A BALM TO HEAL RELIGIONS WOUNDS, Applied in a serious ad­vice to sober-minded Christians that love the Truth, and are well-wishers to Reformation.

IN ANSWER To the PƲLPIT GƲARD ROƲTED, lately set forth by one Thomas Collier.

In this small Treatise you shall finde divers corrupt Principles of this Collier plainly confuted. His Ignorance fully laid open. Many Scriptures cleard from his corrupt glosses. Severall Questions handled touching; The Ministry. Infant-Baptism. Pardon of Sin. Extraordinary Revelations. Humane Learning. The Outward Call of the Ministers of England.

By RICHARD SAUNDERS, Minister of the Gospel for the Church of Christ in Kentishbeer.

London, Printed by M. Simmons, for William Adderton, and are to be sold at his Shop at the three Golden Falcons in Duck lane, 1652.

To the VVorshipfull JOHN TYRLING, Esquire, One of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Devon, my Dear Uncle.

Grace and Peace, &c.

TIs not long since, I recei­ved from your hand that Pamphlet, intituled, The Pulpit Guard Routed, inti­mating mine intentions to write an Antidote against the poyson of it: And seeing you gave me such en­couragement to the worke, as you well remember, I could not thinke upon a fitter Patron to commend the same unto then your selfe: which I the rather have done, that I might have an opportunity more publiquely to acknowledge how much I am bound to you, for those reall expressions of kindnesse and [Page]love which I have ever had from you; especially since I have had some relation to you, which indeed have much transcended my deser­vings. Tis the least I could doe to mention this, though I know tis more pleasing to you to bestow fa­vour and respect, then to heare of the same againe to your praise.

But I must take leave to be grate­full, which is the least you can, and, I beleeve, the most you doe, expect from any.

I need not excuse my selfe to you, for that I have trimd this Discourse no better, that it might be more worthy of your acceptance; seeing I know you judge not of things by their outside, but have respect more to their substance, then to their for­malities. When Satan is so busie (as now) there is no time to stick at nicities.

The Lord continue to hold up your spirit in his own work. I know you have appeared for the service of your Country, in your place [Page](while others shifted their necks off the yoke) even to the wasting of your naturall strength: but God will make this up again to you some other way. These are times where­in much work lies upon the hands of such as are faithfull. There is no­thing lost by sticking close to the interest of Christ. Christians have a good Master, and (which is a choice incouragement) the work of God is such a worke, as will improve, and crowne it selfe.

I beleeve the insolency of some that pretend gifts to justle out the Ministry of Christ, yea and his truth too, doth somewhat damp your joy you take in the prosperous suc­cesse of the affairs of this Common­wealth: But, Dabit Deus huic quo (que) Jude 12. finem: These clouds without water will soon be blowne over: They are as bubbles that will break with a light touch. [...] In quietus, turbulentus, unsetled, wavering. Legh. Sac. Crit. For yet a little while (sayes David, Psal. 37.10.) and the wicked [Heb: the turbulent, wavering, or unsteddy] shall not be, yea thou shalt [Page]diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. In the interim let us fix our thoughts upon an immutable God. Let Patience have her perfect worke, Jam. 1.4. and we shall be perfect, entire, and wanting nothing. A taxie in a wise Cōmon-wealth can never be long­liv'd. But what mean I keeping you from the Discourse ensuing? You will see there this tottering wall is falling; but two posts to keep it from the ground, Novel­ty, and Confidence, the one rots, the other breakes suddenly of it selfe. Praevalebit veritas, Truth will out-live its enemies, though some enemies of truth may out-live us here in the flesh. Beeing eyed with a spirituall understanding we may see through all these thick Clouds, which that we may be able to doe, is the constant, and hearty pray­er of

Your greatly-obliged Nephew: devoted to your, and the Chur­ches service in the Gospel, RICHARD SAUNDERS.

To the READER.

Courteous Reader;

AN unpolished Peice is here put in­to thine hand, that which (I con­fesse) cost me more time to write it out faire for the Presse, then to compose it. I was pained within me till I had set it going, that it might come speedily to thine hand, and least any soule should be ensnared first by that dangerous Pamphlet which I answer. Some foure or five weeks I laboured hard in composing the following Discourse, and as many in writing it out a­gaine for publique view. If thou blame mee for not taking more time. I answer.

First, I met not with much in mine adver­saries Booke, that had any difficulty in it to hold me long.

Secondly, Twas my tender respect to thy good that spurred me on so fast, and if I loose credit in any measure, by setting forth my con­ceptions in no better a dresse, thou mayest well pardon me, for if I have plaid the fool it is for thy sake.

[Page] But thirdly, Such as it is, if thou be not too curious, I hope it will appeare sufficient as to that which twas intended for, viz. a confutati­on of mine Antagonist.

If my Discourse chance to come into the hand of a learned, and judicious Reader; though such a one it may be may finde in it, that, which may make him judge it not lost la­bour to reade it over; yet I must say my re­spect was not to such in writing this, there beeing nothing in the Book I answer, that is like to passe for sound reason with discerning spirits. My respect was to weak Christians, Babes in Christ, and such as are ready to stag­ger at every straw, upon whom the boldnesse and confidence of the Collier may prevaile too farre, especially while he covers over his designe with pretensions to the honour of Christ.

If thou findest any inclination in thy selfe to censure me for the tartnesse of some of mine expressions, consult seriously with thine owne heart, whether the confidence, and yet weak­nesse, and grosse absurdities, of mine adversary doth not give just reason. I was never (if I may speak so of my selfe) a man of a bitter, or rigid spirit in my life, especially against any that I could looke upon as Godly. And truely, if I could have seen any Characters of an hum­ble, and Christian Spirit in the Pulpit Guard [Page]Routed, I should not have used altogether such language as now I am enforced to doe. But it may be if thou seriously commune with thine owne heart, insteed of censuring me, thou wilt finde ground to judge thy selfe, for not beeing sufficiently sensible of Gods disho­nour, occasioned by the venting of such corrupt principles as I engage against.

If thou wonder (as it may be some will) to see me appearing in such Controversies as some of these are, who have lately appeared as publiquely in a Discourse,Viz. In a short Dis­course pro­ving the lawfulnesse of submit­ting to the present Power. wherein I dis­covered my selfe contrary minded to a great number of those, I now plead for.

And seeing I differ, in some matters of Church-Discipline, and order, from many of my Brethren. I must tell thee,

First, I love to speake truth (when necessi­ty calls for it) what ever they be I speake a­gainst.

Secondly, I cannot endure to be reputed a favourer of such corruptions as my soule ever abhorred, which I should be, if I should hold my peace in the things hereafter discoursed of.

I have freely encouraged Christians to the use of their Liberty in edifying one another, in the use of their gifts: and how many have suspected that I countenanced the confused Li­berty that is pleaded for by theh Pulpit Guard Routed?

[Page] I have scrupled the baptising all infants, not judging but that all Church-Members in­fants are to be baptised, but seeing tis evident, that all among us are not such as may be em­braced as Church-Members in this time of Re­formation endeavoured, all infants are not to be baptised: and upon this account I have, for a season, suspended the dispensing of that Ordi­nance to any, untill I can forme those Christi­ans that have hearts to submit unto the Disci­pline of Christ into a body, according to Aposto­licall rule. And how many upon this account have thought me a friend to Anabaptists, not­withstanding my profession to the contrary? When as I professe tis not, but that I have ever owned Baptisme of infants to be an Ordinance of Christ. And my suspending the use of it, is,

First, Because I judge it meet that those, that enjoy Church-priviledges, either for them­selves, or Children, should be accountable to the Church for their walking: which cannot well be, unlesse there be a new-forming of Church-Societies, for present altogether without forme, order, or power.

Secondly, Because I am afraid, if I should doe otherwise, what I build with one hand, I should pull downe with the other, in the busi­nesse of Church-Reformation.

Now though I have sufficiently (though not so publiquely as now) clear'd my selfe of these [Page]suspitions, yet they made me somewhat the more willing to this undertaking.

Thirdly, I appeared also in this Discourse the rather, because it may be knowne that all that are for the present Power, are not (as some suspect) favourers of these corruptions. I thinke I have appeared before, in, and after the change of affairs in this Land, as far as most of my Station, and I cannot be are the dis­honour is done to the Noble Patriots of our Country by the secret whisperings of these va­grant Seducers, that speak as if they were sent by Authority, and Patronizd by it. Yea some of them (as I heard) had the boldnesse to give out (when debate was touching a new Repre­sentative) that the Anabaptists should be the men that should choose it. Twere good the inso­lency of such fellows were curb'd. Such things trouble many honest hearts, not that they can beleeve such toyes, but because there is no check given to such persons. Among others this Collier I write against, deserves to be mar­ked: who can not be contented to set himselfe against Ordinances of Christ, but also like a man of a seditious spirit, must jear at Ordi­nances of Parliament too.

Christian Reader, I cannot be so prudent as to let Truth suffer by holding my peace, when my speaking may displease men. Tis true there may be a time when some Truths may not be [Page]fit to be published. But I promise thee; if God make knowne to me any thing further where­by I may doe the Church of Christ any service, I shall not imprison the Truth in me: And though in this learned, and knowing age, where­in so many things are written by those, with whom I am not worthy to be named, there is little reason to expect me much in print, yet shall I to my power, in my place, labour the promoting of the interest of truth, To which end I desire thee to improve what interest thou hast at the throne of Grace for me, and I shall remain

To truth, and peace: Christian liberty, and order; an hearty well-wisher. R. S.

A BALME To Heale Religions Wounds: In answer to the Pulpit-Guard Routed.

The Proeme shewing the grounds of writing this Treatise.

IT may be much wondred why I should set pen to paper, to write an Answer to that railing Pam­phlet which is come out into the World under the name of the Pulpit Guard Routed, especially seeing there is another (abler for the work) more properly and directly concerned in it. I must tell you it is no pleasure to me to be contending about questions and controversies, which engender strife. I could wish (if the wise­dome of God thought it fit) that there were no occasion of such a thing given, [Page 2]nor any necessity lying upon those, that desire rather to be imployed about more sweet and savoury studies, to turn them­selves to such unpleasant work: But see­ing that according to the Preacher, Eccl. 3.3. There is a time to breake downe, as well as a time to build up; I find God calling us now forth (as we are able) to both. Not only to building up, and repairing Gods spirituall fabrick in his Saints (which is our delightfull work) but to pull down those dangerous structures of hay, and stubble, which men of corrupt minds en­deavour to raise up.

But secondly; The reasons why I (who am lesse concerned in this business [...] did yet interpose in it, are these.

1. I am somewhat doubtfull whether Mr Hall (whose Book 'tis that this un­worthy Pamphlet pretends to answer) may have any purpose to make reply, in regard 1. It is so scurrilous, and the An­swers so absurd and impertinent. 2. The danger that may come of this Book, by corrupting the minds of weake and un­steady people, may not be so visible t [...] him, as to me, who live in and near those parts, where the Author of it ha's mo [...] influence: and therefore I may see mor [...] reason why his Book should not go without an Answer.

[Page 3] 2. The Author of this Pulpit Guard Routed, hath endeavoured to scatter a­broad his Books in this Countrey, unto the great danger of ensnaring many poor souls, whom the relation of neighbour-hood makes me more tender of then or­dinary.

3. Seeing his designe is chiefly promo­ted in these parts, it may be, a word from me in these parts where I am known, may be more prevalent then an answer from a Stranger, though the busines be better managed by him; yea, and what I shall write may take much the better abroad too, among them whose establishment and information I chiefly aim at, while they see my judgement, wherein I goe so far to meet all well-wishers to reforma­tion as the Truth will give me leave; as thou mayest see in part in mine Epistle to the Reader: where thou haft also a further account of the ground of mine underta­king this work.

Upon these Reasons I have been enfor­ced to run the hazard of being censured as medling in other mens matters: though it be plain enough, that every honest soul is herein concerned, while the honour of Jesus Christ, and of the Truth lies at stake.

[Page 4] If I deal very roundly with mine (and yet not mine so much as the Truths) Ad­versary, I may be excused, for that I can­not otherwise possibly come up to a full discovery of the Ignorance of that Rout­er, it being wrapt up in such wonderfull impudence.

It is a true Proverb, Audax inseitia, Ig­norance is bold: and truly I must say I ne­ver saw ignorance growne so impudent and shamelesse in my life. 'Tis strange that a man should write and print such absurd, weak, impertinent things, with so much confidence and disdaine, trium­phing over Arguments as ignorant, and invalid, which he answers only with boldnes, and confident dictates of his owne braine, as you will see anon: you may perceive his plot is laid only to gain upon the humours of such, as are more taken with words then things: and are swayed more by the confidence of an asser­tion, then the reason of it. Truly were it not that I find some that know not how to judge of the strength of an Argument, or of the fallacious jugling of men of corrupt minds, and principles; but are apt to think there must needs be some strength in that, which is boldly asserted by such as have a visour of Religion on [Page 5]their faces, and Scripture phrases in their mouths; I should not have thought that any passage in all his Book deserved the credit of an Answer. Ah! but mine heart is moved toward poor weak souls for whom this snare is layd: 'tis not given to all to dive into the mystery of iniqui­ty, that some disorderly spirits advance. Beloved Souls, you that love Jesus Christ, mine heart is troubled for you, especial­ly you of these parts, whom the relati­on of neighbour-hood makes more pre­cious to me: I can gladly expose my selfe to the censures of men for your sake, that your faith be not corrupted, nor your souls caught in a snare. Where­fore let mine advice from the Lord have place with you. Let your hearts with mine debate a little, and that seriously, as in the presence of the great searcher of hearts, before whom both you and I must one day answer, about these que­stions following.

Five serious Questions to be debated by modest Christians, in order to the discovery of the ge­nius, and scope of the PULPIT GUARD ROUTED.

1.Quest. 1. WHether such an uncharitable, censorious, proud, disdainful, inveterate, calumniating spirit as visibly works in this man, and others, ejusdem farinae, of the same lump, does ever use to shew it selfe amongst Christians, even a­gainst godly persons, much lesse godly Ministers? Ah! favour mine expressions, for I tell you.

  • 1. I cannot flatter such corruptions, and corrupters with faire pleasing ti­tles, nor may I.
  • 2. There are such as are to be rebuked sharply [or cuttingly] and all little e­nough,
    [...]. Tit. 1.13.
    to make them sound in the faith.

Is it possible (if it were true what these men would make you beleeve, that they are the men whom God ha's most e­minently appeared to, to open to them the mysteries of truth, and to call them sorth to be Stewards of his manifold grace above others) Is it possible, I say, [Page 7]if it were so, that a spirit so contrary to the Gospel, should work so mightily in them? What, use all the expressions, and scrape up all the advantages they are a­ble, that they may powre out contempt upon those that are eminent Servants of Jesus Christ, and yet pretend to be the crop of Gods family, as they would be thought to be? Surely I know not what entertainment that scurrilous language that is in that pamphlet hath where it comes, no doubt many phansies are tick­led with it: but I professe, my heart even trembled in reading some passages; yea, throughout the whole Book I can hard­ly finde any thing that speaks much to a­waken my charity to beleeve, that there is ought of Christ in that heart, where such stuffe was conceived.

To omit those disdainful and reproach­full speeches, which he uses against the man he pretends to answer; calling him, Ignorant, Fool, Knave, Enemy to truth, Of his father the Devil, Proud Pharisee, &c. To omit these, which might admit of excuse in part, for that they are against the particu­lar adversary he ha's to deal withall, but that he also heaps up most insufferable reproach against the Ministry of England in generall, calling them, Antichristian, A [Page 8]pack of cheaters and deluders, Carnall, Loose, Base in Conversation, Theeves, Robbers, Wolves, Empty barrels making great sounds, but having nothing but vanity and pride in them, Sensualists, Idlers often, such as never knew what it is to live in a lawfull Calling, Whose God is their belly, Humanists. Several times, The bastard brood of Rome. No Levites but bastard ones. No Embassadours but ignorant ones. No Shepherds but kill them that are fed. Priestly Pharisees, Bastard Tribe of Levites. Babylonish Diviners, Egyptian juglers, Limbs of the Devil, &c.

Is not this brave language? Could you have worse if you did rake the filthi­est corners in Hell for it?

Neither will this excuse him that he sayes in his Epistle to the Reader, that he doth answer a Fool according to his folly. For,

  • 1. I find no such language in Mr Halls Book, nor doth he rebuke him (in his Answer) for any passage of that kind, except in speaking against the thing he disputes against: he doth not revile the persons that are dissenting from him: But,
  • 2. If Mr Hall hath been faulty (for I will not undertake to defend every ex­pression of his) what ground is that for this man to be so inveterate [...] [Page 9]against the whole kinde, the Ministers, without exception, or distinction? Is this the genius of a Christian? Yea, is it not neer blasphemy, to bring in Scrip­ture (as he does, Prov. 26.5.) to ex­cuse his railing, and make Christ and his Apostles to be guilty with him in the same wickednesse?

Neither doth he mend the matter when his Conscience forces him to say (in his Epistle) that some of them may be godly. For though he doe lesse then halfe grant this, saying [He is not despai­ring of the truth of it] which implies that he doth scarce beleeve that there are any godly, but hath onely so much hope of it, as keeps him from despairing that it is so; a most unchristian, satanicall cen­sure: I beleeve every humble, gratious heart will judge it so, yet, I say, this mends not the matter that he almost half grants, that 'tis possible some of them may be godly, in that all along in his Discourse, he reviles them with unwor­thy termes, without putting any diffe­rence. O yee Redeemed of the Lord, that are bid to try the spirits, whether they be of God, or no; examine the spirit of that Pamphleter: if it be the Spirit of Christ that moves in that puddle, I must professe [...] [Page 10]ver knew yet what the Spirit of Christ meanes.

Upon what grounds (think you) should he,Quest. 2. and men of the same temper and Spi­rit with him, use such bitternesse against the Ministry, and vent so much rancour with their pens & tongues against them, when many hundreds of them are known to be very eminent and precious Christi­ans, and such whose lives and conversa­tions, as also their doctrine, speak them to be endeared to the Lord Jesus? what can be the reason of this (I say) unlesse it be because they give a check to those unsound principles (destructive to sound doctrine and manners) that some of them endeavour to sowe among the peo­ple? Here is the gall, here is the wring, else they are knowne to be sound in the faith, godly in conversation, let your owne experiences (that read this) be witnesses.

'Tis true, diverse of them have been un­satisfied about the late wonderfull change in this Common-wealth; and have disco­vered themselves opposite, some more, some lesse, some nothing at all opposite, but yet unsatisfied in part: I could wish it had been otherwise, and that (if the Lord had pleased) they had seen things [...]

[Page 15] Hath it not been an old trick of such as have designed the shaking of the pillars of the Christian Faith,Quest. 5. first to begin with the faithfull Ministers, to powre out con­tempt upon them? Did not Paul meet with such in his time? What else made him write so much in defence of himselfe, and the rest of the faithfull Ministers of Christ; in 2 Cor. 10. and Chap. 11. and Chap. 12. and severall other places? I do not intend to plead for all those that have gone under the name of Ministers among us (no honest heart I think does) many have been for their lewdnesse and malignancy, justly removed from their places; and many more do deserve to be removed who are the reproach of the Gospel. But to inveigh against Ministers in generall (as The P. G. Routed doth) was it ever known to be the work of any but enemies to the faith? The Devil hath his [...]. Eph. 4.14. method of deceiving: observe it well, he first will cast dirt in the face of the messengers of truth, and then of truth it selfe.

All yee that love the Lord Jesus Christ, my Christian friends, neighbours, and country-men, let serious deliberate try-all goe before resolution, in matters be­longing to God. Can an humble spiri­ted [Page 16]Christian easily be perswaded to swim against the stream of the most eminent and precious Saints of all Ages, and pla­ces? I know the voice and word of Je­sus Christ should be infinitely more pre­vailing with Christians, then the exam­ples even of the best men; But in things in controversie and doubtfull, I should make a great stand at the examples of such; knowing that Christ speaks to his people by presidents as well as precepts. see Phil. 3.19. Jude 7. &c. wishing modest Christians to weigh these things in their thoughts, I shall now open a lit­tle of the vanity and childishnesse of the answers and arguments of this same P. G. Routed, so far as it may make for the setling of their minds in the beliefe of the truths he endeavours to shake.

His errours are many (though one mainly pleaded for) I shall in order in­quire into the firmenesse of their founda­tion.

His First Error.
That the life of Ministers and Schollars, educated in Schooles of learning is an idle life.

THis you finde in the entrance of his discourse: where pleading for the Nailer, Baker, &c. as fit to make Preach­ers he layes downe with much confidence (which is most of his strength) this asser­tion. That the life of Ministers and Schol­lers brought up in learning is an idle life: cal­ling such Idlers and Drones, that never knew what it is to live lawfully in a cal­ling: with much more such reproachfull Language.

But how doth he make this good? Why, by a learned definition that he gives of a calling. sayes he,

A calling is that in and by which men may in the sweat of their face get their li­ving. The P. G. Routed.

O brave Definition of a Calling! Answer. be­fitting a man that can call the most learned in the land ignorant, and simple. But let us examine it a little, if his defi­nition be good, then must it reciprocari cum suo definito, so as that it agree neither [Page 18]to more things, nor to lesse, then the thing defined doth: this is the constant law of a good definition.

Now 1. Is every thing that a man may get his living by in the sweat of his face a calling, i. e. a lawfull calling? (for such he speaks of) why then, he that sweats at his robbing and stealing lives in a law­full calling. It seemes he that would beat downe the calling of Ministers, knowes how to set up another instead of it.

