SOME OBSERVATIONS AND ANNOTATIONS Upon the Apologeticall Narration, Humbly submitted to the Honour­able HOUSES of PARLIAMENT; The most Reverend and Learned DIVINES OF THE ASSEMBLY, And all the Protestant Churches here in this Island, and abroad.

LONDON, Printed for Christopher Meredith, and are to be sold in Pauls Church-yard at the sign of the Crane. 1643.

TO The Right Reverend, and Learned DIVINES, THE AUTHORS OF THE Apologeticall Narration.

Right Reverend and dear Brethren,

THE high esteem I have ever had of your Persons, and the great holinesse of your lives (desiring ever to be such my self, as I esteem you to be, except onely in your particular opinions, wherein ye dissent from all Protestant, yea, all Christian Churches in this World) had almost hindered me, from the publishing of these Considerations upon your Apologeticall Narra­tion; esteeming, That it was not for any particular man, such as I am, to oppose himself to such a number of grave Divines, of so great learning, and so apparent Pietie: But on the other part, considering, that you, as my self, are but men, subject to humane frailtie, that ye know but in part, and con­sequently [Page]may erre in part, I thought, that this, which is in question betwixt you, and all the Churches in the Christian World, might be a part of your aberration in part, and of that which we know in part; And upon this consideration, esteemed it no lesse a part of my dutie, and Christian libertie, as a man, to oppose my self to five men, then for five men to oppose themselves to the common opinion of five hundred thousand, to so many learned, so many holy Divines, hun­dreds, and thousands for one of you, no wayes inferiour to the learnedst, and best amongst you; And not onely to particular men, and Divines, but to so many, yea and those the most pure, and most Reformed Churches of the World, amongst whom there have been found so many thousands who have sealed Christs Truth with the losse of their goods, imprison­ment of their bodies, by the exile of their Persons, yea, with their dearest blood, and lievs, who if they wrought not miracles, at the least God declared his Almighty Power in working miracles about them, and upholding them; (Men of so great worth, that the world was not worthy of them: And howsoever these Motives be great, yet wrought they not so much upon me as this, That I am perswaded in my conscience, that your opinion of Independency, &c. if it were admitted (pardon my expression till I be better instruct­ed by you, or some others) could not but prove the root of all sort of Schisme, and Heresie, and consequently the utter overthrow of Christs Universall Militant Church here upon Earth. Besides all these considerations, I had many more, and amongst the rest, your hard expressions against them that love, and pity you, your apparent resolution in desiring a Toleration of your Religion, and consequently of a Sepa­ration from our Churches, which howsoever they have power to hinder you, yet condescend to be suppliants to you, that you will entertain union, and communion with them. I may adde [Page]to all these your undervaluing of the Parliaments great Fa­vours towards you; for ye know, Brethren, how they (not­withstanding all this, and your former Separation from all other Christian Churches) having taken to heart your hard usage in those evill times ye speak of, (howsoever in respect of your number ye be very few, yea hardly the hundreth part, yea not so much as one part of the Divines of this Kingdom, in respect of your Separation) invited you most lovingly to be Members of this present Assembly of the most learned, holy, and reverend Divines of both Kingdoms; whereof, had not they given you the capacity, ye had been altogether incapable: And not onely that, but also having resolved to send two Divines from hence with their Commis­sioners to Scotland, they honoured one of you with this high favour (the greatest they could confer upon you at that time) and so in effect did honour you with the half of the honour, which belonged to all the Divines of the Kingdom; And yet notwithstanding all these great testifications of so great, and tender affections towards you, ye five men, five Members of the Assembly, (by whose Counsell, and Instigation, or up­on what Motives we know not) joyned your selves in a parti­cular Combination, without the knowledge of either Par­liament or Assembly, to draw up and publish unto the World an Apologeticall Narration, as ye terme it, containing in effect, (howsoever ye name it) a singular desire of Separa­tion from them, that so cherish you, with some unworthy Nick-names, ye put upon them, who stile you by no worse names, then Brethren. By such proceedings, what else have ye done, but erected an Assembly in the Assembly, a parti­cular Assembly in a publike Assembly, by private Authority against publike Authority, taking private Resolutions against all publike Resolutions, whatsoever might be concluded ei­ther in Parliament, or Assembly; and in one word, an Assem­bly [Page]to overthrow the Assembly? These reasons joyned together with sundry others, made me to think more then I say, and to suspect that ye would say more then ye say. And therefore, laying all particular affections aside, I resolved my self to publish these following Considerations, and Annotations upon this your Apologeticall Narration; which truely I do not out of any spleen against you (God knows it) for never one of you, ever offended me; yea, I may say, that I love you all from my heart, and that in writing of this, my soul is, as it were, rent in two parts, my understanding carrying it one way, and my will another; Christs verity forcing the one, and your singular piety alluring the other: But I must conclude, That it is better to follow God then man, what ever he be, or may appear to be; and that the will, that is but a blinde facultie, must let it self be led by the light of the understanding, which is the eye of the soul. And as I write not out of spleen, so may I attest him, who seeth all things, that I do it not to gain any mans affection, or favour, much lesse in hope of any other worldly ends; and that if I did it to gain any mans love, or friendship, I am as much desirous of yours, as any others: No such ends moved me: But if I have any knowledge of my self at this present, at the writing of this Answer (which yet I know is not such as it should be) I may say, That my main aym has been Gods glory, and the edification of weak Brethren, who may have been misled by your most learned Discourse; esteeming, that during the rest of my Pilgrimage, which cannot be long, having no other thing to do, I shall do well to do this, and so improve my Talent to his glory, the Edification of his Church, and the Salvation of my own Soul, and so I remain

Your very loving Brother in Christ, A. S.

Some Generall CONSIDERATIONS Upon the Apologeticall Narration.


WHether in any Ecclesiasticall or Politicall Assembly of the Christian World, where­in things are carried by plurality of voices, it be ordinary for any inconsider­able number thereof, to joyn in a parti­cular combination among themselves; and therein to take particular resoluti­ons, to publish them unto the world; and so to anticipate upon the resolutions of the whole Assembly.


Whether in taking such resolutions, they should not consequent­ly resolve themselves to quit the Assembly, and to appear as Par­ties? And if any man or men should do so, either in this Parlia­ment, or this Assembly; if a connivence at such a matter should not be reputed for an act of great favour, love, and extraordinary tender affection towards them?


Whether such an inconsiderable member, in so doing, may not be refused by the parties, as incompetent Judges.


Whether this Apologeticall Narration was necessary, when ye found the calumnies, mistakes, misapprehensions of your opi­nions, and mists, that had gathered about you, or were rather cast upon your persons, in your absence, begin by your presence again, and the blessing of God upon you, to scatter and vanish, without speaking a word for your selves or cause? And if the honour the Parliament shewed you, in calling you to be Members of the Assembly, was not sufficient enough, to justifie your persons from all sort of aspersions and calumnies, without any Apology? Whether after the dissipation of such Clouds, and such a justification, this Apology was rather necessary, then before, when ye were under the cloud, and not justified?


Whether this your Apologeticall Narration, wherein ye blame all Protestant Churshes, as not having the power of godlinesse, and the profession thereof, with difference from carnall and formall Christians, advanced and held forth among them, as among you, be seasonable, when the Church of God and this Kingdom stand in need of their Brotherly Assistance; and par­ticularly of that of the Scots (against whom it is commonly thought to be particularly intended) who at this very time so un­seasonable, according to their duty, hazard their Lives and Estates for Gods Church, all this Kingdom, and you also?


Whether (as it is observed by sundry men of learning, and as ye have noted your selves) ye should not have done better, to have sit down your opinions by way of Theses, and so manifested unto us, wherein ye agree, or disagree with us, or from us? the Brownists, Anabaptists, and these whom ye pretend to hold the same Tenets with you, in old and new England, and the Netherlands, then in a Rhetoricall and Oratorius way, endeavour in the most part of your Book, to publish your great Sufferings, and extraordinary Piety, and so to move us all to compassion, and ravish us into admiration, as if ye meant rather to perswade, then to prove them?


Many also are very desirous to know, whether this Apologe­ticall Narration published by you five alone, be published in the name of you five alone, or of all those also, or apart of those, whom ye pretend to hold your Tenets? to the end we may know in what esteem to have it. And if in the name of you five onely, the Pen­ners and Contrivers thereof; Whether ye five can arrogate a power unto your selves, to maintain these Tenets, as the constant opinion of all your Churches, having no generall Confession of their Faith thereabout? If in the name of all the rest, we desire ye would shew your Commission from all your Churches, by what authoritie ye do it? Or if ye do it without Commission and Authoritie from them, if that be not to assume unto your selves a greater Authoritative power, then that ye call Presbyteriall? yea, then ever was the Episcopall?


It were also not amisse ye should declare, Whether ye desire a Toleration for you five alone in your Religion, or for all the rest? Item, If a Toleration in publike, in erecting of Churches apart? or to live quietly without troubling of the State? as for the last, appearingly, ye may have it unsought; but for the rest, the Parlia­ment is wise enough, and knoweth what is convenient for the Church of God and the State.


And because your whole draught of this Book tends evermore unto a Toleration, and consequently unto some Separation; I would willingly know of you? What things are to be tolerated, or not tolerated in Religion? not in private persons, but in Conse­ciations? And particularly, when the whole Kingdom is joyned in one Religion? What sort of new Consociations of divers Reli­gions, it may in good conscience tolerate and receive into it? Item, Ʋpon what ground Churches may, in good conscience, make Sepa­ration from other Churches, that desire Ʋnion and Communion with them? Whether they that aym at a Toleration and Separa­tion, be not rather bound to tolerate some small pretended defects, not approved by those from whom they desire to separate themselves; (and especially, when they that are so desirous of Separation, are not pressed to be Actors in any thing against their conscience) then to [Page 4]separate themselves from a Church, that testifies a great desire to reforme the defects, pretended to be in it? Whether it were not better for them, that aym at Toleration and Separation, to stay in the Church, and to joyn all their endeavours with their Brethren, to reforme abuses, then by Separation to let the Church of God perish in abuses? Whether they do not better, that stay in the Church to reforme it, when it may be reformed, then who quit it, for fear to be deformed in it?

[An Apologeticall Narration.]

ALL Apologies presuppose some Accusation, which here appears none; or if it be intended, as an Apo­logeticall answer to what hath been written a­gainst your Opinions; it comes very short, weak, and slender, and no way satisfactory to their Arguments.

Neither is it a meer Apologeticall Narration, but also a grievous Accusation against all our Churches, as destitute of the power of godlinesse, &c. So it is a mistake in the very Title of the Book, which is either untrue, or inadoequate to the subject whereof it treateth.

[Humbly submitted] So humbly submitted to the honour­able Houses of Parliament, as if they submit not themselves to your desires, in granting you a Toleration (for any thing I can see) ye seem no wayes minded to submit your selves to theirs. It seems also very probable, That being Divines, ye should rather first have consulted with the Assembly of Divines, your Brethren, then so ex abrupto, gone to the Civill Magistrate, [Page 5]that arrogates not to himself, any directive power in matters of Religion: This should have testified more Brotherly and Christian Charitie, then here it does of politicall humilitie: And it is more convenient to the spirit and power of godlinesse; that the spirit of Prophets, in such matters, should be subject unto Prophets, then unto the spirit of the Civill Magistrate; who, for this effect, hath convocate an Assembly of Prophets, and would not undertake it himself. So this is a submission, That this most just and severe Tribunall, and most Sacred refuge, and Asylum of mis-judged innocence, requireth not of you.

[By Thomas Goodwin, &c.] We have hereupon already expressed in the Epistle, and in our seventh observation, what many Learned and good men desire, and what may be their judgement hereupon about you five.

Pag. 1. Now Members of the Assembly of Divines] and this also we have touched in our Epistle, and upon [humbly sub­mitted.]

Notes upon the first Page.

Sect. 1.

OƲr ears, &c.] Here beginneth this Apologeticall Narra­tion; which, from this unto the ninth Section, Page the fifth, hath little or nothing materiall, touching the questions in controversie betwixt our Brethren and us: Onely it con­taineth a Narration of their godly wayes, whereupon they have never been challenged by their Brethren, that ever I could hear of.

[filled with exclamations] What can be these exclamations or exclamators, we know not, and therefore answers not.

Sect. 2. And now, &c.] It may seem very probable to rea­sonable men, 1. That it should have been more seasonable, To have made this appearance into publike light, before your entrance into the Assembly, then so many Moneths after. 2. Before your Brethren, in submitting your spirit of Prophets unto that of [Page 6]the whole Assembly, then in this extraordinary way, unpara­lelled by any like unto it in the world. 3. To have sought of them a Testimony, then after this way, to take it at your own hand, and give it unto your selves.

[lain under so dark a cloud] Ye avow hereafter, that it is vanished away; so ye lose your pains, in taking away a cloud, that is no more: See our fourth observation.

[The Supreme Judicatory, severe Tribunall, the most Sacred Refuge, and Asylum for mistaken, and mis-judged innocence.] The Parliament indeed is all this, in civill causes, but it pretends no directive power in matters of Religion, by teaching, or preaching, or judging of controversies of Religion; nor any executive power, that is intrinsecall unto the Church, as in the Vocation, Depositi­on, and Suspension of Ministers, in Ecclesiasticall Censures, in Excommunication, &c. which are meerly spirituall; but onely an executive, coercitive, and externall power; which is not in, but about the Church, and for the Church, whereby it compelleth refractory men to obey the Church: And this authoritie belongs actually, and in effect, in actu exercito (as they say) & jure in re, to true Christian Magistrates; but to others po­tentially, in actu signate, and jure in rem onely, till they become true Christians. In vertue of this Authority, when Parties pre­tend to be offended by the Church, or if the Church judge any thing amisse, he may command the Church to revise and re­examine its judgement, and to reforme it, if it containeth any thing amisse. And in this sense, Constantine the Great, refusing an unjust and exorbitant power, that the Counsell gave to him, said very wisely; Vos in Ecclessa, ego extra Ecclesiam Episcopus, For he was no Ecclesiasticall Minister, Overseer, or Controller, but Gods Minister in the State, for the weal of his Church in the State; which was not formally of the State, howsoever materially it was in the State: Wherefore if your meaning here be, That the Parliament should judge of the questions in debate, betwixt you and your Brethren; ye go a­gainst the Parliaments intention, which esteeming it self, to have no calling of God thereunto, very wisely did convocate an Assembly of Divines to that effect: Neither beleeve I, that ye will grant unto it and the Assembly both, such an authority; [Page 7]or if ye grant it, I doubt, if ye will submit your selves unto it: And indeed, to grant them such a power, were nothing else, but to joyn your selves with the Arminians, who granted it to the Civill Magistrate, when they thought to have had him for them; and afterwards repented themselves, when they found him against them.

Sect. 3. Pag. 2. [The most, &c.] To this Paragraph I have nothing to say, but that it is the judgement of many very judi­cious and godly Divines, That a Pastour is bound to stay with his Flock, so long as he is not pressed to be an Actor in any thing against his conscience; which many good men have done in this Kingdom, and in so doing upheld many others.

Sect. 4. Pag. 2. [Neither, &c.] Here I note two things. 1. Ye call other Churches, your Neighbour Churches; if so, they are your sister Churches; And then how is it, That ye will not admit all the Members of their Churches, unto your Communion, at the Table of the Lord? Will ye, or dare ye, communicate with them, or not? If ye dare, how dare ye not admit them all unto your Communion? If ye dare not, how can ye hold them for Brethren, with whom ye dare not eat or drink, at that spirituall Feast of Brotherly Love and Charity? 2. Ye tell us, That for fear of violence and persecution, ye made choice of a voluntary exile. If this be said to excuse your departure, I have nothing to say; But if it be to blame them, that notwithstanding all persecution, remained in their stations, I remit the Reader to the third Section: onely I adde this, That they, who notwithstanding their personall persecutions re­mained in their Stations, in confirming others, are no lesse to be commended then ye: Neither is the Souldier lesse valourous, that standeth by his Colours, fighting constantly, and courage­ously to death, then he that leaveth them, flying away, upon any imminent danger whatsoever, whatever his affection be unto the cause: And if they all had fled away, what might have become of the poor Church of God in this Kingdom? it might been, that ere now, Impius haec tam culta novalia miles haberet, Barbarus has segetes. Praised be God, that it plea­sed him in his mercy to uphold those men in these dangers, that they might be a means of upholding the Members of his Church [Page 8]here. Yea, who knoweth, if in such corrupt times, many things were not rather to have been tolerated, which then could not be amended, then their Stations to have been deserted, so they had not been Actors in ill doing? Neither was the watchful­nesse of those times so great, but that many good men might enjoy, and enjoyed in effect the Ordinances of Christ. And howbeit it had been so; yet was it not necessary therefore to make a Schisme, in quiting the Communion of all other Churches abroad. Many Divines hold also, That the Minister of Christ ought not to fly away for his personall persecution, but for that onely of his flock.

