THE Authours, Nature, and Danger OF HAERESIE.

Laid open in a Sermon Preached before the Honorable House of Commons at Margarets Westminster, upon Wednesday the Tenth of March 1646. being set apart as a solemne day of Publike Humiliation to seeke Gods assistance for the suppressing and preventing of the growth and spreading of Errours, Heresies, and Blasphemies.

By RICHARD VINES.

[...] Hesych.
There must also be Haeresies. 1 Cor. 11. 19.
Ʋt fides habendo tentationem, haberet probationem. Tertull de praescript.

Printed by Order of the House of Commons.

LONDON, Printed by W. Wilson for Abel Roper, and are to be sold at his shop at the Sun over against Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet. 1647.

TO THE HONOURABLE House of COMMONS Assembled in Parliament.

THe Compasse of the subject entrea­ted upon in this Sermon was too large to be surveied in a short time. The nature of Haeresy lies under much obscurity and inevidence. The Infidel who comes not in at all, And the Apostate who goes out at all are visible enough to the eye, but the Haere­ticke who like a cunning Bankerupt breakes with some stock in his hand, and holds some planks of truth when the ship is broken, is more hardly to bee knowne. I have not spoken much about the punish­ment of an Haereticke, but rather chose to shew you who hee is then what to doe with him. There are good rules for the Church her proceeding against such. men, which may also serve very fitly to the meridian of your jurisdiction, as namely, in peccatis eviden­tiam, in paenis aedificationem; & againe, nec cito in apertis, nec unquam in ambiguis, with many other, which lay on the other side of the hedge from my way [Page] which was toward the investigation of the nature of Haeresie, wherein I hope that what I have offered shall be interpreted with candour, for it was not my mea­ning to speake thunder & lightning, but to speake to the enlightning of the minds of the auditory, and not to the burning of Haereticks bodies; if any man please to compare my language with that stile wherein the holy scripture speakes of false teachers and their corrupting mens minds, I doubt not but that I shall be found not guilty of rayling, whereof I have already beene indited in print, but I must make amends for a long Sermon with a short Epistle; and therefore in a word, Be quick (Noble Gentlemen) in setling the interest of Christ in this Kingdome. God hath paid you well aforehand, if that doe not set an edge upon you, yet be confident that he hath somewhat behinde remaining yet in his hand, which he will not part with untill he see your worke for him in some forwardnesse, and the longer the yarne hangs in the loome, the more it is ravelled, you have beene told that you have no­thing to doe in the reformation of the Church, give not the world occasion to suspect that you thinke so too, but goe on with God, and prosper, and the Lord make your way plaine before your face,

So prayes Your most humble servant in Christ Jesus RICHARD VINES.

A SERMON Preached before the Ho­norable House of COMMONS at Margarets Westminster, on the tenth of March 1646. being a day of pub­lique Humiliation for the growth of Errours, Heresies, &c.

2. PETER 2. 1.‘But there were false Prophets also among the People, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who pri­vily shall bring in damnable Heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.’

BY a Declaration set forth above Thirty His Majesties declaration in the cause of C [...]nradus V [...]r stius Printed in English. Anno 1612. years ago, King James (of Famous me­mory) was pleased to let the world know not onely how ill hee resented, and how much he detested the Vorstian and Arminian Do­ctrines, then newly borne, and in their swadling­cloathes: [Page 2] but also how solicitously he interposed with the States Generall of the Vnited Provinces against their admittance of Ʋorstins into the place of Divinity professor at Leiden, or into their coun­trey; And that he might decline the envy of being in aliena republica curiosus, he beares himselfe upon that common rule paries cum proximus ardet, when a neighbours house is on fire it concernes all in the neighbourhood to looke about them, this vigilancy condemns our (I know not what to call it, I wish no worse might be said then) insensi­blenesse and security. For what were those sparkes at that time smoaking in a remote corner in com­parison of that fire which now flames forth at every corner of our house, blowne up by that [...] or liberty of all religions, which may be just­ly called the golden Calfe of these times, Where unto many are not unwilling to contribute their strength & pollicy, & whose birth-day they would not fear to call festum Jehovae an acceptable day un­to the Lord. Are not the errours which are rife a­mongst us, either by infecting persons of place and quality growne into that boldnesse? or by car­rying away Barnabas also crept into that credit? or by spreading farre and wide risen to that strength? that they do face, if not seem able to put into dang­er of rowting, our common faith, publike worship, authorized ministry, long and much expected and promised reformation. This to the common ene­my is the Cape of good hope, the sound part are a­fraid least the truth should come to begg for poore quarter, and be led Captive following the Cha­riot of triumphant liberty, some thinke that episco­pacy [Page 3] in his pontificalibus may by this meanes be re­trived, and recalled from exile to which it was sentenced by the Covenant, many that are as distant in their opinions as the two poles, yet moveing up on one axletree, or tyed together by the tayles of Common interest, Doubt not but by laying their stockes together, they shall be able to bid faire for a Toleration. And that we might not be left alone to wonder at our selves, our sympathizing brethren abroad do wonder also, That we should be made the common sewre to receive the garbage of other Churches, and that their stinking snuffes should be allowed candlesticks here in England.

In this sad posture of things, All mens eyes have beene upon the Parliament, and every one saith Is there no balme in Gilead? is there no Physitian there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? And the truth is neither your diversion by sudden and difficult emergents, nor wisdom in not disobliging any party, hath been able to satisfie the godly jealousies of many, untill they espied this day breake of hope given to them by your declaration, in which you take notice of a double bond or obligation that lyes upon you.

1. The first is the bond of your solemne Cove­nant: It will doe very much good abroad when men shall see that you feele the obligation of that Covenant which some do widen into such a latitude of sence and consequently into such a loosenesse, that they may be easily said to keep that which hardly any man can breake; This additionall fast is an additionall bond also. For it cannot be (without further perill to you) both a fast and a loose too.

[...] [Page 3] [...] [Page 4] 2. The second is the bond of Gods mercies, mira­cles rather, in bringing you cleare out of the fiery furnace and therefore lesse you cannot doe than Nebuchadnezzar, who being convinced, and asto­nisht by the miraculous deliverance of the three servants of the Lord, made a decree that none should speake any [...] paraphr. [...]osephi. [...] inepti quid. errour against the God of Shad­rach Meshach and Abednego, because there is no o­ther God that can deliver after this sort. Dan. 3. 29. I crave leave for this prefaceing, It is only to bid this day welcome, because as it is the first that ever was in England upon this sad occasion, so it is a new and strong ingagement and demonstration of your zeale and resolution to endeavour, to draine these fens which have so over spread the face of Gods Church.

The Apostle in the latter end of the foregoing chapter recommends to Christians the holy Scrip­tures as the fixed pole and un-varying compasse by which they should steere their course, It seemes he knew nothing of any such high forme of Christi­ans in the Schoole of Christ which should (as I may say) be got above the Scriptures or have learn'd beyond them. For the commends them who had obtained like pretious faith with himselfe and o­thers of highest ranke. 2 Pet. 1. 1. for giving heed to the word of prophecy vers. 19. and as appeares by that expression ver. 20. [...], know­ing this first, He would have it laid downe as a prin­ciple, and set as a strong fort against the battery of all false teachers That no prophecy of Scripture is of any private sence or [...] is the unfolding or cleering of things darke and doubtfull, Mar. 4. 34. [...] Acts 19. 39. [...] interpretation. because it came not by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as [Page 5] they were carried by the holy Ghost. The setling of this principle, and the fastning of Christians, or as it were nailing them unto the Scriptures; the words of the holy Prophets and Apostles, is the scope at which the Apostle collimes in this Epistle, as himselfe declares, Chap. 3. vers. 1, 2. & 17. And that it might appeare to them how necessary and seasonable it was to stirre them up to adhere to the sure word of God, and the true and genuine sence thereof, Hee foretells the comming in of False tea­chers and Scoffers, False teachers that would over­throw the truth of doctrine, which is according to godlinesse, by bringing in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, chap. 2. ver. 1. Scoffers that would undermine and elude the truth of Gods promises. There shall come in the last dayes Scoffers, walking after their owne lusts, and say­ing, where is the promise of his comming, Chap. 3. vers. 3, 4. And because the Scriptures themselves were not likely to escape the [...] Hesych. racke, the Apostle gives a double character of such as would crooken it, or make it looke [...], Sylburg. a squint, and they are the unlearned and unstable, and so concludes with cau­tion to all Christians, that they should beware, lest they being carried away together, by the seduce­ment of wicked men, or ( [...]) lawlesse Li­bertines of opinion and practise, fall from their owne stedfastnesse, Chap. 3. vers. 16, 17.

In this Chapter the Apostle foretells the com­ming of false teachers into the Gospell Churches, and describes their doctrines, their destruction, their manners.

The doctrines which they teach are damnable [Page 6] heresies, they deny the Lord that bought them.

Their destruction is exemplified and paralleld in three terrible examples, the casting down of the Angells that fell, the destruction of the olde world, the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrha. It may make the eares of all haeresie-Masters and their fol­lowers to tingle when they heare that the three great and famous monuments of Gods sore wrath executed by his owne immediate hand are brought in as examples of his vengeance against that wicked­nesse which above all other pretends exemption and liberty from the stroke of men.

Their manners (in the description of which the greatest part of this Chapter is taken up) are drawn out in so foule colours, that every man may make the observation, That monstrous doctrines are ac­companied with monstrous lusts.

In this verse you have the seedes-men, and they are false teachers; the seed they sow, namely dam­nable heresies. The crop they shall reap, and that is swift destruction.

In the first part which shewes us the seeds-men, there are two points to be taken up.

1. That there shall be false teachers in the Gospell Churches, as there were false Prophets in the Church of olde.

2. That these false teachers are they that bring in damnable heresies.

There shall be false teachers [...] amongst you in the Churches of the Gospell, as there were false prophets [...] among the people of God of olde. It's seldome seene that false prophets or false tea­chers will owne their owne name: goe from one to [Page 7] one and aske, are you a false teacher? and there will not be found any; the confident false prophet puts it upon the true Prophet that Hee is the false. Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from mee to speake to thee? 1 Kings 22. 24. which is the false prophet we shall see anon, in the meane time thus farre we are agreed, that there were such then, and that there shall bee such amongst Christians under the Gospell, though they that are guilty are wiser than to make such a description of a false teacher, or of haeresy which may hit themselves: but ra­ther will use their sleight to turne the Scripture▪ as one doth a right hand glove to fit the other hand.

False Prophets and false teachers are paralleld, both in their being in the Church, and in their cha­racter or description.

1. In their Being in the Church, for

1. As God then sent Prophets to teach his people▪ Jer. 7. 25. Since the day that your Fathers come forth out of the land of Aegypt vnto this day, I have sent you all my servants the Prophets, and there were then false prophets also saith my Text. So God hath set in his Church under the Gospell Teachers, 1 Cor. 12. 28. and there shall be also false teachers; then they wore a rough garment to deceive, and now they corne in sheeps cloathing. The Apostle in this Zech. 13. 4. Matth. 7. 15. Text determines not the false Prophets then to a particular place or time, but saith they were among the people; nor doth he determine false teachers now to any one place or time, but speakes indefi­nitely, they shall be amongst you. There is no age of the Church free of them: onely the last dayes are most likely to have most of these dregs; and where­as [Page 8] its said of all true Prophets, that they were sent, and of Pastors and Teachers, that God hath set them in, and Christ hath given them to his Church; there is no more said of these in the Text than [...]. They were, and they shall be: they may easily find a Prophesie for their being in the Church, but will hardly finde a Scripture-warrant or calling.

2. As the Church of old, notwithstanding those living oracles of truth, the holy men of God who spake as they were moved by the holy Ghost, and the lively oracles of holy Scripture committed to it, had false Prophets also, who spake their owne dreames: so the Gospell Churches even in the Apo­stles times, 1 John 4. 1. and not withstanding the fulnesse and perspicuity of Evangelicall doctrine given by inspiration of God, shall have false tea­chers in them; Who shall come up in Samuels man­tle, and putting the Scriptures to the racke, shall [...] (as one saith of Philo) force things into allegories and conceited extractions, and make them like Anaxagoras his [...] draw­ing every thing out of any thing. For an haereticall wit is a strange Chymist. The truth is, the resisters of the truth, and the seducers in the old Testa­ment are but acted over againe in the Gospell Chur­ches. Here also are the resistings of Jannes and Jam­bres, by men of corrupt mindes, reprobate concer­ning the faith, 2 Tim. 3. 8. Here are the contradi­ctions of Core, Jude. vers. 11. Here is the doctrine of Balaam, Rev. 2. 14. and here are the false teachers answering to the false Prophets, but yet it is argu­ed by some that the Analogy betweene the Old and New Testament, doth not hold in regard of the [Page 9] punishment of false Prophets and blasphemers, nor ought to be drawn into consequence now. I would they would rather study to avoid the same sinnes, then to evade the like punishments: for the greater liberty of Conscience under the Gospell, cannot ex­tenuate the sinne of blasphemy, because this liber­ty is accompanied with greater light.

2. In their Character or description. The Greek which hath great felicity of composition of words calls him in one word a false prophet, whom the He­brew cals a Prophet, & leaves him by spurious chara­cters or properties to be detected false or illegiti­mate.

