini­stration to make him an Elder, a Deacon hath some proper ministra­tion to make him a Deacon. If an Apostle may do all that a Pro­phet may do, yet a Prophet may not do all that an Apostle may do; if an Elder may do all that a Deacon may do, yet a Deacon may not do all that an Elder may do: But a Teacher ought to do all that an Exhorter doth, and an Exhorter all that a Teacher, put aside the spe­cial improvement of their special gifts; and in case they are all alike gifted, they may every way be equally employed. 9. It is evident that the Deacons are here distinguished by gifts onely; he that di­stributeth is not a distinct officer from him that sheweth mercy.

Object. The Apostle distinguisheth him that distributeth, from him that sheweth mercy, because it is the distinct office of the wi­dows to shew mercy.

Answ. It belongeth to the Deacons office to shew mercy, else the Apostle would not say (he) that sheweth mercy, but she that sheweth mercy. 2. Widows are not to be found in all Congregati­ons; there the Deacons must shew mercy by themselves or others,1 Tim. 5.16. by men or women as cause shall require. 3. Widows are not di­stinct officers, but subservient instruments to the Deacons office; not set officers, but occasional objects, as well as instruments of the Deacons; as the poverty of the widows subjecteth them to the Dea­cons special providence. For conclusion, it may appear by what hath been said, that teaching is but an incompleat ministration or of­fice of an Elder; and so exhortation, a gift to teach, and a gift to ex­bort, are both necessary for every Elder.

Governing Elders are not distinct officers in the Churches:Pro. 1. There is no appearance of any such distinction; in succeeding a­ges next after the Apostles, all Elders were called Sacerdotes, and had power both to teach and administer the seals. The Centuriatores Magdeburgeuses were for ruling Elders, and yet could not espie any thing in those first Centuries; which made for them.Cartw: re­ply. P. 14. The allegations seem to me very insufficient, that of Ambrose it most specious. That which Ambrose testifieth, is interpreted by Mr. Caertwright, as if he should say that the ancient Elders were abolished in his time: but his words hold forth to such thing; Ambrose onely saith that the ancient custom of consulting with Elders was neglected in his time. Ambrose doth indeed say that this was come to passe by the pride of the Do­ctors; [Page 22]but whom should he mean (according to Ecclesiastical Hi­story) but such as by reason of special learning and favour were exalted to be Bishops, and set over other Elders? The Elders which Ambrose speaks of, were extant in his time, therefore he speaks not of ruling Elders. Besides, he cannot mean any other then Bishops by Doctors, because they were the teaching Presbyters, which were neglected (according to Ambrose) in point of consultation, for as much as there were no other Elders then extant.Field, l. 5. C. 26. Read Dr. Field, lib. 5. Cap. 25, 26. and Catal. Test. Church-Wardens do seem rather to be the defaced Image of ancient Deacons, then reliques of ruling Elders. 2. As Elders are called to teach, and consequently to ba­ptize, Matth. 28.18.All Elders ought to be [...]. A Bishop must be apt to teach [...]. Tim. 3.2. All Bishops must exhort with wholsome Doctrine, Tit. 1.9. All officers represented in Rev. 4. were full of eyes, as Seers, apt to teach. All Elders are equally described in these places, by a gift to teach. 3. All Elders are sometimes described by their ministration of governing, 1 Thes. 5.12. Heb. 13.17. This is an argument, that it is not onely the office of some to govern, and the special office of others to teach, but that it is the office of those which teach, equally to attend upon government in point of office, with those which are supposed to be onely for government. This being supposed, ruling Elders seem to have little or nothing to do — veritas non parit absurda. The teaching Elders are most meet to act in publique ad­ministrations; in private administrations the Deacons were wont in ancient times to do what ruling Elders are supposed to serve for. 4 Elders are equally honoured in all salutations, Act. 20. Phil. 1.1. The Apostle putteth a distinction between Bishops and Deacons, none between Bishops and ruling Elders. Teachers are eminently more honourable, in respect both of administrations and qualificati­ons, for they onely are intrusted with the Tables and Seals of the Covenant, and they onely are endued with knowledge and wisdom in reference to teaching; persons thus unequal, do not deserve equal honour. Mr. Hooker in his preface to his Ecclesiastical policy, con­ceiveth that Calvin admitted ruling Elders at the first, onely out of policy: to give some content to the Magistrates and members: truth is, there is some shew of it, because they were annually elected. 5. The office of all Elders is to feed like shepheards, and a shep­heard is to feed by teaching, as well as by governing. The Apostles charge all Elders to [...]e [...]d alike, not some by doctrine; and others by [Page 23]government 1 Pet. 5.1. Act. 20. What feeding was intended by our Saviour, when he bids Peter feed his lambe and sheep? Joh. 21. El­ders are called Pastors from feeding, and the Pasters of the Church must feed with knowledge and understanding. Jer. 3, 15. This is the current of Scripture phrase. 6. Why doth the Apostle give no intimation of these Elders in his discourse concerning church offi­cers? 1 Tim. 3. All the officers of the Church (in all likely hood) are there discoursed of, and yet the Apostle requires the same qualificati­ons, without any distinction in all the Elders of the Church. 7. Ru­ling Elders seem to have nothing to do, but that which Deacons did in Primitive times. The Deacons were wont (as is supposed by good Antiquaries) to be part of the Presbyterie. According to Cy­prian, Cypr. lib. 3. ep. 10. & l. 3. ep. 15. they did praeceptis gubernare, & manus imponere. Under the Ceremonial law, all the Church officers were Priests and Levits, and doubtlesse the Jewish church was an accorate type and pattern of the Christian. This may serve for an eighth Argument. The Levirs were to excel in power and dignity, for they were chosen in place of the first born: And the Deacons were to be full of the holy Ghost and wisdom. Act. 6. In Moses time some Levites did bear the Arke, the Table, the Altar, some the Tabernacle, the Tent or Covering, some the boards and pillars, &c. Numb. 4.8.1 Tim. 3.12, 13. Num. 6.3. In Davids time some at­tended immediatly on the Priests, and were Singers, others were Porters, others were Treasurers, 1 Chron. 24, 25, 16. Now if the Deacons are answerable to the Levites, then the Levites must help carry the Lord Jesus in his Ordinances, and sing forth the glad ty­dings of Salvation. The Tabernacle was a type of the Church, the Deacons therefore must promove the communion and consolation of the Church, and support the Presbyters thereof, these are the pillars of the Churches, which the Levites (in way of type) did bear on their shoulders. The Deacons were at the first instituted for to ease the Elders in all matters or ministrations, which are not proper to the teaching Elders. Act. 6. We are to attend on the Word and Prayer (saith the Apostle.) The Deacons therefore are to teach as occasion serves, to visit the sick, to watch over the conversation of members, and to acquaint the Elders with what they observe, as Porters under the Elders. Episcopis oeconomiae suae rationes quotannis reddebant. Calv. Instis. l. 4. c. 4. Sect. 5.

It is as much as I [...]im at,Lib. 3. Ep. 10. & 3.15. if we grant as much to Deacons as the Scripture doth; and indeed, those forementioned acts (according to the [Page 24]Scripture and Ecclesiastical history) seem to belong to the office of Deacons, as well as to furnish the Table of the Lord, the Table of the Elders, and the Table of the poor by collections, or a treasurie. And if this be the office of Deacons, must not the Deacons put ru­ling Elders out of office? I dare not call our ruling Elders (in the way of reproach) Aldermen, as one doth, I like not invectives: onely I crave leave to speak my opinion, and that under correction. I reverence the opinion of all godly men, yet Dr. Whitakers affirma­tion is true, — the practice of the Church is the custom of men, the sentence of the Fathers is the opinion of men, the definition of Councels is the Judgement of men.

Object. The Apostle distinguisheth governments from Doctors. 1 Cor. 12.28.

Answ. First, It is not necessary to interpret governments in this Text, by distinct officers in point of government, because it is the intent of the Apostle to speak here of the members of the Church as endued with distinct gifts, as well as of distinct officers. This is opposite to his preceding discourse concerning the members of a na­tural body, and also to his scope in Rom. 12. as hath been already declared. All distinct gifts of members do not constitute so many officers, for then all members in the Church may be officers. Eve­ry member endued with a gift is an helper, but not an Officer; an officer is not endued with one gift alone, but with many together. 2. Miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation of tongues, do not import so many officers, and therefore it is not necessary (govern­ments) should constitute a distinct office. The Apostle indeed in­stanceth in some officers, officers being eminent members of the Church in respect of their gifts: but his drift is directly to speak of members as endued with gifts, not onely of members that are offi­cers, and therefore mentioneth members eminent in gifts together with members that were eminent in office. 3. The Apostle doth not say governours, but governments; which intimateth that he rather spake of gifts then of officers. 4. Helps and governments seem here to signifie the ordinary teaching Elders, if any ordinary officers do answer to the gift of Prophecie and the gift of discerning spirits, v. 10. both which are necessary to an Elder; the one for teaching, the other for governing. If wisdom be the eminent gift of Apostles, knowledge of Prophets, faith or the word of faith, the eminent gift of Evangelists, then the particular instances in vers. 28. &c. do [Page 25]exactly refer to those in vers. 8. and then accordingly (helps) in v. 28. do answer unto Prophesie in vers. 8.

Object. Teaching Elders seem to be understood in the third sort of Officers, for they are called Doctors or Teachers.

Answ. These Doctors in all probability, are Evangelists or extra­ordinary Teachers. 1. They are placed with ex raordinary members, and in the midst of extraordinary members, next after Apostles and Prophets, and immediately before miracles and healings. 2. Else Go­vernments should have been placed next to Doctors. 3. They answer to the third kind of officers mentioned Ephes. 4.11. Some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists. Evangelists must be understood by Pro­phets here, or else not at all recited. 4. We read of such Doctors as were extraordinary Act. 13.1. Paul seems to be the least of them at that time, he is named last. 5. Ordinary Elders are no where else described onely by the title of Doctors or teachers. 6. The order is perswasive, the Apostle discourseth first of extraordinary members (Apostles, Pro­phets, Doctors, miracles, healings) then of ordinary members, as helps, governors, &c. tongues, and Prophesie &c. were extraordinary at that time in respect of the cause, but yet may be reckoned for ordinary gifts, because they are permanent and ordinary in respect of use. Th. Aquinas doth some what consent to this interpretation.

Object. Ruling Elders are clearly distinguished from Teaching Elders. 1 Tim. 5.1.

Answ. First, This place seemeth to afford most evidence, yet it is not reasonable to interpret our Text this way, when many other places do plainly bear witnes to the contrary. 2.Some make the first El­ders to be Deacon. The Elders that rule well may be the same persons with those that teach, under a dou­ble consideration, if the relative (or) would permit, and then this were the meaning, The Elders that rule well (that is) as they rule well, but especially those that teach (that is) as they teach, are wor­thy of double honour: It will not follow hence that one Elder shall have more honour for teaching onely, then another hath for teach­ing and ruling also, but that one Elder may have more honour for one gift then for another, or more honour for his gift to teach, then for his gift of governingThe word [...] notes a difference in circum­stances, as well as in kind. Gal 6.10. Phil. 4.22. 3. This seemeth to be the sense of the text: The Elders that rule well, that is, which are especially gifted for government, and which especially attend on that gift, especially [Page 26]such as labour in the word &c. (that is) such as are especially gifted for doctrine, and so especially attend on that gift, are worthy of double honour. I take this to be the most genuine interpretation. Barnabas was faithful in his ministery, yet Paul was the chief speak­er. 4. It is not imaginable how ruling Elders should deserve such equal honour with teaching Elders. Teaching Elders must diligent­ly attend government as well as doctrine. 5. Such as rule well are not such as rule onely, because such as labour in the Word are not such as labour onely in the Word, but such as labour chiefly in the Word. It is questionlesse that the Teachers must labour in govern­ment as well as in doctrine. 6. If the Apostle had meant such as rule onely, it had been most plain to have spoken after this manner, The Elders that rule well are worthy of double honour, but especi­ally those that rule well, and labour in the Word and Doctrine also. 7. The Apostle in the same Epistle 1 Tim. 3.2. and elsewhere, re­quireth a gift or special aptitude to teach in all Elders. 8. This Text is somewhat paralel to Rom. 12. and 1 Cor. 12. from which we may more easily learn the mind of the Apostle in this place; It is the idiome of the Apostle to speak of members as gifted in those Epistles. The members of the natural body do most exquisitely hold forth the gifts, faculties, or natural offices of Church-members, whether in office, or out of office, 1 Cor. 12.8. The Apostle reckoneth up nine several gifts, but not to point out nine kinds of officers in the Churches. He that prophesieth onely, is not a distinct officer; he that discerneth spirits onely, is not a distinct officer; he that speak­eth tongues onely, is not a distinct officer: so he that teacheth, he that exhorteth, he that ruleth, these administrations do not adaequately or completely describe so many distinct Elders in point of office, all these gifts are necessary to every Elder. In Cant. 4. & 6. & 7. The Church is described, circumscribed by her feet, thighes, belly, breasts, neck, lips, teeth, nose, eyes, and by the temples of her head, but all these members of the Church, endued with sundry and several gifts, do not bespeak so many distinct Officers in the Church. The head of the Church, or of the Spouse, seemeth to represent Christ in the Presbyterie; her hair, the doctrines and profession of the Presbyters, hanging, adhereing as hair to and upon the head; her eyes, nose, teeth, lips, and neck, their gifts of wisedom, knowledge, and discerning, or of teaching, and exhorting, and governing. The Presbyterie is like mount Carmel, because it is fruitful; the hair is like purple, and like [Page 27]a flock of Goats on mount Gilead, because the doctrine and professi­on of the ministers of Christ clothe both themselves and others with the garments of salvation; The temples within the locks are the gracious and inward qualifications, like to pomegranates for plea­santnesse both to the eye and tast.

This Presbyterie hath eyes, and teeth, and lips; to teach, exhort; it hath a neck like an Armory, a nose like the Tower of Libanon, that looketh towards Damascus, these signifie the gifts of government, whereby the Church is defended against its enemies both within and without; the enemy of Israel was Damascus especially, and therefore the Spirit of God chuseth it to point out the enemies of the Christian Church. This may suffice for to illustrate the discourse of the Apo­stle concerning the gifts and members of the Church. 1 Cor. 12.

The Prophets 1 Cor. 14.Pro. 4. do not maintain any standing Ordi­nance of prophecying in the Churches. Elders are the onely stand­ing teachers in the Church, in point of ordinary execution. 1. Those in the 1 Cor. 14 are called Prophets, and their administration is called prophecying, this arguoth an eminency of gift both in respect of the matter of it, and also in respect of the manner of coming by it. Pro­phesie when it is taken properly, notes an eminent administration, and that from special inspiration throughout all the Scripture. Asaph and Heman, and Jeduthun &c. are said to prophesie 1 Chron. 25. these may be said to prophesie figuratively; and yet it is certain that Asaph, He­man, and Jeduthun were extraordinarily taught by the Spirit of God, and it is probable that their children also were eminent under them in this respect. The Spirit of God helped them to indite Pro­phetical Psalmes, and also to perform their other musical admini­strations; why else was this office so transcending the other functi­ons of the other Levites? Bezaliel, Samuel, David, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons, Elisha and the children of the Prophets, all these were singularly instructed by the Spirit for the service of God, for the work of the Tabernacle and Temple, in doctrinal and musical administrations, in vocal and organical musick: And all these were types of the ministers of the Gospel,1 Sam. 15.20. and of all other which are taught by the Spirit, to make melody in their hearts and in their ad­ministrations unto God. Our David hath invented us to be instru­ments of musick, we are onely the people that are ordained to shew forth the praise of our God. The Hebrew word [...] is supposed to signifie such an one cui Deus arcana revelat. Asaph, Heman, Je­duthun [Page 28]and their sons also, at least some of them obtained special cunning through the special inspiration of the Spirit of God, and therefore they are said to prophecie; this may be sufficient for the clearing of that place. Aaron is said to be Moses his Prophet, Exod. 7.1. the reason is, because the dictates and oracles of God from the mouth of Moses, as Prophets, were wont to speak immediaely from Gods mouth. 2. Prophesie is expressed to be one of the gifts which were extraordinarily conferred in those times, 1 Cor. 12. 3. It was an usual effect of imposition of hands. 4. How should so many in so short a time acquire such ability to speak by ordinary means? In­terpreters do generally apprehend those Prophets to be in an especial manner inspired. The Etymologie in the Greek is known to speak much, the use of it in Scripture speaks more. The common-mem­bers may be thought to prophesie as well as Elders 1 Cor. 11. because the gift of the Spirit was vouchsafed to Elders and others. 5. Pro­phesie is made to answer to revelation, doctrine to answer to know­ledge; the latter phrases do explicate the former, 1 Cor. 14.6. and the Apostle 1 Cor. 13. maketh mention of the gift of Prophesie, as a singular gift of the Spirit in those dayes. 6. All that were standing preachers (according to the Scripture) were sent of God by some special calling, mediate or immediate, directly or indirectly, expresly or by good and manifest consequence.

Object. Their gift was not infallible, they were not of the highest order of Prophets, such as are spoken of Ephes. 4.

Answ. Their gift did excel the common gift, or the gift that was common to all members, as hath been discoursed. 2. The gift was miraculous in respect of the manner of comming by it; and a like gift in these daies being not so circumstantiated, doth not so edi­fie; tongues were then of publike use in common members, partly because they were miraculously conferred; tongues now are not of publike use in the Church in common members, when Elders have the same. 3. Now there is no reason why an inferiour gift should be ordinarily exercised by such as are not in state of office; if any should be permitted ordinarily to teach together with the Elder, they are the Deacons, and yet it is not the Deacons office ordinarily to teach in publike. The Elders or Church may intreat such as have de­dicated themselves to the ministerie, and others also (in some cases) to exercise a gift of edification, but not in way of standing office or ordinance; The Elders are called Teachers, because it is their office [Page 29]to teach ordinarily. The Priests did onely blow the Trumpets un­der the Law, to denote the Office of the Elders under the Gospel. The Levites might carry the Ark, the Table, &c. but the Priest onely did uncover the Table, the Altar, &c. Numb. 10.8. this was to shew that the Elders onely have authority to open the Tables of Gods Law, and to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, in the way of standing Office. It was onely the Priests office to take down the tent and tabernacle; and accordingly it is onely the Elders office to preach ordinarily the doctrine of the Gospel, the doctrine of humi­liation and mortification, to make way for the Churches progresse in the wildernesse.

Object. The Princes are sent to teach. 2 Chron. 17.7.

Answ. Piscator supposeth that the Princes did onely promove the Levites in teaching. The Hebrew word doth signifie to make to learn, whether by ones self or others. 2. Magistrates have power to teach in the Common-wealth ordinarily, though not as Prophets in the Church. We may shut up all: The Church is the golden Candlestick; but the spirit of the Elders is the shining and burning light therein, and the two Olive-branches thereof.Zech. 4.2. Ezek. 7.20 The Church is the hangings of the Temple. The Elders are the pillars on which the hangings did depend.

Concerning the Power of the Presbyterie.