2 Is there no lawfull calling, but that whereby a man gets his living in the sweat of his face? what will he say them of Magistrates, Justices of the Peace, men living by their estates, & applying them­selves to the wel ordering of their Coun­trey? what? because they doe not worke with their hands, and sweat at it, are they Idlers? Will he call the Parliament men Idlers, because they spend their time in discoursing together, and debating the affairs of State, and doe not worke with their hands for their living? See this mans absurdity. Yea, what will he say to Physicians? Doe not they live in a lawfull calling? yea, if his definition were good, 'twere time for him to go bid his Taylors, Button-makers, Semsters, and such like, that seldome sweat at their [Page 19]worke, especially in winter season, to finde out another way of living: other­wise (although they were Preachers) yet are they not in a lawfull calling, by his rule. Ah! if these men that boast themselves of abilities in a singular way from other men, to divide the word a­right, do so simply mistake in giving definitions of things so familiar to the understandings of all men; what (think you) will they doe when they come to give you definitions of spirituall things? Most certaine it is that most of the dan­gerous errours that are now on foot a­mong us, have sprung out of the weak­nesse and ignorance of such men, who (though they can speak pleasing words that tickle the fancy, yet) are not able to give out any better accompt of the na­ture of things they speak of, then the Pulpit Guard Routed, doth here of a cal­ling, the weaknesse of which is very visi­ble.

But thirdly, Is it so, That none lives in a lawfull Calling, but he that workes with his hands, and gets his living in the sweat of his face, what thinke you of Paul then? even of what he sayes, 1 Cor. 9.6. Or I onely and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear working? Had Paul and [Page 20] Barnabas power to live Idelers? to live out of a lawfull calling; or did the rest of the Ministers of the Gospel, who (as he intimates in this verse, and affirme [...] Verse, 12.) did use this liberty of not working, did they I say live out of a cal­ling? were they Idlers?

But by the way, let me from this plain Scripture frame this one Argu­ment to prove the Ministry of the Gos­pel a distinct, lawfull calling.

If a man may lawfully lay by all other callings, and apply himselfe wholly to it, and live by it; then is it a distinct lawfull calling. That is clear from his owne words (which are most true) that No man may live out of a calling.

But a man may lawfully lay by all o­ther Callings, and apply himselfe to the Ministry of the Gospel, & live by it; that i [...] evident from the Text, where Paul sayes He and Barnabas might leave working, vers [...] 6. That the Ministers of the Gospel then, generally did, vers. 12. That they might, that twas fit they should, yea, that God had ordained they should live by it, ver. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.13, 14.

Therefore the Ministry of the Gospel, is a distinct lawfull calling.

Can any thing be more plain and evi­dent then this?

[Page 21] But Fourthly, Is there no laborious­nesse and pains-taking (for that Ile sup­pose he may intend by sweat) in the im­ployment of Ministers and Schollers? It seems he never knew what it is to study hard: It appears indeed by his Book. He is not acquainted with the labour of the minde, in getting downe to the bottom of things, and that's the reason he handles things so superficially. But he addes, ‘Breeding to School is proper to children when they can not labour to fit them for some calling.The P. G. Routed.

Very good, then, it seems,Answ. hee'l graunt that breeding children at School is war­rantable. But it must not be (if you will beleeve him) any longer then while they cannot worke: And how long is that (pray) I would fain know, whether chil­dren are not able to begin to work, as soon, or almost as soon, as they are able to goe to School: But it seems he would have them learne their A. B. C. and no more; for when they can labor, then they must away to that. Doe not you see how this mans ignorance opens it selfe in every line.

But he grants they may goe to School, to fit them for some calling. Well then, then must they keep to the Schools till they are made as fit for the calling they in­tend, [Page 22]as the Schools can make them; at least till fit in some degree: and if so, then 1 His former assertion is false, that sayes, They must keep the School onely while they cannot worke. 2 Then he that intends the calling of a Minister (which I proved before to be a distinct calling) must so long abide at the Schools, as is requisite to make him an able Minister, so far as Schoole-learning may helpe him: and if so, then his maine position, here disputed, is false too, that would make the life of a Scholer an idle, unjustifiable life. See how weakly this man contra­dicts himselfe and all in one page.Object.

If he have so much ignorance (for lear­ning had never any enemy but ignorance) as to say humane learning is no way usefull to a Minister of the Gospel; I shall use no other argument here,Answ. to refute him, but his own practice; why does he some­times make use of the originall languages, to clear some Scriptures in his writings? I beleeve he is little acquainted with those languages, but this that he is driven to enquire into them, that he may give out the true and full sence of Scripture, it speaks out the usefulnesse of the same to a Minister. More of this in its place: I shall step forth unto his second Errour.

His Second Errour.
That Infant Baptisme is a Childish thing.

THis he will owne for truth, and how will he make it good? he sayes, 'Tis childish, 1. As relating to the Subject, The P. G. Routed. the child who is to be baptized, not under­standing the use and end of it. 2 As relating to the Administrators, &c.

As to the first, there lies a shreud ob­jection in his way,Answer. which he has so much ingenuity as faithfuly to set downe, but not so much wit as to answer with any sence, as you shall see by and by. The Objection he layes downe thus.

The Infants of the children of Israel were as uncapable,The P. G. Routed. in (he would have written of) the understanding of the my­stery of Circumcision, as Infants are now of Baptisme, yet they were by the com­mand of God to be Circumcised.

'Tis a good objection indeed started,Answer. but how is it cleared? He gives a three­fold answer thus,

1 Its truth that one part of Circumcisions Mystery, The P. G. Routed. viz. the Circumcision of the heart was as far from the capacity of Infants, as the mystery of Baptisme is now.

[Page 24] Very good,Answer. and what part of Circum­cisions mystery, pray, were Infants of eight dayes capable of understanding, if they understood not that? risum teneamus &c. who can but smile at such an answer? as if Infants at eight dayes old did under­stand any part of the mystery of the Or­dinance of Circumcision. I wonder he had not inform'd his Reader, what my­stery such were then capable of under­standing, but what have you next.

2.The P. G. Routed. As Circumcision was a type and signe in the flesh, of Christ who was to come of Abra­hams seed, there was no such capacity re­quired. His Reason follows, Because it was a Jewish legall type, as all the rest of their externall worship and Sacrifices were, &c.

O fine words to please Children,Answer. lit­tle to the purpose!

1. Was there not required a spirituall understanding of the legal Ordinances, and Sacrifices then, as well as now o [...] Gospel Ordinances? Doth this man thin [...] to perswade any Protestant, or Orthodox Christian, that the Israelites were not bound to see into the mystery of their Ordinances, as we are into ours, without any reason? 'Tis true, they saw not so­far [Page 25]into the mystery as we may, but that they did not at all understand, nor were bound to it, will establish the dangerous doctrine of the Pelagians, that say they were justified by their legall Ordinances, without faith in Christ: [...] Acts 15.11 and give the A­postle the lye, who says, that we are saved [ [...]] even as they.

2. The knowledge of the mystery of Circumcision was not necessary to all that were circumcised, to make them ca­pable of Circumcision, he grants: well, and why is the knowledge of the mystery of Baptisme necessary to all that are to be Baptised, to make them capable of Baptisme? If he had given a good reason for this, he had spoken something to the purpose. He sayes, Circumcision was a type, so is Baptisme also; whereas he sayes 'twas Jewish and Legall, the sence is, 'twas a type unto the Jews in times of the Law: and what is that to the businesse? Bap­tisme is a Type to Christians under the Gospel. They that have argued so long against Infant-Baptisme, from this rea­son, that they are uncapable of under­standing its mystery, could never yet give a reason, why the knowledge of the mystery of Baptisme is necessary to make a subject capable of it, when the know­ledge [Page 26]of the mystery of Circumcision was not necessary to make the subject ca­pable of it. Tell me what thing made In­fants then capable of circumcision, and then I'le tell thee (and thou mayest satis­fie thy selfe) that the same thing makes Infants capable of Baptisme now. Their being such as God had vouchsafed to take (together with their Parents) into Covenant with himselfe, was that which made them capable of Circumcisi­on, as appears in Gen. 17.7, 8, 9, 10. where they are commanded Therefore to be Circumcised, because God had made a Covenant with them. Now the same thing makes Children of Beleevers now capable of Baptisme.

But his third Answer is of all the fittest for such a man to give; it is this,

3.The P. G. Routed. There was a Command for that of Cir­cumcision, &c.

O egregiously gifted Disputant!Answer. The Objection was if Infant-Baptisme be childish, because the subjects are Children, then Circumcision was also Childish, which was commanded of God: to this he answers, Circumcision was commanded of God. Can you beleeve that the spirituall gifts that these men pretend to, are reall, [Page 27]when as in the utmost improvement of their gifts, they write such non-sence. If they write thus how do you think will they speake, when they come to handle difficult matters, if they preach too with­out meditation or study, as they boast? But whereas he sayes, The command is that which gives a capacity, &c. I shewed even now what it was that gave the Infants then a capacity of Circumcision, from Gen. 17. The Command (as Mr Marshall sayes well) is the cause of the existence of the duty, but the Covenant of grace is the mo­tive to it. They were therefore circumcised (as before) because taken into Cove­nant, and so Church-members. But e­nough of this, let me away to his second Reason, why Infant baptisme is childish, which is as follows.

2.The P. G. Routed. It is Childish as relating to the Administra­tors, &c. in not understanding the com­mand of Christ, &c.

But how doth he make that good?Answer. why, you must take his word for it. He will call thousands of able, judicious men ignorant, that by his confidence, you may think he is knowing and intelli­gent.

His next corrupt Assertion borders [Page 28]upon the same controversie, touching In­fant-baptisme: 'Tis this,

His third Error.
That none must be baptised till they come to perfect Age.

YOu have this defended by him, page 6. thus.

And is this such a strange thing with you who professe your selfe a Minister of the Gos­pel? The P. G. Routed. &c. Was not Christ himselfe Bapti­sed at thirty years of age, the Eunuch by Philip, Acts 8? And those of John, &c.

Yea,Answer. and it may be strange for all that, for what shadow of reason is there in it, why none must be baptised till they come to perfect Age? Is this good arguing, Christ and the Eunuch, &c. were of perfect age when baptised, therefore none but men of perfect age must be baptised. Is not this as good an argument? When Christ gave the Supper, none were admit­ted but Apostles, therefore none but A­postles may receive the Supper. If he say there be other Scriptures that give (not Apostles onely, but) all believers ad­mittance unto the Supper; I answer, so there are other Scriptures that do autho­rize us to admit Children to baptisme.

[Page 29] Therefore he might have saved the la­bour of answering the Objection, viz. That that was in the first Plantation of the Church, &c.

For first, we need not fly thither, be­cause what he urges concludes not at all the thing asserted by him.

He sayes, None must be baptised but such as are of perfect age, &c. To prove it he urges, that some that were of perfect age were then baptised, which you know no way concludes that none but such must.

When any Anabaptist in England, can prove, that no Infants were baptised in the Apostles times, then it may be we shall make use of that which he brings in as an Objection, which if we doe, we must in­treat him to take a little better know­ledge of the Objection, and not mistake it so ignorantly, as he seems to do in his Answer.

For the thing urged in the Objection, is not, That there was one rule for them in the infancy, and another for us now. If he did understand sense he would have seen it, but that the same Scripture rule that was then delivered to the Churches, di­rects us to a different course in gathering Churches, and in Churches gathered, which is very clear. So that none need [Page 30]wonder why they heare of baptising growne persons then, and Infants for the most part now. The reason is, because though when our work is, as theirs was, to gather Churches, we baptise growne persons upon their Profession of the Chri­stian Faith, as they did, and that most frequently: yet when the Church is con­stituted, we doe take in (according to Christs appointment) the Children of Beleevers in their infancy, the which I shall speak more to by and by.

Pretious Souls! you that love the ap­pearing of the Lord Jesus, I from mine heart owne the lowest appearances of Christ in his people, I would not quench the smoaking flax for a world, nor dare I despise the day of small things, in any: but when Ignorance doth so exalt it selfe, yea, even presuming to call the Spirit of Christ its Father (as in these men) give me leave to be zealous for your sakes, that you may (with the Church of E­phesus, Revel. 2.2.) Try them which say they are Apostles [or men sent] and are not, and finde them lyars.

But that I may follow my valiant An­tagonist (marching in the head of his victorious absurdities and impertinen­cies) yet a little further, in what he says [Page 31]more to this controversie, page 8. I shall step over one or two particulars, reser­ving the handling of them til afterwards, and apply my selfe to the finishing of what I intend about Paedo-baptisme.

He undertakes in the eigth page to vin­dicate the Anabaptists in respect of ano­ther errour charged upon them, viz. that they deny all consequences of Scripture, &c. to which he sayes.

You are mistaken man in this too; The P. G. Routed. they deny unnecessary and untrue consequences.

I beleeve indeed this is the opinion on­ly of the weakest and simplest of them;Answer. and though the Pulpit Guard Routed be ignorant enough, yet it seems he is not so ignorant as to deny necessary conse­quences drawne from Scripture. I should have said nothing to this, but for what followes. Sayes he,

Your consequences are such as these. The P. G. Routed. Baptisme is come in the roome of Circumcision, In­fants were circumcised, therefore Infants must be baptised. The Apostles baptised housholds, there might be Children; there­fore Children may be baptised. Children were brought to Christ, therefore they may be baptised. Goodly consequences.

[Page 32] Are these the consequences that are drawne out of Scripture to prove In­fant-baptisme?Answer. Ha's not the Pulpit Guard Routed got a forehead of braffe, that is a­ble to tell the World such a falshood in Print?

'Tis true, the first consequence hath been made use of by some in the proof of Infant-baptisme, and it is so plaine and unquestionable a consequence, that if he had the least graine of sound reason in him, he could not have denied it. Mark it, he finds no fault with the Proposition [Baptisme comes in the roome of Cir­cumcision] but denies the consequence that is drawne out of it. Now come hither Babes and Sucklings, and make good this against him; let all the world judge, whether if baptisme come in the room of Circumcision, this be not a good conse­quence, Infants were circumcised, there­fore Infants must be baptized. You will easily see his folly in this exception, if you note, he denies the consequence, not the Proposition on which 'tis ground­ed.

As for the other two consequences, did ever any of those that have written for Infant-baptisme argue after that man­ner? But I think this man never shewed [Page 33]so much affection to truth, or desire of information, as to read the Arguments of those that have writ soundly for it; if he had, he would have found other consequences then such as he mentions. Read the Arguments of Baxter, Marshall, Homes, Featly, and others, or the Argu­ments of any one of them, especially Mr Baxter, and see (Beloved Christians) whether he goes not about to cheat you with his forgeries. But to the particular consequences.

1. They argue (if he will have it so) baptisme comes in the roome of circum­cision; Infants were circumcised, there­fore Infants must be baptised. What hath he to say to this? sayes he,

The Law and circumcision came by Moses, The P. G. Routed. but grace and truth, and Gospel Ordinan­ces, came by Jesus Christ.

Answ. 1.Answer. See the ignorance of the great Text-man.

Did circumcision come by Moses? Was it not instituted by God, in a command given to Abraham, long before Moses was borne? But 'tis like he remembred that he read the story of its institution in one of the five books of Moses, and therefore thought Moses to be the Institutour of [Page 34]the same. A pittifull mistake.

2 The Ordinances that were appoin­ted by Moses, were they not Christs Or­dinances, as well as those appointed un­der the Gospel?

But Thirdly, What is all this to the purpose? doth this at all weaken the consequence? If Moses, as Christs ser­vant, did appoint Circumcision, and Christ hath taken downe that, and set up another Ordinance of the same end, use, and spirituall signification in the steed of it, doth this hinder the conse­quence aforesaid? yea, doth it not above measure establish it? — O most strong conquering answers?

But as to the Second consequence: did ever any body (except such a Disputer as the P. G. Routed is) argue as he suggest­eth in the next place, viz. Apostles bapti­zed Housholds, there might be children, therefore children may be baptized.

Did ever any of our Patrons of Paedo-Baptisme, reason so?

'Tis true some argue thus, The A­postles baptized whole housholds, therefore 'tis probable there might be some children baptized then, see­ing there are few families in which are not some children. None argue from [Page 35]hence but for the probability of the fact, that tis probable some were baptized, and is not such an inference tolerable?

Whereas he sayes, We must beleeve there were no children in those families, or if any there, yet not Baptized, because contrary to the knowne practise of the Apostles.

This is the simplest begging of the que­stion that ever I met withall; For that is the thing in controversie; to say there were no children baptized in those fami­lies. because twas contrary to the pra­ctise of the Apostles to baptise Children, is idem per idem, a proving a thing by it selfe. Good Logick for—

But if this will not passe (with the ordinary allowance of boldnesse and confidence) you shall be accounted An­tichristian, and willfully blind for it, be sure.

3. Did ever any body argue, children were brought to Christ, therefore they may be baptised? I beleeve he hopes some will adventure to credit him, how false­ly soever he speak or write. Surely this man would make you beleeve there are but very slender Arguments to prove Infant-baptisme.

But I'le tell you some of the conse­quents that we draw from Scripture: [Page 36]they are such as these.

Those that are Church-members an to be baptised.Arg. 1.

Some Infants are Church-members therefore some infants are to be baptised Againe.

Those that belong to the Kingdom of God are to be baptised.Arg. 2.

But some Infants belong to the King­dome of God.

Therefore some Infants are to be bap­tised. Againe.

Such as are [ [...]] holy by separa­tion to God,Arg. 3. are to be baptised.

But some Infants are so. Therefore, &c.

Here are some of our consequences t [...] prove Infant-baptisme, that will make the ablest Anabaptists heart in England, ak [...] to with stand. You have these, and many such like Arguments enlarged upon, and cleared from all cavils, by severall abl [...] men that have writ on this subject: but especially by Mr. Baxter, in his book o [...] Infants Church-member ship; who, to my judgement, ha's done best of any on this controversie.

I confesse there ha's been so much spo­ken (and that so clearly and convin­cingly) by others, that for me to say any thing more, will be but to light a [Page 37]candle to the Sun. However I shall rea­son a little with you about the first ar­gument, driving home that nail to the head, that he that can not read, or get larger Treatises, may have a sufficient hint in this short Tract, to enable him to stop the mouthes of such, as shall with­stand the truth here in dispute. And here­in I shall tread in the steps of acute and judicious Mr Baxter for the most part.

  • 1. That all Church-members are to be baptised, that I presume none will deny, and therefore I shall take it for granted.
  • 2. That some Infants are to be admit­ted Church-members, I prove by Mr Bax­ters Argument, thus.

If by the mercifull gift, and appoint­ment of God, not yet repealed, some In­fants were once to be admitted members of the visible Church, then some Infants are to be so admitted still.

But by the mercifull gift and appoint­ment of God, not yet repealed, some In­fants were once to be admitted members of the visible Church.

Therefore, They are so to be admitted still.

Examine this well. 1. That some in­fants, by Gods gift and appointment, were [Page 38]once admitted Church-members, I hope will be granted: they were members of the Church of the Jewes, that is beyond all dispute. 2. God never repealed the grant of this priviledge to infants. If he ha's done it, let me know where. Can you think that a whole species, or kind of persons should be cast out of the Church, and Scripture be silent about it? if the gift and grant of this priviledge be not repealed, then it remaines to infants still.

But I shall prove the Negative thus.

If God hath revoked this mercifull grant and gift of Infants Church mem­bership, then it is either in mercy for their good, or in judgement for their hurt. But he hath neither revoked it in mercy for their good, nor in judgement for their hurt. This I shall prove in both parts.

1. He hath not revoked it in judgement for their hurt: Because many of them never broke Covenant with him, either in their owne persons (being in their infancy uncapable of actuall sinning) or in their Parents (by vertue of relation to whom, they had a standing in the Church) many thousands of whom were [Page 39]beleevers in the Apostles times: Now God doth not cast away them, that doe not cast away him, for if he should, then he himselfe would be the Covenant-breaker, not man, which would be blas­phemous to conceive. Therefore he ha's not revoked this gift of Church-member-ship as to infants, in judgement for their hurt.

2. He hath not done it in mercy for their good; for then he would have granted to them some other mercy in­stead of it: for it can be no mercy to take away a mercy (as Church-member-ship is) unlesse to give a greater in the room. But there is no greater mercy gi­ven to infants in stead of Church-member ship. If there be, then pray shew what it is.

If any should be so weak as to say,Object. That Christ comming in the flesh is a greater mercy given in the roome of Church-member-ship. I answer.

  • 1. What a fond thing is it to conceive,
    Answ. 1
    that Christ should succeed Church-mem­ber ship, as a thing that was to be ended in him to any?
  • 2. I would faine know, how infants (while infants) have Christ now, more [Page 40]then infants had him then, when they were admitted Church-members.
  • 3. The Church is the body of Christ, and is it not absurd to say, that Christ should break off infants from his body, that he comming in the flesh may be a greater mercy to them? what is that but to be a greater mercy then himselfe?

There is then no greater mercy given to infants in stead of Church-member-ship: therefore it is not taken away in mercy neither, and so by consequence, not taken away at all.

Which way will you shift from this Argument?Object. If you say the Church-con­stitution (whereof infants were mem­bers) is taken downe, and dissolved, and a new set up, whereof infants are no members.

I answer.Answer. 1. 1. Many, yea most of the Jewes were broken off from the Church of God for their unbeliefe. So that ('tis true) that individuall Church may be said to be dissolved, even as also the Church of Smyrna, Thyatira, Laodicea, and the rest of the Churches of Asia (for the most part) are also dissolved, and taken downe: but that the essence, and nature of the Church is altered, so as that theirs was not the same Church of God, that [Page 41]ours is now, is most contrary to plaine Scripture. As Rom. 11.17. where wee read, that all the change that was made, was, the breaking off of some branches of the Jewes, and the grafting in of some of the Gentiles into the same Olive. i. e. the same visible Church. Againe, the bring­ing in of the Gentiles is exprest by a breaking downe of the partition wall, so making them one Church, by letting in the Gentiles into the same Church that the Jewes were of before. And when, in a Vision, Peter was taught the doctrine of the Gentiles reception into the Church Acts 10. we finde 'twas not to be, by ma­king the Jewes uncleane, but by cleansing the Gentiles to become clean as the Jewes were: so that it is plain, this is the same Church, standing upon the same foun­dation of the Covenant, that that did; and therefore some infants are still inve­sted with the priviledge of being members by the first grant: and if Church-mem­bers, then to be baptized.

