A VINDICATION of foure Serious QVESTIONS Of Grand Importance, Concerning Excommunication, and Suspention From the SACRAMENT of the LORDS SUPPER, from some Misprisions and unjust Exceptions lately taken against them; both in the Pulpit, by a Reverend Brother of Scotland, in a Sermon at Margarets Church in Westminster, before the Honourable House of Commons, at a publike Fast there held for Scotland, on the 5th of September last: and in the Presse, by three New-printed Pamphlets, by way of Answer to, and Censure of Them. Wherein some Scripture Texts, (commonly produced for Excommunication, and bare Suspention from the Lords Supper onely,) are cleared from false Glosses, Inferences, Conclusions wrested from them; The grounds of sole Suspention from the Sacrament, of unmixt Communions, Independency, Seperation from our Churches, Sacra­ments, examined, refuted, subverted; Judas his reception of the Lords Supper, cleared; It manifested, to be a converting, as well as a confirming Ordinance; a means to beget, as well as increase Grace: With other particulars tending to the Advance­ment of Verity, Ʋnity, and the better, speedier Settle­ment of a Church-Discipline, according to Gods Word, so much desired. By WILLIAM PRYNNE of Lincolns Inne, Esquire.

1 Thess. 5. 21, 22.
Prove all things: hold fast that which is good: Abstaine from all appearance of evill.
Augustin. Epist. Concilii ad Donatistas: & Gratian Caus. 1. Qu. 1.
Communio malorum non maculat quemquam participatione Sacramento­rum, sed consentione factorum.

LONDON, Printed by John Macock, for Michael Spark senior. 1645.

TO The truely Honourable and Victorious Sir THOMAS FA [...]RFAX Knight, Generall of all the Forces raised, by the PARLIAMENT, against the Popish and Malignant Party.

Most meritoriously Honourable,

THE many late Glorious Trophies and Vn­paralel'd Successes, wherewith the Lord of Hosts hath been graciously pleased to Crowne Your cordiall Military Vnder­takings, to the Admiration of all Your Friends, the Astonishment, Confusion of all the publike Malignant Enemies of Our Churches, Kingdomes Tranquility; as they have engaged the Parlia­ment, (with all parts of the Realme under their Command) to return publike Solemn Prayses unto God, for sundry Suc­cessive Victories, over puissant Armies in the Field, and Conquests of divers Strong-holds, atcheived by Your indefa­tigable Industry, Incomparable valour, through Gods blessing on them: so it hath specially obliged Me, as to render par­ticular Thankesgiving unto God, so to tender some small apparent Monument of my Obligations and Gratitude to Your selfe, whom God hath highly honoured to all posteri­ty, in making You an happy Instrument of redeeming my Native Country (Sommersetshire) with the adjacent Coun­ties, out of the devouring Jawes of the oppressing Enemy, and of reviving, recovering our lost dying Kingdome even at its lowest Ebbe, in a time of greatest need, with so great [Page] Celerity, so little effusion of English Blood on either side; Which I knew not, for the present, how more visibly to ex­presse, then by presenting Your Honour with this briefe P [...] ­lemicall Ʋindication, in defect of a Richer Present.

It was my great undemerited Happinesse, and your Gene­rous Humility (at Your first arivall in London from the North, to undertake the Chiefe Command of the Parliaments Forces) to stoop so far below Your selfe, as to honour Me with Your voluntary sweet Acquaintance and Discourse; which emboldens me to crave this further Favour, to dig­nifie this rude Ʋindication, with your Noble Acceptation, of so Small unpolished a Piece; whose Subject matter (Church Discipline) is of so Great concernment, that the Settlement thereof according to Gods Word, and the Purest times▪ is one principle end of Your and Our taking up Defensive Armes.

I shall not be so injurious to the State or You, to inter­rupt Your weighty Military Affaires, or retard Your Ad­mirable Expeditions with my unseasonable Lines. I shall rather become a dayly Orator to the Lord of Hosts, so far to multiply the weekely Catalogues of Your sucessefull Conquests, that You may ere long return to the Great Coun­sell and Metropolis of our Realme in a Triumphant Chariot, with this Honourable victorious Motto, engraven in golden Characters on Your Helmet; This is the Generall whom the Lord hath honoured to be, next under him, The speedy Fini­sher of our long protracted Civil Wars; And happy Restorer of our Long-desired Peace: Which is and shall be the Prayer of

Your Honours most Devoted Friend and Servant WILLIAM PRYNNE.

To the unprejudiced Reader.

Christian Reader:

HAving privately communicated Foure short Questions concerning Excommunication and Suspension from the Sacrament of th [...] Lords Supper, to some of my Parlia­ment friends, out of a meer cordiall desire to expedite the setling of an Ecclesiasticall discipline in our Church, according to Gods word; so much desired, and now in agitation in the Commons house: I have for this good service (these Questions since growing publike) been openly censured, traduced both in Presse and Pulpit, and these my Queries have been seemingly refuted, by some well▪meaning persons, whose Affections are stronger then their Arg [...]me [...]ts, and misguided Zeale more predominant then their Know­ledge, in the points debated by them, wherein they betray their own Ig­norance and Error, whiles they would censure mine.

The first Answer to these Questions, intituled, An Antidote against four dangerous Queries; is such a combination of Ignorance, Errours, Misprisions, and impertinent Invectives, as merits rather derision then refutation, and hath been already sufficiently triumphed over in the Antidote animadverted; so as it needs another Antidote to preserve it from sodain expiration. The second Answer to them, stiled A Brotherly and friendly Censure; as it Courts my person in the Title and Epistle with friendly complements, so it wounds and traduces my honest in­tentions, but in no sort answers my Questions; the Censure it self, be­ing the same in substance with the Antidote, and as full of grosse Er­rours, Mistakes, and injudicious weak replies, as it. The third Answer, as it is more large, so more judicious then the other two, and thwarts them both in some particulars, as in that of Judas his receiving the Lords supper; and, that Ministers, as such, have no authority to keep back any from the Sacrament, but have discharged their duties by their premo­nitions of the danger of unworthy receiving.

I have not here answered each of them distinctly▪ but only taken the quintessence and substance of them all into examination, debating only the most materiall differences between us, and bringing their false met­tals to the test of Scripture and sound Reason; omitting all their im­pertinencies, and things of lesser moment, as not deserving any reply. My subitane Lucubrations in Vindication of these Questions from all [Page] their misprisions and erronious censures, I here humbly submit to the Parliaments publike, and thy private impartiall scr [...]tinie; in perusing whereof, I shall only request thee to pursue the Apostles Canon, 1 Thes. 5. 21. To examine all things by the Word, and to hold fast that which is good and true.

For my part 2 Cor. 13. 8. I can do nothing against, but for the Truth: and though some report Gal. 4. 16. I am their enemy (yea an enemy to publike Reformati­on) because I tell them the truth, in these controversal points of Church-discipline, in which they have little insight; yet neither their calum­nies on the one hand, nor flatteries on the other, shall ever sway me one hairs-breadth from the Truth, either to the right hand, or the left. And although I certainly know, the speaking out of the whole truth in this present Controversie will render me odious and distastefull to many of my dear Christian friends and Brethren in the Lord, and draw sharp censures on me: yet because Iohn 1 [...]. 37 I was for this cause born & brought into the world, that I might beare witnesse to the truth; I neither waigh their favours, nor regard their frownes, being resolved whiles I breath on earth, neither for feare, favour, partiality, nor any private interest or relation whatsoever, to do any thing against the Truth, but only for it, whatsoever the issue or event thereof shall prove; be it, Veritas odium parit; or Vncharitable constructions, or wresting of my Writings point­blank to their sincere intentions, whereof I have had experience in this Controversie, especially in two particulars, which I cannot pre­termit in silence without some reply thereto.

First my Antagonists publikely charge me, That I speak untoward­ly, to the great offence of godly people, against all Christs Ministers and Ecclesiastical Rulers, in this conditionall clause, [If it fall into indiscreet, over-severe, ambitious, passionate, or revengefull hands] In which I suppose, that ordinarily the hands of Ministers & Elders of Christs Church are such, and therfore they ought not to be trusted with such power of Suspen­sion and Excommunication; or else that I suppose, some of them may act with such hands, and therefore that all of that calling are to be abridged of that power.

To which I answer, that no such uncharitable incoherent inference can any way follow from this Clause; the whole scope of my Que­stions diametrally contradicting it, which tend only to an orderly regular settlement of Presbyteriall power in the originall institution of our new Presbyteries, not to take from them all Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction due by divine right to them, but to confine it within certain definite limits, to prevent all exorbitant abuses of it, into [Page] whose hands soever it should sall. There is no man so unskilfull in Politicks, but will acknowledge, it is the duty and ought to be the spe­ciall care of Lawgivers, in the creation of new Iurisdictions, and pro­mulgation of new Lawes, to look, not only to present, but future In­conveniences which may possibly spring up in after-ages; and to con­sider, not what some, or most men are which shall execute such Lawes or Iurisdictions at present, but what any of them may possibly prove to be in after-times, and thereupon to prescribe set bounds to all alike, and leave nothing meerly arbitrary to any, how good or just soever, to prevent all possible, all probable abuses by any intrusted with such Lawes and Iurisdictions. And there are none so ignorant of the pre­sent condition of our English Church & Ministery, but must acknow­ledge, 1. That many of our godly Ministers and people are very passi­onate, indiscreet, and over-rigorous; having more zeale, then know­ledge, or discretion how to manage such a power. 2. That the best and justest men we can select to constitute Presbyteries of, if left at large, to an arbitrary kind of proceeding, and not bounded by strict or punctuall Lawes and Penalties, will be very apt now and then (through naturall infirmities, and the remainder of corruptions in them) to abuse or exceed their power, and run into extravagancies to the oppression of the people, of which we have divers experiments in many Counties, if the complaints against their Committees may be credited, as many of them are too true. 3. That though there be suf­ficient choice of prudent, discreet, learned, conscientions, upright Mi­nisters and Christians in and about London, fit to be united into Pres­byteries, Classes, and trusted with Ecclesiasticall censures; yet in most places else throughout our three Kingdomes (except here and there a City or country Town) there are very few, if any such Ministers or Lay-Elders to be found for the present, and none can certainly de­termine when or where to provide or cull out such for the future. 4. That, let the Parliament make the best present choice they can of Ministers and Lay-Elders to execute Ecclesiasticall discipline, yet there may and will be a Judas among the twelve Apostles, at least one or more indiscreet, passionate, ambitious, or spleenatick persons, who upon occasion offered wilbe apt to abuse or exceed their power, to the prejudice of others. 5. That into whose hands soever this power shall Eccles. 2. 18, 19 c. 6. 12. c. 10. 14.be put for the present, yet there is not only a meer possibility, but pro­bability too, (especially if the Episcopall or Malignant party should at any time prevaile) that it may hereafter fall into unjust, tyrannicall, oppressing hands, out of which it will hardly be wrested again. 6. That [Page] since we intend to settle the self-same Ecclesiasticall Government and Discipline in all three Kingdomes, at leastwise throughout our Eng­lish territories; there ought to be the self-same rules, bounds, and li­mits prescribed unto all Presbyteries and Classes, to regulate their proceedings by, and prevent exorbitances in every of them; and none of them left more arbitrary then others, lest their proceedings should vary from others. These undeniable principles were the grounds of my Supposition so much excepted against, If it fall into indiscreet, over-severe, passionate, or revengefull hands: Yea, the true reason why the Parliament takes so much deliberation and advice in setling of the intended Presbyteriall Church-Government and Discipline, in which more difficulties arise then ordinary capacities are able to apprehend. Wherefore for any to inferre from thence, as my Antagonists do, That the hands of all the Elders and Ministers of Christs Church, are such, and therefore ought not to be trusted with the power of Church-censures; or that all of them are to be abridged of this power, because some of them are such; is such a malicious and uncharitable perverting both of my words and meaning, as nought but prejudice or malice it selfe could invent.

The second Charge is of the same strain; That th [...]se Queries charg [...] the Reverend Assembly very unjustly, with falling into extremes; with affecting a greater Lording power over the consciences and priviledges of their Christian brethren, then of right belongs unto them. That they, and our new Presbyters will proceed as in the Papacy and Prelacy; with indis­creet, over-severe, passionate, revengefull hands, &c. Whereas they desire nothing but a strict discipline according to the rules of Christ, &c. And that they cast many such unjust aspersions upon the Assembly.

Certainly there is not one syllable in these 4 Questions from whence any such malignant accusation can be strained: and my former Wri­tings to vindicate the Reverend Assembly (whom I love and honour with my soule) from the libellous, venomous, intolerable aspersi­ons cast upon them, in many late seditious schismaticall printed Li­bels, (published by Anabaptists and other Sectaries, to defame them, and vilifie all their proceedings;) with the grounds in the preceding Answer (which occasioned all the Passages unjustly wrested by these uncharitable Answerers, to warrant this false charge) will (I hope) sufficiently purge me from these scandalous accusations, and all mis­interpretations of my Queries, or this Vindication of them; the scope of both being only this, to reduce the Power of Ministers and Presby­teries, in the originall erection of their Ecclesiasticall Iurisdiction, (now in agitation in the Parliament,) to as great a conformity to the [Page] Word of God, and as punctuall certainty in all particulars as possible may be; and to settle it with such necessary Cautions & Limitations as may prevent all abuses of it, into whose hands soever it shall be com­mitted either for the present, or in future ages: since a smal error, or ad­mission of a meer arbitrary power in som things in the beginning of this New Government, may soon degenerate into a grand inconvenience and grievance in conclusion, which is easier prevented then redressed.

Thus having fully cleared the sincerity of my own intentions, against these scandalous inferences, I have onely this to adde in the Parlia­ments behalfe; That the settlement of Church-discipline being a matter of great difficulty and concernment, wherein many new doubts and scruples daily arise, requiring much debate, they cannot be justly blamed (in the middest of their other pressing publike occasions to preserve our Kingdomes, themselves and us from eminent ruine) for proceeding deliberately in this weighty work, which hath taken upthe Assembly themselves so many moneths debate, and wherein there are such differences of Opinions. Many there are, who deny any Excom­munication at all to be of divine institution, producing sundry strong arguments to justifie their opinions, and answering all objections to the contrary: In maintenance of which opinion, Tho. Erastus (a lear­ned Physitian) long since wrote a large Volume in Latine, intituled, Explicatio gravissimae quaestionis de Excommunicatione printed An. 1589. who is seconded by many learned men. Others, who admit Excommunication to be introduced, and exercised in the Apostles times, and somwhat after; yet hold it to be but a temporary Ordi­nance, taken up by Christians out of meer necessity, for want of Chri­stian Magistrates to restrain and punish scandalous sinners; and al­together uselesse, or seldome or never to be put in execution in such places, Churches, where Christian Magistrates are setled, whose office and duty it is, to punish all obstinate, impenitent, scandalous sinners, with the temporall sword of justice, and to cut off all evil doers from the City of God, Psal. 101. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Rom. 13. 3, 4, 5. without whose assistance Church censures will become altogether uselesse, invalid, & contempti­ble: whence the Church hath always been inforced to pray in aid from the Secular arme, and Civil Magistrate, by Writs De Excommunicato capiendo, and the like, to force obedience and submission to her cen­sures, which else would prove meer Bruta fulmina. Others, who admit of Excommunication, deny suspension from the Sacrament of the Lords supper, as no divine step or degree to it, nor to be inflicted upon any but persons actually excommunicated from all other Ordinances. [Page] Others who plead most for Excommunication and suspention from the Lords Supper, are yet divided into these circumstances which concern them. 1. Who shall inflict those censures? Whether the Ministers only? Or the Presbytery and Classis only? Or the whole Congregation? 2. For what sins and Offences? which is now the grand doubt and debate: Whether for Incest, and Heresie one­ly, for which they pretend examples of Excommunication in Scripture; or for any other sins, for which we finde no pattern of any Excommunication or Sus­pension in the Word? 3. In what manner, and by what steps and degrees the Presbytery or Classis ought to proceed in inflicting these censures? What reme­dy shall be given by way of Appeal, to the parties grieved? And, to whom they shall appeal? 4. How, and by whom such who contemn those censures shall be proceeded against? How long those censures shall continue, and how and when reversed? 5. Whether excommunicated persons ought to be admitted to hear the Word, or to any other Ordinance? and in what sort; with what publike badges of infamy and distinction, the more to shame themselves, and deter o­thers? All these, with sundry other difficult controversies arising in the settle­ment of Church-discipline (in which the very Assembly-men are divided in opinion, as well as the Members of Parliament) it must needs require much de­bate and deliberation to settle Church-discipline in a due and solid manner.

It is a received Maxime, approved by prudent men, and God himself; Diu deliberandum quod semel statuendum; We must deliberate long of that which is to be setled but once. We know that the materiall Temple of Solomon was neere 1 Kings 9. 10. 2 Chron. 8. 1. 1 Chron. 29. 2 Chron. 2. & 3. twenty yeares in building▪ though David, Solomon, with all the Prin­ces and people most cheerfully contributed their best assistance toward it; and yet it was after As appears by Ezra 4. 24. far [...]onger in re-edifying: And can we then imagine the Spiritual Temple and Church-Goverment should be compleatly finished and built up by the Parliament in a moneth or two? How many yeares, I pray you, have our In­dependent Brethren been in hammering and compleating their New Church-Model, long since promised, and yet are not agreed on it, or else afraid, to pub­lish it, lest all should discern its manifold flawes? Ignorant men, altogether un­acquainted with the numerous difficultes, intricate disputes which accompany this Subject, may deem it an easie busines, soon dispatched: but persons of bet­ter judgements, acquainted with the severall controversies in point of Divinity and civil Policie, which arise about Church-Discipline, will find it an Herculean labour, and a work of time to establish it so, as to answer expectation, satisfie all objections, and stop the mouths of all opposers, which must first be done, or else it will not be imbraced with such alacrity as is fit. Wherefore be perswaded to wait a while longer on the Parliament for the accomplishment of our longing desires in the setling of Church Discipline, and pray earnestly to God to steere their hearts and judgements aright in this work of highest concernment to us; for fear they should now settle any thing in haste, which they and we may here­after repent of by leisure. With which friendly advice I shall dismisse thee to the perusall of this Vindication, which I humbly tender to thy Christian acceptation.


A short Vindication of foure serious Questions of grand importance concerning EXCOMMUNICA­TION and Suspension from the Sacrament, from some Misprisions and Exceptions taken against them, both in the Presse and Pulpit.

THERE is nothing so sincerely intended, so well perfor­med, but is lyable to some mis-interpretations or excepti­ons in this criticall age, by men of contrary opinions. This hath been the hard fate of these four Questions.

First, the Author of them hath been publikely taxed in print, as an enemy to Reformation, and oft stiled In An Anti­dote against foure dange­rous Questi­ons. A brotherly, friendly Cen­sure, &c. THE ADVERSARY (of it,) when as God who Acts 1. 24. knowes his heart, and those men who are acquainted with his person and intentions, will acquit him from this calumny, and know him to be as great, as cordiall an Advancer of Reformation, as any of his Accusers.

Secondly, these foure Questions have been conceived and reported to be, a grand obstruction to the work of Reformation and settlement of Church-Discipline, yea purposely published to obstruct it: When as intentionally and really they doe (by moderating irreconcilable extreames) tend onely to facilitate and expe­dite this much desired work; which he cordially desired might be speedily ac­complished, to prevent the dangerous encrease of Errours and Scismes, which multiply daily in our Church.

Thirdly, they are apprehended to strike at the very root of Excommuni­cation, and absolutely to deny it, in case of grosse and scandalous sinnes; when as it onely tends to remove those sandy foundations whereon some would build it, to prevent and regulate all probable abuses of it in its origi­nall establishment, and confine it to its due bounds, to prevent, as farre as possible might be, al just scandall and prophanation of holy things in the people, and Arbitrary Government, Tyranny, Oppression, and Lording it over Gods Ordinan­ces, Heritage and mens consciences, in the Ministers and Presbitery, as the expresse words thereof demonstrate.

Fourthly, it is conceived, that their principall end was, to deprive Presbyte­ri [...]s [Page 2] of their due jurisdiction, conferred on them by divine right, when as there is not one sillable in them to that purpose, but onely to regulate their power by Gods Word, & to controle the Arbitrary, Tyrannicall usurpations of some Ind [...]pendent Ministers, who take upon them an exorbitant jurisdiction, not onely to exclude whom themselves please from the Sacrament, without any legall admonition or conviction of ignorance or scandall, but likewise re­fuse publikely to administer the Lords Supper to their Congregations or Pa­rishoners for sundry moneths, nay yeers together, (yea, to those, against whom they have no just exceptions, and who tender themselves to their Exa­mination, desiring to be excluded, if found ignorant or unworthy) for feare of delivering it to some, whom they (before conviction) deeme scanda­lous or unworthy, as they pretend; or rather, in good truth, only because they will not joine with them in their new Independent ways and Covenants.

Fifthly, it hath been suggested, that it layes a tax [...]pon our Ministers and in­tended Presbyteries, as if they desired▪ Papall & Tyrannicall authoriy over mens consciences; when as it tends onely to prevent such Papall, Episcopall abuses of Excommunications and Su [...]pensions, which may possibly creep in­to them by degrees, if not carefully provided against in the originall settle­ment of their authority, by strict and punctuall Lawes; there being no autho­rity so good, so necessary in Church or State, but by reason of their corrup­tions [...] See the Hi­stories of the Anabaptists Lucas Osian­der. Bnchirid. Cont. cum. Anabaptist is de Ec­clesia, cap. 6. The pro­phane Scisme of the Brow­nists, discove­red by Christo­pher Lawne and others. printed 1612.who manage it, may be abused to tyranny and oppression: (especial­ly, if not bounded) And we find by Histo [...]y and experience, that these Church censures have bin as grosly abused, as tyrannically managed by rigid Anabap­tists and Seperatists, as Popes & Prelats, & po [...]sibly may be so by Presbyteries.

These prejudices and mis-apprehensions being removed, I shall next pro­ceed to the exceptions against the substance or subject matter of them, where­in to avoyd mistakes, be pleased to observe:

First, that it is confessed, yea agreed by the Opposites, that Excommuni­cation or suspension from the Sacrament, is a matter of grand concernment, fit now to be established with as much deliberarion, caution, circumspection and care as possible may be, to prevent prophanation, scandall on the one hand, and Arbitrary, Papall, Tyrannicall domineering over mens conscien­ces, christian liberties, & all abuses of this power, on the other hand; and that it is a matter of very great difficulty thus to settle it; & it is as readily yeelded on the other side, that grosse notorious, scandalous, obstinate sinners, who pre­sumptuously persevere in their iniquities after private and publike admoniti­ons, without remorse of conscience or amendment, may be justly excommuni­cated from the Church, the society of the faithfull, and all publike Ordi­nances, after due proofe, and legall conviction of their scandalous lives; and that 1 Cor. 5. 13. warrants thus much, notwithstanding the various readings and interpretations of that Text: So that thus farre there is no dissent on either part.

Secondly, it is accorded on both sides, (in words at least, though not in practice) that no Minister may [...] can in point of power or conscience, refuse to admini [...]er the Sacrament to any member of his Church, not actually ex­communicated [Page 3] after sundry admonitions and publike reprehensions for some grosse scandalous crime, who earnestly desires to receive it, in case he publikely professeth his sincere repentance for his sinnes past, and promise amendment of life for time to come, though the [...]inister or Presbytery in their owne private opinions, may have a hard prejudicate opinion of his un­fitnesse, or unworthinesse to receive it.

These Agreements on both sides premised, which will in a manner deter­mine the greatest controversie, and rectifie the mistakes between us; I proceed to the matters in difference; which are these:

First, whether there he any precept or president in Scripture, for the sus­pending of any Member of a particular Church or Congregation, from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper only, who is not at the same time excommu­nicated and utterly sequestred from the Church, the society of the faithfull, and all other publike Ordinances there used, as Prayer, Preaching, Fasting, Catechizing, singing of Psalmes, and the like? And whether the Num. 21. 14 15. Deut. 23. 1 2, 3. 1 Cor. 5. 7 to 13. Joh. 9. 22 32, 3. 3. ch: 12. 42. c. 16. 2. 2 Thes. 3. 14. 2 John 10. 11. 3 John 10. Rom. 16. 17. Tit. 3. [...]0, 11: 2 Tim. 3 5. Texts of the old or new Testament, quoted in the first Question, and in the Margin here, warrant any such partiall excommunication or suspension from the Lords Table, but not from preaching the Word, and other publike Ordinan­ces? This I positively deny, from the pregnancy and words of these Texts of Scripture, backed by the judgement and practice of Antiquity in the purest times, as I shall prove at large anon: Neither hath the Author of the Antidote against four dangerous Questions▪ nor the Reverend Preacher in his Sermon at St. Margarets before the Commons House (who undertook to refute them) produ­ced one dram of Scripture or solid reason to refute it, the latter not so much as taking notice of this Question (the onely thing there controverted) but utterly mistaking it, whiles he charged the Questionist with mistakes.

Secondly, whether Matth. 18. 16, 17. If thy brother trespasse against thee, &c. tell it to the Church, &c. be properly meant of excommunication of sus­pension from the Sacrament? The Opposites affirme; I deny it.