A false prophet or a false teacher may be so deno­minated in a two fold respect.

1. As he teaches or vents lies and false-hood, which is the most usuall and common acceptation of the word.

2. As he teaches without a commission or calling. Ier. 14. 14. Esay 9. 15. Ezec. 13. 2. &c.

1. In the first notion he is a false prophet that teacheth lies, or delivers forth the visions and deceit of his own heart, which he covers over with Thus saith the Lord Ezech. 13. 6. Ier. 28. 2. and so fathers his false dreames upon God, and his cheifest aime and care is not to sting the people, but to feed his deluded followers with pleasing things, and ra­ther to tickle than to prick them, Saying to Ahab, go up & prosper, 1 King. 22. 12. or God hath broken the yoke of Babylon, Jer. 28. 2. which was the advantage that Ahabs false prophets had of Micajab, and Han­aniah had of Ieremy, & this observation the Scripture makes upon them, Thy prophets have not discove­red thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity. Lam. [Page 10] 2. 14. and they thinke to cause my people to forget my name. Ier. 22. 27. Whence it is that they are ap­plauded and that all men speake well of them Luk. 6 26. They are wiser then to marre their owne mar­kets by sharpe reproofes, as a cutpurse is afraid to touch the quick with his knife lest he loose his prey.

The character of false teachers is answerable, they are [...] Lying masters speaking perverse things to Drus. praet. in 2 Pet. 2. 1. draw Disciples after them. Acts. 20. 30. and speak­ing lyes in hypocrisy, which they palliate over with It is written, or the name of the spirit, and are therefore called spirits of errour 1. Tim. 4. 1. as we are forbidden to beleeve every spirit. 1. Iohn. 4. 1. that is every doctrine though pretended to be from the spirit, for men are cunning to lay downe their bastards at an honest doore, and to pin them upon the backe of scripture; being like to the false prophets in this mis-fathering of their doctrines, as also in that other thing, which is the bayteing of their hookes with sweet & pleasing baytes. [...] they allure as with a baite through the lusts of the flesh and wantonnesse. 2. Pet. 2. 18. And they promise liberty ver. 19. which are takeing things, that it is no wonder there are many that follow their per­nicious wayes. ver. 2.

2. In the second notion he is a false prophet who Jer. 14. 14. Ezech. 13. 6. runs indeed but is not sent, I have not sent these prophets yet they ran Ier. 23. 22. They can say I have dreamed, I have dreamed, ver. 25. but they have no mission, and such a one is to be counted a false pro­phet. Molin. Vates cap. 4. Sive vera praedicet sive falsa whether he preach true or false; The character of a false teacher is an­swerable hereunto, hee is one that is [...], selfe [Page 11] called, or fills his owne hand, so that the question is not what he teaches but by what warrant, as Cyprian Cyprian in E­pistola ad An­tonianum. said once to one that was inquisitive what doctrine Novatian did teach, we need not (saith he) be care­full or curious to know quid ille doceat cum soris do­at, the like may be justly said of false teachers. Its no asking what they teach since they have no cal­ling [...]. to teach, There are found in the new Testamēt, (I had almost said in England) False Christs, false A­postles, false Prophets, false teachers, all these rankes are counterfeited, as he is called a false Christ, a false Apostle, who pretends to be Christ or an Apostle & is not, so is he a false teacher who pretends to be a teacher and is not sent. Nor is it any wonder that when once men do begin to looke for a new Christ, or new Apostles, or new Prophets, they should in the next place fall to making of them, that so their seeking may not seeme frustrate, but because some are of opinion that preaching of the word is not so much an act of office as of gifts, and that gifts and ta­lents doe carry with them letters patents of com­mission to trade with them, I must crave leave to be­stow a few words upon it, because it hath been ge­nerally received in the Church that both matter and forme, mission and vision, gifts and calling must concurr to the constitution of him who exercises a publike ministry. For even our Lord Iesus Christ in whom all fullnesse dwells: glorified not himselfe to be made a high Priest, but was cal­led of God as was Aaron. Heb. 5. 4. 5. and the rule is there given, that no man takes [...] an honour or office to himselfe, whatsoever be his parts or abili­ties, & the apostle saith not how should they [...], [Page 12] publikely preach the word, without gifts, and abili­ties? but, except they be sent Rom. 10. 15. It must not be denyed, that every member in the body hath [...], his proper office, Rom. 12. 4. 5. wherby it may contribute to the good and edification of the whole. The word of God that dwells in any, ought to diffuse it selfe for the benefit of others, in their families, relations, and conversations. The talent which God hath given to every one is to be put forth to use, the Samaritan woman may call out her neighbours to Christ, and the shepeards may spread abroad what they have heard of him, though they be but shepheards and neither priests nor Le­vites, but every starr in his owne orbe or Sphaere, Bellarm. de ecclesia mili­tante. diversa est ratio membri & instrumenti publici there is a difference betweene a private member of the Church, and a publike instrument. For all the free-men of this City or corporation are not Alder­men, and the edification of the body by ministry, and by membership are plainely distinguisht, Eph. 4. ver 11. and 16. If every Phaeton that thinkes him­selfe able may drive the charriot of the sun no won­der if the world be set on fire, I should not doubt to say, that as in some cases Omnis homo miles against a suddaine assaulter or invader, every man is a soul­dier, so, as the case may bee, omnis Christianus Evan­gelista every Christian is an Evangelist, as Edesius & Frumentius publisht the Gospell to the Indies, and the woman to the Iberians, as the Ecclesiasticall sto­ry S [...]crates lib. 1. chap. 15. 16. Theod r. lib. [...] chap 23. reporteth, And it is said Acts. 8 4. those that were dispersed by the persecution against the Church at Ierusalem, went every where preaching the word, They disseminated the knowledge of Christ, to the [Page 13] ignorant Iewes and Hellenists. Acts. 11. 20. the cir­cumstance defends the action, if it could be proved that these dispersed Christians were private men and that they preacht the word in Ierusalem which was a constituted Church, before they were scatte­red Mornay du pl [...] ­ss [...]s of the Church, ch 11. thence, it would be some thing to the purpose, The noble Mornay puts another case, that if the sen­tinells be in a dead sleep any common souldier or man, may give the alarum to the City, as when the dogs do not barke the geese do save the capitol, and yet it remaines good, that there is an office, in the hands whereof Christ hath lodged the stewardship of the misteries of God, the word and sacraments, for teaching and baptizing are both put into the same hand; It is not a mans able parts which make him the steward of any of your houses, but your committing the keyes into his hand. Nor abi­lities, but commission, which makes an Ambas­sadour, what if a Gibeonite or any other man was able, and had the skill to dresse a sacri­fice, and performe all the outward work there­about as well as any Priest, Must hee therefore take upon him to usurpe the Priests Office? I think none will say it, No constituted Church either under the Law or Gospel can be denied to have had Officers ap­pointed for the worke of the Ministry and dispensati­on of the holy things of God; As concerning the Church under the Law who can doubt of it? And for the Churches under the Gospel that they should be constituted and founded by Christ and the Apo­stles who were sent, (for its said John 20. 21.) As my Father hath sent me, so send I you) and then that all sending should determine and cease, as if Christ [Page 14] had given Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, but no Pastors, and Teachers, can enter into no mans head, till sense and reason be first gone out of it; what else should bee the meaning of those words, [...] Elders, Rulers, Bishops, Pastors, Governours, which are con­tradistinguisht to the Community of the Church. As the Elders and whole Church Acts 15. Rulers and Saints, Heb. 13. verse 24. Angells and Churches, Revel. 1. 20. and the one sort are said to Rule and governe. The other enjoyned to submit and obey them, Heb. 13. 17. for so doubtlesse Christ hath for­med this house of his, as other houses are; This City as other cities, this body or common-wealth as other societies. That is, to consist of such as govern & such as are Governed: for otherwise it would be more like a Cyclops den then an ordered family. If any shall say that [...] and [...] doe signifie nothing but one that carries the lanthorne of do­ctrine, or goes before others by good example, let him sayalso that a Master or a father of a family doth [...], 1. Tim. 3. 4. 5. give but a good example, to his house, as a very servant may doe, or that Joseph was set [...]. Acts. 7. 10. a good example to Egypt, and no more, The word [...], to preach is in the new testament most usu­ally and for the most part appropriated to preach­ing by office and authority, and when the Apostle saith 1. Tim. 2. 12. I permit not a woman to teach [...] nor to exercise authority (as the word f Docere est ac­tus poteslatis. Calvin in lo­ [...]. signifies) it is plainely signified that to teach in the Church is an act of authority; those then to whom the Apostle commended the oversight of the Church at his farewell. Acts. 20. 28. to whom Peter [Page 15] wrote and charged them with the flocke 1. Pet. 5. 1. whom the golden Candlesticks had for their An­gells, and upon whom that comfortable promise is entaild, I will be with you alwayes unto the end of the world, Matth. 28. 20. are men in office, not indeed called unto Lordship and dominion, but to a ministry and stewardship which is to be regula­ted by that most excellent rule and to that onely end For your edification and not for your destruction 2. Cor. 10. 8.

But this office is undermined and pulled downe by piece-meale, stone by stone, as if a man should say this stone is not essentiall to the house, nor this nor that, and so pull all downe at last. This is a stratagem of the Socinian art; It is said that imposi­tion of hands in ordination is but a ceremony, or formality, and in it selfe a cyphar; and being so why may it not be laid aside as well as that ceremo­ny of laying the Bible on the head, which is spo­ken of in the Concil. Car­thagin 4. c. 2. counsell of Carthage? concerning imposition of hands in the generall this I say that it is not a thing to be slighted as an outward rite in­congruous to the spiritualnesse of the Gospell for its one of those which the Apostle calls the doctrine of the beginning of Christ and the foundation, Heb. 6. 1. 2. and for the particular place it hath in or­dination, let it first be settled & agreed that the mi­nistry being an office or calling hath some way of en­trance into it appointed by him that hath appointed the office, & that there is a separation of men there­unto, or manner of their constitution & ordination, that is, a potestative mission as some expresse it: and then the modus is to be inquired into as touching [Page 16] which, it is argued that ordination by imposition of hands as contradistinguisht from the election of the people is not essential to the māner of entrance. Es-sentiall is a great word. Baptisme & the Lords sup­per are not essentiall to the being of a Christian or to salvation; so as the privation of them should damne the soule, and yet are of excellent use and cleare institution. It may suffice, that there is so much in the word for ordination as that the way of the word in that case is neither to be laid aside nor receded from, nor maimed. The engine planted for battery and overthrow of ordination is the electi­on of the people that is the id ipsum wherein the separation of a man to the ministry doth consist, and yet we read of a separation unto God for the worke of the ministry by fasting, prayer, and imposition of hands, without any election of people, Act. 13. 1. 2. I am of Lib. de rep eccl. 2. cap. 2. para [...] 12. Spalato his minde that this was not a se­paration to an office which Paul and Barnabas be­fore had not, but that it was a separation unto God ( [...]) for the worke of the Ministry, is cleere enough, and what was that worke, but the preach­ing of the word and ordaining of elders. Acts. 14. 23. 24. 25. 26. If any man can shew throughout the New-Testament that any did impose hands for se­paration of men to the office or worke of the mini­stry but onely such as were in office themselves, A­postles, Evangelists, Eldership, and these Teachers and Prophets at Antioch, or that the election of the people is the id ipsum of separation, let it be done, or let us have lesse dictating and lesse begging, for by the way let me tell you, wee live in the beg­garliest age that ever was, I meane for begging of the question.

And if the meere election of the people be suffici­ent, what neede was there that the Apostle should leave Titus in Crete, for this cause, that hee might ordaine Elders in every City, Titus 1. 5. For if it be said that [...], that thou mightest ordain, be no more then that thou mightest ordain, be no more then that thou mightest looke on while the people did it, Then why may not Pharaoh (of whom it is said [...], hee constituted Joseph Go­vernour over Aegypt) bee said to looke on only, while the people did it. And what need was there that Paul and Barnabas should be separated and sent forth to ordaine Elders in every Church, Acts 14. 23. If the Churches election had beene the id ipsum of ordination; And why are the characters and qualifications of Elders and Bishops given and de­scribed to Timothy and Titus, 1 Tim. 3. Tit. 1. Not so much to the people, by which they should pro­ceede in their elections, as to them who were ap­pointed to ordaine them, that they might not lay on hands suddenly, 1 Tim. 5. 22. In which place laying on of hands (as [...] with the He­brews) is put for ordination, and so is not election by the people any where found to be. As for Cases and instances of a people cast up in some remote Island or the like: may not they chuse a Minister? and he perform the office without ordination? such cases may bee formed to overthrow any common rule or law of Ministery or Magistracy either. It's said that an Exceptio fir­mat regulam in non exceptis. exception strengthens a rule, & over­throws it not, for then there could be no rule of a­ny thing, because every rule hath some exception; set the Heteroclites by themselves, and let the rule stand. If David eate the Shew-bread, or the Le­vites [Page 18] performe that office which belongs to the Priests (2 Chron. 29. 34. with Levit. 1. 6.) in case of necessity; there is no more can be said but necessi­tas quod cogit, defendit, that which necessity com­mands, it defends.