2. That all infants were not cast out of the Church under the Gospel, is clear from Rom. 11.20. where 'tis said, that such branches as were broken off, were broken off for their unbeliefe. But the unbeliefe of some that did not beleeve, could not cast [Page 42]out of the Church the children of the be­leeving Jewes, therefore they remained still in the Church. How plaine is this? I have driven this nail to the head, and let him shake this truth that can: I dare venture to let loose this single Argument to all the Anabaptists in the world, and they will have somewhat to doe to an­swer it. The other two Arguments (with many more that might be brought) prove infants Church members, and therefore to be baptized: for if infants be Holy (as in the 1 Cor. 7.14.) if of the Kingdom of God (as in Mark 10.14.) then to be admitted Church-members, and so to be baptized. There is not one cavil to be made against these, but what is fully an­swered by Mr Baxter, in his book of Infants Church-member-ship, and therefore I shall say nothing to them here, having brought one Argument to an head, and one Ar­gument is enough to prove one truth, if there were no more.

But here you see how false it is that he sayes, that our consequences to prove infant-baptisme, are no better then such as he suggesteth. All things are not true that such men dare speak, yea and print too. He that hath the impudence to print manifest falsehoods, touching matters of [Page 43]fact, upon hope of being beleeved by some that will not be at the pains to seek out the truth, will (you may suspect) speak and write many more falsehoods, in, and about, matters of faith. But I will away to his fourth Errour.

His Fourth Error.
That God now reveals his will not onely by the written word, but by Dreams and Visions, more credited then the word.

THis he dares not so confidently to affirme, as he doth the former. I be­leeve the prison (where I have heard he lately was in London, for his Heresies) hath done him a little good, in making him to speak warily sometimes in weighty matters, though he thinks he may raile against honest men impunè; yet no lesse then this doth he assert, page 7. in these words.The P. G. Routed.

If some doe hold this principle, Is it strange and ridiculous unto you? Hath not God formerly revealed truth to his people by Dreames and Revelations? And dare you deny it now? Is God limited? Answer.

Here you see he affirmes that it should [Page 44]not be accounted a strange thing to hold the above mentioned Principle, and he gives his reason for it: God did once so reveale himselfe, and he is not limited.

Now because this is a Doctrine that such unsteady spirits do labour to instill into the minds of the simple (though this man having to doe with an able Adver­sary, dares not to speak out here as he would) I shall give you some account of the unsoundnesse of the same, first answe­ring to what he urges, and then giving my reasons for the negative.

Is God limited? (sayes he) I answer, no, God is not limited, except by his owne will. But alas! the question is not whe­ther God can doe it, but whether he will or no. If God hath declared his purpose to make use of such wayes of revealing truth now, then we may expect it; else not upon any mans telling you, God can doe it. God can make another Sun in the Firmament, to help enlighten the World, when there is one sufficient al­ready: he can maintaine our lives to us without food: but no body (I think) ha's any reason to expect he will do so, when food is to be had. So that this in­timation of his, savours of as much ig­norance, and is as impertinent as his [Page 45]former answers. But to the Question.

Whether we may expect God should,Quest. or very much beleeve that he does, re­veale himselfe now immediately to any by way of Dreames and Visions, or the like?Answer. 1.

I answer. 1. We have no ground in the world, to look for any such thing; there being no promise or word to that pur­pose. 2. Sound Scripture Arguments will demonstrate, that it is not to be lookt for by any, nor owned by us in a­ny, especially where the Scriptures are extant. And mine Arguments to prove this shall be drawne from the perfection of Scripture, and from those Texts that witnesse to the same.

Arg. 1.Arg. 1. If a sufficiency of Divine light and truth be given out in the Scriptures, then there is no need of Dreams and Vi­sions now, for the revealing of truth un­to the Saints; and by consequence such things are not to be expected where the Scriptures are; for God doth not make use of things needlesse and unnecessary.

But that a sufficiency of Divine light and truth is given out in the Scriptures, is most cleare to one that denies not, (as the Papists doe) the perfection of Scripture.

Therefore it follows, that there is no [Page 46]need of Dreames and Visions, and the like, &c.

That there is a sufficiency in the Scrip­ture, will appeare more plaine in the following Arguments.

Arg. 2.Arg. 2. That which hath enough in it to make Saints perfect, is fully com­pleat and sufficient, &c.

But the Scripture hath so. See 2 Tim. 3.15, 16, 17. where 'tis affirmed in so many words.

Therefore the Scripture is compleat and sufficient, without any additionall supply from Dreames and Extraordinary, immediate revelations.

Except there be a step above perfecti­on, sure the light of Scripture is suffici­ent. But I know not where these men would carry you: They dream (and would make you dream too) of strange attainments beyond the Moone: But I hope my Reader will judge it enough to be made perfect; and perfection you see may be attained by Scripture light.

Arg. 3.Arg. 3. If it be sinfull and evill to be wise above what is written, then may not a­ny expect, or give heed to extraordinary Revelations by Visions, &c. and be wise by them, beside the written word.

But it is sinfull and evill to be wise a­bove [Page 47]what is written. See it in expresse termes, 1 Cor. 4.6.

Therefore may not any expect, or give heed to extraordinary revelations, &c.

'Tis we are the fools, and 'tis we are the weak and low persons that confine our selves to what is written, and dare not goe an hairs-breadth beyond it: but they are the wise, and spirituall, and ele­vated Doctours, that converse with God immediately, and receive truth beyond the line of Scripture, as they phansy: But this satisfies my spirit, that 'tis Pauls judgement (and not Pauls, but the Spi­rit of God by him) that such wisdome is wickednesse.

You may perhaps object.Object. Scripture-light is perfect, so far, as it discovers the mind of God; but that does not hinder but that God may reveale truth to some, even beyond what is held forth in Scrip­ture.

I answer. 1. Scripture,Answer. 1. as hath been shewed, is absolutely compleat in it selfe, and as to Saints too; it having enough to make them compleat and perfect, and therefore there is no need of another way to reveale more truth then what is in the Scripture. 2. As Moses and the Prophets were faithfull in their places: So was [Page 48]Christ, Heb. 3.2. faithfull to him that ap­pointed him, viz. to be the great Prophet and Teacher of his people. Now where­in lies his faithfullnesse? why, even in laying downe a sufficient rule and light for the Saints to be guided by; the which he did by his Apostles in the Scripture. These men doe not consider how much they take from the honour of Christ, while they dreame of additionall revela­tions, beside the light of Scripture. I am afraid they are too ambitious of sharing with Christ in the honour of giving laws unto men: And so they may be honou­red with the opinion of being entrusted with the discovery of things not revealed in Scripture, they care not though Christ suffer as unfaithfull, in not discovering all that is needfull. Away with such a­bominable pride.

Object. 2.Object. 2. Though Christ were faith­full by himselfe and Apostles to declare the whole mind of God: yet many of those things that were done and spoken by them are not written.

I answer,Answer. All that was done and spo­ken by Christ and his Apostles, for the substance is contained in the Scriptures, that are left by God unto his Church: which I prove.

[Page 49] 1.Reas. 1. From those Texts that speak to that purpose. As Luke 1. begin. and Acts 1. begin. and also 1 John 1. begin. where John (who writ last of all the Apostles.) sayes (speaking in his owne name, and in the name of the rest of the pen-men of Scripture) That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you; that is, all that which we have seen and heard for sub­stance; for that indefinite Proposition is equivalent to an universall.

2. Neither could Jesus Christ other­wise have been faithfull, for his faithfull­nesse lies not in affording sufficient light unto that age of the Church in which he lived on earth, but in providing a perfect standing Rule for all the Saints unto the end of the world: he is called faithfull, not onely in respect of Saints living in the dayes of his flesh, but in respect of all, in all ages of the world. So that up­on this account it is clear, that as he did in the dayes of his flesh declare sufficient­ly the will of the Father unto the world by himselfe, and his extraordinary Mi­nisters; and confirmed his doctrine to be of God, by wonderfull works and mi­racles: so he did leave the substance, [...], the summe or briefe of this Doctrine (and so much of the works as [Page 50]is requisite to the confirmation of the same) upon record in Scripture for af­ter-ages.

Object. 3.Object. You may say, although Scrip­ture be perfect, and we grant that all truth is wrapt up in it: yet many things lying darkly there, it may please God to come in to some in an extraordinary way, by Visions, &c. to reveale the truth.

I answer.Answ. 1. 1. It may please God, but what reason ha's any man to beleeve or expect that God should do so now, when he hath sufficiently revealed all truth in Scripture already?

2. There is nothing in Scripture ne­cessary to be knowne by Christians, that lies so dark there, but that it may be dis­covered by those ordinary helps that God affords to his people, without any such extraordinary wayes. God ha's gi­ven out his spirit unto his people, to heal the blindnesse of their minds, and malig­nity of their hearts, which is the chiefe ground of the obscurity of Scripture to us (for Scripture is not dark in it selfe, but by the reason of the darknesse of mans heart, that receives not the truth thereof) And he ha's also given the ordinary help of Humane Learning (as knowledge of [Page 51]the Tongues, Antiquity, &c.) unto men in office, for the unfolding of the darker places of Scripture. Now by these ordi­nary helps, those things that are not so cleare in Scripture, may be brought to light, though there be no such extraor­dinary means as these men dream of.

But in the next place, there is this fur­ther to be said against any such extraor­dinary way of revealing truth now.

If God doth in such an extraordinary way reveale truth to any now, either the end thereof is private, and particu­lar, respecting those onely to whom such a discovery is made: Or else the end is more publick and generall, respecting others to whom such (as have this ex­traordinary discovery of truth) are to deliver over the same from God.

But I shall shew you, God doth so reveale himselfe in neither of these re­spects, and therefore not at all.

1. God doth not (in such an extra­ordinary way) reveale truth to any, with respect to their private, and parti­cular edification. This appears, 1. In that he hath ordained the Scriptures for this end, 2 Tim. 3.15, 16, 17. He hath ordai­ned preaching for this end, Col. 1.28. He hath appointed Ministers in office for [Page 52]this end, Ephes. 4.11.12. In all which Scriptures you find exprest, the meanes which God hath appointed for the edi­fying and perfecting of the Saints: so that we cannot suppose (where any o [...] these means are, viz. Scriptures, Preaching faithfull Ministers) that God should edi­fie his people by giving in Truth to them by Visions, or such like extraordinary wayes.

And secondly, I would faine know whether ever Scripture doth say, that God hath appointed extraordinary revela­tions by Vision, or the like, for the pri­vate good and edification of any Belee­ver (as it sayes of the meanes before men­tioned) and whether the end of such ex­traordinary manifestations of truth hath not been ever chiefly the good and infor­mation of others, to whom, such as have had the revelation, were to Preach it.

Thirdly, I would know whether that in Rom. 10.14. [How shall they beleeve i [...] him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they heare without a Preacher?] Doth not confine the Production and increase of faith, unto the meanes before mentio­ned? And if it be so, then questionlesse God does not give extraordinary revelati­ons, with respect unto the edification o [...] such particular persons as have the said [Page 53] Revelations given in to them, for we find he hath appointed certaine ordinary means to work by; the which he hath a purpose (as far as we can find in his revealed will) to confine himselfe unto.

2. I prove also that God doth not, in such an extraordinary way, reveale him­selfe to any now with respect to others whom such (as have truth thus revealed) may informe of the Truth: and that upon this reason; Because my Revelati­on or Vision, is not sufficient to make out truth to another; unlesse I have miracles to prove Gods speaking in and by me: But none now work miracles, therefore extraordinary revelations now, would be in­sufficient, and by consequence are not or­dained of God: for God doth not or­daine or appoint such means as are insuf­ficient as to their end.

That my Revelation or Vision, is not sufficient to make out truth unto ano­ther, without miracles going with the same, is evident, in that, without miracles I cannot give to any man a demonstrati­on that the Vision or Revelation (that I pretend to have) is of God, and if it be doubtfull, whether my Revelation be of God, 'twill be doubtfull too whither that which is pretended to be revealed, [Page 54]be Truth. So that you see I have suffici­ently proved, that God does not now reveale himselfe to any by visions, or ex­traordinary revelations, either in the first or second respect, and therefore not at all.

It remaines then, that you must take this for one of Colliers Dreames, viz. That God does now reveale truth to his people, by Dreams or Visions, and not by the Scriptures only, where they are enjoyed. Wherfore Chri­stians, be very wary of such intimations, that God may sometime in such a way reveale himselfe unto his people, &c. They are but the Devils baits to fetch off your hearts by little and little from that sure foundation that is laid for you by Christ himselfe, in the revealed word and will of God: which if you once forsake, and give heed to the giddy Principles of these men, you will soone make ship­wrack of faith, and be wrapt up in con­fusion and darknesse.

Neither be you troubled, if they assault you with those Scriptures which speak to this purpose. They shall be all taught of God. The Annointing shall teach you. The day-star shall arise in your hearts. The Spirit shall lead you into all Truth, &c. For such expressions doe onely signifie that sweet [Page 55]and heavenly way in which the Lord do's enlighten the minds of his people, by (not without) the ordinary means be­fore exprest.

It is said, that in God we live, move, and have our being, in respect of our naturall life; and yet we doe not so much as once think of living without food, sleep, &c. the outward supports of life: even so, though it be said, God teaches, and the spirit teaches, yet let us not dream that this is immediately, and without the use of meanes. I would fain know of those that wait so much for immediate teaching, whether ever they got so high, as to live without the use of the outward meanes of relieving and supporting nature, upon a reliance on this truth, that God is the author and preserver of naturall life, and that they live in him: if not, I shall give little credit to them, while they talk of living spiritually in the enjoyment, and further manifestation of Truth, without the use of the outward meanes, appointed by God for that end. As God is the au­thour of spirituall life, so is he of natu­rall life also. If thou be one that canst live naturally without food, I will not much blame thee if thou say, thou canst live spiritually, and thrive in further [Page 56]discoveries of truth, without the help of any of the meanes before exprest. But I shall say no more to this Question, having said enough (I think) to prove, that it is a grosse Errour, to say, that God now reveals his will, not onely by the written word, but by Dreams and Visions, which are to be credited equally to, or more then the word. I descend unto his next Errour.

His Fifth Errour.
That the Saints need not aske the pardon of sinne, and that it is forme and custome that carries them to this Petition, FORGIVE ƲS OƲR SINS.

THis horrible, heterodox, unchristian, unsanctified Principle, he vents in his plea for the fourth Errour charged upon the Anabaptists. In these words,

While the soule lives in the enjoyment of mer­cy, The P.G. Routed. and love, it's then forme or custome that carrieth him to that Petition: but when a soul apprehends the want of pardon, let him aske it.

See how he labours to deceive you,Answer. [Page 57]and to give you out his poyson in su­gar'd words. If any one apprehends the want of pardon, let him aske it, but immediately before he sayes, a Christian while he is in a good temper, while he lives in the enjoy­ment of mercy and love (as his words are) cannot put up that Petition, except for­mally and customarily. Is not this brave Divinity?

He layes down nothing to prove what he sayes, he hopes the novelty of his Do­ctrine, and its compliance with the spi­rituall pride of mans heart, will make it passe upon his owne word onely; but let us weigh somewhat of that which may be said against this licentious Prin­ciple.

  • 1. Did not Christ teach and command his Disciples to pray, Forgive us our sins, Mat. 6.12?
  • 2. Did not they live in the enjoyment of mercy and love, when this command was given them? Were they not such then as could call God Father? And I hope such may goe for men living in the enjoy­ment of mercy and love, as by the spirit of Adoption can come unto God as a Fa­ther, and owne him in so neer a relation. Now it is plaine, touching the Disciples, that then, when they had a discovery of [Page 58]the nearest and sweetest relation unto God, and could come to him, saying, Our Father. I say, even then were they bid to pray, Forgive us our sins.
  • 3. Though I should grant that the A­postles had not such a full enjoyment of mercy and love, as this man pretends to (for observe it, nothing will satisfie this kind of men, unlesse they may be thought (in some thing or other) to be more excellent then Apostles themselves, and such extraordinary instruments as Christ entrusted in laying the foundation of the Gospel-Church.) I say, though I should be so far indulgent to their pride and ar­rogance, as to grant this: yet would Christ teach any of his people to pray for such a thing, as no Christian living in the enjoyment of mercy and love (which e­very true Christian ought to doe) can pray for, but either out of forme or cu­stome? that were strange.

If such as live in the enjoyment of mercy and love (i. e. such as have a discovery o [...] Gods mercy and love to their souls) may not pray, For give us our sins, then see how necessarily some, or all of these absurdi­ties will follow from Matth. 6.

  • 1. Either Christs command there [...] not to be obeyed, which (as far [...] [Page 59]judge) is his opinion. Or,
  • 2. The Disciples had not the disco­very of Gods mercy, and love to their souls: and if so, then,
  • 3. A man may be able to owne, and come to God as a Father (as they did) and yet not know Gods mercy and love to his soul; which is a contradiction.
  • 4. 'Twill follow, that Christ teaches and commands his Saints to doe such things, as (if they be rightly informed) cannot be done, but formally and out of custome: and are not these grosse absur­dities, such as a pious Christian cannot beare?

But Beleevers are justified from sin,Object. and so may not pray for the pardoning of sin, because it is already done in their Justification.

If this be good arguing,Answ. 1 how can we justifie Christs command bidding his Dis­ciples to pray for forgivenesse of sin? Were not they justified persons? I hope none will deny it. But to clear this.

2. We must distinguish of two acts of Grace in the justifying of sinners, Viz. To justifie a sinner from all his sins that he stands actually guilty of; and then a continuation of justification from sin, as it is afterward daily committed. For it [Page 60]is one thing to pardon, another thing to continue to pardon: now this latter, Christians (living in the enjoyment of mer­cy and love) may, and must pray for.

1.Reas. 1. Because all the sure mercies of the Covenant, are to be received in a way of prayer. See Ezek. 36.37. where observe, that notwithstanding the Lord declares his purpose to take away their iniquities, vers. 33. and to give out to them other mercies of the Covenant, yet he laies in this caution, vers. 37. Notwithstanding I will be sought unto, or enquired of to doe this for them. He will have pardon sued out by Prayer, in order to the particular ap­plication of it, in respect of particular fins daily committed.

2.Reas. 2. Christ he continually intercedes and prayes for Beleevers in Heaven, and that for this particular favour, viz. Par­don of sin. See 1 John 2.1, 2. My little chil­dren, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, &c. Mark it, if Saints sin, they have Christ for an Advocate, now wherefore should he Advocate or plead for them, upon their sinning, if not for pardon? Now doth Christ plead for the pardon of beleevers, and may not they for their own pardon? [Page 61]is not Christs intercession in Heaven, a good rule for our Prayers on Earth? You have another place to this purpose, Heb. 7.25. From which Scripture I doe demand why Christ is said to be able to save to the utmost, in that he ever intercedes, unlesse it be because by his intercession he obtaines a continuation of pardon, and an application of it in respect of particu­lar sins dayly committed. And shall any one think that there is need Christ should pray in Heaven for pardon of sin, and no need beleevers should on Earth? Ah! 'Tis a brave Religion you shall learne of these Doctors, if you have a minde to credit them. But it matters not what it be so it be new, and contrary to the teaching of the faithfull Ministers of Christ, whom this Pamphleter labours to vilifie.

I could bring you forth the examples of many of the most eminentand pretious Saints in Scripture, that have sought pardon of sin, yea and that with bleeding, broken hearts, were it not that hee'l be ready to say, these men lived not in the enjoyment of mercy and love, as now we do. But I shall rather think in very deed, that he lives yet in the bosome of Hell, and wrath, then question their living in the [Page 62]enjoyment of mercy and love, who in Scripture are brought in suing for par­don of sin, such as were Moses, David, and the Prophets, &c.

Some other absurdities are scattered throughout page 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. in his defence of the Anabaptists.

  • As 1. Where he affirmes, that the Apo­stle condemnes-going to law as a sin, 1 Cor. 6.2. when as the words make it plaine, that he condemnes onely their going to Law, before the unjust and infidels.
  • 2. Where he blames his Adversary as contradicting himselfe, in saying, Ana­baptists hold that wars are uselesse, and again afterward, that they are tumultuous, &c. when as the contradiction is in their Principles, who can Preach downe the lawfulnesse of going to war at one time, and yet move wars and tumuls to ad­vance their designe, at another time. I wish those that are in Authority would look well to them, I hope they doe.
  • 3. Where he urges a generall tolera­tion, because Magistrates by their Civill Power cannot Convert; as if there were no use of the Magistrates Power in re­straining mens impiety, and compel­ling them to conformity in submitting to converting Ordinances, unlesse they [Page 63]could also change the heart.
  • 4. Where he denies the distinction of three persons in the God-head, because the word Person is not used in Scrip­ture: Though John sayes, There are Three, the Father, the Word, and the Spi­rit, and these three are one; Of which words there can be no sence, unlesse they be Three Persons (as the Church of Christ understands the word Person) for if they be Three, what three? if not Per­sons.

These, and many such like absurdi­ties, with his railings intermixt, I shall passe over, not doubting but the Rea­der will rank them among the rest of his Errours, which I have, and shall suffi­ciently confute.

The next Errour is the maine and principall scope of his Booke: and 'tis as followes.

His Sixth Error.
That Gifted Brethren may exercise the Ministeriall or Pastorall act of Preach­ing in a constituted Church, without a Call to the Office of a Minister.

THis Position comes nearest to what I can possibly gather (by reading o­ver his Discourse) to be his meaning in what he writes in Answer to a Treatise Intituled, The Pulpit Guarded, &c. Though I confesse, in laying downe this he speaks most notable contradictions, as I shall shew you by and by; so that a man can hardly know what he would have in so­ber sadnesse.

And here (Reader) know.

  • 1. That my purpose is not to handle the twenty Arguments that he pretends to Answer, and to make a particular re­ply; for so I should weary thee out too much with the discovery of his igno­rance and absurdnesse, which I can suffi­ciently rip open, going a shorter way to work.
  • 2. This lies upon Mr Hall his Anta­gonist, who is able I doubt not to de­fend [Page 65]his owne Arguments if he lift.
  • 3. It may be all Mr Halls Arguments in this controversie may not be my Ar­guments. But this I'le say, for my part I finde nothing said against any of Mr Hals Arguments, that can be taken for a con­futation by any that can see where the strength of an Argument doth lye: so that it is like he may never reply, appre­hending his Arguments untouched, though supposed by the Collier to be Routed.

