THE VINDICATION Of a true PROTESTANT, and faithfull Servant to his Church, DANIEL WHITBY, Rector of THOYDEN-MOUNT in ESSEX.

From Articles exhibited against him in the Exchequer-Chamber at Westminster, By a few Schismaticall, tempestuous, illi­terate heedlesse People: Together With a Sermon Preached at RUMFORD the last Visitation in ESSEX, in defence of the Liturgie of the Church of ENGLAND, which is most objected in these ARTICLES.

ESAY 5.3.

Judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my Vineyard.

HEB. 12.3.

Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himselfe, lest you be wearie and faint in your minds.

OXFORD, Printed by LEONARD LICHFIELD, Printer to the Universitie, 1644.

THE DEDICATION: TO The most Glorious and Blessed TRINITIE, The Searcher of all Hearts, the Wit­nesse of my Thoughts, Words, and Lines, the Maker of all Things, and Judge of all Men; DANIEL WHITBY, a poore Creature, a Worme and no Man, and yet an Image of that Great Piece: In token of his faithfulnesse to his Copie, and deliverie of this Sermon, makes bold to call upon those Divine Powers, as Wit­nesse of the Worke, and Publication.

The Vindication of a true PROTESTANT.

HAving my Living sequestred, I am now at leysure to looke upon the Cause; being eased of the Pulpit, I make bold to visit the Presse. There was never any itch or inclination in my nature to appeare in Print, but that the blasphemie of the multitude compells me. I have lived these three yeares in the ayre of Reproaches; a Popish Priest, Malignant, false-Doctrine-Preacher, what not? but since I have parted with my Living, the noyse is greater: now they fill the ayre and Coun­trey with their malicious Revels, triumphing, trampling, singing the [...], they make the Countrey Echo with their acclamations. Who can blame me, if in Justice and Chartie to my selfe, I present the state of the businesse to the world, being not ashamed to give an account of my manner of Life Doctrine, and Tryall?

'Twice was my Peace and Innocence molested by their Ar­ticles.

The first Summons were last August, in Harvest, two weekes after my Lord Conway's departure from London; by the opportu­nitie you may guesse at the foundation of this attempt: as soone as he was gone, they invaded his Family, and fetcht up me; before, they thought the attempt desperate. The Articles were equally divided for number; tenne exhibited in the last Summer, tenne more the Christmas following.

The first Article.

That he is an enemie to Preaching, WITHESSES, John Field-Susan. Field. Ed. Prudden never Preaching but once on the Lords day, yet not suffering his Parishioners to goe to other Churches to heare Sermons, when they had none at home on the Lords day, charging them to the contrary, saying, The People have too much [Page 2]knowledge; and if it were not for some honourable respects, he would not Preach so oft as he did; and said, if his People wanted any thing, it should be Preaching.

Which Article hath foure Branches; Not Preaching, Forbidding men to goe, Inveighing against Knowledge, Threatning the want.

What say you, M. WHITE. Quest. ANSWER. Six yeares I have beene a Minister. M. Whitby, to not Preaching? Doe you Preach but once a day?

Ever since I have beene a Minister, I have Preached once on the Sabbath, besides Catechising at opportunities: for these two last yeares, and upwards, I have Preached twice on the Sabbath, besides Fasts, and other occasions: if this be to be an enemie to Preaching, I have no more to say for my selfe.

Here the Parishioners were called in, and did all testifie the same.

You forbad them to goe to Sermons, M. WHITE. when there was none in the afternoon.

No man ever gave more libertie to his Parishioners then my selfe,ANSWER. cherishi g and commending these three Accusers often for going to Sermons; yet seeing them grow headstrong, and runne contrarie to my expectation, I forbad the men one day, to trie their obedience; and because the Woman constantly and wilfully avoided Prayers in the Morning, I charged her (for satisfaction) to come in the afternoone, which she despised: but never were they once troubled or Presented for going, nor twice forbidden.

You said, M. WHITE. the People had too much knowledge, and envied them Preaching.

If I destroy the things I build,ANSWER. I make my selfe a transgressor: I dayly laboured to advance their knowledge, therefore cannot be thought to envie it: But this line is snatcht abruptly out of its Context and frame: I use to speake it Comparativè, viz. You have too much knowledge, unlesse I could see more practise; too much Preaching, unlesse you shew more thankefulnesse. That line may be envious in an abrupt view, which is apposite in its situa­tion. Prettie, when Ministers must be wounded with the splinters of their Sermons, without head or tayl, inference, or coherence considered.

You threatned, if they wanted any thing, M. WHITE. it should be Preaching.

They are bound to thanke me, and not to accuse;ANSWER. because if I threatned, I have beene better then my word: they never wanted that.

The second Article.

That he hath beene alwayes a maintainer of Superstatious Innova­tions, Joh. Field. Susan. Field. Ed. Prudden threatning to Present the Officers, for not setting up the Rayles about the Communion Table with speed, refusing to administer the Sacrament to such as would not kneele at the Rayles; and said, That whosoever would not conforme to those Orders of the Church (as he called them) then injoyned, and by him practised, were no better then Witches and Devils; and publiquely in the Church desired God, not to heare the Prayers of those that would not joyne with him in all his performances in the Church.

Which hath five Branches.

You have beene a maintainer of Superstitious Innovations. M. WHITE. ANSWER.

I have beene as utter a stranger to Superstitions and Innovations as any in the Clergie,There was no superstitious practise layd to my charge in all my tryals: For the Rayles, I practis'd no more to them, or at them, then without them. never transported with Episco­pall Innovations, nor now affected to Popular; but kept me close to the ancient Reformation of the Church of England, and her established Lawes, which I yet magnifie.

You threatned to present the Officers, for not setting up the Rayles. M. WHITE.

Wee were threatned to be presented at London Office,ANSWER. and Rumford Visitation, which I told the Officers and bade them look to themselves: John Jeyes, Church-Warden, was called in, and denyed any such thing, witnessing he had an Order from the Arch-Deacon to set them up: wee were so farre from forwardnesse, that wee were the latest in that observance in the Countrey.

You refused to administer the Sacrament to them that did not come up to the Rayles; by Name, Susanna Field.M. WHITE.

I never refused to administer the Sacrament,ANSWER. nor put back any all my time, but the Incestuous Sister of Edward Gibs, my Accuser, whom be protected in her shame, questioned me hotly for debar­ring [Page 4]her the Sacrament, and bore me this grudge ever since: If any miss'd the Sacrament besides, let them thanke themselves, and not complaine of me. I did my Dutie openly in the Church according to the Rubrick (If any have not Received in either kind, or both, let them speake, or signifie) there was no intimation of any that wanted, and so I went to Thanksgiving. They must observe me, I cannot studie particular persons in the Exercise of my Function. I dare say shee came artificially to want it, and lost it, to object against me.

You said, M. WHITE. Those that would not conforme to those Orders, were no better then Witches and Devils.

They make the Scripture looke enviously upon me:ANSWER. I said no more then Samuel, 1 Sam. 15.23. Preaching upon that Text, Obedience is better then Sacrifice, Rebellion is as the sinne of Witch­craft, I disswaded my Congregation from disobedience, from that Phrase wherewith it was stigmatiz'd in the Text, Witch-craft, which was, Conjuring and dealing with the Devill, and I would not have them partakers with Witches and Devils, 1 Cor. 10.20. What Chymicks be these Article-mongers, that can extract Quid­libet è quolibet? Turn a faire Text into a foule Article?

You desir'd God, M. WHITE. not to heare their Prayers, that would not joyne with you in all your performances.

If any such uncharitable Wishes should proceed from my mouth,ANSWER. I should utterly be ashamed of it, and abhorre my tongue for speaking it: but the truth is this; I often threatned the neglecters ofAll my Accu­sers are absolute enemies to the Common-Pray­er-Booke. Divine Service, that stayed from Church all Prayers-while for purpose, that God would not heare their Prayers that would not heare ours, which they have molded to this strange forme.

Here I appeale to all the world, Whether it be not the dutie of an Auditour, if he heare any thing fall from his Minister contrarie to sound Doctrine, to come and tell him of it personally, according to Christs Rule, Matth. 18.15. Dic inter te & illum, then Dic Ecclesiae &c. In many things wee offend all, as Jacob said of the Money in his sonnes Sacks;Gen. 43.12. peradventure it was an over-sight: if a man offend not in tongue, he is perfect. Many times a Minister lets fall an utterance, besides his mind: yet to shew you the consti­tution of these Auditours, I never heard of these Faults before, nor ever should, but to doe me a disparagement.

The third Article.

That he Preached, Susan. Field. John Field. Ed. Prudden That it was lawfull for Christians to joyne with any Nation in their outward Worship; and hath said, That the Ro­man Church is a true Church, in respect of Fundamentall Points of the Religion, although it be stained with Heresie; and that when wee are in Italy or Spaine, wee must doe as they there, and proved it from 1 Cor. 9.19.20.

What say you to this Article?M. WHITE.

ANSWER. This Article carryes that Fallacie of Aristotle; A benè divisis ad male con [...]uncta, The first and last of this Article are one, delivered in a breath: But here is a Line riveted into the Piece about the Roman Church, which was delivered at a vast distance of time; to invite you to beleeve, that M. Whitby laboured a Communi­cation with the Church of Rome in Worship, for so the Cobweb is spunne, to catch the hearers: I make no question, but to satisfie the Judicious and Charitable; and I care for no more.