That the holy Ghost was given by the imposition of the Apostles hands; (I say the Apostles) Act. 8. 18. is true: but no argument against laying on of hands by the Eldership in ordination, for there were di­vers reasons and occasions of laying on of hands be­sides in ordination: and other hands were laid on in ordination, than could give the holy Ghost. The Levites had imposition of hands (Fagius in Chald. paraph. in locum. tanquam in sa­crificium, Numb. 8. 10, 11. as upon a sacrifice) dedi­cating them to God and his service. And so in the New Testament, it was used for separation of men to the worke or office of the Ministery: but there is no miracle wrought, nor is the holy Ghost given, nor any inward grace. The word [...] grace seems somewhere to be put for office, as Rom. 1. 5. See Rom. 1. 5▪ & 15. 15, 16▪ Gal. 2. 9. Groti­us, Beza, Dieu. [...]. Grace and Apostleship, that is, the grace of Apostleship, & in this sense (as Beza saith) if that [...] or grace be taken, 1 Tim. 4. 14. Then may it be said to be gi­ven with imposition of the hands of the Presbyte­ry. As for election by the people, which is by some cryed up as the All in All in this point, though I have nothing to say against the lawfullnesse of it, where it's duely conditioned: yet if any shall plead the necessity of it as essentiall to the calling of a Mi­nister, I should not stick to say, that there is clearer evidence in Scripture for ordination of Ministers by imposition of hands, then for election by the people. That word, [...], Acts 14. 23. out of which [Page 19] it is expiscate, after a man hath made the best of it, will leave him to beg the question, for there appeares in it no act of the Church at all: but what­soever it signifies, it refers wholly to Paul and Bar­nabas, who did [...] ordaine Elders for the Disciples, and therefore without endangering not only the sense, but the grammer of the Scrip­ture, can no more referre to the people, then Diatrib p. 6. & page 10. he that affirmes that it may, can prove Luke to bee an Apostle (as he stiles him.) I deny not that Cheiro­tonia in the [...] Zonar▪ in Can. 1. original and first rise of the word sig­nifies a giving vote or suffrage by stretching forth the hand, or an election manifested by that signe, but the use of words, not the Etymology must rule their interpretation; and it is past all question that the Greeke Heathen Authours doe use this word [...] generally, to [...] Hes [...]ch. constitute, appoint, or­daine, as is observed by Hesychius, as they doe also So also in Scripture, Acts 1. 26. [...] to reckon or give sentence, though there be no use of counters or little stones: and [...] to bee chosen to a place, or to obtaine a possession, though there be no use of any Lot therein, accor­dingly to wch a man may bee said pedibus ire in sen­tentiam, though he have no feet to goe upon: but because we would not rest in generals, let us examin what was the act of Paul & Barnabas in this place: for it is plaine that they put Ephes. 1. 11. forth some particular act, when 'its said they ordained for them or unto them Elders, did they ordaine by imposition of hands? as the word [...] signifies in the Greeke Fathers and counsells who may be thought to understand the language) It is not unlikely that those very men that had been sent forth upon this expedition [Page 20] by imposition of hands, fasting & prayer should in the like manner ordaine Elders, for so the very te [...] in hand couples together, ordaining of Elders in e­very Church & praying with fastings; or did they elect Elders for them? as Grotius in lo­cum. Grotius seemes to inter­pret it, but those that contend for that sense of the word, to signify election, will not easily disgest the interpretation, and the truth is, They that argue the peoples election of Ministers, from the election of the seven, Acts. 6. which the Apostles permit­ted to the people there, cannot easily grant that Paul and Barnabas did assume it to themselves here, because it gives away the question, namely election by the people; or did Paul and Barnabas joyne with the Disciples in election? If it had been said [...] it had been something to the purpose, but it is not said they chose with them, but they ordained for them Elders in every Church, And for that which Grotius saith, Credibile est &c. I'ts to be thought that the consent of the people went along also, the reason that he gives, namely because in a lesser matter their consent was sometime taken in, quite overthrowes that which is contended for ex vt verbi out of the word [...], used in the text, and we know that where the Apostles, Elders, and Brethren concurred in an act they are all named Acts. 15. 23. which as here it is not said so it cannot hence be proved; or in the last place, if it be said that the word translated, ordaine, signifies an ordina­tion upon a previous or antecedent election of the people, then 'its cleare that election doth not thrust out ordination nor the act of the people justle out the act of Paul and Barnabas, and so that engine [Page 21] workes not by this Text, which is so much clearer for ordination than election, as the act of Paul and Barnabas is more expresse then that couchant act of the people, which is pretended to lie hid in the same word: which if it be taken in one simple sense, signifying either generally to constitute or ordaine, and so relate to the act of Paul and Barnabas, (with­out thrusting into the notion of the word either imposition of hands (which may be made good els­where in Scripture to have beene used in ordinati­on, or election by the people, which cannot be made good elsewhere) or signifying election by suffrage, and so relate both to Paul & Barnabas and the peo­ple, as if they all concur'd in election or vote, and that was all they did: both these significations the word will beare, though not the Text: but if it carry twins in the belly of it, and import two divers acts different in kinde, and so relate to some act of Paul and Barnabas, differing from the act or suf­frage of the people, then must that signification be proved by good examples, lest it bee found ne­ver to have beene so used before Luke used it so: but I hold my hand from further prosecution of this Scripture, and offer to you one observation more, tending to cleare the point in hand, and that is out of Acts 6. where it is cleare that there was an electi­on of the seven, and as cleare, that the constituti­on or ordination of them was reserved unto the A­postles, vers. 6. Looke yee out seven men whom wee may appoint or constitute over this business; the people elected, the Apostles ordained, vers. 3. & 5. But the election is not called the constitution or ordination, for that the Apostles are said to doe: [Page 22] and how did they doe it? vers. 6. when they had prayed they laid their hands on them, ordination by imposition of hands was the constitutive act. The peoples [...] ver. 6. and the Apostle [...] ver. 3. are not all one: that poore criticisme would ne­ver have beene borne, if the Diatrib p 10. Author of it had but set the words together [...] the people set or presented the elected before the Apostles, they did not ordaine them before the Apostles, but presented them to be constituted and ordained by them over that business unto which they were chosen, vers. 3. There is not a more usu­all word in the Arist. politic. passim. Acts 7. 10. 27. 35. Mat. 24. 47. & 25. 41. [...]u. 12. 14. Acts 6. 3. Titus 1. 5. usually with the prepo­stion [...], signi­fying the place or the subject matter of their office & gover­ment. greeke tongue, to signifie the ma­king of a Governour, or setling one into an office or praefecture then this word [...] which is also used for the constitution of Elders and Church Of­ficers in the new Testament, which wee call ordi­nation.

If you please to consult the practise of antiquity in the point of election of Bishops ab ordine & plebe (as they use to say) by the Church officers and com­munity, you shall finde 1. That election was never set so high as to give checke to ordination, nor ac­counted that wherein the mission or sending did consist: but as a preparative to ordination by way of good testimony of the person to bee ordained. 2. When you have searcht all records (as Spalato derep. eccles. lib. 3. cap. 3. they are laid together by a very learned hand) the result and summe will be this, that election had the force on­ly of a nomination, presentation, postulation, or consent, so as a Minister could not bee obtruded invitae ecclesiae upon a Church whether it would or no▪ if they were able to put in a just exception a­gainst [Page 23] him, for which end the person to be ordai­ned was first to be proclaimed, or (as I may say) asked in [...]. Concil. Chalced. can. 6. the Church, for the very reason of Cypri­ans Cyprian Ep. 68. E [...]it. Pa [...]n. speech, that the people principally have po­wer to chuse the worthy, or refuse the unworthy, is rendred in the same Epistle, that they do fully know the life & conversation of every man. And therefore it is Diatrib. cap. 11. injudiciously spoken that ordination necessa­rily follows election: for an irrational or meer arbi­trary dissent, when no just exception could be put in bar against a man, could no more hinder a mans or­dination, then such a peevishnesse now a▪ days can hinder the marriage of one whose name is publisht in the congregation. Ab ordinatoribus plebs docen­da non sequenda, saith Caelestinus.

The cloze of this point might well have beene an Apology for speaking so much of it in this place, had not the Text led me to say something, and the ne­cessity of the times, together with the present occa­sion constrained me to this prolixity. For the office of the Ministery, and the power thereunto belon­ging, are very much undervalued, and laid very low by many: who differing among themselves in principles, doe as in a common interest, joyn to­gether to cry downe and degrade them, In order to a two-fold liberty. The one is the liberty of prophe­sying or preaching, as any man is able to set up the trade: in opposition to which they conceive the Ministers do stand for their own livings and power sake. The other is the liberty of their lusts and ways of loosenesse, and these are such upon whom the feare of the Ministery is fallen, whose Spirit cannot bear too free reproofe, nor their courses a too close [Page 24] observation. And hence it is that some of them ha­ving learning, doe set their wits on worke to rout this office and the power thereof, by bafling the e­vidences of the word, and endeavouring to dis­pute the Scripture out of doores, which though God hath not pleased to deliver Systematically in a way of absolute precept or demonstrative clearnesse in every particular, yet ought to be regarded in the hints and consequences and implications which af­ford foot-hold to a good conscience, and not to be out-wrangled for our ends and lusts sake, as being the becke of that great God who is able to becken us all into nothing, others that cal­culate by the Ephemerides of policy, doe dis­cover or imagine future inconveniences, which may arise from the indiscretion, passion, weake­nesse of the Ministers, and if they will but goe on to play that Cannon a little further, they shall find it will batter and overthrow all Magistracy, or any government that is managed by men; others whose tongues are sharper then their arguments fall foule upon the ministry, and poure treble contempt upon it, in lieu of double honour, never was mini­stry more blessed and witnessed unto from heaven, by the successe and fruitfullnesse of it in bringing in and bringing up, a people unto God, (though some of their chickens are caught and carried away by kites or have forsaken them, as duckes forsake the hen that hatched them) never more contemned That which thef Collat. Car­thag. 3. Donatist objected sometime to Austin is now rife againe tu quis es? Filius es Ceci­liani, an non? who ordained you, you are the brat of Cecilian, are you not? (whom they pretended [Page 25] to be a traditor or to have given up the holy Scrip­ture to the fire) so they say to the Ministers, whose sons are you? is not your pedigree by lineall de­scent from Antichrist? is not he the top of your kin? he that hath but halfe an eye may see the rea­son why the Wolves would have the Sheep to quitt their dogs. The ministry if encouraged and sup­ported to doe their duty, will be (next under the Parliament, who, we hope, will doe theirs) the greatest bulwarke or banke against the inundation of errour, haeresy, and blasphemy, whose increase is the occasion of this humiliation; It is the lot of the Ministers of the reformed Churches to be grund betweene two Mil-stones, in the first refor­mation, the popish Champions fell pell-mell upon the calling of the Non missi non vocati non con­secrati. Bristow motiu. Ministers of the reformed Churches pretending it to be null (ac proinde nulla ecclesia, and consequently (saith Non ab epis­copis ordinati ac proinde nul­la ecclesia Greg de Valentia. Tom. 4. disput. 9. quest. 3. punct 2. in fine. Gregory de Va­lentia) (the Churches no Churches) because they were not ordained by Bishops. The same conclusion is now undertaken; That the present Ministers in this Church are not lawfull Ministers, upon a me­dium quite contrary, that is, because they were ordained by Bishops, nor are those who are ordained by Presbyters, in much better account with the ob­jectours, for they are in the same line of pedigree, being but once more removed from the stocke, great-grandchildren, to the Pope; The cauills of the Papists have been long agoe laid to sleepe by the answers of Mornay of the Church. chap. 11. Sadeel de legi­tim, vocat. Mi­nister. reform. eccle. [...] Minist. Angli­cano. learned men, who have distinguisht be­tweene the corruptions in the persons ordaining or in the fieri of ordination, and the substance and validity of ordination in facto esse, and the very [Page 26] same answers which were made for the first refor­mers and the Ministers ordained by them, are of as full force for the Ministers now in being with us, and the Ministers ordained by them, nor can our Ministery fall by this argument now used against us, without the fall of all ministery in the Churches of Christ in all times and places where Bishops had a hand in ordination, and if the Scripture doe settle the power of ordination in a Presbytery or in the El­ders of the Church, it can never be made good, that a Bishops hand (who is also a presbyter) be­ing joyned with others, can anull the ordination, as neither is Baptisme a nullity because admini­stred by a Bishop and haply with some corrupt ce­remony used in the administration thereof.

I proceed to the second point which I will touch but breifly and reserve the use of both and of that which followes untill the close of all.