The only reason they have rendred in Presse or Pulpit, why this text should and must be intended of a sentence of excommunication given by the Church, is, because the text saith, let him be to thee as an heathen man and a publican▪ that is, as one quite cast out of the Church, which must be only by excomunicati­on, whereby men are cast out of it; no private christian (as they affirme) having any authority to esteem his brother, as a heathen and publican, if the Church hath not first cast him out; for then he may esteem one man of the Congrega­tion thus, and after that another, and so all the Membets of it, and at last, the whole Church by degrees, by his owne authority; which to doe, say they, is a great absurdity, sinne and inconvenience: But this reason (under correction) is very infirme, inconcludent, if not false and absurd: For first, Heathens were no excommunicate persons, being never Members of the Jewish or Christian Church, and therefore uncapable of any excomunication out of it: Excomu­nication being peculiar only to Church-members, as St. Paul expresly deter­mines, 1 Cor. 5▪ 10, 11, 12. and Aretius in his definition of Excomunication, ci­ted in the first Question: And as for Publicans, if they were not heathens but [Page 4] Jews (as [...] Ep [...]st at [...] Godw [...]ns few­ish Antiquities l. 1. c. 3. some of them were) we never find them excommunicated from any of Gods Ordinan [...]es, as they were Publicans, but partakers of them; To make then an excommunicate person, and an Heathen, a Publican, Synonimaes, is at best an incongruity, if not a contradictiō. Secōdly, the genuine sense of this ex­pression (not elswhere used in Scripture, and See Go [...]w [...]ns [...]ewish Anti­quities▪ [...] [...]. [...]. [...]. no forme at all of any excomuni [...]a­tion practised by the Jewes) Let him be to thee a Heathen and a Publican, in the judgment of the best Interpreters, is no more but this; keepe not any familiar company, or have no civill fellowship with him, but avoyd his company and fellow­ship, as Paul expresly interprets it elswhere, 1 Cor. 5. 10, 11, 12. 2 Thes. 3. 14. Eph. 5. 11. Rom. 16. 17. or receive him not into thy house, neither bid him God speed, as St. John renders it, 2 John 10. Which phrase was derived from the practice of the Jewes and Pharises in that age, who shunned the very company of heathens and publicans; not in publike Ordinances or Sacraments (in which heathens certainly had no communion or society with them, being no Members of their Church) but only in civill conversation; whereupon they taxed Christ, for keeping compauy with publicans and sinners, Mat. 9. 10, 11. ch. 11. 19. ch. 21. 31. 32. Mark 2. 15, 16. Luke 18. 11, 12, 13. ch. 15. 1, 2. though some of them beleevee on, and received him, when the Scribes and Pharises (who disdained their com­pany) did reject him, Luke 7. 29. ch. 15. 2, 2, 3. ch. 19. 2. to 12. Mat. 21. 31, 32. And as the Jewes then avoyded all civill familiar society with Publicans Godwins Jew [...]sh Anti­quities, l. 1. c. 2 whom they generally hated for their covetousnesse and extortion) so also with Heathens, with whom they might not inter marry nor familiarly converse, Deut. 7. 2, 4. Josh. 24. 12, 13, Neh. 13. 27. to 31. Ezr. ch. 9. & 10. Ps. 116. 34, 35. Act. 21. 28, 29. Whence we read, The Jewes had no dealing or conversation with the Samaritans, John 4▪ 9 nor they with the Jewes, Luke 9. 52, 53. If then, let him be to thee as a heathen and a publican, be no more then, keep not civill company, fellowship, or familiar con­versation with him, who obstinately trespasseth against thee, after private admonition and publike complaint; or avoid intimate familiarity with him; then every chri­stian hath free power by Gods word to do this, without any danger of sin or scan­dall, before any private or publike censure of excommuncation passed against him by the Church, as is cleer by 1 Cor. 5. 9. 11. 2 Thes. 3. 14. Rom. 16. 17. Pro. 22. 24, 25. Ps. 101. 4, 5, 7. 2 Tim. 3. 2, 3, 4, 5. 2 John 10. 11. Therefore by the self-same reason may he avoid the company of any other brother, or the Members of an whole particular Congregation severally, without sin or guilt, if he or they continue impenitent, in the case of private injuries or trespasses against him after admonition; Wherefore this Answer of theirs is both erronious and impertinent.

Now that this Text of Matthew (so mvch insisted on) is not meant of ex­communication or Church-censures; and that the [...] Signifies any Civill Assem­bly, Councell or Court of Ju­stice, as wel as on Ecclesiasti­call Presbyte­ry, see Scapulae Lexicon, page 730. h Scapula ibi­dem, Godwins Jewish Anti­quities, l. 5. c. 4 Ioseph. Antiq. Jud [...]eo [...]um, l. 14, c▪ 17. Church in this text was not any ecclesiastical Consistory, but only the P. Galatinus, l. 4 c. 5. Doctor Potters want of Charity iustly charged, London, 1634. p. 26. It may be underst [...] of any Assemb [...]y, AS WELL CIVILL as Eccelsiastical, so it was in th [...] first Edition, but it is expunged in [...] by the Arch bishops speciall direction. Sa [...]hedrim, or Court of civil ju­stice among the Jews (commonly called the Councel in other Texts) is apparent to me for these ensuing reasons, never yet answerd by the Opposites. First, because it speaks not at all of any publike scandalous sin against the Church or Congregation, the proper Object of Church-censurs, but onely of pr [...] ­vate [Page 5] civill trespasses betweene man and man, as is evident by the words, If thy brother trespasse against THEE, goe and tell him his fault between him and thee, &c. which Saint Luke relating without any Die Ecclesi [...], Luke 17. 3, 4. puts out of question, if compared with Gen. 52. 31. 1 Sam. 25. 28. Now the puni [...]h­ment of such trespasses belonged properly to their temporall Magistrates, not to their Ecclesiasticall Consistory, as the 1 Sam. 2. 29. Deut. 10. 16, 18, 19, 20. ch. 25. 1, 2. 2 Chron. 19. 9. 6. Exod. 21. 6. 22. chap. 22. 8, 9. prove: Secondly, because the following words, ver. 16. If he refuse to heare thee, take with the [...] one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be esta­blished; relate onely to the manner of trying civill capitall crimes, (as mur­thers and the like) before the civill Magistrates of the Jewes, which was by two or three witnesses, Num. 25. 30. Deut. 17. 6, 7. chap. 19. 5, 6. not to any proceedings in Ecclesiastical causes, in their Ecclesiastical Cōsistories, of which we find no president. Thirdly, because tell it to the Church, the Assembly, or Congregation, in the 17. verse, is not meant of any Presbyteritall or Eccle­siasticall Classis, which had Cognizance of private trespasses, there be­ing no such among the Jewes, but only of the See Pecrus Cunaeus de Re­pub. Judeorum l. 1. c. 12. Juni. Brutus Vindi­ciae contr. Ty­oannos, Q. 3. p 94. to 97.civill Court of Justice, which the Scripture commonly cals the Councell, which had power (which no meer Ecclesiasticall Consistory can doe) to scourge, imprison▪ torture and outlaw offen­ders, if not to condemn [...], put to death, but not properly to excommunicate them, Matth. 5. 22. chap. 10. 17. c. 5. 26, 27, 59. 60. chap. 27. 1, 2. Marke 13. 9. Acts 4. 3. to 22. chap. 5. 17. to 40. chap. 6. 12, 13, 14, 15. chap. 25. 15. to 29. chap. 24. 20. Fourthly, because he addes, If he will not heare the Church, What then? not, let the Church excommunicate or suspend him from the Sacrament, or put him out of the Sinagogue, or cast him out from them, or deliver him to Satan, or denounce an Anathema Maranatha against him, or cut him off from his people (the onely phrases in other Texts allea­ged for proof of Excommunication) but, l [...]t him be as an Heathen man and a P [...]blican (a phrase never used elswhere in Scripture;) which cannot proper­ly signifie excommunication, because Heathen men being never Members of the Church, could never be excommunicated or cast out of it, being un- capable of such a censure: As for Publicans those of them who were members of the Jewes Church, though they were execrable to the Jewes, by reason of the [...]r Tax-gathering and Oppressions, yet we never read in Scripture that they w [...]re excommunicated or cast out of their Sinagogues, but contrarily, that they went up into the Temple to pray as well as the Pharises, and were more ac­ceptable to Christ himselfe (who never excommunicated, but received and conversed with them) then the proud Pharises were, Luke 18. 11. to 15. ch. 3. 12. chap. 7. 29. chap. 5. 27. 28, 29. chap. 15. 1, 2. chap. 19. 2, &c. Mark 9. 11, 12. Matth. 10. 3. Marke 2. 15, 16. Therefore these expressions can no wayes warrant or imply any excommnnication or suspension from the Sacrament. Fifthly, the words runne onely, let him be TO THEE as a heathe [...] man and a Publican (not to the whole Church, and all others pro­fessing Religion, which might have intimated something in behalfe of the Opposites;) and therefore [...]o ground excommunication from the Church, or [Page 6] suspension from the Sacrament on this Text (which the Papists and others have very much abused) is to extract water out of a flint, and palpably to wrest the Scripture from its genuine sense.

Object. And whereas some object, that the n [...]xt ensuing words, verse 18. (Verily I say unto you, what soever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, &c.) doe necessarily infer the preceding words to relate to Ecclesiasticall censures, and the power of the Keyes (as they phrase it.)

Answ. I answer, first, that these words have no coherence with, or dependence on the former, but are a distinct sentence of themselves, because spoken onely to, and of Christs Disciples, as is evident by the Parall [...]l Text of John 20. 23. not of the Jewish Church, much lesse of their Councell or Sanhedrim, meant onely by the Church in the former verse, as is already cleared. Secondly, th [...] this binding and loosing is not meant of excommunication or suspension from the Sacrament (as some would fancy it) but onely of binding and loosing mens finnes, by preaching the Gospell, and denouncing pardon or remission of sinnes and salvation to penitent and beleeving sinners; but judgement and damnation to obstinate, impenitent sinners, as is evident by comparing it with Matth. 16. 19. Marke 16. 16. John 3. 16, 17, 18, 36. chap. 12. 48. Luke 13. 3. 5. Rom. 2. 16. Acts 2. 38. chap. 3. 19. Therefore some clearer Text then this must be produced, to found excommunication or suspension from the Sacrament, and Ecclesiasticall Discipline upon, by those who con­tend for it Jure divin [...].

3 Thirdly, whether 1 Cor. 5. 5. To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus▪ and 1 Tim. 1. 20. whom I have delivered unto Satan▪ that they may learn not to blaspheame, be properly meant of excommunication or suspension from the Sacrament?

Some of our Opposites peremptorily affirme it, but produce no shadow of proofe for it; others speak dubiously of these Texts, as needing a large debate, and therefore prudently wave them with a rhetoricall preterition, as the late Reverend Preacher did: I for my part humbly conceive, that to deli­ver to Satan, is a thing somewhat different from excommunication and sus­pension from the Lords Table: My reasons are these:

First, if to deliver a man to Satan, be the self-same thing with excommuni­cation, or suspension from the Sacrament, as some affirme, then every excom­municated or suspended person, should▪ during his excommunication or sus­pension, either in a literall, or sprituall sense at least, be in their judgement, in the actual power of Satan, though a true child of God, whom Acts 26. 18 Eph. 2. 1. to 6. 1 John 3. 8. 2 Tim. 2. 26. Christ himself hath rescued out of the jawes and pawes of Satan; since such a one may be actually excommunicated, suspended from the Lords Table for a season, not onely injuriously, but upon just grounds, and yet not inthe Devils actuall power or possession, but in Christs, John 10. 28, 29.

Secondly, if to deliver unto satan, were the same with excommunication, then it would have some proportion and coincidency with other Scripture phrases produced for proofe of excommunication▪ (as put away from among you that wicked person, and the like forecited) with which it hath no [...].

[Page 7] Thirdly, our Opposites generally grant See Cart­wrights Notes on the Rhem. Testam. on 1 Cor. 5.that Excommunication belongs onely to the Presbytery or whole Congregation, not to any one particular person, be he Bishop, Minister, or other; whereas Paul himselfe deliv [...]ed Hymeneus and Phyletus unto Satan, as the words (whom I have delivered, &c.) import, without the concurrence of any other.

Fourthly, many members of the visible Church are spiritually under the John 8. 44: 1 Johu 3. 8. 2 Tim. 2. 26. Acts 5. 3. John 13. 2. 27: [...]ower of satan, and taken captives of him at his will, though still within the Church, and not actually excommunicated; therefore to deliver men over thus to satan, and no more, cannot be properly tearmed excommunica­tion.

Fifthly, nor can it be meant meerly of suspending people from the Sacra­ment; for then children and others debarred from the Sacrament, by reason of their nonage, or any other naturall dis-abilities, should be as much delive­red over to Satan as any scandalous persons.

What this delivering of men over to satan is, hath beeen much controver­ted among Divines: Many who take it to be meant of excommunication, and an act of discipline established then in the Church for all future ages, in­terpret it to be, not onely a casting of a man out of the Church See Cart­wrights Answ. to the Rhem: Testam. on 1 Cor. 5. wherein Christ reigns, into the world of ungodly men, among whom satan rules; but like­wise to give a man over to be guided in his spirit by the word & spirit of sa­tan, as the Church and those within it are led, guided by the word and spirit of God▪ explaining it by Ephes. 2. 2, 3. 2 Tim. 2. 26. John 14. 30. John. 8. 44▪ 1 John 3. 8. But this exposition seems to me both false and improper: First, because these scandalous sinners, even whiles they were in the Church, were A [...]ts 5. 3. Joh 8. 44. 1 John 3 [...]. Eph. 2. 2, 3, 4. 2 Tim. 2, 26. led and acted by the spiret of satan, in committing those scan­dalous sinnes, for which they were excommunicated; and therefore their excom­munication cannot thus deliver them over unto satan, who tooke them cap­tive at his will, but leaves them in his hands in the same condition as before. Secondly, such a delivery unto satan, as this, to be guided, acted in their spirits by him and no more, tends nothing at all to the destruction of the flesh, but rather to the pampering of it, much lesse to the reforming of the life, or the saving of the spirit in the day of the Lord Jesus, but rather to aggravate and encrease mens sinnes. Thirdly, it's confessed, that a godly man may for some notorious sinnes or scandals, be actually excommunicated, as well as other wicked persons; now such a one God never Rom [...]. 4, [...] 11. 13. 14. Gal 5. 18. 25. gives over to be led and ruled by the unclean spirit of satan, but he always leads them by his own holy spirit, which ever dwels and rules within their soules, and is never dis-possessed by the Devill. Fourthly, all accord, that the end and use of excommunica­tion, is onely to reforme or amend mens lives, and turn them from the pow­er of satan unto God: And is not this diametrally contrary to that end, to deliver them over to the very conduct and guidance of satan, who Eph. 2. 2, 3, 4. 1 John 3. 8. 2 Tim. 2. 26. rules only in the children of disobedience, precipitates them into all sinful courses with a ful c [...]re, and is so farre from learning men not to blaspheme, that he fils their hearts and mouthes with naught but lyes and blasphemies? This interpreta­tion therefore I cannot approve; Neither doe I read or beleeve that any Pres­bytery or Church hath or doth claime any authority in these dayes to de­liver [Page 8] any man to Satan; Wherefore, to deliver a man unto satan, I rather cōceive to be meant in two other senses more agreeable both to the let­ter and scope of these Texts, and the interpretation of the Fathers on them.

The first is, either to deliver up a man corporally, by way of punishment, into the actuall possession of the Devill, onely in respect of his body, not soule, so as the Devill thereby might actually possesse, macerate, torment and afflict his flesh (as he Mat. 15 22. Luk. 6. [...]8. Mar 9. 17. to 30. c. 5. 2. to 10.used to vex those whom he did corporally possesse, which the Scripture plentifully manifests) till he were sufficiently punished, and then be dispossessed of the Devill againe by those who delivered him into his power, and restored to the bosome of the Church; the Apostles and others Mat. 16. 1 [...] ▪ Acts 16. 16, 17 18 Mat. 10. 8. in their age, having a power, not onely to cast out and dispossesse men of Devils, but likewise to deliver men up by way of punishment to See Mark 5. 9. to 15. John 13. 27. Eph. 2. 2, 3. 2 Tim. 2. 26. See Beda in 1 Tim. 1. be corporally posses­sed by the Devill: which (as I conceive) was the ground of that common im­precation, (too frequent in lewd mens mouthes, when they are injured or provoked by any man;) the devill take you, or, Tradatur Satan [...].

This kind of delivering men over to satan was peculiar onely to the Apo­stles, and some others in that age, but ceased since, and so cannot be drawne into practice among us; A godly Christian by way of punishment may be for a season thus delivered unto satan, for the mortifying or destruction of his flesh and carnall corruptions, and yet still continue a true child of God in respect of his soule and spirit, John 14. 16. 1 Cor. 6. 19. Se Aecumenius Chrysost. Pri­masius, Haymo, Beda, Theodor. Theophilact. in [...] Cor. 5. Mat. 4. 1. to 12.which the holy Ghost doth alwayes possesse, though the Devill possesse his body (as he had possession of Christs body, though not of his soule and spirit, when * he led him into the Wildernesse to be tempted, and carried him from place to place.) And this I take to be one genuine sense and scope of these two Texts.

Secondly, there is another sort of delivering men up to satan, somewhat different from the former, which suits very well with the words and sense of these Scriptures; and that is, when a man by Gods immediate permission is de­livered unto satan to be tortured, afflicted and vexed by him; either in his bo­dy, by sicknesses, botches, diseases; or in his mind, by cares, feares, perplex­plexities and discontents; or in his estate and family, by losses and crosses of all sorts, as Job c. & 2. See Aecumenii Enar. on 1 Cor 5. Primas. The­ophilact. Chry­sostom. Hierom in locum. Job was, of purpose to mortifie his flesh and carnall members, to humble his soule and bodie before God, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord, his sinfull life reformed, and he hereby lessoned, no more to blaspheme or dishonour God: In this sense God many times delivers over his children (as he did Job) into their Adversary, satans hands, to scowre away all their drosse, and crucifie their old man, the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof, without giving their hearts and spirits into his power, which he still reserves intirely to himselfe, as he did lob's; and theirs whom the Devill cast into prison, and into tribulation for ten dayes, that they might be purifid, and have their robes of corruption washed quite away, and made white in the blood of the Lamb, Revel. 2. 10. chap. 7. 14. And in this sense (no doubt) the Apostles by Gods permission, had power to deli­ver men over to satan, (one of whose 2 Cor. 12. 7 Messengers Paul had sent to buffet and humble him, least he should be exalted above his due measure▪) for the destruction of the flesh. But how farre the Church or Ministers of [Page 9] God have any authority at this day actually to deliver any scandalous per­sons thus to satan (unlesse it be by way of prayer or option) I submit to others, who now claime this power, to determine: However, in these two last senses (which I conceive most genuine) these Texts are no solid proofes at all, either of excommunication from the Church, or suspension from the Sacra­ment; since a Christian may be delivered over to satan in both these senses, and yet not actually excommnicated or suspended from the Sacrament.

The fourth difference is this, Whether 1 Cor. 5. 11. If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or cov [...]tous, or an Idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such a one no not to eat; be properly meant of excommunicati­on or suspension from the Sacrament, or not to eat with such at the Lords Table upon any tearmes? Some Opposites confidently averre; others, with my selfe deny it; and that upon these grounds:

First, because there is not one sillable of receiving the Lords Supper, or eating at the Lords Table spoken of in this chapter; and in the 10. and 11. chapters, where the Apostle professedly treats of the Lords Supper, and recei­ving that Sacrament, he speakes not one word of secluding any members of the Church, or Christians from it, but onely exhorts men carefully to exa­mine themselves before they come to receive it, least they eat and drink their owne damnation, become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, and draw downe sicknesses and diseases upon themselves; affirming expresly, ch. 10. ver. 16, 17. The bread which we breake, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? for we being many, are one bread and one body; for▪ WE ARE ALL PARTAKERS OF THAT ONE BREAD: If ALL▪ were then partakers of this bread, certainly none were excluded from it in the Church of Co­rinth; but as the Israelites under the Law, did ALL eat the same spirituall meat, and ALL drink the same spirti [...]all drinke, though▪God were displeased with many of them, who were idolaters, tempters of God, fornicators, murmurers, and were destroyed in the Wildernesse, 1 Cor. 10. 1. to 12. so all under the Gospell who were visible Members of the Church of Corinth, did eat and drink the Lords Supper, to which some drunkards whiles drunken did then resort, as is cleere by the 1 Cor. 11. 20, 21. which Paul indeed reprehends, verse 22. Therefore this, with such a one no not to eat, cannot be meant of excommunication or suspensi­on from the Sacrameut.

Secondly, if we look upon the catalogue of those with whom the Corin­thians were forbidden so much as to eat, we shall find railers, covetous persons, and extortioners therein mentioned, as well as idolaters, fornicators, drunkards; and if all such must be excommunicated or suspended the Sacrament, what will become of most of our Anabaptisticall and Independent Congregations, who are generally knowne to abound more with covetous persons, extortioners, railers, then our Parochiall or Presbyteriall Congregations do with idolaters, fornicators, drunkards? I▪ feare their Independent Conventicles and chamber Congregations will be dissolved for want of members, of Ministers, and their Lords▪ Tables be left empty without Guests, if all railers, covetous persons and extortioners were excommunicated out of them, and this their pretended disci­pline [Page 2] put into exact execution; yea, I fear, too many Presbyterian Ministers, El­ders, who would be very active in excommunicating, suspending others from the Sacrament for fornication, idolatry, drunkennesse, must themselves be first excommunicated from the Lords Table for their owne covetousnesse; Wherefore Mat. 7. 3, 4, 5 let such pull that beame out of their owne eye, before they passe the sentence of excommunication and suspension for the m [...]tes they spye in their brother's eye; and this would much moderate their severity towards others, if not make them disclaime this Text to be ment of those Ecclesiasti­call censures, which would light first and heaviest on themselves.

Thirdly, it is as cleere as the noon-day Sunne, that, no not▪ to eat, in this Text, is no more, then not to keep company, or hold civill familiarity with such: First, by verse 10, 11. I wrote to you in an Epistle, NOT TO KEEPE COMPANY with fornicators, &c. yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, &c. for then ye must goe out of the world; (as those must doe who would have unmixt churches and communions without any putred members:) But now have I written unto you, NOT TO KEEP COMPANY: If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, &c. with such a one NO NOT TO EAT: By which it is most cleer, that, no not to eat with such, is nothing else, but See Primasi­ [...]s, Theodoret, Theophylact, Chrysostom, Haynor. O Ecu­men [...]u▪ Ans [...]lm and M [...]sculus in locum. not to keep com­pany, or converse familiarly with them, it being here twice together thus inter­preted in the preceding words: And that it cannot be meant of eating with them at the Lords Table, is most cleere; because this inhibition extends it selfe, (though not in the same strictnesse,) to fornicators, idolaters, covetous persons, &c. that are Infidels and without the Church, as well as to him that is called a brother, and within the Church, as is evident by verse 10, 11, 12, 13▪ compared together: Therefore it must of necessity be meant of civill con­versation with them, of which eating together with others, and sitting with them at our, or their Tables, is one principall branch▪ being one of the highest expressions of outward friendship and familiarity, as is evident by Gen. 43. 16, 17. 32, 33, 34. 2 Sam. 12. 28. 33. 2 Kings 2. 7. Psal. 41. 9. John 13. 18. and disdaining to eat with one, the greatest token of estrangednesse, or want of familiarity one with another, Gen. 43. 32. compared with John 4. 7, 8, 9. Se­condly, this is further confirmed by these parallel Texts of Rom. 16. 17. Eph. 5. 7. 12. 2▪ Thes. 3. 14. Tit. 3. 10. 2 John 10. 2 Tim. 3. 10. which interpret, no not to eat here, by these phrases, of avoyding them, turning away from and reject­ing them, not to keep company or have fellowship with them, nor to welcome the [...] into our houses; neither of which amounts to an excommunication or suspen­sion, which are judiciall acts of the whole Church or Presbytery, after legall proofe and conviction: whereas these acts of not eating, avoiding, or not keeping company, &c. are all onely morall or prudentiall acts of particular Christians, or Voluntary negative actions, not positive, judiciall, publike Church censures.

Object. But our Opposites object, that though this Text be not directly meant of excommunication or suspension from the Sacrament, yet it warrants such mens suspension from tht Lords Supper by necessary consequence: For if we [Page 3] may not so much as eat and drinke with raylers, drunkards, covetous persons, &c. at our owne, their, or other mens Tables, much lesse may we doe it at the Lords Table.

Answ. I answer, that the Argument is meerly sophisticall, fallacious, and not pro­perly any formal Argument from the lesse to the greater, because itvaries in the kind of eating; the one being civill, the other spirituall; the one private in ones own house, or anothers, where he hath absolute freedome or liberty to eat, or not to eat with another; the other pulik in the Church, where he hath a divine command, necessitating him to communicate with others of that Con­gregation, in the Sacrament, as well as in other Ordinances. Every Argu­ment from the lesse to the greater that is conclusive, must have sundry qua­lifications to make it solid: I will instance but in three. First, it must be in the same kind of action; Secondly, it must fall under the same precept; Thirdly, it must be within the compasse of the same power: If either of these faile, the Argument is a meere Inconsequent. For instance, This is a solid Argument; Men ought to abstaine from the smallest sinnes; Ergo, much more from the greatest sins; because this holds still to the same kind [sinne] and abstaining from the greatest sins, fals under the same precept which forbids the least; So this is a firme Argument; He that can make a little Watch or ball can likewise make one somewhat greater, because it in the same kind of manufacture, and both of them within the virge of the Artificers skil: But on the contrary, these Ro. 12. 18, 19.inferences are unsound and inconcludent: A man must not keep company with an angry man, Prov. 22. 24. Ergo, he must not joyne with him in any publike Ordinances or acts of Gods worship; or, A man must not sweare vainly by the Mat. 5. 34. Name of God, which is the lesse; Ergo, he must not swear solemnly before a Magi­strate, which is the the greater; because there is in these, a variation in the kind, occasion and manner of swearing; So, it is unlawfull for any Christi­an to recompence evill for evill in the least kind, nor to avenge himselfe for the least wrong, Rom. 12. 17. 19. Therefore it is unlawfull for any Christian Magi­strate to recompence evill for evill, or inflict the highest degree of Vengeance on Malefactors, even death and capitall punishments; is a meet Nonsequitur; because this publike revenge by way of justice, fals not under the same precept with privat reveng: So, such a workman is able to make a boat or ditch, which is the lesse; ergo, he is able to build a Ship or Fort, which is the greater, is an In­consequent, because they fal not under the self-same degree of art & ability: To apply this to the objected text; Not eating with scandalous persons at meales in private, differs in manner, kind from eating with them at the Lords Table in publike; they fal not both under the self-same precept; and we have free power not to eat bread with those at our own Tables, with whom we have no power or liberty left us by Christ, to refuse to eat with them at the Lords Table: Therefore this Argument, in point of Logicke and Divinity, is as infirme and absurd, as any of the former: Yet how many thousands, as well Schollers as Ignorants, have been over-reached with it, so far as to make them separate, not onely from our Sacraments but Congregations too?

[Page 12] Now because thi [...] grosse, fallacious Inconsequence in my apprehension, is one principle cause and prop of Independency, yea of Separation from our Churches, Sacraments, and hath misled so many, especally of later yeers, I shall a little further examine it, with relation to the Text on which it is grounded, and further lay open both the falsenesse and absurdity there­of, to all mens jndgements and consciences.