I beseech God to blesse me in this world, and in that to come, to, and no otherwise, but as I have beene a constant enemie to that Church, from my education, and abhorre a Communion with their Tenents, &c.My afternoons Exercises are wholly institu­ted against the Rhenish An­notations. and have dayly begot the detestation of her in my Auditorie; yet I am a Foe to none, beyond the Line of Reason: And therefore to acquaint the world with what I once delivered, and is upon Record; I once mov'd that Question, Ex abundantiâ & copiâ doctrinae, out of nicitie, for so I qualified it at that time, Stabilire opinionem, non unitatem; an Romana Ecclesia sit Ecclesia Dei? Or belongs to the Catholique still? And stated it affirma­tive out of DoctorAppend. of the fifth Booke of the Church, p. 882. 883. Field; for I measured his syllables, in deciding it: It belongs to the visible Catholique Church, and borrowes that TitleAs S. Aust. The societies of Heretikes con­tribute to the Catholique; and Salomon, Cant. 6.8. describes the Church reple­nisht with Con­cubines as well as Queenes and Virgins.: It is Verè Ecclesia potius quàm vera, in Mornay's Criticismes: Vera is but the Emphasis of Ecclesia, if wee use that phrase, and bespeakes the truth of being, not of Doctrine; Meta­physicè, not Moralitèr: As a Leper, or a maimed man, that hath but body and soule together, is styled Verus homo; be his person never so deformed, he is called a Man still, and nothing else: so the Church of Rome is a Church, Templum Domini, else wee must not [Page 6]expect Antichrist from thence; and Children baptized there, must be rebaptired: so that in respect of the Profession of Religion, the holding of some saving Truths, as the Divinitie of the God-head, and Trinitie of Persons, wherein wee agree; some Articles of Faith, Ordinations, Baptisme; shee steales that Title of Ecclesia Christi, as the same Author: how dangerous is it for a Scholar to use his Judgement and Reading among ignorant men, in whom is more malice then discretion, their gall above their judgement? But to answer the Article; the first and last were one continued discourse about indifferent matters, expressely about the Postureor the Sacrament: I told them, in France they receive it standing, or walking; in Germanie sitting, in England kneeling: all these are best at home; and did wee come to their Church, wee ought to comply, as Saint Paul, loco citato, observed the manners of the places where he travelled, Italy or Spaine, &c. Understand this of our owne Religion and Profession; I did not open a Gap to Liber­tinisme, to teach men to be Jews or Turks, or Papists, &c. with the Polype fish, to change their colour with the next Rock.

The fourth Article.

That he laboured by all meanes, Susan. Field. John Field. Ed. Prudden both by Preaching and otherwise, to disgrace our Brethren the Scots, calling them in many of his Ser­mons, Rebels and Traytors, and made a Sermon purposely against them, calling them the sonnes of Belial, and said, Now adays a Rogue and Tinker, a Pedlar, any Body, was good enough to draw subjects to Rebellion against their King.

This Article was omitted: I was not questioned here; perchance it was buried under the Act of Oblivion: But what I spake, I spake under Protection of State, the Kings Proclamation to that purpose, and a Prayer in the Church to boot. Besides, this Article is aged, it was before the Protestation, when I had no more engage­ment to a Scot, then to the Dutch or French: since the Protesta­tion, my Vowes are upon me. But to disclose the Article; at the Scots comming in, I preacht upon that Text, 2 Sam. 20.1, 2. There happened to be there a sonne of Belial, whose name was [Page 7]Sheba, the sonne of Bicri, &c. I knew not who Sheba was, and it was no matter; a Tinker or a Pedlar, I said, was fit for such a Pro­ject, as Jack Straw, John Cade, and Wat Tiler.

The fifth Article.

He hath shewed himselfe an enemie to Parliaments, saying, Susan. Field. John Field. Ed. Prudden The King may take away his subjects goods to supply his wants, without a Parliament, or else (he said) he is no King at all; and for a King to be ruled by the Parliament, is to give his Crowne to them, and himselfe to become a subject: He said also, That it is not in the power of the Parliament, to take a part of a Ministers Benefice to maintaine a Curate.

What say you to this Article?M. WHITE.

ANSWER. Of all the Articles, I have no acquaintance with this; Nec via nec vestigium inveniri. All the Congregation was solemnely examin'd on these Articles on a Sabbath day, before worthy Gentlemen of the County, and disclaim'd this Article absolutely; never any such thing was delivered in that Audience: I have many and many times preached Propriety, never Tyranny, and these Rovers could nei­their produce time nor Text of these Articles, when, on what oc­casion, or Scripture delivered. But since those Texts they did pro­duce, did so unhappily discover them, it was wisedome to be igno­rant of the most, for dolus latet in indefinito. Two of the three wit­nesses are of such inconsistencie of judgement, emptinesse, incapaci­tie, distraction, that I dare venture my Credit, they are not able to carry a Text twice repeated, Terminis terminantibus; which made me admire when I saw them unanimous in their Evidences: They were long Catechized by some good Scholar, before they could say these lessons without booke; the last Line assures me of the So­phistrie, which M. White struck out; yet I beleeve it was as true as the rest, having no more occasion to talke of a Minister and his Cu­rates allowance, then of any other impertinency, so that be the mat­ter of this Article true or false, I am confident it is borrowed; and, as they say, it is familiar to choose Articles according to the fate they bring upon men. That which will put him out, you must put in. [Page 8]it is no matter what he hath done, but what will undoe him: this Article is more aged then the Parliament, and therefore improba­ble. My devotion and behaviour to the Parliament since it had a be­ing, I hope are more innocent and probable arguments, then wan­dring jealousies before.

The sixth Article.

That he disswaded his Parishioners from contributing to the Relief of Ireland;Ed. Gibbs. John Field. relling them, they were at great charges otherwise and wishing the younger people that were ready to give, to keepe their money for some Briefes he had to gather shortly of great value, and that charity begins at home.

You were an Enemy to the Reliefe of Ireland.M. WHITE. ANSWER.

This Article is so contradictory to what I then said, that the Congregation wrote Impudercie on it: had that brow that made it, any wrinckle of shame or honesty, he would have put in some­thing else; for I laboured by all skilfull, powerfull Arguments, to advance it, and invented a way to make the Parish bountifull, ex­tracting foure Briefes which I had then in my hands, from the chil­dren and servants of the Parish, which never gave before, nor would have beene askt to that Collection, and so left the house-keepers free, that they might be the more liberall to Ireland; yet I am wounded with mine owne plumes, and my industry to the cause in­verted against me, I was never counted an enemy to charity before.

The seventh Article.

That he hath disswaded his Parishioners from taking the Protesta­tion; saying, Ed. Gibbs. John Field. That it was enough to set the whole Kingdome together by the eares.

You disswaded your Parishioners from taking the Protestation. M. WHITE. ANSWER.

This is an Article of the same brood, I tooke the Protestation my selfe; preached two Sermons upon it out of Psal. 66.13. divi­ded [Page 9]it into foure parts, opened it, and commended to my Congre­gation every part of it: I doe not contradict that in my Pew, which I preach in my Pulpit: I am not Yea and Nay; but I told those seditious men that brought it me unattested, contrary to the Ordinance, they were disorderly men, and would set the world to­gether by the eares; which they (as handsomely as they could) transferred from their persons to the Protestation.

The eighth Article.

That in a Sermon, at a Visitation at Rumford,Ed. Prudden Ed. Gibbs. John Field. 1641. out of a pre­tended zeale for the Common Prayers, bitterly inveighed against preaching and conceived prayers, viz. That God thinkes best of formes of prayer, and not of prayers of the Spirit, for prayer by the Spirit did quench the Spirit, and that Gods stomack is not queazie as mens of our dayes; he doth not search for new devices, God is the God of the Old-Exchange as well as of the New, and wears not such mutable eares as men doe.

That set-formes of Common prayer, are the greatest glory of our English Nation.

That those that cannot endure to spend one houre in hearing Di­vine Service, and yet can be content to see two glasses turned in the Pulpit, though they heare nothing but Non-sense, their eares are bet­ter then their hearts.

What say you to the Visitation Sermon? M. WHITE. ANSWER.

I preacht at the Visitation on that Text Matth. 6.9. After this manner therefore pray ye, Our Father, &c. in advancement of our forme of Common Prayer: The Copie I had in my hand at the Tryall, layd it downe on the Table before the Committee, with these words: If there be any thing in this Sermon, that savors of a corrupt braine or an evill spirit, I will gladly beare the guilt of all these Articles; if not, I hope this may be a glasse wherein you may see their ignorance and malice, as well as my innocence. I told them moreover,The Lord Say's. in whose hands there was a Copie from the first birth of it: Nay, to tell the world my folly in this case, I have preacht this Sermon thrice in three solemne Congregations: I have given out [Page 10]three Copies of it; to the Lord Say, to my father, the Minister of Buckingham, and to a neighbour Gentleman in Essex; and now I must be forc't to Print it, to Vindicate both it and me stom the braine of the Vulgar and the Countrey noyse; and if I doe not Print it as neere the Copie and delivery as I can, let God and the world detect me for an Impostor: But to dally a little with the Article, the Author brings me in, out of a pretended Zeale to Common Prayer, to have said this, when all the Countrey knowes, my Zeale is more then pretended to Divine Service: I have preserved the forme of our Church prayers to this day, and will maintaine them against any opposer: Sure some preacher put in that Rhetorick, that hath renounc'd the Common Prayer, and thought I would prove a pretended Zelot like himselfe.

Many have spoken basely and coursely of it as the report goes; it is now to be seene, and seares no tongue but the blasphemers, no judgement but the fool's.

Here Edward Gibs made them merry, mistaking Mutuall eares in God, for Mutable: One of the Committees askt him what Mutuall eares were? He could not tell; but said, Gods Mutuall eares, if it please you: as the other witnesse to these Articles, the Gentleman of Gotham call'd the Malignants, Relignants alwayes, not being able to know or distinguish words: yet these Mounte­bankes will be judges of Sermons and Divinitie.

Reader, I will set the Sermon after the Articles, that this stuffe may goe together.

The ninth Article.

That he said, Rob. Coudge solus. It is law full for any man to doe obeisance to any thing in the remembrance of God.