But though I will not (upon this ac­count) make a particular reply (which would be too tedious) yet I shall give thee some few observations upon the whole in generall: which will help thee to see (if thou hast but halfe an eye) the invalidity and weaknesse of every parti­cular: and then annex my additionall Reasons against him.

Verily, if the man had ever had the o­pinion of being judicious, able, and solid, an understanding Reader would think him here to be out of his wits. That you may see this as well as I, I shall lay down some Observations, which may serve you instead of a key to let you in to every particular answer of his, to see the weak­nesse, ignorance, and impertinency of the same.

[Page 66] Obser. 1.Obser. 1. You may take notice, that he does most pittifully say, I Sir, No Sir (and that in divers particulars) in his Discourse, upon the Question now in debate. I shall give you a tast in the instances following.

  • 1. One where he tells you, that Chri­stians may Preach as gifted Brethren, without any other call but their gifts; yet they may not intrude into the office of a Minister. To usurp the Ministeriall Of­fice, sayes he, is sinne, page 17. and yet he sayes, page 29. There is no one thing that belongs to a Pastour, or Minister, but a gifted Brother may doe it.
  • 2. He sayes (as before) 'Tis sinfull to usurp the ministeriall office: And yet he saye, page 45. That the duty or work of a Minister is not so distinct, but that another may per­forme it.
  • 3. In page 45. He sayes, A Pastour or Minister in Office, is in a distinct manner to attend upon the duties of teaching, &c. so as gifted Brethren are not to doe; but how? Not altogether, for in the same page he sayes, Yet not so but that they may use another Calling; and if so, 'tis but sometimes onely that they can attend upon teach­ing, and other ministeriall duties. And you shall hear him say, page 29. That [Page 67]gifted Brethren may, and must doe these du­ties, as often as time, opportunity, and liberty calls for it: That is, as often as they are able, and have a mind to it: O brave Au­tomachie!
  • 4. Sometimes he sayes expresly, The Saints are all Prophets, as page 60. where he not onely sayes it, but proves it, after his manner of proving, by this Argu­ment. Every spirituall man is a Prophet, the Saints are all spirituall men, therefore all Prophets. And yet againe (when he is driven to it by a plaine Scripture, 1 Cor. 12.29.) he sayes, All are not Prophets, as in page 21.
  • 5 He sayes, All have not the gift to speak to the edifying of the Church, so page 21. and yet page 83. he sayes, He should looke upon that member as uselesse, that hath not some gift or other for good in the Church.
  • 6. He sayes, Gifted Brethren ought to Preach, it is their Duty to Preach; and that in such a Publique and authorita­tive way, as Ministers are by their office, to doe (for he admits not of any distin­ction betweene private and publique Preaching) and yet he sayes, page 84. By office such are not Preachers. A fine di­stinction! a Preacher by duty, but not by office.
  • [Page 68] 7. He demands in great fury, page 87. where ever we read Prophets called Pa­stours, or Pastours and Teachers called Prophets; and sayes, 'tis Logick learnt from the Devil, to speak so: and yet e­ver and anon in his discourse, he sayes. Prophets are Teachers, and proves that gifted Brethren are Teachers, because Prophets.

Sure, the man is in good hope, that the most of his Readers will be men of bad memories, or judgements, or both; that when they are reading one page, will for­get what he says in another: or he would not venture thus to contradict himselfe. But he holds a Wolfe by the ears (as the Proverbe is) and pitifully puzled you may see he is. One part or other of the contradiction he knows is true, but which he cannot tell; and therefore he will be sure to speak both, that he may be somtimes found in the truth. Surely either this man hath but a bad cause to plead, or else the cause hath falne upon a bad Ad­vocate in him to plead for it, notwith­standing he talks of gifts so much. He need not have another to answer him, while he is so good at confuting himself. Much of my designe is to help the weaker sort to see this, that is very open to such as are intelligent.

[Page 69] Obser. 2. You may observe further,Obser. 2. that he never distinguisheth of Preaching, nor doth he define what Preaching is, that yee might understand what he meanes, when he pleads for the lawfulnesse of gifted Brethrens Preaching. But his de­signe is to cheat you if he can, with am­biguous termes, never adding any expla­nation to them.

All the distinction that he makes of Teachers, is onely this; Teachers by Of­fice, and Teachers by gift, without Office. As good as if he had said, Teachers that are so indeed, and Teachers that are not so, but onely esteem themselves so; or at best might be so, if the power of the Church did call them into the office. As if one should say, a Magistrate by gift, and a Magistrate by office. He confiders not, that, as the gift disposeth a man to the office, so only the office disposeth him unto the execution of the gift. A man gifted for a Magistrate, is no Magistrate, nor may execute the work of a Magistrate, till called to the office; even so a man gifted to be a Teacher, is no Teacher, nor may execute the work of a Teacher, till he be called to that office: except in the cases signified in stating the controversie.

All the definition he gives of Preach­ing [Page 70](that you may know what it is) is page 59. where he sayes, Preaching is but a speech, or speaking of words: and if so (for all his pretended gifts) a Parrat may preach as well as he. But 'tis well he sayeth, Preaching is a speaking of words; for many of those that undertake publique Preaching without any mission, speake words ('tis true) but many times no sence: let their judicious hearers (if there be any) be judges.

But he meanes (I suppose) speaking words unto spirituall edification, and if this be all the Preaching he pleads for, to be allowed to gifted Brethren, why doth he contend? when as brotherly admo­nition, exhortation, instruction, reproof, &c. are granted by his Adversary, not to gifted Brethren onely, but to all Chri­stians in their proper sphere, and keeping within their line. I say this is granted to all Christians (even to women also) who yet I hope may not be Preachers.

I think no honest heart (even among them that oppose his opinion) doth de­sire to abridge Christians liberty in speak­ing to the edification one of another, in such a way, nay rather we stir them up, and provoke them (to the use of their liberty, do I say, nay) to the practise of [Page 71]their duty herein. But can any one be so blind as not to see a vast difference be­tween the publique, pastorall duties of a Mi­nister (which he is obliged to by his of­fice, called in the Scripture, feeding the flock of Christ, &c.) And those Christian duties that lye upon all Beleevers, enjoy­ned in such language as this, Thou shalt not suffer thy brother to sin, but shalt reprove him and tell him his fault, Lev. 19.17. Com­fort ane another with these words, 1 Thess. 4.18. And againe, They shall speake of thy Kingdome, and talke of thy power, Psal. 145.11. And 2 Cor. 1.4. That we may be able to comfort them which are in trouble, by the comfort wherewith we our selves are comfor­ted of God. (Places which among others he urges for publique Preaching of men not in office.) I say is any man so blind as not to see a difference betweene these? Is it not plaine that though they may a­gree in matter, yet doe differ in forme, Forma dat nomen, & esse. which is that which gives name and be­ing to things.

But this he would not have you take notice of, if you doe, a great part of his Book is answered without much a doe. Wherefore he denies any difference be­tween publique and private Preaching. He sayes, This distinction came from Rome, The P.G. Routed. and [Page 72]ha's no footing in Scripture, if in private, why not in publike? if we may preach to one or two in private, why not to a thousand in publike? page 88. 91.Answer. Much of the controversie depends on the clearing of this, and If I can prove this distinction from Scripture, and shew you that there is a specificall difference betweene publique and private preaching: Preaching taken in a large, and Preaching taken in a strict sence, then you'l say that the heart-strings of many of his answers and arguments are cut, and that nothing is remaining, but con­fident expressions, to give any life to them.

This I shall doe (God willing) by two Arguments, grounded, not on Scrip­ture testimony onely, but also on his owne concessions: Thus,Arg. 1.

If we find in Scripture that all Chri­stians may Preach, take Preaching in a large sence, for the private duties that they owe one to another: and that they may not all Preach, take preaching in a strict sence, for publique pastorall preaching, then there is a specificall difference between these: for otherwise the same thing would be to the same persons lawfull and unlawfull; which is a contradi­ction.

[Page 73] But I prove by Scripture. 1. That all Christians may Preach, take Preaching in a large sence, for brotherly exhortation, admonition, reproof, &c. See 1 Thess. 4.18. Heb. 3.13. Lev. 19.17. Mal. 3.16. 2 Cor. 1.4. with many other places; concerning which Scriptures, you may observe, that they speak not to some Gif­ted Brethren onely, but to all the godly indefinitely. Besides, he himselfe grants this ever and anon in his Discourse. 2. I prove that all Christians may not preach, take Preaching in a strict sence (as be­fore) by the plaine words of the Apostle in 1 Cor. 12.29. Are all Teachers? which Question he himselfe acknowledges, im­ports a deniall, and is as much as All christians are not teachers; and so may not take upon them to teach, that is in a strict proper sence.

So that the inference is most undenia­ble, that there is a specificall difference betweene the one way of Teaching or Preaching, and the other. Unlesse you will beleeve the Scripture speaks contra­dictions (as he does) making, as I said before, the same thing lawfull and un­lawfull to the same persons.

But secondly, I argue thus.Arg. 2.

If it be lawfull for Women to Preach [Page 74] privately, take Preaching in a large sence, and forbidden them to Preach publiquely and in the Church, then there is a speci­ficall difference betweene these, and a good ground in Scripture for the distin­ction of publique and private Preaching.

But Women may Preach privately, take Preaching in the large sence. See 2 Tim. 1.5. compared with 2 Tim. 3.15. Acts 18.26. Prov. 31.1. &c. And 'tis forbid­den them to Preach publiquely, even in the Church. See 1 Cor. 14.34, 35. ☞ 1 Tim. 2.11, 12. Therefore this distinction is grounded on Scripture, and publique and private Preaching doe specifically differ one from the other. And yet hath not this fellow boldnesse enough to puffe away solid Arguments meerly with say­ing, there is no such distinction found in Scripture, and that 'tis fetcht from Rome? Ah alas! if any thing galls them, it comes presently from Rome, 'tis Antichri­stian, you may be affrighted with such bug-bears, without reason if you list.

My christian friends (you whose e­stablishment I aim at in this Discourse, that your fellowship with the Father of Lights may be more constant and sweet) take this Lesson away with you. The best Engine mysticall Antichrist ha's to ad­vance [Page 75]his designe among Christians, is to be all against Antichrist, in appearance. He is sure to have best successe among well meaning people, when he is in the forme and appearance of an Angel of light.

But to returne to mine Adversary (re­turne doe I say? I think I never went from him in speaking of mysticall Anti­christ.)

Hee'l say, the Apostle sayes, 1 Cor. 12.29.Object. All are not Teachers, because all are not gifted: but all that are gifted, are Teachers, and may Preach.

This answers to neither my first,Answ. nor second Argument to prove the distinction of Preaching above mentioned.

It answers not my first; for, 1. All Christians are gifted according to the measure they have received: yea, and he himselfe sayes,Gradus non variant spe­ciem. that every member ha's his gift whereby to be usefull to the Church, page 83. Though some in one degree, some in another. (which is no prejudice to the thing in hand) 2. If he should deny it, as indeed elsewhere he does (for he can speak contradictions) yet the Scriptures before mentioned in proof of the first branch of the second Proposition of my first Argument doe prove the same, viz. That all Christians [Page 76]may and ought to teach by brotherly admonition, advice, reproof, &c. and therefore are gifted (according to their measure) thereunto. And if so, then Paul does not say, All are not teachers, be­cause all are not gifted, for all are gifted according to their degree, and so are Teachers and Preachers; take Preach­ing for private Preaching, and in the large sence before mentioned. But his meaning must needs be, All are not teach­ers, that is, Ministeriall, Pastorall, publique Teachers. And so it affords us a ground for a distinction of two kinds of Preach­ing, or Teaching, specifically differenced, as we affirme.

2. Much lesse doth it weaken my se­cond Argument. For are Women forbid­den to teach in publique, in the Church, because they are not gifted? 'Tis known many Women are gifted to speak to the edification of others, and may use such gifts as they have in a private way, law­fully (as was proved even now) but not publiquely, and in the Church: which layes a good foundation for the distin­ction, and shewes (though he thinks it so strange, page 91.) That it may be lawfull to teach privately before a few, by brotherly exhortation, advice, &c. and [Page 77] not to teach publiquely before a thousand.

Carry this also along with you as you read his answers (if you think you may wast so much time as to read them) and tell me whether most of them are not turned into meer Scelitons.

Obser. 3.Obser. 3. You shall (moreover) find he seldome takes any notice of the thing that is in Question, or (as a sound hand­ler of controversies) at all distinguisheth controversa, a non controversis, things con­troverted from things not in dispute; but in many of his answers beats the air, and not his Adversary: and therefore no wonder he dreamt of Routing the Pulpit Guard.

1. Whereas the Question (as stated by his Antagonist) is, whether any may Preach in a constituted Church, unlesse they be called unto the office of a Minister. Those Scriptures, or the most of them, that he grounds many of his answers on, speak onely of Preaching to Infidells, and in a Church not constituted. As Acts 8.1.4. Touching the Preaching of the scat­tered Brethren, Acts 9.20. concerning Sauls Preaching, as he pretends, before called to be a Minister: with some other Scriptures, which he quotes over and o­ver againe: 'Tis evident they come not [Page 78]up to the Question in hand, which is, whether such as are not Ministers in of­fice, may Preach in a Church constituted. But more of this when I come to answer to the severall Scriptures he grounds all his Discourse upon.

2. Whereas the Question stated is of Preaching taken in a strinct sence; for Pa­storall, Ministeriall, Publique Preaching, Preaching Authoritatively: he disputed for Preaching in a large sence, as it figni­fies any declaration of truth for the edi­fication of souls, which no body ever de­nied to belong to the duty of (not gif­ted Brethren onely as he speaks, but) all Christians indifferently in their stations and capacities. Yea, and can you be­leeve it? This valiant Router doth seve­rall times take up his heels and run a­way, and in a manner grant all in con­troversie, viz. That no gifted brother may preach as one in office; that 'tis sin to usurp the Ministeriall office: and yet thinks he is conquering all the while.

3. Whereas the Question is, whether men not in office may Preach in the sence before exprest, except in extraordinary cases: all that he proves, is, that such did Preach in extraordinary cases, which is not disputed. And he would faine [Page 79]make men beleeve, that that which may be done in Extraordinary cases, may be done in Ordinary, as page 72. As though rules of order, &c. are not (by Gods ap­pointment) to give place sometimes to more weighty and morally necessary things. I would fain know of him (who I perceive is an Anabaptist) whether he, having gained a Proselyte, if he should fall sick before he were dipt, would not deferre the dipping of him untill he were well? Though the rule be to Baptize streight way upon beleeving. I know these men use to be quick enough with Prose­lites made by them, and will be sure to dip them (if they can) while they are in a good mood; and yet I think they would defer Baptisme upon dangerous sicknesse, an extraordinary case. Besides, pray read Mat. 12.3, 4. Does not Christ there defend David in doing that in an extraordinary case, which the Text sayes, was otherwise unlawfull for him to doe? Yea, you find vers. 7. Christ layes down the generall standing rule by which we are to walk in such cases, saying, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. And yet this man thinks it strange that we should grant it lawfull, that such as are really gifted to teach, should teach publiquely, with­out [Page 80]an externall Call, in times of perse­cution, when there are none in office to be found, and Ordination cannot well be had: and yet say 'tis unlawfull when no such extraordinary reason is. Why, tell him (friendly Reader) when thou meetest with him (for he uses to wan­der abroad) that in such extraordinary cases, God will have mercy and not sacrifice. Those tender bowels of mercy that we owe to poor souls, lying in darknesse, that cannot otherwise be instructed, may command this particular rule of Order to give place then; though when this necessity is over, he must know God will have mercy and sacrifice too. But you may see the depth of this mans judgement in the matters of God.

I must tell you Christians (and I think you'l find it to be a true Rule, and there­fore heed it) One Scripture witnessing that God hath appointed, and fixed some in office for the worke of the Ministry, to attend upon it (a thing that Collier himselfe grants) is of more strength to condemne the unlimited liberty of Preaching that he pleads for, then twenty examples of gifted mens preaching (in those extraordinary times of persecution and scattering of Christians, which the historicall part of Scripture relates) are to defend the same.

[Page 81] Wherefore those Scriptures that speak of gifted Brethrens Preaching, or tel­ling abroad the tidings of Jesus Christ, in those extraordinary unsetled times, (unsetled through the scattering of the Brethren) make nothing to the Questi­on. For the thing disputed, is, whether in ordinary cases, when all things are in a calme, and quiet condition, no great scarcity of able honest men in office; and Ordination to the office may be had, whether then men not in the ministeriall office, may practise publique Preaching without breach of the rule given to the Churches of Christ. This, which is the maine of the Question, he sayes little too, and what he does say, I will anser anon.

4. Whereas the Question is, whether such may preach in the sence before set downe, without office, or relation and respect thereunto: He argues (some­times in his Discourse) that they may preach, in order to the triall of their gifts; or else none can ever be duely ordained, and appointed unto the office, seing pro­bation and tryall of gifts must go before Ordination to the office; a thing never questioned, but knowne to be approved of by those that oppose his corrupt opi­nion [Page 83]notwithstanding, provided it be by consent of Pastour and People, that such Preach as are not actually invested with the office. We all grant, that one really gifted, may Preach, in ordine ad munus, in order to the office, or as Mr Hall speaks, per modum probationis, as Probationers.

And here I shall remove an Objection that possibly might be made against mine owne practise.

I acknowledge I Preacht now and then, for the space of a yeare or two, be­fore I was formally ordained. But,

  • 1. I did so in order to the taking up of the Office of a Minister.
  • 2. I was never against Ordination, and this was knowne, though suspected by some, that were least acquainted with my judgement.
  • 3. 'Twas onely while I wanted op­portunity of Ordination, in times of the war, and when in Banishment from mine owne Countrey, and before settle­ment after my returne.
  • 4. I did not this without the appro­bation of severall able godly Ministers, which was virtually an Ordination; and therefore this makes nothing to the countenancing of their practise, that set upon this work without respect to any of these particulars.

[Page 82] Now then, if you take along with you this third Observation upon his Dis­course, you'l see that for the most part he meddles little with the Question, but strikes at randome at a man of straw, of his owne setting up, meerly beating the air, and therefore nothing but air and vanity in his answers.

Obser. 4. You may take notice also,Obser. 4. that while he pleads for a generall liber­ty of Preaching, even in constituted Churches, he does not informe you how far he would extend this, whither he meane gifted Brethren may Preach in a constituted Church by the consent of the Pastour and people: or whether he mean they may Preach whether they be willing or no: not a word of this, for his designe is to advance a disorderly confused pra­ctise, in generall termes, which he is a­shamed to owne in plain termes, distinct­ly laid downe: if it were not so, he could never have omitted the satisfying of his Reader in this.

If so be one that pretends gifts may Preach in a Church constituted, without the consent of the Pastour, and people; then what liberty or power is left unto the Churches of Christ? let any man judge. If a stranger may come and suspend a [Page 84] Church-officer from the execution of his Ministeriall duties among his peopie, without his consent, and undertake to teach them, without his approbation; where is Church-liberty and Church-power then? How are Ministers Shephe [...]rds, ap­pointed to keepe off Wolves from the Flock, if by the Rules of Christ, any Wolfe may come in under the name of a gifted Brother, and devour the flock, cum privilegio, without controule?

If he intends onely that a gifted bro­ther may teach in a constituted Church, by the free and unanimous consent, and desire of Pastour and people, why doth he contend? This would not be denied, but that if there be one of knowne gifts, sound in the faith, that defires to speak to the edification of the people, if he have the free consent of the Pastour, and Peo­ple, he may: But alas! this will no [...] serve his turne. I suppose the practise h [...] pleads for, is the same with that which he, and his Associates have taken up, o [...] comming tumultuously and forceably in­to Congregations, without consent, ei­ther of Minister or People, to the grea [...] scandall of the Gospel. Let the tumul [...] that have been made by this means in So­merset and Devon (what ever ha's been [Page 85]done in other places) be witnesses, that this is their practice, and therefore tis like tis that which hee here intends: and if so, then pray judge whether this be ac­cording to the Gospel, or consistent with christian liberty: and whether any one of all the Scripturs hee produces in his book, doe give the least countenance to the same; if not, then all he sayes is vain and impertinent.

Obs. 5.Obser. 5. In most of his answers he doth not reply to the Scripture-reason alled­ged against him, but, declining that as a little too hard for him, hee answers by affirming the thing disputed, and in con­troversy, from some few Scriptures which he quotes at least (I think) ten times over. So that hee answers by dis­puting, and takes not off his Adversa­ries Arguments, but gives you in his owne. This I could shew you in severall particulars, but that I had rather make you see how bad his cause is, then how abfurdly he manages it. Now sith he grounds all on a few Scriptures (a­bused by him) if I can demonstrate the impertinency of them to his purpose, and clear them from speaking any thing for his opinion, then you'l say, The Router is Routed. This I shall do in the next place.

Severall Scriptures opened and cleared from giving any countenance to that Babell and confusion pleaded for, by the P. G. Routed.

THe two first Scriptures that I shall speak to, are, Acts 8.4. Acts 9.20. The first speaks of the scattered Brethren, that Preached. The second of Sauls Preaching (as he supposes) before cal­led to be a Minister. These are brought in by him as a running verse in the end of severall answers, as being of great weight to his cause, but how little they make for him, shall, I hope, appear.

Before I speak particularly to them, let me lay you downe these two profita­ble Rules as preparatory.

Reg. 1.Rule 1. In weighty things of God, a Christian must have a certaine, evident rule to warrant his practise, and may not ground it upon likelihood and probabi­lity. Though Scriptures be produced that make the thing somewhat likely, yet if they doe not necessarily conclude the matter in Question, they are not suf­ficient to lead any forth unto the practise of the same.