THe Presbyterie is to govern with great condescendencie,Prop. 1. and to labour for the consent of the Church in cases of moment. Ma­gistrates themselves are called Pastors and Fathers (partly) because they ought to be mild, (as Causabon and others have observed) in the execution of their power. Pastors should carry lambs in their bo­somes, Isa. 40. Magistratical Soveraignty of spirit,Luke 22. 1 Pet 5. is intolerable in Ministers of the Church. It is better to be the Bride, then the Bride­grooms friend. Abrahams servant must intreat Rebeckah with kind­nesse, with bracelets and jewels, and carry her to his master with honour. The Priests were charged to take down the Tabernacle, and the Levites to bear it with great respect; and the Tabernacle was a type of the Church. Our Solomon will have his mother to be set at his right hand in a chair of State.Rev. 3. & 4. & 20. The four and twenty Elders [Page 30]have all thrones and crowns as Christians,Cyprian ad Cl [...]rum, ni­hil sine ve­stro consilio & plebi; consensu. Lib. 3. Ep. 10. & l 4. Ep 5. & l. 3. Ep. 22. & l. [...]. Ep. 10. & l. 5. Ep. 7. though not as Ecclesia­stick Governours. Cyprian seemeth sometimes to tender thus much respect to the common members or body of the Church (as when he saith, Vobis praesentibus & judicautibus) but not a word of suf­frage in antiquity, except in point of Election. And Cyprian is bold to write after this manner (hortor & mando) as to subjects. The Apostle is bold to threaten the rod to the Corinthians: Shall I come unto you with a rod? 1 Cor. 4 21. The more authority is conferred upon Elders, the more humble have they need to be: Caesari, cui omnia licent, propter hoc, minus licet. I suppose, the power of Juris­diction doth originally and essentially reside in the body of members. Elders have their power either by Election or Ordination, because there is no other ordinary mean of vocation. Election is necessary even from the people, because they are to subject themselves or with­draw, according as Elders preach for Christ or against Christ; and therefore the peoples election doth incompleatly (at least) give the keys. We affirm that the power of Presbyters doth not essentially depend on Ordination, but on Election. The people have power to act, yea, even to administer the Seals virtually and mediately, and give power by Election to the Elders. Election is now answerable to the hereditary vocation under the Law; and the Ceremonial Or­dination was but circumstantial to the hereditary right of the Le­vi [...]es. Election in all Societies doth substantially or essentially derive power, and correspondeth to an hereditary derivation of power.Ep. 65. p. 285. & 67. p. 289. & 13. p 365. Beza is onely for an implicite consent of the people, and that onely in Election. The French Synods have condemned Morellius his De­mocracie, and established the next Proposition.

The commom members are not to govern by suffrage and co­ordinate authority together with their Elders.Pro. 2. Prudence and bro­therly love require an endeavour in the Elders for the procuring of consent from all;Confessus se­niorum est judicium Reclesiae. Calv. Instis. l. 4 c. 12. Sect 3. but consent is not absolutely necessary. The con­sent of the people is not authoritative, but consultative in respect of the Elders. Praeter electionem ministrorum, plebis nullas esse partes in Ecclesiastico regimine censemus: so Chamier.

1.Arg. 1. If the Presbytery be not invested with the power of Jurisdicti­on, then the Presbytery serves but for order;Cyprian by himself, or his [...] by it self, either (in consult a pl [...]e) did binde and loose, censure and absolve the lapset, though he speaks of the consensus plebis at such times. Presbyters are but Pro­locutors; every members is essentially and substantially a Governour, as well as an Elder.

[Page 31]2.Arg. 2. If the Elders are not to baptize and administer the Seals but at the appointment of the Church in particular; then they have not compleat power of order, because they have not compleat power to execute their proper acts which belong to the power of order.

3. The ministerial Keys, or the Keys of execution, were given to Peter as an Apostle, Matth. 16.18, 19. They may be given to Peter before he was an Apostle, quoad promissionem; after he was an Apo­stle, quoad confirmationem; when he was made an Apostle,Arg. 3. quoad con­stitutionem. 1. Peter is here made oeconomus Ecclesiae; the keys of the Kingdom are given to Peter; and kingdom includes the Church. Peter is evidently distinguished from the Church; therefore he doth not represent the Church. On this rock (saith the Lord Christ) will I build my Church; and unto thee will I give the keys: he doth not say Ʋnto it (as meaning the Church) out Ʋnto thee, meaning Peter, and distinguishing Peter from the Church.

Object. If it be objected, that the Keys are not given to the Church here mentioned, because it is the universal Church:

Answ. I reply, 1. The universal Church may as well be made the subject as the object of the Keys: as it is the object in particular visible Churches, so it may be the subject also. 2. It may as well be made the subject of the Keys, as of the visible Officers, 1 Cor. 12.28. 3. Is it probable that Pote [...] should represent any other Church, then that which is expressed in the Text? 4. I suppose it hath been already pro­ved, that there is an universal visible Church. Secondly, Peters con­fession argueth that this promise was made unto Peters person in way of reward. 3. Peter is made a principal stone of the Church, a se­condary foundation, a master-builder. The doctrine of the Apostles is called a foundation of the Church:Eph. 2.20. Rev. 11. the twelve Apostles are twelve sundamental stones of New Jerusalem. Peter was named so, with reference to his Ministery. One and the same rule is not sutable to Peter as an Apostolical stone, and as a Christian stone also. Christ is the Rock, Peter a stone: Christ the matter or object of Peters con­fession, is the Roc [...] not the Confession it self. The doctrine of the Apostles is a secondary foundation, Ephes. 2. and Christ in the do­ctrine of the Gospel is the fundamental Rock. The Confession is not the Rock, because the Rock is an antecedent to the Church; but faith or confession is a concomitant. That which is revealed to Pe­ter, is Christ in the doctrine or matter of confession; and upon this is the Church to be built. The foundation is homogeneous to the first [Page 32]essentials of the building, visible confession is an accident to the Church as mystical. 5. The Apostles had the power of the keys im­mediately from Christ; and where, if not in such explicite passages as these are? 6. Let one place be found, where one of the Apostles alone is brought in as representing the common members. I can­not finde Peter or any one of the Apostles so much as to represent the other Apostles, when our Saviour speaks to them. When Peter speaks in the name of all the Apostles, Joh. 6. and Matth. 19.28. Christ speaks to all in the plural number; not to Peter onely. It is questionable whether Peter did intend to speak in the name of all in this place; and it is as questionable whether our Saviour intended all directly, in speaking to Peter. 7. What is there in that Text to argue that Peter is here representative, both as a member in common, and also as an Apostle? Apostolical power and Church-power can­not be conveyed in the same expressions, tum quoad praedicatum. & subjectum. If Christ had said, Thou art Peter, both a common member & an Apostle and unto thee will I give the keys; then there had been reason to have conceived that the keys had con­tained both Church-power and Apostolical power: but the Text doth not so speak. Augustine seemeth sometimes to apprehend that Peter did represent all Christians; but Doctor Reynolds hath observed, that he affirmeth that Peter received the Apostolical Office here, Perso­nam omnium Apostolorum gerentem, in Johan. Tractat. 118. It is evi­dent that Augustine did not make the body of members the subject of executive power.

Object. Peter doth at least represent the Apostles and their suc­cessors.

Answ. 1. The Keys may be given onely to Peter directly here; because they were in Peter wholly, and the other Apostles were not spoken unto. All power of execution is virtually in every Apostle. One Apostle hath as much power (in case there be but one) as all to­gether.One Elder hath not a divided power, where there are more then one to constitute a Presbyterie. Arg. 4. 2. The Keys were given to all the Apostles by consequence, though not in the way of representation. 3. If Peter did now receive the Keys Apostolical, then he could not represent the common Pres­byters. The same rule, in the same expressions, cannot confer such a dif­ferent power as the power of common elders and the power Aposto­lical; the Text and the parallels do not admit of any such representation

The Apostles could not possibly represent the Church, Matth. 18. They are distinguished from the Church, which they are sent to ga­ther. The Church gathered is the object of the Ministery of those that are sent. They are to teach them after that they have baptized

[Page 33]The Apostles could not possibly represent the Church, Matth. 18. They are distinguished from the Church which they are sent to ga­ther. The Church gathered is the object of the Ministery of those that are sene. They are to teach them after that they have baptized them. 2. They have power of office, or actual power to baptize. 3. They are bid Ga up and down to teach all Nations. This place is thus far parallel to Matth. 16, and confirmeth the interpretavion pre­cedent. But our Saviour here intendeth this commission even to the successors of the Apostles. I am with you (saith he) to the end of the World. In all congruity our Saviour understands by you, such as you are; such as are indued with authority to teach and baptize, as well as you: onely the commission is to be interpreted quoad mate­riam subjectam; and therefore the Apostolical commission is not ex­actly quadrato to the common Elders. The promise of Christs pre­sence tended to the encouragement of the Apostles and their succes­sors, in the work of the Ministery, about which they were now sent: and that power which is given to the Apostles here, is given to all Elders, as far as Scripture may permit.

5. Elders have as full power to baptize as to teach,Arg. 5. according to this Text; and by consequence they have full power to admit mem­bers. Full power to baptize upon making a disciple, without any intervening act of the Church, doth argue full power to admit, be­cause admission is not a consequent of Baptism.

6. If all members young and old, children and men;Arg. 6. if thou­sands together must judge and govern upon conscience, together with the Presbyterie. 1. It must needs interrupt the work. 2. It is work enough, a double labour for the Elders to instruct the Church how to judge. There is more time spent in informing the Church, then in determining the case.The mem­bers will make the keys flite a­bout their Blders ears, if they have them. Must Elders hold the hands of the common members, (as the master teacheth Scholars to write) and act onely by them? 3. Pride is an epidemical discase in Democratical Govern­ment. Who is sufficient to hold the reins of authority! Where there are no standing Magistrates in the Common-wealth, and in the Church no Governours at all, or none but Governours, the off-spring is like to be an Iehabed. 4. Confusion and disorder is inevitable. Turba ruunt. The Church ought to be a patern of punctual order. A Democracie is called by Plato, Nundi [...]ae populares. 5. As Church­work must needs be too long a doing by so many, when it is casie; so it must needs be done too soon by such as are precipitant, when it [Page 34]is difficult. Some are conscientious and scrupulous, others unseason­ed, ignoran, youthful. This is a Pedocracy as well as a Democracy. The seat of Government is the seat of Wisedom.

7.Arg. 7. It is naturally in the power of the Presbyterie to admonish the whole church, to suspend the whole church in respect of the seals,1 Thes. 5.12. It is intole­table that many whole churches should con­vene and act [...]on [...]nctim, especially for all offen­ces. Arg. 8. otherwise they might be active in administring to those which are known to be unworthy. This power containeth more then a negative reference to their elders. The church and its elders are not co-ordinate societies in respect of ordinary execution. In Israel there was Soveraignty in the Magistrates or Princes. Amongst the Romans, Imperium was in magistratu, Majestas in populo.

8. It is granted that Elders have full power in respect of some acts of jurisdiction; elders may send to, or speak to one another for a word of exhortation, and not ask the consent of the church. &c. And where are the ancient bounds? By what rule are they subordi­nate to the church in other acts? Are they not separated to execute all the standing laws of Christ? Why should they depend upon the determinations of the people, who are chosen to interpret Christs laws unto the people, and that in way of authority, as being set o­ver the people? Praeceptive power without corrective power (as one saith) is like a sword without an edge.

9.Arg. 9. Deu. 21.5. The Elders are rulers, governors, set over the church, and have power to command, to admonish as superior in authority ju­dicial, 1 Thes. 5.12. The church is charged to obey their elders, as over-shadowing persons in that way of government, Heb. 13.17. The angels are rebuked for the corruptions of the churches of Asia, as if it had been in their power to prevent and redresse. How could Diotrephes have the face to arrogate such Prelatical power, if the Presbyters had not power of jurisdiction in their hands? The Le­vites were to carrie the Tabernacle under the priests, the govern­ment was praeordinately upon the priests shoulders. The church is to be carryed, not to carry; to obey, not to command; to be sub­ject, not to govern. Those that allowed elders nothing but [...] in the French churches, do wholy sute our practise.

Object. The peoples consent is necessary in the way of liberty, not in the way of authority.

Answ. 1. If the peoples denial of consent must bind the El­ders, so that they cannot proceed, and the elders denial of consent doth not bind the people when a case is voted, then the bodie of [Page 35]members hath more authority then the Elders. 2. If the elders and body of members have a negative voice for the binding of each other, then we make the church to consist of two co-ordinate societies, but altogether gratis, as far as I understand the Scripture. 3. A binding power is a power of authority, Matth. 16. and 18. Joh. 20. And authority may be natural as well as instituted. The people have authority by a natural law originally, the elders by a positive law. And if the people have power by a natural or hereditary right in point of ordinary execution, their authority of ordinary execution doth so far excel the power of elders, as heriditary Monarchy doth excel that which is elective, and so it is in an Aristocracy. 4. A ne­cessity of the members consent doth constitute church-government excessively Democratical. In Rome, in Athens &c. they were far from such a Democracy, as wherein all the people did govern con­stantly with their Magistrates, and yet they are reputed Democrati­cal. An absolute Monarch (saith one) is not bound to a Parliament; and grant but an absolute Aristocracy, a Parliament or general court shall have but a consultative power, not a binding or authoritative power. Chamier professeth that he hath not seen one that affirmeth church-policie to be Democratical. But if the consent of the mem­bers be absolutely necessary in ordinary execution, certainly church policie is Democratical, or else there neither hath been, nor is any Democracy in the world where there are Magistrates. Truth is, where Magistrates are bound to the judgement of the people in or­dinary execution, they are but titular magistrates, and where elders are bound to the judgement of the members, they are but modera­tors or titular governors. 5. Liberty is relative,D [...]m [...]lcus Sil [...] in the Councel of Tr [...], made liberty op­posite either to necessity or servitude. Potestas in s [...] l [...]bert [...] dici­tur, & distin­guitur a p [...] ­stat [...] in ali [...]. Gr [...]. de Jure [...] l. 1. p 4. and imports dire­ctly (in a civil or moral sence) but an immunity from servitude or authority; but the consent of the members in admissions and cen­sures, doth bind and loose, and is an act of power over others; Li­berty in propriety directly argues that a man is not under authority, but not that a man is in authority over others. A Jury in a Court is a transient Magistracy, though not a standing Magistracy. The Com­mons in Parliament, which have a binding vote, are transient go­vernors. 6. The consent of the members doth give authority, therefore it is an act of authority. Nihil dat, quod non habet. The act of the elders in binding and loosing is an act of authority, and it is incomplete, separated from the consent of the members. 7. The consent of the members in election, is an act of authority, therefore [Page 36]their consent in point of execution (if it be absolutely necessary, or if it be a resignation of liberty in both) is an act of authority. Li­berty imports directly an immunity from authority out of a mans self; indirectly, that a man hath authority over himself. A free man is sui juris, as he is properly said to be free; now when a people re­signeth this liberty either to Magistrates or Ministers, it resigneth that authority which was formerly resident in themselves. [...] 65. p 28.5. Ruther p. 50. 8. Cor­rective and coactive power is authority, and this consent of the members doth complete the corrective and coactive power of the people, over which they were governours. The consent of the peo­ple is desireable, and many godly men speak much this way, which do not esteem it absolutely necessary. It is desireable humani [...]atis gra­tia (as one speaketh of a Parliament in an absolute monarchy) not necessitas gratia. If Politicks do truly affirm those Kingdoms to be best established where their Kings are hereditary, and do nunquam in­terire (as they speak;) how (miserably) is that church constituted, that hath never any governors, or none but the ghost-like apparitions of governors? Our elders may well be called ghostly fathers, and ghostly governors, which have but the shadow of authority perfect­ly in them. I might argue farther from the definition of authority; authority in the general is but jus regendi, and if the consent of the members do necessarily bind, and that jure divine, it is fully corre­spondent to the definition. Azorius his definition of authority, or any other that ever I met with, doth make a binding consent an act of authority: we use to divide power but into a power of might, and a power of authority; a power of liberty is reduced to a power of authority. Governors and to govern with coactive power, art conjugates. Are they not proper governors which shall govern the people over which they are governors, onely when the people them­selves list?An Indian is bound as well as a member, to obey a mi­nister, if a minister may preach to an Indian (vi officii.) It is not enough to say that the members are bound to obey the doctrinal sentence of the elders (clave [...]) vi officii or in respect of a preceptive power; they are bound to obey the ex­hortation of any private brother, (vi materiae, which it but little dif­ferent) when he speaketh according to the rule, where there is no preceptive superior or judicial power. It is but equal that governors or rulers should have judicial power to constrain obedience, which is inconsistent with a necessity of the members consent. If an abso­lute Aristocracy be for the general lesse dangerous then a Democracy, there is lesse danger in the church then in the Common-wealth from [Page 37]such an Aristocracy; because the medium of government in the church, is rather swasive then coactive; Elders are to govern verbo non gladia. Such governors do best become the Church, as may e­minently represent the kingly office of Christ, at least as evidently as the priestly and prophetical office of Christ. It is supposed that a King or Monarch may be complete in respect of ordinary execution, and yet the Soveraignty or Majesty reside in the Kingdom; and an Aristocracy may be complete in respect of ordinary execution, and yet that Soveraignty or Majesty reside in the Common-wealth.Where the people have power to set up and pul down Magi­strates with an offensive power, there is a Demo­cracy in be­ing or con­stitution, if not in ordi­nary action or execution. Epist 67. and 68. Arg. 10. Num. 21.16.17. 1 Chr. 26. And a power defensive, or a power to except and interpose (in case of just defence) is connatural to all bodies or beings, civil or natural, where the Soveraignty or Majestie is lost. or given away to such as bear the ensignes of authority. Bexa is for an implicite consent of the people in election, but resolute against it in other cases, non tan­tum periculosum, sed etiam iniquuns esse, totum caetum is suffragia wit­ti. Epist. 83. pag. 36.

10. The relations of elders to churches do challenge power complete. They are antitypical; the eyes, heads, fathers, princes of the Congregation. Moses and the Princes did represent Christ and his Apostles, and Elders. They are the Captains of the Lords Host. Moses and the Princes digged the well and sang to it; to denote how Christ and the Elders do digge the well of salvation, and sing the new song of salvation to the Israel of God. Though pro [...]ati [...] uni [...] be probati [...] nullius sometimes: yet such as these, both together and a­part, may be vehemently perswasive. Some do scruple at the calling of the Ministere heads of the Churches, and indeed there is no uni­versal head beside Christ; but yet ministers may be called heads of particular churches, in that sence as they are fathers and rulers.

11. It was Gods Ordinance in Israel. In all Courts,Arg. 11. Lev. 13. Num. 35. Deut. 19.12. in the Temple, in the Cities of Refuge, in the Synagogues, the elders had full power of execution. The Priests did onely determine con­cerning the Leprosie. The Levits themselves did open and shut, were porters under the Priests. This Ordinance of God seemeth to be grounded on moral equity; we generally find an equity in Gods Ordinances, as well as a ceremony. And it is most sutable to nature, it being unnatural for the multitude to execute. I is true that the people of God are [...]isted to a ne [...] communion with God in worship, then under the Law, but it is true in respect of the Elders as well as of the common members. And we are freed from the [Page 38]ceremony of the Mosaical Ordinances, not from the equity.

12.Arg. 12. That power which is ascribed to the Priests and Levites, Ezek. 44.23, 24. must needs type out the power of elders in the Christian church. The whole chapter and prophesie concerneth the Christian church. The civil acts in Israel were a typical pattern of the Christian church, as well as the Temple. The Priests and the Levits must stand in judgement, and judge and determine controver­fies in the church, Deut. 19.17. By their word shall all strife be tryed. Deut. 21.5. They shall give the sentence of judgement, and thou shalt not decline from their judgement: they are separated for this purpose by the Lord, Deut. 17.9.11. Allegories are Argumentative, when they are evident. And though all things are not exactly typed out in the ceremonies, at least in all ceremonies, yet it is our duty to ob­serve that which is representative. The Priests were types of all spiritual men in opposition to natural men, but they were types al­so of Elders in respect of their special office, as they are opposed to the Saints in general.

13.Arg. 13. Elders are titles of authority, the notation thereof alludes to the Elders under the Law. Pastors are titles of authority, the notation thereof alludes to the use of the phrase in the Scriptures, and it is applyed even to Civil Magistrates. Shepherds do govern as well as feed; and Elders are to feed by authority as well as by doctrine. The Priests under the Law had complete power in the Temple. 1. To admit into the outward Court. 2. To administer at the Altar and Laver, the Covenants, and Doctrines, and the sence of Regeneration, and Justification, of Mortification and Vivificati­on. 3, To administer about the Table and Candlestick, for the increase of faith, and love, and joy. Thus the Elders are to institute and make disciples; and after institution by the doctrine of the Co­venants, to confirm by Baptism, and then build them up unto perfe­ction, by teaching them all things, Matth. 28.18. Go, make Di­sciples in all Nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Admission into the outward Court, seemeth to signifie initiation into the visible Church; the Altar, and Laver, and Table, the gradual proceeding from grace to grace, of those that are worshippers of God in spirit and in truth, of inward worshippers of God, of such as belong to the mystical Church, Rev. 11.2, 3. &c. True converts are first brought to the altar of faith, repentance, and mortification, and then to the laver, [Page 39]for the confirmation of sanctification and justification, by the do­ctrines and seals of the blood and spirit of Christ.