Did you say these words in your Studie, M. WHITE. as you were discoursing with Rebert Goudge?

I doe not well understand them,ANSWER. nor can I Prophesie what hee meanes by them, I resigne the Article back to his wifedome that made it.

The tenth Article.

That he refuseth to take or administer the late Covenant.

Have you tooke the Covenant? M. WHITE. ANSWER. M. WHITE. ANSWER.


Will you take it?

I crave the priviledge of a Christian to enjoy my conscience, I cannot take it: I had a fortnights time to thinke better of it: I came up within the time, and told them, I would take it as farre as it concern'd the good of the Parliament, but not the Pro and Con. One of the Committee askt me, what I meant by Pro and Con? I answered, every wise man seeth this Covenant to be built upon a Controversie betwixt King and Parliament; now the same loyall opinion I have of the one, I have of the other, and therefore cannot sweare: I beleeve that the Parliament tooke up armes, for Religi­on. Lawes and Priviledges, to maintaine them, and I beleeve the King doth the same, and I must not drive out one nayle with another: I beleeve in conscience that Joseph is an honest man, and I thinke the same of John; I must not sweare out my charity to John, with my charity to Joseph: and so was bid to withdraw, and sent home for almost halfe a yeare, having satisfi­ed the Committee with my answers, none contributing a syllable to my doome at that time.

To shew the world now, the Constitution of my accusers, how unquenchable their Zeale is to such enterprizes, their malice was more incensed by that repulse: They are preparing presently for a second On-set like Simeon and Levi, their wrath was cruell: that instance may stand here, for never a tryall but some Levites were ap­parent, as well to contrive the Articles, as countenance the Cause; It was not the witnesses alone, but their Oracles to boot.

At Christ-masse I was serv'd with a second Summons on the Lords Day, as I was comming to the Sacrament; and standing before the Lords Table, preparing the Elements for service, John Field pre­sented me with this piece of his Religion; his Religion I may call [Page 12]it, for we could see no more: as soone as he had serv'd me, like Judas he went out, forsaking the Service and the Congrega­tion.

ON the 29. of December, I appeared at the Exchequer, and had tenne articles more exhibited, but they fell short of hurting me, they were either single witnesses, or double lyes; And a no­ble Knight of the Committee told me, they did not stick on me, they were Moats in comparison of the first, which appear'd as Mountaines: Therefore I shall be the nimbler in dispatching them to the Reader. These Articles come most from the Chimney-cor­ner, or Table: what I spake in private at home, is Articl'd by Edward Prudden, then a servant of the Family, and a Traytor to it; but it is no matter, since the world knowes the worst.

The first Article.

First, Ed. Prudden solus. M. WHITE. ANSWER. That the taking off the Earle of Straffords head, caused the Rebellion in Ireland.

What say you to this Article?

I cannot tell, where, when to whom, on what occasion, I should speake it; but we have often discoursed of the Deputy, in reference to the miseries of Ireland, not any affaires in England, imagining that the Rebells tooke opportunitie to rise from his absence and death; if he had beene there, they durst not have stirred; it was causa per Accidens: Causa sine quâ non, in our talke, not Efficiens; no physicall, but a morall cause, which is the occasion and oppor­tunitie; as my going to Church is the cause that I am robbed at home.

The second Article.

That a heathen might be saved by his Morall vertues, Ed. Prudden John Field. without Christ, else God should be more just then mercifull.

This Article would make me blush,ANSWER. had not Gods providence discovered it for me: but sure, if this Article had not beene spu­rious, it would have shewne its face the last time; for those were a yeare and an halfe a hatching: and could they forget this, and leave it out? I trow not. I desired M. White to aske, on what Text it was Preacht? for I write all my Sermons, as I told them, from the beginning of my Tryall. I thanke God hee named a Text, 1 Cor. 13. hee knew not the Verse, but I fancied it could be no Verse but the twelfth. I look'd amongst my Copies, and there I found that Subject which I shall faithfully transcribe out of the Copie, if the Reader will pardon the Prolixitie. The excellencie of the Subject would invite me to Print the whole, were it not for tediousnesse. The words are; Now wee see through a Glasse darkely, but then face to face: Insisting on our different knowledge of God in this world, and the estate to come, implyed by the Glasse and the face. Three things I observed in the word [...], Glasse: first, the darknesse of our knowledge here; secondly, the severall Glasses wherein wee see God; thirdly, the best use of these Glasses. On the second part, I raysed this varietie; Three Glasses wherein wee see God: first, the Glasse of the Creation, Rom. 1.20. se­condly, the Glasse of Reason, Proverb. 20.27. thirdly, that of Faith and Revelation, Jam. 1.24, 25. From the two first Glasses I raysed this Question Whether the Workes of the Creation and the Light of Nature, the visible World, Reason, and Philosophie would shew God sufficiently to bring a man to Heaven? Whether a Heathen and Philosopher might be saved through these two Glasses? The Copie runnes thus: ‘I have no authoritie and dis­position to condemne any nor shut Heaven-Gates against them; Who art thou that judgest another mans servant? Rom. 14.4. To judge, is Gods Prerogative; it becomes me to shew Pitie, rather then Crueltie: I am not proud to send all to Hell that knew not Christ so well as I, but rather must judge my selfe, and thinke wee that know God more then they, shall have a harder Audit; Father forgive them, they know not what they doe, Luke 22. The lesse knowledge, the more Preface to Mercie: The ser­vant that knowes his Lords will, and doth it not, shall have more stripes. Those that sought after God and Heaven, and walkt ac­cording to the Law hee gave them, in every Nation, Age, and [Page 14]Condition, some were accepted, Act. 10.35. Even the Gentiles, that had not the Law, were a Law unto themselves, Rom. 2.15, 16. If God shewed them enough to condemne them, Rom. 1. it becomes not me to make him cruell, and say, hee shewed them not enough to save them, Micha 6.8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee? There is an Indicatum, and Requisium: I will not conceive God so hard a Master, as the un­gracious servant reproacht him, reaping where he hath not sowne: Put thy knowledge to the right Bank, and as God shewes, he will require, and accept thee. I know, there is no salvation but by Faith in Christ, other foundation can no man lay, 1 Cor. 3.11. But Faith hath beene a Mysterie in all Ages; the Lambe slaine from the foun­dation of the world a wonder which Angels desired to looke into. That Glasse, like the Prospective Glasse, hath varieties of appearan­ces as God divides to every man a measure of Faith, 1 Cor. 12. Wee must not measure all the world by our Last: Tell me now Adam beleeved in Christ, before his [...]; what fancie the Jew had of Christ before hee came, that would not owne him when hee saw him. The Old Testament bad one Line of our Creed expressely, Credo in Deum; but the other Persons of the Trinitie were stran­gers to their apprehensions. Saint Paul hath some glances in his Epistles that doe illuminate my mind, and confirme my Charitie:Gal. 4.9. Wee know God, or rather are knowne of him, &c. If I may appre­hend that for which I am apprehended, Phil. 3.12. where the hand falls short of him, hee takes hold of itGods mercy over-reacheth mans appre­hension.; I am found of them that sought me not, speaking of the Gentiles, Es. 65.1. Hee will have mercie on whom hee will, Rom. 9.15. The Revelation of Christ was a hidden mysterie from former ages, Eph. 3.4, 5. And therefore above my rule to conclude, Quanta & qualis fides ante Christum sufficit. Those vertuous Philosophers that lived in awe of God, and ex­pectation of his reward, Heb. 11.6. shall be within the compasse of my hopes, many of them; else how should I hope for mercie for my selfe, that know God better, and live worse? Will not Cato make Christians blush at the Judgement Day? There is not so ex­presse distinct Faith required of them, as us: To whom much is given, of them much shall be required. So farre the Sermon, which I tendered to the Committee, shewing that Line, Other founda­tion can no man lay, 1 Cor. 3.11. where my opinion was visible, [Page 15]I shewed two Copies more, my Confession of Faith on that Arti­cle, Credo Jesum; and that Question, An gentes quae nec Messiam expectarunt, nec missum agnoverunt, potuerunt è lumine naturae sal­vari, which I had stated negative against the Arminians long agoe; and in all my Sermons they heard that Text of Peter, Act. 4.12. There is salvation in no other Name &c. I hope three Copies did prevaile above two Cow-men, though they are as Zealous as Doeg the Edomite, Sauls heard-man that slew the Priests, 1 Sam. 21.7. and 22.18. If any wonder at the mistake in this Article, desine mirari; the man that made it, knowes as well how to Pick a hole in a Ministers Coat, as a lock in his Ladies house.

The third Article.

That the Voting downe of Bishops, Ed. Prudden John Field. was to destroy the Order of Aaton, and to bring Jeroboams order in.

Voting is a word I never use,ANSWER. and this Article is above two yeares old, before any Voting downe of Bishops; yet I have often spoken to that purpose, labouring to advance Episcopacie in the affection of my Auditors (which was the present Government) against all Corruptions of it: To which end I made use of that Text 2 Chron. 13.9, 10, 11. Juda's Priest-hood, and Jeroboam's, as Abijah said. I alwayes made the Church-Government sutable, according to the three Constitutions of it, under the Law of Nature, Morali­tie, and Grace; Paternall, Sacerdotall, Episcopall.

The fourth Article.

He would often wish, Ed. Prudden solus. That he had great summes of money to lend the King.

I have ever the best wishes for the King;ANSWER. and hearing of Writs going abroad to borrow money, I wisht I had thousands to lend him.

The fifth Article.

Seeing an Ordinance of Parliament, John Brown solus. for assembling Divines for the Synod, and M. Marshall and M. Sedgewick nominated for Essex; he said, A pox take the Puritanicall Faction, they had made more disturbance in the Kingdome, then ever would be quenched Had they no other to put in but those?