First, it is cleere, that this Text is ment onely of civill conversation, eating and drinking, not of spiritual, as I have already proved: I would then demand these two Questions of the Objectors: First, whether this Text prohibits all kind of civill communion, and eating at Table with any Christians who are raylers, fornicators, idolaters, covetous persons, extortioners or drunkards, under paine of mortall sinne? If yea; then it is a damnable sinne in the Objectors to eat, drink, or converse in any kind with any such as these, which they daily doe without any scruple, and cannot avoyd; yea, then it would be a sin against this Text, for a wife, child, kinsman, Master, Magistrate, Prince, con­stantly to convers or eat with such a scandalous husband, parent, kinsman, ser­vant, neighbour, Pastor, fellowservant, Subject, or they reciprocally with them, if scandalous; then if any Member of the Parliament, or of any Corporation, Colledge, Innes of Court, or the like, should but eat together at meales with his fellow-members who are thus scandalous, in any Common-Hall, or at any Ordinary or Corporation-feast, they should sin against this Text, which I never yet heard any Anabaptist, Separatist, Independent, Presbyter, or Di­vine affirm; neither of which make any conscience of not repairing to the Lord Majors, or any other publike City-feast, where they are sure of good fare, because they were certaine there to meet and eat with some covetous, or other seandalous persons; with whom Saint Paul prohibits them, no not to eat: Which precept Christ himselfe and his Apostles should have transgressed, in Mat▪ 9. 10, 11. c: 11. 19▪ Mar. 2. 15, 16. eating and drinking with Publicans and sinners, for which they were [s] taxed by the over-precise Pharises. If then this Text extends not to oureating at meales with such scandalous christians in cases of necessity & expediency, where either our natural, civill relations, or cōmon civility engage us to it, so as we delight not intheir company, or do it notvoluntarily out of free choice, when we may avoid it without offence, as the very Objectors, I suppose, wil grant, and S. Paul resolves, ver. 11. then by the self-same reason, it can be no offence at all against this Scripture, to eat or drink with such at the Lords Table, at this his publike Feast and great Supper, to which all Christians are invted (if we beleeve Christs owne Parable, Mat. 22. 1. to 15. & Isa. 55. 1. Rev. 22. 17.) in such cases wherein we may lawfully eat & drink with them at our own, theirs, or other mens Ta­bles. Secondly, our Objectors themselves affirme, that it is lawful to hear, pray, read the Scriptures, [...]ing Psalmes, repeat Sermons, fast and performe all other christian duties in the company of such scandalous Christians as are here par­ticularized, without any violation of this Text: If then we may keep compa­ny or hold communion with them, and they with us in all other Ordinances, till they be actually and judicially excommunicated from the Church and [Page 13] them; then why not likewise in the Lords Supper too? since this Text and all others cited for proofe of excommunication or suspension by our Opposites, prohibit communion in them al alike, or els in none. Thirdly, admit Ministers themselves be polluted with any of those Vices, suppose with covetousnesse, (as too many are,) yet none of the Objectors dare averre, that it is a sinne against this precept, for any of their Congregations to receive the Sacrament from, or eat the Lords Supper with them, no more then to joyne with them in prayer, fasting, or to heare them read, preach, catechize, expound, or sing Psalmes together with them; since the goodnesse or viciousnesse of the Mini­ster (as See Gratian▪ Caus. 1. Quest, 1. Ivo Decret. seci [...]da pars.all accord) doth neither adde ought to, nor detract any thing from the efficacy of the Sacraments, or any publike Ordinances, which proceeds from God alone: If then we may receive the Sacrament from, and eat it with a covetous Minister without any sin or contradiction to this Text, then why not likewise with a covetous Neighbour or fellow-parishioner? Fourthly, the Ob­jectors grant, that a Christian may lawfully receive the Sacrament with per­sons secretly guilty of these and other grosse sinnes, with close Hypocrits, who guild over their vices; and unregenerate Christians not really sanctified, who are neither ignorant nor notoriously scandalous in their lives, without scru­ple or offence against this Text. Therefore they may lawfully doe it in point of conscience with such who are notoriously scandalous, before their actuall conviction & excommunication, especially if they professe sincere repentance for their sins past, and reformation of their lives for time to come; as all do, at least in their general confessions before the Sacrament, if not in their own pri­vate meditations, prayers & preparatory devotions twixt God and their owne soules. Fifthly, it is not the meere guilt, but onely the scandall, ill example, and contagion of notorious sinnes that subjects men to the censure of ex­communication, in regard of others, least they should infect and draw them on to imitation of them, as Paul resolves, 1 Cor. 5. 6. else those very sins which are not notorious, and those infirmities, of which the best Saints themselves are fre­quently guilty, should subject them unto excommunication, or suspend them from the Sacrament; and then what mortall man almost should be ad­mitted to it? It is not then such sinners bare receiving with us, or ours with them, that can any way hurt, much lesse deter or keep us from the Sacram [...]nt, 1 Cor. 11 [...] 29. (for they eat and drink damnation onely to themselves, not others) in case we imi­tate them not in their sinnes, or receive no contagion from their company. Sixtly, the Objectors will grant, that there is a necessity lyes upon Ministers to administer, and on people to receive the Sacrament at all convenient seasons: That God onely infallibly knowes the hearts and reall preparations of all Communicants, in the very best of whom there are many failing and cor­ruptions, which make them in themselves unworthy to communicate: That all who come to receive, doe alwayes make a generall and joynt confession of their sins before God and the Congregation, acknowledging and bewayling their manifold sinnes and iniquities, which they from time to time have com­mitted in thought, word and deed, against the Divine Majesty; prosessing, that they doe earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for all their misdoings, [Page 6] that the remembrance of them is grievous unto them, the burthen of them intolerable; desiring God to have mercy upon them for his Sonne Christ Je­sus sake, and to for [...]er all that is past, and grant, that they may ever after serve and please him in newnesse of life: offering up themselves, soules and bodyes to be a holy and li [...]ing Sacrifice acceptable unto God through Jesus Christ: Yea, I dare presume, there is no Receiver so desperate, that dares professe when he comes to receive, he is not heartily sorow for his sinnes past, but resolvs to persevere impenitently in them for the future, though afterward he relapse into them (as the be [...] Saints do to their old infirmities) because his heart nature are not truly regenerated by Gods Spirit: All this being granted, no Minister ought to refuse the Sacrament to such an external penitent sinner (the sincerity of whose heart and repentance, God onely knows) nor may or ought any Christian to abstaine from communicating with him at it, in case he be not actually excommunicated, or not re-admitted to the Church for his prophane, scandalous life, since they have no warrant from this or any other Scripture else to doe it. All which, if seriously pondered, by Separatists and Independents, misled by the objected inference, would speedily reduce them to the bosome of our Church, and quite allay the heat of the present controver­sies about suspension from the Sacrament, in which many now place The very Kingdome of Christ, who never claimed nor exercised such a soveraignty as they, under his name and title, would usurp unto themselves.

5 The fifth thing in difference is, Whether the Priests under the Law had divine authority to keepe backe any circumcised person from the Passeover, who desired to eat it, for any reall or pretended ignorance, heresie, or scandalous sinne? My opposites affirme they had; for proofe whereof they produce Num. 9. 1. to 12. Where the Israelites being commanded to eat the Pas­over on the fourteenth day of the first moneth at evening, there were certaine men defiled by the dead body of man, that they could not keep the Passeover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day, and said unto Moses, we are de [...]iled by the dead body of man; wherefore are we kept backe, that we may not offer an Offering to the Lord in his appointed season among the children of Israel? And Moses said unto them, stand still, and I will heare what the Lord will com­mand concerning you: And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, speak unto the chil­dren of Israel, saying; If any man of you or your posterity shall be uncleane by reason of a dead body, or in a journey a farre off, he shall keep the Passeover unto the Lord, the fourteeenth day of the second Moneth they shall keep it, and eat it. By which it is cleere, that legall uncleannesse did dis-able them to eat the Passover at the appointed time; therefore much more scandalous sinnes and spirituall uncleannesse did dis-able ard keep them from it, and by consequence they doe likewise debar men from the Lords Supper now, of which the Passeover was a type; yea, our reverend Scottish brother in his controversall Fast-Sermon, added, that no man might bring a Trespasse offering to the Lord, to expiate any particular sin he was guilty of, unlesse he did first confesse he had sined in that thing, Levit. 5. 5, 6. Therefore said he, a fortiori, he could not be admitted unto the Pasover (nor any now unto the Lords Table) unlesse he first particularly and [Page 7] publikely confessed the sinnes he stood guilty of.

To this I answer, first, that all circumcised persons whatsoever, had a right to eat the Passeover, and participate of all the Ordinances under the law, from which the Priests had no power to exclude them for ignorance, or any scandalous offence, for ought appeares by any Scripture-precept or president: ALL of them under pain of being cut off from their people, being bound to eat the Passeover in its season, except in cases of necessity, disability, by reason of a journey, or of legall uncleannesse onely, (not spirituall) as is cleere by Exod. 12. 3. 43. to 50. Num. 9. 1. to 15. Deut. 16. 16, 17. Ezra 6. 19, 20, 21. 2 Kings 23. 21, 22. 2 Chron. 35. 6, 7, 13, 17, 18. where we read, that ALL THE PEOPLE and ALL the Males THAT WERE PRESENT received the Pas­over, not one of them being excluded from eating it. This is most evident by that noted place of 2 Chro. 30. 3. to 21. where King Hezekiah proclaiming a solemn [...] Pasover, summoned ALL Israel, and ALL THE PEOPLE, from Dan to Beersheba, to repaire to it; whereupon there assembled MUCH PEOPLE to Je­rusalem to keep it: Now there were many in the Congregation that were not clean nor sanctified▪ for a multitude of the people had not cleansed themselves (from their legall pollutions) YET DID THEY EAT THE PASSOVER, (neither Hezekiah nor the Priests prohibiting them to eat it) otherwise then it was writ­ten; But Hezekiah prayed for them saying, The good God pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seeke God, the Lord God of his Fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the Sanctuary: And the Lord hearkned t [...] Hezekiah and healed the people. Here legall uncleannesse did not actually sus­pend them from the Passover, when their hearts were upright, and they de­sirous to eat it, the Lord at Hezekiah's prayer passing by their unpreparations and accepting their devotions in this act; Nor yet did spirituall pollution, by reason of grosse and scandalous sinnes, debar them that were circumcized, from the Passeover, as Paul expresly determines, 1 Cor. 10. 1. to 10. (an un­answerable Text to this purpose) Moreover brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, that ALL our Fathers were under the cloud, and ALL passed through the sea, and were ALL baptiz [...]d unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and DID ALL EAT THE SAME SPIRITUALL MEAT (to wit, the Passeover and Manna) and did ALL DRINK OF THE SAME SPIRITUALL DRINK for they drank of the Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ: But per­chance ALL these Communicants were visible Saints, free from any legall pol­lution, at least not tainted with any scandalous sinne: The Apostle to take off this evasion, subjoynes in the very next words, But with MANY OF THEM God was not well pleased, for they were overthrowne in the Wildernesse: No [...] these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evill things, [...] they also lusted; neither be ye Idolaters as were some of them, &c. neither let us commit fornication as some of them committed, &c. neither let us tempt Christ [...] some of them also tempted, neither murmure ye as also some of them murmur­d, and were destroyed of the destroyer: So that the Israelites being once cir­cumcized, were all admitted to eat the Passeover, though some of them were Idolaters; others, lusters after evill things; others Fornicators, others tempters [Page 16] of Christ, others murmurers against God and Moses; therefore there was no suspension of any circumcized Israelite from the Passover, for spirituall un­cleannesse, and scandalous sins, but only for legall uncleannesses. Secondly, it is cleere by the objected Text, that those who were legally uncleane at the day appointed for the Passover, so as they could not then receive it, were yet pe­remptorily enjoyned to eat it the 14. day of the second Month; and not suspended, til they made publike confession of their sins, reformed the evill of their doings, and gave publike satisfaction to the Congregation, or Priests, as God him­selfe resolves in terminis, Num. 9. 11, 12. If any man of you, or of your posterity shal be unclean by reason of a dead body, YET HE SHALL EAT THE PASSOVER the fourteenth day of the second moneth at even, he must not be suspended from it above one moneth: By what Law then, doe many Ministers now presume, to suspend▪ their whole Congregations, not onely above whole moneths but yeers from the Lords Table (contrary to this text) whereof the Pasoever was a Type? let them amend this practice, or renounce this Scripture, and their un­warrantable inferences from it. Thirdly, he that was legally unclean, was kept back from the Passeover for the present, not by the Priest, or Ecclesiasticall Classis, or temporall Magistrate, but by those of the same Exod. 12. 3. [...] 7, 47. [...] Chron. 30. [...] to 2 [...].Family where­in he was to eat the Passover, as ver. 6, 7. imports. And the true reason in this Text, why his uncleannesse did seclude him from eating the Passover, was, because it quite excluded him out of the Camp for a time, (not Tabernacle or Temple) and so by necessary consequence, from the House wherein he was to eat the Passeover, as is evident by Levit. 14. 3. 8. chap. 16. 26, 27, 28. Num. 5. 2▪ 3, 4. chap. 12. 14, 15. chap. 19. 7. 11. chap. 31. 19. 20. 24. Deut. 23. 10, 11. And by like reason it debarred him from all other Ordinances, as well as it; So that all you can probably inferre from this Text, is but this, which none will contradict: that prophane, scandalous persons justly excommunicated, and shut out of the Church, ought not to receive the Sacrament, nor partici­pate in any other Ordinance, during their excommunication, till their re-ad­mittance into the Church; as the uncleane Israelite could not eat the Pas­sover, nor be present at any other publike Ordinance or sacrifice, till his re-ad­mittance into the Camp. Fourthly, here is a direct resolution of God him­selfe in positive tearmes, prescribing a suspension from the Passover in case of present legall pollution onely, not spirituall; yet expresly enjoyning the self­same person under the severest penalty, to eat it the very next moneth after; but there is no such punctuall resolution in the old or new Testament, to warrant a like suspension of any from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, in case of scandall or spirituall uncleannesse, unlesse he be first legally excommu­nicated, nor can any Minister or Classis debar him justly from it by any colour or inference from this text, if he be desirous to receive it; any longer then for one moneth. Fifthly, this argument for suspending men from the Lords Table for spirituall uncleannesse, because some were suspended from the Pas­over for legall▪ uncleannesse, but not for spirituall, is no way conclusive; First, because the Passeover and Lords Supper, ceremoniall and spirituall pollution differ in kind: Secondly, because suspension from the Sacrament [Page 17] for spirituall uncleannesse, fals not at all under this temporary precept, of suspension from the Passeover, onely for legall uncleannesse; the rather, be­cause no man was kept from the Passeover by colour thereof, for any spiritu­all pollution, but onely for ceremoniall uncleannes; therefore much lesse can any be suspended by color of it from the Sacrament, to which it hath no rela­tion; Thirdly, there is a direct divine warrant for the one, but not for the other; wherefore we may justly reject the objected argument as erronious and fallacious.

Secondly, to the latter part of the Objection; that none might offer so much a [...] a Trespasse-offering for sinne, without a particular private confession of hi [...] sinne (to God, not to the Priest;) Ergo, he might not eat the Passover (nor any now the Sacrament) if he were a scandalous sinner, without a particular pub­like confession and repentance of his scandalous sinnes.

I answer, that it is a meer Non-sequitur, because, First, directly contradicted by 1 Cor. 10. 1. to 12. as the premises manifest: Secondly, because a particular examination of the conscience and repentance for sin, is no where required in Scripure of such who did eat the Pasover, though all circumstances & necessa­ries for the worthy eating of it be most punctually enumerated, Exod. 12. Num. 9. Deut. 16. Neither was there any such reason why God should require such a confession of sinne in those who were to eat the Passeover, as he expresly exacts from those who came to offer a Sin-offering to him, only of set purpose to pr [...]cure an attonement for those very particular sins which they did then confesse, at which oblation it was both necessary and requisite they should particu­larly confesse those very sinnes (yet not to the Priest, Classis or Congrega­tion, Prov. 28. 13. 1 John 1. 9▪ Psal. 32. 5.but to God alone) since the Scripture is positive, that without confession of sinne, there is no remission of it; and therefore when they came purposely to sue for pardon, and make attonement for any particular sinnes, it was abso­lutely needfull and expedient they should then confesse them: But in the Passe­over there was no atttonement nor confession made to God for any particu­lar Exod. 12. 22. to 28.sinne, but onely a commemoration of his infinite mercy in passing over the Israelites first borne, when he slew the Aegyptians: Therefore the paralelling of these two together, and the inference from the one, applyed to the other, is very incoherent: Finally, I answer; that every particular Communi­cant befoce he comes to receive the Sacrament, makes a publike confession of his sinnes to God with the rest of the Congregation, and in words at least, voweth newnesse of life for the future; there being no Communicant that ever I heard of so desparately wicked and Atheisticall, as not to professe hearty sorrow for all his forepast sinnes, or to avow impenitent continuance in them when he came to the Lords Table; therefore he cannot be justly debar­red from the Sacrament by vertue of this Text, after such a confession, since none were kept off from making their attonement by a trespasse offering if they did first confesse their sinnes to God, though perchance his confession was not cordiall, or such as the Priests approved, but externall, onely in shew.

The sixth thing in controversie between us, is, Whether Judas received the 6 Sacra [...]ent of the Lords Supper, as well as the other Apostles? Our Antagonists [Page 18] most confidently deny he received it, against direct Scripture, and all antiqui­ty, the currant confessions, resolutions of most Churches, and their eminentest Writers of all sorts: I shall prove the affirmative that he did receive it, by Scripture, Antiquitie, Fathers, modern Authors of all sorts, and then answer all pretences to the contrary, with all possible brevity.

Mat. 26. 17. to [...]1. 47. Mark 14. 15. to 27. Luke 22. 24. First, the three Evangelists Matthew, Marke and Luke, who onely relate the institution of this Sacrament, are all expresse in terminis, That Christ sat [...] downe to eat the Passeover, and the TWELVE APOSTLES with him▪ that Jud [...]s was one of these twelve, and present at the Table; that as they sate at meat together, Je­sus tooke bread and brake it, and gave it to them, (the TWELVE) saying, Take, eat, this is my body: That he likewise took the cup, & gave thanks, and gave it TO THEM, saying, drink YE ALL of it, &c. And Mark expresly records, he gave it to them, and THEY ALL drank of it. If all twelve then sate downe with Christ, and Christ gave the bread and cup to them, and bad them ALL eat and drink thereof, and they ALL did eat and drink thereof accordingly: With what shadow of truth dare any confidently aver, that Judas did not receive this Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and that he was not present at its institution?

Adde to this, that Matthew and Mark record, that immediately before the in­stitution of this Sacrament, as they sate at meat, Iesus said u [...]to the TWELVE, Verily one of you shall betray me; whereupon they began to be sorrowfull, and to say unto him, EVERY ONE of them ONE BY ONE, Lord is it I? and he answered and sayd unto them, it is ONE OF THE TWELVE that dippeth with me in the dish: Then JUDAS who betrayed him, said, Master is it I? and he said unto him, thou hast said it: which was no sooner uttered, but Iesus took bread and blessed it, &c. and both in­stituted and distributed the Sacrament to them ALL, as yo [...] heard before; There­fore certainly to Iudas, the l [...]st man that said, Is it I? immediatly before the in­stitution, as Saint Matthew records; And to manifest yet further, that Iudas was present at the Sacrament, Saint Luke placeth these words of Christ concerning Iudas his betraying him▪ after the institution and distribution of the Sacrament, not before it, which he thus expresseth; But behold the hand of him that betray­eth me IS WITH ME AT THE TABLE, &c, and they began to enquire among themselves which OF THEM should betray him. Saint Iohn writes thus; And SUPPER BEING ENDED, the Devil having NOW put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray him; Christ riseth from supper, and laid aside his Garment, and tooke a towell and began to wash his Disciples feet; and it seemes he washed Iudas his feet, who was then present, as these words import, Iohn 13. 10, 11. And ye are cleane, but not all; for he knew who should betray him: Therefore he said, Ye are cleane, but not all: After which he sate downe againe▪ and among sundry other discourses with his Disciples, he said; Verily I say unto you, that ONE OF YOU shall betray mee; then the Disciples looked one upon another, doubting of who [...] he spake: Now there was leaning on Iesus bosome, one of the Disciples whom Iesus loved; Simon Peter therefore beckned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake: he then leaning on Iesus breast, saith unto him, Lord who is it? Iesus answered him it is to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it: And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Iudas Iscariot; and after the sop, satan en­tred [Page 19] into him: Then said Iesus unto him, that thou doest, doe quickely; he then having received the sop, went immediatly out, and it was night.

Now Saint Iohn expresly averring, verse 2. That all this discourse, and the gi­ving of the sop to Iudas, was AFTER SUPPER ENDED: And the other three Evangelists unanimously according, that Christ instituted and distributed the Sacrament (at least the bread) as he sate at Meat, as they were eating, be­fore Supper quite ended (whence it was stiled the Lords Supper;) it must of ne­cessity follow from all the Evangelists severall relations, joyned together, and especially from Saint Iohns (who was present at the institution) from whence our Antagonists would inferre the contrary, that Iudas did receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, together with the other Disciples▪ and they may as probably question, whether Peter or Iohn did receive it, as Iudas, there being not one silla­ble in any of the Evangelists, intimating he did not receive it with the rest, which doubtlesse they would have particularly and positively recorded, had he not been present at it, being a thing of so great moment.

This truth is so transparent, that all Ages have positively averred, received it as an indubitable verity; forwhich I could produce whole Centuries of Writers: but for brevity, I shall recite the testimonies onely of some few of principall Note.

Origen Tract. 35. in Matth. Si autem potes spiritualem mensam & cibum spiritualem & dominicam intelligere Caenam, quibus omnibus dig­nificatus fuerat (Judas) a Christo abundantius videbis multitudinem mali­ciarum ejus, quibus magistrum, cum cibo divinae mensae & calicis, & hoc in die Paschae tradidit.

Saint Cyprian in his Sermon de Ablutione Pedum writes thus, Ad Mensae tuae participationem, Judas proditor est admissus: And de Caena Domini, he thus se­conds it: Quamdiu, cibi illi, qui ad diem festum erant parati convescentibus Apo­stolis sumebantur, veteris paschae agebatur memoria nec dum Iudas ad veterem vitam pertinens, diabolo invadente & occupante anim [...]m ejus egredi cogebatur; sed ubi sa­c [...]um cibum mens perfida tetigit, & sceleratum os panis sanctificatus intravit, pari­cidialis animus vim tant [...] sacramenti non sustinens, quasi palea de area exsufflatus est, & praeceps cucurrit ad desperatio [...]em et laqu [...]um.

Saint Ambrose Enar. de Tobia. lib. c. 14. resolves thus: Judas ibi miser periit in illo convivio quo alij saluantur: Idem Apologi a Davidis poste­rior, cap. 11. Judas panem accepit a Christo, & tunc magis est repletus Dia­bolo, quia non accepit ex fide, qui tam hospitali Domino pro litionem parabat And Com. lib. 12. in Luc. 13. Judas proditionem sanguinis Dominici inter sa­crificia positus cogitabat.

Saint Chrysostome Serm. 1. de Mysteriis Caenae Dominicae. Qui sacratae huius Caenae indigne participatur accubitu, non cum Petro perveniat ad s [...]l [...]tis Por­tium, sed sustinebit cum Iuda sine reparatione naufragium. Iudas non syncerus sed simulator accubuit, et post bu [...]llam Christi, in eum Diabolus introivit. And de Resurrectione. Homil. 3. Quid Caenam illam liberalem commemorem, ubi tin­gebat Discipulus mendax digitum? Edebat cum pane Caed [...]m▪ [...]t sorbebat cum san­guine potionem. O crudele Proditoris convivium! rogo, quibus oculis [...]spectebat, quem sub dente premeb [...]?

[Page 20] To passe by Nazianzen, who in his Christus Patiens, agrees, that Iudas did receive the Lords Supper▪ together with the other Apostles.

Cyrill. Bishop of Ierusalem asserts the same, Catechesis 13. Prodiderat Judas improbus Patrem-familias, nuperque exiens a mensa, & poculum benedictio­nis bibens, & pro potu salutari sanguinem Justi effudere volens.

Saint Augustine thus seconds him, in Psal. 3. Enar. Cum Traditor Domini Judas fuerit, ipsa Domini nostri, tanta et tam miranda patientia, quod cum tamdiu pertulit tanquam bonum, cum ejus cogitationes non ignoraret, cum adhibuit ad con­vivium in qu [...] corporis et sanguinis sui figuram discipulis commendavit et tradidit. In his 162. Epist. Iudas accepit pretium nostrum: And Tract. 6. 26. & 62. in Joan. he oft reiterates it: Non mala erat buccella quae [...]radita est Iudae à Domi­no. Absit, Medicus non d [...]ret venenum; salutem medicus dedit, sed ind [...]gnè acci­piendo ad perniciem accepit, qui non paratus accepit: Talis erat Judas, [...]et tamen cum sanctis Discipulis vndecim intrabat et exibat. Ad ipsam C [...]nam Domini­ [...]am pariter accessit; conversari cum iis potuit, [...]os inquinare non potuit: De uno pane et Petrus accipit et Judas; et tamen quae pars fideli et infidel [...]? Petrus enim accepit ad vitam, manducat Judas ad mortem: Qui enim comederunt indignè judicium sibi manducat et bibit SIBI, NON TIBI: S [...] judicium Sibi non Tibi, toleramalum bonus, ut venias ad praemia bonorum, ne mitteris in poenam malorum: which our Venerable Beda, in his Comentary on 1 Cor. 11. both recites and ap­proves. Sundry more passages to this purpose are there in this Father, which I pretermit for brevity.

Victor Antiochenus in chap. 14. Evang. Marci. comments thus: Domi­nus autem licet omnium consiliorum Judae gnarus esset, attamen a Sacra­menti sui accessu illum non prohibuit: Cur ita? nempe ut hin [...] discas, nihil corum praeterijsse, quae eum ad sanam mentem reducere quoquo modo poterant: sunt tamen qui Judam ante porrectum Eucharistiae Sacramentum exiuisse existiment, &c. The first mention I find of any opinion to the contrary.

Theodoret in his Interpretation on the 1 Epistle to the Corinthians, cap. 14. writes thus of Christ, Salutaris Sacramenti portas aperuit, et non solum undecim Apostolis, sed etiam Judae pr [...]ditori pretiosum corpus et sanguinem impertit.