[Page 87] Reg. 2. Arguments drawne from Te­stimonies,Rule 2. or examples of men in Scrip­ture, are of credit, according to the cre­dit of the persons whose testimonies, or examples they are. So that if the persons from whose testimony or example the Argument is drawne, be fallible, in their testimony, or example; the Argument drawne there-from, must needs be in­firme, and fallible too.

These two things being premised, I shal to the clearing of the two Scriptures, which present us with the example of the scattered brethren, and Saul, their Preach­ing.

If we should suppose that these presi­dents did suit the matter in Question (as they do not) for their Preaching was not in a Church constituted, but to Infi­dels. Yet,

1. They are the examples of men not infallibly guided in what they did. This is most certaine as to the scattered bre­thren: no man I think will say we have very much reason to judge that they were infallibly guided in what they did, and as to Saul, it is as evident too, supposing that which he affirmes, that Saul was a private Christian, and not called forth to be a Minister, if so, then his example is [Page 88]no more infallible then theirs. Now if there be not an infallibility in these ex­amples, they doe not necessarily conclude the Jus or right of the thing done, though they make it likely; which is not suffi­cient for Christians, that (in such weigh­ty matters especially) must walk by a certaine rule; so that, if I should say no more, what is become of these two strong holds that he flies to so often? At most they doe but conclude a likelihood of the lawfullnesse of this practise which he pleads for. It concludes onely a may be, and may any go upon may bees in such weighty matters?

But 2. As for the scattered brethren, it is a great Question whether the Apostles (that were at Jerusalem at the time of the scattering of the Christians there) did not give them Commission to Preach, as Mr Hall sayes,The P. G. Routed. And what ha's The P. G. Routed, to say to this? Why, sayes he, The Scripture doth not speake of any such thing. Answer. Very good, neither doth Scrip­ture speak the contrary, and what fol­lows then, but that it is doubtfull whe­ther they were sent by the Apostles, or no: and if so, then still doubtfull (not­withstanding that example) whether a­ny man else may preach without an ex­ternall call.

[Page 89] Besides 3. was their preaching in a constituted Church, and not among the unbelieving Jewes rather? as Acts 11.19.

4. Was it not in an extraordinary season? which as ha's been proved before, quite alters the case. This Scripture then you see proves nothing certaine and to the purpose.

As for the latter Scripture concerning Saul his Preaching (before he was called to be a Minister, as he affirmes) 'Tis evi­dent he Preached, but that he Preached before he was called to be a Minister, is most false. 'Tis true, he Preached before he was solemnly set a part to be an Apo­stle to the Gentiles; as Acts 13.2, 3. compared with Acts 9.20. proves: but he was called to be a Minister before. And I wonder this man was not afraid to bring in Acts 13.2, 3. least any should have lookt into the verse immediatly preceding, verse 1. where it is said ex­presly, that before this he was one of the Prophets and Teachers that were at An­tioch.

But it may be objected,Object. that the per­sons there mentioned were Teachers by gift, not by office, and so Saul was not in office before this time.

I Answer,Answ. All the members of the [Page 90]Church of Antioch were Teachers by gift, according to the measure that they had received (for all Saints are Prophets and Teachers in that sence, as he himselfe sayes) but these were Prophets and Teachers that were in the Church that was at Antioch: therefore these must needs be Teachers in another sence then the rest of the members there; and if so, then they were Teachers by office, and not by gift onely. Pardon me, if in using this distinction of Teachers by gift, and Teach­ers by office, I hardly speake sence, for I must conforme my selfe to his lan­guage.

2. Is there not (in that very Chapter which he brings in one Verse of to prove Sauls Preaching before called to the office of a Minister, Acts 9.) an expresse histo­ry of his call? even by a voyce from Heaven. If there needed any proofe in this matter, I could shew you how verse 6. when Saul cried out, what wilt thou have me to doe? the Lord sayes, Arise, and goe into the City, and it shall be told thee what thou must do, &c. He sends him to Ana­nias, & what Ananias by Vision tels him, (though you have it not fully related in the same Chapter, yet) you have it from Sauls owne mouth in Chap. 22. vers. 14, [Page 91]15. viz. That he was to goe to be a wit­nesse unto the truth which was miracu­lously given in to him. Was not this a sufficient outward call? Yea more plain Acts 26.16, 17, 18, 19. where you finde that God himselfe in that heavenly Visi­on told him, that he appeared to him to make him a Minister, vers. 16. and that he did then send him, vers. 17. And yet see, Ah! how often doth this fellow presume to bring in Saul as Preaching before his call, to the office of a Minister, to make his matter good, although Scripture testi­mony is so expresse against him.

Besides, Sauls Preaching was not in a constituted Church neither, and there­fore the lesse to his purpose.

Oh the confidence of men that can tri­umph in such heterogenious stuffe!

But let us see whether the Scriptures thar are behind will prove any whit bet­ter for his turne.

He often urges 1 Pet. 4.10, 11, Every man as he hath received the Gift, so let him minister the same, &c. And Rom. 12.6, 7. they may be spoken to both under one.

1. This is a very farre fetcht conse­quence, Christians must administer their gifts: therefore they must be Publique Preachers. Is there no way in which a gif­ted [Page 92]Christian can make use of his Ta­lent, unlesse he enter upon that work which God hath appointed men in office to doe? How many pretious souls (when this thing was never heard of) did in former times meet together, & discourse together of the things of God, making use of their gifts in comforting one ano­ther, instructing their children, families, friends, in such a way as was convenient, and yet never dreamt of turning Preach­ers: though they knew they must admi­nister their gifts. The P. G. Routed is un­willing to see the soundnesse of the di­stinction between publique and private Preaching: Preaching taken in a large, and Preaching taken in a strict sence; which I proved before by two (I think) invincible Arguments. Take that distin­ction along with you, and you may ea­sily answer what is pleaded from these Scriptures.

But 2. Doth not this exhortation in 1 Pet. 4. & Rom. 12. extend to women, think you, as well as men? 'Tis in the Originall [...], Every one. Must not women ad­minister their gifts as they have received? I have proved they must, from 2 Tim. 1.5. compared with 2 Tim. 3.15. Acts 18.26. Prov. 31.1. and yet you know they [Page 93]may not Preach publiquely in the Church.

Wherefore the meaning of the two A­postles can be no more but this, Let eve­ry one, as he is enabled, labour to com­municate good unto others, every one in his proper place, and capacity; if he have the station of a private member, let him use his gifts, by brotherly advice, admonition, &c. if he hath the extraor­dinary gift of Prophecy (for I shall prove Prophecy signifies an extraordina­ry gift) let him Prophecy. If he be called to be a Pastour and Teacher, let him attend diligently on that: if a Deacon, let him follow that work faithfully: if a Ruling Elder, let him be diligent and upright in Ruling. Weigh the expressions well, with what I have said, and tell me whether this be not the very direct scope of these two Scriptures now under examination: and if so, then alas what make they for his purpose? sure nothing at all.

A small matter you see, will lead men that way which the stream of their spiri­tual pride carries them, or else these Scri­ptures would not be taken for a suffici­ent ground for private Christians to un­dertake the publique work of a Minister.

He sometimes comes in with that in Psal. 145.10, 11. All thy works shall praise [Page 94]thee, O Lord, and thy Saints shall blesse thee. They shall speake of the glory of thy Kingdome, and talk of thy power. As though this hath any relation to publique Preaching, and not rather to those Christian duties of Prayer, Praise, and Discourse, in which the Saints shall acknowledge God and the great things which he ha's done for them.

There is but one Scripture more, and that is the constant place of refuge which he makes use of, when most put to it, and forced to speak to his Question, and that is, 1 Cor. 14.31. which, as he sayes, proves gifted Brethrens liberty to Preach in a Church constituted: This I shall clear in a Discourse by it selfe, concern­ing Prophecy, in the next place. In the meane while see how these men cry out for expresse Scripture, expresse Scrip­ture, when the Question is about any thing that crosses their phansie; and yet cry downe all for Antichristian, and e­nemies to the Spirit in the Saints, who withstand such things as they can bring no other Scripture for, then what indeed speaks nothing at all to their purpose, being rightly understood: as you see.

That the gift of Prophecy which we read of in first times of the Gospel Church, was extraordinary, and not as the P. G. Routed, sayes, proper to all the Saints.

I Resolved to handle this by it selfe, and that somewhat largely, because there is no one thing he doth so much in­sist upon, as this, that Prophecying is an ordinary gift, and (as he sayes) proper to all the Saints; and therefore, according to Paul, 1 Cor. 14.31. Christians may all Prophesie, one by one. This then is ne­cessary to be cleared, that the gift of Pro­phecy was extraordinary, and so ending with the Apostolicall times, when the Scriptures were perfected: which if I can doe, there will remaine nothing unan­swered of all he hath written for Preach­ing without Ordination, or an externall call to the Ministeriall office.

You may read, page 79. how that he brings in his Adversary objecting, that the Prophets spoken of in 1 Cor. 14. were extraordinary, and you may observe it, he takes no notice of his Reasons, but answers, I say they were not extraordinary, [Page 96]but ordinary. A good answer, Ipse dixit, Collier sayes it. This puts me in mind of a story I have heard of a Polemicall Do­ctour that used in his Sermons to beat much upon Controversies, & once hand­ling a difference between us and the Pa­pists, he cites Bellarmine, and sayes, Bel­larmine says so, but I say, Bellarmine thou lieft, and where is he now? So this man, Mr Hall sayes they were extraordinary, but I say, no, where is he now? If his testimony be infallible, then you may take it for a truth, which he so confident­ly affirmes, but if we may beleeve Scrip­ture before him, I shall discover it to be false: and that, first answering his Ar­guments, and then laying downe mine owne.

I will doe him so much right as to give you a view of all his strength, not in one place onely, but in every place where he speaks any thing argumentatively to this Question, that nothing may goe un­answered. I find five reasons urged not all together, but some in one place, some in another; in page I shall make reply to them in their order.

His first Reason is in page 60. where he sayes.

[Page 97] Prophecying was an extraordinary gift in the time of the Law, The P. G. Routed. but in the Gospel dayes it is not so: because it is to speake edifica­tion, exhortation, and comfort. 1 Cor. 14.3. which is ordinary, and proper to all the Saints.

You shall have some sophistry from him, though but little good Logick.Answer.

Prophets speake to edification, &c. Therefore those that speak to edification are Prophets: This is his reasoning. But I answer.

This is a Fallacy which we call Falla­cia consequentis, which is when one thinks consequencies or propositions are con­vertible, and reciprocall when they are not. 'Tis true, such as were Prophets did speake to edification, &c. But it followes not that if men speake to edification, they are therefore Prophets. This is as if one should argue thus, If it rained but now, the ground is wet; therfore if the ground be wet, it rained but now: a meer non sequitur, for the ground may be wet some other way then by raine. Even so he be­cause the Prophets did speak to edifica­tion, he thinks he may conclude that if men speak to edification they are Pro­phets, and so prophecy is ordinary, be­cause [Page 98] speaking to edification is so. It follow not, for though Prophets speak to edifi­cation, yet 'tis not that, but the extra­ordinary spirit by which they speak that denominates them Prophets.

2. Whereas he sayes [The Prophets under the Law were extraordinary, but these not, because they did speake to edification.] 'Tis very strange, for is it not evident that the Prophets in the old Testament spake to edification also? To this he answers two things, page 83. for I will not passe over any thing of weight that he speaks.

1.The P. G. Routed. This is more then the Scripture affirmes.

Is it not strange that this man should have so much boldnesse as to speak thus?Answ. He that will question whether Amos, Ho­sea, Isaiah, and the rest of the Prophets did speak to edification in their Prophe­cying, had need question too whither those Books that go under their names, and containe the sum of their Prophecies, be indeed theirs or no; for is not the matter contained in those Books for e­dification? Else what do we make with them in our Bibles? Ah filthy blasphe­my! See what a bad cause will drive men to. But he adds,

[Page 99] 2. If they did, The P. G. Routed. they took not their denomina­tion of Prophets from this kinde of Pro­phecying.

Well fare a good confidence!Answ. you may take his word for it if you will. If they were not denominated Prophets from this kinde of prophecying, from what kind of Prophecying then? Did they ever Prophecy except for edificati­on? Sure the man hath much forgot himselfe. But for his learning: They were called Prophets, not from the mat­ter of their Prophecies (which was di­verse) but from the manner of receiving the same from God by Inspirations, Dreams and Visions. See Numb. 12.6. If there be a Prophet among you, I the Lord will make my selfe knowne unto him in a Vision, and will speake unto him in a Dreame. Hence 'tis that Prophets were called Seers, 1 Sam. 9.9. For he that is now called a Prophet, was beforetime called a Seer. That is, such a one as God reveales himselfe unto by Vision.

This name is also given unto the lat­ter Prophets, in many places; as Isa. 30.10. Isa. 29.10. Amos 7.12. to shew us, that they were called Prophets as Seers, i. e. men to whom God appeared by Visions, [Page 100]and extraordinary, inspiration, not because they foretold things to come, as he doth in­timate. And this I prove also by the fol­lowing Argument.

That which did denominate their say­ings Prophecies, did denominate them Pro­phets, that I hope will not be denied.

But the extraordinary way of revelation did denominate their sayings Prophecies. Therefore that did denominate them Prophets.

That the extraordinary way of revelation did denominate their sayings Prophecies, not this, that they did foretell things to come (as he intimates) is very evident, in that in Prophecying they spake not onely of things to come, but sometimes of things past, sometimes of things pre­sent. 'Tis true, the Prophets often spake of things to come, but not alwayes, and therefore they were not from thence cal­led Prophets. I shall make this yet more plaine to you by giving you forth a defi­nition of Prophecy, that you may know what it is, and whence 'tis that men are called Prophets.

Prophecy is a manifesting by divine inspira­tion, What Pro­phesie is. of hidden or secret things, whether past, present, or to come.

I say, a manifestation of hidden things, [Page 101]that is, of things that are not, or cannot be knowne or manifested any other way. 2. By Divine inspiration, which is the one­ly way in which things secret and not revealed can be manifested. 3. I add, Whether the things be past, present, or to come, because Prophecying is not onely of things future, butNec futura tantum praedicere est prophetare, sed praeterita, & praesen­tia humanae scientiae, & industriaeimpossibilia c [...]g­nitu. Fl. Illyr. Cl. Ser. par. 1. p. 973. present, and past also. Moses, he Pro­phecyed of the Creation of things unknowne to others. Elisha by a Propheticall spirit discovered Gehazi's theft, 2 K. 5.25, 26. He disclosed the King of Syria's Counsell, and the present po­sture of his Army, 2 Kings 6.8, 9. The Prophets often Prophesied of the present wickednesse of the people, as in Isai. 1.1, 2. &c. Here you see is Prophecying of things past, and present, as well as things to come. So that the P. G. Routed is much mistaken in the reason he gives why the Prophets in the time of the Law were de­nominated, or called Prophets: 'Twas not because they foretold things to come, as is proved, but because they manifested to others (by Divine inspiration) things that were secret and not knowne; whe­ther past, present, or to come, it makes no difference. And observe too, in this [Page 102]they spake to edification? as was pro­ved before) even as the Prophets spoken of 1 Cor. 14. are said to do. And there­fore this reason alledged to prove the Prophets in the Gospel dayes ordinary, is very frivolous and weak.

If there were any difference betweene the Prophets before Christ, and those in the Apostles time, it lay either in the clearnesse of their Prophecies, one above the other, or else in this, that the inspi­ration of the one wasAfflatus Apostolo­rum non erat similis af­flatui Prophetarum non enim erat ecstaticus sed compositus & sedatus, &c. Cam. Tom. 3. p. 319. Ex­taticall, and violent; and the other (ordinarily) more qui­et and sedate, viz. the inspirati­on of the Prophets spoken of in 1 Cor. 14. concerning whom 'tis said, vers. 32. The spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Pro­phets. That isSo Fl. Illyr. in his Cl. Script. Part 2. p. 194. And Cam. Tom. 3. p. 76. & p. 461. Expound this place. the Spirit of Prophecy was not so violent on them, but that they had power to containe themselves, and to stay one for another, and so to speak in order: Whereas usu­ally 'twas otherwise with the Prophets in the Old Testament, in whom the in­spiration was many times so violent, that they could not take their owne time for Prophecying, as these in the New [Page 103]Testament ordinarily could. But both had an extraordinary inspiration of things secret, and not revealed and ma­nifested: from the which, both the one and the other, were denominated Pro­phets.

Now if the P. G. Routed can bring me any in our dayes that are extraordinari­ly or immediatly inspired by God unto the manifestation of things not revealed already, I will own them to be Prophets, and grant that they may Preach without any other call but their gift: but if there be none such, then there are no Prophets, and so his allegation from 1 Cor. 14. is vain and impertinent.

But I'le passe to his second reason, to prove the gift of Prophesie ordinary, which is in the same place with the first.

The Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophe­sie, The P. G. Routed. Revel. 19.10. But this is given to the brethren. Therefore, &c.

Here is another Fallacy (I am afraid the Devil ha's plaid the Sophister with him,Answ. 1. and taught him to play the Sophi­ster with others) 'Tis that which is cal­led, A dicto secundum quid, ad dictum simpli­citer, when a thing is said to be simply so, or so; because it is so onely in some re­spect. [Page 104]The Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophecy, not simply, but as it is extra­ordinarily inspired into such as do Pro­phesie of Jesus Christ, and of his King­dome: so considered, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophesie. But now will it follow, the Blackmore is white in his teeth, therefore he is all white, or white, simpliciter, simply? No more will it follow, The Testimony of Jesus (as im­mediatly and extraordinarily inspired, and given in to such as are Prophets) is the spirit of Prophecy; therefore the Testi­mony of Jesus, simply considered as it is in all the Saints, is the spirit of Prophe­sie. This followes not.

And least any should think I distinguish thus without any ground; you shall find in Chap. 1. vers. 2. John himselfe distin­guishes between the word of God, and the Testimony of Jesus, here called, The spirit of Prophecy. And vers. 9. he sayes, He was in the Isle of Patmos for the word of God, and for the Testimony of Jesus. That is (as someNempe relegarus fueratin in­sulam Patmon a Domitiano imperatore (uti fert historia Ecclesrasti­ca) quod singularis, esset Evangelij dei praeco, quod (que) spiritu prophe­tico actus Christo singulare redderet Testimonium. Lud. Cappel. Spic. p. 139. judicious men interpret) he was banished there, for that he was a singular [Page 105]Preacher of the Gospel, and not only so, but because, being acted by a prophetical spirit, he gave a more singular testimony to Jesus Christ, then other ordinary Preachers did. For this extraordinary testimony of Jesus, which he had, together with other Prophets, was he banished, and this is called the spirit of Prophesie.

Therefore secondly I answer,Answ. 2. that such a testimony of Jesus as is there spoken of, is the spirit of Prophesie, and no other: but in that place, not any Testimony of Jesus is meant, but a speciall kind of te­stimony: that is evident, because this clause [The Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophesie] is added to explaine what went before, that every one might understand what testimony of Jesus the Angels meant. Sayes he, I meane by the Testimony of Jesus, the spirit of Pro­phesie, not every kind of Testimony, but that which is the spirit of Prophesie. If this be not the sence, this clause were needlesse. Therefore it follows, that 'tis a speciall kind of Testimony that is here intended, not such as is in all the Saints. You will find if you examine the Text well, that indeed the intent of this clause which The P. G. Routed, urges, is not to signifie to us what the Testimony of Je­sus [Page 106]is considered simply in it selfe, but to signifie in what sence it is used in the for­mer part of the Verse: So that it makes nothing at all to his purpose.

3. Compare this Rev. 19.10. with Rev. 22.9. where the same speech of the Angel, is set downe, though in other words, and 'twill help to make the sence more clear.

I have done with his second Reason, let us try the third, and see whether 'twil prove any better: 'tis laid forth in this forme.

Every spirituall man is a Prophet. But the Saints are all spirituall, The P. G. Routed. therefore all Pro­phets. 1 Cor. 14.37. And by consequence Prophecying is an ordinary gift.

'Tis well concluded,Answ. 1. if his first Propo­sition were true. But he had need have a better Scripture for his purpose, to prove it, then that which he brings (1 Cor. 14.37.) or else he must give me leave not to take it for true. The words are, If any man think himselfe a Prophet, or spirituall, let him acknowledge, &c. Because 'tis said, a Prophet or spirituall, therefore he con­cludes, Every spirituall man is a Prophet: How does this follow? May a man con­clude because Paul sayes in the same Epi­stle, [Page 107]Chap. 5. ver. 11. If any brother be a fornicatour, or covetous; therefore every covetous man is a fornicatour? I hope not; but grant that [Spirituall] be an epithite given to Prophet, as I beleeve it is, yet all that can be concluded, is, that every Prophet is a spirituall man: And then, though every Prophet be a spiritu­all man, yet it will not follow, that e­very spirituall man is a Prophet, as he concludes, no more then it will follow, Every Goose is a living creature, there­fore every living creature is a Goose. If this consequence were good, then the P. G. Routed is a Goose too; and indeed he shewes himselfe little better in this Ar­gument.

2. He himselfe sayes, page 21. The Saints are not all Prophets, but the Saints are all spirituall. Therefore his Argument here, page 60. proves him a lier, page 21.

2. I answer; 'tis true, every one that is spirituall, i. e. having the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit mentioned before in that Chapter, is a Prophet, but if he takes [Spirituall] in that sence, then the second Proposition of his Argument is false, for all the Saints are not spirituall in that sence.

[Page 108] You see what is become of his three first Reasons, laid downe, page 60. There be two more yet behind, one in page 83. to this purpose.

These Prophets were such as needed direction from the Apostle, The P. G. Routed. as to the manner and order of Prophecying, which if extraordi­nary they could rather have directed the Apostles.