These false teachers are they that bring in dam­nable Heresies, Doctrine. 2 Stuprant veritatem adulterio haere­tico. Tertull. de prae­script. They defloure the truth by haereticall adultery not onely those that teach without commission, but such as have a calling to teach doe by doctrines of errour bring in damnable haeresies, as its said Acts. 20. 30. Also of your own selves, shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw Disciples after them-They called Paul (because he was a zealous teach­er of the Gospell) a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarens, Acts. 24. 5. [...] signifies one that is the first man of the ranke, it is a military word, and I wish that our military men had not transfused er­rour into the severall parts of our body. If it be said that many of those who are charged with [Page 27] teaching of errours or haeresy are holy men, I answer that a holy man cannot easily be a haeretick, nor are all the errous of holy men to be called haeresy though they may be Hay and Stubble upon the foundation, but it hath been observed of old that some haeresiarchs or heads of haeresy have been well reputed for strictnesse and unblameablenesse of life: we learn out of Austine, that Pelagij nomen non sine laude aliqua posui quia vita ejus a multis praedica­batur. Retract. lib. 2. cap. 33. Pelagius had a very good testimony, and Scripture tells us they come in Sheeps cloathing and speake lies in hypo­crisy. Lies would not take, if they were not co [...]ended by the holinesse of the person, and guilded over as a rotten nutmegge with gold, There is a [...] or transformation of Satan into an Angell of light, of false Apostles into the A­postles of Christ, of Satans Ministers into the Mi­nisters of righteousnesse 2 Cor. 11. 13. 14. 14. and ther­fore we must not measure or judge of Ex personis fidem? an ex side personas? Tertull. de prae­scip. faith by the person but of the person by the faith. Truth may be as a Iewell in a dunghill, and errour carried (as Han­niball carried his poyson) in a Gold-ring, That horse of superstition and idolatry, upon the back of which the Divell hath in former times made warr against the Church is slain under him, and now he is mounted upon a fresh horse of another colour, called liberty of opinion, falsely called liberty of con­science, Lets not be ignorant of his devices.

I passe on to the second part of the text. The seed which these false teachers doe sow, and the text saith They shall privily bring in damnable haeresies even de­nying the Lord that bought them, in which wordes we take up these three things.

1. That haeresies are damnable.

2. That damnable haeresies are brought in privily.

3. That those which bring them in doe evende­ny the Lord that bought them.

I shall first open these in few words, and then come to the investigation or searching out what hae­resie is, wch is here by the Apostle called damnable.

1. First you see that haeresies are said to be dam­nable or destructive. Haeresies of destruction as its said, Psa. 5. 6. [...] a man of bloods, that is a bloody man: but why should haeresies be emphati­cally called haeresies of destruction? for is not all sin of damnable guilt? and is not death the wages [...] sin as sin? Its true; And yet as Judas that was an A­postle, and an eminent Disciple of Christ, and betrayed and sold him for money, is called, John 17. 12. [...] the son of destruction, and as the Antichrist is also called, 2 Thes. 2. 3. the man of sinne, the sonne of destruction, because under Christs name and colours he fights against him, and serves his own lusts upon the profession of his name, and so shall fall under more eminent and remar­kable destruction. So Haeretickes who professing Christianity, and the name of Christ, doe denye him, or adulterate his trueth for their owne ends and lusts, shall come under more heavy and sore damnation, which is aggravated by that expressi­on, Swift destruction, which shall fall upon their heads violently and unexpectedly: for their judge­ment lingreth not, and their damnation slumbreth not, vers. 3. And that it may appeare that God had an eye of wrath and vengeance upon this kinde of men long agoe. Its said by our Apostle here, vers. 3. their judgment now of a long time lingreth not: and [Page 29] by Jude, vers. 4. that they were of olde ordained to this condemnation or judgement, which new and unusuall expressions or aggravations of the destru­ction of this kinde of men, doe give sufficient rea­son why haeresies are called haeresies of destruction: whether the word damnable be restrictive to some haeresies, as implying that there are some that are not damnable; or whether it be descriptive, as de­scribing what haeresies are Gerard in locum. (in suo genere) in gene­ral, must be answered and resolved by the definition or description of haeresie, what it is: and if we either looke at that description of it, which is implied in this Text, to bee a denying of the Lord the Redee­mer, or which is given of it in any place, in the A­postolicall Epistles; we shall find, that in the Scrip­ture acceptation & description of haeresie, All haere­sie is damnable, not that every Haeretick is certain­ly and peremptorily damned: for then I see no more reason for admonishing an haeretick, then for pray­ing for one that hath sinned a sin unto death; even Judas called the son of perdition, had hee had (as some of the Ancients say) Peters repentance, might have found forgivenesse as he did: but there is this marke set upon haeresie, that we may all heare and feare and doe no such thing.

2. Damnable haeresies are brought in privily, words of this decomposition as [...] doe signifie insinuation, these tares are sowne while men sleep, in a clancular or subtill way whereof men are not a­ware, as its said, Gal. 2. 4. False brethren [...] Gal. 2. 4. at una­wares, privily crept in, and Jude 4. [...] Jude 4. Certain men are crept in privily, meaning Haeresy-masters or false teachers. Haeresie is modest at first, and insi­nuates [Page 30] as the Serpent into Eve by subtle fetches and quaeres, yea, hath God said? Gen. 3. 1. or by sweete promises and inducements, ye shall not surely dye, ye shall be as Gods, your eyes shall be opened, vers. 4. 5. So its said, vers. 3. they shall make merchan­dize of you. [...] with fine forms of speech, words composed for the nonce. The Apostle ob­serves that there is a subtilty, or as you might say a mystery in this Trade of corrupting mens mindes from the simplicity that is in Christ, 2 Cor. 11. 2. Eph. 4. 14. And sometimes they worke by the wife (as the Serpent did) to give her husband the apple: they draw men as Juglers doe a pieoe of mony with a fine invisible haire, and never bring forth the portenta of their opinions, until their sigmenta have made the way: they mixe their drosse among good silver, and lap up errour in the pap of truth, that some parts of the monster may have their true shape.

3. These that bring in these damnable haeresies doe even deny the Lord that bought them, and here I might take in hand two sorts of opinions. The first is that of the Socinians, who deny that Christ by a proper satisfaction made to the justice of God, did buy or purchaseus. To these the singer of the Text seemes directly to point: for they not on­ly deny the Lord Christs theanthropie? but his re­demption by way of purchase. The other is that of Lutherani, alijque. some that hence inferre an universall redemption, because that these that bring upon themselves swift destruction are said to bee bought by f Christ: of both which points I cannot say a little without speaking much, and therefore shall hold me to my subject in hand; wee may partly perceive by this expressi­on [Page 31] what damnable haeresies are: for its said that they who bring them in, doe even deny the Lord that bought them; If they deny Christ the Soveraigne Lord See Jude, v. 4. ( [...]) by everting his person or na­tures. If they deny his redemption and so evert his office (whether his Lordship or his redemption bee denyed) the haeresie is damnable, and the word denying seems to me to imply, that the proper na­ure of haeresie is to bee Spalato, os­tensio errorum Suaresij cap. 1. euersive and overthrow­ting: It consists not properly in additions to the word, saving so farre as those additions are over­throwing the pillars and foundations of truth; that is, Christ the Lord that bought us, or the like to it: for if hay and stubble be built on this foundati­on, 1 Cor. 3. 12. because they doe not overthrow it, or shake and shiver it, therefore though they be errours yet they are not haeresie. Non omnis error est haeresis (saith Ad quod vult deum in praefat. August. Austin) every Errour is not hae­resic: and therefore i some distinguish of doctrines Weems. Trea­tise of the 4 de generate sons. pag. 180. or errours thus: some are praeter, some are circa, some are contra fundamentum, that is (as Austine saith) some touch not, some shake, and some raze the foundation. The weight and valour of doctrines must be reckoned by their proximity or nearenesse to the fundamentals: for it is in the Consanguinity of doctrine (as Tertullian calls it) as it is in kindred, the neerenesse of kindred is to be measured by neernesse to the stocke.

This denyall of the Lord that bought them, may be either expresly conceptis verbis and so with a lit­tle more height of expression may amount to blas­phemy, but haply these in the text who used com­posed wordes were not so blacke mouth'd, or this de­nyall [Page 32] may be interpretativè and by consequence: and the consequence is either from their doctrines or a consequence of fact also, from their course or conversation.

The consequence from their doctrines (if it over­throw the faith) must not be drawn out into a long chaine and farr fetcht, least by that meanes every errour be made haeresy, but the consequence must be neere and close, so that you may be able to say this or that doctrine or opinion at the next remove or at a very neer distance denyes the onely sove­raigne God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 4. the battery may strike off a tile or make a hole in the wall, but except it be neere, will not overthrow the foundation, for as from every branch of a great tree one may goe or move to the root, yet the cutting off of any twigge or branch is not a cutting down or rooting up the tree, so though all branches of truth have continuity with the fundamentalls or principles, yet the deniall of every truth is not a razing or overthrow of them, I instance in the great principle, Christ Jesus is the Lord that hath bought us, not because there are not other which being de­nyed, faith is overthrown, but because it is the in­stance in my text, and in Jude. 4. and also because principles lie so close together, and are so concente­rate that an errour which routs one, routes ano­ther by immediate consequence. I will give one in­stance or two, Suppose the resurrection future bee denyed, this overthrowes the faith, 2 Tim. 2. 18. and see how the consequence immediately shatters all principles, 1 Cor. 15. 13. If there be no resurre­ction of the dead, Then is Christ not risen, Then is [Page 33] our preaching vaine, Then is faith vaine, Then be­leevers are yet in their sins. Then the dead in Christ are perisht, vers. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Or suppose the Law bee brought into equipage with Christ for ju­stification, marke the consequence. If so (saith the Apostle) then Christ shall profit you nothing, Gal. 5. 2. Christ is become of none effect unto you, verse 4. Yee are fallen from grace, and I make no doubt to say that those of the Galatians, who for their carnall ends, Chap. 6. 12, 13. did breake the continuity and communion of the Church, by gi­ving themselves up to this opinion, were haereticks, not while it was an opinion in debate or controver­sie: but when it grew into a ripe Impostume in such as adhaered to it: and do but observe in both the in­stances given, by how immediate consequence the denyall of the resurrection, or the contempera­ment of the Law with Christ, doe overthrow the fundamentall of Fundamentalls, Christ Jesus, in respect of his redemption or office.

For that which I call consequence of fact, from the course or conversation of Haeretickes: I observe that both the Apostle in this Chapter, and Jude in his Epistle, who follows the same thred in his de­scription of them, do characterise them by the Iusts and fleshy courses wherein they live. Jude speaks of false teachers, as is evident by that he exhorts Christians to contend for the faith: because certain men were crept in privily or unawares, vers. 3. 4 He exemplifies the destruction of these by the same▪ examples of the Angells that fell, and of Sodome and Gomorrha. He drawes out their picture in the like foul colours: and in the fourth verse calls them [Page 34] ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lascivi­ousnesse, and denying the onely Lord God, and our Lord Iesus Christ. And though lusts of the flesh, as a­dultery and the like, cannot be called haeresie; [...] de E [...]cl. lib. 4. part 2. cap. 1. Morton in 1 Cor. 11. 18. yet if a man professing Christ shall chuse such an opini­on or doctrine as doth patronize and maintain those lusts, and so walkes in a course of sinne under the protection of such an opinion or tenet, as is con­trary both to faith and holinesse, that comes up to the Scripture-description of haeresie: for so these false teachers that bring in damnable haeresies, are said to allure through lusts of the flesh and much wan­tonesse, ver. 18. and to promise liberty, as likewise those that are entangled in their errours doe turne from the holy Commandement, and turn to their former vomit and wallowing in the mire, vers. 20. 21, 22. and so the shipwrack of faith and the putting away of good conscience, 1 Tim. 1. 19. goe both together; and therefore the Nicolaitans, whose do­ctrine was hatefull to Christ, Rev. 2. 15. and whose lusts and filthinesse maintained by their pernicious doctrine Iren. lib. 1. cap. 20. Clem. Alex. lib. 7. Strom. were monstrous, can bee accounted no other then damnable Haereticks (and we may judg the like of others of the same stamp) being the very persons (as is Epiphan. hae­res. 26. Beza in Revel. 2. 15. Quiros in Ju­dam. conceived by good Authors) whom both Peter and Iude describe as turning the grace of God into lasciviousnesse, and denying the onely Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ, Iude 4.

So much for the opening of the three points, which you may if you please bind up together into one, That false teachers shall privily bring in dam­nable haeresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.

Now we come to search out what Haeresie is.

The word haeresie is of Greeke originall, and is often translated Sect, not Justinian in 21 et. 2. a secando from cutting, but a sectando from following, as being a way which men chuse to follow as its said. The way which they call haeresie, Acts 24. 14 A way of wor­ship or doctrine, for so he saith, so doe I worship the God of my Fathers, beleeving, &c. It appeares to be an act of the will electively pitching upon such a way. For the word it selfe signifies election, com­ming not from Martinius lexicon. [...] to expugne or lay waste, (though that be proper enough) but from [...] to chuse or adhere unto: and therefore the Septuagint Levit. 22. 18. 21. translate [...] free-will offering by [...] election or free-willednesse. The Rabbins call an Haeretick Drusius de 3. sectis Judae, lib. 1 cap. 2. Grotius in Tit. 3. 10. Nic. Fuller Miscellan. [...] which in Gen. 1. 12. Levit. 11. 22. Scripture signifies a kinde or species, and so they denote a man to be an Haereticke, who leaving the common road or way of faith and Doctrine, sets up and followes a parti­cular way of his own, Elias in Tish­bite. [...] one that is [...] or [...] without law, that will not bee bound up by the rule, but runnes out into his owne way, and Nic. Fuller miscel. sacra. lib. 2. cap. 3. some derive it from [...] which is translated [...] Nehem. 9. 17. Exod. 22. 16. signifying to re­fuse or deny, as if you would say a renegado or de­nyer of the trueth.