14. What the Apostles could do in all Churches,Arg. 14. that the ordinary Elders can do in respect of ordinary administrations and ordinary exemption, within the sphaeres of their particular Churches. And the Apostles could admit, excommunicate, threaten the rod, make decrees &c. They did not ask the vote of the Church in admissions or excommunications, Acts 2. 1 Tim. 1. Philip himself could ad­mit without the Church; Acts 8. Paul bids Timothy and Titus to command and rebuke. Tit. 1. Mr. Cartwright hath done enough for this point in his Reply. If the Apostles had deprived the people of any power due to them in respect of their Elders, they would have taken election out of their hands: If the Apostles had power in all Churches (in respect of ordinary administrations) as Elders, then they differ from ordinary Elders, but as an Aristocracy in a Com­mon-wealth, from an Aristocracy in one City, or as the great Sy­nedrion of elders in Jerusalem, from the lesser Synedrions in the Ci­ties. What power the Apostles had in all Churches as elders, that power all elders must have in their particular churches, because they also are elders: The twelve gates of new Jerusalem Rev. 21. are the particular churches, the angels are Presbyters, and are set to govern the gates; the gates are not to open and shut of themselves, but the angels are to open and shut the gat [...]s in the use of the keys. The 4. beasts Ezek. 1. compared with those in Rev. 4. and the 4. orders of Levites about the Tabernacle, Numb. 4. may well seem to represent the elders of the Christian Church, by which the Lord Christ is car­ried up and down to the World, in the chariot of church ordinances. The churches are represented by wheels, which should readily follow the elders in way of obedience, neither go before, nor side by side, to­gether with their Elders.

Object. The Apostles received their power immediatly from Christ.

Answ. The same power may be derived mediatly, which is de­rived immediatly. The question is concerning the power of elders, not concerning the manner of comming by it. And the Apostles power was universal and extraordinary.

Object. The Apostles wrote in the name of the church, as well as in their own name, Acts 15.

Answ. 1. The Apostles were wont to respect the Church so, [Page 40]as to do all things in a brotherly manner. 2. The Church is not na­med in respect of authority, it had not authority over other churches: and those decrees are called the decrees of the Apostles and elders Acts 16. Those elders must be supposed to be extraordinary elders, else they might not be joyned with the Apostles in point of such an extent in authority. 3. There was special cause to make mention of that churches consent, because those questions did spring out of that church. It is certain that the Apostles could determine without the church; Paul had power to command and ordain, 1 Cor. 16. and 1 Cor. 11. and 14. What though extraordinary, elders might be the churches messengers by way of intreaty, it was not by way of autho­rity? 5. The Church of Antioch sent to the Apostles and elders, not to the church. The Apostles and elders extraordinary, were a great and standing Presbyterie of the universal Church.Act. 14. I see no in­tention or intimation of a Synod or assembly of Churches, in that act of the Apostles at Jerusalem. The Apostles were onely called [...], as Chamier observeth.

Object. The Apostles had an infallible spirit.

Answ. The infallibility of spirit answers to the transcendency and universality of power in all Churches. Ordinary elders have a spirit of excellency in respect of common members. If the infalli­bility of spirit in the Apostles may admit of a limitation in respect of election, why not in other acts also, if they had been connatural to the power of the members?

15.Arg. 15. It is sutable to the law of nature, that the power of exe­cution should be committed by the multitude, to some elected and selected ones. Adam had been a perpetual Monarch of the whole world (according to a natural right) if he had not sinned. What should have deprived him of his natural titles? What need of alter­ing the natural frame of policy? Bodin doth justly dispute for the ancient power of Fathers. Fatherly power is the absolutest image of Gods absolute dominion, and the most exact pattern of all power. The natural constitution of the world yeeldeth no documents for a Democracy, for a Democratical execution of power. [...].Homer. Facile imperium in bonos. Primum illud certum est (si humano judicio res aestimetur) nullum statum aut pagi, aut vici, aut urbis, aut regionis aelieujus magis obnoxium esse turbis quam Demo­craticum: Beza Ep. 83. p. 365.

I conclude, Let this discourse be compared with the practise of [Page 41]Reformed Churches, of the church of Geneva, and the peoples ap­probation or consent, required by Calvin and others, will amount to no more then I have acknowledged. As for Cyprian, he could censure, yea even elect officers without the consent, or counsel either of the Clerus it self. If Calvin did attribute more power to the peo­ple in his writings then Beza, yet their practise doth argue an accord in conclusion. And Calvin in his Catechisme, and in a Tractate de Coena Domini, attributes power of dispensing censures without the consent of the church, unto the elders.

Object. Matth. 18. We are bid tell the church, and the church is no where taken for the Presbyterie in the new Testament.

Answ. 1. [...] is used for any assembly in the new Testa­ment, Acts 19.39. and therefore is applicable to an assembly of el­ders, even according to its use in the new Testament. 2.See Calvin. Instit. l. 4. c. s. 3.4.7. The Pres­byterie is called the congregation or church in the old Testament Namb. 35. with Deut. 19.12. Mr. Ainsworth and Mr. Cartwright have abundantly proved this point: and Mr. Cartwright alledgeth many places of Scripture to shew that church in this place, signifieth the Presbyterie: Mr. Rutherford affirmeth, the congregation in the old Testament is alwaies taken for the Presbyterie, when it is meant of an authoritative congregation. Our Saviour may well be suppo­sed to conform his speech to the old Testament, rather then to the new Testament, to the use of the phrase, at that time when he spake, not so much to the future use of it, in the new Testament. 3. Our Saviour doth manifestly allude to the Presbyteries of the Jewes, and gives the Christian church a pattern from the practise of the Jewish church. One would not think that our Saviour should speak of an unknown church, and not describe it, because he directs the disci­ples to repair to it: to direct one to a place unknown and unknow­able, is but labour in vain. Besides, those phrases heathen and pub­lican, and two or three witnesses, do argue that our Saviour referred his speech to the Jewish church. Two or three witnesses were re­quired by a State rule in their civil Judicature, and it was grounded upon morality, and therefore to be observed in their Ecclesiastick proceedings to censure. They might not have found out such a rule (though naturally moral) by the reach of natural light: but being instructed by Gods Ordinance, they could easily discern the morality thereof, especially the Prophets and men of God, which were raised up continually amongst them. 4. The church is here explicated in [Page 42]the next words, What you shall bind, shall be bound in heaven. If the church had been taken for the body of members, it should (in pro­bability) have run thus; What it shall bind, shall be bound in hee­ven. 5. Else this rule did nothing concern the Apostles, considered personally: but they were personally to practise themselves accord­ing to this rule. The Apostles were neither to judge together with such a church, nor to be judged by such a church as consisted of the body of members. 6. Is it likely that our Saviour should bid a brother repair in the first place to the body of members? What do the elders then serve for? 6. The promise to two or three doth somewhat declare what church is here meant. The former words What you shall bind, &c. seem to be referred to the Apostles then pre­sent: these words Where two or three are gathered together in my name, &c. seem to be referred to ordinary elders which were to follow. And these two or three elders may justly be supposed to be an ordi­nary Presbyterie, and they are proportionate to the two or three elders which constituted Presbyteries in the lesser cities of Israel. The two or three here intended, are not the same with the two or three witnesses before mentioned. 1. Such a private proceeding doth not constantly admit of prayer. 2. Christs presence in the midst of them, argueth a more solemn assembly then that of the witnesses. 3. So solemn a promise intimateth some great difficulty in the act to which it is applyed. 4. Our Saviour hath manifest re­ference to such as did bind and loose, in the words going before. 5. It is spoken in conformity to a church then erected, and to the proceedings then accustomed. The intent of the promise, argueth a greater latitude then is competible to that particular case of convi­ction. I might now charge the multitude of Incerpreters both an­cient and modern, but it is done already by others. It is most pro­bable that the Synedrion of Elders was called the Congregation, be­cause there was wont to be an assembly of people present in the place and at the time of Judicature; we call the Presbyterie the representa­tive church, upon another consideration.

A second general answer may be this, the church is sometimes de­stitute of Elders. and then a Church properly so taken, is to be re­paired unto immediatly. And our Saviour may lay down the rule so, as that it may serve for all times and all conditions of the Church.

Object. The Apostle bids the whole church of Corinth to ex­communicate [Page 43]the incestuous person, and also all the Thessalonians to mark a brother that walketh disorderly, and to withdraw from him. 1 Cor. 5.

Answ. 1. Women have no judicial power, though the Apostle writes to all, therefore other members may not have judicial power, though the Apostle writes to all. Such speeches must be interpreted quoad materiam subjectam. And if women (notwithstanding this place of the Apostle) must be denied judicial and co-ordinate autho­rity, or power, or consent, because other texts do so require; why should not other common members also (not withstanding this place of the Apostle) be denied the like authority, power, or consent, if other texts do require it? If there be any authority in Councels and Synods, then the consent of the major part of members shall not be necessary, in many great acts which concern all; because it is impos­sible for all churches to convene in their particular persons. The A­postle wrote to the elders as well as to the members. Rom. 12 8. 1 Peter 5.1. 1 Corinthians 1.11. and therefore it is to be sup­posed, that the elders were especially, if not wholy, respe­cter by the Apostle in such instructions and commandements. 1 Corinthians 14. All are exhorted to see that all things be done decently and in order; but this is especially (if not onely, in point of immediate execution) the elders care and office. Elders are not onely the members orators, or such as we call moderators and prolocutors, to govern the actions and not the persons of the assem­bly. Morellius his phantasme (as one calleth it, who writes strongly for the power of members) hath been generally condemned, especially by French churches in their Synods.

Though common members were not equal agents with the elders in excommunications, and yet the Apostle doth not here undertake to declare in what order they should concurr. 2. The church of Co­rinth was now to obey the Apostles sentence, and did but put the A­postles sentence with due and effectual solemnities in execution. The spirit of the Apostle doth denote his Apostolical spirit both of dire­ction and correction. To direct with judicial authority, is to com­mand with coactive power. The word ( [...]) argueth more then a doctrinal determination. What spirit should be present at the instant of excommunication, but his spirit of Apostolical in­spection or authority? Spirit here is to be interpreted, quoad ma­teriam [Page 44]subjectam: truth is, the Church of Corinth (according to the original) is not made the nominative case to the act of delivering up to Sathan, only it is required that it be done when the church is gathe­red together. The Apostle then did excommunicate virtually and praeceptivè, Cartw. re­ply p. 67. the church of Corinth obedientialiter. Mr. Cartwright and others do consent to this assertion. 3. It is apparent that the A­postles were wont to write so much to the whole church, because the common members had special need to be instructed and incited to the performance of their duty, and in particular to the submitting of themselves to their elders. 4. We grant that the common mem­bers have something to do in many church acts, and especially in ex­communications; they are to put the sentence of the elders in exe­cution in declining from the parties censured; What the Apostle at­tributes unto the whole church any where, is abundantly exhausted and satisfied in the Churches doing of execution. Moses applieth the phrase of casting out or putting away the evil one, to the peoples doing of execution, Deut. 17.7. See Ainsworth on the place. Mo­ses frequently applies the act of judging, killing, &c. to all Israel though they did what they did chiefly by their Magistrates, Deut. 13.5.9. &c. We do farther grant that the common members have a sudordinate power of judgement, though not a co-ordinate power. A brother is under a power judicial of the body of members; but the body of members are under the judicial power of the elders them­selves, 1 Thes. 5.12. Heb. 13.17. The Saints are brought in as judg­ing the world, 1 Cor. 6.3. and they have a judicial power over the sinful world, but it is subordinate, and they must judge dependently under Christ. The woman is brought in prophesying and praying in the Congregation, but she must prophesie and pray in the church by no power formally, but onely by participation. Joshua giveth the sentence against Achan, and all Israel stoneth him with stones, and burneth him with fire; thus all Israel must stone and burn the Achans of the Church with the judgements of God denounced against them in Gods fiery law by the ministery. The Priests must blesse and curse at the entrance into Canaan, and all Israel are to say Amen: Deut. 27.14. The living creatures Ezek. 1. and Rev. 4. are to cry holy, holy, holy, and the Elders fall down and worship, and say Amen. The Saints shall judge the world under Christ, and yet have not cause to expect so much as a consultative power together with Christ. All in Israel were to observe a due distance by measure, from the Priests and [Page 45]Levites, in their passage over Jordan. Joshua 3.4.

Object. The Church is the Spouse or the Bride.

Answ. She is not yet married, onely espoused or betrothed, and therefore may not have the keyes in possession. 2. She is yet un­der age, unfit for government. 3. She is but figuratively a Spouse, and being constituted of so many persons, unmeet to govern in point of ordinary execution. 4. The Church of Israel was a spouse, & socia domus as well as the Christian Church, and yet subjected to the Priests. 5. The Spouse is kept under Magistracy, and why not un­der the ministry? Why not under both together? Edicunt reges, indicit festa sacerdos.

Object. All the Saints are kings.

Answ. In some common respects, but not in respect of special office. They are kings in respect of Church power or Church go­vernment, fundamentally and essentially: yet I do not find that the Scripture in the attribution of this title unto Christians, hath respect to the power which visible Christians have over one another in spe­cial, whereby they judge those that are within; but in respect of that power whereby they reigne over themselves, and over the world. Rev. 11. All Saints are called Kings in respect of Christian power, as mystical members, not in respect of Ecclesiastick power. 2. They were kings under the Law, and yet subject to the Priests and Levites. 3. They are priests as well as kings, yet they are not Priests in respect of Ecclesiastick power, according to the Scripture phrase. They may not ordinarily preach and administer the seals by turn, or every man in his course. 4. They may be kings in respect of a Chri­stian power, mystically, and yet be no more exempted from ministe­rial authority, then from Magistratical authority. They are not kings litterally and properly, but figuratively or mystically.

Object. Elders are ministers, stewards, servants of the Church.

Answ. Respectively; finaliter & objective, not absolutely or properly. 2. They are fathers as well as stewards, the stewards of Christ in propriety. 3. If they are servants in propriety, then they must not govern over the Church, or with the Church, but obey the Church. 4. The Apostles were servants as well as ordinary elders, yet they governed without, the concurrence of the Church in way of consent. The Church is the object of the elders ministry in p [...]r [...], but in this respect Angela and Magistrates are also servants to the Church: Elders are not servants of the Church in propriety, in way [Page 46]of subjection, they are actually over the Church, the governors of the Church, the servants of Christ, the whole Church is subject.

Object. Elders must not have Lordlike power to excommunicate the whole Church.

Answ. Lordlike power is not denominated from its extent, in respect of the object of their administrations; the Apostle had an extensive power over all Churches, and yet not Lordlike power. Lordlike power consisteth in Magistratical commands, laws, and mediums of punishment, and in an imperious execution of power. If the authoritas be in magistrates in respect of ordinary execution, he may punish the whole Common-wealth one by one, nay altoge­ther (de jure) in point of ordinary execution (in case justice requi­reth it.) If the Church may excommunicate Elders, and yet have no Lordlike power, then Elders may excommunicate the Church with­out a Lordlike power.

Object. The whole Church cannot be excommunicated, because excommunication is a casting out of the Church.

Answ. Excommunication is essentially casting out of Church estate. 2. A particular Church may be cast out of the universal Church. Junius and all seem to deny an unity integral or visible in the universal Church, yet they generally allow of a judicial power in Synods and Councells; and how is that possible, unlesse there be an universal visible Church? But I am not to urge this point at pre­sent.

Object. Elders are hereby made inexcommunicable.

Answ. It is more sutable that Elders, that Governors should be exempted from excommunication (in point of ordinary executi­on) then those which are governed. 2. The major part of a par­ticular Church is made inexcommunicable wholy, if particular Churches are neither subordinate to their Elders, nor to Synods and Councells. 3. We suppose that Elders of particular Churches are subordinate to Synods and Councels, and that the majesty resideth principally in the Church universal. We suppose that Elders are subordinate to their particular Churches in respect of a defensive power in the way of excommunicating or withdrawing. As El­ders are ordained by Elders, so it is meet that particular Churches should make use of Elders in the deposing and excommunicating of an Elder. 5. We may put a difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary power. A magistrate may be subordinate to his people [Page 47]in whom the majesty doth reside, in point of extraordinary executi­on, notwithstanding he hath power (in point of ordinary execution) to inflict capital punishment upon the people: Potestas est in Magi­stratu & principe co modo, sub quo translata est. Suar. de lege humana. The practise of the Churches from the beginning of the World doth shew, that they have not thought the consent of the body of the Church absolutely necessary. Some godly writers have seemed to be in amaze when they have spoken of the consent of the members; but what hath been their own practice? Those of Reformed Churches for the general, which have spoken most fully for the consent of the people, have excluded it from being co-ordinate with the sentence of the Elders. See the opinion of the Leyden Professors, and Peter Martyr upon 1 Cor. 5. Beza in his Commentary upon the same chapter,Res in Pres­byteri [...] prae­judicata, ser­tur ad popu­lum. Cal. Com. 1 Cor. 5 4. requires no more then that excommunication be carryed (conscia plebe.) Yet we must all protest against the magistratical and im­perial Soveraignty of Antichrist, and all Prelatical Spirits. Christ and his Ministers do govern like the sweet fig tree, the sat olive, and the true vine, not like the bramble that hath neither shadow nor good fruit. It is observable how the Church is delineated Cant. 7. where the body of members is elegantly distinguished from the Elders, as the body from the head. 1. Her shoes and feet do denote her heaven­ly conversation and patience, especially in the ambulatory course of the primitive Church for the conversion of the world, Ephes. 16.15. 2. Her thighes, navel, and belly, do represent her as the fountain of procreation and conversion. The Church is the mother of all living, The graces of the Spirit are the jewel-like joynts of her thighes. The Church is the font of the world, filled with the liquor of grace, and out of her belly flow rivers of living water unto the regeneration or conversion of the world. Her belly is compared to heaps of wheat, beset with pleasant lillies, to signifie that Christ conveigheth himself to the world as the bread of life, by the Church in her womb all the infant converts of the world are nourished unto eternal life. Jeru­salem is the mother of us all. 3. She is described with breasts, to declare how she nurseth her new born babes with the milk of the Word. But how, and by whom doth the Church conceive, bring forth, and breed up her children? Her head is indued with variety of gifts, for teaching, discerning, and governing; that is the seat of wis­dom and government, the body is the region of subjection. To con­clude, the key of authority is in God, the key of excellency is in [Page 48]Christ; the key of ministry is in the Church fundamentally, in the Presbyterie for execution. A primo omnia, per ordinem omnia, ad finem omnis perfectio, & rerum omnium quies ordo est perfectionis sola & inevitabilis via.

Isaacus a Telia. I understand by the keys in the Text, the offi­cial or stewardlike power of administring the word and prayer, the seals and censures in the Church. Election is an act of essential au­thority, directly and primarily, of derived authority secondarily and consequenter. In case the Presbyterie doth censure the Church by ver­tue of derived authority, and the Church the Presbyterie by vertue of essential authority, other Churches must judge which cause is just, by the rule of Christ in the Word. Presbyters are not subject to the common members in censures of superiority. In Israel the Elders or magistrates were primitively elected by a Democratical power, and yet were not subject to a Democratical power being once ele­cted. A power in the people to set up and depose their Magistrates in way of authority, constituteth a Democracy. The fraternity hath a defensive power to non-communicate with their Elders, or power of a defensive excommunication, with reference to their Elders. One Church hath a co-ordinate power of defence,Jus est vel rectorium vel aequato­rium. in relation to a­nother Church, not offensive power. In an Aristocracy or Mo­narchy. the people have a defensive power to repel injury, not an offensive power.