I am perswaded this man hath lookt this 1 Cor. 14. many times over,Answer. 1. and yet can you think he should never take no­tice that the Apostle doth not onely give directions to the Prophets there, but pre­scribes rules also to those that spake in unknowne tongues? ver. 27, 28. And were not they extraordinarily inspired unto that exercise, think you? He himselfe doth in one place acknowledge it. There­fore 'tis not strange that Paul should give direction to the Prophets, concerning the order and manner of Prophecying, though they were extraordinarily inspi­red, for you see he does give directions in the same place to some extraordina­rily inspired with the gift of tongues: but he is unwilling to take notice of any thing that makes against him. Ah how [Page 109]are these men blinded with love to no­velty? TheyThey are drunk with errour, and so seldome walk sted­dily. stagger and reel near the truth many times, but cannot, or rather will not see it.

But 2. I answer; these Prophets might be inspired what to speak,Answer 2. but not in what manner and order. You know Pro­phets infallibly guided in what they spake, were not alway infallibly guided in their actings, but therein might erre. Againe, all things are not revealed to one, God raised up many Prophets then, and what was not revealed to one was revealed to another. So that it might please the Lord that Paul (who had the spirit of Prophecy more then they all) should have this among other things left to him, viz. to give directions to the o­ther Prophets, as to the manner and or­der of Prophecying.

3.Answer 3. This direction might be given by Paul (perhaps) not so much for their sakes who were true Prophets ('tis like they would have kept to this order though Paul had never prescribed it) but rather because of some that might pretend a spirit of Prophecy, when not inspired by God; and so bring in disor­der and confusion into the Church: this seems to be intimated, vers. 37.

[Page 110] But he hath yet one reason more, which lies in page 87. in these words.

Praying, and Prophecying are put together, 1 Cor. 11.5. was it extraordinary Pray­ing too, The P. G. Routed. I wonder that is left out.

I answer;Answer. I will put in that too [...] his Learning, and prove there was an extraordinary gift of praying then, as well as an extraordinary gift of Prophecying. And indeed 'tis strange, a man that pre­tends to so much acquaintance with Scripture as he does, should never read of an extraordinary gift of praying, yea and singing too among the Corinthians: Pray read 1 Cor. 14.14, 15. For if I pray in an unknowne tongue, my spirit prayeth, but mine understanding is unfruitfull, &c. What think you of this? is not here extraordinary praying? You may conjecture how these men read Scripture, if they did not rather strive to bring Scripture to their opini­ons, then their opinions to Scripture, these plain things could not be hid from them.

You have had an account of the five Reasons he gives to prove the gift of Pro­phesie to be ordinary, and as he sayes proper to all the Saints: you shall have as many of mine to prove the contrary.

[Page 111] My first Reason is,Reas. 1. because it is joyned in 1 Cor. 14. with gifts onely extraordi­nary. Observe, that in this whole Chap­ter there are no gifts spoken of, but such as are extraordinary, as speaking in strange languages, and interpretation of tongues, both which all acknowledge to be extraordinary: as for the first [strange languages] they were used three wayes; in preaching, praying, and singing; all these extraordinary, and the Apostle puts in Prophecying among these, and dis­courses of all promiscuously, as gifts of the same kind, only differing in degrees of excellency, and yet shall we conceive that Prophecying is ordinary, when all the rest that are intermixed in discourse with it, are extraordinary? sure 'tis very unlikely.

Another paralel place is Ephes. 4.11. where we find Prophets are set betweene two extraordinary officers, Apostles and Evangelists. He gave some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, &c. Are Apo­stles and Evangelists extraordinary? and yet Prophets (placed in order betweene them) ordinary? he must be a very easie and tractible soul that can beleeve it. But to this he answers somewhat, page 81. and 84. And what is it? Why, least [Page 112]you should think that Prophets were ex­traordinary, because joyned with Apo­stles that were so; he sayes, that Apostles were not extraordinary neither (As for Evangelists, he ha's nothing to say to them.) Ah alas! what is it that this man will not say to help a bad cause. Apostles were no Extraordinary officers he thinks if he put a good face upon it, 'twill passe.

But what is his Reason? you have it page 84. Apostles (sayes he) signifies [...] sent. O profound reasoning! Therefore all that are sent are Apostles. And wh [...] may not I say as well [...]. Angels fig­nifies Messengers. There all Messenger are Angels. The Prophets of old were called [...] which signifies Seers, or men seeing. Therefore all that see are Pro­phets. I confesse this way they may be all Prophets, if they have not lost their eyer. But if any man should argue thus, would you not laugh at him? Would you not answer him? true, all that See as the Pro­phets did, Divine and extraordinary Vi­sions, are indeed Prophets. Why so? pra [...] answer this man, that all that are Sent [...] the Apostles were, by extraordinary re­velations, and by an immediate call from God, and are guided to speak infallibly [Page 113]as they were, are Apostles, and none else: [...]nd such I hope will be acknowledged to be extraordinary persons, by all that are not extraordinary stupid.

But he sayes, Apostles are men sent to ga­ther Churches, or to gather Saints, as his words are: why then, all that are sent to gather Churches, are Apostles. What will he say of the seventy Disciples, the seattered Brethren, were not they sent to gather Saints? Or were they therefore all Apostles? I am sure he argues very stifly, page 70. That they were not Apo­stles. An what confusion is here? they were Apostles, and they were not Apo­stles: any thing for a shift.

I would not so particularly discover his weaknesse, and absurdity, but that he deceives many with the opinion of much knowledge, when alas you may see he appears as very an Ignoramus, as ever, I think, was read in print.

My second Reason is,Reas. 2. because this word Prophet ha's been alwayes used to signifie a person extraordinarily inspired by God, when taken in a good sence: and to signifie a Diviner, or a man of a familiar spirit, when taken in a bad sence. I might bring at least an hundred Texts to prove this, if 'twere needfull: but, be­cause [Page 114]he sayes Prophets under the Gospel were not such as they were that were un­der the Law. I shall onely bring some Scriptures out of the New Testament, to prove that the Prophets were such them too. As for Agabus, Act. 11.27. he acknow­ledges he was extraordinary, because as foretold things to come. But what with he say to Zecharias, Luke 1.22.67, &c. Ananias, Act. 9.10. Cornelius, Act. 10.3. Peter, Act. 10.10.19. Paul, 2 Cor. 12.1. &c. Act. 9. The Disciples mentioned, Acts 19.6. Were not all these Prophet by extraordinary Vision and Inspirati­on? Doe not the Texts before mentio­ned make it plaine? I could give more instances, as in the Prophets that were at Antioch, to whom also God did speak immediately, Acts 13.1, 2.

Now if all these Prophets (which an more then we read of in all the New Te­stament beside) were extraordinarily in­spired, and there be no reason in Scrip­ture why we should question the like of the rest; I hope we may conclude that Prophets even in the Gospel dayes, were extraordinary also; and by consequence that those in 1 Cor. 14. Ephes. 4.11. were not ordinary, but such as the rest before mentioned.

[Page 115] Will any man (unlesse one that hath prostituted his soul to Novelty) presume to interpret a Scripture expression in one or two places diversly, from the constant acception of the same in all other places of Scripture where it is used, without a­ny forcible reason? I beleive this conse­quence will hold, and appeare necessary. Prophet is constantly used in Scripture, to signifie one extraordinarily inspired and gifted to teach; and there is no good reason why it may not signifie the same in 1 Cor. 14. Ephes. 4.11. &c. Therefore it signifies one extraordinarily inspired in those places also.

That the word Prophet is constantly used in Scripture to signifie one extra­ordinarily inspired, &c. I proved even now.

Whether any good reason be given why it should not signifie so in 1 Cor. 14. &c. as well as in other places, you may judge by my answer to his reasons before; if not, then you easily find the consequence that will follow, viz. That the word Prophet as used in 1 Cor. 14. &c. doth signifie one extraordinarily in­spired to teach, not an ordinarily gifted brother, as the P. G. Routed would have it.

[Page 116] My third Argument followes.Reas. 3.

If the gift or spirit of Prophecy given out to the New Testament Prophets, be a fulfilling of that promise, Joel 2.28. then it is extraordinary, for that pro­mise speaks of extraordinary gifts, as appears by the plaine words thereof.

But the gift or spirit of Prophecy gi­ven out to the New Testament Prophets, is a fulfilling of that promise.

Therefore it is extraordinary.

All that I have to prove is the second Proposition, That the gift of Prophesie given out to the Prophets mentioned in the New Testament, is a fulfilling of that promise, Joel 2. And if any man doubt of this, let him look into Acts 2.16, 17. where the extraordinary gifts poured out on the Apostle there, are said in ex­presse termes to be a fulfilling of that promise. Now that could be a fulfilling of it onely in part; for the promise sayes, Your sons and your daughters shall Prophecy and see Visions, &c. Which can have relation to no other but the Pro­phets, both Men and Women, that were in the Church of Antioch, Act. 13.1. And the Church of Corinth, & other Churches in those dayes. Therefore they were ex­traordinary Prophets.

[Page 117] In the fourth place I argue thus.

If Prophecying be set downe by the Apostle as distinct from ordinary teach­ing,Reas. 4. then it is not the same with it, and so ordinary as that is.

But Prophecying is set downe by the Apostle, as distinct from ordinary teach­ing, in Rom. 12.6, 7, 8.

Therefore prophecying is not ordina­ry, and the same with ordinary teaching.

There is nothing in this Argument that I can see needs any further proof.

Fifthly,Reas. 5. It appears that this gift of prophecy was not ordinary, and (as he sayes) proper to all the Saints, upon this reason, because the gift of prophecy was given to others beside the Saints, there­fore not proper to them. Some had the gift of prophecy that had no saving grace in them, as you may gather from 1 Cor. 13.1, 2. Mat. 7.22. John 11.50, 51. Now that which is given to others beside Saints, is not proper to Saints. Neither can the spirit or gift of prophesie be the experimentall knowledge of Christ (as he sayes) so as that every one that ha's ex­perience of Christ, and can speak of it, is a Prophet: because some you see, had indeed the gift of Prophesie, that never had any spirituall experience of Christ in their lives.

[Page 118] These are mine Arguments to prove that the gift of prophecy is extraordina­ry; I could add more but that there is no need, the thing is so plaine.

Now you may see what is become of his strong Bulwarke, which he sayes, all our wisedome cannot undermine, page 79. 'Tis onely a Castle in the air, and so I leave it. Onely take notice, that I having sufficiently proved that the gift of Pro­phecy, and the Prophets spoken of in the New Testament, were extraordinary, and spake by Vision, and inspiration; it fol­lowes, that all he brings to defend the preaching of gifted brethren, from the liberty of prophecying, is nothing to the purpose; unlesse his gifted Brethren have extraordinary Visions, or Inspira­tions, as the Prophets then had.

I thinke I have now level'd all his strong holds with the ground, and thou wilt not meet with any thing spoken to by him Argumentatively, but hath a suf­ficient answer in what I have writ. Some imputations, reproaches, slanders, rail­ings, going along almost in every leaf, I shall leave to thy charity to confute, defiring in quietnesse to passe them over.

And although there be enough Argu­ments unanswerably to prove the un­lawfulnesse [Page 119]of private-gifted-christians preaching, among those 20 laid downe by Mr Hall in his Pulpit Guard: Yet shall I cast in my mite after, consisting onely of four Arguments, and those but very briefly touched upon.

Same additionall Arguments, proving that all Gifted Brethren may not Preach, viz. as Gifted Brethren, not being appointed unto the Office, &c.

The First Argument.

IF God hath not appointed and ordai­ned that all gifted brethren should live of the Gospel,Arg. 1. then all gifted brethren may not Preach the Gospel.

But God hath not ordained that all gifted brethren should live of the Gospel.

Therefore all gifted brethren may not Preach the Gospel.

The consequence of my first proposi­tion (which is that that I suppose will be denied) I prove by a plaine Scripture, 1 Cor. 9.14. where 'tis said, Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel. The words need no Paraphrase. God hath ordained [Page 120]that all those that Preach the Gospel, should be maintained that way: if you may be publique Preachers, you may challenge a maintenance too: God ha's ordained you should have it for Preach­ing, 'tis evident in the Text.

But now as to the second proposition, that God ha's not ordained that all gif­ted Brethren should live of the Gospel, that is, by a maintenance given them for Preaching of the Gospel; I think it will not be denied. For if so be that a main­tenance is to be given to all such, then it must be provided by some body or other: now I would faine know by whom. All Christians by his confession are gifted more or lesse to teach, now from whom should their maintenance rise, if but the greatest part of them should turn Preach­ers? Oh see this Babel and abhor it for shame: God does not ordaine things impossible.

The Second Argument.

If to Preach publiquely be to exercise authority over others,Arg. 2. then none may Preach publiquely but such as have Mini­steriall authority: which is not without the office.

But to Preach publiquely is to exer­cise [Page 121]Authority. Therefore, &c.

The first proposition is undeniable.

The second I prove by another plaine Scripture, 1 Tim. 2.12. where Women are forbidden to teach publiquely, be­cause they may not usurp authority over the Man: Intimating, that to teach is to ex­ercise Authority over those that are taught.

If any should reply against the last clause of the first proposition, that the gift bestowed by God gives authority to the person, though the office be wanting. I answer, if the gift without the Office could give authority, then womens gifts would give them Authority too over the man; but that's not so: therefore, &c. And here by the way you may take no­tice of another ground for the distincti­on between publique and private Teach­ing. Private teaching is no exercising of Authority, for women might doe that (as was proved formerly) who yet might not exercise Authority: Yea, and for a Christian to give private admonition, advice, or reproof, to his brother, is no usurping of Authority over him. But publique Preaching (as you see) is to exercise Authority.

The Third Argument.

If there be power in the Church to keep of Wolves,Arg. 3. i. e. false Teachers from the Sheep, then all that conceive they are gif­ted, may not Preach till they are appro­ved by such as have power in the Church.

But the antecedent is undeniable.

Therefore the consequent is so too.

The connexion of the antecedent and consequent is unquestionable, for if men may Preach without being approved first by such as have power in the Church, then (though they should be Wolves) the Church have no power to keep them off. But they have power to keep such off; read Revel. 2.20.

The Fourth Argument.

If to appoint unto the office of a Mini­ster,Arg. 4. and to the work of a Minister, be all one, then no man is appointed unto the work of a Minister (viz. Preaching) but he that is appointed to the office.

But to appoint to the office of a Mini­ster, and to the worke of a Minister, is all one.

Therefore no man is appointed unto the work of a Minister (viz. Preaching) but he that is appointed to the office.

[Page 123] The first proposition he that ha's Col­liers impudence twice over cannot well question.

The second I shall prove by shewing you what it is to be appointed or ordai­ned to the office of a Minister. And me thinks this should be no very hard thing to understand, except unto such as are not willing to see. He, you know, is said to be appointed to such or such an office, who is (by such as have power) entru­sted with, or commanded to the worke thereto belonging. So to be put into the Office of a Constable, is onely to be ap­pointed (by such as have power) to do the work of a Constable. And so it is in other offices. Now even so to be appoint­ed to the Office of a Minister, is to be en­trusted with, and sent forth to the work of a Minister, by such as have power to doe the same. So that you see to be ap­pointed to the work, and to the office of a Minister, is the same: And therefore his distinction of Preachers by office, and Preachers by gift, without the office, (made use of so often by him) is meer non-sence.

Now the power of sending forth men to the work of the Ministry, is in God a­lone, by Jesus Christ. And he does the [Page 124]same, either immediately, by himselfe, viz. by Visions and extraordinary inspirati­ons, and revelations: or mediately, by those that have power in the Church. If therefore his gifted brethren be appoint­ed to the work of the Ministry, neither immediately by God himselfe, as before by extraordinary Vision, &c. as were the Pro­phets and Apostles: nor mediately, by such as have power in the Church, then they have nothing to doe with the said work: but if they put themselves upon the same, that is verified in them that is spoken by the Prophet, They run, but I sent them not, &c.

If this be not plaine enough, 'tis be­cause there is no light in thee; or if any, yet covered over with such a thick vail (I am afraid) of pride, or prejudice, as a divine power onely can remove. If thou see not this truth, all that I can doe more, is but to mourne in secret for thy blindnesse.

I have done with this Question.

His Seventh Error.
That Humane Learning is no way ne­cessary unto a Minister of the Gospel, but that a man may Expound, and open the difficulties of Scripture, stop the mouths of Gain-sayers, &c. as well without it as with it.

THis he contends stifly for in page 38, 39, 41. Saying,

The Power of the Spirit of Christ in Saints, The P. G. Routed. is sufficient to make men able to divide the word aright, to convince Gain-sayers, to finde out the fullnesse and emphasis of the Originall, &c.

Now that you may not be deceived by his ambiguous termes,Answer. nor mistake me in what I shall say, take a little direction a­long with you; for I love not to walk in the clouds of doubtfull expressions, as he does, whose designe is to cheat you.

  • 1. I doe not question but the spirit of Christ is sufficient to doe as he sayes, if he pleased, for besides that he is Omnipo­tent, we have examples in Scripture shew­ing [Page 126]that he hath immediately supplied the want of humane Learning, by extra­ordinary gifts of Tongues, and interpre­tation of tongues. But the question is not, whether the spirit be sufficient, but, whe­ther a Christian (by the spirit, as now it works in the Saints) may be sufficient unto these things, being not furnished in some measure with skill in the lan­guages, &c.
  • 2. The Question is not, whether or no the maine and principall Doctrine of the Scriptures be so plainly laid downe as that a Christian may attaine unto the knowledge of the same without Humane learning, that is granted if he have a Tran­slation (which cannot be but by the help of some that are learned) he may.

But the Question is, whether the em­phasis and fullnesse of particular Scrip­tures can be found out, and the difficul­ties of dark places opened, without these outward helps; or rather, whether a spi­rituall Christian, furnished with the ad­ditionall help of Learning, cannot bring forth more of the sence and meaning of Scripture, and give a better accompt of the same, then another that ha's not Learning; if he can (which is that which we affirme) then Humane Learning is re­quisite [Page 127]unto one that will be a publique Preacher, and Expounder of Scripture: Though not absolutely necessary, so as that where no learned men are, none may be Preachers: yet by a necessity of expediency, so as that such as are learned onely are to be chosen to that work, if there be enough to be had. Learning is not necessary to make a Minister, but to make a Minister compleat.

If you object (as he does) that the Apostles, &c. were not learned, yet compleat Ministers.

I answer; The Lord supplied in them the want of Humane acquired Learning, with the extraordinary gift of Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues: 'Tis true, he found them unlearned, but he would not leave them so, when they were to be his Ministers. If you consider this well, it will make most against him of a­ny thing else. For, Observe it, God would not have those that are imploied by him in such a great work as the Ministry of the Gospel is, to be destitute of Learning, no not Humane: for so was that which they had in a sence, differing nothing from the gift of Tongues, and Interpre­tation of Tongues, that now is among us, but in this, that the one was immedi­ately [Page 128]inspired, the other acquired by indu­stry, and study: both humane in this re­spect, because conversant about that which is humane, viz. The Languages of severall Nations. God saw it fit then that they should not be without this part of Humane Learning, he saw it to be requi­site to compleat them for their worke, therefore much more is it requisite now.

You have the state of the Question, and me thinks the very stating of it makes the matter so plaine and out of doubt, that little needs to be spoken more to clear the same; for I think there is no man (that hath any ingenuity in him) but will acknowledge, that a spirituall Chri­stian that hath the help of humane Learn­ing, is able to unfold more of Scripture, and do better to the clearing of the same, then another that hath not learning. But least any man should be so absurd as to think otherwise (as The P. G. Routed does) I shall give a few instances for the proofe of the same among many more that might be brought.

Some SCRIPTURES and Scripture-Expressions, a good account of which cannot be given, without the help of Humane Learning.

  • 1. THe P. G. Routed could not tell you that [...], an Apostle, signifies one sent (to clear a Scripture he speaks to from mistake, as he conceives) with­out looking into the Originall, either with his owne eyes or some other mans. For I take it for granted that he will not say he knew Apostolos did signifie one sent, by inspiration. Ex ore suo, &c. Out of his owne mouth shall he be condemned.
  • 2. You cannot give any reason why Christ should say to Peter, Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock will I build my Church: unlesse you be acquainted with the Ori­ginall, and so see the affinity (in sound) of those two words, Petros, Peter, and Petra, a Rock, which Christ had respect to in that speech.
  • 3. You can give no reason why, nor discover the mystery that lies in this, that Our Mediatour is called Christ Jesus, Mes­sias, &c. because without the Originall [Page 130]Languages, you know not what these names doe signifie.
  • 4. In the 2 Tim. 3.5. mention is made of some having a FORM of godlinesse, but denying the power of it. And in Phil. 2.6. 'tis said of Christ, that he was in the FORM of God, &c. Why may not one that denies the Divinity of Christ, say, the meaning of the latter Text is onely, that Christ was in the outward appearance of God, seing that in the for­mer place the word FORM signifies only the outward shew and appearance? How can you withstand this Interpreta­tion, unlesse you know that (though our English word be the same in both places, yet) the word used in the Ori­ginall in the former Scripture signifies onely the
    outward shew or appearance; that used in the latter signifies the
    essen­tiall forme of a thing.
  • 5. How can any man give a rationall account of the meaning of that which we read, Rom. 5.7, 8. unlesse he be in some measure acquainted with the Jewish An­tiquities? where we are given to under­stand, that the Body of the Jewish people were distinguished into three sorts. The
    Chasidim, i. e. Good men. The
    Tsadikim, i.e. just or righteous men. And [Page 131]the
    Reschangnim, i. e. wicked or un­godly men, to which the Apostle ha's respect.
  • 6. How will a gifted Brother with­out Learning clear the difficulty that lies in that which is written in Matth. 1.23. compared with Luke 2.21? In the for­mer place it is said (according to the Prophecy of the Prophet, Isa. 7.14.) That Christs Name should be called Emma­nuel: And in the latter place 'tis clear, that at his Circumcision, when he came to be named, he was Named Jesus. There is no salving of this seeming opposition, but by being acquainted with the Hebra­isme in the former place: for according to the Hebrews manner of speaking, to be called signifies to be: and so it will consist well enough with what is written in the latter Text. For he was to be na­med by the name Jesus, and he was to be Emmanuel, i. e. God with us.