This word [...] while it kept it selfe among Phi­losophers, Physitians, and other Professors of know­ledge and learning past, for an honest word, but when it came into the Churches quarters, and was taken up by Christians, it became branded, stig­matized and odious. Its used about sixe times in the Acts 5. 17. 26. 5. 15. 5. 28. 22 24. 14. 24. 5. Acts of the Apostles, and whether it may not [Page 36] in some of those places at least, bee taken in good part or indifferently, shall not bee my dispute at this time. But when you finde it in the Epistles A­postolicall, and in the Gospell Churches, it hath not a jot of good savour in it, but carries a marke of iniquity and infamy upon it: In those Epistles it is used about 1 Cor. 11. 18. Gal. 5. 20. Titus 3. 10. 2 Pet. 2. 1. foure times expresly, and because I would not make a definition which you might say is mine owne, and so slight it, I will lay before you the Scriptures that speake of it, that you may in their light see what it is.

The first place is that 1 Cor. 11. 18, 19. I hear that there bee Schismes among you, and I partly beleeve it. For there must bee also haeresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

The Greeke Interpreters take Schisme and Hae­resie in this place, for both one in a manner, and understand not by the word Haeresie any matter [...] Chr [...] & Oecumen in [...]cum. dogmaticall or of Doctrine: but others Beza in loc. argue from the word [...] also. (There must also be hae­resies) that they are distinct, and that though haeresie include schisme, yet schisme doth not in­clude haeresie: and to mee it seemes that they are neare a kinne, because the Apostle rises from one to the other, saying, there are schismes, there must also be haeresies: but they are not collaterally a kin; for by the ascent, haeresie seems to be the grea­ter: For there must bee also haeresies, into which those that are [...] do not Neque enim eos probatos in­telligi jubet qui in haeresin fi­dem demutant Tertull. de pra­script. easily fall, but are made the more conspicuous or manifest for soundnesse and integrity.

That we may find the true nature of haeresie, let me in few words declare what schisme is.

The word schisme imports a rent or division of things that were or should be in continuity and undevidednesse, and as its taken in the matter of Religion, it signifies a rupture in the communion, or from the communion of the Church upon unne­cessary and unwarrantable causes and grounds. A causelesse breaking, or breaking off from the com­munion of the Church in matter of worship or Religion. Society and communion are of great importance: the evill of schisme is answerable to the good of society and communion; we are to judge of schisme by the cause of it: For if it bee upon a cause which the Word warrants not, it is a sinne of high na­ture; Cameron de Schismat. Some distribute it into two sorts or parts, b negative and positive. Negative is the very rupture and breaking off: positive is the coalition of the parts rent off into new bodies, or associations un­der other Pastors and Teachers. The formality of schisme consists in the secession or negative part, though the coalition into new bodies, which was called the setting up, altare contra altare may make it more obstinate and pernicious; Now I say the cause must rule us in judging of it. For as it is not the party which separates that makes the Divorce, but the Adulterous party which gives the cause. And as (Mornay saith) it is not the man who com­mences or begins the suite which makes the trouble, but he that detains the right: So they are the schis­maticks who give the just cause of separation from them, what a hurry was made in the Church by the paschal controversie; wherin (Tract of schis. page 5. as one saith) both parties might beschismaticks, dividing themselves asunder upon so triviall a matter, who were [Page 38] the Schismaticks when the second Councel of Nice set up Images into such honour, and thereby put the Churches into combustion? Doubtlesse the Coun­cell was the Schismaticke? who were the Schis­matics when the reformed Churches after all means used, were either driven out, or broke off from the communion of the Church of Rome? question­lesse the Mornay of the Church. cap. 10. Pope and his followers, not the Prote­stants, who departed from them, as the Romans had a saying, that when the Gauls had taken Rome, and Camillus, with the rest of the Patriots were at Veij, then, though the walls of Rome stood where they did before, yet Rome was not in Rome but at Veij; I shall not meddle with those Episcopal dissen­tions in the auncient Churches, commonly called schismes, nor those about the Popedome Spalato lib. 4. de rep. eccles. cap. 11. thirty in number, as they are reckoned: Schisme simply and nakedly is a breaking off, or breaking off from the communion of the Church, upon such grounds as have no weight in the word of God to allow them, as namely when Schisma ni fallor est eadem opinantem at (que) eodem ritu co­lentem quo cae­teri, solo con­gregationis de­lectari dissidio. Aug. contra Faustum. lib. 20. et contra Cresconium grammat. the same faith or doctrine in substantialls is held, and there is accordance and agreement in them: yet through passions and pri­vate ends or fancies, there is offence taken at les­ser matters of fact or order, and so the divorce is made for such faults in the yoke-fellow as are farre short of adultery, as if the members of any of the seven Churches should have separated, because of some drosse in those Golden Candlesticks. The Do­natist who separated upon that principle, that there was not true Church where good and bad were mixt; and that the chaffe in the floore made the wheate uncleane, or that the communion of the [Page 39] godly was blasted and polluted by the mixture of ungodly ones amongst them, was in open schisme: both in breaking off from the Churches of Christ upon that reason, and in assu [...]eing liberty to erect new Churches, onely which, he called the true Churches of Christ.

Now for haeresy; it is schisme and somwhat more as the Apostle implies, and what is that majus quid as Tertullian calls it, or that somewhat more, the an­swere is given in that generally received saying of Terome, haeresis perversum dogma habet Haeresy goes with a perverse opinion, or errour in doctrine, which I conceive to be a very truth, (though Grotius in 1 Cor. 11. Gro­tius affirme that ex vi vocis it be nihil aliud quam schisma) because the word haeresy in all authors, from the first use of it hath signified a sentence or dogmaticall tenet or assertion, as the severall Sects of Philosophers who differd in their opinions are i Jamblichus. lib. 2. cap. 1. called haeresies and therefor e Jamblichus haveing written of the life of Pythagoras, now saith he it re­maines that I speake [...] concerning his tenets or opinions, so the sects of Saducees and Pha­risees who differd in opinions are called haeresies, and the Haeresin Syri vocant [...] Doctrinam Drusius in Act. 24. 5. Syriake calls haeresy, doctrine, in which sense it must be taken. Acts. 28. 22. this haeresy that is this doctrine concerning Christ is every where spoken against or contradicted, and the Apostles Peter and Jude are expresse, that these haeresies are brought in by false teachers, and are opposite to the faith, denying Christ Iesus the Lord and his re­demdtion. 2. Pet. 2. 1. Jude. 3. 4. upon all which con­siderations, and that (as Tertullian elegantly saith) haeresy is a degenerate thing, which arises from the [Page 40] corruption and adulterating of the truth (tanquam caprificus a papauere fici, oleaster, ex olivae grano &c) I am cleer enough that in haeresy there must be mat­ter of opinion or doctrine, and so the meaning of the Apostle in this place of the Corinthians is to shew, that as there were already schismes amongst them, and dividing into parties as their partiality, affection, and selfe-respects led them, so, there must be also haeresies or errours in doctrine which should fight against the truth of the Gospell, & pa­tronize vitious, and filthy lusts of the flesh, to which both errours, and lusts there would be some that would decline, but those that were approved and sound-hearted would be made manifest among them, and so I conclude that haeresy is a renting or tearing the communion of the Church, as it is schisme, and a subverting of the doctrine of truth and holiness as it is haeresy, like sedition in the com­mon wealth, (for schisme as one saith is an ecclesia­stical sedition) when it is not only made against the faults of some persons, or their miscarriage in go­vernment, or some abuses in fact, but ariseth from principles or errours opposite and destructive to the fundamentall lawes and justice of the Kingdom.

The second place is that Gal. 5. 19. 20. The workes of the flesh are manifest which are adultery fornicati­on. &c. Seditions, heresies, [...] translated divi­sions. Rom. 16. 17. is here translated seditions, sedi­tions or divisions and haeresies may well be set to­gether for they goe together, haeresies are workes of the flesh, manifest workes of the flesh, The workes of the flesh are said to be manifest, either because they are the product and fruites of that inward cor­ruption [Page 41] called flesh, and are the tokens and markes of a carnall man, or because they may be discerned and knowne by the Mr. Perkin [...] in Galath 5. light of reason and of a natu­rall conscience, except the light be by strength of lusts extinct, or by the judgement of God darkned or put out. Divines usually from this place doe prove against the Papists, that by flesh is not onely meant the sensuall appetite or inferiour faculties of the Soule, but the higher also, as the minde and judgement, because haeresy is an errour of the minde and so no doubt it is, though it may be called carnall also in respect of those fleshly lusts or ends which carry men thereinto, and are exercised under the patronage thereof. Austin sometime saith that in his judgement, it either not at all, or very hardly can be regularly defined Aut non omni­no aut difficul­ter &c. Aug. ad quod vult deum in proefatione. what makes an haeretick, but he comes very neere it in another place say­ing hee is an haeretick (in my opinion) who for some or other temporall profit especially his owne glory or dignity, doth either beget De [...] vi [...]a [...]e [...]redendi cap. [...]. [...]ui [...] commodi & maxime [...] [...] ­ri [...] principatus­que sui gratia. &c. or follow false and new opinions. The Scripture notion of the word haeresy runs very much this way, and it is to be feared that mens selfe ends, wealth, eminency in­terests have too much ingrediency into their opini­ons in these times, the Lord will discover and blast the doctrine which he hates, and them also that hold up such opinions, as are under his [...] and haply against the conscience also, of those that follow them, for their private and unworthy ends.

The third place is that Titus▪ [...]. 10. 11. A [...] that is an haeretick after the first and second ad [...]i [...]on reject. Knowing that [...]e that is such, i [...] subver [...] and [Page 42] sinneth being condemned of himselfe. In the former verse there is an exhortation to avoid foolish questi­ons and genealogies and contentions and strive­ings about the Law because they are unprofitable and vaine, and then it followes. A man that is a haere­tick. &c. whence the Examen cen­surae. pag. 272. and 280. Arminians interpret an hae­retick to be one that makes contention and di­vision upon trifling and slighty questions, who is condemned of himselfe because he litigates and makes a stirre about such things as himselfe knowes to be of small importance, but I conceive the mat­ter not to be so slighty as they would make it, for it is said of such a one [...] he is subverted, as a Ship that turns up her keele or a house when the foundation is turned topsy turvy, and therefore Deut. 32. 20. where the extreamly desperate estate of a people at last cast, is exprest, the Greeke ren­ders it by the word used in this text. [...] it is a people turned upside downe or sub­verted, which also the [...] Sub­vertit us cum superior pars in [...]mam vertitur Avenarius. Hebrew word imports both in this place and else where, and so haeresy is concluded to be a subversive thing and not a peevish litigation about slight questions, as the Arminians would put it off, but thus much may be collected from the cohaerence, that a man may be denominated an haeretick for doctrinall and dogmaticall errours holden and contentiously defended and maintained, and it is observed by some that wordes of this forme and termination as [...] do signifie an ap­titude or readinesse, and so the Cameron my­rothec. cui volu­pe est tueri fal­sas & erroneas opiniones. word in the text signifies, one that with complacency and choyce adheres to such errours, but the greatest doubt is what is meant by those wordes, he sinneth being con­demned [Page 43] of himselfe, which Chrisost. in Titus. 3. 10. 11. Chrysostom refers to the admonitions precedent, for in that such a man hath been admonisht, he cannot reply in his owne de­fence [...] &c. no man hath shewed me my er­rour, no man hath better instructed me, and so hath his mouth stopt and is condemned of his owne conscience, and it is not to be denyed that very ma­ny interpreters both ancient and moderne by the word [...] doe understand a man that is convinced in his owne conscience that he erres, and that he goes contrary to his owne light, sciens, vo­lens, but this interpretation is by Minus Celsus pag. 13. Estius in locum, cum multis aliis. many disallowd and argued against, that moderate and sweet breath|'d De Arrianis. lib. 5. Salvian speakeing of the Arrians saith, Haeretici sunt, non scientes, apud nos non apud se, quod illi nobis, hoc nos illis &c. They are Haereticks but not knowingly, with us they are, but not with themselves, And indeed the word in the text doth not necessa­rily carry so farre, as that an haeretick is condemned of his owne conscience, but as [...] is a man taught of himselfe, without a Master, so [...] is a man condemned of himselfe, not merely misled by others to whom he hath given up himselfe blind­fold, but as one that hath electively taken up and with a fixed self-will is resolved to persist, in his er­rour and way, which he thinks to be truth, and that he doth Godgood service in holding on in it, there are two things that may be cleerly taken up. 1. That it is made the character of an haeretick to sin be­cause condemned of himselfe. 2. That another man may know that he is subverted and sins being selfe condemned, for 'its said after admonition re­ject him Knowing that he that is such is subverted. [Page 44] &c. But how shall this be known? Is it because he sins against common notions or principles within the ken of natures light? This restraines haeresy which is a subverting of the faith onely to that which is contrary to light of nature, which light of nature may bee in some particular so defaced, like a superscription on old coyne, that though I may know he sins, yet he is not convinced in himselfe. Is it then because he takes an opinion for his lusts sake and private ends against his light and knowledge? Then indeed he sins because condem­ned of himselfe, but how can another know it? It rests therefore that an haeretick rejecting admoniti­on may be said to be condemned of himselfe, be­cause hee chuseth his owne errours, and rejects the truth and so interpretative that is vertually and by consequence is condemned of himselfe, as they who thrust away the word from them, did judge themselves unworthy of eternall life. Acts. 13. 46. Here is (as you see) an [...] or selfe condemning without conviction of conscience or knowledge of their own sin in it.