The Elders of the Church have power of order to act in all Churches upon the intreaty or consent either of Elders or the Churches themselves 1.Pro. 3. It is natural to all bodies to act for their mutual edification. 2. The seals and such like administrations have a common relation, to admit members; to dispence censures, hath a particular relation to a particular Church; but the word and seals have a common and general relation to all Churches equally. 3. There is a sacred-aptitude, though no indeleble Character imprinted on Elders, else they are not accomodated to administer holy things, especially such things as are holy by institution. This ministerial aptitude or fitnesse, hath relation to holy things in all Churches; there is nothing wanting to execution but orderly permission. 4. The ground of dividing the Church into particular Churches doth war­rant this power; We are many Temples or Churches for edification sake. If there had been many Temples in Judea, what could have hindred the Priests from ministring (as occasion required) in any of [Page 49]them? 5. We allow communion of Members, why not of Mini­sters? As Ministers depend on their particular Church for Autho­rity to dispense holy things, so Members depend on their particular Church for Authority to partake of holy things. As it is a priviledge to partake, so it is grounded upon Authority; a Member may chal­lenge communion. And it is a priviledge also to dispense holy things, though dependent on Authority. 6. The Churches do mutually allow and ratifie one anothers acts: One Church admitteth Mem­bers for all Churches, and one Church electeth Officers for all Churches; one gate of Jerusalem admitteth into the whole City, Rev. 21. One Elder hath a general relation to the universal Church, as well as a special relation to his particular Church. To say no more, it is sufficient that such a power of Elders tendeth to the edification of the Churches, while nothing can be produced in oppositum. The Apostle doth implicitely command us to do all things which are for edification (confideratis considerandus) when he commandeth us to do all things in such a maner as may be for edification, 1 Cor. 14. What hath been said for the Unity of the Church, doth shew that there is no ataxis or disorder in this communion of Elders. There was no question in Primitive days concerning the power of Eldere, in respect of Ordination, Administration of the Seals, and Preaching of the Word in all Churches. It is commonly known that Anicatus per­mitted Polycarpus to administer the Sacrament in his Church. See Magdebar. Centariatores.

Concerning the Power of Synods and Councels, or Churches Assembled.

CHurches have no power to invent Instituted mediums of Wor­ship,Pro. 1. or to make Laws concerning means of Worship which are not natural, or to Institute mediums of Worship which are not con­tained in the first Commandment.A Papist asked a Protestant, What if our holy Mother the Church determine it? The Protestant answered the Papist, What if our heavenly Father determine otherwise?

1. To make any thing holy for signification or operation which [Page 50]God hath not, or more holy then God hath made it by Nature or Institution, is so far Idolatrous or Superstitious, and is Imagery, forbid in the second Commandment.

2. The Prophets and Apostles were charged to teach only what God had commanded, and they professed they could do no more, Deut. 4. Matth. 28.

3.Exod. 30. 1 Cor. 14.37. The Lord Christ condemned and opposed the Traditions of men both by Practise and Doctrine, Matth. 15.

4. Our Saviour hath taken upon himself to Institute all holy Times, Offices and Ordinances. He is sufficiently wise and faithful, we derogate from him in adding to his Institution.

5. Kings themselves who are most independent and absolute have been corrected by God for taking upon them such a power, 1 Chron. 13.

6. Circumstances which are natural means of Worship, may be superstitiously abused by excess in using of them, even remote means of Worship,Quatenûs non expedit, non licet. as Canonical hours, &c. So far as any thing is excessively used in Gods Worship, it grows unnatural, and becomes an Image of mans invention. We are to avoid appearances of Superstition, as well as of other sins, whether they are appearances in the opinion of men, or in the nature of the things themselves, in respect of their neer Neighborhood unto that which is evil. Appearances of Super­stition may be opposite to goodness, when they are not contrary to truth. Excessive use of remote circumstances in Worship, whispers unto the weak, that they are substantial means of Worship. In­vented means of Worship are unsuitable unto the nature of God, who is a Spirit; a Spirit hath no shadows, to Christ, who is not hid now in the vail of legal Ordinances, to the great light of the Gospel, the Word and the Church; the shadows are longest when the Sun is lowest;John 4. Phil. 3.3. we are called to Worship God in the Spirit. It is a patching of that vail which Christ hath rent, and a wrapping of him in Grave­clothes, who is received up into glory. The Church is now risen out of the grave of Popery, like Lazarus, and therefore our Saviour saith in effect to us, Loose her, and let her go. To shew more respect to any thing then God hath allotted it,Sepe later fulsum proximitate [...]eri. though for the producing of the end unto which God hath ordained it, is Superstition. It was not lawful for the Iews to shew so much respect to their clean meats (which yet were holy respectively) as to the holy meats of the San­ctuary. To make a crosse with reference to Christ, is to respect a crosse [Page 51]superstitiously; and yet to honor the Lord Christ in ones heart upon the occasional sight of the crosse, whether natural or artificial, may be lawful. To make some special use of natural things in natural cir­cumstances, so it be within the compasse of sobriety, is convenient: but to estate any mediums of Worship in unnatural circumstances, is gradual Superstition, and one step to Idolatry. It is but necessary to confine our selves to some set times of Worship, as in our families, so likewise in publike; time is but connatural to Worship, a set time is but methodical, all the while natural bounds be observed: But the designation of perpetual times of Worship is proper to the Lord. 1. God gave not Adam this prerogative who was wiser then we, God himself Instituted the Seventh day. 2. He challengeth this power in all other constant means of Worship, which may but in­sinuate into a state of religious respect. 3. There is experience of danger in times of our own Election. 4. We have the exemplary moderation of the godly. The example of degenerated Ages is not imitable. To draw to a period, an addition of any kinde of Worship, in any medium not already Instituted, is Superstition in respect of the matter of Worship. Such were the Traditions Pharisaical. 2. Ex­cessive respect to an Ordinance or medium of Worship already In­stituted, is Superstition in respect of the measure of Worship, such like was the inlarging of their Phylacteries. Gods Institution must be our Standard, what is more then measure is too much, what is be­sides the patern in the Mount is contrary. 3. The use of any thing in circumstances of Worship, which is not naturally a medium of Worship, or the use of any thing in unnatural circumstances, is at least Superstition in appearance. Christ refused to wash his hands in the superstitious circumstances of the Pharisees. 4.Those things are properly indifferent that are e­qually good in all points. Rom. 14. Affirma­tive pre­cepts do not binde sem­per & ad semper. Appearances of evil are only evil in respect of the opinion of men, and therefore cease to be evil when men are convinced. A propinquity to evil doth not make a thing evil; Some vertues are next Neighbors to vice. 5. Appearances that are countenanced by the greater part or better part are not to be avoided, except in some particular cases, as when a weak Brother is offended, 1 Cor. 10.28. 6. In lawful things, we have power to offend our selves, to eat or not to eat, Rom. 14. In lawful things due means must be used for preventing of Scandal both with Jew and Gentile; but natural necessities will excuse David in eating the Shewbread. As no evil must be committed, so some duties must not be omitted: God must be Worshipped, Daniel must pray [Page 52]towards the Temple, and though Daniel had an extraordinary spirit, yet all must pray together with Daniel, because it is an ordinary duty and absolutely commanded.

Object. The Jewish Ceremonies were practised by the Apostles after the coming of Christ.

Answ. Those Ceremonies were not wholly and absolutely abro­gated until the Gospel was proportionably made known to the Church. Lawyers do allow time for the divulgation of a Law, after the promulgation thereof, for their sakes as may not be present at the promulgation. 2. Gods Institutions (as Augustine saith) did de­serve honor at their Burial, mens Inventions deserve none. Christ would not honor the Pharisaical Rites in the least measure, neither did Daniel and such like the Institutions of men, Dan. 1.8. The brazen Serpent was honorably retained, not so the golden Calf. 3. The Apostles were guided extraordinarily by the Spirit, Act. 15.28. As for the Altar of the Reubenites, it was no Ordinance or medium of Worship, but a testimony or probation of their Interest in the Ordinances of God, Josh. 22.27. It behoveth the Israel of God to preserve the lock of their profession, to distrust the flattery of the Romish Delilah, 2 Pet. 2.3. the paintings of that Jezabel, the kissing and crouch­ing of that Absolon, from henceforth. If the Protestant witnesses of truth shall go back again the same way that they came, with the Pro­phet, 1 Kings 13. A Lyon lyeth in wait for to slay them, Ezek. 43.10. Thou Son of men, shew to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of all their Iniquities, and let them measure the patern: And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, Iud. 2.2. Deut. 12. 1 Cor. 10.20, &c. shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the Ordinances thereof, and all the Laws thereof; and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the Ordinances thereof, and do them. Antichristian Ceremonies are idle or significant, and aggravated evils, because they are badges of honor to a false Religion, stumbling blocks to weak Protestants, pol­lutions of Gods holy Ordinances,1 Tim. 4 1. Rev. 2.14.20. Ezek. 15.22. the Doctrines of the Devil, they harden the wicked, they stink in the sight of God, they shall stink in the sight of the Church, Ezek. 39.11. The Quails which the Isra­elites lusted after, may justly signifie the fleshly Inventions and Tradi­tions of men, and their stink came out at their nostrils, Num. 11.20. As for things that are properly indifferent (which are such things as are equally poised with good in all points) they cannot be made ne­cessary [Page 53]duties without Superstition in Worship, and usurpation of power, much lesse such things as are unnatural either in essence or circumstance. Circumstances do belong to the material object of an action, and therefore are essential to the lawfulness of an action. Bonum oritur ex integris.

Synods and Councels have not power to make Laws in form,Pro. 2. or to exact obedience to their definitive determinations in matters that are disputable amongst the Saints: Neither things indifferent, nor things inevident are the subject of exacting power. Sins of ignorance or of infirmity in weak Brethren must be tolerated. In things not essen­tially fundamental (though they may be fundamental consequently) we must bear one with another, in case there be not obstinacy. As some things are Disciplinable in the Church, which are not punish­able in the Common-wealth; so some persons are punishable in the Common-wealth, which are not Disciplinable in the Church. In dubious and disputable things, Churches must hold Unity without an Uniformity. 1. It is a Lording over one anothers Faith, to exact a Conformity and Uniformity in such cases. 2. The Churches must yield and condiscend sometimes to one another, even in their con­formity of practise, Rom. 14. 3. The Apostles had extraordinary power, sutable to their extraordinary spirit, and yet they did not send forth their Decrees as Magistratical Injunctions, Acts 15. this is the close of their Epistle to the Church of Antioch, from which (if you keep your selves) you shall do well, verse 29. Popish Canons are unsuitable to Ministerial power, and also to the standing Laws of Christ. Paul exhorts Philemon, when he might have commanded him. Judicium Conciliorum est judicium suasionis non coactionis, in comparison of Magistratical Iudicature. The Church hath both a consultative and a definitive authority; yet neither Magistrates nor Ministers have authority absolutely, and therefore cannot obligare conscientiam absolutely. Those that carry the Ensigns of Magistra­tical Soveraignty and Majesty, may write (volumus & jubemus) yet they are not independent, & soluti legibus Dei. Ancient Councels were wont to shew (ex quibus fontibus & fundamentis) they framed their Decrees: Sed Tridentini Areopagitae (as Chemnitius speaketh) nuda tantum decreta, sine rationibus, praetoria authoritate, orbi Christi­ano promulgarunt. Pietro Soare Polano sets down the reason, people are apt to wrastle with the reason of a Law, when they dare not op­pose the Law it self. The Scripture is our regula regulans, the defini­tions [Page 54]of Councels are but a regula regulata. I do not speak for a to­leration of such as to us are Saints, in opposition to admonition and all censures, but only in opposition to the greater or greatest Excom­munication: Neither do I speak of a Toleration in the State, but in the Church. Some things are censurable which are not deserving Excommunication: Persons may not be Excommunicable in the Church when they may be exterminated by the State. Schisms and Heresies are intolerable in the Church and Common-wealth, because the one and the other is inconsistent with the being of the Church: Scandals must be rebuked,Tit. 1.13. some sharply: Powers are Ordained of God for to remove Scandals, especially such as are most destructive, only provided, that charity doth moderate in Church Discipline. Mi­nisterial power speaks as from the Mercy-feat.

Synods and Councels have power of Iurisdiction,Pro. 3. to declare and apply both implicite and explicite Laws of Christ in a Brotherly maner. In Synodo est eminentia & apex authoritatis, Leid. prof. de Concilis. Fathers, Modern Divines, Calvin and his Successors, all do generally, or for the most part, consent to this Proposition, though the opposition of the extreme opinion of Papal power hath occa­sioned some to speak too diminitively of Synods and Councels.Cypr. l. 3. Ep. 81. Beza Ep. 68. p. 290. 1. The power of many Churches over one is natural and naturally necessary, as the power of many Members over one Member, if it be true (which hath been proposed) that all Churches are but one Church and corporation under the Lord Christ.

2. All the Arguments which prove an universal visible Church, do prove the power of Councels and Synods. That Church which is one in propriety is one in point of government. That Church which is properly one in being, is properly one in acting, frustra datur po­tentia quae non reducitur in actum: Now that of our Saviour, Mat. 16. together with other places of Scripture, do seem to prove effectually, that there is an universal visible Church. One may argue it thus, That Church which is invested by Christ with visible and catholike Officers, that Church is an univerfal visible Church: But that Church in Matth. 16. is invested by Christ with visible and catholike Offi­cers. Peter is made a stone and builder of that Church, as an Apostle, & Peter is made a Steward of that Church or Kingdom, as an Apostle.

Object. That Church is described by a character which is proper to the Mystical Church, for our Saviour promiseth that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against that Church.

[Page 55] Ans. The properties of the Mystical Church, are frequently attribu­ted to the Visible Church; the reason is, because the Visible Church is the true Church, quo ad nos, and because the Visible Church is in­tlusively the true Church in the sight of God. Thus the Members of the Visible Church are termed Saints, the called and Elect of God, the sealed ones, the Heirs of Eternal life; this is frequent with the A­postle, & it is usual also for the Apostles to apply the promises of per­severance and life unto them. Thus the Visible Church is called the Kingdom of Heaven, the Lambs wise, the body and temple of Christ, the family and city of God, Matth. 13. Rev. 21. Rom. 12. These properties are not attributed to the Visble Church in sensu for­mali, but in sousu identico, as the School men speak in another case, in respect of us, & inclusivè, the Visible Church is the true Church, and the true Church is the Visible Church. The Popish Church is a Church Visible, quo ad similitudinem, non quoad veritatem, the true Visible Church is a Church quo ad veritatem externae sanctificae­timis, though not in point of internal Sanctification, as it is the Vi­sible Church. 2. Secondly, such attributes do belong to the Visible Church, [...], because the Visible Church contains the true Church, which shall prevail. The true Church is both Visible and In­visible. 3. That promise of our Saviour doth belong to the Visible Church in part [...] even as it is the Visible Church. That pro­mise doth contain an offensive prevalence as well as a defensive, the Church shall prevail in subduing the world, not only desend it self a­gainst the world; and this offensive power, doth properly appertain to the Church as it is Visible for the most part. The gates of Hell do Em­phatically describe the prevailing power of the Church in point of conquest, because the gates of Hell are the defensive muniments of the Enemy. Them the Church besiegeth the World and overcometh; thus Israel besieged Ieriche and overcame.

3. The great Synedrion of the Jewish Church, was the Church Representative of all the twelve Tribes. Seventy is the round num­ber of Seventy two, and Seventy two Elders contained six of every Tribe. The Seventy that first descended into Aegypt, the Seventy Disciples of Christ (the former the founders of the Iewish Church, the other the founders of the Christian Church) the Seventy Bells upon Aarons coat, the Seventy Palm trees, all these seem to be cor­respond entry Representative. All cases that could not be deter­mined in the lesser Synedrions (types of particular Churches) were [Page 56]to be brought to the great Synedrion and the Judge thereof. The Judge, together with the high Priest, doth signifie Jesus Christ, who sit­teth in the Assembly of the Elders unto the end of the world, Mat. 18. The great Synedrion doth signifie Synods and Councels, in respect of the successive state of the Church, the great Presbytery of the Apostles, in respect of the first and extraordinary state of the Church.

Object. The Synagogues and Synedrions in common cities had not compleat power within themselves, as congregations in the christian Church.

Ans. 1. Types and similies may not be quadrate in all particu­lars. 2. They had compleat power in respect of parts, though not in respect of degrees, a divided power, though not an independent power. The Synagogues had power of Excommunication, John 9. they had a compleat power in suo genere, in respect of all Ordinan­ces of Iurisdiction.

Object. It is the perfection of a congregation to be independent.

Ans. It is better to be dependent then independent, while we are impotent. A particular congregation needs the protection of other congregations: Independency in point of Iurisdiction upon earth is but Temporal, and it hindreth Humility and Love (in particular Churches) which are perfections eternal. It is no perfection to be so independent as to become insolent and impotent.

Object. Councels and Synods may have a preceptive power, or a consultative power, and yet not power of Iurisdiction.

Ans. Pastors are Rulers as well as Prophets, and therefore, if there be granted a consultative or Doctrinal power, vi officii, to Synods and Councels, it must be also granted (for the same reason) that there is a corrective power in Synods and Councels. Authority destitute of a corrective power in particular Presbyteries, is not adequate to its end. Gods Ordinance in Israel, both in Church and State, invested such as were Governors, with corrective power as well as with preceptive power. It is most strange to see Supreme Authority (such as is the Authority of the whole Church) naked in point of corrective power.

Object. This patern of the Iewish Church speaketh for a Clas­sique Presbytery, as well as for Synods and Councels.

Ans. 1. The great and standing Presbytery of Jernsalem, speak­eth directly only for the great Presbytery of Apostles and Elders [Page 57]extaordinary, at the first constitution of the christian Church, they only were catholike Elders, such as were indued with unlimitted power: But the frame of policy in Israel (put aside that great San­hedrin or Presbytery of (Seventy) Elders) speaks most effectually for Synods and Councels, and it is more evidently natural for a greater part of Members to have power over a lesser in a Democracy, and for the greater part of Elders to have power over the lesser in an Aristocracy. Classical Presbyteries as they may stand, do seem to impeach and diminish the just power of congregational Presbyte­ries, which have allowed them (by the Apostolical Ordinance) a compleat power in respect of parts of Worship and Jurisdiction, a divided power, though not an independent power; but against a Classical Presbytery, modified and qualified by the just rule of Pru­dence and Scripture, I have nothing to oppose.

Object. Excommunication is no more in effect then the Non-com­munication of Churches.

Ans. Gods Ordinance of Excommunication in particular Chur­ches argueth that the one is more effectual then the other.Non-com­municatiō is a defen­sive Excom­munication with such as formerly enjoyed communi­on. 2. As a sin against Authority is a greater sin, so an evil inflicted by Authority is a greater evil. 3. Is it not reasonable that if one Church hath power to Discipline all, all should have a more effectual power to Discipline one? This must needs be yielded, it being presupposed that all Churches are but one universal Church and combination.

Object. A Presbyter is onely a Presbyter over his particular Flock.

Ans. A Presbyter is a Presbyter for lesse ordinary execution and nuitivè, over the whole universal Church, a Presbyter hath an uni­ted power, though not a divided power over all Churches. One El­der hath not power to act in anothers congregation absolutely, be­cause he is but a subordinate Pastor to the Jurisdiction of other con­gregations, in respect of his solitary and divided power. An Elder may Preach as a Paster out of his own congregation, and yet he must ask leave, because he is subordinate to the Jurisdiction of other con­gregations. Elders have not power to act distributivè, in all congrega­tions, but they have power to act collectivè & unitivè, and therefore the Elders of two Churches have power to act in and over one Church, and one Elder (in the name of a Presbytery) may act in and over any Church (subordinate to that Presbytery) though it be not his own proper sphaere. In an Aristocracy the greater part of Rulers [Page 58]have a judicial superiority in respect of a lesser part. Reformed Churches have generally consented to some fixed form of consocia­tion, Genova hath governed by a combination of twenty Parishes is one Presbytery. If in this kinde of Government, there be a com­moderation, so that it may not prejudice the speedy current and due power of congregational Presbyteries, it is but sutable to the set Synods in ancient time, and to the present exigents of the Church­es. Ʋe omnia inter so mombra consentiunt, quia singula servari totim inter est; ita homines singulis parcent, quia ad cortum geniti sumus. Salve enim esse societas, nisi amore & custodia partium non potest. Seneca.

Concerning the Power of Magistrates with reference to the Churches of Christ.