Sect. 5. pag. 3. [This being, &c.] In this and the next Secti­on, ye seem to come to the question in controversie, viz. Unto Ecclesiasticall Government; but it containeth nothing pro­bative of your opinion, but onely narrative of your enquiry, and holy proceedings therein; which ye willingly desire to per­swade, that it has been the most holy that could be found by flesh and blood, in any juncture of time that may fall out, as want­ing no helps that could further it, and having no impediments that could hinder it. Your helps were first, Gods Word; Se­condly, The Discipline of the Reformed Churches; Thirdly, That of the Non-Conformists; Fourthly, That of New-Eng­land; Fifthly, The example and president of the Shipwrack of the Brownists; Sixthly, The reason ye had to be true to your consciences. The impediments or hinderances ye could have, were, first worldly temptations; secondly, aymes; third­ly, education; fourthly, engagement to other Churches, from which all ye were free. But this Enumeration is imperfect; for the grace of God which is the principall help, without which we can do nothing, is here omitted. But let us examine them all according to the order that ye have set them down.

[We lookt upon the Word of Christ, as impartially, and unpre­judicedly, as men made of flesh and blood are like to do in any jun­cture of time, that may fall out.] This is much: As for us Brethren, being but men made of flesh and blood; we know that we know but in part; that we do but in part the good, we have power to do; for we have power to do more good [Page 9]then we do, that we may omit much evill, that we do; that of both we know very little, in respect of that we know not, For the heart of man is deceitfull, and who can know it: And as for others, we know much lesse then of our selves, not know­ing their hearts, temptations, ayms, intentions, or their sins, repentance, backslidings, their falls, or uprising; but least of all of men possible in junctures of time to come, that God can create; for what know ye or we, Brethren, what may be? And therefore, we dare not be so bold, as to compare our selves with others in time present; much lesse with those that be pos­sible in junctures of time to come, in esteeming our selves as good, or better, then they may be: And therefore, I esteem that your comparison proceedeth rather of flesh and blood, then of the spirit of God. We wish indeed, we were the best of all men, but we esteem not our selves the best; Oh, that we might be but in the number of good men. We wish, we could say as much as ye; but again, we dare not, being conscious of our own infirmitie, that we are but flesh and blood.

But ye seem to prove it, by removing of hinderances, as first, Of Temptations of the place ye went unto, your condition and company, which left you as freely to be guided by Gods Word, as the Needle toucht with the Loadstone is in the compasse.

But this is an imperfect Enumeration of Temptations: It containeth onely some externall, and yet not all, as those, that proceed from the Divell, and omit internall Temptati­ons, whereof ye purge not your selves sufficiently: But left that company you in such a condition? Medied it self no more in a businesse of so great consequence, in establishing a new Government, to which it was to submit it self? Did it so let it self be led by the nose? Had it no more interest in the busi­nesse? It is too much: Onely I adde, it is one of the greatest Temptations, that a man can fall into, to esteem himself without Temptations; and that such a man, in such a case, should not need to say, Lead us not into Temptation: And was this no Temptation, that ye went out of your Countrey with some miscontentment in it; that ye found your selves so consocia­ted, that ye might frame your Government to your present estate and condition, as was requisite in such a company; that [Page 10]shuning too much one extremitie, because of your sufferings, ye should presently run into the other. Neither was this extravagant power a small temptation, Nunquam satis fida potentia, ubi uimia est.

[We had (say ye) of all men, the greatest reason to be true to our own consciences in what we should embrace.]

This Brethren cannot be said, without a high esteem of your selves, and great undervaluing of others: Have not other men as good reason as ye, to be true unto their consciences, since they are all bound under the pain of eternall condemnation to that duty? What greater reason then this, can ye have? Have not these (whom ye call Presbyterians) who were condemned to death, for that Discipline, ready to be executed, who after­ward were exiled into forraign Countreys, wherein they ended their lives; who were men of no lesse learning, abilities, and holinesse of life, then any of your profession, had they not (I say) as great reason to be true to their consciences, as ye can have?

Afterward in this Paragraph ye remove all ayms and ends, that might make you byas. [We had (say ye) no new Common-Wealths to rear, &c.] As much may all Schismaticks say; Neither can every man have new Common-wealths to rear; neither can these of New-England say so: And as for you five, your number was too small; and howsoever, ye had not King­doms in your eye, yet had every one of you, one in his heart, to subdue: Tunc omnia jura renebis, cum poteris Rex esse tui: Hoc regnum sibi quisque dat: This is a Kingdom, which every man by Gods grace, may take and give to himself, without any materiall Arms, or Armies: And howbeit, ye have no State ends, neverthelesse, as ye have very many good men, so have ye very many good States-men among you, yea, more then those that maintain Presbyterian Discipline in regard of your num­ber: But what Republikes had the Protestants in France or Scotland, to rear, or worldly Kingdoms to subdue more then ye?

Your mould (of Church Government) will be coexistent (say ye) with the peace of any form of civill Government on earth] that may be true of yours; but not of ours; for it cannot comply with that of the Turks; and we confesse ingenuously, [Page 11]that for any thing we know, yours will comply a great deal more with State, and State ayms, then ever S. Peter, S. Paul, or we could do; howsoever, ours submitteth it self willingly to all sort of just Government, that is of God. Neither re­quireth the Parliament any thing more of the Church of GOD.

Howbeit, ye had No preferment or worldly respects to shape your opinions for]; yet praised be God, your Ministers have no want, but as great abundance of worldly means, as any of your Brethren that stand for Presbyteriall Government. But what preferment or worldly respects, could Calvin or Beza have had, who for the puritie of Doctrine, and of Discipline, introduced this Presbyteriall Government, whereby both them­selves, and all they that should thereafter professe the Gospel, were deprived of all hopes of future preferment, and worldly respects? What preferment or worldly respects could they have, that refused them, when they were offered unto them, and prefer'd death and perpetuall exile, before good fat Bishop­ricks? We know King James his round answer, when some asked him, wherefore he preferred not good men to Bishopricks in Scotland? The Divell an honest man (sayes he) will accept them. And what greater preferment have they, who at this pre­sent travell to bring in Presbyteriall Government? Are they richer then before they were? Are they to be in greater places, then Ministers of the Word? Truely I may say something that I have seen: Some of them sundry times, so exhausted their sickly bodies, with pains in this Cause, that sundry times they lost their health, and fell sick; but for worldly profit and pre­ferment, I never heard of it.

How great a fortune made Calvin with it? Who as it is known, and faithfully related by those who did write his life, sundry times refused worldly means, in a very fair and honourable way offered unto him; and whose Inventory after his death, hardly could amount to 40 pounds?

We had (say ye) nothing else to do but simply and singly to con­sider how to worship God acceptably. Answ. So much may many others say. But most truely, may as much be said of our first Parents in Paradise, yet they gave themselves some other thing [Page 12]to do: Besides all this, ye are too peremptorious, ye five, to speak in the name of all the rest; for howsoever, every one of you, may answer for one, viz. for himself; yet can none of you, nor ye all; answer for all those of your profession, since their hearts are unknown to you, and ye have no warrant from them.

Sect. 6. pag. 4. We were not engaged by Education, &c.] And yet it is a blessing of God, by Education to be engaged to good, and bred in a true Doctrine and Ecclesiasticall Disci­pline: Neither esteem I, that it was a curse to the People of God, to have been bred in his Covenant: Neither think ye it, a curse to yours, to have been bred amongst you.

Ye suppose that other Reformed Churches, might not see in all things: So suppose we of you, and that with greater reason, being but five men, not comparable with so many lights of the World, of whom ye make your selves judges.

And yet ye esteem wrong in esteeming, that their intention was most spent in the Reformation of Doctrine. 1. For that is in­directly to accuse them of negligence, in reforming of Disci­pline. 2. Because their Consultations, and Epistles, sent to sundry Churches abroad, testifies the contrary. 3. Because the French tia vell very much about their Discipline, and have reformed sundry things therein. 4 And have a great many more helps, then ye to frame it, to Gods Word; for it is expresly in­joyned, every Church Ruler, to read it diligently: Once every three moneths it is read in their Consistory; and what ever any man findeth defectuous in it, is represented to the Synod wherein there are so many of the learnedst, most judici­ous, and holy Divines of the whole Kingdom; by whom after due Examination, by Common-advice, in the fear of the Lord, at may much better be reformed, then by the advice of one In­dependent Minister, and two or three Ruling Elders in their particular Congregation: And to think that one of you, can see more, then so many learned and Godly men, gathered in the fear of the Lord, cannot be thought without too good opinion of your selves. 5. Besides all this, a good Discipline, may very well be established, by men of lesse holinesse of life, so be it, they have greater abilities, for the gift of constituting a good Disci­pline, [Page 13]is not a gift proper to a good man, but to a good Church Officer it is not Gratia grarum faciens, sed gratis data; not a saving gift or grace that maketh us gracious or acceptable to God, but graciously given or bestowed upon us; not to save our selves, but other men, as the gift of Prophesie; for a man in preaching and ruling, may save others, and damn him­self. And a man may be a very good Prophet or Ruler in the Church, if he have the abilities thereunto, and exercise them well; and an ill man, if he let not himself be taught and ruled: So we may say, a man may be a good Citizen, a good King, a good Souldier, or a good Cobler, but an ill man.

Ye grant, that In Doctrine they had a most happy hand: but wherefore may ye not judge them, as well to have had an happy hand in Discipline? Was Gods hand more deficient to them in the one, then in the other? Or had they lesse abilities? Or used they not their abilities? What reason rather for the one, then for the other? Had they more Kingdoms to subdue then ye? Or any other politicall ayms? Or greater temptations then ye?

In the same Paragraph, ye propound your Obtervations: viz. That that Government, viz. Presbyteriall hath been accom­panied with more peace then yours; and it is very true, for who can tell, how many Schismes and Heresies your Government is subject unto? What Divisions and immortall hatreds it hath bred in New-England? &c. 2. If it hath more peace, then it is such, as it should be, and obtaineth its adequate end, which is the externall peace of the Church.

Ye adde, That the power of godliness had not bin advanced amongst thē, at in this Island. From whence ye seem to infer, that it is not so good as yours. Ans. 1. As for your Antecedent; it is too bold to make your selves Judges of the power of godlinesse in other Churches, and to judge your selves the holiest of all others.

But ye prove it by their own Confession: Answ. Brethren ye do not well to take advantage upon other mens Humilitie for to depresse them, and extoll your selves; They do well to think soberly of themselves: So do not ye in esteeming so high­ly of your selves, and so meanly of them. 2. And the French are very courteous and civill, but the more courteous and civill they be, the more discourteous, and uncivill be ye, that take [Page 14]advantage by their courteousnesse and civilitie, to depresse them under your selves. 3. They have also this defect, that they have too many complements: But they say also, Let compliments ne doibvent point estre pris au pied de la lettre, Com­plements must not be taken literally. It seems ye have not much travelled amongst them, or remarked well the fashion of the Countrey.

But put the case, your Antecedent were as true as it is false: yet your Consequence is naught, because of many captions and sophistications it containeth; onely I will touch two, the first is fallacia non causae, ut causae, a fallacious argumentation which bringeth a false and apparent cause, for the true cause of the effect, or a false effect for the true effect of the cause; for if there were a greater power of godlinesse amongst you, then in other Churches, the cause thereof, should not be the fault of the Government, but of the Divell, of those that govern, or are governed; not because your Discipline is better then ours, or ours worse then yours; But 1. because the Divell evermore assaults more the true Church, the true Doctrine, and true Di­scipline, then the corrupted Church, her corrupted Doctrine or Discipline; to the end, that thereby he may calumniate them all, imputing craftily to the Church of God, to the true Do­ctrine and Discipline, that which should be imputed to himself. Or 2. Because that the Governours or Rulers of the Church, put not the Discipline duly in execution: Or 3. Because they that should be governed, will not obey the trueth.

3. Put the case the Antecedent were true, and there were no such captious argumentation: Yet from hence, should it not follow that Independent, but that Episcopall Govern­ment should be better then the Presbyterian; because the power of godlinesse acknowledged by strangers, to be greater here, then with them, was not in Holland, or in New-England, under Independency; but in old England, not under Indepen­dent (which hath never here been received) but dependent, viz. Episcopall Government, that could not endure Indepen­cy, but persecuted it: So Brethren, here according to your fashion, you prove that which ye intend least to prove, wherein ordinarily ye are very unfortunate: And if this ye prove, it is [Page 15]another Sophistication, commonly called fallacia ignorationis elenchi, and [...], when ye prove one question or con­clusion for another.

Ye had (said ye) the light of old Non-conformists, and their draughts of Discipline: But ye condemned all, as Soveraign Judges, And that much more commended to us, because (say ye) they were our own: Here ye manifest a temptation, which ye concealed before.

Ye had the fatall miscarriages and shipwrack of those of the Separation, whom ye say, we call Brownists: But so call not ye them, because ye symbolize more with them, and had rather call us Calvinians, with the Papist, then them Brownists, with us, as they merit; because of the Author of their Sect.

Afterwards, in the last part of this Paragraph, ye come to the examples of New-England, improved (as ye say) to a better Edition, and greater refinement; whom ye extoll very highly, in comparing them with our father Abraham, and yet ye stood (say ye) as unengaged Spectators. So then your Religion in this point was in abstractione praecisionis, abstracted and separated from all Religion, without all Religion, and to live as Specta­tors: This your Religion in this point, was very speculative, and if it were in any other matter then that of Religion, we might justly say, Spectatum admissi risum teneatis amici.

We resolved not (say ye) to take up our Religion, by, or from any part. Neither could ye, being so abstract from all parties, for ye dissented from all the World; ye held all the World for parties, and made your selves Judges of all the World, till ye had made choice of your new Religion: If this Method in making choice of Religion, be good and honest, then all those that are bred in your Religion, should do so; which as I be­leeve, ye will no wayes grant.

Upon this Section, wherein ye so much extoll your New-England-men, I must say something of those that stood for Presbyterian Government: And not to insist upon this, how some of them, as the Histories relate, had the gift of Pro­phesie? What miracles, or at least, marvellous things, were done by, or about them, in the time of their Imprisonment, and afterwards, in their Exile for that Cause: How God ex­traordinarily [Page 16]poured forth his Judgements upon those that were instruments of their vexation; and afterward, extraor­dinarily delivered them, upon their repentance: How some of them, in strange Countries, extraordinarily got the Lan­guage of the Countrey in three moneths, so as to be able to Preach: How the people flockt about them in their houses: How powerfully they preached twice a day; which was thought insupportable to humane nature, in respect of the vio­lence of their action; and that not for one day, but all the dayes of their lives, to the admiration of many thousands: How the Papists themselves (howsoever ordinarily in their speeches they condemned all Huguenots to hell) yet excepted them, because of the holinesse of their lives: How they were never out of Prayers, Meditation or Preaching, as sundry eye wit­nesses here can testifie: How all the Priests and Doctors, even the learnedst of them, that were sent to the place where they were, to hinder the conversion of the Papists, were converted themselves: Onely I will say one word of some, who, not above four or five years ago, undertook a Voyage for a new Planta­tion in America, in as great a Wildernesse, as any of your New-England-men, and that with far lesse worldly means, onely for Gods Service; These men, I say, being about the number of one hundred and twenty in one Bottom, and some thousands of miles on their way, it pleased God that a Tempest so vio­lent seized them, as in it they lost their Rudder, spent all their Masts save one, and sprung three Leaks, whereby the water came in in such aboundance, that, notwithstanding their ex­traordinary diligence at the Pumps, as also their indefatigable pains in lading it out by Buckets, hardly could they save the Ship from sinking under them: And yet in this case, ever ho­ping against hope, the Tempest continuing, it pleased him, who commands the Windes and Tempests, by the same Tem­pest to bring them back to the very Port they set out of, and after wards made them Judges of those that had unjustly judged them; and instruments, with the rest of the Kingdom, for the establishing of the Presbyteriall Government in greater purity there, from whence it was almost cast out. What these mens lives were, the world can with no lesse admiration wonder at, [Page 17]then at their wondrous deliverance. And yet for all this, will I not compare these men with any men in the World, in any jun­cture of time, that may fall out. As I honour their gifts, so do I other mens also; but which of them all, be the best men, or most impartiall Judges, he knoweth best, who knows the hearts of all men.

Sect. 7. In this Section, ye give out your judgement of other Churches; and in the next, viz. 8o. other Churches judgement of you: I beleeve ye understand those of the Nether­lands.

Ye acknowledge the Churches under Episcopall Govern­ment in England, and under Presbyteriall in France, Holland, and Scotland, for true Churches, and their Ministery, for a true Ministery.