Remigius Bishop of Rhemes, in his Explanation on the 1 Cor. 11. asserts it in these tearmes. Probet se, &c. utrum▪ dignus sit neque; Nè fort [...] unde alij su­munt r [...]medium, accipiet ille damnationem et judicium, indigne-illud percipiens, sicut Iud [...] proditor: nam cum alij Apostoli sumpsissent illud terribile Sacramentum ad remedium et ad salutem suam ille qui non dignus erat tanto mysterio, accepit illud ad dam [...]ationem suam; quia quem Diabolus antea tenebat per suggestion [...]m et tentationem, postea ad damnationem, tenuit plenius, ut nihil aliud posset co­gitare aut facere nisi quod voluntas ejus erat: with whom Haym [...] Bishop of Halberstat, concurres in the self-same tearmes, in his Interpretation on the 1 Cor. 11.

Pascatius Ratbertus, de Corpore & sanguine Domini, cap. 28. hath this me­morable passage to this purpose: Aliud verò Christus nouerat, quod et boni dig­nè, [Page 21] et mali indignè, hoc mysterium, licet praesumptione accepturi essent, voluit for­mam dare cunctis Communicantibus, quid boni, quid [...]è mal [...] percipiant: et ideo Judas in figura omnium malorum ad percipiendum admittitur.

Aecumenius Enar. in 1 Cor. 11. hath this speech, Dominus [...]oster communi mensa non sanctos modo discipulo [...], sed et ipsum Proditorem ea dignatus est, inimi­cum s [...]eleratissimum: et vos dedignamini vna cum pauperibus caenare.

Algerus de Sacramentis, lib. 1. cap. 21. resolves thus. Cum ergo malos cor­pus Christi verè sumere, ipsumque Iudam a summ [...] sacerdote Christ [...], cum caeteris Apostolis acc [...]pisse sancti testentur, astructum etiam videtur, non esse nobis nox­ium, si à nobis, vel nobiscum mali malè suma [...] Sacramenta, cum Iudas ab ipso Christo cum caeteris Apostolis acceperit, nec etiam a pravis minus verè confici ipsa Sacram [...]nta, cum ipse Proditor tan [...] offici [...] Ministerium à summo Pontifice accipiens, cum caeteris, hoc faci [...]e in meam comm [...]morationem, a [...]dierit: si enim sicut e [...] à Do­mino injunctum fuerat, corpus Domin [...] confecisset, numquid vera minus ab ipso pravo, quam à qu [...]vis bo [...]o factum fuisset? Q [...]ia enim Judas accus [...]tus et damnatus non fuerat, ideo Christus conscientiam ejus perversam quan [...]vis sibi notam dam [...]ar [...] noluit, ut nos instru [...]ret, quod aliquorum pravitas nec conversation [...], nec Sacramen­torum consecratione vel comparticipatione bonis aliquatenus nocere possit. Augusti­nus contra Donatistas: Communio malorum non maculat aliquem participatione Sa­cramentorum, sed consensione factorum. Item, [...]dem in Homilijs suis▪ Ut sufferas etiam cum quem nosti malum, attende Apostolum dicentem, unusquisque onus suum portabit. Non enim cum illo communicas avaritiam, sed Christi mensam: Et quid obest si Communices cum illo mensam Christi? qui manducat & bibit indignè, judi­cium sibi manducat & bibit. SIBI inquit, non TIBI. Quia igitur, ut a [...]t Leo, Judae Dominus nec negavit Apostolic [...] ordims honorem, in conficiendis Sacramen­tis, nec Communionem in ipsis percipiendis, multum providit Ecclesiae suae, ostendens per hunc solum innoxiam e [...] fore malorum praelationem vel conversationem, in quo nisi esset praescisa tanti causa scismatis, multi magis superbè quam Religiose calcibus etiam à se repellerent eos qui apud se minoris esse viderentur aestimationis: Unde Aug. in Serm. 49. super Joannem: Quid voluit Dominus admonere Ecclesiam suam quando unum perditum inter duodecim habere voluit, nisi ut malos toleremus, ne corpus Christi dividamus; Ecce inter sanctos est Judas, ecce fur est & sacrilegus; talis cum Discipulis ad Coenam Dominicam accessit; conversari cum eis petuit, in­quinare eos non potuit.

Theophilact who flourished about 1070. veers after Christ, in his Enar. in Marcum. cap. 14. page 109. writes thus; Quidam dicunt (but who they were, appeares not in any extant works of theirs) Iudam non fuisse participem Sacra­mentorum sed egressum esse pri [...]squam dominus Sacramenta traderet: Alij autem di­cunt▪ quod etiam ingrato illi sacro-sancta dederit: But himself subscribes to the lat­ter opinion without scruple, not onely in his Enar. in Ioan cap. 13. where he af­firmes it over and over severall times; but also in his Enar. in Matth. 26. page 67. Apposuit autem vescentibus ut ostenderet crudelitatem Judae, quia in mensa & Communione ciborum illius, quando si & fera fuisset, mansuetiorem se ex­hibuisset; tunc neque cum argueretur intellexit, sed et corpus illius gustans non poe­ [...]tuit: Quidam autem dicunt; quod egresso Juda tradidit Sacramentum alijs dis­cipulis [Page 22] proi [...]de et nos sic f [...]cere debemus, et malos a Sacramentis abarcere, &c. Bi­bite ex [...]o omnes; Sunt qui dicunt propter Judam hoc dictum: Judas enim panem accepit, et non comedi [...], sed oc▪ ul [...]avit, ut monstraret Judaeis, quod panem corpus suù [...] voc [...]rit Iesus; pocul [...]m autem invitus bibit, cum non posset occultare, propterea ho [...] loco dic [...]b [...]t, bi [...]ite omnes.

Saint B [...]rnard suffragates to all the former, that Iudas did receive the Sacra­ment as well as the other Apostles.

I shall trouble you with no more Ancients, since they all unanimously ac­co [...]d herein without one dissenting voice, excepti [...]g Hilary, in Matth. Can [...]n. [...]0.

The old and moderne Canonists of all sorts, with one consent suffragate to this verity; I shall instance but in two, to wit, Gratian. Caus. 1. Quest. 1. & Ivo C [...]not ensis▪ D [...]cretalium▪ secunda pars: in both which we have many senten­ [...]s of Fathers collected to this purpose, and among others, this of Augustine, in Exposi [...]. Psalmi. 10▪ Christus quid fecit vobis qui Traditorem suum tant a pati­ [...]ti [...] pertulit, ut ei primum Eucharistiam confectam manibus, et ore suo commen­d [...]t [...]m, sicut caeteris Apostolis traderet? Quid vobis fecit Christus, qui eundem Traditorem suum que [...] diabolum nominavit, qui ante traditionem Domini nec lo­ [...]lis d [...]minicis [...]idem potuit exhibere, cum caeteris discipulis ad praedicandum Reg­num Caelorum misit, nisi ut monstraret, dona dei perve [...]ire ad eos, qui cum fide acci­pi [...]nt, etiamsi talis sit per quem accipiunt qualis Judas fuit: See Gratian to the same effect, Caus. 7. Que. 1. & de Conserat. dist. 1. & 2. All succeding Canonists and Glossers upon Grat [...]n concurre with these two ancients without dissent, and so doe the Casuists too; I spare their names for brevity sake.

The Schoolmen generally s [...]bscribe to this conclusion; I shall mention onely three or four of them. The first is, Alexander Alensis, our owne Country-man, stiled the irrefragable Doctor, in whose Summa Theol [...]giae, pars 4. Quest. 11. Art. 1. Sect. 3. I first of all meet with this Question propounded and disc [...]ssed: An Christus etiam Iudae corpus suum in coena dedor [...]t? This Doctor holds affirma­tively that he did, which he proves by Ma [...]th. 26. 24. &c. Iohn 13. Dionysius Areopagita, Chrysostome, Hom. 81. super Matth. the Ordinary Glosse on Mat. 18. Iohn 13. & 1 Cor. 11. and other Texts: Adding that if Christ had actually excluded Iudas▪ from this Sacrament, certainly s [...] of the Evangelists or others would have expresly noted such a memorabls and notable all, which not one of them hath done: And he resolves thus, Tha [...] Christ in this Supper gave his body to Iudas, and that for divers reas [...]ns: The first t [...]ken from Gods wisdome, and that for a two­fold reason; First, to teac [...] us to love our e [...]emies, finee Christ fed this Traitor with his owne slesh; Secondly, to instruct the Ministers of this Sacrament▪ for in that he denied [...]ot his body to Iudas▪ who was entangled in a grievous [...]inne, he hath taught the dispensers of this Sacrament, that they ought to give it to sinners in the like case, when they shall desire it. Secondly, in regard of Gods mercy, and that in two respects; F [...]rst, revocati [...]n from evill; secondly, promotion in good: For [...]his well ought, out of the consideration of Gods mercy (which most ap­peares in this that he delivered his body to him) to recla [...]me him from his evill p [...]r­pose, and conse [...]uently to meliorate him by the vertue of so great a Sacrament; but he [Page 23] increased in his sin, from whence he ought to have augmented his Merit. Thirdly, in resp [...]ct of divine justice, and that in two respects: the augmentation of his fault, the retribution or damnation of his punishment; for since he would not cease from his conceived malice by so great a benefit, by the just judgement of God, he is pu­nished by a fall into a more grievous crime, to wit, desperation. Fifthly, in respect of divine conversation, the Lord for this cause giving him his body with others, that he might shew him, that he ought to be of like good conversation with others. Sixtly, for his perfect reformation as much as might be, on the Lords part, since he left no meanes unattempted to reclaime him. This and much more Alensis, who is se­conded by Thomas Aquinas, 3. Qu. 81. 1. 0. l. 4. Dist. ii. Qu. 3. ar. 2. Qu. 1. 2. 0. By John Gerson Serm. in Coena Dom. ad Eccle. Ca [...]telam; Hugo de Sacram. l. 2. c. 8. and by our Countrymen▪ Rich. de Media Villa, l. 4. dist. 11. ar. 4. qu. 2. 3. Tho▪ Waldensis, O­per. tom. 3. c. 43. sect. 6. and all the Popish Schoolmen; many of them holding See Willets Synopsis Pa­p [...]smi, p. 650. that Iudas did receive the very body of Christ himself, as well as the Sacrament of his bo­dy: This Doctrin of Judas his eating the Sacrament with Christ at his last Supper, is so currant in the Church of Rome, that they have inserted it into most of their Ladies Psalters, Howers, Missals, and expressed it in this Rime.

Rex sedet in Coena, Turba Cinctus DUODENA,
Se tenet in manibus, &c.

For Protestant Writers, the most and best of them in forraigne parts agree See Lucas O sia [...]d. Encha rid. contr. cum Anabaptist. de Eccl [...]sia, cap. 6. Qu. 3.that Judas did receive the Sacrament, or outward elements of Christs body and blood; but not the body and blood of Christ himself; Panem Domini, non panem Do­minum, Sacramentum corporis & sanguinis Christi, non rem Sacramenti: The out­ward signes, not the inward & spirituall grace, for which read Caluini Instit. l. 4. [...]. 17. sect. 34. Aretii Problemata, Locus 77. De usu Sacramentorum, instead of hun­dreds of others; And as the prime Writers, so the publike Confessions of the Re­formed Churches resolve, That Judas did receive the Sacrament as well as the other Apostles: Witnesse the The harmony of Confessions printed at Lon­don, 1643. p. 280. 321.Confession of Bohemia. In the holy Scripture ma­nifest examples of this nature are found in many places; especially in Judas, who received the sacrament of the Lord Christ himselfe: And the confession of Belgia, An evill man verily receiveth the Sacrament unto his owne condemnation, but the thing or truth of the Sacrament he receiveth not: as for example; Judas and Si­mon Magus▪ both of them did receive the sacramentall signes, but as for Christ sig­nified thereby, they received him not.

For our owne Protestant Writers, I shall nominate but two of note, our English Apostle John Wickliffe, as Thomas Waldensis records his opinion, Operum Tom. 3. c 43. sect. 6. and our incomparable Bishop Jewel, in his Defence of the Apology of the Church of England (publikly reserved in all our Churches) part 5. sect. 16. Divis. 1. pag. 635. who determine, that Iudas received the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, though not Christ himselfe; and the whole Church of England in the Exhortation before the sacrament, in the antiquated Common-prayer booke, hath resolved, that Judas did receive the sacrament, as this clause manifests; Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, &c. bewaile your sinnes, and come not to this holy Table, least after the taking of that holy sacrament, the Devill enter into [Page 24] you, as he entred into Iudas, &c. And the 29. Article of the church of England, with the 96. Article of the church of Ireland▪ resolve as much, in citing, approving S [...]int Austins words as orthodox doctrine, which he spake directly of Judas his receiving the Sacrament, and externall elements of Christs body and blood; for which you may consult with Ma [...]ter Rogers his exposition on this Article.

The verity of Judas his receiving the Sacrament being thus abundantly ra­tified by direct Scriptures, and so many concurr [...]nt authorities of all sorts in all ages, (to which hundreds of like testimonies might be added.) I shall onely add [...] this further consideration to the premises, that al our Antagoni [...]s & the Evangelists cleerly agree, that Judas did eat the Pass [...]over with Christ himselfe, as well as the other Apostles: (now the Passeover was a type of the Lords Supper (which su [...] ­ceeded in its place, and a Sacrament under the Law) the same in substance with the E [...]charist under the Gospell; wherein Christ was spiritually represented and received, as well as in the Lords Supper, 1 Cor. 10. 3, 4. ch. 5. 7. Therefore since Christ admitted him to the one, I cannot beleev he quite excluded him from the other▪ which the last answer to the four Quaeres doth ingenio [...]ly acknowledg.

And here I cannot but wonder to see, with what groundle [...]e confidence many godly learned Divines now averre the contrary both in Presse and Pulpit, of pur­pose to introduce a suspension of pretended [...]nworthy persons from the Sacra­ment, before any actuall excommunication from the Church, or other Ordinan­ces deno [...]ced against them: Certainly, their grosse mistake against Scripture, and the resolution of all ages▪ Churches, in this particular, will make wise consci­encious men in all parts of this particular controversie (wherein prejudice and selfe ends, I feare, have much over▪blinded their judgements) distrust and exa­mine all other their Paradoxes▪ Inferences, and mis-interpretations of Scripture, which will prove but darknesse in the conclusion, though cryed up and embraced by many, under the specious seducing notion of NEW-LIGHT.

Having thus made good▪ the affirmative, I shall answer the reasons produced by the opposites, to prove, that I [...]das received not the sacrament; which in truth are meer mistakes: First, they say, that Iudas went out before supper ended, immedi­ately after he received the sop, John 13. 30. but our Saviour did not ordaine this sa­crament till after supper, Luke 22. [...]0. when he had supped, 1 Cor. 11. 25. therefore Judas certainly received not the Sacrament.

I answer, first, That Judas went not out till after Supper, as Saint Iohn expre [...]y resolve [...], Jo [...] 13. 2. And SUPPER BEING ENDED, the Devill having n [...]w put it into the heart of Judas &c. After which, he addes▪ that Christ rose from the Table and washed his Disciples feet, and Judas feet among the rest, if not first of all (a [...] Theophilact with others hold;) After this, Judas continued there with Christ for some space, as the series of the chapter from the 20, to the 30 verse attests. Se­co [...]dly, all the three other Evangelists prove directly, that Judas was present at the sacrament, as I have formerly evidenced; therefore to inferre the contrary fr [...] John 13. 30. is to make John contradict all the other Evangelists, and himselfe 100, v. 2 &c. Therefore it must needs be a cursed interpretation which corrupts the Text, and se [...]s the Evangelists together by the ears. Thirdly, This Sacrament was 1 Cor▪ [...] 2 [...],not i [...]sti [...]ted after Supper, but as th [...]y sat [...] at supper, whence i [...] was called the [Page 25] Lords supper; Matthewes and Pauls expression is, As they were eating, Iesus tooke bread, &c. Marks, As they sate and did eat, and Lukes words taken altogether, imply as much: Therefore he instituted the Sacrament, not after supper, but at and during supper, whiles they sate and did eat at table: True it is. Luke writes, not of the bread, but cup onely (to which Pauls objected words likewise relate) he tooke the cup after supper, Luke 22. 20. yet it appeares he took it likewise du­ring supper, verse 17. yea, some learned me [...] are o [...] opinion▪ that Christ had two suppers that night: First, his Pas [...]ha [...] sup [...]er, at the clo [...]e whereof he instituted the Sacrament of his owne supper: Secondly, an ordinary supper, which suc­ceeded the insti [...]tion of his owne, in imitation whereof▪ the 1 [...]or. 11. 21▪ 22. [...]or [...]h [...]ans and S [...]e T [...]r­tul. Ap [...]l. Primitive Christians had their Agape or Love▪feasts, which they did eat imme­diately after the Lord▪ supper: and this is more then intimated by Saint John, [...]hap, 13. ver. 2. 4▪ 12. to [...]1. where we read, that af [...]r supper, Jesus did rise from supper, and washed his Disciple▪feet; which done, after some discourse he SATE DOWNE AGAINE with them and then dipped a sop, (which could not well be at the Paschall Supper▪ where we read of no so [...]s, nor ought to dip them in) and gave it to Judas▪ &c. who having received the sop went imediately out: there­fore Lukes, after supper he took the cup must be meant only after the Paschall sup­per, not the other common supper: for if Judas went out before the Paschal supper q [...]ite [...]nded, thē you mu [...]t grant that he did not drink of the cup contrary to Christs expr [...]e precept, Drink ye ALL of this; and Saint Marks relation, that they did ALL drink thereof; to wit, all the twelve Disciples. Fourthly, the word imediate­ly doth not alwayes imply, a thing done at the self-same instant, without the lest intervenient stay or delay; but many times (as all know) in our common speech▪ it signifies, soon after, or not long after; as we usually say, we will doe this or that imediately, instantly, presently, when as we meane onely [...]peedily, within a short time, not at that instant or very time we speak it; So that admit the mo [...] that can be, this word will not necessarily in [...]erre, that Jud [...]s went out so imediatly after the sop received, that he did not stay to receive the Lords supper ere he went out, which all the other Evangelists words deny, who would certainly have expressed it in direct tearmes▪ had there been any such thing.

Their second reaso [...], that Judas received not the Sacrament, because Christ could not say unto him particularly, Take, eat, this is my body which is given for thee; this is my blood which is shed for thee; is very absurd.

First, because it appeares not, that Christ did deliver the Bread and Wine se­verally, one after another to every of his Disciples▪ as our Ministers [...]se now to do; but o [...]ely▪ gave it promis [...]o [...]sly to them all at once; who took and divided it se­verally [...]mong themselves, and handed it one to another, as Luke 22. 17. & Mat. 26. 27. Divide it among your selves▪ He tooke the cup and gave it TO THEM (joyntly, not to each of them by himselfe) saying, Drinke ye ALL (not tho [...] Peter or John) of this, doe more then imply.

Secondly, because admit Christ used those words particularly to Judas, a [...] Ministers now do to each particular Communicant, yet he meant them only co [...]i [...]onally, that his body was broken, and his blood shed for him, if he would really receive the [...] by faith, otherwise not! Christ being made o [...]rs onely by faith.

[Page 26] Thirdly, Matthew and Mark relate Christs words of instit [...]tion to be with­out any such particular application, as w [...] subjoyne▪ viz. Take eat▪ this is my body: Drinke y [...] all of this, for this is my blood of the new Testament which is shed FOR MANY: not for thee Judas; which he might very well use to Judas, as con­joyned with the other Apostles.

But these Antagonists have a second shift; when they cannot deny that Judas received the Sacrament, they answer, he was a close Hypocrite, guilty of no scandalous crime, so that the other Apostles were more ready to suspect them­selves then Judas, when Christ told them, that one of them should betray him▪ Therefore this is no president or warrant for Ministers, to admit open scandalous sinners (though not actually excommunicated) to the Lords Table.

[...]n [...] 17 c. [...]. [...]9 2 [...]. I answer, first, that Christ himselfe (the Act. 1. 24. [...] 2. [...] searcher and knower of all mens hearts) did some one or two yeers space before this, infallibly know, and tell his Disciples, that one of them, to wit, Judas Iscariot, was a devill, for he it was should betray him, being one of the twelve, John 6. 70, 71. Secondly, at the time when he instituted the Sacrament, he infallibly knew and foretold the Disciples, yea Judas himselfe, that Judas should betray him, and that it was fore-prophesied he should doe so, John 13. 18. to 28. Matth. 26. 20. to 26. Mark 14. 18. to 22. Luke 22. 21, 22, 23. Acts 1. 17. 18. Thirdly, that when Christ washed his Disciples feet (and Iudasses among others) after supper, he told them, that they were clean, but not all; meaning it of Iudas▪ Iohn 13. 10, 11. Fourthly, he infallibly knew him to be lost, and thereupon called him, the sonne of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Iohn 17. 12. and knew that the Devill after the sop given, would enter into, and take actuall possession of him, Iohn 13. 27. compared with ch. 6. 70, 71. & that he should be certainly damned & fall from his Apostleship, for his trans­gression, that he might goe to his own place (that is, to hell) Acts 1. 25. and that there­fore in eating the Sacrament, he would certainly but eat and drinke judgement to himselfe, and be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, 1 Cor. 11. 27, 29.

If then Christ himselfe did infallibly know all this of Iudas, though perchance his other Disciples did not (as likewise his theevish, covetous, as well as traiterous disposition, John 12. 6. both which did make him scandalous, and an unworthy [...]eceiver) and yet for all this, in the very originall institution of the Sacrament, because Iudas was still one of the twelve, nor actually convicted of, nor excom­ [...]nicated for these crimes, and voluntarily desiring to receive the Sacrament as well as others▪ and because Christ himself would leave him unexcusable in leaving no externall meanes unattempted to reclaime him from his desperate intentio [...], by what divine authority, rule of conscience, or Christian prudence, can any Mi­nister of Christ (who is not, at lest ought not to deem himself, either greater▪ wiser, holier, preciser or more consciencious then Christ his Master) keep any unexco [...] ­ [...]nicated christian from the Sacrament, though covetous, scandalous, & outwardly fl [...]gitious for the present, in case he be desirous to receive it, and will not be kept from it by any serious dehortations or admonitions of the danger of unworthy receiving, if he in his owne conscience judge himselfe worthy, professe his hearty sorrow for his sinnes past, and reformation of them for the future (especially since no Minister 2 Chr 6. [...] Jer. 17. 4, 5. can so certainly know the secret disposition of such a mans heart for the present, nor what 2 Tim▪ 2. 25 26 he may from thenceforth prove for the future▪ [Page 27] or whether he be not [...] Rom 8. 29 30 1 Cor. 6. 10, 11. Tit. 3. 2 to 8. elect child of God, and so certaine to be effectually called, converted, peradventure at that instant time, in or by this very Or­dinance of the sacrament;) as Christ himselfe did know the heart, state, and finall impenitence of this traitor Iudas, whom notwithstanding he admitted to his Table: I shall therefore beseech all our Ministers and Opposites, to lay this seriously to heart; and if they will needs make, or pretend conscience in any thing, let it be in this, not to make themselves wiser, holier, rigidder, or more con­sciencious in this point then Christ himselfe Joh. [...]5. 20. c 13. 16. Mat. 10. 24, 25 Remember the words that Christ said to his Disciples, & in them to all Minister [...], The servant is not greater then his Lord, nor he that is se [...]t▪ greater then he that sent him: it is enough for the Disciple that he be as his Mast [...]r, and the servant a [...] his Lord. Remember what St. Iohn de­termines, 1 Iohn 2. 6. H [...] that, saith he, abideth in Christ, ought himselfe to walk eve [...] as he walked; who, as in his suffering, so in the Administration of this Sa­crament, hath left Us an example, that We should follow his steps, 1 Pet. 2. 21. Eph. 5, 1, 2. compared with th [...] 1 Cor. 11. 23▪ &c. We all grant, it is Christs preroga­tive onely to institute Sacraments, and is it [...]ot his prerogative likewise to pre­scribe how and to whom they shall be administred? and hath he not done this by hi [...] own example? take heed therfore of making conscience of excluding such un­excommunicated person [...] from Christ [...] Table now he is in heaven▪ as himself with­out scruple admitted to it whiles he was on earth; If any unexcommunicated Iu­dasses will wilfully come to this sacred feast without a Wedding-garment, or with a traiterous and impenitent heart, contrary to their externall profession of repen­tance, [...]fter your serious dehortation to them, and advisements to abstaine, the danger, guilt and sinne is onely their owne▪ not yours (as I shall prove more fully a [...]on) else Christ himselfe should have been guilty (by your kind of reasoning) of Iudas his sinne and [...]nworthy receiving, which you dare not affi [...]me.

Secondly, if Christ himselfe knowing Iudas to be such a desper [...]te wick­ [...]d wretch, traitor, reprobate, did yet admit him to eat the Passeover and Sacra­ment with his other Disciples, and they made not any scruple of conscience [...]o communicate with him in both, no not after Christ had particularly informed them▪ and Judas himselfe, that he should betray him, Matth. 26. 21. to [...]6. then certainly there can be no colour for [...]ny Christian, in point of con [...]cience▪ to with­draw himselfe from the Lords Table, or sever from our Churches because of mixt Comm [...]nions (as some now phrase them) or because some op [...] s [...]a [...] ­dalous unexcommunicate persons, are admitted to communicate with them: This i [...] [...]he use and inference which most of the Ancien [...]s▪ made of Iudas his [...]at­ing the Lords Supper and Passeover with his fellow-Disciples and they with him, against the scismaticall Donatists (now revived in our Ind [...]penden [...]s A [...] ­baptists, Separatists) whose resolution [...] in this case they may doe well to read at large in Gratian, Caus. 1. Quest. 1. and in Ivo Carnot [...]nsis, Decre [...]lium▪ [...]e­c [...]nda par [...], to whom I shall referre them: Certainly they may with as much con­science and reason refuse to joyne with such in hearing, reading▪ fasting▪ singing, prayer, or any other Ordinances as in this, [...]pon the self▪ same grou [...]d [...] t [...]ey [...] to communicate with the [...] at the Lords Table: Therefore let not such ground▪ lesse whimsie [...], and false principles, upon which they have hitherto soun [...]d [Page 28] their practice of separation in this kind delude thē any longer; they being [...]s much partakers of other mens sin [...], in participating▪ joining or being present with them in any other Ordin [...]nce, as in this; since if they de [...]est their sinfull courses, they are no more guilty of them by rec [...]iving the S [...]crament with the [...] ▪ then Christ or his Apo [...]le [...] w [...]re of Iud [...]s his [...]ea [...]on or unworthy receiving, by communicating with him; the [...]ather, b [...]cause the Scripture resolves expresly (and all Come [...]tators new and old upon the Text sub [...]cribe to it) that every unworthy Communicant eats and dr [...]es judgement onely TO HIMSELFE, 1 Cor. 11. 27. 29.) not to the Ministe [...] or any other, with whom he shall Communicate in this Ordi­nance.