Here comes in a new Customer,ANSWER. a Proselyte of the next Patish, with whom I have no more acquaintance, then the Crow that flyes by me. Penes authorem fides.

Did you not curse the Furitanicall Faction? M. WHITE.

None that ever knew me,ANSWER. heard that Dialect come out of my mouth.

Did you not speake against M. Sedgewick and M. Marshalls Election for the Assembly? M. WHITE.

I spake not of M. Sedgewick at all,ANSWER. nor of any Election to the Assembly; but seeing two Sermons of D. Burges and M. Marshalls lying upon M. Chevelyes table, I told M. Chevelye I lik't D. Bur­gesses Sermon well, not M. Marshalls; I saw nothing in that an­swerable to so great a Fame: that was all discourse, and occasion, that we talk'd of; which M. Chevelye being call'd in, justified be­fore the Committee.

The sixth Article.

Upon the Propositions for Peace, John Brown solus. he said; Now there would be Peace upon any tearmes to save life; Now they would deliver up Castles, Forts, or any thing, God knowes, to save life; Now the Round­heads Arses made Buttons.

He brings me in very Theatricall,ANSWER. as if I were acting upon a Stage: but the last part betrayes the Author, The Round-heads Arses is a Complement, that becomes his mouth better then mine.

The seventh Article.

He thanked God he never had so little manners, Ed. Prudden solus. as to goe by a Church and not pull off his hat.

This is very likely to be mine, if he meanes through a Church; the inside, not the out.

The eighth Article.

His Companie which he associated himselfe with, are Malignants, Ed. Prudden Ed. Gibbs. John Field. Drunkards, Swearers, and men of very scandalous lives, as D. Wright, M. Nicolson, M. Everington, and such like persons; and when he was absent, these onely supplyed his place.

I thought I might have beene excused my Companie-keeping,ANSWER. seeing I make no more use of it, then to preserve Civilitie and Cur­tesie: it doth not extend to the Ale-house or Taxeme, but to the doores where I live, where there be better witnesses to take notice of my behaviour. I have beene six yeares in this Countie and scarce know six Gertlemen, to whom I owe Visits; I am an utter stranger above two miles from home: I did not expect to be accused of Companie, that am accused of Stoicisme. For these Gentlemen ex­prest, I was never witnesse of any such ill qualities; some of them I have not seene since the Notion Malignant came up, and I have reason to thinke better of them then these report. Those that will lye unmercifully to paint their Minister, will stretch a little to set out the colours of a stranger. For their Preaching in my Church, it is rare; perhaps once a yeare I entertaine a helper, when I visir my Father: and for their Doctrine, my Accusers have commended it: when they preacht in my Church, they preacht very well.

The ninth Article.

He said, That our Townes-men were right for the Cause, John Brown botcher, solus. to rayse Warre against their King; but for his part, Cursed be his heart that lends any Money, he would not goe on in those wayes.

This strange man brings nothing but Cursing and Swearing,ANSWER. and filthinesse against me: but imagine that we met upon Mount Ebal, I hope the Committee will not beleeve, that I was so mad as to curse my selfe. With that, I layd downe a Bill of Expences for this yeare, which I had payd and given the Parliament, 20 pound out of a poore Living of 80 pound; the Constables Oath was offered, to testifie the payment of so much from my Purse.

The tenth Article.

That the said M. Whitby hath beene privie to, Ed. Gibbs. Susan. Field. and assistant in sending one privately with Letters to Oxon.

This is a good Article to wind up the bottome;ANSWER. there appeares nothing in it but a Lye, and the Image of Jealousie: Since there hath beene a Controversie in this Land, Oxford hath not beene the wiser for me by a syllable; but I sent a Letter to a Friend dwelling towards Cambridge, and they mistooke the Universitie. Robert Clark was called in, whom they accused for carrying the Letter; and hee offered to take his Oath, hee knew not where Oxford stood.

Have you tooke the Nationall Covenant? M. WHITE. ANSWER. M. WHITE. ANSWER.


Will you take it?

I will take it Passivè, but not Activè; it belongs not to my Calling to root out Episcopacie: I take it as Elisha tooke his Masters departure, 2 King. 2.3. patiently. I promised them obe­dience to it, but preserved my opinion of it, because my Reading had made such impression upon my Judgement. I spake too much to this Question and feare it did displease: yet I hoped for pardon, it being a sudden Answer to an unexpected Question; and I onely laboured to shew an honest mind.

PSAL. 82.8.

Surge Domine, judica terram.

1 PET. 4.19.

Let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their soules to him in well-doing, as unto a faithfull Creator.


THE VINDICATION Of the Forme of COMMON PRAYERS Vsed in the CHURCH of ENGLAND; In a Sermon Preached at the last Visitation at RUMFORD in ESSEX; By DANIEL WHITBY, Master of Arts, Parson of THOYDON-MOUNT: Lately accused at the Committee in the Exchequer Chamber for the said SERMON.

OXFORD, Printed by LEONARD LICHFIELD, Printer to the Universitie, 1644.

An Advertisement.

VVHere any Limb of the Article is to be found in the Sermon, it shall be noted by an Asteriske * in the Margent, especially that Contra­diction, Prayers by the Spirit did quench the Spirit. There is no Inventorie of it, but pag. 27. in an Ob­jection, where the Reader may gather the great Abilities of these Religious Mountebanks, that cannot distinguish betwixt an Objection and Thesis in Divi­nitie, nor know when a man speakes out of his owne mouth, or out of another mans.

The Vindication of the forme of COMMON PRAYERS, used in the Church of ENGLAND.

MATH. 6.9.

After this manner therefore pray ye.

HEre is an Ergo in my Text (Therefore) it shewes this Verse is an inference of the former: Now lesse any man should say to me as Christ to the intruding guest; Friend, How camest thou in hither? Mat. 22.12. be pleased in one word to take the Ergo, the dependance.

Our blessed Saviour in this Chapter censureth two sorts of people for errors in devotion, Hypocrites, ver. 5. Heathens, ver. 7.

The Hypocrites are chal­lenged for two things:

  • The Posture of Prayer.
  • The Place of Prayer.

first, Standing; secondly, Streets and Synagogues.

Not that either of these were evill in themselves, but in their choyse and affectation: They love to pray standing, &c. They af­fected them both out of Pride and Singularitie: secondly, out of an evill end, To be seene of men, and so they have their Re­ward.

The Heathens are condemned for Tautologie, and idle Reperiti­ons; that served their Prayers as the Cooke his Dinner, dressed Pork in severall Sauces, and Messes; all was but Perk: So they loaded Gods eare with multitude of words, to no purpose.

Christ labours to preserve his Disciples from them both: The former, ver. 6. The latter in my Text, [...], &c.

The parts of this Text are two:

  • A Precept
  • A Patterne
  • A Dutie
  • A Direction
  • The Commission Pray ye, &c.
  • The Copie Our Father, &c.

I will say nothing touching the latter, the Lords-Prayer, though it begins to grow out of request; in many places you shall not heare it at all. [...]. 15.20. Now the servant is not greater then the Lord: no wonder if they despise our Prayers, when that which cropped from Christs mouth comes not in their lips, as if not worth the owning. The Lord maintaine his owne Prayer, I shall labour to maintaine ours, in the first parts of the Text, [...], After this manner, &c. Where, that I may not spend one graine more of my Glasse in a Preface, I shall presently ac­quaint you what I intend to doe: Foure things will absolve this Text, and my intents.

  • First, The Dutie and Approbation of Common-Prayer, Pray ye, All.
  • Secondly, The Excellencie of set formes of Common-Prayer, After this manner.
  • Thirdly, The Commendation of our set forme of England.
  • Fourthly, I shall wash it from the staine of Poperie.

First, To begin at the lowest Stayre of this Division and so climbe upwards: It looketh the better in my conceit for its Name and Title, that it is called Common-Prayer. For the better any thing is in Religion, and Gods Worship, the more excellent it will be, by being publike; Bonum quo communius, &c. As the Heavenly Bo­dies are more usefull by expansion, the Sunne most serviceable when he spreads him widest in our Hemispheare; So Gods service is most serviceable to him and us by being common, and freely com­municating it selfe to all the people, thriveth both in the vertue and praise. Solitary and single Prayer is sweet, and presents the Soule with Security, and Liberty, and Raptures, to convey her selfe to God. But Common-Prayer is more forcible, and fortified by Union and agreement of Christian minds. Where so many hands and hearts are lifted up together, they pull downe God among them by force of Armes: ver. 20 Where two or three are gathered, I am in the midst: Exod. 25.8. Revel, 1.13. Mat. 18. Marke how intimate he will be to the Congregation: Christ Jesus, the middle Person of the Trinitie, loveth still to be in midst. When he was borne, he was in medi­dio jumentorum; at twelve yeares old, in medio Doctorum, in the [Page 23]midst of the Doctors; all his life, in medio Discipulorum; at his death, in medio latronum, of Theeves; in Heaven, Angelorum, in the midst of Angels; in the Church, in medio orantium, in the midst of Orators: &c.

Do you know, what it is to have God in the midst? I fancie something more then ordinary in the phrase; 'tis not onely his presence, but his yeelding and condescending to their joynt de­sires, 'tis to compasse God in out suits, to hemme him in, to have of him what we aske and will; (as Souldiers a Prisoner, that he cannot escape, when they have begirt him round, in medio. So (if I may use the Metaphor with Reverence to Almighty God) God giveth joynt prayers the Day and Victory over Heaven; suffers himselfe to be taken; and led Captive by the faithfull Devotion of an Assembly.

We seldome read in Scripture, of God thus conquer'd, and led Captive in single duties, and duells of Devotion, onely twice:Gen. 32.28. Hos. 12.4. Exod. 32.10. when Jocob got him in his armes by prayer, and would not let him goe, and when Moses bound his hands, Let me alone, God begs to be Released, these single Israelites prevailed with God. But now eve­ry pious Congregation is sure of such a purchase, Ego in medio; God readily resigneth himselfe to consenting Soules. So that those hands which single are too weake for such a Victory,Exod. 17.12. when Aaron and Hur helpe them in their Devotion, become prevalent.