THe acts of Magistracy are not only civil Laws, Precepts, Punish­ments, Rewards; but also spiritual Loves, Precepts, Prayers, Blessings, Iustructions, Admonitions: These spiritual acts do da­nominate Magistratical power to be spiritual power, though not Ec­clesiastical. Church power is spiritual generically, in respect of acts which are spiritualin common, but by way of specialty it is spiritual, as it is Ecclesiastical. Magistratical power is both civil and spiritual, yet not Ecclesiastical; or civil as it is opposed to Ecclesiastical power, not as opposed to Spiritual. 5. The next ends of Magistratical acts are Spiritual, and acts are distinguished by their ends or immediate objects. The Spiritual good of men is both intended and acquired in Magistratical acts, as primarily as the Temporal good of men: A Magistrate doth Instruct, Pray, &c. to the end he might confer some Spiritual good, and the act it self doth as naturally and imme­diatly produce such an effect, as if it were the act of an Ecclesiastical person; and such an act is supposed to be the act of a Magistrate as he is a Magistrate, not only as he is a Christian. And if the Magi­strate be prophane, and should not intend any Spiritual good (as it was said of one, that he was bonns Rox, but malus homo) it is suffici­ent that the act it self doth. 2. The spiritual good of men, and the glory of God are primary ends of the coustitution of Magistracy in nature. [Page 59]A Throne of Magistracy is crected (and ought to be in the intention of men) as directly for Religion as for Civil Peace. Though a Prince hath not all the means to make a good man which a Priest hath, yet he hath some, and is to improve them, for the making of his Subjects good men Spiritually as well as Civilly; and he that is integrè bonus this est bonus vir, in respect of all vertues in both Tables: Else why is it the duty of Magistrates to Instruct, Pray, provide by Laws, &c. for the preservation and promotion of Religion? 3.Mr. Porker lib. 1. cap. 34. Such ends were primary ends of Magistracy in Ad [...]s, only we must remember that axiome, Fi [...]o [...]s leges non eadere sub legens. 4. The Priesthood it self is naturally a branch of Magistracy, it remained in the Patriarchs till God severed one from the other; and God did not give all Spiritual power to Aaron, when he distinguished the Priesthood, much re­mined still in Moses. 5. The Oecumenical power of a Master of a Family is not Ecclesirstical, yet he hath Spiritual power to Teach, Pray, Bless, command as he is a Pater-sansllias. 6. Else a Magistrate is a Magistrate, must subordinate the first Table to the second, the glory of God to the Temporal good of men, God to man, Religion to civllity. 7. A Magistrate when he Prays, blesseth or commandeth all to seek the God of Israel, as he his Castes utrius (que) tabula, is not supposed to use any of these means in the first place for the Temporal prosperity of the Common-wealth; Must a Magistrate as a Magi­strate pray only for Corn, Wine and Oyl? or may he serve God only for Corn, Wine and Oyl, and bless only with the dew of Heaven and satness of the Earth? A Physitian indeed [...] Physitian doth only heal and intend to heal the natu­ral man, because he hath only natural mediums; but a Magi­strate hath Spiritual mediums, as he is a Magistrate: A Magistrate as a man, may make a Temporal being his first and last and only end, but as a Magistrate he intends both Temporals and Spirituals. A Christian, as a man, may be for the world, but as a Christian he is for the Lord. A Magistrates Office is Spiritual, though the Magi­strates person be Prophane and Heathenish.

Concerning the extent of Magistratical or Princely Power in making of Laws, or Power of Iurisdiction in the CHURCH.

MAgistrates have power to declare the express Laws of Christ with Authority,Pro. 1. and also the implicite Laws of Christ though not expressed. 1. This is requisite to the perfection of Magistracy, otherwise it hath not compleat power to procure its ends. Somtimes there is need of present action; somtimes the Churches do degene­rate, the Ship may perish while the Mariners are consulting. 2. Ma­gistrates have coactive power over such as are not Members, to com­pel them to the outward acts of Religion, why not over Members and Churches in like maner? 3. Magistrates have Spiritual power enough,Isa. 49. as it hath been demonstrated. 4. The Church is subordi­nate to Magistrates, they owe but fatherly respect to the Church in Magistratical acts. 5. The Magistrates in Israel were acknowledged to have such power, and so to be protectors of Religion and Piety, as well as of Civility. The Priests and Levites were subject to the Kings, Solomon could deprive Abiathar of the Priesthood. Magi­strates therefore may circumstantiate Church-meetings, Lectures, command Fasting days,2 Chron. 19.11. & 24.6. & 29. & 30, & 31. and Thanksgiving days, Synods, Councels, &c. they ought to maintain their fatherly relation, at least, their fa­therly relation bespeaks this power. The Kings of Israel took care for the ordering of all things in the house of God, disposing of the Ark while it abode in Tents, commanded Feasts and Fasts, and the Priests and Levites were very subordinate,Magistrates power is directive Spiritually, not Eccle­siastically. even in acts of their office.

Obj. Magistrates have a directive power in Churches externally, though not intrinsceally: The policy of Israel was mixt; this may be objected.

Ans. Their Ecclesiastical power was distinguished from the Ma­gistratical, the Priests and Levites had their proper acts both in re­spect of order and Jurisdiction also. 2. What the Kings of Israel could do as Magistrates in Israel, that is permitted now in Magi­strates by the Laws of Christ. Extraordinary Magistrates, such as Moses and David, could indeed do many things which were proper to Ecclesiastical power, they were great Prophets: But the ordinary power of the King, or the Prince, or of the Priest, was then di­stinguished, as now the power of the Magistrate and of the Church. [Page 61] Vot estis in Ecclesia, ego extra-Ecclesiam, Episcopus: So Constantine. Pro. 2.

Magistrates are to allow the Church of Christ to circumstantiate its own archnatural mediums and circumstances, in respect of decency and order within its self. 1. The Church best knows what is expedient, and therefore is most fit. Ecclesiastical disputes are not so proper to the cognizance of Magistrates. 2. It is neces­sary for the subsistance of Churches to have such power. 3. The Apostles exercised this power, Acts 15. and declared this power to the Corinth, 1.14. 4. Magistrates are subordinate to the Churches, in respect of all Church power. 5. The Church is an honorable and independent society under the Lord Christ, is Priviledges are purchased by the blood of Christ. 6. Magistrates are to con­sult and give counsel with and to the Church in acts of another nature, before they command. Hezekiah was a Royal president to Magistrates in this point, 2 Chron. 30.Rom. 14.1. What Bilson saith serves this purpose, Commissio est à Christo, permissio à Magistratis. Magistradies must tole­rate some things which the Church may not, & the Church must tole­rate that which Ma­gistrates may not. Non curat Lex de mi­nimis. Ma­gistrates may not make unlimited Laws touching things good in their general nature, because such things may be unexpedient in circumstances. That which Gods Law doth absolutely prohibite, is alwayes evil in its particular nature. The matter of Gods Law ought to be the compasse of mens Law. Magistratus non est domi­nus, sed author legis. Suarez defines a Law to be commune pra­ceptum, justum & sufficientur promulgatum. There may be somtimes Causa paenae ubi non est culpa, in the civil State: In things indiffe­rent (as when one thing compared with another, is no better then another) a Law may alter the case, yet Magistrates ought to pro­vide for the majesty and efficacy of Laws by the paucity and neces­sity of them, and even in matters indifferent, Ratio legis is necessary, as well as voluntas Legistatoris: Magistrates must punish an offence, as reflecting upon the Civil State, when they might tolerate it as an offence to the Church.

Quest. What if Magistrates take too much upon them?

Ans. They are to be obeyed passively. 2. There must be a forbearance in respect of acting, until due means of information be used. 3. After due means of information, there must not be indulgence of presumptions, which do either wast or weaken the Ordinances of God. Tu ne cede malis, &c. Naboth in poverty might sell and distract his Vineyard, but not to humor Ahab. Da­niel for many natural causes might have ceased (for some time) [Page 62]from his Solemn Prayers, but not for Darius his voluntary and wilful Edict. David in a case of necessity, may eat of the Shew­bread, which had been unlawful to have done upon the presum­ptious command of a Magistrate.

Concerning some Church Acts, and first of admission of Members.

THe profession of Faith and Repentance, with knowledge of the Fundamentals, and subjection to the Ordinances, ought to give satisfaction in admission, especially when there is testimony of an answerable conversation precedent. This rule excludes such as are apparently wicked and scandalous, such as are wicked in toto, such as are scandalous in tauto. 1. Infants are admitted to enjoy this priviledge upon grounds lesse satisfactory. We may grant such an examination as Mr. Parker requireth in his Eccle­siastical policy, and also such a testimony as Mr. B [...]r prescribeth, and yet the argument is nothing infringed. It is supposed that Chil­dren were wont to be examined, before they were admitted to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, but I finde no expresse History in Primitive records for any such thing: Cyprian and Austine re­ceived children from their Infancy. Children were not debarred from the passeover,Oprian de Vnct. Chris. matis, p. 517. in case they were circumcised. As for con­firmation in the Primitive times, that was Instituted for the colla­tion of spiritual gifts, and it was wont (as first) to be administred presently after Baptism. Sure I am, those cautions of the Apostle, 1 Cor 11. do not exclude children, because the same cautions are to be observed by such as are to be Baptized, in case they be adulterers. The Apostle required Faith and Repentance of such as were Bap­tized, if they had attained unto the use of reason. The Eunuch is bid look to it that he doth believe, if he will be Baptized, Acts 8.37. yet no question but children are to be prepared for the Sacrament. 2. No more was required in the Iewish Church, and there is no sufficient disproportion between the Members of the Iewish and the Christian Church.Exo. 12.4.8 Lev. 5.4. Num. 9. Moral purity was there requried, as well as the Ceremonial, Hag. 2.12. Ezek. 44.9. Levit. 6.1, 2. 3. Else we [Page 63]shall be destitute of a rule, whereby all Saints shall take possession in the Kingdom of God. There was sufficient caution to provide for every Israelite in the promised Land. No Wheat must be pulled up with the Tares, the Tares must rather be tolerated. In some sense Austine speaks truth, Multi sunt lupi intus, multa sunt over foris: but it must not be our default, we are bound to walk by such a rule as will necessarily receive (either in part or in whole) such as are called of God, I say necessarily in an ordinary way of providence. Now that rule which requires more then is necessary to the weakest Believer, must needs exclude the called of God: and that rule which necessarily or absolutely requires unnecessary experiences, savoriness of speech, sutableness of spirit to our tem­pers, perswasion of found conversion, &c. such is rule (I say) requires much more then is necessary or compenble to the weakest Believer. To require a perswasion in our hearts of the conversion of all that are admitted, is too much, unlesse we can meet with a rule that will admit all Saints, and also afford such a perswasion. It will contradict the rule of admission, to make out apprehensions part of the rule. Our fancies are a leaden rule, and if we are severe, and have no cetain rule to regulate us, we shall exclude the weak more often then we shall receive them. 4. The lowest de­gree of absolute probability that a person as converted, should be satisfactory. The weakest Christians are to be received, Rom. 14. and the weakest can hold forth no more then the least degree of an absolute probability, the strongest can hold forth no more then the highest degree of probability. Again, either the highest or the lowest, or some middle degree of probability is requisite, the highest is not, and what rule is there for some middle degree? If it be not is our power to require a years experience for more degrees of probability, why a moneths experience? The demonstration of the weakest Believer is the rule of admission, if we could finde it our, not the approbation of our fancies. There is indeed a re­spective probability of conversion necessary to admission, but not so much as an absolute probability is all ages of the Church. We ought to judge such to be Christians as are admitted, and there must be some probable ground for such a judgement. The rule of admis­sion is a rule of prudence, for the exclusion of such as are ignorant of the Fundamentals, or for the exclusion of such as upon search shall be found to be unregenerate by their ignorance of the Funda­mentals, [Page 64]and also of such as are scandalous; and yet it is a rule of charity for the reception of all new-born Babes. Charity and pru­dence are not membra dividentiae, In bona divisione, partes con­sentiunt cum tasite inter se verò dis­sentiunt. to the rule of admission. Prin­cipium convenientiae non est principium differentiae. The rule of ad­mission is such as may consist with charity, which suspecteth not others, and with humility, which exalteth others above our selves. 5. A suspectable conversation may as justly call for an inquisitive scrutiny upon the conscience (for the discovery of true grace) after admission, as before admission. 6. The practise of the Apostles, Acts 2, &c. must confine our prudence, they were better directed and instructed then we are. And they expected no testimony, not a days experience, they could not in so short a time make any inquisi­tions, or hear any perswasive relations. The yongest Converts must be instantly imbraced, therefore some days of experience, or testime­nies are not necessary. Some are ignorant, and of an arid constitu­tion and expression, therefore an explicite savor of language is not equally requisite in all. It is sufficient if there be a respective probabi­lity in Professors, if the rule be such as that commonly it admits such as are for the most part sincere or godly, yea though we cannot finde such a precise rule. The Apostolical rule was large, it did suffer many corrupt members to creep in, as Jude speaks, none (as far as we read) were ever put by, yet Converts were many, yong, ignorant, rude, and conversions were sudden and passionate: No marvel that Con­verts, that Hypocrites did come in with great affection to such as the Apostles were. 7. If ample relations of the work of grace be ne­cessary, then either for satisfaction or for edification, not for satisfa­ction as hath been proved, not for edification, as these considerations following do perswade. 1. Would it not be as profitable for all Members to come about again at certain State seasons. 2. Such relations do uncover the nakedness of Brethren and Fathers. 3. They slander such as are not gifted, such as cannot express them­selves in good language. 4. Pride is set on the stage in the house of God. 5. Hypocrites are provoked to paint and act themselves. 6. Such relations are known to afflict the afflicted, who came to us and with us in love, and we here hide our faces from them. 7. The eloquent and such as have athletick constitutions, carry away unde­served respect from Countrey Christians. Materiam superabat opus. Hence issue comparisons, nay we foster (in stead of preventing) su­spitious partiality. 8. Yong men exalt themselves over the Faith [Page 65]of their Ancients. 9. Some are sent to their graves frustrate of their hopes, we being in a way to admit no more in many years, then were admitted by the Apostles in one day; much expence or waste of time to no effect. 10. To grieve such as ought to be comforted, to defame such as deserve honor, to judge one another for infirmities, is unjust, Rom. 14. The Apostle thought it just to think well of all, Phil. 1.17, &c. It is not humility to honor our selves ungroundedly, more then others; it is not love to suspect, there had need be appa­rent reason for such, Acts 11. The Apostles were diligent and faith­ful in directing, and exhorting, and rebuking, and why are they then so silent in point of Admission? Yea, when the Churches were cor­rupted and pestered with corrupt Members,1 Cor. 13. 1 Cor. 15.1. Phil. 3. Jude 4. such as made their Bel­lies their gods? 12. Our Saviours rule is, Mat. 28.18, 19. first to make Disciples, then to Baptize or initiate them, and after they were initiated or admitted, to teach them all things. John is supposed by learned Expositors to Baptize (though with an admonition) those Scribes and Pharisces, Mat. 3.11. We know he entertained such Disciples as envied the Lord Christ, so open was the door of ad­mission. Surely admission hath never been deemed in the Churches so momentous as with us; and yet we commit it to the dissident and mul­tiformous fancies of Members without a rule, Populi salus Suprema, Lex. The Apostles were never acquainted with those Questions (How, when, where, and whereby, and by whom perversion was wrought) they accepted of profession and subjection with congra­tulations. The Church is a tender Mother, [...] and speedily embraceth her Infant by admission into her arms, and layeth it to her brests of consolations. Experience telleth us that a man will not easily make Protestations before God, and subject himself to Disci­pline, unless it be resolved with him. If it be resolved, he shall be faved: If it be usually so, he should be admitted; as for raptures of grief, fear, joy, from the Law or Gospel, from particular Scriptures or Sermons, these are not absolutely necessary, some are converted without observation. Happy is he that is resolved to fly from the Wrath to come, to the Ark, to Zoar, to the Cities of Refuge; and open we the gate readily (without many Expostulations) to rescue him from the avenger of blood; yea, the way is to be made easie, that he may be encouraged to come; we must not have such a rule of admission as may in an ordinary way disinherit Saints of their right and priviledges in the Kingdom of God.

[Page 66] Object. The Churches would become impure.

Answ. The Churches may become impure, notwithstanding any thing we yet do, gifted men do easily learn the language of the pure ones: such as are but bones, sinews and flesh, having heard a Son of man Prophecy, some loud cryes of a Prophet do frequently experi­ence such passages as pass in our admissory declarations. We may do much more yet to prevent impurity, if we may do so much, why may we, or why do we do no more? 2. Gods providence leads us to it: God was wont to powre out of his Spirit in gifts of edi­fication on Hypocrites, and to imploy them in the Churches. 3. The Apostles might have constituted Churches only of Apostles, Pro­phets, Evangelists and singular Professors, they might have de­murred admissions to many years experience; but they did not su­spend so much as one day: Such as were zealous for the Law, such as separated themselves from the Gentile Christians, the loose and ig­norant Gentiles, they supposed that many were come into the out­ward Court of the visible Church, which were no inward Worship­pers of God, Heb. 6. The question is not what we can do, but what we may lawfully do;Rev. 11. for the prevention of impacity we must not do evil that good may come thereof; Magistrates must judge by a rule that doth preserve the innocent, much more Ministers.

Object. It seems the Apostles had a discerning Spirit.

Answ. They had not such a Spirit as was infallible permanently in way of a habit. 2. If they had constantly exercised such a Spirit, Peter and Paul might have answered the Jews so, for the admission of the Gentiles. 3. They would have excluded such as had been unworthily admitted by others,Deut. 23.3. and remained unworthy. 4. If such a Spirit had been extant, the Churches had been better supplied in admissions, there were many children in the Churches that were to be killed with death, Rev. 2. There were many Bastards or Hypo­crites, that must never enter into the Congregation of the Mystical Church. That habitual discerning Spirit which the Apostles had, could not be much used when there was so little spoken by such as they were to admit: They might not be bound to put forth their strength in point of admission, and they did not by making inquisi­tions or protracting admissions. 5. Annanias and Saphira joyned themselves, and others like them might (Acts 3.13.) when the Apo­stles were to admit them. 6. All Churches were permitted to fol­low the ordinary rule and measure of the Sanctuary, though destitute [Page 67]of such a Spirit; Philip an extraordinary person admits the Eunuch and Simon Magus, by the common reed or measure of fellow­ship.

Object. The conversion of the Gentiles was visibly miraculous.

Answ. It was no such strange thing for the Gentiles to come to some common notions of Religion, when such invincible Spirits were the dispensers of the Word, and that with Signs and Wonders. What though the Jews were dispersed, and the Gentiles united un­der the Roman Empire, for the Civilizing and Catechizing of the World in way of preparation? 2. The question is, what the Gen­tiles did visibly come unto before they were admitted, the faces of many Converts argue that they were come but to some mediums between Barbarism and sound Christianity and that notwithstand­ing the common effusion of the holy Ghost, after admission by Im­position of hands. 3. Prophane Jews which had a long time abused the Ordinances, were admitted, as well as the Gentiles, and by the same rule, all sorts were cut out by the same measure for admission.

Object. In Primitive days they feared persecution upon admission.

Answ. Persecution was not universally feared till Nero's days. 2. Hypocrites needed not to fear persecution, because they could evade it at their pleasure. 3. The fear of persecution did make ad­mission the more difficult, so far was it from facilitating it. Paul had not been shaved but for fear of persecution, not for fear of pollu­tion. It may be then retorted that there is less need of searching now then in those days, because we do not fear persecution by false Brethren, as they did. 4. All Hypocrites might have more cause (all things considered) to joyn themselves in those times in respect of danger, then now they have, because they could then revolt at their pleasure, both safely and honorably, in respect of the multitude, which now is impossible. And there were alluring invitations of gain, maintenance, wonderful gifts, the society of the Apostles, men admired. If the Apostles had made tryal of Converts before ad­mission, it had been more considerable, yet the adventure of perse­cution is common to Turks, Papists, Familists, all Heretiques, it is ordinary for men to precipitate themselves upon death, even for co­lourable novelties. But if there was less gain acquired in those days, there was more loss adventured, and gain enough to occasion much suspition of Converts, and much inquisition in admission, if it had been allowed. And what though Joel Prophesieth of great conver­sions [Page 68]in Primitive days? He did not Prophesie that all, or most that should desire fellowship should be sincere Converts?