An hundred more such instances might I give you both in the Old and New Te­stament, of such Scriptures as you can­not give a clear account of, but by the help of Learning, or by the help of such as are Learned. But I think this is enough to demonstrate his ignorance in saying, (without any reason, or any answer to [Page 132]what is urged against him) that there is no use of Learning to the unfolding and clearing of Scripture, though I should say no more.

But there is yet one thing besides, which I cannot passe over, page 41. speaking a­gainst the needfullnesse of humane Learn­ing, he quarrels with his Adversary for using the word Holy Ghost, asking deri­dingly of him,The P. G. Routed. whether there be any such word in all the Scripture.

1.Answ. I know not what Scripture this man hath got, but in that which we ac­count Scripture, the word is used neer an hundred times, even in the New Testa­ment.

But 2. It may be that he hath heard that the words in the Originall [ [...]] signifie Holy Spirit. And how came he to know that, but by the help of Hu­mane Learning? Though he hath little reason to except against the English tran­slation of those words. (Ghost and Spi­rit being all one, onely it may be the one a word more obsolete and out of use then the other) yet if it be true what his ex­ception implies, that the English Tran­slation is not exact in all points, then sure there is need of Humane Learning to perfect it. For we had not the English [Page 133]Translation at first without the help of the Learning of the Translatours, nor can we have it mended but by the labour and help of such as are Learned, that can look into the Original. And if so, is not Humane Learning necessary to an Exposi­tor of Scripture?

There needs a wiser man by far then I am to reconcile this man to himselfe. He quarrels with Translations as imperfect, and yet holds there is no need of Learn­ing to rectifie them.

But I have yet somewhat more to say before I leave this Question. Seing the designe of such men (as the P. G. Routed) is to deceive the simple with fair preten­ces to the honour of Christ, and the Spi­rit, and to make them beleeve that others (that oppose their corruptions) doe strive to diminish and darken the glory of the operation of the Spirit of Christ in his Saints, that they may set up somwhat that is humane in the room of the same. I shall lay downe three or four Conclu­sions or Notes, to give you some light in this thing, that you may know What is the work of the Spirit in revealing Truth to, or in the Saints. And How outward Humane helps to finde out the sence of Scripture are consistent with, and subservient to the same.

1. I grant it to be an unquestionable truth, that no man is able without the sweet and gracious operation of the spi­rit of truth, savingly to understand and imbrace the mysteries of truth that are revealed in the Scriptures. The naturall man (sayes the Apostle, 1 Cor. 2.14.) recei­veth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishnesse unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discer­ned. That is, he cannot know them effe­ctually, savingly, he cannot know them as the spirituall man does, whose mind and heart is renewed through grace. How­ever,

2. There is not any Scripture under­stood by spirituall Christians, the true Grammaticall sence of which, a man that hath not the Spirit of Christ may not at­taine unto, by those outward helps that are afforded to him. A notional knowledge of the sence of Scripture, is common to naturall, as well as spirituall men. Else knowledge were an infallible Character of grace; which no body, I suppose, will affirme. So that,

3. (Observe it) That most blessed and heavenly work that the Lord Jesus ha's to doe by his Spirit, in his Saints, is not so much to discover the Grammatical sence [Page 135]of Scripture (which may be found out by such as live much below Christ) as to bring home the sence of Scripture close to the heart, and to enlighten the mind to see the beauty and goodnesse of that truth, that swims only in the brains of Naturall men. The work of the Spirit is to engrave truth upon the heart, to make our knowledge effectuall, practicall, and experimentall. Ah alas! many (I am afraid) are carried very high in the air of sublime Angelicall Notions, upon the wings of such a knowledge as the Apostle sayes, puffeth up, who are all the while strangers to this worke of the Spirit, which is not to fill mens heads, but their hearts, with the truth.

'Tis much to be suspected, that such as would make you beleeve that the work of the Spirit of grace, is to discover the sence of Scripture, have never yet felt this saving work on their hearts. The Spirits work is not so low, and ordinary. If it were as these men would have it, why, then the work of the Spirit were only to make Notionists. Ah! let not Christians be deceived; knowledge puffeth up, 'tis love edifies.

Scripture is sufficient to discover its owne sence to all men diligently impro­ving [Page 136]the outward helps afforded by God (though a sanctified and saving know­ledge of the same, be communicated to none but through the Spirit) otherwise Scripture were no perfect rule, yea in­deed no rule at all: For what is a Book or Waiting, without its meaning? 'Tis not the words or expressions, but the sence of Scripture that is mans rule: if that be not visible, we have no visible rule, yea and if the Scriptures be given out in such termes and expressions, as do not discover their owne meaning, what are they? or of what use? Besides, if they doe not declare their owne meaning, but every one must fetch it from an immedi­ate work of the spirit, what were this but to make the Scripture a Nose of Wax (as the Papists speake) pliable to any sence that the darknesse and vanity of mens minds will put upon it?

Surely, he that denies a sufficiency in Scripture to clear its owne meaning to one that uses the outward means to that end afforded, denies Scripture to be any rule at all.

But to make this plaine, suppose a Question arise about the sence or mean­ing of a particular Text; one sayes this is the meaning, another that: which way [Page 137]will you go to decide the controversie? Will you goe to the revelation of the Spi­rit in you? Or to the letter of Scripture, arguing from the proper signification and use of such words and expressions, as are in the Text disputed of? If you have recourse to the supposed revelation of the Spirit of Christ in you, why then the Scripture is not your rule: and how will you follow the Apostles advice, which is To try the spirits, &c? If you have recourse to the letter of Scripture, and argue from it, then Scripture ha's sufficient in it to make out its owne sence.

Scripture, 'tis true, conteins in it an heavenly mystery, that is hid from the wise and prudent. But what is the reason 'tis hid? Paul will tell you in 2 Cor. 4.3, 4. If our Gospel be hid, 'tis hid to them that are lost. In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which beleeve not, &c. Mark the ground of this, that the Gospel is hid, is because they are blinded through unbeliefe. The Devil ruling in na­turall men by fin and corruption, doth hinder them from giving hearty welcome unto the Truth. Questionlesse the most of those that heard Pauls Preaching, knew what he meant in his Sermons: and yet the Gospel was hid to many of them: [Page 138]how so? why, they beleeved not: Their understandings and affections did not close in with those heavenly mysteries of Gods love which he did discover, so as to assent unto the reality of what was Taught, and to love, and delight in the same. The Gospel is as a sealed Book to naturall men, because of the corruption that is in the heart, and in the mind, from whence it comes to passe that they cannot see the reality, beauty, and good­nesse of Scripture discoveries; 'tis not because there is not plainnesse enough in Scripture expressions, or because the Mi­nisters of the Gospel do not speak plaine enough when they Preach Christ to them, but because through corruption their minds are averse from assenting to, and closing with the Truth.

Now you must know that the work of the Spirit is to heale the understanding, and to sanctifie and change the heart, and to make it pliable to the Truth; yea, and to stir up the whole man withall, unto a more diligent use of meanes of know­ledge: Thus the Spirit of Christ brings in truth unto the soul, and that so as it dwells and becomes fruitful in the heart, and in the conversation. This is a step higher then the quaintest Notionists of [Page 139]our times desire to be brought. If Truth were thus revealed in them, they would be more humble, more peaceable, more meek, then now they shew themselves.

In short, I know not any truth in Scripture which a true Christian hath an effectuall and practicall knowledge of by the Spirit, but a naturall man may know the same, onely his heart is not sanctified through the Truth. Truth is not in him in power. The work of the spirit is to bring that into the heart, which by out­ward means and helps, may be brought into the head.

Now then 4ly. I honour I admire, I prize this blessed work of Jesus Christ, by his Spirit in his Saints, revealing Truth in them. But this no way opposes the expediency and needfullnesse of out­ward helps, to bring men to the know­ledge of truth, which is that I plead for. The Spirit is pleased to make use of them, not that it elfe needs them, but because we need them.

The Spirit can communicate truth to souls without reading, hearing, medita­tion, &c. and yet seing the Lord hath de­clared that he hath appointed these as the meanes that he will onely (in an ordi­nary way) make effectuall to the en­lightning [Page 140]of the soul; I hope 'tis no dis­honour to the Spirit of truth to say, that without these men cannot come to the knowledge of the Truth. Even so, the Spirit can by Extaticall Revelations, or an immediate inspiration, give in truth unto the Preachers of the Gospel now, as he did to the Prophets, and Pen-men of Scripture of old; but because (as ha's been proved in confutation of the fourth Errour) God does not now reveal him­selfe to any after that manner, the Scrip­ture rule being perfected; I hope it takes nothing from the honour of the Spirit to say, that the outward help of Learn­ing, &c. is expedient, and needfull for a Minister of the Gospel; and that Scrip­ture cannot be well opened and cleared without it.

Alas! these men are mistaken of the work of the Spirit, one part of which is (as I hinted before) to stir up souls un­to a faithfull, diligent use of the outward means afforded for to lead them unto the knowledge of his mind in the word. The work of the Spirit is to stir up private Christians to make use of the means they have, as Reading, Hearing, &c. And to stir up Ministers to make use of their helps, and to bring in to the service of [Page 141]Jesus Christ in this great work of the Mi­nistry, all that knowledge both divine and humane, which they can attain unto. Not, as these men would have it, to cast away as uselesse all outward helps, and fit still, waiting when knowledge will drop into their mouths, without any use of meanes.

But you may smell what these men drive at.

  • 1. They are loath that any sort of men should be thought to have any thing more then themselves.
  • 2. They would faine have their owne spirits or phansies to be the judge of the sence of Scripture, that so their glosses on the same may goe for currant, though they have no affinity at all with the true Grammaticall sence, and then his Expo­sition shall be best, that ha's most bold­nesse and confidence in asserting it.

Oh the wantonnesse and vanity of a proud heart! Let Christians take heed.

I have spoken I suppose sufficiently to this matter.

Whereas he sayes,The P. G. Routed. The Spirit of Christ is enough to make men able Disputants, such as can convince gain-sayers.

  • 1. You may see how true it is by him­selfe,
    who pretends to more gifts of the [Page 142]Spirit then ordinary: If he can dispute no better then he writes, I undertake that the meanest of the Romish Emissaries will easily argue him out of all his Religion.
  • 2. How evident is it to every mans experience, that there are thousands of precious soules that have the truth so deeply engraven upon their hearts, that all the powers of darknesse cannot take it from them; and yet are not able to maintaine it in dispute against cunning opposers. Of which number was that Martyr that said, I can die for Christ, though I cannot dispute for him.

But let this suffice you in short as a defence of Humane Learning so much slighted.

I confesse 'tis but a very small portion of it (in comparison of many of my Brethren) that I ever attained to, being soon taken off from the University, by the breaking forth of our Civil Wars. But as for that little which I have, I may say of it as Luther did of his skill in the Hebrew Language, I would not change it for all the riches in the World. Neither in­deed should I know what to doe in the Ministry without it. Though withall I must professe too that God ha's been ve­ry gracious to me (I must speak it to his [Page 143]praise) in blessing mine endeavours ve­ry much upon the little stock I have. Unto which blessing especially, I must attribute that sufficiency I have unto my Ministeriall duties.

'Tis said, Learning ha's never any adver­sary to withstand it, but Ignorance: I have so much learning as makes me see the worth and usefullnesse of Learning. And truly my experience of the same enforces me to speak upon this subject (among o­ther things) which I know the squea­mish stomacks of many will not relish very well: However I shall take comfort in this, that I have done my duty.

His Eighth Error.
That the Ministry of ENGLAND is Antichristian.

THis lies in the end of his Book, and I beleeve to perswade men of this, is his end: First in his intention, though last in execution. His designe is not so much to make more Preachers, as to vilifie those that are already as Antichri­stian, and no Ministers.

'Tis an heavy charge this that he brings [Page 144]in, not against some, but all Ministers: I shall examine the strength of what he urgeth to make it good.

That which he speaks is either in an­swer to what is pleaded on their behalfe by his Adversary: or else something that he urgeth against them. I shall give you mine answer to every thing in its order; so as that you shall easily perceive that what he writes is grounded either on pittifull ignorance, or else on certaine slanderous, reproachfull, uncharitable calumnies, springing out of his unsan­ctified, malicious spirit, in which he can­not expect to be beleeved by any, but such as have made ship-wrack of love and godlinesse, as he himselfe (I am much afraid) ha's.

Mr Hal in his Book ha's six Arguments to prove that the Ministers of England are not Antichristian: before I take off his answers to these Arguments, I shall reply to somewhat that he ha's to say against something that Mr Hall speaks in Answer to an Objection, to this purpose.

‘The Authority of a Minister doth not depend on the persons Ordaining, but principally on Christs inward call, discerned by gifts, &c. We have our Ordination from Christ, by Bishops, and Presbyters, &c.

[Page 145] To this he gives answer in these words.

You your selves have concluded the Bishops Antichristian in their calling, The P. G. Routed. and is yours Christian? A Riddle.

Did ever any of those that have plead­ed against the usurped power of Bishops, Reply. say that Bishops are Antichristian simply considered? We all say their Lordly power which they assumed to themselves over other Ministers, was Antichristian, not the Calling of Bishops consider it simply, as it signifies no other then the calling of aWhich is the true & ancient sence of the word Bishop. Pastour or Elder. He might know if he were not willfully blind, that those that have pleaded against the Lordly power of Bishops, have constantly affir­med, that the calling and office of a Bi­shop, and a Pastour, or Elder, are one and the same, and so that Power which they usurped over their Brethren, was Anti­christian, and nothing else.

But secondly, he adds,

The outward calling you have from them, The P. G. Routed. and can they give you that they have not them­selves? A Paradox.

He should have proved that the Bishops had not the outward calling of Ministers.Reply. Though Christ never called them to that [Page 146]superintendency over their fellow-Mini­sters, which they took to themselves, yet he called many of them to the office of Ministers, and in that respect they might ordaine and approve others to that of­fice. This he ha's nothing to say to, un­lesse a confident dictate in the next page, in answer to this. That Bishops were Ministers, and Ordained, not as Lord Bi­shops, but as Presbyters: To this he sayes,

You juggle with the businesse, The P. G. Routed. &c. Who knows not that not long since the name of Presbyter was a stranger among us, and to your selves too?

Who knowes not?Reply. There is no man that is not as blind and ignorant as The P. G. Routed is, but knows that the name of Presbyter was ever as frequent among men of knowledge, as that of Bishop, and knowne to be the name of Ministers of the Gospel, and so used, though his ig­norance makes him so bold as to say, we were strangers to it. Hardly any that have written of the Ministry, but have used this name or title more or lesse, to signi­fie Ministers in office.

So that we doe not new name Bishops in calling them Presbyters (as he affirms) we give them their old name which they [Page 147]had before ever Lord Bishops were known.

'Tis knowne that in former ages of the Church, a Bishop was onely as the Chair­man of the Eldership, not having any power over the rest. Now as such (not in respect of the additionall power, which by favour of Princes they got into) did they ordaine our Ministers. This is no juggling (I hope) but plaine enough for any to understand.

Whereas he sayes,The P. G. Routed. Why is not Episcopos as good Scripture, as ancient, as honourable, as Presbyteros, an Elder?

I answer, who sayes but it is?Answ. There­fore we allow both the name and office of a Bishop, as he is the same with a Preach­ing Elder. But this he suggesteth to per­swade his unwary Reader, that our Mi­nisters do deny that they were Ordained by Bishops as Bishops; when as 'tis only denied that they were ordained by them as Lord Bishops. If this be not a cheating trick to deceive the weak, let any man judge. But he adds.

If they were Ministers and so ordained you, The P. G. Routed. you have done ill to Preach them downe as Antichristian. And so to lay them aside as no Ministers.

Who ever did so,Answ. unlesse such rash spi­rits [Page 148]as himselfe? Is it not knowne that those that were faithfull and godly a­mong them, have been, and still are lookt upon as Ministers? And do Preach Christ (and that too by appointment of Autho­rity) in this Nation. I am sure they did not long sinceDr. Hall, Dr. Ʋsher, & others. and if not dead do yet; and yet see how impudently he vaunts upon this account [Where is your call from them now?] Notwithstanding his confi­dence, those Bishops that were godly were never denied to be true Ministers, though they were justly spoken against in respect of their usurped power. They sinned in taking that power to themselves that Christ never gave them, but that did not make void that ministeriall power which they had from Christ, by vertue of which, they ordained and appointed other Mi­nisters.

Whereas 'tis moreover urged against him, ‘That the Power of the Presbytery is onely Ministeriall, whereby it testifies, declares, and approves of those whom God approves and calls.’ This, I per­ceive by his answer he doth not under­stand, and therefore I shall help him a lit­tle according to my apprehension of it, because indeed it makes very much to the clearing of this Question. Wherefore take [Page 149]notice, that the Presbytery doe not give the Ministers authority to him: That is from God, who appoints officer in his Church for the edification, and comfort thereof. The Presbytery do only testifie and declare (after they have proved and examined) that such and such are ap­proved and called of God: that so they may be Ministers and in authority unto the Church, and may give themselves to the work of the Ministry with more free­dome, having such a Seal to their Mission. Now it being so, that the authority and office descends to our Ministers from Christ, and their Ordination by the Pres­bytery, is but their Ministeriall testifying to the same; if that which is testified of our Ministers be reall, and true (that is, if they be men that have an inward call from Christ) the corruption of those that did approve and testifie, cannot at all make void their office. So that those that are really gifted, and are faithfull a­mong our Ministers (for I plead only for such) are true Ministers of Christ, not­withstanding some spots of Antichristi­anisme (if you will call it so) not then discovered to them, did stick upon those that did testifie, declare, and appoint them to be Ministers. For that blemish [Page 150]which stuck on the Ordainers, could no way redound to them that were Or­dained any further then they did ap­prove the same in them; and therefore now can redound nothing at all to such as have condemned, and publiquely de­clared against the same, as our faithfull Ministers have done.

This is a thing of speciall note as to the clearing of the controversie in hand; and though Mr Hall gives a sufficient hint of it, yet The P. G. Routed passes it over as though he understood it not, when indeed I rather think 'tis because he could not tell what to say to it.

Onely you may find some of the froth of his unsanctified spirit swimming on the top of the 98th page, which you must take as his answer in these words.

If in some, The P. G. Routed. pride, covetousnesse, ignorance, ma­lice, treachery, bloodthirstinesse, &c. in others, loosnesse of life, prophanenesse, drun­kennesse, whoring, &c. may delare men to be called of God: You (speaking of the Ministers of England) have so much to say for your selves as any people in the World.

This is to perswade,Answ. and make the world beleeve that our Ministers have no [Page 151]inward call from God. But how notori­ously false, and unchristian hell-borne a scandall this is (as applied by him) I leave to any modest Christian to judge. I professe it even makes mine heart trem­ble to read him. He hopes if he can raile and revile roundly, some thing will sticke, though all bee not beleeved. Is this christianity?

But let us see what he has to shew for an answer to the six Arguments urged to prove the validity of the Ordination of the ministers of England.

The First Argument.

Those whose Ordination was right for substance (though it fail in some cir­cumstance,Arg. 1. yet) is valid.

But the Ministers of England, their Or­dination was right for substance, in that they had the inward call, and the out­ward too, being examined for life, and learning; approved of, and set a party by prayer, exhortation, &c.

Therefore their Ordination is valid, notwithstanding some failing in circum­stantialls.

He denies not the first proposition, it being indeed unquestionable: and against the second he sayes severall things. As [Page 152]for the inward Call (sayes he) That upon your owne account is no part of Ordination, The P. G. Routed. and the ou [...]rd call came by succession from Rome.

To the latter clause [The outward call came from Rome, Reply. &c.] I will reply, when I come to answer his Reasons to prove the Ministry of England Antichristian.

But as to the first [The inward call is no part of Ordination upon your owne account.] I answer; Do we say any such thing? viz. That the inward call is no part of Ordination. Nay, do we not say on the contrary, that the inward call is the very life and soul of Ordination? What is this mans forehead made of, think you? 'Tis true, the inward call is no part of the outward Ordination, as the soul is no part of the body, but yet is in the bo­dy, and is an essentiall part of the man; even so this inward call is part of that compleat Ordination that makes a Mini­ster; yea it makes that ordination which in respect of its externall part may be defective, and lame, to be for the maine, valid where it is: as the presence of the soule in the body that is maimed, or di­seased, makes a true living man. Ah! this he would not have you see, if you do, then farewell to his whole cause.

But he hath som what more to say against this Argument, which is to this purpose.

[Page 153] The inward call? say little of that. The P. G. Routed. [intima­ting that our ministers have not the inward call] And the imposition of hands, examination of life, and learning, prayer &c. you so much boast of is nothing but an Antichristian forme without power; for neither they, nor you know what the gift, calling, or worke of the ministry of Christ is. &c.

This is his answer.Answ. Now if any man can put so much confidence in him, as to take his word for this (when there is no proof of it yea when tis contrary to eve­ry unbiassed mans knowledge, and ex­perience) he may. But if you can but be­leeve (as I thinke no modest christian can choose but doe) 1 that those many hun­dreds of godly ministers that are in Eng­land have an inward call from God. 2. That imposition of hands, examination and approbation, with prayer and ex­hortation are some thing besides an anti­christian forme: being commended in Scripture both by precept, and president. 3. That those that did ordaine, and those that were ordained, did any of them know what the gift, calling, or worke of a minister is, if you can (I say) beleeve any of these particulars, then (for ought is in his answer) hee gives you leave to [Page 154]conclude that our ministers ordination is valid, and of force. And I desire to leave the controversy to the reader upon these termes too; for I thinke him not worthy to bee disputed with, that hath so far made shipwrack of ingenuity and charity as to deny any of the particulars before mentioned. The 1. and 3. being so fully testified by experience, the 2. by Scrip­ture.

The Second Argument.

The next Argument to prove the vali­dity of the Ministry (notwithstanding it hath run downe to us through chan­nels somewhat impure) is the validity of Baptisme, Arg. 2. which hath come the same way to us.

Thus, if our Baptisme be true Bap­tisme, then our Ministry is a true Mi­nistry.

But our baptisme is true baptisme, &c. Ergo.