Even in Private Families, this Common-Prayer, day and night is powerfull, much more at Bethel, the Sanctuary and Temple, where the place it selfe bespeakes its necessity:Esa. 56.7. My house shall be called a house of prayer to all people: where two things;

  • The Appellation House of Prayer.
  • The Generalitie of it, Common-Prayer to all people.

God gave the Church her Name, as to Adam in Paradise; and fure he did not Nick-name it, it must not stand for a Cipher. Christ defends this Name, and Text of the Prophet Esay, Mat. 21.13. by his tongue, hand, Repeating, and lashing it into their apprehensions in his Gospell. Doe not they deserve the lash that would disgrace it? God chuseth this Name for the Church above all, that we should choose this worke above all. Churches had not beene built but for [Page 24]Publike Oratories: shall we rob God of his intertions, the end to which he gave them? or preferre any thing above that, which he chiefly commends to us? But ye have made it a den of theeves, faith Christ. Who? Buyers and Sellers: How? By stealing into the Church, creeping with their stalls into the House of Prayer: but still they let it be a House of Prayer. They did not envie, but ad­vance that; and stood there to further it.

But I will tell you of a strange fort of theeves in our dayes, that will steale out of the House of Prayer in Service-time: my, will steale the Prayers out of the Church and banish them, and wound them with hands and tongnes worse then the traveller.Luk. 10.30.

But may not I be mistaken and doe them wrong? they love Common-Prayers and Church-Prayers, so they be not Printed, so they be poured instantly from the Spirit, Memory, and Man. So it be given them in that Houre as the Scripture speakes, Mat. 10.19. wherupon they challenge the Pulpit for a sudden Service: they will Frequent those Churches and meetings, where the businesse is without bookeresigned wholly to the Preachers present thoughts: they will take such as God sends ex tempore, Good or bad. Let it be given them fresh, and each day variety, and they are well: Like Ahi­melecks Shew-bread,1 Sam. 21.6. which was to be set hot upon the Table, in the remotion of the Stale: So if the Bread of Life come hot each Sabbath from the Preachers Oven, they will accept it; othewise they are more curious then David, and will not have the Stale. To correct this vein of Humour in our age, I step to the second Stayre of my Division.

The excellencie of set formes of Common-Prayer.

And here,Part 2. to winne more credit to the cause, I shall use this Art, having but slender Abilities of mine owne, I will take some abler Scholars by the hand, to confirm and lead me in the entrance of my opinion: Two onely shall be named, which may suffice; In the mouth of two witnesses, &c. M. Daniel Dyke, on Psa. 124. Let Israel now say, &c. M. Attersol, on the Booke of Numbers, 6. c. 23. &c. 10.2. last ver. Where both with one Pen proclaim this con­clusion, the lawfulnesse and use of set formes of Prayer, and praises in Publike and Private, M. Attersol proveth it at large, and an­swers the objections to the contrary.

I shall commend the practise of set formes from good Argu­ments, as well as men. The Arguments are of three sorts: From

  • Scriptures.
  • Reasons.
  • Consent of Reformed Churches.

We find the discovery of set formes in Old and New Testament, Argum. 1 under the Jewish and Christian Church. Those two places, Num­bers 6.23. Thus shall ye blesse he children of Israel, &c. The Lord blesse, &c. which was given to the Priests for the whole Congre­gation, to be pronounced at all times in the Tabernacle; It was ap­poynted to Jacob for a Law, and to Israel for an everlasting Testament. And whereas some object thus, ad hunc modum, that is after such a manner not the same words this is very ridiculous. Then Moses and the Prophets carrying Gods errand,Exod. Thus shalt thou say unto them, I am hath sent me to you: or, The God of Abraham, Isaak, and Jacob, &c. might not say what he said, but must coyne something else like unto it. Moses used one set forme for the marching and ressing of the Arke, c. 10.35. though he knew how to speake a word in season and out of season, as well as any Separatist. He that offered the Basket of first-Fruits had his set-forme of Confession, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, &c. Davids 92.Deut. 26. v. [...]. Psalme was sung every Sabbath day as we may gather by the title, which is as Canonicall in the Hebrew Copies as the rest. Our blessed Saviour in the new Testament, sung a Hymne with his Disciples after the Sacrament, one of Davids Psa. usually practised on such occasions. And having the fulnesse of the Spirit, yet went the third time pray­ing the same words, And gave his Disciples this set forme of Prayer,Mat. 26. v. 44. When yee pray, say, &c. Luk. 11.2. as John Baptist taught his disciples the like which we gather from the first verse.

Where although he did not alwayes tye them to the words and no more which was the error of the Waldenses, yet neither did he at any time forbid them the use of those. S. Paul had copious gra­ces of the Spirit yet he alwayes useth one forme of salutation, be­fore and after his Epistles. S. John in his Revelation sets down the formes of prayses in the Tryumphant Church above;Revel. ch. 4. 11. 5. 13. 15. 3. 19. &c. In the Song of the 24. Elders, and the Rest; The Song of Moses, and the [Page 24] Lamb, verbatim; what words they sung, the Hallelujahs, and Dox­ologies, and will not set formes of Prayer become the Militant Church here below? So that the Scripture is not repugnant to set formes of Prayer, but very obvious, which shewes the Ancient practise of it, both in the Jewish and Christian Church. And as the Synagogue had a Liturgie composed out of Moses and David and the Prophets by their Predecessors; So the Christian Church hath cast her selfe into the same mould from her Infancie; as we read still of the Liturgie of the Fathers. So much of the first Argu­ment.

The Reasons that favour a set forme of Prayers, Argum. 2 are drawne from three heads.

  • God the hearer or accepter Of Prayer.
  • The Orator, or Minister the maker Of Prayer.
  • The people to whom it redounds.

First, Its fond to thinke that Almightie God loatheth prayers that come often in the same words, or likes one that hath a dai­ly new Edition corrected or amended, or rather corrupted by the Author:* His stomack is not so queasie as mame's are, that affect change and varietie of dishes:Act. 17.21. He is no Athenian Auditor, Acts 17.21. that delights dayly to heare some new thing, and spends his time in expectation of thy invention: He doth not listen after no­veltie and varietie of words; to heare the soule in a new tune no more then to see the body in a new dresse: If we come every day in the same cloathes to Church we are as welcome. So if we apparell our thoughts in the same language,* God is as well the God of the Old-Exchange as of the New: He doth as little affect the change­able sutes of service as of apparell, and we treth not such mutable eares as men. Nay, he threatned to punish those that wore strange apparel, Zephan. 1.8. and forbad strange gods: So (for any thing I see) strange alterations in Religion, in our approaches to him: If no o­ther God but me,Mal. 3.6. why we affect other approaches? I am the Lard, I change not: you may change and be unlike him so: It betrayes a vanitie both in our conceit of God, and in our owne soules as [...] we were never the same men before him: I am not I as S. Austen; we have the same sins to be sortie for, the same suits to beg of God, [Page 25]the same thanks-giving to pay: And what if we pay it in the same Coine? It is all one to him, he doth not affect the new Mint and stamp of Devotion; that Jesus Christ that as the same yesterday, Heb. 13.8. to day, and for ever; will not dislike thy prayers if they be so.

Secondly, In respect of the Orator, whose helpe this is in a time of need; every one was not so rich under the old Law, to bring God an oblation of his owne cost and charges:Sacrificium Juge. there was therefore the continuall Sacrifice, which did befriend them all: so every man is not so well gifted in this case, to poure out a dayly Sacrifice of his owne invention; therefore the continuall forme is a remedie for that want: though some in the Church are plentifully stored and qualified, yet every vessell doth not runover, every bottle doth not burst with new wine: many an honest man wants utterance, know­ledge remembrance language and contrivance, which are the requi­sites to the work: These men must betray their weaknesse, or leave their Ministerie. No, God and man hath provided every Pastor a staffe to sustaine his infirmitie, so that he that like the palsie-man,Luk. 5.18. shakes and cannot goe himselfe to Christ, he shall be supported on others shoulders the Liturgie of abler men. This is not spoken to excuse the Minister, and make him dull and larie; no, he hath his time and place to shew his rich abilities in the Pulpit, he hath worke enough to doe somewhere else both to pray and preach, enough to spend himselfe: I wonder at those Scholars constitutions, that would refuse this ease and make Inclosure of Divine Service, that would have nothing open-field for the good of the Commons, but like greedy Impropriators, inclose all within their owne hedge and ditch. The Priest had worke enough to doe of his owne, Ergo, God gave him Levi to helpe him in his service; so our Ministers have what time they will of their owne for the Pulpit, the forme of Prayers is given them like Levi for assistance, so that he that can doe all of his owne abundance, should be contented with his Pulpit, and not despise the Deske where his weake brother is gra­tified.