Object. James requireth good Works to the demonstration of a living Faith.Good works may benecessary to prove falvatiō, yet not admis­sion.

Answ. The Apostles scope is to demonstrate the necessity of all kindes of good Works in their seasons, both of Charity and Piety, both external and internal in all grown Christians, but not before admission, nor in respect of admission, but in respect of salvation.

Object. It doth good to men to be debarred of communion.

Ans. A Magistrate may do an innocent person good in correcting him, it might make him a better member (by Gods over-ruling pro­vidence) both in Church and State; but it is not therefore lawful for a Magistrate so to do. I might in many respects deny the Assum­ption, but I need not insist on so weak an Objection.

Object. It was difficult for Paul to abstain fellowship.

Ans. The difficulty was not for Conscience sake in respect of pollution, but for fear of persecution. 2. Are we to condemn Paul in requesting fellowship, or the Brethren in denying it? One would think that Paul did know what he did better then the Brethren. They had not respect to the rule of admission, but to the rule of na­tural or common prudence, to prevent persecution.

Object. The Worshippers in the Temple must be measured.

Answ. The reed is the word, conversion or vocation is the mea­suring: Christians are measu­red as con­verted, not as admitted The measuring here is appropriated to the Church, in respect of its invisible state. The visible Church, represented by the outward Court, is not measured under that consideration as visible. 2. It evidently signifieth the secret act of conversion, by the reed of the Gospel, not a visible Church act of admission. 3. It is to be grant­ed, that there are measures for Members, as visible; the question is not touching the being or existence, but touching the nature, essence or difference of the measures in the Visible Church. The materials of the Visible Church may be mean, compared with the materials of the Invisible. All the Members of the Visible Church are not Sa­phirs and Diamonds, they are not of the beaten Gold of the Candle­stick, or of the Golden Cherubims: The Invisible Members are but dark Saphirs, and invisible, in comparison. Those heavenly repre­sentations, shew rather how transparent we shall be in heaven, then what we have already obtained. The measure of the outward Court is not the exact measure of the Temple of God.

Object. The Servants are blamed for sleeping in the Parable of the Tares.

[Page 69] Answ. The servants are not blamed at all. 2. They are distin­guished from men, it is said, Whilest men slept, to note the season of Satans seed time. 3. It doth not hold out Church-state, the field is the Region of the Church, not Church-state. 4. If they had been rashly admitted, they might have been consideratly excluded. The petition is that all sins might be cast out of the Region of the Church, this is denied; but Christ doth not deny his people to purge sinners out of Church state. The equity of the Parable forbids us to be so vio­lent in purging out the Tares out of Church state, as to cast out wholly any wheat in so doing.Saints must not be cast out of the Church-State in to­to or whol­ly. Beza speaketh as strictly as any of the first Reformers, and yet I cannot finde him opposite to our Propo­sition. Bucer requires that children should be dutiful to their Pa­rents, that they should be found to pray creberè & ultro, that they should seem to have a sense and fear of sin, that they should hold forth some signs of Regeneration, before they are admitted to the Lords Supper; all this doth well consist with the rule of admission, in the Proposition. It is a rule that holdeth forth the highest degree of an incompleat or comparative probability: But it is in a rule of absolute probability, that must perswade always concerning the sin­cerity of the greater part of those which are admitted.

Concerning Imposition of hands.

IMposition of hands seems not to be warranted in ordination by Imposition of hands upon the Levites. 1.Arg. 1. Israel imposed hands on the Levites, to signifie that they were to bear their sins, their bur­thens, and to make atonement for them, Exod. 29. they imposed hands on the head of the Sacrifices in like maner. 2. Aaron and his Sons were to ordain the Levites, and not to stand by while the common Members of Israel did use this sacred Rite for Ordination. The common Members may not now Ordain, their Elders standing by. 3. It hath been proved that common Members may not Or­dain, when they are destitute of Officers, or by themselves without Officers. 4. The Levites were Ordained by the Priests, in all other particulars, Numb. 8. 5. This was a Jewish Ceremony, and why should this (all other being abrogated) be only reserved? 6. Impo­sition [Page 70]of hands by the Congregation, was proper to the Ceremo­nial offering of the Levites, as a Sacrifice to God, not to our Moral offering of Ministers in Ordination.Calv. Inst. 4.3.16. That act of the Congregation did contain something of Election, rather then of Ordination.

2.Arg. 2. Heb. 6. doth not hold it forth in point of Ordination, but is a Fundamental principle of Religion, used figuratively for the gift of the holy Ghost, which is signified and conferred. 1. The Apo­stles discourse concerned such principles as were necessary to the In­stitution or Initiation of Converts. 2. Doctrine is added to Bap­tism, and Imposition to intimate that the Doctrine of the Ordinance, or touching the Ordinance, not the Ordinance it self, was intended. If the Imposition it self had been here intended, it might have im­ported or connotated the whole Ministery as an adjunct thereof; but the Doctrine of Imposition, or touching Imposition, is the same is in Ordination respectively, as in that extraordinary confirmation added to Baptism, which is the ordinary Sacrament of confirmation. The communication of the Spirit is the thing signified, or the Do­ctrine of Imposition. 3. Doctrine must needs be applied to the consequent principles; by the Resurrection, is meant the Doctrine of the Resurrection, by the last Judgement, the Doctrine of the last judgement, and consequently by Imposition, is meant the Doctrine of Imposition. 4. The order is observable, the gift of the holy Ghost, or Imposition, as an explicative adjunct of Baptism, justly followeth the principle of Baptism (the Doctrine of Sanctification and Justification by saith being contained therein) because the spirit in way of a second act, is promised to seal the Doctrine of Baptism, Eph. 1.14, 15. He shall Baptize you with the holy Ghost, Joh. 1. Acts 2.38. 5. It is answerable to the promise of the holy Ghost, thereof Peter Preached in laying the foundation of conversion, according to that place but now alleaged. The gift sealed Faith, and signified that the Spirit was the Author, even of Faith and of all Grace, unto perse­verance. 6. Faith and Repentance, perseverance in Grace, and Ju­fication by Faith (signified in Baptism) the Resurrection and the last Judgement, are all Fundamental principles of Religion, not only common principles of Christian Profession: All the other are Fun­damental principles, therefore Imposition is also, in probability. 7. It is Interpreted in the next Verses, 4, and 5. Illumination an­swers to Repentance, the taste of the heavenly gift to Faith, the par­ticipation of the holy Ghost to the Doctrine of Baptism and Impo­sition, [Page 71]the tasting of the good Word of God to the Resurrection, &c. 8. The prosecution of the discourse doth argue it. Imposition is made a principle, from which it was necessary an Apostate should fall, if finally. But it is not necessary, that one should be instructed touching the Office of the Ministery: One may be saved, and yet be ignorant in the point of Ordination, and one may fall away finally, though ignorant in this respect. The knowledge indeed (or some participation) of the gift of the holy Ghost, is necessary as an ante­cedent, and the sin of Apostacy is most properly called the sin a­gainst the holy Ghost, as being against convictions by the holy Ghost.The sin against the holy Ghost is against some con­victions, or some participati­ons of the holy Ghost 9. If we should understand the Doctrine of the Ministery by Imposition, then we must exclude the Administration of Baptism in the principle of Baptism, because Baptism under this consideration belongeth unto the Ministery, and therefore cannot (except it sig­nifie the Doctrine of Baptism only) be a distinct principle from Im­position of hands. And if we shall make Baptism it self, together with the Doctrine which it holds forth, a distinct principle, and the Doctrine of Imposition, together with the Administration of it, in Ordination, another distinct principle, to what principle shall we refer the Sacrament of the Lords Supper? 10. It is known how commonly Interpreters do apply this Imposition of hands to confir­mation, which was wont in Primitive times (even after the Apostles days) to be nothing else but Imposition of hands,Ezek. 1.3. & 3.1. and a concomitant to Baptism. The gift of the Spirit is a great and Fundamental princi­ple of Religion, and therefore Impofition was used for a symbol of Gods assisting hand (the hand of the Lord was with them, Act. 11.23.) in these extraordinary times: And Imposition being a symbol of that great principle, the Apostle figuratively expresseth the symbol, and implieth the gift. The Apostle James commendeth Imposition and Anointing with Oyl also for the healing of the sick, because they were concomitants at that time of that extraordinary gift: But now there is cause to lay by both (as Peter Martyr discourseth in point of Confirmation) because the gift ceaseth. 'Tis observable that Pis­cator and Calvin also exclude both Baptism and Imposition out of the number of principles here intended. Both Sanctification or per­severance in Sanctification and Iustification are seated in Baptism: And therefore we are Baptized with the Spirit of Christ, as well as with the Blood of Christ, 1 Cor. 6.11. Baptism doth signifie the communication of the Spirit, as well as Imposition; the water [Page 72]doth signifie the Spirit of Christ as well as the Blood of Christ; but Imposition did signifie that part of Baptism more directly and ex­traordinarily, while there was an extraordinary effusion of the Spirit.

3.Arg. 3. The practise of Imposition in the Apostles days is not prece­dential to us, because it was observed only by extraordinary per­sons, or at least by extraordinary revelation in point of Ordination. Christ and his Apostles, and extraordinary Presbyters, are only re­corded to have used this Rite in the New Testament. In the Old Testament Jacob in blessing imposed hands, Moses in Ordaining Jo­shua imposed hands, but both of them by special revelation, and an extraordinary men. Imposition on the Levites and Sacrifices nothing concerned Ordination, as hath been said before.

Object. The Presbytery that imposed hands on Timothy was an ordinary Presbytery.

Answ. It hath been argued already, that ordinary Presbyters cannot Ordain, unless in an ordinary way of Office, such as are ex­traordinary Presbyters. 2. This Imposition conferred a sensible and extraordinary gift; such an effect supposeth an extraordinary Presbytery by way of proportion.1 Tim. 4.14 3. It seemeth to be dependent upon Prophesie, or to be administred by such as did Prophesie. I [...] Ames acknowledgeth that some of the Fathers conceived this Presbytery to consist of extraordinary and transcendent Elders.

Object. Ordinary Elders did separate Paul and Barnabas to be Apostles, Acts 13.1, 2.

Answ. Paul and Barnabas were not esteemed Apostles at this time,Gal. 2. and it was long after this time the Apostles gave Paul the right hand of fellowship. 2. These seem to be extraordinary El­ders, partly by their Ambulatory course, partly by their Titles (or­dinary Elders are no where described by the title of Doctors only) partly because it is evident some of them were extraordinary Prophets,Pise. Com­ment. Acts 13.1, 2. and yet they are all put together as if they were equal; Paul is the last named amongst them, who was at this time an Evan­gelist at least. The Leid. Professors take them all to be extraordinary in their Dispute de Ministris Ecclesiasticis. 3. Paul and Barnabas seem to be separated here to some special design, rather then to any Office. 4. We do not finde the Apostles were wont to be Ordained by men, they were immediatly sent without Ordination by men. Paul indeed was called out of course (as we may say) and therefore God [Page 73]may be this sign, together with many other, commend Paul to the Church as an Apostle of Christ, but it doth not follow that he was here Ordained to be an Apostle. 5. Were these Elders ordinary or extrardinary, did they Ordain them or not Ordain them? they were warranted to impose hands by special revelation. Separate me Barnabas and Saul (saith the Spirit) unto the work which I have called them unto, tis not expressed what work it was.

4. The object of Imposition in Primitive days doth argue,Arg. 4. that it is not now to be appropriated to Ordination, in case it ought to be reserved. If we must remove Imposition from Converts, from prayers for the sick, if from any, why not from all? The ex­traordinary gift ceaseth in respect of Ordination, as well as in re­spect of the other Administrations, the ordinary gift remains equally in all.

Object. It may be a sacred sign in Ordination, to signifie the Consecration of a person to administer holy things.

Answ. It was not of this use in the consecration of Priests and Levites. 2. It is not of this use in the Ordination of Deacons: why should it signifie any otherwise in the Ordination of Elders then in the Ordination of Deacons? 3. In Confirmations, in Benedictions, in Prayers for the Sick it signified directly but the gift of the Spirit. Calvin only maketh it a gesture of Prayer, and a sign of approba­tion. 4. It is manifest that in all other Administrations it was used by the Apostles as connatural to the extraordinary gift of the Spirit. The common gift of the Spirit under the Gospel (the Gospel being the ministration of the Spirit comparatively) might admit such an extraordinary symbol, but why only in Ordination?2 Cor. 3.8. Yet it seemeth rather proper to the extraordinary gift, and power of extrabrdinary persons. The extraordinary effects did countenance such solemnities of expression in such persons. Eliah might pray with his head be­twixt his legs, because he could do observable wonders by prayer. An extraordinary Rite or adjunct in prayer or blessing, is proper to an extraordinary prayer, and to an extraordinary blessing. The Mi­nisters of Reformed Churches do generally diminish the use of Im­position of hands: The omission of it is rather alowed then con­demned by Aretius. The right hand of fellowship was never in use as an Ecclesiastical Rite, according to all the Interpreters that I am ac­quainted with: It was a Civil custom, and Paul, Gal. 2. alludes to it, and where an Ancient Father useth the phrase, he may well be [Page 74]supposed to allude both to Paul, and to the custom also of the times, in their salutations. As for Imposition, it is acknowledged only to be an ornament or adjunct (not any essential part of the Sacrament of orders) by many great ones amongst the Papists, and so argued in the Councel of Trent. If we make Imposition a sacred Institu­tion in Ordination, then we must put Religion in it, and use it as ne­cessary, necessitate praecepti.

Concerning Excommunication.

EXcommunication doth admit of degrees:Pro. 1. Num. 9. Lev. 13. & 15. 1. Some were shut up or suspended, some were shut out of the Host and the City: Thus it was in the Ceremonial Law, and the equity of it is perpetual. 2. There is a proportion between sins and punishments, all Crimes in the Common-wealth are not capital. 3. According to the Do­ctrine of the New Testament, some are to be examined, some are to be admonished, some are to be interdicted the Sacrament and fami­liar communion,1 Cor. 11. These de­grees were observed in the Pri­mitive Church. Cyp. lib. 5. Epist. 7. Niddui, Cherem, Shammatha. 2 Thes. 3. others are to be given up to Satan, 1 Cor. 5. pro modo delicti (to speak the words of Calvin) In Primitive times some were also cursed with an Anathema Maranatha. The Excom­municate person (Mat. 16.) seems to be compared to an Heathen and Publican, in respect of his sinful state, as well as in respect of his excommunicated state, and therefore not to be admonished as a Brother, but to be dealt with as an Heathen and Publican. Rabbines of the Jews do all (for the general) consent to this Proposition. Draco is said to have written his Laws with blood, because he ab­surdly made all Crimes capital.

All scandalous persons are to be Excommunicated in part.Pro 2. A Sa­cramental holiness consists in the acting of grace, as well as in the having of grace. Union with God requireth the being of grace: Communion with God in the Sacraments requires the declaration of grace in an holy profession and an adorned conversation,1 Cor. 11. Mat. 5.24. All uncleanness in Israel that was not washed away by the Rites of Purification, did debar from communion.

None that do express repentance ought to be Excommunicated,Pro. 3. with the partial, or lesser, or any Excommunication. 1. Penitent [Page 75]smners are presently to be admitted to communion in their first con­version: The Analogy is unquestionable, the way mut not belong to the City of Refuge. 2.Deut. 13. Under the Law it was permitted to him that was guilty of Theft and Perjury to bring his Sacrifice for Re­conciliation (Lev. 6.) none were shut out, rejected, but such as were habitually or resolvedly presumptious, though an actual presumption might incur a cutting off by God immediatly. 3. The supreme end of Church acts is the glory of Gods mercy and goodness in pardon­ing sin, this is obtained in the acceptation of Repentance: other ends must be subordinate unto this. 4. The statute rule of Christ supposed impenitency in the most flagitious and impious sinner unto the total Excommunication. (If he will not hear the Church, let him be as a Publican, &c. Matth. 18. otherwise forgive him seventy times in a day, Matth. 18.22.) God sits on a Throne of Justice in Magistracy, on a Throne of Mercy in the Church, therefore Magi­strates must punish, when the Church must pardon, and yet Magi­strates may somtimes pardon, together with the Church. 5. Repentance doth take off Excommunication, therefore it must prevent Excom­munication, 2 Cor. 2. 6. The main end of this censure in the first place is Repentance; when it is an end in Excommunication, it is the main and master end, 1 Cor. 5.6. 2 Thes. 3.14.

The object of total Excommunication is only a desperate and ob­stinate impenitent. 1.Pro. 4. It refers to the casting of the Angels out of Heaven, to the cutting a man off from the Kingdom of God,Mat. 18.17. the lesser Excommunication interrupts communion, this dissolveth union. May we fententially declare Union to be dissolved,Prov. 15.10. & 13.13. unless it appear­eth to be dissolved? 2. Such as are savingly penitent to us, must be ad­mitted in part; therefore none but such as are damnably impenitent to as, may be totally Excommunicated. In point of admission we may not wholly reject a sinner that would come in, but upon tryal of im­penitency; therefore we may not reject a sinner. In point of Ex­communication, that would abide in, but upon tryal of his impeni­tency. 3. The leprous persons were in state, and upon tryal such, and these are types of the Excommunicable persons, in point of to­tal Excommunication.Lev. 13. & 14. Many uncleannesses under the Law were not censured with any solemnities at all. 4. We will not cut off a Mem­ber of our natural body but in case of extremity: while there is hope therefore of curing a Brother by any other means, it were un­natural to proceed to this Excommunication. 5. From the nature [Page 76]of the Gospel, the Gospel in the first intention of it, holdeth forth mercy to all sinners upon Repentance; therefore while there is hope we must proclaim the mercy of God in Christ, and proffer blessing before we curse by censure. 6. The rule in Matth. 18. requireth the Church to try whether the party will hear or not. The Members of the Church are her Children (Cant. 7.) and as she gladly imbra­ceth them, and layeth them to her brests in point of admission and education, so she is loth to cast them away, or to bury them out of her sight while there is any hope of recovery. 7. It were Hypo­crisie and Iniquity to censure men as damnable or wicked persons, and that both habitually and actually when they are Saints in ap­pearance, yea when they are not such sinners in credible appearance. Dr. Ames (as well as many others) doth thus state the object of the greater Excommunication. I might urge the exemplary pationce and practise of the Apostles in tolerating the Corinthians, the Gala­tians, those of Pergamos, Thyatira, Diotrephes, &c.Ubi e­rant non tantum le­via errata, sed horrenda flagitia. Calv. Instit. 4.1.14. & 12.8. 8. We are to make inquisition for Repentance, and accept after Excom­munication, therefore before Excommunication. Primitive Church­es have deviated from the rule of Christ in respect of severity; this Calvin and others have observed. Cum abfuerit contumacia, & ob­stinatus in malo animus, nullum vitium tantum est, ut Excommuni­cationis fulmine sit puniendum, Nicolaus Arctander de Excom. pag. 28.

Object. There seemeth to be no difference, all that are Excommu­nicated are deprived of Communion.

Answ. There is difference in point of sentence: 1. One may be deprived of Communion only in way of Suspension, thus one may withdraw himself, 1 Cor. 11. 2. One may be deprived of Commu­nion in way of resolution, and solemnities of just indignation, and yet not censured as a wicked person, 2 Thes. 3. 3. A sinner that is obstinate in impiety, is Excommunicated as a wicked person, senten­tially, 1 Cor. 5. There is a difference also in point of execution: One may be admonished as a Brother, and counted a Brother in the in­terim of execution, 2 Thes. 3.15. others must be counted Enemies, Heathens, Publicans, Wicked persons, Matth. 18. and 1 Cor. 5. some learned Expositors have observed a difference between the Excommunication mentioned in 2 Thes. 3. and that in Matth. 18. And indeed it is not possible to count a man as an Heathen and Publi­can, and to carry ones self to such a one as an Heathen and Publican, [Page 77]and yet to count him a Brother, or to admonish him as a Brother. Heathens and Publicans were reputed wicked persons, and we must not carry our selves to one as an Heathen and Publican or wicked person, except he be like in a state of sin.