The fourth place is the Text which we have in hand, and this whole chapter, compared with the Epistle of Iude, in both which haeresy is graphically described, as hath before been opend. That which remaines to be done, is the drawing up of that hath been said concerning the meaning of the word, or the explication of the things, out of the Scriptures alleaged, into a result, and that is this. The Scripture seemes to make haeresy a complicate evill in which there is these three things (whether all of them essentiall ingredients, or some of them [Page 45] be usuall attendants or concomitants I dispute not)

1. Dogmaticall or doctrinall errour, even over throwing the faith or [...] 2. Tim. 2. 18. Funditas ever. tunt, solo equa [...]t. subverting the pillars and foundations of the doctrine of Christ which Jude calls the common salvation ver. 3. 2. Seperation from, or renting of the unity and communion of the Church, some time Schisina e­ructat in here. sin ut non nemo ait. schisme introduces haeresy, when men are run out upon peevishnesse of spirit or some unwarrantable grounds, they commonly run on into errour of opinion and doctrine, being caught like a loose and wandring sheep, severd from the flock by the wolves which lie in waite for such, sometimes the schisme followes upon the er­rour of opinion drunke in, and so departure from the truth, is attended with departure from the so­ciety and communion of the Church Jude have­ing described haerenicks, saith ver. 19. [...] these are they that separate themselves. 3. A loose and carnall course taken up and followed ei­ther privately or openly, and that under the patro­nage and protection of these dogmaticall errours, Their lives are as full of Athisme as their opinions of blasphemy or false-hand, all which being laid to­gether, it appeares that an haereticke's understan­ding & mind is corrupted, a good conscience is thrust away, his will electively adheres to errour and false wayes; his affections are drowned in sensuality and lusts, he is subverted and sins being selfe condemned, either [...]. Oicumen in tit. 3. 8. formerlly, by his owne conscience and light yet remaining, or Ideo sibi dam­natus quia in quo damnatur sibi eligit Tertull, de proe virtually by his voluntary re­jection of Gods truth to stick to his owne errour, and so in conclusion (except the Lord pull him out of the fire by some happy hand in the meane [Page 46] time) hee brings upon himselfe swift destruction. As touching pertinacy or obstinacy which is gene­rally by Divines put into the definition of haeresie according to that saying: errare possum, haereticus es­se nolo, I shall say but this, that obstinacy may bee considered, either in respect of the crime of haeresie, or of the censure and rejection of an Haereticke.

In respect of the crime of haeresie two ways. First, that an errour in it selfe not haeresie is made haeresie, by obstinacy, as some of the Papists will have that to be haeresie which is stifly holden by any man after the Rhemists Annot. in Tit. 3. 10. determination or admonition of the Church, when a Councell, or that transcendent thing called the Pope hath defined by the authority of his infalli­ble Chaire, that such an errour is haeresie, and hath put it under Anathema, though Error in side non ideo haere­sis quia ab ec­clesia damnatus sed quia fidei contrarius. Altenstaig, &c. verbo, haeresis & Turre crem, summa, lib. 4. [...] part. cap. 3. others of them (in my opinion) say more rightly, that an errour in faith is not therefore haeresie, because condemned by the Church: but because contrary to the faith: or secondly, that an errour subverting the faith is not haeresie, unlesse attended with obstinacy, and that (as I conceive) cannot be said; for as Constancy in that which is good, as namely faith or justice, doth not make faith to be faith, or justice to be justice: so neither doth obstinacy in evill, or errour, make that errour to be haeresie; but as vertue is commen­dable, and rendred more glorious by constancy, so is haeresie aggravated and made more high by ob­stinacy. The essence or nature, and so the denomi­nation of haeresie is not to be measured by obstinacy against the decision or admonition of the Church, (for then every such obstinate errour should be hae­resie) but by the contrariety and opposition of it to [Page 47] the principles of faith which are razed or over­throwne.

In respect of the censure and rejection of an Haere­tick, (which rejection, whether it be by a private be­leever or by sentence of the Church I now dispute not) I suppose obstinacy is requisite: for as in o­ther scandalls the rule of proceeding is. If hee heare not thee, or if he heare not the Church: so its said, a man that is an Haereticke, reject, after the first and second admonition; Contumacy is a common adjunct of sinne, in order to the finall judgement or sen­tence of the Church in excommunication; In a word, I cannot read those words, Titus 3. 10. Thus, or in this sense. [...] A man that after the first and second admonition is an Haereticke, as if he then became an Haereticke by standing out against or after admoni­tion, but thus, reject a man haereticall; after the first and second admonition, which argues and de­monstrates, that he may be an Haeretick before he bee obstinate, and so obstinacy is not essentiall to the nature or being of haeresie, Though I confesse, (and doe suggest it to your observation and saddest thoughts) that Haeretickes are generally and usual­ly stricken with obstinacy, few of them that runne into this labyrinth doe either seeke, or finde the way out; when the vitall parts of faith are putrified and corrupted in any Patient, the recovery is hope­lesse; weigh seriously that expression or marke set on these very men by Iude, ver. 12. Trees twice dead, plucked up by the rootes; when do you see such a tree recover life and fruit? Its a hard rescue to fetch a man off that is prisoner to an erring conscience, especi­ally if he be fetter'd by both legs, his judgment be­ing [Page 48] captivated by errour, and his affections ensla­ved by lusts; we must doe our duty, and of some have compassion, and others of them save with feare: [...] snatching them out of the fire. Jude, verse 22. 23. Though they complaine of violence offe­red to their liberty, when they are pul'd out of the fire. For (as [...] qui servat idem fa­cit [...]cidenti Horat. the saying is) hee that saves a man a­gainst his will, hath no more thankes for his labour then if he kill'd him. It is a matter of wonder and a­mazement to see men of eminent parts and lear­ning, of great reputation for Religion, captivated, carried away, and made prey of, by senselesse and absurd fancies and opinions: but that wee know there are no delusions or lies, but are strong when God delivers a man up to them in way of punish­ment for not receiving the truth with love thereof. The Lord give us to receive his truth with fear and trembling, and make us thankfull (whom in this time of wantonnesse (as some call it) or rather wickednesse of opinions, hee hath kept from ship­wracke of faith, and made to stand upright when men that have lived strictly and religiously (as [...] Chrys. Epistola 4. ad Olymp. Chrysostome said of Pelagius) seem to warp and to be drawn awry.

Having thus farre laid open the nature and dan­ger of haeresie by the Scriptures, I should now come to the use of all: but that in few words I desire to put you in minde in what notion the word haeresie hath passed amongst men in common acceptation, and that I shall doe in these two words.

1. The Ecclesiasticall or Scholasticall acceptation is this: T [...]rre [...]rem. sum. lib. 4. Haeresie is an errour or assertion contrary to the faith in points fundamentall or momentous, [Page 49] holden or maintain'd by a man professing the Chri­stian faith: this they call simple haeresie, and such a one an Haereticke: licet ab ecclesia non recesserit, though (saith In Gal. cap. 5. Ierome) hee doth not separate or make secession from the Church: and though hee cannot be blemisht with wickednesse morall, or in conversation. All momentous truths are not stri­ctly so called fundamentall; there are truths (as I may say) of second and third magnitude; like stones in a building which be next unto, or upon the foun­dation; what these are which are precisely funda­mentall, and what is the boundary of them, and by what certaine measure they must be measured, if it exceed not my skill to determine (as I dare not say but it may) yet it is a worke beyond my time. This only I say to the point in hand, That the for­malis ratio or nature of haeresie as it is distinguisht from schisme and fleshly lusts, is rightly stated to consist in an errour or assertion, contrary to, and de­structive of the faith, and the degree of pravity in the errour, is correspondent to the degree of impor tance of the truth that's destroyed by it ordenied.

2. The vulgar, and indeed abusive acceptation of the word, is an infamy or reproach which usu­ally men flinge in the face of others at random, that are not of their opinion: and its too true (as a lear­ned man saith) that haeresie and schisme are two the­ologicall scare-crowes, many times set up to scare people and affright them. The strongest party of the two commonly cries out of haeresie: the weakest par­ty cry out of persecution, so the Papist puts a marke or brand of haereticall pravity upon, and calls all Haeretickes, who are opposite to their Spalato. lib. 1 cap 10. false do­ctrines [Page 50] or filthy lusts; Haeresie was taken in a large sense, when the L. Cooke his Institutes. Lollards were indicted for haere­sie, because they held it not meritorious to goe in pilgrimage to Saint Thomas, or Mary of Walsing­ham: or when Virgilius Bishop of Saltzburg was condemned for the haeresie of holding that there were Antipodes; Apology, cap. 7. Bellarmine tells K. Iames that for all his beleeving the Scriptures, the three Creeds, the foure great and generall Councells, yet he might be an Haereticke: and his meaning was, because the Popes infallibility or supremacy was not in any of the Kings Creeds. As the intollerable abuse of excom­munication formerly, made no man to value it a­bove the price at which he could buy it off; so the abuse of this name, and throwing it about at ran­dome, makes it not regarded, which yet is a fear­full thing in it selfe, and bringing swift destruction; It hath been stretcht too farre to be a brand stigma­tizing true beleevers, and to scare men from pry­ing into the trueth by making it odious, and it is shriveled and shrunke up too much, even almost to nothing by such as are affraid to hit themselves by defining it: but is there not such a thing? is there not such a damnable sin? why then doe such hor­rible sins as the sin against the holy Ghost, and the sin of haeresie, lye like a terra incognita undiscovered, unpreacht against? Seeing there is to be found in Scripture, especially in the Apostolicall Epistles, so much said in description of, and for caution a­gainst damnable haeresies and doctrines, and the false teachers which privily bring them in, and bring upon themselves and many that follow their pernicious wayes, such fearfull destruction.

That which now remains is to draw up that which hath been said into matter of use and application.

And first let me speak to you all, who professethe Use 1 trueth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you would be Protestants once again, by declaring your selves against the heterodoxies & dangerous errors of the present times, for the infection spreads by reason of many that goe abroad with running sores upon them; and if the Apostle, when hee gave all diligence to write to beleevers of the common sal­vation, thought it needfull for him to write to them, and exhort them that they should earnestly contend for the faithonce delivered to the Saints, upon this ground and reason that there were certain men crept in unawares, &c. Jude 3. 4. You cannot thinke it impertinent and unseasonable at this time to be ex­horted to the same earnest contending for the faith, for you are beset with danger on all sides, the con­tagion is epidemicall, many are distracted with here is Christ, and there is Christ, and are mis-led into pernicious wayes: yea even some that seemed to be good eares of come are mil-dewd and almost blasted, I doe therefore exhort you to consider the danger, as you may easily summe it up from that which hath been said, for you have heardi that there shall be false Teachers amongst you, weneed not say there, shall be, but more suitable to our owne condition wee may say, There are as its said, 1 Iohn 4. 4. many false Prophets are gone out into the world; you see they are gone out, I would we might see that they were come in againe. 2. That these are they who bring in damnable haeresies, they goe out to bring these in, they are ring-leaders, or (as [Page 52] Tertullian said of Philosophers) the patriarchs of hae­resies. 3. That they bring in these damnable haere­sies privily, they spawn first in quaeries or plausible beginnings (the greatest Crocodile did at first lye in an egge Franzius hi­storia animali um. Paulo majus anserino, little bigger then a goose-egge) 2 Cor. 11. 15. themselves are transformed as Mini­sters of righteousnesse: 2 Pet. 2. 3. Rom. 16. 18. their words are composed and good, their speeches are faire, their artifice is Eph. 4. 14. full of sleight and cunning craftinesse, and therefore they creepe at unawares not onely into houses, but into mens bosomes also. 4. That hae­resies are damnable and destructive poison, though given in honey, they arise and are made up coede Scripturarum (as Tertullian saith) by felling downe the goodly timber of the holy Scriptures; 2 Pet. 3. 16. wrested to the destruction of them that wrest them; they turne grace into lasciviousnesse; deny the Lord Jesus Christ, overthrow the faith, subvert the soule, carry men down the stream of lust and liberty, and so bring swift destruction. 5. That many shall follow these pernici­ous wayes, Rom. 16. 18. the simple are deceived, the learned are given up to 2 Thes 2. 12. strong delusions, the unstable are carried about like children with every Eph. 4. 14. wind of do­ctrine: Those that by profession of the truth had escaped the pollutions of the world, are againe 2 Pet. 2. 20. entangled and overcome, and so the latter end of many (that are carried away either by speciousnesse of errour or liberty of lust) is worse then the begin­ning. 6. That the last times shall be most of all in­fested with these pernicious errours. 1 Tim. 4. 1. The spirit 1 Jude 17. 18. speaketh expresly, that in the latter times some shal depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spi­rits: the Apostles have foretold that there shall bee [Page 53] mockers in the last time: and by this (saith 1 John 2. 18. the A­postle) we know that it is the last time because there are many Antichrists, and wee may very well un­derstand by the last times, not onely the times of the Gospell in generall, but the time of Antichrists declining as well as of his arising and growth. The last of the last times: For as the last times of the Je­wish Church (after it had shaken off the captivity and idolatry) were pester'd and infested most of all with haeresies untill Christ came with a new doctrine of the Gospell, and untill the desolution of the frame of that Church: so the last dayes of Gospell Chur­ches having shaken off the second Babylonish capti­vity and idolatry, shall be infested with these dan­gerous errours and haeresies, and haply untill the very second comming of Christ, or at least untill he shall gloriously declare himself in the destructi­on of the beast and false Prophet and in the calling of the Jewes.