Let those therefore who out of spiritu [...]ll pride and selfe▪opinion of their owne transc [...]dent holinesse above others, disd [...]ine to communicate with those whom [...]hey deem more sin [...]l, l [...]sse p [...]nitent then themselves, beware lest this groundlesse Phari [...]ical ride of theirs make them not more scandalous & unfit to receive thi [...] Sacrament ( [...]t which they should especially manifest their humilty, charity, love, [...]ompassion and [...] towards their br [...]thren) then those scandalous persons they refuse to communicate with, as the Pharis [...]s pride in prayer, made him lesse justifi [...] and un [...]ceptable to God then the Publican, Luke 18. 9. to 15. a place well worthy their saddest consideration.

And thu [...] much for I [...]das his receiving the Sacr [...]ment, which go [...] very farr in deciding our present controversies.

The seventh difference is▪ Whether the Minister hath not fully discharged his duty and conscience if he give warning to unworthy Communicants of the dan­ger they incurre by their unworthy approches to the Lords Table, [...]nd seriously deh [...]rt th [...]m from comming to it, [...]lesse they repent, reforme, and come prepa­red? And [...]hether the 1 Cor. 11. Ezek. 33. 1. to 10. Acts. 20. 26. 27. [...]ith the Li [...]urgies of our owne and the French Churches doe not intimate a [...]d prove a [...] much? I affirme, my A Bro [...]ly and friendly censure▪ p [...] 7. [...] A [...] A [...]i [...]ote against [...] da [...]ger [...]us quaeries, p 6. An Answer, &cAntagonists deny it in their three printed Pamphlets; affirming, that it is not enough for Ministers to warne them of the sinne and danger of unworthy receiving▪ unlesse they l [...]kewise keep them back from the Sacrament: The reason they render is, because, [...]f the Minister gives the Sacrament to such, he is a partaker of their sinne and as mu [...]h guilty by the giving, as the other by his un­wor [...]hy receiving▪ and shall partake with him both in the guilt and punishment: To exemplifie which they use this simi [...]itude: Sir, if you have a cup in your hand which will poyson and kill a sick distempered man, if he drinke of it, will you give it unto him if he desire it? and do [...] you think it enough to admonish him that it is deadly poy­son, and first deh [...]rt him from drinking of it▪ and then imediately reach it to him, with intent tha he shall drink of it? I perswade my selfe, that as he shall perish, so hi [...] blood shall be required at your ha [...]ds and that you shall as guilty hold up your hand at the barre for it. Yea, th y av [...]rre, that this is more then arbitrary, tyranni­call▪ papall domineering over the consciences of Pastors, Elders and godly people, to [...] s [...]andalous sinners intrude and come boldly to the Lords table▪ and the Pastors and Elders have no power to keep them backe.

To which I answer▪ I very much wonder at this strange divinity, never heard of in the world till of late, and that first among the Anabaptists, from whence it [Page 29] was derived into o [...] English soyle: But for a direct reply, I readily acknowledge that all desperate, sc [...]nd [...]lous, wicked▪ obstin [...]te sinners, may be justly excōmunica­ted from the Church [...]nd S [...]craments▪ after sever [...]ll previous admonitions for their sinful courses, & th [...]t being th [...]s excommunic [...]ted▪ they ought [...]ot to be admitted to the s [...]cr [...]ment nor any other publike Ordin [...]nce til their open profession of sin­ [...]ere repentance [...]d re-admission to the Church: But if [...]ny such not thus procee­ded [...]gainst [...]or excommunic [...]ted after due [...]dmonitions, profer themselves [...]t the Lords Table together with others, professing unf [...]ined rep [...]ntance for their sinne [...] past, and reformation of their lives for time to come (a [...] every person vol [...]ntarily doth who resorts to the Lords table) in such a case the Minister when he hath s [...]ri­o [...]sly [...]dmonished them of the d [...]nger of unworthy r [...]ceiving, and dehorted them to come to the Sacrament, unlesse they find th [...]mselves sufficiently prepa­red in their owne consciences, hath fully discharged his duty, and cannot repell them from this heavenly banquet▪ And if i [...] this case they receive unworthily, he is no way guilty of their [...]inne in the least degree, since he consented [...]ot to it and did for [...]w [...]rne the [...] of it: To make this apparent to every mans capacity, I shall lay downe these six conclusions which I desire all Christians, especially Separa­tists and I [...]dependents, seriously to ponder.

First, that eve [...]y visible Member of [...] visible Church or Congregation, not actu [...]lly secl [...]ded from it by excomm [...]nication for some notorious sca [...]dall, hath a true interest in, [...]nd right unto every Ordin [...]nce of Christ [...]d [...]inistred in that Church, of which he is not made unc [...]p [...]ble by any naturall disability, as children, fooles, and distracted men are of receiving the Lords Supper, bec [...]use unable to ex [...]mine themselves; to which notwithstanding they have been admitted in some Ch [...]rche [...]. For pro [...]fe of this conclusion, I must lay downe another, which [...]tterly s [...]bverts the very fo [...]nd [...]tion of Separation [...]nd Independency; That the Sa­cr [...]ments both of Baptisme and the Lords s [...]ppe [...] were beq [...]eathed by Christ himselfe (as all his other Ordinance [...]) [...]ot only to his elect and regenerated chil­dren▪ but to his visible Ch [...]r [...]h on e [...]rth, and [...]ll visible member [...] of it; in which there alwayes hath bee [...] [...]o [...] is, and ever will be▪ a [...]ixture both of good and bad, ch [...]fe and Wheat, exter [...]all and re [...]ll professors, Hypocrites and sincere Be­leevers. Hence it is all our Opposite [...] unanimously grant▪ that they ca [...]ot refuse the Sacrament to H [...]pocrites, or c [...]rnall morall Christians, of civill [...]n­blam [...]ble life [...]nd conversatio [...], though there be no power of godli [...]esse in them, if they be not grosly ignor [...]t, nor yet deny the Sacrament of Baptisme to their 1 Cor. 7. [...]4.childre [...] (which the Apo [...]tle cal [...] Saints or H [...]ly) bec [...]se they are members of the visible Church▪ to whom th [...] Sacaments of right belong, as such; else they [...]ight s [...]spend all s [...]ch from the Lords S [...]pper upon this very ground▪ that they are hypocrites, unregenerated▪ unsanctified persons▪ who have no right unto the Sa­craments as well as scandalous impenitent sinners; From whence I argue thus,

  • Those who have a true right to the Sacrament, as visible members of the visible Church, ought not in justice or conscience to be de­prived of it, in case they demand it, by any Minister or Presbyte­tery, Mat. 24. 45, 46▪ &c. Luke 12. 42, &c. compared with Mat. 22▪ [...], to 15. 1 Cor. 10▪ 1. to 7. 17. [...] Tim. 2. 24. 25▪ 26.
  • [Page 30] But all unexcommnnicated Christians▪ who are able to examine them­selves, as visible Members of the visible Church, have a trus right to the sacrament, in case they doe demand it, when publikely admi­nistred.
  • Ergo, they ought not in justice or conscience to be deprived of it by any Minister or Presbytery, when publikely administred, if they shall require it.

The rather, because nothing but an actuall excommunication can suspend them from this their right, as an actuall o [...]tlary suspends men from the benefit of the Law.

Secondly▪ that every visible Christian not actually excommunicated, who hath a right to the Sacrament of Baptism & hath bin admitted therunto (which answers circumcision this Seal of the covenant) such only excepted, who by reason of infan­cy or other infirmitie [...] of nature, are unable to examine themselves, hath likewise as good a right to, and interest in the Lords supper, the other seal of the Covenant (as some phrase it without a text) which answers to the Passeover; even as every circumcised person under the Law had a right to eat of the Passover, and might not be debarred from it, as is formerly proved; since no rationall Christian is able to give a satisfactory re [...]son, why such should enjoy the benefit of one Sacrament and yet not be admitted to th [...] other, seeing that which entitles them to the one entitles them to the other, and that which debarres them from the one se­cludes them from the other: We read in the very Apostles times, that a meere externall slight confession of sin and profession of the Christian faith, was suffi­cient to enable sinners to be baptized; hence Simon Magus, a meere dissem­bler, and Symonaicall unregenerate wretch, was b [...]ptized by Phillip as well as others who really repented and beleeved in Christ, though he were in the gall of bitternesse and bond of iniquity, Acts 8. 12. to 25. yea, many others who turned Wolves, Apostates, Hereticks were baptized by the very Apostles, onely upon their externall profession of Christ, without any inward truth of grace, Acts 20. 29. 30. 2 Tim. 3. 1. to 6. Rom. 16 17 18. 2 Pet. 2. throughout Iude 8. to 20. 1 Ioh. 2. 18 19 And u [...]on a very sodain, seeming remorse for sin and Confession of Christ at the very first Sermon without any delay or long examination of the sincery or truth of their faith or conversation, thousands with their whole housholds were baptized and admitted into the Church by the Apostles, Act. 2 37 38. 4 [...]. c. 8. 12. 13. [...]. 10. 34. to the end ch. 16. 33. Yea▪ among the very Anabaptists themselves both beyond the seas & at home, there are farre more hypocrites and carnall persons of ripe yeers rebap [...]i [...]ed▪ then reall Saints▪ onely upon a bare externall profession of faith and repentance▪ and so generally i [...] all other Churches in the world, from Christs time till this present: I [...] then the Sacrament of Baptisme hath in all ages, Churches since its inst [...]tion▪ and b [...] the very Apostles themselves without any danger of si [...] or s [...]ruple of conscience be [...]n administred to all externall [...]rofessors of Christ and never denied to any suc [...], (or to their children, but by Anabaptists;) then by the self▪same rea [...]on the [...]a [...]ament of the Lords Supper may and must be adminis [...]red to th [...], w [...]n t [...]ey [...]nder themselves among others to receive it, and can nei­ther [Page 31] in point of conscience or Christianity be justly with▪held from them by any Ministery or Presbytery whatsoever, if not actually excommunicated for some [...]otorious s [...]ndall, the one being as much a tr [...] Sacrament as the other, if not of more absol [...]e necessity then the other: Upon which ground, I shall challe [...]ge all my Opposites▪ to shew me any divine charter or president in Scrip­tu [...]e authorizing them to suspend any unexcomm [...]icated Christians, able to ex­mine themselves, and willing to comm [...]nica [...]e, from receiving the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, whom they [...]ave formerly deemed fit to receive and could not deny him the Sacrament of Baptisme: Till this be done, they must pardo [...] me for not subscribing to any such pretended authority by divine right.

Thirdly, that it is the Ministers bounden duty to administer the Sacraments to their people, as well as to preach and pray, Mark 16. 15, 16. Matth. 28. 19, 20. Acts 2. 41, 42. chap. 8. 12, 13. chap. 10. 47, 48. 1 Cor. 10. 16. chap. 11. 23. to 28. Therefore they can no more deny to administer this Sacrament to those of their Congregation who are not excommunicated, then ref [...]se to preach the Gospell to them, or pray with them: What Paul writes of preaching the Gospell, Necessity i [...] laid upon me, andw [...] is me if I preach not the Gospell▪ 1 Cor. 9. 16, the same may Ministers apply to their administrng the Sacrament, woe to us if we admini­ster it not when de [...]ired; the r [...]ther because it is now a received principle among Presbyterians, and professedly agreed by our reverend Brother of Scot­land i [...] his Fast Sermon; that no private Minister hath any jurisdiction in himself to keepe back [...] any from the sacrament, but onely the whole Classis or Pres­bytery.

Fourthly, that though God hath originally in his primary intention ordained his Gospell and Sacraments (which are rich mercies in themselves,) only for the com­fort and salvation of those who worthily receive them; yet he hath secondarily instituted them to be the savour of death unto death, and a means of aggravating the sins and condemnation of such who shall wilfully conte [...]ne, abuse, or unworthily receive them, 1 Cor. 11. 25. to 30. 2 Cor. 2▪ 15, 16. Matth. 10. 14, 15. Mark 16. 15, 16. L [...]ke 8. 18. Heb. 6. 6, 7▪ 8. Iohn 15. 22. 2 Pet. 2. 21. Ezek. 2. 3. to 9. Yea▪ Christ himselfe, tho [...]gh he be a most sweet Saviour in his owne [...]at [...]re and Gods pri [...]itive intentio [...], yet accidentally he is set for the fall, as well as for the rising of many in Israel, Luke 2. 34. [...]ay, for a stone of st [...]bling and rocke of off [...]nce, for a gin, and for a snare; at [...]d against which [...]any shall stumble and fall, [...]nd be broken, and s [...]ared, and taken, Isa. 8. 14, 15, chap. 2 [...]. 16. Rom. 9. 33. 1 Pe [...]. 28. Matth. 21. 44. Luke 20. 18. So [...]re his Word [...]d Sacraments too, accidental­ly set (by reason of me [...] corruptions and [...]worthy, [...]profitable particip [...]tio [...] of them;) for the fall and ruine, as well as the salvation of [...].

Fiftly, that God onely i [...]fallibly knows the he [...]ts and present state of all men, not any Minister or Presbytery, 2 Chron. 6. 30. Acts 1. 24. 2 Tim. 2. 19. 1 Sam. 16. 5. to 14. Matth. 26. 21▪ 22. Iohn. 2, 24▪ 25. That he can convert and change [...]s hearts and lives in a m [...]ment▪ and make them meet Co [...]nicants though [...] cannot discerne them to be such▪ Acts 3. 9. to 28. chap. 2. 37▪ 38. &c. Rom. 11. 3▪ 4▪ 5▪ He can sodainly give th [...]m a white ston [...], with a new name written in it, which NO MAN KNOWETH SAVING HE THAT RECEIVETH IT, Revel [...] [Page 32] 2. 17. And therefore if we see any desirous to receive the Sacrament, to be penitent in outward shew and profession, we ought in the judgement of ch [...]ity to esteem them such, since we cannot infallibly discern [...] and search their hearts▪ 1 [...]or. 13. 5. 7. Phil. 2. 3. Heb▪ 6. 9. Mat. 7. 1. Rom. 14▪ 4. to 15.

Sixthly, that no Ministers private judgement, or conscience ought to be the rule of his admitting any to▪ or suspending them from the Sacrament: For first, there is no Text nor cla [...]se of S [...]ri [...]tu [...]e that makes his private judgement or con­science such a rule: Secondly, if a Minister should have power to deny the sacra­ment (under pain of sin▪ ye [...] punishmentt, as some men [...]each) [...]o every Communi­cant he deems unmeet or unworthy, before actuall convictio [...] of his unworthi­nesse in the Presbytery, then it would rest in the power of every particular Mini­ster, how justly or unjustly soever, to admit or se [...]l [...]de from the sacrament whom ever his cōscience or judgment should think fit; which would introduce the most exorbitant arbitrary Papall jurisdiction, usurpation over the consciences▪ priviled­ges of christians & Ordinances of Christ, that was ever yet heard of or exer [...]ised in the christian world; make every Minister more thē a Pope every member of a con­gregation worse then a slave, and give greater authority to every ordinary Pastor, then ever Christ or [...]is Apostles exercised, or the Pope or Prelats hitherto claimed. Thirdly, then it would inevitably follow, that in case the whole Presbytery, Clas­sis or Synod should deem a man, upon any appe [...]l unto them against his Ministers unjust suspension, worthy and fit to receive the sacrament; yet if his Ministers judgement and conscience be not satisfied▪ but he deems him still [...]nworthy, he may, will and must still refuse to administer the Sacrament to him, notwithstan­ding their resolution, else he should offend against his owne judgement and con­science. So on the other side, if the Presbytery, Classis▪ Synod, should vote any man unworthy and unfit to communicate▪ yet if the Minister think him fit he may, wil and must admit him to the sacrament if he r [...]quire it lest he should sin against his conscience; And then to what end serve Presbyteries Classes, Synods, or Appeales unto them in such [...]ases; since upon my Opposites objected ▪princi [...]les (if they will adhere unto them) not their resolutions▪ but every particular Ministers pri­vate j [...]dgment, conscience, is and ought to be the sole canon and Directory which he will, must and ought to follow, And then to what a miserable slavery shall we be re [...]ed, if every Minister may have snch authority to Lord it over the Lords [...] P [...] 5. 3. inheritances and Ordinances too, let all prudent men determine.

These six conclusions premised, which have utterly overt [...]rned the very foun­dations o [...] this strange Objection, and laid the Opposites on their backs; I answer directly, That a Minister in delivering the sacrament to a scandalous, unexcom­m [...]nicated person, who [...]fter admonition of the danger, doth earnestly desire to receive it, as conceiving himselfe in his owne heart and conscience meet to parti­cipate of it, becomes no way guilty of his si [...]ne or punishment, in case he eat and drink judgement by his [...]nworthy receiving of it: My reasons are th [...]se; First, because this receiver being not excommunicated, hath a true [...]ight to this sacrament, as a vi [...]ble member of the visible Church, as well as to Baptisme and other Ordinan [...]s; therefore the Ministers cannot in point of conscience debarr [...] hi [...] fro [...] it. Secondly, be [...]use he hath no commission from Christ to keep bac [...][Page 33] such a person, nor yet any such power from the Church or state. Thirdly, be­cause every Communicant is to examine himselfe and his owne conscience be­tween God & him, whether he be fit to receive the sacrament or not, and to be the judge of his owne heart, which no other can so truly discerne as himselfe, 1 Cor. 11. 28. 31. 2 Cor. 13. 6. Gal. 6. 4. 5. Jer. 17. 9. 1 Cor. 2. 11. And if he judge himselfe fitly prepared, joynes with others in the publike confession of his sinnes, and promiseth newnesse of life, the Minister ought in point of charity to deem him so, and hath no commission from Christ to exclude him; When Christ himselfe instituted and administred this sacrament, we read not of any exami­nation made by him of his Disciples fitnesse or preparednesse to receive it; nor yet of Paul or any other Apostle or Minister in the new Testament, that made any such particular scrutiny into other Communicants consciences to try their fitnesse or unfitnesse, as some now magisterially take upon them to make by way of jurisdiction▪ not advice, derived originally from Popish tyranny, and their exploded practice of Auricular confession to a Priest, before the receiving of the sacrament▪: All the power they claimed or exercised in this kind▪ was one­ly by way of Councell; Let a man therefore examine himselfe, not others, or others him (say all old and new Expositors on the Text.) And if they may not ex­amine, then much lesse judge or seclude him as unworthy▪ without examination or knowledge of his heart, which God onely knowes and searcheth, and himself. Fourthly, because he administers the sacrament to him as to a person outwardly fitted and prepared, the inward preparation of whose heart, for ought he knowes may be sincere towards God, & really changed from what it was before. Fifthly, because the administration of the sacrament is an holy lawfull action, and Gods Ordinan [...]ce in the Minister, who delivers it onely as Gods Ordinance, in obedi­ [...]nce to his command, with a good intention to benefit all, and hurt none by it. Sixthly, because such a persons unworthy receiving is onely contingent and casu­all; Prov. 16. 1▪ 1 Co [...] 7. 16. 1 Tim. 2. 25, 26. Rom 9. 15, 16 18. no Minister, or creature being able infallibly to judge, whether God at this instant▪ out of his abundant mercy, may not by the omnipotent working of his spirit, in the preparatory examinations, prayers, exhortations before the act of re­ceiving, & in the very receiving it selfe (the sacrament being as well a meanes to beget as confirme grace) change both his heart and life, and make him eat and drink salvation, instead of damnation to himselfe. Seventhly, because all our Opposites accord, that Ministers may and ought to admister the sacrament to mas­ked Hypocrites, and unregenerate civill morall Christians, who live not in open scandalous sinners, though these for want of faith and sincere repentance doe all eat and drink judgement to themselves as well as scandalous open sinners: Yea, most of them acknowledge, that if the Classis or Pre [...]bytery, shall judge any man whom the Minister deems ignorant, scandalous and unworthy to communicate; to be a meet Communicant, contrary to the Ministers judgement and consci­ence, yet he may nay must admit and administer the sacrament to him. I would then demand of my Antagonists, whether in this case the Minister be guilty of these receivers sinnes and unworthy receiving? or whether their similitude of a Cup of poyson holds in such a case? If yea then why wil they thus inforce them to commit a sin against their conscience [...] ▪ and to par [...]ake of other mens sins in these [Page 34] cases by administring the sacrament to them? If not, then they yeeld their ob­jection false, in the case of scandalous persons too, there being the same [...]wor­thy p [...]rticipation in both. Seventhly, because the Minist [...]r onely gives the sacra­ment, and the unworthy rec [...]iving, is the receivers owne personall act and sinne alone, not the Minist [...]rs, as is his unworthy hearing, praying, asting. Eighthly, because else Christ, who was guilty of no sinne, sho [...]ld have been partaker of I [...] ­das his sinne and u [...]worthy receiving, in administring the sacrament to him, knowing him infallibly to be a Traytor, Theefe, Devill, and sonne of perdition, which were blasphemy to affirm: And if it were no sin in Christ, then not in others, to give the Sacrament to known unworthy receivers, since they do but follow his example. Ninthly, because the Minister in administring the Sa­crament, is a sweet savour of Christ, as well in those that perish by it, as in those that are saved and benefitted by it, as he is in preaching the Gospell; God having appointed it secondarily and contingently (as well as his Word) to be a means of aggravating mens sins and condemnation, to magnifie his justice, as well as an instrument of grace and salvation to magnifie his mercy, 1 Cor. 11. 25. to 30. Finally, the holy Ghost himselfe expresly resolves in positive tearms, that he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth & drink­eth damnation or judgment TO HIMSELFE (not to the Minister or other Communicants,) and drawes guilt, judgements onely upon himselfe, verse 27, 30, 31. Thus all the ancient and moderne Comentators on this Text, together with Gratian, Causa 1. Quest. 1. Iv [...] Carnot [...]nsis Decretal. secunda pars, resolve unanimously against the Donatists; and this the objectors owne practice heretofore, in delivering the sacrament to such, without thinking themselves guilty of their sin, having exhorted, admonished them of the dan­ger, and so done what in them lay to keepe them off, refutes. This new Do­ctrine therefore of theirs, is point-blank against the Scripture, Saint Pauls ex­presse resolution, the practice and judgement of all antiquity, their owne opi­nions, practice heretofore, and others now; whether of these are to be credited herein, let themselves determine.

Finally, the word [...], in this text, which yon render damnation, signifies naught else but judgement, as the margin of our Bibles render it; that is, some temporall judgement, as sicknesse, weaknesse, death, and such like punishments, as v. 30, 31, 32. directly expounds it, and most Expositors on this text resolve; not eternall condemnation, as you misinterpret it, as Mat. 5. 21▪ 22. c. 7. 1, 2. 1 Pet. 4. 7. will fully clear. Therefore the very founda [...]ion of this objection, is a meere mistake.

As for the much pressed similitude of a cup of poyson, which hath delu­ded many, it is but a meere fallacy, and differs in many particulars from the Cup in the Lords Supper: For first, the Cup in the Lords Supper is no poy­son in it selfe, neither can any Minister certainly determine, that it will prove poyson to the soule of any one par [...]icular Communicant, no more then the Word or other Ordinances; for it may for ought he knowes, prove a sove­raigne medicine to those very persons through Gods blessing, to whom he thoug [...] it might prove poyson; And therefore if a Physician give a whole [Page 35] some potion to one, to whom it may in probability prove a medicine, not a poyson; and it proves poyson to him onely by accident, through his distemper who receives it (as many physicall potions doe) this certainly is neither man-slaughter nor murther in the Physician, as the Objectors ignorantly mistake, (for then I doubt all the Physicians obout London would soon take a [...]urne at Tibur [...].) Set then the similitude right, as it stands paralell with the Sacrament in this respect, and it vanisheth into nothing, or else turnes against you: Secondly, it is a meere arbitrary, voluntary act in men to give a poisonous potion to him that shall demand it, & they have free power to keep it from him if they please: But on the contrary, the Minister hath no power to deny the Sacramentall Cup and Bread to any seeming penitents that desire it, and doth but his duty in administring it, as I have manifested; therefore it can be no crime in him: Thirdly, you may make the same argument against the Ministers preaching the Gospell to obstinate scandalous sinners, since his very preaching doth encrease their sinnes and damnation, as well as his administring the Sacraments to them, Mat. 10. 14, 15. Heb. 6. 6, 7, 8.

Now whereas they object, that the admission of unexcommunicated wick­ed scandalous persons to the Sacrament, is more then an arbitrary, tyranni­call, Papall domineering over the consciences of Ministers, Elders, and god­ly people: it's a meere untruth and scandalous assertion, as all the premises demonstrate; never affirmed by any Classicke Author till this age; and though a real errour in many consciencious persons who beleeve it as a truth, yet I fear &p artly know, that many who now object & urge it, do not cordi­ally beleev it as a truth, but rather make use of it as a received error the more easily to usurp unto themselves a meere arbitrary, if not tyrannicall authority over their Congregations consciences, and Gods Ordinances, in admitting to, excluding from them whom they please: the very extremity of that arbitrary, Episcopall, Papall power, which we solemnly vow against in our Nationall Covenant, and have taken up arms against in the field: And so much concern­ing this grand difference, the importance whereof hath made me more prolix and copious.

The eighth thing in controversie is, Whether Ministers may not as well re­fuse to preach the Word to such unexcommunicated grosse impenitent, scandalous Christians, whom they would suspend from the Sacrament, for feare of partaking with them in, and being guilty of their sinnes, as to ad­minister the Sacrament to them? since their unprofitable hearing of the Word, is every wayes as dangerous, as damning a sinne to their soules, as their [...]n­worthy receiving the Sacrament, and those who eat and drink damnation to themselves, in the one, doe but heare and multiply damnation to them­selves in the other? 2 Cor. 2. 14, 15, 16. Mat. 10. 14, 15. Mark 16. 15, 16. Luke 8. 18. Heb. 2. 1, 2. chap. 2. 7, 8. chap. 6. 6, 7, 8. The rather, because that oft alleaged Text of Matth. 7. 6. Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast you your pearles before swine, least they trample the [...] under their feet, and turne againe and teare you: is properly meant of preaching the Word, t [...]o administing the Sacrament unto such; as is evident by Mat. 10. 14. Mark [Page 36] 16. 15, 16. Acts 13. 46. 51. And whether any reason can be given by our Opposites, why such as these should be admitted by themselves, to heare the Word, without any scruple, guilt, or participation of their sinnes, and yet be totally secluded from this Sacrament, under paine of being guilty of their unworthy receiving?