Object. The Incestuous person was not obstinate, 1 Cor. 5.

Ans. This person is judged by the Apostle to be a wicked person, therefore he was an obstinate sinner: for put aside his carriage in this sin, he was visibly a Saint, and it was possible for a Saint to fall into that sin (though not to persist obstinately therein) according to Gods ordinary providence. 2. The long continuance in such open impiety, to the out-facing of the Church and the World con­demning the same,2 Cor. 2. might be equivalent to impenitency manifested a­gainst many admonitions in a Church way. The Apostle was solici­tous for the re-imbracing of him presently upon his Repentance, therefore he expressed it not before the sentence. 3. It is not pro­bable that the Church of Corinth did wholly neglect the exercise of Discipline in such a case: Those which reported it to the Apostle would admonish the Delinquent, and excite the Elders and Brethren unto their duty in this Ordinance. Cartwright supposeth that publike admonitions were to precede the Excommunication of this person. 4. The Apostles command doth not necessarily import a present Ex­communication without tryal of Repentance, Gal. 1. Those (saith the Apostle) that Preach any other Gospel, let them be accursed; yet elswhere he requireth precedent admonitions to such a censure, Tit. 3.10. Sararia conceiveth, that this person was only admonish­ed, 2 Cor. 2.6. not Excommunicated at all: But though the Apostle may in such speeches urge the act, and suppose the circumstances of the act, yet I rather think (as I have said before) that the Apostle in this particular did peremptorily determine that this person was to be Excommunicated upon knowledge of the case. 5. There is some appearance that the Corinthians had executed some Discipline, be­fore this determination of the Apostle; because the Apostle had ex­presly forbid them by writing to hold communion with Fornicators. It were strange the Corinthians should so neglect the Apostles in­junction, as not to observe such a Fornicator as this was; surely they did Discipline him, though they came short of manifesting just indignation against him by Excommunication.

Object. The Ceremonial Law required some time of cleansing after that the Lepresie was cured.

[Page 78] Answ. The cleansing it self signified Repentance, therefore the Ceremonial Law doth not hold forth any time of cleansing, after Repentance. Some are unclean until Evening, that is, until the re­volution of a new day or time, to devote the renewing of themselves by Repentance. The Lepers were unclean seven days, until the revo­lution of a new week, to devote also the renewing of themselves by Repentance. The feasts of the new Moons did resemble the joy of Converts in their renewed estate. The different space of time for their cleansing doth require a proportionate Repentance. As for Miriam, she did but answer the Law in point of cleansing; and we are not to decide our case by any thing that was extraordinary in her correction: We are to take measure for our actions, by the ordina­ry measure of the Sanctuary.

Private Brethren may not separate from Churches or Church-Or­dinances,Pro. 5. which are not fundamentally defective, neither in Doctrine or Maners, in Heresie or Prophaneness. 1. It is contrary to the Doctrine and Practise both of Christ and his Apostles. Christ bids his Disciples hear the Scribes and Pharisees; he frequented the Sy­nagogues himself, together with his Disciples, yet how corrupt was the Iewish Church both in Doctrine and Maners, both in Officers and Administrations? In Corinth, Galatia, Thyatira, Pergamos, there is no agitation, no motion of separation, of sequestration, but Exhortations to Peace and Unity. It was lawful to follow the Ark when David put it in the new Cart, it was lawful to communicate with the corrupt Priests in the Temple, Go shew thy self to the Priest, Matth. 8.4. The feast of Tabernacles was not celebrated exactly, Ezra 3.4. for Nehemiah 8.17. it is said, That it had not been ob­served so exactly from the days of Joshuah. It is likely it was observed in Davids time, and in the times of other good Kings, but was it un­lawful for any to be present at the celebration of it because of defects? 2. If we may separate for a nonfundamental defect, if for any one, why not for every one? If from a Prayer because it is read by a Mi­nister in the Church, why not for any other adjunct of Error? A Prayer savoring of Faith and Obedience is essentially good. Reading, repeating, incongruous petitions in respect of matter or form exter­nal, are but adjuncts, or accidental to Prayer. Where shall we make a stand or subsistence, if not in Fundamental defects? What Admi­nistrations of man is free from all defects in respect of adjuncts or circumstances? 3. We are not to reject in toto or in tanto, otherwise [Page 79]then Christ doth reject; but Christ doth reject none totally for cir­cumstantial defects. In this case non-communication is at least a de­fensive Excommunication and an excessive infliction of evil. 4. Or­der requires obstinacy even in Fundamental defects, unto all parts of peremptory Excommunication; and an absolute separation is a part of such an Excommunication, it being with reference to those which are within; it is necessary to the Excommunication of Members in particular, much more to the Excommunication of Churches. 5. It is not allowed as an act of Authority, or of Charity. 1. Not as an act of Authority, a private person is subject, Children may not Disci­pline their Parents; but thus to separate in way of Authority or Iu­risdiction, were a Disciplining not only of the Church, but of Christ himself, who maintaineth communion with the Church while the foundation standeth. 2. Not as an act of charity to the Church, be­cause it is not for edification: It is not orderly circumstantiated, but so, as that it rather provokes then edifies. It is our duty to conceal our Faith when it doth not edifie, being professed, Rom. 14.22. Edi­fication is the end (in respect of witnessing in the way of charity) and therefore it is a necessary measure of witnessing in the way of charity. Miserecorditer corripiat honeo quod potest, quod non porest pa­tienter ferat: cum dilectione gemat at (que) legeat. Cyprian.

Object. It may be charity to a mans self, or an act of defensive power.

Ans. It is loss and not gain for a man to miss communion with the Church and Christ therein. 2. It is injurious Disciplining of a mans self, not a defending of a mans self from injury. 3. It is rebellion to resist lawful power. Is there no place for passive obedience?

Object. It is a sin to be present, there is pollution.

Ans. Debile fundamentum fallit opus. Is it sin to be present at every defect? then adien to all Churches in this world. 2. It is lawful to be present where are fundamental defects for some ends. Eliah may be present at Baals Sacrifice. Is it unlawful to attend our earthly Affairs at Markets, in Idolaters houses, in the presence of sin? If we must not go out of the world because of the presence of sin, while God is in the world, then surely not out of the Church while Christ is in the Church. Tis one thing to be present and active in sin, ano­ther thing to be present and passive. One may be active in respect of the Ordinances and Blessings that are in the Church, and passive in respect of the sins of the Church. Jacob (saith Austine of Labans [Page 80]Oath) non peccato illius, sed pacto bono utitur in bonum. Ceremonial pollution is abrogated, Physical pollution is only in natural things: Moral pollution is contracted by being active, not by being passive, by obeying sin, not by suffering sin, when there is no remedy in our power. I count a stinted Lyturgy more sutable to fill the hands of Jeroboams Priests, then for Ministers of Christ, who should not need such crutches; and I count it a sin in the Ministers of the Gospel to be active in reading thereof, but no sin to be but present, and so pas­sive only. David, Jonathan and Saul, do notably resemble the Lord Christ, the Church and Antichrist. Jonathan and David are won­derfully united by Love, Brotherhood and Covenant. Saul (though a father) persecuteth both; but David sitteth at Sauls Table, till Saul, till Antichrist, a father in the Church casteth his spear (his fulmen of Excommunication and persecution) at him. Jonathan is subject after this persecution, till his spear or fulmen of censures be cast at himself; then he withdraweth himself from the Table, and breaketh off communion, not without compulsion. If these actions of Jonathan and David were typical and imitable, if the examples of of Christ and the Apostles (in communicating with the Jewish Church) are any thing precedential, then surely separation from Protestant Churches is disobedience both to God and the Churches. Si Ministerium habet verbi & honorat, si Sacramentorum administra­tionem, Ecclaesia proculdubio haberi & censeri meretur. Thus Calvin Instit. l. 4. cap. 1. §. 9, 13.

Concerning the retention of unnatural mediums or means of Worship invented by Antichrist: or medi­ums neither natural according to the first Commandment, nor Instituted according to the second Commandment.

VNnatural mediums or means of Worship forged by man (though but in circumstances) are forbid in the second Commandment. 1. To chuse a medium less effectual, when another more effectual may be obtained, is carnal presumption. A medium in some circum­stances natural, is (in unnatural circumstances) no other then an hu­mane Institution, never tolerated in the Word of God; though [Page 81]Gods own Institutions were tolerated, and might be in point of ho­norable obsequy due unto them. 2. Such as are Antichristian, being badges of false, Religion, and in state Idolothy tors, do not only weaken, but also pollute and defile the Worship of God; appurte­nances of Abomination never allowed in Gods Worship. 3. They are scandalous to the weak, and harden the Papists in their Idolatry. The cutting down of Groves, the breaking in pieces the Brazen Ser­pent, may not carry so far as to strike at natural mediums of Wor­ship, in case they are polluted. The Law of Moses touching such things, seems to have some intimate relation to the Ceremonial puri­ty of the Jewish Church; yet they contradict the use of such things in circumstances of abuse.Rom. 14. The Apostle forbids the eating of lawful meats in circumstances offensive. The example of Christ and the Saints in Scripture doth oppose all active obedience to mans Tradi­tions, in the Worship of God. To instance in kneeling at the Sacra­ment of the Lords Supper, it is unnatural to a table Prayer, to the Institution of the feast, though it be not a direct Institution of it self. Christ applieth and presseth sitting at Table (Luke 22.) as significant, at least connaturally with the feast it self, it being conna­tural to the nature of the feast. Sitting at the Passover was an Insti­tution, else how came standing (which was Instituted at the first) to be abrogated? especially considering the eating of unleavened bread (which in part signified the same with standing) was all along retained. And if the Table at the instant of the Sacrament be signi­ficant, why not sitting at the Table? Rest is frequently an Emblem of our bliss in the kingdom of God, and sitting down in the Kingdom of God (in Scripture phrase) is Analogical thereunto,Mat. 8.11. Rev. 3.11. Luke 22.30. and 13.29. The Jews had a Land of rest, both we and they a Sa­crament of rest, Heb. 10.12. and 4.1, 2, 3, 4, &c. and why should we swerve from the example of Christ, and joyn issue with Anti­christ? When there appears no natural occasion of alteration, nay when it appears that the practise of our Lord was most consonant na­turally to his Institution. I do not suppose sitting to be an absolute Institution; yet it is clear that a Table gesture (as circumstances may necessitate) is signum natum, dependent upon an Institution (ex hypothesi) a natural medium, and an Institution correspon­dent to the Sacrament. To draw to a period. Antichrist hath been and is to be discovered by degrees. Truth is the daughter of time. Achan was taken first in the Tribe of Judah, Iosh. 7. then in the Fa­mily [Page 82]of the Zarhites, then in Zabdi, lastly Achan the Son of Carmi was taken in his own person. God hath by a supetnatural lot of providence directed the witnesses of truth in the Reformed Church hitherto, and yet all Antichristian Achanism is not discovered, truth daily revives out of the ruine and smoke of Popery. The Prote­stant Church is (as Physitians speak) in neutralitate convalescentiae. Many Babylonish garments, fat Beasts for Sacrifice are still reserved, though Amalek be slain: the throne of Satan in respect of Episco­pal Authority remains; Agag is yet alive, though a Captive. How can it be but that the Ark should totter all the while it is put into the new Cart of new Doctrines, and new Ceremonies of Papal pre­sumptions? All the dust of Popery must be drunk up with just in­dignation,Deut. 9.24. and washed away with the water of Christs blood, and Israels Repentance, before God will be reconciled. It is for want of zeal that we do not feel the stink of all the Reliques of Popery, and stop our noses until they are interred, Ezek 39. There was a Levite in the time of the Judges that went after his Concubine to setch her home,Iudg. 19. & 20. but [...]agring and delaying in eating and drinking was benight­ed, and forced in his return to turn into Gibeah, where his Concu­bine was polluted, and destroyed by men of Belial. The Elders of the Church are fitly represented by this Levite, in precedent ages they have been too negligent in expediting the Church to his home, and too indulgent to themselves in ease and earthly pleasures: hence the Church hath been benighted with Popish ignorance, defiled and destroyed by Antichrist, by men of Belial. Now let the Levite be­stir himself, and give notice to all the Tribes of Israel concerning this Abomination. This must be done by dismembring the Romish Church or Concubine,Isa. 66.8. and by sending the parts thereof of all Po­pery over all Israel. A voyce of Prophesie from the City, from the Temple must be heard against it. We have been a long time compar­sing the walls of Jericho with silent patience. Now it is high time for the Priests to blow the Trumpets, and for all Israel to shout to­gether. After the three days and half of extremest affliction (Rev. 11.) the witnesses shall put off their Sack cloth,Multum in­terest gladio an arte sol­vatur nodus. Antichrist shall come down. The zeal of the Tribes in Israel, hastned the fall of Benjamin; there is hope if all Israel would concur to the burn­ing of Achan, and all that belongeth to him, Babylon were come to an end.1 King. 17. Mal. 4.5. Matth. 3. The Ministers of the Reformed Church, the witnesses of truth, are eminently the antitypical Eliah. John the Baptist was the [Page 83] Eliah of Christs first coming;Rev. 11. & 12. the Protestant witnesses the Eliah of his second coming. They correspond in their Wilderness ha­bitation, Wilderness habit, and Wilderness dyer, they correspond in Prophetical Power, and Prophetical Doctrine. Eliah prayeth and it raineth not, and he prayeth and it doth rain; the witnesses have the like power, Rev. 11.6. Eliah brings down fire from Heaven, so do the witnesses, Rev. 11.5. Eliah Prophesieth concerning the de­struction and extirpation of the ten Tribes, the witnesses of the de­struction, desolation, and extirpation of Apostatixed Christendom. The Lord hath been a lopping and felling a long time, but now the Ax is laid to the root of the Tree, Antichrist and Antichristianism shall be cut down, and plucked up by the root, and cast into unquench­able fire. The Pope, like that grand Hypocrite Absolon, hath con­spired against our David, and to make the Kingdom sure unto him­self, hath openly adulterated the Visible Church; but he shall be taken, even by the long hair of his Pharisaical Doctrines, and shall be destroyed, and hanged up, to perpetual shame and contempt, Daniel 12.2.

Concerning the Morality of the Sabbath.

SOmething is natural in the fourth Commandment: 1.Pro. 1. The obser­vation of all seasons for Worship, or for immediate Worship (as some speak). Time is connatural to Worship, as concreated with the motion of the creature; yet natural seasons may as well belong to this Commandment, as natural circumstances to the third. 2. Some constant and state time is secondarily natural: A set time is as natural as a set place, and a set time may be universally observed, though a set place cannot, since the inlargement of the borders of the Church. A set time is necessary for the encouragement of La­borers and Servants, it is necessary for the promoving of Society Spiritual, and for the preventing of Civil damages. If some should keep Markets on that day, in which others are Worshipping of God, this would be a loss to the Commonwealth. Thus far a time appointed for Worship is a natural mediums, not an Instituted medium of Wor­ship. Thus far the fourth Commandment is naturally Moral.

[Page 84]The observation of a seventh day is possitively or disciplinarily Moral,Pro. 2. and perpetually a duty. 1. The grounds of the first institution are perpetual, and ubi ratio est perpetua, praceptum est perpetuum. Azorius observeth a meetnesse in acknowledging of Gods works, by the first fruits of our works. The same grounds that were ob­servable for the first observation of the seventh day, do last to the end of the World. Time was from the beginning divided by weeks, and the seventh day was also anciently observed amongst the Hea­then, it was [...] as Philo calleth it. It is evident that the seventh day was not instituted only by way of anticipation or destina­tion for time future. The reason of the observation of the seventh day was contemporary to the Institution of it. For it was Instituted with respect to Gods ending of his works. And the form of the fourth Commandement doth shew, that it was to be celebrated at the first Institution, because it is Instituted with reverence to Gods ending of his works. 2. It was Instituted before the Revelation of Christ, and therefore had something in it which was not to be abo­lished with such Ceremonies, as had only relation unto Christ. It was at first liberae institutionis, but it is not now liberae observati­onis, because it was Instituted in the beginning. Cain and Abel sacri­ficed at the same time, it may well be the Sabbath. The Chalde Para­phrast on the 92. Psal. saith, that Adam indicted it for the celebration of the Sabbath. The Jews may neglect this day in Egypt for fear of Pharoah: but yet it seemeth (by Exod. 16) that it was not unknown to the Jews. It is possible there may be a natural equity in a seventh day of Worship, which is unscrutable in respect of us. One saith well, that men and Angels could not devise so just a time for Wor­ship. Moses speaks of the Sabbath as of a former Ordinance, when he Instituted the gathering of Manna; and God confirmeth it by the miraculous detention of Manna upon that day. 3. It was estated in the Moral Law, written with the finger of God, alwayes repeated with the other Commandements, and established with all the solemnities of Gods presence on the Mount. 4. The breach of this Commandement is expressely punished by the Judicial Law: The breach of a meer ceremony is not expressely punishable in the Judicials of Moses. 5. If a set and fixed time for Worship be ne­cessary, and God must appoint this time, and there be no other ap­pointed by God but this, then this must needs be so Moral, as to continue in force. There is a necessity, that the Church should have [Page 85]a set time for Worship, because it was necessary for Adam in the state of Innocency, and because it is proportionately convenient with a set place. What that, our experience is as good as a thou­sand witnesses. The necessity of Gods immediate designation of a set time, is argued from Gods undertaking of it under the Law. The set times of Worship (for perpetuity) were all immediately appointed and expressed by God. 2. From Gods Instituting a set time to Adam. Adam was more wise to chuse a just time then we are. 3. From Gods challenging this prerogative, in all constant or standing Ordinances of Worship. 4. From experienced danger of superstition in times of our own election. 5. From the example of the godly in the purest times of Worship. In latter times it hath been attempted to change times and Laws, but not allowed. Antichrist is brought in by Daniel as thinking he should prevail in his insolent presumptions, against the Ordinances of God, even in respect of changing times, Daniel 7.25.

The seventh day seems not to be naturally Moral,Pro. 3. and as it was significative of Christs resting in his grave, it is generally esteemed Ceremonial. The Mosaical accession of signification was buried with other Ceremonies in the grave of Christ: And that it is not naturally Moral, these following considerations do argue, 1. The strength of natural reason is not by any means able to demonstrat that a seventh day is more observable for Worship then another naturally. 2. It was given to Adam by revelation, not ingraven in his heart by Creation as the natural Law was. 3. The Moral reasons specified are not necessary but Arbitrary. 4. Other sevens of time in the seasts were Arbitrary, and the reasons of their Institution of like nature. The deliverance out of Egypt might have bespoken a perpetual re­membrance in a Feast of Passover amongst the Jews. 5. At least, a particular seventh is not naturally Moral: The first seventh was not, because it is not now, the present seventh is not, because it was not in the beginning. Why should a seventh day be naturally more holy then a seventh week, moneth or year? 6. Our Saviour com­pareth it but to a Ceremony,Mark 2. as being alterable and subordinate to the natural Law. 7. This particular time is no more Moral then a par­ticular place. The observation of Zanchi and others (that it is the Sabbath, not the seventh day from the Creation, which is specified in the fourth Commandment) may not be altogether sound, for that very seventh day from the Creation is expressed in the body of [Page 86]the Commandment. Something was intederted in the fourth Com­mandement, and also in the fifth, that concerneth the people of God only before the Law. The preface to all the Commande­ments, in some respect, only concerneth the people of the Iews.

They were to take notice of the seventh day from the Creation as applyed to them, we of the seventh day from the Resurrection, as the Commandment is applicable to all. The reason of observing a seventh day concerned all, the reason of observing the seventh day from the Creation, concerned those only that lived before the time of grace.