These things being laid together doe cry aloud unto you, to consider your danger, and to hearken to the frequent inculcations of the Apostles in their Epistles, in almost all their 2 Cor. 11. 3. Epistles, describing false teachers to bee like the Serpent that beguiled Eve, branding them with the name of Jannes and Jambres, Balaam, false Apostles, deceitfull workers, ministers of Sathan, &c. stigmatizing their doctrins with the names of damnable haeresies, doctrines of Devills, &c. Fortifying Christians with effectuall arguments and exhortations against the impressions and infections of such poysonous errours. And if you looke upon those Epistles which were sent from heaven to the seven Churches, you shall finde [Page 54] that the greatest part of those comminations in them contained, are thundred forth against haere­sies or doctrinall errours, maintaining or cherish­ing (as I may call them) haereticall lusts, there wee finde them Revel. 2. 2. that said they were Apostles, but were lyers, the cap. 2. 9. 14. 15. 20. 24. blasphemy of such as said they were Jews, but were the Synagogue of Satan, the doctrine of Balaam, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, the tea­ching and seducing of Jezebel, the depths of Sathan, &c. The Churches are commended, or the Angels of those Churches, who found out these disguised seducers, and kept the truth uninfected by them, and those Angels or Churches blamed which Revel. 2. 15. had them Vers. 20. and suffered them in their bosome. These things I offer to your serious and sad consideration, you have not made use of the point, as soone as you have said The Minister railes. Its not my meaning to poure out all this that hath beene said upon eve­ry errour either preacht or followed in our times: but to shew you that false teachers and haeresies must be and shall be in the Gospel Churches: and to put you in minde what the Scripture saith concer­ning them, and how much you are concerned to looke about you: for I observe that men are not so jealous over themselves, or so affraid of e corrupti­on of their minds as they ought to be, nor so sensible of sin in intellectuall errours as in morall corrupti­ons, and yet we know diseases in the head are mor­tall too: and that a fish begins to corrupt and stink in the head and so throughout; corrupt manners u­sually and naturally follow upon corrupt minds; they that are not sound in the faith, no wonder if they be not sound in the feare, and in the wayes of [Page 55] God, whither will this new scepticisme come and into what will it be resolved? but into Athiesme, when men begin to fall; we see by experience, that many fall from story to story till they come to the very bottom, And therefore I exhort and be­seech you all to that which the scripture exhorts and in joynes upon Christians, who are in danger of being seduced by false teachers or their doct­rines, and that is, to try the spirits whether they are of God. 1. John. 4. 1. To contend for the faith once delivered Jude. 3. To beware lest you be carri­ed away with the errour of lawlesse men 2. Pet. 3. 17. To turne away from such as creep into houses and lead captive silly women, 2. Tim. 3. 5. 6. To avoid foolish questions which are unprofitable and vaine Titus. 3. 9. To hold faith and a good conscience. 1. Tim. 1. 19. To continue in the things that you have learn­ed and been assured of out of the word of God, 2. Tim. 3. 14. And lastly If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine receive him not into your house neither say to him [...] 2. Epistle. of John. 10. 11. For he that bids him god speed is partaker of his evill deeds, where the Apostle supposes that false teachers are men of evill deeds, besides their false doctrines, or that indeed their false doctrine is evill deeds in the plurall number, and therefore not to be sligh­ted off as a thing of the minde or mentall mistake onely, you see that to countenance or encourage such teachers is to be partaker of their evill deeds, and whatsoever credit you will give to the report of lib. 3. cap. 3. Irenaeus concerning John his leaping out of the bath from Cerinthus or Polycarp his refuseal of Mar­cion [Page 56] his acquaintance, yet, the observation which he makes uponthose reports or histories, is to be taken notice of that the Apostles and their followers, would Tantum Apos­toli & eorum discipu [...]i &c. Iren lib. 3. cap. 3. not so much as verbo tenus communicate with any of them that had adulterated the truth, how much lesse should private Christians close with such sedu­cers who are more likely to pull them into the water, then they to pull them out, Naturally wee are tinder too apt to take fire by their sparkes, he that fishes with an haereticall bait may haply catch more in a moneth, than some godly Minister shall bring to Christ with all his travell and paines, as long as he lives, for he hath the advantage of the bait and therein lies the odds of successe between preach­ing of errour and preaching of the truth, I maruell (saith the Apostle) that you are so soone removed from him, that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospell. Gal. 1. 6. there was the won­der [...] that they were removed so quick­ly, and the Apostles wonder may be ours also, wee have been a people of as powerfull godlinesse, as any in the world; practicall divinity was impro­ved to a great height of clearenesse and sweetnesse but I feare that I may truely say we were best in worst times, wee held our cloake in the winde and now are laying it off in the sun, A miserable decli­nation from the life and power of godlinesse is come to passe within these few yeares, our practicals, our inward and close wayes of walking with God in faith and love, are sublimed into fancies and va­pour out into fumes of new opinions, and which is worst of all, we take this dropsy to be growth, and conceive our selves to be more spirituall and re­fined [Page 57] because more ayry and notionall. The Lord humble us for our declensions and swervings from the 1 Tim. 6. 3. end of the commandement (which is love out of a pure heart and of a good conscience and of faith unfained) and for our turnings aside to vaine ianglings, The best way of fortification of our selves against the allurements and assaults of false teach­ers is 1. To be grounded in the principles of the doctrines of Christ, or else we shall easily be tum­bled up and downe like loose stones that lie not fast in the building upon the foundation. 2. To study and adhere unto the doctrine which is 1 Tim 1. 5. 6. accor­ding to godlinesse, practicall and edifying truths, which draw up the heart into acquaintance and communion with God, and draw it out in love and obedience to him, For its good that the heart be stablisht with grace, Heb. 13. 9. 3. To hold faith and a good conscience 1. Tim. 1. 19. for if we thrust away a good conscience by entertaining base lusts and ends, the shipwrack of faith will follow. 4. To pray for confirmation and establishment by the hand of God, for as it is not a strong constitution that is a protection against the plague, so neither is it parts and learning which secure us from beleeving lies and delusions. Its a mercy for which we are not enough thankfull, that God keeps any of us stand­ing upright when others shrink awry, or that wee are enabled to discerne between truth and errour, and to stand for the one, and withstand the other; when so many that have driven a great trade of profession are broken and turned bankerupts.

5. To keep as a treasure those truths wherein you have formerly found comfort, and which have [Page 58] been attested and confirmed to you by your owne experience, sit upon those flowers still and sucke their fresh honey every day. A Christian very hard­ly parts with those truths that have been sealed up to his experience, but its no wonder that a man should lose that out of his head which he never had in his heart.

To those that bring in or follow these pernicious Vse 2 wayes of damnable haeresy, you shall see the crop which you shall reap, swift destruction, you are un­der judgement which slumbers not. It will be de­structive to you to wrest the Scriptures. 2. Pet. 5. 16. and to make merchandise of mens soules for sin­full ends. 2. Pet. 2. 3. To corrupt the mindes of men from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2. Cor. 11. 3. and to cause divisions and scandalls Rom. 16. 17. are things which will cost you deare, lay to heart the terrible expressions of wrath which are fulminated against such men in Scripture, There may be diffe­rences in opinion, betweene them that are godly, which are not inconsistent, with the peace of the Churches and for which its unlawfull [...] (as the historian saith) to make butter and cheese of one another, Its a discreet rule which is laid downe by one Conradas Bergius. de­dictamine, &c. Si non idem sentimus de veri­tate at saltem de pondere If we cannot agree upon the truth of every question or point of divinity yet at least lets be agreed concerning the weight and moment thereof, so as not to make as great a stirr about a tile of the house, as if it were a foundati­on stone, nor erect new parties or Churches upon every lesser variation; but to contend for, or pre­tend a liberty of professing or publishing such do­ctrins [Page 59] as overthrow the faith and subvert the soule under the name of liberty of conscience can be no other then [...] 2. Tim. 3. 9. a manifest fol­ly or madnesse. Is this liberty any part of Christs pur­chase? Hath he made men free to sin and deny him that bought them? what yoake of bondage doth this liberty free us from? Gal. 5. 1. should we claime a liberty of being in bondage to errour? or promise to men a liberty of being servants to corruption, which the falseteachers in effect did 2. Pet. 2. 19. God hath (as one saith) reserved to himselfe as his pre­rogative three things. Ex nihilo creare, futura prae­dicere, conscientijs dominari. To create out of no­thing, to foretell things to come, to have dominion o­ver conscience, and it is true that while a thing is within, in the conscience, its out of mans reach, but when 'its acted and comes abroad then it comes into mans jurisdiction and is cognizable in foro hu­mano, God onely is judge of thoughts, men also are judges of actions, Its a great mistake and of very ill consequence to imagine that a man is alwayes bound to act or practice according to the light or judgement of conscience though rightly informed in thesi, for then I see not, that there can be any place for that rule given by the Apostle. Rom: 14. 22. Hast thou faith? have it to thy selfe be­fore God, Truth it selfe though never to be denyed yet is not alwayes to be declared, for the hurt or scandall may be greater, then an inseasonable pro­fession or practice of that which is in it selfe law­full may be worth, but the mistake is yet more grosse to imagine that an erring conscience is a suffi­cient protection or warranty for an evill act. Its [Page 60] sin to goe against an erring conscience, (Stante dic­tamine) as its sin to ravish and force awhore. Its sin also to act according to the dictate of an erring conscience as to committ adul tery with consent. To make conscience the finall judge of actions, is to wipe out the hand writing of the word of God, which doth condemne many times, those things which conscience justifies, yea and men also may passe just judgement on delusions or lyes though those that vent them doe beleeve them for truths; If conscience be warrant enough for practices and opinions, and liberty of conscience be a sufficient licence to vent or act them, I cannot see but the ju­dicatories either of Church or State may shut up their Shop, and bee resolved into the judicatory of every mans private conscience. And put the case that the Magistrate should conceive himselfe bound in conscience to draw forth his authority a­gainst false teachers, or their damnable haeresies, and (upon that supposed errour) should challenge a liberty of judging, as wee doe of acting, would our liberty give us any ease so long as he had his, and were it not better for him to judge and for us to walke by a knowne rule? and if we should say that his liberty of judging is unlawfull, it is as easy for him to say that our liberty of preaching or pro­fessing errours, is so too.

To you that are Ministers of the word, that you would draw forth the sword of the Spirit against these spirits of errour, as not onely the duty you owe to Gods truth and mens soules requireth, but also the pressing examples of the Apostles doe con­straine you; let not the Lord Jesus Christ and his [Page 61] offices, be denyed by false teachers and by your silence too, and the Lord grant that it may not be said of you as of the Ministers of Ephesus Acts. 20. 30. also of your owne selves shall men arise speaking per­verse things to draw away Disciples after them. Catha­rinus said of some middle-region men in those times, that they were Luther anunculi halfe or dough-baked Lutherans; Let us not halt between two opinions but be valiant for the truth. He is but halfe a good Sheepheard that feeds the sheep in good pasture, but defends them not from the wolves; It belongs to you [...] Titus. 1. 11. to stop their mouths that is by conviction as is plaine by the ninth verse as Christ [...] Matth. 22. 34. Stopt the Sadduces mouths by silencing their arguments. They wil tell you that arguments of vre seca, fire & faggot are not fit arguments for Ministers, that their minds ought to be enlightned, not their bodies bur­ned, and the truth is, the keys are given to Peter not the sword, He usurps that without authority, the weapons of our warfare are not carnall, Malchus eare is not to be cut off by us. But wil they that plead ex­emption from violence, suffer & endure the word of conviction? will they afford their ears & patient­ly beare the examination of their errours? I fear they will not; such is their love to & their pleropho­ry of errour, Nay will they not rather cast dirt upon the Ministery, and use all stratagems to undermine it, decrying their calling and their lively-hood or tithes which among all their destructive errours must needs be confessed to bee a saveing doctrine, whatsoever be the event, you that are Gods Mini­sters must venture into the Lions mouth to save a [Page 60] [...] [Page 61] [...] [Page 62] sheepe, and assert and vindicate the truth of God from being taken captive by errour: for if either his trueth or his people be lost by your default, the account will be heavy.