But here I desire, with many others, to know what ye un­derstand by true Churches, and a true Ministery? Whether a Metaphysicall, Logicall, or a Morall veritie?

If ye understand that they be true Churches, Veritate Meta­physica Entis & Transcendentali, such as Dú Plessis, and many of our Divines grant unto the Romish Church; viz. That she is a true Church, (as a Pocky whore, is a true Woman) how­soever her flesh be so consumed with corruption, that she can­not live, but must die of it, and that none can touch her, without danger of being infected with her sicknesse; for she is an Harlot and a Whore, howsoever clothed with Scarlet: We thank you for your favour: Ye hold us in the same Categorie with Rome.

If ye hold us a true Church, veritate logica, and morally, for a pure Church; wherefore desire ye a Toleration? Where­fore will ye not joyn with us, and communicate, as Brethren, with us?

But ye adde a little after the middle part of this Section, That ye both did, and would hold, a Communion, with all those Churches, as with the Churches of Christ.

But what communion is this, ye hold with these, rather then with Papists, Brownists, Anabaptists in England, and the Lutherans?

If ye say in Doctrine; that Union is not externall, since ye [Page 18]testifie it not, by your externall Communion in the Sacraments with us; for ye will not admit all those to your Communion, that we admit to ours: 2. Neither will those of New-England, whom ye cry up, and extoll so highly, admit those of our Church to their Communion, or to be Members of their Churches, unlesse of late, they have changed their opini­on; and ye, and they temporize in conforming your opinions to the times, and commensurate them to Politicall ayms for Toleration. 3. Neither know we, whether they will com­municate with us; at least their Writings and Letters, from New-England, which heretofore we have seen, testifie no such thing; so that in this ye dissent from them, unlesse they within this yeer, dissent from themselves. 4. By the same reason, ye may communicate with Schismaticks, and men that are ex­communicated amongst your selves for their ill life, viz. drunkards, blasphemous persons, &c. 5. By the same reason ye communicate with some Papists in profession, that beleeve all that we beleeve in Doctrine; 6. And with them all, and all Hereticks in part, because they agree in part, in the Doctrine, with us.

If it be replied, That they with whom they communicate, must also be of good life; I duply, then it is not a meer Com­munion in Doctrine, but in some other thing beside, viz. In good life. And then 2. If they have both sound Doctrine, and be of a good life; or have Faith, which causes good Doctrine, and Charitie the cause of a good life: Wherefore desire ye a Toleration, to make a Sect apart, or what desire ye more, to make up one Church with them?

But howsoever ye pretend this reall Profession of Com­munion with us, yet ye overthrow it by your restriction after­wards, viz. To such as ye know to be Godly, that came to visit you in your exile: But ye will not admit all the Members of our Churches, but such as ye onely judge, not we, to be Mem­bers of our Church.

Ye say in the same Section, That ye Baptize your Children in our Parishionell Congregations: Wherefore then will ye not as well communicate at the Lords Table with us all? And if so, Wherefore will ye not likewise admit us all to your Com­munion?

In the 8. §. [And as we alwayes, &c.] In this Paragraph, or Section, ye shew the judgement of forraign Churches con­cerning you, how ye both mutually gave, and received the right [...]ds of fellowship: How they gave you Churches to Preach in, some Priviledges, a maintenance annually for your Ministers, &c.] So here in England hitherto ye have had libertie to Preach in our Churches, and may have, if ye will, and some of you have some Benefices: But if ye go on, ayming at a Tolera­tion, and consequentlie, at some Separation, as we have shewed, I doubt if ye shall, or should have any annuall allowance at all, or Churches to Preach in, as before you had. Moreover, we know not, upon what grounds ye were tolerated in the Nether­lands; whether it was not in consideration of your precedent afflictions, hoping that ye might submit your selves to Presby­teriall Government in your own Countrey, if it were well establisht; or in favour of some Merchants; by publike or pri­vate authoritie, Ecclesiasticall or Civill, or other wayes. Onely we say, That many Sects are tolerated there: Neither how­beit ye were tolerated in the Netherlands, Polonia or Germany. where many Religions are tolerated and permitted out of Ci­vill respects, Is it equitable, ye should be tolerated here, where there is one onely Religion professed, and one Goverment, as we shall see hereafter.

In the ye give account of your Practices in publike Worship, Church Officers, matter of Government and Censures, and your directive principles in all this: Hence in the ye infer your Conclusion of Independencie of every particular Congregation. As for the parts of your publike worship, we consent with you.

In your Church Officers, ye acknowledge with us four; viz. Pastours, Teachers, Ruling Elders, and Deacons. But ye lash us a little with your Parenthesis about our Ruling El­ders. [With us not Lay, but Ecclesiastique persons, separated to that service.] Here ye seem to accuse the Reformed Churches in France, the Netherlands, Scotland, &c. as if they all esteemed them Lay, and not Ecclesiasticall Persons. If this be your minde, it is a great mistake in you; and we can produce their writings to the contrarie; if not, we know not, to what [Page 20]end, ye inserted this particular Parenthesis. As ye therefore inserted yours, so do we ours [but not Preachers, or Teachers of the Word:] And therefore we desire to know of you, if Ru­ling Elders have power to teach; as it is maintained by other Independents; and if they Preach or Teach, how they can be distinguished from Preachers, and Teachers? For all Charges receive their unitie, and distinction from their Acts, and Ends: Wherefore, if the Ruling Elder Preach, or Teach, which is the Act, and End of the Preacher, and Teacher, he must have the same Office with Preachers, and Teachers. 2. The Apostle also distinguishes them, 1 Cor. 12. Wherefore then confound ye them?

Ye adde in this 9. Section concerning Excommunication upon obstinacy and impenitency, this Parenthesis, as worthy of some particular observation, [which we blesse God we never used] as if your Churches were so pure, that not one man should de­serve it: We cannot say so much of our Churches: Neither can your Brethren of New-England say so much of theirs: We know, that some have been Independenters, as we our selves have heard from their own mouthes, that now are become Anabaptists: And whether such men merited it, or not, judge ye: If they merited it, ye have been very partiall, and unjust, in not using of it: So that proceeds not from want of demerits, in the persons to be punished, but of justice in the Rulers to execute it.

Neither do we deny, but a number of very holy persons may be gathered together, who may so carrie themselves for some time, as not to commit any great offence with per­tinacie, to deserve Excommunication, if the choice be good. But to say, that it may last long so in Populous Congre­gations, and in a great number of Churches, ye may tell us this news, when your Churches are multiplied, and become as Populous, and have endured as long as ours. We could tell wonders also of our Churches in some parts, in the beginning of the Reformation: But the question is not, who liveth, holiest, but whose Discipline is most conform unto Gods Word?

Your Directive Principles were three. 1. Gods Word, [Page 21]and the Law of Nature fully known. 2. Not to make your pre­sent judgement, and practise a binding Law unto your selves, for the future. 3. In matters of greatest moment, and controversie, ye still thosed to practise safely, and so as ye had reason to judge, that all sorts, or most of all the Churches did acknowledge warrantable, although they make additaments thereunto.

We agree with you in these principles in generall;§ 11. p. 9. and neverthelesse we must touch a word in passing, of that, which we observe in every one of them, and in every Paragraph. And first, in the 11. §. about the midst thereof, where ye say, That in Gods Word ye found Principles enough, not onely fundament­all, and essentiall to the being of a Church, but superstructory also to the welbeing of it, and those to you clear and certain. We know not what ye call Fundamentall, and Essentiall, unto a Church; for the Essences of things are unknown unto us; Yea, the most part of the Philosophers themselves, who dis­pute about Essences, confesse, that we know the Essence of nothing, but that onely of man, which they say is animal ra­tionale; and yet, in this they dissent, and many say, that this is but an accidentall expression of his Being: If ye cannot then declare us the Fundament, and Essence of the Church, ye are barbarous to us, and speak in a Language, as unknown to us, as unto your selves.

Again, we desire to know, What ye understand here, by the Being of a Church: whether her internall, or externall Being? In Doctrine and Holinesse? or in Discipline? If the first, it is not to the purpose; for we have no Dispute here with you about the internall Being, or Doctrine of the Church, as ye confesse your selves, but about her externall Being, or Disci­pline: And in this also we confesse our ignorance, that we know not wherein consisteth its Essence or Being; and that we cannot distinguish it well from its Accidents, or Super­structories, till ye teach us; and therefore desire you to avoyd those obscure terms, and to give it us in some cleerer.

Ye adde, That they will serve to preserve your Churches in peace: whereof ye were not content, Sect. 6, saying, That howsoever Presbyteriall Government obtained this end, yet it differenced them not from carnall Christians.

In your third Directory Principle, Sect. 13. Pag. 11. ye go very subtillie to work, by Metaphysicall Abstractions, as Philoso­phers, in abstracting their Genericall degrees of Essences from the speciall; and their Specificall from their Individuall: For ye take some thing, wherein we all consent; but not all, to the end there may be something, wherein ye dissent from us all. And so did the Arminians in their Confession of Faith, wherein they abstracted a degree of consent, amongst the most part of Christians, yea with the Socinians, who deny the Tri­nitie, and the Incarnation of the Son of God; and left that, wherein they dissented, as indifferent.

But this cannot hold; For howsoever, that, wherein, ye agree with us, be safe; yet is not that so safe, wherein ye dissent from us all. Neither is it safe for so few men to dissent From all the World, unlesse they have very strong reasons for their dis­sent; and principallie, when the point wherein they dissent, is not of great importance: For the lesse it is, the greater is the Schisme.

Besides this in this Directory Principle, howsoever ye seem to defer, and attribute very much to all Churches, in fol­lowing their common Practises; yet ye give them nothing at all; for ye submit their judgement to your own; and whatsoever, they hold commonly against you, ye call it an Additament; so that ye are not ready in any thing to assent with them, unlesse they first assent unto you, which is a very prudent, and subtle Principle, as well to direct them by you, as you by them.

3. This Principle also cannot hold. 1. For in vertue thereof, ye have as well Union and Communion with Soci­nians, Arrians, Anabaptists, Papists, Jesuites, and other Here­ticks, as with us; (howbeit not so much) for ye consent with them all, in some common Principles, as with us: And so, as for your dissent in particular Principles from them, ye may se­parate and do separate your selves in effect from them; so must ye do from us, unlesse ye shew us some other reason of Externall Union, and Separation, then yet you do.

Before I quit this Paragraph, or Section, I must pray the Reader to note your subtle way of disputing, how ye chuse some things, wherein you, and we agree, calling the test Addi­taments; to the end ye may not be bound to prove any thing. But this subtiltie is sowed but with white thred, so as it evi­dentlie appears to all men, and will serve you for nothing. 1. For either these Additaments are conform, or repugnant to Gods Word, or indifferent? If conform, wherefore reject ye them? If repugnant, ye are bound to prove it by the Word, how they are condemned by it? If indifferent, ye have no reason to condemn them, or for them, to be such eager Suitors for a Toleration of a contrary practise. 2. Item, If that which we have more then these common Principles, be an Addi­tament, what be those, that ye hold instead of them? For ye remain not within the Limits of bare Abstractions, and Pre­cisions, but proceed farther to some particular Positive Prin­ciples in your practise, for every Negation is founded in some Affirmation, and sin is not a meer Negation of good; but also includeth something, Positivelie contrary to good, either Physically or Morally, Really, or by reason.

§ 14. p. 11. Ye bring some Instances of this Principle; 1. About the qualification of the Members of the Church, and promiscuous receiving of good and bad: And say, That ye chuse the better part, viz. the good, and not the bad; which ye suppose to be the practise of all Protestant Churches: So ye must judge all Infants, born in the Church, and admitted to Baptism amongst you, to be good, and to have some portion of Christ, before they have the use of reason to know Christ; and so to be regenerate, when they are generated, or to consort your selves with the Anabaptists here in England, in excluding Children from Baptism, till they have the use of reason, and professe Faith; for in Independencie, and all other things, they agree with you, as they themselves avow. But of this question, about the Members of the Church, we shall, God willing, hear more hereafter, in a particular question.

Ten lines after, ye say, That the Rules, which ye gave up your judgements unto, to judge those ye received in amongst you by, [Page 24]were of that Latitude, as would take in any Member of Christ, the meanest, in whom there may be supposed to be the least of Christ, Pag. 11, 12.

If this be understood, of the receiving of men to the Church, absolutely; or of their first entry therein, we have answered already; and by the grace of God, shall answer more hereafter: If of the reception of them, to the Lords Table; I answer, That the true Reformed Churches in Scotland, France, the Netherlands, &c. receive no man to the Lords Table, whom they judge to be prophane, or scandalous, none but such, as give an accompt of their Faith, and testifie it by externall Confession, and Profession in Doctrine, and Sanctifi­cation: If any Preacher, or the Consistory of Ruling Elders do other wayes, it is not by rule, or their ordinary practise, but through their negligence, which, when it is known, is condemned by all. We wish, that none come to the Communi­on of Christs Body, amongst us, but such, as have, and feel some measure of Christ in themselves: But who hath this mea­sure of Christ; It is hard for any mortall man to know it, but he onely that hath it: It is likewise hard to know, what mea­sure of Grace is requisite, to make up a member of Christ, or of his Church. Some of the Casuists, esteem, that it sufficeth a Roman Catholike, explicite (as they call it,) expresly, cleerly, and plainlie, to beleeve this onely Article, I beleeve, what the Church beleeveth: Others esteem it not enough, and there­fore adde this Article: I beleeve also, That the Church can­not erre: Others think this yet not enough, for they wish Christians to beleeve this one more, viz. I beleeve there is a God. Some adde one more, viz. That they must beleeve Gods Providence, &c. We beleeve, that men are bound to beleeve all Divine Truths, revealed in Scripture, as necessary to Sal­vation; and to beleeve them by a justifying Faith: But what be these, that be absolutely necessary to Salvation: What are these Fundamentalia, Essentialia, and Superstructories: How may they be distinguished one from another? What is maxi­mum quod sic, and minimum quod non: Or minimum quod sic & maximum quod non? Or your least of Christ, whereupon a man may be admitted to be a Member of Christ, we cannot [Page 25]define it: We leave the Decision to more subtle Spirits, and to our Brethren, who use those termes, and who, upon this minimum quod sic, or least bit of Christ, do found the Recep­tion of Christs Members into the Church. We esteem their Disputes too subtle, in the practise of Christianitie, in judging others: And wish with the Apostle rather, every man to examine and try himself; For this directive Principle, we esteem surer then that of our Brethren. We esteem that such a Confession of Faith, and desire of Communion, as ordinarily is professed by them, who are admitted in Protestant Churches, may suffice.

Here in the second Instance of set Forme of Prayers, our Brethren note with a Parenthesis, that they condemn not others, who approve set Formes of Prayers prescribed, and the Liturgis: But whether these of New-England, and others of their Profession will not condemn them in this, we know not. I wish that this were not added rather in a compliance with the present time, then otherwise.

Item, They tell us, That the framing of Prayers, and Ser­mons out of their own Gifts, are the Fruits of Christs Ascension. But why not also of his death, and Resurrection? Since he did merit this by his death.

In their third Instance about Government, and Ecclesia­sticall Discipline, we care not, what they say. The practise of the Orthodox Churches is this: They have divers Ecclesiasti­call Senats, or Courts, wherein some are coordinate, and others subordinated one to another. The loweest is their Consistory, or Session of the Pastours, and the Ruling Elders, in one Parish Church: Then they have their Classes, which some call Col­loques, others Presbyteries, made of all the Preachers of all the Parish Churches, belonging to such Colloques, every one of them, accompanied with one Elder of his Church. 3. Their Provinciall Synods, made up of all the Ministers of the Pro­vince, accompanied every one of them with one or two ruling Elders. 4. The Nationall Synod, compounded of a certain number of Ministers, and Ruling Elders, according to the exi­gence of time, place, and other occasions, and circumstances, Delegate from all the Provinces, or Provinciall Synods. In the [Page 26]Consistory, or Senate of the Parish Church they judge onely of things that be proper unto it, and of lesse importance; that have no great difficultie. In the Colloque, of that, which is common to all the Churches of that Colloque; and of busi­nesse of greater importance, that cannot be judged, or well determined in a Parish Church. In a Provinciall Synod, of that, which is common to all the Churches of the Province, & other things of great importance, and all cases, that cannot so soundly, or so surely be determined in the former Assemblies. In a Nationall, of that, which is common to all the Churches of the whole Kingdom; and others, that cannot be determined in the precedent Assemblies, as of matters of Appeal, &c.