There was something Ceremonial or typical,Pro. 4. in the first Institution of the Sabath, by way of anticipation. The seals of the Covenant, the tree of Wisdom, and the tree of Life, were (in part) typical, in reference to Christ and the Church, though but transiently and in the way of anticipation. Christ was not revealed when those Sa­craments were Instituted, when Adam and Eve were created, yet they were all types of Christ and the Church, Eph. 5.29. The Wedding day of Adam and Eve was the Sabbath, and did justly signifie the wedding of the lamb, when the whole work of re­demption shall be finished in point of application, as it is already in point of satisfaction. The whole Garden, the Soveraignty of A­dam over all Creatures, the Rivers that watered the Garden, the riches thereof,Rev. 21. the gold and precious stones, all type out the hea­venly Paradise both of Grace and Glory, in the way of anticipation. Pererius hath collected out of Hugo de vict. an elegant type of the new Creation in all the works of the six dayes, so that the Sab­bath may justly come in thereupon, to signifie the rest of Christ and of the Church after that their work is ended. Thus the rest of Christ in his grave may be Antitypical to Gods resting on the Sab­bath, after that Christ had finished the work of satifaction on the Crosse. Thus the rest of the Gospel may be Antitypical to Gods resting on the Sabbath, Christ had ended his work under the Law. Thus the rest that yet abides the people of God, may be Antitypical, when the Churches work is all over, when the marriage of the lambe is come,Jus volun­tarium est [...] repertum temporis & usus. when every one shall sit under his Vine and under his Fig tree, Zech. 3.10. In all these respects the Sabbath was Ceremonial, and that in the way of anticipation, at the first Institution, and ceaseth at the coming of Christ. The preface to the Commandements con­cerneth all typically, because we have all a Feast of a Passover, [Page 87]and are delivered out of a mystical Egypt: So the seventh day from the Creation concerneth all in way of type. We all enjoy a Sab­bath of grace, upon Christs finishing the work of the new Creation, in point of satisfaction. As the Sabbath was a remembrance of Gods resting from his works, so it belonged to the second Com­mandment not to the fourth: Onely Gods resting is one positive sanction of the seventh day, and urged in the Commandement for the furthering of its observation.

The seventh day from Christs resurrection,Pro. 5. is to be observed in the place of the seventh day from the Creation. 1. It was presigni­fied in the circumcision of the eighth day, to denote the circumcision of the heart upon this day, Col 2.11. Joshuah circumcised all Israel, when they came into the holy Land, and we must all be circumcised that do spiritually, savingly enter into the Land of grace under the Gospel; But the Gospel is the special season for circumcising, and for the espousing of the Church to Christ, the the second Adam. 2. Christ chose this day to meet his Disciples, and it is in specialty observed and recorded. Junitu supposeth that Christ met his Disciples every eighth day, till his ascension. Iohn was ravished on the Lords day. The spirit was powred out on the Lords day. 3. From the practice of the Primitive Church and of the Apostles, Acts [...]0. & 1 Cor. 16.Apostolo­rum accura­ta observa­tio vice praecepti esse debet, as Calvin speaks of Imposi­tion. Inst. 1.4. c. 3 S. 16. The Apostles practice in matters of common concernment, consulted & continued, is authentical, 1 Cor. 11. & Tit. 1. They would not practise besides the Commandments of Christ, nor suffer others, Col. 2. 4. It is called the Lords day, as the Sup­per is called the Lords Supper, Rev. 1. The denomination seems to re­fer to some Institution. The Apostle approves of the special observa­tion of the first day of the week, by adding another solemnity thereunto, 1 Cor. 16. It had been superstition to have observed a set day solemnly, constantly and universally, without some Di­vine Institution in place of, or together with the former Sabbath, if former arguments be sound. It may be lawful to observe some set [...] in way of method, in particular places, as natural mediums of fur­thering Worship, yee how can a day be Instituted with reference to the resurrection of Christ as rememorative or prenuntiative, without will-Worship or [...]? It is lawful to serve God in set times, but it is unlawful to serve God with set times, to make the time it self a part of Instituted Worship, when it is not Instituted by God. Those indeed which in Primitive times denied the Lords Supper, may [Page 88]wel question the Lords day: Yet the Lords day was so universally ob­served in primitive dayes, that a Christian being asked this question, servasti diem dominicum? It was wont to be answered, Christianus sum, non possum intermittere. 5. If the seventh day from the Crea­tion was observed by Gods Law, how could the Apostles change the day, without some positive warrant from God? Some Christians did observe both the Jewish and the Christian Sabbath, but the Apostles speak only for the Lords day. 6. The Sabbath mentioned in Esa. 58. Ezek. 46. Math. 24. doth typically hold forth a Christi­an or a perpetual Sabbath. Those places do in way of type most e­vidently reach to the Christian Church, and that in Ezek. is a pro­phetical description of the Christian Church. Some dayes must an­swer to those, and what in like proportion can be thought of! Would our Saviour speak to his Disciples of a Sabbath, if they would not, or should not be so conscientious of a Sabbath, as to pray with reference to it?Mat. 24. 7. A seventh day is positively Moral, and we are now to have no other seventh day then this. Quomodò Maria mater domini, principatum tenet inter omnet mulieres, ita inter caeterel dies haec omnium mater est: So Austine concerning the Lords day. 8. We have need of a set day, and of a set day by Gods own appoint­ment (sith it must be permanent and universal) and we are now to have no other set day then this. 9. The day of the Resurrection of Christ, is the day of the declaration of the work of Redemption, wherein Christ finished the work of the new Creation, and there­fore deserveth the alteration of the day from the first Creation, and Christ is Lord of the Sabbath, Mark 2. The work of Redemption was more worthy our remembrance then that of Creation. Calvin acknowledgeth that such works as are avocamenta à sacris studiis & meditationibus, are not alowable on the Lords day. It is strange that Brentius should affirm, that we are no more obliged to keep one day in seven, then one in fourteen. The equity of the seventh day (at least) is apparent in the Apostles observation of the first day of the week; yet the institution or injunction of that day may not be natural or expresly contained in the fourth Commandment.

Concerning the beginning and ending of the Sabbath.

THe evening before the Sabbath is a preparative to,Pro. 2. and the even­ing after is an application of the Sabbath; but the beginning of holy time is the morning light. 1. The first day in Genesis 1. began with morning light. 1. God called the light day, and the darkness night, therefore light and darkness together is not the day, but the light as distinguished from the night or darkness. Day in the first words of the Text, is taken for the time of light, therefore it is so taken (one would think) in the next words immediatly following. When it is said that morning and evening, or evening and morning were the first day, it seems not congruous to say that the day and the night were the first day. 2.Gen 24.63 Exo. 19.18. Lev. 11.24. Evening is generally taken for the later part of the day by Moses himself. The Sacrifices of the even­ing were Sacrifices of the same day. The evening which was to be observed in the day of expiation, before the tenth day, is referred to the ninth day, Lev. 23.32. 3. The Hebrew word used by Mo­ses is not naturally appliable to the night, because it signifies a mix­ture of light and darkness in the notation of it. Verba sunt nota re­rum. 4. It seems thus to be understood, from the fourth day, the Sun is made the rule and measure of the day. The space of darkness before that the light was created in unknown, and the time of light is a certain principle of computation. 5. The Jews began their na­tural day with light.Gen. 7.10. Exod. 24. Deut. 9.9. Moses is wont to place the day before the night; and so it is to be observed in the Sabbath Psalms, it calls for praise in the day, and in the night also, Psal. 92. The Sun is made the measure of the day at distinguished from the night, and is also set before the night, Gen. 1.16. A second general Argument is taken from the nature of the Sabbath, as it was significative it had refe­rence to the time of light wherein men use to work, and wherein we shall enjoy God for ever. The time of light in both Hemisphaeres might be comprehended, but Moses speaks according to the vulgar. 3. God ended the sixth days work in the sixth days night, according to that Hemisphaere wherein Adam was created; and consequently the seventh day, or the seventh part of time, which was Sanctified, began with morning light. 4. God Sanctified but the seventh day, and yet if both Hemisphaeres should begin their Sabbath from the evening of both Hemisphaeres, there should be a day and an half [Page 90]Sanctified, because the second evening begins twelve hours after the first. 5. Forasmuch as Moses did understand by day (and that in the same narration) the time of light, it argues that the Sabbath day was observed correspondently. 6. The Resurrection of Christ is the measure of observing the Lords day, as the Jews going out of Aegypt by night was the measure of the Feast of the Passover, and the Lord rose about the break of day, [...] Matth. 28.1.

Object. Evening is set before the morning, Gen. 1.

Ans. This is but in one place, the current of Moses phrase runneth otherwise. 2. Evening is not specified in the seventh day, and there­fore if evening should be the time of night in this one place, the se­venth day might rather be taken (according to the more general ac­ception) for the time of light. 3. In Gen. 1.16. it is certain that the distinct time of light is called day, and if it were so certain that the night were at any time meant by evening (in the same Chapter) then one might be put to the other. It is not unusual for Scripture to speak (ordine retrograde) as Luke doth in the genealogy of Christ. The evening being the last part of the day in the thought, comes first to be spoke of.

Object. You shall keep the Sabbath from evening to evening.

Ans. This is appropriated to the Sabbath of expiation, for it is called Sabbath in the singular number, and only expressed in the In­stitution of expiation, and that of the Passover. It is pressed home in the Institution of the Passover,Lev. 23.3.6. and of the day of expiation, but never intimated when the weekly Sabbath is spoken of. 3. One of the Sabbaths is not intended, and there is no more reason for the in­cluding of the weekly Sabbath in that injunction. The Jews were to recken on the morning of the Sabbath of the Passover, to the morning after seven Sabbaths, fifty days, for the celebration of the feast of first fruits, Lev. 23.15.16. The reason of observing the Pass­over in the evening is expressed, and is proper thereto. The fast doth properly take in the night, because it did best sute a time of affliction, that must precede the morning of victory and consolation, Zech. 14.16. The evening (saith Hesychius) signified tempora ve­spertina, in quibus dominus advenis. The Rabbins record that none were to work on the evening of the ordinary Sabbath, but yet not upon pain of scourging, or any civil punishment, as it was to work on the evening of the Passover. That act of Nehemiah in shutting the gates, was nothing but a just preparation for the Sabbath. It [Page 91]is expressed that the gates were shut before the Sabbath, the even­ing before the Sabbath, not the evening of the Sabbath. 4. There is no service appointed for the evening of the ordinary Sabbath, they were to fast the evening of expiation, and on the Passover evening there were many solemnities of Worship.

Object. The Iews ended in the evening.

Ans. They are indeed said to bring their sick after Sun set to our Saviour. Some Iews did superstitiously observe the Sabbath, and would chuse rather to be overcome by the Romans, then to fight on the Sabbath day: and I suppose that all of them observed the even­ing before the Sabbath gratis or without ground.A Rabbins option. Buxtorf. comnet. Ma­soreth, p. 17. It was the option of a Rabbin that his end might be like theirs, that began the Sabbath with those of Tiberias, & ended it with those of Tsepphoria the reason was, because they of Tiberias began it too soon, and they of Tsepphoris continued it too long. The Iews had their superstitious Sabbatiolum.

Object. Our Saviour did lie three dayes and an hall in the grave.

Ans. The morning that Christ rose in, will make up the due time, as well as the evening that Christ was buried in. That morning began a day (according to our supposition) as that evening according to the contrary opinion. Besides, we must begin the three dayes and half from the beginning of Christs Passion, if we will finde the time justly correspondent. And it may be the three dayes and half shall be most exactly verified in Christs mystical Body, which is the Church, Rev. 11.

The Sabbath or holy time, is the time of light. 1.Pro. 2. Day is pro­perly taken for the time of light in Scripture phrase. Day is day, and night is night. The Iews were wont to divide the time of light into twelve hours, and counted it their day. It is true, a natural day with reference to the whole circuit of the Sun in both Hemis­phaeres, consisteth of twenty four hours: With reference to one Hemisphaere, dies Civilis (as we speak) consisteth of twelve hours, but the Romans so called their day when it took in the night also. In the computation of time we call that a day which takes in the night also, but than we speak with reference to the natural day of the whole world, not to the natural day of one Hemisphaere. 2. The seventh day signified the lightsome day of Heaven, where there is no night. And it was appointed to signifie the time of work­ing, which we call an artificial day. 3. Else a day and a half should be sanctified. Part of the eighth day is observed by the world con­stantly [Page 92]if night and day also be observed. The gaining and lo­sing of time by navigation, is dependent on an extraordinary or unusual motion of a two or three: But the eighth day in part, shall be observed by half the world ordinarily or constantly, and that accord­ing to Gods Institution, if day and night together, must be counted holy. 4. How do we sanctifie time by sleeping? Why may it not be as good to set up an work, as to be a bed and sleep, except it be for preparation? 5. It is sutable to the first Institution by Moset, To morrow (saith Moses) is the Sabbath of rest.Exo. 16.23. The Manna which signified Christ, fell in the morning, because the time of grace is represented by the time of light. The Quailes, which sig­nified fleshly, bodily and external services came in the evening, the time of darknesse. Thus the Jews and Papists have excessively lusted after, and delighted in fleshly services, until their Worship stank both before God and men. The Iews ended their Sabbath in the evening, but what testimony is there to prove that it was their duty, to begin their Sabbath in the evening as part of holy time? Many do now suppose that the Iews began their natural day, or rather their Civil day (if we speak like the Romans) in the evening. They say it was Gods Institution, Lev. 23. but there is no appearance of any Institution for the beginning of ordinary time: and that Insti­tution rather argueth, that ordinarily, the day was not begun in the evening. Some observe that it was only the beginning of their religious dayes. It was anciently concluded that the Iews began their day with the Persians and Chaldeans, in the morning, and it is answerable to the current of Scripture. Many Fathers and Schoolmen do peremptorily hold, that the first day began with the light, and therefore understand by evening the end of light, by morning the end of darknesse, and all do not conceive that day doth there take in the night.

Object. It seems Luk. 23.54, 56. that the Iews in time of our Saviour esteemed the evening preceding to be part of the Sabbath.

Answ. I answer, this was a time of Superstition and Igno­rance, and the Evangelist may say that the Sabbath approached, with reference to the evening preparation, and the morning follow­ing. 2. The Iews erred in counting that day the day of prepara­tion, and yet the Evangelist calleth it the day of preparation, be­cause it was so with the Iews: So he may say the Sabbath approach­ed, meaning the evening, because the evening was reputed a part [Page 93]of the Sabbath by the Iews. It is concluded that that day which the Iews called the day of preparation; was indeed the first day of un­leavened bread, because our Saviour had observed the Passover, the day before this their day of preparation.

Concerning the manner of observing the Sabbath.

BOdily feasting was alwayes a subordinate solemnity of the day.Pro. 1. 1. We have examples. The Iews dressed meat on this day, Neh. 5.18. Our Saviour accepted of an invitation to a wedding Feast (as it seems) on this day, Luk, 14. The Priest had a double portion on this day, two Lambs. The Primitive Christians had their [...] on this day. 2. It is connatural to the nature of the day. It is a remembrance of the wonderful works of Creation, of the wonderful redemption of the world, declared by the resurrection of Christ. It was the day of the day of grace, of which time the Prophet Sang (Psa. 118.24.) that it was the day which the Lord had made. It is the day of the circumcision of the heart, of the effusion of the Spirit. It is a na­tural sign or earnest of our Heavenly rest in glory, as the whole time of grace is. The Sabbath was a natural sign to the Iews of Gods sanctifying them, because it was a medium thereof: So this Sabbath is a natural sign of our Heavenly Sabbath, because it is a medium and earnest thereof. Christ the Prince of Israel meets his people on this day, and makes their hearts glad.Ezek. 46. Rev. 1. Iob. 38. Before Christ came the Sab­bath was Ceremonially significative of the rest to come in grace and glory, not only an earnest thereof: The Ceremony vanisheth, but the spiritual use of the day continueth. It is aptly called by one aptum Simbolum laetitiae.

Object. The Iews are bid to dresse their Manna the day before the Sabbath, Exod. 16.6.

Ans. 1. The Iews were not forbid to dresse other meats on the Sabbath day. 2. As for the Manna, it did signifie Christ, and the Sabbath did signifie the heavenly rest in grace and glory: The dres­sing of the Manna must accordingly signifie our diligence to prepare our selves for the seeding on Christ, in the Sabbath both of grace and glory.

[Page 94]A bodily Feast is not a co-ordinate solemnity of the Sabbath,Pro. 2. as it was of other Feast days. 1. It was not consecrated festivally with sacrifies, as other Sabbaths were. 2. All work is forbid in this Sabbath,Lev. 23.3, and only servile work on other feasts. This day was to be observed more spiritually then the other Feast days. Feasts must never exceed modum naturae, nor modum personae, nor on this day modum cultus. The Sabbath is rather a spiritual Feast then a bodily Feast, yet a Feast, because appointed for the refreshing of the body, as well as of the soul, and therefore not for the aff [...]ting of the body. All the Feasts of the Iews like rivulets, have their confluence into the times of the Gospel, & therefore are spiritually to be enjoyed on the Lords day altogether.Act. 20. This day is to be celebrated with works of Piety, the publique Worship of God, religious disputations, Act. 17. reading of the Scriptures, Col. 4. Meditations on Gods Law, works of Creation and Redemption, Psal. 92. and with works that may declare Gods name directly, and to this end the in­firm man might carry his bed, Joh. 5.2. Works of mercy are sutable to this days work of present necessity, and immediate mercy. Our Saviours healing of the sick on the Sabbath, teacheth us to spare no labor in healing both the souls and bodies of men. We may pre­serve our goods against storms, fires, inundations, Enemies that shall assault us on the Sabbath. The Lord God preserveth all his works that he hath made on the Sabbath, from the beginning unto this time. Lastly, moderate attendence on the dressing of meats, which may further our joyful service of God in spirit and in truth. Eliah fasted on the Sabbath, and so did our Saviour, both attended upon a greater service. All dead works are our own works, all sin is servile work, these are absolutely forbid on the Sabbath, Spi­ritualiter observat Sabbathum Christianus, Augustine. Pro. 3. abstinens so ab opere servili, id est, à peccato.

We are to make preparation for the due celebration of the Lords day. 1. Get sutable hearts, such as may delight in spiritual things. 2.2. Chron. 30.19. 2 Chron. 30.18. Exod. 23.15. Lev. 23.3. Keep our selves clean. 3. Prepare an offering, we must not appear empty. 4. Rid our hearts and hands of Earthly things: The Lords work is to be done on the Lords day. We are to prepare our selves to feast on the Passover by dressing of the Lamb, for the Feast of first fruits, by considering the goodnesse of God from the time of our con­version to Thanksgiving, for the feast of Tabernacles, by perfecting mortification, as on the day of expiation. The Feast of the Pass­over [Page 95]was to signifie the Feast of conversion of Infant Christians, the Feast of first fruits, the Feast of confirmation of growing Christians, the Feast of Tabernacles,Eph. 4. the Feast of perfection of Christians that are come to a full stature. And the proceedings of the whole Protestant Church especially, may hereby be described. The Sabbath is neither appointed for sleep, nor work, nor play,The Pass­over in the first Moneth signified initium no­vae vitae: the sheaf, primitias bonorum o­perum, 2 Cor. 5.1. Zech. 14.14.29. but for the Worship of God. We are bid to remember this day, six days are permitted for fervile work in the literal sense. 3. It is called the Sabbath of the Lord, and the Lords day. 4. The Lord is our president in observing this day, he rested himself. 5. It is a day of refreshing, it upholds all the Ordinances of our edification, a day that is blessed of the Lord. All these particulars require us to ob­serve this day as unto the Lord, that we might habituate our selves to godlines. We should shew our love to the Lord in shewing for whom we work on this day, and shew that we make God our delight, by making this day our delight. Those that eat the Passover must make it their great businesse, in purpose and resolution to prepare themselves for the enjoying of Christ; those that feast it before the Lord in the Feast of first fruits, must make it their great businesse to bring forth fruits unto God; those that enjoy the Feast of Taberna­cles, must make it their great businesse to mortifie the flesh, to per­fect their humiliation. If all leaven be purged out, the bitter hearbs of affliction shall but acuate the appetites, and cause us to relish the Lamb that is killed for us the better. The leaven of sin made Da­vids heart feel the leaven of grief, Psal. 73.21. It is in the original, My heart was leavened with grief. The cakes of the shew-bread were renewed every Lords day; if we renew our selves in preparati­ons, God wil not be wanting to renew us by confirmations of his grace towards us. New cakes are vigorous and pleasant, so are such as do dresse themselves anew, to appear before the Lord on his high days. He that works the six days for God, shall rest the seventh day in God. Hanc festivitatem nemo celebrare, qui non operatus est bona spera & Deo dignae, potest: Hesychius.


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