Thirdly, and chiefly, in respect of the Congregation which hang upon the Ministers lips at Prayers; and in this case, set formes are most profitable; and in two Respects, for their Ignorance, and Edi­fication; those two a Minister must consider, the constitution of their soules, and then how to benefit them. Now in the first place, [Page 26]a set forme sutes best with the Countries Ignorance and their vulgar capacities, for they are not all wiser then their Teachers, though the proud despisers of our Prayers thinke so; yet as S. Paul apprehended his Corinthians, 1 Cor. 3.2. Many are babes in Christ, and must be fed with milke, and not strong meat alone; and will you venture to give the child every day a new breast? It is thought more wholesome to let it draw the old: Familiaritie makes the child in love with any thing, but Ignoti nulla cupido, no desire to that it doth not know: Prayer oftner heard is better understood, digested, and turned into whole, some flesh and blood: It is with devotion as with dyet, not so good to taste of every dish, as to feed of one, so Philosophers and Physitians say, and so Divines: Varietie may delight and please, (as Seneca said of reading,Varia lectio delectat, certa prodest. Sen. so I of hearing) but constancie and ac­quaintance brings profit to the hearer. Those that are skilfull in the words and knowing soules, could well endure a full rich table; but weake judgements would not get, but lose at so high an ordinary: Therefore we must condescend to the poorest soule, and traine up the simple ones: We must respect Christs little ones, And how can that be better then by this familiat method of Devotion? We use to set children Copies and ruled lines, not suffer them to wan­der about the Paper; so Precept upon precept, line upon line, as Esay teacheth us to repeate the same over and over againe:Esa. 28.10. We must goe along with the flock, as Jacob, according as they be able to drive; Gen. 33 13.14 my Lord Esau may gallop to Mount Seir, Jacob must ob­serve the foot of his tender children, and flocks, and follow them. The Gentiles desired the same words might be preached the next Sabbath; Act. 13.42. Ergo, with more reason, the same prayed; a repetition Sermon is more unseasonable then repeated Prayers.

The last Argument is drawne from the consent of all Reformed Churches wherein every Kingdome studieth unitie and uniformitie for Gods service, to avoid confusion, which would arise from hu­mane pleasure, if every man might have his will: and be their forme lesse or more, like or unlike to ours, yet still they have some forme (as my fore-mentionedAttersol. Author warrants) Ergo, wee are obliged to this, because it is our owne, which is my third Conclusion. But first I must remove some Rubbs out of the way. Ob. What makes them reject set formes of Prayer? Sol. The Spirit, or rather selfe-will; for nothing can violate this truth, but selfe-conceit: [Page 27]But still the Spirit is pretended to suffer injurie by set formes, to be stinted, quenched, and quite cooled, &c. 1 Thessa. 5.19. Rom. 8.26. But is not the Spirit to be seene in Common Prayer, in lifting up the heart,* in feeling of our wants, and desires of relieving, and laying hold on God, as well as in ex tempore Prayer?1 Cor 14.15. I will pray with the Spirit and Understanding: But thankes be to God, I better understand the Common-Prayers then that I never heard before; I can better say Amen to them, because I best conceive them. The Minister prayes in an unknowne Tongue to the poore Countreyman when hee vents what hee never heard before. Secondly, Ob. The Minister reades, rather then prayes, say they. Sol. Answ. Hee prayes reading which hee may better doe then they pray studying (as they must doe) Where is his Zeale, when hee hath sense to looke, and scarce knowes what comes next? But it shall be given in that houre, Ob. Mat. 10.19. for it is the Spirit that speaketh in you. Sol. Answ. Marke what houre that is; of Persecution, and not of Prayer; of Distresse, and not of Peace: God will not suffer his Church to fall, for want of Truth; that is the meaning of the Text. By that Argument, wee may as well shut out all care and studie for a Sermon, as well as Prayer; For it shall be given us, &c. Ob. Ob. Set formes doe not answere our wants many times so fitly, as conceived. I answere: Sol. Wants are generall, which concerne all men at all times, and our forme is herein sufficient; or extraordinarie occasions of Mercie and Judge­ments, and herein the Church hath power and reason to call a Day, to supply it with some forme for the purpose; or particular wants which the Minister doth not looke after for private men for so hee may answere one man, and misse a hundred. And so I come to the third Conclusion.

The Excellencie of our set forme of Prayer:3. Conclus. My Charitie is at last arrived at home, and I am proud to doe my Church that honour shee deserves:* The greatest glory of our English Church hath stood these fourescore yeares and upward in her publique Liturgie; wherein shee hath so commended her selfe to all the world, that I heare of no despisers but at home. The Nations round about us have ad­mired our happinesse herein, and payd that thanks to Heaven for us which wee did owe. If Calvin and Beza had dwelt here, wee had had their approbation, (as by some Letters into England I con­ceive) they would have studied no new Discipline, where they [Page 28]had found this. As oft as I looke upon our forme of Service, to me it is a matter of thanks-giving, and not dispute. But since there are such Owies at Athens, that studie to defile their owne nests; such male-contented soules, that missing some temporall preferments in the Church, would deface the spirituall, and be re­venged on Gods honour for losse of their owne: Give me leave to doe my best to beat back their tongues, and fling their insolence in­to their tumultuous bosomes.

I shall advance the excellencie of our Liturgie, or forme of Prayer, from three apprehensions.

  • 1. Of the Authors and Authoritie.
  • 2. Of the Forme and Worke it selfe.
  • 3. Of the Circumstances and Constitution thereof.

First, The Authors and Compilers are unknowne to me by name, but you shall know them by their workes, (as Christ faith) and by the age and time wherein they lived, which are undoubted Argu­ments. They were those holy men of God that lived in the dayes of Edward the sixth, the first Fruits of the Church of England, the Reverend Fathers of the Church, that strook fire out of darknesse in the dayes of Poperie, and set their faces against the Church of Rome, little dreaming their book should be requited with the name of Poperie for their paines, that were readie to kisse the Stake in Queen Marie's dayes, for the maintenance of this Booke and Service.

Here is the foule discovery of our not-understanding Age, that would faine make men beleeve that Booke is Poperie, whose Au­thors dyed for the testimonie of Jesus, and the defence of this Book. Some of them fled for persecution, untill the dayes of Queene Eli­zabeth, and then came home and enjoyed this Booke and Service by her approbation.

There is something to be given to the Authors in such a case; for if our singing Psalmes shall passe in the Church, in reverence to Antiquitie, though Tho. Sternhold, and John Hopkins (some ho­nest Gentlemen) made them, when King James and Sandys lye by; shall not our Service-Booke be much more honoured, that comes from the Fathers of the Church, whose persons and endowments [Page 29]were farre more Illustrious? But whosoever the Authors were, the Authoritie is greater: It is given to us by the highest Powers, which God hath ordained in this Realme by those foureEdward the sixth. Elizabeth. K. James. K. Charles. Princes, and all their Parliaments; so that for any Factor to blast this Work, it is to pull downe all Authoritie upon his head, and to receive to himselfe damnation, Rom. 13.

Secondly, The Worke it selfe bespeakes its excellencie more then my tongue, or all Authoritie can grace it: I may commit it to the world with Salomons huswise:Prov. the last, last v. Let her owne workes praise her in the gates.

Looke but upon the Liturgie in a cursorie view and from the first piece of Divine Service to the last, you shall find it so Divine, that indeed it is all Scripture; nothing Humane, but the structure and composing. Hee that hath but tasted the Bible, will soone relish the Liturgie, and say, that it is Mannah fallen in another Coun­trey, Divinitie in Humane Dresse: so that none can truly quarrell with this Booke, but he that knowes not, or hates Divinitie; that is a Stranger, or Enemie to God. Let us bring it to the Test. Marke every word one Sabbath: Our Prayers begin with one Sen­tence of Scripture, or other:

[At what time soever, 1 &c.] Then the Curate moveth them to make a generall Confession of sinnes to God: 2 Every mans Con­science tells him the words be true, and the custome of it is bor­rowed from the Scripture: See Ezra 9. to the end and chap. 10.1. Dan. 9. Nehemiah 9. Israel made often generall Confessions

  • In the Captivitie.
  • After the Captivitie.

Neither doth any quarrell with this Piece in all my intelli­gence.

The Absolution followes which is proncunced by the Minister alone by a legible Commission delegated to him, Mat. 16.19. 3 Joh. 20.23.

But here the phrases are offensive, Ob. the name of Churches Power and Absolution.

The Clergie hath a Power. Sol.

  • [Page 30]There is Certitudo Potestatis, in the Ministers Office, and Gods Ordinance.
  • There is Non eventús, in the parties remission.

Hee knowes hee hath a Power from Christ, but knowes not when and where personally that Power taketh effect. Secondly, There needs no complaining here; for hee onely appeares declara­tive, in that forme of Absolution, and bespeakes Gods mercie to penitent sinners: as wee may safely denounce Gods Judgements to the impenitent, so pronounce his Mercie to repenters.

[He declareth and pronounceth to his people being penitent] It is onely [...], Es. 52.7. How beautifull were the feet that brought good Tidings? Esa. 40.9. Now Zion doth but bring good Tidings, and is scorned. Christ hath lest the comfortable Promises of Pardon in his Word, and may not wee declare them? Besides, hee absolves in the third Person, not the first; in Christs Person, not his owne: if you observe the forme;

[Hee pardoneth and absolveth] i. e. Christ: There is

  • He, [...], Potestativè.
  • I, [...], Declarativè.

No encroachments here on Gods right, or the errors of the Church of Rome. The Minister absolves, but not absolutely, onely Ministerially and instrumentally, disposing the penitent to sorrow, and moving God to pitie; co-operates on both sides, applying Actives to Passives, Gods promises of Mercie to the penitent faithfull Soule: Hee remits not by Physicall influence on the Soule, but by a Morall perswasion; and so no Poperie in that.

Then followes the Lords Prayer which is Scripture; some short Sentences, 4 to rayse up our hearts to Gods service, all out of Scrip­ture: 5 The two first, Psal. 51.15. Open thou my lips, &c. Haste thee to deliver me; Psa. 40.13. O Lord make haste to helpe me. The Glory be to the Father, &c. Psa. 40.13.17. and Hallelujah out of Revel. 4.8. from the 4. Beasts, and 24. Elders.