Item, From the first, if any of the Parties finde themselves grieved by its judgement, they may appeal to the second, as from the second, to the third, and from the third to the fourth. And all these Judgements and Proceedings are without money, charges, pecuniarie mulcts, or fines. And as their ayms are spi­rituall, so be their punishments that they inflict upon their De­linquents. Their punishments are censures, Suspension from the Lords Table, and their greater Excommunication, which ordi­narily are never inflicted upon whole Churches, as our Brethren unjustly would challenge us, but on particular Persons: If they had read the Discipline of the Scots, French, Netherlands. and other Reformed Churches, they needed not here have troubled themselves and us with so many mistakes: Or if they have read them, they deal not fairly with us. In some Churches, particular, or Parochiall Senates, or Consistories, have power to suspend from their Communion those that be Members thereof; yea also to Excommunicate them, (from the which sentence neverthelesse they may appeal unto the Superiour Senate or Judicatorie) and that for some particular reasons.

But this question, God willing, we shall hereafter more fully discusse. Onely I note in passing, that our Brethren, First, are here too sparing of Titles to some, and too liberall to others: They name Cartwright, onely Cartwright, but Baynes, holy Baynes, in the same line, as if they would Canonize the one, making him Saint Baynes, (which we condemn in the Pope) and esteem the other prophane, or of the vulgar, and dregs of [Page 26]Divines, which, as it is said with reverence and respect of the one, so it cannot be said, without disparagement of the other. As for the distinction of Ecclesiae, in Primas, & Ortas, it requi­reth a particular Question apart.

They say, 1. Every Church hath a full and entire power compleat within it self, till it should be challenged to erre grosly. Pag. 14. § 15.

Either by a compleat Power ye understand a Power abso­solutely compleat, or in its own kinde or sort: If ye under­stand the first, it must be Independent, for if it depend upon a Superiour to rectifie it, whereunto it must give an account of its judgement, and submit it self; in that regard, it is not com­pleat, full, or entire. If of a Power compleat in its own kinde or nature, ye say nothing, but what we say, since it is our opi­nion, That every Particular Congregation hath a compleat Power in it self, such as is due to such a Congregation, depend­ent upon that of Classes, and Synods (in case of Appeal) where­by it may be challenged to erre grosly: If it be so, Wherefore contest ye with us, who give you no subject of quarrell, as not dissenting from you in that particular?

Pag. 14. 2o, they say, That they claim not an independent power in every Congregation, to give an account, or to be subject to no others. Answ. Then your power is dependent upon some others; then it must give an account, and be subject to some other: If subject to some others, then that other is superiour; And what say we more? onely we say that there is a subordina­tion betwixt superiour and inferiour Ecclesiastical Judicatories, which ye hold here to be juris divini; we, partim divini, partim naturalis aut mixti. I pray you, Brethren, agree these two Propositions, how a Church can have a full and compleat Go­vernment, and yet not independent; it should seem to me, that either you contradict not us, or contradict your selves within the compasse of two lines.

Pag. 14. 3o, they deny, That by the Institution of Christ, or his Apostles, the Combination of the Elders of many Churches should be the first, compleat, and entire seat of Church-power, over each Church so combined. Here ye attribute unto our Churches an opinion, That they own not as their own; viz. That the Combination of Elders of many Churches is the first Seat of [Page 28]Church-power; for they hold the contrary, viz. That the first Seat of Government is in Parochiall Churches, since there the parties debates their cause, in first Instances; if ye say that by first, ye understand the principall; then ye cannot deny, but that Senate or Assembly, whereunto Particular Congregations are subject, whose judgement, according to Gods Word, they must obey, and of whose judgement their judgements de­pend, must be the principall Seat of Church-power; for that is principall, whereof the other dependeth, and to which the other is subject.

Neither say we, That it is the compleat, and entire Seat of all Ecclesiasticall Judgement; since in things of lesse concern­ment, and that onely belong to Particular Congregations, we hold the Eldership of that Congregation may judge, and some­times judges in effect compleatly, and entirely.

But ye propound a tacite Objection: The Eldership so com­bined cannot challenge authority over the Churches they feed not.

Answ. 1. We have answer'd, That our Eldership challeng­eth no such authority to it self. 2. That this argument striketh no lesse at your judgements of Neighbour Churches against Particular Congregations, then at that of combined Elderships, against a Particular Church; since your Neighbour Churches feed no more that particular Congregation, then our combined Elderships a particular Church.

2. We deny that our Classes, and Synods, or (as ye call them) combined Presbyteries, or Elderships, feed not particular Con­gregations, for they govern them, which is a certain sort of feeding, due to Elders; and in this signification Kings, Princes, and Dukes are called Pastors, or feeders of their People, because they rule them, Jor. 6.3. and 12 10.

But to bring more light to this captious Proposition, and all fallacious Arguments that may be grounded hereupon, here I will more fully declare, in what sense these Propositions may be true, or false, viz. 1. The combined Eldership hath power to feed, rule, and teach the Church, or all Particular Churches. 2. The combined Eldership feedeth, or ruleth all Particular Churches. 3. The Elders of the combined Eldership have power to feed, or rule Particular Churches.

And for this effect, note, 1. That the feeding, or teaching of the Church may be taken, either in actu secundo, for actuall feed­ing, or the exercise of the power of feeding, as when a Preacher teaches actually, &c. 2. In actu primo, for the morall power, which Ministers have to teach in vertue of their Vocation, and Mission to their Charge, and Admission into it. So the Power to feed (howsoever it signifie formally the Actum primum, as ruling Actum secundum) may be taken in Actu primo, for the Power, that a Minister hath to feed; or in Actu secundo, for the Act of feeding, proceeding from the power, or first act. 3. Item, in Actu signato, when a power, or an act is signified to belong to a thing, that exerciseth not the act; as when a King com­mands, but putteth it not in execution: or in actu exercito, when it is exercised: so particular Officers have the power, in actu exercito, which the King, and superiour Judges, and Ma­gistrates have in actu signato.

3. That the Ministers, or Elders of the Eldership may be considered in quality of a collective body of Elders; or seve­rally every one apart; which the School-men call ordinarily collectivè, & distributivè. If severally, then either Absolutely, without any relation to the collective body of the Eldership, and in quality of particular Ministers of their own Particular Churches; or with some relation, or respect to the collective body, or combination of the Eldership, viz. as parts thereof.

4. The whole collective body of the Eldership may be taken, either formally, as it is a collection of sundry Elders, ac­cording to the Order established in the Church, representing many Churches combined, and consociated, from which they have their Commissions; or materially in quality of Ministers, or Elders, of whom the Consociation, or Combination, or Synod, or Classicall Assembly of Elders is compounded.

5. Both the collective body, or consociation of Elders, which is a representative body of many Churches, as also eve­ry particular reall Church, and the whole Militant Church, may be considered (as other things) aut ut Totum simpliciter, aut ut Totum, & totaliter; either as a Totall, or Totally, as a Whole or wholly; so may we say of omne, it may be taken simpliciter pro omne, vel pro Omni, & omnino, vel omni modo: this [Page 30]word All, may be taken absolutely for all, or for all, considered all manner of wayes, or altogether.

Then a Totum is taken totaliter, or totally, or a whole thing wholly, and this word All, all wayes, when it is taken, according to all the Modifications, that it can have; As for example, Peter is a Totum, or a Whole-man, when he is lying in his Bed at Rome, he is Totus Romae, all, or whole at Rome; but not Totaliter, totally, not wholly, or all wayes; for he may sit, and stand at Rome; and when he is lying, he is not ac­cording to these other wayes, and Modifications, viz. standing, &c. Yea, I may say, that it is impossible, That at one time a Totum be, or exist in one place totum, & totaliter. i. e. Secun­dum omnes suos modes possibiles, multi enim divisim sunt possibiles sed conjunctim incompossibiles; A whole thing cannot be wholly, or all wayes, or according to all its possible Modifica­tions; for many of them severally, or apart are possible, which conjunctly are incompossible, (if I may so expresse my self) or rather impossible: So a man may be white, and he may be black; but he cannot be white, and black together, for these two qualities, being contrary, are impossible, or incompatible one with another.

If then feeding either by way of teaching, or ruling; or the power to feed, be taken in actu primo, viz. for the facultie to feed, this Proposition, The combined Eldership or a Classicall, or Synodall Assembly, and every particular Elder considered apart, and separated from the combined Presbyteries have power to feed, teach, or rule, all particular Churches, is true. And as for the particular Elders (which may seem the most absurd) it appeareth cleerly; for if they had it not how could ye, or they, Preach in sundry, and divers particular Churches, as ye do, out of your own particular Churches? If it be answered, that ye do it onely Occasionally, and not Ordinarily:

I reply, That before ye can do it either Occasionally, or Ordinarily, ye must have a power to do it absolutely; for actus secundus supponit primum, the second act supposeth the first; or all actions suppose some active power, from whence they proceed; for a man, that is no Minister can neither Preach Ordinarily, nor Occasionally.

Item, It is a certain Maxime in Logick, that a Parte in modo ad Totum argument amur affirmativè, ut, est homo albus, Ergo, est homo. We argue from a modified part, or taken with some limitation, or modification to the whole; as if I say, this is a white man; Ergo, this is a man: So I say, this man may Preach occasionally; Ergo, this man may Preach, or have Authoritie to Preach; For Power or Authoritie to Preach, is Totum in modo, and Power, or Authoritie to Preach occasionally, or ordinari­ly, are partes in modo.

If it be objected, That if every particular Minister hath Power or Authoritie to Preach in every Church, or Congrega­tion, then every Minister is an universall Pastour, as the Apo­stles: But so it is not. Ergo.

Answ. I deny the Consequence of the first Proposition, for an Apostle not onely hath an universall Vocation to teach all particular Churches, and Flocks, but also to teach all parti­cular, and ordinary Pastours, or Ministers of all particular Churches, and Flocks. 2. Item, The Vocation of the Apostles was immediately from God. 3. They were infallible in Do­ctrine. 4. Endowed with extraordinarie Gifts. 5. They had no particular Mission, to restrain them to any particular Church; And these four last Conditions were most convenient­ly annexed unto the Universalitie of their Charge, which cannot be said of ordinary, and particular Ministers.

If it be replied, At least they differ not from them in the Universalitie of their Charge, but onely in some Accidents, as in Infallibilitie, some extraordinarie Gifts, &c. that are meer­ly Extrinsecall unto the Charge, and to the Universalitie thereof.

I answer, First, That these Accidents are not meerly Ex­trinsecall unto the Universalitie of the Apostolicall Charge, but Intrinsecally annexed unto it, by Gods Ordinance, by Con­gruitie, and Morally; since it could not be Universally exerci­sed without them.

Secondly, For the better cleering of this, I observe, That to the Charge of a Minister, three things are necessary. 1. A generall Vocation to Preach, and that not unlike to that, which Masters of Arts, and Doctors receive in Universities, with [Page 32]this clause, Hic, & ubique terrarum, to Teach here, and through all the World. 2. A speciall Mission, either 1. by God alone; or 2. or also from the Representative Church. 3. A particular Election, and Admission, whereby the Minister is elected by a Reall particular Church, and so admitted therein to exercise his Charge.

The first of these three is common to the Apostles, with all ordinary Ministers: The second is universall in the Apostles, for Christ sent them to teach all Nations, and sitted them with gifts convenient thereunto; But it is particular in Particular, and Ordinary Ministers, for orders sake, and that jure divine, as many learned, and godly Divines hold: The third, jure divine, should be universall, in respect of the Apostles; for every Par­ticular Church was bound to admit the Apostles, in case they would have preached amongst them; and if any should have refused them, yet in vertue of their generall Vocation, and uni­versall Mission from God, they had power, and Authoritie to Preach among them, and in them all; But in Particular, and Ordinary Ministers it is onely Particular, and not Universall; for neither doth every Particular Church chuse, elect, or admit every Ordinary Minister to be its Minister, neither is it bound so to do.

The first of these three is the remote foundation, or the remote, and principall cause of the Power, and Authoritie that a Minister hath to Preach, or to rule the Church of God: The second and third are the next, and immediate foundation, or cause thereof, or conditio sine qua non; viz. The universall Mission, and Admission of Ministers, is the immediate cause of their universall Power, and Authoritie; but the particular Mission, and Admission is the immediate cause of the Power, and Authoritie of Particular Ministers: And as we never finde the Philosophers Particularia, without their Ʋniversalia in Particularibus inclusa, never a Genus but in some Species, nor a Species but in some Individuum, by whose Differences their in­different Nature is limited, and determined; No more finde we over this vast, and generall Vocation in Ordinary Ministers without this Particular Mission of some Representative Church, and Admission in, and by some Reall, and Particular [Page 33]Church, or at least it should not be; for without this consent Election, and Admission, a Minister is no more its Minister, then a Man is a Womans Husband without her consent. Nei­ther can a Man be married to a Woman in generall, or to an Individuam vagam, but to this, or that Particular Woman, with whom he contracteth: No more can a Preacher be sent to Preach to the Church in generall, or to Particular Churches indefinitely, viz. Unto quaedam Ecclesia, but to this Church distinctly.

  • 1. And so I answer, that a Particular and Ordinary Minister is differenced from an Universall Minister, or an Apostle by the Particularitie of his charge, in vertue of his Particular Mission, which he hath of God, by a Representative Church, and of his Particular Election, and Admission, which depend upon that Particular Reall Church, whose Minister he is, and not in vertue of his generall Vocation, which is common unto both, Nam Principium convenientiae non est Principium differentiae, That wherein things do agree cannot distinguish, or make them differ.
  • 2. Every particular, or Ordinary Minister may feed, teach, and rule all the Church, but not alwayes, Totam militantem Ecclesiam, sed non totaliter, All particular Churches, but not particularly, for (as we have said) he may teach in every Church, because he may Preach in them, being invited there­unto; but he cannot Teach in them all, alwayes, in every par­ticular way, by way of a Particular, and Ordinary Mission, and Admission, as their Particular Pastour: For neither is he called to Teach in them all, neither can he rule them all con­junctim in one time, but one onely Ordinarily, and two, or three Extraordinarily in case of some urgent necessitie.
  • 3. Yea, we may say, That a Particular Minister cannot evermore, neither doth he evermore feed his own Particular Church, totam, & totaliter, the whole Church, wholly, as Experience teacheth us, but sometimes he feedeth it one way, sometimes another, sometimes in teaching, sometimes in ruling, &c.
  • 4. It may be said, That the consociated, or combined Pres­byteries, and Presbyters rule all the Churches, from which [Page 34]they have Commission. 1. In qualitie of Particular Ministers, as we have already declared. 2. In a Particular way in vertue of their Commission from Particular Churches, in whose name they appear, and in vertue of their Admission in a Classicall or Synodall Assembly; but not in sensu diviso, every one apart, for if they dissent in their voices from the major part of the Assembly, they feed no Church at all, at least actually, and in actu exercito, howsoever they may be said to rule them all, that be subject to that Assembly, potentia, & in actu signato.
  • 5. The whole collective, or combined Presbyterie, or Elder­ship, being-taken collectively, or as combined, ruleth many Particular Churches, that are subject unto it. I say being taken, as combined or collectivè; for if the Presbyters of the Assembly be taken distributivè; they are not an Assembly, not a Collecti­on, or Combination of Presbyters formally, but severall Pres­byters apart, and divers unities, which are the matter of this combination, and consociation in the Assembly.
  • 6. Those whole combined Presbyteries, qua tota, sed non qua tataliter considerata, as whole, or totals, but not considered totally, feed in any Particular Churches: The first part is certain, for they judge of Points of Doctrine, and Discipline already, revealed in Holy Scripture, and give us new Ecclesiasticall Laws of things indifferent, and so Teach, and Rule the Churches, which is nothing else but to Feed them.
  • 7. Yet these combined Presbyteries being considered totally, viz. according to every respect, every part, every modification, and determination they can have, rule them not; for every one of the Combined Presbyteries have not this Power; For as we have said, 2.3 4. or 5, &c. may dissent from the major part, and in that case they rule not in the Assembly, muchlesse rule they out of the Assembly, being considered, as Materiall parts thereof, and the reason is because, Non quic quid convenit Toti per accidens, aggregato, confuso, vel ordinato, id convenit singulu partibus; it is not needfull that whatsoever belongeth, or is attributed to the collective body, should be attributed to every part thereof, so ten is twice five, which cannot be said of five, which is a part of ten; for it is not twice, but once five.
  • 8. Neither can these combined Presbyteries, or Elderships [Page 35]taken materially. 1. i.e. before their combination feed many Churches, as when they are combined; for in that sense they are not formally a combination, or a collective body, but the matter thereof, and therefore to them cannot belong that, which belongeth unto the collective body formally, or in vertue of its forme.
  • 9. The collective, or combined body of divers Presbyteries feeds not many reall Particular Churches in actu exercito, as if they exercised actually the act of feeding them in a particular way, as their Particular, and Ordinarie Ministers do; but in actu signato, in signifying and representing unto them all, in vertue of their Commissions, by their Judgements, and Laws, what should be done by them all; which these Particular Mi­nisters do in actu exercito, and in a more speciall way: And the reason of this is, because, if it were not so we should con­found the charge of combined Presbyteries, with that of one Presbyter.
  • 10. This Proposition may yet receive this sence; All the combined Presbyteries feed all the particular Churches, that they represent. 1. All the Presbyters together feed, and rule all Churches together as combined. 2. In this combination, or collection of Presbyters, or Elders, every one of the Pres­byters, or Elders, feedeth his own Church. 3. All the col­lective body of combined Elders feed every Church apart; as we said before. 4. Every Presbyter, or Elder in this com­bination ruleth all Churches, as we have declared it also.
    1 Eth. ad Nicomach. c. 1.
    So the Philosophers in expounding that Maxime, Bonum est, quod omnia appetunt, that is good which all things desire, give us almost the like interpretations, viz. 1. All good things taken collectively, are those, that all desirers taken collectively do de­sire. 2. That every one in this collection of desirers desireth his own good in the collection of all good; as a man, mans good; a horse, that which is good for a horse, &c. 3. That the whole collection of desirers desireth every good, as it serveth for every part, and so for the totall, or whole, that consisteth of the parts. 4. That every desirer apart desireth, or loveth the whole collection of good, insomuch as in that collection of good, it findeth its own good.