Here he is glad he hath the advan­tage to speake as bad of our Baptisme as of our Ministry: for he denies both as Antichristian. Grant one absurdity, and a thousand will follow.

He sayes;

[Page 155] You have now hit the nail upon the head, The P. G. Routed. &c. I deny either their or your Baptisme to be any Baptisme at all, &c.

I answer 1.Reply. You must know this Ar­gument was never framed to convince an Anabaptist. There are others beside Anabaptists that question the validity of the Ordination of the Ministers of Eng­land, and to them this Argument will prove unanswerable. For if the Ministry (because it came downe to us running a while through a dirty channell) be therefore null, then Baptisme (which descended to us by the same way) must be null too. He that can deny that there is any Baptisme or Baptized persons in a­ny of the Churches (whether Indepen­dent or Presbyterian) of England, New-England, Scotland, France, &c. will make light of this Argument: but it will make others, of more modest Principles, to be at a stand.

And here let me advise such as (being no Anabaptists) doe yet conclude the Ministry of England no Ministry, and the Churches thereof no Churches, to exa­mine their Arguments well, and see whe­ther by the same Arguments may not be also proved as well that their owne Bap­tisme [Page 156]is no Baptisme. I am afraid they will find it so; and a hard task to answer the Anabaptists plea against them.

But to returne to my Router.

2. He denies our Baptisme as well as our Ministry, because of its descending to us through the Church of Rome. But what will become of his Baptisme then? If that be true which he confesses, page 97. That none can give that which he hath not himselfe. None can ordaine a Mini­ster but he that is a Minister, and so none baptize but he that is baptized. How then is he or any of the Anabaptists in England, baptized? When 'tis knowne, that when they did set up their Dipping within these few years, two of them went down into the water, and one dipt the other, and so they the rest. Could either of them be a baptized person by his owne rule? Sure 'tis time for him (by that time he hath well thought upon this) to deny his owne new Baptisme, or to own ours. And if he owne our Baptisme, then he must our Ministry too.

The Third Argument.

If the Papists disclaime our Ministers as having no call from them,Arg. 3. then their calling cannot be Antichristian.

[Page 157] But they disclaime our Ministers, &c. Therefore, &c.

To this he answers three things.

1. 'Tis knowne, and your selves know, your Ordination came from thence. The P. G. Routed.

This is a bold falshood, as I shall evi­dence more fully anon: never did any Protestant goe to Rome for Ordination. 'Tis true, in time of the first reformation begun by Luther, those worthies that were ordained ministers in the Church of Rome, according to the corrupt way of ordaning then in use, after they were made sencible of the corruption, and witnessed against it, and became instru­ments of gathering out the pretious from the vile, were not againe ordained; but by vertue of what call they had, did ordaine others after a more pure and re­gular way; and have we our call from Rome and Antichrist therefore? that is very strange. But he adds,

They (viz the Papists) doe not say that your ordination in its rise came not from them, The P. G. Routed. but in the present its not approved of by them.

This is also a false hood,Reply. as full of ig­norance as the other is of boldnesse. I [Page 158]beleeve he never read what any of them say as to this thing. 'Tis most evident that they doe flatly deny any succession of our Ministry from theirs. And therefore call our Ministers in Queen Elizabeths time, and so downwardScultingi­us, Bristous, Sanderus, Bellarmu­nus. Ministros Parliamen­tarios, and Ministros Reginales; Queen Mi­nisters, and Parliament Ministers. And they give the reason, Non a legitima consecratio­ne aut inauguratione Catholica, sed a Regina & Parliamentis suam authoritatem ementitam derivant. i. e. They derive their fained authority not from lawfull consecrati­on, or catholick inauguration, but from the Queen, and two houses of Parliament. To this purpose speak the Popish Writers mentioned in the margent with others; and yet doth not his ignorance make him so bold as to say, that the Papists doe not deny our ministery in its rise to com from them? sure these men thinke there is nothing true but what they know; when alas (poore soules) the Lord knowes they have but little to help them to know very much. But he adds in the third place.

3.The P. G. Routed. Grant by way of concession that what you say were truth, yet is there but one Anti­christ in the World? &c.

[Page 159] This he sayes to shew you,Reply. how our Ministers may be Antichristian, though their Ordination came not from Rome: sayes he, there are more Antichrists then one.

To this I answer; 1. See here he be­gins to feare least he should not be able to make it good, that our Ministers Ordina­tion came from Rome, and therefore seeks a new starting hole. There are more Anti­christs then one: therefore they may be An­tichristian, though their Ordination came not from the Pope.

2. I confesse there are other. Antichrists beside the Pope; The P. G. Routed, and the men of his principles are Antichrists, being against Christs Baptisme, Ministry, Churches, if no more. But I hope our Ministers had never Ordination from them, and therefore are not Antichristi­an. Beside the Pope on the one hand who is Litterall Antichrist, and the Familisticall Enthusiasts of our times on the other hand, who are mysticall Antichrists, I, for my part, know no notable Antichrists in the World. If he had told what Antichrist our Ministers had their Ordination from, if not from the Pope, I should have known what further reply to make; but now I must follow him in his answer to the 4th Argument.

The Fourth Argument.

If their Ordination be Antichristian, then cannot they with modesty accuse our Ministers as Antichristian.Arg. 4.

But their Ordination is Antichristian, which is by the people, whereas Christs rule is, that Pastors should ordain Pastors, Acts 14.23. 1 Tim. 4.14. Tit. 1.5.

Therefore, &c.

To this he answers.

A goodly Argument sir! The P. G. Routed. as if because ours is Antichristian, therefore yours may be so by a Law; Learned Logick! &c.

Oh the stupid ignorance of this fellow!Reply. was that the conclusion? The Argument concludes not that our Ministers are not Antichristian, but that the Anabaptists cannot with modesty call them so, be­cause their owne Ministry is Antichristi­an, being contrary to Christs rule. And that I hope is undeniable.

Whereas he goes on saying, that as to the Ordination mentioned (by the people) he knowes none such: Truly I beleeve him, because for the most part these men own no Ordination at all; but that Ordina­tion that they have (where they have a­ny) is by the people; as he confesses [Page 161](if there be any sence in the words that follow (but as yet I take them to be pure non-sence, in a dresse of new words to deceive affectours of Novelty) if there be any sence, I say, in what he goes on to speak in this answer, it affirmes that their Ordination is by the people, and if such an Ordination be good, how is it that page 97. he sayes, 'tis a paradox to affirm that any one can give Ordination to a­nother, that hath it not himselfe? Sure the man seems to have a bad memory, or we should not read such grosse contradi­ctions. Their Ordination is good though it be only by the people, and yet our Mi­nisters Ordination not good or valid, be­cause those that Ordained them were no Ministers. If there be any reconciling of these two, then may we reconcile fire and water, light and darknesse.

The Fifth Argument.

Those Ministers which are elected,Arg. 5. proved, ordained, &c. according to the mind of Christ, cannot be Antichristian.

But the Ministers of England now are so.

Therefore they cannot be Antichri­stian.

To this he gives a three-fold answer, [Page 162]to which I shall make reply in order.

1. Tour Minor I deny, you have no such electi­on, The P. G. Routed. because you have no Church of Christ, &c. but professing hypocrites.

This being an unchristian slander,Reply. need speak nothing to it. If any man can think that all Churches, except Anabap­tists, are but professing hypocrites, I count him not worthy of an answer. He adds,

2.The P. G. Routed. Those Churches, such as they are, never elected you, &c.

This is a downeright falshood,Reply. like much of the rest of his Book; seeing (as 'tis well knowne) none are admitted to places, without a call from the people, or the better part of them.

3.The P. G. Routed. You were (sayes he) never proved, viz. of the knowledge of the Lord and his wayes, but of your Learning, &c.

This likewise is most untrue,Reply. and known to be so by all that are acquainted with the examination that such as are ordai­ned passe under; for when any one pre­sents himselfe to be Ordained, first of all Testimonialls under the hand of men of undoubted credit are required, to witnes [Page 163]to his blamelesse conversation: when such Testimonialls are produced, then is the person examined first concerning the work of grace on his heart, of which if he can give an account, he is then examined con­cerning his skill in the Originall Lan­guages, his knowledge in the doctrine of the Gospel, &c. which is proved by a dis­putation on some controversie in Divi­nity, that it may be knowne whether he can maintaine the truth against Gain­ayers. Then is he to Preach publiquely for the tryall of his gifts. And is here no proving of our knowledge of the Lord and his wayes? 'Tis strange a man should venture to publish to the world things so appa­rently untrue.

The Sixth Argument.

Those Ministers that are diametrically opposite to the Priests and shavelings of Antichrist,Arg. 6. cannot be Antichristian.

But the Ministers of England are so. Therefore, &c.

To this he answers.

You are so in some circumstantialls, not in the substance, for you owne their Ministry true, The P. G. Routed. their Ordinances true, &c.

1. What, doe we differ from them,Reply. on­ly [Page 164]in circumstantialls? Ah poor man! that can shift no better to helpe his bad cause. Are Justification by works, worship­ping of Images, praying to Saints, the Masse, &c. but circumstantialls? Sure hee'l prove himselfe the best Advocate for Rome, if he can make this good, that the things we differ from them in, be onely circumstantialls.

But 2. Is it not notoriously false, that we acknowledge their Church, Ministry, Ordinances, as true? What if Mr Hall in his second Argument doe acknowledge that they were so? so does that famous worthy, Mr Burton, who lost his ears un­der the Arch-Episcopall Tyranny, for the truth of Christ, in his answer to Mr Chom­ley's defence of the Church of Rome. He grants they had the essence of a Church untill the Councell of Trent, but not af­terward, when they were compleatly a­postatized, and the faithfull had with­drawne from them. So doe we acknow­ledge also; not that their Church and Ministry is true now.

There is yet one rub more which he labours to take out of his way. 'Tis ur­ged that our ministers doe convert souls, and therefore appear to be sent of God, in that their Embassage is made succes­full by God.

[Page 165] To this he answers.

If conversion be a proof of a Minister in office, The P. G. Routed. then women may be Ministers in office, or any man by whom God converts, &c.

Who but one of a womanish spirit and brain, would have given such an answer?Reply. No man sayes that converting soules, proves all ministers in office that do con­vert, but 'tis a proofe of the ministry of those that doe officiate as ministers, and in so doing convert. This is most evident by what Paul speaks, 1 Cor. 9.2. If a pri­vate Christian, making use of his Talents in his place, and within his sphere, doe convert souls; this is a seal of Gods ap­proving such pious means as he uses in order to the same. Even so if a man offi­ciate as a minister in office, and God blesse his endeavours with the conversion of souls, 'tis a seal of his mission. And the reason is, because God will not ordina­rily concur with such as he sends not. Such as pretend unto an office from God, when he never gave them any, use not to have successe given them by God in dis­pensing the same. God will not seal to a false and pretended ministry, by his bles­sing the same, as is plaine Jer. 23.21, 22. wherefore it is evident, that (seing the [Page 166]Lord hath continually blessed the la­bours of our Ministers, with the conversi­on of many souls) our ministers are the true ministers of Christ.

But he sayes, page 71.

In this likewise hath the Lord manifested his approving and calling the Preaching Bre­thren, The P. G. Routed. the great number of converts from Antichristian, and Babilonish ignorance and confusion, &c.

Converts? Answ. he means Anabaptisticall Pro­selytes, whom they have drawne away from holding any communion with the people of God in this Nation, or in any of the Churches of Christ in the world. A fine piece of Conversion indeed! Let him shew me any that have been brought off from a carnall, sensuall living, unto a reall and serious profession of the pow­er of godlinesse, by such Preachers, mini­string as they do without being appoint­ed unto the office according to the rules of Christ; and he will shew more then ever I could find in all mine experience. I do not doubt but men really gifted, mini­string their gifts in a peaceable and or­derly manner, as becomes men in a pri­vate capacity, may have their endeavours blest with the Conversion of souls: but [Page 167]as for such as goe beyond their line, and contentiously usurp the ministeriall fun­ction (as the P. G. Routed, and such like travelling Preachers doe) well may they pervert many: I never found they conver­ted any.

That which he adds [That the con­version our Ministers boast of, is not a con­version from sin to God, but onely from sin to resting in duty.] It is such a palpable un­truth, and so big of envy, and pride, that I shall say nothing to it: Let Saints experiences speak.

You have seen the invalidity and weak­nesse of his answers to those six Argu­ments that prove our Ministers free from Antichristianisme: notwithstanding what he alledges they firmely prove that which they are brought for, therefore I shall not add any more.

Onely in a word or two I shall exa­mine the strength of his Arguments to prove the affirmative, that they are Anti­mristian.

His Arguments as six in number, but onely one in weight, and that the first which is as followes.

[Page 168] Those Ministers whose Ordination by successi­on came from the authority of the Pope, The P. G. Routed. are Antichristian.

But your Ordination by succession came from the authority of the Pope, Ergo, &c.

This is his Ʋnum magnum, which if I can answer,Answ. the controversie will be at an end.

I shall first distinguish as to his first Proposition, and so answer.

I would faine know what he means by [An Ordination comming by succession from the Authority of the Pope.] the expression is equivocall. Whether doth he meane, such an Ordination as came by succession from the Popes authority as the first Ori­ginall of it? or else such an Ordination as came from the Pope, onely by being conveyed downe to us through his hands?

If he meane the former, then I deny his second Proposition. The ministers of England have not such an Ordination as came by succession from the Popes au­thority, as the first Originall of it. For that Ordination which they have, as to its substance, was appointed by Jesus Christ, and grounded on the Scriptures. 1 Tim. Tit. 1.5. Acts 14.23. &c.

[Page 169] If he meane the latter, then I deny his first Proposition. For all ministers are not Antichristian, that have such an Or­dination as (descending from Christ) ha's sometime past through the Popes hand: for if so, then all that ha's past through his hands must be Antichristian: which if we grant, then not onely our ministry and baptisme, but the Scriptures also must be Antichristian too. How will he help it? If he say the Scriptures came forth from Jesus Christ, and so are recei­ved; so say I, our Ordination came from Jesus Christ, and so, under that conside­ration, our ministers receive it. If he say, the Scriptures are received in their perfe­ction, but the Ordination was vitiated and corrupted. I answer, the Scriptures also were very much corrupted by the Papists, as the Ordination was; but a­mong us hath been restored, by degrees, the beauty of both. Let him looke to himselfe, the same door he goes out at, the same will I. If he can free the Scrip­tures from Antichristianisme descending to us through the Church of Rome, the same way will I free the ministry and Ordination from Antichristianisme, not­withstanding it descended to us through the Pope; hands.

[Page 170] But 2. Seing he is so particular in tel­ling us when we had our Ordination from Rome, in the 99th page. I shall speak somewhat to the clearing of this also: he sayes,

Your Saint Austin the Monk being sent from Rome to establish the Romish faith in this Nation, The P. G. Routed. he accordingly accomplishing the worke, you have your Ordination by succes­sion from thence.

Very good: I am not very unwilling to grant him this.Answ. Onely all the danger lies in these odious termes which hee makes use of, as Rome, Romish faith, and Austin the Monk; I shall discover his un­derhand deceitfull dealing in using these expressions, and the matter will appeare as cleare as the Sun.

1. Whereas he sayes, Austin came hi­ther from [Rome] to establish the [Ro­mish faith] he speaks deceitfully, or igno­rantly; for the Romish faith, was then the true, christian faith, and there was no Christian Church visible on Earth but held communion with the Church of Rome (as then it was) in the same faith, for the maine.

2. Austin was not theMason de Min Angl. l. 2. cap. 4. Heyl. Geo. p. 469. first that esta­blished the Christian faith in England. [Page 171]This he is mistaken in too. The Gospel was received in England, long before Austin was. This Nation, that is now one Common-wealth; was anciently divided into severall Kingdomes, some of them had received the faith long before Austins comming, if not by the means of the A­postles themselves (as some write) yet in the Apostolicall times byBaronius, Capgravius Joseph of Arimathaea, and then afterward was the doctrine of Christ revived byMason. l. 2. c. 3. Heyl. p. 469. Eleutherius, Anno Dom. 180. which is 1471. yeares fince. At which time, I hope, the Bishops of Rome were true ministers, and the Church of Rome a true Church: more­over when Austin (that he speakes of) came hither, which asBeda. Epit. Hist. Angl Heyl. Geogr. p. 490. history witnesses, was about 1058. years since, there were severalFlorebant apud illos eo ipso tempore septem E­piscopi, &c. Mason. se­cundum. Bed. L. 2. c. 2. Bishops in England, professing and preach­ing the Christian faith. So that if we go this way to work, our Ministers Ordination will have an higher beginning then the Collier conceives. But if we doe grant that Austin (as he would have it) did first begin to ordaine Mini­sters here (being sent from Rome) and our Ministers Ordination be from him: Yet that being (as you heard before) 1058. years agoe, the Church of Rome [Page 172]was then also undoubtedly a true Church of Christ. AndVide obsecro an uni­versalem Episcopum se vocaret Gregorius, quod hodie Romae fit: An im­peratorem Dominum suum jam vocaret Pon­tifex qued fecit Grego rius. Mason. de Min. Angl. L. 2. c. 4. Gregory the Great, then Bish: of Rome, whom he (to affright and startle ig­norant people, calls Pope) was as farre from taking upon him that Antichristian power, that now the Popes of Rome take to themselves, as east is from west. So that Austin and his compani­ons (that were appointed and sent by this Gregory to establish the Church of Christ in England, Baptizing such as were added to the Church, and setting Pa­stours over them) had a lawfull and va­lid mission (at least for the maine) and therefore their Acts both of Baptizing, and Ordaining Ministers, were valid also.

3. Whereas he stiles Austin, our [Saint Austin the Monk] 'tis either ignorantly, or deceitfully as before; for those that were called Monachi, which we render Monks, in some of those first hundred years after Christ, were as much diffe­rent from those idle gluttons, now in the Church of Rome called Monks, as the Bi­shops of Rome then, are from the Popes now.Divinis re­bus vacan­tes. Mason. The name signified, some wholly devoted to divine things; some wholly separating themselves unto the study of the [Page 173]heavenly mysteries of truth. And so it was used then. 'Tis true, since the Apostasie, this name is become odious by reason of those swarms of luxurious idle belly-Gods, that are of that Order, in the Church of Rome. However, it was not so at first, nor at that time when Austin was sent in this Nation. TheAlsted. Parat. Theol. de Mon. Incredibile est quantum a majoribus suis degeneraverunt. Sayes an Ital. Papist. word then had a better acceptation and signification; and was taken up no doubt by pious men. Where­fore the P. G. Routed doth not deal plainly with his Reader (if he knew this, as I confesse I think he did not) in calling Austin a Monk in contempt; when as it was the wickednesse of after times that made this name contemptible and odious, that had before a better use.

4. Though Austin was a Monk before his mission into this Land, yet at his comming over he was Ordained a BishopSe Mason. de Min. A [...]gl. [...] c. 5. either by the Bishops of Germany (as Gregory) or else by the Bishops of France (as Beda) writes: and so he ordained (with the help of others) those Ministers that were ordained here.

So that now see what is become of his great leading Argument, The Ministers of England are Antichristian, because their Or­dination came from the Pope, by the meanes of [Page 174]Austin the Monk, who was sent hither to e­stablish the Romish faith. The History being fully cleared up, it appears to be a meer bug-bear, and so far from making against our Ministers, that it abundantly vindi­cates them, and their Ordination. As for the truth of the relation, I have point­ed at some in the margent for the confir­mation of the same: And whoever is verst in History, knows it to be as certain as History can make a thing; and that is as certaine as any thing is that we doe not see.

No man knowes that there was such a one as Austin, or a Bishop of Rome that sent him hither, but by humane History: and by the same know you that my rela­tion of this matter is true. I speak to the weak.

As for his five other Arguments, they being nothing else but an heap of most malicious and wicked slanders: I shall say nothing to them.

He sayes our Ministers are Antichristi­an; because,

  • 1.
    The P. G. Routed.
    They doe not Christs worke.
  • 2. They desire to sit in Christs seat.
  • 3. They are belly-gods.
  • 4. They are enemies to the fellowship of the Saints.
  • [Page 175]5. They set up something like truth, in the roome of truth, in opposition to truth.

These are his five other Arguments to prove them Antichristian.Answ.

This poysonous froth thou mayest ea­sily scum off, if thou hast but a little of the Spirit of the Gospel in thee. I intend my Discourse principally for honest hearts: wherefore, saying no more, I shall take my leave of The Pulpit Guard Routed, having I think, sufficiently scat­tered his worthy, hoast of answers, and Arguments which he hath gathered up against Christ and the truth. I shall onely advise thee, Never credit boldnes more for this mans sake. But seriously weigh all things in the ballance of the Sanctuary. Try all things, hold fast that which is good.

A POSTSCRIPT-Advertisement To the READER.

THere is another dangerous, pe­stilent, blasphemous Booke of this Colliers (against Or­dinances, yea and against the Person and Offices of Christ) which I did endeavour to get while I was an­swering this but could not. I know not whether he will make reply to this that I have written: Possible he may. 'Tis easie for a man to multiply Answers, if he take no care to speake pertinently. If he should Print another such answer to me, as The Pulpit Guard Routed is to Mr Hall; I shall promise him never to take the pains to reply. Thou mayest well think he spake his best in answer [Page]to Mr Hall. and if that (notwith­standing all his boldnes, and confidence in writing) be so weak, absurd, and im­pertinent, as thou mayest perceive by reading my reply: sure if he should put on double the confidence in writing another answer, I suspect (and so mayest thou) 'twill be for strength of Argument like the former; which if it be, I shall be coutent to suffer him to have the last word: supposing that none of those (whose good I aim at) will count his cause best, that speaks last.

This, that is now swollen into a Treatise, was intended, at first, onely as a Monitorie Epistle, in two or three sheets to stop the gangrene of his Er­rours from spreading among Christi­ans. I ut I met with such variety of ab­surdities, so boldly and dangerously laid downe in his Discourse to entrap the weake, that I could not well be shorter then I am.

The Lord give thee understanding in all things.

February 14. 1651.

IMPRIMATUR, Edmund Calamy.

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