O come let us sing unto the Lord, 6 is Davids 95. Psal. And to countenance that, observe, That the Jewes used to read the [Page 31]92. Psalme every Sunday, as the Title shewes. 7 The reading Psalmes are Scripture. The first Lesson is Canonicall, 8 Old Te­stament. The Canticle that followes, Wee prayse thee, O God, &c. 9 is well knowne to be Saint Ambrose's worke. 10 The second Les­son is Evangelicall. The Canticle that followes, 11 that is either Zacharies Song, Luke 1.68. or Davids 100. Psalme. 12 The Creeds: first, the Apostles Creed, whether they made it, or no, I know not, or made out of them, or made in respect of them, being twelve Articles to the Twelve Apostles: It is the Pillar of out Faith, and summe of all the Scripture: The other Creed is Athanasius against the Arrians: And the third, is the Nicene Creed, against theNestorians. Macedonians. Hereticks of that Age. The next that fol­lowes is the Curates Blessing, by forme of salutation, 13 The Lord be with you; and their care and dutie replyed, And with thy Spirit: An excellent forme to preserve mutuall Obligations each to other; and this is Scripture, Ruth 2.4.1 Thess. 1.2. & ch. 5.25. The three. Mise­rere's, or calling for of Mercie out of Psal. 57.1. Luke 18.38. in reference to the three Persons of the Trinitie. 14 Then the Lords Prayer. The Responses are taken out of Scripture: 15 The two first, Shew us thy mercie, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation, ver­batim out of Psal. 85.7. God save the King, 1 Sam. 10.24. Mercifully heare us, Psal. 4.1. Endue thy Ministers; Psa. 85.7. and that an­swer, Let thy Priests be cloathed with righteousnesse, and let thy Saints sing with joyfulnesse: Save thy people, Psal. 132.9. and blesse thine inhe­ritance, Psal. 28.9. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, Es. 39.8. Psal. 122.6. The answer, Exod. 14.14. 2 Chron. 20.12. 16 The Collects for the day, for Grace and Peace, and all the Collects in that Liturgie, these seeme to be the most humane Pieces, (as for Faire Weather, or Raine, and Thanks-giving for the same) and so they are, and perchance better may be made. But no Eye, sa­ving that of Ignorance and Envie, would disparage these: They are innocent and good; and why should any grow wanton of wholesome Food?

The Letanie is the onely thing to be suspected for its length and varietie, and suffers much in their Opinions. They say, 17 there is Conjuring, and what you will, &c. But of all Peeces of Service, give me the Letanie; it is so substantiall and powerfull, that [Page 32]it is able to make a man devout by violence; it commands a zeale, and seizeth upon the soule of any impartiall hearer.

The second Service (as some call it) it is all one to me, 18 both for forme and place, a continued progressé of Devotion: There the Ten Commandements appearè,Exod. 20, which concerne us as well as Israel. Certainly, there is not any Commandement but deserves the Lord have mercie on us: A little Prayer that incloseth all; begges mercie for what it hath done against that Law, and dispo­sition better to keepe it in time to come:

It lookes Backward and Forward, Miserere & Inclina.

Next follow the Collects for the King and Day, 19 which must goe sharers with the former Collects both for displeasure and ac­ceptance; wee approve them both. The Epistle and Gospel next succeeding, both the good Word of God, unlesse it loseth its ver­tue by being Printed in this Booke. After all, the Prayer for the whole estate of Christs Church militant; and, The Peace of God at that end of the Booke, or S. Chrysostomes Prayer; and, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ at this end.

Thus I have viewed it in haste, and measured every syllable of Divine Service, and find it so absolute, that none can justly quarrell with this forme but Gyants.

Lastly, 3 there is something to be attributed to the constitution of our Liturgie, the circumstances of this Service, both for Time, Manner, Method of Prayers: The length is not tedious, the Ceremonies not unseemely, or unprofitable; the Method is not barren.

First, for the length of Prayer; it is but Hora, the businesse of an Houre: which space the Scripture seemes to smile on, Act. 3.1. The houre of Prayer being the ninth houre, all that houre for de­votion. Matth. 26.39. Christ came from Prayer, and chid his Disciples, What could ye not watch with me one houre? So long I imagine hee was praying. Those that cannot pray one houre without impatiencie and complaint, will willingly sit and [Page 33]see two Glasses turned, to heare a peale out of the Pulpit, though it be Non-sense: It is a signe, their eares are better Zelots them their hearts.

Secondly, The Ceremonies of Service in this case are physicall, and doe not onely provide for edification of the Soule, but ease of the Body: And whereas a man might be wearie to fit, stand or kneele, so long; the Church hath so equally tempered these Po­stures of Divine Service, that it will seeme a curtesie to any but a froward nature: There is twice kneeling, standing, and sitting, and those woven within one another, so that a man needs not chuse a posture to ease himselfe, if he be pleased to accept one from the Church: The Church hath laboured to gratifie the body with the mind: For besides this humane reason they carry a heavenly. Every posture of the body is doctrinall to the mind; kneeling, bespeaks hu­miliation: standing, constancie and profession, as at Creed, and Gospel; sitting, composed attention. The foole teacheth with his fingers, saith Salomon, so the wise man with his body: Every gestate is a Lecture, every limb a line:1 Cor. 14.5. There is a carriage to be observed in Devotion; S. Paul bids us, that all be done to edification. Now, no edification to another, without the body; the body is the Looking-glasse of the Soule; no man guesses at her apprehensions but by outward demonstrations, an observant carriage in this sense edifies both my owne soule and others.

Thirdly, and lastly, The method is not barren, it is made up Of

  • Praying.
  • Reading.
  • Thanks-giving.

As the body, (by Anatomists) is divided into three Regions, so the body of Devotion: There is

  • Oratorie, in Letanie, Prayers, and Collects.
  • Historie, in Chapters, Epistles, and Gospell.
  • Praise, in the Canticles, [...].

To bring all to a perfect tryall,Conclus. and to weigh our opinions in the [Page 34]scales of the Sanctuary: Is there any thing now within the compasse of imagination, that may seem to excell this forme of Service? Yes, a selfe-conceited Prayer: This is all one to me, as if a man should pull downe the faire ancient Pictures in a roome, to hang up his owne deformitie; to throw downe all the Kings in Westminster, and preserre his owne ashes above their glorious Monuments: Aske but that man himselfe, if he will undertake the quarrell, eve­ry time the Bell rings to Church to conceive a better mold and Copie of Devotion to the people: If he saith, yea: take him at his word: Let us heare his new prayer, and let the world be judge be­twixt that and ours, If no man will undertake to mend this every day, then I am not so simple but to keepe the best: Prove all things, [...] Thess. 5.21. hold fast that which is good.

And shall this Liturgie now be branded by the name of Poperie? Hath God shut our eyes, and are we in the midst of Samaria, 2. King. 6.20. Lord open their eyes that they may see: We thank God we are at home, and not misled into strange opinious. But what doe these men deserve? Deut. 22.19. That husband that raysed up an evill report of his wife, was punished by Moses Law, both with chastisements, and amercements, vers. 18.19. The reason is given, vers. 20. Because he brought up an ill name upon a Virgin in Israel. If a Child should doe so by a Mother, it would be more ungracious; a Husband with more authoritie and credit may call his Wife Whore, then a Child her that bare him: What Children hath our Mother brought forth, that bring up a fame, not onely up­on a Virgin in Israel; but which is more, their Virgin-Mother? That is not backward to shew to all the world the tokens of her virginitie, her unspotted service of God: What punishment these Children deserve, I leave to God and to his Magistrates. Numb. 14.36.37. Those men that were sent to search the Land, promi­sed, and brought up an evill report of Canaan, dyed of the Plague: The Plague hath hung many yeares within our Citie, and in the Kingdome, and may doe still untill the murmuring be gone: Those that give Gods Church a black marke no wonder if he gives there a blew marke, and visits their sinnes with his Visitation.

To touch upon the last part: [...]. Part. Our Divine Service is sarre more from Poperie. Quae commu [...]io? &c. The best way to prove her [Page 35]Innocence, will be to have recourse to them that staine it; what makes men say its pure Poperie: to take a compasse of their envie and ignorance in this kind; all the presumptions that breed this, aspersion are reducible to three heads.

  • The Originall of it.
  • The Matter and Worke.
  • The Rites and Ceremonies.

Either because,

  • 1. Its taken out of their Masse.
  • 2. Some passage in it shakes hands with Poperie.
  • 3. We conspire in Actions and Rites of Service with them.

All that can be imagined against it, must come within this Cir­cle: Therefore if in none of these it be Poperie, its not at all. To observe my owne method, let us try it in the first test.

First They say, tis taken out of their Liturgic, the Roman Missalls: So these men conceive, that cannot see afarre off as S. Peter spea­keth: 2. Epist. 1.9. [...], their eyes are mewed up within the shallow Precincts of time. But grant it be taken thence, if the cor­ruption be excluded, is it ever the worse to us? If it be taken out of the Alcaron, Synagogue, Plate, Aristotle, if no Mahumetisme, Iudaisme, Ethnicisme, Irreligion, out of the Masse, If no Super­stition, or Error, of our Prayers be as good as God expects, or any man can make, what care I if they were taken out of Hell? I was never taught to slight a Jewell, though it came from a dunghill, Gold from a dirtie Mine; but am glad still to see a faire Sunne rise from the black wombe of the morning:Prov. 25.4. Take away the drosse from the Silver, and there will come forth a vessell for the refiner, saith Solomon: Take away the Errors from the Masse, and that which is left is thine and mine.

But these men are much mistaken by carrying their heads too low they know not the true Pedigree of our Common-Prayers, which is older by many dayes then Poperie it selfe; and was borne before that Schisme came in: For this I would have Wife men understand, we doe not claime any thing in our Church from [Page 36]the Church of Rome, but above them: We doe not like the Israelites, borrow any Jewells of the Aegyptians, but like Laban to Jacob, we search their houses to see what Jewells they have of ours, which were lest us by the Primitive Fathers. And dare be bold to say as Laban, Gen. 31.43. (with a farre better title) These Ceremonies be my Ceremonies, these Prayers my Prayers; as he of his Daugh­ters, &c. For I will never yeeld that we derive from them, that we are the Apes of Rome, or consent with them in any thing, but what they reserve from the Primitive Churches; and that belongs to us likewise.