To this pressing demand, our Antagonists answer v [...]riously, putting sundry groundlesse differences, between the preaching of the Word, and administra­tion of the Sacraments, which I shall severally examine.

A brotherly and [...]eindly Censure, [...] [...], 8. First, they say, that a Minister preacheth the Word to many unprofitable hea­rers, not knowing them to he such, in hope to convert and profit them, if there be any such in the Auditory: so also he gives the sacraments to some unworthy recei­vers, not knowing them to be such, with an intention to doe them good: and in such cases he is blamlesse: (Thus far then there is no such difference, as is surmised.) But [...]f he give the holy seals of Christs body and blood to scandalous and impenitent persons, he knows he gives them damnation to eat and drink; and is half sharer with them in the sinfull act; so that though unworthy hearing and receiving be equally damnable, to the hearers and receivers, yet not equally dangerous to the Mi­nisters.

I answer to this latter clause, wherein the difference is pretended: First, that the Minister doth as certainly know, that if he preach the Word to obsti­nate, scandalous, impenitent sinners, he doth but preach damnation to them in his Sermons, as that he doth give damnation to them in the Sacrament Mark▪ 16. 16. Heb. 6. 6, 7, 8. Matth. 10. 14. 15. and those whom he certainly knowes to be such scandalous and impenitent receivers, he cannot but know [...]o be first impenitent, scandalous hearers, since the Sermon preceeds the Sacra­ment: Therefore if he be guilty of their sin or damnation, in giving the Sa­crament to them, he must be likewise in preaching to them. Secondly, this e­vasion is built upon two false principles: First, that a Minister may and doth [...]ertainly know, that if he give the Sacrament to one who hath been formerly an impenitent scandalous sinner, but now comes openly and confesseth his sinnes, promiseth reformation for time to come, and is desirous to receive the sacramentall signes of the pardon of his sinnes, with the rest of the Con­gregation, with expresse promise and desire to become a new man (as all receivers ever externally doe) that he gives him damnation to eat and drink: This I am certaine no Minister can infallibly know or affirme, because he knows not the present change or inclination of his heart, or whether God by [...]his very duty may not really convert him: Secondly, that the Minister who sorewarnes men of the danger of unworthy receiving, and admonisheth the Communicants seriously to examine themselves, and come prepared to the Sacrament, or else to forbeare, is guilty of the unworthy rec [...]ivers sinnes; which I have already disproved. Therefore this diversity vanisheth into smoke.

A brotherly and friendly Censure▪ [...]. [...]. Secondly, they alleadge; That the Lords holy table in the holy Communi [...]n, [...] a place of Gods more holy presence then the common Auditory, where we come neerer unto God▪ and receive with the Word and Promis [...]s particularly appli [...]d to [...] [Page 37] the seales of o [...]r co [...]union with Christ, and of our right and int [...]res [...] in him, and all his benefits: But preaching to a co [...]on Auditory, is a generall pr [...]pounding of the Word and Promises to all, not a particular application of it to any: therfore there it [...]ore danger and greater sinne in admitting [...]worthy receivers to the Lords ta­ble, then in preaching to them; at app [...]ares in Aarons two sonnes, Levit. 19. 1, 2, 3. and Uzzah, 2 Sam. 6. 7.

To which I answer; first, that the beginning of this distinction, is just the late Archbishop of Canterburies Doctrine, in his Speech in Starre-chamber (so much distasted in former times) who produceth this for a reason, why we should bow to the Table and Altar, not to the Pulpit, pag. 47. We must bow towards the Altar as THE GREATEST place of Gods presence on earth; I say THE GREATEST, yea GREATER THEN THE PULPIT; for there it is, Hoc est corpus meum, this is my body; but in the Pulpit, ▪tis at [...]ost but▪ Hoc est Verbum meum, this is my Word; and A GREATER REVERENCE NO DOUBT is du [...] to the body, then to the Word of the Lord; and so in relation an­swerably to the Thr [...]n [...] where hii body is usually present, then to the Seat whence his word useth to be proclai [...]ed; which I have elsewhere at large refuted, proving In my Plesant Purge for a Ro­man Catholike, and Quench-Cole.Gods presence and Spirit, to be as much, a [...] really present in other Ordinances as in this, from Matth. 28. 20. and other Texts. Secondly, this passage proves this Sacrament to be as converting, yea, a more converting Ordinance, then preaching of the Word, which my Antagonists positively deny. Thirdly, in the preaching of the Word, there is or ought to be a particular Application of it to all the Auditors severall consciences, sinnes, conditions, as well as in the Administration of the Sacraments: witnesse experience, and Acts 2. 23. 37. 38, 39, 40, 41. chap. 3. 14, 15, 17, 19. Matth: 24. 45, 46. Luke 12. 42. there­fore this is a difference without a diversity. Fourthly, the examples of Arons sonnes, and Uzzah, are impertinently alleaged, since they relate not to the Sacrament, and rather respect unworthy Ministers, then Commu­nicanst.

Thirdly, they Object, that the Minister in giving the Sacrament to knowne impenitent sinners, pr [...]acheth [...]ost palpable lyes against his owne conscience, when heA brotherly and friendly Censure. p. [...].s [...]h, The body of Christ was broken for you, and his blood shed for you; when as in preaching the Word, the Ministers of Christ propound the truth to wicked men ge­nerally, but not partic [...]larly apply any word of co [...]fort, or pro [...]ise of blessing to any [...]profitable hearers, b [...]t [...]pon condition of repentance.

To this I answer; first, that the Minister doth not administer the Sacra­ment to any knowne impenitent sinners under that notion, but onely as pe­nitent sinners, truly repenting of their sinnes past, and promising, purposing to lead a new life for the future, as the exhortations before the Sacrament and their publike confessions before the whole Congregation manifest. Second­ly, he useth these words, The body of Christ which was broken, and the blood of Christ shed for yo [...] &c. not absolutely, but conditionally onely▪ in case they receive the Sacrament worthily, and become penitent and beleeving recei­vers, as they all pro [...]esse themselves to be, just so as they preach repentance and remi [...]sion to their Auditors; Therefore the case is just the same in hoth [Page 38] without any difference. Thirdly, the particular delivery and recitall of the words by the Minister to every Communicant, is not simply necessary, nor of divine, but humane institution onely, though usually and warranta­bly practised amongst us. Therefore this new distinction is of no mo­ment.

Fourthly, they surmise, that they have an expresse command to preach the The last An­swer to the four Qu [...]sti­ons▪Gospell to every creature without exception, to Pagans as well as Chri­stians, Matth. 28. 19, 20. Marke 16. 15. Rom. 10. 18. But they have no such command to administer the Sacrament to all, but onely to worthy receivers.

I answer; first, that this precept principally respectes none but the Apo­stles, who were sent to preach the Gospell to all Nations and creatures, and endued with the gif [...] of tongues to that purpose; not ordinary Preachers, who confine themselves usually to particular Congregations, Countries, and have no extraordinary guift of tongues enabling them to preach to all Na­ions in their owne language, as the Apostles had, Acts 2. Secondly, though the Sacrament must not be administred to Heathens, to whom the Gospell may and must be preached, before they beleeve and professe Christ; yet it must be administred to them as well as baptisme, after their beliefe and profession of Christ; since it appeares by the very objected Texts, that as they were to preach the Gospell to all Nations, creatures, and sorts of men, so they were to baptize them likewise, and by consequence to administer the other Sacra­ment of the Lords Supper to them, as well as baptisme: as the 1 Cor. 10. 1. to 6. 16, 17. 21. chap. 11. 20. to 34. compared with Matth. 26. 20. 27, 28. Marke 14. 18, &c. Luke 22. 14, &c. manifest. Thirdly, the Sacrament of the Lords Supper belongs of right to all visible knowing Members of the visible Harmouy of Consessions. p. 287.Church, as well as the Sacrament of Baptisme, as I have formerly evidenced; and as the Confession of Saxony resolves in these tearmes; The Sacraments of Baptisme and the Lords Supper are so instituted, that every man may use them, be­cause they be pledges and testimonies, which declare, that the benefits promised in the Gospell doe ap [...]rtaine to every one; for the voyce of the Gospell is generall, &c. This distinction therefore is invalid.

Fifthly, they consent, that they ought not to preach the Word, to scandalous im­penitent sinners, who turne Apostates, wilfull scorners and persec [...]tors of the Gospell, who doe but the more rage and are [...]ardned thereby; it being a prophanation of holy things, a giving of holy things to dogges, and a casting of Pearls before swine, Mat. 7. 6. chap. 10. 14. Acts 14. 51. Ergo, they must not give this sacrament to such.

I answer, that by this they fully grant what I contend for, to wit, that such dogges and swine who ought to be suspended from the Sacraments, ought likewise to be suspended from hearing the Word; so that they do herein justifie and subscribe to my opinion instead of refutingit. For my part, I never conte­sted▪ that such dogs and swine as these, ought to be admitted to the Sacrament, but they ought to be totally excommunicated, as well from the Word, and all other Ordinances, as from the Lords Supper; not secluded from it alone, and admitted to all the rest: Only here the Question between us will be, [Page 39] who are those dogges and swine that our Saviour intends, Matth. 7. 6? Cer­tainly not every Christian that relapseth againe and againe into severall scan­dalous See Richard Capel his Na­ture of tempta­tion, &c. para 1. pag. 214, 215, &c. Lu­cas Osiander [...]nshirid. cont. cum Anabapt▪ c. 6. Qu. [...].sinnes, against his pomises, Vowes, Covenants, as the best men many times may doe, by reason of the strength of their sins and corruptions, before they can totally subdue them Pro. 24, 16. Psal. 34. 19. Psal. 38. 3, 4. Psal. 40. 12. James 3. 2. Matth. 18. 22 Gal. 6. 1. Nor yet every scandalous sinner, who repaires to the Word and Sacraments, with a desire to heare and receive the same, and joynes with the Congregation in the externall confession and bewailing his of sinnes, promising, vowing repentance and a new life; surely such a [...] these are no dogges nor swine within our Saviours precept, as you surmise; for then by your owne confessions, you ought not to preach unto them, but seclude them from the Word, (of which this Text is principally in­tended,) as well as Sacraments; but onely such Infidels and Heathens who re­fused to embrace and beleeve the Gospell, andharbour or entertaine the Prea­chers of it (which many scandalous sinners are very willing to doe) Or such open contemners, persecutors of the Gospel and Ministers of it, who run upon and teare the Preachers thereof, trampling the Pearls of the Gospell, and the tenderers of them under their feet, as the Text resolves in terminis, Matth. 7. 6. chap. 10. 14, 15. Luke 9. 5. Acts 13. 46, &c. Or, open Apostates from the Christian faith, which they once embraced, but after, return with the dogg [...] to his vomit, and the sow that is washed, to her wallowing in the myre, trampling under feet the Sonne of God, and counting the blood of the Covenant wherewith they were sanctified, an unholy thing, offering despight to the spirit of grace, denying the ve­ry Lord that bought them, and contemning Christ himselfe (as Julian the Apo­state, with others did) a [...] Saint Peter and Paul expresly determine, 2 Pet. 2. 1, 2. 21. 22. Heb. 10. 28, 29. chap. 6. 4. to 9. To apply this Text then to such scandalous sinners, who duly repaire to the publike Ordinances, desire to participate in them, and externally professe reformation and repentance (of which the controversie onely is) is a meere perverting of this Text, and an application of it unto such, whom Christ did never intend thereby, as these parallel Texts demonstrate: However, certaine I am, this Text extends not to any pious, penitent, beleeving Christians, truly fearing God, who out of judgement, conscience, dare not joyn with Sectaries in their new Independent wayes of separation, to whom our Independent Ministers, Anabaptists, & other Separatists, are so uncharitable, unchristian, that they will not admit them nor their children to the Sacraments, in their separate Congregations, nor commu­nicate with them upon any tearmes, for feare of giving that which is holy to dogges, and casting Pearles before swine; such, and no better are the holiest, best of our Presbyterian Ministers, and Churchmembers estimated in their un­charitable Pharisaicall, unbrotherly opinions. God grant unto them more charity, and lessespirituall pride, which of all sinnes [...]he, d [...]serves most to be excommunicated out of all Christian hearts and Congregations.

But their sixth and last difference, wherein they all accord, yea place their strength, (being indeed the very foundation of their mistake,) this great con­troversie of suspension from the Sacrament, & so requiring a fuller answer, is that which ou [...] Reverend Brother of Scotland insisted on i [...] his conorov [...] sall Fas [...] [Page 40] Sermon, That the preaching of the Word is a converting Ordinance, and therefore ought to be preached to scandalous sinners, to convert them from their sins; but the sacrament of the Lords supper is no converting, but onely a sealing and confir­ming Ordinance, instituted, not to beget, but [...]ncrease faith and rep [...]tance where they are formerly b [...]gun; and therefore not to be administred to such, to whom they can seale no pardon of sinne, nor covenant of grace. The same distinction hath likewise been used in a Sermon at Wool-chu [...]ch, and is subscribed to by all the three printed Answers to my four Queries.

To which I answer; first, that the Sacrament of the Lords Supper is a convert­ing as well as a sealing Ordinance. For the better cleering wherof, we must di­stinguish of two sorts of conversion and sealing, which our Antagonists, to de­lude the vulgar, have ignorantly, wilfully or injudiciously confounded: First, there is an externall conversion of men from Pag [...]is [...]e or Gentilisme, to the externall profession of the P [...]ith of Christ; which is ordinarily wrought by the preaching of the Word; or extraordinarily, by miracles without the Word preached, in reference to those without the Church; but ordinarily effected by the Sacrament of Baptisme, in reference to infants of Christian Parents borne within the Church, which Sacrament both admits and makes them members of the visible Church (without the preaching of the Word of which infants are not capable,) Acts 2. 37. to 43. 1 Pet. 3. 20 21. Joh. 3. 5. 1 Cor. 7. 14. Secondly, there is a conversion from a meere externall formall profession of the Doctrine and faith of Christ, to an inward spirituall embracing and ap­plication of Christ, with his merits and promises to our soules, by the saving grace of faith, and to an holy Christian reall change of heart and life: In this last conversion, the Sacrament of the Lords Supper is not onely a seal­ing or confirming, but likewise a regenerating and converting Ordinance, as well as the Word.

There is likewise a double sealing (if we admit this Sacrament or Baptisme [...] No nor Sa­craments; wh [...]ch I onely mention, be­cause they are s [...] much cryed up above the word, and made more holy then it, onely be­cause they are term [...]d Sacraments, and Seal [...]s of the Covenan [...] without any [...]ext to war­rant it.to be Seales, though never once * stiled Seals in any Scripture text:) 1. A visible externall sealing of the pardon of sin, & Gods promises in the blood of Christ to our outward sences. 2. An internall invisible sealing of them by the Spirit, working in, by the Word and Sacraments, to our soules: In the first sense, this Sacrament is a seale to all receivers, even to those who are scandalous and un­worthy, who receive only the outward elements; In the second sence, only to worthy, penitent, beleeving receivers, who receivethe inward invisible grace as wel as the outward signes: The first, seales all Gods promises and a free pardon of all our sinnes onely conditionally, if we truly repent, lay hold on Christs passion, merits, promises, and apply them to our soules by a lively saving faith, and sincere repentance; the second seales them to us absolutely, because we have thus embraced and applyed them.

These distinctions premised, we may easily discover the falsity of the Anta­gonists surmise, That this sacrament is no converting, but onely a sealing Ordi­nance; and that onely to true beleevers, and worthy receivers, to whom alone it seals the pardon of sinne, and promises of the Gospell; for proofe whereof, they produce neither reason nor Scripture, but their owne bare confident groundlesse asser­tions, which I shall thus refute because it is a very common dangerous error.

[Page 41] First, our Antagonists unanimously grant, that the Sacrament belongs to all unscandalous members of the visible Church, capable of self-examination, Lucas Osian­der Enchirid. Contr. cum A­nabapt. cap. 6. Q [...]. 3. p. 126, 127.and not actually excommunicated, to close Hypocrites, & morall carnal Chri­stians, not really regenerated, converted, yea to scandalous persons uncon­victed, whom they professe no Minister hath any power to suspend from the Sacrament, upon his owne particular private knowledge of their guilt. If then the Sacrament be onely a sealing or confirming ordinance of true grace, when and where it is already begun, then it were altogether impertinent and ineffectuall unto civill carnall Christians; Therefore do ubtlesse it is and was intended by Christ for a conv [...]rting Ordinance to all such as these, to turne them from their evill wayes, and work saving grace within their hearts, since it can have no other proper primary effect in such: Certainly God and Christ bestow no Ordinances upon men in vaine; therefore their intentions in instituting this Supper even for such visible morall unregenerate Christi­ans, as well as reall Saints, must necessarily be for their conversion, not their confirmation and sealingonely, in that sense as they interpret it.

Secondly, all Ordinances of Christ that tend to edification, confirmation, or encrease of grace, are more or lesse conducent to begin or beget grace, con­verting, as well as strengthening Ordinances; the preaching, reading, hea­ring of the Word, which comfort, strengthen and build up men in grace, doe likewise (by our Antagonists free confessions) convert and beget grace; why then should not the Sacrament doe the like? [...]ince Gods spirit equally breathes and works in all his Ordinances, and may and doth regenerate and beget grace in mens souls, by what Ordinance he thinks best, working in and by eve­ry Ordinance, as well as by any: The rather, because Christ instituted this Sacra­ment to be frequently received, when a [...] Baptisme only is but once administred, for this very end, that those who often fall into sin through infirmity, may likewise by this supper often rise againe, be refreshed, comforted, and get strength against their sinnes and corruptious: And is it not then a converting as well as a co [...]firming Or­dinance, fit for sinners to resort to? The Sacraments are by all Divines whatso­ever, and the very Directory, page 52. ever enumerated among the MEANS OF GRACE and SALVATION; why then should they not be meanes of converting and begetting grace, as well as strengthning and consirming it? as your selves affirme. See the Pra­ct [...]ce of P [...]ety, p. 400. [...]o 480. and all others concerning the Sacrament and [...]ur pre­t [...]tio [...]s to re­ceive it.

Thirdly, the very receiving of the Sacrament, even in unregenerate per­sons, is for the most part accompanied with such particulars, as are most effe­ctual to convert & beget grace in mens hearts: As first, with a previous exter­nall▪ serious examination of their own hearts and estates, between God & their owne consciences, for which there are divers pious rules and directions pub­lished in printed books of devotion, which most Communicants ordinarily read and make use of before their resort to the Lords Table. Secondly, a so­lemne searching out of all their open or secret sinnes and corruptions, past or present, accompanied with a serious, particular, private confession of them, a hearty contrition and humiliation for them, private prayers to God for pardon of, yea power and strength against them; secret purposes, Vowes [Page 42] and resolutions for ever to relinquish, war, strive, fight against them, and avoid all occasions which may ensnare them in them. Thirdly, sundry pious, soul­ravishing meditations, both in regard of their sinnes, Gods mercy and justice, Christs merits, death, passion, the end and use of the Sacraments, &c. which make deep temporary impressions on their hearts, spirits, and work an ex­traordinary change both in their resolutions, minds, spirits, conversations for the present, and many times for the future. Fourthly, flexanimous ex­hortations; admonitions, comminations, directions, prayers by the Ministers in the Congregation, before, in, & after this duty, which operate, penetrate more upon Sacrament-dayes, upon Communicants of all sorts (as experience ma­nifests) then at other seasons. Now whether the receiving of this Sacrament, usually accompanied, and set on upon mens spirits, with such most effectuall powerfull, likely meanes of conversion, be not a most apt and proper Ordi­nance to regenerate, reclaime, convert ungodly, scandalous sinners, and more likely to regenerate and change their hearts, lives, then the bare Word preached, or any other Ordinance, at least wise more effectuall to convert and amend them, then any rigorous suspensions of them from the Sacrament, let every mans conscience and experience judge.

Fourthly, all our Antagonists accord, that we have a more immediate in­tercourse and communion with God and Christ in this Sacrament, then in any other Ordinance whatsoever, where in the outward elements we behold Christs death and passion visibly represented to our eyes, and by them unto our hearts, and more lively, more particularly applyed, and the remission of our sins more sensibly sealed to us then in any other Ordinance; from whence I thus infallibly conclude against these Opposites:

That Ordinance wherein we most immediatly converse with God and Christ, and have more intimate visible, sensible communi­on with them then in any other, is certainly the most powerfull and effectuall Ordinance of all othecs, to humble, regenerate, con­ve t, and beget true grace within us, and most probable converting Ordinance of all others; because the manifestation, revelation and proximity of God and Christ to the soule, is that which doth most of all humble and convert it, as is evident by Job, chap. 38. to 41. compared with chap. 42. 1. to 7. Isa. 6. 1. to 9. Luke 5. 7, 8, 9. Psal. 148. 14. Isa. 55. 6. Zeph. 3. 2. Hab. 10. 21. Eph. 2. 13. 17. James 4. 8.

But the Sacrament of the Lords Supper by our Antagonists own con­fession is such: Ergo, it is a converting, as well as a confirming Ordinance.

Fifthly, what is it that makes the Word it selfe a converting Ordinance? [...]s it not the particular revelation and application of the promises of the Gos­pell, of Christs merits, death and passion to the soule, by Gods holy Spi­rit, not the meere outward voyce or sound? 1 Cor. 1. 23, 24. chap. 2. 2. to 6. [Page 43] If so, as all must grant, then certainly this Sacrament, which by our Anta­gonists confession, doh most particularly, fully, lively, effectually, and sensibly apply the promises, yea, the death, passion and merits of Christ unto every Communicants eyes, eares, heart and soule, far livelier then the Word preach­ed doth, 1 Cor. 11. 14. to 30. Gal. 3. 2. must be a converting Ordinance, and not a meere consirming ordinance, as they pretend.

Sixthly, all grant, that God doth as effectually teach, convert & work grace by the eye, as eare; For first, the very book of nature and contemplation of the creatures instruct us, that there is an invisible God, & is enough to leav men without excuse, and through Gods blessing sufficient to raise up excellent meditations tending both to sanctification and conversion, Psal. 8. 3. to 9. Psal. 19. 1, 2, 3. Ps. 100. & 104. throughout, Job 31. to 42. Rom. 1. 28. to 25. Acts 17. 23. to 30. c. 14. 17. Second­ly, all the externall Sacrifices of the old Law, together with the Sacraments of Circumcision and the Passeover, did instruct and teach Gods people who participated of them, or were present at them, by the eye, and were both edi­fying and converting Ordinances, as well as confirming, as all doe and must acknowledge. Thirdly, the severall Miracles of the Prophets under the Law, of Christ and his Apostles under the Gospell (which converted thousands without preaching) did convert and regenerate men by the eye without the eare; the very sight of the Miracles being the ground and cause of their conversion and beleeving, John 2. 11. 23. chap. 3. 2. chap. 4. 52, 53, 54. chap. 6. 2. 26. ch. 7. 31. chap. 16. 41. 4. chap. 12. 18. 19. chap. 11. 45, 47, 48. Acts 1. 12. to 17. chap. 6. 7, 8. chap. 8. 6. 13. chap. 15. 12. Acts 19. 11, 12. Matth. 15. 30, 31. Luke 5. 25, 26. 1 Kings 18. 38, 39. Exod. 18. 31. Fourthly, expe­rience See Gen 9. 16. Job 42. 5, 6 Isa. 6. 5. 1 John 1. 1, 3.and Scripture informe us, that the things we see with our eyes, doe more affect and beget deeper impressions in our hearts, then the things we heare, Lam. 3. 51. Hence is that speech of our Saviour himselfe, to those who had the happinesse to see his person; Blessed are your eyes, for they see, &c. Matth. 6. 16. Luk. 10. 23. Hence old Simeon, when he beheld our Saviour, was so ravished at the sight, that he brake out into these patheticall expressions; Lord now lettest th [...]n thy servant depart in peace, according to thy Word, for MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THY SALVATION, &c. Luke 2. 29, 30. Yea, Luke ex­presly records, chap. 23. v. 46, 47, 48. that when the Centurian saw our Savi­our on his Crosse, giving up the Ghost, he glorified God saying, certainly this man was a righte [...]us man: And ALL THE PEOPLE that cane together TO THAT SIGHT, BEHOLDING THE THINGS that were done, s [...]ote their breasts and returned. If then all these visible objects, Sacraments, Sacri­fices, Types, Miracles, and the very beholding of Christs person, passion, without the Word, were the most effectuall meanes of working contrition, conversion, beliefe and faith in Christ in the spectators, by the eye; why should not the visible expressions of Christs crucified body, blood-shed, passion on the Crosse, most lively presented to our eyes and sences in this Sacrament, even as if Christ himselfe were againe actually crucified before our eyes, Gal. 3. 1. 1 Cor. 11. 25, 26. have the like effectuall converting, regenerating operation on our hearts and spirits, as well as these other visible objects?

[Page 44] See Act. 2. 23. 37, 38. ch. 3. 13, 14, 19. Rev▪ 1. 5 [...]. Isa. 5 [...]. Seventhly, all Divines accord, that the most humbling, melting, sin-purging, mollifying, soul-changing meditation of all others that men can fix on, is the serious contemplation of Christs bitter death and passion on the Crosse; that our particular sinnes did wound, pierce, not onely his hands, feet, side, but his very soule; that he was bruised for our iniquities, &c. And yet that such is his suparlative goodnesse, mercy, pity, that forgetting all these indignities▪ pro­vocations, he heales us by those his very wounds which we have made, and washeth away our sinnes in that very blood of his, which we have shed. No meditation comparable to this, to reclaime ah obstinate sinner, mollifie an adamantine heart, humble a proud spirit, reforme a sinfull life, regenerate and convert a carnall heart. And is not this most passionately, lively, really and effectually represented to our eyes, hearts, in this very Sacrament, in a more powerfull prevailing manner then in the Word alone? And can any then deny it, to be as converting, yea a more humbling, regenerating, convert­ing Ordinance then the Word, which is likewise commonly joyned with it? Doubtlesse if this Sacrament be not a converting Ordinance in this regard, I know not any which can be so reputed.