But none of these senses approved by us, can serve our Bethren. More might here have been said, and I hope that others, God willing, shall say more; But this may suffice for one Annotation, and I am assured, will sufficiently dissolve all their Arguments hitherto, founded upon this Proposition.

About the end of this 15 §. Ye say [That this challenge of all spirituall power from Christ, had need have a cleer pattent from Christ,] and that noted by a Particular Parenthesis, as very considerable; so had your Independent, and Omnipotent power within your Particular Congregations: Neither do our Synods challenge all power, but a Ministeriall Power, such as we have already expounded: Neither needs it any Pattent expresly, and formally from Christ: It sufficeth that it have one from Na­ture, for that sufficeth to binde us all unto obedience; for Christ as Mediator, and head of the Church is not represented unto us in Scripture as Author of Nature, but of Grace, For the Law was given by Moses, but grace, and truth came by Jesus Christ, who is Mediator of a better Covenant; Neither came he to abrogate, or destroy, but to fulfill, and to accomplish the Law; The Author of grace poseth not, but presupposeth the Law of Nature; And yet we can shew a Pattent for it, not onely from the Law of Nature, which should suffice, but also from the Law of Grace, in the Old, and New Testament.

Immediately after ye say, That nothing was written upon this Subject before the Books set forth by two Divines of Scot­land, one of England, and others of Holland. Here ye mistake, for we can produce you sundry others of good note, here Prin­ted at London; we are sorry ye have not seen them, or disdained to read them. If there were not many written before those, it was in pittie of your afflictions, whereunto good Divines would not adde new affliction; Neither thought they your Partie so considerable; Neither were your Opinions much known or published abroad, being onely written in English, and not in Latine, except by one, or two of your Divines, for any thing I know: Neither thought they that ye were so averse from their Discipline, as ye appear in this Assembly, but that ye suffered only for not conforming your selves unto Episcopall [Page 37]Government: But whatever they have written, I know not what this can serve to the purpose, unlesse it be to declare, That whatsoever helps ye had heretofore, yet ye were destitute of those writings, whereby ye might have received farther light concerning Presbyteriall Government; and I pray God ye make good use of them.

In the 16. §. at the end of the 16. Pag. Ye travell to re­move an Objection, viz. That in Congregationall Government (such as is amongst you) there is no allowed sufficient remedy for miscarriages, though never so grosse; no relief for wrongfull Sen­tences, or Persons injured thereby; no room for Complaints: No Powerfull, or Effectuall means to reduce a Church, or Churches, that fall into Heresie, or Schisme, &c.

To avoid this Objection, ye relate us an History § 17. and what ye did upon such an emergent case: But ye shew us no Law, that ever ye had amongst you, whereby ye might bring any remedie against such a miscarriage before that it fell out. 2. Neither read we of any such Law, or remedie in your Books, before this. 3. Your Divines, and the Members of your Churches, with whom we conversed, shewed no remedie amongst you for such inconveniencies. 4. They gave us no answer unto this Objection, save onely this, That God hath ordained no remedies in such Cases; Yea, that if Churches should fall away from Christ, and with the Jews, call him an Im­postor, and the Trinitie with Servet a three headed Cat, and deny the Incarnation of the Son of God, they should be tole­rated; Yea more, That the Civill Magistrate should punish no man for his Religion, be it never so bad, or blasphemous; and that it must be left to God; And this giveth us reason to think, That these Reasons, within these two yeers, have made you to refine your Opinion, and to mould some new Solutions, and to suite your Opinions more close to the current of the time, then you were wont to do. If therefore we speak after them, it is their fault, and not ours; it may be, that your Opinion be not common to you all, but to you five alone.

The sum of the History is, A Minister was suddenly de­posed by his Flock, whereupon some Churches did take offence, and all their Churches consented in this Principle, [Page 38] That Churches, 1 Cor. 10.32. 1 Tim. 5.22. as well as particular men, are bound to give no offence, neither to Jew, nor Gentile, nor the Churches of God they live among: Item, That in vertue of the same, or like Law of not partaking in other mens sins, the Churches offended, may, and ought, upon the Impenitency of those Churches, persisting in their errour, and miscarriage, to pronounce that heavy sentence against them, of withdrawing, and renouncing all Christian Communion with them, untill they do repent; And further to declare, and pro­test this, with the causes thereof, to all Christian Churches of Christ, that they may do the like.

In this Narration it appeareth. 1. That this Church offending, before this emergent Case, knew not so much, for if she had, it is not credible, that she would, against all charitie, and the common order of all Churches, have committed so great a scandall.

2. This remedie is not sufficient, nor satisfactory. 1. Be­cause all Churches, according to your Tenets, be equall in Au­thoritie, Independent one of another, and par in parcm non habet Imperium, none hath power, or Authoritie over his equall; how then could any Church binde another to any such account, but out of its freewill, as a partie may do to its partie.

3. Because since other Churches were, or pretended to be offended in such a proceeding, they could not judge in it; for then they should have been both judge, and partie in one cause, which cannot be granted to those, that have no Autho­ritative Power one over another, as when a private man offend­eth the State, and we our God.

4. What if many Churches, yea all the Churches, should offend one, should that one Church gather all the rest together, judge them all, and in case of not submitting themselves to her judgement, separate her self from them all? If so, we should have Separations, and Schismes enough, which should be con­tinued to all Posteritie to come.

5. What if Churches were so remote one from another, that they could not easily meet together upon every occasion? Then there should be no remedy, or at least no easie remedy.

[Page 39]6. What if the Offence were small, should so many Churches for every trifle gather together, and put themselves to so great cost, and trouble?

7. What if the Churches in their Judgements should differ one from another, in such a case should they all by Schismes separate themselves one from another?

8. This sort of Government giveth no more Power, or Authoritie to a thousand Churches over one, then to a Tincker, yea to the Hangman over a thousand, for he may desire them all, out of charitie, to give an account of their Judgement, in case he be offended by them; Neither see I what more our Bre­thren grant to all the Churches of the World over one.

But the Presbyteriall Government is subject to none of these inconveniencies, for the collective, or combined Eldership, having an authoritative Power, all men, and Churches thereof, are bound by Law, and Covenant to submit themselves there­unto: Every man knoweth their set times of meeting, where­in sundry matters are dispatched, and all things carried by plu­ralitie of voices, without any Schisme, or Separation.

9. This Government is a Power, wherein the Partie is judged if he will, and so the judgement of the Judges suspended upon the judgement of the Partie judged, which is most ridi­culous, without any example in Ecclesiasticall, or Civill Ju­dicatories; a judgement indeed not very unlike to that which is related of a merry man, who said he had the best, and most obedient wife of the whole World, because (saith he) she will­eth nothing but what I will, and as all men wondred at it, (knowing her to be the most disobedient) yea (saith he) but I must first will what she willeth, else she willeth nothing, that I will.

10. This sort of Government is unjust, and unreasonable, for not onely the Partie judgeth its Partie, but also it inflicteth the same punishment, viz. Separation, upon all offending Churches, what ever be the offence, great, or small in case of Non-satisfaction, whereas all punishments should be com­mensurate unto the severall offences.

11. And so ye seem to approve the opinion of the Stoicks, who held all sins to be equall, since ye inflict the same punish­ment upon them all.

[Page 40]12. Not onely this Discipline cannot easily be put in exe­cution in great Kingdoms, as England, wherein all the Churches offended, cannot so easily meet together, but also 13. Be­cause the person offended after he hath represented his grievan­ces unto one Church, and that Church having received satis­faction, it may go to another, and that Church likewise having received satisfaction, it may go to another, and so continually in infinitum to the Worlds end, evermore taking those Churches for the Partie that judge it, which is most absurde and foolish.

14. What if the Partie offended be poor, and have not the means to post up and down from Neighbour-Church to Neighbour-Church, to pray them to make the offending Church to give an account of her Judgement, muchlesse to attend up­on their uncertain conveniencie: Here will be found true, Pauper ubique jacet, whereas in Presbyteriall Government the Partie offended may easily be redressed, and get satisfaction, as not having need so to post up and down, to be at so great charges, or to attend their conveniencie, for by a simple Ap­peal he may binde the Church offending, to appear at the day appointed.

15. What if there should fall out an hundred such Offences in a small time? Must so many Churches evermore gather together for every one of them apart?

16. What if Churches be poor, and cannot be at so great expence? Then in that case, it should seem, there is no order to meet with Offences.

And as for those precepts, 1 Cor. 10. and 1 Tim. 5. The first of them is not a Rule of Government, or ruling of the Church, but a generall command, common to all Christians, whereby the Apostle forewarnes the Corinthians in things indifferent, not to give any occasion of Offence unto the Church of God, or to any other; but therein to comply with all men, as he doeth himself: From whence ye cannot draw a Rule, or Law of ruling the Church, or how the Church should take order with such Offenders; so that it sheweth, indeed, every mans dutie towards the Church, in things indifferent; but not the Churches dutie towards every one of them, in judging or [Page 41]ruling. Ye might as well have proved it from this Principle, Fly from all evil; or from that, We must love God above all things, and our Neighbour as our selves: neither see I any greater connexion that it hath with the one, then with the other. And truely I cannot sufficiently admire, how out of that Principle, Give no offence, ne to any man, ye can inferre this conclusion, Ergo, a Church offended may make a Church offending to give an account of her judgement before all the world; and in case of impenitency, pronounce a Sentence of withdrawing, and renouncing all Christian Communion with her; and further to declare it to all other Churches.

No more can it be inferred of the other, viz. Be not parta­kers in other mens sins; for the Apostle there giveth rules about the Vocation of Ministers, forbiddeth Timothy to receive any man rashly into the Ministery, least in so doing he be the cause of an unlawfull Vocation, because, saith he, vers. 24. their sin, and incapacity will soon appear to all men. But how is it pos­sible out of this to spin out the former Couclusion?

§ 18. Pag. 17, ye prove your former Conclusion thus: 1. For that ye saw no further authority in Scripture in proceed­ings purcly Ecclesiasticall, of one or many sister Churches towards another whole Church, or Churches offending. 2. Because no other Authority can rationally be put in execution without the Magistrates power.

Answ. 1. Ye saw no more in Scripture; yea, but saw ye your own Conclusion in Scripture? 2. Truely we see no Word of God for it; and if we take it not upon your word, we shall never take it. 3. If ye see no Scripture for it, yet others may see. 4. Ye may, if ye will, see it in the ordinary Practice of the Church of the Jews in the old Testament, which is not abrogated in the New, since it is not Ceremoniall, but ground­ed in the Law of Nature: Ye may see it in the History of the New Testament, in the judgement given out at the Synod of Hierusalem, concerning the businesse of Antiochia; which I hope, ye shall see cleerly demonstrated to you by a better hand, before it be long.

6. It may be proved by the Law of Nature, which is a prae­cognitum to Scripture, and supposed by Scripture; for Grace [Page 42]is not destructory of Nature, but a Superstructory above Na­ture: So that when Scripture containeth nothing contradicto­ry to the Dictats of Nature, we are bound to believe them, un­lesse we will misbelieve God, who is no lesse the Author of Nature, and of the Dictats thereof, then of Grace.

2. Because no other Authority can rationally be put in execu­tion, without the Civill Magistrates power.

Answ. 1. Our Brethren here, as every where else, stand very stiffly to Negations; They never prove any positive Do­ctrine; and it is known in the Schools, how easie a thing it is to deny all things, and to prove nothing: If they had that to prove, wherein they agree with us, I suppose they should have more to do, then we to prove that, wherein they disagree from us.

But to take away all mistakes, and captious Evasions, we suppose that our Churches arrogate to themselves no Imperiall, or Magisteriall, but onely a Ministeriall Power, or Authority. 2. That it is meerly Spirituall, consisting 1. in the Creation, Sus­pension, and Deposition of Church-Officers. 2. in determining matters of Doctrine. 3. in making of Ecclesiasticall Laws, con­cerning things indifferent. 4. in Ecclesiasticall Censures, as in Suspension, Excommunication, &c.

They prove, That no more can rationally be put in execu­tion, viz. then to call an offending Church to an account; and in case of her impenitency, to declare it to all other Churches.

Answ. We deny the Assumption. They prove it, for that Christ gave no power to Churches to excommunicate their neighbour Churches.

Answ. 1. This is again another mistake in our Brethren, for they suppose, that we excommunicate whole Churches, which we never do. 2. Neither believe I, that they can bring us any examples of it: The reason why we do not so, is, Because whole Churches ordinarily amongst us, contemn not the supe­riour Ecclesiasticall Power, viz. of Synods, being bound by their Oath, and Covenant, to observe, and maintain the Order of the Church. 3. And therefore we have no Ecclesiasticall Laws concerning such cases, for Lex est ordinatio rationis, and Laws are not made of things that never fall out, or of things [Page 43]that fall out extraordinarily, but of things that are ordinary 4 Much lesse think I, that ever any such case did fall out in any one of the Reformed Churches. Item, it is another mistake, to suppose, that there is no Excommunication, but in giving the offender over to Satan: That is indeed the highest degree of Excommunication, but not all the degrees of it; for there is another lesse, and inferiour, viz. in separating him from Ec­clesiasticall Communion: And so it is yet another mistake in you to think, that in declaring your non-Communion with other Churches, ye do not excommunicate them; for what is Excommunication, but a privation of communion; the very word it self teacheth us all this.

6. If any such Case should extraordinarily fall out, how can it be denyed, but that the particular Church offending might be excommunicated by the rest of the Churches offended, if the offence should deserve it. 1. For we finde nothing in Scrip­ture to the contrary. 2. For there is the same reason for the Excommunication of whole Churches, as of particular per­sons, viz. the taking away of scandall, and the conversion of the sinner, 1 Cor. 5.5. 2 Cor. 2.7. 2 Thes. 3.14. 1 Tim. 1.20. and that such a contagion infect not others, 1 Cor. 5, 6, 7. And if a particular man may be excommunicated for denying, and blaspheming of Christ, wherefore shall not a particular Church be excommunicated for the like sin? Neither can their number and consociation excuse them, but rather aggravateth the sin; for the more offenders there be, the greater is the of­fence, and the greater should the punishment be.

3. If a Church compounded of ten persons may excom­municate four of their own number, wherefore also may not ten thousand Churches excommunicate this inconsiderable Church, compounded of ten persons, for the same reasons that it excommunicateth four persons? hath God given more power to ten persons over four, then to all the persons, and Churches in the Kingdom, yea in all the Christian world, over these miserable, and wretched persons, who (it may be) de­ny the Trinity, the Incarnation of the Son of God, and main­tain all sort of impieties?

4. If God in Heaven, and in his Scripture declare a Church [Page 44]excommunicated, wherefore shall not his Churches upon Earth also declare it excommunicated, when they learn it in his Word? Are not the Churches of God as well bound to ra­tifie his Sentence here upon Earth, as he to ratifie theirs in Heaven?

5. We have some examples of it in the Old Testament; for the people of God (say some of our Divines) excommu­nicated Amalck; for proof whereof, they bring the Targum, Cant. 2. Contriverunt Amalek per diram imprecationem, They bruised Amalek by the fearfull cursing of the Lord. So did they the Samaritans, because of the building of their Temple upon the Mount Garizim. They brought (as Drusius, and after him Weemse, relate it) 300 Priests, 300 Trumpets, 300 Books of the Law, and 300 Boyes; They blew with Trumpets, and the Levites singing, accursed the Cutthaans in the Name of To­tragammaton, or Jehova, and with curses both the superiour, and inferiour house of Judgement; and they said, Cursed is be, who cateth the bread of the Cutthaean. These Curses they wrote upon Tables, and sealed them, and sent them thorow all Israel, who multiplied also this great Anathema upon them; from whence proceeded a great hatred betwixt them, as we reade in the Gospel.