To conceive this aright, no man can be ignorant that doth but listen how the world went befor us, that we and they, Pro­testants and Papists, were all one Family of Christ, one true Church heretofore: there were no such names and distinctions heard of, nor Schismes conceived, but lay in one bosome of a Church, and served God with joynt hearts and minds: This Union was from the Apostles times, downewards to the Primitive Fathers. To take all along with us now, doe you think there were not Liturgies and Formes of Service then? Yes, no phrase more common a­mong the Ancient Writers then to talke and recite their Litur­gies: S. James, Athanasius, Basil, and Chrysostomes Litur­gie, &c.

Well then, in those Formes of Prayer which the Fathers used, we were both friends, one Family still. But afterwards the Israelites fell out, strove, and would not be parted, both sides hasted from one another.

We,Mark. 14.52. (like the Young-man in the Gospel, that night Christ was taken) fled away naked, and lest all our Formes and Ceremonies be­hind us;Exod. 2. Gen. 28. like Moses, quitted the Court of Aegypt, and went into the Land of Midian; like Jacob from Esaus fury, fled and dwelt in Syria, by reason of the Persecution. All this while the Litur­gies of the Fathers by them was utterly corrupted, and patched up into a Monster of Superstition: by us they were almost lost, like the Booke of the Law in Hilkiahs dayes,1 King. 22. v. [...] 2 King. 7.15. it was hid in a cornet, and all our observances touching Gods Worship, like the Syriaks vessels, were cast away for haste, and feare of Persecution: At last, when Religion and Reformation began to looke out againe, and [Page 37]beare a face, wee began to bethinke our selves where once wee were, and what the Church had when wee were both friends. And that wee challenge now as a Legacie from our fore fathers; not an imitation and courtesie from a Brother.

As if a Jew should lose his ancient Rites and Prescripts of Mo­ses (as at this day much is lost in many Synagogues by desolation of that people) yet comming into the Empire of the Turke, hee may espie many of his Rites and Legall Ceremonies, though much abused, and thence seeing his priviledges, and what once hee had, may purifie and compose to himselfe this forme of worship; you could not the Jew in this case be said to borrow his Religion from the Turke, but Moses: So wee by looking on their Litur­gies, see our way the better by their darknesse to arrive at last at the primitive formes of Service. So that I may say of our Re­formers and composers of this Worke,Gen. 42.15. as Josephs Brethren pleaded for their honestie; Thy servants are no Spyes. Hereby it shall be proved that wee are true men, by Antiquitie, not Noveltie; not by Benjamin, but Jacob; wee have a Father, an old man; the ancient Fathers of the Church. And when I see our Prayers filled with Scriptures, Saint Ambrose, Athanasius, Chrysostome, the Apostles, and Nicene Fathers, I cannot be so dull, but beleeve that it is older then Poperie, and lived before that Schisme, the substance and matter, if not the contrivance.

Many learned men have shewed the antiquitie of our Church Rites and Service; therefore will I say no more here: But onely excuse the ignorant in their conceits, that are apt to foster strange Jealousies of that which is out of their reach, and older then their idle braines. The Jewes had a conceit, that Melchisedech had no Parents, because they knew them not, in their time: so people beleeve this Booke to be a Bastard, because they were not the Gossips. But the Face bespeakes whose Child it is, and pro­claimes it as like the Fathers Liturgies, as unlike the formes of Rome.

Secondly, there is no point, nor passage in all Divine Service, that is Poperie, or favours a Tenent of the Church of Rome; I prove it by this Argument: That forme which is taken out of Scripture almost to a syllable, is not Poperie; for it the Scripture [Page 38]cannot defend it from Poperie, I have no more to say. But our forme is so: Ergo, the Minor is true, as I have proved by an Induction of every part: The Conclusion followes, that it is no Poperie at all. And 'though all Heretikes make Scripture their Asylam, and shrowd their Lyes under the wings of Truth; yet there is difference still betwixt Scripture speaking, and Scripture made to speake. Wee doe not goe about to force a Text to coun­tenance our forme by corrupting the Originals and Translations; but the Bible freely and naturally offers it selfe to defend us in our Liturgie.

I know there have beene many Objections and Exceptions ray­sed, to make a piece of Poperie appeare out of Baptisme, Burtall, Letanie, &c. But they have found a Grave by abler Champi­ons then I: if any chance to stirre hereafter, I doubt not but there will be a * Mahanaim, Gen. 32.2. An Host of God to meet them.

Thirdly, there seemes to be too much affinitie betwixt their forme and ours; in Actions, Devotion, Rites, Ceremonies, Ves­sels, Orders, Crossing, Kneeling, Surplis, Table, Font, Bishops, &c. wee dwell too neare them; they looke too like us, or wee like them. These men are sickly peevish in my conceit, that would rather have a face like an Asse, or no body, then an enemie, one whom they love not. But I will not quarrell about the complexions: Wherein soever our Services conspire, Rites, Acti­ons, Ceremonies, Vessels, Orders, &c. They are Ancient, Inno­cent, Indifferent: Which is enough to quit us in the Judgement of all Reformed Divines that write upon Ceremonies of the Church.

First, They are Ancient, Jer. 6.16. we doe not goe a begging for them. England is called the Ape of Nations for the fashions of the body; but for those of Religion, I beleeve she is her selfe, and waits on none but God and Reason.

Secondly, They are Innocent, if a man (in the Law of God) had taken a woman Captive of the Gentiles Nation,Deut. 21. v. 12. in the Warres of Israel, yet he might shave her head and pare her nayles, bring her home, and take her to Wife: And those Vessels that were de­filed, washing brought many into the Sanctuarie. So wee have [Page 39]washed our Churches, and Vessels left us, we have pared their nayles, their Idolatrie, and Superstition, and they are cleane to us.

Thirdly. They are Indifferent, and so Authoritie hath power to command them, to Kneele, Sit, or Stand: The Church of her selfe hath liberty to enjoyne the practise and see it done; to Re­peat, Answer, Sing; and if the Papists doe the same, what is that to us? shall we be opposite to Reason and duty, that we may be unlike them?

Besides the Rites and Orders of Divine Service (I speake of Spa­ring, Seemely, Regular, not Superstitious.) They have three Ad­vancements in my breast.

They are the

  • Peace
  • Grace
  • Obedience

of a People.

First, They are the peace of a Church, which lyes in Uniform­tie. For as the Doctrine is the Truth, so the Discipline is the Peace; wherein shall we and our posterities in the Church agree? but in that mold of Regularity we cast our selves: Therefore let there be Peace and Truth in my dayes, good Doctrine, and good Discipline.

Secondly, They are the outward grace and civilitie of a Con­gregation: they frame a carriage at Divine Service, which wee owe to God and to his house. Love doth not behave it selfe unseemely saith S. Paul, 1 Cor. 13. but observeth a comelinesse and Decorum in Religion. Now nothing doth more civilize the rude-vulgar in Devotion, then this Regulated observance in the house of God, it bindeth them to their good behaviour.

Thirdly, It is the obedience which we owe to humane ordinan­ces, 1 Pet. 2.13. All Churches have lesse or more Injunctions and are obeyed: these are ours, God speed obedience to them, Let this be the staine of England, no Reformed Church disobeyeth her Ceremonies but ours; although they are often opposite, yet Uniforme at home: Walking, Standing, Sitting, Kneeling at the [Page 40]Sacrament, all cannot be best, yet is all of them best at home; it is strange ours should be worst still, here is the Reason, wee are worst obeyers. Ob. And to answer an Objection before wee part, which undermines them all, they are obtruded on the Church as necessary, imposed on the Consciences of the people to ob­serve.

I answer, [...]. no otherwise then S. Paul chargeth obedience to the Magistrates for Conscience, sake, Rom. 13.5.

Ceremonies are all

  • Indifferent in their nature.
  • Necessarie in their practise.

[...] as good have none at all, as every man have the authoritie to neglect them.

They are

  • Indifferent, Speculativè, in the proposition.
  • Necessarie, Practicè, in the use and observance.

Indifferent in se, but ratione pacis, obedientiae uniformitatis to be practised, they might be left undone, if Authority had not set a Fiat. Now Conscience bespeakes a necessity of practise and obser­vance; though opinion proclaimes them indifferent.

My Conclusion is an Apostrophe to God and man: First, Arise O God, maintaine thine owne cause, &c. Psal. 74. 2 last vers. lift up thy feet, &c. ver. 3. Doe good in thy good pleasure unto Zion, Psal. 51.18.

Secondly, Returne, returne, O Shulamite, &c. Cant. 6.13. How long yee simple ones will ye love simplicitie? Prov. 1.22.23. Take heed of resigning Devotion, wholly to the humour and pleasure of one man, for feare it be Desolate, or Ridiculous, Weake, or Wil­full; for feare you be guided at last, and fed with simplicitie, or singularitie; a Foole or a crack'd-phansie be the bane of the Church. Take heed of taking away the dayly Sacrifice, for feare the Abomination that maketh desolate stand in the roome. Doe not labour to sweepe the Church cleane of Publique Formes,Dan. [...]. for feare of bringing in seven worse Spirits of an evill Spirits [Page 41]contriving; Be not ouer-much of wise, Eccle. 7.16. wiser then God that made the Church a House of Common-Prayer, and Christ that gave it this Forme; After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father.


READER, I intend onely to Vindicate my Doctrine, my Copies in the Sudie, and deliveries in the Congrega­tion; other Articles of malignitie and offensive language I neglect and leave to the credit of my Accusers; whose persons are so ill-qualified, their Reputations so low and tain­ted, that I am sure it will be more disgrace for any man to beleeve them, then for me to be accused by them.


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