Psal. 1. 19 67. 71. 2 Chron. 33. 11, 12, 13. Isa. 48 10. Hos. 5. 15. Eighthly, all accord, that our owne corporall externall (a) afflictions are many times without the Word, the meanes of our repentance and conversion unto God: and the Scripture is expresse they are so. If then our owne afflictions are, or may be a converting ordinance, then much more the Sacrament, wherein the afflictions of Christ himselfe are so visibly set forth before our eyes.

Ninthly, that Ordinance whose unworthy participation is a meanes of our spirituall obduration, must, by the rule of contraries, when worthily received, be the instrument of our mortification, conversion, salvation; But the un­worthy receiving the Sacrament, is a meanes of our spirituall obduration and damnation, 1 Cor. 11. 27, 29. Therefore its worthy receiving must needs be an instrument of our humiliation, mollification, conversion and salvation.

Tenthly, the severall ends and purposes for which this Sacrament was or­dained, and of which it minds men when ever they receive it, prove it to be a See the Pra­ctice of Piety, p [...]15 to 435.sweet regenerating and converting, as well as a confirming Ordinance. As first, the keeping of Christians in perpetuall memory of Christs death and propi­ciatory sacrifice on the crosse, of purpose to convert and reconcile them unto God, 1 Cor. 11. 26, 27. Gal. 3. 1, Mat. 26. 28. Secondly, the ratification and sealing of all the Promises & Covenants of Grace unto the receivers souls, 2 Cor. 1. 20. Thirdly, to be a pledge and symbole of that most neere and effectuall commu­nion which Christians have with Christ, and that spiritual union which they enjoy with him, 1 Cor. 10. 16. Ephes. 5. 25. to 35. Fourthly, to feed the Com­municants soules in assured hope of eternall life. Fifthly, to be an assured pledg unto them of their spirituall and corporal resurrection. Sixthly, to seal unto them the assurance of everlasting life upon their sincere repentance, and embracing of Jesus Christ for their only Savior. Seventhly, to binde all Chi­stians, as it were by an oath of fidelity, and obliege them forever to the service of Christ, who died for us to this very end, that whether we live we should live unto the Lord, or whether we dye we should dye unto the Lord; & that living and dying w [...] [Page 45] should be ever his, Rom. 14. 7, 8, 9. 2 Cor. 5. 14. to 19. from whence it is called A Sacrament, or Oath by Divines. Now I beseech my Antagonists to informe me, how it is possible that a Sacrament ordained for such and so many spiri­tuall ends, (every one of which is most powerfull to operate upon the flin­tyest heart and obduratest spirit) should not in all these regards, both in Gods intention and Christs ordination, be a converting, as well as a sea­ling ordinance; since that which doth seal all these particulars to mens soules, and represent them to their saddest thoughts, must needs more powerful­ly perswade, pierce, melt, relent, convert an obdurate heart and unrege­nerate sinner, then the Word it self, when but nakedly Preached, which comes not with such advantages upon impenitent hearts, as this Sacrament doth in all these respects.

Eleventhly, I would but demand of the opposites, what true conversion is? Is it not a sincere universall turning of the whole frame of a Christians in­ward and outward man, from the love and service of the world, flesh, devill, sin, unto the cordiall love, service, obedience of God in Christ? And is there any Ordinance, engine, instrument, so probable, so prevalent to effect it as this Sacrament, in all the forecited respects? certainly none at all.

Twelfthly, (to spend no more arguments in so cleere a case) I appeale to every Christians conscience; whether their own experience will not ascertaine them, that the Sacrament is a converting ordinance, turning their hearts from the power and love of sin, to the service, love of God and Christ; and strength­ning them against their corruptions; temptations, as well, as much as the Word, if not far more. And cannot many thousands of converted Christi­ans experimentally affirme, that their preparations and approaches to this holy Sacrament, were the first effectuall meanes of their conversion, yea that they had not been converted, had they beene debarred from it for their former scandalous lives? For shame therefore disclaim this absurd irreligious paradox, for which there is not the least shadow of Scripture, or solid reason.

If then the Sacrament be a converting as well as a sealing ordinance; then questionlesse no unexcommunicated scandalous person, who is fit to heare the Word, and joyne in any other converting ordinances, as Fasting, Prayer, &c. ought to be debarred from this, it being one of the most effectuall prin­cipall meanes which Christ himselfe Mat. 11. 28 Isa. 55. 1, 2. John 7. 37. Mat. 22. 2, to 11. who invites all heavy-laden sinners to come unto him) hath instituted for their reall conversion. Is it not (I pray you) a Soul-murthering tyranny for any Ministers or Officers of Christ with­out an expresse divine Commission from him, to keepe backe any who ex­ternally professe his name, and are not utterly cut off from the society of the faithfull and all other ordinances, from this most effectuall lively meanes of their conversion, comfort or salvation? to hinder th [...]m from taking spi­rituall physicke, because they are spiritually sicke of sinne? May not the Sa­crament Mat. 9. 6.(thinke you) convert them as speedily, as probably as the bare Word? If men be corporally sicke, we will use all meanes, and debarre them from no one cordial or receit that may probably restore them to health; and shall we not doe the like with sin-sicke soules? If you say the Sacrament [Page 46] may prove poison to them: therfore we dare not give it them. May not, nay wil no [...] the Word & other Ordinances prove poyson to them likwise as probably as i [...], and yet you admit them without any scruple or dispute to them? Nay, let me a little retort the objection; Is not this Sacrament of Christs own instituti­on, the wholsomest medicine, the comfortablest cordial to, & purposly ordain­ed by him [...]r sin-sick-dying soules? And is any potion more likly to recover, revive & strengthen them then this? Will you then adventure to detaine it, nay plead you must of necessity, under paine of mortall sin and damnation to your selves, deny it unto those who need it most and earnestly cry out for it, because it may possibly, through their present indisposition of spirit (which is only in­fallibly knowne to God, not you) prove dangerous or mortall totheir soules, when you deny it not to other civil carnal Christians, to whom it is as deadly, as poysonous every whit? Is any Parent or Master so unnatural or sottish, to de­ny his children, servant wholsome meat, drink, to feed their bodyes, because perhaps they may turne to crudities, diseases (as they doe in many;) or because they may possibly abuse them to excesse and riot, and so quite starve them for want of nourishment? And shall any Ministers be so irrationall or incon­siderate, as to deny the Sacramentall food and nourishment of mens soules unto them, onely because possibly or probably they may receive them unwor­thily (as the best too often do) to the aggravation of their sin or present con­demnation, and so starve their soules? Is any Physician so absurd, as to deny his Patient the most prevailing Potion to recover him, because peradvetture it may prove dangerous, as all other physick may and will doe, if the very best prove deadly? Suppose any soules you thus keep back, without good warrant from Christ himselfe, should despaire, dye, perish for want of this spi­rituall physick, cordiall, wilfully detained by you from them when desired, would not their blood be required at your hands? It was an old generall er­ror among many in point of phisick, which murdred thousands, to deny drink to those who were enflamed with burning-feavers, and earnestly cried out for it to quench their thirst, for feare of encreasing their feavers violence, which in truth it would have allayed, extinguished, if taken; and therefore Physicians of late have corrected this deadly mistake, by suffering such to drinke freely when they please, to extinguish the unnaturall heat, that else would kill them, which hath saved many such sick persons lives: I beseech you suffer not this old errour in physick and Physicians to creep in among Divinity and Divines, in permitting them to deny the Lords Cup to such fea­verish Christians, burning in the flames of sinnes and lusts, who need it most to quench their flames, and cry unto you for it; out of a fond conceit that it will prove poyson to them; wheras you cannot deny but that it will proba­bly, and for ought you certainly know, may through Gods blessing, eventu­ally prove the most effectuall meanes for their health and recovery, and not of their destruction. We all justly condemne the Papists, for with-holding the Sacramentall Cup from the Laity, to which they have a divine right, as well as the Priests, upon pretended inconveniences; and shall any then usurp a popish [...]ower, not onely to deny the Lords cup, but Body too, to any who desire thē, [Page 47] and have a right, an interest in them, as visible members of the visible Church? We sharply censure all such Ministers, who [a] deny or deferre the Sacrament of Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiasticall Anno. 604. Can. 68, 69. Baptisme to Infants, especially in cases of sicknesse or danger; and are not th [...]se as blameworthy, who deny or delay to give the Sacrament of the Lords Supper to such of riper yeeres, who are ready and desirous to receive it; when their soules for ought they know, may be as much endangered for want of it, as others are through want of preaching and other Ordinances? Certainly if there be any danger in the unworthy receiving the Sacrament, it is onely to those who desire it, not to those who administer it to them at their de­sire, with the forementioned cautions; But if any hurt, dispaire, danger hap­pen by their not receiving it, when desired (as for ought any Minister certain­ly knowes there may be) the sin and danger is certainly theirs who refused to give it when requested, Since therefore, a peradventure we may receive or do good Zeph. [...]. 3▪ Amos 5. 15. Jonas 3. 9. c. Gen. 31. 31. 32. 30▪ Numb. 22 6, 11. Josh. 2. 24. Judg 6, 5. 2 Tim. 2. 25. Jer. 36▪ 3, 6, 7, 8, 21. Est. 4. 14, 16. 1 Sam. 4. 6. ch. 14. 6. 1 Kings 28. 5, 6. 2 Sam 12. 21, 22. 2 King 7. 3, 4, 5, 6. by such a particular Ordinance or action, is a sufficient encouragement for us to ad­venture on it in other cases, let it be also a warrantable ground and encou­ragement for Ministers to administer the Sacrament in such cases, where they have at least a probabilty, a possibility, a peradventure, it maybe, and an who knoweth but it may co [...]vert and doe th [...]m good, as well as a peradventure it may prove dangerous to their soules: Remember, you are onely the Ministers not Lords of Christs Sacraments, Ordinances, Flock; their Stewards to give them the food of their soules in due season, not to with-hold it from them: And for a conclusion, think of these determinations of Lucas Osiander, against the Anabaptists, De Ecclesia, c. 6. Qu. 3.

Etsi tenemur errantes & peccatores admomere, & si sieri pessit, in viam redu­cere, tamen nostrum non est in acceptione Dominica Caenae, ILLORUM, SED NOSTRA probare corda, sic dicente Paulo, probet SEIPSUM (non ALTE­RUM) h [...]mo, & sic de pane illo edat, 1 Cor. 11. Justus SUA side vivet, non aliena, Abac. 2. ideoque, sive alius [...]idem suam contammet, sive prorsus amittat, non tamen tu illius vel diffidentia ant infidelitate, vives vel morieris. Et alibi di­cit Paulus; Unusquisque nostrum PROSE (non pro alio) rationem r [...]ddet Dec: Non ergo amplius invicem judicem [...], Rom. 14. Cum Christus institueri [...], Caenam suan sacram, aderat inter A [...]stol [...]s & Jud [...], Tradit [...]r Christ, illius tamen indig­n [...]tas nihil detraxit reliquis Apost [...]tis, neque jussi [...] illos Christus, [...]ropter Jude prae­sentiam (quem tamen Christus jam proditor [...] suum esse sciebat) de mensa surgere, & excluso ill [...] (n [...] contaminarentur forte & ipsi) deni [...] celebra [...]e Coenam Domini. Ita etiam Paulus de indignis scribit, quod ILLI (non vero caeteri digne commu­nicantes.) SIBI, non alijs recte accedentibus, manducent judicium. Ne (que) caeteros pro­batos abstinere jubet a sacrae Coen [...] sumptio [...], sed indign [...]s, ad indigne se pr [...]pa­randum, coh [...]rtatur: Dogma hoc Anabaptisticum pr [...] se fert Pharis [...]ic [...]m S [...] ­perbiam qua hujus [...]d▪ ho [...]ines se alijs [...]eli [...]res esse putant▪ & occup [...]ti circa alie­ [...]s conscientias proprias suas neglig [...]nt▪ fals [...] [...]mirum persuasi, sib▪ diligentiore & can [...]a probatione [...]pus non esse: Deo a [...]tem hac Pharisatca [...], vehementer exosa est: Tantum igitur ocij est hisc [...] hominibus [...] propria imbecilliate ut aliena potius, quam sua scrutentur. Fieri praterea potest, ut de quo Anabaptistie [...] [...]i Pharisai pessi [...] judicant, is, propter panitentiam cordis, qua nobis occulta esse [Page 48] potest, Deo sit longe acceptior, quam superciliosus hom [...], qui [...]ndem j [...]dic [...], [...]icu­ti Publicanum (quem tamen Pharisaeus despiciebat, meli [...]rque ipso videbatur) ju­stificatum in domum suam descendisse, prae Pharisaeo legimus, Luke 18. Ad ho [...] illud Christi spectat, Ejice prius hypocrita trabem ex oculo tuo, quam ex fratris oculo sestucam eximas, Matth. 7.

And thus much for their severall evasions of my third Quere, in which I have been more prolix, because it is the very foundation of all our Antago­nists mistakes and errours in this controversie.

Onely this I shall adde for a conclusion; That if all excommunicated per­sons ought by the law of God to be admitted to the preaching of the Word, but not to Christs Supper; as the Antagonists determiue: Then by their owne confessions and practice it wil inevitably follow, there is no absolute excōmu­nication at all by any divine institution left by Christ unto his Church; since persons admitted freely to communicate every day with the Saints and faith­full in the ordinary hearing of the Word and prayer, are really unexcommu­nicated; it being a flat contradiction, to say they are excommunicated, when thus admitted to heare the Word, and to all other ordinances, but this Sacra­ment onely. And thus by this very evasion they yeeld up their cause so much contended for at this present.

The ninth thing in debate is, Whether John 9. 21. 34, 35. The Jewes had agreed already, that if any man did confesse that he was Christ, he should be cast out of the Synagogue: and they cast him out (or excommunicated him, saith the Margin:) And c. 12. 42. Nevethelesse, a mong the chiefe Piests also many beleeved on him; but because of the Pharises, they did not confesse him, lest they should be put out of the Synagogue: And c. 16. 2. They shall put you out of their Synagogues, &c. be any good proofe at all, that excom­munication or suspention from the Sacrament are of divine institution; or an ordinance of Christ which he hath left and perpetuated in his Chuch?

The doting Antidote-man affirmes it, page 1. And in the dayes of our Savi­our (writes he) excommunication out of the Sinagogue continued among the Jews, and our Saviour did not abrogate it, for the abuse of it by the Priests, Scribes and Pharises; but his Apostles under the Gospell did exercise it against Simon Magus, when by professed sacriledge he declared himselfe in the gall of bitternesse, and bond of iniquity (which I take to be no excommunication nor suspension.)

To this I answer: first, That this putting men out of the Synagogue pra­ctised by the Jewes, was no divine institution prescribed or warranted by Gods Word; but onely a humane invention or punishment, introduced by the Jewes, or Jewish Sanhedrim, as the texts themselues demonstrate; and so no president to binde us Christians. Secondly, this practice used by the Jewes in the objected tex [...]s, was so farre from being an ordinance of Christ, or approved by him, that it is a me [...]e diabolicall institution against Christ, and all who should professe him, who wee adjudged by the Jewes to be put out of the Sinagogue for this very cause (and no other that we read of) that they professed Jesus to be the Christ: And is this a fitting patterne of divine institution for Christians to imitate, or a sufficient warrant to sus­pend [Page 49] men from the Sacrament? Certainly if it be so, it is but in this respect; that as the Jewes would cast men out of the Sinagogue, only for professing Je­sus to be the Christ; so you, in imitation of them, would keep off unexcom­municated scandalous Christians from the Lords Table, that they might not there receive Christ tendred to them in this Sacrament, if they doe but desire it. Thitdly, if we beleeve the Jewish Rabbies, Godwins Jewish Antiquities, l. 5. c. 2. De Excom­mun cati [...]ue. Erastus, De Jure na­turae & Grat. lib. 4. cap. 8. De anno Civiil &c. Praefatio, p. 6, 7. & cap. 18. p. 83, 84.Master Seldon, and Buxto [...]f. [...]pi. Hebraei. p. 55.other learned men; this casting out of the Sinagogue, was no proper Ecclesiasticall, but onely a civill censure, whereby the party cast out, was separated from all company or society with any man, or woman for the distance of four cubits onely at the pleasure of the Judge, (there­fore it was certainly arbitrary, not divine) also from eating or drinking with any, from the use of the Marriage-bed, shaving, washing, and the like, according to the quality of the offence: It was of force forty dayes yet so, as that it might be short­ned upon repentance; he that was thus excommunicated, had power to be present at divine service, to teach others, and learne of others; he hired servants, and was hi­red himselfe, but alwayes on condition of keeping off four cubits distance from them. Therefore doubtlesse it was meerly a civill excōmunication like to an oxtlary, not Ecclesiastical or Divine; since it suspended none from any divine Ordināce, but civil cōversation only. Fourthly, It was prescribed, inflicted, not by the Priests or Ecclesiastical Classis, but by the temporal Magistrate, Ruler of the Sinagogue, Sanhedrim, or people, as the Texts demonstrate, the Jewes, (not Priests) were d Num. 9, 1. to 16. Deut. 16. 1 2 King. 23. 22 23. 2 Chron. 30. 18. 35. throughout. Ezra. 6. 19. Mat. 26. 17. 18 Godwins Jew­ish Antiquities li 8. 2. cap. 1. & l b. 3 cap. 4. the actors in it. Fifthly, In the Jewish Sinagogues, there was neither Passeover nor Sacrament, nor sacrifice celebrated▪ for all sacrifices, Passeovers, festivals were celebrated in the Temple at Jerusalem, in the place which God did choose, not in their Sinagogues where they had onely reading, expounding, preaching, dispu­ting, prayer, but no sacrifice, or sacrament, as you may read in Godwin's Jewish Antiquities, l. 2. c. 1, 2. & l. 3. c. 4. Therefore from this practice you can no wayes prove any suspension from the Sacrament, because no Sacrament nor Sacrifice was then administred or offered in them by the Jewes: and if it prove ought for the use or divinity of excommunication, it is onely thus much, that excommunicated persons cast out of the Church must be suspended from preaching, reading, prayer, and such Ordinances then used in the Jewish Si­nagogues, not from any Sacrifice or Sacrament which were appropriated to the Temple, to which those who were cast out of the Sinagogue might resort: In brief, you may as well justifie excōmunication from Deotrophe as frō hence. 3 John 9, 10, 11.

The tenth difference is, concerning the Scriptures quoted in the fourth Question; whether I have rightly applied them? My Opposites say no, up­on four mistakes of theirs. First, that they can infallibly know the hearts and present conditions of Communicants who have formerly lived scanda­lously and impenitently in their sinfull courses, to be impenitent, obstinate and wicked even at that very instant when they come to receive, though they publikely professe their unfained sorrow and repentance for all their sinnes past, and solemnly promise, yea, vow amendment and newnesse of life for ever after: which I affirme to be meere arogancy, and a usurpation of Gods owne Tribunall, for any Minister or Classis peremptorily to determine, since [Page 50] God onely knowes mens hearts, and can change them in a moment. Se­ [...]ndly, that the Sacrament is no converting Ordinance, but meere poyson to all that have been scandalous persons resorting to it, though with professi­on of repentance and reformati [...]n. Thirdly, that none but persons truly rege­nerated an [...] sancti [...]ied have a right to the Sacrament, and that Ministers and Presbyters have di [...]in [...] a [...]hority to keep back such scandalous persons frō the Lords Supper, whom they have no lawfull authority to suspend from other C [...]l 6. 1, 2. 1 Tim. 5. 1. 20 Ti [...]. 3. 11.O [...]inances. Fourthly, that suspension from the Sacrament is, by divine institution, a necessa [...]y preparatory steppe and degree to excommuni­ca [...]ion, as well [...] admonition, exhortation, reprehension, and publike rebuke; which is a meere groundle [...]se fancy, warranted b [...] no Texts nor presi­dent of Sc [...]ipt [...]re, as the premises d [...]mon [...]trate: And therefore the answers t [...] them b [...]ing grounded on these erronious positions and mistakes, they yet remain [...] in their full vigor.

Finally, to close up all other differences in few words, take notice, that my An­tagonists contend for that which I grant them with advantage, and yet quarrel with me as denying it: for first, I freely grant them in my Questions, that all scandalous, obstinate, peremptory, incorrigible, notorious sinners, who desperately and pro­fessedly persevere in their grosse scandalous sinnes, to the dishonour of Chri­stian Religion the scandall of the Congregation, the ill ezample and infection of others▪ after severall sole [...]n [...] previous publike admonitions, reprehensions, re­bukes, contemned or neglected, and full conviction of their scandall and impenitency, may and ought to be excommunicated, suspended, not onely from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper▪ but from all other publike divine Ordinan­ces whatsoever▪ and the society of the faithfull, till publike satisfaction given for the scandall, and open profession of amendment of life, accompanied with externall symptomes of repentance: And they contest with me for a suspension of such sc [...]ndalous persons onely from the Lords Supper, without any totall ex­communication from the Church, and all other publike Ordinances, for which I must profess [...] I can see no ground at all in Scripture▪ or reason; but Scripture and rationall grounds enough against it; and quite subverts excommunication.

Secondly, I affi [...]m that no visible member of a visible Church, professing sorrow for his sins, able to examine himself and desirous to receive the Sacrament, may or ought of right to be suspended from it, but such onely who are actually excom­municated from all other Ordinances, or at least notoriously guilty and convi­cted of some publike horrid crime, of which all the Congregation or Presbytery have legally taken notice, and are ripe for a sentence of excommunication then ready to be pronounced against them, so farre as to suspend them from all publike Ordinances: In such a case as this, where the fact is notorious, the proofs pregnant, the sentence of excommunication ready to be pronounced against them as persons impenitently scandalous and incorrigible, perchance the Presbytery or Classis may order a suspension from the Sacrament or any other Ordinances, be­fore the sentence of excommunication solemnly denounced, if they see just cause; but not where there is a bare accusa [...]ion without any notoriousnnesse of the fact, or witnesses examined to prove the scandall; for thus to suspend a man upon a [Page 51] meere accusation, or surmise, before witnesses produced, were to pre-judge him as guilty, before hearing of his cause, or probat of the offence or accusation, which may be false a [...] well as true, for ought appeares to the Presbytery: This was all I meant by this new addition to the second Impression of the fonr Quares (or ju­dicially accused, pendente lite) wherein the third Answerer to these Quaeres so much triumphs, as if he had wo [...]ne the field by this short addition, saying, that our Ministers and the Assembly desire no more power then this; which I shall readily grant them, with the precedent limitations, which will take off all his flourishes on it; and so we are both accorded▪ provided, that this power be claimed by no divine Right, but only by Parliamentary authority and humane institution.

To close up this discourse, I shall onely propound these four New Quares to all my Antagonists, and leave the further consideration of them to the saddest debates both of the honourable Houses of Parliament and Veverable As­sembly; who perchance may seriously advise upon them

First, Whether a bare excommunication or suspension from the Sacrament or other Ordinances, if not backed with the authority of the civill Magistrate, when these censures are slighted, or contemned, be not likely to prove an impo­tent invalid, ineffectuall meanes to reclaime impenitent obstinate sinners, es­pecially if they once grow common, triviall, and inflicted upon many together, which made it so contemptible under the Pope and Prelates? Whether it be not farre better, safer profi [...]abler for Christians in point of conscience and Christian prudence, to admit such scandalous persons to the Sacrament, not actually ex­communicated▪ who earnestly desire to receive it, and externally profesle repen­tance and amendment of their lives, though they thereby eat and drink judge­ment to themselves, and become guilty of Christs body and blood; then under colour of keeping back such, to deprive them, or any sincere true hearted Chri­stians of the benefit and comfort of it, to whom really it belongs, t [...] the very breaking of their hearts and wounding of their spirits? which hath been the ca [...]e of some and may be of more, if Christian moderation, compassion▪ charity, pru­dence be not most predominant in every Presbytery; Doubtlesse better it were a thousand reprobates and obdurate sinners who will not be restrained by threats and admonitions, should eat unworthily, to the damnation of their soules, then one worthy Communicant, or sincere hearted Christian be deprived of that right and comfort of the Sacrament, which belongs unto him.