If in vertue of a small offence one Church may pronounce that dreadfull Sentence of non-Communion, against many Churches, wherefore may not many Churches pronounce Sen­tence of great Excommunication against one small Church, for a great sin? since crescentibus delictis crescunt poenae.

Besides all this, I deny the consequence; for howbeit God had not ordained Excommunication, viz. the greater, which here ye understand, yet might there be some other remedy found by the light of Nature.

But ye adde, p. 18. That your Sentence of non-Commu­nication will be as effectuall as the greater Excommunica­tion.

This cannot be, 1. Because, if the offender have any grace, the greater will terrifie him more. 2. Because in your way the Sentence may seem unjust, in punishing all offences, and Offenders, greater and smaller with the like Spirituall penalties. [Page 45]3. Your way cannot so well awe Churches, and keep them in their duties; for since ye attribute no authoritative power, or authority to all the Churches of Christ over any particular Church, but judge them all to be equall amongst themselves, and one to all; as if a part were equall to its totall, and pars esset aequalis Toti, & Totum non esset majus quilibet suâ parte, as if the part were equall to its whole, and the whole were no greater then its part, viz. a whole mans body then his toe; a particular Church may think her self no ways bound to obey any other Church, or Churches: and much lesse will ten Churches think themselves bound to obey one; for Obediecce is a vertue in Inferiours towards their Superiours: But if all Churches be equall, there can neither be Superiours, nor In­feriours, and consequently no obedience, or disobedience.

4. If a particular Church, in your way, desire to be obey­ed by fourty Churches, pretending her self to be offended by their proceedings, they may think her bold, in calling them to an account, and that the spirits of Prophets should be subject to Prophets, one rather to twenty, or two thousand, then twen­ty, or two thousand to one.

5. In our way, a Church offending may esteem her offence greater, and fear it more, since she may judge her self to offend two Authorities, 1. that of God, and 2. that which he hath given unto the Church: but in yours she cannot think her of­fence so great, since she conceives her self to offend one au­thority, or authoritative Power onely, viz. that of God; for ye acknowledge no authoritative power in the Church, or Churches, and so your way breedeth a plain contempt of all Church Authority.

6. In denying an authoritative power, the offender may think you too busie bodies in intermedling your selves with other folks matters, which concerns you not so much; where­as, if ye granted an authoritative power unto her, it should be her own proper businesse, in vertue of her authoritative power received from God.

So also our way is more efficacious in the Churches of­fended; 1. in breeding a greater detestation of sin: 2. in ma­king them to shun and avoyd more the company of the [Page 46]offender. 3. in making them to conceive the Sentence to be more just, &c.

Item, if this your way be as efficacious, ye need no other power, in your particular Congregations, over particular per­sons; a simple admonition, without any authoritative power, may suffice you.

Ye yet say, That your way is more brotherly in proceeding without an Authoritative power.

Answ. God in the Old Testament ordained an Authoritative power in the Church, and yet they were all Brethren; and he knew well enough what power was convenient for Brethren.

2. So likewise in particular Congregations we are all Bre­thren, neither yet will ye banish out of them all Authority.

3.2 Kin 6.21. 1 Cor 14, 15 2 Cor. 6 13. and 12.14. Gal 4 19. 1 Thes 2.11 1 Tim. 1.2. Tit. 1.4. Phil 2.10. 1 Ioh. 2.1.28 and 3.7 and 4.4. The Ministers, and the Elders are not onely our Bre­thren, but also our Fathers; Ergo, they must as well use pater­nall authority over us, as brotherly charity towards us.

4. So also combined Presbyteries, or (as it were) Fathers of simple Presbyteries, because of their greater power to judge.

5. The like of this Government hath never been heard of in the world, neither in State, nor Common-wealth before; and therefore seemeth it to us to be repugnant unto the Law of Nature; for what else is the Law of Nature, but the common consent of all men? How absurd therefore is that Government, so destitute of all authority? have the sheep as great authoirty, as the Sheepherd? if so, it is as good to be a sheep as a Sheepherd.

6. If an Authoritative power cannot hold in the Church, or among Churches, because that we are all Brethren, and Sisters, no more can it hold in the State betwixt King, and Subject; the father, and the son; the master, and the servant; for we are all Brethren in Christ: so this Foundation, or Ground-work, will destroy all sort of Politicall, and Dome­sticall Authority. Our Brethren would do well also to con­sider, whether their Grounds, or those of our Government, will better consist with the Authority of the civill Magistrate; for, according to this reason, a King in a State should have no power at all over his Brother.

7. In the State there be divers Judicatories, Superiour, and Inferiour, wherein the Superiour hath an authoritative power [Page 47]over the inferiour. Ergo, in the Church, since there is the same reason for both, viz. reparation of the offence taken at inferiour Judicatories.

But because ye will seem to be much addicted to the civill Magistrate, as if your Ecclesiasticall Government were alto­gether subordinate unto his power, and blame us, as not gi­ving him his due, which ye note by a particular Parenthesis, as if ye would have us to take particular notice of it; Therefore, before we end this Section, we shall be very willing to do it. In saying that the Presbyteriall Excommunication is no more effectuall then your Sentence of non-Communion, without the Magistrates Power, ye adde this Parenthesis [To which we give as much, and [as we think] more then the Principles of the Presbyteriall Government will suffer them to yeeld.] By whose counsell, or for what end this Parenthesis is inserted, and such a comparison made. I know not; If ye have no Poli­ticall ayms, I am assured ye comply very much with Policy. If ye grant him so much, ye would do well to declare how much, and wherein, and not to feed him with generalities, and Pla­tonicall Idees, as abstract here from all matter, as ye professed formerly your Church-Government was abstracted from all other Governments. It is a Maxime in Philosophy, and in Rhetorick both, That Sermones generales non movent; and praised be God that the King and Parliament are wise, and will not feed upon so abstract forms. As for us, since ye keep your selves upon such generalities, it is impossible to us to answer any thing in particular, unlesse we guesse at your meaning: In generall therefore we say, 1. That amongst men well bred, all comparisons are odious. 2. That either ye give unto the civill Magistrate onely his due, or something more: if onely his due, ye lay a very heavie aspersion upon all Presbyterians, as if they were not good Subjects, in denying him a part of his due: If more, who gave you the power to do so? 3. Ei­ther ye grant him more in Civill, or in Spirituall matters: In Civill matters ye cannot; for ye can grant him no more, then he hath by the Laws of the Land, whereunto we are all equally subject; and therefore must grant him as much one, as ano­ther: If in Spirituall matters, we grant him his externall [Page 48]power, as we declared in the beginning. And for intrinsecall Spirituall power, 1. It is not in your power to grant him any at all; neither can ye give him more Spirituall obedience then Scripture permitteth you, or give him a part of the Spiri­tuall power that ye have received of God; for that were, to lay upon another the burden, that God hath laid upon you, and so serve God by a Proctor. 2. It is onely in God, who is King in this Spirituall Kingdom, Master in this House, and a Father in this Family, who can give power therein to any man: we dare not be so bold: If ye pretend to do it; I say with the Comick Poet, de te largitor puer, be liberall upon your own purse. 4 If ye will do so, look how Authorita­tive is your power, who take Authority over Gods Ordi­nance, and dispose of it, as if it were your own: so do not the Presbyterians. 5. The Civill Magistrate acknowledgeth himself to be a Politicall, and no Ecclesiasticall person, since he is neither Pastor, nor Doctor, nor Ruling Elder in Christs Church; and therefore arrogateth no Spirituall Authority to himself 6. We desire to know of you, Brethren, what ye understand here by the Magistrate, Whether the Supreme, or Subaltern? If the Supreme, whether the King, or Parliament? and principally at this time: If the Subaltern, we ask of you, Whether every Justice of Peace shall, or can judge of all Ec­clesiasticall matters? And if he cannot, whether he can be a competent Judge? 7. What if the Civill Magistrate be a Pa­pist? what if some of the Kings Councell be Papists, or Hete­rodox, as some in the beginning of this Parliament were? will ye grant that they judge in matters of Religion? So the Turk, the Antichrist, and Pagans, shall judge in matters of Religion, amongst their Protestant Subjects: If so, our Protestants in France, in Polonia, and otherwhere, are in a very fair way; Its pity but such a Maxime should have been published in Queen Maries time, and at Saint Bartholomews day in France, at that Butchery, or Massacre of Protestants. 8. The Apo­stle, 1 Cor. 6. findes fault with the Christians, that did plead before Infidels in civill matters: what then would he not have said, if godly men would have pleaded before them, and sub­mitted matters of Religion unto their judgement? 9. This [Page 49]power that ye grant to the Magistrate, is either Internall, or Externall, in regard of the Church: If Externall we grant it, as well as ye: If Internall; then he must be an Ecclesiasticall Person. And then 10. It should follow, That a Soveraign Prince should as well be Soveraign in the Church, as in the State; and so Internall head of both; which is derogatory to Christs Royaltie, as our Doctors have sundry times cleerly de­monstrated it against the Jesuites, and other Papists. 11. Wo­men, that are commanded to be silent in the Church, should rule it, and command men in it, since they may be Soveraign Princes in it, and over it and so Leglise tomberoit on quenvillo: And if it be replyed, wherefore may they not as well rule the Church, as the State, as some Independenters, and some Wo­men, here in London, have maintained, in presence of their Preacher, uncontradicted by him, or any of that Profession there. I answer, 1. Because the Church or Kingdom of Hea­ven, is not a Kingdom of this Word. 2. Because God forbid­eth the one in Scripture, but not the other. 12. Christs Kingdom, viz. His Church which is not of this World, should be sub­ject to the Kings and Kingdoms of this World. 13. Yea, the Apostles should have been subject unto worldly Kings in Church Government, and so they should not have been the first Officers in the Church; but the King should have been above them, which is no lesse, then cleerly to contradict. Saint Paul, Eph [...]s. 4. where he calleth them the first. 14 So wo Idly Princes could not be judged by any Church-Officers, for if they were supreme Judges, inferiour Officers could not judge them. 15. A King usurping, or invading a Kingdom, should usurpe Soveraigntie in the Church. And 16. if he were a Tyrant, and obtained it jure belli, by the Sword, he should make himself Head of the Church by the Sword, which seem­eth a very strange Conquest of Ecclesiasticall Authoritie. 17. If a Prince should buy a Principalitie, and the Soveraigntie thereof, he should consequently buy the charge to be supreme Ruler, or to be above the Church, as ye call it; so it should be a good Conquest, by good Simony. 18. So if a wicked Prince, should invade a good Prince, against Gods Will, then he should be Head of Christs Church, or supreme Judge over it, against [Page 50]Christs Will, and that by an ordinary way, yea, jure divino, by Christs Ordinance; if jure divino they be above the Church, as ye say. 19. If a Prince were perpetually mad, his per­petuall madnesse should no more hinder him from being su­preme Judge in the Church, then Prince in the State. 20. If a Prince were supreme Judge alone, then should he alone judge, yea, without his Counsell, as some Princes do arrogate unto themselves; and there should be the same Disputes about the Princes supreme Authoritie in the Church, that are about it in the State. 21. God will have no man to be a Judge in his Church, but after examination, 1 Tim. 3. muchlesse a supreme Judge in it: But Kings are not examined, whether they have the capacitie to rule, or not; and if the Prince be a little childe, how can he have the capacitie, or abide an examination. 22. If a King have any other, or more intrinsecall Authoritie over the Church, then all Protestant Churches in France, Holland, and Scotland; grant him, or then we have declared, we pray you shew us, what it is, and wherein it consisteth: Whether he hath it in qualitie of a King, of a Christian, or of a Christi­an King? If he hath it, in qualitie of a King, or as a King, then all Kings have it, yea, N [...]ro, and Julian the Apostate; Nam quod alicui comunit quà tali communit omni. And then I pray you, whether ye will admit such a Prince to judge of the Controversies of your Religion? If in qualitie of a Christian, then all Christians have it, for the same reason, yea every Cobbler as well as any King, or Prince, since they be all Chri­stians. 3. If as a Christian Prince, then all Princes should have it: But so it is not; For what if we had a Christian Prince, who were a Lutheran, an Anabaptist, a Sociman, or a Papist? I cannot beleeve that ye would permit such Christian Princes to judge, muchlesse to be supreme Judges in your Re­ligion: If ye say that ye understand an Orthodox Prince? What if he had one, or two errours, would ye yet permit him to judge of Ecclesiasticall matters? Then who should judge, whether he were Orthodox, or not? Whether ye, or we? What if there were a hundred divers Sects in any Kingdom, Then he could onely judge of that Sect, which he should pro­fesse, and of no other: Or if he should judge of all, he should [Page 51]condemn them all, but his own. If by the supreme Magistrate, ye understand a Parliament, then to judge every one of your differences, when ever any man challengeth the Church of an unjust judgement, or appealeth from it, we must gather a Parliament: Which if the King and Parliament finde expedi­ent, I have nothing to say against it; yet every man may judge, whether the dispatch of businesse can be so quick and cheap, as in the Presbyterian way? What if Parliament men be of diffe­rent Religions, shall they of one Religion judge of the other Religion.

I might bring more Arguments, and prosecute them all more fully; but this may suffice for Annotations: Onely this I adde. 1. That it is not equitable that ye five be beleeved upon your simple word, in so great an Aspersion, as ye lay upon so many Churches, yea all the best Reformed Churches, without any proof: If heretofore they gave you the right hand of fellowship, I doubt if after so criminall an accusation, they will continue it to you any longer. And here I cannot sufficiently admire you, in pretending your Church Govern­ment to be so compleat, and perfect, and yet stand insomuch need of the Civill Magistrate.

2. I pray the Reader to consider diligently. § 20. Pag. 20, 21. How by that Speech it appeareth. 1. That that Church pretended to have offended, did arrogate in disposing of her Minister, a power altogether independent from all other, both of the Civill Magistrate, and of all other Churches; Other­wayes that expression should have been impertinent. viz. That it was the most to be abhorred Maxime, that any Religion hath ever made profession of; and therefore of all other, the most contra­dictory, and dishonourable to that of Christianitie, that a single, and particular societie of men, professing the name of Christ, and pretending to be endowed with a power from Christ, to judge them, that are of the same body, and societie within themselves, should further arrogate unto themselves an exemption from giving an account or being censurable by any other, either Christian Magi­strate above them, or Neighbour Churches about them. For if she pretended no such power and exemption, to what purpose such an expression?

[Page 52]2. That in this Ecclesiasticall Judgement, that is intrinse­call to the Church, they acknowledge the Civill Magistrate to be above them, but all the Churches of the Christian World nothing but about them, whereof much may be said. Here ye symbolize with Erastus in many things.

3. Ye may collect, that such a most abhorred Maxime was not the Maxime of that Church alone, but of some others also, for it is not credible, that she would have stood out alone in a Maxime so repugnant to the Tenets of all other Churches, and after wards submitted her self unto their judgement.

4. Ye may see by the event and successe of this businesse, a correction of that Maxime, wherewith they were tinctured before.

5. How God in his most wise Providence has forced those good men, out of meer necessitie, to come neerer unto Presbyteriall Government, then formerly.

6. But we know not, whether they of New-England, will stand fast to them in this decision.

If we knew all the Circumstances of that proceeding, we might (it may be) say much more, then upon such a superficiall, and unwilling Relation as ye make, we can say here.

Again, I pray you note, That they acknowledge their Churches to be bound to give an account, and to be censurable by the Christian Magistrate, and Neighbour Churches, in their judgements. From whence I infer: Ergo, Their power is not full perfect, and compleat, within themselves, but receives some correction, and perfection from that of the Civill Magi­strate above them, or Neighbour Churches about them; But what is this, but an authoritative power to correct them, and to inflict on them spirituall punishments. viz. Censures, in commanding them to satisfie the Partie offended, and to con­sesse their fault: Neither do the Presbyterians pretend to in­flict any corporall punishment, or pecuniary mulcts, since the aym of their Government is spirituall, viz. To save the soul, not to kill the body, or empty the purse by catching mens money.

§. 22. Pag 22. Ye give an account of your proceedings since your return to your Countrey: And here again, ye terme [Page 53]the Reformation of the Protestant Churches by the name of Calvinian, as if this name in this matter pleased you above all others; yet will we not retaliate it unto you, in calling your Churches Goodwinians, Nyans, Bridgians, Burroughesians, Sympsonians, or Good-Ny Bridg-Burrough-Sympsonians, for we take no pleasure in such fictions.

Afterwards ye give your five judgements, about that Re­formation, viz. That our Churches stand in need of a further Reformation. 1. But stand not yours in need of some further Reformation also? 2. Neither is it in question, whether our Churches stand in need of any further Reformation? But whe­ther they stand in need of that, which ye call Reformation? And if it be not rather a Deformation, then a Reformation of the Church of Christ?