As I began, so I shall conclude with you (the Ho­norable Vse 4 house) every one sees what height we are come unto. Arrius in Alexand. was but as one spark, a little water at first would have quench'd that fire which afterward set almost all the world in flames, I see by your order for keeping of this solemne day, that you take notice of the growth of errour, haere­sie and blasphemy, I would you had taken such no­tice of the beginnings of them. If you take notice of these as a judgement upon us, then search out the sin for which this judgement comes. If you take notice of them as our sin, then let every man labour to owne it so farre as by participation it is made his owne, that so we may be truly humbled, and re­new our Vowes and Covenants to owne and stand up for the truth of God, against all invasions of er­rour and haeresie; you as Magistrates, we as Mini­sters, all as men that have soules to be saved or lost. Its a good rule, In eo serviunt reges deo, in quo non possunt illi servire nisi ut reges, Kings and Princes, and indeed all magistrates doe therein serve God, wherein they cannot serve him but as Magistrates: we are exhorted to pray for Kings and all that are in authority, that wee may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godlinesse and honesty, 1 Tim. 2. 2.

There is (as Divines distinguish) simple haeresie and complicate.

Simple haeresie is an opinion or assertion holden and maintained contrary to, and subversive of the [Page 63] faith by one that professes the Christian Religion: Complicate haeresie is that which is attended with schisme, sedition, blasphemy, where one opinion lyes with another, and begets a new bastard: a new mon­ster growing up into a multiformity more & more, until it break forth into such dangerous symptoms as the fore-named.

The schismaticall Haereticke upon his opinion breaks off from the communion of the Church, and runs out into separation, setting up his new light (as he calls it) in a new candlestick.

The blasphemous Haereticke strikes through the name of the great and glorious God, or his truth with despightfull reproaches not to be na­med.

The seditious Haereticke troubles the peace of the Church and State, as an army is troubled by Mu­tineers.

The seducing Haereticke panders to his bed all hee can, and goes up and down to vent his poyson to the infection of others, privily bringing in damna­ble haeresies.

There is a great contest about simple haeresie whe­ther it come under your sword or no in respect of capitall punishment. The Vide 18. ar­gumenta Luthe­ranorum apud Conradum. Bergium de hae­resi. Lutherans are negative and so are very many others, Haereticidium ob sim­plicem aut nudam haeresin nemo nostrûm simpliciter asseruit. None of us (say they) Censura in cap. 24. have asserted haere­ticide or capitall punishment for simple haeresie. And Calvin in o­pusc. de Serve­to. Calvin saith of Servetus, vel sola modestia po­tuisset vitam redimere, that he might have saved his life had he been but modest. And to such I wish light and not fire, let bloudy Papists only have this brand [Page 64] of cruelty upon them to confute errours by fire and faggot.

For the blasphemous and seditious Haeretickes, both Haereticum sedittosum & blasphemum ca­pitali supplicio dignum nemo ex nostris facile impugnabit. Tota quaestio est de haeretico sim­plici. Meisnerus Philos. sob sect 2 cap. 4. Lutherans and others of the Reformed chur­ches do agree that they may be punished capitally, that is for their blasphemy or sedition; but the Schlichtingi­us pro Secino contra Meisnerū page 457. So­cinian stands out herealso, and denies it; alleadg­ing that the punishment of false Prophets in the old Testament was speciali jure by speciall law gran­ted to the Israelites, and therefore you must not looke (saith the Socinian) into the olde Testament for a rule of proceeding against false Prophets and blasphemers: Nor (saith Calvin de Ser­veto in opusc. Catharinus in 3 Titus 10. Calvin and Catharinus) can you find in the new Testament any precept for the punishment of Theeves, Traytors, Adulterers, Witches, murtherers and the like, and yet they may, or at least some of them bee capitally punisht: for the Gospell destroys not the just lawes of civill policy or Common-wealths; but I will not enter upon the debate of this point, neither bringing in the Scriptures or reasons for it, nor answering the arguments brought against it, of which argu­ments this I suggest (by the way) to your obser­vation, that some of them doe even ship in one bot­tome the morall duties commanded in the old Testa­ment, and the typicall ceremonies or shadowes. Some of them doe make Which Era­st [...]s denies not as to Haereticks or such as keep not the faith, Th [...]s. 9. & 70. against Ecclesiasticall censures as well as civill, and some of them doe carry further then haply they are intended, even to take off civil punishments of sinnes against the second Table also: neither doe I see any just reason, that if the office of a Magistrate have any place in the matters of the first Table, he can punish sedition, which is against [Page 65] his owne name or dignity, and stand still and looke on with his hands tied, whiles the name and ho­nour of the great God is openly traduced or blas­phemed.

For the seducing Haereticke, he is to be prohibited and restrained: you will not suffer a man that hath a running plague-sore to go abroad to infect, though his shutting up be not in way of punishment, as if hee was punisht because hee hath the sore, but in way of prevention of contagion, as the restraint of the Leper was. You pull downe another mans house and that justly when 'tis on fire to prevent the bur­ning of the whole Towne: one way to put out the fire in the Oven, is to shut it up. Many errours and haeresies would die of themselves if they had not free vent. Falsi doctores sathanae lenones saith Cal­vin: False teachers are the Devils panders; would you suffer panders to come into your houses & so­licit the chastity of your children? would you suf­fer Mountebanks to sell poison upon a stage, to de­stroy the bodies and lives of people? This the Examen cen­surae, page 285. Re­monstrants in scorne call our palmarium argumen­tum: but it is not to be despised as if it was void of reason. You that are Christian Magistrates should not forget the soules of them that live under your shadow. There is a Minus Celsus in disputatione de haereticis, &c. pag. 194. &c. learned man who argues a­gainst the punishing of Haereticks with death, and pitches upon this as the solida, vera, certa, ratio, the solid, true, and certain reason why other flagitious offenders are to be punisht, but not Haereticks: be­cause haeresie (saith he) is the errour of a depraved minde, an intellectuall errour: but other morall vices arise from a depraved and corrupt will, and [Page 66] the error of the understanding is not (saith hee) to be punisht with death, but that it is to be restrained from spreading and infecting, the comparisons which he brings in doe fully signify. For you would not (saith hee) put a Physitian to death as a mur­derer who upon meere mistake gives his patient a potion of poyson in stead of good medicine, nor a mad man that breaks out and kills and slaies such as he meets with, because this proceeds from laesion of his understanding, though I doe not concur with this supposition that haeresie is a a meere act of the understanding: for it hath its denomination from the act of the will choosing the errour: yet thus farre I goe with it, that such pretended Physitians as hold that to be wholsome which is poison, and mi­nister it to their Patients, are not to bee licensed to practise, nor such mad men suffered to be loose to exercise their fury; damnable haeresies can never be prevented, if false teachers may have liberty to bring them in. Its one thing to suffer Jewes, Turkes, Pa­pists, Haeretickes, to live in the kingdome or City, and another thing to give them liberty or freedome of Trade, to open their shop and call in Customers to buy their destructive wares; Thou hast them that hold the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, Revel. 2. 15. Thou sufferest that woman Jezebel which calls her selfe a Prophetesse, to teach and to seduce my ser­vants, was a sore charge laid by Christ upon those Churches.

Nor is it the Pulpit which can keep off the infe­ction, whiles the poison is carried up and downe in books, and cryed at mens doors every day, in which there are many strange doctrines going abroad o­pen [Page 67] faced, and some more strange which goe vailed, and dropt into the Reader by insinuation, there seeme to be very strange dreams about the manner of Christs being in the Saints, and Gods being ma­nifest in their flesh, and about the Kingdome of the Saints, and the licking of the dust of their feete by the world. There are mysteries if the world was ripe for them; I take notice of one thing in a late book which hath a very ill aspect, brought in by way of enquiry, what is meant by the word Scrip­tures when it is asserted, that the denying of the Scriptures to be the word of God, should be holden worthy of death. For saith the Author, either the English Scriptures, or Scriptures in English, are meant by the word Scriptures, or the Hebrew and Greeke Copies or originalls. The former cannot bee meant with reason, because God did not speake to his Prophets and Apostles in the English tongue: nor doth the English translation agree in all things with the originall or the true sense of it; Nor the latter, for the greatest part of men in the Kingdome doe not understand or know them. If this dilem be good, what is become of the certaine foundation of our hope or faith or comfort; how can we search the Scriptures without going first to schoole to learne Hebrew and Greek. Its well knowne that our Savi­our himselfe and the Apostles doe usually cite the Greek translation or Septuagint, when they quote the Scriptures of the old Testament, and yet that translation had many variations in it from the o­riginall, and haply more then our English translati­on hath. The Apostle citing a place out of the Septuagint, where they expresse not the origi­nall [Page 68] [...], saith [...] it is contained in Scripture, 1 Pet. 2. 6. And there is no question but the Hellenists and western Jewes scattered up and down in Greece and Italy, &c. used the Greeke translation of the Scriptures in their Synagogues, as appears by the confluence of the Greeks and Gentiles to them who understood not Hebrew, and yet they of Be­raea, a city Plin. lib. 4. cap. 10. [...] Stephanus [...]. of Macedonia, are commended for sear­ching the Scriptures of the old Testament, and ex­amining of Pauls doctrine by them: and in that search there were Greeks that bare the Jews compa­ny, as appears, Acts 17. 11, 12. And what Scriptures could they search but the Scriptures of the Greeke Translation; I could easily demonstrate that the Scripture calls the originall translated, scripture, & not without just reason: for the Scripture stands not in cortice verborum but in medulla sensus, its the same wine in this vessel wch was drawn out of that. Translations are but vessels or taps (as I may call them) to set Scriptures abroach; as for faults & er­rours in that translation, if that argument be able to batter and make a breach, let it but have rope e­nough, and it will make as great a breach in the He­brew, for when you come to find that ther are variae lectiones, and that in the Margent truer then that in the Text, as in that famous place [...] in tex­tu. [...] in margine. Vide Foord in Psalm 22. Psal. 22. 17. or shall question the true pointing or printing of the originall, whither will not this wild argument run away with you, until you come to find the very ori­ginal written by the Prophets own hand, or by the hand of some amanuensis infallibly directed & gui­ded; The Scriptures exprest in English are the word of God. The deficiency of exact translation of this [Page 69] or that particular word doth not invalidate the ca­non or bodie of the Scriptures. But I shall not fur­ther proceed in this chase; I have but a word or two left, and that is to exhort you to quicken up your zeale for God and his truth: search out and remove the obstructions that are in and amongst your selves, whether private ends or State ends, or whatsoever they be. Let not Reformation and reli­gion be cryed up for designe, and to serve turnes; settle it speedily. Send forth the Confession that it may testifie to the world that you hold the forme of sound and wholsome words: Let some governe­ment and order be established; religion is the ball of contention, many mens hopes lye in our differences, and their interests are served upon them. We have profest enough for reformation and purity, and have covenanted to endeavour it. The world is wea­ry of words, they looke for fruit; Let this day set an edge upon you. No man take a breake-fast of this fast, let not our ruine be under your hand. There was a But in Naamans story: he was such and such a man, but a Leper; You have done worthily, Cove­nanted seriously: But the matter of Reformation lyes most of it as yet in the Covenant, and is but lit­tle crept out of that shell; It may be the foolishness of many opinions on foot, makes you slight them, as Calvin in o­pusc. de Serve­to. Calvin said of Servetus his first onset, securum me reddidit ipsa dogmatum fatuitas: but be not se­cure, [...] Socrates lib. 1. de Arrio. a great fire may rise out of a small spark. Let the soules of so many thousands of people be preci­ous in your eyes, and the Lord make your name like the name of those that have built the house of God; I pray you let mee not bee understood to ship [Page 70] in one and the same bottom every error or mistake with damnable haeresies; some differences in opinion are as the strivings (as L. Verulam▪ Advancement of learning. one elegantly saith) of one Israelite with another: and these Moses quiets and parts them fairely, and some (namely haeresies figh­ting against the very foundation) are like the Egyp­tian striving with the Israelite whom Moses smites down. There must be differences made between er­rour and haeresie, erroneous and Hereticks, seducers and seduced, I would I might intreat, nay presse it upon those that are called pure Independents, that they would zealously and sincerely declare against the doctrinall errours and haeresies of these dayes, that such pernicious opinions may not shelter themselves under their name or wing, nor ever a­ny indulgence or toleration be either desired or granted upon such a reason, as all may come in at the same breach or port, for that would bee but a selling of the Church into a liberty of being in cap­tivity to destructive confusions and errours.

FINIS.

Pag. 11. lin. 5. for deat r. doceat. P. 30. l. 15. for sigmenta r. figmenta. p. 43. l. 30 for because r. being. p. 45. l. 29. for formerly r. fermally.

ORdered by the Commons Assembled in Parliament that Mr. Rows and Mr. Gewen doe from this House give thankes unto Mr. Vines and Mr. Hodges for the great paines they tooke in their Sermons prea­ched on the 10. Martij, 1646. at Marga­rets Westminster before the House of Com­mons, being a day of publique Humiliati­on for the growth of Errours, Haeresies, &c. And they are to desire them to print their Sermons, wherein they are to have the like priviledge in printing of them, as others in the like kinde usually have had.

H. Elsinge. Cler. Parl. D. Com.

I appoint Abel Roper to Print my Sermon.

RICHARD VINES.

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