Secondly, whether the suspending of such persons from the Sacrament (be­ing no Ordinance of Christ for ought appeares to me, nor expresly warranted by any Scripture, president, or precept) without a totall suspension of them from all christian society & other Ordinances, will not be [...] means to harden prophane ob­durate, scandalous sinners, if it be once made ordinary and generall rather then to reforme, convert, amend them? And whether their admission to the sacrament accompanied with serious previous ad [...]onitions▪ exhortations to them against unworthy receiving▪ and persevering in their impenitent courses after the Sacra­ment received, and publike serious reprehensions for their former evill courses, b [...] not a farre more probable way and meanes of reclaiming▪ converting them from their evill wayes, then any bare suspension from the Sacrament, without [Page 52] any concurrent suspension from all other Ordinances and Christian communion can be? My reasons for propounding this Question are very considerable: First, be [...]ause such obstinate scandalous sinners, as experience teach [...]s, make no great conscience at all of receiving the Sacrament (from which for the most part they voluntarily suspend themselves for sundry months, nay yeers together out of meer prophanesse) in case they may be freely admitted to other publike Ordinances: It being onely the totall exclusion from the Church and all Christian society (not any bare su [...]pension from the Sacrament) which workes both shame and remorse in excomunicate persons, as Paul resolves, 1 Thes. 3. 14. 1 Cor 5. 13. compared with the 1 Cor. 5. 1. to 11. Secondly, because we find this an experimentall veri­ty, that the most prophane and scandalous sinners that are, when they intend to receive the Sacrament, will many of them (like loose S [...] Ed [...]. Sa [...] R [...]la­t [...]. Italians in the Lent▪ season) for a day or two before, at leastwise on the very day they receive it, and some dayes after▪ demeane themselves very penitently and devoutly in o [...]tward appear [...]nce, yea openly and privately promise and vow to become new creatures, to give over all their sinfull courses, and never to returne to them againe, and for the [...]eason seem to be reall converts; yea no doubt many d [...]boist persous have been really reclaimed converted▪ even by their accesse and admission to the Sa­crament; who if actually suspended from & not admitted to it, would have grown more obstinately impenitent & dissolute in their lives▪ and never have entred into any serious examination of their evill wayes, courses▪ nor promised such newnesse of life, as they doe at time [...] of receiving, by their admission to the Sacrament. Thirdly, all our Antagonists grant, that the Sacrament is a solemne Vow or Cove­nant, which obligeth all receivers, esp [...]cially the most scandalous and sinfull, ge­nerally to re [...]orm all their evill wayes, and carry themselves more obediently, zea­lously towards God and Christ, then ever they did before: And we experimen­tally find that many sc [...]ndalous sinners, even out of a meer naturall or hypocriti­call conscience, when they resort to the Lords Ta [...]le, doe oft enter into solemne secret Vowes and Covenants between God and their ownesoules, to amend their former evill wayes peruse and read some good pious books of devotion, medita­tion, and listen very diligently to the Word when preached, which they will no whit regard, look on▪ ot hearken to at other seasons, yea, become good, reall, at leastwise formall converts. Fourthly, every Ordinance of Chtist, and the Sacra­ment▪ especially above others, is a speciall meanes not onely of confirming, but begetting and encreasing grace, as I have proved; and I make no doubt, but ma­ny scandalous, obstinate sinners, have been, and may be still reclaimed by their owne ptivate conscionable preparations, examinations, meditations, prayers, vowes, and pious resolutions, taken to themselves▪ and by the publike confes­sions, exhortations, admonitions, prayers, i [...]structions▪ used in the Congr [...]gation hoth before, at, and imediatly after their approaches to the Lord [...] Table: yea I Mat. [...]. 11. [...]3. c [...]ap. 13. 28, 24. L [...]k [...] 7. 34 ch▪ 1 [...]. [...], 2. 1 Tim. 1. 15.dare say ten to one, would be reclaimed, converted, by such admission, then will be converted or amended by their bare suspension from it: Hence it was, that Christ, who came into the world to save sinners, when he would reclaime and bring home sinners conversed familiarly with, & permitted them ever to come to him and hi [...] Ordi [...]ances, not debarred them from them: And the forecited Fathers alleage [Page 53] this for one reason why Christ admitted the very traytor Judas to the sacrament, though he knew him to be a devill and cast-away, because he would [...]vercome him by this great mercy, goodnesse, lenity, and leave no meanes of his convertion unat­tempted: If therefore scandalous sinners seriously desire to receive the Sacra­ment, as a principall meanes to subdue their iniquities, reforme their lives, and tye them faster unto God for the future, making publike profession of the reality of their intentions in this kind (as they all doe, at lest in words and outward shew) why such should be debarred fro [...] the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, fince real­ly admitted to the Sacrament of Baptisme, and all other Ordinances; I cannot yet discerne any proofe or reason.

Thirdly, whether Christ did ever intend, that none but true reall beleevers and penitents should receive his supper? Or, whether he did not infallibly both know and really intend, that many unregenerate, impenitent persons, would and [...]hould receive it, some of them to their cōvertion, who belong to him, others of them to their h [...]rt & condemnation, as well as true penitents for their comfort and salvati­on? Our Antagonists do, and m [...]st of necessity grant▪ that close hypocrites, persons, who are not scandalous, b [...]t blamelesse in their outward conversations & endued withcompetent knowledge, have an external right to the Lords supper, though not truly regenerate and endued with saving faith; and that no Mini [...]ler, Presbytery or Classis can or ought of right to suspend such from the Sacrament; for if reall Saints should onely approa [...]h the Lords Table, how few would the number of Commu­nicants be in all Congregations? or what Minister, Church, or Classis might or could take such a jurisdiction upon them▪ as certainly to define who are reall Saints, and who not; since the Lord onely knowes infallibly who are his? They doe and must likewise yeeld▪ that such persons as these hauing no justifying faith nor sincere repentance in them▪ when they doe receive this Sacrament, doe eat and drink their owne damnation, as well as the prophanest obstinatest sinners. If then these may be admitted to the Sacrament, though they thus eat and drinke damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lords body, then why not others? and if Christ hath ordiained the Sacrament of his Supper (as well as the preaching of the Word and Gospell) to be a savour of death to such unworthy, as well as a savour of life unto life to worthy receivers; then what reason▪ in point of con­science, can any Minister alleage, why he should not administer the Sacra­ment to all who desire to receive it, as well as preach the Gospell to those who desire to heare it, since God hath his end in both? the glory of his justice in the one, as well as of his grace and mercy in the other.

Fourthly, Whether all obstinate, scandalous, impenitent sinners, before they come to participate at the Lords Tahle, b [...] not in a present state of damnation? and whether they doe not aggravate and e [...]crease their damnation by resorting to Sermons, hearing▪ reading, praying, fasting, and every other publike duty they performe to God, as well as eat and augment it by resorting [...]o the Sacrament? If yea, which cannot be gain▪said, and is yeelded by all; then what matter of con­science or solid reason can be rendred by any rationall Christian, why such per­so [...]s should not at well be admitted to the Sacrament, as to any other Ordinance; or not suspended equally from all Ordi [...]ances as well as from it; since all by acci­dent, [Page 54] [...]hrough mens abuse and unprofitablenesse, prove means of aggravating their sins and condemnation? Either therefore our Opposites must suspend such person [...] from all Ordinances alike, till they be reclaimed (which themselves perchance will deem a preposterous course) or else admit them to the Sacrament as well as to other Ordinances, since all prove alike good or bad, saving or damning to them.

Object. If they alleage (as some of them doe) that suspension from the Sacrament, though not from othe [...] Ordinances, is but a step to excommunication, and there­fore warranted by those Texts and reasons, which make for a totall excomunicati­on from the Church and o [...]her Ordinances.

Answ. I demand, first, whether Christ himselfe (whose Kingdome and Discipline you pretend excomunication to be, and him to be the onely Law-giver of his Church) hath made suspension onely from the Sacrament, but not from other Ordinances, a step to totall excomunication, or a necessary or expedient fore­runner [...] Tim. 5. 1 20 [...]t▪ [...] c. 2▪ 1 [...] ▪ 2 Thes. 3. 14, 14 [...] Gal 6. [...] 2▪of it, as you grant he hath made publike admonitions, exhortations, reproofes, and the like? If yea, then shew me where, when, or how by Scripture, which I am certaine you cannot doe; If not, then this suspension from the Sacrament alone (which is now contested for with so much eage [...]nesse as if Christs King­dome and Church-discipline did wholly consist therein) is but a meere humane invention and so no Ordinance of Christ, nor any part of his Kingly government. Secondly, I shall demand, whether those Texts which prescribe a totall exclusion from the Church, Ordinances, can be any way satisfied, obeyed, by a partiall exe­cution [...] Sam 15▪of them? Wh [...]n God commands any thing to be fully executed, a halfe or partiall performance onely is no better in his esteem, then plaine disobe­dience or rebellion; as appeares in the case of (a) Saul's incompleat fulfilling [...]f Gods commission against the A [...]al [...]kites, in sparing Agag and the best spoyles; and destroying onely the vulgar Amalekites, with the worst of the cattle and spoyle. Your selves doe daily inculcate upon the Parliament, and your Auditors, a through and compleat Reformation in Church and State; informing them, that lesse will not be accepted of God or good men; and will you content God will a halfe excomunication of scandalous, notorious sinners, by suspending them onely from the Sacrament, when he requires a compleat sequestration and ca­sting out of such, from all publike Ordinances and Christian communion? Answer me but this, and you will soone satisfie your objection. Thirdly, what are the principall ends for which excomunication was instituted in the Church? are they not; First, the punishment of the impenitent delinquent for his crimes? whence it is stiled by you & others, a censure, yea the terriblest censure and punishment of all. Levit 13. Num. [...]. [...]Secondly, the preserving of others from infection▪ pollution, by their▪ill example and conversation, as Leapers in the Leviticall law, and plague sick persons and Lea­pers by our laws now, a [...]e to be shut up & sequestred from the company of others during their contagions? If so (as you must needs acknowledge from ths 1 Cor. 5. 6, 7, 8. Gal 5. 9. 2 Tim. 2. 17, 18.) then if this censure be of Gods institution not mans▪ how can you prove Chancellors to m [...]tigate or halfe it at your pleasures without Gods warrant? how can you inflict it but in part▪ when and where he requires the whole? Are you f [...]ithfull or impartiall judges herein? I [Page 55] presume you dare not say so; Either therefore execute this censure throug [...] ­ly and impartially, as God (you say) prescribes it, or not at all▪ least you [...] selves wiser or mercifullier then God him selfe. Againe, how can you [...] others from infection by their society and examples▪ if you doe not totally se­clude them▪ for the time you suspend them, till they reforme themselves, from all Christian society and publike ordinances as well as from the Lords Table onely? Shall such converse and communicate daily with you in publique prayers, Ser­mons▪ Fasts, reading the Scripture, singing Psalmes, &c. and yet not so much as once communicate with you monethly quarterly or yeerly, for feare of contagion or pollution by their ill example and society in that duty onely, in which (for the most part) they are ever most seemingly penitent, holy and devout? Was ever any m [...]n so absurd or se [...]slesse as to avoid the company of a Leaper, or plague-sick per­son once a moneth or quarter, at his Table onely, for feare of infection, and yet meet with him daily or weekly in the self-same house and roome upon other civill occasions of businesse or discourse? And can any Christians then be so irratio­n [...]ll, as to conceive, that their daily or weekly communion with such scandalous impeni [...]ent sinners in all other publike ordinances, will not endanger or pollute them, nor make them▪guilty of their sinnes by participation, communion or ap­probation; and yet thinke their monethly, quarterly, or yeerly meeting and communicating with them at the Lords Table only, will so poyson▪ so infect them with their sinnes and guilt, that they neither can nor dare with safe conscience, admit them to, or joyne with them in this ordinance onely, though they ordina­rily joyne with them without scruple in all others? I beseech you deare Christian Brethren, consider seriously of all these particulars, apply them home to to your owne conscien [...]es, weigh them by the sacred ballance of Gods holy Word, the rules of right reason, piety, prudence, and then I doubt not by Gods blessing, if you be not obstinately wedded to your owne opinions more then to the truth▪ you will speedily disclaime and confesse the weaknesse, falsnesse, deceitfulnesse of those [...]rro [...]ious grounds & whimseys wheron you have hitherto over▪rashly (without any serious deliberation or discussion) built this your par­tiall suspension from the Sacrament alone, without exclusion from other ordi­nances, which hath neither colour of Scripture, nor solid reason to support it, but both expresse against it.

Remember, I beseech you, that the Psal. 31. 15▪ times of mens conversion and reformation are in Gods hands alone▪ not theirs or yours; that Eph. 2. 1, 2. 2 Tim. 2. 25, [...] 26. Rom. 9. 16 Phil. 2. 13. Marke 10. 23. the change of the heart and life is not him of that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth mercy▪ and worketh this blessed alteration▪ both at what time, and by what meanes he pleaseth: he can make the Word and Sacrament effectuall to some scandalous sinners, it may be Mat. 20. 1. to [...]. at the third, perchance at the sixth, possibly not till the eleventh or last houre of the day: shall you therefore debarre them from them in the interim? Consider how many of your selves (perchance) have lived impenitently, unprofi­tably under the ordinances▪ Sacraments, for sundry yeers together, and how long God did [...]er. 30. 18. wait to shew mercy upon▪ you, er [...] you did repent and amend; and will you▪ not exercise the See Mat. 18▪ 27. to 33. self same patience and indulgence towards others, as God and others did towards you, during your owne scandalous and impenitent lives? [Page 56] Doth God Mat. 13. 28, 29, 20. Heb. 6. 7, 8. suff [...]r the tares to grow together in his Church with the wheat, and to enjoy the rain and dew of his Ordinances till the very harvest, without separation, because possibly some who are for the present tares, may afterward prove wheat: & wil you extirpate or deprive them from the Sacrament before Gods time without separation, not following that golden rule the Apostle prescribes to every Mini­ster who is the Lords servant, 2 Tim 2. 25 26, 27. to be gentle towards all men, patient; in meek­nesse instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance, to the acknowledg [...]ng of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devill, who are taken captive of him at his will: Let us no [...] be more impatient and harsher towards any then God himselfe and Christ are, and Gal. 6. 1, 2. Luke 6. 36. Col. 3. 12, 13. would have us to be; but let us R [...] 9. 22. put on bowels of tender mercies towards them, with long-suffering, as they do; God himself endures with much long-suffering (in his Church) the very vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, endeavouring to o­vercome or leave them unexcusable by his Ordinances & long-suffering: And shall not we endure them or others, though scandalous for the present, who by these ordinances may become vessels of mercy, as well as we? Consider the Ma [...]. 23▪ 1. to 11. Para­ble of the marriage of the Kings Sonne, where the King sent forth his servants to invite guests to the Wedding▪supper, who gathered together ALL they found, both BAD and good, that the Wedding might be furnished with Guests; and beware that ye fall not in point of the Sacrament, into the very errour we con­demne in Papists, in regard of the Word, who take away and deny the use of the Scriptures from the common people in the vulgar Tongue [...] Pet. 3. 16.because the un­stable and unlearned wrest them (as they did in Peters time, & never more then now) to their owne destruction? upon which very ground you take away the Sacrament from scandalous sinners, because you pretend they eat & drink it to their own dam­nation; and so lapse into the self-same error in one kind as the Papists doe in ano­ther, upon one & the same pretence. I plead not this as a meer Lawyer, for any pri­vate ends or l [...]cre (as some scandalously report) since I value not my calling (to which true Church-discipline will be no prejudice) nor any thing in the world in comparison of Gods glory and the truth; Nor yet as an Advocate for licentio [...], scandalous sinners, to extenuate their offences, punishment, or any way to encou­rage them in their impentiency & prophanations; nor out of any disaffectiō to the Presbyterian Government, for which I have earnestly pleaded, and suffered much reproach from Sectari [...]s and Independents, and in which I may expect as great a share of Presbyteriall power and honour as any other; but meerly out of consci­ [...]nce, of love unto the truth, and tender compassions to▪the souls of other [...], from whom without any punctuall Scripture warrant, I would have no meanes of grace, or ordinances of Christ with-held, wherein they have [...] right, a property, [...] 1 Cor. 11. 27.which may conduce to their reformation or conversion. And I doubt not but many thousands now contrary minded, when they have perused my grounds and reasons, wil readily sub [...]cribe to my opinion as the truth of Christ most agreeable to his practice, w [...]rd, mind▪ from which mee [...] crochets and new whimseys of con­ceited braines▪ ought never to seduce us, Let us Gal. 5. 1. stand fast therefore in the li­berty wherew [...]th Christ hath made us free, and be no more entangled with any yoake of bondage▪ but what himselfe hath put upon us, or authorized others to [Page 57] impose on [...] by his word, especialy in Christs Ordinances, which concern our souls, from which no creatures have power justly to seclude us, but in such cases where he gives them expresse commission, and in such sort as he prescribes. And let me suggest but one thing more unto your saddest thoughts, That in the Churches of the Anabaptists and Brownists, both abroad and at home, where excommunica­tion See the Histo­ries of the A­nabaptists, & Books against the Brownist [...]and suspension from the Sacrament are most rigidly and severely exercised, pressed; the sinnes and execrable scandalous crimes of heresie, false doctrine, spirituall pride, sedition, scisme, disobedience to Magistrates, and the higher powers, envy, hatred, malice, covetousnesse, oppression, extortion, hypocrisie, yea, lying, rayling▪ uncharitablenesse, slandering, un [...]aturalnesse, sometimes of sor [...]i­cation, adultery, fleshlinesse, doe farre more abound then in many of our English Congreg [...]ions, where these censures are very rarely exercised, or put in [...]e; and that the practicall power of godlinesse is generally more evidently visi­ble, and the lives of the generality of the people more strict, pious, lesse scandalous and licentious in our English Congregations where there hath been powerfull preaching, without the practice of excom [...]ication or suspension from the Sacra­ment, then in the reformed Churches of France, Germany, Denmark or Scotland, for which I appeal to all [...]ravellors, and our Independent Ministers who have lived i [...] the Netherlands, who wil & must acknowledge▪ that in the sanctification of the Lords [...]y, strictnesse of life, and exemplarinesse of conversation, our English Ministers and Protestants generally excell all others, notwithstanding their strict discipline, which really reforms very few or none, and works no such miracles of reformation, holinesse, precisenesse in mens lives or hearts, as is pr [...]nded: And in popish Churches, where excom [...]ications, suspensions, Interdictions, Church­censures▪ most abound of any▪ and are most frequently and formidably fulminated bypopish Prelats and their officers; how many exorbitances and grievances they in­troduce, how little reformation they worke in mens hearts or lives, is so well knowne to all m [...]n, and to our Opposites in opinion, that we can have little hope [...] they will produce much reall sp [...]dy reform [...]ion in our Churches, since they have hitherto wrought so little in all these, especially if [...]hey once grow common, g [...]nerall, and so contemp [...]ible. Certainly the speediest, best and onely way to suppresse all kind of sinnes, scisme [...], to reforme and purge our Churches from all scandalo [...]s offences, will be, for Ministers no [...] to draw out the sword of ex­communication and suspension against them, which will doe little good; but the sword of the Spirit, the powerfull preaching of Gods Word, and the sword of the [...]ivill Magistrate, which are onely able to effect this work, And if our Assembly and Ministers will but diligently preach against that c [...]talogue of scan­dalous sinne [...] and sinners they have prese [...]ed to the Parliament, and the Parlia­ment prescribe severe [...]emporall lawes and p [...]nishments against them, and ap­point good civill Magistrates to see them duly executed▪ inflicted, I am con­fident, that this would work a greater reformation in our Chu [...]ch and State in one halfe yeere, then all the Church▪discipline and censures now so eagerly contested for, will do in an Age▪ and will be the only true way and speediest course to reform both Church and St [...]e at once, which I hope the Parliament will consider of, and take care, that our Ministers (like the Bishops formerly) may not now be taken up [Page 58] with ruling and governing▪ but preaching and instructing, which is work enough, wholly to engrosse their [...]ime and thoughts.

And whereas many godly, true-hearted, zealous Christians are now perswa­ded, that the Parliaments deliberate (for I cannot say slow proceedings) in setling Church discipline and cen [...]ures, is the maine cause of the encrease of so many he­resies, seismes and sects among us, and that the speedy setling of that modell of P [...]t on and fo­mented by our Ministers un­derhand.Church Discipline the Assembly hath presented to the Houses, will both prevent and redresse this deplorable mischiefe, as is insinuated in a late printed Petition; I must needs informe these wel-affected pious men (whom I truly love and ho­nour) that they are much mistaken both in the cause and c [...]re of this malady, and spreading dangerous Gangreen.

For first, the Parliaments deliberation in debating and setling Church-disci­pline is no true cause of this Epidemicall disease▪ which springs originally from other roots, of which I shall informe them.

First, from our owne Ministers late daily sowing, spreading of erronious, dan­gerous seeds of separation in their Sermons, Discourses, Books, and maintaining [...]ome Anabaptisticall and Brownisticall positions, specially concerning the Sacra­ment of the Lords supper, and suspending scandalous persons from it (which I have here already recited, refuted;) even whiles they think and beleeve they write and preach against scisme, seperation, Anabaptisme and errors tending t [...] [...]hem: This I am confident, is one maine cause, if not the chiefest of this spreading grie­vance, which some of those who most complaine against it, doe out of this their ignorance and un [...]dvisednesse, most foment.

Secondly, our Magistrates, Ministers and peoples free permission of divers Mi­nisters, Hereticks, Scismatikes, to vent their scismaticall erronious fancies, te­nents, freely in our Churches, Pulpits, Presses▪ under pretence of advancing the Parliaments service, and being firme unto their cause; some of them, like so many wandring starres, running up and downe from County to County, City to City, Pulpit to Pulpit, where they freely and boldly vent their errours, seismes, to se­duce poore ignoran [...] people, and preach against our Church-worship, Doctrine, Ministers calling, the Parliaments, Synods authority in setling Church govern­ment &c. declaiming outright against our Church, Ministers as Antichristian▪ and the like; without apprehension, censure or controle: driving on their own s [...]ism [...] ­ticall designes, under pretext of doing God and the Parliament service.

Thirdly, the permission of Ministers and Sectaries of all sorts, contrary to the lawes of God and the Realme, openly to gather and set up private Independent Churches and Conventicles of their owne, seperate from the publike: and to meet freely, boldly at them without the least interruption: With the toleration of such to hold constant private meetings and consultations together, every day, week, or moneth at least, how to advance and strengthen their party in all places, and get the greatest power and places of trust into their hands.

Now will excommuncation or suspension from the Sacrament, or the setling of Church discipline prevent or redresse all these true causes of our seismes? Certainly no: Not the first, nor last of them, and the second but in [Page 59] part: For those who thus voluntarily separate themselves from our Churches▪ Ministers, and will not joyne in any Church communion with us, will not care a straw, but deride and je [...]re u; to our faces, if we should excommunicate them from our S [...]c [...]aments, Churches, Assemblies, of which they professe themselves no Members, and from which they have already excommunicated▪ suspended them­selves, but only when they creep up into our Pulpits, of purpose to preach against [...]s▪ a [...]d seduce the people to sever from us, and seperate to them, whenas they will not permit any orthodox Ministers of ours to preach, much lesse to preach against their wayes, errours, in their separate Congregations.

The only wayes therefore to remedy this dangerous mischiefe for the present, and prevent it for the future, are these e [...]suing, which answer to these causes of them.

First for our own Ministers to labour to discerne and then publikely to retract and unteach the people by word and writing, their erronious, grounds, scismaticall doctrines touching the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, unmixt communions and suspension from the Sacrament: and then none will separate when they are bet­ter taught, and the false grounds of separation and scism (formerly pressed on them through ignorance, or in [...]ogitancy) be as constantly preached and written against, as they have been formerly asserted in the Pulpit and Presse.

Secondly, for our Magistrates conscionably to convent question▪ and people to informe against all Ministers or others, who runne about, and vent scismaticall, erronious new Doctrines or whimseys in their own or others Pulpits▪ & seriously to admonish, cheek them for what is past and enjoine them for time to come, to prea [...]h nothing but Christ crucified, o [...] doctrines of edification, and to avoid all [...]nnecessa [...]y controversies concerning Church▪government (in which some now place all Religion) snd all erronious doctrines contrary to those established among us; and in case they shall afterwards offend in the like kind, to debarre them from stepping up into other mens P [...]lpits, and suspend them from their owne till they shall reforme their erros, scisms and promise never to offend in like kind againe. And withall▪ carefully to suppresse the printing and dispersing of all he­reticall erronious or scismaticall books, by inflicting severe punishments on the Authors, Printers, dispersers of them: for which the good lawes and ordinanc [...]s already made and in full force, are sufficient, were they but duly executed.

Thirdly, to prohibit, suppresse▪ by strict publike lawes and ordinances, the ga­thering of any particular Churches or Congregations without publike authority, together with all private conventicles, of Ana [...]aptisticall sectaries wholly separa­ting from, and standing in direct opposition against our publike Church-mee­tings; together with all their private cabinet-councels, consultations, to fo­ment and augment their party: And in case they will not be reclaimed by leni­ty and friendly christian proceedings, but continue still obstinate and incorrigi­ble, then to proceed severely against the ring-leaders of separating sects▪ [...]cismer, and to keep or remove them from all Offices or places of publike trust in Church o [...] State, wherein their continuance may prove prejudiciall to b [...]t [...] or either of them: And if all o [...]r Magistrates, Judges, and Justices in City and Coun­try [Page 60] would but modestly execute the good statutes and ordinances already provi­ded against those; I am certain these spreading errours sectaries, scismes would be soon suppressed, and we all united in one, now the great stumbling block, of Su­perstitious popish Ceremoies, Altars, Images, with the Common prayer Book (the only eye-sores heart-sores and grounds of separation, formerly complained of [...] conscientious people) are totally removed by the Parliament, together [...] scandalous and unpreaching Ministers and Gods word more powerfully, more [...]n­cere [...]y preached, then in any Conventicles or segregated Congergations whatso­ever, where illiterate Mechanicks (who may as well st [...]p into the Kings Throne, a [...]d civill Magistrates Tribunall, as into the Ministers Pulpit) or ignorant, [...]gif­ [...]ed Ministers, doe usually exercise their leaden Talents, and vent their dros [...]e straw, stubble, instead of the pure gold and orient Pearles of Gods sacred oracles.

As therefore you desire, tender the redresse of this great grievanc [...], the speedy settlement, peace, unity of our distracted Church and State, the long expected establishment of such an exact Church▪discipline as is warranted by Gods Word, not built on humane fancies; the advancement of Gods truth, honour; the avoyding of all groundlesse, unwarrantable occasions of scismes or separations, occasioned by some new erronious paradoxes and false notions, touching this weighty subject of Excommunication and suspension from the Sacrament; I shall humbly beseech and seriously adjure you in the name of Jesus Christ, th [...] [...]eb. 13. 21 d. 1. Pet. 4. 5 great Shepheard of his sheep, and impartiall Judge both of quick and dead, [...] (p) you wil answer the contrary before his dreadful Tribunal at the last day, & avoid his 1. Cor. 16. Anathema Maranatha, with all good mens censures here, to lay aside all self▪ends, self interests, prejudices whatsoever in this weighty controversie, and with a single, upright heart, seriously to weigh the severall particulars her [...] presented to your consideration; and where you find I have Scripture, truth, or right reason siding with me, there cordially to embrace it without more co [...]te [...] ▪ where you shall discerne I have been mistaken in any thing (as for ought I know I am in nothing) there in a brotherly manner to refute it; and the Lord give [...] all sincere hearts to 1. Thes. 5 21▪ Prove all things, and hold fast what is good, both in our judge­ments and practises; and to rest truly thankful for the great work of Reformati­on already made, not to murmure or repine against God and the Parliament, [...]s if little o [...] nothing were already done, because that▪ Church-Discipline of excom­munication and suspension from the Sacrament (which some pretend, but prove not to be Christs Ordinance and Kingdom) is not fully established in sounlimi­ted and dangerous an arbitrary way as they desire, and cannot have their wils or humours satisfied in every s [...]all punctilio.

2 Cor. 13. 7, 8.

Now I pray God tha [...] ye do no evil▪ not that we should appeare approved, but that ye should doe that which is honest th [...]ugh we appeare to be Reprobates: for wr can d [...] nothing against the truth, but for the truth.


Page 33. line 6. read s [...]nnes: [...]. 35 l. 45 not: p. 39 l. 3 pr [...]m [...]ses l. 9 of his l. 44 in this p. 47 l. 32. Ap [...]st [...]lo [...]. p 48 [...]. 23. Priests, l. 28 Church, l. 42 were.


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