The Reasons of this your judgement, are grounded upon meer Possibilities, and generalities as we shall see God willing hereafter.

The first is, Because it may be thought, that they coming new out of Popery, and the founders of that Reformation not having Apostolique infallibitie might not be fully perfect the first day.

Answ. 1. It may be, but a poss [...] ad [...]ss [...] non valet consequentia: 2. It followeth not, it may be: Ergo, It is. Neither will ye permit us to argue in this manner, Master Goodwin, Master Nays, &c. opinion may be false: Ergo, It is false. 3. Muchlesse may it be thought, or imagined: Ergo, It is so. For we think all your Tenets, wherein ye dissent from us, are false, and un­true; Neither will ye grant it for all our thoughts: No more will we grant you what ye pretend for all your thoughts, un­lesse ye bring us some better reason; for many mens thoughts be erroneous, as yours in this particular. 4. Your Argument is a Genere ad Specicm affirmativè, ye argue affirmatively from a generalitie to a particular. viz. It might not be fully perfect or imperfect: Ergo, In this or that point it was not perfect, or imperfect. 5. Neither is it needfull to a perfect Reforma­tion, in Doctrine, or Discipline, that we have an Apostolicall perfection, that is Personall, or tyed unto our Person; but Scripturall, viz. Revealed in Scripture, which we have, not of one, but of many Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles. [Page 54]6. This expression of yours, viz. Might not be fully perfect the first d [...], is ambiguous, and may be taken either Negative in putting the negation (not) before the principall Verbe, viz. might; or Infinite, in putting of it, after the Verbe, might, before the infinitie Verbe, be: In the first way, the sense of it is this,

They that come new from Popery, without Apostoli­call infallibility, cannot be perfect the first day, or it was not possible they should be perfect the first day, and so it is evident­ly false; for it should imply a contradiction that any man, or Church could have a perfect Doctrine, or Discipline without an Apostolicall infallibilitie, or a long time.

In the second way, the sense is this,

They that come new from Popery, without Apostolicall infallibilitie may not be perfect, or it is possible they be not perfect, the first day; and so it is true: But as it is possible they be not perfect; so is it possible by Gods mercy they be perfect: And so the Argument will proceed a posse ad esse, whereof Lo­gicians say, Non valet consequentia. So your Argument is naught: Of these two Propositions the first is Negative, and the last Infinite: They differ as,

Non possibile est esse
Possibile est non esse.

The one hath the Mood, or Modification Negative, the other the Subject, or Dictum Negative; the one is true, and the other false, as ye may see in these Examples.

  • It was not possible to Adam before his fall to fall: False.
  • It was possible to Adam before his fall not to fall: True. So.
  • It is not possible that Peter sleep: False.
  • It is possible that Peter sleep not: True.

Neither doth time contribute so much, neither hath it any influence upon true Religion, which is a gift of God; Faith is not acquired by our labour, but infused into our understanding by Gods Mercy. And yet we have had more time, and a greater number of able men then ye, to perfect our Reforma­tion. And as it was possible, that the Reformation of [Page 55]our Church was not perfect the first day. So may it be possible that yours be not perfect, neither the first, nor the last day.

But ye grant us, § 5. Pag. 4. That the first Reformers in Protestant Churches had a most happy hand in the Reformati­on of Doctrine, and that in the beginning, and without any Apostolicall infallibilitie; wherefore I pray then, might they not also have it as well in Discipline, or Government? I remit the Reader to that Section and my Annotation thereupon.

2. Your second Reason is grounded not onely upon possi­bilities, but also upon hope, for it may be hopefully conceived (say ye) that God in his infinite mercy and purpose reserved, and provided some better thing for this Nation, when it should come to be reformed, that the other Churches might not be made perfect without it, as the Apostle speaks.

Answ. 1. This is but a possibile est esse, it may be, quod nihil ponit in esse, that maketh nothing to be: The question is not what may be; but what is in effect. 2. And as it may be, so may it not be. 3. It is not so much as a may be of any thing, that is to be, but a may be, or a possible hope of a thing, that may be: O how far is this Reason from proving the thing to be. 4 And as for that Text of the Apostle, Heb. 11.48. Ye abuse mightily the place of Scripture, or are abused; for it is not to be understood of you, or of your, or our Reformation; but of the coming of Christ, and the vocation of the Gentiles; for howsoever the Fathers in the old Testament received the Promises; yet received they not the accomplishment, or per­formance of them, viz. Christ manifested in the flesh, who is that better thing, reserved unto us, whereof the Apostle speak­eth there, otherwise we should have perished.

§ 23, 24 25, 26, 27. Containeth an Enumeration of our Brethrens grievances, whereof they have mentioned many heretofore. 1. The mistaking, and misapprehension of their O­pinions, wherein they might seem to differ.

We have answered already. 1. It is not a mistake, nor misapprehension to take and apprehend an opinion as it is pro­pounded by the Partie, as we have done. 2. We answer, That if we mistake, or misapprehend any opinion, it is not that of all Independents. 3. It is a great mistake in you to imagine; [Page 56]that ye be all of one opinion; For ye five, who are the Authors of this Book cannot agree among your selves, how muchlesse with others. 4. And we are assured, that ye cannot but mistake one another. 5. Here also must be noted your Parenthesis [wherein we might seem to differ.] Then your differences from us were not reall, but apparent: If so, wherefore then will ye not really agree, and joyn your selves in Union and Commu­nion with us? And truely so it is, either they are not reall, or they are really ridiculous.

Pag. 23. Your second grievance is, that ye are grievously calumniated with reproaches of Schisme: Schisme is a Per­tinacious Separation from the true Church after sufficient con­viction: And as Heresie, as Heresie, is repugnant to Faith so is Schisme to Charitie; the one quitteth the unitie of the Faith, the other the union in Charitie: And as Heresie is evermore accompanied with pertinacy after sufficient conviction: So is Schisme also.

If therefore the Synod, or any other Assembly, or any of your Brethren should convict you sufficiently, and afterwards, ye should separate your selves, or desire a separation from us, I think that no man could deny you to be Schismaticks; neither beleeve I, in such a case, that ye would, or could honestly deny i [...] your selves; But so long as the Synod, or some others does it not, I dare say nothing: As for my self, I beleeve truly, that ye be very Learned, Pious, and honest Men; and howsoever ye may fail by infirmitie, yet beleeve I not, that ye erre out of malice; and consequently, that ye are no Schismaticks hither­to. And I hope, and am consident, that God will not permit, that so good, and godly men fall away from his Church. And this I say by morall probabilitie, because of the good opinion I have conceived of you, by good mens relations, and some observation of your carriages, in the small conversation I have had with some of you. If therefore any men out of too much zeal, or others out of malice, have uttered any such aspersion, it is in your power, by entertaining of a Fraternall union with us to give them the ly, as I hope in Gods mercy ye will do.

§. 24. Pag. 24 25. But ye prove, That ye are not or can­not be Schismaticks by three Reasons: The first is, If ye be [Page 57]Schismaticks, or culpable of Schisme, Either it must relate, say you, to a differing from the former Ecclesiasticall Government of this Church established, and then who is not involved in it, as well as we? Or to that Constitution, and Government, that is yet to come; and untill that be agreed on, established, and declared, and actually exist, there can be no guilt, or imputation of Schisme from it: But none of these are true, as ye have confirmed it: Ergo.

Answ. Howsoever I hold you not yet for Schismaticks; yet can I not think, that ye prove it well: For that dis-junctive proposition may be denyed, as not containing a full enumera­tion of all the Causes, or Reasons of Schisme; for a Church may be Schismaticall, not onely for her Separation from this, or that Church, but much more for her Separation from all Churches, as your Accusers may say of you, viz. That ye have quitted the Communion of all other Churches, as well Pro­testants, as Papists; and that in case ye could not, or would not joyn in union with Churches ruled by Episcopall Govern­ment, ye might have joyned your selves with other Reformed Churches, with which the Church of England entertained Union, and Communion; so that the greater your Separation was, the greater was your Schisme. Yet can it not be said, that it was a Schisme formally, but materially, for it had not the essentiall forme, or that which we conceive, as the essentiall forme of a Schisme, viz. Conviction, and Pertinacy, without the which Schisme no more can be made up, then Heresie: For it is Forma quae dat esse rei, the Forme that giveth being to a thing. Onely it had the matter, or materiall cause of a Schisme, viz. The Separation from all Churches, which cannot make up a Schisme formally, no more then a mans body alone, which is his matteriall cause, can formally make up a Man.

2. Men may yet be called Schismaticks, Materialiter & Dispositivè, matterially, and dispositively, or as having the dispo­sition to Schisme, when they cannot actually resist an actuall Government, but are resolved without any sufficient cause to resist, or controle that Government, that they judge, will be established by them, who according to Gods ordinary Providence have power to do it. And so your Partie may yet [Page 58]say, that ye be culpable, and guiltie of Schisme materially, and by way of disposition, if they see you aym at any Toleration, which is the next way to Separation: So they may Answer unto the confirmations of both the parts of your dis-junctive Proposition in denying both your Assumptions; for many there be, who separated not themselves from all Protestant Churches, and that are not minded to oppose the forme of Government, that is to be established, much lesse to be suiters for Toleration.

Your second Reason to free your selves from the calumny of Schisme, is this in substance. § 24. Pag. 24.

  • If ye had been guided by the spirit of Schisme, ye had made up a Partie, when ye had the occasion.
  • But so did ye not, when ye had the occasion: Ergo.

Ye prove the connexion of your first Proposition: Be­cause such are practises of those, that are led by the spirit of Schisme.

Ye prove the Assumption. 1. Because, that howsoever, ye had great provocations, viz. 1. Misunderstandings of your opinions. 2. Incitements to this State, not to allow you the peace­able practises of your consciences, which the Reformed Churches abroad allowed you. 3. Calumnies in Print. 4. Heightned with this prejudice, that ye were ashamed of your opinions, or able to say little for them. 5. Books printed against your opinions, yet ye did it not. 2. Because, that having the occasion of manifold ad­vantages to make, and increase a Partie, ye have not in the least sort attempted it.

Ye prove that ye had manifold advantages. 1. Because ye found the spirits of the people of this Kingdom, that professe or pretend to the power of godlinesse, ready to take any impressions, and to be cast in any mould, that hath but the appearance of a stricter way. 2. Because that the mists gathered about you, be­gun to scatter. 3. Because ye published not your opinions by Preaching, although ye had the Pulpits free; nor in Print, although the Presses were more free, then the Pulpits.

Answ. Your Partie will deny the Assumption; for if ye, and the rest of your Partie made it not up, how is it made up in this Kingdom?

As for the proof of your Provocations: We have an­swered already to the first: The third and fourth, we allow it not, if any man hath done so. To the second we shall answer hereafter. And as for the fifth, good Sheepherds could not with­out an abominable prevarication, but write against yours, and all other mens Innovations, when they saw so many Sects mul­tiplied, and Woolfs creeping in so fast into Christs Sheep-fold, to devour the flock. 2. If ye blame our faithfull Ministers for maintaining the Truth already received, what shall we say of your folks, who have first published Books against the Truth. 3. What shall we say of those of your Colleagues, who heretofore preached your Tenets with great offence here in publike? And who still run busily up and down, to make Proselytes.

To the second proof your Assumption.

  • 1. We have already answered, that it is made, but how we know not.
  • 2. What were those people that professe, and pretend to any power of godlinesse, so ready to take any impression, and to make a Partie, ye tell not? We wish to know, whether they be Brownists, Anabaptists, or of what other Sect?
  • 3. Your Covenant obligeth you to declare it unto the Parliament however, ye reveal it not unto us.
  • 4. Certainly true Professors of godlinesse are not so sus­ceptible of any impressions, much lesse to become factious.
  • 5. And therefore ye adde well (or pretend) for such men pretend onely to godlinesse, but have renounced (in effect) the power thereof.

Here we see, howsoever ye pretend not to be States-men, yet ye know as much of it as the Presbyterians.

Your second occasion was the dissipations of mists, &c. If so, and onely so; then what needed this Apologeticall Nar­ration?

§ 25. Pag. 25. To the third occasion, whether ye had the Pulpits so free, or feared to have them lesse free afterwards, I dispute not, ye know that well enough: Onely this I know, That some of your Brethren having given themselves libertie to speak somewhat freely in favour of your opinions, were [Page 60]afterwards discountenanced, and became more prudent, and circumspect in venting of themselves. If ye printed not your opinions, it may be, ye deal more prudently in teaching them in private, then in publishing them in Print. And here ye shew how your Charitie is grown cold; for in the beginning when so many mists were gathered about you, for fear of Schisme out of meet Charitie, ye abstained from writing, and now, when they are scattered ye write.

Your third Grievance is the reproach of that proud, and insolent title of Independency.

Answ. Ye decline that proud Title, but will no wayes quit the thing signified by the Title, in that, ye maintain the Independency of every one of your Churches from all Ecclesia­sticall Authoritie, or Authoritative Power of any Ecclesiasticall Assembly; yea, some of your Profession say, That it belongs not to the Magistrate to punish any man for his Religion, be it never so odious, and wicked, as we have heard from their own mouths. So that there is another new Independency.

If it be replied here, That I did prove before, that ye ac­knowledge some Ecclesiasticall Authoritie, whereunto your particular Churches are subject.

I answer, It is but by necessary consequence, that they must hold it, and not interminis, or expresly that they beleeve it; for they deny interminis, what they must grant by conse­quence: It is drawn out of the evasions, that they bring against our Reasons, whereby, whilest they seek to escape, they are catcht.

Pag. 4. Your fourth Grievance, whereof ye complain, and bewall your selves, is Brownisme together with all their Opi­nions, wherewith ye are traduced.

Answ. But ye disclaim not Brownisme, and their Opinions, absolutely, but with a restriction and secundum quid, viz. As they have stated, and maintained them. 2. By another limitati­on, viz. That ye differ much from them, not in re, sed in modo rei: It may be, ye hold, and maintain the same opinions, but not the same way. And yet ye sympathize very much with them, in puining untoward names upon us, but not upon them.

There also ye declare what ye confesse, and beleeve, viz. The trueth to lye in a middle way betwixt Brownisme, and the Authoritative Presbyteriall Government.

Answ. But this is nothing, but your errour: Veritie con­sisteth not in the middle of this, or that which ye imagine, but in a conformitie of our conceptions with their object, and due measure; which in this matter, is onely Gods Word revealed in the holy Scriptures; and according to this rule I take Pres­byterian Government, rather to be the middle betwixt Popish Tyranny, and Independent Anarchy.

§ 25. Pag. 25. Your fifth Grievance is Some incitements to this State, not to allow us (say ye) the peaceable practises of our Consciences, which the Reformed Churches abroad allow­ed us.

Answ. If any man incited the State not to allow you a peaceable practise of your new Religion, they did according to their conscience, as your New-England men do with those of our Religion; and as some say, that some of you five would do with us.

Their Reasons might have been these.

  • 1. Because it cannot but open a door to all sorts of erro­neous Opinions.
  • 2. It is dangerous for the State, it may breed factions and divisions betwixt all persons of whatsoever relation, betwixt the Magistrate, and the Subject, the Husband, and the Wife, the Father, and the Son, Brethren, Sisters, the Master, and the Servant; when the one is of one Religion, or Ecclesiasti­call Government, and the other of another, as ye have experi­mented: The Son may refuse to receive any communion with the Father, and the Brother with the Brother, and so dissolve all naturall, civill, and domesticall bands of Societie.
  • 3. No State in Christendome, where there is one onely Religion established, will admit the publike exercise of any other, or endure a Schisme in that, which is already received: Wherefore then should it be done here?
  • 4. If it be granted to our Brethren, I cannot see how it can well be denyed to other Sects.

If it be said, That other Sects differ more from us, then [Page 62]they do; it is all one, Magis & minus non mutant Speciem, in matter of Toleration; for then all must be tolerated, howsoever some more, some lesse: And some of our Brethren grant all the Argument: And if we distinguish so, ye must declare, and expound cleerly, what Sects, and what Opinions are to be tolerated, and what not, which will be a question inextricable, which no mortall man, appearingly, is able distinctly to de­termine.

And some may say, The lesse the difference be, the lesse need is there for a Toleration to be granted to such a Sect: For the lesse it be, the greater is the Schisme.

  • 5. God in the Old Testament granted no Toleration of divers Religions, or Disciplines; and the New Testament re­quireth no lesse union amongst Christians, then the old amongst the Jews.
  • 6. Either our Brethren do assent to our Doctrine, and are resolved likewise to assent to the Discipline, which God wil­ling shall be established by common consent, or do not: If they grant the first, what need they any other Toleration, then the rest? If the second, it would be first discussed, wherein they are resolved to dissent; and afterwards considered, whe­ther it be of so great importance, that in consideration thereof, they dare not, in good Conscience, entertain communion with us.
  • 7. They are not pressed to be Actors in any thing against their Consciences: Ergo, They need not to be suiters for a Toleration; or if they be, it may justly be refused.
  • 8. It is against the nature of the Communion of Saints, to live in Sects apart, without communicating at the Lords Table, which very hardly will be avoided, if Toleration be granted.
  • 9. Because the Scripture exhorts us evermore unto unitie, which cannot be easily procured by a Toleration of Sects, which cannot but daily beget new Schismes and Divisions.
  • 10. Because there was greater difference amongst the Members of the Church of Corinth in the rim of Saint Paul, and yet they communicated together; yea, the Apostle exhorted [Page 63]them unto mutuall communion, and forbearance of Sects, and Divisions.
  • 11. Because the Opinion of our Brethren symbolizeth too much with that of the Donatists, who separated them­selves from other Churches, under pretext, that they were not so holy as their own: Neither is it unlike to the Convents and Monasteries amongst the Papists; for as they all professe one Doctrine with the Romish Church, and yet every Order hath its own Discipline; that of S. Francis one, that of S. Dominick another; and in every Order one Generall, and in every Mo­nastery one Abbot, Prior or President; So all your Churches be­leeve one Doctrine together with us, and every one of your Churches hath one Minister, as their Convents a particular Abbot or Prior. Ye onely differ in this, That ye have no Gene­rall, or any thing answerable thereunto to keep you in unitie and conformitie.
  • 12. It is the Civill Magistrates part to take away Heresies, Superstitions, and Corruptions in manners after the examples of the Kings of Juda: Wherefore then is not his dutie like­wise to take away all Schismes, which are the high-way to Heresie, and consequently to deny Toleration, which is a way to both.
  • 13. We have but one God, one Christ, and one Lord, one Spirit, we are one Body, we have one Faith, and one Baptism, whereby we enter into the Church: Wherefore shall we not have one Communion, whereby to be spiritually fed, and one Discipline to be ruled by?
  • 14. If Churches have Disciplines, or Governments dif­ferent in their Species, then the Churches must be different in their Species also; for all Collective bodies, or Consociations that are governed, are differenced by their different Govern­ments, as we see in Civill Government, in the Constitution, and Distinction of States, Kingdoms, and Republikes: Wherefore as many divers Governments, as there be in Churches, as many different Species of Churches must we admit of, I speak here of the Church considered according to her visible forme, but the consequent is false, since there is but one Church. Ergo.
  • [Page 64]15. Neither Christ nor his Apostles, ever granted any Toleration to divers Sects and Governments in the Church; wherefore then will ye be Suiters for that, which they never granted?
  • 16. Yea, your New-England men (whose wayes and practi­ses in Government (ye say) are improved to a better Edition, and greater refinement, whom ye compare with our Father Abra­ham, Pag. 5. tolerated not their Brethren, who did hazard their lives in that voyage, but made them go again, as our Fa­ther Abraham, to seek out some new Habitations in strange Countreyes, yea, in strange Wildernesses, for themselves, and their seed after them; yea, they would not so much as some very godly and learned Divine relateth in his learned Book against Toleration) as receive some men, otherwise approved by themselves, both for their life and Doctrine, to live in any cor­ner of New-England, howsoever here they were in danger to be persecuted for Non-conformitie; And that mee ly, because they differed a little from them in point of Discipline. How then can our Brethren of that profession be Suiters for a Tole­ration in Old England, where they are no more persecuted, when as those of their profession refused it to those of New-England in time of great persecution? Is it not to be feared, That if they had the upper hand over us here, as there, they should send us all to some Isle of Dogs, as they have done others?
  • 17. Besides all this, the Scripture forbiddeth all such To­leration,
    Reve. 2 20 1 Cor 1.12.
    as that of Jezabel; There must be no such speeches amongst us, as I am of Paul, I of Apollos, I of Cephas; nor that some are Calvinians, as ye terme us, some Independenters, some Brownists, some Anabaptists, &c. We must all be Christs, we must all think, and speak the same things, Vers. 10. Other­wise men are carnall:
    1 Cor. 3.3. 1 Cor. 11.16, 18, 19, 20. Heb 10.25. Gal. 5.12.
    Neither hath the Church of God a custome to be contentious: Neither permitteth the Apostle Schismes: We must not quit our mutuall meetings, as others do, and as must be done in a publike Toleration. They that trouble the Church must be cut off.
  • 18. Such a Toleration cannot but expose our Churches unto the calumnies of Papists, who evermore object unto [Page 65]Protestants the innumerable number of their Sects, whereas they pretend to be nothing but one Church.
  • 19. Of such a Toleration follows all we formerly dedu­ced out of Independency.
  • 20. If it be granted, it cannot but be thought, that it hath been granted, or rather extorted by force of Reason, and that all the Assembly were not able to answer our Brethrens, where­as indeed their Opinion, and Demands are against all Reason, as sundry of themselves could not deny, and had nothing to say, save onely that it was Gods Ordinance, which yet they never could shew out of Gods Word: On the contrary, if it be refused, it will help to confirm the Churches, and the people in the Truth.
  • 21. Neither can it but overthrow all sort of Ecclesiasti­call Government; for a man being censured in one Church, may fly to another; and being again suspended in that other, from thence to another, and so scorn all the Churches of God, and their Censures; And so this order by necessary consequence will breed all sort of disorder.

I omit here many other Reasons, taken

  • 1. From the Efficient cause of Toleration, as they who can permit, or Tolerate Shismes: Whether mortal [...] men have re­ceived any power of God, either jure divino, or naturally to dispence with Gods Ordinances, and to permit that which he forbiddeth.
  • 2. From the object of it, viz. If it be good, or ill, for such as the object is, such must the Toleration, or permission be.
  • 3. From the Forme, viz. If it be consonant unto Scrip­ture, or not. For if it be not, it must be ill, since Scripture must be the rule of all acts of Christian duties.
  • 4. From the End, for if the End be ill, it is ill; yea, howsoever it be good, yet is it not good to permit ill for a good end, as the Apostle teacheth us; for howsoever God may do it, yet cannot we do it; For he who did draw light out of darknesse, can draw, good out of sin yea, more good out of sin, then is the ill that it containeth in it self; So cannot we.
  • 5. From the Obligation that lieth upon us, to do all the good we can: and consequently, not onely to forbear sin our selves, [Page 66]but also to hinder others from sin, since it striketh at Gods honour, which we are bound to maintain against all men.
  • 6. From the Obligation, that lieth upon us, not to be par­takers in other mens sins, in approving, or not hindering them in, so far forth as lieth in us; For the power of hindering sin, is not given us for nothing, but for its End, which is its Act, viz. To hinder it actually.
  • 7. From the Obstatles; For God hath dealt so mercifully with the tate here, that there is no Force greater then it self, to compell it, to permit, or tolerate many Sects, Shismes, or Heresies; So that the fewer the Obstacles be found, the greater will the sin of a Toleration be found: But we fear to be to long upon this point.

Your sixth Grievance, Our silence was interpreted, that we were either ashamed of our Opinions, or able to say little for them.

Answ. If any man hath uttered any such expressions out of malice, or contempt of your Persons, they are to be blam­ed: If out of zeal to the Trueth, and of the good Opinion they have of you, I beleeve ye will not blame them; for all good men esteem you to be very godly men, and no men of learning know you; but they know you to be very learned men, as some of your Books testifie aboundantly: But if little can be said to the purpose, for that cause which ye main tain, what marvell is it, That ye can say little for it? Neither can honest men doubt, but an ill man can and will say more for it, then all ye sive can say, so soon as ye have considered it more profoundly: And the better men ye be, the lesse ye will have to say. Ye are not so able to maintain an ill cause, as an ill man.

Your seventh Grievance. Books have been written (say ye again) to prepossesse against what are presupposed our Tenets.

Answ. Not what are your five Teners, but of those who have written upon that Subject; If yours be different from theirs, so soon as ye shall cleerly declare them, they may re­ceive an answer; And therefore it was nor to prepossesse them, &c. But to keep them in possession of the truth already re­ceived.

Afterwards ye give Reasons of your silence. 1. Because (say ye) it is the second blow, that makes the quarrell, &c.

Answ. 1. We are assured that ye have given the first, second, and third blow, as it may easily appear by your Books, and Sermons here at London, as we have already answered. For the Books of the Divines that wrote against your Opinions, were onely Answers unto Arguments of those of your Partie. So then ye have made the quarrell. 2. This Reason, as it hindered you in the beginning, so should it at this present.

Your second Reason is, Your conscientious apprebension of the danger of rending the godly Protestant Party.

Answ. Wherefore then did it not hinder you from Print­ing of this Apologeticall Narration? as we said before.

Your third Reason is, The conjurements of many Honour­able, Wise, and godly Personages of both the Houses of Parlia­ment.

Answ. If their Conjurements have so long been so effectu­all with you, how have they been now of late so inefficacious, that they could not hinder the Printing of this Book? How augment ye now this unhappy difference?

4. Reason. The Declarations of the Parliament about the Ʋnion of Protestants against Popery, their respect to tender Consciences, as might prevent oppressions which had formerly been.

5. Your Covenant. 6. And your duely respect to a peaceable Reformation. To these three, I answer as unto the third.

7. The hopefull expectation of an happy latitude, and agree­ment.

Answ. The agreement may be happy, if ye will, and so ye may obtain what ye might hopefully expect. 1. For I hope ye shall be freed from all oppressions, like to those ye formerly suffered under. 2. That ye may possesse your Consciences in place. 3. That ye shall not be compelled to any externall Confession, contrary to your present Tenets. 4. Much lesse to be Actors in any thing against your Conscience. And thus farre your hopefull expectation might have been well grounded. But if ye expected a Toleration for all Sects, or that we should [Page 68]have received your Opinions, ye hoped more, then ye had ground for.

Now, whereas in the two last lines, ye submit this De­claration of your judgement, to the due, and orderly agitation of this Assembly; whereof (say ye) both Houses were pleased to make us Members.

The Reader will do well to consider how cautiously ye speak here. 1. Ye submit this Declaration of your judgement, not to the judgement of the Assembly, as if the Spirit of Pro­phets should be subject unto Prophets; But onely to the Agi­tation of the Assembly, and so ye seem no wayes minded to submit your selves unto the Assemblies judgement, as all the rest of the Members thereof, and of this Church too. 2. Neither submit ye it simply to the Agitation, but to the due and or­derly Agitation of this Assembly, as if before ye had observed some undue; or unorderly Agitation of businesse in it, or feared it hereafter.

Truely this undue restriction might very well have been omitted, for it is holden for a certain and undoubted Maxime amongst all Protestants, That the Church has no absolute power in her Judgements; That she cannot obliege us to do any ill; And that we are not bound to obey her unjust Ordi­nances, and Commands; But that it is better to obey God, then men.

This Submission is very feriall, and worthy to be presented to some idle fellows: Ye will permit the Assembly from Morning till Evening to agitate, and dispute your Opinions, as if they had no other thing to do, neither here, or at home; A great submission, indeed of your judgements, which ye can­not refuse to the ordinariest Mechanick in the World; for since it is publiei juris published, they will assubject your judgement unto theirs, by way of Agitation, or disputing of it amongst themselves, as much as all the Divines of England, yea, whe­ther ye will or not.

Again, Since both Houses were pleased to make you Mem­bers of that Assembly, was not that a sufficient Justification, and Vindication of your Persons from all calumnies spread against you, and already scattered without speaking a word for [Page 69]your selves? § 24. Pag. 24. Truely it is to be supposed, that the two Houses would never recommend men thither, either ignorant, or vicious, but the learnedest, and godliest of the Kingdom; so this your Apology is unseasonable: Onely this needs an Apology, That being Members of the Assembly, ye will not submit your selves unto the Assembly of Divines, but take odde wayes, proper to you five alone, to publish parti­cular Apologies, and desire a particular Toleration, which no other Members of the Assembly do. But as for this, transeat cum coeteris crroribus. It sufficeth that ye see extraordinary testimonies of the Parliaments, and Assemblies most tender affection towards you; how they have tolerated much in you, the like whereof hath not yet been tolerated in any Member, either of Parliament, or of the Assembly; and all to the end, to chase away all pannick fears from your mindes, and pretend­ed disadvantages, which ye did forcsee, § 26.

§ 26. Pag. 28. Howsoever ye commend much the Parlia­ment, and declare, That ye grant more to the Civill Magistrate, then the principles of Presbyteriall Government will suffer them to yeeld; Yet even here ye rap him over the Knuckles, as if in making you Members of the Assembly, he should have been partiall, in placing you there with so many disadvantages; yea (as ye say) And therein also upon all sorts of disadvantages, which we could not but foresee, both in number, abilities of learning, Authoritie, the stream of publike interest, Trusting God both with our selves, and his own Truth.

Answ. I maintain that the Parliament has done you no wrong, for ye were not forced to sit there; If there be so great disadvantages, ye might have chosen, whether you would have sit there at all, or not. All rationall men think it a great favour, which ye esteem so great a disadvantage.

And as for the Number. 1. Think ye that the Parliament ought to have put in such a Number of you, that agree not in your opinions amongst your selves, as might have over-swayed all the Divines of the Kingdom, to the end that ye might after­ward have compelled us all to quit the Kingdom, as your Friends of New-England have done to others? 2. Were ye to be compared in number with the rest of the Divines in this [Page 70]Kingdom, who are hundreds for one of you? Justice con­sisteth not in an Arithmeticall, but in a Geometricall proper­tion, which here has been observed towards you; and that with more equitie then Justice. 3. Neither did the Parliament hinder you, to call as many Divines of your Profession, as pleased you to consult with apart. 4. Neither need ye so great a number in the Assemblie; for ye seem not (for any thing we can see) resolved to submit your selves, or to acquiesse with any pluralitie of voices, either of Parliament, or Assemblie; wherefore then desire ye so great a number?

As for Abilities in Learning. 1. Ye might also have had with you, if it had pleased you, as many learned men as ye could finde. 2. Neither beleeve I, that any others of your Profession could prudently take such a businesse in hand without you: Who ever knows you, knows well ye want no abilities to dispute your opinion in any Assemblie in Europe: Men of learning, and of wisedome therefore think, that you speak this rather out of modestie, then otherwise.

What ye understand by Authoritie, I know not; it can­not be Ecclesiasticall, since ye acknowledge none in the Church: Then it must be politicall, and namelie, that of the King, and Parliament, since that no other at this present, have power over you; and then I could wish, ye had spoken more con­siderately.

Publike interest, Either this must be taken of publike in­terest in Religion; and then it 1o, or should be our sole aym; and it is no disadvantage for you, That both the Parliament, and the Assemblie, be led by this Interest: Or in State, and then ye wrong both the Parliament, and the Assemblie, as if they measured Religion by Worldlie Ends, and Interests, where­in in ye are not to be beleeved. Neither will we retaliate unto you, that you may have some further Interests yet, that we know not of.

And consequentlie ye need not to fear for your Persons, as if ye were in danger, or had subject to fear persecution, as in former time.

§ 27. Pag. 28. Ye excuse your selves from false Doctrine, whereof no man accuseth you.

§ 28. Ye tell us, that the Difference betwixt you, and us, is not so great; the lesse it is, the lesse should ye be suiters for a Toleration; and if ye obtained it, the greater should be your Schisme.

§ 28. Pag. 30. Here also ye excuse your selves, that ye have not made a Scholastique Relation of your Judgement, whereunto we have already answered; and in so doing your opinions remaining lesse known, hardly can they be distinctlie refuted.

§ 28. Pag. 39, 30. Afterwards ye require two things of the Parliament, That it will look upon you under no other Notion, or Character, then as those, who do as little differ from the Reformed Churches, and your Brethren; yea, far lesse, then they do from what themselves were three yeers past, or then the generalitie of this Kingdom from it self of late. 2. Ye require an allow­ance of a latitude to some lesser differences with peaceablenesse.

Answ. And we pray you, do, as they have done, to the end, the Parliament may look upon you, as they do upon them. 1. They never condemned all the Protestant Churches, as ye do. 2. They never desired a Toleration, to make a Separati­on, as ye do. 3. Either they approved not the ill of the times past, but patientlie endured it according to their light, hoping and praying to God for better, without Schisme. 4. Or ap­proved it: but when it pleased God in his mercy to illuminate them, they disapproved what before they had approved of, and changed from worse to better; which if ye do, O what a joy shall it be unto them, and to us all, and what a content­ment may it bring unto your selves?

And finally, As for the latitude and tolerance ye sue for, it is unjust, and most pernicious, both to Christs Church, and the Kingdom, as we have hear already cleerly demonstrated.


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